August 3, 2012
Vol. 2, No. 171
... A common bond
State Police splits Northern Governors Jang differs with colleagues
I’m 58, not 60 – VP Sambo complains By YUSUF OZI-USMAN
ice President Namadi Sambo has rejected the two years added to his “real” age by those who showered encomiums on his birthday yesterday. In a statement by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Umar Sani, the vice president expressed appreciation at the goodwill shown by such respected Nigerians, organisations and bodies in various advertorials in the nation’s media but said that he was not yet 60. “To set the records straight, the Vice President was born on 2nd August 1954, attaining the age of 58 and not 60 as reported,” the statement said. The vice president implored such media organisations to correct the discrepancy and report accurately, his exact age for the benefit of Nigerians. In one of the reports, a national newspaper had quoted the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NGF) as having paid tribute to Sambo, who the newspaper said turned 60 yesterday. Continued on page 2
•L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sen. Ahmed Maccido; Senate Deputy Leader, Sen. Abdul Ningi, and representative of the Senate President, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, at the joint Senate Committee on Appropriation and Finance interactive session on the implementation of 2012 budget in Abuja, yesterday.
PEF defends non-remittance of N27bn to Federation Account
he Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board (PEFMB) has defended its decision not to remit 27 billion naira to the Federation Account following directives by a House of Representatives committee to do so. The Executive Secretary of the fund, Mrs Adefunke Kasali, gave her reasons in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday. “The PEF uses cash basis of accounting, because the feeling is that as a fund we should recognise what comes
in and what goes out,” she said. “Cash basis of accounting does not recognise receipts, receivables that you are expecting and it basically does not recognise payables that you haven’t been able to process and pay,” Kasali said. “The starters of our payables as at the time these audited accounts were submitted was not taken into cognition. And so asking the board to payback money at that time doesn’t necessarily really even take into the account if the money is still there,” she added. “Because when you are
looking back at an account you do not even know what that situation is a few years down the road,” Kasali said. Last month, the House Committee on P u b l i c Accounts had given the agency three months to refund the amount, being Continued on page 2
Pages 19- 22
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
news PEF defends non-remittance of N27bn... Continued from page 1
80 percent operating surpluses of the agency in the last five years. The committee also directed the agency to refund another 20.22 million naira for expenses incurred on a plot of land acquired in 2001 for the building of its headquarters. The allocation of the plot was revoked in 2006 by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). Kasali said that the agency did not receive funds from the federation account, which implies that it would be
difficult for it to remit monies into the account and later apply for funds to pay marketers’ claims. The executive secretary said it was noteworthy that the committee found “no untoward or corrupt act’’ in the agency, except a directive to refund what they called “surpluses.” “Certainly there was no untoward act, no corrupt act. What the committee did was (they said) if the Board had receipts at the beginning or throughout the year and then the Board then paid some monies out, whatever was then outstanding was
considered surplus income. “And that meant (that) for instance if one billion was outstanding that was not paid out, the committee did not take into view that there could be 10 billion naira worth of claims waiting to be paid at the end of that year. So there was nothing corrupt, basically they didn’t find very much that was wrong with the account of the board,” she said. “Except that the board had what they called surpluses and they took the position that those surpluses are supposed to be paid into the Federation Account and then
we are supposed to apply for funds for our usage later. But the fund does not get money from the Federation Account to pay its claims,” Kasali noted. “So if the money is returned into the Federation Account, the board will then have an issue as to where the funding to pay the claims when they are processed will come from,” she said. On the refund of 20.22
Zamfara probes Shinkafi’s administration over N1.3bn Ecological Fund
State Police splits T Northern Governors From GYANG BERE, Jos
he agitation by some state governors for the establishment of state police to help check the rising level of insecurity that has taken a toll on the nation’s economy has split the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) as some of the state chief executives rejected the call. Last week, the chairman of the Forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, who is also the governor of Niger state, said the NGF had agreed to reject the call for the establishment of State Police, but the Plateau State governor, Jonah David Jang among others, opposed the decision and said Plateau State was in support of the idea, given its peculiar circumstances. Jang said in a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. James Mannok that Plateau state was not a party to the decision, adding that the NGF had earlier taken a position collectively as the 36 state governors. “Nigeria must wake up and face this challenge squarely to prevent the loss of innocent lives in different parts of the country,” Jang said. He advised foreign embassies to be cautious in their briefs on the nation and strive to promote good relations between Nigeria
Jang differs with colleagues and their home countries. National Accord gathered that the NGF had kicked against the call for the establishment of the state police, saying that states are not yet ripe to own and control their own police forces. The Forum argued that some of the governors may take advantage of the security apparatus to molest opposition parties during electioneering campaigns. Jang had earlier made the plea to the National Assembly to amend the constitution and make provision for state police, adding that he would have finished his second tenure by the time amended constitution would take effect. “The amendment of the constitution that is being carried out, stories are going round that this is the time to deal with this governors, they have too much power, we are going to deal with them during the amendment of the constitution, and if I recall people believe that if state police are created too much power will be given to the governors and they will misuse the power that is not true,” Jang said. “I have reminded the Senate President that before he became a legislator he was a
governor, the president was a former governor, the vice president was a former governor, so the amendment of the constitution will not take effect until 2015. I will not be governor again, you may not be legislators again, some of you may become governors and some of us may become legislators. So if you are amending the constitution to deal with governors, you may be the ones to come and suffer and I will be the one to enjoy what you have amended. So you should amend the constitution to serve generations yet unborn,” Jang said. The call for the establishment of the state police became imperative for the people of Plateau state following the threat of insecurity that has engulfed the once peaceful state for over a decade. It is recalled that the NGF did not send a delegation to condole the government and people of Plateau state on the death of Senator Gyang Dantong and the majority leader in the state House of Assembly, Mr Gyang Fulani, who were killed in a recent attack on some villages The absence of an official delegation of the NGF at the funeral of the late lawmakers made many people to believe that the forum is divided.
he Zamfara state House of Assembly yesterday directed its committees on environment and public finance to investigate the 1.3 billion naira ecological fund released to the state by the federal government. The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Garba Rikiji, gave the directive, say ing t h at th e money was received by the former governor, Mahmuda S hink af i, af ter his predecessor Alhaji Ahmad S ani Yarima, made th e request in 2006. Rikiji said further that the f und was meant fo r th e repairs of the Gusau-Wanki Bridge which co llapsed following a down pou r in 2006. He noted that because of the exigency of the repairs, the then governor Yarima execu ted t he project
Birthday mix-up: I'm 58, not 60... Continued from page 1
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, was
said to have described Sambo as a man whose life was devoted to the pursuit of excellence and good
million naira for expenses incurred on the revoked plot of land, Kasali said a substantial part of the amount was spent on license fees to FCT authorities and engineering design and drawing for the building. The executive secretary expressed regret that appeals to two former FCT ministers to cancel the revocation failed, even when the agency was not build.
governance which has impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians. • Gov Jang
wit ho ut wait ing fo r th e f ederal go vernment’ s intervention. He added that records had sho wn t hat S hink af i collect ed th e money o n behalf of the state during his t enure “b ut co uld no t account for it.” The speaker charged the two committees to ensure thorough investigation into t he way and manner th e fund was spent and report to the house within two weeks. Earlier, a member of the assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, had moved a motion seeking the house to investigate the utilisation of the ecological fund. The motion which was supported by another member, Alhaji Isah Abdulmumini, was unanimously adopted after deliberations.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
news Chairmen of A/Ibom Village Forum to support police to tackle insecurity The Association of Akwa Ibom Village Chairmen forum (ASSAVIC) has emphasised its readiness to partner with the Nigerian Police in the state to fight insecurity in their domains. The President of the forum, Mr Godwin Ntia, made the pledge at the inauguration of the Police and Village Chairmen Community Relations Committee in Eket on Thursday. Ntia said: “the forum is a Non Governmental and Non Profit making organisation. “It has the mandate to compliment the efforts of the security agencies in tackling the security challenges facing the nation.’’ He said the forum was determined to partner with royal fathers, leaders of thought and government agencies, among others, in ensuring the protection of lives and property in the society. Ntia said the present security situation in the country had threatened the basic foundation and peaceful co-existence in the country. The president condemned a situation where police, innocent Nigerians, political aspirants and security personnel were being murdered while performing their constitutional responsibilities. Ntia called on village council
chairmen of ASSAVIC to join hands together to fight against criminals, because they were forces of darkness in the state and the nation at large. The Eket chapter of the Police and the village chairmen community relations committee was inaugurated to oversee its activities. The officers are Mr Okon Brownson Uko, Chairman, Mr Uwem Essien, Vice Chairman, Pastor Assam Nsudo, Secretary and Mr Samuel Ekanem, Assistant Secretary among others. A Legal Practitioner, who inaugurated the executive of the association, Chief Akpan Michael Akpa, advised them to always assist the police to secure and maintain peace. The Divisional Police Officer in the Area, Mr Alabi Adewale, stressed the need for the village council chairmen to partner with the police by reporting suspicious activities to the police. Adewale assured the people of Eket that he would collaborate with the royal fathers and village council chairmen to maintain law and other in the area. In a response, Uko thanked members of the ASSAVIC for the confidence reposed in them and promised to maintain peace and unity in the area.
Ladipo traders to rid market of sub-standard products Traders at Ladipo market in Lagos have said that they will make sure the market is rid of sub-standard products. Mr Iyke Animalu, the President of Ladipo Auto Central Markets Association, gave the assurance at a sensitisation programme organised by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) for the traders. Animalu said that the association would remove every sub-standard product from the market. Dr Joseph Odumodu, the SON Director-General, who was
represented by Mr Louis Njoku, Head of Enforcement, told the traders that the programme was organised to improve the standard of products sold in the markets. “SON is doggedly working to achieve its zero tolerance for substandard products in the Nigerian markets,” he said. He stressed the need for the quality of auto parts sold at the market to meet international standard, adding that the programme was being organised in major markets in Lagos and other parts of the country.
• L-R: ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr Andrienne Diop; Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs Salamatu Suleiman; representative of UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Louise Setshwaelo, and Social Affairs Officer, African Centre for Gender and Social Development, Elizabeth Atyang-Eilor, at the a UN-ECOWAS Summit on violence against women and girls in Abuja, yesterday.
FRSC says bad roads major cause of road accidents in Nigeria From ATABOR JULIUS, Lokoja
he Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has identified bad roads as the major cause of road accidents in the country, saying the figure of such crashes has increased marginally since the beginning of the year. The deputy corps marshal in charge of operations, Boboye Oyeyemi, who made this known on Thursday in Lokoja during the inspection of black spots along the Lokoja -Abuja highway, said apart from bad roads, carelessness on the part of the drivers was another factor. He said as a result of this, the commission has come up with operation rainstorm on the road by deployed personnel at the black spots to carry out full traffic rules enforcement Oyeyemi said that the
commission was mounting an aggressive campaign to educate drivers, and to check the condition of vehicles as well as operating a mobile court to punish offenders. The deputy corps marshal said the essence of the exercise was to ensure that those critical corridors that have a preponderance o f road crash es are fu lly manned and also to draw the attention of FERMA to fix all the bad spots in preparation for ember months’ special patrol. “Ou r target is to reduce road traffic fatality by 50 percent as part of the Accra declarat io n. We are also det ermined to reduce the average annual death toll of 4 ,800 in th e cou nt ry t o 2,500,” he said. “If we can sustain t his phy sical visib ility o n th e road and ident if y all th e
b lack spo ts we wou ld b e able to achieve this before the year runs out,” Oyeyemi added. He said the co mmission has discovered that t here was a shift from h igh capacit y luxury b uses t o mini-buses with excessive speed and wro ngfu l o vert ak en by t ransport operators, adding that FRSC has asked o perators with more than four vehicles to register with the commission so as to install speed limit devices so that they would not exceed maximum speed limits. The deputy corps marshal also said the eight corridors are Abuja -Abaji Lokoja- Okene road, Abuja – Kaduna -Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ibadan- Ife Ilesha- Owo- Ifor road, Keffi Akwanga -Jos, Akwanga - LafiaMakurdi road, Ijebuode - Ore -Benin road, and Akure -Owo -ife road.
Foundation advises Muslim Ummah to be good ambassadors The President, Muslimmmah Global Foundation (MGF), Hajia Aisha Aliyu, called on all Muslim Ummah on Thursday to be good ambassadors wherever they found themselves. Aliyu, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that Muslims should try their best to always have the interest of the less-privileged at heart in all their endeavours. She said the call has become necessary because about 80 percent of the population is living below poverty line. Aliyu urged Muslims to always think of what to do in order to better their lot instead of waiting for the government to do everything for
them. “ We should try to emulate Prophet Muhammad’s lifestyle by making sure we give the necessary assistance to whoever comes our way, be him Muslim or Christian,” she said. “ This will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the people, thereby contributing to the socio-political and economic development of the country,” she added. Aliyu said the foundation has assisted humanity in areas like sinking of boreholes in Faskari local government area in Katsina state and Jigarawa in Wudil local government area of Kano state, with a view to improving their living conditions. She said the organisation had
also donated hospital equipment to some hospitals across the country like Kura Hospital in Kano, in order to assist the people and complement government’s efforts. “ We also donated some relief materials to the victims of flooding in Sokoto that rendered about 200 people homeless in 2010,” Aliyu said. “ After the 2011 post election violence in Kaduna, the organisation also donated relief materials to victims of the crisis,” she said. Also in an interview with NAN, Mr Jemilu Kwande, President, Light of the Ummah Foundation (LUF), stressed the need for Muslims to adhere to the teachings of the Holy Prophet. He said Islam encouraged
Muslims to interact with Christians in peace and harmony wherever they found themselves. “If we can emulate the Holy Prophet’s interaction with Christians during his lifetime, there would be peace and tranquility in Nigeria between the Muslims and their Christian counterparts. “Muslims should see it as a must to invite their Christian brothers and sisters to functions, as this will promote peaceful co-existence among them,” he said. Kwande said Nigeria is facing numerous challenges, especially religious crises, as a result of religious intolerance. “This is the time for all Nigerians to rise up to the challenges ahead of us so that our efforts to contain this
insecurity will be fruitful,’’ he said. Kwande identified extremism as the major cause of religious crisis and insecurity, and advised the federal government to give priority attention to agriculture and other sensitive areas of the economy in order to create jobs. Kwande also urged Muslims to caution their children against the use of the negative aspects of the social media. He similarly called on them to exhibit the noble character of Prophet Muhammad, not only in Mosques, religious gatherings and seminars, but anywhere they found themselves. He charged Nigerian leaders to do everything possible to overcome the security challenges facing the nation.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
No plan to impeach Jonathan From KEHINDE AKINPELU, Ilorin
he vice chairman of the House of Representatives committee on petroleum (Upstream), Mr Moshood Mustapha, has said that the National Assembly did not threaten to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over the implementation of the 2012 budget. Mustapha, who represents Ilorin West/Asa federal constituency, said that the lower chamber was only trying to guide the executive
on how to implement the budget, adding that budget implementation should not be selective. “Party affiliation and legislative duties should be separated, PDP members in the National Assembly were not out to rock the boat but to ensure that already that budgeted infrastructure and projects in their respective constituencies are executed by the executive,” h said. Speaking on the security challenges confronting the nation country, the lawmaker said the Boko Haram insurgency was a domestic
Administrator calls on traditional rulers to be vanguard of peace
he administrator of Akun development area in Nasa-rawa state, Mr Monday Nanza has called on traditional rulers in the state on Thurs-day to be the vanguards of peace. He made the appeal at the palace of Aren Akun, Alh. Usman Umbugadu, stressing that his administration was ready to tackle security issues by securing the lives and property of the people. He appealed to traditional rulers to maintain peace in their respective domains and also urged them to follow the proper channel in resolving their differences for peace to be maintained. Nanza said the monarchs should caution the youth against being engaged in any act that would lead to misunderstanding and destruction of lives and property. “Let peace be maintained in your respective domains in o rder to enjoy the dividend of democracy,” he said. Nanz a appealed to all Nigerians to live with one anoth er in peace, irrespective of religion, political and et hnic background. “It is when there is peace that there will be development,” the administrator said. He said peace was a necessary requirement for the development of every nation and commended the understanding between the Fulani and farmers in the area. Nanz a called on monarchs to support the
administration of Governor Umaru Al-Makura in transforming the state through his change agenda. Responding, the Aren Akun, said the call was a wake-up one for traditional rulers to put in their best to ensure that peace was maintained in their localities. The monarch assured the administrator that the peace message would be conveyed to the people. election redress of any stolen mandates,” he added.
problem that is alien to the Nigeria, adding that the problem should be resolved by Nigerians without any external interference. He said that dialogue should be adopted to resolve the imbroglio, and also warned Nigerians against making statements are capable of disintegrating the
– Reps member country. “Nigeria is a divine configuration of the almighty God wh ich sh o u ld b e pro t ect ed by all,” Mustapha said. The lawmaker said that people should complement
the efforts of law enforcement agent s b y f eeding t h em wit h u sef u l information that will help t h e pu t an end t o t h e b lo o dlet ting in different parts of the country, especially in the north.
