PDP crisis: Atiku, G7 govs to face disciplinary committee Presidency, party bar officials from confronting new PDP
he leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may soon wield the big stick against the breakaway
OBIORA IFOH AND PRISCILLA DENNIS
Vol. 3 N0. 657 697
members of the party, including the seven aggrieved governors. The governors have been CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Associated Airlinesâ€™ crash:
Ondo govt lied, says Agagu family P.8
Thursday, October July 4, 2013 10, 2013
N N150 N150 N 150 1 150
How he died Had a relapse after leaving Maryland for Washington Placed on oxygen due to breathing problem Passed on surrounded by family members
AYODELE OJO, OBIORA IFOH AND JAMES A BRAHAM
or more than eight months, pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Dem-
ocratic Party, PDP, and first civilian Governor of Plateau State, Chief Solomon Lar, had fought to stay alive. But he died in a United States hospital yesterday CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>> MORE REPORTS ON PAGES 2,3
Anti-graft war: ICPC seizes 100 houses in Abuja Morsi faces trial as US reviews aid to Egypt P.51
Sallah tragedy averted as JTF uncovers bomb factory ...suicide backpack also recovered
Man abducts, rapes woman for three years
Thursday, October 10, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
SOLOMON DAUSHEP LAR 1933-2013
Lar: Exit of ‘Middle Belt emancipator’ FELIX NWANERI writes on the life and times of the man fondly called the Emancipator of his people – the Middle region, comprising of present day Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kwara states.
ur experience as a nation in the past 53 years may not be all that palatable but it is worth thanking God Almighty. The process of nation building is not a day’s business, but a complex one, more than state building. We as a nation have really done well and there is hope for a greater and brighter tomorrow.” Those were the words of the former governor of Plateau State and pioneer chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, in his message on Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Anniversary last week. However, as faith would have it, he will not be part of that envisaged great future, as he succumbed to the cold hands of death yesterday in far away United States.
A humble beginning Born in Pongaa, Langtang, Plateau State in April 1933, he studied at the Sudan United Mission Primary School in Langtang, and then at the Gindiri Teachers College. His father was
a farmer and his mother a pottery maker. Until his death, Lar was one name that stood out in Nigeria’s political landscape. He navigated the scenery from the local, state to national scene. He studied at the Sudan United Mission Primary School in Langtang, and then at the Gindiri Teachers College. He briefly taught at the Langtang Primary School before returning to Gindiri for the Senior Teachers Training Programme.
His foray into politics Ironically, Lar did not set out to be a politician. He was a trained teacher with an ambition to become a clergyman. However, his humane and pro-people qualities were apparent to his people early in life which made them to elect him as a councillor to the native community authority, in January, 1959. His excellent performance at that level catapulted him into national politics when he was nominated by his people to represent them at Federal Parliament, as a member
...HIS LAST PUBLIC OUTING
he last public function Chief Solomon Lar attended was on July 2 this year when he led members of the Middle Belt Forum to the Presidential Villa to express support for President Goodluck Jonathan if he decides to contest the 2015 election. Lar had to come from the United States to lead the delegation to the Villa. Because of his health, former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, was made to speak on behalf of the Forum. After the closed-door meeting, Gana said that the group was impressed by the performance of the President. He stated that they had come to meet with the President to appreciate what he
has been able to do so far as contained in his mid-term report which marked two years of his administration. He noted that the interactive session pointed out a number of problems particularly the security challenges, saying that so many people have lost their lives and property Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, who was also on the delegation said the group took a cue from the support being drummed for the President by the South-South. According to him, “the South-South forum is the zone of the President, so if they have started making the noise, it is good because it is their President and ours is support to the good of Nigeria.”
L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, Jerry Gana and the late Solomon Lar, during the Middle Belt Forum’s visit to Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
of the House of Representatives. He contested and won the election on the platform of United Middle Belt Congress UMBC, in 1959. The party was a fusion of two major middle belt organisations, the Middle Zone League and the Middle Belt Peoples’ Party. The party was formed to create a political platform for the various ethnic groups in central Nigeria covering parts of present day
Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa, and Kwara states. Its establishment was an act to ensure an alternative minority voice in the Northern Nigeria Assembly which was dominated by the Northern Peoples Congress, NPC, a political party which the central Nigerian leaders felt had the potential to curb the Middle Belt’s political voice. The UMBC in due time, became the largest opposition party in the Northern
Nigeria Assembly. In 1958, the UMBC entered into an alliance with the SouthWest Nigeria dominant Action Group (also defunct) of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Lar was re-elected to the Northern Assembly in 1964, and from then until the January 15, 1966 coup, he was parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He was also a Junior Minister in the Federal Minis-
try of establishments.
Career in law After the fall of the democratic government, Lar enrolled at Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, where he graduated in 1970 with an LLB in Law and called to bar in 1971. At ABU, he was an active student, fully involved in all the activities of the University. He was president of international Law Society
REACTIONS He was a great hero of democracy –Jonathan
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed sadness over the death of former governor of Plateau State and founding Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Solomon Lar. In a statement last night by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President described the death of Lar as a national loss. The statement said: “On behalf of himself and the Federal Government of Nigeria, President Jonathan extends heartfelt condolences to the Lar family, Governor Jonah Jang, the people of Plateau State, the people of the Middle Belt and all others for whom Chief Solomon was a much beloved, charismatic and inspirational political leader.” The President said he joined them in mourning the passage of a truly great leader whose eventful and highly successful political career predated
Nigeria’s independence. The president recalled that the late Lar started his political career with his election as a councillor in the Langtang Native Authority in January 1959, culminating in his election to the Federal Parliament in December 1959. President Jonathan urged Nigerians to take solace in the knowledge that Lar lived a long and most fulfilled life, saying that his immense contributions to communal, state and national development would grant him a place amongst the eternal heroes of the Nigerian nation. The President noted that Lar would always be remembered for the exemplary humility, great vision, wisdom and maturity which he brought to political leadership in Nigeria for over 50 years as a legislator, executive governor, party leader and highly revered elder statesman. Jonathan also said he believed that the present and the future generations of Nigerians would always acknowledge and honour Lar’s role as one of the founders and architects of the country’s current democratic dis-
His place’ll be difficult to fill -Obasanjo
ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday has extolled the virtues of Solomon Lar, saying he would be greatly missed. Obasanjo in a statement made available to National Mirror, said: “I heard the news of the demise of Chief Solomon Lar, the first civilian Governor of Benue/Plateau States, member of G18 & G34, the first chairman under whose chairmanship I won the presidential election of 1999, with shock. “Chief Solomon Lar was a man whose political career stretched from the military era through the present democratic dispensation. “He had made significant contributions to the re-establishment of democracy in Nigeria. His place will be very difficult to fill within his community, the state, the party and the nation. “May God console his wife and the
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
SOLOMON DAUSHEP LAR 1933-2013 and Thinking Club. Lar carried the students along and opened their eyes to the functional concept of leadership and nation building. After he was called to the Bar, he had several career opportunities with transnational corporations and the civil service, but he had a dream for a more rewarding service than monetary benefits. He then opted for private legal practice. In line with his conviction, his chambers was for the less privileged. This concern for the down trodden led to his role as a co-founder of the Nigerian Legal Aid Association with Mazi Chimezie Ikeazor and late Chief Debo Akande. He was the first National Secretary to the association. The Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo Military Government recognised the importance of Legal Aid Association to society and created The Legal Aid Council. He was elected member of the Constituent Assembly (1977–1978). He was Vice-Chairman of the panel chaired by Justice Ayo Irikefe that recommended the creation of additional states (12 to 19) during the regime of late Gen. Murtala Muhammed. Plateau State governor (1979 – 1983) Ahead of the Second Republic, Lar was a co-founder of the defunct Nigeria
Peoples Party, NPP, and later won the governorship election in the then Plateau State (comprising of Nasarawa State) as the first executive governor of the state. He excelled in the areas of infrastructure including hospitals, educational institutions, rural electrification, water supplies, and roads. He also introduced reforms to state employment laws; abolished the daily pay and contract systems and introduced paid maternity leave for nursing mothers.
leading it to victory. Obasanjo’s in appreciation of Lar’s sacrificial role conferred on him the Adviser Emeritus at the convention and later named a street after him in Abuja, for contribution to nation building.
Like Lar, like new PDP
Sentenced to 88 years imprisonment After the military coup of December 1983; Gen. Muhammadu Buhari set up military tribunals which tried all former governors. Although Lar was not found guilty of embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds, he was sentenced to 88 years in prison, serving in Jos and then Kirikiri in Lagos. His case was reviewed and he was released by the regime of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. In the Third Republic, Lar pitched tent with the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP. He was appointed Minister of Police Affairs by the government of late Gen. Sani Abacha, but later resigned on the ground the he (Abacha) was not serious about re-
Emergence as PDP chairman Lar was among the political class that confronted Abacha with a letter that he should not succeed himself in office as president of Nigeria in 1998. That singular act deflated Abacha’s false claim that his self-succession agenda had the backing of Northern politicians. The G-18 as it was known then later transformed into G-34 and Lar in rare display of humility, surrendered the leadership of G34 to former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme. The G-34 later metamorphosed into
the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with Lar as National Chairman. It is to his credit and others that the transition from military to democratic rule in 1999 was successful. It was against this backdrop that former President Obasanjo capturing Lar’s contribution to the birth of the Third Republic at the National Convention of the PDP in November, 1999, said: “I wish to thank Chief Solomon Lar, our indefatigable National Chairman whose wisdom, dexterity and political sagacity contributed in no small measure to building the party, holding it together and
Lar, however, had issues with the party in 2007, over a plot by some PDP governors to replace then then President Olusegun Obasanjo with his vice, Atiku Abubakar. The climax of the disagreement was the opening of a parallel national secretariat in Abuja by a faction led by Lar. The group went ahead to announce a parallel National Executive Committee, NEC, in its bid to win control of the party machinery from the Obasanjo/Ahmadu Ali (then national chairman).
Ardent Middle-Belter As an ardent MiddleBelter, Lar participated actively in the activities of the Middle Belt Forum. He remained the rallying point in the Middle Belt. Because of his political sagacity, Lar, over time, demonstrated keen interest and concern for the plight of the people of the people of the region. He also remained a force in the region before his death. His role in get-
ting former President Obasanjo to lift the state of emergency imposed on Plateau State in the wake of the ethno-religious crisis that enveloped the state in May 2004 cannot be easily forgotten. Although he was not known to be in the same camp with the then governor of the state, Joshua Dariye, Lar demonstrated a rare sense of politics without bitterness by supporting the return of the embattled governor to office. In February 2010, then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, appointed him chairman of the Presidential Committee tasked with recommending how to prevent further violence in Jos, the capital of Plateau State. Among the recommendations of his committee was the setting up of a truth commission; ending the indigene-settler dichotomy and redesigning the Plateau State capital as part of lasting solutions to the crisis that has claimed thousands of lives. A holder of the traditional title of Walin Langtang, Lar was on December 19, 2009 was conferred with a honourary doctorate degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D) by the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa State, which coincided with his 50th anniversary in politics.
REACTIONS entire family.”
Nigeria has lost patriot of uncommon courage -Northern govs He fought for his people – Atiku
he Northern States Governors’ Forum, NSGF, has described the death of Chief Solomon Lar as a devastating loss to the citizens of the zone and the country. NSGF Chairman and Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu said that with his death, “Nigeria has lost a patriot of uncommon courage’’. The forum, in a statement signed by the spokesman to Aliyu Mr. Danladi Ndayebo, said that Lar played prominent roles in the country as a legal practitioner, member of the country’s first national legislature, state governor, first national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and an elder statesman. Also, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, said: “He was a leader Nigeria needed at each time of crisis,” adding that his demise would be most felt at
this time when there was growing disagreement among the country’s political elite. “Chief Lar’s fight for the people of the Middle Belt and Nigerians in general will be remembered by every worthy historian of this era,” he said. Kogi State Governor Idris Wada described the death of Chief Solomon Lar as a loss to the entire nation, he said his invaluable contributions to national development would be missed.
Nigeria has lost a foremost political leader –Mark
enate President David Mark has described the late Chief Solomon Lar, as a rare Nigerian who propagated the tenet of democracy and lived to see the actualisation of the people’s will. Mark said: “We owe him a great deal of gratitude. He surely has a place of pride in the political history of Nigeria. Lar was a different kind of leader. He put the people and the nation first before self. “He was an easy going man. He was a calculated, gentle and result-oriented leader. Regrettably the nation has lost one of her
shinning stars. We shall miss his robust contributions to national issues. We shall miss his humour.”
He lived a fulfilled life – Tambuwal
he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday bemoaned the elder states-
man’s. The Speaker, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mallam Imam Imam, said he “received with immense sadness and a feeling of great national loss, the news of the passing away earlier today of elder statesman per excellence, Chief Solomon Lar. “Lar will always be remembered as a man of integrity whose forthrightness and wisdom stood him out among his peers. “The late former Plateau governor lived a fulfilled life full of accomplishments and notable contributions to national unity.”
History’ll be kind to him -Uduaghan
elta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday said history would remain kind to Chief Solomon Lar.
“Chief Lar has left many imprints. As the first elected governor of old Plateau State, as ex-minister and pioneer national chairman of the PDP, he left indelible marks. There is no doubt that a rare breed and elder statesman has fallen,” he said. Uduaghan said the PDP and Nigeria would continue to hold in high esteem, the many positive virtues which stood out the late politicians from many of his generations.
A bridge-builder has gone – Suswam
enue State Governor Gabriel Suswam said the departure of the elder statesman had created a leadership vacuum in the politics of the nation, especially the North Central geo-political zone. The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, described Lar as a rare leader whose interest in politics was always to fight for the cause of the less privileged and the downtrodden, hence he was referred to as the “Emancipator”.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Chief Executive Officer/GMD, FirstBank of Nigeria Ltd; Mr. Bisi Onasanya; President Goodluck Jonathan; Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chairman of China Development Bank, Mr. Hu Haibang, during the exchange of the signed Agreement on Comprehensive Financial Cooperation between China Development Bank and FirstBank and the $100m On-lending facility to Small and Medium Enterprises, in China recently.
L-R: Vice-Chairman, Advisory Board, Dr. Jerry Agada; General Manager, External Relations, Nigeria Prize for Literature, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke and Chairman, Panel of Judges, Prof. Romanus Egudu, at the announcement of Tade Ipadeola’s work, The Sahara Testaments as the winner of the prize in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Wife of the late former Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, Ajoke (right) and a representative of the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Ms. Angela Aneke, during the 2013 Murtala Muhammed Foundation Public Policy Dialogue in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO
L-R: Adviser, Core Operation Services, African Region, World Bank, Prof. Zubaidui Rahaman; Conference Chairman, Mr. Tayo Phillips; Mr. Steven Lagan, Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Kabir Alkali and Mr. Tawanda Gumbo, CEO, Akintola Willams Deloitte, at the ICAN 43 Annual Conference held in Abuja, yesterday.
Resident doctors’ strike unnecessary, says FG MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA
he Federal Government yesterday said it was disappointed in the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), whose members have been on strike in the last 10 days across the nation’s hospitals. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, made this known in Abuja yesterday in an interview with National Mirror. Chukwu said despite the fact that the doctors were informed of the payment made by the Federal Government into the accounts of their respective institutions on their behalf on Tuesday, they still decided to continue with the strike. He, however, promised that all the doctors would be paid before the close of work tomorrow. His words: “Let me make it clear that not all doctors are on strike; but resident doctors who are post-graduate doctors, undergoing training to specialise in specific areas are the ones on
• Action continues, says doctors
strike under the umbrella of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria. “We are disappointed that after a prolonged negotiation with them, we started the meeting 4.00pm last Thursday and we ended it by 6.00am. “I was physically present; the Minister of Labour and Productivity was there; physically present. And, the Chairman of the National Income and Wages Commission (NIWC) was physically present; permanent secretaries and other officials of both ministries - Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour and Productivity were there. “This is a strike that NMA does not sanction. NMA has made it clear that this strike is totally unnecessary. “And, I agree with NMA that this strike is totally unnecessary. As we speak, there is a standing committee under the Head of Civil of the Federation with both
NMA and NARD well -represented on the committee and these issues are ongoing. “Many of them are being solved. Why they would decide to go on strike is what baffles us. So, after this long negotiation with them, we thought they would have signed an agreement that would make them review the situation and call off the strike. “But, unfortunately, the meeting they concluded and the communiqué they sent to me stated that they were not calling off the strike,” he added. The Minister also talked about the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He emphasised that it was the new way of paying public servants. “That is the way ministers are paid, that is the way everybody in the Federal Ministry of Health is paid. So, the Federal Government has set the target of December this year that all these
agencies must key into this IPPIS. “IPPIS is something every Nigerian must commend because it has saved Nigeria hundreds of billions of naira. It has eliminated ghost workers because biometric is what is being used. If a ghost has something to use to show us fingerprint, we’ll pay the ghost. “But, we will know that you have your fingers to have a fingerprint. Even the doctors say it is a good system. But, if you introduce any new thing, you have little hitches and this is not peculiar to the health sector. “As this issues come, they are being corrected by the Federal Government. Initially, there was argument on whether House Officers should be on IPPIS or not. By the time we now agreed that House Officers should not be on it, what happened was that they now had to release a special Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) to enable us pay House Officers.
“That led to delay in paying them for two month - August and September. But, even as we speak, since Monday, that money has been paid into the accounts of various hospitals. The CMDs that are here have directly, individually and collectively, acknowledged that they’ve received alert. “But, NARD said that was not all; that until they themselves get it in their own accounts, they will not call off their strike. Well, they will be paid this week and hopefully, when that is done, they will be able to call off the strike,” he concluded. Meanwhile, NARD yesterday said it would continue with its ongoing strike until the Federal Government is ready to make immediate payment of all the monies owed its members and also meet its other demands. In a communiqué issued at the end of the group’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, NARD insisted that government has failed to address its
demands. The communiqué signed by NARD President, Dr. Jubril Abdullahi and Acting Secretary General, Dr. Udu Chijoke Udu, said that government “grossly fall short of the articulated demands of NARD,” which the doctors said would make the reversion of their decision on the strike impossible. The communiqué reads in part: “All salaries and allowances of our members (House Members and Resident Doctors) must be paid in full with immediate effect,” and that “government must release and implement the stakeholders’ agreement on residency training programme of 5th and 6th July, 2013.” The body also called for “elaborate investigation of the alleged victimization” against its members at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State. Failure by the Federal Government to urgently address these issues, the group said, will make the ongoing indefinite withdrawal of services to be sustained.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Sallah tragedy averted as JTF uncovers bomb factory JAMES DANJUMA INUSA NDAHI AND OTHMAN SALIHU
bomb factory where Boko Haram members were preparing for a massive attack in Kano during next week’s Eid-el-Kabir Sallah festivities was yesterday uncovered by operatives of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, and the Department of State Security Service, DSS. The factory was discovered at Gunduwawa village in Gezawa Local Government Area of the state following an intelligence report. The Brigade Commander of 3 Brigade, Nigeria Army, Bukavu Kano, Brig.-Gen. Ilyasu Abbah, and the State Director of the DSS, Mr. Bassey Ettang, told journalists that their personnel raided two Boko Haram’s hideouts to make the ‘big catch’. No arrest was made as the terrorists had fled their dens on approach of the troops and the DSS personnel to the area. “These weapons, ammunition and other dangerous materials were meant to wreak havoc on Kano during the Eid el-Kabir festivities and others before the end of the years,” Abbah said. The troops, however, shot dead one suspected terrorist who hid in a shop near the factory while the tools and
materials used for making improvised explosive devices, IEDs, for the attack were confiscated. The brigade commander listed weapons recovered to include one assault rifle, two AK 58 rifle magazines with 193 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, one AK 47 rifle magazine with 107 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition and bows and arrows. “The materials used for making IEDs found in of the hideouts raided include three primed cylinders of IEDs; one primed explosive suicide backpack, 18 empty IED cylinders, 24 detonators, small bags of fertiliser, IED timers, cortex wires and three remote control devices.” The two security chiefs added that other items recovered were five Motorola batteries, a scale, one external hard drive and one heavy duty charger/battery. They said the troops were aware that the terrorists had been trying to establish some safe havens on the outskirts of Kano metropolis in order to resume their deadly activities which had been curbed in the city. “In order to ensure that Kano remains a safe place for all, we are keeping a watchful eye on surrounding towns and settlement through which the terrorists may use as access into the metropolis.” They commended the cooperation of the public and urged residents to provide relevant information towards dealing decisively
with the terrorists group. “We shall continue to uphold the confidentiality of our sources and follow up any information to a conclusive end,” Abbah said. Meanwhile, about 768 members of the ‘Civilian JTF’ have been trained on community policing under the Borno State Youth Empowerment Scheme, BOYES. The training was part of efforts by the state government to check the activities of Boko Haram insurgents. Speaking at the passing out parade of the youths at the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Orientation Camp on Maiduguri-Biu Road, Governor Kashim
Shettima said the state would remain indebted to the youths for the restoration of peace in the state. He said: “Sometimes, if I remember the level of sacrificies our youths have made in protection of Borno people, including some of them surrendering their lives or denying themselves sleep and night rest. I just wonder if the state or government can ever do enough to compensate them for their patriotism. “We built our administration around job creation such that every programme or project we undertake has a key motive. In the agricultural sector alone, we have created over 20,000 jobs in
Marte.” The governor added that only God in His infinite mercy could adequately reward the youths and urged them to work with the security agencies and not to take law into their hands. Shettima, therefore, said the beneficiaries would be given N20,000 each to enable them buy Sallah rams for their families, apart from the N15,000 monthly allowance earmarked for them by the state government. The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kaka Lawal, told the youths to work with other security agencies in their communities within
the confines of the law and urged them not to take law into their hands. Lawal said the government had invested a lot on their training, advising them to be committed to their assignments. The commissioner disclosed that another set of 1,000 youths would be trained in the second batch immediately after the Eid-elKabir celebration. One of the beneficiaries, Mallam Umar Ibn Umar, thanked the government for the gesture, pledging their loyalty to Shettima’s administration, particularly on how to combat terrorism in the state.
L-R: Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda; Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Sani Burra and UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Jean Ghough, during signing of memorandum of understanding on the third phase of Girl Child Education Project, in Bauchi on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN
Solomon Lar: How he died in United States CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
at the age of 80. National Mirror exclusively gathered that Chief Lar’s last public outing was when he led a delegation of Middle Belt Forum to President Goodluck Jonathan on July 2, this year. A source revealed that he actually left the US where he was receiving treatment for Nigeria in order to lead the delegation to the President. “After the visit, he went back to the US to continue with his treatment,” the source said. After staying in and out of a US hospital since January, Lar was discharged before October 1 and had made ar-
rangements to return to Nigeria. “It was during that period he issued a congratulatory message to Nigerians during the Independence anniversary celebration. “He left, Maryland where he had been hospitalised and was on the way to Nigeria with his wife, Professor Mary Lar, a professor of curriculum studies at the University of Jos and former Ambassador to the Netherland, his first daughter, Dr. Chalya Lar, who is a practising medical doctor in America, his last daughter, Dr. Deborah Lar-Ihejirika and his wife’s younger brother, Architect Kefas who left
Nigeria yesterday (Tuesday). They were all with him in Washington when he had a relapse.” According to sources, it was in the process of returning to Nigeria that he left his base in Maryland to Washington, US to board a flight to Nigeria that he had a relapse on Thursday. Consequently, he was rushed to a hospital where he was placed on oxygen because he was having problem with breathing. “He was placed on oxygen and got stabilised. I spoke with him. His voice was however very faint. We never believed he would eventually die,” the source said.
According to the Executive Secretary of Solomon Lar Foundation, Major Adeyi, who spoke with National Mirror in Jos, “Baba Lar as he was fondly was discharged from the hospital about two weeks ago. “We were expecting him back home and he had left Maryland for Washington on his way to Nigeria before he had a relapse and died. He died in company of his wife and other family members who were taking care of him when he was discharged from the hospital,” Adeyi said. Adeyi, who described him as a great emancipator, said he would be missed by all. “He was a great eman-
cipator. He fought for Nigerian democracy and rescued it from the hands of Abacha. We will remember him for his doggedness, tenacity for truth and lover of humanity,” he said. Also, Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang expressed sadness over the death of Chief Solomon Lar. He described the deceased as a pillar of democracy, a steadfast politician and a man of the people who left a legacy that would stand the test of time. The governor recalled how the late elder statesman distinguished himself on the country’s political landscape, thereby making the state
proud. The former governor of Plateau State, Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun, said he was shocked when he heard the news of his death. “I was shocked when I heard the news of his death because about three weeks ago, he said he was coming back only for us to hear a different story now. It is really very sad. We have lost a political giant in this country.” Also, former Military Administrator of Delta State, Col. John David Dungs (rtd), described Lar as a fighter who had fought for the liberation of the people not only CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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PDP crisis: Atiku, G7 govs to face disciplinary committee CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
responsible for the polarisation of the party. Preparatory to the punitive action against the erring members, a disciplinary committee headed by a Second Republic Minister of Transport, Dr. Umaru Dikko, was yesterday constituted. Top on the list of the matters to be considered include the breakaway of some party leaders led by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and former Acting National Chairman, Kawu Baraje, which led to the formation of the new PDP. Besides Atiku and Baraje, others likely to face the disciplinary panel are Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Niger), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Kwankwaso
(Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto). Some members of the National Assembly who have identified with the new PDP may also face the disciplinary action. A source in the party said that the national leadership of the party was waiting for the outcome of the postponed reconciliation meeting before the panel invite the erring members. “There are two options left to the breakaway party members. It is either they reconcile with the party or face sanctions. “If they reconcile, they will be pardoned. If they fail to yield their grounds, they will be made to face disciplinary action which may lead either to suspension or expulsion from the
party. Don’t forget that there are enough grounds to deal with them,” the source told National Mirror. The party has also said that it will no longer engage the new PDP in war of words until after the new date fixed for the reconciliation meeting, hoping that the crisis will be settled amicably. Speaking with journalists after its National Working Committee, NWC, meeting, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, also confirmed that even the Presidency had decided not to make further comments on the lingering crisis. While announcing the Dikko-led disciplinary committee, which will be inaugurated next week, Metuh said that Dikko was sound, hale and hearty and eager
to assume the role the party had bestowed on him. Dismissing the allegation that Dikko is still the National Chairman of the United Democratic Party, UDP, Metuh said that the octogenarian politician is a card-carrying member of PDP. He said: “We are not responsible for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s lapses. If they have not corrected their website, how is that the problem of PDP? But I can confirm to you that Umaru Dikko is a member of PDP.” On his health condition, Metuh said: “Basically, every human being gets ill one time or the other because we are all mortals but I can tell you that Umaru Dikko is hale and hearty.” Other members of the
L-R: Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Goni Aji; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim; VicePresident Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan, at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
disciplinary committee are Chief Ebenezer Babatope (Deputy Chairman), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun, Hajiya Nana Aishat Quadir, Mr. Hussaini Kazaer while Onwe S. Onwe, who is the party’s Deputy National Secretary will serve as the committee’s secretary Similarly, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio will chair a 20-man National Finance Committee. Other members include Governor Shehu Shema (Deputy Chairman), Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Hope Uzodima, Hon. Bello Muhammed Matawalle, National Treasurer, National Financial Secretary, National Auditor, King A. J. Turner. Meanwhile, Governor Aliyu yesterday said the ongoing efforts at resolving the crisis rocking the PDP would be followed to its logical conclusion, even as he warned President Goodluck Jonathan to be wary of ‘Lions in sheep’s clothing’ in the PDP. Receiving the party’s Vice-Chairman (North Central), Mr. Yussuf Ayetogu in Minna, the Niger State capital, Aliyu said when there is injustice in the system, there is bound to be problems and the need to correct them. He said: “We are discuss-
ing and negotiating; we will see the negotiation to its logical conclusion. “Our idea is to reform the PDP. When there is no justice we will have problem; we need to sit down and make corrections. “As a matter of principle, when autocracy and dictatorship take the place of democracy people with democratic minds must come out and act in defense of democracy.” He explained that his position on the PDP crisis had been proven right, stressing that those that kicked against his support for President Jonathan in 2011 were now the same people taking advantage of the dispute for their selfish gain by pretending to be his friends. “Nobody wants the President to be removed, all we are saying is that we should be democratic in all our dealings with each other,” he said. Ayetogu called for the quick resolution of the crisis ahead of the 2015 election, adding that the North Central of the party had set up a committee to liaise with governors in the zone on how to resolve the dispute. He added that presently the committee had met with the Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam on the issue.
Lar was a great leader and pillar of our party. He was a titan of democracy whose leadership and invaluable counsel will be missed by the PDP family, especially at this time when efforts are being made at genuine reconciliation.” He said that the elder statesman would be sorely missed by the PDP and the nation. Also, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, expressed “deep sadness” over the death of its pioneer National Chairman, describing the development as a huge loss to the nation. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement said the death of the politician has “left a big vacuum not only in the party but in Plateau State and the nation at large.”
The party described Lar as a quintessential politician and patriot who sacrificed the greater part of his life for the entrenchment of true democracy and an egalitarian Nigeria. “Our hearts reach out to the government and people of Plateau State, the millions of PDP family nationwide, but most importantly to his loved ones and immediate family. “Chief Solomon Lar will be remembered for his insistence on the emancipation of the masses and his white handkerchief. That is why he was fondly called “The Emancipator”. PDP members will not forget the image of Chief Solomon Lar on the podium with his white handkerchief singing and dancing to the PDP song.”
Solomon Lar: How he died in United States
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
for his state, Plateau, but Nigeria as a whole. Dungs said: “Indeed, he has paid his dues as a courageous fighter. He fought to liberate his people in Plateau when he was governor. He also fought for the emancipation of the good people of Nigeria throughout his tenure as the pioneer chairman of the ruling PDP. “His white handkerchief, a symbol of peace which he usually waves around to signify his presence will be greatly missed. He was loved by all and his exit is indeed a big blow to the state and the country.” The Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led PDP said it received with shock the death of the elder statesman. A statement by the new
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze, said: “Chief Lar was a colourful politician of substance, a first-class patriot and an accomplished administrator. “As pioneer chairman of PDP, he played a significant role in laying a solid foundation on which his successors built to make the party the poster boy of Nigerian politics and in sustaining and growing our hard-won democracy. “Chief Lar’s death, coming on the heels of another of our former leaders, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, has robbed both our great party and the country at large of a rare voice of wisdom.” Former governor of Lagos State and leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described
Chief Solomon Lar as a progressively-minded and principled politician in his lifetime. “Solomon Lar will not be easily forgotten. When the history of the development of Middle Belt politics is told, nay that of Nigeria, his name will go down as one of the political juggernauts of our generation. He was a progressively-minded politician upon which the soul and the rise of Middle Belt politics was anchored. For nearly two decades, he was the main issue in Middle Belt politics. “He was a colourful politician, yet principled. He was grassroots, yet urbane in his approach to issues. Even in the twilight of his political stewardship, he remained a reference point and a fountain of political knowledge
and wisdom. “Though saddened by his passing, we all must be encouraged by the fact that he served his people and Nigeria well. “Solomon Lar soldiered on even when the political terrain was uncertain and lined with mines. Though forced sometimes by circumstances to change course, he remained a progressive at heart and never abandoned the principles of democracy and good governance.” The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, described the death of former National Chairman and former Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP as a great loss to the party and the nation. Anenih said that “this is indeed very sad and painful. Chief Solomon
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Alleged fraud: Atuche loses bid to get charge dismissed KAYODE KETEFE
ormer Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche, and a former Executive Director of the bank, Mr. Charles Ojo, yesterday lost the bid to get the charge preferred against them at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos dismissed. The accused persons were re-arraigned on November 15, 2012 before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on 45-count charge of recklessly granting about 125 billion loans. Atuche was said to have exceeded his approval limits in granting the loans. They were first arraigned on October 20, 2009. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is the third judge before whom Atuche and Ojo would be arraigned following the transfer of the two earlier judges handling the matter. At yesterday’s proceedings, Justice Ofili-Ajumogonbia rejected prayers by the defence lawyers, Mr. Tony Idigbe and Mr. O. Idemudia, to dismiss the charges of reckless granting of loans on the grounds of lack of merit. The judge, however,
condemned the failure by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for failing to open its case yesterday, stressing that this negated the earlier position that the prosecution would open its case. The leader of the prosecution team, Mr. Jacob Ladipo, urged the court to adjourn the matter because of non-availability of EFCC’s witnesses and the inability to serve a certain subpoena on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He added that the subpoena needed to request for about 40 documents from the CBN and Key-
stone Bank Plc (formerly Bank PHB) was only filed on Tuesday by the prosecution. Ladipo further said that the prosecution had lined up about 25 witnesses for the case, but that about six EFCC investigative officers being prepared as prosecution witnesses were currently undergoing training abroad. It was this application that made Atuche’s counsel, Mr. Anthony Idigbe (SAN), who opposed the request for an adjournment, to pray the court to dismiss the matter. Idigbe said EFCC’s failure to open its case on
Wednesday showed that they were just wasting time as they they had no genuine case against his client. Idigbe said: “It shows the prosecution does not have a case against the accused persons. If the prosecution does not have a case against the accused, the proper order the court can make is to dismiss the case.” Ojo’s lawyer, Mr. O. Idemudia, also supported Idigbe’s position in his argument. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, however, refused to dismiss the matter but adjourned the matter till October 21, 22 and 28 for trial.
DFID, FG unveils N88bn teachers’ project
he United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education is set to commission a new education project on Teacher Development in Nigeria valued at N88 billion. The Teacher Development Programme (TDP) will be unveiled at a stakeholders’workshop tomorrow and Friday at the National Commission
for Colleges of Education (NCCE) in Abuja. TDP will build on, complement and strengthen the work DFID and development partners are doing to support the government to improve the quality of education provision. “Specifically, the purpose of TDP is to support improvement in the quality of teaching for improved learning outcomes of children in basic education in up to six states,’’ TDP
National Programme Manager Nguyan S. Feese said. The workshop will share information on the key objectives of the TDP, encourage key stakeholders in teacher development to share information on their materials and methodologies, encourage relevant MDAs to provide information on their reform agenda and agree best ways to enable TDP reinforce work already being done bya stakeholders.
L-R: ECOWAS Political Affairs Director, Dr. Abdel Musah; Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega; Mr. Francis Oke of the ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Unit and Deputy Director, Cleen Foundation, Mr. Chinedu Nwagu, at a debate in Abuja, on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN
PCRC urges IGP to re-establish road blocks in Edo SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
he Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Abubakar, has been urged to re-establish road blocks in Edo State and environs. According to the Edo State Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), re-establishing the road blocks would enhance security of lives and property in the state and its neighbours, such as Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers. Speaking at a one-day meeting attended by the Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade, who was represented by Mrs. Lauren Braide, PCRC Chairman, Rev Martins Evbuomwan, urged the Nigeria Police Force to con-
sider the request as part of the measures to stem high rate of insecurity in Edo and other states. Evbuomwan said the Army and the State Security Service (SSS) had now taken over the police duties in Edo and other states of the country, a development he described as uncivil. He said: “Please, help us to tell the IGP to bring back road blocks in Edo State. We need police road blocks for many reasons. For example, whenever kidnappers kidnap people here, because there is no road block manned by armed police officials, they just drive their victims to their destinations and go without any challenge. If there are road blocks, we believe the situation will not be so.”
Ipadeola wins 2013 Prize for Literature ADENRELE NIYI & ADEYEMI ADENEGHA
ade Ipadeola has won the 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature with his poetry work, The Sahara Testaments, described by the prize judges as “a profound articulation of a bold vision of the African continent and humanity at large.” Ipadeola emerged yesterday as winner at a world press conference in Lagos. The winner, an Ibadanbased lawyer, had said in an earlier interview that his poetry “is like taking knowledge everywhere and not just a representation of any tradition”. The judges said the poet “demonstrates an outstanding level of intellectual exposure and knowledge, language use and awareness of literature, which should be beneficial to readers and writers alike”. The Sahara Testaments,
a sequence of 1000 quatrains on the Sahara, beat 200 other books submitted for the prize. In 2009, Ipadeola won the Delphic Laurel in poetry with his poem ‘Songbird’ in Jeju, South Korea. The Nigeria Prize for Literature judging panel is led by Prof. Romanus Egudu, Chairman Panel of Judges; others are Prof. Molara Ogundipe and Dr. Andrew Aba. It will be recalled that a month ago, Nigeria LNG, organisers of the prize, had announced the final shortlist of three from which Ipadeola’s book emerged winner. The other two books that were in the shortlist of three are: Through the Window of a Sandcastle by Amu Nandi and Wild Letters by Promise Ogochukwu. NLNG established The Nigeria Prize for Literature with the aim to encourage creative writing as well as reading and to improve future writing.
Lagos customers owe NIPOST N200m MOJEED ALABI
he management of the Nigerian Postal Service, Lagos Mainland Territory, has urged its customers to pay up the huge sum of N200 million being owed the establishment.
This plea was contained in the message of the territory’s Postal Manager, Mr. Ahmadu Yahaya, during the celebration of this year’s annual World Post Day held yesterday at the General Post Office in Ikeja. This year’s event themed: “The post, delivering for people and businesses,” also
served as the occasion for the management to meet and interact with the customers with the aim of cementing the existing cordial relationship and address pertinent issues. Yahaya, who commended the customers for following up in the establishment’s drive to move with the de-
velopment in technology, said the postal services have remained part of the global means of communication, delivering more than 350 billion letters and six billion parcels in 2012 alone. He said: “Rather than affecting our services I wish to state here that the emergence of new information
and communication technology has gone a long way to enhance postal services. This fact is further buttressed by the emergence of Japan Post as the leading financial institution in the world today despite the technological development in Japan.” He said through the im-
proved services of the postal agency, the spate of cyber crimes in the country has reduced considerably especially with the interception of fraudulent parcels, which he claimed had been the result of the mutual understanding and cooperation between the agency and security forces.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Ondo govt lied, says Agagu family HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AND MURITALA AYINLA
he family of the former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu, yesterday insisted that the hiring of Associated Airlines plane, which crash-landed last week while conveying the remains of the former governor from Lagos to Akure, was done by the state government. This was contained in a release signed by the immediate junior brother to the late former governor, Femi Agagu, who said the family reacted to the issue because of the unnecessary twisting and manipulation of the truth and facts about the hiring of the plane and other issues
connected to the funeral arrangements. Agagu noted that this is not the best time to trade words over the hiring of the plane, especially when the state and families are still mourning those who lost their lives in the crash. He specifically appreciated the gesture of the state government in giving his late brother a befitting burial, but maintained that the choice of the airline was not decided by the family of the late former governor. He said: “While appreciating the immense support of the state government since the demise of Dr. Olusegun Agagu, we would like to stress again and again that the choice and hiring of the ill-fated plane from Associated Airline
was not that of the family. “And neither was the contracting of MIC undertakers and other subsequent arrangements for transportation of the corpse to Iju Odo. “Indeed, the contracts for the purchase of the casket, the hiring of the hearse, arrangement for the flying of the corpse from Lagos to Akure, the planning of the lying-in-state as well as the transportation to Iju Odo were between Ondo State Government and MIC as part of the plans to give the former governor a state burial.” Meanwhile, authorities of the Orthopaedic and Trauma Wards of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) were yesterday amazed to see Feyi Agagu and Femi
Akinsanya still occupying their wards, after they were discharged on Tuesday night. They had sought the approval of the hospital’s management to be discharged to enable them seek further medical attention abroad. The duo were among the five lucky survivors of the crashed Associated Airlines’ aircraft that claimed the lives of 15 passengers last Thursday. Although, doctors at the hospital confirmed that they are in stable condition and could sit and stand independently, but they still have collar on their necks, saying they were left with no option than to allow them go when they demanded to be discharged at all cost.
