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Friday, 06 September – Thursday, 12 September 2013 ISSUE 498

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SINCE 2001

B R I TA I N ’ S N O . 1 A F R I C A N N E W S PA P E R

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ONS reveals sharp rise in immigration

Zimbabwe election poll declared credibe

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SEE PAGE 17

Visa bonds: is no news good news? New research shows that sleep regenerates brain cell numbers SEE PAGE 22

Government silent over proposed pilot scheme By Alan Oakley

Britain’s ambassador to Nigeria has again said that the visa bond scheme proposed by the Home Office will affect only a tiny proportion of Nigerians travelling to the UK, reiterating an assurance he made to Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry in July. Speaking this week to Vanguard, a Nigerian daily newspaper, Dr Andrew Pocock said that the uproar caused in Nigeria and other so-called ‘high risk’ countries targeted by the proposal had been caused by a misunderstanding of what the scheme would entail. He said:”We know what the Nigerian government thinks about this and we have passed those feelings back to the government in London and they are taking it into consideration”. According to Dr Pocock, the Nigerian press had misreported the UK’s intentions and, as a result, the Nigerian government and people had become unduly alarmed. He sought to reassure his audience that there was no certainty that the scheme would even be introduced and said that even if it did, it “wouldn’t be so bad”. Dr Pocock added: “If 150,000 Nigerians travel to the UK every year, this scheme will probably only affect a couple of hundreds…so it’s not a catastrophe coming down the road”. He offered an assurance

that he would let the Nigerian government know as soon as a decision is made, adding that even if the pilot is held, there is no certainty that Nigeria will be one of the countries affected. “So, with the things I’ve said, it is not a policy, we still need to pilot it if it is decided. We don’t know if Nigeria will be affected and even if it is and we are talking very small numbers (..) It is not nearly as bad as it sounds. It doesn’t mean that every Nigerian has to pay £3,000 for a UK visa. It does not mean that,” he said. Surprisingly little information has come out of Westminster since the controversial plan was put forward in July. Reaction to the proposal in Nigeria, Ghana and India in particular was swift and angry. Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Olugbenga A Ashiru, said that the scheme would be ‘discriminatory’ and would ‘definitely negate’ a proposed bilateral trade deal between Nigeria and the UK. India’s Trade Minister, Anand Sharma, who was in the UK on a trade visit at the time of the announcement, asked for further clarification from the UK government. He too said that the scheme, if it was introduced, might have consequences for trade between the UK and India.

Continued on page 2

His Excellency Dr Andrew Pocock CMG has been UK High Commissioner to Nigeria since 2012


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POLICE OPENS ITS DOORS TO THE PUBLIC The Metropolitan Police Service is set to open its Police Stations to the public for a grand scale public engagement event on Sunday 22nd September 2013 between10am - 4pm.

This event will give members of the public a rare and behind-the-scenes glimpse at what goes on inside a police station and see some of the specialist units, equipment and resources that the MPS has at its disposal. Visitors and residents will also be able to talk to local Senior Police Officers about policing in their area. Members of the public can attend their specific police station anytime between 104pmwhere they will be greeted by Borough Police Officers and given a talk and tour of the station and an opportunity to ask questions. They will also get a chance to see a wide range of activities including: demonstrations of custody procedures, public order demonstrations and handling of protective equipment, video displays of MSC Met Police Careers, community safety and crime prevention, Safer Transport Teams, fingerprint taking, response policing, patrol cars, Emergency Life Support displays, and “PCSO Steve” and the other MPS mascots may also make an appearance!

Publisher and Editor-In-Chief Mike Abiola Editorial Board Adviser Dr Ola Ogunyemi News Editor Peter Olorunnisomo Managing Editor Alan Oakley Sports Editor Abiodun Teriba Assist. Sports Editor Olubunmi Omoogun Arts Editor Golda John Columnists Ryan Holmes Photo Journalist Isaac Adegbite Graphic Designer African Voice UK Legal Adviser Nosa Kings Erhunmwunsee London Office: Unit 7 Holles House Overton Road London SW9 7AP

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African Voice is published by African Voice UK.

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News UK launches action plan for companies to integrate human rights practices The UK launched its action plan on business and human rights, becoming the first country to set out guidance to companies on integrating human rights into their operations. ‘Good Business: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ makes clear the Government’s commitment to protect human rights and sets out the clear expectations for UK companies in this area. The plan is the UK’s response to the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights, a globally-recognised framework which outlines the roles of states and businesses in protecting human rights in business situations. It also builds on recent changes to the Companies Act, with new regulations coming into force on 1 October, which will require large companies to report non-financial information including disclosures on human rights where such information is necessary for an understanding of the business. Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “Doing business with respect for human rights matters. It’s good for people, for prosperity and for the UK. “We believe firmly that the promotion of business and respect for human rights should go hand in hand. “That’s why the UK is showing leadership in helping companies to understand it

Foreign Secretary William Hague

and pushing other states to follow suit. “We now call on business to work with us to implement the action plan and I hope other countries across the world will follow our lead.” Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “A stronger economy depends on investors, employees and the wider public having trust and confidence in the way companies conduct themselves both at home and abroad. “We know that British businesses already recognise the importance of protecting human rights, but that they need clear expectations and support from Government in order to consistently factor this into their operations. “Today’s action plan will provide British businesses with the tools to conduct responsible business in the UK, in overseas operations and within their supply chains.”

Peter Frankental, Economic Relations Programme Director on behalf of Amnesty International UK, said: “Amnesty International welcomes the UK Government’s Action Plan on Business and Human Rights as a significant step towards applying international standards to companies operating from the UK. This not only sends strong signals to all parts of the UK government to address business impacts on human rights, but also sets an example to other governments.” Marcela Manubens, Global VP for Social Impact, Unilever said: “Unilever is committed to the highest standards of corporate behaviour in the UK and internationally. We welcome the Government’s action in producing this initiative on business and human rights. It is important for industry that the Government communicates clearly its expectations of companies and the support it can give.”

Foreign Secretary pledges support for Syrian Opposition Foreign Secretary meets President of the Syrian National Coalition Ahmad Al-Jarba and reiterates UK support. The Foreign Secretary underlined UK support for the Syrian Opposition and UK commitment to a political solution to end the bloodshed in Syria, in a meeting with the President of the Syrian National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, Ahmad Al-Jarba. Speaking after the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said: “President Al-Jarba and the people of Syria should be in no doubt that the UK stands fully behind the Syrian National opposition – the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. They are the best

possible hope for a political solution to the crisis and for a future Syria which is stable and democratic. “The UK will continue to lead international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the now two million refugees who have fled Syria and the four million who have been forced from their homes. We are working closely with the moderate opposition to alleviate this appalling suffering and to provide practical and political support. “During our meeting today, I condemned the abhorrent attack on 21 August and reiterated the UK’s absolute opposition to any use of chemical weapons. I confirmed the UK’s package of chemical weapons protec-

tive equipment, which includes 5000 escape hoods, had been delivered to the Syrian opposition. We also discussed ways the UK could provide further non-lethal support to the opposition to help save lives and alleviate humanitarian suffering. The UK will continue to support the Assistance Coordination Unit to deliver help to Syrians suffering in dire need. “The UK’s priority remains a political solution to the crisis in Syria. Achieving lasting peace in Syria will require a government that represents the needs and concerns of all the Syrian people. The UK is working closely with international partners and the National Coalition to help make this a reality.”

ish now seek to repel that Britain has anything to offer, having been enriched by the Slave Trade in West Africa; the Raj system in India (which at the time encompassed what we now know as Pakistan and Bangladesh – both also visa bond candidates) and the virtual commandeering of gold, diamond and oil-rich land. There is little doubt that the issue of visa bonds even being con-

sidered will remain divisive. Despite the run-up to Christmas appearing to be a really bad time to complicate the workload of immigration officials, November has been mooted as a possible time for the pilot to commence. However, the Government’s relative silence on the issue has led commentators to speculate that the idea may have been quietly dropped.

Visa bonds: is no news good news? Continued from front page

There have been calls within the socalled ‘high risk’ nations to impose a reciprocal system on British travellers. One has to say that particular horse bolted over 300 years ago when high risk British colonialists usurped whole cultures by draining far-flung lands of their manpower and mineral and social wealth. It is precisely through the travails of the very peoples the Brit-


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News Three prominent Labour activists quit the Party Three prominent Labour activists in Southwark have left the Labour Party. Donald Cole, Colin Hunte and Juliet Atako have all joined a political party of community champions being set up by local entrepreneur Prem Goyal OBE. The move comes after former Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Althea Smith, was deselected by Southwark Labour last month and the neighbouring local party in Lambeth suspended their selection process after three black candidates, including Adeline Aina, were elected to stand in Larkhall Ward. Donald Cole, vice chair of Peckham Labour Party and a magistrate in the South London bench, who has protested against the treatment of Ms Aina at the hands of the Lambeth Campaigns Forum, said on his resignation from the Labour Party: “I joined the Labour Party because of its core fundamental values of egalitarianism, social justice and equality of opportunity. But as a member, and having served as branch and constituency officer for Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party, I have noticed that these values are non-existent. The days of ethnic minority people ticking the ballot papers for Labour are over. It is my intention to continue working for the people of Peckham in any and every way I can.” Colin Hunte, a longstanding campaigner in South Camberwell for the community, sport and equality shared Donald Cole’s concerns. Mr Hunte was told that he had strong potential to be a Labour candidate and was encouraged to apply to be a councillor by both the leader and deputy leader of Southwark Labour Party. However, he

Prem Goyal (2nd from left) flanked by Donald Cole, Colin Hunte and Juliet Atako

was subsequently told that he was not allowed to apply for selection when the selection process opened. He added: “When Labour was out of administration in Southwark, they needed a broad selection of candidates. Now that they are back in power, they exclude rather than include. Southwark Labour’s selection process seems designed to divide and rule. Together with other Labour supporters, I will be standing up for all people and not just the few.” Juliet Atako, presiding officer for Lambeth Council during elections since 1989 and vice-chair of Camberwell and Peckham CLP felt let down and used by Southwark Labour after many years of campaigning and fundraising for the local Party. Having not been included on Labour’s shortlist in Faraday ward, despite assurances, Ms Ata-

ko felt Labour were forcing her to remain a foot soldier and would never recognise national leadership qualities that were recently recognised by Downing Street. She said, “After the selfish acts of inequality in Faraday ward by Labour, it is clear the political establishment covertly manipulates the nomination and selection processes of ethnic minority candidates in the wards they are active in. I take pride in everything I do both personally and professionally and I will continue to do everything I can to serve my community and make sure their voice is heard.” Prem Goyal left Labour two months ago after all shortlisted candidates for councillor in Faraday ward were indigenous: Faraday ward has about 60% minority population. Mr Goyal said of his departure:

“I’ve concluded that Labour selection policies are flawed, processes are flawed and executions are flawed. Peter John, Labour leader, proudly says in Southwark News that ‘For every election we have an open and competitive process and encourage people of all backgrounds and ethnicities to apply.’ Thank you to Labour for telling minorities that we are dumb as we can’t get through competition. Please tell it to our faces when you beg for our votes. “I believe in equality, especially at the top. I joined Labour to fight against inequality in society. However I’ve found it needs fighting just as much within the party as outside. “The party talks equality when harvesting most of the votes from 45% of the ethnic minority population in Southwark, yet it talks ‘competition’ when allocating less than 10% of council cabinet and parliamentary positions to minority. “Does equality not mean supporting everyone, and resisting the comfortable status quo where those with the upper hand win out over the disadvantaged? Does equality not mean sharing political power equally? “I want to do everything to prevent the destruction of our community from the Divide and Rule policy followed by Labour. I will continue fighting for equality, especially at the top, not only with words but also with deeds.” Welcoming the community leaders to his team, Mr Goyal said: “It is unacceptable that out of the top 13 political leaders in Southwark, we have only one minority leader. This is an insult to the talented minority population, 45% in Southwark, who are manipulated out of the top political positions. This is inequality and unfairness.

Belfast sham wedding stopped; four arrested

The ceremony was halted at Belfast City Hall 4

Four people have been arrested after a suspected sham wedding was stopped by Home Office staff at Belfast City Hall. On Wednesday 28th August, Lynda Kemisola Eremion, a 29-year-old Nigerian woman who was in the country on a student visa, was arrested along with her would-be groom, Adeshola Adekunie Bankole, 45, a British citizen. Both were interviewed by officers and, following a search carried out at an address they claimed to be living at in east Belfast, Eremion was charged with attempting to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception and Bankole with assisting unlawful immigration. Eremion appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 29th August, to answer to the charges

and was remanded in custody to re-appear at the same court at a later date. Bankole along with Aitua Mercy Tosin, a 37-year-old Nigerian woman who was acting as a witness to the ceremony, were released after interview but will appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on 25 September to answer the charges. Tosin is also charged with assisting unlawful immigration. Another 46-year-old Nigerian woman, who was also acting as a witness, was released after caution. Andrea Anderson, Home Office Immigration Enforcement Officer said: “We are carrying out frequent operations in Northern Ireland to crack down on suspected sham weddings. Where we receive information that a wedding may be suspicious we will investigate.”


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News

ONS reveals sharp rise in immigration

Sarah Mulley, Associate Director at the Institute for Public Policy Research, has criticised the Government’s focus on international students as a means to reduce immigration

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures which show that the latest net migration figure has risen by 23,000. In the year to December 2012, the UK net immigration figure stood at 176,000. In the year to September 2012, net immigration was 153,000. This will be an embarrassment for the government which has pledged to reduce the net immigration figure to below 100,000 by 2015. Net migration is calculated by finding the number of people who immigrated to a country and the number of people who

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emigrated from it within any period and calculating the difference. The UK has, for many years, experienced net immigration with fewer people leaving than arriving. During the last years of the previous Labour government, the annual net immigration figure stood at about 260,000. This led to considerable adverse comment in the UK’s lively press. During his 2010 election campaign, the Conservative leader David Cameron promised to reduce net immigration to ‘tens of thousands’ a year. Since then, the government has restated its commitment to reducing net immigration to below 100,000 by 2015, the date of the next general election. During his tenure, David Cameron’s government has: • Scrapped two Tier 1 visas for ‘high value migrants’; o the Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa which allowed international graduates from UK universities to stay and work in the UK for two years after graduation o The Tier 1 (General) visa which allowed foreign graduates to work in the UK • Imposed a cap of 20,700 on the number of Tier 2 (General) visas (for ‘highly skilled migrants’ that can be issued each year • Instituted more checks on universities and on international students to prevent abuse of the Tier 4 student visa • Removed the licences from more than

500 further education colleges to sponsor international students to come to study in the UK The net immigration figure has been falling slowly. Figures released in June showed that net immigration was estimated at 153,000 in the year to September 2013. The latest figures show a rise of 23,000 on this figure. A breakdown of the figure shows • 97,000 people came to the UK from ‘the New Commonwealth’ (The British Commonwealth is an association of 54 countries which were part of the British Empire. It is informally divided into the ‘Old Commonwealth’ which comprises the former ‘Dominions’; countries such as Australia and Canada which were heavily colonised and ruled by the UK, and ‘The New Commonwealth’ which comprises other countries also ruled by the UK such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka). This was down from 151,000 the previous year. • 58,000 arrived from the eight eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004. These countries include Poland and the Baltic States. This was down from 77,000 the previous year. • The number of students coming to the UK was 180,000. This was down from 232,000 the previous year. Critics of the government argue that the

steps taken to lower net immigration are damaging the UK’s economy and could not be sustained. Sarah Mulley of the centre left Institute for Public Policy Research said in March 2013 that the main method whereby the government had reduced net immigration was by cutting the number of international students studying in the UK. She said that this was not only extremely damaging to the UK’s economy, because international students bring a great deal of income to the UK’s education sector, but that it would also be impossible to continue to reduce the figure. She said that, because most students stay in the UK for three years and then leave, they add to the emigration figure when they leave. If you cut the number of emigrants, then the net immigration figure will rise, because net emigration will fall. ‘Radical changes’ required Ms Mulley has said that the UK government needs to make ‘radical changes which go far beyond the student visa regime’ if it wants to hit its target. On hearing of the latest figures she said ‘Recent declines have been driven in large part by falling numbers of international students, which has come at a high economic cost, but this trend now appears to be levelling off’. She added that it appears to be ‘running out of options’ to meet its target.


