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Banks cheated customers out of N6bn in 2012 –Sanusi TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday said it recovered over N6bn for cus-

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tomers who were cheated by banks in 2012. The CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who disclosed this at the annual Isaac Moghalu Foundation, IMOF, Lecture and

Govt, managers must brace for economic recession, says Ibrahim

Symposium in Abuja, said it was in furtherance of the apex bank’s policy designed to protect customers’ interests at all times in the financial services sector.

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FG under fire as Boko Haram rejects amnesty We’ve been vindicated, says CAN N1m ransom paid to free kidnapped cop

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PAUL ARHEWE, OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU, FEMI ADEOSUN, A ZA MSUE AND PRISCILLA DENNIS

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he Federal Government has come under attack with the

Gunmen in police uniform kill two in Lagos

Vote out non-performing leaders –Obasanjo Resign if you’ve run out of ideas, ACN tells Jonathan

Fuel scarcity looms in South-West

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Abubakar

Polytechnics, Colleges of Education to award degrees, says Minister P.8

2face, others light up MTV Base music tour

FRIDAY

Your ur

L-R: Compiler of the book, Business in Africa, Corporate Insights, Dianna Games; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; co-author of the book, Africa’s Third Liberation, Greg Mills and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Christopher Kolade, at the launch of the books in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

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rejection of amnesty by the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Several groups and personalities including the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pan YorubaSocial Cultural Group, Afenifere yesterday blamed the Goodluck Jonathan-led

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Flavour

16 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZ TO START YOUR WEEKEND, BEGIN ON PAGE 19


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Good Health

Aspirin could be bad for the eyes, study reveals SAM EFERARO

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tudies over the years have shown that taking an aspirin just once a month could reduce the risk of heart disease. But a new study now suggests it could also be bad for the eyes as it is also linked with age-related vision loss when taken regularly over a long period. In a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has revealed an association between the pain killer and an increased risk of developing the more severe “wet” form of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in people over age 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates damaging central vision and the ability to see objects clearly. In the study, 2300 people got 4 eye exams over a 15-year period. Among the regular aspirin users, a little more than 9% had developed macular degeneration while the condition was found in only about 4% of non-aspiring users. The result confirms another recent study, which also found that regular aspirin use for at least 10 years slightly raises the risk of developing macular degeneration. The researchers found that the relationship was “dose-dependent” -- meaning, the more aspirin a person took regularly, the higher the risk of the vision loss condition. Age-related macular degeneration is often characterised by loss of sight in the center of the field of vision, and is separated into two main types of macular degeneration: Dry, which is more common, and

wet, which is rarer but more severe. According to a report by the American Mayo Clinic, wet age-related macular degeneration occurs when blood vessels leak into the macula (which is located in the middle of the retina), thereby blocking vision. The new study, conducted by University of Sydney researchers, included 2,389 people whose aspirin habits and vision loss were tracked over 15 years (via four examinations). Of those people, 257 (or 10.8 percent) regularly took aspirin; however, researchers didn’t have full information on why these people took the drug. noted. By the end of the study period, 24.5 percent of the study participants had developed “wet,” or neovascular, age-related macular degeneration. But researchers found that a greater proportion of regular aspirin users had the disease as they followed up throughout the years than the aspirin non-users. Another study, published in 2011 in the journal Ophthalmology, showed that people who take aspirin twice a day have a doubled risk of advanced age-related

mascular wegenration, compared with people who don’t regularly take aspirin. However, the risk is still relatively low. Meanwhile, newer studies have suggested that aspirin should not be taken by everyone as the drug has been found to be harmful in some patients.

Researcher at St. George’s, University of London recently reported that they had analyzed nine randomized studies of aspirin use in the United States, Europe and Japan that included more than 100,000 participants. The study subjects had never had a heart attack or stroke; all regularly took aspirin or a placebo to determine whether aspirin benefits people who have no established heart disease. In the combined analysis, the researchers found that regular aspirin users were 10 percent less likely than the others to have any type of heart event, and 20 percent less likely to have a nonfatal heart attack. While that sounds like good news, the study showed that the risks of regular aspirin outweighed the benefits. Aspirin users were about 30 percent more likely to have a serious gastrointestinal bleeding event, a side effect of frequent aspirin use. The overall risk of dying during the study was the same among the aspirin users and the others. And though some previous studies suggested that regular aspirin use could prevent cancer, the new analysis showed no such benefit. Over all, for every 162 people who took aspirin, the drug prevented one nonfatal heart attack, but caused about two serious bleeding episodes. “We have been able to show quite convincingly that in people without a previous heart attack or stroke, regular use of aspirin may be more harmful than it is beneficial,” said Dr. Sreenivasa Seshasai of the Cardiovascular Sciences Research Centre at the London hospital The findings are likely to add to the confusion about who should regularly take aspirin and who should not.

YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

High blood pressure in pregnancy may spell hot flushes later

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omen who have hypertensive diseases during pregnancy seem to be at higher risk of having troublesome hot flashes and night sweats at menopause, report researchers from the Netherlands in an article published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society. This is the first study to look The investigators examined the relationship between hypertensive diseases in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, and vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) among 853 women who visited a cardiology clinic in Kampen, the Netherlands. Of these, 274 women had a history of hypertensive diseases during pregnancy. More of them (82%) had hot

flashes and night sweats than women who never had these diseases during pregnancy (75%) -- a modest but significant difference. Moreover, women who had hypertensive diseases during pregnancy also tended to have more severe and longer lasting hot flashes and night sweats.

Study confirms effectiveness of spray in dry mouth sensation

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hat Improves Dry Mouth Sensation Caused by Anti-Depressants Researchers from the universities of Granada and Murcia have confirmed the effectiveness of a spray containing 1% malic acid, which greatly improves xerostomy, or dry mouth, caused by anti-depressant drugs. This product, combined with xylitol and fluorides, in a spray format, stimulates saliva production in patients with this illness, thus improving their quality of life. Xerostomy is a dry-mouth sensation that patients have, often caused by reduced salivary secretion or biochemical changes in the saliva itself. Patients with xerostomy often find difficulty in chewing, swallowing or even talking. It is a subjective sen-

sation, whilst hyposalivation refers to an actual reduction in salivary flow, meaning that it is objective and, therefore, quantifiable. As the main author of this study, University of Granada lecturer, Gerardo Gomez Moreno, explains, one of the main causes of dry mouth is the consumption of different medications. “There are over 500 drugs, belonging to 42 pharmacological groups, which can provoke xerostomy as a side effect. Those that are most related are anti-depressants, the prescription of which has increased over recent years, thus leading to a higher number of patients with xerostomy from taking anti-depressive drugs, above all in 45-50 year olds.”


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

4TH ANNUAL GMD MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE, DUBAI 2013

Group Managing Director, Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim (right) congratulating members of staff of the group at the closing ceremony of the Dubai 2013 GMD Conference, yesterday.

Members of Staff of National Mirror newspapers with Dr. Ibrahim.

L-R: Guest, Mr. Jerome Olatuja (left) and Acting Head, Internal Control, Energy Bank, Ghana, Mr. Philip Odom.

L-R: Mr. Dennis Oyene of Nigeria Re-Insurance (left) and Manager, Accounts and Finance, Global Fleet OIl and Gas, Mrs. Uchenna Ososanya.

Gospel singer, Kemi Esanola (left) and saxophonist, Mr. Yemi Oladimeji of Nigeria Re-Insurance, leading worship session, at the closing ceremony of the conference.

L-R: Managing Director, Global Fleet Oil and Gas, Mrs. Bridget Henry-Iyasere; Guest Speaker, Dr. Amos Idowu and Dr. Ibrahim, at the closing ceremony.

L-R: Secretary to the Group Managing Director, Mrs. Abosede Adewole; Head, Accounts, Mrs. Stella Nlebemijo and Head, Marketing, Nicon Insurance, Abuja, Mrs. Abisola Ajayi.

Acting Branch Manager, Head Office, Energy Bank Ghana, Ms Anita Mintah-Afful (left) and Head, Human Resources and Administration, Ms Naa Dedei Adjei.

L-R: Lead consultant, ATF Consulting Ltd, Mr. Adewale Folowosele; Guest speaker, Mr. Adeniyi Elumaro and representative of the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alhaji Baba Muhammed.

Participants at the conference during an open bus tour of Dubai, yesterday. PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA


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Friday, April 12, 2013

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Vote out non-performing leaders –Obasanjo AYODELE OJO

DEPUTY EDITOR (POLITICS)

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ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged citizens to do away with non-performing leaders who have constituted a clog in the wheel of progress. He said Africans must not relent in striving, through the exercise of their democratic rights, to entrench courageous, growth-oriented leaders in the place of the current indolent parasitic class of political leaders. “The latter is a clog in the wheel of progress in the effort to eradicate poverty in Africa,” he said. The former President declared that what some African leaders and governments have succeeded in giving to their people are scarcity, hunger, insecurity, absolute poverty and a corrupt parasitic middle class. Obasanjo spoke at the presentation of two books – “Africa’s Third Liberation” by Greg Mills and Jeffrey Herbst, and “Business in Africa, Corporate Insights”

by Diana Games – in Lagos yesterday. “The current generation of Africans has no excuse to continue to put up with non-performing leaders. To avoid the bold choice of leaders, who can lead their country into economic prosperity, is a deliberate choice of poverty by the people. There is no magic in economic growth and development, they have to be worked for and this takes hard work, sacrifice, hard choices and above all, a selfless and visionary leadership. “It is absolutely impossible for any country to achieve growth with employment, when the management of her national resources is relegated to provincial and primordial interests,” Obasanjo said. He said that Africa needs a third liberation that will breed new leaders. His words: “Such leaders with exemplary qualities will initiate policies that will benefit the people, lead to good governance, politically and economically, integration and cooperation, peace, security, stability, growth,

development, employment and wealth creation and will continue to lift Africa up and make our continent the continent of the 21st century. This is the third liberation. The process has begun. It must be continued. “The new breed leaders must remain the force commanders making majority of us, if not all of us, committed foot-soldiers of high morale. This war must be won.

“The alternative is irredeemable poverty and a meaningless independence from colonialism and militarism. To fight this war requires an educated society that knows the difference between issues that touch on the economy of the state and issues that touch on the mundane, such as ethnic affinity of the political aspirant. “There is the hope that

this is only part of the teething problems associated with our stage of democracy and that it would soon fizzle out. Manipulating political process to feather political and economic nests will not endure. “This makes it difficult for them to take the hard decisions necessary for reform policies that would promote economic growth. Bangladesh has succeeded, in spite

of her weaknesses, largely because of the adoption of the low wage strategy to grow the private sector. This sharply contrasts with some African countries, where wages and political perquisites are so high that the economy is hurt.” He also berated the political and bureaucratic class for being corrupt. This, he said, has affected the forCONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

L-R: Wife of the Prime Minister of Poland, Mrs. Malgorzata Tusk; Prime Minister, Mr. Donald Tusk; President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, during the visit of Polish leader in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

FG under fire as Boko Haram rejects amnesty CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

administration for the poor handling of the amnesty offer. This is coming as the former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, backed amnesty for the sect. An audio recording released by the leader of the sect on Wednesday night, Abubakar Shekau, had strongly objected to any possible deal with Nigerian officials. The development came after the Federal Government had mooted the idea of possibly setting up a committee to examine a deal to stop the violence that had killed hundreds over the last year. The recording, first passed by intermediaries of Boko Haram to journalists in northern Nigeria, features the man talking about the possibility of an amnesty deal. Shekau, speaking in Hausa, calls the amnesty deal “surprising.” “We are the one to grant them pardon. Have you forgotten their atrocities against us?” he said.

The leader of the sect later threatens the lives of anyone claiming to be a representative of Boko Haram saying the network wants to accept a peace deal. The self-proclaimed Boko Haram leader said he could offer a ceasefire in Northeast Nigeria on behalf of the group in January, though the violence continued unstopped. However, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the 19 Northern states and Abuja yesterday said the rejection of proposed amnesty by the Boko Haram Islamic sect has vindicated them. In a telephone interview with National Mirror last night, Northern CAN’s public relations officer, Mr. Sunday Oibe stressed that the organisation kicked against the offer because the sect’s agenda is to Islamise the country. CAN therefore called on President Jonathan not to be deceived by Northern elite that amnesty would end the insurgency, alleging that Northern elders and some religious leaders who clamoured for amnesty

want to use street beggars as sect members to collect money from the Federal Government. “We are once again telling President Jonathan to be wary of amnesty because some people want to make money from it. Mr President should not be controlled by some people who are broke and looking for means of survival, we told him before that amnesty should not be given to Boko Haram but some people went to the Presidential Villa and intimidated him to grant amnesty.” The Secretary General of CAN, Dr. Musa Asake, also said the rejection of the amnesty confirmed CAN’s fears about the sincerity of the sect. According to him, “CAN has said no to amnesty because you cannot give amnesty to people you don’t know. We are not concerned with Boko Haram rejecting amnesty, but the rejection further confirm CAN’s stand on the issue. “Also the rejection is also an indication that the Northern leaders calling for amnesty have not done

their home work well before canvassing amnesty. “We say granting amnesty will be unfair to the victims, to the country and the hundreds of people who have been affected either directly or indirectly by the nefarious activities of the sect.” The convener of Coalition of Concerned Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammad, blamed the government for not handling the issue very well. He said: “Clearly, there was nothing like amnesty. I do understand the desperation among Nigerians as a result of the security situation and the economy being in tatters, but the government adopted a wrong approach by listening to the so-called Northern elders who speak for nobody; they are not speaking for the North. “First, there was no credible offer, so one cannot speak of rejection. The government has raised the hopes of the people and with the rejection, unfortunately the situation will continue until sincere approach to

tackle the crisis is adopted. “Government should reach out to genuine people who have the contact with the Boko Haram. Then the sect members will submit the names of those they feel will participate in the dialogue, not this approach of constituting a committee made up of people who have no connection with the sect.” In its own reaction, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), said it is too early to comment on the development, but said that amnesty is the best solution to the crisis. “I think it is too early for any reactions, precisely because we cannot ascertain the source of the purported rejection of the amnesty that has yet to be offered. What is more, the aim of the amnesty is to encourage the sect to come out to the negotiating table without any fear of molestations by the security agents. And until it is offered, it would be strategically wrong to react now,” Anthony Sani, the spokesman of the ACF said. In his own reaction, the President of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC,

Fredrick Fasehun said that he didn’t think the Federal Government would have offered the sect amnesty, because according to him, “it was wrong in the first place to offer amnesty to killers of women, children and innocent people; bombers of schools and places of worships and government institution. The late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had already defined amnesty and our own amnesty is different from what the Federal Government is offering.” Fasehun added that certain conditions must be fulfilled by the sect before talks of amnesty would arise and these conditions include: submission of their arms, unveiling their faces, so that government would know those it is dealing with, round table dialogue must be held and there must be certain conditions attached to the granting of amnesty. The National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said the question that needs to be answered first is: which of the faction of the Boko CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Banks cheated customers of N6bn in 2012 –Sanusi We must vote out nonperforming leaders –OBJ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 at women at the top of

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tunes of many countries. “In many African countries, the unions may not be too powerful but the political and bureaucratic classes are so corrupt that the government is unable to muster the necessary moral courage to push through any policy that may cause any inconvenience to the middle class, no matter how temporary or beneficial the policy may be in the long run. “In the case of Nigeria, there seems to be an obnoxious solidarity among the middle class that allows the manipulation of available democratic institutions against the enforcement of anti-corruption laws. The poor enforcement of anti-corruption laws in turn makes the citizenry less enthusiastic to act positively on any call by the government to sacrifice,” Obasanjo said. The elder statesman also spoke on the failing leadership in Africa. His words: “The African leaders, who led their people to independence from the colonial masters, were fiery in their speeches and they succeeded in rallying their people behind them to chorus the demand for political independence, which they eventually got. “However, since then, events have proved that it takes more than fiery rhetoric to achieve economic growth and the kind of society they promised to give. Some of them soon became notorious for their indiscipline and graft. “Their poor handling of the affairs of the state provided plausible reasons for equally undisciplined soldiers to seize power by the barrel of the gun. The worst examples were Mobutu of Congo, Bokassa of Central African Republic, Idi Amin of Uganda and Abacha of Nigeria. This set African countries back in terms of political development and ultimately, in terms of economic growth because of the fiscal indiscipline associated with the military rule, which supplanted the immediate post independence era of liberation leaders.” Obasanjo said African leaders do know what to do, but they have constraints

which are self-made and perpetuated by the elitist few in the political and bureaucratic class. The former President also hit hard on leaders whom he accused of consuming the large chunk of the nations’ resources through recurrent expenditure. “This class, which forms less than 10 per cent of the population, consumes a whopping 90 per cent of the available resources. Their decadent orientation of personal opulence and conspicuous consumption is poisonous to growth,” he said. “Until this class is reformed and the strengthening of democratic institutions that ensure free and fair elections, the rule of law, accountability and the creation of the right environment that is business friendly, Africa cannot be regarded as serious about growth and development,” he added. He said the limitations African countries are facing do not only make nonsense of growth and development efforts, it also kills creativity and opens up the people, especially the youth, to frustration and uncivilized modes of thinking. Hence, he said African governments must be committed to the provision of infrastructure, especially, electricity and transport. He advised leaders to create jobs for their teeming unemployed youths. Obasanjo said: “Africa governments must make conscious efforts to go beyond being mere exporters of raw materials to entrepreneurial activities that will expand its revenue base and create jobs. They have to turn away from political elitism, with its sour fruits of corruption, distribution and rent-seeking to the institutionalisation and pursuit of reform policies that have as their cardinal goals growth, job creation, wealth creation, fiscal discipline, integrity and macro-economic stability. “Job creation is a critical task facing African governments now. With as many as eight out of 10 Africans unemployed, one does not require any special knowledge to know that it is a continental imperative for African governments to get committed to ensuring conditions that would necessarily give birth to massive creation of jobs.”

Sanusi said the feat was achieved through various gender-related reforms carried out in the bank as part of the Board’s commitment to ensure equal opportunities for all employees. He said: “The Director of Consumer Protection has recovered over N6bn in the last one year for customers that were cheated by banks. She takes the sides of banks’ customers even when I pleaded with her to be gentle with the banks, she is very ruthless.” The governor added that in furtherance of the balanced gender agenda of the Board, trainings had also been organised for 650 staff across the ranks up from the governor down the line. Sanusi also took a swipe

their careers and those with political clout who use their positions for selfserving agenda by failing to initiate or support programmes that would help in alleviating poverty, particularly among the vulnerable grassroots women and girls. He said the much-desired women empowerment dream might not be realised if they failed to support the less-privileged. While expressing his grouse with the current regime of credit policies in the financial services sector, which he described as gender biased, the CBN governor said deliberate efforts must be taken to remove all policy barriers inhibiting women from ac-

cessing credit to make them contribute more to national economic development. He said: “If you have a credit process that says that you need tangible collateral or landed property in a society where women do not generally hold titles to land, you have already cut them off credit because men own the land and houses and for you (women) to even approach a bank for a loan is almost impossible.” In view of the need to address the problem, Sanusi said the CBN had advised the banks to look at those credit policies that could promote better the financial inclusion of very productive millions of women excluded by the existing policies.

On the issues of performance and reward, he posited that it was also wrong to promote men simply because they put in more hours at work whereas women had to go home by 5p.m. to tend to their families and as result get bypassed for promotion. Canvassing the agenda of more women in leadership positions in the banking sector further, Sanusi noted that the desire is to have a situation where women are limited from getting to the top of the boards so that they can support millions of women in the villages who don’t have access to education, who die during childbirth, who have no access to primary healthcare and who have no jobs.

L-R: Interior Minister, Comrade Abba Moro; Cross River State Deputy Governor Effiok Cobwam and Vice-President Namadi Sambo, during a meeting on the displaced Bakassi indigenes in Abuja, yesterday.

FG under fire as Boko Haram rejects amnesty CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

Haram sect is government dealing with? According to him, “Boko Haram has become a franchise, which every evilminded group now hides under to perpetrate evil. It is unreasonable of government to offer amnesty in the first place!” He asked who exactly is the Federal Government is talking to among the various factions of the sect, saying that government ought to have resuscitated the Datti Ahmed initiative which had since long collapsed in reaching out to the sect. He also made reference to the comment credited to President Jonathan during his visit to Yobe and Borno states that his administration would not grant amnesty to ghosts. “Has Boko haram now ceased to be ghosts? One

day, Nigerians will know the truth about this Boko Haram insurgency.” National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change, Rotimi Fasakin, reacting to the development said: “Government needs to find out why the sect is rejecting its olive branch and must also continue to explore ways of reaching out to the sect, in order to put an end to the unnecessary killing of innocent Nigerians. “It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. The sect has said that the Federal Government has hurt it and the government should find out how and where it has hurt the sect and find means of assuaging the feelings of the sect.” Fasakin expressed concern over the allegation that what security agents

are doing now is that anywhere there is bombing incident, they would just arrest youths in such area and exterminate them, saying that this would rather escalate an already tense situation. Former Military President, General Ibrahin Babangida however said the plan to grant amnesty to the sect will help to ensure peace and stability return to the Northern region of the country. He also promised to speak more on the issue, after the Federal Government had inaugurated the committee on the issue. Babangida, who stated this in Minna, urged Nigerians to join hands with the governments at all levels in addressing the security problems confronting the country.

“In view of what is happening, every Nigerian has a role to play as a Nigerian by adopting a common position with government on it as the people of Azare in Bauchi State did in tackling their own challenges. “We must trace the root of the problem, the problem did not start in one day but it was a gradual thing before it came to this level. It may be owing to negligence by the government, elite and the people, but I cannot blame anyone,” he said. On the amnesty, the elder statesman said since he does not know the terms of reference of the committee, he would have to wait before commenting. “On the issue, I cannot speak about the plan, until the terms of reference have been released before commenting on the amnesty plan. I will wait.”


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Govt, managers must brace for economic recession –Jimoh Ibrahim OBIORA IFOH DUBAI

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he Nigerian government and business managers must brace for the looming danger in the global economic landscape which will soon be witnessed. The Group Managing Director of the Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim (OFR), who gave the advice, warned that if adequate buffers were not put in place, the effect could be disastrous. Dr. Ibrahim said when these turbulent times set in, government and business leaders must be calm and resolute, and “encourage full disclosure in terms of information dissemination in order to prevent distorted information from internal or external sources.” He spoke yesterday at the end of the 4th GMD Conference with the theme: “The Corporate Managers and the Burden

of Crises in Turbulent Times,” held at the prestigious Grand Mid West Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, UAE. A communiqué issued at the end of the conference, attended by about 200 delegates selected from thousands workers from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, in the employ of 15 separate but synergised companies within the conglomerate, noted that there is no known timeline yet for the expiration of the current economic recession. The conference, which held between April 7th and 11th, was organised to get the participants to brainstorm on and suggest how the Group and indeed the corporate world can navigate through the aftermath of the financial crosswinds that visited the world in 2008 with its impact still ravaging nations. It also gave the delegates the opportunity to

find out how to survive in the predicted global economic ‘hurricane’ expected between 2014 and 2018. The communiqué also stated, among others, that: “Managers should not be intimidated by turbulence but be ready to harness and create opportunities that help to navigate out of it. “Never again should managers allow their future to be threatened by their past. Even when they may be unable to adequately predict the future, they should strive to consciously create the future that they want right now. “Corporate managers should prepare for change always and be flexible enough to adapt to changes at any point

in time because change is inevitable and when it occurs, managers should be calm and focused as these will assist them to gain control over the crisis.” Dr. Ibrahim had earlier during the conference identified effective communication as one of the key factors to achieve rapid growth in business while also advising managers to overcome timidity if they must succeed in the business terrain. He said: “It is important to note that crisis sets in gradually. Most crises are self-imposed. We must at all times understand that when we compromise employment standard, you are creating crisis in the organisation. “You must take personal interest away from business. Self-invited crisis

should be avoided.” Speaking on the upgrade effect of customer loyalty management, Dr. Ibrahim advised the managers on the need to design their organogram that supports appointment of a Customer Loyalty Manager in each company whose responsibility would be to ensure a smooth and rewarding relationship between the organisation and the public. He said: “There is the need for effective communication between the company and your customer. Customer loyalty takes away the burden of financial crisis. This can only be achieved by effective communication. If you don’t have financial crisis, you can’t have labour crisis. When you prevent financial crisis, you prevent major trouble.”

The GMD also harped on the need for every organisation to maintain a good relationship with its shareholders to ensure growth. Citing global and local examples of businesses that floundered, the GMD noted that many chief executive officers failed simply because they lacked the required courage to overcome challenges. He said: “It is not just about making the effort to run a company. Anybody who is timid (in taking business decisions) at this stage is just being foolish. Every effort, taken courageously, should lead to success. “Corporate practitioners and leaders should strive to be successful but their efforts should always lead to success. That is our challenge.”

Fuel scarcity looms in Lagos, other states UDEME AKPAN

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major fuel shortage is imminent in the country as a result of the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to pump the product to five depots. This was attributed to the breakdown of system 2B pipeline dedicated to pumping imported fuel from Atlas Cove to the depots where major and independent marketers lift fuel to their outlets. The spokesperson of the NNPC, Tumini Green, did not take telephone calls yesterday but sources in the corporation confirmed that it encountered distribution challenges which affected supply to the depots. He said: “We have experienced some issues that scuttled pumping to the depots. This explains why it was not possible to supply fuel for many days.” Consequently, it has not been possible for marketers to lift the product from the various depots in the SouthWest to other parts of the country through tankers. This compelled both major and independent marketers of petroleum products to depend on their

existing stocks to meet motorists and other consumers’ demand. An independent marketer who preferred not to be named said: “We have not been able to lift from the depots because there was no product. “Over 15,000 trucks have paid to load fuel in Ejigbo, Mosinmi, Ore, Ibadan and Ilorin since last week, but are yet to receive them. Many of us borrowed the money from banks with which we use to load our trucks.” However, a government source said: “The problem has been tackled and fuel supply has been restored to all the depots in the SouthWest. There is no threat to supply anymore.” The Executive Secretary of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Timothy Olawore, said in a telephone interview that: “We have been informed that loading has restarted at the depots.” However, stakeholders said a major fuel shortage might occur if the country failed to start second quarter fuel importation soon. They said the situation could be worsened as the government had not yet released the list of fuel importers for the second quarter.

L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello; his Information counterpart, Mr Lateef Ibirogba and Special Adviser to the governor on Information and Strategy, Mr Hakeem Bello, at a press briefing on the activities of the Ministry of Environment in Lagos, yesterday.

Polytechnics, colleges of education to award degrees –Minister IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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he Federal Government may soon grant approval for the running of degree programmes independently in selected Colleges of Education and Polytechnics across the country. The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufai, gave the indication at Abuja during a meeting with some provosts and rectors of colleges and polytechnics, to constitute a technical committee to work out modalities for the award of Dual Mode degrees in those institutions. A higher standard, she said, would be set for the colleges of education and polytechnics that would be

granted approval to award degrees in their selected favoured courses, while those who meet the set standard would subsequently be granted similar consideration. Rufai disclosed that a Technical Committee comprising of a representative from the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, National Planning Commission, Budget and Finance Ministry, Chief of Staff to the President and National Universities Commissions, NUC, would be coordinated by the Ministry of Education in the drafting of policy guidelines. She added that the technical committee would meet with the regulatory bodies to consider the resources

verifications and cost implications for the first beneficiaries from among the colleges of education and polytechnics. The courses that would be allowed to run on degrees, according to the minister, are those the institution, based on the resource verification, has the greatest potentials for and which are expected to impact positively on the national economy. The first beneficiaries, Rufai said, included Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri; Adeyemi Federal College of Education, Ondo; Federal College of Education, Zaria; Federal College of Education, Kano; Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. She said: “When the pro-

grammes commence, not all the colleges or polytechnics will be involved except those that meet the set standards designed by the regulatory body. “Also, the courses that will be run on degree would be assessed based on the resources verification and cost implication that would jointly be looked at by the technical committee to be set up.” The National President of the Association of Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Mr. Chibuzor Asomuga, called for cancellation of the earlier intention of the Federal Government to convert Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology to universities, as doing so, would distort the set objectives of the institutions.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Govt, managers must brace up for economic recession –Jimoh Ibrahim OBIORA IFOH DUBAI

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he Nigerian government and business managers must brace up for the looming danger in the global economic landscape which will soon be witnessed. The Group Managing Director of the Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim (OFR), who gave the advice, warned that if adequate buffers were not put in place, the effect could be disastrous. Dr. Ibrahim said when these turbulent times set in, government and business leaders must be calm and resolute, and “encourage full disclosure in terms of information dissemination in order to prevent distorted information from internal or external sources.” He spoke yesterday at the end of the 4th GMD Conference with the theme: “The Corporate Managers and the Burden

of Crises in Turbulent Times,” held at the prestigious Grand Mid West Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, UAE. A communiqué issued at the end of the conference, attended by about 200 delegates selected from thousands workers from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, in the employ of 15 separate but synergised companies within the conglomerate, noted that there is no known timeline yet for the expiration of the current economic recession. The conference, which held between April 7th and 11th, was organised to get the participants to brainstorm on and suggest how the Group and indeed the corporate world can navigate through the aftermath of the financial crosswinds that visited the world in 2008 with its impact still ravaging nations. It also gave the delegates the opportunity to

find out how to survive in the predicted global economic ‘hurricane’ expected between 2014 and 2018. The communiqué also stated, among others, that: “Managers should not be intimidated by turbulence but be ready to harness and create opportunities that help to navigate out of it. “Never again should managers allow their future to be threatened by their past. Even when they may be unable to adequately predict the future, they should strive to consciously create the future that they want right now. “Corporate managers should prepare for change always and be flexible enough to adapt to changes at any point

in time because change is inevitable and when it occurs, managers should be calm and focused as these will assist them to gain control over the crisis.” Dr. Ibrahim had earlier during the conference identified effective communication as one of the key factors to achieve rapid growth in business while also advising managers to overcome timidity if they must succeed in the business terrain. He said: “It is important to note that crisis sets in gradually. Most crises are self-imposed. We must at all times understand that when we compromise employment standard, you are creating crisis in the organisation. “You must take personal interest away from business. Self-invited crisis

should be avoided.” Speaking on the upgrade effect of customer loyalty management, Dr. Ibrahim advised the managers on the need to design their organogram that supports appointment of a Customer Loyalty Manager in each company whose responsibility would be to ensure a smooth and rewarding relationship between the organisation and the public. He said: “There is the need for effective communication between the company and your customer. Customer loyalty takes away the burden of financial crisis. This can only be achieved by effective communication. If you don’t have financial crisis, you can’t have labour crisis. When you prevent financial crisis, you prevent major trouble.”

The GMD also harped on the need for every organisation to maintain a good relationship with its shareholders to ensure growth. Citing global and local examples of businesses that floundered, the GMD noted that many chief executive officers failed simply because they lacked the required courage to overcome challenges. He said: “It is not just about making the effort to run a company. Anybody who is timid (in taking business decisions) at this stage is just being foolish. Every effort, taken courageously, should lead to success. “Corporate practitioners and leaders should strive to be successful but their efforts should always lead to success. That is our challenge.”

Fuel scarcity looms in Lagos, other states UDEME AKPAN

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major fuel shortage is imminent in the country as a result of the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to pump the product to five depots. This was attributed to the breakdown of system 2B pipeline dedicated to pumping imported fuel from Atlas Cove to the depots where major and independent marketers lift fuel to their outlets. The spokesperson of the NNPC, Tumini Green, did not take telephone calls yesterday but sources in the corporation confirmed that it encountered distribution challenges which affected supply to the depots. He said: “We have experienced some issues that scuttled pumping to the depots. This explains why it was not possible to supply fuel for many days.” Consequently, it has not been possible for marketers to lift the product from the various depots in the SouthWest to other parts of the country through tankers. This compelled both major and independent marketers of petroleum products to depend on their

existing stocks to meet motorists and other consumers’ demand. An independent marketer who preferred not to be named said: “We have not been able to lift from the depots because there was no product. “Over 15,000 trucks have paid to load fuel in Ejigbo, Mosinmi, Ore, Ibadan and Ilorin since last week, but are yet to receive them. Many of us borrowed the money from banks with which we use to load our trucks.” However, a government source said: “The problem has been tackled and fuel supply has been restored to all the depots in the SouthWest. There is no threat to supply anymore.” The Executive Secretary of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Timothy Olawore, said in a telephone interview that: “We have been informed that loading has restarted at the depots.” However, stakeholders said a major fuel shortage might occur if the country failed to start second quarter fuel importation soon. They said the situation could be worsened as the government had not yet released the list of fuel importers for the second quarter.

L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello; his Information counterpart, Mr Lateef Ibirogba and Special Adviser to the governor on Information and Strategy, Mr Hakeem Bello, at a press briefing on the activities of the Ministry of Environment in Lagos, yesterday.

Polytechnics, colleges of education to award degrees –Minister IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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he Federal Government may soon grant approval for the running of degree programmes independently in selected Colleges of Education and Polytechnics across the country. The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufai, gave the indication at Abuja during a meeting with some provosts and rectors of colleges and polytechnics, to constitute a technical committee to work out modalities for the award of Dual Mode degrees in those institutions. A higher standard, she said, would be set for the colleges of education and polytechnics that would be

granted approval to award degrees in their selected favoured courses, while those who meet the set standard would subsequently be granted similar consideration. Rufai disclosed that a Technical Committee comprising of a representative from the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, National Planning Commission, Budget and Finance Ministry, Chief of Staff to the President and National Universities Commissions, NUC, would be coordinated by the Ministry of Education in the drafting of policy guidelines. She added that the technical committee would meet with the regulatory bodies to consider the resources

verifications and cost implications for the first beneficiaries from among the colleges of education and polytechnics. The courses that would be allowed to run on degrees, according to the minister, are those the institution, based on the resource verification, has the greatest potentials for and which are expected to impact positively on the national economy. The first beneficiaries, Rufai said, included Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri; Adeyemi Federal College of Education, Ondo; Federal College of Education, Zaria; Federal College of Education, Kano; Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. She said: “When the pro-

grammes commence, not all the colleges or polytechnics will be involved except those that meet the set standards designed by the regulatory body. “Also, the courses that will be run on degree would be assessed based on the resources verification and cost implication that would jointly be looked at by the technical committee to be set up.” The National President of the Association of Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Mr. Chibuzor Asomuga, called for cancellation of the earlier intention of the Federal Government to convert Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology to universities, as doing so, would distort the set objectives of the institutions.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FRANCIS SUBERU

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o fewer than two persons were yesterday shot dead by unidentified gunmen in police uniform at Daleko, in Mushin area of Lagos. One of the victims, a foreigner identified as Mr. Santos Korie, was said to be driving along the road when the gunmen struck, shooting him on the chest and killing the other instantly. Korie died on his way to a nearby hospital. National Mirror also gathered that a number of people were equally injured in the confusion that followed. As at the time of filing

IBADAN

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ommercial activities were paralysed yesterday afternoon in Mokola area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, following sporadic shootings by the police. The police engaged in the shootings allegedly to guide against being caught unawares by the soldiers who had earlier in the day stormed the Mokola Police Station over the reported brutality of one of them on Wednesday night by some policemen.

•As detectives arrest seven suspects this report, it could not be ascertained whether the gunmen were hired assassins in police uniform or real police officers as alleged by eyewitnesses. However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Ngozi Braide, said seven persons have so far been arrested in connection with the incident by operatives of the Special AntiRobbery Squad, SARS, GRA, Ikeja. It was gathered from eyewitnesses that the assailants had, in a com-

mando style, stormed the area in a commercial bus and shot sporadically into the air. They afterwards aimed at Korie, who was hit in the chest. Confirming the incident, Ngozi said efforts are being made to ascertain whether the gunmen were police officers or not. According to her, the command through the Commander-in-charg e of Area ‘D’, Mushin, Mr. Omololu Bishi, received a distress call over the killing before he led officers

It was learnt that the shooting began when about 10 soldiers reportedly stormed the station and allegedly beat policemen on duty in retaliation for the alleged brutality of one of them the previous day. Eye witnesses said the police on the “stop and search” on Wednesday night stopped the soldier for routine check, but the soldier was said to have been shot and injured on the ankle following his refusal to obey the police order. The incident, according to the eyewitnesses, made his colleagues to storm the police station yesterday af-

ternoon during which they reportedly manhandled policemen on duty and beat them up. The police, however, reinforced later in the day during which some of them started shooting into the air as they cordoned off all the roads leading to the station and the development paralysed commercial activities for several hours. The situation was still tense in the area as at press time. But the Police Public Relations Officer, Bisi Ilebanefor, said the situation had been brought under control.