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World Mental Day: ‘25% of adults suffer mental health condition’ MURITALA AYINLA
agos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, yesterday said that 15 to 25 per cent of older adults suffer neurological or mental health condition globally. This was even as he reiterated the state government’s commitment to the provision of affordable and socially acceptable mental healthcare services for the elderly population of the state. The commissioner said efforts are being intensified by the state government to tackle the physical, psychological and social problems confronting the elderly who are 65 years old and above. Briefing journalists at a seminar to commemorate the year 2013 World Mental Health Day celebration held at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, the commissioner empasised the need to tackle these problems, saying that majority of the elderly population are faced with the problem. Describing this year’s Mental Health Day theme: ‘Mental Health and Older Adults’ as apt, Idris, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Femi Olug-
bile, said the accumulation of physical and psychological illness by elderly people should not give the impression that every older person is ill. He said: “But proportionately, when you compare them to the general population, a larger percentage of them tend to have physical and mental health issues and a good society, knowing that the numbers are increasing, will develop services and arrangement prospectively to take care of their anticipated needs.” While calling on other states in the country to embark on what could meet the need of the elderly, the commissioner noted that the Lagos State government is first in the country to start the training of geriads to meet the needs of the elderly, stressing that geriatrics needs is not a Lagos needs alone, but a need that is required all across the nation. He added: “We have taken the tone and hopefully we will be able to expand the resources and diffuse it to the grassroots, so that any elderly person who needs care will be able to get one either sponsored by himself, his or her family or by a caring agency of government.
War of words as Ekiti inaugurates security outfit ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI L-R: EMRC President, Mr. Pierre Mathijsen; Vice-President and Managing Director, Mrs. Idit Miller and Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, at the presentation of an award on Agriculture Innovation in Rwanda, yesterday.
Petrol depot goes up in flames, rendering many homeless FRANCIS EZEM
local petroleum products’ storage facility exploded in the early hours of yesterday at Olodi-Apapa, Lagos, rendering many homeless. The explosion, which occurred at No 12 and 14 Edmor Street, by Wilmer Crescent, in the ever-busy Olodi-Apapa, destroyed two houses thereby rendering the occupants homeless. Report said the explosion claimed no lives, but resulted in the evacuation of the occupants of the buildings. It will be recalled that about a year ago, a similar storage facility belonging to MRS Oil Services Limited located at its Jetty in Apapa area of Lagos went up in
flames, injuring no fewer than four people. The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, who confirmed the incident in a telephone interview yesterday, said that no life was lost in the inferno. An eyewitness, who did not want his name mentioned, disclosed that most of the residents, who were already in bed were woken up by the sound of the explosion, which shook many buildings in the neighbourhood. According to him, the explosion was immediately followed by an outbreak of fire that engulfed the two buildings close to the local storage facility. The NEMA image-maker
also said that NEMA, in conjunction with other relevant agencies, commenced the evacuation of the residents of the two affected buildings to forestall casualties, adding that other emergency agencies were involved in putting out the fire. According to him, the Federal and Lagos State Fire Services were immediately called to respond to the emergency as soon as the agency was alerted of the incident. On the location of such delicate facility in a densely populated area such as Olodi-Apapa, he said it was wrong to have done that, especially considering the nature of the place. He also argued that the residents did not help matters by not protecting the lo-
cation of the facility, which at every point in time provides parking lot for petroleum tankers. “I think it is carelessness on the part of the management of the depot,” because putting up such a structure in a densely populated residential area such as OlodiApapa is wrong and should not be encouraged,” Farinloye said. Meanwhile, stakeholders and residents have been commenting on incessant cases of explosion and fire outbreaks occasioned by the location of petroleum and gas receiving facilities in Apapa. They argued that this particular incident happened because the fuel depots are located in a residential area.
kiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, yesterday inaugurated the state’s security outfit, the State Peace Corps, with a promise that the initiative would stamp out crime in the state. But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and a former governor and PDP chieftain, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, kicked against the idea, saying that the corps was a decoy to bring state police through the backdoor. Fayemi, who spoke at the Christ School, Ado Ekiti Playing Ground, venue of the occasion, said the peace corps would not overlap in its functions with the constitutionally recognised security agencies, but would rather complement their efforts at the grassroots. The governor, who said the Ekiti State Peace Corps Law 2012, had been rati-
fied by the state House of Assembly said that; “They have been empowered to arrest and hand over suspects to the police within two hours. “They are to maintain law and order in public gatherings and neighbourhoods and to report any suspicious or questionable characters to the police,” the governor said, adding: “We hope that with this initiative, criminals will have no hiding place in our communities.” Fayemi, who blamed insecurity on bad leadership and corruption said: “That is why we are taking this preventive measure.” The Special adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Mr. Dipo Ayeni, said the corps, which commenced operation yesterday with 800 recruits, would streamline activities of vigilance groups and combat crimes in addition to providing jobs for the youth.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Ekiti tackles cancer, inaugurates Funmi Olayinka diagnostic centre T
British High Commission trains 200 teachers in Oyo
ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
kiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday inaugurated the ultra-modern cancer diagnostic and wellness centre in memory of his late deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, who died of breast cancer in April. Fayemi said the state government used the opportunity of the adversity of Olayinka’s death to establish the centre in Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, EKSUTH, to combat the scourge in the state. The governor, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti while inaugurating the Funmi Aduuni Olayinka Cancer Diagnos-
tic and Wellness Centre as part of activities marking his administration’s third anniversary, said the facility would make Ekiti people enjoy first-class services in the treatment of cancer and related matters without having to travel outside the state or country for diagnosis. Speaking at the event, the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, a cancer survivor, described the centre as a laudable initiative to save lives. She said: “With this, Ekiti State is demonstrating that it is possible to turn adversity around.” Akeredolu called on
Non-Government Organisations, NGOs, and wellmeaning Nigerians to collaborate in the bid to rid society of cancer. Blaming ignorance for deaths of many Nigerian women due to the scourge, she said it was now treatable, especially with recent discoveries through medical research. The BRECAN founder, who said awareness on cancer was a necessary first step towards early detection and treatment, advised women to regularly embark on breast self-examination. Akeredolu, who said January 1, 2020 deadline had been set to end breast cancer in Africa, said:
“Ekiti State is already on the move. The step I am taking is to make sure all Nigerian women become breast cancer aware.” She advised against patronising quacks, herbal and spiritual homes for the treatment of the scourge, saying the Funmi Adunni Olayinka Cancer Diagnostic and Wellness Centre came in handy to meet their needs. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olusola Fasubaa, said the centre, equipped with modern equipment, would focus on early detection and treatment of cancer as well as treat other chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
he British High Commission in Nigeria said it had begun the training of over 200 teachers in Oyo State public schools as part of its contributions to the development of education in the state. The Deputy British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Peter Carter, disclosed this during a visit to Governor Abiola Ajimobi in his office in Ibadan yesterday. Cater said the training marked the beginning of the collaboration between his commission and the state government, particularly in the areas of education, trade and investment as well as gender equality. He admitted that his commission had not been paying much attention to the South-West zone except Lagos, but observed what he called the abundant investment opportunities in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. According to him, Ibadan is fast developing in preparation for future socio-economic opportunities, stressing that his commission would do everything possible to assist the Ajimobi administration in its unprecedented developmental strides. The British envoy also lauded the urban renewal
programme of the state government which he said was responsible for the influx of foreign investors into the state, noting that Oyo had now become a preferred destination of choice for foreign investors. He said: “Ibadan is rapidly developing. It is very pleasant for me to be in the city that is fast looking into the future.’’ In his remarks, Ajimobi said his administration would concentrate more on middle level manpower where vocational training would be accorded necessary encouragement for people to acquire skills, a situation which, he said, would help in filling the missing gap between the classroom and the industry. The governor, who described education as the largest industry in the state, said his government would continue to cherish education and improve the sector. He said: “We have always cherished education and we still want to keep that tradition of developing our human capital.’’ Ajimobi added that government had put in place necessary machinery for the rapid industrialisation of the state.
Police train 200 officers on public relations L-R: Former Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe; Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Governor Kayode Fayemi, his wife, Bisi; husband of the late former Deputy Governor, Mr. Lanre Olayinka, his daughter, Yeside, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), and others during the inauguration of Funmi Adunni Olayinka Diagnostic and Wellness Centre, built in memory of the late former deputy governor, in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.
EFCC arraigns three for duping woman of N65.4m WALE IGBINTADE
conomic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned three persons before a Lagos High Court for allegedly defrauding one Miss Lora Marire of N65.4 million. The defendants were alleged to have falsely represented that the money would be used for the registration of her company as contractor with the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA. According to the charge sheet, the defendants, Kachy Kennedy Okoye, Usong Ibor Matthew and Princewell Arinze Eze (a.k.a. Engr. Chika Eze), obtained the money by falsely representing that they
would assist Marire to be awarded a contract to build 100 units of duplex at Lekki in Lagos. When the matter came up, EFCC counsel, Oyedepo Rotimi, filed amended information, which saw the name of the third defendant in the initial charge (Igberaese Lawry) removed and substituted with Princewell. Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Christopher Balogun, discharged Lawry from prison custody and upheld the prosecution’s amended information, but did not take the plea of the defendants. Balogun held that the prosecution would have to write to the Chief Justice of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, in compli-
ance with the new directive on refreshing a charge. He said: “In the circumstance as given by the Lagos Chief Judge, this matter is moved to Justice Aishat Opesanwo for the plea of the defendants to be taken. “This is a fast track division and not a criminal division. So this court cannot take the defendants fresh plea.” In the amended information in suit no ID/121C/2012, the defendants are to be re-arraigned on a 12-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretences, an offence contrary to Section 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, Cap. A6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The charge reads in part: “Kachy Kennedy Okoye, Usong Ibor Matthew, Princewill Arinze Eze (a.k.a. Engr. Chika Eze), Chukwu Tony Elijah (at large), John Williams (at large), Engr. Chude Ngini (at large) and Alkali Hammed (at large) on or about the 25th day of May 2010 at Ikeja within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud conspired to obtain the sum of N39,100,000 from one lady Lora Marire by falsely representing that the said represented the sum used by you for registration of her company as contractor with the Nigerian Ports Authority and the award of a contract to her to build one hundred units of duplex at Lekki, Lagos.”
FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
bout 200 officers and men of the Ogun State Police Command yesterday attended a one-day workshop on public relations as part of efforts to change their psyche and make them relate well with the public. The workshop, which aimed at making the police officers to be more efficient and effective on the job, was also said to be part of the reform agenda of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to ensure that officers cease to infringe on citizens’ fundamental human rights. Participants at the workshop included area commanders, station officers, divisional police officers and administrative personnel in all the command’s formations involved in the core aspects of police job. Commenting on the ra-
tionale behind the training, the Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, Frank Mba, said the workshop was borne out of the realisation that effective policing of the country could not be achieved without proper collaboration with the public. Mba, who spoke through Patrick Agbambu, expressed concern over the poor perception of the police among many Nigerians, adding that the situation had adversely affected the law enforcement agency in tackling crime as well as maintaining law and order in the country. According to him, PPROs alone cannot improve the image of the police hence the need to assemble core administrative officers of the force for the workshop. Mba said their actions or inactions were capable of impacting on the image of the force positively or negatively.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Stakeholders kick against Okorocha’s commissioner-nominees CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ome stakeholders in the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) led by former Imo State Governor Achike Udenwa have expressed dissatisfaction over the list of commissioner-nominees sent to the state House of Assembly for screening. Sources said the Udenwa’s camp was angry that Governor Rochas Okorocha rejected the nominees sent to him by the stakeholders for appointment as members of the state executive council.
A source, who did not want his name mentioned, said those considered for appointment as members of the executive council by the governor are members the of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). According to the source, the stakeholders would soon meet to review the governor’s action “with a view to take a stand on it.” When National Mirror contacted Udenwa on phone, he claimed that he had not seen the list to ascertain the composition of the new cabinet.
But Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Chinedu Offor, said: “Governor Okorocha has just released the first batch of the 13-nominee and that everybody who the governor considers useful in the development of the state will be considered in subsequent batches. “The governor is yet to appoint special advisers and personal assistants, so there is still room to accommodate all stakeholders.” Meanwhile, the state House of Assembly yesterday appointed a sevenman committee to screen 13 commissioner-nomi-
nees submitted by Governor Okorocha. The screening committee was headed by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Donatus Ozoemena. The nominees are Prof. Uba Nnabue, Chike Okafor, Mrs Uche Ejiogu, Ugochi Nnanna okoro, Uche Okoro, Jerry Okorie, Love Mma Onyechere, Best Mbanaso, Prof Okey Magnus Okoro, Nick oparandudu, Uche Nwosu and Dr Ifeanyi Nwachukwu. Members of the committee headed by Deputy Speaker are Simeon Iwunze, Samuel Anyanwu, Ikechukwu Amuka, Pat Ekeji, Robertson Ekwebelem and K.O Greg.
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Traders rally support for NAFDAC in Ebonyi DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
raders in Abakiliki, the Ebonyi State capital, have set up a task force to combat the sale of fake, illicit and unwholesome drugs, foods and chemicals in all the markets in the state. Chairman of the Abakiliki Main Market Traders’ Association, (AMMTA), Mr. Emeka Nwome, stated this in Abakiliki during a public enlightenment programme organised by the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Nwome said the initiative was to assist the regulatory agency in the war against unwholesome drugs and foods in the markets. Nwome said: “The traders are now in a better position to appreciate NAFDAC’s efforts to ensure
healthy life for Nigerians. “Any food or drug identified by our task force will be reported to NAFDAC for urgent action. “NAFDAC has really done well to safeguard the health of Nigerians and we would not relent to support the agency.” NAFDAC boss in Ebonyi State, Mr. Richard Anichukwu, said the enlightenment programme was organised to educate the traders on how to identify which drug or food was genuine or fake. He noted that NAFDAC had set up the internal task force to monitor those traders that deal on fake and unwholesome drugs and foods. According to him, the effort would go a long way in reducing fake drugs and unwholesome foods in the markets and save consumers’ lives.
Obi releases 120 new buses to secondary schools CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
G The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige (right) addressing party supporters during a campaign rally at Ladipo Market, Oshodi, Lagos, yesterday.
Court asked to stop Enugu LG boss from seeking re-election DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he Federal High Court sitting in Enugu was yesterday told that the Chairman of Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, Hon. Nnanna Nze, was not qualified to recontest the November 2, 2013 council election on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform. The court presided over by Justice Dorathy Agishi was told that Eze was below 30 years of age. An aspirant, Mr. Amobi Edeh, asked the court to restrain Nze from contesting the local government election and make him (Edeh) the PDP candidate for the poll.
Edeh tendered exhibits to prove that Nze, who is seeking re-election for a second term was born on November 22, 1985 and did not meet the PDP’s guidelines to qualify as the chairmanship candidate. The PDP and the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) were also joined as defendants in the suit. Through his counsel, Chief Tagbo Ike, the applicant told the court that he fulfilled his party’s requirement and should be used to substitute Eze as candidate for the poll. Edeh contended that by the affidavit before the court, Nze, who was born in 1985, was below 30 years by the time he stood for the primary election.
He, therefore, urged the court to disqualify Eze and stop him from contesting the local government election. Edeh said: “The 1st respondent should be restrained from parading himself as the candidate of the PDP and the 2nd and 3rd respondents should also be restrained from recognising him when abinitio he is not qualified.” His counsel, however, sought leave of the court to serve the parties the originating summons through substituted means, as well as for an accelerated hearing of the matter. Justice Agishi granted the ex-parte motion for substituted service on the parties, but declined order on other reliefs sought,
noting that the defendants must be put on notice. The judge said: “In view of the nature of this suit and the parties involved, I would like the plaintiff to address me on whether this court has jurisdiction to hear this suit or not.” On the issue of jurisdiction, Edeh’s counsel said the court derived its jurisdiction from Section 251 of the nation’s Constitution as well as Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010. He said by the virtue of the above law, the court has jurisdiction to hear complaints by an aspirant on whether a political party complied with its guidelines or the Electoral Act. The case was, however, adjourned till October 21, 2013 for ruling.
overnor Peter Obi of Anambra State yesterday flagged off the distributions of 500 new buses to all the secondary schools across the state with the initial release 120 buses. Among the schools that got the buses at a ceremony held at the Dr Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka were Community High School, Adazi Enu; Community Secondary School, Ozubulu; Bishop Patterson Juniorate, Mbosi; and Salvation Army Secondary School, Onitsha. Speaking at the ceremony, Obi said his gesture was aimed at fulfilling his promise to spend N40 billion in what he termed “final push” towards accelerating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It will be recalled that the governor had before now disbursed about N2 billion for the rehabilitation of public primary schools, N1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of missionary-owned primary schools, N20 million each for the rehabilitation of all secondary schools, N1 billion for equipping libraries and laboratories in all secondary schools across the state.
Obi, however, added that his administration had equally procured 25,000 computers with complete school syllables and books installed on them. He said all the secondary schools would also get money for provision of sick bays and generators to power the computers. According to him, his administration invested in the initiatives because the initial investment in education sector had begun yielding positive results as they reflected in the good performances of Anambra schools in external examinations. The governor thanked the Churches for supporting his administration, saying that since government started disbursing money directly to them, they had been able to achieve more than government would have achieved if allowed to spend the money itself. In her own remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), Dr. Precious Gbenol, said if other governors would emulate Governor Obi’s commitment and judicious management of public resources, the country would soon register its presence in the global map of development.
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Thursday, October 10, 2013
Rights Commission summons Amaechi over Rivers crisis ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
he National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has summoned the Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi to appear before it on October 18, 2013. Amaechi was invited to shed more light on a petition he wrote against the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, over allegations of insubordina-
tion and involvement in human rights violations. NHRC Director of Communication, Mr. Muhammad Nasir Ladan, told journalists yesterday that Amaechi was billed to appear before the Commission on October 18 Ladan added that Mbu would also be invited to state his own side of the story. He said that the commission operates on the principle of audi alter am partem.
It will be recalled that Ladan told journalists on Sunday that NHRC was probing Mbu for alleged insubordination and unethical conduct. The probe, according to him, was to ascertain whether by Mbu’s conduct, he is still the proper person to head the Rivers State Police Command or any other part of the country. Amaechi invited NHRC to investigate the allegations through a petition
sent to it on October 1, 2013. In the petition, Amaechi accused Mbu of exercising his duties without recourse to necessary constitutional and legal standards. He also alleged that Mbu’s comportment is at variance with the mission statement of the Nigerian Police which requires police officers to ensure “the creation of a safer and more secure environment conducive to meaningful socio-economic development
through crime prevention and control.” Amaechi said: “Currently, the commissioner of police barely acknowledges official communications from the governor - not to mention other principal agents of Rivers State public officers and the operations of whole units of government.” He, however, asked NHRC to “leverage its independence and capabilities to investigate and ascertain
if the current Rivers State Commissioner is still fit and proper to superintend the police formation of a sensitive state in Nigeria with a complex human rights dynamics leading down to a general electioneering period due to his penchant for compromising democratic practices, structures, institutions and authorities necessary to secure law and order, good government and basic human right guarantees.”
Group alleges planned attack on governor’s aide
L-R: Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi; Dr. Ibeanusi and OVATION magazine publisher, Dele Momodu, during the inspection of the Dental and Maxillo-facial Hospital in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Why we will sell Lagos-based Edo House –Oshiomhole SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
overnor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday described as childish, mischievous and petty, criticisms by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over his administration’s plan to sell the Edo House in Lagos State. Oshiomhole, who spoke at the Government House in Benin, said his administration had perfected plan to sell the house with a view to use the proceeds to build a five-star hotel and develop the proposed Benin Business District. The governor flayed the past PDP governments for abandoning and pushing the state to its current dilapidated status. Oshiomhole said: “My mandate is not to develop Lagos Stae, my mandate is to develop Edo State and, therefore, I have no apologies for those who think that purely for political reasons, we should keep our largest asset in Lagos to be wasting away. The re-
sponsibility of a governor is to think not just about today, but about the future. “For us, we decided to even advertise the sale. If it were the PDP, they would not have even advertised it. The PDP government sold all kinds of properties in GRA (without advertisement). Today, we don’t have any guest house because those properties were sold. And none of those properties were advertised. One of the PDP senators even acquired a land here for less than N1 million on a GRA land. “That case is not yet closed. We are looking at it with a view to recovering it. And if he wants to use it, we will put it on its market value. If he can afford it, he takes it. But if he cannot, we confiscate it and put it to public use. “I think it makes more sense for Edo people to sell the house and bring the investment down to Edo State, as well as use it as first of preference to build a five-star hotel. If the money is not enough, we will use it to start the
construction and find other resources to complete it or do a Public Private Partnership (PPP). Incidentally, during my last visit to Washington about 10 days ago, I had a deal with the American overseas NEXIM Bank to fund the construction of a hotel. If that comes to past, we expect to raise about $250 million.
If we get that, we will get a five-star Marriot Hotel that will forever change and make a bold statement about our tourist potential as a state. “So, since we cannot physically relocate the house in Lagos to Benin, we will put it in the market and use the proceeds to develop Benin.”
Rivers State-based group, the Obio/ Akpor Peoples Forum, has expressed fear over the security of the Chief of Staff, Government House, Sir Tony Okocha. In a statement signed by its secretary, Mr. Emeka Chuku, the group alleged that Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s critics had initiated plans to either intimidate Okocha or kill him because of his continued support for the governor. “More worrisome is the fact that security operatives treat with levity, security reports concerning supporters of Governor Amaechi and we are constrained to raise alarm
Uduaghan mourns Vanguard’s Arts Editor
elta State GovernorEmmanuel Uduaghan has expressed sympathy with the publisher and management of Vanguard
Bayelsa suspends admin officer over negative comment EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
he Bayelsa State Government has suspended an Administrative Officer in the civil service, Mr. Nengi James, for making disparaging comments against it. According to a statement signed in Yenagoa by the State Head of Office, Frazer Okuoru, the offence amounts to a serious case of misconduct and punishable under public service rule. Trouble started for James when he commented as Civil Liber-
ties Organisation (CLO) chairman on the proposed 60 million Euros loan by the state government which the group condemned. The CLO had disagreed with government’s action to take the loan, stressing that it would impoverish the people more and asked the government to rescind the decision. The Head of Service, however, warned civil servants to guard against acts which are contrary to the ethic and norms of the civil service. “For the umpteenth time, civil servants,who wish to play politics are
on this development,’’ the statement said. The group added that some senior government officials were being trailed by certain unknown persons engaged to exterminate them and members of their family. The group said: “Since we cannot guarantee police protection, we are calling on Nigerians, especially the good people of Rivers State, to pray for the leadership of the state. “It is only God Almighty that can deliver our dear state from the hands of some over-ambitious politicians who are hell-bent on spilling innocent blood in their quest to clinch onto power by all means.’’
advised in their own interest to honorably resign from the service as they cannot combine politics with their work,” the Head of Service said, adding: “It must be emphasised that government frowns at this utter disregard for laid down public service rules and will not hesitate to apply the rules against defaulters as part of its continued efforts at restoring the lost glory of the civil service.” But the Executive Director of CLO, Ibechukwu Ezike, condemned James’ suspension and demanded for his immediate reinstatement.
Newspapers on the death of its Arts Editor, McPhilips Nwachukwu. Uduaghan, in a statement by his press secretary, Felix Ofou, also expressed condolences with arts journalists and the Nigerian arts community on the death of one of their prominent member. The governor described the late McPhilips as “a great lover of arts, a distinguished poet and literary enthusiast” whose contributions to the arts community and the journalism profession will be greatly missed. He, however, urged the publisher of Vanguard, Mr. Sam Amuka, the editors and entire staff of the newspaper to take solace in the fact that the late McPhilips has united with other saints in the worship of the creator of the universe.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Nasarawa postpones LG polls indefinitely IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (left) receiving an Award of the Most Peaceful State in the North Central Zone from the Director, Global Peace Foundation, Kennedy Tifato in Government House Minna, yesterday.
Certificate forgery: Court warns against delay in Akume’s trial ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday warned that it would not tolerate any delay in the trial of Senate Minority leader, George Akume, for certificate forgery. The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, issued the warning after counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Amobi Nzelu, applied for an adjournment to enable him respond to the preliminary objections filed by the West African Examination Council, WAEC, and the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. Both NYSC and WAEC had contended that the court had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The judge, who wanted to go on with the case, was frustrated by the failure of the plaintiff to file
his response in time even when the preliminary objection was served on him in June before the court went on vacation. He said: “The application for adjournment is very unfortunate. I would want a situation where this matter is prosecuted diligently. “Nobody wants to be taken to court and if you take somebody to court over an allegation, you are expected to speedily prosecute the case so that he or she will know his fate. “The 2nd to 3rd respondents served you (Nzelu) before vacation but you did not reply on time. You are expected to be diligent as plaintiff counsel.” Earlier, Akume’s counsel, Sabastine Hon (SAN), had frowned at the attitude of counsel to the plaintiff which he said showed an attempt to delay the trial. The lawyer, however,
moved an application for extension of time within which to file his statement of defence and list of witnesses including their statements on oath. The judge granted the application after Nzelu told the court that he had no objection to it. Meanwhile, the authorities of the University of Ibadan, UI, WAEC and NYSC had cleared the former Benue State governor, Akume, of the forgery allegation. Akume was alleged to have forged a degree and secondary school certificates to qualify to contest governorship and senatorial elections in Benue State. The former governor was consequently dragged before a Federal High Court Abuja by Philip Agbese, over alleged certificate forgery. But UI, WAEC and NYSC said Akume sat and passed
requisite examinations and was awarded certificates and also issued with a discharged certificate. UI confirmed that the senator attended the institution and was awarded a BSc degree certificate in Sociology in 1978. The university had exhibited a duplicate copy of the degree certificate, which was made available to the office of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court headquarters in Abuja. Similarly, WAEC, in a letter to the court, confirmed that Akume sat and passed its examination in 1971 having attended Government Secondary School, Otukpo, Benue State between 1967 and 1971. The examination body also exhibited a duplicate copy of the school certificate issued to the former governor which had also been deposited at the office of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court.
Plateau Assembly elects new speaker, as Dabwan resigns JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker, John Clark Dabwan, yesterday resigned his position at an emergency plenary held in Jos, the state capital. Dabwan’s resignation marked the climax of a long standing impeachment plot against him by some aggrieved lawmak-
ers who were opposed to his leadership style. Following the leadership crisis that engulfed the Assembly, it seemed the speaker was forced to resign to save him from possible impeachment. The 24-man Assembly also unanimously adopted the member representing Bokkos state constituency, Mr. Titus Alams, as the new speaker. Reading his resignation letter before the lawmak-
ers, Dabwan, who was elected Speaker in June 2011, said he had to resign because he did not want to cause another round of crisis in the state. He said: “I did not disappoint the House members during my tenure as Speaker. But it is painful that I had to resign. Plateau State has witnessed a lot of crisis and peace has returned to the state and I would not flame issues.”
Dabwan urged members of the Assembly to support his successor for another successful tenure. Meanwhile, the new Speaker, Alams, took oath of office yesterday. He promised to give quality legislation to the people of the state. Alams also promised to work for the interest of the state and to continue the good works of his predecessor.
asarawa State Independent Electoral Commission, NASIEC, yesterday postponement indefinitely council elections earlier scheduled to hold on December 14, because of persistent crisis in parts of the state. The state has in the last two years been engulfed by communal violence which has claimed several lives and property as well as led to the displacement of thousands of people from their ancestral homes. The NASIEC Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Sallau Modibbo, made the announcement at a stakeholders’ meeting at the commission’s secretariat in Lafia, the state capital. Modibbo said the decision to postpone the polls was in the best interest of the state. He said: “The Nasarawa State Electoral Commission deems it fit that there should be a durable peace before the much anticipat-
ed local government elections will be conducted. “However, before we arrived at the decision to postpone the election, the commission has been working round the clock by following its election timetable which was earlier on released to stakeholders to commence the local government electoral process. “Consequent upon that, principal security operatives in the state have been consulted to monitor and ensure that the volatile security challenges facing the state is normalised for such an activity before the commission would swing into action.” Modibbo, however, called on stakeholders, particularly the political parties, to know that the postponement was aimed at aborting the polls. He said: “The moment normalcy is returned to the state, the commission would not hesitate to resume process of conducting the elections.”
Taraba elders can’t resolve political stalemate –Group OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
araba Transition Assembly has condemned recent calls on elders to intervene in the political stalemate in Taraba State. The assembly claimed that many of the elders were sponsors of the cabal behind the crisis in the state. In a statement issued in Abuja, the coordinator of the assembly said the Taraba Justice Forum should by now understand that the silence of some of the elders confirmed reports that they were in support of the cabal holding Governor Danbaba Suntai and Taraba State hostage. The statement reads in part: “We are surprised to read again in the newspapers calls by Taraba Justice Forum on... Taraba elders to speed up current out-of-court settlement. “This is a fruitless exercise and we expect the leadership of the forum to know that silence means acceptance and support for the cabal.” The assembly added that unconfirmed reports showed that the governor
was in almost a state of coma and that the family wanted to take him abroad but that the cabal kicked against such move. It said: “We heard that the governor’s condition is deteriorating but the cabal insisted the man should not be taken for treatment. Can you imagine how callous some people can be? The cabal is over ruling even the wish of the family. “We should stop asking our oppressors for help. Time it is to say it loud and clear, the cabal is plotting to kill our governor for their own selfish interest.”
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Governance must be taken away from termites, rodents –Tinubu
My fears for national confab –Lemu
Babatope to North: Wait till 2019, allow Jonathan to run for second term TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE
ormer Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, yesterday urged the North to allow President Goodluck Jonathan to run for a second term in 2015, noting that the region should wait till 2019 to produce president.
Speaking yesterday at the launching of a book titled; ‘Ebenezer Babatope, OFR: A statesman who sees, speaks, writes and lives his dreams,’ Babatope said he is prepared to join in the campaign to enthrone a President from the North in 2019 if Jonathan is allowed to serve for eight years . His words: “I had advo-
cated that President Goodluck Jonathan should be allowed to complete his constitutionally guaranteed eight year tenure. The North should permit President Jonathan to complete his term in 2019. If God permits my existence in 2019, I will join in the campaign to enthrone a President from one of the Northern states at that time.
“This measure will not only help us stabilise democracy in Nigeria, it will also help us to consolidate all the political achievements of Nigerians since 1990 when a new spirit was developed by Nigerians after the abortive attempt to overthrow the military government of IBB.” The member of the Board of Trustees, BoT,
of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP pleaded with Nigerians to continue to always place national interest above personal interes. Babatope, the former Director of Organisation of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) during Second Republic also paid tributes to the late sage and former Premier
of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He said: “It is difficult to forget the roles of Papa and Mama Awolowo had played in my political career. It was the late Papa Obafemi Awolowo who brought me from political obscurity to the national limelight I enjoy today in Nigeria. I can never forget them in my life.”
2015: Group berates aspirant for attacking Amosun FELIX NWANERI
group of professionals known as Ogun Without Boundary, OWB, has warned politicians in Ogun State to desist from anything capable of promoting anarchy now that temper is gradually rising towards the 2015 general elections. The warning was contained in a press release signed by the group’s president, Debo Akinyemi in reaction to a statement credited to the former chairman of Ijebu North Local Government, Alhaji Tele Ogunjobi, at the recent declaration of his intention to contest for the House of Representatives seat for the Ijebu North, Ijebu East and Ogun Waterside federal constituency. Ogunjobi had accused Governor Ibikunle Amosun of neglecting the rural areas and demolishing structures across the state in the implementation of his urban renewal and infrastructural development programme.
But, condemning Ogunjobi’s comment, OWB described the comment as a subtle media stunt aimed at regaining lost relevance and advancing selfish political goal towards the 2015 elections. According to the group, Governor Amosun’s urban renewal initiative has helped in further integrating the state and paving the way for the dividends of democracy to reach both the urban and rural dwellers. OWB accused Ogunjobi of “tactfully generating disaffection’’ towards the state government over the demolition carried out in some parts of the state in the over ridding interest of the people of Ogun who are already benefitting from the good roads being built across the state. It said: “It is shocking that Ogunjobi, in spite of his experience in governance, could be toying with the people’s emotion, using a sensitive issue like demolition as a tool. We are sure that Ogunjobi is aware that parts of the structures by the road side must give way to achieve expansion.
L-R: Former Minister of Transportation and Aviation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope; acting National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Senator Olu Alabi, at launching of a book titled; ‘Ebenezer Babatope, OFR: A statesman who sees, speaks, writes and lives his dreams,’ in Lagos yesterday.
819,118 registered voters to participate in Delta Senatorial by-election
he National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Dr. Ishmael, Igbani yesterday said 819,118 registered voters would participate in the Delta Central Senatorial District bye-election coming up on Saturday, October 12. The commissioner said this in Asaba, the state capital, at a stakeholders’ meet-
Ebonyi LG poll: Opposition heads to court over option A4 ALIUNA GODWIN ABAKILIKI
pposition parties in Ebonyi State have reiterated their readiness to obtain justice in the court following the adoption of the Option A4 voting system by Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, EBSIEC, for the local government election held last week.
