Terrorists’ bomb-making factory uncovered behind Army barracks AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST, AZA MSUE AND PRISCILLA DENNIS
bomb-making factory operated by suspected terror-
ists was yesterday discovered behind the perimeter of the Nigerian Army 1 Mechanised Division Headquarters, Kaduna, following a tip-off. This development came just as the Niger State
Vol. 31 N0. 572 115
Soyinka blames leadership for religious crisis
Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, raised the alarm that if nothing was done urgently to address the security challenges in the North, “there may be no northern states before CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Jonathan praises Awolowo’s uncommon attributes
Tuesday, Thursday,June March 7, 2011 7, 2013
Newswatch: Again, Ekpu, Agbese, others lose to Jimoh Ibrahim KAYODE KETEFE
or the second time within a space of two months and from two different federal high courts sitting seperately, the former directors/ minority shareholders of Newswatch magazine suffered another major judicial defeat yesterday as a Federal High Court sitting CONTINUED ON PAGE 4>>
Court says objection fails on all grounds
Northerners own 83% ofLawmakers oil blocs –Senators near consensus on draft PIB GEORGE OJI ABUJA
outh-South senators yesterday alleged serious lopsidedness in the allocation of oil blocs in the country, claiming that northerners own 83 per cent of oil wells not in control of the international oil companies. This revelation came to light at the debate of the general principles of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which began on Tuesday and continues today on the floor of the Senate. Also, the lawmakers yesterday neared consensus on the three major contentious CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
OIL BLOCS MEN
•Mai Deribe •T. Y. Danjuma •Sanusi Lamido •Sani Bello •Rilwanu Lukman •Mohammed Indimi •Aminu Dantata •Saleh Gambo •Ado Bayero •Musa Yar’Adua •Atiku Abubakar •Emeka Offor •Mike Adenuga •Wahab Folawiyo
Ogun lawmakers apologise over ‘shameful’ conduct
Maina seeks N1.5bn damages against Mark, IG P.7
CAN carpets Sultan over amnesty call for Boko Haram P.8
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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L-R: Vice-President Namadi Sambo; recipient of the Inaugural Award of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership, Prof. Wole Soyinka; Executive Director, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu and Chairman of the Selection Committee, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, during the award presentation ceremony in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
L-R: Regional Director, DStv Media Sales, Mrs. Busola Adeogun-Philips; General Manager, Cheryl Van Rensburg and Sales Director, Fahmeeda Cassim Surtee, during the DStv media sales showcase exhibition in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI
L-R: Co-ordinator of Eko Free Health Mission, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe; Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa; Nollywood actor, Mr. Jide Kosoko and Head, Sustainability and Responsibility, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Adrianne Nwagwu, during a workshop titled: “Responsible drinking and mental health” held in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
L-R: Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, Prof. Hayward Mafuyai; Guest Speaker and wife of Benue State Governor, Mrs. Yemisi Suswam and her counterpart from Plateau State, Mrs. Talatu Jang, during the university’s distinguished persons’ lecture held in Jos, yesterday.
Newswatch: Again, Ekpu, Agbese, others lose in court CONTINUED FROM 1 in Lagos struck out their application to stop the suit instituted by Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim-led management. The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, struck out the application on all grounds, stressing that it was lacking in merit. The court also awarded the sum of N15, 000 in favour of the plaintiff against the defendants. The Newswatch Communications Limited (NCL), (publishers of Newswatch magazine), Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim and Global Media Mirror Ltd, have brought the substantive suit praying the court to declare that the four former directors of Newswatch magazine, Messrs Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade, have since ceased to be directors and, therefore, could not legally do anything on behalf of the company. The Plaintiffs are also asking the court to declare that the former directors have no competence to declare a trade dispute under the Share Purchase Agreement between them and the NCL. The plaintiffs are there-
• Objection fails on all grounds
fore, praying the court to restrain Ray Ekpu and the others from taking measures that may be inimical to the interests of the NCL. In response, the defendants filed a preliminary objection to the suit, asking the court to dismiss it on three major grounds. They had contended that plaintiffs had no locus standi to bring the suit and that the plaintiffs’ case does not disclose a reasonable cause of action. They had also contended that the plaintiffs had commenced the suit through a wrong procedure by bringing the suit through originating summons instead of through a writ of summons as the facts of the case are contentious. It was this preliminary objection that was determined against the defendants yesterday. In his ruling, Justice Abang struck out the preliminary objection on all the grounds, stressing that the plaintiffs have both locus standi and reasonable cause of action. On the issue of locus standi, the judge held that
defendants were wrong because “If anything done by the defendants is likely to affect a party in one way or the other, such a party has locus to bring a matter to court” Justice Abang further explained that since the defendants, who had resigned as directors, are still claiming to have the right to declare a trade dispute, this is likely to affect the right of the majority shareholders and that gives the majority shareholders locus standi to bring suit. The judge concluded on this issue that both Dr. Ibrahim and Global Media Ltd had locus standi to bring the suit when the first Plaintiff (NCL) is wronged. The judge said “The suit filed by the Plaintiffs was properly instituted. There is presumption of regularity imposed on the defendants to show by positive evidence lack of authority of the Board of Directors to act on behalf of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs. “The affidavit of the originating summons was the only information available to disclose the existence of a
conflict. It is the duty of the court to decide on whether a conflict exists on its merit and not the parties to state if a conflict in actual facts exists. On the issue of cause of action, the judge further stated: “A cause of action is said to exist where there is an issue to be determined. From the originating summons, there is prima facie inference that there are issues to be determined. Without dwelling on the issue reserved for substantive matter, I hold that a reasonable cause of action has been disclosed.” On the mode of commencement of the suit, the judge said although the issues in the matter are contentious, there is nothing wrong by the plaintiff commencing it through originating summons rather than through writ of summons. The judge added that from the averments on the originating summons, he could decipher what the issues are, stressing that the mode commencement is not fatal to the plaintiff’s suit. On the contrary, the judge
noted that the defendants should have joined issues with the plaintiff by contesting the facts in the originating summons through averments in their affidavit. With this ruling, the coast is now clear for the court to start hearing the substantive suit instituted against the four former directors by the Newswatch Communications Limited, Dr. Ibrahim and Global Media Mirror Ltd. The hearing of the substantive suit is now scheduled to commence on March 21, 2013. It will be recalled that on February, 4, 20013, another judge of the same Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Buba, dismissed the application seeking to stop the operations of the Newswatch which was brought by persons claiming to represent the interest of the minority shareholders of the company. Ruling that the application to stop Newswatch was without merit, Justice Buba, however ordered accelerated hearing of the substantive suit saying that
he would schedule the case to be completed “within one month.” The two minority shareholders of the company, Mr. NuhuWada Aruda and Prof. Jibril Aminu, had filed the substantive petition accusing the new management team led by Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim OFR, of assuming control of the company “illegally” even though they admitted that there was a Share Purchase Agreement, which transferred the majority of the shareholding to Ibrahim. The petitioners were, therefore, praying the court to quash the powers of the current management of the company elected by the majority of the shareholders. The petitioners had also filed an interlocutory injunction seeking to stop the operations of the Newswatch Newspapers Limited and to prevent the company from selling any of its fledgling titles (Daily Newswatch, Saturday Newswatch and Sunday Newswatch) to the public. But the interlocutory application was apparently dead on arrival, as it was dismissed by Justice Buba, after thoroughly assessing it on its merit.
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Terrorists’ bomb-making factory uncovered behind Army barracks CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
long.” Following the discovery, soldiers raided the factory located in a residential compound on Sabon Birni Road, Kawo, in Kaduna North Local Government Area. Briefing journalists in Kaduna, the Commander, 1 Division, Internal Security Force, Brig.-Gen. Tagbo Chuks Ude, said the discovery followed a cordon-and-search operation carried out in the area by soldiers about 5.30p.m. on Tuesday. He said all occupants of the building including the owner, one Hon. Husseni Dei Dei, a one-time All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, chairmanship aspirant in the Federal Capital Territory; two women and five children in the building were arrested during the operation. Ude said that the building housing the factory would be demolished in line with Army’s resolve to stop terrorists’ activities. He added that during the operation, six AK 47 rifles, one light machine gun, 27 loaded and 17 empty AK 47 magazines and 58 rounds of 9mm ammunition were recovered. Other arms recovered include 275 rounds of 7.62 mm NATO ammunition, one loaded light machine gun, nine prepared cans of improvised explosive
devices, one reel of firing cord and 125 detonators. Ude said that the recovered weapons were hidden inside soak-away pits with some buried in the ground within the premises. The commander, however, commended members of the public that reported the matter and also reiterated Army’s resolve to fight terrorism. Ude also appealed to the public to report any suspicious movement, establishment or persons in their environment, adding that such information would be treated with absolute confidentiality. In a related development, the Abuja Headquarters of Christians Association of Nigeria, CAN, has begun investigations into last week Saturday’s brutal killing, in Kano, of 13 Christians by gunmen suspected to be militants of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. The Kano State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Ransom Bello, told newsmen yesterday that the list of the 13 slain members shot dead in a compound at Sheka area in Kumbotso Local Government, had been sent to the association’s headquarters in Abuja for further action. Bishop Bello alleged that 13 Christians, all factory workers living in a large
compound around Sharada Phase 3 were shot dead by gunmen who stormed the compound at about 7:30 p.m. Quoting the only survivor of the attack, now in hiding, the CAN boss recalled that the gunmen who stormed the compound in two taxi cabs, separated the men from the women and children and opened fire on the men, killing 13 of them on the spot. “Reports of the attack reaching us disclosed that on that fateful Saturday, at 7p.m., Muslim faithful were conducting their prayers close to the affected compound occupied by Christian families, when two taxi cabs stopped in
front of the compound and the occupants, who all concealed their arms ran into the complex and demanded to know why the residents were not part of the 7p.m. Muslim prayer. “They responded by telling the visitors they were Christians and so could not be part of the Muslim gathering, at that point, they separated the men, about 13 of them from their wives and children and shot them dead on the spot after ordering the women and children into their homes. “The 13th victim, who hid in a dark alley in the compound, surrendered himself, following threats by the gunmen to visit the
same fate on the women and children if any man was found to have been shielded.” Bello said he was sad by the silence of the relevant authorities in the state, including the government on “such a high profile murder, even though we believe it is the handiwork of extremists, who do not see the reason why the Muslim North should accommodate Christians.” The Bishop said the CAN National President, Pastor Ayo Oritsajafor, had been briefed about the incident and actions were been taken. He also raised issued about the perceived insensitivity of the
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
held by northerners.” Inang tendered documents to substantiate his claim and listed northerners who own oil blocs to include Alhaji Mai Deribe, General T. Y. Danjuma, Mallam (Prince) Sanusi Lamido, Alhaji (Col.) Sani Bello of Kontangora, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, Alhaji Mohammed Indimi and Alhaji Aminu Dantata. The lawmaker said that Deribe from Borno State owns Cavendish Petroleum, operator of the OML 110 with an average revenue of about N4bn monthly. He added that Seplat/ Platform Petroleum, operators of the Asuokpu/ Umutu Marginal Field has Lamido as a major shareholder and director while South Atlantic Petroleum Limited, SAPETRO, was es-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
L-R: Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Sali; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
Northerners own 83% of oil blocs –Senators issues of 10 per cent host communities’ funds; perceived excessive powers to the petroleum minister and lack of financial autonomy and independence for the National Frontiers Exploration Agency. The issues had generated passionate debate in the Senate on Monday. Speaking the minds of the South-South senators, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Eta Inang, who alleged that northerners’ dominated the ownership of oil blocs during his contributions to the debate said: “There should be equity and federal character in the allocation of oil blocs in this country. “Presently, 83 per cent of oil blocs in this country are
authorities to the plight of the affected families. “Government should show more concern. Like it has always done when Muslims are affected, I have not seen that in the case of Christians; that 13 Christians were killed in one straight attack and nothing is heard from the government reflects selective justice because we are aware of compensation paid to Muslim families in situations of this nature.” The state Commissioner of Police, Musa Daura, said the command would track down the perpetrators of the attack, adding that detectives had been deployed to arrest the
tablished by Danjuma, who is also the Chairman of Eni Nigeria Limited. SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, TUPNI, and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Limited to become operators of the OPL 246. Inang added that AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company is owned by Bello. “They are the operators of OML 112 and OML 117; while a former Petroleum Minister and former OPEC President, Lukman, another northerner manages AMNI oil blocs and with very key interest in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal. “Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Indimi runs three oil blocs: OML 115, the Oldwok field and the
Ebok field; Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited, operates OML 108, while OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji Wahab Folawiyo. “Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo, the operator of North East Petroleum Limited, is the holder of the OPL 215 licence. The company was awarded the blocs OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas. “INTEL is owned by Atiku, Yar’Adua and Ado Bayero and has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe. “Mike Adenuga’s Conoil
is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria with six oil blocs, while OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor, which was sold to Addax Petroleum,” Inang said. Meanwhile, the senators yesterday agreed to close ranks and commit the draft bill to the third reading or committee stage, where the contentious issues would be sorted out. Senator Mohammed Goje, who opened contributions on the bill yesterday, stated that after listening to the contributions of his colleagues the previous day, he had seen the need not to oppose the bill but to support its passage to the next stage where the necessary changes would be effected. “We should allow the bill
to go on and do a surgical operation on it by removing and adjusting the contentious areas,” the lawmaker said. The former governor said the bill had exposed the inadequacy of the administration of the 13 per cent derivation funds by the governors of the beneficiary states. He called for the restructuring of the funds to reduce the amount accruing to the governors and increase the amount available to the oil producing communities. Goje, however, called for a second look at the issues of “excessive powers” given to the minister, 10 per cent host communities’ funds and the need to make the National Frontiers ExplorCONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Soyinka blames leadership for religious crisis SINA FADARE AND FELIX NWANERI
obel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday berated the nation’s leadership and particularly that of the North over their delinquent silence in the face of rising religious crisis in the country. Soyinka, who spoke in Lagos, while receiving the Obafemi Awolowo inaugural Prize for Leadership, said: “I address you in all frankness. Leadership in the currently troubled regions of the nation has been remiss. The signs were overabundant. “I have lamented, on numerous platforms, the delinquent silence of religious and community leaders where the religious rights of others were trampled upon, often terminally, where again and again martyrdom became commonplace – yes, the genuine martyrdom made up of innocents, singly, in sectors, often brutally but always with the confidence of immunity.” On the stillness of the
country’s leadership on the crisis, he said: “There is also the issue of leadership. Of wrongful silence and inertia. The folding of arms and the buttoning of lips when leadership – and not merely localised - desperately needed to lead and inflict exemplary punishment on violators of the freedom of belief, and existence of others. The examples are too numerous and depressing, and this is hardly the occasion for a recital of human derelictions that only stir up negative memories.” In his speech, titled “Winding down history: Religion and nation, power and freedom,” Soyinka decried the way religion is being pursued as matter of life-and-death not only in Nigeria, but the continent and called for the denouncement of all those who abuse it. His words: “Let me again recall us to my earlier declaration, and insist that I do not lay all the world’s ills on religion, perhaps because I have come to accept that it is a yet unidentified loop within the DNA spiral. I do however vehemently denounce
the use to which religion has been put, and that means, I indict such abusers. “And we must not be afraid to expose them. To defend ourselves against them. To isolate them. Where they have intruded on our peace – or even fragile mutual accommodation – we must hunt them down, in here, or pursue them wherever lodged. To Mauritania. To Somalia. Or Mali. Arrest them where we can, and re-educate them. “If they have committed crimes against humanity during their period of delusion – ensure that they make open restitution before competent institutions before readmittance into the parent community. If they refuse, if they prove incorrigible, then we must punish them. Openly, not secretively, as indication that we, as rival theologians of the Religion of Freedom, will not submit to the tyranny of the few.” The Nobel Laureate, who declared that Nigeria is at war, noted that he was not out to weigh down any sector of the country with the burden of guilt, but admon-
ished the citizens to close ranks and protect their hard won freedom. His words: “Individually and collectively, we are at war, and the enemy is not hidden. Of its own volition it has given itself a name, a profile, and an agenda. Others have sprung up, geared to outdo their obsessed predecessors. Let each community look into its past, and see how both inertia and covert gleefulness have fuelled the raging inferno. “Nowhere is immune, not even those which presently appear unaffected. Now is the time to close ranks. Making up for past derelictions is not a sectional task, but a collective undertaking. Protection of our hard won freedom – against any threat - is the imperative of our times.” President Goodluck Jonathan, who also spoke at the event, extolled the virtues of Chief Awolowo, saying his legacy will always remain evergreen ‘in our collective memory because of his uncommon attributes that made him to stand out among the comity of lead-
L-R: Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, during a courtesy call to Tambuwal in Abuja, yesterday.
Terrorists’ bomb-making factory uncovered behind Army barracks CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
attackers. Meanwhile, Governor Aliyu has said that the problems currently affecting the North may lead to its being ostracised by other regions as it happened to Northern Cameroon. “If we allow these security problems to continue, we will not be talking of the northern states in the next two years. Look at what is happening
in Borno and Yobe, if we had allowed it in Kaduna, we will not know the next state that will be affected. “Our fear is the fear of the North Cameroon treatment, where it is treated like cancer. Northern Cameroon was almost ostracised, they lose grip of things and until today, they have not been able to stand up. And is that what we want to happen to the northern Nigeria?” Addressing Chief
Judges, Grand Khadis and Presidents of Customary Courts of Appeal of Northern States at their 39th joint conference in Minna, the governor noted that previously people wanted to do business with the North, but now, the situation was quite deferent. He said that if the situation continued, the region could not compete favourably with other parts of the country. The governor also urged
the judges to resist every attempt to interfere with the delivery of justice, especially for selfish reasons, and to come up with decisions that would advance the cause of the North. Lamenting that though the North had a lot of educated people; it lacked enough judicial personnel compared with other parts of the country to adequately administer justice to the people of the region.
ers.” The President, who spoke through his vice, Namadi Sambo, described the late sage as a political giant who would not be ignored both locally and internationally due to his discipline, courage and vision. He pointed out that it was not an accident therefore that most politicians have continued to try to imitate him in order to keep his legacy alive, adding that the choice of Soyinka as the recipient of the maiden edition of the
award is a testimony that the literary icon was a right peg in a right hole. According to him, Awolowo and Soyinka have a common trait and therefore it was not a surprise that the Board of Trustees of the Awolowo Foundation picked him as the recipient of the prestigious award. “Agreed that Soyinka has the attribute of Awolowo, he lives an exemplary life with an uncommon achievement that qualifies him for the award,” the President said.
Northerners own 83% of oil blocs –Senators CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
atory Agency independent and self-funded. He was supported by Senator Gbenga Kaka, who also stressed that “we do not give too much power to the minister of the sector that is the livewire of our economy.” Former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade, while welcoming the draft bill as “a piece of legislation that would reform the oil and gas sector,” also raised concerns about the excessive powers to the minister. He named three critical agencies which the bill created but are under the control of the minister as the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF; Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF, and the Assets Management Company to substantiate his point. Senator Chris Anyanwu supported the host communities’ funds because, “it removes the alibi for crime by giving the host communities a sense of belonging.” She listed other countries that had similar laws to include Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore. The lawmaker said: “It creates room for host communities to be involved in oil production. It also reduces risk elements because it gives the host communities sense of belonging. “Most importantly, it has provision for sanctions against host communities that engage in vandalism.” Senator Olufemi Lanlehin however picked holes with Section 191 of the
draft bill, which gives the President discretionary power to allocate oil blocs to people. He argued that such discretionary power was open to abuse if not properly applied and called for the review of such provision. Senator James Manager backed the host communities’ funds, stressing that “as we are debating this bill now, the oil communities are already jubilating about these funds and you can imagine what their reactions would be if they are denied the funds.” Also, Senator George Sekibo supported the establishment of the host communities’ funds. He argued that since the funds apply to all pipeline hosting communities, it meant that virtually all parts of the country would be beneficiaries of the funds. Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s concern on the host communities’ funds was about the management. He noted that the bill provides for the minister to manage the funds and the royalties that will be paid by the oil companies. “How will the communities’ funds be managed? We need to look into the structures that will manage the funds,” he said. The lawmaker also argued that the funds would not address the issue of oil bunkering since such acts were being perpetrated mainly by the big men and members of the communities. The debate on the general principles of the bill is expected to be concluded today.
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Pension probe: Maina seeks N1.5bn damages against Mark, IG EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
he Chairman of the disbanded Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to award N1.5 billion against the Senate President, David Mark,
and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. The money, he said, was damages against the “psychological trauma” he was subjected to. Maina’s relief is contained in his motion on notice for the enforcement of his fundamental rights against possible arrest by
the police, in compliance with a February 2 warrant of arrest issued by the Senate. Counsel to Maina, M. A. Magaji (SAN), urged the court to grant his motion brought pursuant to Order 13, Rule 35 (15), Order 29, Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.
Magaji cited Section 122 (c) of the Evidence Act, where he said that the law allowed the court to “take judicial notice of the proceedings of the National Assembly,” with a view to resolving whether it exercised its powers within the limit of the constitution. He said: “Nowhere in Section 89 of the 1999
Constitution (as amended), where arrest is mentioned.” The lawyer urged the court, in the circumstance of his submission, to “grant all our prayers and discountenance the counter-affidavits by the respondents and order the respondents to pay our client the sum of N1.5 billion
for psychological trauma he was subjected to...” In opposition to the motion, counsel to Mark, Ken C. Ikonne and that of the IG, Pamela Ohabo, urged the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it lacked merit. Presiding judge, Justice Adamu Bello, fixed March 21 for judgement.
Jonathan redeploys Perm Secs
Reps seek more borstal institutions
TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan has approved the redeployment of nine permanent secretaries and urged them to see their new stations as a greater call to service. A statement from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali, said the process of handing and taking over should be completed on or before March 13. The statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Tope Ajakaiye, listed the affected permanent secretaries to as Ambassador Godknows Igali, who has been transferred from the Ministry of Water Resources to that of Power; Baba Umar Faruk (from Youth Development to Water Resources); Mr. Ossi George Afamefuna (Women Affairs to Aviation); Mrs. Nkechi Ejele (Manpower Development Office, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation) and Dr. Henry Akpan (Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to the Ministry of Communication Technology).
L-R: Niger State Commissioner for Commerce and Co-operative, Mallam Yahaya Dan-Sallau; Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, at a stakeholders’ meeting on the National Enterprise Development Programme, in Abuja, recently.
FCTA owes N420bn, says minister ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
he Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, yesterday disclosed that the FCT Administration, FCDA, was indebted to the tune of N420 billion for various projects and procurement over the last 20 years. Mohammed, who briefed the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on the activities of the FCDA in the last one year, told State House Correspondents that inadequate fund had been the major challenge in the prosecution of projects in the capital city.
He, however, said the administration had been able to attract $4.6 billion (N690 billion) in the last one year. The minister also disclosed plans to toll the 10-lane Kubwa Expressway and the Airport Road through concession arrangement to make them self-sustaining. He said: “We have informed council that we want to bring concession template on the existing corridors that we have finished with requirement of about N49 billion to complete the projects, which are the Airport Road and the Outer expressway. “At the end of the day, we
will toll them so that they would be self-sustaining rather than waiting for the Federal Government to give us the money, which will shift the goal post for completion of the projects.” According to him, the decision to concession the road and introduce toll was not an exploitative action by the government, saying that it was a global practice. He said: “It is a global practice, the city (Abuja) is modelled after Brasilia, with the satellite towns feeding the centre and then we have the service road. Every concession has a template.
“A global index for concessioning is that we must have an alternative road for the common people living along the corridor. This is a 10-lane road.We are just going to toll the centre lanes for purposes of payment; the rest will be free for use. This is a global practice. “There are people who would be in a hurry. They would not want to use the service lane and that is the idea of tolling. It is not going to impinge on travel time or increase the fare which is part of our Key Performance Indicators, KPI, to reduce the fare within the FCT and outside.”
Merger: APC holds special convention next month
OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he parties which fused into the All Progressives Congress, APC - the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP - are expected to hold special convention in April to ratify their winding-up. The party, which late Tuesday night released
the logo, motto and slogan, yesterday in Abuja received the drafts of manifesto, constitution and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC/legal compliance from the three committees given two weeks deadline to submit the report. The ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who is also a member of the merger committee, told journalists that the new party’s logo, slogan
and motto were unanimously adopted after the meeting of the larger committee and the opposition alliance governors, which ended late on Tuesday. On the alleged imposition of the party’s logo, slogan and motto on the merger committee by the governors, the Mohammed noted that the committee had been working in harmony with the alliance governors, noting that no member of the
committee objected to the logo, slogan or motto of the new party when they were presented for adoption at the meeting. He said: “Only the merger committee has the final authority on any issue about the proposed merger, the governors explained that all the decisions the governors arrived at in their own meeting was presented to the larger committee for approval and we all deliberated
on them and arrived at a consensus on the grounds that there must be ‘give and take’ by all the intending merger political parties. “Amazingly, yesterday there was no descent from any group after the meeting of the governors with the merger committee. The proposal of the governors was endorsed by the chairmen of the merger committees of the various political parties.”
he House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion urging the Interior Ministry to establish at least one borstal institution and remand centre in each of the geopolitical zones of the country. The motion sponsored by Daniel Asuquo (PDP-Akwa Ibom) also called on the ministry to take a census of borstal institutions in the country. After adopting the motion, the House also called on courts with criminal jurisdiction to ascertain the ages of young people standing trial with a view to making appropriate orders for the remand of accused persons or convicts between 16 and 21 years and specify the proper borstal or remand facility where they might be detained or imprisoned. The House also mandated its Committee on Interior to follow up on the minister’s establishment of additional borstal institutions and remand centres and their funding, as well as the audit of the existing borstal facilities. Leading the motion, Asuquo noted that under the Borstal Institutions and Remand Centres Act, accused persons and convicts aged between 16 and 21 years were not to be detained or imprisoned in regular prisons but in borstal institutions and remand centres established across the country. The borstal institutions and remand homes are centres where young convicts are given training and instructions conducive to their reformation and the prevention of crime. Asuquo said: “There a few borstal institutions in the country, which are run like schools and have been of immense help in training convicted youth to become better indigenes.”
Thursday, March 7, 2013
CAN carpets Sultan over amnesty call for Boko Haram JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
he Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday rejected the call by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, to the Federal Government that amnesty should be granted to Boko Haram sect members in order to find a last solution to insecurity in the country. In a statement issued in by its General-Secretary, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, the umbrella Christian body wondered what kind of amnesty was being contemplated by the Sultan that would serve as a panacea to the prolonged violence of the notorious sect, which has made Nigeria one of the most crisis-ridden countries in recent times. CAN queried: “What does the Sultan mean by injustice in relation to the activities of the Boko Ha-
ram sect when members of the group are a bunch of fundamentalists who have killed, maimed, deformed Christians and made orphans and widows of otherwise peaceful and lovely families and who have also displaced people, destroyed businesses and livelihoods in their thousands? “If it is injustice, is it not government that should be held accountable? Why would the sect not hold their representatives at the various tiers of government responsible? The Sultan should be told that CAN have found out that the attacks are primarily targeted at Christians and their churches. Who then is suffering injustice? Who needs justice? Christians or those killing and bombing churches? “The injustice to Christians killed, maimed and rendered helpless by the sect is underscored by the payment of the sum of N100 million to the late sect leader’s family by the Borno State government
without any assistance to any of the Christian victims of Boko Haram,” the association added. The association also asked the Sultan who will compensate the families of the victims of the sect. While reminding the Sultan that a few days ago, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram appeared in a video, claiming responsibility for all the violence, including the ones allegedly committed by suspected criminals and denying any relationship with Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdulazeez, the man who has repeatedly claimed to be Shekau’s second in command, who announced a ceasefire. According to CAN, it is obvious that, the Boko Haram leader never talked of injustice. Specifically, the Christian body, which quoted Shekau as saying; “We have seen how our members who were out on holy mission are being attacked and killed, what we are doing now is what
is prescribed for us by Allah and his holy prophets. “We are workers in the vineyard of Allah”, said the sect leader has been unremorsefully insistent on the fact that they will not relent until Nigeria is made an Islamic nation. CAN also reminded the Sultan and others that terrorism is not about justice, but about ideology, adding that in this case, Boko Haram is founded on the premise of extreme Islamic ideology. The association advised President Goodluck Jonathan, to first give the sect members a deadline within which they should organise a ceasefire, failing which the sect members should be confronted vigorously. “We, therefore, say categorically that we reject any offer of amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect. We ask government to do same. One group of people cannot continue to pay the price for one Nigeria. We must sit together as brothers and discuss issues,” CAN stated.
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FG to carry out EIA at Arepo, Diamond Estate, others UDEME AKPAN
he Federal Government is set to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, at Arepo, Diamond Estate and their environs, to ascertain the impact of frequent oil pollution occasioned by pipeline vandalism is having on the environment. National Coordinator of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, HYPREP, Mrs. Joy Nunieh-Okunnu, made this known when she visited the area yesterday at the invitation of the Ogun State government. Nunieh-Okunnu said her mission was to explore the possibility of carrying out an environmental impact assessment of several oil spillages in the area. She said for the first time in 50 years, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has set up a specialist unit within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to ensure that section 8 and 9 of the Petroleum Act, was implemented. Nunieh-Okunnu said the minister was particularly interested in developments at Arepo and its environs. She confirmed that once an office space was available, HYPREP would conduct an air analysis and perform tests on the water in collaboration
with the state government. The HYPREP boss stated that: “We must carry out a campaign against crude oil theft as people can’t keep stealing whilst we keep cleaning! The boys involved in ‘put fire’ (artisanal refining) activities must understand the impact of crude oil theft on their health and the environment and we are concerned about the exchange of crude oil for drugs and arms. Nunieh-Okunnu expressed concerns about life expectancy in impacted communities while soliciting the support of stakeholders, including journalists to tackle crude oil theft and vandalism. The HYPREP delegation also went to the Diamond Estate in Lagos State, where concerns about oil spillage and pollution had been reported. In a meeting with the President of the Estate, Mr. Kolapo Abiodun, Nunieh- Okunnu listened to the concerns of the community about pure fuel mixed with the water coming in through most of the houses in Phase Two of the estate raising key concerns about health. Nunieh-Okunnu reassured him that HYPREP would carry out an assessment and make necessary recommendations to address the issue.
‘Nigerians should imbibe Awolowo’s virtues’ FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
M L-R: (Front row) Special Adviser on Security to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Yinka Aluko, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh; Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Commander, 203 Medium Aircraft Group, Air Commodor S. N. Kunu, during a courtesy visit by the Air Officers to Government House, Ilorin, yesterday.
Toddlers’ death: Police arrest vehicle owner FRANCIS SUBERU
omicide detectives at the state Criminal Investigations Department, CID, Lagos State Command, yesterday arrested the owner of the vehicle in which two toddlers were found dead,
39 days after they had been declared missing. The detectives, who swung into action on Tuesday evening immediately the bodies of the kids were recovered from the boot of a Sport Utility Vehicle, SUV, with registration number JA 734 AEC, used as collateral to
obtain loans from Berachah Micro-Finance Bank Limited, Ketu branch by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Macdonabi Jones Enterprises Limited. It was gathered that following the inability of the vehicle owner to pay back the loan, on Monday, sent
an SMS to the bank officials, instructing them to dispose of the vehicle in order to offset the loan. Hence, two of the bank officials went on inspection of the vehicle yesterday. On opening the boot of the vehicle for inspection, bodies of the toddlers were discovered.
atriarch of the Awolowo family and Yeye Oodua, HID Awolowo, yesterday in Ikenne, the country home of the family, reminiscent on the death of her husband and declared that his memoir looks as if he was still alive. Mama HID, who vowed that she would never forget her late husband till she joins him, also urged Nigerian politicians to emulate the good virtues of the late politician for the development of the country. The matriarch of the Awolowo family made this submission yesterday
in her remark at the 26th posthumous birthday anniversary of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo that was held in Ikenne, Ogun State. She described her late husband as a nice, kindhearted and a loving man. “My late husband was a nice, kind-hearted and a loving man. I still remember him, I will never, never forget him until I join him. If only politicians can listen and follow the legacy he left behind, Nigeria will be better off.” Other eminent Nigerians who gathered at the occasion included the former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, as well as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Ogun lawmakers resolve crisis, apologise over ‘shameful’ conduct FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
embers of the Ogun State House of Assembly yesterday resolved their differences and apologised to the people for their “shameful conduct” over the suspension and counter-suspension of some members at the plenary session on Tuesday. The resolution of the crisis followed about three hours peace meeting brokered by Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday in his office at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital.
At the meeting were the two principal actors in the crisis, Speaker Ishola Suraj Adekunbi, the factional Speaker, Remmy Hazzan, and 24 other lawmakers. It was, however, gathered that the meeting was initiated by the former Speaker, now a Senior Special Adviser, SSA, to the governor on Political Matters, Tunji Egbetokun, on the instruction of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Egbetokun was said to have prevailed on the warring lawmakers to bury their differences and allow
peace to reign in the interest of the state. Amosun and all the 26 lawmakers anchored the resolution of the crisis on the fact that it coincided with the 26th posthumous birthday anniversary of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo which was held at the Family Chapel in IkenneRemo in Ikenne Local Government. At the end of the meeting, which was also attended by Amosun’s cabinet members, the lawmakers resolved to hold plenary later in the day where the 26 legislators reversed all the resolutions which led to the crisis.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Adekunbi and Hazzan, flanked by other 24 legislators, admitted that they had let the electorate down by their un-parliamentary conducts and thereby apologised to the citizens of the state. The lawmakers pledged to work in harmony, serve the people better and follow due process in the conduct of their legislative functions. Hazzan said: “We offended the entire citizenry of Ogun State. But, sometimes you cannot completely rule out such when there are issues and they are going
beyond what temper can handle. “We are saying here to all the good people of Ogun State that we are sorry because if this is a state where the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo hailed from and he ran the best of parliament back then in the 1960s and 70s; it should not be the state that would be an example of what is repugnant to the acceptable norms in a legislature.” In his own address, Adekunbi appreciated the media for its sacrifices at upholding and sustaining democracy in the country as well as accurate reportage of the events in the Assembly complex. He said: “Sincerely, first of all I want to appreciate all the media in their efforts in installing democracy. While saying this, yes, as government there is a process, as
a representative of people, the mandate we are enjoying today was given to us by the good people of Ogun State and as a matter of fact we are indeed indebted to them by giving them good representation and better interaction. “Sincerely, we want to use this medium to apologise to all good people of Ogun State for what transpired at the hallow chamber yesterday (Tuesday).” Amosun, in his address, also apologised to the people of the state on behalf of the lawmakers. He said: “I want to apologise, on behalf of the House of Assembly, to the good people of Ogun and to all lovers of democracy. This is Ogun State, the home of Awolowo, Obasanjo, Soyinka and other giants who have laboured selflessly to make us what we are.
Power outage: Adeyemi College of Education students cry out OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
S Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi (right) and other members of the Assembly, addressing journalists after the meeting in Abeokuta, yesterday.
