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Senate queries 2014 budget assumptions

Boko Haram:

…investigates dwindling revenue, oil production

TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND GEORGE OJI Mark

Vol. 3 N0. 687 657

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he Senate has asked its committees on finance and appropriation to investigate the 2014 budgetary assump-

tions as contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Thursday, September July 4, 201326, 2013

Shekau ‘resurrects’ in new video P.4

N150 N150

End of the road for Kelvin, notorious kidnap kingpin HIS EXPLOITS

SOLA ADEBAYO AND OMEIZA AJAYI

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esidents of Niger Delta, especially those in Delta State, yesterday heaved a sigh of relief following the arrest of a notorious kidnap

Orchestrated kidnap of Mike Ozekhome Murder of ex-Deputy Governor of Anambra Attacked Warri Federal Prisons, freed gang members, killed 3 wardens Kidnapped Delta commissioner, Hope Eghagha Abducted several NYSC members

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SOME OF KELVIN’S VICTIMS

Ozekhome

Eghagha

Elumelu

Nwike

RIDING HIGH: Kelvin Oniarah (middle) with members of his ‘Liberation Movement’ before his arrest.

PDP crisis: Why reconciliation has been impossible –Aliyu Commotion averted in Senate Court fixes October 10 for ruling on Tukur, Baraje’s suit

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Power outage cripples Murtala Muhammed Airport

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2015 poll:

Jega decries lack of funds P.13


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PDP crisis: Why reconciliation has been impossible –Aliyu GEORGE OJI, SAM OLUWALANA, PRISCILLA DENNIS AND KENNY ODUNUKAN

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iger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, yesterday revealed why it has become difficult to reconcile all the feuding parties in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Accorind to him, external forces are deliberately frustrating reconciliation moves targeted at genuine process of resolution of the crisis. Warning them to steer clear from the party, he said that the forces had meddled in and aggravated the dispute between the President Goodluck Jonathan and the G7 rebel governors through various write-ups in newspapers designed to cause animosity and make reconciliation difficult. “We must not allow people who are outside the party to get so enmeshed in the problem that is not their own and in the process kill that which we want to build. “I need to draw your attention to this because I have been reading a lot of articles that they planted to create more animosity and anarchy that will make reconciliation difficult,” he said. Aliyu made the accusation while receiving the Brigade Commander, 31 Field Artillery Brigade, Ni-

gerian Army, Minna, Maj.Gen. Hassan Salihu. He noted that the PDP had the capacity to resolve its differences without outside interference. “I am beginning to see a sign as if some people don’t want reconciliation to take place through the type of articles they are planting in newspapers because what is happening is an internal affair of the PDP,” Aliyu said. Aliyu added that the major cause of the struggle by the seven aggrieved governors, which resulted in their walking out of the August 31 Special National Convention in Abuja, was the desire to build a democratic culture in the country. “The whole essence is about democracy and morality. Democracy may not necessarily flourish. Morality means that if you make an agreement whether privately or publicly we must learn to keep it,” he added. Commending the military for paying adequate attention to the training of its officers, the governor noted that of all security agencies, the military has the most educated personnel. “We also need to pay serious attention to training our children as military or civilians, and in some societies children are given military training. That is why when they called for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps,

NYSC, we appealed that it should be one-and-a halfyears with six months of military training." Speaking earlier, Salihu told the governor that the brigade was training its officers and men on how to address security challenges, while thanking the state government for the support given to the military and other security organisations in the state. Meanwhile, the factional crisis in the PDP reared its head yesterday on the floor of the Senate as two senators from the two factions struggled for supremacy. The face-off was triggered by the former governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, who

while paying tribute to the late Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, described himself as a member of the New PDP. Goje said he worked with the deceased in what he described as the “old PDP,” when both of them were governors and ministers. The former governor caused an uproar in the Senate following his repeated comment that he belonged to the New PDP under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Baraje. This was as opposition senators joined Goje to drum and chorus the “new PDP, new PDP, new PDP,” in such a rancorous manner that the entire Senate was temporarily enveloped

in confusion as the atmosphere became rowdy. At this stage, Senator Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West) clinging the Senate order rule book in his left hand shouted, "Point of order, point of order." While still shouting to be recognised by the Senate President, Adeyemi intermittently said: “This is a hallowed chamber. Don’t let us reduce it to a market square.” When he was eventually recognised, Adeyemi, citing Order 53 (7) from the Senate Standing Rules, argued that the remark of Goje that he belonged to the new PDP was offensive. He described as regrettable that Goje, a former

governor and sitting senator on the platform of PDP, could claim to belong to another platform, describing the utterance as unprofessional. In the midst of rising tension in the chamber, Mark ruled that it was impossible for anyone to bring any issue bothering on who is chairman of the PDP or not to the floor of the Senate, emphasising that such debate would never take place in the parliament. Mark noted that PDP remained one united party and insisted that since Goje admitted that he was a member of the new PDP, there was no cause for alarm, stressing that the CONTINUED ON PAGE 51>>

UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon (right) welcoming President Goodluck Jonathan to the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

End of the road for Kelvin, notorious kidnap kingpin CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

kingpin and bandit, Kelvin Oniarah, by officials of the State Security Service, SSS, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Also known as Kelvin Ibruvwe, the criminal, who was arrested at 3 a.m. was soon after moved to Abuja. It was gathered that Oniarah was apprehended by a combined team of SSS officials from Abuja and Delta State Command in collaboration with the troops of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shields. He was identified as being responsible for the recent kidnap of a senior lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), in Edo State, during which four policemen were killed.

Oniarah was said to have maintained operational bases and detention camps in Warri and Kokori communities in Delta State and Ugbokolo community in Benue State. He was also said to have bases in Benin in Edo State and Aba in Abia State. Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Adaba, who confirmed the arrest in a telephone interview with National Mirror, described the development as “a great achievement.” The kingpin had been declared wanted by security agencies over his involvement in deadly escapades, especially armed banditry and kidnapping in which over 100 persons have been killed in different parts of the Niger Delta.

National Mirror learnt that he enjoyed the backing and support of his kinsmen while his criminal exploits lasted. According to sources, the bandit was protected by his kinsmen as he engaged in a kidnapping and killing spree while he also operated a special training camp where he trained thousands of his kinsmen and graduated them into criminal activities. Concerted efforts by Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and heads of security agencies in the region, including that of JTF to elicit information that could lead to the arrest of the hoodlums from the leaders of Kokori community, were rebuffed. Just in March, he led a

bloody operation to Warri Federal Prisons, where he freed some members of his gang, who were being taken to court for trial. Three prison wardens and a top official of the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun, Delta State, Mr. Julius Ogungbemi, were killed in the daylight operation. He was also fingered as the mastermind of attacks on some high profile personalities, including a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu; National ViceChairman, South-South of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Steve Oru, in Eku and Agbarho areas of Delta State, in February. Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education,

Prof. Hope Eghagha, had also been abducted by the gang led by the hoodlum. Although Eghagha was lucky but his police escort was killed in the encounter. The commissioner was freed after parting with millions of naira. The wife of the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, was also held by the Kelvin gang and the university don was made to cough out millions of naira to free his spouse from captivity. Many lecturers of Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, were kidnapped and in some cases killed by the Kelvin-led gang. In Abuja, the Department of State Security Service, DSS, said the hoodlum

carried out several armed robberies and kidnap operations in Delta, Edo, Rivers and Anambra states. Some of his other offences were listed to include the kidnap and murder of a former Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chudi Nwike; the kidnap of a Judge of the Edo State Judiciary as well as the kidnap of a top female official of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, two victims which the DSS declined to mention their names. He was also fingered in the abduction of several members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. At a point, members of the Bench in Delta State had prepared for a strike CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Photo News

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Lagos High Court Judge, Justice Toyin Ipaye; Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayo Philips and Controller of Prisons, Lagos State Command, Mrs. Catherine Ononye, during the visit of the Chief Judge to Kirikiri Minimum Prisons in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri; representative of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. John Omini and representative of Ndidem of Quas, HRH. Ntoe (Dr.) Lawrence Ekong Etagbor lV, at the One Day Stakeholders’ Conversation on the Mid-Term Report of President Goodluck Jonathan in Calabar, Cross River State, yesterday.

L-R: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tom with their son, Chibundom and Abia State Governor Theodore Orji during a thank you visit to the governor who sponsored Chibundom’s medical treatment to India for correction of a heart defect, in Umuahia, yesterday.

L-R: Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos Council, Mr. Deji Elumoye; son of the late Photo Editor of Daily Newswatch Newspapers, Mr. Tunde Ogundeji, Yemi and his mother, Toyin, during the burial in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

National News

Boko Haram: Shekau ‘resurrects’, Police get four new AIGs, nine CPs vows not to halt attacks O MEIZA A JAYI

FELIX NWANERI

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oko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, yesterday told the military to bury itself in shame because he is ‘alive’, even as he vowed to continue attacks and not to allow democracy thrive in the country. In an online video by the Islamist militant group, Shekau, who said the world “should know that he could not die except by the will of Allah” claimed responsibility for the September 17 attacks in Benisheik, Borno State, in which over 160 lives were lost and hundreds of houses burnt. The former spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in Borno State, Lt Col Sagir Musa, had issued a statement on August 19, claiming that Shekau had been killed. “Intelligence report available to the Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Restore Order revealed that Abubakar Shekau, the most dreaded and wanted terrorists leader may have died. “He died of gunshots wounds received in an en-

counter with the JTF in one of their camps in Sambisa Forest on 30th June, 2013. “Shekau was mortally wounded in the encounter and was sneaked into Amitchide-a border community in Cameroon for treatment from which he never recovered,” the JTF spokesman had said. Though there was no independent confirmation of the army’s claim, Shekau who appeared in the new video in military camouflage, seated and surrounded by hooded insurgents in a jungle environment, said the military will never subdue his group. His words: “The world should know that I cannot die except by the will of Allah. I have told you that all that I do is prescribed by the Quran. “The essence of it is to carry out the injunctions. Don’t bother yourselves stopping me because I cannot be stopped. The war is more grievous than you think, and it will consume you. “I swear by Allah that there will be no democracy in Nigeria. We are going to rise against it and we shall

soon defeat it. “The concept of government of the people by the people for the people cannot continue to exist. It shall soon, very soon, be replaced by government of Allah, by Allah for Allah. “It was said that I was killed, but here I am; I deliberately refused to respond on time; but here I am talking and laughing at Nigerian authority which misled the world that I am dead. “I believe by now, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, who issued the statement of my death, should bury his head in shame; President Jonathan should bury his head in shame; President Barrack Obama should bury his head in shame, President François Hollande should bury his head in shame. “How shameful is it for Nigerian military for a man they called inconsequential to defeat them and seize their tankers and arms. We have celebrated our victory in Monguno, Benisheik and surrounding villages, and we shall not relent until total victory comes our way, by Allah’s will.”

ABUJA

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he Police Service Commission, PSC, has approved the promotion of four Commissioners of Police to the rank of Assistant Inspectors General of Police, AIGs. The Commission did not disclose their names, saying the names would be announced by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, who is expected to formally decorate them soon. Also, Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said he did not yet have the details but that the names would be made public soon. The new AIGs were said to have had some of their mates elevated to the rank about a year ago. The action comes at a time when the Commission is desirous of ensuring that all zonal AIGs are withdrawn to the Force Headquarters in Abuja, while Deputy Inspectors General of Police, DIGs, who are

members of the Police Management Team are redeployed to the 12 zonal commands. This was as the Commission expressed its resolve to regularly elevate hard-working officers and men of the Force, while those who abandon their responsibilities for pursuits unbecoming of law enforcement officers would be appropriately sanctioned. The promotion of the new officers was approved at Tuesday’s plenary meeting of the Commission in Abuja. The meeting, apart from considering various issues bordering on the repositioning of the Force for effective ser-

IG, Abubakar

vice delivery, also elevated nine Deputy Commissioners of Police to the rank of Commissioners of Police. Assistant Director, Press and Public Relations in the Commission, Ferdinand Ekpe, who confirmed the development disclosed that during the Plenary, the Commission, acting on the recommendations of the IGP, also promoted nine Assistant Commissioners of Police to the rank of Deputy Commissioners of Police. He said 20 Chief Superintendents of Police, who had been adjudged deserving, were promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioners of Police, adding that all the promotions are with effect from 24th, September, 2013. He quoted the Chairman of the Commission, Mike Okiro as saying that the promotions were based on merit and existing vacancies, urging the newly-promoted officers to live up to the additional responsibilities attached to their new ranks.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Senate queries 2014 budget assumptions CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

FSP, forwarded to the National Assembly last week by President Goodluck Jonathan for approval. This is to properly equip the Senate to take the executive on matters regarding the parameters upon which the 2014 budget proposal was predicated. The MTEF and FSP, as required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, provide the basis for annual budget planning. Both the MTEF and FSP consist of a

macroeconomic framework that indicates fiscal targets and estimates revenues and expenditure. The action of the Senate was consequent upon doubts raised by some senators on some of the claims contained in the document when the Senate opened debate on it yesterday. A few of the senators who commented on the document before it was referred to the two committees challenged government to show evidence to

substantiate its claims. For instance, Senator George Akume noted that there were no wide consultations with the relevant agencies of government as required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act before government came up with the document. He concluded that the document was flawed and should be sent back to the executive to be reworked. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said he had hoped that the relevant Senate com-

mittees had investigated the claims and written their reports before the debate on the document. Senate President David Mark suggested that the Senate should suspend further debate on the document and direct its committees on finance and appropriation to investigate the claims so that the Senate will be better equipped to challenge the executives on some of the claims contained in the document. Mark noted that the two

L-R: Deputy Country Director, United Nations Development Programme, Mr. Bernado Cocco; representative of the StatisticianGeneral of the Federation, Mr. George Oparaku; representative of the World Bank Country Director, Mr. John Ngwafar and Senior Statistician, Development Data Group, Mr. Alain Gaugris, at the National Statistical User Satisfaction End-Line Workshop in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

End of the road for Kelvin, notorious kidnap kingpin CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

in protest against incessant attacks on judges in the state by the gang. The intervention of the governor averted the action. Soldiers of JTF and policemen were not spared by the blood-thirsty hoodlum, who killed and maimed many military personnel and policemen. His house in Kokori was demolished by the police at the height of his exploits. Apparently seeking a soft landing, Kelvin had nine days ago, sneaked into Kokori, masquerading as an Urhobo agitator and sought the development of the Urhobo axis of Delta State, by the federal and state governments. The criminal, who beat the security web in the area to address thousands of his kinsmen and journalists, announced the formation of a militant group, Liberation Movement of the Urhobo People, LIMUP. Declaring himself as national leader of LIMUP, he

spoke as over 3,000 women and youths cheered him and armed members of his gang, who were decked in military camouflage uniforms. He issued a 60-day ultimatum to both Delta and Federal Governments to develop Kokori in particular and Urhoboland in general or his armed group would blow up oil installations in the areas. His sudden appearance and threat to attack oil installations in Urhoboland triggered a fresh manhunt for him by the security agents. Adaba, who was frustrated by the deadly exploits, once lamented: “Kelvin recruits undergraduates, graduates, Okada riders, and he buys motorcycles for them and tutors them. He has so many gangs in the state working for him. There is a network; this is what I have discovered and we have been finding it difficult to get at him because, in that axis, the moment they see any stranger, they will blow the whistle.

“However, we have been able to bulldoze to some extent; it was in Kelvin’s house that we picked up the personal assistant to a commissioner in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, who was kidnapped. His (Kelvin) parents were there, but you know this arrest by proxy, we do not want to be involved in it; otherwise, the person that is giving everybody headache in this state is Kelvin and he is from Kokori.” Soldiers invaded Kokori in the aftermath of his arrest yesterday. There was a report of exchange of gun fires between troops and members of his gang in the community. The details of the bloody encounter were not available at the time of filing this report last night. It was, however, learnt that scores of persons were arrested by the federal troops in Kokori as the residents fled the community in droves. The police commissioner

told National Mirror that the suspect would be prosecuted after preliminary investigations by the authorities in Abuja. “It is a welcome development that the notorious kingpin has been apprehended finally and he is going to face prosecution for his various crimes. He is already in Abuja, answering questions from the interrogators,” added an elated CP. The DSS in a statement, which was signed by its Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar described Oniarah as a “notorious terrorist, kidnap kingpin and armed robber, who has been on the wanted list of security agencies.” The DSS said he had orchestrated the kidnap of Mike Ozekhome on August 24, 2013, along the AuchiBenin road as well as several members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and security agents. “Kelvin Oniarah has been taken into custody and investigation of his notorious activities has commenced,” Ogar added.

committees should consult widely from government sources and use the services of consultants to elicit the truth about the claims. When the issue was put to vote, those who supported Mark’s position carried the day. Based on the MTEF and FSP, government has projected to spend N4.497 trillion as aggregate expenditure for the 2014 federal budget estimate. This amount is N492.1 billion or 9 per cent lower than this year’s budget figure of N4.987 trillion. Government blamed the reduction in the expendable revenue on the expected decline in government’s revenue, resulting from reduction in crude oil production where the country is currently facing lingering challenges of crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and production shut-ins. Government also lowered the crude oil production estimate to 2.388 million barrels per day, down from this year’s production benchmark of 2.526mbpd. This was also as government set the benchmark price of $74 per barrel of crude oil for the 2014 budget estimates, down from this year’s $79pb. In a related development, members of House of Representatives Committee on Finance have called on the managers of the economy to discard the current template used to measure the performance of yearly budgets. The legislators, who visited the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, OAGF, yesterday as part of their oversight to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, expressed displeasure at what the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office call budget performance. The legislators accused the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office of the Federation for basing budget performance on the amount that had been released rather than on what had been budgeted. According to the legislators, the current template for budget performance should be jettisoned and performance should not be based on releases but on budgeted figures.

To justify their stance, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, pointed out that “incomplete release of funds to the MDAs, especially the OAGF will lead to non- performance, poor release of funds will lead to poor performance.” Using the presentation made by the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, to the members of the committee as basis of their assessment, the legislators were worried that between January and August this year out of the N3.3 billion budgeted as personnel cost for the OAGF only N2.03 billion had so far been released and utilised. For the first, second and third quarter capital releases for the OAGF, N43,000,000 was budgeted for the purchase of a “power generating set” but as at yesterday, only N20,546,228.52 had been released and out of the sum, only N18,100,203.90 had been expended on the purchase, with a performance rating of 88 per cent. According to the lawmakers, rather than use the amount released to measure budget performance, the legislators said they preferred the use of the budgeted figures in order to reflect a true picture of how a budget is performing. For the construction/provision of public schools, out of the N401,494,437.00 budgeted, only N191,844,691.09 was released out of which N127,711,310.00 of the amount released had so far been expended on the project, indicting a performance rating of 67 per cent. Earlier, Otunla had advocated the retention of a single office of Accountant General at national and subnational levels, pointing out that “splitting the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, from the Federal Ministry of Finance will trivialise the work of government.” On the crisis rocking the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, Otunla said that “expectation of revenue is falling short of budgeted revenue; the OAGF cannot account for revenue that is not generated and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is facing a lot of challenges as a result of oil theft.”


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

No Nigerian in Kenyan mall attack –High Commissioner EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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igerian High Commissioner to Kenya, Ambassador Akin Oyateru, has disclosed that no Nigerian was involved in the attack on Westgate Shopping mall in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, by suspected al-Shabaab militants.

Al-Shabaab is suspected to have links with the global terrorist organisation, Al-Qaeda, which masterminded the September 11 attack on some strategic facilities in the United States, including the Pentagon. In a tele-conference with Foreign Affairs Correspondents yesterday, Oyateru said no Nigerian was involved or affected

in the terror attack, which left scores of people dead, including a foremost Ghanaian poet, Kofi Awoonor. The ambassador, who disclosed that the country’s High Commission in Kenya made some monetary donations through local arrangement, however, called for joint collaboration among all nations to confront the global

scourge of terrorism. While describing terrorists as people, who are feeding on others, he urged “men of good conscience to condemn their dastardly acts, at least to send a strong signal across that terrorism is a needless war against humanity”. Oyateru also called on the public to keep being vigilant, even as he

charged the people to know their neighbours to be able to identify and report to security agencies, strange elements within their neighbourhood. According to the envoy, the demand by the militants that the Kenyan government pulls its troops from Somalia is a tall order, as the government of the East African state will

remain in the struggle to liberate Somalia. He said: “Neither the Nigerian government nor Kenyan government will allow itself to be intimidated by deliberate acts of terror.” Terrorists, who attacked the mall, were said to have used survivors as shield, thereby making it difficult for security operatives to rescue hostages unharmed.

Power: 32,860 PHCN workers get severance benefits UDEME AKPAN

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L-R: Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Aji; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Pius Anyim and Vice-PresiPHOTO: NAN dent Namadi Sambo, at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday.

FEC approves N29.7bn for road, water projects ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday approved N29.7 billion for water and road projects in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. It also included the construction of a dual carriageway linking Abuja to Kaduna State through the Lower Usman Dam area of the FCT. Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, who briefed State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting, said the road construction project which was part of the Lower Usman Dam project phase II

would cover Bwari to Gurara, having earlier completed the first phase at the cost of N13 billion. Onolememen disclosed that FEC devoted time to discuss memos bordering on infrastructural development and provision of infrastructure and services in the FCT, adding that government was also planning more roads to ease traffic flow into and out of Abuja. He said: “Council has agreed to approve this road and it is expected to run from Dutse Alhaji to access the north western parts of the country through Kaduna as well as provide double advantage

of creating easy access to the lower Usman Dam project within the FCT. “The project costs N28 billion, with a completion period of 24 months as well as cross cutting advantages of making sure that we provide complementary services such as housing, agriculture and water supply. “Council approved it because of the salutary effect it will have on the city. It will provide more opportunities for even conferences, hotel development and create other employment opportunities for the area. “We are looking at the creation of bypasses to

link the FCT with neighbouring states. Essentially, we are going to be having some kind of ring roads, like a semi-circular ring road that will act as a collector road and move people away from those expressways and dissipate them to different points of the FCT.” Also speaking at the briefing, the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, disclosed that FEC approved water project for the Asokoro extension and surrounding environments which was expected to provide water to Dallas and Sunrise estates at the cost of about N1.7 billion.

Disciplined lawyers will aid judiciary reform –Muhktar ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, yesterday said the ongoing judiciary reform would get desired result if lawyers conducted their affairs within the confine of ethics of legal profession. Muhktar said this when the immediate past President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, who is

the Chairman of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), presented some copies of “Directions and Rulings of the LPDC of the Body of Benchers from January to May 2013’’ to her in the Supreme Court. The CJN also commended Daudu for supporting National Judicial Council, NJC’s effort to cleanse the Bench of rot and corrupt judges by sanctioning cor-

rupt members of the Bar. She, however, regretted that the present Bar was highly infested with questionable characters. Buttressing her claims, Muhktar said there were many petitions involving some lawyers which came to her office but which she sent to LPDC to handle. The CJN said some of the petitions were thought-provoking and mind-bugling. Though she admitted that the Daudu-led committee

had done so much within a short time, she said more efforts must be made to make appreciable impact in view of the number of lawyers engaging in unwholesome practices in the country. She said: “I thank you for presenting this book to me today. For quite sometimes, I have been seeing the LPDC proceedings on the television, but I have never observed the zeal and result with which you are carrying out this job now.”

he Federal Government has paid severance benefit to 32,860 personnel of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, representing 69 per cent of 47,913 cleared for the exercise. This is part of the measures aimed at ensuring that 15 Electricity Generation Companies, GENCOs and Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs are successfully handed over to preferred bidders next month. The data of the Ministry of Power, which confirmed the development, showed that: “As at Monday, this week, government through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, has/is remitting payment to 32,860 PHCN workers.” The document showed that efforts were still being made to resolve issues concerning about four per cent of the workers who had audit queries, corrections and those with regularisation related issues. It added: “Those with biometric related issues are also being attended to. Their non-capture during the biometric exercise was because they did not make themselves available for capture. It was not government’s fault. “However, government is making concerted effort to ensure their capture. They are about 3,000 workers, cutting across all the SCs. “Government has remitted to the OAGF the pension component for all the cleared 32,860 PHCN workers to be paid to their retirement savings accounts. With this payment, government has met its entire obligations for the cleared 32,860

PHCN workers.” The Special Assistant to the Minister of Power, Mrs. Kande Daniel, said in a telephone interview that: “Work is continuing and the figures are changing daily in the direction of progress in completing payment to the workers.” Daniel added that adequate measures were being taken for successful handover of the GENCOs and DISCOs. She said: “The minister and government agencies are consciously following the rules of the game, doing all they can to ensure that the privatisation/reform process is not interrupted.” Daniel said government was also aware of the need to remain on course to ensure success of its power programme, having opened it up to the world, conducting the business in an internationally acclaimed thorough and transparent manner. She added that government had worked so hard to come this far, setting the record of virtually one 100 per cent payment for its generation and distribution companies, and with investors already coming in from all over the world. Daniel expressed the minister’s determination to ensure all the workers were paid. She said: “The minister has appealed to the workers and their union leaders to continue to show patriotism and maturity, to facilitate the process of ushering in a private sector-led power industry in which these experts will be very relevant, as the trained and experienced workforce on whom the new owners will rely for their operations.” Investigations showed that many PHCN personnel are pleased with the progress.


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

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UN building: Bomber’s car number plate untraceable –VIO CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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wo years after the United Nations (UN) building was hit by a car bomb in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the registration number of the bomber car is yet to be traced. Authorities of the Road Traffic Services popularly known as Vehicle Inspection of Officers (VIO) yes-

terday declared that the number was fake and could not be traced in its data base. The Public Relations Officer, FCT Road Traffic Services, K. K. Iloduba Jnr, who disclosed this in an interview with National Mirror, said the introduction of a new number plate system is tied to the problem of insecurity in the country. He said a lot of vehicles did not pass through the

due process of registration, leading to the proliferation of fake number plates. Iloduba said the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) came up with the new number plate scheme to checkmate the activities of criminals who leverage on loopholes that existed in the old numbering system. “Before now, it was easy for a Nigerian to buy a car in Lagos and obtain Abuja plate number. But it is not

proper because it was not done the right way and at the end of the day you discover that such registration is fake. “And you will recall that the vehicle that was used in bombing the United Nations building sometime ago had Abuja registration number but it could not be traced in our system. And at the end of the day, we discovered that it was a fake number plate.

“That was why the Corps Marshal, whose organisation has the mandate to print number plates for all states of the federation aside, Lagos that is printing her own number plate, came up with a new number plate scheme to break the rank of number plate racketeers.” According to a statement by the State Security Services (SSS), investigation had revealed that the

car used for the attack was a Honda car with Kano State registration number AV38NSR. It was purchased on 3rd September, 2002 and registered on 3rd December, 2002. The vehicle identification number is 1HGCBA7400A100748, Engine number, F22A72000540. At least 21 people were killed in the car bomb explosion which took place on Friday, August 26, 2011.

UN urged to put pressure on FG to end corruption DAYO AYEYEMI

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L-R: President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari; Chairman, House Committee on Sport, Hon. Geoffrey Gaya and Secretary, NFF, Mr. Musa Abbubakar, during an oversight function of the House to NFF in Abuja, yesterday.

Encomiums as Senate pays tribute to Agagu GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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he Senate yesterday paid glowing tributes to the late former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, who died on Friday, September 13. The upper chamber also resolved to send a delegation to commiserate with the family of the deceased, the Government and people of Ondo State, just as a one minute silence was observed by the Senate in honour of the departed. This followed a motion sponsored by the three senators from the state, Senators Boluwaji Kunlere (Ondo South), Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central) and Robert Ajayi Boriffice (Ondo North). In his lead presentation of the motion, Kunlere observed that the late Agagu was elected Deputy Governor of old Ondo State under the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), where he deployed his vast knowledge as a geologist to advance the case

of Ondo State as an oil producing state. The lawmaker said he was aware also that Agagu was at a time a founding member of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) as well as a founding member and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, who was appointed as a minister of aviation and later power and steel between 1999 and 2003. Kunlere described the late former governor as, “An intellectual of no mean repute, a consummate politician, a wonderful networker, nationalist, socialite, a community leader, a devoted Christian and above all, a family man married to one and only Mrs. Olufunke Agagu, which marriage was blessed with three children, who are all successful in their chosen careers.” Senator Danjuma Goje, who worked with the late Agagu as the minister of state, power and steel, described him as a simple, down to earth person, who

Nigerians should remember as level-headed development conscious person. The lawmaker further observed that as a very articulate and forthright person, the deceased gave very sterling leadership to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). Senator Ehigie Uzamere, after recounting his encounter with the late governor during an international flight, describe him simply

as a very humble person, whose legacies in Ondo State should be emulated. Senate President, David Mark, noted that whilst he had the opportunity to serve Nigeria, the late Agagu did so with dedication and commitment. Mark described him as “A patriotic, perfect gentleman, who was hardworking, dedicated to Ondo State in particular and Nigeria in general.”

orld Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have urged the United Nation (UN) Human Rights Council to put pressure on the Federal Government to end corruption and the impunity of perpetrators. The call came ahead of the presentation by the Federal Government of the country’s human rights report under the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in October. The call by the groups, according to a statement signed by the Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, was made in Geneva yesterday as the government prepares to attend the 17th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). In their updates to the Human Rights Council and ambassadors in Geneva, the groups expressed serious concern that the government has failed or neglected to implement its

commitments and promises made during the 2009 UPR review. WEA is a network of churches in 129 nations that have formed an evangelical alliance and over 100 international organizations, joining together to give a worldwide identity, voice, and platform to more than 600 million evangelical Christians. SERAP is a Nigerian based human rights and anti-corruption NGO. According to the groups, during the 2009 UPR review, Nigeria committed herself to pursue its fight against corruption so that all its citizens can enjoy peace, health and security. The group said; “Those recommendations were accepted by Nigeria. However our report concludes that these commitments have not been met.” The groups maintained that the Nigerian government is the chief custodian of Nigerian resources, adding that it has the prerogative and the unique opportunity to act for the benefit of its citizens, urging the UN council to appeal to the government of Nigeria to live up to its commitments.

N107m scam: I paid N4m to FG under duress –Suspect EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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former Secretary of the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), Mr. Emeka Ebilah, yesterday told an Abuja High Court that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) forced him to make a refund of N4, 395, 477.40 to the sub-treasury of the federation. The former NEIC scribe, who made the claim dur-

ing examination-in-chief by his counsel, Dr. Awa U. Kalu, SAN, is being prosecuted alongside the former National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, on a 17-count charge of conspiracy and award of fictitious contracts to the tune of N107 million. The offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. Ebilah’s testimony is coming on the heels of an

earlier statement by Ogbulafor to the effect that the former (the 2nd accused), gave him (Ogbulafor), a cheque of N2 million as donation towards his campaign for the position of national secretary of the PDP. However, at the resumed hearing of the criminal case before Justice Ishaq Bello yesterday, the second accused said an ICPC investigator/interrogator, whom he identified as Basil Momodu, forced him to change his earlier statement. According to the suspect,

who testified for himself, “A gun was put on my head and I was put into a well like a frog and subjected to inhuman torture and under that situation, anybody can say anything. “I was made to write or say whatever they (ICPC) wanted me to say so that I will be set free. The action made me change my statement,” he said. He added that; “Investigation activities were never extended to my companies,” listed as exhibits 12 (a) and (b).”


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South West

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Power outage cripples MMIA OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos has been thrown into darkness since Tuesday owing to power outage. Airlines operating in the terminal have resorted to manual check-in of passengers as all the systems packed up because of the outage. It was gathered that the power cable, which supplies electricity to the airport got burnt owing to overload. As at yesterday, all facilities at the airport, including the chillers, were still not working. It was also learnt that profilers resorted to the use of torchlight to pro-

• Airlines resort to manual check-in file departing passengers while workers on the fifth floor also used torchlight to access their offices. Besides, the power outage affected the two foreign carriers, which landed simultaneously at the airport, Air France and Lufthansa Airlines. When the heat became unbearable, passengers of the airlines had to use newspapers as improvised hand fans while some pulled off their clothes. The outage led to the delay of checked in luggage from the baggage reclaim area as arriving passengers spent over an hour before they could retrieve their luggage from

the carousels. But the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said power supply had been restored at the airport. Dati said in statement that power was restored after a brief outage which affected some sections of the terminal today (yesterday). He said: “The power outage, which mostly affected the ‘E’ Wing of the terminal, was caused by an underground armoured cable fault, leading to billowing of smoke in the affected area. “The outage did not af-

fect operations at the terminal, but some services were temporarily shut down to enable our engineers effect repairs to the damaged cables. “FAAN regrets any inconvenience the brief power outage caused airline passengers and operators at the terminal. “The authority wishes to assure the public that such power outage will soon become a thing of the past when the power improvement project at the airport, involving the installation of six ultramodern generators, is commissioned. “The new generators are being test run and will soon be commissioned.”

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Danjuma donates N500m to youth training centre FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ormer Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma, has donated N500 million to the Youth Centre for Industrial Training in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Danjuma also called on government at all levels to urgently take steps to check unemployment in the country to avoid a worse security situation. The former minister made the donation yesterday at the second graduation of trainees of the centre set up by the retired Primate of the Anglican Church, Most Rev. Peter Akinola under the Peter Akinola Foundation, PAF. He decried the high rate of insecurity in the country which he linked to the worrisome unemployment rate. Danjuma said it was regrettable that unemployment and insecurity had now become the foremost challenges confronting Nigeria. He also pledged an annual donation of N100 million to support the project. The multi-million naira centre focuses on training unemployed youths to acquire skills in various

vocations such as welding, electrical installation, tailoring, hairdressing, mechanic, vulcanising and masonry among others to enable them become selfreliant. The Anglican Bishop of Asaba, Delta State, Rt. Rev. Emeka Mogekwu, also expressed concern over the unemployment situation in the country, stressing that it had poisoned the minds of youths against the society. The cleric regretted that the country’s institutions were not producing graduates to meet the manpower need of a developing country like Nigeria. He commended the Peter Akinola Foundation for setting the centre to empower youths, who would otherwise be roaming on the streets. In his address, Akinola disclosed that he set up the centre as his own contribution towards solving the unemployment problem in the country. He also said the management of the centre was exploring the possibility of affiliating it with the London Institute of City and Guild, saying that “our mission is to provide a world-class trade centre”.

Aregbesola swears in OSIEC members Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (right) and Commissioner for Education, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, during a presentation of a shirt to the governor as Patron of the Anglo West African Youth Integrity Camp in Lagos, yesterday.

MAPOLY: Confusion over rector’s sack FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ontroversy has continued to trail the sack of the Rector of the Ogun State-owned Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, MAPOLY, Mr. Tokunbo Fowode (an architect). Fowode, who addressed a press conference in Abeokuta yesterday, said he was still in charge of affairs of the institution. He explained that he only applied for an end of tenure terminal leave which was approved by the state government. His declaration came on the heels of a purported rejection of the new Rector whose name was announced by the Visitor to

MAPOLY, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, last week. Amosun’s administration, last week, appointed Professor Bamidele Itiola as substantive rector, claiming that Fowode had requested for an end of tenure leave. The MAPOLY branch of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has in a communiqué issued after the end of its emergence meeting in Abeokuta on Tuesday, rejected the appointment of a new rector for the institution, accusing the state government of not following due process. The communiqué signed the institution’s chapter ASUP Chairman, Olawale Adetunji and the

Publicity Secretary, Oyerinde Abiola, said only the Governing Council of the polytechnic had the power to handle the appointment of a rector. The communiqué reads in part: “There is an existing agreement between the union and the government, that rectors shall only be appointed for the polytechnic from within the polytechnic sector. That contrary to the establishment procedure, there was no advertisement requesting application for the post of the rector; nor was there any appointment interview.” The lecturers further submitted that it was the aspiration of every worker to attain the apex of

his/her career, adding that “national policy on education clearly shows that operation of the polytechnic sector differs from that of university sector”. ASUP therefore resolved that “the appointment of a rector for the polytechnic outside the polytechnic sector is rejected. As a prelude to the commencement of the process for the appointment of a rector for the polytechnic, the Governing Council should be put in place immediately”. But addressing a press conference yesterday, Fowode explained that it was mandatory for him to apply for the terminal leave which would signal the end of his tenure.

ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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overnor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State yesterday sworn in members of the state Independent Electoral Commission, OSIEC, with a charge to conduct credible elections. The swearing-in took place in the Governor’s Office, Osogbo. “We pray to God to give you and members of the commission the capacity to discharge your duties without fear or favour. “The first assignment before you is to conduct the first ever process of determining the opinion of our people on the local government that we will be providing through the House of Assembly. Very soon our proposal will be made to the House of Assembly after which we will go to the elections. “If the proposal of the

newly proposed local government is approved by the House of Assembly, the commission will be saddled with conducting its first election in the state,” Aregbesola said. The governor argued that the Rule of Law still remained the corner stone of democracy. Aregbesola said it took its administration a long time before it could inaugurate the commission because it felt it should obey court order, adding that it was a court of competent jurisdiction which removed those who were serving at the commission before the inception of his administration. He said: “My government needs to demonstrate its commitment to good governance which explains why it abided by the injunction of the court on the removal of the previous OSSIEC members.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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n Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, yesterday sentenced a 65-year-old man, Ganiyu Akindele, to death by hanging for killing his wife. Justice A. A. Gbolagunte, in his judgement, held that the evidence before the court was overwhelming to prove the defendant guilty. The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Kayode Babalola, had told the court that the defendant on August 29, 2006, inflicted several machete cuts on his late wife, Funke, on their farm located at Laguma village, near Oyo town. Babalola said the defendant inflicted machete cuts on his wife’s head and legs

South West

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Man, 65, sentenced to death for killing wife •As Lagos CJ frees 119 inmates while severing the upper limb of her arm. The prosecutor said there had been quarrels between the duo, with the convict often threatening to kill the mother of three. The defendant was arraigned on a one-count charge of murder. Babalola said the offence contravened section 319 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000. Akindele, who had initially pleaded “not guilty,” changed his plea to “guilty.”