Although, the parties boycotted the election, John Akuma, who spoke on behalf of the coalition opposition parties in the state, said they had to boycott the October 5 election that took place across the 13 local government areas of the state over pending court cases challenging the adoption of Option A4 for the exercise. “Opposition parties in Ebonyi State called on its
supporters and candidates to boycott the October 5 council election that took place in the state,” he said, adding that the parties will never give up until the commission and the state House of Assembly, decide to do the right thing. Akuma said that there were pending court cases challenging the adoption of an obsolete Option A4 for the poll.
ing ahead of the election. Agbani said that election would be manned by a total of 4,224 election officials, adding that Electronic Voters Register, EVR, and 19 addendum registers had been printed for the election. The commissioner said that the commission was fully prepared to conduct the election on Saturday with personnel and logistics requirements already in place. He said that 2,782 voting points had been created for the election in the 85 registration areas across the eight local government areas of the senatorial district. “We have also taken steps to eliminate the incidence of late arrival of election personnel and material on Election Day by establishing Registration Area Camps (RACAS). “Registration area camps have also been established in the 30 Registra-
tion Area (RA) clusters in the eight local government areas of Delta Central district,” he said. Agbani said that the initiative was designed to promote the early arrival of materials and ensure effective supervision. He said that all security agencies under the aegis of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES, had been fully mobilised for the election. He said that the committee would be headed by the Commissioner of Police in charge of Delta. Agbani called on eligible voters in the senatorial district to come out and cast their votes, saying that “every vote cast will count.” He also urged trouble makers to steer clear of all voting areas, since any person caught violating the electoral laws would be made to answer for their
misdeeds. Meanwhile, Mrs Gesila Khan, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC said that the commission would not post corps members to Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state for security reasons. She noted that peace was necessary for credible election, adding “it is a catalyst for the sustenance of the nation’s democracy and its benefits.” Khan said that nine political parties were expected to participate in the byeelection. According to her, the parties include All Progressives Congress (APC), Advance Congress of Democrats (ACD), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), All Progressives Grand Party (APGA), Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE
My fears for national confab –Lemu How do see with the setting up of an Advisory Committee for National Conference by the President? Well, I assume that his intention is good, but what worries me a lot is about the desired result. From my involvement in various national security issues, I am sorry for Nigeria. People are not honest in what they say or do. Three things are paramount in the general state of things in Nigeria. Firstly, most of the stakeholders are after their selfish interest. Secondly, most of the stakeholders are after amassing wealth; huge sum of money in Naira and Dollars. Thirdly, most of the stakeholders whether individually or collectively are interested in seeking power, influence and followership. And in the pursuit of each of these three things, they don’t care, they don’t tolerate any rivals and are bent on eliminating the rivals at all cost. So, when they come to talk, you will find whether at regional, state or national level, you find everyone of them trying to satisfy one or all of those three objectives. With all these, it becomes difficult for whosoever is trying to do his best for the nation. It is difficult for such a person to realise that dream. I don’t want to be a sceptic, so I say alright let’s try it and let’s see what will come out of it and that is sincerely, my personal feelings. What are your expectations from the advisory committee? The task before the committee is huge; it is a huge task. The question is how are they are going to get sincere response from the stakeholders they are going to meet, particularly the politicians? According to a Hausa proverb, Darashin tayi akan bar haraha. Meaning, if you fail to do a bargaining for something, you are likely to miss the opportunity of buying the thing that is supposed to be cheap. Let us have trust in God and let the committee try its best and see what the outcome will be. Mr. President is obviously from what he is saying, looking for the way out for the nation. And, I think one should give him the benefit of the doubt and pray to God to guide him and guide all of us. But to me, it is not an easy task neither for the committee nor for Mr. President, but, let’s have faith in God and see what will come out. Having being a member of various committees in the nation, what in your opinion should be the priority of the committee? It is to do a kind of opinion poll of key stakeholders in the nation. Do a poll on what they feel and what they think is most important. Otherwise, you go initially just arguing and arguing and at the end, you don’t reach a good consensus. So, it is better you sample opinions and the answers you get here and there from the North, from the South and the West from stakeholders, including former heads of state. It is in the interest of all and each of them that Nigeria is not in such a mess as it is in now. This is my opinion. What do you think should be the agenda of the conference? Try to and identify what divides us and get clearly, the direction each one is going. How about the representation at the
Sheik Ahmed Lemu is a reputable Islamic scholar and well known within and outside the shores of Nigeria. He was the chairman of the 2011 Post Election Panel constituted by the Federal Government and a member of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue with the Boko Haram Islamic Sect. The 83-year-old cleric shares his views with PRISCILLA DENNIS on the Advisory Committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan for the National Conference. Excerpts:
national conference; should it be on equal basis per state or geo-political zones? Frankly speaking, I will say per state. And why per state? This is because we are an almagamation of states and states are more representative of Nigerians than political zones. So, if you say geo-political zones, well its’ okay, but then we only have six zones and that is not enough to multiply by whatever number of membership to give to each zone enough representation. Certainly, they can’t be representatives of Nigerians as when it is per state basis. The truth is that representation per state basis allows for more voice to be heard and more interest to be represented; that’s the reason. Should there be no-go-areas during the conference? If you are talking about Nigeria as a whole, sincerely, what I will say about nogo-areas, frankly speaking, is for anybody to talk about the break-up of the country. To me, such person doesn’t love himself, let alone Nigeria, because of our previous experience in the past. And what do I mean? Like Niger State, when we were in the former North-Western State, for instance, it was a combination of former Niger and Sokoto province. The tug- of-war we had that time was between Niger and the Sokoto provinces. For Sokoto province, we had Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto, all as one body versus Niger. So, the tug-of-war was between two sides. However, in 1976, we were divided into Niger and Sokoto states and both sides went
their separate ways. Later what again? Sokoto broke into three more states! Look at the reality today, they are three states even we also in Niger ran into some tumult, fortunately it didn’t end in getting response of the estwhile federal leaders, otherwise, you would have heard people talking of another seperate state carved out of the Nupe speaking areas as one state; they were calling it ‘Indaduma’ at that time. Then, they wanted it carved out of Niger State, unfortunately that was not realised,. There are some individuals who are selfish-
MOST OF THE
STAKEHOLDERS, WHETHER INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY, ARE
INTERESTED IN SEEKING POWER, INFLUENCE
AND IN THE PURSUIT OF EACH OF THESE
THREE THINGS, THEY DON’T CARE, THEY
DON’T TOLERATE ANY RIVALS AND ARE BENT ON ELIMINATING THE RIVALS AT ALL COST
ly trying to see to the break-up of Niger to more states. So, are they aiming at making every Emirate a state or what? No matter how they try to divide, there will be no end to it because people will keep demanding. That is enough example of what one has seen in life. Look at the past events and past history of the country and going by experience in whatever you set up, you are going to find it geared towards the very three things I talked about, personal interest of some stakeholders, what will he become, what will he get; that is selfish thinking. Due to this selfishness, despite our financial resources such as minerals and oil, which are suppose to make us richer, but what has become of us? We are ultimately poorer than before as people are now talking of oil theft, oil this, oil that and so on. You will find that some stakeholders have accumulated the wealth in their personal accounts. So, if you are not careful, you will find a state because it has got oil today wants us to break up and if we break up, they think they will enjoy all the wealth alone. But, it won’t be easy, because you will find them killing themselves for that very wealth. But, we must realise something; America is an example of a large nation and what makes it great is the size, likewise China, the country is great because it is large. The same applies to India. These countries are large and are still together. Nigeria is large, but, if we break into pieces today, she is finished! And it will be forgotten! As the saying goes, ‘United we stand, divided we fall’. I stand by my words, there should be nogo-areas. And that is what I will consider ‘no-go-area’ that is any idea that consider breaking up, should be no-go-areas. What are your suggestions for the success of the conference? For people like me, when I talk, people will say what is he saying. Honestly, I will say whether as a Muslim or Christian, we should have good conscience in whatever we do because God is watching and nothing can be hidden from Him. Therefore, if you want to be a patriot, be a patriot for the sake of God. Love the nation. I repeat, love the nation, regardless of who and who is put together. We should be conscious of God and fear Him. We should be mindful of the fact that we will stand before Him on the day of judgement. Let that guide our dealings, work and utterances even during the conference. Let’s be frank and sincere even, though, some people will say politics is a game of deceit. So, based on that some will want to be crooks and deceiving others. What should be done to the outcome of the dialogue? Whatever is concluded or achieved on the basis of give and take will be alright. And let there be the political will by all political parties in particular. Frankly speaking, our problem in this nation is the politicians. This is what plunged us into the mess we are in as far as I am concerned and I don’t mind saying this to anybody. So, let us be God conscious, God fearing and be conscious of the fact that we will give account of our deeds before God tomorrow. Therefore, let that guide all we do and all that we aspire for as a nation. That is my answer.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE
Former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, shortly after his arrival on Saturday from London, where he had gone for a knee surgery, spoke with journalists on the timing of the proposed national conference. He also speaks on the state of the aviation sector, registration of APC, among other issues. SINA FADARE and TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE bring the excerpts.
Governance must be taken away –Tinubu from termites, rodents Says, ‘National Confab is a Greek gift, diversionary’ WE SHOULD NOT CONTINUE TO ALLOW TERMITES AND RODENTS TO
PROMOTE CORRUPTION, UNEMPLOYMENT,
DESTITUTION, LIES AND UNFORTUNATELY
Long absence in Nigeria I am very happy to be back on the soil of my country, Nigeria. I left the shores of this country some months ago and I am happy to be back. Almost three months ago, I left the shores of this country with the hope of returning quickly, but I faced a knee surgery. It is a major surgery on my left knee. It is a great joy to be back, it is good that we are back and I really appreciate your concern and this great gathering. I am returning today, having travelled overseas for medical attention. Among those who facilitated it are great Nigerian medical practitioners, who are competent, well qualified and who are yet to find the need to come home because there are no facilities, no equipment and no such opportunities in Nigeria. The surgery was successful. I faced physiotherapists with the great spirit that I must get well quick and return quickly. This is the first ever and the longest period of my absence from Nigeria’s political scene. Since 1993, it has never happen that I will be away for a long period except from when I was in exile. Since 1999 that we return, I have never been away for more than one week. I am glad that I am back. I am fit and fit as fiddle. I will beat you running 2.5 kilometres race. If you want to try me, I will get down and we can run together and see who wins. I know so many people will be lagging behind.
APC registration I am proud to be part of the group, a set of Nigerians who are determined to say enough is enough in the political landscape; that we should not continue to allow termites and rodents to promote corruption, unemployment, destitution, lies and unfortunately ineptitude in government. Our determination is to have a political platform, where true democracy will be promoted by all Nigerians. We got to a stage that we finished all the documentation before I even submitted myself to travel. I believe and was confident that we will be registered in a country where there is rule of law. I am glad the baby was not aborted, the baby was born. And that is bringing about a new hope and a new platform. This new platform is a rescue platform; it is not a replica platform of the past or of the same old way. It is a reversion; it is a redefinition of truth and rescue mission for Nigeria. You own it, all Nigerians own it, all Nigerians must be determined. Political success is not a game of bystanders; it is not a game of spectators
INEPTITUDE IN GOVERNMENT
either. You journalists own the principle of this party, the objectives of it and if you buy into it, you will be able to see, whether this party can rule Nigeria. And definitely we will do that.
Planned National Conference This dialogue is for who and by who? Government is about trust. I am standing with the governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola. Go to Osun and look at his programme and you will see that his people trust him. If Aregbesola says a road will pass here today, people believe him because the road will pass there immediately. The level of deception in the country is very high. Now, they have adopted public deception as their strategy. How many months to the elections? How long have we been talking about it? Why suddenly? There is something in political history and social history. They say beware of Greek gift. It is only a very smart rodent in a house full of little crumbs of poison that will survive the trappings of the owners. Let us, first of all, ask series of questions. I need to consult with my party, but I see a contradiction here. I will discuss with my party. I see a diversion here; I see deception here; I see lack of honesty and integrity here; if my party say, yes let us look at the agenda and develop our own agenda along it. But Nigerians are very divisive right now, so why is this necessary. Where is the sovereignty? What about the Electoral Act? What about the Lemu Committee? We have not had a white paper or green paper come out of that. Why now? How many months to the elections? Can’t you smell a good soup when it is well cooked? Can’t you smell a bad one that stinks? Can’t you smell the odour of the deception when it is passing by? It is left for our party and all of us to note all these development. You inherit the assets and liabilities of your predecessor. This President was the Vice President when Umaru Yar’Adua told the world that the election process that brought him to office was flawed and he
promised that he will do something about it. He started and set up a panel of eminent Nigerians to look into that process, where Justice Mohammed Uwais, with great eminent Nigerians, sat down to look at the matter. Where are the reports that came out of that deliberation? They chose to compromise the electoral process, they chose to dwell on corruption and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Call for the postponement of the 2015 polls That is the saying of a thief who wants to continue to hand on to the opportunity; who is enjoying and stealing and wants to continue to have that opportunity. What are you postponing about the elections? Is it with the head you walk or with the feet? You must stand on something. You say democracy and sovereignty of this country is about the National Assembly and belonging to the National Assembly but I argued with them, that sovereignty belonged to the people. Now there is a diversion. Where is the agenda? I want to say that Nigerians should beware of the poisonous gift. But I cannot conclude here today unless I consult with my party. I can only express my own feelings. I am a democrat. If the party says go this direction I must follow them to achieve that direction.
Associated Airlines’ crash It is unfortunate that one of our great politicians in the person of former Governor Olusegun Agugu passed away suddenly and in the process of his burial there was a tragedy again. So many lives of known people were lost. It is a sad and depressing period in our country. Regardless of political divide, Agagu was a perfect gentle man, committed family man, and patriotic democrat. Tunji Okusanya was a close friend to everyone. But God has done one thing, He has shown us his wonder, despite all, Feyi Agagu survived, his brother in-law survived. So God has given room for us to give thanks to Him. Addressing the government, I think we are talking to a deaf ear. Nigeria’s aviation is a risk. We have never allowed professionals to run the aviation industry. We created too much bureaucracy, kinsmanship, ethnicity and mediocrity to interfere in our decisions. We play with the lives of Nigerians. We have no infrastructure. This runway
that we landed on is one of the worst in the world. It does not meet world standard. You allowed non professionals, fraudstars, corruption to dominate the ministry. The ministry should have nothing to do with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and all other agencies. The professionals in the Ministry of Aviation should be adequately trained. They should be trained and retrained to meet world standard and independent. You allowed mediocre to take decisions. You abuse me politically or disagree with me your plane will not fly, you can ground Rotimi Amaechi anytime you want to ground him; you can recall Adams Oshiomole in the mid-air, is that the way to value people’s lives? Where are the professional hangers? Where are the incentives to bring engineers to Nigeria? It is not the age of the aircraft that matters, it is record of maintenance and the spare parts of the aircraft. But when they have already compromised in their vision, they waste our valuable lives and time to give us grieve and sorrow. We have to remove corruption that is a cancer in our society. We have to remove ethnicism, carelessness, he is my kin he must occupy that job regardless of his or her qualification. It is a shame on this country. My condolence goes to Chief Olu Falae and others who lost their beloved ones in the crash. We have promises of enquiries into these sectors. But who are the ones making the inquiries? Do they have the knowledge? Do they have the intellectual or professional inquisitiveness? What we have is superficial inquiries in Nigeria. Now, it is left for us to raise the issue and follow it for safety of our people in the industry.
Thought of not being able to walk again This is my leg. You can see it for yourself and it can do what it has been doing. Before I travelled, I disclosed to Nigerians that I was going for medical attention in order to avoid this kind of speculation, but they chose to speculate. I thank God that I am back. I thank Nigerians for their prayers. I thank my well wishers for their overwhelmingly concern. They were concerned about my health. They were concerned about the rumour. You don’t have to listen to them. This speculation came up as a result of idle mindedness, lack of employment and not being occupied with serious issues. I say God Almighty will forgive those who spread the fictitious information. God forgive them because they did not know better. I want to thank those who personally, through visits and telephone messages, expressed their love and concern for my well-being. I never felt appreciated as much as what I witnessed at this period. It is unfortunate that I came home at a time a tragedy occurred to this country. One of our great politicians, in person of Olusegun Agagu, passed away suddenly and in the process of his burial, there was a tragedy again. So many lives were lost. It is a sad and depressing period in our country.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE
Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu, an electricalelectronics engineer, is a designer of the first madein-Nigeria car and a 2003 governorship candidate in Imo State. The leader of South East Forum, in this interview with CHRIS NJOKU, says only dedicated and honest discharge of the responsibility bestowed on the Advisory Committee on the National Conference can save the nation from disintegration. Excerpts: What is your take on the setting up of an advisory committee on National Conference by President GoodluckJonathan? President Jonathan has taken the right step in the right direction. Nigerians have long agitated for National Conference and the setting up of the advisory committee on the National Conference is being sensitive to the yearnings of the majority of Nigerians. I think the President ought to be commended for taking such bold step. Do you have any expectations from the committee and the conference? The committee must aim to make farreaching decisions that will solve most, if not all, the nagging problems facing nationalities in Nigeria. Be it ethnic problem, leadership, unemployment, political, social, cultural or economic problems, the conference should be able to proffer solutions to these problems. How about the composition of the committee? Yes, I think it is well constituted. I
Confab is operation to save patient-Nigeria, says Izuogu WHY IS IT THAT A YORUBA MAN WHO HAS LIVED IN KADUNA FOR 30 YEARS CANNOT CONTEST AND WIN THE GOVERNORSHIP
ELECTION IN KADUNA?
have worked with Dr. Femi Okurounmu in the Progressive Movement and the Social Democratic Party, SDP. He is a meticulous committed man. Most of the other members are known to me as well as serious-minded men and women who love this nation. I believe they will do a good job. What do you think should be the priority of the committee? Like I have said, they must identify the major headaches of the Nigerian nation. For instance, why is it so difficult to achieve inter-tribal unity among the Nigerian people in spite of interactions
WHY IS IT THAT SOME 45 YEARS AGO A NORTHERNER WAS MAYOR OF ENUGU, BUT NOW CANNOT BE? spanning 100 years? Why is it that the monster of tribalism instead of becoming leaner is gaining weight and becoming bigger with years? Why is it that a Yoruba man who has lived in Kaduna for 30 years cannot contest and win the governorship election in Kaduna? Why is it that some 45 years ago, a Northerner was Mayor of Enugu, but now cannot be again? Why are we getting worse instead of better in inter-tribal relationships? The committee will fail if it fails to fashion out a programme that addresses these problems with a view to stamping them out. Nigeria cannot grow if the monster of tribalism is not killed for good.
FG should shelve dialogue –Senator Ali Second Republic lawmaker, Senator Abba Ali, speaks on the setting up of an Advisory Committee on National Conference by President Goodluck Jonathan, among other issues, in this interview with JAMES DANJUMA in Katsina. Excerpts: How do you see the setting up of an advisory committee on National Conference by President Goodluck Jonathan? The issue of National Conference has been an issue that has been circulating in the media, and the public sphere. To me, there’s no need for national conference now; when you need a national conference is when you have been under a military regime for a long time and then, when you come back, there are so many complaints from all corners of the country be it religious, ethnic, economic or other grievences. Therefore before they go into a political system, they would want a conference so that at least people’s interests are taken care of and then a committee can be set up to lay down the procedure of the national conference; after that the national conference will deliberates on all these issues and come to a conclusion so that there
could be a constitution to reflect the interest of everybody. Unfortunately, there is no need for a national conference now unless people have a hidden agenda. We are now in a democratic system. We have the National Assembly, we have the governors and state assemblies; if there is anything, they can address the problems facing the country. We understand some people want to use this opportunity to disintegrate the country because of their selfish interest. Earlier on we knew the President was not interested in the idea, and both the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives were also not interested. But they are making a U-turn now. In my opinion, unless there is a hidden agenda behind the issue, there is no need of any national conference. But with the Federal Government having set up the advisory committee, what advise do you have on the issue notwithstanding your stand against the idea? Let me ask you a question: Is this Federal Government working for the people or for their own personal interest? If they are working for the people, we have the National Assembly who is representing the people. This committee they have set up is not geographically representative, and you saw the list of the names. If the committee had identified what it wants to discuss, then we
would know the direction they want to take and what we could comment on. But I am telling you that since we have the NASS, and the three tiers of government working, we have no need for a conference. You said the committee members were not geographically represented. Should there be an adjustment or what is your take on this? If they want fair representation, at least each state of the federation should be represented by one person in the committee, so that each nook and cranny of this country is represented. We cannot have everyone there but one person from each state should
In addition, they must aim to make the National Assembly a part-time thing that earns only a sitting allowance so that the patriotism inherent in national service is not swallowed up by material gains. On what basis should the representation at the conference be? It should be along the lines of ethnic nationalities. At least one delegate based on ethnic equality and other delegates based on actual ethnic nationality population. Should there be no-go areas for the conference? If there are no-go areas then the conference is a white wash that should be forgotten quickly. How can the national conference be successfully carried out without ending up in chaos? Honesty and sincerity amongst the nationalities is just what we need to stay together. Only honesty will save our nation from disintegration. We must face squarely our problems and be determined to make concessions so we can all remain together as one united, indivisible and indissoluble entity. What should be done to the outcome of the dialogue? The outcome must be faithfully implemented by the President and the National Assembly acting together. It is a surgical operation to save the patient-Nigeria. be good representation. What is your advice to the confab committee? My advice is that they should find out the opinion of the generality of the people of Nigeria. They can go for a referendum and find out if the people want a national conference or not, but not a few people to decide on the fate of the nation. Don’t you think this is why the confab is being called for? Let me tell you that this is a diversion of what is actually on ground. To be frank with you, this national conference is a diversionary. There is lack of security in this country; there is poverty in this country. There is no state headquarters in this country that can produce 24-hour clean drinking water to its people. There is no electricity in this country. There are the issues that concern Nigerians and not the issue of a national conference. This is just a diversion of people’s attention from the main issues. If they really want things to be normal, then they should address the problem of dearth of social amenities. But the confab is more of a call by Nigerians than government? That is not the issue. Once you have the National Assembly, they are the real representatives of the people. If really the NASS is working as it should, then it ought to act as checks and balances of government.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Beyond Fashola’s statesmanship EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM
NDUBUISI Professor Ndubuisi is of the Dept of Philosophy, UNILAG firstname.lastname@example.org (08023016709 SMS only)
agos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), means different things to different people. He is definitely an unusual fellow, energetic and passionate about his responsibility as the governor of the nation’s economic and commercial hub. It takes someone with uncommon courage like him to do most of the things he has done in the state. In a nation where merit counts, he would have been a serious contender for 2015 presidential candidate. With our highly ethicised presidential politics, you cannot even wish that. Few months ago, Governor Fashola ruffled the feathers of the Igbo nation through the deportation of 19 Igbo residents in Lagos to Anambra State. Expectedly, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State took exception to that, and rightly so. First, the victims of this exercise were not all Anambra indigenes; and second, many of them were mentally unbalanced to state clearly where they come from. The
issue created a big fuss as many Igbo and fair-minded Nigerians dismissed the action as inhuman, saying it had the potential to stir ethnic hatred across the nation. There were, however, a few mischief makers who used the incident to vent their spleen on the Igbo they hate with passion. It was a good opportunity to gauge the level of hypocrisy in the country, especially those that parade themselves as social crusaders. Of course, Governor Fashola had initially attempted to defend his action, using the constitutional planks, but his good political sense dictated he had to assuage the ill feelings engendered by the action. He had such an opportunity during the recent Silver Jubilee celebration of ‘Aka Ikenga’, a forum that parades ‘who is who’ in Igboland. There he tendered his well publicized public apology to Ndigbo. It was a pleasant moment for the Igbo nation in particular and Nigeria in general. It was better late than never. The apology is acceptable to me personally and to many other Igbo. This country will make progress if our leaders could have Fashola type of courage to accept their errors. The Igbo have a lot of lessons to learn from this development. We must not miss the salient aspect of Governor Fashola’s apology. We must begin to ask ourselves why a large number of us prefer to live outside Igbo land. There is nothing really wrong with being adventurous, but when
THIS COUNTRY WILL MAKE PROGRESS IF OUR LEADERS COULD HAVE
TYPE OF COURAGE TO ACCEPT THEIR ERRORS.
circumstances make this imperative no matter how painful it may be, it calls for soul searching. Igbo leaders must begin to take a serious look at this to save a likely explosive situation in future in Igboland. There have been arguments in the past that the Federal Government deliberately tried to under develop the South East zone, for whatever reasons. It is on record that there has not been any major industrial project sited in Igbo land since after the civil war in spite of the fact that a number of Igbo states are oil producing. While this may be true, the other question is what have the various governors of the Igbo states been doing with the resources available to them. Michael Okpara’s industrial strides at the short period he was in charge of the Eastern Nigeria have been rubbished by his successors. Governor Obi remains the only governor in the South East zone that has performed commendably. Others are governors of propaganda and sharing of offices and revenues. People have con-
tinued to ask questions on what have happened to the Golden Guinea Brewery, the Ceramic Industry (both in Umuahia), the Nkalagu Cement factory, the Aba Glass Industry, all the farm settlements established under Okpara. Aba has immense potentials for industrialization, traders and artisans there are marvelously creative and productive. But the environment is not conducive for large scale production. The complaints have ranged from bad roads to epileptic power supply and to menace of armed robbers and kidnappers. The question has been asked why the Igbo businessmen and women would leave Aba, Umuahia, Owerri, Enugu, Onitsha, Nsukka etc to be in search of where to do their business. The South East must rediscover itself. With the unbundling of the PHCN, it is hoped that power will no longer be a reason for industries not to operate. Thus while adventurers from the South East cannot be discouraged from their outside missions they should evolve a system of community efforts, where different teams could come together to establish business outfits solid enough to outlive their founders. The Igbo should learn a few lessons from the Jews that are all over the world, making invaluable impact, but having a proud and viable home with strong economic base, where they can always run to if and when the need arises. The Igbo culture and language are dying as a result of the migrant nature of our people.
National Conference: Matters arising
ellow Nigerians, our administration has taken cognisance of suggestions over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a national dialogue on the future of our beloved country. In demonstration of my avowed belief in the positive power of dialogue in charting the way forward, I have decided to set up an advisory committee whose mandate is to establish the modalities for a national dialogue or conference.” With these words made in an early morning of Independence Day, President Goodluck Jonathan finally capitulated and acceded to the request of discerning Nigerians. Our sitting presidents over the years tended to have some phobia for national conference. This disenchantment stemmed from some strange assumption that the conference could undermine their authority, or if made sovereign, lead to the breakup of the country. But finally President Jonathan has jettisoned this unfounded fear by moving decisively in the right direction. From the wordings of the president’s speech, it is apparent that this committee headed by Senator Femi Okurounmu and having former youth leader of the PDP, Akilu Indabawa, as its Secretary, has not been curtailed by any behind-the-scene script. This means it would have unfettered discretion to work out its modalities without prior encumbrances of “no go areas” There is no denying the fact that the divergent peoples of Nigeria need authentic convergence to address all the underlying problems pulling the nation apart. We need to go beyond the cosmetic unity to lay the
OUR COMING TOGETHER OUGHT TO HAVE PROVIDED AMPLIFICATION OF THE GREATNESS ON THE SYNERGY OF MUTUAL COOPERATION AND ENVISIONED COMMONWEALTH foundation of authentic and useful unity. The 1999 Constitution fraudulently alluded to this cosmetic unity when it provides that “Nigeria shall be an indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation under God” Now, that is both historically false and ridiculous; it is historically false because Nigeria peoples have never communed in a genuine sovereign conference to determine what type of nation they want. They were welded together by colonial fiat in 1914. So we really need to correct this foundational defect by making the proposed conference sovereign. It is when peoples come together voluntarily and agree on some cardinal issues haunting our multi-layered federation that we can have genuine commitment to nation building. The sovereign national conference would not break us up; it would strengthen, rather than dissolve Nigeria. It would afford an opportunity for the people to provide curative prescriptions for all the problems scourging the country’s present brand of federalism. President Jonathan himself agreed that
problems confronting the nation is multifarious and require some drastic measures to address them. The president said, “I admit that these may not be the best of times for our nation. Our people are divided in many ways – ethnically, religiously, politically, and materially. I cannot hide from this reality. I cannot hide from my own responsibilities “When there are issues that constantly stoke tension and bring about friction, it makes perfect sense for the interested parties to come together to discuss.” From the words, it is obvious no cosmetic surgery can fix the nation; we need a general surgery to excise the malignant cancer afflicting various parts of organic Nigeria. Unless we make the conference sovereign it might just end as yet another time and money-consuming national ritual - a jamboree conference of people converging just to be “blowing grammar” in Abuja with nothing substantive coming at the end of the day. On the other hand, sovereign national conference will afford us the opportunity to redefine out lost vision. The vision that drove emergence of Nigeria was magnificent; the dream to form a great nation of the largest concentration of black people in the world. The peoples comprising the country, like the Yoruba, Hausa-Fulani, Igbo, Urhobo, Efik etc, are after all distinguished, accomplished, great and culturally advanced people in their own right. Our lands boast of all sorts of people, including the extremely talented humanity. By ordinary reckoning, our coming together ought to have provided amplification of the greatness on the synergy of mutual cooperation and envisioned commonwealth.
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But today, 99 years after amalgamation and 53 years after independence, the golden vision seems to have given way to enervating catalogue of woes! Surely, the requisite conditions for a viable nation with limitless potentials were all present. But the vision became blurred along the way while the nation lost its sense of direction. The nation needs to under an ocular surgery to remove the cataract and conjunctivitis in order to restore her vision that is now so dimmed. With sovereign national conference our peoples would most likely ensure that our unity is based on the solid ground of pragmatic and sound philosophies tethered to the peoples’ wishes and aspirations, rather than on the quicksand of enforced bonding. We need to redefine the organisation of our governmental powers, using the paradigm of a true federalism. 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.
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
he numerous strikes currently dogging many sectors in Nigeria may be compared with, if not worse than the United States’ ‘Shut Down’. In US, the disagreement is between political parties angling for electoral advantages in the future. President Barack Obama administration is bent on implementing a healthcare delivery system that may favour the majority. But the opposition appears bent on aborting the implementation of the health package. In Nigeria’s case, however, the Federal Government had signed agreements with unions in various sectors of the economy and social services, but seems reluctant to honour them. The latest to join the strike are resident doctors in public health institutions. They had earlier warned on their intention to down tools. The threat was, however, ignored by the authorities. The striking doctors view their demands as legitimate. Government, they insist, recognizes the correctness of their demand, signed an agreement with them, but has failed to abide by the agreement. The strike, no doubt, will lead to the loss of many lives. But past experience shows that those at the helm of the country’s affairs scarcely lose sleep on strikes or their aftermath, since they have the alternative of going abroad to receive appropriate medi-
Season of strikes cal treatment or educate their children at public expense. Sometimes, whole families travel abroad for medical check-up. Consequently, it may not bother the ruling clique if Nigerians die in their thousands for ailments that are curable, or if undergraduates roam the streets because of the industrial action commenced by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since July 1. Painful is the fact that resident doctors constitute the bulk of medical practitioners available in the system, and with their current action they have complicated the ASUU strike in what has emerged as a season of strikes. On the ASUU strike in particular, the FG appears convinced that all is not well in the education sector. It signed an agreement with ASUU in 2009 and firmly promised to save education generally and the university sector in particular, from further deterioration. Since then, the government has not been able to make sufficient provisions for the rectification of the problems in the education sector. Nigerians are told there is no money to meet ASUU’s demands, as if the demands were just made known today. Meanwhile, qualitative education at all levels will translate to an efficient, reliable and cost-effective work-force and nation builders if vigorously prosecuted. Other unions in the university system are reportedly
STRIKES WILL BE UNNECESSARY IF THE COUNTRY’S LEADERSHIP IS SINCERELY INTERESTED IN ADDRESSING THE
PROBLEMS OF THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED THEM INTO OFFICE warming up to join the other striking workers. Initially these unions were allegedly deceived into believing that their entitlements were forthcoming. The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and electricity workers may also join the striking group if urgent measures are not taken to appease them. Indeed, the report that even state governments are equally being owed their statutory entitlements seems a pointer that FG’s promises to unions can easily be repudiated. We had often encouraged trade unions to explore alternative methods of trade dispute resolution, instead of strikes. But when it is considered that in the case of ASUU, for example, it took three tough years to extract the 2009 agreement from the government, sympathizing with ASUU becomes imperative. Many stake-holders were involved.
But the government picked an insignificant aspect of the agreement for implementation. Meanwhile, the universities are allowed to be producing ‘unemployable graduates’. The ASUU predicament applies to almost all the groups on strike or about going on strike, and the problems in those sectors continue to worsen. Strikes will be unnecessary if the country’s leadership is sincerely interested in addressing the problems of the people who elected them into office. Strikes are usually embarked upon after a general consensus is arrived at in a democratic process. The government argument has been that there is no fund to fulfill its obligations to the citizenry. But the way the country’s economy and politics are being handled make the citizens disbelieve the government. Therefore, it will be in the interest of the government to honour the agreements it reached with the striking unions. The government should make sacrifices and raise funds to pay workers their entitlement and end the season of strikes. It is immoral and inhuman for the government to always sermonize on and demand sacrifices from Nigerians when no tangible efforts on the leadership to concede any sacrifice in the interest of ordinary Nigerians.
ON THIS DAY October 10, 1944 About 800 Gypsy (Romani) children were murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp (a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II). The Romani are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe, with their origins traced to the Indian Subcontinent. Romani are widely known in the English-speaking world by the ex-
October 10, 1973 Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew, resigned his position after being charged with federal income tax evasion. Agnew (November 9, 1918 – September 17, 1996) was the 39th Vice President of the US (1969–1973), serving under President Richard Nixon. He was the 55th Governor of Maryland (1967–1969); and the first Greek American to hold these offices. He came under investigation during his fifth year as Vice
October 10, 2008 The 10 October 2008 Orakzai bombing in Pakistan killed 110 people and injured 200 more. The bombing occurred when a suicide bomber drove and detonated a pick-up truck packed with 300 kg of explosives into a meeting of 600 people. The attack was preceded by a row between Taliban militants and local Shia tribesmen. Angry tribesmen clashed with the Taliban the day before and destroyed the homes of militants in
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IN CONJUNCTION WITH
A model to emulate –OBJ
Strikes ground campus economy
laide Hassan (not real name) is one of the drivers of the commercial buses popularly known as “Campus Shuttle” at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Akoka, whose children may soon be sent out of school if the ongoing strike by ASUU and SSANU is not resolved on time. According to the 43-year-old, who plies Yaba-UNILAG route, the experience within the last three months has simply been horrible, with his family of four struggling to survive as a result of the economic downturn occasioned by the strike. “It is terrible I must tell you. My wife is a tailor, who used to work at the popular Yaba Railway Wares Market before government closed down the place. Since then, we have been living on what I make from the transport business, which in actual fact had been very good until the lecturers went on strike. “Now, it is very hard to cope with the daily family needs. And as you know it, the children have just resumed and I have been given till the middle of October to pay up their tuitions. But here we are sleeping in our buses. And because our buses are customised, it is very difficult to ply other routes,” Hassan lamented. Apart from the commercial drivers, there are also young school leavers, who engage in petty businesses at UNILAG such as car washing, photography, photo copying, recharge cards sales and phone repairs and many of them rely on their daily incomes. Michael Ameobi, 19, operates a photocopier machine at the Faculty of Arts of the university. Life has been very difficult for him at this period of strike, adding that the latest SSANU strike has added salt to his proverbial injury. Also for Abdul-Ahmid, a cafe attendant at the University of Ibadan, the strike has not only led to drop in revenue, it has made him and other operating business centres operators redundant. He lamented that before the strike, the business centre virtually on a daily basis opened into the night with the students coming in to do one thing or the other
•Traders lament poor patronage
The ongoing strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) could make a drop of needle sound like gunfire in the nation’s public universities. Apart from students, there are also others whose survival have been affected by the 101-day-old strike. In this report, TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE and MOJEED ALABI (Lagos), KEMI OLAITAN (Ibadan), FEMI OYEWESO (Abeokuta), AZA MSUE (Kaduna), CHRIS NJOKU (Owerri), HENRY IYORKASHE (Benue), who visited some of the campuses, write on the pains of many traders whose businesses now stand the risk of closure.
The ever-busy bus stop at FUNAB deserted
BUSINESS ACTIVITIES ARE DULL ON CAMPUS. WE DON’T MAKE MUCH MONEY AGAIN, IT IS ONLY DEBT ON RENT THAT WE KEEP INCURRING and they were raking in lot of money. He said as a result of the strike, they now close as early as 5.00pm as most of the time they find themselves idling with no customer to attend to. “Since the strike started, majority of us have been living on the grace of God,” he said. According to Mr. Segun Adebayo, a cab operator on the campus, with the university virtually deserted, the daily routine now was for the transporters to queue endlessly for their turns, and that at times, this may take between two and three hours to
reach their turn as against less than 30 minutes before the strike. “We can only appeal to the Federal Government and ASUU to quickly resolve the crisis before it turns into a bigger problem for not only the students and those of us making a living within the university communities but also for the society at large. “Very soon, the situation may become unbearable. Using my own case as a reference, I used to go home with close to N8, 000 on a good day but now hardly do I make N3, 000, yet the responsibilities keep increasing, especially now that primary and sec-
ondary school students have just resumed for a new session and there are tuitions to pay,” he said. Speaking in the same vein, Mrs. Bola Oyebolu, who sells drinks, bemoaned the effect of the strike on people like her, saying that the three months and few days old strike has been like three years to her. The story is no difference at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and the Kaduna State University (KASU). National Mirror’s investigations revealed that most petty traders in the two campuses have closed shops due to low patronage by customers as only a few students are on campus. Garba Aminu, who owns a provision shop at KASU, is now praying for divine intervention in the crisis. “I want God to touch the hearts of the President and that of ASUU leadership to
resolve their differences for students to return to campus. Students are very important to my business, so government should not allow us to die of hunger before it will do something. I used to make about N10, 000 daily but now, I hardly make N1, 000,” he said. Yakubu “Mai Lemon”on his part is already considering relocation of his business to outside the campus if the strike lingers. “Business activities are dull on campus. We don’t make much money again, it is only debt on rent that we keep incurring,” he said. Similarly, commercial activities at the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Abeokuta, Ogun State, have been grounded as a result of the industrial action. When National Mirror visited CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
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Inside Benue State University on Monday
Bus terminus at UNILAG on Monday
A dwindling business at FUNAB
The main entrance to Kaduna State University Closed shops at the Benue State University
Strikes ground campus economy CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
the university, business activities were very dull. For instance, the few bus operators around lamented that there was no patronage. Actually, the designated bus terminus was deserted. The cafeteria being managed by the Tantalizer Company was also shut as there are no customers. The two banks-Guaranty Trust and Zenith at the main entrance of the university are equally recording low business activities, so also the institution’s Information Communication and Technology Resource Centre (ICTREC). The traders at Alabata Community hosting the university are finding things hard. These traders make most of their sales from the students of the university who patronise them on daily basis. But now, some of them no longer open for business. Oluwatobi Samuel operates T’ Karis Ventures, a mini-cyber café at the main gate of the university. He lamented that his business has been badly affected by the strike as he could no longer sell up to what he used to sell. “The bulk of my customers are students. They come for internet browsing and on-line admission registrations but things have not
I AM FEELING THE HIT OF ASUU STRIKE JUST LIKE MANY OTHERS. WHAT MAKES THINGS WORSE NOW IS THAT CHRISTMAS IS APPROACHING AND MANY FAMILIES WILL FACE FINANCIAL PRESSURE been the same since the strike,” he said. Another shop owner, who is also a 400-Level Plant Physiology and Crop Production student of the university, Samuel Ade, said on a good day when the school is in session, he makes about N8, 000 but now he hardly records N800 daily. He told National Mirror that he uses the money he realises from the business to sponsor himself in school and meet other needs. A popular food vendor on campus, Mrs. Titilayo Ishola also lamented the development, saying she only comes to shop to while away time with the hope that normalcy would soon return to the campus. “Whenever students are in school, I make an average of N15, 000 daily. They constitute about 85 to 90 per cent of people
who come to buy food from me. I am a popular food vendor on this campus. I have two children I have sponsored their university education with the money from the business. So, I know what I am talking about and that is also why I am appealing to both the Federal Government and ASUU to mend their differences for the sake of the public,” she said. Similarly, the situation at the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) and the Imo State University (IMSU) both in Owerri, was not different. National Mirror’s investigations revealed that many business owners in the two institutions have either closed shops or laid-off some of their workers following drop in their profits. Most affected are the food vendors, recharge card sellers, business centre attendants, as well as the tri-cyclists.
A recharge card seller at the main entrance to FUTO, Miss Grace Gbemere, disclosed that due to the strategic location of her shop, she used to make sales of between N10, 000 and N15, 000 daily but now, she hardly sells N4, 000 a day. She said it was not as if students were only the ones who buy cards worth up to that amount but many visitors to the university also patronise her. On his part, Mr. Chimezie Chukwudi, a business centre operator at IMSU said before the strike, he used to make a profit of between N3, 000 and N5, 000 per day. “But now, the business is dull generally. I hardly make N500 profit a day. I am feeling the heatt of ASUU strike just like many others. What makes things worse now is that Christmas is approaching and many families will face financial pressure. So, I will join well meaning Nigerians to call on the Federal Government and ASUU to resolve the crisis for normalcy to return to campuses,” he said. Obinna Emekalam sells shoes and hand bags in the same campus and most of his customers are students. “But now, only a few people approach me to buy any item and the implication of this on my finance is huge,” he noted. Similarly, business activities have been grounded at the Benue
State University, Makurdi. As a matter of fact, some traders have already closed down their shops, looking elsewhere to make ends meet. The food vendors, transporters and the photographers are having hard times in the institution. Mr. Lawal Ade, a photographer, told National Mirror that the situation was making life unbearable for him and members of his family. “I have children in secondary schools that I need to pay their tuitions and meet other financial needs. I used to do all these from the money I make from my work. But now only God knows how my family is surviving and things may get worse if the strike persists,” he said. A cyber cafe operator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, on his part, said most times, he stays from 9am to 5pm without making up to N150 whereas on a good day, he makes close to N6, 000 per day. The story is similar from one campus to another even as the traders also have one voice. They appealed to both the Federal Government and ASUU to reach a common ground of compromise in order to restore normalcy in the public universities across the country. The strike by ASUU is to force the Federal Government to implement their agreement of 2009.
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UI restates commitment to AU agenda on education TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
he Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Isaac Adewole has restated the university’s commitment to produce the needed manpower that would grow and develop the African economy in line with the African Union (AU) agenda on education. He stated this while addressing a team of experts from the Association of African Universities (AAU)/Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) Project, who undertook a tour of facilities and personnel in the university in preparation for the proposed Centres of Excellence scheme on the campus on Monday.