Bakassi: Committee gets directive to submit final report ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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ice-President Namadi Sambo has directed the Presidential Committee on Bakassi and Right of the Displaced People to turn in its final report this month on the relocation of the Bakassi people even as the Federal Government condemned the recent attack on innocent Nigerians at the Bakassi Peninsula by Cameroonian gendarmes. Speaking yesterday at the meeting of the Presidential Committee on the Plight of the Displaced Bakassi People, the vice-president said the issue of Bakassi must be concluded before August this year as the relocation of Bakassi people has become a matter that must be urgently addressed. Sambo said by the end of this month, there must be a final report, taking into consideration the interest of the people of Bakassi, stressing that the recommendations should also include a time-frame to

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Gunmen in police uniform kill two in Lagos

Commercial activities paralysed as police, soldiers clash in Ibadan KEMI OLAITAN

News

Friday, April 12, 2013

guide government on what to do as the committee has four months left to conclude their assignment. He told the committee that funds would be made available to them to discharge their duties accordingly. Earlier, the Cross River State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Presidential Committee, Efiok Cobham, commended the efforts of the government to address the plight of the Bakassi people. He stressed the need for the committee to visit Bakassi and to ascertain the area where the people want to be resettled. The deputy governor condemned the action of the Cameroonian gendarmes with the eviction of about two thousand Nigerian citizens, saying that Cross River State was now harbouring another set of displaced people who are living in an open area with their families. Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, also

condemned the recent attack on innocent Nigerians at the Bakassi Peninsula by the gendarmes, saying appropriate actions must be taken to address the situation. “While, as it is now, as a good player on the international scene, Nigeria has subscribed to the Green Tree Agreement and on our own part as a country we will continue to abide by the provisions of the agreement. “For one reason or the other, resulting from little skirmishes here and there, the Cameroonian gendarmes have attacked some innocent Nigerians. “That report, is being presented to government and the Nigerian government will take appropriate action to redress the situation.” The minister appealed to the people of Bakassi to remain calm as government was determined to ensure their salvation in the face of the court ruling and the Nigerian government’s acceptance of the situation.

and men to the crime scene. She said upon the arrival of the officers at the scene, eyewitnesses told the Area Commander that the gunmen were dressed in police uniforms and that they operated in a commercial bus. She said seven persons had been arrested in connection with the incident; adding that the arrested men had been transferred to the detectives attached to the Special Anti-Robbery

Squad, SARS, of the Lagos State police command. Braide said when the information filtered in, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, ordered that the assailants be fished out with a view to knowing their identities, particularly as they were alleged to have operated in police uniforms. Her words: “Recently, gunmen operating in military and police uniforms

have been involved in one violent crime or the other and the Lagos State Command is not leaving any stone unturned in dealing decisively with any fake uniformed officer.” The police commissioner, however, appealed to members of the public, especially the victims’ families to remain calm and peaceful as he vowed that the perpetrators of the dastardly act would be brought to book.

Death of TASCE four: Assembly summons police, education commissioners FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State House of Assembly yesterday summoned the state Commissioner of Police, Ikhemefuna Okoye, to appear before it over the alleged killing of four students of the Tai Solarin College of Education, TASCE, Omu-Ijebu by the police. In the same vein, the lawmakers also ordered the state Commissioner for Educa-

tion, Science and Technology, Segun Odubela, to appear before it and explain the circumstances that aggravated the protest embarked upon by TASCE students last Tuesday which resulted in the death of four of them. The summon by the House was consequent upon the motion moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Asiwaju Mafe Adeyinka, who spoke under motion for matter of urgent national importance.

Politics

Mafe, who represents Shagamu Constituency I, informed the House that about 190 TASCE students had already been arrested and detained by the police over the matter. The lawmaker emphasised that the commissioner of police need to explain to the House, why he authorised the use of live bullets on defenseless students by the police that had gone to quell the riot, consequently killing four of them.

Agbani A gban ni

Boko Haram: Much ado about amnesty? I believe if a security committee is set up in e good faith, it is for the good of Nigeria and the ost resolution of the crisis that has bedevilled most of the northern states of Nigeria on the issue o off insecurity. –Governor Ibrahim Shema of Kastina State. We support amnesty because it stands for peace. Amnesty gives life, hope and recovery. On the contrary, continued hostility and pursuit of insurgents are characterised by death and general insecurity. –Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Is-haq Akintola. I am amused at the level of agitation over the federal government’s decision to set up a committee to work out modalities for a possible amnesty to Boko Haram. –Secretary General of the United Niger Delta Energy Development Securirty Strategy.

....Cutting ..Cutting h her er oown wn sstyles tyles DID You

HEAR?

•Insane Girl video debunks HKN split •Eva Alordiah in the storm again? •H-Man returns with a bang •All set for Kollington’s golden jubilee in music •Between Debbie Rise and Moses: Who becomes Nigerian Idol?

Saturday Starter

Prerogative of pardon: How is the sword wielded? In Nigeria, the prerogative of pardon lies in the President who dispenses it as he so deems. The last one granted by President Goodluck Jonathan to former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Dieprieye Alamieyesiegha, among others has, however, continued to be trailed by controversies and reactions. What could have generated such a heat even from other countries including the United States? Is the President in order? Where did he go amiss? How is it being done in other climes? Go for your darling Saturday Mirror tomorrow.

x SeTalk

It is a matter of size

This column is x-rated


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South West

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FUTA VC wants govt to spare JAMB N47.1bn scam: Court stops Akingbola from travelling abroad V ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

KENNY ODUNUKAN

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n Ikeja High Court yesterday turned down the application of the former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank Plc) Erastus Akingbola, to travel abroad for medical treatment. The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, however, granted the applications of Akingbola and Bayo Dada, his co-defendant, for the variation of their bail conditions. Akingbola is standing trial alongside one of his aides and General Manager of Tropics Finance Limited, Bayo Dada, for allegedly stealing N47.1billion belonging to Intercontinental Bank

preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The embattled banker had in his application dated March 19, 2013 stated that he needed to keep a medical appointment fixed for April 15, this year at Harley Street Hospital in London, United Kingdom. According to the lawyer, “The application is to enable the first defendant (Akingbola) quickly go for the treatment and come back for his trial. Medical appointments are fixed by doctors and this application is not meant to induce the court to exercise its discretion in the first defendant’s favour.” Akingbola’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, while moving his client’s application to travel

abroad for medical treatment told the court that some of the arguments canvassed by the prosecution asking the court to dismiss the application were mere distractions. Olanipekun, while urging the court to grant the application, referred the judge to some of his recent rulings including that of - Abdulahi Alao, Mahmud Tukur and Olawale Babalakin, SAN, whose similar applications were recently granted. He argued that he did not see reasons why a similar application by his client (Akingbola) should not be granted. He further urged the judge to follow his ruling on such cases. Olanipekun while also responding to EFCC’s submission that the treatment being sought abroad could

be treated within the country, said it is the right of any human being born of a woman to choose whoever should treat him, adding it is not whether the treatment can be done here, but that Akingbola has the right to decide who should treat him Ruling on the said application, Justice Onigbanjo said that the authorities cited by the learned counsel were not binding since the circumstances of the cases were different. The judge said that there was the possibility of Akingbola running from trial having known the weight of evidence against him while his trial lasted before Justice Habeeb Abiru, who could not conclude the case before he was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

ice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Ondo State, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, has urged the Federal Government not to scrap the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board, JAMB, but allow it continue with its responsibilities. But the vice-chancellor said the National Examinations Council, NECO, could be scrapped based on the recommendation of the Oronsaye panel. Daramola, who spoke with journalists during a condolence visit to the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, over the death of his deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, said proper consideration

FG arraigns four for pipeline vandalism KAYODE KETEFE

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Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun (middle), with Mr. and Mrs. Obafemi Famuagun, parents of the late deputy governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, during Mrs. Amosun’s condolence visit to the family in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.

must be given to the cause of advancement of education. The vice-chancellor’s words: “If it is because of the financial implications of running JAMB that the government is being advised to scrap it, that burden can be taken away from the government by allowing the private sector to help in running it. Saving money should not lead to killing agencies that are quite relevant to the development of the nation.” The academic, who described Olayinka as a worthy daughter of Ekiti State, said that the late deputy governor lived a fulfilled life. Daramola said FUTA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Florida Agricultural Mechanical University in the United States of America on exchange programmes for students of the two schools.

he Federal Government yesterday arraigned four persons before a Federal High Court in Lagos for alleged offences of oil pipeline vandalism and stealing. The accused, Wale Onana 43; Owekwere Olusor 22; Yaya Edimini 26 and Chuke Isoju 24, were arraigned before Justice Okon Abang, on a four-count charge essentially comprising the alleged offences of stealing, unlawful possession, sale and vandalism of oil pipeline. The said offences are said to contravene the provisions of sections 7 (a) (b) (c) of the

Miscellaneous Offence Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, as well as section 390 of the Criminal Code Act, 2004. After the charge was read to them, each of the accused pleaded “not guilty” to the charge. Justice Abang subsequently ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody on the grounds that no bail application had been filed on their behalf. The prosecutor, Mr. Justin Enang, had earlier informed the court that the accused, who were resident at Ikorodu, Lagos State, committed the alleged offence on January 23, 2013, stressing that police swooped on them following a tip off.

‘There’ll be no peace in Ogun PDP unless’

3, 500 benefit from Ekiti free health scheme

FEMI OYEWESO

ABIODUN NEJO

ABEOKUTA

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he youth forum of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday said peace will continue to elude the party in the state until the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, Chief Tony Annenih, reverses all the decisions taken by the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee, NWC, since its inauguration. The forum, which noted that the recent reconciliatory tour of Chief Anenih across the six geo-political zones was largely successful, also said that this was necessary in order to uphold the party’s constitution

which the embattled national chairman and other members of his NWC had desecrated. In a statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the forum, Farouk Akintunde and Musa Akinlolu, yesterday in Abeokuta, the forum under the auspices of the Ogun PDP Progressive Youth Forum, said the earlier reconciliatory visit made by Tukur across the country did more harm to the party than good. With specific reference to the sack of the state executive committee of the party, under the Chairmanship of Senator Dipo Odujinrin, allegedly said to be loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the youths advised the BoT chairman to

be guided by the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal which sat in Enugu, on the crisis involving Chief Victor Umeh and the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA. The forum further said that all the court judgement relied upon by the NWC under Alhaji Tukur to sack the Odujinrin-led executive had been appealed. Akintunde in the statement further cited the rejection of the governors’ forum and other major stakeholders to meet Tukur during his reconciliatory tour of the six geo-political zones in the country as “a clear indication of his inability to take decisions that are beneficial to the progress of the party.”

ADO EKITI

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o fewer than 3, 500 indigent residents of Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State have benefitted from the seventh Ekiti State Free Health Mission which kicked off at the local government area yesterday. Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, said the scheme was targeted at reducing sudden death among the people of the state. Omirin, the lawmaker representing the constituency and a member of the medical team, told journalists at the inaugu-

ration of the programme at Aisegba Ekiti that the free health mission was part of the administration’s handout to the needy in the state. According to him, lives would have been miserable for the downtrodden masses in terms of access to quality healthcare, but for the swift introduction of the programme by the administration. He said over 250, 000 people that had benefitted from the programme, had been rescued from untimely death and incapacitation that would have being their lot due to the high level of poverty in the area. The Speaker, who said the programme at the pri-

mary health centres in the state had decongested the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, added that the measure had greatly helped in the early discovery of some ailments that would have grown into a terminal level in some residents for prompt treatment. “We were able to get some patients with complicated situations and had been referred to the Teaching Hospital for treatment. In compliance with the free health services being operated by the present government, those under age five and those above 65 will have their bills paid by the state government,” he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, April 12, 2013

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Noise pollution: Lagos threatens to shut worship centres DAYO AYEYEMI AND MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State Government yesterday warned religious centres to end noise pollution or face closure. The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, gave the warning at the kickoff of the 2013 min-

isterial press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa. Bello expressed concern over the wave of complaints by the residents, who could no longer rest at home after returning from work as result noise coming from worship centres, even at night. The commissioner said

the state might, any time from now, be forced to clamp down on erring centres if such “unreligious” act was not checked. He said: “We all worship God, but some are doing it excessively and I believe it is unreligious. A religious man should not do such; we have received a lot of cases. We don’t want to be seen to be working against reli-

gious organisations or be shutting down churches and mosques. “It’s an opportunity to let the public know it’s not good for us.” Bello added that most of the centres were residential homes illegally converted to churches and mosques, urging the residents to forward their complaints to the relevant agencies.

He said: “There is a street in Agege where there are four mosques and eight churches. Most of them are actually illegal because it is not proper to convert residential premises to religious centres. We will send the Ministry of Physically Planning and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, after you. “We need to go back to physically planning before converting such areas to worship centres. We have told religious bodies that enough is enough and we would go all out to enforce our laws. We are giving this warning so that when action is being taken, no one will feel they are being witch-hunted.” Bello also said the N400 million given to the state by Federal Government to cushion the effect of flooding, was still intact to assist

disaster victims. The commissioner also accused the Federal Government of not fulfilling its promise to collaborate with the state to bring sanity to the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, area in Apapa. He said: “The clearing (of the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway) was done by Lagos and the money came from Lagos too. The enforcement also in Ijora and Marine Bridge is being done by Lagos. “Last year, the Federal Government as a result of outcry especially by the media, felt jolted, came to Lagos and apologised to us, we met them last year and till then nothing has been heard. “Our position on Apapa is this, we cannot take care of the ports, we are not in charge, we have tried our best and if we are not careful, the trailers may be back.”

NDLEA arrests smuggler with 40kg drug L-R: Wives of the late Chief Samuel Adegbite - Monilola, Bola and Olabisi - and eldest son, Wale, at the burial service in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Tukur’s removal won’t end PDP crisis –Party chieftain ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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embers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have been advised to stop calling for the removal of the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. A PDP chieftain and former member of the House of Representatives from Ife/

Ijesha federal constituency, Hon. Oluwole Oke, who gave the advice, said Tukur’s ouster would not solve the crisis rocking the party. Answering questions from newsmen in his country home, Esa-Oke yesterday, Oke said there was no basis calling for his removal but advised members to be united and work together for the progress of the party.

He charged PDP leaders and elders to reach out to all aggrieved members and settle their differences genuinely for the party to move forward. Oke said conflicts and misunderstanding were inevitable in politics and politicking. Commenting on the committee set up by the Presidency to look into the issue of amnesty for the Boko Haram sect, Oke described the

step as commendable, but appealed to the committee to do a fantastic job in the interest of the country. The former lawmaker also spoke on the zoning of the governorship seat of Osun State. He called on the leadership of the party to zone it to Ijesa land, saying that was the only political calculation that could oust the present administration from office.

LP playing politics with development issues –Ogun

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gun State Government said the leadership of Labour Party had lost touch with the people because of the party’s comment on the ongoing infrastructural development in the state. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said in a statement that the Governor Ibikunle

Amosun administration’s infrastructural development programme was a response to the inadequacy and old fashioned state of the facilities, many of which had not witnessed government touch in the last 20 years. He said: “The 16 road projects being constructed across the state are an attempt by the Amosun ad-

ministration to modernise our state and prepare it for the envisaged role as the investors’ destination. “That is why we have set a standard for our roads to be six-lane with accompanying road furniture. “The administration has also been very frugal and transparent in the award of its contracts. We can boldly say that

with the quality of roads that we are constructing, nobody can fault our contract costing.” Olaniyonu advised the Labour Party and other opposition parties to stop playing politics with development issues, but rather support the government to sustain the ongoing efforts to raise the people’s standard of living.

End lecturers’ strike, protesting students tell Osun ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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tudents of the four Osun State-owned tertiary institutions yesterday trooped to the street of Osogbo, the state capital, to protest government’s refusal to pay their lecturers consolidated salaries and amend their contributory

pension scheme, among others. The protesting students, who arrived the state capital as early as 10am, frowned at what they described as hard line posture of the government on the demands of their lecturers. Speaking on behalf of the students, the Chairman of the Osun State students’

association, Olaore Naheem, urged the government to meet the demands of the striking lecturers for academic activities to resume in the institutions. He said: “We shall not hesitate to return with the mother of all protests if our demands are not met within reasonable period.” However, the Commis-

sioner for Information, Mr. Sunday Akere, who addressed the students, promised that that the government would consider the demands of the students. He said: “We appeal to the striking lecturers to also resume and allow negotiation to continue between them and the government.”

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, yesterday said it had foiled an attempt by some drug peddlers to smuggle a 40.255kg substance suspected to be methamphetamine out of the country. NDLEA said the suspects had attempted to traffic the drug to South Africa on board a South African Airline flight. The Head, Public Affairs of the agency, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said in an online statement that the consignment containing the banned substance was detected at the cargo section of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos. Ofoyeju added that a total of 41 parcels of methamphetamine were found hidden inside grinded melon packed with cosmetics and provisions. He said: “The drug was packaged in 41 parcels in white transparent polythene and hidden inside grinded melon. Other items like gala, biscuits, milk, body cream and food ingredient were also in the package to divert attention. We have impounded a Hummer jeep, Range Rover jeep and a bus from suspected members of the cartel.”

The suspect, Ihedioha Chidi, 25, a patient medicine dealer, allegedly confessed that he was given N450,000 to send the consignment to the South Africa. “My childhood friend who lives in South Africa sent me N450,000 to send his goods to him in South Africa,” Chidi said. It was while processing the shipment that NDLEA officers found drugs inside the goods and I was arrested,” Chidi was quoted as saying. The suspect, who hails from Imo State, resides at Okota area of Lagos. Commenting on the arrest, the Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade, promised to rid the country of illicit drugs. He said: “We are working hard to halt the illicit production of methamphetamine in the country. So far, five clandestine laboratories used for methamphetamine production have been detected in the country in the past two years. “The agency will continue to dislodge drug cartels by detecting production centres and intercepting all shipments of drugs. “This seizure is a warning to drug barons that the battle line is drawn. More arrests shall be made in respect of the case and assets traceable to them shall be forfeited.”


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South East

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ex-deputy gov’s killing: ACN blames insecurity on PDP DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has said that the cause of the unabated security challenges facing the country is an offspring of bad leadership by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led Federal Government in the last 14 years. The party therefore asked President Goodluck Jonathan to resign from government without further delay, alleging that he lacks the ca-

pacity to tackle the alarming insecurity in the country. Chieftain of the ACN in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said this yesterday against the background of the recent murder of the former deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chudi Nwike. Nwoye described the murder by yet to be identified gunmen as a great loss to Igboland, the opposition party and the country at large. Nwike, who was deputy to former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, from 1992 to 1993, un-

der the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, was also the South-East vice-chairman of the ACN until his abduction and subsequent murder. The murder has continued to attract comments from well meaning Nigerians both within and outside Igboland, especially among the political class. Nwoye decried the incessant killing and massacre of innocent citizens by criminal elements in the country, saying; “As it stands today, we are all endangered species in Nigeria, nobody is

safe any longer.” He, however, blamed the insecurity logjam on what he described as PDP’s bad governance, insisting that the only way out is for President Jonathan to resign without further delay; “Because it remains a big shame that up till now the Federal Government is yet to find a solution or take any decisive action on the problem. “Since it has become clear that the President has no answer to the insecurity and the other litany of problem facing the country, I think

the best thing for him to do is to give way for other wonderful and great people who have all it takes to take the nation to the next level. “And that is why I keep telling people that what we have in Nigeria today is a failed government and not a failed country,” Nwoye said. Though, the ACN chieftain believed that the late politician was assassinated contrary to reports that he was murdered by kidnappers who held him in their den for several weeks. “How long shall we continue to watch our fellowmen and women slaughtered like chicken in various parts of the country? “Only recently, a serving commissioner of police was murdered in Enugu State, the other time it was the principal secretary of an incumbent governor, and now it is a former deputy governor of a state, among numerous others. “In the North it is the Boko Haram, in the SouthSouth it is the militants, in the South-East, it is the

kidnappers, yet the Federal Government is not bothered or doing anything meaningful to check the ugly trend, rather they keep deceiving themselves with the slogan “we are on top of the situation” whenever there is any major attack. “So, without sounding immodest, the truth is that the PDP-led government has failed the nation woefully in all ramifications, and that is why the President should quit the stage for a more committed and courageous leader, because as far as am concerned, he has nothing to offer on this issue. “May I also call on the security agencies to immediately commence full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing of the perfect gentleman and honest political leader of our time, Dr. Nwike.” Nwoye added that Nwike’s immediate family and close political associates should also be given serious protection.

Okorocha suspends activities of traffic agency CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

Obiagu Road in Enugu metropolis undergoing reconstruction, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

Agbaso’s suit: Lawyers in heated argument CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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wo senior legal luminaries almost exchanged blows yesterday when the case of former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Sir Jude Agbaso, came up at the high court sitting in Owerri. The heated argument which momentarily disrupted the case, happened when the Attorney-General of Imo State, Soronadi Njoku, accused the former Attorney-General of the state, Ken Njemanze, SAN, of advising the representative of the applicant who had earlier offered to withdraw the case from court. The attorney-general’s argument was that Alex Williams, who stood in for Agbaso’s counsel, Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, had earlier told the court that the applicant was withdrawing the case, but alleged that the former attorney-general signaled to Alex Williams to accept the record of the court.

Lead counsel for the applicant, Ikwueto, SAN, had asked the court through Williams to grant leave for the withdrawal of his notice of continuance filled on April 8, 2013 and in its place file the motion on notice for the leave of the court to discontinue the said suit. He said that because the motion was not contentious, he would like to proceed with it. Lead counsel to respondents 1st to 3rd, Akintola Williams, SAN, acknowledged receipt of the notice just before the sitting of the court. He held that the matter had been argued, stressing that order 3 rule 2 does not apply in the matter. He therefore asked the court to dismiss the matter. In his submission, counsel to the Chief Judge and Attorney-General of the state, Soronadi Njoku, also admitted being served the motion on notice. He contended that “the parties have exchanged all their processes, especially all

their affidavit. The effect in law is that evidence has been made. What we have come to do today is to adopt our submission based on evidence laid before the court.” He said; “The proper order the court ought to make is an order of dismissal.” At this point, Justice Florence Duruohaigwe, the presiding judge, asked the applicant whether he had made application or moved the motion for the withdrawal of the initial process filed on April 8, because according to her, she did not record him as having formally moved the motion for the withdrawal of the matter. Alex Williams said he accepted the record of the court on the matter, saying he wanted a date to enable the lead counsel be present in person. He said Ikwueto could not be physically in court because he was indisposed. At the response the attorney-general flared up, describing the action as

irresponsible. He said the counsel had earlier stated that he was instructed by the lead counsel to withdraw the matter only to deny again that he wanted to withdraw. He alleged that the former attorney-general whispered to him not to accept withdrawal. But, Njamanze felt insulted by the state attorneygeneral’s accusation and was almost losing his temper, emotions were high to the point that presiding judge, Justice Florence Duruohaigwe, had to withdraw for about 15 minutes to allow the situation to normalise. At the resumed sitting, she said she had to withdraw at that point because temper was rising high. Counsel to the respondents, Akintola Williams, apologised for the behavior of his colleagues while each of them took turn to apologise for the “embarrassing conduct.” Justice Duruohaigwe, however, adjourned the matter to June 4, 2013.

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mo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday suspended the activities of the Imo State Traffic Management Agency, ISTMA, saying he did that to stop the agency from becoming a torn in the flesh of motorists. This was made known by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Chinedu Offor, who briefed journalists after the state executive council meeting at the Government House, Owerri. According to the commissioner, Governor Okorocha took the decision following complaints by members of the public on the high-handedness of operators of the agency. The operatives were said to be engaging in arbitrary arrests, impounding of vehicles illegally and making unauthorised charges on motorists. Offor said the governor has mandated the newly appointed Chief of Staff, Sir Jude Ejiogu, to review the activities of the agency in order to reposition it to deliver on its mandate. The commissioner also said that the executive meeting resolved to observe ‘Imo

Freedom Day’ on May 6, 2013, to mark the 2013 Democracy Day and the second anniversary of the ‘Rescue Mission’ government, remembering those who suffered and some others that lost their lives to bring about the change of government in the state. Meanwhile, the state government has reaffirmed its resolve to complete all projects initiated by the administration before the expiration of its tenure in 2015. The governor gave this assurance when he paid an unscheduled visit to the ongoing General Hospital project in Nworieubi, in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state. He said the projects became necessary because at inception, what his administration met as general hospitals were more or less shanty buildings, ill-equipped and could not provide the needed medicare for the people of the state. Governor Okorocha said government therefore embarked on the construction of 27 new general hospitals in all the 27 local government areas of the state in order to provide easy access to quality medicare for the citizenry as well as solve the problem of building new hospitals in the state in the next 50 years.


Friday, April 12, 2013

APGA: Convention, court ruling generate more confusion

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics APGA crisis, a product of political fraud –Umeh

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Resign if you’ve run out of ideas, ACN tells Jonathan FELIX NWANERI

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged President Goodluck to resign if he is overwhelmed by the demands of running the country. Reacting to a statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe that the opposition only criticizes without offering solutions to the country’s myriad of problems, the ACN through its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohamed, in a statement, said the argu-

ment is another indication that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not prepared for governance. It said: “If the PDP-led Federal Government is expecting the opposition to waste its time and energy in helping it to run the government, then it is another clear indication that those at the helms neither prepared for the huge responsibility placed upon them by being voted into office nor learnt fast enough on the job. Little wonder the country’s development has been in reverse gear since 1999.” The ACN, however, said

it is aware of its responsibility as the leading opposition party, and that it has always been guided by the highest ideals of democratic principles and the best practices of democratic opposition in the world. “In speaking truth to power in Nigeria, on many occasions we have turned ‘non-issues’ which are critical for democracy, liberty and justice into issues; we have, through our media interventions, created the possibilities of greater participation by Nigerians

in the governance of the country, while canvassing for greater transparency and accountability in the affairs of government and public institutions. We are glad Nigerians appreciate this and have constantly told us so. “Because we believe in constructive criticism, we have even gone beyond our brief to offer suggestions. Any close perusal of our regular interventions dating back to the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency will realise that we have prof-

fered solutions to oil militancy in the Niger Delta and Boko Haram violence, suggested ways to wean the country off fuel subsidy through local refinery of crude oil instead of making Nigerians to bear the brunt of a corrupt system; pointed out what areas of the economy needed more government attention to enhance socio-economic development and alerted the government to the dwindling fortunes of the oil sector due to low investment and the emerging

dangers of oil discovery in the U.S. and elsewhere. “But we have since realised that this Federal Government is not in power to improve the lives of the citizens but to enrich the few members of its clique and feather its own nest. That is why we are gearing up to take over the mantle of leadership at the centre through the support of Nigerians, who are totally fed up with a party (PDP) that has failed to make their lives better since assuming office in 1999,” ACN further said.

I’m not against Akpabio’s leadership of PDP Govs Forum, says Wammako OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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okoto State governor, Aliyu Wammako, has described as fictitious and untrue a report that he is contemplating leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that he has a grouse against Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, and his chairmanship of the PDP Governors’ Forum. According to a statement signed by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant (Media), Sani Umar, “the report is false in its entirety and a figment of the imagination of the writers, which should be disregarded by responsible persons. We believe that apart from being a hatchet job, it is intended to cause mischief and denigrate the person of Governor Wammako, who is widely acknowledged as a perfect gentleman and a man of impeccable character.” Umah added: “We wish to reaffirm for the avoidance of doubt, that the tissue of lies being bandied by these disgruntled people should be disregarded. Any attempt to cause friction or bad blood between the two governors would not succeed no matter what, because they both

share great patriotism and faith in a greater Nigeria.” In a related development, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP also refuted the report. In a statement signed by the BoT secretary, Walid Jibril, and made available to National Mirror, the BoT said: “This is to clearly state that at no time before, during and after the meeting did the governor of Sokoto State make such statement as reported by the newspaper in the said publication. “Furthermore, it is my view that had such a statement been made by the governor or any other person, Chief Tony Anenih as I know him would have given an appropriate reply.”

Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega (left) and INEC National Commissioners after a meeting with Federal Executive Council in Abuja.

ANPP renews commitment to good governance

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he All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), yesterday renewed its commitment to entrench good governance in the country. The National Chairman of the party, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, said at a news

conference in Abuja at the end of the party’s National Executive Committee that the party was determined to promote the principles of democratic governance. “Today’s (Thursday April 11) meeting is his-

AA suspends commissioner, board member for anti-party activities KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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yo State chapter of the Action Alliance (AA) has suspended its gubernatorial candidate in the 2007 and 2011 general elections, Taiwo Ibiyemi Otegbeye. Otegbeye is currently the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Also suspended was the former state chairman of

the party who is also as serving board member in Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led administration of Abiola Ajimobi, Tunde Anifowose Kelani. In the letter of suspension signed by the newly elected state secretary of the party, Samson Ajala and made available to journalists in Ibadan yesterday, the former party chieftains were suspended for alleged anti-party activities, criminal diversion of party

funds, flagrant disrespect for the party constitution and contravention of electoral provision as spelt out in the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. The party further stated that “a disciplinary committee has been set up to investigate all allegations levelled against the suspended officers to determine their level of culpability and determine appropriate disciplinary action against them.”

toric because our beloved country is anxious to know where we really stand in the desire to build a stronger democracy. “Our beloved country men and women are waiting for the ANPP to tell them clearly whether we really mean business when we say we are a part of the bigger political family of progressives,” he said. According to him, ANPP has decided to unite as one family in the pursuit of a stronger democracy in a new Nigeria, a new country of politics of ideas and selfless service. He reminded members of the party that a divided house could not stand, urging them to put aside their differences and learn how to accommodate one another.

The chairman expressed optimism that with commitment, dedication and hard work, the party would achieve great things for the country. “The merger we seek with other opposition political parties is for the sake of our country. “We believe ANPP should be part of efforts made by committed democrats and resolute patriots to provide Nigerians with a broad, strong and a united alternative political party that can return power to our people,” Onu said. He said that the party would benefit from such arrangement because it would expand its horizon and Nigerians would also see reasons to give their support to the party.


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Politics

DENNIS AGBO writes on the confusion that emanated from the Appeal Court ruling and the convention of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Friday, April 12, 2013

APGA: Convention, court ruling generate more confusion

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onday April 8 was a very busy and confusing day for members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). It was a day of joy as well as agony for some of the party members, depending on which side of the divide such members belonged to. That day, at about 8.30a.m., a faction of the party, led by the Anambra State governor, Peter Obi announced the emergence of Maxi Okwu as the newly elected national chairman of the party, following a national convention, which started from midnight of Sunday April 7 at the Women Development Centre (WDC), Awka. Thirty minutes later, the Court of Appeal in Enugu resumed sitting on the petition brought before it, by the embattled national chairman of the party, Victor Umeh, challenging the judgement of an Enugu High Court that restrained him from parading himself as the national chairman of APGA. At about 1: 30p.m., the appellate court restored Umeh as the national chairman of APGA pending the final determination of the entire suit before it. The two developments therefore brought confusion as to which of the factions of the party has legitimacy to operate. But a legal practitioner, John Ugwuagbo, who reacted to the issue, recalled that the situation was the same as the case of Andy Uba versus Obi in 2007, when Obi’s case was pending in the Appeal Court over the determination of his real tenure and Uba was sworn in as governor. Ugwuagbo recalled that 16 days into the administration of Uba, the Appeal Court ruled that the election that brought Uba in as governor was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in error and ought not to have held. The court sacked Uba and Obi was therefore reinstated as governor of Anambra State. He therefore argued that Obi, being a beneficiary of the judiciary and Okwu, being a lawyer ought to have known that they should not have engaged in the illegality of conducting the convention when their matter was pending in court. Ugwuagbo is of the opinion that the so-called APGA convention in Awka was an exercise in futility, adding that even if the court ruling had come two years later, it would still override the exercise. The Enugu State chairman of APGA, Okechukwu Nkolagu, said that the haste with which the Obi faction shifted their convention backward from April 18 to April 8, was an indication that they were jittery and had anticipated that the appellate court might rule in Umeh’s favour and tried to outsmart the court by putting up an argument that after all they had first produced their own chairman before Umeh’s restoration. As if towing the line of reasoning of Nkolagu, Bernard Akoma, the newly elected National Publicity Secretary of the Obi faction said that they had elected

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Obi

their own executive before the Appeal Court ruling, adding that whatever was the outcome of the court was belated and was not binding on them. Okwu, the factional national chairman, said that what the Appeal Court did was an exercise in futility. According to him, the order of the Enugu division of the Court Appeal has no legal implication on his executive, insisting that before the ruling came; the Enugu State High Court order sacking Umeh had already been executed. His words: “Anybody that knows how the court operates knows that you can’t stay declarative judgement, such as that of the Enugu High Court. You also can’t stay a judgement that has already been executed. The judgement was executed as early as 8a.m. on Monday and around 12 noon, some people started talking about order for stay of execution. “So, that ruling is an exercise in futility; even a first year law student knows that you don’t stay an order that has been executed. We already have a new born baby, which is the APGA executive and it can’t be aborted again.” Expressing his commitment to the repositioning and restructuring of the party, Okwu said the Anambra governorship election is one the party would win convincingly. But before the appellate court ruling re-instating Umeh, the Obi faction had tried to frustrate the ruling. For instance, both the respondent to the suit, Ichie Jude Okuli and his counsel were absent in court when the motion was moved at the last sitting before the ruling, and as such did not respond to the application before the panel adjourned ruling for April 8, 2013. But shortly after the adjournment, Okuli appeared in a dramatic manner raising his hands to announce his appearance, a development that caused a mild drama as security operatives attempted to arrest him for disrupting the proceedings of the court. Okuli was later served all the process in the matter with the chairman of the panel informing all the parties that they

Okwu

THAT RULING IS AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY... WE ALREADY HAVE A NEW BORN BABY, WHICH IS THE APGA EXECUTIVE AND IT

CAN’T BE ABORTED AGAIN should conduct themselves with decorum, saying the rule of law must be respected at all times. Umeh had applied for stay of execution of the judgement and that the status quo be maintained pending the determination of the appeal. The Appeal Court also adjourned to the same April 8, a fresh application filed by an interest group of APGA members seeking to be joined in the matter. Umeh’s counsel, Patrick Ikweto (SAN), had pleaded with the appellate court to restore Umeh and his executive to office pending the determination of the substantive appeal, noting that the ruling of the lower court sacking him and the entire APGA executive was done in gross violation of the party’s constitution. Ikweto said: “All the cases in this appeal are anchored mainly on lack of jurisdiction by the trial court and where the appeal hinges on absence of jurisdiction; the appellate court can make an order to preserve the status quo. I cannot see the propriety of the appellate court not making a preservative order in this case.” He argued that if the order for a stay of execution was not granted, the final decision in the case would be jeopardized if the appellant’s application succeeds, as according to him, meddlesome interlopers who had already planned to hold the party’s national convention despite the pending appeal, would have taken undue advantage of the lacuna. In another instance of lack of confidence in the Appeal Court, the Obi’s

faction took the matter to the Supreme Court without waiting for its determination at the appellate court. Although the motion-on-notice filed at the Supreme Court was rejected, Okuli prayed the court for an order stopping further proceedings in the Court of Appeal pending the determination of the appeal at the Supreme Court. Okuli approached the apex court because he was not satisfied that the Court of Appeal went on to hear the motion for stay of execution of the judgement of the Enugu High Court delivered on the March 25, in his absence on the ground that he was not served. He said that in spite of the fact that the presiding justices directed the bailiff of the court to serve him all the processes in the court, when he appeared because friends alerted him over what was happening, he said he ought to be given the opportunity to present his own case rather than the justices adjourning for a ruling on April 8. Okuli’s motion was supported by a 28-paragragh affidavit. Earlier, Okuli had petitioned the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) and the National Judicial Commission (NJC) on the conduct of Justices M. Galinge, F.A. Kwassami and Tom Yakubu sent to the Court of Appeal, Enugu to hear the case. The Obi faction assumed that since the processes were transmitted to the Supreme Court, the case may not likely go on April 8 but they were wrong as the Appeal Court sat on the date and even chided Obi’s lawyer for abuse of court process. Responding to Okwu’s assertion that the ruling of the Appeal Court was an exercise in futility, Umeh said he was surprised that Okwu who calls himself a lawyer is describing the judgement of the Court of Appeal as futile. His words: “Somebody who calls himself a lawyer cannot speak this way. Initially, he was saying that the judgement of the High Court cannot be stayed and myself who is not a lawyer, I had to grant interviews to say that the suit at the Enugu State High Court had declarative and injunctive reliefs all embedded at the same time and you were at the Court of Appeal when the ruling was delivered. “The Court agreed that a declarative judgement cannot be stayed because there is nothing to stay. A declarative judgment is not enforceable; it doesn’t contain any consequential order. You just declare that this thing is so. You just stop there. You don’t begin to compel anybody to take steps to do anything. Okwu should have known this as a lawyer. Justice Umezulike proceeded further to slam an injunction against me from parading myself as the national chairman of APGA.” As the war of words persists, members of APGA are waiting with bated breath to see how this confusion would be resolved. Will Umeh return to his post as APGA chairman or will Obi have his way and retain Okwu as the party’s national chairman? The next few days will proffer an answer to these questions.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, April 12, 2013