The defence counsel, O. L. Omoloye, in his submission said he was leaving the decision to the discretion of the court. Gbolagunte consequently convicted Akindele and sentenced him to death by hanging. Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, yesterday set free no fewer than 119 inmates from Kirikiri Medium and Maximum Security Prisons in Lagos. “Go and sin no more,” Phillips told the inmates

during a visit. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the visit was part of activities marking the 2013/2014 Legal Year of the state judiciary. Twenty inmates were released from the maximum prisons, while 99 were set free at the medium prisons. She said the exercise was aimed at decongesting the prisons of inmates, particularly those who had been awaiting trial for several years. “This is my third visit to Kirikiri since I was sworn in as chief judge on June 14,

2012. “I must say that despite my routine visits, the figures of inmates keep rising. So, for those of you who are fortunate to be on the roll today, I admonish you to refrain from crime. “It will indeed be so painful that after your release you are again found wanting and brought back here. “It will be a mockery on me and other members of the judiciary here present if you are seen here again,” Phillips said. Earlier, the Controller of Prisons, Mrs. Catherine Ononye, expressed gratitude to

Justice Phillips for the gesture, saying that the exercise will reduce the number of awaiting trial inmates in the prison. Ononye, who bemoaned the poor capacity of the prison, said the facility was meant for prisoners and not those awaiting trial. “There are 2, 554 inmates in the medium prisons with capacity for only 835. And out of this number, more than 2, 100 are awaiting trial. “At the maximum prisons, there are 748 inmates of which 400 are awaiting trial.

Stakeholders make case for stable constitution ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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articipants at a workshop on the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution yesterday advocated for a more stable constitution to pave the way for positive developments in the country. They said genuine people’s participation and the reflection of their wishes and aspirations in the constitution will save the country the stress of frequent constitutional reviews and changes. The workshop, which was organised by HEDA Resource Centre in conjunction with the Democratic Governance for Development Projects in Ado Ekiti, lamented yesterday that the frequency of reviews and changes of the country’s constitution amplified the people’s discontent with it that has always been imposed on them. According to them, it is imperative for the lawmakers at the state Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly to ensure citizens’ contributions to the

ongoing review exercise were reflected for the country to have an enduring constitution that could stand the test of time. Some of the issues the gathering wanted to be included in the ongoing review exercise are fiscal federalism, autonomy for local governments, reducing the cost of governance and taking another look at the presidential system being run in the country. A political scientist, Dr Adebukola Adebayo, in his paper, said the ongoing review exercise should correct the mistakes of the past, whereby all the constitutions were either imposed on the people or were created by the military. Adebayo, in the paper entitled: “Quality of Public Consultation in the 1999 Constitutional Review Process,” said the review process “should reflect the people’s need, it should be free from controversies and that it should be acceptable to all and as well be truly democratic to reverse the frequent review situations.” He said: “People should

L-R: Investment Director, Citic Construction, Robert Xu; Country Manager, International Finance Corporation, Solomon AdegbieQuaynor; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and Senior Manager, Global Financial Markets, Kenroy Dowers, during a visit to the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, yesterday.

SURE-P coordinator accuses Aregbesola of misappropriation A A •It is not true, gov’s aide DEOLU OSOGBO

DEYEMO

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hairman of the Osun State Coordination and Implementation Committee of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Bayo Faforiji, yesterday accused the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, of misappropriating the state’s SURE-P monthly

Ekiti reiterates commitment to health of citizens

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kiti State government yesterday renewed its commitment to good healthcare delivery and affordable services to its citizens in all its health institutions in the state. State Deputy governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, made the assertion while hosting members of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) and the state wing of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN). The bodies were hosted in the Conference Room of

the deputy governor’s office separately. Dr Oluwole Alese led the ARD while Kolapo Olatunde led the pharmacists, who were on an enlightenment walk on the streets of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, to celebrate their week and the World Pharmacists’ Day. According to the deputy governor, ‘Healthcare services’, which is one of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s Eight-Point Agenda and Road Map to Ekiti Recovery, was being vigorously pursued by the government. She noted that the strategic implementation of the health programme was key

to the overall success of the Eight-Point Agenda. The deputy governor told her guests that the Fayemi administration was trying its best to make the state a reference point in healthcare delivery with the various services, which she listed as free health mission in all the local government areas, the Ilera l’aafin health initiative for monarchs. Adelabu also noted that the ongoing renovation of all the general hospitals in the state and the provision of ultra-modern facilities at EKSUTH were to make healthcare services readily available to residents.

share of N400 million. Faforiji while answering questions from journalists at a programme held at the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) secretariat in Osogbo, also asked him to explain to the whole world how the amount was spent by his administration as he has not been using the amount for its targeted purpose. According to him; “The state is receiving N200 million monthly while the 30 local government councils are getting N207million monthly. “It is a pity that the state and the local government councils have not been using the fund for job creation as envisaged by the Federal Government and also mislead the people of the state that the programme was a PDP affair.” The state coordinator, however, said that in the past nine months, the Federal Government has injected more than N250 million into the economy of the state in form of stipends to the beneficiaries of the programme,

project running costs and procurement uniforms and working tools. Faforiji said there is no gain-saying the fact that the multiplier effects of the funds would continue to play a pivotal role in improving the welfare of current and future beneficiaries, their dependants, their communities and the neighborhood at large. “The socio-economic impact of the scheme in the state within the past nine months of its effective takeoff in the state cannot be over-emphasised. “Today, beneficiaries of the programme are engaged in more than 200 community-based projects, demonstrating the dignity of labour and partnering with the grassroots in fostering the spirit of self help in the maintenance of public facilities and promotion of environmental sanitation. “I will want to charge states and local governments across the federation to cooperate with the Good-

luck Jonathan administration by utilising the bulk of income accruing to them on a monthly basis from theSURE-P. “This will enable government to empower youths and women, thereby securing the future of the country, so that the impacts of the funds from the partial subsidy removal will be felt by Nigerians.” However, in his reaction to the misappropriation allegation, state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere, described the accusation as untrue, maintaining that “the Federal Government was not sincere with the policy and that the amount claimed to be released to the state on monthly basis was also untrue. “The figure by Faforiji is not correct. The issue of SURE-P is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The Federal Government is giving back what is due to the state and local governments constitutionally and the Federal Government is also benefiting from it.


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South-East

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Biafran war veterans threaten showdown with FG DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ormer Biafran war veterans are threatening to have a show down with the Federal Government over the non-payment of their entitlements. They also queried the delay and what they described as the deceit behind the delay in the payment of such entitlements. Reports said unless the Federal Government acts fast, the ex-Biafran war combatants have mobilised to storm Abuja in a street

protest that may shut down the nation’s capital city. The war veterans, numbering hundreds, said they can no longer tolerate the Federal Government’s act of deceit and have vowed to protest on the streets of Abuja. The anticipated showdown with the Federal Government, they lamented, is on account of the non-release of their entitlements more than 40 years after the war despite repeated promises by government. They regretted that most of their members have

lost their lives because of the absence of reasonable sources of livelihood. Rising from an emergency meeting in Enugu, the ex-soldiers led by Col Victor Onah and Barrister Ibe Nwachukwunta, condemned the nonchalance of the Federal Government towards their plight in spite of their contributions to the nation. Apart from demanding that urgent attention, rehabilitation, settlement, payment of their emoluments/entitlements and any other money be given

to them, the veterans also asked for their reintegration and assimilation into the nation’s armed forces in order to facilitate the payment of their pensions. “Having surrendered to the Federal Government, we are entitled to be treated as citizens. We should not be relegated and abandoned since 1970 and continuously remain abused and our human rights violated by the Federal Government. “We are dying every day of hunger, poverty, disease, frustration and

abandonment and we have resolved and refused to accept the government’s further abuse of our human rights, abandonment and non-payment of our entitlements,” they noted. The ex-soldiers further recalled that since the end of the civil war, it was the late President Umaru Yar’Adua that accepted to respond to their plight before he passed on, noting that since President Goodluck Jonathan came on board, nothing has been done to activate the promises of the late president. “President Jonathan needs to be reminded of the war veterans’ demands. We have made several efforts to get across to the President. It is unimaginable that most of us still live in rented houses since 1970.

Our coordinator is even facing ejection in a court case in Enugu,” they noted. The group called on governors of the South-East and South-South states as well as other prominent political office holders from the two zones to prevail on President Jonathan to respond to their plight. They said having endured this long, they have decided to take their destiny in their hands and would literally halt government and commercial activities in Abuja by the time they embark on the street protest in order to alert the international community about their plight. “While several promises have been made on paper, nothing is on ground to show that the government is concerned about their existence.”

Robbery suspect killed as another escapes with wounds NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

B L-R: Chairman, Igbo World Assembly (IWA), Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze; National Chairman, United Progressive Party, Chief Chekwas Okorie; Assistant Director, Funding, IWA, Mrs. Amaka Ezukwo and former President, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Igwe Eze Ozobu, during IWA’s 7th convention in Enugu, PHOTO: NAN yesterday.

ASUU blames NUC for fall in education standard ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Ebonyi State chapter yesterday in Abakaliki, blamed the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the falling standard of education in the country. The union said the NUC contributed maximally to the myriad of problems bedeviling the education sector in the country as witnessed in the country’s universities. Addressing journalists in Abakaliki yesterday, ASUU Chairman in the state, Prof. Idenyi Edannaya, said NUC is not keeping to its mandate of monitoring the standard of facilities in the universities. He urged the body to improve on their man-

date or be scrapped. Idenyi noted that the activities and programmes of both public and private universities are no more checkmated, adding that the NUC is not truthful to itself and to the general public, blaming the leaders for allowing their field officers to bring back false reports of facilities witnessed in some universities they visited before accreditation. He said: “Our stand as ASUU remains that NUC have compromised and no longer living up to expectation. “If you go by the standard of NUC, their bench mark, you discover that only few Nigerian universities would qualify for accreditation to run their programmes, but what you see today is that when NUC send its assessors to the field and they get to the various universities, some

will come back with report showing that all is well when in reality it was not so. “If you look at what NUC brings out as its own assessments, it appears that the body is not dealing with the issue on ground.

“It is on the bases of these discrepancies that ASUU is saying that NUC should be scraped or should be overhauled so that it will live up to its mandate, which is to monitor the standard of Nigerian universities.”

arely 48 hours after a gang of armed robbers allegedly killed a vigilance operative in Okpoko Layout, another robbery suspect was yesterday shot dead while his gang member escaped with bullet wounds. The deceased suspect and his partner in crime, who operated on a motorcycle as a twoman robbery gang, according to a source, had blocked a commercial motorcyclist on top of the Upper Iweka FlyOver Bridge at about 7.30 pm on Tuesday, dispossessed him of all his valuables, including the motorcycle. The source further hinted that as soon as the suspects were through with their victim and wanted

to escape with his motorcycle, operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Okpoko Unit, came to the rescue, but that the duo opened fire on the police while the security operatives responded, killing one of them instantly, while the other barely managed to escape with their motorcycle and bullet wounds. The SARS operatives recovered the victim’s motorcycle and other valuables snatched from him by the robbers, just as the robbers’ locally made pistol with two live cartridges were equally recovered. Eye witnesses, who gave a bit-by-bit account of the encounter, told journalists that the victim, who simply identified himself as Nwike Sixtus, praised the police for their timely intervention during the robbery operation.

2015: Ihedioha may drop governorship ambition CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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acts emerged yesterday that the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, is seriously considering the Senate seat as a second option if his ambition to be governor of Imo State come 2015 fails. National Mirror gathered from a close associate of the deputy speaker that fears are now being expressed in the Speaker’s camp that the road to the Government House in Ow-

erri may not be an easy one, considering the calibre of politicians that have signified their intentions to run for the coveted seat. Even though he is yet to declare his intention for the governorship and senatorial seats, Ihedioha’s people from his native Mbaise want the frontline politician to run for the governor of the state. But some political analysts said that dream may not be realised given the hurdles readily strewn on the path of prospective challengers to the incumbent governor,

Owelle Rochas Okorocha. Apart from the incumbency factor, which is to the advantage of Governor Okorocha, who is yet to declare his 2015 ambition in any case, the array of other contenders for the race to Douglas House as well as recent political dynamics in the state all combine to cast some shadows on the ambition of the deputy speaker. Already, within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was gathered that Ihedioha has former Interior Minister, Emmanuel Iheanacho, who is current-

ly romancing APGA chieftains, Hon. Bethel Amadi and Chief Emma Ojinere, to contend with. Other hot contenders to the governorship seat include Senator Chris Anyanwu and Chief Martins Agbaso in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). According to a source at the PDP state secretariat, the 2015 governorship race will not be a piece of cake for the deputy speaker even though the leadership said that they would give every contender open playing field.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Police disrupt teachers’ posting in Rivers SAM OLUWALANA PORT HARCOURT

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ivers State Government yesterday accused the police of disrupting a ceremony where about 13,000 newly recruited teachers were being given letters of posting. But the police said the gathering was illegal as the state government did not apply for the necessary permission to enable it host such ceremony. A witness told our cor-

respondent that some policemen in several vans stormed the Liberation Stadium, venue of the employment/posting exercise and ordered people in the assembly out of the venue. One of the affected teachers said the police claimed they had information that the teachers were planning a protest. The teacher, however, said he was not aware of any planned protest, adding that he had gone to collect his letter of posting following a directive from the

Ministry of Education. He said: “We tried to ask the policemen about what is going on and they told us that they had information that we have gathered for a protest. I don’t know of any protest, we were to receive our posting today that was why we went there.” The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. Richard Ofuru, said: “It is simply an administrative matter. We didn’t think it was necessary to inform the police. “Remember, during the

interview session in the recruitment process, this stadium was also used because of the number of applicants involved. We did not inform the police then and we did not have any problem. “I do not know why anybody would read meaning into a simple administrative affair. I do not know of any political undertone because there is none.” However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmed Muhammad, told journalists on

phone that the police had to disperse the gathering because the Ministry of Education did not obtain a police permit before gathering people at the stadium. Muhammad said it was viewed as an illegal gathering which was against laid down regulations He said: “Everybody knows that they can’t just organise a gathering of that magnitude without obtaining the right permission. The gathering was illegal and we have to dis-

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perse them.” The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, accused both the police and the political opposition of always hinging their actions on the image and person of President Goodluck Jonathan. Semenitari wondered how the police could justify their action in this incident, when the state government was trying to put smile on the faces of about 13,000 unemployed graduates in the state.

Edo hasn’t received money from Ecological Fund –Gov’s aide sion menace. “If truth must be told, there is no money by way of grants or subvention that has been given to the state government with respect to erosion or ecological issues since the inception of the Oshiomhole-led administration. “The PDP-led Federal Government under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is the sole custodian of the nation’s Ecological Fund which is usually granted to states once certain requirements are met. “It might interest the public to note that since the inception of the Oshiomhole administration, the state has not received a kobo from the Ecological Fund. “Given the comrade governor’s prudent management of resources, he would not have hesitated to deploy the funds if it had been granted by the relevant authority.” Afegbua said work on the Auchi erosion site was being delayed by the Auchi community over the non-constitution of a site specific committee, which was a requirement to attract this fund.

SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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L-R: Vice-Chancellor, University of Uyo, Prof. Comfort Ekpo; Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Kimse Okoko and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, during a visit to the Governor’s Office in Uyo.

Don’t rely on white-collar jobs, NOA counsels youths RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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ouths have been advised not to rely on the Federal Government for white-collar jobs but rather strive to be creative and become self-reliant. The Director-General, National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mr. Mike Omeria, gave the advice yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State while speaking at stakeholders’ conversation on the midterm report of the present administration.

Omeria called on youths not to rely on paper qualification but exploit their given talents, adding that such initiative would help them generate income for themselves rather than waiting for the government and other people to give them a helping hand. He challenged youths to stop roaming the streets with long certificates looking for jobs but must look for ways to set up small and medium-scale enterprises that would require little capital outlay.

The DG urged youths to venture into small-scale agriculture like poultry, piggery, and tie and dye, stressing that such ventures might turn around to breakeven. Omeria charged parents to inculcate in their children good, strong moral values, virtues and norms that would help them become better citizens. Also speaking, former Minister of Niger Delta, Dr. Sam Odey, said the country produced about 2.5 million of crude oil and gas daily which was not so in the past.

Odey said since President Goodluck Jonathan came on board, 701 youths had been trained on various skills acquisition programmes. He said that out of those trained, 360 were in oil and gas, 364 in maritime and 90 in agriculture. Dr. Margaret Atsu of the state branch of the National Council of Women Society urged the Federal Government to channel and redirect more resources to funding of primary and secondary education.

do State Government has denied receiving money from the Ecological Fund to tackle erosion in parts of the state. The Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Public Affairs, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said in a statement that those peddling the rumour were doing so out of ignorance and mischief. He said: “Our attention has been drawn to a news report by the trio of His Royal Highness, Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Haliru Momoh, Ikelebe 111, Hon. Zakawanu Garuba and Hon. Abdulrazak Momoh to the effect that the Edo State Government had received and spent ecological funds granted to the state without a kobo spent on the Auchi Erosion menace. “As a responsible government, we would have ignored this outright ignorance and falsehood. But for the person of our highly respected and learned traditional ruler, we decided to offer this clarification which is meant to educate the minds of undiscerning members of the public with respect to the Auchi ero-

Libel: Court awards Oshiomhole N25m against magazine SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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n Edo State High Court in Benin yesterday awarded N25 million damages against Dockland Communications, publishers of News of the People, for publishing a libellous story against Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole had sued the publishers of the

weekly magazine for N250 million for tarnishing his personality, credibility and image even when he was still mourning his wife, Clara. In suit No: B/556/2011, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba ruled that Dockland Communications failed to prove the veracity of the alleged libellous publication of the News of the People magazine in 2011, which was carried on its front page and

extended to page 19 under the headline: Oshiomhole’s sex power exposed; Impregnates young girl six months after death of wife. The governor had taken the publishers to court after they allegedly failed to retract the said story and meet the conditions set for an apology to him as contained in a letter sent by his lawyers, Ken Mozia and Associates, to the publishers.

Oshiomhole had asked the court to award him N250 million in damages while maintaining that the defendant, among other things: falsely wrote that he bought a jeep for the said girl whom he was alleged to have impregnated and that he was interfering in the academic activities of Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma on behalf of the said girl. He also claimed that the

magazine alleged that he used sexual performance enhancement drugs and that he had performed traditional marriage rites precedent to a marriage between him and the said girl. During cross-examination, Oshiomhole, who physically testified, said: “As a governor, I am a public officer. As you have rightly pointed out, as a governor, what I do or fail to do is important. My character

is important and people’s opinion of my personal life is important. My children are still in agony. The magazine published this just a few months after my wife passed away and this publication coincided with my daughter’s wedding. “A governor whom I invited for the wedding asked me if I was the one going to wed or my daughter. Your image as a public officer is very important.”


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North

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ASUU vows to continue with strike

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Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Yiljap Abraham (left) and Deputy Governor, Mr. Ignatius Longjan, at the emergency State Executive Council meeting in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

3, 296 may lose October salaries in FCTA OMEIZA AJAYI

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t least 3, 296 members of staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) would lose their October salaries except they are able to immediately regularise their employment details and answer necessary queries regarding their job status. This was the fallout of the conclusion of a Biometric Enrolment Exercise conducted by the FCT Administration in which 27, 000 enrolment forms were distributed to its staff. FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, announced this

yesterday after a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the FCTA, Engr. John Obinna Chukwu and some senior members of staff of the Department of Establishment & Training led by its Director, Mr. Nuhu Ahmed. Confirming the development, Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule, said out of the 27, 000 enrolment forms distributed, only 25, 246 officers participated in the exercise. He equally added that out of those who participated in the data capture exercise; “The salaries of 3, 296 officers with various observations with regards to their credentials,

record of service and age discrepancies, will be stopped in October 2013, pending clarification of queries against them.” The administration added that steps would be taken for salary payroll of all Secretariats, Departments and Agencies (SDA’s) to be integrated and administered from FCT Treasury Department. The minister said the exercise is to ensure prudent and judicious utilisation of financial resources to enable the administration increase infrastructural development and sustain quality services to the residents of the Federal Capital Territory.

Tsav wants FG to probe Apo killings HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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ormer Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, has petitioned the Presidency, asking it to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into the killing of nine people in Apo Quarters, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. He said the panel, when set up will unravel the motive of the perpetrators of this dastardly act to serve as deterrent to others who may one day imagine toeing the same path. Alhaji Tsav while expressing displeasure at the killings yesterday wondered why the State Security Service (SSS) operatives carried out such

cruelty without recourse to other security agencies. He described the act as wicked, callous and unprofessional and most ungodly, saying that it was designed to serve a purpose. The former police boss further faulted the manner in which the victims were killed in their sleep, querying whether indeed they were Boko Haram suspects as claimed by their killers as no gun was found on them. Tsav also alleged that it could be a camouflage by the owner of the uncompleted building, who might be using his position or office to snuff out the lives of those living in there for ulterior motive. He asserted that there is more to this than meets the ordinary eye saying that there

is no justifiable reason to take the life of another person because God is greater than all and is Ever-powerful and only him gives and takes life. The former police commissioner asked the Federal Government to hasten action on the issue by instituting an inquiry to investigate this bloodbath, insisting that whoever is involved, no matter how highly placed, should be made to face the wrath of the law. He said the deceased were said to be petty traders, Keke NAPEP operators, truck pushers, adding that they may not even be people of questionable characters, not to talk of being insurgents. According to him under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan, several

“I have specifically asked for verification of Health and Human Services and Education Secretariats, because they consume almost 65 percent of the FCT Administration wage bill which was suspected to be as a result of ‘ghost’ workers or other anomalies”, he stated. The minister was also quick to add that the administration would carry out a competency test of staff of the Education Secretariat in order to weed out unqualified teachers. He added that subsequently, similar exercises will be carried out in other Secretariats, Departments and Agencies (SDAs) in the FCT. bloodbaths had been carried out and I urge the President to stop behaving as though everything is in order and call his security agencies to order. He said the President is supposed to protect the sanctity of life of every Nigerian as enshrined in the constitution.

he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday said it will press ahead with its nationwide strike while negotiation continues with the Federal Government. Vice-President Namadi Sambo recently took over the leadership of the Federal Government negotiation team from Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State. Zonal Coordinator of the union in charge of Kano Zone, Dr Rabi’u Nasiru, told journalists in Kano yesterday that ASUU has not changed its position on its demand for the implementation of the 2009 agreement. He said the lecturers would continue with the strike for as long as the Federal Government failed to implement the agreement. Nasiru, however, blamed what he described as “selfish interests” for

the failure of the Suswam committee to successfully negotiate with the union. “The meeting with the vice-president did not provide anything new from what the government has done in the past three months. “The Sambo committee is still giving promises and trying to negotiate the 2009 agreement even when we should be at the point of implementation.” He said the Federal Government had failed to inject N400 billion into federal and state universities. Nasiru added that the N100 billion provided by the government was supposed to cover only 2012. According to him, the quest to redeem the country’s fortunes should begin with education, saying that “for any country to develop, its university education must be of the highest standard.”

PDP members in Kaduna denounce Baraje’s faction A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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ome members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State have denounced their purported membership of the Alhaji Kawu Baraje faction of the party, otherwise known as the ‘New PDP.’ Two members of the PDP in the state, whose names recently appeared on a paid advertorial as signatories for the faction, have debunked claims that they ever joined the Baraje group. Speaking on the issue during a courtesy call on Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, under the auspices of Ex-Local Government Council Chairmen Forum, Gideon Morik,

who was the alleged secretary of the ‘New PDP’ in the state, said he was not aware of any faction of the party in Kaduna State, insisting that there is only one PDP. According to him; “There is nothing like the ‘New PDP’ in Kaduna State and I have never declared support for any faction of the party. Even the statement that was published did not say there is new PDP, it is Save Kaduna Group.” Another member of the party, Hon. Isaac Bodams, denied ever supporting the formation of the new PDP in the state; saying “there is nothing like new PDP in Kaduna State. I just saw my name without anyone consulting me. I did not attend any meeting where it was decided that there should be a new PDP.

Army chief calls for joint efforts against terrorism

WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he Chief of Army Administration at the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Maj.-General Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday in Ilorin, pleaded with security operatives in the country to ensure that all hands must be on deck to face the security challenges facing the country. He was speaking at the Nigerian Army Educa-

tion Corp, Third Quarter Conference at the 22 Armoured Brigade, Sobi Barracks, Ilorin. Abubakar urged security operatives as well as the civil populace to do all within their powers to tackle terrorism decisively. According to him, Nigeria is currently facing some challenges, urging all security personnel and Nigerians to be extra-vigilant and conscious at all time. He was represented at

the conference by the Commander, 22 Armoured Brigade, Nigeria Army, Sobi Barracks, Ilorin, Brigadier-General Idris Alkali. Abubakar urged the army and Nigerians to report suspicious persons, pointing out that the Nigerian Army on its part has placed priority on training and retraining of its personnel in the existing Nigerian Army Training Schools across the country.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

UN Security Council must be democratised –Jonathan

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

Yero: Keeping faith with governance in Kaduna

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2015 polls: Jega decries paucity of funds EMMANUEL ONANI

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he Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has raised serious concerns over paucity of funds in the commission, saying the development could hamper its smooth operations ahead of the 2015 polls. Jega raised the concern

in Abuja yesterday, at the quarterly meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs. His words: “It is a very challenging task indeed, because a lot of the activities required funds and budgetary provisions. Regrettably, we don’t always get what we need all the times, to be able to address the challenges. “There is the need to fund INEC properly for it

to be able to carry out its functions; poor funding is a big threat to INEC’s operations.” Jega said the commission would continue to engage government and the lawmakers, to have more resources to be able to improve the working conditions and other needs to make its job satisfactory. He said: “There is no doubt that as we inch along and get closer to 2015, the

work load on us increases, the pressure increases. We will come under all sorts of attacks and challenges from the gladiators in the arena. “The key challenge for all of us is to remain focused on what is to be done, to operate within the law and ensure that we are impartial, non partisan and we are fully compliant with the legal framework. “With the kind of envi-

ronment that we operate we will not please everybody. When you take a decision one side is happy and the other side is not happy. “And in our own country where people are not happy they more or less lose their senses and they do all sorts of things throw all sorts of insults. And in fact often display a tendency of throwing the baby with the bath water. So that is the nature of our

political terrain.” The INEC boss, however, said that the electoral body would not allow this to serve as setback to the implementation of its programmes for 2015. Notwithstanding, Jega declared that the commission had recorded “remarkable progress”, and was poised to do more to bequeath an enduring electoral system to the nation.

No political crisis in Nigeria, says Presidency

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pecial Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, has said that there is no political crisis in Nigeria as widely speculated. Gulak said this yesterday in Abuja while speaking with newsmen at the National Assembly Complex. His words: “I always say that there is no political crisis in Nigeria. What we are witnessing is mad pursuit of unrealisable ambition by few people who are blinded by ambition. “These set of people cannot see anything good in their country and they have refused to adhere to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They have refused to know that this country is governed by the constitution.” Gulak said that though every Nigerian was free to pursue his legitimate ambition, it should not be allowed to bring down the country. “We have our constitution, we have our Electoral Act; and if you go to the party, we have the party’s constitution. All legitimate pursuit of ambition should be done within the extant laws,” he said. The political adviser said that he was at the National Assembly to cement the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature. “The purpose of my visit

is part of the processes of trying to meet our friends, discuss with them and move the country forward. We intended to meet the Speaker, but unfortunately he is not around. “This is another arm of government. It is not out of the ordinary if the Adviser to the President on Political Matters visit the National Assembly,” Gulak noted. The presidential aide said that President Goodluck Jonathan would never be part of any move to destabilise the National Assembly. “You know Mr. President will never and cannot be part of any move to destabilise the National Assembly,” he said. He described the National Assembly as the `pillar’ of President Jonathan’s administration. “The National Assembly is the pillar of this administration that stabilises the polity. Destabilising it will not be good for the country and Mr. President is aware of that,” he said. Gulak said that the $25,000 bribe allegedly given by the Presidency to some members of the House to impeach the Speaker was not true. “All these stories are figments of people’s imagination, especially those who believe that they ought to be in the lead in this country and not the present leadership,” he said.

L-R: National Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega; National Commissioners, Dr. Chris Iyimoga; Mrs Thelma Iremiren and Dr. Ishmael Igbani, during the Resident Electoral Commissioners’ quarterly meeting with Jega in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Group commended over Igbo mobilisation NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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he Movement for the Political Emancipation of Igbo, MPEI, has been commended for its effort at getting the people of the South-East to be interested in politics as well as making them relevant in the scheme of things both at home and wherever they reside. The president of the Lagos State chapter of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Oliver Akubueze, who made the commendation, described the group as a formidable entity that can take the political fortunes of Ndigbo to the desired destination. He said: “It is a very good development for Ndigbo, especially in Lagos, because as it stands now, the time

has come for us to unite and make sure that our votes count during future elections. I am particularly pleased that this group is very interested in making changes through the ballot box, as against violence and I like the idea that the group is going around to mobilise our people on the need to register, get voters’ cards and make sure that they cast their votes during subsequent elections in Nigeria.” Other Igbo stakeholders who spoke about the new political group said it was time Ndigbo seek ways to reclaim lost political grounds. An Igbo leader in Lagos, Anslem Njoku, said what makes the group unique is the idea of unifying all Igbo groups under a political unit, irrespective of party differences.

Anambra: AD candidate lauds INEC over guber candidates’ list NWABUEZE OKONWO ONITSHA

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veteran journalist and flag bearer of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, in the Novermber 16 governorship election in Anambra State, Comrade Aaron Igweze has applauded the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and its chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega over the release of candidates’ list for election. Igweze, who is among the 23 candidates of various political parties participating in the election, noted that he did not spend any dime as a bribe to be accepted by INEC as the AD gubernatorial candidate. In a press statement he issued yesterday in Onitsha, a copy of which was made

available to newsmen, Igweze stressed that Jega and his team have actually come to save the ugly political terrain in Nigeria, with his absolute sincerity and sagacity and expressed the hope that Nigerians would follow Jega’s open-mindedness and astute capability to refine politics in the country. He also commended Governor Peter Obi for his humane and sincere suggestion that the next state governor should come from Anambra North Senatorial Zone which is his (Igweze’s) zone. He stressed that although he has no silver and gold to share, he would give peace, love and good governance to all the people in the state if elected, even as he described the AD under Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa as the party for the masses.


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

UN Security Council must be democratised –Jonathan On Tuesday, September 24, President Goodluck Jonathan addressed the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly where he canvassed for the democratisation of the Security Council. Below are the excerpts of his address. Mr President, On behalf of the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I salute you as you preside over the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian delegation. I also wish to extend our commendation to the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Kimoon, and place on record, Nigeria’s appreciation for his focused and committed leadership of the United Nations system. This Session is coming at a particularly trying period when our world faces a number of critical challenges which make it imperative for us to work within the Charter of the United Nations to meaningfully address them. It is therefore apt that the theme, Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage, signposts our desire and determination to actively cooperate for the improvement of the overall welfare and well-being of the most vulnerable citizens of the member-states of our organisation. Nigeria appreciates the consultative nature of designing the Post-2015 development agenda. Earlier in the year, we supported this global outreach through inclusive consultations and surveys of a number of Nigerians who have expressed their aspirations with respect to the world they expect beyond 2015. A major highlight of this process, which has increased national ownership of the agenda, is the emphasis on the eradication of poverty as the overarching principle in the formulation of the successor framework. Indeed, tomorrow, we will be hosting a side event on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, in collaboration with the UN, a number of African countries, and our development partners. As I had cause to say to this Assembly last Session, 2015 is not a destination but only a milestone to a better, safer, healthier and more compassionate world. Let us therefore renew our commitment to the processes that will develop the post-MDGs framework.

Mr. President, This objective is of particular resonance to us in Africa where the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity, and climate change continue to engage the attention of the political leadership. The good news however, is that in the last decade, a sustained democratization process across the continent has made significant difference in governance processes, institutions and structures. Today, we have a renascent Africa that has moved away from the era of dictatorship to a new dawn where the ideals of good governance and an emphasis on human rights and

Jonathan addressing the UN

WE CALL FOR THE DEMOCRATISATION OF THE

SECURITY COUNCIL.

THIS IS DESIRABLE FOR THE ENTHRONEMENT OF JUSTICE, EQUITY, AND FAIRNESS; AND ALSO FOR THE PROMOTION OF A SENSE OF INCLUSIVENESS AND BALANCE IN OUR WORLD justice are beginning to drive state-society relations. This is the present reality of Africa that must replace the old prejudices and assumptions about the continent. We are firm in our conviction that democracy is fundamental to achieving the requisite stability that will enable the realisation of a sustainable post-2015 development agenda in Africa. This emergent Africa will require the continued support and partnership of the international community. An Africa that is no longer merely a destination for aid but one that is involved in constructive, multi-sectoral exchanges on the global stage. Our continent stands ready to continue to engage the rest of the world as a partner in formulating a global development agenda that will guarantee peace, security and stability. I wish to express my appreciation for Nigeria’s selection as co-Chair of the Expert Committee on Financing Sustainable Development. The importance of this Committee’s assignment cannot be overstated. For the post-2015 development agenda to be realistic, it must be backed by a robust financing framework which I hope will receive the strong backing of our Organisation’s more endowed members.

Mr. President, Nigeria’s commitment to sustainable

peace and security propels the country to action along with member states of our sub-regional and continental organisations, whenever stability is threatened in our continent. In recent years, Africa has had its share of conflicts notably in Mali, Guinea Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Somalia. It is noteworthy that African leaders, with the support of the international community, have demonstrated the capacity to work in concert and decisively in pursuit of long-term solutions in the affected states. While a lot more still needs to be done, we are convinced that progress is being made. The recent Presidential elections in Mali herald a new beginning that should translate into peace and prosperity for its people and provide a stronger basis for stability within the sub-region. I congratulate President Boubacar Keita. Similarly, the political transition process in Guinea Bissau holds much promise. Among African leaders, there is a greater determination and focus on the transformation of the continent. This is the required impetus for the achievement of development objectives that will benefit the people, and rebrand the continent even more positively. Although our world has not witnessed a global war since the establishment of the

United Nations, there have been several conflicts with devastating consequences and impact in virtually all regions of the world. As global citizens, we have a sacred duty to free our world of wars, rivalries, ethnic conflicts, and religious divisions. Our collective effort in our drive for a better world will continue to bind us together. Mr. President, Nigeria continues to support the efforts of the United Nations in addressing the global initiative to combat the menace of the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. We have redoubled efforts to address this onerous challenge within our borders and across the West African subregion. In doing so, we also recognise the need for a broad-based global partnership in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy. It is regrettable that these scourges are sustained by unfettered access by nonstate actors to illicit small arms and light weapons with which they foster insecurity and instability across our continent. For us in Africa, these are the ‘weapons of mass destruction’! It is therefore, in the light of our collective obligation and unceasing struggle to end this nightmare, that I congratulate Member-States on the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in April this year. Our hope is that upon its entry into force, the ATT would herald an era of accountable trade in conventional arms which is critical to the security of nations. In line with our continued commitment to this project, Nigeria has signed and ratified the Treaty. We will continue to engage other Member-States for its successful implementation.

Mr. President, Terrorism constitutes a major threat to global peace and security, and undermines the capacity for sustained development. In Nigeria, the threat of terrorism in a few states in the North Eastern part of our country has proven to be a challenge to national stability. We will spare no effort in addressing this menace. We are therefore confronting it with every resource at our disposal with due regard for fundamental human rights and the rule of law. Nigeria will like to place on record its appreciation to the international community for its support in this regard. The reign of terror anywhere in the world is an assault on our collective humanity. Three days ago, the stark reality of this menace was again brought to the fore by the dastardly terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. We must stand together to win this war together.

Mr. President, Piracy, like terrorism, is another menace that has attained worrisome proportions, especially in Africa’s coastal waters. At the bilateral and multilateral levels, Nigeria has promoted cooperation to mitigate its impact and consequences on the security and economies of the affected coastal states. Indeed, in June this year, the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission met CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


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Politics

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ince his assumption of office as governor of Kaduna State, political pundits in the centre of learning and hub of Northern politics believed that Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero is a ceremonial chief executive due to youthful age as there are speculations that his mentor, Vice President Namadi Sambo is the one running the affairs of the state. This may be his hurdle as he eyes the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House seat beyond 2015 election. But as events unfold, Yero seems to be running a one-man squad operation without internal and external forces. Although, he still consult with major stakeholders in the state including the Vice President and other former governors on major state issues to tap their wealth of experience. National Mirror reliable gathered that Yero had some few months ago paid a visit to former governor of defunct Kaduna State and Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, Alhaji Balarabe Musa to learn his transformation skills in 1979. People still believed that Musa is the most performed governor since the creation of the state. Musa, who has always accused successive governors of Kaduna State of non performance and massive corruption, it was learnt, handed over five key points to him: to be wary of chain of his godfathers, distant himself from corrupt practices, unity, security and massive developmental projects to succeed. Yero has continued to sing at different fora that his administration will build on the good foundation laid by his late boss, Sir Patrick Yakowa. He had consistently said that the vision of the late governor was to secure, unite and develop Kaduna which remained the cardinal points of his government’s agenda. At his inauguration, December 16, 2012, Yero promised to continue from where Yakowa stopped. “Sir Yakowa invested so much on this and started reaping the fruits of his labour. He wished to consolidate and advance on the achievement so far made and hence tagged the 2013 budget of the state ‘Budget of consolidation and advancement’. I sincerely desire to build on the good foundation that my boss has laid. I therefore covet your prayers for God’s wisdom, guidance and direction,” he had said. And like his predecessor, Governor Yero had promised to be governor for all, irrespective of ethno-religious differences. Political analysts are of the view that the governor has started well in terms of peace, security and unity of the state. To keep the vision of security, Peace, unity and development of Yakowa alive, Yero had distributed 40 new Toyota Hilux vans, fitted with communication gadgets, to security agencies including the police formations to tackle crimes and maintenance of peace for development. Of worthy to note, since Yero’s assumption of office is that there has been relative peace in the state as he embarked on a peace campaign across the three senatorial zones of the state. The governor had said dividing Kaduna metropolis along religious line is not healthy and would not aid development, unity and harmony, and the state government would try to reverse the trend and return to the old living mode of staying together. Governor Yero while playing host to the Interfaith Mediation Group along with foreign delegates at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim

Yero: Keeping faith with governance in Kaduna Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State believes in continuity in governance. This has been his policy since he took over governance on December 16, 2012 following the demise of Sir Patrick Yakowa. AZA MSUE writes on Yero’s governance approach without interference of godfathers.