The VC said the goal of UI was to train graduates not only for Nigerian economy but for the entire African continent and the world by extension. Disclosing that UI has the largest postgraduate enrollment in Africa, he said the reason was to produce problem- solvers for the continent. He assured that the university would not compromise on the objective. Earlier in his remark, the team leader and Coordinator of African Centre of Excellence, Association of African Universities (AAU), Prof. Jonathan Mba said his team was in the university to assess the preparedness of the institution on the project, which he said was crucial
to the African development. He noted that the team would investigate the leadership and management capacity of the university for the proposed project and advise accordingly. Another member of the team and Vice-Chancellor, Great Zimbabwe Universi-
ty, Masvingo, Pro. Zvogbo Rungomo, commended UI for its achievements over the years, describing the institution as “Oxford of Africa.” He urged the university not to settle for anything less than retaining its pride of place in the university education in
Africa. The University’s Director of Public Communication, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo said in a statement that UI was to be considered by AAU for the establishments of African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Centre for Advanced Ag-
ricultural Training and Translation Research and the Centre for Analysis, Modeling, Simulation and Computation (CAMSIC). He noted that the three centres were being facilitated by the university’s Research Foundation under the leadership of Prof. Ayoade Oduola.
Aregbesola promises quality education ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO.
sun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has assured the people of the state that his administration would provide quality and qualitative education that would make them self-reliant upon graduation. The governor gave the assurance while inaugurating Salvation Army Middle School, Osogbo, recently. He said the journey to provide quality education started with the education summit he convened when he assumed office newly as the governor of the state. “The summit with eminent Nigerians like the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka in attendance came up with a reform blueprint to overhaul the public education in the state and the government has since been working assiduously to implement the reform plan. The inauguration of this school is a good evidence that all is going according to plan with our reform. As part of the reform, we decided to re-organise the school system into Elementary, Middle and High school categories. “The elementary level will comprise pupils from ages 6 to 9 years, which corresponds to primary 1 to 4 pupils under the existing system. The middle level from primary 4 to JSS 3 of ages 10 to 14, now classified
as Grades 5-9, and the high school level age range will be between 15 and 17 years, corresponding to Senior Secondary School III, to be known as Grades 10-12. “The elementary and middle school level’s buildings will each accommodate 900 pupils, while the high school building will have capacity for 3,000 students. There will be 100 of such buildings at the elementary, 50 at the middle, and 20 at the high school levels, making a total of 170 and the high schools are a mega structure of minicity size each having three schools in one with facilities for all subjects in the Sciences, Arts and Social Sciences, including state of the art laboratories, recreation centres and a food court.” “The overall aim of the reforms we are carrying out is to develop the new man intellectually, socially and morally. This new man is placed in the centre of society who views his own development as part of and for the development of society, he said. . Aregbesola appealed to parents to support the government in its efforts by preparing their wards for the new system and especially kit them with the new uniform, saying the gains are already coming up as the state is witnessing progressive improvement in the academic performances of the students.
L-R: Vice-Chancellor, Great Zimbabwe University, Prof. Zvogbo Rungomo; Director of Academic Planning and African Centre of Excellence Coordinator, Association of African Universities (AAU), Prof. Jonathan Mba and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole during AAU’s team visit to UI on Monday.
Ekiti boosts teachers’ morale with car gifts ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
kiti State Government has boosted the morale of teachers in the public primary and secondary schools with pats on their back over the improvement recorded in students’ performance in the state. Consequently, Governor Kayode Fayemi promised more government attention to the teachers in terms of human capital development and remunerations. The governor also, on the occasion of the World Teachers Day celebration in the state, presented brand new cars to the best teacher and school admin-
istrator for the year at both primary and secondary school levels. Fayemi, who was represented by the deputy governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu, hinged the upward trend in West African Examination Council, WAEC, results in the state on government’s strides in the renovation of All Schools, distribution of laptop computers to students and teachers among other intervention programmes. It would be recalled that Ekiti State recorded 52 per cent in the 2013 WAEC result, an improvement over the 20 per cent recorded in 2012. The governor assured that his government would
continue to work harmoniously with teachers and other workers in the state for the rapid development of the education sector. Education Commissioner, Mr Kehinde Ojo, who advised the teachers to uphold professionalism and strive hard to put education in its pride of place in the state, also urged the teachers to continue tocomplement government’s efforts in the bid to rejuvenate the education sector and put Ekiti on the world map in the area of education. The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS, Mr. Sola Adigun and his Nigeria Union of Teachers’ counterpart, Comrade
Samuel Akosile, praised Fayemi for implementing 16 per cent of the Teachers Peculiarity Allowance, saying the gesture had further promoted cordial relationship between the government and workers. They, however, demanded the full implementation of the 27.5 per cent of the allowance in the state, which they said would bring out the best in the teachers. Recipients of the car gifts are the Best Primary School Teacher, Mr. Aniyikaye Daniel, C.A.C Ara Ijero Primary School, AraIjero; and the Best Secondary School Teacher, Mr Omole Sylvester, Corpus Christy, Ilawe-Ekiti.
Katsina to recruit 1, 000 teachers JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
o fewer than 1,000 graduate teachers are to be recruited by the Katsina State government to teach in secondary schools across the state. Speaking with newsmen in an interview, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Aminu Kurfi said the figure was part of 3, 000 additional numbers
of teachers required by secondary schools the state. Kurfi said the state currently had 5,400 secondary schools and that 3,000 teachers were needed to be posted to some of the newly constructed schools. He said as way of ensuring quality teachers and teaching, university graduates would be employed and that they would be posted to schools before the end of the year.
The commissioner said government in collaboration with National Teachers Institute, NTI, had introduced programmes for training and upgrading of Grade II teachers. He said the state also sponsored Grade II teachers to acquire degree and HND qualification at different higher institutions across the country. Prof Kurfi said the training and retraining of
teachers in the state has improved quality of teaching, as well as improves performance of students in NECO and WAEC examinations. He however, expressed concern over the proliferation of private schools in the state, saying that government has set up machinery to ensure that only government-approved private schools are spared in the state.
World Teachers’ Day LG not capable of handling primary education –NUT TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
he Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has faulted the autonomous status of the local government administration on the primary education in the country, saying it lacks competence to handle this important level of education successfully. The Lagos State Chairman of the union, Mr. Adesegun Raheem, who expressed the displeasure at this year’s World Teachers Day celebration in Lagos last weekend, said primary education had suffered serious setback under successive local government administrations in the country. He recalled 1992 when the local government was saddled with the responsibility of the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries, saying teachers at the period were owed 10 to 12 months salaries. “And NUT will not want the repeat of such ugly incident so as to
not to put the sector further backward,” he said. Speaking on the theme“The fate of primary education in the era of local government autonomy: A call for legislative caution,”’- Raheem argued that from all indications, local government could not successfully handle teachers’ salaries and welfare, as well as infrastructural needs of primary schools and therefore, there was no need to charge them with such responsibilities. He said the 1999 Constitution was clear enough on the roles of local government on education, which is restricted to participation with the state government in the provision and maintenance of primary, adult and vocational education in the country. He explained that the state government remained a major player in the primary education over the years and should remain so rather than abdicating this function to the local government.
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Afe Babalola backs Jonathan on national conference TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
egal icon and Founder, Afe Babalola University AdoEkiti, (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for setting up a Planning Committee to look into the issue of National Conference with a view to solving problems afflicting the country over the years. He said he believed so much that the continued co-existence of Nigeria as
an indivisible entity would need to be properly and conclusively discussed by all Nigerians. Aare Babalola in a statement by the university’s spokesman, Mr. Tunde Olofintila noted that it was important to state that Nigeria as a heterogeneous society with over 250 ethnic groups is truly confronted with many problems. These problems, according to him, were acknowledged by the founding fathers of the country, who advocated regional system
of government for each region to develop at its own pace with a relatively weak centre as practiced during the First Republic. “So, I believe the conference will afford Nigerians the opportunity to freely address their differences, fears and commonalities and such other issues as insecurity, corruption and intolerance, among others,” he said. Aare Babalola hoped that the Okurounmu-led committee would do a thorough job for the betterment of Nigerians.
He further explained that the conference would also need to discuss institutions such as the National Assembly whether it should be full time or part time; whether it should be bi-cameral or unicameral because the National Assembly as it is presently constituted is too expensive for the country. “The National Assembly to my understanding will need to be streamlining to reflect the country’s realities and the worth of its contributions to governance,” he concluded.
Amosun, Ogun teachers differ on ASUU strike FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
s Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Teachers’ Day last Saturday, teachers in Ogun State have expressed different views with the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun over the three months old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). While the state governor passionately appealed to the parties concerned to shift ground over the industrial action, secondary school teachers in the state maintained that the strike would amount to waste of time if ASUU must shift ground without the Federal Government meeting its demands. Governor Amosun, who lamented that ASUU strike had taken a huge toll on the university education, said it was imperative for both parties to resolve the issue without further delay in the interest of the nation’s future. Represented by his Special Adviser on Educa-
tion, Dr. Tunji Abimbola, the governor emphasised that development in the developed countries took its root in educational system, stressing that Nigeria could not afford to toy with her own education sector. Calling on students, parents, teachers and all stakeholders to join hands to end what he described as the long, protracted strike, in order to attain the desired educational development, Amosun assured the teachers that his administration was committed to continually provide the necessary atmosphere for teaching and learning in the state. In her own address, Chairman of the state Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Mrs. Olubukola Onabanjo said the present administration in the state had resolved to move education forward as evident in the recent promotion of 3,272 teachers in both senior and junior secondary schools in the year 2012 as well as the on-going construction of 15 model schools across the state.
Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwan Akiolu (middle) and some palace chiefs with members of the Management and Governing Council of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos, when the college visited the palace recently.
Why RSUT shuned ASUU strike –VC SAM OLUWALANA
he Vice-Chancellor, Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Prof. Barineme Fakae has said the university’s lecturers did not join the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) because the previous strikes by the union had achieved nothing other than wasting time and resources. He recalled that “The RSUT had partaken in 22 strikes in the past and ended up losing two academic sessions. Even ASUU as it is currently does not benefit the people they claim to be fighting for. ASUU these days is been led by unionists rather than by academics. So, RSUT does not be-
lieve in industrial action.’’ Fakae, who explained that strikes always take people away from the purpose they are meant for in ivory towers, said many universities had exchange programmes with other related institutions around the world and that such programmes oftentimes suffered setback as a result of incessant strikes. “Imagine some exchange partners coming to the country, only to find out that their exchange counterparts are on strike and they have to go away emptyhanded, thereby resulting into great losses for both parties’’ “So for us here, we want to be relevant internationally; we want people all over the world to trust us based on our consistency and commitment. We also want
to initiate and maintain strong linkages with international institutions and for us to survive through exchange programmes and linkages. We are also committed to progressing academically and contributing to the progress of the world in general,’’ he said. The VC disclosed that the educational reforms initiated by the Rivers State Government and the management of the university had continued to yield positive results. He said for instance, the university had won the Best University Award from the UK-based organisationSocrates Committee of European Business-, while himself won the Manager of the Year Award from the same organisation. He said with the award, the university would be
listed in the official international registry of the world leading universities by the Europe Business Assembly. Making reference to the letter by the Project Coordinator of the organisation to the university and himself, Prof. Fakae explained that the awards were bestowed on them for “effective programmes implementation, application of intellectual and technological innovations, quality service delivery, implementation of up-to-date technologies, presence of unique achievements, work transparency, among other attributes.
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Thursday, October 10, 2013
ASUU strike: No work no pay, counter productive
he invocation of the “Nowork no-pay” rule has ushered the ongoing ASUU strike into another but not altogether unexpected phase of the struggle. This is the natural response of a government that seems not to have learnt any lesson from the recent history of ASUU strikes in the country. Nowork no-pay rule has been applied many times previously in an attempt to force striking ASUU members back to work but without success. The next step would be to compel the university administrations to open registers for ASUU members who would like to break ranks with the mainstream union decision and commence teaching. These measures will only prolong the strike and not resolve the intractable problem that precipitated it in the first place. At the end of the day, five to six months would have been lost to the strike. Though, teaching services have been withdrawn by the striking lecturers, academic activity is still continuing at a level permitted by the available infrastructure. Graduate students and final year students are still carrying on with their laboratory based research projects in the dilapidated laboratories as the power supply permits and they are still been su-
Education as I see it
by Tosanwumi Otokunefor
firstname.lastname@example.org 08030904461 (email/SMS only)
THE APPLICATION OF THE NO-WORK NO-PAY RULE WILL FURTHER HINDER THE CAPACITY OF LECTURERS TO FUND ONGOING RESEARCH PROJECTS pervised. Research by individual academic staff is ongoing though at very slow pace because of the poor state of the laboratories and the limitations imposed by the paucity of funds for the purchase of vital reagents. There is not a single center of excellence in this most populous black nation on earth. The application of the no-work no-pay rule will further hinder the capacity of lecturers to fund ongoing research projects and plunge the nation’s university system deeper into the abyss. Conditions would become more difficult as a result of the imposition of the no-work no-pay rule, but no lecturer would go starving because of it. Many senior academic staffers are already
engaged as adjunct lecturers at many of the fledging private universities in the country. Many who are not so engaged have resorted to some form of business or the other to survive the new reality on ground. On the long run, that would be problematic to the educational system. These businesses that have become life savers would not be allowed to die even after work has resumed at the public university campuses. That would create divided attention among the few conscientious lecturers remaining in the system; and the quality of teaching and learning would depreciate further. No one can serve two masters satisfactorily. The younger lecturers would
be hardest hit by the no-work no-pay rule. They are also more likely to implement some of the most extreme survival strategies when schools reopen. Poor quality text books consisting mainly of plagiarised materials would emerge to be sold at extremely high prices at the resumption of lectures. Truancy among academic staff will hit an all time high with lecturers taking out time to mind the businesses that have helped them survive the harsh conditions imposed by the no-work no-pay regime. Many others will copy the purely criminal acts of extorting money from students in exchange for pass marks usually through the medium of the course reps or other trusted acquaintances. Some of the more corrupt lecturers will implement their own no-pay nopass rule with impunity! All these evils and many more would be on the increase as a result of the no-work no-pay regime. The decay would continue and ultimately prompt another round of strikes in no distant future. The young lecturers who are hardest hit this time around would be in a better position to withstand the next round of industrial actions and other issues would be joined to make it a more intractable problem.
Infrastructural decay is the most serious problem the universities have encountered in the past 12 years and have been the subject of discussions and industrial actions since 2001. The findings of the NEEDS report in 2011 yet to be implemented does not encapsulate the three dimensional architecture of the infrastructural decay. By her current hard-line stance, the Goodluck Jonathan led administration does not appear to appreciate the level of the problem that is plaguing the educational system. The implications are enormous. Most universities have already lost a semester and other would have lost a session by the time the dust settles on the industrial action. The academic calendar would be seriously mutilated by the administration in an attempt to recover some of the lost ground. The teaching process would be seriously truncated and marred by high level malpractice and the graduates produced would be much less literate than in previous years. The nation would be the loser on the long run. The President should be more proactive to save the educational system from total collapse. No price is too much to pay for the most priced commodity in Nigeria-Education.
Ex-NUT boss elected alma mater’s alumni president
Provost bemoans prolonged ASUU strike
he immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Kayode Idowu, has been elected the President of the Alamuwa Grammar School Old Students’ Association (AGSOSA). Idowu, who was elected recently, took over from the pioneer president of the association, Mr. Abiodun Micheal who also doubled as the pioneer Senior Prefect of the school. He has since been swornin and pledged commitment alongside other executive officers of the association to build on the legacies of their predecessors by mobilising individual and organisational supports for the provision of teaching and learning tools for the benefit of students and teachers. “In the best tradition of our association’s culture, I am assuming the presidency of Alamuwa Grammar School Old Students Association (AGSOSA), thus signifying another milestone
in the association’s long and distinguished history. I want you all to know that my induction as the president today is neither by my might nor by my influence, but by the special grace of God. So to Him alone I give all the glory. “This association recently sponsored the school’s football team’s participation in the Ogun State Principal’s Cup competition sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank PLC. To the glory of God, the school won the cup for the second time having won it first in 1980. The cash benefit for winning the competition was supplemented by this association to procure a bus for the school. We appreciate the two principals and their management team for cooperating with us in this regard,” Idowu said. Idowu, who is currently the Director of Publicity, Civil Awareness and Economic Empowerment Initiative- an Abuja-based nongovernmental organisation, has drawn a roadmap for his tenure including the completion of the ongoing Physics laboratory project.
he Provost of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Oto/Ijanikin, Lagos, Mr. Bashorun Olalekan Wasiu has advised the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve without further delay the lingering stalemate between them for the sake of students and the coun-
try’s economy. He gave the advice in his welcome address at the 32nd edition of the Distinguished Lectures series organized by the college recently. The provost said the strike was prolonged for too long and the development had taken a huge toll not only on the university and the entire education sector but also on the country’s economy. He noted that since no
country could develop without providing quality and quantitative education to its citizens, it is expected that enough resources should be injected into the sector. “Closure of schools for whatever reason for over 90 days is dangerous and uncalled for. The nation is greater than all of us and therefore let us use our endowed natural resources to develop education and the economy at large,” he fur-
L-R: Member, Governing Council, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, Lagos, Prince Adeyemi Adesanya: Deputy Registrar, Council Affairs, Mr. Olumuyiwa Coker; Provost, Mr. Bashorun Wasiu and guest speaker and lecturer, University of Lagos, Akoka, Prof. Ajike Osanyin at the 32nd AOCOED’s distinguished lecture series, recently.
ther advised. Speaking on the theme of the lecture- “In the Best Interest of the Nigerian Child”-, the guest speaker and Head of Department, Early Children Education Unit, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Akoka, Prof. Florence Osanyin observed that the aggressive tendencies and violent behaviours of many children in the country could be traceable to those who are involved in their care and upbringing, as well as the social environment in which they are raised. According to her, what an individual becomes in life is a function of what that individual constantly hears, sees and does, especially when growing up. “The individual therefore epitomizes the type and quality of exposures received in the environment,” she added. Prof. Osanyin further stressed that the state of the country as regards the economy has greatly contributed to the present worldview and attitude of the Nigerian child.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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EDITED BY MOJEED ALABI email@example.com
N5m won’t distract my studies –Project Fame winner MOJEED ALABI
he winner of the 2013 edition of MTN Project Fame, a talent discovery programme, and student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso in Oyo State, Olawale Ojo, has insisted that neither the stardom nor the whopping sum of N5 million won would distract his studies. The promising Olawale, who emerged the winner of the musical rendition project beating five other
finalists with his final performance of Asa’s song ‘Beautiful,’ was handed a cheque of N5 million, a brand new car and a recording contract by MTN, the sponsor of the programme. Olawale, who is a 400-level student of the university’s Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture is fondly referred to by friends as ‘Pimp’ said he would try to maintain balance between his new status and his academic activities so that one does not affect the other.
He said he was going to focus on the record of his songs and concentrate on the contracts he has signed with his sponsor, to ensure that he leaves up to expectation. Olawale, who became the sixth winner of the popular television show joining past winners like Iyanya, Myke, Chidinma,
among others, said he dedicated the victory to God almighty and to Nigerians who voted for him during the performance. He promised to advocate for youth development, vocational and skill acquisition and redirection of youth energies to rebuild the nation. He also appealed to the Federal Government to
urgently addressing the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, as part of the solution to the restiveness and insecurity confronting Nigeria. Other winners at the programme included Immaculate, who was named
first runner-up, winning a cash prize of N3 million and a car; Margaret came 3rd with N2 million and a car. The fourth position went to Eniola and was rewarded with N2 million while Omolayo and Roland came fifth and sixth with respectively with cash awards of N1 million and N500,000.
Covenant University receives South African counterpart for partnership MOJEED ALABI
he management of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, led by its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ihron Rensburg, has paid a working visit to Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State with a view to establishing mutually beneficial teaching and learning relationships. The team, which was received by the Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Charles Ayo and other members of management, commended the institution for the smart and intellectual components of her programmes. He noted that Covenant University’s brand inspired their desire for collaboration. “University of Johannesburg is a product of a merger, we are a young university and we are encouraged by the progress that Covenant University has recorded. We are encouraged by your ambition, deep commitment, doggedness and deep belief system. “We are thus here to hear and learn directly from the source, what moves, inspires, and drives your ambition, as well as your ability to capture, influence, and achieve this kind of reverence that you command. But we have not come to take alone but also to give back, as this is what would make the relationship mutual,” Rensburg stated.
Rensburg, who also chairs Southern African Regional Universities Association, a body of Southern African ivory towers said he was hopeful that the relationship would be beneficial to the continent and the world at large. In his response, the host Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Ayo commended the efforts of the team, noting that the university is ranked among the best in the country. According to him, that was a business-like approach to doing things and such feat could not have been attained by just folding of arms and wishing. He added that such model was worth looking into by Covenant University. Ayo then told the guests that since Covenant University was running with a vision to be listed among the 10 best universities globally within the next 10 years, hence the need to explore diverse models. In the area of research, Prof. Ayo stated that Covenant University was birthed out of the desire to bring solutions to certain issues plaguing Nigeria and the black race as a whole, “and as such the vision, mission and mandate of the university becomes very crucial in running the race of rewriting the story of higher education in Nigeria.” Ayo, therefore assured the visiting team of the university’s cooperation
Olawale with his cheque
FCE-UNILAG land tussle: Akiolu promises to wade in MOJEED ALABI
he land dispute between the management of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Akoka, and the Federal College of Education (Technical), also located in Akoka, may soon be over as the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has promised to intervene to resolve
the impasse. Akiolu made this promise recently when the management of the college paid him a courtesy visit as part of the measure to further cement the existing cordial relationship between the college and the palace. The monarch also used the occasion to appeal to the Federal Government to tackle insecurity in the country, give Lagos its
dues, provide employment to Lagos State indigenes and ensure that ASUU’s strike is called off soonest. The college’s team, which was led by the newly appointed Governing Council Chairman, Alhaji Kabir Aliyu, thanked Oba Akiolu for approving the visit and for the constant support and cooperation the college has received from the palace so far.
Vice-Chancellor, Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. Femi Onabajo (left) and the Registrar, Dr. (Mrs.) Oyebola Ayeni, at a recent meeting of the Association of Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of Private Universities in Nigeria, held at the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun
Aliyu also appealed for Oba Akiolu’s speedy intervention on the land dispute, saying the need to expand the facilities on the college’s campus became necessary to address the perennial pressure on the existing facilities by the growing population of students. He added that Nigeria was in his dire need of technical and vocational education experts to resolve the glut in the labour market and improve the economy of the country. “This can adequately be addressed through accommodation of willing students for vocational and technical education on our campus.” In his closing remark, the Registrar of the college and Secretary to the Council, Mr. Henry Otoighile, thanked the monarch for his blessings and words of advice, and assured him that employment and admission are given to Lagos indigenes.
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Thursday, October 10, 2013
When will ASUU strike end? Graduating students ask The prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has continued to receive condemnation from graduating students, who are mostly affected by the action. Some of them, in this report by AJOBIEWE TOLULOPE and SHAIBU SUCCESS, 400 Level, Urban and Regional Planning, Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, expressed displeasure over the development, calling for immediate amicable solution between parties involved.
Urban and Regional Planning, Federal University of Technology, Minna ASUU is right to demand the full implementation of the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government. I would ask the union to continue with the strike until the Federal Government is ready to meet their demands based on the agreement. Being a final year student, the immediate negative effect of the development on my plan is that it has already extended my year of graduation to a time I don’t know. But having realised that the strike was dragging for too long, I started to keep myself busy with some productive activities. I have been attending music workshops in far and near places. I have learnt cake baking too and I will think of other things to learn if the strike
French Department, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti I must, at this point, express my deep and profound disappointment in the educational sector of the country. Students have been away from schools for over three months due to ASUU strike, yet some people are saying that ASUU is fighting a just cause. This is very unfair! As far as I am concerned and as a final year student, the strike has succeeded in extending the year I will stay on campus for a cause I know nothing about. I have not written my first semester examination, much less the second semester exam and my final year project.
persists. Again, one might wonder why there is so much enthusiasm and anxiety on the part of students to get out of school on time when there are hundreds of thousands of graduates who are roaming the streets years after leaving school. So, this situation should send a warning note to the graduating students of what would they do after graduation or the National Youth Service (NYSC) programme. Perhaps, the zeal is borne out of the fact that their counterparts from private-owned universities in the country are already discharging their duties as corps members or some of them already counting days to their graduation. But whatever the case, it is certain that students generally are not happy with the strike, which has sent us home unprepared. The strike is now over three months without any ray of hope to be called back to school. Although, some of us believe that the lecturers are fighting for the benefit of all Nigerians, others disagree on this.
Osuntoki Hannah Biological Sciences, University of Abuja
The strike has definitely affected the time I will graduate. UNIABUJA was just in the middle of first semester and far away from the period for examinations before the strike started. So, with the strike, I will be left with no option than to extend my accommodation to next year. The financial implication of this is enormous. My rent is expected to last for this year but now I have to extend my tenant ship.
Accounting Department, Osun State University, Osogbo I want Nigerians to know one thing and that is the fact that whether ASUU or the Federal Government like it or not, I will graduate by 2015. And the only thing I can say for now is to call for a quick resolution of the dispute and let normalcy return to campuses.
Political Science, Nassarawa State University, Keffi I believe strongly that ASUU is doing the right thing. The strike will definitely benefit the education sector on the long run. It is heartbreaking to hear that no Nigerian university is ranked among the top 3,000 universities in the world. Yet, the country is claiming to be the Giant of Africa. Education is the bedrock of development for any nation. If the Federal Government is serious about developing this great nation, let people at the corridor of power invest heavily in the education sector. Although, I did not forsee the strike as my plan was to graduate this year, unfortunately, the hope is already dashed by the careless attitude of our socalled leaders. As I am speaking now, I have not written my first semester examination, let alone final exam.
Adebowale Temitope Geology, Federal University of Technology, Minna
To me, I believe that ASUU is fighting a just cause. But unfortunately, some of we students are at the receiving end. Nevertheless, the Federal Government should be blamed for the strike. Because, if the government can make a huge amount of money available to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in preparation for the 2015 general elections, why won’t it be able to raise fund for the cause of ASUU? As a graduating student, the strike has really jeopardised my plans. By now, I should be thinking of going for my NYSC programme or at least, be defending my final year project. But, considering the situation on ground, the chance of defending my final year project this year is very slim.
Linguistics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife ASUU strike has done a lot of havoc not only for me, but also for the youths in the society. The action has altered my plans for the year and next. I thought I would graduate by the end of this year, but now, it is obvious that the dream is no longer feasible, no thanks to ASUU. I have not started my final project all because of the strike. The school academic calendar will be changed and of course, lecturers will resort to rushing to finish their respective syllabuses all because of the strike.
Geography student, University of Ibadan I am disappointed in both ASUU and the Federal Government for dragging the issue for too long. So, I am waiting when the strike will be called off and we will go back to school.
US consulate office trains NYSC members
he United State Consulate office in Nigeria last week embarked on entrepreneurship training for 50 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) currently serving in Lagos State with the aim of encouraging them to be self-reliant rather than waiting endlessly for white collar jobs. The programme, which was tagged; Enhancing Personal Effectiveness, was organised in conjunction with a Social Enterprise, Startup Hub, was meant to inspire the participants to think outside the box and start businesses instead of waiting for paid employment. Speaking during the programme, the United States Public Diplomacy Officer, Rhonda Watson encouraged the youths to determine specific goals for their lives and proactively choose their response to circumstances rather than reacting without regard for the consequences. Using “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” as a template to drive her points, Ms. Watson told them about the need for effective communication in order to “become the best version of themselves.” Also speaking, the Director of Startup Hub, Mr. Chibuike Aguene, shared an inspiring and motivational story of how he moved from a well-paying job to become an entrepreneur. He said he attended a programme on personal effectiveness which was like an eye opener to him, and decided to venture out and start a business. “I then studied about how to write programmes and created software that enabled business men to accurately capture their inventory. Today, I own three businesses and consults for almost 100 businesses both within and outside of Nigeria,” Aguene explained. He enjoined the corps members to find their passion and turn it into cash. The messages for the NYSC members was reinforced by the screening of the movie “Gifted Hands” based on the biography of Dr. Ben Carson, which showed how an inner city boy raised by a single mother rose from poverty to become a world renowned neurosurgeon through determination and hard work. Many of the NYSC commended the organizers of the program for opening their minds to such truths and said they were inspired to take on the world as they complete their compulsory youth service in the coming month.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
HE NATION of October 2 welcomes us to the independence month and the last quarter of the year with just two gaffes: “Fed Govt reads riot act to airlines” Stock expression, headline dictates of journalism notwithstanding: the riot act “As Nigeria celebrates its 53rd independence anniversary, its education sector lays (lies) prostrate.” THE NATION of September 28 goofed twice: “Recently in Washington DC…encounters (encountered) her in this all-revealing interview.” “I know that something is wrong between me and my girlfriend” Romance: my girlfriend and me (as the object), but subjective form: My girlfriend and I—not ‘me and my girlfriend’ or ‘I and my girlfriend’! THISDAY EDITORIAL of May 13 dealt crudely with the English language: “In the first quarter of this year, that is between January to (and) March 2013….” Or from January to March. But, hold on: who does not know that the first quarter of any year refers to January, February and March? Does the publication think that its readers are daft? This is too boyish, loose and uneducated for an editorial! “Local refineries are also
Fixed expression: The riot act WHAT IS SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE IS SAUCE FOR THE GANDER springing up with all the pollution that come (comes) with the activities.” “…to serve as a deterrent to other people who plan to stealing (steal) our oil.” Lastly from THISDAY EDITORIAL under review: “It is therefore time that the authorities took (take) serious measures against these criminals.” Alternatively: high time…took. Got the point? Next is THISDAY POLITICS/ MONDAY DISCOURSE: “…no other parts (part) of the country is completely safe.” “Libyan anti-Gaddafi gunmen lift siege of (to) ministries” “ECOWAS condoles Nigeria (condoles with Nigeria) on death of two pilots” THE GUARDIAN of May 14 is the next newspaper on our radar: “For long, Nigeria and US have shared strong partnership in security cooperation except for period (the period) during the regime of late (the late) Gen. Sani Abacha when the ties were strained.” From the Back Page of the preceding medium come these
school-boy howlers: “There should be no preferential treatment for foreign trained (foreigntrained) graduates as what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.” Conscience, Nurtured by Truth: what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Did you know that ‘big brother’—usually misapplied in Nigeria—means a sinister organisation, a bully or dictator? Last week’s edition of this medium goofed thrice: “…for the burial of late (the late) Prof. Chinua Achebe.” “Chairman of South East Governor’s (Governors’) Forum….” “Litigations delay claims settlements—NDIC” Get it right: ‘litigation,’ like ‘remuneration,’ is uncountable. (This was detected by Kola Danisa/07068074257 & 08179274411) The following three observations taken from Vanguard ALLURE of May 5 are from Mr. Danisa, too: “…whose looks belly (belie) her age.” “When they do well, we praise them but if they ere (err), we
march against them.” Wrong: “If I was you”; Right: If I were you…. This is the subjunctive aspect of grammar. Wrong: “I wrote him”; Right: I wrote to him Avoid circumlocutions: “despite the fact” (although); “owing to the fact” and “for the reason that” (as/because); “in addition to which” (and); (Source: Correct English by J. E. Metcalfe & C. Astle) National Mirror of May 16 circulated two infelicities: “…the amnesty deal has run into murky water (the murky waters)….” “Pre-schoolers (Pre-scholars, you mean?) handling hi-tech with kids’ gloves” Education Today: kid gloves DAILY SUN of May 15 contributed the next three infractions: “Delta swears-in electoral commission for LG polls” Is it the commission or its members that were sworn in (take note of the phrasal verb)? Also note that ‘swearing-in’ is correct as a noun. “Federation polls: Elected members walk out in protest” An example of half-literacy: ‘walk out’ demonstrates ‘protest,’ among other meanings. So, why the redundancy? “Back to the second subject
Diplomat calls for varsities, companies collaboration AISHA TITILAYO
igerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Umunna Orjiako has called for increased collaboration between universities and the industrial sector.
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He said such collaboration was necessary as a way of enriching academic programmes and learning opportunities for lecturers and students, as well encouraging investments in projects’ research. Orjiakor made the call while speaking on “Higher education experiment in
Nigeria: The Nsukka experience, 53 years after” at the 53rd Founder’s Day and 50th Graduation Anniversary ceremonies of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, recently. The diplomat said such partnership arrangement could help UNN and other universities in the country
L-R: Chairman of Governing Council, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Emeka Enejere; Best Graduating student class of 1963, Prof Johnson Asiegbu; Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo and a council member, Akin Taiwo at the 50th anniversary ceremony of the pioneer graduates of the institution, recently.
greatly now that universities and research institutions around the world are assessed and ranked by the quality and quantity of intellectual property, trademarks and industrial designs to their credits. Earlier in his speech, the Vice-Chancellor of the insitution, Professor Bartho Okolo said the founders’ day and 50th anniversary of the institution were put together to reflect on the achievements of the university over the years, especially as regards the production of well-rounded graduates and their immense contribution to the economy development globally. He added that the ocassion was also to celebrate the golden jubilee of the pioneer graduates of the university, 12 of whom were present at the event. Among them were the 93-year- old Elder Christopher Nzekwe Eneasato and the best graduating student of the set, Prof Johnson Asiegbu.
matter, white elephants projects dot the construction landscape of the nation.” (NATIONAL MIRROR Back Page, May 9) This way: white elephants dot…away with ‘projects’! “He described him as an examplary (exemplary) politician and enjoined others to emulate him.” “Inspection at (on) the premises of the owners will go a long way in decongesting the ports.” “Man arrested over wife’s death” The man was arrested for his wife’s death. “Recently, the chairman of Parents/Teachers Association of Federal Government College....” Education: parent-teacher association. “Remember the police are under the control of the Lord of Aso Rock who received no less than thirty million naira, unsolicited, from the Anambra-born moneybag (moneybags) when he contested the presidential election in 1999” “If the university authorities are interested in standards, what have they done about standards in (on) the main campuses? “I’ve seen too many progressives turn cold turkey in the end in spite of their honest efforts at the onset (outset, in this context) to change the system.”
Six students win scholarships in Lagos MOJEED ALABI
ix students with outstanding results in the 2013 May/ June West African Senior School Certificate Examinations were recently presented with awards and scholarships at the second edition of the annual Oshodi Brilliance Awards (OBA) presentation ceremony. The ceremony, which held at Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi, Lagos, was an evening of celebration of academic excellence with stakeholders in the education sector both within and outside Oshodi province, graced the occasion. The beneficiaries, who were drawn from the various senior grammar schools in Oshodi were provided with monetary awards for their outstanding academic performance and personal achieve-
ments. Announcing the recipients, the Education Secretary, Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Education Authority (LGEA), Mr. Adekoya Alausa, said the awards scheme seeks to stimulate and celebrate excellence, talent and enterprise among students in public secondary schools. “These students will go forward in life and make their marks,” Alausa said. The Overall Best Student in Oshodi, Mercy Isaac of Unity Senior High School, received a cash prize of N60, 000, UTME form and a scholarship worth N250, 000 from Eng. Adams Adebola. Other winners received N20, 000, UTME form and tutorial scholarship each. Speaking of behalf of other awardees, Isaac, who was full of joy, expressed appreciation to organizers of the scheme and promised to be good ambassadors of the association.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
W/Cup play-oﬀ: Mahama sees Black Stars train 30
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I have already said that we respect Ethiopia, as I expect that they respect us as well -Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi
Ethiopia will fall in Addis Ababa – Kalu EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
Go, conquer Ethiopia, Mark charges Eagles GEORGE OJI ABUJA
resident of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has charged the Super Eagles to leave nothing to chance in their World Cup play-off match against Ethiopia on Sunday. In a goodwill message to the senior national team’s officials and players, Mark told them that the nation desires the World Cup ticket more than ever. “This World Cup in Brazil is very important to Nigeria. We need to be at the World Cup. Whatever we can do to earn the ticket must be done without delay,” he stressed. The Senate President added that besides being a unifying factor, football and sports generally, have become a major tool for international politics and ranking of nations by the international community “If we must maintain our status as the giant of Africa and a major player in the global community, we must have a stamp of authority in sports especially soccer. Our officials and players must appreciate this fact and do the needful to make the nation proud.” He reminded the players to embrace team spirit and cohesiveness in handling their Ethiopian opponents, stressing that they must not underrate their opponents under any guise until the battle is fought and won. Mark
NFF president, Aminu Maigari (3rd left), Coach Stephen Keshi and Super Eagles’ captain, Vincent Enyeama, admiring bottles of water presented to the team by a sponsor after their training in Abuja yesterday evening.
…We promise good result, Keshi assures JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
oach Stephen Keshi has told Nigerians not to be afraid, assuring that Super Eagles would do the country proud when they face the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday. At a parley with newsmen at the team’s Bolting White Apartment Hotel camp in Abuja, yesterday, Keshi promised that the Eagles would put smiles on the faces of Nigerians by the result they would get at the end of the match. He restated that the African champions are neither worried about the condition of the Addis Ababa stadium pitch nor about the weather condition in Ethiopia, but rather, he is concentrating on how to manage and prepare the players mentally to win the game. “I am confident that we will get a good result out there because as for me, my focus now is about leading Nigeria to the biggest World Cup fiesta in 2014 in Brazil. We have to fight hard to get the ticket to Brazil. Although it won’t be easy; and my players clearly understand that. We have played them at the Nations
Cup and every game has different spirit, but for this match, we need high level concentration that will give us desired result,” Keshi said. On whether he expects hostility from the Ethiopians, the Big Boss said, “I am aware of that, and is part of us. We have experienced it as a player and as a coach. Right from the airport to hotel we have experienced different things happening. This is the African way of doing things, but what we are going is to focus and not to be derailed by their antics, but to be calm and play our game.” He added, “Any result that comes out of the encounter, provided it is not a loss, will be appreciated by the team’s technical crew. This is because the technical crew has plans to hand the 2014 World Cup ticket to President Goodluck Jonathan as a centenary gift.”
ormer Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that Super Eagles have nothing to worry as they battle Walya Antelopes on Sunday in Addis Ababa in a Brazil 2014 World Cup play-off match. In a statement Kalu exuded optimism, saying the Ethiopians will fall in Addis Ababa. “Eagles are unstoppable at this stage. They will electrocute their opponents because they remind me of the 1977 Mandela Cup winning Enugu Rangers. “In spite of the so-called high altitude, Rangers defeated their second round opponents, Electric Company of Ethiopia, 2-0 in Addis on a day Chimezie ‘Watch me’ Ngadi and ‘Block buster’ Aloy Atuegbu shone like a million stars to give the Flying Antelopes a 6-0 aggregate victory. Rangers went on to win the Cup without losing a match” Kalu said. The ex-governor said that’s how Eagles would win on Sunday. “They will hit Brazil without losing any game in the qualifiers.” He described the Ethiopians as trespassers.”We are talking soccer not long distance race. I shall continue to admire the heroics of marathoners, Abebe Bikila ,who won black Africa’s first Olympic gold at Roma ’60; Mamo Wolde, Miruts Yifter and of course, the generation next. The World Cup is all about football and boots, nothing to do with spikes.” Reminded that Ethiopia won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1962, a year before Nigeria’s debut, Kalu’s reaction was again swift. “That is history. Then they had Menguistuo Worku. Today, no member of their team could look Mikel Obi straight in the face without bowing. You know Victor Moses. They are scared of the young man. These are the men that will shock them in Addis.”
