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Amaechi plans street protest against security breaches

Gunmen kill 4 teachers, 2 students, others in Borno

Jonathan’s wife begins political assault on gov

SAM OLUWALANA AND FELIX NWANERI xxxx

Vol. 3 N0. 647

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ivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi yesterday declared that his people would soon take to the streets to protest se-

curity breaches in the state. He also warned against the dangers of tyranny and impunity in the nation’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Arms seizure: FG withdraws charge against Lebanese P.12

Ihejirika

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Confusion in PDP over A Tukur’s refusal to quit

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OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

Metuh, other NWC members resign Stakeholders’ forum demands sack of executives

s the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, holds its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting today, there is confusion in the party over the refusal of the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to resign following the directives of President Goodluck Jonathan. The party’s National Working Committee, NWC, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Okonjo-Iweala

FAAC pays N156bn February arrears P.5

L-R: Chairman, Board of Trustees, Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Tony Anenih; Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, at the caucus meeting of the party in Abuja on Tuesday night.

Kuku

Anxiety as 10,000 amnesty beneficiaries return to creeks

P.11

Police declare ex-Lagos deputy gov wanted over N130m fraud Lawmaker suspended after fetish objects found in home

Undergraduate flushes baby down toilet

P.8 P.49


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Amaechi plans street protest against security breaches CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

polity. Amaechi said this yesterday when a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Tam David-West, paid him a solidarity visit at Government House, Port Harcourt. He accused the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, of being a mole of the Federal Government. The governor said that some Nigerians in the Diaspora and others outside the state had already agreed to join in the protest march. Amaechi stressed that the state had a serious challenge because issues discussed at the State Security Council meetings were leaked to the Federal Government, while kidnapping and armed robbery were on the rise. He noted that the agitation for state police was not supported due to the impression that the governors would mismanage it and therefore advised that the police should not be used against Nigerians. The governor said: “Prof., let me mention to you some of the challenges we are fac-

ing in Rivers State now. I will give you snippets of the letter I am trying to send to the President. “Somebody at the top changed our Commissioner of Police and brought a man that when we finish Security Council meetings, he goes to report who said what and we are unable to hold any Security Council meeting anymore because of that.” Amaechi said the letter to the President became necessary because of the issue. He also said insecurity is threatening to come back into Rivers with kidnapping and armed robbery now on the rise because some people have “hijacked the security of the state.” According to him, “the Commissioner of Police reports to them in Abuja directly. He doesn’t report to the governor; he has nothing to do with the government; he takes away security men from commissioners and posts security men to the Chairman of Port Harcourt Club. “Port Harcourt Club is a

social gathering, it is somewhere behind us here. So, we have that problem and we believe that we should begin to address it. Prof., if we need to march on the streets, we will call you to come and join us. We are preparing to march on the streets, if this anomaly continues. “There are other people

who have agreed to join us from outside Nigeria and from outside Rivers State but we want to give peace a chance to let the Federal Government know that we are tired of tyranny and impunity. “We want the Federal Government to remember that the reason for which it did not support state po-

lice is because they said the governors will mismanage state police, then the federal police should not be mismanaged against us because the federal police is an institution for all Nigerians. I don’t want to go into details because we are still hoping that they will see reason.” Amaechi also spoke on

the disputed chairmanship election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, admonishing those who put themselves forward for elections to be ready to accept the results. He said: “My friend and brother, the governor of Plateau State (Jonah Jang) CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Rivers State women at the opening of South-South Zonal Office of Women for Change and Development Initiative, a pet project of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in Port Harcourt yesterday.

Confusion in PDP over Tukur’s refusal to quit CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

members have also tendered their resignations, which takes effect from today. National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, briefing correspondents yesterday in Abuja, said that he had formally resigned his position effective today. He said that those affected by the INEC report which found irregularities in the way most of the executives came into office will also leave their offices. Metuh, however, said that Tukur was not affected by the INEC report and would remain in office. “The national chairman is not going to resign; he is not only in office but in power. There is no controversy about his election, he is not in court. “The INEC report did not say his election was flawed. He complied with the constitution of the party and the guidelines of the 2012 convention,” Metuh said. On his own situation, Metuh said: “I want to inform you that I am resigning as the national publicity secretary with effect from

Thursday, June 20, 2013. “This resignation is in the overall interest of the party and is being done to put a final stop to the controversies generated by the INEC report on the mode of my election as national publicity secretary. “I have served this party as a member of National Executive Committee for over 10 years and therefore my interest is to ensure that this party stabilises and progresses. I have written and submitted my letter; I am resigning with effect from Thursday, June 20, 2013.” Metuh, however, lauded President Jonathan, Tukur, state governors, members of the National Assembly, leaders of the party from the South-East and PDP elders that assisted him during his tenure. “I have noted that the PDP is the only party that can safeguard democracy in Nigeria. In whatever capacity I may find myself, I will always vote and support the PDP,” he said. Tukur had on Tuesday said that no amount of pressure would make him step down or resign as the chairman of the party.

The national chairman, who spoke shortly after members of the NWC of the party met with President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, said that there were some national officers of the party who were to resign because of some irregularities noticed in their coming into office. He added that he was not among the affected officers and, therefore, would stay in office as the leader of the party. On whether the President has actually asked him to resign from office, Tukur said: “I dey dam dam.” He explained that the meeting with the President was about regularising the family of PDP because of the observation by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that some members of the NWC were not properly elected so it has to be regularised. Officers of the party not affected are the National Chairman, the National Financial Secretary, National Auditor and National Secretary which position is yet to be filled. National officers of the

party who are expected to resign today alongside Metuh include Deputy National Chairman, Sam Sam Jaja; National Organising Secretary Abubakar Mustapha; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Okechukwu Nnadozie; Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Binta Goje and National Youth Leader, Garba Chiza. Others are Deputy Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge Niyi; Deputy National Auditor, Umar Ibrahim; National Women Leader, Kema Chikwe; Deputy National Women Leader, Hannatu Ulam; Deputy National Treasurer, Claudus Inengas and National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwom. However, confusion has trailed the refusal of Tukur to bow out as only three members of the NWC left out cannot form a quorum as stated by the PDP constitution to meet. Section 29 (4) of the party constitution states that “The quorum of the National Working Committee meeting shall be two-thirds of the membership drawn from at least two-thirds of the zones in the country and a simple majority shall

pass any motion.” To form a quorum, at least eight members of the NWC must be present at the meeting. Meanwhile, the PDP Stakeholder Forum has sent a petition to the PDP NEC ahead of today’s meeting asking for the sack of the NWC members and rejection of their resignations to serve as deterrent to other incoming officers to stop committing any illegalities. Speaking with journalists in Abuja, the spokesperson of the group, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere listed the grounds the NEC shall adopt in case Bamanga Tukur refuses to resign. They also rejected the alleged plans to set up an interim executive committee for PDP, which they described as illegal and listed the options available to the party in the case vacancies are created in the national office of the party today. PDP stalwart and Jonathan ally, Chief Edwin Clark, however, urged Tukur not to resign. In a statement issued yesterday, he said that “it is most disturbing that the party machinery is being

manipulated by disloyal party members in collaboration with the opposition for no valid just cause simply because they have nominated members into the NWC and are either been removed by court action or party disciplinary process. “It is therefore very unfair, unjustified for the constant harassment of the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamaga Tukur by those who believe that without them there is no PDP as a party using the media for negative publicity such as ‘no governor attended the chairman’s party’. The ugly truth is that today the PDP as a political party is no longer in control of its various organs. “Article 13:1 of the Party’s Constitution bestows on him such powers. That Article states that: ‘There shall be a National Chairman who shall be the Chief Executive of the party…’ The same Article goes on to list the functions of the Chairman from 13 :( a)-(h). According to him, “The obnoxious activities of the rabble rousers within the party amount to rebellion, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


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L-R: Scientific and External Affairs Manager, Nestle Plc, Mrs. Chioma Emma Nwachukwu; Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Dr. Samuel Adenekan; Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dharnesh Gordhon and Category Business Manager, Nutrition, Dr. Mazhar Qureshi, at the 2013 Nestle Creating Shared Value Media Workshop in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Resource Intermediaries Limited, Mr. Soji Oyawoye; Human Resorces Director, Flour Mills Limited, Ms. Mary Uriah and Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Plc, Seni Adetu, at the 2013 edition of the Outsourcing Expo in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Y’ello Care Coordinator, Felix Omojola; Director of Education, Education District 1, Agege, Mrs. Mary Akinwumi; Program Manager, SchoolNet, Peter Kanmi and Omojola Olufemi, Education Officer, Oshodi Junior Secondary School, at an e-learning seminar for teachers held at MTN Apapa Office, Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, CMC Connect, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya; Publisher, YES magazine, Mr. Arinze Azuh; Founder, Liberty Gospel Church, Lady Apostle Helen Ukpabio; the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin and guest speaker, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh, at the YES magazine 2nd Annual Lecture Series/Cocktail Party in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

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Bribery: Lawan’s application for stay of proceedings frivolous –ICPC E MMANUEL O NANI ABUJA

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he Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, yesterday, told a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, high court that the application brought by former Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Hon. Farouk Lawan and his Secretary, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, is “frivolous, vexatious and a design to stall trial of the accused persons.” Counsel to the ICPC, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, made this submission in response to an application by Lawan seeking to stay proceedings in their ongoing trial, pending the determination of an appeal before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal. In his argument in favour of the accused persons’ motion on notice for stay dated June 7, Mr. Rickey Tarfa, SAN,

contended that; “where stay of proceedings is not granted in the circumstances of this case, the right sought to be protected by the accused persons, may be rendered null and void.” He argued further that the pending appeal filed on June 6, raises a fundamental issue of the court’s jurisdiction and competence to hear and determine the seven-count charge of “conspiracy and corruption” preferred against the accused. Hence, the compelling need for the court to stay proceedings pending conclusion of appeal. It was further demonstrated, as basis for persuasion, the fact that, “the continuation of this case while the appeal is pending, will render the outcome of appeal nugatory should the Court of Appeal decide the appeal in the accused/applicants’ favour. “The continuation of proceedings in this suit while the appeal is pending is capable of over-

reaching whatever decision the Court of Appeal may reach in the final determination since the appeal is challenging the ruling of the trial court, holding that it has jurisdiction to hear and determine the charge,” accused argued. In the face of the foregoing, therefore, Lawan urged the court to allow the motion as according to them, “the counteraffidavit by the prosecution, does not controvert the special circumstance relied upon for the court to grant the application.” In opposition to the accused/applicants’ plea for stay, however, Awomolo observed that stay of proceedings was a very “grave, serious and fundamental” interruption of the right of the prosecution to prove the alleged criminal conduct of Lawan and Emenalo. Awomolo added that trial courts, in circumstances such as this, were enjoined not to “impose a stay of pro-

ceedings, unless the applicant has shown beyond reasonable doubt that the trial ought not to continue, particularly, it it’s an application based on an interlocutory appeal.” According to the prosecution, the instant application “has failed to show special and exceptional circumstances for a stay of proceedings,” adding that “it is the duty of the applicant to demonstrate this in the affidavit in support of the application.” More importantly, the ICPC maintained that; “There is nothing in support of the motion to suggest that the accused persons will suffer any prejudice if the application is refused,” more so that the “applicants are not in custody.” “Applicants have not shown that the res (subject matter) will be destroyed, if this application is refused; they have to show how the res will be adversely affected.” To this end, the court

was invited to dismiss the application and order accelerated hearing. Lawan and Emenalo, are being prosecuted by the ICPC for allegedly collecting $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. The offence is contrary to section 26 (1) (c) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable under section 8 (1) of the same Act.” Their earlier attempts - via a preliminary objection - to have the trial court quash the charge against them failed, as trial judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, held that the accused persons had a case to answer, against the backdrop of

the proof of evidence, which established a prima facie evidence against them, to warrant their being put to trial. On Lawan’s argument that the court lacked the jurisdiction to try him, Oniyangi said the court had the inherent jurisdiction to hear the suit even as he maintained, without equivocation, that section 185 of the ICPC Act, which the defence relied heavily on, did not require the prosecution to attach to proof of evidence, all witness’ statements. Oniyangi had held inter alia: “The position of Section 185, to me, is as clear as crystal. It does not suggest that written statements of all witnesses; it is proof of evidence. “I, therefore, hold that the requirement of section 185 is proof of evidence, not written statement of witnesses. The case is adjourned till July 10, for ruling on application to stay proceedings.


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Confusion in PDP over Tukur’s refusal to quit FAAC pays N156bn CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

sabotage and gross disrespect for the person and the office of the National Chairman. Example: disrespectful, rude and arrogant statement credited to the Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wammako against the person of the national chairman, which he has not denied, that indecorous report demeaning of the Office of the Governor. What a pity!” The elder statesman said that it must be emphasised that the party is supreme as contained in the constitution, but “unfortunately, the supremacy of the party in accordance

with the provisions of the constitution is no longer upheld.” According to Clark, “These enemies of ‘the party within the party’ would rather subvert the party provisions of supremacy for their own personal and group interest. They now forget that it was the same supremacy of power that brought them to where they are now. What a shame!” Meanwhile, strong indications have emerged that plans by some antiBamanga Tukur elements to use the report of the INEC to sack all the members of the NWC may meet

a brickwall after all. A group, Movement for Change and Empowerment in the Peoples Democratic Party (MCE – PDP), said any attempt to remove Tukur and others, no matter how well-meaning, will be subjudice and ultra vires. In a statement by its National Coordinator, Mr. Kola Dakova-Vaughan, the group cited a suit pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja in which Justice Adamu Bello ordered parties to maintain status quo. The PDP had filed the suit against INEC. The plaintiff specifi-

cally wants the court to determine whether, one year after the party’s last national convention was concluded, anyone could use INEC’s report on the convention, which complained about the procedure for election of some members of the party’s NWC, for any purpose. The party had urged the court to declare that the procedure of affirmation and voice vote used for unopposed candidates at the national convention was consonant with Section 223 of the Constitution and in substantial compliance with PDP guidelines for the convention.

L-R: Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, during Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday.

February arrears

...as tiers of govt share N620.656bn in May TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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fter over six days of feud over unpaid arrears which scuttled its meeting last Thursday, the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, yesterday paid the N156bn February 2013 outstanding arrears to the tiers of government. This is even as a total sum of N620.6bn was shared for the month of May among the tiers of government. The Committee also agreed to pay N92bn augmentation for May in July, consequent upon the clearing of the February huge liability. Briefing the media at the end of the meeting, Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, put the total revenues from minerals and non-minerals sources at N590.7bn, representing a shortfall of about N30.1bn from the budgeted collections for the month. According to the Minister, the total statutory distributions stood at N577.5bn; VAT N74.8bn; SURE-P N35.5bn and N7.6bn being refund from NNPC. From the statutory dis-

tributions, the Federal Government got N235.7bn or 52.68 per cent compared to states' N119.6bn or 26.72 per cent and local governments’ N92.1bn. In addition, the sum of N59.1bn was shared by the oil producing states based on the 13 per cent principle of derivation. From the VAT accruals, the Federal Government got N10.8bn representing 15 per cent while the 36 states N35.9bn or 50 per cent of the VAT distributions. The local governments shared the balance of N25.1bn, representing 35 per cent of the months’ collections. Ngama, however, said the challenges of production and lifting operations in the upstream sub-sector of the oil and gas sector experienced in the previous month persisted in the month under review. The Chairman of the States Finance Commissioners’ Forum, Timothy Odaah, confirmed that the meeting was peaceful, saying that fiscal realities within the economy requires that prudent management of resources at all levels of government has become more imperative in order to ensure growth.

Amaechi plans street protest against security breaches CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

convened a meeting of some governors. “To prove that we won the election (Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF) only 16 governors went and he has never held a meeting where they are more than 16 governors. We shall very soon call our own meeting because we have been trying hard to talk to them and talk to everybody for them to see reason why we need to be together and respect democracy. “Their non-acceptance of the will of the governors is undemocratic. They should not have put themselves forward for election because if you don’t accept results when you don’t win, then you are not democratic. Anybody who recognises my brother Jang (as NGF chairman) is also undemocratic because even that person may not accept any election result that does not favour him. Let the will of the people be ex-

pressed and let us respect the sanctity of their decision.” He commended DavidWest for standing on the side of the truth, saying: “Prof. let me thank you for this solidarity visit. This visit is very important to me because everyone knows that nobody can bring you to this Government House no matter the amount of money, not even if you bring out the entire Rivers State government budget, Prof. would not come. So, it is important that you have added your great voice to that of the numerous Rivers people and Nigerians who are supporting us for standing firm for democracy and for standing firm for the truth.” David-West had earlier in his speech, bemoaned the travails of Rivers State governor, describing him as a victim of injustice. He noted that Amaechi is going through difficult times

at the moment, but said he will prevail in the end. The former minister recalled that he started writing about Amaechi ever before he personally met him, stressing that his strong support for him is not for any personal gains. “We are going through very strange times in Nigeria, stranger still that 16 is now greater than 19 (referring to the NGF election). Our governor is going through very difficult times, fortunately, he has the stamina and the strength, the fortitude to bear it.” He also noted that Amaechi has outperformed previous governors of Rivers, saying anyone who disputes the governor’s performance in the state is blind. “I have followed the history of all governors from Diette-Spiff to Amaechi and I make bold to say without any apologies or regrets that no governor has focused himself to elevating Riv-

ers State and Port Harcourt than Governor Amaechi. “It was, I think in Buguma I said when the governor was visiting Buguma to campaign for election, they honoured me to speak and I said ‘anyone who says that Governor Amaechi has done nothing for Rivers State or Port Harcourt, is blinder than the bat,” David-West said. He pledged his unflinching support for the governor and appealed to him to always rely on God for his strength and urged the people of the state to support him and not to sit on the fence. Meanwhile, the First Lady’s visit to Rivers State has began to take the shape of a political campaign to weaken the popularity base of Amaechi and deploy the machinery to establish a strong political structure for President Goodluck Jonathan, come 2015. Dame Patience Jonathan, who relocated to Port Har-

court last week, has kickstarted efforts to draw support for her husband towards 2015 Presidential election, as she yesterday visited a prominent traditional ruler in the state capital, who is a known antagonist of the governor and the father of the suspended Chairman of Obior/Akpor Local Government Area, urging him to support her husband’s 2015 presidential bid. Mrs. Jonathan, in her usual character, stormed the palace of Eze Omunnakwe Nyeche Nsirim, the Nyewali of Rumeme Community in Port Harcourt, with a large entourage and urged the traditional ruler to use his influence to garner support for her husband, if and whenever he declares his intention to run for second term as president. She said: “I am here to thank you and appreciate the role you and my people of Rivers State played in voting for my husband in the 2011 presidential elec-

tion. Rivers people voted massively for my husband. I am your daughter and my husband is your son. I want you to support him when time comes. I know you will not disappoint us. We on our part will never forget you.” She also called on the people of the community, who thronged the palace, to support her husband while also enjoining them to maintain peace and harmony in the state and obey the laws of the land. In his speech, Eze Nsirim assured the First Lady of the support of Rivers people for her husband, come 2015. In a veiled reference to Governor Amaechi, the monarch condemned those he described as Northern apologists, accusing them of betraying their brother, President Jonathan by supporting a candidate of Northern extraction for the forthcoming 2015 elections.


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Diplomatic row: Again, FG grounds Kenyan plane O LUSEGUN KOIKI

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he ongoing diplomatic row between Nigeria and Kenya deepened yesterday with the grounding of another Kenyan airplane by the Federal Government. The grounded plane is

parked at the airside of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos. It was gathered that the plane, which is currently being guarded by security agents at the airport, had brought some deportees into the country late last week, but while the deportees

were received by the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, attached to the airport, the plane was not allowed to return to base. At press time, the details of the grounded airplane could not be ascertained as the Customs spokesman at the airport, one Mr. Adetula, directed our correspon-

dent to the NIS headquarters in Abuja. Adetula explained that the issue was being handled by the headquarters and refused to comment further. The Federal Government had, about two weeks ago, grounded an aircraft believed to belong to a Kenyan citizen for entering the country’s airspace

without valid particulars. The jet, it was gathered, did not file proper flight plan and had declared it to be a diplomatic jet only for the Nigerian authorities to discover that it was a private jet on a private mission into the country. It was also gathered that the jet had deported a Nigerian based in Kenya who allegedly had a mat-

rimonial crisis with his Kenyan wife. Investigation also showed that the jet had no registration number and was immediately grounded by the security operatives attached to the airport. The Federal Government sanctioned the jet, saying it must pay for the navigational services and other charges rendered.

‘2m children born with sickle cell in Nigeria yearly’ MARCUS FATUNMOLE AND SEYI ANJORIN

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ore than two million children are born with sickle cell in Nigeria annually. The National Secretary, Nigerians’ Forum on Haemoglobin Disorders in the United Kingdom, Dr. Baba Inusa, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, at an event to commemorate World Sickle Cell Day. He said: “In the country, we are aware that Nigeria probably has between two and three million people with sickle cell disease. “The reason we know this is that at birth, in a new born baby, if you have to look at new born population and you test them, you find out that two out of a hundred will have sickle cell disease. “In a year, about 100,000 babies are born with the disease; between 100,000 and 150,000. So, Nigeria has the largest number (in the world) by every imagination. But, that is an opportunity for us to do something about it.” Also at the event, the founder of the Nigerian Sickle Cell Disease Network, NSCD, who is Katsina State governor’s wife, Fatima Shema, called for increased public sensitisation in checking the spread of the disease. She also appealed to all tiers of government in the country to show greater commitment to drastically reduce the burden of the disease. In an address, the Chairman, Department of Paediatrics, Kuwait University, Prof. Adekunle Adekile, said: “It is estimated that 500,000 are born every year with this severe and invalidating condition and that 50 per cent of them will die before the age of five years. “While it is not limited to Africans, the disease is

indeed more of a legacy of the Black race, the mutation responsible for which has been sustained because individuals with sickle cell trait are protected against the scourge of malaria in early childhood. “Therefore, SCD is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and indeed, Nigeria has the greatest burden in the world because 19 of every 1,000 babies in the country are born with the disease while the trait is present in 25 to 30 per cent. “The disease, present in early infancy is chronic; the most common features being the recurrent severe generalised pain, anaemia and infections. “Some patents would later develop stroke, debilitating bone complications and other chronic organ failure syndromes.” According to him, the proven way to reduce the suffering and mortality from the disease is increasing awareness in the society, early diagnosis and dedicated, comprehensive medical care. Pre-marital and genetic counselling, he said, were necessary for better understanding of the disease and potential reduction of its incidence.

L-R: Former Governor of Osun State, Senator Isiaka Adeleke; former Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Alhaja Salmot Badru; PDP South-West Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Ishola Filani; former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose and the Chairman, PDP South-West Stakeholders Council, Senator Lekan Balogun, during the PDP South-West stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, on Tuesday.

Nigeria gets FAO award for reducing hunger –Minister ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, has given an award to Nigeria in recognition of the achievement recorded in reducing hunger and the progress made in ensuring food security. While presenting the award to President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday shortly before the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said FAO gave a

special recognition to Nigeria for reducing the number of people suffering from chronic hunger and for making notable progress in the area of food security for Nigerians. He said: “Mr. President, you are feeding Nigeria and the international community recognises your efforts and leadership in feeding Nigeria. “The Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, of the United Nations has just given a special recognition to Nigeria for the achievement in reducing the number of

Tax Appeal Tribunal resumes June 27 ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he Tax Appeal Tribunal, TAT, sitting in Abuja will on Thursday June 27 resume sitting after three months of suspension of session. The court Secretary, Mr. Aliyu Saka, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja. Saka said the resumption of the tribunal sitting was sequel to the approval of the reappointment of its members by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The secretary said the tribunal members were reappointed for second tenure of three years after the completion of their first term in February. He said: “The first tenure of the commissioners came to an end in February in accordance with the provision of Paragraph 4 of the Fifth Schedule to the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 which provides for a three-year term of office for commissioners. “Sequel to this development, the court will on Thursday June 27 resume sitting after three months of

suspension of session.” Saka explained that the tribunal would resume session with two cases of Oando Plc versus Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS; and British America Marketing Nigeria Limited against FIRS. He disclosed that the subsequent sitting would feature cases of Orchid Nigeria Limited with Nigerian Customs Service and FIRS. Other cases listed are Nirvana Oil Field Services and FIRS; Continental Re-Insurance and 43 others; and Milan Nigeria Limited against FIRS.

people suffering from chronic hunger and for making notable progress in guaranteeing food security for our citizens.” Adesina said it was an honour for him to receive the special recognition from FAO on behalf of the President. Explaining the rationale for the award, the minister said FAO recognised that number of Nigerians suffering from hunger reduced from 19.31 million in 1990 and 1992 to 13.38 million in 2010 to 2012. He said: “The prevalent of under-nourishment in our country declined from 19.3 per cent in 1990/1991 to 8.5 per cent by 2010/2012. “This is below the Millennium Development Goals, MDG, target of 9.7 per cent that was set for 2015, therefore Nigeria has been recognised for achieving the MDG on hunger two years ahead of schedule. “We are proud of this achievement Mr. President because of your passion and leadership in pushing for food security in the country.” While recounting the efforts of the present administration in ensuring food security, Adesina said Jona-

than launched the agricultural transformation agenda in 2011 with the goal of adding 20 million metric tons of food to domestic food supply. He said: “In the last two years, Nigeria has added nine million metric tons of food to our domestic food supply, 45 per cent of the target.” Adesina added that the achievement recorded with the dry season rice under was acknowledged and celebrated in Rome, Italy. He said the country was able to produce within two years 1.8 million metric tons of rice per day which was 55 per cent of the target set for achieving self-sufficiency for rice in the country by 2015. The minister disclosed that though a lot of success had been recorded in the area of food security, there were still more to do to get to the desired goal, noting that “as long as any Nigerian still goes to bed without food, the job is not complete”. He specifically commended the efforts of Ministry of Health in the “Save the one million lives” initiative aimed at tackling acute malnutrition through community-based management.


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FEC approves N420bn contract for development of Onne Port

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he Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved $2.8 billion (about N420 billion) contract for the development of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone in Port Harcourt through concession. Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council’s meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. Maku said that the contract specifically for the development of Phase 4B facilities at the port would be solely pre-funded by a private investor, Messrs Deep Offshore Services Nigeria Limited. He added that the contract, to be completed in six years, has a concession period of 25 years when the contractor is expected to recoup its investments. The minister said the approval for the contract followed a memo presented to the Council by the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar. He said the concept of the development of the facilities was to decongest the Lagos and Port Harcourt ports. The contract, according to Maku, will also entrench the Public-Private-Partnership

policy in the establishment and upgrading of public sector facilities. He noted that the project is expected to generate 4,000 job opportunities for both professionals during its execution and about 20,000 direct and indirect job opportunities when it is in full operation. “What is significant about this contract is that investors have shown remarkable interest in developing facilities in our country,” he said. Maku recalled that phase one to four of the port was also developed through the private sector. The minister said the Council had continued with the review of the report of the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Government Agencies and Commissions. The committee, headed by former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, had recommended the reduction of federal statutory agencies from 263 to 161. He said details of the review and recommendations by the Council would be made public after deliberations in subsequent meetings. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, also said that FEC had approved con-

tract for the supply of N706.9 million Hitachi Generator special tools to Jebba Hydro Electric Plc. The approved sum, according to the minister, is a counter-part funding needed by the Japanese Government to carry out total restoration of a unit at the Jebba power plant. Nebo explained that the Japanese Government had approved a grant of N3.9 billion for the rehabilitation of one of the six units at the Jebba plant. He, however, added that to release the grant, Nigeria is expected to release a counterpart-fund to be used for the procurement of special tools. The power minister said with the approval of the fund to procure the special tools, the grant from the Japanese government would now be released for the overhaul of the Jebba plant. “The availability of the special tools is a major prerequisite for commencement of site work of the main project. “The project will guaranty steady supply of another 96.4 megawatts on completion by September 2014 and this will further stimulate the national economy,” he said.

Oyo Assembly backs full autonomy for state lawmakers •Operation Burst unit inaugurated in Ogbomoso KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Oyo State House of Assembly has supported full autonomy for state lawmakers across the country. Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Monsurat Sunmonu, spoke yesterday in Ibadan while welcoming delegate of the Conference of Speakers that was on a sensitization visit to the South-West Houses of Assembly to seek members’ support for the proposed constitution amendment that will grant autonomy to the lawmakers. She said there is no alternative to the autonomy for the Houses of Assembly if truly the legislators are to impact positively on the electorate. The Speaker expressed delight that Governor Abiola Ajimobi is a frontline leader and enlightened politician who would support any decision capable of

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

moving the state forward. According to her, members of the Oyo State House of Assembly are ready to support autonomy for state lawmakers across the country. Sunmonu said: “It is the autonomy of the lawmakers that will enhance the needed development that the democracy is all out to achieve.” Her Ekiti State counterpart, Hon. Adewale Omirin, who is the Vice-Chairman of the Speakers’ Conference, said the sensitisation was an imperative to ensure an overwhelming support for the financial autonomy of the legislature. He said: “The independence of the legislature is superficial as there can be no true independence without financial autonomy; financial autonomy will impact positively on the lives of the people. “When the legislature is dependent on the executive,

it may not be able to enforce civil and political rights of the executive and demand performance from it.” Meanwhile, as part of Governor Ajimobi’s efforts to provide adequate security of lives and property in all parts of the state, a unit of the joint security outfit codenamed: “Operation Burst” has been inaugurated in Ogbomoso. Speaking at the inauguration at the Ogbomoso South Local Government headquarters, the Commander of the squad, Brig.Gen. Laz Ilo, described the initiative as a further demonstration of the government’s zero tolerance for crime and criminal activities. Ilo said: “Our officers and men were deployed to Ogbomoso to wage total war against crime and criminal activities.’’ He urged residents to cooperate with members of the squad by providing useful information to assist in tackling criminal activities.

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MURIC asks NASS to check Jonathan’s dictatorial attitude AISHA TITILAYO

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he Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reiterated its call on the National Assembly to check what it described as “executive totalitarianism” exhibited by President Jonathan’s administration. MURIC made the call in a statement signed by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, following some recent occurrences which the group believed were not just coincidences. The statement reads: “We are deeply disturbed by these ugly, avoidable and absolutely unnecessary developments. They are symptomatic of a jittery administration incapable of tolerating opposition, whether homegrown or in other parties.” According to MURIC, three governors recently suffered intimidation in the hands of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). The group said: “On April 26 June, 2013 a plane carry-

ing Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi and his entourage when returning from the burial ceremony of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, was grounded for about two hours at the Akure Airport for allegedly violating aviation procedures. “Also on June7, 2013, a chartered OAS helicopter ferrying Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomole and his aides from Government House in Benin to Awka State was recalled to Benin Airport. “As if that wasn’t enough, on June 12, 2013 a Donnier 328 aircraft carrying Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, and his aides from Abuja to Sokoto was diverted to Kaduna over an allegation of unruly behaviuor of the governor’s supporters who had come to welcome him at the airport. “Another of its kind is the use of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to harass the opposition, considering current trial of the Speaker

of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. “The subterfuges involved in the attempt to frustrate the registration of opposition parties have reversed the Nigerian state to a feeding-bottle democracy.” Describing the crisis that trailed the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) election as a national embarrassment, MURIC asked: “When did 16 votes become majority over 19? “What kind of mathematical equation is Aso Rock positing for Nigerian children learning simple Arithmetic in schools? What lesson does this teach students of Political Science in Nigerian universities? Why is it always happening to opposition or governors who have fallen out of the President’s favour?” The group, however, called on the international community to watch out for more abracadabras in the 2015 elections because an administration which accepts 16 as the winning vote over 19 cannot be trusted to deliver a free and fair election.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Police arrest 1, 340 suspected criminals FEMI OYEWESO

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gun State police command yesterday said it has arrested no fewer than 1, 340 suspected criminals for various offences ranging from armed robbery to kidnapping, ritual killing as well as rape, among others, between January and June this year. State Commissioner of Police, Ikhemefuna Okoye, who briefed journalists yesterday in his office over the achievement of

L-R: President of Links International, Mr. Niyi Dada; Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and Public Relations Officer, Houston African Community International, Mrs. Janet Olusola, at the presentation of an award of Rise and Shine African Outstanding Leadership in Houston, Texas in Osogbo, yesterday.

Lawmaker suspended after fetish objects found in home

N130m fraud: Police declare former deputy gov, son wanted O

HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

SEGUN A DIO AND FRANCIS SUBERU

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olice detectives attached to the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, have opened an investigation into an alleged fraud of N130 million perpetrated by the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, 67, and her son, Mr. Samson Ojikutu. They have, therefore been decleared wanted. According to SFU detectives, the suspects defrauded their victim under false representation. The former deputy governor and her son were alleged to have conspired and sold a parcel of land known as Plot 24, Block 4 situated at Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos for the sum of N130 million to their victim (name withheld). The victim, who sent his petition through the DIG ‘D’ Department to the Commissioner of Police, SFU, alleged that in September 2011, the suspects conspired and sold the said land to him and he paid the sum of N130 million into Alhaja Ojikutu’s account with the Union Bank in tranches. He further stated that after payment, he requested for the title document and Alhaja Ojikutu procured an affidavit of support to back her fraudulent claim. She equally got a po-

lice crime extract and a publication in the Vanguard newspaper of October 18, 2011, all purporting to evidence loss of the original documents of the land. The petitioner said he believed her because of her personality as the former deputy governor of Lagos State. However, trouble started when the complainant commenced the development on the land. He was at the verge of completing a building on the land when the bona fide owner of the land surfaced and indeed it was discovered that the land the suspect sold does not belong to her. Investigation also revealed that the land she showed to her victim was Plot 23, Block 4, belonging to one Mr. Afolabi; as Plot 24, Block 4, had already been sold and has a property on it. SFU detectives also discovered that the Plot 24, Block 4, which actually belonged to late Samson Adebisi Ojikutu Snr; the suspect’s husband who died in 2008, was sold by him in 1995 and the suspect was a witness and appended her signature to the sale of the land. The suspect further perpetrated the crime by alleging that the original C-of-O to the property was missing and swore to an affidavit which enabled her obtain a Police Report and Memoran-

dum of Loss. She also put up an advert in the newspaper that the original C-of-O is lost, whereas the original C-of-O is with the Hallmark Homes, the original buyer of the property. The former deputy governor, a retiree, allegedly connived with her son, one Samson Adebisi Ojikutu Jnr; who is currently in the United States to commit the fraud. According to a release signed by the image maker, Special Fraud Unit, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, the suspect and her son were parties to the sale of the land and both signed the agreement given to the complainant and obtained the sum of N130 million from him. Isintume-Agu said the former deputy governor admitted to the crime, but confessed that it was a genuine mistake of plot identification. “She refunded N50 million to the complainant and promised to refund the balance as soon as she disposed her two properties she put up for sale. She also confessed that she had injected the complainant’s money in her business. “She equally made an undertaking and payment plan which was drawn from September, 2012 and was to terminate by November 2012, but she defaulted due to lack of fund.” The release further states that; the police

have discovered that Alhaja Ojikutu is not willing to abide by the terms of repayment as she jumped police bail and has since been elusive. The release read: “The Nigeria Police, Special Fraud Unit hereby declares Alhaja Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu wanted. Anybody with useful information regarding her where about should report to the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, 13, Milverton Road, Ikoyi.” But, Alhaja Ojikutu, through her lawyer Adenrele Adegborioye, expressed surprise that the SFU could declare her wanted. In a statement in Lagos, Ojikutu said that she had always made herself available to the police anytime her attention was required. She said that the land in question belonged to her and her late husband, Mr. Sampson Adebisi Ojikutu, adding that the dispute over the property is civil and has no criminal dimensions. “It is therefore not something the Nigeria Police Force or anyone else is empowered to interfere with. “From the foregoing, it is clear that our Client, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu is not a criminal and has not committed any fraudulent act to warrant a damaging publication being made against her,” the statement said.

his command within the last six months, also said that 24 of the armed robbery suspects who engaged his men in gun duel were killed during the period. Okoye, who attributed the success recorded by his command to the collaborative efforts of members of the public in the state as well as the support of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration, also disclosed that 319 suspects have been charged to court, 364 prosecuted while 23 suspects had been convicted.

ndo State House of Assembly yesterday suspended a female lawmaker representing Ose Constituency in the state, Hon. Fola Olasehinde, for allegedly involving herself in the use of fetish objects. The indefinite suspension of Olasehinde was announced on the floor of the House by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Dare Emiola, after a parliamentary meeting alleging her of bringing embarrassment to the Assembly. The leadership of the House, however, set up a five-man committee headed by Hon. Fatal Olotu, to look into the allegation levied against the lawmaker and report back to the House within the next two weeks. The landlord of the lawmaker, Kolawole Ogunbadejo, had raised the alarm following alleged discovery of fetish objects in the apartment of the state House of Assembly member at No. 6, Olasehinde Lane, Ijapo Estate, Akure. The landlord listed the fetish objects allegedly found in the lawmaker’s apartment to include amu-

lets, snail shells, live snails, cow horns of different sizes wrapped in coloured cloth, miniature coffins, photo images of humans and animals, concoctions in black clay pots as well as bottles and cans containing all manners of liquids. Also some personal effects of the female lawmaker, including House of Assembly vehicle plate number, campaign posters and handbills were also found in the apartment. But the lawmaker denied any knowledge of such fetish items, saying she had moved all her belongings out of the building after securing a new accommodation at GRA, Alagbaka, Akure, in October, 2012. According to her, she gave the keys to her personal assistant for another co-tenant because the two duplexes share the same water system, adding that she expected the co-tenant to hand over the keys to the landlord. But the landlord said: “She happened to be from Idogun in Ose Local Government Area. She approached me asking for accommodation and I wanted to help, because I know members of her family.

Abati’s mother to be buried July 19

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he mother of the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Mrs. Maria Taiwo Abati, who died on Thursday, May 23, 2013, is to be buried in Abeokuta, Ogun State on July 19. A statement from Dr. Reuben Abati, yesterday said that the burial ceremony will kick off on Thursday, July 18, with

Service of Songs, which will hold by 1.00 pm at the Rev. Kuti Memorial Grammar School, Isabo, Abeokuta. The statement also said that the church service comes up on Friday, July 19, 2013, by 10.00 am at the St. John’s Anglican Church, Igbein, Abeokuta, while reception of guests will take place at the Bishop’s Court, Onikolobo, Abeokuta.