Solid minerals potential in Abia can curb unemployment – Ubani
bia state Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals, Chief Don Ubani, said on Thursday that if fully harnessed the solid mineral potential of the state alone could curb the menace of unemployment in the state. Ubani made this known when he paid a familiarisation visit to Setraco Construction Company mining site at Ugwueke. A statement issued by the public relations officer in the ministry, Mrs Maureen Dimkpa, quoted Ubani as saying that Abia has more than 12 solid minerals including coal, gold, sharp sand among others. The commissioner said
the administration was ready to partner with genuine investors to explore and exploit the God-given resources to tackle the problem of unemployment among the youth. He urged companies doing business in the area to embark on education endowment to develop the talents of youths. Ubani also charged them to imbibe standard environmental and safety rules and as well live up to the agreement entered with host communities and government. Responding, Mr Romanus Anaweokhai, commended the commissioner for the visit and enumerated various
projects carried out in their host communities by the company. Anaweokhai said that more than 80 per cent of the Setraco employees were indigenes of their host communities. He assured the people that the company would abide by the rules and called on government to continue to sustain its effort at promoting security, which, he added, was making business to thrive in the area. The permanent secretary of the ministry, Mr Clement Ugorji, who also spoke said everything was being done to ensure companies operating in Abia enjoyed conducive working environment.
Insecurity: Immigration boss tasks hoteliers to provide guest details From ANKELI EMMANUEL, Kaduna The Kaduna state command of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) tasked hoteliers operating in the state on Thursday to henceforth provide and capture basic details of their guests in a new step to beef up security in the state. Haruna Dawop, the comptroller of the command tasked the hoteliers in a meeting with the State chapter of Nigeria Hotel Association (NHA). Dawop said in view of the security challenges in the country and the consistent lack of sufficient details of foreigners patronising hotels, it has become imperative to get such data.
He added that it was now compulsory for hoteliers to provide names and basic information of the guests in line with the new reform aimed at strengthening national security: “We have noticed that in some hotels, names and basic information of guests are usually being skipped or substituted for unknown reasons. If you have a foreigner in a hotel who does not want to disclose his location or identity, doing that is very dangerous to the security of this country,” he said. “We are in very trying times and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the territorial integrity of this country is preserved. And this is not the responsibility of only people in uniform,”
Dawop said. “There are times that we have also noticed that the duration of stay of visitors in the hotel is not divulged, where a guest officially lodges
Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mrs Rose Uzoma
for a day, he will re-lodge again for almost one week. And the hotel will not bother about other details thinking the first one is the details at the peril of the nation, and busy making money,” the comptroller said. “Nigerians have this thought that once they passed information to some misguided operatives; they will pass the information to the same suspects. I am sure all our personnel are working and treating information in confidentiality. I can vow for our service. We have realised that if there is trust the people will be helpful, and we are doing it today. There is the need to keep an eye on all guests coming to hotels to save our country from disasters,” he concluded.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
The matter is more than just a joke I
have had cause to ponder deeply over a common analysis embedded in most of the cell phones, especially those in the Tecno family. It is presented as part of the many jokes simply to entertain and elicit laughter, away from the hurly burly of the daily engagements. It had actually never engaged my attention until Tuesday this week when I had one of this rare opportunity to relax, away from such hurly burly reportarial job. The analysis or joke, as it is presented, is all about the meaning of politics and to me, democracy. It was rendered in present tense, but I changed it to past tense with a lot of my inputs to achieve some effects. It goes thus: “One day, a little boy went to his father and asked: “dad, what is politics?” His father took a long look at him and said: “well, son, let me try to explain it this way: I’m the bread winner of this family and therefore you can call me Capitalism. Your mother is the administrator of the money I bring in for the house upkeep, and you can refer to her as the Government. We are here to take care of your needs and therefore, you and your siblings can be called the People. Don’t forget that we have a nanny, and she can be regarded as the Working Class while we can see your baby brother as the Future of the set up. Now, think about that and see if it makes sense to you,” the father concluded and left the boy standing there, wondering over his father’s thesis. The little boy went to bed, still not able to make anything out of
what his father said about politics. Later in the night, he heard his baby brother crying and he got up to check on him. He found that the baby had severely soiled his diaper. The little boy went to his parents’ room and found his mother sound asleep all alone. His father was nowhere to be found. Not wanting to wake up his mother, he tiptoed into the nanny’s room. He found the door securely locked but managed to peep through the key-hole and behold, there was his father in bed with the nanny. He sied deeply, gave up and went to sleep, just as the baby had stopped crying. The next morning, the little boy went to his father and calmly told him: “I think I now understand the concept of politics as you tried to put it in perspective yesterday.”
The excited father said: “that’s my boy. I was sure you would catch up. Now, tell me in your own words, what you think politics is all about?” The little boy replied: “well, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, the Government is sound asleep, the People are ignored and the Future is in deep shit.” The father threw his hands in the air and shrugged his shoulder, kind of saying in silence: “the boy got it right!” Reading this analysis and applying it to the Nigerian political and democratic context, in particularly, it would be safe to infer that it is not just a joking matter. Now that corruption has taken the front seat of the nation’s economic driving force and all that the government has been able to do is to make noise about the fraud stars being displayed in courts, it is clear
Now that corruption has taken the front seat of the nation’s economic driving force and all that the government has been able to do is to make noise about the fraud stars being displayed in courts, it is clear that while the capitalism (represented by the big time oil magnates and their cohorts) are screwing the working class and, by extension, the masses and ravaging their happiness, the government snores, and pretends to be kicking just as the future looks doom for the people that have long been ignored.
STATE HOUSE MATTERS By
YUSUF OZI-USMAN 08075237773 email@example.com that while the capitalism (represented by the big time oil magnates and their cohorts) are screwing the working class and, by extension, the masses and ravaging their happiness, the government snores, and pretends to be kicking just as the future looks doom for the people that have long been ignored.Even, out of disregard for the feelings of the Nigerian masses, the federal government, on Tuesday, dropped all the criminal charges against four marketers that had earlier been fingered in the fuel subsidy fraud and malpractices. The marketers who are involved in the N2 billion oil subsidy payment scam are: Peter Mba, Pinnacle Oil and Gas, Durosola Omogbenigun and Integrated Resources Limited. They had earlier been charged at the Lagos State High Court Igbosere but were let go on account of the fact that they had, according to the legal jargon, been “misconstrued and was filed by mistake.” This came against the background of the threat by oil marketers to expose how they spent billions of naira gotten from the shady subsidy collections to fund the campaign of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010/2011. This alone, among the numerous cases, speaks volume about the direction of politics in this country; about the direction of government and about the direction of democracy under, largely, the
nursing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). What therefore, may be a joke for people in other climes, for, an average joke is meant to be a conjecture that normally elicits laughter, cannot be taken in such lighter mood in the Nigeria context and even in the realm of most African countries. Practically. As a matter of emphasis, the concept of politics and or democracy as was presented as a joke in the Tecno machine, is a complete reflection of the situation the citizenry in Nigeria and many African nations are unfortunately contending with. A narration that therefore narrows to exact reality should, on a serious note, elicit cry and lamentation and be called sorrystate-of-affair and not a joke! Dr. Okupe, ndo o I humbly welcome Dr. Doyin Okupe back to Aso Rock as Senior Special Adviser on Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan. He was first here in the Villa during the first term of President Olsen Obasanjo. My colleagues who witnessed his first coming murmured that he was good, and a few others would not make any comment in his favour or against him. But, all the same, you are welcome once again, back to Villa. Nndo o!
opinion Change of attitude as catalyst for transformation By FEMI OGUNSHOLA Many Nigerians have not imbibed the culture of queuing up in public places. This is observed daily in banks, bus stops and filling stations. It is also not unusual to see people urinating or defecating in the open and in unauthorised places or civil servants misusing government property put in their care. These negative attitudes have been of great concern to the government over the years. Various programmes, including the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) were introduced to sensitise Nigerians to the need to desist from the negative behaviour and do the right thing. Aware that no policy can succeed without attitudinal change, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) recently launched a campaign designed to re-orientate Nigerians. The campaign is tagged: “Do the Right Thing: Transform Nigeria.’’ At the official launch of the campaign, President Goodluck Jonathan stressed the need for attitudinal change among Nigerians.
“This is a moral re- awakening programme that will galvanise the people to greatness which lies in the right attitude,’’ the President said. He said the change would offer the nation a new lease of life, as no nation could grow without a remarkable change in the citizens’ attitude. He observed that although the assignment could be arduous, it would get support from the administration. Mr Mike Omeri, Director-General of NOA, said it was a programme intended to make all Nigerians, irrespective of class and status, to always do the right thing. “It is a value orientation campaign that seeks to create a deliberate consciousness in Nigerians to do what is right. ’’ He said the logo of the campaign was to strike the conscience of the people on the need to join hands in the development of the country. According to him, it is the beginning of a new thing that will daily remind Nigerians of the need to be part of the building of a fatherland where justice and progress are assured. Omeri urged Nigerians to always examine their conscience while undertaking a task in the name of the
country. The director-general urged Nigerians to cooperate with the Federal Government to transform Nigeria, adding, “there is hope for Nigerians if we work together to transform the country. ’’ He said the campaign would seek the partnership of stakeholders as it would involve house-to-house engagement. Members of Market Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) not left out in the campaign to change the attitude of Nigerians towards doing the right thing. Mrs Felicia Sanni, President of MWAN, called on Nigerians to desist from doing anything that would portray the country in bad image. She urged women to be in the vanguard of the campaign to make Nigerians behave responsibly, since they are saddled with the responsibility of taking care of the children and the family at large. “As women, I believe we can do a lot to help this society redirect its step, we have influence on our husbands, we are the custodians of our children and we should be able to instil discipline in them. ’’ Mrs. Marilyn Ogar, Deputy Director,
Public Relations, State Security Service (SSS), said that Nigerian women could end the current security challenges in the country. “In the security circle, we believe that it is women that can bring an end to the security challenges, because women sleep and wake up with their husbands, they are closer to their children and should know what they do. ’’ Mrs. Beatrice Jadi-Agba, Executive Secretary, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP) also noted that collaboration was necessary in tackling bad practices. She said for NAPTIP to effectively address the menace of trafficking, it was necessary to involve NOA in the campaign to educate the people on the dangers of trafficking. Jadi-Agba said that trafficking should be given prominence in Do-the-RightThing campaign. She stated that NAPTIP was designing a communication strategy which would help it fight the menace, adding that the role of NOA was strategic. Prof. Atahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, said NOA played a vital
role that ensured the success of the 2011 general elections. Jega said the campaign was coming when the commission wants to create a permanent voters’ register, noting that NOA would play a very important role. Mrs Sarah Jibril, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics, decried the decadence in the country’s values. She said that Nigeria’s values were eroded by slavery, military administration and civil war. “Nigeria suffered from slavery, it eroded values, it suffered military coups, which truncated trust and eroded values in our national psyche, it fought a civil war , which brought about political and economic mistrust. ’’ Mrs Anastasia Daniel-Nwaobia, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said that no nation could sustain its integrity without enduring values and ethics. Experts have given their opinion that no nation can develop or sustain development efforts without sound moral values and doing the right thing. All measures should therefore, be put in place to ensure that the present campaign does not suffer the fate of previous campaigns.(NANFeatures)
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
editorial Cross River and the 76 oil wells
n 14th September 2009 the Cross River State instituted a case No SC. 250/2009 against the Federal Government of Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State Government asking the court to grant it ownership of 76 oil wells.. Unfortunately for the state, it lost its bid to reclaim ownership of the oil wells that had been subject of controversy between it and Akwa Ibom State. The Supreme Court, in its judgment on the matter, said that Cross River became a non-littoral state since 2002, when Bakassi Pennisula was handed over to Cameroun by the International Court of Justice, ICJ. Addressing the Court on the same date after the judgment, Chief Paul Erokoro (SAN), lead counsel to Cross River State, accepted the Supreme Court judgment in good faith and regretted the opprobrium the Court was subjected to in the build-up to the judgment. It is regrettable that this commendable conciliatory position of her Counsel was not maintained Governor Imoke of Cross River who literary hit the roof top in his reaction. In a state broadcast he said the judgment lacked equity and justice, describing it further as a miscarriage of justice. He said, “As a wronged but lawabiding people, we had hoped for justice. We had hoped for a dispensation of justice that would restore our hope… “We maintained our peace and dignity even in the face of what could easily have provoked unprecedented violence and reprisals. We hoped for justice
from the highest court in the land. But our hope was dashed. “ He further questioned the integrity of the Supreme Court and described the 76
OUR TEAM Editor-in-Chief/CEO: Tom Chiahemen Managing Editor:
Ag. Deputy Editor:
Editor (Parliament): Chuks Ehirim Ag.Business Editor: David Agba Production Editor:
OUR PHILOSOPHY The best way to protect the national interest and forge National Accord is to protect the interest of the Nigerian people, especially the weak and the voiceless in society, more so in our system that officially endorses the policy of majority and minority groups
oil wells as ‘stolen’. These are definitely the drum beats of war. Unfortunately the “drummer boy” is a state governor who should have known better. We remind the governor of Cross River State that on the return of democracy in 1999, Cross River has twice taken Akwa Ibom to court. Preceding the recent controversial case of 76 oil wells, Cross River State had sued Akwa Ibom State on the land boundary dispute (northern nonestuarian boundary) involving the 24 villages of Oku/Itu/Ayadehe ward of Itu Local Government Area and the southern estuarian boundary between the two States in suit No. SC.124/1999. The Supreme Court on 24th June 2005 delivered judgment in favour of Cross River State in respect of the claims relating to those villages but declined to grant in her favour a declaration of ownership of territory within which the 76 oil wells are located. Governor Imoke is of course aware that when Akwa Ibom lost its villages to Cross River in 2005, we did not hear these drum beats of war from that state. We do not need to remind Governor Imoke that his government it was, that took the Akwa Ibom state government to court. It is a cardinal principle of law that you cannot approbate and reprobate nor accept only the benefit of a decision of court and reject the burden; having accepted the aspect of the same Supreme Court judgment of 2005 in suit No. SC. 124/1999 which ceded some villages to Cross River State, she cannot now question part of the same judgment and that of 10th July, 2012.
letters to the editor How long will Jos continue to boil? The violence in Jos, Plateau state seems to have defied all solutions. But for how long will this continue to be? This is the question I will want the Federal Government, Plateau state government, indigenes and non-indigenes resident in Jos to answer. Since 2001 when the major crises broke out in
Jos and later spread to other towns and villages of the state, peace has eluded the once peaceful state. At a point, a State of Emergency was imposed on Plateau state but this did not solve the problem. It is like crisis and violence have come to stay in the state in spite of all pretences to the contrary. But we are tired of these mindless killings in Jos and some villages in Jos North senatorial zone. It is
now the issue of Boko Haram bombings which nobody knows when it will stop. I call on all peace loving people of Plateau and outsiders, to help us put a stop to this. The military actions have not helped the matter also. Only God and the people can put a stop to it. Daniel Chitang, Bukuru, Jos.
Job situation is getting out of hand Please allow me some space in your newspaper to comment on the current job situation in the country. It was reported in the newspapers that a jobless Nigerian committed suicide at the premises of FCDA because he was denied a job. This is a strong signal to the government that
Nigerians are becoming desperate on the issue of getting jobs after many years of study. Millions of Nigerians who graduated many years ago are still jobless and more are joining them every year. What triggered trouble in Tunisia which later spread to other Arab nations was the issue of a jobless graduate who burnt himself when his petty goods were seized.