The embattled National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh speaks on the crisis rocking the party and the validity of his restoration by the Appeal Court, among other issues in this interview with DENNIS AGBO. Excerpts: The Court of Appeal just re-instated you as the national chairman of APGA on the day Maxi Okwu was elected as a chairman at the party’s convention. Why the confusion? This is why Nigerians should see how low APGA is being dragged to. Somebody who calls himself a lawyer is describing the judgement of the Court of Appeal as futile. Initially, he was saying that the judgement of the High Court cannot be stayed and I, who is not a lawyer, had to grant interviews to say that the suit at the Enugu State High Court had declarative and injunctive reliefs all embedded at the same time. The Court of Appeal agreed that a declarative judgment cannot be stayed because there is nothing to stay. A declarative judgment is not enforceable; it doesn’t contain any consequential order. You just declare that this thing is so. You just stop there. You don’t begin to compel anybody to take steps to do anything. Maxi Okwu should have known this as a lawyer. Justice Umezulike proceeded further to slam an injunction against me for parading myself as the national chairman of APGA. An injunctive relief is not a declarative relief. The Court of Appeal’s ruling was perfectly in order and what it did was to stay the order made against me as a consequence of the declarative decisions. And again, the grounds for staying the decision of the Enugu State High Court bothered on jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal said that consistently, from the trial court, I raised the issue of jurisdiction; that the court had no jurisdiction. And in the Court of Appeal, the major grounds of my appeal bothered on jurisdiction. So, the Court of Appeal wouldn’t have allowed that judgement to continue to operate or for anybody to use it if the appeal is before me. If the Court of Appeal agrees that the trial court had no jurisdiction ab initio, all these things they have done relying on the Enugu State High Court judgement they have done in vain. But Okwu is parading himself as APGA National Chairman based on the convention held at Akwa... Now, a man who betrayed the course of our party along with his former boss, Chekwas Okorie, has now been brought into APGA to begin to project the party as an unserious organisation. We will never accept this. And looking at the short stint he has had in APGA, since he was mentioned in APGA from February 16 till date; all the activities in the purported faction they are leading have been enmeshed in fraud. There is nothing they have done that is not coated with fraud. They started with an illegal national caucus that has no constitutional power to elect or appoint interim officials for APGA. That was where Okwu first emerged and he knew that it was wrong under the provisions of the APGA constitution. He participated in it and emerged as interim national chairman. Knowing that his emergence was unconstitutional

APGA crisis, a product of political fraud –Umeh

Umeh

THIS IS THE TYPE OF THING OJUKWU FOUGHT AGAINST; CORRUPTION, ABUSE OF COURT PROCESS, FRAUD, UNDEMOCRATIC ACTIONS AND IRRESPONSIBLE AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTIONS BY PEOPLE WHO ARE IN AUTHORITY and unlawful, he never wrote a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), describing himself as the interim national chairman of APGA. He also deceived INEC into attending the illegal convention that was conducted at 1a.m. on April 8. On March 9 at Awka, they were purported to have held a meeting of Forum of State Chairmen of APGA. There is no such meeting under APGA constitution where you have the forum of chairmen/ National Executive Council meeting. On Friday, April 5, it was announced through breaking news on telephones that INEC has acceded to the request of Governor Peter Obi’s faction to convene a convention of APGA on April 8 and they will be attending it. INEC never said they will attend or monitor the convention until April 5. That was when the meeting was allegedly held and they agreed to send monitors to that convention. Once, I got that, I sent my personal assistant to INEC immediately, to go and obtain the certified true copy of the people who issued that notice to INEC. And on that day, it was released to him. And when we went through that list, it was discovered that 29 people signed the notice of the congresses and convention to INEC, claiming to be state chairmen of APGA. On perusal of the names printed on that attendance sheet, 24 out of the 29 were never APGA chairmen anywhere in Nigeria, up till that moment. Now, we have a certified true copy of state chairmen of APGA that attended APGA NEC meeting

of December 1, 2010 monitored by INEC. INEC issued a certified true copy of those people that attended that meeting. In that copy, those 24 names, impostors who claimed to be chairmen, giving INEC notice of congresses and convention, even though without capacity under APGA constitution, were not on that list. In that list, Obi wrote his name and phone number and signed as number 69. So, it is all a game of fraud, which they have continued to perpetuate. You recall that last year, Sadiq Massala announced that he has 20 signatures of NWC members that removed me as chairman. On verification, INEC discovered that 11 of the signatures were forged, for which the Inspector General of Police has charged Massala to court. This is another forgery by Okwu and his co-traveller, Obi just to do what is not right. There is no political party that will give INEC notice that it will start an event by 1a.m. INEC is a public institution and public institutions have working hours prescribed under the civil service rules. You cannot start an activity by 1a.m. and then invite a public institution to be part of it. By the time we get to the Nigerian public with everything, a lot of heads will roll. A lot of people will go to jail. Okwu will be committed to prison. This is the type of thing Ojukwu fought against; corruption, abuse of court process, fraud, undemocratic actions and irresponsible and unconstitutional actions

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by people who are in authority. So, we shall use this case to once again show Nigerians what APGA represents in this country-respect for rule of law, democracy and good governance. Apart from the fraudulent convention they held in the cover of darkness which is another desecration of Ojukwu’s principles, I was wondering, how they would have dragged Ojukwu to Awka by 1a.m. to conduct convention. Ojukwu never supported such things. So, on the illegal convention that they have conducted, the decision of the Court of Appeal will sweep everything away. Do you feel comfortable with Okwu’s reference to Ojukwu as an extremist? That is the embarrassment Governor Obi has brought to APGA. Okwu never liked late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu from the beginning. He has always been very critical of Ojukwu, even during his first stint in APGA before he was expelled with Chekwas Okorie. I was not surprised that Obi had given him the opportunity to begin to discredit the great work Ojukwu did for Ndigbo and Nigerians in his life time. For Okwu to come out now to describe our great respected leader, both in Nigeria and internationally as an extremist, it goes to show you the level of destruction that he is planning for APGA. From what he said, he has defined a new vision for APGA, which is a vision of moderation. Ojukwu was never an extremist. Ojukwu was a man who stood very strongly for justice, very strongly against injustice, against oppression of the people. He stood for equity and fairness, rule of law and democracy. It is an abomination for anybody who claims to be standing on the platform of APGA to describe Ojukwu’s virtues as extremist. This is blasphemy of the highest proportion and those of us who worked with Ojukwu as our leader in APGA, those he left APGA in their hands, will not stand by and watch a man who does not have any political character or vision begin to describe Ojukwu in such denigrating words. What really has Governor Obi got to do with all the crisis? As for Obi’s collusion and funding of these activities of destroying APGA, I am not surprised because Ojukwu foretold these things Obi is doing today. When we got Obi into office in 2006, the first thing he did was to abandon Ojukwu and ran to Obasanjo. He was always at the Presidential Villa during their early morning prayers. On the directive of Obasanjo, Obi gave a shoot at sight order against MASSOB members in Anambra State. So many people were killed in the process. This angered Ojukwu and all of us a great deal and when they impeached him, Ojukwu told me that Obi will never be anything in APGA anymore. I took Obi to Ojukwu to beg him severally, Ojukwu refused. Each time I went with Obi to beg Ojukwu to forgive him so that we can work for his reinstatement, Ojukwu will advise me when Obi leaves, that he (Obi) will never change. He told me that he was the military governor of old Eastern Region, he was Head of State of Republic of Biafra and from what he has seen in Obi, he will never change. When I was praying that he will repent, he insisted that he will never change. Other people and groups tried but Ezeigbo refused. The only reason why Ojukwu supported Obi’s reinstatement was to save the life of APGA.


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Under-utilisation of first class degree graduates

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pparently seeking to continue with the old tradition of shielding fresh graduates with outstanding degree results from the cold labour market, as well as rewarding hard work and excellence, the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration in Ondo State has come up with a policy of automatic employment for first-class graduates of the state-owned institution, the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU), Akungba-Akoko. The governor, who is also the Visitor to the university, had in his address at the 4th convocation ceremony of the school held recently, specially commended 10 graduates that emerged with First Class degrees, out of a total of 5,503 graduating students, for their brilliant performances. He announced that automatic employment would be given to some of them by the AAU as graduate assistants, and that those of them not interested in the academic profession would be absorbed by the Ondo State civil service. “I know that those of you who have First Class will want to come back to the university. But if any one of you is not interested in academic career, be rest-assured that you have automatic employment in the state civil service”, the governor was quoted as saying. We think the Mimiko government meant well and should

be commended for once again restoring the hopes of bright university graduates after many years of despondency and neglect. It is now common knowledge, how countless Nigerian degree holders roam the streets in the endless search for non-existent jobs. In the distant past, offers of white-collar jobs with such incentives as official cars and residence were kept ready for fresh university graduates with outstanding results in their penultimate year. In some cases, graduates were recruited at convocation ceremony venues by local and multinational companies, who fell over themselves scrambling for the very best of personnel. In addition to the alluring offers from the corporate world and other employers of labour, the tertiary institutions that produced such graduates also worked so hard to retain them mainly as graduate assistants. That the Mimiko administration could relive this encouraging memory of the past is an indication that with good leadership, a return to the old glorious order of rewarding academic excellence is not impossible. However, cognizance should be taken of the fact that employment in the civil service of most states undermines the class, panache and cerebral status of a first class degree holder. It seems tantamount to under-

WHILE WE AGAIN COMMEND MIMIKO FOR HIS INESTIMABLE GESTURE, WE

THINK HE CAN HELP IN TURNING THE GRADUATES INTO GREATER ASSETS TO THE STATE AND THE WIDER SOCIETY employment, on the one hand, and outright underutilization of the first class graduate, on the other. Put differently, First class graduates, in terms of leadership recruitment and personnel management, are not easy to come by and therefore, they ought not to be consigned to careers in the civil service. First class graduates are usually highly rated, stellar scholars. Except on exceptional cases, they are very cerebral, creative, imaginative and often reclusive; and the bureaucracy with its frustrating and suffocating officialdom, as well as pervasive corruption these days, has an extreme capacity to kill creativity and innovativeness. Indeed, the nation’s present public service system at all levels has become more

of an institution that flaunts academic mediocrity, all manner of corrupt practices, insecurity, red-tape, mournful sycophancy and over-devotion to mostly retrogressive precedents. Not a few first class graduates that end up in such a system will, in a matter of time, become alienated, frustrated and non-creative. Worse still, they may become morally depraved once infected by the virus of the endemic rot in the system. The civil service is not a place for excelling in individual initiatives and, consequently, cannot be challenging enough for well-groomed first class graduates. While we again commend Mimiko for his inestimable gesture, we think he can help in turning the graduates into greater assets to the state and the wider society by offering them scholarships to pursue further studies in the country or abroad. The attention of the graduates should be channeled to the university system where they can teach and, in the long run, help in redressing the problems of crumbling standards of education and the quality of graduates, manpower shortages, poor university administration, etc. One of the fasted ways to waste any first class brain is to confine it to an establishment where its chances of getting rusted are highly guaranteed.

ON THIS DAY April 12, 2010

April 12, 2007

April 12, 1980

A train derailed near Merano, Italy, after running into a landslide, causing nine deaths and injuring 28 people. The landslide which reportedly derailed the train was believed to have been caused by a burst irrigation pipe, or by a valve inadvertently left open. The train was on a regional service, travelling between Mals and Merano on the Vinschgau line, which was reopened in 2005.

A suicide bomber penetrated the Green Zone and detonated in a cafeteria within a parliament building, killing a member of the Iraqi parliament, Mohammed Awad, and wounding more than twenty other people. The bomber targeted the canteen of the Council of Representatives of Iraq building. The attack, in the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad, occurred ten minutes after the Council of Representatives had adjourned for lunch.

Samuel Doe took control of Liberia in a coup d’état, ending over 130 years of minority Americo-Liberian rule over the country. Doe (May 6, 1951 – September 9, 1990) was the 21st President of Liberia, holding de facto office from 1980 and official office from President Jonathan 1986 until his assassination in 1990. He had previously been the Chairman of the People’s Redemption Council from 1980 to 1986 and was the first indigenous head of state in Liberian history.

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Leadership, media responsibility and the police REUBEN ABATI

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ur attention has been drawn to an April 10 statement by the Leadership Newspaper titled “Statement on the Arrest and Detention of LEADERSHIP journalists”, the latest episode in the matters arising from the same newspaper’s publication of an alleged “Presidential Directive”, which we have had cause to disavow because the basis of the story proved to have been a dubious ‘bromide’ containing nothing more than “a mishmash of carefully arranged and concocted lies, presented to the public as evidence of a document emanating from the presidency.” Yet, the Leadership newspaper insisted that “it stood by its story.” As a responsible government committed to providing good governance and protecting the rule of law, the rebuttal from the presidency was appropriate; yet its symbolism runs far deeper. It ordinarily ought to have motivated all concerned with or related to the process and issues contained therein, particularly the publishers and editors, to double check their claims, and where errors had been made, to quickly retract the story. This would have been in line with the ethics of professionalism, good conduct and unbiased reporting. This approach reflects the crucial role of a bridge, which a best-practice media performs, in the management of the civil en-

gagement between elected officials and the citizenry. Underpinning this social contract is the principle that the freedom of expression goes hand in hand with great responsibility. Given the Leadership Newspaper’s insistence that it stood by its story, questions are automatically raised about professional ethics and the social responsibility of the media, which certainly, by the rules and codes of practice of the various media associations in the country, do not accommodate the publication of falsehood, or inciting material, or the abuse of the media’s constitutional mandate. The circulation of a fictitious ‘presidential directive’ that seeks in the main to cause civil strife, engender a breakdown of law and order, and negate the values of our democracy, is a very grievous act indeed that should not be ignored. At its core, such a disruptive act erodes the ethos of governance and professionalism and naturally stirs up those entrusted with the protection of law and order; as it should also, every responsible citizen, interest group and the entire media. In that regard, President Jonathan did not have to issue any orders before those who have as much constitutional responsibility as the media; that is, the police, see the need to act in the public interest. Without holding brief for the law enforcement and security agencies, such a publication, like all others that threaten our democracy and undermine law and order, become

THE NIGERIAN MEDIA IS SELF-REGULATED AND IS REQUIRED TO ABIDE BY DEFINED CODES OF ETHICS the duty of the police as an institution to investigate. The Leadership newspaper should see this as an opportunity to co-operate with the police as required by the laws of the land. The police have not done anything outside the law. The trite rule is that nobody is above the laws of the land. It is also within the powers of the police to invite persons for questioning and to conduct investigations, which is what they have done so far in “The Leadership case”. Or are the editors of the Leadership newspapers insisting that they are above the laws of the land? This administration believes in and has demonstrated its commitment to press freedom times over. The Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) was signed by this President into law and under this government the Nigerian print and electronic media has grown in number, reach and in terms of freedom to practise. It will be disingenuous to suggest that there is a clampdown of any sort or an attempt to stifle the press. Why shouldn’t journalists normally

cooperate with the police in this instance? We believe that it has to do with the fundamentals of professional ethos that make journalists operate with a different set of loyalties and a different set of outcomes. Yet, there should be no contradiction under normal circumstances where the pursuit of peace and democracy deepening is concerned. This should ordinarily have been an opportunity for the ‘media’ to help our democracy by collectively rejecting the publication of pure falsehood. In Nigeria, the place of our media is well regarded by the government and its freedom within the law, is regarded as sacred. The Nigerian media is self-regulated and is required to abide by defined codes of ethics. The incident with the Leadership newspapers is not an attempt by the government to muzzle a critical bridge in the societal value chain. Rather, it reflects the professional gaps that need to be bridged within the profession as the media continues to play its very crucial and necessary role in nation-building. This development therefore, offers the media an opportunity for introspection, one that requires an emphasis on the responsibility of a media house as regards issues of ethics and professionalism. Dr. Abati is Special Adviser (Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan

Celebrating Obahiagbon at 53 SUFUYAN OJEIFO

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t the twilight of the sixth session of the National Assembly, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, PDP MP, Oredo Federal Constituency, switched platform to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in a bid to ensure his political survival. It would appear, overall, a good move, but within the ACN enclave, he lost the bid for party nomination to a combination and conspiracy of factors. The import of this “short-circuiting” was that Obahiagbon, the master of bombast, the sartorially elegant ambassador of the Bini culture, which was why he was always dressed in the attire, bowed out of the House of Representatives when his followers were just beginning to enjoy his interventions on the floor during debates. That marked the terminus of the verbal razzmatazz of the profoundly eventful gladiator. The House has since been missing Obahiagbon and his Obahiagbonese (his own peculiar coinages). His defeat at the primaries of his party was not enough to stymie the flow of his usual bombasts in times of deep emotional outbursts. When asked to react to the development and the rejoicing in the camp of his opponent, he said: “This has made me suffused with emotional narcolepsy that the homo-sapiens in the metro-political geographical enclave of Edo have opted for owambe-ing over legislative quo modo dicis. Such a reckless display of narcissistic and flamboyant hedonism is capable of encumbering our nascent democracy with insidious, repercussive and cataclysmic exigencies.”

EVEN AS THE CURRENT CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE GOVERNOR OF EDO STATE, OBAHIAGBON HAS, WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS MANDATE, BEEN SPEAKING IN HIS TRADEMARK

“LANGUAGE” AND DAZZLING ALL AND SUNDRY AS USUAL But while he was in the Lower Chamber, Obahiagbon defined a unique character for himself, using the instrumentality of his swanky outfits as well as esoteric grammar (his peculiar manner of speaking). This is the uniqueness of Obahiagbon, the self-styled “son of Igodomigodo”, a sobriquet he has adopted since 1999, when he was elected into the Edo State House of Assembly. A lawyer and holder of two Master’s degrees once said: “I have deployed the nomenclature of Igodomigodo as a political sobriquet for 10 years now, particularly as a vehicular nexus with my culturico-spiritual fons et origo and this emanated from an advertent primus mobilus to cosmopolitanise my genealogical matrix since it was not by accident that I originated from the land of Igodomigodo.” According to him, “Igodomigodo was

the original, first ever, and pristine name of the Binis. From Igodomigodo, we were known as Ile-Ubini before the transmogrification into modern day Bini or Benin. So, you can now see that when I togarise my identity with the Igodomigodo aura, I am invoking the visible and invisible gods of my progenitors and at the same time luxuriating in an ancestral aqua of pristine Risorgimento.” Obahiagbon had become a phenomenon in the House of Representatives. He could titillate to no end with his fecundity, coupled with the razzmatazz that accompanied his submissions. His mode of dressing (traditional Bini attires) was also very unique. He was once asked why he was always clad in his traditional Benin dress with beads round his neck and wrists. His response: “I have dressed like this from 1999 without any hiatus. As a student of mysticism, I believe nothing happens in the life of a mystic by chance and I know it was not by accident that I was born a Bini man. I entered into a covenant with myself when I was seeking political visibility that if God gave me the visibility, I was going to propagate the Bini heritage and culture. When it pleased God to give that to me in 1999, I had to keep faith with that covenant and I have dressed in full panoply of the royal Bini regalia.” Obahiagbon never ran short of big dictions or coinages that defined his peculiar style. Answering question on the need for his colleagues to up the ante of contributions on the floor, he had advised: “They must avoid regular big stouting, suyaing, and pepper-souping. Those are not the real issues. They must be prepared to immerse themselves in societal dialectics. They

must put their nose to the grind stone. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Ikene philosopher, once said ‘the difference between my other colleagues and I, is that when my other colleagues are cavorting in the dark alleys, I am in my library working myself 19 to the dozen.’ “You cannot succeed in life if you are not disciplined. You must conquer the flesh… so that at the end of the day, you can really say: vendi, vidi, vicki (I came; I saw; I conquered).” Let me revisit his tribute on the late Gani Fawehinmi: ‘’The grand initiation of Chief Gani Fawehinmi has since brought me emotional laceration and thrown me into utter catalepsy. This was a man who inured himself in the aqua of self abnegation and immolation just to give justice to the down-trodden. Can there be another GANI in Nigeria’s legal firmament? I dare say I have my doubts. Even as the current Chief of Staff to the Governor of Edo State, Obahiagbon has, within the scope of his mandate, been speaking in his trademark “language” and dazzling all and sundry as usual, including yours sincerely. Is there therefore, any other way that is better than this tribute to celebrate Obahiagbon, one of those who were born in 1960, on his April 12 birthday, the day I married my heart-throb, Pat, in 1997? Happy birthday, my brother, and many happy returns! Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Finally, Jonathan caves in

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October 04, 2012. The most bizarre one was the purported impeachment of the then Abia Deputy Governor, Comrade Chris Alozie Akomas in August 2010, 48 hours after he announced his resignation from office. No wonder

the saying that deputy governors are spare tyres in Nigeria is true. However, whether Agbaso’s removal would improve governance is left to be seen.

CJN and her strong brooms

of who answer to the title Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), should also be sought out and debarred to balance the equity equation. In this new offensive, the National Judicial Council, Body of Benchers and Nigerian Bar Association must work together to clean the nations judicial Aegean’s stable. May God bless our CJN and give her the courage to go about her revolution without let or hindrance.

n what appears a 360 degree policy somersault, the Federal Government might have given in to the unrelenting pressure to grant amnesty to Boko Haram, the militant Islamic sect that has made nonsense of the nation’s security infrastructure in the northern part of Nigeria. A Presidential Amnesty Committee to handle the fine details of the amnesty proposals is already in place. The latest development proves the supremacy of pragmatism over political rigidity. Coming at a time the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, publicly voiced his preference for military option for crushing the pervasive insurgency in the North, President Goodluck Jonathan vote for dialogue places him and in a dangerous situation with his service chiefs. It shows that Mr. President has no confidence in his security chiefs. Like I said last week, President Jonathan is the Commanderin-Chief of the nation’s armed forces; he has his service chiefs to rely upon for sound advice; he has a National Security Adviser and many heads of intelligence institutions. Just what the problem is that the nation’s security infrastructure has proved ineffectual in dealing with the pervasive insecurity in the country. We Nigerians know money is not the problem because tonnes of money are voted for security. The problem is that the war against Boko Haram is an unwinnable war. The wise thing is for the President to try the dialogue option proposed by the power oligarchy in the North. The Federal Government should capitalize on the division in the ranks of the leadership of Boko Haram like happened in the Niger Delta militant groups when the Henry Okah faction of MEND did not favour the FG spawned amnesty programme. The government should negotiate with those amenable to dialogue, give them amnesty. No price is too great for peace in the North. Let me warn, however, that this is not the time to throw money around foolishly. There is the need for the verification of the statuses of those who will come forward as the leaders and foot soldiers of Boko Haram to prevent charlatans from reaping where they have not sown. I urge Nigerians to support the new deal since force has proved ineffectual in dealing with the situation.

Mrs. Aminatu Kingsley, Kaduna

Comrade Barth Ugboh, Benin City, Edo State

MEND’s renewed onslaught

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s a Niger Deltan from Edo State, I am pained that it is President Goodluck Jonathan Ijaw kinsmen that are trying to compound the security woes of the nation. I reason within the context of the last Saturday ambush of police escorts in Azuzama, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) during which no fewer than 12 policemen were killed. The militant group had said that the policemen were killed to teach the security forces a lesson for claiming that the group was incapable of resuming attacks in the region to avenge alleged collaboration between the FG and South African government to jail its former leader, Henry Okah. The Nigerian state has spared nothing in securing peace in the Niger Delta region. The Amnesty Programme packaged by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua which costs the nation billions of naira yearly is at the root of the claim by northern leaders for a similar overture to Boko Haram. President Goodluck Jonathan has just caved in to the overbearing pressure after initial resistance. The least the rest of the nation expects from the Niger Delta region is unqualified support for Jonathan to ensure that he wins the war against the deployment of terror to settle scores. The South South has never had it so good since the inception of Nigeria. We had better appreciate the fact that this is one providential opportunity to make our mark in the politics of this great nation. If Jonathan fails, it is the entire South South that fails. Just like the North has realized to their chagrin, laying waste the economies of the region is the people’s big loss. If MEND cripples the economies of the six states in the region, it is the people that will bear the brunt. The earlier the militants in the region that are angling for a fight realize that where two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers, the better for the people of the region. Oziegbe Ataifo, Eguaholor, Edo State

Praise singers chasing a public figure’s car to obtain money in Abuja, yesterday.

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Re-Reforming Nigeria I wish to thank AbdulWarees Solanke for his thought provoking piece, Reforming Nigeria, in his column of one of the Mondays in March, 2013. The piece in question is a sincere exposition on the Nigerian state. I agree with his conclusion that “Reforming

Nigeria is a hydra-headed challenge, demanding full attention...”, but still, I see this as an understatement. Most of our public office holders are aware of the thrust of his said article, but keep mute about it. In fact, they will stop at nothing to ensure

such is not a reality. A massive consciousness of integrity will deny them easy access to public funds. Sadly, we the people who entrust them with power and authority are too bothered about surviving through everyday’s vicissitudes to

welcome the idea of integrity as a watchword. We get crumbs from lack of integrity and if are lucky, even make it to the top through this evil conduit. I thank Mr Solanke for his piece. Goke Gbadamosi

Impeachment of Jude Agbaso

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n March 29, 2013, Sir Jude Agbaso, Imo State deputy governor, was eased out of power to draw the curtain on the titanic political battle that started in the state on February 20, 2013. And so he has joined the list of impeached political leaders in this country. There are both political and social dimensions to the saga. But what is irrefutable is that the ground for the impeachment was laid by a monumental contestation for power in the state and even a projection of ‘bad belle politics’. There is no doubt there was love lost between Governor Rochas Okorocha and his deputy. All successful impeachments of deputy governors in Nigeria were on the prodding of the First Citizens of such states. Recall the removal of former Bauchi Deputy Governor Alhaji Garba Gadi in 2009 at the instance of his boss, Isa Yuguda. His offence was refusing to join him

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to decamp to PDP from ANPP. Eleven months after the court of the land reinstated him. Ditto for the then Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Sani Abubakar Danladi, who was impeached by the State House of Assembly on

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ur Iron Lady Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) is a blessing of immense proportions to the country. She is revolutionizing the administration of justice in the country. The recent sack of two high court judges is evidently the measure necessary to whip errant judicial officers in line. Last Monday, she read out another riot act to judges writing questionable judgements (they

are very many), warning them their days were numbered on the bench. Rightly, she identified delivery of questionable judgements by some judges as one of the major reasons why public confidence in the nation’s judiciary was waning. May I use this medium to remind her that some errant members of the nation’s bar are into unholy alliance with these judges. It stands to reason therefore, that these lawyers, many

Christopher Nkem, Onitsha, Anambra State

Send your letters or or mails mailsto toPMB PMB10001, 10001,Ikoyi, Ikoyi,ororour ourEmail: Email:mirrorlagos@yahoo.com mirrorlagos@yahoo.com and info@nationalmirroronline.netor or 08056180209, 07033375481 and info@nationalmirroronline.net 08054103275, 07033375481 (SMS (SMS only).Editor The Editor reserves thetoright edit and letters reject letters or photographs. Psuedonyms may be but used, butbe must be clearly marked as such. only). The reserves the right edit to and reject or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, must clearly marked as such.


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Flavour

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

ARTS EDITOR

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agos, the entertainment capital of Nigeria, is about to go up in party smoke tomorrow evening as “MTV Africa All Stars”, an urban music tour, heads out of South Africa for the mega city, famed for its vibrant night life and compelling entertainment scene. Top on the bill to perform are three of Nigeria’s highly-rated Dee Jays, namely; DJ Jimmy Jatt, DJ Caise and DJ Sose, who would be joined by newlywed Afro-pop star 2face Idibia; Hip-Hop star, Ice Prince Zamani and HKN Music boss and emerging music force, Davido. To reflect the true Pan-African essence of the music event holding at the expansive Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, South Africa’s award winning Kwaito artiste, Professor joins the line up to make up a night of explosive music performances. Hosted jointly by MTV Base and KwaZulu-Natal Province, the new tour is part of the sensational Pan-African

music and youth empowerment campaign that salutes the star quality and widespread appeal of contemporary African musicians, while providing exposure to the continent’s rave music innovators and pacesetters. “MTV Africa All Stars” also aims to raise the international profile of KwaZulu-Natal as a premier destination for tourism and economic development. Speaking on behalf of MTV Base, Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa said: “We are delighted to partner with KwaZulu-Natal to bring the MTV Africa All Stars concept to Africa and the world. Through engaging live events, television specials and digital activations, MTV Africa All Stars offers a range of diverse platforms through which music fans can connect with and experience the extraordinary talent, variety and craftsmanship of the continent’s most exciting contemporary musicians”. Kicking off in Durban, South Africa, on March 28, the touring show travelled

THE NEW TOUR... SALUTES THE STAR QUALITY AND WIDESPREAD APPEAL OF CONTEMPORARY

AFRICAN MUSICIANS to Nairobi, Kenya on April 5 before arriving in Lagos for tomorrow’s show. According to organisers, the tour will culminate in an out-of -this-world MTV Africa All Stars concert in Durban on Saturday, May 18 headlined by entertainment icon and multi-platinum artiste, Snoop Lion, aka Snoop Dogg. The “reincarnated” rapper, singersongwriter, producer, actor and reality star will perform alongside the most popular contemporary artists from across the African continent at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The concert will subsequently broadcast around the world as part of MTV’s acclaimed

World Stage franchise on MTV Base and MTV’s global TV network. Also commenting, Desmond Golding, Head of Department of Economic Development and Tourism, KwaZuluNatal Province echoed Alex Okosi’s sentiment at the partnership and merger of ideas ‘on this exciting and multi-faceted partnership that will focus the world’s attention on KwaZulu-Natal, and underline our reputation as one of the region’s key economic and tourism hubs’. Golding added: “As an important part of our ‘Vision 2030”, the All Stars campaign will allow us to achieve our goal of positioning KwaZulu-Natal as a gateway to South Africa and the rest of the continent, while building our profile as a centre for trade, commerce and investment”. On her part, Lagos is primed to soak up the excitement and jolly carousing of party goers who would throng Federal Palace Hotel tomorrow evening for a music event, headlined by an all-male line up of artistes, but nonetheless looking good to become Africa’s major gathering of urban music performers.

WEEKEND STARTERS Art21 opens with Olu Amoda’s works

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first of its kind space for artists to exhibit their works in Lagos will open tomorrow at 6.00 p.m. Located at the new Eko Hotel & Suites ‘Signature’ boutique hotel, Victoria Island, the opening exhibition, which will run for five weeks, is by artist and teacher, Olu Amodu and features about 40 of his works in different media. Over the coming months, Art21 will host a programme of exhibitions showcasing other artists such as Chicagobased Nnenna Okore. Founder of Art21, Caline Chagoury, who was evidently excited,

‘Emissaries’ continues at CCA Lagos

One of the works by Amoda

said at the press conference to announce the opening that she was very thrilled to be able to bring the platform to a wonderful city she has always treasured.

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he photographic series, ‘Emissaries of an iconic religion’ by Adolphus Opara continues with an informal walk and talk around the works from 2.00 p.m. – 3.00 p.m. tomorrow at the Centre for Contemporary Art. The artists will talk about his photographic practice and context of the series within his wider body of work.

Adunni Nefertiti celebrate 7th year

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dunni and Nefertiti will celebrate seven years on stage at Freedom Park, Lagos

today and tomorrow. Beginning at 5.00 p.m. each day, they have joined forces with Renegade Theatre and Midiacraft to thrill their audience. The all-female singing group will be performing Femi Fatoba’s play, an opera in Yoruba titled: Iyan Lounje.

OPRA honours outstanding Nigerians

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ome Nigerians who have impacted positively on the nation will be honoured at the Outstanding Personalities and Recognition Awards, OPRA 2013, which holds on Sunday, at the NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos. Organised by Lagos-

based Bolergy Productions in conjunction with B&L Image Concepts Ltd., London, and supported by the Lagos State Government, those to be awarded include: Otunba Olajuwon Okubena, the Managing Director of Health Forever Prod-

uct Ltd.; Hon. Funmi Tejuosho; Chief Laide Fowosere, the Chairman of Nucleus Group of Companies and Otunba Gani Adams, the National Co-ordinator of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, among others. The event will have music

SAMAC holds jazz workshop

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he Saxophone Music Academy, SAMAC, holds its annual musical workshop on Sunday at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos. The 2013 theme ‘’Exposition of 12 Bar Blues’’ is to build on the basics of Jazz music which is from the 12 Bar Blues. Certificates will be awarded to all participants. The threehour workshop is slated for 3.00 p.m. and it is open to all instrumentalists. Instructor is the Director of Education at the SAMAC School of Music, Imoleayo Balogun, a renowned jazz saxophonist, who also lectures at the MUSON Diploma Department and produces the annual Sax Ensemble concert.

Pasuma

performances by many star artistes, including Wasiu Alabi Pasuma.

Imoleayo Balogun

P. 34

ADENRELE NIYI

Denrele’s Day

Music stars to rock MTV Base tour

P. 24-25

DJ Sose

Inside FCT

DJ Caise

P. 26

Davido

Mirror Mongers

2face

Escape

P. 32-33

VOL. 3 No. 593

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20

Artman In The House

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Any writer should want an Four female writers: Yewande Omotoso, Apophia Agiresaasi, Ayodele Olofintuade and Rukayat Olaleye are residents at the March to April 2013 edition of the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State. Friday Flavour’s TERH AGBEDEH spent Easter Monday with the Nigerian-Barbadian-South African, Ugandan and Nigerian writers in Iseyin where they talked about why they applied, what they are working on and the Iseyin school children they are mentoring. Excerpts: How did you get to know about the residency? Yewande: A friend of mine, Samuel Kolawole, was here. I wanted to come to Nigeria and was looking for a way to come and make it worth my while and he recommended it. I went online and tried to find the Ebedi website. Unfortunately, at the time the website wasn’t quite running so I emailed Dr. Okediran and interacted with him directly and he told me what was required, I sent it in and the board commented and I got accepted. Quite straightforward like that. I applied and was accepted.

Omotoso

Agiresaasi

Olofintuade

Olaleye

Is Ebedi the first residency you are applying for? Yes, distinct from workshop. If your friend didn’t tell you about it, do you think you would have known about it? As someone living in South Africa I never heard about the residency, but I’m sure Nigerians know about it. I came to Nigeria last year for a workshop and met Nigerian writers, two of them who had done it talked about it and it sounded interesting so I got curious. Because it’s a big opportunity, we need to publicise this and we need the internet to do that otherwise you are relying on who you know. Rukayat: I also applied online. My brother, who is the president of Young Nigerian Writers, told me about it. I sent my CV and application letter to Dr. Okediran. How has the work been going since you got here? I have finished work on one book, Olori Asake, since I got here. Now I’m working on a collection of poems. I write poetry, prose and drama. Ayodele: She does her writing in Yoruba. Apophia: I got to know about the residency because I’m a member of FEMRITE, which is the Uganda Women Writers’ Association. Barbara Oketa, who is a member of FEMRITE, was here and she was asked to recommend somebody and she picked me. I applied online but it took some time and I didn’t get a reply so I asked Barbara whether she had given me the right address and she game me Dr. Okediran’s email. I sent a letter, my CV and a sample of what I was working on. I was accepted and I had to apply to Art World Africa for my air ticket. You are the third Ugandan coming here. How popular is the residency among Ugandan writers? The residency is getting popular especially at FEMRITE where other writers have also applied. Ayodele: I got a call from the president of ANA in Ibadan, Uncle Akin Bello. He asked me if I wanted to come to Ebedi and of course, I know about Ebedi. Almost all my friends have been here. Everybody comes back from here and says, ‘oh my God, you should go for it’. I got in touch with Dr. Okediran and we were talking...I just made up my mind to come and I have no regrets. What have you been working on? I wanted to come and start a new novel, Shina Rambo, but when I got here I got a mail to do a first draft of the one I was working on before I got here. So, that is what I’m doing. It’s just been amazing, a great experience.