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South West

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Polytechnic guard, five others held for alleged rape ABIODUN NEJO ADO-EKITI

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guard and two students of a private polytechnic in AdoEkiti have been arrested by the police for allegedly raping a female student. Two other students who were part of the four-student group that allegedly gang-raped the girl on May 5 are on the run. The police spokesman, Mr. Victor Babayemi, told journalists while parading the suspects, 20-year-old Kunle Aralepo and 23-yearold Oluwaseun Akomolafe, that their two accomplices Kehinde Adeyemi and Ayo Olomola - were at large. Babayemi said the victim reported the incident to

the school authorities after which the Chief Security Officer (CSO) directed one of the guards, 28-year-old Mr. Seyi Adanbioye, to lead the girl to the police. According to him, the guard instead took the victim to his apartment where he also forcibly had canal knowledge of her. The police spokesman said the gang also dispossessed the girl of her mobile phone and N5, 000. Narrating her ordeal, the 18-year-old victim said the four-man gang broke her door to gain access to her apartment where they tied her up, tore her dress and raped her. Among the four-man gang, she said she recognised Ayo Olomola, who had, before that day, threatened to

forcibly have sex with her. She said: “The gangsters said they had come to do what I refused to allow Ayo Olomola, their leader, to do and they took turns to rape me. “After I had reported the matter, the CSO directed the security man to take me home, but on our way,

the security man said he received a call from the CSO directing him to take me to his (security man) place for safety purpose. It was at his house that night that he raped me again”. The police also paraded 22-year-old Tope Oluwasusi and 24-year-old Tope Baba-

lola for allegedly raping a female victim on her way home at Ilawe-Ekiti. The police spokesman said the victim was taken to hospital for examination and the test confirmed the allegation. The police also paraded the proprietor of an AdoEkiti-based private nursery

and primary school, Mr. Ibitoye Babatope, for allegedly raping an 11-year-old pupil in the bush. Babayemi, who decried the spate of rape and defilement of minors in the state in recent time, advised parents to have a closer watch on their wards.

Lagos moves to check maternal, child mortality rate •Partners faith-based organisations MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Government has promised to partner with faith-based organisations as part of the efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality rate. The said the decision would contribute to efforts aimed at checking irregularities and unsafe practices by some of the organisations, which handle health-related cases in their clinics. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, spoke yesterday while addressing journalists on the town hall meeting on maternal and child mortality reduction scheduled to hold at Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area today. Idris said the partnership would enable the government capture faith based organisations’ data and monitor their activities on maternal health, adding that government would also sensitise them on safe health practices and maternal and child mortality reduction measures. The commissioner said: “We are working with them and we have to intensify that relationship to enable us capture as much as possible people since our overall objectives is to reduce the maternal mortality rate. There is no doubt that some people patronise clinics of faith based organisations for their maternity health care.” Idris, however, said the

town hall meeting would afford the government the opportunity to get feedback on its efforts to provide good governance to the people, adding that other areas that require attention would also be made known at the meeting. Stressing the need to voluntarily donate blood, he reiterated that blood is essential commodities that is manufactured by the government, saying there is need for residents to collaborate with the state to ensure blood are always available to cater for the needy during emergency. The commissioner said: “There is no factory that manufactures blood. Blood is not something you can go and pick like drugs. Somebody has to donate it. So, what we are saying is that people who donate blood are very few in this country, but the demand is more than what is being donated.”

Gridlock at Ojota, Ikorodu Road, as a result of maintenance work being undertaken by the Federal Road Maintenance Management Agency at Maryland, Lagos. PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Appeal Court sacks Arigidi-Akoko monarch HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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he Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday ordered the Zaki of Arigidi-Akoko in Akoko North-West Local Government Area, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, to vacate the throne. The court also restrained Olanipekun from parading himself as the traditional ruler of the town, as it set aside its ruling on the approval by the state government on the dethroned monarch. The Appeal Court validated the ruling of the state High Court which held that the government’s approval of Olanipekun was done in

Stakeholders to brainstorm on maritime safety

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takeholders in maritime sector, under the aegis of Nigerian Hydrographic Society (NHS), are to collaborate to further ensure safe sail for vessels plying the waterways with a view to boost the nation’s economic prospect. The stakeholders are the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority. They are to brainstorm

at a seminar to mark the 2013 World Hydrography Day on June 21. In a statement issued by President, Hydrography Society of Nigeria, Rear Admiral, the seminar entitled: “Hydrography – Underpinning the Blue Economy,” seeks to recognise the importance of hydrography to the sum of all economic activity associated with the oceans, seas and Harbours, ports and coastal zones.

disobedience to its ruling. The judges, led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, with Justice Cordilia Jombo-Ofo and Justice Abubakar Gumel, said that the approval given to the selection of Olanipekun as the Zaki of Arigidi was done in error. Justice Gumel said the lower court had, on November 3, 2008, ordered the parties in the suit to stay further action on it, but the state government went ahead on November 5, 2008 to approve the selection. He said the injunction granted by the lower court did not affect the action taken by the kingmakers on October 28, 2008. The Zaki of Arigidi had

approached the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi of the state High Court which stopped him from parading himself as the monarch. The lower court suit, filed by two princes - Tunde Olanipekun and Alfred Oloruntola - against Salawu Olanipekun and Yisa Olanipekun - challenged the Zaki of Arigidi-Akoko Chieftaincy Declaration of 1989 on the selection and appointment of Olanipekun. The lower court, aside from holding that the state government was wrong to have approved the selection, also ordered Olanipekun to stop parading himself as a monarch.

The court, however, ordered that the substantive suit should be taken back to the state High Court and to be handled by another judge, but upheld the ruling of the lower court. Reacting to the judgement, Olanipekun promised to challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court. He said the court did not frown at his selection by the kingmakers, but the approval by the state government. Olanipekun said: “I am still the Zaki of Arigidi, I am still in the palace, we are heading to the Supreme Court. The town is peaceful and calm and Insha Allah, I remain the traditional ruler of the town, no shaking.”

NGO stages rally against child labour in Ogun FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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embers of a NonGovernmental Organisation, Child Protection Network (CPN), yesterday stormed Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, for a rally against the use of children as domestic servants. Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Labour, policemen, Nigeria Immigration Service officials, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Con-

gress (TUC), Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development officials and those of the Ministry of Education as well as other Civil Liberty groups participated in the rally, which took off from the popular Kuto Roundabout of the town at about 11:am. Addressing journalists, the National Programme Officer of ILO/International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO/IPECL), Agatha Kolawole, said the rally was aimed at commemorat-

ing this year’s World Day against child labour. Kolawole said the drive was an attempt by the international body to rid the country of all forms of child labour and afford less privileged children with qualitative education. He said: “We are talking about any activity or work that actually affects the education, health of a child and refuses the child from participating as a child, those are actually child labour. We are saying no to child labour”.


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South East

DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, has raised the alarm over huge number of children that have not been immunised. The agency said about 3.2 million children were not immunised in 2012. The NPHCDA Chief Medical Officer/Head Routine Immunisation, Dr. Mahmud

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

3.2m children not immunised in 1202 –Agency

Zubair, made the disclosure during a two-day Routine Immunisation Stakeholders’ meeting in Enugu. Zubair said the sad development was raising the risk of outbreak of the disease. He said about 250,000 of the children were in the South-East. Also speaking at the meeting, the South-East Zonal Coordinator of

NPHCDA, Dr. Ngozi Nwosu, expressed regrets that despite efforts of the Federal Government to improve routine immunisation services, routine immunisation coverage had not remarkably improved. Nwosu said NPHCDA was charged with the responsibility of supporting states and local governments in implementing

primary healthcare services to bring health to all the people, especially at the grassroots. According to her, to effectively carry out this function in the area of routine immunisation, the government, through NAHCDA, procures and distributes potent vaccines for infants and pregnant women to all states and local governments.

The coordinator disclosed that since last year, Nigeria had gone the extramile of introducing the new pentavalent vaccine to reduce the risk of infants and young children from dying from pneumonia and meningitis. She said: “Besides procuring vaccines, the Federal Government also provides and distributes cold chain

equipment including freezers of all types, fridges and other materials as well as training and retraining of staff on immunisation related issues. “Despite all these efforts, routine immunisation coverage has not remarkably improved. It has gone from high levels of 85 – 90 per cent in the 1990s to less than 51 per cent in 2012.

Car gifts to monarchs’ll enhance productivity –Obi OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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L-R: A lecturer at the Pan-Atlantic University, Dr. Austin Nweze; President, Ijaw Professionals, Mr. Denzil Kentebe and President, South-East/South-South Professionals, Mr. Emeka Ugwuoju, at a media interactive session in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

ICAN warns office holders against embezzlement ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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he Ebonyi State chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, yesterday warned governors and other elected office holders against misappropriation of funds. The institute also called for appropriate punishment for those inflating costs of contracts. The District Coordinator of ICAN, Mr. Solomon Adeleke, made the call while speaking with journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital, shortly after the inauguration of the Ex-

DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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nugu State Capital Development Authority, ECTDA, has pulled down a property located at Onoh quarters in Old GRA, Enugu, belonging to Dr. Josef Umunnakwe Onoh, son of former Governor of the old Anambra State, the late Chief C. C. Onoh. The Chairman/Commissioner for ECTDA, Mr. Iyke Ugwegede, said the building was pulled down because

ecutive Committee of the institute for the 2013/2014 session. He said: “The culture of financial impunity recorded in the award and execution of contracts in the country was because perpetrators were not punished by relevant authorities and this has led to the level of infrastructural decay and poor state of the country’s social sector, as the perpetrators operate freely in the land. “It is disturbing that the cost of executing contracts in the country is the multiple of what it costs in other countries.”

Adeleke disclosed that ICAN had been contributing in checking this trend by making its members accountable and prudent with public funds. He said: “We make them realise that they took an official oath to be truthful and transparent in their financial dealings with the government and the private sector, as we have provisions for the punishment of members who commit financial malpractices in order to protect the association’s integrity.” The coordinator, however, enjoined the new executive to be honest in its deal-

ings and carry its members along in its activities. Adeleke thanked ICAN members for electing the new executive and promised to steer the district to new heights. He said: “We appreciate the contributions of the past executive, as we will sustain the ideals in giving the district the desired repositioning for sustainable growth.” The coordinator, who is also the programme manager of the Ebonyi State Agricultural Development Programme, said the executive would partner with the state government to achieve its goals.

Enugu govt demolishes Onoh’s house the fence and security house were constructed on a public road. But Onoh, who is also the chairman of Karastan Nigeria Limited, refuted ECTDA’s claims, saying that he obtained all necessary documents before erecting the structure through due process. He displayed several documents to back up his claims. Onoh accused the commissioner of demolishing

his property because of business relationship that gone sour. He also displayed cheques of previous personal transactions between him and Ugwegede, saying that the demolition of his property by the commissioner was an abuse of office. Onoh called on Governor Sullivan Chime to immediately sack the commissioner to serve as deterrent for other public officers who

might want to abuse their positions. However, Ugwegde, who denied Onoh’s allegations, said the ECTDA was only an enforcement agency that executed the order of the Ministry of Lands which he said initially certified property but later withdrew the certification. The commissioner said his agency gave one month notice to Onoh as against the official one week notice.

overnor Peter Obi has said the presentation of cheques of N2.5 billion to all the secondary schools and a Sport Utility Vehicle, SUV, each to all the traditional rulers in Anambra State would enhance productivity. Obi also warned against unnecessary politicisation of the gifts to these institutions particularly as the over 600 vehicles from INNOSON Motor Manufacturing Company, Nnewi, for traditional rulers, schools and each town was also to encourage and promote made in Anambra goods. The governor said this while reacting to a statement credited to Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, questioning the rationale behind the recent presentation of cheques of N2.5 billion to all the secondary schools and an SUV each to all the tradi-

tional rulers in the state. In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja yesterday, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, attributed what he called the problem with Ubah to “learning wrong things from those he interacts with2 and for allowing his aides to speak unrestrainedly on issues that could be better handled. Obienyem expressed surprise that Ubah condemned the distribution of cheques to schools and the vehicles to traditional rulers to enhance their functions. While also reacting to Ubah’s position that Obi was forced to act because he (Ubah) had earlier given money to traditional rulers who attended his sister’s wedding, Obienyem said he was not ready to amuse anybody by bringing traditional rulers into disrepute.

Indian specialists bring ‘health farm’ to Anambra NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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en Indian medical specialists are expected to arrive Anambra State at the weekend for a five-week medical treatment. The experts would hold a programme tagged: “Health Farm Programme” in three hospitals - Iyi Enu Hospital, Ogidi near Onitsha; Regina Caeli Hospital, Awka and Anambra State University Teaching Hospital, Amaku also in Awka. The traditional ruler of Ifitedunu community in Dunukofia Local Government Area, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ilouno, who disclosed this while speaking with journalists yesterday in Onitsha, said the programme would start on June 23. Ilouno urged the people

of Anambra State and the neighbouring states to take advantage of the world-class health programme. The traditional ruler disclosed that the programme would be part of health investment visit by the 10 medical specialists, representing five renowned health facilities in India, which had been a major destination of international healthcare seekers from the country. He said: “So these three hospitals will play host to these Indian doctors, who will in conjunction with our own doctors perform surgical operations. They are coming in; we have specifically requested them to come in with some of their hi-tech medical equipment, which help them to do these wonderful surgeries we always hear about.


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South South

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Youths abduct, bury ex-Police Inspector alive

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Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi (right) and Prof. Tam David-West, during the latter visit to the governor at the Government House in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday night.

Anxiety as 10, 000 jobless amnesty beneficiaries return to creeks SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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resh tension is rising in the Niger Delta following the Federal Government’s failure to provide jobs for about 10,000 former militants so far trained by the presidential post-amnesty office. It was learnt that the unemployed amnesty beneficiaries are now roaming the streets and creeks of the region, months after their training. National Mirror learnt that some of the “frustrated former militants have returned to the creeks apparently to make ends meet in whatever way possible.” Some stakeholders feared that the former militants could return to their criminal antecedent in the creeks and along the waterways in order to earn a living. Investigations showed that the plight of the former

militants was worsened by the Federal Government’s failure to initiate measures to meaningfully engage them after their training. National Mirror gathered that a paltry 200 beneficiaries have so far been employed due principally to the effort of the Chairman of the Post-Amnesty Office and Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, who is said to be greatly worried by the development. The amnesty office has trained the former militants at various centres within and outside the country for various skill acquisition programmes and formal education. Specifically, they were trained to acquire skills in various sectors such as maritime, oil and gas, agriculture, engineering and other vocations designed to make them useful to themselves and the society. But stakeholders expressed worry over the

Federal Government’s failure to design post-training programmes for the former militants. Some of the former militants lamented their plight in an interview with National Mirror. One of them, Ebikabowei Brisbie, said their training came to nothing without conscious efforts by the Federal Government to guarantee employment for them after their training. Brisbie said the government might not be able to realise its vision of returning the Niger Delta on the path of peace and sustainable development in view of the number of the former militants roaming the creeks. Another beneficiary of the amnesty, Peter Bubor, pleaded with the Federal Government to fashion out measures to guarantee employment of them. But despite the fact that it was not the responsibility

of his office to create jobs for the amnesty beneficiaries, Kuku said he had worked out strategies to address their plight under the postamnesty scheme. The presidential adviser, who said he was bothered by the development, had directed all trainers of the amnesty office to henceforth ensure that 30 per cent of their trainees are engaged by all means as a condition for further patronage. To secure jobs for the remaining 70 per cent, Kuku said four post training units, including maritime, oil and gas and basic skills had been created in the amnesty office to achieve the objective. Kuku, who spoke through the Head, Media and Communication of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Dan Alabrah, said he was worried that the trainees were abandoned by the trainers after the exercise, only to be lobbying for the award of fresh training contracts.

Downpour submerges houses, farmlands in A’Ibom TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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any houses and farmlands were submerged yesterday following a downpour in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. According to residents of the oil bearing community, the heavy rain lasted for over seven hours with attendant flooding which surged from the Atlantic Ocean and rendered many of them homeless. Confirming the incident, the Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Area, Mr. Henry Ekpe Nko, sympathised with the victims and urged

•Akpabio reshuffles cabinet

them to remain calm as he promised to contact relevant agencies on erosion control for relief materials. Mr. Ekpo Nko, who inspected the worst hit areas, appealed to the Federal and State governments to come to the aid of the victims. Leader of the state House of Assembly and member representing Ibeno and Esit Eket Constituency, Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, cut short an official assignment in Abuja to sympathised with the victims. Etteh assured them of quick government interven-

tion to check the flood menace. Lamenting the devastation done on people’s property by the flood, the council chairman appealed for immediate intervention from both the state and federal government agencies for the victims. Meanwhile, Governor Godswill Akpabio has reshuffled his cabinet which saw some commissioners and special advisers swapping position while three were sacked. In a circular issued by the Office of the Secretary

to the State Government, Umana Okon Umana, new commissioners are Mr. Iboro Ekanem, Ministry of Science and Technology; Dr. Glory Emmanuel Edet takes charge of Women Affairs; Prof. Atim Bassey Antai is the Commissioner for Education; Dr. EmemAbasi Bassey is in charge of Health, while Akparawa Godwin NtukUdeh is the Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Affairs. Some commissioners who retained their portfolios are Ekpenyong Ntekim, Justice; Mr. Don Etim, Works; Hon. Eno Akpan, Lands and

n 82-year-old former Police Inspector, Pa Samuel Ekhoruyimen, who was reported to have been abducted by some youths in Ewudu village in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, has been buried alive in an evil forest by his abductors. Ekhoruyimwen, the Odionwere (head) of Oghobaghase village near Ewudu, was said to have been invited to preside over the settlement meeting of a land dispute in his domain when he was allegedly waylaid and abducted by unknown youths. Following the octogenarian’s abduction on May 10, 2013, his children reported the incident to the police. The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (A.I.G) Zone 5, Alhaji Hashimu Argungun, told

journalists yesterday evening in Benin that intelligence reports blew the lid on the victim’s whereabouts. The police team’s breakthrough came after the arrest of a principal suspect, Mr. Osamudiamwen Uwaila. Speaking through the Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of Administration, Mr. Dave Akinremi, the police boss said the confessional statement of the prime suspect led to the arrest of seven others, including the Chief Priest of the Ovia deity in Ewudu, Pa Stephen Oviawe, aged 78. The police boss said among those arrested in connection with the incident were two village heads and two youths. Argungun, however, said effort to recover the victim’s body had been intensified.

Appeal Court upholds ruling convicting motorist for killing CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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n Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has upheld a ruling of a state High Court that sentenced a commercial motorist to death for killing a Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Special Marshal. The state High Court had, on July15, 1999, sentenced Mr. Emeka Mbachu to death for killing Clifford Azubuike, a FRSC Special Marshal, while on patrol duties on

Town Planning; Mr. Aniekan Umanah, Information and Communications; Mr. Enobong Uwah, Environment and Mineral Resources; Albert Akpan, Finance; Martins Udoinyang, Commerce and Industry; Godwin Afangideh, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Mr. Sunny Anyang, Economic Development. Those redeployed are Emmanuel Enoidem, who was moved to Special Duties; Bassey Dan Abia moved to Housing and Urban Renewal; Mr. Austin Udo Mbeh, Transport; Effiong Abia, Rural Development; Adasi Ubulom, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Ita Umoh Udo is in-charge of Culture and Tourism.

November 3, 1995 at about 6.45 pm at the 1st Artillery Junction along AbaPort Harcourt Highway. In his lead judgement, Justice E. Eko dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant against his earlier conviction by the lower court. According to a statement signed by the FRSC Public Education Officer, Jonas Agwu, Justice Eko held: “On the whole, there is no substance in the appeal. In my candid view, the appeal deserves to be, and it is hereby dismissed in its entirety. The conviction and sentence of the appellant in the charge No.PHC/3C/96 for murder punishable with death on 15th July, 1999 are hereby affirmed.” It will be recalled that a criminal proceeding proffering charge of murder against the bus driver was instituted at the Rivers State High Court. After the prosecution, the trial court on July 15, 1999, evaluated the evidence of the prosecution and sentenced the bus driver to death. The motorist appealed against the ruling at the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, but the appellate court upheld the lower court judgement.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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One feared dead in fresh Ganmo clash WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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People living with sickle cell during the World Sickle Cell Day celebration in Kaduna, yesterday.

Gunmen kill four teachers, two students, others in Borno OMEIZA AJAYI AND INUSA NDAHI

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gain, gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram yesterday killed four teachers and two students in Borno State. The terrorists reportedly stormed a private school, Innovative Secondary School, in the Customs area of Maiduguri, and killed four teachers and two students. Another set of suspected terrorists was also said to have laid siege to a farm on Maiduguri - Mafa - Dikwa Road and killed two farmers, including the owner of the Mango and Guava gardens. It was gathered that the gunmen, numbering about four, entered the school premises about noon where they met a female teacher who had gone to the school to invigilate the ongoing NECO examinations. The female invigilator was lucky. After begging the gunmen not to take her life, they seized her handbag and the question papers and or-

JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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bout 14 soldiers attached to the Special Task Force, STF, are currently facing a court martial for various offences at the 3rd Armoured Division in Jos, Plateau State. The development has created fear among the

PHOTO: NAN

•Terrorists trying to gain attention –DHQ dered her to leave the school premises. Thereafter, they approached the four teachers who were sitting under a tree and opened fire on them, killing them on the spot. “The rate of the killings of innocent people is becoming a source of concern to the people. It is unfortunate that students, teachers and poor farmers have now become targets of terrorists,” a source said. A top security official, who is not authorised to speak to the press, said dozens of terrorists living in the Sambisa Game Reserve fled to Mandara mountains and other hilly areas of Gwoza Local Government, bordering Cameroon among other desert areas of the state. He said: “Some of the terrorists who fled from their camps in Sambisa have regrouped, launching attacks in Maiduguri and other areas, particularly the recent attack on schools in Yobe and Borno states.

“I am sure that the security agencies are aware and we will take decisive measures to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists in the state.” The Joint Task Force, JTF, spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, and the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin, could not be reached for confirmation as at press time because of lack of telecommunication services in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last one month. In Abuja, the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, yesterday said the recent upsurge in activities of terrorists in Borno and Yobe states was part of the last minute efforts to gain more attention. It, however, said its Special Forces were winning the war on terror. In a statement issued last night by the Defence spokesman, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, the DHQ acknowledged a number of attacks and killing of innocent citizens ostensibly

carried out by terrorists in Yobe and Borno states in the last couple of days. It, however, expressed delight that eight people have been arrested in connection with weekend mayhem in Borno State. It said although the isolated incidents were undertaken by fleeing terrorists, the development was unfortunate and condemnable. “Nevertheless, the public is hereby reassured that these incidences are by no means indicative of a relapse in the counter-insurgency operation aimed at curbing terrorists’ activities in the country,” Olukolade said. Meanwhile, military authorities have banned the use of Thuraya satellite phones in Borno State, which it said was designed to stop militants from communicating. Mobile phones network was cut off in the state as well as Yobe and Adamawa where emergency was declared on May 14.

14 STF soldiers face court martial rank and file of the STF, many of who are said to have committed various offences in the course of discharging their responsibilities. A top Military Officer from the division told our correspondent that those being tried included two Colonels, a Master Warrant

Officer, seven Lance Corporals and four Privates. It was also gathered that the 3 Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Rukuba Barracks, Jos, is to set up another court martial to try some senior and junior military officers involved in some misdemeanours.

A statement signed by Lt. Nureni Alimi on behalf of the Directorate of Army Public Relations, and made available to journalists in Jos yesterday confirmed the development. The statement said that the court martial would be inaugurated on Monday.

resh communal fighting over chieftaincy matters which broke out yesterday in Ganmo, on the outskirts of Ilorin, Kwara State, has forced the police to take over the town. An unconfirmed report said one person died in the latest clash over the rightful occupant of the traditional stool of the community sharply divided between indigenes who claimed they belonged to either Ilorin in the central or the Igbomina stock in the southern part of the state. However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Olufemi Fabode, who confirmed the fresh clash, denied reports of casualties. Fabode said he was still awaiting the official report from the Divisional Police Office covering the area. Yesterday’s clash broke out despite repeated warnings by the government that the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on anyone or group who violated the ongoing peace process in the community.

It was gathered that the clash started when some people allegedly tried to stop those working on the reconstruction of their buildings which were earlier damaged during another wild clash over the same issue. “They tried to stop those who have been engaged to repair the buildings which were burnt during that time. That was why those people too went out to a higher institution in the state to mobilise support. That was what happened,” a source said. The source added that those who led the attack had claimed that nothing ought to be done on the buildings until the legal actions over the dispute had been settled. But Fabode said the prompt intervention of the police had prevented the crisis from blowing out of proportion. He said the two sections of the community were firmly under police protection. The spokesman, however, said no arrest had been made in connection with the latest clash.

Arms discovery: FG withdraws charge against Lebanese EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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he Federal Government has withdrawn the charge against some Lebanese found to have illegally brought into the country a cache of arms. The State Security Service, SSS, had charged Abdallah Thaini, Mustapha Fawaz and Talal Roda, before a Karu Chief Magistrates’ Court in Abuja, for criminal conspiracy and unlawful importation of prohibited firearms. However, at the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, counsel to the SSS, Clifford Osagie, informed the court of the prosecution’s desire to withdraw the charge against the suspects. Osagie predicated the withdrawal on the grounds that the facts contained in the First Information Report, FIR, robbed the court of the needed jurisdiction to entertain same. In the application for withdrawal, the SSS said: “The accused persons were remanded based on the charge in the FIR but investigation has progressed extensively and facts that

appear in the course of investigation are clearly related to offences which are outside the jurisdiction of this court. “The case file has been forwarded to the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation for further action on the matter.” Responding to the motion, the defence counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), said he was not objecting to the move. He said: “As rightly submitted by the prosecuting counsel, offences linked on the FIR border on terrorism, which are beyond the scope of this court. Based on this, we filed a preliminary objection on the 17th of June to challenge the court’s jurisdiction.” Consequent upon this, presiding magistrate, Chief Magistrate Yemi Oyeyipo, struck out the charge and accordingly, discharged the accused. He said: “Having listened to the oral application of the prosecuting counsel and the submission of the defence counsel, I hereby grant as prayed that the charge filed on the basis of First Information Report, FIR, on June 5, 2013 is hereby struck out.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

INEC: Halting the campaign trend ahead 2015

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Politics PDP needs spiritual cleansing –Anisulowo

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You were wrong on Tinubu, ACN tells Presidency FELIX NWANERI

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he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has challenged the Presidency to prove to Nigerians that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led Federal Government in

the past 14 years is not responsible for the nation’s economic and political problems. The party threw the challenge while responding to what it described as “the Presidency’s hysterical reaction” to the recent speech by its National Leader, Asi-

Without peace, there can’t be progress –Senators OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Paulinus Nwagu and his Telecommunication counterpart, Senator Gilbert Nnaji has declared that there would be no progress in the country without peace, adding that the Senate, in collaboration with the Presidency, is committed to ensuring peace in the country. Senators Nwagu and Nnaji said this at a rally at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos at the weekend organised by a non-governmental organisation, the Foundation for World Peace. The rally has as its theme ‘Global War Against Terrorism.’ Nwagu called on every Nigerian to protect the country from any threat and challenged local government chairmen and traditional rulers to ensure that peace is maintained in their respective domains. Nnaji noted that terrorism, violence and conflicts have continued to generate global concern, adding that Nigeria has had a sizable

share of mostly ethnic and religious disturbances that claimed numerous lives, but concluded that the country has adopted all manner of pragmatic approaches to deal with the situation. The senators called on participants at the rally to rise against every form of imposition of anti-people religious beliefs, noting that the two most popular religions in the country, Christianity and Islam, do not support violence. Founder of the FWP, Archbishop Samson Mustapha Benjamin, said that within a united Nigeria, every man, as a free moral agent, has the right to decide which religion he wants to belong to, and which God to worship. Archbishop Benjamin, who has been very outspoken in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, called on Nigerians to stand up for peace. Lamenting the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group, the cleric noted that the rally/international peace initiative was put together by the foundation to send a message to perpetrators of evil, that there are Nigerians who won’t be intimidated.

waju Bola Tinubu at the British African Diaspora Conference in London. In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN said instead of reading the speech objectively, the Presidency pressed the panic button by sending its self-confessed “attack dog” to criticise a report it had barely read and denigrate the party and its leader. “The Presidency went after the messenger rather than the message, rehash-

ing its old and stale clichés about the ACN and its leader for daring to carry out an objective analysis of the state of our economy as well as the state of the nation and also suggesting the way forward,” the party said. The ACN said the Presidency should rather tell Nigerians whether indeed the poverty level in the country has reduced since 1999 when the PDP assumed power at the centre, as well as how much unemployment has been tamed and how far the socio-economic

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elf-deter mination groups in the SouthWest, under the aegis of the Oodua Nationalist Coalition, ONAC, have urged Yoruba leaders to sponsor a presidential candidate that will campaign on the restructuring of Nigeria in 2015 so as to halt

the sustenance of the country’s “murderous unitary structure.” ONAC suggested pro-democracy hero, General Alani Akinrinade (rtd) as one of the best candidates that the Yoruba can present for the 2015 presidential race. The group, in a statement made available to National Mirror, said winning the 2015 election

poor and rich widens. There is grinding poverty and people have to work twice as hard each day to make ends meet. There is massive unemployment. Of what use is any leadership that does little to solve these problems?” The party also challenged the Presidency to deny that it has not twisted the concept of democracy, given its antics in the recently-conducted election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, advising that public discourse should be about issues and not personalities.

L-R: Co-Chairmen of merger parties, Alhaji Garba Gandi of CPC; Chief Tomi Ikimi of ACN; Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP and Senator Sani Yerima, at the press conference marking the end of Merger Committee’s work in Abuja, yesterday.

INEC begins sensitisation on 2015 elections KUNLE A ZEEZ

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head of the 2015 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission has put together a sensitisation tour of all local government areas of Lagos State.

According to a statement by the Head of Public Affairs and Protocol of the Lagos Office of INEC, Mr. Akinbiyi Olufemi, the tour, which begins with a visit to Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Apapa local government areas next Tuesday next week, will have the state Resident Electoral Commissioner

2015: Group urges Yoruba to produce presidential candidate OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

inequality has been curbed. “This is how to counter any perceived incorrect assertion by any critic, instead of engaging in name calling,” it said, adding that “the assertion by Asiwaju in his speech tallies with our earlier statement that what we are experiencing in Nigeria, under the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency, which has been reeling out highfalutin economic statistics, is growth without development, which is useless.” It further said: “As Asiwaju said, the gap between

should be secondary while the restructuring of the country should be the most important agenda of the South-West people. It said: “Elections are short term solutions while restructuring of the country offers an enduring solution to the contradictions of Nigeria, a country that continues to stifle the populace.”

The statement, signed by ONAC’s Assistant Publicity Secretary, Mr Ayoola Ajayi, added that the current alliances of political forces in Yorubaland will be meaningful only if it will halt the continuation of “Nigeria’s garrison” structure, and not to substitute one iron hand with another iron hand in silk clothing.

(REC), Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, meet with traditional rulers, leaders of all registered political parties, representative of market traders, as well as religious leaders. The Lagos REC said the tour would provide INEC with the opportunity to intimate stakeholders of plans by it on the delimitation of constituencies and the roles expected of the stakeholders. Ogunmola said that the tour is expected to interface with all the security agencies, community leaders, council members and their leadership, and the media during the sensitisation tour. “INEC in Lagos State holds firmly just as its national office does belief that transparency and cross fertilisation of ideas

will translate to a successful 2015 general elections which will not only be free, fair and acceptable, but will be the least contested at the election tribunals,” he said. Ogunmola said it was the belief of INEC that “a free, fair and transparent election will engender violence free election and thus make election result both believable and acceptable and the resort to litigation becomes unnecessary.” The statement said prior to the commencement of the tour, Ogunmola had met with members of InterAgency Consultative Committee on election security, where he briefed them on the commission’s future plans and activities and the need to beef up security ahead of all these activities.


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PDP needs spiritual cleansing –Anisulowo Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, a former Minister of Education and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, believes that there is injustice in her former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this encounter with SINA FADARE, she bares her mind on the leadership crisis among the governors, insecurity and ban on political campaigns. Excerpts: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to arrest politicians campaigning for 2015 as a result of breach of the Electoral Act. What is your take on the threat? If that is what the Electoral Act stipulates, that is okay. Maybe, Prof. Attahiru Jega has to remind politicians this clause because of recent happenings in the political space when some politicians are heating up the polity because of their utterances during public activities and programmes. However, it is not a bad idea to defer political campaign till three months to election time. In England, that is how it is done; you are not going to spend all the years campaigning for elections that are as far as 2015. Aside this, it is equally expensive to start campaigning for 2015 elections now. The England example is a food for thought for us to emulate. They invested in hand bills and when the election is nearer like three months, they make use of the media particularly the social media. By so doing the political tension will be drastically reduced. But some people are saying it is a subtle infringement on the fundamental rights of Nigerians. Do you share this view? If that clause is in the Electoral Act, there is nothing wrong about it. After all, it does not stop underground meetings and other programmes that have political colouration. But if the law is against what is in the constitution, then it may not work. Again maybe what INEC is saying is that there should not be campaign trains that will be moving from one place to the other. In my own opinion, Jega is just trying to minimise the political tension in order to avoid what usually follows such actions. Any law that is in the opposition to the constitution can be contested in the law court. Let the judiciary brace up and face the challenges once and for all. If they look at it and see any violation of the constitution, let them make a pronouncement and let the case be put behind us. To me, three months is not too short; if the parties are in places and the candidates are chosen democratically by various parties involved, they can all go to the field for three months to tell Nigerians what they have in stock in form of programmes for us. Let us be sincere with ourselves, if primaries of the parties are done as at when due it will flourish internal democracy, then all can go to the field within three months to do the final leg before the election proper. How would you describe the crisis rocking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, over the election of its chairman? The action of the governors showed

Anisulowo

clearly what is in operation in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. You can imagine if only 36 people conducted election and there was such a controversy, guess what will happen when the fortune and the future elections of the country are put in the hands of the so-called leaders? It is not only unfortunate but very shameful. God has a way of getting certain things done. Let the PDP continue to wallow in the murky water of Nigeria politics. It is not only good for the overall political assessment but a clear warning that Nigerians should watch the type of people they gave their votes to. The only thing is that it is a shame that those who are leading us at this time around could descend so low to that level. It is too bad that if at that level, verdict of election cannot be abided with, it shows how desperate the so-called PDP members are. It shows the level of degradation that the country has been turned into, simply because some people are not comfortable with a simple majority vote. That shows that those who are ruling us did not have any modicum of respect for the citizens, talk less of their feelings and aspirations. It is a food for thought and a warning that when next Nigerians are going to the polls, they should not only open their eyes, but make sure they know the type of people they voted into public office. At a time like this, we need people who have the wisdom of God to rule us. Not those people who are propelled because of their selfish interest and will not mind going to any length to achieve this. That is why I say that the PDP as a party needs deliverance before they plunge the country into crisis. The party needs spiritual cleansing because of all the atrocities, injustice and wrong doings they have committed. Have you wondered that despite all the given resources that God gave this country yet the situation on ground is nothing to write home about? The simple truth is that wrong people suddenly found themselves in the position of authority and instead of harnessing the resources in order to meet the needs of all; it is only the few people that have the privilege and opportunity that are squandering our collective wealth with impunity.

THE PDP AS A PARTY NEEDS DELIVERANCE BEFORE THEY PLUNGE THE COUNTRY INTO CRISIS. THE PARTY NEEDS SPIRITUAL CLEANSING BECAUSE OF ALL THE ATROCITIES,

INJUSTICE AND WRONG DOINGS THEY HAVE COMMITTED Don’t you think the suspension of some PDP governors will heat up the polity? Some of the cabal in PDP do not care about what their actions or inactions can do on the psyche of Nigerians. Even those who do not commit any offence are suspended due to the political ambition of some people. There is nothing the PDP cannot do; that is why I say that the party as a whole needs a lot of deliverance. How best do you think the issue of insecurity in the country can be addressed? What we have today is a consequence of poor leadership. When I was in the Senate, this issue of security took the centre stage because we envisaged then that if something urgent was not done, it may even lead to revolution. Our borders are very porous. Anybody can come in and sneak out and that is why we did not even know when terrorists infiltrated the neighbouring border towns and before you could wink, it has become uncontrollable. There was a time robbers came from the Republic of Benin, robbed, maimed and disappeared. Majority of this so-called Boko Haram are not from Nigeria. What is the way out? The first thing we have to do is to police our borders effectively. We have people who can do this on 24 hours basis, especially areas where we cannot completely barricade, to give room for proper identifications. With all the wealth of this nation, there is nothing

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stopping us from using powerful cameras to police and monitor our borders. This is an era of high tech all over the world; we cannot afford to be left behind. All the resources that our leaders are spending on irrelevances could be channelled towards this type of project. No matter how good and brilliant your ideas in this country are, if you are not in the centre of activity, it will just become a mere dream. That is why if you have people with vision, passion to serve, dedication and with the fear of God, things will move on as expected. Today, virtually all the social institutions have collapsed. The most painful one is electricity; that is a pivot of economic development. We should go back to the drawing board and reactivate our technical colleges, polytechnics and universities to meet our needs and the challenges we are facing in the area of shortage of artisans and technicians. This will go a long way not only to engage some of the youths who cannot go into full academics. What is your assessment of Nigerian democracy at 14? Though the journey was rough, the joy of it is that our democracy is taking shape. There are a lot of rooms for development. Political parties in Nigeria in general have the problem of internal democracy. If the system could be allowed in such a way that the people’s vote counts, then with time, things will work better. Nigerians now know who their leaders are and those deceiving and cheating them. See the uncommon revolution of progress going on in all the states controlled by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. The people have never had it so good like this in the past. That was why when the opportunity came, they sent the PDP away with their votes. Aside the fact that the people of the South-West are politically sophisticated, when any government take them for a ride, they may not talk, but when the opportunity comes they will reject that government. That was what they did to the PDP in those states, including Edo. The lesson this one is teaching us is that any government that is far away from the people will be sent packing when the time comes. There is no amount of intimidation and force that can be used on them; the will of the people will come to stay. Let our leaders stop chasing ephemeral things that will not give glory to God. Good name and service to humanity is the only key that can make people not to forget some past leaders. That is why up till today, everybody want to associate with anything about late Chief Obafemi Awolowo due to the legacies he left behind. What is your take on the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for second term in 2015? There is nothing really special about endorsing anybody. It is a free world. At any particular time, anybody can endorse whoever he so desires, but at the appropriate time, it is the people that matters and it is their votes that can guarantee anybody, not the mere pronouncement from some people. The President has the right to contest for the second term as long as the constitution allows it. A group may gathered in a room and say they adopt you, if the people say you are going nowhere, the voice of the people backed up with their votes determine the suitability of a man who is aspiring for a position.


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Politics

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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INEC: Halting the campaign trend ahead 2015 OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU writes on the ban on political campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and its implications on preparations for the 2015 elections.

