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Friday, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014 ISSUE 525

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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 Nigeria heads UN Security Committee

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Cowboy bailiffs outlawed as new law takes effect SEE PAGE 2

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UK hospitals put on Ebola alert 5 men jailed for robberies

By Alan Oakley

UK hospitals have been put on alert following an outbreak of the Ebola virus that has killed more than 80 people in Guinea.

However, speaking this week on ITV, Dr Brian McCloskey, Public Health England’s director of Global Health said it is “extremely unlikely” Ebola would reach Britain, but those showing symptoms of the virus could be “tested and looked after in specialist facilities in London”. The Guinea outbreak is known to have spread to neighbouring Sierra Leone and nearby Liberia, where isolated cases have been identified but, experts say, the disease is so fast-acting that a victim is likely to be too poorly to contemplate air travel. Staff at airports and other points of entry to the UK have, nevertheless, been briefed as to what action to take should they be confronted with any traveller displaying symptoms

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consistent with Ebola. Symptoms can include a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat, according to the World Health Organization. These signs may be followed by vomiting, diarrhoea and - in some cases - both internal and external bleeding. The disease infects humans through close contact with infected animals, including chimpanzees, fruit bats and forest antelope, but it can then spread from one person to another: by direct contact with infected blood, bodily fluids or organs, or indirectly through contact with contaminated environments. Even funerals of Ebola victims can be a risk, if mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased. Health workers are at risk if they treat patients without taking the right precautions to avoid infection.

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Ebola victims quickly become too ill to travel, according to Public Health England


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Have You News Got News New guidelines for ‘outdated’ For Us Newsdesk: 020 3737 3077

Email: africanvoicenews@gmail.com

Changes to UK visa fees

The fees for many UK visas have gone up (effective 6th April). Most rises are modest (4%) but the removal of a 25% discount for the d e p e n d e n t relatives of main applicants for visas under the pointsbased visa system applying from within the UK means that these applicants face significant increases.

If you are • Planning to apply for Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 UK visa • Planning to bring your dependent family with you • Planning to apply from within the UK your visas will cost 4% more each and you will lose the 25% discount on the visas for your spouse and dependent children. You will therefore have to pay 4% more for your visa and nearly 40% (38.7%) more for visas for your dependant family’s visas. However, please note that if you are intending to apply for a Tier 2 visa to allow you to travel to work in the UK in a shortage occupation, the visa fees will be REDUCED by 26% after April 6th.

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

Tel: 020 3737 3077

Email: africanvoicenews@gmail.com

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African Voice is published by African Voice UK.

restraining methods By Yemi Dipeolu

The government has published new guidelines to reduce the use of physical restraints when it comes to adult healthcare following an investigation into Winterbourne View Hospital, where several patients were abused assaulted and even given cold ‘punishment showers’. Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing stated:

“Nobody wants to see a repetition of the horrific events of Winterbourne View. Nurses have been at the forefront of developing the new approach, which is the result of committed co-operation between professionals, and which makes use of the views of those who have experienced physical intervention.” There will be a £1.2 million investment made by the government in order to train staff to use methods other than physical, chemical and medical restraint, which are said to cause both physical and psychological harm in a scheme dubbed ‘Positive and Safe’. It is part of new strategy developed by heal care professionals and patients and is being led by the Royal College of Nursing

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb

The government believes these methods are far too outdated and a study by Mind found that these methods were often used for far too long, and at times were used to ‘inflict pain, humiliate and punish’. Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, stated: “We are delighted to support the launch of this important guidance, which marks a significant step towards changing attitudes to restraint and ending face-down restraint. We know that healthcare staff do a challenging job and sometimes need to make difficult decisions very quickly. This is

comprehensive guidance that looks to address the system as a whole, transforming cultures and attitudes so that difficult situations are less likely to arise and so that staff are supported to use alternatives to restraint when faced with challenging behaviour. When someone is in a mental health crisis they need help, not harm. Physical restraint can be humiliating, dangerous and even life-threatening and our own research indicates that some trusts are currently using it too quickly.” The scheme is part of a two year strategy developed by health care professionals and patients and is being led by the Royal College of Nursing. The government as well as researchers believe that the current methods are far too outdated and the new approach was supported by 90% of the people asked to review it. Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, stated “No-one should ever come to harm in the health or care system. Although it is sometimes necessary to use restraint to stop someone hurting themselves or others, the safety of patients must always come first. This new guidance will stop inappropriate use of all types of restraint, reduce this outdated practice and help staff to keep patients safe.”

Cowboy Bailiffs outlawed as new law takes effect Bailiffs will be banned from entering homes at night and from using physical force against debtors under new laws coming into effect this weekend to clean up the industry, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has announced.

The sweeping changes will also prevent bailiffs from entering properties where only children are at home and includes further measures to protect vulnerable people. Bailiffs will be prevented from taking vital household essentials from debtor’s property, such as a cooker, microwave, refrigerator or washing machines. The laws have been changed to bring an end to bad and aggressive bailiff behaviour, while making sure businesses, local authorities and others can still fairly enforce debts owed to them. With roughly 4 million debts collected each year, in future only bailiffs who have been trained and received certification will be allowed to practise. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are stamping out bad practice and making sure bailiffs play by the rules. Those who don’t will be banned. “Aggressive bailiff activity is unacceptable and it is high time that the cowboys out there are stopped from giving the rest

Justice Minister Chris Grayling

of this important industry a bad name. “People will still have to face up to their debts – but they will no longer need to fear their home being raided at night, the threat of violence or having their vital household equipment seized.” From today, the new protections will: • Ban bailiffs from entering homes when only children are present. • Ensure bailiffs can’t visit debtors’ homes at night – they will only be allowed

to enter between 6am and 9pm. • Ban landlords from using bailiffs to seize property for residential rent debts without going to court first. • Introduce mandatory training and a new certification process for all bailiffs. • Ensure vulnerable people get assistance and advice and that bailiffs are trained to recognise when they are dealing with someone vulnerable. • Include a simple set of rules detailing when a bailiff can enter a property and what goods they can take. • Introduce restrictions on when bailiffs can sell goods. • Require bailiffs to give the court information on the likely means of entry, goods involved and amount of force required before a warrant is granted to force entry, as well as details of how the premises will be left in a secure state afterwards. The measures will also force bailiffs to give seven days notice before taking possessions, unless they have specific permission from a court. A new set of fixed fees for debtors has also been introduced, to end the previous situation where bailiffs were setting their own fees some times at very high levels and adding these to the amount people in debt had to pay.


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News

UK hospitals put on Ebola alert Continued from front page

The Guinea outbreak is of the disease’s most virulent strain, the survival rate of which is less than 10 per cent. Survivors remain infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus - in some cases, up to seven weeks after they recover. This opens up the potential for a recovering Ebola victim, who is nevertheless still a carrier of the virus, to transmit the disease by travelling. The current outbreak began in Nzerekore, a remote area of south-eastern Guinea, but has now reached capital Conakry (population: two million). Four people have died in nearby Liberia. Sierra Leona has reported five suspected cases, but none has yet been confirmed. Internationally acclaimed Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour has cancelled his concert in Conakry over fears that it could become a source from which the virus might be transmitted. Senegal’s land border with Guinea has been closed and the singer has said he did not think an event that brought people from far and wide into an enclosed area would be a good idea. Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called the outbreak “un-

precedented” in the way the cases are scattered in multiple locations across Guinea, hundreds of kilometres apart. Doctors are only able to treat the symptoms of Ebola, since there are currently no effective vaccines against it. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is playing down MSF claims, saying the number of suspected and confirmed cases in Guinea was unchanged from the

previous day at 122, of whom 80 had died. Asked if the spread of the disease was indeed unprecedented, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said there had been much larger outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. “This is relatively small still. The biggest outbreaks have been over 400 cases,” Hartl told a news conference in Geneva.

He added it was not the first time Ebola had been reported in a capital city. It struck Gabon’s Libreville in the 1990s. “Ebola already causes enough concern and we need to be very careful about how we characterise something which is up until now an outbreak with sporadic cases,” Hartl said. MSF Director General Bruno Jochum said it was remarkable the outbreak had spread to several places and to a city of around two million people, Conakry. “These two characteristics make it an exceptional event for an Ebola outbreak up until today,” Jochum said, adding that given the high mortality rates among identified cases, it should be taken extremely seriously. Ben Neuman, a virologist at Britain’s University of Reading, also said it was a real worry that the virus had spread from sparsely populated forest zones to Conakry, where population density was close to 10 000 per square kilometre. “An Ebola outbreak there could lead to a humanitarian disaster,” he said.

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Health News

Ladies – your man is behind you all the way Ladies! Has your partner suddenly become concerned that you spend too much time on your feet? Is he busy doing the dishes while allowing you to sit with a packet of biscuits watching your favourite soaps? Has he become very insistent that you sit down to do the ironing? Well don’t be so quick to imagine that he has dragged himself from mediaeval times straight to the 21st century. Maybe he just reads Mail Online, which recently reported: “It’s official: Sitting around really does give you a fat behind” While this may seem logical, it should be pointed out that the study behind the headlines involved mice, not humans. The website reports on a laboratory study that used special microscopic techniques to measure the stiffness of fat cells (adipocytes) and how this stiffness reacts to mechanical stress. The results suggest that prolonged mechanical stress – such as spending a lazy Sunday sitting on the sofa watching a box set – could increase the stiffness of fat cells. This could then influence their development, possibly leading to a bigger backside. But because of the highly artificial methods used by the researchers, the Mail’s conclusions – as commonsense as they may seem – are not supported by the evidence provided in the study.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation and the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. It was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Biophysical Journal. Most of the evidence reported by the Mail Online was not covered by the research study, but was mentioned in an accompa-

What were the basic results?

The results basically demonstrated that the lipid droplets within a fat cell are stiffer than cytoplasm (the thick jelly-like substance that fills a cell). The lipid droplets within a cell were found to mechanically distort its environment.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers conclude that their study provides evidence that adipocytes (fat cells) stiffen as a result of the accumulation of lipid (fat) droplets. They say that, “Our results are relevant to research of adipose [fat]-related diseases, particularly overweight and obesity, from a mechanobiology and cellular mechanics perspective.” nying press release. The Mail Online deserves a red card for failing to report at any point in their story (at least at the time of writing) that the current study did not involve humans.

What kind of research was it?

stresses on each other when the tissue is weight bearing. They therefore say that determining the mechanical properties of adipocytes, and the intracellular structures within these cells, is important. How you use your body – not just in terms of exercise, but also how you position it – may therefore have an effect on fat levels.

