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Amaechi used forged documents to operate aircraft, FG insists

Violence erupts in Ibadan as ACN, AP supporters clash

We’ve not breached any law –Rivers

SAM OLUWALANA, OLUSEGUN KOIKI AND

OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

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he Federal Government for the umpteenth time yesterday said that the grounded Bombardier Global Express 5000 aircraft belong-

Vol. 3 N0. 613

ing to the Rivers State Government used forged clearance documents to operate illegally. The aircraft, with the CONTINUED ON PAGE 4>>

Ajimobi

183 hoodlums arrested in Lagos

Friday, May 3, 2013

Abuja land:

P.8,9

N150

Turai floors Dame Jonathan Court affirms Yar’Adua’s wife’s ownership We’ll appeal judgement –FCTA

Reps probe Petroleum Minister, Shell over N57trn oil deal P.5

EMMANUEL ONANI AND MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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he First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, yesterday lost the legal battle between her and her immediate predecessor, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, over the ownership of a choice parcel of land located in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. After a protracted battle, the High Court of Abuja yesterday set aside the decision of the FCT Minister, Senator Bala CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Alison-Madueke

Terrorists destroy schools, hospitals, telecom masts, others in Borno Dame Jonathan

P.12

Turai Yar’Adua

North rejects six-year single term for president, governors ...says interim govt should conduct election Ibori’s appeal fails, to serve out 13-yr jail term

P.2 P.6

Anxiety over Chime’s health ..whereabouts unknown P.10


News

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North rejects six-year single term for president, govs AZA MSUE KADUNA

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he apex northern socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday rejected the proposal by the Senate for a sixyear single term for president, governors and others. Saying that the proposal would be counterproductive, the ACF explained that such provision would not ensure good governance if allowed to become law. It added that the proposal lacked basic elements of motivation and incentive for excellent performance. A statement by the organisation’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, suggested that Nigeria should consider the Bangladesh model, which uses caretaker government to conduct elections. The forum also argued that election into the first term is on the basis of hope while the second term should be based on performance in the office. The ACF stressed that most countries in the world are practicing multiple tenure system, which enables leaders to aspire for excellence in the hope of re-election. The Senate Committee on the Review of the Consti-

tution was said to have recommended non-renewable six-year tenure for the president, the vice-president, the governors and their deputies. The Senate panel also recommended the disqualification of President Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent governors from benefiting from the proposed arrangement. But the ACF said the only motivation for single tenure was that it would be used by leaders to embezzle state resources without being checked. The statement reads in part: “The attention of Arewa Consultative Forum has been drawn to the reported recommendations by the Senate for provision in the constitution for a single tenure of six years for presidents and governors. “Such a provision would be counterproductive, precisely because it cannot further the cause of good governance that goes with purposeful leadership, especially when regard is paid to the fact that it lacks the basic elements of motivation and incentives needed in management of human affairs for performance. “In the single tenure system, there are no incentives, motivation and reward that can inspire for excellent per-

formance. “And this has to do with the fact that the good, the not-so-good and the reckless leaders are grouped together in the same hall without any distinction. Such a practice cannot deliver on good governance. That may explain why most countries in the world practice multiple tenure systems which enable leaders to aspire for excellence in the hope of reward by way of re-election. “This is because election into first term is on the basis of hope while that

for second term should be based on performance in the office. Leaders should be elected not only on the basis of hope but also on the basis of performance in the office. “Those countries which put limit on their multiple tenure system, like America, do so as deliberate effort to allow ingress of fresh hands into governance and leadership. That is to say, they make allowance for motivation and incentives that inspire strides for excellence and also make allowance for fresh hands in

multiple tenure system. “As to the fear of abuse of incumbency prevalent in our political cockpit, it is to be noted that countries devise their own ways of curtailing such abuses, and not to sacrifice performance through killing motivation, incentives and rewards in the management of human affairs. “While developed nations have made efforts in brain and brawn to enable their citizens make judicious use of their democratic rights to make their votes count, the

developing nations are still struggling, and so try to put some mechanisms that can check abuse of incumbency. “For example, Chile practices multiple tenure system that is not consecutive. That is to say, the constitution does not allow a president or governor of a state to conduct an election in which he is a candidate. And that was why the extremely popular president in the person of Madam Michel could not contest for the president during the last elections in Chile.”

L-R: Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio after Sambo’s meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister at the Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, on Wednesday. PHOTO: NAN

Abuja land: Turai floors Dame Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Mohammed, to reallocate the land to Patience. Yesterday’s decision has, therefore, laid to rest, the legal tussle, referred to by keen watchers as “Battle of the First Ladies”. The minister had revoked the plot, measuring about 1.84 hectares, located at the Central Business District of Abuja. The parcel of land is at 1347 Cadastral Zone AOO. Though the FCT Administration had allocated the contentious plot to Turai’s non-governmental organisation, the Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation, WAYEF, it was later revoked and reallocated to Mrs. Jonathan for the building of a secretariat of the African First Ladies’ Peace Summit. Justifying the action of the FCT Administration, Mohammed had told trial judge, Justice Peter Affen,

that the revocation and the accompanying reallocation was carried out in “overriding public interest”. This development, however, compelled Mrs. Yar’Adua to approach the court for justice. While the matter lasted, several unsuccessful attempts were made to settle the dispute out of court. National Mirror gathered that it was the resolve of both parties to stick to their guns that culminated in the decision of the court, which hitherto sat at Bwari Area Council. Delivering judgement yesterday, Justice Affen held that the argument by the minister that the disputed land was revoked on account of “overriding public interest” failed to persuade the court. The judge held that the initial letter of offer issued to Yar’Adua’s organisation by the minister remained

valid and subsisting. “The defendants failed woefully to adduce any shred of evidence before this court to support their claims that the allocation of the land was revoked on overriding public interest. “There is no overriding public interest in this issue. The allocation made to the plaintiff who is a vocational training centre was in public interest and in line with section 28 (1) of Land Use Act.” While faulting the minister, the court held that the exercise of such power must be carried out within the ambits of the law. The land was said to have been allocated to the former First Lady on February 19, 2010, when her late husband, President Umaru Yar’Adua, still held sway as President. Joined as co-defendants in the suit were the FCT minister; the Abuja Geo-

graphic Information System, AGIS and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN. Turai’s NGO had also asked the court to restore its ownership, to award a whopping N1.5bn as general damages, N100m as exemplary damages and N100m as aggravated damages. The organisation also demanded another N261m already paid for Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and N454m paid for building designs. The court however refused to accede to these compensatory demands. Meanwhile, the FCT Administration has indicated its intention to appeal the verdict. This plan was disclosed by FCT’s Head of the Legal Unit, Mrs. Ima Akpongete, who reacted on behalf of

the minister. However, the Presidency in its reaction yesterday said the judgement was not against the person of Patience Jonathan. The Presidency said this in a statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Office of the First Lady, Ayo Osinle. The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Office of the First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria has been drawn to today’s (yesterday) online news publications on the judgement in the case between Hajia Turai Yar’Adua’s NGO, WAYEF, and the FCT Administration. “We wish to say for the umpteenth time that the land matter had been taken out of context in the public domain, to create an impression that Dame Patience tried to take over a land previously allocated to Hajia Turai.

“The fact of the matter is that this was not the case, as we have consistently explained. The land, as clarified by former FCT Minister, Aliyu Moddibo Umar, in the Daily Trust edition of Thursday, August 2, 2012, was originally allocated to the African First Ladies Peace Mission during the tenure of Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, as President of the Peace Mission in 2008. “By some curious circumstances, which have been explained by the FCT Administration, the piece of land was re-allocated to Hajia Turai Yar’Adua’s NGO (WAYEF), under another plot number. It is this anomaly, considered an administrative error, which the FCT had tried to rectify. “Let it be known that the FCT took what it considered a legitimate course of action to rectify the error, which Hajia Turai chalCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


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Friday, May 3, 2013

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Photo News

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Lord Mayor of City of the London, Alderman Roger Gifford; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Peter Carter, during the Lord Mayor’s visit to Lagos, yesterday. L-R: Regional Business Manager, National Mirror Newspapers, Mr. David Adeagbo; Head, Press and External Relations, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Mr. Kalu Otisi and Abuja Advert Manager, Mr. Gbenga Adeosun, during a visit of the National Mirror team to the PTDF headquarters in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R:Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Pascal Dozie; author of the book, Dr. Christopher Kolade; Special Guest and former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the launch of the book titled: “Kolade’s Canons” in Lagos, yesterday.

Group Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola (left) and Chairman, Alhaji Suleiman Adegunwa, at the 51st Annual General meeting of the bank in Lagos, yesterday.

National News

Amaechi used forged documents to operate aircraft, FG insists CONTINUED FROM 1 registration number N565RS, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah said, is currently listed on the United States Department of Transport (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration Registry. In a statement issued by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Joe Obi, the minister said the registration was issued to “Bank of Utah Trustee” of 200 E, South Temple, Suite 210, Salt Lake City, UT 841111346. Obi said the registration was issued on September 28, 2012 and would expire on September 30, 2015, adding that the registration certificate explicitly stated that the aircraft registration was not transferable. He explained that the aircraft was insured with Alliance Global Risks US Insurance Company. Obi said: “The policy holder noted on the Certificate of Insurance is Acass Canada Limited of 6700 Cote de Liesse, Suite

206, Montreal, QC H4T 2B5, Canada. “The Certificate of Insurance is dated September 28, 2012 to expire on August 12, 2013, and it appears to have been issued with respect to a Ferry Flight Agreement of September 2012. “On April 26, 2013 the aircraft was refused startup at Akure airport due to insufficient and improper documentation. Specifically, the pilot failed and/ or refused to file a proper passenger manifest declaring the full identity of all passengers on the aircraft for the intended flight as mandatorily required by the regulatory authorities. “Upon review of the aircraft’s records, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, discovered that the aircraft was operating illegally within the Nigerian airspace. Specifically, it was revealed that the aircraft did not have a valid flight clearance for its operations on April 26, 2013 as the last purported clearance obtained for the

aircraft expired on April 2, 2013.” Obi said investigation revealed that the last flight clearance had been obtained using the name of Caverton Helicopters, but noted that a letter from the helicopter company, Caverton Helicopters dated April 26, 2013 disclaimed any knowledge of or involvement with the flight clearances previously obtained in its name for the aircraft. He stressed that in view of Caverton’s letter denying its involvement with the clearances applications, the ministry directed the NCAA to commence investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the false clearance applications. Obi said the flight clearance process is a vital safety and security component of civil aviation worldwide, which requires the involvement of the civil aviation authorities and the security agencies before approval is given. Caverton insisted it would not want to be drawn

into the issue. Speaking through one of its consultants, who did not want to be named, as he was not directed to speak on the issue, Caverton explained that the company only had responsibility to the ministry and the regulator, NCAA on the issue. The consultant said: “Caverton does not have any position on this issue. There are so many ways to this issue and if Caverton has to explain, it will have to be through NCAA and the supervisory ministry.” But the Rivers State Government yesterday disowned stories being bandied around the purchase of the airplane by the NCAA. According to a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari, the state expressed dismay over series of statements made by officials of the aviation regulating agencies. But the state govern-

ment maintained that it has not breached any law. A statement by the commissioner yesterday explained its own side thus: “Aircraft N 566 RS arrived Nigeria and has been operating since October 2012. “It was bought by Rivers State Government and registered as a US Aircraft in the first instance to preserve value and provide ease of operation and sourcing of available pilots. “To qualify for N registration, operator must be a US citizen hence RVSG entered into a trust with Bank of Utah Inc, a bank that specialises in Aircraft trust. “The relationship between the state government and Bank of Utah is that of a trustor and trustee. All N registered aircrafts enjoy the privileges of a US citizen. Trust agreement for the purpose of N registration is common in the aviation industry. “It is important to state that there are other air-

craft owners in Nigeria with N registered aircraft. This practice is because of the ease of movement that N registered aircraft are privileged to enjoy. We do not therefore understand why Rivers State Government has been singled out. “The clearance referred to was PH- Accra- PH and not Accra PH Accra as stated. Aircraft was being operated through a local operator, Caverton Helicopters, pending approval of importation licence by Minister of Aviation. “Request for this license was filed by the operator on behalf of the Rivers State government and this was expressly stated in the request filed on August 27, 2012 and received in the Minister’s office on September 4,2012. “The Rivers State government is a responsible sub-national and guardian of the resources of its people. It will at all times and in all circumstances act within the confines of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Friday, May 3, 2013

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Reps probe Petroleum Minister, Shell over N57trn oil deal TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives has set up an ad hoc committee to investigate an alleged N59trn oil deal involving the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC. The panel will also probe the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC; the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; the Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and the Septa Energy Limited to establish their roles in the matter. The probe concerns allegations that AlisonMadueke allegedly compromised officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NPDC in the transactions that led to the farm-out of some oil blocks, pointing out that the sum of $15.7trn worth of gas assets were alleged to be at stake in the deal. The legislators are acting on allegations of deliberate exclusion of indigenous operators from exercising their rights of first refusal before selections were made, adding that the exercise was carried out in violation of sections 3 ( 1), (2) and 5 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry content Act N0 2

of 2010. They said the Federal Government would have earned $800m in upfront payments instead of the $50m it received, if there had be an open competitive bidding in accordance with the Public Procurement Act. The decision to probe the deal came on the heels of motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by Hon. Afam Victor Ogene (APGAAnambra), citing Order viii, Rule 46/Rule 49. The lawmaker recalled that protesting representatives of oil-producing ethnic nationalities in Delta State had marched on the premises of the National Assembly to protest the alleged fraudulent allocation of some marginal oil fields, including oil mining leases (OMLs) 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42. Ogene also noted that the protesters complained of the secret and arbitrary allocation of the OMLs to both Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept and Septa Energy Ltd without recourse to the law and due process. He added that the protesters alleged that “the Minister of Petroleum Resources and Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd. compromised officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation – a subsidiary of the

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – who were allegedly accused of impropriety, abuse of due process and fraud in the transactions leading to the farm-out of the said oil blocks. The House is aware that a colossal sum of $380bn or about N59trn and $15.72trn worth of gas asset were alleged to be at stake in the shady deal.” He pointed out that it was also alleged that there was a deliberate exclusion if indigenous operators from exercising their rights of first consideration or refusal, which violates sections 3(1), (2) and 5 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act (No 2), 2010. According to him, “This

is an action, which obviated the need for an open and competitive bidding in favour of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, which neither tendered nor bided for the (oil) blocks allocated to it,” He noted that the entire deal became possible through a mischievous process of hinging the transaction on the ‘Strategic Alliance Agreement’ – an action which was deliberately designed to circumvent due process and transparency in contravention of Section 3 of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparent Initiative, NEITI, Act 2005, the Public Procurement Act and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content

Act (No 2) 2010. He prayed that there was “need to discharge its (House’s) constitutional responsibility under Section 88(1b) and (2b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which requires the House to conduct an investigation into the public affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department for the purpose of exposing corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws, and being mindful of the weighty accusations being made in this reference.” In passing the motion, the House urged stake-

holders, authorities or bodies to cooperate and assist the committee in it investigation and findings. It would be recalled that representatives from Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa oil-producing communities of Delta State stormed the National Assembly on Thursday, April 25, and handed the National Assembly a 30-day ultimatum to redress what they alleged as fraudulent allocation of OMLs, or risk the oil fields being shut down. The NPDC has however denied any wrong doing in paid advertisements published recently, insisting that the accusations were false and mischievous.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory, Mr. John Chukwu; Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide; Deputy Secretary, Police Cooperative Society Limited, Moronkeji Adesina and Liaison Officer, PCSL, Mr. Kalu Mba, during the presentation of land document allocated to Nigeria Police, in Abuja yesterday.

Court upholds N’Assemly’s powers Turai floors Dame Jonathan on candidates’ nomination CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

lenged in court, having turned down several efforts to get her NGO another piece of land.” It added that the Office of the First Lady had repeatedly stated that the land, which had been subject of litigation, was between the FCT Administration and Turai’s NGO and neither the African First Ladies Peace Mission nor Dame Patience Jonathan was joined in the suit. The statement added: “For purposes of emphasis, we wish to reiterate that the land in question was first allocated to the African First Ladies Peace Mission, according to re-

cords available to us, during the tenure of Hajia Turai Yar’Adua as President of the Mission. “If in leaving office she had decided to depart with the land, the FCT has taken appropriate logical action to retrieve the said plot for the original allotee and purpose. “To this extent, we wish to state categorically that the judgement referred to in the media was not against the person of Dame Patience Jonathan, and we will like the public and wellmeaning Nigerians to put the matter in its proper perspective for the purpose of accurate record and common good.”

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Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday upheld the powers of the National Assembly to legislate on how political parties should nominate candidates for elections. The court also refused to invalidate Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) as prayed by the plaintiffs. Section 87 stipulates the procedure for the conduct of primaries by political parties seeking to nominate candidates. Justice Okechukwu Okeke gave the ruling in a suit brought by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, which was represented by its National Legal Adviser,

Dr. Muiz Banire. The party had sued the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, seeking a declaration that the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) are inconsistent with the provisions of sections 4 and 228 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). The party said the inconsistency made the section “ultra vires (beyond the powers of) the National Assembly, and is, therefore, null and void to the extent of their inconsistency.” The party also prayed the court to declare the section unconstitutional and void on the grounds that

it mandates the conduct of and stipulates the manner of conducting primary elections by political parties for elections into the offices of the President, Vice-President, Governor, National Assembly and State House of Assembly. It sought a declaration that the procedure adopted by a political party for the conduct of primaries for nomination of its candidates in an election is outside the legislative domain of the National Assembly. But Justice Okechukwu held that the exercise of the National Assembly’s regulatory powers as contained in Section 228 of the

1999 Constitution gave rise to the enactment of the Electoral Act. He further held that all the sections/provisions of the Electoral Act apply to all political parties in Nigeria equally and without any discrimination. “The conduct of election into political offices is INEC’s exclusive duty. In doing so, there must be order. Section 87 is to ensure that there is a level-playing ground for all Nigerians. It is not targeted at the plaintiff only. “There is no merit in this application and it is hereby dismissed. There shall be no order as to cost,” Justice Okeke said.


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Friday, May 3, 2013

FG seeks private sector’s N13trn to finance infrastructure TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government is targeting N13 trillion, representing 41 per cent of the funding outlay from the private sector to fill the funding gap in ongoing infrastructure projects which would be implemented under a Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement in the 2010 - 2013 medium term. It is estimated that about N32 trillion would be required to complete the major projects which cut across power generation, transportation and other sectors. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Ayim Pius Ayim, gave an insight into the financial capacity of the Federal Government on projects yesterday at the contract disclosure forum hosted by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, in Abuja. Ayim said the Federal Government could only provide about 31 per cent of the funding outlay, states and local governments would provide 28 per cent, while the balance of 41 per cent would come from the private sector. In monetary terms, the Federal Government would commit N9.9 trillion compared to the states and local governments’ contributions totalling N8.96 trillion to finance the projects. The SGF said the Federal Government expected the ICRC “to address the huge national infrastruc-

ture deficit through empowering Ministries, Agencies and Departments, MDAs, to utilise the PPP model as procurement method of choice to rapidly turn around the country’s infrastructure as it drives, catalyses and facilitates the effective and efficient engagement of the private sector”. The overall aim of initiating the contract disclosure framework, Ayim said, “is to fast track the process of initiating, developing and implementing PPP projects in a transparent, competitive and sustainable manner that would both ensure value for money for the economy, while putting in place world class infrastructure for the citizens”. Ayim said the ICRC had a unique “but arduous task and responsibility of creating enabling environment for the private sector to partner with government in the financing, operation and management of infrastructure and allied services”. Ayim then urged that commission to develop and issue policies and guidelines on PPP as well as develop a market by promoting a harmonised framework for infrastructural development. According to the Vision 20:2020 policy blueprint, Nigeria is expected to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world in 2020. The key macro-economic goals of the document are, GDP of not less than $900 billion; power generation capacity of at least 40,000 megawatts; GDP per capita of not less than $4,000; improved GCI and HDI; and sustainable 10 per cent GDP growth.

13-yr jail term: UK court throws out Ibori’s appeal PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he British Royal Court of Justice on the Strand in London yesterday rejected an appeal by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, to have his 13-year jail term for money laundering slashed. Two justices of the appellate court dismissed Ibori’s appeal for want of merit. On April 2012, a Southwark Crown Court in South London jailed Ibori for 13 years for embezzling more than $250 million from the treasury of the Delta State between 1999 and 2007 when he served

ABUJA

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Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday issued an order relocating Mr. Kabiru Sokoto, the suspected operation arrow-head of the dreaded Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, from Kuje prisons to the custody of the State Security Service, SSS. The order to relocate the suspected bomber of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State, on Christmas day, followed a request by the lead counsel to the Federal Government, Mrs. Chioma Onuegbu, in the matter yesterday.

The prosecution relied on a letter emanating from the Office of the Comptroller General of Prisons stating that there was a major work ongoing at the prison formation, which was stressing the facility. The prison boss prayed the prosecution to relocate Sokoto to the custody of the SSS where his security could be guaranteed on a day Sokoto himself prayed the court to admit him to bail to enable him prepare for his trial. But National Mirror gathered yesterday that the main reason for the relocation was not unconnected with the fear of attack of the prison. The court had on April

as governor. Just like when he was sentenced, news agency said a retinue of his supporters thronged the courthouse wearing Tshirts calling for his freedom. The London Southwark Crown Court, where he was sentenced, was told the amount he stole from the people of Delta State was “unquantified”. His sentence was announced by Judge Anthony Pitts. Before his sentence, his lawyers had tried to make a case for a lenient jail term. His lead counsel, Nicholas Pernell, blamed Badrash Gohil and former

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Victor Attah, for the V-Mobile scam, saying they were the architects of the fraud. He further credited his client with every development in Nigeria, and especially in Delta State, from the banking reforms, to peace in the Niger Delta, education, and building of low-cost housing. Also in his defence, Pernell said Ibori played a part in supporting British industry even before he became governor. As evidence, he cited a letter from British Airways, thanking Ibori for restoring direct flights between Nigeria and Britain. In his conclusion, Per-

nell asked the judge to consider the pressure that his client had been under since investigations began in 2005, and also the accused children who now have both their parents in custody before passing his sentence. Sasha Wass, QC, prosecuting him, told the court Ibori “deliberately and systematically” defrauded the people he was elected to represent. “From the moment Ibori was elected, he set about enriching himself at the expense of some of the poorest people in the world,” Wass said at the start of Ibori’s two-day sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London.

Suspected hoodlums arrested by officials of the Lagos State Task Force on Environment in Lagos, yesterday.

Kuje prison rejects Sokoto, suspected Christmas day bomber ISE-OLUWA IGE

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19 ordered that Sokoto be remanded in Kuje prisons. But Sokoto was not moved from the SSS custody to Kuje prisons until April 25, following bureaucratic challenges. But even when he was moved to the Kuje prisons, neither his counsel nor his family members could gain access to him. His lead counsel, Mr H. A. Ibrahim, who protested to the court yesterday over the flouting of its order, however, claimed that access to Sokoto at the custody of the SSS was better than the prison. He said efforts by his team to see Sokoto on April 26, 27 and May 1 at Kuje failed.

PHOTO: MURITALA AYINLA

Law to grant loans to students underway TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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bill seeking to give loans to students seeking tertiary education was passed for third reading in the House of Representatives yesterday. The bill, which scaled second reading after a short but favourable debate, is sponsored by Minority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. The bill seeks “to provide easy access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loan with a view to providing education for all Nigerians”. The lawmaker from Lagos State, in a lead debate

on the bill, regretted that despite an express provision in Section 18 of the 1999 Constitution that government should offer free education to its citizens at all levels, most Nigerians remained illiterate and vulnerable to harsh economic circumstances. According to him, the bill seeks to establish a fund that would disburse loans to students who are eligible for tertiary education, but are too poor to pay through their programmes of study. Gbajabiamila reasoned that beneficiaries of such loans, once employed after graduation, would repay the loans from their earnings,

as the government could “deduct from the source”. The legislator regretted that despite the status of the country as the “sixth largest producer of oil in the world,” most Nigerians were still illiterate and denied tertiary education because they could not afford it. Gbajabiamila observed that the lack of commitment to provide basic needs to the citizenry, including free education, was responsible for the lack of patriotism by Nigerians. He said: “You cannot expect a Nigerian that government is not responsible for, to be patriotic.”


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Friday, May 3, 2013

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Lagos targets N7.615trn locked in extra-legal economy MURITALA AYINLA

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L-R: Chairman of Council of Ministers of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mr. Issoufou Issaka; Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Dr. Nuruddeen Muhammad, at the 58th session of council of Ministers of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FG withdraws criminal charge against Leadership reporters ISE-OLUWA IGE

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he Federal Government yesterday approached a federal high court sitting in Abuja with a request to withdraw a forgery charge preferred by it against the Group News Editor, Mr. Tony Amokeodo and Political Correspondent, Mr. Chibuzor Ukaibe of Leadership newspapers. The government gave no reason for the decision. The Federal Government had slammed a six-count forgery charge against the Leadership newspapers and two of its reporters for allegedly forging a document containing a purported presidential directive to the Independent

National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to register a merging opposition political party ahead of the 2015 polls. They were also accused of fraudulent publication of a bromide of the controversial document, inciting members of the public against the government to dislocate the nation’s peace and forgery of the seal, signet or sign manual purported to be the signature of President Jonathan Goodluck. In order to properly prosecute the case, the government hired an Abuja-based member of the inner bar, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), to handle the case. Representative of the newspaper, Dr Mike Okpere, together with the two jour-

Judge’s bereavement stalls ruling on Lawan, Emenalo’s application EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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uling on an application to quash charges against the former Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Hon. Farouk Lawan and the committee’s Secretary, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, was stalled yesterday. An official of the court told National Mirror that the trial judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, ‘lost his blood brother.’ Consequently, May 10, was fixed as new date for ruling on the pending application by Lawan and Emenalo, to have the court quash the seven-count charge preferred against them by the Independent

Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC. The anti-corruption agency alleged that Lawan and Emenalo collected $620, 000 as bribe from the Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas, Mr. Femi Otedola, ostensibly to delete the names of the latter’s companies - Zenon Petroleum and Gas as well as Synopsis Enterprises Limited, from the list of companies allegedly found to have defrauded the Federal Government of billions of naira. As a counter, however, the accused persons have argued that the commission has not established any prima facie case against them, to necessitate or warrant their being put on trial.

nalists had already been arraigned before the high court. But, before the legal fireworks started, the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, Mr. Bello Adoke (SAN), invoked his powers under section 174 (1) (c) of the 1999 Constitution to instruct the private prosecutor, Chief Awomolo (SAN) to withdraw the charge against all the accused persons. The section reads: “The Attorney-General of the Federation shall have power to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authourity or person. In the notice filed by Awomolo (SAN) pursuant to

the attorney-general’s directive, he indicated the intention of the chief law officer of the federation to discontinue the trial. The notice specifically reads: “Take notice that the complainant, the honourable Attorney-General of the Federation intends that the criminal proceedings consisting six counts charge against the accused persons: Tony Amokeodo, Chibuzor Ukaibe and Leadership Group Limited, be discontinued and the six counts against them are hereby withdrawn The application is yet to be heard by the court. National Mirror reports that before all the accused persons were arraigned, chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), had, last Friday, stormed Aso Villa in Abuja, to hold a closed-door meeting with the President.

Govt should end casualisation of doctors –NMA President TOBORE OVUORIE

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he Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday called on the government at all levels to end the practice of casualising doctors’ employment across the country. Making the call in Lagos yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 53rd Annual General Conference/Delegates meeting of the NMA, its President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, specifically appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to stop the casualisatoion of doctors in the state. It will be recalled that the Lagos State government in 2012 employed about 373 medical doctors as locum doctors (casual workers). According

to the Lagos State government, the locum doctors were engaged to put an end to doctors’ strike in the state. Enabulele also urged all state governments, particularly Lagos, that are yet to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary structure, CONMESS, to do so without further delay. Reacting to the ongoing war on professionalism and hierarchical order in the country’s public hospitals and its health sector, which he described as ‘Pull The Doctor Down Syndrome (PTDDS),’ Enabulele said “this syndrome, which at best is premised on strange efforts to attain equal standing with the doctor in terms of professional calling, status, remuneration and responsibility, is being advanced by some groups.”

agos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu, yesterday put the value of assets locked outside its legal framework at $48.2 billion (about N7.615trn), just as she said that the state government is working on modalities to formalise the state’s extra-legal economy. Briefing journalists on the score card of her ministry in the last one year in commemoration of the sixth anniversary and second term in office of Governor Babatunde Fashola, Oworu also revealed that efforts are on to make the Lekki Free Trade Zone a fully functional investment haven. The commissioner, who also disclosed that proposed that the Lekki Airport is designed to take care of five million passengers, estimated at $48.2 billion, is located in the extra-legal sector with concomitant undercapitalisation of business undertakings and impoverishment of the masses. Oworu added that the state government had commenced works on the development of the LekkiEpe International Airport

to complement activities at the LFTZ and also provide alternative air transport services in the state. She said: “The LekkiEpe International Airport is designed to handle 5 million passengers annually with provision for a modular terminal for future expansion. Preliminary works on the project have commenced with the clearing of 150 hectares (run way), 4.5km of the access road and 9 kilometres of perimeter road.” The commissioner disclosed that the process for the selection of private investors that would develop and manage the airport has commenced. She stressed that the process of selecting the private manager had been contracted to a team of local and internationally acclaimed consultants namely Stanbic IBTC (Financial Advisers), Arup PTY (Technical Consultants), Norton Rose (Off-shore Legal Consultants) and Banwo & Ighodalo (Local Legal Consultants). Lamenting the inadequacy of facilities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports, which according to her necessitated the need for Lekki Deep Seaport, she said the state-owned port would generate employment when completed.

ASUP votes in favour of continuation of strike OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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ollowing the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands, the National Executive Council, NEC, of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has voted for the continuation of the ongoing indefinite strike embarked on since April 22, 2013. The NEC meeting which took place in Abuja yesterday was meant to review the strike progress. But at the end of the meeting, the highest governing body of the union gave a nod for the continuation of the strike through a voice vote. ASUP President, Comrade Chibuzo Asomugha, who read the communiqué of the committee meeting said that; “All polytechnics shall remain closed, and no form of services shall be rendered by our members throughout the period of

the strike.” He explained that within the period of the one-week warning strike, up to the point of declaration of the indefinite strike, government had ample opportunity to tackle the problems that led to the strike and restore normalcy in our campuses, but it had ignored the union while the problems festered. The union is, among other demands, seeking the withdraw of the recognition accorded the National Board for Technical Education as the regulatory body of Nigerian polytechnics as against the union’s repeated call for the establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission, NPC, the release of the White Paper on the Visitations to Federal Polytechnics and kicked against the reluctance of the office of the Head of Service to approve the revised scheme of service for polytechnics.


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Violence erupts in Ibadan as ACN, AP supporters clash KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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t least 30 people were yesterday injured in Ibadan, Oyo State, when supporters of Accord Party, AP, and those of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, clashed in the state capital. Reports said some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the ACN disrupted a rally organised by the AP in the state. The rally was led by a former governor in the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to welcome defecting members from the ACN and the Peoples Demo-

cratic Party, PDP, to the AP. National Mirror gathered that tents and canopies erected for the purpose at Olomi area of the city, were burnt while vehicles belonging to the AP, chairs and other instruments were allegedly vandalised. Speaking with journalists later, Dr. Ibrahim Olaifa, a member representing Oluyole Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said not less than 30 members of the party were injured. He alleged that it was the governor through the leadership of the NURTW in the state, Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde aka ‘Fele’ that initiated

the attack. Olaifa condemned the incident, saying it was regrettable that the state had returned to its violent political era. The car belonging to Mr. Laide Oyelude, of the Daily Newswatch , was also vandalised when the hoodlums were hurling stones at the security

agencies who ensured that peace reigned while the number plates of some of the vehicles damaged are OYO EGB 138 AA and CK 570 KTU. It took the intervention of security agents, who fired warning shots to disperse the hoodlums who had assembled again.

Tear gas cannisters were fired to scare away the hoodlums who were saying there was no way the rally would hold and stayed very close to the Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC stationed there. When contacted on the development, the state Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Hon.

Osun backs education with 150, 000 computers MOJEED ALABI AND KUNLE AZEEZ

Ondo election: Tribunal to give judgement today HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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nxiety rented the air in Akure, the Ondo State capital yesterday, as news filtered in that the Andovar Kakaa’an-led election tribunal will today deliver judgement in the October 2012 governorship election in the state. Though the three major political parties involved in the case had presented their final addresses before the tribunal last week, news of the final judgement today caught them unaware and unprepared. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko as the winner of the election in the state. The PDP and the ACN hinged their arguments at the tribunal on the register used by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the October 20, 2012 governorship election in the state as

invalid. The two parties were of the opinion that the election which produced Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Labour Party, LP, as the winner of the election was also fraught with irregularities on account of the voters’ register which they said was manipulated by INEC. However, the LP argued that the election had been adjudged as the best in the history of election in the state, adding that the election was free, fair and represented the wish of the majority of the citizens of the state. The political parties and their leaders have expressed their optimism on the outcome of the petition, saying they will come out victorious at the tribunal today. Interestingly, Mimiko of the LP, Chief Olusola Oke of the PDP and Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, of the ACN were present in court with their array of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and other legal giants at the last sitting.

O Senator Ladoja addressing Accord Party loyalists and defected members from ACN and PDP after the attack yesterday.

Tent and chairs set by Accord Party destroyed during the violence.

One of the Accord Party vehicles damaged yesterday.

Family cries for justice as murder victim is buried ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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amily and friends of 38-year-old Ayo Jeje, who was killed on March 30, at Erijiyan Ekiti by individuals believed to be members of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, have renewed their calls for justice in the case. Wife of the deceased, Ronke, and his four children as well as other friends and family members, who were clad in black, charged the gov-

ernment and other relevant agencies to expedite action on the matter to ensure justice. A family member and cleric, Pastor Michael Oladunjoye, who described Jeje’s death as ‘a painful thing,’ said since it was a murder case, since his death was not natural, it is normal that we demand justice in the matter. Justice has to be done.” Jeje, a former ACN member, who was billed to publicly defect, alongside other 2, 000 youths to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party,

Dauda Kolawole, denied the involvement of the party’s members in the crisis. He said members of the ACN in the state are peace loving and will never do anything to tarnish the image of the ruling party in the state, stating that ‘our members are not vandals.’

PDP, on March 31, was killed on the eve of the defection in an attack on PDP members and youths billed to defect to the opposition party. Oladunjoye, however, charged politicians to eschew politics of violence and consider the accompanying pains for victims of such violence, advising them to ‘desist from killing others for their personal benefit.’ This was as former Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, accused the state government of culpability in

the murder. Fayose, in a statement from his campaign outfit, Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation, AFCO, challenged the state ACN Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, an indigene of Erijiyan, to explain the killing of Jeje on the fateful night. The statement by AFCO Director of Publicity and Research, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, described the ACN government in the state as a ‘deceit, disaster, failure and ill-fortune for the people of Ekiti

State,’ especially in view of the new wave of violence its members were visiting on the people. Fayose was reacting to a statement credited to Awe, describing the former governor as one having no respect for the rule of law and causing violence in the state. The statement, which catalogued the series of violence perpetrated under the ACN government, listed the killing of Jeje and the shooting of 76-year-old Mrs. Julianah Adewumi, at Erijiyan; the killing of three PDP members at Omuo and others.

sun State government is set to distribute 150, 000 computer tablets to students in high schools in the state even as more than 1, 090 farmers were said to have been empowered by the state government. This was disclosed by the state’s Deputy Governor, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, during a pre-launch press conference of the computer tools tagged; ‘Tablets of Knowledge’ in Lagos yesterday. According to Laoye-Tomori, the computer tablets were built to improve learning among secondary school students in the state and also to further prepare them for external and internal examinations. The tablets, which are designed in the form of an iPad would be distributed to the students free. Interpreted ‘Opon Imo’ in Yourba, the deputy governor, who also oversees the state Ministry of Education, said the “Tablet of Knowledge’ ideology, uniquely designed by the current administration in the state and first of its kind in Nigeria, was in line with best global practices to aid students’ preparation for internal and external examinations. She said the objective of the initiative was to reverse poor performance in education and to ensure the democratisation of education by creating a level-playing field for all high school students in the state to have access to a digital device which makes all books in the curriculum and beyond available to them. Explaining the educational contents on the device, the deputy governor said, “The computer tablets are preloaded with lesson notes on 17 subjects offered by students in the WASSCE and NECO.”