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Oil prices reach an 18-month high after Syrian tension

Syrian tension has resulted in rising costs for oil

With the looming tension regarding military strikes against Syrian forces by joint United States of American and British forces, its consequences have triggered concerns and speculations, stoking the price of crude oil. West Texas Intermediate crude rose to the highest level in 18 months on speculation that tension in Syria will disrupt Middle East supplies. But prices gained 2.9 percent as Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said that

Syria’s defenses will “surprise” the world should the U.S. and its allies attempt military strikes. Western powers told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces within days, Reuters reported, citing sources that attended the meeting. WTI for October delivery climbed $3.09 to $109.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest settlement since Feb. 24, 2012, and the largest percentage gain since May 2. Trading was 20 percent above the 100-day average for

the time of day at 2:38 p.m. Prices were little changed after the American Petroleum Institute reported U.S. crude inventories increased 2.47 million barrels last week. The October contract increased $2.97, or 2.8 percent, to $108.89 a barrel in electronic trading at 4:36 p.m. It traded at $108.91 before the report was released at 4:30 p.m. Brent for October settlement increased $3.63, or 3.3 percent, to $114.36 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, a six-month high. Volume was 58 percent above the 100-day average. The European benchmark’s premium to WTI widened to $5.35 from $4.81. “The geopolitical tension in Syria certainly escalated one notch higher and it’s a significant notch,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, BNP Paribas SA’s London-based head of commodity markets strategy. “It’s the implication of what a broader conflict in Syria would mean to key suppliers in that region. The market simply positioned itself long and waited for the next turn of events,” he added. Syria is “hearing the drums of war all around us,” al-Muallem said at a televised news conference in Damascus. The government hasn’t obstructed the United Na-

tions probe into its alleged use of chemical weapons, he said, adding that the U.S. may be carrying out psychological warfare. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, had said that President Barack Obama will hold Syria accountable for the “indiscriminate slaughter” of its own people with chemical weapons. The evidence is “undeniable” that chemical weapons were used against residents of a Damascus suburb last week and that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has the toxic weapons and the ability to deploy them, he said. “It’s not the question of if they are going to intervene, but just when and how,” said Julius Walker, global energy markets strategist at UBS Securities LLC in New York. “The issue is whether such intervention will pull in neighboring countries.” Syria borders Iraq and is near Iran, countries that together hold almost a fifth of the output capacity from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to Bloomberg estimates. Syria itself produced just 164,000 barrels a day of the 28.3 million pumped in the Middle East last year, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s Statistical Review of World Energy.

Ghana signs transportation aid deal with Chinese bank

Lake Volta is set to have new transportation links, which will help connect smaller areas

All is set for work to begin on the Volta Lake Transport Company Limited (VLTC) as the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company Limited (CSOC), the contractor.

The four-year improved works on the Volta Lake would cost $314 million. Mr Erik Kweku Yarboi, Managing Director, VLTC, who signed for his outfit, said the project, which formed part of the Eastern Corridor Multi Modal Transport project, was being funded by the China Development Bank (CBD) with government of Ghana contributing 15 percent. Details of the projects include 14 landing sites or terminals to link all the small communities along the Volta Lake, two 8

floating docks at Akosombo and Buipe, the construction of ship components and fuel tankers. The rest are the purchase of three patrol boats to assist in emergencies on the lake, construction of a 400-kilometre stretch of road between Akosombo and Buipe and other engineering, procurement and construction services. Mrs Dzifa Attivor, Minister of Transport, said the projects would not only enhance safety and improve services provided by the Lake but would also create employment for the youth in the catchment areas. She said the projects would enable farmers, who are not able to transport their products from the hinterlands, to do so due to the construction of roads which formed part of the contract. Mr Yu Jian, Director, CSOC, who signed for his company pledged to deliver and also finish the project on time


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Govt impose sanctions on exams malpractices By Peter Olorunnisomo

Prof. Rukkayat Rufai, Education Minister

Issues of examinations malpractice in Nigeria received a major boost dictating its unacceptability and a very low tolerance level as its impact on the nation’s psyche when the Federal Executive Council (FEC) empowered the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to introduce a penalty of N200, 000 fine or five years imprisonment for any candidate caught in examination malpractice in the five countries under the body. This approval came following the amendment and domestication of an act of the West African Examination Coun-

cil agreed upon by the West African countries in 2004. The Honourable Minister for Education, Professor Rukuyyattu Rufai, briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday, noted that before now WAEC could not punish such offenders, and the new section of the act has become necessary to check examination malpractices. The FEC also approved the establishment of a national healthcare waste management policy for Nigeria. Nigeria at present does not have a coordinated healthcare waste management system especially in the area of collection, storage, treatment and disposal even after being signatory to the convention on the control of hazardous waste disposal. The Federal Executive Council also deliberated on the memo by the Ministry of Interior, which aims at reducing the incident of fire in public buildings across the country. The Ministry of Interior has been directed to forward the policy to the National Economic Council (NEC) for further deliberations and to also enable state governors to key into the policy for full implementation across the country.

Court permits extradition of Al-Qaeda suspect

Abdullahi Ayatollah Mustapha

An Abuja Federal High Court has granted the Federal Government’s request seeking to extradite Mr. Lawal Babafemi also known as Abdullahi Ayatollah Mustapha.

Mr. Lawal was indicted of conspiracy to provide support to a foreign terrorist organization in violation of title 18 of the United States code and the United States has requested that he be extradited out of Nigeria to answer charges of terrorism proffered against him. Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the order after he confirmed from the suspect that he was not going to contest his extradition to the United States of America. In his ruling, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said since the application was not contested by the suspect, the court is satisfied with

the request and application of the Attorney -General of the Federation and as such granted that he be extradited to the United States of America to face the indictment against him by the U.S.. Justice Mohammed also ordered that Mr. Babafemi be surrendered to officials of the United States of America not later than fifteen days from when the order was made in line with the Extradition Act, 2004. He further ruled that Mr Babafemi should remain in the custody of the department of State Services until his extradition. The United States of America had on the 26 of July, 2013 made a formal request to Nigeria seeking the extradition of Mr Lawal Babafemi also known as Abdullahi Ayatollah Mustapha to answer charges of providing support to terrorist organizations against the United States of America.

Two arrested in UK over Abacha loot

Late General Sani Abacha

The last is yet to be heard about looted funds traced to ex- Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, as £20m(N5.12billion) laundered through some lawyers in Britain is being probed.

Two suspects, including a former Attorney-General of Kogi State, have been arrested in London in connection with the loot. The two suspects, who were trying to convert a 1994 CBN Traveller’s Cheque

worth £2,000 at Travelex are undergoing interrogation in London. Upon a search in the suspects’ hotel in London, it was gathered, about £78,000 traveller’s cheque was found on them. There were indications that the UK Police may invoke the Mutual Legal Assistance to seek the extradition of Mohammed Sanni, who is allegedly linked to the probe. A source said: “The arrest of two Nigerian suspects (including a former At-

torney-General of Kogi State) has triggered the latest round of investigation. “With the £20million loot in their care, they decided to test the waters with £80,000. So, the two suspects took £2,000 Traveller’s Cheque purchased by the CBN in 1994 to Travelex to get some cash but the desk officers were suspicious because of the time frame. “The attendants alerted security agencies who arrested the suspects and later searched their hotel rooms where additional £78,000 worth of traveler’s cheque was found. “The security agencies are working on the suspicion that the suspects were on a laundering mission in the UK as part of moves to repatriate the alleged £20million stashed by the late Head of State.” The Press Bureau of the Metropolitan Police last night said: “We have contacted officers to get any details of this incident. We will reply in due course as and when we have them.” The Abachas were alleged to have laundered about $3billion cash.

The Federal Government has so far recovered more than $2.550billion. The government is trying to trace the whereabouts of $450million hidden in many countries. A Federal Government counsel on repatriation of Abacha loot, Mr. Tim Daniel, had said about $2.550billion of $3billion had been so far recovered by the Federal Government from the late Abacha’s accounts and his family. He gave the breakdown as follows: voluntary surrender ($750m); Switzerland ($570m); Jersey ($380m); UK($150m); Luxembourg ($300m); and Liechtenstein ($400m). A few months after the 13th year anniversary of Abacha’s death, the Federal Government recovered£22.5m (N6.18billion) loot which the late Head of State, allegedly stashed in Jersey. The £20million being investigated is alleged to be part of the outstanding $450million.

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Aregbesola, minister disagree on fertiliser distribution Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola said the Federal Government’s fertiliser distribution scheme is a failure in Osun. He rejected claims by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, that 3.5 million farmers had benefited from it through the Growth Enhancement Programme, arguing that “no farmer in Osun benefited from the initiative”. Aregbesola spoke in Abuja at the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit while participating in a debate centred on “Growing Agriculture at the state level”. Adesina said: “The old fertiliser business was just a racket. In the old times, people just filled papers at the federal level. Fertiliser did not get distributed and people got paid. With President Goodluck Jonathan’s support, we cleaned up that sector and the state governments participated. The Federal Government’s participation is 25 per cent and state governments pay 25 per cent of the subsidy. “When we started last year, we reached 1.5 million farmers. This year, we have reached about 3.5 million farmers and we expect to reach five million more before the end of the dry season. So it is that synergy between the federal and state governments to take agriculture as a business, rather than a development programme, that makes things work.” Responding to the minister’s comments,

Aregbesola said: “If Osun had benefited from the scheme, the state government would not have spent about N1 billion on fertiliser for farmers. I see the spirit, the zeal and the passion of the minister of Agriculture. However, the fertiliser distribution did not get to my state. “Whatever the governor of Anambra State experienced, I did not experience. I committed close to N1 billion to procuring fertiliser when the one arranged through the agents you put together failed. That is the truth. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well.” The governor debunked claims by the Federal Government that youths were interested in agriculture, saying: “We have spent billions of naira clearing lands and giving them to farmers, but the few of them that went there have done nothing. They know roaming about the streets begging for money pays better than staying on the farm. “The solution to this problem is the creation of incentives for farming. There must be a guaranteed minimum price for agricultural produce to enable farmers live comfortable lives. If that is not there, we are joking. Most farmers would not want to farm because farming today is still not a business in Nigeria.” Aregbesola urged the government to give zero-interest loans to farmers. Source: The Nation, Nigeria.

From Left - Governor State of Osun , Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi , Minister for Agriculture , Dr. Akinwumi Adesina ,Chairman Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Folorunso Pillps , Managing Director Access Bank and Mr. Aig Imoukhuede during the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit, at Transcorp Hilton Abuja

Photos: Taofeeq Adejare

From Left – Dr. Daramola Peter; Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Chief of Staff to the Governor State of Osun, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, Chairman Non Academic Staff Union [NASU] Lau teach Teaching Hospital Osogbo, Ibitoye Kayode and Cordinator D’ Rauf Lau teach Teaching Hospital Osogbo, Mr. Opeyemi Adegboyega during a Courtesy visit to the Governor, at Governor Office, Abere Osogbo

From left, Ataoja of Osogboland, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun; Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Chief Imam of Osogboland and President League of Imams and Alfas, South west Edo and Delta, Sheik Mustapha Ajisafe; Chief of Imam Alausa Secretariat Mosque Lagos, Sheik Mustapha Mubarak; Commissioner for

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Sweden

Displaced Syrians offered Swedish home

Protests about Israel’s alleged unjust treatment of Eritrean refugees are commonplace on the streets of Tel-Aviv

Syrians in Sweden can apply for permanent residency

Sweden has become the first EU state to rule that all asylum seekers who arrived fleeing the worsening conflict in Syria are to be granted permanent residency.

The decision covers all asylum seekers from Syria who have been granted tem-

porary residency in Sweden for humanitarian protection. They will now receive permanent residence permits, the Swedish Migration Board announced on Tuesday (September 3). Previously, around half of Syrian asylum seekers had been granted permanent residency, with the remaining half re-

Greece

Anti-fascist prosecution to go ahead

Savvas Michael-Matsas feels he is on trial for responding to death threats from neoNazi groups

This week in Athens sees the start of the trial of Constantinos Moutzouris, former chancellor of the National Technical University, and Savvas MichaelMatsas, an internationally known intellectual and leader of the Trotskyist Greek Revolutionary Workers’ Party (EEK), who happens to be Jewish. The accusers (in Greece, individuals can bring criminal suits) are members and supporters of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. The alleged crimes are “libellous defamation,” “incitement to violence and civil discord,” and “disturbing the public peace.” The trial is in effect a prosecution of political speech—the first prosecution of anti-fascist speech in Europe. Moutzouris is charged with hosting the radical website Athens Indymedia on the university’s server, Savvas for an EEK call to an antifascist demonstration which ended with

the slogan, “The people don’t forget, they hang fascists.” (It’s catchier in the original, and not unusual in its violence: like it or not, Greek political rhetoric on both left and right has never hesitated to go for the jugular.) The case is also a test of how far the Greek judiciary has been penetrated by the far right. Several Golden Dawn members have serious charges pending, including for assault, but their trials seem to be endlessly postponed; nor has the party ever been prosecuted for hate speech, though its publications and the speeches of its leaders can make your hair stand on end. What’s more, the two men are the only ones so far called to trial from a long list named in the suit. Their prosecution probably has to do with the government’s campaign to shut down the alternative political space represented by Indymedia and the radical currents that find a home in EEK. But it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Savvas has also been singled out because he is a Jew—one of the very few Jewish public intellectuals in Greece. AntiSemitism is at the root of Golden Dawn’s ideology. “Kill the Jew you carry inside you and is your negative self, incapable of giving your life meaning through a higher ideal,” counselled its Declaration of Ideological Principles at the end of the 1980s. “Then, fight the Jew around you.” Savvas’ selection is a sop to the neo-Nazis from the Greek judiciary—a wink to anti-Semites and racists everywhere.

ceiving three-year residence permits. The assessment is based on whether a person has an individual or general need for protection. As the situation in Syria has deteriorated and is now “extreme and marked by general violence” with no solution in sight, the agency has judged the poor security situation in Syria to be permanent. The decision means that the roughly 8,000 Syrians who have temporary residency in Sweden will now be able to stay in the country permanently. They will also have the right to bring their families to Sweden. While Malek Laesker, vice-chair of the Syrian Arabian Cultural Association of Sweden welcomed the decision, he also warned it could create problems. “The fact that Sweden is the first country to open its arms is both positive and negative,” he told the TT news agency, explaining that it may become a boon for the growing people-smuggling market. He also expressed concerns that the move will add more fuel to the already inflamed debate about Sweden’s immigration policies.