This was a laboratory study that used special microscopic techniques to measure the stiffness of adipocytes, which are cells that store fat. The researchers report that 70% of the US population now meets the definition for being overweight or obese. They say that while it is recognised that the excess accumulation of body fat occurs when energy intake exceeds nutritional requirements, there is also “increasing evidence that lipid [fat] production in adipocytes is significantly affected by their mechanical environment”. Previous research is said to have suggested that cyclical stretching or vibration suppresses the formation of fat cells, while static stretching (presumably as may occur when sitting) accelerates it. The researchers say that adipocytes influence the mechanical environments of their neighbouring cells, applying distorting forces and

The research involved preparing cultures of adipocyte cells that were at an early stage of development. The researchers then used special microscopy techniques of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and interferometric phase microscopy (IPM) to measure the stiffness within the cells. These are advanced microscopy techniques that allow researchers to “zoom in” at a nano level, a resolution so detailed that individual molecules can be studied. Using AFM, they calculated the shear stiffness around the nucleus of the cell and around the lipid (fat) droplets in the cell, which was termed the “effective stiffness”. The researchers then used IPM to measure the distribution of stiffness within the cell. They verified their results using a technique called finite element simulations.

of the symptoms of lung cancer and encourage them to visit their GP if they have had a cough for three weeks or more – a key symptom of the disease. Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “We know this campaign is effective in driving people with lung cancer symptoms into GP surgeries – the figures speak for themselves. “We are therefore running the campaign again to further increase awareness of the signs of lung cancer and overcome the fears preventing people presenting early to their doctors so that we can save more lives across all communities.

“Finding lung cancer early makes it more treatable so it’s important to know the symptoms and, if you spot any, visit your doctor straight away – it could save your life.” Lung cancer is currently England’s biggest cancer killer, causing around 28,100 deaths each year and with around 34,900 people diagnosed annually. Those diagnosed at the earliest stage are five times more likely to survive lung cancer for at least five years than those diagnosed at a late stage. The Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer campaign is aimed at men and women over the age of 50, as they are most at risk of the disease.

What did the research involve?

Conclusion

The researchers refer to the results of previous studies, which suggested that placing prolonged mechanical stress upon fat cells – such as making them bear weight through sitting on them for prolonged periods – leads to the development of fat cells. Results from this study suggest that as fat cells develop and accumulate fat droplets, they change in stiffness. This could lead to a change in the stiffness of the overall fat tissues, thereby changing the stresses experienced by other fat cells and influencing their development. Despite the limitations of the study – not least that it did not involve humans – its results add further weight to the argument that a sedentary lifestyle is not good for you. Current activity recommendations advise that adults aim to be active every day, taking at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more every week, or 30 minutes on at least five days a week. All people are advised to minimise the amount of time spent sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.

Finding lung cancer early could save lives

A Be Clear on Cancer campaign, aimed at increasing awareness of the symptoms of lung cancer, has been considered so successful it is being repeated.

The Public Health England campaign first ran nationally throughout England in May – July 2012. Recent data found that around 700 extra people were diagnosed with lung cancer in these months when compared to the same period in the previous year. Approximately 400 more people were diagnosed at an early stage, and around 300 more patients had surgery, giving them the best chance of prolonged survival. The campaign will run until the end of April in a bid to make more people aware 6

Dr Michael Beckles, Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “The results are great and suggest that hundreds of patients received potentially life-saving surgery following the first national campaign for lung cancer. We still need to continue the good work so that more lives can be saved. “Many people still believe that you cannot survive cancer but lung cancer can be treated if caught early and you can have a good quality of life after treatment. The Be Clear On Cancer message is clear - if you’ve been coughing for three weeks or more, have had repeated chest infections or have been coughing up blood and feeling breathless, go and see your doctor.”


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Airtel leapfrogs Glo to become Nigeria’s second favourite airtime provider

Bharti Airtel, the leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Africa and Asia, has further consolidated its market position in Nigeria, demonstrating return on investment for the company in Africa’s largest operation.

Fresh statistics from Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the market regulator, show a continued growth trajectory placing Airtel as the second largest telecommunications services provider in terms of customers. This means that Airtel has now leapfrogged Glo to second largest network by customer numbers. According to the report published on the website of the NCC, (www.ncc.gov.ng) Nigeria, as at February 2014 Airtel recorded total customer numbers of 26,194,336, still some way behind market leader MTN with 57,183,745. Glo and Etisalat finished at 24,490,650 and 18,119,397 respectively. Congratulating the team, Christian de Faria, Airtel Africa CEO, said: “This is a remarkable feat for Airtel, demonstrating that our investments, aimed at ensuring a superior experience for our customers in Nigeria, are bearing fruit. It is also a clear indication of the trust that a growing sec-

tor of the population have started to have in us.” He added: “This achievement has not come easy and I must congratulate the Airtel team in Nigeria. Nigeria continues to be a very competitive telecoms market and our intention is to ensure that we continue to innovate and make life easier for our customers.” Airtel became official sponsor for the 8th season of popular reality TV show Big Brother Africa in 2013, greatly raising the company profile, especially amongst younger phone users. The findings by NCC have corroborated independent research from Credit Suisse, a global financial-services group, which in July last year showed that Airtel’s market share has improved markedly in Nigeria growing by 21.3 percent, in the ten months leading to April 2013. Importantly, Credit Suisse noted that Airtel has the advantage of growing its market share using the existing, unutilized capacity on its network.” Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Segun Ogunsanya, said: “The recent report from the NCC is a glowing testimony to our collective commitment of delivering value to our customers and also becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians in line with our corporate vision. We are extremely pleased that Nigerians are express-

Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Segun Ogunsanya, flanked by Nigerians Melvin Oduah and Beverly Ada Osu, who were both finalists in last year’s Big Brother Africa 8 – The Chase

ing confidence in our network and we will continue to excite and delight them with innovative and affordable mobile telecommunications solution. “For us at Airtel Nigeria, this is, indeed, the beginning of a new journey to reclaiming market leadership in the highly competitive telecoms landscape and we are totally committed to our quest of offering the best network experience as well as bespoke value offerings,” he said. Since the launch in 2010, Airtel has invested over $1.7bn dollars to expand network capacity and deepen quality in Nigeria, in a bid to achieve world-class service quality. The company’s launch of its market-leading 3.75G service in March 2012

and the subsequent roll-out, has offered unparalleled, high-speed mobile Internet, across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja.

Turkey now free to use Twitter

Turkey’s telecoms authority lifted a two-week-old ban on Twitter on Thursday after the constitutional court ruled the block breached freedom of expression, an official in Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s office said.

Access to Twitter was blocked on March 21 in the run-up to local elections last Sunday to stem a stream of leaked wiretapped recordings of senior officials that had appeared on the site, prompting Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to say he would “root out” the network. Turkey’s Official Gazette on Thursday morning published the Constitutional Court’s ruling from Wednesday, further piling pressure on the telecoms authorities to lift the ban, which had faced widespread international condemnation. 8

“The ban has been lifted” the official from Erdogan’s office told Reuters by telephone minutes after TIB removed court orders blocking the site from its webpage. Google’s video-sharing website YouTube remains offline in Turkey, the TIB having blocked it one week after blocking Twitter. Legal challenges against the YouTube ban are pending. Following the court’s decision, President Abdullah Gul, who has opposed the bans, was quoted as saying both websites should be made available in Turkey once more. San Francisco-based Twitter said in a tweet that it welcomed the ruling. Within minutes of the ban being lifted, the micro-blogging site was flooded with messages, with one user saying “Welcome back to Twitter, Turkey.” Other users inside the country complained that they were still unable to access the site.


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Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has always being in the news since becoming governor of Osun State. Most times the policies of his administration have come under heavy criticism by some stakeholders and opposition parties. But, Aregbesola insists that no governor has impacted so much on the people as he has done. In this interview, he speaks on governance in the State of the Virtuous (Ipinle Omoluabi), August 9 governorship election, perceived Islamisation of the state and many other issues. What is the centrepiece of your government? I tell people that I am yet to see a governor either before or now, I don’t know of tomorrow, who has made the people the centre of governance, as much as we are doing. I’m not saying this because I want to sound fulfilled. I am saying this because I want people to know the distinction between people-oriented government and a government as usual. You see, the usual government panders to strict expectations and rules; roads must be built, whether it has economic or social significance, it does not matter. Government must build roads and we are building roads. We are not against construction of roads and edifices; we are only saying that if the people are serviced in a way that their potential would be fully developed, at the appropriate time, those things, in terms of infrastructure, would just naturally come. When you came into office three years ago, what did you meet on ground? On the assumption of office, we saw the inhuman condition of our youths who in their thousands are unemployed. As a matter of fact, when we advertised for our youth empowerment scheme of engaging youths in community, social and public works, we received applications in excess of 250,000 for 20,000 volunteers. We advertised what the job is all about; community works such as clearing of gutters, clearing waste, cleaning roads, and so on. We equally stated those who we wanted to engage; school certificate and diploma holders, and graduates. That would tell you the proportion of our youths that simply have nothing to do. That was a graphic exhibition of the seriousness of the issue of unemployment in our land. We recruited the 20,000 without any sentiment. Hardly was there any household without a representative in that scheme. The second phase of it is on. In all, we are touching the lives of 40,000 people in a way that we are happy and they are happy

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too. That scheme has positively affected our state that our state today is the most peaceful in Nigeria. Most of what we hear in other states rarely happen in our state. National Bureau of Statistics rated our state as the state with the least unemployment in Nigeria. On the index of NBS, we rate three per cent unemployment. On social and human capacity index, we are the best. On the poverty reduction index, we came second. They claimed we are next to Niger State. When they combined all the parameters for assessing human development index, we came first because the state that came first in poverty reduction index was eighth in unemployment index. By the time you do a summary of the various social and economic indices for assessing states, we are just simply the best. After that, we went to education. By the time we assumed office, we found out that education was not just there. We showed concern and my presentation at the education summit was that the summit participants must look at the possibilities of closing schools for two years for us to effectively do something about the structure, the capacity of the teachers and others. But my view was not popular in the summit. The summit concluded with some action plans. Heading that summit on education was Prof. Wole Soyinka. So, the reforms we are implementing on education, was the directive on the summit which we convened less than two months into office. So, for anybody to now impugn that our reform, which is a direct offshoot of that summit on education, in which we had the best brains both within and outside, is to us very strange. Those who participated in the summit had no religious bias; they simply told us that if we are serious about what we told them we wanted to do, follow this course. The process given by them is that we must rebuild our schools, we must feed pupils at the lowest level of education very well to sufficiently attract and retain them in school; we must look at how to indigenise the uniform they wear, train and re-train the teachers as well as encourage them. They told us how that could be done by setting aside a school for primary education and others. These recommendations, we adopted and started aggressive implementation. Today in Osun, we feed close to 300,000 pupils in the whole primaries 1-4. No state in Nigeria has ever attempted that scale of engagement of students. We have been doing it for over a year now at an annual cost of N3.6 billion. We are proud to say that whoever likes should come and see what they feed these pupils with. I challenge any government in Nigeria to come and say they have done close to this, even for one day. We have been doing this since April 2012. It is unprecedented. We are the first government in the history of Nigeria that would give 750,000 pupils in public schools uniform.