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South West

Friday, May 3, 2013

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Domestic staff, relatives now connive with abductors –CP •Arrested kidnappers’ll appear in court May 16, says AG

MURITALALA AYINLA AND KENNY ODUNUKAN

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he Lagos State Security Council has warned people to properly scrutinise domestic staff they employ and be careful in allowing some relatives into their homes. The warning follows the discovery that domestic staff and relatives often connive with abductors to kidnap and swindle people. The council advised the Lagos residents to be cautious while recruiting

domestic staff like cooks, drivers and house helps to prevent possible abduction through such staff. This is as the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, yesterday said the first set of suspected kidnappers recently arrested in Lagos would be arraigned on May 16. Briefing journalists after the council meeting held at the Lagos House, Marina, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, said the people must also exercise caution while dis-

cussing their businesses or talking to their business partners because what the police and security agencies had discovered was that most of the abductions were organised by such people, including relations. He said: “We have heard these things whereby relatives of these victims organised these crimes trying to make money out of it. So people must be wary of their business environment, partners and domestic staff, even their relations.” The commissioner said

kidnapping was becoming an easy way of making money when armed robbery was rendered unattractive by the state government and security agencies. Manko asked the residents to inform the police once a victim is kidnapped, advising families to desist from rushing to pay ransom on the victims which, according to him, encourages the crime. He said: “We have noticed that in cases where we have quick information, victims of kidnappings are rescued without the family paying anything. “Of recent, the 16-year-

old boy who was picked up from American International School was rescued in Ilaro without the family paying anything. We want the citizens to know that the security agents here have the capability to checkmate these crimes; we should not fall by paying ransom.” On what should be the first step by the families of kidnap victims, the commissioner said they should get to the security agencies as soon as possible. He said the number of security chiefs had been made public and should be called in addition to 767 and 112, adding that imme-

diately the numbers were called the security agencies would know how to go after the criminals. The Commander of 9th Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, Brigadier General Adeniyi Oyebode, who also addressed newsmen, disclosed that the Nigerian Army recently put out a leaflet which contains important information through which the public can get to dedicated numbers at the Army headquarters. Oyebode said a text message could be sent to the numbers about security breaches anywhere within the state.

Ekiti varsity students protest ‘no fees, no lecture’ policy Lagos task force arrests 183 hoodlums ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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tudents of Ekiti State University, EKSU, AdoEkiti yesterday staged a peaceful protest at the gate of their campus over the insistence by the institution’s authorities that they should pay school fees before attending classes. The students, who gathered as early as 5.30am, chanted war songs against Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and the institution’s management. The protesters also made bonfire outside the locked gates of the institution. While some students said they locked the gate to prevent anybody, including management and staff of the institution, from gaining access to the institution, others claimed the gates were locked by the university authorities to prevent the protesting students from

entering the campus. Over 10 police Hilux vans conveying armed policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, were stationed at the gate to prevent any act of vandalism. Some students, who spoke with journalists, accused the university of insincerity over the “no fees, no lecture” policy as students in some departments were being made to pay as high as N150,000 through various charges as against the N50,000 school fees that was announced. The students, who said the university authorities should allow them to attend classes while they pay the school fees later, said they would gather daily at the institution’s gate to continue the protest until the policy was reversed. But the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Patrick Aina, who said the university had not been closed

down, said the students’ action was unnecessary and unexpected as payment of school fees at resumption had come to stay as the standard at the institution. Aina, who said the students were not ready to pay school fees, said the university would no longer tolerate that as the grace period given to the students to pay up had expired. The vice-chancellor disclosed that only 1,127 students had paid their tuition fees among the 14,500 fulltime students despite extending the two-week payment period to about five weeks. He said: “Payment of fees is a condition of studentship; that is the standard now in the university.” Aina disclosed that students were owing school fees to the tune of over N2 billion as at last year. He said: “We will not encourage that situation to continue.”

South-West plans western rail –Osun commissioner ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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tates in the South-West are planning a western rail line, which will begin from Lagos State and terminate in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. Osun State Commissioner for Special Duties and Regional Integration, Mr. Bashir Ajibola, disclosed this yesterday while answering questions during the ministerial press conference organized by the state Ministry of Information and Strategy. Ajibola said efforts had been intensified by the South-West states to make the rail project a reality. According to him, the proposed rail line tagged: “Great

Western Rail Line,” is the first phase of the project being planned under the current regional integration agenda by the state governments. He said: “The project, if completed, will further boost the growth and development of the region and will also create employment and commercial activities in the zone. “Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, would soon be signed on the arrangement of Public Private Partnership, PPP, on it and we believe that the project would enable the people especially the businessmen and women in the region to transact business in any place without any hitch.” The commissioner, who refused to disclose the cost of

the project, said if there was effective collaboration of private sector in the project, remarkable achievements would be recorded in the region. Speaking on the Osun Citizens’ Mediation Centre project, Ajibola said the centre was established to provide free legal services to the residents of the state. He disclosed that his ministry had processed Fire Service Bill 2013, National Primary Health Care Development Agency Bill, The Magistrates’ Court Bill, Special Offences Court Law Bill among others, adding that 84 complaints had so far been received by the centre within the first month of its establishment.

MURITALA AYINLA

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fficials of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) yesterday arrested about 183 suspected hoodlums in Oshodi and Mafoluku. The task force offi-

cials also demolished an abandoned toilet allegedly used as hideouts and where unsuspecting girls are usually raped by the hoodlums. Among those arrested are 19 females, including two pregnant under-aged girls and three nursing mothers. According to officials

of the task force, 46 of the hoodlums had been arrested and jailed in the past. It was gathered that men of the task force stormed the areas as early as 1.00am with a Black Maria to arrest the suspected hoodlums and moved them to the task force headquarters in Alausa.

DID You

Politics

HEAR?

NGF chair: Girding their loins for the battle

The struggle for political leadership is what we are witnessing in the contest for the chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. It is now the responsibility of the governors to ensure that the contest is free and fair. –Former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa.

•Baba Suwe appears in Samklef video •Female hip-hop acts celebrated at Str8 Up Hip-Hop •I asked Kollington why he hates me –Salawa

I don’t have any view on the NGF issue because our party is in crises and anything we express can aggravate the conflict. –Member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Ebenezer Babatope. Governor Amaechi and others should understand that the governors’ forum is neither a trade union nor a professional group that agitates for the welfare of members as they are doing today. –National coordinator, Rights Monitoring Group (RMG), Mr. Olufemi Aduwo.

Zaina ...taking her time

Saturday Starter

Kidnap: Malaise come to stay? Kidnapping, hitherto, was unknown in this part of the world, but now it has crept in and started wreaking havoc. In the North, East and South-South geo-political zones of the country, it has assumed the position of a common phenomenon. With time however, it has also crept into the South-West, leaving all to be faced with the reality that no part of the country is safe from its devastating effects. But isn’t there a way out of the present predicament? How best can the problems be tackled and everyone would no longer live with the fear of being tucked away somewhere for ransom, all in the name of kidnapping? Read your darling Saturday Mirror tomorrow.

x SeTalk

When sex goes awry

This column is x-rated


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South East

DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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here was anxiety in Enugu State yesterday over the rumoured death of the state governor, Sullivan Chime, who allegedly is receiving treatment for cancer in a foreign hospital. There were widespread reports yesterday that the governor passed on in India on Wednesday. The social media was awash with the report throughout yesterday. Even aides of the gover-

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Anxiety in Enugu over Chime’s death rumour nor could not confirm the whereabouts of Chime as they kept mute on the death rumour. Though normal activities went on in the state, but stakeholders were anxious about the governor’s health even as some dismissed the rumour, saying it was the handiwork of Chime’s political enemies. Some said they were unaware of the death rumour. When our correspondent visited the Govern-

ment House yesterday, it was observed that security was relaxed from the point of entrance unlike how it was when the governor was around. The governor’s media aide shied away from making official statements on the ground that they cannot continue to react to the governor’s death rumour almost on daily basis. But state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ozor Joe Mammel, who was

furious upon inquiry about the rumour, said there was nothing to it as it was the work of his detractors. Mammel said the governor travelled to Abuja on Wednesday, noting however that to the best of his knowledge, Chime is alive. He wondered what benefits those wishing him dead want to derive from such. He said if Governor Chime had died, it would be announced through the appropriate channel other

than the social media which he said anybody could post whatever story to achieve personal ends. Chime had earlier admitted that he is suffering from nasal cancer for which he had been treated in a London hospital for five months. Chime was also recently reported to have gone for a three-day medical checkup last in London even though the state government denied that he travelled out of the state.

But after his return to Enugu a little over five months, precisely on February 8, 2013, the governor addressed a press conference some days later to explain that he was treated of nose cancer while away. The tension generated by his long absence was therefore subsided. But there had been rumours of his travel again on account of his sickness, which his aides always dismissed.

Unpaid pensions: Ex-police officers send SOS to Jonathan, Mark CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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ome retired police officers yesterday sent an SOS message to President Goodluck Jonathan and the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, over the sharp practices being experienced in the payment of their pensions. The retired officers, under the auspices of the Elders Club of Nigeria, called on the Federal Government to take necessary steps to rectify the anomaly as they are now being exposed to hunger, starvation and deprivation. The ex-police officers, who retired under the Pension Act of 2004, for the umpteenth time, appealed to President Jonathan, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Inspector-

General of Police, IGP, to urgently expedite action on the bill passed by the National Assembly that pulled the police from the Pension Commission to the Police Pension Board. In a communiqué made available to National Mirror after a one-day meeting in Owerri, the retired police officers regretted that their members, who after 35 years of meritorious service to the nation, had been abandoned to die in hunger, starvation and deprivation that are now ravaging their families. The document which was signed by the club’s President-General, Dr. Moses E. Ajeka, partly reads thus; “This is long overdue and the earlier, the bill is signed into law, the better for us, because Pencon retired police officers are dying of starvation and this is terrible.”

Resident doctors resume strike in Ebonyi ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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esident doctors of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, have resumed their strike over alleged brutalisation of their colleague, Dr David Umoke, by a retired permanent secretary in the state, Mr. Samuel Obasi, following alleged complicity on the part of the management of the hospital that led to the death of a patient recently. National Mirror gathered that the hospital in the early hours of yesterday observed that most of the resident doctors have continued to stay away from their duty posts while others were seen in clusters, discussing the issue. Investigation revealed that the patient, who was a relation of the permanent secretary, was taken to the emergency ward where he was put on oxygen, but died

eventually. According to the report, the hospital brought oxygen extractor and the patient was revived after some hours. It was gathered that the patient later died and the relatives accused the hospital of complicity and mobilised youths in the community to beat the resident doctor on duty. Following the industrial action by the resident doctors, the hospital, which is currently filled to capacity, is witnessing uncontrollable outcry for attention by the patients. According to a patient, since the doctors embarked on the industrial action, we have not been receiving attention. Some people are moving out their people to private hospitals. A patient, Mrs. Ngozi Chukwu, regretted the continued brutalisation of resident doctors by relatives of patients at the hospital.

L-R: Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Mr. Eugene Odo; Chairman, Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Association (ECOBPA), Dr. Theo Okonkwo and Vice-Chairman, Ozo Onyia, during the visit of ECOBPA to the Assembly in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Former MASSOB youth leader wants Uwazuruike jailed DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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eader of Igbo Security Organisation and former Chairman of the Youth Mobilisation organ of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Mr. Ndubuisi Igwekani, has advocated for the trial and possible imprisonment of the leader of MASSOB, Chief Raph Uwazuruike. He said Uwazuruike should be tried and jailed for alleged extortion from Igbo people in the guise of prosecuting MASSOB agenda.

Igwekani, who spoke with our correspondent in Enugu, said even though he was against the trial for any MASSOB member, he wants Uwazuruike particularly to be committed to prison for allegedly obtaining huge sums of money from people in support of MASSOB’s cause only for such to end up in personal pockets. He cited fleet of limousines and other cars, choice property in Imo State and other parts of the country owned by Uwauzuruike as evidence of the MASSOB leader’s corrupt practices. He said freedom fighter is obsessed with wealth acqui-

sitions the way Uwazuruike is. His words: “What we are saying is that the ruling of the Supreme Court affects Uwazuruike as a person and not MASSOB. We are rather in support of them to apprehend Uwuazuruike and let him face the music, because he has not only disappointed the Igbo nation by using the blood of our people to enrich himself and his statement today is not his statement tomorrow. “What we are saying is to let the Supreme Court do whatever it can do to bring him to justice, because I am also a victim of Uwa-

zurike.” Igwekani said MASSOB was abinitio conceived as a pressure group to canvass against injustices meted out to Ndigbo, particularly the killings in the north after the 1996 Gideon Okar coup and the general marginalisation of the Igbo in the polity. “That was our plan before Uwazuruike came down here from Lagos to deceive us that Britain, Queen Elizabeth and the United Nations have signed up for the creation of Biafra and that we should bring money and other resources to invest in the project”.

LG auditors-general to submit audited accounts within 14 days CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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nambra State House of Assembly have passed a motion urging the Auditors-General of local governments in the state to submit to the House the audited accounts of the 21 local government areas for the years of 2011 and 2012 within 14 days from yesterday.

The members also agreed that they will summon the auditors-general under reference to appear before the House and defend their positions if the anticipated accounting reports were not received within the stipulated time. The motion, which was entitled; “Motion Calling on the Auditors- General of Local Governments to submit the audited accounts of the

21 local government areas for the year 2011 and 2012 financial year,” sponsored by Hon. Gabriel Onyenwife, of Ayamelum Constituency, was unanimously adopted at yesterday’s plenary presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Chinwe Nwaebili. Members who spoke on the import of the motion called for its quick adoption, which was immediately made after speeches, were

concluded. Onyenwife said the motion, which is aimed at enhancing the over-sight function assigned to them by the 1999 Constitution, would help to improve accountability in the system. According to Onyenwife; “We are in 2013 and the House has the power to verify how local governments spent the money allocated to them.”


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South South

Friday, May 3, 2013

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Three NNPC officials die in auto crash EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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L-R: President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; wife of Delta State Deputy Governor, Dr. Nelly Utuama; groom, Edwin Smooth; bride and daughter of the Deputy Governor, Fejiro; Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN), and Mrs. Helen Oritsejafor, during the traditional marriage of Utuam’s daughter in Otu-Jeremi in Delta State, yesterday.

Police demolish kidnappers’ den in Delta SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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he Delta State Police Command yesterday destroyed a multi-million naira twinbuilding in Warri, the commercial hub of the state, where a kidnapped victim was held by her abductors. The victim, Mrs. Joy Elumah, was rescued on Tuesday by policemen from the kidnappers’ den on Odibo Street in Warri. The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hussein Rabiu, claimed that the

demolition of the structure was authorised by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. One suspect identified as Edighe Oberri, 21, was arrested at the scene. However, Oberri, who was arrested while keeping vigil over the victim, was killed by the police in a futile attempt to escape from custody. Rabiu, who represented the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, said the kidnap kingpin, whom he identified simply as Lucky, was at large. Rabiu said investigation

by the police revealed that the fleeing suspect inherited the buildings from his late father. Describing Lucky as the leader of the kidnappers terrorising Warri and its environs, Rabiu added that the victim was abducted and kept in the buildings on the order of the fleeing suspect. Rabiu, who insisted that Governor Uduaghan gave approval for the demolition, warned that the police would henceforth demolish any house found to be a hideout for kidnappers anywhere in the state.

…Kill three robbery suspects in Rivers GODWIN OKONKWO PORT HARCOURT

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he Rivers State Police Command yesterday said that men of its Anti-Robbery Patrol Team killed three armed robbery suspects in Eleme area of the state. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Ben Ugwuegbulam, confirmed

that the incident took place at Ebubu in Eleme while the suspects were attacking a residential building. Ugwuegbulam said: “On receiving a distress call, men of the Anti-Robbery Team rushed to the building and intercepted the suspects while speeding out on a Qlink motorcycle. “When the policemen

Pipeline fire kills two in Calabar RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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o fewer than two persons were reported killed yesterday in a pipeline fire in Ekorinim axis of Calabar metropolis, Cross River State. The fire also destroyed many economic trees and some property worth several millions of naira. Eye witnesses said that the fire started at about 10am and defied efforts by villagers and fire service men to fight it. A youth leader in the Ekorinin community, Mr.

Ekong Eyo, who spoke with National Mirror, absolved the youths of any involvement in the incident. Eyo said that only the anti-vandalism policemen patrolling the pipelines could explain what actually caused the fire. He said: “I don’t think any Ekorinim person was involved in the incident. Since the pipelines vandalism which happened some years ago, killing over 50 persons and others who were maimed and deformed, the people have stopped tampering with the pipelines.

The police boss, however, warned landlords to properly scrutinise their wouldbe tenants before giving their houses for rent. He said that any landlord found guilty of giving out his property to kidnappers would have himself to blame. Rabiu assured that Lucky would be fished out to face prosecution for the crime. It was learnt that residents of the buildings and members of the family of the fleeing suspect fled and abandoned their personal belongings as bulldozers and security agents arrived at the place.

searched the suspects, a locally-made revolver pistol with three rounds of live .9mm ammunition and one expended shell were recovered from them.” The police spokesman added that the suspects jumped down from the vehicle when the police were taking them to the station.

According to him, the policemen gave them a hot chase and when it became impossible to re-arrest them, the police fired at them to stop them from escaping. Ugwuegbulam said: “Consequently, they were fatally wounded in the process and were immediately rushed to the General Hospital in Eleme.”

“The fact is that the security men who are guarding the right –ofway are not sincere because sometimes they break these pipelines themselves and when they cannot stop the oil from gushing, they start accusing innocent passers-by.” According to him, there was oil spillage in the area some time ago and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) authority mobilized some technicians to fix the faulty facility. But some residents blamed the fire on what

they called poor repair done by the technicians. They said the technicians may have failed to properly fix the faulty facility. The residents added that some gas was still oozing out of the facility even after the technicians had fixed it. Effort to speak with the NNPC management failed as the security men guarding the Corporation’s office did not allow journalists into the premises. The security men said there was no official inside the office to attend to journalists.

hree persons believed to be officials of Hydro Carbon Pollution Restoration Project, an agency under the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were on Tuesday killed in an auto crash at Mbiama, Rivers State. The accident, which occurred at about 3:45pm, generated panic in the community. Mbiama is a boarder community between Rivers and Bayelsa states. The victim’s bodies and the mangled vehicle were recovered from a river by local divers after three hours. The bodies were later taken to an undisclosed mortuary in Port Harcourt. It was learnt that one of

the occupants on board the vehicle, a Mercedes Jeep model G55, which plunged into the Mbiama River, Mrs Joy Nunieh-Okunu, survived the crash with the assistance of local divers that rescued her. The survivor is receiving medical treatment in a Port Harcourt hospital. Investigations by National Mirror revealed that the vehicle, which was in a convoy of about 10 others, was heading for Port Harcourt. The driver lost control of the vehicle due to overspeeding before plunging into the river. One of the local divers, who identified himself as Egbo Julius, said some security men at the accident scene were helpless as they watched the divers struggling to retrieve the vehicle from the river.

Book on Amaechi’s achievements launched G ODWIN O KONKWO PORT HARCOURT

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book chronicling the achievements of Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi was unveiled yesterday at the auditorium of the state House of Assembly. The book entitled: The chronology of a successful administrator: Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi,” written by Mr. Peter Nekabari Stephen, chronicles the governor’s performance as Speaker from 1999 to 2007 and his legal fight to become governor, which he achieved at the Supreme Court. However speakers at the book presentation eulogised the governor, describing his performance as unprecedented in the history of the state. Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, the chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), who chaired the event, said that Amaechi has left an enduring legacy through good governance and commended the author for finding time to document the governor’s legacy. The senator, who was represented by Hon. Dr. Innocent Barrikor, mem-

ber representing Gokana Constituency in the State House of Assembly, described the book as factual and succeeded in highlighting the giant steps the governor has taken in the state. He also described it as a memory book that would be referred to in all ages for reference. The book reviewer, Dr. Sunny Mbazie, a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, said that Amaechi epitomizes the fight for justice by fighting for his right in his bid to become governor, just as he said that the governor has proved that anybody from a humble background can aspire to any position in life. The author of the 120 page book, Mr. Peter Nekabari Stephen, said he admired the governor right from his days as Speaker and has been following his political challenges and victories.

Amaechi


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North

Friday, May 3, 2013

EFCC arraigns Kebbi director, aide for N64m theft KENNY ODUNUKAN

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned a Director in Kebbi State Ministry of Finance, Yahyah Saidu Andarai, and his aide, Farouk Abubarka Uduli, before an Ikeja High Court for allegedly stealing N64 million belonging to Coscharis Motors Limited. The defendants were arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo on a 27-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing. The defendants were alleged to have converted the money to their personal use being the proceed of the sales of AX motorcycles, property of Coscharis Motors entrusted to them on behalf of Jega National Union Local Government Employees of Kebbi State. The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them. The EFCC counsel, Oluwabumi Abosede, told the court that the defendants had committed the crime between August 26, 2009 and August 2, 2012 in Mazamaza area of Lagos. Abosede also alleged that sometime in August 2010, the first defendant stole 20 units of AX motorcycle valued at N2.2 million. The counsel added that on August 26, 2009, with intent to defraud, Andarai (first defendant) converted in to his use N17 million, the money entrusted to him by the Jega

National Union of Local Government Employees of Kebbi State. Abosede said the offence was contrary to Section 309 Cap 2 Laws of Lagos State. Counsel to the first defendant, Odu Hycinth, made an oral application for bail. While arguing for bail, Hycinth described the first defendant as a very responsible man who is a serving director in the Kebbi State Ministry of Finance. He promised that the accused would always be available for trial. Ruling, Onigbanjo granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties in like sum. Hycinth thereafter urged the court to allow the first defendant to be remanded in EFCC’s custody because of his ill health, pending when he would meet his bail conditions. He said Andarai was hypertensive and had been to the Military Hospital at Ikoyi, close to the EFCC office. Responding, the EFCC counsel said: “I know that the proper place after arraignment is prison custody. “I will allow the court to use its discretion because I am not aware of his health issues.” Onigbanjo, however, said he was not satisfied with the explanation from the first defendant counsel and that of the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, on Andarai’s ill health. He said that he did not see any reason why the first defendant should be taken back to the EFCC custody.

Benue Assembly begins four-week recess

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he Benue House of Assembly will today begin a four-week recess to enable members take adequate rest, its Majority Leader, Paul Biam, has said. Biam, who made the announcement in Makurdi yesterday during plenary session, said the recess would take effect from May 3 to June 4. He, however, enjoined his colleagues to go and interact with their constituents to ascertain their plight with a view to proffering solutions to them. Biam said the recess would also give the lawmakers the opportunity of venturing into research that could be of immense benefit

to their legislative responsibilities. According to him, it will spur them to contribute meaningfully to debates when they resume for duties. Biam appealed to them to always make themselves available to the House while on recess, adding that they could be called upon to attend to a pressing state matter any day. He, therefore, moved a motion for the recess which was seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr. Adugu Gbileve. The Speaker, Mr. Terhile Ayua, wished his colleagues a fruitful recess, praying that God Almighty would guide and guard them during the recess and beyond.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

RepsknockJTFoverfreshattacksinBorno TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives has once again condemned the Joint Task Force, JTF, for its shoddy handling of insecurity in Borno State, which led to the torching of Bama market in the state. Hon. Abdulrahman Terab (ANPP- Borno) yesterday raised the motion condemning the JTF under matters of urgent national importance. Before it passed the motion, the House called on the Federal Government to “implement forthwith all reports of inquiry as a result of recent similar attacks”. The lawmakers also called on the “National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to immediately provide relief materials to the victims of the Bama attack”. Terab, who represents Bama, Ngala and Kala Balge

•Terrorists destroy public buildings, telecom masts

Federal Constituency, described the burning of the market as traumatising and a big loss for the town which is the economic hub of southcentral Borno State. He recalled that the incident occurred after an alleged attack on a team of security agents around Bama market yesterday “by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram sect. The entire market was burnt into ashes without the marketers being able to take anything from their stalls”. The lawmaker said the situation had brought untold hardship on the people who now must go to Maiduguri, about 80 kilometres away, to get their daily needs, including food. Terab warned that government’s unwillingness to help the victims could breed apathy towards government,

and degenerate to anarchy. The House had last week passed a motion condemning JTF for sacking Baga, a fishing town on the border of Chad. The attack on Baga, believed to be retaliatory, was allegedly provoked by an early attack by members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. Meanwhile, gunmen in a convoy of 50 Hilux vans laid siege to Marte Local Government Area of the state yesterday. They burnt all public buildings such as schools, hospitals/clinics, police stations and all telecommunications masts in the council headquarters. Marte is about 150 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital, which also shares borders with Baga and Chad Republic. A top police officer and

some residents of Marte disclosed that “the gunmen invaded the town about 4pm with over 50 Hilux fourwheel drive vehicles armed with sophisticated weapons, chanting Allahu Akbar (meaning God is Great) and started throwing Improvised Explosive Devises, IEDs, at all public structures without being challenged by security operatives”. It was gathered that the terrorists had after the Baga carnage, issued a warning letter to Marte that the town would be their next target. Although, no life was lost as the terrorists had already warned those working in all the public buildings in the town to vacate before they struck, and because all the workers in those targeted areas were absent, they razed all the government structures.

Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido (left) and Emir of Ringim, Alhaji Sayadi Mahmoud, during a visit to the Emir over the recent attack by gunmen in the town, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Alleged N10bn fraud: Ex-Gov Audu asks court to quash charges EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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ormer Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, has asked a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court to quash the charge fraud preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Audu, who was arraigned on March 18 before Justice A. O. Adeniyi, is facing a 36-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust as well as misappropriation of public funds to the tune of over N10 billion. Also charged alongside the former governor, is for-

mer Director-General of the Directorate of Rural Development, Alfa Ibn Mustapa. The offence is punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code, CAP 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990. Though Adeniyi had adjourned the criminal case till yesterday for trial to begin, this was not to be, as Audu, who is the 1st accused, brought a preliminary objection praying the court to quash the 36-count charge against. Counsel to the former governor, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court that the preliminary objection became necessary against the backdrop

of the discovery that “the case against the 1st accused person is hollow and wishywashy”. Ozekhome added that his client would be subjected to “undue trial” and suffer “double jeopardy,” if full-scale trial was allowed in the matter. He also said the course of justice would be greatly served, if his client was prosecuted in Kogi, in the jurisdiction where the alleged offences were committed. The counsel wondered why the anti-graft agency would initiate fresh criminal proceedings against the 1st accused, because his trials are “running simultaneously” before a High Court

of Kogi State and Code of Conduct Tribunal, Abuja. Apart from saying the charge is an abuse of court process; the objection challenges the jurisdiction of the trial court to entertain the case. As a result of the preliminary objection filed yesterday, Adeniyi adjourned the case till June 18, to enable the prosecution sufficient time to study it and also file appropriate response. Earlier, prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had frowned at the filing of the preliminary objection, pointing out that counsel had an understanding to avoid encumbrances, and let trial begin in earnest.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Judgement Day for Mimiko, Akeredolu, Oke

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

Edo LG poll: Why Oshiomhole crushed PDP –Odion

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Age disparity: Strip Oshiomhole of honour, PDP urges Jonathan OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he controversy over the real age of Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, continued to rage yesterday as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called on President Goodluck Jonathan to strip the governor of the national honours of Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) for perjury. The party said stripping Oshiomhole of this honours will not only help restore the dignity in the honours, but would serve as a deterrent to other holders who might want to engage in dishonorable acts. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Edo State PDP chairman, Dan Orbih, said the governor had lied over his age.

He said that Governor Oshiomhole has been parading himself before the world as a saint and labelling others rogues, but “he has spent all his life living a lie and deceiving the entire country in an unforgivable manner that is highly insulting to the collective sensibility of the people.” The chairman said that Governor Oshiomhole’s actual date of birth was April 4, 1953 but has now changed it to April 4, 1952 because he is worried that at 60 years he could not explain how he started his primary education at the age of three. Obih said: “It is on record that on November 12, 2008 at the official inauguration of Governor Oshiomhole for his first tenure, his citation, which stated his date of birth as April 4, 1953 was read in his presence and the presence of the Edo State

Chief Judge. In a similar event at his inauguration for his second term in 2012 his citation with April 4, 1953 as date of birth was also read in his presence and the presence of the Edo State Chief Judge. It is also on record that in 2011, the President and Commander in-chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Goodluck

Ebele Jonathan (GCON) conferred on Oshiomhole the national honour of the rank of CON. At the event, held in Abuja, Governor Oshiomhole’s citation was read to the hearing of the world. It listed April 4, 1953 as his date of birth. It is then shocking that the, saint, governor suddenly became younger and had to

celebrate a 60th birthday at the time he was 61. “Apparently realising the mess he had hurled himself in, Governor Oshiomhole embarked on a bogus damage control exercise. He now insists he is 61, not 60 as he fraudulently led the world into believing. “However viewed, Governor Oshiomhole has

conducted himself in a most fraudulent manner. A man who spent months announcing his upcoming 60th birthday to the world, only to turn around few hours after the ceremony to announce a “shocker” that he is actually 61 is an unstable character that cannot be worthy of anybody’s trust.”

...Noise over governor’s age laughable –Afegbua FELIX NWANERI

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he Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Kassim Afegbua, has described as laughable, issues being raised by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the governor’s age. Afegbua, in a statement made available to National Mirror, challenged the opposition party to go court on the matter, even as he said that Governor Oshiomhole will not be dragged into the deliberate distractions by the PDP in the state. He said: “We find it laughable that Dan Orbih (the state PDP chairman) and his musketeers, for want of job to do, are gallivanting all over the streets of Abuja all in the name of trying to remain relevant and get media attention. We have since moved beyond the pedestrian emanations which they tend to drag us on account of the age of the Comrade Governor.

“We will not join issues with the likes of Orbih and his co-travellers, who like herdsmen, are moving from street to street to register their presence in Abuja because it is sharing time for board appointments. They should not bother too much, we are sure the President will still remember them in his quiet moment for board appointments.” Insisting that the PDP lacks the moral justification to raise issue of integrity, Afegbua added: “Those who lack morality are not competent to discuss issues of honour and morality. As busy bodies, they do not need to be moving from one street to another like political jobbers, they should just go to court. “All these shortcuts to noise making are deliberate distractions which we will not be dragged into. Rather than continue to behave like members of Jacobian scandal club in medieval times, they should find meaningful use of their time. For the PDP as a party peopled by impostor executives, need we say more about immorality?”

L-R: Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chairman, House Committee on Human Rights, Beni Lar and Chairman, House Committee on Justice, Ali Ahmed, during the stakeholders’ retreat on human rights, in Abuja, yesterday.

Baga massacre: ACN rejects reports, demands independent probe FELIX NWANERI

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has rejected the preliminary reports submitted by the military high command and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on the Baga tragedy, saying verifiable evidence shows that the investigation that produced the reports was not thorough. The ACN, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, called for an urgent and independent investigation into the April 16 incident, to establish the truth instead of the shoddy investigation that produced a convoluted report. The party said: “Those who carried out that investigation apparently discountenanced the fact that in today’s world, nothing is hidden. Thanks to the satellite

imagery released by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday, the world is now aware of the massive devastation that occurred in Baga. It is actually worse than what has been reported. “The satellite images support the conclusion by the rights group that 2,275 buildings were destroyed in the clashes. They also seem to support the statements credited to the senator representing the area, Lawan Maina, who put the death toll at 220. “Contrast this to NEMA’s conclusion that far less than 1,000 homes were destroyed, or the military high command’s finding that only 36 people were killed; it becomes glaring that something is wrong somewhere. “The Nigerian media, now the favourite whipping boy of an increasingly edgy administration, has come under fire for reporting the

massive killings and devastation. But those criticising the Nigerian media should endeavour to follow the international media’s reportage of the events in Baga to see that the local media is not just crying wolf.” The ACN further said Nigeria would have been spared the global opprobrium resulting from the Baga tragedy, had the government and the military carried out a more diligent investigation of the incidents instead of acting in a defensive manner and trivialising the destruction wrought in the town by saying most of the destroyed houses were made of thatched roofs, as if it was a sin to live in such structures. The party added that while it will not conclude that all the destruction and the killings in Baga were carried out by soldiers, the truth is that the military, an embodiment of state power, bears more responsibility anytime

it is involved in a situation similar to that of Baga or Odi and Zaki Biam before it. “There is no doubt that Boko Haram, with its scorched earth tactics, may have engaged in actions that put the lives of civilians in jeopardy in Baga. But these insurgents have no rules of engagement like the military, and definitely do not value human lives. Therefore, the military, in engaging the insurgents in built-up areas, must strictly adhere to its rules of engagement to avoid or minimise the death of innocent civilians or destruction of their property,” the party said. It restated its earlier position that the killings in Baga may constitute crimes against humanity, hence the International Criminal Court (ICC), which opened a preliminary investigation of the Boko Haram crisis last year, must include the Baga tragedy in its investigation.


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Politics

Edo State Commissioner for Information, Louis Odion, in this interview with SINA FADARE speaks on the furore over the April 20 local government election. Excerpts: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Edo State government of manipulating the recently conducted local government poll. How will you react to this allegation? The PDP did not prepare for this election and you will recall that during the countdown to the April 20 poll, the party came up with this idea of discrediting the governor whether he was 60 or 61 years old. That became their campaign issue. That should not be their campaign issue. They did not prepare for the election. In the last gubernatorial election, the governor won more than 74 per cent of the total votes cast. He won in the entire 77 wards in Edo-South, 60 wards in EdoNorth and won a total of 85 per cent votes cast in Edo-Central, where Chief Tony Anenih came from. Not only did Anenih lose his ward, he lost his local government. So between then and now, nothing has changed. The election they mentioned was an election supervised by the Federal Government-controlled Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The council election was supervised by the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) and technically speaking, the officials of the EDSIEC are employees of the state. The PDP should congratulate itself for being able to win in some parts of the state in the last election. For instance, the chairman of the party, Dan Obih, won the councillorship in his own community, but lost the chairmanship. Mike Oghiadomhe, the Chief of Staff in the Presidency, also won a councillorship in his community in Fugar, but lost the chairmanship. On the one hand, you see the PDP that said election did not hold and or flopped, laying claim to victory on the other hand. For instance, they are telling us that election did not hold, that the government only announced fake results. In another way they claimed that election in Etsako Local Government was annulled, which one do we believe? The PDP equally accused the governor that he chased people away from the polling booths in order to prevent electorate from voting. The governor did not leave Iyamu where he registered to go and chase some people away. The people who were issuing this statement were in Abuja and not on ground on the day of election. We have it on good authority that it was the PDP that went out of their brief on the day of election. For instance, Gabriel Igbinedion, who registered in Oredo Local Government, was sighted at Okada on Election Day. He not only flouted the electoral law, he was found in Okada leading thugs and mobile policemen, who we later gathered were supplied by the police to guide him. We learnt they bulldozed their way into the police station in order to get access to where election materials were kept, but the people came out to resist them until he retreated. The governor obeyed the Electoral Act, when he went out to vote, he ensured that none of his security men carried arm, but on the contrary, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, came to Uromi that

Friday, May 3, 2013

Edo LG poll: Why Oshiomhole crushed PDP –Odion

Odion

day with about 10 mobile policemen and some thugs to the DPO in Uromi, and told him that the election materials arrived late, the election cannot proceed. At that point, the DPO called the electoral officer to postpone the election. The electoral officer single-handedly postponed the election without recourse to his chairman. That was how election in Uromi was postponed till the following day. It was also alleged that ACN used the Brigade Commander to terrorise the people and prevent them not to vote. It was a lie. When has the Brigade Commander or Commissioner of Police started receiving order from the state governor? It was a blatant lie. Even in the appointment of EDSIEC chairman, Oshiomhole was above board, unlike what usually happened in other states. When some of the party members protested that this is a local election that they must be in control, he said no; that if the party can win about 74 per cent in the election conducted by the Federal Governmentcontrolled INEC, it will further demonstrate the conviction that the party is in control. The ballot papers used in this election were printed overseas with 18 colours, with each local government having its unique colour so that you cannot steal electoral paper in Oredo Local Government, for instance, and use in neighbouring council. The ballot papers arrived on the eve of election, April 19, it arrived at 3.30 am in Benin on Saturday morning and was off loaded in the presence of all the stakeholders present at EDSIEC headquarters. That accounted for why the ballot papers did not arrive on time. What will you say accounted for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) victory and PDP’s defeat in the election? It is a fact of history that in the gubernatorial election, the ACN won 74 per cent of the total votes cast. Everybody agrees that that election was credible. It was supervised by INEC. The ACN victory was a combination of many factors. The performance of the governor was the key to our electoral success. Secondly, people now see the ACN as a party to identify with. When

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT THE PEOPLE HAVE REJECTED THEM... THE PEOPLE

SEE PDP AS A PARTY THAT OPPRESSES THE

PEOPLE OF THE STATE.