Maigari at Eagles’ full training
igeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, was the uannounced guest at the Super Eagles second training session in Abuja yesterday evening. Maigari was accompanied by his deputy, Chief Mike Okeke Umeh, Director Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme and Assistant Director, Media, Mr. Ademola Olajire. All the 23 invited players for the battle of Addis Ababa against the Walya Antelopes were fit and trained to the delight of the NFF top management. He addressed the players after the over twohour session and reminded them that leadership at the highest level in the country was expectant of victory for the Super Eagles in Ethiopia, so as to make the return leg in Calabar a mere formality. He praised the commitment and readiness of the players ahead of the encounter and said he had the words of President Goodluck Jonathan that the team would not be disappointed if they picked the World Cup ticket.
Sport Tit bits...
Dembele Mousa Dembele is a doubt for Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Croatia tomorrow. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder sprained an ankle in training ahead of the Group A clash in the Croatian city of Maksimir. Belgium is already without captain Vincent Kompany, who has a groin injury, while Maroaune Fellaini has a wrist problem but will play against Croatia after delaying surgery until December.
Nicklas Bendtner insists that he has never labelled himself the best player in the world. The Arsenal striker has been chastised for remarks made three years ago, but has come out fighting after being reintegrated into the squad after two full seasons out on loan at Sunderland and Juventus. Bendtner says he is ready to buckle down and relive his extraordinary childhood days.
Thursday, T Th hu urrsd sday ay, October O tober 10, 2013 Oc
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Rooney okays Three Lions attack E ngland forward, Wayne Rooney, has described d the team’s current attacking line-up as the e best he has seen in ten n years on the international stage. Manager Roy Hodgson has five forwards to choose from for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Montengro and Poland, and Rooney y is impressed by the options at the country’s disposal. “I think since I’ve e been in the squad this is probably the bestt group of forwards we’ve had in terms of ability, goal-scoring g
Ches Nwoy Egyp
wise,” the Manchester United striker said yesterday. “You have got Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge and then obviously myself while me and Jermain Defoe have probably been around the squad a bit longer and I think with Sturridge and Welbeck there’s a lot of energy.” “Daniel’s been in tremendous form this season or Liverpool. We have to see what the manager decides to do but no matter who he plays we’ll all be wanting England to do well and wanting each other to score.”
Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic, is enjoying life under Manager Jose Mourinho and is not fazed by his switch to right-back this season. Ivanovic spent much of last campaign at centre-back, but Mourinho has handed the Serb a wide position in the early days of his reign at Stamford Bridge. The 29-year-old is happy to display his versatility in a miserly backline which has conceded only two goals in the last five games.
Cardiff City owner, Vincent Tan, has angered Manager Malky Mackay by putting head of recruitment Iain Moody on gardening leave and replacing him with a friend of Tan’s son. Mackay will now have to work with 23-year-old Alisher Apsalyamov, who is from Kazakhstan. Apsalyamov has no football experience but had been helping out with jobs around the stadium. The EPL new comer has demonstrated readiness to fight for points in the season.
Hernandez Manchester United striker, Javier Hernandez, is determined to prove himself worthy of a regular spot with the Old Trafford outfit. Hernandez’s late return for preseason training after appearing in the FIFA Confederations Cup for Mexico means he has been one of the players who have struggled to make an impact during David Moyes’ first couple of months as United Manager.
Arsenal start delights Ozil N ew signing, Mesut Ozil, has been encouraged by the club’s start to the season and is hopeful the Gunners can maintain their form as they look to land silverware this season. Ozil, 24, is currently preparing for Germany’s last two 2014 World Cup qualifiers, with his nation looking to book their place at Brazil with a result against Ireland tomorrow. “The season is still very long and to talk about winning the league would be too early,” Ozil said yesterday. “The current table is nothing more than a snapshot. We will continue to
play every game with our full concentration and we will try to get better as a team. “If we can do that, we have a great chance to achieve a lot. I will give it my all.” Ozil, who came through Schalke’s famous Knappenschmiede youth academy, has now played in three of Europe’s biggest leagues, namely Germany, Spain and England. “For me the Premier League is the strongest league in the world,” he observed, stressing, “Every match is a challenge and the games are very intense.”
Bergkamp eyes Gunners return
rsenal legend, Dennis Bergkamp, has revealed that he would love to come back to the club one day as part of the coaching staff. Bergkamp, who is also a Dutch legend, spent 11 years with Arsenal before retiring in 2006 and he says the club still holds a special place in his heart. He is currently assistant coach at Ajax and has no plans to leave for at least a few years, but admits he would love to return to north London at some point in the future.
“At Arsenal it was a good click and I always enjoyed it as I never had a bad day there. It is part of my ambition to come back at some stage,” Bergkamp said yesterday. “I’ve spoken to or have heard about other former Arsenal colleagues who would also love to come back. “I’ve spoken to Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry would love to come back to Arsenal one day. Tony Adams is a big option as well.” Arsenal has not won a trophy since Bergkamp left the club but has made an impressive start to the new season.
Toure misses Balotelli, Tevez
anchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, says he longs to re-unite with former City mates Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez and will be glad to be drawn against AC Milan or Juventus in the knockout stage of the Champions League. The trio celebrated City’s first Premier League crown together, the club’s first league title in 44 years, but Balotelli has since left for AC Milan in January and Tevez for Juventus in the summer. “Mario is a brother to me. I really like him and I was very sad when he moved to
Milan,” the reigning African Player of the Year said. “But he had all of the English press on his back, the paparazzi were following him everywhere and never left him alone and always attacking him, no matter what he did. “It was difficult for him to control that situation: living alone in a big house, with his friends and lots of money, being famous.” The Ivorien international also longs for Tevez. “Carlos works hard and is a great professional and a friend,” Toure added, stressing, “I’m waiting for them. When I lost them, I was upset.”
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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
New League season kicks-off Nov 22
ss Classics: ye upsets pt’s Sarwat
pite not being rated, geria’s Nnamdi Nwoye used one of the upsets at ng Lagos International ssics after beating numseed, Egypt’s Sarwat in e matches played yester-
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ches were played till late ight, the foreigners who y international masters cked by the standard of their unrated Nigerian arts. was in superb form he Egyptian in the ennd he was rewarded with y at the end of the game. a’s Elijah Emojong admithe was surprised by the the Nigerian players. t to say that the standard me is really high in Nigejong admitted. a’s Bunmi Olape, howd on default to win his d match against Hakeem , which lasted over five
Mohammed Ezat leads o rounds of matches, Uganda’s Emojong while second world rated playunonso Oragwu, is third ing. Serbia’s Antic is 14 eria’s Bunmi Olape is 15. hile, the U-14 event will e today with players from d clubs set to take part in ory after the organisers the registration yesterday.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Governor’s Cup: Ndanusa tips Nigerian players Henry Atseye will be one of Nigeria’s hopes at the Governor’s Cup event
resident of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Sani Ndanusa, is confident that the country’s representatives will post an impressive performance at the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Tournament holding from October 13 to 27. More than 10 players are expected to feature in the International Tennis Federation (ITF)- sanctioned tournament and will be in close camping. “We are expecting an impressive per-
formance because of the level of preparation that we have put in,” Ndanusa said yesterday. “The most important thing is that we have given them the opportunity to excel so it is up to them to do so. The best two athletes have been offered sponsorship to circuits within Africa where they can earn points.” Players listed in the main draws include Sanni Adamu, Henry Atseye, Lawal Shehu, Clifford Enosoregbe, Nonso Madueke, Candy Idoko, Kehinde Alade, Emmanuel Idoko and Monday Igbinovia.
Pison Divine Royals posing before a game
Divine Royals target Olympic Cup
ison Divine Royals FC of Surulere, Lagos is aiming for victory in the maiden Mock Olympic Soccer Tournament, as the club competes with Starlets FC in the final of the competition organised by Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos chapter of Nigeria Soccer Coaches Association on Saturday. Proprietor/Team Manager of Divine Royals, Oscar Ezinwa Emmanuel, said his players would replicate the form that saw them also win Sanya Community League in 2011. Emmanuel believes his team is good enough to win the competition, which had a total of 19 clubs start the competition at the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) playground in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State. He, however, ruled out any form of overconfidence on the part of his players and promised that they will give their very best to overcome Starlets, who won the 2012 Sanya League when Divine Royals were not involved to defend the title they won the previous
year. “We did not participate in 2012 edition because of our involvement in Accra youth football invitational tournament, which they also won in Ghana,” the team manager said yesterday. “We respect the Starlets FC, especially as they are the youth team of Super Eagles midfielder, John Ogu. They are a good side but we are better. “In the quarter final, we defeated Young Planners FC 1-0, through a goal from our left full back, Opeyemi Omotunde and in the semi-final, we over powered the hard fighting Praise King FC 1-0 with a thunderous goal from our lanky striker, Ali Ojelowo. “Omotunde has been invited by ABS FC of Ilorin and Ojelowo was recently on trials with Prime FC of Oshogbo and I am sure both of them will again shine on Saturday against Starlets.” “Our target is to raise new generation of soccer gladiators to the world and we rely on the strength of God to achieve this.”
he League Management Company (LMC) yesterday announced November 22 and 23 as kick-off date for the 2013/14 Glo Premier League season, saying the season will come with innovations to deepen engagement with the fans and sponsors. In a statement issued by its member, Mike Enahoro, the LMC reiterated that the 2013 Glo Premier League season will be concluded on October 20 as earlier scheduled. While registration of players for the new season will commence immediately after the end of the 2013 season, January 2, 2014 has been set as close of registration date. According to the statement, discussions have been opened with
broadcast partners and club representatives on the scheduling of live games with a view to taking the games to a wider audience, including the use of terrestrial channels. “We will in the coming season have minimum of five to six matches on television every match week and towards achieving this, we have reached an understanding with our broadcast partners and clubs on the scheduling of live broadcasts,” it said. A further innovation to the Glo Premier League in the 2013/14 season will be special matches on Friday nights. Towards growing the fan base for the clubs, the LMC said it plans to hold double-header games in some cities. “The double-header concept is a feast of football that comes like a bonus to the cities where you have two clubs which will have their games played same day.”
Shangai Masters 2013…
Djokovic sweats to advance
orld number two, Novak Djokovic, yesterday recovered from an ankle injury to reach the third round of the Shanghai Masters. The Serb landed awkwardly after hitting a backhand in the second set of his match with Spain’s Marcel Granollers and called for a medical timeout. But after having his right ankle wrapped, Djokovic quickly hit his stride again and closed out a 6-2, 6-0 victory to set up a third round clash with Italy’s Fabio Fognini. Djokovic is looking to win his second tournament in a row after beating Rafael Nadal in the final of last week’s China Open in Beijing. Meanwhile, sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro had to dig deep after overcoming a fever to beat Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Del Potro, who said he started feeling sick on Tuesday night, lost the first set 6-3 after being broken in his opening service game and then called for the trainer ahead of the second. It looked bleak for the big Argentine at that stage but, relying on his big serve, he sent down 14 aces to power his way to victory. Seventh seed Roger Federer also had an easy passage through to the last 16 as he overcame Andreas Seppi in straight sets. “I think my game’s been coming back, which has been very important. Now it’s about staying positive and working hard every single day,” the all time Grand Slam winner said yesterday. “It has been a bit of a rocky patch the last couple of months but my expectations will always remain very high,” he added.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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3SC star, Ogaga, passes on IKENWA NNABUOGOR
T Black Stars players after training in Accra yesterday
W/Cup play-off: Mahama sees Black Stars train
hana President, John Mahama, yesterday made a surprise visit to the Black Stars training ground in Accra as the team prepared to host Egypt in a Brazil 2014 playoff first leg on October 15.
Mahama arrived midway into the session and was met by the Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankra and Ghana Football Association President, Kwesi Nyantakyi. He urged the players and the technical team to add Egypt to
Talent hunt: Rufai hails Milo Clinic
ormer Nigeria international, Peter Rufai, yesterday applauded the Nestle Milo Football Clinic, saying the programme has enabled him to raise quality future champions for Nigeria. Rufai, who spoke as the train for the 4th edition of the event moved around the country, said he had desired an initiative that that could encourage young Nigerian footballers while aiding their academic pursuit. “I have always imagined how I could train the kids in the basics and at the same time make them understand the meaning of discipline and proper education,” the country’s most celebrated goalkeeper said. “It was just a dream until I met Nestle Milo who understands what it takes to impart knowledge in children and that is exactly what we have experienced with this programme. “We have been on this for four years now and it has been with different groups. But after we discover and hand them over to the various states FAs, the young players are not forgotten as we keep track of them.” The first leg for 2013 was rounded off in Abuja with 32 boys and girls making the final list and handed to the Federal Capital Territory Sports Council. The train has since moved to Benin City and will be rounded off at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Saturday.
their recent list of victims in the qualifiers. “All the matches we have played have finally come down to one match and that match is the last hurdle we have to cross to be in Brazil,” Mahama said.
“So this match is more important than all the other matches we have played,” he added. The Black Stars will travel to Kumasi on Wednesday evening to continue preparations for the allimportant qualifier.
…Elephants don’t scare us –Cisse
enegal striker, Papiss Cisse, says that he and his teammates are confident ahead of the crucial World Cup Qualifier against Cote d’Ivoire this weekend. The Lions of Senegal are preparing for their clash against the Elephants in Paris and will arrive in Abidjan today ahead of their 2014 World Cup play-off match on Saturday. “Ivory Coast is just an opponent. We know what has happened last time and we must
keep the positives and leave the rest aside. It is a football match and the objective is to win it. So we are going to work to be able to achieve it,” Cisse said yesterday. “We are confident and the atmosphere is also good, so there are no worries. “We are not scared. We know that a game is ahead of us, a game which is going to be very tough. We will try to be present and focused from the start right to the end and do our best.”
he camp of 3SC of Ibadan was yesterday thrown into mourning following the news of the death of its player, Moses Ogaga, who reportedly died of typhoid, National Mirror can report. Competent camp sources revealed that the former Kano Pillars player was said to have lost the long battle with his illness and died as he was being taken to his hometown in Delta State. His remains have been deposited in the Adejare Hospital mortuary at the Yemetu area in Ibadan. Ogaga had been fighting a life battle to free himself from the illness as his club paid his treatment bills but he had not shown positive signs of recovery. However, the club management resolved to take him home in a bid to seek alternative treatment to the illness before he died. The five-time league champions currently fighting relegation war will announce in due course the burial arrangement for the departed player. Ogaga joined the long black list of Nigerian players that lost their lives in recent past. Last week, former Enyimba and Kwara United central defender, Sani Abacha, died in his Ilorin home after complaining of body pains the previous night.
Nigeria Cup fallout: Balogun revels in Heineken sponsorship AFOLABI GAMBARI
inner of the 2013 Heineken Nigeria Cup golf competition, Mufutau Balogun, had expressed delight after proving critics wrong on his way to emerging top of the prestigious tournament. The 68-year-old Balogun had carded a net score of 72 to win the tournament by two-shots, beating over 180 others including last year’s winner, Joachim Schotyssek.
“The Organising Committee Chairman, Ted Iwere, wanted me to play among the veterans on the account of my age but I defied his advice because of my determination to win the main event,” Balogun said yesterday. “I hope to return next year and I am urging other players to challenge me as I seek to maintain the tempo,” he added. Heineken has partnered with Ikoyi Club 1938 (Golf Section) since 2007 and the brand has awarded many prizes to
winners and participants within the period. Meanwhile, Iwere has commended the partnership which described as enriching. “Nigerian Breweries Plc, through Heineken, has been a major reason why this annual event has risen to what it is today,” the organising committee boss said at the tournament’s Gala Night in Lagos on October 6 while handing the Outstanding Corporate Award to the Brand Manager Heineken, Mrs. Kehinde Kadiri.
L-R: Nigeria Cup 2013 Committee Chairman, Mr. Ted Iwere; Captain of Ikoyi Club Golf section, Babalakin; Senate President, David Mark and the Managing Director UBA Plc, Mr. Philips Oduoza, during the ceremonial tee off last weekend.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Business & Finance The rationale behind the reduction in the cost of business registration is in line with the ministry’s investment climate reform programme aimed at strategically repositioning Nigeria as the preferred destination for both local and foreign investments. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga
When we had cash flow problems, I shouted about it, when we had a problem that we might not be able to pay personnel due to amendments in the budget, I shouted about it, when we had oil theft, I also shouted about it. I have always put the issues on the economy forward. I have always done so and I am encouraged to do so. MINISTER OF FINANCE, DR. NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA
Nigeria’s active telephone subscriptions slide by 6.7% KUNLE A ZEEZ
ctive telephone lines on telecoms networks in the country fell from over 120 million to 114.7 million, representing a record 5.6 million lines at the end of July, 2013. In the meantime, this has been partly attributed to the uptake of mobile number portability, which may have been taking tolls on telephone subscriber base in Nigeria. According to official government data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission, more than 5.6 million active telephone lines went redundant in the month of July alone. The data released by the telecoms umpire yesterday showed that from about 120.3 million active telephone lines as at the end of June, active phone lines fell to 114.7 million at the end of July. The sharp decline represents a 6.7 per cent reduction in active telephone lines on all the telecoms networks in the country. These include the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators, the Code Division Multiple Access operators as well as the fixed line networks. But industry analysts say the decline may be as a result of the
uptake in mobile number portability service. “The sharp decline in active telecoms subscriber base may not be unconnected with the activities around mobile number portability where people with multiple Lines are dropping some of their telephone lines and then concentrate on using just only one line, which they can easily port from one network to another,” an NCC source told National Mirror in Abuja yesterday. A telecoms subscriber and
industry analyst, Mr. Femi Adesanya, who said he had dropped two of his three lines on account of his using one line to port from network to another, also said that “The GSM lines are being dropped by some subscribers on account of their not being used may have contributed to the the increase in the number of inactive telephone lines.” Meanwhile, the active subscriber base decline, affected only the subscriber base of GSM operators such as MTN, Globa-
com, Airtel and Etisalat, which are the operators offering porting services in the country currently. The NCC had, at the launch of the MNP on April 22 this year, disclosed that the porting service will start with the GSM companies and subsequently extended to CDM operators. This means operators such as Visafone, Starcomms, MultiLinks and the moribund Zoom Mobile are currently excluded from providing MNP.
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)
L-R: HRH Hakimin Bamawa, Alhaji Madaeukin Arewa Zazzau; Plant Manager, Kaduna Plant, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, NBC; Mr. Clement Adebayo; Zonal Director, Kaduna State Ministry of Education Authority, Mrs. Felicia Leo, and Vice Chairman, Kaduna South Local Government Council, Hon Ishaya Anfani at the commissioning of renovated/equipped block of classrooms and sanitary facility for Demonstration Primary School, Kakuri, Kaduna State sponsored by the NBC, yesterday.
FG targets $3billion from non-oil export OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
he Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) yesterday said it is working towards increasing the annual non oil export revenue to three billion dollars Acting Executive Director
ADVERT HOTLINES: For advert bookings and information, please contact the following:
LAGOS: 01-8446073, 08037272933 08094331171, 08023133084, ABUJA: 08033020395, 08036321014 08029002500
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)
(NEPC), Mr. Aliyu Lawal stated this in Abuja while briefing the newsmen on the just concluded solo-exhibition of made-in-Nigeria manufactured products in Lome Togo. Lawal, who put the value of the non oil export for the 2012 at $2.56billion, expressed concern over the loss of revenue in the sub sector through the informal export. He also put the total value of non oil exports to the West African Region at $312.5million. According to him efforts are on the pipeline to ensure the
value of non export is increased by 20 percent before the rap up of the ongoing year. Lawal explained that the Lome exhibition which featured 67 Nigeria manufacturing companies was organised to boost the non oil export and showcase the Nigerian products in West Africa. He said,``Prior to the Solo –Exhibition in Lome, the current level of export was well below Nigeria’s potential, within the West Africa Sub-Region. ``For instance, in 2012 Nigeria’s
NNPC restores vandalized BeninWarri, Kaduna-Jos pipelines
non oil export to the West African Region stood at $313,478 million with export to Ghana taking the lion share of $143,017, representing about 46 percent of the total exports within the region. ``In 2012, Nigeria’s export to Togo was about $40,579 million (formal) making it the third largest importer of Nigerian non oil export within the region. According to him the solo- exhibition is one of the strategies employed by the NEPC to promote the non-oil export from Nigeria.
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
CTO 2013: Nigeria trails behind Seeking Ghana, Kenya, accelerated others on digital broadband to drive switch-over innovations
Business & Finance
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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NNPC restores vandalized Benin-Warri, Kaduna-Jos pipelines CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has said the vandalized Benin-Warri and Kaduna-Jos pipelines have been repaired and pumping of petroleum products have resumed. The Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Tumini E. Green made this known on Tuesday in a press statement. Green condemned the persistent attack on PPMC pipelines stressing that pipeline vandalism has cost the Corporation several billions of naira that would have impacted positively on the national economy. “As soon as we got wind of attacks on our Benin-Warri pipe-
lines and Kaduna-Jos pipelines, we mobilized to the areas affected and as we speak the lines have been repaired and we have resumed pumping of petroleum products through those pipelines. Unfortunately, these vandals attacked our personnel who were on hand to effect repairs on the vandalized pipelines,” Green disclosed. She informed that even though two lives were lost in the Kadunajos incident no life was lost in the Benin-Warri incident adding that the two injured and are responding to treatment. The NNPC spokesperson called on the state government, local government, community leaders, relevant stakeholders and the public to join hands in protecting the PPMC pipelines and other infrastructure in order for the Federal Government to
generate sufficient revenue from petroleum products that would be used in providing infrastructural facilities and to curtail environmental degradation. According to NNPC, Nigeria lost about N163 billion in the space of three years to pipeline vandalism. The Executive Director, NNPC and Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, explained that this loss would have been able to take care of the budget of two states in the country. Komolafe, during the business clinic of the petroleum downstream group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), stressed that the situation has worsened geometrically and however expressed dismay at the unscrupulous act.
L-R: Director, Budget Office, Mrs. Uju Gembi; Country Director, Action Aid, Dr Hussaini Abdu and Representative of the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Alh Shettima Barma, during the launch of Tax Justice Campaign in Abuja recently.
Job loss imminent over suspension of Dana Air operations by NCAA OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ndications emerged yesterday that the Nigerian aviation industry may record another round of crisis over the abrupt suspension of operations of Dana Air on Sunday by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. Our correspondent gathered that the management of the airline may sack its entire existing workforce if the Federal Government does not review its suspension of operations in the next few weeks. Already, the management had called a meeting of the staff to intimate the workers that they would not be paid salaries for the period the airline’s operations is suspended by the Government. Dana Air currently has over 500 staff in its payroll apart
from its auxiliary workers. The airline is the third biggest airline in Nigeria with five aircraft in its fleet after Arik Air and Aero Airlines. Besides, our correspondent gathered that as at yesterday, a meeting was still ongoing between the Ministry of Aviation, NCAA and management team of the airline in Abuja. National Mirror learnt that the purpose of the meeting was to carryout effective review of the decision by the authority. It would be recalled that NCAA had on Sunday night announced the suspension of operations of the airline in order for it to conduct operational and mechanical audits on the airline, following an air return it had on its Port Harcourt-Lagos route yesterday, which he said has raised some safety concerns over its
operations. The spokesman for the agency, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke, had said the aircraft was about 30 miles out of Port Harcourt Airport when I it developed faults and had to make an air return, adding that the circumstances surrounding the air return appears to be “grievous” and calls for further investigations by the regulatory authority. The latest suspension of operations of Dana was the third time the Federal Government would be wielding the big stick on the airline. NCAA had on June 4, 2012 immediately suspended the operations of the airline after the ill-fated plane crash at IjuIshaga area of Lagos killing 153 souls onboard. Besides, two months after the suspension was lifted, March to be precise, the NCAA also used the big hammer on the airline, but suspending its operations. The license was however restored to it few weeks later.
“Our records shows that the nation has lost a total of about N163 billion from crude oil and petroleum products pipeline losses from 2009-2012 alone not adding associated costs. This must not be allowed to continue. We cannot allow few bad people destroy what is collectively ours,” he said. He added that the effect of pipeline vandalism is in three fold, which include economic sabotage, environmental degradation and destruction
of national asset (pipeline). He pointed out that despite its efforts at deterring the nefarious activities of vandals on the pipelines, the situation has not abated over the years, but said it had led to massive crude oil theft, disruption in pumping operations and environmental degradation, which consequently has constituted a huge drain on the running of its operations and indeed of the nation.
Association warns against ban on cocoa export MESHACK IDEHEN
he National President of Cocoa Association of Nigeria, CAN, Mr. Soyinka Riman, said calls by some individuals and groups for placing ban on export of cocoa beans would create distortions in the entire value chain and send wrong signals to the local and global cocoa economy. Riman said the move would affect huge investments and the sector’s contribution to the national economy and should not be considered by the Federal Government. Speaking with journalists’ yesterday, he said that apart from the huge investment of the industry and the sector’s contribution being threatened, over 5 million families would also be affected, if this call on the ban of export of cocoa is implemented. “We are calling on the synergy with the federal government
in order to develop the cocoa industry and we are also looking at areas of disagreement, which we must deal with immediately. This is the overall view of what we tend to achieve. In this meeting, we have stakeholders who are highlighting issues that may affect over 5 million families involved in both cocoa and cashew in the country,” he said. “Cocoa is the next foreign exchange earner for this country, there must be a sustainable growth in this sector which must also be improved upon. Government at all levels should promote and encourage local consumption and utilisation of cocoa and cashew products,” he added. He explained that the major challenge facing the cocoa industry is the issue of production, saying that Nigeria still produces about 450 kilogrammes which is seven bags of cocoa where smaller countries have gone up to 1.5 to 1.7 metric tonnes producing cocoa in the same hectare.
Telecoms operator advocates effective Credit System for industry growth KUNLE AZEEZ
ne of Nigeria’s telecoms operator, Airtel, has advocated effective credit management system as a critical factor for the growth of stakeholders in the telecommunications industry. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya made the submission in a paper, which he presented at the Mandatory Credit Management Specialist Conference of the Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria (ICA) held in Lagos. According to Ogunsanya, organisations within the ICT sector must put in place efficient credit risk management systems in order to avoid collapsed or severe financial problems. He added that poor credit management system could lead to reduced liquidity, increased costs of collections and credits, increased finance costs through extra borrowings and declined reputation
of the company arising from failure to meet its obligations to its creditors, among other problems. The Airtel boss also noted that effectively managing credit and extending same to customers operating in the Telecommunications industry can help attract many more customers inclusive of those who normally would not be able to afford the products. According to him, “Due to the competitive environment coupled with the growing demand for credit in the Nigerian market, creating credit lines for customers is necessary as only very few businesses can afford to operate without extending a form of credit to their customers. “Extension of credit to customers is a must do as it ensures that the organisation’s primary objective of maximising shareholders value is achieved. “Notwithstanding the advantages, credits must be carefully managed to ensure that the business does not suffer from unnecessary cash flow problems arising from these credit lines.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Business & Finance
Thursday, October 10, 2013
FG tasks Brazil on PPP CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo has urged Brazilians to take advantage of the Public Private Partnership ,PPP, policy and synergise with Nigeria’s quest to ensure all her nationals are connected to electricity. The Minister while receiving the Brazilian delegation led by Vice-Minister of Development, Industry and International Trade, Ricardo Shaefer, said that the Federal Government is prepared to revamp the ailing power sector with the assistance from around the world. ‘’Brazil has not penetrated enough in our on-going sales of power assets,’’ “we are prepared to link you with Nigerian partners, so that we can benefit from your expertise in generation, distribution, technology access and capacity building”. The Minister said that Brazil has done well in many aspects of elec-
tricity especially in big hydro, biomass, solar, wind and coal to power; Nigeria intends to learn from the experience of Brazil, as the country has already leap frog in the attainment of development goals. On Rural Electrification, Prof. Nebo said, the leadership shown by Brazil to other countries in the so-called Third World has provided the ray of hope that soon Nigeria will outcome her developmental challenges. He also spoke about the challenges Nigeria is facing in addressing the metering gap, this he said has become a problem against the backdrop of the fact that over 50% of electricity consumers have no meters. In a privatized electricity market, would-be investors will be scared as this may translate to their inability to recoup from their investment. Permanent Secretary, Power, Amb. (Dr.) Godknows Igali, in his contribution said that opportunities in the power sector is in mega dimension, just as he said
that the nation target for moving for over 4,000 mega watts to 40,000 in the next seven years would required double efforts from Nigeria’s friends abroad. There are opportunities in the planned expansion of generation capacity,this he said will attract specialized companies interested in cables, switches, transformers are all welcome, describing the market as huge. “We are interested in Brazil, we want to share from the knowledge and experience of Brazil, in renewable, the reform process and training of our young engineers”. Earlier, the Brazilian delegation which comprise of Vice-Minister, Ricardo Shaefer, Secretary of Commerce and Services, Humberto Ribeiro, Ambassador Joa Andra Lima and top Business Executives, through its spoke person Ricardo Shaefer had commended the Nigeria Government’s commitment to revitalization of the power sector.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
MainOne joins initiative to reduce cost of internet access KUNLE A ZEEZ
ainOne, West Africa’s leading telecoms services company, has joined a diverse group of private and public sector players to launch the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a coalition to lead policy and regulatory reform and spur action to drive down artificially high internet prices in developing countries. By advocating for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets, MainOne and other members of A4AI aims to help internet access prices fall to below 5 per cent of monthly income worldwide, a target set by the United Nations Broadband Commission. A4AI was unveiled in Abuja this week at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation’s Annual Forum in Abuja which was witnessed by commu-
Made-in-Nigeria phone to be introduced- PAPDAN
he Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria, PAPDAN, yesterday said that plans were underway to launch two new made-in-Nigeria mobile phone brands before December. According to the president of PAPDAN Mr Godfrey Nwosu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the proposed phones, iQ and MaxTel, resulted from a partnership involving 20 Nigerian investors. “The two new phone brands would be called iQ and MaxTel,” he said. Nwosu said that PAPDAN had identified a growing appetite for cutting-edge technolo-
L- R: President, Junior Chambers International, Ikeja Chapter, Mr. Jumobi Ogunbodede; one of beneficiaries, Mrs. Risikat Oyeyebi, the project coordinator, Mrs. Adepeju Omololu and Vice President, Monisola Martins, during the chapter’s donation of mosquito nets to fight malaria at the Area F Police Station, Ikeja Lagos yesterday.
FG inaugurates 15-man board of NGSA CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
ederal Government yesterday inaugurated fifteen member board of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) as part of efforts to fully harness the potentials of the minerals and metals sector of the economy. The minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. MusaMohammed Sada, who inaugurated the board in Abuja, charged members to work in synergy with the management of the NGSA toward achieving the overall goals of minerals and metal sector. “I urge you to establish a clear and healthy relationship with the agency based on the extant rules and regulation governing such relationship. The task before the board is enormous, because the agency re-
quires the input of the members of the board through their varied knowledge and experiences in diverse fields towards achieving the overall goals set for the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency in particular and the minerals and metal sector at large” he said. The board members comprised Barrister Eze Duru Iheoma (SAN) as chairman and Engr. Sani Ndanusa as Secretary, Dr. Paul Mirchaulum, Prince Walter Ibibia, Barr. Albert Edoga, and Mr. Atolagbe Animasahun. There are also one representative each from Miniseries of> Mines and Steel development, Ptetroleum Resources, science and Technology, National Planning Commission, and Water Resources. Each representative of were also drawn from the office of the Surveyor General of the Federal, and Nigerian Geological Survey
Agency while the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency of the agency is also a member of the board. Speaking shortly after the inauguration, the chairman of the of the board, Barrister Eze Duru Iheoma(SAN) said the member will commit themselves to ensuring the nation’s minerals and metal sector is moved to greater heights. Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Linus Awute, stated that the board is responsible for setting out the agency’s economic, financial, operational and administrative programmes. He however, cautioned the newly inaugurated board to endeavour to carry out its assignments in line with the overall government’s policy directives as provided by the minister of mines and steel development.
nications ministers, policy makers and industry leaders from around the globe. Commenting on the initiative, Chief Executive of MainOne, Ms. Funke Opeke said, “Driving down artificially high internet prices will help to connect the high percentage of Nigerians especially the youths who are presently not connected to the internet and make universal access to internet a reality.” Opeke added that MainOne is supporting A4AI because the coalition’s objectives are in tandem with MainOne’s vision of delivering accessible and affordable internet to people across its various markets. A4AI is made up of over 30 members from across boundaries of geography, industry, and organisation type and include governments, companies, and civil society organisations from both developed and developing countries.
gies among telecoms consumers. “The two Nigerian brands would cater to three market segments, namely, feature, medium and smart phone segments,’’ he said. Nwosu said the phones would offer more choices to the local consumers. The PAPDAN official also said that membership of the association currently stood at 3,000. “Our members occupy a crucial place in the retail end of the technology market. “As they sell in excess of 2 million units of phones and allied devices in Nigeria and several economies across West Africa monthly,” Nwosu said.