Photo: Taofeeq Adejare

My critics are not honourable – Aregbesola

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (middle); Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council Osun State University, Osogbo, Professor Gabriel Adesiyan Olawoyin (2nd left) and Vice – Chancellor, Professor Adekunle Bashiru(right) during the 3rd Convocation for the Conferment of First Degrees and Award of Prizes at Osun State University, Osogbo

The uniforms are in three categories. There is a set of uniform for the elementary schools, uniform for the middle school and for the high school as well. We restructured basic education into elementary, middle and high school. Again, we are providing all the students, 150,000 of them in high school, with an electronic education device in which you have all textbooks for learning, practise questions, compiled 10 years of WAEC and JAMB past questions, and tutorials for all lessons in high school. We give them this bit to ensure that nobody lacks anything that is required for successful completion of high school. No matter your background or who your parents are, you have access to the best learning tools in the state. So, we tell the students and the parents that whoever fails, either internal or external examinations, has nobody to blame but themselves. That is what Tablet of Knowledge (Opon Imo) is all about. We did not plagiarise any material; we are paying royalties. We pay per copy of the set we use. It’s like N26 per book. When you look at cost per book that we pay to the various contributors, you will see that it is incomparable to the hard copies. Government is to reduce the burden of care on citizens. What we have achieved with this is to provide a core need at the cheapest price to everybody. It is cheap to government, it’s free to our citizens. We also avoid the mystery of flooding by continuously dredging, clearing the waterways and this paid off when in 2012 the entire nation experienced terrible flooding, Osun was the only state that was never adversely affected. So, channelisation and dredging of our waterways continually totally eliminated the pain and stress of flooding some states in Nigeria experienced. We take care of the elderly. We selected over 1,000 of them and we ensure we give them N10,000 monthly. It was not based on any sentiment. We also do home-based medical care for the elderly state-wide. I only want to paint to you our human-angle approach to governance.

There is no class of people that we do not touch. Our administration is the first that can say that no household in Osun exist without an impact from our administration. We support farmers to increase productivity. Our school feeding have positively impacted the agriculture sector. We have a 25 per cent increase in enrolment. Today, Osun has the highest primary school enrolment in Nigeria, according to NBS data. Several criticisms have trailed the state education sector, especially the perceived Islamisation which has affected your administration negatively? Let me talk about two things that have gained some currency in the media. The first is that our school reform is an Islamisation agenda. When they say so, I just laugh. The poorest of the poor are those who send their wards to public schools, not only in Osun but all over Nigeria. People with very limited resources, considered public schools as the only alternative. So, with the recommendations of the summit, came the need to critically examine all aspects of it. In our examination, we discovered that there are students without teachers, whereas there are teachers without students in others. What was left to us was to restructure in such a way that we will have students as well as adequate or near-adequate number of teachers. Two, we change the structure of education from the popular 6-3-3-4 to 4-5-3. This does not change the curriculum but the age bracket in each level of education. Before our intervention, we have six years of primary school. In our new structure, we have elementary for pupils between 6 and 9, middle school for between 9 and 14 and high school for students between 15 and 17. For us to now have this, we must relocate pupils. For the elementary schools, you mustn’t move beyond 500 metres to where your parents either live or work, depending on the choice of your mother.

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Africa Newsround

Ethiopia

Ethiopia plays down UK funds abuse claim Ethiopian government officials have dismissed claims by one of its citizens that British aid has funded human rights abuses as “outrageous”.

The farmer accuses Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) of financially supporting a “villagisation” scheme in western Ethiopia, a governmentled plan to settle pastoralists in sedentary communities. The case, which will be funded by Legal Aid in the UK, has been brought before London’s High Court, but no trial date has yet been set. A statement from legal representatives of the farmer, known only as Mr. O, claim he suffered severe abuse and had to “flee his home” in western Ethiopia’s Gambella region under the villagisation programme. Under the scheme, the government plans to settle 1.5 million people across the country, which it says will improve access to key services such as education and healthcare. Mr. O told his British lawyers that the £1.3billion the UK has sent to Ethiopia in

Members of Ethiopia’s Oromo community in the UK protesting against human rights violations last September

the past five years has funded a despotic state. Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda dismissed the allegations of abuse, saying it was “absolutely outrageous because it doesn’t have any factual basis.” But Mr. O claims he was forced to leave his home and move to a village with no farmland, schools or clinics before he was

finally arrested and beaten by the army. Mr. O, whose identity is being withheld to protect his wife and six children in Ethiopia, is not seeking compensation but challenging the Government’s approach to aid. His lawyer, Rosa Curling of Leigh Day, based in London, said: “My client’s life has been shattered by what has happened. She claims the villagisation programme

has had a “devastating and tragic impact”, and warns that a misuse of aid money can “devastatingly undermine the very aims it is trying to achieve.” DFID denied the charges, saying in a statement that “it is wrong to suggest that British development money is used to force people from their homes.” Britain, one of Ethiopia’s largest donors, plans to spend an average of $550 million (362 million Euros) per year until 2015, including direct budgetary support to the government. About 30 percent of the Ethiopia’s budget comes from donor money, crucial in one of the world’s poorest countries, where the majority of the 91 million population earn less than two dollars a day, according to the World Bank. Human Rights Watch has accused Ethiopia of forcibly displacing thousands of people under the villagisation scheme.

South Africa

Tunisia

Zuma’s extreme makeover cost comes under fire

Rape cop sentences ‘too lenient’ says lawyer

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is coming under increasing pressure to answer questions about the amount of money spent on upgrading his rural homestead. The opposition Democratic Alliance has led calls for President Zuma’s impeachment over the expensive modifications. A damning report found that Zuma and his family unduly benefitted from almost a quarter of a billion rand in upgrades to the Nkandla homestead but the public protector, Thuli Madonsela, while questioning the president’s judgment, stopped short of finding Zuma guilty of any wrongdoing. Last week, speaker Max Sisulu responded to the Democratic Alliance’s request for a motion for Zuma’s impeachment. Sisulu told the Democratic Alliance leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, that the matter would be tabled once Zuma had submitted the report to Parliament with his comments and a “report on any remedial steps taken or intended to be taken”. But the Freedom Front Plus said the speaker would have to make an exception and would even have to call a special session of the National Assembly before the election. Parliament is in recess and is only due to sit again after the May 7 poll. Meanwhile, President Zuma has broken his silence on the report and told interested parties at an ANC election rally in Cape Town that “he would not repay the

Upgrade includes the ultimate in home media room one-upmanship, an amphitheatre!!! And you thought 4K was ultra high definition! money because he did not ask for the upgrades”. This after he previously falsely claimed that he had paid for the modifications out of his own pocket. The report relates to upgrades of a swimming pool, visitors’ centre, amphitheatre (used for staging dramatic events), cattle kraal, marquee, paving, and houses for relatives, among others. The upgrades are estimated to have cost R246 million (£14m). Further investigations revealed that, despite Zuma’s denial that he had any direct involvement in the upgrades, he had, in fact, hired his preferred architects to design the buildings.

The conviction of three police officers involved in the rape of a woman who had formerly faced charges herself following the attack have been criticised as too lenient by the woman’s lawyer.

The three officers encountered the woman and her fiancé in a car in 2012. According to the woman, two of the officers took turns raping her while a third restrained her fiancé. The third policeman then forced the fiancé to withdraw cash from an ATM. The case drew a storm of protest when the 27-year-old victim was initially charged violating Tunisia’s modesty laws. After being accused, the victim published a book entitled “Guilty of Being Raped,” under the same pseudonym she used in the courtroom. On Monday (March 31), the rapists were each handed seven year prison sentences,

while the third officer received two years for extortion. But Radhia Nasraoui, acting for the victim, called the sentences “scandalous”, adding: “They denied everything. They even had the nerve to suggest that she was making advances on them.” News of the sentences was greeted with cheers by crowds that had gathered outside the Tunis courtroom in support of the rape victim. Both the woman’s accusation against police and the ensuing public uproar would have been unthinkable under ousted autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was an early victim of 2011’s ‘Arab spring’. Concerns that women would continue to suffer under the new leadership eased with the passage this year of a constitution that guarantees equality between men and women before the law and committed the government to protecting women’s rights. 11


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GSG UK hold first executive meeting By Yemi Dipeolu

In preparation for the Nigerian 2015 election, a group of Nigerians in the UK have set up a branch of the Goodluck Support Group (GSG), which aims to garner support for President Jonathan in the hope that he will be re-elected. The group was initially set up in Nigeria to offer help and support to President Jonathan following his unexpected inauguration in 2010.

At its first executive meeting on March 27th, the GSG UK coordinator, Chief Austin Ajaero, describes the current president’s installation as “fate”, a result of President Umaru Musa Ya’adua’s death in 2010. He claims that Jonathan “never aspired for presidency” but simply wants to serve his people no matter what their background is. After launching in Nigeria, the GSG set up branches around the USA and have launched in London and various other cities around the UK.

Special Adviser to the president on political affairs, Ahmed Gulak (middle in flowing gown), with some members of the Goodluck Support Group (GSG) UK

“We are the heartbeat of Nigerians in the Diaspora,” Ajaero declared, referencing the fact that the UK has the largest numbers of Nigerians in the Diaspora. Branches will also be set up around Europe, including in Germany, which will be inaugurated on April 27th. The groups are made up of “ordinary Nigerians who believe in the goodness of the president, his hard work and his dedication”. There are over 2000 GSG groups in Nigeria alone. Despite the fact Jonathan is leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the GSG made sure that it was known that they accept members and supporters of any party, as long as they are supporters of Jonathan and believe in his vision. The group noted that “even people who are not PDP supporters have voted him.” Currently, Nigerians in the Diaspora are not legally allowed to vote - something that the GSG is campaigning for. The group hopes that, with the re-election of president Jonathan, this will change and make GSG branches outside of Nigeria even more influential.

NASS charts path for new constitution By Peter Olorunnisomo The near eternal cry for a new Nigerian constitution seems to be getting to a strategic attention and pathway if news coming from the National Assembly is anything to go by. The quest by political activists and other stakeholders representing the various sectors of the Nigerian entity has been for a new constitution albeit through a review process. The Nigerian Senate is considering a procedure for the introduction of a new constitution as part of the amendment to the 1999 constitution. This procedure will need to be considered as an amendment of the present 1999 constitution in use. If the amendment is passed, the nation’s president and the National Assembly can propose the introduction a brand new constitution. The clamour for a new one stems from the view by some Nigerians that the current constitution does not represent the wishes and aspirations of the people particularly because it was considered to have a lot of influence and considerations in it by the military government of the day. 12

Nigeria National Assembly in sitting

Even with the ongoing constitutional review in the National Assembly, there are still agitations for a new constitution. The Wednesday plenary appears to be opening a window for the introduction of a new constitution, with the presentation of some new proposals by the Senate Committee which has been working on review

of the constitution. One of the proposals is to allow the president and the National Assembly to initiate a process of producing a new constitution. As expected from a matter of such significance, intense debate on the issues ensued after the proposals were read.