Insecurity, a challenge to future polls –INEC ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said the growing insecurity in the country, especially in the North, might have a negative impact on future elections. The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Ekiti State, Alhaji Halilu Pai, said this, while adressing journalists in Ado-Ekiti
yo State Government yesterday approved infrastructural projects expected to have lasting effects on the lives of the people. The projects included the rehabilitation of 43 roads at the cost of N1.3 billion, as well as the supply of 50,000 pairs of furniture for its secondary schools. The projects were part of the decisions taken at the State Executive Council meeting held at the Gov-
yesterday shortly after the orientation programme for the newly recruited staff of the commission. Pai urged security agencies to immediately redress the situation which, he said, had resulted in huge loss of lives and property. He said: “The violence in some parts of the country is giving us concern. It must not continue this way. “The security agencies and other influential Nigerians must ensure that this
situation does not continue. If the violence is not arrested, it can affect the conduct of future elections.” Pai also said the continuous voters’ registration exercise was part of efforts to ensure that no eligible Nigerian voter was disenfranchised. He disclosed that the ongoing voter education was to enlighten prospective voters to address the situation whereby many ballot papers were voided in elections as
witnessed in the 2011 general elections. The REC said the continuous voters’ registration, which would start soon, was designed to register those who had attained the age of 18 after the last election. He, however, advised those who did not register during the last exercise to use the opportunity to register, saying that the electoral body was committed to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
Oyo lists 43 roads for rehabilitation
ernor’s Office, Ibadan, on Monday. With the approval, government is expected to soon begin the rehabilitation of 43 roads across the state. The procurement of 50,000 pieces of furniture for public secondary schools in the state, which the Executive Council said was the second phase of about five phases of procurement of furniture for all the schools in the state,
will also begin with immediate effect, to give school children an enabling study environment. While some of the roads would be rehabilitated through direct labour, others would be executed through contract awards that the Executive Council said would benefit many indigenous road construction companies resident in the state. The 50,000 pieces of fur-
niture, according to a statement, would be an addition to the 17,000 procured last year by the state government. Part of the executive council’s decision also was to share the supply of the furniture among 46 artisan associations in the state, in line with the implementation of the local content policy of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration.
tudents and workers of Adeyemi College of Education, ACE, Ondo, have appealed to the management of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, to restore electricity supply to the institution. The appeal came on the heels of the disruption in electricity supply to the college in the last five weeks. Speaking with journalists on the matter, an employee of the college, who did not want his name mentioned, described the situation as worrisome, adding that the development had resulted in a huge financial expenditure for the institution. He noted that the blackout had compelled management to spend a huge amount of money on diesel to power generators serving the college. Decrying the situation, a student, who gave his name as Oluwadare Ikuogboju Mathew, described the development as unfortunate. Mathew, a student in the Department of Mathematics, said the power outage had brought discomfort to students, particularly those residing on campus. He, however, lauded authorities of the college for their response to the problem through the provision of
alternative source of power. Another student, Tolulope Aderinbola, also bemoaned the blackout, saying the situation had brought pains to the students, especially at the time when they were having their semester examination. Aderinbola said the situation would have been worse if the management had not provided electricity through generators. To remedy the situation, the students called on the management of PHCN to find an urgent solution to the persistent blackout in the institution to ameliorate the plight of the students. When contacted on phone, the immediate past Public Relations Officer, Ondo Business District of the PHCN, Mr. Oghale Eduziare, confirmed the problem, which he attributed to a faulty transformer that services the college from lines connected to the transmission station in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. Oghale, who has just been transferred to the Ondo State headquarters of the company in Akure, the Ondo State capital, appealed to the management and staff of the institution to exercise patience. He said necessary steps were being taken by PHCN to address the problem and restore electricity to the college as soon as possible.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Passengers flee as lunatic boards BRT vehicle L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN
assengers were scared as a mentally-deranged man in tattered clothes and blood-soaked shirt jumped into a Bus Rapid
Transport (BRT) vehicle through the back door yesterday at Stadium Bus Stop in Lagos State at about 12noon. The mad man caused confusion in the bus as he was running through the bus’ corridor. After a few minutes,
he occupied a vacant seat at the back of the vehicle, jumping up and sitting back simultaneously. Passengers, who managed to escape from the bus, called the police while others were frightened as they began to
scream and search for the next available exit. But before the arrival of the police, the driver had succeeded in chasing the mad man out of the bus. The mad man, however, begged for mercy as he ran out of the bus.
L-R: A Diamond Bank customer, Chief Lamidi Ajadi; Agila of Igila Ijesa, Oba Samuel Falaye; Director, Rilled Steel Limited, Mr. Guari Shanker and Regional Manager, Diamond Bank South-West, Mr. Olusola Ajayi, at the customers’ forum held in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
NGE: Okotie hails Adesina’s election
he founder of the Household of God, Rev Chris Okotie, has described the recent election of the Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Femi Adesina, as the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) as the sign of good things to come. Rev. Okotie, in a statement made available yester-
day in Lagos by his Director of Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Ladi Ayodeji, said that Adesina’s election could not have come at a better time. He said: “At this point in our nation’s history, we need a man of integrity like Femi Adesina to lead and reposition the media so that it could regain its role in setting an agenda
for the nation’s ruling elite.” The cleric urged the new NGE president to intensify his support for the fight against corruption, which he described as the nation’s major problem. Okotie said: “We must slay the dragon of pervasive corruption if this country is to move forward and I believe strong-
ly that given Mr. Adesina’s antecedents, he will be more than able to champion the campaign to rid this nation of graft-related vices.” Rev Okotie prayed that God would give Adesina and his executive members the wisdom and courage to provide sound and purposeful leadership for the Nigerian media.
Agoro backs call for special court to try corruption cases TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE
ormer presidential candidate of the National Action Council (NAC), Dr. Olapade Agoro, has supported the call for the establishment of a special court to try corruption cases. Agoro, in a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday, asked the government to ensure that those indicted for corrupt practices are prosecuted. The statement reads: “It has been proved without doubt that we are moving into fast lane of self annihilation in need of urgent re-
direction. The indentified major area of concern is notably corruption and on which the nation’s leaders are playing with kid gloves obviously because they are involved. “Therefore, to save our democracy and civilization from looming dangers, we must act fast and now with the national Assembly making a fast lane law to set up Two Steps Special Court of Fast lane Tribunal status, meant only for trial of corruption cases; and which court must be headed by retired Court of Appeal Judge of proven integrity and good records. “At the first step court,
the trial should not last more than three months whilst and an appeal from the initial trial court to the upper and final court to be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge of proven integrity and good records, should as well not last more than three months. “At least trial of a corruption case should not last more than 12 calendar months. This will in addition to ridding the nation of odium, send out a no nonsense signal on the need for righteous living by all. “It makes nonsense of our judicial system seeing those already indicted for
corruption and shameless stealing from the purse being allowed to walk and roam free, employing diabolical trial delay tactics to continue playing lead roles not only in the polity but employing the power of the stolen wealth to dictate the pace of our events and happenings. “We must ensure that the business of crime and being corrupt does not pay and by all reasonable legal and lawful means ensuring that those indicted for the evil of corruption are not spared but timely prosecuted to logical conclusion irrespective of whom they are.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Ondo oil communities deny condemning NDDC projects HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
he people of the oil producing communities of Ondo State have denied that they condemned the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The people commended the commission for embarking on certain projects that could impact lives positively in their communities. Speaking on behalf of the communities, Chief Roberts Nana and Chief J. O Fagbiye, condemned a report which claimed that they had earlier condemned the projects executed in the area. The said report had claimed that Nana and Fagbiye condemned the execution of the commission’s projects in the coastal communities, adding that many of the projects were
abandoned by contractors. The chiefs said: “We wish to make a categorical statement that never did we make such publication as published, the authors of the publication are only out to drop our names and are being mischievous. “We don’t know the people behind the publication, they only used our names to gain popularity and we want the commission to disregard such unfounded publication”. They added that the publication was designed by some undesirable elements to frustrate execution of projects by the NDDC. According to them, contracts like the Ayetoro Shore Protection, Ugbonla township road and Etikan sound filling were on-going with contractors mobilised to site.
Why we prioritise investment –Aregbesola
overnor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has said that the investment drive of his administration was aimed at fast tracking development of the state. In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Aregbesola was quoted as speaking in Accra, Ghana at the turning of sod of the RLG Information Communications Technology Park named HOPE City. The governor noted that repositioning the state and making it conducive for business would make it attractive to investors. He said: “Government’s investment drive is already yielding positive results with the sitting of an arm of the ICT Park in Osun State.” Aregbesola added that the collaboration with the biggest ICT company in Africa started barely a 100 days of his assumption of office, noting that 20,000 youths of the state would be trained in ICT in Ghana.
He said: “We identify the importance of ICT, recognises the global acceptability, hence the collaboration and the administration’s resolve to key into it for economic re-integration of our state” The governor promised that his administration would continue to explore the endless opportunities in ICT. Responding, Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama applauded the Osun State Government for investing in the project that could enhance the development of the state. He promised that the Ghanian government would grant tax exemption for infrastructural project like the ICT Park.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, March 7, 2013
APGA: Umeh asks Appeal Court to stop sack order DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, has asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, to order a stay of execution of the Enugu State High Court judgment, which restrained him from parading himself as the party’s national chairman, pending the determination of his appeal against the decision.
The Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, had in his judgement delivered on February 8, 2013, in the motion brought before him by an expelled member of APGA, Ichie Jude Okuli, restrained Umeh from parading himself as APGA’s national chairman just as it held that the party’s convention held on February 10, 2011 to re-elect the national chairman and other officers “was unconstitutional, null and void.” But in a 25-paragraph af-
fidavit in support of his motion on notice for stay of execution of the lower court’s decision, filed before the appellate court, Umeh said he had on February 11, 2013, applied to the lower court for an order of stay of execution pending the determination of his appeal. “Despite my request for a date to be assigned for the hearing of my Motion on Notice dated and filed on 11 February 2013, the said Motion on Notice for Stay of Execution was not heard nor attended to
by the lower court before the Record of Appeal was transmitted to this honourable court and the appeal entered as No. CA/E/84/2013,” Umeh told the appellate court. He noted that consequent upon the judgment of the lower court, a group of persons, who described themselves as the ‘National Caucus’ of APGA met, issued a communiqué and passed several resolutions purporting to have accepted the judgment of the lower court and appointing certain persons as
officers of the party. Umeh contended that under the APGA’s constitution, “none of the persons and/ or a majority of the persons who issued/signed the communiqué dated February 16, 2013 are members of the National Caucus of APGA,” insisting that the persons who purportedly issued the said communiqué were not parties to the suit determined by the lower court on February 8, 2013. The embattled APGA chairman told the appellate
2015: Catholic Church will vote out Okorocha if … –Priest
Anambra women to screen governorship aspirants
Catholic priest in Ahiara Diocese of Imo State, Rev. Fr. Patrick Ogu, yesterday in Owerri, said the Catholic Church will not hesitate to vote out Governor Rochas Okorocha in 2015, if he fails to deliver on his campaign promises to the people. Ogu said this just as he criticised the Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, for witch-hunting the former governor of the state, Orji Uzor Kalu. The cleric, who spoke with journalists in Umuhu Eyiogugu community in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, said that Chief Ikedi Ohakim fell out of favour with the people as a result of his anti-populist policies that enthroned corruption, insecurity and executive recklessness and that the church moved in to save the people from his misrule. Ogu said the Catholic Church would carry out the same revolt if the current governor fails to develop the rural communities in the state as he had promised during his campaign days. He noted that the strength of the church in deciding who rules the state was proved during the 2011 general election when it mobilised and frustrated the second term bid of Chief Ohakim to prove that power resides with the people. It will be recalled that a Catholic priest, Rev Fr. Eustace Okorie, was allegedly beaten up by Ohakim’s security aides in Owerri, the Imo State capital then, a situation that led to a revolt by the church and the entire Christian community in the state to vote the former governor out of office.
court that by the judgment of the lower court; “The monitoring/approval of the APGA national convention held on February 10, 2011 by INEC, in exercise of its (INEC’s) statutory function under the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), was vitiated/annulled in the absence of INEC and in total disregard of the statutory limitation prescribed by the Public Officers (Protection) Act.”
L-R: Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime; Clerk of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Christopher Chukwura; Speaker of the House, Hon. Eugene Odo and Deputy Speaker, Hon. Chime Oji, at the signing of the 2013 appropriation bill into law, at the Government House, Enugu, yesterday
Contraband: Customs boss warns smugglers, officers CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ewly deployed Customs Area Comptroller for Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’, Victor David Dimka, yesterday warned smugglers and officers and men of the service against smuggling and contraband good in the South-South and South-East states. He told smugglers that the two regions have become a no-go-area for their operation, asking them to either relocate or be dealt with decisively. He also warned officers
and men under his Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’ to desist from any act capable of denting the image of the service as he would not hesitate to discipline any officer found wanting. “I will not hesitate to wield the big stick against any recalcitrant officer in this zone.” The area comptroller said this while addressing officers and men of his unit at his maiden monthly parade and meeting. He said; “Every effort will be made to deliver on and sustain the transformation agenda of the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko
Inde. He, however, promised to also accord adequate recognition and encouragement to every outstanding officer of the unit and assured his men of the willingness of the CGC to continually provide all necessary logistics to ensure that the service succeeds in its anti-smuggling war. With eight record seizures valued at N164 million within one week of assuming duty, the Customs boss said the statistics of seizure for February 2013, including, among others, a 1 X 40 foot container impounded with 549 50kg bags of rice with the value of the
duty paid put at N5,435,100.00. Other seizures are; 900 made in England cutlasses with DPV put at N864,000.00; bales of used second-hand clothing, furniture materials, used curtain fabrics valued at N3,809,500.00, 71,000 pairs of rubber slippers, 1, 286 sacks of foot-wears both valued at about N42,652,800.00, 193 bundles of printed wax textiles materials, 150 pieces of used tyres valued at N810,000.00, 2310 of frozen turkey and chicken poultry products valued at N22,176,000.00, and 13 jumbo sized bales of second hand clothing valued at N1,404,000.00.
Group canvasses attitudinal change among youths DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
n evangelical ministry, the Gospel City World Outreach, yesterday called for attitudinal change among youths as a panacea for effecting positive values in an era of dwindling moral fortunes in the country. Head of the ministry, Mr.
Sam Nnanna, said he was compelled to call for a change in attitude in our society through the gospel of the lord, which he believed will lead to national growth and development. Nnanna said the aim of his crusade is to persuade people to change through what they read that will be published in the print media, stressing
that one of the problems in Nigeria is that of leadership, saying that it is possible for good readers to become good leaders. “We intend to use the word of God to persuade people to key into positive change,” he maintained. He also disclosed that the organisation is equally targeting the orphaned, the less
privileged in the society and those that are incapacitated, to minister the word of God to them in order to instill hope and effect a change in their mind-set. “We intend to use this platform to uplift the lives of the less privileged by providing material support that will enhance their sense of belonging in the society,” Nnanna stated.
nambra women under the umbrella of the Anambra Women Organisation, ANWO, have vowed to be involved in the screening of all governorship aspirants for the gubernatorial election coming up later this year. The group said their screening will focus mainly on integrity, political antecedents, leadership capacity, vision for the well being of Anambrarians, credibility and values. Chairman of ANWO, Chief Sampson Umejidike Ifediba, stated this at the organisation’s general meeting at Ezinifite, Aguata Local Government Area of the state. Ifediba, who said the group has membership of over 7, 000 drawn from various political awards in the three senatorial zones of the state, said the era of distributing three cups of rice, branded T-Shirts and face-cap to the electorate is gone, as they will embark on massive sensitisation of the electorate on their rights and obligations before and after the scheduled election. Shedding light on their objectives, the chairman said; “We cannot continue to sell our birthright like Esau and expect to have a better tomorrow, therefore we must shine our eyes to ensure that a credible aspirant is voted into office to take us to the promised land come this governorship election in Anmbra State.” Ifediba, who disclosed that they have not endorsed any aspirant, contended that they are not in a hurry to do so, in order not to fall into the hands of undesirable elements who would take the state back to the land of suffering.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
PDP primaries: Court strikes out suit against Dickson EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, struck out a suit challenging the November 19, 2011 primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Bayelsa State, which produced Governor Seriake Dickson, as the party’s candidate. The plaintiff, Hon. Austin Febo Ogionwo, had filed an originating summons dated December 28, 2012 and brought pursuant to sections 6 (6) and 272 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). Among other things, the plaintiff prayed the court to
declare the said governorship primary election “null and void,” against the backdrop that the exercise did not comply with relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as well as PDP’s electoral guidelines for the 2010 primary elections. He contended that the PDP failed to conduct “special ward congress” throughout the state as a pre-condition for selecting delegates for the gubernatorial primary. Listed as co-defendants were the PDP; Governor Seriake Dickson and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Ogionwo through his counsel, Mr. John Okoriko, submitted that; “Contrary to the requirements of
the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the 1st Respondent’s constitution and its electoral guidelines, the 1st Respondent failed to convey any special ward congress in the whole of Bayelsa State for the purpose of selecting delegates who will participate in the gubernatorial election.” In his evidence before the court, the plaintiff averred that he fulfilled the conditions necessitating participation on primary election, as he purchased the expression of interest form and went further to subject himself to screening by the panel set up by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP. Having fulfilled all these requirements, the aspirant, however, said he refused to
participate in the primary in protest against the alleged failure of his party to organise ward congresses. But, in his notice of preliminary objection and additional notice of same dated May 24, 2012, Dickson urged the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that the plaintiff did not participate in the same primary election, which he sought an order of court to nullify. According to the governor, the mere fact that Ogionwo did not partake in the November 19 primary election, robs him of the locus standi, adding that section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act, which the originating summons was partly relied upon, only recognised an aspirant who stood for the primary proper.
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Bayelsa worried over heavy rains forecast EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ayelsa State government yesterday expressed concern over this year’s heavy rains forecast by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NIMET. The state government said it was imperative for the people of the state to apply precautionary measures at preventing a recurrence of last year’s flood disaster. NIMET in its recent weather forecast had predicted heavy rains that would be higher than that of last year which rendered several families homeless in the state. To this end, Governor Seriake Dickson, yesterday in Yenagoa, met with the leaders and members of Post-Flood Management and Infrastructure Advisory Committees. The meeting was aimed at checking the impending flood disaster. While urging both commit-
tees to conduct more technical assessment to identify the flood level, the governor said this would assist government in ascertaining the foundation height of its public infrastructure. His words: “We are here this afternoon to discuss the subject matter that is of interest to the people of our state. We are all aware of the devastating effect of the flood last year on our state and we have reason, as a result of the magnitude of the damage and destruction that we suffered, to set up a committee of our very best hands to come up with ways and means of effectively managing the aftermath of the flood in several ways.” Continuing, the governor said: “I am aware that the committee has swung into action. Let me on behalf of a grateful state government; thank its chairman and members of the post-flood management committee for their sacrifices and contributions.
2015: ‘Senatorial seat reserved for Akpabio’ TONY ANICHEBE UYO
T L-R: Public Relations Officer, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Edo State chapter, Ifueko Ize-Iyamu; Assistant Treasurer, Stella Idehen; Secretary, Maria Edeko and Chairperson, Stella Ojeme, at a 3-day awareness programme titled; “Zero Tolerance, Rape and Defilement to Violence Against Women”, in Benin, yesterday.
Edo commissioner-nominee taken through reading, writing tasks SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
do State House of Assembly Standing Committee on Rules and Business yesterday grilled a commissioner-nominee, Ms. Aanena Jemitola, for over four hours during which time the committee requested her to make a sentence in English Language amongst other tasks. Jemitola, the state’s immediate past Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, was also taken through a session of writing and reading of a portion of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) as a process necessary for her to fulfill the requirement of a schedule of the constitution, which provides that such a political office holder must be able to read and write. She was summoned to ap-
pear before the House Committee for the second time to defend the petition written against her by one Mr. Jimoh Lawal, a resident of her constituency, who personally appeared to witness the public hearing. Particularly, the nominee was compelled by the committee to show evidence that she could actually read and write as she claimed, especially as one of the constitutional criteria on the face of Lawal’s claims that she did not possess the academic qualification required to be a commissioner. Speaking to National Mirror later, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Philip Shaibu said the committee would explore available options to test the validity of Jemitola’s Therbow Nursery/Primary School Certificate in Zaria, Kaduna State and General Certificate of Education
(GCE), Ordinary Level, in Marywood Grammar School in Lagos State, dated 5th October 1981. Shaibu clarified however that the committee lacked the power to prosecute or certify the qualifications of the nominee as contained in her resume that has already been submitted to the committee. Shaibu, Edo Assembly Majority Leader, added that the alleged irregularities surrounding Jemitola’s qualification was responsible for the delay in the submission of the names of the approved 18 other nominees that were screened three days ago by the parliament. Meanwhile, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole on Wednesday sent an additional Commissioner nominee, Dr (Mrs.) Aihanuwa Eregie, to the Assembly for consideration.
he newly appointed member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Board of Trustees, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, has said that the ticket for the Ikot Ekpene senatorial district seat has been reserved for Governor Godswill Akpabio, as a mark of appreciation for all that he has done to make the senatorial district proud.
Centenary: Expert calls for rehabilitation of Lugard House TONY ANICHEBE UYO
tourism expert and the Chief Executive Officer of Akwa Ibom Tours Development Company, ATDC, Mr. Joseph Utin, has called on the Federal Government to rehabilitate Lord Lugard House, where the amalgamation of Nigeria was announced as part of events marking the centenary celebration of the country. Utin, who spoke with journalists in Uyo yesterday, drew the attention of Federal Government to this sad omission saying; “If such a historic event had occurred in the North or South-West, the fanfare announcing the site would have been tremendous. Even those in the Diaspora would have drawn the world’s attention to the mat-
ter.” He further told journalists that; “All the relics once used by Lord Lugard and his wife, Florence Shaw, who gave Nigeria its name are preserved in the house. Even their butler, an Akwa Ibom man, now over 120 years is still alive.” In the light of bringing most of these sites of fore, Utin informed journalists that his company is organising a guided tour of some of these sites for relevant government officials, including the state ministry of culture and tourism. Others he said are the newly inaugurated members of state hotels and tourism board and state council for arts and culture, hoteliers, resort managers, researchers, curators, entertainers, representatives of communities and all players in the state tourism industry.
Essien made this disclosure while addressing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district people under the auspices of the Ikot Ekpene Patriotic Forum at the dinner organised by the forum. The former lawmaker, who also doubles as a member of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, hinted that measures have been put in place to ensure that there is no more fighting in the party. According to him, internal democracy will be strictly followed to eradicate crisis during and after the coming party primaries. “What happened in 2006 and 2011 will not repeat itself as measures will be taken to forestall crisis,” he enthused. Also reacting on the issue, a member representing Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Atuekong Niskak Ekong, said there is no better candidate for the senate seat than the governor, who has greatly transformed the senatorial district and called on everyone to support the governor to represent the people of Ikot Ekpene at the red chamber. Others who spoke at the event include; the Secretary, International Monitoring Committee, Reverend Otuekong Ukutt, the Chairman, state Waste Management and Sanitation Agency, Obong John Asikpo.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Fight against corruption should start from the Presidency –Nkem-Abonta
Opposition mounts over First Lady’s N4bn project
Borno visit: ACN replies Presidency, says FG is disoriented FELIX NWANERI
he war of words between the Presidency and opposition parties over the recent visit by the governors of All Progressives Congress (APC) to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, continued yesterday with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) describing the Federal Government’s reaction as uncouth and insulting to Nigerians. In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the Presidency’s reaction can only be likened to the antics of a punch-drunk boxer who, having been knocked out by his opponent, suddenly got up and started punching the referee whom he mistook for the guy who knocked him out. The party said: “There is no doubt that the visit of the governors was a knockout for the waffling Presidency. Now punch-drunk, the clearly disoriented Presidency has resorted to blaming the courageous and trail-blazing governors whose only offence is that
they dared to show solidarity for the people of Borno and Yobe, the two states that have been worst-hit by the Boko Haram crisis. “These governors dismissed the Presidency’s shameless attempt to scare them away from Borno with a cooked security report. They walked around the volatile Maiduguri market without bullet proof vests or helmets, to the chagrin of the president and commander-inchief who has opted to hide behind the Aso Rock fortress.” The Presidency had, on Tuesday, through the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, described the visit as an act of political desperation on the part of the governors and parties they represent. But insisting that the response is the height of irresponsibility, the party said: “Most laughable is the accusation that the governors pre-empted the visit of President Jonathan to Borno. Who did the Presidency inform of his impending visit? When did it become the business of governors to tailor their
Ojukwu’s son nominated to APGA board OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he son of the late Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chukwuemeka, was yesterday nominated by the National Executive Committee of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to replace his father on the board of the party. The embattled APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, in a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting in Abuja stated that the Ojukwu Jnr will replace his father on the Board of Trustees of the party that will be constituted in the next NEC meeting. The Umeh faction also rejected the judgement of the Enugu State High
Court which on February 10, 2013 removed him as APGA chairman. But the recently elected acting National Chairman of the party Maxi Okwu warned Umeh to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of APGA.
movement to that of the President? Where has the President been since 2011 when he assumed office after his election? What took him so long to visit a troubled part of the country, especially since he claimed to have received a pan-Nigeria mandate? “The truth is that the President was so embarrassed by the visit of the governors that he quickly packaged his own visit. Instead of quietly licking
its wounds, the Presidency opted to dance naked in the market square by accusing those who blazed the trail, who showed the way to a clueless and visionless Federal Government. “Irrespective of what the Presidency may say, the beleaguered people of Borno and Yobe states appreciate the solidarity of their fellow Nigerians, as shown by the governors’ visit. The people of Nigeria also appreciate the courage and
compassion of the governors. Anyone trying to denigrate the visit is attracting more love for the governors and public opprobrium for the presidency.” The party also dismissed the accusation that it is playing politics with the killing of the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, saying that its statement that the killing of such a top security chief sends a wrong signal about the state of the country’s se-
L-R: Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa); Senator Annie Okonkwo; Deputy Governor, Yobe State, Abubakar Aliyu; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chairman Joint Merger committee on ACN, CPC, ANPP and APGA, Chief Tom Ikimi during the unveiling of the logo, slogan and motto of the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Tuesday night.
House issues ultimatum to Akunyili, others to return vehicles TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
ormer Information and National Orientation Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili and her Minister of State, Ikra Bilbis yesterday got a one-week ultimatum to return four official cars
in their possession or risk sanctions. The former ministers were issued the warning by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives. Also on the list of expublic office holders to return official cars is former Permanent Sec-
retary, Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Engr. Anthony Ozodinobi. The chairman of the committee, Hon. Solomon Olamilekan (ACN-Lagos) gave the order after hearing the submission of Ministry of Information officials led by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs.
Aregbesola blames political violence on money politics MURITALA AYINLA
sun State GovernorRauf Aregbesola has identified the culture of money politics as the major obstacle to credible poll in Nigeria, saying the development is responsible for election irregularities since 1999. Aregbesola, who bemoaned the development, recalled that 12 of his
curity, cannot be faulted by any right-thinking person. “How are we playing politics by calling for reinforced security for those whose responsibility it is to protect others? Where is the politics in calling for the apprehension and prosecution of those behind the dastardly act? What is wrong in calling the attention of a prostrate presidency to the worsening insecurity in the country? The party said.
agents were killed in the violence unleashed by his political opponents, adding that his 80-year-old mother was chased out of her house in Ilesha, Osun State. Also speaking in the same vein, Africa’s foremost political scientist, Prof. John Ayoade described zoning as an elite political doctrine, which, according to him, practically negates democratic principle. The duo expressed the
views in a statement issued after the public presentation of a book, Nigeria’s Critical Elections: 2011 at the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Centre of the Howard University, Washington D.C. recently. The governor noted that there “are no people without ideology. They may not state it professionally. However, what overshadows the activities of some political parties in this regard is that there are some
other parties that employ violence and deploy ‘cash and carry’ as an ideology.” The governor added that money would not have been enough to people’s choice in the 2011 general elections without the resort to political violence. He explained that people are denied the right of free choice in the successive elections through a regime of violence often unleashed to scare the voters at large.
Kehinde Ajoni, who appeared before the committee over queries raised against the ministry by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation that all efforts to retrieve the vehicles from the officials since 2010 had failed. The committee had after its ruling, directed its secretariat to immediately forward back up letters to Akunyili and others that the four Toyota Hilux Double Cabin pick-up vehicles be returned within the time frame. Earlier, Mrs Ajoni had told the committee that the ministry had made repeated attempts to recover the vehicles but that Akunyuli returned only one out of the two in her possession while Bilbis and Ozodinobi held on to the ones in their possession.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Opposition mounts over First Lady’s N4bn project Despite opposition to the N4 billion budget for the construction of First Ladies’ Mission House, the Presidency is insisting that the project must go on, reports SINA FADARE.
he recent budget of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in which a whopping N4 billion has been earmarked for the construction of First Ladies’ Mission House in Abuja, to analysts, is another of government’s profligacy in the recent time. Aside this contentious budgetary allocation, another N7 billion was budgeted for the construction of two city gates in Abuja while N5 billion was earmarked for the rehabilitation of commercial sex workers. The FCT budget has generated a lot of controversy as Nigerians wondered why their leaders have refused to be sensitive to their plight. Even N9 billion, which later skyrocketed to N14 billion, was budgeted for the building of the Vice President’s official residence, even as another N2.2 billion was equally budgeted for a new banquet hall at the Presidential Villa. It was against this backdrop that hundreds of women under the aegis of Women Arise for Change Initiative on February 14 took to the streets of Lagos to protest against the allocation of such a huge amount of money for the First Lady’s pet project. Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who was billed to participate in the protest but sent his speech, condemned the project, noting that it is a mind boggling fiscal misappropriation. Speaking through the President of the Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Soyinka said that the latest move by President Goodluck Jonathan to set up such initiative for his wife and legalise the office of the First Lady was another “egregious conspiracy to drain the Nigerian treasury, mounted in the name of a high-flying member of your gender.” He countered: “I have therefore elected not to lend my affection to any one individual, but the entire bevy of First Ladies of the African continent and that includes First Male spouses, as well. What, after all, is to stop these male consorts from developing ‘pet projects’ and setting up missions? Even if they number no more than one or two, there is a saying that goes: What is good for the goose is also sauce for the gander.” Soyinka contended that there was no such thing as an African First Ladies Mission in the Nigerian appropriation list, adding that any claim remotely like it is “the conspiracy of sycophants, jobbers, masters of impunity, a desperate clique that unfurled a continental umbrella as cover for private aggrandizement.” While urging women not to be part of it, he said: “The people of this nation are fast losing patience.” In a long letter to President Jonathan, Okei-Odumakin pointed out that women were scandalised by the culture of waste that had become the hallmark of governance in Nigeria, especially in recent times.
Women Arise (WA) protesting against the allocation of N4 billion for the construction of First Lady Mission House.
AN AFRICAN FIRST LADIES MISSION... IS “THE CONSPIRACY OF SYCOPHANTS, JOBBERS, MASTERS OF IMPUNITY, A DESPERATE CLIQUE THAT UNFURLED A CONTINENTAL UMBRELLA AS COVER FOR PRIVATE AGGRANDIZEMENT Dame Jonathan
She stated that the latest of such fiscal waste was the N4 billion allocated for the building of an office for Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Jonathan’s African First Ladies Mission Initiative. She added that the move was an affront to Nigerians and should be vehemently resisted by all rightthinking members of the society. She lamented: “Even in an era where fiscal irresponsibility is the norm, and not the exception, the allocation is an especial egregious insult on Nigerians. To budget such a huge amount of public fund for a ceremonial office that is not recognised by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a resounding slap on the collective visage of the majority of Nigerians at a time when tens of millions live on less than a dollar per day. “To do so when the majority of Nigerians are the unwilling patients of poverty pandemic deriving from criminally poor leadership is tantamount to spreading salt on an open wound. The office of the First Lady is not a creation of the constitution. Rather, it is the accursed child of the whim and caprice of our country’s insensitive elite.” She regretted that “this culture of unbridled wastage has since been embraced by the spouses of successive heads of government, particularly under the current democratic dispensation. “We fervently hold that a government with an appropriate sense of duty and an eye on posterity
would deploy the resources to be wasted on Mrs. Jonathan’s flight of fancy on critical infrastructure. To do otherwise, is to be insensitive and irresponsible.” While calling for the scrapping of the office of the First Lady, Okei-Odumakin said that spouses of elected officials should play no more than ceremonial roles, adding that “we ask all decent women and men in our country to back these demands with positive actions.” Toeing the same path, the National Executive Council of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) also slammed the Federal Government for embarking on such a white elephant project without considering the plight of the common man on the street who is daily confronted with poverty and penury. TUC National President, Peter Esele, while condemning the act pointed out that such profligacy at the high level of government is a ”fiscal misapplication of public fund, which should be condemned by all Nigerians.” The TUC “believes that this is another drain pipe on the nation’s economy and calls on the Federal Government to stop forthwith the project and ensure that all such monies are applied to create jobs for the teeming jobless youths in Nigeria.” The All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) described the budgetary provision as illegal, corrupt, and unpatriotic. The party pointed out that since the Federal Government had earlier declared the mission as a non- governmental organisation, it would be inappropriate for the same government
to spend public funds on it. The ANPP regretted that the matter is a non-issue as the budget for the complex is inherently illegal and should not waste the time of the distinguished senators in their work. Its words: “The fact on ground is that the Federal Government has already declared that the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and could not be funded with the taxpayers’ money. It is absurd and incongruous that another project of the AFLPM could now be smuggled into the budget of the FCT, an undeniable burden to the already burdened citizens of our great nation.” Political pundits are of the view that the spokesman of the President, Reuben Abati, was economical with the truth on the issue when he declared that “in accordance with its modus operandi, the AFLPM set up several committees, including a finance committee to raise funds and sponsorship for the organisation of its Abuja summit.” The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) on its part declared that the budget in itself was a demonstration of the present administration’s profligacy. The CPC lamented that “it is appalling to see budgetary allocation as much as N4 billion for the office of the First Lady that is not recognised by the nation’s constitution.” It said: “At a time when many Nigerians have been rendered homeless by the antipeople stance of the PDP-led FCT administration, it is ludicrous to imagine that, rather than embarking on projects in alleviating the afflictions, this clueless regime has again shown its undisguised self-centeredness. Indeed, it beggars belief that a supposed democratic government can revel in such thoughtless insensitivity.” The party therefore called on the National Assembly to investigate “this dubious budgetary approval and ensure reversal of this reported infra-dig.” When the budget got to the National Assembly, Babajide Omoworare (ACN-Osun) condemned the allocation, describing it as scandalous. He said that the allocation was nothing but misplaced priority, wondering if such a development had ever been heard of in the United States of America, Ghana or any part of the world for that matter. His words: “N4 billion for the First Lady’s office is scandalous. We allocate money for immaterial issues. Some of these allocations should have been moved elsewhere. There ought to be concentration on infrastructure. It is not proper for us to allocate money for the building of the First Lady’s Mission House in the FCT budget. It is against the federal system of government.” Speaking to National Mirror on the issue, human right activist and anti corruption crusader, Adesina Adebayo, said that it was a mere fiesta of shameful corrupt waste of the highest order. According to him, “it is an arrogant mockery of the severely impoverished, homeless, hungry and jobless Nigerian masses to embark on such a ridiculous vanity of a First Lady’s abode.” He therefore enjoined the National Assembly to wake up to its responsibility and make sure that it throws out such a needless CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Fight against corruption should start from the Presidency –Nkem-Abonta
Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta represents Ukwa West/Ukwa East federal constituency of Abia State in the House of Representatives. The former Law lecturer is the deputy chairman, House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation. He speaks on a number of issues in this interview with TORDUE SALEM. Excerpts:
You have more bills in the House than most lawmakers, what is the state of these bills? Most of my bills have been passed by the House and sent to the Senate for concurrence. You know how slow lawmaking is – first reading, second reading, committee stage and then to the whole House before passage. It takes an average of two years to have a bill turned into an Act but we will not relent in our efforts to make laws for good governance of the country. My interest has been on alternative source of revenue outside oil. So, my bills revolve around agriculture and the capital market. Quite a number of my bills have been concluded in the House and sent to the Senate for concurrence but I am aware that none has been sent to the President for assent. The constitution review exercise has been bogged by controversies. As a member of the review committee, what do you think is the problem? The problems confronting the constitution review is the usual legislative problems. The constitution is made in such a way that it is very rigid and difficult to amend. With the way we are going, I will give the National Assembly credit for what has been done so far. But I also have my fears being a Nigerian, a constitutional lawyer, a student of political history and given the way Nigeria is structured. If you follow the history of Nigeria and all our efforts at constitution making, you will see that it is going to be a Herculean task. We have 36 states and we have diverse interests. You know the composition of the National Assembly and how some people view issues from sectional perspectives rather than national interest. Therefore do not expect that the ongoing amendment will be easy. In the last dispensation, the National Assembly in its wisdom granted financial autonomy to the State Houses of Assembly but the same legislators in the states voted against it. Now, we are talking about granting a similar autonomy to the local government councils. In the course of the public sessions, most of the local governments voted for this autonomy but today the argument seems not to be in favour of that decision. The issue is that the powers that be seem to be working against that proposal. The postponement of the public presentation of the report of our nationwide pub-
lic sessions is not a problem because the positions of the 360 constituencies were taken publicly and therefore already public documents. The major challenge will come when an issue such as the Land Use Act will come up. You know some people might not want it removed from the constitution. If it comes to a matter of voting, you know the composition of the House. Numerically, Kano, Kebbi and Jigawa states are bigger than the five states of the South-East. So, if some people do not want certain amendments and it is one man one vote, there is no way it can go. However, I do not want to be a prophet of doom. I have hope that we will get there. If we do not succeed in amending all the sections we want to now, there will at least be substantial amendment. We should not lose hope. In amending the constitution, we must create awareness about the issues at stake. We must also have the political will to go all out because it is going to hurt the powers that be in the system. It is not easy to retrieve from the mighty. It must be something that must be contested vehemently. What is your take on the issue of local government autonomy? I will give you the answer from two perspectives - as a Nigerian and as one who has been a councillor. In 1991, I was a councillor and leader of the Legislative Council in Ukwa-East Local Government Area of Abia State. If you don’t grant autonomy to local government councils, they will still remain an appendage of the state governors. Today, a local government chairman does not have
a say in what goes on at the council. Although he is the head of the third tier of government, he cannot say no to the governor of the state. Between 1991 and 1993 when we were there, the situation was better than it is today. I cannot hold the chairman of my local government accountable now because he is only there at the mercy of the state governor. Until the two tiers are separated and each is given specific roles, the problem will remain. Most importantly, there should be financial autonomy for the local government councils and that means the state/local government joint account should be abolished. As a lawyer, I also know that if you give the councils full autonomy without checks, we will also whittle down the essence of federalism. True federalism recognises two components – the centre and the component states. It does not recognise the local government as a tier. Therefore, in giving autonomy to the local governments, we must be very careful and define the extent of the autonomy. It is desirable and proper to grant them autonomy because it will foster development and stabilise our democracy. What is your take on the fight against corruption? I make bold to say that corruption is the problem of Nigeria. Corruption is fast becoming a norm in Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan must sit up and fight corruption; the war must start from the Villa. We need a very radical leader who will fight corruption. The Asian countries of China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were more corrupt than Nigeria until when their leaders rose to the challenge and introduced capital punishment as a penalty for corruption. As soon as the law came into force, anyone caught stealing public funds or engaging in any form of corruption was either hanged or shot dead. Today we talk about the Asian Tigers because their leaders decided to have zero tolerance for corruption. But here, our laws are loose and some of us would not mind going to jail and come back to inherit N10 billion. We know that you can even steal billions and just pay a paltry fine and go home to enjoy your loot. I make bold to say that civil servants are the worst problem of Nigeria. I call them “evil servants” because they are not civil in any way. Once you are appointed a minister, they send you one big memo; they tell you how you can buy a house where you will live. Once you sign that memo you are
TODAY WE TALK ABOUT THE ASIAN TIGERS BECAUSE THEIR LEADERS DECIDED TO HAVE
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPTION.