Today, it is called Arab Spring, but let the Nigerian youths not get to a point where they will prefer to die than to live and suffer joblessness. I hope the President will hear the cry of the poor jobless Nigerians, some of who have finished their masters degrees still no job to do. Joseph Agbomi, Kubwa, Abuja
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
P LITICS A manipulated Edo polls would‘ve ignited Nigeria’s break-up crisis – Sen. Waku Senator JKN Waku was in the National Assembly between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A focal member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Waku protested against PDP’s evil deeds and decamped into the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He spoke to editors
uring late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure, at least Nigerians knew that he implemented the doctrine of the rule of law and that’s why most opposition governors had their victories from the court. Do you see the administration of Jonathan in similar light? Are you asking me or you are telling me? Are you telling me the difference between him and Umaru Yar’Adua or in terms of him maintaining the rule of law? If Yar’Adua were alive and he was the President and invited by the National Assembly, he would have gone there! He would have gone there. A free mind, fear no accusation; a free conscience, fear no accusation. You are not afraid to be called upon on any issue because you are confident. It is a most disgraceful thing that the President will turn down an invitation by the NASS. I attended the seminar organized
by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and I shook that day, when the Senate President got up to deliver his welcome address. He said he has been appealing to the President to assent to the budget, having sent the proposal to him for several months, but he would not sign. You are begging a President to assent to a budget? There is a constitutional provision, after 30 days, you recall the gaddam thing and bring it down to the chambers and take the 2/3 of the two chambers and the gaddam thing is passed and it becomes a law. So, why are you begging him? The President should beg the NASS in a civilized clime where democracy work; where people are democratically elected, that’s what happens. Not when people who come out to be presiding officers, in the Chambers, know for sure and between them and their God that they didn’t win the elections? How would they tell
Mr. President No, when he has to hold them by the neck? This is what happens here! The appointment of chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega, was applauded by Nigerians based on the worthy credentials he had previously paraded in public service. He has presided over a general
election and there are worse criticisms of it, much like the ones conducted by his predecessors. What is really the problem of Nigeria? The problem of this country is PDP; it is PDP. The PDP is allergic to one-man, one vote. They will do elections so badly because of incompetence in governance and in offices, only to perpetuate themselves by hook or by crook, like the former the President said… have you seen a leader anywhere in the world that would say election is a do or die affair? That is the insignia of the PDP. Look at what happened in Benue State recently. The governor invited people that he was going to flag off the sale of fertilizer and brought only one trailer of fertilizer to the venue. And people were there from 10am to 5pm only for him to announce to them that he has only one trailer load of fertilizer, but that he is buying the trailer to distribute to traditional rulers? And they should wait for two, three weeks for fertilizer to arrive. But what did I hear this morning on the news? That he had distributed 400 trucks of fertilizer. For God’s sake, how do you say that and people were there and they saw only one trailer. So, when you rule by deceit, the people you claim you are ruling them suffer. Although, you are now a chieftain of the opposition ACN, but before you decamped, you were a founding father and won elections on the platform of the PDP. So, when did this PDP’s “umbrella” begin to tear? It was when Obasanjo wanted a second term as President. When Obasanjo finished his four year term and was planning to perpetuate himself in governance through automatic will, but it was dynamite. So, he decided to handpick those who will tell him yes sir! Yes sir!! That was when PDP began to get out of its original concept of oneman, one vote; that was when the PDP began to disintegrate
The President should beg the NASS in a civilized clime where democracy work; where people are democratically elected, that’s what happens. Not when people who come out to be presiding officers, in the Chambers, know for sure and between them and their God that they didn’t win the elections? How would they tell Mr. President No, when he has to hold them by the neck? This is what happens here!
and became Personal Democratic movement or whatever. People became personal, dictatorial programmes of one man called Obasanjo and he got our fools, our governors who stole so much money, Obasanjo knew them; Obasanjo is a professional blackmailer. He knew when they were stealing money, but he wouldn’t hold them until such a time he was ready to use them. And because he brought all these members of the National Assembly, who he knew never won elections; he had all the resources at his disposal. When you want to shout, he will just open and show it to you, ‘’you know that you did not win this election?’ That’s how a detainee, with murder charge, became victorious in the electoral process. How did he go, how did vote from the prison he was held? Obasanjo is the problem of Nigeria. I don’t blame Jonathan. President Jonathan is only a beneficiary of the notorious, dictatorial tendencies of someone who wanted him to be there. Jonathan has good opportunities, having also being a goodluck, he also has good opportunities, but he is abusing it . You are alleging that PDP is allergic to one-man one vote, but look at the Ogun state elections, handled by your party-the ACN …. I challenged it yesterday. It is an extension of the PDP. It is an extension. I challenged that election yesterday. It is not fair. It is an extension. I challenged that election yesterday. It is not fair. That victory is embarrassing; it is a mockery of democracy. I won’t sanction things like that. I am a democrat so I am not happy with it. So, what do you think is the way out of the electoral mess? The only way out is to take up arms. But would that help? Because these people sit in Government House and thumbprint ballot papers. It is the governor who appoints the electoral commissioner. He who pays the piper dictates the tune. Why are the governors afraid that local government elections be controlled by the federal electoral commission? Let INEC carry out all the elections in this country otherwise you will never see democracy and fairness. When this continues, it is going to trigger people’s anger. And one day you’ll get up and see that we are in a serious crisis in this country that would make Boko Haram be a child’s play. So, I am advising us to ensure we Continue on page 12
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
politics A manipulated Edo polls would‘ve... Continue from page 9 have genuine democracy. You have 20 local governments in that state (Ogun), and you said you won 19 or so, is it a miracle? Let the PDP allow Nigerians to vote who they want. Elections in Edo saved this country and the president knew it. If they had taken it by force, we would have been in a civil war by now. Not that he did his best, because, even the military were divided when they got there. But God intervened. Nigeria is God’s own country. What is your perception of the comments by President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ayo Oritsejiefor that Christians should leave the North in the face of Boko Haram attacks? I am glad you raised this issue. My point is; as a president of a religious organization, your utterances should be seen as reconciliatory, because at the end of the day, should there be a peace mission, you will be called upon to play a part. So you are not to be seen as taking drastic positions already and that was my advice to him. And what did the American government say? If you read me three months ago, I said Boko Haram has three segments, the criminal, political and the social justice segments. I mentioned that the organization itself was not meant to be a terrorist organization, but that it was those who came and infiltrated the organization that made it so, and we know them, that is why they are declaring those people terrorists, not the organization. You may as well have said that since Boko Haram is in Nigeria, then Nigeria should also be tagged a terrorist nation, whereas you and I are not part of it. Is that what he was telling the international community? You don’t carry sentiments too far. For an association that tomorrow you may be called upon to come and mediate for possible resolutions as leader and most especially a religious leader which is sensitive, the person leading it should be seen as self controlled and one who can control his utterances because, before you know it, you may have triggered a situation you would regret, simply because emotions got the better side of you. You don’t govern with emotions; you don’t lead people by emotions. So, you disagree with CAN president completely on this issue? That is the most stupid thinking I have heard. Are you now exposing the middle belt as a religious group? I thought Middle-belt was a determining factor to have a self government for people to be ruled in a just manner. I never knew it was a religious group. But if you are telling me that the Middle-belt is a religious group, then what do you do with the Muslims and
others that are not Christians who are in the region? What do you do with the pagans? I am involved in the middle belt, I know how it started, it is not a religious group but they are exposing it now to make it look like it is a wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, which is very sad. I made a statement three months ago when I accused the leadership of the Middle-belt that it is now a Christian affair. They came out to defend it, they called me names. But today I have been vindicated because they have shown it to the world that it is a Christian affair, am I not justified? Have I not been vindicated? But originally, the concept of Middle-belt is not religious. We had people like Ibrahim Imam as members, who even won an election on that ticket. What then is your understanding of the concept of Middle-Belt? Let me tell you. All of them parading as Middle-belt leaders, only about four of five of them know about the history of the struggle. I still have the membership card of the UMBC. They don’t even know what the color of the UMBC card looks like, but they are now Middle-Belt leaders. These politicians are now using the Middle-belt as a wheel chair for their political journeys, without knowing its concept. The Middle-belt was a determination for self government that aims at being different from the Sardauna, ruler of Northern Nigeria due to the fact that the north then was considered too large for one person to govern, since the natural distribution of resources, was not even. The first conference on that was that of Northern minorities, then later, that of the Northern Christian Association and finally; the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) came so that people who have been denied a platform by the NPC to run for an election could have one, because then, they were regional parties where people controlled some of these parties. Mallam Aminu Kano was in control of NEPU, through a similar concept of moving away from the gigantic northern region. Again, some of my friends in the MiddleBelt still do not consider themselves as northerners. But I ask, if you are not a northerner, then where are you from? Because the middle
belt has never been a region, but even if it is a region, where are its origins, if not form the north? I tell people I am a middlebelter from the north. The same thing applies to all the other geopolitical zones in the country. You go to Enugu; it is in the South East, so from where did it originate from? The South. The same with the South South and South West, all are in the South. So those from the North East and North West and those of us from the North Central, are equally from the north. That is what some of the so called leaders now don’t want to hear and this is most misleading. Yet we have people from the Middle-Belt heading northern organizations. The governor of Niger State is the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum. Is he not a northerner? Why is he not chairman of Middle-Belt or North central governors? I keep telling them, don’t deceive our younger ones. We may have our disagreements with our Hausa /Fulani dominated government then, but not anymore. We control our affairs now. Is the governor of Plateau state a Hausa/ Fulani, what about Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Taraba states? So we have our states more than even what we were demanding. Generals Gowon, Murtala and Babangida gave us more than we were fighting for. That is why when they started the meeting of the so called middle belt governors, it failed. Are you saying that the fear of Hausa Fulani dominance is no longer there? Now everybody has his state to take care of, unlike then when it was one region. The governor decides what happens in his state. I have no quarrel with people giving identity to regional groupings for coexistence and to galvanize and navigate the opportunities they want to have. I am not against that but to come to deny that you are not from there, that is neither here nor there. What about if a position is zoned to the north, where would the Middle-Belt fall under? Certainly not south. So where do we belong? We are from the north. Take it, leave it, like it, but that is the natural truth. Sometimes back, the US predicted Nigeria is going to collapse. Don’t you see all these crises as pointers in that direction? Will Nigeria be the first country in the world to break? Will it also be the last to break? If that brings peace, so be it.
But we have natural resources in all parts of the north. North like I said is staying together with other parts of Nigeria because we have been together for long, not because it is afraid. I for one, am not
•Prof. Jega But it appears the north is afraid of the country being split… No northerner is afraid of disintegration. If you hear leaders say we don’t want it, it is because of peace. We have been together for long that is the only fear. I have an article written by an Igbo man, pointing out what the north has but does not know. Northern Nigeria can feed the whole of Africa, if the leadership is committed. It has nonperishable resources that can never run out. The oil, give it another 45 years, if new technology is not invented, it will run out. But we have natural resources in all parts of the north. North like I said is staying together with other parts of Nigeria because we have been together for long, not because it is afraid. I for one, am not. People should stop threatening us. I told them few months ago they can go and drink their oil, we will eat our yams and the Igbos were asking me; ‘what did you allocate to us?’ So I said go and eat your palm oil. The Yoruba can do the same with their cocoa. So what is the big deal there? But one clear thing is that if all these resources are harnessed properly together under one nation, we would be a great nation. Let me tell you, nobody should deceive anybody. We all like this country. The political threat is a gimmick to enable some get more and to silence others. If it is decided that we should go our separate ways today, the same people would say they don’t want to go. What specific areas would you suggest inserted in the proposed 1999 Constitution review? First, take away immunity completely, especially in the criminal aspect, then there should be a provision for
presidents and governors to step down six months before election if they are interested in second term, then government should not fund any political party. Let me add here that the most scandalous thing that has happened to Nigeria is for the first lady to become permanent secretary. It is scandalous but they’re happy about it. Since you’re a first lady, what is your business with being permanent secretary? Are you saying you will come back to the civil service after being first lady? And as permanent secretary you ought to have been there working, not coming on weekends. So she’s absent from duty. That’s indiscipline. The secretary to the Bayelsa government should query her for absenting herself from office. You are first lady and you are parading yourself as permanent secretary, which one do you want people to take you for? As far as I am concerned, we don’t have a first lady because the position that comes last supersedes the previous ones. This is the second time Nigeria is being embarrassed by a first lady. The first was when Stella died. She was a beautiful woman who was married to the president, so for who does she want to make herself beautiful for? It was scandalous. Now a first lady is going to bow before a governor, to take oath of office as permanent secretary. But why did the north lost out so scandalously in the nation’s political equation in 2011? Its corruption! Our young generation does not take the north as an entity. They care more about themselves and not where they come from. Selfishness, that’s all. But I like it, because it has taught the north a hard lesson.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
Edo poll: Prophet warns PDP against court action From ISESELE EZEKIEL, Benin
he spiritual head and founder, Devine Evangelical Prayer Ministry, Prophet Femi Samson Enweliku has caution the leadership of Edo State Chapter, Peoples Democratic Party to halt the propose move to challenge Governor Oshiomole second term mandate in the court of law. The President General, National Association of Prophetic Ministers ( NAP M) wh o gave t h is warning y e st erd ay wh il e a dd res si ng ne ws men re ve al t h at Co m ra de Governor Oshiomhole has a divine mandate that cannot be challenge. P r io r b ef o re t h e J u ly 14 t h gubernatorial poll in the State he made a prophetic declaration that the Comrade Governor was going to win but that the PDP is certain to take over the State come 2015. “T h a t p ro ph e sy re ma ins t h e sa me . I t o ld y o u P DP ma de a mi st ak e f o r ru n ni ng aga in st Oshiomhole in the just concluded gub ernato rial election but all the same they did well for contesting but in 2015 there will be a deep crisis in ACN as a result of who becomes Oshiomhole’s successor and if the party is not careful enough and excepts through God’s intervention PDP will overrun them physically, spiritually and every other available means , they will use everything to get Edo State back but through divine intervention ACN will come up. “What God has chosen no man can go against it. Oshiomhole coming back for the second time is a divine mandate. The mandate is given to him by the Almighty God, no man can take it. Governor Oshiomhole’s mandate is unchallengeable, no man can challenge it, it is a divine mandate, a clear mandate, so the issue of PDP going to court should be put behind, they should wait till 2015.’’ He describe the Comrade Governor as a gift to the state and equally express optimism that the Governor will surpass his first term performance “I m convinced that he will perform better in his second term, he has an excellent spirit and he believes in the mandate of the people. He is equally a man that knows good name is better than riches. “Oshiomhole is a gift to Edo State. Before the advent of Oshiomhole Edo State was one of the backward states but since his coming he has provided the leadership platform that entails foresight and harbors the interest of the people at heart, out to tackle the plights of the masses and put his name on gold.’’ On the controversy generated by the decision of the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria to thrown weight behind the comrade Governor second term bid he posited “I see nothing bad in that. I said it
before that there was no vacancy in Osadebey avenue, that Oshiomhole mandate was divine and that PDP will
go at all length to deprive him of the mandate and you saw all that happened during the election. So, the
issue of religious body praying for Oshiomhole should not arise, he is carrying divine mandate.”
•L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan; President George Richards of Trinidad and Tobago; his wife, Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards, and First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, during a courtesy call on President Richards in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Committee chairman pledges revenue generation The Chairman of Finance Committee, Benue House of Assembly, Mr. Baba Odeh, has pledged to bring innovations that will enhance revenue generation in the state. Odeh made the pledge yesterday in Makurdi during the inauguration of
the committee in the House. He said that sustainable development could best be achieved through an enhanced revenue generation drive. Odeh said the committee had resolved to partner with the mother ministry to achieve great things for the state.
He sued for the cooperation of other members of the committee to enable it achieve its mandate. Messrs Ianna Jato and Terhile Ayua, both members of the committee, in their separate remarks, expressed readiness to serve the committee to the best of their abilities.