It appears the debate is coming at the right time, as a National Conference aimed at charting a better future for the country is ongoing in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The three-month conference will end in June and there have been calls on the National Assembly to consider a review of the constitution to accommodate a referendum after the conference if need be. The constitution amendment is seen as a window of opportunity in the event that the ongoing conference’s decisions involve the introduction of a new constitution. Other new proposals, which were presented for amendment, include alterations of section 68 and 109 to mandate the clerk of the National Assembly and State House of Assembly to notify the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in writing within seven days of the vacancy arising from the death, resignation or vacation of seat of a member of the National or State Assembly. Another proposal is to empower INEC to deregister political parties which fail to win presidential, governorship, chairmanship of a local government Area Council or seat in the National or State Assembly. It is expected that vote on the amendments will be made at the Assembly by the 9th April, 2014.


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Nigeria heads UN Security Committee By Peter Olorunnisomo Nigeria will be tasked, on the heels of prosecuting Security Sector Reforms towards the greater collective action against terrorism and pushing for member-states of the United Nations to actively embrace the concept of co-prosperity with verve, in the light of her ascendancy as she once again assumes the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday to address certain immediate tasks which should reflect its afro-centric nature and indeed is a core concern to the matter of global terrorism. Nigeria will hold office for month by the principle of rotational presidency from Luxembourg’s Ambassador Sylvie Lucas who held office for March, 2014. This development marks Nigeria’s fifth tenure since independence that she has been elected to serve on the most powerful decisionmaking organ of the UN charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. The country was elected a non-permanent member of the Security Council on October 17, 2013 and will now serve on the Council for the period 2014-2015. Nigeria previously served on the Council from 1966-1967, 1978-1979, 1994-1995 and 2011-2012. Nigeria’s return to the Council in January 2014, after having left only in December 2012, represents one of the shortest periods in the annals of the UN that a

Joy Ogwu – Nigeria’s Permanent Rep. To the UN

member-state has spent between two terms on the Council. Diplomatic watchers think this is even more remarkable as it is occurring under the leadership of the same Permanent Representative, Ambassador Joy Ogwu. Nigeria currently holds the chair of two Security Council Committees: the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) concerning GuineaBissau, and the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa. She is one of the three vice-chairs of the Security Council Committee established

pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and one of the two vice-chairs the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1591 (2005) concerning Sudan. At a decoration of rank ceremony of one of Nigeria’s brightest military officers in December 2012 at the Nigerian House, New York, Ogwu noted that Nigeria needed reinvention as well as a sustenance of its ideology and doctrine which enabled the nation to pursue its decolonisation and African centre-piece diplomacy successfully in the years gone by.

Ogwu, herself a soldier’s daughter and former teacher at Nigeria’s military institutions, maintained that Nigerian younger officers must navigate through the waters of order and rank to speak truth to power in determining the direction of the country’s military and its ability to protect the nation’s territorial integrity, including other more specific operations for which it was set up. She said then: “NNS Aradu (naval ship) was launched in 1982. It was a geo-territorial flagship of our navy. What is the state of our capability today? Many have spoken of deterioration of facilities. How did it happen that South Africa could put a military boat near our shores over the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire and we had no response? The concept of order should not deter you from speaking truth to power. What are you going to hand over to the younger generation? Dead operational vessels? The navy is the guardian of our domestic economy. What happened to the concept of the coastal guard? You cannot build on a vacuum. According to the new UNSC president, the Nigerian military is perhaps the last bastion of discipline in the country today. With the active support of all other members of the Council, Nigeria’s Mission in New York also said yesterday that Nigeria will use its month-long presidency “to actively promote the cause of international peace and security in line with the principles of the UN Charter and the mandate of the Council.” Permanent Representative Joy Ogwu has in the past called for a reform of Nigeria’s multilateral diplomacy. The diplomat had similarly rooted for the desired situation whereby Nigeria’s troops and equipment engaged in the UN peacekeeping operations are without blemish.

Minister clarifies World Bank’s poverty rating of Nigeria The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said World Bank’s ``extreme poor nation’’ rating of Nigeria was based on the large number of poor people living in the country. Okonjo-Iweala made the clarification when she interacted with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that World Bank President, Dr Jim Kim, on Wednesday in Washington, announced that Nigeria was among the world’s extremely poor countries. The other countries that were also rated as Nigeria were India, China, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya. Kim had said ``the fact is that two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor are concentrated in just five countries: India, China,

Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo. ``If you add another five countries, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, the total grows to 80 per cent of the extreme poor,” he said Okonjo-Iweala explained that the numberof poor people in a country irrespective of the country’s level of development was the parameter used to rate Nigeria among nations with high poverty level. According to her, the phenomenon of large number of poor people is peculiar with middle-income countries which Nigeria belonged. ``Indian is a middle-income country, one of the largest economies in the world like Nigeria, is a big economy, but the largest number of poor people in the world reside in Indian, China and other places. ``Most middle-income countries, including Brazil have large number of poor people that is the reality of today and Nigeria

is no exception. ``And when the World Bank president was talking he also talked about those countries. He mentioned that India is doing well and it has a large number of poor people,’’ she said. ``So, we should not try to single Nigeria out. The phenomenon we have in Nigeria is that we are growing but there are poor people everywhere,’’ she added She advised that the focus of Nigerians now should be on the answers to the problem raised by the World Bank and what other countries were doing that Nigeria could learn from so as to improve. ``Nobody says that everything is fine but we are learning and where we make some progress like other countries, we should also acknowledge it,’’ she stressed. She said that the Federal Government was making efforts in different areas of the nation’s economy to reduce poverty and improve living standards of the people.

Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

According to her, President Goodluck Jonathan has mandated four or five of the ministers to work together to formulate a social safety programme to be implemented for the benefit of the citizens. 13


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CRIME

Murdering Gangster given three life sentences By Yemi Dipeolu

Leon Parcquette the man responsible for the murder of 18 year old aspiring footballer and friend of Rio Ferdinand, Rio Mcfarlane, has been given three life sentences following his recent trial.

Three years ago, on Monday 6th September 2012, Mcfarlane was caught in the crossfire of a feud between two rival gangs and was incidentally shot in the chest by a sub machine gun. At the time of the shooting Mcfarlane had been talking to someone in a car, and it is thought that the bullet was intended for the person inside. Prosecutor Edward Brown stated: “All the evidence demonstrates that Mr McFarlane was the unintended victim, simply caught in the crossfire and that it was another man who was the target that night. He was therefore truly in the wrong place at the wrong time.” After hearing the gunshot, nearby officers raced to the scene and found a wounded Mcfarlane. Despite the arrival of the ambulance, he unfortunately died at the scene

Victim Rio Mcfarlane It has been established that Mcfarlane, a member of the Eltham Football Academy, had no part in the feud or any other gang activity and was thus an innocent victim. Although there had been witnesses to the murder, they were for the most part uncooperative and as a result the murder investigation took much longer than it should have. Upon following Parcqutte’s activity using CCTV, finding gunshot residue on Parqutte’s jacket as well the bullet’s casing in his car, police were able to arrest him in April 2013 (following another arrest in 2010.)

The murder weapon Detective Chief Inspector Chris Le Pere of Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “Rio’s murder was witnessed but those who could provide significant evidence of who fired the fatal shot either refused to assist or gave an account but refused to complete a statement. With the co-operation of these witnesses this case would have been solved much earlier and therefore reduced the strain which the lengthy investigation has had upon Rio’s family.” Detective Constable Richard Williamson, Trident Gang Crime Command, added: “Rio’s murder is a clear example of the disregard gang members hold towards in-

Murder Leon Parcquette given 3 life sentences

nocent members of the public. Rio was neither in a gang nor involved in criminality, but he inadvertently ended up in the crossfire of a petty dispute between rival gangs. For the sake of Rio’s family, I am pleased that we have been able to bring the man responsible for his murder to justice and we hope today’s verdict offers some comfort to them.” As well as being convicted of Mcfarlane’s murder, Parcquette will also serve consecutive life sentences for the attempted murder of Omar Surgeon (the man in the car) and possession of a fire arm with intent to cause harm.

5 men jailed for robberies Five men have been found guilty after robbing and attempting to rob banks in East Ham and Croydon.

The first incident took place during the early hours of June 26th 2012 at Barclay’s Bank on East Ham Highstreet. Four masked men were spotted by a CCTV operator , watching as two guards refilled an ATM. They were seen walking single file towards the bank, however as they approached they were spotted by a guard and attempted to escape. Two of the men Myles Harris and Adrian Markland were caught on the scene, and the other two suspects Nathan ClarkeGreyson and Nathan Rose-Bennett were arrested in January 2013 following the recovery of DNA evidence linking them to the scene. The second incident took place 1100 on July 25th 2012 outside the Co-op on Lower Addiscombe Road in Croydon. Two men attacked a guard who had been loading a cash box into his security van. One of the men grabbed the guard in a bear hug forcing him to drop the box which contained around £12,000 in cash and the punched the guard in the mouth enabling them to take the box and flee to their waiting car. The police spotted the car with the cash box, as well as the suspects Nathan ClareGreyson and Mark Buchanan inside, as a result, they were both arrested. 14

Detective Constable Nick Larkey of the Flying Squad, said: “I am pleased with the sentences that have been handed down today. Were it not for the excellent work by our uniformed colleagues from both Newham and Croydon boroughs, the CCTV operator from Newham council and our colleagues from Operation Vanguard, these five individuals could have gone on to commit more violent robberies against security guards who were simply doing their job. These individuals would have got away with large sums of money. The sentences passed should act as a deterrent for those individuals considering in engaging in this type of crime.” Nathan Clarke-Greyson, (24) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob for was sentenced to two years imprisonment for the first attempt and three years imprisonment for the second, to run consecutively. Myles Harris, 23 was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob in the first incident. Adrian Markland, 21 of was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob in the first incident. Nathan Rose-Bennett, 23 was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob in the first incident.

Nathan Rose-Bennet

Myles Harris Mark Buchanan, 21of Wychwood. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, for which he was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment. He was also sentenced to eight months imprisonment, to run consecutively, for dangerous driving, to which he had pleaded guilty. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to take an enhanced driving test.