Portugal

“We already have a crisis around that issue in Sweden. I hope that our politicians solve it in a nice way,” he said. In 2012 and 2013, a total of 14,700 Syrian asylum seekers headed to Sweden. Sweden and Germany have accepted more refugees from the war-torn country than any other country in the EU. In its statement, Sweden’s migration board warned that asylum seekers who may be guilty of war crimes or crimes against humanity for their actions in Syria would lose their right to be classified as refugees or in need of protection.

Bashar al-Assad has resisted international pressure to stand down for two years

Britons in Punk’d hoax may face jail

Fake kidnap is reminiscent of the plot of 1987 movie, The Game

Two British women have been arrested in Portugal following a kidnap prank that went a little too well. Friends of the two women, who were all in Portugal celebrating the birthday of one of the party, had hired a Portuguese firm to stage the fake kidnapping to “spice up” the celebrations. But Portuguese police were inundated with emergency calls from witnesses to what they assumed was a genuine abduction in Lisbon’s Restauradores Square. Panicked callers said they had seen masked men forcing two women into a white van before speeding off, prompting the police to scramble several cars to give chase. Only when the van was stopped was it revealed that the ‘kidnap’ was a prank. The two women and their four Portuguese ‘kidnappers’ were arrested on suspicion of simulating a crime. All six could face up to twelve months in jail if the courts take a dim view of the hoax. The women claim they were not in on the joke and genuinely thought they were being ab-

ducted; a claim that might strain the birthday revellers’ friendship, since it could put the friends who arranged the jape in the frame instead. Extreme kidnapping is the latest thrill for adrenaline junkies, who pay up to £1,000 to be abducted. Customers of French firm Ultime Realite can buy a basic abduction package in which they are seized by strangers, bound and gagged before being bundled into a car and kept in a dark cellar for hours. Tailormade elements of the experience include boat chases and helicopter escapes. Customers explain what they want and once the scenario is established, they sign a contract and liability waiver but have no idea exactly when or where their abductors will strike. Ultime Realite’s website promises: “You will go through the real sensations of violence, terror and fear of a real kidnapping - a psychological shock that you won’t forget in a hurry.” A recipe for it all going horribly wrong if ever there was one.

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Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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News Transnational organised crime on the rise in Eastern Africa, warns UN report The latest report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provides insight into some of Eastern Africa’s principal transnational organised crime threats.

According to the report, more than 100,000 people were smuggled out of the region last year alone, generating over of US$15 million for organised criminal networks operating on the maritime crossing from the Horn of Africa. Ivory poaching, which results in up to 154 tonnes being taken annually, led to an additional US$30 million in illicit revenue just from Asian markets. Drugs are an increasingly lucrative illicit trade. Up to 22 tonnes of heroin are now trafficked to and through the region annually, with local consumption alone amounting to some US$160 million a year. Finally Somali piracy was worth an estimated US$150 million in 2011, equivalent to almost 15 per cent of the country’s GDP. Throughout 2013, however, no successful hijackings for ransom have been made in the Somali area of operation, and this remarkable progress shows that even the largest crime problems can be countered through international cooperation. The report – Transnational Organized Crime in Eastern Africa: A Threat Assessment – is aimed at highlighting the most pressing transnational organised crime threats facing the region. Looking at some of the key areas, this latest report focuses on four such concerns: migrant smuggling from Ethiopia and Somalia to Yemen and Saudi Arabia; heroin trafficking from South-West Asia to Eastern

Destined mainly for Asia, some 150 tonnes of ivory is poached in Eastern Africa alone every year

Africa; ivory trafficking through Eastern Africa to Asia; and Somali maritime piracy. The role of transnational organised crime is evident in migrant smuggling. This is driven in part by high levels of conflict and poverty which have resulted in a large and vulnerable stream of migrants. Many of those trying to escape the situations they face are subjected to a range of abuses, including confinement, beatings, extortion and rape at multiple stages of their journey. In 2012 alone, more than

100,000 people paid smugglers to transport them across the Gulf of Aden or Red Sea to Yemen where their journey takes them onwards to Saudi Arabia, with the sea passage alone generating over US$15 million for organised criminal networks. Regional wildlife trafficking is also increasing, and Eastern Africa appears to be the main conduit through which illicit ivory is flowing. Recent research indicates that the rate of poaching in Eastern Africa has risen to levels that could significantly threaten the local elephant

population. Between 5,600 and 15,400 elephants are poached in Eastern Africa annually, producing between 56 and 154 tonnes of illicit ivory. In 2011, two-thirds of this, or 37 tonnes, was destined for Asia, worth around US$30 million. The regional drug trade represents another core threat. While heroin has been trafficked to and through Eastern Africa since at least the 1980s, a series of recent large seizures suggests that this flow has increased. Between 2010 and 2012, more heroin was seized than in the previous 20 years and in the first five months of 2013, the seizures exceeded those of the total previous 24 months. Annually, as much as 22 tonnes is trafficked to the region. While it is estimated that at least 2.5 tonnes of this is consumed locally every year (worth some US$160 million), the excess suggests substantial amounts are transited through the region, particularly to Southern and West Africa, and possibly beyond. In 2011 Somali pirates reaped an estimated US$150 million. In recent years, however, progress has been made in tackling this issue. International countermeasures have contributed to a dramatic decline in piracy. While in April 2009 pirates hijacked 16 ships, two years later this averaged less than one per month; in the first half of 2013 there were no successful hijackings for ransom in the Somali area. Effective intervention has also forced pirates to move further away from the coast: in 2005, the average successful pirate attack was 109 km from the Somali coast; in 2012, it was 746 km.

UN agency warns of looming food crisis in Zimbabwe Around 2.2 million Zimbabweans are expected to need food assistance before the harvest period in March, according to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates.

WFP Country Director Sory Oaune said: “Many districts, particularly in the south, harvested very little and people are already trying to stretch out their dwindling food stocks (..) WFP is working closely with the Government and partners to respond to the looming food crisis and will start food and cash distributions to the most vulnerable in October.” The predicted levels of hunger, released by the UN-supported Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee, would be the highest since early 2009, when more than half the population required food support. To meet the increasing needs, WFP and its partners will provide cereals harvested in the region, as well as imported vegetable oil and pulses, the agency said in 12

a news release. Cash transfers will also be used in selected areas to give people flexibility and help support local markets. Distributions will be gradually scaled up

from October until harvest time in March next year. Some of the factors that have contributed to the high levels of food insecurity

include adverse weather conditions, the unavailability and high cost of agricultural supplies such as seeds and fertilizers, and projected high cereal prices due to the poor maize harvest. In rural markets for example, grain prices are 15 per cent higher than during the same period last year. To help people deal with future droughts and other shocks, WFP has been implementing a Cash/Food for Assets programme in rural Zimbabwe since June. Under the programme, vulnerable communities receive food or cash while taking part in projects such as the construction of community irrigation systems and deep wells. Zimbabwe’s government is also taking action to address this issue. Last year, it contributed some $10 million worth of grain towards a joint relief operation with WFP and its partners. The programme provided food assistance to some 1.4 million people in 37 rural districts.


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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News Police in Liberia given gender training Stowaway attempt foiled at Nigeria

Leroy Ugaga had been attempting to board an Arik Air flight

Female officers line up among graduates of Liberia’s police academy

Senior officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) have undergone a one-day gender sensitisation workshop in the capital, Monrovia. The officers have been urged to see gender issues as a major step in developing a policy for the Gender Unit of the Liberia National Police.

Gender and Development Minister, Julia Duncan-Cassell spoke recently when she addressed senior officers on the revised Gender Policy of the LNP. Giving an overview of the Gender policy workshop, the Gender Unit chief at the LNP, Amelia A. Itoka said the unit aims to implement the LNP’s gender policy and ensures gender mainstreaming in the police. Assistant Police Commissioner Itoka said the gender unit is committed to promoting gender eq-

uity in all undertakings of the LNP. Madam Itoka said the awareness workshop is intended to create gender sensitivity and take on responsibility in addressing gender issues within the LNP. The workshop was organised by the LNP in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Development, UNPOL, UN Women and Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). In separate remarks, the Assistant Police Director for Administration, Phil Gbor Tougbah and Deputy Police Director for Training and Development, Samuel Dakana lauded the organisers for the workshop. Assistant Director Tougbah promised to put into practice what was learned at the workshop. For his part, Deputy Director Dakana thanked the organisers for the workshop. He said the training is an eye opener to senior managers of LNP.

A man was arrested on Monday (September 2), having managed to breach security to get airside at Benin City airport.

The 25-year-old was discovered lying down close to a Arik Air flight bound for Abuja. The man, later named as Leroy Ugaga, admitted he was intending to board the flight, claiming he was a psychiatric patient and was tired of life, resulting in his desire to travel to the capital. General Manager, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Corporate Communications, Yakubu Dati, explained that the trespasser was spotted and observed for a few minutes by airport security. He was apprehended and handed over to police as soon as his intentions became clear.

“A joint perimeter patrol by FAAN’s security staff and men of the Air Force at Benin Airport is one of the additional security measures taken by the FAAN to forestall runway incursions at all Nigerian airports, following the stowaway incident that occurred at Benin Airport on August 24,” said Dati, alluding to a 13-year-old boy who stowed away in the wheel gear of a Lagos-bound Arik Air flight from the airport a week earlier. Dati added: “FAAN hereby appeals to all members of the public, especially youths, to avoid the risk of attempting to gain unauthorised entry into restricted areas of the airports, across the country, as doing so is now extremely dangerous. Trespassers are likely to be severely dealt with if the security patrols have cause to suspect violent intentions.”

More manufacturers open doors to young people

Vince Cable

More young people and teachers will be given the chance to get behind the scenes of the manufacturing industry thanks to an expanded Government and industry scheme, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced.

See Inside Manufacturing (SIM) involves businesses opening their doors to young people and teachers, allowing

them a first-hand view of modern manufacturing and the exciting careers available. SIM will now be expanded from three to ten sectors with seven new industries joining automotive, aerospace, and food & drink. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “See Inside Manufacturing plays an important part in challenging outdated per-

ceptions of manufacturing. In the past year alone it has helped thousands of young people see just how dynamic the industry is, with nearly nine in ten saying they would now consider a career in manufacturing. “Today’s expansion sees seven more sectors involved, including oil and gas, offshore wind and the life sciences, all of which are crucial to supporting the growing UK economy. I share the enthusiasm shown by manufacturers to inspire young people to get involved in these rewarding careers.” SIM is part of the industrial strategy work to ensure business can attract the talent they need for growth. The full list of sectors taking part are: • Automotive • Aerospace • Nuclear • Oil & Gas • Offshore Wind • Construction

• • • •

Life Sciences Electronics Chemicals Food & drink The Business Secretary announced the extension ahead of a conference to mark the one year anniversary of the Government’s Industrial Strategy being held next week. Led by trade bodies in each sector, the SIM initiative will be expanded as widely as possible with a particular focus on those who are under-represented in manufacturing, including women, ethnic minority groups and disabled young people. Manufacturers in each industry sector will provide young people and teachers with insight on the diversity of career opportunities offered by manufacturing. This year the range of manufacturers involved will expand to include supply chain businesses and small and medium sized businesses.

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Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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CRIME Student jailed for attempted rape

Ali Mustafa

A student has been jailed for six years today for the attempted rape and sexual assault of a 24year-old woman in Shoreditch. Ali Mustafa, 21, pleaded guilty to the attempted rape of, sexual assault of and theft of a mobile phone from a woman, along The Highway, E1. Mustafa, a Business Studies student from Pakistan, had spotted the victim as he walked along Batty Street at 03:00hrs on Sunday 16 June. He tried to speak to her and ask for her

mobile phone number. In an effort to escape him, the victim entered a local 24hour shop to buy cigarettes but Mustafa followed her into the shop, waited and followed her outside again. As she walked along The Highway in Shoreditch, Mustafa grabbed her arm and pulled her into a nearby alley. He sexually assaulted her, caused her to fall to the ground where he attempted to rape her. She managed to scream and fight him off. Mustafa jumped up but before running away he snatched her mobile phone. A passer-by found the victim in a distressed state and called police, he stayed with her until police arrived. When he was arrested at his home address in Limehouse on Monday 17 June officers found the victim’s mobile phone hidden under his pillow on his bed. Detective Constable Spencer White, of Sapphire, said: “Mustafa clearly targeted the victim as he knew she was alone, and he thought she was more vulnerable to attack. I would like to pay testimony to the bravery that the victim has shown, and her strength in supporting the prosecution that has led to Mustafa being sent to prison today.

Officer pleads guilty to child sex offences A serving police officer has come into court and pleaded guilty to sexual offences against a child.

Andrew Gouge, 34 (13.10.78), formerly based within Territorial Policing, pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to the following offences: = Meeting a child following grooming; = Sexual activity with a child. Gouge, of Bromley, was arrested on Wednesday 24 April after witnesses saw him kissing and fondling a young girl in Orpington. Inquiries established that Gouge had first met the victim, who was aged 13 years at the time, via an internet chatroom where he engaged her in conversation. After exchanging BBM details they then met up on a number of occasions, usually in public parks, where they would kiss. Following his arrest Gouge was taken to Lewisham police station and subsequently charged as above. He will be sentenced on Monday 30 September.

DCI Pete Thomas, from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Andrew Gouge has shown himself to be someone who has targeted, groomed and exploited a vulnerable young child for his own sexual needs. His conduct has caused significant harm and the investigation highlights the need to remain vigilent to the risks posed by social media and the internet in order to safeguard children. The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to protecting children and bringing sexual predators like Gouge to justice.” Commander Allan Gibson, Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “Gouge signed up to protect and serve his community; but seriously failed in that commitment and has caused untold harm to the victim, her family and his own friends and colleagues. He has tarnished the reputation of both the organisation and his colleagues. All members of the police service are expected to behave impeccably whilst on and off duty. Gouge did no such thing.”

Healthcare assistants sentenced for neglecting elderly patients

ner. Gunda, Jackson and Sakyiwaa let everyone down and it’s right that they have been found guilty at court. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who had the courage to come forward and report these offences and give their evidence in court.”