THEREFORE THEY

GAVE A PROTEST VOTE AGAINST THEM the governor goes out to campaign, he talks about things that have been delivered to the people. We have rebuilt more than 60 per cent of the schools in Edo and have tarred more than 500 kilometres of roads, sank about 100 industrial bore hole, it is different from we are going to do this or that. The PDP was in charge in the state for 10 years but has nothing to show for it. Despite the yearly budget, there was nothing on ground to show, they shared the money. We know those who collected the contract and pocketed the money without executing anything. People can see that the ACN, which has been in power for four years, was delivering. People believed in Osihomhole and he had made his mark in the sand of time when he was the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president, so the people have confident and trust in him that he will deliver and he did deliver. Another argument they are making is that some few days ago, some local farmers in Ovia North-East Local Government Area wrote a petition to the state government that they were being forced to pay royalty to Igbinedion on a yearly basis. We are talking about royalty that is running into millions of naira. The governor set up a committee to look into that and it was found out to be true. We discovered that the famers paid royalty on the farm that was leased to Igbinedion to farm. He collected land from government and sub-leases the same land to the farmers and was collecting money from them. What could be more criminal?

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

From our records, on a single day in 2007, during the administration of Lucky Igbinedion, more than 40,000 hectares of land was signed away to the father by the son. People can see the connection from this primitive acquisition by the PDP. The people see PDP as a party that oppresses the people of the state. Therefore they gave a protest vote against them. How will you now assess the relevance of some PDP chieftains in Edo politics? The truth of the matter is that the people have rejected them. They are three in number - Igbinedion, Anenih and Samuel Ogbemudia. Anenih has restricted himself to Abuja, following his crushing defeat in the governorship election last year. Before that election, he has boasted that the PDP was going to take back Edo by all means. After that defeat, he restricted himself to Abuja. He is only surviving on Abuja oxygen. During the election they have to whip up clannish sentiment, saying that Osihomhole is not from Edo South. In terms of voting population, Edo South accounted for about 60 per cent. Edo North where the governor came from accounted for about 25 per cent and the Ishan about 15 per cent. Therefore during the election the sentiment they whipped up was that Oshiomhole was not from Benin and that was why they fielded a Benin man. The traditional rulers came out to say that Osihomhole has done well for them more than those claiming to be from Benin but have nothing to point to in the state. Anenih is a multi billionaire today, but when you get to his community, nobody feel his impact. In fact, the road that leads to his community was tarred by Oshiomhole. It was obvious that people are angry with them. Take, for instance, a community that used to remits about N400 million to Igbinedion on land every year sees the ACN as a liberator. Now they are no longer going to pay that money. Ogbemudia has been saying that at his age, what else he is looking for. His own politics now is the one that will benefit the people, irrespective of the party. His stand was that if it is the ACN that can give the people what they need, so be it. In the last gubernatorial election, Igbinedion came to Okada community and said that he had declared war against Oshiomhole, at the end of the day he failed. How is governance now in Edo State? The governor once said that by the time he got the second term ticket, the development gear will be auto transmission. In the first year, he could not do anything because he was held hostage by the PDP that controlled the House of Assembly. Whatever bill he initiated was killed. This time around, we control the House of Assembly. What Oshiomohole achieved in four years, was more than Igbinedion did in eight years. These are facts you can verify. But beyond the issue of building roads or massive infrastructure, he has returned power to the people; no leader can take away that power from the people. People now believe that power resides in them and they can put their fate in their hands, unlike in the past when the governor was like the lord and master of everything. Oshiomhole will tell you that we are contract staff and the electorate are the employers, we need to be loyal and submissive to them. He has restored the right of the citizen and gives them hope of a better tomorrow.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, May 3, 2013

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Judgement Day for Mimiko, Akeredolu, Oke The Ondo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is today expected to deliver its judgement on the petitions filed against the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko in the October 20, 2012 election in the state. The people of the state are anxiously waiting to know where the pendulum of justice will swing. OJO OYEWAMIDE writes.

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he Ondo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will today draw the curtain on its assignment by delivering its judgement on the petitions challenging the outcome of the October 20, 2012 poll in the state. The Justice Andover Kaka’an-led panel gave notice of judgment last Wednesday, nine days after the tribunal reserved its verdict following the adoption of written addresses by counsel to all the parties. Consequently, tension has gripped the state as residents are anxiously waiting to know where the pendulum of justice will swing. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Governor Olusegun Mimiko, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, winner of the election with 260,191 votes ahead of Olusola Oke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 151,961 votes and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 143,512 votes. However, about three weeks after the election, five political parties, the ACN, PDP, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC) and Accord Party (AP), headed for the tribunal to challenge the victory of Governor Mimiko. While the PDP, ACN and CPC contested the outcome of the election on grounds of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the Accord Party challenged the exclusion of its candidate, Olawale Ojo, from the electoral contest. The PDC contested the ownership of the fathermother-and-child logo with the LP, saying it was the original owner. The party claimed that a logo mix-up by INEC prevented its supporters from voting for its candidate. Only two petitions, however, could survive the legal battle up to the judgement stage. They are the ones filed by the ACN and PDP. One after the other, the petitions of the PDP, AP and CPC fell by the side, as the tribunal knocked them out. Adopting their written addresses last week, the petitioners insisted that the last election was marred by irregularities while the respondents claimed the poll was clean. The crucial point of argument was the alleged manipulation of the voters’ register used for the conduct of the election. Counsel to the PDP, Patrick Ikuweto (SAN) and that of the ACN, Akin Olujimi (SAN), argued that the election should be nullified since the voters’ register used to conduct it was injected with strange names. But Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who led other counsel for Mimiko, urged the threeman panel to dismiss the two petitions, arguing that the alleged manipulation of the voters’ register was a pre-election matter which should have been heard by a High Court. “My lord, question of injection or

Mimiko

Akeredolu

Oke

no injection of voters, you don’t have jurisdiction to even countenance it. Tribunals don’t have jurisdiction,” Olanipekun said. Expectedly, counsel to the LP, Yusuf Ali (SAN), and that of the INEC, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), adopted Olanipekun’s position. Ikweto disagreed with the respondents’ lawyers, saying: “In the first place, we came to this court with hard evidences, uncontroverted, recognised, acknowledged and, in fact, corroborated by INEC, that the voters’ register used for the election was completely different from the one this same INEC ought to have used and should have used but which it failed to use for the election. My lords, it is trite that the voters’ register is the very platform upon which the entire election is based. We have canvassed before you how over 150,000 names were added into the voters’ register thereby making it completely different from what is legal.” The PDP counsel added: “It is a question of a completely strange document being brought and introduced into the electoral process. It is about springing a complete surprise by bringing a document different from what the Electoral Act envisaged. We humbly told your lordship during the hearing that over 100,000 strange names were added to the voters list by INEC. We alleged it, we showed it. “My lord, we brought them in black and white before the eyes and chest of INEC. And here now lies INEC in this court room keeping mute. No defence. No explanation of how those names found legs to enter into the voters list. May I most respectfully draw your lordships’ attention to the fact that INEC had, with its own hands, written in its first reply to our petition, admitting to have added those names. We did request your lordship to take judicial notice of that admittance without explanation. This is INEC, sitting beside me my lord, you have heard his address. Did he deny that over 100,000 names were added to the sacred document?” Also, Olujimi urged the tribunal to critically examine the 2011 and 2012 voters’ registers, saying no fair election could be said

to have been based on such a document. He said: “My lord, I need to demonstrate sir, that the core of the petitioners’ case, my lord, is founded on the 2012 voters’ register which we alleged and proved was heavily compromised. There is no reason this tribunal can uphold any election based on the register. My lord, there are three main sources by which your lordship could determine the allegation that the voters’ register was heavily compromised. We refer my lord to the voters’ registers which have been tendered in evidence in Exhibit B1 to B16. We also refer to Exhibit P57 pages B1 to B20 tendered by PW 25. They were extracts from the electronic voters’ register, prepared and tendered by PW 35.” Another issue that stirred dust during the adoption of the written addresses was the questioning of the admissibility of the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the INEC documents by Olanipekun in his reply to the petitioners’ address. But Olujimi said Olanipekun contravened provisions of the Electoral Act. According to Olujimi, the issue was not raised at the trial period, urging the tribunal to dismiss the reply of Mimiko as lacking in merit. He said that INEC’s counsel had admitted in his reply that the documents belonged to the commission and that he was relying on them before the court. Incidentally, while explaining why INEC did not call witnesses and evidence, Ikpeazu agreed that all the documents tendered by the petitioners were from the electoral body. According to him, “there was an agreement by the parties on the documents that will be tendered, and the documents so tendered are INEC documents, our own documents. So, the moment they (petitioners) tendered INEC documents, they have as well as us, called evidence at every polling unit in Ondo State. My lord, it is fair that we cannot introduce oral evidence to alter the contents of our own documents.” Olanipekun and other respondents’ lawyers also pointed to the importance and imperative of a petitioner calling agents at the

polling units and not relying on hearsay evidence. They argued that virtually all the witnesses called by the petitioners were not agents at the polling units, urging the tribunal to disregard their testimonies. Counsel to the LP and INEC also made attempts in their addresses to explain why they did not call evidence, citing authorities. But Olujimi countered, saying: “The attempts made by the second and third respondents in their addresses to extenuate their failure to call evidence are, with due respect, contravened. The authorities they cited are quite unhelpful because in those cases which they relied on, the petitioners failed to prove their cases. And what we require in law, in a situation like this, is minimal proof when the respondents failed to call evidence. We gave more than minimal proof.” Oke’s counsel dismissed Olanipekun’s argument that the petitioners ought to have called polling agents to give evidence. According to him, the evidence given by Oke, who was the PW45, “was the most comprehensive, most detailed, most authentic, simplest, rancour free and most reliable testimony of the banality of that election. My PW45 gave evidence in 3, 007 polling units across the state.” Ikweto added that Oke is “not a magician and neither is he a bird or a jet. He was the candidate. He had agents in all those units who reported to him. He respectfully led evidence before you with documentary evidences. Facts on hard paper, official documents prepared, determined and made by INEC. He tendered before you authentic documents given to his agents by INEC as the true story of election in each polling unit. My lords, even if all the agents were brought here what would they have said that can be more leading and revealing than the authentic documents made by INEC? “My lords, luckily and thankfully, the Electoral Act under which we are adumbrating before your lordships stipulates that documentary evidence is king. All evidences and pleadings must be based on physical documents and not on hearsay. INEC up till this moment has not controverted them, nor has it discountenanced them.” Whichever way the judgement of the tribunal goes, the losing side is expected to head for the Appeal Court and, probably, the Supreme Court. While Mimiko is hopeful of retaining his position, the opposition parties expect a rerun of the governorship election.

THE DOCUMENTS SO TENDERED ARE INEC DOCUMENTS, OUR OWN DOCUMENTS... MY LORD, IT IS FAIR THAT WE CANNOT INTRODUCE ORAL EVIDENCE TO ALTER THE CONTENTS OF OUR OWN DOCUMENTS


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Editorial

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

STEVE AYORINDE

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MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

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ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

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SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

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CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Number portability and unreliable GSM services

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fter several postponements, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) flagged off its pet Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service on Monday, April 22, with reports indicating that the roll-out might come with some ‘slight technical hitches’. Though expected to boost telecom service as well as provide alternatives to subscribers, the apprehension has been that the MNP might suffer some technical setbacks capable of further ridiculing the subsisting poor quality of service. The MNP, if effectively managed, will enable subscribers to migrate from one network to another, in their search for better services and more friendly tariffs, while still retaining their original phone numbers. “This new service is designed to enable the customers to move from one network into another without losing their lines. If your current network provider is not giving you what you want in terms of quality, coverage or price, you can move into another without losing your line with which you are known by friends and family”, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, was quoted as saying during the NCC Day at the just concluded 34th Kaduna International Trade Fair held in the

Kaduna State capital. Reports credited to the NCC said before porting can take place, subscribers must meet certain conditions, which include mobile phone number registration, termination of service with existing service provider, and visit to a customer care office, retail shop or outlet of the chosen new service provider. Also involved are meeting with accredited authorities to request for porting, presentation of proof of identity (identity card, International passport, driving licence, etc.). The process is expected to take only 48 hours to be completed; and once porting is concluded, the subscriber must use the network for 90 days before being eligible to port again. Reports, however, suggest that with poor service being the common feature of all GSM providers, not many subscribers will avail themselves of whatever opportunities provided by MNP. Indeed, a survey report for the month of April (2013) credited to Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), an economic and financial advisory outfit, said “very few Nigerians may be willing to switch networks... With a subscriber base of 114 million, 90 per cent of complaints are usually about poor quality of service (QoS). As a result, many subscribers own several

COGNIZANCE MUST BE TAKEN OF THE LOOPHOLES THAT SEEM TO HAVE TAKEN THE SHINE OFF THE OTHERWISE BRILLIANT IDEA SIM cards from different service providers due to the dissatisfaction with services”. Indeed, FDC’s analysis of the final outcome of the MNP scheme appeared so grim in favour of bigger networks, to the detriment of the porting public. Put simply, it is feared that in the search for more quality service, the average subscriber on a big network might be compelled to switch over to smaller networks, congest such networks (leading to increased call drops, network errors and general epileptic service), and then returns back to the big network originally subscribed to, thus making the latter the net gainer in terms of increased subscriber base, without any guarantee of improvement in the quality of service. Likewise criticized was the rather late introduction of the MNP service several years after GSM service was launched

in the country. Had the service been introduced earlier, it would have been real fun for many subscribers to punish inefficient service providers by switching over to alternative networks. But with many subscribers now patronizing many service providers and having multiple Sim Cards, what really is the excitement about the MNP? Besides, with such conditions for porting as were earlier listed, most subscribers would prefer to save themselves the inconvenience of prostituting in the name of seeking alternatives, preferring instead to stay with any network whose service is better at any point in time. For the Ministry of Communications and the NCC, however, the MNP project is now a dream come true. But cognizance must be taken of the loopholes that seem to have taken the shine off the otherwise brilliant idea. The NCC should be more proactive in handling such projects or services in the future. And whatever happens, the regulator should strive hard to ensure that any service disruption engendered by the introduction of MNP does not defeat the purpose of the entire project. Efforts should also be made to clarify all grey areas that may be yet unclear to subscribers about the service.

ON THIS DAY May 3, 2001 The United States lost its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947. TheUNCHRwasafunctionalcommissionwithintheoverallframework of theUnitedNationsfrom1946untilitwasreplacedbytheUnitedNations HumanRightsCouncilin2006.In2002,theUnitedStateswaskickedoff the commissionbytheothermemberstates,manyof whomhavebeencriticizedfortheirhumanrightsviolations;butwhofelttheUSwasnosaint.

Letters to the Editor

May 3, 1978 The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as “spam”) was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States. Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mailspam,thetermis appliedtosimilarabuses inothermedia.

May 3, 1948 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Shelley v. Kraemer, that covenants prohibitingthesaleof realestatetoblacksandotherminoritieswerelegally unenforceable.Shelleyv.Kraemer,334U.S.1(1948),isaUnitedStatesSupreme Courtcasewhichheldthatcourtscouldnotenforceracialcovenantsonreal President Jonathan estate.TheCourtconsideredtwoquestions.First,areracially-basedrestrictivecovenantslegalundertheFourteenthAmendmentof theUnitedStates Constitution?Secondly,cantheybeenforcedbyacourtof law?


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Friday, May 3, 2013

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For a better press freedom GBEMIGA BAMIDELE

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very May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day globally. It is an event that celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluates press freedom around the world, defends the media independence, and pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the course of duty. The event also serves to inform citizens of violations of press freedom in dozens of countries around the world, where media houses are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, and journalists, editors and publishers harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered. The World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The call for the observance of press freedom was originally made at a meeting of African journalist’s convened by UNESCO in Namibia, in 1991. The Namibia Declaration spells out that the precondition for press freedom is “a free, independent, and pluralistic media environment”. The 2013 version of WPFD focuses on the theme “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media”, and puts the spotlight, in particular, on the issues of the safety of journalists, combating impunity for violations of freedom of expression, and securing a free and open internet as the precondition for safety online. It is clear today that building a culture of

support to press freedom is a lengthy process because the gains made so far could be lost in a matter of months when negative forces gain control of a country. However, with changes such as experienced in countries touched by the Arab Spring, and in Myanmar and South Sudan, decades of political regimes hostile to press freedom are making way for a new environment that holds great promises. The International community is working closely with the authorities and the citizenry in these hostile countries and other countries to ensure that positive developments can translate into long lasting safeguards for freedom of expression and press freedom. Prominent in this international cooperation is the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, endorsed last year by the chief executives of all agencies of the UN. Securing the safety of journalists will continue to be a challenge due to an upward trend in the killings of journalists, media workers and social media producers. In 2012 alone, UNESCO’s Director-General put as 121, journalists killed worldwide, almost doubling the figures of 2010 and 2011 put together. To compound the problem, the rate of impunity for crimes against journalists, media workers and social media producers, remains extremely high. A free, independent and pluralistic media environment must be one in which journalists, media workers, and social media producers can work safely and independently without the fear of being threatened or even killed. It needs to be an environment where attacks, intimidations, harassments,

WHEN FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND PRESS FREEDOM ARE MUFFLED, PEOPLE TEND TO SEEK OUT ALTERNATIVE OUTLETS abductions, arbitrary imprisonments, and threats are the exceptions and rather than the norm. Journalists, editors, publishers should not be subjected to political or financial coercion and manipulation. They should be protected from threats to their persons or their families. Securing the safety of journalists and media workers is an urgent matter. In the last 10 years, more than 600 journalists and media workers had been killed just for bringing news and information to the public. As the United Nations Plan of Action recognizes, promoting the safety of journalists must not be constrained to after-the-fact action, rather much more must be done for preventive mechanisms and for actions to address the root causes of violence against journalists. This implies the need to deal with such issues as corruption, organized crime, terrorism and effective framework for the rule of law. Corruption is a vice, which is international in scope, monstrous in nature, crudely rampant in developing economies and un-

constructively devastating and pervasive in virtually all less developed countries (LDC) of the world. As a result of the antiquarian foundation of corruption, one is tempted to argue that unless governments all over the world can figure out effective ways of combating it, it might remain just like any other crimes. It is a roadblock to promotion of international standards for freedom of expression and the rule of law. Impunity of crimes against press freedom means the impossibility of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account, whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings. This is possible for wreakers of violations because they are not being subjected to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried, and if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties. When freedom of expression and press freedom are muffled, people tend to seek out alternative outlets. It is part of being human to speak out, to share news, to unearth truths, and to voice concerns and aspirations. The best foundation for a public sphere wherein citizens can make optimum decisions is a free, independent and pluralistic media. In turn, this requires that the safety of its practitioners must be secured. All patriotic citizens must unreservedly condemn all forms of violence aimed at hindering press freedom. We should all be in solidarity with all those committed to media freedom and freedom of expression. Bamidele is the Senior Assistant National Secretary of NUJ.

Aregbesola and Osun 2014 YOMI OBADITAN

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he 2014 gubernatorial election in State of Osun is gradually gathering momentum. Aspirants from various political parties are already warming for the big contest. This development reminds one of Franklin Delaino Roosevelt in 1932 USA presidential election and how his opponents thought they would push him out of the race. The United States then was in the midst of depression; banks were failing at an alarming rate; un- employment was rife; and life was brutish, hard and unpleasant. But against all odds, FDR emerged victorious. Roosevelt, in his victory speech, declared he intended to lead the country in a completely new direction. That man successfully revived the American economy through a socioeconomic template he called the New Deal. In like manner, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola came into office in 2011, met very appalling socio-economic conditions - schools were in shambles, insecurity and unemployment were pervasive, health sector was decadent, infrastructure was collapsing, and above all, a debilitating debt over-hang was suffocating the state. Boldly and courageously, within the first 100 days, 20,000 hitherto listless youth were engaged in the biggest social, community and public work volunteer scheme in the history of Nigeria. The same politicians, who while in power for almost eight years could not improve the lives of the people and grounded the ma-

IN HIS NEW DEAL FOR OSUN PEOPLE, AREGBESOLA HAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. HE THEREFORE, DESERVES A SECOND TERM TO CONSOLIDATE AND COMPLETE WHAT HE HAS STARTED chinery of the state, are now battle ready and grand standing for a comeback. Osun people are not fools! I dare say that there is no household in the entire state that is not impacted by this development. From the 40,000 ‘OYES’ beneficiaries to 254,0000 ‘O’MEALS’ for elementary pupils who eat balanced and nutritious lunch Monday to Friday every week and the massive basic education infrastructure renewal programme, the state has been transformed profoundly. We still have the ‘Agba Osun’ allowance for vulnerable senior citizens; agricultural revolution that involves free allocation of land to farmers, provision of subsidized farm inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals and improved seedlings; provision of free uniforms for 750,000 elementary school pupils and students in middle and high schools and design of free 150,000 units of ‘Opon Imo’ to all students in SSS 1 to SSS 111. The social safety nets of Ogbeni administration are too numerous to

be mentioned. Here is an agrarian state, with vast vacant lands, yet the past government never gave it a thought that wealth abounds if the people can be encouraged to till the land. But Ogbeni the visionary came he committed over N1 billion to farmers cooperative societies, and cleared and prepared over 1,650 hectares of land and partitioned them to farmers free of charge. Today there are 28 state supported cooperatives groups to plant 17 km stretch of maize and backed up 2000 farmers to plant 1.3 million plantain suckers. The 10,000 cattle ranch at Oloba-Iwo is another programme for massive empowerment. So far, over 15,000 direct jobs have been created in crop farming, fish farming, apiary, poultry etc. The rural areas are not ignored; trail blazing rural and community development programmes are being vigorously pursued in order to make those areas livable and attractive to the youth. Electricity, road and potable water projects are ongoing across the state. A good example is the 7.5MVA transformer provided at cost of N126 million at Origbo Meje, in Ife North local government. For the past two years the people of the state have felt the impact of his purposeful governance. The zeal with which his government goes about ministering to the welfare needs of people attests to the humanist character of this administration and shows Ogbeni as a true leader. Will someone tell me why he will not earn the people’s votes in 2014? Hear the word of the visionary: “What Nigeria requires above all else is leadership.

That is, visionary leadership that is conscious of its mission; leaders whose convergence of interest and internal solidarity and cohesion would crosscut societal cleavages; leaders who would be able to establish effective hegemony over the society and bring the nation out of the vicious circle of misery and underdevelopment to the circle of development and progress”. FDR, Americans he would lift them out of want, degradation and hunger. He fulfilled the promise. By 1936, when he was returned for the second term, Roosevelt was hailed as a Messiah, and by 1937 the American economy was out of doldrums. President Roosevelt ruled for 12 years, the first of its kind in America. When Aregbesola promised 20,000 jobs within the first 100 days of his administration, they laughed at him, but he fulfilled the promise. He promised to turnaround the economy and make the state the hub of commerce and agricultural produce in the South West; we are witnessing its manifestation. In his New Deal for Osun people, Aregbesola has not disappointed. He therefore, deserves a second term to consolidate and complete what he has started. Osun a dara. Obaditan wrote from Osogbo 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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Mail Mirror

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World Bank and global poverty

I FG and Leadership newspapers

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od bless Kayode Ketefe, a columnist with this newspaper for his brilliant disquisition of yesterday titled The state, press freedom and Leadership. The piece made my day. Still inhaling the euphoria of the content of the piece, I stumbled on a news item on page 8 of the same edition with the headline: FG to withdraw charges against Leadership reporters today. In what I see as uncanny telepathy, Mr. Ketefe was able to simulate the thought of the Federal Government on the issue. This is because in the news story, indication was given that the Federal Government might “file a notice of discontinuance of charges of forgery and other related offences levelled against Leadership newspapers”. All lovers of press freedom will be elated by the new development because the decision to invite, detain and arraign the reporters of Leadership newspaper was a serious blight in the relationship of President Goodluck Jonathan administration with the Nigerian media. I will personally commend the interlocutory stance of the counsel to the Leadership, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and also the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) for giving him a listening ear. This is how it should be, especially when the issue borders on the very basis of Nigerian democratic health. Mallam Inua Bamayi, Abuja

EFCC begging for plea bargain?

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he last Wednesday edition of your newspaper carried the story, Insert plea bargain in 1999 Constitution, EFCC begs Reps, on page 8. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC, the nation’s anti-corruption agency, was said to have asked the House of Representatives for this ‘favour’ at a public hearing on the “Administration of Criminal Justice Bill, 2013”. The EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, who championed this call should tell the nation why plea bargain, a system that is generally seen as discounting justice administration in this country, should be enshrined in the constitution. The aversion the general public has for plea bargain is that it opens windows for criminally minded public servants and political officeholders to commit all manners of economic rape on the country and get away with them. Musa Tijani, Abuja

am writing in reaction to your Monday April 22, 2013 report authored by Udo Onyeka and titled World Bank strategies on ending poverty. The World Bank president, Jim Yong, posited that extreme poverty in the world needed to be overcome totally in every part of the world. The Develop-

ment Committee of the Bank at their spring meeting came up with far reaching measures to achieve this objective. The solutions proffered are not inadequate and too weak to arrest pervasive poverty in the world. I will rather suggest the World Bank take measures that take into account the peculiar so-

cioeconomic conditions of the different countries of the world. I say this within the context of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) killer pill the Bank forced down the throat of Nigeria in 1986 that completely wiped out the nation’s middle class and almost turned the local currency into

toilet tissue. Nigeria was a promising middle power nation before SAP, she is now one of the poorest countries in the world. The World Bank’s SAP recipe caused this. Adebimpe Olatuja Juliana, Victoria Island, Lagos

THE REAL WORKER: A Lagos State Waste Management Agency official picking up dirt items dropped by fellow workers during the Centenary May Day celebration in Onikan, Lagos. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

After Jonathan has destroyed Amaechi

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et me say that as a South South man I am appalled by the intolerant politics of President Goodluck Jonathan. On the surface, Mr President passes as a harmless man who is too effable to hurt a fly. That deceptive mien evaporates after you must have contextualized the political misfortunes of former governors Chief James Ibori and Timipre Sylva of Delta and Bayelsa states respectively. Whatever reservations one may harbor about his persona dissolves when you juxtapose all you know about him with the current travails of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. There is no doubt the feud between them is all about their divergent positions on 2015 presidential race. Jonathan wants a second term and would want all PDP bigwigs, including the 23 governors of the party, to line up behind him. It is natural that politicians disagree on interests and perceptions. Amaechi is rumoured to be in the camp of a

Letters to the Editor

northern coalition that has promised him Vice Presidency in 2015. If he feels his interest is best projected through alignment with the northern power block, how is that an offence? Let the Jonathan camp appreciate the fact that there is a limit to which state coercion can achieve expected political objectives. Dialogue, negotiation in the spirit of give and take, work wonder. Students of politics will tell you that what is happening within the ruling PDP is one sad feature of Third Work politics where the leader sees himself as the lord of the manor to who everyone must be beholden. If I may ask, does the Jonathan camp believe that unanimity could be reached on the President’s second term ambition? Granted that he could get the entire PDP hierarchs to endorse him for second term, does that guarantee he can ramrod Nigerians to vote enmass for him in 2015? Given the prevailing socioeconomic condi-

tions in Nigeria, which are fuelling the popular imagination that Jonathan might not after all be the man we need as a leader, it will be a herculean task for Mr. President to get reelected in 2015. I will rather see his candidacy a liability for the PDP.

So, the show of shame going on in the PDP is vexatious and embarrassing. Amaechi should be left alone and not coerced into submission.

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have a lot of respect for former military Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). He has all the qualities Nigeria needs as leader, especially in this present situation of crass morass of under governance. He equally has his limitations, most especially the suspicion over his Islamic fundamentalism. It is within this context I situate his recent statement that he is a sure aspirant for the presidential ticket of the yet-to-be-registered All Progressive Congress (APC). Such statement confirms the general suspicion that APC is all about General Buhari and his presidential ambition. I would love to see an APC shopping for a less controversial presidential candidate that has a national appeal and could bridge the religious divide in the country. Buhari should not offer himself again, but rather rally round a strong candidate. This is because should he fail to get the APC presidential ticket, the schism that will ensue in the party would be difficult to manage. If indeed the opposition wants the PDP out of power in 2015, acrimonious primaries to pick a candidate should be avoided. The days ahead will be stormy as the ruling PDP will leave no stone unturned in throwing a big wedge that will destabilize the APC. Ms Titilayo Mushin, Lagos

Adeniran,

Impunity of Nigerian political leaders

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template for the nation to be rid of parasitic PHCN. Electricity consumers in the country are tired of the exploitation of the incompetent monopoly. For example, in the last three months the sum of N500 for a so-called Fixed FC HZ , has found its way into the billing system of the company. All effort to get explanation for this rip off has met dead silence from the organisation’s officials. Nigerians want PHCN off their necks, so whatever the Federal Government must do to ensue this will be appreciated.

ay Day was celebrated all over the country last Wednesday. Characteristically, the political leaderships at the three levels of government offered the same menu of platitudes. When some governors were not threatening sacks others were recalling sacked workers. There was the instance of a governor announcing the regularization of the appointment of casual workers! Labour and government have never been chummy allies, but the case of Nigeria is different as many labour leaders prefer to ingratiate themselves to the political leadership for a mess of porridge. This position was graphically painted in the Editorial of the Wednesday edition of your newspaper. The current situation is unacceptable as it will compromise the gains made over the years through robust labour activism. The current leadership of the labour movement in Nigeria must wake up from its slumber. Democracy is no excuse for uninspiring labour leadership. This is the best moment to be at alert.

Benson Atakpo, Warri, Delta State

Comrade Sylvester Odion, Lagos

Akpan John, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

Nothing should harm power sector reforms read with trepidation a news story in the yesterday edition of your newspaper headlined, Handing over of GENCOs, DISCOs to new investors shaky. According to the story the handing over of 15 successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) being privatised earlier scheduled for this month remained uncertain following the inability of the Federal Government to present letters of appointment to about 40,000 casual workers in the sector. I appeal to the federal authorities to surmount all hindrances to the reforms

Buhari and APC

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.


Your

FRIDAY

Flavour

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tillaman

they should be making. His response read: “We found out on social media networks (BBM, Twitter, Facebook). There is no known process as far as musicians are concerned. Even TV stations to the best of our knowledge have no idea of any process laid down by NBC; they just forward names of banned videos or songs from time to time. The rules he (Tillaman) mentioned are guidelines we see online from putting videos on foreign channels. There is no known guidelines or rules from NBC, not on their website or in any publications known to us. We as enlightened people and with the help of foreign regulations just decided, perhaps this is too raunchy for local TV, let’s make a censored version or not). There’s no known body, that’s what our client

is calling for. The main issue and the reason for the letter done by our client is because there is so much alienation between the regulatory body and the people whose materials they regulate. NBC operates with artistes almost fadelessly, today they release list of banned videos, and tomorrow they say they didn’t ban the same videos. This is no link between NBC and artistes to actually know what is going on and what to do to move things forward. At least network service providers relate well with NCC, so does food and drugs companies with NAFDAC, so much that you know what is expected of you and don’t cry foul when they shut you down if you fall short. If a board was designed for music videos, it hasn’t at any point in time been communicated to the stakeholders as I don’t believe

WEEKEND STARTERS Paws present To Love a Ghost

O Bailamos Dance Company on stage

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ailamos Dance Company on stage, which was featured on CNN-Inside Africa in 2012, is staging its first independent dance production titled “Words in Motion” on Sunday at The Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Starting at 5.00 p.m., the show will also feature performances by Gideon Okeke, Ariyike Akinbobola and Denrele Edun. Organisers promise an evening of pure dance entertainment.

n Sunday, Paws in association with Terra Kulture presents another electrifying stage play: To Love a Ghost directed by Kenneth Uphopho. The play revolves around Lois – a young girl who has to go through life’s harsh lessons. The play will be repeatedly staged every Sunday in May from 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Back 2 da future of dance tonight

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eginning at 7.00 p.m. tonight at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos, there will be Afrobeat, House, Soul, Disco, dub sessions, live percussion and Agidigbo, among other

V-Monologues with AJai-Lycett, Dakore, Akintola, others

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oday and tomorrow, Make It Happen Productions in collaboration with Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, KIND, presents

sounds to dance to courtesy of DJ Afrologic and DJ Benji. It is an alternative club event with the two DJs on the wheels of steel, live percussion by Wura Samba, Samson Iroko and gidigbo grooves by Salam Salam Agidigbo ensemble. The event is in con-

V-Monologues: The Nigerian Story at the MUSON Centre, Onikan-Lagos. Starring a stellar cast of stage and film actors which include Taiwo AjaiLycett, Dakore EgusonAkande, Iretiola Doyle, Bimbo Akintola, Biola Segun-Williams, Omonor, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju and Rita Edwards, the stage performance is directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa and produced by Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju. Both shows start by 6.00 p.m.

Wura Samba performing

tinuation of the Ten-Cities project sponsored by Goethe-Institut that has been around the world.

Gidi talents meet at La Mango

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alents@gidi, an event organised by G.R.I.P Time, takes place on Sunday by 6.00 p.m. at La Mango Restaurant & Bar, Ikeja-Lagos. It is a platform to showcase live music, poetry, spoken word and comedy, while creating room for networking. This week’s edition hosted by Saco features Isaac Geralds.

Other performing artistes are Simi, Provabs, Gabby, Tolu, Henrisoul, Gaise, Ayo, Emah oh my God and they will be supported by a live band. Other side attractions include wine tasting, free cocktails, exhibition, free gifts and coupons. The event is sponsored by La Mango and Kola Kuddus Couture.

Dudu exhibits at AAF Gallery

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omorrow, at 5 .00 p.m. the African Artists’ Foundation, AAF, will hold its Art Salon programme. The works, which will be on display until May 18 at AAF Gallery on Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi are by the artist, Emmanuel Dudu.

Titled: ‘Shadow Boxing Theatre: Second Place is First Loser,’ they are the artist’s recent works comprising metaphoric paintings, where the artist sets the sport of boxing as a backdrop for daily life in Nigeria today, including its challenges, rules, and social order.

Escape P. 34

Denrele’s Day

Bolarinwa

P. 24-25

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s the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, tightens its noose on indecent audio-visual content on Nigeria’s broadcast space, hip-hop artiste, Tillaman, has taken the challenge to the regulatory body, for banning his music video, Koma Roll. In a three-minute long video posted on ‘You Tube’, which is receiving increasing views on the social media circle, the artiste, said there was need for the body to come out with guidelines on what constitutes a bad video. Tillaman speaking said his fans were worried on why the video should be banned. “My fans are really worried about this. I am worried too. I do not know why ‘Koma Roll’ should be banned. I am not saying that it is a perfect work, because there may have been some aspects of the video that runs afoul of the rules but I think the NBC should make the guidelines known to artistes, so they know the rules to work with. I want them to establish a body that we can go to like the Censors Board does to people in the home video sector. There should be enough enlightenment in this direction”. Corroborating Tillaman’s view, his publicist, Ibrahim explained to **Friday Flavour** that they knew about the ban from the social media networks, when NBC should have written formally to tell them why their work was yanked off air. In the e-mailed interview, he also advocated a system, where a structure would be laid down to guide artistes on the kind of video

any video directors or artistes are aware of that information. Therefore I doubt if they’ve ever received any music videos for screening but of course they are aware music videos get played on these channels all the time. If the board was designed for music videos too, music videos get played on the channels but they’ve never received any one for screening, why haven’t they done anything about sensitising people as they have banned videos? The material in question is a music video and not a movie; they shouldn’t try to cover our eyes with the National Film and Video Censors Board. They haven’t laid any guidelines down to us to send videos to them as they have done movie makers”. When Friday Flavour raised the issue on the phone with NBC, their representative in Lagos said that a lot of artistes raise dust about ban in order to attract attention from the public. “Some of these videos are never released through the normal channel. The rule is that a video’s suitability for broadcast is determined based on nudity, obscenity and cultural relevance. Videos are also classified for clubs, where you can show anything; for home and for blockers. The ones for home and blockers are regulated. All videos ought to be censored by the Film and Videos Censors Board, after which a panel in NBC sits in Abuja to determine its suitability. Some of the artistes just shoot their videos and post online. Some even wake up to accuse NBC of banning in order to attract attention. That makes people to look out for such works”.

