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ISSUE 476

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 Prime Minister celebrates Christian faith with Easter reception

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President Jonathan takes economic diplomacy to Equatorial Guinea SEE PAGE 9

SEE PAGE 12 Operation Hawk - Raids on drugs dealers & cannabis farms

SEE PAGE 14

Axe falls on struggling UKBA By Alan Oakley

Home Secretary Theresa May has made a surprise announcement that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is to be scrapped just five years after its inception and a year after a radical restructure. Speaking in the House of Commons, the Home Secretary said the agency will be replaced on April 1 by an immigration and visa service and a separate law enforcement organisation. Both will report directly to Home Office ministers. The announcement comes following heavy criticism over a massive backlog of immigration cases. The Parliamentary Ombudsman formally chided the agency for “consistently poor service”, having upheld 97 per cent of referred complaints against its decisions in the first nine months of 2009-10. On Monday, a group of MPs warned it would take the UKBA 24 years to clear the backlog of asylum and immigration cases the size of Iceland’s population. The Home Affairs Select committee launched a scathing attack on former UKBA chief Lin Homer, now the head of Britain’s tax office, for her “catastrophic leadership failure”. It was revealed in November that the UKBA incorrectly reassured MPs that “extensive checks” were regularly being carried out on missing immigrants. Because the agency said it could not find the individuals, it was able to move the cases into an archive and therefore clear its backlog before a deadline last year. The failures have led to asylum seekers and migrants who would otherwise have faced

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removal from the country gaining rights to remain in the UK. The agency was so overwhelmed with work that at one point more than 150 boxes of post, including letters from applicants, MPs and their legal representatives, simply lay unopened in a room in Liverpool. In February last year, May separated out a UK Border Force from the agency following a series of embarrassing passport check gaffes in 2011. During the busy summer months of that year, immigration border guards had been told to ignore biometric chips on the passports of noneurozone citizens. The blunder led to UK Border Force chief Brodie Clark being axed. Referring to that decision to create a separate enforcement arm, the home secretary said the improvement in performance of the Border Force since the split showed the benefits of having smaller, more focused structures. She said: “But the performance of what remains of UKBA is still not good enough. The Agency struggles with the volume of its casework, which has led to historical backlogs running into the hundreds of thousands. “The number of illegal immigrants removed does not keep up with the number of people who are here illegally. And while the visa operation is internationally competitive, it could and should get better still.” Mrs May said: “UKBA was given agency status in order to keep its work at an arm’s length from ministers. That was wrong. It created a closed, secretive and defensive culture.”

Theresa May: UKBA “created a closed, secretive and defensive culture”


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Have You GotNews For Us Newsdesk: 020 7274 3933

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Life in the UK test

From Monday 25 March 2013, anyone intending to take the Life in the UK test will have to answer questions based on the new handbook ‘Life in the UK - A Guide for New Residents’, which was published on 28 January 2013. The new test will include questions on all sections of the new handbook, meaning that candidates will be tested on their knowledge of history and the law. The Life in the UK test lasts for 45 minutes; it is computer based comprising of 24 questions. Applicants will need to get a minimum of 18 correct answers to pass. The test is administered by learndirect

Publisher and Editor-In-Chief Mike Abiola Editorial Board Adviser Dr Ola Ogunyemi News Editor Emmanuel Urhiofe Sub Editor Alan Oakley Sports Editor Abiodun Teriba Assist. Sports Editor Olubunmi Omoogun Arts Editor Golda John Columnists Michael Adekoya Rasheed Ogunlaru Photo Journalist Isaac Adegbite Graphic Designer Alvin Brown Legal Adviser Godwin Okri London Office: Unit 7 Holles House Overton Road London SW9 7AP

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African Voice is published by African Voice UK.

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News

Police failing Uganda’s defiled children Officials of the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) has expressed concern over police inaction in a number of cases of “child defilement”

Ruth Birungi, the organisation’s Acting Coordinator for Research, Information and Policy Advocacy told a news conference that since January, ANPPCAN had received and supported 67 cases of defilement in 10 districts where they operate. Birungi cited last year’s police report, which indicated that 742 cases of defilement had been reported. Between 2009 and 2011, police figures showed that at least 628 children had been defiled per month, 145 per week and 21 per day in Uganda. Birungi says, from their research, many cases have not been addressed by police due to fear of shame by those perpetrators who are close to the children like close relatives and teachers, among others and those who hold power in the community instead of protecting the children. Spokesman Marlon Agaba said: “Strong verdicts should be handed down to the criminals by courts to act as a restraint to other would-be defilers.” Agaba added that despite a ban by the Ministry of Health on medical practitioners charging defilement victims medical fees, many continue to charge even the most destitute victims. Birungi added that legislation alone could not prevent defilement and called for stronger community child protection structures across the country. She urged the government to introduce compulsory free birth registration to allow easy establishment of the age of defilement victims and perpetrators to enhance chances of successful pros-

ecution. In Arua a deputy teacher of a secondary school is on remand for defiling a 17 year old pupil. Many cases of defilement are lost due to lack of proof of the age of the victims, she noted. She told journalists that despite the fact that Uganda’s Penal Code Act section 2129 was amended to include tough sanctions like the death penalty for the perpetrators of defilement, judicial officers continue to hand out light sentences. Ugandan law defines defilement as the act of having sex with a girl under 18, while rape is having sex with a woman without her consent, usually by force. Often defilement involves relatives, married men or professional people in the community. Worse still, some men rape or defile their own daughters. Rape and defilement can lead to infertility, trauma, contraction of HIV/AIDS, terminal illness or even death. In fact, defilement is a capital offence in cases where the victim has been infected with HIV/AIDS virus or is very young and has been defiled by a relative ─ categorised as aggravated defilement. Those defiling children aged 14-18 get prison sentences if convicted. Peter Georges of the St Nicholas Uganda Children’s Fund, writing about child poverty in Uganda, says defilement of school-age girls is common. “Rape is always a danger as girls travel to and from school through risky neighbourhoods at dawn and dusk. Defilement is not always involuntary. “Because of extreme poverty, many girls are tempted by the promise of a little money to buy food or clothing. The most at risk are girls in the upper primary classes (P/5-P/7). Some are well into their teens by the time they reach sixth or seventh grade because

Struggling UKBA gets the chop Continued from front page

The Home Secretary was particularly scathing about the UKBA’s “inadequate” IT systems, calling them “incompatible” and unreliable. “They require manual data entry instead of automated data collection, and they often involve paper files instead of modern electronic case management,” said May. “So I have asked the Permanent Secretary and Home Office Board to produce a new plan, building on the work done by Rob Whiteman, UKBA’s chief executive, to modernise IT across the whole immigration system.” In a leaked memo, the head of the Home Office, permanent secretary Mark Sedwill, told staff they will “still be doing the same job” despite new reforms. In 2012, the National Audit Office found that a £385m computer system being built for the UK’s Border Agency and Border Force to process immigrants’ paperwork was a year behind schedule and £28m over budget. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper told MPs: “The home secretary is right to

say there are problems at UKBA and it has had a series of problems over many years. “And we would have some sympathy with your proposals but the trouble with the proposals is you are simply refusing to recognise problems around enforcement and effectiveness at UKBA have got worse and not better on your watch.” She said: “We’ve been here before. You have already split the UKBA once. But what in fact has happened since last year’s split? Queues at the border went up - Border Force presided over some of the longest queues our airports have ever seen. And things got worse at the Border Agency too the select committee report showed a 20% increase in the backlog of asylum cases in three months.” UKBA was created on April 1, 2008 by the merger of the Border and Immigration Agency, UK Visas and parts of HM Revenue and Customs, following Labour Home Secretary John Reid’s 2006 declaration that the Home Office’s immigration directorate was “not fit for purpose”.

their academic progress was delayed due to lack of school fees.” Georges argues that the cost of secondary school is prohibitive for most families and these girls see no hope for their future. This then makes them vulnerable to the advances of unscrupulous men. The St Nicholas children Fund is a non-government organisation providing orphans and vulnerable children with education, nutrition and healthcare. In Uganda, many parents choose to negotiate with those suspected of defilement because of material gain. The negotiations are usually illegal, but the high rates of illiteracy linked with poverty in rural communities lead residents to ignore legal proceedings.

Frail Mandela back in hospital

Nelson Mandela is reported as steadily improving from a bout of pneumonia. The former president was admitted late on March 27 owing to a “recurrence of his lung infection”, according to a statement issued from the office of President Jacob Zuma. Mr Zuma urged fellow South Africans and the worldwide community to pray for the former leader. The tone of this initial presidential statement raised serious concern worldwide that South Africa’s first democratically elected president might not survive this latest health crisis but a statement issued almost one week after his emergency admission informed a tense media that Mr Mandela had been visited by his family and continues to make progress. He was responding well to treatment and was much better than when admitted to hospital, it said. ‘Madiba’, as Mr Mandela is affectionately known, was most recently in hospital in early March and has been hospitalised several times in the past year for tests and treatment. In recent years, he has been unfit to attend a number of events, including the 2010 football World Cup and has appeared increasingly frail when he has been seen in public. Last December, Mr Mandela spent three weeks in hospital being treated for a lung infection. While there, he had gallstones removed and earlier in the year he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for tests due to an “abdominal complaint”. Mr Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994 after being released from prison four years earlier, having served 27 years of a life sentence for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the then white-minority apartheid. He decided not to seek a second term in office in 1999 and retired from political life aged 80.


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News UK set out new measures to tackle illegal migration On Monday 25 March the Prime Minister David Cameron outlined plans for a cross-Government immigration system that seeks to weed out scroungers.

The Prime Minister said that immigration continues to have huge benefits to our nation and we can be proud of how open and diverse we are. He explained that he believes a sensible debate will help ensure that everyone who comes here pays their way and gives something back. Mr Cameron said: “While I have always believed in the benefits of immigration I have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled. “As I have long argued, under the last government this simply wasn’t the case. Immigration was far too high and badly out of control. Net migration needs to come down radically from hundreds of thousands a year to just tens of thousands. “And as we bring net migration down so we must also make sure that Britain continues to benefit from it. That means ensuring that those who do come here are the brightest and the best the people we really need with the skills and entrepreneurial talent to create the British jobs and growth that will help us to win in the global race. “And it also means ensuring that the system is fair so that we support the aspirations of hard working people who want to get on in life. This is about building that aspiration nation I have been talking about.” Cutting access to benefits for non-UK nationals after 6 months The current Home Office Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations state that someone who enters the UK in order to seek employment means they have a ‘right to reside’ as a job seeker. This means they can claim Job Seekers Allowance and other benefits. To ensure people cannot claim benefits indefinitely, in early 2014 we will create a statutory presumption that after 6 months an EEA national can no longer retain their status as a job seeker or retained worker and continue to claim benefits, unless they can demonstrate they have actively sought work throughout that period and have a genuine chance of finding work. Currently some immigrants are exploiting a loophole, which allows them to claim contributory benefits based on their National Insurance contributions despite not having the right to work in the UK. This can happen when someone has worked in the UK and paid NI but then overstayed their visa. Closing this loophole will prevent payment of con-

Crack down on illegal immigration Key enforcement organisations will be brought together to form more local and national taskforces to target hotspots of high employment and housing abuse and there will be tougher action on rogue businesses who employ illegal workers by doubling maximum penalties to £20,000. Biometric residence permits will make it easier to identify illegal immigrants.