Yero

IT IS RATHER PATHETIC FOR PEOPLE TO WORK IN THE SAME OFFICE,

BUY AND SELL IN THE SAME MARKET.. IN

THE DAY TIME AND SUDDENLY BECOME SUSPICIOUS OF EACH OTHER AT NIGHT House, Kaduna said the metropolis is divided along “before and after the bridge” with residents always cautious when crossing to the other side which is not healthy. He stressed that the government would, through legal means, utilise religious and group leaders to ensure people of different faiths live peacefully among each other. “It is rather pathetic for people to work in the same office, buy and sell in the same market, study in the same school in the day time and suddenly become suspicious of each other at night. “All of us are serving the one God and we have to try as much as possible to serve God in a peaceful manner in a way that we would respect each other, understand each other and tolerate each other, because God said He has created mankind in different race and tribes, not for them to fight each other but to understand each other and serve Him properly,” Yero said. To this end, Yero has directed that a monthly religious harmony meeting by the 23 local government chairmen should be

held, which its report must get to the state government, even as he vowed to sanction any council chairman who fails to organise it. There is now a new security marching order adopted by the governor followed the skirmishes in Kafanchan Jema’a Local Government of the state. This development compelled council chairmen to tackle security in their domains or lose their overhead monthly allocation alongside other penalties. The Yero’s continuity policy has also reflected in late Yakowa’s N28 billion rural and urban roads project which scattered across the three senatorial zones of the state rather than revoking them. However, Yero had recently succeeded in dissolving his inherited cabinet commissioners, being the last batch although Special Advisers are still on board with him. On January 10, 2013 the governor sacked and appointed some personal staff, including the Principal Private Secretary, Director General of Media and Publicity, as well as Chief of Staff, to replace Yakowa’s men. National Mirror gathered that Governor Yero has uncovered fraud perpetrated by some sacked commissioners who were bent on sabotaging his administration. It authoritatively gathered that one of the former commissioners cornered N50 million approved by the governor for the rehabilitation of some projects within Kaduna metropolis. A day after their removal, while on an unscheduled visit to one of the ministries, Yero discovered that the former commissioner who was sacked along his colleagues recently sabotaged the rehabilitation proj-

15

ects by splitting the works into piecemeal apparently for pecuniary interest. It was further gathered that in some instances the commissioner divided the works into small segments of N5 million, N9 million against the specification given to him by the governor. The discovery angered the governor who has also retrieved documents from the ministry showing the arbitrary splitting of the rehabilitation works. A source, who accompanied Yero on the unscheduled visit, said he has vowed to get to the root of the matter, saying anyone found culpable would be made to face the full wrath of law through relevant agencies. Meanwhile, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, and elders from the late Yakowa’s zone have accused Yero of marginalising their people. Prominent among them is Major General Zamani Lekwot (rtd), a former governor of Rivers State, who few months ago visited the Presidential Villa to complain to President Goodluck Jonathan of his people’s marginalisation. Also, Dr. Ephriam Goje, SOKAPU’s national president has supported Lekwot’s allegations at many gatherings. But, the Zazzau Emirate Development Association, ZEMDA,a non governmental organisation from Yero’s Northern zone, in a letter to President Jonathan accused Southern Kaduna of marginalising zone one and two senatorial districts. Further more, ZEMDA accused Southern Kaduna of controlling 49 per cent in the state civil service, leaving the Northern and Central senatorial zones with 29 per cent and 22 per cent. The group also pointed out that 70 per cent of the capital projects that were executed during the Yakowa administration were mostly in the south. Ahead of 2015 governorship election in the state, Yero who was accused of being answerable to Sambo, the vice President and his political godfather has started creating his own political empire. It is on record that Yero is Sambo’s godson as he made him Commissioner of Finance, having being an accountant at Nalado Nigeria Limited, a company owned by the Vice President. Sambo single handily picked Yero to be late Yakowa’s deputy against all odds. Investigations revealed that one of the major hurdles for Yero in 2015 is his ability to prove that he is a man of himself. Another factor is for him to embrace Southern Kaduna people. But the Director General Media and Publicity to Governor Yero, Ahmed Maiyaki said his boss is not under the control of Vice President Sambo or anybody as being speculated. Speaking with National Mirror, Maiyaki said although former governors of the state can advise the present governor but is at his own discretion to take the advice or not. His words: “People should know that Vice President Sambo was the former governor of Kaduna State; the same with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and they can offer advice to the present governor but the governor is at his liberty and discretion to accept it or not hence it is purely advisory. Governor Yero is in charge as governor of Kaduna State as stated in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. Governor Yero is not under the control of anybody as being speculated. He is a man of his own.”


16

Politics

IBIPOBONG UDOM

I

f there was anything that fascinated me in the popular movie, Lord of the Rings, it was the intricately-woven plots that explained the theme of trust, loyalty and friendship. J.R.R. Tolkien’s treatment of these themes, for me, remains the one reason the movie will remain a classic for a long time. In one of the scenes in the first series, Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo was talking to Sam and Merry on who to trust and Merry came up with a punch line that will always be relevant where matters of loyalty are discussed, saying: “You can trust us to stick with you through thick and thin – to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.” For a long time now, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio has remained a subject of discussion and a target for attacks. Not that he would have had it differently, for the man had become used to media bashing, critics’ lashing and political throat slashing which have become part and parcel of the Nigerian polity as a result of the forthcoming 2015 presidential election. In fact, if anything, Akpabio appears to have grown a thick skin to the unjustifiable criticisms against him; keeping focus on the goal he had set for himself a long time ago – the transformation of Akwa Ibom State – a goal which he has achieved and for which he has remained in the good books of Nigerians. But the current trend of discussion about the governor appears quite funny. This time, the accusation is that he is blindly loyal to the president; that he is too committed to the president’s re-election bid; that he is the president’s go-to man. Are these accusations genuine? Are they true as stated? And is Akpabio wrong to be any of these? Though one cannot but marvel at some Nigerian’s knack for whipping up unnecessary sentiments, it is expedient to point out that the mafia-like war against Akpa-

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Akpabio and the loyalty question AKPABIO HAS SHOWN IN THE LAST SIX YEARS IN OFFICE THAT HE IS A DETRIBALISED

NIGERIAN WHO

BELIEVES IN THE UNITY AND PROGRESS OF THIS COUNTRY

... HAS

PROVED HIS UNBRIDLED LOYALTY TO

NIGERIA

AND NO LEVEL OF TWISTING WILL ERASE HIS FOOTSTEPS ON THE SANDS OF TIME Akpabio

bio has been taken too far, with the antiAkpabio agents from within and outside Akwa Ibom pouncing on anything they can lay their hands on to discredit the governor. If they say Akpabio is 101 per cent loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan, they are right and this is no crime in a democracy. Akpabio is loyal to the president and that is one attribute that places him high above his peers – his loyalty to good causes and people. But Nigerians need to know that Akpabio’s loyalty is not only to the president but also to the South-South and Nigeria as a whole; that is why he has been going about seeing that President Jonathan’s and Nigeria’s interests are protected. It is especially true because the president and Akpabio are from the same region – the South-South which produces the larger percentage of Nigeria’s wealth but has been relegated for years. If the accusation is that Akpabio is too

committed to the second term ambition of the president; then it should be clear to the reasonable that the president is yet to officially declare his intention to run. But would Akpabio be wrong to support his brother for re-election? Would it be wrong for Akpabio to lead other men and women of reason to demand justice for the SouthSouth geopolitical zone which was treated with disdain until God elevated President Jonathan? Would it be out place for the governor to support the president with whom he has been a partner in progress from the same region? The answer to all these questions is no! Therefore, if anyone should be loyal to the president, Akpabio as his brother, a second-term governor and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum should be number one. But if the allegation is that Akpabio is blindly loyal to the Presidency to the detriment of the country and that is to be used to vilify him, it should be stated that the governor’s loyalty transcends the Presi-

dency; it is a loyalty to Nigeria, its progress and its stability. By several actions and words, Akpabio has shown in the last six years in office that he is a detribalised Nigerian who believes in the unity and progress of this country. From his vast contribution to the boosting of the country’s image across the world through the unprecedented developments in Akwa Ibom State to his interventions on several national matters and institutions, Akpabio has proved his unbridled loyalty to Nigeria and no level of twisting will erase his footsteps on the sands of time. For the records, Akpabio is surrounded by people holding several sensitive positions who are not from his state. The governor’s Chief Security Officer, Aide De Camp, Orderly and Convoy Commander are all not from the state. Apart from this, the state under his leadership, appointed a non-indigene of Akwa Ibom State as the chairman of the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, with the state sending Muslim non-indigenes to Hajj annually. So, for Akpabio, it is Nigeria’s interest and unity first. But why would anyone even call Akpabio’s loyalty to the president to question? Should a governor from the president’s party be a rebel and a renegade as some have chosen to be, when the president is the leader of the party? Should any right thinking son let alone governor of the South-South even oppose Jonathan’s second term ambition (if he has any)? Has Akpabio’s loyalty to the president slowed the pace of development in his state? These are questions the critics of Akpabio should answer. But if it is left to the governor and some of us that believe in the good works of the president, Akpabio cannot be trusted to let President Jonathan and the South-South face the hurdles alone. Same way he cannot be trusted to let injustice and disunity take over Nigeria. Udom is an Abuja-based public affairs analyst.

Terrorism, a major threat to national stability –Jonathan CONTINUED FROM 14 in Yaounde, Cameroon, and came up with practical steps to collectively confront the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. This effort will, no doubt, require reinforcement and wider support and collaborative action on the part of our international partners.

Mr. President, The situation in the Middle East remains volatile. The reported use of chemical weapons in the Syrian crisis is unacceptable. Nigeria condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the use of chemical weapons that are prohibited by International Conventions. We applaud the current diplomatic efforts to avert further escalation of the crisis. We urge all parties involved to end the violence and seek a negotiated solution, including the instrumentality of the United Nations. The threat which nuclear weapons pose to the survival of the human race is to be understood not just in the context of

aspirational nations but also the nations already in possession of such weapons. Nuclear weapons are as unsafe in the hands of small powers as they are in the hands of the major powers. It is our collective responsibility to urge the international community to respond to the clarion call for a peaceful universe in an age of uncertainty. We can attain this objective if we adopt measures and policies that will promote nuclear disarmament, protect and renew our environment, and push towards an international system that is based on trust, mutual respect and shared goals.

Mr. President, I believe that I express the concern of many about the slow pace of effort and apparent lack of progress in the reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council. We believe strongly, that the call for democratization worldwide should not be for States only, but also, for international organisations such as the UN. That is why we call for the democratization of

the Security Council. This is desirable for the enthronement of justice, equity, and fairness; and also for the promotion of a sense of inclusiveness and balance in our world. Our support for the United Nations Security Council in its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has been total and unwavering. We have, in previous membership of the Council, demonstrated both the political will and capacity to engage in key Council responsibilities. Nigeria has therefore decided to seek election for the 20142015 Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC. I am pleased to state that Nigeria has received the endorsement of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. We urge this august Assembly to endorse Nigeria’s candidature.

Mr. President, Our world continues to be confronted by pressing problems and threats. No statement that will be made during this Session

can exhaust the extent of these problems. The world looks to us, as leaders, to provide hope in the midst of crisis, to provide guidance through difficult socio-political divisions, and to ensure that we live in a better world. We have obligations to the present generation, but we have a greater obligation to generations yet unborn who should one day inherit a world of sufficiency irrespective of the circumstances of their birth or where they reside on the globe. We must work to make that world a reality in recognition of our common heritage. We must strive to eradicate poverty, hunger, disease and human misery; we must eliminate the scourge of nuclear, chemical, biological, as well as small arms and light weapons. We must dedicate ourselves to working together to address global, regional and national challenges and deliver a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world for all. It is our duty. We must not fail. I thank you.


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Views

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jonathan on SNC

EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

FRY

NDUBUISI fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

T

he politico-religious tension in the country has been worsened by the internal crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The formation of ‘breakaway’ New Peoples Democratic Party seems to be the climax of the battle over whose region will produce 2015 president. The G7 governors have created enough trouble for President Goodluck Jonathan, all because they want to scuttle his second term bid. The goal of the splinter PDP is to ensure that power returns to the North in 2015. Of course, the South has threatened fire and brimstone if Mr. President is denied his second term right. The contest has assumed both ethnic and religious dimensions. There is no decorum and caution in both camps in the use of words and tactics. The Nigeria’s centre power is very attractive. Both social and economic security is assured for any ethnic nationality that produces the president. That informed the intensity of

A

the struggle to grab the centre’s power. If care is not taken we are heading for the precipice, and many Nigerians are anxious to avoid this fate. We have gone that way before. The Patriots, under the leadership of Professor Ben Nwabueze, has unceasingly called for a sovereign national conference (SNC) to tackle the nation’s myriad of problems. The Yoruba socio cultural group, Afenifere, has also been persistent in its call for the convocation of this contraption to address the sources of the uneasiness and acrimony in the land. It is curious that there is opposition to SNC as an approach to resolving the issues that have plagued us since independence. Now it seems the prospect for SNC is becoming brighter following indications that President Jonathan has finally caved in to the pressure to convoke it and with the different ethnic nationalities and sub nationalities as participants. The groups pressurizing the presidency anchored their arguments on the fact that while the North that has ruled the country for decades is hell bent on producing the next president, both the South East and Middle Belt have not been privileged to produce a civilian president. The Patriots believe that the gathering of the ethnic nationalities remain the most viable way to strengthen the bond that holds the nation together. Obviously as a response to this, President Jonathan has unequivocally affirmed the rights

WE MUST DIALOGUE NOW IF WE DESIRE A COUNTRY DEEPLY

ROOTED IN JUSTICE,

FAIRNESS AND EQUITY. of the constituent parts of Nigeria to come together to dialogue on how to live in peace and unity. He revealed that his government had been making efforts on how to create an acceptable and workable platform for a national dialogue that will cement the ties that hold the country together. He admitted that the constraint had been the constitution that seems to have consigned such role to the National Assembly. However, he affirmed his administration’s determination to ensure that everyone key into the process and agree on modalities to move the nation forward. Professor Nwabueze advised that the national conference should take place before the 2015 general elections so that there will a new grundnorm for the country, saying the 1999 constitution was not the product of the people, but a creation of military dictatorship. The nation cannot have a better opportunity than this to reinvent itself. The level of arrogance, impunity and unwholesome manipulations in the country has become unbearable. The cacophonous voices we have heard have made it

17

almost impossible to appreciate who is oppressed and the harbinger of this oppression. It is ridiculous for the North to talk of being out of power in a country that they have held by the jugular for long and used it to get all what they want. A governor from that region recently and insolently abused the chairman of the National Population Commission, Mr. Festus Odimegwu, for daring to say what everybody knows and has been said severally. Truth is bitter, that is why many do not want to hear it. It is an open secret that all the censuses conducted in this country from independence to the last one have always been manipulated to achieve devious sectional goals. It should not surprise anyone that any efforts to rectify this absurdity will be resisted. It is salutary that the Senate President, David Mark, has bought into the idea of a national conference. This is the time to have it, if we are interested in a just and united nation. There are a whole lot of issues such as indigeneship, rotational presidency, resource control, states and local government creations, state police, the Land Use Act that must be urgently resolved. It is curious that some see it as a call for another civil war. We must dialogue now if we desire a country deeply rooted in justice, fairness and equity. Professor Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept. of Philosophy, UNILAG

Time to resolve the census conundrum

53-year-old nation should know the number of its citizens, shouldn’t it? As another annual ritual of Nigeria’s independence anniversary looms, many questions are bound to be asked by many writers and thinkers regarding the fulfillment of the expectations of our founding fathers. It is not the intention of this writer to examine here the bigger and convoluted issues of our failed or failing union paradigm, which spawned our multifarious problems. But I would limit this piece to the scope of the opening interrogative to probe why we have failed even in the simplistic affair of counting ourselves. When the results of the last population census conducted in 2006 were announced by the National Population Commission, not a few were disappointed. The figures were nothing but mere statistical updates of the traditional warped and incongruous figures we had shamelessly bandied about for decades as our authentic population. The said 2006 census put Kano as the most populous state in the country with 9,401,288 million, while Lagos, the nation’s economic hub, came second with 9,113,605. The first modern population census in Nigeria was conducted between 1952-53, during an era when ethnic jingoism was at is its peak with some of the nationalities scheming to dominate the others in the emergent independent Nigeria. It was not difficult for the people to fathom the strategic importance of demographic advantage. Population was going to be not only the basis of

IT IS IRONIC THAT

NIGERIANS ARE HIGHLY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE, YET WE CANNOT BE HONEST IN A MATTER OF SIMPLE ENUMERATION resources allocation from the federal treasury, but also for parliamentary representation. Then, falsehood and manipulation reigned with the North coming forward with the most unbelievable figures of the lot. These figures were nonetheless condoned and accepted by the colonial powers, which had a long history of special affection for, and unwritten bond with the humble, submissive North in preference to the “overeducated” and arrogant South. Thus the myth was born and has been nurtured since then through nothing but deliberate population inflation - a cancerous vice which has made national planning and development a mirage. The myth was resurrected and formed the basis of the 2006 demographic engineering, sorry, population census, which put Nigerian population at 140,003, 542 million with the North credited with more than half of this figure. But, how can a landlocked, arid or semi arid expanse of land have more population than fertile areas with extended access to continental ocean? This negates almost everything we know about the social science of demography. But the

proverbial Nigerian factor was a force so powerful that no demographical fact, no ratiocination or commonsense or truth dares stand in its path. The chairman of the National Population Commission, Mr. Festus Odimegwu, recently ran into trouble for daring to discredit all the past censuses. In a rare display of courage, the erudite NPC boss went as far as saying that 2006 census figures were mostly cooked up and that ”Nigeria has not had a credible census since 1866”. The hullaballoo triggered off by this disclosure was so gargantuan that the national temperature soared with many vested interests calling for Odimegwu’s sack. He was promptly queried by the presidency for ‘reckless’ utterances! In spite of all the needless vituperations, what appears to be a validation of Odimegwu’s assertion came on the heels of his “bombshell” when the National Census Tribunal sitting in Abuja nullified the results of the 2006 National Census in 14 local governments in Lagos State on the grounds that the counting was illegal and not accurate. The Tribunal ordered fresh counts in all the 14 local governments. Mangana Yankare! But why is truth so disgusting? It is ironic that Nigerians are highly religious people, yet we cannot be honest in a matter of simple enumeration! The Holy Bible says in Proverbs 14: 34 that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Al-Quran Kareem, states, “O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah,

CRITICAL STROKES

KAYODE

KETEFE

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

even though it be against yourselves or your parents or your kindred, whether the case be of a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both them ye are. So follow not passion lest ye lapse from truth and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever informed of what ye do.” ( Surah An-Nisa 4:135) For those who are traditional worshipers, the recitations “Ogbe Ogunda” in the sacred Odu Ifa Corpus enjoin adherents to be righteous and honest, when it reads in part, “The liar dies in a forest of fire. The wicked dies and dies on a sunscorched savannah. But the righteous dies and dies peacefully! (Ogbe Ogunda 31: 4) Many Nigerians belong to the one or the other of these religions, yet we find it difficult to tell truth in simple matters. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Editorial

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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STEVE AYORINDE

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GBEMI OLUJOBI

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Who ordered 53 gold-plated phones?

he nation was shocked lately by the startling report that the Federal Government had placed an order for 53 customised goldplated iPhones from a United Kingdom-based company, Gold and Co, to commemorate the country’s 53rd independence anniversary on October 1 this year. Reports, quoting a London-based newspaper, The Independent, said a Bristolborn, Dubai-based businessman, Mr. Amjad Ali, who runs Gold and Co, a luxury goods firm, let the cat out of the bag. Ali said with the development, Nigeria had joined his growing list of high brow clients across the globe. The gold-plated iPhones, according to the report, cost as much as £50,000 (N12.2 million) a piece; which would translate to about N649 million for the 53 FG allegedly ordered. The Presidency, however, swiftly denied the report. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said in a statement, for instance: “We consider the reports in a section of the media claiming that the Nigerian government had ordered customised gold iPhones from a Dubaibased company to mark the country’s 53rd Independence Anniversary in October not only false and misleading, but utterly mischievous. It is

instructive that despite the refutation of the story by the company, which ought to have laid the mischief to rest, a number of politicallyminded news media continue to insist on promoting the blatant falsehood…” It was obvious, however, that the angry response of the Presidency flowed from the equally irate and caustic criticisms that trailed the report. The public impression had been that it would be most imprudent for a nation in economic distress, and which is currently meeting its financial obligations with difficulty, to indulge in such a profligate expenditure. Recall that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated not long ago that the FG could not afford the payment of N92 billion for earned allowances to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), whose members have been on strike since last July 1. There has also been visible delay in the payment of monthly statutorily allocated funds to states from the Federation Account. Meeting up with the capital expenditure for the 2013 fiscal year has also been an uphill task, despite the fact that a similar development last year led to a brawl between the Presi-

NIGERIANS MAY NEVER CEASE TO ASK THE QUESTION: WHO IN THE COUNTRY

DUBAIBASED GOLD AND CO TO SUPPLY 53 GOLDPLATED IPHONES? CONTRACTED

dency and the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives. The situation was such that members of the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led faction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), a few days ago, told the Finance Minister to resign her appointment if she knew she would not be able to comply with the dictates of the 2013 Appropriation Act. It is thus obvious that the FG is finding it extremely difficult to cope with the revenue projections in the 2013 budget. The nation is likewise grappling with the problems of decrepit infrastructure, increasing unemployment, pervasive poverty and destitution, et cetera. It is therefore, pathetic that the Presidency dismissed the public concern sparked by the 53 customised gold-plated iPhones information as possi-

bly the fabrication of ‘a number of politically-minded news media’, especially when patriotism is not written on the faces or perceivable from the conduct of those in power or its corridors, at least based on the experiences of Nigerians so numerous to mention in a piece as short as this editorial. Since there’s no smoke without fire, Nigerians may never cease to ask the question: Who in the country contracted Dubai-based Gold and Co to supply 53 gold-plated iPhones? It is the well considered position of this newspaper that the blanket denial by the FG is not enough. The report carried by the London-based newspaper and picked by the local press generated profound rumpus and consternation locally and internationally. Both the government and Nigerians have been ridiculed and embarrassed by the report. Therefore, the FG should not be contented with the purported retraction of Ali’s claim or lay its origin on the doorsteps of ‘a number of politically-minded news media’. The government should seek redress in the appropriate court and unravel the veracity or otherwise of the report. Doing so will inspire the confidence of Nigerians in the FG, particularly the Presidency.

ON THIS DAY September 26, 2000 Anti-globalisation protests in Prague involving about 20,000 protesters turned violent during the IMF and World Bank summits. The anti-globalisation movement is critical of the globalisation of corporate capitalism. The movement is also commonly referred to as the global justice movement, alter-globalization movement, antiglobalist movement, anti-corporate globalisation movement or movement against neoliberal globalisation.

September 26, 2002 The overcrowded Senegalese ferry, MV Joola, capsized off the coast of The Gambia. The disaster resulted in the deaths of at least 1,863 people. The mishap was said to be the second-worst, non-military maritime disaster in number of lives lost. The first was the MV Dona Paz in 1987, with an estimated number of over 4,000 dead. The RMS Titanic, which sank in 1912 with 1,517 lives lost, would be third according to the World Almanac and the New York Times.

September 26, 2009 Typhoon Ketsana hit the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, causing 747 fatalities. Typhoon Ketsana (International designation: 0916), was the second most devastating tropical cyclone in the 2009 Pacific typhoon season with a damage of $1.09 billion and 747 fatalities, only behind Morakot earlier in the season, which caused 789 deaths and damages worth $6.2 billion.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

IN CONJUNCTION WITH

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Education Today

AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI (ABUAD) A model, a bench mark and reference point for other universities –NUC

How credible Post-UTME without ASUU? TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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lmost all the public universities in the country have conducted their post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (Post-UTME) without the inputs of the academic staff. Those that are yet to conduct theirs like the University of Ibadan and few others have scheduled the exercise for this weekend and the next. The examinations were conducted in defiance of the warning by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the university authorities not to conduct the exam and any other without their inputs. The President of the union, Dr. Nasir Isa had said that “ASUU will not recognise any examination that is conducted by any public university in the country without our inputs.” He said it was the sole responsibility of the academic staff of any institution to conduct exams, including the post-UTME for students by setting the question papers, providing the answers and supervising the exercise. “And that has been the practice also in the universities over the years and I wonder why some vice-chancellors would now in a bid to undermine the ongoing ASUU strike go ahead to conduct the postUTME under situations that undermine the credibility of the exercise,” he said. While he appealed to the various vicechancellors to stop the process until ASUU members are back on campuses, Isa said to do otherwise would not only erode the credibility of academic profession but it would also desecrate the sacred ethos of the university selection examinations. Nevertheless, National Mirror’s investigations revealed that ASUU members have little or no relevance in the conduct of exams for students that are yet to be admitted. The universities made do with administrators in setting questions while answer scripts were marked electronically. So, the inputs of the academic staff in the exercise according to some of the university administrators, is not all that important. “As a matter of fact, ASUU has no business in post-UTME. It is only after the candidates become university students that the rules guiding the university system bring them under the supervision of ASUU. Therefore, they cannot hold us to ransom more so that the NUC is putting pressure on the universities to adhere strictly to the October 31 admission deadline,” one of the vice-chancellors told National Mirror on the condition of anonymity. “That is why we have to make do with alternative way to do the exams and we did it under credible manner.” The National Universities Commission and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) also thought along this line. They said there was need

Students writting the post UTME to go by the academic calendar, thus urging the admission officers of various institutions to adhere strictly to the Federal Government guidelines on admission for the 2013/2014 academic session. The registrar of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde recently restated the October 31 deadline for all universities in the country to have concluded their admission processes for the next academic year. He insisted on the deadline at the 1st Technical Committee meeting of the board with the universities’ admission officers of the most preferred degree awarding institutions in the country holding in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He re-emphasised this position at another meeting holding with the university administrators in Abuja recently. To show the board’s seriousness about the directive, he cautioned the admission officers to be transparent enough in whatever actions and decisions they take during the exercise. He urged them not only to follow strictly the guidelines of ratio 60:40 in favour of sciences over arts-related courses but also to respect the Federal Government’s approved criteria in admitting students into governments’ owned schools. According to him, merit takes 45 per cent, catchment takes 35 per cent while educationally-less developed states takes 20 per cent and no school should admit students after deadline. His words: “I wish to remind you formally that all admissions will come to an end by October 31. All institutions are hereby called upon to adhere strictly to this date as late submissions of lists of admitted stu-

ASUU HAS NO BUSINESS IN POST-UTME. IT IS ONLY AFTER THE CANDIDATES BECOME UNIVERSITY STUDENTS THAT THE RULES GUIDING THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM BRING THEM UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF

ASUU dents will not be entertained by the board. JAMB has discovered that some universities and other institutions comply with the deadline, while some do not comply as they are yet to conduct their post-UTM exams.” When asked whether the NUC, as a university regulatory body in the country will reconsider the deadline by shifting it forward or not for the sake of institutions that are yet to conduct their exams, the Chief Information Officer of the commission, Mrs. Bukola Olatunji said she could not make any comment on the matter on the premise that she was not authorised to speak to the press. Now as things were, it is obvious that there is no way the universities can roundoff the 2012/2013 academic session as

scheduled. Although, majority of these institutions had conducted their last semester examinations, the lecturers were yet to mark and grade them before they embarked on the ongoing strike three months ago. Analysts are therefore on the opinion that JAMB and the NUC would need to allow the universities to resume academic activities first rather than compelling them to carry out their admission processes without due regard for the ethos and credibility of the exercise. They foresee that doing otherwise may lead the ivory towers to another round of crisis when the lecturers eventually resume work. “School examination is purely an academic affair. It is the lecturers that can set appropriate questions for a particular exam for students. They are the ones who know what syllabus is saying. So, the non- academic staff can only assist and not to be left with the responsibility of handling the entirety of an exam,” Mr. Jerome Ogiema, an educationist said. He explained further that there would not be fresh admission until schools are through with the current academic session. So, the directive about the October 31 selection deadline which now put pressure on the university authorities according to him will only succeed in adding anxiety and confusion in the nation’s university education. While he appealed to the striking lecturers and the Federal Government to reach a compromise on the issues at stake for normalcy to return to the ivory towers, Ogiema cautioned JAMB and the NUC to make the admission issue a worthwhile exercise.


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Education Today

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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tudents at all levels of education in the country have been told not to see challenges confronting them as hindrances to success in life. They were also advised to remain focused by giving their studies a deserved attention so as to be able to do well not only in their academic pursuits but also in other areas of endeavours. The Executive Director, Corporate Services, UAC Nigeria Plc, Mr. Joe Dada gave this advice recently at the closing ceremony of this year’s edition of the free holiday coaching organised by the company for the secondary school students in Lagos State. Over 400 students from about 30 schools in Lagos State and its environs participated in the scheme. Dada said it was disheartening that some people used their disadvantaged financial backgrounds as reason for their failure in life. “But such excuse is no longer tenable nowadays as you do not need to be a child of a president, governor, minister or of a director of a multinational corporation to become somebody in life. All it takes irrespective of your family background and the types of school you attend, is to be focused and committed to your studies. Though, you may not have three square meals, you may not wear expensive sandals and clothes and also, things may be generally rough today, just remain focused and be determined, you will surely smile in the end. Majority of the people who are successful

A cross section of the students at the closing ceremony of the holiday coaching.

Be focused, no excuse for failure, students told today equally had their hard times on their ways to success,” he counselled. However, Dada decried the growing deterioration of the education sector in the country, saying that was why his company has been organising the free holiday lesson for the students on yearly basis since 2008. “This is part of the company’s ways of contributing its own quota to the training of students and the development of education sector at large in the country,” he said. He added that apart from the scheme, the company had also provided infrastructural facilities at one time or the other to such schools as St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka and CMS Grammar School in Lagos; Rumfa

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A CHILD OF A PRESIDENT, GOVERNOR,

MINISTER OR OF A DIRECTOR OF A MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION TO BECOME SOMEBODY IN LIFE. College and Government Secondary School, Gwale in Kano; Government College, kaduna and Alhudahuda College, Zaria; Enitonna High School, Borokiri, Rivers and Holy Family College Akwa Ibom

states. And UAC would continue to support the education development in the country.” Dada however, noted that no country could attain greatness without making quality education at all levels available to its citizens, thus, the reason UAC is investing on knowledge acquisition and infrastructural development in schools in the country. He said for now, the company operates only two coaching centres, one at Gbagada Senior Grammar School, Gbagada and the other at Newland Senior Secondary School, Ajegunle, both in Lagos for the free weekend lessons, named: “UAC Goodness League” and that there was a plan to expand the scope to other areas in the nearest future. He said the students were

Mr. Omifisayo, former History teacher, Alaari High School, Alaari, Ogun State

To my best

TEACHER

Lawal

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t was a good coincidence that both Mr. Omifisayo, a former History teacher at Alaari High School, Alaari, a small community in the border area of Ogun State, and one of his former favourite students, Waheed Lawal, hailed from the same Iree community in Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State.

This coincidence remained hidden to the two for more than 20 years until November 28, 2010 when there was a gathering to honour Lawal by the community and his former teacher recognised him and reminded him of his school days in Ogun State. What followed was a warm embrace, and recol-

lections of their past relationships. Today, Mr. Omifisayo is retired and has returned to his hometown of Iree, and his former student, Alhaji Waheed Lawal, now a Special Assistant to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State on Civil and Public Affairs, has singled him out as an outstanding teacher of teachers who he said really influenced his future endeavours. These are his words for Mr. Omifisayo: “Mr. Omifisayo taught us History at Alaari High School in Ogun State and he made a very strong impression of a committed, dedicated and humble teacher in us. His humility endeared us to him, and he was always ready to link us with our past, but it was very funny that throughout the period we never spoke about our

roots as we never knew we hailed from the same community in Osun State. Mr. Omifisayo would come to my parents to ask of me and would sit me down telling me all sorts of histories of various cities, countries and continents. I was always fascinated by his good sense of humour as he cracked jokes with us, and thereby making us to remember whatever he teaches us. Because the town was a small community without electricity, we would gather at the mosque at night to enjoy the power supply from the generating set and this man would be with us to continue the teaching of History. He did not only teach us the subject, he was also our adviser; he would give us lesson about life, career, morality, and character formation and he was ready to mention heroes we could emulate. He was such a wonderful teacher who made

taught core subjects such as English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Guidance and Counselling, and Account. “And interestingly, they were taught by some senior members of staff of the company who are very passionate about teaching and educational development,” he disclosed. Speaking about the benefits of the programme, a beneficiary and SSS 3 student of Gbagada Senior Grammar School, Dan Essien Samuel, said he was particularly impressed by the quality of teaching he received during the programme. Appreciating UAC on behalf of himself and mates for organising the lesson, Samuel said parents of many of them could not afford sending them to neither private schools nor fee-paid summer schools. “So the gesture was a welcome development as it really helped especially those of us in the final class and those who are writing the ongoing November/ December WAEC’s SSSC exam. We learnt many new things, including the topics we didn’t understand when the school was in session,” he said. Samuel, who aspires to become an engineer, came first in Physics and third in Chemistry in the test conducted for them at the end of the programme to assess their levels of understanding of what they were taught. And those who performed excellently in each of the subjects alongside Essien were rewarded with various prizes, including the company’s souvenirs, products and exercise books. They were also promised to be given school uniforms and sandals during this academic session.

learning a worthwhile experience for his students. I was very glad to be reunited with him and to find out that I shared same background with the man I so much revered. I pray he lives a happy life and that he reaps the fruits of his labour. May his children become responsible leaders of their generation and we pray to God almighty to continue to guard him and guide his path. The new administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in the State of Osun values people like that and we hope present crop of teachers can emulate him. If you can read this, then you have a reason to be grateful. Show your appreciation to your best or favourite teacher in this column. Send us a ‘Thank You’ note, including your full names, current status and the years you were taught by your teacher. You can also send us your current picture plus that of your teacher where possible. Write to the Editor, To My best Teacher Column, National Mirror, P.M.B. 10001, Marina Lagos or e-mail: eferaro@yahoo.co.uk


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Education Today

Thursday, September 26, 2013

21

No need employing people who see teaching as last resort –TASUED VC

OSOBAN honours illustrious alumni

Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade, Vice- Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, is a seasoned educationist and researcher. She taught for many years at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and she was also at various times Commissioner for Education and Acting Commissioner for Health in Osun State. Mrs. Obilade, in this interview with TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE, speaks about the impact of specialised university of education and what can make the teaching profession more attractive in the country. Excerpts:

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How would you explain the need for the establishment of a university of education in the country and how has TASUED fared so far? TASUED is the first university of education in Nigeria, second in Africa and eighth in the world. The general motive for establishing TASUED, just like any of its type elsewhere around the world, is to produce people who will be involved in the business of teaching and learning at all levels of education. Specifically, TASUED was established to train professional teachers, who will in turn reproduce themselves and train other professionals. It is a known fact that everyone who is educated and attained a particular level in a chosen field must have been taught by teachers at one particular period of life. So, TASUED was established to apply the core principles and theories of teaching to meet specific corporate needs of the immediate and the global society. So, TASUED products are in schools, corporate world and other fields. And the university has not failed in this responsibility of reproducing themselves, as well as other professionals since its establishment eight years ago. Unlike colleges of education, TASUED is not only training skilled teachers who will be relevant only to the local environment, the university also sponsors members of staff and students on international programmes that can expose them and make them globally competitive. The only challenge the school is facing is that of infrastructural support and facility that can enhance its performance but these are being addressed already. The university has sponsored many lecturers for international trainings, where t h e y

Oluyemisi

AS AN INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATE ORGANISATION OR GOVERNMENT AT

WHATEVER LEVEL, WE SHOULD ALL DO WHAT IS NEEDFUL TO ENSURE MANY MORE PEOPLE ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO MAKE TEACHING A CAREER learnt the best practices in teaching methodology. Only this year, about 22 members of staff were sent for conference on capacity building in Kenya. But many still consider teaching as a last option when there is no alternative employment elsewhere, how do you think teaching can be made attractive to people? The answer is simple. Teachers’ welfare needs to be looked into. Teachers deserve a decent and comfortable life like their peers in other professions. They should not only be well remunerated, they should also be accorded due respect in the society. But even at that, there is no need employing people who see teaching as last resort. Similarly, TASUED has been doing one important thing since inception and that is organising conferences for private school proprietors to let them know why they should employ professional teache r s and

give them competitive salaries and also for government to equally take the welfare of teachers in their service very seriously. So, as an individual, corporate organisation or government at whatever level, we should all do what is needful to ensure many more people are being encouraged to make teaching a career. Even at that, we still have people who believe so much in teaching. These are those who feel proud and fulfilling to be called educationists. I am one of those kinds of persons. Sincerely speaking, I am very passionate about teaching such that I’m always longing to develop myself on the job rather than looking elsewhere. For those who care to know, my father was a professor while his own father was a headmaster of a primary school. That tells you that teaching runs in my family’s blood. I was trained in Nigeria and also went for professional exams in universities overseas, including Harvard in the US. So, at TASUED, we are not limiting our products to primary and secondary schools. We also train our students on relevant skills that will make them good teachers in any profession they find themselves upon graduation. Teaching is not restricted to those in the conventional classrooms. Those who impact knowledge on people at work and market places and are also engaged in teaching. so on ar So, how do you think government can morale of the conventional teachers? boost m There are lots of ways government can Ther about this. First of all, it is essential to go abou appreciate teachers’ roles in the society. appreci When tthis is done, employers of teachers, especially governments at any level, will especia pay them the good salaries- salaries that will them good living. Essentially, teachearn th ers may not be paid the same salaries with in oil companies or banks those working w because of the peculiarity of their jobs, but teachers too need to be paid well and be apteacher preciated publicly to enable them feel proud preciate of their profession. Although, some state governments are very responsive to teachgovernm needs in this respect, as well as offering ers’ nee training scholarships at home and abroad them, they should also give bursary as into them centive to students studying education so as encourage best brain into the profession. to encou is still faced with dearth of The country cou teachers, especially in core subjects, teacher what do you think should be done to bridge the gap? What majority don’t understand is Wha teachers are the building blocks for that tea different careers. Any career one wants differen pursue in life, you must go through to purs teachers. That is why I am saying it all teacher depends on our governments, let them depend appreciate teachers in diverse ways and apprec bursaries to students who are by giving givi studying education, it will encourage studyin others to also join the profession.