Inside FCT

NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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NBC called out over broadcast regulations

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

Mirror Mongers

VOL. 3 No. 608

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Artman In The House

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

I lived my life Professor Kole Omotoso, writer and intellectual turned 70 on April 21. To celebrate, there was a week-long ceremony that started at Jazzhole in Lagos and culminated in Akure, Ondo State. Friday Flavour’s TERH AGBEDEH was at the Lagos gathering where the professor, popularly known as Yebo gogo in South Africa, entertained questions from guests and journalists. Excerpts:

EVERYBODY WHO HAS BEEN HEAD OF STATE IS CONGRATULATED YEAR IN, YEAR OUT AND THE COUNTRY THAT THEY RAN IS

DOWN, BUT THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL

Omotoso

Congratulations for turning 70 Professor. All those positive ideas you had back then at the University of Ife reflected in Positive Review, and now that Nigeria has gone the way it has, how do you reconcile all the ideals you entrenched in some of your students and what is to be done? Don’t let me start from Ife. I did my Ph.D in Arabic, I did my first degree in Arabic. I was a student at the American University in Cairo, I speak Classical Arabic. At the University of Ibadan, I was accused of teaching outside of the programme of the department and undermining the religion of my students. That was long before Boko Haram. The Arabic Department

at Ibadan where I did my first degree, wrote to the Minister of Education, and told him that there ought to be a law that does not allow non-Muslims to teach Arabic and Arabic literature. In this country! At the University of Ife, we came to a point where people started saying, ‘send your families away, resign from the university’. Sende Adegbemi was one of those who resigned. The rest of us were supposed to take decisions and start looking for arms. I remember coming back from New York with a copy of The Anarchist Schoolbook, which teaches you the basics for making bombs. One of our elders called us about

4.00 a.m. one morning and told us, ‘you guys are setting yourselves up to be murdered’. We thought we had to start by trying to get money and the only way you can get money is from the bank. He said they will shoot you as common criminals. It was at that point that I think ‘Positive Review’ virtually dissolved. There were times somebody will tell you the security has just been to your office, don’t go there. You go to your lecture and you don’t know how many people from, it used to be the E Division at one time before it changed to SSS, were going to be there. For me, the issue is really this, unless we decide that, as we used to say, ‘e do’, you know, enough is enough, because it cannot be worse than this, therefore, we have to take on the situation. When it comes to the question of what is to be done? For me, the solution seems to have started. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with what is going on in Ondo State. Let us just take one issue, mother and child care; it is free. The only thing you do there is buy a card for N500 and everything else is free. But it isn’t free, it is being paid for from resources that Ondo State has. For me, we need to do it at the local level up and there are state governors around the country that are beginning to say we will do this now for our state. For instance, provision of electricity has been reduced to state level, that is, each state can now go ahead and do power generation contracts. But let me remind you of something, in 1958, Obafemi Awolowo raised the issue that regions should be allowed to provide electrical power. The ECN, as it was called at that time, would not hear of it. But the Federal Government was prepared to consider it. ECN then convinced the Federal Government, let’s ask the Premier, Awolowo to provide ECN with one billion pounds and ECN will provide electricity in major cities in the Western Region. Awolowo gave them the money. The idea was that by 1962, every major city in Western

Region should have electrical supply. But we know what happened, it never worked. What do you think can be done to get 24 hours of electricity? It sounds like a joke when I say that there is no reason why we should not stop using generators. We are not producing them. If anybody in this country decided from today we are not using generators and the government should not use it either. We must ensure that those who are responsible for producing electricity will do their work. It will cross to other things. There has to be some action from us because presently, it is as if everything is all right. Nigeria cannot be anything in 2015, if it doesn’t change now. It is like doing the same things and expecting different results. And that action has to come from the community, especially the ones who are financially comfortable. They can afford to, they are the ones who will have to deprive themselves. What are your thoughts on the recent development around the National Theatre? I felt very sad two or three years ago about the fact that the National Theatre had been earmarked to be sold to a company that would build either a supermarket there or a sprawling mall. The initial reaction was that it is not possible. But then, if you speak to those who ran the place, if you go round there and look at it, over the years, it has deteriorated. Once, I had to speak about the future of children’s books and I said that if we cannot decide the future of publishing for adults, the question of what happens to children doesn’t arise. The National Theatre is not the only thing that we sold off. Over the years, we have made it very easy for whoever governs this country to get away with murder. I remember a young Nigerian writer telling me that seeing Wole Soyinka leading a demonstration at his age (79 with his white hair) forced him to say, no, I have to join this. It is up to Nigerians to decide what they want to live with. The Bring Back the Book initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan is supposed to address some of the literary/ reading issues in the country. Do you think it is the place of government to spearhead such an initiative? There is nothing new in that. In Denmark, Norway, these are countries whose populations are less than 10 million; deliberately, government subsidised libraries to buy the books off writers.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Artman In The House

Friday, May 3, 2013

on the streets –Omotoso Under apartheid, the two languages were English and Afrikaans; the Afrikaans speaking population is five million. The government subsidised the publication and distribution of Afrikaans literature. One of the things that the Afrikaners lost as a result of the changes that took place in 1994 was that Afrikaans was no longer favoured. Even now, there are structures within the South African system that supports filmmakers and writers to which anyone can apply. The point is that people make promises in this country and then they go away. Look at the newspapers; we talk so much about political corruption and we do not talk about the media corruption in this country. That is part of the problem. I don’t know how many of you would have seen the pamphlet that I published years ago about the first speeches of Nigerian coup makers. And it is one criticism and one promise after another. In fact, (Sani) Abacha made the same speech three times. But the media doesn’t pick it up. People lie and get away with it. It is just that we have a non-functioning state where everybody who has been head of state is congratulated year in, year out and the country that they ran is down, but they are successful. What is Yebo gogo all about? Sometime in 1993, anybody who is familiar with the history of South Africa would know that we were still under the apartheid government. In 1993, I was to do an advert for a Bucky (Pickup van) that has just been introduced. I am pictured repairing an old building on a land that my family has always owned, saying that this land I will pass it to my children. When I finish the day’s work, I put my tools in the back of the pickup and drive into the sunset. Fantastic pictures, the advert was shot in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. It went on television, first day, second day and on the third day, it was pulled out. The advertisers called me from Jo’borg to say, ‘sorry, that advert has been pulled because the white Afrikaners had complained that they are the ones who buy pickups and not black people’. Two, they don’t want a black man talking about handing land to his children. Three, they don’t like the advert anyway. That was South Africa in 1993. Of course, the advertisers were being flippant, to be forward looking, trying to push. I didn’t bother because I had been paid anyway. In January 1994, I got a call from Jo’borg from the newly established Vodacom, asking if I would be interested in looking at a script. I read it and thought it was very funny. The story was very straightforward. An old black guy is sitting by the side of the road selling wire windmills. A white guy drives by in a red sports car with his girlfriend who wants to look at the windmills. The guy comes out of the car and says to me, Yebo gogo. That is Zulu for ‘hello, grandmother’. Basically, he wants to speak the language but he doesn’t know what he is talking about. We thought it was a one off, but by the end of the week, the term ‘Yebo gogo’ had gone all over the place. It became part of the South African vocabulary. It was only last December that we finally terminated the Vodacom adverts. How did you handle the controversy that arose from the publication of your book, Just Before Dawn? The first thing about the book happened after Newswatch ran some extracts from it; we got a call from (Olusegun) Obasanjo saying that he was going to court. FRA Williams filed a notice that the book should be stopped. The reason given was that there is a part of it where it describes Obasanjo’s presence in Port Harcourt when the coup against (Shehu) Shagari was being discussed. Obasanjo insisted that he didn’t go to that meeting, but the people going to the meeting stopped in Abeokuta to tell him about the meeting. My publishers refused to contest it. I had friends like Femi Falana who were ready to defend me, but my publishers said no, they would take that paragraph out of the book and pay

FACT FILE •

Born Bankole Ajibabi Omotoso on April 21, 1943, he was educated at King’s College, Lagos and the University of Ibadan.

While at the University, he was a member of Positive Review, a renowned literary group which consisted of other respected literary minds such as Femi Osofisan, Odia Ofeimun, Biodun Jeyifo, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Omolara Ogundipe-Leslie and G. G Darah.

He obtained a Ph.D in Arabic Literature with a thesis on the modern Arabic novelist and playwright, Ahmad Ba-Kathhir, at the University of Edinburgh in 1972.

Kole Omotoso is currently a professor at the Drama Department, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

He returned to Ibadan to lecture in Arabic studies (1972–1976) and then moved to the University of Ife to work in drama (1976–1988).

He became a writer for various magazines (including West Africa) in the 1970s.

Omotoso, a pioneering activist in literary journalism, was the founding general secretary and a former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA.

He was literary editor of Afriscope in the 1970s, wrote the Writer’s Diary in West Africa magazine, travelogues in National Concord and the Uncle Very Very series in the now defunct Daily Sketch.

Among his published books are: The Edifice (1971); The Combat (1972); Miracles (short stories) (1973); Fela’s Choice (1974); Sacrifice (1974, 1978); The Scales (1976); To Borrow a Wandering Leaf (1978); Memories of Our Recent Boom (1982) and Just Before Dawn (1988).

There is also drama, which includes: The Curse (1976); Shadows in the Horizon (1977), Yes and ‘Know’ to the Freedom Chatter; as well as Nonfiction: The Form of the African Novel (1979) and Achebe or Soyinka? A study in Contrasts (1995); among others.

compensation to Obasanjo. But the worst part of it came from the army when Joe Garba told someone, ‘tell Kole, if I see him, I am going to shoot him’. For me, the easiest thing was, let me get out of the country. Although my family was still at Ife, it was easier for me to deflect anything from me while the publishers dealt with whatever they had to deal with. How did your interest in theatre come about? My theatre interest started on the streets of Akure because on the streets, when the curtains fall, we go in, we don’t go out. And as I have described in my inaugural lecture at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), the experience of following egungun (masquerades), of following drummers celebrating stayed with me. I lived my life on the streets. Of course, my grandfather used to say, ‘don’t play with the children of pagans’. But the children of pagans were the most exciting children to play with. From then to when I was in Sacred Heart Primary School, Akure onto when I was at Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure, theatre was part of what I did. At King’s College there was no drama group, but we had something called Thinkers’ Group. We took ourselves very seriously and we went to spend two weeks in Ayetoro interacting with the society. When I got to the University of Ibadan, the first place I went to was the theatre department, although I was doing Arabic, French and English, I still went to the drama group.

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Critics

Fela

Friday, May 3, 2013

Oni

ADENRELE NIYI ARTS EDITOR

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n 1977, South Africa was caught in the throes of Apartheid struggles, the bleakest period in the annals of that nation’s history and the international community treated her as a pariah state. But the country’s rich arts, culture and music, which featured prominently and aggressively in the anti-apartheid campaign, endeared her to the rest of the world, including the continent. For these and humane reasons, Nigeria supported the Black South African liberation movements and spoke out against Apartheid in South Africa… the local music scene also lent some of its composition to the noble cause. Nigerian composer and musician, the late ‘Ozziddi king’ Sonny Okosun recorded “Fire in Soweto” in 1977 to commemorate the 1976 Soweto uprising –the song became an international hit and further spread the message of injustice going on in the country. However, earlier in 1977, Nigeria, buoyant by oil boom and her growing status as the ‘Giant of Africa’, won hosting rights for the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, FESTAC. The maiden edition had held in Dakar, Senegal 11 years before. For one month, January 15 to February 12, 1977, FESTAC ‘77 witnessed a great art and culture assemblage of people of all races and nationalities in Nigeria. Undoutedly, there were many remarkable and truly outstanding performances from Black and African people in attendance, but South Africa’s music icon and Mama Africa, late Mariam Makeba was unforgettable for the rousing show she put up in Lagos and Kano. In voluntary exile at the time, Makeba’s lyrical composition showcased the cultural values of her country while not neglecting to speak against the oppressive system of minority whites ruling over majority black South Africans. Also at the National Theatre in Lagos, the then emerging Ipi Tombi (which literarily means ‘Where are the girls?’), a South African singing troupe made up of ladies and men, gave one of the highlight performances of FESTAC ’77. Documented accounts show that some other South African artistes including poet and writer, Dennis Brutus and Letta Mbulu, a Jazz singer, featured in FESTAC ’77. Thus, music, drama, poetry, literature and dance were melding shared ideals and overwhelming barriers that militated against association in non-clamorous ways. History is a good place to learn lessons for the future and it would appear the contemporary entertainment scene of Nigeria and South Africa are exceptional students of history. More than 30 years after FESTAC, the level of collaborations and exchange of ideas between both culture spaces has expanded to unprecedented heights.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

D’Banj performing at the 2013 AFCON closing ceremony in South Africa

Makeba

Entertainment treads where diplomacy trembles Next week, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, will pay an official visit to South Africa as part of his administration’s drive to build on deepening socio-economic and political interactions between this nation and the Jacob Zuma-led government. However, the entertainment sectors of both nations could boast of spearheading a social fraternity of two of Africa’s leading lights. Perhaps while mapping out new bilateral alliances, the leaders could examine and explore some of the sector’s synergistic gains.

Special Report 30 YEARS AFTER FESTAC, THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS

SOUTH AFRICA AND NIGERIA’S CULTURE

BETWEEN

SPACES HAS EXPANDED TO UNPRECEDENTED HEIGHTS For many years after FESTAC ’77 and prior to South Africa’s democratic dispensation in 1993, music and arts content flowed back and forth across national borders –singers such as Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Lucky Dube were commercially successful and recorded huge followership in Nigeria. Ipi Tombi’s profile as a world-class performance troupe continued to grow and they were hosted on international stages (in 2011 and 2012, Ipi Tombi were in Nigeria for sell-out shows sponsored by First Bank, an indigenous Nigeria financial institution). On the flip side, Afrobeat maestro Fela Anikulapo Kuti created music masterpieces many of which were outspoken condemnations of Nigeria’s military dictatorship and South Africa’s repressive system of governance. The artistic tempo kept building. But after the emergence of Nelson Mandela in 1994 as President of a free South Africa (the globally-adored leader of African National Congress, ANC, had spent 27 of his freedom fighting years in incarceration), that country’s race for economic and political relevance gained momentum. However, South Africa infused the rest of the world with her cultural exports and tourist destinations, while opening her borders to other nations to aid the rebuilding process.

The challenge of military dictatorship and human rights abuse spanning over two decades (80s into the late 90s) coupled with diplomatic rows on both sides, raised serious concerns about Nigeria and soiled several attempts at forging economic and political relationship between both nations. Yet, the underground arts and culture exchange never ceased. More Nigerians were relocating to South Africa for education and work as well as organisations from the latter exploring economic and trade opportunities in the most populous African nation. Much later, the exceptional film making techniques taught in South Africa’s schools influenced one of contemporary music’s celebrated producer and record company boss, Clarence Peters, who studied Directing and Cinematography at the City-Varsity Summons Television Academy, Cape Town. As the global phenomenon called Nollywood budded, fuelled by sheer talent and natural ingenuity of the creative Nigerian spirit, it became one of Nigeria’s biggest cultural exports traversing the huge continent of Africa and beyond and winning die-hard fans in South African Townships. In neo-Nollywood discourse, names like Akin Omotoso, film director; Femi Odugbemi, film director; Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, CEO Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA and Kole Omotoso, author and professor of drama at a South African university, are in the vanguard of engaging their South African counterparts in collaborative works. The integration of African stories has been aided further by MultiChoice, a South Africa-based company with wide business investments in Nigeria, The company operates the DStv Satellite Television service that has dedicated a channel, Africa Magic, to showcase movies of African origin–with Nigeria providing about 75 per cent of content. More so, many established and emerging entertainment personalities are finding room for creative expression


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics

Friday, May 3, 2013

23

Literary arts

How to bury Chinua Achebe for book revival CHIKE OFILI

C

Flavour

and building their profile via programmes on the various channels hosted on DStv’s Pay TV platform. Popular TV personalities such as I.K. Osakioduwa and Dolapo Oni are beneficiaries of this platform. Similarly, back to back in the last three years, Nigerian participants have won the Big Brother Africa reality TV competition created by Endemol South Africa, launching the winners’ careers in the entertainment sector. It is important to mention that music’s wave-making names like D’Banj, 2face Idibia, P’Square, Naeto C, Flavour, J. Martins and Tiwa Savage have shot videos in South Africa locations projecting the beautiful destinations of the country. It has also been beneficial the other way– P’Square, Flavour and D’Banj are commercial hits in South Africa and their fan base growing furiously. Currently, the Kwazulu-Natal Province is supporting the MTV Africa All Stars Concert which featured 2face, Davido, Ice Prince alongside South African urban music star, Professor, in the Lagos leg and culminates with a performance in South Africa later this month featuring 2face, Flavour, alongside international and South African music superstars. While music seems to be the favourite child, comedians are doing more fraternising across the borders; South Africa’s star comedy artiste Luyiso Gola, among others, has been to Nigeria for the Basketmouth-organised Kings of African Comedy. But one of the recent successes for Nigerian comedy was recorded last month. Star comic act, Basketmouth, who also hosts a Globacom sponsored show on DStv, landed his first stage appearance on the international Comedy Central TV stand up show. Tagged Comedy Central Present’s Basketmouth Live at Parker’s (the legendary comedy venue in Johannesburg), it is the first-ever comedy central gig for a Nigerian comedian. Reports say Basketmouth cross cultural comic delivery ‘brought the house down’. So, ahead of the vital high-level diplomatic jaw-jaw that would feature prominently in Pretoria during President Jonathan’s official trip to South Africa, the contemporary entertainment and culture sectors of both countries may have already fomented deeper ties through vibrant informal dialogue, exchange of ideas and spirited collaborations. Therefore, with the Nigerian president clearly demonstrating his goodwill and benevolence to the local entertainment sector and the South African leader an enthusiastic champion of the tourism push of his country, history would venerate them for taking pointers from these subsectors of the economy.

hinua Achebe’s death at 82 marks about six decades of sustained bloodless wars of focused fighting against White racists and confiners. That is the put-themdowns of Whites and wheelchairs of all types meant to undermine Africa through all types of bad representation by Europeans with conditioned imagination and conditioned narratives against Africa; against betraying African intellectuals in politics and jobbing politicians holding down Nigeria and his Igbo people. The Nobel Prize for Literature and Peace are now the poorer; for it finally lost a most representative candidate and the envy of its title holders. It also marks the triumphal exit of a most enriching life lengthened by the appreciative graces of the United States; the final exit of a continental teacher-writer who had his lifework well-wrought.

Writers’ duties to Achebe on his exit Before the gathering of the tribes, let us gather writings for Achebe and for literature making a serious case for the support of the necessary conditions that would make for easy movement and access to books through radio, TV, internet and newspaper interviews and in our organised media events around the dead. We should come together from far and near to bury our own; bury a most unique father, mentor and colleague. We must not wait to be organised by any organisation or official groups before we act. We should come together in clusters of 10 to organise ourselves in multiple groups to Ogidi, Achebe’s village in Anambra State and the other centres of burial, initiating our own programmes and making our presences felt. We must not be on-lookers at our own special occasion or yield it to politicians. Hopefully, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA will rise to her role and be the common ground; where not, clusters of activities can go on with or without ANA. The book idea should be given a pride of place at any of the celebrations; the book, Achebe’s and others should be made the hero of the occasion at all venues. The infrastructural deficits in the book industry and the urgent need to redress them should form the governing thrust of all personal, group, organisational interviews, proposals, plans, pressures and even blackmails aimed at governments, the private sector and interested parties.

redemption of the soul of our writing calling and life-work. Now that it is so crystal clear that our personal, professional and collective lack of initiative to will ourselves into success has not happened from among us, or done for us by interests within Nigeria or White outsiders as was done for the Achebe generation, we just have to use the timely occasion of his death to scream out our needs strategically. The following are fundamental to meaningful pursuit of a fulfilling writing career in Nigeria and elsewhere: The establishment of Writers and Book-aid Agency/Council to address writers and book needs in the same manner that the National Theatre and National Troupe of Nigeria are officially attending to the needs of the performing arts; the National Gallery of Arts, the visual arts; the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, etc, where writers bodies like ANA, etc, can channel their needs and through which they can in turn be reached by governments etc. Creating channels for giving flying wings to the speedy movement of books across the country and beyond; whilst also attending to the cost and hiccups assailing and assaulting the processes of book making and the book chain –writing, publishing, printing, bookselling and libraries. We must now learn to defeat our collective inactivity of waiting forever for God or governments, groups, and organisations to organise us with the alternative power of small group systems; of clusters of writers with similar aims binding and bonding to defeat common challenges. As the brain of the Art House, we should not be used to cultured helplessness arising from personal, group or the Nigerian situation; we should think our way through the quagmire in the same way our sibling, Nollywood, creatively snapped out of its doldrums to global fame and is presently getting the government to meet its most critical need of film distribution. We should seize the

Achebe’s death should be used to meet writers’ needs There can be no better time to snap out of our collective inertia for the

Achebe

moment too to cry out against our utter neglect and for making workable book distribution, accessibility and affordability across Nigeria. We should also be motivated by the much inspiring efforts of sibling members of the art house like the much younger group among the reigning Nigerian musicians who after up-staging and off-staging the old order of musical forms and their musicians and promoters, have kept the music playing and paying alongside remnants of the progressive old order running their royalty collecting society, COSON without PMAN, their dysfunctional umbrella body trapped in court cases over leadership. Finally, I call on us all to write a letter of appreciation on Prof. Chinua Achebe by supporting my little effort at putting together a collection, an anthology of letters of appreciation in no more than 1,000 as you once wrote when you were writing your West African School Certificate or what is now called Senior School Certificate Examination. Your letter of appreciation should bear in mind Achebe’s death at 82 and Nigeria’s 100 years of colonial marriage in 1914 as they confluence in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and other books that capture this contact and happenings over time; your reader response to Achebe and Nigeria– pure and simple. Submissions are welcomed beyond Nigeria and Africa. Kindly write a letter of thanks to Prof. Chinua Achebe through the editor, chikeofili@yahoo.com of Documentary Concerns, a unit of Reputations Consulting, compilers of the anthology of Fela-centred poems, Fela’s Re-arrangement: A Collage of the Poetic Biography of the Nigerian Folk Hero of Afro-beat Music. I look forward to seeing you at the burial of the master storyteller with your plans and activation of them drawing attention to our collective plight and our desired future. Ofili, is the author of The Weight of Waiting and ex-chairman of ANA, Lagos.


24

Inside FCT

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, May 3, 2013

NASS shuttle buses face low patronage ...as coaster buses take over routes

COMPETITORS HAVE

TORDUE SALEM

TAKEN OVER THE

S

NASS ROUTES AS

ince the introduction of coaster buses to convey workers at the National Assembly gates to the complex late last year, business has gone from bad to worse for shuttle bus drivers. The shuttle drivers, who were engaged by the National Assembly bureaucracy to officially convey workers from the gates to the office complex, are bitter that their competitors have taken over the business along the routes as commuters prefer the well-maintained and neat buses to the old, rickety buses. One of the commercial bus drivers, who complained to Inside FCT on Monday, said they were yet to consider plying a different route, because the buses are owned by the National Assembly. “We are really having it difficult these days. With the entry of these coaster buses, we are having fewer passengers and business has gone down for us”, Nuhu Isa, one of the bus drivers told our reporter. According to him, “Before the buses came, we were well patronised and our buses would be full in few minutes and we went for countless trips a day. But now, it takes hours before a bus is loaded, it’s quite sad”. The bus fare started with N5.00 in 2000 and gradually increased to N20.00 per passenger in 2009. Though many passengers protested the fare hike then and preferred to wait for lifts or trek the distance to the complex, the bus drivers finally had their way until the long coaster buses came on the scene. Another shuttle bus driver, Abu Nda, who spoke with Inside FCT said: “Many of the taxi drivers have since quit the job and

COMMUTERS PREFER

THE WELL-MAINTAINED AND NEAT BUSES TO THE OLD, RICKETY BUSES

gone to drive other vehicles outside the National Assembly”. He added that, “there is a possibility that more of us would quit, because it is not profitable to get less business and maintain the amount of returns to the bureaucracy”. A National Assembly staff, who pleaded that his name should not be in print, said it will be unwise to keep coming to work in those buses, when one could come in with the coaster buses “free of charge”. Another visitor to the National Assembly said, “right from the start, I have not boarded those buses. They are rickety and I don’t like the way they cramp passengers like sardines. Rather than enter those buses, I prefer to walk all the way to the office”. One of the minuses of the painted buses is that they are poorly maintained –most of the buses are more than 10 years old and not properly serviced and therefore unattractive. Some of the residents spoken with believe that if the painted buses remain unrefurbished and more coaster buses find their way to the routes, the days of the old buses may be numbered as it is natural for man to opt for the best among choices.

L-R: Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide and Bala Mohammed at the town hall meeting

OMEIZA AJAYI

A

buja, the nation’s capital, is said to have a housing deficit of about N1.2 million according to the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA. The situation is made worse by the continued influx of people into the territory -a development which has also exerted pressure on the city’s infrastructure. However, FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has said that the FCT Administration evolved the policy of housing and infrastruc-

ture development, known as the Land Swap Model in order to bridge the yawning deficit. “The policy is premised on the philosophy that FCT land must be seen as a resource for infrastructure development”, Mohammed said at a town hall meeting with residents last week. The Land Swap policy of the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA entails the provision of infrastructure in exchange for land by the investors that have the financial muscle and technical expertise. The investor is expected to recoup his/her investment from the sale of

AS THE RAINS SET IN:

Vendors seek support for raincoats, newsstands, others A Portakabin structure that houses the NVAA office

GEORGE OJI

T

he rains are here and in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, it appears the rains are a little early

in coming. Usually, the rains pour in torrents just about the middle of May every year in the city. The effect of the early rainy season is already being felt by businesses and residents. One of the businesses that the rain

most noticeably impacts on, is newspaper business. In the FCT, there are about 600 registered vendors that operate in the city under the aegis of Newspapers Vendors Association of Abuja, NVAA. During raining periods, the vendors are usually in dire need of newsstands, raincoats and water proofs paper cover to be able to ply their trade successfully. “During the raining season, we suffer a lot both in sales and physical impact of the rains because we do not have what it takes to carry out our business. While selling on the roads, the rain drenches

our vendors, their papers and passing vehicles splash water on them. Sometimes, they fall ill because of excessive exposure to the elements”, Mr. Samuel E. Jimoh, Chairman of NVAA, told Inside FCT. Unlike previous years, this year the vendors have said they are going to take the bull by the horns to minimise the loss they suffer annually as a result of the rains. And how would they do that? Jimoh said they have started by way of appeal to well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to come to their aid. Asked what form the aid could take,


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Inside FCT

Friday, May 3, 2013

25

Revisiting the Land Swap Model

plots of land at premium price. According to Mohammed: “Under the programme, FCT Administration allocates land in a Greenfield area to a competent real property investor. In exchange for the grant, the investor provides specified infrastructure in the entire district”. Among the primary infrastructure which the investor is expected to provide in the earmarked areas include detailed district design and the bill of engineering; agreed kilometres of roads of varying specified sizes within the districts; storm water drains; sewer lines; water distribution lines; street lightening; electrical power distribution stations; telecommunication ducts as well as mini sewer treatment plants. The fear, howthe chairman said those who are willing to help could do so by providing his members with raincoats and caps, constructing newsstands and or even providing waterproof paper wrappers to enable vendors hawk their papers while it rains. Another way the sponsors could get value for money with these benevolent donations is to brand such items so that as the vendors are selling the papers, they will inadvertently be advertising the sponsors’ products. There are just a few newsstands used by vendors in the FCT. The few newsstands, according to Jimoh, are those provided free of charge to his members by Media Trust Ltd. He urged other news media organisations, corporate entities and individuals to complement the efforts of Media Trust by making additional newsstands available to his members. He said organisations that are

ever, is that some developers might abandon the project midway. Although the FCT has an 8,000 sqm, a Federal Capital City, FCC, of 250sqm was carved out and its physical development is structured into four phases with about 74 districts including the Three Arms Zone, Central Business District and Kukwuaba National Park taking care of the Green areas, transportation corridors, as well as other services needed for any modern city. Days before the town hall meeting, the minister had conducted the ground breaking of the Land Swap pilot project, Dallas Carraway District in Abuja being handled by Messrs. Plethora Realty and Facility Managers Limited. Mohammed is optimistic that the policy would fast track the provision of infrastructure and as well stave off pressure on public utilities and housing in the FCT. He said: “Confronted by the inability of current funding to meet growing needs in other sectors like education, health, security etc, the Administration had to devise innovative means of unlocking dormant resources. This is with a view to freeing up capital for use in other areas and improving the welfare of residents”. It is believed that the model is a departure from past policies in which FCT Administrations played Father Christmas with land allocations and disregarded its huge potential as a valuable resource that can be transformed into capital for development purposes. The FCTA said the model would also crash real property rental value in Abuja, which does not tally with what obtains in other capital cities of the world. The major grey area which the FCT Administration is expected to immediately address is the sharing ratio of the districts. While the developers take 60 per cent, the FCT Administration will retain 40 percent of buildable plots in the districts. It said it would allocate such

willing to provide newsstands can approach his association so that they can introduce them to the wielders who specialise in constructing newsstands for vendors. He said the advantage in using the wielders known to the vendors is that such wielders already know the specification to construct the newsstands. One other problem that vendors used to encounter before now was constant harassment by officials of the FCT environmental agency. Happily, according to Jimoh, that problem is over now and his members can safely go about hawking their papers unmolested. Other issue of concern to the association is how to get a permanent location for their business. Right now, the association carries out its newspaper business at a temporary base somewhere in Area 1, Garki. Though FCT authority is not disturbing

THE POLICY IS ANOTHER ELITIST PROJECT TO TAKE LAND AWAY FROM POOR, ORIGINAL INHABITANTS COMMUNITIES AND HAND OVER TO THE MIGHTY plots to Nigerians through the Land Use and Allocation Committee. The original inhabitants are demanding to be factored into the 40 per cent stake of the FCT Administration. President of Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja, OIDA, Pastor Jeji Danladi knocked the administration for not being sincere. He said, since most of the communities are agrarian, the fate of the rural farmers remain uncertain after the developers, in cahoot with the FCTA, has displaced them from their lands. The right thing to do, according to him, would be to allocate a certain percentage to his people rather than government and developers sharing the plots and then building houses that would be expensive for the common man. The natives have argued that with the development, a plot of land in the districts would go for a minimum of N71 million and having to erect a property on such plot would cost more. “The Land Swap policy is another elitist project meant to take land away from poor, original inhabitants communities and hand over to the high and mighty. The outcry of the affected communities is: “What happens to us when government and their business partners take over all our lands, since government is the one driving the land

swap initiative”, he queried. Jeji added: “Successive government in FCT have treated original inhabitants worse than second class citizens. Our conviviality and hands of fellowship extended to government and other Nigerians have long been taken for granted. “Despite this friendly disposition of our people to the development of Abuja as Nigeria’s capital, successive government has failed to discharge their minimal side of the bargain like lawful compensation for original inhabitants, equitable integration for those that wish to remain in their original habitation and dignifying resettlement. “It is a well known historical fact that the struggle for the rights of original inhabitants world over has always thrived on robust partnership with civil society. We are concerned about the vicious attacks being meted out to us on the account of this altruistic relationship with the long suffering original inhabitants. “Despite our patience with the government to amend all the inconsistencies in the constitution which have led to the usurpation of our ancestral land, we note with sadness that after 36 years, there has been continuous forceful demolition of our homes, farmlands and communities and haphazard relocations. Likewise, land grab involving the government and wealthy land speculators under different guises without human sympathy or due compensation for FCT original inhabitants”. Indeed, the administration may have to review the sharing ratio of the plots with a view to bringing in the natives rather than holding on to the fact that it would use part of its 40 percent to provide social housing schemes for the poor. What the town-hall meeting has thrown up is that more consultations and sensitisation still have to be done.

Vendors collating their newspaper supply in the open

the vendors, Jimoh fears that since the place was earmarked for road construction in the original master plan, they face the danger of possible eviction any time soon. Jimoh, who is currently serving out his first term in office as an elected chairman said he

wants to add value to the lives of his members. To actualise this, he said arrangements have been concluded by his executive to establish a computer training centre at the Area 1 business venue of the vendors. The idea behind this, he said, is to provide opportunities for his members to learn

additional trade so that once they are through with the newspaper sales; they would not remain idle but could engage in other forms of IT-related businesses. The association, Jimoh further disclosed, intends to introduce other forms of vocational trades for the benefit of its members.


26

Mirror Mongers

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Honour for a distant prophet

O

ften times, people say a prophet has no honour in his homeland. But this may not be entirely true. At least, President of the United States, Barack Obama has been able to demonstrate this. For starters, he not only told Americans that he caught and killed one of the greatest tormentors of all time, Osama Bin Laden; when the situation arose again with the Boston Marathon bombing, Obama

simply declared, ‘we will find you’. Few hours later, one suspect was killed and another arrested in a manner that looked like an action movie. Of course, this is in great contrast to the usual ‘we are on top of the situation’ Nigerians would have heard in a situation like that. Perhaps in appreciation of the things he has been doing, a community in Benue State decided to name a secondary school after the American President. The school, President Barack Obama High School, Ugba is in Logo Local Government Area of the state. This may not have undermined Nigerians’ desire for foreign heroes, as a couple in Lagos, named their school, Facebook International Nursery and Primary School, Sabo.

Amaechi

Cats and dogs in power

E

nglish men would not describe the ongoing battle for the soul of Rivers State without one word –mercurial. Yes, when you expect this would happen, the unexpected pops up: grounding of plane, suspension of members and the likes.

Ndoma Egba hosts Koreans

Before now, Governor Chibuike Amaechi and the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike were best of pals, so much that Nyesom who then was a local government chairman, helped Amaechi to lick the wounds of his purported K-leg declared by

Don’t mess with Fanny Amun

M

S

enate Majority Leader, Senator Ndoma Egba knows how to extend his long arm of friendship. Or is it the other way round? Perhaps, this has to do with his amiable disposition, if you ask people around him, but when it comes to making friends with a nation currently in the news for nuclear arms race, then, people have to sit on the edge. This played out recently when the Senator hosted the North Korean ambassador to Nigeria in his office. Of course, the pictures of the visit, which surfaced on the Facebook page of Senator Egba attracted various reactions from his friends

Wike

the People’s Democratic Party hierarchy. Subsequently, Nyesom was drafted to play the noble role of Chief of Staff to the governor, before Abuja beckoned on him for a ministerial appointment. But while the minister is nursing the ambition to replace the governor, Amaechi is thinking of moving the office to another zone, meaning that Wike may not realise his ambition. The same scenario is replaying in Akwa Ibom State. Governor Godswill Akpabio and Senator Aloysius Etok, who was so close to the governor that he affirmed ‘uprooting the person there’ to make sure he gets into the Senate. But the governor’s declaration that he would be going to the Senate after his tenure is not leaving a sweet sensation on the taste buds of Senator Etok. This has turned the twosome to ‘cat and dog’, with allegations of ‘plotting to kill’.

