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Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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ISSUE 472

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 Lifetime achievement award goes to Peter Badejo, OBE

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Nigerian Governors’ Forum split along party lines

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SEE PAGE 9

Camden brothel organisers jailed SEE PAGE 14

Cameron to squeeze migrant benefits By Alan Oakley

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to clamp down on benefits for migrants. Amongst the measures he has vowed to introduce is a ban on legal aid in cases involving migrants relating to benefits and housing. Promising to disabuse immigrants of the notion that Britain is a ‘soft touch’, Mr Cameron said his ministers have been tasked with poring over the welfare system in fine detail to see where saving can be made. The Government is determined to use curbs on benefits to deter Romanians and Bulgarians from flocking to the UK in January 2014, when restrictions on their travel here are lifted. Mr Cameron revealed he has ordered Tory ministers to ignore warnings from civil servants that getting tough on immigration was too difficult.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has been asked to draw up a ‘residency test’ to prevent new arrivals from immediately gaining automatic access to legal aid for cases in the civil courts. Speaking to the Daily Express, the PM said: “I think there is more we can do. One of the aspects that we are reaching fairly early conclusion on is that we can no longer grant legal aid to non-UK nationals or for civil cases, people who are facing housing cases or benefit cases. ‘We need a proper residency test for those cases and we’re going to consult on introducing one.” If Mr Cameron carries through his threat, analysts predict a substantial reduction in the UK’s £2 billion annual legal aid bill. He told MPs earlier this month: “Britain has always been an open and welcome economy, but it isn’t right if our systems are being abused (..) It is absolutely vital that we get this right.

Continued on page 2

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The Prime Minister faced tough questions about coming to the UK from Indian students on his recent trade visit

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Have You GotNews For Us Newsdesk: 020 7274 3933

Email: africanvoicenews@gmail.com

Metropolitan Police Service crackdown on criminals

There will be no escape for criminals as they are targeted by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in a major day of visible coordinated activity to cut crime and disrupt those who cause harm to London’s communities.

Borough officers will be joined by specialist colleagues to carry out arrests, search warrants, licensing enforcement, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations, high visibility patrols and a range of other activity in what will be the widest ranging Big Wing operation to date. Officers will also be conducting street briefings and police surgeries across the Capital’s 32 boroughs to inform and engage the public on what is being done to tackle crime and disorder. Chief Superintendent Simon Letchford said: “Gang violence, drugs, and knife rime are serious, high harm crimes that can sadly have a devastating and lasting effect on local communities; however, there are also many other issues which might be seen as ‘lower level’ offences, such as anti-social behaviour or uninsured drivers, that we know can and do blight the daily lives of too many people.

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 National Citizen Service Programme launch Employers say extra-curricular activities are as important as exam results when assessing school leavers’ CVs according to findings released by youth programme, National Citizen Service (NCS).

Seventy-six per cent of employers say that taking part in extra-curricular activities outside of school will boost young people’s chances of getting a job, compared with 75% for qualifications and exam results. The figures released by NCS, which provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 16 to 17 year olds to build skills for work and life and boost their job chances, also show that employers prefer school leavers who can demonstrate that they are team players (78%) and can mix with people from different backgrounds (79%). More than half (55%) of the employers polled stated that candidates volunteering for community projects is important to them. NCS teaches skills that complement what teenagers learn in the classroom, and supports young people’s transition into adulthood at a key point in their lives, by helping them to get involved in social action and making a difference to their local community. With fees capped at £50 and bursaries offered to the most disadvantaged, every young person can participate, whether they are academic, sporty or creative, and regardless of income, background or ambition. NCS takes place out of school time and comes at no cost to schools or colleges. A new independent organisation is be-

Mr. Nick Hurd MP ing created to support the expansion of the Government programme and Stephen Greene, Executive Chair NCS, co-founder and CEO of RockCorps. Stephen Greene said: “NCS can be a great way to build young people’s confidence, prospects and motivation for education and employment. For many 16 and 17 year olds, NCS helps them say yes not just to connecting with their community but also to building an exciting future. NCS gives young people the respect, tools and opportunities to begin to change not just their future but change the world.” Richard Reed, co-founder of innocent drinks, says: “Here at innocent we are always looking for something unique in a person we want to hire. Having confidence, creativity and social consciousness are the things that get people noticed and the NCS programme does a great job helping teens build these skills. NCS gives young people the chance to try something new, develop leadership, teamwork and communication, all skills that will help them stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.“

John Timpson, Chairman of Timpson’s, said: “It is becoming increasingly competitive for school leavers to find suitable work so I am not surprised the results of the NCS survey show employers are looking beyond academic achievements. Businesses want to recruit people with personality. Academic qualifications are important but, in addition it really helps to enjoy challenging experiences which create an outgoing character to help you stand out from the crowd. Team players who are able to mix with people from different backgrounds possess important qualities to have in the work place and something I regard highly when I am looking at prospective colleagues. A scheme like NCS improves your chances of employment and is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.” Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP said: “National Citizen Service brings young people from different backgrounds together and challenges them to bring about positive change in their area. It has the power to create a generation of ‘work ready,’ well rounded young people with raised aspirations and greater opportunities in their future. I would encourage as many 16 and 17 year olds as possible to ‘say yes to NCS’ in 2013.” The UK’s leading recruitment, HR services and training provider agrees. James Reed, Chairman of Reed Group and Managing Director of Reed in Partnership explains: “NCS is beginning to produce a generation of independent, responsible and employable young people. Not only does this project equip young people with a useful skill set, but it also inspires in them a desirable mindset, including honesty, commitment and trustworthiness.”

Cameron to squeeze migrant benefits Continued from front page

“There are many parts of our current arrangements that simply don’t pass a simple common-sense test, in terms of access to housing, access to the health service, access to justice and other things which should be the right of all British citizens, but they’re not the right of anyone who just chooses to come here.” Ministers are also looking at ways to limit the amount of Child Benefit and Tax Credits which can be claimed by new arrivals to the UK. Child Benefit is currently paid to 40,000 children who do not live in the UK, costing up to £36million per year. Going through area after area, Mr Cameron told ministers to “tear up your departmental brief,” adding that he is “not interested in what you were told to say when you came to this meeting; rip it up, think like a Conservative and make sure you’re really doing what is necessary to ask the difficult questions in your department.” The PM also promised to continue to reduce the overall net migration to Britain every year.

Prime Minister, David Cameron Referring to immigration under Labour, which rose to 200,000 new arrivals per year, he said: “We were not able to cope with that level of migration and pressure on public services (..) We’ve seen the level of net migration come down by a quarter over the last two-and-a-half years. I want to see further progress”. Much has been made in the media of Mr Cameron’s three-day sales pitch in In-

dia last week, where he urged more Indian students to come to Britain. He defended the visit, saying: “I wanted to send a message that if you’ve got a place at a university, if you can speak the English language, there isn’t an arbitrary limit on who can come (..) Afterwards you can work, but only in a graduate job. In India I was pressed quite hard – ‘why can’t we work in non-graduate jobs?’ “I was very clear, including when sitting among those 500 girls in the Delhi college, I said we have unemployed people in Britain who need to be put into work. I’m not interested in people coming to study in university, then staying on for ages in unskilled jobs. That is not in our national interest.” The Prime Minister, who clearly wants to convey that he wants tougher rules to ensure visitors do not ‘take advantage’ of British generosity, said those from outside the EU should pay when they use our hospitals. He also proposed that officials should do more to reclaim the cost of NHS treatment from EU countries whose nationals are treated here.


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On Friday 22nd of March 2013, at Finsbury Town Hall London the (Association of Dance of the African Diaspora) ADAD awarded Peter Badejo, OBE with a Lifetime Achievement accolade for his contribution to the development of the practice of Dance of the African Diaspora in the UK.

In the Citation, which was read out on the evening, Peter Badejo OBE, is one of Nigeria’s foremost choreographers dancers and African performance specialists. After a long and distinguished career in Nigeria, United States as a performer, director, teacher and academic, Peter moved to Britain in 1990. Peter is the artistic director of Badejo Arts, a company he founded in 1990. In addition to his own productions of allegorical contemporary African dance, including “Emi ijo”. The Pain of Aspiration, Sisi Agbe Aye (Opening the Gourd}, The Living Circle and Ebo Iye (Transitions) Elemental Passions, Peter Badejo has appeared in major drama’s such as Cambridge University’s Eshu’s Faust, Talawa Theatre company’s The Gods Are Not To Blame, Phylida

Peter Badejo OBE with wife

Lloyds production of Medea and Death of the Kings Horseman. Dance companies throughout Africa, Europe and America have commissioned Peter Badejo to work, Peter’s list of collaborators and commissions include Adizdo Pan African Dance Ensemble. Kokuma, Irie Dance theatre, Sakoba Productions, The royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, Cambridge Arts Theatre, The School of African and Oriental studies London, The University of Surrey, amongst others. Greatly in demand as a teacher, he has conducted residencies and workshop programmes throughout the UK for organisations such as the international workshop festival, London contemporary dance school, and The Birmingham summer school as well as WOMAD. During his tenure as artists in residence at John Moore University he assisted in the development of African Dance. Between 1993 and 2005 professionals and seasoned performers flocked to his annual dance and music summer school “Bami Jo” which was originally designed to provide a training ground in African and Caribbean dance for dance companies before being subsequently developed to provide intensive training for independent

Photos: By

By Ade Omoloja

Ade Omoloja

News Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Peter Badejo, OBE

Peter Badejo OBE with members of The Association of Dance of The African Diaspora

professional dancers and musicians, Peter Badejo was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen with an OBE for his contributions to the arts in 2001 Peter Badejo’s commitment to the field of African performance arts has involved research conducted through the Universities of London, California, Ghana, Ahmadu Bello University and the University of Surrey.