AISHA TITILAYO he former students of St. Theresa’s Catholic Minor Seminary, Oke Are, Ibadan, Oyo State on the platform of Oke Are Seminary Old Boys Association of Nigeria (OSOBAN) have concluded plans to honour some members of the association with exemplary and leadership awards. The awards ceremony will be held on Friday, October 4 at the Church of the Ascension, New Bodija, Ibadan. They will be honoured based on their strong contributions to their chosen fields, economy and the development of their lama mater. Among them are the Bishop of the Metropolitan see of Ibadan, Archbishop Felix Alaba Job; his counterpart in Lagos, Archbishop Alfred Martins; former company secretary, Cadbury Nigeria plc, Henry Obafemi Adewunmi; Deputy General Manager, Ogun State Television, James Abiodun Adetoyinbo; Parish priest, St. Anthony Catholic Church, Surulere, Lagos, Mosgr. Benard Okodua and his counterpart at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja, Mosgr. John Aniagwu. Others include Rector, Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, Prof. Matthew Ajibero; bishop of Ijebu-Ode Catholic Diocese and member seminary board of governors, Bishop Albert Fashina; former president, students union, University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Oyewole Olaoye; a philanthropist, Otunba Paul Oladele and a host of others. A release by the association’s president and his secretary, Messrs Ladi Taiwo and Segun Ogunade said although many alumni of the school qualified for honours, only few could be so recognised at this year’s edition of the awards ceremony, assuring others of their turns in the subsequent years. Charging those to be honoured to see their recognitions as a call for more service, the duo urged current students of the school to take their studies very seriously so as to become somebody later in life.

NBTE commends Ogun Institute for compliance on accreditation guidelines

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he National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has commended the management of Ogun State Institute of Technology (OGITECH), Igbesa on the institute’s compliance with the principles guiding the accreditation of courses. The body, which is responsible for the accreditation of polytechnic- related institutions in the country, also praised OGITECH for the quality of facilities and personnel available in the school, saying the institute has not relented in its efforts to be a leading technology driving private polytechnic in the country. Speaking during a resource inspection visitation, NBTE’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Musa Abdullahi who was represented by Mr. Felix Ogbona from the board, assured the school of the board’s continuous support in any area necessary. On his part, the rector of the institute, Godwin Ejodame promised the visiting team that the institute would not compromise on standard, adding that the accreditation of Higher National Diploma in Microbiology for the school would expand the scope of the school programmes and status.


22

Education Today

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria, others benefit from Western Union education initiative MOJEED ALABI

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global payment service provider and partner of the global soccer competition UEFA Europa League, the Western Union Company, has added Nigeria to the three nations to benefit from its education sponsorship programme it called ‘Pass initiative.’ The project, which is in partnership with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is aimed at raising fund through the global soccer competition to support education programmes in three countries of Nigeria,

Turkey and Jamaica. The growing population of outof-school children in the country might not be unconnected with the extension of the initiative to Nigeria as the company has indicated its interest to invest huge resources it may raise through the initiative on basic education in the country while male child education will be focused in Jamaica. Launched in September 2012, Western Union’s Pass initiative turns every successful pass in the UEFA Europa League competition into funding for education, harnessing the power of football to support children. Through it, the company is contributing to UNICEF’s efforts to help give chil-

dren access to one million days of education. Meanwhile, every pass made during the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League season resulted in funding support for UNICEF programmes that aim to provide children with a better education. Funding from Western Union and the Western Union Foundation’s three-year commitment of sponsorship of the project is already supporting UNICEF’s education programmes in Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey, with further beneficiary countries to be announced during the coming season. According to the President, The Western Union Foundation, Patrick Gaston, the initiative was one of the significant steps

the company has been taking to impact the world and build and assured future for the leaders of tomorrow. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction and support for PASS from players, fans and customers during our first season was more than we could have hoped for and has helped us to not only use the power and reach of football to build awareness of the global education challenge, but also start to make a difference to young people and their communities,” Gaston stated. He said the funding supports secondary education initiatives through activities such as teacher training, vocational training, curriculum development, school

Again, AUN wins African Leadership award

Ex-PTDF boss donates N13m to Katsina indigenes JAMES DANJUMA

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

KATSINA

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he American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State has again won the ‘African Leading Development Institute Award’ organised by the United States-based African Leadership Development Foundation Incorporation in conjunction with African Leadership, a London-based Pan-African magazine. The institution was recognised for the award based on its leadership role among institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa by extension. A release by the university said the award was conferred on the university yesterday in New York City as part of the activities of the 2nd US-Africa Trade, Investment and Exchange forum. With this development, the university has been recognised for the award for the third time by the London-based magazine. The university’s President, Prof. Margee Ensign, won the ‘Distinguished Leadership Award in Personal Excellence in 2011’, and the institution won the ‘African Leading University of the Year Award last year.’ The Chief Executive Officer/ Editor-in-chief of the magazine, Dr. Ken Giami, in announcing the award in a letter to President Ensign said, “The board took cognizance of the institution’s innovative learning tools and world world-class equipment, the curricula, structural and infrastructural standards, competence of resource persons, as well as satisfactory perception feedback from students and stakeholders.”

improvements, and policy and advocacy work. “It is a key part of Western Union’s broader Education for Better programme, launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2012, which includes advocacy, products, volunteer and marketing support for secondary and vocational education.” International football star and former Arsenal Legend, Patrick Vieira, who helped launch the initiative said: “Football was my ticket to success, but for the vast majority of young people education is the key that allows them to become whatever they want to be and that is why we are in support of this initiative.”

L-R: Registrar, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN), Prof. Oluwole Atoyebi, the Awardee and Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; President, NPMCN, Prof. Victor Wakwe and a fellow of the College, Dr. Aishat Umar, during the 31st convocation ceremony of the college in Lagos, recently.

Graduating pupils of God’s Unique Wisdom School, Orelope Quarters, Ota, Ogun State, during their valedictory service and prize giving day, recently.

LAUTECH VC wants more TETFUND intervention

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he Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin has called on the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to increase its allocations to both the state and federal universities in the country. He said such fund increment

would enable them provide more infrastructural facilities that would make their campuses more learning and teaching friendly. Making the call in an interview on Tuesday, Prof. Gbadegesin however, commended the organisation for its contributions so far to the public university education in the country.

He said TETFund through its various interventions had greatly helped the higher education in the country. He disclosed that LAUTECH had also benefited from the gesture with the organisation provided fund to construct access roads, provide laboratory equipment, ICT centres, build library and sport centre.

he former SecretaryGeneral of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Muttaqa Rabe Darma has donated the sum of N13 million to Katsina State students, who are indigenes of the state to assist them in their studies. The benefiting students were selected after an examination that was conducted by a non- governmental organisation, known as Partnership and Initiative for the Development and Alleviation of Poverty. Speaking at the disbursement ceremony, Darma said the assistance was aimed at promoting education in general and helping the less privileged to complete their educational pursuits in particular. He said the assistance money came from monetization benefits and voluntary pension benefits accrued to him after expiration of his tenure as PTDF boss. He revealed that 104 junior and senior secondary students from state’s 34 local government areas had attended the selection examination, while 50 were successfully. In his response, the director of partnership and initiative for the development and alleviation of poverty, Haruna Dalhatu said last year 54 students benefited from the gesture and had been sent to boarding schools. Dalhatu however, urged philanthropists to emulate the exPTDF boss in addressing education problems across the state, even as he added that 10 private schools are to be partners to run the programme.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Education Today

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Primate, ASUU strike and part-time lecturers

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he ongoing ASUU strike has generated a lot of discussions on the state of the nation’s educational system. Comments have come from virtually every segment of the Nigerian society condemning or supporting the action of the dons. Some of the comments have bothered on the absurd and do not deserve any attention. Others on the other hand have struck some vital cord on the ongoing discussions on the tertiary education system in the nation and therefore deserve some attention. One of such comments came from the Primate of the Anglican Communion the most reverend Nicholas Okoh during the standing committee meeting of the Bishops Conference of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria which held in Yenagoa on Thursday the 12th of September 2013 when he reportedly called for the disbandment of the national body of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) asserting that there is no such body anywhere else in the world. He was particularly irked by ASUU members who are engaged in part-time teaching in private universities during the strike and still get paid in their places of

MOST OF THE UNIVERSITIES RECENTLY ESTABLISHED BY THE STATE AND

FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT BE FUNCTIONAL WITHOUT THE

ARMY OF PART-

TIME LECTURERS! primary appointment when the strike is over. He described their action as immoral. The comments of the primate could have been ignored but for the fact that he is a revered leader whose words are doted by all and sundry. Obviously, the primate has strayed away from the coziness of the sublime world of faith into the mundane world of absolute realities where even the existence of God is often questioned. I do not know whether his assertion that there is nobody like ASUU any-

where else in the world is meant to be accepted as gospel truth or an article of faith but it is obviously not true! On Thursday August 1st, 2013, the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), led by their President Dr. Anthony Simmons embarked on an indefinite strike in support of their demand for the payment of salary arrears and other allowances. That was the second industrial action by Ghana’s national teachers union this year; so there is “ASUU” in at least one other country in the world. What is more disturbing is the apparent ignorance of the primate of the general situation of the educational systems in Nigeria when he accused university lecturers of engaging in part-time teaching in private universities while the ASUU strike lasts. Does the Primate know that these part-time lecturers whose activity he has described as immoral and self serving are the backbone of academic activities in most private and some public universities in the country. According to the NEEDS report, only 24 of 174 Ph.D. holders in Kaduna State University are fulltime lecturers, meaning that the remaining 150 are part-time staff! Most of the universities recently

23

Education as I see it

by Tosanwumi Otokunefor

info@alphaedufoundation.org 08030904461 (email/SMS only) established by the state and Federal Government would not be functional without the army of part-time lecturers! If there is any act of immorality, I would suggest it is committed by the various governments that do not make sufficient provision for fulltime lecturers before embarking on the political gimmick of establishing these mushroom universities. The non provision of basic facilities at the time of establishment by the Federal government has continued to plague many universities in the country today. Notwithstanding the many drawbacks of part-time teaching, especially for the caliber of students presented to us, and the substandard learning environment, I regard the activities of these parttime lecturers as humanitarian rather than immoral or criminal. In fact, I consider part-time teaching a honest, legitimate and morally justifiable way to supplement university lecturers salaries in contrast to the compulsory sales of textbooks at atrociously high prices which I consider criminal. Some of us have not, and may never participate in such cross campus ventures

because of the stress of shuttling between two, three or four universities trying to teach students who are not ready to learn. There is a huge deficit of qualified academic staff in Nigeria. There are no sufficient incentives and resources to facilitate the training of the required academic manpower. The oversea training of qualified Nigerian youths through the various scholarship schemes has only succeeded in contributing to the brain drain and capital flight. The unthinkable is fast becoming the reality as some state governments have resorted to importing lecturers from other countries to mitigate the perennial shortage of lecturers in the country. We do not believe that this is the solution. ASUU believes that the agreement signed in 2009 would improve the capacity to train more academic staff and ameliorate the situation on ground. My most reverend primate, if you would like to contribute positively to the development of the educational system in Nigeria, kindly talk to those saddled with the responsibility of making decisions; maybe they will hear you.

We are keen on investing in education –Uduaghan AISHA TITILAYO

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he Executive Governor of Delta State and the Honorary Fellowship awardee at the National Postgraduate Medical College (NPMCN), Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, expressed the state’s readiness to invest greatly in education and health. He made this known recently during the annual 31st convocation ceremony of NPMCN held at Ijanikin, Lagos. Uduaghan said the position accounts for why he announced that the state will henceforth take up the training of Delta indigenes of the college abroad. Also speaking, the Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu represented by Dr. Aminat Mogaji, urged the college to look to the private sector to excel and access additional funding. He said there are huge untapped potentials out there for the college to exploit. “In this era of continuous technological advances where cutting-edge technology is daily being deployed for medical treatment, you have a duty to actively help your resident doctors exploit the opportunity provided by government’s approval for

part of their training to now take place abroad. You should seek placement for them abroad and encourage their trainers to emphasise skills acquisition and competency training. Linkages with our experts in Diaspora should be established for this purpose,” Mogaji stated. He also urged the college president and his team to seek new and innovative ways to overcome the funding challenges of the college and promised that the government shall continue to give the needed support and improve on current funding levels. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, represented by the Director of Special Duties, Dr. Jamila Shu-ara explained that the quest for better health delivery through the college and the need to expand the critical mass of the medical staff in specialised fields spurred our founding fathers to establish the college. “I am aware that this college is in its 34th year of existence and has produced a cumulative number of 4,458 Fellows who are specialists in chosen fields and who also serve as lecturers in the medical and dental faculties of our universities. These are enviable achievements for a unique college with humble beginnings.”

L-R, Inaugural lecturer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Nebath Tanglang; Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Tenebe and Registrar, Mrs. Josephine Akinyemi at the 4th inaugural lecture series of the university in Lagos on Tuesday. PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

‘Upgrading of Maritime Academy, Oron to degree awarding institution overdue’ RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Oliver Ojinaka has said the upgrading of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron as a degree-awarding institution was long overdue. He made the observation at a Curriculum Critique Workshop organised for officers of the

maritime-related institutions and organisations in the country held at Tinapa Resort, Calabar, Cross River State. Over 120 participants were in attendance at the five days event. Ojinaka said upgrading the 34-year old institution to a degree awarding status would enable it offering students more practical experience on the maritime industry. He listed some of the courses

to be undertaken by the institution if upgraded to include Hydrology, Hydrography, Photogramatry and Remote Sensing, among others. He urged the management of the institution to intensify efforts to ensure that the National Universities Commission in conjunction with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) accredited the courses to make the upgrading a reality.


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

EDITED BY MOJEED ALABI mojeedalabi2@yahoo.co.uk

NOUN matriculates new students in Jos

OAU appoints new Head of Department OLOYE BAMIDELE

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he management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has approved the appointment of Dr. F.O Fagbohun as the new Head of the Department of Local Government Studies in the Faculty of Administration. He took over from Dr. Isiaka Aransi, whose tenure expired, some couple of weeks ago. At a well organised ceremony in honour of both the outgoing and incoming heads of the department, their students, families, friends and colleagues were treated to thought-provoking presentations bothering on the relevance of local government administration study in Nigeria. The event, which was organised by the pioneer students of the department, was described by the honourees as unprecedented and inspiring. They commended the initiative and thanked them for finding them fit for the honour. The Deputy Director of the Centre for Distance Learning of the institution, Dr. Mike Adeyeye enjoined the audience to embrace the new trend of Information, Communication and Technology in order to meet up with other developed countries of the world “especially at this time of globalization.” He said inspite of the poor level of the nation’s development, Nigerian youths and students had no excuse to fail. “You must all embrace ICT with zeal; it is important for all of you to be connected because ICT is a pillar towards realization of the nation’s vision. With connectivity, we can exchange information which will spur growth,” Adeyeye said.

JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty and an Alumnus of Ekiti State University, Mr. Kingsley Kuku (in white attire) at EKSU, laying the Foundation of a Students’ Centre donated by him to the University.

YABATECH denies cult attack on campus MOJEED ALABI

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uthorities of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, have refuted the report that the students’ protest that disrupted activities on the campus last week was an aftermath of a cult attack on the campus. In a statement issued by the institution’s Head of Public Relations, Mr. Adekunle Adams, the college claimed that what happened was merely an argument among the students while watching the UEFA Champions League matches on Wednesday, September 18, and that no blood was shed. According to him, it was an internal issue which the college’s Rector, Dr. Kudi Ladipo, upon being notified, instantly addressed the situation “to the admiration of the students.”

However, some of the students who spoke to National Mirror on condition of anonymity have insisted that what happened was an attack by members of a secret cult group, and that the culprits had been recognised by the students before they took to their heels. They accused the college of attempting to sweep the matter under the carpet, saying it has been the attitude of the management to cover such incidence whenever it happens on the campus. It would be recalled that while the UEFA Champions League matches were being played on Wednesday night, a gang of six cultists was alleged to have violently attacked an ND II student of the Department of Business Administration following his refusal to stand up for the cultist when they arrived the scene. He was eventually rescued by his

friends who are said to be members of taekwondo club on the campus. Following the students’ inability to arrest the offenders, National Mirror learnt, they instantly located their rooms and sealed them up. They also barricaded the college’s entrance for several hours on Thursday demanding for the assailants’ immediate arrest and prosecution. While Dr. Ladipo was addressing the students at the college stadium and appealing to them to return to their hostels pending the investigation by the management, they refused, demanding immediate arrest and prosecution of the culprits. They also urged the management not to involve the Police “because the culprits of the shooting of a student in June this year were later freed by the police officers at Sabo Police Station.”

The National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN has matriculated over 500 students at its Jos Study Centre for the 2013/2014 academic year. Speaking during the 10th matriculation ceremony held in Jos, the Plateau State capital, the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Vincent Tenebe said the event marked another milestone in its quest to provide quality, accessible and affordable education to Nigerians. He said NOUN as a university had acquired a reputation as a centre of educational excellence both locally and internationally within its relatively short time of existence. The VC, who was represented at the ceremony by the Director, Jos Study Centre, Prof. Isaac Butswat stressed that NOUN is committed to the open and distance learning approach to education to enable it provide meaningful learning opportunities to as many as those that desire education. “It is worthy of note that NOUN is a single mode university dedicated to offering instructions through the distance learning mode and aims to create a quality learning environment using appropriate mix of technology, learner support and practical sessions. This is no mean feat considering the many challenges being faced by conventional universities to deny many Nigerians access to education,” he said. He therefore urged the new students to make the best use of the opportunity to upgrade themselves and add value to the society

Don’t reject undergraduates for industrial training –FUTA VC MOJEED ALABI

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passionate appeal has gone to industries in the country to stop the rejection of undergraduates posted to their firms for industrial training. he Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola stated this while receiving officials of the Industrial Train-

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ing Fund/Students Industrial Working Experience Scheme (ITF/SIWES), who were in FUTA for the Ekiti /Ondo axis zonal quarterly meeting. The VC, represented by his Deputy in charge of Academics, Prof. Adedayo Fasakin, lamented the experience students have when they are rejected by some industries which he said often cause them to lose a number of months in the six-months period of the training. He also urged the ITF management to look into the

issue of prompt and timely payment of the stipend due to students to avoid unnecessary agitation and crisis. In her response, the Head of Training, Industrial Training Fund, Mrs. Martina Okpere-Ampofo expressed the delight of ITF to FUTA for the support received from the institution over the years and promised to convey the message of the management to the headquarters for appropriate actions. Declaring the conference open, the university’s Deputy

Vice-Chancellor (Development), Prof. Tolulope Akinbogun said SIWES programme is central to FUTA’s operations. His words; “To us in FUTA, we cannot afford to handle the SIWES programme with levity and management will continue to support the programme to enable students benefit maximally, so they can be more productive in their chosen career.” In his welcome address, the Director, Industrial Training Unit, FUTA, Prof. Zacheaus

Opafunso commended the tremendous impact of the scheme through the bridging of the gap between theory and practice in training students in higher institutions. “The Industrial Training Unit which constitutes a vital and integral part of the training of undergraduates is the only unit that links all students to industries, ministries, parastatals and research institutes irrespective of their courses of study,” Opafunso stated.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Campus News

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Muslim students want ASUU to call off strike HAMMED MURITALA

400L MASS COM., UNILORIN

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Chancellor, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Rev. (Dr) Olasupo Ayokunle (left) presenting a holy Bible to the new Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Mathew Ojo, during Ojo’s swearing-in ceremony recently.

Bowen varsity’s new VC promises to build on existing legacies ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO.

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he newly appointed Vice chancellor of Bowen University, Iwo, Osun state, Prof. Mathew Ojo on Tuesday formally assumed office with a pledge to make the institution more virile in terms of educational advancement and physical development. Speaking with newsmen shortly after the inauguration service organized for him by the members of the institution’s Governing Council, Ojo assured that his administration would improve on what he met on ground by working round the clock to see that physical, mental and social capability of every individual on the campus is developed. The VC who described education as the only imperishable legacy that could be bequeathed to anyone, argued that without it, retrogression and backwardness would be recorded in any given society. He then promised to make the institution more learning friendly that all and sundry would be proud of, adding that necessary steps would be taken to make it rank high among its contemporaries globally. “I promise to contribute my own quota to the growth and development of this institution

and I stand here today as a custodian of the education legacy of the Baptist of Nigeria, in all aspects of education. In line with the motto of the university, excellence with Godliness, I promise to strife to achieve the aim of this university. I therefore request for your prayers, financial and moral support, as I will depend on God for the progress of the institution,” Ojo pledged. In his own speech on the occasion, the ProChancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Dr. Gamaliel Onosode, described the appointment of Ojo as a right choice for the institution. He affirmed that the newly appointed VC would further expand and develop the institution to its expectation and charged him not to disappoint them. According to him, Ojo’s wealth of academic and administrative experiences, home and abroad, would enhance him to move the university further to greater height and “I charge the entire university community to support his vision and mission for the institution to bring them to fruition.” Also, the visitor to the university, Rev. (Dr) Olasupo Ayokunle while praying for his success as the new VC, urged him to strictly abide with the established template for the university.

L-R: Secretary, Advanced and Reporting Skills (AWARES 13)Alumni Association, School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Isabella Akinseye; Vice-President, Daniel Obi and President, Unyime-Ivy King at their swearing-in ceremony, recently.

he Muslim Students society of Nigeria (MSSN) has called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off the ongoing industrial action in the interests of Nigerian students, who they said have always been the victims of such strikes. It also persuaded the striking lecturers to design another civilized way of pressing home their demands, noting that strikes have always resulted in the destabilization of schools’ academic calendars and uncertainty in the schooling period of an average Nigerian student. The National President of the MSSN, Mallam Abdulazeez Sirajudeen made the call while delivering a keynote address at the MSSN Zone B second annual symposium themed, ‘’Putting a Stop To Endemic Corruption,” which held on Saturday, September 21, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State. He urged the Federal Government to adequately see to the demands of

ASUU, saying that, ‘’the billions of dollars it usually set aside as security votes can adequately meet the demands of ASUU and other unions to safeguard the future of Nigeria’s education.’’ “If we can spend billions of dollars on security votes while paying leap service to the education of Nigerian youth, an ignorant nation will always remain unsafe and insecure. Education remains the only viable option to a secure and egalitarian society,” Surajudeen said. He also decried the case of a female student that was given 43 strokes of cane in a Lagos State school for using hijab, and called for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the crime. “We are Muslims and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria permits us to profess and practice our religion. And as such, nobody can force us to live other than the lifestyle prescribed by Al-Islam,” he said. In his own lecture entitled; The Role of Leadership in Stopping the Endemic Corruption, a lecturer of English and Literary Studies at the University of Abuja, Dr.

Taofeek AbdulAzeez maintained that leaders have roles to play in putting an end to corrupt practices, ‘’as they are usually the authors, perpetrators, orchestrators and patrons of corruption.’’ He said every adult individual is leader and shall be questioned about how they lead their followers away from or towards corruption. “The Prophet described us as shepherd and we shall asked by God how we led our flock.” The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of donations by dignitaries present towards the development and completion of the ongoing projects at the MSSN B-zone Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) permanent site along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ogunmakin, Ogun State. The event was graced by eminent personalities including the former judge at International Court of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola; Ogun State Deputy Chief of Staff, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu; the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuf Olaniyonu, among others.

Don calls for youth participation in politics MOJEED ALABI

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he Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Osogbo, Prof. Bashiru Okesina has advised the youths in the country to be involved in the nation’s democracy, saying their genuine participation might bring transparency, good leadership, and respect for human rights and rule of law as embodiments of good governance. The don also maintained that constructive criticism would enhance good governance as well as encourage participation in decision making process. Delivering his lecture entitled; The Roles of Youths in Good Governance, at the Public Presentation of a sociopolitical group-De Raufs’ and the Commissioning of the Secretariat of the group in Odo-Otin Local Government Area of Osun State, Okesina eulogized Governor Ogbeni Aregbesola on his exemplary leadership in the governance of the State. “In the atmosphere of self -determination and all inclusiveness, it appears that the youths, who are significant proportion of a country’s citizenry, have key roles to play in the enforcement,

maintenance and sustenance of good governance. The world today ought to have advanced beyond the ignoble culture f apathy, where the young people would sit back, fold their arms and watch corrupt leaders in government driving their future down the drain. “Youth of today should be making positive impacts in the governance of their country rather than allowing themselves to be used as instruments of violence and destruction. Youth should be active participants in the making f good governance which it would help them to build their capabilities for future responsibilities,” he advised.

UNIOSUN VC, Prof. Bashir


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Fixed entry: Mountain out of a molehill

ET me quickly say it for the benefit of Kola Danisa, Stanley Nduagu and others of their like that I was educated by the British and trained by the Germans in the Old West Germany. Besides, I started writing a column, Mind Your Language, on the English crises or challenges in Nigeria in May 1984 in the defunct National Concord. From the outset, I made it known that English, like German, is a dynamic language. The use of the word ‘dynamic’ implies that the language is not static, and that it adapts itself to usage and the demands made upon it by the users. Language is always changing! “’Upliftment’, meaning ‘uplift’, is a NOUN, like ‘uplift’ and ‘uplifter’; while ‘uplift’ is verb and Noun (WORLD BOOK DICTIONARY, Page 2299) refers. A teacher is a student; nobody is too old to learn. A man must change in a changing world. And only a horse does not change its mind. After all, a change is as good as a feast! Gentlemen, you must keep abreast of the current tendencies in the English language. “’Shorthand for something’, meaning ‘a shorter way of saying or referring to something, which may not be as accurate as the more complicated way of saying it’, is an idiom. Example: ‘Mad Cow Disease’ is shorthand for ‘Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy’; ‘Exco’ is shorthand for ‘Executive Council’;

‘telly’ is shorthand for ‘television’; ‘advert’ is shorthand for ‘advertisement/advertorial’; ‘congrats’ is shorthand for ‘congratulations’. “’British English (BE) resists the use of VERBS as NOUNS as American English (AE) does such as ‘author, critique, host, impact, hemorrhage, loan, party, pressure, and roundtable’; also ‘gun (down)’ which means ‘shoot’ (The Economist STYLE GUIDE–-The Best–Selling Guide on English Usage, Page 74). You can add ‘debut’, ‘task’ and ‘chairman’-–all of which had been made verbs through the force of usage and American influence! “’I repeat, ‘about’ means ‘approximately, nearly, some, circa, more or less’ E.g. ‘About 142 persons reportedly died last April–some refer to it as Bloody April– -in road mishaps.’ (The PUNCH Editorial, August 14, 2013). ‘The deportation of about 70 beggars to Anambra State by the Lagos State Government caused national uproar. “’If you are not sure whether to use a term, look it up in a current College Dictionary-– NEOLOGISMS (The Brief Holt Handbook by Kirszner & Mandell, Page 157) Not ‘check it up’ in the College Dictionary! The Mother and Child Centre (MCC) of Ifako Ijaiye General Hospital on College Road, is a beehive of activity (THE NATION HEALTH Page, July 23, 2013).

THE CENTRAL QUESTION IS: AM I TO BLAME WHEN SOME USERS OF THE LANGUAGE

CAN’T READ ON A DAILY BASIS OR WHEN THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY DESK

DICTIONARIES? “’Witch hunt’ or ‘witch–hunt’ is a noun; ‘Witch–hunting’, is a noun and an adjective (in the informal sense or context); ‘witch–hunting’ (a noun) means ‘witch hunt’; as an adjective, it means ‘of or having to do with a witch hunt’. Truly, ‘witch hunt’ has not yet been verbalized. “The central question is: am I to blame when some users of the language can’t read on a daily basis or when they can’t afford to buy desk dictionaries? This is simply an academic exercise regarding linguistic skills and word usage.” (Bayo Oguntunase/08056180046) A fortnight ago, I extracted a faulty sentence from The PUNCH Editorial of September 6 entitled ‘False dawn in railway sector’ and carried it here with-

out pointing out the error: “Not only are the roads decrepit, an endless caravan of trailers and trucks hauling petroleum products and other goods from one point to the other compounds the chaos around the country.” ‘One point to the other’ is restrictive (just two points, actually), when the writer meant ‘one point to another’— implying a limitless latitude—which is the right context. NATIONAL MIRROR Front, News, Editorial and Back pages of September 12 fumbled: “Lobby for replacements begin (begins)” “Sacked ministers…how they fared: Mailafia’s tenure holds (held) much promise, but little impact” “…Nigerian staff of the then Zain GSM network operator, (sic) (now Airtel) raised alarm (the alarm) over the systematic replacement….” “…the commissioning ceremony (the inauguration) of a new cement plant in Ewekoro, Ogun State.” And this: 36 years (years’) time. The PUNCH AM BUSINESS of September 11goofed: “People like this (these) are referred to as asset rich, cash poor.” “A major financial crisis can cause one to dispose of their (one’s) assets at a giveaway price because they need (one needs) the money urgently.” And this: every buyers (buyer’s) dream.

Group to honour brilliant students, others tomorrow MOJEED ALABI

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

non-gover nmental organisation based in La-

gos, Oshodi Brilliance Awards (OBA) will tomorrow reward excellent performance by students of the senior secondary schools located in the

densely populated community as part of efforts to build a guaranteed future for the beneficiary. The event, which is the second edition in

L-R: Librarian, Redeemer’s University, Mowe, Ogun State, Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo; Dean, College of Natural Sciences, Prof. Gabriel Kolawole and Dean, College of Humanities, Prof. Ahmed Yerima at an event on the campus recently

the series, is expected to reward a total of seven senior secondary school 3 students across the seven senior secondary schools in the community, including Oshodi Senior High School, Oshodi Comprehensive Senior High School, Unity Senior High School, Bolade Senior Grammar School, among others. According to the organisation, the beneficiaries were selected based on their performances in the last senior secondary school certificate examinations conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). They are to be rewarded with cash prizes and presentation of plaques.

Wrong: intelligent quotient; right: intelligence quotient. DAILY SUN of September 11indulged in farcical legalese: “Land tussle: Judge advises parties to settle out-of-court (out of court)” The noun ‘out-of-court settlement’ is different from the context here (that is without hyphenation). “Making a mountain from a little heap of sand” (DAILY SUN OPINION Page Headline, September 11) Fixed/stock expression: make (making) a mountain out of a molehill— not ‘from a little heap of sand’! The PUNCH AM (sic) BUSINESS of September 9 commercialized the English language: “While some advocate for the flexibility that a home-based business gives….” Delete ‘for’. “This makes it easier to achieve ones (one’s) goals.” “But when distractions like this become very common it disturbs business focus.” Either of these: distractions like these or a distraction like this. “From reading materials daily to attending annual conferences or trainings, effort should be put into self-advancement.” Self-improvement: ‘training’ is uncountable. “The Delta State Government flags off (launches/inaugurates) the Delta Education Marshals (Delta EduMarshals) Programme on 16th September, 2013.” (Full-page advertisement)

Kogi strike: Again, parents urge governor to resolve crisis OYEWALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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arents and guardians in Kogi State have again appealed to the state governor, Captain Idris Wada to use his good offices to resolve the crisis leading to the ongoing four months old strike by the teachers in the public primary schools in the state. They said they were fed up with the situation, which they said had taken a huge toll not only on them but also on the education sector in the state. They said they could no longer fold their hands to watch the future of their children truncated. One of them, Mr.

Abubarka Danjuma, who spoke during a phone in programme with the Radio Nigeria Prime FM in Lokoja, the state capital called on the state government to stop toying with future of the children who he called ‘leaders of tomorrow.’ The pupils on their part decried the development. They said staying idle or doing other things when their counterparts who are attending private schools are in schools was not to their best interest. The duo of Abdulrahman Mamud and Beatrice Johnson who are in primary six told National Mirror that they were last been in school since April when they had their second term holiday.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Indiscipline: Martins gets coach’s reprieve 28

Abuja Stadium: Reps ask NSC to account for N96m spent on pitch ABUJA

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Dilapidated and abandoned National Stadium, Lagos, with its main bowl pitch looking like a horse race ground.

The Representative vowed that the National Sports Commission (NSC) must give detailed account of all their spending for the stadium renovation, even as he regretted that the House has no powers to summon the contractor, Julius Berger, for explanation. “We never entered into any contractual agreement with Julius Berger. Our oversight function rests on the NSC. It is the NSC that will bring their client to order when our observations are made known to them.

“We wonder if they can relay the message to Julius Berger to get it done the way every Nigerian will be comfortable with,’’ he added. He further described the ceremony that followed the renovation as un-called for. Earlier at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for similar oversight function, the House Committee on Sports assured the NFF of increased funding in the 2014 budget. NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, told members of the committee that

Sport

the N1.6billion given to the NFF for fiscal 2013 was grossly inadequate considering the age-group national teams it had to carter for. Maigari noted that about N100m was spent on Nigeria’s participation at the U-20 2013 World Cup in Turkey, while N170m was used to prosecute the Confederation Cup hosted by Brazil in June. The Committee’s oversight function will continue today in Lagos, while the train will move to Kaduna next Monday.

Eaglets set for Dubai camp

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igeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, will embark on a two-week camping exercise in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates ahead of the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup which begins in October. Technical committee chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Chris Green, made this known to supersport. com in an exclusive chat yesterday. “The Golden Eaglets will be going to Dubai to intensify their preparations for the competition,” he said. Nigeria will face Mexico, Iraq and Sweden in the preliminary round and Green added that it was important for the players to have a feel of the city where they will play at least one game before the competition gets underway. “We will play one of our group games (versus Iraq on October 25) in Dubai so it makes a lot of sense to get the boys understand what it feels like to play a game there before the competition begins.” Eaglets will flag off their campaign at the tournament on October 19 against champions, Mexico, at the Tahnoun Bin Mohamed Stadium, Al Ain.

W/Cup play-off: Walya Antelopes host Eagles Oct 13 EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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thiopia will host Nigeria on Sunday, October 13 in Addis Ababa in the first leg of the Brazil 2014 World Cup play-off match, the country’s football federation has confirmed to FIFA. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had earlier raised alarm that Ethiopia were yet to confirm the match day, even after Nigeria picked Saturday, November 16 as the date for the

…Pharaohs take Black Stars to military stadium return leg match at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar. But General Secretary of the Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF), Yigsaw Bezuayehu, disclosed yesterday that the match will be played on October 13. “We have played our home games on Sundays and the match against Nigeria will not be an exception,” said the EFF top official.

This then means that Super Eagles will fly out of Abuja on a chartered flight on Saturday, October 12, so as to beat the effects of the high altitude in Addis Ababa. The overall winners of the two-legged play-off matches will qualify for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Similarly, Egypt have revealed they will use a military stadium in Cairo to host Ghana

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For me, I think the most important thing at the moment is not to lose focus in our resolve -Ethiopia striker, Salladin Said

J OEL A JAYI he House of Representatives Committee on Sports yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with the renovated Abuja National Stadium pitch. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya, who led his members on oversight function to the stadium, described the N96.6million used for the re-grassing of the pitch as doubtful. Speaking to newsmen, the legislator said the House committee was disappointed with the level of work carried out by Julius Berger Plc, saying there is not enough drainage to drain water after rain fall. “The re-grassing is just an aspect of the renovation and they (NSC) said today that it cost them N96.6m to do. “My verdict is that I am not comfortable with the water-logging on the pitch. I was in Calabar and it rained for three days before the match (against Malawi) and you cannot compare Calabar that is in tropical environment to Abuja that is in the Savannah where rain is lighter,” Gaiya said. “So, if it rained in Calabar for three days when Nigeria played Malawi and I never saw anything like waterlog spot but ordinary drizzling caused water ponds on the renovated Abuja pitch.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

in the second leg of the sides’ 2014 World Cup play-off. Egypt’s Minister of Sports, Taher Abu Zeid, announced the decision for the venue on Tuesday and it was also confirmed that fans would be allowed to attend the game. Ghana had already announced that the Black Stars will host the Pharaohs at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on October 15 in the first leg.