PAC calls for devolution of powers among 3 tiers of govt The Progressives Action Congress (PAC) yesterday called for the devolution of powers among the three tiers of government for speedy development across the country. NAN recalls that Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, on July 10, in Uyo said that the National Assembly was set to look into the call for devolution of powers among the three tiers of government. Sen. Ekweremadu is also the Deputy Senate President. The National Chairman of the party, Chief Charles Nwodo, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. Nwodo said the crisis in the nation took its roots from the overloading of the centre where most of the powers rested, at the expense of the other tiers of government thereby heating up the polity. He said the states as they stood today
existed to defeat the principles of true federalism. “ The governors at present are mere chief security officers of their respective states contrary to what federalism obtained. “ The governors by nomenclature are designated with chief security officers of the states, but unfortunately they could not direct even a lance corporal of the police,” he noted He expressed regret that the Federal Government was involved in the distribution of textbooks down to primary school level that would have been done by the states or the local governments. “It is high time the National Assembly devolved powers and reduced the revenue allocation to the Federal Government for even development. “ They should also assign those responsibilities such as education, agriculture and health to the states for effective governance,” he added. He attributed the struggle for the
position of the presidency in the country to the concentration of power and the largesse that went with it at the centre. The PAC chairman said it was democratically unethical in a diverse nation like Nigeria that was faced with tribal and religious challenges. He said that it should also involve the state police in order to reduce one way high command from the centre down to the local level, as this would reduce the security challenges in the country. “ Our leaders and the members of the National Assembly must stand to make sacrifice now in respect of power devolution in order to restore sanity in governance and the dignity of the citizens. “ This will also go a long way in bringing about mutual respect and peaceful co- existence among the component states,’’ he said. According to him, devolution of power will also go a long way to reduce political tension in the country as there would be less competition at the centre.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
politics Edo PDP demands apology from Oshiomhole over utterances on Olaitan’s murder From ISESELE EZEKIEL, Benin
do State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday urge the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole to tender an unreserved apology to the party and Chief Tony Anenih, for chairman PDP Board of Trustees whom he had earlier accused were responsible for the assassination of his principal secretary, Comrade Oyerinde Olaitan. Comrade Olaitan who hails from Osun State was allegedly shot by his assailants in his GRA residential home, Benin City Edo State on May 4th. The Governor and the ACN had pointed accusing fingers at Chief Anenih and the entire leadership of the party as master minders of the dastardly act in addition to providing N20 million as offer to anyone who will made available useful information that will lead to the arrest of
the suspects. Barrister Vincent Ose Akhere, PDP Youth Leader made this assertion while addressing newsmen in Benin. He berated the ACN control state government over its inability to provide adequate security for lives and properties, particularly that of the late Oyerinde. In a related development, counsel to Rev David Ugolor, Bar. Olayowola Afolabi,, Executive Director, African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) who was arrested in connection with Olaitan’s murder by Federal SARS, Abuja has equally commend the security operatives for exposing the killers . “We are glad that your strong efforts in combating crime have yielded positive fruit” going by the recent parade and even the confession of the killers of Olaitan Oyerinde”. According to Akhere , “The
confessional statements of six suspects arrested and paraded by operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) in Abuja, is an indication that “the cat had been let out of the bag. “Consequently on behalf of the PDP youths in Edo state I am using this medium to call on governor Oshiomhole to within the next 14 days tender an unreserved apology to Edo PDP and its leaders failing which we shall legitimately seek legal redress. “You will recall that some time ago Governor Oshiomhole accused the PDP and its leaders of being responsible for the killing of his Private Secretary by unknown gunmen in his private residence in Benin. I am happy to inform you gentlemen of the press that the cat has been let out of the bag through the confessional statements made to the police and SSS by about six suspects arrested so far in respect of the
CPC calls for dissolution of Adamawa Assembly From NJOKU PASCHAL, Yola The Adamawa State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has called for the dissolution of the State House of Assembly on the grounds that it has violated some provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended. Chairman of the party in the state, Hon. Ibrahim Waziri in a press briefing yesterday at the party’s secretariat alleged that the Assembly has failed to sit for a minimum of 180 days in one legislative year as stipulated by the constitution. “We have done our investigation and found out that members of the state legislature only sat for 91 days as lawmakers thereby contravening the 1999 constitution which provides that an Assembly shall sit at least for 180 days in a year” the CPC Chairman pointed out. He alleged that “the Assembly was inaugurated on June 9, 2011 and the last day they sat at the chambers for proceedings was on June 4, 2012; that day, the order of proceedings was number 091 i.e. 91 days”. Hon. Waziri who was flanked by chieftains of the CPC therefore declared that, “We are going to court to seek an order for the dissolution of the Adamawa State House of Assembly due to incompetence, nonrepresentation and violation of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended”. The CPC boss further accused the House of circumventing the
…threatens court action constitution based on the accelerated passage of a bill in two days into law that provided for the constitution of an electoral college to elect management committee for local government councils pending the conduct of election into the councils by the Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission. Waziri claimed the action of the Assembly was illegal and infringed upon section 7 of the constitution, which provides that democratically elected local government council is hereby guaranteed by that constitution. He cited section 8 of the constitution which directed that State governments shall facilitate the conduct of local government elections and to ensure that anybody occupying the office of a councillor or chairman must be democratically elected. “Based on that, we are calling on the state executive council to disregard that law and come out to tell people of the state that the law is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever” Waziri stressed. Reacting swiftly, Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Umaru Ahmad Fintri dismissed the CPC’s allegations as frivolous, baseless and misleading. He expressed dismay that the CPC Chairman who was formerly a state lawmaker would condescend so low to distort facts concerning the workings of the state legislature in relation to days of sittings.
“Apart from our plenary sessions, the House members still sit at committee levels to discharge other over sight functions, and when you add all these days, you will find out that we have had sittings for over 200 days” the Speaker explained. On the bill passed into law by the House, Fintri said “Members of the ADSEIC were sworn recently, and when we asked them about the council poll, they told us that due to some predicaments, they will not be able to conduct election in the next 3 months due to the rainy season which will hinder accessibility of remote and riverine areas, on-going Ramadan fasting, and the forthcoming pilgrimages to the Holy Lands of Jerusalem and Mecca respectively”. He added that in line with section 7 of the constitution, “We cannot allow the local government administration to suffer at the grassroots, in the hands of civil servants who are at the whims and caprices of the commission that controls and transfers civil servants from one local government to another”. According to Fintri, “So, we decided to look for something more close to democracy in the interest of the people and that was why we passed the bill into law in the interim pending when elections will be conducted by the ADSEIC”. He therefore described the CPC Chairman as “one suffering from short memory, who does not know what he is saying being a former legislator”.
• Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole dastardly act. “Oshiomhole accused our innocent leaders wrongly and unjustly in his desperation to curry favour from the Edo electorate” adding that he has “known Chief Tony Anenih for more than two decades as a Go fearing man, leader and very passionate father who detests anything that is evil. Oshiomhole even named a street in Benin where Chief Anenih’s residence is located after the late Oyerinde…this is the peak of lawlessness and man’s inhumanity to man. “The youths therefore challenge the ACN led government in Edo state to hide
its head in shame for the inability to secure the lives and property of Edo people particularly such a high profile personality in government who died in the hands of those social miscreants.” Also Stakeholders on Conflict Resolution and Early Warning (SCREW) has unanimously condemned the continuous detention of Rev. Ugolor while describing his arrest by SARS as “spurious and baseless. Spokesperson for the group Comrade Igbotako Nowinta however calls for the immediate release of Rev. Ugolor saying he is innocent and has no case to answer.”
I’m not distracted by the opposition – Gov. Ahmed Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has said that his administration is not distracted by the negative comments of the opposition in his resolve to positively transform the lives of the people even as he assured that the administration is resolute and the will to succeed is unrelenting. The governor who gave the assurances at the swearing-in of two new Special Advisers, a Commissioner in the State Civil Service Commission and the inauguration of the Board of Harmony Holdings Limited, pledged that as a “responsible administration we have made the economic empowerment of our people and the prosperity of our State the number one priority”. According to the governor, within a year the administration’s shared prosperity has yielded massive youth jobs, immense physical and social infrastructure, bold agricultural reforms and wealth creation. Governor Ahmed therefore urged the newly sworn
in commissioners and board members to internalize and imbibe the tenets of the programme and make valuable contributions to its effective implementation. The Governor Ahmed said Kwara State Holdings Limited with 20 companies in its fold was expected to deliver minimum annual revenue of N50billion by the year 2032 as one of the top three government owned holding companies in Nigeria in the next ten years. He said the Holdings Company will further diversify its operations into other sectors such as finance and investment, Mortgage, Agriculture and Construction. In his remarks, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold said injection of new blood into the State Executive Council was part of the efforts to fast track the development of the State. Speaking on behalf of the appointees, the Chairman, Kwara Holdings Limited, Professor Haliru Abubakar described their appointments as a challenge to contribute to the deepening of the culture of good governance in the state.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
politics PDP’s call for Gbajabiamila’s resignation hypocritical, blackmail – CPC By CHUKS EHIRIM
he Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has noted the highly subjective and utterly
Ekiti senators mull N600m joint constituency project The three senators from Ekiti Stat are considering a joint constituency project in the form of an irrigation scheme valued at N600 million. The project is expected to be sited in Ekiti North Senatorial District. Sen. Babajemi Ojudu, representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja. Ojudu said the project was informed by the need to establish a single giant project rather than three minor schemes scattered across the three senatorial districts of the state. The senators are Sen. Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North Senatorial District); Sen. Anthony Adeniyi (Ekiti South Senatorial Districts); and Babatunde Ojudu.
illogical call by the Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) SouthWest leadership for the resignation of Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila , the House of Representatives’ minority leader. The PDP claim that he should resign his appointment on account of his indictment by the state of Georgia’s Bar for professional misconduct. This call came on the heels of the recent motion by Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, on the floor of the Lower legislative House, for the commencement of
impeachment proceedings on President Goodluck Jonathan should he fail to implement the 2012budget by September this year. According to a statement in Abuja yesterday by Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, National Publicity Secretary, CPC, understandably, the ruling Party felt rattled by this call and believed that, like it had always been with this PDPled Federal Government, the messenger of a good message must be smeared and vanquished even if there is no justifiable basis of it. True, Mr. Gbajabiamila was
indicted for a professional misdemeano r by a Bar Association and had received a just comeuppance for the act. Tru e, the Nigerian Constitution stipulates a tenyear ban for anybody in the Polity to hold political office after criminal conviction by a Co urt of competent jurisdiction. However, this brewing saga has thrown up some unanswered q uestions: Is this call by the PDP the natural consequence of Mr. Gbajabiamila ‘s effrontery in demanding for the
• L-R: Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji; Gov. Babatunde Fashola, and Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayoola Phillips, during the signing of a new bill on state road traffic into law in Lagos, yesterday.
impeachment of President Good-luck Jonathan for nonimplementat ion of the budget? Was Mr. Gbajabiamila convicted by a Court of Law? Is every prof essional indict ment coterminous with criminal conviction? Is this PDP’s call an attempt in extirpating the hope of ensuring scrupulous implementation of the 2012 budget? Is it any coincidence that the top echelon of the South-West PDP leadership making this call had been found culpable of electoral fraud and deceit by Courts of Appeal in the Nigerian state, and Is this another attempt in discrediting the messenger of a good message as a subterfuge for perpetuating imprudence and impunity in Nigeria’s political governance? Another questions raised by the CPC is this another attempt by the PDP-led Federal Government to tamper with the Constitutionally- entrenched separation of Powers? As Party, it is our considered view that this PDP’s call is unpatriotic, selfish and ludicrous; it must be condemned by all patriotic Nigerians. We view this as an unpatriotic attempt to muzzle a federal Legislator who has progressively contributed to National discourse with courage and demonstrable candor.
INEC proposes Sept. 8 for Zaria by-election Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yeaterday proposed Sept. 8 to conduct by-election to fill the vacant seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly following the death of Alhaji Mustapha Bawa, the member representing Zaria. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bawa, who died on July 10 after a brief illness in his residence was of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) party. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Halliru Tambuwal, announced the tentative date of the byelection at a stakeholders’ meeting in Kaduna. Tambuwal told the participants that the forum
was created to discuss the exercise and harmonise their positions. Represented by Alhaji Musa Adamu, INEC Administrative Secretary, Tambuwal said that the byelection would be conducted in line with the provisions of Section 116 (1-2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 25 (1-5) of the amended Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). The sections provided that a by-election should be conducted within 30 days of the death of an elected public officer and not exceeding 90 days. According to him, the Clerk to the House of Assembly, Hajiya Umma Hikima, notified the commission about the death on July 16. Tambuwal said that the
legislature had about two years to expire and that INEC could not deprive the constituency of a representative. He told them that the poll would hold in six wards, including Kwarbai ‘A’ and B‘, Anguwar Doka, Fataki and Kaura. The electoral chief said that about 5,000 personnel would be used to conduct the election in 169 polling uni ts a nd 136, 165 r egi s ter ed voter s wer e exp ec ted to c a s t thei r votes. He said that only ANPP, APGA, CPC, PDP, PRP and ADC would be p a r ti c i p a ti ng in the exercise in accordance with the law. “ But only C PC wi ll be a llowed to s ubs ti tute a
candidate, with a proof of ha vi ng los t a n elec ted member,’’ he said. Tambuwal also informed them that INEC office in Sa bon Ga r i Loc a l Government Area would be used as its operational base for the election. He urged the stakeholders to adhere to the rules guiding the electoral process and shun violence as he pledged INEC’s determination to conduct a free and fair election. In separate responses, representatives of the CPC and ACN called for additional two weeks to enable the CPC to sensitise and mobilise the elec tor a te a nd c ond uc t primaries. They also called for the use of fac i li ti es in Za ri a c i ty, s a yi ng the d i s tr i buti on of elec ti on
ma ter i a ls a nd a nnounc ement of r es ult should be done within the a ffec ted c ons ti tuenc y to forestall manipulations. They further urged INEC and security agencies to remain neutral for the success of the poll. Also speaking, the representatives of the security agencies pledged their readiness to deploy adequate personnel and conduct themselves professionally during the forthcoming byelection. The meeting was attended by officials and representatives of the CPC, ANPP, ACN, National Orientation Agency, Police and the media, among others. PDP was conspicuously absent at the meeting.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
politics Bauchi PDP disown chieftain From USMAN SHEHU, Bauchi
• Plateau State governor, Jonah David Jang,
Jang challenge lawmakers to live above board From ANDREW AJIJAH, Jos
lat eau S t at e go verno r, J o nah David J ang, h as u rged Nigeria legislators to reflect on the nation’s security challenge in relation to its future. Governor Jang stated this wh en h e received a delegation of the House of Represent at ives led b y Ho n. Mukt ar Ahmed, t he Depu t y Ch ief Wh ip wh o were on a condolence visit o ver t h e deat h o f lat e S enat o r Gy ang Dant o ng, S t at e Assemb ly memb er, Ho n. Gy ang Fu lani and many others who lost their lives in a recent attack. The governor said “if we had all come together to put o f f t h e f ire, it migh t no t have spread”. He regret ted t h at t h e secu rit y ch allenge in t h e North was threatening its
eco no my say ing we must wak e up and st o p pretending but be sincere in dealing with the issue. Jang therefore, challenge the National Assembly in its dealings t o co nsider t h e future of this nation noting as t h ey amend the Constitution, they should co nsider th e u nity of t he country as paramount. Responding, Hon. Ahmed said the National Assembly has lost one of its leading light in the person of Late Senator Dantong who was also one time member the House of Representatives. He maint ained t hat th e Ho use has lo st these t wo colleagues and friends who h ave demo nst rat ed effective representation in the Senate and State House of Assembly. Th ey also sy mpat h iz ed with the State over all the deaths resulting from the attacks on the State.
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Dan Amar Ward ‘A’ in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State, Mallam M.M. Kebi, has dissociated the party from the publication discrediting the person of the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed. Kebi also described the author of the report, Mr. B.B. Dogo as a “mischief maker who does not belong to PDP in the state talk less of being chieftain of the party in the state”. In a press statement he signed and made available to National Accord in Bauchi yesterday, Kebi said “what the so called B.B Dogo reported about the FCT minister did not and has never represented the mind of the PDP in Bauchi State but self seeking and his personal opinion”. Kebi said the PDP is a responsible party with organized hierarchy and therefore, B.B Dogo cannot
speak on behalf of the leadership of the part for he is someone who changes from one party to the other for selfish interest. According to him, “if he has any grudge against the FCT minister, he should find other ways or means of settling it and not use the name of PDP because as far as we are concern, I have not known him as a member of the party even though we come from and as such, cannot speak for the party. “And on the contrary, he is the one now heating up the polity in the state, especially with his utterances and activities. He has no right or authority to speak on Bauchi State Local Government election, so the keynote address he said he delivered in Abuja at a one day workshop on the forth coming. Local Government elections is his personal opinion, not ours as he is not representing the party or anybody”, the PDP leader declared.