Police appeal for missing man Annette Jackson

Three female healthcare assistants who ill-treated and neglected elderly patients in their care at Whipps Cross Hospital were sentenced, at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Sharmilla Gunda, 36 was charged with one count of ill treatment or neglect of a person without capacity contrary to Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and one count common assault contrary to Section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988. Annette Jackson, 33 was sentenced to 2 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours unpaid work for one count of ill treatment or neglect of

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Akousa Sakyiwaa

Sharmilla Gunda

a person without capacity contrary to Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Akousa Sakyiwaa , 37 was sentenced to 12 months in prison for four counts of ill treatment or neglect of a person without capacity contrary to Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The allegations first emerged and came to light in April 2012 when student nurses placed on Beech Ward reported inappropriate care to the senior staff on the ward at Whipps Cross Hospital. This inappropriate care was quickly brought to the attention of the police detectives in Waltham Forest. They worked quickly to gather evidence that

would prove Gunda, Jackson and Sakiywaa ill-treated and neglected elderly patients by physically abusing them, shouting abuse at them, often telling them to shut up, as well as handling them in a rough and aggressive manner. All three were found guilty at an earlier hearing on Friday 21 June. Detective Sergeant Tammy Dempsey from the MPS Community Safety Unit in Waltham Forest said: “These three women had a responsibility for the welfare of those who were under there care. The public and families of these elderly patients have a right to expect that they will be treated with respect and looked after in an appropriate man-

Police are appealing for assistance in finding a 23-year-old man who has been missing from Manchester since Saturday 24 August.

Hector McKirdy is described as Scottish, 6’ 1” tall, of slim build, with short black hair, brown eyes and a scar on his top lip. When last seen, Hector was wearing a full black Sergio Tachinni tracksuit with white and black trainers. He also was in possession of a JD sports string bag. He is still believed to be in the London area, as he was visiting friends in the Lambeth area.. Anyone who has sees Hector should not interact with the individual as he has been described as a “Vicious alcoholic”.


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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Sounds of Diaspora People of America

Second Janelle Monáe project out now Rapper Lupe Fiasco accussed of

hiding money for drug kingpin

Lupe Fiasco Janelle Monáe incongruously cites Judy Garland’s character, Dorothy, from The Wizard of Oz as a musical influence

Janelle Monáe’s forthcoming second album, The Electric Lady, is set to hit stores on September 10. The project will feature music industry icon Prince, who collaborates on “Givin’ ‘Em What They Love” and has already remixed her single “Q.U.E.E.N.” She recently spoke about her friendship with him.

“We are great friends, and he is a mentor to us, to me,” Monáe told Billboard magazine. “It’s a beautiful thing to have a friend—someone who cares about your career, and wants to see you go far and to push boundaries and shake

up the world—give whatever they possibly can to the cause.” Monáe is streaming the entire album a week early – so, now - via Bad Boy/ Wondaland. Apart from the collaboration with Prince, the 19-track set features Miguel, Erykah Badu, Solange and Esperanza Spalding. Videos are out for “Dance Apocalyptic” and “Q.U.E.E.N.”, each of which was set in a future where, respectively, zombies roam and revolutionaries are kept behind glass. Taken in its whole, The Electric Lady is clear-headed and free to be as funky as it wants to be; making good on Monáe’s infectious personal energy.

Lupe Fiasco has been found to be in cahoots with a convicted drug kingpin -- hiding millions of dollars from the drug lord’s estranged wife to screw her in the divorce ... this according to a new lawsuit.

Fiasco is a big-time rapper ... who’s being sued by the estranged wife of convicted drug kingpin Charles Patton, who’s currently serving a 44-year prison sentence for running a heroin enterprise. According to the suit, Patton’s estranged wife believes Fiasco conspired with the drug kingpin to move more than

NINE MILLION DOLLARS into various bank accounts in an effort to block her from making a play on the cash in their ongoing divorce. It’s pretty complicated stuff -- but Patton’s wife believes she’s uncovered the money trail ... and it went through Lupe. Now, she’s suing to get what she claims is rightfully hers. Lupe’s lawyer tells TMZ ... Inita’s allegations are baseless and will be proven false at trial. Adding, “There are no secret accounts and no illicit instructions.” The lawyer adds, “Inita Patton filed for a divorce and is making baseless allegations against Charles, and has unfortunately included Lupe who has no involvement in their marriage whatsoever. There are no secret accounts, no illicit instructions.” “1st &15th Productions, Inc., has and has always from the inception, had an accountant and a business manager who properly handle funds and all allegations will be proven false at trial. Charles has filed a counter suit against Inita for absconding with funds given to Initia for real estate transactions that have never been purchased.”

Hotel gang rape: Sean Kingston pays off accuser

Sean Kingston’s grandfather was noted reggae producer Jack Ruby, best known for his early work with Burning Spear Sean Kingston has settled out of stories throughout her interviews with pocourt with a 22-year-old woman lice ... The medical report had no indications of force.” who alleged the singer gang raped The source said the rapper/singer sether in his hotel room after a 2010 tled for an undisclosed amount because he concert performance. doesn’t have time for a trial due to his upCarissa Capeloto accused Kingston, 23, coming tour and album release. of participating in the assault along with “Focus on what matters the most to you! his bodyguard and a member of his band And that’s my music!!” Kingston tweeted after he had guest performed at a Justin on Saturday (August 31), along with an Bieber concert. Ms Capeloto alleges she Instagram pic of the cover art for his new as invited to Kingston’s room for what she album, Back 2 Life. thought was an opportunity to “meet and Despite the settlement, Kingston is still greet” celebrities. She admitted to being running into trouble from the lawsuit. The “obviously intoxicated and incapable of University of Western Ontario cancelled consent” to what transpired. She had filed his September 7 performance for their oria $5 million civil lawsuit. entation week because of a “zero tolerance Kingston’s representatives are keen to for sexual assault.” point out that the out-of-court settlement is “Having Mr. Kingston perform could not an admission of guilt. cloud the values surrounding O-Week,” “Her story wasn’t consistent,” said a a school rep told popular music website Kingston camp insider. “She told various TMZ. 15


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Gospel

LET IT BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR JOY By Michael Adekoya

“Dear brothers and sisters whenever trouble or persecution comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”(James 1:2-3 NLT).

Dear Readers, James, unlike many writers in the Bible, didn’t write on how to become a Christian but on how to act like one. My friend, the kind of troubles, trials, tests, challenges or persecution that James mentioned in the Scripture are those ones that a real, true and genuine Christian suffer for Christ’s sake, not the ones that come on us because of our ignorance, gullibility, mistakes, choices or sins. Even with that, the grace of God is still available to those who genuinely repent and confess their sins. Jam. 1:2 is an interesting verse because it has the phrase “whenever” or “when” instead of “if.” James says, “Dear brothers and sisters whenever trouble or persecution comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. What a word! You see, some people think that life is going to be all rose petals and sunlight, especially when they become a believer of Christ and Born Again. Even, in the institution of marriage, the same opinion or belief is held. My friend, if I confirm that, then I would be speaking from a closed Bible and an empty head. Either you are saved or you are still lost, either you are black or white, young or old, life guarantees one thing – difficulty! Temptation, testing or trial time is inevitable, variable and valuable. There will be trials, temptations, tests, challenges, misunderstandings, abuse, betrayal, accusations, pressure, stress, mistreatment, troubles or disappointments on the way to your destination (your Promised

Land) or fulfilment of your destiny in life. You need to know that, otherwise the devil will mess up your life, your relationship or divine assignment! My friend, listen! When you become a Christian, you do not become immune to these things. Trials are a part of life, but how we behave in response to what we might be going through is what causes an unbelieving world…unbelievers around us… to sit up and take notice. You can tell the size of a Christian by what it takes to stop him or her to give up or surrender to the devil through pressure, stress, troubles, trials, challenges or tests. James says, count it joy when you are faced with all these things because they would produce patience, perseverance, endurance and living faith in you. Did you hear that? My friend, you just have to open yourself up to accountability on this issue. If you are married, ask your spouse to answer these questions. If you are single, ask a trusted friend. If you are a Spiritual leader, please ask your congregation. And the question is, “How would you rate the way I have responded to trials in my life since you know me on a scale of 1-10?” If you score 1, it means that you have been thankful for the opportunity to learn patience and 10 means you have been resentful for every speed bump your vehicle of life has to pass over. When you do this accountability test, you will be surprised of the new things you have learnt about yourself and those things you need to work on as you proceed this year? James says, “Blessed is the man or woman who perseveres under trial, temptation or test, because when he or she has stood the test, he will receive the crown…” Jam.

Are you looking for a church? ­­

Not settled in any particular congregation? Perhaps now is the time to pray about it If you are not yet saved try one of the following: Jubilee International Churchmeets at 2,30pm on Sundays at Kings Avenue, school, park hill. London SW4. Part of Jubilee International Churches worldwide. For information, you may call (020)8697 3354 New Wine Christian Church- 11am holds meeting at Ringcross Tennants club, Lough Road, Holloway, N7. a member of the Icthus fellowship

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worldwide. For more information call 020 7609 959 or 07957 757 663. Praise Tabernacle- 10:30am holds meetings at 620 Western Avenue (A40), park royal Business centre, opposite Warner Bros. Cinema Complex, W3. part of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. For information you may call 020 8993 3010 New Life Christian Centre 10.30am & 6.00pm. meetings at Cairo New Road, Croydon. The church has

1:12. My friend, without pain and problems, what real joy is there in progress? If it costs nothing, it means nothing. Learning to overcome temptation, adversity, troubled relationship and failure is an inevitable part of achieving success in life. Listen! The only way to the Promised Land is through the wilderness - “God’s killing field.” It is a place where the things that will cause us to stumble in our walk with God are permitted to die. If you are in the wilderness now, take heart. Walk through it knowing fully well that God is the only one who can get you through it. My friend, whenever trouble or persecution, disappointment or abandonment, trial or test, tribulation or persecution comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. Not all troubles are from the devil! Sometimes God will lead you into the wilderness, especially if He’s been trying to get our attention or talk to you about the call He’s placed on your life which

you haven’t had time to listen. Sometimes He may allow certain troubles in your relationship to test your faith. He can allow problem to happen in order to strip your spouse of his or her pride. He can permit certain moment in your life to strip you of self-sufficiency so that you can be brought to the place of total dependence on Him. If this where you are today, count it all joy. My friend, anything less than God will let you down. So, for every predicament you face today, God has sufficient grace to carry you through. For every need you have, He has a supernatural supply. For every problem, He has a definite answer. For every hurt, He has a cure. Jeremiah, the Prophet, says, “…there is nothing too difficult or hard for You, O Lord! Jer 32:17. Did you hear that? Listen! God is waiting for an opportunity to show you what only Him can do. If you know that, then, whenever trial, trouble, pains or test comes

a bible school, primary, is involved in extensive mission work in Eastern Europe, Italy and India. For information you may call 020 8680 7671 Ruach Ministries - holds meeting at 9am, 11am and 6pm. For information you may call 020 8678 6888 International Central Gospel church - Battersea chapel, holds meetings on Sundays from 2.00pm. . For information you may call 020 8684 4934 Jesus Arena International- Sunday service at 11.00am at Broadwater farm centre, Adams road N17 The Bible Life Church UK- They meet on Sunday mornings at 2.30pm at St Giles Centre, Camberwell

Church Street, London SE5 Christ Apostolic church (Full Gospel & Pentecostal) Surrey Docks District 163 Ilderton Rd South Bermondsey London SE16 2UT. Tel. 020 7252 2086. Time of worship: Sunday English service 9- 11.30am. Yoruba service 11.30 -2.30pm. Prophetic counselling: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 12noon- 5pm, Saturday only 5- 7pm. Holy Cross Church InternationalSunday 10.am- 1 pm at Crown House 71-73 Nathan way London SE28 0BQ Tel: 07904 234 126, 07809 381 886 Times of service:Bible study: Thursdays 8pm. Night Vigil: Friday Forthnightly 12am

your way, count it as an opportunity for joy in the Lord. As you drive toward your destiny, you’ll hit potholes, take wrong decisions, make wrong choice, take wrong turns and occasionally forget to check the radiator. But the Good News is that Jesus is the Way and He never fails. Therefore, count it all joy! I pray that there shall be performance of everything which the Lord God has promised or spoken concerning you in Jesus name. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Psa 30:5. My friend, God is there for you in the dark places and we all go through dark places. No matter what you are going through now, let joy rise up within you and rejoice in the Lord. Don’t stop until you see the morning…until Satan and his agents are totally defeated and destroyed...until there is restoration or reconciliation, revival or resurrection of all things...Amen! Remain blessed! Sunday Service: Sundays 10am - 1pm Winners Chapel London- part of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, at Unit B1 Galleywall Trading Estate, South Bermondsey, London SE16 3PB meets Sunday 7am & 9am and 11am and Wednesdays at 7pm. For details call 020 7237 7894 CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH GRAVESEND, ST. AIDAIN’S CHURCH, ST. AIDAN’S WAY, GRAVESEND, KENT, DA12 4AG TEL. 01474 355 841, 07956 38 38 70 TIME OF WORSHIP: Wednesday Bible Study: 7:30pm to 9:00pm Friday, Night Vigil: 9pm to 11pm Sunday Worship: 12:30pm to 3:00pm


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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Africa Newsround

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe election poll declared credible Zimbabwe’s national elections held on July 31 in which it endorsed the poll as “free, peaceful and generally credible”.

Robert Mugabe has headed Zimbabwe’s government since March 1980

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) elections observer mission has released its final report on

The region has been at pains to explain its endorsement of the elections, which have been roundly condemned by western governments and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) as a farce. It is unlikely that the European Union (EU) and its allies will accept the final election report, even though it had outsourced its observation of the elections to Sadc. The EU, together with many western governments, was barred from sending observer missions to the Zimbabwean polls. Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe, head of the Sadc election observer mission, said at a press briefing in Harare on Monday (September 2) that

Mali

Military leader removed from reform committee

Amadou Sanogo was promoted to four-star general last month

Mali’s interim government has issued a statement announcing the removal of Gen Amadou Sanogo, leader of a 2012 coup, as head of a military committee tasked with reforming the country’s armed forces. The move gives a clean slate to president-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, elected by a landslide in an August 11 run-off. It also marks the clearing of the final hurdle in the transitional period, a move that could see financial and military aid flow into the country. Gen Sanogo had remained influential behind the scenes after the March 2012 coup which plunged Mali into crisis. Once portrayed as a model democracy, Mali imploded when a military junta, frustrated by a lack of progress in tackling a Tuareg rebellion in the north, toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure in March last year. The Tuareg rebels and their Islamist allies seized upon the turmoil in the capital, Bamako, to launch a rapid advance, captur-

ing two-thirds of the country. The al-Qaedalinked fighters were finally defeated after the intervention of thousands of French soldiers in January. The massive operation broke the rebels’ grip over northern Mali. After agreeing to step aside, Gen Sanogo, then still a captain, was appointed by Mali’s interim president Dioncounda Traore to head a committee tasked with reforming the Malian army. “Interim president Dioncounda Traore repealed the decree appointing Gen Amadou Haya Sanogo head of the monitoring committee for the reform of the defence forces and security,” said a statement issued after a cabinet meeting held on Wednesday (August 28). The interim government had promoted Sanogo on August 14 from captain to a fourstar general, in a surprise move that angered human rights campaigners, who accused his military junta of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances. But western diplomats said the promotion was designed to usher Gen Sanogo into retirement.

despite the shortcomings, the elections were free and had expressed the will of the people. “The elections that took place on 31 July 2013 were free — free in the sense that our observers noted that the candidates were free to campaign, free to associate, free to express their views and the voters were free to cast their votes.” Incumbent Robert Mugabe won 61% of votes against Morgan Tsvangirai’s 33%. Trevor Maisiri, a senior analyst from the International Crisis Group in Johannesburg, said the endorsement of the election results had sounded the death knell for the MDC-T’s hopes of seeking redress from Sadc. “The statement of the final report is not materially different from the contents of the preliminary report,” Mr Maisiri said. “It endorses the outcome, which is the most important part of any election observation and monitoring report —

endorsement or non-endorsement. “The report also endorses the elections as having been peaceful and generally credible. The component of fairness is, however, withheld. “The final report doesn’t seem to dwell on other irregularities around assisted voters and voters who were turned away.” Meanwhile, Mr Mugabe is expected this week to announce a new cabinet, amid growing speculation over the choices of ministers he would make. Ruling party insiders said he would keep to the Zanu (PF) top brass and not offer any cabinet positions to the MDC-T. MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the leadership of the official opposition had resolved not to take any positions in Mr Mugabe’s cabinet.