Nathan Clarke-Greyson

Mark Buchanan

Adrian Markland


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Sounds of Diaspora People of America

Halle gushes all over marriage split rumours

Lupita Nyong’o performance in 12 Years a Slave, not her award for it, has earned her a tilt at a Star Wars leading role

Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude might utter “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” at the news that Halle Berry has chosen the moment rumours start to surface of her marriage being on the rocks to gush about third husband Olivier Martinez. Berry, who is meant to be promoting her new movie “Frankie and Alice,” instead spent a lot of time in a recent interview raving about her life as a new mother and wife. “I just feel great because I have another baby,” she said. “I never thought that at my stage in life another baby -- and a baby boy -- was coming to me, so yeah, I’m blessed.” Berry and Martinez married in July 2013 and welcomed their first child, son Maceo, in October. The 47-year-old is also mom

to 6-year-old daughter with ex-partner Gabriel Aubry, Nahla. Berry and Aubry never married. As for Nahla’s role as big sister, Berry said her little girl is loving it. “It’s like one of her doll babies came alive. She gets to take care of him, feed him, change his diapers, play with him, dress him up in different clothes like five times a day because she can, so she loves it.” Berry also gushed about her man Martinez and his guest-starring role on ABC’s hit show “Revenge.” “Last week I watched his premiere and I’m going to watch it again tomorrow. I’m going to follow his little arc along and yeah, I’m very, very proud of him,” Berry said, smiling. “[The show] is kind of delicious ... and I think he’s delicious.”

Dance fans mourn the Godfather of House Dance and urban music fans worldwide are mourning the death of legendary house DJ Frankie Knuckles, who passed away this week.

Knuckles was born Francis Nicholls in The Bronx in 1955 and began DJing in New York in the ’70s with Larry Levan. After moving to Chicago in 1977, he played at the famed Warehouse – thought to have given the music genre its name - and then his own club, The Power Plant. He remained an integral part of house music throughout the decades, producing seminal records ‘Your Love’, ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ and ‘Tears’ and continuing his DJing career right through to last weekend, when he played in London. Even as the house music he pioneered captured imaginations worldwide, it didn’t take hold in America, and Knuckles spent a good part of his DJing career touring Europe and the rest of the world. He and his Def Mix crew -- the collective founded by David Morales and Knuckles’ long-time manager Judy Weinstein -- were royalty on the Spanish party island of Ibiza, where their weekly party at Pacha was a must for vacationing celebs and serious dance fans alike. In 1987 Knuckles collected a Grammy for Re-mixer of the Year.

Frankie Knuckles where he felt most at home; on the ‘ones and twos’

Despite his popularity, Knuckles never sought the limelight and few people who didn’t follow the house scene would have recognised him in a supermarket. He loved coming to the UK, where he felt his genre of music was understood more than in the more conservative US, where it was often associated with the gay scene. Even so, in 2004, Chicago named the stretch of street where the old Warehouse once stood after him and the city celebrated Frankie Knuckles Day in 2004 following a campaign led by then-Illinois senator Barack Obama. Knuckles death is thought to be related to the type 2 diabetes he developed almost a decade ago. The disease cost him a foot two years ago but even this could not keep him from the decks.

Will Oprah’s evicted mum dish the dirt? Oprah Winfrey has given her former stepmother an extension after having given her father Vernon Winfrey’s ex-wife ten days to vacate the $1.4m home the media tycoon bought the couple thirteen years ago.

Barbara Winfrey, 66, who is divorced from Oprah Winfrey’s father, now has 60 days to leave the Laurelbrooke, Tennessee home the TV talk show legend bought for her father and stepmother after they married in 2001. The house and an adjacent vacant lot were kept in the name of the limited liability company Overground Railroad, started by Oprah Winfrey. Oprah offered her former stepmother a new house elsewhere in Nashville, but Barbara stayed put, according to a report in USA Today. The property feud was sorted in court on Monday when Oprah decided to follow the judge’s recommendation and give Barbara an extension before evicting her from the house. Barbara says the offer of a new house was contingent on her having to sign a confidentiality agreement about her faOprah’s conditional offer of a new home mous former stepdaughter, which she re- was rejected, so perhaps her former stepfused to do. mother has something she wants to get off her chest, no doubt for a handsome fee

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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 NEW SOUTHEASTERN ENSEMBLE persecution comes your way, let it going through is what causes an unbeliev- need to work on as you proceed this year? James says, “Blessed is the man or wombe an opportunity for joy. What a ing world…unbelievers around us… to sit up and take notice. You can tell the size of a an who perseveres under trial, temptation or 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

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

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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

test, because when he or she has stood the test, he will receive the crown…” Jam. 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

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

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 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!

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

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, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Denmark

New hope for ‘straight A’ illegal teen migrant A relaxation in Denmark’s immigration laws may yet save a Kurdish teenager threatened with deportation back to Turkey.

Songül Yüksel, who attracted huge media attention over a previous decision to send her back to Turkey, may be able to stay after the Danish government reached a consensus with almost all parliamentary parties. A revision of the law will grant citizenship to approximately 30 children who are awaiting deportation. The Danish government wanted 18year-old Songül deported to Turkey on the grounds she cannot successfully integrate, despite the fact she speaks Danish fluently and is among the best in her high school class. She also has family in Denmark. In their response to Songül’s application, immigration authorities wrote that

she cannot “achieve such ties with Denmark that [are] the basis for a successful integration in this country.” Several politicians have challenged the case on the basis of her language skills, school marks and family ties in Denmark. According to Denmark’s Politiken newspaper, the girl has top marks in Danish social studies and literature. “I came out of high school with top marks. If this is not integration, what is integration? I do not understand,” Songül was quoted as saying. Denmark’s justice minister, Karen Haekkerup, stepped into the fray, declaring her readiness to discuss the case with other political parties to see if the law could be changed and Songül may be allowed to stay. Only the right-wing Danish People’s Party was against revision, meaning Songül can once again apply for

Mexico

a residence permit. Danish People’s Party immigration spokesperson Martin Henriksen told Politiken newspaper: “If people reside in Denmark illegally for several years, then they have violated the law.” The Liberal party, however, came out in Songül’s favour. Spokesperson Inger Stojberg said: “When you’re so good at social studies and literature, it shows that you have a keen interest in and knowledge of how Danish society is organised.” Songül herself is not yet entirely comfortable, despite the law change. “I’ve applied for a residence permit so many times and been denied each time, so I’m a little worried about whether I can get permanent residence permit. I dare not really believe it until I get it in hand,” she told Danish media.

18-year-old Songül Yüksel won’t believe she can stay in Denmark until the residence permit is in her hand

Peru

Gustavo Garibay slaying: Revellers loot ancient arrests now at 19 dig site According to Peru’s state media, police in Peru arrested up to sixty mostly Israeli youths for vandalism and partying with drugs and alcohol on an ancient archaeological site last week. The backpacking partygoers reportedly held a raucous party involving drugs, alcohol and orgies and left rubbish and drug paraphernalia at the site, which was closed to the public. The site, just outside Cuzco, has been a popular destination for young Israeli backpack-

ers looking to clear their minds after the conclusion of their mandatory National Service. Volunteers working at the site claim the young Israelis stole artefacts discovered at the ongoing dig and were in possession of cans of spray-paint. Reports on the incident were aired on state television and eight of the youths were held overnight. Strike action by Israel’s entire diplomatic corps worldwide complicated efforts to handle their cases, according to the TV reports.

Gustavo Garibay was gunned down outside his home on March 22

Nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the murder earlier this month of a mayor in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, the government said on Monday (March 31). Tanhuato Mayor Gustavo Garibay, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) was gunned down as he left his house on March 22. “The material and intellectual authors” of the murder have been arrested, special commissioner for Michoacan state Alfredo Castillo said in a Twitter post. Castillo said the firearms used to commit the murder were found in the possession of the sus-

pects, without discussing the possible motive for the killing. Garibay was almost murdered in October 2012, while Tanhuato city government secretary-general Jose Pedro Cordoba Aguirre was killed in February 2013, PAN officials said. The federal government deployed soldiers and police in Michoacan on January 13 in an effort to end the wave of drugrelated violence in the state, where civilians began arming themselves to fight the gang last year. The federal government has named high-level officials, such as Castillo, to posts in an effort to provide support to the state government.

Cuzco is on the site of the capital of Peru’s ancient Inca empire

17


Friday, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014

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News

Arts

A comedy of errors Poet of the Week: of justice? Mandla langa News

By Peter Olorunnisomo

It was an aspiration he had. Not a lofty one but certainly one to make his life, his dreams realised. The need to be the man in fulfilment of his person and the sociocultural context where his role as a father, husband, a functional person in society, and contribute his quota to the rule of law was perhaps more important than ten Ph.Ds put together.

Despite the tack of age, he would at least say life could indeed be fair and he was willing to pay something so much to have his beliefs proven. This may be a familiar line to a lot of migrants and the amount of faith put in the system: a belief of infallibility as near enough as God’s. Mr. Olalekan Adebayo, schooled in the profession of law modelled on the English system belonged to the old school of the integrity and sacrosanct virtues of law. He came into the UK and underwent training in the law profession whose precepts further instilled in him beliefs of the culture of the justice system in the land that midwife his knowledge of the subject. He got self-employed as a fee earner with the defunct Midland Solicitors between 2006 – 2007 where his earnings was waged on percentage takings. But something did go wrong too soon as he stated that he wasn’t paid his due. Unfortunately, the law office lost its principal and had to be wound up into administration by an appointee, Ms Fauzia Zafar. The exercise, he stated was done, without his liabilities appropriated to him. He affirmed that he made representations to the administrator to no avail but every sort of response he got either from her or the key officer he was attached to at Midlands solicitors pushed him to seek redress in the court. From then on, a catalogue of errors of omission, process, consideration, and even judicial decisions came to plague him with attendant costs which he described as unbelievable moreso as he was the plaintiff seeking redress for the actions which were denying him his due. He was subjected to costs which made nonsense of the claims he went to court for aside from the costs of prosecuting the case which was only limited as he applied himself directly to it as much as possible. His faith in the justice system was almost trod when in an instance of the court, he had given notice well in advance of a particular date when he would not be available in court as he had to travel to give away his daughter in marriage only to find that at the very last minute, the court had sat in 18

By Peter Olorunnisomo

Mr. Olalekan Adebayo

his absence and despite the clear definition of representation, he was fined costs for his absence. He wondered who was to blame for that. Himself; who gave notice to court, his legal team, the defence team who also was served that notice or the court? Nonetheless, he informed us that he was resigned to the only course of justice – the court because he had strong beliefs in the nobility of his calling as a solicitor, and the ethics and principles of law in the dictum that ‘he who must seek justice (equity), must come with clean hands. He pointed out that he filed an application to court to ‘strike out the defence of the parties (defendants) for their collective failure to obey court orders’ heard by District Judge Rymer on 21st December, 2010; and despite the judge giving a return date for 14th April, 2011, the order was still not complied with. In the end, he was left to rue in an application for vindication. Could it be the law was not on his side? Or better still that he was not on the side of the law? Or should it be asked, on whose side is the law? Asked what steps he had taken outside court, he claimed to have made representations to the Law Society seeking information on his redress and the processes which he considered not apt could be redressed. He also stated that he had written in despondency for some hope and intervention to the Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of Sate for Justice and Lord Chancellor. Still yet to believe all these is happening here in Britain, he refuses to be daunted and will not even suspect that the Law can have more than one face on the balance of scales. Yet his hopes hang like that of every other migrant, that justice and the procedures to it are fair unto all men as a matter of creed, unless otherwise proven. Will retired Mr. Adebayo get an institutional attention or personal legal intervention to assure not just him but everyone indeed that his trust and faith in the due processes of law are not misplaced even in the face of what he considers deviancies? Or should he be tired?