Isaac Success


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Varane, our hope –Ancelotti

Falcao

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eal Madrid Coach, Carlo Ancelotti, has described defender Raphael Varane as the club’s future. The France international is yet to feature this season due to injury. “Raphael has a great talent and we are very lucky to have him in our team because he is the future of this club,” Ancelotti, who also hailed fellow youngster, Daniel Carvajal, said. “Daniel is a very good player, who has started the season very confidently, and with a good mental and physical attitude,” the Italian gaffer said. “Match by match he is improving and as a reserve player he is very eager and is also under more pressure than the others. I am pleased with Varane him.”

Madrid insists on Falcao Martins

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eports yesterday suggested that Real Madrid is inclined bringing AS Monaco striker, Radamel Falcao, back to Spain to join the top Liga side in January. The reports claimed a shake-up of Madrid’s strikers’ squad is necessitating the deal for the Colombian forward. Already Madrid’s top striker Karim Benzema is being driven

out of club by the Bernabeu boo-boys and a move away during the winter market is a definite possibility while Alvaro Morata will also seek an exit if his lack of minutes continues. Madrid’s management has a contingency plan and will make an aggressive move for Falcao should the club be forced to sell Benzema.

UCL: Mascherano blow for Barca

Indiscipline: Martins gets coach’s reprieve

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eattle Sounders Coach, Gigi Schmid, said yesterday that he holds no ill-feelings towards Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins after the latter was removed late in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy. Schmid replaced Martins with defender Marc Burch in the 82nd minute at the StubHub Center and the decision was met with derision by Martins who was clearly upset with the substitution. “It’s an emotional game,” the coach said. “Nobody is going to be happy to come off the

field. Oba and myself have talked about the situation, and he acknowledged the player going in for him, which I think is very, very important. “I get really upset if they don’t do that. But he acknowledged the player that went in for him and he was frustrated. “He was upset at being subbed out. It wasn’t where he was trying to show the world that he was upset with the coach. It was just something where he was frustrated coming out of the game because he’s a competitor.”

Messi quells ‘anger’ report

Lewandowksi drops exit hint

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orussia Dortmund striker, Robert Lewandowski, has told the local media that he expects to confirm a switch to Bayern Munich in January. The 25-year-old Poland international has long been one of the most coveted frontmen in world football, but Bayern has always been in pole position to sign him. When asked if he

would confirm a move to Bayern in January, Lewandowski said: “Yes, because I can officially sign the new contract in January and could surely leave before summer. “Right now, I can’t say anything. Normally, I can only reveal it officially in January. “At this moment, it is still too early and we’ll have to wait a bit. But I think I will leave in January.”

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arcelona star, Lionel Messi, has rejected suggestions he made a disrespectful gesture towards Coach Gerardo Martino after being substituted in the Catalan club’s 4-1 win over Real Sociedad on Tuesday night. The talismanic forward continued his blistering form, taking his tally to 10 goals in all competitions this season with a diving header in the eighth minute of the Primera Division encounter at the Nou Camp. He also added an assist for Barca’s fourth goal be-

fore being hauled off nine minutes from the end in place of Sergi Roberto. The Argentina winger admitted he was unhappy at his substitution, but refutes media suggestions that he deliberately snubbed Martino whilst being withdrawn. “Nobody likes to be out, but we must accept it because it is the best for our team. What I will not accept is that certain media tell lies about any situation that happens around me,” the Argentina captain wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.

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arcelona defender, Javier Mascherano, will miss his side’s UEFA Champions League trip to Celtic next week due to a hamstring injury. The Argentine international limped off after just 35 minutes of Barça’s 4-1 win over Real Sociedad on Tuesday night and tests carried out yesterday confirmed that he will be out for up to two weeks. “Tests realised this morning have confirmed that the hamstring strain will force him out for ten to 15 days,” a statement on Barca’s website said. Mascherano will therefore miss Saturday’s trip to Almeria as well as the meeting with Celtic and probably the home match against Valladolid on October 5. His absence leaves Barça boss Gerardo Martino extremely short of cover in central defence with Gerard Pique the only established fully-fit centre back available.

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iverpool legend, Bruce Grobbelaar, has claimed the Reds should have got rid of Luis Suarez before his return against Manchester United yesterday. “If you were just judging him by his calibre on the field then of course you would want him at Liverpool,” the former Zimbabwe international said. “But when you considered what he said earlier this season and his attitude, I would have got rid of him and gone and got some players who want to be there. “When he said he wanted to go I was the first one to say: ‘Get rid of him’, because I thought he was going to be a bad egg amongst the team. “We’ll see whether he stays until the end of the season or goes in January.”

Gattuso gets boot

alermo yesterday terminated the appointment of Coach Gennaro Gattuso and replaced the former Rangers and AC Milan midfielder with Giuseppe Iachini, a club statement said. Gattuso had been appointed in the summer in the hope he could lead the Sicilian side back to Serie A following the club’s relegation to the second division last season. However under Gattuso, making his first serious foray into full-time coaching, Palermo had collected just

seven points from six games, the latest reverse coming on Tuesday with a 2-1 defeat at Bari. “It is with deep regret that we have had to release Gennaro Gattuso from his position as coach of the squad,” Palermo President and owner, Maurizio Zamparini, who is known for frequently changing coaches when faced with unsatisfactory results, said. “The results have proved us wrong and I have now given Giuseppe Iachini the job of leading us back to Serie A,” Zamparini added.

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Tit bits...

Ozil

Real Madrid Coach, Carlo Ancelotti, has defended the sale of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal, even as the Spanish club endures criticisms over the deal. “Mesut is a great player and has a great quality, but in these two last matches we have played without him we have not had any problems when it comes to scoring goals,” Ancelotti said.

Mata

Chelsea midfielder, Juan Mata, admits he is having a ough time at the London club. Mata was completely dropped rom the squad for victory over Fulham. Boss Jose Mourinho accused he playmaker of not working hard enough, although he was isted to face Swindon in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. “It’s a big challenge for me really,” the Spain international said, adding, “But I am determined to come through.”

Balotelli

Former Manchester City Manager, Roberto Mancini, has weighed into the debate around AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli. Balotelli has been banned for three games for a post-game bust-up with the ref after defeat to Napoli. “If Milan wants to enjoy him, t must make him its cause,” Mancini counseled. “He’s technically super and the defenders try to wind him up,” he added.

Mandzukic

Bayern Munich forward, Mario Mandzukic, has revealed he came close to joining Juventus last year, even as he is now a key player for the European champion. “Juventus wanted me in 2012,” he said yesterday. “I was proud of their interest in me but I think my transfer fee was the problem. I also admire the goalkeeper Gigi Buffon because he is a great person.”

Schwarzer

Chelsea goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer, hopes to keep his place for the club’s Capital One Cup run. Schwarzer made his Blues debut in victory over Swindon on Tuesday. “I played at the old Wembley Stadium twice, once against Chelsea, and I would like to help the club reach another final,” the Australia international said.

Sport

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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How I sealed Spain’s spot–Azpilicueta Understated but industrious performer, Cesar Azpilicueta is arguably far less well-known than his club mates and compatriots Juan Mata and Fernando Torres. But the defender has no less established himself at the Blues’ rear. He spoke to FIFA.com on his early career, his adaptation to the English game, his first steps with the national team and his determination to play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. How would you explain your rapid adaptation to Chelsea and the Premier League? When I arrived at the club last year I didn’t play much during the first two months. Coming from the French league it took me a few weeks to adapt to the style of the English game, which is faster and more physical. Roberto Di Matteo, who was in charge of the team at the time, just asked me to keep working and get myself ready to play. So I gave everything in training and my match time increased as the season advanced. The transition took time but today I feel very comfortable playing in the Premier League. Has your team mate and compatriot, Juan Mata, helped with your integration? Juan is a friend of mine. We’d already known each other for a few years, having played together at national youth team level. He’s a naturally curious person and he’s interested in so many things: he knows the city really well and gave me lots of advice on life in England. It’s certainly true that he’s acted as a kind of guide since I arrived. If I want to go out to a restaurant, I just call him and he always gives me great recommendations (laughs)! What would you say differentiates the Premier League from your previous experiences? Here the game is much faster and more physical than in Spain or France. I’ve never run as much as here in England. In the Premier League there’s hardly time to think between the first and the 90th minute. What you also learn in England is that you must know how to deal with knocks during matches. At the end of every game you’re worn out. How would you analyse it Chelsea’s season last term despite winning the Europa League Cup? We certainly had a few disappointments, like our defeat in the final of the Club World Cup. We didn’t manage to win many titles, but we won the Europa League all the same. Coming only a year after winning the Champions League it was a historic double in European football. Beyond that, we also qualified for the Champions League which was essential for the club. So it’s not that bad. But the past is behind us, now

we have to look to the future and aim to have the best season possible. What memories do you have of your first Spanish cap against Uruguay last February? Obviously it’s one of the best memories of my career to date. I was with a fantastic group of players and I was able to experience the team’s incredible level of play up close. I used to watch all of Spain’s matches on television, but to actually be a part of that one-touch style of football yourself is just unbelievable. Do you think this will be the season you cement your place in the Spain team, being regularly invited? I’m an ambitious player and I work hard to achieve my goals. The national team has an abundance of talent in every position and competition is fierce, so it’s difficult to establish yourself. But I’m going to keep fighting and give everything to try to force my way into this exceptional side. How much hope do you have to play in the Brazil finals next year? Well, we haven’t mathematically qualified yet. We still have to win our final two games to book our place and I really hope to be on the plane if we do. Taking part in the competition would be fantastic for me as it’s the pinnacle of any footballer’s career. I have great memories of playing at the Maracana in the Confederations Cup and now I’m hoping to go back there.

Azpilicueta

Tiene

Brazil 2014: Tiene blow for Elephants AFOLABI GAMBARI

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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atest reports said Cote d’Ivoire defender, Siaka Tiene, will miss next month’s crucial World Cup qualifier with Senegal scheduled for October 12 in Abidjan due to injury. The 31-year-old left-back injured his thigh during Montpellier’s French Ligue 1 tie with Evian last weekend. Meanwhile, CAF has confirmed that the second leg of the final qualifier will be played in Morocco after the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar, Senegal in June due to crowd during a group phase game

interestingly with the Ivoriens. But since the days of a collection of talented Senegalese players that shone at the World Cup finals in Korea/Japan in 2002 has the Frenchspeaking West Africans demonstrated readiness to excel at the global stage, especially with motivational players at the disposal of the Teranga Lions. Observers have contended that the pairing of Elephants and Lions in the final play-offs ahead of Brazil 2014 will be the most unpredictable among the five groups. It remains to be seen, however, how the more experienced Ivoriens will surrender the ticket to the Senegalese.

Governor’s Cup: NTF, LOC to camp local players

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igeria Tennis Federation (NTF) has concluded arrangement with the Local Organsiing Committee for the 2013 Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis Championship to organise a two-week camping for some local players that will feature in the International Tennis Federationapproved competition this year. Sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria, FCMB Plc, LASACO Assurance Plc, CCECC Limited, PLYCON Limited and several other notable companies and individuals, the championship will hold at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan from October 13 to 27. President of the NTF, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, disclosed that the federation had initiated the camping with a view to helping the Nigerian players improve on their previous performance in the competition. “The camping is one of our contributions to prepare our players psychological and technically,” Ndanusa, who is also the President of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and a former sports minister, explained. “The plan is to select 10 players and prepare them with the help of two coaches for two weeks in Lagos before the competition.

“We have the support of the LOC on this camping and it is our expectation that the players will exhibit good performance this year.” The Governor’s Cup’s Tournament Director, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, said the LOC expected the local players to compete favourably with the foreign players, adding that emphasis will be laid on the players’ nutrition during the camping. “It will be a two-week exercise and we expect that they will have about three days’ break before the Governor’s Cup begins,” Ndanusa said.

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Bolt renews Puma sponsorship

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ultiple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has renewed his sponsorship deal with German kit-maker Puma until after the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. The Jamaican, 27, has been with Puma since 2003, and last renewed what is considered to be the biggest sponsorship deal in athletics in 2010. Bolt said he was proud to continue with Puma “for the years ahead”. He had earlier indicated he may retire after the 2016 Games, but recently said he may compete for a year after that. There was no mention in the Puma announcement about any retirement plans.

Bolt

Bolt has won six Olympic gold and eight World Championship gold medals to date. In addition, his time of 9.58 seconds in the 100 metres is the fastest run to date. Puma chief executive Bjoern Gulden said the firm had supported Bolt since he was 16. “He will play a crucial role in our future product concepts, as well as brand communications leading towards the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and beyond,” Mr Gulden added. In addition to its contract with Usain Bolt, Puma has a longstanding commitment to Jamaican Track & Field. The deal is a boost for Puma as it continues to take on bigger sportswear rivals Adidas and Nike.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Pacers, George agree to new contract

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Nigeria’s D’Tigress in a match.

Afrobasket: Stakeholders applaud D’Tigress over second win

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ome Basketball stakeholders yesterday commended the senior National women’s team, D’Tigress, for defeating Cape Verde 60-55, in their fourth match at the ongoing Afrobasket women’s championship in Maputo, Mozambique. They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that the team had done well, coming out stronger to defeat Cape Verde, having lost 4578 to Mali on September 23. D’Tigress now had two wins from four matches played, while Cape Verde had yet to a win any of their group matches. The National team had grabbed a 12-9 lead in the first period and added 21-14 in the second quarter, while Cape Verde dominated the third, recording 19-7 over D’Tigress. However, the Nigerians rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter, to close the game with a 20-13 lead, to seal victory with a 60-55 victory. Coach Chris Okoh of Union Bank of Lagos said the result against Cape Verde was a good one, stressing that the team could get better and qualify into the next round. ``It is a good result from the fact that the team was hurriedly put together with little preparation, but I am optimistic that they will get far in the competition. ``They need to work hard on their team chemistry as they progress into the knock-out stages,’’ Okoh said. Coach of Dolphins Club of Lagos, Ochuko Okworogun, praised the team’s performance, but stressed that they needed to play hard against their next opponents, Cameroon. ``The team is in order, however, they need to win against Cameroon, because they need to boost their morale as they progress into the knock-out stages,’’ she said. Former men’s national team coordinator, Coach Ganiyu Otenigbagbe, described their performance so far as

worthy of praise, considering how the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) had poorly handled the team before their departure to Maputo. ``I am impressed with the team; they did not get enough preparations. They only had two weeks in camping. For any team sport, the preparations were not good enough’’. ``This has always been the problem with the NBBF; they need to change their approach toward our national teams, if they really want positive results,’’ he said. Nathan Akubuko, an ardent follower of the National team, said: ``Go on girls! The nation is right behind you as you campaign for honours.’’ NAN reports that D’Tigress is currently in the fourth position, behind first placed Angola, Mali and their next opponent, Cameroon.

he Pacers star forward agreed Tuesday to a long-term contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because it won’t be officially announced until Wednesday. Terms were not immediately available, but he is eligible for a five-year deal worth between $80 million to $90 million, depending on the salary cap. George’s rookie deal was set to expire after next season and the 23-yearold All-Star almost certainly would have been one of most attractive players on the free-agent market. There was speculation the Los Angeles area native might return to California and team up with Kobe Bryant to restore the luster to the Lakers proud franchise. But publicly and behind the scenes, George repeatedly said his sole intention was to win a championship with the Pacers. Bird was so determined to get the deal done before training camp opened Saturday that he left his golf clubs at home Monday instead of playing in the annual Pacers Foundation outing. Instead, he returned to the office to continue negotiating. “It’s always good to have the leverage, but the number has got to be the number we both like and that’s what it’s all about,” Bird said then. “It’s all about money. Yes, he wants to be here. He’s told me that a million times. We want him here, so let’s just find a number for both.”

Paul George

NBA star, Odom, breaks silence via Twitter

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amar Odom is breaking his silence with his first post on Twitter since the NBA star was arrested and charged with driving under the influence last month. Odom tweeted ‘’Seeing the snakes’’ on Tuesday night in his first post since his Aug. 30 arrest. He followed with an extended tweet from his verified account that referenced his estranged father. ‘’Won’t continue 2 speak on this but I have got 2 let this out real quick. I have let this man and many others get away with a lot of (expletive). He wasn’t there 2 raise me. He was absent ALL of my life due to his own demons. My mother and grandmother raised me. Queens raised me,’’ Odom tweeted. He went on to credit the family of his wife Khloe Kardashian for being ‘’the ONLY ones that have been here consistently 4 me during this dark time. Only person 2 blame is myself. Say what you want about me but leave the ones who

have done nothing but protect and love me out of this! This goes out to everyone!’’ Odom has been mostly silent on Twitter for nearly three months, although on July 12 he tweeted in part, ‘’Wifey is real,’’ a reference to Kardashian. Odom, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, is a free agent and has yet to sign with a team. NBA training camps open next week.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Business & Finance The time has come for Nigeria to take a second look at our national education We have identified clusters in six zones in Nigeria to be upgraded policy in order to make it fully ICT-driven for maximum economic values to world-class leather clusters over the next 18 months. They include locations in Kano, Kaduna and Aba, among others - Chairman Zinox Group, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh

MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, TRADE AND INVESTMENT, LUSEGUN AGANGA

NNPC moves to provide gas for domestic use UDEME AKPAN

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he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has said that the gas pipeline projects being executed across the country will provide a veritable platform for individual homes and estates to be linked with gas pipelines to enhance its domestic use. The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu disclosed this during a panel discussion on power at the Nigeria Investment Summit in New York. The NNPC Group Managing Director, who was represented by the Group Executive Director Gas and Power, Dr. David Ige, said domestic use of gas provides cleaner and safer energy for households revealing that already SPDC Estate in Warri is fully piped with gas for domestic use. He observed that the ongoing Calabar-Ajaokuta-Kano gas trunk pipeline project will soon avail the Corporation the opportunity to provide gas through pipelines to homes and estates for the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, which is a ready market for the project. Speaking on the status update on gas to power, Yakubu posited

that steady and sustainable progress is being made on gas to power as gas supply has grown from 620 million standard cubic feet per day to 920 mmscfd between 2010 and 2013 adding that supply is seeing rapid growth, but demand growth is even faster. “ Supply grew at an average annual rate of 20 per cent in the last three years to 1500 million standard curbic feed of gas per day. The non-power sector has almost doubled from 185mmscfd to 310mmscfd.Similarly, over 360km

of gas pipelines have been completed and commissioned.” The NNPC GMD projected that by the second quarter of 2015, gas demand for the power sector will grow to 2200mmcfd, noting that with the massive outlay of pipelines, the NNPC will continue to grow gas supply exponentially to meet the demand. The NNPC helmsman stated that there are other gas supply projects that are ongoing at various levels of maturation after 2015 disclosing that the biggest

Arik Air

being Assa North with a target capacity of 750mmcfd by end of 2018 anticipating that total incremental additions by end of 2018 will be 2150mmcfd. He implored prospective investors to invest in the multibillion dollar Ogidigben Industrial Park, which offers investment opportunities in petrochemical, fertiliser, methanol and other non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy which he described as the choice destination for quick return on investment.

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

IRS

Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza (right) receiving the Africa Investor (Ai) SRI 30 ‘CEO of the Year’ awards from the Managing Director, Africa Investor, Mr. Hubert Danso, during Ai CEO Institutional Investment Summit at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Experts fault CBN’s retention of MPR at 12%

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ome financial experts yesterday faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for retaining the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, at 12 per cent for the 12th time in a row. The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the retention of the MPR at 12 per cent would make the cost of borrowing still too high.

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)

The Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN retained the MPC rate at 12 per cent on Tuesday. The apex bank also retained the 50 per cent Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) on public sector funds and 12 per cent CRR for private sector deposits. Managing Director, H J Trust & Investment in Lagos, Mr. Harrison Owoh, said that the real sector would not record meaningful growth with double digit interest rates. Owoh said that the apex bank should reduce the rate to eight per cent to encourage borrowing, espe-

cially by manufacturers. He said that manufacturers needed to be supported to improve productivity and reduce unemployment rate. Owoh said that the retention of interest rate at 12 per cent for almost two years was not good for economic growth and development. Also, Managing Director, Standard Union Securities Ltd., Lagos, Mr. Sehinde Adenagbe, said that the capital market would experience lower transactions due to movement of funds to the money market.

Why Nigerian airlines can’t join Star Alliance Network -Lufthansa CEO

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Adenagbe said that investors would tend to seek for money market instruments with higher returns at minimal risks. According to him, investors are after profit and the retention of the rate will lead to low daily transactions at the nation’s bourse. In the same vein, Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Securities Ltd., Lagos, Mr David Adonri, the said that the retention could force funds away from equities market. Adonri said that the apex bank needed to ensure single digit interest rate to lower inflation rate.

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

NITDEL 2013 charts growth path for ICT sector

PR professional task govt on policy communications strategies

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Why Nigerian airlines can’t join Star Alliance Network -Lufthansa CEO OLSUEGUN KOIKI

FRANKFURT, GERMANY

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he Chief Executive Officer, CEO, and Chairman Lufthansa Group, Dr. Christoph Franz yesterday revealed why none of the present Nigerian indigenous airlines can be a member of Star Alliance Network. Member airlines of the Star Alliance Network are among the most respected in the world and in order to become members, all airlines must comply with the highest industry standards of customer service, security and technical infrastructure. At present, there are 28 member airlines worldwide in the alliance including three airlines from Africa; Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air and South African Air-

ways. Other notable members of the Star Alliance Network are Air Canada, Air China, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, United and US Airways among others. Speaking at the ongoing conference for about 40 journalists from no fewer than 15 countries, Franz said Nigeria was yet to have a quality airline that would be a member of the alliance. He explained that the airline would be willing to partner with any Nigerian carrier, but must be sure of its quality services, but agreed that Nigeria was an attractive market to the airline. Franz however lamented the impact of skyrocketing aviation fuel in the operations of global airlines, saying that Lufthansa

spends about 30 per cent of its revenues on aviation fuel. He emphasized that aviation globally generated $700bn in 2012 while Lufthansa profit margin under the period was 1.8 per cent at 500m euros, which he said was too little when compared to its global operations. He said, “There is overcapacity in the industry with high competition in Europe with low cost carriers and competition from Asian carriers. Fuel price is a major challenge to airline’s business as it takes more than 30 per cent of our revenues.” He stated that in 2012, Lufthansa Airlines airlifted 103 million passengers around the world with hundreds of airplanes in its fleet.

L-R: Principal, Ilupeju Junior Grammar School, Mrs. Elizabeth Akinola; Managing Director, GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc. Mr. Chidi Okoro; Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Ltd. Mr. Lekan Asuni; President, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mr. Roger Scarlett-Smith and a student, Master Victor Akwuobu, at the inauguration of a computer laboratory donated by GSK for the school in Lagos on Tuesday.

Official statistics usage rises to 90.9% - NBS TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, yesterday disclosed that there had been improvements in the usage of official and economic and social statistics in the country. Disclosing the improved level of utilisation of statistical information at the two day ‘End-Line National Statistical User Satisfaction Workshop’ in Abuja, the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, said findings from the interim User Satisfaction Workshop survey to measure whether some positive progresses were being made in the drive towards usage of statistical products reflected improvements. Specifically, he explained that the findings showed that usage of official statistics had improved from 78.1 per cent level achieve in the pre-SRF project

implementation to 90.91 per cent currently even as the usage of official statistics for economic and social information also rose to 97.1 per cent, up from the 83.3 per cent pre-SRF project implementation level. Kale, who was represented at the workshop by the Director, Households and Real Sector Surveys Department, Mr. George Oparaku, said the figures indicated that the SRF project was achieving the desired results and urged users to consistently support the implementation of the project by providing feedbacks on how to use ongoing projects to enhance the quality of the Nigerian Statistical System, NSS. He explained: “At the inception of the SRF project, in order to monitor its impact on the development of statistics, particularly in the affected agencies and states, it become necessary to establish some benchmarks that will serve as basis of comparison. To this end, a National User

Satisfaction Baseline Survey Workshop was conducted at the beginning of the implementation of the project. “The objective of this workshop was to interact with users in statistics with a view to getting their opinions as to how they assessed the overall quality of the statistics made available to them in their respective domains. As the implementation progressed, it was thought wise that an interim User Satisfaction Workshop be conducted to measure whether some positive progresses were being made or not. “The findings of these workshops showed remarkable improvements in the usage of official statistics from 90.91 per cent and 78.1 per cent recorded as baseline figures for relevance of the usage of official statistics, and the use of official statistics for Economic and Social Information to 97.1 per cent and 83.3 per cent respectively”, Kale added.

He informed that Lufthansa last week ordered for additional 59 aircraft, to add to the existing 236 aircraft already on order from major aircraft manufacturers like Boeing, Airbus and Embraer. The total cost of the aircraft to the airline he said was about $50bn stressing that it would continue to invest on more products in order to enhance patronage from its clients. He however ruled out the pos-

sibility of Lufthansa Airlines acquiring refinery for production of aviation fuel just like Delta Air Lines of the United States, which late 2012, acquired a refinery for its Jet A1 production. ‘We’ve been thinking about this, but we said no. We have other ways of cushioning the effect of high aviation price. For Delta, it might be a good business, but for us, we don’t see it as good for us,” he said.

New national I.D Card project gets higher perception rating –Survey ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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he recent move by the Federal Government to produce new ID cards containing allocated National Identification Number(s) NIN has been applauded by Nigerians as it is expected to aid the financial inclusion drive, boost cashless policy and social security for the country. This was revealed in a recent survey conducted by NOI Polls to gauge the perception of Nigerians regarding the proposed scheme, and the process of obtaining the existing national ID card. The NOI Polls, showed that about 80 percent of the respondents are united in the same opinion that the new ID card scheme is a priority in Nigeria especially as it will serve as a means of identification and proof of citizenship for Nigerians as well as a device for detect-

ing expatriate identity and generally improve national security. Recently, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, and MasterCard Incorporated formed a partnership for the purpose of rolling out the new national identity cards in Nigeria as approved by the Federal Government. The new ID card, accordingly, will have 13 applications, including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology which was introduced to enhance financial inclusion and boost the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The new ID card is expected to serve as a formal electronic payment solution in the country which would in turn enhance security, convenience and reliability of electronic payments through unique National Identification Numbers, NIN of duly registered persons.

IBM discusses Nigeria’s ICT growth with CWG KUNLE A ZEEZ

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nformation and Communication technology giant, International Business Machines, IBM, has disclosed its readiness to significantly increase its focus on Nigeria through strengthening a working relationship with Nigeria’s indigenous ICT conglomerate, Computer Warehouse Group. President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM, Ms Ginni Rometty expressed the commitment during a recent visit to Nigeria when she also met with the Group Managing Director of CWG, one of its West African partners, Mr. Austin Okere. During the visit, Rometty, who clearly outlined IBMs stake in Nigeria, also disclosed to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, IBM’s intentions for ICT development and support in Africa and Nigeria According to a company a statement, Rometty stated that IBM will establish an innova-

tion centre in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2014 and fund major ICT research projects, complementing the efforts of the ministry’s iDEA incubation centres and other ICT entrepreneurs to make Nigeria an ICT hub for software innovation. The minister commended IBM for her renewed focus and commitment to Nigeria after a long history of operations in Nigeria. Okere, enumerated the recent successes that his company has had with IBM. These, he said, include deployment of the very successful high-end IBM Enterprise Servers to Skye Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Enterprise Bank to support their core banking applications. Okere also highlighted that CWG, being a premier business partner of IBM in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda has brought immense value to the partnership through customer focused seminars and education fora with the support of the respective country local offices of IBM.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Business & Finance

Thursday, September 26, 2013

‘3% benchmark freight levy review can’t crash shipping cost’ FRANCIS EZEM

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igh expectations by stakeholders that the October 1, 2013 takeoff of the downward reviewed three percent benchmark freight levy on imports and exports in the country would crash the cost of shipping in Nigeria might be a ruse, as experts say the review was only designed to favour multinational shipping companies operating in Nigeria. Section 15 of the Nigerian Maritime and Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act 2007 provides that the agency shall be funded from three percent of gross freight on all international inbound and outbound cargo from ships or shipping companies operating in Nigeria, among others. The Federal Government had in August, fixed October 1, as the

effective date for the commencement in the implementation of the reviewed three percent freight levy, which was believed would crash the cost of shipping in the country, believed to be the highest in the West and Central African sub-region. National President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Chief Eugene Nweke, who spoke against the background of the proposed takeoff, faulted government’s argument that the review would reduce the cost of shipping in the country. According to him, the review was basically designed to favour the multinational shipping firms and their agencies, as it was meant to increase their calls at Nigeria’s seaport. “The review is not expected to have any direct impact on shippers, it is rather designed to be an incentive to the multinational

shipping firms operating in Nigeria”, he had insisted. He also disclosed that he drew the attention of the Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar on the lopsided nature of Nigeria’s international trade transactions, which are tilted in favour of the shipping companies to the detriment of the Nigerian shipping public. He also said: “The Nigerian shipper is on his own, he does not have the capacity to regulate freight rates with the foreign shipping companies, who have everything at their whims and caprices”. The NAGAFF-boss argued that the Nigerian shipper pays the freight rates dictated by the foreign shipping firms, regretting that even the globally standardized three-day grace, which should be granted to the shipper by the shipping line is not clearly defined in Nigeria as the commencement date of the grace period.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Unity Bank urges Nigerians to imbibe savings habits SAM OLUWALANA

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igerians have been advised to employ the culture of saving as a tool for achieving financial stability and other economic goals in life. This advice was given by Zonal Head, South , Unity Bank Plc, Mr Dac Chukwura in Port Harcourt, when the bank rewarded some of its South Zone customers during the draws for its 3-In-1 Aim, Save and Win Promo. Chukwura advised participants to stop waiting to earn big before considering saving part of their income. “People should have at the back of their minds that banks accommodate any cash lodgment no matter the amount and steady saving of idle cash affords the saver confidence and security to adequately think and plan how and when best to judiciously invest it while it remains safe in the bank.”

ICAN to sign cooperation agreement with institutions MESHACK IDEHEN

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Vice Chancellor Redeemer’s University, Professor Debo Adeyewa (left) and Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons Nigeria, Mr. Tim Akano, during the signing of the partnership agreement between Redeemer’s University and New Horizons Nigeria in Ogun State recently.

NERC urges consumers to expect uninterrupted power supply CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has urged electricity consumers to appreciate the ongoing power reform and be optimistic in their expectations for uninterrupted power supply. Zonal Head, Northwest office of the Commission, Kabiru Ado Bayero, gave the advice during the flag- off of mass enlightenment program in some selected local government areas across the country. The Head, Media of NERC, Maryam Yaya Abubakar, said in a statement that the take off point was Kaduna, where representatives of the Commission in collaboration with Business Unit managers and their staff met with electricity consumers

under the umbrella of the Power Consumer Assembly. Abubakar noted that three local government areas visited in Kaduna were Kafachan (Kaduna south), Kaduna north and Zaria in the sensitization exercise was replicated in several state capitals, adding that the exercise dates back to 2007. According the commission’s spokesperson, electricity consumers were urged to appreciate the ongoing power reform and to be optimistic on their expectations for uninterrupted power supply. “They were enlightened on the fact that available power would involve paying electricity bills, and were given lessons on energy conservation such as the replacement of incandescent light bulbs with energy saving ones. Consumers were also asked to be

vigilant over vandalisation of electricity facilities as it is wanton destruction that affects service providers and the served” it stated. The newly introduced Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) initiative, which provides alternative financing to expedite meter installation for willing customers was explained by a member of the committee, Farouk Bello of the Government and Consumer Affairs division. The interactive meeting which is said to deliberately gives room for consumers to bring their complaints before their service providers, among them Business Unit Manager as well as NERC’s Commissioners , makes for easy assessment of specific challenges which enhances the Commission’s policy implementation.

He said the essence of the promo was to encourage customers to develop the culture of saving and to drive retail banking to the grassroots. Some of the winners at the draw include, Agoho Gabriel who banks with a branch in Benin and got the star prize of a soundproof generator for categories of customers with minimum N100, 000 account balance, while Ajamomu Philip Ethemena from Ozoro branch got an LED TV star prize for the N10, 000 customer category. Runners up in both categories also won various prizes including Blackberry phones, deep freezers and a gas cooker. Chukwura said, “Staff of the bank and their relatives were barred from participating in the promo to guard against doubts among our customers and the public. It has been a rewarding experience for us and the winners going by the feedback we get.’’

he Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, said it is entering into a Mutual Cooperation Agreement with Tertiary Institutions, MCATI, in line with keeping with its mandate of produce world-class chartered accountants. ICAN said the move is also aimed at continually enhance the ethical standards and technical competences of the nation’s accountants. In a statement on Wednesday, the Director of Corporate Communication and Marketing of the Institute, Mrs. Claudia Laudia, said the MCATI will be based on the institute’s new pro-

fessional examinations syllabus, which is being reviewed in line with international best practices and is expected to take effect from November 2014 professional examinations. She explained that under the arrangement, that accounting programmes of the partnering institutions from entry level to graduation will be jointly moderated by ICAN and its partners, and that candidates on graduation will be granted appropriate exemptions and will be eligible to sit for the institute’s professional examinations. According to her, the candidates shall also undergo a thirtysix month period of attachment and pass the qualifying examinations of the institute before being inducted as full members.

ActionAid tasks youth on budget engagement imperatives TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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ctionAid Nigeria, the local arm of the international Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, working in over 40 countries to alleviate poverty and injustice among the poor, has charged Nigerian youths to explore the opportunities availed them by the social media and other Internet-based communication channels to engage government authorities in probing discussions on how budgetary allocations are being spent on yearly basis. The move, according to the Deputy Country Director of the NGO, Ifeoma CharlesMonwumba, would promote accountability and transpar-

ency in the implementation of budgets at national and subnational levels and ensure that ordinary Nigerian taxpayers get value for capital budgets. Charles-Monwuba, who gave the charge to scores of youths who participated at the workshop on Youth and Budget Campaign on Social Media organised by ActionAid in Abuja, pointed out that rather than wasting substantial part of their leisure time on twitting or chatting on issues that would not add value to their lives, the youths should use the social media to hold leaders accountable by raising questions about why poverty continued to deepen as a few leaders are appropriating the common wealth for self-serving purposes with impunity.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Info Tech

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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NITDEL 2013 charts growth path for ICT sector The Nigerian Telecoms Development Lecture, (NITDEL 2013) has, again, provided a platform for regulators, operators and other stakeholders to brainstorm on critical issues that require urgent attention for Information and Communication Technology development. KUNLE AZEEZ reports.