The statement therefore urged the public to “disregard the said publication which was published in a weekly publication captioned “PDP chieftain warns FCT minister against overheating the polity”. He pointed out that to the best of his knowledge, PDP in the State has no problem with the FCT minister “and as our own son and brother who is doing very well in Abuja, we have no reason to discredit him or insinuate any negative thing about him and his office. “Investigations have proved to us that it is people like him who go about dropping names of the party or that of the State Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda to achieve their selfish aim thereby causing confusion in the State. Unsuspecting public at times think their motives are been sponsored by the party or the Governor. Enough is enough”, he concluded.
No law stops public servants from politics- HOS From AYO BAMIDELE, Akure
Ondo State Head of Service, Barrister Ajose Kudehinbu yesterday rose stoutly in support of the partisanship roles of civil servants in the country saying that they are empowered by the constitution of the country to do so. Speaking in Akure, at a press conference to flag off this year’s public service week celebration, he explained that the civil servants as far as they are nationals of this country, they have the right under section 40 which guarantees them to freely assemble and belong to any political party of their choice. Opposition parties as well as pro democracy activists had recently condemned the role of civil servants in the state for organizing a political rally to support the second term bid of the governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) not to use them as ad hoc staff during the
October 20 governorship election in the state. But the Head of Service maintained that there was nothing wrong in the action of the workers saying that they were right to have applauded the governor for improving on their welfare and that if another governor is elected in future and performs better, he would equally enjoyed the support of the workers. According to him, “we support the governor because of what he has done for the workers. Some of the welfare programmes the present administration has put in place for the workers include adjustment in their salary in 2010; implementation of salary relativity in 2011; implementation of minimum wage of N18, 000 for junior workers in 2011 and payment of N22, 000 minimum wage for officers on grade levels 01 – 17 in 2012. “If the workers choose to belong to political parties of their choice, then they had not flouted any known law as far as this country is
concerned.” He however cautioned the civil servants against using their position to leak official documents to those that are not in government especially members of opposition parties adding that if such parties get to power in future, they will not trust the workers. Barrister Kudehinbu pointed out that no responsible government could afford to relegate the civil service to the background if it is genuinely serious about serving the citizenry with utmost sincerity. He further disclosed that the present administration in the state has taken steps to build the capacity of the workforce so that the system could face the challenges of public service delivery in the 21st century. Other activities lined up for the public service week are a lecture titled “The Bureaucracy, Impunity and the Rule of Law to be delivered by the Attorney General of the state, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, (SAN); a health walk and a dinner/ awards night.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
news NDE to provide jobs for 80 people in Bauchi From USMAN SHEHU, Bauchi The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is to provide jobs for about 80 participants of the Rural Agricultural Development and Training Scheme (RADTS) in Bauchi, the state coordinator has said. Malam Isa Jibrin made this known at the flagging off training scheme on Wednesday in Bauchi, adding that NDE was ready to contribute its quota towards providing employment opportunities for hundreds of unemployed youths in the state.He explained that at the end of the four months training the participants would have imbibed the spirit of self-reliance through the knowledge acquired to become poultry farmers, fish farmers as well as become experts in animal fattening and irriga tion. Jibrin said participants would after the training
become not only self-employed but also employers of labour serving as sponge to suck unemployed youths in the state. The coordinator noted that the responsibility of providing employment opportunities to the teaming unemployed youths was far beyond the capability of governments, hence the need for wealthy individuals, politicians and corporate organisations to complement efforts of the government in that direction. Jibrin commended the member representing Darazo/ Ganjuwa federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Umar Abubakar Sade for collaborating with the NDE in training 30 youths in carpentry, tailoring and welding trades. The coordinator appealed to other politicians to emulate Sade’s efforts to make more youths gainfully employed and self-reliant.
Kebbi releases N379m for compensation to communities The Kebbi state government has commenced the disbursement of 379 million naira to households affected by the construction of five major roads in Gwandu local government area. The commissioner for lands and housing, Alhaji Hussaini Raha, who made the payment to the beneficiaries on Thursday, in Gwandu, said alternative land would also be provided them. He said that the ministry and traditional rulers in the area would work out modalities for the allocation of land compensation to those affected. The district head of Gwandu, Alhaji Mohammed Rasheed, commended Governor Sa’idu
Dakingari for fulfilling his campaign promise of providing roads in the area and compensating the households affected. He said the roads would enhance social and economic activities, especially movement of farm produce to major cities and markets. The member of the state House of Assembly representing the area, Alhaji Hassan Shallah, called on the beneficiaries to ensure they used the amount they received prudently. He said that the roads to be provided were incentives for economic activities. One of those compensated, Alhaji Umar Gwandu, said the people had been given a true sense of belonging.
• Members of staff of Oyo State Ministry of Environment cleaning a street during the weekly environmental sanitation in Ibadan, yesterday.
Nasarawa constructs local roads for N1.2bn From TOR VANDE-ACKA, Lafia
asarawa government has released the sum of 421 million naria from the state’s stabilisation account to its 13 local government areas (LGAs) and 16 development areas (DAs) to execute capital projects that would have a direct bearing on local communities, a top official said on Thursday. The state commissioner for information and orientation, Titi Monde made this known to newsmen after a meeting of the state executive council (SEC). The commissioner said that government will construct 3.5 km of roads in Lafia, the state capital and 3.5 km of roads in Akwanga, adding the job in Lafia will be handled by
Triacta, while that in Akwaga will be carried out by ENL Nigeria Ltd. She said the roads in Lafia will gulp around 571,912 million naira, while those in Akwanga would guzzle about 638, 434 million naira. Similarly, the state commissioner for agriculture who also spoke at the occasion, said government has procured 400 million naira worth of fertiliser for distribution to farmers this cropping season. He explained that the fertiliser would distributed directly to farmers at the ward levels as part of efforts to check the diversion of the commodity and ensure it gets to genuine farmers in the wards. Meanwhile, the state government has released 421
million naira to LGAs and DAs from its stabilisation account to enable them carry out projects that have direct bearing on the people. The commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Mohammed Dan’azumi, who made this known in a press statement issued in Lafia on Thursday, said it was government’s determination to address developmental challenges in the state. “In line with the resolve of the present administration to address the developmental challenges facing the state, the governor of Nasarawa state has approved the release of 421m to local government and development areas in the state for capital projects that have direct bearing to our rural communities,” he said.
Scramble for N1bn agric loan in Abia eases as govt reviews modalities The earlier frenzy by ‘farmers’ in Abia to benefit from a one billion naira commercial agriculture loan has ceased after the state government tightened modalities for its disbursement. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the state government recently accessed the loan for disbursement to genuine farmers in the state. The people of the state received the news with joy,
and expectations were high as greater number of citizens scrambled to benefit. The state government issued a directive that only genuine farmers would benefit from the scheme following an alarm by poor rural farmers who expressed concern that the pro cess may be hijacked by “portfolio farmers.’’ In order to ensure that the loan got to genuine farmers, the government decided to invest substantial amount of the loan in direct and
compulsory procurement of farm inputs for beneficiaries. The commissioner for agriculture, Chief Ike Onyenweaku, told NAN that the idea worked as some “political jobbers’’ who wanted to hijack the process gave way. “We made it such that only those that demonstrated that they were genuine farmers will benefit from the scheme. The arrangement is that certain amount from the loan will be used to procure fertilisers and other inputs
for beneficiaries,” he said. Onyenweaku said that no fewer than 3,500 rural farmers had so far accessed the loan. NAN recalls th at Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the minister of agriculture and rural development, had on June 27 in Umu ahia, inau gurated the disbursement of the loan. A total of 51 farmers, three each from t he 17 local government areas of the state received cheques in various sums of money at the
inauguration. “The number of beneficiaries now stands well over 3,500 f armers. The disbursement is in stages and we have so far covered nine LGAs of the state and still counting,” Onyenweaku said. The commissioner said that government targeted 8,000 farmers for empowerment through the scheme. “By the time we cover all the17 LGAs of the state, about 8,000 farmers would have been reached,” he said.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
news FCT launches multi-billion Caraway District
Kogi seeks establishm ent of NAPTIP office
By JONATHAN IPAA
From ATABOR JULIUS, Lokoja
The Kogi State Government has appealed to the management of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP), to establish an office in the state, in view of its gateway status. The governor, Capt Idris Wada, made the appeal yesterday in Lokoja when he received in audience officials of the agency who were in his office, to register their appreciation over the role played by the Government recently, when over 300 persons mostly children, were intercepted along ItobeAjaokuta road by the Military. Represented by his Deputy, Arc Yomi Awoniyi the governor, said the Gateway status of Lokoja which borders 10 states including the FCT, with thirty two States using as a route to the federal capital territory Abuja on a daily basis making the State vulnerable to trafficking. Capt Wada assured the agency of all the necessary support whenever it chooses to locate its office in the State. While applauding the Nigeria Army for their alertness that led to the interception, all efforts aimed at securing lives and properties in the state he restated will be encouraged. Earlier in his remarks, Ezekiel Kaura, Director Investigations and Monitoring of NAPTIP, described the level of internal trafficking of persons in the country as worrisome, added that it has downgraded the nations rating to the second tier from the first tier by the United Nations. Mr. Ezekiel hinted that a new trend and challenge facing the agency is the internal trafficking of people from Benue State through Kogi state to other South and Western States of Nigeria, urged the security agency to report subsequent arrest to the agency for proper interrogation and prosecution before any release.
•L-R: ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr Andrienne Diop; Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs Salamatu Suleiman; representative of UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Louise Setshwaelo, and Social Affairs Officer, African Centre for Gender and Social Development, Elizabeth Atyang-Eilor, at the a UN-ECOWAS Summit on violence against women and girls in Abuja, yesterday.
No fewer than 173 rape cases recorded in Gombe From DAVID HASSAN, Gombe
ombe State has recorded no fewer than 173 rape cases has been recorded in two months. Speaking to journalists at a joint press conference, Public Relations Officer of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Gombe State Chapter Rev. Alfred Shilom and Alhaji Saleh Danburam, Secretary of the Jama’atul Nasir Islam (JNI) confirmed to journalists that the issue of the high increase of rape cases in Gombe State is alarming. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in his acceptance speech in May 29 last year during the swearing in ceremony expressed concern on the increase in rape cases. However, the Governor recently met with the religious leaders in the State to show case the problems affecting the
State in order to find a lasting solution to the problems yet it has not shown any impact. Controversy is getting out of hand, where citizens in the State are calling on the State Government as matter of urgency to walk round the clock in order to checkmate the menace of the problems in the State so as not to remain a fail Govern ment. After meeting with the religious leaders in the State by the Governor to find a lasting solution of the problems affecting the State, the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and that of Jama’atul Nasir Islam put heads together to brief the media on the issue of rape. Narrating their ordeals to newsmen at the press conference, it was recalled that the press conference held by the clerics were not supposed to discuss rape cases to journalists
according Government, as the issue was a sensitive one. Confirming the statement made by the clerics to journalists, government were not happy for the statement reaching the press, adding that the issue were suppose to be private. Meanwhile, in a separate press briefing, the Gombe State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social welfare says it will partner with the Women Right Advancement Protection Agency (WRAPA) to tackle the rampant cases of rape in the State. Hajiya Fatima Abubakar, Commissioner for Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare who disclosed this to journalists at a press briefing on the ministry preparation to celebrate the international women’s day in the state that took place on the 21 st July, 2012 .
In furtherance to the promise made to residents to get alternative sources of funding infrastructural development, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Administration has concluded arrangement to perform the ground breaking ceremony of the MultiBillion-Naira Caraway Dallas District development in Abuja. This first ever Land for infrastructure exchange in the West African sub-region which is a Public-PrivatePartnership Initiative, will be officially flagged-off by the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed at the project site, along Keffi Road, adjacent Mogadishu Barrack this weekend. The Caraway Dallas District involves residential areas grouped into smaller communities and villas stunning views over the valley; green spaces which are soft-landscaped parks to provide “green lungs” and recreational areas for the community as well as Central Area to house the Mosque, Church, Shopping Mall, Farmers Market and the Health Centre. Meanwhile this new district will also designed to have 9hole Golf Course with potential for adjoining site to provide land to create an 18hole Golf Course, a School, Police Station, Fire Service Station and car parking facilities.
National Malaria Eradication Programme to introduce “biolarvicides” to eliminate mosquitoes National Coordinator, National Malaria Eradication Programme, Dr. Chioma Amajah, has said that efforts are on to introduce “biolarvicides” to spray mosquitoes to completely eradicate malaria in Nigeria. Amajoh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, that a holistic approach was needed to rid the country completely of malaria. Biolarvicides is a chemical which when sprayed on mosquitoes completely eliminates them by attacking their larvae. “We want to use a holistic approach to completely eradicate malaria in Nigeria. We have been able to upscale the use of 48
million long-lasting insecticidetreated nets. “We have preached indoor residual spraying and diagnosis before treatment but now we are talking environmental management and larviciding. “Larviciding is just putting a larvicidal agent, a chemical which kills larvae, into the breeding site of mosquitoes to kill the mosquitoes young before they mature into adults,” Amajoh said. She added: “we are expanding throughout the country, we hope to begin with seven states but like you heard, Rivers has taken off and there is progress.’’ The coordinator said Nigeria harboured 25 per cent of malaria in Africa, adding that “the watchword is total elimination
and we are moving forward towards the total elimination of malaria. “We will achieve it but we need commitment from all sides, the media, the people, the health workers, the stakeholders and together we will make impact, roll back malaria and roll in development. “Together with all these interventions, advocacy to the various leaders of the country and the traditional rulers is needed to support the community and integrate efforts.” She said that the Ministry of Health had an integrated health plan which had all indicators such as tax clearing and sharing to integrate government’s efforts. Amajoh said that the plan would
also maximise available resources, minimise wastages and duplication, harmonise and synchronise efforts. Dr Mariane Ngoulla, Health Advisor, ECOWAS Commission, also told NAN that data from countries that had introduced biolarvicides were encouraging. “Since 2008 to 2010, there has been spraying in Ghana and the data show that there has been a 75 per cent reduction in the spread of malaria. “In Feb. 2011, the spraying started in Port-Harcourt, Rivers, and data have shown that there has been a 63 per cent reduction already. “In May the spraying started in Ouagadougou and the data have shown a 15 per cent reduction.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
news Unknown gun men attack anti Kalare squad in Gombe From DAVID HASSAN, Gombe Unknown gunmen yesterday attacked anti Kalare squad located at Idi quarters and Tudun Wada Pantami area of Gombe metropolis. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Fwaje Atajiri told National Accord that no life was lost during the attack.
He said that the investigation is on the way as police has swung into action in order to arrest the perpetrators. Speaking further, the PPRO also called on citizens to be lawabiding, adding that the perpetrators who carried lawful in their hands lives with us urging that report should be revealed to the police when the incident occurred.
Minister inaugurates committee on parks The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, has charged members of the steering committee on the commercialisation of Nigeria’s national parks to work assiduously to position the sector in order to contribute substantially to the national economy in line with the transformation agenda of the present administration At the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, the minister stated that the task before the committee is enormous. She urged the members to study the report of the Working Group of the Steering Committee which contains an in-depth assessment of the parks. The minister said that though the national parks were well endowed with natural resources, they are bedeviled with numerous challenges such as inadequate and poor infrastructure, land use conflicts, low capacity and security issues. She urged the committee to consider limiting private sector involvement to the ecotourism component while the “biodiversity aspect is left to the public sector as practiced in other parts of the world”. The minister pointed out that membership of the steering committee “cuts
across the relevant government agencies, nongovernmental organisations and support zone communities” and was deliberately designed to articulate a National Parks Sector Policy that would ensure active participation of public sector in the sustainable management of the parks. Earlier, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, had said the steering committee was inaugurated by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) four years ago but that all efforts to hold the inaugural meeting had proved abortive. She listed the critical areas required to reform the sector in Nigeria as the need to have a national parks sector policy for the country; para-military status of park rangers; and urgent need to introduce critical infrastructure into and around the parks. She noted that most of Nigeria’s eastern borders were traversed by the national parks which comprise Cross River, Gashaka Gumti and Chad Basin. “This exposes the park rangers to cross border vandals, poachers and bandits”, she added. The Minister of Environment is chairman of the committee which has ten other members.