OUR LAWS ARE LOOSE AND SOME OF US WOULD NOT MIND GOING TO JAIL AND COME BACK TO INHERIT
finished. Look at our annual budgets; the amount of money spent in the month of December is greater than all the money spent in the remaining part of the year. Why is it that under personal and overhead costs all the funds must be finished at the end of the year? They told us they discovered 45,000 ghost workers in the civil service. How many are the civil servants if 45,000 are ghosts? In all these, no one has been punished and we have directors and permanent secretaries in those ministries. I think that something drastic has to be done. Corruption has become endemic here and it is not found only among civil servants. It is so bad that people now think that the best way to be rich and popular is to engage in corruption. When you are arrested and taken to court you enjoy free publicity and after that nothing happens and you go home and enjoy your loot. The few that even went to jail came back and are now eminent persons, deciding the fate of Nigerians instead of burying their heads in shame. In other countries they would have been hanged for their crimes. I am not saying that we must apply capital punishment but we must try to do something that will show that we have zero tolerance to corruption. Do you subscribe to the review of the revenue allocation formula? The revenue formula we are using today is more political than economical. In my own view, we should and must revisit that revenue allocation formula. We are running a federal system that harbours a lot of unitary principles where too much power is left at the centre and so little is granted to the states and local government councils. A situation where the Federal Government keeps over 50 per cent of the revenue to itself speaks volumes that federalism is not working in Nigeria. If you look at Nigeria, the Federal Government should be concerned with administering Abuja from where it can be issuing authority to the larger part of the country; the component states. Between these two tiers of government, who should be getting more? Is it the small secluded centre or the states? I think that the allocation to the states and local councils should be increased while the Federal Government should keep less revenue for its administrative purposes. The current formula has made many states dormant; only waiting for the federal allocation. They have ignored their internal revenue sources. The mono-economic structure based solely on oil has not helped matters and I think the issue of derivation should be revisited. We had a regional arrangement before Nigeria gained independence and each region was made to develop its own economy based on cash crops such as cocoa, oil palm and groundnut. So, I am of the view that the National Assembly should strive hard to review the revenue allocation formula where the component states of the federation will emerge stronger.
hief Anthony Akhakon Anenih is “the man of the moment” in the politics of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by virtue of his emergence as the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) at its last meeting held on Monday, February 25, in the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. But as associates and followers clink the wine glasses to celebrate his emergence, Anenih, the man who is popularly referred to as “Leader”, has continued to react to the development calmly. His emergence has not gone into his head such as to make him become unusually flippant and garrulous. His peculiarity as “a man of few words but great actions” is more than ever, helping to explain his characteristic inscrutability in the cosmos of politics, which has been his forte and devotion in the last 35 years. He is not your run-of-the-mill politician whose next moves are easily predictable by what he or she says. This mystique has been deployed by him in quietly formulating strategies and implementing them to deal with knotty issues. And when and where he had failed in the past, this niche had helped him to rebound. His imprimaturs were evident in the presidential power politics that produced the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency in 1999 and 2003, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua presidency in 2007 and the 2011 presidential election that produced President Goodluck Jonathan. It was in 2002, in the build up to Obasanjo’s re-election in 2003, that the capacity of Anenih as a master strategist was greatly tested and unleashed full-blown on the process due to the political brinkmanship of Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President to Obasanjo, who had plotted to upstage the applecart of his boss’ re-election bid. He had loyally worked behind the scene on the side of Obasanjo to secure and achieve his re-election bid: Anenih was at the centre of the overtures and counterplots by Obasanjo to contain the blackmail and onslaught of Atiku and the more than 20 PDP governors that were in his camp. That was one of the cases in which the sagacity of Anenih proved invaluable in
Thursday, March 7, 2013
PDP BoT, Anenih and the task ahead THE RULING PDP IS EXPECTED TO LEVERAGE ON ITS EXTENSIVE NATIONWIDE
STRUCTURES, MACHINERY AND
CONTACTS, WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO BE EASILY OILED AND ACTIVATED FOR THE BATTLE AHEAD the resolution of political conflicts. There had been many other issues, especially political and electoral, which had been resolved largely through his strategic inputs. This is why he is, perhaps, regarded by the Jonathan presidency as the most suitable politician in the PDP today to occupy the position of the BoT chair, which Obasanjo resigned on February 2, 2012. Interestingly, it was Obasanjo who plotted Anenih’s ouster from the same position on June 27, 2007. Before the ouster, Anenih had been the BoT chair since 2004. His return on February 25, this year, is understandably his second missionary journey to help the Bamanga Tukur leadership reposition the party and to support President Jonathan in consolidating his transformation agenda. The political relevance of Anenih, the Iyasele (Prime Minister) of Esanland, has not diminished by virtue of a few electoral setbacks that he had understandably suffered in Edo State in recent times. His reappointment as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) back-to-back (having occupied the position from 2009 to 2011 ) is a measure of his relevance and influence in the Jonathan administration. His choice by consensus to lead the BoT, which is the moral guide and conscience of the PDP at a time that treachery, intimi-
dation and brinkmanship are denominating political interactions within the party, especially in the light of the 2015 presidential power politics, attests to the amount of trust Jonathan has in him to provide sound political advice and strategies. This is the personal burden that Anenih may have to bear: to remain consistently trustworthy, loyal and committed as he has been to successive presidents since 1999 in the pursuit of an enduring trajectory that will culminate in a Jonathan re-election in 2015 and thereby stabilise the polity. Indeed, this is the exertion and not excitement that his emergence as BoT chair has brought upon him. This may not be evident to the eyes, but it is to the discerning minds. Yet, the party’s leadership guard and the presidency believe that Anenih has an incredible capacity to strategise, achieve results and thereby create political excitements that will serve as a signpost to victory in the burgeoning politics and politicking that presage the 2015 presidential contest. The inimitable political mobiliser on whose shoulders lies the burden to provide a counterpoise to the onslaught of the gathering tribes of the opposition parties ahead of the 2015 general election is well prepared for the task. He is on a familiar terrain. No amount of political shenani-
Opposition mounts over First Lady’s N4bn project CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14
project from the FCT budget, “otherwise posterity will not forgive the members.” Senator Iyabo Anisulowo said that it is only the legislators that can check this type of prolificacy in government. Speaking with National Mirror, the former Minister of Education said the lawmakers have the opportunity to reject the needless budget and channel the fund to more pressing issue like creation of job opportunities for teeming Nigerians who are roaming the streets. Despite the opposition, the Presidency has defended the proposed N4 billion budget, saying that to abandon the project would not augur well for the image of the country. Special Assistant on Media to the First Lady, Mr. Ayo Osinlu, said that despite the pressure being mounted on the National Assembly not to approve the Peace Mission building budget, there was no going back on the project. He said the office of the First Lady would rather do whatever
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it can to sensitise the public and the legislature on the gains of the important continental attraction to the country. He said: “I can assure you, without any doubt that it is far from the preference and far from the objective of the First Lady to have the project turned down. One, it will amount to an abdication of responsibility by Nigeria and that level of diplomatic recklessness will be worst for the country of Nigeria’s status in Africa and Nigeria’s leadership in Africa. Certainly, the First Lady will not expect Nigeria to behave in such a reckless manner. “The First Lady would not also want the project abandoned because it is an undertaking that the country has made to the continent. It means therefore that the credibility of Nigeria will drop significantly if it goes back on its deliberate and willing commitment to host such an organ for the continent and at the request of the continent. “Africa First Ladies Mission said give us a secretariat and you agreed that you
will do it and then five years after, you wake up and say you don’t want to do it again. I don’t think that level of irresponsibility would be expected of Nigeria and the first lady won’t encourage that at all.” On the gains of the peace mission to Nigeria, he said: “There are other several advantages that the peace mission will attract to the country for which the first lady would want the project to go on. For as long as that peace mission secretariat which is going to be a huge complex of international status is sited in Nigeria, it will continue to attract all kinds of international meetings and conferences, some continental and some global to the country. And then, of course, it promotes Nigeria as a destination for tourist from all around the world, including conference participants and even tourists of different kinds from all over the continent and all over the world. “Apart from the prestige that this peace mission building brings to the country,
gans will distract him as his eyes are firmly fixed on the ball. Feelers have indicated that a corpus of strategies would be deployed expeditiously to strengthen the party. Expected to be pursued is a deliberate reach-out to influential members of the party who are either aggrieved within the party or who have left the party. There is great hope that an air of reconciliation will blow through the party. As someone said, “given Anenih’s capacity to do what he promises, members who are reached in the process of reconciliation will be rest assured that whatever they are promised would be done.” It is also expected that mechanisms would be emplaced to instil and deepen party discipline and supremacy, in addition to ensuring that the office of the president is not undermined in its political relationship with state governors on the platform of the party. It is believed that once the fundamentals are well laid out within the party, once there is internal democracy and a number of tangible achievements on the ground for Nigerians to see, it would not be difficult for the Anenih-led team of strategists to come up with and fine tune lines of attack that will decimate the opposition parties in the 2015 general polls. The opposition camp is no doubt jittery and has been taking steps in the media to harass and portray him as incapable of leading the charge against it on account of his age. Whereas, it is not about going to the electoral battlefield, it is about sitting in a room and charting the winning ways which the political foot soldiers will take to achieve victory. The ruling PDP is expected to leverage on its extensive nationwide structures, machinery and contacts, which are expected to be easily oiled and activated for the battle ahead; Anenih and other strategic leaders of the party are expected to deploy their legerdemain, versatility and vast experience in politics and electoral battles to easily achieve a PDP victory in the 2015 general elections, especially the presidency. Ojeifo is an Abuja-based journalist. we could also see that there will also be social and economic advantages accruing to Nigeria from that. Look at the United Nations Building before it was attacked in Abuja. You can imagine the level of Nigerians that were engaged there as cleaners; you can imagine the number of young Nigerians that were employed there as security personnel and as workers in other fields of endeavour around the structure. To a large extent, these advantages can also come with the hosting of such a major continental body like the African First Lady Peace Mission. So, for this and many other reasons of course, it is the First Lady’s interest that the project should continue as proposed.” Going by the position of the government, there is no going back on the project. Two things will surely come into play: If the National Assembly turns down the budget, the First Lady will have to source the fund through alternative means. But the general consensus is that there is no need for such profligacy when Nigerians are in want of basic necessities of life.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, March 7, 2013
The nation’s judiciary on trial EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM
NDUBUISI firstname.lastname@example.org (08023016709 SMS only)
he Nigerian judiciary has been on the eye of the storm for quite some time now. The hitherto respectable institution has been justifiably under series of attacks from the senior members of the Bar and Bench, the media and the general public. Our judiciary has performed abysmally poor. The most depressing level of performance was the provocative sentencing of John Abubakar Yusuf, a former Assistant Director in the Police Pension Office to two years imprisonment with the option of N750, 000 fine by Justice Abubakar Talba, after pleading guilty to stealing a whooping sum of N33 billion. The popular imagination now is that our judiciary needs redemption. The National Judicial Commission seems to have woken up to its responsibility when it recently recommended the sack of two judges, Justice Charles Archibong of the Federal High Court Lagos and Justice Thomas Naron of the High Court of Justice, Plateau State on ethical grounds, while a third, Justice Abubakar
IT IS NO LONGER A SECRET THAT POLITICIANS IN THEIR DESPERATE BID FOR POWER USE THE JUDICIARY TO ACTUALISE THEIR AMBITION teur on the independent of judges and lawyers, Gariela Knaul ,warned not quite long ago that “ judicial corruption has a strong potential for victimizing those who do not have the means to play by the informal rules set by a corrupt a system”. As noted by her, the judges and lawyers are in unique position to tackle the wider phenomenon of corruption in the public and private sector. The court is seen as a sacred institution, a temple of justice; thus if arbitrariness and strange system is introduced into it and there is a loss of confidence in the court, this will definitely lead to self help and ultimately to a state of anarchy. In Nigeria the judiciary is a secured sanctuary for the rich and mighty as opposed to the last hope of the common man. It is no longer a secret that politicians in their desperate bid for power use the judiciary to actualise their ambition. The
election tribunals have thus become attractive arena for the judges to have cheap access to instant wealth. The corruption allegation against the Bench has extended to all matters that go to our courts to the extent that what an aggrieved person gets is dependent on factors other than a strict application of the principles of justice and fairness. It is just unfortunate that allegations against the Bench are made without minimal efforts to get to the root of the matter. That is why the recent sledge hammer used by the NJC against these erring judges is exciting to most Nigerians. What is urgently needed, nonetheless, is a complete surgical operation to sanitize this all important institution. If this is done it will impact positively on the other arms of government. And we must insist that only men of knowledge and proven integrity should be appointed into the Bench. The conduct of judges that create room for long trial and adjournment should be enquired into, henceforth. It amounts to waste of resources and time to the litigants to keep a matter pending for years without conviction or acquittal. This practice has removed all the vibrancy associated with the judicial system. We must try to get it right at this level if we are anxious at sanitizing the polity. Prof. Ndubuisi, an Attorney at law, is of the Dept. of Philosophy, UNILAG
Students, cultism and the future of Nigeria
ubmit your papers now”, the invigilator’s voice boomed with both fear and exasperation. “No Sir, we have 10 minutes more”, chorused some of the students who were still scribbling with desperation in the final efforts to, hopefully, earn some extra marks. “Submit immediately”, the tone of the voice this time around was imperious even though fear was discernible in every syllable. The students’ eyes were wrenched off the sheets for once in two hours as they stared to get what was bordering their lecturer. Then all hell was let loose. Not less than 50 weapon-wielding cultists had besieged the examination hall, chanting blood-chilling war songs. The invigilator cum lecturer was the first to bolt; he abandoned the job of collecting the examination papers and scaled the window to escape into safety. Alas, he was caught before he could scale the wall and was kidnapped. His corpse was found five days later in a small bush adjacent to the campus! This is a true life story and it happened in one of the state universities in the South West region in 2006. The lecturer in question was a personal friend and a course mate at the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. He had graduated years earlier from the same university’s Faculty of Arts where he obtained First Class honour in English Language. Even at the Faculty of Law, he was one of the most outstanding students and he graduated with Second Class Upper Division, which was the best any student could get from that faculty then. Unfortunately, this promising and talented young man was wasted in his prime by the cultists. The reason being peddled by “
Talba is facing further probe over allegations of improper conduct. Both President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Jonas Jang of Plateau State have delightedly approved their sack. Justice Archibong was alleged to have dismissed grievous charges against an accused without taking his plea and also refused to release the certified true copy of this ruling to the prosecuting lawyers, and also that he issued a bench warrant on some officials of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) for contempt even when the counsel who was directed to serve them filed an affidavit that he had not been able to serve the contempt application. The NJC was of the view that the judge did not have a full grasp of the law and procedure of the court. Justice Naron was proven to be in cahoots with the PDP when he presided over the first Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. He was alleged to be in regular telephone contacts with the lead counsel of the party during proceedings. This is contrary to the code of conduct for judicial officers under Section 292(1(b) of the 1999 Constitution. The situation is sad and regrettable. They have confirmed the long held opinion of high level corruption in the judiciary. How feasible is the war on corruption when judges are available for the highest bidder? Expressing concern on the level of gross misconduct at the bench worldwide, the United Nations Special Rappor-
OUR LEADERS WHO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE YOUTHS TO REALISTICALLY ANTICIPATE A BRIGHT FUTURE AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS SHOULD ALSO SEARCH THEIR CONSCIENCE the killers for this tragically heinous act (going by the earlier threats the lecturer had received) was the usual stupid reasons you often hear from these youthful gangsters – that he had snatched a girlfriend belonging to one of them! Sad to say, nobody till date has been prosecuted for this terrible crime. The problem of cultism in our tertiary institutions has just come to the fore of our enervating social malaises one again with the killing on Thursday, February 28, 2013, of an upcoming hip hop artiste, Damino Damoche, whose real name were Olaniyan Damilola. This Banking and Finance student was gunned down by assailants suspected to be cultists right in front of the gate of his school, the Lagos State University, Ojo. Just three days later, another student of the same institution, simply identified as Kabiru, was gruesomely murdered by suspected cultists,
who shot him in the head at a close range. These shocking happenings are sad reminder of the singular cultic tragedy that occurred in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on Saturday, July 10, 1999 when cultic students besieged the Awolowo Hall of the KETEFE institution and shot dead eight students with another eleven students seriously injured. Cultism is a thing that obtained in many tertiary institutions across the world, includ- email@example.com 08032147720 (SMS only) ing America and Britain, but their object is not to harm, maim, kill and destroy. This have graduated many years before and are writer has never heard cultists in those other still roaming the streets in search of non-explaces routinely descending on fellow stuistent jobs. Tertiary education seems to have dents to kill or maim them in their prime. lost all its allures, so the youths are disenThe matter has come to such a head now chanted and roundly frustrated; when frusthat the authorities must find lasting solutration reaches certain level, a person is cation to the menace. If our so-called ivory towpable of infernal behaviour imaginable. This er have transformed into butchery instead probably offers insight into why our underof places of learning, then the quest for our graduates have turned into misanthropes. economic growth and development would reCertainly if our youths have realistic exmain unrealisable dream; the future of this pectations of good life, very few would find country is doomed since a country’s greatest descent into criminality attractive. Our govresources are its human resources, specifiernment should know that as long as the cally those to who the future belongs. youths are not empowered in positive terms, Our leaders who make it impossible for the acts of delinquency and criminality the youths to realistically anticipate a bright would continue to prove intractable. future after graduating from the tertiary Thus any lasting solution must be coninstitutions should also search their conceived and implemented from criminological science. There were times in this country and sociological perspectives. when undergraduates began the countdown to the day of their graduation from year two Send your views by mail or sms to or year three, basking in the prospects of PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ good employment with its concomitant nice nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ cars, accommodation and other good things yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to of life. edit and reject views or photographs. Nowadays, majority of our youths graduPseudonyms may be used but must be ate into unemployment. Many of these cult clearly marked as such. boys and girls have brothers and sisters who
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER
COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF
KAYODE BALOGUN JNR
SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
ore than thirteen years after the gruesome massacre of about 2,500 inhabitants of Odi, an Ijaw community in Bayelsa State by soldiers under the civilian administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a Port Harcourt court, a couple of days ago, ordered the Federal Government to pay N37.6 billion as compensation for the November 1999 invasion of the town. The Federal Government had moved soldiers into Odi who, in the process of hunting for militants who murdered five policemen and four soldiers on official duty in the area, mauled dozens of men, women and children to death and virtually levelled the ancient city. Only one church, a bank and a health centre were spared after the operation; and at the end of it all, between 2,483 and 2,500 lives were lost, although the government’s figure was 40. The human rights community had been relentless in its condemnation of the invasion which many viewed as an egregious error akin to killing a fly with a sledge hammer. Another community, Zaki Biam in Benue State, suffered a similar fate in 2001 after 19 soldiers were murdered and beheaded by insurgents in the area. In his response, last No-
Judgement on Odi invasion vember, to criticisms by Obasanjo that the FG’s handling of the Boko Haram insurgence was ‘slow’; and that the violence would have been nipped in the bud if the FG had acted as fast as his (Obasanjo’s) administration did in Odi in 1999, President Goodluck Jonathan had argued that the deployment of troops in Odi did not resolve the Odi problem. “It was old men, women and children that were killed. None of the militants was killed”, Jonathan said. But former Minister of Aviation and one time spokesman to the former president, Femi Fani-Kayode, thus replied Jonathan: “… the killing of security agents and soldiers with impunity by the Niger Delta militants virtually stopped after the operation in Odi; and remained at a bare minimum right up until the time that President Obasanjo left power eight years later in 2007.” In his judgment on the N100 billion suit filed by the Odi community against the FG, however, Justice Lambo Akanbi of the Port Harcourt, Rivers State Federal High Court, relying on the available evidence at his disposal, said: “The destruction of Odi was comprehensive and complete; no aspect of the community was spared by what I saw in the pictures showed
THE REDEEMING JUDGEMENT DEMONSTRATES THAT THE JUDICIARY, AS A THIRD ARM OF
GOVERNMENT, CAN TRULY EXERCISE ITS
INDEPENDENCE, IF IT RESOLUTELY WISHES here. The respondents violated the fundamental human rights of the people of Odi by the massacre. The people are entitled to fundamental rights to life, dignity and fair play. The destruction of Odi was not as a result of gun battle, but clear bombardment; the destruction was malicious”. Indeed, we salute the courage of the judge. For, the country is under a democratic dispensation and not under the cruel grip of a military junta, where a government can capriciously play the roles of an accuser and a judge. Reports said not even the then National Assembly was notified about the unilaterally executed invasion. No matter the temptation to the contrary, there should be no let up in condemning any attempt to return the nation to the scorched sun approach
of soldiers to governance. The fabricated allegations, kangaroo trial and judgement that culminated in the heartless execution of Ogoni environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa and eight of his kinsmen in Port Harcourt under the late Gen. Sani Abacha military government in 1995 ought to be jealously guarded against. Under a democracy, might can scarcely be always right. Again, governments at all levels should learn to appreciate and redress the contradictions that compel Nigerians to taking recourse to violence, attacking government officials on fact finding or conciliatory missions and destroying public property; and should not take people’s rights for granted. Vicious attacks on public officials, whether civilians, policemen or soldiers, are condemnable acts that must be campaigned against, even by rights activists. Yet, the government should be mindful of overreaching itself, since two wrongs cannot make a right. The redeeming judgment demonstrates that the judiciary, as a third arm of government, can truly exercise its independence, if it resolutely wishes, in deciding on issues in which the government is an interested party, whether as a prosecutor or a defendant.
ON THIS DAY March 7, 2009 The ‘Kepler’ space observatory,designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, was launched. A space observatory is any instrument (such as a telescope) in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects. This category is distinct from other observatories located in space that are pointed toward the earth for the purpose of reconnaissance and other types of information gathering.
March 7, 1989 Iran and the United Kingdom broke diplomatic relations after a row over Salman Rushdie and his controversial novel. Rushdie’s fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of a major controversy, provoking protests from Muslims in several countries, some violent. Death threats were made against him, including a fatw issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on 14 February 1989.
March 7, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for an invention he calls the telephone. Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Education Today LASU: Cult groups stage comeback
ADENRELE NIYI ARTS EDITOR
oday, as the rest of the civilised world commemorates the 2013 World Book Day– dubbed the “Biggest Book Show on Earth”– with series of reading activities and book-related events, the Federal Government through its relevant agencies has failed to declare any plans to celebrate the day in Nigeria. On Wednesday, National Mirror contacted a senior official of the Ministry of Education in Abuja who, speaking in anonymity, stated that he had no information and was unaware of programmes being slated for the day designated by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. The report was similar from Plateau, Katsina, Lagos and Ogun states. When contacted, officials attached to the states’ ministries of education were either completely ignorant that such a day existed or could not volunteer information with regards to events lined up for the 2013 World Book Day celebration in those states. Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Education in Kogi State, the Public Relations Officer, Agnes Owonibi, explained the state government could not schedule programmes for this year’s celebration due to ‘logistic problems’. The founder of Port Harcourt-based Rainbow Book Club, Koko Kalango, however, said her organisation does not traditionally commemorate this particular World Book Day but the World Book and Copyright Day, which is observed annually on April 23. To Kalango’s credit, spirited book activities embarked upon by the Rainbow Book Club over years helped secure the UNESCO bestowed-World Book Capital 2014 for Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Observed globally by over 100 countries, World Book Day is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties, who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all. Another aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. In the United Kingdom, over half a million children from all over the world will gather today to watch famous UK authors including Francesca Simon, Anthony Horowitz, Lauren Child and Tony Robinson celebrate the joy of reading. The hour-long event will take place in Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and will be broadcast live to cinemas around the UK, as well as shown live online. As well, there will be events in schools,libraries and bookshops around the country – many of which will see children dressing up as their favourite literary characters. An application aimed at young adults will also be launched on World Book Day, featuring stories from bestselling European teen authors, including Chris Ryan, Patrick Ness, Josephine Angelini and Alex Scarrow, along with some aspiring young writers from the Movellas online writing community, chosen after nominations from their peers. Kirsten Grant, director of World Book Day, said, “The new app and our part-
Nigerians don’t know it’s World Book Day •National apathy dodges commemoration
Books on a library shelf
nership with Movellas is just one way of getting great book content to young adult readers. Delivering content digitally and talking to teens in the spaces they like to visit and socialise also allows us to offer a taste of the brilliant fiction that’s out there and hopefully, turn more young people on to reading”. On a bleak note, for many years, the literacy level statistics coming out of Nigeria has cast a grim forecast for the future. According to a 2010 National Literacy Survey by National Bureau of Statistics, the current edition, which provides estimates at national level as well as at sub-national level which include state, senatorial district and LGA levels, findings showed that close to three million Nigerian children aged six to 14 years had never attended any school. This represents 8.1 per cent of population of children in that age group. Also about a million children aged six to 14 years dropped out of school. This represents 3.2 percent of population of children in that age group that ever attended school. Estimates were also provided for urban and rural areas as well as for each geo-political zone of the country. As part of Federal Government’s drive to overturn the decline in Nigeria’s literacy and reading sector where the youth feature prominently, President Goodluck Jonathan launched the Bring Back the Book (BBTB) initiative in December 2010. It was lauded as novel and brilliant to diffuse the stranglehold of competing contemporary distractions such as local and satellite televisions, social media networks and social events, among others. It was viewed as important decision to help young Nigerians under-
Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai
stand and attach pivotal importance to book knowledge. On the BBTB official website, it is boldly written, “Bring Back the book initiative is a brainchild of President Goodluck Jonathan established with a view to develop a book reading culture in Nigeria especially amongst the youth who have lost value for reading either for educational purposes or entertainment”. It adds, “The initiative seeks to empower the youth for the future by preparing them for the opportunities and challenges faced by us as a people by engaging in series of activities designed to encourage the culture of reading amongst the youth”. At the epoch-making flag-off held in Lagos with eminent Nigerian writers like Prof. Wole Soyinka, Odia Ofeimum, Dr. Jerry
Agada and others in attendance, President Jonathan underscored the need for young adults to return to the culture of reading. The states launch which followed in Edo, Abuja and Bayelsa were indicators that the BBTB initiative was not a political gimmick, or so it seemed. After the launch in four states, literary enthusiasts are wondering what impact BBTB has made. With the resources that have gone into it since 2010, is it nearly as popular as any of the privately run book clubs in these states without government’s budget? What of the BBTB ‘series of activities’; are they being achieved after each state launch? Who is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that these ‘series of activities’ are being achieved in the respective states and are they achieving them..? These are the questions begging answers. However, private organisations and concerns in Nigeria are hosting pockets of events to mark the 2013 World Book Day. Laterna Ventures, a leading book store and distributor in Lagos, kicked off its celebration of the day a fortnight ago by inviting Pamela Evbota, an author and columnist with the Inspirational Online Magazine, UK, to interact with children at a Children Book Reading Session. Between yesterday and today, children from selected schools in Lagos have been visiting the shop floor of Laterna bookstore for a guided tour. On Saturday, more excitement awaits over 150 children who have been invited for a reading session in Victoria Island, Lagos with popular entertainment personality and Inspiration FM executive, Dan Foster. This event is being organised by book publishers.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
UNESCO laments Africans’ declining interest in sciences TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
he United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has lamented the global decline in enrolment in basic sciences and technology across its member countries, especially in Africa, where the situation has become worse than any other continent. The global body said the situation, if left unchecked, would continue to slow down the primary role of science and technology in the production of knowledge that improves conditions of living, sustainable development and advancement of civilisation. The Director and Executive Secretary, International Basic Sciences programme, UNESCO headquarters, Paris, Prof. Maciej Nalecz, stated this at the inaugural conference of the International Centre for Biotechnology (UNESCO Category II) at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, recently. Speaking on the topic: “Biotechnology prospects and challenges for Africa”, Prof. Nalecz said, “The main challenge in this regard is more pronounced among women as many of them do not have interest compared to men, in such subjects as chemistry, physics, mathematics and so on ” He noted that while the new knowledge provided by scientific research was required to address major challenges such as poverty, environmental degradation, climate change, existing and newly emerging diseases, natural disasters and energy needs, form the stable foundation on which all current and future technologies should stand.”
L-R: Former Minister, National Planning, Prof. Osita Ogbu, Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Bartho Okolo and the UNESCO Desk Officer on Biotechnology, Ms Lucy Hoareau at the inaugural biotechnology conference by the International Centre for Biotechnology, UNESCO Category 2 held at UNN, recently.