Peter Badejo now freelances worldwide, he directed one of Nigeria’s contribution to London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, additionally he has been the artistic director for a number of international arts festival hosted in Abuja and Lagos, EKO 2012 and The Lagos Black Heritage Festival. In his acceptance speech, Peter Badejo dedicated the award to the practitioners that had come before him.

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‘The Great Wall of Lagos’ – A tourist destination in the making Eko Atlantic City, a project to fight coastal erosion and reclaim land that had been lost to the ocean in the last 100 year is to make Lagos State a tourist destination in the near future. A new city project by the Lagos State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola attracted President Goodluck Jonathan, former president of the United States, Bill Clinton and many other dignitaries. Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan was in Lagos State recently to commission the 5,000,000 square metres of land reclaimed from the Bar Beach. Speaking at the event, President Jonathan who described the feat as a landmark, said, “the project was one of the good news that we will continue to tell in the country. “When completed, the Atlantic City will promote tourism, as it will give birth to new cities and new cities will help in no small measure in the revenue generation of the country. “It will help in urban renewal and in the construction of new cities to complement the old ones. The Federal Government is, therefore, giving its full support once again to the project.”

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (5th left), President Goodluck Jonathan (middle), 42nd President of the United States of America and Founder, Clinton Global Initiative, Bill Clinton (5th right), National Leader, Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (4th right), Executive Chairman, Eko Atlantic, Mr. Ronald Chagoury (3rd right), Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (4th left), Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Former President Clinton, while speaking at the event, said the project, when completed, would bring enormous opportunities, adding, “I am convinced that within

five years, people will be coming all over the world to see this wall. In the last nine years, I have been asked to work in the aftermath of natural disasters all over the

world. “I want to thank the government and the developer for building this city. They have reclaimed five million square metres of the


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Competition land initially lost to the sea. That marks the beginning of this amazing wall, they have kept their commitment and it will work to improve the economy of Nigeria,” he concluded. Governor Fashola in his remark, said that the project would be strengthened by the “Great Wall,” which would help in the fight against coastal erosion and in reclaiming land that had been lost to the ocean. “The project has the prospect of generating employment in the future, as properties will spring up, which will be protected by the Great Wall of Lagos. It shows the resolve and will of man in the fight against nature. Nature again has, once again, been defeated,” he said. Executive Chairman of Eko Atlantic, Mr. Ronald Chagoury, said: “Nigeria is a great nation. Building a city of this calibre can only be achieved by putting our hands together. Today, we are at a turning point, where the real construction of the city has started.”

The Managing Director of Eko Atlantic, Mr. David Frame, stated in his address: “Completing 50 per cent of the land reclamation for Eko Atlantic is a major milestone and we are incredibly proud to be able to celebrate the occasion today with His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and President Clinton, as well as His Excellency Governor Fashola. Their participation is a major endorsement of our objectives; and we thank them profusely.” While the Head of Communications for the new city, Mr. Brent Sadler, said: “Eko Atlantic is a ground breaking vision for the future of Lagos, offering world-class infrastructure to facilitate the development of a new African city. It will help meet the needs of Lagos’ growing population and business community. Eko Atlantic will be a clean, energy efficient city for the 21st Century.”

Win A Return Flight Ticket Courtesy Arik Air HOW TO ENTER To be in with your chance to win a return ticket to Lagos, simply answer this question: How many luggages are allowed for each passenger on Arik Air economy class A. 3 pieces 23kg B. 2 pieces 30kg C. 2 pieces 35kg Send your answer with full name, telephone number and postal address on an email to africanvoicenews@gmail.com or postcard to the Promoter: African Voice Newspapers Unit 7 Holles House Overton Road London SW9 7AP. Winner will be picked at random.

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An artist impression Eko-Atlantic-City

Arik Air receives merit award for community support Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest airline, has secured yet another award in recognition of its commitment to developing Nigeria/ Sierra Leone relations. On Saturday, February 23, the Nigeria High Commission in Sierra Leone presented the airline with a merit award for its outstanding contribution to the development of the Nigerian community and the relationship between the two countries. Speaking at the award ceremony in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Nigeria High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Mr. Eyo Asuquo, said Arik Air has worked tirelessly to strengthen the relations between Nigeria and Sierra Leone. He stated that the award ceremony was established in line with the directive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Receiving the merit award from the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Henry Macauley, Arik Air’s Freetown

Manager, Mr. Femi Asun, said the honour would spur the airline to do even more to promote relations between Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Arik Air started operations to Freetown in June 2009 following the demand from both communities for direct air links between Sierra Leone and Nigeria ending years of limited access between the two countries. The airline now operates three weekly flights between Lagos, Nigeria and Freetown, Sierra Leone on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Arik Air’s Executive Vice President/ Managing Director, Mr. Chris Ndulue said of the new award: “We are extremely pleased with this merit award by the Nigeria High Commission in Sierra Leone. It is recognition of our effort to stimulate travel, ease the movement of goods and personnel, and provide affordable air travel between Nigeria and Sierra Leone is appreciated by the government and by the people of the two nations.”

1.Competition is open to UK residents only aged 21 years or over. By entering this competition you are agreeing to receive marketing communications from Arik Air. 2. The ticket prize is for a return economy flight from London Heathrow to Lagos for one passenger. (Taxes to be paid by winners). 3. Winning tickets must be redeemed during off peak period. Black-out dates apply (including Easter, Summer, Christmas – please check with Arik Air reservations). 4. Competition closing date: Midnight 22nd March 2013. 5. Entry is restricted to one entry per person. No purchase is necessary. An independent person will randomly pick one winning entrant from the pool of all eligible entries within 48hrs of the closing date. The winner will be notified within 7 days of the draw date by telephone or email. 6. Travel insurance and travel documents such as valid passports and visas are the responsibility of the winner. 7. Prize is non transferable, non exchangeable and non changeable. There is no cash alternative offered. 8. All expenses, including but not limited to, hotel accommodation costs, transfers from airport, fuel costs, parking, meals, beverages and items of a personal nature are not included in the ticket prize and will be the responsibility of the ticket winner. Ticket prize excludes travel to and from departure airport in the UK. 9. Once travel dates have been confirmed changes cannot be made. 10. The prize is subject to availability and restricted travel dates to be advised to the winner at the time of booking. 11. The promoter is not responsible for any delays or cancellation of the ticket or for any inability of the ticket winner to take up the prize. The promoter reserves the right to suspend, change or terminate the competition at any time, and for any reason, without notice. 12. Entry to the competition implies acceptance of all relevant terms and conditions by the entrants. 13. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the partners in this promotion accept no liability for any loss, damage or injury caused by, or to, the prize winner or their guest whilst taking the ticket prize. 14. If the winner cannot be located within 21 days of the drawing of the prize, then the runner-up from the draw will be selected as the new winner. 15. Events may occur that render the ticket prize draw itself, or the awarding of the ticket prize impossible, due to reasons beyond the control of the promoter and accordingly, the promoter may, at its absolute discretion, vary, or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the promoter as a result thereof. 16. The draw is not open to employees, agents, contractors of The African Voice or their families or anyone professionally connected with the prize draw. 17. The Promoter is not responsible for the entrant’s submission of incorrect telephone numbers, e-mail or postal addresses or for problems with entries caused by any factors outside their control. 18. Ticket prizes are subject to availability and the Promoter reserves the right to substitute alternative prizes of similar value. Promoter: African Voice Newspaper UK. 19. Any other conditions will be advised at the time of booking. 20. Promoter: African Voice UK, Unit 7 Holles House Overton Road, London SW9 7AP, England.