IGR: FCT rakes N1.47bn, shares N1.72bn to Area Councils By JONATHAN IPAA
he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration recorded an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.472 billion for July 2012, the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, disclosed yesterday. The minister, who made this known in Abuja while chairing the FCTA Area Councils Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting, said the IGR rose by N371 million or 34 per cent over the preceding month’s figure of N1.101 billion. She stated that the FCTA would increase its revenue in order to stimulate more economic activities within the territory. “We are working very hard and partnering with the Area Councils Chairmen to raise the present level of revenue. This will ultimately result in more money being available for the Area Councils. “We are also going to put in place before the next meeting mechanism such as biometrics to eliminate ghost workers and track the number of workers in the six area councils of the territory,” she said. She revealed that the Abuja
Geographical Information System (AGIS) contributed the lion’s share of the IGR of N989.14 million while FCT Water Board realised N190.88 million. Other revenue collectors include: Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), N146.24 million; Abuja Environmental Protection Board, N57.72 million and Directorate of Road Traffic Services, N53.52 million. Akinjide explained that the sum of N1.723 billion was available for distribution among the area councils from revenue received from the Federation Account Allocation Committee for June 2012. Of the N1.723 billion, she revealed that primary school teachers in the six area councils – Abaji, Abuja Municipal, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje and Kwali – accounted for N838.24 million while the area councils received N772.66 million. The FCTA Area Councils JAAC also allocated N95.04 million to Area Council Pension Board being 15 per cent pension fund and N17.23 million to Area Council Service Commission being one per cent training fund. The minister gave the breakdown of the revenue
allocation received by the area councils as follows: Abaji, N116.32 million, Abuja Municipal Area Council, N170.05 million, Bwari, N133.38 million, Gwagwalada, N139.66 million, Kuje, N111.12 million and Kwali, N102.11 million. The Kuje Area Council Chairman, Hon. Danladi Etsu Zhin, commended the minister for ensuring transparency and accountability in the monthly revenue allocations to the six area councils. Zhin stated, “Our JAAC meetings have always been open and transparent. The FCT Area Councils are not facing interference or marginalization as our fellow local governments in other states are witnessing. The FCTA has not withheld or deducted any of our funds.” The FCTA Area Councils JAAC meeting was attended by the Permanent Secretary, FCT, Engr. Anthony Ozodinobi; the chairmen of the six area councils, Senior Special Assistant (Special Duties), Mrs. Jummai Kwanashie; Director of the Satellite Towns Development Agency, Engr. Tukur Ibrahim and other directors in the FCTA.
PENCOM issues 28-day notice to PFAs to recapitalize The National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has issued a 28-day notice to Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to meet the new capital base of N1 billion or fold up. This was contained in a press statement released by Mr. Emeka Onuorah, PENCOM’s Head of Communication, on Thursday in Lagos. The statement said that the commission threatened to revoke the licence of the PFAs which failed to meet the deadline, adding that it had begun a process toward that end. It said that any revocation would be in line with the provisions of Section 54 of the Pension Reform Act, 2004. However, the statement
urged contributors of the affected PFAs of the safety of their funds even after the revocation of any licence. “This is because pension fund assets are securely in the custody of Pension Fund Custodians licensed and strictly supervised by the commission in accordance with the Act setting it up,” it said. The statement added that as at June 30, six of the 24 licenced PFAs had attained the new capital base. It said that 12 PFAs met the new capital base after the directive was issued. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that PENCOM on May 31, 2011, issued a circular for the licenced PFAs to recapitalise to the tune of N1 billion before June 30, 2012.
• Representative of Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Edward Magida (r), with the Zonal Coordinator, North Central Zone, Abdulsalam Muhammed during their visit to victims of flood disaster at Rikkos camp in Jos, yesterday.
Bauchi partners private sector to build 1000 From USMAN SHEHU, Bauchi Bauchi State Government in collaboration with Private Estate Developers, Mubel Company has completed arrangement to build 1000 houses in 12 months in Dungal village along Bauchi- Jos road. State Commissioner of Lands and Housing, Alhaji Aminu Hammayo stated this in Bauchi when he presented N2 million cheques paid as compensation to the 58 people whose lands were affected in Dungal village.
He said the move is part of government’s effort to provide housing for its citizens in the state and commended the people of Dungal for their support and cooperation. Hammayo who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Alhaji Kani Abubakar Faggore stated government’s commitment towards providing housing for civil servants in the state. The Commissioner said under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the
Government and estate developer is that “the estate developer would construct 1000 housing units in Dungal within one year and advised the community to assist the construction company to enable it execute meaningful project for the state”. Managing Director of Mubel, Alhaji Ibrahim Masari pledged to build Hospital, bore hole and provide a Generator set to the community before the commencement of the project and assured the people of Bauchi State of quality Job.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
perspective Obasanjo, IBB and national insecurity By MICHAEL JEGEDE
rstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), recently, dropped their rivalry caps and came together to express grief over the general insecurity in Nigeria, maintaining in a joint statement duly signed by them that the slaughter of innocent Nigerians was simply unbearable ,agonising and heartbreaking. For them, “unfolding events in our dear motherland, Nigeria, over the last few years are threatening to unravel the nearly a century old labour of our founding fathers and subsequent generations in building a strong, united, peaceful nation that can accommodate and cater for the needs and aspirations of our diverse communities. Internecine crises are raging across the land unabated with damaging consequences on the social, political and economic life of the nation. And in the process untold hardships are being visited on all citizens in one form or another on a daily basis. The loss of innocent lives being experienced by the day across the nation is simply unbearable. Currently, the nation is gripped by a regime of fear and uncertainty that virtually all citizens have difficulties going about their normal day to day activities without great anxiety and trepidation. This cannot be allowed to continue!” Continuing, they said: “A deeply worrying trend that is emerging from this terrible situation is that a pervasive cynicism is beginning to set in, so much so that millions of true Nigerian patriots are starting to question the platform upon which the unity of this country rests. This is simply untenable. The people of this country must not allow whatever sense of frustration, fear and despair we are experiencing now to supersede our hopes for a collective destiny which lies in our continued existence as a Nation. For us, and we believe for millions of other Nigerians, the continued unity of this nation is not only priceless but non-negotiable. While we are very much aware of the efforts various governments in the country are making to confront the escalating security challenges across the country, we believe that it is
• Former President Ibrahim Babangida
time that these efforts are scaled up to be more involving and inclusive.” Stressing that our diversity should be a course for celebration and not a cause for lamentation, the duo added: “As the Holy Month of Ramadan commences, Nigerians wherever they are and whatever religion they profess are accorded a great opportunity to turn the tide against insecurity, violence and hatred. Religious leaders, in particular, have an even greater challenge to use the immense virtues of this Holy period to inculcate among the millions of citizens the spirit of mutual respect, humility and forgiveness. Ample opportunities are therefore at hand to bring all armed belligerents to table for meaningful dialogue with the authorities for our future and that of our children and grandchildren.” In their conclusion, declaring their readiness to do whatever that is possible to promote the quest for peace, unity and harmony in the country, Obasanjo and IBB, noted that no significant advancement can take place in an ambience of hostility and venom. Sadly, as if to say to hell with the former Presidents, virtually twentyfour hours after their jointly signed message of peace, tolerance and dialogue, gunmen attacked Vice
President Namadi Sambo’s abode in Kaduna, on the same day multiple bombs rocked Sokoto, the capital of the Caliphate, for the very first time, with attacks on the office of Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police and two police stations. A total of five people were reported to have died in the attacks, while some sustained different degrees of injuries. While the attacks were going on in Kaduna and Sokoto, another group of gunmen ambushed Joint Task Force (JTF) team in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, killing one of its officers. While some believe that the joint statement coming from the duet of Obasanjo and Babangida was good development, many have argued that they do not have a say on the matter, as they are seen as the major cause
of the entire problem bedevilling the country today. For instance, even though he agreed that the concerns raised by the former Nigerian leaders were genuine, Yinka Odumakin, an active member of Save Nigeria Group (SNG) argued that they have a gigantic portion of guilt in all of the issues that brought us to the problems Nigeria is currently facing as a nation. In Odumakin’s wo rds, “Babangida had his time as military head of state during which corruption was the order of the day. Perhaps if the resources of the nation had been judiciously utilised by IBB to build infrastructure, we may not be where we are today. Also, Obasanjo for eight years had the opportunity and capacity to develop Nigeria, but he was busy acquiring what we did
In their conclusion, declaring their readiness to do whatever that is possible to promote the quest for peace, unity and harmony in the country, Obasanjo and IBB, noted that no significant advancement can take place in an ambience of hostility and venom
not need. Jonathan that wants to liquidate Nigeria today is Obasanjo’s baby. He (Obasanjo) brought him (Jonathan) up so they are part of the problems to be solved and not the solution.” Much as IBB is believed to have in his days as Military President institutionalised corruption, whose tentacles appeared to have been spread by Obasanjo, I think whatever suggestion and advice they have to offer in the current spate of insecurity in the land must not be wished away at all by Nigerians. At this point in time, whatever we need to do collectively as a people to stop this continued bloodbath and massacre of our fellow countrymen and women has to be done. We just cannot continue like this, seeing innocent Nigerians being sent to their early graves almost on a daily basis. In all of these crises, where Nigerians now move around with apprehension, it is equally important that we seek the face of God Almighty. Like Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman representing Kogi Central Senatorial District in the Red Chamber rightly pointed out in his Ramadan Message to Nigerians, “As we commence this year’s Ramadan, I am using this medium to call on my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, and indeed, the entire people of Nigeria to remain steadfast and unwavering in prayers for our beloved country . We have had too many disasters in recent time with numerous inno cent Nigerians losing their lives for no fault of theirs. As we make efforts on our own to checkmate the menace, we, most importantly, need to seek the face of God. We need divine intervention in all of these crises.” It is my hope and belief that the step taking by the duo of Obasanjo and IBB coupled with the go vernment’s efforts and that of all other Nigerians will yield fruitful results for the sake of the bloo d of o ur beloved brot hers and sisters who have lost their lives so far. I am optimistic that God will touch t he hearts of those behind this heinous and dastardly act of senseless killings that have become the order of the day in our dear country Nigeria. JEGEDE, a journalist writes in from Abuja.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Day Area Boys threw me out of stage – D’Lecturer P. 20
It’s difficult to make my wife laugh – Owen Gee
Austino Milado drops ‘I De Feel Like’ P. 22
Friday, August 3, 2012, NATIONAL ACCORD
show biz Austino Milado drops I De Feel Like
yration master Austino Milado has dropped a new single titled “I De Feel Like” which was produced by ace producer, FlipTyce who produced the hit track ‘Chop My Money’ for Psquare. Milado is the singer/producer of the popular Super Eagles theme song “Super Eagles Carry Go” aka “Walele”. A singer, actor and master of ceremony, he is known for his energetic performance of gyration music on stage, The singer has other singles making waves on air like “Shakara”, and “Phone call” and is still working on a number of songs in the studio. The Anambra state born singer is moving into another phase in his music career as he has decided to go back to contemporary afro hip hop music which was his initial calling before he came out with the gyration song.
Naeto C & MI working on the Hennessey artistry theme song! drops this Friday
My dreams for La Mango – Melaine Ayoola Beautiful and charming proprietress of La Mango, one of the newest celebrity hangouts in the heart of Ikeja Melaine Ayoola has promised to provide the best environment, music, foods and drinks for discerning fun lovers. According to the widelytraveled and vivacious young lady, the coming of La Mango “was born out of a long dream to offer an entirely different and encompassing fun spot where people with taste would converge daily
either to relax or transact their respective businesses. “You can see that, as the name implies, we have trees, not only mango but others, to give a touch of nature to the place whereby our guests would feel at home and catch maximum fun. “That,” according to her, “is the target and we are just beginning.” The hangout which boasts of many sections including a swimming pool is gradually becoming the choice of many Lagosians and visitors alike.
Hennessy Artistry 2012 collaboration from Nigeria’s favourite rappers, M.I and Naeto C is set to drop this Friday! This nice collaboration, which has led to massive discussions online and on the airwaves since the announcement was made, is now set to be dropped for fans who have been waiting to see Naeto C and M.I work together. “We are all set to give our fans and Hennessy lovers some seriously good music, good shows and an all-round amazing experience on this year’s Hennessy Artistry project. This track, our first major collaboration as a duo, is only the beginning, and I’m really glad that Hennessy made it happen.” M.I says. The track was produced by Tee-Y Mix, with co-production by M.I and Naeto C, who paid close attention to every detail. The track will premiere on The Beat 99.9 FM’s Midday Show on Friday August 3, and will be available for fans online to play or download via www.facebook.com/ HennessyNigeria
ORJI ONYEKWERE 08027920773 (SMS only) firstname.lastname@example.org
De Notorious King vows to change the face hip hop in Nigeria India-based Nigerian hip hop rapper, Ikpaki Owunari Oba better known as De Notorious King (DNK), has vowed to change the face of the Nigerian music industry with his debut album entitled ‘Get Dirty’ which, according to him, is almost set to hit the ma rk et . The singer, who is currently in the country revealed that he has toured countries within and outside the shores of Africa in the course of the production. “It is a project I started almost a decade ago and I’m very passionate and committed to it that I’m not deterred by the initial difficulties I
De Notorious King
encountered when I started. I don’t want to pride myself as the best because my colleagues are doing well but when I come out, the difference will be clear,” he declared. The Rivers State-born artiste who is signed under Palace Music observed that a lot of loopholes still have to be ploughed to fortify the Nigerian music industry. “There’s dearth of formidable record companies and as a result many talents are languishing. Again there’s little or no opportunity for those who struggle on their own to come out as they soon face frustrations and leave the scene unsung. That is why I’m grateful to Black Palace for signing me onto its label. I can see a bright future in th em .” Already, shows are being organized for him both within and outside the shores of Nigeria to promote the album. “I’m highly elated by the arrangement and the promise here is that I will do my best to give back to them what they’re currently giving to me. It’s rare for a new artiste to get the package I’m being offered there.”
Celebrities, Fashionistas await Fratelli Rossetti
oremost Italian fashion brand Fratelli Rossetti is set to make the brand more prominent in the
Fratelli Rossetti MD
Mrs. Tese Onokala
Nigerian and Ghanaian market through Jetcomm Ventures. According to Olajide Arthur Olaitan of Jetcomm Ventures, sole representative of the brand in African, “the idea of maintaining a stronger presence in Nigeria is because we are aware that Nigerians are fashionable and fashion conscious people who aim for only the best. We are bringing these brands closer to the people starting with the Nigeria and Ghana markets so they can get the originals of their preferred brands” In a statement, Olajide who is the CEO of Jetcomm Ventures said their products have been designed to bring together an exciting mix of Fratelli Rossetti brand that attends to mid income earners to high stake rollers (Shoes, Loafers, Hand Bags,) and latest season’s releases in all the brands. “These brands are in high
demand amongst our country men and we are set up to meet that demand at reasonable prices by bringing these original brands closer to the people. Every item of Fratelli Rossetti footwear is a little work of art produced bymaster craftsmen”. Fratelli Rosesetti was founded in 1953. In 2003 Fratelli Rossetti celebrated an important milestone: fifty years of activity, a long chronicle of passion and dedication that has led to the affirmation of a brand which is synonymous with quality and style in Italy and abroad. ‘The arrival of Fratelli Rossetti brand is a new concept with cutting edge designs and new collections, and finally, we present the first Fratelli Rossetti store in Africa. There is something for every taste, genuine handmade Italian shoes for him and her,” he added.