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he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, penultimate week wielded the big stick when it declared as illegal, the series of campaign activities going on across the country and across party lines for the 2015 general elections. The ban, which came six months after the electoral umpire wrote a letter to all political parties on the same issue, became imperative, according to INEC, because perpetrators were violating the Electoral Act (Amended) 2010. Politicians and their surrogates have since last year been testing waters for the epic battle in 2015 with the pasting of their or their principals’ posters across the country. Leading the pack last year was the campaign posters of President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election despite the fact that he was yet to officially declare interest in the race. There have also been posters of the governors of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu and the campaign posters of a joint ticket of the Jigawa and Rivers states governors, Sule Lamido and Rotimi Amaechi respectively. Others whose campaign posters, especially for the Presidency, have flooded streets include the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in the 2011 presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. Leaflets on the aspirations of many of the contenders and gladiators for the 2015 presidential election as well as for governorship slots in many states, especially, Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states, where elections are to be held later this year and mid-next year respectively have also flooded nooks and crannies of the country. Announcing the ban last week, the chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kayode Idowu, said those engaging in campaigns for 2015 are doing so in violation of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. The statement read: “The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has observed that some politicians and registered political parties have begun unbridled campaign towards the forthcoming general election, thereby heating up the polity. “It is observed that campaign posters are being indiscriminately displayed, while electioneering broadcasts are being aired outside the statutory provision for campaigning towards elections into various elective offices. “This trend is unhealthy and portends ill for the political process. Indeed, it is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.” Relying on the provision of Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended), which states as follows: “For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours

Jonathan’s poster

Jega

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT ARE CLEARLY STIPULATED BY THE ELECTORAL

ACT 2010 AS AMENDED. THE

CAMPAIGNS START WITH THE POLITICAL Buhari’s poster

prior to that day,” INEC advised political parties to take note that campaigning outside the stipulated timeframe allowed by this section “is a violation of the law, and the Commission will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against culprits as provided by relevant sections of the law.” It therefore called on law enforcement agencies to arrest violators, whose activities it said “pose a threat to public order,” even as it enjoined all stakeholders and participants in political activities to play “strictly by the rules” to collectively ensure a successful 2015 elections. National Mirror findings revealed that the ban was to prevent unnecessary heating up of the polity, even as a source in the commission revealed that INEC was wiser to the antics of politicians who are now engaged in a poster war; a trend which was noticed in January and which prompted the commission to write all political parties. The source added that INEC was aware that, despite open denials by those whose posters continue to flood the streets, it is a gimmick to test the waters and “this amounts to lawlessness and unwillingness on the part of the politicians to play the game by the rules.” Since the electoral umpire read the riot act over electioneering for upcoming elections, stakeholders have continued to react to the development. While some saw the ban as a welcome development, others described it as an infringement on the rights of individual. Those in support of the INEC ban said that they backed it because the commission was trying to nip illegality in the bud. National Chairman of the National Conscience Party, NCP, and chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Yunusa Tanko, was one of those who threw their weights behind INEC. He said: “We are in full support on pronouncement made by INEC on illegal

PARTIES HAVING THEIR

PRIMARIES... NOT WHEN ELECTIONS ARE JUST BARELY OVER posters of contestant for the 2015 general elections. This is illegal because the rules of engagement are clearly stipulated by the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. The campaigns start with the political parties having their primaries then they have single candidate in each position to contest against other political parties not when elections are just barely over. “This only heats up the polity and the people in power would not concentrate on governing the people they would shift their attention to campaign rather than governance. This is not good for our democracy. We call on all political parties to concentrate in governing for those that given the mandate to do so and those who are aspiring to be given such mandate to prepare underground and come out with good programme for the people and unleashed it when the flow is open for campaign not now. This action is inimical to the development of democracy. INEC has shown its ability to do that which is right.” An antagonist of the ban was the National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, Osita Okechukwu, who saw the ban by the electoral umpire as an infringement on the constitutional provisions of freedom of association, saying that the constitution is explicit on which law is supreme whenever one impinges on the other. His words: “In liberal democracies, there is no timeline for campaigns in actual sense of the word, whatever provisions are in the Electoral Act, the constitution remains supreme.” To the National Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, and the Save Nigeria Group, SNG,

Yinka Odumakin, the INEC ban is nothing short of infringement on the rights of political actors. In a chat with National Mirror, Odumakin said: “I don’t know what INEC means by its ban on political campaign. Is it saying that governors or the President should not commission projects and in the process solicit for the support of the people? I think it is an infringement on the rights of political actors, to say that campaigns can only be done at the whims and caprices of the electoral umpire “I think INEC should rather concentrate on putting in place modalities to conduct credible, free and fair election in 2015, rather than involve itself in who is campaigning now and who is not. INEC should be concerned with updating the voters’ register and prepare to make the votes of Nigerians count in 2015. It should let the people decide when to and who should campaign and who should not.” But whichever way one tends to look at the INEC ban, one fact remains sacrosanct: politicians have continued to stoke embers of disharmony that were making the political firmament turning to what some analysts have referred to as “valley of intemperate warfare with all its manifest chaotic desperation.” The recent happenings in the polity also pointed to the fact that unless urgent and drastic steps are taken, anarchy may be looming, especially with the altercations between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the one hand and the opposition parties, mainly, the CPC, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the emerging merger party, All Progressives Congress, APC. According to a newspaper editorial, “the warning of the headmaster, INEC, to his stubborn pupils is not surprising to us or any discerning mind for that matter. In fact, it is in order.” But the bigger question is this: Does INEC have the disciplinary mechanism in place to sanction erring and recalcitrant politicians? A school of thought was of the opinion that INEC should not just warn erring politicians, but since it has found the violation of the extant law guiding the conduct of election, it should also apply the necessary disciplinary instruments at its disposal against erring politicians and political parties. Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has expressed the readiness of the force to halt the trend by implementing the relevant provisions of the law. Abubakar said the police owe Nigerians a duty to protect the sanctity of the law. The commission had called on “security agents to apprehend violators, whose activities in this regard pose a threat to public order.” Despite this ban and the call by INEC on security agencies to arrest violators of the extant law on campaigns, the perpetrators still continued with reckless abandon, albeit altruistically, daring the electoral umpire, which many politicians have come to regard as a toothless bull dog. This class of politicians hinged their argument on the promise by the INEC to prosecute electoral offenders, especially, those who perpetrated double registration, an offence under the law, but who are walking the streets free.


16

Politics

On June 15, Governor Isa Yuguda clocked 57. In this piece, RILWANU SHEHU, a media assistant to the governor, pays glowing tributes to the banker-turned-politician.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yuguda: Celebrating a visionary leader @ 57

YUGUDA’S KEY

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n Democracy Day 29, May 2013, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State quietly marked the sixth anniversary of his tenure as the chief executive officer of the state. Typically, there was no complex ceremony, no millions of naira TV and newspaper advertisements or the noxious congratulatory messages by sycophantic contractors, appointees and associates. Instead, all the celebration took place on the ground, among the over six million citizens of the state. Before you inquire into the people’s grounds for celebration, let us first recall that Bauchi State, where this visionary leader was born, is arguably the most politically savvy among the 36 states of the federation. It did not only produce the country’s first and only democratically elected Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, but also bred or nurtured its best political minds such as Malam Sa’adu Zungur, Malam Aminu Kano, Mudi Spikin and Dr. Ibrahim Tahir. With hindsight, the people of Bauchi State, who first overwhelmingly voted in Yuguda even though he contested under the platform of the opposition party in the April 2007 gubernatorial elections could clearly be trusted to make the right choice. On another level, the elevation also put Yuguda on a pedestal of greatness that he must work really hard to merit or become berated. When Malam Yuguda who turned 57 on June 15, became the 14th Executive Governor, he inherited a state which like most others in the federation was increasingly ungovernable on account of widening insecurity and total absence of direction in governance. His first task to ensure security was, therefore, clearly obvious. Bringing all his experience as a former minister, bank chief, financial manager and economics graduate to bear on the task, Yuguda executed a multi-pronged approach to re-establishing security of life and property in the state. Chief challenges included the sara-suka menace, armed robbery and violent communal clashes. Improved intelligence and patrol operations have now almost totally wiped out these threats even though the state is smack in the middle of the NorthEast currently wracked by insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts. This became possible through massive investment in human and material resources for all calibres of security forces. In one such gesture, the state government donated 30 patrol vehicles fitted with communication facilities to the state command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). This was followed by the donation of an additional 25 vehicles including ambulances to the command. Similarly, 20 vehicles were supplied to the Nigerian Army formations in the state to combat armed robbery and banditry throughout the state. For optimum coordination and performance, all these security agencies have also been provided platform for network communications. Even though these proactive security measures also eliminated erstwhile frequent communal conflicts, the state government in collaboration with other

POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES ARE THUS PAYING OFF BIG DIVIDENDS IN THE LIVES OF ORDINARY CITIZENS DESPITE THE COUNTLESS ODDS

Yuguda

stakeholders has had to resettle victims of inherited communal clashes and others who fled from neighbouring states. This entails provision of basic amenities to displaced or distressed persons as well as reconstruction of residences and other facilities destroyed during clashes to promote peaceful coexistence rather than separation of feuding parties. In one historic instance, the state government reconstructed all houses, shops and places of worship destroyed during the Yelwa-Kadagama crisis of 2007. Success in the security front has also enabled the Yuguda administration to move on to the promotion of peace and unity requisite for the rapid progress of the state. To tackle one of the most intractable and often bloody communal conflicts in the state’s southern senatorial zone, the government created the Sayawa chiefdom. This was in addition to the creation of additional districts, village areas and hamlets to foster unity and enhance access to quick development. The government capped these measures with the promulgation of a law that makes local government councils and communities liable to forfeit all statutory grants until all properties destroyed in sectarian or communal clashes are completely restored. Being largely agrarian state, Governor Yuguda next focused on the resuscitation of the agriculture sector which had fallen into utter collapse. Not only were all the infrastructure at state, zonal and local council offices of the ministry dilapidated, the Tractor Hiring Unit did not have a single functional tractor. The only fertilizer blending plant in the state had been taken over by reptiles and weeds, while the Greenhouse Project intended to revolutionise the cultivation of assorted vegetables was left to rot. Poor funding and bureaucratic malaise had all but grounded the sector to a halt. The state government has since resuscitated the moribund fertilizer blending plant for full-capacity production while ensuring adequate supplies of assorted fertilizers sold to farmers at 50 per cent subsidy to make up for shortfalls. Similarly, from 2007 to date, 33 brand new tractors were supplied and 27 damaged ones were completely reactivated with fully equipped maintenance workshop and modern garage at the headquarters. This was in addi-

tion to the provision of N900 million credit facilities to farmers in the animal traction loan scheme, power tillers and others such as improved variety of seeds for food and cash crops, irrigation pumps, herbicides, pesticides and chemicals. Animal farming also received a massive boost with the development of 500-kilometre cattle route to avoid farmers/pastoralists clashes as well as the construction and equipping of Veterinary Clinics at Alkaleri, Dass, Dambam, KafinMadaki, Itas and Zaki. These clinics are funded through a N40 million drug-revolving scheme and fully supported by complementary operations such as aerial and ground spray units to battle tsetse flies, grasshoppers and squealers birds. The Yuguda administration wasted no time in tackling the problem of inadequate and dilapidated roads linking towns and villages across the state. In addition to constructing 10-kilometre rural roads in each local government area, the state government constructed several intra-state highways. Many other major roads have either been rehabilitated or reconstructed under his watch. Another critical infrastructure for security and meaningful agro-industrial development is power supply. Yuguda met a situation in which 60 per cent of rural households were not connected to electricity supply from any source. As a long term strategy, the state government established the 73 megawatts Yankari Independent Power Project (YIPP). It also embarked on the completion of the Waya Dam Electricity Project which is one of the two dams selected in Nigeria for rural electrification by UNESCO. Also, for the first time in their existence, eight local government areas were linked to the national grid. These are Zaki, Gamawa, Misau, Dambam, Giade, Shira, Itas/Gadau and Jama’are. As part of its MDGs effort, government constructed 200 solar-powered boreholes (10 in each local government area) and purchased solar inverters for rural maternities. In the area of distribution, government has provided dedicated transformers to all general hospitals as well as to 90 other communities across the state and rehabilitated all broken down electricity networks. The urban centres also witnessed massive rehabilitation and upgrading of street lights and installation of solar-powered traffic lights. Yuguda’s intervention in the comatose healthcare sector has been no less aggressive. His mission to provide accessible and affordable healthcare for all started with the policy of free medicare and drugs for all children under five years and all pregnant women. To back this up, in the last six

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years the administration constructed and equipped new general hospitals at Zaki, Azare, Ningi, Giade, Toro, Tafawa Balewa, Bayara, Jama’are and Kafin Madaki and a new complex for the Misau General Hospital. Contracts have also been awarded for the renovation of 73 staff quarters for general hospitals at Toro, Alkaleri, Tafawa Balewa, Dass, Darazo, Ningi, Shira and Gamawa. However, the single major work was the construction and equipping of the Accident and Emergency Unit, the Pediatric Ward and the Dialysis Centre at the former Specialist Hospital, now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi. The state government also recruited 2,592 healthcare workers including 50 doctors. In education, government actions amounted to a declaration of state of emergency or at least a mini-revolution. It declared free and compulsory primary and secondary education for all citizens, complete with the production and distribution of six million free text-books. So far, 25 of the 58 secondary schools across the state have been comprehensively upgraded and renovated with the rest enjoying improved feeding, adequate furniture and other teaching aids. Teacher training and retraining is also a top priority that is motivating staff in the sector leading to improved results at national examinations by students from Bauchi State. To take education to the next logical level, Governor Yuguda set up the Bauchi State University Gadau (BASUG) with campuses at Gadau, Misau and Bauchi to be commissioned in 2014. The government also constructed the enviable Sa’adu Zungur model primary school. To make all these pro-people policies and programmes workable, Governor Yuguda had to inject life into the civil service which was the least paid anywhere in the federation and with a backlog of N660 million in unpaid pensions. Government promptly settled the almost 10,000 pensioners and introduced a new salary structure with between 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent increment, provided 1000 brand new vehicles and 5000 motorcycles/bicycles for civil servants at 50 per cent of the market price and restored car refurbishing loans. In addition to being one of the first to implement the National Minimum Wage of N18,000, the Bauchi State Government reintroduced end-of-year salary bonus and salary advance facility. Other incentives include the 5000 public housing units being constructed through a Public Private Partnership and the 1,038 Houses at Tambari Housing Estate with facility from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. In addition to all these, the visionary leader is constructing a 3.5 kilometres runway international airport that has since reached 95 per cent completion. On completion, the international airport would bring huge economic developments not only to the North-East but the entire country as a whole. Yuguda’s key policies and programmes are thus paying off big dividends in the lives of ordinary citizens despite the countless odds. If great nations are built in one community, city and state at a time, Nigeria has in Bauchi State a shining example of what it could quickly become with the right leadership. Similarly, if Malam Yuguda continues on this path of well-structured selfless service to the people, the presidency may be his next qualification. Happy birthday to a visionary leader.


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Views

Thursday, June 20, 2013

17

Imposing restraint on politicians EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

FRY

NDUBUISI fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

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here are visible signs of frenetic maneuvering for 2015 general elections all over the federation by political parties and politicians. In Abuja and state capitals, posters and billboards of aspiring politicians for different offices dot the landscape. The development is, no doubt, overheating the polity. It was probably as a result of this that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently placed embargo on electioneering, warning it would invoke the law on erring politicians and political parties. The Chief Press Secretary to the agency’s chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, unequivocally stated that this state of affairs was unhealthy for the country. He added that the Commission had already alerted the security agents to be on the lookout for violators of the ban. The INEC position has provoked heated debate. For the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), the Commission’s position is gross violation of the people’s political rights. The Congress of Progres-

A

n individual or collective protest is a legitimate enterprise in every free society; but protest has its own place and style. It could be exercised discreetly or irresponsibly. An example of protest for a banal, irresponsible end was afforded last Thursday when the players and some officials of the Super Eagles, refused to leave their hotel in Windhoek, Namibia for a scheduled flight to Johannesburg. The protest was all about the socalled “callous reduction” of their draw match bonus from $5000 to $2500 after the game with Namibia a day earlier. By that act, the team missed their connection flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil where the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup was scheduled to begin. In forcing the administrators to “give unto Eagles what belongs to Eagles” the players announced they would boycott participation in the Confederation Cup, which devolves on them as African champions. Truly, the very day the competition started, they were still ensconced in their Namibian hotel! The impasse dissolved only after the Nigerian Football Federation conceded the pecuniary victory to them. I have had arguments with a number of friends on this issue and I have remained unrepentant that what the players did amounted to blackmailing their own nation. Those who justified the players’ strike were prolix in the clichés that Nigeria is a “use and dump” nation, and that you had better get all the entitlements you deserve while still being relevant. They would point to some retired athletes now

sive Change (CP has lampooned the Commission for what it called “its insincerity”. But some discerning Nigerians have given a thumb up for Professor Attahiru Jega-led Commission. The presidential campaign posters of President Goodluck Jonathan, General Muhammadu Buhari, and Rotimi Amaechi and Sule Lamido , governors of Rivers and Jigawa states respectively, have appeared in Abuja. In the states, billboards and posters of aspirants for various offices are contesting for space in the state capitals. These represent not only subtle politicking for 2015; they have induced squabbles among their supporters. The move by INEC is timely, however, it requires further clarification. There is a marked difference between political activities and electioneering campaigns. Political activities that are not of campaign nature cannot be construed as an infraction of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). The 1999 Constitution makes provision for freedom of association and speech in sections 38 and 39. By these provisions Nigerians are at liberty to associate and express their views freely, without let or hindrance. In doing this, there could be political education and articulation of interest in preparation for further political association, including 2015 general elections. But pasting posters all over the place or going on air to project political aspirations now, two years before 2015 general elections, are not healthy for the polity. They have the potentials of overheating the polity and may lead to break

ETHNIC GLADIATORS AND RELIGIOUS JINGOISTS HAVE ALREADY STARTED FANNING EMBERS OF DISUNITY down of law and order. One of the reasons behind the proposal for single six-year tenure for President and governors is the problem of excessive politicking in the system. A situation where a governor or president two years after he is sworn in starts campaigning for a new term in office is a big distraction and unfair to the interest of the common man in the street. The system leaves no time for political chief executives to deliver the so called dividends of democracy they promised the electorate. All over the federation it is the same story of poverty, frustration, insecurity, unemployment, deficit infrastructure provisioning etc. In the midst of all this aberration politicians are always preoccupied with reelection. It is unfair. Nigerians need political education to be able to challenge their underperforming leaders, and also to be able to use their franchise wisely. They need to know why they should not sell their votes. Politicians are not doing this. What we have here is political indoctrination, telling voters why they should reject one political party or

another, giving reasons based on ethnic and religious considerations, how to cause mayhem if candidates from their blocs are not voted into power. After several years of democracy we are yet to overcome these primordial sentiments. Ethnic gladiators and religious jingoists have already started fanning embers of disunity. It is imperative we resolve to check all the negative forces that have ruined our country and democracy. It is in this context that we should see INEC’s timely intervention. Politicians and political parties should be restrained from jumping the gun. Besides, we must not forget that politics and politicking here have come to be associated with profligacy and self aggrandizement. Early campaign entails big spending by political parties and politicians. This is seen as the reason for the looting of the treasuries by elected officeholders. The first assignment once they are sworn in is the recovery of the millions of naira they have spent; for those that mortgaged their property to raise the needed funds for their electioneering, they must recoup quickly to pay back and recover the property. I urge INEC to go further to ensuring that politicians respect the provision of the Electoral Act on spending. It is part of the measures to sanitize the polity and reduce some unpalatable incidents that have been the bane of our democratic experience. Professor Ndubuisi, an Attorney at Law, is of the Department of Philosophy, UNILAG

Super Eagles’ protest of blackmail IT IS HIGH TIME OUR SOCCER ADMINISTRATORS PUT IN PLACE A STRICT CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL TEAMS living in penury without any assistance from the state to underscore the hypothesis that making sacrifices for Nigeria would be unwise. But all those arguments do not persuade me in the least for the following reasons. Firstly, I think the players did not really understand the enormity of the responsibilities that devolved on them. In the Confederation Cup, which is a festival of champions drawn from all the continents, Nigeria is carrying the flag of the Africa, so the players are representing the continent. Now, would it stand to reason for players to render their nation unable to discharge its duties as African representatives solely on the grounds that their bonus had been reduced by 50 percent? Secondly, if the players were soldiers in the Nigerian Army, would they have refused to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria against imminent foreign attacks on the grounds that there has been a cut in their allowances? If no payments were offered and the players had scuttled the Confederation

Cup by non-participation, the FIFA’s hammer would not fall on the players, but on the country, which might come in form of ban. Such a ban would not only affect these Fiscal Eagles (sorry, Super Eagles), but all the teams including the U-21 and U-17 teams, as well at the women’s teams. Imagine the immense drag that would unleash on the nation’s soccer! Thirdly, almost all the players are multimillionaires who would not be rendered “insolvent” by a temporary cut in bonus. If the 23 players are not motivated by being worthy representatives of a nation with a population of 170 million people, then they have no business being our soccer ambassadors. They seemed to have even forgotten that as the most senior team, there is a burden of leadership on them which means they set examples for others. It is on record that the former World Footballer of the Year, Mr. George Weah, spent his personal money to finance Liberian players for a World Cup campaign at a time his country was just coming out of civil war and was cash-crunched. Did Weah understand what honour means? It is ironic that only in February, these players were amply rewarded with handsome gifts and honours by the nation, corporate bodies and individuals upon their return from South Africa basking in the Africa Cup of Nations glory. Each of the players was given N5m gift while the Coach got N10m. The president also announced a plot of land each for all the players and officials. More importantly, each of the players was given the national

KAYODE

KETEFE

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

honour of Member of the Order of Niger (MON) while the Coach, Stephen Keshi, was conferred with the honour of Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). If they had really boycotted the championship and inexorably brought the adverse consequences on Nigeria, should the national honours not have been withdrawn? In the light of all these, there is no doubt that the players took the joke too far. It is high time our soccer administrators put in place a strict code of conduct for all members of the national teams. The breach of such code must be attended with appropriate punitive measure to ensure no individual or group of players/athletes embarrass the country with shameful blackmail on the eve of important international competitions. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Editorial

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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

STEVE AYORINDE

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ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

On same-sex marriage debate

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he House of Representatives finally passed a bill recently outlawing same sex marriage in the country. The bill proposes a 14-year jail term for homo-sexualism and lesbianism. Titled “Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2013’’, it equally specifies jail terms for persons who aid and abet homo-sexualism and lesbianism or run registered gay clubs and related organisations .The bill has a proposal in Section 1(1) which says: “Marriage contract or civil union entered between persons of the same gender is hereby prohibited in Nigeria”. Section (1) (2) likewise reiterated that “marriage contract or unions entered between persons of same gender are invalid and shall not be recognised as entitled to the benefits of a valid marriage’’. The bill, in sub section (3) (1) cautions that “marriage contract or civil union entered between persons of same gender by virtue of a certificate issued by a foreign country shall be void in Nigeria and any benefits accruing there from by virtue of the certificate shall not be enforced by any court of law in Nigeria”. It also went further to outrightly ban such unions in places of worship or any other place whatsoever, and stressed that only unions or marriages recognised by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be valid, which means

marriages contracted under legitimate Islamic, customary or Christian regulations or the Marriage Act. By the same token, the proposed law seeks to bar the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, as well as direct or indirect public show of same-sex amorous relationship. We recall that the Senate had earlier passed a similar bill on the subject in 2011. Having again scaled through the House of Representatives, it may now be rightly expected that the anti-same-sex marriage bill will be read for the third time by the Clerk of the House, after which the versions of the two legislative chambers will be harmonised before being forwarded to President Goodluck Jonathan for his assent. Same sex marriage has been quite a controversial matter all over the world. Arguments for or against it cut across economic, religious, medical and cultural dimensions. Quite a number of advanced countries have accommodated it in their statute books, too. They include Argentina, Belgium, Portugal, Canada, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, among others. In the United States, the federal government does not recognise same-sex marriage. But some individual states have given legal recognition to it. Indeed, states like Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Massachusetts, etc.,

THE SACRILEGIOUS CHOICE SHOULD REMAIN THE UNKNOWN SECRET OF THOSE WHO REGALE IN IT grant licenses for same sex marriages. There is even an ongoing legal tussle in the US to gain federal recognition for it. Different reactions have been trailing the efforts of the National Assembly to legislate against this rather puzzling and strange kind of marital union. It is the reasoning in some quarters, for instance, that the practice is alien to African culture. Ordinarily speaking, the laws of nations and communities ought to be founded on the cultures and morally accepted values of such groups, to enhance compliance and moral probity, hence the seeming popular argument that the move by the National Assembly was essentially directed at promoting and protecting African cultural values. Rights activists, nonetheless, are faulting the lawmakers’position on the grounds that the bill as passed is at variance with the United Nation’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights; African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and Sections 37, 38 and

39 of the Nigerian (1999) Constitution (as amended). The latter has unambiguous provisions on freedoms of expression, association and privacy, which are interpreted to include the right for sexual preferences. But given the fact that no law or right anywhere is absolute, we think it is the bounden duty of the Senate and House of Representatives to enact laws that discourage moral depravity, and encourage public moral rectitude and good health. We think this is exactly what the lawmakers have patriotically set out to do. It is, however, obvious, even from the feeble support it enjoys from some quarters that samesex relationship is thriving secretly in the dark corners of the country, powered more by feverish amorous lust for the flesh, than any other decent consideration. But unfortunately, its medical, social, economic and religious consequences are acclaimed to be grave. The nation must be wary of blind copying from foreign cultures and practices. Same-sex marriage has potentials to ruin the country’s moral fabric. The sacrilegious choice should remain the unknown secret of those who regale in it. It will therefore, be ridiculous liberalising it, albeit legally. In fact, efforts should be devoted to sufficiently educating Nigerians on the dangers of same-sex relationship, not just legislating against it.

ON THIS DAY June 20, 2009 During the Iranian election protests, the death of Neda AghaSoltan was captured on video and was spread rapidly on the Internet, thus making it “probablythe most widely witnessed death in human history”. Neda (1983 – 2009) drew international attention after she was killed during the 2009 Iranian election protests. Referred to as the ‘voice of Iran’, her death became iconic in the struggle against the disputed election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

June 20, 2003 The WikiMedia Foundation was founded in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. It operates several online collaborative wiki projects including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity,Wikidata, Wikivoyage, Wikimedia Incubator, and MetaWiki. It also owned the now-defunct Nupedia. Its flagship project, Wikipedia,ranks inthetop-tenmost-visitedwebsites worldwide.

June 20, 1963 The so-called “red telephone” was established between the defunctSovietUnionandtheUnitedStatesfollowingtheCubanMissile Crisis. This hotline linked the White House via the National Military Command Center with the Kremlin. Though popularly as the “red telephone”, the hotline was never a telephone line, and no red phones were used. The first implementation used teletype equipment, which was replaced by facsimile units in 1988.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Education Today Private varsities deserve government support –VC, Ben Idahosa University 21

UNIUYO crisis: One death, too many

W

hat started as a peaceful protest by the science students of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Akwa Ibom State, over the introduction of N2,000 GST fee and increment of transport fare from the campus on Ikpa Road to the permanent site in Nsukara Offot, from N100 to N200 by the university management, eventually led to the death of a total of six students and wanton destruction of property worth millions of naira. The placards-carrying students had reportedly assembled at the university’s administrative block accusing the ViceChancellor, Prof. Comfort Ekpo, of incompetence in managing the affairs of the institution, before the Police were invited by the authority to curb the agitation to avoid escalation. However, the Policemen, who stood guard at the university’s gate, had reportedly shot sporadically into the air to disperse the crowd, and soon, one of them, a 200 level student of Geology Department, simply identified as Kingsley was said to have been hit by bullet, leading to his death. There is controversy over how Kingsley died, but the students, now further angered by the development, became more uncontrollable leading to the burning of facilities on the campus including the VC’s and her deputy’s offices, records office, finance and accounts, internal audit and cash offices. The Computer Maintenance Department was also not spared, as hard discs and other facilities were allegedly removed by the students. Meanwhile, the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) led by its Senate President, Donald Onukaogu, who had set out from the Federal University of Science and Technology, Oweri, in Imo State, to intervene on the matter, was involved in a ghastly accident along the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene federal highway at Ariam in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State. Onukaogu, a Master’s student of Computer Science/ ICT in FUTO, alongside four other students including Jerry Sorkaa (Benue State University), Japhet Duru (Federal Polytechnic, Nekede), Asa Ejiate (Delta State University) and a former Chairman of Oyo State NANS Joint Campus Committee and graduate of the University of Ibadan, Abdulazeez Kabir Oladimeji died instantly in the accident. In a similar development, the National President of NANS, Yinka Gbadebo, as a result of the alleged killing and the death of his colleagues, instantly mobilised students of higher institutions within Ibadan metropolis to stage another protest calling for the immediate sack of the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, was further allegedly brutalized and arrested by men of the Oyo State Joint Se-

•Stakeholders condemn Police brutality, students’ excesses

The death of Kingsley, a 200 level student of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Akwa Ibom State, and five members of the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) during the protest that rocked the institution last Wednesday have shot up the death toll of students in similar circumstances only this year. The burning of facilities on campuses by protesting students and the indiscriminate shooting at them by the policemen have also drawn the ire of stakeholders who consider the impacts of such behaviour on the nation’s future. MOJEED ALABI writes.

Scene of the protest at UNIUYO. Inset is the late NANS Senate President, Donald Onukaugu.

Scene of the accident that claimed the lives of Onukaogu and four other students.

curity Task Force, codenamed “Operation Burst.” Gbadebo, who acussedthe Police of threatening him through phone calls for calling for the sack of the IGP, said the incessant killings of Nigerian students by the security agents in the last six months calls for urgent probe. This development came just months after four students of the Nassarawa State University, Lafia, were allegedly shot down by security operatives drafted to the scene of the students’ protest over scarcity of water on their campus. This rising spate of the killings of armless students and violent protests usually staged by the students too, have attracted the rage of stakeholders including parents, ASUU, and former student leaders who see the new development as a reflection of the rot in the larger society and departure from the usual tradition of employing dialogue to resolve crisis that characterized the students’ movements of the old. In an interview with National Mirror, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ilorin chapter, Dr. Taiwo Oloruntoba, who decried the development, blamed it on the culture of impunity that has perme-

ated every system in the country. Oloruntoba said ASUU has never and would never condone violence on the part of any individual or constituted authority including students or members of Nigeria’s security force. He, therefore, called for proper investigation to identify both the immediate and remote cause of the incident, saying it would spell doom for the nation’s future if allowed to continue. “From the available reports, the protest was peaceful up until the Police came and fired fatal shots at the students. Unfortunately this has been a painful but recurrent episode in the history of studentsauthorities relations in this country. There is absolutely no reason why lethal ammunitions should ever be deployed in approaching protesting students. They are not robbers and they are not armed. After so many decades the authorities ought to have imbibed the tenets of democracy. Of course the students should also be reprimanded for reacting with violence. ASUU condemns all forms of violence in civil procedures, but the original blame goes to the authorities,” Oloruntoba stated. Also reacting, Chairman, National Parent/Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Southwest zone, Deacon Olu-

soji Adams condemned the two actions, saying they are not only uncivilized but also inimical to the socio-economic development of the country. Acknowledging government’s effort in the provision of infrastructural facilities and other needs to make schools teaching and learning friendly, the PTA boss urged the government to invest more in the education sector. However, Olusoji advocates restraint from both the students and the security agents in making demand for pressing needs from the authorities and in the process of maintaining law and order, respectively. “There is no sense whatsoever in students embarking on violent and destructive protest as a way of calling on authorities including government to meet their certain needs or showing of aggression over a particular condition. It is also uncivilized for the policemen, who are meant to protect lives to now turn out to be the ones taking lives unjustifiably. Even at that, I will also appeal to parents and guardians to always caution their wards and educate them on the destructive effects of violent and destructive protests. Rather, they should always employ meaningful dialogue and a bit of patience when their expectations from authorities are not met even as the police should be friendly not only with defenseless students but also with other members of the public. Killing protesting students is condemned entirely,” Olusoji stated. Similarly, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Luis Mbanefo, said it was unheard of that students set facilities belonging to the public on fire, but also disheartening that the security operatives meant to protect lives shoot people indiscriminately.. In the same vein, two former NANS Presidents, Dr. Olusegun Maiyegun and Ropo Ewenla have condemned in strong terms the attitude of Nigerian Police against protesters citing various instances of such brutalities against armless Nigerians. They both agreed that the solution does not lie in reprimanding the officers that pull the trigger or the students that set facilities ablaze, but by conducting a complete overhaul of the rot in the larger Nigerian society and rebuilding the lost values of democracy, moral uprightness and merit in making appointments to important positions of authority to checkmate poor policies and misrule.


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Education Today

Thursday, June 20, 2013

L-R: Registrar, University of Ibadan, Mr. Olujimi Olukoya; Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Arinola Sanya; Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole; and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Idowu Olayinka; at the university’s community forum recently.

UI VC on ‘hot seat’ ...as staff, student assess his mid-term performance

AS AT 2012, THE

KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

UNIVERSITY ADMISSION

F

or many Nigerian leaders in position of authority, it is easier to assume office but it is another kettle of fish to make themselves accountable to those they are serving. It is thus a departure from tradition recently when the University of Ibadan community put its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Isaac Adewole, on a ‘hot seat’ to present a mid-term report of his administration between December 1, 2010 and May 31, 203. The town hall meeting, which was put together by all the workers’ unions in the institution including ASUU, NASU, SSANU, NAAT and the Students’ Union, also had the principal officers of the university in attendance. Welcoming the audience, the Chairman, UI chapter of ASUU, Dr. Segun Ajiboye said the mid-term report was designed to assess the VC’s performance and an opportunity to look at the strengths and weaknesses of his administration. “Being the first of its kind on our campus, we appeal to those who have one thing or the other agitating their mind to be free to ask the vice-chancellor.” Mounting the podium, Prof. Adewole, while acknowledging the organizers for

RATIO HAS REFLECTED THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT’S DIRECTIVE OF 60:40 RATIO IN FAVOUR OF POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS deeming it fit to provide such a platform, said his vision when he assumed office was to reposition the university to be self-reliant, self-sustaining and the leader in academic excellence. He added that the mission was to build the principles of teamwork, exemplary leadership, honesty, integrity, transparency and decentralisation to focus on people in the university as vehicles and backbone for the development and growth of academic excellence in the country. The professor of Medicine stated that his administration had so far witnessed some significant improvement in the areas of

To my best

TEACHER

Mr. Charles Udeani was a former Principal of The National Grammar School, Nike, Enugu State. He was in the school for many years and many students passed through his tutelage. Many of them are today a force to reckon with in their chosen fields and other endeavours. One of such students is Barrister Ikechukwu Okafor, who was at that school between 1993 and 1995. He is today a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) and also the Director of Students’ Affairs of the university. Today, Okafor pays glowing tribute to his teacher, Mr. Charles Udeani, based on his relationship with him then in the school.

building of human capital, rehabilitation of lecture theatres and laboratories, and provision of regular electricity and water supply, regular payment of salaries, restoration of the university farms/zoological gardens, among others. He disclosed that the thrust of his 20102015 Strategic Plan focussed on academic matters, staff and students’ welfare, infrastructure, as well as governance and general administration. On admission profile, he explained that, as at 2012, the university admission ratio has reflected the Federal Government’s directive of 60:40 ratio in favour of postgraduate students adding that the achievements in academic matters also include the ability of the university to run on-line registration of courses and display of students’ results. The VC also hinted that about N48 million has been expended on scholarship for First Class graduates to ensure that the best brains are given opportunity to harness their potentials. “Similarly we have engaged tutorial assistants costing about N25 million per session, fine tuned the admission process, purchased smart boards for all departments, establish UI Research Foundation and Centre for Human Resource Development, among others,” Adewole stated. While maintaining that the university has continued to contribute its quota to the growth and development of the country in

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virtually all areas, he said the university would soon begin a postgraduate programme in herbal medicine in view of its role in research on drug discovery. “One cannot rule out the potency of herbal medicine only that there is the need for an institution to help in developing the practice because herbals are important keys to drug discovery. Our plan is to have herbal medicine as part of the courses to be offered by UI and the mission is not to train herbalists but to contribute our own quota to herbal medicine development in the country.” Speaking on welfare of staff and students, the VC promoted deserving staff as at when due with 98 academic staff promoted as Readers and 86 as Professors. “We also resuscitated the students’ union, awarded prizes to students with a CGPA of 6.0; developed gender and sexual harassment policies; increased allowances paid to internal and external examiners; gave scholarship to people living with physical disabilities, among others.” He listed the achievements of the administration in the area of infrastructure to include completion of networks of roads and bridges in Ajibode extension; purchase of five units of 40 KV mobile generators; purchase and installation of two 2000KV Cummins power generators; installation of prepaid metres, solar street lights, construction of maternity hospital, sawmill and face lifting of the university zoological garden, among others. Receiving tumultuous accolades from the crowd, Adewole then said with the achievements his administration has recorded within its first 30 months, he has been able to fulfil his pact with the university with the assurance that the second 30 months would witness improved power and water supply and other welfare packages. While responding to the various questions asked by some of the staff and students present, the VC maintained that he would continue to use his office to move the university forward and that the administration will continue to operate an open door policy that will involve every segment of the university community. The climax of the town hall meeting was when one of the students mounted the podium and classified the achievements of the VC into seven segments and awarded mark to him in each after which he concluded that the VC has passed with Second Class (upper division) throwing everybody including into hilarious laughter.