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Need for More Coordination on Global Development Leaders of the African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank Group have pledged close collaboration to support development and growth. The leaders emphasized the need for coordinated efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, which aim to end poverty and hunger, increase access to education and health care, improve gender equality, and ensure environmental sustainability. “Nothing could be more important than ensuring young people get the right start in life. We aim to make 2015 the year in which children no longer negotiate access to basic education, mothers to the most basic health care, households to water and sanitation, or girls to the most fundamental opportunities for schooling, work, or voice in their communities. And we aim to ensure these gains are permanently sustained in the post-2015 era” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. The leaders pledged strong support for and collaboration with the UN-led process of defining the Post-2015 Development Framework. They voiced support for an

approach that integrates concepts of economic, social and environmental sustainability. Noting that even recent gains in social indicators are at risk in the absence of a long term financing plan, leaders pledged to work together to develop options for long term investment to strengthen the foundations of growth. They called for a renewed focus on financing for development - with greater leveraging of official development assistance and private sector investment, as well as better domestic resource mobilization and management and stronger institutions. They pledged cooperation to build the statistical capacity of governments, to enable better policies, for example by deploying the latest techniques for monitoring poverty and inequality, and factoring natural wealth accounting into decision making. “We are at a critical time where working together, we can bend the arc of history - eliminating absolute poverty, boosting shared prosperity, and defining a pattern of growth that demonstrates that we care for our planet and all its people” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “In these tough economic times, we’ll only reach our goals by pulling together. We will work with a wide variety of partners to reach our goals, thoughtfully and creatively. Civil society, business, and govern-

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank ment need to think and work together. Our institutions aim to create an atmosphere for open dialogue and imaginative solutions to emerge” added Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank. Issues of inclusive growth, environmental sustainability, and long term financing are global in nature. They affect richer and poorer countries alike. Recognizing this, the leaders of the Institutions welcomed the G-20 and G-8 analysis of related issues, and committed to harnessing their own institutions’ analytical and convening power to identify solutions to such pressing global issues, and making developing country issues thoroughly and clearly understood. “Recent economic crises, which have put so many people at a risk of falling into poverty, mean we need to do more to promote macroeconomic stability, and to build strong and transparent financial systems. The very large gaps in development finance mean we’ll need to search for ever better ways to encourage investment, including building more

resilient and effective financial systems to support more effective domestic resource mobilization and management” said Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. The leaders committed to excellence in management and organization of their own institutions. In this respect they shared experiences with organizational change, and reiterated their commitments to the highest standards in serving clients, excellence in staffing and professional development, and collaboration on the ground among the Institutions. “The development challenges we face at the global and national levels are of such scale that we must work together. It’s not only a question of financial resources, but of ensuring we can deliver the best available knowledge, best people, and best models of cooperation to our clients. They expect nothing less, and we aim to deliver nothing short of their expectations” said Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Unsecured lending by banks in South Africa is still on the increase, but at a slower rate than previous years, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry has heard in Parliament.

He urged authorities to get a handle on unregistered lenders, who according to him “were lending money from the boot of their cars.” Mr Tami Sokutu from African Bank expressed his concern that in the last 12 months unsecured lending has been tainted as the “devil of lending”. “We are one of the pioneers of unsecured lending to people that other banks would not lend to. We wanted to meet the developmental needs of the people of South Africa who do not have the security to apply for bank loans.” According to him some of their clients used the money for house renovations and education. “There is a danger in bedevilling unsecured lending when it can actually improve the lives of South Africans.” FNB said over-lending should be address instead, which was why it favoured affordability guidelines, while Standbard Bank felt the key is fair and appropriate lending. Mr Christiaan van Schalkwyk of Capitec indicated that the Committee should take cognisance of the environment banks were operating in. “We must look at the history of credit provision in South Africa and the people that were denied access before. Now we have people using credit to improve their lives.”

South Africa: Lending Cools Down

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Ms Joanmariae Fubbs, Chairperson of the Committee, emphasized that this type of lending had to be tackled seriously as “consumers should not be overburdened with debt they could not afford.” She also requested a breakdown from financial institutions as to what these loans were used for. Her comments comes after a presentation by the Banking Association of South Africa, together with some of its big clients like FNB, Standard Bank, Absa, Nedbank, Capitec and African Bank on the affects of unsecured lending on South Africans. African Bank and Capitec are at the forefront of unsecured lending to people in the lower income bracket. Mr Cas Coovadia, Managing Director of the Banking Association of South Africa (Basa), said since September last year credits to South African had slowed down even further. “We want to be responsible in how we give credit without stopping it completely,” he noted.


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President Jonathan signs 2013 budget

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has signed the 2013 Appropriation Bill into law. Following consultations and an agreement between the Executive and the Legislature on the 2013 Appropriation Bill has been signed into law.

In a statement released by Dr. Reuben Abati Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government have therefore been directed to work very hard to ensure that all the services, projects and programmes contained in the budget are successfully delivered on schedule in spite of the slight delay in its enactment. President Jonathan wishes to reassure all Nigerians that the consultations have been in the best interest of the country, and in pursuit of understanding and mutual cooperation

between both arms of government. As part of the understanding reached with its leadership, the observations of the executive arm of government about the Appropriation Bill as passed by the National Assembly will be further considered by the National Assembly through legislative action, to ensure effective and smooth implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act in all aspects. The administration remains fully committed to the positive transformation of the country, and effective and efficient service delivery for the benefit of all citizens. Meanwhile, radical lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN has said, If Jonathan signs Nigeria’s 2013 budget now, it’ll be illegal. It is the hope of millions of Nigerians that the N4.25 trillion budget proposal, tagged “Budget of Consolidation and Inclusive Growth” will not be subjected to court injunction.

Nigeria Governors’ Forum split along party lines Governor Godswill Akpabio, executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State emerged Chairman of a newly formed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum out of the well known Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

The incumbent Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State is locked in a battle to secure another two year in office. Chairman of the new PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, told journalists that his emergence is to checkmate the opposition governors and also x-ray the state of affairs of the ruling PDP. “We are of the opinion that we should take steps to set up structures to meet the emerging challenge of All Progressive Congress APC,” he said. Akpabio noted that part of the resolution was that PDP should have continuous interaction among its national leadership and the Board of Trustees (BoT) in order to build a synergy with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). According to him, “We set up a committee to evaluate the situation in the South West and we will be communicating with the South West leaders and that committee is headed by Governor Ibrahim Shema. “Governor Shema and the leaders of that committee would be meeting with the leaders of the southwest and they will come with resolutions that can resolve the issue in the South West.” He explained that the Shema committee has two weeks to submit its report. On the crisis in the Adamawa State branch of the party, the Forum chairman stated that while the Governor Sule Lamido

President Goodluck Jonathan receives President Dilma Rousseff

President Jonathan or ECOWAS summit and state visit to Cote d’Ivoire

Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) pose for a group photo during the summit of ECOWAS at the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Governor Godswill Akpabio, executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State committee on the crisis continued its work, the dissolved executives led by Ngama Mijinjwa, loyal to governor Murtala Nyako, should be reinstated. He said: “We also looked into the issue of Adamawa state PDP and came to the conclusion that we should allow Governor Sule Lamido’s committee to do its work to report immediately to the party, NWC and the Presidency. “But in the mean time, we plead that the status quo should be allowed to remain. By the status quo, we mean the Mijinjwa Committee. The executive in place prior to the dissolution of the state executive,” Akpabio said.

President Goodluck Jonathan joins other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Yamassoukrou, Cote d’Ivoire for the 42nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government starting on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013.

Ongoing efforts to restore peace, democracy and political stability to Mali and Guinea-Bissau in which President Jonathan and Nigeria are playing key roles tops the agenda of the two-day summit at which a new ECOWAS Chairperson will also be elected. A statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, on Tuesday, February 26, said President Jonathan and other participating Heads of State and Government will also receive and consider the 2012 annual report of the President of the ECOWAS Commission as well as the report of the 69th Ordinary Session of the

ECOWAS Council of Ministers. At the conclusion of the Summit on Thursday, President Jonathan will, at the invitation of President Alassane Ouattara, embark on a three-day state visit to Cote D’Ivoire accompanied by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Honourable Isa Hassan, Honourable Nkeiru Onyejiocha, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed and other officials of the Federal Government. Various agreements aimed at fostering trade and economic relations between Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire will be concluded and signed in Abidjan before the end of the visit. President Jonathan, whose entourage includes representatives of the Nigerian Private Sector, will also meet with Nigerians resident in Cote D’Ivoire before returning to Nigeria on Saturday. 9


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Aregbesola rounds off US visit as foreign investors jostling to invest in Osun Investors of American origin and Nigerians in the Diaspora have signified their intentions to partner Osun State on information technology, youth development and tourism.

This is the outcome of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s one-week working visit to the United States, which ends on Tuesday 26 February 2013. At a dinner with Tim McNulty, the VicePresident, Government Relations of Carnegie Melon University, it was agreed that McNulty would visit Osun for an on-thespot assessment with the intent to partner the state on information technology and set up a campus of the university in Osun. The Osun State government was praised for its innovations by officials of Allegheny County at The Courthouse, the county’s headquarters, where they explored areas of partnership and exchange with Aregbesola. The Chief Executive of Allegheny, Rich Fitzgerald, described the Opon Imo concept as an example of good governance. Fitzgerald pledged to buy the tablets for public schools in the county, adding that

just as Osun seeks to learn from Allegheny, the county has a lot to learn from the state. Osun State partnered Allegheny County on culture, innovation, technology and youth empowerment. Allegheny is the biggest county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a population of 1.3 million. It is home to the popular Heinz brand and seven Fortune 500 companies with interest in steel and nutrition. Aregbesola, who later met with Bill Strickland of Manchester Bidwell Centre, a non-governmental organisation established in 1968 to combat the effect of economic and social devastation on youths of his inner city neighbourhood, expressed the desire to partner the centre in vocational development. The organisation has set up 100 centers in the US and another 100 in other parts of the world. Strickland engaged Aregbesola on the possibility of establishing a center in Osun. He is willing to work with the state to raise funds for feasibility study and to build the center. Strickland is expected in Osun

soon. At a town hall meeting with African Americans hosted by the Christian Evangelical Economic Development (CEED) at its center, Aregbesola explained the policies of his administration and his achievements in two years.