Friday, August 3, 2012
It’s difficult to make my wife laugh Day Area Boys threw me out of stage – D’Lecturer His demeanor alone can make you laugh. A first meeting with comedian Owen Gee will tell you why the Edo state born entertainer keeps smiling to the Bank. The talent to make people laugh is in him and he combines this with his acting and singing prowess. Enjoy this explosive interview Orji Onyekwere had with him. Relationship with Koffi? He is my friend. You have to genuinely see that somebody loves you and want your success in the business and he is one of those people. We love ourselves sincerely. When we started, we didn’t have anybody to help us. You hear a lot of comedians say that they were tutored by this person; they had training under this person, we didn’t have such. We leant from ourselves. We didn’t get anybody to help us, so, we depended on each other and it had been like that over the years. He is one guy I respect a lot. Professionally, he is hard working and he never gives up and you need people like that to move one. Sometimes, when I want to lay back, he is there, he pushes me to continue. You are a man of many parts; does that make you a complete entertainer? I am an entertainer perexcellence because in whatever I want to do, I strive very hard to attain excellence in it, though you cannot be 100 per cent excellent, but I believe in giving people quality. Nigerians have gone beyond the days where you give them mediocre stuff. I am a comedian who likes to distinguish myself from other comedians so that when you are calling me for an event, you know why you are calling the Owen Gee brand. That’s why I don’t just do everything or I am not just everywhere because on the long run it wouldn’t pay off. I’ve been lucky that God really has pushed me to the level I am and I only have to continue working harder. I have the ability to do many things at a time. But I have taken it one step at a time, trying to perfect myself in one genre of entertainment before moving on to another one, so that I don’t just do something that is below standard. Music, comedy and acting, which of them is your strength? I am an entertainer and I can fit into any game, but my first choice of job is comedy. Comedy brought me into limelight and you can’t separate me from the jokes. There is little bit of comedy in every aspect of entertainment that I do. In my song paripopoporipapa, it’s humorous to some people. When I act on stage, ‘Once
upon a mad man’, or the recent one, ‘April Fool’, they are comedy. When I act in films its comedy also, comedy is so diversified, but it’s funny that a lot of people don’t know. Nigerians for now appreciate more of stand-up comedy and there was a time it was like that in United States America. Americans now prefer comedy movies and films because they get more value for that. In comedy, you can stand on stage to make somebody laugh, you can act, you can do so many things to make somebody laugh and I am just trying to marry the different aspects of comedy from different genres. I am always able to entertain you by doing different things to make you laugh. Nigerians don’t recognize comic actors like Baba Suwe, Nkem Owoh, Ibuh, Baba Salah, as real comedians, why? Is not that we don’t recognize this category of people as comedians. Recognition is one thing and acceptance is another thing. Because we do ours on a weekly or daily basis, they can relate and connect more with us and don’t forget also that those people were there before we started. There were comedy films; there were the new masquerade, Jagua Nana, Baba Salah and others. But what we succeeded in doing was bringing some standard into the business. People started to pay us maybe on a daily or weekly basis; you can see it is different. With their own, you have to go and watch them in the cinemas or buy their films. You have to spend probably N1000- N1500 to buy their CD and watch them, but you have to pay as much as N500, 000 to watch a comedian deliver it to you live. People value what they pay for.
Is this why comedians charge high fees? For me, I don’t believe we are been paid high enough. No comedian is paid as high as a musician in any event. An artiste like Whizkid or Davido charges a million naira or more than that to perform in an event. I am not paid a million naira on a weekly basis to perform, but Whizkid or Davido can get three or four events in a day. They can’t pirate your jokes. Most musicians only survive on shows? They can still pirate my jokes if they have heard the materials before. When you call Whizkid, you know what you are calling him for because he is a hip hop artiste. He appeals to the hip crowd and when you call me you know what you are calling me for. But the difference is that he is the spur of the moment. He comes and performs maybe two tracks for five minutes and he is gone and I have to keep the audience for a longer number of hours. I am the anchor, and so, it’s not a mistake when we stay longer in the business as compared to them. Ali Baba has been in the business for more than 20 years and he will still perform at the same concert where a Whizkid will perform, but people who started with Ali Baba, the likes of Mike Okri, Daniel Wilson, Felix Liberty, Alex Zitto, Alex O and so many others have left the business and that is why we don’t regret what we do. As long as you able to study your environment and put them together as good materials, for that time, you will still be relevant. Why those other people are not recognized as core comedians is that over the years, though they are good
As long as you able to study your environment and put them together as good materials, for that time, you will still be relevant. Why those other people are not recognized as core comedians is that over the years, though they are good at what they do but they did not improve the industry around them.
– Owen Gee
Emmanuel Mmaduabuchi is a comedian that leant his ropes from the king of stand-up comedy in Nigeria, Alibaba. Popularly known as D’Leturer, the comedian once had a bitter taste of the audience’s venom, the day they felt he was not living up to expectation. Have a wonderful reading. You held a show recently, let’s talk about it? ctually, I live in Akute, the town in Ogun state that shares boundary with Lagos state. I have taken over that place… (Cuts in) As the Baale of Akute? No. I am more than the Baale. I am the Aku 1 of Akute land, that’s what Alibaba my boss calls me. I have done severally shows there. It started in 2007, when I realized that there is nothing much more than beginning from where you stay because they say ‘charity begins at home’. I have hosted a couple of big shows there like Laughter 101, Season one, two and three. Remember my name is D’Leturer and anytime you hear something like 101, you know it’s in introduction. I remember those days in school even now we have like Economics or Physics 101, which means introduction. So, mine is laughter 101 which means introduction to laughter. But now, I have some other projects that I am doing. I am doing things like mini shows around Akute and it’s once in every two months in different venues. What’s the idea behind the mini shows? It’s to bring the people of Akute together to feel those things they always come to the Island to enjoy. I thought about it, the stress of going down to the Island and other things. Sometimes depending on where I want to hold the event, sometimes, I have something like executive show which is basically for top CEO’s there. Sometimes, I hold the one that will be for everybody and the venue and gate fee will determine the kind of guests that will be coming. The one I hosted Alibaba was done at Roseville court in Akute. You can imagine the people of Akute, somewhere they refer to as ‘boring’ paying N3000 - N5000 to attend a show and even buying a table of N20, 000, it shows the level I am taking Akute to. Normally, it’s a place that people will like to pay maybe N200- N500 for a show but I have been able to set a standard. That’s what I am doing there making the community lively. How did you get the name D’Leturer? Is it funny? Sometimes when I call somebody and probably the person does not know me and I say
Owen Gee at what they do but they did not improve the industry around them. Let me compare Nigeria to the United States America; Eddie Murphy, Richard Priory, Martin Lawrence and Bill Cosby all started from stand up comedy. A lot of people in the US did not know them as stand up comedians until they started doing films. Bill Cosby did the Cosby Show that was the number one family program in the US for eight seasons and that established his brand. Martin Lawrence did Big Mama’s house, Eddie Murphy did Coming to America and it blew him. These are stand up comedians who went into acting but look at the standard of these films. Look at ‘Coming to America’ by Eddie Murphy, from the story lines to the costumes, they developed themselves and the industry but it has not been the same over here. All these guys you are talking about, it’s the same stereotyped script. The only person who went out of the box was Nkem Owoh in Osuofia in London. You still remember the film and the experience, but there should have been follow up to this. By now he would have been acting with top comedians in United Kingdom because those people want to appeal to us but they don’t know how to come into the industry. But if you see stand up
comedy industry, Basket Mouth has gone to perform in New York, I went to Ghana, Kenya and London to do a few shows. Our comedians are going there to perform with the best you have over there and we are bringing some of them over to this country. The industry is fast developing more than their own industry that is why we have the recognition and that’s why some stand up comedians are getting more endorsements. If a lot of them could do what people like Kunle Afolayan is doing, investing more money and time to do quality moves, I tell you, they will be everywhere. You’re keen on going into acting full time? Yes, definitely but I won’t leave stand up comedy. I am still going to shuttle between stand up and movies. I am going to do a lot of movies next year but not until I have gotten it right. For example, I have some movie equipment that is just lying at home doing nothing because I need to go to film school to learn how to shoot a proper film. I don’t want you to just sit at home and say this guy is funny but the movie is crab because I am not able to interpreter the story line well. I want something that we will be able to export. Something that we can take to the New York film festival and the Cannes film festival in France and show white people.
D’Lecturer, the person will want to know from which school. Where do you lecture and I will say for now, I lecture everywhere and the person will be like wao… what do you mean? I thought about the name because comedy is all about informing and educating people in a more humorous way. When you teach or lecture, you are educating people what they really don’t know. That’s what I do when I am dishing out my humour. I had a nick name then when I was in school, they use to call me Yoyo. When I decided to go professional I now changed. Was it because of the popular broadcaster Yaw that you changed the name? Yaw has not started answering that name before I came with my own because we are talking about 2003, which was when I changed it. Even when I met him, I told him I was answering that name before him and those that know me still hail me Yoyo. There are several times after cracking jokes, I will ask the audience who I am they will say D’ lecture and I will say, yes, you are my students and I will ask them, ‘do you believe that you are my students’ because I am teaching and entertaining them at the same time. People still see some of you as up-coming comedians. Why has it been difficult for some of you to break into the big league after all these years? You have to understand that you need to be yourself and timing is another thing. When your time comes, nobody can take it away from you. There is this young comedian called Akpororo, he is just everywhere now but a lot of people never knew that he has been there for a long time. So, when your time comes nobody will take it away from you. But you also really need to be focused and hard working and creative. You have to make your own jokes, it’s not all about using other people’s jokes you have to learn to polish and update yourself. There are people that are good but they have not been able to have that break. Don’t you think you need to be unique like Klint de Drunk and Helen Paul? At least, their uniqueness has helped them gain their own audience. It’s not everybody that can carve a niche for his or her-
self and that’s why most people will tell me why not come to Lagos and organize a show? But, I decided to carve a niche and carve out my own territory and I am the King there. Look at Alibaba, he is the King of comedy and he is well known around the world, but most of time he finds it difficult to go out there because they can’t afford him. I try to carve a niche for myself in Akute and thank God that before I got so entrenched in Akute, I was already a popular comedian in Lagos. Using Helen Paul as an example of caving a niche for herself, let me tell you that there are some comedians that you may feel they are doing things alike but they are different, the way they deliver their jokes are different from each other. The way somebody like Basket Mouth delivers his joke is not the same way a Gandoki will deliver his jokes. So, you can say they are same though they are doing the same stand- up come dy.
Do you feel discouraged when you crack jokes and people don’t laugh? You can’t crack jokes all the time and the people will laugh but it doesn’t take away the fact that I am funny. Have you had any particular experience? Yes, but it’s being a long time I had that experience. Apart from that, there is a level you get to, you learn how to read your audience, at least, give yourself few minutes and you know if the audience is the one you can freely relate with in any language or you just give them what you already have. There are some audiences that will just want you to deliver that joke and leave but there another set of audiences that will want to relate and interact with you; they will continue to give you that green light to lash out at them. You have to read them to know what they want. Have you ever been booed on stage? I will have to tell you that
if any comedian should tell you that he or she has not been booed on stage that means such comedian have not started but there is time for everything. Any particular experience? Actually, there was a particular interview I granted where I explained how some area boys booed me out of the stage at Motherland during Lagbaja’s monthly show. I have gone there the first, second and third time and it was the bomb but the fourth time was not another thing entirely different. I don’t know what really happened. At the back, the boys started clapping and singng ‘ese ese oh…ese ma alo (thank you, you can go). I couldn’t round off my joke and I just said thank you and stepped out of the stage. It was not surprising to me because a lot of people have been booed there, even AY. I was there when they booed AY and it was not called for. So, it has happened to a lot of comedians that have
performed on that stage. If you have been going to Lagbaja’s monthly gig at Motherland and you have not been booed that means you have not started. Before I went that was when I was with Alibaba, he warned me that the audience there doesn’t give a hoot about any comedian but I should go ahead and say whatever I want to say. I thought about the whole thing and I felt that these guys went too far. It wasn’t as if what I was saying was not funny. People at the front were trying to get the punch line before these guys started. Sometimes, it’s like that because there are people that will just want to cause trouble for you after drink ing. Your first experience on stage? I started from the classroom. During my departmental parties they often call me to come and be the master of ceremony and I managed to gather some jokes and they got stuck. That was when I was in my first year at Auchi Polytechnic where I read Banking and Finance. Thereafter, other departments started calling me for shows. What is a banker doing in the comedy circle? There is nothing as good as doing what you love most. When I was in school I love cracking jokes and making people laugh. I was just doing it as a hubby but after school I worked as an accountant for three years in a finance house and I realized that it was not my calling and so, I had to leave. I realized that at the end of the month, I am always afraid because of the financial report and the stress attached to it. Now, I feel so happy, even if I am sleeping and you call me, I will not think about what to do or how I am going to do it. I do my job now with a lot of ease unlike accounting banking and counting peoples money. Let’s talk about you My name is Emmanuel Mmaduabunachukwu Adigwe. I am from Delta state, Aniocha L.G.A, Ogwashi-ukwu to be precise. I grew up in different places. I schooled in Warri, Sapele, Agbor, Auchi and Benin. I went round because of the nature of my father’s job as a PHCN staff. That time it was still NEPA and they were really functioning effectively. We are just three of us in the house; me, my elder brother and elder sister too. I am the last. I can’t really say I attended one particular primary school because they were many. I will attend this one for one year they will transfer him and I will start from another primary school ag ai n.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
10 ways to romance your husband These ideas will help you freshen your love life.
he following tips come from the FamilyLife resource, Simply Romantic Tips to Romance Your Husband. One free tip before you start— print out this page and keep it somewhere handy for fresh and creative ways of fanning the flames of romance in your marriage. 1. Write him a check for one hundred kisses. Be available to cash the check for him when and where he likes. 2. The next time you’re out to dinner, casually take out a pen and write a note to him on a paper napkin—letting him know what he can look forward to at home. Fold it and slide it across the table. 3. As he heads out for work, give him a passionate kiss. If he wants to know what it was for, tell him it’s the appetizer for tonight’s menu. 4. Pamper his tootsies with a relaxing foot massage. All you
need is a warm basin of water, some soap, a towel, and some lotion. 5. Get up a few minutes earlier than usual, brush your teeth, then get back in bed and wake him up with a kiss. 6. Refrain from saying “I told you so.” That might be the best gift of all. 7. Handwrite his favorite Bible verse on parchment. After laminating it, surprise him by tucking it into his Bible. 8. Have your guy write down on slips of paper his five favorite things to do. Fold them and place them in a bowl. Let him draw one out and read it—then do it together. 9. Blindfold your husband and “kidnap” him. Take him to a hotel room where you have prepared a romantic tryst. 10. Men view romance differently than women. Ask your husband to describe what’s romantic to him. Don’t be surprised when his ideas sound very different from yours.
• A romantic couple
Best ways to woo your husband or wife By Francesca Di Meglio, About.com Guide
Love and sex can get even better after you’re married. With a little effort, you can continue to woo and romance your husband or wife. This will keep the spark in your marriage. Here are some suggestions if you’re running out of clever ideas for wooing your husband or wife: Pay attention to details. Make note of something he or she likes when window shopping and pick it up for him or her. Leave it as a surprise – for no reason at all – somewhere he or she will be sure to find it. His or her side of the bed might work nicely as a gift delivery
depot. Take action to make a wish come true. Do something that shows yo care and you listen to him or her. For instance, if your wife wants the kitchen painted a particular color, but she never seems to get around to doing it, you go and do it as a surprise. Just make sure you get the right color. Paint the town red. Buy or pick a special outfit that you’d like to see your husband or wife wear for a night out on the town. Place a bucket with champagne and the outfit in your bedroom with a note explaining that he or she should put this on and meet you by the car at a certain time for a date. Then, plan a fabulous night fit for someone wearing those clothes. Put your love into words. Dedicate your blog to your spouse. You might even want to write an entry about what makes him or her so special. It’s another way – besides
your wedding – to share your love with the world. Give the gift of song. If you can sing, serenade your spouse from your lawn or balcony. If you can’t sing, carry a boom box or MP3 player with speakers as if you were in the movie Say Anything. Make sure to pick a romantic melody or, better still, a song that means something to the two of you. Be kind to your neighbors and don’t do this in the wee hours of the morning when others are probably sleeping. Show affection. Pinch your husband or wife’s bottom or lay a big, wet kiss on him or her to show that you still think he or she is the hottest person on the planet. Your desire for him or champagne and strawberries, whip cream and chocolate), lounge in your birthday suit or a bathrobe. Kiss, hug, cuddle, have sex, sleep. Do it all from the comfort of your love nest – and wake up the next morning more alive than ever.