Minister of State for Immigration

tributory benefits to those with no right to work in the UK at the point of their claim. We will strengthen the test people have to pass to see if they are eligible to claim income related benefits – the Habitual Residence Test. There will be an increase in the number and stronger range and depth of questions asked. Stopping ‘something for nothing’ public services The Government will introduce an expectation on councils to introduce a local residency test in determining who should qualify for social housing. This would mean someone would have to live in an area for say 2 or 5 years before they could even go on the waiting list. This will stop someone from turning up and immediately gaining access to social housing. To ensure UK nationals are protected when they are moving for genuine reasons – for example for work or because of family breakdown – local authorities will have the ability to set exceptions (e.g. in relation to work mobility, armed services personnel, for people escaping domestic violence etc).

This will ensure we can reclaim costs when people are treated by the NHS.

Rogue landlords Government will introduce a new legal requirement for landlords to check the migration status of new tenants, so they are not renting to an illegal immigrant.  Landlords/letting agents will be expected to demand suitable evidence from tenants (passport/valid visa/Biometric Residence Permit) and to keep a record. For UK nationals proving their status will be straightforward – simply showing a passport, driving licence or birth certificate in most cases. Rogue landlords who flout the rules and fail to take sufficient checks will face tough consequences, which could include a fine.

Stopping health tourism Government wants to stop the expectation that our health service is free to the entire world and we will take new steps to ensure the NHS can claim back money that is owed for NHS treatment provided to those not entitled to it. We will look to introduce stricter charging or a requirement for non-EEA temporary migrants to have private health insurance in order to access NHS care. Countries like the US and Australia already expect people to have insurance – we want to do the same. 3


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Opinion

Is Religion A Challenge to Development in African States?

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By Peter Olorunnisomo

had attended a day of seminar papers organized by the Royal African Society recently and I must confess that the papers were well themed and the focus being the role of religion in the developmental scheme in Africa couldn’t have been any less significant. But what would have pleased me the most was to get the ears of the agents of development in public service to be stung by the opinions of stake-holders who thronged the venue for a piece of instrumental take-away. For reasons of time at the event, opinions suffered limited airing rather than for the lack of it. But it was, indeed, for such a rousing prognosis of the situation that I walked away knowing I had something, possibly, at variance with other opinions to say. As experiences were re-canted, I wondered if we were talking, indeed, about Africa where the notion of religion was more than a matter of choice. In the west, you could do or think as you liked, and you were yet comfortable as the State had infrastructure to enable you, such that if you were even lazy, it was budgeted for. Africa presented a façade to those that looked at her strictly from the map. There was absolute need to visit her many crowns and crannies. One needed to understand the thinking, the philosophy of the peoples, and the socio-political terrain that each nation-state and state-nation was built on. An ideal country would be the plural societies of a country like Nigeria where the battle ground for belief is still fresh with tragic stories for over a hundred years, to say the least, in the face of westernization thrown at her. People have gone the way of education to escape, aspire, and re-incarnate themselves only to be lost somewhere on the bridge of ‘development’ if they ever stop. They find that they have left a lot of others behind and it has now become late to carry them along. The immediate consequence is a shift in value judgments and priorities. Like the Malthusian, development to one is arithmentic and to the other geometric. Development in the west was founded on philosophies which were tested; and shaped not only the peoples’ thinking but also what has become a way of life. Whether it serves morality, truth, order, technology, politics, ethics, and social structures positively or negatively is rendered inconsequential by the constitutional recognition and pronouncements of individual and governmental responsibilities. For the African, the perennial presence of poverty, political irresponsibility, and the confusion occasioned the clash of western and cultural philosophies leaves most people at dagger point. For

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Louis Farrakhan

Desmond Tutu

Anthony Cardinal Okogie

instance, some cultures believe that a gift is a gift merited or unmerited and does not require to be accounted for. Therefore what kind of help can the London or Paris Club offer as loan when you need to pay first the interest rates before the principal? What kind of good- natured support do you give when grants are given instalmentally and you make a condition of accounting for the last one before you give another? Whereas this philosophy is

akin to western cultures, it is not understood in the same perspective in Africa. A simple principle allowing you to state claim as your brother’s keeper prevails on any one to take on say a single child or two at most for care-taking rather than converging them in a motherless babies home. The parameters of care and adoption at this level are almost the same because one will not be allowed to take on a child if he or she is not seen to be financial able to give support. While the African support has a cultural mechanism in social class stratification and hierarchy, the western condenses authority in a few whose job will be to probe an evaluation of competence. In essence, religion in Africa is primordial and explains virtually everything and informs on them as well. But because culture supports the African religions, people are torn between which to comply with or rather settle for a admixture that supports one’s goal(s). It is thus a tool to compel, reason, induce, command, explain, and plan one’s individual or corporate future. Culture therefore recommends expectation and role definition. It is in the face of this that we find that a number of African office holders in the democratic enterprise yet seek the acquiescence and fellowship of religious leaders of whatever strata and play on belief mechanisms to influence core issues like elections. Because of the social inadequacies, the

people are easily mobilized psychologically into compliance because of the cultural structures on the ground. Thus you find reverence significantly displayed to persons with cultural offices more than their westernized counterparts. Significantly therefore, if you were to attempt to empower religious leaders to aid development in a typical city, you would be contesting against the different religious principles, followerships, religious identities, and there relationship with your system of social values and therefore what you will term development. Development therefore finds realization in many shades, all preponderant in the levels of socio-political realities of the governed. The principles of developmental stimulation and support often times negate the reality of societal pluralities such that allow for an inter-play of sectarianism, tribalism, regionalism, nepotism, and favouritism. Meritocracy is thus under-valued. Politicians and technocrats who should establish objective standards of development often fall far short of expectation for so many obvious reasons. By complication therefore, development does not have the same cloak and appearance but only become relevant and achieved given the circumstance of execution whether as a policy or provision. Rather unfortunately, the only standard measurement for positive development rests in the hands of those who are able to hold both the ‘bread and knife’. And these must meet the governmental structures at their various points of role responsibility. Otherwise, as the assembly pointed out, ‘we in the diaspora must do what we can and be seen to be doing if we are to be supported’. But do the people in Africa believe in you?


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Tourism

The African Colours of Brazil The Lagos Black Heritage Festival 2013 opened on Monday 25 March in an explosion of colours and pageantry, music and masquerade parade, with a foretaste of what to expect for a whole week at the Freedom Park, near City Hall, Lagos. Mr. Disun Holloway the Honourable commissioner for tourism and inter-governmental relations in the state represent-

ed His Excellency, Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) opening remarke to declare the festival open. The two festival’s ambassadors the Erelu of Lagos and Prof Elisa Larkin Nascimento wife of the late AfroBrazilian playwright and revolutionary activist being celebrated at this festival Abdias Nascimento were among other special guests present.

Aduke Gomez, Foluke Michael Festival Secretary, Hon. Husitode Dosu Executive Chairman Badagry Local Government and Mr. Ashamu Fadipe Permanent Secretary Tourism

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Inspired by the spirit of convergence for which Lagos remains pre-eminent, the festival celebrates African creativity in a carnivalesque tradition of contemporary dance, music, painting and photo exposition, drama, design and fashion display, beauty pageant, international symposium, film and video fiesta and other artistic and intellectual offerings, both inter-state and international. To broaden and deepen the knowledge of Africa and Africans of Lagos and the festival both historically and contemporaneously within the context of recall and celebration, the carnival was organized around the theme The Black in the Mediterranean Blue, with a special focus on the city’s relationship with Brazilian, as part of black African presence in the Mediterranean, a series that is in its second year. Last year, the Italian connection took centre stage, by way of a remapping of Africa’s connection the Mediterranean countries and how it impacted on the continent and its Diaspora presence. Beginning with a cultural exploration in 2012 tagged The Italian Connection, the 2013 edition is the Year of Brazil and

it focuses on Bring Back Brazil. According to the festival consultant, Prof. Wole Soyinka, the festival maps out how Nigeria and Brazil influence each other. While speaking with African Voice at Freedom Park, Lagos, Soyinka disclosed that among other things, the festival is to celebrate African creativity, noting, “The series is designed to expose African culture through the Mediterranean Blue. We hope to bring back history in affiliation with Africa, Nigeria, and indeed, Lagos. “After Italy and the Horn of Africa in the series - The Black in the Mediterranean Blue - comes the turn of Portugal, once a great European maritime nation, and the first European nation to establish diplomatic relations with an African counterpart - the Benin Kingdom. This historic encounter degenerated into participation in the infamous slave trade, but it also resulted in the greatest ‘rainbow’ nation in the world - The Republic of Brazil!” Explaining reasons why Brazil is in focus, the literary giant pointed out that “our children do not understand why we have people who practice Nigerian cultures in Brazil; all they know is that in


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Tourism Brazil they have blacks who are descendants of slaves from Nigeria. They are astonished to see traditions of the Yoruba on streets of places such as Salvador during carnivals. “Brazil, inevitably, once a Portuguese colony, became an irresistible magnet to us. There, the African identity, emotion runs deep, rendered vibrantly in cultural retentions in forms of worship, largely of the orisa of the Yoruba (the candomble) in performance modes, cuisine, language, attire and music. Such was the enthusiasm from Brazil that it became necessary to transform the festival into a two-part celebration, so as to provide more time for the participation of the Afro-Brazilian Diaspora.”

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£31 million injection for new nuclear technology in the UK The nuclear industry received a boost today as Business Secretary Vince Cable announced major new funding awards that will enhance the supply chain and increase opportunities to commercialise new technologies in the sector.