Angola

Abuse recording again puts Viana under spotlight

Recorded footage appears to show prisoners subjected to physical abuse by officials

Amnesty International has demanded that video footage allegedly showing inmates in an Angola prison being kicked and beaten with sticks be investigated.

The footage, recorded on a mobile phone and distributed via social media, is 339 seconds long and is believed to have been recorded earlier this month. It shows a group of prisoners sitting on the ground as law enforcement officials and fire fighters drag them from the group one-by-one, kick them and beat them with sticks and leather straps. The footage appears to have been taken in Viana Prison, in the country’s capital Luanda, where similar footage had previously been uncovered. “This appalling incident involving apparent ill-treatment of prisoners, the second in under a year, is the latest in an increasingly disturbing pattern of brutal conduct by Angolan prison authorities,” said Muluka-Anne Miti, Amnesty International’s Angola Researcher. In February this year mobile phone

footage of prison guards beating prisoners in the same prison was circulated on social media sites. It prompted an official investigation that resulted in the dismissal of the Prison Director, two prison guards and disciplinary measures against 18 other officials at the end of April. On August 27, the Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for prisons and law enforcement in Angola, stated that a commission of inquiry would be opened to investigate the recent case. “Given the recurrence of these incidences, it is clearly not enough that a commission of inquiry is opened into such cases,” said Muluka-Anne Miti. “The Ministry of the Interior must send a clear message to all officials that such behaviour, including ill-treatment of prisoners, will not be tolerated. Not only disciplinary proceedings, but criminal proceedings must be instituted against officials responsible for such acts.” Amnesty International has also urged the Angolan government to investigate the participation of fire fighters in the beatings of the prisoners. 17


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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African Entertainment Travelmusic artist

Pauline Long glares at charity ball in London

Founder of one of the award ceremony for black and ethnic personalities in entertainment, film, fashion, television and arts (BEFFTA awards) Pauline Long attended Gracious Alma charity ball at the prestigious Cafe De Paris looking absolutely amazing. The entrepreneur was invited as a special guest speaker among other UK mainstream celebrities from the football world, TV and media. The charity ball hosted by strictly come dancing star Chelsee Healey was raising awareness for Diabetes UK. Pauline Long looking extremely glamorous in a gown design by Aleah delivered a speech to the large audience focusing on the awareness of Diabetes within the African and Caribbean community. “My father and my older brother both suffer from diabetes, it is definitely a condition that should be given more publicity so people are aware when they are suffering from it,” said Pauline Long. The event which was filmed by Channel 4 was one of many events that the TV star was invited as special guest. Pauline Long and her team are currently preparing for the biggest BEFFTA awards ceremony celebrating the 5th year grand anniversary in London on 25th and 26th October. Pauline is currently hosting her own premier TV chat show, THE PAULINE LONG SHOW on Sky Channel 182. Photo by: Daniel Sync/ Sync PHOTOS/ Ismiles Photo

In association with

From left: David Boboye, Pauline Long and DJ Deoba

Pauline Long, Guest and DJ Deoba Au-

Socialite, Eccentrik B and Pauline Long

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Pauline Long and Strictly Come Dancing Star, Chelsee Healey

Pauline Long and ITV Newsreader Charlene White


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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Event

Matthias is guilty of gate-crashing into his own 50th Mascall Hall in Charlton, South East London took on a peculiar vibrancy courtesy of Joyce Oletu who decided to show all that cared that life indeed begins at 50 and she had her husband, Matthias’ life to show as proof.

With guests pouring in from all over London, Manchester, and the midlands, nothing but a perfect ‘coup’ was executed by ‘Rear Admiral’ Joyce Oletu with the support of friends and family, some of whom dated back over twenty years, to show what a wonderful husband, father, lawyer, and man Matthias has been over the years and will always be. It was a befitting pronouncement in celebration style to acknowledge the journey of the Oletu romance which started about 28 years ago and thereafter enjoyed marital bliss. It was a party, poor Matthias was not invited to but you can imagine the celebrant gate-crashing his own event though he didn’t plan it? We will await what court Matthias will take her to. Stay focused for details next year; only on the African Voice medium .

From Right to left; Barrister Nosa. K. Erhunmwunsee, Barrister Kingsley Dafe, Alhaji (Mr.) Adebayo, Barrister Matthias Oletu, Barrister Yinka Erinfolarin And Barrister Lawrence Dele Bolarinwa.

Celebrant and Wife

From Right to left; Barrister Nosa. K. Erhunmwunsee (legal Adviser African From Right to left; Barrister Nosa. K. Erhunmwunsee, Barrister Kingsley Voice UK), The celebrant Barrister Matthias Oletu and Mrs Joyce Oletu, Dafe, Alhaji (Mr.) Adebayo, Barrister Matthias Oletu, Barrister Yinka ErinBarrister Kingsley Dafe and Barrister Lawrence Dele Bolarinwa. folarin And Barrister Lawrence Dele Bolarinwa.

From Right; Mrs Patricia Erinfolarin, Mrs Joyce Oletu and Mrs Joy

– From Left - Flora Onyedima and Mrs. Joyce Oletu

Barrister & Mrs Joyce Oletu and friends and well wishers.

Barrister & Mrs Joyce Oletu and friends.

Barrister Matthias Oletu and Mr Akinade Alhamodu

Barrister & Mrs Joyce Oletu and friends and well wishers.

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Events calendar What’s On & When Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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Arts

Theatre, Shows and Musicals By Ryan Holmes

King Duncan. But to maintain his position, Macbeth must keep on killing – first Banquo, his old comrade-in-arms; then, as the atmosphere of guilt and paranoia thickens, anyone who seems to threaten his tyrant’s crown. 21 New Globe Walk, London, Greater London SE1 9DT

The Ladykillers Now- October 25th

Lenny Henry as Troy and Tanya Moodie as Rose

Fences Now- Sept 14th

Troy Maxson was once an extremely gifted athlete who was deprived of his shot at the big time and now struggles within regular society in Pittsburgh. Indignant of a world he believes has denied him chances at every turn, he vents his anger on his loyal wife and sports-obsessed son. Fences, is one of the eminent American dramas of the 20th century, and winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Award, two Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Set between the Korean and Vietnam wars, it is essentially the story of a family trying to claw themselves from despair and what happens when a strong man is robbed of his dreams - a universal story which will strike a chord in everyone of us. The Duchess Theatre, 3-5 Catherine St, London WC2B 5LA

Chimerica Now-October 19th

Chimerica is a fragile web of shifting human relationships, which are sometimes severed by corporate greed, state cruelty, or individual selfishness, but achieve moments of connection which transcend their inhospitable environment. It’s staged with a film-like fluidity and flair by brilliant director Lyndsey Turner and designer Es Devlin inside a spinning cube, whose sides open to reveal the squalid Beijing flat of Zhang Lin, Joe’s kindly Beijing contact and friend, and the office of his genial, morally compromised New York newspaper editor. But the only things that are black and white here are Joe’s photographs of China, which are projected all over the set as newspaper contact sheets, crossed out or reframed by the editor’s red pen – a subtle reminder that a photograph is an opinion, not a simple record of the truth. Harold Pinter Theatre,6 Panton Street, 20

London, SW1Y 4DN

The 39 Steps Now- March 2014

When Hitchcock adapted Buchan’s ‘The 39 Steps’, however, he introduced a love interest in a version which Buchan later conceded was better than his own. In this stage version, Patrick Barlow has continued the honourable tradition of mucking around with Buchan’s original, keeping the love interest (now elegantly played by new cast member Rachel Pickup) and adding a whirligig of self-conscious theatrical effects in a production where four actors evoke everyone from lingerie salesmen to a housekeeper who screams like a steamtrain.. The Criterion,218-223 Piccadilly, London, SW1Y 4XA

Pride Now-November 9th

Set in both 1958 and 2008, ‘The Pride’ sees what appears to be the same love triangle play out in two very different eras. In 1958, closeted married man Philip (Harry Hadden-Paton) grapples violently with his feelings for writer Oliver (Al Weaver), while his fragile wife Sylvia (Hayley Atwell) looks on in impotent despair. And in 2008, the three seem to have been given their time again in a more liberated age… Yet they’re not happy – promiscuous journalist Oliver has scewed up his relationship with straight-laced Philip, and Oliver’s chronic neediness is seriously bringing his BFF Sylvia down. Trafalgar Studios,14 Whitehall SW1A 2DY

Macbeth Now- 13th October

When three witches tell Macbeth that he is destined to occupy the throne of Scotland, he and his wife choose to become the instruments of their fate and to kill the first man standing in their path, the virtuous

‘The Ladykillers’ is back in town. Now on its third cast of bumbling, murderous crims, it’s as anarchic and free-wheeling as anything you’ll see on a West End stage. Graham Linehan’s script takes the setup of the 1955 Ealing comedy, in which five crooks hole-up in a little old lady’s lopsided house to plan a robbery, and cranks up the contrast. The gags come faster, the killings are crueller and there’s a delicate knowingness to the dialogue that never oversteps the mark. Vaudeville Theatre, Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

The Color Purple Now-September 14th

An unforgettable story of enduring love and triumph over adversity, The Color Purple is a landmark musical from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker. This stirring family chronicle follows the inspirational Celie, as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life. With a fresh, joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, this European premiere is directed by John Doyle (Road Show at the Menier Chocolate Factory), adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. The Menier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU .

Thark-Now-September 22nd

Thark’ is as preposterous a comedy as you’ll ever see. In it, lecherous old duffer Sir Hector Benbow (a splendid turn from Francis himself) accidentally arranges to have an intimate supper with three different women. So far, so farce, but this all unexpectedly gives way to something bizarrely reminiscent of an episode of ‘Scooby Doo’, as the entire gang decamps to the titular haunted house. It makes very little sense plot-wise, but as farce it ticks along like clockwork, and certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome. Given a big budget West End production and the weight of expectations, ‘Thark’ would flounder. One doesn’t so much admire – or even laugh – at the play itself, so much as enjoy it as a nicely crafted period curio, like a joke that we’re all in on with the cast, who attack it with well-drilled chutzpah. Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, London, N4 3JP

Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African Art Now- September 22nd

Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art is an immersive twelve-room installation, a ‘museum within a museum’, which is currently sprawling through Tate Modern Gaba has claimed that the Museum of Contemporary African Art is ‘not a model… it’s only a question.’ It is temporary and mutable, a conceptual space more than a physical one, a provocation to the Western art establishment not only to attend to contemporary African art, but to question why the boundaries existed in the first place. Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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Arts

Of theatre and our Duke of errors

Prof. Segun Ojewuyi – alumnus, University of Ibadan Theatre; senior lecturer, Southern Illinois University, USA

THIS week the department of Theatre at the University of Ibadan celebrates 50 years of Theatre in the African academy. The celebrations mark fifty years of formal Theatre training in Africa, the University of Ibadan being the first of such in the whole of the continent. In those years, graduates of the department have provided high value leaderships in Theatre, Music, Advertising, Film, Radio and Television, Print Journalism, Politics, Business, Civil service, International Diplomacy, Academics and even institutional religion. They have served both country and the world with vision and distinction, wielding major global influence.

Earlier in the year, Professor Wole Soyinka – Africa’s first Noble Prize winner in Literature and an early head of the University of Ibadan School of Drama had opened the celebrations with a public lecture. Now as the events of the week kicked off, Professor Abiola Irele – a one time actor on the Ibadan stage, who then went on to become a Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, headlined the events with a Key note address. As an alumnus of the UI department, I have often bragged the pedigree of my alma maters – University of Ibadan (my African Ivy league in Theatre) and Yale University (my American Ivy League in Drama). The combined depth and quality of Ibadan’s training continue to ring loud and strong on the global stages we have found ourselves! Yet on this same week, we are reminded of one of the most unnerving ironies of being Nigerians. This great irony rests on the fact that our country is one where the potential for greatness is humongous but greatly dimmed by our government’s propensity for mediocrity, cronyism, corruption, violence and greed. Amidst the pomp

of what is tagged the ‘Homecoming’ at Ibadan this week, one hopes that there are new and pragmatic strategies for resolving the combative challenges that our art, our professional calling and our cultural accounts, demand of us! Nigerian Theatre suffers from what I call “Neo-malice’. Malice is the expressed and actualized desire for evil, where evil is not religion specific, but a cultural and political affliction. Theatre as we must emphasize, is defiant of normative constructs. Instead of patterns of order, which other fields observes, theatre distinguishes itself by its core fascination with explorations of entropy and disorder. African performance, says Kenyan writer and activist Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, was the first to be assaulted by the cultural forces of colonialism, to give space for the construction of a colonized being. That was the first ‘malice’. Initially our immediate post-colonial response in Nigeria led the rest of African Theatre with an added urgency. Wole Soyinka, Hubert Ogunde, Femi Osofisan, Ola Rotimi, Zulu Sofola, Bode Osanyin, Ben Tomoloju and many first runners of Nigerian Theatre proved this, not only through their plays, but also to the extent of their activist roles as our collective social conscience. As dreamers we seek to create utopias. But their fervor, the commitment of the sixties, seventies and eighties has dimmed, our dreams atrophied as our apologetic generation stumbles along in stupor! Our lungs, our dreams are clogged with gluttonous portions of self-centeredness, sycophancy and cowardice. We are now so afraid to speak the truth to ourselves, much so to anyone we deem to be in some form of power. So we are doubly colonized and we perpetuate this evil upon our art, our profession. Wa Thiong’o concludes his observation on a darker note, identifying the origins of the neo-malice in African, and more spe cifically Nigerian Theatre.