Statistics show that Africa’s contributions to research and development (R&D) is less than one (1) per cent of global investment in research and development while it generates a mere 1.5 per cent of total scientific publications, a situation that is said to be grossly inadequate. Prof. Nalecz blamed the development on a diminishing trust in science by the public. He noted that the situation was as a result of many factors, which included but not limited to unfulfilled promises in such areas as finding a cure for cancer, a solution to energy crisis, a healthy economic future and so on. He equally blamed the media for the problem, accusing the industry of neglecting the promotion of science
To my best
benga Omilola was one of your students at Ijebu Ode Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode, between 1979 and 1984. He was in the school’s literary and debating society and represented the school in many inter schools’ debates and came back with trophies. He was popularly known then as ‘Omi,’ (water) which was coined out of his surname. You could also remember him for his academic brilliance and what he called ‘stubbornness’. Today, Omilola, a native of Ijebu-Ode, is a trained lawyer and now a public relations officer with Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode. He has this to say about your person when he was your student. “Mr. Olukoya was my mentor and favourite teacher during my secondary school days at Ijebu-ode Grammar School. He taught us English in Literature. The simple manner he teaches, especially as regards the recommended literature text books encouraged me to love the subject more than any other. I could say he was a teacher to the core.
while preferring to focus on scandals, disasters, crime, among other factors including poor remuneration of scientists. The renowned scientist, however, warned that Africa stands the risk of stunted growth if it does not arrest the current slide by putting in place adequate measures. “Failure to meet this challenge of capacity will result in insufficient numbers of scientists, continued brain drain, skills shortages and ongoing impact on development, especially for developing and the leastdeveloped countries,” he maintained. Speaking further, Prof. Nalecz urged for more robust action plans capable of attracting and sustaining quality inter-
est in science. Such plans, according to him, should emphasise science education as an integral part of capacity building covering quality assurance, mobility of young talents and of their educators, as well as more flexible and broad-based training programmes. He added, “To reverse this trend, innovative means must be developed in order to allow young people to appreciate the value, creativity, challenges and excitement of science. Science must be de-mystified and popularised at all levels; advantage must be taken from the initiative and ambitious spirit of young researchers by recognising the importance of their creative powers based upon intellectual curiosity and individual intuition, and by drawing upon these resources to stimulate superior research.” National Mirror gathered that the biotechnology conference marked the official commencement of the International Centre for Biotechnology, UNESCO category 2, University of Nigeria, Nsukka as a UNESCO centre following the signing of the MOU between Nigeria and UNESCO last year. It was further gathered that the UNESCO centre at UNN was established to provide state- of- the art laboratory facilities to enhance research, develop research for food security, develop tropical disease research initiatives, provide training for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows and develop capacity for biotechnology policy and practice. The UNN’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo , who is the chairman of the advisory board of the centre in recognition of his involvement and role in the development of the centre , promised that he would continue to encourage the study of sceinec and technology in the country.
ing words and fell so much in love with Literature in English as a subject and that later encouraged me to study Mass Communication and Law in higher institutions. Mr. Olukoya was also a teacher that wanted his students to excel not only in academic work but also in other areas of life. He used to advice us to be well behaved, committed to our studies, be determined to succeed, and become somebody in life. Interestingly, I saw him just two years ago at a function in Ijebu-Ode and he was very happy see me. Mr. Olukoya, I thank you so much and all other teachers for your immense contributions in making me what I am today. Aside God, I owe all to you and I will continue to be grateful to you sir. God bless you sir.
former Literature in English teacher, Ijebu–Ode Grammar School, Ogun State It was not that other teachers were not also good. For example, I also cherished our Mathematics teacher, Mr. K. A. Erinle such that I used to leave my hostel at times to stay with him in his house. Perhaps, he would have been my best teacher but I just didn’t like his subject, mathematics. So, I would take Mr. Olukoya as my outstanding teacher then. Whenever he taught, students always listen with rapt attention from beginning to the end. Everybody would want to gain something beneficial before leaving the class. You know at that period, we used to read many literature books, including ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell, ‘The gods are no to blame’ by Ola Rotimi and those written by Williams Shakespeare, among others. Mr. Olukoya would explain their contents in a way that made them looked as if he was there when the authors were writing them. He would cajole us in such a way that would indirectly force us to get familiar to those books and understand what we read. He liked dramatising in class, he would en-
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sure he carried us along and made us understand what he was teaching us. It was through him that I developed the habit of memoris-
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Minister asks for contractors’ reports on girl-child school projects IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
onsultants handling special girlchild schools across the country have been directed to submit full reports on the state of the projects. Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike gave the directive at Oginibo, Ughelli South Local Government area of Delta State while inspecting the Special Girl-Child Model College in the state re-
cently. He said the reports of the consultants would form part of the process for the handing over of the schools. Wike said the consultants should in their reports specify projects that were fully completed from those ongoing and those that require direct intervention of the Federal Government in fast tracking their completion and hand-over to states. According to the minister, the reports would assist the government in taking ap-
propriate action against erring contractors, who have failed to meet the scheduled time-lines for project executions and those that did shabby jobs. On the quality of work at the school visited, the minister regretted that though the project was nearing completion, it had structural defects that must be corrected by the contractor. Speaking at the sites of library projects at Federal Government Girls College, Ibusa and Federal Government
College, Warri, the minister urged the contractors to expedite action on their work to ensure they hand over the projects to government by the end of this month. Responding, Delta State Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Pat Ejetoh assured the minister that the board would actively participate in monitoring the contractors at the closing stage of their respective projects.
Imo health college for upgrading CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Imo State House of Assembly has constituted a four-man ad-hoc committee to upgrade Amaigbo Health College to a Higher National Diploma standard to boost nursing and health management careers and ensure that the products of the Schools of Nursing and Health Sciences in the state in particular meet the national and international standard. The house, which set up the committee at its plenary recently, appointed the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Donatus Ozoemena, as Chairman, Majority Leader, Hon. Adaku Ihuoma, Hon. Celestine Ngaobiwu and Hon. Dan Ikpeazu, as members to critically harmonise the bill before its passage to enable the college take full operation of the higher certificate programmes. The bill, which was presented for its first hearing on the floor by Hon. Ikenna Emeh under private member-sponsorship passed the first and second readings same day. Emeh, the chief sponsor, had earlier narrated to members the negative implications the bill would have on Imo students if it was not given accelerated passage. According to him, the bill, when passed into law, would make the proposed Imo State School of Nursing and Health Sciences having full autonomy of its main campuses at Okporo in Orlu LGA and Amaigbo in Nwangele LGA where it had operated as College of Health and offered Ordinary Certificate to students. Supporting the bill on second reading, the member for Isiala Mbano Constituency, Hon. Simeon Iwunze declared that the intendment of the bill which sought to upgrade the college to HND awarding institution, as well as merger with the school of nursing, would mean well for the beneficiaries Similarly, Hon. Ndunagu, member from Mbaitoli Constituency, observed that, the establishment of the institutions, would at the end, provide skilled manpower for the hospitals in the state and beyond, while Hon. Victor Mere member for Owerri Municipal and Innocent Ikeh member from Owerri West called for the establishment of more campuses when the proposed institution becomes functional. Members, who were in opposition of the bill, Hon. Greg Okemili maintained strongly that the state government should instead of establishing new institutions, embark on reviving the existing institutions which he argued had lost accreditation.
L-R: Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Vincent Tenebe, the traditional ruler of Awa Ijebu, Ogun State, Oba Amos Awobajo and NOUN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Mba Okoronkwo, at the handing-over of documents of land donated by the community to the university, recently.
Ogun community donates 30 acres of land to NOUN TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
n ancient community, Awa-Ijebu in Ijebu North Local Government area of Ogun State, has donated over 30 acres of land to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). The traditional ruler of the community, Oba Amos Awobajo, handed over the land and the necessary documents, including the Certificate of Occupancy backing it on behalf of his community to the authorities of the university recently for the purpose of building its permanent study centre in the community. The land is situated on IbadanIjebu-Ode highway. Speaking at the handing over ceremony of the landed property, the monarch said the gesture was based on the belief shared by the people of the community on the vital role that education plays in the life of individuals and that of a nation. He recalled that the university approached the community about three years ago and indicated its interest to site a study centre in the community and that the community saw the development as an opportunity to contribute its own quota to the education development not only of the community and Ogun State but the entire country, thus the promise to donate the parcel of land. “Now the donation is just to make good our promise to the university,” Oba Awobajo said, adding: “And I thank God for making it
possible within a short time.” While promising the continued support of the community to the university, the monarch urged qualified individuals, including traditional rulers in the country irrespective of age to embrace the open and distance learning university education now available through NOUN. He disclosed that he had enrolled last year at the study centre of the university in the community. Expressing appreciation over the gesture, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, said the donation was a demonstration of the love the people of Awa-Ijebu and Ogun State in general have for quality education and the productions
of skilled manpower that could help grow the economy. He commended the gesture, as well as the enrolment of the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona and Oba Awobajo as undergraduate students of the university at the centre and many other notable Nigerians elsewhere, noting that this development had encouraged many more qualified Nigerians, who hitherto had no university education to embrace the open and distance learning system of education. Tenebe was accompanied to the handover ceremony by some management staff of the university, including his deputy in charge of academics. Prof. Mba Okoronkwo.
Katsina police school gets N6.9m water project JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
water supply project worth N6.9 million has been commissioned and handed over to the Police Boys Secondary School in Mani Local Government area of Katsina State. The project was carried out by the state’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), which has three boreholes fitted with submersible pumps and 90, 000 litres of steel surface tank. The Executive Director of the
agency, Abubakar Gege, who commissioned the project, said the facility also involved the rehabilitation of the school’s power generating system to improve water supply to the school community. Gege said the project was part of the present administration’s commitment towards boosting academic activities in educational institutions across the state. He said a four-month test run was carried out to ensure quality and sustainability of the project before it was certified fit for commissioning and handing over.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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WORK & LEARN
L IONA NAT
OPEN UNIVERSITY OF N
NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA 14/16, Ahmadu Bello Way, P. M. B. 80067, Victoria Island, Lagos. ADVERTISMENT FOR ADMISSION INTO PROGRAMMES OF THE NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA (NOUN) Applications are hereby invited from suitably qualified candidates for admission into the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) academic programmes. 1.
SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES i.
Undergraduate Degree Programmes Programme Code a) B.Sc Criminology and Security Studies 2201 b) Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution 2202 B.Sc c) Mass Communication 2204 B.Sc d) English 2205 B.A e) French and International Relations 2206 B.A f) Christian Theology 2207 B.A g) Islamic Studies 2208 B.A h) Political Science 2211 B.Sc Postgraduate Diploma Programmes a) Criminology and Security Studies b) Mass Communication c) Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution d) Christian Theology
2301 2302 2303 2305
Masters Degree Programmes a) M.Sc. Mass Communication b) M.Sc. Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) Programmes (By Research) a) French b) Christian Theology/Christian Religious Studies c) Islamic Studies d) English (Language and Literary Studies)
2501 2502 2503 2505
Undergraduate Programmes Programme Code a) Cooperatives Management 3201 B.Sc b) Entrepreneurial & Business Management 3204 B.Sc c) Accounting (in collaboration with (ICAN) 3205 B.Sc d) B.Sc Hospitality Management 3206 Postgraduate Diploma Programmes a) Financial Management b) Public Administration c) Business Administration
3309 3311 3313
Masters Degree Programmes a) Master of Public Administration (MPA) b) Master of Business Administration (MBA) c) Master of Science Public Sector Management d) Master of Science Public Administration e) Master of Science Business Administration
3411 3413 3414 3415 3416
Undergraduate Programmes Science Education a) Agricultural Science B.Sc (Ed.) b) Biology B.Sc (Ed.) c) Chemistry B.Sc (Ed.) d) Integrated Science B.Sc (Ed.) e) B.Sc (Ed.) Computer Science f) Mathematics B.Sc (Ed.) g) Physics B.Sc (Ed.) h) Business Education B.Sc (Ed.) Arts & Humanities Education I) Early Childhood Education B.A (Ed.) j) English B.A (Ed.) k) French B.A (Ed.) l) Primary Education B.A (Ed.)
Masters of Education (M.Ed.) Programmes a) Educational Administration and Planning b) Science Education c) Educational Technology
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) Programme (By Course work and Research) a) Educational Administration 4501 b) Educational Planning 4502 d) Educational Technology 4503 e) Mathematical Education 4504 c) Science Education 4505
SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY I.
Undergraduate Programmes a) Agricultural Extension & Management B.Sc b) Communications Technology B.Sc c) Computer Science B.Sc d) Data Management B.Sc
Programme Code 5201 5202 5203 5204
5301 5302 5303 5304 5305
M.Sc. Programme a) Information Technology (with Internet Options)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) Programme (By Research) a) Crop Science b) Animal Science c) Biology d) Chemistry
5504 5505 5506 5507
Post Graduate Diploma Programme Legislative Drafting
Programme Code 6201 6301
CENTRE FOR LIFE LONG LEARNING Certificate Programmes i.
Proficiency Certificate Programmes a) Call Centre Skills b) Mobile Phone Repair
University (Academic) Certificate Programmes a) Computer Literacy b) Dental Office Practice c) Arabic and Islamic Studies d) Christian Theology e) French f) Hotel and Catering Management
1004 1017 1018 1019 1020 1021
Diploma Programmes a) Business Communication b) Entrepreneurship c) Financial Management d) Marketing e) Medical Office Practice c) Arabic and Islamic Studies d) Christian Theology e) French f) Hotel and Catering Management
1201 1205 1206 1207 1208 1209 1210 1211 1212
CERTIFICATE PROGRAMMES a)
4401 4402 4403
5205 5208 5209 5211 5212 5213 5214
Postgraduate Diploma Programmes a) Agricultural Extension & Management b) Digital Communications c) HIV/AIDS Education and Management d) Mobile Communications Technology (Wireless) e) Information Technology
Undergraduate Programme LLB (Law) Degree Programme
4208 4209 4210 4211
Postgraduate Diploma Programmes a) Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) 4301 b) Postgraduate Diploma in Distance Education (PGDDE) 4302
Environmental Science & Resource Management Mathematics Mathematics/Computer Science Community Health Chemistry Biology Physics
Programme Code 4201 4202 4203 4204 4205 4206 4207 4212
B.Sc B.Sc B.Sc B.Sc B.Sc B.Sc B.Sc
SCHOOL OF LAW
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION i.
SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES i.
e) f) g) h) i) j) k)
Proficiency Certificate Programmes i. No previous experience or qualification is necessary. Note:
Programme Code 0004 0005
Candidates for Proficiency Certificate will NOT be qualified to proceed to a Certificate / Diploma programmes without possessing the requisite basic qualifications.
University (Academic) Certificate Programmes i. Junior Secondary School Certificate. ii. Minimum of 2 credits in SSCE/GCE ‘O’ Level, NECO, NABTEB and at not more than two sittings. iii. T.C II with at least 2 merits at not more than two sittings. iv. Mature candidates of 30 years and above with relevant work experience of not less than 10 years or evidence of prior knowledge/proficiency in a relevant field may be considered on their merit. v. I’dadiyah certificate of Standard Islamiyyah School. Diploma Programmes i. A minimum of three credits in SSCE/GCE ‘O’ Level, NECO and NABTEB at not more than two sittings with at least a pass in English Language. ii. A minimum of three merits in Teacher Grade II Certificate at not more than two sittings. iii. Senior Islamic School Certificate/Higher Islamiyyah Certificate including Arabic and islamic Studies. iv. Thanawiyyah Certificate of Standard Islamiyyah School. v. NOUN Academic Certificate and Certificates of other recognised institutions.
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
WORK & LEARN
L IONA NAT
OPEN UNIVERSITY OF N
NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA 14/16, Ahmadu Bello Way, P. M. B. 80067, Victoria Island, Lagos.
NOTE: T o qualify to proceed to appropriate degree programme of NOUN, holders of Diploma Certificate would be required to make up any deficiencies in their SSCE/GCE, NECO, NABTEB and T.C II II.
UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMES a)
100 LEVEL i. Five credits in the SSCE/GCE O'Level/NECO/NABTEB or equivalents at not more than two (2) sittings obtained in subjects relevant to the proposed field(s) of study. ii. Teachers' Grade II Certificate with a minimum of five merits or its combination with any of the certificates listed under (i) to obtain equivalent of five credits at 'O' levels. iii. Candidates seeking admission into School of Law must have five (5) credits including English Language, Literature in English and at least a credit Pass in Mathematics at not more than two (2) sittings in NECO/SSCE or GCE O/L only. iv. The School of Arts and Social Sciences requires that one of the five credits or merits must be in English Language, while at least two (2) should be in subjects relevant to the proposed field. v. For School of Management Sciences, the credit passes at Ordinary Level must include English and Mathematics. vi. For School of Education, the credit passes must include Mathematics for Science Education applicants and English Language for all humanities. Additionally, those in Science Education must have credit in English Language. vii. For School of Science and Technology, the credit passes must include Mathematics and English Language. viii. The minimum entry requirement for B.Sc Environmental Science and Resource Management is five (5) O'Level (SSCE/NECO/GCE or NABTEB) Credits at not more than two sittings including: English Language and Mathematics and any of Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science and Economics. 200 LEVEL (For Direct Entry) i. National Diploma from recognised institutions. ii Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) in subject(s) relevant to the proposed programme of study with a minimum of one merit and two passes. iii. International Baccalaureates, Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) with at least two 'A' level papers in relevant subjects and prerequisites number of 'O' level credit passes. iv. Candidates for entry into School of Law must have a minimum of second class (lower) degree from any recognized university with at least five credits including English language, literature in English and a credit pass in Mathematics at not more than two sittings in NECO/SSCE or GCE 'O' level only. v. Candidates for entry into B.Sc Community Health in the School of Science & Technology may be admitted into 200 level of the programme provided they have the following qualification: a) Five (5) credit pass in not more than two sittings in SSCE/NECO/GCE or NABTEB in the following subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, and either Physics, Geography and Economics. b) A registered and licensed Community Health Extension Worker with a Diploma in Community Health Extension (Ordinary National Diploma) and with not less than two years post qualification experience. vi. Candidates for entry into School of Science & Technology may be admitted into 300 level of the programme provided they have the following qualification: a) Five (5) credit pass in not more than two sittings in SSCE/NECO/GCE or NABTEB in the following subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, and either Physics, Geography and Economics b) A registered and licensed Community Health Extension Worker with a Diploma in Community Health Officers Programme (Higher National Diploma) and with not less than two years post qualification experience. vii. Admission of candidates into 200 and 300 levels B.Sc Accounting in the School of Management Sciences will not be applicable for this current admission exercise.
Other Requirements viii. Five credit passes at SSCE/GCE 'O' and 'A' level must be in subjects relevant to the proposed field(s) of study. ix. A credit level pass in Mathematics is required for all sciences and technology, business education and science education programmes. A pass in Mathematics may be considered for social sciences programmes. Also a pass in English language may be considered for Physics and Mathematics programmes. x. Candidates applying for B.A. English, B.A. (Ed) English and B.Sc. Mass Communication must have a credit in Literature in English. xi. Prior knowledge and relevant work experience (including first degree/ HND/RN) may be considered for advanced placement and waiver. xii. Candidates awaiting results of any relevant examination may also apply; they should however note that processing of application will not be completed until entry requirements are met.
POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA PROGRAMMES i) Candidates seeking admission must possess either Bachelor Degree Certificates or equivalent from institutions recognised by the Senate of NOUN; or ii) Holders of HND with a minimum of Lower Credit from institutions recognised by the Senate of NOUN. iii) Candidates seeking admission into the School of Management Science Postgraduate Diploma Programmes, with professional qualifications such as ACA, ACIS, ACIB, ACII, ACIA, etc may also be considered on individual merit. iv) Candidates seeking admission into the School of Law must possess a minimum of L.L.B degree.
MASTERS DEGREE PROGRAMMES i) A first degree from a University recognised by the Senate of NOUN in a related field of study. ii) A postgraduate diploma in a related field from a University recognised by Senate may also be admitted. iii) A good honours degree in Education (Arts, Languages, Sciences, Social Sciences, Vocational and Technical subjects) from any University recognised by the Senate of NOUN. iv) Holders of HND (with a minimum of Upper Credit) from institutions recognized by the Senate of NOUN, in a related field of study. v) Members of relevant professional bodies may apply for the Master of Business (MBA) programme.
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (Ph. D.) PROGRAMMES i) For the Doctor of Philosophy degree programmes, candidates must possess a masters degree in relevant fields of study from a University recognised by the Senate of the NOUN with a minimum score average of not less than 60% or a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.5 on a 5-point scale. ii) Candidates for Ph. D Programmes will be invited for an interactive session with the School of Postgraduate Studies before an offer of admission is made. iii) Candidates are advised to forward transcripts of their academic records and three (3) referees report, 2 of which must be from persons very well acquainted with the candidate's academic work, to the Dean of the School from which admission is requested. NOTE: Candidates may be required to satisfy additional requirements by specific Schools.
DURATION OF PROGRAMMES NOUN operates a flexible mode of study which allows a student to determine the pace, place, time and medium of study. Studentsâ€™ support facilities are available at all our Study Centres nationwide.
METHOD OF APPLICATION (E-APPLICATION) The entire process is electronic and online and operates 24-hours a day. The method of application is as follows:
Walk into any of these participating banks: BANKS First City Monument Bank Ecobank Zenith Bank Skye Bank
ACCOUNT NUMBERS - 0676806017 - 0005701770 - 1012587332 - 1790047324
PLEASE NOTE THAT NOUN WOULD NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY PAYMENT MADE INTO ANY ACCOUNT OTHER THAN THE ABOVE DESIGNATED BANKS AND ACCOUNT NUMBERS. 2.
Pay as follows for NOUN application forms: Undergraduate Programmes N5,000.00 (Five thousand naira only) Postgraduate (PGD and Masters) Programmes N7, 500.00 (seven thousand five hundred naira Only). Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) Programmes N10, 000.00 (ten thousand naira only).
Obtain a NOUN Teller specially designed for NOUN for the purpose of payment.
Collect the Application pin CODE equivalent to the amount paid for your form from the Bank.
Type www.noun.edu.ng and click on application form.
Use your Application pin number to access your NOUN online application form.
Complete the application by providing the required information.
After completion, the candidate can re-open the form as often as he/shelikes,before submitting.
Having completed all the above steps, you may submit your form by clicking the submit button at the bottom of the displayed screen.
You can now print out your provisional admission letter.
Applicants are advised to insist on paying the stipulated cost only and obtain official receipt at the point of payment. This advertorial can also be viewed online at www.nou.edu.ng
ACCESS PROGRAMME i. Candidates who do not possess the requirement for entry into an undergraduate programme will be required to register into the Access Programme which syllabus has been designed to be equivalent to ordinary level certificate syllabus of the respective subjects. ii. The subjects available under the Access Programme are: Mathematics, English Language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Literature in English. iii. Candidates must pass the Access courses registered for in the Access programme before proceeding to undertake any undergraduate programme.
Signed Mrs. Josephine O. Akinyemi Registrar
Ex-gov’s aide invests in 168 indigent students’ education A ZA MSUE KADUNA
non- governmental organisation, Reuben Education Foundation (REF), founded by the former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the late governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa , Mr. Reuben Buhari, has awarded scholarship to 168 students who are indigenes of Kachia Local Government area of the state. Presenting the cheque of N20, 000 to each of them recently, Buhari said he initiated the foundation last year to contribute his own quota to the development of the youths and the community. He said the scholarship was meant only for students from poor homes within the Kachia Local Government, where he comes from and who must have secured admission to a higher institution of learning.
Ex-commissioner wants moral, physical education compulsory in schools AYO ESAN
former Commissioner of Education in Oyo State and proprietor of Victory Group of Schools, Lagos, Dr. Francis Olaniyan, has urged the government to ensure that physical and moral education are compulsory in both primary and secondary schools in the country. Speaking at the First Unified Inter- House Sports of the school, which was held at the Victory High School, Ikeja, Olaniyan said physical and moral education should be made compulsory in the school curriculum, saying doing so would help in reversing to the good educational system of the past. According to him, the present system of paying attention to the class works only would not make the students coming out of our schools complete. On moral education, Olaniyan said the craze for money, which oftentimes makes many people to fraudulently acquire wealth, was one of the outcomes of not paying adequate attention on moral education in the country.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Osun Deputy Gov calls for emergency to address exam malpractice MOJEED ALABI
he Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori has called on stakeholders including government, individuals and
non-governmental organisations to hurriedly declare emergency on how to curb the rising cases of examination malpractice in the country. She disclosed this recently during the sensitisation programme organised by the National
Orientation Agency (NOA), on how to eradicate examination malpractice in schools and other places. The event was themed, “Do the right thing: Raise integrity standard in schools,” According to her, examination malpractice has
involved the participation of some other persons and institutions thus the need for an urgent intervention to address the problem. “The examination ritual is not deemed to have been completed until somebody, some people, or in many cases, the
whole examination centre must have cheated. Often times, the system is compromised through the collaboration of desperate parents, corrupt government officials, lazy and ill-prepared students, who wants to pass the examination at all cost.
Lagos council enforces 50% cut-off mark for students’ promotion TOBORE OVUORIE
L-R: Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Dr. Samuel Adenekan; Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela and the guest lecturer from the University of Ibadan, Prof. Sola Atimo at the workshop, recently.
Firm boosts nutritional education in Lagos, Ogun schools TOBORE OVUORIE
n a bid to promote lifelong healthy eating habits among school children, Nestle Nigeria Plc recently trained some primary school teachers from Lagos and Ogun States on how to provide relevant nutrition education for students in their respective states. The workshop tagged: “Healthy kids global programme teachers’ workshop, according to the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Nestle Nigeria PLC, Mr. Martin Woolnought, was an intervention to arouse students on the need for promoting nutrition education and physical activity. “Nestle believes that education plays a vital role in solution of achieving a healthy lifestyle and that the company’s healthy kids global initiative is aimed at teaching its benefit to school-age children because it is seen as a means of helping them form a positive attitude that will remain with them in life,” he said. Speaking earlier, Prof. Tola Atinmo, a university lecturer, who is also a founding president of the Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS) urged the teachers to tap into the training session as “it is an intervention through which they are nurturing them to be armed with the appropriate tools of information
and knowledge that would be translated into positive life-long actions in order to become healthy and productive pillars of our society; a society that will ultimately benefit each and every one of us and our descendants.” While commending Nestle’s focus on the health of primary school pupils, Prof. Atinmo opined that it was indeed a welcome departure from the usual practices, whereby secondary school children had been the target for health related interventions. The university don equally expressed the com-
mendation from the centre for Health, Population and Nutrition (CHEPON) for blazing the trail by being the only private sector organisation in Nigeria known till date that has vision of investing in future leaders. “Well-nourished children are better equipped to cope physically, intellectually, emotionally and psychologically with life,” he said. During the hands-ontraining session, Mrs. Bisi Atinmo, a nutritionist taught the teachers not to over boil water lest they kill the nutrients in it.
enceforth, 50 per cent cut-off mark would be strictly enforced for students’ promotion in all schools in the Mainland Local Government Education Authority in Lagos, as well as the state common entrance into the secondary schools. Disclosing this at a meeting with education stakeholders in the local government, which included the parents’ forum and school-based management committee, the Education Secretary, Mr. Adebisi Adetona emphasised that the state common entrance examination was now compulsory for all pupils in their final year in primary schools. Adetona told the stakeholders that dull students would not be given a third chance to repeat the same class, adding that parents should not leave the progress of their wards to teachers alone. “It is when there is collaboration between
parents and teachers that you can bring out the best in students,” he stressed. The meeting also agreed that students, who bring phones to school, must submit them to their teachers at resumption so as to avoid distractions during classes. While noting that the collection of illegal levies in schools in the council area would no longer be tolerated, Adetona warned that any school that flouts the order would be sanctioned accordingly. He also advised parents to always inform him on issues bothering them on their wards or their schools. While congratulating the coach of the victorious Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi on the team’s feat at the Africa Nations Cup held recently in South Africa, Mr. Adetona said ‘home boy’ Keshi by the victory, has made the local government proud, adding that the coach is an inspiration and role model to students in the LGEA in particular and Nigeria.
L-R; Ex-international footballer, Mr Paul Okoku; Head teacher of St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Ebute Metta, Lagos, Mrs. Grace Jalekun, Super Eagles Coach and an old boy of the school, Stephen Keshi and the Education Secretary of Mainland Local Government Education Authority, Mr Adebisi Adetona when the coach and his friend, Paul paid a visit to his alma matter, recently.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, March 7, 2013
LASU: Cult groups stage comeback •Management vows to get rid of them
t was a return of the old atmosphere of fear, last week, at the Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, when members of secret cult societies, threw caution to the winds and went on a killing spree leaving students, staff, management and members of the public in utter confusion. At about 4pm on Thursday, February 28, two unknown gunmen suspected to be members of Black Axe riding on a motorcycle, opened fire on a final year student of the institution and a rising hip hop music star, Olaniyan Ibrahim Damilola, popularly known as Damoche. According to a source who prefers anonymity, Damilola, who was said to
be a kingpin of “Eiye” confraternity attended Marketing 401 class and another course, Banking and Lending Strategy before he joined his mates to the sport centre where his department- Banking and Finance, was to take part in the final of the Faculty of Social Sciences Dean’s Football competition. “While he was taking photographs with his friends at the sport centre he received a call from yet to be identified people who demanded to see him outside the campus. I learnt he was reluctant to leave the school but a friend of his agreed to convey him out of the campus in his car,” the source explained. Before any help could be sought, the 25-year-old was already in the pool of his own blood along Iyana-Iba-
Business booms in OAU as new intakes resume OLUWAFEMI OGUNJOBI 400L ENGLISH, OAU
usiness activities have increased tremendously at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, in Osun State following the resumption of new students on campus for the 2012/2013 academic session. Since last Sunday when students began to troop into the campus, food vendors, operators of cybercafés, commercial motorcycles and motor transporters and owners of petty business centres were busy making brisk businesses. Most of their patronisers were said to be new students popularly called “Jambito” even as they are also making efforts to secure accommodation in the halls of residence. An attendant at Eldorado café, situated at the
Fajuyi Hall, who simply identified himself as Kunle, said, ‘it’s so normal to have this high turnout during the first few days of resumption. “It’s what we are used to and we had prepared for them. In our own capacity, we welcome them into the system by assisting them with registration procedures.” To ease the transportation problem in and out of campus, the university released more buses for their use free of charge. Now, it is easier for students to shuttle between the university’s main gate and the campus as a result of the initiative, which they commended the university for. One of the new students, Gabriel Ayodeji, told National Mirror that he had secured the admission after three attempts and so was glad to be offered social studies.
Igando road, as a result of the gunshots he received on his head and arm. In the night of the same day, some alleged that Damoche’s fellow cultists assembled themselves and declared war against the rival cult group members, Black Axe, suspected to have killed their friend. Before dawn on
simply identified as Kabiru, was found dead within LASU’s neighbourhood. According to the Lagos State Police Spokesperson, DSP Ngozi Braide, Kabiru, though not yet confirmed a cultist, his death could not be totally dissociated from the cultists’ rampage. There were others who
Ekiti varsity celebrates improved ranking MOJEED ALABI
he Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Oladipo Aina, has credited the rise in the university’s ranking among other universities in Nigeria to the foresight and commitment of the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State. The university in the latest Webometric ranking of global higher institutions moved from its earlier 79th position to 19th in the country. The VC commended the governor for linking the institution with global institutions such as London’s Kings College; Keele University in United Kingdom; University of Dundee, University of Nottingham and University of Glasgow, among several others. He said
the linkage was helping the university in no small measure. He disclosed this recently during the first edition of the interdisciplinary public lecture of the university’s postgraduate school where the governor was the guest lecturer. Fayemi, whose lecture was titled; ‘Reflections on values and the building of a successor generation in Nigeria,’ emphasised the importance of involving youths in leadership affairs. “The place of the youth in the quest for national renewal and new ethos of transformative leadership is especially pertinent given the demographic realities of today. It is therefore of great importance for Nigeria to harness the power of youth to regenerate the society because throughout history, leaders have understood and sought to harness the power of
youth to regenerate their societies,” Fayemi advised. In another development, the university has said part of the efforts at sanitising the institution informed the recent expulsion of a total of 29 students while about 10 others were suspended for allegation of involvement in examination malpractice. The university’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ajibade Olubunmi, who released the list of the suspended students to National Mirror, said the affected stude3nts had been tried and found guilty by the institution’s Senate committee in charge of addressing such issues. The list includes Agbejimi, Akinwale Olusoji with registration number UNAD/R/ OY/09/0341; Abimbola, Emmanuel (LA4/09/0461); Gungun, Alex Williams (LA4/09/0584), among others.
Ede Poly students want campus reopened DHIKRU AKINOLA,
400L, POL. SCIENCE, OAU
S L-R: Wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Ojiodu; the celebrant, Dr. Chekwube Ojiodu; and Mr. Niyi Oladunni during Ojiodu’s doctorate degree graduation at the University of Benin, Edo State, recently.
the following Friday, unconfirmed report had it that not less than three people were murdered including the son of a landlord in the area. The identities of the victims are yet to be revealed. As if that was not enough, on Sunday night, another student of the university and Damilola’s classmate,
were said to have lost their lives even before last Thursday, and their deaths had been fingered as what sparked the violence. For instance, on Saturday, February 23, a Black Axe member, whose identity could not be ascertained, was reportedly killed by suspected ‘Eiye’ members. Also, a former don of the Black Axe on the campus and student of the Faculty of Law, simply identified as John, was said to have been harassed and molested by members of Eiye. Before the attack on John, report had it that he was just demoted by the cult group and was replaced by another student from the Department of Political Science. In another development, another Black Axe kingpin from the Faculty of Education simply identified as Lydes was said to have been attacked and killed in Badagry. Lydes was said to have spent more than a decade on the campus. National Mirror investigation reveals that these combined events resulted in a full blown rivalry and a show of supremacy among the two major secret cult groups on the campus, a development that has suddenly returned the 29-yearold university to its dirty past. Meanwhile, since last Thursday, both students and staff of the university have continued to live in fear despite the presence of heavily armed police officers on the campus. In fact, the students’ union had ordered students to vacate their hostels especially those staying in areas such as Igbo-Elerin, Iba, among others. However, the university management has restated its commitment to rid the 29-year-old institution of bad eggs and return it to the path of glory, saying the development is only an extension of the sharp moral degeneracy in the larger society. In an interview with National Mirror, the Director of the university’s Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, Dr. Sola Fosudo, said the institution is much secured as all security apparatuses are in place to protect lives and property.
tudents of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, in Osun State, have called on well meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in the nation’s education sector to help them appeal to the insti-
tution’s management to reopen its campus. The polytechnic, which was shut down as a result of students’ protest against epileptic power supply on the campus on Monday, February 18, has since remained closed despite assurances from students to maintain
peace. However, the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kazeem Oyedeji, has denied the information, saying the campus only embarked on mid-semester break and would soon resume. ‘’Their allegations are all lies. They even
claimed the Rector is not around in the country, but as I speak to you, he is in the office. We did not close the school, but we are on mid-semester break. Any moment from now, the governing council will approve the date for their return,” Oyedeji told National Mirror.
HE GUARDIAN of March 5 welcomes us this week: “The problem occurred during a heavy downpour recorded Monday night.” ‘Downpour’ does not need any amplification (heavy)! It means a heavy rainfall. NATIONAL MIRROR Back Page column of February 21 did not contain all the lexical facts: “She passed out for seven days, after her tummy was ripped opened (open) during nine different rounds of surgeries….” Let us join The Sun group of newspapers in celebrating its 10th anniversary with a cautionary note on the abuse of the English language in its February 20 edition: “The media, as a mirror of the society, has a bounding role to play in ensuring that that the positive, and not the negative aspects of humanity, (this comma should have been after ‘negative’) are portrayed.” Voice of The Nation: bounden role. “67-year-old man raises alarm….” NewsPlus: raises the alarm “That security beef up (beefup) after 12 medics were slain” “Prof. Ezeilo, foremost mathematician dies” In headline casting, the omission of a comma after ‘mathematician’ clearly indicates two persons (plurality
Thursday, March 7, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Absoluteness of ‘downpour’ (heavy rainfall) of the verb notwithstanding because of its secondary nature— the subject in conjunction with the attribution (explication) is the prima facie determinant). “His long absence and the controversies it generated appears to have made the formerly taciturn governor less-inhibited.” Polity: His long absence and the controversies it generated appear (not appears)…. “Amaechi promises 20-hours power supply in Rivers State by March” Either 20-hour power supply or 20 hours’ power supply. “Airtel Nigeria has congratulated Nigerians and Super Eagles for (on/upon) winning this year’s African Cup of Nations….” “…at the formal take off (take-off) of the Heineken Champions Planet at (on) Victoria Island this weekend.” Finally from THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER: “Thank you Super Eagles for your touch in (on) our lives which brought many smiles and screams (sic) of happiness to our homes.” (Half-page advertisement by Nigerian Turkish International Colleges) The right environment for learn-
POMP AND CEREMONY OR POMP AND
OR, JUST POMP
ing: many smiles and screams? How? A smile/scream…yes, but ‘which brought smiles and screams to our homes.’ Next is THE NATION ON SUNDAY of February 17: “Security operatives bust terrorists hide-out in Bauchi” News: terrorists’ hideout (one word). “Oil money sets brothers on war path” News review: warpath “…they insisted on breaking one another’s heads instead of settling their differences....” Thugs as lawmakers: one another’s (also each other’s if only two persons are involved) head (not heads, plurality notwithstanding). “Anybody who does not have wrestling or boxing tendencies or a healthy heart should not enlist with the next army of lawmakers.” Some enlightenment: enlist in (not with). “It was pomp and pageantry
when Super Eagles won AFCON 2013 as….” Quite a disquieting line: pomp and ceremony or pomp and circumstance. Or, just pomp. “Now PDP has become suddenly concerned while the court has been invited to meddle into (in) a matter that is privileged.” “In order (other) words, Nigerians now express.…” “In the hey days (sic) of late (the late) Sani Abacha in Aso Rock….” This way: heyday. “NTA Network for all you care has now became (become) people-friendly.” “These are problems starring (staring) the governor in the face.” “…a highly corrupt institution with thiefing (thieving) Generals” “First (a comma) the compound was touched (torched) as early as 6.00 a.m.” “Barely two weeks after President Goodluck Jonathan took over the reins of power....” No marginalization: assume/drop the reins of government. ‘Power’ and ‘government’ are not synonymous. “The series of political crisis (crises) that greeted the nation....”