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takeholders, who gathered at this year’s eighth edition of the annual Nigerian Telecoms Development Lecture, NITDEL, were provided with another opportunity to discuss pressing regulatory issues and other challenges facing the Information and Communication Technology industry with a view to charting a way for further development of the nation’s ICT industry. Critical industry issues discussed at the forum, which is a precursor to the Nigerian Telecoms Award, which usually holds a day after the lecture, revolved around the problem of Right of Way, multiple taxation, impact of telecoms on the economy and the strategy for fast-tracking the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, among others. Appraising the industry as a keynote speaker at the 2013 NITDEL held in Lagos recently, the Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission, Mr. Peter Igho, noted that the rapid deployment of digital mobile services across the country and speed at which they were being subscribed to, has demonstrated the importance of ICT services to the people. At 120 million active lines as at June this year, and teledensity of more than 85 per cent from 0.4 per cent in 2001, Igho said many citizens were in realisation of how Information and Communication Technology contributes to societal development whether in terms of business or governance. “There are many areas that have been positively affected by Nigeria’s ICT, including direct and indirect employment, new business opportunities, learning and skills development opportunities, and in our human relationships. We are delighted to note that at telecommunications is currently contributing more than 8.5 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product,” he said. Igho stated that the economic development of a nation can be accelerated by improvements in the country’s ICT infrastructure has been widely established. He said, “The explosion in technology which ushered in the information age has become the basis for defining power in the modern world. No modern economy can thrive without an integral information technology and telecommunications infrastructure. This is because ICTs provide

Telecoms infrastructure

FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SHOULD COLLABORATE WITH TELECOMS OPERATORS TO ALLOW FOR EASIER AND RELAXED

ROLL-OUT FOR TELCOS WHILE ENACTING LAWS TO PROTECT TELECOMS INFRASTRUCTURES the veritable platform for development across the economic and other sectors if well harnessed.” He explained that ICT tools were enablers of broad-based social and economic development. “ICTs not only contribute to the development of education, health and governance, but are also key enablers of sustainable human development in a more general sense.” In the same vein, The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Raufu Aregbesola, who spoke on ‘ICT, a tool for social development, noted that people’s lives have today become permeated by ICT and its innumerable applications, which helps individuals to be more efficient. He said: “our present world is already being extensively driven by ICT; right from simple domestic appliances to much more complex mechanical devices, and physical structures. Very familiar items of creature comforts like telephone handsets, cameras,

refrigerators, television sets, ovens, gas cookers and others have become heavily digitised and reflect the varied and intensifying applications of ICT. “In the wide-ranging areas of human life; in medicine, construction, agriculture, drugs production and other processes of industrial manufacturing, ICT has become the central driving force. In a typical automobile assembly plants today, vehicles are built from scratch to finish by robotic arms, which are themselves products of advanced ICT application.” According to him, ICT is now being use to drive education, security, financial services sector in the area of electronic payment channels, telemedicine, farming, among others. Citing few cases on how ICT is being deployed to transform his state, Aregbesola said “Since he became governor in November 2010, “I have given an important place to ICT in the way we run the business of

IG commends ZTE on $470m security project in Nigeria KUNLE AZEEZ

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he Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar has commended the global Information and Communication Technology firm, ZTE, over the successful implementation of the Public Security Communications System (NPSS) project in the country. In a statement made available to National Mirror, the police boss said the project has enhanced the capacity of the police in

tackling crime. The IG spoke during an official visit by the Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr. Zhang Dejiang, to the main switch center of the NPSS. The $470 million NPSS project, which was executed by Chinese communications giant, ZTE, is a multi-faceted high-tech infrastructure for e-policing and public safety. The police chief said: “There is no doubt about the importance of this project to the

protection of lives and property.” We are delighted about the progress of this project, we are committed to the project and this is the first step as we will continue to improve on our infrastructure.” The IG, however, pointed out that with the growing influence of China on the African continent “the enormity of this project, in the domestication of this project, it is suggested that the best way to do so is by establishing a telecommunications industry, whose products will serve not just the region but also the continent in general.”

government.” One of the first areas of ICT deployment in the state, according to him, was revenue reform. “We immediately moved to discard the old methods of payment system and tax administration which were fraught with leakages and loopholes that were exploited to divert revenues that should accrue to the state’s coffers.” “The result was instant and stunning; our monthly internally generated revenue, IGR, jumped by 100 per cent from N300 million to N600 million in less than one year, stressing that the state’s deployment of ICT to public education has become worldfamous, especially through the iPad-like computer tablet christened Opon-Imo or tablet of knowledge. Aregbesola tasked other states of the federation to avail themselves of the huge opportunity provided by ICT to make their state operations digitally inclined, while urging the states, regulators and operators to collaborate to fast-track ICT development. However, the Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, insisted that in order for the country to further benefit from the product of over $25 billion investment in the telecoms sector, extant challenges facing operators deserved adequate attention by the government. These, he said, range from multiple taxations, challenge of Right of Way, inadequate frequency spectrum to deploy broadband services and applications and indiscriminate shutdown of telecoms facilities by state agents. Stressing that broadband can play a valuable role in diversifying the Nigerian economy away from oil dependency, Ogunsanya said ubiquitous broadband- fast speed internet service – would depend on robust networks and infrastructure, adoption and utilisation as well as favourable policy and regulation. In his submission, President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, urged government authorities to support telecoms operators in their efforts to roll out infrastructures critical to achieving the objective of the National Broadband Policy in the country. Expressing similar view, Chairman, Logical Communications, organisers of NITDEL, Mr. Biodun Ajiboye, who also stated the role of telecoms in boosting a nation’s GDP, said telecoms industry today remained a strategic sector, whose activity now provides the backbone for faster growth and modernisation of other sectors. “This is why telecoms industry must be seen as very fundamental to the economy and why government at the Federal, state and local governments should collaborate with telecoms operators to allow for easier and relaxed roll-out for telcos while enacting laws to protect telecoms infrastructures.” While stressing the commitment of NITDEL to sharing the development initiatives of telecom stakeholders, Ajiboye, asserted that the annual telecoms lecture concept was initiated as a platform to synergise the interest of both corporate and political players in the country.


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$13bn revenue awaits telcos, others KUNLE A ZEEZ

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n estimated $13 billion additional revenue, which has been latent, can be tapped by phone manufacturers as well as telecoms service providers by targeting their products and services more at girls. This was declared by the global telecoms regulator, the International Telecommunications Union, in a new report released at the weekend. ITU, in its latest report, says the missed mobile phone revenue opportunity was around $13 billion as women are 21 per cent less likely to own a mobile phone, representing a mobile gender gap of 300 million. The report says today’s untapped pool of female users could also represent a market opportunity for device makers, network operators, and software and app developers that might equal or even outstrip

the impact of large emerging markets like China or India. ITU is also worried about a growing gender gap in the mobile Internet usage. Its report says there are currently 200 million fewer women online than men, and warns that the gap could grow to 350 million within the next three years, if action is not taken. According to the report, women are coming online later and more slowly than men. “Of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, 1.3 billion are women, compared with 1.5 billion men.” While the gap between male and female users is relatively small in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, nations, it widens rapidly in the developing world, where expensive, ‘high status’ ICTs like computers are often reserved for use by men. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the report’s authors estimate that there is only half the number

of women connected as men. Comenting on the report, ITU Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun I Toure, said, “Promoting women’s access to ICTs, and particularly broadband, should be central to the post-2015 global development agenda,” said According to the report, in developing countries, every 10 per cent increase in access to broadband translates to a 1.38 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product. Bringing an additional 600 million women and girls online could boost global GDP by as much as $18 billion. By 2015, it is estimated that 90 per cent of formal employment across all sectors will require Information and Communication Technology skills. The study also notes that professionals with computer science degrees can expect to earn salaries similar to doctors or lawyers, yet even in developed economies, women currently account for fewer than 20 per cent of ICT specialists.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box

eTranzact Ghana partners MultiChoice

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he Ghana operation of eTranzact, one of Nigeria’s electronic payment firms, has partnered with a leading satellite cable network in Africa, Multichoice Ghana, to offer electronic payment service services for DSTV and GOtv subscribers in the country. According to eTranzact, the partnership was initiated to make available a more convenient and secure way for customers to pay their monthly subscription. Chief Operating Officer of eTranzact Ghana, Mr. George Babafemi, while speaking at the launch, said, “It has become necessary to leverage technology as a tool to ease the burden of bills payment. Over the years, collection for DSTV subscription has been limited largely to cash payment at Multichoice offices, banks and agents but we have extended to electronic payment via various mobile wallets.”

Babafemi added the partnership seeks to enhance the existing payment methods, introduce new and exciting ways to pay monthly subscription, as well as add value and excitement to the lives of subscribers. General Manager of Multichoice Ghana, Mr. Cecil Mills, said Multichoice was committed to ensuring that subscribers enjoy the best service, thereby easing the burden of paying monthly subscription. “We can now stop integrating banks one-on-one and focus most of our attention on providing more customer service rather than on managing several links to banks that could be done from a single source,” he added. Through the eTranzact platform, customers have access to electronic payments services on their mobile wallets, online payment, POS terminals, among others.

3 more winners collect N3m in Glo promo

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L-R: Former Israeli First Lady, Mrs. Nelli Barak; Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons and West Africa industry partner for ITU-IMPACT, Mr. Tim Akano and former Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Ehud Barak, during the Baraks visit to Nigeria to attend a cybersecurity conference in Abuja recently.

Stakeholders seek passage of Cyber Security Bill KUNLE A ZEEZ

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takeholders who gathered at the third World Cybersecurity Conference held in Abuja last week has called on the Nigerian lawmakers to, as a matter of urgency, pass into law the Cybersecurity Bill 2013 sent to it by the executive arm of government. Expressing this in a communiqué, the stakeholders said taking such measure would help in protecting the nation from cyber attacks from hackers, and thereby improve Nigeria image and open doors for more Direct Foreign Investment. The stakeholders, who include the country’s First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and experts in the field of Information and Communications Technology and re-

lated fields made the call in the communiqué. According to the communiqué issued after the conference held in Abuja with over 1000 experts from various sectors of the economy in attendance, it was agreed that Nigeria needed to have a cybersecurity law, which will be used by government agencies and private sector organisations to plan their IT policies and guidelines as well as a deterrent against cyber criminals. Apart from Mrs. Jonathan, other prominent participants at the event included former Israeli President, Mr. Ehud Barak; Director, Telecoms Development Bureau of ITU, Dr. Brahima Saniou; global authority on sustainable development and Cybersecurity and founder of eWorldwide, Dr. Salma Abbasi and the Deputy Governor, Cen-

tral Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Lemo. Other key participants include representatives of all the Service Chiefs, Comptroller General of Immigration, National Security Adviser to the President, Foreign Ambassadors of Western and African Countries, Chief Executive Officers of Corporate Nigeria among others asked Dame Patience Jonathan to cause the communiqué to be transmitted to the National Assembly and ITU for immediate action. Jonathan, who hosted the conference in her capacity as ITU’s Child Online Protection Champion was also asked to use her position as Chairperson of Africa First Ladies to enlist the support of African First Ladies to champion the cause of Child Online Protection in their respective countries.

hree lucky winners in the ongoing Glo Recharge to Stardom promo have been presented with N3 million amid surprises and thrills among traders and residents of the popular Ogbunabali market area in Port Harcourt. The winners: a driver, Alfred Nzeaka; a trader, Emily Ajaino and a caterer, Anthonia Dickson collected their cheques of N1 million each at a special prize presentation ceremony held in the market recently. Other lucky Glo subscribers, who collected their cheques at the occasion, include a civil servant in Uyo, Mr. Sampson Akpan, who won N25, 000 and a driver from Port Harcourt, Mr. Stanley Amadi, who collected a cheque of N10,000.

The entire community was charged with excitement as it became clear that winners in the Glo 10th anniversary promo will be presented with prizes at the event. Expressing her delight, the Yenagoa, Bayelsa State basedAjaino, said she was delighted to have been picked as a winner after 8 years of being on the Glo network. “I am so happy and excited. Glo has given me N1 million. Glo is the best network and I now believe their promos are real. I want to say a big thank you to Glo,” she said. Dickson, in her remarks, explained that she bought and registered the line over three years ago, but never believed she could win anything from Glo.

Ericsson wins Best of Show at 2013 ITEXPO

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ricsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud solution was recognised as Best of Show in the Cloud Solution category at this year’s ITEXPO, which took place in Las Vegas recently. Winners of the prestigious Best of Show Award program are reserved for products or services that demonstrate raw creativity and technological innovation. Commenting, Head of Innovation & Business Development, Ericsson, Mr. Ken Durand, said, “Ericsson Connected Vehicle Cloud was built to connect and empower all stakeholders, from drivers and passengers to automotive manufacturers and thirdparties.” According to Durand, “A major driver for advancement of the Networked Society, Ericsson Con-

nected Vehicle Cloud helps the vast and growing automotive ecosystem work together seamlessly to overcome challenges, improve synergies and pursue new opportunities.” Part of Ericsson’s Transport and Automotive suite, the Connected Vehicle Cloud platform is centrally managed but logically distributed to maximize local performance and compliance with local regulatory requirements. It targets existing and future demands on scalability, security and flexibility in the global automotive industry. Connected Vehicle Cloud builds on and combines today’s telecom network capabilities and delivers improved quality of experience to create new business opportunities for the automotive ecosystem.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brands & Marketing

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PR professionals task govt on policy communications strategies Against the tide of public apathy that often greets announcement of new policies by government, stakeholders have advised government at all levels to be strategic in their policy communication in order to secure critical stakeholder buy-in. ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI reports.

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R professionals at the just concluded annual Public Relations Gold Media Lecture organised by the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria, PRCAN, have bemoaned the failure of government at various levels to deepen democracy and good governance with effective policy communications. Citing the fuel subsidy removal debacle last year, which paralyzed the economy for almost two weeks, stakeholders believe the accompanying economic losses could have been averted if government has engaged the principles of public relations and practices. Several groups under the marketing communications sector have in the last two years after the fuel subsidy removal debacle offered a similar advise to government asking them to engage marketing communication agencies whose success stories in selling brands messages during crisis remains a case study that could be applied to governance. The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN, at both their annual conference/congress held at Oyo State in 2012 and Ogun State this year focused on how communications/brand management professionals could help deliver policy change through strategic communications that would foster mutual understanding between the government and the people. However, in a latest forum, the guest

Fuel subsidy protest

WITH ENHANCED POLICY COMMUNICATIONS IN PLACE, THE MUTUAL ANTIPATHY OF GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY WILL COME TO AN END speaker and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said though the concept of policy communications when applied to governance often evokes the imagery of government sloganeering and the dark arts of state propaganda, such strategy has played and will continue to play a key role in the development and implementation of policies. Fayemi, who described the manner of fuel subsidy communication last year by the Federal Government as a public relation disaster drew a line between the event that led to public outrage and the way the former Military President Ibrahim Babangida rejected the IMF loan during his regime and subtly retained the characteristics of the rejected loan in the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP without Nigerians raising eyebrows. “Consider the Federal Government’s removal of the subsidy on fuel at the beginning of the year 2012. The decision led to nationwide protests that paralysed socioeconomic activities and resulted in huge

economic losses. The way the Federal Government went about the issue only served to fortify the misplaced conviction of the public that their leaders cannot be trusted. The subsidy removal was announced almost surreptitiously at the beginning of the New Year with none of the publicity normally requisite for such a high profile economic policy decision. Many Nigerians that were holidaying in their hometowns were stranded following the rise of transport prices. Worse still, the subsidy removal was announced at a time when the nation was mourning, reeling from terror attacks on churches. Announcing such a policy shift when the nation was grieving struck many people as insensitive. A series of town hall meetings, which had been planned to discuss the proposed policy nationwide, was apparently called off after just one edition. On the whole, the entire affair was a public relations disaster resulting in a loss of confidence, credibility and political capital. “We can compare this incident to the PR-

Publicis-Omnicom structure will not last –Sorrell ADEDEJI AEMIGBUJI

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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he CEO of WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell, has said the merger and the structure envisage between Publicis-Omincom would not last, expecting the brand colour of the two giants media conglomerate to turn messy. In July, Paris-based Publicis and New York-based Omnicom merged, in what the industry believes is an attempt to dethrone the most powerful man in the business, Sorrell. Though industry observers says the the bang in the ad-world was big, bold and surprising, but the blue-eyed WPP Chief seems unaffected and continues to do what we he does best – in a faster manner but on whether the merger is a desperate attempt to address the fierce competition from agencies or to fulfill the never-ending demands of the clients, Sorrell said he believes strongly that the structure won’t last, and will be changed

soon. Referring to the new entity as “POG”, he cited some of the major concerns for the newly-merged business. “The big question is who will be the new CEO? How can the co-CEO structure be maintained? How will the dual-management structure function? Can Maurice Lévy, French man and CEO of Publicis work in harmony with American John D Wren, CEO of Omnicom Group. The personalities of the new co-CEOs are indeed very different; hence, it is interesting to see who will lead,” asked Sorrell and concluding that “the organisational structure, where there is a co-chairman or rotating chairman, won’t last.” He queried further, “Where will be the headquarters of the merged entity? Since Omnicom Group is an American global advertising, marketing and corporate communications holding company, headquartered in New York City and Publicis Groupe is a French multinational advertising and pub-

lic relations company, headquartered in Paris, France, where will the headquarters be ultimately? Does this mean that the French iconic company is being handed over to the Americans or is it the other way round?” According to the WPP Chief, “clients and employees have not been articulated the benefits. So will the clients benefit? Will the top talent feel neglected after the merger? There has been a vacuum in explaining the deal to internal and external customers. It has also been observed that there are some conflicting clients, so it raises questions over whether clients would be happy to stay or not.” While Sorrell is looking forward to seeing how the mess gets sorted, industry analyst said though the merger is competitive and will bring agencies including Omnicom’s BBDO Worldwide and Publicis’s Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi together as few basic challenges that need to be addressed to help expand business in major markets still exist.

savvy approach with which General Ibrahim Babangida handled the IMF debate in the mid 1980s. His regime threw open the debate over whether Nigeria should take an IMF loan and accept its conditionality and called for memoranda. It organized town hall meetings across the country in which pro-loan and anti-loan experts debated the pros and cons of the loan. Eventually, the regime announced that in consonance with the wishes of the people, it would reject the loan. It was a fine example of how even a military regime used the instrumentality of public relations to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the public by depicting itself as a listening government. It is a measure of how effective this tactic was that when the regime adopted a structural adjustment programme with many of the IMF conditionalities built in, the civil society barely noticed. These two episodes show how policy communications has played and continues to play a key role in the development and implementation of policy particularly in the public sector,” Fayemi noted. As a result, the President of PRCAN, Mr. Chido Nwakanma, said for democracy to grow, it needs public relations and communication to thrive. “Democracy is a consultative governance process that involves identifying, aggregating and implementing programmes that meet the needs of the citizenry. Public relations are based on the same principle. We at PRCAN believe that Nigerian democracy would thrive better with the application of public relations principles and practice in governance,” he said. Also, the Dean of Social Media and Communication, Pan-African University, Professor Emevwo Biakolo, said the cause of friction has been the use of old communication model by the government when communicating policies in a manner that does not allow for feedback, stakeholders engagement and participation, which offers platform for mutual agreement and trust and understanding. While citing his experience as the secretary of the FG’s rebranding projects, the Chairman of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, said the rebranding project paraded a team of brilliant Nigerians, erudite scholars who came together, worked on the strategy to make government achieve the true image it desires but he was shocked that the documents produced had been abandoned. He said to deepen the manner the government communicates its policies; the media needs to play a great role. The Secretary-General African Public Relations Association, Mr. Yomi BadejoOkusanya, said the government would enjoy support for its policies if they could build trust of the people through stakeholder’s engagement as against the military approach to communicating its policies to the people. The President of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN, Mrs. Bunmi Oke advised government at all levels to allow ad and PR agencies to handle its policy communication briefs so that their message could elicit a good response.


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Auto market: Nissan pledges to amplify market share ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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issan celebrated an evening of innovation and excitement with special guests in Lagos last week, following the launch of the new distributor, Stallion NMN, in May this year. The new partnership affirms Nissan’s commitment to strong representation in Nigeria, a vibrant market that is expected to deliver significant growth and contribution to Nissan’s global midterm plan, Nissan Power88. Nissan’s three year fiscal objective conveys the responsibility of repositioning and enhancing Nissan’s influence in Nigeria on Stallion NMN Limited, as new Nissan custodian and national sales company. The Managing Director, Nissan South Africa, Mr. Mike Whitfield, summarised the key objective of the occasion where Stallion NMN custodianship was crystallised and a number of intriguing Nissan models were launched. He envisioned that by the end of fiscal 2016, “We aim to achieve

a global market share of eight per cent and sustainable operating profit of eight per cent and Nigeria is an important market in that plan. “Nissan is already reaping the dividend of Power 88 globally,’ he said, ‘We started the year 2013 on a high note, and markets in Africa, with their favourable growth indices, are key to our achievement.” Whitfield attributed the growth potential in Africa to improved economic governance, rapid urbanisation with expanding middle class and growing workforce, saying, “it is inevitable that this growing consumer base will become increasingly motorised with Nissan at the forefront of initiatives to capture the market.” Nissan will be tapping into Africa’s markets with its smart and fuel-efficient B and C segment passenger vehicles such as Nissan Micra, Almera and Sentra. Mr. Parvir Singh, Managing Director, Stallion NMN Limited, acknowledged in his keynote address the ingenuity of Nissan’s technology, remarking that “Nissan has transcended the chal-

lenges of yesterday, living up to its new tagline ‘Innovation that Excites’ – one of the compelling reasons why the brand has become the toast of many discerning automobile lovers worldwide.” He highlighted Nissan’s relationship with Usain Bolt, the Jamaican Olympic gold medalist and world’s fastest sprinter who is Nissan’s ‘Ambassador of Excitement’, as proof of Nissan’s imaginative technology. “Capturing the imagination of customers is one of the conditions for Nissan’s diverse range of models cutting across various applications,” he stated. The highpoint of the event was the unveiling of Nissan’s star attraction, GT-R and some other exciting models that have undergone real time transformation such as the 370Z, Pathfinder, Teana (also known as Altima in other markets) and Sentra. Singh explained that Stallion Group with strong local experience had joined forces with Nissan as a global brand, to position the brand as Nigeria’s preferred choice of automobile.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

LASG intensifies Conserve Energy, Save Money campaign

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ith a raffle draw among others, the Lagos State government is leaving no stone unturned in other to raise awareness among Lagos energy consumers to imbibe the culture of energy efficiency and conservation in the state. To achieve that, officials of the state has intensified campaign officials through a state-wide public education activation which is part of the “Conserve Energy, Save Money” (CESM) campaign, a Behavioural Change Communication initiative in which the month of October 2013 has been dedicated as the “Energy Conservation Month,” by the state government. According to a release, the intent of the campaign is to ensure that large population of Lagos energy consumer would have improved their electricity consumption habits by being more efficient in the way they use elec-

tricity. The campaign is being carried out through the state Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and its implementing agency, Lagos State Electricity Board, LSEB. Last weekend, LSEB officials were at some designated public centres where they received residents and taught them ways to calculate the amount of energy they consume as well as the use of energy saving bulbs thereby making the state more energy efficient. Residents and shoppers who turned up at the mall had the opportunity to receive first-hand tips on energy saving and even carried out step by step, do-ityourself instructions on how to conserve energy. A raffle draw was also conducted in which three luck winners went home with various exciting prizes.

Star Win & Shine promo winners get prizes

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s the brands National Consumer promo entered another week, a Lagos-based commercial motorcyclist, Mr. Okorie Denis emerged as one of the big prize winners in the on-going Star Win and Shine national consumer promotion. The winner who picked his dummy cheque and an ATM card, which gave him instant access to the cash prize of N100,000 after a raffle draw of the Win and Shine parties held at the Eldorado-M8 bar, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos state said . Okorie who graduated with a degree in History and International Relations from the Lagos State University had travelled from his base

in Isashi, Badagry, on the out skirts of Lagos, to attend the Star draw party, in the hope of winning a substantial prize. He said: “When I was coming this evening I prayed fervently to God that I should win the grand prize. For the past three years I have been sleeping in a church because I have no accommodation of my own.” Denis did not only win N100, 000, which he said he will use to pay for his rent, he also went home with a DVD Home Theatre and a Star branded carpets. In gratitude, he stated: “Star has not only given me money to rent my own house but the brand has also furnished it for me”.

Chivita leverages on distribution to reach markets L-R: Field Sales Manager, Unilever Nigeria, Awka, Ngozi Osamor presenting a Kia Picanto car to Friday Igwe, winner of the grand prize in the Close Up Buy, Win and Display promo at the Eke Awka Market, Awka, Anambra State, recently.

IHG Lagos deepens market awareness with Sunday brunch ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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oming to compete with already established brands in the hospitality industry, InterContinental Hotel, Lagos, a member of the global InterContinental Hotel Group, IHG, which will be opened this sunday, has began courting hotel customers with Sunday Brunch, a special course meal time-out designed to indulge family indulgences at a minimal cost. During a visit to InterContinental Lagos, the Sunday Brunch gave customers the ideal setting for getting the most special dish

prepared in a way that best captures the genuine flavours which perhaps serves as a bait to capture the high end market. According to InterContinental Hotel Lagos, new hospitality concerns is offering an authentic cuisine to ensure that “top class customers enjoy a Sunday that’s deliciously indulgent.” “Bu-et opens from 12: 30 - 4pm at our Ekaabo Restaurant for N9 500 (Tax inclusive) and customers will enjoy the amount which includes drinks - Chapman, juice, sparkling wine and water. There are also side attractions such as soft music from a Live Band and kids’ corner with face painting

and a bouncy castle.” While offering a 50 percent discount on selected house beverages including beers, red and white wines at the Brunch, the ultra-modern edifice, which is now the tallest hotel in West Africa, is located on Victoria Island within the heart of the Central Business District, promises the very best fivestar amenities and service for discerning business or leisure guests. During a visit to the hotel’s Sunday Brunch, families who came for the brunch expressed their satisfaction on the hotel’s meals and service at 50 per cent discount.

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he handlers of Chivita have leveraged on an efficient distribution system such as retailers, wholesalers, multilevel marketers and sales representatives to bring the product nearer to the people with the underlying objective of creating more market share. A quick check at various retail shops in Ibadan, Abeokuta and Lagos reveal the availability of the brand to increase its share of shelve in the market. According to a retail market survey, the Director of Choice Stores in Ibadan, Oyo State, Mrs. Atinuke Jegede, said, ‘’Chivita’ premium fruit juice is always readily available at shops and its 100 percent pure juice content has really endeared to its consumers who are increasingly becoming conscious of realness and quality”

While she said pricing strategy remains key to the brands sales volume in her store, she said the marketing promotion strategy by the brand handler has created return on investment for. This, according to analysts is as a result of consumers insight which has been the drive for the brand’s success in the market. An analyst said that “Brand loyalty cannot happen without a thorough understanding of the consumer and a deliberate decision to satisfy and exceed the customer’s expectations via both core and surprise values” The handlers of the 100 percent fruit juice with no preservatives prides believe this effort has been the reason the brand was endorsed by 15000 youth across the country putting the brand in the Next Generation Survey Award recently.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Franchise of foreign hotel brands not helping the economy –Eruotor

ad VA NT AG E icon

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As top international hotel brands and restaurants continue to set up shop Nigeria, the President of White House, Lagos, Mr. Austin Eruotor, said the local brands are not threatened by the development in this interview with ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI. How has it been easy for to build a brand name for a local hospitality business in Nigeria? It is not easy at all. The running cost is high. When you talk about power for example, the immediate problem we have in Nigeria is that of power because it is messing up our economy. Here, we run our generator 24 hours because there is no way a visitor or an expatriate will come here and you tell him you don’t have power supply. We even have three generating sets running the hotel. We cannot rely on one. So we have lots of obstacles, starting from power. We also have the problem of multiple taxation. We are having lots of franchise of global hotel brands in Nigeria, how do you see it? Generally it’s a very large market. To tell you the truth we don’t have enough hotels in Nigeria. I don’t think we have a five-star hotel in Nigeria. Imagine we have an event here today like World Cup, I don’t think we will be able to host it because we haven’t got enough accommodation for people that will be coming in and for those franchises that are coming in, I think they are just creating employment for their own country instead of our own people because I don’t see any way they are better than our own hotels on ground. The government needs to look into this to encourage more local hotels.

Eruotor

GRA

IS UPSCALE , SO WE DO A LOT

OF DIRECT MARKETING WITH OIL

COMPANIES ESPECIALLY .

SO

MOST OF

OUR CUSTOMERS ARE NOT MOSTLY

ENTERTAINMENT PERSONALITIES , BUT CORPORATE CLIENTS Why do you think Nigerians go for foreign brands? Most people don’t want to start; they don’t want to go through too many risks. Those people who are investing in the hospitality business might not really be into the game, they believe if they build the brand they will be able to recover their investment quicker but at the same time it is good to build a brand. I don’t believe in imitating a foreign brand, I believe in building a brand. Once you give a quality service, people will accept

you and you become your own brand. Most people just want to bring a brand and make their money quickly but it doesn’t work like that. I believe in building the Nigerian brand. What is your target market, beyond entertainment celebs? In GRA we have a lot of oil and gas expatriates here. GRA is upscale so we do a lot of direct marketing with oil companies especially. So most of our customers are not mostly entertainment personalities but corporate clients.

r. Akinlolu Ademola Akinwunmi, is the chairman of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). He attended Comprehensive High School Aiyetero, Ogun State, the Ibadan polytechnic and the University of Lagos. Akinwunmi started his advertising career in Lintas Limited Lagos where he worked as Trainee Client Service Executive 1982, Client Service Executive 1983, Client Service Executive, Full Management 1985 and Senior Client Service Executive 1987. He moved to Promoserve Grey Limited and worked as Account Director 1988, Associate Director 1989 and Executive Director 1991. Mr. Akinwunmi became the Chief Executive Officer Prima Garnet in 1992 and is now the Group Managing Director of the Prima Garnet Group. A Fellow of the advertising profession, Akinwunmi has served the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria in various capacities including member of the Governing Council, member APCON Fundraising Committee, member Advertising Standards Panel and member APCON SecretariatDevelopment Committee. Akinwunmi was the Pioneer Chief Executive Officer, Federal Government Rebranding Project Business Support Group, the pioneer Secretary, Federal Government Committee on Rebranding Nigeria, past President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) and Board Member, Ogilvy Africa BV. He has many awards including APCON Fellows’ Advertising Award/ Best Advertising Practitioner 2006, Lintas Chairman’s

Leveraging fashion as tool to communicate new brand identity Brand X-Ray

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he native and vogue fashion week of the Rivers State Government was a spring board to showcase the state as a destination brand. The event was designed to communicate a new brand identity for Port Harcourt in particular and the state in general. It was also aimed at exploring the huge potentials of the talents that abound in the fashion industry. The fashion fiesta was poised to deliver a new brand image and exemplify the possibilities of a new Rivers State. Governor Rotimi Amaechi underscored his commitment to the new brand campaign with his presence throughout the fashion week events. He explained the rationale for the events as a potent avenue to

communicate the identity of Port Harcourt whose image has been smeared by criminal activities especially kidnapping. The fashion event was one of the several strategies identified to reposition the image of the state in order to build a new brand identity. The Governor stated that the event was aimed at showcasing the new things that are occurring in the Rivers of possibilities. The fashion week event was a veritable platform the state government utilized to explore the creative economy for maximum impact. It was a high ground to exemplify the positive values of the Rivers State People especially Port Harcourt. The event paraded top notch international and local designers as part of the governments’ effort to create an exciting

39

with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com brand image for the state. The couture fiesta aptly tagged Native and Vogue is a thematic message that exemplifies its whole essence. Nativity translates to mean the impact of the local talents while Vogue raises the pedestal of the in-thing in today’s fashion world. The strategic thinking behind the concept is mainly to bring out the distinctive features of the local talents and leverage on this to enhance a

robust and vibrant image for the state. This was further buttressed with the array of fashion icons of Rivers State origin that featured at the event. Agbani Darego, a former Miss world was the host at the event. Prior to the event, a keenly contested competition had taken place to determine the official faces of the native and vogue event. To undergraduates form the University of Port Harcourt, Gedoni Ekpata (male) and Doris

Akinwunmi

AKINWUNMI HAS SERVED THE

ADVERTISING PRACTITIONERS COUNCIL OF NIGERIA IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES

Distinguished Personality in Advertising by the Mass Communication Students’ Association, University of Lagos, 1st City People Award of Excellence: Outstanding Personality of the year 1997 in Advertising/PR sector, Rotract District 9110, Nigeria 2000-2001: Special Vocational Excellence Award and Rotary Club of Illupeju, year 2000/2001 Outstanding Contributor to Economic Growth Award. He is Also Fellow National Council Marketing of Nigeria, Member Institute of Directors, Member international Advertising Association and Member Broad of Trustees, The olive Bloom orphanage.

Adaugo Uche emerged. The event was to celebrate creativity and excellence and most importantly according to Amaechi that Port Harcourt has regained its original image and lost glory. It was also to showcase Port Harcourt as a destination of choice for entertainment, fashion and hospitality. It was one platform that leveraged impactful image for the Rivers state government with the array of fashion icons such as Frank Oshodi, Alade Vincent, Paul Van Zyl, one of South Africa’s top courtiers, Femi Adebayo Jones, Ituen Bassey, Davida Okpara and others. The event indeed resonated with the target audience who thronged the Aztech Arcum venue of the event in Port Harcourt.


40

Global Business

Thursday, September 26, 2013

U.S. stocks fluctuate after home data amid budget concern

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nited States stocks fluctuated, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell four straight days, as investors weighed data on home sales amid growing concern that lawmakers won’t reach a budget deal. Stryker Corp. slipped 1.4 after agreeing to buy Mako Surgical Corp. for $1.65 billion. Carnival Corp. (CCL) retreated 4.4 percent as analysts cut their recommendations after the world’s largest cruise-ship operator forecast a possible quarterly loss. Noble Corp. added 2.5 percent after saying it plans to spin off about half its fleet. The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent to 1,695.91 at 10:07 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 5.91 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 15,328.68. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 3 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day. “There is a lot of skittishness on what’s to come in terms of Washington budget negotiations,” Diane Jaffee, the New York-based group managing director for U.S. equities who oversees about $6.4 billion in assets at TCW Group Inc., said in a phone interview. The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent yesterday, pushing its four-day slide to 1.6 percent, as investors watched the debate in Washington over spending cuts that could lead to a government shutdown after funding authority ends on September 30.

Obama

The Senate is poised to vote today on advancing a stopgap measure that would give House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, time to craft an alternative budget bill. The dispute probably will continue through the weekend. On another fiscal front, the House today could introduce legislation to increase the government’s authority to borrow and pay bills. The Treasury Department estimates that the debt limit could be reached as soon as mid-October.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said investor confidence that a deal can be struck to raise the limit is “a bit greater than it should be.” Lew, who spoke at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in New York yesterday, repeated that President Barack Obama won’t negotiate with congressional Republicans on increasing the $16.7 trillion ceiling on the nation’s borrowing authority and said the government probably will have less than $50 billion in cash by mid-October. Data from the Commerce Department today indicated purchases of new U.S. homes rose in August, capping the weakest two months this year, showing the fallout from mortgage rates at a two-year high is cooling the real-estate rebound. Sales increased 7.9 percent to a 421,000 annualised pace following a 390,000 rate in the prior month that was less than previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Demand slumped 14.1 percent in July. A separate Commerce Department report showed orders for equipment such as computers and machinery climbed less than forecast in August, indicating a strengthening in business spending will take time to develop. Bookings for nonmilitary capital goods excluding aircraft increased 1.5 percent, less than the 2 percent gain that was the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

BlackBerry’s descent begets cheapest tech deal

B

lackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), once valued at $83 billion, may be stuck with the cheapest valuation ever for a North American technology or telecommunications takeover. The smartphone maker said yesterday it reached a tentative agreement for a $4.7 billion buyout by a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH), its biggest shareholder. Including net cash, the proposal values the Waterloo, Ontario-based company at an 80 percent discount to its book value and just 0.17 times its sales, the cheapest revenue multiple on record among similar-sized North American telecommunications or technology acquisitions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the company has six weeks to seek other bids, Pacific Crest Securities said investors should be happy to get the $9 a share that Fairfax is offering. Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins, who took over in January 2012, didn’t publicly

disclose the company was for sale until last month after almost a year of canvassing potential buyers. Now, BlackBerry has posted a string of quarterly sales declines and lost almost $79 billion in market value as it fell behind Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Last week, BlackBerry said it will cut a third of its workforce and take a writedown of as much as $960 million. “It is being valued like a broken company,” Anil Doradla, a Chicago-based analyst at William Blair & Co., said in a phone interview. “They had a chance to potentially execute on an M&A deal when these guys were doing better. So by the time Thorsten Heins came on board, I think it was too little, too late.” Including the $2.8 billion of cash and equivalents BlackBerry had in the most recent quarter, the proposal values the company at about $1.9 billion. The group led by Toronto-based Fairfax is still seeking financing for the offer, which is subject to due diligence and fur-

Blackberry phone

ther negotiation. Fairfax owns about 10 percent of BlackBerry’s common stock. BlackBerry didn’t name the other members of the takeover consortium. Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa said in an interview that the consortium at this point doesn’t include Mike Lazaridis, inventor of the BlackBerry and former co-CEO of the company, who has a 5.7 percent stake in the company.

Airbus wins orders for 43 planes from Chinese startups

A

Airbus A 380

irbus SAS (EAD), the world’s second-biggest planemaker, won orders for $4.2 billion of singleaisle planes from two Chinese startups amid rising travel and the government’s deregulation of the nation’s civil aviation sector. Qingdao Airlines, a newly established private carrier, agreed to buy 23 A320s in a deal valued at $2.26 billion, based on Airbus list prices. Zhejiang Loong Airlines, recently approved by the regulator, signed an initial agreement for 20 A320s, valued at $1.91 billion. Airlines usually get discounts from list prices. The deals are a boost for Toulouse,

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gold, Silver advance as U.S. budget concerns escalate

Gold

G

old and silver futures rose for the first time in four sessions on mounting concern that U.S. budget negotiations have stalled, raising the risk of a government shutdown. The Senate is set to hold a test vote yesterday on legislation passed by the House of Representatives to cover federal spending through December 15. The debate may extend past a September 30 deadline. The next fiscal year begins October1. “Worries about the U.S. government shutting down are pushing people to gold,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. Gold futures for delivery in December rose 0.6 percent to $1,324.70 an ounce at 10:32 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The price declined 3.9 percent in the previous three sessions. The U.S. faced an impasse over raising the debt ceiling in 2011 before Congress approved a plan to head off a default that was signed by the president that August. Gold reached a record $1,923.70 on September 6, 2011. Through yesterday, gold dropped 21 percent this year as some investors lost faith in the metal amid a U.S. equity rally to a record and low inflation. In August, the price climbed 6.3 percent, partly because of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Syria. Last month, Russia and Kazakhstan were among nations that increased gold reserves, International Monetary Fund data showed yesterday. Silver futures for December delivery rose 0.8 percent to $21.765 an ounce on the Comex. The price tumbled 7.3 percent in the previous three sessions.