The funding will support 35 projects across the UK in developing new technologies for the construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants. This will bring together over 60 experienced organisations including Laing O’Rourke, Sheffield Forgemasters and EDF. They will work alongside innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and universities. The £18 million joint funding between the Technology Strategy Board, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is expected to leverage in an additional £13 million making the total value of the projects £31 million. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “There are huge global opportunities that the UK is well placed to take advantage of in the nuclear industry. Our strong research

Vince Cable, Business Secretary

base will help develop exciting new technologies that can be commercialised here and then exported across the globe. “The Technology Strategy Board is playing a vital role in helping UK businesses realise their potential and compete on a bigger scale. There are many innovative SMEs across the nuclear sector and this joint funding reinforces the government’s commitment to a nuclear strategy that will create jobs and growth.” The announcement has been made alongside the publication of the government’s nuclear industrial strategy, which sets out

the objectives to develop a strong and sustainable nuclear industry in the UK. Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board Iain Gray said: “Delivering a new fleet of nuclear power stations to help meet the country’s energy needs involves a number of highly-sophisticated and leading edge technologies. The support announced today will help to develop capabilities in this country. That is good news for the economy because it will help us build a world-leading technology base that can provide solutions around the world as well as here in the UK.” One of the projects to receive major investment is Bristol-based OC Robotics. They have received almost £6 million in funding – the largest ever grant given to an SME by the Technology Strategy Board. The company is developing a new technology called LaserSnake. It is a robot- controlled laser cutting tool that can be used underwater or above ground in confined and hazardous spaces. It could play a key role in nuclear decommissioning projects to dismantle vessels, support structures and pipe work. The new funding will help OC Robotics to develop the technology to a full demonstration project which could lead to the UK being a world leader in this technol-

ogy. The technology also has the potential to be used across other sectors including the military and construction industries. Dr Adrian Simper, the NDA’s Strategy and Technology Director, said: “We were extremely pleased with the level of interest in decommissioning projects from both established organisations and smaller, newer businesses. Our decommissioning strategy focuses very much on developing innovative technologies through collaborative working, while joint funding initiatives such as this increase the investment potential and provide much broader opportunities for interested partners. “We also welcome the comprehensive nature of the subject areas, covering new build as well as decommissioning, which will enable the sharing and transfer of technologies between the different nuclear sectors.” By 2030 it is forecast that globally there will be £930 billion investment in building new reactors and £250 billion in decommissioning those that are coming off-line. The nuclear new build programme in the UK alone could generate up to 40,000 jobs at its peak. The nuclear industrial strategy sets out the basis for a long-term partnership between government and industry to exploit those opportunities.

NISSAN LAUNCHES PRODUCTION OF 100% ELECTRIC CAR IN UK Nissan is celebrating the dawn of a bold new era in European car manufacturing with the official start of production of the new and improved, 100% electric Nissan LEAF. This new Nissan LEAF, incorporating more than 100 updates, is now rolling off the line at the company’s record-breaking Sunderland Plant, using advanced lithiumion batteries manufactured in Nissan’s new UK Battery Plant. Today marks the culmination of four years of preparation at the plant and a previously announced £420m investment by Nissan. Together the Battery Plant and Nissan LEAF production are supporting jobs for more than 2,000 people in the UK car industry, including more than 500 directly at Nissan. Nissan’s continuing innovation means the world’s best-selling electric vehicle is now even better. The new LEAF for 2013 has more than 100 updates aimed at making Nissan’s zero-emissions technology accessible to even more European drivers, including an increased driving range of 199km (123 miles) and the ability to recharge in half the time of the first-generation LEAF. UK Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron said: “Nissan’s record breaking year last year is a success story for UK volume car manufacturing and demonstrates how our automotive industry is competing 8

and thriving in the global race. I warmly welcome the production of the new electric LEAF model and battery plant at Sunderland. This £420 million investment, backed by Government, is supporting over 2,000 jobs in our automotive sector including more than 500 at Nissan in Sunderland, helping people in the area who want to work hard and get on. “The Government has committed £400 million to make the UK a leading market for ultra low carbon vehicles. Nissan’s announcement shows the confidence the company has in the skills-base and the business environment in the UK and that the UK is open for business.” This historic launch event comes as Nissan Sunderland Plant celebrates making more than seven million units since its opening in 1986. Last year it produced 510,572 vehicles and so became the first UK car factory ever to make more than half a million cars in one year. Nissan’s Executive Vice President Andy Palmer celebrated the official start of electric vehicle production with the 6,100 staff now employed on site. “Today’s announcement progresses Nissan’s unwavering commitment to zero emissions motoring. “The Nissan LEAF is our most technically advanced car yet and the launch of this new model, built along with its batteries in Sunderland, is a huge boost not only for the plant but for British manufacturing.


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President Jonathan takes economic diplomacy to Equatorial Guinea In continuation of the Federal Government’s efforts to boost economic and trade relations between Nigeria and neighbouring countries, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan embarked on a two-day state visit to Equatorial Guinea on Thursday, March 21, 2013.

A statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said President Jonathan in the course of the visit hold talks in Malabo with President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on various issues of mutual interest to Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea including the enhancement of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, exploitation of oil and gas resources, and the enhancement of developmental cooperation between both countries. President Jonathan will also lead a delegation including Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, Honourable Cyril Egwuatu, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Edem Duke, the Minister of State (Defence), Erelu Olusola Obada and the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed to formal bilateral talks with the Government of Equatorial Guinea. It is expected that new agreements on the

Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea strengthening of economic relations and developmental cooperation between both countries will be concluded and signed before the end of the visit on Friday. President Jonathan will also meet with Nigerians resident in Equatorial Guinea before returning to Abuja. Before departing Nigeria, President Jonathan in a condlolense message to Nigerians on the death of Prof. Achebe. President Jonathan says Achebe’s immense

President Goodluck Jonathan

patriotism and sincere commitment to a better Nigeria will be greatly missed President Goodluck has received with immense sadness, news of the passing away of Nigeria’s globally acclaimed writer, scholar, tutor, cultural icon, nationalist and artist of the very first rank, Prof. Chinua Achebe. President Jonathan joins Prof. Achebe’s family, his friends, colleagues, past and present students, admirers and all who have

Nigeria loses Two giants in seven days Peter Olorunnisomo

Chinua Achebe

Professor Chinua Achebe is a world renowned writer, most noted for his novel Things Fall Apart, which sold over twelve million copies worldwide and brought to the world issues that showed that the African world was misrepresented in the West. Achebe wrote several novels including Anthills of the Savannah, No Longer at Ease, and There Was a Country, which was released into the market last year. He died on 21st March 2013 at the age of 82 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where he had been living since 1990 after an automobile accident left him paraplegic. His most notable book, Things Fall Apart,

is known to have traversed the world and has been translated into over 50 languages. Though he never won the Nobel Laureate, Achebe was regarded as one of the foremost writers to emerge from Nigeria and Africa and helped shape the future of African writing about Africa. He was on the Biafran side during the civil war of the late 1960’s in Nigeria and his last work gave accounts of his experience. His publisher, Penguin books, speaking through one of its directors, Simon Winder, described him as an ‘utterly remarkable man’. Nelson Mandela was also known to a fan of the writer.

Chief Oluwole Awolowo Chief Oluwole Awolowo was, until his death, the only surviving son of the late doyen of Nigerian liberation and patriarch of Nigeria’s independence, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was also the premier of Western Nigeria at the time. Chief Oluwole Awolowo died at the age of 70 years at the

learnt indelible lessons of human existence from his award winning works of literature in mourning the legendary author. As he mourns however, the President is consoled by the knowledge that Prof. Achebe will live forever in the hearts and minds of present and future generations through his great works which brought him enduring international fame and countless honours. President believes that Prof. Achebe’s frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed at home in Nigeria because while others may have disagreed with his views, most Nigerians never doubted his immense patriotism and sincere commitment to the building of a greater, more united and prosperous nation that all Africans and the entire black race could be proud of. He recalls that with maturity and global stature, Prof. Achebe fearlessly spoke the truth as he saw it and became, as he advanced in age, a much revered national icon and conscience of the nation who will be eternally honoured for his contributions to national discourse as well as the immense fame and glory he brought to his fatherland. On behalf of himself, his family, the Federal Government and all Nigerians, President Jonathan extends heartfelt condolences to Prof Achebe’s family. He prays that God Almighty will receive Prof. Achebe’s great soul and grant him eternal rest from his outstanding earthly labours. Wellington Hospital, St John’s Wood, London on Wednesday, 27th March 2013, as a result of complications from a car accident he suffered on 30th September 2006. He was, until his death, the publisher/vice chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publishers of the Tribune newspaper which is also one of the enterprise legacies of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was known to show an active interest in politics at a very young age when he joined the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC), which was led by the late Nnamdi Azikiwe and was not his father’s political camp. His political will later led him to be elected Councilor for Apapa at the Lagos City Council and later the Lagos State House of Assembly under the United Party of Nigeria (UPN), representing the Apapa Constituency. Aside from being the pillar of administration of his late father’s estate, his political activities as a member of the Awolowo dynasty became less pronounced with time as a result of his health challenges. The managing director/editor-in-chief of ANN Plc, Mr. Edward Dickson, noted that “despite his health challenges following the accident, Chief Awolowo devoted his life to the service of God and was deeply involved in evangelical activities.” 9


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No Government Has Tackled Educational Problems Like Osun – Gov. Aregbesola Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has stated that there is no government in Nigeria that has confronted the problems facing education system like his administration. He spoke in Osogbo, the state capital on Wednesday at a Students’ Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Directorate of Social Mobilisation and Guidance of the State Ministry of Information and Strategy, to discuss issues affecting students, especially those in the state of Osun-owned tertiary institutions. The governor noted that though, his administration is focusing more on elementary education, but the tertiary education is not abandoned. According to him, the focus of the government on elementary education was because the administration believes in the fact that it is the basic education that every child must first have, upon which they build their future. Recounting his efforts on the sector, the

governor said: “This government is feeding the 250,000 pupils in the elementary schools the way no government in Nigeria has ever done and the 350,000 pupils in the middle school are also major beneficiaries of the initiative introduced in the system. “Also, we are providing computer tablets of learning containing textbooks of all the subjects being offered in secondary schools to 150,000 students in the high schools. Tell me a government that has ever done this in the whole of Africa. Also, we have provided uniforms for all the 750,000 students at the basic education sector. “If you care to know, this state is so poor to do all these, but because, we are concerned about the future of our children, your future; we had to deprive ourselves of some benefits to achieve these. “Inspite of the fact that this state is poor, there is no government in Nigeria and even in Africa that is massively confronting the problem of education the way we are doing”, he stressed.

From Right-Ex-Officio, Comrade Bayo Adejumo, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Secretary to the Government, State of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, President Ife Recreation Club, Ile-Ife, Mr Sooko Bunmi Adegoke, Bar Manager, Prince Ade Adegoke and Hon. Gen. Secretary, Prince Dosu Kolawole during the courtesy visit to the Governor at the Governor’s office, Abere, Osogbo

Photos: Taofeeq Adejare

Deputy Governor, State of Osun, Otunba Titi-Laoye Tomori, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Chairman Local Organizing Committee of the 37th West African College of Physicians [WACP] Nigeria, Dr. Rasak Adebayo and Chairman Nigeria Medical Association[NMA], State of Osun Chapter, Dr. Anthony Onipede during the courtesy visit to the Governor at the Governor’s office, Abere, Osogbo.

From Right-Ex-Officio, Comrade Bayo Adejumo, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Secretary to the Government, State of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, President Ife Recreation Club, Ile-Ife, Mr Sooko Bunmi Adegoke, Bar Manager, Prince Ade Adegoke and Hon. Gen. Secretary, Prince Dosu Kolawole during the courtesy visit to the Governor at the Governor’s office, Abere, Osogbo 10


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Sweden

At least they let Rosa Parks share the bus!