Mr. Charles Udeani, former Principal, National Grammar School, Nike, Enugu State

Okafor

It will be difficult to pick just one teacher as my best teacher during my secondary school days at The National Grammar School, Nike, Enugu State. This is because virtually all the teachers we had in the school at that time were good. They taught us well and they offered themselves as role models to us. But then Mr. Charles Udeani, who was the Prin-

cipal of the school at that time, stood out among them. He was purpose- driven personified. He used to tell me that I would be a lawyer. He was always praying for the day the prophesy would come to fruition. And that made me to be very close to him such that I became the envy of my mates. I will never forget the experience because the man contributed greatly to what I have achieved so far in life. “Mr. Charles Udeani was a disciplinarian, who did his job passionately. He didn’t condone indiscipline from both the students and teachers. He showed us the way to success and encouraged us not to deviate from the path no matter what. Even my parents chose The National Grammar School for me because they believed the man would not lead me astray. As a matter of fact, his leadership style was equal to none. He was the principal but much more than that, he was a mentor, a legend and goal-getter. People loved him for who he was. Unfortunately he

died when I was in 200 Level at the University of Ibadan studying Law. When he died, my brother deliberately didn’t tell me just because it was the period I was writing my semester exam and he knew I could be destabilised some how. His death was a painful one. I attended his funeral ceremony where I paid my last respect. If you can read this, then you have a reason to be grateful. Show your appreciation to your best or favourite teacher in this column. Send us a ‘Thank You’ note, including your full names, current status and the years you were taught by your teacher. You can also send us your current picture plus that of your teacher where possible. Write to the Editor, To My best Teacher Column, National Mirror, P.M.B. 10001, Marina Lagos or e-mail: eferaro@yahoo.co.uk


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Education Today

21

Private varsities deserve government support –VC, Ben Idahosa University Prof. Earnest Izevbigie, acting ViceChancellor, Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin City, Edo State is a scholar and researcher of repute. He lived in the US for 31 years where he taught in many institutions including the Jackson State University (JSU), before joining BIU in 2010 as a visiting professor/ Deputy VC. He spoke with SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN about his scientific discovery of Edotide, a drug derived from bitter leaf for the treatment of cancer and diabetes; why he returned home and the contributions of private universities to national development. Excerpts: The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) was set up to provide financial assistance to public tertiary institutions in the country. Do you think the fund can also be of benefit to private universities? I will first of all start my explanation by saying that private universities deserve funds from TETFund. The reason is simple and that is the fact that private universities also contribute to national capacity development in the country, which the university education is meant for, among other mandates. Another reason is that parents of students in private universities also pay taxes like parents of those in public schools. They pay taxes to local and state governments, as well as federal government. So, they should be entitled to TETFund grant. Some postgraduate students in private universities who are economically engaged also pay taxes to government, private universities and polytechnics are also employers of labour; they create employment opportunities, which enhance national security and development. That is the case in some parts of this country where the level of insecurity is much higher. In the US for instance, there is what is called Pearl Grants for schools. As you are aware, some of the best universities in the world are private-owned. Harvard, Yale, Stanford and so on are private institutions and today, they represent the best universities in the world. I believe so much in the fact that private university is the future of academic excellence for this country. This position is supported by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie when he said that private education was vital to academic excellence in Nigeria. The recent scholarship by the Federal Government sponsoring 101 first class students to study abroad has 25 per cent of them presented by the private universities and this has further buttressed the fact that private universities are doing fantastic when it comes to education development in the country. We should note that there are just 50 private out of the total 127 universities in the country and when it comes to students’ population, the gap between the two is just too wide, yet private schools were able to produce 25 per cent of those scholars. So honestly speaking, private institutions should benefit from TETFund intervention. Apart from funding, what other challenges are facing private universities in Nigeria? The issue of security threat is a major one. This university spends lots of money to ensure that the campus is free of cult activities and other untoward activities. Cultism, robbery, prostitution and other vices are very rampant on many campuses in the country but we don’t experience such in this university just because of the preventive measures we have put in place, similarly, the university spends so much money on power generation and this to some extent, lowers the speed of research to be carried out as an institution. There are many other challenges. Some people believe that private institutions award high grades to their students in order to justify the huge tuition they

Izevbigie

I DON’T KNOW THE CRITERIA PEOPLE ARE USING TO CLAIM

THAT A FIRST CLASS GRADUATE FROM A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN

NIGERIA IS INFERIOR TO THE

ONE FROM A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY pay. How will you react to this? This is not and can never be the case in BIU. This question is an opportunity for me to make a point as regards this university. Some of our graduates who went for postgraduates studies in other universities in and outside the country did perform excellently well in their studies. Some that studied Law and graduated with Second Class (upper division) made First Class at Nigerian Law School, which is a Federal Government-owned institution. So, I don’t know the criteria people are using to claim that a First Class graduate from a private university in Nigeria is inferior to the one from a public university. I don’t believe in such unfounded claim. In Nigeria and elsewhere around the world, private universities are better run than the public universities. Private universities run stable calender because they will never go on strike as there wouldn’t be anything to warrant such. Students are given deserved attention by lecturers and also enjoy better facilities that make their schools learning-friendly. So, graduates of private universities are better off academically and morally when compared to their counterparts from public universities. Nobody awards undue grades to students. Such a claim I say again is a fantasy. How affordable is Benson Idahosa University for the children of low income earners? Honestly speaking, BIU is one of the private universities in the country that charges friendly tuition. Our tuition is affordable. The school charges as low as N300, 000 per session for some programmes, especially in agriculture, theology and a few others. And that is very cheap when compared with the quality of training and facilities they enjoy. Apart from that, the school offers scholarship to a certain number of brilliant but indegent students on yearly basis. So, what makes this university unique from the rest? It is simply the academic excellence we have achieved and the fear of God we create in our students. The university is not just to make grades; it trains students to be academically and morally upright to help them in the larger society, especially after graduation. By the time students leave this university, they are expected to be competent in learning and character. Coming to this university is beyond obtaining a degree; you must also be a credible and dependable person. So, we train a total man- the one that is sound in the body, mind and spirit.

We leant of your scientific discovery of Edotide. What is it all about? Well, Edotide is just a mixture made with bitter leaf and other components for the treatment of cancer and diabetes. I made the discovery in the year 2000 but I was asked to keep the news to myself which I did for about one year. By this secrecy, the breakthrough was not made public as it was not published in any of the journals. But even at that, the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office knew about the work just because it had to be submitted to the office by my Patent Attorney as a condition to issue a Priority Date. Priority Date is just an acknowledgement to prevent any other individual or group of people from coming up to claim the same idea. So, that means, you have reported first and that makes you to claim the ownership of the work. Then after a year, an examiner was assigned to investigate the claim and ensure no similar work was in existence all over the world. This investigation gave us the patent for novelty. So, Edotide is now my intellectual property, with 17 years patent right as an inventor. Now 13 years after, and with some research funds I was able to secure, I have trained about 20 master’s degree students in various science specialisation; three medical doctors; and about five PhDs from overseas including India. Apart from the training, we have also been able to save many lives, who approached us for breast and prostate cancer treatment. With our formulation and help of God, those people are alive today. We also have people suffering from diabetics who consulted us and they are effectively managing the conditions today. So, I feel humble and fulfilled seeing people who were once down with chronic ailments to be getting better and live responsibly again after administering Edotide. So, it gives me satisfaction to see that what I have gone to school for is translating into societal value. Similarly, we also offered employment to many people. I must say here that we have farm where we are growing bitter leaf that produces the raw materials for Edotide. We have people who are working in pharmacy stores where the product is being sold, we have distributors all over the place and as we are getting bigger, the number of people benefiting directly or indirectly from Edotide becomes enormous. I am not aware of any federal university in the country that is doing this. Have you received any recognition from Nigerian government based on this discovery? I know only of the United States Government which celebrated Edotide some years back. People over there value achievement like this. Edotide got mentioned in the floor of the United States Congress. I have a copy of the congressional records and everyone who contributed in one way or the other in the research were not also acknowledged but rewarded for the effort. But here in Nigeria, nobody has ever shown as if anything happens. So, it is not to my knowledge that the Federal Government is aware of the invention. I guess the Edo State government is aware because a few weeks ago, the goevrnment press- Edo Light-reproduced to the interview I granted a national daily and that is all. But for the Federal Government, nobody has ever said anything much less recognising the work. And I’m not surprised because I am not a politician. Sir, what informed your decision to return to Nigeria despite the huge opportunities your drug invention afforded you in the United States? Like I said earlier, I left Nigeria 31 years ago. But after sometimes, I began to feel like I was in exile. I have to stay that long in the US in order to make some achievements in my field and one of these is the discovery of Edotide. With the level of my expertise, I deemed it fit that I had something to contribute to the development of my country. It is funny that when I informed my colleagues and friends of other nationals in the US of my intension to return home, some of them did see it as a wise decision. Some even said that something might be wrong with me just because they saw a lot of opportunities before me as a researcher and inventor over there. For instance, I had many postgraduate students under me and things were going on fine. But where else can I be, if away from home? So, my coming back to Nigeria is to contribute my own quota and I believe that is part of God’s plans for my life.


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Education Today

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Firm launches IT programme for students

ABUAD has gulped N80bn –Afe Babalola

MOJEED ALABI

B

O

ne of Nigeria’s pioneer information technology firms, International Data Management Services Limited has introduced a new product for schools called Digi School. Speaking with Journalists in Lagos recently, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Atul Kshetry said the new product, which targets IT training and digital learning for school pupils, makes use of improved software packages including assessment and testing engines, inbuilt white board facilities, which enables teachers to take charge of their classes with little or no stress. “Digi School is the largest platform of e-learning content for all classes from pre-School to senior secondary schools which includes Science, Mathematics, English Language and Basic Sciences,” he explained. He said the company’s focus is now to give high quality ICT training in schools to groom future leaders who he said should be prepared to confront the global challenges facing the world “because ICT today is diversified and it is beyond the scope of one or two teachers in a school to cover the entire curriculum.” He explained that there is a lot of software and data which students has to be empowered with and it is important for them to have practical workshops which would enable them to be familiar with computers because it is better for them to make mistake on the computer and get them rectified rather than not letting them touch computers

T

he Parents Teachers Association of the Federal Government Girls College, Ipetumodu, Osun State has passed a vote of confidence on the school principal, Dr. (Mrs.) O. S. Sallam, describing her as a good leader, motivator, energetic and determined achiever. In a release signed by chairman of the association, Engr. B. O. Akande, the PTA hailed the principal for her cooperation and support needed to move the Association and the school forward.

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE ut for the intervention of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe and the immediate past governor of the state, Engr. Segun Oni, the four-year old Afe Babalola University, AdoEkiti (ABUAD), a modern model centre of academic excellence currently valued at N80 billion, would have been sited elsewhere outside the state. The founder of the university, Aare Afe Babalola, who made the startling revelation when the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) Pre-accreditation Visitation Team visited Oba Adejugbe in his palace, recently. Aare Afe Babalola recalled how an un-named state government had allocated him large hectares of land with a promise of other mouth-watering offers to lure him into sitting the university in the state. The front-line legal

icon noted that a combination of faith coupled with the ‘spirit of possibility’ has sustained the university since inception. “ABUAD is a product of faith. It is not as if I have N80 billion, which is the current value of infrastructure on ground as at today in the university. I don’t even have a quarter of it. But I have faith that we can do it and the result is what we have on ground today,” Afe Babalola explained. Using the global Universities Webometrics ranking, which puts ABUAD as the fastest growing university in Africa, Babalola noted that the university was currently running 49 accredited programmes while those licenced about the same time could only boast of seven of such programmes. He therefore called on COREN to always emphasise the place and import of inspirational engineering in the quest for Nigeria to take its rightful place in the comity of na-

tions. Confirming here Babalola’s claim on his involvement about the establishment of ABUAD, Oba Adejugbe said he was particularly happy about the reform the legal luminary has brough it into university education in the country so far. He, urged other wealthy

ited, Mr. Michael Adebayo has enumerated variety of benefits that Nigerian youths stand to gain by studying in any of the Indian universities.

He said in an interview that university education in India was not only highly ICT and entrepreneurship skill acquisitiondriven but it was also cheaper and less stressful when compared to studying in any of the European or American universities. Adebayo, who disclosed that many Nigerians seeking admission overseas were ignorance of these benefits, including students’ exposure to many job opportunities after graduation, noted that his company had secured admission for over 300 Nigerians in various world

individuals in the country to take a cue from the philanthropic gesture of Afe Babalola by contributing to the development of the country. The leader of the Preaccreditation Visitation Team, Prof. Ayo Fanimokun, on his part, urged Oba Adejugbe and his peers round the country

to add their voices to impress it on the Federal Government to accord engineering its pride of place in the scheme of things in the country. “Monarchs’ supports and influence for proper funding of engineering practice in Nigeria is highly welcome,” Fanimokun concluded.

L-R: Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and keynote speaker from the University of New Orleans, United States, Prof. Niyi Osundare at the inauguration of Ikogosi Graduate Summer School, Ikogosi, Ekiti State. PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

Nigerians urged to embrace Indian varsity education TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

T

he Managing Director, Oredian Education Resources Lim-

L-R: Managing Director, Oredian Education Resources Limited, Mr. Michael Adebayo; Mr. Olugbenga Adesina; Afolasade Olayemi; Representative of SRM University for Middle East and Africa, Mr. Samiullah Khan and Naomi Tietie at the India Education Expo in Lagos, recently.

class institutions in India in the last three years with the first set to graduate this June. He also noted that the company equally secures full scholarship programmes for brilliant but indegent students in some of the company’s partnering institutions in the Asiatic country. “About 40 students in various disciplines have benefited in the full scholarship scheme so far and the number of the beneficiaries is expected to increase every year,” he stressed. While explaining that

FGGC Ipetumodu PTA hails principal While dissociating itself from a publication in a national daily insinuating poor power and water supply, poor food hostel and medical attention in the school, the PTA explained that it was general knowledge that for about six months last year, there was no light in Ipetumodu as the transformer serving the town broke down. Despite this, the PTA said, the college was able to ensure steady supply of

electricity and water to students through the use of its generator day and night. On the issue of poor food, the association remarked that the school does not compromise quality, adding that some of the students have their food preferences. “Some students will say they don’t eat eba, some will prefer to eat rice three times daily. That’s not balanced diet”, the release explained. The PTA listed the physical developments in the Col-

lege to include renovation of the hostels; completion of the dining hall extension; provision of street lights along the roads to the hostels, clinic and from the gate to the kitchen area and completion of phase 1 of the college perimeter fence. Also listed as achievements during the tenure of the current principal are regular supply of drugs to the clinic, appointment of a visiting doctor who also recommends drugs to be

supplied to the clinic, construction of ICT building and provision of ICT equipment and furniture as well as provision of tractor with slasher for environmental sanitation, among others. The association noted that for security reasons, outsiders or visitors are prohibited from having access to some areas in all Federal Unity Colleges unless on official permission, adding that this type of restriction is not peculiar

aside the flexible payment of tuition and other fees available, Adebayo added that whether tuition pay or free, students seeking admission in India must fulfil academic and immigration requirements and must also be ready to abide by the law of the land. He however, noted that the Indian High Commission in Nigeria as part of efforts to strengthen the country’s bilateral relations with Nigeria had been very flexible in issuing student visas to Nigerians who are genuinely seeking admission to study in India. to the Federal Government Girls Collage, Ipetumodu. Engr. Akande said the PTA appreciates the effort of the Federal Ministry of Education, which invests huge resources to subsidize the provision of qualitative education to students in Federal Unity Colleges, adding that the meager fee of N6,350 paid by boarding students per term and N2,350 paid by each day student accounts for why parents are always desperate to have their children in Federal Unity Colleges.


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Education Today

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This NYSC demand may be illegal JAMB’ T he demand by NYSC that JAMB registration number be presented alongside other particulars of graduates presented to the NYSC scheme for mobilisation has created an unsavoury situation for many Nigerian graduates whose only crime is that they were admitted through the remedial programmes organised by nearly all universities in Nigeria with the tacit approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC). This demand may not only be callous and illegal but smacks of a desperate attempt by an organisation that is on the verge of extinction as a result of gross incompetence to maintain some semblance of relevance. To set the records straight, JAMB is not responsible for all admissions into tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Virtually all universities in Nigeria run remedial programmes with the tacit approval of the NUC to supplement admissions into some of their programmes. Up to 30 per cent of candidates in these colleges and faculties may be admitted through these remedial programmes. In the faculties of education and agriculture where subscription through JAMB is perennially very poor, up to 90 per cent of admissions may be sourced through the remedial programmes to satisfy the demands of the national economy for graduates from these disciplines. To progress to the degree programme, candidates in the remedial programmes only have to pass the stipulated examinations and have never been compelled to sit for the UME conducted by JAMB thereafter. I have not

S ROLE ENDS WITH THE ADMISSION PROCESS AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AUTHENTICATION OF GRADUATES AT THE END OF THE STUDY PERIOD

been able to figure out the basis for the demand by NYSC for such graduates to “regularise” their admission through generation of JAMB registration numbers for them. How would JAMB “generate” a registration number for a candidate who never registered for their examination in the first place? Would they also “generate” a score and issue a JAMB result slip for an examination never sat for? It smacks of examination malpractice to me! And for this act of ‘benevolence,’ JAMB demands the whooping sum of N4, 600 as administrative charges which I consider exploitative. And the innocent young graduates are expected to sit at home and defer their destiny indefinitely while the NYSC director and the JAMB registrar are engaged in this illegality. I had expected the National Assembly to speak for these hapless graduates but all

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Education as I see it

I hear is a deafening silence. The parents by Tosanwumi Otokunefor info@alphaedufoundation.org I thought would cry 08030904461 (email/SMS only) for help have largely remained mute probably too timid to speak. these demands would not change the sceEven the National Association of Nigerian nario that has been rightly painted by the Students (NANS) who ought to speak against director of the National Youth Service Corps. this injustice has not uttered a word. The The problem of over admission is not the Committee of Vice Chancellors has not said problem of JAMB but that of the NUC, and a thing and ASUU has turned a deaf ear also. the NUC should be made to sit up or face If someone is admitted into a university sanctions. The criminal acts of those who through JAMB and has an admission letter, collect money to mobilise unqualified corp the person’s name will be in the JAMB data members should be reported to the police base as suggested by the NYSC boss, right? and hopefully they will prosecute them. The If the person performs badly in the first two graduate who cannot read and write is the years at the university and is forced to with- manifestation of the high level of examinadraw, or if expelled for engaging in examina- tion malpractice in our higher institutions; tion malpractice, will the name be dropped this is a national calamity and demands an from the JAMB data base-of course not! urgent attention. JAMB’s role ends with the admission proEven so, the NYSC cannot take over the cess and has nothing to do with the authen- job of the police, the university administratication of graduates at the end of the study tor and the NUC for which she is not comperiod. Let it be clearly stated that the pos- petent. As for JAMB, let it be known that session of JAMB registration number and generating registration numbers for candiadmission letter cannot and does not guaran- dates who never sat for your examination tee that the candidate also graduated. Only and that for hefty sums of money is wrong. the university administration is competent Both JAMB and the NYSC may be sued for to produce an authentic list of graduates. wrongfully denying the Nigerian graduates Perhaps the NYSC boss may consider the use their fundamental human right. The Nigeof the convocation brochure as an authentic rian graduates without JAMB registration source of information on the graduates from number and admission letters have done no a particular university but certainly not a wrong; Let them proceed to serve their father JAMB data base which may be more porous land without delay! than a basket. Otokunefor is a professor of microbiology Let me proclaim loudly and clearly that at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Governments tasked to support school owners KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

A Founder, Elizade University, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo; Senate President, David Mark; ViceChancellor, Elizade University, Prof. Valentine Aletor and a guest, Otunba Anumudu during Mark’s visit to the university, recently.

Mark rallies support for education, commends Elizade University TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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enate President, David Mark has called on well-meaning Nigerians to strongly support government in the provision of quality education that could equip the younger generation for challenges ahead. He made this call during his visit to Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, emphasising that government could not do it all alone in regaining the lost glory of the education sector in the country. Commending the founder of Elizade University, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo for the establishment of the

university and the provision of state-of the- art-facilities within one year of its existence, Mark noted that facilities could match any of the world class universities. He enjoined the students of the institution to make a wise use of the facilities and come up with necessary skills that could make them competitive globally after graduation. He also urged them to shun cultism and other anti-social vices that could jeopardise their future, reminding them that the country is relying on them for future development. Also speaking during a separate visit to the university, Registrar, Joint Ad-

mission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde commended the leadership of the institution, especially for putting in place well- equipped elearning laboratories. He disclosed that the university’s computer laboratories were a model for JAMB’s intention to implement full computer-based Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination by 2015, noting that the laboratory would be included among exam centres from next year. Lauding the architectural design of the campus and serene environment, Ojerinde advised the students to be serious with their studies as they have no excuse for failure.

school proprietor, Pastor Muyiwa Bamgbose has urged governments at all levels to support school owners towards addressing the declining standard of education in the country. He made the call in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the valedictory service held by the Educational Advancement Cen-

tre (EAC) for the outgoing May/June 2013 set who are expecting their Cambridge “A” Level result at the institution. He said the major challenge faced by school proprietors in the country was the non-encouragement by government, stating that governments often believe that they can do it alone in the education sector. According to him, with governments been supportive of the school propri-

etors, they will contribute their quota to the development of the education sector such that the country will be able to compete with other nations in the world. Bamgbose who noted the contributions of the Educational Advancement Centre towards training students in different programmes, said the students are made to pass through necessary rudiments that would make them trail blazers in the society.

School proprietors step up campaign to educate all MOJEED ALABI

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wners of low cost private primary and secondary schools under the umbrella of the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), Lagos State chapter have appealed to stakeholders in the nation’s education sector to see the duty of making education accessible to every Nigerian irrespective of sex, religion, ethnicity and social class as a task that must be embraced by everyone. This call was made on Monday in Lagos when the association commenced this year’s edition of its annual

celebration, which it tagged AFED Week. The association, which comprises private school owners whose fees range between N2,000 and N10,000 for nursery and primary categories, and N10,000 and N15,000 for the secondary schools, as part of its roles to open up access to education has mandated its members to offer scholarship to a minimum of 10 indigent students per session. Speaking during the media briefing to mark the opening ceremony of the week-long events, the association’s President, Mrs. Ifejola Dada, maintained that the fact that nature has made all fingers unequal makes the

provision of quality education for every Nigerian child a responsibility that must be assumed by all, and not government alone. She explained that the realities on ground have shown that government alone cannot do it, and so the need for collaboration between government and the providers of this low-cost education. The events for this year, which commenced on Monday, will feature a national congress this morning holding at the Combo Hall of the Lagos Television compound where representatives of educational and developmental agencies will be addressing the status of the Millennium Development Goals.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Covenant University refutes allegation against ex-VC TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

EDITED BY MOJEED ALABI mojeedalabi2@yahoo.co.uk

Chairman, House Committee on Youth and Social Development, Hon. Kamil Akinlabi (middle) with students of the University of Ibadan, during the students’ visit to the National Assemby.

UI, LASU students visit legislators HAMMED HAMZAT UI

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embers of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Ibadan, have visited the two chambers of the National Assembly, just as their counterparts from the Lagos State University, Ojo, also visited the Lagos State House of Assembly. Their visit was part of their efforts not only to learn the rules of legislative business but also to make the legislative chambers realise the fact that the future leaders are looking up to them as mentors. The visit, which the students’ council said will not only afford the students the opportunity to dream big, it will also caution the assembly members to guard their actions on the floors of the two houses jealously to avoid bad image. The council, who upon arrival at the assembly, were received by the Serjeant-at-Arms in charge of Education and Excursion, Mr. A.O Alabi, were conducted round the complex before leading them to the upper chamber and later to the House of Representatives. At the upper chamber, the Senate President, who acknowledged the presence of the students briefly counseled them on the importance of legislature to successful democratic process, commenced the business of the day by calling chairmen of various committees to present the reports of tasks given to them. The students, who were led by the SRC Speaker,

Oluyemi Sarumi, after leaving the upper lower chamber, which was anchored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, later visited the senators representing Oyo State and members of the House of Representatives in their individual offices. Senator Ayoade Adeseun, representing Oyo Central Senatorial District and his counterpart from Oyo North, Olufemi Lanlehin, commended the students for their bravery and enjoined them to aim to better the society. The Chairman of House of Representatives’ Committee on Youth and Social Development, Hon. Kamil Akinlabi, also told the students to be prepared for future challenges by being focused. The Deputy Speaker of the students’ council, Ifeoluwa Egunjobi said the experience was memorable. In a similar development, members of the Lagos State House of Assem-

bly especially those who graduated from the Lagos State University, have counseled the students on the ways and manner legislative businesses are conducted on the house floor and the rules and regulations that must be followed by the legislators before introducing a bill. Some of the members, including a former President of the university’s Students Union, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu 1 Constituency, told the students to always conduct themselves in peaceful manner and take their studies more seriously. The students, who witnessed the house debate on a bill sent to the House by the state’s executive council on the Ikoyi toll gate, said they were impressed on the conduct of the house matters and that they hoped to make their contributions to country’s development. The speaker of the students’ representatives’ council, Sanni Sadiq said

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ovenant University, Ota, Ogun State yesterday refuted a report by a social media that the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Aize Obayan had been suspended from her current position as the Director of the Education Commission of the Winners Chapel for allegedly altering examination results for many students in the university’s Departments of Mass Communication and Chemistry while she was the vice-chancellor of the university. Mrs. Obayan, a professor of Counseling was until last December and for seven years the vice-chancellor of the faith-based university. A statement made available to National Mirror yesterday by the university’s Head, Corporate and Public Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Igban, refuted the allegation, describing the report as utter falsehood and a mere conjecture with intent to malign the good name of the university and that of the former VC, as well as other officers mentioned in the story. It further stated that Prof. Obayan whose eleva-

300 LEVEL

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he authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State have appealed to students of the institution over the sudden power outage that lasted few hours last Saturday. National Mirror gathered that the tradition of the university was to make a prior notice that there would be power outage on a particular day whenever such black out would last beyond an hour. But the last Saturday

occurrence when the electricity was suddenly interrupted around 3.45 pm and restored few hours later without a prior notice took the students unaware. It was gathered that the power outage on the campus usually generate tension among students, especially if occur during exams. Against this backdrop, the Works and Maintenance Services unit in charge of electricity distribution in the university campus issued a memo the following day

tion to her present position was based on her excellent performance as a VC is still holding her current office and that there is no plan to remove her. The university according to the statement is not only blessed with erudite scholars of international repute who can never be manipulated but also appoints credible external examiners from reputable universities both within and outside the country for the vetting of all examinations scripts of students of the university. While disclosing that it is true that the daughter of Prof. Obayan graduated from the Department of Mass Communication and that she earned her grades with her academic records available for verification, the release also stated that being a Christian mission

Nigerians no longer read –VC , Lead City MOJEED ALABI

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he Vice-Chancellor of Lead City University (LCU), Ibadan, Prof. Olufemi Onabajo, has criticized the waning reading culture in Nigeria saying it

OAU appeals to students on power outage ABASS ALOBALOWO

Obayan

institution, Covenant University’s mandate and core values negate exam malpractice or fraud in whatever guise. Similarly, the university also refuted the report by the same social media that a former Registrar of the university, Pastor Daniel Rotimi had married a former student of the institution as a second wife, saying it was not only untrue but also a mischievous report of the highest order. According to the university, Pastor Daniel is an ordained minister of God in the Living Faith Church who believes and abides by the church’s doctrine of one man one wife and therefore did not marry a second wife “So, it is sad that the university was never contacted for her side of the story by a reporter from Saharareporters.com before going to press, the practice which is against the ethics of journalism,” he said. While the university therefore enjoining those behind the report to desist from such act, it is equally restating its commitment to core values of spirituality, integrity and responsibility in its drive to becoming one of the top 10 world class universities within the next decade.

appealing to the students and other members of the university community stating the efforts of the university to restore the essential utility was proved abortive. The memo, signed by the Co-ordinator of the unit, Mr. A.T. Oyeniran, stated in part that, the university authority was greatly concerned about the general power outage on campus mostly because of the ongoing first semester examination and therefore regrets any inconvenience arising from the development.

contributes significantly to the socio-economic and political challenges facing the country. Prof. Onabajo, who made this remark recently when a team of National Mirror staff visited the university, said the development affects all sectors of the economy including the media. He praised publishers of newspapers in the country for their investment in the business, which he described as delicate and capitalintensive. “It is the simple truth that Nigerians no longer read and this development has adverse effects on the state of things in Nigeria. I particularly dread the newspapers business because they usually have the issue of unsold copies to contend with. It is a major challenge,” Onabajo stated. Meanwhile, the VC has reiterated the commit-

ment of the university to offer quality education and opening of access to every Nigerian to be educated without compromising the laid down rules and regulations. He thanked National Mirror for the visit pledging mutually beneficial partnership with the paper especially in the area of training for students of Mass Communication Department and exchange of ideas on other relevant areas.

Onabajo


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Campus News

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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World Cultural Day unites OAU students A BASS A LOBALOWO OAU, ILE-IFE

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t was a celebration of the beauty in Nigeria’s culture and traditions recently when students of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe, Osun State, gathered to mark this year’s World Cultural Day. The event, which drew participants across all the major ethnic groups in the country, also featured lecture on the contributions of cultural values to the promotion of unity and national development.

The keynote speaker at the event, Mr. Joshua Ayodele, who discussed the theme: Cultural dialogue and integration: A pathway to unity and development in Nigeria, said celebration of culture was a veritable way of promoting unity and development in any society, especially polarized ones. He noted that although culture was celebrated across the world yearly, dancing and display of costumes were most celebrated. “Culture is a way of life and people should use it to promote unity and understanding,”

he counselled, adding that the development of cultural values has tremendously impacted on education, trade, technology and migration in the country. He added that cultural dialogue was inevitable if Nigeria would experi-

ence permanent peace, noting that the absence of one would result in intolerance of one another’s way of life. Earlier in his address, the Head of the department, represented by Dr. Lateef Adisa, a lecturer in the department told

the organisers of the programme to also take their studies very seriously. He explained that it would be very important for any nation to employ dialogue and cultural values as a way of achieving developmental goals.

The ceremony, which featured cultural dance by members of the university’s Kegite Club, dramatic presentations, Urhobo native dance, among other activities, was described by the participants as enriching and interactive.

Niger Delta varsity student emerges Miss Astymin O LUWASEUN L AWSON

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student of Niger Delta University, Abraka, in Delta State, Ebisondo Victoria Awala has emerged the winner of a beauty pageant competition sponsored by one of Nigeria’s leading drug manufacturing companies, Fidson Healthcare Plc. The competition, which held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, was part of the activities to mark this year’s annual celebration of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS). While Awala emerged as the winner of Miss Astymin, Chiogo Michelle Okeke from University of Jos and Orun Ehinfomen from University of Benin, Benin City emerged as the first and second runners-up, respectively. The event, which was tagged: Astymin Nite, brought together

all the pharmaceutical students in the nation’s public and private universities featuring other activities like workshops, interactive sessions, among others. According to General Manager (Marketing) of the company, Mr. Ola Ijimakin, the Fidson Healthcare is proud to be associated with PANS, which is the umbrella body of pharmacy students in Nigeria. “We believe in the ability of these undergraduates in bringing about a positive change to the pharmaceutical industry in the country in the future and our company is therefore using this platform to connect them with Astymin brand and encourage them to achieve their full potentials,” he said. Participants at the event including guest artistes, who are celebrities in entertaining industry, were treated to a night of fun and breathtaking experience.

Some of the participants at the event.

BELLSTECH applauds governing council chairman MOJEED ALABI

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he management of Bells University of Technology (BELLSTECH), Ota, Ogun State, has commended the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Prof. Emmanuel Edozien, for providing academic, moral and financial support for the institution. The Vice-Chancellor of

the University, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, who made this disclosure recently during an interview with National Mirror, said the chairman has donated to the university a lecture theatre worth millions of naira. Adeyemi, who was recently elected the Chairman of the Association of Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of Private Universities, said the involvement of individuals and private organisations in

the provision of sound and quality education in Nigeria has helped the country to neutralize the challenges facing the sector. While calling on other individuals and organisations to emulate Prof. Edozien, Adeyemi also thanked the university’s promoter and former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Emeritus Professor

Oladipo Akinkugbe; the Chancellor, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, and other members of both the council and the management of the university for standing as pillars of support for his administration. Adeyemi pledged to move the university to the Promised Land by building an institution that can compete with her global counterparts in terms of training and researches.

AUN introduces new programmes HAUWA LAWAL

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he Graduate School of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State, has introduced four additional programmes aimed at equipping aspiring decision makers in both private and public institutions.

The new programmes, which include, Master of Business Administration (MBA), will according to the institution commence in August. The Dean of the school, Dr. John Leonard said; “AUN is adding more faculty members to go with its firstclass buildings that will enable students to gain superior education in business.”

Founder, Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (2nd right) and others at the commissioning of a lecture theatre donated to the university recently.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

T the weekend, The Punch reported an incident involving the gruesome murder of a nine-year-old boy, Timileyin Ebun, in Mile 12 area of Lagos State by a policeman. This has become a routine! And this is partly why President Goodluck Jonathan declared last week that Nigerians do not have confidence in the police! With the notoriety of policing in Lagos as a barometer, how can we trust cops? Amid these fatalities, some hacks still have the effrontery to abuse words in brash and puerile defence of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko! Media gaffes come in different tepid typologies. Here is one of such: a clownish rejoinder published in a weekly newspaper on May 19, 2013. It was written by one Chief Tony Chigbo based in Abuja in an infantile response to my unassailable critique of Manko published in Daily Sun of May 15. This fellow just begged the question. I am sure his rudderless principals/masters/sponsors/accomplices must have been gladdened by the shrouded invectives heaped on this writer! Also last month, Daily Sun Back Page columnist, Dr. Amanze Obi, was unflinching in his support for Manko. The interesting aspect of this demonstration of love for the Lagos CP is that the outpouring of affection is coming from editors, columnists and hacks after my

Umar Manko’s men and semantics disapproving comments on the leadership of police and policing in Lagos. This widespread rooting for police and Manko is interesting by all ramifications and what pondering over. The debility of most reactions to published works is that the scurrilous writers of such jaundiced responses write in a fit of imbecilic anger and end up not addressing issues raised but attacking the personality of the writer of the “offensive” article, which was exactly what Chigbo did. As a respected professional, I will not descend to his indecorous level of calumny. What are the sore points about Manko and his command which I mentioned in my column that generated Chigbo’s brickbats? Ordinarily, I would have ignored the juvenility of the Sunday Sun virulence, but the danger in that kind of dismissive attitude is that the public could be misled by such a preposterous intervention if there is no elucidation as this. It is apposite to mention here that well-meaning Nigerians, including top cops from Lagos and other parts of the country, had spoken with me on this matter and I promised them that I will allow sleeping dogs lie. Then, from the blues, came one pugnacious Chigbo afflicted by sycophantic

Oil company boosts reading culture in Rivers SAM OLUWALANA

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s part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities, Total Nigeria Plc recently organised a reading session in Port Harcourt, Rives State capital with about 60 secondary school students in the state in attendance. The Deputy Managing Director of the company, Port Harcourt District, who was represented by the Executive General Manager, Administration, Mr. Peter Igbinovia said the company organised the event to build reading habit in the youths. He said that reading opens a new horizon and makes the individual better informed and abreast of happenings around the world. The event, which also saw to the donation of

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textbooks to some schools in the state, brought together role models including the state’s Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Owene Wonodi, Vice- Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka among others. Speaking separately, Mr. Wonodi and Captain Elechi Amadi urged the students to see reading as leisure, for it not only helps acquire knowledge but also ensures a bright future. The President, Association of Nigerian Principals of Secondary Schools, Rivers State, Dr. Mrs Fubara on her part, decried the negative influences of social media such as Face Book and Tweeter on students, urging them to face their studies so as to become economically relevant in future.

ENCOMIUMS CAN ONLY POUR

FORTH WHEN ANYONE ACHIEVES EXTRAORDINARY FEATS—NOT ROUTINE/EXPECTED PERFORMANCES tomfoolery! Just one critical paragraph from my controversial piece: “Why set out to enrich corrupt cops by subtly and gradually resuscitating checkpoints? I am not sure the police authorities know the magnitude of corruption and alienation this traffic fraud causes them nationwide.” Now, the Chigbo gaffe-ridden diatribe: since I do not have space liberty and his permission to reproduce his intemperate comments, I will just flag some of the hollow observations. My accuser said I was hypocritical by declaring that only the best CPs are posted to Lagos and in the same breath I wrote off his benefactor. Also tangential to this is my alleged disregard for the IGP in the case of redeployment. A lot of extraneous factors and base sentiments influence postings—it is not always a question of competency or being the best (merit). Even if it were so, do we foreclose man’s fallibility and emotive dispositions in such circumstances? In any case, I never alluded to Chigbo’s delusion that Manko was

the best for the job. Bellicose critics should read between the lines before jumping into issues they hardly comprehend. Another charge was that I did not appreciate the great work Manko was doing in Lagos despite attendant challenges. Should I eulogize a man for carrying out his official functions for which he gets paid from citizens’ taxes? Encomiums can only pour forth when anyone achieves extraordinary feats—not routine/expected performances. There was also the etymological aspect of the cross-fire. Chigbo tried futilely to “teach me nonsense” on the distinction between ‘permanence of roadblocks’ and ‘stop-and-search,’ stressing that there was nothing like ‘mobile checkpoint’ as I mentioned in my vexatious article. At the risk of immodesty, I have a good grasp of semantics/satire and I strongly believe I understand the English language deeply and have attained a publicly-acceptable poetic discretional level. Whatever euphemism, appellation or

nomenclature we ascribe to the street menace, police presence on the road is more deleterious than their absence for obvious reasons! Whatever descriptive term we apply in this circumstantial sociolinguistic environment (roadblock/checkpoint/stop-andsearch/’mobile checkpoint’/road blockade/partial road closure in their permanence or temporariness, etc.), it is a holistic disservice to the police institution because of the bad eggs and their horrendous activities. The disadvantages of roadblocks (in generic bent) far outweigh their advantages. It should interest numskulls that there is nothing like ‘permanent roadblock’ hence my ‘mobile checkpoint’ contextual creativity! Next time, this Abuja ‘chief ’ should not muddle up issues. Whether Manko is good or not was not my subject and will never be because of my eschatological subscription. The buck stops on his desk. He takes responsibility for the actions and inactions of his lieutenants and when there is applause, he would be the chief lapper of glory. So, my focus was really on the bad apples (bad boys) in the system and policing in Lagos—not Manko per se! Perhaps, I should have written in vernacular for the sycophants of Abuja and Lagos to assimilate.

Again, Oriwu Model College emerges winner at 2013 Lagos schools’ debate TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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gain, representatives of Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, Masters Temitope Ejide and Samuel Ajimati have emerged winners of this year’s edition of the Lagos Schools’ Debate competition organised for secondary school students in the state. The school also produced the last year’s winners with Ejide as one of the two representatives. At this year’s edition, Ejide and his supporterAjimati- rose from the preliminary stage to beat other contestants from a total of 308 and 14 public and private secondary schools that participated across the six educational districts of the state to win a gold trophy and half a million naira plus a certicate of merit. While the duo of Modupe Adeyemi and Mary Ore from Vetland Senior Model College, Ifako-Ijaiye came sec-

Winner, 2013 Lagos Schools’ Debate competition, Master Temitope Ejide (centre) flanked by his parents, Mr and Mrs. Kayode Ejide, at the grand finale of the competition in Lagos.

ond, Oluwanifesimi Adefila and Thompson Abimbola of Lagos State Senior Model College, Igbokuta, Ikorodu beat Badagry Senior Grammar School, Badagry to win the third position. In the individual speakers’ category, Adepeju Fatiu of Eko Akete Senior Grammar School, Lagos Island defeated six other contestants to clinch the first position while Adejuwon Shadeko of Agidingbi Senior Grammar School, Ikeja; Oluwaseyi Ba-

logun of Ikosi Senior Grammar School, Ketu came second and third, respectively. While the 15-year-old Ejide, whose both parents are primary school teachers supported the motion that multiparty as against the two party system of government is a wate of fund, scored 73.8 per cent to defeat his opponent who scored 68.5 per cent. In his remark, Governor Babatunde Fashola, represented by his Special Adviser on Commerce, Mr.

Seye Oladejo commended all the participants for their impressive outings, saying the initiative has so far yielded some significant results in the students’ performances in the external exams. On her part,, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye said that the annual debate competition had been able to improve the students’ knowledge on the local and global issues of public importance.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Metu missing, as 100m final holds today 30

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Sport

I am relaxed with regard to my future at Chelsea; until anything comes out to determine otherwise -Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres

...Kalu says it’s utmost test

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Eagles’ line-up against Tahiti on Monday.

We’ll battle Uruguay today for Nigeria, Africa – Keshi EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

…Match kicks off 11pm

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e’re on a good swing and the mood is great. There’s nothing to be apprehensive about. We have no injury worries and the boys will simply go in there and give their best for country and continent.” Nigeria’s coach, Stephen Keshi, was in his element yesterday, in Salvador, as he previewed today’s clash with Uruguay in the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil. Keshi maintained that the Super Eagles were relishing their underdogs status going into this confrontation with the South American champions, but however, raised hope that African football would be acknowledged globally at the end of this night’s match-up that begins at 11pm Nigerian time. Nigeria and Uruguay have never met at full international level. And both countries realise they have to take something out of this clash at the Arena Fonte Nova, which is eagerly awaited by football followers around the world, especially as the La Celeste lost 2-1 to Spain in their first match last Sunday.