“Opinion survey of views in public arena from some of the live broadcast (broadcasts) indicates that Nigerians of all walks of lives (life) desire a great country.” “News that ache the heart” Balm: news is news. So, aches. “Some people in the past have (had) associated native soap with rituals.” “The people have come to a crossroad….” Fixed expression: a/the crossroads…. “Besides, sharing of the spoils of office are (is) the central focus of our elected lawmakers.” “Although precedence had it that all the chief executives of the scheme….” There is a world of difference between ‘precedence’ and ‘precedent,’ which applies here. “The two men converged in (on) London from where they flew to Lagos.” DAILY SUN of February 20 had a similar blunder: “State FA chairmen converge in (on) Abuja Feb 23” “How many times has (have) even the secondary school teachers gone on strike?” “How has (have) the too many strikes of ASUU in the last one decade helped in bringing glory
Samsung boosts e-learning with Smart Classroom Solution MOJEED ALABI
n electronic manufacturing giant, Samsung West Africa, has introduced what it termed: ‘Samsung Smart Classroom Solution’ as a fully integrated learning platform using the company’s e-boards and other devices such as tablets, personal computers and other new age technological tools in schools in the country. The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Bravo Kim, said the initiative was a three-pronged converged digital education package that provides students and teachers with access to 65-inch interactive e-boards and tablet devices. He noted that the interactive management solution delivers content to students and allows for the sharing of screens inside a classroom with teachers having the opportunity to monitor students’ progress. The second component, he added, was the learning management system which provides educational materials, such as e-textbooks, timetables and learning applications for users while the third component, the student information
system, tracks student attendance, compiles grade history and keeps record of prizes or demerits. The device was recently launched at the Greensprings School in Lagos. Speaking during the Greensprings’ launch, Kim said: “The deployment of the device in Greensprings School represents an important part of our continued effort to deliver the classroom of the future today.” He noted that the innovative solution frees educators from the confines of standing at a chalkboard or projector and allows them to move about the classroom, conducting interactive lessons and activities through their touch screen tablet or notebook computer and that the company was confident that the school will find it to be a powerful and effective platform for engaging students, elevating learning, and fostering a truly interactive classroom learning environment. He added that: “We are experiencing a fundamental shift from learning to use technology to learn and thus, we can only expect the concept of smart learning to accelerate. As a promoter and facilitator of smart learning and IT skills’
L-R: Head, Business to Business Division, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Ayodele Adegboye; Managing Director, Mr. Brovo Kim; Director, Greensprings School, Lagos, Mrs. Olayiwola Koiki and the school’s Director of Education, Prof. George Hickman at the launch of Samsung’s Smart School Solution at Greensprings School, IbejuLekki, Lagos.
acquisition in Nigeria, Samsung is committed to providing educational solutions that empower educators and students alike by giving them the tools they need to transform their learning and teaching experience. On her part, the Director of Greensprings School, Mrs. Olayiwola Koiki, said the solution was the perfect opportunity to nurture
students’ growth through interactive technology and also help them adapt to global trends in information technology. “The students of today are digital natives, and to some extent, inhabit a world different from that in which their parents, who are digital immigrants, live in. The conventional styles of learning no longer match their
everyday experiences. We are indeed very happy that we are the first school in Nigeria and indeed sub-Saharan Africa to adopt this smart learning solution. We are very excited about keying into the potential of the Samsung Smart School Solution to create a truly global and interactive learning environment,” she said.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Pele, best player ever –Bubka
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Quitting the Emirates has never crossed my mind even for a second. I am staying, and that’s it - Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger
Sand Eagles pledge W/Cup ticket
Maigari gets Bauchi street
and Eagles’ coach, Audu Ejor, has said that his team will qualify for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti. The African qualifiers will hold from April 10 to April 14 in Casablanca, Morocco, while the World Cup takes place between September 18 and September 28 in Papeete, Tahiti. Ejor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that 18 players had been invited to commence open camping in Badagry, Lagos State, on March 10 in preparation for the qualifiers. “We are planning to enter camp on Saturday or on Sunday in Badagry which is our traditional ground, and we have called 18 players for the World Cup qualifiers. “We will ensure that we surpass our previous achievements when we qualified and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup. “We are determined and the players are in good shape,” Ejor said. He said the team would not rely on its success at the 2012 COPA Lagos Beach Soccer when it begins its campaign and would not underrate any team. “We will not underrate any country because before we qualified for the last World Cup Madagascar almost knocked us out and it was their first time in the tournament. “So, it will be to our peril if we decide to rely on our performance in COPA Lagos as champions of Africa, we intend to give our best,” the Sandy Eagles’ coach, said.
Chibuzo Okonkwo (left) in a match.
W/Cup invite: Okonkwo on trial at Villa IKENWA NNABUOGOR
uper Eagles and Rangers FC right back, Chibuzo Okonkwo, has undergone trials at English Premiership side, Aston Villa, after arriving Birmingham, the club’s base few days ago. Okonkwo, who is among the 24 home-based Coach Stephen Keshi on Tuesday, invited to camp for the World Cup qualifier against Kenya later this month, was given permission to travel to England to keep a date with the English Premiership side. Speaking with National Mirror, he said that he was delighted
CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
mo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has assured Heartland Football Club that his government is doing everything within its powers to ensure the team is in high spirit and comfortable to compete in the CAF Confederation Cup. Okorocha gave the assurance while briefing newsmen after inspecting ongo-
to be given the great opportunity to show what he can do by the club’s management, adding that he would be on top of his game to get a deal. “It is great to be associated with a Premier League club like Aston Villa. When I got the invitation for trial at Villa, I was delighted because the English Premiership is where every player wants to come and play,” Okonkwo opened up to National Mirror. He continued, “This is a great opportunity for me to prove what I can do. The atmosphere at the club is great and I am enjoying every bit of my stay here so far. “It is a huge opportunity to play with established players
like Gabriel Agbonlahor, Emile Hesky, Nathan Delfounso and captain Stilyian Petrov and the expereince will live with me forever.” Okonkwo had in the past been linked with another English Premiership side, Stoke City, but nothing came out of it. He had also tried out at French sides, Strasbourg and Rennes, but did not get a club. He was almost hooked at Russian side FC Rostiov and even had his profile on the club’s website, but contractual disagreements put paid to that interest. He was also in Ukraine where he had tests at Kryvbas but came back without a deal.
CAF Cup: Okorocha backs Heartland ing renovation works at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri. He said the state government embarked on renovation works on the stadium to ensure that the pitch is upgraded to be among the best in the country and expressed confidence that Heartland would triumph. “We are showcasing a wonderful team
and I am very optimistic that our club Heartland will make us proud again”. Heartland and Warri Wolves are Nigeria’s flag bearers in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup championship. The two teams were drawn bye at the preliminary stage, but the Owerri-based outfit will host US Bitam FC of Gabon at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on March 17.
auchi State Governor, Alhaji Isa Yuguda, has named a major street in Bauchi after Nigeria Football Federation president, Aminu Maigari, to mark Nigeria’s 2013 AFCON success. “The Government and people of Bauchi State are delighted with the Super Eagles triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa,” Yuguda said when he received the AFCON trophy at the Government House in Bauchi on Tuesday. “The success was certainly the result of hard work, as well as teamwork, determination and dedication. “We are all very proud of the team, as we are sure all other Nigerians are proud of the team. “I wish to recommend to the three arms of government – executive, judiciary and legislature – the same spirit of team work, because that is the surest route to success.”
Maigari M i i
Governor Okorocha told the players that the state government was making necessary arrangements to pay their allowances and bonuses, urging them to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice, which he said they had always exhibited in the past to win titles. Earlier the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Comrade Kenneth Emelu, had assured Okorocha and all Imo people that Heartland would excel in the competition.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Taylor set to meet Eto’o
Chelsea coach, Rafa Benitez (r) and Tottenham boss, Andre Villas-Boas
Chelsea, Tottenham dream success
hey could both be forgiven for dreaming of more lucrative adventures in the UEFA Champions League come next season, but today Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur will have their eyes focused on a place in UEFA Europa League quarterfinals. Both must put thoughts of the UEFA Champions League aside at least for 90 minutes as they meet Steaua Bucharest and Inter Milan respectively. Spurs, twice winner of Europa League predecessor tournament the UEFA Cup, would have been competing in the Champions League this season, had Chelsea’s triumph in the final over Bayern Munich not torpedoed those ambitions. However, the Blues themselves suffered the heartache of being dumped into the Europa melting pot when they became the first Champions League winners to exit the
group stage. Much water has flowed under Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge since they saw off Bayern, with Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo unceremoniously sacked and Rafa Benitez installed as an interim measure - to the dismay of many of the club’s supporters. Benitez has to juggle with the additional burden of a top four league finish with next weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United also looming. “We have to go to Bucharest before we can concentrate on the United game,” the Spanish gaffer insisted yesterday. Benitez has a selection dilemma regarding skipper John Terry, who is returning from a knee injury, while Gary Cahill is getting over a virus, leaving Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz as central defensive partners.
ewcastle’s Steven Taylor is ready to renew acquaintance with Anzhi striker Samuel Eto’o Newcastle defender, Steven Taylor, will come up against Samuel Eto’o when the Toon Army go to Russia today, nine years after their first meeting. Taylor’s senior debut came as an 18-year-old in a UEFA Cup tie with Eto’o’s Real Mallorca, and Taylor left the Balearics with the Cameroon star’s shirt. Eto’o is now at Anzhi Makhachkala and reportedly among the highest earners in the game, and Taylor will again have the task of keeping him quiet in the first leg of Newcastle’s Europa League last-16 tie. “I never thought I would play against Samuel again,” Taylor said yesterday. “He won’t have a clue who I am but to have the chance of playing against a top-quality player like him is good.” Taylor insists United will not be intimidated by an expensively-assembled squad which also includes Lassana Diarra and Brazilian Willian. “They have spent a lot of money, but we have got class in our team,” Taylor said.
Ferdinand Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, has thanked the club’s supporters for their raucous backing during Tuesday’s Champions League loss to Real Madrid. United exited the competition in controversial fashion, having led 1-0, 2-1 on aggregate, when Nani appeared to be harshly red carded, after which the Red Devils conceded twice in quick succession.
Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his gratitude to the Manchester United supporters as he struggled to contain his emotions upon his return to his former side on Tuesday night. Real Madrid, who Ronaldo joined from United for £80 million in 2009, emerged as 3-2 aggregate winners in their last-16 tie against the Premier League leaders. Ronaldo, 28, was given a standing ovation by the United fans before kick-off and he thanked them for the reception.
Today’s fixtures Anzhi
Luka Modric has been unable to hold down a first-team place since joining Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur last year, but Mourinho praised his impact on the game. “I’ve always been justified in bringing Modric to the club,” the coach said yesterday. “I’ve always been fully convinced he’s a great player and on Tuesday at Manchester, he brought speed to our play with his vertical thinking.”
Nwao targe meda
Barcelona has announced on itsofficial website that goalkeeper Victor Valdes has been handed a four-match suspension following his dismissal in Saturday’s 2-1 La Liga loss away against Real Madrid. The shot-stopper was shown a red card for verbally abusing referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa after he refused to award Barcelona a spot-kick in the closing stages of the game, and consequently faces a spell on the sidelines.
Tatarusanu taunts EPL teaua Bucharest goalkeeper, Ciprian Tatarusanu, yesterday fired a broadside at Chelsea ahead of their Europa League clash today by dismissing the quality of the Premier League. “Even though the Premier League has some of the most skillful players in the world, the teams still base their game on free-kicks and corners,” Tatarusanu said. “As a goalkeeper, I understand this and will do my best to avoid conceding goals. As we proved in the two European games against Ajax, we can be a match for anyone, no matter who they are. Chelsea are a better team than Ajax, they are the Champions League holders so they are obviously the stronger team. “Sure, it will be much harder than a game against a top Romanian side and I have no doubt I will have much more work to do than against a ‘normal’ European team.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Gareth Bale is ready to reject a big-money move this summer if Tottenham Hotspur goes on to clinch a Champions League place, according to reports. Real Madrid is leading the £50 million chase for the Player of the Year contender, who has also attracted strong interest from Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Bale’s desire to remain in London comes as Tottenham prepares to offer him an improved contract for the fourth consecutive year.
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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Sergej Bubka (below) believes Pele is the best that the football world has produced
solve. “At least I know I have something to hold on to while training. However, I want additional medals and that’s my goal. I also want to be an Olympian,” Nwaokolo added. The lifter began her sporting career as an athlete but defected to weightlifting when she faced certain obstacles. “It was very tough breaking into the scene,” she recalled. “I did athletics for a number of years but couldn’t make headway. One of the weightlifting coaches saw me at the National Stadium while training and asked me to come join them. The rest is now history.”
Without a doubt, Sergej Bubka is one of the most celebrated and talented athletes of all time. Between 1983 and 1997, the Ukrainian pole vaulter was crowned world champion six times in succession, also winning a gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games and clearing the mythic six-metre mark 40 times, setting 35 world records during his career and still holding the outdoor (6.14m) and indoor (6.15m) world records. He spoke to FIFA.com on his passion for football and how he has kept busy after retirement leg of their last-16 tie? We have a good team that has undeniable strengths in how they play. I’m very optimistic and I honestly think Shakhtar have a good chance of qualifying. One of your sons is now a professional tennis player. Has he inherited your talent? Maybe. Either way, I’m delighted that my two sons share my passion for sport. Sport teaches you values and builds character, and sport is important in terms of developing youngsters and children. It provides them with a framework and it’s good for their health.
ON success: Cameroun replicate Nigeria–Bell
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Pele, best player ever –Bubka
okolo ets more als
Commonwealth on in the 48kg catAugustina Nwaokolo, ill has a lot to offer Niational tournaments. old won gold for the ng her first internaat the 2010 Commons in India and with nearing, she says she Nigeria proud again. champion also stated oyment at the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps uld motivate her re-
Thursday, March 7, 2013
country. “The national team is about excellence and all the players selected at any time are the best players picked to defend the colours of their country,” the former international said. “The national team is not about the juxtaposition of talents. But this is what we have been doing in Cameroon for a long time now. “The national coach should select the best players who are able to be deployed for a specific plan.”.
What positions do you hold at the moment? I’m President of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, Chairman of the Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee, and Vice-President of the IAAF, the international athletics federation. I have also set up the Sergej Bubka Sports Club and it has introduced more than 300 children to athletics since its foundation in 1990.
above all I didn’t want to lose. In theory I was a forward, but sometimes I would end up in goal if I had a feeling that would make us win.
Do you also take an interest in football? Of course, I do. The club from the town where I was born, FC Zorya Luhansk, won the Soviet title in 1972. When I was younger, I spent all my free time playing football. I only discovered athletics by chance in 1974, and it was a discipline that attracted me immediately.
Do you have a favourite club? On the one hand, I’ll always be a fan of FC Zorya Luhansk. But I moved to Donetsk at the age of 15 and after that I became a supporter of Shakhtar Donetsk. They’re a club that’s become one of the best in the country while playing football of a very high quality.
What was your favourite position? I played all over the pitch, always for the good of the team. Actually,
Who was your favourite player? Naturally, I was a big fan of Lev Yashin and Oleg Blokhin, but the player I had more admiration for than anyone was Pele. For me, he was the best. I had the fortune to meet him a few years later and it was great.
What do you make of Shakhtar’s chances of reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after their 2-2 draw with Dortmund in the first
Ukraine has produced several great sporting figures over the last few years, like yourself, Andriy Shevchenko and the Klitschko brothers… As I said earlier, we’re a country that’s passionate about sport. Ukrainians take an interest in sport at a very early age. On top of that, we can draw upon a long and rich tradition: since 1952, we have won more than 600 Olympic medals. In Ukraine, sportsmen and women find themselves part of a system in which they can blossom. For us, the challenge is to keep producing athletes of the very highest level. Are you worried sometimes that someone might beat your pole vault benchmark one day? It will happen sooner or later. I’m very proud of my records, but my duties today lead me quite naturally to support the future champions in my discipline. That gives me pleasure and I’ll be happier than anyone the day when someone beats my record.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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With SAYO OGUNDEJI
Kenya assures clubs of support
Pierce helps Celtics top slumping 76ers
enya Basketball federation chairman Paul Otula has assured teams that will feature in continental matches that they will receive technical and moral supports as the federation engages relevant quarters including the government and corporate sectors to step in with sponsorships. He said he was aware continental championships were still an uphill task for Kenyan clubs as even Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) that has represented Kenya many times has always returned home empty handed. He said it was unfortunate that Men’s national champions Co-operative Bank could not travel to Uganda to defend their title due to unknown reason.
Injury keeps Jackson out from Storm
he Seattle Storm announced yesterday that Lauren Jackson will not compete with the team during the 2013 season. Jackson has chosen to remain in Australia to rehabilitate following her recent hamstring surgery. Her contract has been suspended and she is expected to play for the Storm in 2014. In addition, the Storm announced that center Ann Wauters will not return. She has chosen to spend the summer resting and with her family and does not plan to participate in the WNBA in 2013. “We support Lauren’s decision to take time off and let her body fully recover,” said Storm Head Coach and General Manager Brian Agler. “Lauren is the best player in the world at her position so it will be impossible to replace her but we are moving forward. We also truly appreciate the time and effort Ann and her family gave to the Storm in 2012. She is a fantastic person and great player. We wish her the best of luck in the future.
Basketball action between Kano Pillars and Dodan Warriors during the last season at the Indoors Sports Hall of the National Stadium. Inset: Coach Ahmed
Ahmed names Hoopers, Warriors as threats to Pillars’ ambition
oach of Kano Pillars Basketball Club, Sani Ahmed, is confident his team will wrestle back the league title from the current champions, Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt when the new season dunks off. Ahmed however added that the likes of Hoopers, Dodan Warriors and Islanders both of Lagos and Kada Stars of Kaduna remain serious threats to his team’s ambition. “Of course the likes of Hoopers, Warriors, Islanders and Kada Stars remain some of the toughest opponents in the division but we have to beat all these teams if we want to win the trophy and all the players seem ready for the challenge both physically and mentally.” The new season would have dunked off in February but was later postponed to March due to technical hitches by the Nigeria Basketball Federation who only last week sorted out the sponsorship deals for both the men and women’s league respectively. Pillars defeated Lagos Islanders by 83-72 points in 2009 to retain the male title of the DStv Premier League having won
it the previous years but have been unable to win it ever since. Royal Hoopers have however denied Pillars the opportunity of winning the trophy in the last two seasons as the Port Harcourt based side seems to have discovered the antidote of beating Ahmed’s Pillars. But Ahmed, who assisted Coach Ayo Bakare to qualify D’Tigers for last year’s London Olympics, believes his side has gone through a rough patch and are ready to reclaim the title. According to him, his side still remains one of the top sides in the country and its failure to win the league for some time now will surely motivate the players to give it their best this time around. He said, “Pillars is known to be champions and we are working very hard to ensure we regain the title back from Hoopers when the new season dunk off. “We have brought in few experienced players to help our push for the league title and the old hands in our rank are still very hungry for success which means our opponents have a lot to contend with. The coach however praised
the NBBF for their efforts in making sure the league develops both in organisation and officiating, saying all hands must be on deck to ensure Nigeria ranks among the best as far as the game of basketball is concerned anywhere in the world. Pillars had a poor outing at last year’s Africa Club Championship where they finished in a distant 9th position but the coach says his team will work on the lapses discovered during the last edition, saying the addition of new players will go a long way in making sure Pillars have a good representation on the continent. “It was unfortunate because many people expected much from us but that is sports for you but we have another chance of not only qualifying for the tournament but perform to our full potential and we are going to try our best to win the tournament. “We have identified and studied our mistakes of the last edition and hoping the boys rise up to the occasion this time around to make the country proud by giving them a good representation,” Ahmed added.
aul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Avery Bradley scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers yesterday. Led by Pierce, the Celtics controlled the game and used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to seal the win. Last May, these two teams went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. On Wednesday, the Sixers lost for the ninth time in 10 games and are well out of the playoff race. Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, and Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 37 points and 10 rebounds, and Kevin Durant scored 26 as the Thunder held off a second-half charge to down the Los Angeles Lakers 122-105. The Thunder led from start to finish, but had their 18-point lead whittled down to five midway through the fourth quarter.obe Bryant ended up with 30 points after leaving the game with a right elbow injury in the first quarter. Steve Nash matched his season best with 20 points as the Lakers fell back below .500 after reaching the mark for the first time since December. At Sacramento, California, Ty Lawson had 24 points and Danilo Gallinari added 23 as the Denver Nuggets won their sixth straight game 120-113 over the Sacramento Kings. The deep and talented Nuggets used a 36-point third quarter to build a lead against the Kings that they never relinquished in winning their season-best third straight road game. They scored 70 second-half points when they shot nearly 64 percent. The streaking Nuggets have won seven of eight games, including 11 in a row at home, where they own a 26-3 record, which ties Miami for the best mark in the NBA.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance No country can develop and compete at the global level at this information age without adequate and sound software base
The newly formulated Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations 2012 would further improve NCAA’s oversights of all the players in the industry to the benefit of all stakeholders DIRECTOR GENERAL, NIGERIAN CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY HAROLD DEMUREN
Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, Cleopas Angaye
PIB: NUPENG wants Petroleum Minister’s power whittled down MESHACK IDEHEN
he Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), said the National Assembly should whittle down the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), so that he or she will not become dictatorial. Furthermore, NUPENG said it is worried about the delay in the passage by of the Petroleum Industry Bill the National Assembly, and that the delay and politicking over its passage does not augur well for the advancement of the oil and gas industry. The union therefore, called on the National Assembly to expedite necessary legislative actions and pass the bill into law so that the oil and gas industry can move forward. NUPENG, General Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare, said in a statement on Wednesday, that oil and gas workers are not happy at the delay in the passage of the PIB bill which is robbing the country of billions of dollars of new investments into the oil and gas industry that will bring about employment opportunities, adding the delay is also leading to divestment by some of the
oil companies. According to the NUPENG scribe, the union is condemning in its entirety, the negative reaction of some northern senators that are not in support of the bill because of some provisions, particularly the host community fund. Aberare said the union is stating that all stakeholders, including northern senators should allow reason to prevail, while insisting however that the plans of some people are unpatriotic, selfish and unnecessary, because all knows full well the extent
of environmental degradation caused by oil exploration activities in the oil producing communities. Speaking further, the NUPENG general secretary said northern senators who are working against the passage of the PIB should exercise restraint and canvass for the extension of such monies to host communities in the North, where hydroelectricity installations are situated along their rivers and where solid minerals are tapped. “NUPENG calls on the National Assembly to commence
public hearing on the PIB, so that the various stakeholders can express their views, misgivings and proffer solutions to some of the nagging grey areas in the bill, which should be harmonized in order to have it as a law that will be acceptable to all parties. “The National Assembly should also whittle down the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources in the bill, so that he or she will not become dictatorial. “The union also wants NASS to make the PIB to be more accountable and transparent and that labour issues relating to staff transfer, conditions of service, pensions and gratuities be well taken care of, so that industrial relations matter will not be triggered off ”,Aberare added.
parallel union of miners in the country, Progressive Miners Empowerment Association (PMEA), has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and refocus on develop-
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L-R: Director, Retail Sales, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Charles Ogunwuyi; Managing Director, Mr. Steven Evans; General Manager Marketing, Total Nigeria Plc, Mr. Yahaya Yunusa and Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat, Mr. Wael Ammar, during the presentation of Etisalat Mini Experience Centre in Lagos, yesterday.
Miners call for Jonathan’s intervention in sector operations CHIDI UGWU
ment of the mining industry, saying the sector has huge potentials for job creation. The group also advised President Jonathan to opt for out of court settlement with all the parties involved in the litigations holding back the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited. The group said the call became necessary especially now that United States, which is highest oil consuming nation, is cutting down
on its oil imports, adding there was greater need to diversify the nation’s economy. Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the National President, (PMEA), Comrade Sunday Ekozin, reiterated that Nigeria cannot achieve its desired greatness with the economy rooted on oil alone. “We are making a passionate appeal to Mr. President to look at issues, we have submitted docu-
NCC moves to check fraudulent SIM replacement
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ments to the Presidency for which we are appealing to His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the mining sector and address these issues.” Continuing, Ekozin said: “We are appealing as patriotic miners who are interested in the development of this sector to focus attention on mining; mining is catalyst of economic development and industrialisation anywhere in the world.
Creating credible How rebranding has repositioned ID system in Akwa Ibom Nigeria
Business & Finance
Thursday, March 7, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
NCC moves to check fraudulent SIM replacement KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Nigerian Communications Commission is currently working on a regulation to check cases of fraudulent replacement of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) by telecoms network, National Mirror gathered yesterday. Investigation showed that the regulation, which is at the draft stage, empowers a telecoms subscriber to pursue any legal action or other remedies against a network operator for any SIM replacement done fraudulently by his agent or dealer. Entitled: ‘Guideline of SIM Replacement in Nigeria’, the
draft guidelines, a copy of which was obtained by National Mirror, stipulates that any SIM replacement done in violation of the Guidelines shall be sanctioned in accordance with the Enforcement Regulations. Under the regulation also, a network shall be held liable for any SIM replacement carried out in violation of the regulations or done fraudulently by its agents or dealer. The key objectives of the draft document, according to the commission, are first; to prescribe a regulatory framework and provide a procedure for network providers to effect a SIM replacement for subscribers; and to stipulate the minimum standard of care
which operators shall exercise in order to prevent fraudulent replacements of SIMs. The third objective is to provide guidelines on the standard and procedure which network operators are expected to adhere to in the process of conducting a SIM replacement. Under the circumstances when a subscriber SIM can be replaced, the draft guidelines Commission stated that ‘A SIM can be replaced if the original SIM is faulty, demanded, stolen, lost, obsolete (but eligible for replacement or an upgrade, and any other reasonable legitimate reasons or conditions necessitating a SIM replacement.’ It stated that all SIM replacements shall be undertaken
by network operators or their licensed agents /dealers while under the requirement for SIM replacement, the NCC Guidelines say the SIM must be registered in accordance with the Registration of Telephone Subscriber Regulations 2011. Also, the subscriber or proxy requesting for the replacement must provide the following: information about the six most-frequently called numbers from the SIM; a letter of authority duly signed by the subscriber if the SIM is to be collected by a proxy; details of the last two recharges on the SIM’s account. Some other requirements for SIM replacement are that the SIM must be active on the network of the operator; that the request for
SIM Replacement can be made by the subscriber or through a proxy; that the subscriber must fill a Standard Form as provided in Schedule 1 of the Guidelines; that a valid photo identification of the subscriber must be provided; that the network operator must capture a facial image of the subscriber which must be matched against the existing record of the subscriber, among others. The Guidelines also mandates the network operator to carry out a quarterly audit of SIM replacement transactions carried out by both its staff and agents to ensure appropriate documentation prior to Replacement and the integrity of replacement processes and a Report should be forwarded to the Commission.
Dangote shines at Kaduna Trade Fair STANLEY IHEDIGBO
L-R: Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Walter Drenth; Chief Godpower Agbonifo; winner of best distributor award, Chief Mary Agbonifo and Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Nicholas Vervelde, during the Nigerian Breweries Distributors awards 2013 ceremony in Lagos, recently. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Google advocates cloud computing in Nigeria KUNLE A ZEEZ
ountry Manager for Google in Nigeria, Ms Juliet Ehimuan, has canvassed the use of cloud computing, saying adopting cloud computing by Nigerian businesses would save them cost of deploying physical IT infrastructures in the course of their operations. Ehimuan said IT can be a big upfront cost and having to manage it on a daily basis can increase spend and distract a business even further from its core focus of making money. She said the business approach to IT is being redefined by the Internet. According to her, “Email, documents, calendars and other business communication tools are increasingly being delivered and hosted online via a trend known as ‘cloud computing’.” She said cloud computing is
a simple concept where applications and data are delivered over the Internet via a third party. “It’s a transformational, disruptive technology which is having a big impact on the way the world of IT works and the way businesses run IT.” Explaining the two major key benefits of cloud computing, Ehimuan said of the many benefits, cost savings and productivity gains stand out. “Once you are hooked up to the web, the cost of buying licenses, purchasing servers and maintaining them is reduced because it’s possible to effectively ‘rent’ business applications from a third party. From a budget perspective, it brings predictable costs for IT and dramatically reduces spend on traditional desktop software. “Secondly, there are productivity gains to be made from running your business via the cloud. Key to this is the shift towards a
more collaborative way of working. We need to share information and work with others to get things done, and the Internet allows you to do this in a way that hasn’t been possible before,” she said. Ehimuan admitted that some business owners could be hesitant to transfer their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud: hosting your data with a web-based provider can represent a shift in thinking about control and security of data. “However, it is important to remember that the business of the key cloud computing providers who host the data depends on offering a secure environment for it. They invest more time and money in protecting their customers’ data than any small organisation could possibly afford; in fact, it is one of the most important factors considered when developing new products that handle personal and business data,” she said.
eading indigenous conglomerate, Dangote Group has been declared the first runner up at the just concluded 34th Kaduna International Trade Fair. Director General of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), Alhaji Usman Saulawa, said Dangote’s support for the Nigerian economy through the Kaduna chamber of commerce for about thirty years deserves commendation. Companies under the Dangote Industries Limited received accolade from the organisers and participants who were excited by the exhibition of the
company’s innovative products and the use of branding materials that stood out its pavilion. According to a statement by the Dangote Group, Saulawa described Dangote’s presence and pavilion as a good quality outing, having occupied a strategic position in the trade fair complex. “Dangote is one of our major partners. We would want to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for given us this kind of support,” he said. In the same vein, President of KADCIMMA Abdulalimi Bello hinted that this year’s fair is better than the previous years. He said from 1979, Kaduna trade fair has hosted 34 fairs which have contributed to the economic development of Nigeria.
FAAN commences expansion of access gate OLUSEGUN KOIKI
n a bid to make Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos more convinient for users most especially motorists, the airports landlord, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has commenced the expansion of the access gate. FAAN said that with the expansion, the airport road would further be expanded to five lanes on each side from its initial three lanes each. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati stated that the expansion and modernisation exercise was part of the ongoing transformation of the 22 airports nationwide. He explained that on completion, the expansion was expected to reduce the traffic jam always
experienced at the gate at peak hours and invariably reduce the travelling time for air travellers hurrying to catch their flight at the both local and international terminals He added that the new toll gate, which would be fitted with automated toll points, will also enhance security because of the placement of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) camera to monitor the safety and security of the entry and exit points. He said, “The gate, which presently has three lanes on each side will be expanded to five-lane on each side making a total of ten lanes, thereby increasing capacity for more vehicles plying the road. “It is expected that on completion, the new access gate will not only ease the traffic jam at the gate, but also enhance transparency in the collection of charges thereby increasing the internally generated revenue of FAAN.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Business & Finance
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Consumer council destroys N116m seized items OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
he Consumer Protection Council yesterday destroyed seized items valued at N116.5million. The destroyed items were fake and substandard products confiscated by the council at various times at the FCT and its environs. Some of the items include syringes that failed labeling standards, extension wires that failed laboratory and analysis test and cable wires deemed capable of igniting fire when put into use. Others include cigarettes that do not meet labelling standard and consumables like substandard fruit drinks, groundnut oil, baked beans, green giant and corn flakes. According to the council, the consumables did not have ap-
propriate regulatory registration numbers, manufactured and expiration dates and as such found not fit for consumption. Addressing journalists shortly after destroying the items at Adon Kasa Karu, a suburb in Abuja, the Acting Director General of CPC, Mr. Emmanuel Amlai said the action was in line with the mandate of the agency. He said confiscating and destroying of items found to be sub-standard and injurious to public health would henceforth be a recurring phenomenon in line with the council’s new policy thrust. “In keeping with our new policy thrust pursuit and protection of the rights of consumers, events of this nature will henceforth be a constant phenomenon until we are able to make remarkable progress in the elimination
of fake and substandard products from markets across Nigeria,” he added. In order to urgently address the hardship being faced by consumers, Amlai stated that he had directed that the council carries out at least two enforcement operations every week. According to him, this would among other things”entail the removal of substandard products and services from the market and the enforcement of the rights of consumers who may have complained about a product or service to the council.” This, he added would lead to enhanced citizen’s empowerment, wealth creation, increased capacity utilisation, the competitiveness of genuine locally manufactured products and the growth of the Nigerian economy.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
I will rid the ports of miscreants - CP FRANCIS EZEM
he Nigerian Ports Authority Police command has warned that it will henceforth operate a zero tolerance on miscreants and other unauthorised persons, who loiter around the nation’s seaports. The newly appointed commissioner, Mrs. Sherifat DisuOlajoku, who resumed duty penultimate week, spoke against the background of worsening security situation in Nigeria and the urgent need to protect the nation’s maritime infrastructure. While fielding questions from newsmen shortly after a tour of the Lagos Ports Complex, which houses the command headquarters, the new commissioner
Akure airport manager craves for more flight operations OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Akure Airport Manager, Mrs. Victoria Shin Aba has challenged indigenous airline operators in the country to take full advantage of the teeming passengers in Ondo State and its environs by commencing flight operations in and out of the airport. Speaking to journalists yesterday at the headquarters of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Lagos, Aba insisted that the Akure Airport was viable, but decried that airline operators were yet to tap into the potential. She remarked that the airport has all the requirements for normal daily flight operations with L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu; wife of Ogun State governor, Mrs. Olu- a runway of 2.8 kilometres, a catfunsho Amosun and Commissioner for Environment, Ogun State, Prince Lanre Tejuosho, during the couregory six fire cover and equipped tesy visit of Mrs. Amosun to the bank in Lagos, yesterday. Very Important Persons (VIP)
Farmers to expect bumper harvest this year, says NIMET MESHACK IDEHEN
he Director General of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom, said the pattern of rainfall for this year is expected to be as much as that of last year in most parts of the country. He said the normal growing season for 2013 is an indication of a likely good farming year across the country, and that farmers are advised to commence field establishment of their crop within the period when the rains have fully set in except for tuber and root crops Speaking after presenting the 2013 seasonal rainfall prediction. He said further that there will be enough rainfall in all parts of the country for wet sea-
son farming. According to the NIMET DG, dry spells are likely to occur in Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Yobe and Borno states particularly in the month of June, 2013, which means that farmers in those states are advised to apply caution when planting and to seek guidance from appropriate authorities to prevent economic loss, adding also that plants in nurseries and fields should be safeguarded through irrigation in order to reduce economic loss from the dry spells. Anuforom explained that the substantial rainfall expected over the Savannah regions would be enough to give high agricultural yields crops while the rainfall expected in the south would be enough to ensure good production of cereal and root crops He said farmers in the south
and central parts of the country should plant tuber crops before the of the rains, while those in Kebbi, Taraba, Niger and Anambra states should plant crops expected to mature early for better yields. On the issue of livestock, Anuforom said livestock production would improve as a result of the normal rainfall, adding that a good management of rangeland for improved pastures through effective use of the predicted rainfall is recommended. “Rain harvesting especially in the north in form of field ponds should also be encouraged to avoid early water starvation. Government at all levels is advised to provide livestock input such as improved breeds, feeds and vaccines on time to increase potential for livestock production,” he said.
warned that it will not be business as usual for miscreants and other unauthorised persons, who throng the seaports daily in search of ‘greener pasture’. According to her, the command will no longer tolerate a situation whereby people who do not have any business at the ports would use the ports as a market to sell their wares, warning that any miscreant seen around the ports would be in a serious trouble. “We will enforce access control to the various seaports. We will no longer allow non authorised persons to access the seaports. We will also sensitise other stakeholders in order to seek and get their cooperation and understanding on the matter, without which no progress would be made”, she said.
lounge. She maintained that the airport was never abandoned by authority, but stressing that Arik and Associated Airlines operated for sometime into the airport before suspending its operations due to some internal administrative reasons. She explained that the terminal building was being remodelled by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah in the second phase of the remodeling exercise and advised air travellers to make use of the facilities rather than going through Benin or Ibadan to access some states within the region. She said, “Akure Airport is a standard airport and there is no local aviation, we have international standard as it concerns safety, security and passenger’s comfort. So, we have everything it takes to run a secured and friendly airport.”