CEED Founder Mr. Ray Parker promised to coordinate the trip of African Americans, who will attend this year’s Osun Osogbo festival and a trade mission by small scale investors. Culled from The Nation Newspapers, Nigeria.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the County Executive, Mr. Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County, City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, 2nd from left leads a delegation to Osun

Photos: Taofeeq Adejare

From Left – Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters ,Barrister Kunle Amos, Director Co-ordination of the Armed Forces Command of Staff College, Jaji, Brig. Gen. Caster Oyebade,Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Sunday Akere, Brig. Gen. Ademoh Salihu and Special Adviser to the Governor on Federal Matters, Mrs Idiat Babalola at the presentation on the State of Osun by Syndicate 8 Senior Course 35 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State


Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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Mexico

High-rolling union boss apprehended

Mexican police have arrested Elba Esther Gordillo, reputedly the most powerful woman in the country.

Union leader Gordillo is accused of illegally diverting 2 billion pesos (£103 million) from teachers’ union coffers into personal accounts. She was detained at an airport outside Mexico City. In a press conference, attorney-general, Jesus Murillo Karam, said authorities believe that the heavily made-up and facelifted 68-year-old used the money to pay for designer clothes, plastic surgery and even a house in San Diego. “We are looking at a case in which teachers’ funds have been illegally misused for the benefit of several people, among them Elba Esther Gordillo,” said Murillo Karam, adding: “Between 2008 and 2012, there was systematic embezzlement of union accounts.” He confirmed that the arrest was the culmination of an investigation that began in December when Santander bank alerted the country’s finance ministry to large cash movements between accounts. On Tuesday (February 26), political commentators in Mexico said that Ms Gordillo’s detention appeared to be a sign of

centrist President Enrique Peña Nieto’s determination to rebuild presidential power after more than a decade of its gradual erosion. The arrest has come just one day after Mr Peña Nieto, who took office in December, signed into law the most sweeping reform of Mexico’s education sector in more than half a century. The reform, the most significant since Mr Peña Nieto became president, wrests power from the mighty union by establishing a transparent system for hiring teachers and evaluating their performance. Previously, public school teachers, who earn about 25 per cent more on average than private school teachers according to an Imco study, would gain positions by nepotism. In the days leading up to the ratification of the reforms, Ms Gordillo mobilised union members to protest the changes. Alejandro Hope, an analyst at the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (Imco), described the arrest as “bold” explaining: “Gordillo has been the ultimate power broker in Mexico for at least the last decade.” Mr Hope also said that the decision contained many potential dangers. For one

Union leader Gordillo is alleged to be no stranger to expensive plastic surger thing, Ms Gordillo has her own political party and also is understood to enjoy the support of most of her union members. For another, she is understood to have plenty of money with which to hire some of the best legal advice available in Mexico – a

fact that could cause the government a few headaches. “This could be very costly for Peña Nieto,” said Mr Hope. “He needs to tread very carefully on the legal and political aspects of this case.”

Victim of child rape to face 100 lashes

Iran

Furious foe photoshops flirty FLOTUS

A 15 year-old girl who has claimed to be a victim of rape by her stepfather was sentenced this week to 100 lashes by a Maldives court. The girl has been convicted of engaging in pre-marital sex, forbidden under the Indian Ocean nation’s strict Islamic law, in a case unrelated to the alleged rape. The case was sent for prosecution after police were called to investigate a dead baby buried on the island of Feydhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, in the north of the country. The girl’s stepfather was accused of raping her and impregnating her before killing the baby. The girl’s mother also faces charges for failing to report the abuse to the authorities. The charge against the girl was brought after police investigating the rape allegation learned she had engaged in consensual sex with another man. It is not clear whether the other man is to face charges.

Unless the government intervenes, the punishment will be carried out when the girl is 18, unless she elects to serve it before. Ahmed Faiz, representing Amnesty International, described flogging as “cruel, degrading and inhumane” and urged the authorities to abolish it. “We are very surprised that the government is not doing anything to stop this punishment - to remove it altogether from the statute books. “This is not the only case. It is happening frequently - only last month there was another girl who was sexually abused and sentenced to lashes.” A female spokesperson for the juvenile court defended the punishment, saying the girl had willingly committed an act outside of the law. Zaima Nasheed added that the girl will spend the next eight months under house arrest at a children’s home as part of her punishment.

Michelle Obama’s Oscars appearance as seen in Iran (top) and elsewhere

Michelle Obama’s video appearance at last weekend’s Academy Awards ceremony proved a little too racy for one of the United States’ biggest foes.

Iran’s authorities viewed the First Lady’s moderately plunging neckline and bare shoulders as breaching their conservative sensibilities and digitally altered her outfit for publication within the nation’s borders. Mrs Obama wore a sleek metallic creation by Indian-American designer, Naeem

Khan, but it looked quite unlike anything that was ever on the Mumbai-born 54 yearold’s sketch pad by the time the Iranian Fars News Agency got their hands on it. The photo was apparently edited to better comply with the strict Islamic dress code for women. The fashion makeover was first reported by the blog Persian Letters. It may or may not be significant that the Best Picture award being presented by the FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) went to Argo – a movie that is openly critical of Iran’s regime. 11


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Nollywood News

10 new hot babes to watch out in Nollywood

M

ovie industries all over the world are the haven of delectable women who glamourize our screens, not only with beauty but also razor sharp acting skills. From Hollywood to Bollywood and Nollywood, these extraordinary damsels wield their God-given gifts to play with the minds of people. To some producers, a ravishing beauty on the cast is as good as a box office hit. In this era of ‘sex crusade’ where what sells is sex, sex, sex and maybe a little bit of violence, most producers believe if the talent of an actress doesn’t do the trick the sexiness she exudes is bound to get attention and surely a wave of followers in her wake. Now, Nollywood has had its share of drop dead gorgeous women with extraordinary curves to nail a man to the wall. From the likes of Liz Benson, Regina Askia, Clarion Chukwura, to name a few to the power houses running the show now, Nollywood is surely at the top of the roof on the continent. Of course, the power houses running the show now go in the likes of Omotola, Genevieve, Mercy Johnson, Chika Ika, Stella Damasus, Ini Edo and a few others. But Nollywood is producing them so fast these days even the so-called power houses are disappearing in the horizon. There’s a new wave of very sexy women in Nollywood and they are not just lurking around any more, they are taking over. Faces of the Omotolas, Genevieves, and their ilk just don’t cut it any more, a new and sexy storm is rising in Nollywood and fast! These fresh faces are not only young but also very hot, pretty, sexy and talented. They are winning top roles and driving them home with a little more than off-thecounter talents, beauty and curves, they are simply adorable and desirable.

Lilian Esoro

role which must have come her way because she looks the part and tailor-made for the role. Michelle Bello, the producer, must have known Damilola is a ‘Flower’ that blossoms at every turn. She made her mark in the high octane soap “Tinsel” playing the role of Thelma Duke but she has since left the soap train to try her hand in the movie world.

Lilian Esoro The television soap girl is currently wallowing in the euphoria of international attention after catching the eye of the world with her role as ‘Nurse Abigail’ in the popular television soap “Clinic Matters”. Lilian is one of the nominees to battle the likes of Mercy Johnson and Funke Akindele for the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) Best Actress in a Comedy category. She has plied her trade in “Estatea”, Here are the top ten: “Ayetu” and 10 new sexy storm rising in Nolc u r r e n t ly lywood: brandishing her talent Damilola Adegbite Damilola Adegbite and beauty Damilola Adegbite hasn’t been in “Clinic around for too long. She doesn’t Matters” and need to be before she seizes the “Tinsel”. limelight. She has what it takes to be at the very top; beauty, talent and Beverly Naya knock-me-silly curves. Beautiful, She’s recently the toast of the cinemas alluring and where her “Flower Girl” is making waves. sexy Beverly Damilola is the “Flower Girl”, a perfect 12

Beverly Naya

returned from the United Kingdom some years back to carve a niche for herself in Nollywood and what she has had so far is a little more than she bargained for. Just last year she stood shoulder to shoulder with the very best in the industry to compete for the FAB Magazine’s Most Stylish Actress, which was eventually won by Rita Dominic after beating the likes of Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade and Nse Itse-Akpan. Also in 2010 she won’Most Promising Talent’ at the Best of Nollywood Awards, and in 2011 she was City People’s ‘Fast Rising Actress’. She has featured in “Up Creek Without A Paddle”, “Stripped”, “Weekend Getaway” and many others.

Collete Orji

have met Collete keep talking about her magnetic backside which tends to sing a song many could not help but follow. She has several claims to stardom and they include “Strength of a Woman”, “Blue Blood”, “Raindrop”, “Two Can Play That Game”, “Amaka Mustapha” and a host of others.