USA

US adoption ban: neglected teen increases outrage

People Travel Group’s service runs from Stockholm’s city terminal to the Grisslehamn ferry

A Swedish bus driver refused to allow white and non-white passengers to travel on the same bus last week. In an incident reminiscent of the dark days of South African apartheid or southern segregation in the US, the unnamed driver ordered Black and Asian passengers at a Stockholm terminal onto another bus or face not travelling. Passenger Samer Chatila and his brother were separated from a white friend with whom they were travelling. “It was a very unpleasant experience. It felt like we were on our way to the airport to be deported from Sweden,” he said. “We felt insulted, offended and discriminated against,” added Chatila. “I never thought this could happen in our Sweden. When we challenged the driver, he said if we did not like the system we could get off the bus.” The incidents, which happened over two days last week, concerned journeys to a local ferry terminal in Grisslehamn, where passengers were catching boats to Aland, off the Swedish coast. People Travel Group, which operates the buses, received

several complaints. Director, Tomas Karlsson, had the driver, who will have to appear before a disciplinary board to explain his actions, removed from the route pending an enquiry. He said: “It seems like this was a single driver’s decision and it only happened twice, but that is bad enough.” Stockholm, which is a multicultural city comprised of 26 percent non-Swedes, has had a number of recent racist and xenophobic incidents. According to the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), which promotes equal treatment within the member states, racist views with regards to ethnicity and religion have negatively impacted Blacks, Jews, and Muslims, especially in the job market. Skin colour plays a decisive role in an individual’s opportunities in the labour market. According to ENAR, Africans, in particular, have a significantly lower probability of obtaining a job in Sweden that is relevant to their level of competence. Racism in the country is not only limited to jobs but also occurs in schools, politics, public service, nightlife, the legal system, housing, and the media.

France

2012 Toulouse slayings: police arrest three Police in France have arrested two men thought to have links with Mohamed Merah, the Islamist who gunned down three Jewish children, three paratroopers and a rabbi in Toulouse last March.

Agnes Thibault Lecuivre of the prosecutor’s office said two people were arrested in Toulouse late Tuesday (March 26) adding that one of the arrests took place in the gritty Les Izards neighbourhood where Merah spent some of his childhood. A third person, a serving French soldier, was arrested at his barracks the following morning in the nearby town of Castres. No charges have been brought. Detectives looking into the case are

convinced that Merah, who had travelled to Pakistan in 2011, could not have acted alone and fear accomplices still at large could represent a security threat. To date, the only person charged with helping him is his brother Abdelkader Merah, who has been in custody since last year but denies involvement in the killings. Five other people have been detained and interrogated by police as part of the probe but they were all released without charge. Since Merah’s death, it has emerged that he had been known to France’s security services for several years and it has become clear the threat he posed was disastrously under-estimated by agents who had contact with him.

Lawyers for Max Shatto’s adoptive parents claim bruises evident on the child’s body were ‘self-inflicted’

A Russian teenager adopted by an American couple five years ago has fuelled an ongoing dispute between Moscow and the Washington.

Alexander Abnosov, who is now 18, says he ended up on the streets in Philadelphia and had to steal in order to survive. He has now returned to be with his biological grandmother in Russia, and spoke of his ordeal on state television. Speaking of his adoptive mother, Alexander said: “She didn’t give me any rest. I sat in the room quietly and did nothing, trying not to bother anyone and she looked for arguments and shouted at me for no reason.” The international dispute began when the US passed the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act in December 2012. The main intention of this was to punish Russian officials that were thought to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, who had alleged the officials were involved in large scale systematic theft from the Russian state. Washington

then banned all Russians guilty of human rights violations from entering the US or using the US banking system. Moscow retaliated by forbidding the US adoption of Russian children and has since cited as justification the case of Max Alan Shatto, who died from internal bleeding while in the custody of a Texas couple who had adopted him in Russia. Russia’s children rights ombudsman has blamed US authorities for hastily performing the autopsy into the 3 year-old’s death in January. Russia wants the adoptive parents to face justice. An autopsy report released to the media on Monday (March 25) said that the toddler had more than 30 bruises and other marks on his body as well as signs that he was routinely injured by accident. Pathologists could not find the specific injury that caused the internal bleeding leading to the boy’s death and ruled it was accidental. Since then, several high profile cases of abuse by American adopters have been broadcast by the media sparking outrage in Russia

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News Prime Minister celebrates Christian faith with Easter reception

P

rime Minister, David Cameron welcomed representatives from across the diverse Christian community in the UK to celebrate Easter at a reception at Downing Street on Wednesday 20 March.

Speaking to guests, which included church leaders, ministers and community pastors, the Prime Minister spoke of the importance of faith and faith institutions in the UK. He spoke of protecting the rights of Christians to practice their faith throughout the world and praised Christian voluntary groups in helping people in need within their local communities. The Prime Minster said: “An extraordinarily warm welcome to this, the third Easter reception here at Number 10. When I became Prime Minister, I spotted that we were holding receptions for Eid and for Diwali, but we weren’t holding a reception for Christians, and so I introduced this. And I think it’s right to have it at Easter, the most important Christian festival, the one that has all the challenges of faith, but really is all about – for me, anyway – the triumph of life over death. So, you’re very welcome. “It’s an extraordinary week for Christians as we’ve had the new Pope yesterday (19 March), with extraordinary scenes and a great change that will be. And tomorrow (21 March) I am very excited about going to Canterbury to see Justin Welby become our new Archbishop, and so this is a great week for Christians and it’s wonderful to have you here to share. “I do have a serious message for you tonight, and the message is that this Government does care about faith; it does care about the institutions of faith and it does want to stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation that can sometimes happen in our society. As I’ve said, it’s a good week to celebrate not just the importance of faith in our country, but also the importance of faith institutions in our country in this week when we’ve seen a new Pope and we will see a new Archbishop, because these institutions do matter. “Father Gillean Craig from St Mary Abbots gave a brilliant sermon last Sunday to say, ‘Well, what is it that the arrival of a new Pope and the arrival of a new Archbishop and our annual church meeting have in common?’ He made the very good point that institutions matter whether they are enormous, representing the billions of Catholics in the world, or whether they are small, local institutions that help bring our communities and our country together. “And so my message for you is that we should have faith, we should have hope and we should have charity. And a word on each: we should have faith because I know that our churches and particularly that our established church sometimes can struggle to attract new members of the congregation and it can sometimes, in any organisation, be a struggle. But actually what we have 12

Prime Minister with community pastors

Prime Minister with community leaders

seen in London over the last decade is actually a 70% increase in the Church, and I think this is going to be what the new Archbishop will bring, which is a sense that if you can enthuse people, if you can fire people up, if you can show what institutions of faith can do, you can attract audiences, you can attract members, you can attract enthusiasm. So, we should have faith. “The second is hope. Yes, it’s a very difficult time in our country; yes, we’re having to take difficult decisions, and those difficult decisions affect people. But I hope that you can see that even in the midst of a difficult budget and difficult decisions that actually something very big and important happened today, which is that we have kept the promise to spend 0.7% of our gross national income on aid to the poorest in our world. And I think that is something we

should celebrate, as Christians and as human beings. “I’m very proud of the fact we have appointed the first ever Minister for Faith, Sayeeda Warsi, and she has a voice at the Cabinet table; she does a brilliant job. We’ve sent out a very clear message to aggressive secularists: we changed the law so that people can go on saying prayers before council meetings. Michael Gove made the very brave decision, I thought, and right decision to give every state school a copy of the King James Bible. Some people said, ‘What a waste of money;’ I say no, I think it was a great use of money. This book is one of the things that made our country what it is today in terms of its messages and its brilliant language. “And, of course, I hope you can have hope in the fact that while Christians are

being persecuted around our world, actually under this Government the Foreign Office has a very clear attitude of wanting to stand up for the rights of Christians and minorities all across the world. And we make – you know, I want you – to reassure you that when I meet with foreign leaders – whether it’s President Morsi in Egypt, whether it is President of Pakistan – wherever we go we stand up for the rights of Christians to practice their faith, and that is an important part of our country. “Finally, in terms of charity, I just wanted to celebrate again what it is that our faith communities do in terms of what I call the Big Society – in terms of the extraordinary richness of the voluntary bodies who work with prisoners, who work with young people, who work in very difficult and tough communities, who turn people’s lives around, who help the poorest in our country – the huge nature of the organisations that faith groups and church groups and Christian groups support. And I think that space is getting larger as you see organisations backing academy schools or setting up free schools – as you see organisations getting into the provision of services not just to the vulnerable, but more widely. I think it’s something we should celebrate and we should stand up for. “So, it’s great to have you here. That was my message: we want to celebrate faith. We want to celebrate the importance of faith institutions. We want to celebrate this important time at Easter with all of you, and we want to thank you for everything you do to put into our community and to help build our country. So, you’re very welcome. It’s wonderful to have you here and have a very, very happy Easter.”


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News

Cut in Council Tax for third year running The Coalition Government’s council tax freeze deal has helped deliver a third consecutive year of real-terms cuts to residents’ cost of living, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said.

Official statistics released reveal that the average Band D council tax level for 2013-14 has changed by just 0.8 per cent, which is equivalent to a real terms cut of 2.3 per cent. Over the three years the freeze deal has been worth a 9.7 per cent real terms reduction to residents. Prior to this council tax bills more than doubled between 1997 and 2010. Mr Pickles also praised those councils that choose to freeze or reduce their bills for understanding residents’ needs and highlighting the importance of keeping tax bills down for those worried about their cost of living. Mr Pickles said: “Today confirms that council tax has fallen by just under ten per cent in real-terms since we came into Government because we have helped local authorities to freeze bills for their residents providing much needed cost of living assistance. This is in stark contrast to the years before when bills doubled. “This year the majority of councils have taken up our freeze deal which could save the average homeowner as much as £61 – money that makes a real difference to families and those on fixed

Eric Pickles Local Government Secretary

incomes, like pensioners.” The government set aside £450 million, payable over the next two years, for local government in England to freeze Council Tax in 2013-14. The cumulative effect of the three council tax freezes is potentially worth £425 compared to a five per cent rise in each of the last three years for residents in Band D homes. Legislation passed by the Government also means that Council Tax payers can now request to pay their April bills over

twelve months rather than ten, lowering their monthly bills by £24 for the first ten months. Councils tax levels remain a local decision. Government previously had the power to restrict council tax rises through a centrally dictated cap. This Government has scrapped that through the Localism Act, which created a new power for local residents to veto excessive council tax rises instead through a local referendum. Councils that wanted

to increase their relevant basic amount of council tax above a two percent trigger (or £5 for some smaller authorities) were required to put it to a vote. Local authorities, which have frozen or reduced their Band D council tax, will receive a grant equivalent to a 1% increase on 2012-13 Band D council tax levels. This will amount to £225 million of grant in both financial years 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Universal Credit ‘Could Lead To More Benefit Fraud’ MPs have raised fears that the government’s huge welfare shake-up actually leaves the system more open to benefit fraud.