What is the one you are working on titled? It’s called Lakriboto Chronicles. In Yoruba land, lakriboto is an independent woman, who a lot of men see as sexless, a woman who doesn’t bow to men. I’m examining the African community; is there really a community, are we as cohesive, as close and as family-oriented as everybody claims we are? That’s what I’m questioning and I’m also questioning the way people with mental illness are treated in our country. The story is about three women, one of them has mental illness, they are just girls that were growing up in a typical Yoruba family and there is a kind of loss involved so they are moved around among relatives as house help or to take care of the children. I’m following the journey of these three women. How far have you gone with the story? I’m nearly done. I still have two chapters to go. My understanding of lakritobo may be wrong... It is lesbian. ...or somebody who has no sexual organs. Yes. It’s amazing; you can’t be a lesbian and have no sexual organs. What I also want to examine is the fact that we all say we are Africans and being gay is not part of our culture. The question is where does lakriboto come from if it is not part of our culture? And how can you be a lesbian and you don’t have sex parts? Yewande: I’m working on the first draft of a book

set mostly in South Africa and the two main characters are 80-year-old women, neighbours. It’s basically a story about their relationship; they hate each other but are dependent on one another. It looks at South African dynamics, the racial, the 20 years on after a democratically elected government in 1994. What are the racial dynamics that still exist in the Western Cape? There is still segregation by class and colour in Cape Town 20 years on. So I’m looking at why that is the case. It takes part in Ibadan and partly in the West Indies and London. How different is this from Bom Boy? I hope very different. Because I’m not only South African I think whenever I write, for instance, my character is West Indian and the other character is a white South African. I feel like when I write, I need to put a character there that relates to my experience, which is me being a foreigner. So, I can write from a West Indian perspective in South Africa and she also comes to Ibadan. You know, I’m Nigeria but I’m not really Nigerian so I can write from a West Indian perspective, I always need that perspective that I know. How much of this is your story, in Bom Boy for instance? It’s not directly my story because it’s not autobiographical but it is about somebody who doesn’t fit in and who is struggling to find their place. I can relate to some degree because that is what life in South Africa


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ebedi Residency’

Artman In The House

21

The residents and children

is to me. Otherwise, I’m not that weird. Apophia: I had thought I was going to work on a novel but since I came here, I’ve been working on a series of short stories and I have finished seven of them. I’m right now working on the eighth. Of course, they are addressing different themes and are all set in Uganda. There is high level of unemployment, the patriarchal tradition, how women are being repressed and are trying to rise to the top. Also, love and life generally. You all are doing great. Is there an energy here that makes one work as you have done? It’s the quiet environment and you have to be committed because you have nothing else to do. We are not cooking, cleaning the house so you are just in your room; eat, read and write. Also, this is not a town, perhaps if it were in Lagos, we would have been tempted to go to the bar or places like that. Rukayat do you share what Apophia said? I agree with her. Is there a time keeper among you who insists that today you have got to do 10 pages tomorrow 12 and so on? Ayodele: She (Yewande) is the one that does it for herself. Yewande: Everybody works differently. For me, I take it as a an amazing opportunity and I’m not prepared to waste it. I came really serious, I have my calendar and what I need to accomplish when I leave here, I mean, who else is going to give me a place to work? I’m really grateful for it and I feel like...that is how I produce. So I have managed to finish the first draft being here in the space of five weeks. And I agree with you, it’s because of focus, you come with the intention. Everything is geared towards producing. Would you recommend the residency to someone? My intention is to recommend it widely and to interact with Dr. Okedi-

FACT FILE •

The Ebedi International Writers’ Residency was founded and funded by the award-winning writer and former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, Dr. Wale Okediran, who hails from Iseyin.

Currently in its third year, the works written during the residency will be considered for publication by Literamed Publishers, Lagos. •

Yewande Omotoso is based in Cape Town, South Africa and is the writer of the critically acclaimed and award-winning first novel, Bom Boy. She obtained a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Cape Town as well as a Bachelors of Architecture from the same university. Her poems and articles have appeared in several literary journals the world over where they have also been • shortlisted for many awards. She is working on her next novel titled: Your House is on Fire. Agiresaasi Apophia from Makerere, Uganda, a Public Health Specialist has a master’s degree in population and reproductive health from the Makerere University, Uganda. She is the author of a children’s book, Victor (Macmillan Publishers) as well as five Short

ran, seeing he is very open. I think it can be international; you can have writers from all over the world wanting to come here. Any writer wants this. It’s such a big deal, we have to shout about it and be proud of it. Ayodele: Yes it works. You are here free of cares and then it helps when you see writers around. I’m a talker, I like discussing stuff to help my thought process. I sound people out so that I don’t sound too foolish, I say, okay, this might just work. I wake up early in the morning and I’m talking and she (Yewande) says, ‘I have quiet time’. At a point she goes, ‘don’t come into my room’. It has helped. I talk to Rukayat, too, I talk to Apophia.

Stories in various anthologies. Her trip to Nigeria was sponsored by the Belgium-based Arts Moves Africa (AMA) which provided her with a return ticket from Uganda. Apophia, who currently works as the Executive Director of a Ugandan-based CSO, Action for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS. Rukayat Olaleye, a teacher, is the first Ebedi Resident who writes indigenous literature. An Ibadanbased writer, she writes in Yoruba where she has made a mark through her works which include, a novel, Abambo and two drama presentations, Olaju and Oju to ri Bi. She is a member of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers and the current, Secretary, Egbe Odo Onkowe Ede Yoruba. Ayodele Olofintuade is the author of Eno’s Story (Cassava Republic, 2010), the first runner up of the 2011 NLNG Prize for Nigerian Literature. She was also contracted by Cassava Republic to write a children’s series; Double Trouble. Currently the curator of Laipo Reads, a platform for writers, artists, poets, dancers and musicians, Olofintuade is also a freelance journalist.

How often do you compare notes? We compare notes after meals. We come here together, have breakfast, lunch and dinner together. In the evening, we sit and discuss our work in progress. Although Yewande is a bit reticent about what she is writing and she doesn’t talk much about her work but Apophia, Rukayat and I usually discuss our work. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to rub minds with other writers and for them to give you feedback. So what you do is essentially eat, write, sleep? Rukayat: We also read.

Ayodele: We work with the kids. What kind of work? Apophia: We are acting with them a play. Ayodele: And they are directing the play. There is this guy called Yancash, fantastic guy. How are you coping with the food? Apophia: That is one of the challenges I’m having. What do you eat in Uganda? Some of the foods are the same like rice and spaghetti, but the way we prepare it is different. So I don’t take pepper and all the food in Nigeria is full of pepper. What are the other challenges Apophia? I find Nigerians warm, receptive so I haven’t had any major challenges. I have learnt a lot from them. Yewande, are you having the same challenge as Apophia with the food? Ayodele: No. She can swallow everything, amala, eba, she’d say, ‘Ayodele, where is the market by the way?’ It was a fantastic experience the first time we went to the market to buy bush meat. Yewande: Maybe I shouldn’t open my mouth because anytime I do, bush meat trebles in price. Ayodele: She understands Yoruba and I don’t think she has a problem. We also went to Ikere Gorge.


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Critics

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Special Report

When Alaafin took Yoruba culture to Dubai FEHINTOLA A ZEEZ AREMU

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or the Yoruba in the South-West region of the country, one thing that has become a burning issue of recent is the promotion of the culture of a nation which has its people beyond the confines of the African continent and has been regarded as one of the dominant ethnic groups in the world. This resuscitation is not, however, limited to those within the country alone as those in the Diaspora have taken it upon themselves to not only promote the culture of the race but also see to its development. Thus, when an assemblage of Yoruba people from over 26 countries recently gathered at the Palace Hotel, Burj Khalifa Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the Yoruba in Diaspora International Convention between March 14 and 16, it was aimed at resuscitating the past glory of the race. The convention, with Yoruba professionals and technocrats in attendance, had as its theme, Resuscitating our Past Glory. It could not have come at the better time than now with happenings all over the world and it provided an opportunity for the people of a race so rich in culture and human resources to dig trenches in far away Middle East to discuss Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), which is a document being promoted by state governors in the South-West geo-political zone. The aim was actually to infuse a road map tagged, Yorubaland Development Agenda based on the experience garnered over the years from other nations by Yoruba intellectuals, professionals and business men and women into a wholesome worldview acceptable to the geo-political zone. Declaring the convention open, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, resplendent in Yoruba attire of Aso Oke who marvelled at the state of tranquillity and developmental progress attained by Dubai in a short space of time which has turned the city into a huge world trade centre. Oba Adeyemi said the SouthWest region had similar experience early in her practice of culturalisation which ensured her rapid growth and development. The first class monarch added that the region was a pacesetter in the fields of broadcasting, print journalism, banking, sports, accounting, law, medicine and engineering, saying, “till date, the South-West region is one of the safest areas in Nigeria to live in”.

ALAAFIN OF OYO DESCRIBES THE SOUTH-WEST REGION AS ONE OF THE SAFEST AREAS IN

NIGERIA TO LIVE IN

Oba Adeyemi, while enjoining investors present at the convention to seize the opportunity of peace pervading the South-West region to invest in the area, maintained that the pace setting of old is still achievable today given the fact that every governor in the region shared the same ideal of regional integration, appealing that this ‘sense of responsibility’ should continue to prevail. He explained that protection of the Yoruba heritage should be paramount on the minds of all Yoruba indigenes whether at home or in the Diaspora, calling on the participants to protect and defend the Yoruba language because any tribe or community that rejects its language is heading towards extinction. On her part, the Iyaloja of Oyo Kingdom, Chief (Mrs.) Orija Adesoye charged the participants to view and fashion out an all encompassing development plan for the Yoruba race which will be relevant to its traditional tenets. Various speakers at the convention who were mostly international experts presented papers involving developmental issues ranging from food, water, housing, literacy and vocational to energy, environmental and waste management. Indeed, the main thrust of the convention was geared towards taking immediate advantage of the assurance given by the international experts to develop Yorubaland to similar standards as seen in developed countries of Europe, America and Asia without taking any money from the governors of the SouthWest states or people of Yorubaland. Foreign experts who made presentations at the convention included Mr. Lamar Nathan Jensen, Founder and Chairman of Worldwide Holdings Ltd.; Dr. Sidi Larbi Cherif, Executive President World for World and United Nations NGO; Dr. Ulrich Hatiner, CEO, LLC, Director of Developing Markets in Africa and Mr. Sun Seek Cho, Managing Director, Eco Green Energy, LLC. Jensen in his paper spoke of a wide range of assistance his organisation which operates in over 50 countries can offer, maintaining that the experience of his organisa-

Film REGINALD EBERE

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he first time I shot a movie in Asaba, Delta State was for my ministry Christ Embassy. I was surrounded by a group of Christian, very disciplined young men and women who had no moral issues nor were they inclined in any way to abuse the liberty and the testosterone/ oestrogen-filled headiness that normally seems to accompany filmmakers like a sex-crazed mob of female groupies will accompany dirty rockers everywhere. In that first trip, I fell in love with the ancient but quietly emergent city that was on the verge of rediscovering itself. That love was so strong that I considered relocating my family there. Don’t blame me; I am normally a victim of sudden emotional impulses that always seem to get me into trouble. Thank God my wife quashed the idea.

The second time, I went to shoot one of my movies. I‘d heard of good locations, cheap priced hotels and hardworking, professional crews, not like the indolent fat cats we have in Lagos. I wanted to take advantage of all that. What someone did not tell me, however, was that Asaba had also become home to semi-prostitutes, parading themselves as artistes and an accompanying band of very young pimps who ran production shifts and sold sex for pennies to immoral libidinous directors and producers. What I didn’t discover then was the whole truth. So, last week, the idea of Asaba came up again and I put up a blog post that has elicited some very serious reactions. Suffice it to say that everybody seems to think that my going to Asaba to work is a very bad idea, major reason being that there is a massive stench of corruption coming from this pristine town. That oozing fermentation seems to be coming

L-R: Mr. Salim Muhammed, Dr. Layo Adeniyi, Mr. Jensen of World Wide Holdings, Oba Adeyemi and Ayaba Adeyemi at the convention in Dubai

tion will rub off positively on the economic front not only in Yorubaland but also in Nigeria as a whole in order to accomplish substantial needs of humanitarian benefits. And while responding to a question posed by the Legal Secretary of the conveners, Barrister Abiodun Olopade, Jensen emphasised that all the developmental projects agreed on at the convention will be carried out at no cost to the governments and people of Yorubaland, disclosing that about $50bn has already been earmarked for the projects by international agencies. The Chairman of Worldwide Holdings, nonetheless demanded from conveners of the convention an enabling environment devoid of rancour for the foreign investors, stating that the current world situation demands that we should all believe in four things namely; live a fulfilled life, love one another, learn new things/concepts and leave behind a legacy after departing this world. Seek Cho on his part spoke about a new scientific venture of producing hydrogen from water; a venture that he believed will be of immense benefit to the subregion. He stated further that his organisation has the ability to recycle oil with hydrogen oil power plant to generate more than enough electricity for the SouthWest region of Nigeria, explaining that the entire process is pollution free and environmental friendly. After fruitful deliberations spanning three days, the convention in its communiqué called on the six state governors of Yorubaland to facilitate as a matter of urgency the take -off of the projects proposed by the foreign investors who have decided to choose Yorubaland as a destination for investment. Also, the Alaafin of Oyo was asked to approach the Federal Government of

Asaba: The shame of out of Nollywood. Before now I’d heard stories of directors and producers who would demand that female artistes buy them laptops and iPads before giving them roles. What is bad in that you may ask, well nothing really but those female actors are also required to sleep with them for as long as the production lasted and finally, they are also required to pay certain amounts of money to get roles. Sums as huge as N20,000 nay, even N50,000. Now did I say finally? Forgive me because the list goes on. If these unfortunate female artistes are to be accommodated in the production camps, they are also required to pay as much as N10,000. Now, I know that dirty linen is not supposed to be washed in public especially

in Nollywood and some of my colleagues will nearly send Boko Haram insurgents to assassinate me for what I am revealing since we keep denying the sexual harassment going on in Nollywood. But I have found out that if we do not wash our linen in public, sometimes the stench will kill us in private and Reginald Ebere has never been known not to speak his mind. I have names and I can mention them with hard facts but I refrain from pushing the walls down because I believe broken walls can be mended. What is going on in Asaba is sordid; which is the reason why half baked, illiterate, uncouth, insulting and sometimes utterly stupid productions are coming out from that enclave of sin and depravity.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics

Friday, April 12, 2013

23

Festival

Aesthetic strokes of the child’s mind As the winner of the 2013 Vision of the Child painting competition emerges, the conversation tilts towards what a child visualises about Nigeria’s future and how, in spite of the current bleakness, the creative fervour burns even in the youth. VANNESA OBIOHA

C Nigeria for an aviation license for the proposed Oduduwa Airlines which the foreign investors want to start immediately. Interestingly, the Oyo monarch has taken this issue as a personal challenge assuring that he would liaise with the six South-West governors and other stakeholders to ensure that the scheme comes alive soon. The participants similarly agreed to open Oduduwa Trade Missions in some advanced countries in order to forge economic cooperation between states in Yorubaland and the United Arab Emirates in general and Dubai in particular. Other points of interest arrived at the convention include intensification of security checks on the menace of religious intolerance to ensure adequate safety in Yorubaland. It is noteworthy to say here that investors at the convention (which will be holding annually) harped on the fact that they have enough financial muscle to embark on the various projects that they pushed forward but with one proviso that the South-West region and Nigeria as a whole provide them an immediate en-

abling environment to ensure safety of their investment. Oba Adeyemi held an intense closed-door meeting with the international experts saddled with the responsibility of executing the projects assuring them that he will keep South-West governors abreast of developments at the convention and that projects will be on first-come first-served basis. The convention was however not to be all work as the participants took time out to unwind with a popular fuji artiste, Saheed Osupa Akorede dishing out melodious tunes that kept participants on their feet from Friday night till the early hours of Saturday morning. Leaving the city of Dubai with its sprawling and magnificence edifices, the general sentiment was delight that Yoruba in Diaspora had chosen a beautiful place to brainstorm on the resuscitation of the past glory of the Yoruba race with the hope that next year’s convention will more fruitful. Prince Aremu is the Chief Press Secretary to the Alaafin of Oyo and Permanent Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs.

Nollywood ASABA HAS BECOME HOME TO SEMIPROSTITUTES, PARADING THEMSELVES

olours, easel, brush and a creative mind was all it took young Precious Tiamiyu, a nine-year-old student of Legacy Preparatory School, Shasha, Lagos, to emerge as winner of this year’s Vision of The Child painting competition sponsored by Diamond Bank. Out of the 189 students scouted from 400 schools, between the ages of 8 and 12 years, Precious stole the night away with his captivating and thought-provoking painting piece themed sad faces of Nigerians. Vision of the Child, VOTC, painting competition is one of the highlights of Lagos Black Heritage Festival, LBHF, which seeks to develop the creativity of the young ones based on their perception and observation of happenings in the society. Though formerly an adult art competition, the organisers with the support of the Lagos State Government shifted its focus to children. The 2013 event was a bit different and more challenging for the young ones who were scouted from different primary and secondary schools in Lagos. Apart from the herculean task of searching for budding talents in the Lagos metropolis, the theme of the painting competition, The thousand and One Faces of Corruption, was unknown to the contestants till late January. Out of the 189 students who initially entered the contest, 32 were selected for the final contest out of which six finalists were chosen. It was beyond amazement to view beautiful paintings of these children as they tried to capture different facets of corruption in their work of art, which exhibition was of from March 25 to April 1, spanning the duration of the LBHF. With colours and brushes, the young artists made

strokes depicting the effects of corruption in the country. From money looting by fraudulent politicians to the examination malpractice in educational institutions, the young ones proved to the audience that they are fully aware of the decadence of corruption in the society and the conundrums it created as well. Not only did they draw attention to the multifaceted menace, they were able to capture the implication of corruption on Nigerians. It was from this theme that nine-year-old Precious would emerge as the overall winner of the painting competition. In his painting, Precious Tiamiyu, combined colours in a delicate blend with intricate sketches of gloomy faces, depicting the sad plight of Nigerians. Using green as his predominant colour, he captured the tone and theme of his artwork in a melancholic manner. During the exhibition at Freedom Park, guests marvelled at the creativity of these young ones in their paintings. This was also affirmed by one of the judges, the former commissioner of Culture and Tourism in Ondo State, Tola Wewe at the high-octane Gala Night Award held at Oriental hotel, Lekki. Describing the children’s paintings as masterpieces, he further expressed his astonishment at how the children captured the theme of the painting contest. “Children are masters because their reality is pure. What really baffled me was the way they tackled the task which shows that they are current with what is happening in the country”. He expatiated on the criteria by which the panel of judges arrived at their decisions. The judges were made up of professionals such as Mr. Tunde Afolayan , a professional artist based in North Carolina and Chief Nike Okundaye, a re-

nowned artist and CEO of Nike Art Gallery. “The best paintings were picked considering the way the participants handled the technical properties of the subject matter and the aesthetic qualities of the paintings. We were able to arrive at our judgment by selecting the best 10 which all the judges agreed on. This enabled us to reduce the 10 to six after putting a lot of things into consideration and also score them. Each of us scored the six individually and we found the average mark”. However, Nobel Laureate and festival consultant, Prof. Wole Soyinka was opposed to the judges view, lauding the children’s paintings as masterpieces because he felt it would make them less challenged. Nevertheless, he commended the children for their aesthetic paintings and advised the public never to underestimate the power of a child’s mind. Diamond Bank, sole sponsor of the painting competition, at the event reiterated its continual support towards the Vision of the Child project as one of its corporate social responsibility which seeks to create a platform to empower the children to actively participate in societal issues. Each of the 32 participants of the competition was rewarded with gift packs from Diamond Bank and a kiddies account too. To venerate the six finalists, the cash prize for this year’s event was also doubled. In addition, literature writer, Jimi Solanke who read one of his poems Ogun from his book Ancient and Modern Tales at the event gave each of the participants a copy of his book. And the memorable event came to a close with hip-hop artiste Olamide thrilling the kids some of who danced with him on stage. Ms. Obioha is a Lagos-based freelance journalist.

AS ARTISTES AND VERY YOUNG PIMPS WHO RUN PRODUCTION SHIFTS It is time for the heads of our different guilds to go in there and clean the place out instead of sitting back in Lagos fighting over who will be part of the next dinner with ‘Oga at the top’ and issuing communiqués about how to share the N3bn largesse from President Jonathan. If we do not act quick enough we will soon find that we all

will be drowned in this morass of moral decadence. It is what somebody has that he gives. If we build an industry that is peopled by thieves, pimps and whores, we will continue to produce movies that will corrupt our children and our society. I will shut my mouth for now. Mr. Ebere is a veteran Nollywood filmmaker and scriptwriter.

Prof. Wole Soyinka (3rd left) presenting the winner’s cheque to Precious Tiamiyu as Erelu Abiola Dosunmu admires the winning painting


Indigenes of Bwari community of a celebratory event.

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PHOTO ROTIMI OSASONA

Inside FCT

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Cheap sex’ hits Abuja villages MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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any prostitutes in Abuja have now opted for the city’s satellite villages as a result of ‘low patronage’ in the city. Inside FCT’s investigations in recent months showed that most local brothels in the capital now shuffle between the Municipal and its several satellite towns to conduct their businesses, mainly at night. The practice, however, is in sharp contrast with the policy of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, which prohibits prostitution in the nation’s capital. Following the directive too, the FCTA, in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, has empowered many rehabilitated sex workers in the city after they were apprehended by officials and subsequently trained on different small-scale businesses with take-off grants. Inside FCT findings revealed that charges for services in the villages are much cheaper than what obtain in the Municipal. The charges per ‘service’ range between N500 and N2000 –one service occurs within few minutes to one hour, while a night with a client goes for N3000 to N5000 in the villages. One of the commercial sex workers in Nuwalege, a village along the Airport Road, who refused to give her identity, said she had been into the business for three years. “I go from the village to the city daily; most night I don’t get as much as I think I should get. Sometimes, I come back home with nothing. I discovered that I rather spend the night in the village; in the village, men look for us all the time. It is only that the charge is very low compared to what we bill customers in the city”. She stressed there was very low patronage in the villages during the hot season; “because most of the men do not come to us as a result of the heat”. In Kubwa, prostitutes’ porches are found throughout the main markets surrounding buildings. Charges range between N500 to N2000, depending on affordability of the client and ‘size’ of the brothel. Maryland Hotel, among many others, is a popular hotel at Idu, Abuja. Sex workers hang around the hotel to scout for ‘customers’ every night. In every nook and cranny of the village are hook shops where the brothels operate. Speaking with our reporter, one the prostitutes at Karmo who identified herself as ‘Vic’, said: “There is no good job anywhere. Many of us you see here are educated. I can reliably tell you that very few of us would like to do this

Sex workers waiting for ‘paying customers’ at night

FOR MANY OF US SEX WORKERS, WE BELIEVE IT IS A TRADE THAT HAS COME TO STAY IN THE SOCIETY type of work. When we started it, like me for instance who got into it five years ago, we didn’t know we would be this long in the trade. But, after few months of doing the business, you see that nothing happens to you if you can take care of yourself very well. “There are people in our family who are expecting money from us because they think we are in the city and money should be flowing everywhere. We have siblings in school who keep disturbing us for money. So, by the time we do it three or four times and we get some money; it will be hard for one to stop since we are making a living from it”, Vic added. Further justifying why she has remained in the business, the young lady said: “For many of us sex workers, we believe it is a trade that has come to stay in the society. Go on the internet, even some adverts using pornography are all over the place. We don’t feel ashamed like before again,” Vic said confidently. Within the capital city, Gimbiya, Area II is considered the nerve centre of prostitution. This is the area of the city, according to Inside FCT’s finding, where the largest number of sex workers gather at night. Every late evening, there are also clusters of the ‘ladies of the night’ around the popular Transcorp Hilton, Zone 4, among many others. Charges by these ladies range between N10,000 to N50,000 per night. Bakassi village (Area One – Apo Roundabout) is the headquarters village of prostitution in the Municipal. One thing that distinguishes these ladies from other members of the public is their sexually provocative dress mode and ‘come-hither’ gestures. They wink their eyes, twist their hips and could easily seduce whoever glances at them. With their attention-grabbing strutting up and down the roads, bars and inns, they are ever ready to feast on any sex-thirsty individual. What is more interesting about FCT prostitutes is that there are many well-to-do ladies among the lot who only ply their trade in the city; never in the ‘cheap’ villages. This set made fortune from the sex business but are into it because ‘we just love the fun’, according to one of the ladies who confided in our reporters.

Under the bridge at Area 1 is a black spot for nefarious activities

Bag snatching CHIDI UGWU

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s the population of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, continues to grow, the consequence of the population explosion, no doubt, has increased criminal activities. Many residents now go about their daily activities making conscious effort to be aware of other activities around them following the rise of bag snatching during rush hours in the city. Hajia is a staff of one of the government agencies and lives in one of the slums along the Airport Road. As a nursing mother, she wakes up early in order to catch up with the agency’s staff bus. On this particular day, according to her, “I woke up by 5.00 a.m. and after my usual daily chores, I set out to be on time for the staff bus. “As I moved to the road to await the bus, a young man came out from the bush and before I knew what was happening, grabbed my bag with the intention of dashing away. I held on to him, though he was holding a knife, I did not leave the bag and started screaming. I dragged the bag with him for about three minutes and when he realised my screaming was attracting attention, he left the bag and took to his heels when he noticed some movement around”, she recounted.

Hajia admitted she was probably lucky while noting that hers was not the first of such incident in the area. Inside FCT later gathered that bag snatching had become almost a daily occurrence in many parts of the city. An Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court recently sentenced one Ibrahim Yusuf, 22, of no fixed address, to nine months imprisonment for attempting to snatch a woman’s bag at the Central Business District, CBD. Magistrate Aliyu Shafa refused to give the convict, who pleaded guilty, an option of fine, saying that the punishment would serve as deterrent to others. Earlier, police prosecutor, Francis Tanko, had told the court that the matter was reported at the Wuse Zone 3 District Police Station by Aminu Musa of the Yahuza Suya Spot, Central Mosque Area, Abuja. Tanko said the complainant sighted the convict attempting to snatch a hand bag from a car belonging to a woman, who was driving on the Central Mosque Bridge. He also said that, during investigation, the convict confessed that he had been snatching ladies’ bags at the same spot. The prosecutor said that the convict committed the offence of theft and causing a public nuisance, contrary to the provisions of Sections 95, 287 and


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Inside FCT

Friday, April 12, 2013

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FCT parents lament proposed scrapping of NECO, JAMB IJEOMA EZEIKE

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on the rise in FCT BLACK SPOTS FOR BAG SNATCHING

MOSALASI JUNCTION, CLOSE TO THE NATIONAL MOSQUE AND

INCLUDE

UNDERNEATH THE

AMAC

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE 183 of the Penal Code Law. A motor parts dealer in Kugbo, who would not want his name mentioned, narrated his sister‘s recent ordeal with bag snatchers. “My sister intended to travel to Gwagwalada and set out early in the morning to beat the hold up along Mogadishu Barrack. As she waited for a bus by the roadside, she saw two boys moving towards her and quickly sensed they meant harm, so she braced up herself for any ugly incident. “When the boys got to her, one of them pretended to ask for direction but as he did, the other tugged at the bag that she had transferred from her shoulder to her hand, but she resisted”, he narrated. According to the parts dealer, what saved his sister was the arrival of a man who noticed what was happening and intervened causing the hoodlums to abscond before completing their wicked intention. Many of the residents spoken with also confirmed the rising incident,

but called for caution on the part of residents when leaving home. Also commenting on the rising cases of bag snatching in the city, the chief executive officer of Our Saviours’ Security Agency, Mr. Jerome Mbah, cautioned residents, especially ladies to always be at alert while they are moving on the road. “Leaving your guard down can open the door for bag snatchers, who see an easy way to grab a bag dangling from a shoulder. They grab and run before you even have time to realise that your bag has just been stolen”, Mr. Mbah said. According to the security expert, there are precautions one can take to discourage bag snatchers. He said: “Leave your purse at home. Carry necessary items (ID and money) in a wallet, tucked safely in your pocket. If you don’t have pockets and or there are additional items you prefer to carry, such as makeup, keys and a phone, consider putting them in a bag that wraps around your stomach and can be hidden from view, or a backpack strapped around both shoulders so that it can’t easily be snatched. Further investigations by our reporter revealed notorious black spots where higher cases of bag snatching are recorded. They include Mosalasi Junction, close to the National Mosque, under the bridge at Zone 1 and underneath the AMAC pedestrian bridge (popularly called ACO Bridge). The junction by Bolingo Hotel was also notorious for bag snatching, but police has stemmed that by setting up a permanent check point there.

hen the news of the Federal Government’s plans to scrap the Senior School Certificate Examinations, SSCE, organised by the National Examinations Council, NECO, and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, organised by the Joints Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, broke last week through online and other conventional media channels, parents, including those in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were jolted by the development in view of the potential negative implications for their wards’ educational endeavours. However, most of the parents spoken with by our reporter believe that NECO should not be scrapped, but needs absolute and standard monitoring to make it more efficient. Mrs. Chinyere Iloh, a mother and civil servant, said; “scrapping the UTME will give more powers to universities in the conduct of entrance examinations. She also said this may lead to exploitation by universities who may sell entrance examination forms at exorbitant fees. “I’m afraid that scrapping UTME will make admission into higher institutions more difficult for students”, she lamented. Speaking from a different viewpoint, Mr. Victory Igho said “I don’t think NECO is at fault if the government is claiming NECO is incompetent. I would blame it on the overall falling standard of education in Nigeria which needs to be addressed. “We all know that the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, is of higher standard, but we should not fail to remember that the headquarters of WAEC is in Ghana where no nonsense is accepted”, Igho added. According him, NECO and JAMB should be left to continue their normal roles with close supervision.

HERE IS A COUNTRY WITH MASS UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEM AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SCRAPING ALREADY EXISTING STRUCTURES A parent, who wouldn’t want his name in print having previously worked closely with one of the affected agencies, said scrapping the examination bodies would deny students different choices of examinations in their efforts to secure admission to tertiary institutions. He said: “With the establishment of NECO, students who failed the WAECorganised exam could easily take other options. NECO has been a good alternative examination for students and scrapping it would return monopoly to WAEC. My appeal to government is to reconsider the scrapping of this examination body; NECO had been very helpful to students who failed in their first sitting”. The man described the proposed scrapping as ‘arrant nonsense’. “Here is a country with mass unemployment problem and we are talking about scrapping already existing structures. Again, we should not forget that WAEC is written before NECO and that gives room for improvement in the latter”, he stated. However, some parents who were in support of the government’s decision said that NECO is worth scrapping as a result of the low standard with which it operates, blaming the administration which created NECO in 2000. One of such parents noted that ‘candidates who passed NECO could not pass WAEC; is that not ridiculous?”, she queried rhetorically.

Chances of tertiary education for these students in an Abuja school may hang on the proposed scrapping


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Mirror Mongers

Friday, April 12, 2013

Exposing the powers in Nollywood

Being born more than once

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vents in the past few days are vividly justifying the assertion that Nigerians have two dates of birth: the official and the real. Beginning with the former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, who is now an evangelist of God, his former coach ‘confessed’ that he aided the player to conceal his real age, while he was playing professional football in Europe. What could have been shocking was the fact that at 40, the defender was claiming 28 and playing like a 24-year-old; a miracle that can only happen in Nigeria. However, something in this mode is playing out in Edo State, where Governor Adams Oshiom-

‘Repugnant and derogatory’ debate in Bauchi

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here are agitations that women should be availed more positions of authority, which is why the present government headed by President Goodluck Jonathan is targeting 30 percent of the positions for the women. But in Bauchi State, something else seems to be happening, especially if your debate at the House of Assembly is ‘repugnant and derogatory’. Sometime last year, the Bauchi State House of Assembly began deliberations towards effecting changes in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which recognises Tafawa Balewa

hole is currently in the spotlight over what his real age is. Last week, some friends of Governor Oshiomhole rolled out the drums to celebrate his 60th birthday on the premise that the governor was born on April 4, 1953. But a few days after the bash which took place at the Edo State Government House, some forces in the state are accusing the governor of ‘not knowing his age’. According to them, they have a document where the governor swore an affidavit that he was born on April 4, 1952. The group is now wondering why the governor, like Taribo, has more than one date of birth. But the governor’s aides are calling them ‘political detractors’.

Town as the headquarters of the Tafawa Balewa Local Government in Bauchi State. The proposal was to move the headquarters to a town called Bununu, which is peopled mainly by Muslims, but the representative of the Bogoro Constituency, Rifkatu Samson Danna, the only female and Christian member of the House of Assembly debated against the relocation, which got the Speaker, Alhaji Yahaya Maya angry. His next action, MM gathered, was to refer Mrs. Danna to a Committee which classified her debate as ‘repugnant and derogatory’. This offence earned her an indefinite suspension since September 2012 without salary and security. The question being asked about Bauchi headed by Isa Yuguda is what Danna’s error is: her sex or her religion?

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Njubigbo

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he reward of stardom is an endless list of good things: endorsement deals, free product supplies, juicy contracts and friendships at the corridors of power to mention but a few. But the journey can be tasking. At the onset of the movie industry, new actresses were

lectured about hard work and talent, but the goal post seems to have shifted in recent years. From the era of nudity, which brought to the fore actresses like Halima Abubakar, Shan George and Cossy Orjiakor, the trend now seems to be invoking the power of spiritualists. But how effective this is remains a mystery. The story is that the actresses now have this habit of visiting one spiritualist in a town called Awain in Edo State to seek powers. MM gathered that the fact that some popular actresses have been spotted there was what gave the man credence amongst upcoming ones, who are equally thronging the place to seek powers for stardom in spite of their bad carriage and diction on set. An actress like Nuella Njubuigbo, who has been linked to the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi has gone a step further by exposing her fellow actresses in a movie that is in the works called Jujuwood.

Shades of Thatcher reportage

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ews is indeed all about headlines and deadlines, which is why every news outlet targets to be the first with the news, especially in this age of digital media. Similar to what happened when the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, went on air with the news of Nnamdi Azikiwe’s death in 1991 which later became false, news media in some locations of the world gave NTA something to cheer about in terms of reporting the death of former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher who passed on Monday. In Taiwan, CTi Cable, while reporting the death showed footages of very living Queen Elizabeth while on a state visit recently. In the UK, the home of the former Prime Minster, Guardian published the date of her death as 2010 (instead of 2013) while the BBC reported that she

ONE-SECOND Q&A

The ‘strike’ obituary

The ‘belated’ obituary

died as a result of ‘strike’, not stroke. Such mistakes are not peculiar to Nigeria after all.

JUDE AGBASO

Jude Agbaso, the former Deputy Governor of Imo State is still challenging his impeachment by the state’s House of Assembly on allegations of demanding and receiving N458 million as bribe. He reacts to the issue: Who owns the bank account the N458 million was paid into?

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Agbaso

went to Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and got a certified copy of the list of the directors of the two companies. The names of the directors suggest that they are from the northern part of Nigeria. The three directors of Three Bothers Concepts Nig. Ltd. are Lawal Abdullahi, Umar Abubakar and Yakubu Abdullahi. That of IHSAN Bureau De Change Ltd. are Abdullahi Tasiu Maikano, Inuwa Sabo, Haruna Said and Musa Sule. I am not in any way related to the companies. I am not among the directors and shareholders of the company and I am not in any way linked to them. None of my friends, relations, associates is linked to the companies or to those related to the banks. I never requested for any drink from the contractor. The contractor came to me and told me that he returned from abroad and gave me a Blue Label whisky as a gift. I accepted the drink because it is common in African culture to accept such.