“The same colonized being”, he says, has “mutated into a neo-colonial dictator, who sees theatre as a threat, and he often sends theatre practitioners into prisons (Ogunde, Soyinka), exile (Soyinka/Sowande et al), impoverishment or even death in some cases (Ken Saro Wiwa). These colonized beings mutating into dictators and politicians have progressively brought our Theatre academies and Theatre practitioners to their begging knees, dazed and comatose! But Theatre thrives. It cannot be killed either as text or practice. Theatre constructs our human encounters between knowing and unknowing participants, generating a spatial and experiential energy that is simultaneously catalytic and cathartic. It is not dissimilar to the basic run of life – inhaling and exhaling. We must breathe to stay alive, as our society must “theatre” to live. Why is it that our appointed government officials and the artistic community they are called to serve, never meet for open, frank and deliberative collaborations? Why? In a sector of human engagement, where creativity and innovative thinking are the marks of the stakeholders, why is idiocy often foisted upon the artist of the theatre and upon the nation by uncivilized civil servants and miscast ministers, who hop from one poorly conceived ‘rebranding’ project to another! Carnivals, that self-inflicted minstrelsy from our Caribbean cousins, have suddenly become the obsessions of money gobbling administrations; their new tool for the cannibalization of our traditional festivals, dances, masquerades and of our rich pantheon. They seem content with turning the performance of theatre and the transmission of our culture into these shallow and inconsequential expressions of irrational spectacles. We on our part have dispersed into related fields and sometimes do not even want to be known as Theatre artists!

Edem Duke, the Minister of Culture is called to speak on the issue of whether the national theatre is being sold or not. The question is simply to find out what our government’s clear agenda for the development of Theatre in Nigeria will be, going forward. It is not as if the government and its officials are permanently and completely bereft of ideas. It just seems that the moments of visionary clarity are far in between the preponderance of mediocrity and blatant corruption. Duke is in error when he assumes he and his private sector friends know best. He is in error when he believes he alone can survive the political rings being woven around him, without taking his constituency along. His attempt at some intentional conflation of the current problems will not suffice. In one breath he agrees with us when he says “the culture community does not have any other iconic infrastructural asset other than the National theatre”. Yet in a fit of neo-malice, he declares “the National theatre would translate into a leisure and entertainment centre, the first leisure and entertainment duty-free zone in West Africa”. What is a leisure and entertainment center? How is this so-called “leisure and entertainment center” different than a casino? How is this leisure and entertainment center the same as a national theater, like the National Theater of Great Britain in London or the Kennedy Center in Washington Dc? There is a good reason American mogul Donald Trump builds Casinos – leisure and entertainment centers - instead of Theatres. There is a reason American pornography business lord Flynt builds strip clubs and bars, never theatres. It is disingenuous to lump theatre in the same wool. We get it but does he? I want to believe Duke does get it and he is indeed working hard to ensure the revitalization of Theatre in Nigeria. What we want therefore, what we know will work best for him, is to call for an open forum with Theatre artists in Lagos, Abuja or both, where he can explain the details of his plans and answer the questions the artists have. Just a simple and sincere collaborative gesture, an expression of mutual respect, not condescension, will do. He just might be surprised to know the number of Theatre artists who are on his side and who will defend his agenda, if they are truly in the best interest of the sector. Fifty years on after Ibadan, thirty-six years after the World Black Arts festival FESTAC, two decades and more after the establishment of the National Troupe of Nigeria, wasting our hard earned national legacy of Theatre has to stop. Finally, our Academics and Theatre artists for most part can no longer remain safely segregated, each on their own side of the continually widening gap between theory and practice, between reflection and creation. The ‘Homecoming’ at Ibadan should be the rebirth of Theatre in Nigeria. 21


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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Health

Short exercise bursts are more beneficial Hopping on an exercise bike for a brief spell regularly can prove as beneficial as a lengthy gym session in fighting the flab.

Just doing more intense, shorter burst exercises can increase weight loss

Experts ran tests on 4,500 men and women and found frequent spells of activity working the heart and lungs had the same impact as shorter exercise periods carried out less often. The study found that for women, each daily minute of brisk activity was associated with a Body Mass Index reduction of 0.07 per cent. Comparing two 5ft 5in tall women, the researchers found the one who regularly added a 60-second work-out to her day would weigh nearly half a pound less – with each minute offsetting the calorie equivalent of 0.4lb. Tests carried out at the University of Utah showed each daily minute of brisk exercise lowered the likelihood of being obese by two per cent for men and five per cent for women. Accelerometers, which measure movement and activity, were attached to the volunteers.

Jessie Fran, professor of family and consumer studies at the university, said: “What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration. “Knowing that even short bouts of brisk activity can add up to a positive effect is an encouraging message for promoting better health.” British weight-loss experts said many people were still confused about exercise and have the wrong impression that long hours in the gym are vital to becoming fitter. A body mass index of 25 and above is defined as overweight with 30 and above being obese. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared. Rik Nesfield, who runs boot-camps, personal training and nutrition classes in Manchester, said: “There is no doubt that the intensity of exercise matters more than the duration. “Many people start exercising and get addicted – they spend 40 minutes on a bike and say, ‘Next time I’ll do 45’, then try to beat that. In many cases, they would be

New research shows that sleep regenerates brain cell numbers

Sleep regenerates brain cells - useful for the circuitry system

Scientists believe they have discovered a new reason why we as a species need to sleep - it replenishes a type of brain cell.

Sleep ramps up the production of cells that go on to make an insulating material known as myelin which protects our brain’s circuitry. The findings, so far in mice, could lead to insights about sleep’s role in

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brain repair and growth as well as the disease MS, says the Wisconsin team. The work is in the Journal of Neuroscience. Dr Chiara Cirelli and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin found that the production rate of the myelin making cells, immature oligodendrocytes, doubled as mice slept. The increase was most marked during

the type of sleep that is associated with dreaming - REM or rapid eye movement sleep - and was driven by genes. In contrast, the genes involved in cell death and stress responses were turned on when the mice were forced to stay awake. Precisely why we need to sleep has baffled scientists for centuries. It’s obvious that we need to sleep to feel rested and for our mind to function well - but the biological processes that go on as we slumber have only started to be uncovered relatively recently. Dr Cirelli said: “For a long time, sleep researchers focused on how the activity of nerve cells differs when animals are awake versus when they are asleep. “Now it is clear that the way other supporting cells in the nervous system operate also changes significantly depending on whether the animal is asleep or awake.” The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep loss might aggravate some symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that damages myelin. Scientists are only just unravelling the precise mysteries of why we sleep

In MS, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the myelin coating of nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Future studies could look at whether or not sleep affects the symptoms of MS, says Dr Cirelli. Her team is also interested in testing whether lack of sleep, especially during adolescence, may have long-term consequences for the brain. Sleep appears necessary for our nervous systems to work properly, says the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Deep sleep coincides with the release of growth hormone in children and young adults. Many of the body’s cells also show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins during deep sleep. Since proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for repair of damage from factors like stress and ultraviolet rays, deep sleep may truly be “beauty sleep”, says NINDS.


Friday, 06 September 2013 – Thursday, 12 September 2013

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Culture: The Ashanti Much of the modern nation of Ghana was dominated from the late 17th through the late 19th century by a state known as Asante. Asante was the largest and most powerful of a series of states formed in the forest region of southern Ghana by people known as the Akan. Among the factors leading the Akan to form states, perhaps the most important was that they were rich in gold.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, goldseeking traders came to Akan country not only from the great Songhay empire (in the modern Republic of Mali) and the Hausa cities of northern Nigeria, but also from Europe. After the Portuguese built the first European fort in tropical Africa at El Mina in 1482, the stretch of the Atlantic coast now in Ghana became known in Europe as the Gold Coast. Akan entrepreneurs used gold to purchase slaves from both African and European traders. Indeed, while Europeans would eventually ship at least twelve million slaves to the Americas (the estimates vary between 20 - 40 million people who were sent to the Americas as slaves from West Africa by European slave traders), they initially became involved in slave trading by selling African slaves to African purchasers. The Portuguese supplied perhaps 12,000 slaves to Akan country between 1500 and 1535, and continued selling slaves from Sao Tome and Nigeria to the Gold Coast throughout the 16th century. Before Benin imposed a ban on slave exports, a Portuguese slave trader reported that at Benin they purchased, “a great number of slaves who were bartered very profitably at El Mina. The labour of these slaves enabled the Akan to expand gold production by developing deep-level mining in addition to panning alluvial soils. Even more importantly, slave labor enabled the Akan to undertake the immensely laborious task of clearing the dense forests of southern Ghana for farming. The most prominent historian of Asante, Ivor Wilks, suggests that while some farming on a very limited scale had probably been practiced in the Ghanaian forests for millennia, only when the Akan began importing slaves

Ashanti art carvings 22

Maidens in culture dance

in the 15th and 16th centuries were they able to shift from an economy which relied primarily on hunting and gathering to one which became primarily agricultural. As this transition to agriculture took place, Akan communities not only planted more of their traditional crops - plantains, yams, and rice - but also adopted a wide variety of new crops from the Americas, including maize (corn) and cassava, which were brought to Africa by Europeans. Farming led to rapid increase of population in the forest region. As the population grew, small groups migrated across the Ghanaian forest, searching for good farm land. Often these groups were led, believes Wilks, by entrepreneurs who used slave labor to do the initial work of clearing forest. Later, these entrepreneurs would invite free settlers to join them, and in this way new communities were created throughout the forest. These developments set the stage for state-building in the 17th and 18th centuries. Politically ambitious groups sought not only to establish control over gold production and trading, but also to impose their authority on the new farming communities in the forest. Consequently, formerly independent villages combined together in growing states. Whereas in the late 1500s Akan country contained at least 38 small states, by the mid-1600s it had only a handful, and by 1700 only one state ¬ Asante ¬ reigned supreme. The events which led to the foundation of Asante began with the rise of Denkyira, a state which waged wars to gain control of the Akan gold trade between 1650 and 1670. These wars led many refugees to flee into uninhabited forest regions. Among the refugees were the clan of Oyoko, who settled at Kumasi, the town which would later become famous as the Asante capital. Initially the small town of Kumasi had no choice but to become a vassal of powerful Denkyira, a situation which required not only that it pay tribute, but also that it send a hostage to live in the court of the Denkyira ruler as his servant. The chief of Kumasi chose a nephew, Osei Tutu, to become this hostage. According to Akan traditions, after becoming a distinguished general in the Denkyira army, Osei Tutu rebelled against the Denkyira king by refusing to hand over

gold booty which he had captured in war. Then Osei Tutu fled home to Kumasi. His action must have marked him as a man of exceptional courage and leadership, for when the Kumasi chief died, probably in the early 1680s, the people of Kumasi selected Nana Osei Tutu as his successor. Osei Tutu soon expanded his authority, initially by placing the communities within a radius of about fifty miles of Kumasi under his control, and eventually by challenging Denkyira itself. In wars from 1699

Asantehene Osei Tutu II

to 1701, he defeated the Denkyira king and forced numerous Denkyira sub-chiefs to transfer their allegiance to Kumasi. In the remaining years before his death in 1717, Osei Tutu consolidated the power of his state. Osei Tutu was succeeded by Opoku Ware, who increased Asante¹s gold trade, tried to reduce dependence on European imports by establishing local distilling and weaving industries, and greatly increased the size of Asante. At his death in 1750, his realm stretched from the immediate hinterland of the Gold Coast to the savannahs of present-day northern Ghana. By this time it controlled an area of about 100,000 square miles and a population about 100,000 sq. miles and a population of two to three million. As Asante(Ashanti) grew, it developed an administrative structure modeled on that of

Culture its predecessor Denkyira. Historians sometimes speak about Asante’s “metropolitan” and “provincial” spheres. “Metropolitan” Asante consisted primarily of the towns in a fifty-mile radius around Kumasi. The rulers of these towns, many of whom shared membership in the Oyoko clan, participated in the enthronement of Asante kings, served on the king’s advisory council, and retained considerable autonomy. By contrast, outlying Akan regions were more clearly subordinate and were forced to pay tribute to the Asante rulers. The most distant districts of the state which were populated by non-Akan people annually sent thousands of slaves to Kumasi.” “Opoku Ware and his successors tried to centralize power in the hands of the king, or Asantehene. They placed all trade under state agencies controlled by the Asantehene, and created a complex bureaucracy to govern and collect taxes. They curbed the power of the military by creating a palace guard whose commanders were chosen by the Asantehene(Ashanti King) himself. Asante achieved a high degree of administrative efficiency (its well-maintained roads, for example, were famous) and the ability to implement sophisticated fiscal policies. Nevertheless, the Asantehene(Ashanti King) and his state always had many opponents. Opoku Ware himself barely survived a revolt by military leaders in 1748, while towns around Kumasi resisted interference by the Asantehene bureaucracy. Much of the opposition to the king came from a class of wealthy traders. The nineteenth century brought new adversaries: British traders and colonial officials who wished to end Asante control of coastal towns and trade routes. Between 1801 and 1824, Asantehene Osei Bonsu resisted the spread of British influence, and led the defense of Kumasi when the British attacked in 1824. Although Asante had exported slaves to the Americas throughout its history, when Europe gradually ended its slave trade in the 19th century Asante was able to compensate for the decline in slave exports by increasing sales of kola nuts to savannah regions to the north. Like virtually all African societies, however, Asante was unable to prevent European colonization. Its independence ended in 1874, when a British force, retaliating for an Asante attack on El Mina two years earlier, sacked Kumasi and confiscated much of its wealth, including its artistic treasures. Kumasi was captured by the British Army in 1873 (as a result of which much of the magnificent Asante gold regalia can be seen in London in the British Museum). After a final uprising in 1901, led by the Queen Mother of Ejisu (Nana Yaa Asantewaa) Nana Yaa Asantewaa Asante came into British Protection and finally became a region of the Gold Coast colony.


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News Africa and USA open new centre to eradicate counterfeit drugs A revolutionary training facility has been set up by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention to tackle the ever-omnipresent dilemma of counterfeit medicines in Africa.

The Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training, based in Accra, Ghana, will train medicine regulatory officers, and provide expertise and develop talent so that African nations can better regulate drugs. Reports and studies indicate that in the past three years the extent of Africa’s problem with counterfeit medicines as a growing problem in desperate need of a solution. Most recently, a study assessing the quality of ergometrine and oxytocin on the Ghanaian market found that more than 94% samples failed either assay or sterility testing. Some of these medicines were found to be counterfeit, a problem frequently attributed to dismal medicine regulatory cont rols. In June last year, 1.4 million packets of a counterfeit version of the antimalarial drug Coartem, sourced from China, were intercepted in Luanda, Angola. And a 2009

An example of counterfeit drugs found in Africa

study on the quality of antimalarials in Uganda, Madagascar and Senegal found that 26%, 30% and 44% respectively of the samples collected failed the quality tests. Although the extent of the counterfeit medicine problem is gradually becoming clear, universal solutions are still remaining elusive. The new Centre for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) from the United States Pharmacopeial (USP)

Monster finally jailed after five year rape and killing spree

Bulelani Mabhayi

For five years, Bulelani Mabhayi terrorised the rural villagers of Tholeni in the Eastern Cape, preying on defenseless women and children, who he raped and, in some cases, hacked to death.