A report by the Communities and Local Government Committee highlighted several concerns about Universal Credit, which will be implemented nationally from October and replaces a string of benefits such as housing benefit and child tax credits. The committee highlighted concerns raised during an inquiry into the changes that the IT system under Universal Credit will have trouble distinguishing between genuine and fraudulent claims. One council told the committee its understanding was that the system would not work from local authority property databases so it would not be able to detect automatically, as local systems did now, when several people made a housing benefit claim for the same property. A new fraud detection service, called Iris, is being built into Universal Credit which the committee was told does have a similar database to that used by local authorities for detecting housing benefit fraud.

But the committee’s report said it is “worrying that the system still seems to be at the development stage”. The committee also raised concerns that during a transition period as the scheme gets under way, there will be an exodus of experienced local authority housing department staff, who will quit due to uncertainty over their future prospects, which “will leave the system more open to fraud”. The committee said the government must make sure that local authorities have the

admin funding they need to manage the transition to Universal Credit and stop staff leaving prematurely. Universal Credit is being introduced in gradual stages over several years, with the national rollout following several “pathfinder” pilot projects taking place from this month. Clive Betts, chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said evidence heard by the committee that systems for fraud detection were still in their early stages was “extremely concerning given the advanced state of implementation”. The committee said the landmark changes mark the “most significant reforms to the welfare system for 60 years”. The government wants to simplify the existing benefits system, so that it is easier for claimants to manage their own finances and make the transition into work. Under Universal Credit, a single unified benefit payment will take in income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credits, working

tax credits and housing benefit. But the committee also highlighted concerns that the new Universal Credit scheme could result in increased rent arrears as housing support will be paid directly to tenants instead of landlords. It urged the Government to give a clear definition of the circumstances under which a tenant would be considered “vulnerable”, and would therefore have their rent paid directly to the landlord. The committee also said that the government should be doing more to raise awareness about the changes and advising claimants to contact their local authority to find out more through advertising. A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesman said: “Universal Credit will cut benefit fraud by £200 million a year and we are confident that our IT systems will be strong enough to protect us from the threat of fraud. “We have been running pilot projects with local authorities to ensure that those people who can’t manage with monthly or direct payments get the support they need.” 13


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CRIME

Operation Hawk - Raids on drugs dealers & cannabis farms Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe joins dawn raids targeting drug dealers and cannabis farms in the capital. A major Metropolitan Police offensive against street level drug dealing and cannabis farms is underway across the capital on Wednesday 27 March. Dawn raids got underway across the capital as hundreds of Safer Neighbourhoods officers, supported by specialist colleagues, set to work to execute more than 500 drugs warrants in direct response to community intelligence. This is the second major day of action under Operation Hawk targeting street level drug dealing in 32 London boroughs. The last pan-London operation in September 2012, resulted in the seizure of £2.6 million worth of cannabis. Since that time, Operation Hawk activity has continued daily across the capital, with more than 6,000 warrants executed, including 4,700 drugs warrants, and more than 240 cannabis factories closed. These warrants and closures are the direct result of members of the public picking up the phone and reporting suspected drug activity in their neighbourhoods to police or Crimestoppers, so that we can make it stop - this is the ethos of Operation Hawk. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who joined officers on a drugs raid in Southwark, said: “Officers from across London work daily to tackle the drug dealing that impacts on communities. We have already seen some great success under Operation Hawk and today should warn anyone involved in drug dealing that we will keep making arrests, seizing drugs and closing down cannabis factories.” In addition to today’s enforcement activity, the Metropolitan Police has created a mobile ‘mock cannabis farm’ to help raise awareness amongst Londoners of the signs to look out for in their neighbourhoods, whilst highlighting the outcomes of can-

Cannabis farm discovered by police nabis production involving organised and violent crime. The ‘mock farm’ has been recreated inside a decommissioned police command vehicle, which will be taken to communities across London. It is set up with recycled equipment recovered from farms, such as fans, lights, cables, along with other associated paraphernalia. Officers will be on hand to explain to the public about the dangers associated with cannabis farms; the signs to look out for and how to report concerns. The creation of ‘the farm’ supports the recent launch of the Crimestoppers ‘scratch and sniff’ campaign. The independent charity distributed ‘scratch and sniff’ cards to educate and inform the public about the signs to spot and how to detect cannabis farms by recognising the specific smell of growing cannabis and asking the public to call Crimestoppers anonymously with information. ‘Scratch and Sniff’ cards will be used by officers at the ‘mock cannabis farm’ to

demonstrate the smell of cannabis to the public. Commander Stephen Watson, leading the operation, said: “Drug dealing and cannabis cultivation damage communities and generate organised and violent crime, money laundering and anti-social behaviour. “The MPS is determined to tackle this issue head on with the assistance of London’s communities, many of whom cite tackling ‘drugs’ as a priority for local Safer Neighbourhoods teams. “While activity to tackle drug dealing has always been a high priority for the MPS, with major operations carried out with partners against high-level drug dealers on a regular basis, Operation Hawk’s focus is to increase operational activity on drug dealing at neighbourhood level. “We have seen huge success to date under Operation Hawk, with more than 6,000 warrants executed and more than 240 cannabis farm closures. “We are committed to building on this success and to help us do this, we need to

encourage communities to talk to us and report concerns and we will reward this trust by delivering swift results and telling people what action we have taken - this could include going to court for a search warrant, circulating a suspect as wanted, or increasing patrols in particular areas. “Community intelligence passed to us will be dealt with as quickly as possible and carefully assessed before any action is taken. We will then tell communities what action we have taken to address these issues. “With your help, we can make your local community safer, so please make the call and we will make it stop.” Chief Inspector Andy Carter, of the Met’s Drugs Directorate, led on the creation of the ‘mock cannabis farm’. He said: “Cannabis cultivation is directly linked to and is a key driver for organised and violent crime, robbery, burglary and anti-social behaviour. “Under Operation Hawk, we have recovered loaded firearms, ammunition, knives and hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash. “It is vitally important that we raise awareness of cannabis cultivation so that London’s communities know what signs to look out for and can report concerns, so that they can be acted upon swiftly. The creation of the ‘mock cannabis farm’ plays a part in achieving this, so that together we can help to make our communities safer.” Crimestoppers Director of Operations Roger Critchell said: “Organised crime is a serious issue which is why we are targeting an avenue of its funding through our cannabis cultivation campaign. We are asking the public to use the ‘Scratch and Sniff’ cards to help us locate large cannabis farms which are providing funds to crimes such as human trafficking and gun crime.” Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 with information about who may be dealing drugs and cultivating cannabis in your area.

Trident Gang Crime Command arrest four Mobile phone stun gun devices recovered The Trident Gang Crime Command’s South Proactive team conducted a joint drugs and firearms operation in the early hours on Tuesday 26 March targeting criminal gang members operating within Southwark Borough. More than 40 officers from the Trident Gang Crime Command, Southwark Drugs and Firearms Team, together with uniform colleagues from Transport for London and Dogs Section, executed a number of search warrants in Peckham SE15 and Camberwell SE5. Two men 35 & 18 ys, along with two women 45; & 51 ys were arrested for firearm, drug supply and money laundering offences. They were taken to a south London police station where they remain in custody pending further enquiries. 14

A revolver with ammunition was recovered by officers, along with a cannabis factory, significant quantities of Class A and B drugs and £6,000 cash. Detective Inspector Paul Dorey from the Trident South Proactive Team said: “The subjects of this operation are believed to be concerned in large scale drug supply and firearm offences in Southwark and neighbouring boroughs. “Trident continues to demonstrate our commitment working together with uniform and CID policing partners to target criminal gangs that have such a detrimental impact in local communities and our youth. We will continue to take action to remove firearms and drugs from the streets of London and remove those individuals from our streets who are supplying them.”

Police in Twickenham are warning people about the consequences of purchasing illegal weapons from the internet after two mobile phone devices with a stun gun capability were recovered last weekend.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested and has been bailed pending further enquiries after the discovery in the Twickenham Riverside area of the borough. The two devices were purchased over the internet from a company based in China they are illegal in this country, and it is also an offence to import such devices. So far, no other devices have surfaced on the Borough. Borough Commander of Richmond and Twickenham Police, Superintendent Clive Chalk said:

“Discovering a weapon such as this is thankfully an extremely rare occurrence on the Borough but I am keen to emphasise the dangers these devices bring. Even by purchasing such a weapon, you are committing an offence - one that could result in jail. “Ignorance is not a defence. If you are found possession of one of these devices, or found to have purchased one of these devices, you could be prosecuted. “Anyone who has information about mobile phone/stun gun devices is urged to contact local police. If you discover a device, please do not handle it but call the police.” Anyone with information can contact Richmond and Twickenham Police on 101 and ask to speak to their local Safer Neighbourhood team. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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Sounds of Diaspora People of America

Is nutty Nicki operating on Trini time? Wembley farce is Jodeci’s diary of a bad band

A tardy Nicki Minaj is not going to slip by unnoticed!

A frequently late Nicki Minaj claims her “best moment is every single moment” she spends on American Idol. The 30 year-old was subjected to scathing criticism earlier this month when she was absent from the judging panel for the first 13 minutes of the show’s first live taping. It is rumoured that Nicki, who was born on the laid back Caribbean island of

Trinidad, is routinely late to the TV talent contest. A show insider revealed: “Nicki has ALWAYS been late. Even back during the audition phases she showed up anywhere from an hour or two past call time, pushing all of the auditions back and angering the other judges. “Not only was she always late, but she always had a huge entourage with her and was rude to the contestants and their families, refusing to talk with them. And she wouldn’t allow anyone to take pictures of her, or with her.” The source recalled an incident during the first round of Hollywood Week in which Nicki, 30, held up auditions for more than two hours! “Hollywood week was already miserable enough because contestants had to wait in the auditorium and watch everyone audition one by one, with only an hour lunch break — but Nicki didn’t help matters,” the source told RadarOnline. “After the lunch break one day, everyone was waiting to audition and the judges all showed up together two and a half hours late and it was because of Nicki. All of the families had to wait outside the holding room, so they didn’t know what was going on that whole time until Nicki and her entourage finally showed up. She never showed up before 11 a.m.”

Disappointed fans booed era-defining nineties RnB band Jodeci off stage at a Wembley Arena gig on Saturday night (March 23).

Revival aficionados jeered the group for singing off key while one of the three original members who materialised jumped or fell off stage and was unable to get back on again. The crowd had been enjoying 90s extravaganza, The Show, a night that included performances from Blackstreet, Dru Hill, SWV, Damage and Changing Faces, but Jodeci dampened the mood by being late on stage, singing out of tune and performing unrecognisable a capella versions of their songs. As if that wasn’t enough, the ‘Freek’N You’ group were missing their founding member, DeVante Swing and lost Mr Dalvin 30 seconds into their set after the singer jumped off stage and was unable to get back on without the help of a steward. Jodeci were billed as the main act of the night, but could only get as far as one song into their performance before being booed as fans decided to leave the gig early. The group then embarrassingly begged the audience to let them sing for just ten more minutes.