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadal Al-Awwal 31, 1434AH Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Call to Worship

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

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ith millions of people going on Hajj every year, the Saudi Arabian authority has been managing the crowd and doing more to ease traffic. Nigeria can do the same if the country’s leadership is purposeful and focused. Mr. Abdul Gadier Al-Jabarti, the head of the Hajj Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), declared that the Mashair (Holy Sites) Train has undermined the traffic on the roads by replacing 30,000 buses. Al-Jabarti said the ‘Mashair’ Train has effectively reduced traffic at the holy sites. It is estimated that the project undermines 30,000 buses since its completion. The train project is only operating at 35% of its whole capacity at the moment. When completed, it will be able to transport 70,000 pilgrims an hour. The train service is also being used in the Umrah and Ramadan seasons to transport pilgrims to Mecca from stations close to their residences to King Abdulaziz Street and from there to the central zone by bus.

Behold Hajj’s train service

Hajj’s train service

Quiz Corner debuts

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How natural are you 28

Boko Haram’s claim is unIslamic 28

An alternative reading of the Gospels CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK n the past Myrrh was used by many cultures for religious ceremonies and as a healing agent. It was mentioned in the Bible as a gift at the birth of Christ. The Egyptians believed in its healing powers: they burned it every day as part of their worship rituals. In the Greek culture when soldiers went to battle is was an essential part of their combat gear because of Myrrh’s extremely high antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used to clean wounds and to prevent infection. It was also used to prevent the spread of gangrene in already infected parts of the body.’ Numerous interpreters have argued that the above herbs were used in the process of

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Every Friday with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya embalming or that they were rubbed on the body of the deceased as per the Jewish custom of the day. However, embalming was not a Jewish custom, as it involved cutting the body and the removal of the internal organs, something abhorrent to Jews. It is true that Jewish burial customs did involve the rubCONTINUED ON PAGE 30

Al-Hujaaj /Markaz Dawah holds 2013 Qur’anic Competition 29


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Call to Worship

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ust look at her, almost everything she has used to beautify herself has denied her natural identity ¬artificial hair (be it human or horse mare) artificial nails, the eye lashes are removed and the spot painted in green or any other colour in vogue, multi-coloured eyelids, the lips are not spared of offensive lipsticks, the teeth are reset and multicoloured cheek. In fact, the trend is such that she could have jumped out of her clothes and be stark naked if not because she still has an iota of natural desire to cover the shame in her. Her body is not spared, she bleaches. She later progresses to do surgical operation to tone her skin and for bust enlargement. This, she has to maintain with exorbitant and exotic creams. Where she could not maintain the continuous use of the cream, her body slumps into obnoxious odour. She will again incessantly find rescue in perfume and deodorant. Whereas, in the animal kingdom,

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadal Al-Awwal 31, 1434AH Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How natural are you THEY LIVE BY THEIR INSTINCTS AND NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT IS CONTRARY TO THEIR NATURE they maintain their very nature without recourse to anything artificial. They live by their instincts and never do anything that is contrary to their nature. These women undergo untold agonies, pains just to look admirable before men and other women. They sit for hours setting their hairs in a saloon while enduring the heat of the drier. Some, according to Malcom X, burn the flesh of their scalp with ‘lye’ so as to cook the natural hair. What is the aim? To look like the Caucasoid.

Is it not a crime to mutilate what God has created?” In an attempt to beautify, they end up uglifying themselves. A black woman with coloured lips and hairdos (wigs)! Where is her sense of identity? She becomes haggardly looking. Instead of concealing their blemishes or figures with decent and modest clothes, they wear what tightens and suffocates their bodies; they apply outrageous makeup and uncover their bodies from the shoulder joints down, from the navel to the waist and from the thighs down. One wonders then what remains of their nakedness. Women have become men! They wear male attires ¬trousers, shirts, and shorts - and actually appear like

them. I wonder how a lady clad in a tight fitting trouser will ease herself in an open land while travelling in the company of men. Today, if you want to know whether a woman is responsible or not, you need not go too far, just look at what she wears, there you will find the credentials of sensibility or insensibility, responsibility or irresponsibility. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

How does the use of Hijab disturbs learning?

Boko Haram’s claim is un-Islamic

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bu Hurairah mentions that people said to the Prophet (Pbuh): “Messenger of Allah, a certain woman stands up for prayer at night and fasts during the day, and does many a good thing and gives money for charity but she offends her neighbours with what she says.” He said: “She is not a good person. She is one of the people of the fire.” They said: “A certain woman prays only obligatory prayers and gives little for charity but she does not offend anyone. The Prophet said: “she is one of the people of heaven.” (Related by Ahmad, Al-Burkhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad and others) We have said it severally that our neighbours have a claim to be treated kindly by us. The Prophet established kind treatment of neighbours as an intrinsic value. Indeed, true Muslims always aspire to maintain this characteristic on a very high level. During the time of the Prophet, all such moral values were well defined, since people tried to excel one another in everything that earns reward from Allah. It was only natural that this attitude would weaken as time passed by. Muslims should always be ready to show kindness to their neighbours either the person is a Muslim or not. A neigh-

bour’s claim is very real indeed, that a person who has been denied it in this life may claim justice from Allah on the day of resurrection. He would not have been able to do so, if his claim was not a very serious one indeed. Indeed, the Prophet viewed a bad neighbour as one of the worst things a person may have to endure in this life. He did not want any of his companions to be a bad neighbour. We can enhance our standing with Allah by being kind and hospitable to friends and neighbours. This is something every person should be keen to achieve and not killing innocent souls. Because of the importance of good neighbourliness, people make inquiries about their neighbours before they move into a certain area. Indeed, when neighbourly ties decline so badly, good actions become of little use. Acts of worship do not earn enough reward to compensate for bad neighbourliness. That stresses beyond any doubt the importance of good-neighbourliness and good social behaviour. Sheikh Abdul Ganniyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jubatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society Of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

Director of Studies, Lagos Ministry of Education, Alhaji Muftau Quasim (right) handing over a cheque to one of the beneficiaries of the Companion Zakat distribution recently.

Muslim students playing during school hours in London

L-R: Alhaja Muibat Abdul-Salam presenting a deep freezer to Sakirat Oseni while Alhaja Alli Oluwafuyi was giving a beneficiary, Fatimah Akinwale, a set of industrial machine during the Companion Zakat distribution.


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Friday, April 12, 2013

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadal Al-Awwal 31, 1434AH

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Al-Hujaaj /Markaz Dawah holds 2013 Qur’anic Competition SEKINAH L AWAL

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igerian Muslim youth have been urged to take proper correct Quran memorising as an important step in their development as it is a good start for them. Making this plea in Lagos was the Founder of Markaz Dawah Ventures (MDV), Alhaji Qamardeen Ajala at the 5th annual Quranic memo-

rization competition and fund raising for Wole-Ola programme on MITV, in conjunction with Al-Hujaaj International Umrah and Hajj Services, held in Lagos on Saturday April 6th, 2013. According to Amir Ajala, it will be a good beginning for the youth to memorise the whole Quran because once they are able to do that, learning every other thing will be easier for them. He enjoined youth to

shun all forms of violence as witnessed in the BokoHaram saga now and channel their efforts at things worthwhile like the proper memorization of the glorious Quran and other field of study like medicine, Islamic finance and accounting etc. According to him, Muslim youth must strive and acquire pristine Islamic knowledge alongside other field of human endeavour adding that Boko

Haram group has nothing to do with Islam. Also speaking, the overall winner of this year’s competition, Sodiq AbdulFatai commended Al-Hujaaj International Umrah and Hajj Services and the Chairman, Alhaji Abdul-Jeleel Animasaun and Amir Ajala for their dawah efforts as well as the judges too for their openness and transparency in choosing the winners

L-R: Dr. Luqman Jimoh of Lagos State University; the overall winner of this year’s competition, Sodiq AbdulFatai and founder of Markaz Dawah Ventures , Alhaji Qamardeen Ajala while Alhaji Abdul-Wasiu Obisesan gave one of the winners his cash prize at the 2013 annual Quranic memorization competition.

Companion distributes Zakat to needy

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n Islamic organiza- Zakat payers in future. hospitals and Islamic Cler- Companion for coming to his tion, the CompanHe maintained that Za- ics who have specialties in aid financially to offset part ion, an association kat purifies the wealth of of the school fees he owes, demonic possessions. of Muslim men in business the rich so as to foster unity, “Zakat would afford the praying that the association and professions, has dis- progress and oneness among underprivileged to get more will continue to grow from tributed about N2.5 million the Islamic faithful and as opportunities and better strength to strength. Anworth of items and cash to a way to bridge the gap be- their lot in the society. When other beneficiary, Fatimah some of the less-privileged tween the rich and the poor. there is love between haves Akinwale, who studied Mass in the society. “Allah mandated the rich to and have-not, there will be Communication and decide No fewer than twenty ben- remove 2.5% of their net in- less tension and friction in to go into fashion design was eficiaries benefited from the come as Zakat annually.” the society and we can be given complete set of induseconomic empowerment, edDelivering his lecture on sure that the level of crime trial sewing machine. Others ucation, welfare and medical demonic attack in Islam, the will be reduced.” went home with cash gifts support gesture of the asso- Guest Speaker, Dr. Luqman One of the beneficiaries, ranging from fifty-one hunciation. Speaking at the event Jimoh of Lagos State Uni- Kolapo Mutalib Olajire, a stu- dred and fifty thousand deheld at the Lagos State House versity said that Zakat is an dent of Architecture, Olabisi pending on their needs while of Assembly’s Mosque, instrument to bring love and Onabanjo University, who some were given tools for Alausa-Lagos. The National unity in the society at large. was given a cheque of One their trade like deep freezer, President of the Companion, He called for collaboration Hundred and Fifty Thou- fabricating machines among Alhaji Tunde Popoola called between Psychiatrists in the sand naira, appreciated the others. for more contributions from members and well-meaning Muslims in order to enhance future distribution of Zakat noting that the society would be better for it. Alhaji Popoola said that there should be more enlightenment on the importance of Zakat, calling for the assistance of the rich among Muslims to assist the financially-challenged and indigent people. He urged the beneficiaries to avail themselves of the privilege of being among the few selected applicants and judiL-R: The National President of the Companion, Alhaji Tunde Popoola; Director of Studies, Lagos ciously utilize the Zakat so Ministry of Education, Alhaji Muftau Quasim; a beneficiary and Lagos Naibul-Amir of the Companthat they will also become ion, Alhaji Nojeemdeen Jimoh during the Companion Zakat distribution.

of the competition and enjoined Muslim youth to continue to do more in terms of learning. Sodiq AbdulFatai, a 100-level student, Chemistry department, University of Ilorin, Kwara-State emerged the overall winner

of the senior category with a prize of Hajj ticket and money. Incidentally, Muhammad- Sodiq AbdulFatai came second last year with 90 and half points. Many other winners went home with various cash prizes and gift items.

Ahmadiyya holds conference on moral training

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he Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria, hold its 2nd Northern region Jalsa Tarbiyyat conference on moral training, from today till Sunday 14th April, 2013, at the Abuja Central Mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (AMJ), Nigeria, at Plot 579, Independence Avenue (behind Honda Place), Central Area, Abuja. The theme of this year’s conference is, “The Attainment of National Peace & Security Through Islam”. The Amir of the AMJ, Nigeria, Dr. Mashood A. Fashola will deliver the keynote address on the conference theme. According to Dr. Yaqeen Habeeb, Naib Amir North, the conference is part of the Jamaat’s effort at educating her members on Islam’s perspective on the contemporary challenges of our time, particularly,

the security situation in the country. It also provides the Jamaat the opportunity to educate members as well as other Muslims on their rights and obligations to their Creator (Allah) and responsibilities to humanity and society at large, in addition to promoting the spirit of friendship, good neighbourliness as well as spiritual and moral rejuvenation. The Jamaat humbly invites Nigerians to participate in the conference with a view to benefiting from the wealth of experience and knowledge of speakers that have been carefully selected to present papers at the conference. Participants are expected from all branches of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat throughout Nigeria, especially those in the northern region.

Hajj: FCT establishes registration centres AMINAH IBRAHIM ABUJA

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he FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abuja has designated three centers for the registration of its intending pilgrims for this year’s hajj. A statement from the Public Relations Officer of the Board, Muhammad Lawal Aliyu said the creation of the centers follows the introduction of Unified Pilgrims’ Electronic Registration System by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for the 2013 Hajj. Also, the Board has mapped out strategies to use biometric system in the registration of its intending pilgrims for the 2013 Hajj operation. Already, staffs are undergoing computer training at the headquarters of the board to enhance their knowledge on the usage of electronic system for the success of the exercise. The statement advised

intending pilgrims who have the intention of performing Hajj through the board this year, to immediately obtain their e-passport as it would be demanded for during registration which is expected to commence soon. It also disclosed that they would be required to indicate the flight they prefer to join during the airlift as those who deliberately miss their flight would be sanctioned by the board. Similarly, female intending pilgrims must present their mahram (male guardian) from the registration point before they would be registered at any of the centres. Sequel to the new biometric registration system, the board emphasized that it would not entertain payment or registration by proxy as computers would be used to capture the photograph and thumbprint of each of the intending pilgrims.


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadal Al-Awwal 24, 1434AH Friday, April 12, 2013

Ogun State Coordinators, 27th National Qur’anic Recitation Competition, organised by Centre for Islamic Studies Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto Zamfara State, Ustad. Abdul Lateef-Bashir; Ustad. Akewugberu Aliyyu; Ustad. Jubril Sanni; Alhaji Showole Abdul Wasiu; Ustad. Alongbenga Abdul Kadri; Alhaji Owolabi Harun and Bro. Abdul Ganiyyu Babalola, during the competition in Zamfara recently.

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L-R: Hajia Kafayat Ajala; Alhaja Mariam Ajala; Bilal Ajala; Alhaja Hafsah Obisesan and Alhaja Rofiat Obisesan at the 2013 annual Quranic memorization competition.

Principal, Ansarudeen Girls High School, Alhaja Risqat Yusuf (right), handing over a cheque of one hundred thousand to Zainab Salami, a student of Ibadan Polytechnic during the Companion Zakat distribution.

Cross section of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria members that participated at the 27th National Qur’anic Recitation Competition.

L-R: Female participants, Hafiza. Amotu-Quddus Ariyo; Hafiza. Amotu Haqqi Sanni; lecturer, Mrs. Rafiat Olayinola; Hafiza. Amotu Salam Babalola; lecturer, Mrs. Monsurat Akewugberu; Hafiza. HibatulHadi Adigun and Hafiza. Amotul-Majeeb Ahmad, during the Competition in Sokoto.

L-R: Guest of Honour, Alhaji Hassan Ibrahim; Chairman Lagos State Island Private Proprietors, Alhaji Oseni Yusuf; representative of Green House, Basit Yusuf; and Chairperson of the occasion, Alhaja Basirat Dikko, during the presentation of the grand prize to the Green House team leader at the 4th Fadl-I-Omar Islamic, Nursery, Primary and Secondary School inter-house sport in Lagos recently. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

An alternative reading of the Gospels CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 bing of oils on the deceased, but this was for cleansing purposes; the bodies would have been washed, and the use of ointments and herbs to aid in the washing may have been applied, but never aloe and myrrh, which were very costly and not used as cleansing agents, but rather as medicines. Other uses of spices and herbs were for the scent: Josephus, a first century Jewish historian, speaks about Herod the Great’s burial; that it required 500 of his servants to carry the spices to his tomb. But again, these were never applied to the body, rather they were burnt: ‘You shall die in peace. And as spices were burned for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so men shall burn spices for you and lament for you, saying, “Alas, lord!”’ For I have spoken the word, says the LORD.’ There can be no other explanation for the application of such a large quantity of these healing herbs being applied to Jesus (as), other than to heal his wounds and stop the bleeding. Thus, the two disciples who took away Jesus’(as) body knew that he was still alive and had planned his rescue, they brought along with them large amounts of herbs and medicines to wrap Jesus’(as) body, to stop the excessive bleeding and aid the healing. Once the bleeding was taken care of, Jesus (as) was then placed in an airy tomb owned by Joseph. On the following day, the chief priests and Pharisees came to Pilate and asked him to place some guards at the tomb. It has been suggested that they feared the disciples might come and steal the body and then claim that he resurrected from the dead. However, this suggestion is absurd as it would not be a concern for anyone, even if the disciples did steal the body, what were they to do with it? If they claimed Jesus (as) had resurrected the simple question of ‘where is he?’

would have put a stop to the claim. The real reason the priests asked for a guard seems to be that even they doubted that Jesus (as) had died; the duration of the ordeal and quick ‘death’ raised their suspicions and as such, they wished to have men guarding the cave in case the disciples came and aided Jesus (as) from the tomb. In the end, Pilate agreed to place some guards, nevertheless they could not stop God’s plan of saving Jesus (as). The facts relating to the period before crucifixion as well as the facts of the crucifixion itself and after it, as related by the New Testament, indicate that Jesus (as) did not go on the cross willingly; in fact he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene to be saved from the ordeal planned by the Jewish priests and he displayed utmost faith during the trials. Alas, his prayers were answered. God’s plan unfolded as reported in the Gospel texts themselves; Jesus (as) was drugged, displayed signs of life, was wrapped in medical ointments and finally placed in a tomb where he could recover. Although he was challenged and taunted on the cross by the Jewish priests ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe’, in the end, his prayer was answered, his claim to be the Messiah was proven true when he did come down from the cross alive, as the Holy Qur’an attests: And their saying, `We did slay the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no definite knowledge thereof, but only follow a conjecture; and they did not convert this conjecture into a certainty. On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.


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Arty News

Friday, April 12, 2013

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PSquare, May D delight at ‘Purple Party’ TERH AGBEDEH

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ast Saturday, PSquare, May D, Chuddy K and the Team Quba dance group, among many other performers were a delight to watch at the Purple Party organised by GlaxoSmithKline to launch Ribena in cans held at the Landmark Village, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos. From the moment guests stepped onto the purple carpet, it was fun all the way including a dance competition by men and women picked at random. The comedian Buchi held the party together as the evening built up to the launch of the vitamin C-rich drink. Guests also won prizes while playing the video games, card games and table soccer at the party. With a rich history, Ribena has over the years evolved from concentrate format in glass bottles to the ready-todrink pack formats available in 150ml, 288ml and 1 Litre Tetra Packs, 500ml

PET bottles and now the most recent introduction is the 330ml can format. GlaxoSmithKline’s Marketing Manager, Innovations, Mr. Winston Ailamoh, who was at the party, said that for the past 75 years, Ribena has been providing fruity goodness for its esteemed consumer to support healthy growth. “When you say Ribena what comes to mind for most of our target is that it is for kids. But Ribena has gone beyond that years ago”, he said. He explained that Ribena is relevant to every member of the family, ‘from cradle to old age’. “The Tetra Pack format is for kids, the pet is for the upwardly mobile and the young at heart. The one in the bottle, the concentrate, is for the mums and grand mums to mix at home at the table and share with the family. But our consumers still want an experience of that fruity goodness in a fizzy format. That is what necessitates Ribena in cans”, he said. On the motivation for the party, Brand

May D, flanked by dancers, performing at the Purple Party

Manager, Ribena, Mr. Olawale Akanbi said it is Ribena’s way of connecting with its vibrant and active consumers. “Our target market is the young, vi-

brant and upwardly mobile individuals who require the fruity goodness and cool refreshment only Ribena can provide”. Akanbi stated.

Race to crown Idol winner peaks

One Mgnt presents ‘Party in the Sky’

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omorrow, the Nigerian Idol studio will heat up as the two finalists, Moses and Deby Rise battle for the coveted title of Season III winner alongside a packed and entertaining show to keep audiences fully engaged. For the live show holding in Lagos, an interesting line up of guest artistes has been revealed. The koko master, D’Banj is expected on stage for a show stopping performance, while organisers are keeping close to chest the likelihood of the multi-award winning act doing a duet with Moses. Also, West African Idol’s 1st runner up, Omawumi, a afro soul diva in her own right, will grace the stage in her first Idol appearance since she contested. And lastly, one of the judges, the renowned Afrobeat artiste, Femi Kuti takes to the stage as well. To add to excitement, the top 12 contestants, including evicted contestants and finalists will re-unite one last time for performance and Season II’s winner, Mercy Chinwo will be serenading the crowd like she did the whole of Season II. Organised by Telecommunications company, Etisalat and hosted by, radio presenter and music artiste, Ill Rhymz, tt has been five months since the hunt for the ‘Voice of Tomorrow’ took Nigerian Idol 3 to five cities across Nigeria, namely Benin, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Abuja and Lagos. The judges, Yinka Davies, Jeffrey Daniels and Femi Kuti, will sit back tomorrow to watch as a winner emerges taking away the ultimate prize of N7.5m, a brand new SUV, Galaxy Tab, Blackberry and iPod, all courtesy of Etisalat Nigeria.

ADENRELE NIYI

Chidinma

Dipp

eading event and entertainment outfit One Management Ltd. is putting together a unique event tagged ‘Party in the Sky’. The event, a music and comedy concert, is being staged at a yet-tobe-disclosed upscale and unconventional location on the mainland on April 30, the eve of May Day. Some of the acts confirmed for this spectacular epoch making event includes Wizboy, Ebisan, Provabs, Weird MC, Dipp, Chidinma, LKT, Styl-Plus,

X-Factor: Battle for N24m begins

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uditions will begin this weekend in Port Harcourt in the world’s number one music singing talent reality TV show, “The X Factor”, brought to Africa for the first time by telecommunications company, Globacom, which is making history as the first company to bring the show to Africa. X Factor is a Reality TV singing competition designed to find new talents. It is contested by aspiring singers, drawn from public auditions and is open to all ages, sex, styles, solo acts or groups. The other stages of the competition include the auditions, in front of an audience; the evictions; the judge’s day and the grand finale. It has been successfully launched in major countries including UK, the United States, Albania, Ar-

gentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Spain. Head of Reality Shows of Globacom, Sulyman Bello, said in a statement issued in Lagos that auditions to select those who would participate in the show would be held at the Presidential Hotel, Aba Road, Port Harcourt, from Saturday April 13, to Sunday, April 14. The X Factor crew will move to the Federal Capital City the following week for the Abuja auditions which will take place at Sheraton Hotel on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21. Bello stated that the Lagos auditions would come up on the weekend of May 25 and 26. It will be held at Dream Studio, Ojodu. The ultimate winner of the show will cart home a princely sum of $150,000

Owen G, Koffi, Elenu and several yet to be announced African international headline acts. In a statement released from One Management’s Head of Events, Yomi Abdul, he said; “In line with our objectives as a company, we aim to provide innovative event and entertainment platforms delivering experiences like no other. Our choice of the mainland for ‘Party in the Sky’ is to reward teeming fans of the entertainers who over the years kept faith with them with an event that will forever be on their lips and on their minds”.

(N24million), the biggest purse among current music reality TV shows. The winner will also get a recording contract with the internationally acclaimed Sony Music for the recording of an album and professional management of the winning individual or group. A major difference between the show and others is that the judges also double as coaches for the various groups. It is peculiarly split in stages, following the contestants from auditions through to the boot camp, the judges’ homes; to the grand finale. According to Bello, “This year marks the 10th anniversary of our operations and this programme is, in part, our modest way of thanking our subscribers for their loyalty and patronage”. Accra and Kumasi in Ghana are also scheduled to host the auditions. The X Factor, a Syco-owned format, is produced and distributed worldwide by FremantleMedia.


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Escape

An view of Junibacken exterior at night

JERRY ADESEWO

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here are very many places of interest children around the world would wish to visit whenever they have the opportunity of a summer holiday. Top on that list would be Junibacken, a children’s museum and an attraction centre in Sweden populated by Pippi Lonstockings and other fictional characters from Astrid Lindgren’s books. Upon arrival at the Junibacken as part of the International Media Tour of Sweden on Child’s Rights and Exclusion, sponsored by the Swedish Institute, we were conducted on a guided tour of this magnificent initiative now branded Sweden’s House of fantasy play. Junibacken will no doubt be any child’s delight, especially the story train which takes every visitor on a journey through the fabulous stories written by the famous Lindgren and introduce visitors to other fictional characters such as Alfie Atkins, Festus and Mercury, and Mulle Meck, who all came alive as the journey proceeds. On entering Junibacken, you are

The children’s library

Friday, April 12, 2013

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Inside Sweden’s house of fantasy play first of all confronted by the Story Book Square, an open arena, from where you are taken directly into a world of fantasy. We walked around the square into an exhibition space where you can play, climb and have fun with every item on display. The theme-train ride was a sheer delight, the narrator’s voice, which our guide later informed us was the voice of Lindgren herself, the music, the lights, sound effects, the fantastic tableaux and the atmosphere combined to give a memorable journey which ended at the Villa Villekulla; home of the strongest girl in the world, Pippi Longstockings. Here, visitors can paint, draw, play hopscotch, dress up in Pippi’s costumes, ride the slides and raise Pippi’s horse, among other things.

Also, there is the Junibacken Gallery which houses the exhibitions of Bjorn Berg, Ingrid Vang Nyman and Ilon Wikland. These are three artistes widely known for their illustration of Lindgren’s most dearly loved characters like Pippi, Karlsson and Emil. A large and well-stocked bookstore is where the journey finally ends. The children’s bookstore offers a wide range of quality books for young readers. There is also music, games, clothes, toys, cuddly toys, cards and posters of all sorts, from the world of children literature. The museum also includes among other things, a theatre space fully fitted with lights, sounds and other technical requirements of the theatre, where tour-

Story Book Square

ing kids either watch a performance or put up their own show after a tour of the museum’s other facilities. Addressing the visiting team after the tour of the museum, Head of Public Relations, Jenny Helldahl explained that the whole idea of the museum which was opened by the Swedish Royal Family on June 8, 1996, is to stimulate the reading culture. “This museum is dedicated to Swedish children literature, especially Astrid Lindgren. And the idea is to give the children such memorable experience that would keep them asking for more, especially going back to pick their books and read because they don’t know what book character they could encounter the next


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Escape

Friday, April 12, 2013

33

Travel News

Robben Island’s glory, infamy revisited digitally

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Outside Pippi’s house, Villa Villekulla

time around”, she said. Jenny added that “Junibacken has become quite popular across the Scandinavian and the rest of Europe. We are open to the public everyday of the week, except Mondays, The museum has had such great impact on the development of children literature and literacy at large, in Sweden”. Personally, I felt like a kid touring the museum and my thoughts were how such an initiative could be replicated in Nigeria, especially at a time when the nation is doing everything possible to improve both the reading culture and the literacy level. I look forward to an Abuja Children Museum, where a carefully selected collection of children literature by various authors –dead and alive– can be stored, to provide the kind of Fantasy that Junibacken offers in Sweden. I, thereby, call on the Minister of Women and Children Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina and Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike to consider revisiting the long abandoned National Children Library on Ralph Sodeinde Street, Central Business District in Abuja and ensure that it is completed and stocked with the right materials and initiative that would make it attractive to Nigerian children. On the other hand, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja is blessed with an array of land and so it will not be out of place if the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed would pay a visit to Junibacken Museum and replicate same in Abuja. This would not only be a worthy legacy to bequeath our children but as in Sweden, would become a source of attraction for tourists – both children and adults – from across the African continent and the world at large. One advantage that ours can have is the benefit of the rich African heritage that can be blended into this brilliant initiative.

Theatre session with some visiting children

FACT FILE •

Junibacken Museum was founded by Saffan Gotestam, a Swedish actor, director, theatre chief and playwright

It is situated on the Island of Djurgaden, right at the heart of Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

The museum was built with funds donated by Swedish entrepreneurs but now partly funded by the Swedish Government.

The museum is devoted to Swedish children’s literature, but especially Astrid Lindgren. Outside the building is a bronze statue of Lindgren

With a minimum of 40,000 visitors annually, Junibacken is the 5th most-visited tourist attraction. Its bookstore, remain the largest children bookstore in Sweden.

Pippi Lonstockings is a popular fictional character in a series of children’s books by Swedish author and screenwriter Astrid Lindgren and adapted into multiple films and television series.

Lindgren died in 2002 at the age of 95. She is the world’s 18th most translated author and has sold roughly 145 million copies worldwide.

The Kingdom of Sweden is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, bordered by Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Øresund.

At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of about 9.5 million.

Swedish is the official language of Sweden and is spoken by the vast majority of the nine million inhabitants of the country. There are five other minority languages - Finnish, Tornedals Finnish, Sami, Yiddish, and Romany.

The Arlanda Airport in Stockholm is Sweden’s most important airport. There are over 30 others, including military and private airports.

multimedia project, Mandela 27, which aims to highlight social events that influenced change in South Africa and Europe during the former South African president’s 27 years in prison, will bring the tales of Robben Island to life digitally as part of a new international campaign. Already, thousands of tourists visit Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island, a UN world heritage site almost 10km from the mainland. The project will draw on cultural links between South Africa and Europe during the apartheid era and is estimated to cost about R5-million (US$539 000); part of the funding will come from the EU. Mandela 27 partners are the Robben Island Museum, Britain’s Coventry University, the European Union’s Cultural Programme, Belgium’s Creative Stories project, and Elderberry, a content developer. was launched at Cape Town’s gateway to Robben Island and

Mandela’s travelling prison cell

Most of the stories will be told through an interactive website with a map interlinking events of activism in South Africa and Europe. There will also be a video game that will be used as an educational tool to teach children about the island and anti-apartheid activists. Letters, poems and stories from the former political prisoners written between 1960 and 1990 will be exhibited at the Robben Island Museum Gateway at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town’s working harbour, one of South Africa’s most-visited destination, and also on Robben Island. There will also be a travelling threedimensional reconstruction of the prison cell where Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years behind bars. The replica of the cell will be a low-budget affair made of plywood but will feature information panels and multimedia exhibits. The travelling cell is likely to be displayed in schools, libraries and museums. The video game is described as a serious game in the style of a graphic novel and not purely for entertainment. Based on interviews with former prisoners, it features five recurring elements of life in the remote jail: prisoners were not allowed to see children; they craved physical activity including football; education was a key pursuit; communications were heavily censored so that messages had to be

Aerial view of Robben Island

smuggled and hunger strikes were used to make existence bearable. The game and other digital components will be ready by February 2014, while the cell will start travelling in May 2014. The game is being developed by South African students with help from the Serious Games Institute based at Coventry University’s technology park in the United Kingdom.

Cultural lesson for born-frees

The initiative comes 19 years after the end of apartheid, as a “born-free” generation – those young South Africans born into a democratic nation – deals with 21st century concerns rather than looking back on its history. Elderberry’s David Powell said the target audience was 16- to 25-year-olds as the events took place before they were born. But, he added, players should not expect to find themselves in the role of Mandela himself as it was more likely that anonymous characters would be used.

The untold tales

Jacqueline Cawston, the programmes director at the Serious Games Institute, stayed on Robben Island for three days during her research and insists the story of the cultural events has not been told. “The way that we’re telling it will be engaging to an audience that hasn’t read history books and weren’t alive at this time”, she said. “The whole point of the project is to get the message out there. This graphic novel will depict life as it was on Robben Island”. Sibongiseni Mkhize, the museum’s chief executive, added: “This comes at a time when we are trying to improve the manner of how we tell what happened at Robben Island”. He said the project was about sharing untold stories of those imprisoned on the island for their political activism. It was also a way of creating inter-cultural dialogue internationally and sharing knowledge. “All those things were political. The poems, songs were a way for the political prisoners to get their message outside”, Mkhize said. “We want to tell story of not just Mr. Mandela, but the values which he and other political prisoners shared on Robben Island”. There were plans for a reunion of former prisoners on the island later this year. Mandela, who was recently in hospital for tests, had not been consulted about the project but his foundation was aware of it.


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

denrele@nationalmirroronline.net Follow on Twitter@MizNiyi

E

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dark side of Nollywood

mbrace it or be repulsed by it; detest it with every fibre of your being or be slavishly under the spell of pornography and live in denial of this attraction... whatever the penchant is, one irrepressible truth is that Nollywood has discovered the dark side of the movie industry –pornographic film making. Would you mind me revealing another eye-popping fact? It is not a ‘malaise’ exclusive to our burgeoning film industry. Around the world and in top-rated film making capitals of the world like California, Berlin, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and London, the adult film industry operates in its secluded but vibrant sphere, churning out ‘hit productions’ and making stars out of those whose job it is to get naked and have sex with the passion of a consummate actor interpreting his or her intricately-woven role. From the commercial standpoint, pornography is big business. In 2001, Forbes (yes, the same Forbes that ranks billionaires such as Aliko Dangote, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) released statistics which revealed ‘the US Porn Industry grosses between $9 billion and $14 billion annually’. A margin still maintained till date, making the US the lead nation in the adult film industry. The down side..? Besides the obvious occupational hazards, one of which is stigmatisation (imagine a porn star’s child in school on parent’s day where networking and applying work skills sometimes come to bear *rolling my eyes*) and risk of sexually transmitted diseases –although the industry has rules and medical standards it adheres to religiously, the actors are at the bottom rung of poor compensation for all that skin they show. Now, if you can wrap this basic truth around your head, then permit me to get on to other issues. Systematically and gradually, porn film actors, directors, are leaving their corner of ‘shame’ and ‘disrepute’ to mingle with civil society, at least outside Africa, and no one is killing anyone or passing a stern legislative bill to ban pornographic content from Nollywood (judging from the anti homosexual bill, inevitably, we’re heading that path shortly). Heck, even Marc Jacobs, one of the world’s top fashion designer and a brilliant one at that if I must add, is dating a Brazilian porn star and the lovebirds make uninhibited public appearances together. However, situating the pornographic dilemma properly on home soil, the blanket belief is that some things are alien to African culture (i.e. unAfrican) and simply unacceptable. If you are one of those who hold this view, for your blood pressure sake, jettison the mindset sharpsharp. The very reason

CLAPPERBOARD with

FROM THE COMMERCIAL STANDPOINT,

Eddie Ugbomah www.edifosafilm.com

PORNOGRAPHY IS BIG

BUSINESS... GROSSING

$9 BILLION AND $14 BILLION

BETWEEN

ANNUALLY –commerce– which birthed Nollywood and propelled her to become the leading film industry in Africa is the same force behind the slowly emerging adult film industry. Already, Ghana’s Ghollywood is churning out soft porn movies like rabbits on heat under the most incredulous and tactless names –Hot Fork, Adult Only, Doggy Style. Nollywood, not to be beaten to its pioneering status, has jumped into the fray with gusto recently releasing Room 027 and advertising the screening of same to be held privately attaching telephone numbers to ‘call to book a seat for the screening’. How does any of these develop or improve our industry? As far as my mind can compute, not in any clear-cut manner. Conventional Nollywood is struggling to find its commercial rhythm and build enduring structures of film distribution; introducing adult films into this present melee will definitely whittle down the considerable mileage neo-Nollywood stakeholders have achieved thus far in organising our film industry. So, I’m appealing to the money hungry directors, fame-desperate starlets and wanna-be studs- please cool your raging libidos because Nigeria is not as porn friendly as other parts of the world. You’ll be making too many enemies on your way to financial empowerment – starting from your own household, and be assured, infamy is sure to dog your every move. Whatever you do, please don’t close this newspaper until you’ve read a piece on Asaba and pornography, written by Reginald Ebere, one of Nollywood’s veteran filmmakers and directors. See Critics on pages 22, 23. Love and peace for the weekend.