Ndoma Egba and the Koreans

who wondered aloud what must have transpired between the senator and his guests. Most of the senator’s friends on the social media wanted to know if he told the ambassador about the risk of his President becoming the next Saddam Hussein.

ONE-SECOND Q&A

ost people say they do not know former national coach, Fanny Amun as a hot-tempered man, but MM gathered that he showed the other side of his angst last week at Adeniran Ogunsanya area of Surulere, Lagos. The coach blew hot and threatened hell and brimstone over a man he did not like his movement around his wife’s shop, which is located in that vicinity. The argument almost became physical

Amun

if not for the early intervention of the men of the Nigeria Police in Surulere. MM gathered that Amun was only guarding what belongs to him, just like when he guards his goal post as a coach during a football match.

NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA

Corruption has remained one of the greatest challenges in Nigeria causing a lot of concern amongst foreign bodies. Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala reacts: You are obviously a passionate defender of your country. You are a person who calls for transparency, honesty and best practices. There is a huge problem with corruption in Nigeria? A former governor who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars has been pardoned. How do you react?

H

Okonjo-Iweala

ow do I answer that question? Listen to what I have to say on corruption and I think I have quite a bit to say. I wrote a book recently where I also had a whole chapter on that issue called ‘Reforming the Unreformable’. Nigeria does have a problem with corruption and so do many other countries, including developed countries. I don’t like the fact that when people mention the name Nigeria, the next thing they say is corruption. This is a country of 170 million people; 99.9 percent of them are honest, hard-working citizens who just want to get on with their lives and they want a government that delivers for them. What we’ve said is that in order to help block any leakages and help to stop any attempts at corruption or taking monies, we must build electronic platforms. We must distance people from the money. These things were recommended by the World Bank and the IMF. I used to work at the World Bank. We are doing them.


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadaal-Thani 23rd, 1434AH Friday, May 3, 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

T

Behold National Mosque of Malaysia

he National Mosque of Malaysia is located at Kuala Lumpur. It has a large capacity as it can accomodate 15,000 people and is surrounded by lush greenery which expands to a 13-acre land. It was actually built on the site of a church in 1965. The mosque has been standing firm on its grounds since then and is now deemed as an important symbol of the Islamic country of Malaysia. Its best features are the 73 meters high minarets and its 16 pointed star concrete which is its main roof. There are many meanings to its design. The main roof ’s design was inspired from the idea of an open umbrella, while the minarets look like a folded umbrella. The concrete main roof utilizes the concept of folding plates in order to obtain larger space at the main gathering hall. Around the compound are many reflecting pools and fountains. It is situated just a kilometer away from the popular Lake Gardens at Kuala Lumpur. The Lake Gardens itself is made up of five different gardens and parks which attract thousands of visitors annually. The National Mosque of Malaysia

Qur’an 22:5 O mankind! If you are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you.

Quiz Corner debuts

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Earthquake of the Hour 28

Oyekan to parents: Don’t support indiscipline 29

Piety raises man divinely CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK t should be kept in mind that in this context life means life eternal, which will be bestowed upon perfect man. This is an indication that the fruit of conforming to the practical ordinances of the law will be the eternal life of the next world, which will be sustained forever by the vision of God. Then it is said that he who corrupts his soul and does not acquire the qualities for which he was bestowed appropriate capacities and goes back after spending an unclean life, shall be ruined and shall despair of life eternal. Then he said: this is illustrated by the event of the she-camel of Allah, which was hamstrung by a wretched one of the tribe of Thamud and was prevented from drinking at its foun-

I

Every Friday with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya tain. This is an indication that the soul of man is the she-camel of God which He bestrides, meaning that the heart of man is the place of Divine manifestations. The water of the she-camel is the love and understanding of God which sustain it. Then he said: when the Thamud hamstrung the CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

Hajj: Gombe to ensure female Muslims have Mahram 30


28

Call to Worship

“O MANAKIND! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgement) is a terrible thing [22:1]”

T

he first and second verses of chapter 22 (Surah al-Hajj) were revealed at night while the Prophet was on a journey. He called out to the people and recited it to them. He asked them: “Do you know which day it is? They replied: “Allah and his Prophet know better.” Then he told them: “That is the day when Allah will tell Adam, take out (of your) offspring) the portion of hell. He will ask: ‘Oh Lord, how many shall I take out? He will be told, “Take out nine hundred and ninety nine out of every one thousand”. Then the Muslims burst into tears, the kind of which he had never seen before. By the morning, they did not saddle (their rides), fold their tents and cook in pots. People were either crying or engrossed in a sorrowful thought. Then he raised his voice and said: “Fear Him (Allah) with regards to forsaking what He has commanded and venturing into what he has prohibited.” The opening of this verse is just like that of Q4 : 1. Allah exhorts man to fear Him. It is by this they will be able to be conscious of the reality and catastrophic effect of the earthquake of the Hour. Fear of Allah will make them to be involved in endeavours, which can salvage them on the day when the promised earthquake will rock the world or its attendant aftermath of being adjudged to hell or paradise. Thus, Allah personally calls

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadaal-Thani 23rd, 1434AH Friday, May 3, 2013

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Earthquake of the Hour THE AFFAIRS OF THE

LAST DAY ARE OUTSIDE THE MANIPULATION OF ALL MEN on man to fear his Lord. Man has no other reasonable choice than to fear his Lord who has made his existence possible and has also continued to sustain him with His provisions. Courtesy even demands that at least, he should appreciate this favour. To do this, man is supposed not to have time for other things but continuous thanksgiving to Allah for continuous favour too. Fearing Allah is not as we fear our fellow men because of the harm or loss they can cause us. It will be untenable for you to fear Allah because you do not want to suffer loss in what He has bestowed on your as bounties. It will also be wrong to fear Him because you are in need. Fearing Him should be a matter of worship. It is your God-consciousness in living according to His commandment. It is your being fully aware that He sees the most hidden motif in the recess of your heart. It is your desperate avoidance of the minutest sin for fear of its counting against you on the day to Judgement. Such a taqwa will transform you into an angel on earth, transmit the waves of the hereafter into your veins

and arteries, transfer you to the cosmos of virtue, translate your worship into being a true slave of Allah and ultimately make you triumph in the two worlds. In a way, the introductory segment signifies that the pre-requisite for safety on the terrible day of the earthquake is taqwa. On the other hand, its entire verse serves as a prelude to the eschatological phenomenon. It informs, in advance, the encounter with one of the scenes of Qiyaamah (Judgement Day). Earthquake as a natural occurrence beyond the handling of man is itself a message that the affairs of the Last Day are outside the manipulation of all men. Also, it also sends signals to man on how that day will be calamitously unprecedented. We do know, in our worldly experience, that anytime there occurs an earthquake or convulsion, huge human and material resources are lost. Besides, it registers an extreme fear and apprehension on the minds and hearts of those close to the scene and those far away too. This

verse wants us to envisage this situation visà-vis the hereafter, where everybody shall be gripped by the convulsion of the Hour. Man will now have to query himself whether he should continue in his sinful ways or turn to Allah in sincere repentance. Man is warned. He should know that the repercussion for his failing to fear and obey his Lord is great and grievous. Right before his eyes, he will behold a convulsive situation that will make escape impossible for him. He should fear his Lord now before he parts with the world, for the recompense of his folly is indeed something terrible. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

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Paths to Paradise or Hellfire?

I

t is a known fact that there is Aljanat and Janamat. Aljanat refers to paradise while Janamat means hell fire. Surely, mankind will be inhabitants in these two places on the final day based on their deeds while alive. There are many verses of the holy Qu’ran and quotations from hadiths that guide us in this regard. The reasons are many and the space constraint will not allow us to state all. Nevertheless, this piece will attempt to enumerate some salient ones that will grant us paradise while inability to comply will lead to hell fire. First and foremost, Almighty Allah has created mankind in order for them to worship Him. This act of worshipping separates Muslims from non-Muslims. Sequel to this, a Muslim must observe five times daily prayer at the appointed time. Observance of these prayers will even be barring such a fellow from evil things. It is even better for Muslims to be observing optional prayers especially, Tahajud on a daily basis. Also, Muslims must be able to exercise a restraint and self-control in all his dealings. A Muslim must emulate the character of the holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW) who never got provoked with different types of humiliation meted out to him and still yet, he forgave them their sins. Muslims should therefore learn how not to get provoked over any matter coupled with a forgiven spirit. Equally, those who spend out of what is given to them either when such a wealth is in excess or shortage will find solace in

Almighty Allah on the Day of Judgment. This is an indication that Muslims need to spend out of what they cherish most in the course of their Creator more so, Almighty has given them so that they can share among those that are in need. Those who wish their fellow mankind what they wish themselves would be rewarded with Aljanat on the last day. It is therefore good to wish others good things of this life as we will like the Almighty to bless us with. Furthermore, it means that one should be happy seeing a fellow human being recording success. Muslims must be respectful to their parents and those that are older than them. Furthermore, there should be respect for the constituted authority more so when Allah has said that love of one’s nation is part of faith. This should however be within the context stated by Allah. A Muslim must be able to accept everything that comes to him as Allah’s design and pray over it. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is compulsory except those that are excused by Allah. In conclusion, everybody is hereby enjoined to do all those things that are stated in the Qur’an & teachings of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and desist from what are forbidden because living in either paradise or hellfire after sojourn on this earth shall be eternal. Sheikh Abdul Ganniyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jublatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

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L-R: Chairman of the Council of Elders, NASFAT, Igamu-Coker-Aguda branch, Lagos, Alhaji Mustapha Kekere-Ekun and members, Alhaji Tajudeen Giwa, Alhaji Ismaila Dosunmu and Alhaji Abdullahi Ariyibi at the Women Empowerment Graduation Ceremony recently.

L-R: Mr. Olaniyi Sanuth; Dr. Muhammad Salisu and Alhaji Ahmad Yunusa at a parenting seminar organised by Aims Communications in Lagos on Wednesday.

UNIFEMGA holds reunion lecture

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he Vice Chancellor, Fountain University, Osogbo, Prof. Bashir Raji will deliver the 2013 annual reunion lecture of Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA). In a statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer of the group, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the lecture will hold tomorrow at Oduduwa Hall, O.A.U. ile-ife, Osun

state. He will speak on the topic “Deregulation and Fuel Subsidy Removal in Nigeria: The Islamic Perspective” while Prof Tale Omole, OAU Vice chancellor will be the chief host. “This year’s lecture is UNIFEMGA contribution to the on-going national discourse on finding lasting solution to the deregulation and fuel subsidy debate in the country’’, the statement stated.


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Friday, May 3, 2013 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadaal-Thani 23rd, 1434AH

Call to Worship

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Oyekan to parents: Don’t support indiscipline AISHA TITILAYO

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parents have been told not to support indiscipline from their children as such indulgence would make them become disrespectful even to such parents. This advice was given by an astute educationist with wealth of experience and mother of ten children, Alhaja Fatimah Oyekan, at a parenting seminar organised by Aims Communications in Lagos on Wednesday. According to her, it takes time and dedication to nurture children successfully and parents need to employ the carrot and stick method in raising children. “We must punish appropriately when need be and do so at the right time. Because children have a lot of tactics, they will want to try you, but you must be firm and consistent and at same time show that you love them.” Speaking on the topic: “Would you earn your child’s prayers?” she

urged parents to be persistent, prayerful and not be intimidated noting that at a particular stage, beating will not work like doing more of counseling. She also emphasized being very close to our children, being their best friend and confidant and not leaving them to the mercy of house helps, neighbours or boarding schools. “Parents should stop the habit of causing their children out of annoyance, we should spend quality time with them, watch their actions and utterances; inspiring, motivating and advising them.” A family life and sex educator, Florence Udu admonished parents to be very observant of their surroundings as incest is now on the increase. She urged parents especially mothers to take responsibility for their kids, not to give room for disconnect or failure at the foundation level. Speaking on the health challenges in bringing up the child, Dr. Muhammad Salisu, Consultant Paedi-

atric Neurologist, Lagos State University College of Medicine, admonished parents especially mothers to eat balanced diet before, during and after pregnancy, feed their children well as well as ensuring that there is first aid box at home. “Parents should not joke with any eye injury, bleeding and epilepsy. Those who have cats as pets should be careful as inhaling of dried cat’s urine can cause brain damage. Also, Dr. Salisu advised parents to keep toxins and poisonous things away from children and reduce hospital visits by knowing their genotypes before marriage. The organizer of the seminar and anchor of Today’s Baby on NTA, Hajia Amina Muhammed said she was prompted by her experience with parents on the show which indicated that there is a vacuum that must be filled. “That is why we invited speakers with wealth of experience and we are having another one strictly for teenagers first Saturday in July.”

(L-R) Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope -Adefulire, Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye- Tomori and the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi at the funeral service of the former Ekiti State State Deputy Governor, Late Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olayinka in Ado Ekiti recently.

L-R: Alhaja Fatimah Oyekan; Hajia Amina Muhammed and Florence Udu at a parenting seminar organised by Aims Communications in Lagos on Wednesday.

Hajj: Katsina assures of decent accommodation JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ver 5,000 intending pilgrims from Katsina State have been assured of decent accommodation that would enable them enjoy their stay and conveniently perform this year’s Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia. Speaking when he received the state Preachers Committee to the Holy

Land, the state’s Deputy Governor, Garba Faskari said adequate arrangements have been made to secure decent accommodation for the intending pilgrims during entire duration of the hajj exercise. The deputy governor attributed the success recorded during previous hajj exercises in the state to the untiring contributions of the Preachers Committee both in the

state and at the holy land. He assured the committee that the state government would not relent in its effort to ensure a hitch- free hajj exercise this year. Chairman of the state’s Hajj preachers committee, Sheikh Badamasi Gambarawa said the committee was not unaware of the state government’s efforts in ensuring successful hajj exercises in the years past.

L-R: Chairperson of the occasion, Alhaja Shakirat Abike Coker and Zone II Women Affairs Secretary, Nasrul-Lahi-Il-Fatih Society of Nigeria, Alhaja Rekiat Ajao at the 1st Women Empowerment Graduation Ceremony and Exhibition held in Lagos recently.

NASFAT empowers women YINKA ADEPARUSI

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he Iganmu CokerAguda Branch of the Nasrul-Lahi-IlFatih Society of Nigeria has concluded its first women empowerment programme after weeks of training in Lagos recently. At the graduation ceremony, chairman of the branch, Bro. Abdul-Salam Oye stressed that the programme, which is going to be a yearly one, is part of the society’s Dawah activities and is aimed at developing potentials of women in the branch. Speaking on the goals of the programme, chairman, Council of El-

ders, Alhaji Mustapha Kekere-Ekun argued that Islam does not say women should not work. “Apart from them being teachers from home; training the children and carrying out house chores, ambitious women can also pursue distinguished careers and establish themselves commercially. Today we have women doctors, lawyers, and so on. Islam only forbids any profession that exposes the body of women,” he said. He admonished the graduating students that in spite of all, they should always pray for the blessings of Allah, because that is what brings blessing

into human endeavours. Also speaking at the event, the Zone II Women Affairs Secretary of the body, Alhaja Rekiat Ibijoke Ajao appealed to the women not to waste their newlyacquired skills. “I plead to you not to be redundant in making use of the extra ability you have been enhanced with through this training. Taking this certificate seriously means reduction in dependency on your husbands. With this new skills and the blessing of Allah, you will also take care of some of the family expenses thereby reducing the financial burden on your spouses.”

Alhaja Rekiat Ajao (Left)) presenting a certificate to the Women Affairs Secretary, Iganmu Coker Aguda Branch, Alhaja Kudirat Atolagbe (right), at the graduation ceremony.

Cross section of graduands.


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Jumadaal-Thani 23rd, 1434AH Friday, May 3, 2013

Piety raises man divinely CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 she-camel of God and prevented it from having its drink, they were overtaken by God’s chastisement and He cared not how their dependants would fare. Thus would be ruined one who corrupts his soul and prevents it from taking spiritual nourishment and does not desire to foster it. Let us be reminded that there is a deep philosophy in God’s calling the sun and the moon etc. to witness. Some of our opponents, out of their lack of knowledge, criticise God for calling to witness created things. As their intelligence is earthly and not heavenly, they fail to appreciate true insights. The purpose of taking an oath is that the one who takes an oath puts forward a testimony in support of his claim. A person who has no witness of his claim calls God to witness, for He knows what is hidden and He is the foremost witness in every controversy. Such a person puts forward the testimony of God by taking an oath in His name, meaning thereby that if God does not thereafter chastise him, that would be proof that God has confirmed the truth of his claim. It is, therefore, not permissible for a person to take the oath of any created thing, for no created thing possesses knowledge of the unseen, nor has it the power to punish one who takes a false oath. In these verses, God calling various phenomena to witness is not the same thing as a person taking an oath. Divine manifestations are of two types. One, those that are obvious and concerning which there is no controversy. Secondly, there are those Divine manifestations which are inferential concerning which people differ and can

fall into error. By calling to witness the obvious phenomena, God Almighty’s purpose is to establish by their evidence His inferential manifestations. It is obvious that the sun and the moon and the day and the night and the heaven and the earth, possess the respective characteristics that we have mentioned, but everyone is not aware of the characteristics possessed by the human soul. Thus, God has set forth His obvious manifestations as witnesses for the purpose of explaining His inferential manifestations. It is as if He says: If you are in doubt with regard to the qualities with which the human soul is invested, then reflect upon the sun and the moon and the other phenomena cited which obviously possess these qualities. You know that man is a microcosm that comprises a tiny representation of the pattern of the universe. As it is clear that the great bodies of the macrocosm possess these qualities and provide benefits for God’s creatures, then how can man, who ranks above all those bodies, be without those qualities? That is not so. Indeed, like the sun, man possesses the light of knowledge and reason whereby he can illumine the world. Like the moon he receives the light of vision and revelation from the Divine and conveys it to others who have not yet arrived at the highest stage of human progress. Then how can you say that prophethood is a false notion and that all prophethoods and purported Divine laws and books are only the imposture and selfishness of certain human beings. You observe how all paths are lit up and the heights and depressions become distinct when the day dawns.

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Hajj: Gombe to ensure female Muslims have Mahram DANJUMA WILLIAMS, GOMBE

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n an effort to avoid the disappointment of returning female Muslim Pilgrims back to the country as a result of not having Mahram during this year’s Hajj exercise, the Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has taken measures to ensure that all eligible female pilgrims from the state go to Hajj with their Mahram. According to the newly appointed Executive Chairman of the Board, Mallam Usman Gurama, though no Gombe pilgrim was involved last year, the board has however taken decisive measures to avoid such disappointment as it begins preparations for the exercise. He said all intending female pilgrims who are above 45 years of age need not worry it will not be made compulsory for them. Other measures according to the Executive Chairman to ensure hitch free and transparent Hajj Exercise was the

provision of three Scanning machines by the state government that will ensure that preg-

nant women don’t find themselves in the Holy Land.

...Ogun directs intending pilgrims to update documents FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (MPWB) has directed intending pilgrims for the year 2013 Hajj exercise from the state to participate in the forthcoming screening exercise slated to begin from May 6th to 10th, 2013. A statement issued in Abeokuta by the Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Sefiu Rasheed said the directive becomes necessary in order to ascertain the genuineness of their travelling documents as well as their eligibility to partake in the exercise. He explained that the board is doing everything possible to guide against any hitch. He

also urged all those who have paid initial deposit of the Hajj fares to come with original receipts of payments and “E” passports. He added that the exercise is to afford the board, the opportunity to scrutinise all intending pilgrims religiously and ensure that their documents are up to date with approval from relevant immigration and other security agencies. He reiterated that the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration remains committed to the adequate provision of second to none welfare packages for pilgrims from the state, with the aim of retaining the enviable number one position it occupied in the last Hajj exercise.

L-R: Naib Amir, North Zone, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr. Yaqeen Habeeb; Naib Amir, Eastern Region, Dr. Abdul Ganiyyu Enahoro and Missionary in Charge, Maulana AbdulHalique Nayyar, during the second Northern Region Jalsa Tarbiyah of the Jama’at in Abuja recently.

Circuit President Abuja, Alhaji Musbaudeen Atanda (left) and a member of the Jama’at, Bro. Abbass Owolabi.

L-R: Dr. Nuroodeen Akindele, Maulvi Naseem Ahmed Butt and Maulivi Mamudu Ahmad.

Amir, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola seated 3rd eight with the executive delegates and special guests, at the Jalsa in Abuja.


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Arty News

Friday, May 3, 2013

Macmillan holds 7th Youth Literary Day TERH AGBEDEH

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he seventh edition of the annual Macmillan Youth Literary Day to take place at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos on Wednesday, May 8, will feature five primary as well as five secondary schools. This was made known by the Vice Chairman, Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Ltd, Mrs. Francesca Emanuel, who also doubles as chairman of the company’s literary events committee at a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday. Each of the five schools will be in competition among their peers with performances around this year’s theme: Nigeria, My tears, My hopes. “The primary school that made a presentation at the last event did so well. This year, instead of having 10 secondary schools, we have decided to have five primary schools and five secondary schools to compete. But the primary schools will compete separately and the secondary schools will compete separately”, she said. Emanuel said the theme is

to portray the fact that children and the youth also have an important role to play in the process of nation building. She added that adults have a responsibility to take the future and expectations of the young into consideration “as we navigate through the many challenges that confront us as a nation”. She pointed out that Macmillan literary events have been rated as major offerings in the Nigerian cultural calendar since the first Macmillan Literary Night in 1999. The events include the Macmillan Youth Literary Day, Macmillan Literary Night and the Macmillan Yoruba Literary Day now renamed the Macmillan Youth Cultural Day. While noting that the events have made significant impact in cultural promotion in the country, Emanuel said this edition promises to be unusually exciting. Also at the event were the Managing Director of Macmillan, Dr. Adesanya Adelakun; members of the Macmillan Literary Events Committee, Dr. Ugochukwu Promise, Mr. Ben Tomoloju, Mr. Tope Babayemi and Segun Adefila, among others.

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Basketmouth wows Comedy Central fans at Parker’s

Basketmouth (L) with Comedy Central’s Evert van der Veer in Johannesburg

ADENRELE NIYI

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asketmouth’s recent gig, Comedy Central Present’s Basketmouth Live at Parker’s went down superbly with South African comedy fans. As the first Nigerian comedian to headline the series, Basketmouth won over many comedy followers at the sell-out stand-up comedy gig, which took place on April 24 at Parker’s Comedy & Jive, Johannesburg, South Africa. Transcending race and culture with his comic delivery, Basketmouth held the audience’s rapt attention as he showcased his inimitable brand of humour. Among topics that threw the audience

into laughing hysterics were his hilarious comments on Nigerian culture, what it was like to be a Nigerian in South Africa, the differences between a Nigerian couple fighting and a South African couple fighting, tips for guys on how to trick a girl into staying the night and tips for girls on how to avoid being tricked into staying the night! “Basketmouth received the warmest welcome and the longest standing ovation we’ve ever seen –a triumphant endorsement of an artiste at the top of his comedy powers and sure proof that Nigerian comedy and comedians can cross borders”, commented Evert van der Veer, Head of Comedy Central, Africa. Supporting Basketmouth at the comedy showcase were US-born Arlen “Griff ” Griffin, South African Chris Mapane and product of the Cape Comedy Collective’s Comedy Lab workshops, Mel Jones. Launched in sub-Saharan Africa about 18 months ago, Comedy Central has successfully lured South Africa’s top comics into hosting its regular monthly stand-up gig at the legendary venue in Johannesburg. Among brilliant funnymen and women to grace the stage at Parker’s Comedy & Jive have been Chris Forrest, Kurt Schoonraad, Tumi Morake, Al Prodgers, Joey Rasdien, Barry Hilton, Loyiso Gola, Tats Nkonzo and Stuart Taylor.

COSON to unveil Song Awards trophy ...as COSON Music Foundation’s Board of Trustees is inaugurated

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Present state of the exterior of Akinkunmi’s home

Pa Akinkunmi

Home makeover for national flag designer

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a Taiwo Akinkunmi, MON, a household name in Nigeria, is the intellectual who designed the Nigerian flag at the age of 25 while he studied in London. His flag design was accepted amongst other designs for its ingenuity and depth. This undeniably shot the young Akinkunmi into limelight and enlisted him amongst Nigeria’s heroes and icons. However, in spite of his ingenious work of creativity and fame, the 76-year-old Akinkunmi lives in unbefitting squalor in his Ibadan, Oyo State residence and he is also grappling with Parkinson’s disease. Thankfully, a group of young, impact-oriented minds

under the aegis of GNext (Generation Next) Youth Organisation have taken the initiative to give this iconic Nigerian’s home a complete makeover. GNext, an interdenominational Christian organisation with a vision to positively impact youths towards practical change, would renovate his living room and bedroom. Electrical appliances windows, window frames and furniture will be replaced and to give the home a beautiful ambiance, flowers will be planted round the house as well as re-paint of the fence. Renovations are to commence May 8 and last till May 10 when it would be declared

open by the First Lady of Oyo State, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, in a ceremony that would equally mark his birthday. In an official release signed by one of the co-founders of GNext Youth Club, Olufemi Olumide, it was stated that: “For the three-day makeover, we would harness our large network, of youth volunteers from institutions, organisations, churches and corporate organisations to lend helping hands with the renovation”. Speaking further, Olumide said, “After the work is done, we would erect a huge Nigerian flag at the entrance to his residence and conduct a press conference”.

he Board of Trustees of the much talked about COSON Music Foundation will be inaugurated in Lagos on Tuesday, May 7. The inauguration will take place at Protea Hotel, GRA, Ikeja. COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, will use the occasion to give a comprehensive briefing to the media on the state of readiness of the different events of the COSON Week as the trophy of the COSON Song Awards is for the first time unveiled. Juju music maestro, Evangelist Dr. Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, MFR, will chair the Board which has as members such respected music industry personalities as Prof. Sir Victor Uwaifo MON JP; Erelu Keji Okunowo; Mr. Edi Lawani; Mr. Toju Ejueyitchie and Chief Osita Okeke, among others. The Board of Trustees will be responsible for the prudent

management of the funds of the foundation. Each of the seven big events of the forth coming COSON Week is in support of the COSON Music Foundation, the non-profit trust being set up for Nigerian music and musicians in a profession where there is no pension, gratuity or an insurance scheme. The foundation will provide support for artistes in distress and also provide funding for music education. The music foundation will be formally launched on Wednesday, May 22 at the MUSON Centre in Lagos during COSON Week. The launch at the special event tagged: COSON Green Ball is a key objective of the Week; which starts on May 19 and ends on May 25 when the COSON Song Awards is staged at the New Ball Room of Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.


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Escape

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The riveting sights of

Dubai

OLUFEMI AJASA

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have read, heard and laughed to lots of jokes on turbulence, but being in the midst of one is not in any way a situation familiar to the word ‘funny’. It is barely some few minutes to our destination in Dubai for the 4th annual GMD conference of the Energy Group conglomerate, when I and others were at the centre of this ‘bizzare joke’. From the start of the journey, we had coloured every spot we passed radiantly with the very attractive customised tops worn by 200 delegates that set out for the conference; right from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Nigeria, all the way up in the sky where we sat colourfully in the Emirate Airline’s EK 784 flight. Suddenly, an announcement from the pilot was delivered in a robotic voice, saying: “This is your captain speaking. We’ve hit some unexpected turbulence due to light rainfall in Dubai...it will take us another one hour before landing”. After the announcement, an unplanned, but common reaction ensued in the plane. I can still vividly recall the expressive distress on the faces of my co-passengers and the incoherent, diverse prayers. By then, the plane was dancing in the air... back, forth and sideways. Even the flight attendants moving through the aisle with trays of meals and drinks were forced to take a more secured standpoint. Like other passengers, I was restrained by the seat belt which was fastened so tight to the lower part of my belly. After about 30 minutes of manoeuvring in the sky, our plane finally landed at the Dubai International Airport at about 9.30 p.m. Nigerian time. The landing was a relief to our troubled minds, but I, personally, nursed the regret of how our arrival marked an end to the never ending snacks and delicacies supplied by the extremely beautiful flight hostesses. In fact, during the turbulence, I had anticipated a quick meal to douse the tension, but it never came. Stepping out of the plane to the spacious terminal which was well lit with shimmering lights reminded me of Christmas, a very pleasant sight. A bus drove the contingent through the city and expectedly, all eyes were fixed on the beauty of Dubai at night. For four days, the Group Managing Director, Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, took delegates through practical case studies of several turbulent waters in the corporate world and eventually took the discourse to the shore of vivid solutions, applicable to the Energy Group and globally.. On the lighter side, dawn or dusk, Dubai twinkles and dazzles. Peeping through the windows of suite 1113 of Grand Midwest Hotel, where I lodged, a view of the landscape of Dubai raised my admiration of the city. From the very large room, with a comfortable king size bed, crisp white bed linen and plenty of pillows, I luxuriated and excitedly ate all the chocolates stocked in the fridge, an indulgence which almost cost me my passport to clear the bill when I wanted to check out. After days of receiving the insightful lectures, the fifth day was declared open for shopping/tour and this gave me a big chance to hug a wholesome part of the beautiful city. The electronic walkways, escalators, driverless metro railway (underground and elevated), aesthetic pedestrian bridges and other ultra modern transport networks made the trip around the city exciting and comfortable. Dubai City is three hours ahead of the Nigerian time, the sun is quick to rise and set. When it is hot, it is extremely hot, but hardly would the ravaging sun of this desert torment anyone as a huge percentage of the country has been enclosed with cooling infrastructure

Deira, the commercial hub of Dubai. Inset: A car plate number in Dubai

FACT FILE •

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates and the name of the emirate’s main city

Grand Midwest Tower - Media City Hotel Apartment offers 225 luxurious apartments varying in size from studio, 1 and 2 bedroom in a contemporary and modern décor. Each apartment is furnished with equipped kitchen and home entertainment system.

The hotel overlooks the Palm Island and offers easy access to Dubai Marine, Emmar Business Park, Mall of the Emirates and the Emirates Golf Club.

It provides an impressive list of facilities and services in beautiful settings, including international cuisine restaurants, conference and meeting facilities, swimming pool and designer shopping.

Dubai is one of the choicest places of visit and leisure for Nigerians at the moment, witnessing the arrival of top profile politicians, industry leaders and entertainers.

Prior to the GMD’s Annual Conference, in March, one of Nigeria’s leading contemporary artiste, 2face Idibia and wife, Annie had their white wedding at the iconic Burj Arab Hotel, Dubai.

that provide steady air-conditioning, giving an artificial balance to the natural imbalances in the weather. Tourism and hospitality remain Dubai’s core strength. The cuisine is of international standard. There is the local sausage, bacon, sautéed potato or fried bread, baked beans, mushroom, tomato and eggs during the day. In the evenings, menus varied, but there was always plenty to choose from. However, there is always a home away from home in Dubai, with the abundance of local meal supply in Deira. It was in this part of the city I came across Egusi and Eba, a Nigerian delicacy, supported with all forms of assorted beef. Having got tired of the congregational buffet meals prepared by chefs, I swallowed the combo passionately as if it were a sacrament of some sort. Deira is the commercial hub of Dubai and serves

Front view of Atlantis, a majestic Dubai hotel situated on Palm Jumeirah island.

as a meeting point for immigrants and traders. It also houses the Dubai Gold Market, which is one of the best places for jewellery purchase. Fortunately for those who love to shop, Dubai is one of the cities with the biggest port in the world and as such, shopping experience is exceptional and largely non-taxed. It is very easy to make transactions. Once you convert your currency to Dirham, which is N45.00 to One Dirham, you are good to go. Besides, some shopping malls accept dollars. Culturally, the Muslim influence on Dubai reflects virtually in every aspect of their life. The stunning mosques and their five daily melodic calls to prayers which can be heard throughout the city are highly revered. I was at a time alarmed when told that most markets go on break by 1.00 p.m. to observe their prayers daily. More Islamic influences are felt in the architecture, textiles and dressing. Many of the high rise buildings reflect modern architecture, carved in special curvy bends, which can still be closely related to the moons, stars and other icons which symbolise some of the philosophies of the religion. For instance, some of the Islamic architectural driven structures and hotels are those along Jumeriah Beach, the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel (shaped like a sail), Emirates Towers, Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) amongst others. Memories of Dubai keep tantalising a traveller to return, no matter how short it is. After roving the world’s acclaimed palace of infrastructure, I was welcomed home to Nigeria, by an unfriendly heat that smote my skin as we alighted from the plane and the conventional delay at the airport was also annoying; the queue was so long and directionless. But, home is home.


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Escape

Friday, May 3, 2013

33

Travel News

S’Africa records 10.2% growth in tourists

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Grand Midwest Hotel at night.

Lobby of Grand Midwest Hotel

Aerial view of Internet City, Dubai.

A typical fashion store in Deira market.

Dubai Business Central Twin Towers Dubai UAE. PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA

total of 9,188,368 international tourists visited South Africa in 2012, 10.2% more than the 8,339,354 tourists who travelled to the country in 2011, President Jacob Zuma announced in Cape Town recently South Africa’s tourist growth rate in 2012 was more than double the rate of average global tourist growth of about 4% estimated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, in 2012. South Africa saw particularly good overseas tourist growth (tourists from outside of the African continent), which grew by 15.1%, one of the highest growth rates in the world last year. Europe remained the highest source of overseas tourists to South Africa, growing by 9.5% on 2011 figures and attracting a total of 1,396,978 tourists to the country last year – more than half the total number of overseas tourists. The United Kingdom continues to be South Africa’s biggest overseas tourism market, with 438,023 UK tourists travelling to South Africa in 2012 (4.2% up on 2011 figures). The United States is South Africa’s second biggest overseas tourism market, with 326,643 tourists from the USA visiting in 2012 (up 13.6% on 2011 figures), with Germany the third biggest overseas market with 266,333 tourists (up 13% on 2011 figures). China has become South Africa’s fourth biggest overseas tourism market, 132,334 (up 55.9% on 2011 figures), with France now South Africa’s fifth biggest overseas tourism market with 122,244 tourists in 2012 (up 16% on 2011 figures). Particularly strong growth was recorded in 2012 from Asia (up 33.7% on the figures recorded in 2011), driven by growth from China and India, and Central and South America (up 37.0%), thanks to continued good tourist growth out of Brazil. “We are extremely happy with our tourist arrivals figures for 2012 and our continued tourism growth from all regions. This phenomenal tourism growth is evidence that we are successfully setting ourselves apart in a competitive marketplace and that South Africa’s reputation as a friendly, welcoming, inspiring and unique tourism destination continues to grow”, said President Zuma, when announcing the 2012 international tourism statistics at a media briefing at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. President Zuma said that the 2012 tourist growth figures confirmed that the country’s tourism marketing efforts were on track, backed by a strong, professional tourism industry that offered a wide variety of tourist offerings to suit every ex-

perience and every budget. “These figures give us confidence that we are making good progress in our efforts to grow the tourism industry in South Africa. But we cannot become complacent. More and more countries around the world are realising the opportunity that tourism presents for growing their economies and creating jobs and our geographic position makes our fight for the global tourism share more difficult than most. As a tourism industry we have to remain committed to working together to grow tourism to our country, with the support of all South Africans, all of whom have the power to be important tourism ambassadors”, said President Zuma. While President Zuma emphasised the importance of continuing to maintain and grow the country’s market share in its core markets of Europe and North America, he was excited about the growth recorded from the emerging markets of regional Africa, Asia and South America. The BRICS summit held in Durban in March highlighted the economic potential that South Africa’s affiliation with the bloc has for the tourism industry. Tourist arrivals from the BRICS countries accounted for 330,834 of international tourist numbers in 2012 and the potential for further growth is huge. According to the South African leader, greater collaboration at this level will no doubt go a long way in making South Africa a more accessible destination for visitors from these markets, “ensuring that these countries continue to fuel our industry’s success going forward”, said Zuma. “Regional Africa remains the pillar of our tourism economy and we are happy to see that arrivals from the region have maintained the solid growth path we have become accustomed to. Africa’s importance to our tourism industry will continue to grow, as African economies are amongst the best performing economies in the world at the moment”, he added Foreign tourists spent a total of R76.4 billion in South Africa last year, up 7.6% on the total foreign direct spend in the country in 2011. Spend by tourists from the Americas, Asia & Australasia as well as Europe have all increased. The only decrease in spend was from tourists from continental land markets, which lead to the average spend per tourist decreasing by 2, 3%. The average length of stay decreased from 8.5 nights per tourist in 2011 to 7.6 nights in 2012 driven off shorter stays by tourists from most markets; this is a global trend due to the economic downturn around the world.