Ecobank donates gifts to communities, schools JOHNSON OKANLAWON
cobank has engaged in various forms of community services as part of activities to mark maiden Ecobank Day celebrated simultaneously in 34 African countries where the bank has presence. The schools that benefited from the bank’s gesture included Cheribium and Seraphim Primary School, Ikorodu Lagos, Government Secondary School, Kubwa Abuja (FCT) and Eastern Academy, Onitsha, Anambra State. A statement from the bank yesterday said explained that in Nigeria the activities include taking part in the renovation/construction of classroom blocks in select schools across the country, donation of educational materials and assisting with cleaning immediate environment of the select schools and communities. The statement quoted the
bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Jibril Aku, as saying that the community-inspired day is part of the bank’s initiative which had set aside October 5 of every year for staff across the group to converge on select locations and devote the whole day to community-related services. He stressed that the key objective of day is to inspire, motivate and equip members of the communities where the bank operates. “Ecobank Day is our corporate activity day to contribute to the community where we live and work. The objectives behind it are community-inspired. From this year onwards, it would be celebrated annually on October 5,” he said. Aku noted that the choice of the theme, “Education for Young People in Africa” was in line with the bank’s corporate philosophy which identifies improved education of young people as key to a successful future for Africa.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
CTO 2013: Seeking accelerated broadband to drive innovations The imperatives of leveraging widespread broadband access potential to drive innovation in a nation’s economy was at the front burner of discussion at this year’s Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation, CTO, Forum hosted by Nigeria, reports KUNLE AZEEZ.
igeria’s Information and Communication Technology landscape has been witnessing tremendous growth in the past decade following the liberalisation of the industry in 2001. In the area of telephony access, the country has grown in leaps and bounds with over 120 million active telephone lines at the end of June 2013, though similar experience has not been recorded in the area of internet access. This parity in voice-data access ostensibly informed the decision by the Federal Government to develop a National Broadband Plan which is awaiting clear modality for implementation, with a view to deepening access to broadband internet access. According to available statistics, though telecoms sector in Nigeria currently contributes about 8.5 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product with just six per cent broadband penetration, various statistics have shown that increasing broadband access would accelerate economic development, as evident in most developed and emerging markets where there is ubiquitous broadband access. Meanwhile, Nigeria has chosen to host the 11th Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation Forum 2013 with a view to gaining more insights from experts both in Nigeria and from other commonwealth Africa nations on how Nigeria can go about deploying its broadband strategy. Organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and the Nigerian Communications Commission on behalf of the Federal Government, the event which fully started on Monday, this week and is billed to end tomorrow (Friday) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja with the theme ‘Innovation Through Broadband’ offered critical updates ad insights into infrastructure, security and application challenges. While declaring the event open, Vice President Namadi Sambo, assured of the government’s ongoing plans to extend internet broadband connectivity to more Nigerians in the next five years, saying the decision to host this year’s edition of CTO was part of the plan to achieve the target According to Sambo, Nigerian government has recognised the development impact of having access to broadband, stressing that “The future will be more exciting with broadband and on our own part, we are working towards ensuring that we drive policies and regulations that can propel fast-speed internet access to all.” According to the Secretary General of CTO, Prof. Tim Unwin, the event, which,
NIGERIA HAS TO MOVE FROM RHETORIC TO ACTIONS IN ITS BROADBAND PLAN BECAUSE IT IS EASY TO COME UP WITH A FANTASTIC BROADBAND PLAN, BUT MAKING IT HAPPEN THROUGH
EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION IS KEY WITH REGARDS TO ACCESS TO AFFORDABILITY TO ALL featured a multi-stakeholders collaboration for the deployment of broadband in Nigeria, would help CTO in ensuring that all commonwealth countries have national broadband strategy and policy and that they implement the plan very fast and begin to read economic benefits inherent in it. Unwin said it was important for Nigeria to build its own solutions on its broadband, stressing that CTO was willing to assist Nigeria in this regards. He said with the list of high-profile experts attending the telecoms conference, “Nigeria should also be able to learn from them and while Nigeria is also telling its own story on how it is going about broadband deployment in the country.” He stressed that broadband opens up so many opportunity in every facet of human life, stating that in education, medicine, and other sectors of the economy, broadband services have become very central. Urging Nigeria on the need for thorough implementation of its National Broadband Development Plan, the CTO Chairman, said, “Nigeria has to move from rhetoric to actions in its broadband plan because it is easy to come up with a fantastic broadband plan, but making it happen through effective implementation is key with regards to access to affordability to all.” However, while pointing out that implementing broadband effectively could be challenging, Unwin said, “You can innovate through broadband and having robust broadband should give us the opportunity to develop African contents.” At the heart of deliberations at the forum was how to make high-speed access to the Internet more pervasive, affordable and safe to the citizens of Nigeria and other Commonwealth nations, who, study say,
make up close to 30 per cent of the World’s population. Speaking in one of the many sessions at the forum, Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, noted that global Internet penetration rates have continued to increase and almost 40 per cent of the world’s population are now online. “However, the numbers of people connected to the Internet are fewer in developing countries than in more industrialised ones,” she said. Consequently, one of the priority areas of the forum focused on assessing the different stages of broadband development and discovering best practice strategies for moving forward. The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr, Eugene Juwah, said Nigeria has identified the bright skyline of broadband, shinning upon Nigeria’s telecoms revolution of eleven years which, he said, had witnessed huge deployments and take-up of voice-based services to push its teledensity above 80 per cent at July 2013, while data and huge bandwidth driven applications were still a challenge. He explained that Nigeria was in full realisation of the impact of broadband to the overall development of the economy n terms of stimulation of business activities, providing supports for other sectors of the economy, providing better living and governance and improving relations between Nigerian and other nations, especially with Commonwealth countries. Juwah informed the forum that government on the impressive level of endorsement which the nation’s broadband plan had received, saying at the highest level in Nigeria, has adopted broadband as a platform to leverage and improve on the gains
already made n the telecoms sector. “This is why President Goodluck Jonathan recently approved the National Broadband Development Plan 2018 report, produced by a presidential broadband committee,” he said, noting that the report provided a realistic 80 per cent penetration in its roadmap for broadband development in Nigeria. Also, at the policy level, Juwah said the plan has received unflinching support in articulation and speedy implementation while at the regulatory level, “This concept tallies with our foundation and structure for fair ad competitive broadband development, pervasive deployment for national spread, affordable applications, and deepening of skill sets, as well as local content creation among the populace.” In the same vein, the NCC boss said at the international level, the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, has also lent its support, stressing that the investor community has been sensitised and invited to take advantage of the potentials that abound with the broadband phenomenon in Nigeria. In his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Michael Ikpoki, has called on the Nigerian telecoms regulator to ensure that regulations being put in place to drive broadband did not undermine innovation. Meanwhile, Nigeria has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), alongside other countries such as United States, United Kingdom and others. The initiative is aimed at to looking for strategy to bring down the cost of internet access, which some experts at the forum, said should be a fundamental human rights of the citizens (to have access to broadband internet). From all assessments, delegates at the forum maintained that the quality of resource persons and experts as well as deliberations at the forum would add a major fillip to Nigeria’s quest to implement its broadband plan to make access to affordable fast –speed internet to Nigerians irrespective f their location, while also helping in achieving broadband aspirations of other commonwealth nations, whose representatives were in full attendance at the forum.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Nigeria’s USPF, model for African telecoms regulators, says NCC KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Nigerian Communications Commission has said that the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, has become a model for African telecoms regulators. Speaking on the sideline of the 2013 Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisations (CTO) Forum being hosted by the Federal Government in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said other African countries are currently under-studying Nigeria’s USPF to expand telecoms access. USPF was conceived in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 as a mechanism for providing Information and Communications Technologies access to unserved and underserved communities, in an attempt to bridge digital divide among communities in the country. Out of the two and half per
cent levy on income which telecommunications operators pay to the NCC as Annual Operating Levy, 40 per cent go into USPF. According to Juwah, the Fund is now being used to extend ICT and, by extension, broadband access to rural areas in the country. He reckoned that while access to ICT in the cities was appreciable in Nigeria, especially in the area of voice and data services, there was a huge access gap in the rural Nigeria. “As a country, we have the capability to subsidise deployment of ICT access in the rural areas and this is an incentive to potential investors that want to play in this area. The Funding will go through the telecoms operators, because, on their part a lot of money is still required for initial roll-out,” he said. National Mirror recalled that in July, 2013, USPF management had set a target of 5, 000 base stations in rural areas as part of
measures to complement expansion of broadband access to the rural communities. This is the chief target USPF hopes to achieve in line with its Strategic Management Plan, SMP, 2013- 2017, where 1, 000 base stations are to be built every year, beginning from this year over a period of five years. Other key targets by 2017, according to USPF, include the plan to support the deployment of 15, 000 kilometers of fibre optic cables laying with an average of 3, 000km every year and the deployment of Internet Point of Presence, PoPs, in 25 clusters in five years with an average of five per year under the Fund’s Rural Broadband Internet, RUBI, scheme. The USPF Secretary, Mr. Abdullahi Maikano, said USPF had also adopted a new operating model. For the key area of implementation of the SMP, which include connectivity and access to ensure sustainability of the rural access.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
DELL introduces new line of tablets
loabl Information Technology firm, Dell, has taken a bold step in unveiling a new family of tablets and new laptops, including a 2-in-1 Ultrabook. The Dell Venue line of tablets is comprised of four new ultrathin models designed to address the changing way people live and work today. Dell’s “damned sexy” tablets, as described by leading Enderle Group analyst, Rob Enderle, deliver leading performance and quality, backed by Intel processing technology. With compact designs that make it easy to stay connected on the go, the Dell Venue tablets have an exquisite fit and finish. In addition to the versatile new Dell Venue tablets, Dell is introducing new XPS laptops, each with breakthrough displays for a phenomenal viewing
MTN boosts SMEs with Smart Numbers
L-R: Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group, Mr Austin Okere; President and Chief Eecutive Officer, Wincor Nixdorf, Mr Eckard Heidloff and Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, during Eckard’s visit to Nigeria recently.
Experts warn against delayed IPV6 compliance KUNLE A ZEEZ
xperts in the Information and Communication Technology industry have warned that delay in the adoption of Internet Protocol Version 6 portends grave cyber security dangers to countries not yet taking IPV6. IPV6 is the new internet protocol-based standard for all ICT equipments to comply and designed designed with improved security features. Every new ICT equipment is expected to be based on this new standard. The existing standard is IPV4. While giving the warning in Abuja, the Training Manager Afrinic Limited, Mr. Mukom Akong Tamon, said since the new internet protocol is designed with more security features, not adopting the IPV6 could expose non-compliant
experience with vibrant, crisp images in any available screen size. The new XPS 11, the thinnest, most compact 2-in-1 in the world, also features the first Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display on an 11.6-inch 2-in-1. The XPS 15 multimedia powerhouse boasts a stunningly thin design, and offers as an option the first 15.6-inch Quad HD+ (3200 x 1800) display in the world, which is the highest resolution available on a laptop of that size. Dell is also refreshing its award-winning XPS 13 Ultrabook with faster processors, touch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display and improved battery life. With these three laptops, Dell is leading the industry with the highest resolution displays possible.
countries to more cyber threats when using the internet. He, however, identified implementation of the new internet protocol remains a major challenges as well as shortage of skills. According to him, “Both in the private and public sectors, there are currently fewer people who are fully in tune with IPV6. People are not yet keying into it and what this means is that we stand the risk of increased cyber security if we do not comply with IPV6.” He stressed that need for governments, especially in Africa, to enforce IPV6 compliance, stressing that effective regulation and monitoring by the government was critical to ensure IPV6 compliance. “You can imagine when the government makes it a policy that for any company to work with it, such a company must en-
sure compliance with IPV6.” He cautioned that there was a large number of ICT equipments today that are still based on IPV6, saying that lest Nigeria and other African countries are turned into a dumping ground for IPV4 equipments, “African countries must begin to ensure compliance themselves so that any attempt by the Western World to dump more of IPV6 equipments into our continent can be resisted.” Speaking in the same vein, the Director General, Zambia Information and Communication Authority, Ms Margaret ChalweMudenda, said the missing link in IPV6 compliance lies in policy gap. According to her, “Most country have not adopted a deliberate policy to drive IPV6 adoption. All the data we have now are sitting on IPV4 platforms. We cannot have a total switch-over but we can have it gradually.”
igeria’s largest telecoms operator, MTN, has launched a new service that provides businesses with easy-to-remember phone numbers made up of digits and alphabets that uniquely identify the name of the organisation, business or product. Tagged ‘MTN Smart Numbers’ the telecom operator said the service was introduced in a bid to help businesses achieve differentiation and competitive advantage. In a statement yesterday, MTN said with this development, organisations in Nigeria can now enhance their visibility in the marketplace without breaking the bank. “This innovative service allows SMEs and large corporates to make their phone numbers easy to recall thus increasing their business’ reachability among customers and prospects, which in turn
can translate to increased business opportunity,” the statement said. Speaking in the statement, Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, MTN, Mr. Babatunde Osho, stated that the service was set to provide SMEs and large corporate organisations with a cost effective means to market and create awareness for their businesses, products and services, helping them stand out from the crowd with an easily recognizable contact number. This service underpins the focus of MTN Business to deliver cutting-edge technology solutions that will make Nigerian businesses more productive, and ultimately more profitable. What makes MTN Smart Number even more compelling is the fact that organisations can link all their existing phone lines, fixed or mobile, to the MTN Smart Number.
Etisalat fêtes distribution partners
igeria’s fourth largest telecoms operator in subscriber base, Etisalat recently hosted its top distribution partners to a conference organised to review the performance and activities carried out in the last three quarters of 2013 as well as agree on plans and strategies for the final quarter of the year. The first edition of the conference was held in February 2013 thus making this the first time Etisalat will be hosting the conference twice in a year. In a statement, the Telecoms operator said the decision was informed by the need to re-ignite the passion of its dealer partners, map-out the road to market and officially introduce the 67 partners to the new Chief Commercial Officer of Etisalat, Mr. Matthew Willsher.
Speaking at the event, Willsher, who also doubles as the acting Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, expressed his delight at being a part of the conference as it gave him the opportunity to meet and hear the views of the different distribution partners while sharing the vision of the company moving forward. I am happy to have met with these crucial members of our company and to have talked to them about all the successes we have achieved. “We have done remarkably well over the last four years, going on five years, and we believe Etisalat still has a lot of potentials. We realise that the partnership with all of our channel and service partners will go a long way in maximising these potentials”, he said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Switchover to digital TV platform, has been described as the game changer by marketing communication experts. However, revelations at a recent Digital Dialogue in Dubai show that Nigeria is trailing behind some African countries, writes ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Brands & Marketing
Nigeria trails behind Ghana, Kenya, others on digital switch-over
igital switchover, digital migration are some of the phrases stakeholders within the marketing communication and information technology have constantly used, and they expect a total compliance to the new language of these millennium as a result of changing behaviours of consumers, of which their media consumption pattern remains paramount to brand builders. While TV remains a key driver of brands share of mind in the competitive market, offering better value for advertiser’s money have over the years saw IT experts improve the quality of TV output using various technological platform as the world evolve. From analogue to digital, traditional to new media, the debate and efforts to migrate from one platform to the other have continued to spark debate among countries and governments. However, to ensure a digital switch over in the broadcast industry across the world, recent conference on Digital Dialogue in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, IT experts have appraised readiness of various countries to meet the June 17, 2015 deadline on digital switch-over set by the International Telecommunication Union, ITU. From submissions of various country representatives on the progress made, Nigeria seems to be far behind Ghana, Kenya and host of other African countries in the race for the digital switchover. At the dialogue, IT experts concluded that “if an engagement process that appreciates the essence of time is not put in place; some countries might be caught napping.” Though obvious of its slow pace, Nigeria’s government officials have continued to calm nerves that all hands are on deck to meet the deadline. Just as experts express worry in a similar conference in Johannesburg, Lagos and Accra last year on unpreparedness of some countries in meeting the June 17, 2015, digital migration deadline, and the story was not different penultimate week in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Experts demand urgency and clearheaded policy approach on the need to fast track meeting the deadline. Participants from Uganda, Kenya, Switzerland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and the United Kingdom, revealed that the earlier fog of inadequate information that characterised earlier dialogues had given way to a wealth of information richness as contributions reflected a grasp and understanding by participants at the dialogue sponsored by MultiChoice, the global pay-TV leader. Nevertheless, participants are upbeat
Key speakers at the Digital Switchover in Dubai
THIS ISSUE IS PROBLEMATIC IN NIGERIA AS SOME SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE STILL AGGRESSIVELY SELLING
T-1 DECODERS TO UNSUSPECTING
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC about complying in meeting the deadline. For instance, it was revealed that by December 2013, Kenya, witness a switchover for Nairobi and environs, followed by other cities like Mombasa, Kisii, Nyeru, while other cities would go in phases next year. Envisaged as a tortuous journey, the regulators in Kenya said they have decided to give it a go after putting in place some measures part of which is to ensure a smooth transition with planned waivers for importers of the set-up boxes for digital broadcast. Kenya’s National Communications Secretary, Daniel Obam explained that “whereas the switchover attempt has not been a smooth sail, the country cannot be accused of lack of commitment.” Besides Kenya, Tanzania’s transition to digital broadcasting has been a mix grill. During the Dubai dialogue in Dubai, the country’s regulators are priming for a total switchover with desperation though there were confessions of some challenges of implementation which accordingly has been a cog in the wheel of progress, a situation observers said would delay earlier push for migration. However, in the the ECOWAS sub-region, west African countries are believed to be busy working to adopt a common implementation plan for digital transition as the 2015 deadline approaches just as the Dialogue was going on in Dubai according to Manager, Engineering, at the National Communications Authority of Ghana, Mr. Edmund Yirenkyi Fianko, Fianko, who presented a paper on the ECOWAS protocol, said that ICT ministers in the sub-region were billed to meet that same week in Banjul, The Gambia,
to approve protocols and specifications on digital transmitters and set-top boxes that will henceforth be imported by countries in the region to fulfill needs generated by the digital migration. He said one of such protocols includes character set specifications so that settop boxes can appropriately decode programme and station names in local languages. Fianko explained further that that if these specifications were not made, names of stations and broadcast programmes in several languages will not decode properly, meaning that name of a radio station like FAAJI FM, or a television programme like Kaakaki, BEBE’NLO, will not decode well if the manufacturers of set-top boxes do not have the appropriate character set specifications. As a result, the ICT ministers of the sub-region deliberated on at the Banjul meeting. However, while other countries are on top gear to quicken migration to the digital platforms, Nigeria is bogged with thorny issues in the race against deadline. According to submissions in Dubai, “the very instance of Nigeria, the thorny issues revolve round network roll-out (for broadcast organizations), and the allimportant issue of set top boxes (decoders) that members of the public will need if they are to continue receiving signals from television stations. This need arises as free-on-air TV signals will no longer be available from June 17, 2015, the ITU deadline. “Regarding set-top-boxes, there are issues regarding specifications, manufacturing, distribution, retail and installation of the set-top boxes. As things stand, majority of the Nigerian viewing public
are in the dark regarding the source of the set-top boxes, the manufacturers, where they can be purchased, and at what prices. A sector of the population that subscribes to pay-TV services however remains smug as their service providers are offering digital decoders.” At an earlier Digital Dialogue held in Lagos last year November, a former director-general of the National Broadcast Commission, Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa disclosed that since 2008, late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had approved that Nigeria should key into the digital migration process with T-2, the latest technology in digital broadcasting. Against South African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA)’s Gerhard Petrick advice that countries beginning the transition should leapfrog the technology gap by opting for set-top boxes driven by the T-2 technology, observers said “this issue is problematic in Nigeria as some service providers are still aggressively selling T-1 decoders to unsuspecting members of the public.” “For the rest of the public who are largely unaware that they will need settop boxes to receive broadcast signals, the industry regulator, NBC, will have to gear up to ensure that one of their fundamental rights, the right to freedom of information is not infringed on when the analog signals are switched off.” However, observers opined that the problem confronting Nigeria’s digital migration is that people just don’t know what is going on. And despite the establishment of digi-team by the Federal Government to oversee migration to digital broadcasting, the target of the project are said to be in the dark about the issue in spite of the launch of DTT in the country. As it is, only pay-TV operators like Multichoice, Star Times, and others are on DTT platforms but only few out of the entire population are aware that Nigeria had opted for DTT-2 more than five years ago as stated by Bolarinwa.
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Coca-Cola to increase mindshare with Coke Studio Africa STORIES: ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
oke Studio Africa, a new and exciting music television show, might be the magic wand to sustain the Coca cola brand awareness and leadership in the continent. In a market where reality shows have become the vehicle to stay in the minds of consumers against mounting competition, Coke Studio Africa, a musical fusion project that brings together African artistes across cultures, generations, and genres to create an authentic African sound, is expected to further increase Coca Cola dominance in the market. During the premier of Coke Studio Africa at Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, The Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, Lagos, the Brand Manager, Colas, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olufemi Ashipa, said Coke Studio is a one-of-akind musical show different from the usual musical talent hunt. “At Coca-Cola, we appreciate the power that music has of
bringing people together regardless of race, language, religion and region,” he said adding that, “Through Coke Studio, we have the rare opportunity to not only bring Africa’s artistes together, but also create a modern sound that will appeal to teens. We hope to give audiences an unforgettable experience of musical fusion as we strengthen our relationship with consumers.” “Happiness in Africa is a shared experience which is why we have chosen live musical collaborations to enable artistes feels the joy and excitement that comes with sharing ideas and experiences. We are awakening the intrinsic African spirit of sharing and communalism to help us in creating a never to be forgotten journey into the heart of music”. Coke Studio, which airs in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, is a 45-minute show of eight episodes which will culminate in a two-hour New Year’s Eve special. The legendary Juju musician King Sunny Ade, Nigeria’s No 1 rapper, M.I, Songstress Waje,
vocalist and guitarist Bez and DJ Jimmy Jatt are part of the 24 musicians who will participate in the show amongst other musicians from East Africa, Central Africa and South Africa. The show will also feature some collaborating artistes including Kenya’s Bamboo, Sage and Dela as well as Kassongo from DRC and Nigeria’s Temi Dollface Each episode will showcase unexpected fusions by various groups of artistes to create a unique sound. One established musician or lead artiste and an up-and-coming artiste will come together to create a memorable sound that will resonate with the audience and stay with them far beyond the show. The show will also provide viewers with a behind-the-scenes look into the artists’ interactions and experiences on set. “Coke Studio is a reflection of the optimistic spirit of Africa, celebrating the joy with incredible musicians who represent the best that the continent has to offer across all its diverse manifestations,” said Mr Ashipa.
L–R: winner of N50,000 in Star Win & Shine Promo, Dubem Kene; Party Anchor, Gbenga Adeyinka, and another winner of N50,000, Duru Kelechi at the Star Win & Shine Promo Party, held at Bush Arena, Enugu recently.
CSR- JCI advises commercial drivers on defensive driving
s part of its social responsibility projects, the Junior Chamber International, JCI, has urged Lagos drivers to imbibe defensive driving in other to avoid loss of lives on the roads. During its annual defensive driving seminar for commercial drivers in Lagos, held at the Iyana Ipaja Motor Park, the President of Junior Chamber International, JCI, Eko chapter, Mr. Jide Adeyemi disclosed that the seminar is the association’s little way of contributing to safety on Nigerian roads to reduce road accidents to the barest minimum while also preserving lives. In its ninth edition, the CSR initiative accordingly was insti-
tuted in memory of the chapter’s Late Past President, Dr. Waheed Gbolahan Smith who lost his life in a ghastly motor accident. Adeyemi noted that there is no better time for the seminar other than the ‘ember’ period in which more accidents are usually recorded. He stressed further that the seminar would serve as invaluable training opportunities for drivers while also having the unique opportunity to interact with the traffic law enforcement agencies including the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Vehicle inspection Office, VIO, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, all represented at the seminar. Adeyemi also announced that
the association in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport has translated the Lagos Traffic Law into Yoruba language and Pidgin English which would be distributed free to commercial drivers. The Head Training, AA Rescue, one of the partners for the seminar, Mr. Kunle Akinbola, admonished commercial driver to take all necessary precautions on the road for their personal safety and the safety of their passengers as well as other road users. He emphasized the importance of the use of Seat Belts at all times while driving noting that 60 per cent of deaths recorded in road accident are due to not using seat belt.
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Ikeja City Mall celebrates Nigeria at 53 with promo
t was a fun-filled day at the Ikeja City Mall on Tuesday October 1st as the Mall celebrated Nigeria’s independence with its esteemed shoppers in a unique way. As part of the celebrations, the mall was decorated in the Nigerian green and white colours and a larger than life cake spelling all 37states of the country was cut and shared with all shoppers present. The celebration was lined up with several activities such as quiz competitions centred on Nigeria, dance battles as well as a 53 minute treasure hunt which was anchored by City 105.1 FM. In reward for participation, guests were given shopping vouchers, clothes and accessories. The celebration according to the Centre Manager Ikeja City Mall, Norman Sander, “is a way of appreciating our cus-
tomers and celebrating with our great nation on her attainment of another mileage – 53years. The celebration also kick-starts a one month shoppers promotion tagged The ICM Independence Promo, an in-mall purchase driven reward promotion aimed at rewarding shoppers for their loyalty from October 1 and to climax with a raffle draw on the November 5. “The promotion is open to all shoppers who purchase a minimum of N25, 000 worth of items in any of the stores in-mall. These receipts are to be handed over to any of the Hemingway’s Safari promo members who will be stationed at all the mall entrances with drop-boxes. In exchange for the receipt of purchase, the shopper will be given a raffle ticket which will be entered into the draws.
Malta Guinness supports Airtel’s Nigeria’s Got Talents
year after supporting the Nigeria’s Got Talent show, Airtel has brought Malta Guinness as a partner to co-sponsor the talent hunt show franchised by Rapid Blue Format Limited, hence, rolling Nigeria’s Got Talent season 2. The Director, Marketing and Innovation, Guinness Nigeria, Austin Ufomba said that Malta Guinness’ decision to sponsor Nigeria’s Got Talent is because the show embodies the passion of the brand; fueling Nigerian youths to rise with their immense talents at the world stage. “Malta Guinness is very delighted to be part of unleashing the talents in Nigerian youths; everyday young people in this country demonstrate skill, courage, vibrancy & drive to lift themselves above personal challenges. There is an emerg-
ing breed of Nigerian youths who are optimistic, talented & determined to do well for themselves in various areas of life including sports, arts, entertainment, science, social services, corporate world, community leadership, etc. Malta Guinness is excited to be fueling this emerging movement. Our sponsorship of Nigeria’s got talent demonstrates that we believe in the potentials of Nigerian youths” Ufomba said. The Group Managing Director of Rapid Blue Format Limited Nigeria, Mr. Rotimi Pedro, franchise owners of the TV reality show said: “now in its second season in Nigeria, the show is already putting Nigerian talents on the world map sideby-side with other countries like the United States, Britain, France, India, where the franchise has also been running for years.
Bole, Martin to speak at Nigeria App Summit
he organisers of the forthcoming Nigeria Mobile App Summit, a summit designed to focus on the burgeoning mobile app economy, has announced that Robert Bole, Director of Innovation and Adam Martin, Director of Technology both at the Broadcasting Board of Governors of the United States will deliver a keynote address at the summit. The summit is billed to take place in Lagos on November 5, 2013. Bole will deliver a keynote dwelling on wide range of topic, which would include sharing insights on the state of the industry, the impact of new
platforms on media consumption, and how mobile and apps would continue to impact the world we live in. Adam would speak about the integration of value added services into mobile application and sites such as IVR, social, audio/video. “We are pleased to have two of the industry’s best and brightest to kick-off this year’s summit” said Osamede Umweni, Nigeria App Summit Founder and Chairman. “Robert and Adam exemplify the very best in digital media stewardship and we’re looking forward with excitement to having both Robert and Adam provide a unique perspective on the mobile app industry.
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Brands & Marketing
Thursday, October 10, 2013
FinaTrust mfb customers experience raises hope for enterprenuers ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
espite customers lack of confidence in Microfinance Banks, since the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, closed about 103 of the banks, customers of Fina Trust Micro Finance Bank plc have said their experience with Fina Trust has changed their perception about the activities of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria. The Chairman of the bank, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, however, said during the fourth year anniversary thanksgiving service held at Fina Trust Micro Finance corporate head office at Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos, the confidence reposed in the bank by customers is one of the mark of the bank’s success in the last four years and it cannot be divorced from God’s backing. “We thank God for building the business on solid ground. God has helped us to recruit some of the best staffs,” he said. Ituah said further that the vision of the bank is very clear
and with the performance of the bank so far in the last four years, Fina Trust is expected to go far adding that despite closure of micro finance banks, Fina Trust has continued to wax stronger. “There are a whole lots of micro finance banks that started four years ago but many of them are no more. We thank God that we still exist because so many businesses are going down but our customers businesses are doing well,” he said. Also, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Deji Popoola said customers believe in the bank because Fina Trust adopts best business practice and customeroriented approach to banking which contributes to the success of the brand. “We employ customer-oriented kind of business. We value feedback just as we also value our staffs who are so much committed to making the customers happy,” he said. In the same vein, a director of the bank, Mr. Kunle Adeoye commended the bank’s principles and hiring of quality and welltrained staffs. He said apart from
BRAND talk with Michael Umogun
the business being profitable, it must impact and help customers grow. Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Image Dry Cleaning, Mr. Sola Osolawon, a customer with the bank said his experience with the bank has erased an uncomplimentary experience he had with micro finance banks in the past. “Few years ago when I was approached by Fina Trust Micro Finance Bank, I said I can never bank with any micro finance bank because of my previous experience but since I risked banking with Fina Trust four years agao, there has never been any regret. After observing how they relate with me, they have been very effective and efficient. I have never worried about getting my money and as a result, I have introduced several customers to them,” he said. Besides saving with Fina Trust, Osolawon said some of his friends who cannot turn their projects to reality as a result of financial problems have been rescued by the bank.
L-R: Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Oare Ojeikere; African rapper No 1, MI and Media Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria and French West Africa, Festus Akobundu, at the launch of Coke Studio held at Genesis Deluxe Cinemas recently.
Tel: 08023117969/08031100462 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dynamic world of brands
elcome to Brand Talk, a ‘brand’ new bimonthly column talking about all things brand and marketing. Brands are arguably one of the most powerful business tools ever invented. Strong brands drive financial growth for companies and well managed brands have a positive impact across all the major value drivers of a company. There are many myths about brands and brand strategy, including the right way to grow the financial and strategic value of brands, and ensuring that brand strategy always aligns with business strategy. Often too much emphasis is placed on the power of a logo or the visual elements of a brand, but often not enough on the brand strategy itself including what you stand for and how you will deliver a consistent brand experience to your consumers across all touchpoints. No matter your status as a business, either big or small, you must have a brand strategy and it need not be complicated. Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, when asked about his brand strategy said, “to succeed in business you must build a brand and never destroy it. One competitive advantage I had when I ventured into manufacturing was my brand, Dangote, which I diligently built in the course of my trading commodities”. We know that anything Dangote
associated with has been successful in the Nigerian market, and that due in no small part to the strength of the brand Aliko Dangote has built. Standing for affordable quality, his company has relentlessly strived to ensure the brand experience of Dangote lives up to their brand promise. No matter which business they extend the brand into. It serves as a guiding light for the organisation and helps them make sound decisions. What does your brand stand for and do you have a brand strategy? Dear Readers, Brand matters are interesting and dynamic subject and they would remain so for a very long time to come. For instance for a common theme as definition of terms one is usually amazed by the abundance of opinions, in some interesting cases definitions are the very opposite of what an expert may have expressed. I therefore welcome your comments , observations and opinions on all subjects discussed in this column. The editors of these pages have asked and (I agree) to fully democratise proceedings We therefore request you make your comments objective and very constructive ; this would enable all concerned to learn more and deepen knowledge about branding and related marketing matters in the process. Thank you.
Are brands really thinking customers first?
his week is the customer service week globally and several organizations are celebrating in different ways. Several advertisements by banks celebrating customers are worth mentioning here. We think because of you, we are always at your service are some of the messages being communicated to the customers. The truth is that some of these organizations are celebrating themselves not their customers. This I because there have not been tangible measures put in place to elevate the status of the customers. I have taken careful observations of the approach of several companies and their customer relationship management and the outcome is always negative in most cases. I once patronized
a QSR and one older customer muted in anger that the staff were picked from the streets! The customer cannot be blamed as the attitudinal disposition of some staff is very appalling. Since this week is devoted to customers, the question is whether companies and their brands give premium priority to customers. One major area that brands have failed is that the internal stakeholders have not been properly tutored and immersed in the personality of the brand they represent. I was shocked when I inquired from a bank employee about the bank’s new brand communication campaign and she feigned ignorance. There is no way such people can act as brand ambassadors because they understand nothing about the brand.
Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: email@example.com This affects the ability of such individuals to provide efficient customer service. It also surprises one that several brands are not really bothered about enhancing customer satisfaction. It is to be emphasized that gaining high level of customer satisfaction is very important. This definitely promotes brands loyalty and customer stick to the brands that goes the extra mile to satisfy them. Companies should
also be customer focused not only as a corporate policy but in practical terms. This is achievable through a strong emphasis on market research and marketing. These are tools to determine the needs of customers and how to offer tailor made services to them. Customer focus also entails giving personal attention to individual customers. Beyond a customer patronizing a product or service, there is the need to also
follow-up on the customer. This is a way to build solid relationship with customers. There is the need for organization to build intimate relationship with their customers. This should be beyond data collection on consumer behavior and preference. Embarking on customer scenario analysis is equally important. Scenario analysis is an attempt to X-ray the entire life of the customer, how they select and patronize specific products and services. Most companies miss significant platforms such as this is to deepen relationship and build customer loyalty. Building a detailed understanding of customers help brands to find creative and innovative ways to connect with their customers.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
U.S. Fed ships new $100 bills with anti-counterfeit features
he Federal Reserve began supplying banks on Tuesday with billions of redesigned $100 bills that incorporate advanced anti-counterfeiting features, the U.S. central bank said. The notes, which retain the image of American statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin, include two new security features - a blue three-dimensional security ribbon with images of bells and 100s, and a color-changing bell in an inkwell, the Fed said in a statement. The $100 bills, the biggest U.S. denomination known in American slang as “Benjamins,” also keep security features from the previous design, such as a watermark. “The new design incorporates security features that make it easier to authenticate, but harder to replicate,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell said in a statement. U.S. officials have said the $100 note is the most frequently counterfeited denomination of U.S. currency outside the United States due to its broad circulation overseas. In the United States, the $20 bill
is the most frequently counterfeited note. Sonja Danburg, program manager for U.S. currency education at the Fed, said
about 3.5 billion new $100 bills had been stockpiled. There are about $900 billion in $100 notes in circulation, with half to two-thirds outside the United States, she said. The United States has about $1.15 trillion in genuine currency in circulation, and less than 1/100th of 1 percent of that value is counterfeit, Danburg said. Benjamins are the highest-denominated notes issued by the Federal Reserve since the United States stopped issuing $500, $1,000 and $10,000 notes in 1969. The new bills have been in development since 2003. The new bills cost about 12.5 cents each to make, 5 cents more than the previous notes because of the greater complexity of the design, Danburg said. The average $100 bill lasts about 15 years before wearing out and being pulled from circulation. The more frequently handled $1 note lasts about six years, Danburg said. The Fed said people with old bills did not need to trade them in for new ones since all designs of U.S. currency remained legal tender.
Microsoft’s $7.2bn Nokia bet not luring apps
he $7.2 billion pairing with Nokia ’s handset business is failing to win over the software developers who are crucial to its success. Consider Tommy Palm and Jeff Smith. Palm, who oversees development at smartphone-game maker King.com, and Smith, who runs music-application maker Smule Inc., have long avoided building apps for devices using Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. Closer ties with Nokia haven’t swayed them. Both say even after the acquisition closes, Microsoft still won’t have enough users to make it worth the time and money. “With or without Nokia, Microsoft needs to demonstrate that they can capture a material segment of the mobile market,” Smith said in an interview. “We will wait and see.” While Microsoft has struggled to lure developers since Windows Phone debuted in 2010, the plight has taken on new urgency since Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmerannounced the acquisition of Nokia’s handset unit last month. Microsoft, which had close ties with Nokia through a 2011 partnership, is counting on the deal to boost its share of the $280 billion smartphone market and to lure makers of games, productivity tools and other apps,
who view the company’s mobile software as an afterthought compared with Apple Inc.’s iOS and Google Inc.’s Android. Interviews with more than a dozen developers show that the odds remain stacked against Microsoft -- even with the Nokia deal, which is set to close in the first quarter of 2014. Developers said that while Nokia’s handset business gives Microsoft a ready pipeline of Windows Phone devices, it isn’t enough to overcome a lack of users, or the cost and confusion related to the technical specifications of writing for the company’s phone and tablet devices. Ultimately, it comes down to where developers can make money -- and that’s not with Microsoft, said William Hurley, a cofounder of Chaotic Moon, a maker of apps for companies includingWalt Disney Co. He said the company’s most recent game, “Dragon Academy”-- which is free to download, with consumers paying for upgrades -- generated more in one hour of sales on Apple devices than was made through all of Chaotic Moon’s releases globally for Windows Phone in the past year. “What basket would you put your eggs?” Hurley said, adding that Chaotic Moon chose not to make “Dragon Academy” for Windows Phone. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washing-
ton, currently has more than 175,000 applications for Windows Phone, compared with more than 900,000 for Apple iOS and more than 1 million for Google Android -- and even those apps that it does have typically come to its platform later than for rivals. News-reading app Flipboard Inc., for one, debuted on Apple’s iPad in 2010 and joined Android in 2012, yet has no immediate plans to release a version for Windows Phone.
South Africa stocks slide as U.S. debt worries weigh
outh African shares extended losses for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday as investors bet that the dark cloud of the U.S. budget stalemate would continue to hang over global markets. The Top-40 index shaved more than 1.2 percent to 38,106.70 after dropping by a similar margin in the previous session. The All-share lost 1.1 percent to 42,779.87, its lowest in a month. Some investors are betting the U.S. political deadlock could drag on past the weekend, which may resort in panic selling next week, said Tony Cadle, portfolio manager at Ashburton Investments.
“That is what people are concerned about, that it could be another 5-10 percent lower between now and next Thursday if there is no resolution,” said Cadle. “The smart money will be buying between now and next Thursday and shortterm traders will be selling because they know there is the possibility that the stocks will be down another percent or whatever.” Johannesburg-listed gold producers slid 2.7 percent after a positive run earlier this week. The spot price fell 1 percent as news that Janet Yellen would be the new head of the Federal Reserve bolstered the dollar.
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UK’s FTSE falls to 3-month low on U.S. debt concerns
ritain’s benchmark equity index edged down to a three-month low on Wednesday as a lack of progress in resolving the U.S. budget stalemate hit the stock market. Although many investors still expect U.S. politicians to reach a deal eventually over the country’s budget and debt ceiling, they see little progress for equity markets in October. “It’s all rather bearish in the shortterm,” said XBZ European equity options broker Mike Turner. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index edged down by 0.1 percent, or 6.95 points, to 6,358.88 points in late-session trade, to mark its lowest level since early July. Mining group Vedanta was the hardesthit FTSE 100 stock, falling 4 percent, which traders attributed to Morgan Stanley’s downgrade on the stock to “underweight” from “equal-weight”. In late May, the FTSE 100 raced to a 13year high of 6,875.62 points, but it has since lost ground due to expectations of less monetary stimulus in future from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Although the FTSE remains up 8 percent since the start of 2013, it has slipped again in October after the U.S. government had to partially shut down this month due to the ongoing disagreement among politicians over the country’s budget. The U.S. budget standoff has led to concerns about the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt ceiling, which Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the government will hit no later than Oct. 17. Berkeley Futures associate director, Richard Griffiths said his firm had sold “put” options due to expire on Oct. 18 on the FTSE 100 with strike prices of 6,200 and 6,250 points, allowing investors to bet on a possible 160 points fall by then. However, Griffiths said those “put” options had relatively cheap prices, due to the risk that they would be worthless should a U.S. debt deal be reached before then which could lead to a sharp swing higher on global stock markets. APS Alpha technical strategist Adrian Slack felt the FTSE 100 would drift lower as the U.S debt deadline loomed nearer. “The closer we get to October 17, the more likely it is that markets will drift lower, until we get there,” he said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Index gains 0.96% as bulls sustain hold JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he benchmark index of equities rose further on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took position on stocks with good earnings. The All Share Index appreciated 0.96 per cent to close at 37, 259.65 points, compared to the increase of 0.13 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 36,904.52 points. Market capitalisation gained N113bn to close at N11.867trn, higher than the rise of N15bn recorded the preceding day to close at
N11.754trn. All the sectorial indices added substantial value except the Insurance Index which fell 0.25 per cent to close at 138.64 points. The Banking Index led the gainers with 1.18 per cent to close at 397.47 points, followed by the Industrial Goods Index with 1.52 per cent to close at 2,241.38 points. The Lotus Islamic Index added 1.06 per cent to close at 2, 608.96 points, while the NSE 30-Index increased 0.79 per cent to close at 1,744.37 points. The Consumer Goods Index appreciated 0.02 per cent to close at 1,043.78
points, while the Oil and Gas Index was up 0.21 per cent to close at 194.01 points. The Alternative Securities Market remained flat. Wema Bank Plc led the gainers table with 11 kobo or 9.40 per cent to close at N1.28 per share, followed by International Energy Insurance Plc with six kobo or 8.11 per cent to close at 80 kobo per share. Forte Oil Plc was upN2.23 or 4.89 per cent to close at N47.80 per share, while Cutix Plc increased nine kobo or 4.84 per cent to close at N1.95 per share. Okomu Oil Plc added N2.00 or 4.60 per cent to
close at N45.50 per share. On the flip side, Transcorp Plc dropped 14 kobo or 7.91 per cent to close at N1.63 per share, while Continental Insurance Plc fell six kobo or five per cent to close at N1.14 per share. Portland Paints Plc dipped 25 kobo or 4.94 per cent to close at N4.81 per share, while Berger Painst Plc shed 40 kobo or 4.60 per cent to close at N8.30 per share. Vitalfoam Plc fell 18 kobo or 4.31 per cent to close at N4.00 per share. A total of 288.02 million shares valued at N2.38bn were exchanged in 4, 482 deals.