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Things must not fall apart again – a film

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his essay is for the attention of David Mark, Oronto Douglas, Doyin Okupe and Reuben Abati (who will give you his card and will not take calls or reply emails). I am sorry for all our political leaders; the Emirs, Obas, Ezes and activists who never saw Nigeria in the book There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra. Did anyone in the entire North or South-West suffer in that Biafra war? If they had gone through the atrocities, we would not be in this situation of terrorism, kidnapping, militancy and other crimes like bunkering and pipeline vandalisation. We watch Pakistan, Syria, Israel, Burma, Congo, Mali and others like far away jokes; we don’t take them serious. Political leaders and senior advisers should call the attention of Mr. President to the country’s drift into anarchy and doom. I foresaw the oil crisis in 1978 when Yakubu Gowon said that money was not our problem but the problem was what to do with it. What actually did past presidents and heads of state do with our oil money? Nothing! just talk. I bought the pirated copy of Achebe’s book in the traffic jam, when I got home reading this book as a writer and film maker, I was visualising the book. It was horrible there was a lot of massacre, pain and death; nobody should pray for this again. The country right now needs a ‘shock’ film or documentary from this book and other books about the war. This is not a war of ethnicity or for proving who is right or wrong. Many lives were lost because of the personal pride of leaders. I am begging the Federal Government to quickly give out N300m to shoot a major docu-drama that will shock all of us and help us think twice. I did not want to read this classic of a book before because it literally became Yoruba and Igbo debate, but being a Nigerian, I am happy I bought a copy. We always ignore things in Nigeria until lots of harm has happened. When I produce my film **Dr. Oyenusi**, people only saw the movie part not the warning against criminals and guns everywhere after the war. The Igbos knows the effect of the Biafra War and nobody should pray or allow such to happen again. We have seen the effect of war around the world. I pray that anybody that reads this essay gives it to a friend, neighbour, colleagues and family. I am warning all of us now with one finger; if ignored I will open my palms and laugh loud with my fingers pointing out. The hardest thing to experience is reading a well written book and visualising its contents. This book must be made into docu-drama spread to schools, churches, mosques, market women, constituency, towns and villages.

THE HOLOCAUST COMING TOWARDS

NIGERIA MUST BE AVOIDED; THE FILM WOULD BE USED TO SHOCK US OUT OF ANY WAR IDEAS My problem now is that whenever bad things happen to people in entertainment, they run to me. A daily newspaper (not National Mirror) carried a false story that the President had sold National Theatre to the Sharks to become a hotel, shopping mall and bank complex. I took my pillow and mat to go lie there protesting, when I met the General Manager of National Theatre, Kabiru Yusuf who showed me letters from the President and Minister of Tourism and Culture, Edem Duke detailing a concession of the land around theatre. The land will be advertised in national dailies and investors will lease the land for ‘X’ amounts of years. The developers will pay for the land and some amount to help develop the theatre; they were not selling it. The President has said he can never do anything to hurt or to annoy the Nigerian artiste. I was downcast by the newspaper story and I quickly called my friend who works with the newspaper asking that they try to verify stories. My appeal is that editors should take care of sensational stories their reporters file just to cause some confusion. These kids will use me to fight their course and afterwards, the same ones will call me names. My essay last Friday gave some of them stomach upset. I even told some of them to take purgative because I will always be factual, sincere, honest and don’t care whose ox is gored. Even terrorists have the effrontery to ask for amnesty. The National Theatre is here to stay; ‘Uncle Sege’ tried to sell off the place but we protested. Now, President Goodluck, don’t let people cause fight between you and your friends– the artistes. My headache is how to make the theatre more artists inclined. The halls are the best in the country all thanks to the G.M. and his team. I am pleading once more to Igbo film investors to sponsor the docu-drama called Things Must Not Fall Apart Again. The Holocaust coming towards Nigeria must be avoided; the film would be used to shock all of us out of any war ideas. Nobody must pray for Syria, Israel, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Congo or Mali-like problems.


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People In The Mirror

Friday, April 12, 2013

35

Edaoto’s Critically Speaking debuts in Lagos

Fulbright Fellow, Erica Jacqueline Licht reciting her poem Hand to hand combat

Last Friday at the Alliance Francaise (French Cultural Centre) YabaLagos, the debut album Critically Speaking by musician Edaoto was presented to the Afrobeat music loving public. It was a gathering of the musician’s many friends and family who felt that the album was a long time in coming. There were live performances from the artiste and guest artistes. Edaoto performing with his band.

A cross section of guests.

Spoken word poet, Bob Ekat performing his poem ’95 years’

Singer Seyi Solagbade making a presentation. L-R Veteran actor, Dele Osawe; outgoing programme officer for Alliance Francaise, Ghalem Louali and Edaoto.

Akeem Lasisi (L) and writer, Folu Agoi.

Performance poet and journalist, Akeem Lasisi, performing his song/poem Eleleture with singer Kabira.

Yoruba rapper Pelumi Baba thrilling the audience.

Cape Town Jazz Fest wows audience The 14th Cape Town International Jazz Festival set Cape Town on fire last Friday and Saturday night with superb jazzists; Jill Scot, Jimmy Dludlu and a host of over 40 artistes wowing the crowd. Jazz lovers locally and internationally marked the two nights of the festival on their diaries and this year, the crowd packed at the five stages were thrilled as usual.

Zonke Dikana

Jill Scot

Thandiswa Mazwai

Dubmarine

Jimmy Dludlu PHOTOS: TERH AGBEDEH


Friday April 12, 2013

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Mirror Drive

STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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arried over for the 2013 model year, the Cadillac CTS Coupe is powered by a 3.6-litre V6 engine that produces 318 hp, for a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds. A 6-speed automatic transmission, mated to standard RWD (AWD optional), enables the CTS Coupe to achieve an EPA estimated 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The features include 19-inch wheels, power sunroof, premium audio with surround sound, rear camera display, DVD entertainment system, leather seats, navigation and LED tail lamps. Safety is comprised of blind zone alert, adaptive forward lighting, StabiliTrak, advanced airbags, antilock braking system (ABS) and tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The current year model comes with a style and improved safety system that allows driving with every aspect that makes a car stunning as well as protect at the utmost. It is the style-focused, two-door variant of the mid-sized CTS luxury sedan. It combines the luxury and distinctive appearance one would expect of a Cadillac with a healthy dose of sportiness. The CTS coupe rides on the sedan’s wheelbase, yet is about two inches shorter in height and two inches shorter in overall length. It eschews a conventional B-pillar for coupe styling, and interestingly, loses its door handles for push-button entry similar to that offered on the Chevrolet Corvette. The front fascia features some detail changes compared to the CTS Sedan, such as enlarged openings for the brake cooling vents. The rear fascia adds a centreexit exhaust and unique diamond cut-style mesh lower grilles. Standard on the CTS coupe is the sedan’s optional 3.6-litre direct-injected V6, which produces 318 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. A standard six-speed automatic helps the car return achieve 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway using regular unleaded, while an six-speed manual increases driver involvement at the cost of slightly worse fuel economy (16/26 mpg). The CTS Coupe comes standard with rear-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, a performance suspension, rear parking assist, a Bose audio system, power front

2013 Cadillac CTS Coupe:

Where design meets performance THE 2013 CADILLAC... ALLOWS DRIVING WITH EVERY ASPECT THAT MAKES A CAR STUNNING AS WELL AS PROTECT AT THE UTMOST seats and keyless access with remote start. The CTS Performance Collection adds adaptive Xenon headlamps, leather upholstery, an upgraded Bose audio system and a 40 GB hard drive for music storage. Topping the base CTS Coupe is the CTS Coupe Premium Collection, which includes ambient lighting, navigation, a rear-view camera, ventilated front seats, a moon roof and a heated steering wheel. For those looking to add a sporty touch inside, 14-way Recaro sports seats from the CTS-V sedan is an option. All-wheel-drive is available as a traction-enhancing option for northern climates, though only with automatic gearbox. Appearance The regular CTS Coupe is unique in its styling, a wonderful and unmistakable example of the current state of Cadillac’s “Art and Science” design language. It looks smaller than it is, and it is already pleasantly compact. The -V treatment for the coupe is much the same as is given to the sedan –a unique front clip with mesh upper and lower grilles, a noticeable hood bulge to fit the supercharged V8 in place of the smaller V6,

and flared wheel arches to better fit the differentiallysized 19-inch Michelins (P255/40 ZR19 front, P285/35 ZR19 rear) on alloy wheels. Comfort Here, too, the -V builds on the standard CTS, with Cadillac design language at its highest specification. It is appropriately conservative with excellent fit and finish and use of materials. The seating position is lower than in the sedan, for a more “in the car” feeling. It is a fine office for the business of serious driving. Safety The CTS-V Coupe is a real coupe, so there are blind spots, but no worse than other cars of the genre. A blind-spot warning system is standard, watch for lit icons in the outside rear-view mirrors. Correct setting of those mirrors minimises any rear-view issues anyway. Parking safety is aided by the backup camera, as the high tail does limit close rear vision. There’s no rear wiper, but once up to speed aerodynamics take care of any rain there. The unibody structure is designed and built to protect passengers, there is a full complement of airbags and OnStar telematics can provide emergency assistance. What can go exceedingly fast should stop just as well and to that end strong antilock Brembo ventilated disc brakes with six-piston callipers in front and fourpiston callipers in the rear do a more than admirable job. Ride and handling Some other manufacturers have recently crowed


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Mirror Drive

Friday April 12, 2013 and “Sport”. For everyday use and even spirited street driving, Tour is just fine. Body roll is minimised by stiffer damping as necessary with good ride comfort on poor surfaces. Sport is stiffer and more appropriate to smooth roads or tracks. The -V builds on the regular CTS’s independent short-andlong arm front, multilink rear suspension architecture, suitably beefed up for the demands of the extra power and contact patch. Steering effort is just right for optimum control and easy low-speed manoeuvrability. Performance The 556 horsepower sounds and is impressive. It is also completely civilised, at least at low rpm, under 3000 or so. You could easily just short-shift

Interior

about their use of magneto-rheological (MR) shock damping like it is a new invention, but Cadillac has been using and refining that for 20 years. Magnetic Ride Control uses electronic sensors and damper fluid that changes viscosity with the application of an electromagnetic field to actively and continuously change damping rate depending on road shock strength and driver desires. The two driver-adjustable settings here are “Tour”

Hyundai launches free car care clinic STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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yundai Motors Nigeria is extending its services and free check-up to a larger number of customers at a free car care clinic to avail local patrons of Hyundai exceptional car care experience. The week long exercise titled ‘Free car care clinic’ will for the first time allow customers to access Hyundai’s after sales service experience at nine different Hyundai authorised service centres across Nigeria. The extension started this Monday. According to the management of the auto company, the Lagos centres are in Ijesha and Gbagada while customers outside Lagos can access Hyundai centres in Abuja, Kano, Sokoto, Owerri, Enugu, Port-Harcourt and Calabar. Speaking on the programme, the Head, Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motors Nig. Ltd, Mr. Jatin Nadkarni said, “We at Hyundai understand the evolving needs and preferences of our customers and we are very optimistic we will receive an overwhelming response to our ‘Free car care clinic’”. He said the objective of the campaign was to provide the best of products and services to customers and also enable them to enjoy value-added experience. A comprehensive maintenance exercise, Hyundai free car care clinic routine maintenance exercise is offered by Hyundai dealerships worldwide as part of Hyundai Motors Corporation global policy on car care as well as providing new values and experiences to yet more customers through unique ways. Nadkarni said the exercise will not only reassure customers of the dealership commitment to the brand, but offer a comprehensive 50 point check-up and a thorough examination of the engine, transmission, electrical system, under-body, AC and exterior among others. He added that Hyundai customers can also avail attractive discounts of up to 10 per cent on parts, 15 percent on labour, free diagnosis and oil top-up as well as other value added services. Also as part of this initiative, Hyundai Nigeria is organising a training programme on ‘Do it Yourself ’ at the respective service outlets to help customers understand the principles of car care and how best to keep their cars in peak shape. The programme will include regular and routine inspection of car, tips on managing emergency situations as well as driving tips and safety features.

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at 3500 and feel completely happy with the CTS-V’s ability. And driven like that, fuel economy is almost reasonable. But if that is what you really want, get the regular CTS… this one builds power right to the 6200 rpm redline, with the maximum at 6100. Torque is where the 6.2-litre supercharged and intercooled aluminium alloy OHV V8 excels - 551 lb-ft at 3800 rpm and plenty down lower for a the sort of healthy midrange torque that makes shifting optional. But the precise linkage and well-chosen ratios of the six-speed manual make its use a pleasure. Clutch effort is moderate despite the torque involved, this is not an Italian body-building machine. Fuel economy is not a reason to buy this car -- EPA estimates are 14mpg city and 19 highway, probably accurate for gentle use.

Škoda sales increases by 6.8%

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ith 939,200 vehicles delivered, Škoda Auto again achieved a new sales record in 2012. In comparison to the previous year, the deliveries worldwide increased by 6.8 per cent (2011: 879,200). Škoda’s sales revenue simultaneously increased by 1.7 per cent to a new record of 10.4bn (Euros). With 712 million Euro, the operating profit was stable at a high level. Simultaneously, investment by the company increased by approximately 46 per cent to 832m (2011: 568 million). With eight new or revised models, the year 2013 reflects the model offensive of the Czech vehicle manufacturer. “In 2012, we consequently continued the Škoda growth strategy”, said Škoda Chairman of the Board of Management, Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland during the annual press conference in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic. “We have achieved a new record for the sales and turnover, expanded our model range and further strengthened our position in the international automobile markets. We have invested in new models and capacities, as well as maintained a largely stable operating profit at a high level in a difficult economic environment. For 2013, Škoda will relentlessly continue its ongoing model offensive. In this year, the Czech company is launching eight new or revised models onto the market. “Overall, 2013 will not be easy for the automotive industry. However, with our current model range and the new vehicles as well as our broad international involvement, we have a good starting point to strengthen our posiSkoda Yeti SUV tion globally”, said the Škoda boss.

Škoda performed in Western Europe significantly better than the overall market: More than 358,400 vehicles were delivered (2011: 361,800). The Western European market share of the brand increased to three per cent, after 2.8 per cent the previous year. In Eastern Europe, the manufacturer gained by more than a quarter (plus 26.4 per cent) and 137,100 vehicles were delivered (2011: 108,400). The Škoda share of the market grew from 3.6 to 4.2 per cent. Škoda was also further successful in Central Europe: More than 124,000 deliveries to customers, a plus of 0.7 per cent (2011: 123,200). The market share increased from 18.4 to nearly 18.9 per cent. In the home market Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, Škoda was the clear number one of all manufacturers.

MAINTENANCE TIPS

How to care for leather car seats

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ou can prolong the life of your car’s leather interior by giving it tender, loving care, but most motorists in Nigeria who prefer leather seats to clothing, don’t quite know how to care for their cherished leather seats. Today, Maintenance Tips shares useful tools to caring for leather seats to eliminate damage and spending funds to purchase replacements. First, always endeavour to block the sunlight. Whenever the car is not being driven or it is going to be in direct sunlight, place a sun blocker on the windshield. Sun blockers are available in major motor spare parts stores. Also, purchase or rip old t-shirts to shreds. It is imper-

Leather seats in top shape.

Damaged seat.

ative to use a cotton product over a paper towel product. Paper towels are made of wood (on the simplest level) and no matter how refined will cause scratching. Leather conditioners can be purchased everywhere in the country and they are fantastic products which will treat your leather well. With the cloth in one hand and leather protectant in the other, generously spread the lotion onto the cloth and wipe liberally over seats. Ideally, there should be a wet film that is left on each piece of leather in the car. Just like when treating a leather jacket, the lotion will slowly soak in. Also, try cracking the car windows; this is done to keep the heat moderate in cars. Even when temperatures are only 70 degrees outside, the inside of the car can easily heat up to 100 degrees in the sun. Over time, this will fade leather. By cracking the windows, you are relieving such pressure. However, car leather fares better in colder weather and damage from extreme temperatures will be less of an issue.


Cocktail

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xx

Friday, April 12, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (127)

“We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.” –Earl Nightingale THOUGHT POWER The sweetness of life is that we are Co-creators with God. We can create our own realities with our mind! No one who can think has a tangible excuse for failure in life. Everything that we see around us came from the minds of men who thought and thought and thought until those things came to be. The ideas in our minds are the foundations of the objects we see all around us. If we can do extra work on the way we think, we will transform our lives. Lack is basically thinking problem. Each time we take the time to really think, we will find a way out of most of our problems. One of our greatest assets in life is our mind. The mental equivalent of whatever we want is necessary before they can be translated into physical realities. It is so unfortunate that the same mind that great people have used to transform our world is being used by some in negative ways. What do you want to become tomorrow? Think endlessly about it today. What you are thinking today is what you will manifest sooner or later. You have thought power. Never forget this. What is happening now notwithstanding, if you can deliberately turn your thought around and focus on the positive, you have hope! DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Man finds M d $3 $3,800 800 iin ttrash h bi bin

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Tennessee man who found $3,800 in cash while searching for cans in a trash bin said the money was too much not to return to its owner. Joe Ellis said he was retrieving cans for recycling from the Dumpster outside the Speedy Mart in Murfreesboro when he discovered a small plastic bag containing

multiple hundred dollar bills and three bank deposit slips, WKRN-TV, Nashville, reported Wednesday. “I turned it in to the people, the two guys that worked there [Speedy Mart] and I told them about what happened and I gave them the money and he was counting it out, the guys and they said it was almost $4,000,” Ellis said.

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Oddities

‘Easter resurrected rodent was hibernating’

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veterinarian said a British hamster reported to have come back from the dead on Easter was only hibernating. Lisa Kilbourne-Smith and boyfriend James Davis, of Painswick, England, were taking care of Tink the hamster while friends Nicki Gamble and Jamie Wynn were out of town and they discovered the day before Easter that the animal was not moving, The Sun reported Wednesday. However, KilbourneSmith’s father, Les, who lives next door, discovered the next morning the hamster had eaten her way out of her paper casket, dug out of her shallow grave and took shelter in a nearby recycling box to protect herself from freezing temperatures. Veterinarian John Auld said the hamster’s Easter resurrection can be attributed to the animal going into a hibernation

state, which is often mistaken for death among hamster owners. “This isn’t the first instance of a hamster coming back from the dead that I’ve come across,” Auld said. “If its body temperature drops below

A hamster eating.

a certain level the animal can go into hibernation. It has been known for owners to mistakenly believe that their pets have died when in fact they are only sleeping. However, I’m amazed by this hamster. The animal’s

body temperature would have had to have risen to rouse it from hibernation. With the temperatures we experienced over Easter, one would think that the ground would have been far too cold for it to come out of its dormant state.”

PHOTO: 123RF.COM


Friday, April 12, 2013

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Business & Finance The reforms, over the past three years, have made the stock market to be more attractive to individual and institutional investors, hence, the growth in the level of pension assets Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms. Arunma Oteh,

The agricultural sector is a massive one, when I go on the internet and I see what countries like Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya are doing with honey, it makes me sad MANAGING DIRECTOR OF AN AGRO-ALLIED PROCESSING COMPANY, WANDY FOODS, GBONJU AWOJUYIGBE

Bank boards to comprise 30% women by 2014 – Sanusi TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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despite their huge productive potentials and demonstrated capacities to add value despite militating constraints, said the CBN was leading the agenda in a number of ways including, promotion of competent women to directorship positions and re-orientation trainings for employees on gender issues, as a means creating level playing field for all staff to rise to the highest lev-

els in the institution. For instance, he disclosed that whereas in the 50 years of the CBN operations up to 2009 there were only four women that rose to the position of directors but that since he became governor, the Board had promoted seven women to directors and ensured that they function in departments that hitherto were believed to be the exclusive preserves for men.

According to him, the regulatory banking institution had already secured the banks’ consent to ensure that by 2014 at least 30 per cent of the board of banks are going to be women and also that at least 40 per cent of the top management of banks are women. He explained that it had also been directed that when banks publish their financial accounts, they must also reflect gender positions.

Sanusi also spoke on other areas in the society where by reason of cultural factors, women have been denied the opportunity of showcasing their talents, warning that to continue to deny women opportunities in self development as a result of socio-cultural biases would deny Nigeria the capacity for development and competitiveness in the rapidly-changing global order.

he Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday unveiled a new policy direction requiring banks in the country to ensure at least 30 per cent representation in their boards effective 2014 as part of its efforts to correct the existing lopsided gender imbalance in the banks’ top management and Boards. Giving the hint in his keynote paper delivered at the 2013 Isaac Moghalu Foundation (IMOF) Leadership Lecture and Symposium in Abuja, the apex bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said such a measure had become imperative in view of the need to allow women exhibit their professional and managerial competencies in the banking sector, adding that the idea should also be pushed through into other sectors for sustainable national development. Sanusi, who lamented prolonged years of disL-R: Head, Post Training and Peace Building Department, Federal Government Youth Empowerment Programme, Mr. Joel Bisina; crimination of women at Head of Administration, Mr. Ajibade Omuya; Head, Reintegration Unit, Mr. Lawrence Pepple and Head, Offshore Desk, Mr. Okongor all levels of the society Obase, during the Post Training Empowerment Start-Up Business showcase in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

FG may partner Omatek to introduce solar power solution KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Federal Government appears enthusiastic about introducing solar system of lightings into the Nigerian edu-

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

cational institutions across the country to reduce the expenses on the production of alternative power generation in the sector. Under the new initiative, government plans to encourage the deployment of 24-hour solar lighting systems in the educational sector. The gesture is aimed at reducing the heavy

reliant on producing alternative power supply to the institutions via the use of generators that is capable of consuming the larger percentage of universities’ budgets. It will also complement e-learning initiatives in the institutions. This development is coming in the realisation of the fact that so-

World Bank approves new facility for fragile economies

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lar lightings is one of the most cost-effective, cleanest, most-affordable forms of renewable energy available today and used worldwide in thousands both large and small institutions. The new universities located in Nasarawa, Taraba, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Bayelsa and Ekiti states, represent-

ing each of their geopolitical zones, as the beneficiaries of the six new universities established by the federal government are conceptually distinct from the current conventional and specialised universities. They will be programme-focused and shall seek to address the peculiar challenges of the zones where they are located.

Facilitating efficient crago delivery through adequate infrastructure

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Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15,17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun)Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri) 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun)

Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)

IRS Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00


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Business News

Friday, April 12, 2013

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World Bank approves new facility for fragile economies UDO ONYEKA

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orld Bank Group yesterday said the agency’s Board of Directors has approved the creation of package to support conflict affected and fragile economies. The Facility created by Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an arm of the group will further deepen MIGA’s support for investments into conflict-affected and fragile economies, while responsibly managing the Agency’s risk exposure. “This new Facility will allow MIGA and our reinsurance partners to provide risk insurance to projects in very difficult contexts that may not go forward without an effective risk-mitigation strategy,” MIGA’s Director and Chief Economist, said Ravi Vish, said. “Projects insured by the Facility will contribute to rebuilding efforts by bringing much-needed capital, employment, technology, and skills.” The World Bank said more

L-R: Outgoing Head of Region, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Lars Linden; Managing Director, Ericsson Nigeria, Mr. Kamar Abass and the New Head of Region, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Frank Jejdling at a press briefing during Jejdling’s visit to Nigeria as part of a pan-African familiarization tour in Lagos yesterday.

than 1.5 billion people live in countries or territories experiencing conflict and fragility or in countries with high levels of criminal violence and that private sector, particularly through foreign direct investment (FDI), play an important role in long-

Air travellers, airline operators laud FG over reconstruction at airports OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ir passengers and some airline operators in the country have commended the Federal Government for the ongoing upgrade of facilities in most of the country’s airports. Those spoken to by our correspondent also frowned at some industry stakeholders who continually condemned the efforts of the Federal Government to improve the facilities that had been neglected for over 30 years by successive gov-

ernments and ministers in the industry. A passenger with Arik Air, Mr. Charles Awoniyi who spoke with our correspondent at the General Aviation Terminal, GAT, of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos explained that with the remodelling of the airport, passengers facilitation had improved and seamless. Awoniyi empjasised that the upgrade of facilities by the government was a welcome development by all and sundry. He insisted that those condemning the project are those

term reconstruction and stabilisation efforts in these economies. The group said supporting investments into conflict-affected and fragile economies is a strategic priority for MIGA and its gross portfolio in this area has increased from $428 million in who had no good intentions for the country, adding that it “showed that they do not have good intention for this country. “I am surprised that some people are still condemning this laudable work the Federal Government is doing. I have been passing through this airport for years and I am disappointed with the some stakeholders who still criticise this exercise because this has shown that they have ulterior motive. “Their motive is not for the development of this country, but what gets to them as individuals; otherwise they should be encouraging government to continue in what they are doing.”

Naira falls most in 2 weeks as investors sell bonds, equities

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he naira weakened the most in two weeks amid speculation that investors in bond and equities market were demanding dollars to exchange profits made in the local currency. The currency depreciated as much as 0.2 per cent to N157.68 per dollar, the most since March 28, and traded at N157.60, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The naira has retreated one per cent this year. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index fell 0.2 per cent, taking its loss this week to 2.1 per cent as it heads for the first five-day decline in five weeks. .“There’s significant demand from investors who want to cash out of bonds and equities,”

Jide Solanke, an analyst at Lagos-based First Securities Discount House Limited said. “The central bank has increased the sale of dollars and the demand is coinciding with the end-ofyear company earnings.” Banks, including Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, reported full-year earnings for 2012 this month. Guaranty’s net income jumped 69 per cent while Zenith Bank profit more than doubled to N100.7bn ($639m). Yields on the government’s naira bonds due January 2022 have risen 16 basis points, or 0.16 percentage point, to 11 per cent this week, according to Wednesday’s prices compiled by Bloomberg. The Central Bank of Nigeria

sold $600m this week, the biggest amount at its twice-a-week auctions in nine months. The CBN sells the US currency to keep the naira within a three per cent band above or below 155 per dollar. “The central bank has enough reserves to defend the naira and keep it where we want,” Governor Lamido Sanusi said in a March 24 interview in Lagos. According to data from the CBN, the foreign reserves advanced 10 per cent to $48.7bn this year, according to the institution’s data. Yields on $500m of Eurobonds due January 2021 dropped six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to four per cent.

June 2010 to nearly $1.3 billion as of December 31, 2012, adding that MIGA recently supported three investments in Côte d’Ivoire that brought in $2.5 billion in FDI “Historically we’ve issued guarantees for many small-scale investments in conflict-affected

and fragile economies, and increasingly we’re also supporting large, transformative projects in the infrastructure and energy sectors,” said, MIGA’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Michel Wormser. “This new Facility will allow us, together with our partners, to further expand our operations in fragile and conflict-affected economies, creating jobs and economic opportunities in those countries.” World Bank said in supporting FDI and long-term lending, the Facility will deploy its resources for projects that have a positive development impact on the local economy and contribute to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity. ” By supporting projects in laborintensive industries, such as agribusiness and light manufacturing, the Facility will strive to promote direct job creation. Its support to infrastructure projects will underpin further private sector investment and also lead to direct and indirect employment generation.

Minister seeks improved funding for aviation sector training TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has advocated the prioritisation of Aviation sector trainings in yearly budgets of African countries as a deliberate step towards creating the manpower and technological capacities required to ensure the standardisation of operations and safer air travels in the continent. Oduah, who made the case for improved funding of training of personnel and acquisition of innovative equipment for the industry at the Consultative Assembly of the Association of African Aviation Training Organisations (AATO) on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that the coming together of the various training centres would help countries with less funding endowments to enjoy economies of scale from others and by implication help in the actualisation of the organisations’ desire to make air travels in Africa safer and cheaper in the long run. She said: “Given that scarcity of funds have been the bane of the continent’s training centres, the pooling of resources, instructors and facilities available among members may be viable economies of scale around our perceived weaknesses. Again, member countries may be encouraged to focus and make the most of their

areas of core competencies while patronising others in their areas of competitive advantages. “Our various levels of leadership may need to deliberately favour the Aviation training sector in allocation of values of states. The fulcrum for this is the exorbitant and cost effective profile of sophisticated and ever dynamic training equipment in the industry”, Oduah added. The minister attributed the modest achievements of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) to the commitment of the government to the growth of the aviation industry through ongoing implementation of the Aviation Sector Roadmap Master Plan. In her welcome address, the Rector of NCAT, Capt. Chinyere Kalu, while harping on the strategic place training centres in the various countries occupies in the development of the nations’ aviation sector urged the trainers to judiciously utilise available resources at their disposal for optimal results. She also urged them to exhibit the highest professional sense of discipline in handling the enormous responsibilities their roles have imposed on them as Trainers, Instructors, Educators and Administrators and also churn all forms of graft in order to ensure highest standards in the continent’s Aviation industry.


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Business News

Friday, April 12, 2013

UN collaborates with PTDF on capacity building CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he United Nations, through its Agency for Training and Research (UNITAR) has entered into partnership with the Petroleum Technology Development Fund to provide training, enhanced education and job placement opportunities to beneficiaries of PTDF specialised skills development programmes in petroleum and other oil and gas related fields. According to PTDF’s director of communicationsns, Mr. Kalu Otisi, under the agreement, the United Nations Agency will among other obligations facilitate the placement of PTDF scholars in top universities in Norway to pursue specialised training in Petroleum Engineering, Subsea Engineering, Marine Engineering, Sea Fairing and petroleum related courses. Other mandate of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) under

the agreement with PTDF include, placement of PTDF scholars on internship in the facilities of International Oil Companies to gain practical experience while undergoing their degree programmes in Norwegian universities Also UN is secure grants for a good number of the scholars who excel after the first year of the programme thereby taking some of the financial burden borne by PTDF in sponsoring the scholars. Otisi said UN would ensure the prospect of having young Nigerian trained by PTDF to be meaningfully engaged in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and abroad upon graduation, thereby adding value to the scheme According to the statement, in a meeting to review the Memorandum of Understanding between PTDF and UNITAR, the Country Representative Dr. Larry Boms said the involvement of the UN agency is to shift emphasis from generic training whereby students are sent on training

without clear engagement plans on graduation, a situation he said has been the challenge of governance in Nigeria’s education sector. The UNITAR Country Representative in Nigeria emphasised the important role of International Oil Companies to the scheme who must be made to realise that huge resources are being committed to the training of future employees of the industry and as such are expected to contribute. ‘‘ We think it is time we boldly involve the industry, to make them understand that we are investing in educating their future employees and so we must bring them at the planning stage, they must begin to commit resources to the training of their future employees’’. Dr. Boms pledged the UN agency’s commitment to providing resources to train more Nigerian students as the collaboration between the Fund and UNITAR matures.

MainOne partners Microsoft on software development initiative KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ain One, West Africa’s leading communications services company has emphasized its commitment to the development of innovative, and locally developed software with its partnership with Microsoft on Imagine Cup 2013. Imagine Cup is a premier student technology competition, where student innovators from all over the world, compete to produce various ground-breaking app ideas, Main One was the sole bandwidth sponsor, providing superfast broadband internet connectivity to the event for live-streaming and apps demonstration. The National finals of the competition, and the Stakeholders’ Forum, which held at a

Surveyors seek key role in projects procurement process OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) is seeking a key role in infrastructure development, stressing that getting a no objection on government projects alone would not guarantee value for money. The QSRBN President, Mallam Husanni Dikko, who spoke at the maiden stakeholders’ forum in Abuja yesterday, said that involving the board in the procurement process would help to ensure that the projects are delivered to specifications. He said, “Getting a no objection is a good basis for the award of contract, but for the government to get much, what we think we can bring to the table is a

basis for which we will feel the project has been awarded within acceptable range, at reasonable cost and get value for money. “This is what we want to help develop and achieve for the improvement of the nation economy. “However, this is not being adequately considered in the award of projects in Nigeria. The no objection is concerned primarily with the procurement process . “That is to say the tender has advertised, that the competition is okay and that procedures are followed. But there is more to that, what is far more important is getting value for money on investment on project. That is what we want to achieve through our professional competence.” Given update on the activities of the Board, Dikko explained

that it had registered 630 new quantity Surveyors and 95 practicing firms in the last two years, compared to the 1,281 surveyors and 54 firms registered in the 21 years of its existence. “As at September 2010, only 1281 registered quantity surveyors and 54 practicing firms had been inducted by the board in the previous 21years, representing an increase of about 50 per cent over what it met, and 95 practicing firms, an increase of 17.6 per cent over what it met,” he said. Apart from that, the QSRBN boss also noted that, the Board overhauled the accreditation system of Universities and Polytechnics offering Quantity Surveying and accredited 10 institutions with the years under review.

prestigious location in Victoria Island, had in attendance over 80 students with participants competing for a place in the worldwide finals, previously hosted in Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, France, Egypt, Poland, United States and Australia, now to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia from July 8 to 11, 2013. In total, 12 teams from Nigeria competed during a challenging day of presentations, which brought together students from universities across the country with Team Life Saver emerging winner. Members of the team interestingly, cut across two of Nigeria’s foremost tertiary institutions, Obafemi Awolowo University and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. They competed in the category of World Citizenship.

Group urges wealthy Nigerians to emulate Dangote STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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Integrated Marketing Communications Manager, Nutricima Limited, Funsho Jacob (right) presenting the Nunu Essay Competition cash prize won by Omotara Ohununese of Chrisland School, Opebi to his mother, Mrs. Bola Ohunenese, at BG Supermart, Maryland, Lagos recently.

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he Joint Northern Youth Association (JNYA), has called on well to do individuals in Nigeria to emulate the philanthropic spirit of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who they described as the most benevolent and generous businessman in the country. According to the statement, the National President of the association Engr Ahmed Umar, in commemorating the 56th birthday celebration of Dangote, said that the business guru is indeed the servant of the less privileged in Nigeria considering his humanitarian gestures to both Christians and Muslims alike. He added that the philanthropic gestures of Dangote will take time to be equaled in

the country, “We see him as one of the greatest and kind hearted man to be produced by the north, since 1981 when he started his business, besides making profits, the Kano born businessman has committed himself to assisting the masses, and as a true Muslim who has consistently paid his zakat as at when due”. He added that Dangote as far as the Joint Northern Youth Association is concerned represents the face of philanthropy in Nigeria. Umar said Dangote’s conglomerate has touched the lives of many Nigerians irrespective of religion and tribe; above all, he has committed himself to the implementation of the federal governments’ initiatives in making the economy private sector driven.

FG to adopt Poland’s transformation strategy -Nebo CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo has urged the visiting Polish delegation led by Pan Jan Bielecki to help in developing Nigeria’s capacities for evacuation of power. The minister noted that federal government is exited by the dramatic transformation of the Polish society, from an unknown country under the Soviet Union, now to an economic giant in the Central Europe. He said available statistic has attested to the fact that the Polish economy ranked 25th in the world and fast approaching the 15th position in the most recent survey. According to the minister, federal government is concerned about the Polish expertise in the

areas of transmission as the existing lines in the country are weak hence “we ask of Poland to help develop our evacuation of power capacities”. Another problem area in the power sector according to the Minister is capacity building, “we can really begin to forge a linkage with your Technical Universities”, “we need to develop a versatile capacity in the power sector”. “We also have opportunities for polish manufacturers and investors to come in either as Independent Power Producers (IPP) or in partnership”. Other areas of co-operation he said “it is impossible to get the super grid to all rural communities; we will like to engage with your various entities to build small power holdings that would provide electricity to the rural populace”.


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Maritime

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Facilitating efficient cargo delivery through adequate infrastructure Nearly two years after the Federal Government ordered a 24-hour operation of the seaports in Nigeria, inadequate infrastructure and security challenges have continued to pose as stumbling block to this dream, reports FRANCIS EZEM. Elsewhere, seaports and related facilities operate 24 hours of the day and seven days of the week. Especially for the seaports, which are merely transit areas, different types of ships berth at the ports and are handled immediately and are allowed to sail out. For seaports like the one in Antwerp, Belgium, Singapore and Malaysia, which are ranked among the most efficient in the world, the turn around time of ships sometimes is less than five hours. This is because the vessels are discharged as they arrive the ports whether night or day. This also accounts for why the cost of shipping in most of these countries is minimal compared to the ports in West Africa. It was probably in a bid to achieve this level of efficiency that the Federal Government last year directed the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigeria Customs Service to provide the necessary facilities and logistics that would enhance the commencement of 24-hour operation of the various seaports in the country as a stepping stone towards the achievement of 48-hour cargo release. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, who had paid an unscheduled visit to the ports in Lagos in company of her Transport counterpart, Mallam Idris Umar, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Services, Mr. Leke Oyewole and some members of the Economic Management Team, had announced far reaching reforms in the ports, which included the sack of some government agencies. The minister reduced the number of agencies operating at the port from 14 to about six. The affected ones include National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Standards Organisation of Nigeria. Also affected in the shake-up are Directorate of Naval Intelligence, Nigerian Plant Quarantine Services, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, among others. She had said; ‘ I am with a simple message from Mr. President and that message is that it is time for our seaports to start working and they must start working for honest and hardworking Nigerians not for those who are working to make things more complicated, make money out of our ports and make things more difficult for honest business person man or woman in this country’.