Mandla Langa was born in Stanger in Northern KwaZulu-Natal in 1950. He grew up in KwaMashu, a township on the outskirts of Durban. He is one of nine children. Among his siblings are honourable Judge Pius Langa and South Africa’s ambassador to Russia, Bheki Langa. Langa attended Gardner Memorial School and Sibonelo High School in Durban.

After completing high school, he enrolled at Fort Hare University. He was actively involved in the South African Students’ Organisation, and his studies were disrupted by political strikes at the time. He returned to Durban and worked as teacher at Nhlakanipho School. In 1976, Langa was arrested on a charge of trying to leave the country without a permit. He subsequently spent 101 days in jail. While they may have arrested Langa, his mind was free and he sharpened his pen to expose the evils of the system. He began to take his writing seriously, knowing that it served a very important role. Soon after his sentencing, he escaped to Botswana where he went into exile. In those days, at the height of apartheid, exile offered an alternative avenue to continue challenging the apartheid order through other means, by among other things, mobilising the international community. Passionately dedicated to the resistance struggle, Langa joined Umkhonto we Sizwe the same year he was released from jail in 1976. He received his training in Angola, and subsequently moved all over Africa, occupying various African National Congress posts during this period. In 1980, Langa won the Drum story contest for his piece, The Dead Men Who Lost Their Bones. In 1991, Langa was the first South African to be awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain Bursary for creative writing. During his time in exile, Langa continued to produce poetry alongside fulfilling his political duties. He pub-

lished two works in 1987 and in 1989, called The Tenderness of Blood and A Rainbow on a Paper Sky, respectively. His writing was his way of connecting with home, which he saw as his “perfect universe”. In exile, Langa obtained a journalism diploma in Hungary and London. He wanted to expose what South African media at that time was unable to expose due to state censorship. Since the country’s transition to democracy, Langa has held various prominent positions in the media industry. He was a weekly columnist for the Sunday Independent for a time, and vicechairperson of the Africa 95 Exhibition in London. Langa has also served on the board of the SABC, having initially been the programme director for television at the broadcaster. His contribution to the world of literature is as undeniable as his political contributions to the emancipation of the country. He is a prominent and awardwinning writer who continues to champion creativity in the media through the various positions that he has held over the years. Langa is currently the director to the Contemporary African Music and Arts, while concurrently serving on the board of several institutions, including the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, the Foundation for Global Dialogue and Business and Arts South Africa.


Friday, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014

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The Kanuri of Bornu

The Kanuri are the dominant ethnic group of Bornu Province in northeastern Nigeria. They are called Beri-beri by the Hausa, but seldom use the term themselves. Bornu Emirate, the major division of the province and the Kanuri homeland, has a history as a distinct political entity stretching back at least 1,100 years. It has been a Muslim emirate since the eleventh century. Bornu Emirate is bordered on the north by the Republic of Niger, on the northeast by Chad, and on the east by Cameroon.

The Kanuri language has the largest number of speakers in the Central Saharan language family spoken from northern Nigeria to the Central Sudan. Hausa, however, is the most common language spoken in northern Nigeria, and most Kanuri schoolchildren can speak some Hausa. There are approximately 2.2 million Kanuri, according to the 1967 census. They may be found in all of the major cities of northern Nigeria and in neighbouring sections of Chad and Niger. In fact, the southwestern section of the Republic of Niger is predominantly Kanuri. (A population map of Nigeria, showing the location of the Kanuri in 1963. The climate of the Kanuri region is typical sub-Saharan savannah. Rainfall averages 22 to 27 inches per year, nearly all of it falling from June to September. The Harmattan, the wind of the Sahara, blows cool from mid-December to midMarch, and then may heat up to 100 degrees. The temperature may remain there for weeks at a time, until the rains start in June. Most of Bornu is flat, except for the southwest, where the rugged Bauchi Plateau rises steeply. The eastern part, on the shores of Lake Chad, is marshy. Because of the flatness of the terrain, the summer rains create swamps, and travel becomes impossible. The soil is sandy and covered with scrub bush, scattered thorny trees, and occasional baobabs. There are also large flat surfaces of hard grey clay at the bottoms of ridges, which provide material for buildings and pottery. The Kanuri are sedentary hoe agriculturalists, although almost all of the men practice some other occupation as well. Millet is the staple food crop, followed by guinea corn (sorghum). Ground nuts (peanuts) are grown for sale. Hunting is of minor significance, but fish are an important resource to villages along the shores of Lake Chad and the Yoke River. Horses are a symbol of prestige. Most households use donkeys as draft animals. Sheep and goats are commonly kept. For beef, most rely on the pas-

Herdsman and family: a cultural occupation

toral Shuwa and Fulbe (Fulani, Peul) cattle herders, with whom they exchange grain and craft work. In a few areas, the Kanuri keep large herds of cattle. The Kanuri diet consists of large quantities of millet, served either as porridge or as dumplings. A vegetable soup, also containing meat, ground nut oil, salt, and other condiments--especially red peppers—is poured over the millet. The diet is universal, but the soup contents vary with socioeconomic class. Cooked foods are sold in the markets, and a wide range of canned foods are available to city dwellers. Goats and sheep are slaughtered for religious ceremonies. Islamic food taboos are observed. The basic socioeconomic unit is the virilocal extended family which occupies a single walled compound. Rosman (1962:74) states that while this is the ideal, neolocality is actually more common. Cohen disagrees, and this difference may reflect the different kinds of settlements or the different areas in which they worked (Cohen 1967: 49). In the case of aristocracy and royalty, the household includes slaves, concubines, and numerous retainers and adopted children, as well as the nuclear family. At this social level, the household is not basically a kin group, although the relations are patterned on kin relations, and kin terms are used. Social relations in Kanuri society are generally patterned upon those of the idealized family, the most common being the father-son/ superior-subordinate relation. A man’s prestige is based on the size of his household and the number of his patronclient relationships. His followers provide farm and household labour, support and defence, while he provides food, clothing, bride-price, and possibly a bride to each of them. Since an individual’s status increases or diminishes with that of the household, regardless of his position within it, there is a premium on loyalty to the master. The preferred marriage for a man is to a young virgin, 10 to 14 years of age. But this is a very expensive form of marriage, and most men cannot afford it as a first marriage when they are themselves usually in

their late teens to mid-twenties. The more common first marriage is to a divorcee, for whom the bride-wealth payments are much lower. Marriage between cousins also reduces the required bride-price. In case of divorce, children stay with the father. While agnatic relations take precedence for legal matters and inheritance, kin relations are recognized through both lines. Kin terms make no distinctions for agnates above the parental generation or for cousins, who are all classed as brothers and sisters. Agnates generally live together in their own wards within a city, town, or village. Although there are no corporate lineages as such, in the eyes of the law these groups of neighbouring agnates are treated as corporate units, in the sense that they are responsible for the actions of their members. People without agnates upon whom they can depend are social outcasts. The Kanuri live in “306 named and variously sized settlements, ranging from Maiduguri, the capital with its 80,000 population, down to tiny hamlets of three to four households” (Cohen 1967: 5). About twothirds of the population live in 248 villages of from 1,000 to 5,000 people. About one-quarter live in cities over 10,000. Hamlets are found about every one to two miles, and larger villages every five to six. Settlements are composed of walled compounds, make up of mud- or grassmat-walled houses, with thatched conical roofs. Farms extend in a circle from the settlement, with scattered farms, pastures, and free land beyond.

Culture

Before European contact, Bornu was a feudal state, with royal lineages, a landholding aristocracy, peasants, and slaves. Today important political leaders are in almost all cases descendants of the aristocratic lineages, but popular elections have added commoners to their ranks. When the English took control at the beginning of this century, they abolished slavery and usurped the top decision-making positions, but left most of the social system intact. In small villages, there is little or no labour specialization, and differences in wealth are slight; social classes do not exist. In towns and cities, however, social stratification is pronounced, and wealth differences may be great. New trading opportunities, Western education, and political power through election and financial support of others, have created a situation in which there are many commoners today who are as wealthy as the aristocrats. The Bornu Emirate is a political entity and is viewed as such by its inhabitants. Its present political structure is a result of the colonial era, but is still largely based on pre-colonial values, traditions, and ideology. The shehu, or king, is both the political and religious leader of the emirate. There are 21 districts, each with a District Head--usually a member of the aristocracy--and a district capital. The districts are composed of villages, each with its own headman (lawan), and of towns or cities, which may have several lawan. Villages, towns, and cities are composed of wards and surrounding hamlets. Both are run by Bullama, usually the founders or senior males. The Kanuri have been Muslims since the eleventh century. Unlike the neighboring Hausa, there are no pagan Kanuri. Law, education, and social organization are the parts of the culture that have been most affected by Islam. The Malakite version of Islamic law is administered by alkalis trained at the Kano Law School. Traditional education is in the Quran. Social organization emphasizes the importance of the nuclear family and the supreme authority of the father.