News of the excruciatingly bad performance spread quickly through Twitter as many disgruntled fans mentioned how dreadful it was. Former Sugababe, Keisha Buchanan, tweeted: ‘Jodeci!!!!! ....Start off with a member jumping off stage and not being able to get back up !!!! I don’t mean to crack up laughing but....’ She continued: ‘People are booing #Jodeci I feel so bad seriously :-(‘. BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Twin B also discussed the poor performance on his radio show with special guest John Legend. The smooth talking Twin B said: “They were arguing on stage at one point and then Mr. Dalvin stopped the band. “It pained me. I was there. All I’m saying is if ever you get a ticket to a Jodeci gig, maybe be busy that night.” In its original four-member line-up, Jodeci was one of the most popular acts of its kind throughout the nineties achieving a number of hit singles and platinum albums before splitting in 1998. Albums included Forever My Lady (1991), Diary of a Mad Band (1993) and The Show, The After Party, The Hotel (1995). Despite Jodeci’s poor performance, the other acts were successful in bringing back some nineties memories for the sold out Wembley crowd.

Chelsea to scoutMezvinsky, for African kid Sorry football fans, this one’s not for you. 35, on July 31, 2010, and while The National Enquirer has released exclusive news that America’s former ‘first daughter’ Chelsea Clinton plans to adopt a baby from Africa. The 33 year-old de¬cided on the surprising maternity plan after watching both parents battle potentially deadly health problems while she’s struggled to get pregnant, insiders say. “After years of worrying that she’d lose her dad Bill to a heart attack, Chelsea flipped out when her mom Hillary was hospitalised with a blood clot near her brain,” a close friend told The ENQUIRER. “The clot was successfully treated and Hillary is out of the woods, but the incident made Chelsea realise that life can turn on a dime.” Meanwhile, her father – who had emergency quadruple bypass surgery in September 2004 and had two stents inserted in a clogged heart artery in February 2010 – has confessed that he longs for grand¬children. “I’m determined to live to be a grandfather,” the 66-year-old politi¬cian admitted in a candid TV inter¬view last October. “But I just think the older you get, the more you want every year to count.” Since that interview, “Chelsea has been more determined than ever to give her parents a grandchild as soon as possible – and adopting an African baby is her new maternity plan,” said the source. “Besides that, her parents will be over the moon. In light of the fam¬ily’s humanitarian values, nothing could be more rewarding than for Chelsea to give a needy baby a for¬ever home.” Chelsea wed hedge fund execu¬tive Marc

sources say they’ve been trying the “oldfashioned way,” she hasn’t been able to get pregnant. As The ENQUIRER recently re¬ported, Chelsea decided to undergo in vitro fertilisation treatments, but sources say a recent trip to Africa led to the adoption decision. “Chelsea has a heart of gold, and recently everything – from her parents’ health crises, to her and Marc’s inability to conceive and her family’s special devo¬tion to the black community – came together in her mind,” said the source. “She realised that adopting an African child would be a good idea if she couldn’t get preg¬nant.” And as the daughter of a former president and former secretary of state, “she can cut some corners when it comes to the red tape of the adoption process,” said the source. “For now, Chelsea is doing ev¬erything she can to jump-start the adoption process. It’s possible a child could be selected in the next few months.” With an eye to starting a family, Chelsea and her husband have also report¬edly started the process of buying a new $10.5 million apartment in Manhattan. The 5,000square-foot res¬idence has four bedrooms, six and a half baths, oak floors, Italian marble bath¬rooms and private elevator access. It’s right across the street from Madison Square Park, and there’s no ques¬tion that one of those bed¬rooms will be a nursery for Chelsea and Marc’s ad¬opted baby,” said the source. “And when her father visits, he’ll be trailed by Secret Service agents – so there will always be plenty of helping hands

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Gospel

BEWARE OF COMPARISON TRAP

D

By Michael Adekoya

“Where envy, jealousy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work”Jam. 3:16.

ear Reader, bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, strife, betrayal, comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness are inspired by the devil. It is so easy for us, as Christians and Non-Christians, to be drawn into any of these traps by the demand of our culture, the pressures of our society and the lust in our hearts. Today, there are so many slogans used in the media, magazines, telecasts, and even in the pulpits of our churches – “Go for it!”! “Assert yourself!”, “Make it fast!”, “Name it and Claim it!” “Don’t wait, grab it now!” “Just Do It” My friend, by listening to these slogans or adverts, buying to them and applying it out of context, we can easily be drawn into impatience, anxiety, greed, corruption, comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness. Comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness is everywhere today. This has been around ever since Cain killed his brother, Abel, in a fit of jealous and envy rage. It was comparison and competitive jealousy that caused Jesus’ disciples to quarrel over who would have the highest status in the Kingdom (Mark 10:35-41). In Africa today, it is one of the weapons that the devil is using against our political stability. It’s what can make a person eliminates his rival by death. Avoiding the comparison trap and competitive jealousy is a challenge. It is a battle that men and women struggle with every day. ‘I wish my hair was as thick as hers. If only I lost some weight, I might look as amazing as she does in those jeans. If only I can have an amazing job or business, house or car, gifts or talents like him.’ Hard-

ly can we find where the spirit of competitive jealousy and envy is not in operation today - from local government to parliament or senate houses of our nations, from secular to religious organizations, from homes to schools, from businesses to work-places, and even among spouses, friends, family members, leaders, worship team, class mates, political parties, pastors and congregations. Comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness is one of Satan’s weapons that cause divorce in marriages, division in churches and disunity in nations. My friend, only when we understand the nature of this cunning spirit that we can be very passionate to free ourselves, free our family members, free our friends, church members, community and nation from it. The trouble is, when we compare ourselves with others, we are not pursuing God’s plan for our lives. Listen! So long as you focus on others with the eyes of comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness, you wouldn’t hear or listen to what God is telling you for your personal lives, for your career, political ambition or ministry. You would miss what He is saying to you for your spouse, family members, friends, neighbours, co-workers, even for people around you. One reason why people engage in comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness is because they don’t like themselves or they are ignorant of whom God created them to be and do on earth. When purpose is not known, abuse, jealousy, envy, unhealthy comparison and destructive competition is inevitable. How can someone went behind her friend to establish same shop with same stuffs

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

that her friend is selling on the same street adjacent to each other? My friend, is that you? Hear me! You are an original! You are not a copycat or a spare tyre! You need to be happy with who God created or made you to be. Why do you wish you are somebody else? Don’t compare yourself with any other people. Run your own race and compete with yourself. Fulfil your divine purpose and walk in your own shoes. The Bible says, “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you in to a new person by changing the way you think. Then, you will know what God wants you to do on earth and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is for you” Rom.12:2. My friend, did you hear that? You are original and unique. Don’t copy the behaviour, look, complexion, assignment, calling, career, gift, talent, possession, position or idea of others! Don’t try to gain the approval of everybody around you to feel better about yourself. Don’t live your life pleasing other people so that you can be accepted. Don’t be jealous or envious of others? Don’t compare your spouse or children with others’. My friend, hear this! When you go around copying and trying to be like somebody else, not only would it demean you, it will steal your diversity, creativity and your uniqueness. Not only that, it will open doors for the demonic spirit of comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness. This spirit has ruined the lives of many people and the glory of many nations. This wicked spirit has even trapped many people into comparing themselves unfavourably with other people, then criticizing them

in the hope that they can make themselves feel better by cutting them down for no just cause. Don’t do that! Be secured in your calling or vineyard! Sadly, this spirit is found in the Church today. Instead of concentrating on the “perfecting the saints,” and “the work of the ministry,” and “the edifying of the Body of Christ” and “witnessing to the lost and dying souls”, we strive to outdo each other, abuse and climb over each other to get to the top. Not that alone, we cut each other down with our preaching and sometimes act Satan’s role as ‘Accusers of brethren’ (Rev 12:10) My friend, it is not God’s will for us to get caught up in all these devastating quests to fit our lives into somebody else’s mould. Any nation that adopts the political system of a foreign nation and are unable to master it or rely solely on foreign products, is heading for political and economic crash. My friend, listen! As an individual, family, church, community or nation, God has plan – good plan – for every one of us. Just because something works for somebody else doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you. God gives each of us special grace and time to do what He has called us to do. We should not allow the spirit of comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness has any hold on us. Bible says, “Let each one of us examine his and her own work” Gal 6:4. Quit looking at what everybody else is doing but run your own race and compare yourself with your own race of life. Listen, “God has quickened us together with Christ, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Eph 2:4-5. What a Good News that, through Jesus,

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

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

we all have equal rights and equal access to the Throne of God. My friend, you can take pride in yourself without comparing yourself with anybody else. You have equal right and access to the Throne of God. If you are not a Christian, you need to believe in Jesus and confess Him today (Rom 10:9). You can have personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. You can call on God, come to God, talk with God and hear God by yourself. Yes, you can! So, stop being jealous or envious about the faith, gift, talent, position, answered prayer, favour, miracles, anointing or blessings of others! My friend, you are unique and original. You don’t have to compete with anyone. And if you are married; you and your spouse are connected and joined together to complement each other, not to compete with each other. You don’t need to strive for position, favour, fame, approval, influence or connection. You don’t need to cut down anybody for how God has made them or how He has blessed them. You can’t worship God, pray to Him, and serve Him with envy, jealousy, bitterness, strife or hatred in your heart. Even if the other person is wrong and you are right, let God use you as a paramedic of His mercy. Forgive and forget! Where envy, jealousy, selfish ambition, strife, betrayal comparison jealousy and destructive competitiveness are, there is confusion, division and every evil work. We are made for each other! Let’s unite together! Everybody is somebody in the Body! Let’s work together to depopulate hell and expand heaven! Yes, we can! Team work makes the dream work! Yes, it does! Remain blessed! Sunday Service: Sundays 10am - 1pm Winners Chapel London- part of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, at Unit B1 Galleywall Trading Estate, South Bermondsey, London SE16 3PB meets Sunday 7am & 9am and 11am and Wednesdays at 7pm. For details call 020 7237 7894 CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH GRAVESEND, ST. AIDAIN’S CHURCH, ST. AIDAN’S WAY, GRAVESEND, KENT, DA12 4AG TEL. 01474 355 841, 07956 38 38 70 TIME OF WORSHIP: Wednesday Bible Study: 7:30pm to 9:00pm Friday, Night Vigil: 9pm to 11pm Sunday Worship: 12:30pm to 3:00pm


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Banda faces corruption charge

Africa

Friday, 5 April 2013 – Thursday, 11 April 2013

Newsround

Zambia

Zambia’s former president, Rupiah Banda, has entered a not guilty plea to the charge of abuse of authority of office.