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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

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Ladies, rule your world!

hy is it difficult to convince an average man that a group of females partying it up in their favourite restaurant cum lounge cum night club unaccompanied by any male is not a surreptitious pick-us-up sign? I’m puzzled about this but against the backdrop of our cultural sensitivities, not completely surprised. There are undefined but existing borders Nigerian females lack entry visas for; as a woman, your authentic stamp of entry into such territories is guaranteed by a man’s presence. That’s the harsh reality witnessed endlessly in our cultural landscape. Least I confuse people about my ideological stand, I’ve made it known, emphatically, that ‘Denrele isn’t a feminist. But a humanist believing in the right of every person to exist and express, yes, I am unapologetic about the latter. So, rather than be enraged and belligerent about the obvious advantages men at times enjoy over the opposite sex, I remain tolerant and mildly indulgent. I remember sometimes in the 90s, fresh out of university and starting a career in PR; I formed a friendship with three other young ladies who were likewise recent graduates and new to their respective careers in the financial sector. Our enthusiasm at entering the labour market and earning an income outside of daddy’s pocket money filled us with a fierce sense of independence and self-assertion. We could finance our whims and caprices without recourse to the parent on how the last pocket money was spent. Basically, we paid our own bills -although exceptions like rent, utility bills, car maintenance (particularly for major upkeep or repair) and feeding, were all borne by our ‘landlord’ parents. My girlfriends and I planned that every last Friday of the month (salaries in our purses) and after work, we would meet at a then trending restaurant on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi-Lagos for dinner before heading to a rave night club in Victoria Island for cocktails and some dancing to unwind our nerves taut from ‘working hard’ (by the way, my interpretation of hard work has since changed). On paper, it appeared like a stress-free plan for a fun night in town and even the bill sharing ratio was uncomplicated: Pay for what you consumed. Unfortunately, we ran into ‘Nigeria style’ bottlenecks the first and only occasion we executed the plan. Police checkpoint bottlenecks, night club bouncers’ bottleneck, unsolicited male advances bottleneck and a control-freak boyfriend bottleneck. At the end of our night crawling, we were emotionally, psychologically and mentally drained by policemen at a Victoria Island checkpoint who insisted on stop and search, including ‘patting’ us down. Though I could boast to the policemen of who my dad was –a top level civil servant who meritoriously served the fatherland– we bore the humiliation and adhered to the popular maxim which says ‘never argue with the man holding a gun’. On their part, the club bouncers sus-

CLAPPERBOARD with

Eddie Ugbomah

THE CLUB BOUNCERS SUSPICIOUSLY GLARED AT THE FOUR LADIES GARBED IN NIGHTCLUBBING FINERY AND REFUSED US ENTRANCE piciously glared at the four ladies garbed in night-clubbing finery and refused us entrance on the grounds that we could be professional sex workers masquerading as nine-to-five office workers. Ironically, it took the unwelcome intervention of my then boyfriend who unknowingly to us had been trailing our every move, to get us into the club. More woes were to dog our misadventure. Going by the inflated rates charged for consumables at entertainment establishments, our purse could only afford one and at best, two drinks for the night. In a cruel twist of fate, my boyfriend ended up saving the day, again, by footing our bill for the rest of the night. He also warded off creepy male interests in my friends and saved them the embarrassment of bumming drinks off men. Personally, I still don’t fully understand or share in the trend I’d like to term the ‘paying boyfriend’ phenomenon. However, in retrospect, my boyfriend’s offhanded enquiry about where and how my friends and I intended to spend our girlsnight-out was providence stepping in on our behalf. Otherwise, the night could have been a complete disaster; our social ineptitude and naiveté in flaunting our financial independence was our undoing. The truth is social protocols exist and financial management is an important knowledge to acquire; whether male or female. That we could take care of our basic needs was not in doubt, but to prove that point by exposing ourselves to potentially hazardous situations was foolhardy. So, the male figure, better equipped for tricky arenas of that nature, stepped in and smoothened the rough edges in a deft flick of his hand. In recent times, experience has further taught me that to attain my objective, I can utilise every resource at my disposal –animate or inanimate. If, for example, my boyfriend comes in handy to manoeuvre past a chauvinistic security guard who is standing between me and the company executive I must see, then by Jove, I will use my man to get my desired end. It is as simple as acknowledging that if an item I need is too high up the shelf for my reach, I’ll get a ladder or ask for a hand from a taller individual. I understand my uniqueness and peculiarities as a woman; and if we throw in the cultural intricacies of this environment, then it’s a pretty testy terrain to navigate for females. But deploying our feminine wit and wiles tactfully is the trick... ladies, let’s rule our world! Love and peace for the weekend!

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www.edifosafilm.com

Thank God I went to AMAA ‘13

I

feel good that I ignored Nollywood boys who were causing a divide between Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and I. As far as I am concerned, the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, needs organisation improvement. My relation with Tex Benibo and Patricia Bala, of the Nigerian Film Corporation, NFC, and Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, respectively, had been strained by their staff who hate the way I tell them the truth. Some small-minded Nollywood boys had destroyed the respect and confidence the D.Gs has in me. I am a serious and committed professional and I am proud of my achievements which none of these people who are 40 and50 will ever achieve. They are rude, envious, unappreciative and failures on their jobs. The acting Managing Director of NFC and the acting DG of Censors Board and I had very good advisory and suggestive chats and I tried to encourage the censors’ board boy, who is a typical rude boy. All the same I am glad I ignored these boys and accepted the AMAA Award. I was opportuned to challenge the Bayelsa State Governor to support my plan to shoot the story of Adaka Boro and his revolutionary Niger Delta boys. With the promise of the Minister of Culture and Tourism, I will definitely be supported with part of the N3bn. All I need is only N200million to shoot an action-packed epic film. The film will be adapted from the true story of the men who were involved in the revolution that resulted in creation of Rivers and Bayelsa States. I have commissioned four scriptwriters to join me and work on this epic. My fear is how I will get the support of the Police, Military and the Federal Government .This story will expose the long hidden divide and rule of the power-drunk Northerners, Igbos and Yorubas. Those of us minority who are exploited everyday are now fighting to survive. The political manoeuvrings won’t deter me from contributing to a profession I pioneered. Last Saturday, listening, put together a good plan and present it to the government, these grown up fools were tearing one another down. When the parastatals refuse to work with them, they will be the losers. If I had not changed my mind after seeing the same men drinking with Peace, I would have lost my chance of the film I planned to shot since 1983 when I was presented with the book written by Adaka Boro and a story by Sam Onwunaru; the only living leader of the Niger Delta Revolution. I want to say to the DG of Censors Board and the MD of NFC that as long

NIGERIA SHOULD GET READY TO GO TO THE CINEMA HOUSES TO WATCH A GOOD,

TRUE-STORY FILM as I live and this industry exists, none of their boys will insult me or bias my mind; I dey kampe. I know AMAA 2013 was rough, but I gained two folds– my award and the support/promise of the people’s Governor Mr. Dickson and the encouragement of Chief Edem Duke. I will definitely shoot this epic. The Ministers of Finance and of Tourism and Culture have given these people the challenge to unite and present a front for the N3bn. It is the same backbiting, tribalism and envy that have wrecked the situation between Nollywood and the Governor of Lagos State. The Yoruba film makers have now hijacked him, so the Niger Delta film makers can now look forward to the promise and plans of the Governors of Delta and Bayelsa States. These boys are all harming themselves thinking they are harming an old man like me. There is no office I can’t visit today that I won’t be welcomed because of my age, achievement and contribution and over 15 awards plus the big one: Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON. I want this failed staff of the Censors Board to go and eat his heart out; he should be grateful that I talked to them. Somebody should sing to this boy Fatai Rolling Dollar’s song “Won Kere Si Number Mi”; he will gain more if he listens and appreciate my contributions. We are having an exhibition of portraits of icons of the movie Industry but we have applied for financial support since January. Out of the 10 parastatals and ministers we applied to, only two gave miserable N300,000 each... to do what? For a budget of N6m. What is the need of these parastatals and ministries that are supposed to serve the industry? Once again, I am on the move to shoot what I am known for; statement epics. This epic will need over 25 major acts, 150 volunteer soldiers of the Niger Delta revolution and 5000-strong supporting crowd. I want to start in advance to beg the Armed Forces to please help out and this is the job of the NFC to assist with the logistics. Many new stars will be born out of this movie to be shot in digital 3D and celluloid 35mm transfer. So Nigeria should get ready to go to the cinema houses to watch a good, truestory film.


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People In The Mirror

Friday, May 3, 2013

35

Oba Adeyemi III honoured with new book Recently, thousands of admirers and well wishers of the Alaafin of Oyo and Permanent Chairman the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, JP, CFR, LLD, gathered at D’ Rovans Hotel, Ring Road Ibadan, to launch a book, Chieftaincy ‘Law in Nigeria: Principles and Practice’ in honour of the monarch.

Hon. Kamil Akinlabi Mudasiru, representing Oyo Federal Constituency.

L-R: Hon. Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Oyo State, Princess Adetutu Ahigbe Adeyemi; Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Samuel Adegboyega Osunbade; Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao; Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief (Mrs.) Alaba Lawson, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Oba Adeyemi III; Oloye Jumoke Akinjide and representative of the Niger State Governor, Prof. Muhammed Kuta Yahaya.

L-R: Aare Musulumi of Yoruba land, Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao; Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Oba Adeyemi III and Hon. Oloye Jumoke Akinjide.

L-R: Barrister Tope Fadahunsi and the Author of the book, Barrister Elias Adedokun.

The Olugbo of Ugbo land, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan. Former Governor of Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo at the book launch.

A cross section of traditional rulers from Ugbo land.

Chairman, Oodua Group of Companies, Akogun Sarafadeen Alli.

L-R: His Excellency, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Executive Governor of Oyo State; Oba Adeyemi III (sitting) and Hon. Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide welcoming Senator Abiola Ajimobi to the book launch.

Prince (Barrister) Babatunde Adeyemi.

Ice Prince, Bovi, Praiz, Burna Boy, others at 2013 AYE Awards

On Friday, April 19, the 2nd edition of The Abuja Young Entrepreneurs Awards, AYE Awards, took place at The Abuja International Conference Centre, Abuja with Praiz, Di’ja, Burna Boy and Ice Prince present to perform their hit singles. The event kicked off with a red carpet session hosted by Rhythm FM Abuja on-airpersonality, Matilda Duncan. Hosted by comedy stars, Chigul and Bovi, a total of 13 awards were given out as well as three honorary awards to Charles Igho Sanomi (Taleveras Group); Latifat Balogun (Hatlab) and Nuhu Kwajafa for outstanding entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Burna Boy on stage

Chocolate City boss, Audu Maikori

Praiz performing at the event

Matilda Duncan (R) and Bovi on the red carpet

Dr. Samiah Oyekan-Ahmed (Founder, AYE Awards) delivering the welcome address


Friday May 3, 2013

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

Porsche Panamera Platinum:

Power meets elegance OLUSEGUN KOIKI

T

he elegant version of the Porsche Panamera Platinum Edition was rolled out in December 2012 and by April 2013 the stunning edition is already in the Nigerian market, which further gives credence to the taste for quality among Nigerian auto shoppers. The special edition is available as Panamera 4 and stands out thanks to its subtle, independent design features in platinum silver metallic combined with expanded standard features and exclusive details. The lower half of the side view mirrors, the air-inlet grille lamellas, the air vent grille on the side designed specifically for the turbo model, the trim on the trunk lid and the rear diffuser are all in platinum silver metallic. The special edition was presented to auto journalists last week in Lagos by Porsche Centre, the sole distributor of Porsche automobiles in Nigeria with enticing incentives to further attract buyers. Speaking on the latest edition of Porsche, the Brand Manager, Porsche, Mr. Michael Wagner said the price of the

special edition starts from N22.5m which offers exceptional value and luxury to the discerning motoring aficionado and cheaper than any other editions in the auto company. He added that prospective customers who drive home any of the Panamera range will be privilege to go on a guided tour to the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany with a Business Class return ticket. Wagner also informed that customers can alternatively get an option of 24-carat gold-plated Porsche Blackberry phone with the customer’s name engraved on it. Porsche has steadily been bolstering its Panamera line since the car was first introduced adding models like the V6, Hybrid and GTS. The interplay with one of the edition’s five exterior finish colours results in an especially harmonious and elegant appearance. Solid exterior colours are offered in black or white as well as the options of metallic basalt black, metallic carbon grey and metallic mahogany lacquer finishes. The black glossy finish used for the side window strips creates a convincing overall exterior appearance. Delivering considerable benefits to all

ALL CLASSES OF NIGERIANS USE PORSCHE AND... 75 PER CENT OF

PORSCHE PRODUCED IN THE PAST 60 YEARS ARE STILL ON THE ROAD TODAY auto industry players, many frequently requested extras are now coming as standard equipment with the Porsche Panamera Platinum Edition. These include the BiXenon main headlights and front parking assist. The automatically dimming interior and exterior mirrors reduce glare from traffic behind and the 19-inch Panamera Turbo alloy wheels with the red, black and gold Porsche crest highlight the sporty elegance of the vehicle. The new luxor beige bi-colour combination also creates an especially sumptuous interior ambience. Exclusively for the Porsche Panamera Platinum Edition,

a part-leather interior package comes as standard, with a full leather package optionally available. Compared to the previous detailing, the new bi-colour combination patterns have been revised. Thus, along with the upper part of the dashboard and the door trim, the foot well and the back of the front seats as well as the load-space cover are in black, while the remainder of the interior is in luxor beige. Other highlights include the standard sport design steering wheel and the distinctive Porsche crest on the front and rear headrests as well as the insignia “Platinum Edition” on the front door trim strips. “There are no fewer than eight air bags in this edition, which is to further promote safety of the occupants”, Wagner stated. In addition, Power Steering Plus as well as front seat heating come as standard. The standard Porsche Communication Management, PCM, with navigation module keeps Platinum Edition drivers on track. With a high-resolution 7-inch TFT touch screen and 11 loudspeakers with a combined output of 235 watts, the PCM with built-in navigation unit not only gives assistance with dynamic route guidance, but also ensures optimal audio sound in the vehicle. Talking on the limited edition, Wagner, told journalists that the edition was only produced for specific time, which he said was to commemorate the previous editions, but assured that the auto company has enough for patrons. “Porsche is very accepted in Nigeria because of its good status, reliability and ground clearance. In fact there are all class-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

Friday May 3, 2013

37

New Kia Cerato undergoes road test in FCT CHIDI UGWU

ABUJA

T es of Nigerians using the Porsche and 75 per cent of Porsche produced in the past 60 years are still on the road today, which gives credence to its quality. “Our intention is to make Porsche a leading brand in Nigeria and we want to encourage customers to trade in the car with another newer brand”, Wagner said.

NGO to commence health awareness campaign for auto technicians OLUSEGUN KOIKI

I

n a bid to promote standard work ethics among auto repair technicians in the country and to make them comply with auto manufacturers’ specifications, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Automobiles and Road Safety Initiative, is rolling out a weeklong health awareness campaign for the repairers. An online statement signed by its President, Mr. Samuel Oriowo and made available to journalists earlier in the week stated that the automobile industry has been disoriented, uncoordinated and practiced without regards to having the safety of humanity at heart in the past years. Oriowo said the NGO was ready to change the orientation of the auto technicians with an awareness campaign scheduled for June 2013, which is starting in eight local government areas in Lagos in partnership with some lubricant producers before venturing into technical as well as the theoretical training of the technicians. The statement reads in part, “We want to advocate in the area of production, importation and usage of only genuine auto spare parts and lubricants. We also want to ensure reduction of road accidents through campaigns, seminars and workshops for stakeholders in the Nigeria automotive sector. “With our arrival as strong advocates of best practices in the automotive repair sector, the era of misapplication of lubricants in servicing specific engine capacity of vehicles will soon become a thing of the past as we are well prepared and armed with relevant tools with which to educate the vehicle repair technicians to be conversant with the manufacturer’s specified requirements of each vehicle engine and to imbibe standard work ethics that will discourage them from cutting corners while dealing with vehicle owners. “Motor accidents do occur on the roads, but the ones set-in-motion right away from the repair shops where unsatisfactory jobs are done and in most cases with fake parts, are of reasonable percentage”.

he third-generation all new Kia Cerato was recently subjected to hard driving in the Federal capital Territory, FCT, shortly after it was unveiled for car lovers at the Kia showroom in Abuja. Available in nine colour variants, the 1.8 litre engine sedan endowed with impressive makeover thanks to Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, thrilled residents as enthusiastic drivers flogged the car meandering through the streets in the metropolis. While addressing newsmen, the marm keting manager of Kia Motors, Motors Mr. Mr KayK ode Adejumo, stated the Cerato is Kia’s most successful model, having achieved more than 2.5 million global sales since its introduction in 2004. According to Adejumo, the Cerato sold over 445,000 units in 2011 while the secondg ener-

ation model accounted for almost 18 per cent of Kia’s total worldwide sales. Also extolling the features of the new Cerato, Dana Motors’ Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Sandeep Malhotra, said it is longer, lower and wider than the current car and comes, with an extended wheelbase boasting a sporty and sleeker profile with futuristic and dynamic styling. “It features an all-new re-engineered body shell structure and boasts improved quality, upgraded equipment with a host of additional convenience and safety features. The Cerato has a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality, improved refinement and an upgraded powertrain line-up that delivers classleading fuel economy”, added Mal-

hotra. During the world premiere recently, Kia’s Executive Vice President of the International Business Division, Thomas Oh, had noted that “Cerato has become our brand’s biggest-selling export model, so the introduction of its third-generation is hugely significant for us”. He added “We are raising our game once again with the all-new Cerato, which adds emotional appeal to its established core values of design, quality and value. This all-new model will boost our competitiveness in the compact car segment –known as the C-segment in many countries, which is one of the world’s most important and closely fought marketplaces”.

MAINTENANCE TIPS

Tyre inflation

A

flat tyre can create an immediate emergency situation, but there is another failure that must be addressed right away, a more insidious and subtle tyre epidemic that is compromising both our tyres and other areas of driving. A large percentage of the vehicles on the road are operated with underinflated tyres, and this can cause all kinds of problems. For one thing, it takes more energy to roll a tyre with less air pressure, so the engine needs to consume more fuel. Underinflated tyres can cut fuel economy by as much as two per cent per pound of pressure below the recommended level. Underinflated tyres also cause more heat to build up in the sidewalls. Heat is one of the primary enemies of tyres and excessive heat can cause the tyre to fail prematurely or substantially shorten its service life, meaning you could be shelling out for new tyres sooner than otherwise. Additionally, tyres with low air pressure are more sluggish in their response to steering input and suspension dynamics, compromising your vehicle’s handling, which could be-

come a safety issue. One of the easiest and most effortless solutions we have come across to keep tabs on under-inflation is a wireless pressure monitoring system. The system consists of four sensors –one for each wheel-mounted to the rim inside of the tyre. Each sensor monitors the air pressure and temperature and transmits this data via radio signals to a display module inside the cabin. When the vehicle is moving, air-pressure data is transmitted once every 30 seconds with an accuracy of plus or minus 1 psi (at 77 degrees F), while temperature information is transmitted once per minute. The sensors are powered by a lithium battery with a projected

life of seven years or 90,000 miles. Without it, if one of your tyres develops a slow leak while on the drive, it is likely that you would not have known about it until the tyre was too flat to drive on. Moreover, the system demonstrates its value by alerting to the type of ultra-slow pressure loss that causes a general under-inflation condition and all its unseen problems. In addition to a pressure drop, the temperature readouts can alert to an unusual build up of heat at a particular wheel due perhaps to an excessive load, bad wheel bearing, or brake overheating, a common problem on mountain roads. The system can be installed in virtually any car, minivan, or light-duty truck.


Cocktail

38

Friday, May 3, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (139)

“If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.” –Anonymous LAUNCH OUT! The death of dreams is inaction. How will we know a true dream if we don’t pursue it? Some are not happy today because they are still waiting for permission to live their dreams. One thing I know is that there is no one as happy as the one who is doggedly pursuing his or her dreams. Many times the reason why we are waiting for permission to work on our dreams is fear of failure. But he who will not fail may never succeed. The paths to success in life are littered with failures here and there. The maker of Honda cars and the rest said that success is 99 percent failure. The founder of IBM once said that if you want to succeed in life, double your failure rate. What is that dream that refused to leave you alone? What are you so passionate about that you know that you will never be happy until you execute it? Begin now to work on them. Now they say is the day of salvation. Life is too short to live without fulfilling our purpose. Stop waiting for permission. Permit yourself. Learn to fail forward. Take action and keep taking action no matter how tiny it may be. Before you know it, you will begin to see the fruits of your labour springing up to fire you more into action. And you will be happy! DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Oddities

Don’t use English for govt business –French PM

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rench Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault wrote a letter to government ministers instructing them to stop using English terms in official communications. The letter, which told ministers “the language of the Republic is French,” came after Cabinet members used the title “Silver Economy” for a new economic initiative, The Local.fr reported Wednesday. “Our language is able to express every

contemporary reality, and describe innovations that are constantly being born in the areas of science and technology,” Ayrault wrote in the April 25 letter. Ayrault wrote French

Man accused M d off stealing t li g skateboard k t b at gunpoint

F

lorida police said a 21-year-old man is facing charges for allegedly stealing a skateboard and a watch from a 14-year-old boy. The Ocala Police Department said Cary Lamar Howard, 21, allegedly approached the teenager, who is visiting the United States

from Ecuador, during the weekend and showed the boy he was carrying a pistol, the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner reported Wednesday. Police said Howard took the boy’s skateboard and demanded cash, but the boy did not have any money. Howard allegedly took the boy’s

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

watch instead and fled. Howard was arrested by an officer who saw he matched the description of the suspect. Howard, who had an outstanding warrant for violation of probation, was identified by the teenager as the person who committed the robbery, the StarBanner said.

Ayrault

had been “inscribed in the constitution of 1992” as “the language of administration, and of the courts.” Arnaud Montebourg, minister for industrial renewal, and Michele

Delaunay, junior minister for the elderly, announced April 24 they were planning to group businesses related to the elderly into a sector of the French economy to be called the “Silver Economy.”


Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business & Finance I would say that wisdom is just beginning to come into the aviation industry in Nigeria. Professionalism has finally arrived. We realised that medium range aircraft are not really suited for the sector we have in Nigeria.

Nigeria needs 2.5 million to three million smart meters and about N77bn is needed to bridge this gap Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, OVERLAND AIRWAYS, CAPTAIN EDWARD BOYO

World Bank to commit N156bn to agric sector Withdraws support for irrigation scheme

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

T

She said: “The world Bank is strongly engaging agriculture. We are planning to commit almost $1 billion in the next three to five years in agriculture. Not only on the aspect of transforming the capacity of women but also in transforming the tools to improve on productivity. “One area that is on the line is irrigation. We intend to rehabilitate a number of these irrigation schemes but cannot be allowed to have large

land irrigated for farmers and we hope that in doing so we certainly will not be able to do so anymore”, Francoise Marie Nelly added. She described the ATA as a major tool to drive rural-urban growth, achieve food and nutritional security, generate employment and if used effectively, help in positioning Nigeria as a major player in the increasingly growing global food market. The World Bank chief

said since the agricultural sector employs 70 per cent of labour and contributes about 40 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the strategy is to improve on the value chains in a few commodity areas, particularly where women are involved. “We are practically supporting this programme for two specific reasons. First is the role agriculture plays in Nigeria’s economy where agriculture employs about 70 percent of the labour force and also

represents 40 percent of Nigerian GDP,” she said. In a report on Manifestation of Gender Inequality in Agriculture, Marie Nelly informed that a significant number of people involved in agriculture were women, pointing out however that productivity of female farmers when compared to their male counterparts remains low due to a number of constraints that must be addressed through appropriate policy frameworks.

he World Bank has indicated its intention to commit $1 billion (about N156 billion) to Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) within the next five years as part of its efforts to contribute to the country’s sustainable development. The funding support is however coming as the Bank also said it would no longer support the country’s irrigation scheme owing to land accessibility challenges it contended with in the process of to rehabilitate some of the irrigation systems in the country. Giving these hints yesterday during a Technical Dialogue on Gender and Agriculture organised by the Bank yesterday in Abuja, the Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise MarieNelly, said in demonstration of the Bank’s total support for the development of the country it would now focus more of L-R: Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Roger Gifford; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Head of Primary Markets, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, London Stock Exchange, Mr. Ibukun Adebayo and Deputy Manits attention on the agri- aging Director, Guaranty Trust Bank, Mrs. Cathy Echeozo, at the UK-Nigeria investment Partnership Forum in Lagos yesterday. cultural sector. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

NAICOM set to release guidelines on micro-insurance MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he Managing Director Riskguard-Africa Nigeria Limited, Mr. Yemi Soladoye, said the micro and retail insurance market in Nigeria would trigger a revolution in the

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insurance industry. Soladoye said in an interview with journalists on Thursday, that most insurers sell products and not solution, adding operators need to develop products that meet the needs of the target consumers. This advice by Soladoye, who is a consultant to NAICOM follows speculations that the National Insurance Commission, (NAI-

COM), would soon release the guidelines on micro-insurance to help operators to develop their businesses along this line. According to him, the over 20 million customers of micro-finance banks form a good customer base for micro-insurance operators, saying it is regrettable that only few operators have keyed into the system. Sources within NAICOM

NDDC to base projects on regional master plan

40

told National Mirror that the guidelines are expected to strengthen the collaboration between insurers and micro-finance banks, while also helping traders and artisans and other low income earners to access loans underwritten by participating insurers. He said the commission is putting finishing touches to the guidelines to ensure its release at the appropri-

ate time, because the guidelines would help deepen the retail market and take insurance to the grassroots across the country. Speaking on the expected guidelines, the Group Managing Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi said the company surmounted initial challenges in regards to micro insurance and is currently reaping the rewards from this venture.

Poor enforcement takes bite out of Cabotage Act

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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, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Portability: ‘Cold war’ brews among GSM operators KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ne of the objectives of introducing the Mobile Number Portability, appears to be playing out as a ‘cold war‘ for the heart of telecoms subscribers is brewing among the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) operators in the country. National Mirror gathered that two objectives are now being driven by GSM operators which are to retain their existing subscriber base while deploying strategic means to woo subscribers on competitors’ network to their network. Mobile Number Portability is a scheme launched two weeks ago by the Nigerian Communications Commission, the country’s telecoms regulator, to provide wider choice for the over 116.2 million active subscribers in the country. The service allows telecoms consumers to change operators without changing their original number. Already, industry experts have expressed the view that with the

L-R: Head; Public Relations, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Segun Fayose; General Manager, DStv Mr. Mayo Okunola; Vice President, Business Development, Konga.com, Mr. Philip Akesson and Vice President, Marketing, Mr. Onyeka Akumah, during the media interactive session on DStv’s partnership with Konga.com in Lagos, yesterday PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

scheme, one factor that will determine whether a subscriber will port his or her number from an existing network to a new network will be the quality of service provided by the new operator. The introduction of the scheme

Nigeria, Canada sign FIPA pact MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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igeria yesterday signed Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) with Canada. The pact was signed in Ottawa, Canadian capital by Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga and his Canadian counterpart, Hon. Ed Fast. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Vice President Namadi Sambo. At a meeting with Fast, Sambo detailed Nigeria’s journey to prosperity, dwelling on efforts directed at infrastructural development such as power, transportation and Agriculture.

He noted the expertise of Canada in hydro power and briefed Fast of the progress recorded on Zungeru with the signing of the 1.3 billion dollar contract on completion to generate 700 megawatts of electricity. According to him, Mambilla power project costs 6.4 billion dollars and will generate 3050 megawatts when completed. Sambo also informed the Canadian Minister that Gurara phase two pursued on a PPP arrangement by Nigeria would generate 360 megawatts when completed. He spoke further on Nigerian minerals exploration efforts; implementation of the transportation master plan; dredging of River Niger up to

has also prompted operators to unveil, without further delay, network investment for the year, geared towards improving their networks as preferred operators for customers to port their number to. Two telecoms firms, which the Baro up north and Benue River up to Adamawa as part of his administration’s projects. The Vice President lamented that in spite of these efforts, the greatest challenge faced by the Nigerian entrepreneur, according to him, is access to cheap funds. He informed that loans granted by multilateral agencies were channeled through local banks who structure them in their traditional system. He requested Canadian support for Nigerian economy. Earlier, Hon. Ed Fast had used the occasion to express Canada’s gratitude over the manner the issues surrounding Manitoba Hydro was resolved. He promised to address the request by Nigeria over fumigation of her wheat imports.

2 million workers die yearly from occupational diseases, says ILO MESHACK IDEHEN

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he International Labour Organisation (ILO) said about 2.02 million workers lose their lives to occupational diseases worldwide on an annual basis. Ina report released on Thursday entitled, “The prevention of occupational diseases” issued as part of activities to commemorate the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, ILO noted that despite killing more than six times more than accidents, occupational hazards receives less attention globally, adding occupational deaths take 2.02 out of the estimated 2.34 million yearly work-related casualties.

The ILO said a breakdown of the deaths shows a daily average of 5,500 deaths, with the report also estimating that about 160 million cases of non-fatal workrelated diseases occur yearly. The international labour watch body added it is calling for an “urgent and vigorous” global campaign to tackle the growing number of work-related diseases. Speaking on the report, the Director General of ILO, Guy Ryder, said the ultimate cost of occupational disease is human life, adding it impoverishes workers and their families and may undermine whole communities when they lose their most productive workers. He said meanwhile that the productivity of enterprises is re-

duced and the financial burden on the state increases as the cost of health care rises. “Where social protection is weak or absent, many workers as well as their families lack the care and support they need,” he explained. According to him, prevention is the key to tackling the burden of occupational diseases, and is more effective and less costly than treatment and rehabilitation. “The ILO is calling for a paradigm of prevention with comprehensive and coherent action targeting occupational diseases, not only injuries. A fundamental step is to recognise the framework provided by the ILO’s international labour standards for effective preventative action and promoting their ratification .

NCC recently declared as having dominant operator status – MTN and Globacom - are leading the pack in the investment drive. While MTN recently signed a $3 billion pact to upgrade its network with a consortium of 17

banks, Globacom has also sealed $750million and $500 million network upgrade deals with Huawei and ZTE. Officials of the two telecoms companies have said apart from being part of their annual moves to upgrade their networks, the network investment coming at a time the mobile operability is birthed in the nation’s telecoms market will position them as preferred network subscribers from other networks can port to. Already, MTN Nigeria and Etisalat have both rolled out commercials presenting their networks as readily available to offer porting services to subscribers on other networks. However, in public enlightenment campaign yesterday, the Consumer Rights Advocacy Network of Nigeria called for caution by the operators not to manipulate subscribers or engage in public messages that divert people from the ‘real issues’ and inadequacies of the operators in the industry , especially in delivering quality of service.

NDDC to base projects on regional master plan UDEME AKPAN

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he Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC has pledged to base its development projects and programmes on the Niger Delta Regional master Plan. The Managing Director of the Commission, Dr. Christian Oboh said the Master Plan if embraced will serve as a compass for holistic development in the region. In his paper presented at a three-day retreat organized by the BRACED Commission in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Oboh sued for a closer tie between the BRACED States and NDDC to facilitate the development of critical infrastructure towards sustainable growth in the region. He noted that the Master Plan, initiated by the NDDC, was due for review stressing that the process would involve the 9 states in the region amongst them, the 6 BRACED States. The NDDC Boss said the integrated development plan, being driven by the Commission which covers health; education, transportation, and agriculture will guarantee economic and infrastructural development. Oboh disclosed that the commission had finalized plans to build a virgin road that would link Rivers and Bayelsa States as part of plans to connect Niger Delta States. “We are trying to connect all our people in the region for

greater economic and social activities”. In his speech, the DirectorGeneral BRACED Commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi, said the retreat would galvanize stakeholders for the task of integrating the South-South region for development. He explained that the retreat among other objectives was meant to deepen awareness of the imperatives and demands of regional development as well as identify its drivers. While advising the governors not to allow politics divide their common interest, he said “In this region, we all need less of politics and focus more on our economic development to alleviate the mass poverty amongst our people in the midst of plenty”. Also, the NDDC has inaugurated nine new roads in Delta State as part of its on-going handing over of completed projects exercise. The roads include two township roads in Ovwian, three rigid pavement roads in Uvwie council area, two roads in Warri South, a rigid pavement road in Orhuwhorun town and internal road in Ozoro Polytechnic, Isoko North. Inaugurating the roads, NDDC boss represented by Delta State Representative on the Board of the Commission, Chief Solomon Ogba, said the road projects were designed to enhance growth in the region.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Friday, May 3, 2013

Over 50% of imports into Nigeria fraudulently declared - Customs FRANCIS EZEM

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he Nigeria Customs Service has said that more than 50 percent of goods imported into the Nigerian market are fraudulently declared to shortchange the Federal Government by not paying the appropriate import duty. The service has consistently carried out 100 percent physical examination on over 80 percent of goods imported into the country on claims that most the consignments imported into the county are declared fraudulently declared, a development that has kept the scanning capacity of goods at the air, seaports and land borders at less than 25 percent utilised. Deputy Comptroller in charge of operations, Mr. Bashir Yusuf, who gave the hint, disclosed that the service handles a total of 50,000 Single Goods Declaration (SGD) per annum out of which over 26,

000 units are involved in one form of fraud or the other. An SGD is a document prepared by an importer especially containerized imports and other consumer goods, through which the importer declares the quantity of the goods to enable the valuation unit of the service determine the import duty payable on the consignment. The deputy comptroller, who is in charge of the Information Communications Technology unit of the service, noted that over the years, it has been established that over the years that more than half of these consignments are involved in import related fraud like underdeclaration, wrong classification, over invoicing and concealment aimed at evading duty payment. He noted that the low level of compliance of the importers in terms of accurate declarations of their imported consignments constitute the greatest challenge to the

running of the Destination Inspection Scheme in Nigeria. “The DI scheme is one that particularly thrives where the level of integrity of importers is very high, which shows the level of honesty of the importers in complying with the government’s fiscal policy”, he also said. Meanwhile, Deputy Comptroller General of service in charge of administration, Alhaji Garba Makarfi had said recently that the service has developed a new ICT called the Nigerian Trade Hub. Under the ICT trade hub also called ‘Ruling Centre’, designed to facilitate trade, the service is proposing the introduction of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to replace the current Risk Assessment Report (RAR) issued by the service providers under the DI contract, an advisory document to Customs on the risk level associated with any imported consignment into the country.

L-R: Former Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi; Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama; Acting Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Dr. Ghaji Bello and Director General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, during ICRC conference on disclosure of contract information on public-private partnership project in Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Reposition NIPOST, Railways, workers urge FG OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Senior Association

Staff of

Communications,Transport and Corporations (SSACTAC) has urged the Federal Government to speedily address various issues militating against the effective operations of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) and the country’s rail system. Specifically, while the union bemoaned the present appalling situation in the country’s postal offices across the nation, it called on the National Assembly to as a matter of national importance, work on the passage of a bill on the reform of the nation’s NIPOST system. SSACTAC President General, Comrade Adetunji Olasunkan-

mi, who spoke exclusively to our correspondent on the sidelines of the May Day Centenary celebration in Abuja, stated that Federal Government needed to reposition NIPOST to make it competitive. He said even though other means of communication had emerged in time, the relevance of postal system could not over emphasised as it had the potential to rake in revenue for the government. “NIPOST is a parastatal undergoing reform. That reform is supposed to be back by law. The draft has been sent to the National Assembly and yet nothing has been done by the successive assembly. As a union, our position to the Federal Government, is that if you want NIPOST to compete effectively in the postal service sector in the country; it has to be repositioned after the reform must have been completed.

“The condition of postal service across the country has been appalling, with many of them operating in dilapidated buildings and running on generators. There is acute shortage of equipment. For instance, many of them do not have carrier buses to move their letters from one place to another. You go to some general postal offices,” he argued. While commending the Federal Government for investing in inter-modal system of transportation, the labour leader took a swipe at the executors for not taking the interest and welfare of workers into the consideration. The SSACTAC boss maintained that even though the ongoing efforts to reposition the sector for optimal performance was necessary, its success depended on the way the workers are carried along.