. Kanuri maidens in cultural adornment

19


Events calendar What’s On & When Friday, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Nigeria News

My critics are not honourable – Aregbesola Continued from page 10

For the middle, it may be one kilometre or two. For the high level, there is no limit where the distance of your school can be because that is the adventurous age. We never thought of any sentiment in all of this. But even at that, we are not unmindful of sentiments. In the re-classification and consolidation, we never moved pupils from Christian named schools to Muslim named schools. I never said Christian schools or Muslim schools. Since 1975, except for states that have done something about reversal, the law is still extant that there is no exclusively public Christian or Muslim school. All the public schools before 1975 were partially owned but after 1975, they were absolutely owned by the public, which is government. It, therefore, surprised us when people say we moved Muslims pupils to Christian schools. That was never done. We ensured that students were moved from Christian named schools to Christian named schools. Let me give you an example. In Iwo, we chose Baptist High School as the consolidation centre for Iwo area. We therefore moved pupils because it is named Baptist but not owned by Baptist and that name is retained. We moved pupils from United Methodist High school and St. Mary’s Catholic School to make-up the required number of students of 3,000 in Baptist High School. But because of the report against our reform, the fact that 19 female students from United Methodist High School were Hijab wearers, which the school had hitherto allowed; Six female students from St. Mary Catholic School had been allowed to wear Hijab, long before our consolidation came. We moved all of them to Baptist High School. There are, therefore, 25 female students among 3000 students in Baptist High School wearing Hijab as they were wearing in their previous schools. That was what a section of the parents in Baptist High School resisted that their school was a Christian school, that nobody must wear Hijab. Anybody can still go to inquire about what I have said because the story is still fresh. Is there anywhere in Nigeria where students are admitted to public schools on religious basis? The answer is no! Segregation on religion is never allowed in any school in Nigeria, public or private. If admission into school is not faith-based, where would I now get exclusive Muslims that I will take to exclusive Christians? There was nothing like that but it was taken as the truth. Let us ask ourselves, who is at risk, the minority or the majority? There are 25 students wearing Hijab in a school with 3000 students not wearing, who is at risk? This issue happened only in one school. For Baptist High School, Ede, the problem is that its name must not be changed from Baptist High School to Baptist Middle School. Baptist Girls High School, Osogbo, its own grouse with us is that it should remain a Girls High School, when the reality on ground does not support a single-sex school. Let us assume that there are 10 schools that have hitches in our re-classification programme out of 2000 schools. How could that constitute a threat to that reform? There are actually five and they all belong to one denomination of Christianity, Baptist. Whatever you read about it, just know that those who write about it have their reasons for such campaigns against us. We see it as a campaign of calumny

20

When I recognised the Muslim New Year, that further fuelled the allegation of fundamentalism. The Muslim New Year has always been part and parcel of Islamic celebration long before Christianity and the modern trends. To casual observers, it never matter.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (middle)

and we leave them to their conscience. Why haven’t you considered returning schools back to missionaries? Have you considered or studied why the schools were taken over from the missionaries in the first place? The schools were taken over because several years before the complete take-over, government was actually running the schools especially in Western Nigeria. I attended a Catholic primary school and government was responsible for the teachers, the grants for running the schools, additional infrastructure for the schools and it is still owned by Catholics. It was the year I was leaving school that government finally announced the take-over. The missionaries protested that they must be compensated; government agreed but let us do a balance of how much we have spent over-time for teachers, infrastructure and other investment. That was how they bowed out. In my broadcast to the state early this year, I said as we are progressing with the new school structure, spaces will be created and there will be no question of returning schools or not. It is not as if I am against return of schools, but it is the practical impossibility of it now. Until I have alternatives for the pupils, declaring that I am returning schools to the original owners would simply mean irresponsibility. So, there is no Islamisation agenda? Not at all! In the composition of my cabinet, over two-thirds of members of my cabinet are Christians. I chose them myself. More than three-quarter of permanent secretaries are Christians. All the judges in Osun, over 90 per cent are Christians, I didn’t appoint those ones. Sixteen out of 26 House of Assembly members are Christians. So, where would anyone sustain this argument of Islamisation? I struggled to be a devout Muslim. The charge is more because of my appearance and being than any reality. Rather than come out to say why we labelled you as an Islamist is because of how you appear; you wear beard, you put on this cap and others. They know they can’t say that because it is uncivilised, they now tell lies. Would you really say that these allegations emanate out of mischief? You’ve hit the nail on the head. Mischief, biased and reckless affiliation to a tendency used to judge every issue. No government in Nigeria has ever done what I initiated in religious balancing in Osun State. The day I was sworn in, I decreed that all major religions in Osun must have equal official treatment. In official functions in Osun, traditionalists, Christians and Muslims pray together. From that alone, there should not be any basis for religious affiliation allegation against me. Muslims were enraged on that decision. Christians fired the first salvo on me that I was encouraging traditional religion, that I am taking the society back. I told them the oath I took to be fair on all. Till today, no other government has joined me on this.

Are you nursing any fear about the August 9 governorship election, especially when the opposition said what brought you into the office was a judicial coup? And may be all these baggage would affect your electoral chances. There is no baggage at all. I always want the critical minds to visit Osun and assess the impact of administrations on the people. I am confident because I have the support of a majority of our people for my re-election. Why? We have served them with the way they have never been served in their history. If election is about recompense to the administration, I told you that there is no household that we have not impacted positively in this state. Let me tell you this, a man met me in a Mosque and struggled to let the Imam of that Mosque to engage me. He said he came to thank me that his son, an NCE holder, had been at home for 10 years without any form of employment. He said the day that boy came to give him something as his own share of the first salary he received as an O’YES cadet, he asked him, where he got the money. The boy said the new governor gave him employment as an O’YES cadet and that was his own share of the first salary. He said he had assumed that he will serve the boy till he died, but we changed that. See, we are affecting lives. When you enter Osun from anywhere, you will see changes in the environment. No tension, no harassment, people now sleep well. For anybody to aim at disrupting that system, that person must be super-powerful. It cannot be those who have had the opportunities for 90 months but failed to do anything for our people. As we speak, we are working on minimum of 210 kilometeres of roads in all the local governments; 7 km in each of the local governments. We have done close to 500 km of roads and doing landmark road works. I tell people that the only way the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can win is to kill a lot of people. They have to march on the blood of the people to displace us. Again, God is a God of justice; not injustice. You cannot reward good with bad and vice versa. We started campaigning for this election since the day we were sworn in. I do community work with our people every month, through physical exercise -Work to Live. You see how popular this initiative is among our people; it’s a momentous carnival. I also engage them on a quarterly basis on Ogbeni Till Daybreak, close to ten hours of critical engagement. Lately, we have introduced another one called ‘Gbangba Dekun’, where we are in each federal constituency to take questions, comments and opinions from people. If you add our people- oriented approach to governance, God be with us, I am looking at how they will do it. Jimmy Cliff had a lyrics, ‘The harder they come, the harder they fall’ What is the financial state of Osun against the insinuation that the state is in huge debt? During the campaign in 2007, I wrote it that

we are going to run government unusual. I have increased the revenue base of Osun from N300 million to N1.6 billion. I have been very prudent in the way I handle all the small-small surpluses I had that I still use it to augment whatever inadequacies I have. I had the best experience of governance particularly learning from the person I believe is the best public fund manager in Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The combination of my background and the experience I garnered from him, made it possible for me to manage the resources of the state in such a way that before we can be said to be insolvent, the entire nation must be down. The debt we have is within the capacity of the state to cope. That is why we never appeared in any of the reports of those mentioned as insolvent by concerned institutions. I want to assure that we are operating within the limits of the law of Nigeria. We are not insolvent, we are not indebted. We run projects that are un-burdensome. Our projects are done on flexible financing scheme and its paying off. We have not exceeded the threshold. The financial institution cannot be manipulated. We must be commended for taking Osun from its financial rot to even start having financial relationship with institutions. We are in the capital market. Our first appearance at the market for bond fetched us by far what we sought. Our second attempt, we were oversubscribed. These people criticising my government are bad in governance, bad in their relationships. They are not honourable! What is your take on the Rivers State crisis and 2015 election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)? On the Rivers crisis, the best answer is to use Obasanjo’s word paradoxically, I dey cry o. Why I may not laugh is that the situation is gory. On the timetable, when you are in the situation we found ourselves in Nigeria, the less you say about something, the better for you. Well, my concern is for us to have credible, free, fair and transparent election. The best thing would have been to have all the elections in one day. But whichever way it is, what is very germane is the need to give democracy full, genuine, and unadulterated expression in Nigeria. If we can give democracy genuine expression in Nigeria, there won’t be any problem. But because we know that under a free and fair process, some people cannot even smell public office, the best is to complete the process in a single day. Nigerians have demonstrated the resilience and capacity that handling five ballots cannot be a problem. They know what they want to do with the ballots. If you want it to be easy, provide different boxes for the offices. This will eliminate all collateral effects. What I am concerned with is the fairness and transparency of the process. Look at Ghana here; they were able to do a fairly free election. Nigeria has no business not to replicate the same. That is why some of us are waiting for biometric. Let it be impossible for anyone who didn’t register to vote. The day we can eliminate proxy voting, ensuring that the votes that are cast are counted and announced, that is the end of all shenanigans in all elections. We believe we will get there and we will struggle to get there.


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Friday, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Uganda plans for AFCON laurel

The Ugandan Cranes

By Agency Reporter Following a spate of performances that have not proven the expectations of the Ugandan national team in East African football, the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) has taken it upon itself to start the road map to success at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON)’s tourney.

According to reports, Uganda’s preparations to the Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations begins next Thursday (10th April 2014) as the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) is set to hold a special press conference to unveil the official ground work and plans towards securing qualification to the continental tournament.

“We shall reveal the federations’ entire work plan next week on Thursday during a special media briefing arranged”, Mujib Kasule, FUFA vice president in charge of technical issues told the media at its weekly press conference held at Mengo. 51 of the 54 African countries initially registered to be involved in the qualifiers, but the number reduced to 50 following the withdrawal of Eritrea last week. The Eritrean Football Federation informed CAF of its decision to withdraw from the 30th edition of the African Cup of Nations Morocco 2015. Consequently, the preliminary round qualifier matches between Eritrea and South Sudan were cancelled. As a result, South Sudan qualified to the next round of the qualification competition. Apart from Eritrea, the rest of the registered countries are set to take part of the qualifiers and recently, the Malawi Foot-

African players in diaspora Nigerian Peter Odemwingie scored his third goal in as many matches to give Stoke City a 1-0 English Premier League victory over Hull City at the weekend.

Compatriot Chinedu Obasi contributed a goal and an assist as third-place Schalke triumphed 2-0 against Hertha Berlin in the German Bundesliga. There were plenty of African goals in the French Ligue 1, including a stoppage-time winner from Ivorian Salomon Kalou for Lille. ENGLAND PETER ODEMWINGIE (Stoke City) Former West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City forward Odemwingie struck in the 62nd minute, seizing on a loose pass from Hull’s Egyptian wing-back Ahmed Elmohamady and surging to the edge of the box before drilling a low shot past goalkeeper 22

Steve Harper. YANNICK BOLASIE (Crystal Palace) Bolasie helped establish the tempo as Palace pulled off a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea that enhanced their chances of avoiding relegation. The Democratic Republic of Congo winger stabbed an early attempt into the side-netting at Selhurst Park and also saw a penalty appeal waved away after going down under a robust challenge by Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill. WILFRIED BONY (Swansea City) Bony played a key role as Swansea beat Norwich City 3-0 to ease their relegation fears. The Ivorian striker set up Swansea’s second goal in the 38th minute, receiving a pass from Jonathan de Guzman and backheeling it into the path of the Dutch midfielder, who lifted a shot past Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy to complete a firsthalf brace.

ball Association (FAM) President Walter Nyamilandu came out to rubbish claims that the national team had pulled out of qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. Since the CHAN 2014 exploits in South Africa, where Uganda for the second time in a row failed to get past the group stages, Uganda was engaged in an international friendly away game in Ndola in that 1 -2 loss to the former African Champions, Zambia. Since then, nothing has been mentioned about the national team apart from the ‘renewed improved’ insurance package from the sponsors, National Insurance Corporation (NIC) for the players and team officials. The team seedings for AFCON 2015 were recently released by CAF. Uganda is in pool ‘B’ alongside former champions and record holders Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Sen-

egal, Cameroon, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Uganda, Congo and Central African Republic. This implies that Uganda, currently ranked 85th by FIFA in the world will not meet teams in this pot. However, it will meet at least one team from pot ‘A’ which includes current Africa Champions Nigeria, 2013 losing finalist Burkina Faso, last edition’s semi-finalists Ghana and Mali. Others in this pot include Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, South Africa, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Zambia and Tunisia. Uganda’s other likely opponent will come from pot ‘C’ which consists of Ethiopia, Benin, Angola, Niger, Zimbabwe, Equatorial, Mozambique, Malawi, Burundi, Liberia and Sudan. Pot ‘D’ which is yet to be determined will provide the fourth opponent for Uganda Cranes.