Biola Ige Biola Ige is not exactly new in the industry but a condition that messed up her beauty took her off the scene for a while and now she’s back, looking as beautiful and sexy as ever. She has one of the sexiest eyes in the industry with a figure to die for. She’s probably the only Hindu in the industry but this doesn’t bother Biola, her talent and her beauty remains the hook that drags home the big juicy roles for her. In four years she reportedly featured in over 20 films. Collete Orji Collete came into the industry a few years ago but already she has a profile that would bedazzle any producer. Beautiful, talented and sexy but most people who

Chita Agwu


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Nollywood News

Chelsea Eze

this busty and beautiful Anambra Stateborn upcoming star is carved along the line of the likes of Mercy Johnson and maybe a little bit more easy on the eyes She waltzed her way into limelight with awesome acts in “Dream Walker”, “Transformer”, “Akpati”, among others

Tope Osoba

Chelsea Eze With a look of a ‘damsel in distress’ Chelsea, unlike the ‘Spirit’ that bears her name, has such harmless beauty which it effects can only be felt in its intoxication. She shot into prominence in 2009 winning a nomination at AMAA (Africa Movie Academy Awards) and confirmed her presence on the scene the following year with AMAA’s ‘Most Promising Actress’, ZAFAA’s ‘Best Upcoming Actress’ and BON’s ‘Revelation of the Year’. Her most popular flicks include “Two Brides and a Baby”, “Twist”, “Timeless Passions”, “Hood Rush” and others. Tope Osoba Now Tope Osoba is a genuine article, just what the doctor ordered when it comes to suaveness and sophistication wrapped up in beauty and brawn. She has also got a lot on her chest to want you to want to see her films even if they are as dry as the fig leaf during harmattan. She plies her trade in the Yoruba sector of the industry and the beau is sure coming into her element. She was the ‘stripper’ that got the Senator in a twist of passion and obsession in late Bisi Komolafe’s “Igboro Ti Daru” and who could have blamed the hapless law-man under siege of Tope’s luscious cleavage. She has also starred in “Gucci Girls”, “Omo Tee”, “Oogun Mi”, “21 Million” among others. Chika Agatha Chika isn’t exactly Cossy Orjiakor, but

Chita Agwu Chita Agwu has everything going for her: beauty and talent. She has acted in over twenty movies and still counting. Her well-sculpted figure also makes her earn a living as a model. With an aura of self-confidence and child-like beauty Chita doesn’t have to flaunt her beauty to get noticed, if her killing smile doesn’t do the job her pretty face comes hitting like a tornado Angel Ufuoma Angel Ufuoma,”a Cambridge trained lawyer, ruffling feathers in the movie industry and causing just the right stir for her talent and quiet beauty. She hasn’t been more than three years on the scene but she is rising so fast she is in contention for every hot role in the industry. She has featured in many blockbusters and recently wowed the core of Nollyword for her sterling role interpretation in “Dr. Bello”.

Angel Ufuoma

Article first published in Vanguard Newspaper, Nigeria.

Chika Agatha

Biola Ige 13


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CRIME

Man jailed after two unprovoked attacks in Plaistow he ran up behind her and threw a punch to her head. The victim fell to ground and was unconscious. Ayoade turned around and jogged back towards Green Gate Street. The victim was taken by ambulance to Newham General Hospital with bruising to the head and cuts to her face. She was treated and discharged that day. She had three broken teeth, cuts to her face and bruising to her head and neck. During his interview Ayoade stated he saw the victim in the street and that he did not like the way she looked at him. He then hit her. The incident at Plaistow London Underground Station happened at around 20.20hrs on 20 November, 2011. The court heard that the victim, a 21year-old student from Birmingham, was on the phone to a friend and was having a problem with the ticket machine. Ayoade approached the victim and punched her to the side of her face, knocking her out, before running away. The victim later attended hospital and received treatment for broken teeth. Investigating Officer, Detective Constable Glenn Peach of Met’s Violent Crime

Unit at Newham, said: “These were unprovoked and cowardly attacks on defenceless women for no reason whatsoever. “In the assault outside the Black Lion, the force the teenage victim hit the pavement after being punched in the head could have resulted in far worse injures. It was shocking attack on someone who was unable defend themselves. “Ayoade has expressed little remorse for what he has done.” “He was clearly a danger to the public and needed to be caught before he caused serious injury to someone else.”

Camden brothel organisers jailed

300 cannabis plants seized in Thornton Heath

Michael Ayoade

A man who attacked two young women in unprovoked attacks in Newham was jailed on Monday 25 February. He was sentenced to four years for the assault on a 16 year old girl in Plaistow in November last year. He also received a 19 month sentence for an almost identical assault 12 months earlier at Plaistow Tube Station. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Sorient Sigba

Four people have been sentenced for their part in running a Camden-based brothel that turned over almost £1m in under a year.

Acting on intelligence that suggested clients were being recruited from nearby clubs to pay for sex with young women, undercover officers from the MPS’s Trafficking and Prostitution Unit (TPU) visited the brothel at Johns Mews in Holborn, Camden. The intelligence indicated that clients were being charged £300 per hour in cash to have sex with young women - and £390 per hour if they used their credit card. During their visits, the undercover officers were offered sex with women, and also cocaine. Following this, officers arrested a man and woman at the brothel on 18 October 2011. They later arrested another two men, 14

He was sentenced at Inner London Crown court after admitting two counts of ABH at earlier hearings at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Ayoade, who was far bigger than his victims, was caught after CCTV footage of a street attack in November last year on a 16year-old victim in Plaistow was issued to the media. The footage was also posted on YouTube and Twitter by the Metropolitan Police giving the appeal maximum exposure. Detectives from the Met arrested Ayoade on suspicion of assault after receiving a number of anonymous calls identifying him when footage of the street attack was released. On seeing footage, officers from the British Transport Police believed he was the same man responsible for a near identical attack at Plaistow tube station 12 months earlier. The assault in the street on 13 November, 2012 outside the Black Lion pub in High Street, Plaistow. At about 12:30hrs on that day, Ayoade followed the 16-year-old girl from her home address for approximately 500 metres. When he was near the Black Lion pub

Vera Fosuhene

on 15 November and 21 December 2011. Officers took the young women at the brothel to a safe haven, where they were given support and advice. The TPU’s investigation uncovered accounts showing that the brothel had been running since 2006 and that between 9 January and 18 October 2011 it had turned over £946,766. While defendants [B/C/D] all pleaded guilty to the charges, [A] denied guilt and was sent to trial at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday 17 January. It took the jury only two hours to return a guilty verdict on Friday 25 January. [B] Vera Fosuhene, 46 of Kidderminster Road, Croydon was given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for three years, for assisting in management of a brothel and two counts of being concerned in the supply of cocaine, at Southwark Crown

Court on Monday 25 February. Defendants [A/C/D] were sentenced as follows at Southwark Crown court on Friday 1 February: [A] Sorient Sigba, 54 of Barnehurst Avenue, Erith was jailed for three years for money laundering and three years for controlling prostitution, to run concurrently. [C] Simon Earl, 58 of Kemnal Warren, Chislehurst was jailed for two years for money laundering and two years for controlling prostitution, to run concurrently. [D] Michael Wallen, 50 of Geldeston Road, Hackney was jailed for two years and five months for money laundering. At the conclusion of the trial, the investigating officers were commended for their hard work. Investigating officer Detective Constable Kieran Backhouse, of the TPU, said: “These people ran a brothel at an address which, on the outside, appeared reputable, but inside they were exploiting young women for their own financial gain. “By painstakingly searching through financial information and making undercover visits, we were able to establish what these people were doing and how much they were making from their crime. Consequently, they have been convicted and sentenced. “This should be taken as a warning to anyone else exploiting women in this way that the Met will take every step to find and prosecute them.”

Speaking about the Plaistow tube assault, Detective Constable, Oliver Carne of the British Transport Police, the investigating officer for British Transport Police, said: “This was a shocking, unprovoked assault on a lone woman who was left feeling traumatised and in a lot of pain. “Violent incidents are rare on the Tube network and the chances of becoming a victim are very slim. “However, BTP takes violence very seriously and we will do everything in our power to bring offenders to justice

Police arrested a man and seized approximately 300 cannabis plants this morning on 14 February 2013 after they carried out a raid at an address in Thornton Heath. Officers from the Thornton Heath Safer Neighbourhoods Team, assisted by colleagues from neighbouring wards executed the search warrant in Springfield Road. Upon entering the house, they discovered it was being used as a cannabis factory, and seized 300 of what are belived to be cannabis plants. A 50 year old man was also arrested at the address on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody at this time. Police attention was drawn to the address after the Met’s Air Support Unit (helicopter), whilst using a thermal imaging camera, noticed that the address was giving out an unusually high heat signature, which can signal that it is being used to grow cannabis. This information was passed to local intelligence officers at Croydon, who carried out further checks on the address and applied for a search warrant at Croydon Magistrates’ Court. The warrant was granted by the court and quickly executed by the local SNT. Sergeant Glenn Williams from the Thornton Heath SNT said: “This was a quick turn around from the officers in the helicopter bringing it to our attention, to our officers in the intelligence unit developing that information and obtaining the warrant, through to us executing it and recovering about 300 cannabis plants.


Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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Sounds of Diaspora People of America

Jacksons in the news as planned Oscars bullies cross the line

Janet Jackson appears to have confounded newshounds by announcing the wedding they have been feverishly anticipating has already taken place

Janet Jackson has announced on her website and via Twitter that she married for the third time last year in a quiet, private ceremony. The new ‘Mr Janet Jackson’ is Wissam Al Mana, a Qatari billionaire who, at 37, is nine years Jackson’s junior. The statement read: “Our wedding gifts to one another were contributions to our respective favourite children’s charities. We would appreciate that our privacy is respected and that we are allowed this time for celebration and joy. With love, Wissam and Janet.” The pair began dating in 2010 while Jackson was performing in the Middle East. Ms Jackson’s previous marriages were to singer James DeBarge in 1984, a short-lived union that ended less than a year later and was subsequently annulled, and to dancer and director Réne Elizondo Jr. in 1991. That marriage ended in divorce in 2000. In another Jackson revelation - Janet’s brother Jermaine has officially changed his

surname to Jacksun. A spokesperson for the 58 year-old singer denies the change is related to a dispute with his mother over Michael Jackson’s estate and children, the oldest of whom, ‘Prince’ Michael, has just made his presenting debut on US TV show Entertainment Tonight. Instead, the spokesperson says, the change is for “artistic reasons” and to bring something “bright and positive” to the table. Positive?! Guys, it’s a vowel for goodness’ sake. He didn’t even choose one that sounded different! The name change and the answer about the marriage question no-one was asking are suggestive that the Jackson clan continue to search for ways to get noticed even though Michael is no longer here to outshine them. Maybe they have something to promote . . . The Jacksons are performing in the UK until Sunday, March 3, after which they move on to continental Europe and Australia. Go to www.thejacksons.com

Edgy satirical rag, The Onion, has been forced to apologise unreservedly to Academy Award-nominated 9 year-old Quvenzhané Wallis over an offensive tweet it posted during the Oscars at the weekend. Steve Hannah, chief executive, issued the following statement via the publication’s Facebook page: “On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive-not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.” The offending tweet - “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c**t, right?” - was deleted about an hour after it was posted, though plenty of users, including some celebrities, were up in arms. Wendell Pierce of TV network HBO’s The Wire demanded that the publication identify the author of the tweet. “Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humour, I call it horrendous,” he tweeted. Pierce later added, “It doesn’t matter what the intent was, it was offensive and they should apologise to Quvenzhané.” The Onion’s apology continued, “We have instituted new and tighter Twitter pro-

Quvenzhané Waiils is the youngest ever nominee in the Academy Awards’ Best Actress category

cedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again. In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible. Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.” It seems Oscars night’s unpublished theme may have been to pick on the defenceless. Host Seth MacFarlane also chose to pick on the starlet when he ‘joked’ that it would be 16 years before Wallis would be too old for George Clooney. Yes, Clooney is the real butt of the joke but how mortifying for a child of nine, watched by tens of millions on the biggest night of her short life.

Sheepish Tiger spotted with ex

Elin and Tiger Woods, pictured before their infamous bust-up

Tiger Woods and former wife, Elin, have been seen in public together for the first time since their acrimonious split in 2010, according to TMZ.com. Woods, having been eliminated early from a match-play tournament in Arizona, arrived at a youth sports event in Florida, accompanied by the couple’s two children. Elin arrived some time later and the pair talked, apparently amicably, for 30 minutes until it became clear they were drawing attention. The public rendezvous has fuelled speculation that the couple may reconcile. Un-

substantiated rumours suggest that Tiger is willing to sign a £230 million pre-nuptial agreement to convince Elin of his future fidelity. Newspapers, in January, also reported an additional £260 million ‘no cheating’ clause. Both parties have been linked recently with sports personalities. Woods has reportedly been dating Lindsay Vonn, a member of the US Winter Olympics ski team. Elin, who reverted to her maiden name, Nordegren, following her divorce from Woods, is being linked with a fellow Swede, ice hockey player Douglas Murray. 15


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Gospel

D

By Michael Adekoya

THE ‘MURDER’ OF JESUS “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” Act 2:23

ear readers, for the next few weeks I shall be writing about the greatest event in history, that is, the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we are approaching the Easter period of the year, we have to be aware of some important truths, which should affect our thinking, outlook and perception. We should not be looking forward to the time of Easter as a period to distribute Easter Eggs to friends and relatives, not to be seen as a time to stay at home or to go out with our families to enjoy the bank holidays. Easter period should be viewed more than that. It is unique period when a unique thing happened in history. Consider the facts: Jesus Christ was the only truly sinless individual who ever lived-the most innocent, blameless, virtuous man of all time. He “committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” 2 Peter 2:22. He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” Hebrews 7:26. And yet the torment and punishment He suffered in His death was infinitely more heinous than anyone else has ever suffered. He bore the full weight of retribution for human evil. He suffered as if He were guilty of humanity’s worst offences. And yet He was guilty of nothing. It is easy to look at the cross and conclude it was the worst miscarriage of human justice in the history of the world. And it was. It was an evil act, perpetrated by the hands of wicked men. But that is not the full story. The crucifixion of Christ was also the greatest act of divine justice ever carried out. It was done in

full accord with “the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” Acts 2:23-and for the highest of purposes: the death of Christ secured the salvation of untold numbers and opened the way for God to forgive sin without compromising His own perfectly holy standard. Christ was no mere victim of unjust men when He hung on the cross. Though murdered unjustly by men, whose intentions were only evil, Christ died willingly, becoming an atonement for the sins of the unjust, just like the murderers who killed Him. It was the greatest sacrifice ever made; the purest act of love ever carried out; and ultimately an infinitely higher act of divine justice than all the human injustice it represented. Every true Christian knows that Christ died for our sins. That truth is so rich that only eternity will reveal its full profundity. But in the mundane existence of our daily lives, we are too inclined to take the cross of Christ for granted. We mistakenly think of it as one of the elementary facts of our faith. We therefore neglect to meditate on this truth of all truths, and we miss the real richness of it. If we think of it at all, we tend to dabble too much in the shallow end of the pool, when we ought to be immersing ourselves in its depths daily. Many wrongly think of Christ as merely a victim of human injustice, a martyr who suffered tragically and unnecessarily. But the truth is that His death was God’s plan. In fact, it was the key to God’s eternal plan of redemption. Far from being an unnecessary tragedy, the death

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

The Golden Gate Quartet of Christ was a glorious victorythe most gracious and wonderful act divine benevolence ever rendered on behalf of sinners. It is the consummate expression of God’s love for us. Yet here also we see the wrath of God against sin. What is too often missed in all our songs and sermons about the cross is that it was the outpouring of divine judgement against the person of Christ-not because He deserved that judgement, but because He willingly took it upon Himself on behalf of those He would redeem. In the words of Isaac 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

Watts, “Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?” Christ’s death is by far the most important event in human history. It is the focal point of the Christian faith. It will be our one refuge in the final judgement. It ought to be the main sanctuary for every believer’s private meditation. All our most precious hopes stem from the cross of Christ, and our highest thoughts should be rooted there. It is a subject we can ill afford to neglect or treat lightly. It is the shame of the modern church 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

that our focus is so often fixed elsewhere. May we never take the cross of Christ for granted or miss its depth. It was there that mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other according to the words of Psalm 85:10. Dear reader, as we are approaching the Easter period of the year, let the reasons behind the death of our Lord Jesus Christ fill your meditation life. Think about the love of God for you, about the agony He went through for your sake, about your death penalty He took upon Himself and most especially for going to the Hades for your sake. Let this lure you to live to please Him who did such great things for you when you were yet a sinner. Let this motivate you to love Him more than ever before. Let this create in you the desire to tell others who are yet to know Him as their Lord and Saviour. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. My friend, I pity you, all what Jesus went through for your sake is in vain. Do you think His Father will spare you for neglecting all what His Son went through when you get to the gate of heaven? Do you think Jesus Himself who is going to judge the world will take it lightly with you when you stand before Him on the day of judgement? Think about these! Give your life to Him at this period of the year. Then you shall escape the coming judgement, and you shall be a partaker of all what He did on the first Easter. 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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Africa

Angola

Poor Angolans are being evicted to make way for gated condominiums and expensive shopping centres

Between February 1 and 3, Angola’s government deployed several hundred security forces, including rapid intervention police and military, to forcibly evict at least 5,000 poor residents living in a community that had emerged in recent years in the Maiombe neighbourhood in Luanda’s peripheral Cacuaco municipality. No formal warning of the evictions was given and authorities did not ensure that the evictees had access to alternative shelter or sufficient time for everyone to safely evacuate with their personal belongings. Many of those evicted were women and children. Leslie Lefkow, Deputy Africa Director at Human Rights Watch said: “The government should promptly ensure that the people evicted from Maiombe have access to shelter and are compensated for the material loss the government’s actions caused them.” Since February 1, police have arbitrarily arrested evicted residents each day, residents told Human Rights Watch. Some of those arrested were detained during protests, while others were detained on what appears to be a random basis. In the first week of February, at least

Newsround

Senegal

Thousands thrown off land without warning

Residents of an informal settlement on the outskirts of Luanda have been placed under arrest by Angolan police, who have been trying to evict them.

Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

40 of the people arrested were charged with illegal land occupation or disobedience. Most were convicted and given prison sentences or large fines after summary trials that, according to Human Rights Watch, did not comply with international fair standards. The organisation has received a court list naming 40 detainees arrested on February 2, 4 and 6. However, while residents reported ongoing detentions, they did not know how many more have been arrested since February 8 and whether they have been charged with any offenses. The municipal authorities of Cacuaco have stated that those evicted were squatters on state-owned land slated for a government tourism project. Human Rights Watch says it has spoken with residents of the settlement, family members of detainees, and activists documenting the evictions, and believes that the evictions violated national and international standards. It also spoke to a member of the UNITA delegation that tried to speak to the community on February 23 and to residents who were barred from meeting the delegation. “The immediate priority is for the government to provide this community with shelter, access to water, and other essential services,” Lefkow said. “But the authorities should also immediately stop subjecting victims of forced evictions to arrest, unfair trials, and imprisonment, and restricting them from meeting with whomever they choose.”

Mugged off by faked mug shots A campaign is gaining ground in Senegal, propelled by outrage at advertisements urging women to bleach their skin.

Last year, ads for a cosmetic cream called ‘Khess Petch’, Wolof for ‘All White’ were disseminated around the capital, Dakar, promising near instant results. The ads purported to show before and after photographs of a dark-skinned woman who, it is implied, became several shades lighter by ‘khessal’ or bleaching with the cream

for a couple of weeks. However, there was no attempt to apply even a sliver of sophistication to the retouched ruse by employing the model in different poses. Indeed, one suspects the model had no idea how the shot would be used and is perfectly satisfied somewhere with her natural skin tone. Aisha Deme, who runs the cultural website Agendakar.com, said: “We were scandalised (by the advertising campaign) suggesting that black is not beautiful, because it recommends that young women should transform themselves in a fortnight.”

Either the before or after image was retouched or the model managed to remain motionless for 15 days!

35 perish in overcrowded bus crash At least thirty-five people have been killed and up to fifty others seriously injured when a bus they were travelling in crashed near Mwingi town on the Thika-Garissa highway.

Reports suggest that more than eighty passengers were aboard the 60-seater bus when the driver lost control, causing the bus to roll several times. Many of the passengers are thought to have been workers in Nairobi, heading to their home towns to vote in next week’s general election. The bus had left Nairobi at about 1am

and was en route to Mandera. The crash happened about two hours into the journey. At least three women and a young girl are amongst the confirmed dead. The driver was amongst the survivors but, report witnesses, fled the scene. Police are speculating that he fell asleep at the wheel or was driving under the influence of alcohol. Defence assistant minister David Musila cut short his senatorial campaigning and rushed to the scene to help with rescue efforts and console bereaved families.

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Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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African Fashion

I

n 1998, Folake Folarin-Coker launched Tiffany Amber, revolutionizing the Nigerian fashion industry. Born in Lagos, Folake schooled in Switzerland, England and Scotland; then relocated to Nigeria in 1998 to become a lawyer. Despite holding a masters degree in Petroleum Law, her love for fashion reigned supreme over all. Having spent most of her childhood in Europe exploring different cultures, she successfully translated her passion to the foremost fashion brand in Africa with outstanding global recognition. In 2008, in addition to her main line, Folake extended her creative borders by adding two more lines under Tiffany Amber Nigeria; TAN by Tiffany Amber (Diffusion Line) and Folake Folarin (Couture Line). Each line is distinctive but together represents the designer’s iconic style. In 2008, Folake for the first time, showcased at the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The collection was heralded by such rave review that Folake was invited to showcase for the second time making her the first African-based designer to showcase for two consecutive seasons at the New York Fashion Week. Folake Folarin-Coker won designer of the year at the African Fashion International (AFI) in 2009 in Johannesburg. The AW 2011 Fearless Luxury collection won “Fashion Brand of the year” at the Arise Magazine 18

Tiffany Amber

Folake Folarin Coker Fashion Week. The brand is, without a doubt, fast becoming the premier African lifestyle brand. Thirteen years after launching her label, Folake has become a mainstay in the fashion industry as she continues to develop a strong design philosophy by staying true to her vision of a true woman.


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African Fashion

Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

In association withTiffany Amber

19


Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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This Valentine’s did you find Your Type? By Iyamide Thomas, Regional Care Advisor, Sickle Cell Society Email: iyamide.thomas@sicklecellsociety.org

W

e’ve just celebrated Valentine’s Day, reportedly the most celebrated day around the world besides New Year! A time when many current or would-be lovers express their love by presenting each other with flowers, chocolates, romantic gestures and cards known as ‘valentines’. Did you know that Saint Valentine’s Day is named after a saint called Valentinus who it is said was imprisoned for performing weddings on soldiers forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire? Legend has it that he healed the daughter of his jailer and before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her! Why Care about ‘Type’? From the type of people you might have been attracted to on Valentine’s Day to the way you look and behave there’s a lot you inherit from your parents through genes, including your haemoglobin genotype. This tells you the 2 genes (one from each parent) that determine your type of blood haemoglobin. The type of haemoglobin genes you inherit or pass on can play an 20

important role in determining whether you or your children are affected by two serious inherited blood conditions – sickle cell disease and thalassaemia. As Africans many of us would have heard of sickle cell disease since it affects us more than any other ethnic group in the world. Out of the 15million people estimated to have sickle cell worldwide, around 10 million live in Africa of which 4 million are in Nigeria. It also affects people who originate from the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. However it is not a ‘Black’ disease and can affect ‘White’ people too, though less frequently. Sickle cell disease is a serious inherited blood condition that can cause severe pain, anaemia and organ damage. Thalassaemia is a condition most common among people originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cyprus and China. People can inherit Beta Thalassaemia major which affects their ability to produce enough red blood cells. This causes severe anaemia and organ damage and they need to be on regular blood transfusions throughout life. The usual and most common type of haemoglobin gene people inherit is hae-

moglobin A. Unusual haemoglobin genes include haemoglobin S (known as ‘sickle haemoglobin’), haemoglobin C, and beta thalassaemia. People can only get sickle cell or thalassaemia if they inherit two unusual genes for haemoglobin. People who inherit only one unusual gene are known as ‘carriers’ or ‘trait’. In the UK 1 in 4 West Africans are carriers of the sickle cell gene. Be the perfect partner! This Valentine’s Day many people would have established new relationships and cemented old ones so it seems a good time to raise awareness of these two inherited blood conditions and for individuals to consider finding out about their haemoglobin genotype since each time two people who are carriers have a baby there is a 25% chance the baby could be born with sickle cell disease or thalassaemia. A simple blood test will determine if you carry a gene for sickle cell or thalassaemia. In the UK the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaema Screening Programme offers all pregnant women this blood test which is then offered to the father-to-be if the woman is found to be a carrier. Guess what? Only 50% of these men are current-

ly accepting their invitation for testing! You can ask your GP for this blood test at anytime in your life especially before you and your partner decide to start a family. You and your partner can then discuss any risks and the choices that are right for you. Now the valentine cards, chocolates and flowers are over why not think about becoming educated on these genetic blood conditions so you can make informed choices (about testing) if and when the need arises? By so doing, you just might be considered that perfect partner after all! Useful websites:

www.sct.screening.nhs.uk www.sicklecellsociety.org www.ukts.org www.familylegacy.org.uk This February make a difference to others and donate to the Sickle Cell Society by sending a text to 70070. In the body of the text type our code SICD13, leave a space and then type the amount you want to donate (e.g. SICD13 £5.)


Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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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.

I formerly known and addressed as Obum Tobi Uche now wish to be known and addressed as Obum Uche 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 lailat Muhamad now wish to be known and addressed as Leyla Mohamed. 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 Chukwu Biola now wish to be known and addressed as Chukwu Abiola. 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 Emeka Chukwu now wish to be known and addressed as Amaka cukwu All former documents remain valid. Members of the public, Home Office and Nigeria High Commission, London should please

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I formerly known as Hafisat jimi now wish to be known and addressed as Hafsa Ogujimi . All former documents remain valid. Members of the public, Home Office and Nigeria High Commission, London should please take notice. I formerly known as Ebuka Adewale now wish to be known and addressed as Ebuka Odeniwale. Former documents remain valid. Members of the public, the Home Office and Nigeria High Commission please take note I formerly known as Mariam Chinodim Ebuka now wish to be known and addressed as Mariam Chinodim. Former documents remain valid. Nigeria High Commission, Home office and the general public should please take note.

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Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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Brazil is still a long way off

A

t first glance you would be forgiven for thinking a mistake had been made in the Group H table of the African qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. After two rounds of matches, neither three-time FIFA World Cup participants Algeria, nor Mali - third-place finishers at the last two editions of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations - top the standings. Instead, Benin lead the way after an unexpected 2-1 opening victory over Mali in June last year and a 1-1 draw in Rwanda. Now the Squirrels, spearheaded by Sunderland’s Stephane Sessegnon and Dynamo Dresden striker Mickael Pote, are daring to dream of a maiden appearance at the game’s premier event. “I think we’ve got off to a great start, but there’s still a long way to go before we get to the World Cup in Brazil,” Pote told FIFA.com in an exclusive interview. “We’re still at the outset. However, there are some good young players in our team who are part of the next generation. We know it won’t be easy, but we won’t give up hope of achieving something incredible. We’ll give everything for our country.” David versus Goliath With Dresden in danger of relegation from the Bundesliga 2, Pote, who has netted six league goals so far this season, is one of the players on whom the club’s chances of survival hinge. As a leader in the national setup too, the striker is eager to qualify for another major tournament after missing out on two continental championships since reaching the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010. A trip to Algeria in mid March brings the next test for the team currently 93rd in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. “Smaller countries like us can always cause an upset,” said Pote, who is still to score for the west Africans in Brazil 2014

22

The 28-year-old’s optimism stems in part from coach Manuel Amoros. The former France international took charge of the side in August 2012 and has “a huge amount of experience that will help us improve as players. He talks to us a lot and that’s good for the team,” said the Benin No10.