NITDA DG, others to speak at e-Learning confab KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye will discuss how e-Learning could aid fostering the growth of local capacity at the inaugural West Africa ELearning Conference & Exhibition (WAeLCE) holding later this month. The event with the theme: ‘Expanding educational opportunities through ICT’ is expected to hold inside the University of Lagos between March 27-38. Angaye will be joining the Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo Obe; Former ViceChancellor, Covenant University, Prof. Aize Obayan; President,
Accra Institute of Technology, Prof. Clement Dzidonu and other discussants in the first session of the high profile event. Angaye said, “Building local capacity and local content constitute a key objective of the NITDA. We are focused on generating the vital local skills to provide a robust local IT industry for the global market. That is why the NITDA is committed to supporting this conference.” Angaye’s “e-Learning for Building of Local Capacity,” presentation was joined by Prof Obe’s ‘Science and Technology for Sustainable Development’; Prof Obayan’s ‘Educational Technology in the University System’; and Prof. Dzidonu’s ‘E-Learning in the Global ICT Policy Development and Implementation: Regional Perspective.’
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Creating credible ID system in Nigeria With the deployment of state-of-the-art data centres and other critical back-end Information Technology infrastructures, the National Identity Management Commission appears set to begin full enrolment of Nigerians and other legally resident foreigners in the country for National Identity Numbers (NINs). KUNLE AZEEZ reports.
revious attempts by the Federal Government to implement a national identity card scheme have failed due to what most Nigerians attributed to corruption and lack of clear primary objective for embarking on the scheme. The failures of past identity card schemes, have left most Nigerians disenchanted in any other identity–related scheme, which they believe may not serve any social or economic purposes for them, unlike what obtains in other developed countries. Though getting attracted to identity cards can be a weapon in the fight against crime, as well as helping the authorities target terrorists, criminals using false identities, welfare fraudsters and illegal immigrants, experts argued that previous facile implementations of such schemes have been robbing the country of huge economic and social benefits. But the Federal Government appears to be making frantic efforts to build a credible and unified database of Nigerians and other legally residents foreigners in the country through the new mandate given to the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, established by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007. Under the Act, NIMC has the mandate “to establish, own, operate, maintain and manage the National Identity Database in Nigeria, register persons covered by the Act, assign a unique National Identification Number (NIN) and issue General Multi-Purpose Cards (GMPC), to those registered individuals, and to harmonise and integrate existing identification databases in Nigeria.” As such, a National Identity Management System is not the same as national identity card. The National Identity management will undertake the management of the biodata of every Nigerian from birth to death. It is billed to coordinate all the personal data of every Nigerian in such a way that in one card, every data about the individual will be obtained. But the current management of NIMC has assured Nigerians of its readiness to ensure that the N30.1 billion to be allocated to it for the completion of the scheme over the next three years, beginning from 2011, would be used judiciously by ensuing that the current scheme, which is different from the previous failed attempts, bring benefits to Nigerians.
NIMC MUST ENSURE IT DELIVERS ON ITS MANDATE BY EFFECTIVELY UNIFYING ALL THE DISPARATE DATABASES WITH OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
AND MAKING NIGERIANS SAVOUR THE SOCIO-
ECONOMIC BENEFITS DERIVABLE FROM THE
ID NUMBERS TO BE ISSUED TO THEM.
The Director General of NIMC, Dr. Chris Onyemenam, made the assurance recently during a facility tour of NIMC National Identity Management System infrastructures located at its head office in Abuja and its world-class Data Recovery Centre sited in Minna, Niger State. He said NIMC was set to begin full-blast enrolment of the over 167 million Nigerians and other legally-resident foreigners in the country before the end of June 2013. Onyemenam said, in the past, Nigeria had focused on issuing of identity cards, noting, however, that the current mandate for NIMC is not to issue ID cards but to issue NINs to Nigerians. NIN is a non-intelligent set of uniquely assigned numbers to individuals upon successful enrollment. The enrollment consists of the recording of an individual’s demographic data and capture of 10 fingerprints, head-to-shoulder facial picture and digital signature, which are all used to cross-check existing data in the National Identity Database to confirm there is no previous entry of the same data. Though the pilot exercise on the scheme started in Abuja on February 23, 2012, Onyemenam, said the pilot exercise has been extended to each state and now to the 774 local government area, saying that the nationwide enrollment will commence before the end of June.
A prototype National ID Card
“By the end of second quarter of 2013, we expect the actual nationwide enrollment exercise will be launched by the Presidency. From the time it is launched, it is our target to have hit 100 million enrollments in 30 months.” He said after the erollements, the NINs would be issued. “This will be followed by the issuance of cards that are Chip & PINbased and designed with more than 18 security features embedded, making it difficult for the cards to be cloned by fraudsters. “We are not perfect, but we are completely in compliance with necessary International Standard Organisation (ISO) and ICAO certifications. But we have made much effort to ensure that the cards are not easily forged. And we have partners such as. ,” he said. In his presentation, Director, IT and Databases, NIMC, Mr. Aliyu Aziz, noted that 75 per cent of Identity cards in Nigeria are counterfeit without any form of verification or authentication while over 100 million Nigerians have no official identity. Noting that there were several forms of identity systems by private organisations such as banks and many other government agencies that do not communicate together, the NIMC’s National ID Management Systems infrastructure will provide a common key for the disparate databases. Aziz noted that, though initial enrollments ahead of the official nationwide launch, is currently going on in 27 states in the country, “All we are focusing on now is to provide more redundancy and increase availability of our infrastructures.” He said when the exercise fully begins, mobile enrollment services will also be provided to people in the far rural areas to make it convenient for more Nigerians to get enrolled on time. “Although we are facing challenges ranging from infrastructure as evident in the
Computer education: CPN accredits five institutions
s part of its effort to enshrine standard into computer education in Nigeria, the Council of Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria), has approved the results of accreditation teams to three universities as well as two private computer training schools. The approval was granted during the CPN’s 65th Regular Council meeting held recently.
The accredited universities include University of Lagos, Lagos State University and Obafemi Awolowo University while the private computer training schools are Software Technology Park Limited, Abuja and Meridian Technologies Limited, Maryland, Lagos, both franchisee of Aptech. Head, Media and Corporate Communications, CPN, Mr. Amoo Akanni, in a statement, said CPN instituted accreditation
visits to private and public computer training institutions in order to ensure quality control assurance in IT education in Nigeria. According to him, the CPN accreditation of academic programmes was a detailed appraisal of public and private computer training institutions in Nigeria for a level of performance, integrity and quality which entitles them to the confidence of the educa-
poor power situations in the country and where all our data centres are supposed to be powered round-the-clock; capacity and funding problem which our Font-End partners are facing currently to have not been able to begin enrollment with us now because the scheme is conceived as a Public-Private Partnership. “We also have challenge having to with geographical reach. However we are going to use mobile registration points to address this. Scalability is another issue, yet we have found a way around this.” Earlier, while conducting journalist round the Minna DRC, the Director, Information Technology, NIMC, Mr. Emmanuel Ogungbe, said cases of multiple enrollment would not happen as with the deployment of Automated Biometric Identity System, which allows real-time registration of persons. “We have also put in place effective queue management system to avoid crowding at registration points,” he added. Senior Manager, Minna Data Recovery Centre of NIMC, Mr. Chukwura Amaechi, said the centre provides a back-up for the Abuja data centre facility for the purpose of keeping the data collected from Nigerians secure, stressing that steps had been taken to ensure the data centre is up and running by powering it with three 100KVA generating sets top cushion the negative effect which the poor electricity supply in the country can have on the data centre. Experts maintain that for Nigerians not to see the NIMC effort as another wasteful spending by the government, NIMC must ensure it delivers on its mandate by effectively unifying all the disparate databases with other government agencies and making Nigerians savour the socio-economic benefits derivable from the unique ID numbers to be issued to them. tional community, employers of labour and the general public. Detailing the accreditation team members, the CPN statement stated: “The accreditation panels were made up of seasoned academics and top industry practitioners, among who were Prof. Joshua Ayeni, who headed the accreditation panel to Obafemi Awolowo University; Prof Enoch Nwachukwu, who headed the team that visited the University of Lagos, while Professor Rotimi Adagunodo led the team to the Lagos State University.”
Thursday, March 7, 2013
FG urged to subsidise ICT tools with N150bn STORIES: KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Chairman of Zinox Group, Nigeria’s fully integrated Information and Communications technology firm, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, has called on the Federal Government to subsidise digital empowerment for Nigerian students with N150 billion. He made the call during the visit of Intel officials to the company’s headquarters in Lagos recently. The officials were in Nigeria to inspect the state of a world-class computer plant, being built by Zinox. Speaking on the imperatives of digital empowerment for Nigerian citizens, especially students in secondary and higher institution of learning, Ekeh said government should subsidise the university computer acquisition scheme as a springboard for building knowledge economy by empowering the students, who are ‘leaders of tomorrow.’ He said: “We are proposing
that N150 billion should be used to subsidise knowledge and digital tools for Nigerian students the way the government has done to subsidise other key scoters of the economy such as banking, textile and others.” While noting that Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind in the current global economy being driven largely by ICT for competitiveness of a country and its citizens, Ekeh, maintained that the transformation of Nigeria from its current state into a fully digital economy is dependent how well government create digital activities tailored towards encouraging massive productions and patronage of indigenous Information Technology products. Speaking on the Zinox Digital Plant, the Zinox boss said the plant would be commissioned before the end of March stressing that poor electricity situation in the country had been responsible for the delay in official commissioning of the plan earlier scheduled for January, 2013. Describing the state-of-the-art
plant, Ekeh claimed that, “No person has this kind of digital plant n Africa at the moment. That is why Intel, global chip maker, came here. We are their biggest partners in the sub-Sahara. We are rolling out same world-class products that are currently going through some global certifications, before we now start massive production and making.” He said the computer products to be manufactured would be targeted at corporations both public and private, individuals and specifically to the education sector. He said: “We are going to work with major global institutions to roll out the products. We would engage ion domestication of world-class products, leading employment and wealth creation and knowledge development. “As a company, we recognise that local contents should be marched with world-class systems and process to be able to produce high quality and competitive products. That’s what we are looking at.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Oracle preaches customer experience solution
lobal software company, Oracle, has stressed the need for Nigerian businesses to adopt new strategy built around latest solutions aimed at increasing their customer experience and engagement. The call came on the heels of a new report from Oracle, tagged: ‘Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer experience Era’, which highlights need for new approaches to succeed in customer experience. The global survey of 1,342 senior-level executives from 18 countries in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America yield new insights on the challenges, strategies and lessons learned for succeeding in the customer experience era. On some of the key highlights of the study, 97 per cent of executives agree that delivering a great customer experience is critical to business advantage and results and respondents estimate that the average potential revenue loss for not offering a positive, consistent and brand-relevant customer experience is 20 per cent annual revenue. Also, 93 per cent of the executives say that improving the customer experience is one of their organisation’s top three priorities in eth next two years and 91 per cent wish to be considered a cus-
tomer experience leader in their industry. The study also revealed that a good customer experience strategy requires fundamental organisational changes, noting that successful initiatives that have improved the customer experience span people, process and technology. Speaking on the relevance of the study to Nigerian businesses during a sensitisation forum with Oracle clients in Lagos, Senior Director, Sales at Oracle, Mr. Graham, Mansfield, said Oracle’s customer experience solutions would help companies and orgainsations to transform their existing operational systems and infrastructures into a differentiated customer experience across the customer lifecycle. “Oracle’s customer experience strategy is designed to help companies and orgainsations across many industries create the consistent, connected, personalised, efficient and rewarding experiences their customers and constituents want while generating real to-line and bottom-line business results,” he said. Built around Oracle’s best-inclass solutions, Mansfield said Oracle delivers the most complete customer experience solution in the industry, enabling companies to differentiate themselves across all channels, touch points and interactions.
Glo begins sale of BlackBerry Z10
G Co-Founder, Pan Africa University , Prof, Pat Utomi (left) and President, Institute of Softwarwe Practitioners Council of Nigeria, ISPON, Dr. Chris Uwaje during the annual ISPON President’s Dinner held in Lagos recently.
Broadband: Main One extends connectivity to Port Harcourt
ain One, Nigeria’s premier and leading provider of broadband communication services to telecommunication operators, Internet service providers (ISPs) and corporate organisations, has widened its coverage as it announced its presence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The company, at an event themed, “Business Expansion: the Connectivity Edge”, held at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Port Harcourt, showcased its broadband solutions to locally-resident businesses recently. The launch was held in collaboration with its partner company Phase 3 Telecom. Phase 3 is a national long distance operator with aerial fibre optic cable deployed on high-voltage electricity power lines that extend Main One’s services
from Lagos to various parts of the country including Port Harcourt. With the launch, businesses and service providers in Port Harcourt and surrounding areas can now readily access the benefits of the reliable services that Main One provides. Speaking on the impact its broadband solutions would provide to Rivers State, the Chief Oexecutive Officer, Main One, Ms. Funke Opeke, said: “It is imperative that reliable and affordable broadband internet services are available in all parts of Nigeria for increased economic development and business growth. This is the reason we have sought to distribute more of our capacity in the Port Harcourt region where demand from our customers for such services is growing and critical as a driving force for their suc-
cess.” Opeke added that the event is in line with Main One’s commitment to assisting Nigerian businesses in their stride for growth, and accelerating the rate of broadband penetration across Nigeria. She noted that Main One is one of the largest providers of Internet connectivity in West Africa, providing services in Nigeria and Ghana among other countries, to its growing customer base of service providers and corporate customers. In his comments, Head, Business Solutions and Sales, Phase 3 Telecoms, Mr. Otuya Okecha, said that the partnership with Main One would result in a more efficient distribution and extensive reach due to strength of both companies, thus improving broadband availability in Port Harcourt.
lobacom has begun sale of the new BlackBerry Z10 (BB Z10), as Glo ambassadors and Nollywood stars, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha and Desmond Elliot recently joined the company’s Sales and Marketing team to attend to postpaid customers who had earlier preordered for the new handset device during the pre-booking campaign which ended on February 28. Among those who picked up their BB Z10 phones were Senator Bode Olajumoke, Chief Executive Officer of BUA Group of Companies, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, and the Principal Partner of E.E. Ogboru and Associates, Barrister Ogboru Elmoni. Head, Corporate Sales, Globacom, Kamal Shonibare, said the customers who collected their handsets were those who had booked either at Gloworld or Glo zone outlet or who completed the online pre-booking form. He expressed delight that Glo made it possible for its customers to be among the first set of Blackberry users to own the latest Blackberry smartphone, which was launched recently. “You will recall that Globacom made history in 2005 as the
first telec o m munications company in Nigeria to launch BlackBerry Services. I am happy t h a t we have always offered our customers the latest technology to keep them at par with the rest of the world,” said Shonibare. BB Z10 offers a faster and smarter experience than other BB handsets in the market and is designed to continuously adapt to the subscriber’s personal and business requirements. The core hardware features of the Z10 include a 4.2-inch display, dual-core 1.5-GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, microSD card support, and a removable battery. The Z10 smartphone being launched in the Nigerian market by Globacom has a new messaging centre called BlackBerry Hub.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Brands & Marketing
Rebranding has repositioned Akwa Ibom The Commissioner for Information, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, in this interview, explains how the state explored branding to reposition the state to tourist attraction while in an interview in Lagos with journalists, ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI, was there. There was a perception that indigenes of the state are meant to be housemaids while the state was not attractive to tourists and investors despite that it is rich in oil but now the story is different. How did you rebrand and repositioned the state? We approached the branding issue from a special perspective. Governor Godswill Akpabio has totally rebranded the state and those who know the state can tell the story of the uncommon transformation. There has been a physical and mental rebranding of the state and the people. Today, what used to be a pedestrian state has become a world class destination in Nigeria and that in it is rebranding. What used to be a passerby state has become the cynosure of Nigeria and the global community because every major development and everything that is serious in this country is looking towards Uyo. What does that say? That tells us something about the uncommon transformation that has come to be with us under the administration of Gov Akpabio. Education has been totally rebranded with the free and compulsory education programme of the Apbabio administration which has tripled school enrolment. There is no way we will talk about development and transformation where you wonâ€™t mention rebranding and repositioning. State rebranding brings total transformation in governance. Educational infrastructure has been revamped with more than 2,500 classroom blocks built and rehabilitated in one state within a period of five years, all done and completed. School enrolment has moved from 300 to over 900 in the primary section and from 600 to over a million in the secondary. So, we are now having school enrolment of 1.927 million. That was not the case before now and they are saying that our population is estimated at over four million. The way the educational system in Akwa Ibom is rebranded, it comes with unique features. Many states do not take infrastructures as a form of marketing. To what extent have you explored this as a marketing bait? Infrastructural development in the state is second to none. For those of you who have been to Akwa Ibom or who read or follow what is happening there, let me let you know that the Akpabio administration has completed 1009 kilometers of brand new roads and four new fly over built and completed, all commissioned by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Vice president. Fly over one is named Goodluck Jonathan fly over, the fourth one was commissioned by the Vice president on the 23rd of September 2012. We still have two more to follow. We also have a 30,000 capacity international cover stadium in progress by Julius Berger and to be delivered by August 2014. On the Southern course they are on level four and that a big progress. We will be hosting the first international fiesta on that stadium in November 2014 and that will be the first major stadium in Nigeria, apart from the one at Abuja, with a 30,000 capacity. And that is going to further drive traffic to Akwa Ibom. Destination branding has assumed a popular way of
WE APPROACHED THE BRANDING ISSUE FROM A
VERY SPECIAL PERSPECTIVE.
GOVERNOR GODSWILL AKPABIO HAS TOTALLY
REBRANDED THE STATE AND THOSE WHO KNOW THE STATE CAN TELL THE STORY OF THE UNCOMMON
HAS BEEN A PHYSICAL AND MENTAL REBRANDING OF THE STATE AND THE PEOPLE marketing states to the international communities. How did your state approach tourism branding? In terms of growing and branding tourism, we have developed what we call the Ibom Tropicacna entertainment center to complement the Ibom Meridian Hotel and Golf resort. Of course, you know that the Golf resort sits on 161 hectares of land, with a hotel and resort that takes you six hours to walk back and forth. It is the best Golf resort in the entire Africa. Talking about the Tropicana which is another flagship project of the Akpabio administration, we have a multi facilitated entertainment centre with six cinema viewing halls, world class and it holds about 3,000 visitors daily. We have an American stars shopping mall which will be opened to the public in May of this year. We have a second five-star hotel named Hilton Uyo with 250 bedrooms and sitting on 15 plots, all completely
built. The hotel will open by the end of this year or early next year if the projections work right. We also have the Wet and Dry park. So what you find in Orlando Gov Akpabio has brought to Uyo already. The intention here is to drive traffic to Akwa Ibom and continue the Akwa Ibom idea. The first perception as first time visitor to a state on a flight, is luggage checking, how long you handed that? The rebranding is total. On 23September 2009, we landed the first white-bodied aircraft, 737800 Arik Air. It first landed in Abuja and the next flight came to Uyo. We have 3.6 kilometres run way in our airport and itâ€™s about one of the longest in this country, next to Lagos and longer than that of Abuja. We have 190 approach lights in that airport; there is no airport in Nigeria that has it. It is called the Pilot Haven and we have lifted international flights out of there to Israel and different places on pilgrimage. And this is a state government-built airport. The first thing we did with the interim seminal building was to create an environment where people can come in, take their bags and go. But today, we are beginning the real terminal, the first serious terminal that Nigeria will have. It is like terminal five in the UK with six fingers. One of the fingers is built on a double deck to carry A380. There is no airport in Nigeria that can take an A380 because of the height. This is a specialized finger built to jack up and hit the body of an A380 to allow passengers embark and disembark on a plane. We have the best instrument landing system and we also have the clug system against bird strike that fires itself intermittently and drives away birds. Those are specialised facilities that keep an airport safe. We are currently doing the second runway and building the main terminal structure to complement the 3.6 kilometer runway and we strategically positioned it there within the gulf of Guinea and that airport can serve for rescue operation in an event of crisis even within the riverine area.
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, March 7, 2013
NCC, SON, others chart new course for consumers STORIES: ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
s the world marks the Global Consumers Day, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), amongst other relevant agencies are set to address the continual violation of Nigerian consumer’s right for the first time at a colloquium cum Inauguration of new executives organised by the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN.) The event, which comes up on March 15 at Eko Hotel Victoria Island, with theme “Consumer Right in Nigeria, the Most Violated?, The Role of the Regulators, coincides with the World Consumer Day. To mark the day with the global consumer day, which urges industry stakeholders worldwide to
use the occasion to create awareness and expose the damage caused by poor or non-existent of consumer protection around the world, the BJAN confirmed on Tuesday in a release that the Director-General of CPC, Mr. Emmanuel Amlai will lead the discussion as the keynote speaker while the Chairman of APCON, Lolu Akinwunmi; Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii; Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, Director-General of NCC, Mr. Eugene Juwah and President, ADVAN, Mr. Kola Oyeyemi are listed as discussants. According to the newly elected Chairman of BJAN, Mr. Goddie Ofose, in line with the World Consumer Day and advocacy of Consumer International, CI, the only independent global campaigning voice for consumers with over 220 member organisations in 115 countries, BJAN is initiating the move to building a powerful Nigeria consumer movement and wake the stakeholders to help protect and empower Nigerian consumers with the role given to them to salvage the helpless Nige-
rian consumers whose right had been violated from time immemorial. He said, “Whether it is faulty products causing injury, utility service providers ignoring complaints, or irresponsible lending by banks, better consumer protection is always part of the solution. While many Nigerian consumers don’t get reparation for any damage done to them by companies or oftentimes taken for granted by service providers and goods producers because the regulators or consumerism is weak in this part of the world, BJAN, is sending a wakeup call to address the need to protect the right of Nigeria’s consumers whose right seem to be the most violated across the globe.” While many consumers fall for fraudulent promos last year which called for ban by NCC, Ofose said, the colloquium will ensure stakeholders come to term with the best ways to protect Nigerian consumers as well as propping the regulators up to dealing with consumers related issues as they concern goods and service providers.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
LASAA partners MOAN on vehicle branding enforcement
n a bid to effectively apprehend defaulters of mobile advertisement registration platform in the state, the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), has entered into a partnership with the Mobile Advert Agency of Nigeria (MOAN), for the enforcement of all branded vehicles. This agreement was reached last week by both parties at the LASAA head office in Alausa,
ikeja. The new agreement will see MOAN officials wear LASAA’s reflective enforcement gear with serial number for the purpose of identification. According to the Managing Director of LASAA, Mr. George Kayode Noah, ”this partnership will assist us in capturing all branded motor vehicle as fleets for mobile advertisement while also establishing an efficient mobile advertisement management system”.
New Nokia Asha 310 to connect consumers
fter launching its new Nokia Asha 310, a new Dual SIM smartphone with Wi-Fi, Nokia Nigeria has said the new offering will help consumers to connect more to internet internet for less. In a statement, the executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia, Timo Toikkanen said the Nokia Asha 310 is the firstever Nokia smartphone to offer both Easy Swap Dual SIM and Wi-Fi in the same device. “It gives consumers the best of both worlds, allowing them to separate work and play, or speak with friends on other mobile networks more affordably,” he said. The swap SIM is designed to suit today’s lifestyles because,
with Nokia’s built-in Easy Swap Dual SIM technology, consumers can use the external slot on the Nokia Asha 310 to insert a secondary SIM card, while keeping their principal SIM card in place behind the battery. Also, the Nokia Asha 310 puts the user in control, with the ability to shift between SIM cards for personal or work use without turning off the phone. Users can also swap SIM cards on-the-go, to get the best available tariffs when commuting. According to Toikkanen, “the addition of Wi-Fi support gives users the freedom to enjoy much more of the Internet compared to competitive devices at this price point.”
Clear Essence California offers top brand experience to spa-users
W L-R: General Manager, Media Division, LG Electronics West Africa operations, Mr. Jae Sang Lee; winner, Mr. Michael Oriawe and an umpire, DJ Sose, during the LG XBOOM Scratch 2 Fame DJ competition in Lagos recently.
Close Up captures more consumers with free dental check
lose Up, the premium tooth paste brand from the stable of Unilever Nigeria Plc, has taken it corporate social responsibility (CSR), initiative a notch higher by offering Lagos consumers free dental check at Surulere and Magodo areas of Lagos. Hundreds of thousands of consumers during a recent Close Up CSR in Lagos besieged the Beaver Clinic in Magodo to experience the free dental health care with numerous others having their mouth sorted out in the process. While research has shown that accessibility to dentists is extremely low in Nigeria with only 15percent of Nigerians visit dentist yearly the Brand
Manager, Close Up, Dexter Adeola, “as Nigerian’s o. 1 brand, we chose this platform to reach out to Nigerian and families in need of dental help. This would also serve as an awareness campaign to sensitize people on the need for proper oral care and the importance of regular Dental check-ups.” Adeola stated that over the years, Close Up has given health protection to the teeth and gums of millions of Nigerian families. “The brand has also worked with health professionals and dentists nationwide to educate Nigerians on the importance of oral care. This Free Dental check is in line with our commitment to ensure Nigerians have the best solutions and care
for their teeth and Gums.” She said the intention was to strategically reach Nigerians in the two extreme location of Lagos - Surulere and Magodo. Recounting the impact of the campaign so far, the brand manager said the impact has been huge. The Principal Dentist, the Beaver Clinic, Magodo, Tola Owoturo, said “Free dental check is not so popular, it happens quite often in a few places but I don’t think it happens enough because you find out that many people do not even know that dental care is actually accessible and readily available but we are trying to create dental awareness by having this kind of programme that dental health care is actually available for them.”
hile many international brands are beginning to discover the Nigerian market has an emerging marketing destination for Wellness and Hospitality business, Clear Essence California, a global hospitality brand, has unveiled a Spa and Wellness experience for Spa-goers in Lagos. Located at Ikoyi, the five-star property recently unveiled to the press boasts of 17 luxury suites that feature four different styles— Comfort, Opulence, Vista and Luxury. While conducting the media around the facilities, the Sales Manager, Mrs. Omotade Olatawura, said “The Resort’s accommodation captures the Clear Essence style of grandeur and opulence. Whether you choose to soak in a luxury bath or re-awaken your senses in a multi-jet therapeutic shower, the en-suite guest bathroom will prove to be an unparalleled haven of relaxation.” The resort which has an expansive garden with sitting areas and aesthetically built waterfalls that can accommodate about
100 people was built, according to Olatawura, to further draws guests closer to nature even as soothing music filter through well-concealed sound speakers in the garden to connect their bodies, minds and souls. According to her, “all have beautiful furnishing and designs that are thoroughly and elegantly decorated with flat screen televisions, refined artwork, and hard wood floors. Each marbled bathroom is appointed with Clear Essence signature bath sheets, bath amenities, make-up mirrors and bath scales. For business travelers, each room features a word desk, three dual-line telephones, Wi-Fi, fitness centre access and spa packages.” To build a brand that customers can bond without any denial to wellness, the Clear Essence, according to Olatawura, offers the lowest level room, comfort room with custom made mattresses and good down pillows, mini-bar, signature robes and slippers, multi jet shower, double bed, and clear essence amenities, the third level of room, opulence room.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Tobacco farmers deny sour relationship with BATN ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
he Nigerian Independent Tobacco Association (NITA), has debunked having soured business relationship with the British American Tobacco Iseyin Agronomy (BATIA), describing affairs with the tobacco firm as “voluntary and mutually beneficial.” While addressing the media at Iseyin, Oyo State, against the backdrop of several reports and advocacy campaigns by NonGovernmental Organisations that described BATN activities at the tobacco producing communities as exploitative, the Chairman of NITA, Mr. Rasheed Bakare, said his members are freewill citizens whose contract with BATN is mutually beneficial and not in any way seek to restrict tobacco farmers from
leaving or seeking business relationship with other parties when they so desire. Bakare, however, described such reports as “false statements about the relationship of the tobacco farmers with that of the BATIA.” He stated that tobacco farmers working with the company are not enslaved as they are derogatory and does not reflect their working arrangement with the BATIA. His words, “our members are freewill citizens. The contract we have with the company is mutually beneficial and does not in any way seek to restrict us from leaving or seeking business relationship with other parties when we so desire. Contrary to reports that tobacco farming impoverishes our members, tobacco farming is the most lucrative type of farming we know.” Bakare disclosed that BATIA
in the past provided and is still providing them with much support including a ready market for their produce. “Aside the company providing us with technical support, farm inputs, expertise on environmental management, training and incentives, they also encourage our members to plant other food and cash crops through which we can grow wealth in addition to a scholarship scheme for our children.” The NITA chairman made it clear that his members have gained knowledge on their trade from this relationship. “Our members know the different tobacco grades, what they are selling and also have pricing negotiations that are independently assured with government observers always on hand to make sure that it is fair and transparent.”
L-R: Director, Banking and Payments Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, Officer of Deutsche Bank, London, Mrs Jackie Byrne, MD/Country Head, Deutsche Bank Nigeria, Mr. Charles Weller and Officer of Deutsche Bank, London, Gary Pickard, at the 4th annual Duetsche Bank Trade and Finance Workshop held recently.
detunji Abioye has been described as one of the game changer in the advertising industry. With his young ad agency, Fuel Communication Limited, threatening competition during ad pitch, Abioye has rode the ad industry like a colossus make a statement that he was not a rookie despite that his agency is barely five years. As the first non-founder Managing Director of Rosabel Leo Brunnet, the second class upper graduate in B.A.English from Obafemi Awolowo University, the Chief Executive Officer of Fuel Communication is a multiculturally trained and exposed marketing practitioner and strategist. He obtained a Masters Degree in Managerial Psychology from the University of Ibadan and an alumnus of Africa’s best Business Schools (LBS & WBS),
Abioye has spent close to two decades positioning some of the best brands in the world. Described as a passionate learner, entrepreneur, scholar and lover of God left Rosabel to establish Fuel –an uncommon marketing communication agency that sells only ‘unpopular ideas’. In his linkedin profile, Abioye described his agency, which is a newly registered member of Association of Advertising Agency of Nigeria, AAAN, as “a battalion of young soldiers of history, do-or-die pushers of fresh thinking, whacky and adventurous. Why “young soldiers” ? The future of creativity belongs to “children”. If you give these soldiers a chance, they will kill your competition for free, walahi !’. He is married to Kemi Abioye and blessed with a son, two daughters.
Foreign affiliation as an albatross
he present scenario in the advertising industry desires everyone’s utmost attention. This is because the issue of foreign agencies domineering effect is one thorny issue that is shaking the industry to its roots. In the past, foreign affiliation remains the best thing that ever happened to any local agency. Several advertising agencies thrived on this platform to carve a niche for themselves. Foreign affiliation was a potent tool deployed to oppress agencies without one before now. I was properly schooled in the Foot Cone and Belding (FCB), affiliation and I know all the operations. I had a privilege to understudy FCB operations in South Africa while with Centrespread FCB. The affiliation offered immense opportunities
but what I observed then was that Centrespread never relied on the affiliation as the lifeblood for its continuous existence. The challenge that affiliation poses to local agencies is mainly due to socio-economic development of the foreign affiliates countries. There is absolutely nothing spectacular about it all but the professional exposure that the Nigerian environment cannot offer. Local agencies have talented and highly innovative minds in their employment. The best brains actually reside here but because of the inherent lack of development in all spheres limit their potential. One thing however that bothers one is that the industry has slumbered for too long on salient issues such as this. Is it that some agencies have allowed the benefits of affiliation to becloud their sense of reasoning? For-
Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org eign affiliation that was used as a means of differentiation is now a dreaded monster! The truth needs to be told that several agencies CEO’s were blind to the dangers inherent in such affiliations to their continuous survival. Why should you embrace affiliation when it portends dangerous signals to your continuous existence as a corporate entity? My experience over the years showed that businesses from foreign affiliates were very minimal compared to huge ground work done by local agencies. I believe this should the
essential tool to bargain with in any affiliation arrangement. One baffling issue is also that these foreign agencies are well protected by their country laws. The Advertising Practitioners Council (APCON), has just deemed it fit to confront the challenge when some of it arrow heads are about to be consumed in the foreign agencies inferno. Why has APCON not put necessary measures in place hitherto before now? Though the reforms are welcome development to reshape and reposition the indus-
try, the reactive measures being pursued may achieve little. The issue needs to be addressed with a deep strategic thinking beyond the reforms. All the stake holders need to ensure the reforms achieve desired objectives by adopting a collective and collaborative approach to it. I have always said that agencies need to review their operating philosophy and business model to align with the dynamics of the time. Methinks it is now that an issue such as this poses enormous threat that everyone started running helter skelter. I stated this much in my previous article on the local content issue. The pendulum has now changed its position and everyone is crying wolf. This present issues need a holistic view as casualties are already being recorded with the loss of accounts.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Future of Britain’s HMV appears to be limited H MV, the long-established music retailer seeking protection from its creditors, is unlikely to have a future beyond a rump of stores and the internet, if other recent British retail failures are any guide. After years of struggling as its core business of selling CDs and DVDs was hammered by competition from online retailers like Amazon and download sites like Apple’s iTunes, HMV picked consultants Deloitte late on Monday to try to salvage some of its 239 British and Irish stores.
The decision, which puts over 4,000 jobs at risk, is the latest blow to an industry which has seen a string of household names like Woolworths, MFI, and Comet fall by the wayside in a prolonged consumer downturn. “It’s a shame, it’s been around so long. It’s like a bookstore - it’s nice to go and browse and feel them (CDs and DVDs), I’d miss it,” said Paul Wood, shopping at an HMV store in Canary Wharf, London. However other shoppers, typifying
HMV’s problems, said they were just looking before buying from cheaper outlets online. HMV, famous for its ‘Nipper the dog’ trademark, is expected to continue trading while a hunt for buyers is undertaken. Neil Saunders, managing director at retail consultancy Conlumino, said potential buyers could be interested in running the brand online or through some of its larger stores. “I think the brand will survive,” he told Reuters news agency. “I think it’s a good brand with a good emotional connection and I think some-
one will want it. And someone will be interested in acquiring a rump of stores because there are some that trade profitably within the group. “A lot of the grocers have their own download services or mail order services so there could be interest from an existing player who just wants to use that name. Private equity may also see it as an opportunity.” One that will not is US private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC which ruled itself out of a takeover move on Monday, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters, after it bought some of HMV’s debt in December.