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Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Peter Voser to retire

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oyal Dutch Shell has announced that its Chief Executive, Peter Voser will step down in the first half of 2014 the BBC reported yesteday. Peter Voser, 54, said he wanted to spend more time with his family and that he was leaving for a “change in lifestyle”. Voser was appointed chief executive in July 2009 and has been an executive director since 2004. The news came as Shell reported first quarter profits of $7.95bn (£5.1bn), up 3.5 per cent from last year. “After such an exciting executive career I feel it is time for a change in my lifestyle and I am looking forward to having more time available for my family and private life in the years to come,” Voser said in a statement on Thursday. A Shell spokeswoman said the company would seek inter-

nal and external candidates for his replacement. The revelation came as a surprise for investors. Mr Voser is widely credited for turning around the company and transforming it into a leading provider of liquefied natural gas, which now makes up about half of Shell’s business. Commenting on the first quarter results, Mr Voser said: “These results were underpinned by Shell’s growth projects, an improvement in downstream profitability, and were delivered despite a difficult security environment in Nigeria.” But he warned that the industry continued to see “significant” energy price volatility due to economic and political turmoil. Revenue was down to $112.8bn in the January-March period from $119.92bn last year.

WADA flags off anti-pest control of rice farm in Kogi WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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s part of determination to ensure food security and boost Rice Production in Kogi State, Governor Idris Wada has flag off anti pest control by spraying chemicals to prevent Quela birds from attacking the rice farm. Governor Wada stated that in with the Agricultural agenda of the Federal Government Kogi has already keyed into it through Accelerated Rice Production in the state. He explained that Kogi State intends to produce rice in large commercial quantities, adding that the stated has commenced harvest of the Accelerated Rice Programme and facing the serious challenge of Quela Birds attack on the rice farm on daily basis.

He commended the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development who responded quickly the clarion call by the state government for assistance by providing a spraying air craft with chemical to check mate the rampaging birds. Wada also lauded the supportive efforts of the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina has he said has assisted Kogi state in its Agriculture Transformation Agenda through Accelerated Rice Production. Earlier in his address, the Coordinator of Accelerated Rice Production Project in the state, A.K. Mohammed said with the Federal Government quick response, the sky will be limit in rice production in the state

HP unveils tablet for computing solutions KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ewlett Packard, a global Information and Technology firm, has introduced the HP ElitePad 900, a tablet that balances a beautiful design with enterprise-grade features, functionality and support. Designed for business, government healthcare and retail, it features HP ElitePad Smart Jackets, which add connectivity options and longer battery life along with specific add-ons that customize the tablet for specialized uses. The HP ElitePad is an ultrathin, lightweight Microsoft® Windows 8 tablet that delivers features to keep IT managers happy and touts a design that employees will crave. It offers

full serviceability, enhanced security and manageability found in HP Elite PCs, packed with a battery that passed over 115,000 hours of tests. Speaking at the launch of the HP Elitepad 900 in Lagos, the Category Manager, PC, HP Nigeria Limited, Ms Ify Udoji, said, “The Elitepad 900 is not a mere tablet, but a total enterprise solution targeted for your business needs. The product comes in a thin, sleek design and offers one up to 18 hours of non-stop Elitepad magic from day-to-day with its expansion jacket.” Commenting on the device, the Consumer Channels Group Director, Microsoft, Mr. Mark Ihimoyan, added, “One of the features of the HP Elitepad 900 is that it allows one to consume and create content.”


42

Maritime

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Poor enforcement takes bite out of Cabotage Act About 10 years after its enactment, most stakeholders believe that the aims and objectives of the Costal and Inland Shipping Act 2003, are far from being achieved. It has also been argued that though current efforts at its review may not be out of place, as greatest challenge is not the law but that of enforcement. FRANCIS EZEM reports.

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hen the Federal Government conceived legislation like the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003, the aims and objectives were well intended. Over the years, shipping activities in Nigeria both at the coastal and inland region and the deep sea shipping have been dominated by foreign players. Nigeria as a member of the Organisation of Crude Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) and world’s sixth largest producer of crude oil does not participate in the lifting of this product. For instance, statistics show that as a member of OPEC, Nigeria exports between 2.4 million and 2.6 million barrels per day at the cost of $2.5 per barrel of the product in terms of freight, which is the benchmark charged by foreign shipping companies to freight the product. Similarly, Nigeria accounts for the consumption of over 65 percent of the import of consumable goods into the West African sub-region. Yet, her nationals do not partake in the carriage of these goods. This situation worsened with the demise of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL). More disheartening is the fact that the lifting of refined petroleum products from big mother ships within the inland waters are also done by foreigners. The cause of this overbearing foreign domination was the inability of indigenous shipping companies to build the necessary capacities in terms of finance, technical and even developing the required tonnage. Thus, the founding fathers of the Cabotage regime conceived a protectionist legislation that would enable the indigenous operators build these necessary capacities within the inland and coastal waters before graduating to the deep sea shipping, which is more technical and capital intensive. Fashioned after the Jones Act of the United States of America, the Cabotage Act provides that the ships to be deployed under the regime must be built in Nigeria, owned and manned by Nigerians. It, however, has a waiver clause, which allows foreigners to render certain services if it is proved that Nigerians do not have the capacity to render such services. To ensure effective enforcement, the Act provides that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency is the authority charged with the enforcement of the legislation.

Akpobolokemi

Regrettably, nearly 10 years after the Act, nothing seems to have changed as the foreign players have rather re-enforced their domination in the industry. Chairman of Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, while assessing the achievements of the regime, noted that the Cabotage Act only exists in name since nothing has changed since its enactment. He said: “Due to the poor enforcement of the relevant sections of the Cabotage Act, Nigeria loses over N2tr due to capital flight arising from the domination of the regime more than eight years after. According to him, apart from the loss of N2tr in cash, Nigeria also loses over five million job created under the regime due to foreign domination, arguing that more jobs would be created if properly implemented. Meanwhile, a frontline maritime lawyer and a founding father of the Cabotage regime, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba once said that the objectives of the Act were far from being achieved. Agbakoba, who faulted the implementation of the Act, noted that the enforcement authority lied so much on the Minister of Transport, who sits far away in Abuja without knowing about much of the things that happen in the industry. Agbakoba, who once called for the establishment of the Ministry of Maritime Resources as is the case with aviation, particularly faulted the administration of the waiver clause in the act, which resides solely on the minister. He had argued that the administration of the waiver clause, which many believe has been abused, should have rested on the director general of NIMASA. Stakeholders also are of the firm belief that the gross abuse to which the waiver clause was subjected to contribute significantly to the failure of the Act in achieving its aims and objectives since foreigners render all the services, even those meant for indigenous operators. It was probably in the light of this

Jolapamo

Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar

DUE TO THE POOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE

CABOTAGE ACT,

NIGERIA LOSES OVER N2TR DUE TO CAPITAL FLIGHT ARISING FROM THE DOMINATION OF THE REGIME MORE THAN EIGHT YEARS AFTER that former Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman admitted that the Act is defective in structure and content, which makes its enforcement difficult. This admission by the minister set the stage for the review of the act, as a committee was put in place for that purpose. According to him, even though Nigeria cannot build any ship, the Act provides that ships to be used under the regime must be built, owned and manned by Nigerians, which is difficult to achieve. He noted that stakeholders are of the view that the Act is defective and that the ministry should start a process of reviewing it. The minister had also admitted that since Nigeria is not a ship building country, she does not have the capacity to build all the ships and boats needed for the Cabotage regime because the Act requires that such ships must be built, registered and manned by Nigerian crew. But most stakeholders wonder what will remain of the Act if these restrictions were expunged. They have also continued to imagine what the reviewed Cabotage Act would be since its challenge is poor enforcement and not the provisions as such. Chairman of Onne Oil and Gas Free

Zone, Dr. Chris Asoluka, who spoke in an interview in Lagos recently, noted that Nigeria cannot do without a waiver clause in the act. He argued 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 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. Experts are however of the view that with the proposed review designed to strengthen some aspects of the legislation, adequate regulatory framework should also be but in place for its strict enforcement. More importantly, the Federal Government should demonstrate enough political will to make the legislation work.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

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reight forwarders under the aegis of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders took a swipe at the Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar over the duplication of port information systems. The Nigerian Ports Authority is currently working on Integrated Port Community Information System (IPCIS), which contract has already been awarded to GDS Inc., a United States –based firm with the approval of the minister, The authority claims that the project is designed to achieve maritime system domain awareness, which is also expected to help achieve access control to the ports and also enhance operational efficiency at the nations various seaports. On the other, the Nigeria Customs is concluding plans for the introduction of the Nigerian Trade Hub, a fully automated cargo clearance procedure which is expected to provide connectivity for all government agencies involved in cargo inspection at the air, seaport and land borders. The service’s new Information Communication Technology also called the ‘Ruling

Maritime

Friday, May 3, 2013

Group flays Transport Minister over duplication of port information systems

Container Stacks

Centre’ is designed to facilitate trade and also enhance the introduction of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to replace the current Risk Assessment Report (RAR) issued by the service providers under the Destination Inspection scheme. President of the association, Mr. Eugene Nweke, who spoke during an interview, noted that the duplication of information

systems within the seaport industry under the watchful eyes of the minister was a sheer waste of public funds, According to him, though Customs is supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, while Transport Ministry supervises NPA, both contracts pass through the Federal Executive Council for approval, at which the Transport Minister

Tin Can Customs loses N34bn to declining import volumes

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he sharp decline in the volume of imported cargo last year is currently taking its toll on Federal Government’s import revenue, as the Tin Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service lost a whooping N33.8bn import duty in three months. The Nigerian Ports Authority had last year reported a decline in port import statistics of vessels waiting at the nation’s seaports of between 90 and 95 ships of all types and sizes as compared to the figures of over 130 and 145 in the last quarter of 2011, which stakeholders believed was something to worry about. Comptroller in charge of the TCIP command of the service, which is the second largest in terms of revenue generation after Apapa Command, Mr. Tajudeen Olarenwaju, who briefed newsmen recently on the activities of the command for the first quarter, disclosed that the command generated a total of N50.2bn in the first three months of the year. This represents a N33.8bn decline out of the projected N84bn revenue for the command for the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year. It also shows a N2.7bn decline when compared to the N52.9bn collected in the comparative period of 2012.

Details of the revenue figures for the first quarter of 2013 show that a total a total of N16.4bn was collected by the command in January, which declined marginally to N16.3bn in February and rose marginally again to N17.17.6bn at the end of March, bringing to a cumulative total of N50.2bn at the end of first quarter. This compares to the N14.6bn recorded in January of the previous year, 2012, N19.3bn and N19bn for February and March, 2012 respectively bringing to a total of N52.9bn for the first quarter of 2012, which was N2.7bn compared with the current revenue figures. Apart from the decline in the volume of imports into the country, the Tin Can Customsboss attributed the decline to several reforms in Nigeria’s financial market, which gave rise to a general cash squeeze in the economy and the attendant in ability of the importers to place orders for goods. The Federal Ministry of Finance had given the service was given a total of N1.4tr import duty revenue target for the 2013 fiscal year out of which the Tin Can Island command was allocated N336bn, which translates to N28bn per month. Olarenwaju, however, assured that despite the decline

in the revenue collection projection, officers and men of the command are more than ever committed to collect all collectible revenues by blocking all possible leakages. In line with this, he disclosed that the command has stepped up its anti-smuggling measures to curb the menace to its barest minimum, which has led to the seizure of a total of 61 units of 40-foot and 32 units of 20-foot containers respectively. The seized containers were laden with par boiled rice, electrical gadgets, Mosquito repellant coils, expired frozen fish, used tyres, toilet rolls, soft drinks, used clothes, generators, lace materials, television stands, automotive batteries and falsely and under-declared vehicles, among several others. The seized items have a duty paid value of N306.5million, The Tin Can Customs boss had also disclosed that as part of measures to enhance trade facilitation, the command has fashioned out a system, which allows honest and compliant importers clear their consignments through the fast track lane to ease out incoming cargo traffic and thereby avoid congestion with the attendant delays that it is accompanied with.

is in attendance. He noted that rather than duplicate ICT systems that may cause confusion than facilitate trade, as is the case in other port locations in the world, the minister should have focused attention on creating a single web that is accessible for all the stakeholders in the industry. He cited the web system at the Port of Singapore, touted as one

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of the most efficient seaports in the world, which covers every operation at the port including providing security for the port harbour management and also facilitate trade for the Customs administration. “This proliferation makes nonsense of the entire system because some people would cash in on that to short circuit the supply chain. Under this circumstance, who owns or is in control of the national single window between NPA and Customs”, he queried. “The minister should as a matter of national interest, raise useful questions at the Federal Executive Council meetings or even at the ministerial level before giving approvals to such request of ICT systems in the same seaport. Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi had, while speaking at a one-day sensitisation seminar for the maritime stakeholders in Lagos the IPCIS is a Public –Private Partnership project designed to achieve maritime system domain awareness. “Apart from checking access control to the ports, the new system would enhance operational efficiency at the nations various seaports”, Abdullahi said.

Afolabi, SIFAX-boss wins multiple international awards

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xecutive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has been appointed head of World Consuls Association. This is sequel to his earlier appointment as the honorary Consul of the Republic of Djibouti in Nigeria by President Ismail Omah Guelleh of the Republic of the Djibouti in July 2010. A statement by Head, Marketing and Public Relations unit of Sifax Group, Mr. Oliver Omajuwa said Afolabi was also appointed Regional Chairman of Honorary Consuls of West Africa made up of 17 countries. According to him, this was part of the outcome of the just concluded meeting of the Board of the World Federation of Consuls (FICAC) held in Kingston, Jamaica recently. He was also appointed member of the legal committee of FICAC in his capacity as a legal practitioner. Afolabi, who has proved his mettle in many aspects of business apart from maritime and aviation was also honored with the African Industrialist of the Year Award in recognition of his exploits in the business arena at the African Achievers award held in Kenya, recently.

Omajuwa also said: “It is a thing of interest to note that this silent and unassuming business mogul is also a member of the Presidential Business Support Group (BSG), a select private sector egg –heads charged with the responsibility of providing a platform for anchoring the views of the private sector with a view to supporting the development of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP). The SIFAX-boss, who clocked 51 years last April, is also a holder of the prestigious national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger.

Afolabi


44

Agri Business

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Challenges of catfish farming worry investors STANLEY IHEDIGBO looks at the challenges of catfish farming in Nigeria, which has become popular due to high revenue generating potential.

I

srael Okolo is not a happy man. He had plunged into catfish farming after a visit to a friend’s farm which was experiencing a boom in sales with customers lining up to buy fish. So, with N500,000 from his retirement benefits he became a fish farmer, but two years later,, he has nothing to show for his investment. According to him, as a masters degree holder, he obtained all the necessary information and training needed for such venture but blames the failure of the investment on lack of power supply, where he spends over N1,500 on diesel every day, high cost of imported feed that costs over N5,000 per bag every month and challenge of insecurity in the country where thieves have come to his fishpond to steal. Okolo is not alone in the pains of investing in catfish farming, as Martin Oriade, a lawyer also invested in booming catfish farming and rented an uncompleted building near his house where he constructed a fishpond, drilled a borehole for availability of water and employed two young men who are working in the site. Only five months later the owner of the land sold his land to other person, who came and sent him away from the land he invested heavily in the catfish farming business. However, some people have better stories to tell as Nigerians are large consumers of fish and it remains one of the main products consumed in terms of animal protein. Studies have shown that only around 50 per cent of demand for fish is currently being met by local supply. The fisheries sector is estimated to contribute 3.5 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product

Catfish in a pond

(GDP) and provides direct and indirect employment to over six million people. Despite the popularity of farming in Nigeria, the fish farming industry can best be described as being at the infant stage when compare to the large market potential for its production and marketing. This is mainly due to unavailability of fingerlings owing to lack of adequate infrastructure for hatcheries for fingerling production and the importation feeds. Speaking with National Mirror, the Managing Director of Market Nigeria, Chief Mark Alaba-Obu, attributed the challenge of catfish farming in Nigeria to government’s neglect of agriculture in the country. He said that lack of infrastructure, importation of feed which no Nigeria company have been able to produce. He noted that UAC tried producing fish feeds about three years ago, but the farmers rejected it as the feeds didn’t meet the standard the imported ones. According to him, investing in the catfish farming depends on someone’s

capability, arranging from the small, medium and large scale, also availabilities land or space. Alaba-Obu explained that someone can start a small scale fishery in a backyard of a house with 500 to 1,000 fingerlings at a budget of N50,000 and N100,000. On feeding, he said that, “Although, the best feed for catfish is still the imported one which costs N5,000 per a bag, and for a small scale farmer, the bag of feed will last for five to six months, by then the fishes are ready for harvesting.” He added that the major job in catfish farming is feeding and changing of the water of the pond regularly and a small scale catfish farmer can produce about 500 matured fishe at selling price of N400 each. On the larger scale, he said that it also depends on the size as in his farm; he spends N1.5million to feed the catfish for 4 to 6 months. In a recent interview, Mr. Femi Owopute, formerly a banker by profession, now a fish farmer, said that he decided to go into fish farming because

he wasn’t making enough savings as a banker. According to him, “I remember when I started I had no capital because I couldn’t save as a result of how much I spend daily on transportation, I started with as low as N10,000 though today my business has grown I still spend so much on other area but not as much as when compared to livestock. When compared with livestock, investigation shows it requires less space, time, money and has a higher feed conserving rate”, he said. On the factors militating against fish farming, he said: “Water, light, weather and feedings of the fingerlings are of great importance at the beginning. He added that the fish require lots of attention and feeding at the initial stage but this becomes difficult when there is no light for pumping of water and money to buy their feed. “When the weather is very hot, most of them die and most of them tend to feed on themselves just to survive, aside from these challenges, the gains are much”, he added. He said that major constraints to fish farming were identified to be those of environmental impacts of aquaculture operations that are water pollution, inadequate supply of fingerlings, inadequate information and feed supply. Femi recommends that more people should be encouraged to participate in the business so as to increase their income. Also he suggested there should be an association of catfish farmers, which will organise trainings, workshops and seminars for their members so that they could have access to improved methods and technologies of catfish production. When a canteen operator, Mr. Henry Ike was asked if he uses catfish in preparing his food, he said that catfish is expensive compared to other fishes they use in their business.

FG to subsidise purchase of paddy rice for local millers

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he Federal Government has announced its plan to subsidise the local purchase of paddy rice by millers in the country. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adeshina, said this in Sokoto while answering questions from newsmen after inspecting the rice fields in Kebbi and Zamfara. According to him, the subsidy was aimed at taking off the cost of transporting the paddy rice from any part of the country, no matter how remote. He added that if other state governments would engage in dry season cultivation of rice, Nigeria would have no busi-

ness importing rice. “Nigeria is busy importing rice when actually there is rice everywhere; we should be milling it to industrial, international standard. “The human and material resources available in the country, in addition to government’s commitment to diversifying the nation’s economy, Nigeria could only be a net exporter of the commodity,” he said. He said that his ministry is working with the Federal Ministry of Finance for a facility that would enable Nigeria to acquire 100 large scale world-class integrated rice mills for the states. He said such mills would be run by the

private sector to produce rice in the country. “We are working very closely with all the states. In fact I have letters of support from all the state governors across all political parties. “This is a real business; the first round of it will be 40 rice mills. We have already allocated them to different states, not state governments. “The states are providing the land around it; so, hopefully once that gets done, the market failure problem around it will be addressed. As we are doing this, we are also doing it for cassava as well”, he Jonathan stated.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Friday, May 3, 2013

45

Sterling Bank to raise N31bn from capital market JOHNSON OKANLAWON

S

terling Bank yesterday told shareholders that the bank is planning to raise additional capital in the second quarter of this year. Speaking at the bank’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos, the Group Managing Director, Mr. Yemi Adeola, said the fund is necessary to implement medium to long term strategic objectives. Specifically, the bank will raise tier 1 capital through a Right issue of N12bn and a private placement of N19.2bn. Adeola, who disclosed that the process of raising the fund has commenced in the first quarter of 2013, said the bank will continue

to drive growth strategies domestically, focusing on building long-term relationships and creating sustainable value for customers. On the business outlook, he said the bank expects global economic recovery to remain tentative in 2013 on the back of the on-going United States debt ceiling debate and euro-zone economic crisis. On the domestic front, he noted that microeconomic conditions are a large driver of earning growth and are becoming tougher, though more stable with the current estimation of Gross Domestic Product growth in 2013 places at 7.67 per cent. He pointed out that the 2012 result underlined the bank’s undoubted ability to

execute key strategies. “This was done as we deepened our reach in the industry, strengthened our technology infrastructure and continued to build sustainable and viable bank,” he said. The bank announced a profit after tax of N2.72bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 96 per cent when compared to N1.39bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank grossed N19.8bn in the review period, from N16.2bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2011, while taxation stood at N296m in 2012, from N243m in 2011. Net interest income rose by 3.5 per cent, from N6.27bn in 2011 to N6.49bn in 2012, while earning per

share increased to 17 kobo in 2012, from nine kobo in 2011. Analysis of the balance sheet showed net assets of N595.8bn in 2012, from N533.6bn in 2011, while financial liabilities rose to N36.7bn in 2012, from N34.9bn in 2011. Deposits increased by 13.1 per cent within the three months from N466.8bn recorded in December 2012 to N528.1bn in March 2013, while total assets grew by 11 per cent to N645.1bn, from N580.2bn recorded in December 2012. Loans and advances improved from N229.4bn in December 2012 to N247.6bn in March 2013, while shareholders’ funds stood at N49.3bn.

CAP heads for record high on profit as NSE’s index rises 3.2% DAMILOLA AJAYI

WITH AGENCY REPORT

C

hemical and Allied Products Plc headed for its highest on record after announcing a dividend and bonus shares. The company shares yesterday advanced 9.9 per cent to N46.8 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, a close at this price would be the highest since at least February 5, 2002, when Bloomberg started compiling data on the stock. Net income climbed to N1.1bn from N1bn a year earlier, while revenue rose 21 per cent to N5.2bn. Shareholders will receive a dividend of 70 kobo per share and a bonus of one share for every four held, the company said. The gains made by the stock are related to the very strong results announced,

which is in line with our expectations,” Tomi BennGii, analyst at Standard Bank Securities, said. “The proposed dividend and bonus are also having a positive impact on trading on its shares.” CAP, as the company is known, has added 67 per cent this year, compared with a 19 per cent increase in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index. Meanwhile, the benchmark index of equities rose further on Nigerian Stock Exchange and closed on a positive note, as more investors took positions on stock with good earnings. The All Share Index appreciated by 3.18 per cent to close at 34,502.38 points, compared to the increase of 1.24 per cent recorded on Tuesday to close at 33,440.57 points. Market capitalisation increased by N34bn to close

at 11.03trn, higher than the increase of N13bn recorded on Tuesday to close at 10.69trn. All sectorial indices closed on a positive note except the Oil and Gas index which shed 0.20 per cent to close at 176.87 points. The Industry Goods index led the sectorial indices with 5.59 per cent to close at 1966.68 points, followed by the Lotus Islamic index with 4.59 per cent to close at 2353.21 points. NSE 30-index rose by 2.78 per cent to close at 1639.43 points, while the Banking Index appreciated by 0.97 per cent to close at 394.01 points. The Consumer Goods index and the Insurance index gained 0.19 per cent and 0.02 per cent to close at 973.43 points and 142.53 points respectively. LearnAfrica Plc led the gainers’ table with 20 kobo

or ten per cent to close at N2.20 per share, followed by John Holt Plc with 14 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N1.54 per share. Dangote Cement Plc rose by N16.20 or ten per cent to close at N178.20 per share, while Airservice Plc added 30 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N3.30 per share. AG Leventis Plc gained 15 kobo or ten per cent to close at N1.65 per share. On the flip side, Vono Plc lost 26 kobo or ten per cent to close at N2.34 per share, while RT Briscoe Plc shed 20 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N1.80 kobo per share. Africa Prudential Plc declined by 15 kobo or 9.68 per cent to close at N1.40 per share, while Prestige Plc dropped by six kobo or 9.52 per cent to close at 57 kobo per share.Constain Plc fell by11 kobo or 9.40 per cent to close at N1.06 per share.

Multi-Trex posts N1.5bn loss in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

M

ulti-trex Integrated Foods has declared a loss after tax of N1.5bn for the 2012, financial year ended April 30, 2013, from N67.9m profit recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s turnover dropped by 51.5 per cent to N3.26bn in the re-

view period, from N6.74bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, cost of sales declined by 37.9 per cent to N2.93bn in 2012, from N4.72bn recorded in the same period of 2011. Analysis of the company balance sheet showed marginal increase in fixed

assets by 0.2 per cent in 2012 financial year, from N12.4bn in 2011 to N12.5bn, 2012 while inventories rose by 178 per cent to N1.81bn, from N648m recorded in 20111, financial year. The company had posted a loss of N756.8m in its unaudited nine result ended Jan 31, 2012. The agro-allied company’s profit after tax rose from a negative N151.5m in

the third quarter of 2011 to a negative of N1.26bn, indicating a loss of 730.3 per cent in the period. Profit before tax also declined to N1.26bn in the quarter, compared to N146.8m recorded in the same period of 2011. Turnover also dipped from N3.74bn in the third quarter of 2011 to N2.61bn in the nine months ended January 31, 2012.

Source: NSE

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 34,502.38 points Market capitalisation 11.04 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

LEARNAFRCA

2.00

2.20

0.20

% CHANGE 10.00

JOHNHOLT

1.40

1.54

0.14

10.00

DANGCEM

162.00

178.20

16.20

10.00

AIRSERVICE

3.00

3.30

0.30

10.00

AGLEVENT

1.50

1.65

0.15

10.00

CAP

42.57

46.80

4.23

9.94

WEMABANK

1.18

1.29

0.11

9.32

ABCTRANS

0.67

0.73

0.06

8.96

CADBURY

32.21

34.98

2.77

8.60

CILEASING

0.51

0.55

0.04

7.84

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

VONO

2.60

2.34

0.26

-10.00

RTBRISCOE

2.00

1.80

0.20

-10.00

AFRIPRUD

1.55

1.40

0.15

-9.68

PRESTIGE

0.63

0.57

0.06

-9.52

COSTAIN

1.17

1.06

0.11

-9.40

ETERNA

2.98

2.70

0.28

-9.40

UNITYBNK

0.68

0.63

0.05

-7.35

UTC

0.69

0.65

0.04

-5.80

TRANSCORP

1.20

1.14

0.06

-5.00

GLAXOSMITH

49.00

47.25

1.75

-3.57

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

32,488.72

11.95

7-Mar-13

182-Days

20,000.00

13.80

7-Mar-13

364-Days

57,119.37

15.57

7-Mar-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

120-Days

50,275.00

13.30

2-May-13

119-Days

138,167.38

13.30

2-May-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$300m

29-Apr-13

$300m

N/A

$272m

29-Apr-13


46

Transition

Alice Oyeyemi

M

other of Revd (Dr) Ebenezer E. Oyeyemi, the General Overseer of Oasis Christian Centre, Egbeda, Prophetess Alice Iyabode Ayoola Oyeyemi (nee Babalola-Dada) is dead. Madam Oyeyemi died on March 17, 2013 at the age of 107 years. A devout Christian and community leader, madam Oyeyemi hailed from Onilada Compound, Ijaye Obirinti Totoro,Abeokuta. Late Alice Oyeyemi, who is survived by many children, grand children and great grand children would be laid to rest on May 11, 2013 after a funeral service at Oke Odo Senior High School, Ile Epo, Lagos.

Ambassador Musa

T

he death has been announced of Ambassador Bashir Musa, the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland. He died after a brief illness on Tuesday, April 24, 2013 in Geneva. He worked in various capacities with the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before he was appointed Nigeria Ambassador to Switzerland. He was an active member of the London branch of the Nasril-Lahi-Il-Fathi Society of Nigeria, (NASFAT) before his official posting to Geneva. The Chief Missioner of NASFAT, Alhaji Abdullah Akinbode was among the first callers at the Lagos residence of Alhaji Kayode Musa, the elder brother of the late diplomat, where he led a special prayer session for the repose of the soul of the deceased. He described him as a staunch Muslim who lived an exemplary life, worthy of emulation. He prayed to Allah to grant the soul of the deceased Al-Janat Firdaus and to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Alhaji Bashir Musa left behind a wife, children, brothers, sisters and many relations to mourn his death.

Friday, May 3, 2013

C

hris Kelly, one-half of the 1990s rap duo, Kris Kross, died Wednesday, May 1 at an Atlanta hospital after he was found unresponsive at his home. He was 34. He was reported to have died of drug overdose. After paramedics took him to the hospital, a woman who identified herself as Kelly’s friend told an investigator that Kelly had taken a mixture of heroin and cocaine Tuesday night and that she had brought Kelly home “to recover from his drug use,” according to a police report. Kelly, together with Chris Smith, shot to stardom in 1992 with “Jump,” which spent eight weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. Kelly and Smith were 13-year-olds when they were discovered in 1991 at an Atlanta mall by producer Jermaine Dupri. The duo opened for Michael Jackson that year on his Dangerous World Tour. And their penchant for wearing their clothes backward was, at least for a time, widely emulated. Together, the songs pushed their debut album, “Totally Krossed Out,” to multiplatinum status. Next came 1993’s “Da Bomb.” But the album failed to find the following of the duo’s debut, in large part because the boys had hit puberty and they were marketed with a tougher image. Their career never again reached the heights of their debut, but they continued to make music. In 1996, the duo released the album “Young, Rich

George Jones

A

merican country music singing legend, George Glenn Jones died last Friday, April 28 after being hospitalised for fever and irregular blood pressure at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 81 years old. His graceful, evocative voice gave depth to some of the greatest songs in country music -- including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour” and “He Stopped Loving

Tunde Savage

T

he former entertainment czar, Mr. Babatunde Idowu Savage, died on Friday April 26, 2013. He was aged 66. Late Babatunde Savage, for many years, was responsible for organizing the popular “Miss Nigeria” beauty pageant. While he was the General Manager of Times Leisure Services, a division of the Daily Times of Nigeria PLC, Tunde Savage supervised the smooth running of the Miss Nigeria pageant and became the driving force behind the annual event that was, for years, the high point of the Nigeria entertainment calendar. Popularly known as TS, the late entertainment executive was, until his death, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Tukod Associates Limited and Tutasasa Limited. Family sources said Mr. Savage passed on at the St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Lola and children, Mrs. Yetunde Agoro, Mr. Babalola Savage and Mrs. Bidemi Olorunfemi.

Chris Kelly and Dangerous.” The pair reunited for one night in February for a 20th anniversary party for Dupri’s So So Def label.

Her Today” For the last 20 years of his life, Jones was frequently referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country music scholar, Bill C. Malone writes, “For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.” Waylon Jennings expressed a common jealousy in his song “It’s Alright”: “If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones.” Throughout his long career, Jones made headlines often as much for his drinking, stormy relationships with women and violent rages as for his prolific career of making records and touring. His wild lifestyle led to Jones missing many performances, earning him the nickname “No Show Jones.” With the help of his fourth wife, Nancy, he was mostly sober from the mid 1980s until his death in 2013. Jones had more than 150 hits during his career, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists. The shape of his nose and facial features gave Jones the nickname “The Possum.” Jones said in an interview that he chose to tour only about 60 dates a year. In August 2012, it was announced that at the conclusion of his 2013 tour, Jones would retire to spend more time with his family. Titled “The Grand Tour”, Jones’ final tour was to take place across 60 dates. He was born on September 12, 1931 in Saratoga, Texas, and was raised in Vidor, Texas, with his brother and five sisters. When he was seven, his parents bought a radio and he heard country music for the first time. Given a guitar when he was nine, Jones was soon busking for money on the streets of Beaumont.

Comfort Aragbaiye

L

ate Comfort Folake Aragbaiye died on Sunday, April 28, 2013 in Owo , Ondo State after a brief illness. She was aged 90. Mama Aragbaiye was the mother of Elder Bola Aragbaiye; the former editor of the defunct Sketch Newspaper and Press Secretary to the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin . The late Aragbaiye, who during her lifetime was a staunch member of St. Patrick’s Anglican Church, Ijebu - Owo, was also the family head of Fadamitan family, Ehin Ogbe, Owo.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

She is survived by sisters , brothers, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren among who are: Yeyesa Adenike Ogunoye, Elder Bola Aragbaiye, Prophetess Margaret Modupe Dare, Dr. (Mrs) Esther Olufunmilayo Lambo, Mr. Olu Aragbaiye, Mrs Stella Olufunke Aragbaiye -Ajidahun, Engineer Alex Akin Aragbaiye, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye, Mrs.Evelyn Bose Abiodun among others. Family sources said burial arrangement will be announced later.


Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

World News

Ex- Pope Benedict returns to Vatican

48

“We urge the DPRK [North Korea] to grant Mr Bae amnesty” –United States Government

Two Generals arrested for Chad’s coup attempt • Four killed PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

C

had’s security forces have arrested two generals and a member of parliament allied to President Idriss Deby on suspicion of involvement in a foiled coup plot, the chief prosecutor said yesterday. Prosecutor Mahamat Saleh Youssouf named the generals as Weiddig Assi Assoue and Ngomine Beadmadji David. Mahamat Malloum Kadre, a member of parliament for the ruling coalition, was arrested alongside opposition figure Saleh Maki, the prosecutor said. Their detention raised the prospect of high-level divisions in the oil-producing nation that is an ally for the West against al Qaeda-linked militants in Africa’s arid Sahel region. At least four people were killed in a gunfight in the Chadian capital in the coup attempt, security sources said yesterday. Chad has a long history of political instability and Deby himself led rebel troops into the capital N’Djamena in 1990 to seize power. But the landlocked nation started producing oil a decade ago and Deby, who has won four elections, has become an ally of the West against Islamist mili-

President Deby (L), who has won four elections since seizing power in 1990, is considered a key Western ally.

tants in the region. “Between four and eight people were killed in fighting at a military barracks in the east of N’Djamena,” said a police source, asking not to be identified. The clash took place late on Wednesday. A military officer said at least a dozen people had been killed in separate clashes in a residential neighbourhood, adding that a list of future government officials had also been discovered there implying evidence of a coup plot. Chad Communications Minister Hassan Sylla Bakary told

Reflection on World Press Freedom Day

A

s we celebrate World Press Freedom Day, observed on May 3 of every year, it affords us another opportunity to reflect on the state of the media in our country. The media should be partners in development, worthy allies in the nurturing of our democracy and quest for a great country, but rather curiously, successive administrations in Nigeria have always treated the media with suspicion, if not as some sort of adversary. This is a regrettable mindset, which a day like today can help correct. Nigeria’s robust and vibrant media has a worthy history of commitment to noble causes, and played key roles in the struggle for independence, democratic rule, social justice,

freedom of speech, human rights, and the like. Today, the media is still in the vanguard of upholding all that is noble, just, fair, and, indeed, all that would redound to the progress and development of our country. Recent developments in the country have, however, reinforced the uneasy relationship that often exists between government and the media. But we urge the government to stoutly resist anything that might bear the slightest semblance to a curtailment of the freedom of the press, either overtly or covertly. The media parades professionals who are passionate and committed to the growth and development of the country on all fronts, and they do not deserve CONTINUED ON PAGE 48

state radio there had been “an attempt to destabilize the state”. He said earlier that a small group had been conspiring for months, but gave no details of who was involved. The streets of the capital were calm by midday yesterday with banks and shops open. Residents clustered around radio sets on street corners, or watched television in cafes. The sources said security forces had made several arrests within the army and had detained at least one opposition member of

parliament, Saleh Maki. Deby sent about 2,000 troops to Mali this year to help drive out Islamist fighters who had seized the northern two-thirds of the country, earning him the gratitude of France which spearheaded the military campaign there. The intervention, as well as a decision not to defend the president of neighbouring Central African Republic from a rebel takeover in March, highlighted Deby’s position as a regional power broker. But he has plenty of enemies at home and abroad.