YAYA TOURE (Manchester City) Ivory Coast international Toure helped create City’s goal in their 1-1 draw at Arsenal, with a midfield tackle on Lukas Podolski sparking a counter-attack that finished with David Silva putting the visitors ahead. His attempts to find a winning goal after Mathieu Flamini had equalised for Arsenal proved fruitless, however, with a late opportunity going begging after he was crowded out by a posse of defenders. SPAIN MANUCHO (Valladolid) Angolan striker Manucho gave Valladolid’s survival hopes a huge boost with the only goal of the game just five minutes into their clash with relegation rivals Almeria. The former Manchester United man slotted home right-footed from close range to register just his second goal of the season.

Asamoah started in his usual left-wing position for Juventus’s trip to Napoli and before Jose Callejon’s opener for the hosts had had a solid first half for the champions. In the 37th minute Asamoah was forced into a makeshift defensive position and could not stop Callejon from ghosting in behind him to deflect the ball into the net. Dries Mertens added a second on 81 minutes to seal the 2-0 win and hand Juve only their second defeat of the season. FAOUZI GHOULAM (Napoli) A week after being sent off in a defeat at Fiorentina, Ghoulam was in fine form for Rafael Benitez’s side during a 2-0 win at the San Paolo which helped spark life back into the title race. The Algerian came close to scoring when his pacy free-kick was tipped to safety by Gianluigi Buffon and later he made a potentially crucial sliding tackle to stop Mauricio Isla unleashing his shot to the right of goal. Continued on page 23

ITALY KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)


Friday, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Kamworor, Cherono win World half marathon titles By Peter Olorunnisomo

It was the moment once again for Kenya on the world stage as she dominated the World Half Marathon Championships on Saturday in Copenhagen, through compatriots Geoffrey Kamworor taking the men’s title and Gladys Cherono triumphing in the women’s race. Kamworor won with a personal best time of 59min 07sec, with Cherono taking gold with a time of 1hr 07min 28sec. Men’s reigning champion Zersenay Tadese had a disappointing race, coming fourth but helping secure team gold for Eritrea. “I’m very happy! I was feeling that I can run,” Kamworor told IAAF radio. In near-perfect weather conditions, it was a fast race and 14 of the top 20 finishers set personal best times.

diaspora Continued from page 22

Cherono (centre with compatriots after the race)

The women’s race was dominated by team tactics with Kenya filling the first five places. “It was nice, we ran as a team ... and I was not expecting to be No 1 today,” Cherono said.

Kipsang Kamworor

Durban plans to host Commonwealth Games

Durban, South Africa began foregrounding for a potential Olympic Games bid on Monday by announcing its intention to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Though South Africa has played host to world sports in football, it has never had the opportunity of inviting the Commonwealth to its enclave in celebration of the multi-sport event but Durban has indicated that it was looking to make a break for it by staging the 22nd Commonwealth Games in eight years’ time. In a similar development on the same Monday, the Canadian city of Edmonton, host to the 1978 Commonwealth Games and the 2001 outdoor athletics world championships, declared its interest in the 2022 Commonwealth games. Confirmed bids are due to be lodged in March, 2015, with formal consideration by members of the Commonwealth Games Federation taking place at their general assembly in Auckland in September, 2015. There have been concerns about the long-term viability of the Commonwealth Games, an event mainly open to countries that were once part of the British Empire, in an era where increasing importance is placed on regional championships, not to mention Olympic and world competitions. But, ahead of this year’s edition in Glasgow, CGF president HRH Tunku Imran of Malaysia welcomed the prospective bids from Durban and Edmonton by saying: “This is an exciting development for the Games movement, one that reinforces the Games position on the world’s sporting stage. “The future outlook for the Commonwealth Games is extremely positive. “Last week we saw the final visit of the Federation’s Coordination Commission to

African players in

(SASCOC) President Gideon Sam

Glasgow in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and it highlighted the excellent progress being made there.” “Glasgow will be followed by a great Games on the Gold Coast (in Australia) in 2018 and now we have the prospect of these being followed by what I’m sure will be an outstanding Games in either Canada or South Africa in 2022.” South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) president Gideon Sam said Durban’s bid, was proof of the country’s commitment to international sport. “These are exciting times for South African sport,” he said. “Over the years we have shown our ability to stage the biggest sporting events, with (1995) Rugby and (2003) Cricket World Cups being an example, plus of course the 2010 Fifa (football) World Cup. “We’ve done exhaustive background work and are now of the opinion the country is ready for a major multi-code sports event and we are proud to announce our in-

tention to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. “It’s a huge step forward in our history – and that of the African continent,” he added. The original Commonwealth Games, then known as the Empire Games, were staged in Hamilton, Canada, in 1930 while Edmonton hosted the 1978 edition – the first time the event was formally known solely as the Commonwealth Games. Were Edmonton to be chosen for 2022, it would be the fifth time Canada had hosted the Games after Hamilton (1930), Vancouver (1954), Edmonton (1978) and Victoria (1994). “Canada is the birthplace of the Commonwealth Games, with the British Empire Games held in Hamilton in 1930. We welcome the opportunity to bring the Commonwealth’s best summer athletes back to Canada in 2022,” said Dr Andrew Pipe, president of Commonwealth Games Canada.

GERVINHO (Roma) Gervinho’s pace, movement and creativity created all sorts of problems for Sassuolo, but the Ivorian failed to get his name on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Mattia Destro and Michel Bastos. After Juve’s defeat at Napoli, Roma are now 11 points off the pace with a game in hand and seven rounds remaining. GERMANY IBRAHIMA TRAORE (VfB Stuttgart) The Guinea right-winger helped relegationthreatened VfB Stuttgart race into a 2-0 lead with a sixth assist of the season before his side succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund. Traore powered through a poor tackle from young left-back Erik Durm before squaring for midfielder Martin Harnik to score Stuttgart’s second after only 19 minutes with Dortmund’s defence in disarray. CHINEDU OBASI (Schalke 04) The Nigeria international took advantage of the absence of Ghana’s Kevin Prince Boateng to impress with a goal and assist from the right-wing in Schalke 04’s 2-0 win at home to Hertha Berlin. Obasi put Schalke in front after 16 minutes, then supplied Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with the final pass to add their second goal just after the interval. JACQUES ZOUA (Hamburg) The Cameroon international gave Hamburg an early lead, but was powerless to prevent them suffering a 10th defeat in 16 league games as they lost 3-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach to edge closer to a historic first relegation. The 22-year-old headed home a free-kick on 28 minutes. FRANCE SALOMON KALOU (Lille) Ivory Coast international Kalou came off the bench to prod the ball home in the 92nd minute to snatch three desperately needed points for Rene Girard’s Lille in a dramatic 1-0 victory over Guingamp. The match appeared to be heading for a goalless draw before Kalou popped up inside the six-yard box to knee the ball home following a corner. MAX GRADEL (Saint-Etienne) Ivorian Gradel scored with 16 minutes left to give Saint-Etienne a 2-1 derby win over Lyon and keep them three points behind Lille, and the final Champions League berth, with seven matches left in a tense Rhone derby at Lyon. CEDRIC MONGONGU (Evian) Democratic Republic of Congo defender Mongongu’s 86th-minute penalty consigned his former club Monaco to a surprise 1-0 defeat away to Evian. The 24year-old sent goalkeeper Danijel Subasic the wrong way from the spot after Ricardo Carvalho blocked a Cedric Barbosa shot with his arm. 23


Friday, 4 April – Thursday, 10 April 2014 ISSUE 525

WWW.AFRICANVOICEONLINE.CO.UK

Kamworor wins World half marathon title

SEE PAGE 23

Valcke declares FIFA support for African football

Jerome Valcke – FIFA Sec-General

By Peter Olorunnisomo

FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, speaking in Johannesburg on Tuesday stated that the world governing body will support CAF member associates through and through in a bid to grow the game of football on the African continent.

He said this at the opening of a threeday FIFA workshop which started in Johannesburg on Tuesday and attended by presidents, secretary-generals and technical directors from 27 countries. The FIFA Secretary-General reiterated that the world football governing body is fully behind CAF. “The Confederation of African Football is a very important member of FIFA and we will do everything to support CAF’s as-

sociate members. He added that ‘we want countries within CAF to professionalise teams, negotiate good deals and have strong grassroots development structures. That is the basis of any strong national team.” He encouraged that Africa should aim to win the World Cup in the near future. Commenting on the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil, the FIFA Secretary-General expressed convicted optimism it will be a massive success because Brazil is the land of football. At the same event, Safa president, Danny Jordaan noted that this seminar was a watershed congregation for African football. “We have just recently held a successful 2014 Chan tournament in addition to the Afcon in 2013 and the 2010 World Cup. Now we need to take our football to the next level. “This seminar seeks to find common chal-

lenges and common opportunities for African countries. If we are to take our game to the next level, we need to put emphasis on infrastructure development and commercial programmes. Football has become big business and with such structures in place, it will automatically become a professionally-run business,” said the Safa president. “This seminar needs to underscore good corporate governance and develop coherent strategic business plans. We need to emphasise the need for good governance of the game in Africa. That is the only way we can build a new future for African football. This seminar should go a long way in creating new benchmarks for Africa,” he added. Cosafa president and CAF vice-president, Suketu Patel said the seminar was a defining moment for African football. “Africa is a waking giant in every aspect. Fifa has invested half a billion in African

football, whether through the Goal Project, Win with Africa or the World Cup legacy but, now Africa needs to plough back to ensure we walk the talk. “Club licensing is a prerequisite if our soccer is to have credibility, accountability and transparency. The new club licensing is the bedrock of football development in every country and we need to aggressively implement this on the African continent,” said Patel. The three-day Fifa workshop will end on Friday

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