France-based Airbus as the planemaker expects to deliver more than 100 aircraft this year to customers in China, the world’s second-largest economy. Airbus, which lost the global sales lead to Boeing Co. last year, has predicted airlines globally will buy planes valued at $4.4 trillion in the next two decades, driven by demand in India and China and global growth among low-fare carriers. “It seems China is encouraging local investment into the sector as new airlines can help boost domestic consumption and economy,” said Kelvin Lau, a Hong Kongbased analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. “In the short term, competition on certain routes would become fiercer and the prolonged problems of airspace congestion and pilot shortage may get worse.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, September 26, 2013

41


42

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, September 26, 2013

SEC suspends Cashcraft over mismanagement of funds JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he Securities and Excahnge Commission has suspended Cashcraft Asset Management Limited from operating in the Nigerian capital market. A notice from the commission’s website yesterday attributed the suspension to violation of Section 155 of the Investment Securities Act (ISA) 2007 in its management of Anchor and Bedrock Unit Trust scheme. According to the notice, the asset management company contravened the provisions of the ISA as it mingled funds assets and violated the funds’ trust deed and

asset allocation policy. Others are failures to file the requisite returns to the commission, to maintain the relevant records/books for the funds and to facilitate the auditing of the funds’ accounts and consequently hold an Annual General Meeting. The notice said, “The operator failed/refused to comply with the commission’s directive to transfer the management of the fund to another fund manager. “The company, its directors and sponsored individuals shall remain suspended until they are cleared by the commission.” Meanhwile, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange

Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh has commended the partnership between the Nigerian film industry and the Nigerian capital markets. She noted that the collaboration has witnessed sponsorship by the capital markets regulator of the production of a full length movie titled ‘Breeze’ which featured ace film maker, Kunle Afolayan as producer, and a short film entitled ‘Easy Money’which was produced by HOMEVIDA. Oteh stressed that both films use creative drama and storytelling to teach enduring and didactic lessons on the merits of saving and investing and the folly of not anticipating the rainy day by keep-

ing something aside. She said, “The Nigerian creative industry for its universally recognised vibrancy and accomplishments”. The SEC boss described partnership with the Nigerian film industry as a unique contribution to the global heritage of financial inclusion.” “The commission has a mandate to educate and protect investors in the capital markets and devotes resources to developing and regulating a world class capital market that will play its critical role in supplying long-term capital for Nigerians to fund their businesses, create jobs and democratise prosperity;.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 36,143.56 points Market capitalisation 11.51 trillion

NSE: New trading platform begins operation as equities rises 0.3% JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he Nigerian Stock Exchange is set to commence trading activities on its new trading platform, X-GEN, from next week. The Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, was quoted in a statement yesterday that the Exchange has had a series of market readiness tests, created a new market structure that is world class and are now making final preparations to cutover to the next generation platform this weekend. The Executive Direc-

tor, Market Operations and Technology, Mr. Ade Bajomo, said, “We have great confidence in this platform. Three market readiness tests were successfully executed over the past five weeks with a focus on the performance of the trading engine and integration of all interfaces including remote users coming in via the fix gateway. He explained that brokers and NSE technical team were able to successfully place orders, migrate data and complete a series of full dress rehearsal, saying that it is exciting to execute and test all the tasks. The statement de-

scribed the new platform as a high performance, robust and scalable, multiasset and multi-market matching trading engine. According to Bajomo, Nigeria is the first country in West Africa to adopt the highly sophisticated trading system. He said, “As we all know, the trading system is at the heart of any exchange and the shifting to the new platform and ensuring its smooth transition was a key priority for the NSE. “We are extremely delighted to co-operate with NASDAQ, LasalleTech and our several partners to adopt this cutting-edge platform.”

Meanwhile, trading in equities turn green on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as some investors took position on stocks. Specifically, the All Share Index gained 0.25 per cent to close at 36,143.55 points, as against the decline of 0.10 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 36,056.02 points. Market capitalisation appreciated N28bn to close at N11.512trn, in contrast to N10bn decrease recorded the preceding day to close at N11.484trn. A total of 294.6 million shares valued at N2.64bn were exchanged in 4,239 deals.

US stocks decline on budget, economic growth concerns

U

nited States stocks fell for a fourth day yesterday amid concerns over budget talks and economic growth as investors weighed prospects for easing tensions in the Middle East. Red Hat Incorporation slumped 12 per cent after billings at the largest seller of the Linux operating system trailed estimates. Homebuilders gained 2.3 per cent as a group after a report showed home prices increased by the most in more than seven years and Lennar Corporation’s profit beat ana-

lyst estimates. Applied Materials Incorporation advanced 9.1 per cent after agreeing to buy Tokyo Electron Limited for about $9.39bn in stock. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.3 per cent to 1,697.42 points, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 66.79 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 15,334.59 points. About 6 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, in line with the threemonth average. “The market is riding waves of news, both good and bad,” Malcolm Pol-

ley, the Chief Investment Officer at Stewart Capital Advisors LLC in Indiana, Pennsylvania, said. His firm manages $1.1bn. “The market is very dependent on macro news.” The S&P 500 initially fell as much as 0.4 per cent after the Conference Board’s index of US consumer confidence slumped in September to a four-month low. A separate report showed a gauge of manufacturing in the region covered by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond shrank in September. The equity benchmark

index erased earlier losses as President Barack Obama said recent overtures from Iran may offer a basis for a meaningful agreement to resolve the confrontation over the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear program, one of the primary sources of instability in the Middle East. Iranian officials told the US that the time isn’t right for direct contact between the two countries’ leaders. Stocks turned lower in the last 30 minutes of trading as investors watched the debate in Washington over spending cuts.

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

ETERNA

2.50

2.75

0.25

10.00

IPWA

0.82

0.90

0.08

9.76

AIRSERVICE

3.86

4.23

0.37

9.59

RTBRISCOE

1.26

1.35

0.09

7.14

CORNERST

0.50

0.53

0.03

6.00

OKOMUOIL

45.80

48.05

2.25

4.91

VITAFOAM

3.81

3.99

0.18

4.72

NEM

0.66

0.69

0.03

4.55

WEMABANK

0.90

0.94

0.04

4.44

NASCON

11.10

11.55

0.45

4.05

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

JOSBREW

6.00

CLOSING 5.40

0.60

-10.00

CAP

43.40

39.07

4.33

-9.98

UNITYBNK

0.58

0.53

0.05

-8.62

ABCTRANS

0.83

0.77

0.06

-7.23

JOHNHOLT

1.15

1.07

0.08

-6.96

NPFMCRFBK

0.84

0.79

0.05

-5.95

ASHAKACEM

20.00

19.00

1.00

-5.00

ROYALEX

0.52

0.50

0.02

-3.85

UTC

0.60

0.58

0.02

-3.33

UACN

60.80

59.00

1.80

-2.96

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

31,838.51

11.62

26-Sep-13

182-Day

59,081.14

11.15

26-Sep-13

364-Day

33,783.25

13.05

26-Sep-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

183-Day

100,822.02

12.50

26-Sep-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$300m

25-Sep-13

$300m

N/A

$300m

23-Sep-13


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, September 26, 2013

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at September 25, 2013 1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


44

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ayansola Olatunde: Yearning for corruption-free generation THOMAS USHIE

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f the mind of human beings at birth is a tabula rasa (clean slate) on which experiences write on, then, it is very pertinent for good experiences to be written. That is the resolve of Ayansola Olatunde, a youth anti-corruption crusader, who has been in the vanguard of sensitising youths on the danger of corruption and the need to avoid it like a plague. “It is all about catching them young, tackling corruption from childhood,” he noted. “The mind of children is always pure but if we allow the influence of corruption to create lasting impression on their mind, they would grow up with the mentality that there is nothing wrong with corrupt practices. So, my aim is to disabuse the minds of children, adolescents, on the seeming joy in corrupt practices thereby making them generation of integrity,” Olatunde enthused. Olatunde’s crave for corruption-free youths started from the kindergarten but gathered momentum when he was a student of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, with the setting up of an anti-corruption campaign group known as Independent Students' AntiCorruption Vanguard in 2009. While he achieved some level of success in the college, he stepped up the campaign as a student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife. He told Young & Next Generation thus: “I have a naturally deep-seated hatred for corruption of whatever sorts. That hatred is inborn in me. As a child, I hated any form of cheating and always confronted my peers who attempt to outsmart others. You know, when young people want to indulge in evil acts, they veil their intentions with some terms they can be comfortable with. So, those who want to cheat would hide under the guise of being smart. And I hated it. This hate grew in me and when the opportunity to stand against it came, as a student of Adeyemi College of Education, I set up an organisation known as Independent Students' Anti-Corruption Vanguard in 2009. I used the platform to create awareness on the danger of corruption, targeting mostly young people. It has always been my wish to be among people that God will use to restore Nigeria. And to “catch them young”, Olatunde said that “I have been moving round the secondary schools, teaching students the danger of corruption, the havoc it has wreaked on the country and the need to keep away from it. I thank God that the students have been responding. I make use of hand bills, flyers, stickers, public address systems as instructional and awareness materials; I have

time-table of each school with their curriculum activity days. So, I do visit the schools as stipulated by the school authority. Although I faced initial apathy, now, the students yearn to have me daily. They have even christened me Uncle Anti-corruption. They all love to sing to this song ‘I have decided to fight corruption.... no turning back (2x).’” Enumerating the effects of corruption on any society, he said that corruption is like an endemically deadly disease which, if left unchecked, would seep through all facets of the society stealthily and ravage it beyond repair. “I have discovered that corruption spreads and kills faster than HIV AIDS. So, we must all fight it or expect more disastrous consequences on our infrastructural development leading to poor road networks, economic down turn, poor power supply, poor educational system, etc. And the easiest way to fight corruption is to ensure that the youths, who are the future of this country, develop zero tolerance for corruption. That is what I have been doing and that is what I want many other Nigerians to join me to do. “Awareness Against Corruption (AAC) started since my undergraduates years. I carried the initiative to the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) service year, joining EFCC Special CDS where I believed the aims and objectives could be achieved. As a corps member, I have been carrying out anti-corruption crusade in secondary schools approved by the Lagos State Ministry of Education, through the Permanent Secretary/Tutor General, Education District 1, Agege.” Speaking on the challenges he has faced in his efforts to create a corruption free generation, he said that “I have met with some organisations and individuals to help actualise this dream but they did not deem it necessary and could not support me. The major challenge is finance but to God be the glory, I have been moving on strong, spending my NYSC allowance on the campaign. I have no money saved, but I have no regret. I am grateful to Students' Embassy Academy and the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG LP 25 for their support. They are the only two among the several organisations that I met, that have helped. “Presently, I am working on a book on the anti-corruption project which I believe would touch the lives of several youths after my service year. The book is near completion. I am waiting for last editing and printing. It should be out by October.”

Ayansola during anti corruption campaign in one of the schools.

Ayansola takes campaign to Ijaye High School, Lagos.

Foundation empowers sickle cell children

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or four Saturdays, namely August 24th and 31st and September 7th and 14th, the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN), in conjunction with Tender Arts, held a visual arts workshop for children who have sickle cell anaemia to keep them busy during the long holidays. The workshop, which held at SCFN’s office in Idi Araba, Lagos was facilitated by eminent artists that included the renowned Professor Bruce Onabrakpeya, Dr Kunle Filani and Dr Kunle Adeyemi. According to Ebenezer Adeleye, SCFN’s projects coordinator, the four consecutive Saturdays visual arts workshop came up because “SCFN is into sickle cell intervention and research as Nigeria has the highest sickle cell burden in the world. Consequently, we have a lot of Nigerian children who have sickle

cell anaemia and we try our best to make life better for them. But people ask us what else we do for them apart from their health issues and we decided to organise an arts workshop to empower them with art skills for now and the future.” Lots of children and teenagers participated in the workshop and they were able to create art pieces that included water colour paintings, fabric collages, collages, prints, drawings and textiles. Speaking on if the workshop achieved its objectives for the children, Kunle Adewale, Creative Director, Tender Arts, said it did as many of the participants who hadn’t painted for a long time were still able to create beautiful paintings. As if corroborating him, a participant, Shukurat Yusuf, an 18-year-old SS 2 student, said of the workshop: “I was so glad to see myself drawing and painting because I


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Young & Next Generation

45

Teen fighting may harm IQ –Study

T Phone users.

A lady with an earpiece listening to music on her mobile

Curtailing youth obsession to mobile phones STORIES; LEONARD OKACHIE

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volution of mobile phones has enhanced effective communication as these phones have helped mankind to socialize as well as share thoughts through a fast, efficient and common platform. But their operations have however been abused especially by the younger generation. Studies have shown that mobile phones have caused a few health related complicacies, and young individuals being the prominent users, are usual victims. However, despite this health related issues they still possess a handful of faithful users who are addicted to them. It has now become a tradition that almost every youth in the streets is either seen with earpiece playing loud music from the phone or chatting on different social network sites. One would ask, what are the implications for being addicted to the mobile phone? Aside the health related effects on the individual, several scholars have noted that undue attention given to mobile phones have led to several failures in academics as most of its users who are usually students do not have time for their books. A school of thought has also stated that most youths who spend so much time on their handsets usually suffer from influx of information as they are exposed to a barrage of information to

which they cannot be able to sieve. Statistics have shown that the increased tally of traffic accidents involving youths have occurred while attending a mobile call or texting messages while driving. With these and several other implications involved, questions on the lips of people, especially the older generation is what could be the cause of this obsession? How can it be curbed? And what is the way forward? Annastacia Chukwudera, a 17 year old girl said “I have a mobile phone just like millions of youths out there too. Yes, I can say most youths are addicted to their phones as they have their different reasons for being so. “Some addictions set in as a result of boredom; others could be due to the social networks, browsing and so many others. Making use of mobile phones at times makes things easy depending on the individual like getting information from the net. Others get too attached to their phones because they love listening to music. “But it is quite dangerous getting addicted to the mobile phone because most times it affects one mentally; that is to say that one would find it difficult to do things without the use of the phone. Also, most times youths stay too long on their phones; they tend to delve into things that are irrelevant to satisfy their curious minds like visiting porn sites. ‘In order to stop the misuse of

Some of the participants at the SCFN arts workshop

didn’t even imagine that I could do it.” Daniel Adesina, a primary 5, 10-year-old pupil, said the workshop was educative. Commending the initiative, Onabrakpeya said it was wonderful

and very good and that it boded well for the future as it would make the participants arts inclined in the future be it as a profession or as art lovers that would thereby make them interested in works of art.

phones by the youths, discipline is required and for parents, they should know what their children use it for and also curtail the time they spend on it. If necessary they can seize it.” Oladimeji Ayeni, a 24 year old commented, “There are different groups of people with different addictions. There are those addicted to it for the sake of information or academic purpose, another group are those who regularly visit their social network sites and listen to music, then the other group of heavy call users and those who use phones for stupid purposes like downloading and uploading obscene images and its likes. “However, most of the phone abuses are the social networking group who do not seem to have time for anything except to chat which is most times is irrelevant.” A mother, Mrs. Morenike Ajayi while reiterating youths’ obsession to their mobile phones said “I find it really annoying when I see these young ones on their phones even on the road. It is either they are playing games, listening to loud music coming from their phone’s headset or they are messaging and pinging. Even my 10year old little boy is gradually becoming an addict too. Once you drop your phone, he must definitely pick it up and begin to play games or music with it. “It is not an encouraging behaviour at all because they cannot focus on anything these days even while eating. It is an offensive behaviour. They have to really cut down on their use of the phone even for academic purposes as no one is willing to think with his or her brain anymore. And as parents we will also try our best to help them out. Another parent and teacher, Mr. Godwin Nwosisi corroborated thus: “This habit of phone hugging is really inappropriate. You will find out that even in class a student will be operating his or her phone and won’t pay attention to what is being said. Even some smuggle it into the school hostel and after the punishment meted out on that student, others will still do the same. It affects their academics greatly and their psychological well being.” “If you don’t get them phones, they could be tempted to steal, in order words giving your child a mobile phone is not the issue but rather the way they use it is the problem. This is a problem that we as parents must join hands with these children to overcome because they are the future”

eens who are often involved in fighting should have a rethink as such violence has now been linked to drops in some victim’s IQ (Intelligent Quotient) - likely to head injuries, according to a new study. The recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year U.S. emergency rooms treat more than 692,000 people between the ages of 10 and 24 for injuries from violent assaults. The new study now concludes that some of those injuries — ones due to teen fighting — can cause a type of harm that no hospital can cure: a lowered IQ. “No community — affluent, poor, urban, suburban or rural — is immune from the devastating effects of youth violence,” the Centres notes. One of the new findings being reported by Joseph Schwartz and Kevin Beaver, criminologists at Florida State University in Tallahassee shows that although boys sustain more fighting-related injuries each year, girls appear more vulnerable to an IQ drop from fighting. The duo collected information about 20,000 U.S. adolescents and young adults between 1994 and 2002 and was funded by the U.S. government. The study, which asked questions about health and behaviour, was started when the participants were in middle- and high school. Most were followed for eight years, until some were as old as 25. On several occasions, the boys and girls took an IQ test. They also were asked, at that time, if they had been hurt badly enough in a fight, during the past year, to need treatment from a doctor. During the study, at least 1 in 10 males and nearly 1 in 20 females reported being the victim of such serious violence at least once. Some participants reported many such injuries. Levels of violence among U.S. teens have been falling in recent decades. Still, current rates “remain staggeringly high.” He and Schwartz compared IQ scores for the study participants over time. And those IQ scores dropped among people who had reported being victims of serious fighting-related injuries. Beaver said. On average, each serious injury from fighting was linked to a drop of not quite 2 IQ points, they found. But the drop differed by gender. Among boys, each injury logged during the study was linked to a drop of 1.62 IQ points. Girls experienced a drop almost twice that for each serious fightingrelated injury that they reported. The girls’ higher vulnerability may reflect their bodies having less protection from injury, Beaver and Schwartz say. The data used by the Florida State team did not log the particular type of serious injury that each victim sustained. Some might have broken bones, bruised ribs or received cuts that needed stitching up. But there’s no reason to suspect such injuries should affect IQ, Beaver says. Instead, “Our general interpretation is that the IQ effect will have been the result of a hit in the head.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled these statistics. They show that among children 10 to 14 years old, more than 1 in every 200 boys and more than 1 in every 260 girls is treated in hospitals each year for injuries from violent assaults. The rate almost triples for older teens. But a psychiatrist at Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis, Thomas W. McAllister says that’s not a safe assumption. The data analyzed by the Florida State researchers “did not distinguish brain injury from other body injuries,” he notes. Even some head injuries, such as cuts, would not be expected to cause brain injury. Moreover, he observes: “Fighting can be associated with a variety of other issues that can impact cognition.” Among these mental threats to thinking and learning that can be triggered by fighting, he says, are depression, drug abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.


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Media

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Adefaye, Odion, others extol Babatope at 60 STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

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riends and associates from far and near gathered recently for an edifying fellowship and reception in honour of a veteran journalist, Pastor Segun Babatope as he marked his 60th birthday. The event which held at his residence at Ajao Estate, Lagos was colourful as government officials, Christian leaders and media chiefs were in attendance. Some of the dignitaries included the Commissioner for Environment in Lagos State, Mr. Tunji Bello; Vice Chancellor of Caleb University, Imota, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju; Pastor Andrew Umoh, Pastor Bamidele Jegede, President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, NGE, Mr. Femi Adesina and many others. In his homily entitled “Anointing comes first” Pator Umoh of the Deeper Life Bible Ministries remarked that the celebrant doesn’t look 60 because of the grace of God in him. Taking his reading from 2 Samuel 22, the pastor said he did so because the life of the celebrant has some semblance with that of David. “If you must talk about anointing you must talk of Christ because he is the originator of anointing. It is the anointing that protects as church leaders and as Christians,” he said. Earlier, Babatope, who is also a minister at the Deeper Life Bible Ministries, described himself as a product of grace, saying “My life has been filled with challenges that if not by the grace of God I won’t be alive today. I have passed through the valley of death for two times now. I know it is the grace of God that sustains me and I want you all

to long for that grace.” Interestingly, the guests showered encomiums on Babatope and asked God to protect him and his family. The Editor -in -Chief of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye said: Mr. Babatope was a kind of role model to some of us when we were coming up.He was a great journalist, great commentator, great opinion writer, but more importantly he was a mentor. "I used to live here as his neighbour and any time you see him, he was to encopurage you. We thank God for his life and we hope that many more people would live by his example," he said. Commissioner for Information in Edo State, Mr. Louis Odion described him as one of his mentors, adding, “I remember back in those days when I was in Concord as a reporter, by then he was already the Chairman of the Editorial Board. So people like us look up to him for direction. I’m eternally grateful to him for the assistance he rendered.” Similarly, Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu said Babatope is a senior brother and a senior colleague who has conducted himself as a senior brother to those who come close to him. He said: “At any point you see him he is very cheerful. From his activities and his conduct, he inspires the young colleagues. I am one of those he has inspired to work harder. You won’t even know that he is that old. “He is somebody that even when he left active journalism he has also been very active at any forum that has something to do with journalism. He is somebody who has managed being a good Christian and a journalist.”

Enough is Enough Nigeria, one of the groups for today's rally at the National Assembly.

Groups hold FOI rally at National Assembly

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group of civil society networks in Nigeria are planning a Freedom of Information (FOI) rally today, ahead of this year’s International Right to Know Day to press the National Assembly to be more transparent. The rally, which is scheduled for 10am at the premises of the National Assembly in Abuja, has participating organizations that include Enough is Enough Nigeria, the United Action for Democracy, Say No Campaign, Reclaim Naija, the Freedom of Information Coalition, and other organizations. “Groups and individuals that are unable to join the rally at the National Assembly in Abuja are expected to organize protests and rallies on the same day at their various State Houses of Assembly,” a statement made available to the media said. There will be five demands to members of the National Assembly, namely by the group: The first demand is an immediate and comprehensive breakdown of their budgetary allocation of N150 billion for 2013. The rationale for this is that in defending the allocation, National Assembly officials have been very vocal that the

Cleric tasks journalists to be agents KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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Pastor Babatope with his wife at his birthday ceremony in Lagos.

N150billion is not only for salaries but the entire National Assembly structure. While the Economist magazine says Nigerian legislators are the second highest paid parliamentarians in the world, there is no authoritative breakdown of what the N150 billion is meant for. The groups are therefore asking them to provide the breakdown. The second demand is asking the National Assembly for an account of the N1 trillion they have received since 2005 before the next recess in December. The third demand is functional contact information, including telephone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses of the constituency offices of all members of the National Assembly. The fourth demand is for all voting records on all constitutional amendments. The groups are insisting that Nigerians have a right to know how their representatives honoured their wishes for changes to the constitution. The final demand is for the attendance list for each plenary session of the National Assembly to be made public.

n Islamic cleric, Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke, has charged media practitioners to be true agents of social change and influence politics and religion for true reformation, transformation and good governance in the country.. Olagoke who is the founder ans Spiritual Head of Shafaudeen in Islam gave the charge at the commencement of the annual press week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council led by Comrade Gbenga Opadotun. Opadotun who survived the August 2 auto crash which claimed the lives of three journalists had besieged the Shafaudeen mosque in Ibadan with other members of the union to seek the face of God for protection for members and their families. Opadotun said the week was postponed from early August because of the ugly incident, stating that 'this week's celebration unlike the past years will be used to seek God's unending mercy, protection and abiding grace for all members and will be devoid of

pen night and usual hustling and bustling". The cleric in the message entitled, "Media as agent of social change", observed that Nigeria that used to serve and service other nations like Ghana (refugee), Malaysia (palm kernel), UN (peace keeping), Europe (Agricultural produce), Senegal, Gambia, Equatorial Guinea (military training) etc is now a caricature of itself, coming last at the comparative rating of all indices of human development. According to him, these human development like education, health, manufacturing, infrastructures and provision of basic needs (water, food shelter), have therefore become source(s) of concern for all, especially if the 'implication on our health status and life span are anything to go by.' He further stated that for the media to be effective pillar of power, it must operate and transcend above barriers such as media bias, corporate control and state control. He said, "It must bolster rather than undermining progress; play the umpire with high level of objectivity in making or breaking a regime; foster rather than undoing a culture of respect for human rights. "The media must therefore be used in


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Media

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bank trains journalists on financial reporting

Media Abroad

China to lift Twitter, Facebook bans in Shanghai

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KUNLE A ZEEZ

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s part of its measure towards promoting professional journalism in the Nigerian financial industry reporting sphere, Citibank Nigeria Limited has organised a training on financial markets for 25 journalists in Lagos. The one-day training, which attracted journalists from major print and electronic media, was facilitated by top officials of Citi Bank such as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Mr. Akin Dawodu, who was previously President of the Financial Markets Dealers Association; and Country Treasurer, Mr. Bayo Adeyemo. The bank said the training aligns with its commitment to building capacity and leveraging its global resources to strengthen the knowledge base in the Nigerian financial industry. Citi facilitated four presentations covering topics such as Understanding and Interpreting Economic Reports, Bond Markets and Bond Trading; Writing for Foreign Investors; risk and; questions and answer sessions. According to the bank, the training provided an in-depth analysis of the financial market and highlighted how best financial trends should be interpreted. The forum also provided an excellent opportunity for interactive discussions between key media operators in the local market. Speaking, Dawodu said: “This training speaks to one of Citi’s core strengths in the market. We have been at the forefront of providing financial markets training to industry colleagues, including our competitors, as well as regulators such as the Central Bank of Nigeria.

L-R : Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Public Sector Head, Citibank Nigeria Limited ; Mr. Babajide Komolafe, Mr. Akin Dawodu; National Chairman, Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria and Ms. Ogochukwu Ekezie, Public Affairs Officer (Nigeria & Ghana), Citibank Nigeria Limited at the Citi Financial Journalists Training in Lagos.

“This is a natural progression to ensure that journalists who cover us have the core competence and knowledge base to appropriately report issues affecting our industry.” Also present at the occasion was the National Chairman, Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, Mr. Babajide Komolafe. Commenting on the training, Komolafe stated that the training was critical to the development and advancement of both financial journalism and the financial industry. “With increased focus on Nigeria from foreign investors, it is imperative that financial journalists are able to fully understand the economic factors at play in the marketplace to enable them reflect a true picture in professionally developed and edited reports. We hope that Citi is able to expand this training to reach more journalists around the country,” he added.

Internet surveillance: MRA urges privacy protection MARTHA NWACHUKWU

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edia Rights Agenda (MRA) has joined a huge international coalition in calling upon Nigeria to assess whether national surveillance laws and activities are in line with their international human rights obligations.

of change pursuit of human rights, social and environmental justice, and peace to promote the need for sustainable development." He then tasked the media practitioners "to be social change agents and human rights defenders who should challenge stories and practices of oppression and exploitation to promote equity which is lacking in governance, gender issues and power sharing as basis of unemployment, quality differences -social and educational services as well as human development indices." Olagoke regrettably however said presently the media "celebrates frivolities and promotes passions for indiscipline and promiscuity in the name of entertainment without considering the gauge limit." "You celebrate smart fraud rather than dignity of labour. You end up promoting fraudsters as celebrities. This has negatively influenced religion terrains and our ancestral monarchial systems who care less for sources of wealth and character attestation before doling out blessings or titles -religion or traditional", he said.

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According to a statement by the group’s programme manager, Mr. Ayode Alonge, MRA has endorsed a set of international principles against unchecked surveillance. The 13 principles set out for the first time an evaluative framework for assessing surveillance practices in the context of international human rights obligations. A group of civil society organizations officially presented the 13 Principles this past Friday in Geneva at a side event attended by Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Frank LaRue, during the 24th session of the Human Rights Council. The side event was hosted by the Permanent Missions of Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Hungary. Edetaen Ojo, the Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda recalled that recently, the federal government of Nigeria awarded a $40M Internet surveillance contract to Elbit Systems, an Israeli firm, to supply its Wise Intelligence Technology (WiT) system to Nigeria, ostensibly to spy on the nation’s internet users’ communication. Mr. Ojo said, “In line with the principles against unchecked surveillance, monitoring and surveillance of citizens’ activities online pose a threat to Nigeria’s 47 million internet users.” He added that in May, this year it

was also revealed that Nigeria was among the 11 countries to have FinFisher surveillance software in its possession noting that these moves by the Nigerian government in every way infringe on the right to privacy of individuals.” “MRA therefore endorses these principles which are timely due to the fact they recognise that world governments need to recognise that monitoring what their citizens do on cyber space amounts to invasion of their privacy,” He added. Navi Pillay, speaking at the Human Rights Council said in her opening statement on September 9 that: “Laws and policies must be adopted to address the potential for dramatic intrusion on individuals’ privacy which have been made possible by modern communications technology.” Ms Pillay said further that: “technological advancements have been powerful tools for democracy by giving access to all to participate in society, but increasing use of data mining by intelligence agencies blurs lines between legitimate surveillance and arbitrary mass surveillance." Representatives of Media Rights Agenda, Privacy International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, Association for Progressive Communications, and the Center for Democracy and Technology are all taking part in the event.

n a bid to encourage international business in the new Shanghai free-trade zone, the Chinese government has decided to lift the ban on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Access to banned news sites such as the New York Times will also be allowed, according to a South China Morning Post report. Aside from granting access to these services through the country's nationwide Internet filter, known popularly as the Great Firewall of China, there's another new first: foreign telecommunication companies can now bid for licenses to provide Internet services within the zone. The Chinese government hopes that this decision will "encourage significant financial and economic reforms" in the free-trade zone, according to SCMP's sources. There are also plans to extend the free-trade zone to the entire Pudong district, if the first phase of the launch is successful. Current visitors to China can already use Facebook and Twitter if they are using a roaming SIM card from overseas, though they may still occasionally experience problems connecting to foreign sites.

Ex-FBI agent arrested for leaking classified information

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former FBI explosives expert has been charged with leaking the classified information about an upgraded underwear bomb involved in a foiled terrorist plot in Yemen. The leak led to a second controversy as it was revealed that the Attorney General’s office seized the Associated Press’ phone records when they were trying to discover the reporter’s source. Donald Sachtleben has pleaded guilty of revealing the information. He was also charged with distributing child pornography and now faces a total of 11 years and eight months behind bars for the two crimes. The Justice Department said in a statement that its pursuit of Sachtleben was made easier by the child pornography investigation, but that Sachtleben was not identified as a suspect in the leaks case until after investigators had analyzed the AP phone records and compared them to other evidence in their possession. The deal is the latest legal action in the Obama administration's aggressive pursuit of people it believes have revealed government secrets, including seeking records and even testimony of journalists who prosecutors believe were given classified information and then published stories about it. The information Sachtleben gave to the AP revealed that American intelligence agencies had learned that al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen hoped to launch a spectacular attack using a new, nearly undetectable bomb aboard a U.S.bound airliner around the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. The AP's May 7, 2012, story attributed details of the operation, including that the FBI had the bomb in its possession, to unnamed government officials. CIA Director John Brennan has called the leak 'irresponsible and damaging,' while Attorney General Eric Holder said the story was the result of 'a very serious leak, a very grave leak.' Sachtleben


Cocktail

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x

Thursday, September 26, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (211)

“Attitude is a more significant factor in determining success in life than aptitude, opportunity, luck and all three combined. –Charles R. Swindoll WORK ON YOUR ATTITUDE RELENTLESSLY! Attitude, they say is somehow linked with the altitude that we will attain in life. A wrong attitude towards life will ultimately lead to a wrong life. Failure most of the time has a lot to do with attitude than intelligence. Attitude is more important than intelligence. Somebody may have a master’s degree and still be doing do low in life than a Diploma holder. It’s all a matter of attitude. Work on your attitude relentlessly. Learn to react to the beatings of life positively. Learn to live an optimistic life. Learn to be grateful. Learn to get up when you fall. Learn to forgive and forget. The effort you put on living with the right attitude will never be in vain. Right attitude will help you win the battles of life. The future may look bleak to you right now, but as you focus on showing forth the right attitude, you will find a way out. The right attitude has a way of opening our eyes. The right attitude makes us hear the right information that will help us to keep moving forward. The right attitude will energize us and carry us over the mountains of life. A joyful attitude will help you overcome difficulties. A gloomy attitude magnetizes ill luck. Make your choice today. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Buckingham Palace seeks timekeeper for queen’s clocks

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uckingham Palace announced it is seeking someone to be responsible for winding the queen’s 1,000 clocks for $50,035 per year. The advertisement on Queen Elizabeth’s official website says the Royal Horological Conservator will be based in Buckingham Palace, but will also have to travel to Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Balmoral and Sandringham to make sure all of the monarch’s clocks are wound and set

to the accurate time, The Mirror reported Monday. The post-holder will be primarily responsible for resetting the clocks

for the time changes in March and October. The posting says an ideal applicant would be “experienced at working

with hand and machine tools” and have the ability to “strip and clean mechanisms, make new parts.”

Woman tturns 109 W 109, family f il credits dit sweet potatoes

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Cleveland woman who marked her 109th birthday with a party at her church said she isn’t sure if sweet potatoes have anything to do with her longevity. Lessie Brown, who moved to Cleveland as a teenager in 1922, celebrated her birthday Sunday at Emmanuel Baptist Church

with family and friends by her side, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Monday. Brown said she isn’t sure how she managed to live for so many years. “Oh I don’t know. A lot of them say it’s because I ate a lot of sweet potatoes, but I don’t think that’s it. I don’t know, God’s will,” she said.

Brown’s family includes 24 grandchildren, 44 greatgrandchildren and 26 greatgreat-grandchildren. “I’m just so thankful that God has really blessed us with my mother who is 109 years young today and I’m just so happy that the family is here too,” daughter Vivian Hatcher said Sunday.

Doctor Monkey examining his patient, Miss Duck.

PHOTO: ODD STUFF MAGAZINE


Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

Death toll from Pakistani quake rises to 327

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PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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he terrorist group behind the takeover of a Nairobi mall claimed yesterday that the Kenyan government assault team carried out “a demolition” of the building, burying 137 hostages in rubble. A government spokesman denied the claim and said Kenyan forces were clearing all rooms, firing as they moved and encountering no one. In a series of tweets from a Twitter account believed to be genuine, al-Shabaab also said that “having failed to defeat the mujahideen inside the mall, the Kenyan govt disseminated chemical gases to end the siege.” Kenyan government spokesman Manoah Esipisu told The Associated Press that no chemical weapons were used — including tear gas — and that the collapse of floors in the mall was caused by a fire set by the terrorists and that the official civilian death toll remains 61. “Al-Shabab is known for wild allegations and there is absolutely no truth to what they’re saying,” he said. But officials said the death count will likely rise. Estimates varied between only a few bodies to dozens of bodies possibly still inside the mall. Photos and video of the damage showed the mall’s top level parking lot collapsed in the middle of the building. That brought the second level down onto the ground floor on top of at least eight civilians and one or more attackers, said Esipisu.

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–EMERITUS POPE BENEDICT XVI

Al-shabaab claims 137 killed in Kenyan mall attack

National mourning begins as search for more bodies continues

WORLD BULLETIN Ghana mourns loss of poet killed in Kenya Mourners sang funeral dirges and traditional leaders poured libations yesterday for beloved poet Kofi Awoonor as hundreds gathered at the airport where his body was brought home days after he was slain in the Kenya mall terror attack. Awoonor, 78, was a literary icon in his native Ghana, and was known worldwide for his innovative style that translated the rhythms of his Ewe language into English. He also was a veteran diplomat, and top government officials and members of parliament came to the airport. Awoonor had been in Kenya with his son to take part in the Storymoja Hay Festival, a four-day literary event, when he was among the more than 60 civilians killed at the Nairobi mall.

Mandela responding to treatment at home – Zuma

Relatives and friends carrying the coffin of Salima Ayaz Merali, during her funeral, in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday.

Meanwhile, Kenyan troops and rescue workers scoured the wreckage of a Nairobi shopping mall Wednesday for bodies and booby-trapped explosives after a four-day siege by Islamist gunmen left 67 dead and dozens more missing. Rescuers wore face masks and some soldiers wrapped scarves around their mouths because of an overpowering stench inside the Westgate centre, once the capital’s most upmarket mall. A large part of the complex has collapsed after heavy explosions

and a fierce fire. Across Kenya, flags flew at half mast at the start of three days of official mourning. A relative reacts, during the funeral of Salima Ayaz Merali and her daughter Nurianna, in Nairobi, K … The United States Ambassador to Kenya says U.S. experts are helping Kenyan forces search for bodies and evidence in the collapsed mall that Islamic terrorists held for four days. Robert F. Godec said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. is

67-year-old man never made it, Chron reports. According to US HPD Homicide Division Senior Police Officer, M. Miller, police responded to a call that a man had died on board the United Airlines flight #143 arriving from Lagos, Nigeria

PHOTO: REUTERS

to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. “Further investigation determined Mr. Igwedike passed away shortly after the flight departed from Nigeria,” Miller said. “The flight was then rerouted to Dakar, Senegal. After refuelling, authorities in Senegal rerouted the flight to Houston.” US Police is conducting an autopsy to determine Igwedike’s cause of death. A direct flight from Lagos to Houston is typically 13 hours long. However the plane made a stop in the capital of Senegal to try to refuel. It isn’t unheard of for a person to die on a flight. Late last month, a woman was travelling to Houston from Qatat to seek medical

PHOTO: AP

providing technical support and equipment to Kenyan security forces and medical responders. Godec said, at the request of the Kenyan government, the U.S. is assisting the investigation to bring the attack’s organizers and perpetrators to justice. Kenyan forensic experts — aided by American FBI agents and Israeli specialists — are working to reconstruct what happened in the attack, said Esipisu, speaking at the mall scene Wednesday. British forensic experts are also expected.

Nigerian dies on board flight to US

eports yesterday announced the death of a Nigerian man who was aboard a United Airlines flight to Houston, United States. Benedict Sylvester Igwedike flown out of Lagos, on a United Airlines flight on Tuesday but the

A United Airlines plane.

“That the power of evil penetrated so far into the interior world of the faith is a suffering that we must bear, but at the same time we must do everything to prevent it from repeating.”

treatment but she didn’t make it. Fatimah M. Alsiari, 49, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, died a few hours into the nonstop flight from Doha, Qatar. A doctor on board Qatar Airways Flight QR077 tried to treat the woman but he could not save her. In January a 25-year-old woman died on an American Airlines flight. In November, a Emirates Airline flight from Dubai to England made an emergency landing in Poland when another woman died on a flight. In September, a 64-year-old woman died on a Korean Air flight. In June, a man died on a flight from Amsterdam to Tasmania. His body was covered and laid across three seats, but passengers still had to sit near the body for the duration of the flight.