Mickael Pote in action

qualifying. “Maybe we’ll get a David versus Goliath-type victory in Algeria. In the past we’ve already shown we’re capable of doing that.”

Social project in Benin Pote was born in France but opted to represent his mother’s homeland, for whom he now has 28 international caps. The imposing forward made his professional debut in France approximately ten years ago and first made a name for himself in Ligue 2, before causing a stir in the top flight with Nice. In summer 2011 Dresden came calling, where Pote has since become team captain. He feels at home in the city, saying,“I love Germany”, but his time with the national team, as well as his social commitments in Benin, are also

Stephane Sessegnon

extremely close to his heart. “It’s something very special to play for Benin. You’re representing an entire nation out on the pitch and everyone’s looking at you, expecting you to be successful. Hearing the national anthem sends shivers down my spine every time,” said the father of two. “I’ve had a football academy for 11 to 15-year-olds in Benin for a while now. Being able to help youngsters in the country is a hugely important project for me.” Despite his success Pote has not forgotten his roots and is determined to give something back, both on and off the pitch. “There‘s a massive divide between rich and poor in Benin and together we need to try and close it. It’s an important issue for me, and my football academy is trying to bridge that gap. That’s why I’ll never forget where I’m from,” he said. For now, the next opportunity to help Benin will come on the pitch in a matter of weeks in the Brazil 2014 qualifiers. And if the forward manages to end his goal drought in March, he could help his country move a little closer to realising its dream.


Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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Ayew Brothers Quit Black Stars

Jordan Ayew

André Ayew

The brothers both released separate statements declaring their decisions to suspend their national careers.

This comes after the Marseille duo were left out of Kwesi Appiah’s squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in January. In his statement, Andre Ayew cites irreconcilable differences with the management of the senior national team as his

Andre and Jordan Ayew have both announced their temporary retirement from the Ghanaian national team for a variety of reasons.

reason for departing. He said: “My decision to withdraw my services from the national team results from a number of issues or matters that have occurred quite recently, especially with regard to my relationship with the management team of the senior national team, the Black Stars. “These matters have so affected me emotionally and psychologically such that I am unable presently to offer the best of my services to my dear nation. “My decision is not novel. Some of my colleagues who have previously taken such decisions have returned more strongly and with vigour to serve the nation.” Meanwhile, his brother feels like his talents are under-appreciated by the national team management, despite his good performances for the national team. “The point I have just made is vindicated by the fact that although on every occasion that I have had the opportunity to play for my nation I have played to the best of my ability and served my nation with commitment, it appears that my efforts have not impressed the management team of the senior national team,” Jordan Ayew’s statement read. “The reason is that in the position for which my services are required for the national team, I have been ranked way behind several players as not to merit a place in the team on occasions when it mattered.”

Keshi and others make their point

Continued from back page

national team. This attitude would call to question how he was appointed and what manner of scrutiny went into the evaluation process with the goal of the nation’s success in mind. In other words, were this official the coach, he or she would not even waste time going into the field of play. An afternoon spent shopping in the streets of Johannesburg or Pretoria would be more worthwhile. In effect, the match was lost before the whistle. But thank God he wasn’t Keshi and he was merely an official. Similar nuances have happened in England during the January transfer window for the English premier league concerning Chelsea. This is a frontline team in the last decade that has won accolades in the last three years making their fans beam sunny smiles in winter. The activities in the transfer market has been among the best rated of buys since then except for the fact that it has not translated into the kind of magic that the owner expects. But Abrahamovich also

has developed a penchant for firing illperforming coaches with such rapidity that it defies economic logic. You may need to attend Arsene Wenger’s school of Football economics. Football is as much an economic activity now as it is a tool of entertainment and peace. With the Di Matteo sacked for underperforming straight on the heels of winning the most prestigious Club championship in Europe as the club was not living up to its billing on the local league scene, Abrahamovich left his desires in no doubt. And no doubt, did not take the sacked coach’s feelings into consideration and those of other football-crazy stakeholders. They were silent for his power and money after all “he who pays the piper, dictates the tune”. But not absolutely. The piper must also be willing to be bought in order to play a good tune. Chelsea has since been shopping for the best of coaches money can buy the way Arsenal has been shopping for players that will change their fortunes.

Both unfortunately haven’t been very successful yet for different reasons. The latest has been the Guardiola sleight of hand in dealing Chelsea cards. He was touted to be the best that could happen to Chelsea and Chelsea’s money after his last job at Barcelona. The money was good, the players were there, but the trust was a matter of scepticism. No, Pep Guardiola wasn’t buying into that. I don’t know if Keshi is friends with Guardiola or any of the brilliant coaches mentioned in the employment romance with Abrahamovich but he was just as well saying the same thing. The cost of his victory and resignation to Nigeria may have been down played by the media but it has taken the shine off the AFCON cup won and has dented the image of Nigeria as a country of solid sporting administrators. What effect this has had will be best seen in the processes of engaging the next coach and his opinion(s) if he has the liver.

Ghana seeks glory in African Youth Championship

Ghana is seeking to win the upcoming African Youth Championship (AYC) scheduled for March 16-30 in Algeria.

Sellas Tetteh, head coach of the Black Satellites which is Ghana`s Under-20 men`s team, named a provisional list of 25 players to limber up in Italy and Spain ahead of the AYC next month, reports Xinhua. The team will leave Ghana for Novara, Italy, where they will face the youth side of AC Milan during a five-day stay in Italy. From Italy, the team will depart for Spain where they are expected to continue with their preparations for 10 days and play the youth side of Barcelona. The squad will then be whittled-down to 21 players for the tournament. The provisional squad includes Baba Mensah and Frank Acheampong, who play for Anderlecht in Belgium. Ghana, three-time winners (1993, 1999 and 2009), will be making a ninth appearance at the tournament. They face hosts Algeria, Benin and Egypt in Group A of the competition and will be based in the town of Ain Pemouchent. The top four teams from the African competition will qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup scheduled for Turkey from June 21 to July 13.

Schalke ban bid fails UEFA has rejected a protest by German Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 over the eligibility of former Chelsea hero Didier Drogba to play for Galatasaray in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. The Ivorian arrived at the Turkish club on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in January.

The Germans claimed Drogba had not registered as a Galatasaray player in time to represent them in this year’s competition. Had their claim been upheld, the result of the first leg, a 1-1 draw in which Drogba played, would have been changed by rule to a 0-3 forfeit, requiring Galatasaray to win the second leg in Germany by four clear goals. Drogba’s 18-month loan move to the Turkish side remains the subject of controversy. Shenhua, with whom Drogba had signed a two-and-a-half year deal after leaving Chelsea last summer, having been instrumental in the Londoners becoming the first from the capital to become European champions, said they were “deeply shocked” by what had happened and are set to protest to FIFA. 23


Friday, 1 March 2013 – Thursday, 7 March 2013

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ISSUE 472

Ayew brothers quit black stars SEE PAGE 23

Keshi and others make their point

Stephen Keshi

Pep Guardiola

By Peter Olorunnisomo The African Nations Cup, 2013 has come and gone. Its thrills and frills has become those of dreams actualised, realised, and unfulfilled for everyone particularly the participating countries and organisers. We were all part of it even if we sat at the tube thousands of kilometres away. It did not have the usual fanfare that accompanied the previous soccer tourney that took place in South Africa and the spate of surprises would have had bookmakers squirm in their seats. Who would have thought that Cape Verde

would have “walked” out of the tourney rather than being sent packing with their heads high? Unthinkable that Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire, South Africa, or any representative from North Africa would not get to the finals. But it all happened. Scouts had a field day trying to poach new talents and, mindful of the appropriate fees too. And the rest of the world did not really seem to notice what was going on in South Africa except for the clubs in the western world who had good opportunity to air their worries and woes as their “stars” that are missing in action became good excuse for their losses in the field of play. Such is the impact that the African Cup of Nations. A big lesson that reverberated across

the world in same guise did take the shine away from the win of the champion nation, Nigeria. The country’s chief coach, Stephen Keshi , who was once a member of the awesome national team that raised the football profile of that country had his story begin to develop in the course of the tournament. Immediately Nigeria qualified to face Cote d’ Ivoire, it was reported that funds was released to purchase the return air tickets for the team to Nigeria. The incredibility and impact of this is outrageously unpatriotic, unmerited, narrow, and disgraceful. I wonder if this official has Nigerian blood running in his veins. This person would never have succeeded as an American or Russian – this is a perfect turn

coat. But this is what every patriotic Nigerian would have said. What then did Keshi moan about? That was his first clear cut indication that he was not a trusted manager of the

Continued on page 23

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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