The charge relates to an oil deal signed with a Nigerian company, which prosecutors say was intended to benefit Mr Banda personally. Reading the charge, magistrate Joshua Banda said the ex-president, “on dates unknown but between 1st May 2008 and 24th September 2011 did abuse his authority of office by procuring a Nigerian government to government oil deal namely the Republic of Zambia which in fact intended to benefit him and his family where he instructed his son Henry Chikomeni Banda to determine the destination of the funds which were the proceeds of this contract as a result of which instructions, the Zambian government did not receive any benefits from the contact, an act which is arbitrary and prejudicial to the Republic of Zambia.” The ex-president, who lost the presidency to Michael Sata in the 2011 elec-

tion after three years in power, says the charges are part of a political witch-hunt against him and his allies. Speaking to journalists after appearing in court for the first time, Banda said he had confidence in the Zambian judiciary and that the truth would vindicate him. “Yes, of course I have confidence in the judiciary that is why I came. When this case started, I was not in the country, but I came so that I could go through this process,” he said. Banda however said he still felt persecuted by the government. “As you can see that at the same time all the leaders of the opposition are here at court with different charges. This has never happened in the history of the country,” said Banda. Banda was arrested and questioned for nearly three hours before being freed on bail on Monday (March 25). Earlier this month the 76-year-old was stripped of presidential immunity. Last week, Banda challenged the government through his lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, over the on-going investigations into corruption allegations against

AU puts hunt for Kony on hold Central African Republic

Rupiah Banda relinquished Zambia’s presidency in 2011

him when he was in office. Chief government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni said in a statement that it is clear Mr Banda has chosen to play politics on very serious allegations of wrongdoing. “The statements he issued through his lawyer clearly demonstrate this fact. As a responsible government that respects

the rule of law, we would like Mr Banda to receive adequate facilities through established channels of the due process of the law in defending himself,” Mr Sakeni said.

until their status is clarified by the African Union. The African forces are supported by about 100 U.S. military advisers. Confirming the withdrawal, political commissar of the Ugandan army, Felix Kuliagye, said: “The African Union was operating in Central Africa under the Bozize government, and since Seleka is not recognised by the African Union we had to suspend operations. “We have gathered our troops in active defence awaiting further orders from our superiors.”

Kulayigye has made it clear that Uganda is not removing itself from the Central African Republic, but is at present simply suspending its operations. He has, however, admitted that this could give Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, who are accused of widespread human rights violations, more time and opportunity to grow stronger and carry out further crimes in the state. Thus far, AU forces have arrested Kony’s commander, Ceasar Acellam, and killed his bodyguard, known only as Binani.

The case has been adjourned to April 3, 2013.

Joseph Kony is accused of abducting children to become sex-slaves and child soldiers

The manhunt for warlord Joseph Kony has been suspended following an order from The African Union (AU). Uganda’s top military official says AU troops have suspended the hunt for the fugitive in the Central African Republic because the new

government there is not cooperating with the mission. General Aronda Nyakairima, the Ugandan army chief, said that about 3,000 Uganda-led African troops in CAR, where Seleka rebels deposed President Francois Bozize last month, stopped operations against Kony 17


Friday, 5 April 2013 – Thursday, 11 April 2013

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African Fashion

Alphadi Alphadi (born Sidahmed Seidnaly) is a notable Nigerien fashion designer often known as the “Magician of the Desert”. He is Touareg, from an upper caste lineage, on both his parents sides. Alphadi was born in Timbuktu, Mali, but moved to his parents native Niger at a young age. Alphadi studied at Cardon Savard Studios in Paris, started his label in 1984, and his first haute couture line was released in 1985 at the Paris Inter-

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Alphadi national Tourism Tradeshow. His line has since extended into sportswear and perfume. The Alphadi line, which has ‘Complexe Alphadi’ boutiques in Niamey (on Rue Vox), Ivory Coast and Paris In 1998 he was one of the three African fashion designers to win the Principal Prince Claus Award; the other two were Tetteh Adzedu from Ghana and Oumou Sy. In 1998, he created the first FIMA, the International Festival of African Fashion which was located in Niger. This event allowed African designers to come together with other international designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier and Paco Rabanne. Since then, the event has been going on every 2 years. In 2007, he launched a new contest during the FIMA and Hip Hop FIMA Contest. Alphadi maintains production facilities in Niamey and Morocco, and splits his time between homes in Niamey and Paris. He is married, a father of six children


Friday, 5 April 2013 – Thursday, 11 April 2013

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African Fashion

Adama Amanda Ndiaye

Adama Amanda Ndiaye is a Senegalese fashion designer. She also goes by the name Adama Paris, which is also the name of the label she owns and operates. Her pieces, which are manufactured in Morocco, can be found internationally, including in New York City, Tokyo, London and Paris. Ndiaye was born in Kinshasa, Zaire, to Senegalese parents, then raised in Europe, where her parents were diplomats. She left a banking career in Europe to pursue fashion design in her

Adama with Amanda Ndiaye In association native country. Africa had a long history of design but struggled for mainstream acceptance, and raising capital for her business was difficult. In order to expand the visibility of African design, Ndiaye created the Dakar Fashion Week exhibition. By 2012, the tenth year of the show, it attracted thirty designers from nine countries in Africa and Asia, with audience members coming from around the world, and had an operating budget of more than CFA 80 million (about US$150,000). She has also organized Black Fashion Week events in Prague, Czech Republic, and Bahia, Brazil. Her designs are inspired by cities and globalism. In an interview with Vogue Italia, she stated, “Much of my inspiration come from the big cities... My aim was and still is sharing with all modern women one fashion without borders.” Ndaiye has noted that among many African nations, religious objections have made designers unable to practice their profession. She credits the generally tolerant culture of Senegal for providing a supportive environment. She has also spoken out, with other African designers, for increased funding and access to credit from governments in order to foster innovation and job creation in the fashion industry.

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News

Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2013

Mike Abiola honoured with WTD Merit Award

Actor Jide Kosoko, Senator Anthony Adefuye, Prince Mike Abiola and representative of Senator Oluremi Tinubu

His Royal Highness Oba Salawudeen Oyefusi Oba of Ikorodu displaying his recognition award.

Chief (Mrs) Tayo Adunni Bankole Iyalode Gbagura Abeokuta Ogun State receives recognition award from representative of Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

Actress Fausat Balogun, Prince Mike Abiola and actor Babatunde Omidina

For his service to the Nigerian film industry, Mike Abiola is one of the deserving Nigerians being conferred with meritorious awards to mark this year’s World Theatre Day.

Nigerians in the Diaspora especially within the UK business community. Mike Abiola has received various awards for his business initiative and foresight. He has received the commendation of different organisations including the British Film Institute for initiating the African Film Awards UK. He hails from Osun State in the Southwest of Nigeria, grew up in Lagos State and has lived in the UK for the better part of three decades. Over the past 18 years, Mr Abiola has accumulated extensive business experience, which has fortified him in running his media outfit, African Voice Communications UK. Abiola who is educated in Nigeria and the UK is also the founder and CEO of Afro Hollywood UK - an organisation that started in 1996 and has continuously being used to promote African Film, arts & culture in the multicultural British environment. He instituted African Film Awards, an annual awards ceremony established to recognise excellence, encourage and support the growth of the film industry in Africa. Abiola says “I am glad to play a part in the promotion of African culture and see that the image of Africa begin to change in

Created in 1961 by UNESCO, World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on March 27 by theatre communities around the globe. In celebration of this day, the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), the foremost and largest artistes’ organisation formed by the first doyen in traditional Nigerian drama, the late Hubert Ogunde, along with several others have lined up series of activities, which include seminar/workshops and a road show. Other activities included a command performance entitled “Akinkanju Omo” The Courageous, in honour of His Excellency Barrister Raji Fashola (SAN) and the conferment of meritorious awards on respected and deserving Nigerians. Mr. Akeem Alimi, the ANTP governor of the Lagos State branch of the association said, “the Executive Council of ANTP 20

and the 2013 Planning Committee of WTD considered Prince Mike Abiola worthy of this year’s meritorious award, due to his immerse contribution and passionate love for the promotion of arts, film and culture through his organisation’s annual awards to celebrate excellence in the industry. The UK-based publisher of African Voice newspaper, Mike is currently in Nigeria to receive this well deserved award at the prestigious National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. Mike Abiola is an individual who believes in handwork and excellence. He has been listed as one of the top 50 most successful Africans in the UK with a niche market product patronised by the mainstream. Mike Abiola is listed on Black 100+ Legacy Book of Achievers at the Lewisham’s Black History and Heritage Archive. Mike Abiola, is the publisher of the influential African Voice newspapers, a media outfit that has Britain’s N0.1 African Newspaper weekly and a quarterly Nigeria Abroad magazine. Abiola is the Chairman of the Nigeria @ 50 Legacy Project Working Team. Mike is very highly networked among

the minds of Europeans and amongst the Diaspora especially within the British Africans and Caribbean communities via the film industry.’ Mike Abiola has been in the forefront of promoting Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry in Europe since 1991. Nollywood was relatively unpopular when Abiola identified the potentials, now well known in Europe and uniting Africans and Caribbeans in the Diaspora. Nollywood now provides content to six TV channels on the UK Sky digital network. Over the past fifteen years, winning African Film Awards a.k.a Afro Hollywood Awards has become a distinct mark of superior achievement. It has been a true reflection of hard work, dedication and exceptional performance between Nigerian and other African artistes. Individuals and companies alike recognise the positive benefits that are associated with sponsoring African Film Awards (AFA). Mike an entrepreneur and media personality has featured prominently as one of Nigeria’s illustrious sons projecting the image of the country abroad.


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Change of Name I formerly known and addressed as Benedict Jojnson now wish to be known and addressed as Benedict Bryan Johnson. All former documents remain valid. Members of the public, Home Office and Nigeria High Commission, London should please take notice. I formerly known and addressed as Vicoria Modupe now wish to be known and addressed as Victoria Ademodupe. All former documents remain valid. Members of the public, Home Office and Nigeria High Commission, London should please take notice. I formerly known and addressed as Adamu Belo now wish to be known and addressed as Adamu Belo Aliyu main valid. Members of the public, Home Office and Nigeria High Commission, London should please take notice.

I formerly known as Bashiru Ahmed, date of birth 11th January 1976 now wish to be known and addressed as Beshiru Ahmed, date of birth 11th January 1968. All former documents remain valid. Members of the public, Home Office and Nigerian Embassy, London should please take note.

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Bottom team hold Nigeria to draw

Nnamdi Oduamadi’s late goal helped spare Nigeria’s blushes

Africa Cup of Nations champions Nigeria needed a dramatic late equaliser to rescue a 1-1 home draw with bottom team Kenya in World Cup Group F qualifying on Saturday.