Mthatha High Court Judge Noluthando Conjwa sentenced him to 25 life sentences for 25 crimes committed between 2007 and 2012. Each of the sentences are set to run concurrently, amounting to 625 years. “Mr Mabhayi, you are definitely not a person that society needs… Between 2007 and 2012, the community of Tholeni lived in fear because there was a predator living among them. It’s not clear how (you were) able to escape capture for such a long time.” As the judge handed down her sentence, Mabhayi remained silent and avoided eye contact with the families and relatives of his victims sitting in the public gallery. “His modus operandi involved stalking his targets, who were mostly vulnerable. It mattered not how young the victim was. 24

No one was spared,” Judge Conjwa said. Murmurs occasionally erupted in court as the judge reviewed the postmortem results revealing the severity of the wounds Mabhayi inflicted on his victims. “The common trend that runs through these wounds show (the use of) violent force. He (Mabhayi) would kill more than one victim in one house. I can’t begin to imagine what was going through the minds of his victims while he was killing others.” Judge Conjwa occasionally glared at Mabhayi during her hour-long delivery of sentence. “While (Mabhayi) has apologised, he hasn’t disclosed the details of his crimes. To this day I remain in the dark as to what drove him to commit the crimes,” she said, reiterating how he had also preyed on unsuspecting people he worked for. “He was well known and liked by people of that community. He took an unfair advantage of his knowledge of the homes he worked for. He eventually was caught after leaving a shoe at the home of one of his murder victims. Police found that it matched the shoe Mabhayi was wearing and were able to link his DNA to the murders. The sentence sparked a frenzy of celebrations, Tholeni resident Noxolo Mxhunyelwa said she was pleased with the sentence. Mabhayi raped and killed her mother and her 13-year-old sister before hacking her baby to death. Her 12-year-old brother survived the attack but was left brain-damaged. “It won’t help the pain go away but at least I know that the killer is in jail,”

Convention was launched in May and is hoping to get things back on track. “In Sub-Saharan Africa, there is tremendous need for human resource with the right technical expertise and know-how that will make the drug regulatory agencies effective in doing the job they are supposed to do,” said Dr. Patrick H. Lukulay, vice president of USP’s Global Health Impact Programs, who also oversees CePAT operations.

To date, the project has received US$1.5 million from USP. Six African nations’ ministries of health, including those of Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, have signed on partly because of USP’s long-term collaboration. Initially, seven African personnel will undergo intensive training in the United States so they can train their colleagues on the continent. They will begin by offering CePAT training in dossier evaluation, good manufacturing practices and analytical techniques in laboratory work to 30 regulators; USP will foot the bill. After this initial free training, the African ministries of health will be expected to seek funding locally or from development partners to contribute to their training at the centre, said Lukulay. CePAT will be self-sustaining after three years, he added. Plans for sustainability include building a quality control laboratory to test medicines for global health development partners, local pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies. CePAT will charge for the testing services, and use the money to run the centre.

Flora pull homophobic ad in South Africa

The banned advertisement showing the homophobic slogan aimed at the china heart

Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever says it has ordered the withdrawal of a Flora margarine advertisement in South Africa that has been condemned as homophobic.

The advert features a bullet with the words “Uhh dad I’m gay” flying towards a heart made of china. The advert, on a pink background, includes the tagline “You need a strong heart today” near the Flora logo. Flora, owned by Unilever, has long promoted its margarine as helping consumers maintain a healthy heart. “This advert was prepared by an external agency in South Africa “The advert is offensive and unacceptable and we have put an immediate stop to it.” UK-based gay rights group Stonewall said it welcomed the withdrawal of the advert. It had earlier described the advert as “offensive and inappropriate”. “Perhaps Flora should have a chat with their Unilever colleagues, Ben & Jerry’s,

about how best to produce gay-friendly advertising fit for the 21st Century,” it said. Last month, Ben & Jerry’s, a Unileverowned ice-cream maker, came out in support of same-sex marriages in Australia, renaming its Cookie Dough flavour to “I Dough, I Dough”. International advertising firm Lowe and Partners, which designed the controversial advert, said it was “very sorry”. “I would like to unreservedly apologise for this campaign and the unintended offence it has regrettably caused,” the firm’s Johannesburg managing director Sarah Dexter said. “We have requested the immediate removal of this work from all media,” she added. A second advert promoting Flora shows a glass heart about to be hit with a bullet, featuring the words “Kama Sutra page 48”. South Africa has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, recognising gay rights. However, homophobia is rife and many gay and lesbian people have been attacked.


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News Biofuel company funded by UK is leaving parts of Africa starved

Addax Biofuel sign in Sierra Leone

Thousands of people in one of Africa’s poorest countries are going hungry because of a biofuels “land grab” by a firm that receives funding from the Department for International Development, a charity claims.

ActionAid accuses the Swiss company Addax Bioenergy of threatening livelihoods in rural communities in Sierra Leone, where it runs an extensive sugar-cane plantation. Addax, which will soon begin the first commercial shipping of biofuels from Africa to Europe, receives fund-

ing from a UK-based development fund that received just under $150m (£97m) from DfID in 2012-13. The Addax project, set up in 2008, saw the company take a 50-year lease on 57,000 hectares of land in the Makeni region of northern Sierra Leone. Due to begin exporting in 2014, the project will produce 85 million litres of ethanol a year, for petrol – enough to meet 12 per cent of the UK’s ethanol consumption in 2011/12. The scheme had been promoted as an example of an environmentally and socially responsible biofuels project. But following visits to the Addax project

and 100 interviews with local people, ActionAid claims that the company is harming the livelihoods of 13,000 people, across 60 villages. Of those surveyed, 99 per cent said that food production had declined in their communities, and 90 per cent said that loss of farmland to the Addax project had been responsible. More than three quarters of local people said that they had never seen the land lease agreements with Addax and 85 per cent said that they had not been adequately informed about the pros and cons of the company’s investment in their land, the charity claimed. The project is funded by a number of development banks and Governmentbacked funds, including the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), which receives substantial funding from DfID. Tim Rice, ActionAid’s biofuels policy adviser and author of the report, told The Independent: “It is deeply concerning that DfID, whose aim is to reduce poverty around the world, is funding a project in one of the poorest countries

in Africa which is pushing people off their land and into hunger.” Fiona Hall, Liberal Democrat MEP for North-east England, and a member of the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy and Development committees, told The Independent she would call for a European Commission investigation into the project. “It is a matter of great concern,” she said. A DfID spokesperson said ActionAid’s claims should be investigated. “EAIF makes their own commercial funding decisions,” the spokesperson said. “As one of EAIF’s funders, we would expect them and their fund managers to investigate any allegations raised and to seek reassurance from the company.” An Addax spokesperson said the project in question “is already held up as a positive example by the authorities in Sierra Leone, and by international organisations like the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN and the African Development Bank.”

Ex-presidential bodyguard shot in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore

State television in Burkina Faso announced that a former bodyguard of President Blaise Compaore was killed in an exchange of fire while trying to enter the barracks that house the presidential palace.

Magistrate Blaise Bazie said in a statement Saturday that the soldier named Romuald Tuina forced his way on Friday night past guards at one checkpoint before attacking the Nabakom II mili-

tary camp, which houses the presidential guard. Residents of Ouagadougou say that the attack coincided with a citywide power cut, which plunged the capital into darkness at around 10.m. Friday. Soon after, they heard gunfire. Tuina was sacked from the presidential guard last year. Compaore, in power since 1987, has been facing growing unrest. In 2011, the army mutinied against him, but he succeeded in reigning it in. 25


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Special Interview

The blessed, the humble and the successful

By Peter Olorunnisomo

His face had a readiness to break into a smile -almost reflecting that the world could be at peace all the time if only we all cared. The natural lines became more pronounced as he broke into the smile. It was the smile of someone who had been through more than his fair share of what life could throw at him and yet found a way to conquer and now had trophies to show. Chief Louis IzuchukwuOnwugbenu, the Okpata Ozu Ora of Nnewi, exhibited these and more when we met with him recently at the London Hilton hotel, Park Lane, when he came to celebrate a double-barrelled cause. 60th Birthday Celebration The first was his 60th birthday being born on the 15th August, 1953 in Uruagu-Nnewi village of Anambra state of Nigeria. Quite a very humble beginning but fortuitously proven by the saying that ‘tall oaks from little acorns grow’. His birth to Augustine and Cecilia Onwugbenu significantly coincided (as 15th August) with the sacred notation of the assumption of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, as is celebrated by the Catholic Faith. His birthday, celebrated at the London Hilton, was a conglomeration vested and trusted interests groups reflecting his family and business relationships in Europe, America, and Africa. Among the celebrities that were at the party were Nollywood star, Genevieve Nnaji, Footballing star Emmanuel Adebayor, and dignitaries such as Rtd.

Newly wed Mr and Mrs Obiajulu and both sets of in-laws Navy Captain Robert Akano who was former Governor of Anambra State, his business partner and close friend of 35 years standing, Bob Baker, Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Innocent Chukwuma , and a host of personalities from Abuja, Lagos, and Nnewi with Okey Bakassi as master of ceremonies. The celebration of the birthday party actually started in Nnewi on the 15th August, 2013 and was well attended by the cream of family, extended family, business associates, friends, and members of the Louis Carter Group. The Wedding The second is the marriage ceremony of his second daughter, Eucharia. Eu-

charia’s marriage has attracted friends and families from Switzerland, United States of America, Nigeria, Belgium, Canada, and those resident in Great Britain. While Chief Onwugbenu is appreciative of the support accorded him by the British High Commission in granting visas to the large entourage from Nigeria, the London Hilton had to concede two floors to the guests who came to celebrate both occasions. At the wedding reception at the Pall Mall, Chief Onwugbenu blessed Eucharia and Frederick, who she the bride met in Tanzania but is based in Switzerland, and noted that they shouldn’t allow anyone to cause a separation between them based on the biblical injunction that ‘what God has joined together, let no man put asunder’. Knowing that the traditional aspect of nuptial ties was not merely tied to the ‘white’ celebration, the traditional engagement were both families, that is, Chief Martin Oramalu (for the groom) and Chief Onwugbenu, public consented according to the cultural dictates the marital futures of their son and daughter. Thus the foundation for the wedding at the St. James Catholic Church Spanish Place, Marylebone, London was laid. The lavish and very colourful reception took place at the Pall Mall, London. 10th Anniversary of St. Louis Catholic Church

Chief and Mrs Louis Izuchukwu Onwugbenu and his family 26

A philanthropic highlight of the celebrations in Nnewi was the 10th anniversary of the St. Louis Catholic Church and the handing over of the building of the St. Louis Primary and Secondary Schools

which he built for the use of children in the local community as a way of impacting on their lives. So we asked Chief Onwugbenu how he felt at this point in time. Chief Onwugbenu: It is a lot of joy and I want to thank God for everything. When I look back over the years, I cannot but count my blessings and feel that God in with me indeed. My darling wife is alive and well with me today and so are all my children (8). To live to be 60 years as I have done makes me glad in what my life has turned out to be. Giving Eucharia away in marriage is one of the cardinal responsibilities every parent wants to achieve, and my wife and I have been able to do this. I also look back to my businesses and they are all thriving so you will agree that these are occasions worth celebrating. African Voice: Looking back now, can you give us a brief insight to your early years? Chief Onwugbenu: After my birth, I grew up in the Catholic Church and was largely supported and mentored by Rev. Fr. Kettles who also played a similar role in the lives of prominentindigenes like Chief Augustine Ilodibe (EkeneDiliChukwu) of blessed memory. I am also inspired by the memory and impact of FR. Kettles. So I really was given to Christianity as a way of life and a rooted belief in God, and my parents’ influences towards virtues which have become asset traits in my business dealings and attitudes to my fellow men. This was my early preparation that set me up. I grew to learn to be industrious and from there my zeal and enterprise eventually culminated in my other name Louis Carter Onwugbenu. I traded going from the East to Lagos about thrice weekly and the frequency of trips over the popular Carter Bridge also nicknamed me ‘Carter bridge’. As the business thrived, the Louis Carter Group grew to be a brand name with interests in manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, general merchandise and real estate. But it was work, very hard work. Bit by bit I was able to extend the frontiers of my enterprise to what it is today and this has taken me to Canada, Malaysia, Brazil, and America, to mention a few countries. However, my quest in education after my primary schooling at St. John’s Primary School, Egbo-Uruagu suffered a set-back occasioned by the Nigerian civil war. For some like, it was a lifedepreciating one but I was able to pick up what pieces I had left and, with God,


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Special Interview

Chief Louis Izuchukwu Onwugbenu turned my fortunes around. Like I used to say to people; ‘I regained in business what I lost in education’. African Voice: What influences affected you the most? Chief Onwugbenu: If we note the God factor, as it seems that my life was indeed ordained to be who I am today, one of my earliest influences were my parents. Then we could look at the clergy of the Catholic Church, in fact, the Church itself. It has played so much a role in my life that I have tried to give back to that body of Christ as much as I can and I am still doing same. By God’s grace am a benefactor to the church and clergy. I was able to build the St. Louis Catholic Church Nwafor-Uruagu which was dedicated by the Bishop of Nnewi diocese, Most Rev. Hillary Okeke in 2003. This also coincided with my silver jubilee wedding anniversary as well as my 50th birthday. I give scholarships to university level to indigent youths and have established the Louis Carter Foundation to continue in this trend. I support the church regardless of denomination and support the poor in the community. This nature of philanthropy started as early as the age of 38 years. A lecture theatre was built and donated to students of the Nursing School at the Anambra State University of Science and Technology among others. Other influences are Rev. Frs. Duncan and Baylon and Rev. Fr. Basil Onwua-

somba of the catholic Mission of St. John’s parish, Egbo-Uruagu where I also serve. My wife and children have also been incredible inspiration for success. African Voice: How big is your business empire? Chief Onwugbenu: Well we are doing great and still want to be greater. The Louis Carter Group has grown to a large conglomerate of business sectors and subsidiaries. We are spread over a number of countries and our business presence is known in Asia, Europe, and

North America. And all these become achievable through a consciousness of integrity, hard-work, and honesty. Anything else like greed cannot help a reputation such as we have earned internationally. ` African Voice: What would you say is your biggest disappointment if any? Chief Onwugbenu: I think that occurred during the period of the world recession and even Nigeria took a hit. My business was at that time breaking new grounds and I sought to anchor some security in shares. I took a loan from the bank to buy shares but the recession wiped out the value of the shares and it was a colossal loss. The little money I had left to re-grow my business was duped me by a cousin who was like a brother and preyed on my situation believing that he was out of questioning, by his immorality, because he is a lawyer and a politician. This compelled me to seek refuge in America for two to three years. It is important that I advise youths and young entrepreneurs that there is a law of karma which allows ‘what goes round to come round.’ In other words you reap what you sew. I trusted him with some money to buy properties for me in Ikoyi and felt assured that he had honour and integrity for himself and his family, only to find out that he had made the purchase in his own name. He let down not just myself but also was dragging his family name into disrepute. In those times, I thank God, and my family for standing by me in that dark period. The holy bible shows how Judas paid for his betrayal and that should be sufficient deterrence to anyone. It is also noted that Peter denied Jesus at the point where loyalty was necessary to be proven. UK Launch of the Louis Carter Foundation

The Foundation was also first launched in the United Kingdom. Set up to grant scholarships to students and help the poor in the community, the idea was following in the steps of the concerns of the world renowned multi-millionaire and computer guru, Bill Gates. Emeka Onwugbenu has been entrusted with the anchoring the affairs of the Foundation. Blessed with eight children and all doing well in their endeavours, African Voice thought it wise to have testimonials of whom this humble and God-fearing business mogul man is to his family. Oby Okonkwo: “You are like a sun to me, a sure thing, always there for his family and friends, beaming light and warmth to everyone that crosses your path. Whatever is good that is in me today, I owe it to your wisdom, your patience, your strength, your love. You taught me by example, as a role model.” Ukay: “ My dad was blessed to be raised by God-fearing parents, they provided and nurtured the moral backbone that dad still lives by. “ Uche: “You have showed us what it means to work hard and have integrity….Over the years you have told us many stories of your childhood and why it is important that we give back to our community.” Emeka: “My best friend, your philanthropic mindset is unique. … Growing up in a poor family and growing your business empire, you have not forgotten the less fortunate. … It is no surprise that on your 60th birthday, you are launching the Louis Carter Foundation, with a strategic focus on providing for the poor”. Onyi: “All men can be fathers… but it takes someone very special to be a dad”. Chinny: “Growing up I emulated and wanted to be like you, even sometimes without knowing it. Your processes, your actions, your humility, the way you conduct your business, the way you treat people, ….I have copied every single one of them Father!” Juju: “ My dad has achieved many great things in his life and I know that his greatest achievement is watching his own kids become successful.” Junior: “…Dad I am so proud to bear the same name as you and I can only hope that one day I could be half the man you are.” While it was quite tempting to ask Lolo (Mrs.Onwugbenu) for her comments, a wise thought recommended that having heard and seen so much, hercomments would only be blessings and those sweet words that God allows a blessed wife to say to a successful man.