Multiverse profit slided 15% in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ultiverse Plc has declared a profit after tax of N30.6m for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, a decline of 15.5 per cent when compared to N36.2m recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s turnover dropped 4.4 per cent to N674m, as against N705m recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. But the management of the company has assured shareholders that they will be paid dividends in the coming years as invest-
ments made by the firm begin to make targeted returns. A statement from the company quoted the Managing Director, Mr. AyedunFasina, as saying that a mining company, had not paid dividends in the last two years, noting that the development was because of the huge investment the company made within the period. He however said that shareholders should expect dividends for the current financial year ending December 31, 2013. Fasina also commended the shareholders for approving the increase of
the company’s authorised share capital to N12bn from N2.250bn, stressing that the expanded capital base would allow it to meet its counterpart funding requirements in the future. He explained that he was confident about a dividend payout partly because the huge investments the company had made and its strategic agreement with some offshore partners to mine on its platform would boost its operations and revenue. “The relationship will enable us to leverage on cheaper and longer term funds to expand the op-
erations with resultant improvement in profitability and enhancement of shareholders’ value,” he said. The Chairman of the company, Mr. IsholaOgunbayo stressed that the company was positioned for sustainable growth, having overcome the challenges of a harsh economic environment to record profit in 2012. To ensure that the company takes advantage of the opportunities in the mining industry and realise its full potential, Ogunbayo said that the firm was restructuring its operations.
Kenyan shilling eases, main share index edges up
he Kenyan shilling eased against the dollar yesterday due to profit-taking after its recent gains, while the benchmark 20-share index rose for the 11th straight session. At the close of the market, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 85.45/65 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 84.80/85.00. “There was some bit of correction, people taking advantage of the rates to (buy dollars),” said a trader at one commercial bank. The shilling has risen three per cent in a little over two weeks, spurred by demand for Kenyan government debt and equities at a time the political impasse in the United States over the budget has weakened the dollar.
The fact the central bank had not stepped in to ease money market liquidity suggested the regulator was satisfied with the shilling’s level, said Peter Mutuku, head of corporate trading at Bank of Africa. The shilling’s 14-day and 50-day weighted moving averages showed the currency is expected to keep gaining in the near term. Traders anticipate resistance for the shilling at 84.50. On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 Share Index was up 15.23 points, or 0.3 per cent, to close at 4,946.02 points. The All Share Index broke a nine-day gaining streak, to close down 0.58 per cent at 132.82 points. Mumias Sugar, which closed 2.7 per cent higher
at 3.70 shillings after surging to a high of 3.80 shillings, was among the main gainers of the day. Oil marketer KenolKobil rose 5.6 per cent to 8.45 shillings earlier in the session before correcting to settle at 8.00 shillings, the same as Tuesday’s close. The session had been driven by some investors taking booking their gains later in the session, analysts said. “It’s just a case where prices have run up a lot in the last two weeks and investors are seeing this as attractive selling points,” said Francis Mwangi, analyst at Standard Investment Bank. In the secondary debt market, government bonds worth 1.4 billion shillings were traded, down from 4.2 billion shil-
lings traded on Tuesday. In the primary market, the yield on the 364-day Treasury bills rose to 10.800 percent at auction, from 10.574 per cent last week, while that on the 182-day bills rose to 10.185 per cent from 9.986 per cent, amid poor demand. Meanwhile, South African shares extended losses for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday as investors bet that the dark cloud of the United States budget stalemate would continue to hang over global markets. The Top-40 index shaved more than 1.2 per cent to 38,106.70 points after dropping by a similar margin in the previous session. The All-share lost 1.1 per cent to 42,779.87, its lowest in a month.
Market indicators All-Share Index 37,259.65 points Market capitalisation 11.90 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 9.40
Primary Market Auction TENOR
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Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at October 9, 2013 1st Tier Securities Sector
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Thursday, October 10, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Group mobilises youths to embrace agriculture
he Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative, an NGO, has mobilised youths to embrace agriculture through a national manifesto that identified their needs in the sector. Miss Nkiruka Nnaemego, the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the document would be presented to the Federal Government for implementation. According to her, the manifesto which will be presented to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development during the World Food Day celebration, will guide the government from 2015 on the needs of youths. Nnaemego said the implementation of the ``National Youth Manifesto on Agriculture’’ would attract more youths into the sector, hasten food security in the country and create jobs for the youths. ``The manifesto is a product of wide ranging participatory efforts of patriotic Nigerian youths in agriculture and related sectors. ``It is to articulate a vision for sustainable national development which prioritises youth involvement in agriculture and to develop a roadmap to pursue that vision. ``The Nigerian youths are the future of the agricultural sector. With a fast growing population and decreasing agricultural production, coupled with massive rural exodus, sustainable food production and supply are threatened. ``This is why we are striving to push forward the youth agenda because we realised that young people constitute over 60 per cent of the Nigerian population. ``There is nothing we can do without getting young people involved.’’ Nnaemego, however, stated that aside setting an agenda for the government and private sector on what the youths want, the youths also needed to build their interest toward the sector. She observed that the lack of interest was because most youths did not see agriculture as a career while few who did, were not encouraged by the nonchalant attitude of the stakeholders. ``The few that are in agriculture are not getting the necessary support they need, so, it discourages a lot of them. ``Of course you know some of them were affected during last year’s flood; some of them were traumatised, some others could not pick up from there. ``Instead of some of the stakeholders to support the youths, they are sceptical about what the youths can do.’’ The executive officer said that in order to boost the interest of the coming generation, the organisation would soon roll-out some activities for children in order to ``catch them young’’. She identified the challenges facing the organisation as funding, low participation of youths and inadequate support by stakeholders. She said the project started in July 2013, in collaboration with Oxfam Nigeria, Trust Africa and Voices for Food Security -- all NGOs -- with the aim to campaign for the `Right to Food Bill'.
A scene at the Season One show in 2012.
Thrills as Nigeria’s Got Talent returns STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE
he wait is finally over as Africa’s biggest talent show, Nigeria’s Got Talent (NGT) is back for another spectacular season. NGT’s franchise owner, Optima Media Group and lead sponsor, Airtel Nigeria made the announcement recently in Lagos at a media event with invited guests spanning the business, media and entertainment industries. They were supported by Malta Guinness, a co-sponsor. The show, which is sponsored by Airtel Nigeria, will hold from October 2013 till March 2014. The audition train began in Abuja from October 9, followed by Calabar on October 12. The dates for Port Harcourt, Enugu, Asaba, Benin and Ibadan are October 15, 17, 19, 21 and 23 respectively. Lagos auditions will hold October 26 and 27, 2013. The world famous talent show which will be hosted this year by the enigmatic Andre Blaze, garnered rave reviews with its debut and is geared for an even more impressive outing this year with the organisers promising a plethora of surprises and the usual fun-filled excitement for its loyal viewers. Speaking about his company’s involvement with the reality show, Airtel’s Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Emeka Oparah
said the company’s sponsorship of the franchise is in sync with its vision of providing credible platforms that can help people achieve their dreams. His words: “Airtel is extremely delighted to remain the lead sponsor of the Nigeria’s Got Talent show now in Season Two. Airtel’s association with this unique platform is hinged on our passion for celebrating and rewarding young, talented Nigerians. The Airtel brand is not just red, bold and jazzy but youthful, exciting, unique and a lot of fun. “As a telecommunications company, there are no limits to ensuring that we provide Nigerians with impactful services and veritable platforms for empowerment and wealth creation as well as entertainment and fun.” Managing Director, Rapid Blue Format, Rotimi Pedro, said, “It hasn’t being easy preparing for another season as all hands have been on deck to make it a blast. Gifted Nigerians, male and female of all ages with talent in acrobatics, magic display, fire eating, and others will have yet another chance to showcase their talent and a chance to walk away with the much coveted grand prize.” “It’s always inspiring to see the
enormous wealth of talent here in Nigeria and how such talent is nurtured to create the stars of tomorrow,” he added. Mr. Wole Adedeji, Brand Manager of Malta Guinness added, “We are committed to driving our brand passion; recognizing, celebrating and fuelling the incredible talent and energy in the Nigerian spirit. This sponsorship once again demonstrates the brand’s commitment to its target consumers; their dreams, their potentials & their talents.” The maiden edition of the Nigeria’s Got Talent was won by 9 year-old, Amarachi Uyanne from Benin City who performed as a dancer all through the competition. Asides from South Africa, Nigeria is the only African country to have purchased the franchise. The Got Talent franchise has produced many notable performers in the last couple of years including Diversity, Bianca Ryan and Britain’s Got Talent’s 2009 1st runner up Susan Boyle, whose debut album became the fastest selling UK debut album of all time, selling over 3 million copies in the U.S amongst others. The franchise currently in its 9th year is one of the fastest growing international franchises, closing the gap on other successful franchises such as ‘The Weakest Link’, ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ amongst others.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Young & Next Generation
Thursday, October 10, 2013
3 kids win N2.25m prize at IIDA 2013 KUNLE AZEEZ
hree children have emerged winners in this year's edition of the Indomie Independence Day Awards for Heroes of Nigeria (IIDA), a social responsibility initiative from Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles. The winners were Divine Toruemi, Mohammed Kenubu and David Adekunle who placed first, second and third respectively, even as participants at the event maintained that the awards could not have come at a better time since they never knew their acts of bravery would someday be rewarded. They were picked by a distinguished panel of judges from an initial shortlist comprising 14 children for this year’s edition of the event. Toruemi, who resides in Port Harcourt rescued a drowning boy; while Kenubu from Kano helped find a missing baby and Adekunle, a Minna-based 8-year-old, got robbers arrested through his ingenuity. They got N1 million, N750,000 and N500,000 respectively for their heroism. Speaking on behalf of two other winners Toruemi, 14, said her recognition by Dufil Prima Foods Plc was an encouragement to always go the extra mile for others. “If I hadn’t done what I did that day by saving the drowning boy, I probably wouldn’t be here for this award. My message to children out there is to help save lives whenever they can. I’d like to say a big
thank you to Dufil Prima Foods for the cash prize which will be very helpful to me and my family,” she enthused. Explaining the rationale behind the yearly event at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos venue of the event, Chairman, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr. Haresh Aswani, said it was targeted at identifying and rewarding children whose heroic acts touched lives but were often ignored due to their age. “This event is significant because it is rooted in the recognition of those whose best efforts are very often overlooked by the society. On a daily basis, our beloved Nigerian children perform thousands of heroic acts at great personal risk to themselves. "In 2008, we decided to take up the challenge by not only recognising these young heroes, but also providing them scholarship opportunities since their actions have touched lives in their immediate communities and beyond,” he noted. Aswani, who said the CSR initiative was key because it had encouraged children to aspire to greater heights over the past five years, added that the winners deserved celebration for scaling the strict standards of a panel of judges to emerge the Indomie Independence Day Heroes for 2013. Guests were treated to comic sessions and live performances, as well as a documentary tagged ‘IIDA: The Journey So Far’ presented by the Dufil Prima CEO, Mr Deepak Singhal, who assured that the company would always celebrate children who serve as change agents in their respective communities.
L-R: Chairman, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Haresh Aswani; third prize winner of the 2013 IIDA Awards, David Adekunle; second prize, Mohammed Kenubu; first prize winner, Divine Toruemi; and First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Emmanuella Fashola during the 2013 Indomie Independence Day Award ceremony in Lagos.
“I would like to commend Dufil Prima Foods Plc for rekindling the hope of the Nigerian child with this enviable initiative which rewards unique acts of bravery and heroism in our children, thereby inspiring them to aspire to greater heights,” said human rights activist, Dr. Joe Odumakin, in her keynote address tagged ‘Children as Agents of National Transformation’ at the event. While lamenting the dearth of moral standards in the country, she said initiatives such as the Independence Day Awards were necessary since they gave children the hope of a brighter tomorrow.
Website rewards students with best tweet
Youth WASH to establish sanitation clubs in states
STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE
he Sam Umukoro Interview has launched a campaign to reward students with the best "tweet". The website is running a book grant using micro blogging site Twitter to reach out to undergraduates in Nigerian Universities. Applicants should use no more than 140 characters to explain why they deserve the N100,000 book grant. University undergraduates have until November 4, 2013 to enter the contest. The tweet should include the hashtag #SUIBookGrant. Editorial Director of the website Dr. Kolade Arogundade said , "Sam Umukoro Interview is asking university undergraduates to tweet why they are deserving of the book grant. The grant illustrates Sam Umukoro Interview's commitment to education and empowering youths through books”. The winner will be announced November 7, 2013 and will receive up to N100, 000 as book grant. The objective of the Sam Umukoro Interview, www.samumukoro. com, is to tell the African story from a different perspective through exclusive interviews with Business/ Political Leaders, Newsmakers and Celebrities from Africa. SUI also aims to address African issues in a positive and self-affirming manner. Published in the United Kingdom, the website is solely for interviews. It is currently read in over 15 countries and still counting.
“The future of every nation is dependent on the youth, many of whom are children. Hence, it is pertinent for a nation that wants to grow to make conscious efforts to provide a better future for them as the nation’s destiny lies in their hands,” she quipped. On hand to felicitate with Dufil Prima Foods Plc and the winners were Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and the First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, with the distinguished senator noting that the landmark event was a message of hope to minors nationwide that their best efforts were appreciated.
NYSC members during a parade.
NYSC organises sensitisation campaign on HIV, AIDS
ome members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Cross River have organised a sensitisation campaign on Human Immune Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV and AIDS). The corps members, who are members of the Peer Education Trainers of the Community Development Service (CDS) group organised the campaign for residents of Nkpani community in Yakurr Local Government Area. The President of the group, Mr Michael Azu, said that the campaign was organised to sensitise residents on the need to be mindful of HIV and AIDS. He appealed to them to live
a healthy life style and avoid unprotected sex and the usage of unsterilised objects, especially in the beauty salons. Also, a member of the group, Miss Theresa Okoro, said that people tend to infected with HIV and AIDS through unprotected sex, infected sharp objects, blood transfusion, unsterilised needles and others. Mr. Ubi Ofem, an official from the Family Health International (FHI) an NGO, advised residents on the need for an HIV and AIDS test every three month. Highlight of the event was a free HIV and AIDS test for members of the community.
he Youth Water Sanitation and Hygiene Network in Africa (Youth WASH) is set to establish sanitation clubs in tertiary institutions and Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 12 states in Nigeria. President of Youth WASH, Mr. Nature Obiakor, disclosed this Tuesday in Abuja at the Second Stakeholders’ Forum on the implementation of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) policy for youths mainstreaming in Africa. The AMCOW policy for youths is a strategy which creates opportunities for youths’ involvement in water and sanitation activities in the country. Youth WASH is a Nigeriabased non-governmental organisation (NGO) with the vision of propagating youth and gender mainstreaming strategy in achieving the African Water Vision 2025. Its goals includes strengthening youth capacity in the water and sanitation sector, through innovative solutions and challenges, as well as supporting government in achieving access to potable water, among others. Obiakor said the clubs which would be tagged “One
Stop Strategy’’ would serve as a channel for the implementation of the Youth WASH goals. “The Youth WASH plans to establish a ‘One Stop Strategy’ in LGAs and tertiary institutions in 12 priority states for programme implementation. These states already have the presence of donor-agencies as sustainability hub.” Speaking on the forthcoming National Youth Water Sanitation and Hygiene Summit, the Youth WASH president said preparations were on to ensure the programme’s success. Obiakor said the summit would create a platform for youths and other stakeholders to rub minds and exchange ideas on ways to improve sanitation and develop the water sector. In his remarks, Mr. Umar Magashi, Special Adviser to the Executive Director, Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency, said the agency would support Youth WASH in ensuring the summit was a success. ``The agency will partner with the youths to assist in sensitising the public on the negative impact of vandalising the water facilities which have been provided,’’ he said.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Uproar over call for censorship of social media STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE
ecent call by government officials for censorship of social media in Nigeria has generated controversies. While those who oppose such move believe that any attempt to do so is denial of freedom of expression, others are of the view that it is necessary to regulate it following its abuse. It went viral on the social media platforms with many warning the government to drop such plan. Some human rights groups also protested, throwing their weight behind the online community. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had revealed its plan recently to regulate the social media in the country. This is even as the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku remarked recently that the social media community “are publishing reports capable of undermining military strategy against extremists, and stir mutiny within the military.” He had insinuated that the government was considering some form of regulation in the use of social media reportage. Maku’s statement was a reaction to the report by online media, particularly Premium Times and Sahara Reporters for exposing the government neglect on the Nigerian Troops in Mali as well as the violations by security forces confronting Boko Haram’s insurgency. Similarly, the Director General of BPE, Benjamin Ezra Dikki who dropped the hint at the training of the bureau’s non management staff in Kuchikau, Nasarawa State said: “As it now obtains, all manner of things are uploaded on the various platforms of the Social Media without recourse to age and sensibilities of the users.” Dikki, who decried the current practice where heavy restrictions are not placed on the social media in Nigeria, said the bureau exercise its authority to regulate materials uploaded on the various social media networking sites. In the same vein, the head of public communication of BPE, Chigbo Anichebe in statement said “...In line with its reform mandate, the Bureau plans to initiate necessary policies and the legal framework for the regulation of the Social Media in the country.” However, soon after the report, online users, various civil society organisations such as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) and others protested , warning government that they would mobilise against it if it did not drop the purported threat of attack. SERAP in a statement by it Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni said “any such threat can only continue to strangle freedom of expression and limit the accountability of government.” “The 2011 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression has underscored the impor-
Maku Social media icons
tance of freedom of expression on the Internet, and urged governments not to arbitrarily restrict this right.” “The call by government officials for censorship of social media is entirely unnecessary as social media has played an important role in educating the ordinary citizens about the performance of their governments, and on issues of transparency and accountability. Social media are important to the work of human rights defenders everywhere. Any attempt to undermine this work will be resisted by civil society through national and international legal actions.” The group stated that freedom of expression on the Internet is a fundamental freedom, adding that it is absolutely crucial to citizens’ rights to communicate and associate, and to the enjoyment of their other human rights, including the right to know how their governments are run, and to hold their leaders accountable. It further said that the threats against the social media patently offend patently offend the constitution and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and commitments, stressing “Any arbitrary restrictions to freedom of expression including on the Internet through social media will be unnecessary in a democratic society, and clearly inconsistent with the conduct of a government reputed to have passed the Freedom of Information Act.” In the same vein, the CSNAC said that the freedom of expression is a fundamental right guaranteed under Nigeria’s constitution and any attempt by the government to censor news media is an outright breach of this right in violation of not only the constitution but all international treaties ratified by Nigeria.
NOTWITHSTANDING, SOME ANALYSTS ARGUE THAT THERE IS NEED FOR REGULATION OF WHAT GOES ON THE
INTERNET TO AVERT SOME DANGERS AT
THIS PRECARIOUS TIME IN THE COUNTRY Chairman, CSNAC, Olanrewaju Suraju in a statement said: “We commend these online news media and several others for their objective and independent position in the reportage of National issues and holding government and its officials accountable. The right of Nigerians to know is one that should never be undermined at anytime. “We support these media as they continue to expose corruption, ineptitude and human rights abuses in private and public institutions. Their efforts are geared towards ensuring Nigerians make objective decisions on issues that impact on their daily lives.” A user of popular online forum in Nigeria, Nairaland, whose username is Spacechuks wrote: “As it stands, social media remains the only medium to express our unsatisfaction in this country as our national and state televisions have become political propaganda to the government and owners. We are not going to keep calm until this country change for the better. “Instead of these old people in government t with old and obsolete school of
thought to implore ways to better the lots of Nigerians, they are misplacing their priorities. “They have succeeded in hijacking the national cake and making it revolve round themselves and loved ones and now it is time to hijack the poor citizen’s mouth. “If they refuse to give us good education, good jobs, good roads, electricity and water, let them leave our mouth for us for God’s sake for we are not slaves.” Another user, Postiveminds also comment on the same platform thus: “So we should keep quite while the citizens’ sufferings linger? Expressing ourselves will be the only way for the world to know what we are passing through, we can't die in silence.” Notwithstanding, some analysts argue that there is need for regulation of what goes on the Internet to avert some dangers at this precarious time in the country. An IT expert, Mr. Clement Okoye said: “I don’t think that there is any country that has regulated the cyberspace except China. Cyberspace is a global thing and technology is evolving every day, so that makes it difficult to regulate it. But there is need for the Internet users to exercise caution. I do tell people, especially our youth that the fact that you have access to the social media does not mean that you should post thrash, or make comment that is cable of disintegrating the country.” Also, a teacher at Ogba, Lagos, Mrs. Yemisi Adebayo, lamented the rate of abuse, saying that the government should exercise some level of control. “It is unthinkable what people do on social media platforms nowadays. People post all manner of rubbish online in the name of freedom of expression. No, it is wrong!”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Gombe assures on completion of NUJ Press Centre DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
ombe State Government has raised hopes of journalists in the state as it assured them of the soon completion of the N37 million ultra-modern Press Centre which is at 80 percent completion. State Commissioner for Information, Reverend Habu Dawaki while conducting journalists round the project site stated that the project would soon be completed and handed over to the NUJ following the performance rate and speed of the contractor whom he commended for sticking to the terms of the contractual agreement. He stated that the ability of the con-
tractor, AGS FAWA Ventures to meet quality requirements of the state government and ensuring no part of the project was delayed deserved commendation as quality is the uncompromising watch word of the government in all its projects across the state. The Commissioner stated that Governor Dankwambo promised the state council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists a befitting Press Centre which delivery is on course. According to him, the action of government was sequel to the performance of journalists and the cordial relationship existing between government and journalists in the state. He hinted that the governor was
appreciative of the support and cooperation which his government was enjoying from journalists adding that it has encouraged and enhanced his transformation drive of the state. While urging journalists to sustain and even further boost the relationship, Reverend Dawaki expressed joy over state of the project and said plans have reached advance stage to commence construction of the state secretariat for the benefit of civil servants. He explained that the massive transformation drive of the Dankwambo administration was a clear and popular pride which was an indication that democracy was working perfectly and at high standard in Gombe State.
Magazines institute ICT Media Excellence Awards KUNLE A ZEEZ
wo leading ICT magazines in the country, govTechnology and SiliconNigeria have instituted the Nigerian ICT Media Excellence Awards (NIMEA) to promote and recognise excellence in the reporting of information and communication technology (ICT) by journalists in the Nigeria media industry. While govTechnology covers information technology's role in governments, SiliconNigeria focuses on general ICT reportage. NIMEA would recognise and reward journalists and media houses that have distinguished themselves in the business of ICT news reporting and agenda setting for the regulators, service providers and thereby educating the public to make informed buying decisions. In a press statement signed by the Editor-in-Chief of govTechnology magazine and NIMEA Event Director, Mr. Sola Fanawopo, the organisers of the awards noted that the awards is specially put together to celebrate the reportage of ICT application across every sector on the Nigerian economy. According to the organisers, NIMEA would be held annually across Nigerian cities.“We are committed to host the most credible and prestigious awards in the media industry in the country. We are currently putting together a group of distinguished media and ICT experts that will serve as the awards jury. "Besides, the awards scoring guidelines would be published so that all participants can avail themselves of judging criteria.” He disclosed that awards entry guidelines will be released in October. Some of the NIMEA awards categories include Best Use of ICT in Banking and Finance, Best Report on Use of ICT in Insurance, Best on Use ICT in Government Services, Best Report on Use of ICT in Industry & Manufacturing, Best Report on Use of ICT in Health & Good living and Best ICT Report on Telecommunications.
Gombe State government officials inspecting the press centre.
GOtv marks 2nd anniversary, enriches content LEONARD OKACHIE
Otv Nigeria is marking its second anniversary by bringing viewers content that sizzles, inspires and provides entertainment for the whole family. It commenced operations in October 2011. From movies, series, documentaries and news; to sports, fashion, kids and music, GOtv has been bringing GOGetters television that’s all about quantity and quality. With a range of content from pioneering TV brands, channels include SuperSport, M-Net Movies Zone,AfricaMagic, E! Entertainment, Sony Entertainment Television, SonyMax, CNN, Channel O, Style, MTV Base, KidsCo, DisneyJunior and Nickelodeon; GOtv is entertaining Africa. Speaking to media stakeholders Tuesday at the anniversary celebration, which held at the Regent Hotel, GRA Ikeja, the General Manager, GOtv Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Amkpa said that GOtv is a product known for quality family entertainment. She said: “GOtv has a wide range of genres! From music, movies, fashion, series, lifestyle and sports; to news, documentaries, current affairs and kids – we have it all. In the past year we’ve brought viewers new channels such as Blackbelt TV, M-Net Movies Zone and SuperSport Select 2.
“We’ve also brought big events such as the 2013 AFCON Cup and Big Brother, and the month of August kickedoff another exciting season of football. In August also, we launched PRTV and Telemundo – a channel we are very thrilled to have on our platform.” She stated that sports lovers are not left out as the pay TV is bringing viewers action from leading football leagues such as the EPL, Bundesliga, Series A and the UEFA Champions League this football season. Other highlights from October include award-winning movies such as Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp as Constable Ichabod Crane and Christina Ricci on Sony Entertainment Television, One Gospel Playlist Top 10; a Music Mix hour featuring the “Top 10” most requested videos on the channel. Also for October include The World’s Dumbest on Sony Max showcasing some of society’s most cerebrally challenged specimens who continue to challenge the notion that humans are nature’s superior species, Mickey Mouse Club House For Kids On Disney Junior, Big Base Heavyweights Weekend on Mtv Base and Giuliana & Bill: Rancic Rewind; which premieres Tuesday, 29 October on the Style Network. In Nigeria, GOtv has three bouquets available: GOtv, GOtv Plus and GOtv Open, available Port Harcourt, Lagos, Enugu, Benin, Aba, Owerri, Kano, Kaduna, Onitsha, Asaba and Uyo.
Hong Kong journalists booted from APEC summit
journalist association is protesting the expulsion of Hong Kong reporters from a regional summit, saying they were treated like a serious security threat after they shouted questions at Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. The journalists from Now TV, Radio Television Hong Kong and Commercial Radio asked Aquino at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali if he would apologize to the families of victims killed in 2010 while vacationing in Manila. Their questions were “placed on the same level as explosives,” the Hong Kong Journalists Association said in a statement. The reporters were banned from the event on Sunday. The group said they were placed under surveillance and stopped from entering their hotels the next day. “This development borders on the absolutely ludicrous and the so-called security threat concern is totally unacceptable,” it said. Another group, the Hong Kong News Executives’ Association, said it was shocked by APEC’s actions. Col. Bernardus Robert, spokesman of the APEC Joint Security Command, said it had zero tolerance for any threats. “We will not tolerate any possibility, even small, of threats against the heads of state,” he said. APEC organizers, in a separate statement, said “this is not about press freedom.” The journalists approached Aquino on the sidelines of the meeting.
Media mogul Surang is Thai's newest female billionaire
hai TV mogul Surang Prempree becomes a billionaire for the first time thanks in part to the strong performance of BBTV, Bank of Ayudhya, Siam City Cement and other companies controlled by fellow Thai rich lister Krit Ratanarak, Forbes magazine has revealed. She is now worth just over $1 billion, up from $930 million in July, when the Forbes published its 2013 list of Thailand’s richest. Surang, 70, a television executive known for the dramatic nighttime soap operas she produces and as the organizer of the Thailand Miss Universe pageant, has strong family ties to the media business. Her late mother cofounded Bangkok Broadcasting & TV (BBTV) in 1967 with Ratanarak’s late father Chuan, and Surang became the broadcaster’s managing director in 1985. BBTV’s Channel 7 is the country’s most popular station, but the company doesn’t just do media. It also acts as a holding company for stakes in many of the businesses Surang and Krit’s families control, including Bank of Ayudhya and Siam City Cement. Those companies have seen 400% and 300% growth, respectively, in the past five years, pushing the value of Surang’s 21% stake in BBTV from $85 million when we started tracking her in 2006 to just over $1 billion today.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
9-foot crocodile visits U.S. Navy base
9-foot, 3-inch crocodile that wandered near the entrance to a U.S. Navy base in Florida was tagged and released, officials said. Trice Denny, spokeswoman for Naval Air Station Key West, said the large reptile was discovered around dawn Monday near a commercial gate entrance to the base, KeysNet. com reported yesterday. Florida Fish and Wild-
life Conservation Commission officers responded to the scene and captured the crocodile, which was fitted with a tracking tag and returned to nearby waters. “These crocs are a reality in the Keys now,” FWC crocodile response coordinator Lindsey Hord said. “Removing a croc is not going to change anything; the best thing to do is figure out a way to coexist with them.”
Clerk with machete chases away robber
uthorities in New York state said an attempted robbery was foiled by a clerk who brandished a machete and chased the suspect out of the store. Brentwood police said the masked suspect brandished a gun on September 25 at the Stop and Shop deli in Brentwood and demanded money, WCBS-TV, New York, reported Tuesday. Police said the suspect
fired off a shot into the wall, leading the clerk to brandish a large machete he grabbed from under the counter and chase the robber from the store. The store owner said she purchased the machete about a month ago following a series of thefts. Police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect, who was armed with a .22-caliber pistol.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Passenger lands plane safely after pilot takes ill, dies
passenger stepped in to safely land a plane after the pilot fell ill at the controls, police have said. The passenger, who had never flown an aircraft before, made an emergency landing in the light aircraft at Humberside Airport, north Lincolnshire, on Tuesday evening. Police confirmed the pilot later died after falling ill. A Humberside police spokesman said: ‘The pilot of the light aircraft who became incapacitated while flying back to Sandtoft airfield was sadly pronounced dead Tuesday night. ‘Police are not treating the death as suspicious and, as such, a file will be prepared for the coroner in order to establish what led to the death of the pilot by way of an inquest. ‘Formal ID of the pilot is likely to take place later today (yesterday).’ The passenger landed the plane with the help of
two instructors giving him directions from the ground. Roy Murray, one of instructors who helped him land the plane, told the BBC the passenger did a ‘remarkable job’. ‘He made quite a good landing actually,’ he said. ‘He didn’t know the layout of the aeroplane, he didn’t have lights on so he was absolutely flying blind as well.
‘I think he’d flown once before as a passenger, but never flown an aeroplane before.’ He added: ‘I think without any sort of talk down he would have just gone into the ground and that would have been the end of it.’ Police, fire and ambulance crews were dispatched to the airport following a distress call from the pilot.
The aircraft is believed to be a Cessna, like the one pictured.
It is thought the pair, who have yet to be named, left a small airfield near Doncaster yesterday morning on a flight training day. ‘The emergency was declared at 6.20pm by the pilot of a two-seater aircraft. Shortly afterwards he was taken ill and became unable to fly it and that responsibility then fell to his passenger,’ said an airport spokesman.
PHOTO: DAILY MAIL
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Community Mirror You cannot for peoplevision but atto least, we can “It is pay government’s transform cushion the effects of their by helping agricultural sector anddeparture make it attractive.” their families.
Family challenges RATTAWU’s status as a trade union
OYO VICE STATEPRESIDENT; GOVERNOR,NAMADI ABIOLASAMBO AJIMOBI
Man abducts, rapes woman for three years FRANCIS SUBERU
he Lagos State Police Command said it has arrested a 37-year-old man for abducting and raping a 30-year-old woman for three years. The suspect, Idowu Ajibola was paraded alongside three other suspects who specialise in kidnapping little boys in Lagos and Ogun states. Idowu who was arrested by police attached to the Area ‘E’ Com-
mand in Festac town, was said to have abducted Modupe Brown under mysterious circumstance. It was gathered that Brown was a 400 Level student of Business Administration at the Lagos State University, LASU, when she was abducted and kept incommunicado with her family for three years. It was further gathered that on September 9, 2013, police operatives, stormed Shagamu, Ogun State and rescued the victim from the hideout and consequently ar-
Scene of an accident on Airport Road in Abuja on Tuesday.
rested one Ebun Idowu, the abductor’s mother, while the abductor was arrested at Idumota area of Lagos. The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer,DPPRO, for Lagos State, Damasus Ozuani, who paraded the suspects said, “ The suspect moved the victim round three different locations during her incarceration. She was kept at Oshogbo, Osun State, for six months, at Bariga, Lagos, for another six months, and at Shagamu, Ogun State for two
Obas urged to be custodians of culture AYO ESAN
he Chief Promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation, Otunba Gani Adams, has called on Yoruba Obas to act as custodians of culture and tradition and begin to promote the cultural festivals of their people. Adams, who was speaking on the programme for this year’s Olokun Festival, said if Obas promote the cultural festivals of their people, their subjects will be encouraged to come back home to contribute to the development of their fatherland. He also called on states and local governments in the South West to provide funds for traditional rulers to celebrate cultural festivals. “This will not only engender peace and unity among the people, it would also go a long way to improve the economic de-
velopment of these communities , as the festivals will attract local and foreign tourists, who will spend money and help the local economy”, he said. He also appealed to the Federal Government, Lagos State Government and the United United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, to provide a permanent site for the celebration of Olokun Festival saying, “it will help to enhance the festival as it has grown to status of a canrival like any other in the world”. Adams who is also the national coordinator of the pan Yoruba Group, Oodua Peoples’ Congress, OPC, also called for the recognition of Olokun Festival by UNESCO, just like it recognised Osun Osogbo and Ifa festivals. “We make this case for Olokun because of its global relevance. Olokun controls all the big oceans
of the world. So its recognition by UNESCO would help put this great goddess in the right place”, he said. On the programme for the 2013 Olokun Festival , Adams said it will feature Yoruba quiz competition , beauty pageant; festival lecture to enrich the study and research into Yoruba culture, history and tradition and awards for illustrious Yoruba sons and daughters. On the awards he said , “ They have been divided into five categories namely: Grand Cultural ambassadors that will be conferred on Governors, Babatunde Raji Fashola , and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for their contributions towards the promotion of Yoruba Culture and tradition in their states; Royal Cultural awards; Post Humous award; Cultural Ambassador award and Musical Ambassadors awards.
years. “The suspect, who hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State, is a primary school drop-out. He forcefully impregnated the victim while in captivity and who later delivered a physically challenged baby girl as a result of refusal to have the baby immunised against polio”. In an interview with Ajibola, he described Brown as his lover and said they have been cohabiting for three years. He said: “She told me that she wanted to elope with me because her parents did not want her to marry to a man of her choice. I told her that I have no money but she said I should not worry as she will get a way round the problem. “Some days later, she paid N 200, 000, into my account and we travelled to Osun. Due to the nature of my job, we moved from place to place. I was surprised the police came and arrested me.” Refuting Ajiobla’s claim, Brown insisted she was hypnotised and abducted by Ajibola in 2010, claiming she never me Brown until her abduction. She further said that Ajibola accosted her on the day when she was going to pay her school fees. According to her: “I lost consciousness the moment he touched me and he asked me to go back to my house and bring all my belongings and that was how we started living as husband and wife. “Any time I attempted to go home, a strange voice will tell me
not to go and in the process he impregnated me. We moved from place to place and he prevented me from immunising my baby. I recently regained consciousness and phoned my mother, who then called the police. In a related development, the police paraded three suspected kidnappers who are currently detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS. Ozoani, who identified the suspects as Olalekan Benjamin, Gbenga Sholaja and Samson Somorin, said they were arrested when the Divisional Police Officer at Igando, Ben Osuji, received an intelligence report on the gang’s activities at No. 12 Olowojeunjeje Street, Egan, Igando, Lagos. According to him, “The DPO at Igando apprehended Benjamin and later transferred him to SARS, for further investigation. “During interrogation, the suspect confessed and mentioned some of his gang members as Sholaja and Shomorin, who are based at Alagbado, Lagos and OwodeIjako, Ogun State, respectively. “The officer in Charge-ofSARS, Abba Kyari, Swung into action and arrested the two suspects from their various hideouts. They confessed to have kidnapped three children, one from Omole Phase 1, another from Alagbado area, while the third was from, Owode-Ijako, Ogun State and they collected various sums of money as ransom from their parents.
Flood victims get relief materials PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
uccour has come the way of the 100 victims displaced by flood, at old Awuru Gungu and Tunga Tank communities in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State following the distribution of relief materials worth N2.2 million to them. The Special Adviser to the Niger State Governor on Emergency and Disaster Management, Alhaji Mohammed Saba who distributed the materials during an assessment tour, said the move was to reduce the sufferings of those displaced before more assistance would come their way again. Shaba, however, attributed
the development to the refusal of people in both communities to move to the new settlement provided for them, saying if they had accepted to relocate, they would not have gone through what they went through, recently. Some of the relief materials include 100 bags of rice, 10 cartons of milk, 10 cartons of spaghetti, 100 bags of Semovita, 40 cartons of noodles and 25 jerry cans of palm oil. Others are 10 bags of salt, 10 bags of sugar, 20 cartons of soap, 10 cartons of Maggie cubes, 10 bags of garri and 2,000 match boxes. He then appealed to people of Awuru Gungu and Tunga Tanko to move from the area to new settlement as government has provided it with a hospital and bore hole.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Family challenges RATTAWU’s status as a trade union WALE IGBINTADE
embers of Otewoga Akodu family of Makun, in Sagamu Area of Ogun State have accused the Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria, RATTAWU, of presenting fake certificate of registration as a trade union organisation. RATTAWU, had dragged the Otewoga Akodu family members namely, Adesina Akodu, Olusesan Akodu, Adewale Akodu and Alba Akodu before Justice Rotimi Balogun of Ogun State High Court, sitting at Sagamu for alleged trespass on 85.513 acres of land situated at Oloke/Asanle, Aiyetoro Village,
Makun Sagamu, Ogun State. RATTAWU is also demanding for N5 million as special damages and a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further act of trespass. But, in a 19-pragraph Notice of Preliminary objection brought pursuant to Order 13 rule 17 (1) and Order 17 Rules 11 and 13 of High Court of Ogun State (Civil Procedure Rules, 2008), the family, through its lawyer, Babatunde Oshilaja challenged the validity of the certificate of registration No. 00025 presented by RATTAWU. The Otewoga Akodu family prayed the court to declare RATTAWU as lacking capacity to exist as a registered trade union. Besides, the family stated that one Chief Olusegun Ayo-
dele who allegedly sold the land in dispute to RATTAWU is not a member of Otewoga Akodu family, hence has no legal right to sell family land. It stated that, Chief Ayodele being an indigene of Osun State has no authority to sell land on behalf of Otewoga Akodu family. During hearing of the preliminary objection, Oshilaja argued that the certificate of registration of Trade Union No. 00025 of August 15, 1978 issued by the Registrar of Trade Union was issued to Radio Television and Theatre Workers Union and not to RATTAWU. He submitted that RATTAWU has no certificate of registration as a trade union contrary to claim in its Writ of Summons
and the Statement of claim. Besides, he argued that RATTAWU lacked capacity to sue in its name without a Certificate of Registration as a trade union being a non-juristic person and not known to law. He submitted that a registered trade union, being a legal person is determined by law and not by nature therefore, the absence of a certificate of registration showing that RATTAWU was registered in its name as appeared on the court processes rendered the processes invalid. He argued that RATTAWU lacked the locus-standi to initiate or sustain the suit against the defendant under Section 6(6) (b) of the constitution Consequently, he prayed the court to declare the suit filed by RATTAWU incompetent, null and void as court lacked juris-
diction to adjudicate on it. Besides, the family is asking for an order dismissing the claimant’s suit or strike out the name RATTAWU from all the processes. But, the claimant through its lawyer, Chief A F Okunuga insisted that RATTAWU is a registered trade union organisation and a juristic person. He urged the court to hold that it cannot determine the issue of jurisdiction by way of a preliminary objection filed by the defendants. Besides, he urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection on the ground that it constitutes a sheer waste of time of the court. Justice Balogun has adjourned ruling on the preliminary objection till November 11,2013.