Dikko

Nweke

THE DREAM OF HAVING THE PORTS TO OPERATE 24 HOURS PER DAY AND SEVEN DAYS IS REALISABLE BECAUSE WE HAVE SEEN IT DONE IN OTHER COUNTRIES, BUT

NIGERIA COULD NOT

ACHIEVE THAT DUE TO OBVIOUS INFRASTRUCTURE DEFECTS “We must make our ports work for Nigerians who want to create jobs, that is really what Mr. President wants us to do and our being here today is a demonstration that we need to act and that this is no longer time for talking. We know that without an efficient port system, there would be high cost in the economy and so what we are doing now is to reduce those costs so that our business people would have the wherewithal to create more jobs”, she insisted. She had also disclosed that NPA and Customs had been directed to improve on the infrastructure to facilitate the introduction of 24-hour operation for the seven days of the week at the seaports thereby abolishing the former system whereby the seaports open at 8am and close 5pm. Unfortunately, more than one year after, the status quo has remained as the ports open in the morning and close in the evenings Monday-Friday and remain shut at the weekends unlike what is obtained in advanced economies where the seaports operate 24 hours per day and seven days per week. President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Mr. Eugene Nweke, who spoke on the development, blamed the non-realisation of the dream to the near absence of requisite infrastructure that could drive 24-hour port operations. “The dream of having the ports to operate 24 hours per day and seven days is realisable because we have seen it done in other countries but Nigeria could not achieve that due to obvious infrastructure defects”, he said.. He also said: “One other factor hindering the realisation of that dream

has to do with the current security challenges in the country because no one would want to embark on such transactions that require the use of sensitive documents at night with the current level of insecurity in the country.” According to him, apart from the security issues, the lack luster attitude of some of the multinational shipping lines operating in the country, who would want to open their offices for business any time they like constitute a major hindrance to the achievement of this dream. He also blamed this failure on the banking culture in Nigeria, which insists that regular banking services are rendered to customers between 8am-4pm Monday –Friday every week leaving out the weekends. “Though most terminals open their gates for operation, the shipping lines and banks are not readily available for night transactions, worst still; the shippers are not willing to expose their cargo to the men of under world outside the port premises and along the transit routes”, he also regretted. While commending the efforts of the presidential committee on port reforms, especially in the in the area of reducing the number of government agencies in the port from 14 to six and in its commitment at transferring overtime cargo to Ikorodu Lighter Terminals, he insisted that the committee should liaise with the Nigeria Customs Service in fasttracking a methodology for generating un-cleared cargo list. He also charged the committee to define responsibility between the customs, terminal operator and port

Abdullahi

authority in terms of cost implications in moving them. . But a source at one of the shipping firms, who does not want to be named noted that it would be foolhardy of any one to open for business at night in Nigeria where the streets are not light up, the roads are either poorly patrolled or not patrolled at all with the attendant incidences of robbery and kidnapping. According to him, most European and American countries have issued security warnings to their nationals in view of the worsening security situation in the country and so, no one would want to defy that and open for business at night where there is no regular supply of electricity. A bank official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, argued that the commercial banks operating in Nigeria have remained one of the greatest victims of high level of insecurity. “There have been rampant cases of day-light robbery at the banks, where many of the bank officials have either been killed or maimed for life while huge sums of money are carted away”, she argued. She also disclosed that there is hardly any bank in Nigeria that has not suffered this fate at one point or the other, arguing that working at night would mean to increase their risk levels. “But I also assure you that the banks might open for night operation and the customers would not come because many of the customers still do cash transactions despite the insistence of the financial regulatory authorities on cashless system”, she also argued. In all fairness, government has in the past few years demonstrated its willingness to make the seaports work. But it is obvious that there is a disconnect between the desire to make the seaports operate 24 hours especially in terms of creating a conducive environment for that to happen. This obvious reality places additional burden on the government to ensure that the level of security and infrastructure that make Ports in Belgium, Malaysia and Singapore operate 24 hours are replicated in Nigeria.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

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he Nigerian Ports Authority has thrown its full weight behind the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and its national partners over the new anti-graft measures about being introduced in the port industry, which seeks to prevent people from engaging in corrupt practices rather than prosecuting them when they do. ICPC had last week in collaboration with Bureau of Public Procurement, Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR), its national partners with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Maritime Anti-Corruption Network announced plans to conduct Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) of the seaports in Nigeria. The CRA, which is the process of examining the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies, focuses on studying organisational systems and operational environments with a view to addressing identified corruption risks therein and not to identify and possibly prosecute suspected corrupt persons. It is not a tool of criminal investigation; it is strictly a tool for prevention of the occurrence of corruption.

Maritime

Friday, April 12, 2013

New anti-graft drive would make Nigeria’s seaports efficient, says NPA

L-R: Secretary, Cargo Defence Fund, Ms. Azuka Ogo, Chief Operations Officer of the fund, Mr. Mustafa Zubir and President of Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN), and Ms. Adedoyin Rhodes during the presentation of a set of handbooks on Viable Alternatives for Resolution of Maritime Disputes in Nigeria at the CDF Lagos office recently.

Managing Director of NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi, who made the pledge in Lagos during the visit of the anti-corruption committee of the ICPC to the authority, said Nigeria’s port industry would be better after the anti-graft exercise, which aims at corruption prevention rather punishing offenders. While comparing the anti-graft committee, which membership is drawn from ICPC, TUGAR,

BPP, UNDP and MACN with the port industry anti-corruption body, which membership spreads across major stakeholders, the NPA-boss assured that the two bodies would work together to fight corruption in the port industry. “The peculiarities of Nigeria’s seaports have made the crusade imperative so that the seaports would operate maximally and efficiently”.

Cabotage review: ‘Nigeria can’t do without waiver clause’

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early 10 years after the introduction of the Coastal and Inland Trade (Cabotage scheme, which restricts carriage of refined products within the coastal and inland region to Nigerian flagged vessels, experts has dismissed calls for the removal of the waiver clause. Federal Government had passed the Cabotage Act in 2003 while the scheme took off in 2004 following the release of the guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Transport but expert believe the legislation has not achieved its objective. The Act has a waiver clause which allows foreigners to provide services statutorily reserved for Nigerians when it is proved that Nigerians lack the capacity to render such services. The stakeholders have cited the lack of political will on the part of the government and its relevant enforcement agencies as well as the presence of a waiver clause for the abysmal failure of the scheme and therefore called for the expunging of the waiver clause from the Act, which is currently under review. Chairman of Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Dr. Chris Aso-

luka, who spoke in an interview in Lagos, noted that the removal of the waiver clause might not address the challenges associated with the enforcement of the Act, which was designed to increase indigenous participation in the maritime industry. According to him, what people should advocate is proper handling of the issue of granting of waivers to foreigners in situations where Nigerians lack the requisite capacity to render certain services. “Such calls for expunging of the waiver clause might not address the envisaged because if you remove the waiver clause, the law will not be flexible and you what that means if any legislation is not flexible and you and I know that Nigerians do not have the capacity to render all the services under the scheme at least for now,” he argued. He also noted that it was not right to compare Nigeria with the United States of America’s Jones Act, which is Cabotage equivalent and therefore restricts the carriage of goods within the coastal and inland waters to only American flagged vessels. “You also know that the United States can afford not to include any waiver clause in her

Jones Act because Americans have already built the capacity over the years unlike Nigerian operators so there will be a vacuum if you expunge the waiver clause”, he insisted. He also warned: “What such calls mean is that because Nigerians might not have the capacity to render certain services under the Cabotage regime, the International Oil Companies (IOCs) should not function” “You see, there are still several services that Nigerians lack the capacity to provide and so in order not to create a vacuum, the waiver clause has to be brought in but I sincerely think that the problem lies with the administration of the clause not the clause itself ”, he insisted. Asoluka, who also dismissed calls for the scrapping of the policy because it has completely failed, said though the policy may not have achieved the desired objectives, it has not failed completely. According to him, though the scheme has not failed in such a manner that would warrant calls for its scrapping, it has not achieved the desired goals of enhancing indigenous participation in the lifting of products within the coastal and inland waters.

He also noted that under the post concession regime, NPA has sufficient time to supervise and ensure free flow of goods and services at the nation’s ports where cases of corrupt practices would be reduced to the barest minimum. Leader of the committee, Mrs. Lillian Ekeanyanwu had told the NPA management team, who was on ground to receive them that the purpose of the visit was to carry out a Corruption Risk Assessment

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of ports’ operations in order to enhance integrity and strengthen the port industry. “The team will embark on a Corruption Risk Assessment tour of the ports from the 15th of April to the middle of June with the intention of conducting actual tests and closing gaps at points where there are likelihood of corruption”, she declared. “The main objective the CRA is to identify vulnerable areas that are prone to corruption, proffer solutions and jointly with the relevant MDAs develop Integrity Plans that would strengthen accountability and transparency towards enhanced service delivery”, she also declared. While soliciting the support and cooperation of the management of the authority, she however emphasised the need to improve on the integrity of the port industry especially as it is in line with international best practice. For the pilot scheme of the exercise, four seaports have been selected, which comprise those in Lagos, Onne, Calabar and Warri. The objectives of the CRA in the port industry are categorized in three folds; which include to study the procedure at the ports, map out corruption risks areas and finally design a comprehensive integrity plan to help the port address existing and future corruption-prone processes at the ports on their own.

Piracy cost declined by $1bn in 2012

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ceans Beyond Piracy estimated in a new report released Tuesday that the cost of piracy in 2012 ranged between $5.7 billion and $6 billion, reports Reuters News Agency While that’s down 12.6 percent from a high of $7 billion in 2011, the cost was reduced as attacks fell sharply and the speed of boats through high-risk areas fell, both a reflection of wide adoption of armed guards on seafaring vessels – the cost of which rose a staggering 80% last year to a high of $1.53 billion. “The overall cost to the international community remains considerable,” Oceans Beyond Piracy said in a new report, adding that while attacks have fallen to the lowest level since 2007, “the cost to prevent each attack has gone up significantly.”, says the report. From the pirates and organized crime rings fueling their sophistication to the private maritime security providers, insurers offering ransom and war coverage at sea and the attorneys who are paid handsome fees to negotiate hefty ransoms, piracy has grown into a thriving business. The growing number and improving quality of private maritime security providers was at the heart of a 33percent decline in pirate attacks in 2012, to 297 from a

high of 445 in 2010, according to the International Chamber of Commerce. The ICC predicts an even greater decline to just 47 in 2013. Experts believe that contributing to the near evaporation in hijackings ransoms paid fell 80 percent in 2012 are the industry-wide adoption of best practices and a task force of the world’s biggest naval legions that scout the dangerous waters of the Straight of Aden, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. “The problem of piracy for us as an employer of thousands of seafarers -- is totally unacceptable,” said Aslak Ross, head of the Copenhagen-based Marine Standards Group of Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company by revenue. “We strongly object to the fact that seafarers in this day and age cannot carry out their jobs without the risk of being held hostage for months on end.”

Minister of Transport, Idris Umar Habib Abdullahi


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Global Business

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Silo projects’ll boost strategic food reserves, says Adesina STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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inister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has assured Nigerians that with the completion of ongoing construction of various silos in the states of federation, Nigeria will have enough food stock to cope with emergencies. Speaking at the inspection tour in Ogun State, the minister said that the Federal Government plans to complete construction of silo tower storage facilities in the country to ensure that Nigeria’s strategic reserves are more than adequate in coming years. According to him, this present administration has completed roughly 3.1 million metric tonnes silo capacity across the country, up from 250,000MT. “This is very important to Nigeria as a nation, we have to maintain at least five per cent of our total food production in the strategic grains reserve and this is what we will use as our first line of defence for food security if we have any crises. “Last year when we witnessed the flood, you will remember that there was panic, in the country but Mr. President didn’t panic, as a minister I didn’t panic, we knew that we gave our farmers access to seeds and fertilizers and we know we are expecting roughly eight million MT of food as a buffer to boost the system. We have enough stock that is why I told Nigerians that we will not have famine, we will not have any food crises”, he said. The minister noted that Mr. President released N9.7billion last year after the flood incident to ensure that emergency food got to those that were affected with flood.

Adesina

A silo project under construction

IF PAST ADMINISTRATIONS HAD BUILT STORAGE FACILITIES BEFORE NOW, THE COUNTRY WILL HAVE A COMFORTABLE LEVEL OF RESERVES He said that they distributed 40,000MT of food from across the silos in the country, which they delivered to the states affected so that it reached the flood victims. He further added that due to the commitment of the Federal Government in prioritising agriculture as the lead transformational programme, a number of measures had been taken to give the sector the place of pride in determining the nation’s economy as obtained in ear-

ly 50s and late 60s. Also speaking with National Mirror, on the development and the necessity of the construction of silo in the country, the National President of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), Pastor Segun Adewumi, said that the project is very important to Nigeria as a country with over population of 170 million people. He added that if past administrations

Ministry assures on early distribution of inputs to farmers

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he Federal Government has ensured early distribution of inputs to farmers before the commencement of the 2013 cropping season. The Director, Fertiliser, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Akinbolawa Osho, disclosed to newsmen in Abuja. He said that farmers in the southern part of the country would soon receive their inputs under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme. “For the southern states, we have already held meetings with their states commissioners, the GES coordinators and all the relevant stakeholders, including the fertiliser suppliers, seed suppliers; in fact now, when we talk, we don’t talk about fertiliser alone; we talk about agric inputs.` “So we have held meetings with all the southern states so that they can roll out recognising the fact that the rains start

there and right now they have started receiving the inputs. The entire inception meetings have been held and the redemption by farmers, if they have not started, will start any time from now.’’ The director said that the inception meeting that would precede the roll of out of the scheme in the northern part of the country had been slated for April 18. Osho expressed optimism that the northern part of the country would receive their inputs by May 2013. According to him the ministry had scheduled the inception meetings with relevant stakeholders earlier to forestall the hitches experienced last year. He urged the farmers to accept whatever input the Federal Government would be given to them “In terms of quantity of fertiliser or seeds, we can never give enough because all is going to be given within the budget line. So it is what we have that we can

give. “It is the amount of money that can support the fertiliser, the seed, the agrochemicals that we can give to farmers; the farmers will have to make up for the remaining requirements.” Obasanjo, Zanazibar leader for inauguration of IITA science building Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, His Excellency, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, will be among the special guests that will attend the inauguration of the multi-million dollar science building recently constructed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). According to an IITA statement, the inauguration of the ultra modern science building on May 13 this year will also attract members of the diplomatic corps, development partners and farmers. Located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania,

had constructed silo tower storage facilities before now the country would have buit a comfortable level of reserves. Commenting on the agriculture sector, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Goodie Ibru, appealed to government to give more fund to the Bank of Agriculture. According to him, “The sector presents a striking paradox in the Nigerian economy which accounts for 38 per cent of the nations GDP and less than five percent of revenue. He added that the return on agriculture investment is very low and the income per head is also very low, which is why there is ravaging poverty in the agricultural communities, which are basically in the rural areas. “It is thus important to enhance productivity in the sector through improvement in market access, linkages with other sectors of the economy, investment in all year round farming and acceleration of mechanisation, Land reforms and access to funding”, he added. in East Africa, the IITA Science Building will bring scientific solutions to agricultural problems closer to the people of that region with the ultimate aim of improving agricultural productivity, sustainable development, and wealth creation. President Shein, while receiving a delegation from IITA led by the DirectorGeneral, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, commended the Institute for investing in the science building to boost agriculture and that region’s research capacity. He also lauded IITA for its work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR) in boosting the production and productivity of root and tuber crops, especially cassava and yam, and appealed for more support in cassava value addition. Accepting the invitation for the inauguration, which was signed by former President Obasanjo, who is also IITA Goodwill Ambassador, President Shein noted that agricultural research is critical to Africa’s transformation.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Index dips further by 0.6% as NSE launches industrial index DAMILOLA AJAYI

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he benchmark index of equities plunged further on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, taking its loss this week to 2.1 per cent as it heads for the first five-day decline in five weeks. Specifically, The All Share index dropped by 0.59 per cent to close at 33,466.76 points, compared to the decrease of 1.24 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 33,665.58 points. Market capitalisation depreciated by N8bn to close at N10.69trn, lower than the decline of N14bn recorded the preceding day to close at N10. 77trn. Market analysts attributed the downward trends to the sell-offs from speculative investors who were

Capital Market

Friday, April 12, 2013

disappointed by some banks which failed to declare profit for the financial ended December 31, 2012. For instance, Diamond Bank and Access Bank did not declare profit for the period. All the sectorial indices shed substantial part of their value except the Insurance index and Oil and Gas index, which rose by 0.16 per cent and 0.07 per cent to close at 146.07 points and 200.99 points respectively. The Consumer Goods index lost 1.10 per cent to close at 986.79 points, while the NSE 30- index dipped by 0.53 per cent to close at 1598.32 points. The Lotus Islamic index fell 0.27 per cent to close at 2,293.78 points, while the Industry Goods

index declined 0.26 per cent to close at 1699.96 points. The Banking index dropped by 0.19 per cent to close at 390.93 points. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc led the gainers’ table with 50 kobo or 9.84 per cent to close at N5.58 per share, followed by Wapic Insurance Plc with 12 kobo or 9.45 per cent to close at N1.39 per share. Unity Bank Plc appreciated by six kobo or 9.37per cent to close at 70 kobo per share, while IPWA gained six kobo or 8.57 per cent to close at 76 kobo per share. UTC Plc increased by six kobo or 8.45 per cent to close at 77 kobo per share. On the flip side, Ikeja Hotel Plc lost eight kobo or ten per cent to close at 72 kobo per share, while Neimeth International

Pharmaceutical Plc shed nine kobo or ten per cent to close at 81 kobo per share. Constain West Africa Plc declined by 24 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N2.16 per share, while AG Leventis Plc fell by 13 kobo or 9.92 per cent to close at N1.18 per share. Academy Press Plc dropped by 20 kobo or 9.76 per cent to close at N1.85 per share. A total of 375.9 million shares valued at N4.79bn were exchanged in 6,670 deals Meanhwile, the Exchange has introduced NSE Industrial Index as part of key initiatives to drive market optimisation. The Industrial Goods sector, which has about 100 prospects in pipeline that may possibly list on the bourse, consists of four sub-sectors with 27 companies listed in the sector, which contributes to 28 per cent of total market capitalisation.

Diamond Bank returns to profitability, nets N22bn in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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iamond Bank Plc has declared profit after tax of N22.1bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 250 per cent, as against the loss of N13.9bn recorded in 2011. The bank’s profit before tax stood at N27.5bn, in contrast to the loss before tax of N18.0bn recorded in 2011. A statement from the bank yesterday explained that the profit before tax was achieved from gross earnings of N138.8bn, an increase of 35 per cent when compared to N102.7bn earned in 2011.

The statement quoted the Group Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Alex Otti, as saying that 2012 performance is a reflection of our collective decision to place the bank on a growth pedestal towards becoming one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria having achieved N1trn balance sheet size. According to him, the bank built strong reputation for customer focus, innovative product development and quality service, in the year under review thus returning to profitability after the cleanup exercise in 2011. He added that the principles will contin-

ue to steer the bank’s growth on an impressive and sustainable path. “Leveraging on these principles and the focused development of our service delivery infrastructure, systems and technology, we have gained momentum and scale in all our markets. Our strong balance sheet, large customer base and solid risk management framework have helped us to build a robust institution capable of guaranteeing quality growth,” he said. He, however, said that the bank will not pay dividends to shareholders as it plans to raise additional capital for in-

vestment. The bank is planning the biggest fundraising this year, as banks seek dollars to finance oil, power and other infrastructure projects, while meeting central bank requirements for capital reserves. The bank planned to raise as much as $750m in shares or bonds to fund more projects and raise its capital adequacy ratio, a measure of financial strength, to between 20 per cent and 25 per cent, Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Abdulrahman Yinusa said on Tuesday. The Central Bank of Nigeria requires a ratio of 15 per cent and Diamond Bank’s was 17.3 per cent at the end of 2012.

Financials help European shares rise for fourth day

E

uropean shares rose for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday, as bumper gains for asset managers benefiting from this year’s equity rally lifted financial stocks. Fund managers and traders said that even if there was a near-term pull back, it would not be enough to prevent European equity markets from gradually rising higher

over the course of the year. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed up 0.6 per cent at 1,193.40 points, pushing the index back towards a four and half year peak of 1,209.05 points reached last month. The euro zone’s bluechip Euro STOXX 50 also advanced 0.6 per cent to 2,677.49 points. The STOXX Europe 600

Financial Services Index was the best-performing sector, as a 12.9 per cent surge in fund manager Ashmore on news it had drawn in more new client money than expected, lifted other asset management stocks. Jean-Luc Eyssautier, senior product specialist at Union Bancaire Privee Investment Management, said equities remained well-placed for more

gains, despite a weak economic outlook in Europe caused by the region’s sovereign debt crisis. “Economic data in Europe remains negative and many do not share the ECB (European Central Bank) president’s optimism of some growth in 2013. However, sovereign bond spreads continue to decline and flows continue to go in the direction of equities,” he said.

45

Source: NSE

S FMDA DA Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 34,339.65 points Market capitalisation 10.990trn

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

NAHCO

5.08

5.58

0.50

9.84

WAPIC

1.27

1.39

0.12

9.45

UNITYBNK

0.64

0.70

0.06

9.37

IPWA

0.70

0.76

0.06

8.57

UTC

0.71

0.77

0.06

8.45

DIAMONDBNK

5.67

6.14

0.47

8.29

JBERGER

51.00

54.49

3.49

6.84

JAPAULOIL

0.61

0.65

0.04

6.56

ASHAKACEM

24.50

25.97

1.47

6.00

WEMABANK

1.34

1.40

0.06

4.48

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

IKEJAHOTEL

0.80

0.72

0.08

-10.00

NEIMETH

0.90

0.81

0.09

-10.00

COSTAIN

2.40

2.16

0.24

-10.00

AGLEVENT

1.31

1.18

0.13

-9.92

ACADEMY

2.05

1.85

0.20

-9.76

PRESTIGE

0.62

0.56

0.06

-9.68

AIICO

0.83

0.75

0.08

-9.64

AIRSERVICE

4.28

3.87

0.41

-9.58

ABCTRANS

0.86

0.78

0.08

-9.30

AFRIPRUD

1.70

1.55

0.15

-8.82

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

30,159.21

11.55

11-Apr-13

182-Day

73,490.87

13.34

11-Apr-13

-

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

122-Days

76,995.77

13.49

11-Apr-13

119-Days

104,392.58

13.40

11-Apr-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$300m

10-Apr-13

$300m

N/A

$300m

8-Apr-13


46

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Assembly has


Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

World News

“I won the last one (election). The only difference is that I did not win power. But I won an election. I have always said: What makes people think that I will not win another one?” –Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai

PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

I

n preparation for a drawdown of French troops from Mali, a European Union team started training Malian soldiers for battle against jihadists who overran much of this West African country before they were pushed back by a French military intervention. On a recent day, small groups of Malians stood in the burning heat and orange sands in the town of Koulikoro, 60 kilometres (37 miles) west of the capital Bamako, learning to hold weapons. They began the training last week, and this week they learned how to shoot from standing, sitting and prone positions. About 550 people formed the team meant to ready Mali’s army for combat. But there is worry that the project to train thousands of soldiers may not be sufficient to keep the armed Islamic militants at bay. French forces entered Mali swiftly and strongly in January after Islamic militants began a formidable push south toward the country’s capital. The militants, who are inspired by a radical interpretation of Islam, ruled the northern half of Mali for nearly 10 months before the French-led military operation forced them into the desert surrounding the main cities. The

Bashir to make first visit to South Sudan

A

government official says Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will travel to South Sudan today. The visit will be al-Bashir’s first to South Sudan since the country peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011. South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said yesterday that the two heads of state want to prove to the world that the two countries plan to live peacefully together. Al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir will discuss how to implement security agreements the two countries signed in September and the status of the contested region of Abyei. Bashir had planned to travel to South Sudan in April 2012 but cancelled the visit after South Sudan’s military seized the disputed oil-producing town of Heglig. The two leaders are likely to discuss their co-dependent oil industries.

EU mission begins training for Malian troops

Malian soldiers practicing shooting techniques, during a European Union training session in the village of Koulikoro, outside Bamako, Mali.

extremists have responded with a series of attacks, including suicide bombings. French military spokesman Col. Thierry Burkhard said this week that about 100 French troops have been pulled out of Mali and were as of this week in Cyprus on their way back to France. Last month, French President Francois Hollande said that by July, about 2,000 French soldiers will still be in the former French colony, down from 4,000 at the peak deployment, and at

the end of the year “1,000 French soldiers will remain.” He said the French troops would likely be part of a U.N. peacekeeping operation that France is pushing for. The French-led operation with backing from regional bloc ECOWAS and under authorization of the U.N. Security Council has largely been hailed a success so far, though there are some concerns the militants will simply regroup once the French start drawing down. Mali’s military chain of com-

mand was broken after a coup last year. Soldiers lack respect for their commanders and superiors. There are reports that soldiers, humiliated by their defeat last year at the hands of the Islamic extremists, have carried out reprisals against the Arab and Tuareg civilians left behind. Human Rights Watch released a report yesterday that said two Tuareg men who had been arrested in February and tortured by Malian soldiers in the Timbuktu region have died in detention in Bamako.

G8 ministers condemn North Korea

F

oreign ministers from the G8 group of rich countries have condemned “in the strongest possible terms” North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology. North Korea’s threats of war topped the agenda of the foreign ministers’ talks in London on Wednesday and Thursday.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, foreign ministers from the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia urged North Korea to “refrain from further provocative acts”. “They condemned DPRK’s (North Korea’s) current aggressive rhetoric and confirmed that this will only serve to further isolate the DPRK,” it said.

G8 foreign ministers during the meeting, yesterday.

PHOTO: NEWSTIMES

Earlier South Korea called for negotiations with North Korea over the future of the Kaesong joint industrial zone, which the North has threatened to shut down permanently after suspending operations. “Normalisation of the Kaesong industrial complex must be solved through dialogue,” the South’s Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-Jae said yesterday. “I urge North Korea to come to the dialogue table.” North Korea announced the withdrawal of its 53,000 workers and the suspension of operations at Kaesong at the beginning of the week, as military tensions on the Korean peninsula soared. A rare symbol of cross-border economic cooperation, Kaesong is a crucial hard-currency source for the impoverished North, through taxes and revenues, and from its cut of the workers’ wages.

WORLD BULLETIN

Tunisia recovers money stolen by ex-president Ali Tunisia has received $29m (£19m) from what it calls looted assets held by ex-President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. The money was recovered by the United Nations’ Stolen Asset Recovery team, reports Tunisia’s state news agency. Ben Ali fled Tunisia in January 2011 following popular protests which ended his 23-year rule at the start of what became known as the Arab Spring. The cheque for $29m was handed to President Moncef Marzouki by the UN’s Ali bin Fetais al-Marri, reports TAP. Al-Marri was appointed by the UN to head efforts to recover money from leaders overthrown in Arab uprisings. The money had reportedly been held in a Lebanese bank account belonging to Laila Trabelsi, the wife of Ben Ali. She is believed to have fled to Saudi Arabia with Mr Ben Ali after the uprisings. Difficult economic times mean that Tunisia’s Islamist-led government face popular pressure to recover the remaining money. However there have been political and legal difficulties in gaining access to accounts where the money is believed to be held. The Tunis government has requested a $1.78bn IMF loan, which is being discussed this week.

Britain snubs Argentina’s president over Thatcher’s funeral

Britain will not invite Argentine President Cristina Fernandez to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral next week in a snub likely to deepen a long-running diplomatic dispute over the Falkland Islands. Thatcher, 87, who died on Monday, led Britain at the time of the 1982 Falklands war ordering her armed forces to repel an Argentine invasion of the contested South Atlantic archipelago which Argentina calls Las Malvinas. Just over 30 years later, memories of the conflict remain raw and Fernandez has mounted a campaign to renegotiate the islands’ sovereignty, lobbying Pope Francis on the issue and rejecting a referendum last month in which Falkland residents voted to remain a British Overseas Territory. A government source told Reuters that every country with whom Britain enjoys “normal” diplomatic relations was being invited to Wednesday’s funeral, but Thatcher’s family had objected to Fernandez attending. “It’s about adhering to her family’s wishes,” the source said. A government spokesman said Argentina’s ambassador to Britain would be invited, and that was in keeping with protocol.


48

Transition

Olufunmilayo Olayinka

O

lufunmilayo Aduni Olayinka was born in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State on June 20, 1960 and died after a protracted battle with cancer on April 6, 2013. A seasoned professional banker and proven technocrat, she was the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State. Late Olufunmilayo attended Holy Trinity Grammar School, Ibadan where she obtained her first school leaving certificate with distinction. She subsequently proceeded to Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo Oyo State, Nigeria where she obtained her Higher School Certificate. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Central State University, Edmond, Oklahoma, United States in 1981 and 1983 respectively. She was three times winner of the Dean’s Honour roll. In August 2002, she took up a new challenge in Corporate Communications and promptly proceeded to Head the Corporate Affairs Division of the United Bank for Africa. She later became Head, Brand Management & Corporate Affairs, thereby leading the team responsible for delivering a compelling brand proposition and re-branding of the United Bank for Africa which helped to drive the bank’s business strategy & added value to the total image of the Brand. She played notable strategic roles during the Merger process of the erstwhile United Bank for Africa & Standard Trust Bank where she co-chaired the Branding Sub-Committee. She also served as a key member of the Media Relations Sub-Committee. Until her election as the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, she was Head of Corporate Services, Ecobank Transatlantic Inc, where she was responsible for communicating the bank’s activities to the public, relationship management with the public and providing feedback to management as it relates to the total image of the Bank. Following a fundamentally flawed elections process during the 2007 gubernatorial elections, the candidate of Nigeria’s ruling party, Mr Segun Oni was declared as the winner of that election but the late Deputy Governor in conjunction with Dr Kayode Fayemi, now the Governor of Ekiti State headed to court to contest the veracity of the results.

Pa Edward Oyebanji

P

a Edward Adeyemi Oyebanji was born on July 12, 1932 to the family of Pa Emmanuel Amusa Oyebanji and Madam Rachael Aina Orosun Oyebanji. Upon his parents’ death in July 1964, he was left to champion the course of the family being the only surviving son of his parents till he breathed his last on Wednesday March 6, 2013. He had his elementary education at St. Michael’s Primary School, Oluwada-via-Gbongan and later St. Paul’s Modern School, Gbongan. He taught for two years in L.A. Primary School Jago, Ibadan before he proceeded to Divisional Teachers College, Ile-Ife for his Grade II course which he completed in December 1959. He was then posted to L.A. Primary School, Yakooyo, Ife-North Local Government Area of Osun State in January 1960.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A

lhaji Imam Sulaiman Akekukawe (a.k.a Mualim) was born in October 23, 1934 to the family of Rabiu Ajiroba Adeyinka Bello in Ijaiye, Kunrunmi Abeokuta, Ogun State. The late Mualim Sulaiman was a renowned scholar and teacher of Arabic and Islamic tenets, using both the Bible and the Holy Quran. He passed on at age 78 on April 1, 2013. He was the founder of Sulaiman Akewukawe Islamic Centres in Agege, Lagos and Ummul Khaer Akewukawe Schools, Oke-Aro in Ogun State; even as he was an astute protagonist of sunnah and Islamic monotheism. Alhaji Sulaiman Bello was a chief missioner and Imam of Zumrat-ul Islamiyya Association of Nigeria and a prominent member of Jamat-ul Tabligh Wa daawah. He travelled to India Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the course of propagation of Islam. An honest and dedicated civil servant, Imam Suleiman Bello voluntarily retired in 1982 as Senior Maintenance Supervisor with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Upon his retirement, he swung into full time Islamic preaching and evangelism. He authored some Islamic teaching books and daawah leaflets. Mualim was buried on Tuesday April 2, 2013 accord-

Margaret Thatcher

M

argaret Hilda Thatcher was a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was born on October 13, 1925 and died of stroke on April 8, 2013. The late Margret Thatcher was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only

He later sponsored himself to register in Rapid Result Wolsey College, London as an external candidate. He then studied at home to pass GCE O level which enabled him to gain admission into University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in September 1969. He completed his first degree course B.Ed Yoruba in June 1974. He worked as a teacher in different schools in Oyo and Osun States and became the founding Principal of Olufi High School, Gbongan in 1980. He also worked briefly as a Principal in St. Patrick’s Grammar School; Gbongan before he was transferred to St. David’s Anglican Grammar School, Odeomu where he retired as a school principal in July 1992. Pa Edward Adeyemi Oyebanji was a team leader for Yoruba Language subject for many years during the marking scheme for West African Examination Council (WAEC) till the year 2010 when he deemed it fit to rest as a result of old age.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sulaiman Bello ing to Islamic rites. He is survived by wives, children, grandchildren and great grand children.

woman to have held the office. A Soviet journalist called her the “Iron Lady”, a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism. Originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister, Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975 Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition and became the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher’s popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment, until economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983. Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but the Community Charge (popularly referred to as “poll tax”) was widely unpopular and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership. After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords.


Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror NGO demands end to violence on women, girls

“With regard to occasion failures, we are in the process of reviving the huge section of transmission machinery, especially the lines that are aged.” MINISTER OF POWER, PROF. CHINEDU NEBO

50

Igbokoda residents seek dethronement of monarch OJO OYEWAMIDE

AKURE

R

esidents of Igbokoda, headquarter of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, have staged a protest over the alleged murder of Prince Titiola Lebi by palace courtiers of the traditional ruler, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo. The protest, which came only four days after the monarch was granted police bail at Abuja, is now a source of concern to the state government and Council-ofObas in the area. The protesters, which included parents of the deceased, Mr. and Mrs. Titiola Taiwo, also frowned at the granting of bail to the Oba. The protesters who carried

placards with various inscriptions such as “Oba Afolabi must go”, “Prosecute Oba Afolabi now”,“We don’t want you again”, “Stay away from our town”, “Dethrone Oba Afolabi now”, demanded that the monarch stay away from the town. Mother of the deceased, Mrs. Titiola Oladuni, invoked the spirit of the land to fight for her quest for justice. Late Lebi’s father, Pa Taiwo called on well meaning Nigerians and Non-Governmental Organizations, NGO, to ensure that the killers of his son are dealt with in accordance with the law irrespective of their personality in the society. While querying the arrest and detention of his son by Oba Afola-

bis’ thugs in the palace, he alleged that the monarch was responsible for the death of his son. According to him, his son was allegedly killed by Oba Afolabi’s thugs on March 13, 2013 after which his body was abandoned at Igbokoda River from where it was recovered three days later. Two youth leaders, Princess Arobo Roseline and Mr. Debo Irowaninil, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, appealed to the state government, and Council-ofObas to intervene and ensure the monarch and other suspects face the consequences of their actions, even as they threatened that any attempt by the monarch to come to back to Igbokoda would be vehemently resisted. “The monarch has eaten the

forbidden fruit and he has to be sent out of town the way Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden. You can see the youth protesting, crying and raining curses on the killers. We can no longer tolerate his unwarranted brutality and harassment. He can no longer rule us. The entire residents of this town are sick and tired of him; we want peace and not shedding of innocent blood,” Debo Irowanini said The monarch and eight of his chiefs had earlier been arrested by the state Criminal Investigation Department, CID, in Akure where they were detained for three days before being granted bail. The Inspector General of Police IGP Mohammed Abubakar later directed that the monarch be

brought to Force Headquarters, Abuja, for further interrogation where he was detained until last week. The arrest of the monarch followed the petition sent to the Inspector General of Police by counsel to the deceased family, Chief Juwon Semudara accusing Oba Afolabi of complicity in the death of Prince Lebi. Meanwhile, Oba Afolabi, who became monarch of Igbokoda in November 2012, had in a recent publication, denied killing or sponsoring people to murder Prince Lebi as alleged by the family. He described the allegation against him as the handiwork of his detractors who felt jealous of his installation as the traditional ruler of the town.