Nelson Mandela is continuing to respond to treatment at his home in Houghton, according to South African President Jacob Zuma. The former South African president, 95, returned home at the start of September after almost three months in hospital. In his statement, President Zuma thanked the global community for their support but did not go into detail about Mandela’s condition. Previous statements have often said he is “critical but stable”. Mandela was admitted to hospital in Pretoria in June with a recurring lung condition. Family members have spoken of their happiness at having Mr Mandela home again. “Our revered former president continues to respond to treatment at his home,” said President Zuma yesterday.

Zimbabwean poachers kill 80 elephants with cyanide Ivory poachers have killed more than 80 elephants by poisoning water holes with cyanide, endangering one of the world’s biggest herds, a minister said yesterday. Environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the elephants had died in the last few weeks in the Hwange national park, the southern African nation’s largest, while security forces were preoccupied with a July 31 general election. Police and rangers had recovered 19 tusks, cyanide and wire snares after a sweep through villages close to the park, which lies just south of Victoria Falls. “We are declaring war on the poachers,” he told Reuters. “We are responding with all our might because our wildlife, including the elephants they are killing, are part of the natural resources and wealth that we want to benefit the people of Zimbabwe.”


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World News

WORLD BULLETIN

Kerry signs UN Arms Trade Treaty

The United States signed a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty regulating the $70 billion global trade in conventional arms yesterday and the Obama administration sought to allay the fears of the powerful U.S. gun lobby which says the pact will violate the constitutional rights of Americans. The treaty, which relates only to cross-border trade and aims to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals, still requires ratification by the U.S. Senate and has been attacked by the influential gun rights group the National Rifle Association (NRA). Among the NRA arguments against the treaty are that it undermines American sovereignty and that it disregards the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.

Italy intercepts 700 asylum-seekers at Lampedusa Three boats carrying more than 700 asylum-seekers -- some of whom were Syrian refugees -- have landed on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, according to the Italian Coastguard. The new arrivals reflected a sharp increase in boats landing with people fleeing conflict-torn parts of the Mediterranean region and the Horn of Africa. Two of the boats arrived on Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost point and a major gateway for undocumented migration into the European Union. The first boat had 398 Syrians on board, the second had 111 whose nationality was yet to be determined. The latest arrivals have caused severe overcrowding in the temporary migrant centre on the tiny island, which can only house 350 people and was already too full. A third boat, which was spotted by a patrol plane on Tuesday, arrived in the port of Syracuse in Sicily with around 200 people on board, including 70 children.

Harsh treatment of Roma in France draws scrutiny France’s treatment of thousands of Roma migrants who have been expelled to Eastern Europe came under new scrutiny yesterday from the European Commission and a leading rights group, after France’s top security official said the migrants had a “duty to return to their homeland.” Amnesty International said more than 10,000 Roma, also known as Gypsies, had been evicted from French squatter camps from January through August, with many forced to return home to Romania and Bulgaria, despite European Union rules requiring free movement for all EU citizens. Many Roma in France live in makeshift camps set up on vacant lots, lacking running water or electricity. Without regular documentation of their residence, they have a hard time enrolling children into school, applying for subsidized housing, getting health care through the national system or finding permanent work.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Death toll from Pakistani quake rises to 327

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he death toll from a powerful earthquake in southwest Pakistan rose to 327 yesterday after hundreds of mud houses collapsed on residents throughout the remote and thinly populated area, local officials said. Pakistan’s army airlifted hundreds of soldiers to help with the aftermath of the worst earthquake in the South Asian country since 2005, when about 75,000 people were killed in the country’s north. Tuesday’s earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck Baluchistan, a huge earthquake-prone province of deserts and rugged mountains, and was felt across South Asia. It destroyed houses and cut communications with the worst affected district of Awaran, and was so powerful it caused a small island to emerge from the Arabian Sea, just off the Pakistani coast. “Two hundred and eighty-five bodies have so far been recovered in the Awaran district,” Abdul Rasheed Gogazai, the deputy commissioner of Awaran, the worst affected town, with a population of about 200,000, told Reuters. “And 42 bodies were found in the neighbouring Kech district. We have started to bury the dead.” The spokesperson of the government’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Kamran Zia, put the death toll at 259 by yesterday evening.

Survivors collecting their belongings near the rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following an earthquake in Pakistani province of Baluchistan, yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Rescue teams found it hard to reach the remote location quickly, and some officials said the death toll was likely to rise as emergency workers fanned further into the mountains to assess the damage. Mohammad Shabir, a journalist, described scenes of grief and chaos in villages, saying survivors were digging rows of graves and picking through the debris. “As far as the human eye can see, all the houses here have been flattened,” he told Reuters from Awaran, adding that rescue teams were distributing supplies.

The earthquake struck Pakistan at a time when the country was still mourning the deaths of more than 80 Christians in a suicide bomb attack on an Anglican church in the city of Peshawar on Sunday. To the south, on the beach near Gwadar port, crowds of bewildered residents gathered to witness the rare phenomenon of an island that the quake thrust up out of the sea. The island would not survive long because sea waves would eventually break it down, the

Syrian rebels reject opposition coalition

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housands of Syrian rebels have broken with the Western-backed coalition and called for a new Islamist front, undermining international efforts to build up a pro-Western military force to replace President Bashar al-Assad. Ever more divided on a battlefield where Assad’s better armed troops have been gaining ground, allies of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were among 13 disparate rebel factions to disown the exile leadership and build an Islamic alliance that includes the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, commanders said on Tuesday. Details of the numbers of fighters involved and of how they would cooperate remained

unclear. But, in an online video, a leader of the Islamist Tawheed Brigade said the bloc rejected the authority of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and the Westernand Saudi-backed exile administration of Ahmad Tumeh. A spokesman for Coalition president Ahmed Jarba, who was attending the United Nations general assembly in New York, said Jarba would head for Syria on Thursday to respond: “We are not going to negotiate with individual groups. We are going to come up with a better structure for organising the fighting forces,” the spokesman, Loay Safi, said. The move is a setback for foreign leaders trying to bolster more secular rebel groups and to

Free Syrian Army fighters preparing to launch an anti-tank missile in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, recently. PHOTO: REUTERS

reassure voters sceptical of deeper involvement in Syria’s civil war. Some may think again about help for the fighters, which ranges from weaponry from the Gulf to non-lethal aid from Europe and the United States. For Assad, already cheered by Russian diplomatic assistance that undermined U.S. plans to bomb his forces following a poison gas attack, any more powerful rebel coalition could challenge his army’s resurgence in the field. But that could be more than offset by a weakening of international backing for his enemies. Though some moderate Islamist fighters denied the move meant a more radical, sectarian approach, a more visible role for Islamist radicals at the expense of the SNC may bolster Assad’s argument that the alternative to his rule, based on his father’s military takeover four decades ago, is a Syria run by al Qaeda. The most hardline Islamist militant faction, al Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which has brought growing numbers of foreign jihadists into Syria, was not a signatory to the new pact. It was unclear, however, whether it had rejected involvement or had not been invited to join.

NDMA spokesperson said. “This is not a permanent structure, just a body of mud,” he added. “It will disappear over time.”

‘Hundreds of U.S. security clearances seen falsified’

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nited States Federal prosecutors have documented at least 350 instances of faulty background investigations done by private contractors and special agents for the country’s Office of Personnel Management in recent years, illustrating what some lawmakers call systemic weaknesses in the granting of federal security clearances. Reuters calculated the total by reviewing court documents and press releases from prosecutors for 21 cases resulting in convictions that involved the making of false statements from December 2004 to March 2012. These are the cases government officials have cited to assert that action is taken against investigators who falsely claim to have reviewed records or done interviews for background checks submitted to OPM. Not all the cases identified a specific number of fabrications. The 350 falsified reports represent only a small percentage of the number of background investigations conducted each year, either by OPM’s own investigators or a handful of private contractors it uses for most of the work. The Government Accountability Office testified to a congressional committee in June that OPM received over $1 billion to conduct more than 2 million background investigations for government employees in fiscal 2011. But the details of the cases show how cracks in the system may allow employees to obtain clearances without proper vetting.


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Five killed in cattle rustlers, PDP crisis: Why reconciliation has been impossible –Aliyu vigilantes’ clash JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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olice in Katsina State yesterday confirmed the death of five people following a clash between cattle rustlers and vigilantes in Gobirawa village in Danmusa Local Government. The incident came days after cattle rustlers invaded a village in Faskari Local Government and stole several cows from hapless herdsmen. Speaking with journal-

ists on the issue, the Commissioner of Police, Moh’d Hurdi, said two people sustained injuries, adding that they were receiving treatment in the hospital. Hurdi, who spoke through the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Sadiq, said seven suspects had been arrested and that investigation was ongoing on the matter. He also said that some cattle rustlers were arrested in some parts of the state in the last couple of

days, including one Adamu Salamu of Mazanya village in Jibia council. The commissioner said Salamu was suspected to have conspired with a collaborator and stolen seven cows which he intended to sell to a customer before he was arrested. Hurdi assured that the police command was up and doing in ensuring that cases of cattle rustling were totally eradicated and perpetrators arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

party remained one. Also, an Ikeja High Court yesterday fixed October 10 to deliver its ruling on the preliminary objection filed by the PDP National Chairman, AlhajiBamangaTukur, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by the Baraje faction of the party. The trial judge, Justice OludotunAdefope-Okojie, fixed the date after hearing arguments from parties. The other claimants in the suit are Sam Jaja and Prince OlagunsoyeOyin-

L-R: Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Shehu Abubakar; Amirul Hajj and Speaker, Gombe State House of Assembly, Alhaji Inuwa Garba and Chairman, State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Alhaji Sale Muhammad, during the farewell ceremony for 2013 intending pilgrims at Lawanti Hajj Camp in Akko Local Government Area, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Flood imminent, Kogi warns coastal communities WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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ogi State Government has again warned those living in flood prone areas to relocate immediately. The Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, issued the warning in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary in Lokoja yesterday. Awoniyi asked those living in flood prone areas to relocate in their own interest, following the release of water from Jebba Hydroelectric Dam. He said that water had been released from the dam, adding that the people living on flood plains in the state must move to higher ground because of the imminent flood. Awoniyi said Jebba reservoir which was at elevation of 99.09m had risen to 102.42m following copious inflow receipt. The deputy governor therefore called on coastal

communities around Jebba Dam to vacate the flood plains to forestall unpleasant experiences. He said the government was taking necessary actions to prevent the devastating consequences that trailed the 2012 flood. Awoniyi, however, implored the people to heed the warning. Meanwhile, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Hajia Inna Maryman Ciroma, has said that full commercial activities would soon commence on the lower River Niger, following the completion of dredging carried out from Baro in Niger State to Onitsha in Anambra State. Ciroma, who disclosed this while speaking with journalists in her office in Lokoja, said the dredging was in line with determination to promote Nigerian maritime activities. The MD explained that the dredging was aimed at reducing the heavy haulage

movement on the roads. She said if the people embraced the waterways which, according to her, will ensure the safety of their goods it would reduce the burden on the roads. Ciroma said the management of NIWA late last year test run ferrying of passengers from Lokoja to Onitsha, adding that it was a successful trip. According to her, the four river ports central to the business activities are Baro, Lokoja, Onitsha and Oguta. The MD added that arrangement had been concluded on concessional agreement involving NIWA, private organisation and the World Bank. She pointed out the Onitsha River port had been completed, while work was going on in Baro, Oguata and Lokoja. As part of measures to ensure security on waterways, Ciroma disclosed that the NIWA management procured 12 gunboats

to monitor the waterways. She added that the management also acquired digital radio frequency to motor activities on the waterways to receive quick alert at the headquarters. The MD noted that the Federal Government was very keen on dredging River Benue to expand waterways economic activities, adding that work would soon commence on Markudi River Port.

lola. The faction had asked the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining Tukur and three others, from parading themselves as PDP National Executive Committee members. Joined alongside Tukur as defendants are: Mr. UcheSecondus, Deputy National Chairman; KemaChikwe, Women Leader and Chief OlisaMetuh, National Publicity Secretary. Tukur and his co-defendants had on September 18, asked the court to strike out the suit for want of jurisdiction. The defendants had also argued that the writs of summons did not comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act because they were not signed. During Wednesday’s proceedings, the claimants’ counsel, Mr. Robert Emukpaeruo, urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection. Emukpaeruo argued that the court had jurisdiction to entertain the matter, stressing that the judgement of the court can be enforced against the defendants. According to him, as long as a court can enforce its orders, the court can exercise jurisdiction. “The mere fact that the defendants are not resident in Lagos State does not mean that the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter,” he stated. Emukpaeruo said the writ of summons was endorsed for service outside Lagos State, stressing that the endorsements had brought the defendants within the jurisdiction of the court. Responding, Tukur’s counsel, Dr. AmaechiNwaiwu, SAN, argued that Emukpaeruo submissions on the issue of jurisdiction

were misconceived. “The issue of physical effectiveness is a post judgement matter. The main issue is the competence of your lordship to adjudicate on this matter,” Nwaiwu said. He argued that the writs of summons were not properly endorsed under the Sheriff and Civil Process Act. Mr. OnyechiIkpeazu (SAN), counsel for Secondus, Chikwe and Metuh also adopted Nwaiwu’s submissions. He urged the court to dismiss the suit, stressing that its jurisdiction was circumscribed by law. In another development, Senator Magnus Abe representing Rivers South East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has stated that the current crisis rocking the PDP was self-inflicted by the party’s leadership, while he described the National Chairman of the PDP as the major problem of the party, following his refusal to obey laid down rules and guidelines that govern the affairs of the party. Abe, who spoke with journalists in his Port Harcourt home on Wednesday, said: “The division started because members don’t like what BamangaTukur is doing in the party. His disregard for party rules, execution of party programmes and actions; and also, his unilateral injection of certain clauses into the party constitution without due consultation are unacceptable impunity,” he said. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), also said senators were not thinking of any impeachment moves, as there has been no justification for such action and that the Senate remains a united house under its President, David Mark.

RMAFC plans public hearing on revenue sharing DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, said it would hold a zonal public hearing in Bauchi in October. The National Commissioner representing Gombe State in RMAFC, Ambassador Saidu Mohammed Fawu, said this in Gombe yesterday at a stakeholders’ interactive session.

Fawu also promised that RMFAC would ensure equity and fairness to all parties involved in the sharing of the nation’s wealth in the next review of revenue sharing formula. He also called for memos from the public on how they feel the revenue should be shared and prepare for a public hearing for the zone in Bauchi from October 3 to 4. The commissioner said

the people were free to make their submissions that would see to the improvement in the way the nation’s wealth was been shared to all segments of the country. He said the commission’s inquiry could never be completed if the public refused to submit memoranda that would enable it review the sharing formula for the Federal Government, states and local governments in the country.


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror In state and federal government agencies, senior civil servants are now businessmen and women and have incorporated their own companies. .

FORMER SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION (SGF), CHIEF OLU FALAE

Ex-militant kills fisherman over missing dog EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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here was tension yesterday at Okigbene-Opuama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, as a former militant in the area allegedly shot dead a 40-year-old fisherman, Sege-Daniel Olotu, over jokes on his missing dog. It was learnt that the community went berserk following the killing of the fisherman who was a friend to the ex-militant. Investigation by Community Mirror revealed that the ex-militant

was armed with a weapon, an AK 47 as he and others searched for his missing dog in the community. Trouble started when in a drinking bar, the deceased reportedly cracked a joke about the missing dog and invited the suspect for a drink. A reliable source in the community who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the joke provoked the ex militant as he shot the fisherman and escaped in a waiting boat to an unknown destination. The killing of the fisherman generated confusion and pande-

IGANDO BEFORE

monium in the bar as customers at the scene scampered to safety. In the ensued confusion, the suspect reportedly jumped into his speed boat and escaped as efforts to track him down failed. It was gathered that the ex militant leader had lamented to his relations about his missing dog and said he was leaving for Opuama in search of the pet. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Alex Akhigbe, confirmed the incident, but said the police command was yet to be properly briefed on what transpired.

NAFOWA donates to physically-challenged KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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embers of the Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA), Oyo State branch yesterday put smiles on the faces of the physically-challenged persons in Ibadan, the state capital, by presenting foodstuffs, beverages and daily utilities to children of the Oluyole Cheshire Home, Poly Road. The state commander’s wife, Mrs. Lilian Idowu, who led other members of NAFOWA, said the visit and donation was done as part of the association’s efforts

IGANDO AFTER

towards contributing to the welfare of the physically-challenged people in the state. NAFOWA was received by the matron of the home, Mrs Esther Jaiya in company of a teacher, Mr Lawal Lateef who expressed appreciation for the gesture. Mrs Idowu said; “We deemed it fit to visit this home to contribute to the efforts of charity organizations in the country. This is a show of support for Cheshire Home. “Children here are part of the society. We come to put smiles on their faces and make them know that they are part of us. We come from the same source. They are disabled but able. This token will go a long way in assisting the children because we believe they are our future leaders. Nigeria needs to be transformed and one of the ways of achieving this is by doing the right thing”.

NRC promises fleet renewal for better train services FRANCIS SUBERU

T Lagos demolishes 250 illegal shanties, dislodges street traders MURITALA AYINLA

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o fewer than 250 illegal shanties and shops located by the roadside in Ikotun area were yesterday demolished by the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and Special Offence (Enforcement Unit). The Taskforce, comprising policemen, and officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline brigade also dislodged hundreds recalcitrant street traders, which the state government said, had been causing traffic gridlock along that axis. It was gathered that no fewer than 50 people died on the axis as vehicles often rammed into the unsuspecting traders and their customers.

The Taskforce however refused to impound the traders’ goods, even as they waited for several hours to monitor the area so as to ensure no trader returns to the forbidden area. The shanties and illegal structures, numbering about 250 were located along Ikotun- Idimu Road, Ikotun-Ejigbo Road and other adjoining roads. The structures were pulled down to allow free flow of traffic. However, the traders who claimed to be paying certain fees to the local government officials said they have nowhere else to go. According to a bread vendor, who identified herself as Mrs Chinasa, “we have nowhere to go. What else are we going to do? Local government officials came

and said as long as we pay our daily levy of N150, nobody would disturb us. See now, our goods have been impounded; even though we are not blocking the road.” Meanwhile, plying motorists on the axis commended the government, saying the action has paved the way for free flow traffic. Speaking on the operation, the Chairman of the Taskforce, CSP Bayo Sulaiman who led the operation said the action was borne out the complaints by residents and passersby. He said: “The place is becoming unbearable to motorists. Every time, people complain they find it difficult passing through the area. The traders have taken over the entire place for trading activities.

“The last meeting we had with them was held at President-General of the market association’s office. Their leaders confirmed that they are tired of them. You can see that their goods were not impounded; we only destroyed structures mounted on the road.”

Fashola

he Management of Nigerian Railway Corporation has been assured of continuous fleet renewal of its locomotives and rolling stock to meet modern train services. The assurance was given by the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engineer Adeseyi Sijuwade, while declaring open a one-week intensive training of Diesel Locomotive Train Drivers in Lagos for the newly acquired – 23 Class locomotives from China. Represented by the Deputy Director Mechanical/Electrical and Signals Engineer Kabir Zayyana, Engineer Adeseyi Sijuwade said the Federal Government is committed to improving rail services in the country to meet the urgent need of transforming the economy and making life comfortable for the public in the area of mass transportation of people and goods. He urged participants to take the training serious; even as he assured that any accident-free driver will be duly rewarded while carelessness will be punished. A total of 50 participants of the Mechanical/Electrical and Signal department drawn from all the seven districts of the Corporation participated in the training programme.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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INSIGHT

Thirty-five years after the enactment of the Land Use Act (LUA) by the Federal Government, WALE IGBINTADE and FEMI OYEWESO report that thousands of land and property owners in the country are yearning for the inadequacies in the law to be perfected in order to alleviate their plight in the hands of state governments and other agencies in the federation.

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here is no doubt that series of crises and litigations arising from wrongful acquisition of land from their owners are signs of unhealthy development in all states of the federation, arising from the Land Use Act (LUA). LUA was promulgated on March 29, 1978 by the military government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and vests ownership of land in the states to the governors. Under the Act, land is said to be held in trust and to be administered for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians. In addition, the Act vests the Governor with the power to grant statutory right of occupancy to persons. It also proscribes the alienation of a statutory right of occupancy without the consent of the governor. Section 28 of the LUA states, ‘’It shall be lawful for a state Governor to revoke a right of occupancy on a property for overriding public interest.” Primarily, the essence of the law was to harmonise the management and ownership of land in Nigeria. Other objectives of LUA are; to make land more affordable to every Nigerian, do away with land speculation, streamline and simplify the management and ownership of land in the country, facilitate the desire of every Nigerian irrespective of his social status to realise his ambition and aspiration of owning a place where he and his family will live a secure and peaceful life, accrue development funds to government through land allocation and processing and make land more readily available to the federal, state and local governments for development purposes. But, since the Act came into operation, its implementation has been subjected to abuse by the respective state governments. There are many Nigerians who have lost their land, courtesy of this 35 -year-old legislation. In line with the provisions of the LUA, the government has the constitutional right to compulsorily acquire property but on payment of compensation. Moreover, government reserves the right to revoke a citizen’s title to land only for overriding public interest but in the event of such revocation,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Land Use Act turns tool of where the holder has unexhausted improvement on the land as at the date of the revocation, they attract compensation which must be paid. Investigations by the National Mirror in the various geo-political zones of the country showed that the crises arising from the implementation of the LUA are more rampant in some states than others. Lagos: In Lagos State scores of complaints abound over acquisition of land by the state government. In a recent incident, it was learnt that a particular land dispute that began as a civil matter in a Lagos High Court has allegedly changed to criminal matter. This dispute concerns five indigenes of Idasho community, who are resisting alleged wrongful acquisition of their land by the state government. The community had challenged the decision of the government to revoke about 16,500 hectares of land belonging to more than 11 Idasho families namely; Loore, Pankere, Ajegunle, Agbon, Fowoshe, Lajala, Araromi, Kajola Omishode in Ajah-Lekki area, saying the act was done in bad faith. In a twist, the men are being tried for a criminal offence over their alleged refusal to release their large parcel of land for the construction of Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ). Indigenes of the community, Giwa Agbon, Segun Samuel, Suraju Rasaki, Owolabi Samuel and Kazeem Adelaja were arrested for allegedly mobilising youths to disrupt activities of the foreign investors on the acquired land. They were initially charged before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, Lagos with alleged disruption of the peace of the community and were released on bail. But it was however gathered later that the charge against them was amended to armed robbery in a bid to force them to vacate the land. The men risk being convicted for capital punishment if they are found guilty of armed robbery. The Registered Trustees of Believers Love World (a.k.a) Christ Embassy) are also groaning. The church had in March 2013 dragged the government to a Lagos High Court over the purported revocation of its landed property situated at Oyeleke Street, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. Another victim, Mr. Chris Okechukwu, who works with a shipping company in Lagos State said he bought a piece of land from a family at Isheri Oshun, off the Lagos-Badagry expressway a few years ago. He claimed that he was in the process of developing it when the state government, using the LUA, allegedly acquired the property. He is yet to receive compensation from the state government because he did not have a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). Ogun: Since the inception of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration in Ogun State on

Blocks of houses in Lekki, Lagos State

LUA WAS PROMULGATED ON

MARCH 29, 1978 BY THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT OF

GEN. OLUSEGUN OBASANJO AND VESTS OWNERSHIP OF LAND IN THE STATES TO THE GOVERNORS.

May 29, 2011, there have been several allegations that the past state administration acquired several parcels of land without compensating the owners. As a result of these allegations, the Amosun- led administration inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into all land allocations, acquisitions, sales and concessions of government properties and administration of land policies, rules and regulations to cover a period between January 2004 and May 29, 2011 when he took over the mantle of leadership of the state. At the end of its inquiry, the panel under the chairmanship of Justice Abiodun Akinyemi submitted its report, which reportedly indicted the administration of the former governor, Gbenga Daniel, and recommended outright cancellation and recovery of lands, money from some companies and individuals that were also involved in the illegal acquisitions. Among the shocking revelations in the commission’s report was that the release of state government land was done to nonexisting beneficiaries, and that the allocation of lands and issu-

L-R Chief Adebaju Adelaja, Baale of Idasho community and Chief Mutiu Apena

ance of C of Os to allottees were done without evidence of any payments, resulting in enormous loss of revenue to the state government. On personal levels, one T.S. Dipeolu had petitioned the commission on the ground that his land falls within the acquisition for the construction of the Police Computer College located along the Abeokuta-Sagamu expressway. He refused to collect his assessed crops compensation and insisted on having his farmland back. The commission found that the reason the petitioner refused to collect the crop compensation was because he felt it was too small and not commensurate to the value of his farmland. The Akinyemi panel also advised the state government to ensure that Dipeolu collects his compensation, stressing that all what the law requires for the government to do under the LUA was to pay for the crops of the petitioner and no more. Oyo: In Oyo State, it was gathered that the Afolabi family of Jongbon Village in Akinyele LGA of the state has been lamenting

since 2005 when the state government without prior notice allegedly encroached on their land. The family spokesman, Elder Abiodun Afolabi, who is a retired soldier, said the three acres of land located in Jongbon village are part of the land acquired by the administration of Senator Rasheed Ladoj, to construct the Ibadan Circular Road (ICR). He said, “In our situation, since 2005 that the state government moved into our land in Jongbon Village, none of the family members has been called for compensation no matter how little when there were family members who had cash crops on the three acres of land acquired.” Afolabi stated further that the family had resigned to fate.”Its members are not the only people involved and that when the ICR is finally completed and put to use, the family members will see themselves as part of its success. Efforts made to speak with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Kayode Adepoju, were unsuccessful. Ekiti: In Ekiti State, however,


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

INSIGHT

Thursday, September 26, 2013

oppression of hapless Nigerians

Chief Victor Odunnaiya

A virgin land

BUT, SINCE THE ACT CAME INTO OPERATION, ITS IMPLEMENTATION HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO ABUSE BY THE RESPECTIVE STATE GOVERNMENTS.

Olu Daramola, SAN

it was gathered that the state government had paid about N380million as compensation for houses demolished in Ado- Ekiti in furtherance of its urban renewal programme which included road dualisation and provision of recreation centre. The state government has also promised to pay compensation to owners of structures that would be affected by the ongoing channelisation project where 78 houses built on waterways in the capital city are marked for demolition. But a resident, Mr. Toyin Oluyemi, whose late father, Francis Oluyemi’s property at Atikankan area of Ado Ekiti, was among the buildings demolished, said his family was still feeling impact of the exercise. Oluyemi, who said his late father’s three houses with a total of 14 rooms in the compound were demolished, admitted that the state government actually paid compensation to owners of houses affected by the exercise. On whether the compensation is really commensurate to the affected houses, he queried, “Is there any compensation in a situation

like this that can be adequate?” According to him, his aged mother, who was living in the compound with other residents had to move out. Imo: In Imo State indigenes allege forceful and non- payment of compensation of acquired land under the LUA. “In Imo State most land acquisitions are unresolved. Many have become subject of legal contention due mainly to forceful entry into the land by government,” a report says. For instance the Diocese of Oru in Imo State alleged forceful acquisition of its land by the government, threatening to take legal action to recover it if the government did not desist from the encroachment. The Mgbidi community where the land is situated last year petitioned the police to stop the encroachment on the church’s land by some people claiming to be officials of the state government. Soldiers and other security agents were alleged to have been brought by the government officials to clear the church’s land located at the Central Primary School, Mgbidi, Oru West LGA. Narrating the unfortunate incident, Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Revd. Geoffrey Chukwunenye, accused the state government of

encroaching into the land, which had been in church’s possession since 1914. Late last year, scores of angry Owerri indigenes shifted their homes to “Area K”, a piece of land, near the World Bank Housing Estate, which the Imo State Government allegedly appropriated to itself without due consultation. Former Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Mr. Uche Nwosu, claimed the land at Area ‘K’ was allocated to some persons and this fuelled a misunderstanding between the Amawom people and the Director of Lands, adding that the government intervened by proposing to them to take 20 per cent of the land and take payment for the remainder of the land. In a reaction to Nwosu’s claims, the Amawom Renaissance Group, a group defending the state government’s illegal acquisition of Owerri lands, said the ex-commissioner’s claims were false, baseless and unfounded. A spokesman of the group and former Owerri Municipal Council boss, Ebere MacDonald, said the 20 per cent land compensation proposed by the state government was a systemic pattern to collect their land through the backdoor and he said this was unacceptable to his group. He called on the Rochas Okorocha administration to do the right thing, adding that his people had been living in dehumanising conditions. Benue: In Benue State, a disputed expanse of land located opposite the former Staff Training Centre, Makurdi, is said to belong to the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Benue State wing. It was gathered that the land was donated to the North Central Entrepreneurship Centre by Governor Gabriel Suswam recently. The 1000 square metres land which the state government had allegedly requested the NUT to

Mr. Kayode Bankole

surrender and collect undisclosed compensation would enable the government to carry out the expansion of entrepreneurial centre in the state. Investigation further revealed that a purported letter of revocation of the land was sent from the office of Head of Service, Mr. Terna Ahua, indicating the desire to take possession of the land. However, attempts to confirm the revocation of the aforementioned land from the state chairman of the NUT in the state, Comrade Godwin Anya, were unsuccessful but another superior officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the moves to retake the land. The State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr. John Tondo, reiterated that all land belong to the government according to the 1978 LUA and ‘’so long as there is desire to make use of such facility it could be summarily revoked and compensation to the Right of Occupancy be paid immediately.’’ He however, told our correspondent in Makurdi that in some instances prior notice could be given to the original owners of the land of the government’s intention to repossess the property. In this case, he said, agreements would be reached with a view to avoid ‘’bad blood and come to negotiation with the parties in question.” Katsina: In Katsina State, it was gathered that in late 2009, when the present state government tried to exercise its powers under the LUA to acquire some acres of land for a state-owned project, the move was greeted with protests from the land owners who thought they would not be adequately compensated. At that time, the Ibrahim Shema-led administration had planned to expand some roads and

55

convert them from single to three lanes in the state’s metropolis. The overall intention of the project was to build a Ring Road that would encircle the state’s capital. Our correspondent gathered that those whose properties were acquired, particularly lands along the Liyafa Hotel-Airport road, lamented that the government compensation was inadequate, as their houses were partially or completely destroyed to pave way for the road. This led to protests and demand for better compensation. But the state government said it had adjusted the compensation formula to assuage their grievances as well as accommodate their losses, especially for those whose structures had been affected. Some notable lawyers who reacted to these crises caused by the LUA, argued that it is being abused by the various state governments in the country. According to the former Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Chief Victor Odunaiya, ‘’Under the Land Use Act, state government has the power to acquire people’s land for public use.” He however, frowned at the practice where the government acquires one’s property and gives it to another private person. He said, ‘’I share the view that the Land Use Act needs to be amended because some of the abuses are caused by government officials for their selfish interests.” In his view, Mr. Olu Daramola, SAN, the deputy managing partner in law firm of Afe Babalola & Company, also believe that the implementation of LUA has been abused by the state governments. ‘’it is despicable for government to acquire land from landowners on the pretext that it would be used for public interest, only for the same land to be allotted to firms where the governor has his interest,” he said, adding that there was a serious abuse of the legislation. Another Lagos lawyer, Mr. Kayode Bankole, who is an expert in land law, supported this argument that the provisions of the Act have been abused more in the southern part of the country. He noted that a state government would acquire the land, move in bulldozers to demolish property and put people in great distress before compensations are paid. The lawyer asked ‘’In the Lekki corridor where most lands have been acquired by the state government for overriding public interest, how many stadia, high court, general hospitals or public schools or praying grounds have they built?” “ What we noticed in most acquisition is that part of the land would be allocated to private individuals who will put the property to the same use the original land owners have been using it. ‘’ *Additional reports from Kemi Olaitan, Ibadan; Abiodun Nejo, Ado Ekiti; Chris Njoku, Owerri; Henry Iyorkase, Makurdi and James Danjuma, Katsina


WORLD RECORD

Largest bird feeder (volume) Vol. 03 No. 712

I

Thursday, September 26, 2013

N150

The largest bird feeder holds 334.73 kg (760 lbs) of food and was created by the William Greene (USA). It was presented and measured in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA, on 7 January 2012.

Jonathan and 2015: Let the debate continue

read the Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie’s extensive interview in the September 22, 2013 edition of The Guardian on Sunday in which he spoke on the 2015 presidency and President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid. The front page lead story written by one Gbenga Salau aroused my interest in the three-page interview. Okogie was, as usual, forthright on the various issues he engaged, but his position with respect to Jonathan’s re-election bid was somewhat disappointing. Okogie, in a manner of speaking, does not want Jonathan to seek re-election, not because his right to do so is not constitutionally guaranteed, but for the reason that he wants a situation where political agreement, if any, is kept! The Cardinal emeritus was apparently referring to the so-called one-term pact that Jonathan was alleged to have signed with

D

avid Haye’s challenger in the Heavyweight bout rearranged for February 8, Tyson Fury, yesterday launched verbal attack at Haye, saying he cannot wait to “devour” his opponent. The fight was scheduled to take

Guest Columnist

Sufuyan

Ojeifo

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors in 2010 in the build-up to the party’s 2011 presidential primaries. But the good thing is that he personally did not believe that Jonathan signed any such pact that he would do just one term in office. He had taken the liberty to suggest that if it is true that he did it, those who extracted such commitment from Mr. President would not behave stupidly. The situation is not a complicated one to deal with. If there was such a pact to which Jonathan appended his signature, those in whose custody the document is should produce it so that the claims and counter claims can be laid to rest once and for all. Producing it will succeed in placing a moral and not constitutional burden on Jonathan. It will portray him as a desperate power seeker who cannot keep to an agreement. But the claimants, as of the time of writing this piece, had not produced the document. Even then, such document, if produced, will not preclude him from exercising his constitutionally guaranteed right to contest. And this is the point Cardinal Okogie was trying to gloss over. The truth is, nothing else supercedes the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution in this regard. Every other consideration, no matter the amount of passion infused into it, pales into insignificance in the crystallizing political calculations. Okogie did not bother to ventilate, through the window of the relevant provisions of the constitution, the restrictive cocoon into which he herded Jonathan. He would rather pontificate that if he were Jon-

THE TRUTH IS, NOTHING ELSE SUPERCEDES THE PROVISIONS OF THE

NIGERIAN

CONSTITUTION IN THIS REGARD athan, he would not run because the writing on the wall did not favour his running. The other point to make is Okogie’s specious attempt at trying to make the period that Jonathan served as vice president to count as part of his terms in the presidency. That was patently fallacious. Read him: “Jonathan will be there for almost six years; there was a time he was vice (president), and now president for four years. What is he looking for again…?” I never could have imagined that this fecund cleric would have run with this kind of reasoning. He was deliberately celebrating the illogicality of a logic that is resting on the foundation of morality instead of law. What does the law, nay the constitution, say? It allows the president and state governors to occupy their offices if re-elected after a four-year term for another term of four years. I spurn Okogie’s approach, which is biased for the opposition’s sensibilities and anti-democratic postures; it amounts to needless moral suasion. Ideally, in seeking re-election within his PDP, as a sitting president, Jonathan should enjoy the right of first refusal, the

same way state governors should. But the field is not going to be closed for Jonathan’s sake even if it is the consensus of a vast majority of party members for him to have the party ticket. Those who want to contest for the party ticket with him will be allowed to do so in the true democratic spirit. But the only thing is that they would be at a disadvantage because, whereas Jonathan would enjoy the factor of incumbency that is anchored on experience and tangible achievements in office plus a number of other deliverables, his opponents will attempt to come to the job without prior presidential experience. In fact, the basis of performance by Jonathan is solid enough to support a campaign for his re-election. Forget the packs of balderdash that the opposition elements churn out through the media about the administration not performing. They are inexorably obsessed with propaganda and many Nigerians have seen through their antics. This preoccupation of theirs, in addition to other stratagem of latching on orchestrated security problem to stomp on the president, is not capable of intimidating him from exercising his personal and constitutional right to contest in the 2015 presidential election. Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, in the spirit of national conversation on the president’s re-election bid, reinforced this position at the pre-centenary celebration of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria on Sunday, September 22, 2013. His proposition was the fact that Jonathan’s performance compels him to join the race for a second term. Media reports from New York, where the president has been attending the United Nations General Assembly, have quoted him as saying that the constitution allows him two terms of eight years. This is the president’s strongest hint ever about his 2015 presidential plan. It should stimulate more constructive conversation in the public domain. Ojeifo, a journalist/publisher, wrote from Abuja

Sport Extra

Boxing: Fury promises to ‘devour’ Haye place on September 28 before Haye copped a cut during sparring last week and organisers were forced to shift the date. “I’m so glad to have this fight rescheduled and I can’t wait to put

David in his place,” Fury said. “There are lots of honest and hard working people in this world and I believe I’m going to punish this money grabbing cry baby for all of them,” he added.

“I’m tired of David. He said he was going to knock Klitschko out and did nothing! Now he’s giving me the same talk and I wonder why people believe him. “I will do exactly what I was going to do this Saturday on February 8, that is, smash David’s face.”

Fury

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Thursday, september 26, 2013  

*** End of the road for Kelvin, notorious kidnap kingpin ---- Orchestrated kidnap of Mike Ozekhome ---- Murder of ex-Deputy Governor...

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