Ex-Ivory Coast’s first lady rushed to hospital

I

vory Coast’s former first lady, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, was rushed to hospital yesterday with an unspecified ailment, her lawyer and an official from her political party said. Simone Gbagbo was a leading figure in her husband Laurent’s FPI party while he was president of Ivory Coast. The pair were arrested in 2011 after months of armed conflict that followed a disputed presidential election the year before. Simone Gbagbo, 63, is being held in Ivory Coast on accusations of genocide but also last year became the first woman indicted by the ICC. Laurent Gbagbo is already in The Hague awaiting trial on charges linked to the conflict. “The (health) problems were sufficiently serious to require her immediate transfer to a fa-

cility with the sufficient means to treat her,” her lawyer Habiba Toure told Reuters, declining to elaborate. Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to accept defeat to Alassane Ouattara in the 2010 election kindled violence that killed 3,000 people in the world’s top cocoa-growing state before French and U.N.-backed pro-Ouattara fighters captured the Gbagbos. The ICC warrant against Simone alleges she was “criminally responsible for murder, rape, other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts and persecution” during the conflict. Ouattara’s government has yet to announce whether it will hand over Simone, who has been held in the isolated town of Odienne since her arrest. Toure said “a total lack of medical attention” during her confinement had damaged her health.

WORLD BULLETIN

‘133,000 Somali children died during famine’ A decision by extremists Islamist

militants to ban food aid and international donors numb to a series of unfolding disasters made south-central Somalia the most dangerous place in the world to be a child in 2011. The first in-depth scientific study of famine deaths in Somalia in 2011 was released yesterday. It estimates 133,000 children under age 5 died, with child death rates approaching 20 percent in some communities. That’s 133,000 under-5 deaths out of an estimated 9.3 million people. That compares to 65,000 under-5 deaths in all other industrial countries in the world, a combined population of 990 million, according to Chris Hillbruner, a senior food security adviser at FEWS NET, a famine warning agency. The Associated Press earlier reported Monday on the overall findings of the report.

Gaddafi’s son makes brief court appearance Saif al-Islam, the son of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has appeared briefly in court where a militia has held him since his capture in November 2011, a local council official has said. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes charges, but the current case relates to charges that he gave information to an ICC lawyer last year that could endanger national security. Saif al-Islam was the only defendant of 13 people who were called to appear in court on those charges, confirming he was in the room when his name was called out and that his lawyers were present. The case was then postponed until September 19 because the defence’s case was incomplete.

Two Iranians guilty of terror plot –Kenyan court

Two Iranian nationals, whom officials accused of planning to attack Western targets inside Kenya, were found guilty yesterday by a Kenyan court of terror-related charges. Officials in Kenya say the two suspects may have been planning attacks on Israeli, American, British or Saudi Arabian interests in Kenya. Magistrate Kaire Waweru Kiare said the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt all counts against the two. Kiare said he will give sentences for the two on Monday. Iranian nationals Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi were arrested in June 2012 and led officials to a 15-kilogram (33-pound) stash of the explosive RDX.


48

World News

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Reflection on World Press Freedom Day CONTINUED FROM PAGE 47

to be hounded, repressed or harassed in any form. If there are inadvertent infractions of the rules, we expect nothing but the

strictest conformity to due process and the rule of law in addressing such. There are certain approaches that are incompatible with democratic

norms. We do not expect that our governments at various levels will still resort to such, 14 years into unbroken democratic rule.

The media industry today groans under high cost of production inputs. Let the government use the occasion of World Press Freedom Day

today to appraise how it can make life easier for the press. An industry that operates under neareconomic strangulation, due to unfriendly policies from government, cannot be said to be really free. Nigerian editors will always give their best to engender cohesion and harmony in the polity. It is our sacred duty and calling. We will always uphold socially responsible acts and practices, and play to the hilt our roles as partners in progress, towards building a country where no man is oppressed, intimidated or harassed. Free press means free expression, and our country needs such to develop,

and to hold its own in the comity of nations. Freedom is a bulwark against tyranny. But freedom is also fragile, and World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to reflect on this. The line between press freedom and repression is quite thin, and eternal vigilance is needed at all times, lest we find ourselves at the wrong side of the divide. Nigerian editors will continue to stand for ethical practices in an atmosphere free of any foreboding or apprehension. That is the essence of World Press Freedom Day. Femi Adesina , President, Nigerian Guild of Editors


Friday, May 3, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror “The ghost of casualisation in the state public service has been laid to rest and never to resurrect again.” DELTA STATE GOVERNOR, EMMANUEL UDUAGHAN

Four suspected web fraudsters arrested

Students express gratitude to company

GEORGE OPARA

MAKURDI

ABIA

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eb fraudsters who allegedly forged the official website of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Abuja have been arrested in Aba, Abia State. The four suspects are Messrs Chinedum Nwaogu, 30, Okechi Nwaobia Micah, 33, Ifeanyi Daniel Nwaubani, 27, and Chigozie Richard Akoku, 30. Confirming this, the Abia State Director of State Security Services, SSS, Matthew Obodoechi, said the suspects were arrested at 22, Jerry Nweke

Street, World Bank Housing Estate in Aba. It was gathered that the fraudsters have defrauded some Polish, Indian, Koreans, Slovenian and Croatian citizens. Besides, investigations revealed that one Fred, a Nigerian living in Malaysia acts as front for the gang, as he received all monies and transferred same through the various bank accounts of the gang members in Nigeria. But ran out of luck of them, when some of their victims wrote to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to confirm their letters and programmes for necessary action.

It was revealed that ministry officials denied any knowledge of the fraudsters. Consequently, the SSS was alerted through a petition by the ministry at Abuja for necessary action, which resulted in the arrest of the gang members. However, the suspects have been arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction in Umuahia, Abia State capital, even as they were remanded in prison custody. In a related development, suspected fraudsters operating as officials of Abia State Universal Basic Education Board, ASUBEB, specialising in forging different types of documents have

been arrested in Aba. The suspects, Sunday Ehimere, Glory Okoro, Onyedi Isaac and Promise Enang, were arrested near the ‘Teachers House’ at No.35 Pound Road Aba, in addition, forged certificates and degrees from the University of Port Harcourt and College of Education Arochukwu, were found in their possession. However, the SSS has filed charges against them, as they will soon be arraigned in court. Following this, Obodoechi has called on the state government and private employers to investigate all degrees and certificates presented by prospective job seekers.

HENRY IYORKASE

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ifty students of tertiary institutions from Mbayion community in Benue State have expressed appreciation to Alhaji Aliko Dangote for awarding them scholarship valued at N10 million under the Dangote Scholarship scheme. Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. John Hundu said by this action, Alhaji Dangote has demonstrated a rare philanthropic spirit that will remain indelible in their lives. According to him, the show of encouragement by Alhaji Dangote would enable them develop a positive and harmonious relationship between the company and the community. The students called on the Dangote Cement to support their host community with more employment opportunities, in order to reduced poverty in among the people. Speaking the Chairman of Gboko Local Government, Hon. Nahan Zenda called on other corporate organisations to emulate Dangote’s gesture,even as he appealed to the host community to collaborate with the company to establish a harmonious relationship. The chairman added that more incentives for the benefit of the people will be provided.

PDP women honour Osunroluke-Eubo

F Members of Oyo State Fashion Designers’ Association performing gymnastics during May Day celebration in Ibadan

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Achebe denies querying royal fathers CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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hairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, has debunked speculation that he queried any traditional ruler on the directive of the state governor , Mr. Peter Obi for purportedly attending the wedding of Ifeanyi Uba’ sister in Lagos.

In a statement by his palace secretary, Nwolisa Agusiobo, Achebe also denied the attendance of the same wedding or even receiving money from anyone in that regard. The statement said, ‘’His Majesty categorically declares that he was neither directed by the governor to query , intimidate or threaten to sanction any traditional ruler for attending a wedding in Lagos recently, as alleged by a national daily”,’’

It will be recalled that the said newspaper had reported that 60 traditional rulers were in trouble for allegedly visiting Ifeanyi Ubah who gave them money and which the government directed must be returned to the donor. Achebe, who however admitted that the visit was discussed at their second annual Anambra Traditional Rulers Seminar, said they unanimously resolved, that there was nothing wrong for a traditional ruler

accepting a personal invitation to a wedding ceremony,even as they should be mindful of the requirement to inform the government before travelling out of the state. ‘’To remove any vestige of suspicion of partisan political inducement during the said wedding, those present and received monetary gifts should pool them together for donation to a mutually designated charity” the statement said.

or the Ajigbede of Owu Kingdom, Chief Olawunmi Osunroluke-Eubo, there is no small honour, especially coming from the womenfolk. Osunroluke-Euba, who is currently the South-West zonal women leader, was recently honoured by the Ogun Central Senatorial PDP Women at a reception attended by party chieftains in the six states of the zone. According to organisers of the event, “it was necessary to organise such a reception for their daughter who continues to be a source of pride to them”. The National Auditor of PDP, Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju, South-West, zonal secretary, Chief Adepegba Otemolu and state party chairman, Engr. Adebayo Adedayo, enjoined other women to emulate the Ogun Central women, as such would foster unity among them. Those who attended the reception were six chairmen of the South West, party faithful and leaders in Ogun State.


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Friday, May 3, 2013

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Sport

The foundation is trying as much as possible to expand our frontier in the service to humanity

I’m cool at Swallows – Etafia

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-KHF FOUNDER, NWANKWO KANU

Minister to sponsor YSFON U-16 tourney J OEL A JAYI ABUJA

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Mourinho

AVB welcomes Mourinho back to EPL

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ottenham Hotspur’s manager, Andre Villas-Boas, will welcome his mentor, Jose Mourinho, back to the English Premier League next season, saying his return would be spectacular. AVB worked under Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan before deciding to forge a name for himself by taking on the coaching job at Portuguese club, Academica. Mourinho, who parted company with Chelsea in 2007 having won two league titles, dropped heavy hints this week that he wants to return for a second stint at Stamford Bridge having failed to land the Champions League for Real Madrid this season. “It’s hard to make a reading of the situation,” Villas-Boas, whose Tottenham side faces Southampton tomorrow then Chelsea next Wednesday as they battle for a top-four finish, told reporters. “Obviously his desire to come back to England is extremely strong. Whether he has a club lined up or not, I’m not sure. It’s very unlikely when someone makes it that public that everything is set up already. “But he would be a great addition to the Premier League. Jose has a wonderful history in this league and it would be spectacular to have him back,” Villas-Boas said yesterday.

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he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has concluded arrangements for a seven-day FIFA Beach Soccer and Refereeing Course that will start in Abuja today. Thirty coaches and 30 referees in the fast-growing game of beach soccer will be trained

Recreative do Libolo goalkeeper, Landu (right) making a save during their first leg match against Rangers played in Enugu, a fortnight ago.

CCL: Rangers in Angola, drop Mba at airport EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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nugu Rangers FC flew out to Angola for tomorrow’s CAF Champions League (CCL) tie yesterday, without embattled Super Eagles’ star, Sunday Mba, due to a passport hassle. Also dropped at the airport is Emeka Ezeh. Both players were on the final 18-man squad for the Champions League match against Recreativo Libolo, but they were dropped at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, as their passports were still at the United States of America (USA) embassy, being processed for visa for Nigeria’s friendly game with Mexico. “We did not travel with the

rest of the squad to Angola because we could not get our passports out from the American embassy for us to travel with it. I’m on my way back to Enugu now,” Ezeh told MTNFootball.com. In another last-minute change, defender Ekene Iwuorie replaced Uche Oguchi at the Owerri airport and so was the one of the 16 players who finally flew out to Angola. Officials further said that the players decided not to withdraw their passports from the USA embassy after they were informed that they would have to book another appointment for USA visa. The Eagles face Mexico in a friendly game on May 31 in Houston, Texas. Mba, 24, was set to finally make his Rangers’ debut this

weekend after a protracted transfer haggle involving his former club, Warri Wolves. Rangers, Nigeria’s only surviving club on the continent this year, were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Enugu about a fortnight ago. Meanwhile, the management of Warri Wolves has disclosed that they provisionally released Mba to Rangers for the CCL. An official of the side, Moses Etu, said the management listened to pleas from wellmeaning Nigerians, especially the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that Mba remains a player of Wolves and all financial and federating rights remain with the Warri-based outfit.

60 coaches, refs for FIFA beach soccer course

during the one-week programme, at which a meeting of stakeholders of the game will hold. World football governing body, FIFA, has appointed Mr. Eddie Loewen from the United States of America as Coaching Instructor for the event which

will take place at the Conference Hall of the National Stadium, Abuja. Nigeria’s Sunday Okayi, a respected beach soccer referee will serve as Refereeing Instructor while Mr. Linus Mba, FIFA Advisor on refereeing, will be the Course Coordina-

tor.

Officials will also visit two selected schools within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as corporate social responsibility function to introduce the game to the grassroots. Nigeria has shown immense potential in beach soc-

inister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, has promised to partner with the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) to organise U-16 Male Football Competition in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in June. The Minister made the promise when the chairman and members of YSFON, Abuja Chapter, paid him a courtesy visit in his Abuja office, on Wednesday. He explained that the partnership would be part of his commitment to youth development and mobilisation through execution of programmes targeted at discovering and nurturing young Nigerians at the grassroots level. Abdul-Kadir emphasised the need for embarking on talent hunt, stressing that Nigerian youths have great potential to excel in football and in other sporting activities. “Certainly, all of us are very much aware of our youths’ interest in sports and such is the situation that Nigerian youths are scattered abroad representing their host countries for their talent to be appreciated and developed; not just in football, but in other sports,” he said. Earlier, Chairman, YSFON, Abuja Chapter, Alhaji Hamidu Gaube, said the aim of the visit was to partner with the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, especially in organising the U-16 male competition in June and invited the minister for the ceremonial kick-off.

cer since first participating at the African Beach Soccer Championship in South Africa in 2006. T The Supersand Eagles have played at four World Cup finals, reaching the quarter-finals at the last tournament in Ravenna, Italy in September 2011.


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CBN Tennis: Babalola strokes to quarters YEMI OLUS

D Gov. Oshiomhole

Oshiomhole eyes Okpekpe honour SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN CITY

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do State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, has vowed to compete and win the Okpekpe International 10-kilometre Road Race despite challenges from internationally recognised road race athletes at the event. Oshiomhole, who made the declaration in Benin City yesterday, debunked claims that he is not physically fit to partake in the race. “Banks are already lobbying me in the hope that when I win, I will keep the prize money with them,” he said jokingly. “For a governor who is on a low pay roll, I need the prize money to add to my earnings,” he added. “I have not been a competitive sportsman but I have trained hard for this competition. I will proceed to Auchi where I hope to perfect my strategies before the race under the supervision of three coaches. “I think it is good that we are taking the world to a rural part of Edo State. You know people often wonder whether we are just working only in Benin City. But I think this race offers the opportunity for Nigerians and foreign guests to see the beauty of rural Nigeria. “I like to show that there is some fire in the system, even at 61 years of age.”

Super Eagles’ Brown Ideye (right) and Ogenyi Onazi (17) struggled to score a lone goal against Harambee Stars when both teams clashed in Calabar in March

Babangida wants less Emenike focus AFOLABI GAMBARI

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ormer Super Eagles winger, Tijani Babangida, has faulted what he calls the coaches’ over reliance on Russia-based striker Emmanuel Emenike in Nigeria’s quest to sustain the recent AFCON glory. The Atlanta ‘96 Olympics hero, who sympathised with the Eagles’ crew on Emenike’s latest injury that ruled him out for three months, said Nigeria would encounter challenges in getting a suitable replacement for the forceful forward. “As a former footballer myself, I know for a fact that frequent injury to a player always has a lingering psychological effect,” Babangida said at the Heineken Champions Planet

in Lagos where he was guest during the UEFA Champions League’s second leg semi final clash between Barcelona and Bayern Munich. “I can only wish him a speedy recovery and hope he returns to the Eagles in sparkling form,” the former Ajax Amsterdam winger added. “We are in a precarious situation for the World Cup qualifying matches, with the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil also in June. I think the Eagles’ coaches have to evolve a formula whereby we don’t have a situation of ‘no Messi no Barcelona’ in our hands.” Babangida, who visited the Planet a second time after his first visit during the Champions League final last year, described the atmosphere as electrifying

while expressing delight at the fans’ turnout. “To be on the hot seat answering questions from fans reminds of my playing days when I faced pressure week after week,” he observed, stressing, “But the fun derived cannot be described and it is the same all the time.” The former Nigeria international, however, sympathised with fans of Barcelona and Real Madrid after their teams’ ouster at the Champions League semi final. “I feel for them, but that is football where everything happens at any time and that is where the funs resides in the beautiful game,” he remarked. Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will clash at Wembley on May 25 in an allGerman final.

efending champion of the CBN Senior Tennis tournament, Abdulmumuni Babalola, has qualified for the quarter finals of the on-going championship after defeating Behind Alade in two straight sets of 6/1, 6/2 in one of the third round matches yesterday. Hard fighting junior player, Samuel Omoile, dismissed Michael Okechukwu, Henry Atseye edged Moses Michael while Thomas Otu beat Michael Eludoyin. Tournament’s number two seed, Shehu Lawal, also beat Uche Oparaoji in a two straight sets of 6/3, 6/4. The pair of Blessing Samuel and Christy Agugbom defeated Vendetta Ogude and OsarmIen Airhunwunde while Afolarin Akosile paired with Oluchi Ozurumba to beat Folashade Ogunshola and Evelyn Enuwa to make the quarter finals. Organisers said quarter and semifinal matches in the men and women singles events would be concluded today ahead of the final tomorrow after rains disrupted proceedings yesterday at the National Stadium, Lagos. Meanwhile, the semi final of the wheelchair tennis event will also be decided today

Babalola

Ebigwei gets chess kudos

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Chief Staff Officer, Naval Training Command, Commodore Mufutau Adeoye ( right ) presenting the Football Trophy to AB Seaman Ilegogie Anthony of NNS BEECROFT after the Intra Command Sports Championship of Western Naval Command, Lagos recently

he first President of the African Chess Federation (ACF), Sylvanus Ebigwei, has been recommended for national honours because of his pioneering role in developing the game of chess in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. The proposal was made recently at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Lagos, during the public presentation of Ebigwei’s personal memoirs on chess titled, “Chess: A National Legacy.” A former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Jubrila Ayinla (retd), who made the recommendation, said no honour was too big for the Ebigwei, who he added, suffered personal discomfort in order to bring the game of chess to its present state in the continent. “The story of chess in Africa cannot be written without Ebigwei, whose dental surgery served as the informal office of the Nigeria Chess Federation for a long time.

People like him deserve a pat on the back. “I remember when we went for a competition abroad at the early years of chess, Ebigwei and I brought out our allowances to pay the players. We ate the same food and shared accommodation with them,” Ayinla said. On his part, business mogul, Chief Sunny Odogwu, described Ebigwei’s love for chess as a mark of patriotism, hinting that Nigerians should emulate his style of patriotism in order to move the country forward. The book presentation which coincided with Ebigwei’s 70th birthday celebration also availed him the opportunity to urge the Federal Government to do more in uplifting the game of chess. According to him, chess is important for the development of the instincts of the leadership of future generation of Nigerians owing to its intellectually-stimulating nature.


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Win Window on Nigerian p players abroad

with IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Obiefule powers Swedish club

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I’m cool at Swallows – Etafia

ormer Super Eagles’ midfielder Paul Obiefule has grabbed the headlines following his impressive start for his new Swedish club, Assyriska Föreningen. The former Lyn Oslo star, who ended his search for a club after he refused to extend his contract at Finnish side KuPs, signing for the promotionseeking second tier side, started in the second week of the new season after he got work permit which took some time to come. Obiefule was unexpectedly thrown into the deep end after just 19 minutes in his debut game against Orgryte, replacing another injured

colleague and helped his side claim a 3-0 home victory. Obiefule has been superb in the subsequent two games as his side shot to the second spot in the table after just four games. “It’s been great for me since I arrived here, everyone is happy with my performance and I look forward to achieving something here,” Obiefule told National Mirror. “My target is to help my side gain promotion to the top flight and we’ve begun the task on a sound note. “We have to continue doing well, keep winning and we will get there. I’m happy here and I’m spurred by everyone here to do my best.”

Greg Etafia

Despite playing regularly for his South African club, Moroka Swallows, for the past 11 years, highly-rated Nigerian keeper, Greg Etafia, is still overlooked by national team coaches. But the Sydney 2000 Olympian remains unperturbed and maintains in this interview that his services will be needed in the Super Eagles in future. It has been 11 eventful seasons for you at Moroka Swallows. Would you say you have had fulfilling career? Honestly, it’s been great for me because I’ve seen the highs and lows at the club, passed through great coaches, learnt a lot and kept being on top of my job. After winning the league title and playing in the Champions League with Lobi Stars, I took my trade to here and it has been wonderful for me I must say. I have been consistent over the years, playing in the league, in all the Cup competitions in South Africa as well as the club competitions in Africa. I have come a long way to attain this level and I must thank God for his great opportunity. Despite your consistency with the Swallows, you’re still overlooked by the Super Eagles’ handlers. How do you handle this situation? Remember I was there in 2004 and played in the Nations Cup in Tunisia, so, there has to be another opportunity which I’m patiently waiting for. It’s a normal feeling for every Nigerian to play for his country and that’s my case as well. Nigeria is a country of 160 million people and it’s a thing of honour to be chosen to represent your country. This is equally the aspiration of millions of players out there who are waiting to dorn the national colours of our dear country. I hope with my great form and consistency, I will be invited some day. Do you think your Eagles’ opportu-

nity is late in coming considering the fact that you’re regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in South Africa? Like they say, it’s better late than never; hence, I don’t see it that way. I’m still active and being in the thick of action regularly. I still got a lot to offer the game of football and I have to continue doing my best and wait for my opportunity to come. I’m still young and got lots of years ahead of me. So, there’s a lot of playing to do for the Super Eagles in future. Spending eleven years in one club is quite huge, why have you decided to stay this long? I’m quite comfortable at Swallows and I’m happy to be here. I have also attracted offers from big clubs here in South Africa and abroad but none of those have been enough to prize me away from Swallows. They are paying my wages for now and until better offers are on the table for me, then, I will consider whether I will leave. But the honours have not been flowing as expected. Why is it so? No, we have won our fair share of titles since I arrived here. Don’t forget that we have won the MTN 8 and the Nedbank Cup titles. We have also finished runners-up in the league in the past. I think we have not really done badly in terms of honours but we hope to improve in adding titles to our cabinet. The competition for honours in the ABSA Premiership and other Cup competitions are quite high con-

sidering the pedigree of other top clubs like Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns. However, we have to continue pushing hard to add more honours to our cabinet. Swallows have always been the beat to fight for honours. You have played in about 300 games for Swallows making you one of the most capped players in the South African league. How does this make you feel, Greg? If I continue this consistency, I should be heading to hit a milestone and that will be highly commendable. It makes me feel so good and I must be thankful to God for making this happen for me. It hasn’t been easy for me to achieve, like I said earlier, I have also seen my highs and lows in my Swallows career. I have also seen it all in the league and I thank God for what I have achieved here in South Africa. You’re the club’s captain, one of the few foreigners to achieve the feat in the local scene in South Africa. How huge is this responsibility for you? I must have to thank God for this! Being a leader of men comes with very huge opportunity and I must say that God put in me leadership qualities that have made it possible for me to discharge my duties very well. It has always been cordial relationships with my colleagues, officials and the club management. It’s not easy leading men in a foreign club but I have had the grace from God to carry everybody along and it’s working very well for me.

Paul Obiefule (left)

Nkono inspires Belgium-based Nigerian keeper

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S Eupen of Belgium Nigerian goalkeeper John Felagha has told National Mirror he’s banking on the goalkeeping tips he receives from former Cameroun World Cup goalkeeper Thomas Nkono to reach the pinnacle of his career. The 18-year-old keeper says Nkono, who’s currently a youth team coach at Espanyol, calls him few minutes before his league game for useful tips and words of encouragement. Felagha, who met the famous Cameroun keeper during the MIC U-19 championship in Spain, where he emerged best keeper, said Nkono has been a father figure for him since

he arrived from the Aspire Academy, Qatar. Felagha, who played only two league games in the Belgian second division season that ended last weekend, reckons that Nkono’s tips will be valuable when he starts playing regularly. The Bayelsa-born keeper, who could be heading for a new start in Spain in the summer, travelled to Spain to visit Nkono and will spend a few days with the former Cameroon keeper before he joins the Turkey U-20 World Cup-bound Flying Eagles team in Germany, where the team will train for dew weeks before they depart for Turkey.


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Borno records 311 deaths in 178,000 malaria cases INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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he Borno State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Salma Anas Kolo, has said that about 178,000 cases of malaria were recorded in 2012 of which 311 people infected with the disease were killed. Kolo said her ministry had trained over 1,215 healthcare providers/workers on treatment of the disease in the state. She described malaria as a deadly disease with complications ranging from ce-

rebral malaria. Other complications, according to her, are black water fever (anemia, jaundice and renal failure), hypoglycemia, respiratory distress, shock and coma. The commissioner said: “Untreated and inadequate treatment of malaria can lead to untimely deaths, particularly among children under the age of five because they are yet to develop protective immunity.” Dr. Kolo spoke at a press briefing marking the 2013 World Malaria Day celebra-

tion. The celebration was entitled: “Invest in the future: Defeat malaria”. She said that malaria is a life threatening disease caused by a parasite called plasmodium which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. She pointed out that to ensure sustained commitment for its prevention, the state government, in collaboration with donor agencies, had provided free modern Rapid Diagnostic Test (RTD) centers across the 27 council areas.

She added that another case of management being vigorously pursuit by the ministry are Intermittent Preventive Therapy (IPT) and Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) using Fansider in pregnant women. Kolo, therefore, advised the people of the state to always keep their surroundings clean, as according to her, dirt, refuse dump/ waste around the environment are responsible for breeding mosquitoes and other communicable diseases.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Why violence is recurring in Plateau –Lawmaker JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Baba Hassan, has explained why violence is always recorded in the state. He blamed the recurring violence on what he described as external influence. Hassan, who is representing Jos North-North in the House of Assembly, spoke yesterday when members of the Association of Northern Youths for the Advancement of Peace, Harmony and Development (ANYPAD) visited him in Jos, the state capital. The lawmaker, who was elected on the Labour Party (LP) platform, described those blaming the violence on Governor Jonah Jang as mischief makers. He said: “I know Governor Jang very well. He is a honest and straight forward man. He has been battling to ensure that lasting peace returns back to Plateau; although I am in a different political party I have nothing against him.

In fact, Jang made me deputy speaker in the midst of some opposition during my first term as a lawmaker. Besides, the governor has been so supportive to my personal and official life since he was elected. “I condemn the crisis that has been rocking Plateau State for a long time and call on aggrieved parties to dialogue and sheathe their swords. “We in Plateau are fed up of the crisis, we have been leaving in Plateau State for a long time and nobody can separate us. Plateau might have had its challenges, but I strongly believe it will soon regain its name as the Home of Peace and Tourism.” Urging the people of the state to cultivate mutual understanding among one another, Hon. Hassan urged Governor Jang to intensity efforts at developing the Muslim dominated area of Jos North. Speaking earlier, ANYPAD President, Mr. Melvin Ejeh, said the executive members of the association were in Jos as part of their peace advocacy tour on the Plateau.

WACOT initiates move to improve Nigeria’s cotton production DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE Chief of Kaltungo, Alhaji Saleh Mohammed, with traditional dancers on their way to Tungo Hills for a carnival organised by the Kaltungo chiefdom in Gombe State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

NAFDAC destroys N400m substandard products in Benue HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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ational Agency for Food and Drug A d m i n i s t r at i o n and Control (NAFDAC) Director- General, Dr. Paul Orhii, personally supervised the destruction of substandard foods and drugs worth over N400 mil-

JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he Chief Executive Officer of Global Photo and Accessories Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adejoh Yakubu, has sued the management of Ethiopian Airline over his missing luggage. Yakubu said he instituted a case of negligence against the airline at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja with a plea to the presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, to compel the defendant to

lion yesterday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. Orhii said that the products were seized across the North-Central and after thorough scrutiny, they were discovered to have expired and constitute health hazard to consumers. Describing drug faking as an act of economic sab-

otage and an act of terrorism against public health, the NAFDAC boss urged stakeholders, including religious and traditional rulers to join in the fight against the menace. He reiterated the commitment of the agency to tackle production of substandard drugs in the country.

Orhii said: “Our cutting edge technology deployed in the fight against counterfeiters is yielding tremendous result. We can boldly say that we are the first medicine regulatory authority in the world to deploy the use of TRUSCAN to identify counterfeit medicines on the field.”

Passenger sues airline over missing luggage

•Demands N9.7m damages produce the luggage or pay N9.7million damages. A statement of claims submitted before the court by his counsel, James Attah Adokwu esq, reads: “The plaintiff travelled on a business trip to China via Ethiopian Airline in May 2010 and boarded the airline back to Nigeria. “The plaintiff stated in his claims that upon his arrival in Abuja, his luggage was

missing and immediately complained to the airline. “I was told by the airline authority that the luggage may have been left in Chain and that the plaintiff should wait to pick the luggage the next day when the next flight will arrive. “After waiting for several days, the airline rather than providing the luggage, presented the plaintiff with form

for property irregularity report which he promptly filled and returned to the management. “Several days after, the airline gave the plaintiff baggage questionnaire/claim form which he also filled and returned.” In the statement of claims, the plaintiff is asking Ethiopian Airline to pay him N9.7 million for special and general damages as a result of the missing luggage.

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ollowing the steady decline in production capacity and poor Nigerian cotton product in the international market, the West Africa Cotton Development Company Limited (WACOT) has began an awareness and training of farmers on modern agronomic practices. The aim of the progaramme is to restore Nigeria’s fortune in area of cotton production. The training in Gombe of about cotton 900 farmers, according to the Project Leader Dr. Laxman Dhayal, started last year with a target of 15, 000 hectares of land cultivated, but realized an input of over 13, 000 hectares. He added that the future looks bright for improvement. Speaking at Lano village in Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area yesterday, Dhayal said the project is targeting 21,000 hectares of land this year and out of this number, Gombe will

have 3,250 hectares with 874 farmers already registered. Dhayal said under the programme, seeds and other inputs such as fertilizer and all types of chemicals would be distributed free to farmers. He said the project would cover Akko, Billiri, Kwami and Yamaltu Deba local government areas of Gombe State, adding that technical workers had been deployed in those areas to advise farmers. The project leader said: “The programme is important in this scientific world in order to improve on the quality and production capacity of cotton in Nigeria. “In the past, Nigeria produced the best cotton in Africa, but it is unfortunate now that Nigerian cotton is the worst in Africa. “The programme is aimed at bringing back the glory of cotton farming and production in Nigeria.” However, the Village Head of Lano, Musa Ibrahim, urged the farmers to learn the new farming techniques in order to improve cotton production.


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WORLD RECORD

Richest person (present day) Vol. 03 No. 613

Friday, May 3, 2013

N150

The richest person alive is Carlos Slim Helú (Mexico), with an estimated worth of $53.5 billion (£35.23 billion) to top the 2010 Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires.

Jonathan’s government and lost anti-graft battle

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ven before the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) masked itself with the proverbial basket and bluntly told President Goodluck Jonathan to his face last Wednesday (Workers’ Day) that his administration’s fight against corruption has been a mockery and a huge failure, the man who assisted the former Bayelsa State governor to emerge, first as Vice President under the late Umaru Yar’Adua’s government; and later as elected president in 2011, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; as well as the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi, among many other eminent Nigerians, had publicly sang the requiem and observed the obsequies of the purported war being waged by the Jonathan government against corruption. Perhaps, the unconditional state pardon which President Jonathan granted his former boss and brother, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, a man under whom the president served as Deputy Governor in

FRIDAY WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) Bayelsa State, but who ran away from the custody of the United Kingdom (some say without his shoes and clothes) after he was held in London for money laundering in September 2005, prompted the courage of organised labour to confront Jonathan on the obvious lip service the Federal Government, under his headship, is paying to the fight against corruption in the land. “…Corruption remains the most serious factor undermining the realisation of our economic potential. Government must not only make commitment to fighting it, government must demonstrate this commitment by its actions, by its style and by its body language… We find the pardon granted to a former governor who was convicted of corruptly enriching himself as unfortunate and a major dent on the government’s commitments to fighting corruption”, the NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, was quoted as saying at the May Day event chaired by Jonathan in Abuja last Wednesday. About eight days before Workers’ Day, however, Justice Akanbi had rightly captured the FG and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) celebration of corruption in a report this newspaper captioned as follows: ‘Indicted governors, ministers, others still power brokers’ (see National Mirror, April 24, 2013 page 12). “Many well meaning and responsible Nigerians have been crying foul at the turn of events and the apparent cover up of purveyors of corruption in recent times; and the lethargic manner corruption cases are being handled. Given the situation described above, more often than not, mediocre, incompetent and corrupt officials rather than resourceful, efficient and competent hands, find their way to positions of power and

J

WITH ALL CANDOUR, THEREFORE, THAT

THE NATION’S WAR ON GRAFT HAS NEVER FARED BETTER THAN THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM authority, which they use and manipulate to their own advantage and not to the benefit of society or for the public good. The end result is that the nation begins to drift and slide dangerously down the slippery road of economic ruination. In the process, there is the general desecration of societal and normative values, low level performance in both socio-economic and technological developments; and ultimately, a putrefying decadence, the stench of which often puts off or prevents other nations, with a record of transparency and probity, from wanting to interact or do business with a corrupt nation”, the former ICPC boss remarked. A little over two weeks earlier, at a book presentation in Lagos, where Obasanjo vigorously canvassed that non-performing leaders should be voted out of power, the ex-president voiced his suspicion of “an obnoxious solidarity among the ‘middle class’ that allows the manipulation of available democratic institutions against

Sport Extra

w uventus’ possible clinching of its 29th Scudetto title on Sunday could see Ghana international, Kwadwo Asamoah, crowned the first African to win the title with the club if the Old Lady draws or beat Palermo. It has been a rather easy path to glory for the Bianconeri this

IT MAY BE STATED

the enforcement of anti-corruption laws”. He said: “The poor enforcement of anticorruption laws in turn makes the citizenry less enthusiastic to act positively on any call by the government to (make) sacrifice(s)”. Corruption, according to him, remains the most serious factor undermining economic growth. He says African leaders know what to do, but that they have self-made constraints perpetuated by an elitist few in the political and bureaucratic class. “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”, Obasanjo stated, stressing that until this class is reformed; and democratic institutions that ensure free and fair elections, the rule of law, accountability and business friendly environment strengthened, no African nation (Nigeria inclusive) should be regarded as serious about growth and development. Not surprisingly, however, was President Jonathan’s response to NLC’s frank observation. He was quoted as saying: “Given that some of these perpetrators (of corrupt practices) are senior and junior members of labour unions, greater attention to peer review action on the part of labour will be much more appreciated.” Buck passing par excellence! Haunting and hounding the FG and the ruling party outside the dumbfounding state pardon they granted Alamieyeseigha, however, are the waves ex-governors, ministers and party chieftains docked for corrupt self-enrichment and money laundering are still making in the PDP (from Abia to the remotest state in the country) till date. Indeed, it does seem the reconciliation project of the ruling party is all about rehabilitating all such crooks. And as you are reading this piece, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is busy lobbying for ‘plea bargaining’ to be enshrined in the country’s Constitution, whereas plea bargaining, in the present Nigerian context, is nothing but an escape route for corrupt public office holders who should rot in jail. It may be stated with all candour, therefore, that the nation’s war on graft has never fared better than the campaign against the Boko Haram and terrorism. What remains puzzling, however, is why such agencies as the ICPC and EFCC are still in existence at public expense.

Asamoah nears Juventus history season, managing to record 25 wins, five draws and just four defeats and they stand just one point shy of successfully retaining their crown. Asamoah took to his official Twitter account to express his

excitement in edging closer to the title, following the team’s 2-0 victory over Torino last week. “Great win in derby today. Another step closer,” the talented Black Stars midfielder

wrote. Palermo had shocked Inter 1-0 last Sunday to boost confidence. Interestingly, former Ghana international, Stephen Appiah, won the title with Juventus in 2005 but it was subsequently revoked after the club was implicated in a match fixing scandal.

Kwadwo Asamoah

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Friday, May 3, 2013  

All the facts, all the sides