Keshi

Super Eagles are building confidence with their victory over another South American side, Venezuela, in a friendly in Miami, USA last November. Venezuela is the only South American country that Nigeria had beaten previously, but Keshi said yesterday that his players are history-makers and have the pedigree to pick maximum points in Salvador tonight. Against South Americans, Eagles have lost a brace of friendly matches: 0-1 to Colombia (1994 and 2008), lost by the same scoreline to the Colombians at the US Gold Cup in June 1995 and fell 1-3 to Paraguay at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, before drawing 1-1 with

the Paraguayans in a friendly in London in 2002. Brazil, five-time world champions, hit the Eagles 3-0 in a friendly in Abuja in June 2003, and two-time world champions, Argentina, narrowly edged three previous clashes at the FIFA World Cup, in 1994, 2002 and 2010. Nigeria also lost 0-1 to Peru in a friendly in Lima last year, but had secured a 2-2 draw with Ecuador at the LG Cup tournament in Libya in October, 2004. However, the Eagles are twowins-out-of-two against Venezuela, following a 1-0 defeat in a friendly in London in July 2003 and the sweet 3-1 thumping in America seven months ago. Additionally, Nigeria is one of only two countries never to have lost a FIFA Confederations Cup match in normal time and the present Super Eagles have not lost a competitive match since Keshi assumed office 19 months ago. Victory over Uruguay will lift Nigeria to six points and a place in the tournament’s semi-finals, ahead of the crunchy tie with European and World Champions, Spain, in Fortaleza on Sunday.

igerians who think that Super Eagles’ game against Uruguay today is a tea party need to listen to former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who believes the South Americans are no easy meat. Kalu dreads Uruguay more than Spain, hinging his fears on what he called the South American jinx which he explained continued to haunt the Nigerians. In a statement sent to National Mirror yesterday, the ex-governor said, “Uruguay will be tough, very tough. The South Americans have a way round our Super Eagles in FIFA organised championships. I rate Uruguay higher than Spain in this competition.” Continuing, the ex-governor added, “At the USA’94 World Cup, Argentina beat the Eagles 2-1 in spite of Samson Siasia’s opener. France ‘98 saw Paraguay pound us

3-1, Argentina won again 1-0 in Ibaraki, Korea\Japan 2002 and again 1-0 in South Africa. Do not forget that the Argies also got a goalless draw at the Saudi’ 95 Confederations Cup.” Kalu recalled that in France 15 years ago, Spain and Nigeria were in the same group with Sunday Oliseh’s ballistic missile destroying the Spanish Armada as quickly as it anchored at the World Cup. Ironically, the Europeans were knocked out in the first round even after murdering Bulgaria 6-1 in their last group match. “I do not fear Spain. My prayer is, Eagles must not treat Uruguay with kid cleats. After all, they finished third at South Africa 2010. Beating Tahiti 6-1 is no big deal. Spain did it to Bulgaria in 1998, yet they could go no further. Nobody should dream of a walkover in today’s clash,” Kalu cautioned.

U-20 W/Cup: F/Eagles plan against Portugal

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igeria will hope to get off to a winning start in Friday night’s opening match against Portugal at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The Flying Eagles, who finished third at the recent African Youth Championship (AYC) in Algeria, are drawn against Portugal, debutants Cuba and South Korea in Group B based in Kayseri. Portugal beat Nigeria 2-1 at the recent Toulon International Tournament in France as a prelude to tomorrow’s showdown. Midfielder Ovbokha Agboyi was one of the several established players who did not play in Toulon and he said it was crucial to get off to a winning start against a good Portugal team in Kayseri. “The opening game is very important for us. We lost our first game to Mali at the AYC and it really

affected us. We cannot afford this at the World Cup,” the Bayelsa United defensive midfielder declared. Nigeria German assistant coach Jurgen Press said he rates Portugal very highly. “Portugal will be one of the top four teams at this World Cup. They are tactically sound and parade some very experienced players,” Press said. Meanwhile, FIFA on Tuesday afternoon formally welcomed the Flying Eagles to the World Cup in Turkey. Kayseri venue general co-ordinator, Juan Carlos, from Argentina chaired the meeting where players and officials were briefed at their Hilton Hotel camp on what is expected of them both on and off the pitch. Each player who made the final 21-man squad received a token $100 from FIFA as well as a certificate of participation.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

FIFA Confederations Cup 2013…

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tranfers… It’s country before club–Mata

Mikel Obi (l) plotting with Elderson Echiejile at a recent game.

We’re focused on the trophy –Mikel Super Eagles’ midfielder, John Obi Mikel, spoke to MTNFootball.com on Nigeria’s chances at defeating Uruguay in their FIFA Confederations Cup match tonight, among other issues relating to his career How will you describe the opening game against Tahiti? It was a great game for us getting the maximum three points with a wide margin. It was a great game for us. We gave our best and it paid off. What do you have to say about the game against Uruguay? It will be a good game. I am looking forward to it. We are prepared and will go all out to earn victory against Uruguay. They will be tougher than Tahiti, but no cause for alarm. We will do our best as usual as we represent the nation and the continent. What can you say about last season with Chelsea? It was okay and good, I made another history with my team winning the Europa League. Though I didn’t get what I dreamt of last season. What was it that you aspired for

last season and didn’t get? I wanted to retain the UEFA Champions League trophy, but could not. But the season ended well with another European title. What has winning the AFCON done for you? It has added to my zeal to always aspire for trophy which has been a habit since I joined Chelsea. In the Nigeria last three World Cup qualifiers, the Eagles recorded a win and two draws and they got their goals rather very late. I never gave up hope that we will get the goals needed in those games because we were playing well. We should all know that there are no longer easy games and especially being African champions means every team wants to beat us, but no matter what, we remain focused in every game we play. What is your personal target at the FIFA Confederations Cup?

We will do our best to write our names in the history books. Do you see Eagles winning the trophy? Yes, we can. We will just play each game as they come, first target is to advance to the next stage, then we will take it from there. Are you wary of any of the teams in your group in the Confederations Cup? None of the teams. I have never been afraid of any team, we are equal to the task. I respect all the teams here in our group because we are all champions and we will go all out against all of them. Talking of world champions Spain in particular... Our next game is against Uruguay. That is my focus now and that of the team. I am not thinking of Spain now but we are good enough to face any team in the world.

Chelsea midfielder, Juan Mata, remains fully focused on his playing commitments with Spain amid mounting transfer talks. Speculation has suggested that returning Blues coach Jose Mourinho would be prepared to let Mata leave Stamford Bridge this summer to free up space in his squad. Such reports have caught the attention of Barcelona, with the La Liga champion prepared to take the World Cup winner back to his homeland. It is rumoured that an offer has already been put to Chelsea for a player it snapped up from Valencia in 2011 and has helped the side to UEFA Champions League and Europa League titles. Mata has been a key figure for the Blues since his arrival, winning back-toback player of the year awards and gracing the Premier League team of the year for 2012/13. He insists he is giving little thought to transfer gossip, with his season about to stretch into a 69th game as Spain prepare to face Tahiti in the Confederations Cup on Thursday. “Obviously it’s tough, talking about it physically, but I don’t feel down, I still feel fresh and all I want is to play as many games as I can,” Mata said yesterday. “I really enjoyed this season. It was a tough and long for us, but at the end we won a trophy so it was good. “I love to play with my national team, so all I can do is train and look forward to playing, because I love to play football.”

Hammers hook Carroll

England forward, Andy Carroll, has completed his permanent transfer to West Ham United for an undisclosed club record fee. The striker spent the duration of the 2012-13 campaign on loan with the Hammers, scoring seven goals in 24 appearances, and signed a six-year contract after passing a medical. Carroll joined Liverpool from Newcastle United on transfer deadline day in January 2011 for a fee of around £35million after the Reds had allowed Fernando Torres to move to Chelsea for £50million. He played 58 games for Anfield club in total, and scored 11 times, but was plagued by injuries before new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers allowed him to be loaned to the east London club. “It’s fantastic for me to be here. I really enjoyed last season, and that shows in me coming back and making it permanent,” Carroll, 24, who also suffered with hamstring injury at the Boleyn Ground, said yesterday. Carroll has played nine times for England, scoring his second goal against Sweden in last summer’s European

Tit bits...

Puyol

Alcantara

Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol, is undergoing more surgery, according to reports in Spain yesterday. The veteran defender will undergo surgery to remove a Baker’s cyst from his right knee as he looks forward to playing a huge part in the coming season. He will be out of action for three to four weeks and his return is targeted at boosting the team mates, some of whom are representing Spain at the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Reports yesterday said Chelsea is competing with Manchester United for Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara. The reports claimed Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wanted the player whose release clause is around £18.8million. Thiago struck a hat-trick for Spain U21 in Tuesday night’s Euros final victory over Italy. The midfielder, who wants out of Barca, is also a top target for United boss David Moyes.

Lukaku Borussia Dortmund has enquired about the availability of out-of-favour Chelsea loanee, Romelu Lukaku. Reports say along with Kevin de Bruyne, Dortmund has also asked about Belgium international Lukaku. The German club would happily take Lukaku off Chelsea this season as cover for Robert Lewandowski, whose future remains clouded.

Pique Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique, has urged Thiago Alcantara to reject his former club Manchester United. Pique was delighted for Thiago after he struck a hat-trick for Spain in Tuesday night’s U-21 Euros final triumph over Italy and hopes he chooses to stay. “There is a possibility that he could leave but we have to convince him that the best place for him is Barcelona,” Pique, a product of Barca’s academy who spent four years at Old Trafford before returning to the Spanish club, said yesterday.

Nolito Liverpool has opened talks with Benfica for striker Nolito. The Spaniard spent last season on-loan at Granada and is up for sale at Benfica this summer. Record says Liverpool has made an initial approach and learned Benfica is willing to sell Nolito for 5 million. The former Barcelona striker, 26, has three years left on his current deal.

Ayew

Turkey 20 World Cup Cu

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hen it come catching explo global stage, can sides can match Gh neering pedigree. Most of all, the Black Stars of becoming the first na the continent to reach World Cup semi-fina only a last-gasp penalt by Asamoah Gyan deni spot in the last four at rica 2010. Andre Ayew sat out ter-final meeting with through suspension, bu very much involved a ye when Ghana made an ev splash at the FIFA U-20 W History was written at E as the Black Satellites d win the prestigious co but posted a landmark, Europe and South Amer stranglehold on the tour its 17th edition. Four years on from G umph, and with the 19 due to kick-off tomorro key, Ayew, who was the c that groundbreaking sid forgotten the joy his team sparked. “It’s quite simply th moment of my career,” FIFA.com yesterday. That is no hollow either, the 23-year-old midfielder-and son of A having enjoyed plenty winning both the Frenc Cup and Trophees des ons twice in addition t in Ghana’s 2010 FIFA W odyssey. “It’s a wonderful feeli gone down in history a African team to win the


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Charity Golf: Foundation woos sponsors AFOLABI GAMBARI

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013: Ayew relives upp experience

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Sport

Thursday, June 20, 2013

tion,” he continues, his memories still fresh of Ghana’s 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory against Brazil in the final. “What’s more, we won against Brazil, when everyone thought we’d lost before the match had even started. For me personally, as the captain, to be the first African to lift the cup made me happy and proud.” Ayew could also be satisfied with his contribution on the pitch, hitting two goals and serving up three assists in seven games. On loan from Marseille at secondtier Arles-Avignon at the time, the left-footed forward then built on his FIFA U-20 World Cup experience to finish the 2009/10 season in style, although he missed out as Marseille was crowned French champion the same year. “Honestly, I have no regrets,” he explained. “Marseille were champions that year, but the 2009/10 season was the one that made my career. I won the U-20 World Cup, appeared in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations and reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup, all these in that year.” The current Black Satellites squad will compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, drawn alongside Spain, the USA and France in Group A, and Ayew would not but pass on his experience to the young lads. “I would advise them to be ready mentally, because it’s a long and draining competition. “They have to be ready for real battle, all in the knowledge that their efforts will perhaps be rewarded at the end of the competition.”

igeria Heart Foundation (NHF) had appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to support its forthcoming 17th NHF Charity Golf Tournament. The NHF is an affiliate of the World Heart Federation with major objectives of heart health promotion, support of medical and scientific research in heart disease related issues. Chairman of the Organising Committee, Joseph Abu, who is a respected amateur golfer and entrepreneur, told National Mirror in Lagos yesterday that the foundation planned to raise about of N25million for tournaments around the country with a view to propagating the NHF ideals. The foundation organises golf tournaments in Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Kano, Ibadan and Ada, Osun State, as well as other courses around the country to

Durbar stadium to get facelift MOJEED ALABI

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yo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Dapo Lam Adesina, has assured on the renovation of the Durbar Stadium in Oyo town. Adesina who gave the assurance at the final of the Ere Alaafin Soccer Competition in Oyo, stated that the ancient city deserved the honour in view of the government’s aim at developing sporting talents in the state. The maiden edition of the tournament which had teams from South West part of Nigeria participating was sponsored by a lawmaker representing Atiba

encourage participation in lifestyle activities, which aimed development of healthy heart and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Abu said this year’s event would tee off at the Ikoyi Club 1938 (Golf Section) in Lagos on Saturday and would subsequently hold in other courses in Kano, Abuja, Jos and Ibadan. “Money raise will be used to run these tournaments, part of which would be used for other advocacy programmes on the need for healthy lifestyle of Nigerians,” the committee boss explained. In the recent past, the NHF has through its partner carried out general free health screening for participants and embarked on a project mobilising support for the introduction of Home School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFP) for children from kindergarten to primary two in public schools in five South West states in Nigeria. State Constituency in the Oyo State Assembly, Hon. Ganiyu Waliyu Adekunle, in honour of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi. Stadium Boys defeated Bisi Ilaka FC by a lone goal to cart away the trophy while Super Jet of Iseyin defeated Joint FC of Lagos to win the third place match. The semi-finalists also got prizes from the sponsor. “I was motivated by the deplorable condition of the stadium and I called the commissioner’s attention to it,” Hon. Adekunle said while promising to move a motion for the stadium’s uplift in the House. “The stadium will be renovated to international status,” he added. Oba Adeyemi and party chieftains in the state were among dignitaries who attended the final match.

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi (in green trunks) handing over the trophy to winner of the Ere Alaafin Soccer Competition at Durbar Stadium, Oyo

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Ahead Wimbledon 2013…

Fresh Murray gets second seed

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orld number two, Andy Murray, has been confirmed as the second seed for the Wimbledon men’s singles and could face Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals. French Open champion Nadal is seeded fifth, below Spanish compatriot David Ferrer, who he beat in the final at Roland Garros. Nadal could face another big name in the last eight, with Murray, top seed Novak Djokovic and defending champion Roger Federer all potential last-eight opponents. The seedings for Wimbledon are based on a formula that takes no account of matches at the tournament before 2011. Nadal’s victories in 2008 and 2010 therefore have no influence on his seeding this time round, with his second-round exit to Lukas Rosol last year proving costly. He also suffered as a result of missing the last seven months with a knee injury. The top-ranked 32 players in the world start as seeds, with their current totals supplemented by points gained on grass in the past two years. There were no surprises in the women’s seedings, with defending champion Serena Williams leading the way, ahead of Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska.

My plan for success–Djokovic

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orld number one, Novak Djokovic, says that he does not resort to mind games with his opponents because his biggest mental battle is with himself. The Serb is heading into the year’s third grand slam at Wimbledon on the back of a semi-final defeat to Rafa Nadal in the French Open in a brutal five-set encounter. If he can win his own internal fight though, the Australian Open champion is confident that he can get the better of his competitors at the All-England Club. “I don’t play mind games in the locker room with my competitors, with my rivals. I think that the biggest challenge, mental challenge, for myself is actually me,” the 26-year-old said yesterday. “I have a mental fight with myself where I try to focus on positive thoughts and then, if you manage to do that, because of intensity level and competition level, you go through a lot of stages where you have doubts,” he added. The key, according to Djokovic, is to remain confident and, if he does that, he feels it can impact on the opposing player. “You’re fighting that by yourself and then if you manage to focus your thoughts in the direction of positive then it radiates through you and your opponent feels it,” he submitted.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

National Athletics Trials 2013…

Metu missing as 100m final holds today Obinna Metu (411) coasting to 100m victory in Calabar last year

STORIES: YEMI OLUS CALABAR

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efending champion of the men’s 100m, Obinna Metu, was nowhere near the tracks of the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar when the heats of the short sprint were concluded at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN)/ Cross River State All-Nigeria Athletics Championships yesterday.

Abdullahi, Imoke flag off show

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ports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, yesterday officially declared the 2013 AFN/CRS All Nigeria Athletics Championship open. National Mirror gathered that Abdullahi had shelved a scheduled trip to Brazil to see the Super Eagles at the ongoing Confederations Cup and would remain in the Cross River State capital till the end of the championship tomorrow. Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, also cut short his engagements in Abuja to attend the ceremony. Senator Imoke’s sports development feats have been adjudged by experts to be the best in Nigeria. President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Evangelist Solomon Ogba, has commended the organisers for what he called an excellent job. “I am sure this championship will become bigger and better,” Ogba said. Meanwhile, about N12million

Over the years the rivalry between Metu and championship favourite, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, has added glamour to the national trials but it remains unclear why the athlete who runs for the Nigeria Immigrations, failed to defend his title. Metu was also absent at the Warri Relays/Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Grand Prix last week when Egwero ran a season’s best of 10.16secs which was just one second

short of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships ‘A’ standard. Technical Director of the AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, had last week appealed to Metu to run in Calabar in order to test his level of fitness and preparedness for forthcoming competitions. Athletes that qualified for the semis from Heat 1 of the men’s 100m are Egwero (10.20),

will be up for grabs at the ongoing championship. According to Ogba, gold medalist will go home with N100, 000, silver medalist N75, 000 and bronze medalist N50, 000. Ogba also pledged to personally award N1million to the jackpot winner, addition to the N2million prize money that the winner will get from the organisers. An athlete must score 1, 200 points to win the jackpot while the Hungarian Table will be used to count the points. Any athlete who sets a new record will also cart home N160, 000 as reward.

Sport Minister, Abdullahi

Ogunlewe Seye (10.44), Emuobonuvie Mamus (10.52 and Egode Anthony (10.57). Nmaju Jonathan (10.42), Ikhazobor Victor (10.52), Kasumu Ahmed (10.55) and Imhoaperamhu Nicholas (10.61) qualified from Heat 2. Heat 3 comprises of Agbaje Fred (10.56), Ukale Elvis (10.62) and Oyebiyi Ayobami (10.68) while athletes that made it to the next round from Heat 4 include Chukwudike Harry (10.41),

Tamuontonye Briggs (10.47), Onyeaku Chukwuma (10.53) and Akomolafe Ademola (10.63). Also missing in Calabar is Team Nigeria sprinter Christy Udoh who represented Nigeria at the London 2012 Games. The US-based athlete had aimed to be at the Championship which also serves as trials for the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championship in Athletics but was hampered by academic schedules.

‘Esuene to get new track’

Okagbare claims fifth title

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ross River State Commissioner for Sports, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, has revealed that athletes would run on a new track at next year’s AFN/CRS All Nigeria Athletics Championship. “This has become necessary because of the hosting rights awarded to us as hosts of the 2014 National Sports Festival,” Ugbe said yesterday. “A new track will be laid by January 2014 whilst the following AFN/ CRS All Nigeria Athletics Championship will be used to test-run he facility,” he added. Ugbe, however, expressed optimism that Team Nigeria would win medals at the World Championship in Moscow to break the jinx that has prevailed since 1999. “Calabar has proved a veritable training ground for our sports representatives before they achieve success and the athletes’ case would not be different,” Ugbe enthused. Meanwhile, Kefas Williams of the Nigeria Police emerged the first

Ugbe

gold medalist at the ongoing Athletics Federation of Nigeria/Cross River State All-Nigeria Athletics Championships in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. The long distance runner captured the men’s 10,000m title with a time of 31:19.96, followed by Ismail Sadjo (31:21.20) of Cross River State and Goyet Gideon (31:21.48) respectively. Patience Okoro of Edo State won the women’s javelin final with a throw of 41.87m. Priscilla Zever placed second with a distance of 40.96m while Enimuo Chioma Vivian took third position with 37.01m.

hampionship favourite, Blessing Okagbare, yesterday raced into the history books as the first Nigerian woman ever to win the national championships five times back to back in a highly charged final which served as the highlight of the first day of competition. The Beijing Olympics bronze medalist took the crown in 11.25secs, denying Gloria Asumnu her first title in the absence of fierce rival, Damola Osayomi. Home based Peace Ukoh made her way into the medal zone in third place. Okagbare, who was denied an African record recently when she ran a blistering 10.75secs at Oregon, USA, also looks set to reclaim her long jump title, having made a leap of 6.92m.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance I signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU), which gave birth to this significant event on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria while the Global Chairmen and Chief Executive Officer of GE, Mr. Jeff Emmelt, led other top executives to sign on behalf of the company.

It is important for residents to ensure that their wastes are contained in nylons bags dumped in waste containers for easy evacuation by PSP operators. SPOKESPERSON, LAGOS WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY, FOLASHADE KADIRI

Minister of Commerce ,Industry and Investment Dr Olusegun Aganga

NLNG begins payment of NIMASA levies

... seeks judicial intervention UDEME AKPAN

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he Nigeria LNG Limited has commenced the payment of various levies, including sea protection levy, 3per cent freight levies and 2per cent cabotage levy to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA in compliance with the Federal Government directive. Despite the payment, the firm insisted that it was not supposed to make such payment to the government because of the nature of its operations. The General Manager, External Relations of the company, Mr. Kudo Eresia-Eke in a statement said “It is instructive to note that Nigeria LNG Limited and its shareholders still firmly believe in the rectitude of their earlier position that NLNG is duly protected by the provisions of the NLNG Act against the payment to NIMASA of the Sea Protection Levy, the three per cent freight levies on cargo exports shipped by NLNG, and that the two per cent Cabotage Levy on LNG carriers is inapplicable because NLNG’s LNG vessels are not involved in coastal trade or cabotage. Eresia-Eke stated that NLNG is a Nigerian company involved in, almost exclusively, international export business and is thus subject

to all relevant national and international laws, standards and ethos with which it must comply. He maintained that this, amongst others, requires that all its dealings are governed and premised on the universal principles of the rule of law to which the Nigeria Government also affirms its commitment. The External Relations Manager maintained that: “The company has often clarified that the issues it has with payment of any levy, charge or impost has little to do with the amounts involved, but

more with the principle of the rule of law, so that it can safeguard its international business which rests squarely on its reputation as a law abiding company, as well as Nigeria’s reputation in the global community. Consequently, he disclosed that NLNG Limited has filed a case in the Federal High Court, Lagos against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA seeking judicial clarity and interpretation on the legality or otherwise of the various levies imposed on NLNG by NIMASA, while complying, under protest, with the Government’s directive to pay the said levies.

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he indignation trailing the alleged $40 million internet surveillance contract awarded to an Israeli firm by the Federal Government once has again re-echoed, as 11 civil society orgainsations, commit-

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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

L-R: Chief Information Officer, First Bank Plc, Mr. Rasheed Adegoke; Chief Executive Officer, Digital Jewels, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa; Chief Risk Officer, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, Mrs. Rosemary Isunuoya and Head, Information Technology Central Securities Clearing System Plc, Mr. Isqil Adeniji, at the quarterly Information Value Chain (IVC) forum in Lagos, yesterday.

Stakeholders ask FG to cancel $40m Internet surveillance contract KUNLE A ZEEZ

He recalled that the protracted dispute between both parties arose as a result of perceived conflict in the enabling Acts of both organizations, namely the Nigeria LNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act on one hand and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, Merchant Shipping Act and Coastal and Inland Shipping Act on the other hand. Eresia-Eke stated that NIMASA contended that its levies were applicable to NLNG, while the latter argued that they were exempted from such levies and charges by virtue of the NLNG Act.

ted to the use of Information and Communication Technology for development in Nigeria, “unequivocally condemn the contract and call on government to immediately cancel it.” In statement signed by the orgainsations, they described the move as capable of violating the fundamental rights to privacy and freedoms of expression on Nigerians on the internet. The orgainsations include Budgit, Centre for Information Technology Awareness and De-

velopment, Co-Creation Hub, Development Information Network , Enough is Enough Nigeria, Fantsuam Foundation, Media Rights Agenda, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria , Wennovation Hub and the West African NGONetwork. In a statement made available to National Mirror, the orgainsations demanded that the Federal Government works with the National Assembly to take legislative action on various draft laws and regulations as well as pend-

FG to announce shortlisted bidders for 10 NIPP in August

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ing bill relevant to the issue and that the process should be fully transparent with adequate opportunity given to all interested parties and stakeholders to make inputs into the process. In addition, they also enjoined the government to work with all stakeholders to curb cyber crime and address security problems, arising from the use of the Internet, within the context of democratic norms and principles and in accordance with international best practices of protecting the privacy and human rights of citizens.

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

Cashless policy ‘CEO’s reputation affects brand integrity’ extension: Tackling ICT infrastructure deficit

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG to announce shortlisted bidders for 10 NIPPs in August UDEME AKPAN

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he Federal Government is set to announce the shortlisted bidders for the nation’s 10 National Integrated Power Project, NIPP power plants will on August 8, 2013. The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki said the transaction will be made public by BPE/Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC directly managing the process. He disclosed this in a presentation to prospective investors in Hong Kong at a road show jointly organized by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company

(NDPHC) and the BPE. Dikki stated that the sale of the power plants falls within the context of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. The Transformation Agenda seeks to, among other things; create a conducive atmosphere for private capital inflows. He noted that besides power, the transport and housing sectors, development finance institutions and the Abuja Commodities and Stock Exchange that will introduce the warehouse receipt trading system, are also great investment opportunities awaiting interested local and international investors. Dikki said that BPE and NDPHC are partners in the joint

sale transaction process for the sale of the 10 power plants. He added that BPE is legally authorized to sell Federal Government’s 47per cent shares, while NDPHC has the authorization of the States and local government councils to sell 53per cent of the 80per cent shares on offer. The DG extolled that the BPE will add significant value to the process using its vast experience in privatization of assets in Nigeria spanning nearly 500 transactions in its 25 year history. The most recent, he noted, were the sale of the 15 Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN successor companies. Dikki advised prospective bidders to be aware of some of the observed lapses by prospec-

tive bidders in the previous bid processes. They involve bids failing to substantially comply with the Requests for Proposal (RFP), failure to meet the threshold of required tangible net worth, failure to submit bid bonds, failure to submit audited accounts, failure to submit bids on time, among others. He noted that the intension of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for the sale of the10 power plants was meant to improve on the rigorous requirements of the PHCN successor companies’ privatization transactions. He warned that: “It is critical that all interested parties/potential investors go through the EOI guideline document”.

Dikki reiterated to the potential investors that the deadline for the submission of expressions of interest remains 19th of July 2013, warning that the date would not be extended. In his address, Governor Gabriel Suswan of Benue State, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Technical Committee for the transaction, said that power is the bedrock of the development agenda of the current administration in Nigeria, adding that it is the policy of the Federal Government to ensure that solid foundation is laid. He said the three tiers of government— local, State and Federal –have invested well over $8 billion in building the ten power plants.

‘Insurers to comply with IFRS this year’ MESHACK IDEHEN

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L-R: Former President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Dr. Wole Adetimihin; Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission Abuja, Hon. Obunike Ohaegbu and Director, Transparent Protection Ltd, Dr. Sam Onyeka, during the formal launch of Transparent Protection Ltd, an insurance based entity in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

FIRS to automate airlines’ VAT, WHT payments ...telecoms, others underway

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) yesterday said arrangements to commence implementation of automated Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax deductions at source for the Aviation Industry beginning from September this year were being finanlised. The Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, who disclosed this in Abuja at a one-day sensitisation workshop for FIRS field officers, collection agents and banks, said the Pilot Scheme of the automation processes would later cover other sectors such as Telecommunications, Power, and Financial Institutions. Mashi, represented by the Coordinating Director, Direct

Report Group (DRG), Mr. Onyekachi Ihedioha, also listed the automation of all our receipt processes, increase in the number of payment channels as well as the implementation of the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) as among steps taken by FIRS to ensure increase tax revenue collection for the government. He also disclosed that FIRS is collaborating with the commercial banks to make the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) mandatory for opening of an account and all transaction with the individuals and corporate bodies. Mashi said: “We have extended invitations to our Collecting Agents for their magnanimity in collecting and remitting taxes on behalf of the Service. Businesses now know that there is no hiding

place for them anymore. Yes they can run, but they can no longer hide. “We appreciate the level of cooperation thus far in the implementation of the Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN) system. We have achieved some significant mileage with the introduction of TIN and we hope the Banks will fully adopt the “No TIN No Account” option as we go on”, he added. According to him, efficient revenue management entails generating the maximum level of revenue without leakages, prompt delivery of quality services to the taxpaying public and high level of transparency and accountability, pointing out that while part of the ITAS project focuses on Taxpayers Registration using TIN, the Filing and Registration and Returns Processes, Payment Processing was being addressed by the collection automation project.

he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said 2013 is the year of full compliance and transition to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by insurance companiesoperatinginthecountry. According to NAICOM, only five insurance companies out of the 50 insurance and reinsurance companies have submitted their financial reports for 2012. Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, speaking on Wednesday while reiterating there is just one clear month to the June 30, 2013 deadline set for the submission and approval of 2012 financial reports by insurance companies in the country, traced the low turnout to the difficulties associated with the conversion to the IFRS. He said in spite of measures the commission has put in place

to help operators address the challenges of conversion to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that many of the firms have yet to comply. He restated that the commission has put in place necessary machinery to help the operators cope with the challenges in this direction, saying in the last four weeks that NAICOM has come up with about five pages write up to identify common problems. Explaining that 2013 is the year of transition to IFRS, the insurance sector regulator boss, admitted though that there are going to be transitional difficulties. “We have come up with about five pages explanatory note and we have also created a help desk in NAICOM where you meet about 13 people and you are encouraged to ask questions before submitting your accounts and clear areas where you have doubts with a view to shortening the approval time”.

NDIC, Polish bank enters into partnership UDO ONYEKA

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n line with the mission of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) to share knowledge and experience in deposit insurance and areas of compliance with core principles of effective deposit insurance practice, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bank Guarantee Fund (BGF) of Poland. In a statement signed by Head, Communication and Public Affairs, NDIC, H.S Birchi, and made available to National Mirror the MOU was signed at the end of the NDIC’s recent working visit to the Guarantee Fund of Poland

(GFP) on capacity building, information and experience sharing in key operational areas; including early warning system, failure resolution, establishment of target fund ratio and implementation of a single customer view system. According to the statement the NDIC delegates comprised the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Alh. Umaru Ibrahim and Executive Director of Operations, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa. “Both the NDIC and BGF are active members of International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) and the President of the Management Board of BGF, Poland, Mr. Jerzy Pruski is the current Chair of the Executive Council and President of IADI”, the NDIC said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Porting: NCC slams Etisalat over 50% market share claim KUNLE A ZEEZ

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elecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, yesterday condemned and dissociated itself from the claim by Etisalat, one of the mobile network operators that its currently controls 50 per cent of the total number of ported numbers in the country. The regulator also said, while every person and institution has right to freedom of expression, the Commission has official capacity to release accurate figures based on the data obtained from the Interconnect Clearing House, which is the neutral umpire among the operators from MNP. Speaking with National Mirror on phone, the Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said, “As I speak with you, we don’t have

any report on the Etisalat claim. However, if Etisalat has gone ahead to say such, that is Etisalat; it is from, in any way, from the Commission. We don’t have any report on that yet.” He, however, said “There is freedom of speech in Nigeria and it is constitutional. Nigeria’s telecoms industry is a competitive environment. They can say whatever they want to say, as long as it is not officially coming from the NCC. If the competitors see it and they think it is a lie, then, they should refute it they think it is not true.” Speaking in the same vein, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, who also described the information put out by Etisalat as capable of misleading the public, said, “When you would even want to know the number ported sub-

scribers on each network, it is the NCC that we can rely on and not whatever any operator tells us as subscribers. I am sorry, I won’t believe it until the Number Portability Clearing House, the Telecordia Consortium and NCC, give us reliably official figures.” Explaining further, he said: “What we suspect is that, Etisalat is feeling the pinch of Saka’s porting to MTN and it now wants to assuage the public to say that, despite all that, it is the one leading in the market share of the number of people that have ported to each network. “I’m sorry, any network operators does not have the authority to disclose whatever number that have ported from one network to another. However, you can only take about your network that is talk about how many people have ported to and from your network but not for the general industry.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Guinness MD tasks professionals on standards

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anaging Director Guinness Nigeria Plc, Seni Adetu, has charged outsourcing professionals on standards. Speaking at the Association of Outsourcing Professionals of Nigeria (AOPN ) annual outsourcing expo and exhibitions yesterday in Lagos, o the theme “Outsourcing and the need for the outsourcing professionals.” Seni Adetu, advised over 200 registered participants as well as 20 exhibiting companies to adhere to international standards in order to be able to face competition in the industry. Also speaking, MD/CEO of Resource Intermediaries Limited Soji Oyawoye, said that the annual event is principally “to help to highlight the need for the outsourcing professional.” Mr. Oyawoye, however, de-

UBA upgrades Ruby Account for women JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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nited Bank for Africa has upgraded the features of Ruby Premium Current Account for the discerning woman. Ruby is a financial product, targeted at womenfolk and is specially designed for professional women and female entrepreneurs who place a premium on convenience banking. A statement from the bank quoted the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka as saying that the account was specially created for the discerning woman who deserves the very best in life. “This product is indeed special and dear to our hearts. We L-R: Marketing Director, Cadbury West Africa, Mr. Dele Anifowoshe; Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr. Emil Moskofian and Marketing Manager, Mrs. Chioma Afe, during the media launch of Cadbury are presenting the enhanced Bournvita new 500g in Lagos recently.

19th Economic Summit to focus on agric sector – NESG TOLA AKINMUTIMI

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he Director General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Frank Nweke Jnr, has said the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) slated for September will specifically focus on agricultural sector in view of its increasing roles in national development. Disclosing this during the inauguration of the Joint Planning Committee for the Summit by the Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, in Abuja, the NESG boss said the decision by the Group to concentrate on one key sector as against the past when several sectors were subject of major focus, was informed by the need to avail government the OPS’ contributions to the ongoing

Agricultural Transformation Agenda to leverage on its recent achievements. According to him, the summit which is coming on the 20th Anniversary of the Group would be specially packaged to serve as a public-private biggest forum for articulating the best ideas on how to boost agricultural sector productivity, particularly its foreign exchange and job creation potentials in the economy. The NESG boss said: “We are going to work together in this Joint Planning Committee to articulate a team and agenda which will put agriculture at a fore for National discourse in September. We believe that when we talk about national security, we could not disengage that from food security and even environmental consideration as well. In addition

to that, we are convinced that agriculture has greatest potential for job creation which is key focus of the present administration, hence the need to explore its opportunities to the fullest in our national development drive. “More importantly, the federal Government’s agriculture transformation agenda is visionary in our consideration and we believe that Government has positively impacted on the sector’’ Nweke said In his remarks, the Minister, who commended the NESG before formally inaugurating the 16-member Committee, said in order to deepen the success of the summit, the public sector’s membership of the committee had been expanded to include more Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

cried “the lack of regulation” in the industry while noting that it is important for a “clear and distinct differentiation between outsourcing and contracting.” In his keynote address Seni Adetu said he accepted the invitation to speak because he saw it as an opportunity to help sanitize an industry which he described as “very fragmented.” Adetu noted that a very competitive landscape as currently exists makes it imperative for companies like Guinness to partner with outsourcing companies He said that with keen competition and a need to keep pricing down, “outsourcing companies have come to stay.” Adetu also added that the core reason for outsourcing is to “build organizational efficiencies and grow shareholder value.”

‘Ruby’ to the womenfolk in recognition of their virtues and importance in the society as home makers, professionals and female entrepreneurs” he said. The bank’s Head, Retail Products, Ms. Olumide Osunyomi stressed special features of the account which include, zero COT and highly attractive interest rates, customized gold debit cards; unlimited number of withdrawals or deposits and the use as payroll account. The other benefits include 15 per cent discount on services offered by Ruby partner outlets nationwide, free enrollment on all UBA e-banking products and services, access to consumer credit facilities and a personalized premium gift item.

BlackBerry begins warranty campaign for customers

KUNLE A ZEEZ

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anadian phone manufacturer, Blackberry, is launching a month-long warranty education campaign for its customers in Nigeria. The scheme scheduled to commence from Friday June 21 and Sunday July 21, 2013 was designed to empower customers with knowledge about the warranty process and the benefits of buying BlackBerry smartphones from officially authorized channels. The month-long campaign provides information and advice to customers to ensure peace of mind when making BlackBerry purchases The phone manufacturer also said that for some lucky customers, the campaign will also offer

some great giveaways, ranging from accessories to the latest BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry 7.1 OS smartphones. In a statement, Blackberry said the campaign “will take place in several key locations in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja and aims to inform consumers how to identify authentic devicesand learn about the benefits of buying genuine BlackBerry product in terms of customer support and warranties.” It said the campaign will also include demonstrations of the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry 7.1 OS features and applications. Speaking further in the statement, Head, Retail for West Africa at BlackBerry, Ms Bridget Chukwumah, said, the campaign will also help customers upgrade their BlackBerry smartphones.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Info Tech

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Cashless policy extension: Tackling ICT infrastructure deficit

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ollowing the successful take off of the cashless economy policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos under the Cashless Lagos initiative, the apex bank has made it known that the scheme would enter its second phase starting from next month. Already, the CBN said it has finalised plans to extend the cashless policy to Ogun, Rivers, Kano, Anambra and Abia States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from July 1. CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo, recently said the aforementioned states and the FCT were chosen because of the large volume of cash transactions in some of their major cities such as Aba, Kano, Port Harcourt and Onitsha. The cashless policy, whose implementation began in Lagos in January last year, is aimed at reducing the dominance of cash in the system. The policy specifies penal charges for individuals and corporate organisations that want to withdraw or lodge cash above prescribed limits. Under the policy, the CBN pegged daily cumulative cash withdrawal or deposit limit for individual accounts at N500, 000 per day and N3 million per day for corporate accounts. Explaining further, Lemo said that the policy earlier planned to be implemented in other states in January 2013 was deferred due to some infrastructural challenges. “When we talk about nationwide roll-out, we are also being careful to ensure that we make use of resources in a smart way. Cash doesn’t flow in the same volume in every state of the federation. What we would do in July is to look at those other market clusters where large amount of volume is transacted and add them to Lagos. “It is cheaper that way because the resources you need to cover the entire 923 square kilometres in Nigeria are huge. But you can achieve almost the same thing by looking at the pattern of cash distribution and you can cover about 90 per cent of that by adding about six more locations to Lagos. That is: Abuja, Kano, Aba, Port Harcourt, Ogun and Onitsha. “That is basically what we want to do. We would get those six clusters and add them to Lagos. When we add those five locations to Lagos, then we would have cov-

As the Central Bank of Nigeria extends the implementation of cashless economy policy to more states, the need to address Information Communication Technology infrastructure challenges has come to the front burner, reports KUNLE AZEEZ.