Indigenes call for release of white paper on riots
A man taking a nap in the middle of the Ikorodu road that is presently undergoing reconstruction in Lagos recently. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
ndigenes of Ile-Oluji in IleOluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of Ondo State have expressed worries over the delay in releasing the white paper on the panel of inquiry that probed the recent riots in the town. Although the judicial commission of inquiry on the IleOluji Crisis/Disturbances, constituted by the government to determine both the remote and immediate causes of the mayhem, has submitted its report since July, nothing has so far been heard on it. However, the delay in the release is causing anxiety within
Woman arraigned for dumping baby in toilet AKEEM BOLAJI KANO
25-year-old woman has been arraigned before a Shari`a Court sitting at Fagge, Kano for attempting to kill a day old baby. According to the Police First Information Report, FIR, the matter was reported by one Sa`idu Auwalu of Fagge quarters on October 6th, 2013. The complainant told the poCHANGE OF NAME
ADAMSON: formerly known as Miss Adamson Titilola Oyindamola now wish to be known as Mrs. Onawole Titilola Oyindamola. All former documents remain valid. Zenith Bank Plc, Olabisi Onabajo University, WAEC and general public please take note.
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SIJUOLA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Sijuola Racheal Olakemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Aisha Aminu. All former documents remain valid.The general public should please take note.
lice that the accused person entered his compound and asked to use of the toilet, claiming she was experiencing menstruation, but surprisingly she threw her one day old baby boy into the pit latrine. He alleged that when the accused came out, he suspected something was amiss and went to the latrine and rescued the baby, even as the police prosecution, Ahmad Ali, said the offence was contrary to section
CONFIRMATION OF NAME
ONYECHE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Onyeche Ukamaka Philomena, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Dominic Ukamaka Philomena. All former documents remain valid. Imo State University, NYSC and general public please take note.
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LIKITA: formerly known and addressed as Miss. Rhoda Adamu Likita, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Rhoda Temilola Ajoba. All former documents remain valid. Federal Research Institutes of Nigeria (FRIN) and the general public should please take note.
119 of the Penal Code. The accused person pleaded guilty, and confessed she attempted to kill the baby because she became pregnant in her parent`s house which she claimed was contrary to the Islamic injunction. The woman’s husband who was also at the court said he asked his wife to stay with her parent`s when they were evicted from their house due to unpaid rents, even as he further
CHANGE OF NAME
told the court that his wife once informed him on the intention to abort the pregnancy for fear of delivering the baby in her parents’ house. He further said that, it was the last time he heard of the pregnancy until he was told that she attempted to kill the baby. After listening to both parties, the trial Judge, Abubakar Ayagi, released the woman on bail and adjourned the matter till October 31st, 2013.
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the town, as indigenes, especially those at home, are apprehensive that the high-handedness of the town’s monarch, complained about to the commission, is beginning to rear its head again. Some of the indigenes, who either submitted memoranda or gave oral evidence at the public sitting of the panel at Akure, the state capital, are said to have been victimised. A total of 10 memoranda were submitted to the panel while three prominent groups and personalities gave oral evidence at the public sitting. Indigenes, who did not want their names mentioned, claim that the town is now a police state, adding that only release of the government white paper on the inquiry would douse tension in the town. Peace in the town was disrupted ruptured on May 27 and 28, 2013 as students, youths and other people took to the streets in demonstration. Hoodlums took advantage of the protest to unleash mayhem on the town, leading to the death of one person and destruction of the palace of the Jegun of Ile-Oluji Kingdom, Oba Stephen Adedugbe.
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CHANGE OF NAME
OPARA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Cynthia Chidimma Opara, now wish to known and addressed as Mrs. Cynthia Chidimma Joseph. All former documents remain valid general public please take note.
IBEH: Formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Ibeh Bibian Chinyere, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Amaefula Bibian Chinyere. All former documents remain valid. NYSC general public please take note.
AKOR: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Agatha Odachi Akor, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Agatha John. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
NWANJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Monica Nkemakonam Nwanji now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Monica Nicholas Isibor. All former documents remain valid, the general public please take note.
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CHANGE OF NAME AGUBOSIM: Formerly known as Miss Agubosim Sopuruchukwu Vivian now wish to be known as Mrs Okoro Sopuruchukwu Vivian. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
CHANGE OF NAME CHIME: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Chime Melody Tochukwu now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Aneke Melody Tochukwu . All former documents remain valid, NYSC general public take note
CHANGE OF NAME NGWU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ngwu Celestina Onyedinma, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Innocent Celestina Onyedinma . All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note.
DANIEL: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Bosede Daniel, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Bosede Racheal Obafaiye all former documents remain valid.WAEC, Kaduna Polytechnic and the general public should please take note.
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“The image of hundreds of coffins (containing dead African migrants) will never get out of my mind” –EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JOSE MANUEL BARROSO
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
gypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi will face trial on November 4 on charges of inciting killings at protests, a prospect sure to raise concern in Washington, already considering cutting aid to Cairo to press for democracy. Morsi has been held in a secret location since his overthrow on July 3. If he is brought before the court, it will be the Islamist leader’s first public appearance since then. The trial could further inflame tensions between the Muslim Brotherhood and the armybacked government and deepen the political instability that has decimated tourism and investment in the most populous Arab state. The upheaval worries Cairo’s Western allies, who were hoping the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule would turn the region’s biggest country into a democratic success story. The United States and European Union had wanted an inclusive political process in Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the Suez Canal waterway between Europe and Asia. Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, and other Brotherhood leaders accuse the army of staging a coup that reversed the
Morsi faces trial as US reviews aid to Egypt gains of the 2011 revolt against Mubarak. The army, which says it was carrying out the people’s will, presented a roadmap it said would bring free and fair elections. Judge Nabil Saleeb said Morsi and other Brotherhood members had been charged with “inciting the killing and torture of protesters in front of the Etihadeya (presidential) palace”. The charges relate to the deaths of about a dozen people in clashes outside the presidential palace in December after Morsi enraged protesters with a decree expanding his powers. Egypt has been in turmoil since the army removed Morsi following mass protests against his rule and then launched a tough crackdown against his Brotherhood, killing hundreds at protest camps and marches and arresting about 2,000. Morsi supporters and security forces clashed again on Sunday, one of the bloodiest days since the military took power, with state media reporting 57 people dead and 391 wounded. The United States is leaning toward withholding most military
aid to Egypt except to promote counter-terrorism, security in the Sinai Peninsula that borders Israel, and other such priorities, a U.S. official said on Tuesday. The official said President Barack Obama had not made a final decision on the issue, which has vexed U.S. officials as they balance a desire to be seen promoting democracy and rights with a need to keep up some cooperation with
US, Britain accused of plotting coup in Gambia
ambia has accused the United States and Britain of fomenting multiple coup attempts in the tiny West African country and supporting the opposition as part of a plot to destabilize President Yahya Jammeh’s rule. Jammeh withdrew Gambia from the Commonwealth in a surprise move last week, branding
the now 53-member grouping that includes Britain and most of its former colonies a “neo-colonial institution”. In a statement read on state television by Minister for Presidential Affairs Momodou Sabally late on Tuesday, the government accused the United States and Britain of sponsoring a 1995 coup but said Gambia would not surrender its
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh addressing the 68th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, recently. PHOTO: REUTERS
mineral resources to “old vampires and present-day locusts”. Jammeh seized power in a bloodless putsch in 1994 as a 29-year-old army lieutenant, becoming the world’s youngest head of state. “These two Western powers have continued in their relentless efforts to destabilize this country, desperately using every means possible from sponsoring coup plots to financing the opposition and mounting a vigorous smear campaign,” the statement read. The British High Commission to Gambia said Britain had never acted to destabilize the country. “The UK is a friend of The Gambia and its people and it is in the interest of both countries to sustain a broad-based relationship founded on mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit,” read a statement sent to Reuters. The U.S. embassy did not respond to requests for comment. Sabally cited as proof of the al-
Egypt’s military. After Morsi’s ouster, the Obama administration said it would suspend about $585 million in military assistance to Egypt pending a wider policy review. The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration was now inclined to continue withholding most of that, with the exceptions described above. leged plot a proposed maritime security agreement with the United States that was recently rejected by Gambia for seeking “total control and exploitation of Gambia’s territorial waters”. A sliver of a country surrounded by Senegal, Gambia is a popular destination for European sun-seekers, many of them British, with its tropical climate and white beaches. More than a third of the 1.7 million Gambians live on under $1.25 a day. Under Jammeh’s leadership, Gambia has had one of Africa’s worst human rights records. The authorities are accused of intimidating and jailing journalists for criticizing the government and came under fire from Western donor nations last year when it carried out a series of executions of prisoners. In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Jammeh called homosexuality a threat to human existence and criticized countries for regarding it as a human right.
Obama appoints first woman to head US Federal Reserve
US President Barack Obama nominated Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Janet Yellen to be the next head of the US central bank yesterday, according to a White House official. If confirmed by the US Senate, Yellen, 67, would replace Ben Bernanke, who has held the post for eight years. She has been his deputy for the last two years, and would become the first woman to head the Federal Reserve. Yellen and Bernanke were scheduled to appear with the president yesterday. She has taught at Harvard University and the London School of Economics, as well as holding a series of senior administrative positions in the US. Yellen, like Bernanke, is seen as a “dove”, meaning she prefers to prioritise boosting employment by keeping rates low rather than worrying about inflation. Her nomination has been widely expected since former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers withdrew his candidature last month amid opposition from liberal Democrats. As Democrats control the 100seat Senate, Yellen’s appointment would only need six Republican votes to overcome potential any procedural hurdles. Some Republicans are expected to raise questions over her monetary policy views and support for previous federal stimulus efforts.
Mandela’s grandson probed for gun law violation –Police
One of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons is being investigated on suspicion of pointing a gun at another man during an argument, South African police said yesterday. The grandson, Mandla Mandela, has not been arrested, police said in a statement, without releasing further details. Freddy Pilusa, a spokesman for Mandla, was quoted as telling financial daily Business Day that the incident never happened and the accusation was “pure fabrication”. Anti-apartheid leader and former president Nelson Mandela, 95, spent nearly three months in hospital this year for a lung infection that left him in critical condition.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Police parade woman who connived with lover to kill husband JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
25-year-old woman, who connived with her lover to kill her husband, was among several other suspected criminals paraded by the Pla-
teau State police command yesterday in Jos, the state capital. The suspects, Mrs. Yakyben Nanbol and her loverboy, Nanbol Samson, were alleged to have killed the woman’s husband in Langtang North Local Govern-
Rights’ group rejects Kaduna’s ban on rallies, others A ZA MSUE KADUNA
he Center for Development and Rights Advocacy (CEDRA) yesterday condemned the decision of the Kaduna State security council to ban rallies and conferences in the state. In a statement signed by CEDRA’s spokesman, Dr John Danfulani, the group said the decision is an infringement on the rights of the citizenry. He said the people’s fundamental human rights of speech and association has been infringed. The statement also argued that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has given every citizen the rights of assembly and association, saying the order issued by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police must be reversed without any condition. The group said: “The statement credited to the Kaduna State Police Com-
missioner, Mr. Olufemi Adenaike that henceforth, no individual, groups or associations shall hold meetings, rallies or assemblies without the prior consent of the police command, are uncalled for. “We find it contradictory and that something is fishy, because it was the same commissioner of police that denied that there was commotion on Saturday during a Peace and Unity Rally at Murtala Muhammad Square, Kaduna, only to come out again to use the said commotion as basis of banning lawful and peaceful assembly in the state.” The statement added; “Nigeria is in a democratic era and citizens have rights of association and assembly as contained in the constitution. “Security agencies must as a matter of fact and in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities, avoid carrying out actions that have political undertones.”
SUBEB uncovers N24m fraud in teachers’ salaries IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
he Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board, yesterday said it has uncovered a N24 million fraud allegedly perpetrated by some education secretaries in the state’s local government education authorities. The discovery was made possible by the SUBEB leadership in the state while complying with Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura’s directive that teachers in the state should be the first category of workers to be paid. Following the directive, the board embarked on data collection in the months of August and September and consequently discovered the discrepancies in primary school teachers’ salaries in some local government education authorities in the state. This much was revealed during a meeting between the state SUBEB Chairman, Abdulkarim Abdulla-
hi Mohammed and state officials of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) at the union’s secretariat in Lafia, the state capital. A breakdown of the fraud as disclosed by the committee set up to ascertain the total numbers of primary school teachers in the state and their emolument, has Lafia East Local Government Development Area with the highest figure of N12.3 million, followed by Panda and Ekye Development Areas with N4.1 and N3.2 million respectively while Awe Local Government Area’s fraud stands at N2.3 million. A further breakdown of the fraud showed that Dadere, Loko and Agidi Local Development Areas and Kokona Local Government Area recorded N543.000, N280.000, N110.00, N195.000 fraud respectively; while Akwanga and Keffi Local Government Areas recorded N539, 000 and N44, 000 fraud in that order.
ment Area of the state. According to Mrs. Yakyben Nanbol, who confessed to the crime while being paraded at the command’s headquarters in Jos yesterday, she said she agreed to kill her husband to enable her marry her new lover. “I have been dating Nanbol Samson secretly without the knowledge of my husband for the past four months and we have agreed to get married. “We now decided that the only way out was to kill my husband to pave way for us to get married. “When my husband, who was a labourer at a
construction company returned from Port Harcourt, I called my lover to inform him that he was around and then my lover came in, pulled a gun at my husband, dragged him outside the house and killed him with a knife.” Samson also confessed to killing the deceased. He expressed regrets over his actions, saying that he was no longer in love with the woman. Also paraded by the police was a man identified as Joshua Peter, said to have robbed an apartment in collaboration with a soldier attached to the Special Task
Force (STF) on Jos crisis, who is now late in an operation which took place at the Low Cost Area within the state capital. According to Peter, on September 30, an STF personnel whose duty post is around Bauchi Ring Road, told him to follow him to Low Cost area of the state, which he did and immediately they got to the area, he said he told him he wanted to rob a house. “I was shocked, but I could not run because I was afraid of his gun in case he decided to shoot me, it was during the robbery operation that the soldier
was killed by youths in the area.” Also, among those paraded by the state police command was a man who killed his mother, accusing her of witchcraft, saying that she was behind his inability to get a good job. Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe, while addressing journalists said the state police command is alert and is ready to fight crime in the state. Olakpe advised the citizens to be watchful and to report any suspicious movements to security personal for prompt action.
Permanent Secretary, Gombe State Ministry of Education, Alhaji Aliyu Kamara (left) and Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Jalo Bajoga, at the 2013 World Post Day celebration in Gombe, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
ASUU warns UNILORIN over sharing of earned allowances KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday warned the authorities of the University of Ilorin not to share the N986.7 million earned allowance disbursed to the school by the Federal Government until the ASUU strike is over. Coordinator of ASUU Ilorin Zone, Dr Ayan Adeleke, who gave the warning while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, said the authentic ASUU Chairman in the university, Dr. Taiwo OloruntobaOju, had already conveyed the position of the union to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof AbdulGaniyu Ambali that; “The struggle for funding is still ongoing and that universities should not betray the struggle by disbursing the earned allowances until the struggle is over,” According to him, workers in the university had early yesterday engaged
themselves and the university management over modalities for sharing of the university’s share of the N30 billion disbursed by the Federal Government. Adeleke, who denounced the Prof. Wahab Egbewole faction of the union, said the group had been declared illegal by the National Industrial Court (NIC), adding that whatever they are doing is illegal. The Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of the union, Dr. Olusegun Ajiboye said; “It is the height of immorality for the people in Ilorin to be squabbling over the proceeds of a struggle that they did not participate in.” The union leader while maintaining that ASUU’s strike is beyond the issue of earned allowances, said the union is committed to full revitalisation of the public university system and not the peanut of earned allowances. He said: “Ironically, all this is going on at a time that ASUU and the Federal
Government are still engaged in a bitter face-off over the quantum of funds to be released to the universities as capital grants and as payment for earned allowances. “To make matters worse, University of Ilorin workers have repeatedly shunned any strike action embarked upon by their union as their leaders, especially factional leader of ASUU in UNILORIN, Prof. Egbewole, had publicly denounced ASUU for the strike action that eventually forced government to release some of the disputed funds. “It is therefore ironical that the lecturers of the University of Ilorin, who were not part of the struggle, are the ones now squabbling over the released funds.” The circular from Prof. Egbewole faction titled, “A Departure from our Collective Agreement”, which was made available to journalists, informed the academic staff that; “From
the grapevine, we learnt on Monday 30th September, that bursary was planning to pay 75 per cent instead of 100 per cent of our collectively agreement.” The release dated 3rd October, 2013, also warned that; “Our position remained uncompromised and that is that we are not ready to accept partial payment of any of those allowances, but rather the full payment of the allowances for which we have fully agreed on.” Egbewole had also written a letter dated 30th September, 2013 to the vice-chancellor, where he warned that the reduction to 75 per cent “is not acceptable.” In a related development, the leadership of the three non-teaching unions on the campus are said to have also reached an agreement with the university management to deduct 2.5 per cent of the allowances from their members’ entitlements as a token of appreciation to the unions.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Associated Airlines: Lloyds of London team arrives Nigeria Visits crash site, briefed. NCAA, survivors
epresentatives of the world’s giant insurance company, Lloyds of London, yesterday arrived Nigeria from United Kingdom to assess extent of damage on the crashed Associated Airlines flight, which killed at least 15 of its 20 occupants. It was gathered that an advance team from the Blake Group, a UK-based international crisis management firm, arrived the country yesterday afternoon. An Embraer 120 aircraft with registration number 5N-BJY crashed into the premises of the Joint Users Hydrant Installation, JUHI, within the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, last Thursday. A source close to the Ministry of Aviation confided in our correspondent that the representatives of the insurance company immediately on arrival visited the office of the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, the crashed site and the headquarters of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, all in Lagos. After visiting NCAA, members of the team, it was learnt, also visited Associated Aviation Limited office at the Lagos Airport, where they were further
The team also visited the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, where some of the survivors were hospitalised.
The source also said the airline took insurance policy directly from the insurance firm, adding that this led to the insinuation that the airline had no insurance policy.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has lampooned politicians over their comments on the crash. The government said unlike in other democratic
new ways forward for the country’s aviation sector, some politicians were making a political issue out of the accident. He observed that ever since the crash, opposition leaders threw caution to the wind to exploit the sad incident for political gains. The GM added that it was not a secret that the Nigeria aviation sector was left to deteriorate for several decades by the previous administrations, until the present leadership embarked on a rescue operation two years ago.
Jonathan kicks off stroke prevention programme ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA President Goodluck Jonathan undergoing a regular medical check-up during the launch of awareness campaign for regular medical check-up in Abuja, yesterday.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo undergoing a regular medical check-up during the launch of awareness campaign for regular medical check-up in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTOS: STATE HOUSE
Anti-graft war: ICPC seizes 100 houses in Abuja he Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, said yesterday that it had seized more than 100 houses in Abuja suspected to have been acquired with proceeds from corruption. A Commissioner in ICPC, Alhaji Isa Salami, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Calabar, said the houses were seized within the last four months. He said the commission was also prosecuting former Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, for allegedly diverting N16 million belonging to the force to his personal use. Salami, who was in Calabar to represent the ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, at a two-day retreat on the Provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, said the commission had pub-
countries where politicians came together in times of crisis to proffer solutions to any problem at hand, the reverse was the case in Nigeria as politicians seized the opportunity to unnecessarily criticise the government. The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, made this known yesterday in Lagos in an interview with aviation correspondents. Dati said instead of coming together as Nigerians at a moment of sorrow to chat
lished a Law Report which reflected the cases it had prosecuted since 1999. The commissioner said ICPC had also embarked on public education and enlightenment on its activities. He said: “We have to encourage the public to buy into the war against corruption so that they own it. “So, we must always capture public sympathy and support for our actions. In this drive we visit schools, where young people are, to catch them young and advise them against glorifying corruption. “We also visit universities, where we have started a system review so that all corruption-prone processes and procedures are reduced to the barest minimum.” Salami assured that similar exercises would be carried out at the seaports and aviation sector, which according to him, are gateways for foreigners to ac-
cess Nigeria. He said: “These areas of our economy affect the foreigners’ first impression about us and indirectly affect foreign direct investment in the country which is critical for the growth of our economy.’’ Salami said the ICPC would concentrate on aspects of the law to examine persons suspected to be living above their means through the assets they had acquired. He added: “This will be either by way of buildings or vehicles or even fat bank accounts. “Once we apprehend anybody, we do not need to go to court; the chairman of the commission has powers to gazette the seizure of these assets. “And it is now up to you to go to court and prove that you inherited or acquired them legitimately, otherwise those assets become
state property after a year. “So far, we have seized more than 100 houses in Abuja and environs within the last three or four months.” The commissioner said the commission had also spread its tentacles to some local government areas where recoveries were made in terms of funds taken fraudulently out of public coffers. Salami said three toll free lines had been provided by ICPC to the public to offer useful information to the commission. He, however, warned people against abusing the opportunity by using the lines to settle personal scores by concocting falsehood against innocent persons. The commissioner urged Nigerians to continue to abhor corrupt practises and refrain from supporting people known to be corrupt or displaying illegal wealth.
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday launched the National Stroke Prevention Programme to check sudden deaths in the country. At the kick-off ceremony shortly before the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at the Presidential Villa, Jonathan subjected himself to medical tests in a mobile clinic brought to the forecourt of the President’s Office from the National Hospital, Abuja. The Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, also went through medical tests while FEC members and National Assembly members are also expected to go through the tests to ensure that they are not at risk of stroke or heart attack. The medical tests were conducted on Jonathan and Sambo by consultant doctors from the National Hospital. However, the result of the tests was not disclosed. Briefing State House Correspondents on the Stroke Prevention Programme at the end of the FEC meeting, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, disclosed that the tests would cost N50,000 while indigent Nigerians would pay N10,000 as government would subsidise the tests for them. Chukwu said the programme would be managed by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Federal Teaching Hospitals and other teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Nigerians in the Diaspora. According to him, the major causes of sudden deaths include stroke and
heart attack. He, however, said sudden deaths could be prevented by regular medical check-up. The minister also disclosed that the President advised all Nigerians to go for medical check-up, adding that all FEC members should regularly exercise by taking part in some sports instead of sitting in their offices. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, also disclosed that FEC approved $3.5 million for the construction, delivery and commissioning of 100 buoys of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, in favour of Messrs Marina Energy Limited. Umar said Warri, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar ports would benefit from the contract, adding that upon completion and installation, the buoys would help to delineate the channels leading to the ports. FEC also condemned Tuesday’s attack on Nigerian Embassy in Guinea Bissau which led to the death of a Nigerian while many others were injured. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said FEC considered the attack as barbaric and inhuman. According to him, the President has directed the Nigerian Ambassador to Guinea Bissau to meet with the Guinea Bissau authorities in order to commence full investigation into the matter. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, also disclosed at the briefing that the International Finance Cooperation, IFC, was collaborating with Nigeria to strengthen the country’s gas supply network.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Piracy has been identified as one of the greatest challenges facing Nollywood, Nigeria’s blossoming movie industry, resulting in revenue losses that run into billions of naira annually, NGOZI EMEDOLIBE reports that the pirates have internationalised their nefarious activities because of absence of bilateral and multilateral agreements to fight them.
nyone who has visited some of the notorious markets, flourishing on account of piracy of intellectual works in Nigeria, will never meet someone who will agree counterfeiting of works exists there. Yet, on daily basis, loads of cloned works are exchanged in underthe-table deals that most often bruise the principal partners. For the movie industry called Nollywood, its relationship with piracy is ironic: the same piracy that led to the revolution called Nollywood is threatening to destroy it today, barely 20 years after. A host of film practitioners will attest to the fact that the initial movies made in Nollywood at the onset like Living in Bondage, Cycle of Doom, Nneka the Pretty Serpent and Violated among others probably made more third and fourth party sales, creating the awareness and stimulating the impression that profits abound in the industry. This inadvertently won a lot of converts who brought money to make more movies, while a parallel business of importing blank VHS tapes (and later CDs) thrived actively on the side. The meaning of this is that Nollywood has been thriving side by side with piracy but as the emergence of new media gets more hold of the cultural world, the need to tame it has become most urgent. Figures are unavailable to quantify the volume of revenues that are lost as a result of piracy, but estimates put it at over 300,000 copies for every very successful film that is released in the Nigerian market. A former national president of the Association of Movie Producers, Paul Obazele, in an interview estimated that about 300,000 copies seem to be lost in this process. This is a whole lot considering that most blockbusters in the Nollywood do less than a third of the number.
Nollywood protesting against piracy
Undoubtedly, Nollywood susceptibility to piracy has obviously been fuelled by the fact that the market is somewhat unconventional. In similar industries like Hollywood and Bollywood, bulk of the income earned from movie making comes through theatrical releases, which are mostly done simultaneously around the world, after which the film finds its way to the open movie market. But in Nollywood, film distribution goes straight to the open market from the editing studios, further helping the activities of the pirates. How it operates So far the open markets popular for film works in Nigeria are the Idumota Market and Alaba Market in Lagos, the Upper Iweka Market in Onitsha, Anambra State and the rows of shops making up the Pound Road Market located in Aba, Abia State. National Mirror’s Investigations indicated that a great deal of piracy thrives in all these markets but bulk of the works being pirated happens at the Alaba Market. While on a visit to the market to monitor its readiness for the release of Obi Emelonye’s Last Flight to Abuja in May, 2013, our reporter discovered that the higher the publicity a film gets, the more likely it is to get pirated on release. Inquiries by the reporter from shops there elicited remarks such as: ‘Hope they are prepared for the pirates?’ But when the reporter pretended he needed to meet anyone who could avail him the CDs at a cheaper rate when it is released, he was rebuffed. But information available points to the fact that the investors who engage in the trade own the duplicating machines in their homes and only use the shops at Alaba for distribution. Another discovery is that they do not sell to everyone. It is an organised market for the major dealers and only the people engaged and recognised in the trade get
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Piracy: Milking Nolly
Ayika annoyed with MYTV
the supplies which are ultimately made available to the end users on the streets. One of the earliest forms of piracy which afflicted Nollywood as an industry obviously started with betrayal of trust. According to Alex Eyengho, whose first film Beyond Obligation, lost so much revenue due to piracy, the culprit in his case was actually the marketer, whom he signed a distribution agreement with. Most times in doing this, some of the dubious marketers usually issue threefold the number of the VHS tapes or CDs agreed upon. At the end of the sales, the remaining are returned to the filmmaker as unsold copies, while the marketer who probably invested nothing in the chain of business will reap bountiful profits. According to Eyengho, in his own case, nothing got to him at all. “The marketer as we call them in Nollywood is dead now. He is Azubuike Udensi. In my case he frittered away both the ones he sold and also mine. All the money I sank into the project came to zero in terms of returns. I kept going to him to recoup my money but at a point, he vanished and by the time he resurfaced, he was not able to pay the debt”. East African connection Over time, the dubious activities of these so-called marketers have become worrisome as they moved into the international market with their nefarious activities. With the dwindling sales in home videos in the Nigerian market, the major people engaged in piracy have divested their trade to East Africa and Asia where Nigerian home videos are in hot demand. On the streets of cities like Nairobi in Kenya, Kampala in Uganda, Dares Salaam in Tanzania as well as Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, copies of Nigerian home videos are packaged and sold in the fivein-one (five home videos in one CD) format commonplace in the Nigerian scene of films from Hollywood and Bollywood. The success of this illicit trade is however being blamed on absence of bilateral and multilater-
Disributors seek end to piracy
SUCCESS OF THIS ILLICIT TRADE IS HOWEVER BEING BLAMED ON ABSENCE OF BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL CULTURAL AGREEMENTS WITH SOME OF THE COUNTRIES IN THAT PART OF THE CONTINENT.
al cultural agreements with some of the countries in that part of the continent. According to film producer and director, Chico Ejiro, the implication of this is that Nigerian producers whose works are being violated by this process cannot file charges. But the Federal Ministry of Information notes that “Regional African cooperation is mostly based on the common developmental experience and some similar characteristics of African
cultures. It is motivated by the need to work on the emancipation of African cultures. The Black African arts and civilisations try to establish mutual links and exchange.” Of course film is to a large extent alien to African culture and perhaps this need has been alien to us until now. Video clubs The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has made efforts to regulate the activities of video
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, October 10, 2013
wood dry... the east African connection
Onwujekwe, once accused by NCC
FOR THE MOVIE INDUSTRY CALLED NOLLYWOOD, ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH PIRACY IS IRONIC: THE SAME PIRACY THAT LED TO THE REVOLUTION
NOLLYWOOD IS THREATENING TO DESTROY IT TODAY, BARELY 20 CALLED
YEARS AFTER clubs through its initiative called ‘Video Rental Scheme’, which tries to establish a framework through which people engaged in such business concerns can avail film works on rentals. But it is obvious that this is not yielding much gain in curtailing the menace. In spite of the occasional clampdown, films are constantly being given out to people to watch for so little, and the fact that the business has close-knit members who are familiar with the operators make it difficult for law enforcement officers to have a crackdown on offenders. In most instances, film works will not be rented to any unknown person, and this aspect of exploitation is higher in the films made in Nigeria’s local languages, especially Yoruba and Hausa. Cable TV experience Infringements on the part of cable television providers are not rampant because their activities are closely monitored. However, it is interesting to note that a num-
ber of cases of exploitation and sometimes copyright violations also happen. Although Africa Magic is seen as a great influence on Nollywood having packaged the works and showcasing them to the world, but there are still complaints in some quarters that the amount being paid to producers of such works for the use of their works is quite meager. At the onset of the mad rush to sell rights of Nollywood films to Africa Magic, producers were getting a paltry $600 for their works. Over time, other cable networks specialising in showing Nollywood films have taken cue giving rise to the African Movie Channel (AMC) and the E-Stars aside from the numerous Nigerian television stations who often enter into barter with the producers.. Usually, the barter plan sees the TV stations playing commercials of the producers’ new films while the station exploits the right. For most of the stations in dire need of creative content, this has be-
come a rewarding substitute. However the case between MyTv and a Nollywood producer, Charles Uche Ayika, presents an interesting spectacle. On September 23, 2009 and October 11, 2009, rights of his film, Arrows of Love was exploited allegedly without authorisation when MyTv aired the film to its subscribers, even before the film was released into the mass video market. New media threat As the world however, shifts to online interactions, Nollywood appears more vulnerable to exploitation now more than before. Checks on online still showed that some websites are offering easy downloads of Nigerian films to audiences in Europe and America, and in some cases online streaming of the works are actively going on. Websites such as www.watchnigeriamovies .com and www.download-nigeriamovies.com have portrayed themselves as having the ability to avail such services. But like Jide Rotilu, a technology strategist, noted ‘Nollywood content on the internet for public distribution without permission or a license makes money off the content without payment of due royalties to the movie producers. This trend is on the rise. They do not charge viewers for watching the hosted movies; rather they make money off Google Ads that result from traffic generated on their website. “These guys are internet entrepreneurs, so there is a general sense of intelligence I presume. Most of them might not know the act is piracy . No one pays online for a pirated movie, all online pirated movies are free; the up-
loaders make money mostly from Ads. Since you get money from User generated traffic, why don’t you sign revenue sharing agreements with the content owners and make Nollywood sustainable. Follow the path of Jason Njoku (Iroko Partners).” The Internet Entrepreneurs would tell you they have no idea how to contact these Production houses which might be true and I would advise the film board to provide a database of all production houses online for such fellows.” Factors fuelling piracy - (NCC, MyTv angle) Aside lack of framework and cinemas that will aid theatrical releases to help producers recoup their money, two major factors are responsible for the thriving incidence of piracy in Nigerian films. In spite of how big the Nigerian film industry has grown over the years, there is acute absence of a collecting society for audiovi-
sual works in Nigeria. Although several meet ings and workshops have been convened jointly by the industry’s stakeholders like the Nigerian Film Corporation, NCC and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, efforts to realise this goal only started yielding fruit a few weeks ago, when an interim body on rights was put together with Mahmud Ali-Bagloun as the interim leader of the group, while efforts to file papers for its proper documentation continues. This will in no small measure help producers overcome the scourge, however the slow dispensation of justice as regards cases of copyright cases ranks high. At the courts, cases tend to drag so long. The case of Anthony Onwujekwe and Charles Uche Ayika are typical examples. For Ayika, whose work, Arrows of Love (1 and 2) was allegedly exploited by MyTv since 2009, justice is yet to be gotten in spite of a statement and evaluation to the NCC written by Peter Edokobi, a Senior Copyright Officer with NCC, dated May 14, 2010 in connection with the exploitation of his work by MyTv. Part of the statement read: ‘The latest responses from MyTv indicate that the company is not willing to engage in the Commission’s CLAMP (Copyright Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation Programmes) in settling the matter. Rather than address the claims of the complainant (Ayika)it went and bring (sic) another spurious letter purporting that the film in question was not censored’. The statement is proof that the Commission is convinced that Ayika has a case. In spite of this fact, the matter has been lingering in court as suit FCT/HC/M/5222/2011. More worrisome is the new charge being pursued by NCC against Ayika with suit number FHC/ABJ/ CR/37/2011 where he is being accused of obstructing a copyright officer from carrying out his duties. This matter has been followed by threats of protests as well as petitions by his colleagues in Nollywood.
L-R-COSON-Chair-Chief-Tony-Okoroji_NCC-DG-Mr.-Afam-EzeKude– Mr.Richard-Sandall-Representative-of-the-World-Bank at a copyright summit
Vol. 03 No. 722
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The world’s smallest functioning mousetrap measures 9mm x 5mm (0.35 x 0.19 inches). It was constructed by Franz Rosenberger (Austria). It is made of wood and metal.
Yoruba Assembly on national conference
ike most of the other linguistic nationalities that make up Nigeria, the Yoruba nationality in Nigeria have, for decades, persistently called for a rational restructuring of the Nigerian Federation, as well as canvassing forcefully for a sovereign national conference at which the representatives of the nation’s nationalities may address the National Question in relation to the Nigerian federation, and work together to make the country a harmonious, stable and thriving land of opportunities for all the different peoples of the nation. Virtually every Yoruba citizen of note, and countless Yoruba leadership and civic organizations, have joined their voices to this call at various times. As recently as August 30, 2012, representatives of Yoruba communities and organizations at home and in Diaspora
met in Ibadan under the aegis of the Yoruba Assembly to discuss, among other important issues, the Yoruba position on the structure and management of the Nigerian federation and the appropriate constitution for Nigeria. The Yoruba, at one with other Nigerian nationalities, have waited patiently on the Federal Government of Nigeria to respond to these calls. It is, therefore, a welcome development that President Goodluck Jonathan has finally decided, two years after the election that brought him to power in 2011, to organize a national conference. On behalf of the Yoruba nation, therefore, and in respectful cognizance of the expressed demands and desires of the Yoruba people, and of countless organizations, leaders and fathers of the Yoruba nation, the Yoruba Assembly welcomes the opportunity hereby offered by President Jonathan for Nigerian nationalities to confer and design Nigeria as a federation wherein each of the nation’s federating nationalities shall be protected from domination by any other Nigerian nationality, and wherein each Nigerian nationality shall be able to develop its economy at its own pace within the framework of a united Nigerian Federation or Nigerian Union. Although the sovereign status of the proposed conference is not clear in the swearing-in speech given by President Jonathan, the Assembly believes that the President’s decision to establish a forum for a national conference is appropriate and a
WE ALSO ENJOIN PRESIDENT JONATHAN TO EMPLOY ALL THE POWERS OF THE
GOVERNMENT TO SEE THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE TO A SUCCESSFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE TASK OF RESHAPING
welcome beginning. However, the Yoruba Assembly urges the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue to note that the most credible conference in the present circumstances of our country is one that has sovereign powers to transform the current pseudo-federal constitution to a truly federal constitution that captures the wishes of the peoples of our country. We also enjoin President Jonathan to employ all the powers of the Federal Government to see the national conference to a successful accomplishment of the task of reshaping Nigeria into a union of harmony, stability, and progress that can allow Nigerians to exercise their rights and responsibilities in a modern multi-
ethnic Nigerian State. Therefore, with regards to the modalities and operations of the national conference, the Yoruba Assembly offers the following: 1. That the linguistic nationalities that make up Nigeria are the fundamental components of Nigeria, and that the Nigerian Federation or Nigerian Union is, and should be, a federation based upon the action and consensus of Nigeria’s mono- and multi-linguistic nationalities. 2. That a national conference convened to work out a better structure for the survival of Nigeria as one territorial entity characterized by peaceful co-existence of the Nigerian nationalities should not be subject to the stresses of partisan political party confrontations, and that the organization of the conference should be devoid of any direct participation by any of the existing political parties, as political parties, in the country. That while all Yoruba people respect political parties as vitally crucial instruments for the running of the country’s democratic processes, we believe, however, that involving partisan political parties in the national conversation of the national conference is capable of creating avoidable tension and distraction for meaningful dialogue among the nation’s federating units. 3. That the primary interest groups in the Nigerian multiethnic state are the linguistic nationalities and that the conference should be a conference of representatives of the mono- and multi-linguistic nationalities freely chosen by the nationalities. 4. That the conference should be given the freedom and support it needs to do a thorough job in good time, in order to ensure that the national conference will not unnecessarily disrupt the statutory calendar for the 2015 general elections. 5. That arrangements for a national census count, for which the President has already appointed some officials, be postponed until after the ratification of new constitutional provisions emanating from the national conference. Lt-General Akinrinade (Rtd) is the Convener, Yoruba Assembly
ix-time Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy, believes that the start of the baton relay from Buckingham Palace yesterday marks the final run in ahead of next year’s 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Hoy, who is an ambassador for
C’wealth Games: Hoy revels in baton relay start the Games in his home country, is thrilled by the interest and excitement shown by the people of Scotland with months still to go before the baton arrives in Glasgow and the Games begin.
Although Hoy confesses he would have loved to have competed at the Games, he believes it would have been a bridge too far for him to challenge for the top prizes.
“It would have been the dream end to my career, but you have to be realistic and your body can only keep going for so long at the very highest level,” Hoy said.
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