Substitute Nnamdi Oduamadi, who plays for Italian second-tier club Varese, scored three minutes into stoppage time to save the Nigerians from an embarrassing defeat. Francis Kahata had put Kenya ahead with a curling free kick in the first half. It was the second draw in three games for Nigeria who have five points, level with Malawi at the top of the group. Namibia

have three points from three matches and Kenya are bottom on two points. The match was Nigeria’s first since their success at the Nations Cup. They have five points from three games, level at the top of Group F with Malawi who beat Namibia 1-0 in Windhoek. A curling free kick by Francis Kahata put Kenya ahead before halftime in Calabar. The equaliser came from a long throw as a desperate Nigeria threw everything forward. Samuel Eto’o scored twice to lead Cameroon to a 2-1 victory in Yaounde against Togo who were without Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

Coach resigns after qualifier defeat

Captain Adebayor, involved in an onoff spat with coach Didier Six, did not play after failing to show up at Togo’s training camp during the week. Cameroon, aiming to qualify for Brazil 2014 after missing out on the last two Nations Cup tournaments, are top of Group I with six points from three games following victory over Togo. The role of Eto’o was the subject of media speculation before the game but his two goals restored his status as leader of the team. Wilfried Bony (penalty), Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou struck as Ivory Coast defeated Gambia3-0 without Galatasaray forward Didier Drogba, who was left out of the squad for the Group C encounter in Abidjan. The Ivorians are top with seven points, four ahead of second-placed Tanzania who have a game in hand. Tunisia maintained their 100 percent record in Group B by beating Sierra Leone 2-1. The Tunisians have nine points from three games, five ahead of second-placed Sierra Leone. Queens Park Rangers defender Christopher Samba, playing his first competitive game for Congo after a lengthy break from international football, notched the only goal in a 1-0 win over Gabon that put his team in a strong position in Group E. Congo have nine points after winning all three of their qualifiers. Second-placed Burkina Faso continued the form that took them to the Nations Cup final in February by hammering Group E

Samata plays samba for Tanzania 18 year old Mbwana Samata has been playing samba akin to the Brazilian way on the soccer pitch for club and country.

Bernard Kaanjuka has written of Namibia’s qualification prospects Namibia coach Bernard Kaanjuka has resigned after a defeat at the weekend cost them ground in their World Cup qualifying campaign. Namibia were beaten 1-0 at home by Malawi in Windhoek on Saturday, their second defeat in three Group F matches. “I think the time has come to part ways with the association because I failed in my 22

mission to qualify the team for both the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup,” Kaanjuka told reporters. He effectively wrote off Namibia’s chances with three matches still to play even though they are only two points behind co-leaders Nigeria and Malawi. Kaanjuka had been in the job for the last 18 months and won four of 15 matches in charge.

rivals Niger 4-0 in Ouagadougou. It was their first win of the campaign and they have much to do to stand any chance of progressing to the final round playoffs at the end of the year. Senegal, top of Group J, suffered a surprise setback as they were held 1-1 by Angola who are second. Moussa Sow gave the Senegalese a firsthalf lead in neutral Guinea before Amaro equalised with 15 minutes to go for the injury-hit Angolans. The game was played in neutral Guinea after Senegal were banned for a year from playing at home following violent scenes in Dakar in October during a Nations Cup qualifier with Ivory Coast. South Africa, who hosted the last World Cup in 2010, are on track to qualify for next year’s edition in Brazil after beating Central African Republic 2-0 in a Group A tie. Full-back Thabo Matlaba drove in a long-range shot in the 33rd minute before a second-half goal by Bernard Parker pushed the home team to the top of the group with five points from three matches. The two countries meet again in Bangui in June. Ethiopia, who have four points, can go back to first place if they beat bottom team Botswana in Addis Ababa on Sunday. Central African Republic are third with three points. Nine more matches will be played across Africa on Sunday and a further two qualifiers are due to be staged on Tuesday.

The sweet music of his goals were echoed last week when Tanzania defeated Morocco, at the World Cup 2014 qualifiers, courtesy of his brace of goals. The teenage strike sensation, who laces boots also for TP Mazembe of DR Congo, has already been known to do grievous goal-scoring damage in the opponents’ goal areas such that he is already being touted as and compared to local footballing heroes such as late Magid Musisi of Uganda. A Tanzanian senior sports writer, Emmanuel Muga, describes him dribbling like Lionel Messi. Such is the talent appreciation of this youngster that the Tanzanian national team (Taifa Stars) coach, Kim Poulsen, simply admits that “This boy is wonderful and he gets better and better with time.” He is also celebtrated for the six goals he has scored in the CAF champions league against such formidable African sides as Al

Ahly, Zamalek, Power Dynamo Beremuk Chelsea, and El Merreikh.


Friday, 5 April 2013 – Thursday, 11 April 2013

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Wheelchair Tennis Stars Head for SA

Wheelchair tennis in South Africa received a huge boost it was confirmed that three world number one players will be taking part in the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) sponsored Gauteng Open and South African Open in April

African football to adopt malaria campaign

Players from 13 countries, including South Africa, will contest the events, which take place from 3 to 7 April and 9 to 13 April respectively.

Australian Open champion The world’s number one male player, Shingo Kunieda of Japan, has confirmed his entry. The 29-year-old right-hander has an impressive 377-52 win-loss record and won the Australian Open in Melbourne earlier this year. Kunieda is also the reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters title holder and won gold at the London Paralympics last year. Joining Kunieda in the draw will be three other world top-10 ranked players in Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina (5), Masters runner-up Gordon Reid of Great Britain (8) and French star Michael Jeremiasz (9). Evans Maripa, at number 28 in the world, is South Africa’s leading player.

Kgothatso KG Montjane, South Africa wheelchair tennis player.

In the women’s draw, four top-10 players have confirmed their entries, including the

world’s number one player Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands, who recently took over the top spot when legendary longstanding world champion Esther Vergeer, also from Netherlands, announced her retirement from the game. Van Koot is the reigning Australian Open and NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion and won a silver medal at the London Paralympics, losing to Vergeer in the final. The other top-10 entries received include world number four, Jiske Griffion (Netherlands), number six Lucy Shuker (Great Britain) and South African ace KG Montjane, who is ranked tenth. Quads

Arguably the best golfer the world has seen, Tiger Woods come back into the glitz of limelight, is an emphatic statement that he was never meant to languish in the woods. Coming back from a string of misadventures on and off the golf field, Tiger recently staked his claims to golf’s number one position. He has won three out of his last PGA Golf tournaments and has recently shook off the challenge of golf’s young rookie, last year’s revelation and world no. 1, Rory McCilroy. Ever since his marital misadventure which smeared him every which way, Tiger has fought not only to regain control of his life but of his golf. In that process, he suffered infamy, stigma, lost his wife and made the headlines for the negative reasons. He did not seem to enjoy the sympathy of his sponsors as deal after deal dropped off him and his fortunes did indeed felt the pinch. Tiger is not only now re-building his story after winning the Arnold Palmer PGA tournament and grossed $3.78million from his last five tournaments, but is certainly out of the woods. Part of the stability he has achieved may be attributed to being with another athlete partner, Lindsey Vonn, a beautiful blonde skier.

Tiger woods

Women’s draw

In the quads division, world number one David Wagner of the USA has confirmed his entry. South Africa’s Lucas Sithole, ranked seventh in the world, is likely to be Wagner’s strongest opposition. In the women’s quads, Canadian Sarah Hunter, ranked one spot outside the top 10, is also travelling to South Africa. The Acsa Gauteng Open, a grade one event, will be played at the Benoni and the Gauteng East Tennis Complex, while the Acsa SA Open, one of only six Super Series tournaments, will be played at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. Both tournaments form part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

Woods is out of the woods

Jomo wins Johnnie Walker Lifetime Achievement Award

The 3rd Africa Football Executive Confex scheduled for 17th and 18th of April in Johannesburg, South Africa will adopt the United Against Malaria Campaign in a bid to further highlight the role football can play in social issues on the African continent and in this instance, in creating awareness of the perils of Malaria. This is the second time in 2013 that the United against Malaria campaign has been incorporated into a major sporting occasion after an effective integration during the just concluded African Cup of Nations, also held in South Africa. The conference itself will see the convergence of African football executives providing football leaders with a comprehensive understanding of how the football business on the African continent is evolving an also aids in strategy training on how best to leverage on the ever-evolving football business climate. Expected at the conference are officials from African clubs, national associations, league governing bodies as well as brands. The conference is sponsored by Umbro while conference directors have confirmed the attendance of Inigo Arenillas, Director of Africa & Middle East, Real Madrid Foundation at the conference. Other speakers include Jerome Champagne, Former FIFA Deputy Secretary General & Director for International Relations, Ephraim Jomo Sono, Chairman, Jomo Somo Investments and also Owner, Jomo Cosmos FC, South Africa, Greg Garden, Group Brand Executive, Nedbank Group, David Sidenberg, Sponsorship Strategy & Rights Commercialisation, BMI Sports , Alex Balfour, Head of New Media, London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Fran Hilton-Smith, Acting Technical Director, HOD, Women’s Football, SAFA, and Daryn Wober, Managing Director, Ventra Media Group (UK). 23


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ISSUE 476

Woods is out of the woods

AFCON Hero on call at Arsenal FC

SEE PAGE 23

Godfrey Oboabona in action

Peter Olorunnisomo Godfrey Oboabona, a defender with the Sunshine Football club of Ondo, a state government-run football is one Nigerian footballer who seems destined to achieve more than his AFCON football colleagues. Aftermath of the AFCON championships in South Africa and the national welcome by the Nigerian populace and government, he was hosted specially by the Ondo State government of Nigeria and bagged a handsome financial reward to boot. While the euphoria of the nation’s long-awaited triumphwas simmering, and trophy cabinet gained an accolade, Godfrey, described as a role model by

officials had sneaked into London for trials at the Arsenal Football Club. Hopefully Wenger would the no –nonsense stopper .skilled enough to bolster his back four. Godfrey notably played all the nation’s matches at the championship and more gave a good account of himself as shown by the interest Arsenal scouts have shown in wasting no time in jetting him to London. This is not the first time that a Nigeria has had a profound and notable romance with Arsenal FC. One such hero of Nigerian football is Emmanuel Kanu whose heroics for Arsenal, in the least, made very pronounced statements about Nigerian footballers. Kanu is still fondly

remembered with nostalgia by Arsenal fans. The value of Godfrey’s incursion into the Arsenal’s sphere of north London is, at least, 1m pounds if all goes according to plan. It is however, hoped that his entry will not encounter the same experiences as that of Peter Odemwingie. In another development, an exskipper of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Thompson Oliseh, who is regarded as one of Nigeria’s best defensive midfielders, twitted his appointment as a member of FIFA’s Technical Study group among other functions. Hear him, ‘I am flattered to be part of this football family and I believe that this is a blessed period

indeed not only for me personally but for my beloved nation, Nigeria”. Oliseh has been recently known to have voiced his opinions on the progress of the Super Eagles in and out of the pitch particularly at the recently concluded AFCON games.

African Voice Newspaper is published by African Voice Communications. Unit 7 Holles House Overton Road London SW9 7AP. Tel: 020 7274 3933 Registered at the British Library as a newspaper. ISSN 1475-2166.Email: africanvoicenews@googlemail.com


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