Sanusi

Adebayo

WE MUST RECOGNISE THAT IT IS NOT YET UHURU EVEN IN LAGOS STATE, AS CONNECTIVITY IS STILL, SOMETIMES, A CHALLENGE. IF WE STILL FACE CHALLENGES IN LAGOS, HOW MUCH MORE OF OTHER STATES WHERE ICT INFRASTRUCTURE DEPLOYMENT IS STILL LOW ered about 90 per cent of the cash volume. We would see how far that goes and once we perfect that, we then begin to look at contiguous market centres around these locations and we would gradually cover the entire country.” Meanwhile, the CBN said that the cashless society project was gaining traction, noting that transactions have increased on the number of Point of Sales deployed and actively being used. National Mirror gathered that so far, the number of PoS machines in Lagos has increased significantly from about 5,000 when the policy took off last year, to over 150,000. It is also gaining acceptance from the merchant side, as more than 180, 000 merchants have been registered. This indicates that demand for PoS machines had overshot supply. Though there are challenges facing the cashless policy of the CBN), there is growing awareness of the policy, transactions recorded by the Nigerian Inter

Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), under its NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) and Nigerian Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), have increased significantly to about N40 billion daily. NIP and NEFT are products used by corporate organisations to make payment for huge transactions electronically, in line with the cashless policy. According to data gathered from NIBSS, as a result of the cashless policy, in addition to PoS, cheques and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) usage have also continued to record huge volume and value. For instance, Interswitch said the number of transactions carried out on the slightly over 11, 000 ATMs in the country now exceed 110 million daily. But one particular sector upon which the whole gamut of seamless electronic transactions are riding is the telecommunications industry. This sector, however, is plagued with a number of challenges, which prevent them from having faster

CPN advocates IT deployment for job creation KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria, CPN, has stressed the need for the country to pay more attention to deploying Information Technology to address the perennial problem of unemployment in the country. Speaking on the Council’s 2013 edition of its IT Professionals Assembly cum Annual General Meeting, which started in Abuja on June 19 and is billed to end today, CPN Registrar, Mr. Sikiru Sheu, said ICT has become a tool for job and wealth creation.

With the theme ‘Information technology for Wealth Creation’, Sheu said the forum was to address an issue not only germane to national security, but also continue to stare the nation in the face. According to Sheu, while effort were being made by government at various levels to provide employment for the unemployed youths, CPN, however, wanted such efforts to be complemented with the dedication of this year’ CPN Assembly to fashioning out ways in which IT could be harnessed to tackle unemployment through wealth creation. “It is our candid opinion that Information technology as a tool for job creation has not been properly explored at this

time in the life of the nation when lots of educated youths are roaming the stress in search of jobs. “Therefore, CPN decided to dedicate this years IT Assembly to the exploration of the huge potentials in IT ion creating wealth and nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship in our youths,” he said. According to Sheu, the assembly is a gathering of IT practitioners in Nigeria and Diaspora with the objective of discussing and strategising on emerging my issues in IT in order to come out with recommendations and decision that would impact positively on the industry and the nation. “The assembly has become a platform

rollout of their infrastructures across the country. National Mirror learnt that even in Lagos, where telecoms operators are believed to have fairly better infrastructures to ensure hitch-free e-payment system, poor connectivity to PoS has been ineffective. According to the President of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said the extension of the cashless scheme to more states meant that telecoms networks must be effective there. “In spite of efforts being made by the operators to take their network across the country for better connectivity, I can tell you that they are facing a lot of challenges ranging from vandalism, theft of their equipment, communal hostility, indiscriminate closure of telecoms base stations by government agencies, insurgencies, multiple taxation and bureaucratic process involved in getting approval for infrastructures deployment in most of the states of the Federation,” he said. Adebayo urged government at all levels and their agencies to support the cashless policy to succeed in other states which the scheme will be extended by granting prompt approval to the operators to roll out their facilities so as to ensure maximum connectivity during transactions. “We must recognise that it is not yet Uhuru even in Lagos State, as connectivity is still, a challenge. If we still face challenges in Lagos, how much more other states where ICT infrastructures deployment is still low,” he said. In a similar vein, Chief Executive Officer, Electronic Payment Provider Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Onajite Regha, also emphasised the significance of having reliable telecoms network to a successful cashless scheme. Noting that E-PPAN would also be working with the CBN in sensitising people in the new states on the cashless scheme implementation, solicited the collaboration of all stakeholders towards ensuring that operators build resilient network that guarantee good connectivity in the new areas. for bringing about the desired positive changes that will facilitate the country’s desire for sustainable economic development through the adoption, funding and deployment of ICT in the country. “Additionally, the assembly is a n exclusive networking event for senior IT decision makers, IT consultants, upcoming IT entrepreneurs, start-ups, IT practitioners, teachers and IT system administrations. “It is also a platform for some of the industry’s most innovative technology distribution and service providers to showcase their products and services; and for participants to appreciate the emerging technologies, trends and risk that are associated with transforming the various industries using IT,” he said.


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FG set for ICT policies execution KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Federal Government is set to begin proactive implementation of the various Information and Communication Technology plans frameworks and frameworks that have been put in place since the creation of the Ministry of Communication Technology in 2011. As such, the ministry will today hold an Industry Stakeholders Forum in Lagos with the theme: Connected for Growth: Moving from Planning to Execution and is billed to be attended by key stakeholders in the nation’s ICT industry from telecoms, hardware, software and other sub sectors. The ministry since creation in July 2011 has been holding regular fora with industry stakeholders in fulfillment of the pledge by the Minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, that she will work hand in hand with industry stakeholders to transform the ICT sector.

The forum is the third of such with stakeholders. At the first forum, the minister presented the ministry’s roadmap and vision for the ICT industry on September 2nd of 2011. A at the second forum, held on March 9, 2012, the ministry collaborated with stakeholders on the Draft National ICT Policy, which was approved in principle in August 2012. The ministry has achieved a number of milestones since creation and latest was the presentation of the work of the Presidential Committee on Broadband Strategy and Roadmap to President Goodluck Jonathan. The ministry’s National ICT Policy identifies ubiquitous and affordable broadband for all Nigerians as one of its several priority areas. The target set by the National ICT policy is to achieve a five-fold increase in broadband penetration to 30 per cent over the 2012 penetration rate of 6 per cent. The policy aims to achieve

this by accelerating the penetration of reasonably priced broadband internet in the country, foster broadband usage for national development and ensure the rapid development of a broadband policy support and implementation framework. It would be recalled that President Jonathan on May 30, 2013 received the report of the Presidential Broadband Committee set up to develop a broadband strategy and roadmap for Nigeria presented by the Chairmen of the Committee, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and Mr. Jim Ovia at the instance of the minister . The President, who pledged to fully implement the report stressed that broadband access and internet technologies are a key enabler of socio-economic growth and enabler of a fully knowledge-based economy. He emphasised that the newly developed broadband strategy will help Nigeria to build a digital economy in this era of the knowledge economy.

L-R: Director, Columbia Business School’s Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Centre, Prof. Murray Low; Managing Director, Computer Warehouse Group, Mr. Austin Okere and official, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Clifford Schorer during Okere’s visit to the school in the United States recently.

RyteDeals floats online retail store KUNLE A ZEEZ

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yteDeals, an initiative of Ryte Internet Technology Limited, has launched its brand of online retail store which offers a new postposition for merchants and their clients. Speaking on the online retail platform, the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Victor Alaofin, said the company as founded to ensure that it spread the benefits of doing business online to the public. He said on a daily basis, the company sends products and services announcements through emails from merchants to individuals. “Currently, we have over 70

merchants that have subscribed to our online platform by making information about their products and services available to us. We then send these products in our daily newsletter to over 250, 000 individuals, to make buying decision.” According to him, “RyteDeals is not out to fill the numbers, we are here to solve a need and fill a vacuum. We are aware of the fact that e-retailers make promises they cannot deliver and so, we at not here to make promises, rather, we are here to assure our customers of value for their money at all times. “As such, RyteDeals provides a customer acquisition scheme from business owners and we have a very serious and deter-

mined commitment to push a products or service for increased market share by the owner.” He explained that RytePlace, by which the company’s office located at Opedi area of Lagos is called, is open to all, saying anyone can walk in to see the products on sales and also get a better understanding of the products or service before they decide to pay for it. He also said that the company offers a wide range of flexible and explicit mode of payment one of which is cash on delivery. “This means any customers can decide to pay only when the products has been delivered to the customers. We have a transparent system, that ensures that our system delivered as promised and we have been receiving testimonies in this regard,” he said.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box

All-In-One PC Series 7: Exuding advanced technology

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amsung Electronics West Africa, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Company Ltd, a global giant in digital media and convergence technologies, has announced the availability of the all new All-In-One PC Series 7 into the Nigerian market. The new All in One (AIO) PC builds on the premium aspects of the Samsung Series 9 Notebook with advanced engineering, craftsmanship and stylish design. Beyond high performance, the new AIO PC Series 7 has been crafted to deliver an entirely new AIO PC experience. Driven by a 3rd generation Intel Core i5-3470T Processor, 6GB RAM, dedicated AMD Radeon HD graphics and a Full HD

display with resolution of 1920 x 1080, the new AIO PC Series 7 embodies innovative sense recognition features such as 10-finger multi-touch screen control and hand gesture commands. Head, IT Solutions, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Ms Folashade Oyelayo, said, “The new All-in-One PC packages the best of Samsung’s precision engineering and premium design with top class performance and functionality.” According to her, “With its unique craftsmanship and boasting of the latest hardware and software, we predict that this new product will be accepted by discerning consumers.”

LG Smart TV series hits Nigerian market

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G Electronics has introduced into the Nigerian market, the new LG CINEMA 3D Smart TV lineup, which offers easier content access and sharing, along with an updated Magic Remote for a simplified, intuitive user experience. The LA8600 & LA7400 TV series come with Smart share plus functions that enable content sharing from various devices to the screen of the TV and viceversa via six different ways. While the Time Machine II function gives users the opportunity to record live TV programs as well as rewind, pause and playback contents with the TV’s in-built memory. The event which held at the Ikeja City Mall is aimed at revitalising family time that has been observed to be waning.

With user experience as a primary focus, LG Electronics has redefined its latest Cinema 3D Smart TV line-up with new smart applications and features. The all new LG Cinema 3D Smart TV comes with Smart features, sleek design and superior picture quality, bringing today’s sophisticated consumers a premium home entertainment world. The New TV embodies LG’s minimalist Cinema Screen Design which comes with a zero narrow bezel that provides a greater sense of immersion during TV viewing. The new LG Cinema 3D Smart TV comes with the upgraded features; the Magic Remote has been redesigned to fine-tune content and menu navigation, making interaction as simple and intuitive as possible.

Dell Precision M6700 offers faster performance

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leading computer manufacturer, Dell, has introduced its latest workstation dubbed ‘Dell Precision M6700’ which delivers much faster performance to the user. These systems go through the rigorous software and driver qualifications necessary to sell to the professional that function in the graphics or engineering sector. The Dell Precision M6700 is a high end 17” mobile workstation that is meant to meet the high performance and specialised computing needs of Engineers, Scientists, 2D and 3D Artists, and people in Media and Entertainment. According o the company, the device provides a level of performance that exceeds almost all other mobile systems while maintaining a professional appearance. It is meant to allow users to work away from their desks while compromising the least amount of performance

Mobile professionals whose work schedule is heavy on speed and effectiveness now have a ready work tool in the new Dell Precision M6700 which is both built on speed and effectiveness. Having a long lasting battery life is yet another plus point for the new Dell Precision M6700 over competition. According to Annie Odo-Effiong, Client Product Marketing Manager DELL, the Precision Product Line is Industry Software Vendor-Certified on over 95 applications from 35 key industry vendors. “The Dell Precision M6700 was specifically designed with movie editors, graphic artists and animators in mind as it provides raw processing power with the 3rd Generation Intel Core i5, i7 and up to Core i7 Extreme Edition processors which effectively meet the needs of people looking to develop quality graphics with ease.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brands & Marketing

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‘CEO’s reputation affects brand integrity’ Many CEOs still do not understand the concept of branding and how their lifestyle undermine trust of consumers on their brands. In this interview, Managing Director, The House London and PMA Media training school, Mr. Darshan Sanghrajka, speaks with JOHNSON OKANLAWON recently in London, on the connection between consumer trusts and CEOs, among other issues.

purpose you have. Every single member of the company has complete understanding of what you stand for and if there is any difference, you become a weak company. Coca-Cola team maintains one brand in the world, what are they doing that other brands are not doing? I think what Coca-Cola does is obviously to sell drinks, but the drinks are addictive too. What I think they do in the last 15 years is that they project happiness. Their big strategy is to create happiness, so if you look at what they are advertising, you will know the market is about providing people on what brings happiness. In India recently, there is the vending machine where you can buy coke, but before you buy it you could talk to someone. If you are in India, you could talk to somebody in Pakistan. If you are in Pakistan, you could talk to somebody in India and it creates bond between the two countries. So, Coke is projecting it entire strategy is around happiness and that is a brand. Really, it’s not the water that is sold with the sugar in it; that is not what their brand is, the brand is happiness. It’s the happy feeling and that is what they expect to be consistent.

What does brand mean to a company? I think it projects what you stand for and what your culture is and what people should believe in. So, I think it is important for your company to be able to deliver to your customers. Could reputation of the company’s owners affect the trust of the customers? I think all CEOs should face the public. The CEO that creates the company tends to be shy. When someone is a CEO, he has been appointed to have this affinity with the brand. They understand the vision and they understand what business objective they have to lead the company to work. They don’t really have that same thing that is found in other companies. So, it is important that CEOs should start to understand that they have to speak out and they have to believe in what they say and they can’t lie about and have to be authentic. The CEOs that are authentic are the ones that would have respect internally and externally. The ones that hide behind closed doors are unauthentic. What does the image of the founder of a company has to do with brand reputation of the company? The image of your CEO has to be in line with the brand. If it is odd with your brand then, there is a problem which is difficult for the consumers to understand. So, if your brands doing good and CEO’s image is bad, then it will be difficult for your customer to believe in what you are saying or selling. I think it’s really important that a Chief Executive Officer maintain a good image to connect the brand to the consumers. What is the importance of internal branding to a com-

Sanghrajka

THE CEO THAT CREATES THE COMPANY TENDS TO BE SHY. WHEN SOMEONE IS A CEO, HE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO HAVE THIS AFFINITY WITH THE BRAND pany? I think all about company is about talent. Without talent in the staff you don’t have a company. So it attracts you to have something they can believe in, something that inspires them, something they can strive to give to the customers. So, internal branding is helping your staff to understand what you believe in and the

In Nigeria now, Coca Cola brings their cooler or even refrigerator to every point of sales. Some banners are pasted on every shop in the area. Could that be regarded as advertising? I think that is advertising not branding .Obviously because brand is strong, that is awareness. That is having the word coke in every one’s face all the time. That is not meaningful except if there is someone that creates something compared to Coke with the same taste, the same price and everything, over time they could compete. So how do you make a brand meaningful and what coke has done is not just to compete with the word Coca-Cola but they have competed with their own reasonable brand. In India, they might buy Limca or whatever, and use those to market Coca-Cola, that might mean something to the local audience, it is about authenticity, it is about meaningfulness, it is about understanding and few brands see it that the coke purely is a head because of the brand size and amount of the power it has financially put itself everywhere. But if we take away that financial power, what will happen to coke? That is the question you have to ask.

Techno deepens price war against Samsung with Phantom A smartphone ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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n a highly competitive mobile telephone markets, the optional strategy for a new entrant is often price competition which appeals to the mass market. While so many brands such as Nokia, Motorola among others which used to be in high demand have been edged out by competition, one of those brands, Samsung that played a leading role in edging the brands off the market is currently facing threat from Techno. In the last few years, Techno has continually offered apps that Samsung has used to create value on it own platform using low pricing to amass the market. The move which has forced Samsung to upper class market segment may suffer further blow as Techno launched a new brand Phantom A last week. The new Techno Phantom A Android Smartphone according to its features offers similar apps with Samsung such as Android OS platform, which is the same OS technology built in Samsung phones. Although Samsung, according to experts is a global

brand and the market leader in terms of unit sales globally but while it has been predicted that it will continue to grow far above brands such as Nokia which was once a market leader in the market but how far the brand will sustain its shrinking market demand as a result of Techno innovative phones which offer values Samsung subscribers derive. With the new Techno Phantom A, the brand managers said it is designed for users with higher demand from Smartphones. Speaking at the well-attended launch of the phone in Lagos, The Public Relations Manager, Tecno Global, Mr.MounirBoukali said that with dual core processor, the device offers users a fast processing speed and the ability to use multiple applications at the same time, along with a smooth web browsing experience. “With Tecno Phantom A, users can download over 800,000 innovative and interesting apps from Google Play Store”, he added. “It was our objectives to enable Nigerians acquire Smartphones and enjoy a smart life with the TECNO Phones. Now, with the Phantom A, we are offering a superior Smartphone with high-end performance and a better

user experience,” Mounir, Said. The Public Relations Manager disclosed that the TecnoPhantom A is a very special Smartphone creation, according to him, Phantom A is the first phone made in collaboration with the our two special teams : French designers and Korean ingeniors. The Deputy General Manager, Tecno Telecom Nigeria, Mr. Chidi Okonkwo said the new phone is launched to target the youth market by offering affordable price. “Phantom A is a Smartphone for trendy young people who want style with affordability. It allows you to download lots of fun and educational materials on the go. The phone was designed with a passion to give everybody access to innovation unlike other brands of similar quality, which are reserved for high-end customer by reason of their prices alone. Phantom A, is a high-end phone by every standard but costs three times less than other brands with similar quality and specification in the market,” The new Phantom A comes with latest Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean Operating System. It also comes with the Flash Share which allows users to share information without either WiFi or internet connection.


Brands & Marketing

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Glo’s Move to Greener Pastures campaign hits over 50,000 views A

TradeStable launches intuitive online marketplace

MI, Omawunmi, Waje, others to push Mobile Number Portability

ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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lobacom Nigeria has launched a new Mobile Number Portability campaign tagged, Move to Greener Pastures to further entrenched its brand in the race for subscribers to port to the network. Targeting the youth market, the increasing hit on social media is unprecedented hence gathering more share of voice on the airwaves. The three minutes, nine seconds commercial, shot with stateof-the-art high definition camera chains opens with a melancholy sound as a first female model, Omawunmi Mgebele, packs her luggage like a housewife fed up with marriage life-a symbolism of a life full of frustration with a telephone line whose provider’s prolonged false value creation and unfulfilled brand promises of good customer experience that leaves the subscriber dampened. Ready to move on after what she perceives as lies, the model drops her frustration in lines in a steady lyrical flow, “I’m tired of your Lines, sick of your lies… there is nothing done for good, I’m done…I’m moving…moving to the other side…”. Then, rap artist male voice changes the tempo in affirmation of female model decision: “Should know..thats all…” as models break loose with dancing, celebrating and urging their fans/followers to come with them as they finally arrive at a symbolic Pearly Gate, which is a metaphor for the unmatched experience reserved for subscribers on the Globacom network. Within days after launch,

the Glo new musical TVC has received many views on social media. As at Tuesday check by National Mirror on Youtube, the commercial has generated unprecedented interest among youths in the country with 3,556 subscribers 248 likes, 7 dislikes, and 37,652 views while Globacom brand managers estimate “the TV commercial is trending on social media with over 50,000 hits within two days of its wrelease on Glo’s online media portals and on YouTube.” From modeling, plots, setting, copy, lyrics, shooting and ability to connect message with the target market that constitutes about 70 per cent of the entire mobile phone users market, the TVC represent great work of ad Glo, no doubt, is making a new statement in its latest theme campaign. For Glo, the new creative strategy is taking concept creation beyond just making a great television commercial but a brand musical video that plies on American advertising and sales pioneer, E. St. Elmo Lewis’s AIDA model which says a creative work must attract the Attention of the customer, raise customer Interest by

focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising); convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs; and lead customers towards taking Action and/or purchasing. The Glo’s messages, the selected brand ambassadors, the quality of video and other features in the TVC no doubt is an attention grabber though the capacity of the TVC to lead target audience to port remains major challenge as a result certain consumer’s behaviour pattern. While the commercial tends to use the creative strategy to lure the Nigerian subscribers who reluctant to port, the new Glo’s campaign use of music and the class of the models featured may only end up as a recall which might influence some over a while to port to Glo. Glo has employed brand ambassadors than no other network. As a result of their appeal to the youth market, the new TVC and new set of models makes is a game changer in TVC creativefor MNP.

CSR: Airtel constructs classroom blocks in Ogun State ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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fter commissioning new block of classrooms and offices at St John’s Primary School in Ijebu Igbo, on May 9, Airtel Nigeria has further profiled its corporate brand as an entity that values education from the foundation. The new structure at St John’s Primary School, Oke Agbo, Ijebu Igbo in the Ijebu North Local Government area of Ogun State stands tall in its rural setting drawing attention from all and sundry who had marked the school as unbefitting for enrolment but like the leading telecom did in the first adopted school in Ajegunle, Lagos, Airtel Nigeria has set a new local benchmark with St John’s school structure in its locality.

The leading telecommunications services provider says the comprehensive support to primary education is part of its AdoptA-School programme focused on fundamentals with primary education at the foundation of the educational pyramid. Airtel commenced the programme with adoption of Oremeji Primary School2 in Ajegunle, Lagos in May 2011. While leading a team of state and Local Government officials during the commissioning of the blocks, the wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs Olufunke Amosun “Airtel’s Adopt A School Programme is in tandem with the policy of the Ogun State Government aiming to provide quality education to underprivileged children. As you know, the Ogun State Government is committed to creating a learning environment where

both privileged and underprivileged children will have access to quality education.” The Head Teacher of St John’s Primary School Oke Agbo, Mrs. Victoria Iyabo Boyejo expressed appreciation to Airtel Nigeria. She disclosed that ahead of the commissioning enrolment has increased in the school from about 750 pupils to 900 currently. St John’s has capacity for 1000 pupils. The Airtel Nigeria CEO, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya says the company would support the Ijebu Igbo School and others yet to be commissioned. “Without a doubt, quality education offers children the best opportunity in life to realise their dreams and become the leaders of tomorrow. A great environment is also critical to the development of a sound mind.

s the online retailer continues to record growth among the upwardly mobile shoppers, TradeStable, a classified ads sites in Nigeria has launch a new and intuitive online marketplace that makes buying and selling safer, easier and closer to you than before. In a release on Monday, it was stated that the platform provides an easier and faster access for users to search for new and used items to buy in Nigeria with a new design and functionality that makes the site much lighter and easy to navigate. According to the release, the new online market place comes with rich offers such as phones, furniture, clothing, cars, property, jobs, etc listed on the site. “TradeStable

ensures that all ads are manually reviewed before getting published so users can get the highest quality possible, thus enabling a SPAM-free online marketplace for Nigeria. Every day, hundreds of items are listed on the site with tens of thousands potential buyers from across the country looking for these items,” it stated. The Managing Director of TradeStable, Marie Brattberg in the statement also said, “It has been an amazing couple of last month’s at TradeStable. The community of buyers and sellers is not only growing in size but becoming significantly more engaged. Items sell within days now! The redesign is a response to the feedback that those same users have given us and we hope it will be well received.”

Dufil begins search for 2013 Indomie Heroes

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fter a successfully hosting the 2012 edition, Dufil Prima Foods Plc has announced search for Heroes of Nigeria for the 2013 Indomie Independence Day. The an annual corporate social responsibility initiative specifically targeted at identifying, recognising and rewarding Nigerian Children for unique acts of bravery and heroism, is set to hit various locations across the country in the third week of June. According to the Public Relations Manager of Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju, the search exercise would take place in 10 locations namely; Aba, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Minna, Kaduna, and Kano

and would last for duration of 8 weeks. The 10 locations will be grouped into 3 zones out of which 2 zones will be allocated to 3 locations each, and 1 zone to 4 locations. Each of the 3 zones would then be monitored by a zonal coordinator. “There will be a search team which will comprise of 5 searchers per location headed by a supervisor to ensure quality control and authenticity of the collected stories,” he said. Ashiwaju further stressed that the search exercise will not be limited to the field search alone, as there are other methods through which entries can be received, such as calls to designated phone lines, email address, hand delivery of letters at the project office.

SPAN, 7up, Indomie, others support youth creativity

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s part of its contribution to human development and skill acquisition to reduce poverty, the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria, SPAN, a non-governmental organisation, through the support of its numerous partners recently graduated its first set of 20 students. The event also created an opportunity for SPAN to reflect the world-class standard of creativity amongst the youths in Nigeria at the prestigious Eko Hotels & Suites in Lagos. The attendance had a combination of brand custodians, entrepreneurs, investors, corporate organisations, members of the diplomatic community and notable high profile personalities which included the likes of Mr. Gabi Massoud, Mrs. Sandra Obiago, Pastor Wale Adefarasin and Mrs. Olufunmi Olajuyegbe among others. SPAN also used the occasion to showcase its abundance,

fused in artistic experience with a heightened sense of humanity and social responsibility, as the branded students all dressed and full of skills ready to bow up thrilled the audience all the way. According to the founder of SPAN, Mrs Sarah Boulos, “In our today, we are defined by what we do more than who we are and that is the rationale behind the education of Nigerian youths to achieve greatness in all that concerns them, and create opportunities for them to dialogue, develop, and overcome limitations using the performing arts as a healing and transformational tool.” Boulos stressed that the 20132014 Season will be filled with education programmes followed by rewards and awards to inspire the pursuit of excellence, so that more men from underprivileged communities can stand tall in the sunlight of achievements, contributing great impacts that affect and change society.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, June 20, 2013

La Casera Apple Story campaign thrills Unilorin students ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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n an ongoing campaign to entrench the La Casera brand essence among the youth market, The La Casera Company enthralled the University of Ilorin community with its Share Your Apple Story, Be A Star and exciting road show campaign across the city. The maker of the leading apple flavored carbonated soft drink brand, The La Casera Company through its premium brand has continued to slice the market share of some leading global brands in the last decade in the drink market segment. In the latest cross-country train which landed in Ilorin, astoundingly large and participative consumers were engaged with Share Your Story Be A Star

campaign. The La Casera team also engaged the crowd with games, contest, photo sessions and most importantly, the students were allowed to share their Apple Stories; numerous exciting prizes were given out to participants. Speaking at the event, the Road show Manager, La Casera Experiential Activation, Mr. Mohammed Elkash, revealed that the new campaign is essentially targeted at youths and that is why the crew has brought the show right to their doorstep. He also could not hide his amazement at the level of enthusiasm of the students. In Elkash’s words, “these young and vibrant youths constitute the major target group for the newly launched La Casera Share Your Apple Story Be A Star campaign, and that is why the

experiential activation has been brought to play right before them. It is encouraging to see people throng out en masse and actively participate. We have heard several interesting Apple stories and many fantastic prizes have been won” he said. Also commenting in the midst of the excitement at the event was Olokoba Ifeoluwa, who won a case of La Casera drink for sharing her Apple Story, “La Casera is my favorite drink. It is one of the easiest ways to get refreshed from the stress of campus life. I feel very excited because I had the opportunity to share one of the many interesting experiences I have had with La Casera and I even won a prize for it. I wish such interesting shows as this could be staged on our campus more often because we have all had fun today”.

L-R: Vice Chairman, Direct on PC, Mr. Mahesh Sadhwani, Managing Director, SWIFT Networks Limited, Mr. Charles Anudu and Chief Operating Officer, SWIFT Networks Limited, Mr. Chuma Okoye at a press briefing on the acquisition of Direct on PC by SWIFT Networks Limited held at the Eko Hotel, Lagos on Wednesday.

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ayo Adekanmbi, erstwhile Senior Manager, Customer Insight and Information Management in the Business Intelligence Unit, MTN Nigeria, is the newly promoted General Manager, Business Intelligence (BI) for the leading multinational telecoms company. Adekanmbi has managed the company’s Enterprisewide Commercial Analytics, Research Management, Segmentation and Geomarketing insight generation before the new position. He started his career in core Analytics as a DNA/Biomolecular Research Statistician/ Perl programmer, Data Analyst/ Planner and Head of Consumer Insight/Data Planning. These roles equipped him to lead enterprise CRM strategy, Segmentation analysis, Customer lifetime valuation, Data mining etc. His sojourn into the “softer” side of the Marketing world was with DDB Lagos as the Head of Strategy and Intelligence, where he consulted for MTN and other leading Nigerian companies on Business Strategy, Brand Analytics and Go-to-Market Implementation. He later joined the MTN Group in South Africa where he was responsible for global brand strategy, customer insight and Analytics support for its 21 operations. He qualified as a Chartered Marketer of South Africa (CMSA) through SETA/University of Wits Business School,

Adekanbi

THESE ROLES EQUIPPED HIM TO LEAD ENTERPRISE

CRM STRATEGY, SEGMENTATION ANALYSIS, CUSTOMER LIFETIME

VALUATION,

DATA

MINING ETC Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also a certified SAS Data Programmer/Statistical Analyst and a proud alumnus of the University of Reading Postgraduate School, UK, where he graduated with Distinction. He also attended executive education at INSEAD Business School, France, Columbia Business School, New York and Telecoms Training Institute, London.

Brands and consumer lifestyle

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rands should make conscious efforts to align with the aspirations of consumers. This has become a basic imperative as consumers yearn for brands that fit their individual aspirations in life. The need to create unique and compelling brand experience is one that can never be overlooked by any serious brand. Mide’s mane, a renowned hair brand has consistently prides itself on quality and guaranteed customer satisfaction. The brand which has created a lot of buzz on social media differentiates itself from the pack through its strong focus on quality. The brand believes it offers what consumers cannot obtain elsewhere in terms of value and quality. This can be attested to in terms of responses it garnered on a continuous basis on the social media.Mide’s mane thrives on the platform of exciting consumers with products that align

with their lifestyle. This is one major area that brands should evolve strategies to build loyalty and deepen brand equity. The lifestyle of the consumers needs to be accorded utmost priority in delivering service. The brand offerings should indeed be one that meets the yearnings and aspirations of the consumer. A potent avenue Mide’s Mane utilizes to reach out to consumers is the social media where it engages the consumers directly and this had created a huge platform to create build affinity between the brand and consumers. Today’s consumers are dynamic and vibrant and all they want is a brand that can fit into their lifestyle and make them have worthwhile experiences. In fact consumers now want to create the brand and own the brand. Consumers want offerings that meet their desired taste and the brand they can use as a means of self expression. This is one

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com major proposition for Mide’s mane as it guarantees its products with a religious zeal. Mide’s mane is poised to offer quality virgin hair to its numerous women centric audience and it has retained a pedigree of quality and distinctiveness which clearly differentiates it from other brands. The brand believes it adds value to the lifestyle of the consumers and ensures that they retain their beauty through its quality hair accessories.Mide’s mane has been able to touch base with consumers from the comfort of their homes in order to build a memorable brand experience.

The strategic intention is to align with the needs of the upwardly mobile and constantly on the go consumers who desire to have a blend of quality lifestyle and build their personality brands. Consumers are attracted to the brands that deliver quality, creativity and excitement. It fosters both physical and emotional connection for consumers when brands create unique and compelling consistent brand experiences. In the case of Mide’s mane, it is all round projection of unique personality brands for the consumers. The strategic thinking of

Mide’s mane resonates well with the consumers which go a long way in deepening their experience of the brand.Mide’s mane as brand create several touch points for the women to experience the products offerings in a unique way. The brand has some strong partnership with Tinsel, a popular TV opera where the actresses adorns its hair brands and this build a strong influence for the brand. Brands remain vibrant and relevant when they focus on key consumers segments to deliver brand promise. It has become imperative for brands to meet the expectations of today’s consumers like Mide’s Mane. The consumer culture is rapidly changing and as a result brands should adopt strategies to remain relevant. Mide’s mane identified the gap and it is really filling it up in the lives of the consumers.


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Global Business

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Poland cuts benchmark interest rate to record low 2.75% P oland’s central bank cuts borrowing costs to a record low as the European Union’s largest eastern economy grapples with its worst slowdown in four years. The 10-person Monetary Policy Council lowered the reference rate by a quarterpoint to 2.75 percent, matching the estimate of 38 of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. One saw a 50 basis-point cut and one predicted rates would stay unchanged. The cut brings monetary easing since November to two percentage points as the euro-area debt crisis curbed first-quarter growth to its weakest since 2009. While a report this week showed a contraction in manufacturing was moderating, inflation at the slowest in seven years is giving policy makers leeway to reduce interest rates further. “With growth likely to remain weak over the next 18 months or so and inflation to stay below-target of this period, policy is set to remain loose,” William Jackson, London-based economist at Capital Economics Ltd., wrote in a research note after the decision. “Rate hikes appear to be off the cards until 2015 at the earliest.” The zloty was little changed after the decision, trading at 4.2472 per euro at 1:37

Belka

hp.m. in Warsaw, 0.2 percent weaker from yesterday. The yield on the two-year government bond dropped two basis point to 2.65 percent. Trading in overnight index swaps showed a 97 percent chance of a quarter-

point reduction today and a 3 percent probability of no change, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Traders are predicting at least 75 basis points in cuts through the end of the year, it shows. Central bankers across eastern Europe have been easing monetary policy to kickstart flagging economic growth. Hungary cut its benchmark rate to a record-low 4.5 percent May 28, while Czech policy makers are considering selling the koruna to boost exporters after reducing borrowing costs to effectively zero. Poland’s central bank, which raised rates last May even as the economic slowdown was under way, is facing outside calls to ease policy. The International Monetary Fund last month urged a reduction in interest rates without delay as the government’s ability to spur growth through spending is limited. The Finance Ministry narrowed last year’s budget deficit to 3.9 percent of gross domestic product, missing EU requirements as the economic slowdown curbed tax revenue. It has until October 1 to announce or take measures to trim next year’s gap to within the 27-member bloc’s 3 percent limit.

FTSE 100 hits 6,000 after U.S. strikes fiscal deal

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he FTSE 100 smashed through the 6,000 barrier on Wednesday as investors celebrated a U.S. budget deal averting tax hikes and spending cuts that risked pushing the world’s largest economy into recession. By Tuesday, London’s blue chip index rose 127.32 points, or 2.1 percent to 6,025.13, breaking above the 6,000 level for the first time FTSE 100 hits 6,000 after U.S. strikes fiscal dealsince July 2011, driven by big gains in miners and banks. TThe gains echoed the New Year’s Eve rally on Wall St, which was the biggest final-day gain in the S&P 500 since 1974. The catalyst for Wednesday’s rise was the approval by the U.S. House of Representatives of a bill raising taxes on top U.S. earners, fulfilling President Barack Obama’s re-election promise and avoiding, at least in the short-term, the $600 billion “fiscal cliff ”. “It is good to start the new year off with a bang but there is still a lot of stuff

to digest ... It will be interesting to see if these gains can be sustained,” Gerry Celaya, chief strategist at Red Tower Research, said. Miners were the main outperformers on Wednesday. The sector was a major laggard in 2012, ending the year flat compared with a 5.8 percent rise for the wider FTSE 100. Mining stocks were helped by positive PMI data out of China, the world’s largest consumer of raw materials, which allayed fears of a slowdown in demand, while the UK manufacturing PMI also showed an unexpected rebound in factory activity. Anglo American, which lost more than 20 percent in 2012, was one of the top early gainers, up 5 percent as some analysts tipped the firm for a turnaround in fortunes this year. Wednesday’s rally meant the FTSE 100 is up nearly 15 percent since June 2012 lows. Investors have been imbued with

Obama

confidence as central banks across the globe have taken action to support the financial system and attempt to boost growth.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

German inflation unexpectedly accelerated in December

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erman inflation unexpectedly accelerated in December as food and travel costs surged. The inflation rate in Europe’s largest economy, calculated using a harmonized European Union method, rose to 2.1 percent from 1.9 percent in November, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists had predicted inflation to remain unchanged, according to the median of 11 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. In 2012, inflation averaged 2.1 percent. Inflation in Germany breached the European Central Bank’s 2 percent limit for a second year even as the debt crisis curbed spending and investment in the 17-nation currency bloc, the country’s largest export market. The euro area entered its second recession in four years in the third quarter and the German economy may have contracted markedly in the final three months of the year, the Bundesbank said on December 17. “We’ve seen massive increases in food prices in December which are interrupting the gradual decline of inflation rates,”said Thomas Kramer, an economist at NordLB in Hanover. “I wouldn’t exaggerate this development. Inflation should continue to moderate if energyprice driven costs ease further.” Oil prices fell more than 7 percent last year as the cooling economy curbed demand. The ECB last month lowered its economic forecasts and President Mario Draghi said he expects euro-area inflation to fall below 2 percent this year. The rate fell to 2.2 percent in November and economists predict it dropped to 2.1 percent last month. The European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg will publish that report on January 4.

Chinese govt says financial system must support economy

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China Central Bank Governor, Zhou

hina’s government said the nation’s financial system must “better” serve economic growth under a prudent monetary-policy framework as the cost of borrowing on the interbank market surged. Authorities will boost credit support for industries the government has defined as strategic and those that are labor-intensive, the State Council, or Cabinet, said in Beijing yesterday after a meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang. The nation must more firmly guard against financial risks, according to a statement on the central government’s website.