Task force orders touts, miscreants away from parks MURITALA AYINLA

T

he Chairman of Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit has advised the state National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, not to allow miscreants and touts into their parks. Sulaiman, who gave the warning at a meeting with union executive at Alausa, Ikeja noted that commuters have been complaining of touts, pick- pockets and petty criminals within some motor parks at Oshodi, Mushin and environs, as the unit would not fold its arms and watch a return to the old order. The taskforce boss also condemned the nonchalant attitude of commercial drivers, who in their attempt to make brisk business stop indiscriminately by roadsides, without regard to obstruction of traffic. He ordered that all activities of the union be restricted to their garages, adding that henceforth, such offences will not be taken lightly and the agency would invoke the full weight of the law on anyone caught. On their part, representatives of the NURTW thanked the task force for the meeting, promising to abide by the rules and regulation of the state.

Oba Odidiomo

Protesters carrying placards

Niger inaugurates task force on flood PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

T

he Niger State Government has constituted a special task force to prosecute anyone caught dumping refuse in drainages, as part of proactive measures against flooding in the state. Apparently, reacting to warning by the Nigeria Metrological Agency, NIMET, of heavy rains this year, the gov-

ernment said, it would commence de-silting of canals blocked with refuse in major towns at the cost of N25.5 million. The Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Umar Nasko who stated this in Minna, said the decision became necessary to guide against flooding. According to him, the dumping of refuse into drainages would no longer be tolerated, as anyone caught would pay a

fine of N3, 000, or three months imprisonment or both. Nasko also said that mobile courts have been set up to prosecute offenders, adding that another group known as Environmental Vanguards comprising of traditional rulers, youth and the organised private sector will help monitor drainages and ensure strict compliance with the law. He further stated that the government would spend N9.7

million for the purchase of 160,000 seedlings, while the production of tree seedlings and flowers would be revived to meet demand as part of efforts at fighting desertification. Nasko said after the renovation work on the nurseries, it would be followed with the launching of tree planting campaign by wife of the governor, Hajiya Jumai Muazu Babangida Aliyu.


50

Community Mirror

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NGO demands end to violence against women, girls JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

A

Non -Governmental Organisation, NGO, ‘Project Do it Yourselves’, has appealed to the federal government to curb the rising incidence of violence on women and girls in the country. The coordinator of the agency, Ms. Abigail Dakiyes, made the appeal at Dogo Nahawa, Jos East Local Government Area of

Plateau State, while donating food items to widows of victims of the 2010 massacre by unknown assailants. “The violence against women is on the increase and the federal government needs to rise to the challenge and checkmate it. We are joining in denouncing and condemning rape and all forms of violence against women and girls, especially minors.

Women and children are being subjected to untold hardships; grief and sorrow, hunger and diseases; and such must be stopped to give them the desired peace and comfort of life”, she said. Dakiyes called on the federal government to urgently invite women for discussion on violence as it affects them individually and as a group. She lamented the inability of existing NGOs to

fight injustices and protect marginalised and battered women in the society. “These organisations have failed because they have abandoned the passion and lofty ideals of fighting injustices and contributing to practical legal and policy changes that will advance women rights in Nigeria”, she said. The Coordinator, who said she was a victim of violence, explained how painful it was to fall victim

of violence, saying “our lawmakers should rise to the challenge and enact laws that would save women from violence”. Dakiyes called on women to rise to the challenge by being gainfully employed in order to take care of themselves and children. According to her, the visit was not only to share food items and other materials but to create awareness as well as draw atten-

tion of the international community. “We hope to bring a global message of zero tolerance of rape and all forms of violence against women and girls at the grass roots in Plateau State”, she said. Responding, the community leader, Mr. Daniel Jik, expressed gratitude to the NGO for coming to the assistance of widows and orphans and called others to emulate them.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Friday, April 12, 2013

Two die in ACN, PDP supporters’ clash SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

N

o fewer than two persons died and property worth several millions of naira were destroyed at Fugar, the headquarters of Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State yesterday when supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clashed. Fugar is the political base of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe. The clash occurred less than 48 hours after the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Folusho Adebanji, met with

contestants, leaders and members of political parties participating in next week Saturday’s local government election. Chairman of ACN in Etsako Central Local Government Area, Mr. Paul Osugbo, and a resident identified as Oboareye Ibharue were allegedly killed in the rampage. Also, a number of vehicles were set ablaze even as the ACN chairmanship candidate, Hon. Emmanuel Momoh, whose convoy was attacked narrowly, escaped death. National Mirror reliably gathered in Fugar yesterday that trouble started on Wednesday evening when a PDP supporter, whose name was given as Odion Agbabi, allegedly drove his party’s

vehicle into a campaign rally of the ACN chairmanship candidate, sparking the fracas that saw the supporters exchanging gunshots and other dangerous weapons to settle the score. Gunshots rented the air throughout Wednesday night and continued yesterday. The deceased resident was described as the father of one the party candidate’s supporters. He was allegedly shot dead in front of his house. Another victim was believed to have died in a hospital from severe injuries that he sustained. This could not be confirmed, however. The ACN chairmanship candidate, Momoh, blamed the violence on PDP members, adding that the party

was desperate to disrupt the forthcoming council poll. Momoh said: “As I speak to you now, our party chairman’s house and vehicles were set ablaze while my convoy was attacked. When I was entering Fugar, my convoy was attacked and our vehicles were badly damaged.” It was, however, learnt that security agents have been mobilised to restore normalcy into the local government area. Some arrests have also been made in connection to the violence. Reacting to the violence yesterday evening, Edo State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Dan Osi Orbih, called on the police to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators.

Traditional ruler of Okoloba rommunity, Maccarthy Macpherson (2nd right), expressing gratitude to Col. Augustine Odoba (4th left), Coordinator, Civil-Military Affairs of the Niger Delta Task Force and Joint Task Force (JTF) Media Coordinator, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu (3rd left), during the donation of relief materials to victims of landslide by the JTF at Okoloba in Bayelsa State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Amnesty: FG distributes equipment to 300 ex-militants OLUSEGUN KOIKI

A

bout 300 former Niger Delta militants, who embraced the presidential amnesty programme, were yesterday given equipment worth several billions of naira for them to be self-employed. The equipment were distributed to the former militants in Lagos State by the Federal Government through the Presidential Amnesty Office. Some of the items were welding and fabrication

equipment, building materials and fish farming equipment. The Head, Post Training Empowerment in the Amnesty Office, Mr. Joel Bisina, urged the beneficiaries to judiciously manage the equipment. Bisina stressed that so far, 1,200 were beneficiaries of the empowerment programme out of which 300 were given the equipment to make them self-employed. Some of the 300 beneficiaries were trained in South Africa while the rest were trained in Nigeria.

To benefit from the programme, Bisina explained that they underwent a year training in various fields and additional two weeks refresher course in Nigeria. He said: “Let me tell you today that the equipment you are about to get are not to be sold by you, but for you to generate income, which will make you be a better person in the society. With this gesture, you are not expected to look for jobs, but to be self-employed. “Also, I want you to know that the top 10 richest people in the world today are

The former militants kidnapped Ebebi, a Corporal, and whisked him to their camp in the creeks. But investigations by National Mirror revealed that the victim was freed last Wednesday after spending barely a week in the militants’ camp. A police source, who did not want his name mentioned, said that Ebebi was admitted at the emergency

ward of the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, where he was treated of bullet injuries before he was discharged yesterday. The source said Ebebi reported at the state police headquarters yesterday for debriefing. The source, however, added that a Greek and Indonesian, who were earlier kidnapped by the abductors,

entrepreneur who employ thousands of people and not employees. “The beginning may be difficult, but you will become who you want to become in the future. People will not patronise you because you participated in the amnesty programme, but because you are creative with your business.” Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Presidency on Niger Delta Affairs, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, said that Nigeria had moved to the next level in achieving the Millennium Development Goal of 2050.

‘Police paid N1m ransom to free kidnapped cop’ EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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ndication emerged yesterday that the Bayelsa State Police Command paid N1 million ransom to secure the release one of the 12 policemen, Lucky Ebebi, who was reported killed by former militants at Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

were released with Ebebi. Ebebi’s elder brother, Victor, confirmed that his sibling was alive. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Alex Akhigbe, denied that the command paid N1 million to secure Ebebi’s release. Akhigbe said: “Where will we get the money? No ransom was paid for his release.”

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N’ Delta leaders to Jonathan: Reverse oil blocks sale SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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eaders of the oil communities in Niger Delta have asked President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse the sale of 11 oil blocks located in the region. The leaders of the oil communities from Urhobo, Itsekiri and Ijaw ethnic nationalities asked Jonathan to accede to their request as a minimum condition to guarantee peace in the region. They also asked the management of the AngloDutch oil firm, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), which had divested its business interests substantially from Delta State, to maintain a functional office in Warri, the commercial hub of the state. The leaders said the SPDC management decision to relate with some oil communities in Delta State from its base in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, was unacceptable to them. The ethnic leaders, who spoke at a news conference held at 911 Resort and Beach, Ugborodo, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, lamented that the Federal Government sold the oil blocks, including OMLs 26, 42 and 30 without regard to the right of first refusal by the qualified indigenes of the host communities to the facilities. The text of the press conference was signed by prominent Itsekiri personalities, including Prince

Micheal Diden, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, Mr. Mode Akoma and Chief Ayirimi Emami as well as the National Chairman and National Vice-Chairman of the Urhobo Youth Council (UYC), Mr. Henry Baro and Mr Jaro Egbo, respectively and an Ijaw Youth Leader, Chief Boro Opudu. Emami, who is the Akulagba of Warri Kingdom, read the statement on behalf of other stakeholders. They said that the sale of the oil blocks by the Federal Government constituted a breach of their right as citizens, adding that they would continue to fight the alleged injustice until it was redressed. Stressing that the Federal Government’s action worsened the fragile peace in the Niger Delta, they said: “We are deeply disturbed that the government’s breach of our rights had accentuated daily insecurity and misbehavior in the Niger Delta, which expectedly would have been duly addressed if the original owners of the assets had been given the right first refusal. “Regrettably, the double standard tactics by the Federal Government was amply demonstrated when it awarded some of the OMLs in Delta State to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), subsidairy of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which had failed woefully in its previous mandate. Its failure led to the privatisation of the various oil assets under its management.”

Govt spends N480bn annually on malaria control –President

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he Federal Government said yesterday that it spent N480 billion annually on the management and treatment of malaria in the country. President Goodluck Jonathan stated this in Port Harcourt at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Town Hall meeting on Malaria Elimination and Ground Breaking ceremony of Biolarvicides (insecticides) factory. Represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the President said that a child died of malaria in every 45 seconds in Africa. He noted that malaria

occurred and killed more people in poor rural communities of the country, saying that poverty and sickness were related. The minister, who delivered a paper entitled: ‘’Malaria and Socio-Economic Impact’’, said people were sick with malaria disease especially because they were poor. He said poverty was a hindrance to the ownership of mosquito nets and noted that some people were poor due to sickness. The minister said persons spent 45 per cent of their income to manage their health challenges, noting that it cost Africa billions of money managing malaria.


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North

Friday, April 12, 2013

One killed, 4 injured as STF, youths clash in Jos JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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ne person was killed and four others wounded yesterday when some members of the Special Task Force, STF, and youths clashed in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State. Three members of the STF were said to be among the injured. Our correspondent gathered that the clash occurred when the STF operatives went in search of some missing cows. It was gathered that some cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen reportedly got missing and when reports got to the owners that the cows had been sighted in Farin Lamba, a few kilometres from Riyom town, they solicited the assistance of soldiers to retrieve them. Some youths in Farin Lamba were said to have stoutly resisted what they described as illegal incursion of their land by the soldiers. One of the youths was said to have fired a catapult that hit one of the soldiers on the head. In the process, the soldiers were said to have started indiscriminate shooting to scare away the youths. It was gathered that one of them was hit in the process. The incident led to the blockage of the Jos-Abuja road as protesting youths and women took over the highway. A former member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Emanuel Danboyi, said two youths allegedly shot by STF during the clash had been hospitalised. Majority Leader of the House of Assembly, Mr. Daniel Dem, confirmed the incident and faulted STF for visiting the area without notifying him or other key stakeholders in Riyom. Dem expressed concern over the continuous clash between STF personnel and people of the area, saying that they were always at the receiving end. The STF Media Officer, Captain Salisu Mu-

stapha, who confirmed the incident, said three soldiers were wounded in the fracas. He said: “To our surprise, when we approached the area for the assignment, women and some youths of the area attacked our personnel, which led to the injury of three soldiers. “Some of the youths fired gunshots into the crowd which led to the casualties recorded.” In a related development, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Yiljap Abraham, has said that only 18 persons were killed in the fresh outbreak of violence that rocked Wase Local Government. The clarification came amidst media reports that the death toll had risen to 40. Yiljab, who condemned the outbreak of violence in the state, said the government had put in place modalities to foster lasting peace in the area. The commissioner identified cattle rusting as one of the major causes of the outbreak of violence in the area, adding that the government was determined to bring back lasting peace in the state.

Terrorists kill 4 cops, 3 civilians in Yobe INUSA NDAHI DAMATURU

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unmen yesterday invaded the Tarmuwa Divisional Police Headquarters in Yobe State and shot dead four policemen and three civilians. Two other policemen sustained gunshot wounds in the attack. Tarmuwa is one of the local government areas in the state which is now

witnessing attacks and killings. The gunmen also razed the police station, using petrol bombs and other Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs. The three civilians, it was learnt, were hit by stray bullets while trying to flee the area during the midnight attack. It was gathered that the gunmen stormed the town in the middle of the night in a convoy

BAUCHI

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auchi State High Court 1 presided over by the state Chief Judge, Justice Mohammed Ibrahim Zango, has nullified the Judicial Commission of Inquiry report on former Governor Adamu Mu’azu. Mu’azu was alleged to have embezzled N2 billion while in office between 1999 and 2007. The commission set up by Governor Isa Yuguda to investigate Mu’azu’s administration accused the former governor of corrupt practices. Yuguda, therefore, asked Mu’azu to refund N2 billion to government’s coffer. The governor also barred Mu’azu from holding public office for 10 years.

of more than 10 Toyota Hilux vehicles to launch the attack on the police station. According to a resident of the area, who did not want his name mentioned in the print for security reasons, said the gunmen had wanted to strike in Damaturu, but because of the tight security in the state capital, and its environs, they decided to carry out the attack in Tarmuwa.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sanusi Rufai, who confirmed the incident, said the attack took place 12am on Thursday. Rufai said the injured policemen had been admitted at an undisclosed hospital where they were responding to treatment. The commissioner, however, said normalcy had returned to the town as security had been beefed up in the area.

Polio victims resting after conducting a rally in support of polio immunisation campaign in Sokoto, yesterday.

N2bn fraud: Court nullifies commission’s report on Mua’zu EZEKIEL TITUS

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

But on February 11, Mu’azu sued Yuguda, the Bauchi State Government, the Commissioner for Justice, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and Justice Bitrus Sanga, who presided over the commission, and asked the court to declare the indictment illegal, claiming that he was not given fair hearing. Before he delivered the judgement yesterday, Zango struck out the name of Sanga as the fifth defendant as requested by Mu’azu’s counsel, Mr. Nasirun Balan Malam. Delivering the judgement, Zango said the commission’s report on the management of some ministries, parastatals and extra-ministerial departments of public service of Bauchi State was no longer alive and of no legal effect

whatsoever on the plaintiff. He said: “In so far as the White Paper gazette by the Bauchi State Government contained in the extra-ordinary gazette Number 3 of November 12, 2009 based on the report of the commission, the White Paper cannot stand. “It is further declared that all forms of indictment inform of recommendations and government position on same as they relate to the plaintiff cannot stand and they are of no legal effect as they relate to the plaintiff, and the indictments contained in the report and the government White Paper are hereby set aside, and ordered that all the steps legal and other wise already taken by the defendants against the plaintiff are hereby set aside.”

PHOTO: NAN

MDGs Office executes N5.4bn projects in Gombe –Gov’s aide DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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pecial Adviser to the Gombe State Governor on the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, Alhaji Adamu Audi, said his office had spent N5.4 billion in executing many projects across the state, including the Conditional Grant Scheme, CGS, in the last six years. Addressing journalists on the activities of his office, Audi said the amount was spent based on a 50:50 ratio contribution between the state and the Federal Government. He said the MDGs Office had constructed 302 boreholes, rehabilitated 40 existing water schemes and built 66 VIP toilets. Audi added that 36 health facilities consisting of Basic Health Centres, Primary Health Centres, Health and Maternity Clin-

ics were constructed and rehabilitated. He said the MDGs Office also constructed one modern Women Development Centre in Gombe metropolis and four skills acquisition centres, while 1,320 youth were trained in various skills and provided with tools to set up businesses. Audi added that the MDGs Office also initiated a move to assist 1,500 poor families across the 114 wards in the state under the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme by giving them N5,000 each and payment of N10,000 to their bank accounts every month. He said: “The money paid into their bank accounts is meant to support a member of the household who will be trained in any vocation or trade to augment the up keep of the family.”


Friday, April 12, 2013

Athletics: ics: Sagamu es for Golden bubbles e League

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Sport

Hard work and top fitness tn will earn me a spot in the Juve starting b team before season ends - JUVENTUS NEW SI SIGNING, NICOLAS ANELKA

Amodu gets tech technical director’s letter JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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ormer Super Eagles’coach, Shuaibu Amodu, has received his appointment letter from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as the Federation’s technical director. The NFF yesterday, in Abuja, also issued appointment letters to Amodu’s assistants, James Peters and Kashimawo Laloko. “I can confirm that we have been handed our letters of appointment by the Nigeria Football Federation. I was appointed the assistant national technical director for youth and women development and will work with my boss, Amodu Shuaibu, who was appoint-

FIFA ranking: Nigeria down to 31st Mikel Obi

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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eigning African champions, Nigeria’s Super Eagles, have paid the price of forcing the Harambee Stars of Kenya to a oneall draw in a 2014 World Cup tie in Calabar last month, as the latest FIFA Ranking released yesterday, saw Nigeria going down to 31st spot from her previous 30th position. However, Nigeria retains her fourth place on the continent behind Cote d’Ivoire (12), Ghana (22) and Mali (26). In a statement sent to National Mirror, the world soccer governing body said the April edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking had brought movement to the top 10. “Although the leading trio of Spain, Germany

and Argentina remain unchanged, they are now being pursued by Croatia, who have climbed five places to fourth thanks to World Cup qualifying wins against Serbia and Wales, equalling the position achieved when they finished third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, while England (7th, down 3), Italy (8th, down 3) and the Netherlands (9th, down 1) have all lost ground on the leaders. “ Meanwhile, Ecuador (10th, up 1) have overtaken Russia (11th, down 1) and entered the top ten for the first time thanks to wins against El Salvador and Paraguay,” FIFA said. A total of 120 “A” international matches were taken into account for the April edition of the ranking, 83 of them qualification matches for the 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup Brazil.

NPFL: Pillars four points clear

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igeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Kano Pillars, are now four points ahead of the chasing pack after their 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars on Wednesday. The Kano club now has 15 points on the log, four ahead of second-placed Enugu Rangers, whose position depended on the outcome of the 3SC and Bayelsa United’s game going on as the time of filing in this report, yesterday. The win over Sunshine at the Sani Abacha Stadium extended Pillars’ unbeaten home streak to 157 games. “If the season ended

yesterday (Wednesday) I’m sure we would have been crowned champions again. But it is still a long way to the end. There are more than 30 games left to play, and we must remain consistent if we want to win the league,” Coach Mohammed Baba Ganaru said happily after the game. Alhaji Mohammed Alhaji got the winner for Pillars, as Sunshine again rolled up in another visit to the stadium in Kofar Mata. Meanwhile, El Kanemi Warriors recorded their first victory of the season when they beat Akwa United 2-1 in Maiduguri. Bamai and Haruna Babalo were the scorers.

ed the national technical director,” Peters told MTNFootball.com. Laloko is appointed assistant technical director for youth development. Amodu qualified Nigeria for the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, but on both occasions he did not take the team to the finals, as the NFF bypassed him and hired Frenchman Philippe Troussier and Swedish Lars Lagerbach. Meanwhile, the NFF has denied reports in some dailies (not National Mirror) that it had slashed the N5million monthly salary of Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi. Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama said the false story was another concoction aimed at distracting the Federation at this very crucial period. “The NFF has a contract with Coach Stephen Keshi clearly speltout, and we intend to respect that contract. That contract says Keshi is to get N5m as monthly salary. Nothing has changed,” Inyama said.

Amodu

W/Cup: F/Eagles to resume camp Monday JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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igeria’s U-20 Nation Team, Flying Eagles, will resume camp next Monday ahead of this year’s U-20 FIFA World Cup holding between June 21 and July 13 in Turkey. The Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chief Emeka Inyama, confirmed this to National Mirror yesterday in Abuja. He said that arrangements were on to ensure the team’s suc-

cessful outing at the forthcoming biennial soccer fiesta, adding that the programme submitted by Coach John Obuh had been approved. Inyama said, “We are making plans to fortify the team and give them better preparation ahead of the big tournament. We want to use this opportunity to thank Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State for accepting to accommodate and support the team as they continue for the competition. “II have no doubt that the team will do well because already plans are on to bring in new players who are

A Flying Eagles’ player (left) tussling with an opponent in a match.

experienced to enable them perform better.” Flying Eagles who finished third during the African Youth Championship (AYC) recently held in Algeria, are in Group B with Portugal, Cuba and South Korea and will open her campaign on June 21 against Portugal in Kayseri. Their other match dates are June 24 against Cuba also in Kayseri and then on July 27 against Korea Republic in Istanbul. Nigeria lost to France in the quarter-finals of the same tournament two years ago.


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Friday, April 12, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Blues’ nod for Mourinho

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Home-based athletes training ahead of the Sagamu Golden League

Athletics: Sagamu bubbles for Golden League YEMI OLUS

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he first leg of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League earlier scheduled to hold in Rivers State will commence at the Gateway Stadium in Sagamu, Ogun State, tomorrow. The one-day event which will have athletes from all over the country in attendance will begin with an All-Comers event while the Golden League events proper will take off in the afternoon as

the athletes jostle for the top prize of N2 million. Events that will be competed in include the 100m, 200, 400m, triple jump (women), javelin, shotput and the relays while athletes are expected to win at least five of the six legs to qualify for the jackpot. Other legs of the series will take place in Enugu, Akure, Warri and Lagos. Meanwhile AFN President, Solomon Ogba, yesterday said that the Golden League had received a N50 million sponsorship boost from Solid Works Limited, saying

the gesture would enable the federation to host the league without hitches. Ogba, who commended the sponsor, said the Golden League series was aimed at keeping Nigerian athletes based at home busy almost through the season. “We want to discourage our athletes from racing in foreign lands for peanuts,” the AFN boss said, adding, “Serious athletes have something to look forward to in the Golden League every season, considering the prize money at stake.”

Homicide: Ndlovu denies fatal drive AFOLABI GAMBARI

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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ormer Warriors captain, Peter Ndlovu, yesterday broke down in court as he denied responsibility for the road accident that killed his elder brother Adam last year. Peter is facing culpable homicide charges as his trial opened before Victoria Falls magistrate Archibald Dingana. The fatal accident which involved Peter’s BMWX5 vehicle occurred at the 417km peg along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road on December 16, with the Zimbabwe legend behind the wheel. Another passenger, Nomqhele Tshili, also died in the crash. The State alleges Peter failed to negotiate a curve and lost control of the vehicle, resulting in the accident. Peter’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo told the court that his client did not cause the fatal accident,

Peter Ndlovu (left) arriving in court with lawyer Harrison Nkomo yesterday

blaming it on a tyre burst. “Adam drove the vehicle to Hwange and he (Peter) was sleeping and it could not be said he was fatigued,” Nkomo said. The State, represented by Namatai Ngwasha, then called in the investigating officer, Constable Victor Mavunga of Victoria Falls, who disputed Peter’s claims of a tyre burst. Mavunga told the court that af-

ter conducting investigations, he had concluded the accident was a result of negligence and speed. According to a forensic report compiled by David Zuze, part of which was read in court, he received a Hankuk tyre and a Continental tyre, but Peter’s vehicle had Hankuk tyres all round. The trial will continue today with the State expected to call in more witnesses.

helsea Chairman, Bruce Buck, has opened the door for Jose Mourinho to make his Stamford Bridge comeback after claiming he is open-minded to the prospect of the club’s most successful coach of the modern era returning this summer. Buck however, said Blues owner Roman Abramovich had yet to make a definitive decision on who would become his next permanent manager. “We’re all thinking about it and have some ideas and certainly Mr. Abramovich is thinking about it,” the chairman said when specifically pressed by reporters about the possibility of Mourinho being offered a second chance at Chelsea. “At the moment we’re concentrating on the end of the season.” Rumours that Mourinho has agreed a deal to manage Paris Saint-Germain have also persisted for many months, with his confirmation earlier this week that he will sit down with Real Madrid officials to discuss his future in the summer viewed by many as a prelude to his depar-

Mourinho

ture from the Spanish club. Buck added that Chelsea were keen to recruit a manager who will stay in the job for an extended period, even though owner Abramovich has a reputation for firing coaches with haste. “I know we have fired what most people would say are a lot of managers and terminated the relationship is a better way to describe it but we’ve always thought long and hard when we’ve done it,” Buck explained. “We certainly believe in stability in managers, but it has to be with the right manager.”

UCL: Messi gets coach’s praise

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arcelona Assistant Coach, Jordi Roura, hailed Lionel Messi’s desire after the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner helped guide the Spanish giants past Paris Saint-Germain and into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. The Spanish league leader was heading out of the competition as it trailed 1-0 on the night, and 3-2 on aggregate, when Messi was introduced as a second-half substitute having started on the bench to protect a hamstring injury. The Argentine made a decisive impact as he was involved in the move that led to Pedro’s equaliser which took the Catalans through on away goals. “It was a pact that we had with him that if things weren’t going well, we would bring him on,” Roura said yesterday. “He is so important and his presence on the field conditioned the game after we had conceded a goal and made an impact on the opponent.” Barcelona has now reached the last four of Europe’s premier club competition for a record sixth successive season, although the latest game was far from the club’s most fluid display as PSG controlled the vast majority of the first period and had chances to kill the game off.

Balotelli

Milan moves against Balotelli ban

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atest reports indicate that AC Milan has launched an appeal against striker Mario Balotelli’s three-match suspension. The former Manchester City striker got the ban, in part, for abusing match officials during the 2-2 draw with Fiorentina on Sunday. Various reports however revealed that Milan would lodge an appeal, citing racist abuse from Fiorentina fans as being to blame for Balotelli’s outburst. Milan desperately needs the striker available with the club’s Champions League qualifying hopes on a knife edge.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Friday, April 12, 2013

55

Win Window on Nigerian p players abroad

with IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Ighalo keeps Granada afloat

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John Chibuike (left)

Chibuike nears 100 percent fitness

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ighly-rated Rosenburg of Norway midfielder John Chibuike says he’s on the process of hitting 100 percent fitness following his groin surgery in Germany just before the current Norwegian Premier League got underway. Chibuike spent four days in Germany to have a successful operation and returned to Norway for a short rehabilitation programme, missing the defending champions’ first league game of the season. Chibuike, who netted eight goals from the midfield in his first season to spark off interests from top spenders, only returned in the second league game which he played from the bench. He has so far made two substitute appearances so far this season as he continues his journey to full fitness. Chibuike told National Mirror that he was made to play sub games as advised by the team doctors for a period until he regains his full fit-

ness to get his starting shirt back. “The coaches and the doctors don’t want to risk playing me 90 minutes having learnt their lesson last season when my injury relapsed,” he former Rangers star recalls. “I’m fast regaining my full fitness as I’m better now from the groin injury I copped against Tromso last season. “The coaches say I have to take it easy having heeded the doctors’ advice that I should play from the bench. “Besides, the team is playing well and it will take some time to get my shirt back and I know I will. The target is the next five games.” Chibuike will continue his sub role in their home tie against Start today. Rosenburg are currently on top of the log after posting a 100 percent performance in the three-week old league.

Shittu leans on fans’ support to soar at Wembley

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igeria’s Danny Shittu has said that the roaring fans of Millwall can make all the difference in the world when they go headon against Wigan in the FA Cup semi final inside the magnificent Wembley Stadium. The Nigeria international in a chat with his club’s official website maintained that a roaring 30,000+ fans can lift the team to victory on the saturday. “The fans have been

allocated just over 30,000 tickets, which is nowhere near enough, but hopefully we can intimidate Wigan and catch them off form.” Shittu remarked Millwall Boss Kenny Jackett agrees no less with Shittu stating that the Lions have a fair chance with the crowd behind them “Wigan are capable of giving the best sides in the Premier League a game and a beating but, if we can bring our crowd into play on Saturday, we have a chance.

ranada of Spain striker Jude Odion Ighalo has sounded out that he’s good enough to grab a shirt in the Eagles’ squad. The former Lyn Oslo star has shrugged off early season injury scare to be among the goals scorers for his modest Spanish side currently finding life a bit tough in the top flight. Ighalo has so far netted five goals in the current season as his side continues to struggle to stay afloat in the top flight. He’s done well enough this season to lead the charge in the attack for the Andalusian side. He told National Mirror he deserved a chance with the Eagles to prove his mettle. He believes his experience playing in the Spanish top flight will bring options in the Eagles’ attack. Ighalo netted against the mighty Barcelona earlier this year, to prove he can hold out against tough opposition. The Barcelona feat, the Lagos-born star believes has shot his profile to an admirable height “I’ve been playing regular football in Europe for the past six sea-

sons and I believe I’m ripe enough to take my game higher,” the former youth international said. “This is my second straight season in the La Liga playing against top clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. “It’s not playing in a modest club like Granada and competing with top clubs that have won everything in their history. “So, what else do I have to prove again to be in the Super Eagles? I believe it’s a matter of time before my time with Eagles will come. “I had good time with the junior national teams and I want to transform to the Super Eagles.” Just recently Ighalo attracted interests from English sides notably Swansea City in the Premiership and Watford. There are strong indications that the former Julius Berger striker could be on his way to England as his five-year contract with Italian side Udinese will run out this summer. He has spent three years out of his five-year Udinese deal on loan at Granada and enjoyed a six-month loan spell at another Italian side, Cesena

Ighalo

Esperance youngster targets Turkey U-20 World Cup

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sperance new signing Emeka Emerum says he’s targeting to play for Nigeria in the U-20 World Cup to boost his first team chances with the Tunisian giants. The 18-year-old star is yet to play an official game for the Blood and Gold since his surprise signing in January. Emerum caught the eye of Flying Eagles’ coach John Obuh when he played in the Esperance team in a friendly against Obuh’s team during their pre-AYC build-up in Tunisia last month. Obuh was impressed with the teenager and promised to include him in his World Cup team should they go ahead to pick the

World Cup ticket in the AYC. Emerum told National Mirror that he was yet to hear from Obuh since they returned from the AYC in Algeria but remained positive that he would make Obuh’s team to the World Cup. “I spoke at length with Coach Obuh when they came to Tunisia for their build up before they departed for Algeria and he assured me that he would include me in his World Cup plans,” Emerum began. “I hope to get a word from him any time from now. I’m seriously banking on the World Cup exposure to break into Esperance team. “I’m still searching for my first

Emerun

official appearance for Esperance since I signed but I believe God that my time is near. “I’ve been great in the training and I travel with the team in both league and Champions League games.”


WORLD RECORD

Most popular light gun peripheral Vol. 03 No. 598

Friday, April 12, 2013

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The light gun technology that has seen the greatest number of games is Namco’’s GunCon, which boasts 30 releases between 1995 and 2010.

Bayelsa police tragedy: Killing for the wrong reasons

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hen in October last year, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State spoke through his deputy, Mr. Tele Ikuru, at the first Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Economic Zone Development Summit held in Port Harcourt, the state capital, and stated that militants in the Niger Delta ‘criminalised’ the struggle for the development of the region, the governor merely reiterated the obvious, which was and still remains the fact that scores of common criminals in the area don the garb of struggling for resource control to commit heinous crimes against the state and ordinary Nigerians. Otherwise, how would a purpose-driven militancy tolerate the kidnap-for- ransom of a three-year old child or a 97-year old man as was the experience at a time? Indeed, a lucrative business has crime turned for some so-called militants in the Niger Delta.

FRIDAYS WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) Weighed against the multi-billion amnesty project the Federal Government is currently prosecuting for ex-militants from the area, alongside mouth watering pipeline protection contracts the government is awarding to their ex-leaders, the establishment of a Niger Delta ministry at the federal level, as well as the interventionist development roles of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), among others, it is puzzling, why restive youths in the area chose to kill 12 police officers in Bayelsa State as was reported recently. Unknown gunmen were said to have felled 12 out of 15 policemen escorting a convoy of boats conveying dignitaries to Azuzuama in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state last Friday. The policemen were part of a team attending one of the funeral rites of the late mother of an ex-militant leader, Mr. Kile Torughedi (a.k.a Young Shall Grow), now serving as the Senior Special Adviser to the state governor, Seriake Dickson, on Marine Waterways Security. Apparently because the killing coincided with threats by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to resume hostilities following the sentencing, last month by a South African Court, of the group’s leader, Charles Okah, to 24 years imprisonment for masterminding the October 1, 2010 bomb attacks in Abuja, the general impression had been that MEND perpetrated the killing, especially after MEND thumped

A

OF POLICEMEN

BAYELSA, JONATHAN’S HOME STATE, IS A DEADLY IN

SLAP ON THE FACE OF A PRESIDENT THAT HAS BEEN TOILING TO PACIFY MILITANTS IN THE

NIGER DELTA

its chest to claim credit for the killings. More recent reports on the incident, however, suggest the contrary. One’s understanding of what transpired was that the policemen were most probably killed because of a misunderstanding between the ex-militant leader (Young Shall Grow) and ‘his boys’ who felt shortchanged. The ex-militant leader now in government allegedly fell out with his boys following his failure to pay the arrears of stipends he owed them. Indeed, a statement credited to the group that claimed it shot dead the policemen said: “What happened yesterday (killing of the policemen) was warning to ‘Young Shall Grow’. He is deducting our salaries and we have been sidelined in… security jobs. He has been given

Sport Extra

w merican great, Jack Nicklaus, expects Tiger Woods to break his all-time record of 18 major championship titles. Woods looks to have rediscovered something like his best form this season, winning three times al-

THE LATEST KILLING

N80 million to buy cars for his commanders, but he embezzled the money. We want the federal and state governments and other stakeholders to come to our aid.” Unfathomable, however, is how the stipends the ex-militant leader owed his boys and the N80 million he allegedly cornered and refused to buy cars for his commanders have links with the slain policemen. Were the policemen keeping custody of the unpaid stipends and the N80 million on behalf of the ex-militant leader, to deserve the callous attack and death they got? And from what legal or moral pedigree was the group appealing to the Federal Government, states and other stakeholders to come to their aid after the criminal elimination of innocent policemen on official duty? It is ridiculous that such a large number of policemen can be wasted, and for the wrong reasons. Nigeria seems to have become a nation where lessons are never learnt from past mistakes. When in 1999, militants in Odi, also in Bayelsa State, murdered five policemen and four soldiers on official assignment in the area, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo government descended on Odi with troops that levelled the community in what is now widely reputed as the ‘Invasion of Odi’. In the end, between 2,483 and 2,500 lives were reportedly lost, although the official figure was more conservative. Zaki Biam in Benue State suffered a similar fate in 2001 when 19 soldiers were murdered and beheaded by insurgents in the area. Although President Goodluck Jonathan has publicly rejected the Obasanjo government’s style, the killing of security agents with impunity in any part of the country is a huge insult on the government, whose major constitutional responsibility is the protection of life and property. More so, the latest killing of policemen in Bayelsa, Jonathan’s home state, is a deadly slap on the face of a president that has been toiling to pacify militants in the Niger Delta. And while the Obasanjo approach may not be on the cards, one shudders at the magnitude of such impunity still in waiting if those behind the killings escape

Golf: Woods tipped for all-time record ready and reclaiming the world number one ranking from Rory McIlroy. However, the 37-year-old’s major success remains the 2008 US Open, when he defied serious injury to beat

Rocco Mediate in a play-off. Despite his recent drought, Nicklaus believes Woods still has the time and desire to eclipse his record, although he warned that failure to win at Augusta

this weekend could prove a significant setback. “I think he’s just too talented, too driven and too focused on that,” Nicklaus said. “If he wins here that it

would be a very large step toward regaining the confidence, in that he has not won a major in a while. “I think it will be a great boost for him if he figures it out here.”

Tiger Woods

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Friday, April 12, 2013  

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