Chief and Mrs Louis Izuchukwu Onwugbenu and the newly married couple 27


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Kanu: I would not be here without 1993 title

Nwankwo Kanu representing Nigeria

It is 20 years since one of Africa’s most recognisable faces made his first mark on the international stage at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Japan 1993.

In the centre of Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, Nwankwo Kanu lifted his first piece of international silverware of what was to be a prestigious career, but also took his first steps to becoming a legend in the green ofNigeria. Speaking to FIFA.com, the former Super Eagles forward looks back on his trip to the Far East fondly, having opened up the path to becoming his nation’s second-most capped player. “It’s a long time ago isn’t it! I’ve got great memories of that tournament,” he said from Lagos. “Representing your country is always an honour and to go on and win the tournament was huge for all of us in the team – it helped put us on the map. “Personally I did well, and it started me on the road to joining clubs like Ajax and the ones who followed, but without it I wouldn’t be here today. It was very important.” The tournament began well for the former Inter Milan and Arsenal man, scoring in just the first minute ofNigeria’s opening match against Canada, on the way to scoring 14 without reply in a group that also contained Argentina and Australia. “That goal relaxed me, and it’s very important to score early to settle the team,” Kanu recalled. “From there the team were able to gain more confidence and just grow from there.” The tournament culminated in a West African grudge match, pitting the Golden Eaglets against Ghana, making a huge game for the then-youngsters that little bit more 30

important. “Of course it was a big game, particularly with it coming against Ghana. They are clearly one of our major rivals,” he admitted, “but while we are brothers there is always this desire to be the better than one another.” Goals from Wilson Oruma and Peter Anosike secured a 2-1 win, and the fact it was against the Black Starlets made it all the sweeter for Kanu and his team-mates. “Because it was between the two of us it was even bigger. It meant that when we walked away with victory it was almost a double win!” Talent production line It was Nigeria’s second title of three so far at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, as well as claiming a further three runners-up medals, making them the most successful team in the tournament’s history. “In Nigeria we are blessed with talent, and we have a lot of young players coming through,” he said. “Any opportunity given to them, they want to prove something.” The veteran forward believes there’s no reason why the latest iteration cannot take up the mantle and continue their world-leading performances in UAE. “I’ve watched them play. I’ve seen how they perform and since then I’ve believed they could be a champion, so let’s hope they can go do that, as they have a good team.” Kanu’s exploits in Japan led him to pulling off arguably his finest achievement in the green of Nigeria, when the team claimed gold again at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, USA. The tournament even began memorably for him, smiling broadly as he recalls the opening ceremony. “I remember when I was there, being asked to be an Olympic torch bearer, it was something spe-

cial. For us to go there, becoming the first African team to win it, beating three some huge teams in the process, is something special.” Those three sides Nigeria dispatched in the knockout stages were Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, but it was the victory over then-world champions – boasting the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos – in the semi-final that will live long in Kanu’s memory. “At the time everybody knows they were the best in the world, with players turning out for teams like Barcelona, so we were certainly a little scared of them,” he recalled. “But it was a semifinal and not something you could really predict, while we had good players in our team too, like Jay-Jay [Okocha] and [Daniel] Amokachi.” The writing looked to be on the wall when they were 3-1 down with 12 minutes to go. However, Victor Ikpeba’s goal gave them hope, but Kanu fired the game into extra time, before going one better and hitting a stunning golden goal for a 4-3 win. “We drew level in the 90th minute and at that time we knew we were back in the game and thought ‘whatever happens we can make it through to penalties’,” he said. “However, I had a bit of a magic moment in extra time, where I just dribbled the ball and shot to score the golden goal. For us, at that moment, we knew we were going to win the Olympics.” The final was equally dramatic, with a last-minute Emmanuel Amunike goal securing a 3-2 win over Argentina, but fuelled by the previous round, the Super Eagles were never in doubt of victory. “After beating Brazil – the dream team – who we felt had the best players in the tournament, we were full of confidence in the final. For us, that was the final. Against Argentina we

thought, ‘whatever happens, we are flying – they can’t stop us’.” It is a triumph that Kanu feels he and his team-mates will be remembered for, having broken the European and South American hegemony at the Olympics. “To say we were there, picking up a gold medal, is really something. No one expected us to do it and it’s something that Nigeria, and possibly the world, won’t forget.” The world stage Two African player of the year titles followed, but Kanu was always disappointed the success did not transfer to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations or the FIFA World Cup™. The Super Eagles came close in the former, finishing runners-up to Cameroon in 2000 in front of a home crowd in Lagos. While the last-16 at France 1998 was as far as they got, appearing at the global showpiece in 2002 and 2010 is still something he remembers fondly. “Everyone wants to represent their country at the World Cup and there are three goals you want to achieve there. The first is to participate, the second is to make your mark, and the third is to win it,” Kanu explained. “If you achieve any of these, you feel like you have done well in your football career.” It was also to be the stage where Kanu would make his international swansong, bowing out in his side’s 2-2 draw with Korea Republic at South Africa 2010. He now spends his time focussing on the Kanu Heart Foundation, which he set-up in 2000, which aims to help children and young adults with heart defects – an ailment he overcame in 1996.


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Soro aiming to lift Cote d’Ivoire to new heights

Hoping for success in beach football

The last time Jean Soro appeared on a global footballing stage was in 1983, when he was a member of the Côte d’Ivoire squad at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Mexico. He played in all three matches for the west African country - drawing with Uruguay, but losing to USA and Poland and failing to get beyond the group stage. Fast forward 30 years and the 49-year-old has an opportunity to put that disappointment behind him when he leads a Côte d’Ivoire team that will be making their second appearance at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. However, the African team will face some stiff opposition in Tahiti during the 18-28 September tournament after being drawn into Group D together with Japan, who have been omnipresent at beach soccer finals, Paraguay, who finished runners-up in the CONMEBOL qualifying tournament, and defending champions Russia. Soro admitted that the team are wary of the Russian side in the opening stage.

“I think we are in a group in which we have a chance. We already defeated Japan in Dubai (2-0). As for Paraguay, we have every chance against this opponent. In our group, the only team we are nervous about is Russia. The Russians have a very good side and we are working on how to counter them. This is a group that will not be easy, but making it to second round is possible for us.”The former Côte d’Ivoire international Soro qualified for Tahiti with his side by finishing runners-up at the African qualifiers in Morocco earlier this year. After winning all three group matches, Soro’s team defeated hosts Morocco in the semi-finals to book their ticket to Tahiti. Although Senegal were too strong in the final - winning 4-1 - the Ivorians achieved their goal of being one of the two teams to represent the continent. Soro, who played for major Ivorian clubs Stella, ASEC and Africa Sports and for the Elephants in the run-up to the 1992 Africa Nations Cup before being dropped from the final squad, said that the beach soccer team’s goal in Tahiti would be to do better than in Dubai in 2009, which was their only other appearance in the finals. “We are hoping we can reach the second round, which we could not do four years ago. If we make it to the second round, any positive result thereafter will be a bonus.” As a rising side on the continent and looking to prove they belong on the highest stage, Soro insists his team will be highly motivated. “Along with Senegal, we are the only two representatives of Africa at the World Cup, so we will do our best to represent our continent honourably. We are certainly not going to Tahiti to make up the numbers. We are going there to disturb a certain hierarchy.”Training camps at homeThe preparations for the team

have not gone as smoothly as the coach would have liked with planned friendly matches against Senegal and in Spain called-off due to administrative problems. Instead, the squad was taken through their paces during internal training camps. During these preparations, Soro, who worked as a teacher before becoming a football coach, whittled the original squad of 25 down to 15 - still three more than will be on the final list. The team will complete its preparations during a week-long training camp in Grand Bassam, which ends on 10 September. Three days later the team will to Tahiti via Dubai, Australia and New Zealand: a journey that will take them almost two entire days. Soro said that the players selected for the squad played their football in the local Beach Soccer competition. “After this last camp in Bassam, we will choose the final 12.” During the training camps, the technical staff spent some time ensuring that the physical condition of the players will be ready to play three group games in five days. The attacking players, led by Moustapha Sakanoko, were also given specialised training. Sakanoko, who was the second top-scorer in Morocco with nine goals, will be appearing at his first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.The side will, however, have plenty of experience, with captain and goalkeeper Boris Enam, forwardLudovic Ehounou and wingers Didier Kabletchi and Frederic Aka amongst the players who are expected to make their second appearance at the showpiece event of Beach Soccer. Ehounou scored eight of the 15 goals Côte d’Ivoire scored in 2009 in Dubai, including an astonishing five in the side’s 7-6 victory against El Salvador.

Pessimism about African football - Di Matteo recently visited Cameroon where he met with local coaches, football scouts and players to discuss matters relating to the sport, and left reportersstunned when he mentioned that the general opinion of the West about African football is pessimistic even though he personally doesn’t share that idea.

Roberto Di Matteo in his managerial spell at Chelsea

Former Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo has been visiting African countries as running some football programme which is keeping him occupied at the moment. He

Di Matteo, whose sojourn at the Chelsea football club, may have helped to shape and voice his observation , led the London club to clinch their first Uefa Champions League title in 2012, said African players like Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor and Michael Essien are notable of the African continent’s depth of footballing talent at the very highest level and thus need to be respected. “I think these players are good exam-

ples that Africa, contrary to the general opinion in the West, produces great talents and that the sport is developing fast on the continent. “Younger generations on the continent are looking up to the aforementioned players who ply their trade successfully in top European clubs and will always be a source of inspiration across Africa to ensure the breeding of future stars,” he said. Asked about plans for a new job following his sacking from Stamford Bridge in November 2012, the Italian said: “I’m looking for a good project. I have big ambitions for the next level of my career. I hope to join a club with a good working budget where I could implement my game philosophy, where the conditions would allow me to work efficiently and win more titles.”

Drogba hits out at Ivoirian media

Didier Drogba has hit back at Ivoirian journalists who blame him and the squad for the Elephants’ woes. The Galatasaray striker will be playing in his first official match for Ivory Coast since the end of the 2013 African Cup of Nations, when they turn out against Morocco on September 7. Drogba returned to the national set-up in last month’s friendly against Mexico, a 4-1 defeat which saw him rekindle his criticism of the media. Local media laid on several attacks on the 35-year-old, Yaya Toure and head coach Sabri Lamouchi, suggesting there isn’t much of a future for the team should the trio remain on board. “The problem is that each time the team fails somewhere in a competition our own journalists tear us down and expose us to the world,” Drogba told reporters “They say we are worthless, unpatriotic, arrogant, etc. They forget that we don’t come to play for our country because of money. They forget we are more frustrated than fans and officials each time we lose. They forget that no player will intentionally miss a penalty or deliver a bad assist. It hurts us when we read or hear these things,” he concluded. Drogba reaffirmed his stance that the team will do their best for the national team, but demanded that the press stop being pessimistic.

Super Eagles to get $5000 match bonus against Malawi Continued from page 32

The first leg had ended 1:1 in Blantyre, Malawi, in June. Security in place Meanwhile, the NFF said Calabar is safe for the encounter considering the level of security it had put on ground for the game. “Calabar is a safe ground where several decisive matches have been played and I can assure you that there is a powerful team of security men on ground. “Now, we are ready to receive our Malawian counterparts and also ready to ensure that there is a hitch-free match,’’ he said. The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) had in August requested from FIFA a change of venue for the World Cup qualifier for security reasons. But the NFF, following a directive from FIFA, sent a detailed security plan for the match, giving security assurances. 31


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Kanu: I would not be here without 1993 title SEE PAGE 30

Super Eagles to get $5000 match bonus against Malawi

Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi

By Peter Olorunnisomo The World Cup qualifying matches in Africa is drawing quite frenzy more so as the recent CAF cup championships have shown that there are no identifiable minnows on the continent’s football shelves anymore. Such is the state bordering on the desperate even as it affects reigning African champions, Nigeria, as they prepare for their match against Malawi. While Malawi is yet to etch its name as a serious contender in the continent, recent events and wisdom dictate that it could be foolish to

take them for granted. The Nigeria Football Federation has been dogged in the recent past about about having a statutory sum to pay her players as win bonuses which reflect the sign of the times. This has led to some quarters saying that $2000 would be it until the NFF chairman, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, pronounced the sum of $5000 as win bonus for the Super Eagles in their match against Malawi in Calabar come Saturday. Maigari told sports writers at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday that the Eagles bonus row was being over-flogged and added that a Ministerial committee has

been set up to investigate the matter with a view to putting the matter at rest finallyHe, however, pointed out that pending the report of the committee, the football house would be concerned with paying the Eagles $5000. “You know recently, the Minister set up a panel to investigate, advice and come up with a resolution on the bonus row. “So let us give them the benefit of doubt to work. But as far as the NFF is concerned, we are paying our normal five thousand dollars winning bonus,” Maigari said. The Super Eagles will play host to the Flames of Malawi in a return-leg of the

2014 FIFA World cup qualifier scheduled to take place in Calabar.

Continued on page 31

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