Manufacturing in U.S. probably stagnated amid global slowdown
Payroll loans popular in Latin America
everal Countries in Latin America are experiencing a spike in loans that are repaid through deductions from workers’ pay checks. These so called “payroll loans” increased by 17 per cent last year in Brazil, the region’s largest economy. In Mexico the surge has been even more pronounced. Eduardo Ayala covers Mexico City by foot, working as a delivery man between governmental departments. He earns about $800 a month, so when he needed to carry out repairs on his house, he had to take out a loan. Eduardo decided on a so called “payroll” loan in which the bank deducts repayments directly from his twice monthly salary. Eduardo Ayala, Message Delivery man, said,“If it was up to me to pay back the loan, I might decide I couldn’t
pay one month, then I´d get behind and end up more in debt, so it’s better they just take it straight from my salary and then there’s no problem.” “Payroll” loans have exploded in popularity in Mexico. In the last year the number handed out increased by 85 per cent. Other countries in Latin America have also reported a surge in their use, particularly Brazil. Banks like them, because money comes straight from their customer’s paycheck, which guarantees payment. And they are often the only way for mid to lower income workers like Eduardo to get loans without a credit history. It’s not just the banks getting in on the act. An industry of money lending firms has grown up around paycheck loans. Iliya Zogovic founded “Easy Money” two years ago, and says his customer base is doubling
monthly. But he says that many of these separate financial institutions aren’t subject to the same regulation as banks and often take far more out of their clients pay packets than they can afford. Iliya Zogovic, CEO “Easy Money”, said,“We actually go into companies where the employees already have 80-90 per cent of their salaries in other loans and we try to explain to them that that’s not healthy for them.” Whatever type of small scale loan you take out in Mexico, be it credit card or paycheck loan, the interest is routinely high in comparison with many developed nations. Annual interest rates generally range between 30-50 per cent. Eduardo paid back his loan a year and-a-half ago, but is still paying off the interest. He doesn’t know how much he still owes… but he knows his bank will be keeping count.
anufacturing probably teetered between growth and contraction in August, a sign the pillar of the recovery is now struggling, according economists surveyed before a report Monday. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was little changed at 50 compared with 49.8 in July, according to the median estimate of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between shrinking and expanding. Spending on construction projects probably rose in July, other figures may show. The possibility that taxes will rise and government outlays will fall if U.S. lawmakers don’t act by January may shake confidence and cause consumers and businesses to curb spending. The European debt crisis represents another stumbling block that threatens to limit orders to American factories.
“Domestic uncertainty and global weakness are both restraining growth in manufacturing,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “It’s a weak sector of the economy right now. We don’t expect a lot of pickup in investment activity this year.” The Tempe, Arizona-based ISM released the report Estimates ranged from 48.7 to 51.5. The group has said that an index (S15MACH) reading above 42.5, while signaling contraction in manufacturing, is generally consistent with an expanding overall economy. The gauge averaged 55.2 in 2011 and 57.3 in 2010. Other reports show manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy, weakened last month. Factory activity in the New York region contracted in August for the first time in 10 months, and production in the Philadelphia-area shrank for a fourth month, Federal Reserve reports showed.
Tax pain ahead for Greeks as parliament approves increase
reece’s parliament approved a tax increase Saturday that should add to the government’s revenue, but is likely to anger citizens opposed to the country’s austerity measures. The new tax bill, passed in the early hours, is needed to help the debt-stricken country meet its commitments to international creditors, state-run ANA news agency reported Saturday. The legislation makes it compulsory for all taxpayers to lodge an income tax declaration while raising property and corporate taxes, the news agency said. The new tax bill is one of “fiscal necessity” and will ensure that shortfalls are met in a socially fair way, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told lawmakers ahead of the vote, ANA reported. The measure, intended to raise an extra 2.3 billion euros ($3 billion) this year, is part of a raft of measures enabling Greece to qualify for further international bailout funds. The vote by lawmakers came a day after arsonists critical of the country’s
media coverage of the crisis attacked the homes of five prominent journalists in Athens using makeshift bombs. An anarchist group angry at the Greek media coverage of the country’s economic crisis claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement posted on a leftist website. It was the first such coordinated action in Greece since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.
Greece Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Fitch: Higher bank risk weight to add pressure on capital ratios JOHNSON OKANLAWON WITH AGENCY REPORT
he higher risk weights introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria are likely to add to pressure on bank capital ratios, Fitch Ratings has said. A statement from the agency yesterday however, noted that if successful in reducing sector concentrations, the changes could benefit asset quality and risk management. Capital has been tightening at some banks as they expand their loan books following the bad bank Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria clean-up of the sector. “But we still expect loans
to grow 18 per cent to 20 per cent this year, close to the rate of inflation-adjusted economic growth as banks focus on increasing lending to government-sponsored projects, especially in the power sector. “We see little appetite for fresh equity issuances in the market. Some banks may want to fund growth with long-term subordinated debt. This does not count as loss-absorbing capital in our analysis, so further growth together with higher risk weightings would put core capitalisation under pressure,” Fitch said. Fitch in the statement explained that the banks continue to report capital ratios based on local Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles equity rather than the IFRS adopted for financial reporting in 2012, noting that it is the same approach as taken by some European regulators. “We estimate the regulatory capital ratios for Nigerian banks would be 60 to 120 basis points lower if based on International Financial Reporting Standard,” the rating agency added. Meanwhile, trading in equities continued on bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as more investors sold their holdings. The All Share Index dropped by 0.16 per cent to close at 32,731.08 points, compared to 0.49 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 32,784.56 points.
Market capitalisation shed N2bn to close at N10.47trn, lower than the decline of N5bn recorded the preceding day to close at N10.49trn. Custodian Insurance Plc led the gainers’ table with nine kobo or 4.71 per cent to close at N2.00 per share, followed by Fidson Healthcare Plc with seven kobo or 4.24 per cent to close at N1.72 per share. Academy Press Plc lost 21 kobo or 9.29 per cent to close at N2.05 per share, while Prestige Insurance Plc dipped by eight kobo or 8.60 per cent to close at 85 kobo per share. A total of 278.9 million shares valued at N3.67bn were exchanged in 5,793 deals.
Market indicators All-Share Index 10,473.7 points Market capitalisation 32.8 trillion
SEC to introduce securitisation in second quarter JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he Securities and Exchange Commission is set to introduce securitisation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the second quarter to ensure that more people have access to the capital market. Securitisation is the process through which an issuer creates a financial instrument by combining other financial assets and then marketing different tiers of the repackaged instruments to investors. The process can encompass any types of financial asset and promotes liquidity in the marketplace.
Briefing journalists in Lagos yesterday, the SEC’s Director General, Ms Arunma Oteh said the introduction is in line with the product diversification objective of the ongoing reform agenda in the market. She noted that the product diversification objective intends to give breadth and depth by widening the choices available to the investors. According to her, there is a great recognition in the country that the Nigerian capital market is important for sourcing long term finance. “We must therefore have a market that engenders confidence, and we believe it is critical to bridge the
availability gaps in medium to long term financing for housing, infrastructure and agriculture,” she added. Oteh said that there were only a negligible 20,000 mortgages in the books of banks in Nigeria, adding that this figure was too low when considered from the standpoint of the importance of mortgages to mass housing. Apart from securitisation products, Oteh said a Nigerian mortgage facility would be unveiled before the end of the year, saying that the facility would assist the country to increase the number of Nigerians who hold mortgage significantly. She explained that the facility would also help to reduce the interest rate on housing financing.
Also, she reiterated that SEC would continue to strengthen its enforcement mechanism, adding that a framework that would enable it address investor complaints effectively and within a minimum time frame had been presented by the commission to the market for stakeholder input. Oteh who said that listing requirements have not changed, added that the commission will provide stronger technology and will ensure disclosure regime to meet international standard. She, however, said that more stocks will be included in the market making basket in the next few weeks.
MTN misses earnings estimates on network spend, forex losses
TN Group Limited has reported full-year earnings that missed analysts’ estimates, weighed down by foreign-exchange losses and increased spending on networks. Adjusted earnings per share climbed to 10.89 rand from 10.69 rand a year earlier. That missed the 11.67 rand median estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Exchange-rate moves, including the decline of the Syrian pound, Iranian and Sudanese pound against the rand curbed adjusted
earnings per share by 1.79 rand, according to MTN, which operates in 22 African and Middle Eastern markets. Capital spending rose 70 per cent to 30.1 billion rand ($3.32bn), as MTN upgraded networks to handle more data traffic as consumers access the Internet from mobile devices. “This year and last will be peak times for capital spending, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sifiso Dabengwa said at a presentation to reporters and analysts in Johannesburg yesterday. MTN has done well in
adding networks in South Africa and Nigeria, Dabengwa said. “It’s very important, in order to compete effectively, to improve network coverage.” The shares were little changed at 179.51 rand for a market value of 338 billion rand. “With the likes of Iran, Sudan and Syria there is some pressure in that the true earnings value is affected when you come to take your money out,” said Bruce Main, a fund manager at Ivy Asset Management Limited, which owns MTN stock. “Greater
geographical diversity has meant greater risk in this case, but it is important to be there for growth.” The spending on networks will come off over the next few years when that investment starts to attract market share, Main said. Subscriber numbers rose 15 per cent to 189.3 million last year, MTN said. Airtime sales at the South African business increased 4.8 per cent to 21.1 billion rand as the unit sold 6.7 million prepaid phones and 1.3 million billed devices in the year.
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
Primary Market Auction TENOR
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Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at March 6, 2013 1st Tier Securities Sector
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Discovering, nurturing creativity in children LEONARD OKACHIE
reativity has become a hallmark of imparting children in this part of the world. Many clubs have been created to help enhance the level of thinking, exposure and understanding of basic ideas in art and culture through music, poetry, dance, drama, painting and sculpture, for posterity sake. For this reason, House of Phoebe, a talent development organisation, recently unveiled her pet creative club tagged Creative Crib Show at the Ejigbo Youth Centre, Iyana Ejigbo, Lagos. The show which was attended by many creative teams, also had the presence of Ejigbo Youth Officer, Mr. Ibrahim Balogun; National Youth Council of Nigeria Chairman (Ejigbo Chapter), Hammed Kasali; Logistics Manager of Artsbeat Concepts, Oludare Adekoya; Director of Damex Media, Mr. Fasola
SCIENCE FOR KIDS
Why do humans get old?
olving this question-along with finding ways to stay forever young-has vexed mankind since time immemorial. Scientists have tried to explain why people age with two broad theoretical directions: programmed theories and error theories. Programmed theories state that aging is "programmed" into humankind: we have a biological clock that simply runs down according to a set timeline. Examples of programmed theories include the Programmed Senescence theory, which holds that aging happens because of the switching off and on of genes, and the Immunological Theory, which holds that the human immune system declines at a set pace, leading to defenselessness from illnesses. Error theories define aging according to unavoidable failures and accumulating damages: we simply wear out. Examples of error theories include Somatic Mutation, which holds that genetic mutations cause cells to fail, and the Free Radical Theory, which holds that a buildup of damage by oxygen radicals created during normal metabolism causes cells to stop working. Advances in society and knowledge have ameliorated aging's effects by allowing people to live longer. Average life expectancy in the United States has grown from about 47 years in 1900 to about 79 years at the beginning of 2000. But nothing, unfortunately, has enabled people to stop growing old. Source: answers.com
Olawale, and other youth executive. The Creative Director of House of Phoebe, Oguntoyinbo Phebian gave a review of what Creative Crib sets to achieve, even as she educated the children on how they can capitalise on developing their level of creativity for a better nation. Among the objectives of the club is to build students who can compete internationally in the areas of poetry, dance and other genres of the creative industry. The Creative Director of Artsbeat Concept, Olayiwola Awakan, who spoke on connectivity factor among children, arts and creativity, gave an insight on how creativity can help to move Nigeria out of the shackles of poverty and unemployment saga. He hinted on the importance of getting acquainted with the arts as students, reflecting the chain of Creativity - Students – Arts. He further encouraged the students to take advantage of the opportunity by defining their area of creativity and expanding it for due exposure, which may catapult them to a greater height. Among the benefits for the members of the club is an opportunity to get published in the Blue Bells Children Magazine, which is fast circulating among schools in Lagos
House of Phoebe members performing
State and beyond. Creative Crib (...children book ‘n’ talent show) was anchored by Aparawa, a versatile master of ceremony with humorous sense. He is known for treating creative minds to ideas reviving drills. Appearances on the show include, Fos School, Florin Int’l School, Best Choice, S.O.S children School – Iyana Isolo, Our Saviour’s School, and White House College. Over 120 students, teachers, and guardians had a nice time through the features of creative performances – choreography, recitations and dramatizations, ‘ayan ogbufo’ Translation (comedy), musical rendition/performances and free styles. It was just a loaded crib for talent discovery. The show offered some highly creative kids the means of expression and to others an avenue for budding and developing undiscovered skills. It
got to a climax at the point when Increase, a 14-year old guest poet, who has carved a niche for himself in the genre of poetry thrilled the audience to an applauding poetic piece. Other spectacular performances featured Tiamiyu Victor, Okafor Esther, Akanni Mariam, Kalu Precious, Ekwealor Chineye, Mowowale Gbemi, White House Poetry; the trio- Temitope Abiala, Oshungbuyi Damilola and Mayowa Olateju from Artsbeat Academy; FOS Communicator’s club, and Youngster. The students were excited to be a part of the initiative, as they watched their peers perform several creative beats, while the track is being marked for a monthly arts event. The House of Phoebe Crew members Sogbesan Aderoju and Oguntoyinbo Modupeolaotan expressed satisfaction in the turnout of the maiden edition.
Choco Girl’s Ayo stresses child rights
he use of art in promoting values as regards children is coming to the fore as Choco Girl (born Ebun-Oluwa Alaba Akinloye) completes her third studio album, Ayo in Lagos. According to the music star, this would complement her efforts at
promoting good education for children like her. The new work, which has eight tracks, was co-written by Choco Girl, a final year student of a Lagos-based secondary school. “That is my little way of continuing the fight for children which I am very committed to. It has been going on since I was 5 years old. I feel discouraged to see children without opportunities, which is why I have been working in this direction. This new album is a positive step towards the campaign for the well-being of Nigerian children, especially those without help”, she said. “The message in my music is to tell the children without hope that God is there to help them conquer the challenges of despair. They will always triumph.” The number of children at the location where she filmed her video is also a testimony to her passion about children, as they constituted the major part of her cast. Born to parents from Ile-Oluji, in Ondo State, Choco Girl’s father, who is the financial backbone of her career so far, said his belief in Choco Girl’s
chosen career is borne out of the need to let children fulfil their desires. He recalled how his father would not let him do music, because it was thought to be for the never-do-wells in the society. “I am an engineer, but I knew that as a child I liked singing, but my parents would not hear of it. I ended up an engineer. But this girl has shown passion in music as a way of correcting the ills in the society that is why I am solidly behind her. I am just committed to helping her realise her passion. I do not count the implications in terms of time, and money. I do not think this will in any way affect her education, as she is successfully combining this with her studies. She is planning to write the university matriculation examination for a place in one of the medical schools. And her results have so far shown that she has what it takes to actualise this,” the father said. Choco Girl will with the release of Ayo have recorded three studio albums in a career that started when she was five years old.
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Ekiti hosts The Future Awards symposium T
FG to recruit youths for UN programmes
STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE he Future Project has announced the second edition of The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders, an annual high-level leadership platform focused on building capacity for the new generation of Nigerian leaders. The event will hold at the Ikogosi Resorts in Ekiti State, Nigeria from 4 – 7 April, 2013. “We are very excited to be presenting the second edition of this historic platform – which provides a very important platform for a purposive national conversation about how the new generation of leaders can avoid the pitfalls of our history,” said Chude Jideonwo, who is executive director for The Future Project. “We are even more excited to announce that the event will be hosted by the Government of Ekiti State, Nigeria at the soon to be commissioned Ikogosi Resorts which has been constructed to world-class standards by the GovernorFayemi administration.” The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders, a platform leading from The Future Awards is the next stage of its involvement in building a new generation of leaders: creating a critical mass of new leaders who are already blazing a trail and managing systems – including business and political leaders, media leaders, thought leaders, civil society and public service leaders. The first edition of the Symposium held in Lagos on March 19 and 20, 2012. The Headline Speaker was then Vice-President of the World Bank, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili and its Host was
Young & Next Generation
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Former World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili speaking at the previous symposium in Lagos.
Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who was Minister of Youth Development. “We are delighted to host this platform in 2013 – in the Land of Honour Ekiti State, Nigeria,” said the Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. “Ekiti has always led the charge for democratic values, and good governance in the country, and we are passionate about sharing those lessons that we have learnt with the next generation of national leaders. “We are also proud to host The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders as one of the first programmes to be held at the Ikogosi Resorts which our administration would be unveiling soon. I am certain that the comfort offered by the world class service and facilities at Ikogosi coupled with the relaxing natural ambience of one of Africa’s finest resorts, would augur well for robust engagements amongst all participants at the symposium. It will be an enriching national conversation.” This year’s Symposium is focused on Nigeria’s next general elections – and young people effectively engaging the process across board, from business to politics and civil society. The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders is presented by The Future Project, in partnership with EnoughisEnough Nigeria and with support from the Nigeria Leadership Initiative.
he Federal Government of Nigeria intends to recruit young professionals that will work on a variety of United Nations (UN) programmes in various parts of the world under the United Nations Development Programmes, (UNDP). President Goodluck Jonathan gave the hint in Calabar, recently at the Passing out ceremony of the 2012 Batch A Corps members at the University of Calabar Pavilion. The President, whose address was read on his behalf by the State Acting Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, said this would expose the youths and make them serve as Nigerian Ambassadors not only in the International Civil Service, but in many other ways. According to President Jonathan, the present administration remains focused on youth empowerment, which would be pursued using the platforms of Sure-P, You Win and other programmes. On security, Mr. President said his administration remains resolute in tackling insecurity and corruption, to ensure a conducive atmosphere for sustainable economic growth that would result in the greater Nigeria that is being dreamt and hoped for. He noted that the Nigeria Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme has over the years contributed immensely to the growth and development of the nation as well as foster national unity and integration, and urged the Corps members to build on the affinity of their host communities during their primary assignments as basis of life-long
friendship, national unity and integration. The President, however, congratulated the Corps members for their contributions to national growth and development in the area of health care delivery, education, as well as social services. In his address, the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, who is also Chairman, State NYSC Governing Board, Mr. Patrick Ugbe commended the passing out Corps members for the impact they that created on the people of the State by bringing more information communication and technology (ICT) knowledge to many young people, through workshops and sensitization programmes. He said in line with the current NYSC posting policy, “our communities have enjoyed healthy distribution of available Corps professionals in Medicine, Pharmacy Nursing and other related fields of service. Mr. Ugbe however, enjoined them to be entrepreneurs that would be employer of labour rather than seeking employment themselves. Earlier, the State Coordinator of the NYSC, Engr. Nkereke Ibangha, said out of the 1,990 Corps members who served in the state, 23 of them won the State Governor’s Award, 37 of them won the State Chairman’s, Governing Council Award, while 150 of them received the State Coordinator’s commendation for proving themselves exceptional in one way or the other.
L-R Head Judge, Miss Modupe Ogunlade; Bronze medallist, Christianah Agah; Gold medallist, Aisha Salami; Silver medallist, Fiyin Ogunleye and Editor-in-Chief, Kiddies Digest; Mutiat Olagoke at the Kiddies Digest Spelling Challenge in Ibadan recently.
Lucky family for Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards
ne lucky family is in for the slimeing of their lives as kids and family channel Nickelodeon (DStv Channel 305) offers a family of four a trip to the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (KCAs) in LA, California! Those who are interested are to log onto Nickelodeon website at www.nickelodeonafrica.com. Nickelodeon, now in its 33rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, and feature films. Known for its legendary slimeing of celebrities with gallons and gallons of green goo, this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards takes place on Saturday 23 March, and the awards will premiere across Africa on Nickelodeon (DStv Channel 305) on Wednesday 27 March 2013 at 17:45 CAT (repeats: Friday 29 March at 20:15 CAT; Sun-
day 31 March at 12:05 CAT). Vying for the sought-after KCA “blimp” trophy this year are mega-stars from stage, screen and sports, including Adele, Justin Bieber, Big Time Rush, Bon Jovi, Miranda Cosgrove, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Vanessa Hudgens, Victoria Justice, Jennifer Lawrence, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, One Direction, Katy Perry, Michael Phelps, Julia Roberts, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Kristen Stewart, Ben Stiller, Taylor Swift, Tim Tebow, and Venus and Serena Williams. Hollywood’s biggest kid, Josh Duhamel, will be hosting the slime-fest event at USC’s Galen Center. This year, it’s a fight to the cinematic finish as Kids' Choice Awards former host and winner Will Smith, Johnny Depp and newcomer Andrew Garfield nab nominations for Favourite Movie Actor: Smith for Men in Black 3, Depp for Dark Shadows and Garfield for The Amazing Spider-Man. Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart and Scarlett Johansson kicked butt with
dual nominations for Favourite Movie Actress and Favourite Female Butt-kicker, while The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Hunger Games and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days are all up forFavourite Movie. In the television category, Miranda Cosgrove, Selena Gomez and Victoria Justice round out the Favourite TV Actress nominees, with iCarly, Wizards of Waverly Place and 2012 KCA winner Victorious also competing for Favourite TV Show. First time nominees Carlos Pena (Big Time Rush), Lucas Cruikshank (Marvin Marvin), Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally) were tapped for Favourite TV Actor. Taylor Swift scored three nominations: one for Favourite Voice from an Animated Movie (The Lorax), Favourite Song (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”) and Favourite Female Singer. Last year’s Favourite Music Group, Big Time Rush made the list again, up against Maroon 5, Bon Jovi and One Direction, whose single “What Makes You Beautiful” is also nominated for Favourite Song.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Convention: How Adesina LEONARD OKACHIE
he peaceful, transparent and credible election by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at its national convention in Ibadan last weekend, has been applauded by the industry watchers a good example of how an electoral process should be. The biennial convention, which held from February 28 to March 2, at the Premier Hotel, produced a new executive, led by the Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Company Mr. Femi Adesina, who will preside over the Affairs of the Guild in the next two years. Also elected in the new executive were Hajiya Aisha Sule (Deputy President), Mr. Steve Ayorinde (Vice President, West), Mr. Suleiman Uba Gaya (Vice President, North), Victor Agusiobo ( Vice President, East).Others include Isaac Ighure( Secretary ), Mustapha Isa( Assistant Secretary), Ogbang Akwaji( Treasurer) and Funke Egbemode (Social/Publicity Secretary). Elected as Standing Committee members were Ali Hakeem and Sebastin Abu. Adesina emerged after a keen contest with the Managing Director, New Nigeria Newspapers, Tukur Abdulrahman.He polled 149 votes as against Abdulrahman’s 57 votes. Also, Aisha Sule received 137 votes to defeat Ken Njoku who got 57 votes for the position of the Deputy President. Gaya, who scored 102 votes, defeated Alli M. Alli, who scored 62 votes, for the position of Vice President, North, while Hakeem and Abu got 108 and 105 votes respectively for the Standing Committee membership. But the positions of secretary, treasurer, assistant secretary, vice-president (West), vice president (East) and social/publicity secretary were unopposed. However, there was a twist in the election as Sule had indicated her in-
The new exco being sworn in.
I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUES FOR THE CONFIDENCE THEY REPOSED IN ME. I SALUTE THE NIGERIA EDITORS FOR RISING ABOVE PRIMORDIAL SENTIMENTS terest to withdraw from the contest shortly before the commencement of the election but her request was not granted by the chairman of the electoral committee, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna . He told other delegates that her decision contravened the laid down rules and regulations of the association. Haruna insisted that she could choose to resign after the swearing in. Mr. Njoku, who was Sule's opponent, had petitioned the Returning Officer, Mohammed Haruna, canvassing for his return as the winner, since his opponent had announced her withdrawal from the race, but the request was turned down. Speaking shortly after the election, Mr. Haruna said: “ The voting commenced and went smoothly. Generally speaking, it was free and fair. I am sure the losers will accept in good spirit while the winners will be magnani-
L-R: Managers, News, NTA, Tunde Arowosafe; Olaide Abass; Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, National Mirror Newspapers, Steve Ayorinde and Assistant Director, News, NTA, Shade Haastrup.
mous in victory. “However, we received a petition that the other candidate (Njoku) should be sworn in instead of Sule, who won the position of Deputy President. As it is now, Aisha stands elected.” Elated, Adesina in his post election speech dedicated his victory to his colleagues for breaking away from primordial, tribal and religious sentiments in the election process and wished that such feat could be replicated in national politics. “I want to thank my colleagues for the confidence they reposed in me. I salute the Nigerian editors for rising above primordial sentiments, because as you can see this is a pan-Nigerian mandate, there is no question of this is my kinsman, this is my brother. How I wish this could be translated into Nigeria's national politics,” he emphasised. The president assured that the new executive would maintain the dignity
of the Nigerian editors, stressing, “We will have a sense of responsibility and we will not do anything that is unethical. We will be strong on ethics. We want to build our secretariat in Abuja within the next two years. I pray that at the end of the two years, we will be able to point at our secretariat.” Adesina succeeded Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspapers who served the Guild for two terms of two years each. Before the election, Adefaye had expressed gratitude to the members of the Guild for their support in his four years of stewardship. Giving account of his stewardship, Adefaye said that he and his team had tried their best to run an inclusive NGE that would rekindle the interest of the elders, Fellows and role models more in the affairs of the Guild. He, therefore, thanked the following for their mentoring roles in the Guild. They include Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Segun Osoba, Uncle Sam Amuka, Tony Momoh, Onyeama Ugochukwu, Wada Maida, Mohammed Haruna, Ismaila Funtua, Ajibola Ogunsola, Nduka Obaigbena, Kabir Yusuf, Remi Oyo, Emma Agu, Ted Iwere, Nosa Igiebor, Bayo Onanuga, Ralph Akinfeleye, Frank Aigbogun, Tonnie Iredia, Oqua Itu, Bonnie Iwuoha and many others. He said that what he considered the greatest achievement of his administration is the defense of press freedom and expansion of the frontiers of free speech, even as he added that very soon, about 20 editors and journalists would go to Paris for training. Of course, the success at the 2013 convention did not come as a surprise. The Guild had appointed top-notch journalists in an eight-man Electoral Committee, headed by Mohammed Haruna, in order to ensure a rancour and acrimony-free convention. Other members of the committee were Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, Garba Shehu, Richard Akinola, John Ndukauba, Emma Augusta, Maduegbunam, and Lanre Idowu.
L-R: Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Daily Newswatch, Mr. Moses Jolayemi, Editor, Sunday Newswatch, Mr. Lanre Oyetade and Editor, Saturday Newswatch, Patrick Asonye
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emerged NGE president I HAVE A STRONG
BELIEF THAT YOUR COLLEAGUES MUST HAVE SEEN THESE QUALITIES AND OTHERS IN YOU TO HAVE ELECTED YOU INTO THIS HIGHLY EXALTED OFFICE Inaugurating the committee before at the Guild’s office in Lagos, the Deputy President of the Guild, Hajiya Aisha Sule, had said: “You are all aware that conducting elections in this country has never been like attending a tea party as contestants oftentimes regard what ought to be regarded as a pleasurable exercise a do-or-die affair. It should not be so. “In all that you do, you should endeavour to place the interest of the Guild above primordial, religious and regional considerations. The Guild is a cohesive body, composed of thoroughbred professional journalists who, by sheer dint of hard work, have risen to their enviable positions as editors. That professionalism should be maintained, no matter what!” There were other notable men and women in journalism profession who graced the occasion. Among them were Chairman/Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka; former Governor of Ogun State and former Managing Director of the Daily Times, Chief Olusegun Osoba; former Managing Director, Tribune Newspapers, Felix Adenaike, a founding member of Newswatch Magazine, Mr. Ray Ekpu, and many others. Ray Ekpu who was the Chairman of the convention, emphasised the importance of the media in the fight against oppression and recalled how journalists fought tirelessly against injustice done to Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Abdulrahman Shugaba during the Sec-
ond Republic. Declaring the convention open, the host governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State adovated for what he called media reform convention to check the threat to the journalism practice in Nigeria. While acknowledging the fact that journalism has contributed immensely to the development of the nation, Ajimobi called on professionals to safeguard the noble profession. He maintained, “Online publications pose their own great challenge to the practice of journalism. Chief among this is the infiltration of non-professionals and all manners of people into journalism practice. This has swelled the ranks of falsehood peddlers and those who assassinate characters of the elite without corresponding verification of their reports. And because their news is made available to a multiplicity of readers, it enjoys wide audience and rave review which has the potential to destroy faster than a bushfire in the harmattan.” Meanwhile, Chairman of Northen Governors’ Forum and Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu, in a congratulatatory message to Adesina, said: At this time of the nation’s political development, what Nigeria and indeed Nigerians need is a guild that transcends political partisanship and one that will leave politics to politicians and only play the traditional role of mediating between the leader and the led. “I have a strong belief that your colleagues must have seen these qualities and others in you to have elected you into this highly exalted office. “It is a thing of joy that your colleagues put aside ethnicity or tribalism in choosing you to pilot the affairs of the guild. I, therefore, call on you to provide the body with a leadership devoid of tribal, political or any primordial sentiment.” Many leaders and groups across the country have been congratulating the Guild for the successful election.
L-R: Editor-in-Chief, Statesman Newspaper, Mr. Nnamdi Odoemeluam; Alhaji Yusuf Ali, Managing Editor, Northern Operations, The Nation; Editor, National Mirror, Mr. Seyi Fasugba and Deputy Director, News, FRCN, Mr. Gbenga Onayiga.
L-R: Editor, Sunday Mirror, Mr. Bolaji Tunji; Resident Director, Communication, ICPC, Mr. Folu Olamiti; former Managing Director, Daily Times, Mr. Stanley Egbochukwu and Mr. Bisi Olawoyin of Bowen University.
Editor, Saturday Mirror, Ms. Gbemi Olujobi (left) and Editor, Sunday Sun, Mrs. Funke Egbemode.
L-R: Managing Editor, News Agency of Nigeria, Abuja, Mr. Alli Hakeem; Mr. Tola Adeniyi and Dean, Lagos State University Adebola Adegunwa School of Communication, Prof. Lai Oso.
Editors casting their votes.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Venezuelans mourn Chavez, prepare for election
“The Obama administration is confident that the vast majority of weapons being supplied to Syrian rebels by U.S. allies are going to moderates and not finding their way to extremists” –UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY
Vote setbacks as Kenyans await poll results PAUL ARHEWE,
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
lection officials from across Kenya travelled yesterday to Nairobi to deliver election ballots manually after the widespread failure of the country’s new electronic voting system, leading to criticism of the country’s complex voting rules. Following the technical difficulties, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said it would count votes manually in a national tallying centre overnight. It said it hoped to declare the winner yesterday and urged Kenyans to remain calm in anticipation of election results. About 330,000 ballots were initially rejected for not following election rules, however the IEBC announced on Tuesday that those spoiled ballots will count in the overall vote total. The commission’s decision makes it very difficult, given the tight race, for either leading candidate to reach the 50 percent mark needed to win outright, raising the prospect of another round due within a month after the vote. As of 8:15am (05:15 GMT) on Wednesday, Uhuru Kenyatta - the country’s deputy prime minister who also faces an international trial for alleged crimes against humanity - had won just over 2.79 million, or 53 percent of valid
n Egyptian administrative court yesterday ordered the suspension of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin next month, throwing the country’s politics deeper into confusion. The verdict followed over a dozen complaints questioning the legality of the law organizing the elections. Abdel-Meguid el-Muqanen, presiding judge of the administrative court, said that the law
Votes had to be recorded manually after electronic systems designed to fight corruption failed.
votes cast against rival Prime Minister Raila Odinga with 2.20 million, or 42 percent. Kenya’s 2010 constitution passed after 2007-08 election violence killed more than 1,200 people - says a candidate needs “more than half of all votes cast in the election” to win the presidency outright or the election will be determined in a second round. There have been multiple complaints at the widespread failure of electronic biometric voting registration (BVR) kits introduced by the IEBC to frustrate potential rigging. The BVR failure meant stations had to resort to paper re-
cords and manual registration, which considerably slowed down the voting process. Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition called on the IEBC to “urgently remedy the technical issues” affecting the vote, saying it was concerned at the slow progress. Kalonzo Musyoka, Kenya’s vice president and Odinga’s running mate, told reporters they were also worried about “the huge numbers of spoilt votes”. Ahmed Issack Hassan, IEBC chairman, said the body was looking into complaints of voting irregularities from political parties, and acknowledged the spoilt ballots were a “concern”.
“I want to assure the candidates and political parties, please don’t jump to conclusions: your job is to contest the election, our job is to organise them,” Hassan said. The results of the 2007 poll, which President Mwai Kibaki won against Odinga, were criticised for a lack of transparency in the way the votes were counted, helping to spark a wave of deadly violence in which more than 1,200 died. Odinga and his rival Kenyatta - the son of independent Kenya’s founding president - have vowed repeatedly there will be no repeat of the 2007-08 bloodshed.
Court suspends Egypt’s parliamentary election must be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine its conformity to the constitution. Meanwhile, he ordered the suspension and annulment of the presidential decree calling for elections. Details of the ruling were not immediately available. The government can appeal the administrative court ruling, but at the least the ruling may cause a
Riot police clashing with protesters in Port Said, Egypt, on Tuesday.
delay in the vote. The multi-phase election is due to begin in April 22 and last for nearly two months. The period for candidates to apply was to begin on Saturday, but that likely cannot take place until the legalities are worked out, possibly pushing back the whole process. The ruling further snarls Egypt’s political crisis over the divisions between Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the mainly liberal and secular opposition. Protests against Morsi and his ruling Muslim Brotherhood have shaken the country for months, and the opposition had called for a boycott of the parliamentary vote. “As it stands, we don’t have elections, even if temporarily,” said Negad Borai, a rights activist. “This reinforces the political crisis.” The opposition had opposed
the election law, expressing concerns over gerrymandering by the Brotherhood, which dominates the parliament, and complaining it was not consulted before it was drafted. “We respect court rulings and we don’t see any problem with referring the law to the Supreme Constitutional Court,” Mourad Ali, a media adviser for the Muslim Brotherhood’s party the Freedom and Justice Party, wrote on his official Facebook page. The parliament sent the draft bill to the constitutional court, which rejected it, asking lawmakers to amend nearly a dozen articles, including the drawing of districts. After some quick revisions, the parliament passed the law. Plaintiffs argued the revised bill should have been reviewed once more by the constitutional court before it was made law.