The comments follow a jump in the seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding availability, to the highest level since June 2011. Slowing economic growth combined with a crackdown on illegal capital inflows, efforts to rein in shadow banking and a campaign to control home prices have contributed to increased borrowing costs. The central bank has refrained from using reverse-repurchase agreements to inject funds into the interbank market since February 7. “Beijing’s new approach is to focus on reform, rather than stimulus,” said

Qu Hongbin, HSBC Holdings Plc’s Hong Kong-based chief China economist, who cut his estimate for expansion this year to 7.4 percent from 8.2 percent. “In the last three months, we have seen enough evidence that the current generation of leadership is really determined to push forward reform.” The State Council meeting yesterday discussed how the financial industry can support a restructuring of China’s economy, according to the statement. Chinese leaders have sought to reduce the nation’s reliance on investment and exports for economic growth.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Capital Market

FCMB nets N12.6bn profit on Finbank acquisition JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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irst City Monument Bank Plc has declared a net revenue of N72.6bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 48 per cent when compared to N49.2bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s profit after tax stood at N12.6bn, from a loss after tax of N11bn recorded in the same period of 2011. Speaking at the bank’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos yesterday, the Managing Director, Mr. Ladi Balogun said the result was aided by the acquisition and merger

with Finbank. According to him, the growth was also driven by strong growth in interest income and noninterest income of 39 per cent and 138 per cent respectively. He said, “The growth in non interest income was largely driven by our merger with Finbank and further aided by our expansion in transaction volumes arising from merger.” Balogun added that the merger also fuelled the bank’s growth in operating expenditure by 35 per cent, from N32.3bn in 2011 to N43.8bn in the review period. The bank boss explained that impare-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, June 20, 2013

ments for loan losses and other assets fell by 54 per cent, from N27.7bn in 2011 to N12.7bn, as N10.2bn was as a result of loan loss expense, while N2.5bn was due to other losses. “The cost of risk of the bank, although higher that our target of 1.5 per cent annually, is however moving in the right direction. Consequently, the group made a profit after tax of N15.3bn, from the loss of about N9.24bn in 2011,” he said. Further analysis of the bank’s result showed an increase of 57 per cent in total deposits, from N411bn in 2011 to N646bn in 2012, while the ratio of current and

savings accounts to fixed deposits increased from 55 per cent to 63 per cent between 2011 and 2012 respectively. The bank recorded a marginal growth of 11 per cent in total loans, from N323bn in 2011 to N357bn in 2012. The Chairman of the bank, Dr. Jonathan Long, noted that the bank has recovered strongly in 2012 and assured shareholders that the management is committed to ensuring the bank’s performance improves in 2013 financial year. The shareholders, however approved a bonus issue of one new share for every 25 shares already held by them through the creation of an additional 761.6 milion ordinary shares by means of the capitalisation of N380.8m from the share premium account.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 37,135.74 points Market capitalisation 11.93 trillion

Equities regain vigour as MRS strategises to deliver returns DAMILOLA AJAYI

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he benchmark index of equities turned green on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took position on stocks with good earnings. Specifically, the All Share index rose by 0.30 per cent to close at 37,135.74 points, as against the decline of 0.16 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 37,024.72 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N4bn to

close at N11.93trn, in contrast to the dip of N2bn recorded the preceding day to close at N11.89trn. Prestige Plc led the gainers’ table with five kobo or ten per cent to close at 55 kobo per share, followed by Livestock Plc with 49 kobo or 9.90 per cent to close at N5.44 per share. Paint Manufacturing Company Plc gained 14 kobo or 8.48 per cent to close at N1.79 per share, while Costain Plc appreciated by 12 kobo or 8.22 per cent to close at N1.58 per share. Fidson Healthcare Plc

increased by 18 kobo or 8.14 per cent to close at N2.39 per share. On the flip side, Great Nigerian Insurance Plc lost six kobo or ten per cent to close at 54 kobo per share, while May and Baker Plc shed 26 kobo or ten per cent to close at N2.34 per share. Juli Plc declined by 21 kobo or 9.81 per cent to close at N1.93 per share, while Trans-Nationwide Express Plc dipped by 27 kobo or 9.71 per cent to close at N2.51 per share. John Holt Plc fell by 15 kobo or 9.49 per cent to close at N1.43 per share.

A total of 347.7 million shares valued at N5.27bn were traded in 6,275 deals. Meanwhile, the Managing Director of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, Mr Paul Bisshong has said that the company will deliver good returns to shareholders in the current financial year. Bisshong, who rang the closing bell on the NSE on Wednesday, explained that the company is working around new strategies, which according to him, has reflected in its stocks from April, May and June.

Mainstreet Bank posts N24bn profit in 2012 DAMILOLA AJAYI

M

ain Street Bank Limited, one of the nationalised banks, has declared a profit before tax of N24.1bn in its group financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2012. A statement by the bank yesterday said the result showed a marked improvement in all key financial indices, especially given the bank’s loss position of N4.4bn within the five-month period it operated as at December 2011. The figures from the re-

sult also showed that the bank grew its gross earnings to N47.9bn within the period under review. Other highlights of the result are capital adequacy ratio (92 per cent), liquidity ratio (137.9 per cent), return on assets (seven per cent), return on equity (44.5 per cent), earnings per share (N3.69), and NPL Ratio of 3.29 per cent respectively. The Group Managing Director of the bank, Mrs. Faith Tuedor-Matthews, thanked all staff members for their stellar performance during the period.

She urged them to rise to the future challenge of ensuring that the bank attained its leadership aspirations, especially in the area of innovation, service excellence and strong ethical conduct. “We will continue to train and retrain our workers to ensure that they do banking differently; indeed, our history will be our springboard to future triumph,” she said. The Chairman of the bank, Mr. Falau Bello, lauded the result as phenomenal, noting that the bank’s profit before tax

rose by an unprecedented 397 per cent during the period. He pointed out that the bank’s leadership and its corporate governance regime contributed greatly to the attainment of the remarkable feat. Main Street Bank is one of the bridge banks that emerged on August 5, 2011, following the take-over by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation of the defunct Afribank Plc and its subsequent recapitalisation and ownership by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

PRESTIGE

0.50

0.55

0.05

10.00

LIVESTOCK

4.95

5.44

0.49

9.90

PAINTCOM

1.65

1.79

0.14

8.48

COSTAIN

1.46

1.58

0.12

8.22

FIDSON

2.21

2.39

0.18

8.14

PORTPAINT

4.35

4.70

0.35

8.05

UNILEVER

60.00

64.80

4.80

8.00

REDSTAREX

4.65

5.00

0.35

7.53

CONTINSURE

1.14

1.19

0.05

4.39

GUARANTY

24.97

26.00

1.03

4.12

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

GNI

0.60

CLOSING 0.54

0.06

-10.00

MAYBAKER

2.60

2.34

0.26

-10.00

JULI

2.14

1.93

0.21

-9.81

TRANSEXPR

2.78

2.51

0.27

-9.71

JOHNHOLT

1.58

1.43

0.15

-9.49

NEIMETH

1.48

1.34

0.14

-9.46

EVANSMED

3.30

3.00

0.30

-9.09

WAPIC

0.93

0.85

0.08

-8.60

ACADEMY

2.45

2.26

0.19

-7.76

MCNICHOLS

1.89

1.75

0.14

-7.41

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

32,970.71

9.20

6-Jun-13

182-Days

24,155.85

11.98

6-Jun-13

-

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

125-Days

116,611.78

11.50

13-Jun-13

112-Days

19.551.50

10.19

13-Jun-13

111-Days

93,852.12

10.15

13-Jun-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$300m

10-Jun-13

$300m

N/A

$300m

5-Jun-13


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, June 20, 2013

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at June 19, 2013 1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


44

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young dancers display artistry as academy graduates 20 LEONARD OKACHIE

A

s part of its contribution to human development and support for creativity, the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria, SPAN, a non-governmental organization recently graduated its first set of 20 students at a ceremony, which was held at the prestigious Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos. The event was a reflection of the world-class standard for arts education in Nigeria as SPAN used the opportunity to reward two outstanding students with an International Internship Award in France. The celebration was a gathering of art enthusiast, iconic dancers, music lovers, members of the diplomatic community and notable high profile personalities which included the likes of Mr. Gabi Massoud, Mrs. Sandra Obiago, Pastor Wale Adefarasin and Mrs. Olufunmi Olajuyegbe among others. SPAN also used the occasion to showcase its abundance fused in artistic experience with a heightened sense of humanity and social responsibility, as several young talented students from the dance and music academy thrilled the audience all the way. This year graduation has produced top- notch dancers and music acts who are definitely billed to revamp while contributing to the entertainment and art industry in Nigeria Several students held the audience stage bound as they exhibited electrifying and stunt filled performance starting from the first drummer, Okeke Praise to another drum stick expert, Edache Ejoga, who did a classic duet with Precious Nwaneri singing the pop-

ular “I will Always Love You” track by the late Whitney Houston. The combined graduation performance was a colourful show stopper as it featured students like Blessing Joseph, Wisdom Ojije, Micheal Omani, Kenneth Ugochukwu, Akorede Oyerogba, Chijindu Chize, Ola King, Noah Ashikem, Micheal Sasu, Keshinton Praise, Udoeka Justine David Ikenna, Obinna Orji and Otutu Godspower to mention a few. The founder of SPAN, Mrs. Sarah Boulos said, “In our today, we are defined by what we do more than who we are and that is the rationale behind the education of Nigerian youths to achieve greatness in all that concerns them, and create opportunities for them to dialogue, develop, and overcome limitations using the performing arts as a healing and transformational tool.” Boulos stressed that the 2013-2014 Season will be filled with education programmes followed by rewards and awards to inspire the pursuit of excellence, so that more men from underprivileged communities can stand tall in the sunlight of achievements, contributing great impacts that affect and change the society. Furthermore, the students seized the opportunity to unveil different stylish dance moves as they stepped exceptionally to the music of Eldee the Don – “Na Wash”. The icing of the celebration was in three prongs - the launch of a Special Health Fund for students by the man-

Some of the graduates performing at the ceremony in Lagos.

agement of SPAN, cutting of the graduation cake by the students, parents and well wishers while two students, Emmanuel Da-Silva Ajanlekoko and Nneka Obiorah were rewarded with a dance internship award to be part of an international carnival in France. Some of the top patrons and sponsors behind the 2013 graduation ceremony include Indomie, SCOA, 7up Bottling Company, Cool Fm, Mountain Dew, I.T.B Nigeria Limited, Tropic Ice, Audio Visual First (AVF), GEA, Chellarams, Aleeco Nader, CIS Group Group Fadoul and Netcom among others. SPAN offers different classes of train-

PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI

ing which ranges from Jazz to Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Creative Combo, Drama, Contemporary African, Fitness, Naija Craze, Salsa and Latin Ballroom dance for beginners, intermediate and professionals. SPAN) was founded in 2004 with the aim of unifying and advancing the performing arts in the country, offering free community services in the arts to other foundations and schools, with the ultimate hope of presenting a life changing message that will help families, children and youths re-channel their thinking and develop positive skills for later life.

Youths and craze for music stardom MARTHA NWACHUKWU

I

t is quite amazing how the Nigerian entertainment sector is being flooded by the youths especially the music industry, as they seem to have suddenly discovered their talents and have decided to put it to use. Nigeria can boast of many of her artistes who have gained recognitions both locally and internationally; with rap and hip-hop being the major genres. Such artistes like 2Face, D’banj, PSquare, Asa Wizkid, M.I, Banky W, Omawunmi, Tiwa Savage, among others have made the country proud with their amazing talents. It is commendable that some of these youths try to create a niche for themselves through

this. But, quite disturbing to industry observers is that most of them neither have talents for singing nor have what it takes to produce good music. The concern is that soon, there would be more singers than listeners. What isn’t clear, many ponder, is the rationale behind the rush into the industry. Could it be the cheap popularity associated with being over the media? The paparazzi hot chase? The fortune? Or could it be an escape route from hard work? Perhaps, there could be several other reasons yet to be figured out. Many have argued that the older generation of musicians fair better than the younger ones. They say that they older ones’ enjoy longer lifespan as one can still walk into homes, even the streets and find cas-

settes of Oliver De Coque, Osita Osadebey, Fela Kuti, Oriental Brothers and a host of others being listened to. Their songs are meaningful and understandable. They drive home cogent messages and bring to fore the realities of life. Beautiful ladies and men going almost unclad, dancing to lyrics that are not comprehensible, money thrown all over the floor with deafening musical instruments coming from the background, is now perceived as music. Whatever happened to decent music? This is the question that sticks to every lip. Most of the songs these days directly or indirectly talk about sex and crimes, promoting sexuality and vices. The use of profane words cannot be ruled out yet little ones mumble these lyr-

ics without knowledge of what it means. But the new-age-music-loving-society does not mind at all as they continuously consume these songs and ceremoniously welcome them. However, with all the enticing packages in it, these songs are still short lived. They find it difficult to stand the test of time and soon fade away, which also makes it easy for the artiste to lose popularity. Going on stage and doing live shows seem to be the greatest dream of these musical artistes. This to an extent enable them know their fan base and determine their level of popularity, after which, they produce more of their songs. In the quest to imitate their counterparts from the West, the Nigerian rap music is a juxtapo-

sition of words put together and said at a fast pace and even when broken down does not make a sensible statement. It is also rich in gangsterism. Nevertheless, those songs still make sales and top the music chart board. Of late, the Nigerian actors and actresses have become culprits as they are trying their luck in the music industry even when its glaring that their stars refused to shine forth in that area. Could there be a hidden gold mine in the music industry? Many continue to wonder. ‘’If Wizkid, Olamide, and Davido can make it in the music industry despite their age then I can also. They make millions by just dropping a single hit and have become big boys overnight’’, said 19-year old Samuel, who is aspiring to be a musician.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young & Next Generation

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cleric blames youth restiveness on parental failure OMEIZA AJAYI

T

he rising wave of social vices as well as insurgency by youths in the country have been blamed on parental failure and absence of fatherly role in the lives of millions of children in Nigeria. This was the position of a cleric, Rev Daniel Sunday Akingbelure, who spoke in Abuja on the dearth of real fathers in Nigeria, attributing the source of societal ills currently bedevilling Nigeria to the failure of fathers to pay attention to their children. He said such children grow to become youth without vision and consequently become a threat to law-abiding citizens. Akingbelure, who spoke at an event by the Excellent Men's Fellowship of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Asokoro, Abuja, said rather than moulding their families, most fathers have now abdicated such responsibility in pursuit of worldly pleasure. He lamented that the gaps left by most men are now being filled by cooks, house helps, nannies and teachers, leaving the children devoid of "father figures" but with diverse but confusing views about issues of life. He emphasised that the nation would only be able to rid itself of vices like terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping, robbery, corruption, and all forms of violence amongst others, if only fathers would play their expected roles perfectly. "The problem of our nation

Mr. Peter Okafor, a teacher at Satellite Town, Lagos said, “If all our capable young hands go into music, what becomes of our agricultural sector? Who will be left to till the soil? What would we feed on? Our old hands will someday get tired then what next? It appears to be that this generation of youths dreads handwork but love the easy way to making quick money. “It is not enough to buy CDs of our favourite artistes and play them repeatedly; there are certain considerations that should be weighed before taking in hundreds of their hit tracks. What messages do these songs leave the listeners with? Do these songs motivate the listeners positively or otherwise? Do they portray our cultural heritage? Do they leave the listeners more exposed to the vices of the society, especially our children?” Similarly, Miss Ifeoma Onwuzulike, a student at the Univer-

today started from fathers, which has affected the home, family and the total package is what is happening in the nation. "There are fathers that are not taking care of their children, cannot feed them and are not even good examples to them. Many fathers are perverted in character, and that is why corruption is at the peak in our nation,” he added Akingbelure further said that fathers are supposed to be the foundation of the entire universe according to God's agenda. He said : "The father is the foundation of the home, which is the foundation of the nation. It is the role of the father that affects the situation in the family and that ultimately affect the situation in the nation", he said. "If fathers understand their roles in God and they are playing it perfectly, in line with divine agenda, it will lead to healthy situation in the family and bring health and stability to our nation". The cleric therefore, urged fathers in Nigeria and across the globe to appreciate and acknowledge God in their lives. "We must go back to fundamentals of the word of God and change our lives according to the pattern of the word of God," he insisted. President, Excellent Men Fellowship of the Four Square Gospel Church, Asokoro, Mr. Tope Kayode-Ojo also attributed the moral decadence in the nation to the failure of the home, which he blamed on fathers.

FG to reposition Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre ...Minister assures of improved services

Abdul-Kadir

TOLA AKINMUTIMI, ABUJA

T

he Federal Government has unveiled plans to reposition the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre in order to achieve its mandate and impart moral discipline to Nigerians. The Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, disclosed this on Monday when he visited the headquarters of the Centre in Abuja, as part of his familiarization visits to agencies under his ministry and particularly to assess the state of the Centre and interact with the employees. Abdul-Kadir, who expressed the readiness of the Ministry to reposition the Centre, disclosed that the institution was one of the oldest of such agencies established by government before independence to impact good leadership qualities and sense of patriotism among Nigerians. He therefore appealed to patriotic Nigerians and organizations to partner with the government in order to revitalise the Centre for greater efficiency since government cannot pursue the revitalisation agenda all alone. While commenting on the need for the Cen-

tre to increase its capacity to deliver on its mandate, the minister posited that the various Youth Centres in the country could be used by the institution for the training of its students, adding that the maximization of the centre for optimal performance is very vital to the transformation agenda of the current administration. The Minister then charged the management of the Centre to be proactive and ensure that they utilize available resources to realize the mandate of the Centre. Earlier, the Acting Director General of Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Mr. Michael Fawole, assured of the readiness of the Centre’s management and staff to embrace emerging policies necessary to reposition it for optimal performance, adding that the minister’s visit would further motivate the employees to do more in uplifting the standards at the Centre. In a related development, Inuwa AbdulKadir, has promised to improve services being rendered to the teeming youths in the country. The Minister made the promise at the opening of the second quarter, Ministerial Servicom Unit Management meeting of the Ministry on Monday in Abuja, during which he emphasised the importance of prompt and efficient service to their customers, both Nigerians and foreigners. According to him, this should be done with strong conviction that Nigeria can only realize its full potential if customers receive prompt and efficient service timely, fair, honest, effective and in a transparent manner. Abdul-Kadir also expressed his optimism stating that ‘the successful implementation of SERVICOM will usher in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in the Ministry. He thus called on the management and staff to use the opportunity of their position to influence improved service delivery to the Ministry’s teeming customers.

Youths at the Lagos audition of a music reality show

sity of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), opined that going into music is not the main thing but discovering ones talent. “Most of our youths go into the music industry because they have nothing else in mind; some do not even have the talent. Many talented

45

youths give up because of financial support. Youth’ going into music is good but the talent and purpose is needed and most of them do not have it.” Also, another student, Somto Obidile observed that music is becoming a menace in the so-

ciety, adding, “The fact is that it is what is in vogue for every youth. There are other areas of entertainment such as comedy, creativity etc. If everyone goes into music, what becomes of the rest?” Mr. Aliogo Ugochukwu, also a

student at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) noted that the entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, stressing “I find it rather disturbing that most of our youths are going into the music industry but in a society where there are no priorities, what do you expect?” With the growing number of sensual musical audios and videos on sale in the market, one could actually worry about the censor boards and their effectiveness. Most times before a ban is placed on a video or audio content, it must have already gained audience. Therefore, observers have suggested that the Nigerian musicians should begin to educate and inform the public rather filling people’s minds with absurdities. They also said that it should begin to promote our cultural heritage and teach the young ones moral lessons.


46

Media

WSCIJ to hold lecture on FoI Act

P

rofessor Biodun Jeyifo of Harvard’s African American Studies Department will speak on ‘The Freedom of Information Act and the Dictatorship of Corruption and Mediocrity’ at the 5th Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series. The lecture is scheduled for Saturday 13 July, 2013 by 10am, at the Bolaji Akinyemi Hall of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos. According to a statement by the Centre Coordinator, Motunrayo Alaka, the Centre chose the theme of this year’s lecture to draw attention to the need to increase awareness on the Freedom of Information Act to Nigerian citizens and propagate its usefulness as a tool to tackle the now endemic issue of corruption, mediocrity and impunity in the country. The Centre also hopes to highlight the media as a focal institution in ensuring the implementation of the Act The Lecture series was designed to periodically examine varying topical issues that have a reverberating effect on the perceived performance of the media on the health of our country, Nigeria, and its democracy. It was first held in 2008. The statement said that the tradition of holding the event on July 13, which this year, is Professor Soyinka’s 79th birthday, started in 2009 in a bid to honour this illustrious Nigerian even as attention is drawn to critical national issues.

Maku warns against ethnic, religious sentiments

T

he Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, has called on the people of Nasarawa State to rise above ethno-religious sentiments and fight the growing spate of violence. The minister said this in Lafia at the inauguration of the new auditorium of the Zion Baptist Church, Lafia, and the launch of the Church’s history book. Maku said the quest for peace should be championed by political leaders and decried the spate of violence in the state. The minister urged Christians to lead by example and be agents of change and transformation in the state. “In recent times, some of us who are from this state have been weeping seriously. The Church must stand up. All those who are called by the name of Christ must stand up.Those of us who are leaders and those who aspire to be leaders must return to the path of righteousness,’’ he said. Maku stated that the wanton destruction of lives and property in parts of the state would continue unless citizens denounced violence in its totality. The said that although the task ahead was daunting the Church and its leaders could play a great role to help build and sustain social harmony. "I believe strongly and honestly that the Church has a lot to do even though it has done a lot. We must stand together in unity and cry unto God for help,’’ he said. He urged the youth to cooperate with their elders to defeat anti-progressive forces to take the state to greater heights. Fielding question from newsmen, the pastor of the Church, Rev. Anthony Auta, said the completion of the Church was a testimony of God’s domineering power over everything.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stakeholders reminisce LEONARD OKACHIE AND AISHA TITLAYO

W

hen civil rights activists and journalists gathered last week to commemorate June 12, the media stood tall in adulation among others because of the significant role it played during the struggle. Former General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Kokori, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and civil rights leader, Femi Falana, former governor of Ogun State and veteran journalist, Segun Osoba, Edo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Abdul Oroh, others extolled the media because of the role it played, saying that no impact would have been achieved without it. They spoke at the public lecture organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos State Council, at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of June 12,1993 Presidential Election. Speaking on the topic ‘Post June 12: the Good and the Bad’, Kokori, who was the Guest Lecturer, commended the Nigerian media for its unwavering support before, during and after the June 12 struggle, saying that those who are not ready to celebrate June 12 are celebrating corruption and falsehood. The pro-democracy activist, who was imprisoned as a result of June 12 struggle said that the media contributed largely to his freedom. He said: “There are certain media houses we respect in this country. We respect the stable of The News magazine; they had Tempo. We celebrate Tell magazine- they were doing gorilla journalism. When we were in the prison, their papers would be smuggled to us and we would read them and say ‘O Nigerians have not forgotten us’. Those were the journalists of that time and those boys have written their names in the annals of history.” He maintained that celebrating

L-R: Former Secretary General, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Kokori; Chairman, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; discussants, Mr. Femi Falana; Nigerian President, Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina and Deputy Managing Director, Thisday Newspapers, Mr. Kayode Komolafe at the NUJ lecture PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

June 12 is celebrating a generation of Nigerians, who sacrificed themselves for the democratization of Nigerians, even as he disclosed that he has named 50 heroes of the struggle in his memoir that out when he clocks 70 this year. He went down memory lane and said that Chief Mashood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola had a perfect picture; a blue print of what he wanted for Nigeria, he was prepared. "Nigerians were ready for change after 23 years of military dictatorship. There was a massive turn out of people who voted and it was glaring that MKO Abiola won the election. What then did we get? It was annulled by the cabals of our country.” The legal luminary Falana on his

part wondered why the press has not been commending itself for the great role it played at the time. “I want to appeal to Nigerian journalists. Please you are not being fair to yourselves. Even the role of the media is not being mentioned in June 12. Why? Five newspapers were closed down in Nigeria including Observer in Edo State because of June 12.The Concord, Tell, The Punch, The Guardian were proscribed.” Falana recalled how he went to court to contest the proscription of Concord newspaper by the repressive military regime. According to him, the soldiers stormed the premises of Concord to shut it down and the message

FG not interested in surveillance of Internet users –Official

D

irector, New Media and Information Security with Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Sylvanus Ehikioya, said the Federal Government was not interested in the surveillance of citizens on the Internet. Ehikioya made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba, Abia, on Tuesday. “Nigeria is not a police state and government is not considering carrying out surveillance on its citizens. The freedom of expression of its citizens as guaranteed by the constitution is sacrosanct. “Government is not interested in spying on her citizens but government is interested in doing what is

right to ensure that citizens are free to use the Internet and is safe in doing so,” he said. Ehikioya said although the monitoring of citizens in some countries was a means for checking Internet crime, ``such option is not being considered by the Nigerian Government.’’ He said that the effort to check Internet fraud was an ongoing effort which would involve the use of the Cyber Security law, which could not be perfected without the passage of the bill into law. Ehikioya said that Nigeria would rather collaborate with other countries to check Internet crime than to monitor the citizens. He said that since cyber crime cut

across boundaries, which meant that there were different governments with jurisdiction in cyber governance, thus requiring collaboration to check the problem. The director said that countries must make provisions in their laws to collaborate with other countries to check cyber crimes. Ehikioya said that measures were being taken to create appropriate frameworks and guidelines in Nigeria to facilitate collaboration with other countries against cyber crime. He, however, said that for a country, such as Nigeria, to collaborate with other countries, the appropriate framework, such as the Cyber Security Bill pending at the National Assembly must be passed into law.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Media

Thursday, June 20, 2013

47

media's role in June 12 L-R: Jimi Disu with Lt. Gen. Akinrinade

The Discourse with Jimi Disu marks anniversary STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

P was “The premises of Concord have been sealed-up.” As the counsel to Concord , he said he headed straight to the court contest it and was acutely aware that he would win the case because they displayed their ignorance in English language with the word ‘sealed up’ instead of sealed off. “I said my lord, the word sealed up is wrong in English. You don’t seal up a building, rather you seal it off.That was how the case ended as the charge was struck out,” Falana said as the hall erupted with laughter. He narrated the brutality of the June 12 struggle, which led to the untimely death of most of the human rights activists, stressing that some of them were just lucky to be alive. “All of you guys in the media played great role in the history

of our country. Newspapers were smuggled to us in the prison. It was the activities of the human rights defenders and the media that sustained the struggle for June 12. Some of your colleagues lost their lives and others were detained. I hope that our two leaders, Chief Kokori and Aremu Osoba would capture the role of the Nigerian media in the June 12 struggle when they write their memoirs,” Falana continued. While thanking the NUJ for organising the event, Osoba, who was former editor of Daily Times of Nigeria, said he simply sees himself as a reporter, adding “I have always liked to be addressed as a reporter because that is the best job.” Asked about his political ambition, the time-governor of Ogun State, who has an undying sense of humour said, “I have no

presidential ambition or chairmanship of a political party, and don’t hope to get a private jet etc. but I am interested in the future of our children in this country. I have contentment as long as you people (journalists), my colleagues don’t impeach me from this profession.” President of Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, Femi Adesina lauded the NUJ even as he made 10 posers about June 12 and one of which was: “If you won’t celebrate Juine 12, what will you celebrate?”. He emphasised that June 12 is the real democracy day because without it there will be no May 29. The occasion was graced by many journalists including the Deputy Managing Director, Thisday, Mr. Kayode Komolafe, NUJ President, Mohammed Garba, represented by Mr. Waheed Odusile.

L-R: The Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, National Mirror Newspapers, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Chief Executive Officer, Global Editors Network, GEN, Mr. Bertrand Peckre and Editor, National Mirror, Mr. Seyi Fasugba at the opening of the GEN summit in Paris, France.

opular live show on Classic FM 97. 3 “The Discourse with Jimi Disu”marked its one year anniversary recently at the Agip Recital Hall of the Muson Centre. The special edition of the life recording show had one time Chief of Army staff and NADECO chieftain, Lt. General Alani Akinrinade (rtd.) as special guest. Akinrade, who spoke on a wide range of topical issues described Nigeria’s present governance as civil rule but expressed optimimism that proper democracy which he expressed as work –in- progress could be attained in the near future. Speaking about the spate of insecurity in the country, Akinrade warned: “I think that if we are not careful, we are going to spend the first half of this century chasing the terrorists. We haven’t examined the issue very carefully.I did say the same thing in 2001 that some people have grievances and we are not ready to address those grievances. That is what led to the mess that we are now.” Earlier, the host,Disu said that he had 52 editions since he started the programme, adding

that he was pushed to do, having spent 30 years in journalism. The forum which was graced by former Nigerian leaders, party chieftains, top military officials (serving and retired), government functionaries, chief executives, media chiefs and other professionals, had the special guest give candid views and valuable insights on challenges facing the present administration and polity, to the perceived corruption in leadership, factors affecting the country’s fledgling democracy and also the forthcoming elections, amongst other topical issues. The colourful event also had in attendance distinguished guests which included former attorney general of Lagos State, Mr., Supo Shasore (SAN); the High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to Nigeria, Henry Macaulay; Chairman Megalectrics Limited (operators of Classicfm 97.3) Chris Ubosi; the Spokesperson for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Chairman Zenith Bank Sir Steve Omojafor, Hon Ajibola Shitta-bey, Prince Yemi Olateru-Olagbegi, amongst others. The ceremony was concluded with a raffle draw, with guests leaving with delightful prizes.

L-R: Chief Executive, African Media Initiative,Mr. Amadou Mahtar Ba; Director, Ethical Journalism Network, Mr. Alan White and Associate Editor, Standard, Mr.Tom Kent during the session on Leading From the Front: Ethics and Media Business, at the GEN Summit in Paris, France.


Cocktail

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (165)

Oh man! There is no planet sun or star that could hold you, if you but knew what you are. – Ralph Waldo Emerson * * * The Power Of Identity The secret of dominion is in knowing who you really are. The battles of life come to us mainly to make us doubt our identity in God. Once you lose a sense of who you are, failure is inevitable. There is no greater revelation than to know that you are created in the image of God; that you are a spark of the divine! And that you are a piece of the MASTER. It is the I AM THAT DETERMINES THE I CAN! (Please meditate on this). We must do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to realize our identity in order to emerge winners in the numerous battles of life. When you know who you are, nothing and no one can intimidate you. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

After crash crash, Australian woman has French accent

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n Australian woman is believed to be suffering from foreign accent syndrome, one of the rarest syndromes in the world, abc. net.au reports. The woman, Leanne Rowe, was involved in a serious car crash eight years ago. While healing

from her wounds, including a broken jaw, Rowe began to speak in what sounded like a French accent. At first, doctors and family assumed the injury to her jaw was to blame. But, even now, eight years later, the accent has stuck, according to Reuters.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Drunk allegations halt Ukraine parliament budget hearing

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parliamentary hearing on Ukraine’s budget was suspended on Tuesday when opposition deputies alleged that a deputy finance minister presenting the budget report was drunk. Anatoly Myarkovsky, first deputy finance minister, spoke for 10 minutes on the government’s budget performance in 2012. But when questions were invited, deputies from Ukraine’s rowdy opposition called out “He’s drunk”. One shouted: “Anyone within five metres can tell he reeks of someone who has been drinking vodka. Mr. Speaker, go and sniff for yourself.” Speaker Volodymyr Rybak declined, saying it was not up to him to check on the behaviour of government officials or deputies. But he sus-

pended the budget hearing until it had been clarified whether Myarkovsky had been under the influence or not. Myarkovsky himself left the chamber as Rybak was speaking. There was no formal word from his office. A deputy from the ruling Regions party,

Volodymyr Makeyenko, sprang to Myarkovsky’s defence. “There wasn’t any smell of alcohol coming from the deputy minister. I have known him for 20 years and he’s a responsible person - these allegations are just an attempt by the opposition to undermine (parliamentary) proceed-

ings,” he told journalists. Ukraine’s parliament, where the Regions party holds a small majority against a boisterous opposition which is seeking the release of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from jail, is often a theatre for physical tussles and fist-fights among deputies.

Anatoly Myarkovsky (C), first deputy finance minister, delivers a speech while opposition deputies react next to speaker’s rostrum during a session of the parliament in Kiev. PHOTO: REUTERS


Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Community Mirror “Governance truly is expensive, when you look at the national budget; it is mainly on paying salaries.”

Court adjourns suit against council boss

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SENATOR OLUREMI TINUBU

Undergraduate flushes child in toilet

ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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female student of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife called Rotimi Oyinlola was caught by the authorities, while trying to flush the child she allegedly delivered at Moremi Hostel Hall toilet. Community Mirror investigations revealed that the lady, a 400 level student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering was caught by a cleaner who

heard the baby’s cry inside one of the toilets. It was gathered that the cleaner promptly alerted the school authorities who swung into action by wrestling with the baby’s mother. Also, a student who preferred anonymity disclosed that when the cleaner heard a cry inside one of the toilets, she quickly called others and they forced the door open. When the cleaners entered the toilet they saw the student pouring water inside the toilet closet, as the

baby was turned upside down. “One of the cleaners dipped her hand inside and brought out the baby boy, who was still very much alive, but bleeding from the nose. They later rushed both the mother and baby to the university’s teaching hospital”. Speaking on the development, the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Biodun Olanrewaju, confirmed the story, but explained that both the mother and baby are in the hospital and responding to treatment.

The rescued baby

Thugs murder boy in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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A water hawker taking a nap on his jerrycans on Lagos Island recently.

K AYODE KETEFE

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Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced a 42-year-old man, Thomas Damilare, to one year imprisonment for illicit drug dealing. Damilare had been arraigned on May 8, 2013 by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA for alleged offence of contravening the provisions of section 11 (c) of the NDLEA Act, 2004. He had pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of dealing

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Man convicted for illicit drug

in a restricted narcotic, Cannabis sativa. The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa then ordered the accused to be remanded at the Ikoyi prison and adjourned the case for a review of the facts and sentencing. At the proceedings, the prosecution represented by Mr. James Aernan, informed the court that the accused was arrested on February 8, 2013 by NDLEA officials at Epe La-

gos, where he was found to be dealing in narcotic. He added that a 23.5 kilogramme of the substance was recovered from the accused on the day of his arrest. Aernan urged the court to convict and sentence the accused in the light of the proof of evidence which he claimed pointed to the guilt, aside his voluntary plea. In a moving allocutus, counsel for the accused, Mrs. Omotunde Ogunleye, prayed the

court to be lenient with her client on the grounds that he was a first offender and head of a family. She urged the court to temper justice with mercy, stressing that the family might suffer if the accused is incarcerated. In his judgment, Justice Yunusa, sentenced the accused to one year imprisonment, and made the term to start running from the time of detention.

hugs suspected to be members of a notorious gang known as Kauraye, have killed a 14-year-old boy, Ibrahim Sodangi at the Sabuwar Kasuwa area of Katsina State metropolis. Sodangi was killed when the thugs stormed the area where they have been terrorising the residents. An eyewitness, Zaharadeen Bala said when the gang came, several people took to their heels, even as the thugs maimed, killed and destroyed property. He said Sodangi was on his way to school for Koranic recitation, when they stabbed and killed him. The eyewitness said the victim died after efforts were made to rush him to the hospital. Speaking after the burial, father of the deceased, Bello Sodangi said he has left everything to Almighty Allah who is the creator of human beings.” He said the deceased was a JSS II student at the Usman Nagogo Secondary School, which is the former Advanced Teachers College, Katsina. He however called on the police to fish out his son’s killers and present them before a court for prosecution. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, PRO, DSP Aminu Abubakar Sadiq, said they have arrested the gang leader and six others. He said the leader was one Ahmed, also known as ‘Condemn’; and that investigation had fully commenced.


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Community Mirror

NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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n Ogidi High Court in Anambra State, presided over by Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu has adjourned further hearing m to September 25, in a N500 million civil suit by the President of Nkpor Youth Movement NYM, Prince Godwin Onwukwe and nine others, against the chairman of Idemili North Local Government Transition Committee, Raphael Asha Nnabuife. When the case came up for hearing, a legal practitioner, Izuegbu announced his appearance as new counsel to the defendant, adding that he had just been briefed to take over the matter. But counsel to the plaintiffs, Frank Molokwu, leading S. O. Chukelu and Prince Uche Okeke, raised a preliminary objection

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Court adjourns suit against council boss asking the court not to accept Izuegbu as the new defence counsel because he had not filed a formal application and other processes in court to warrant taking over of the case from Aneke. Molokwu, also argued that the motion for objection by the outgoing counsel to the defendant, Aneke against an earlier court order which directed that the plaintiffs should hire a chartered accountant to liaise with the Assistant Court Registrar, ACR, and verify the amount owed by the defendant and file same before the next adjournment date, should not stand. In his own submission, Izuegbu insisted that he is the new counsel, adding that a litigant had the right at to brief any lawyer or to change same for reasons best known to

him. In her ruling, Justice Onwuamaegbu stated that the defendant has the right to change his lawyer, but directed that the new counsel, Izuegbu should file the necessary applications to formalise appearance, as required by law. The court also maintained that its February 28 order directing that a chartered accountant be hired to liaise with the ACR to compute an accurate amount owed to the plaintiffs by the defendant should stand until vacated. The court had on the last adjourned date, ordered the plaintiffs to appoint a chartered accountant of no less than five years in practice to take a comprehensive account of all monies due, from Nnabuife as the Director of Finance/Administration of the In-

terim Management Committee of Nkpor Development Union as appointed in 2008. The court had also awarded N20, 000 cost against the defendant and further directed that the chartered accountant and the ACR should complete their assignment within three months and file report in court before the adjourned date. The plaintiffs had earlier filed a motion asking the court to enter judgement in their favour because the defendant had failed to enter appearance in this suit, and is also in default of filing his pleading as prescribed by rules for court, more so, when there is no leave to enlarge the prescribed time for entry of appearance and filing pleading by the dependant. In the substantive suit, the

plaintiffs are praying that an account be taken of all monies due to them as commissioned agents from development fees or by whatsoever name else, due from payments made to defendant by the public between 2008 to August 2012, through the instrumentality of Nkpor Youth Movement, as represented by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are also seeking an order for payment to the plaintiffs of N500 million being money due to the plaintiffs in the hands of the defendants or in the alternative, for such as shall be found due to the plaintiffs in the hands of defendant as monies had and received on taking of such accounts, and interest thereon, from 2008 until the payment is made, at such prevailing bank rates as the court shall consider fit.

Residents benefit from free medical service HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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A woman trader sleeping beside her bananas at Yaba in Lagos recently.

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Cleric blames injustice for nation’s woes

LEONARD OKACHIE

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he General Overseer of Bible Life Church, Bishop Leonard Umunna has said the security challenge in Nigeria is not about Hezbollah, Boko Haram, or any other groups but due to injustice. Speaking on the state of the nation recently, Umunna said that our ineptitude to management has caused the crises, adding: “It happens in our families, villages, communities and churches. If someone is telling you that this thing you are doing is not good and he can’t get justice, and you continue to deceive everyone that you are right, and there is nothing to convince the fellow that he is wrong

and there is no way you can help him get out of the tight corner he is complaining about, you have pushed him to the wall. He might do something you won’t expect. “You can put down Boko Haram today and Hezbollah will tomorrow come up until you do the right thing.” The cleric decried the current crisis rocking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, and urged the factions to unite the people and not sacrifice the nation’s interest on the altar of selfishness due to the 2015 elections. He maintained that the same forces now at play reared up at the time of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, saying: “That is why some are agitating that the governors should not preside over

the 2015 elections because if this could happen at the governor’s forum it can happen elsewhere. “These are indications of what will happen in future. Somebody should mildly tell somebody that you shouldn’t have allowed this to happen. I am a leader in many respects, not just in the church, but also in several other sectors. A leader should be able to tell others to mellow down, life is not all about winning always, you win some, lose some. I know that somebody somewhere did not do his job very well.” Bishop Umunna also called for the creation of state police, which will help stem the tide of insecurity in the country. He proffered solution to the lingering debate saying , “Start with

those states that are qualified. With such criteria some people will be encouraged to go for it. Take a clue from other nations that have approved such. Do not say they will be used it for political gains. There are many benefits. Know what the standard is rather than saying we are not mature for it”. The cleric condemned the recent law onthe cremation in Lagos State, saying “I take side with God who ordered that we should be buried other than take side with economic factors.” He declared that he supported someone who had asked that the lawmakers put their names down so that when they die they should be cremated “since teaching by personal example is the greatest asset in leadership.”

esidents of Zion Pepe community in the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have benefitted from free medical service organised by the management of Danilux Chemical Industries. The free health services organised in collaboration with a United States of America based physicians led by Dr. Neil Johnson and Prince Tolulope Adeyemi was put in place to treat and screen people on malaria, hypertension and other related diseases. Speaking at the exercise, the Managing Director of Danilux, Apostle Rapheal Danilola said the initiative was taken to assist the indigenes. According to him, the free health services were meant to help the government in its free health policy. He explained that the idea of embarking on free medical services was hatched when he traveled overseas thought of helping and impacting his community. He disclosed that those whose situations could not be treated by the scope of the health services would be referred to experts, while one of the patients would be flown abroad for comprehensive medical attention. He called on well meaning individuals to assist the rural communities in the country, saying health facilities are not made available to most of the people at the grassroots. His words “we must learn to give back what we have gained from the community that produced us by impacting on the lives of the aged through provision of free medical treatment.” Danilola explained that free health service was part of his humanitarian service and promised that the programme would be a continuous exercise.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

51

World News

“My government would not be rushed into signing a free trade agreement with the European Union this week”

Obama defends US intelligence tactics

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–CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER, STEPHEN HARPER

Somali rebels kill 22 in attack on UN office

Somali soldiers gathering in front of the main U.N. compound, following an attack on it in Mogadishu, Somalia, yesterday.

PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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slamist militants carried out a deadly assault on the main U.N. compound in the Somali capital on Wednesday, dealing a blow to fragile security gains that have allowed a slow return of foreign aid workers and diplomats. The assault, claimed by Islamist group al Shabaab, began before midday when a car bomb exploded outside the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) base. Rebel gunmen forced their way into the compound and fought with security guards. The African Union (AU) peacekeeping force, which sent soldiers and armoured vehicles

to the compound, which includes several buildings, said it was under the control of friendly troops after a gun fight that lasted more than 90 minutes. Interior Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled said four foreign U.N. security staff and four local guards were killed in the gun battle that left seven insurgent fighters dead. An ambulance service official said his crew carried away seven dead civilians, bringing the total dead to 22. It was the first significant attack on U.N. premises by al Shabaab since they were driven out of Mogadishu in fighting with AU and Somali government forces about two years ago. More than a million Somalis live in crisis conditions, accord-

ing to the United Nations, which has started building up offices and international staff after security improved. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “outraged by the despicable attack” in a telephone call to Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Al Shabaab accused the United Nations of serving U.S. interests. “The U.N., a merchant of death and a satanic force of evil, has a long, inglorious record of spreading nothing but poverty, dependency and disbelief,” al Shabaab said on its Twitter feed @HSMPRESS1 The South African state weapons firm Denel said two of its staff were killed in the raid. Militants have launched grenade

Mugabe goes back to court on Zimbabwe’s polls

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imbabwe’s highest court said yesterday it has received an application from long time President Robert Mugabe’s party to delay crucial elections by at least two weeks following pressure from regional leaders. Mugabe has insisted he is

Mugabe

merely abiding by a previous court order in holding general elections on July 31. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a longtime Mugabe foe and opposition leader, wants the vote to be held in September. Zimbabwe’s last elections in 2008 were plagued by violence and ultimately forced Mugabe to join a power-sharing government with the opposition. Officials at the Constitutional Court say the papers submitted by Mugabe’s party ask the court to review the earlier ruling that called for a vote before the end of July. The move comes days after southern African regional leaders met in Mozambique and pushed for an extension until Aug. 14 so that key electoral reforms and poll preparations can take place. Justice Minister Patrick

Chinamasa said in the papers filed at the constitutional court that he was directed by a summit of the regional presidents in Mozambique to file an urgent application to postpone the elections and asked for an extension to Aug. 14, court officials said. Tomaz Salomao, secretary-general of the 15-nation regional, political and economic bloc known as the Southern African Development Community, or SADC, said Tuesday the presidents had urged Mugabe and all political groups to heed their concerns over early elections. He said the SADC grouping pledged to recognize any new decision by Zimbabwe’s highest court. “If the court does not accept the appeal our task is to deploy our observers to ensure there is at least a conducive environment for elections,” he said.

PHOTO: AP

strikes and similar low-level attacks on U.N. bases in the past, but no assault of this scale. One U.N. official said some Western nations that had been keen to support the Westernleaning government elected last year had played down dangers posed by al Shabaab and its ability to infiltrate the security forces and attack the capital. “This is part of the consequence of over-optimism in some Western nations that has overshadowed the need to look at deeper problems before rolling out any kind of U.N. mission,” said the official, who follows Somalia closely but is not authorized to talk to the media. He said the government had not done enough to overhaul its security forces. Tsvangirai insists new elections can be called as late as October under the nation’s new constitution to allow time for democratic reforms spelled out in both the power-sharing coalition agreement and the constitution to be put into place to pave the way for a free and fair vote. His party says a two-week extension is still inadequate to complete reforms to sweeping media and security laws, and changes in the police, military and security services traditionally loyal to Mugabe to ensure their impartiality. Mugabe declared the July poll date on June 13, saying he was obeying the ruling of the Constitutional Court that linked the need for elections to a month after the automatic dissolution of the Harare parliament at the end of its current five-year term on June 28.

WORLD BULLETIN

South Sudan president sacks two ministers for fraud

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has sacked two high-ranking government ministers embroiled in a multi-million dollar financial scandal. Kiir has also lifted the immunity of Finance Minister Kosti Manibe and Cabinet Affairs Minister Deng Alor to open the way for an investigation. The pair have not yet commented, as at press time. Analysts say corruption is one of the biggest problems in South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, making it the world’s newest state. Last June, South Sudan’s parliament voted to suspend at least 75 senior officials accused of massive corruption. President Salva Kiir sent a letter to the current and ex-government employees, asking them to return at least $4bn (£2.6bn) of stolen money. A presidential decree posted on the government’s website said Manibe and Alor would “cease to exercise their functions” with immediate effect.

Niger’s worst power cuts in years threaten economy

Niger’s worst power cuts in years have crippled businesses and government offices in the capital Niamey for more than three weeks, raising fears they could harm the fragile economy of one of the world’s poorest nations. Niamey and Niger’s south western provinces of Dosso and Tillaberi have been largely without electricity since May 25 when a storm knocked out power lines to the Kainji hydroelectric dam in western Nigeria. The three regions are home to more than a third of Niger’s 17 million inhabitants, and the bulk of the output from the landlocked country’s $11 billion economy, which grew 11 percent last year thanks to good harvests and the start of oil output.

Protests against Morsi permitted –Egypt top cleric

Egypt’s top Muslim cleric says peaceful protests against the president are permitted, dismissing declarations by Islamist hard-liners that those behind protests planned for June 30 are heretics. Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, said in a statement Wednesday that “peaceful opposition to the legitimate leader is religiously permissible and accepted.” He said the view expressed by hard-liners that those who rebel against a “legitimate” leader are “kuffar,” or non-believers, and “hypocrites” — and thus punishable by death — is a “deviant” view. Al-Azhar is the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost seat of learning, and the views of its imam are taken seriously. Opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi are planning mass protests on June 30 calling on him to step down.


52

World News

WORLD BULLETIN

Man charged for tossing wife off cruise ship

A California grand jury has indicted a Florida man on charges of strangling his ex-wife and tossing her off a cruise ship in Italy. Lonnie Kocontes, 55, who used to live in Southern California, was indicted by an Orange County grand jury on Friday and did not enter a plea during his Superior Court arraignment on Monday, the Orange County Register reported. Kocontes remained jailed on Tuesday. He is charged with murder for financial gain, which carries a potential death penalty and a minimum sentence of life in prison without chance of parole. Kocontes will try to have the case dismissed at a June 26 hearing, arguing that local authorities lack jurisdiction to prosecute. He and Micki Kanesaki, 52, divorced in 2001 after six years of marriage but continued to live together, off and on, in southern Orange County. They were sharing a cabin during a May 2006 Mediterranean cruise when she went overboard. Her body later washed ashore. Italian police investigated but did not arrest Kocontes.

UAE charges 30 suspects with plotting coup The United Arab Emirates broadened its crackdown on perceived threats and risked deepening its rift with Egypt yesterday with plans to bring 30 Egyptian and UAE suspects to trial for alleged coup plotting linked to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE has faced complaints from rights groups and others for its arrests and other security measures since Arab Spring. The regional uprisings have not brought any street protests in the UAE, which allows no political parties and swiftly moves to crush any displays of public dissent, but the upheavals have boosted online calls for more political openness. A total of 94 UAE nationals, including lawyers and professors, are awaiting a July 2 verdict on charges of links to a local Islamist group seeking to topple the Western-allied ruling system across the country’s seven semi-autonomous city-states.

Italy’s first back minister gets death threats Italy’s first black Cabinet minister is facing Internet death threats before a visit to a region known for its anti-immigrant political base. Cecile Kyenge, a Congoleseborn doctor who has lived in Italy since 1983, has been the target of racist diatribes ever since she was named integration minister in April. Last week, a local politician from the xenophobic Northern League party was expelled after she posted on her Facebook page: “Why doesn’t someone rape her (Kyenge), so she can understand what victims of atrocious crimes feel?” She implied that immigrants were responsible for violent crime in Italy. Kyenge on Wednesday acknowledged “racist episodes” in Italy but declined to brand the country as a whole racist. Kyenge is attending a weekend multicultural festival in the northern region of Veneto.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Obama defends US intelligence tactics P resident Barack Obama defended U.S. intelligence methods on a visit to Berlin yesterday, telling Chancellor Angela Merkel and wary Germans that Washington was not monitoring the emails of ordinary citizens or damaging civil liberties. Obama is popular in Germany but revelations before the trip that the United States has a covert Internet surveillance program, codenamed Prism, have caused outrage in a country where memories of the eavesdropping East German Stasi secret police are still fresh. Merkel said at a joint news conference that also touched on Afghanistan, Syria and the global economy, that the two leaders had held “long and intensive” talks on the spying issue, and pointed out that some questions still need to be cleared up. “This is not a situation in which we are rifling through the ordinary emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else,” said Obama, on his first visit to the German capital as president. “This is not a situation where we simply go into the Internet and start searching any way we want. This is a circumscribed system directed at us being able to protect our people and all of it is done under the oversight of the courts.” Obama was later due to speak to a crowd of roughly 4,000 invited guests at the Brandenburg Gate, which used to stand alongside the Berlin Wall dividing communist East Berlin from the capitalist West of the city. His visit comes on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner”

U.S. President Barack Obama applauds as German Chancellor Angela Merkel rises from her seat to make her speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

speech. Seizing on the Cold War theme, Obama is expected to announce plans to sharply reduce nuclear arms stockpiles, an initiative he kicked off with a speech in Prague in 2009 but which involves complex negotiations with Russia. At the news conference, he touched on tensions with Afghan President Hamid Karzai over U.S. plans to begin talks with the Taliban to try to seek a negotiated peace after 12 years of war, acknowledging “huge mistrust” between the Western-backed government in Kabul and its arch-foes. “We do think that ultimately we’re going to need to see Afghans talking to Afghans about how they can move forward and end the cycle of violence there so they can start actually building their country,” Obama said. As a sign of displeasure with

the U.S. move, Karzai has suspended talks with Washington on a troop agreement. But Obama said he welcomed Karzai’s announcement that Afghan forces would soon take responsibility for security from the U.S.-led NATO peacekeeping force. On Syria, Obama said reports that the United States was ready to “go all in” to war in the country were exaggerated. He reiterated his view that President Bashar al-Assad’s government had used chemical weapons, while acknowledging that Russia was skeptical on this point. For her part, Merkel said Germany would not deliver weapons to the rebels, even though a European Union arms embargo on Syria has lapsed. Obama arrived in Germany from a two-day summit with

Afghan President to boycott talks with Taliban

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he Afghan government will not take part in peace talks with the Taliban unless the process is “Afghan-led”, President Hamid Karzai has said. His statement came a day after the US agreed to talk to the Taliban in Qatar, where the militants have a new office. Karzai said the opening of the office contradicted earlier US security guarantees to his government. In protest, he also said he would suspend talks on the US

Karzai

presence in Afghanistan after NATO leaves in 2014. Earlier, four US soldiers died in a Taliban attack at an Afghan airbase, heaping further pressure on the proposed talks. A spokesman for the Taliban said the militants had launched two rockets at Bagram airbase, the largest military base for US troops in Afghanistan. A statement from Karzai’s office said Afghan negotiators would stay away from the Qatar talks until “foreign powers” allowed the process to be run by Afghans. President Karzai clearly feels a sense of anger and betrayal over the way the US made that announcement. He thought there would be a commitment from the Taliban to engage with the Afghan government, to recognise the constitution and to renounce violence. None of those promises were made. Hopes that these talks with the Taliban will go very far must

be fading fast. Without the involvement of the Afghan government there is no peace process. Already tense relations with the US and President Karzai have reached a new low with the suspension of the negotiations of the Bilateral Security Agreement. On top of that, the Taliban have given no indication that the fighting will end - carrying out an attack on the US military base in Bagram within hours of what was supposed to be an “important first step” towards reconciliation. “Unless the peace process is ‘Afghanised’, the High Peace Council is not attending the Taliban Qatar talks,” the statement said. The High Peace Council (HPC) is the government set up to leading peace efforts with the Taliban. The fact that the Taliban opened its political office in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Tuesday was “totally contradictory to the guarantees that were made by the USA to Afghanistan,” the statement added.

Group of Eight leaders in Northern Ireland where he and other leaders clashed with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Syria. He last came to Berlin in 2008, during his first campaign for the presidency. Back then, Merkel refused to allow him to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. Instead he spoke down the road in Berlin’s Tiergarten park, attracting a crowd of 200,000 - largely enthusiastic admirers.

UK’s Royal couple don’t know baby’s gender

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he Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have “decided not to find out” the gender of their baby, royal officials say. The baby will be delivered in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London - where Princess Diana had her sons. The baby is due in mid-July, and Prince William hopes he will be present if his RAF duties allow. St James’s Palace officials have appealed for an “appropriate degree of sensitivity” regarding the birth. It is understood Prince William will take two weeks’ paternity leave - as allowed by the Ministry of Defence - but royal officials said the length of the duchess’s maternity leave is a personal matter for her. As with their courtship, engagement and wedding so too with this birth. A very personal moment in the lives of William and Kate will be played out on a very public stage. The unborn child offers an ancient institution the prospect of a future stretching into another generation. As the Queen put it after Prince William’s birth, “I am very pleased we have another heir”. William, like his father, plans to be by his wife’s side. Prince Philip was playing squash when his eldest son came into the world.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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ndication emerged yesterday that the Chairman of Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Mr. Emmanuel Adamu, may be suspended by the state House of Assembly for alleged omission of major projects in the 2012 Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, and the 2013 appropriation. The council chairman was summoned by the House to also explain the

North

Thursday, June 20, 2013

LG chairman faces suspension over SURE-P projects alleged alteration of the council’s 2013 budget provisions. A copy of the council’s budget made available to journalists yesterday showed that the council chairman has inflated the figures of some of the projects to be carried out under the SURE-P funds by smuggling another budgets document into the Ministry of Local Government for the sole purpose of diverting public funds.

Adamu had erased some of the clauses included in the original budget presented to the House in his second estimate expenditure sent to the ministry earlier. The House observed that the clause which contains the construction of feeder roads in Anka, Babur, Same and Dorowa in the local government were removed by the council chairman. Another clause removed by the council chairman includes the electrification

of Fadan Ayu from the 2012 SURE-P funds as well as the maintenance of all boreholes in the area. The House members observed that the chairman inflated the figures of Gwantu to Wassa electrification project from N100 million to N150 million and also omitted the names of all the villages that would benefit from the project. This was just as he removed the clause for a workshop for all councillors and

heads of department in the local government. The situation prompted the House leadership to invite the chairman for questioning and thereafter directed him to revert to the original budget passed and approved by the House and report back to it by next Monday. Addressing journalists after the meeting with the chairman, House Majority Leader, Hon. David Umar Gurara, confirmed that

Katsina warns against erection of illegal structures

there was a gross misconduct on the part of the council chairman, adding that the House sat and directed the chairman to adhere to the budgetary provisions. All efforts by journalists to speak to the council chairman, who was visibly angry shortly after the meeting, were unsuccessful. Adamu, who was at the meeting with of his supporters, walked out on journalists, when his views were sought on the issues.

37, 000 benefit from Kogi rural medical services

JAMES DANJUMA

WALE IBRAHIM

KATSINA

LOKOJA

K

atsina State government yesterday warned individuals and groups in the habit of erecting structures illegally in the state to desist from doing so or face severe sanctions. The warning, which emanated from the state’s Urban and Regional Planning Board, URPB, is coming on the heels of the proliferation of illegal structures in some parts of the state. Speaking on the issue, the General Manager of the Board, Usman Wadada, lamented that “some people are in the habit of erecting structures without consulting appropriate authorities.” Wadada said this shortly after supervising the demolition of illegal structures behind a local market in Batsari Local Government Area of the state. He said if people refused to comply with existing statutes, the arms of the law would sooner or later catch up with them. The general manager said following necessary due process, construction of buildings along roads, high tension cables and waterways, should be avoided. He, however, called on people to continue assisting the board by exposing those engaged in the erection of illegal structures. Wadada also called on traditional institutions in the state to give the board their full cooperation in order to address the problem of illegal structures in the state.

53

A

L-R: Human Resources Director, Royal Salt Limited, Alhaji Jibrin Kolo-Doko; Executive Director, Alhaji Lawal Idirisu; Emir of Zauzau, Dr, Shehu Idris; Marketing Director, Mr, Nitesh Srivastav and General Manager, Marketing North, Mr, Munir Khan, during their courtesy visit to the Emir’s palace in Zaria, yesterday.

‘Agriculture,onlysolutiontounemployment,insecurity’

K

wara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has identified commercial agriculture as the best approach to solving the twin challenges of youth unemployment and insecurity in the country. Governor Ahmed said this in a message to the fifth graduation ceremony of the Youth Integrated Training Farm Centre, Malete in Moro Local Government Area of the state. He said the people of

the state, especially youths, must take advantage of the vast arable land and government’s agric business friendly policies to generate employment opportunities for themselves and others. The governor explained that centres like the Malete Youth Farm were critical for providing youths with the required technical skills to engage in agric business. “Over the last two years, we have supported the youth farm with over N100 million for its capital proj-

ects and to upgrade and rehabilitate its infrastructure, repair all light and heavy equipment, among other critical intervention programmes,” he add. Governor Ahmed said he has approved the review of the farm centre’s curriculum in order to improve the quality of training and challenges of the future, adding that as a government of continuity, his administration will continue to support the centre’s efforts at producing a new

generation of commercial farmers in the state. He added that roads have been constructed across the state to create access to farming communities and for easy evacuation of farm produce. The governor charged the graduates to be innovative and be inspired through the employment of their knowledge as change agents to impart their knowledge on other youths and encourage them to take to commercial farming.

Yero pardons 12 inmates, approves vigilance service A ZA MSUE KADUNA

K

aduna State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, yesterday pardoned 12 prison inmates serving various terms in the state even as he also approved a law establishing the Kaduna State Vigilance Service to complement activities of

security agencies in communities across the state. A statement by the governor’s Director-General, Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki, said a letter from the Governor’s Office has already been sent to the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, for gazetting and implementation of the law. The amnesty given to

the inmates was part of activities marking this year’s Democracy Day celebrations. The amnesty followed the approval by Yero of recommendations by the Advisory Council of the Prerogative of Mercy for the committal of the sentences of the prisoners, a total of twelve. Governor Yero’s action

was in exercise of his powers under section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). In a letter to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, the governor endorsed the Release Order for the inmates and directed the commissioner to take action immediately.

t least 37,000 people have benefited from the second phase of the Kogi State rural free medical services that has just been concluded across the three senatorial districts of the state. State Governor, Idris Wada, disclosed this yesterday while receiving the medical team’s report on the programme from the six centres, he commended the team for a job well done. Wada said the popularity of the state’s free medical services is a testimony that the government is commited to the well being of the people at the grassroots level. The governor was, however, worried over the abandonment of the cottage hospital that was primarily designed to take care of the people in the rural areas, he said more people are waiting for the free medical services. Wada pointed out that the purpose of the rural medical service is to help indigent people, who for exceptional reasons could not afford transportation to the cities for better treatment. He also lamented that the purpose for which the cottage hospital was established will be defeated if people refused to patronise them. He therefore called on the health commissioner to research into why people are always over flowing the free medical intervention programme of the state government, saying that he was worried and something very fast has to be done to ameliorate the situation.


54

Insight

Thursday,June 20, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Help! Rate of incest, child sexual abuse Nigerians forbid incest because of cultural, traditional and religious beliefs. But pedophiles with their abnormal sexual preference for teenagers are on the rise. LEONARD OKACHIE reports that more fathers are also being charged for having sex with their daughters.

J

anet (not real name) has an unforgivable hatred for her brother. In fact, she wishes not to see him again in her life. Why? Her brother has traumatised her. Now a grown up lady, Janet is haunted by past ugly experience when she was a child. According to her, when she was seven years old, she was sleeping in the same room with her elder brother then 20. After each night prayer, her elder brother prodded her to watch pornographic videos together, caressing her breasts and other parts of the body during the show. Eventually, he started having sex with her. Even as the incestuous relationship became a regular affair, he warned her not to tell their parents or any other person. Till their parents died, Janet said they had no idea what went on between her and the brother. Now, a grown up, Janet can no longer control her libido, as she sleeps around with different men. She believes the elder brother is responsible for her predicament and vows never to set her eyes on him again. Like Janet, another 10-year- old boy, in an orphanage said, “Whenever I see my brother, I feel like killing him. I hate him; I don’t care where he is.” The boy, whose parents are now dead, reacted angrily when asked about his elder brother. Giving reason for his reaction, he said, “When I was younger, my brother would put his penis in my mouth and force me to suck it.” Pedophiles are everywhere; fathers and sons now indulge in the bestial act of defiling their daughters and sisters. In 2008, the world was shocked when news broke in Amstetten, Austria, a rural town about 150 km (93 miles) west of Vienna, that a 73-year-old man, Josef Fritzl, held his daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, hostage in an underground cellar for 24 years, during which time he raped his daughter and fathered seven children with her there. Fritzl explained Elisabeth’s disappearance by saying she had run away from home, a story backed up by letters he forced Elisabeth to write, including one that begged her parents not to look for her. Studies have shown a rising increase in incestuous relationships between fathers and their daughters, between mothers and their sons and even between other close relations. Those involved are from different strata of the society, the wealthy, rich, middle class and even flotsam and jetsam. Pedophiles and their ilk involved in incestuous affairs device different ways of making the victims to do their bidding. Sometimes, they threaten to kill them. Others pretend they really love and have the interest of their victims at heart, lavishing gifts, money and attention on them. The Lagos State Police Command recently paraded a man, who defiled his two daughters and granddaughter, which shows the extent to which family values have degenerated in the country. The sus-

Staff of Christianah Fate Foundation during a child sexual abuse awareness campaign recently.

Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina.

Ehijele rapes his daughters and granddaughter.

PEDOPHILES AND THEIR ILK INVOLVED IN INCESTUOUS AFFAIRS DEVICE DIFFERENT WAYS

OF MAKING THE VICTIMS TO DO THEIR BIDDING.

SOMETIMES, THEY THREATEN TO KILL THEM

pect, Sylvester Ehijere, 48, was said to have had carnal knowledge of his first daughter, Favour, when she was 17 years old. A native of Ohuode, Edo State, Ehijere also molested his seven-year-old daughter, Chidinma, and his 15-month old granddaughter, Treaga. The seven-year-old girl told the police that her father had sex with her on several occasions and had promised to buy her gifts but never did. “Whenever my mum is not at home, he grabs me, forces his hand over my mouth and then inserts his penis into my private part. He promised to buy me a car, cake and biscuit, but he did not buy anything for me. He also threatens to use a knife to gouge out my eyes anytime I threaten to tell my mother,” she told the police. The wife, Mrs. Margaret Ehijere, also made startling revelations, saying they have four children- two males and two females - and the husband has had carnal knowledge of her daughters including the infant grand-daughter. She said, “I am a caterer. In 2006, I went to Abuja where I spent five days. But at about 1am, my first daughter, who was 17 years old at the time, called on the phone crying that she was raped by her father.

“Because my oldest daughter is working, we decided to put her baby at a daycare in Ejigbo. I have always been the one bringing her back every day. But on that particular day, my husband went to the daycare and after an altercation with the teacher, took the baby home. “When I got home, the baby was crying uncontrallably and I wondered what was wrong. When I finally took off her diapers, I noticed she was bleeding in her private part. When I raised alarm, my husband was unnerved. That was when I suspected him. I rushed down to the Ejigbo Police Station and reported the matter.” What is that status of the case while the bubble is yet to settle on Ehijere’s saga, another 58-year-old man from Agbura, Yenagoa Local Government in Bayelsa State was recently arrested by the police for allegedly impregnating his two daughters and attempting to rape the third. One of his daughters was said to have been pregnant for him twice but lost them during labour. The second daughter had to relocate from the community out of shame. The 14-year-old daughter who is a student of the Community Secondary School, Agbura, was said to have revealed her father’s sexual escapades to the school coun-

Fritzl.

sellor. The counsellor who is her class teacher, subsequently reported the matter to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Affairs, Mrs. Pulu Zifawei, who called in the police. In March, a 10-year-old girl disclosed how her step-father, Alabi Ibrahim, 62, had been sleeping with her in their residence at Opara Estate, Aiyetoro Road, Abeokuta. The man was said to have indulged in the act on countless occasions and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. But the girl told her siblings what had been going on between them. The latter told their mother, Mrs. Adiat Ibrahim, who then reported the matter to the police. The suspect fled when the police came after him. Similarly, in 2010, Philip Ben, 40, from Akwa Ibom State impregnated his 12-yearold daughter, confessing that he was tempted by the ‘seductive’ dress she was putting on. But the daughter countered that her father drugged and molested her. She told the police that her father had been having sex with her for two years at their Yaba, Lagos residence. While making a confession at the Criminal Investigations Department CID, at Panti, Yaba, Lagos, Ben said: “One day, I came back from work and met my daughter naked. As I was admiring her, I could not control myself anymore. I started caressing her, and she did not resist, so we had sex.” The girl also told the police that her


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insight

Thursday,June 20, 2013

rises in Nigeria

Eight girls who were allegedly raped by a man in Lagos last year.

Groups campaigning against child sexual abuse in Nigeria.

IN MARCH, A 10-YEAR-OLD GIRL DISCLOSED HOW HER STEP-FATHER, ALABI IBRAHIM, 62, HAD BEEN SLEEPING WITH HER IN THEIR RESIDENCE AT OPARA ESTATE, AIYETORO ROAD, ABEOKUTA father divorced her mother and married another woman who died later after giving birth to twins. “I was staying in the village before my father came and picked me at the age of seven to take care of the twins. It was when I came and started staying with him that he began being intimate with me,” she added. Many people who spoke with National Mirror on the rising incident of incest in Nigeria were very forthright. A bus driver, Mr. Francis Ojo, said: “Such incidents are as result of frustration. It is the reason why some men no longer sleep with their wives but with their daughters. Also, some daughters are not biological children of their supposed fathers. Some children are the products of adultery, and naturally, the affection from their fathers are lacking. People no longer respect the marriage institution any longer. For a father to sleep with his daughter is abominable. Such a man is cursed.” A teacher at Ikorodu, Lagos, Mr. Vincent Egudah, said, “Do we have Child Rights in this country? Daily we are bombarded with rape cases and the government does nothing about them. Men rape their daughters and mothers are afraid to speak out because of cultural and religious inhibitions. Most of them say they want to protect their marriage. Which marriage do you protect, when your husband is sleeping with your daughter? The law is clear on such offence but we hardly hear of anyone being jailed for committing such heinous crime. Until

our judges begin to jail offenders, the crime will not stop.” For Mrs. Yemisi Balogun, a retailer at Ketu, Lagos, such abominable act has become a regular occurrence in the society. “It is sad that we are now witnessing a similar thing that happened in Sodom and Gomorrah. Any man who sleeps with his daughters is an animal. In my community it is taboo, and anyone caught would be publicly disgraced by making him walk round the village naked. After, he will be required to appease the gods. If he resists, he will be excommunicated. “However, I advise mothers to always monitor the activities of their daughters. Some mothers are so busy running after money that they don’t have time for their children. Some are either ashamed or afraid to report their husbands or sons. Until mothers begin to speak out, the evil will continue to live with us,” Balogun said. On the legal implication of the abuse, Principal Partner, Abiye Tam-George & Co., and Child Protection/Parenting Skills expert, Mrs. Abiye Tam-George, explained that when a child is sexually abused, that child may likely suffer from emotional and physical trauma, thereby compounding the legal consequences of sexually abusing a child. She said: “Cases of fathers abusing their children have become very worrisome, as more cases are reported every day. The reason is that fathers are hardly convicted of these abuses. The legal implica-

tions are very explicit as provided for in the Child Rights Act of 2003. Section 31 subsections (1) provides that ‘No person shall have intercourse with a child’ and section 31 subsection (2) declares that ‘A person who contravenes the provision of subsection (1) of this section commits an offence of rape and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life. “Fathers who are guilty of raping their children as clearly stated by the Child Rights Act of 2003 may be committed to life imprisonment.” A counsellor on child sexual abuse and Founder/ Executive Director, Christianah Fate Foundation, Mrs. Christianah Akindolie, said during the group’s campaign in April at Eti- Osa Local Governement Area of Lagos State, a middle aged man asked why they were always campaigning against child sexual abuse. “He actually said, he does not see anything wrong in sleeping with a child, after all, it is a ‘way of refreshing a man’s blood,” Akindolie said. Advising against child sexual abuse, she said, “If a child is sexually abused, he or she should talk about it to a trusted adult who is ready to help. They should not keep quiet because the abuser must have threatened them. It is just a threat, they should not be afraid. “Children should not allow anyone touch their private parts. They have a right to refuse, especially for the girls. They have a right to refuse a hug, even from an uncle. I tell children, ‘you have private part, you have public part. Private parts should not be touched.’ When we empower our children with those words, it is going to help them. “In this society, people do not know child’s sexual abuse is everybody’s concern. As it affects a child, it is going to affect the next because children are influenced by their peers. Research has shown that a sexually abused child would abuse others. It is a chain reaction. A child who is sexually abused could abuse 10 others.” A psychiatrist at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Adebusola Adekoya, explained that people abusing children is one of several sides of disorders associated with sexual preferences. “They are called pedophiles, that is, peo-

55

ple with sexual preference for children not of legal age. They take undue advantage of them. Like any other illness, it is an abnormal sexual preference. You can’t say there is a particular cause. Pedophile is just one of several others. There are at least eight other abnormal sexual preferences. “In psychiatry, we talk of multiple causes; that is multi-factorial. It could be a problem with the person’s system; the society or environment. Until we see the person and interview him, we cannot safely hazard the cause. The cause for one person could be different from another. So we can’t say there is a general cause for it. Some people could have been abused when they were young. When they grew up as adults they do similar things to other children,” he explained. Adekoya stated that one of the consequences of child abuse is that the child could grow up to be a child abuser, even as she stressed that the child may also develop behavioural problems. “The child could have a personality problem. A lot of things could happen to the child. The child might not be able to cope in school due to trauma. Some experience it and might not have anyone to confide in. They either manifest as a child or as adults. As a child, they are withdrawn, and won’t play like others. Some become over-exposed; that is when you see a fiveyear-old being over-friendly with people; people then will say she is too loose. When sexually abused children grow up, they develop personality disorder and finding it difficult to stay in a relationship. They have low self-esteem of themselves and could be tempted to commit suicide since they won’t see themselves as worthy of anything.” She, however, disclosed that there is treatment for both the abused and abuser. “Ideally the treatment will involve the entire family because something could have happened between the husband and wife which caused the man to sleep with his daughter. Anything to do with children must involve the entire family. There are different psychological treatments. Unfortunately, most people do not recognise it as a problem that is treatable. In this environment, everything is termed an abomination,” she said.

UNDERSTANDING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE • Child Sexual Abuse is a form of abuse in which an adult, a teenager or an older child uses a child for sexual stimulation to satisfy a sexual lust. There are two types of sexual abuse: bodily contact (touch) and non- bodily contact. • World Health Organisation (WHO) research has shown that one out of every three girls and one out of every six boys will have experienced one form of sexual abuse before attaining the age of 18. Research has also shown that over 90 per cent of sexual abusers are people they are familiar with. …30% relatives, siblings, fathers, mothers, step-fathers and mothers, uncles, cousins, nephews, aunties and other blood relatives. …60% - friends of the family, nanny, neighbours, gatemen, driver, gardener, lesson teacher, house-help (boy or girl), swimming instructor, school teacher, etc. … 10% - strangers. • Children and adolescents who have been sexually abused can suffer a range of psychological and behavioural problems, from mild to severe, in both the short and long term. These problems include

depression, anxiety, guilt, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out. Depending on the severity of the incident, victims of sexual abuse may also develop fear and anxiety regarding the opposite sex or sexual issues and may display inappropriate sexual behaviour. …Adults who were sexually abused as children commonly experience depression. Additionally, high levels of anxiety in these adults can result in self-destructive behaviours, such as alcoholism or drug abuse, anxiety attacks, situation-specific anxiety disorders, and insomnia. Many victims also encounter problems in their adult relationships and in their adult sexual functioning. …Physical force is often not necessary to engage a child in sexual activity. Children are trusting and dependent and will often do what is asked of them to gain approval and love. - The most-often reported form of incest is father- daughter and stepfather- daughter incest, with most of the remaining reports consisting of mother –stepmother -daughter/son incest.


WORLD RECORD

First European Union task force mission

Vol. 03 No. 647

Thursday, June 20, 2013

N150

In response to the growing problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia, the European Union, the political super bloc of Europe consisting of 27 member states, has taken the decision to deploy a naval force to the area from 15 December 2008 to take over from the NATO mission there.

Manpower planning and national development

A

critical examination of the challenges facing us as a nation today will raise a number of questions for every deep-thinking and analytical mind. Topmost among these challenges is insecurity of lives and properties, which is assuming a more dangerous dimension on daily basis. As Boko Haram is crippling social life and economic activities in the North, cases of kidnapping, abduction, communal clashes and armed robbery are on incessant increase in other parts of the country. Thousands of lives have been lost through these unfortunate but avoidable incidents, and properties worth billions of naira wasted. With all these, Nigeria has lost its old enviable position of a peaceful country and is now ranking badly with troubled and violence-prone countries. In fact, Nigeria deteriorated from 116th most peaceful country in 2007 to 146th in 2012, according to the Global Peace Index (2012).

W

orld number one, Tiger Woods, has insisted he will be fit for the Open Championship next month despite having to withdraw from the AT&T National. Woods was hampered by an elbow problem during the US Open, where he was clearly in pain every time

Guest Columnist

Toyese Najeem

Dahunsi

The developments beg several questions. Who are the perpetrators of these acts of lawlessness? Why are they into these acts? We all know that the youths are largely responsible; and unemployment is a major cause of their involvement in such dastardly acts. The current unemployment rate in Nigeria is 24 percent with over 60 percent of these being youths in their active ages. Even though a deluge of researches has established a correlation between unemployment and poverty, as well as poverty and crime rates, we all know that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. The greatest contribution to our unemployment situation is our system of education, a system that is neither regulated by any known manpower planning principle nor guided by the labour market requirements. One major difference between developed and other countries is planning. Developed countries have clearly articulated national plans and it is these plans that determine other sectoral activities and performances, education inclusive. Developed countries make manpower projections for the future based on the economic realities of today, and they ensure that economic growth go pari pasu with manpower development. This is not always the case in other countries, at least not the case in Nigeria. Our national planning culture was best between 1945 and 1985 when we had the Colonial Development Plans and the four post-independence National Plans. We went off the track of national development plans from 1986, and this has been having enormous enervative impact on us as a nation. Today, even though we have a

NIGERIA CANNOT AFFORD TO CONTINUE WITH THIS DANGEROUS AND UNSUSTAINABLE TREND IN OUR PLANNING AND EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM National Planning Commission, yet no influence of the Commission is seen on our educational system. For example, what role does the Commission play in the establishment of tertiary educational institutions, particularly universities and polytechnics? Is there any link between the courses run by these institutions and our development requirements? What is the link between graduate output of our tertiary educational institutions and the labour market requirements? Don’t we establish universities and other tertiary educational institutions to score political goals in Nigeria rather than for development purposes? We all know that these have resulted in wide mismatch of graduate output and industrial requirements both in quantity and quality, thus inevitably leading to unemployment of unprecedented magnitude. For example, in my personal analysis more than 70 percent of our 128 universities run courses in agriculture. Many polytechnics and colleges of agriculture also runn courses in agriculture and allied areas. The result of this is that several

thousands of graduates of agriculture are being produced each year. But this has not increased the number of farmers in any meaningful way, neither has it increased our agricultural productivity. Instead, the so-called graduates of agricultural training keep looking for jobs where none exists, and eventually become unemployed. Again, given the pyramidal nature of organizations in terms of workforce, the ratio of graduates should be low, compared to non-graduates except for tertiary educational institutions. This should guide in our educational planning such that there will not be massive production of graduates (by universities) far over and above non-graduates (produced by technical and vocational institutes, other colleges and polytechnics). But the opposite is the case in the production chain, where the number of university undergraduates far outweighs that of lower educational institutions. The implication of this is that while unemployed graduates flood our streets, competent artisans such as welders, machinists, plumbers, electricians etc are sought after as they are in short supply. Manpower production should not be seen as an independent activity in any country. Rather, it should be seen as part of a system, which influences and is being influenced by other parts of the system. It does not make any reasonable sense to keep producing graduates massively into a choked labour market. Industries are winding up, banks are retrenching, infrastructure is collapsing, yet we keep establishing universities and polytechnics thereby massively turning out thousands and thousands of graduates for non-existing jobs. Nigeria cannot afford to continue with this dangerous and unsustainable trend in our planning and educational system. “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, goes the dictum. To continue this trend is to consciously plan the destruction of our nation in not-too-distant time. Dahunsi, deoladahunsi@gmail.com, is Principal Asst Registrar, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State

Sport Extra

Golf: Woods shrugs off Open fitness concerns he had to hack of the dense Merion rough. He finished out of the top 30 on 13 over par, 12 shots behind champion Justin Rose, and went for medical tests on his return to Florida which

revealed a strain in his left elbow. Doctors have advised Woods to rest while he undergoes treatment, but he is confident of making the trip to Muirfield for the third major of the year. “I was examined after I returned

home from the US Open, and the doctors determined I have a left elbow strain but I will be fine,” Woods, who is tournament host of the AT&T National at Congressional, said yesterday.

Woods

Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd: Head Office: Mirror House, 155/161 Broad Street, Lagos Tel: 07027107407, Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor, Central Business District Area, Abuja Tel: 08070428249, Advert hotline: 01-8446073, Email: mail@nationalmirroronline.net. Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos.


Thursday, june 20, 2013  

* Confusion in PDP over Tukur’s refusal to quit ---- Metuh, other NWC members resign --- Stakeholders’ forum demands sack of executives...

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