UN partially lifts arms embargo on Somalia
The U.N. Security Council agreed yesterday to partially lift a decadeold arms embargo on Somalia for one year, allowing the government in Mogadishu to buy light weapons to strengthen its security forces to fight al Qaeda-linked Islamists. The 15-member council unanimously adopted a British-drafted resolution that also renewed a 17,600-strong African Union peacekeeping force for a year and reconfigured the U.N. mission in the Horn of Africa country. Somalia’s government had asked for the arms embargo to be removed and the United States supported that, but other Security Council members were wary about completely lifting the embargo on a country that is already awash with weapons, diplomats said. “What we have tried to do is draw a balance between those who wanted an unrestricted lifting of the arms embargo and those who felt it was premature to lift the arms embargo,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters after the vote. “It is a good and strong compromise.”
France says terror chiefs killed in Mali
French President Francois Hollande said yesterday that a military campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali had killed “terrorist leaders”, without clarifying whether he was referring to two al Qaeda commanders reported dead last week. “We have launched an offensive in two directions, the first in the Ifoghas mountain range, and there we have had successes that will be further confirmed in the coming days, including the killing of terrorist leaders,” Hollande told a news conference in Warsaw where he was attending a regional leaders event. Chad has said that its soldiers, fighting alongside the French, have killed two top commanders from al Qaeda’s north African wing, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, but Paris has so far said it could not confirm the reports.
20 peacekeepers detained on Golan Heights –UN
The United Nations says about 20 peacekeepers in the force charged with monitoring the ceasefire between Israel and Syrian troops on the Golan Heights have been detained by approximately 30 armed fighters. U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey says the U.N. observers were on a regular supply mission Wednesday when they were stopped near an observation post which sustained damage and was evacuated last weekend following heavy combat. He said the U.N. peacekeeping mission has dispatched a team to assess the situation and attempt a resolution.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Venezuelans mourn Chavez, prepare for election VP Maduro is interim president
housands of people came out yesterday onto the streets of Venezuela’s capital Caracas to pay tribute to President Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday. Chavez’s coffin set off in a procession to the Military Academy, where he will lie in state till Friday. The government has announced seven days of mourning for the president, who died aged 58 after 14 years in the post. Chavez, a controversial figure and staunch critic of the US, was seriously ill with cancer for more than a year. A self-proclaimed revolutionary, he inspired a leftwing revival across Latin America. Dramatic images are being broadcast on Ven-
ezuelan TV stations, as the hearse of Hugo Chavez crosses the city surrounded by a sea of red flags. People are crying and sobbing, screaming the name of the late president, many wearing red T-shirts and carrying his images. “We carry you in our heart,” said one woman sobbing on live television. “Long live Hugo Chavez,” she screamed. Foreign presidents, such as Bolivia’s Evo Morales, took part in the procession, together with Chavez’s family members, Vice President Nicolas Maduro and all top government officials. Yesterday was the beginning of public events to mourn Chavez. The funeral will be held on Friday, and even greater crowds are ex-
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Jonathan mourns Chavez of Venezuela ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
P The coffin of deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez being driven through the streets of Caracas after leaving the military hospital where he died of cancer, in Caracas yesterday.
pected. Latin American leaders have begun arriving in Caracas to pay their respects - among them President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, Jose Mujica of Uruguay and Evo Morales of Bolivia. Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Cuba and the Caribbean island of Dominica have
declared periods of official mourning. Another Chavez ally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also announced a day of mourning, describing him as a “martyr”. Military units across the country have fired a 21-gun salute in his honour. They will fire another cannon shot each hour until he is buried, the armed forces said.
resident Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the government and people of Venezuela on the death of President Hugo Chavez who died on Tuesday at 58. In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, Jonathan said he joined the brotherly people of Venezuela in mourning Chavez who greatly endeared himself to the ordinary people of his country with his admirable efforts to improve the living conditions of underprivileged Venezuelans. Jonathan said that on behalf of himself, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, he extends sincere commisera-
tions to the government and people of Venezuela. As Venezuelans observe the seven-day period of mourning which has been declared for late President Chavez, Jonathan urged members of his family, officials of his administration, members of his political party – the United Socialist Party, his supporters and all Venezuelans to take solace in the knowledge that he did the very best that he could to uplift his people and country in the 14 years of his Presidency. The President also called on Venezuela’s political leaders, institutions of governance and security agencies to ensure that the procedures stipulated in the Venezuelan Constitution are strictly followed to ensure the peaceful and orderly emergence of a worthy successor.
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decongestion: 19 inmates ASUU flays UNILORIN management Prison regain freedom in Kogi for harassing delegates A T WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday flayed the authorities of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), condemning it for allegedly using policemen and other security personnel to harass and prevent its national delegation from entering the institution. In a statement signed by the leader of ASUU visitation panel to the university, Dr Kola Babarinde, and UNILORIN ASUU Chairman, Dr Taiwo OloruntobaOju, the union decried the retrogressive conduct of the security agents deployed at the university’s gate, who prevented the 32 ASUU delegates from entering the institution. ASUU, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to call his men to order against being used by the University of Ilorin management to frustrate the implementation of the court order which dissolved the illegal ASUU executive being recognized by the management. The union, while demanding explanation from the police and the university authorities for preventing its lawful congress, condemned all forms of lawlessness and unending violation of court orders by the management. The union said: “Despite
prior notice to the university administration and request for courtesy call which the Deputy ViceChancellor, Prof. Oladele, called off on the excuse that the Vice Chancellor was not around and that he has no mandate, all ASUU vehicles were prevented from entering UNILORIN by the university security men, and armed mobile and regular policemen. ” ASUU, however, said despite an attempt to stop the union from holding the con-
gress on campus, the meeting held with resolve of lecturers in the institution to stay with the national leadership of the union. ASUU further decried the role played by the Acting Dean of Faculty of Law, Dr I.A Abikan , and the security operatives who temporarily disrupted the peaceful congress held in one of the lecture rooms in the Faculty of Law. It will be recalled that the National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Lagos had on
February 13, 2013, described the Prof. Wahab Egbewoleled executives as illegal and unconstitutional and ASUU consequently, through its National President, Dr Issa Fagge, urged the institution to implement the judgement and recognise the Dr Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju-led executives. Oloruntoba-Oju was among the 44-lecturers sacked a few years back by the institution’s management, but reinstated by the Supreme Court.
Some of the items recovered from a bomb factory demolished by the Army in Kaduna on Tuesday evening.
bout 19 awaiting trial inmates remanded in the six federal prisons in Kogi have regained their freedom, following intervention of the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah. Justice Ajanah, who disclosed this in Idah after his two-week prison decongestion tour, said the unconditional release of the inmates was not a grant of amnesty or pardon. He explained that rather than some of them were unjustly and unconstitutionally incarcerated for allegedly belonging to faceless gangs without concrete charges, adding that ‘’the allegations were not in conformity with the provisions of the law.’’ The Chief Judge, who reviewed warrants of 267 accused persons awaiting trial in the six prisons, also granted conditional bail to 12 others as he ordered the unconditional release of the 19. During exercise, Justice Ajanah reviewed 106 awaiting trial inmates’ warrants. At the 200-capacity Medium Security Prison in Kabba, the Chief Judge granted bail to two of the 36 awaiting trial inmates and rec-
ommended psychiatric evaluation for two whose mental condition had deteriorated while in detention. He said: “Most of the cases reviewed in Kabba prisons are for very serious offences like culpable homicide and armed robbery, that is why we could not release any of them. “Because much as we owe the accused persons a duty to ensure that they have a fair trial, we also owe the community a duty to ensure that they are safe from any criminal activities.” At Dekina prison, Justice Ajanah reviewed seven cases of awaiting trial inmates and granted bail to one, saying that others cases were for very serious offences and expressed delighted that the cases are going on in various courts. The Chief Judge also granted bail to one and released six of the 27 awaiting trial inmates in Ankpa prison, where he hinted that the prison decongestion tour was to ensure that nobody was illegally imprisoned. At the 112-year-old Idah prison, which he described as the neatest in Kogi State, Justice Ajanah rounded-off his tour with a review of 23 warrants of awaiting trial inmates out of which he granted bail to one.
No DPO killed in Borno –Police CNPP faults Jonathan’s comment on APC govs’ visit to Maiduguri INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
he Borno State Police Command has debunked the killing of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and his deputy in an attack by some suspected Boko Haram sect on Monday evening. It will be recalled that some terrorists laid ambush in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State barely 17 hours after killing a Police Mobile Training Camp Commandant in Maiduguri, the state capital. Speaking yesterday in a statement, the police spokesman, Mr. Gideon Jubrin, said the report on the killing of the DPO
was not only false, but also misleading. The statement reads: “At about 9:0pm on Monday, some suspected terrorists laid ambush to Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State and that only one policeman was killed and not the Divisional Police Officer nor his deputy. Another one sustained injuries, in addition to the killing of seven civilians IN the attack.” Jubrin, however, said that security agents repelled the attack by killing two of the suspected terrorists. He urged the media to verify facts of any incident before publishing so as to avoid misleading the general public.
DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday took exception to
the “angry” reaction by President Goodluck Jonathan to last week’s visit of the nine All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
‘Air Force is committed to democracy’ WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, has described the military as a strong arm of democracy. Badeh assured that the military would remain committed to the entrenchment of democratic values in the country. He spoke in Ilorin during a visit to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji
Abdulfatah Ahmed, at the Government House. The Chief of Air Staff said the Air Force, and indeed the Nigerian military, are dependable allies in protecting and sustaining the country’s hard earned democracy. According to him, the Air Force is prepared to make itself available towards defending democracy by ensuring law and order in the country.
CNPP commended the APC governors for embarking on what it called a wake-up call to the President. In a statement yesterday, CNPP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, commended the APC governors for their courage, fortitude and sagacity. CNPP said that Progressive Governors by the bold trip to Boronu has raised the moral of our embattled and traumatized compatriots in the axis of conflict. It said: “There is no doubt that the visit has restored the hope of Bornu people, reassured them and created a sense of belonging that the nation has not abandoned
them; especially when President Jonathan did not deem it fit to visit the axis of conflict in the last two years.” CNPP said that the Presidency ought to have commended the progressive governors, instead of using language on them. It faulted Presidency’s position that the visit was “an act of crass opportunism and political desperation on the part of the governors and the party they represent.” CNPP said it could not locate opportunism in a grand solidarity and succor to embattled compatriots and called for more of such visits by governors elected on the Peoplesof Democratic Party Minister Health, (PDP) platform. Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Shun corruption, Nasarawa Kwara establishes PPP office to boost IGR, job creation K CP warns officers, men IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
fficers and men of the Nigeria Police Force have been advised to shun all forms of corruption to change the negative public perception of the force. The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Abayomi Akeremale, gave the advice at a one-day seminar in Koroduma, Karu Local Government Area, for inspectors, rank and file drawn from all the units across the state. Akeremale said the workshop was part of the transformation programme of the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, to ensure quality service delivery. Delivering a lecture entitled: “Policing without road blocks; pros and cons,” the commissioner said the eradication of roadblocks by the IG as security measure had enhanced the dignity of the average policeman given the criticisms and dent on the image of the force as a reputable institution. Akeremale charged po-
lice inspectors as middle level manpower between the officers’ cadre and the rank and file to always exhibit professional conduct and shun corruption in all forms and maintain their dignity in the eye of the public. He said: “It is encouraging that with the elimination of roadblocks and its attendant hardships, policemen still keep the society safe and the number of
criminals being arrested and detected has increased.” The commissioner, however, added that the situation needed to be sustained with the state-of-the-art technology and contemporary crime detection devices. He also said more funding of the police as well as improvement in the network of infrastructure in each state were a necessary condition for sustained security.
wara State Government has approved the establishment of Public-Private-Partnership Office, PPP, in line with efforts to encourage investors, boost Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, and promote job creation. The State Executive Council, SEC, also directed the three colleges of education in the state to stop further recruitment of staff and procurement of loans without recourse to the government and their governing councils. The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Nurudeen
Bauchi State Deputy Governor Sagir Saleh (left) and the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sani Malami, displaying strategic framework documents, during dissemination of national strategic framework for elimination of fistula in the North-East, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Jonathan’s visit: Borno declares public holiday INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
orno State Government has declared tomorrow a workfree day because of President Goodluck Jonathan’s two-day official visit to Borno and Yobe states. The government said in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, and made available to journal-
ists yesterday that the public holiday was to honour the President who would be visiting Maiduguri. Jonathan, who is expected to be in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital today, is expected to pass the night in Maiduguri and would tomorrow visit some areas as well as meet with Borno elders over the current security challenges facing the state and the North in general. Meanwhile, the presence
of security men and the restriction of movement in some major streets in Maiduguri, the state capital as a result of the President’s visit, have started to cause anxiety among the residents. Many people have started to buy foodstuffs to keep in their houses in case of any eventuality as the heavy security presence may lead to closure of the town, as was done during the visits of the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, and Vice-President Namadi
Sambo to Maiduguri. One of the residents expressed the hope that Jonathan’s visit would not paralyse business activities in the town. He said: “We suffered during the visits of the CDS and the Vice President. It was really a sad day for me because we were trapped at the Monday Market; we spent the whole day at the market. In fact, I had to trek from the market to my house in Gomari.”
Fans pay last respect to Choge, popular Hausa singer
who took turns to pray for the repose of Hajia Aliyu’s soul, described her as one of the most gifted female Hausa musicians. Choge, who died last Monday in Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State, at the age of 80, was known for her popular calabashon-water musical instrument. She was highly-sought after to sing at major events in the North and elsewhere.
ympathisers have continued to troop to the home of late popular Hausa musician, Hajia Sa’adatu Aliyu, popularly known as Barmani Choge, to condole with members of her family. The sympathisers included political office holders within and outside the state and some Hausa musicians and actors. Some of the sympathisers,
Ademola Banu, and the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the governor on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, said at a press briefing after the meeting, the council also approved recommendations that the colleges of education in Ilorin, Oro and Lafiagi should restrict themselves to only courses approved for them, pay all outstanding debts before the end of the year and streamline their accounts to only two banks. Akorede explained that the PPP office would en-
Choge was said to have been battling paralysis and other age-related illnesses for months before she finally lost the battle. Her youngest son, Hamza Aliyu, was quoted as saying that his mother died of hypertension and diabetes. Hamza said she had been battling with hypertension for almost five years, but that did not stop her from entertaining her fans whenever she was invited.
Choge’s music career lasted about 52 years. Several of her songs deal with everyday issues like marriage, politics, health, and so on. Some of her popular tracks now available on YouTube include: “A Kama Sanaa Mata” (women; embrace vocational skills); “Mai Soso ke Wanka” (only the one with sponge can bathe); “Gwanne Ikon Allah” and “Duwayway” (backside).
gage the private sector investors in key sectors of the state economy, particularly human capital development, economic development and infrastructure. He said the council was of the view that “those states that would survive are those that would identify creative measures for generating additional revenue outside the dwindling Federation Account allocations.” The SSA added that the idea was to put private sector funds in the implementation of social and economic projects in the three sectors. Akorede explained that the council in session took the initiative so that the state could benefit from the quality of service associated with the private sector since government’s primary responsibility was to create an enabling environment for private sector to contribute to the state’s development. He also explained that the council resolved that the PPP office, which would be composed entirely of technocrats and professionals recruited from the private sector, would act as a one-stop shop for the government’s engagements with the private sector.
Only dialogue can resolve polio controversy –JNI A ZA MSUE KADUNA
n Islamic organisation, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, yesterday said meaningful dialogue remained the only way to resolve the controversies surrounding polio issue in the North. JNI also said it would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders in the campaign for the eradication of polio. In a communiqué signed by its Secretary General, Dr. Khali Abubakar Aliyu, after its Central Council meeting in Kaduna, JNI frowned at the way Muslims, especially women, were being denied their constitutional rights to observe their religious duties without encumbrances. The communiqué also called on the Federal Government to, as a matter
of urgency, grant the “insurgents” in the North amnesty, especially those who had expressed readiness to tread the path of peace. The meeting also reaffirmed its confidence in the leadership of the JNI and emirs for combining their roles as royal fathers and custodians of Islam. JNI, however, called on the government at all levels and stakeholders to commit more resources to the education of children.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Community Mirror “Why a minister of works after three years in office and with all the money budgeted for roads cannot show 100 kilometers of road that was fixed; that is the problem that has kept us where we are.”
GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) MALLAM LAMIDO SANUSI
OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
24-year old man, Ogunsakin Oluwaniyi, has been reportedly stabbed to death by his friend, Ololade Fadekinte, suspected to be a cult member at Jerusalem Street, Oka, Ondo town. The development was said to have thrown the community into confusion. One account said both were at a relaxation centre when an argument ensued between them
Man kills friend over argument
with the suspect leaving the scene to lie in ambush for his friend. The account added that on sighting Ogunsakin, the suspect immediately walked towards his direction and allegedly stabbed him in the neck with a broken bottle. But another account said Fadakinte and his friends were at the beer parlour when he was
lured out of the venue after a minor argument and stabbed to death by the suspect. The death of the deceased was said to have infuriated members of his family, a development which made them to burn down a six-room apartment belonging to the father of the suspect and destroying several properties. Officers of the Ondo State Fire Service were seen mak-
ing frantic efforts to control the blaze, while the Area Commander in charge of Ondo Area Command, Hamzat Ameyi, CSP; the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Enuowa Police Station, Adegalu Ebenezer, and several police officers from the Anti-Robbery Section, were seen patrolling the street, apparently to prevent further breakdown of law and order.
The Divisional Police Officer of Enuowa station, Adegalu Ebenezer, confirmed the incident, saying the remains of the deceased have been deposited at the Ondo State Specialist Hospital morgue. The DPO added that investigations have begun and the suspect would soon be transferred to the homicide section at Akure.
Ogun partners Germany on training FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Ogun State Government has entered into partnership with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, AHK, for an innovative vocational training programme in both private and public sectors in the state. According to the Special Adviser on Millenium Development Goals (MDG) to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, the initiative will also involve the German Chamber of Commerce and Industries in GieBen-Friedberg and the Nigerian-German Business Association. Through the project, citizens of the state will benefit from a dual theoretical and practical apprenticeship in selected sectors and trade. The training programme will
L-R: Oyo NULGE Chairman, Comrade Tella Adekunle, representative of Caretaker Chairman, Mr. G.M. Agboluaje, Mr. Okunlola Taiwo, Mr. Akogun Bogunbe and the representative of OC/SARS, Micheal Alliu at a foundation laying ceremony held in Oyo East Local Government.
NULGE boss lays new hall foundation FRANCIS SUBERU
he chairman of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Oyo East Local Government Area, Conrade Tella Taofeeq Adekunle has laid foundation stone for the building of a new multipurpose hall for union members in the local council. The foundation-laying ceremony was part of activities marking the end of the year NULGE week in the council area. According to Alhaji Tella, when completed, the multipurpose hall would serve as meeting venue for staff of the local government; adding that it would equally be used for commercial purposes. In his address at the occasion,
the chairman said it has become the union’s norm to commission a project yearly from the 25% NULGE dues retained at council level; adding that the union under his leadership in 2012 achieved lots of feats. He said: “Our achievements in 2012 include assisting in prompt payment of salaries and allowances and assisting in prompt release and disbursement of refurbishing loans, assistance in recalling those who were unjustly retired and maintenance of peace, harmony and good relationship between the workers and the management.” In the same vein, the union gave merit awards to two outstanding police officers in the local government for their efforts at ensuring peace and tranquility in the council area.
The awardees, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP Olusola Aremu, the Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Chief Superintendent of Police CSP Micheal Alliu, who used to be the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of the council area but now posted to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Iyaganku, Ibadan, were admonish to continue their good works by being principled and disciplined. While presenting the awards, the NULGE chairman said the officers are highly principled, disciplined and civil in their approach to many issues as relate to our union; adding that the officers have distinguished themselves in their various capacity at ensuring peace and security in the local government.
expose beneficiaries to the renowned ‘German Dual Vocational Training,’ noted for its core competencies in both practical skills learning, as well as understanding of the theoretical environment for best impact. According to Mrs. Abiola-Costello, to jumpstart the project, the state, in collaboration with its German partners, would organise a planning workshop to be attended by key partners in the public and private sectors. Governor Amosun had noted that the initiative will help in achieving his administration’s employment generation programme, adding that workforce skills development is a sure way to increase productivity and tackle poverty. “This intervention also builds on the partnership between Ogun State and the German Development Agency, which began in May 2012”, the governor noted.
Commissioner advocates food security JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
he Katsina State Commissioner of Agriculture, Musa Adamu, has said that no country can stand on its own without necessary mechanisms that would ensure food security. Adamu, who stated this at a meeting of ‘All Farmers Association of Nigeria’, said with the highest population in Africa, Nigeria must adopt modern farming technology in order to feed her citizens. He said, as mainstay of the country’s economy, agriculture must continue to be given adequate attention by stakeholders as way of addressing food-related problems. He however appealed to states in the northern part of the country to increase their budget allocation in the agriculture sector, adding that funds to the sector were
often inadequate. Adamu, who describe the association as a veritable tool in the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government, called on it to educate and sensitise its members to adopt modern farming techniques. Chairman of the state’s branch of the association, Ya’u Gwajo– Gwajo, said the government has assisted farmers with loans of more than N250 million to repaid in four years. Gwajo–Gwajo, who is also Speaker of the State House of Assembly, said that 340 tractors were recently distributed to farmers on loan,even as he said the government had procured fertiliser worth billions of naira to be sold to farmers at subsidised prices, as the administration has drilled 4,800 water boreholes to boost irrigation.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
IOC’s hammer on wrestling compounds woes of Nigeria’s moribund sports The recent decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to remove wrestling from Olympic sports, has prompted IFEANYI EDUZOR to report that if not rescinded, the IOC’s verdict will compound the moribund status of many sports in Nigeria that are only existing on paper.
Sinivie Boltic in a bout
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, A JUDOKA AND WRESTLER, HAS SAID THAT HE WOULD FIGHT ON EVERY LEVEL TO SECURE WRESTLING’S
OLYMPIC FUTURE, A STANCE BACKED BY HIS IRANIAN COUNTERPART, PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADI-NEJAD
he recent decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to drop wrestling from among competitive sports after the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, though being resisted by stakeholders globally, will compound the moribund state of most Nigerian sports associations. According to a statement from the IOC, the decision to drop wrestling from the Olympics beginning from the 2020 Games was made through a secret ballot over several rounds with members voting each time on which sport should not be included in the Games. After the exercise, wrestling which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events was removed. IOC’s bombshell if not stopped, will not only lead to the demise of the combat sport, but increase the number of sports existing only on paper under the supervision of the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Commission (NSC). Wrestling is a combat sport, but was first practised, according to history, in the Trojan War of the 13th or 12th Century BC. It later debuted in the ancient Olympics, while the first organised national wrestling competition was held in 1888 in New York City. In the modern Olympics, wrestling was first staged at the 1904 Olympic Games in Saint Louis. It’s a sport the combatants use various methods like clinching, throws, pins and locks to defeat opponents on the mat, in the two most popular styles/events – Greco
Roman and Free Style. At the last Olympics held in London in 2012, Nigeria was represented by four wrestlers, two men, Boltic Sinive and Dick Adibo, and two women, Obiajunwa Amarachi and Okorodudu Blessing, who were coached by former Olympic gold medallist, Daniel Igali. But Russia, Japan and Iran topped the medals table in that order. The Russians won four gold, two silver and five bronze medals, while Japan clinched four gold and two bronze medals. Iran came third with three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. Russia President, Vladimir Putin, a judoka and wrestler, has said that he would fight on every level to secure wrestling’s Olympic future, a stance backed by his Iranian counterpart, President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad. In a rare gesture of goodwill, the United States freestyle wrestling team shook hands with Ahmadi-Nejad after a recent tournament and on the margins of the US-Iran nuclear talks, officials expressed their mutual contempt for the IOC. According to Financial Times, in the executive suites of Wall Street, the workplace of a sizeable number of former wrestlers, the collection tins are being rattled to fund a lobbying campaign aimed at reversing the IOC decision. President of Fortress Investment Group, Mike Novogratz, who wrestled at Princeton University, is spearheading the campaign to raise about $3million. Other financially prominent supporters include Josh Harris
of Apollo Global Management, Todd Boehly of financial services group, Guggenheim, Barry Bausano of Deutsche Bank and Richard Tavoso of RBC Capital Markets. All wrestled in their youth, a grounding Mr. Hovogratz said is ideal preparation for Wall Street’s rough and tumble. “There’s a training a wrestler goes through, out of which comes discipline, leadership and toughness,” he added. “It teaches you to lead with the front and not be scared.” Such is the global outrage against the IOC and the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) is equally mobilising to join the international pressure group. Else, they join the club of moribund sports. The IOC in justifying reasons for their action noted that the sport enjoyed low rating in global participation and popularity as well as lacked ethics and rules for its technical officials coupled with the absence of medical officials on the FILA Executive Board. President of the NWF, Austin Ede-Ezeh, regretted that a sport which has been part of modern Olympics could be dropped and appealed to the IOC to re-consider its decision. “I am yet to come to terms with the reason for the latest decision. It should be noted that wrestling has been part of modern Olympics and scrapping it now will retard the development of the sport,” Ede-Ezeh said. He noted that both the freestyle and Greco-Roman styles enjoy large followership all over the world, positing that the IOC rather than removing the sport from the Olympics should think of how to develop it in all conti-
nents of the world. “Wrestling is one of the most popular sports in the world and it features 344 athletes competing in 11-medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman at last year’s London Olympics. Women wrestling was also added to the Olympics at the 2004 Athens Games because of the importance of the sport, so dropping it now will affect not only the development of the sport, but will discourage young athletes who are involved in the game,” he said. Also speaking on the decision of the IOC, Technical Director of the NWF, Daniel Igali, told National Mirror that the decision is retrogressive and will not only affect the development of one of the oldest sports in the world, but will see wrestling being relegated to the background in the country. Igali, who won a gold medal in the Men’s 69kg freestyle event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where he represented Canada and another gold medal in the Men’s 74kg freestyle wrestling at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games noted that it is unfortunate the game came under IOC hammer when Nigeria’s potential in the sport has risen considerably. While describing the decision as shocking and unbelievable, the Bayelsa State House of Assembly member said that the world wrestling body has a lot of job to do to ensure the IOC rescinds its decision with an appeal to the country’s sports administrators not to allow the decision affect the development of the game since it is still a medal-
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Rower Jonathan Akinyemi
Cyclists on a road race.
THE MINISTER WANTS THE VARIOUS ASSOCIATIONS TO BE EFFICIENT AND VERY
BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT AMONG THE 35 SPORTS FEDERATIONS IN THE COUNTRY, ONLY FEW OF THEM ARE VIABLE
Daniel Igali (l) punishing an opponent at Sydney 2000 Olympics
ASSOCIATIONS WITH INACTIVE PROGRAMMES AND COMPETITIONS
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Cycling Rugby Kungfu Rowing and Yatching Shooting Karate Kick-boxing Judo Traditional Sports Fives Squash Softball and baseball
awarding sports at the Commonwealth and All African Games. “I want our wrestlers not to lose hope because of this temporary setback because I am convinced that the World Wrestling Federation (FILA) is working round the clock to ensure the decision is rescinded considering that wrestling has been part of modern Olympics since its inception. But they need a lot of job to do before this could be achieved,” he stated Igali noted that instead of allowing the decision to affect the development of the game, the NSC should encourage athletes such as 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth
gold medallists, Sinivie Boltic, Ifeoma Christy Nwoye, Efionani Agbonnavbre and silver winning duo of Talaram Mamman and Blessing Okorodudu because they still have the world championship to showcase their talent. When the Minister of Sports, who is also Chairman of the NSC, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, in January ordered all secretaries of the different sporting associations to prepare their handover notes ahead of their re-deployment to the NSC, many stakeholders lauded the decision, describing it as one of the steps necessary to reposition sports in Nigeria. Abdullahi wants the various associations to be efficient and very productive. But the truth of the matter is that among the 35 sports federations in the country, only few of them are viable. Apart from football, athletics, basketball, tennis, table tennis, boxing, weightlifting, wrestling, handball, chess, scrabble, taekwondo, cricket, volleyball and hockey, all others could be said to be moribund. National Mirror’s investigation revealed that while some of these Federations exist only in name and do not have befitting offices and secretarial staff to carry out their duties, others manage to organise one or two events in a year, with some waiting for the biennial National
Sports Festival to prove that they are still in business. Although the NSC allocates funds quarterly to these Federations based on order of preference, but there is nothing on ground to show they are existing, since they do not embark on any meaningful programme to develop the game in the country. It is a fact that it took the qualification and participation of England-based Jonathan Akinyemi in the rowing and yachting events at the London 2012 Olympics for Nigerians to know about the existence of such sport in the country. Before then, there was nothing on ground to suggest that the sport could produce any athlete to represent the country at the international level. Although the Nigerian Rowing and Yachting Federation under the leadership of Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (retd) maintains an office at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, yet not many people know about its existence. Rowing and Yachting which got full recognition by the NSC in 1995 with the appointment of its first secretary, Mrs. Toyin Aluko, was later concessioned to the Nigerian Navy in 2009 with the belief that since the Navy has a functional sailing club, it will help in the development of the sport. National Mirror’s investigation also revealed that Shooting which enjoyed considerable patronage under the leadership of Brig. General Fred Chijuka (retd) during the military regime is now comatose. Apart from few tournaments that are organised at the Ibadan shooting range, there is nothing on ground to show that the Federation still exists. Also, cycling which used to be one of the country’s most popular sports when
Rev. Moses Iloh was at the helm of its association, is experiencing its own share of neglect. The sport had a boost when Nigerian Brewery’s brand, Maltina, was its major sponsor in the 1990s. But the company pulled out when the federation was enmeshed in crisis as a result of allegations of corruption and its officials could not account for funds released by the sponsor. Although it will be argued that the NSC had good intention to concession these sporting federations, but recent developments have shown that instead of the exercise leading to the development of the sports, it has rather created bad blood in their leadership which has retarded their growth. Speaking generally on the moribund state of some sports Federations in the country, the former chairman of Nigeria Football Coaches Association, as well as one time secretary general of the Volleyball Federation of Nigeria, Austin Akosa, told our correspondent that all the sports Federations are viable, but lack of funds is affecting their development. “Nigeria should take the issue of proper funding of athletes serious because experience has shown that all sports are viable when properly funded. “When I was the secretary general of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, we faced the same issue of improper funding and that really affected our programmes. So, the NSC should take it as a duty to make sure these Federations are well funded for them to work effectively,” he advised. With most of the sports federations only existing on paper, without any tangible achievements to show for their establishment, the Lagos Liaison Officer of the NSC, Mrs Tayo Oreweme, is, however, still optimistic that with the ongoing re-organisation in the commission, most of the associations will be re-invigorated to perform optimally to the satisfaction of Nigerians.
Longest contra line Vol. 03 No. 572
Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Pope, power and politics
he resignation of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, announced recently, expectedly drew mixed reactions across the world. Although, the cannon law makes provision for the resignation of the supreme pontiff under certain circumstances, yet the shock of the announcement lingered. The fact that no Pope had resigned in about six centuries underscores the significance of this momentous event, a significance that may be lost on a world obsessed with power and position. I believe that part of the shock is anchored on the human tendency to hold on to power no matter the circumstances. It is thus inconceivable to give up such a privileged position, more so when it is traditional to stay till death parts the office from the holder. No throne or secular office rivals the papacy in pomp and pageantry. The
The longest contra line was achieved by 2,208 participants at the Riga Technical University of Latvia, in Latvia, on 25 October 2008.
yo State Commissioner for Sports, Dapo Lam-Adesina, has tasked Shooting Stars FC to win this season’s Nigeria Premier League and qualify for continental championship next year. Addressing the players during their training in Ibadan, the commissioner said, “You promised to
Pope sits on the chair of St. Peter, the man chosen by Jesus Christ Himself to head His church on earth. As the Vicar of Christ, the Pope is both the de facto and de jure head of all Christians on earth. His kingdom, though largely ecclesiastical, cuts across boundaries of all earthly dominions and jurisdictions. The Bishop of Rome is indeed the numero uno ruler of the world. A line of the papal anthem extols the supreme pontiff who rules “from sea to sea”. It is from this height, which mortals would kill to ascend and hold on to that Pope Benedict XVI gave up for a solitary life of prayer in a monastery for the rest of his days on earth. The Holy Father has by this spectacular act given new meaning to power and its exercise. In a world where power is deployed daily to oppress the weak, commit genocide and unspeakable human rights abuses, glorify mediocrity and amass unfathomable wealth, a new lesson is preached. We live in a world where religious leaders deceive, exploit and humiliate their followers for self glorification. This humble act speaks to these wolves in sheep’s clothing who prefer private jets to healing the sick and attending to the needy. Indeed this is a breath of fresh air in the putrid altars of deception and bigotry. The lesson is even more poignant for secular leaders who have forgotten that power has two sides: the legal authority it confers and the moral obligation it demands to always put the interest of the people, state or institutions above personal glory and
THE LESSON IS EVEN MORE POIGNANT FOR SECULAR LEADERS WHO HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT POWER HAS TWO SIDES: THE LEGAL AUTHORITY IT CONFERS AND THE MORAL OBLIGATION IT DEMANDS TO ALWAYS PUT THE INTEREST OF
THE PEOPLE, STATE OR INSTITUTIONS ABOVE PERSONAL GLORY AND COMFORT comfort. In Nigeria, incapacitated leaders resort to different ploys to hold on to power to the detriment of their people and institutions of state. Speculations are rife for the pontiff ’s announced resignation. This is against the background of the long papacy of his predecessor Pope John Paul II (now Blessed). John Paul II, one of the longest reigning pontiffs of modern age, died in 2005 after years of illness. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was at that time the Prefect of Congrega-
tion for the Doctrine of the Faith. He succeeded Pope John Paul II and became our Benedict XVI. As head of congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was the gatekeeper of the conservatives in the curia and oversaw most of John Paul’s reforms, which effectively positioned the church for the challenges of this century. He must have learnt valuable lessons in the long years of Pope John Paul’s illness. His election after a relatively short conclave lent credence to his vision of the church in the post John Paul II era, brilliantly articulated in his homily at the funeral mass of his predecessor. Pope John Paul II elevated suffering to a prayer form and concluded his ministry by becoming a model of Christian fortitude in the face of suffering and pain. It was a brilliant statement of faith after many years of active ministry. Unlike his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI did not enjoy the advantage of age. Having ascended the throne at the age of 78, he must have realized that his would be a transitional Papacy. I suspect that his desire to hand back the church to a younger leader and avoid years of inaction may have been at the heart of his decision to resign. At the end, both popes acted in the best interest of the church and faith. As the shock lingers, the faithful must realize that the church is the dwelling of the Holy Spirit. The guidance of this spirit of truth has piloted the church for centuries. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. Some 2000 years ago, the man who founded Christianity was set up by one of HIS apostles for cash reward. Arrested by an angry mob, all His followers fled including a thoroughly frightened Peter who denied any association with him. Yet Jesus Christ established this church on this same Pater. The ways of God are not often discernable to man. Ours is to bow and accept in humble submission. Odom, former Minister of State (FCT), contributed this piece from Abuja
Govt tasks 3SC to win Africa ticket
win the league and earn a continental ticket last season, but you failed to accomplish it, despite our motivation for you. “We must lift a trophy this season because we are tired of staying at home and not travelling to Mo-
zambique or Tunisia and you know what this means.” “No more Father Christmas because we have been treating you fine since August 2011, when we came on board, but you have not repaid us and we are not happy about this.”
Shooting Stars open their 2012/2013 season campaign on Sunday at home to Gombe United.
Champions League Results Juventus
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