Friday, August 3, 2012, NATIONAL ACCORD
for the record The Law of Defamation: Matters arising (2) By RICHARD AKINNOLA Continued from yesterday.
nd, in another case, Sobayo v. Daily Times (1977) 40 YSHC pt 1, the newspaper published a story with the headline, “Lawyer Sued for Negligence.” The story which appeared in the Lagos Weekend went thus: “An Ibadan-based legal practitioner who put a teenage secondary school girl in the family way has been dragged to court. The parent of the 19year old girl, Ronke Sangosanya alleged that the lawyer, Mr. Oyetunde Sobayo had neglected Ronke and her nine-year-old child. “Mr. and Mrs. O. Sangosanya of N6/317 Oyo road prayed in Ibadan Grade B3 Customary Court for a declaration that Mr. Sobayo and Company Chambers, Oke Ado, Ibadan was the father of the baby delivered by Ronke on March 19, this year. “The child, a bouncing baby girl is named Ariyike. Mr. and Mrs. Sangosanya also asked the court to order Mr. Sobayo to take care of Ronke and her child. When the suit came for mentioning, Mr. Sobayo was not in court. The suit was adjourned for further hearing. “On December 19, last year, the Lagos Weekend had reported that Mr. Sobayo, acting as a Good Samaritan had offered to drive Ronke in his posh Mercedes Benz car, plat No WAS 444 from Molete to Mokola, a class four pupil of an Ibadan High School was returning home from Molete where she had gone to visit a relation. But instead of driving straight to Mokola, Mr. Sobayo changed cause and drove Ronke to a guest house at the Liberty Road where he had sex with her. “After the exercise, Mr. Sobayo gave N40 to Ronke to buy drugs. Later, Ronke’s parent discovered that she was pregnant and subsequently started to determine the person responsible. A business card given to Ronke by Mr. Sobayo after the sexual act provided the clue. “However, the police were brought in when efforts to have Mr. Sobayo accept responsibility for the pregnancy failed. The parents therefore petitioned the Oyo State Governor, Brigadier Jemibewon, the Ogun State Public Service Commission of which Mr. Sobayo was a member and the Oyo, Ogun and Ondo State Public Complaints Commissioner, Dr. Tai Solarin for action.” Mr. Sobayo sued Daily Times for libel stating that the report was false and that it did not form part of the court proceedings of the date in question. He further averred that no action was instituted against him at the customary court by Mr.
and Mrs Sangosanya. He also argued that the publication meant that he, as a lawyer had been sued for negligence in the discharge of his professional duties. The plaintiff did not appear to be complaining about the body of the story, but the headline “Lawyer sued for negligence,” in that it suggested that he was a negligent lawyer. Meanwhile, what the newspaper wanted to say was that the plaintiff was sued for neglect of failure to provide for Ronke and her child. And, in law, there is a world of difference between negligence and neglect. The court held that the phrase “Lawyer sued for negligence” was not part of the customary court proceedings and therefore was not a fair and accurate report of the proceedings, making the headline misleading and libelous of the plaintiff. The court then awarded N2,000 as damages against the newspaper. Other case studies Bassey Okon v. The C.O.R. Advocate (1961) 5 ENLI 21 If a libelous article in a newspaper is introduced by a libelous heading or title, evidence that the facts stated in the article are true is not enough, the heading or title must be justified – Lewis v. Clement (1820) 3B and Ald. 702. This is a claim for libel contained in the issue of C.O.R. Advocate of 8 th July 1960 on pages 1 to 4. The plaintiff was claiming the sum of N50,000 as damages against first and second defendants jointly and severally for libel contained in the headline of the article which reads as follows: “Party Politics and Education: Bassey Okon ruins Duke Town Secondary School.” The body of the story went thus: “The Calabar branch of the Action Group had warned the Principal of Duke Town Secondary School, Mr. Bassey Okon, to steer clear of Calabar politics if he must prove to be a successful and respected educationist. In a release just issued here, the publicity secretary of the Action Group for the C.O.R. Area, Mr. U. O. Ndem, has called on all right-thinking citizens to treat Mr. Bassey Okon’s recent effusions with the contempt that this deserves. “Mr. Ndem was commenting on a recent publication in The West African Pilot of June 21st, by Mr. Bassey Okon. Mr. Okon’s article, the release claimed, was primarily in-
tended to incite the Ibos against the Efiks. But he misfired. “The statement continued: “I want to make it crystal clear that we, the Efiks, do not hate the Ibos. But, on the other hand, we disagree with all those, no matter what may be their tribes, who are opposed to the first and legitimate demand of the C.O.R. area people. “The release also pointed out that if there was any disagreement between the Efiks and Ibos, it was the handful of Efiks, including Mr. Okon, who are the cause. “We will not allow these careerists in the N.C.N.C. to feather their nests at the expense of the good relationship which had existed and continues to exist between the Ibos and Efiks,” it added. “The statement also accused Mr. Bassey Okon of lack of vision and incompetence. As the Principal of the Duke Town Secondary School, Calabar, how many boys passed the West African School Certificate Examination held last December? Is it not a fact that the Duke Secondary School is to be downgraded from Class V to IV due to the poor performances of that school?” the statement has challenged. “If Mr. Bassey Okon cannot manage a small Secondary School successfully like the Duke Town Secondary School, why has the effrontery to speak of the C.O.R. leaders slantingly who, in spite of formidable odds and handicaps, have led the C.O.R. people successfully through Federal and Regional elections during the past five years and had established a strong sense of loyalty and patriotism among our people for our dear motherland, the release concluded.” The court declared that the headline of the last two paragraphs of the article were defamatory because they were statements of facts which were defamatory of Mr. Okon. The court rejected the defence of fair comment pleaded by the newspaper. The court also held that the headlines “which are the statement or comments of the first and second defendants are fair index of a matter contained in the article published.” The court therefore found the defendants liable. Alhaji Umaru Gwagwa v. Benue Printing Publishing Corp. MD/187M/85 The Plaintiff sued for N500,000 for libel contained in the first page of Nigerian Voice
edition of October 21 st , 1983 with the headline “Contractor absconds with N1.46 million mobilization fee.” The court held that the world complained of, gave the impression that the plaintiff was a criminal who misapplied Government money and is unreliable as a contractor and damages awarded to plaintiff. The court said that in determining whether a headline to an article is libelous, it is necessary to read both the article and the headline together. Haruna Ishola Bello v. Areoye Oyebola, Daily Times - CLD/765/74 The publication complained of, read as follows: “Detention Order for Top Musician and 3 others” – IjebuOde Chief Magistrate, Mr. M. A. Oyenubi yesterday ordered the police to detain a popular Nigerian band leader, Mr. Haruna Ishola.” But the plaintiff, Mr. Ishola sued for libel as he complained about the headline, pleading that both in its ordinary and extended meaning, the publication was libelous in that it connoted that he had committed some criminal offences for which he was ordered to be detained by the Chief Magistrate for questioning by the police. The main defence of Daily Times to the claim, however, was that the publication formed part of a fair and accurate report of judicial proceedings publicly, heard before a court exercising judicial authority. On the date of hearing, this was what Magistrate recorded: “Ruling: In view of the wild allegations of corruption made by the accused or his agent in the form of a petition against this Honourable Court in connection with this case, I consider it improper for me to continue to hear the case. The case will therefore be transferred to Court II where it will be started de novo.” Then he added: “Meanwhile, the accused in the case, the complainant, A.S.P. Onifade and Chief Osuntoye who were mentioned in the petition will be handed over to the police for proper investigation of the allegation.” Said the High Court: “The fair reading of all that the Magistrate said is that the allegation of corruption made by the accused against his court should be properly investigated by the police and the person whose names were men-
“After the exercise, Mr. Sobayo gave N40 to Ronke to buy drugs. Later, Ronke’s parent discovered that she was pregnant and subsequently started to determine the person responsible. A business card given to Ronke by Mr. Sobayo after the sexual act provided the clue.”
tioned in the petition of the acused to the Attorney-General, including that of the plaintiff shall see the police. The court did not make an order on the plaintiff referred to as “TOP MUSICIAN” whose name was singularly mentioned in the publication even though in the court’s ruling, his name was not specifically mentioned. There was certainty no detention order on the plaintiff by the court. He was not ordered to be detained by the police as the publication unfairly suggested. It was simply a direction to the police to carry out further investigations into a matter in which the names of the plaintiff and three others were mentioned. I have no doubt that the report is inaccurate and unfair and the defence of privilege is not available to the defendants in the circumstance.” M.A. Gbajabiamila v. Commercial Amalgamated Printers – LD/301/70 In this action, the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant is for N10,000 damages for libel published by the defendants in the “Daily Express” of May 12, 1970. The headline of the news report, said: “Gbajabiamila gets pardon.” “A Lagos lawyer, Mr. M. A. Gbajabiamila who was instrumental to the issue of a subpoena on the Chief Justice of Lagos State to testify in a case part-heard by him, and who was ordered to show cause why he should not be disciplined, yesterday stepped out of the Lagos High Court a pardoned ma n. ” But the certified copy of the transcript of the statement made by the Chief Justice in the case did not reflect this issue of pardon. What was contained in the record of proceedings was “it is hereby, ordered that M. M. K. Gbajabiamila, counsel for the named petitioner, be and is hereby discharged from the order of this Honourable Court of the 4th of May, 1970. It is further ordered that the subpoena tiled by the said Mr. M. K. Gbajabiamila on the 14th of February, 1970 be struck out.” There was nothing like pardon in the above record of proceedings. Pardon connotes a reprieve arising from commission of a criminal offence. This, the court found defamatory to the plaintiff. There are several other instances, particularly in court cases. Sub-editors need to be extra-careful while casting headlined, particularly where it connotes criminal allegations. Sensation or commercial instincts should be avoided. These would save many houses from the embarrassment of litigations. To be continued. AKINNOLA is Chair, Free Speech Foundation, Lagos.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
Dirty AEPB and the ugly... Continued from page 25 the Abuja Motor Park where miscreants and enemies of clean environment not only soil the area through illegal washing of vehicles in and around the park, but defecates and urinates indiscriminately through Thisday Newspaper junction roundabout Assorted Foods Garden on Ekukinam Road where the NUJ Abuja Council is located. This creates offensive odor which is dangerous to human health and they pay deaf ears to it and the mountainous refuse bins that litter both within and outside the motor park which by every ramification suppose to be a model. A visit to the little Eket Motor Park in Akwa Ibom State, no doubt depicts how a motor park should be maintained and run. From Wuse to Garki and Maitama to Asokoro the case is the same. The worst poor cases are seen at every market place and the Abuja suburbs as if there no one responsible for refuse disposal in the territory. At SVM Osisiogu Crescent, Utako from the Police Station down the road the damaged swage with its stinking offensive odor had been there for over two years causing health hazards among residents of the area. Equally at Zone 6 Wuse and other parts of the city there are several cases of sewage problems. With these myriad of environmental dirtiness in the city, should one perceive AEPB as a serious board with a lawful mandate to oversee the cleanness of the FCT? On the foregoing, it is this paper’s advise that concerted efforts should be made to compliment the efforts of government at ensuring clean and healthy environment at all times instead of the current unfriendly environmental attitudes of the Abuja environmental managers. The Federal Capital Territory Administration should as a matter of national importance formulate the necessary frame work and road map for the true actualization of decent, clean and sustainable city, residents will be proud of. If the in-house saboteurs of AEPB are still allowed to perpetuate their evil deeds unchecked, then the efforts of the newly reconstituted Taskforce on Enforcement led by action packed Mrs. Aishat Adebayo and no-nonsense Supol Titus Ndawa (rtd) will look and taste like a new wine in an old bottle. People laments that instead of the AEPB operatives to be arresting scavengers who often
• Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed time remove manhole covers which have caused a lot of accidents in the city through the fracturing of human legs and puncturing of vehicle tires, repair some of the city’s damaged sewage routes and clear the multi-packed dustbins that litter all parts of the city, they are busy arresting those who are struggling to survive. For instance the sorry state of the poor environmental condition of the popular Jabi motor park Abuja calls for proper explanation from those who are in charge of seeing to sanitary supervision of the area when taking into cognizance that the park serves the city as the central embarking and disembarking point for road travelers coming and going out of Abuja. From the look of things, one will not be mistaken to say that the board presently lacks the managerial capabilities and techniques to march with the environmental challenges of the Federal Capital City. And it is only a strong political will and legislative support irrespective whose ox will be marched upon that is needed now as a remedy to save Abuja from imminent environmental disaster. Often time hawkers engage some field workers of the AEPB on war battle because of lack of enlightenment campaigns to sensitize the people on what to do and what not to do at any particular point in time. The present system of doing the right thing at the wrong time
whenever there is a complaint from the higher quarters should stop. The rolling out of vehicles for unnecessary and unwarranted manhunt of the purported environmental offenders should be done with caution and, when adequate enlightenment campaigns have not been made through the various agencies of the mass media as well as the board’s OB Public Enlightenment vans. Last Saturday of every month which supposed to be observed as environmental sanitation day is no longer being observed in any of the Abuja suburbs because of the failure of the FCT environmental managers to live up to their bidding which is the reason why refuse piles up every nook and cranny of the territory even at the city center. The government should as matter of health importance commence the house to house sanitary inspection as practiced in the past for a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. And for a solid and sustainable development to thrive in any society there must be adequate security protection of the environment of such society. But the reverse is the case in Abuja because those vested with the powers of protecting the environment has virtually failed by not securing the FCT’s ecosystem for an atmosphere that will be pleasant for human habitation. The citeved to have been disenchanted on what next to do when their lip service orchestra could no longer play the game.
A close observation of the activities of AEPB in recent time shows that the board has failed woefully from its original mandate of meeting up with the globally accepted environmental practices irrespective of the huge sums of budgetary allocation to the board that suppose to generate revenue to the government. The Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB was established in 1977 by Decree No. 10 of late General Sani Abacha military junta with a primary purpose of controlling and removal of all kinds of wastes and doing such other things as are necessary or for the purpose of enhancing a healthy environment within the territory. Since its establishment the managerial know-how has passed the directorship baton to many hands on their respective races to reposition the institution. Charged to achieve a sustainable development in the territory, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board is mandated to secure the quality of environment adequate for the health and well-being of the residents of the Federal Capital Territory and conserve and use the environment and its natural resources for the benefit of the territory. The board is also to minimize the impact of physical development on the ecosystems of the FCT and raise public awareness and promote understanding of essential linkages between the environment and development within the FCT. The AEPB is to co-operate with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and such other states environmental protection agencies to achieve effective prevention of abatement of trans-boundary movement of wastes. This, the board should do through the control and disposal of liquid and solid wastes, vector pests, rodents and reptiles. Similarly, the AEPB should control and dispose portable and waste water, effluent discharges, noise which constitutes a nuisance and the use of septic tanks and sewage maintenance. It shall also control bush burning, poaching and indiscriminate felling of trees, stray and wandering animals, public conveniences and cemeteries and the use of residential areas for prohibited purposes as well as walking or driving on prohibited area including such other things as are necessary or expedient for the purpose of enhancing a healthy environment with the
territory. Finally, the board shall liaise with relevant departments of the authority and such other agencies for the control of burrow pits and quarry sites within the territory and direct construction companies or individuals and ensure that such places are replanted to avoid soil erosion. In the same vein, residents of the FCT shall keep clean, neat and free from odour such tenement and surroundings, keep grasses low and trim, cut and trim flowers and hedges and keep them neat within the surroundings of the tenement and keep their tenement and surroundings free from weeds and poisonous plants. Similarly, they should ensure that drains running through or by their tenement are kept free from blockage, ensure that no dirty water or stagnant water is kept in any part of the tenement or the surroundings. They should equally ensure that their tenement and surroundings are not kept in a condition which may be injurious to health and provide and maintain a suitable dustbin and adequate sanitary convenience. Residents should not cause effluent of liquid waste to be discharged into any drain, or any part of the territory except at areas so designated by the board or in accordance with such standard as may from time to time be set by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. Residents of the FCT should not dry clothes at the front balcony or in front of their premises or on hedges or sidewalks or rear and keep animals or birds likely to cause environmental nuisance such as offensive odors or noise or neglect or fail to confine the animals or birds to their premises. They should not use fire wood to cook openly within their premises which may constitute a nuisance within the surroundings of their premises or use or cause to be used residential premises or unauthorized places such as for the sale of alcoholic drinks, restaurants, hair dressing or barbing salon and such other commercial activities. Operating of grinding machines other than in areas designated or playing of music in a manner which constitutes nuisance to neighbors or making noise through then use of external bells and loud speakers in any premises which constitutes nuisance or producing smoke or noise to a level dangerous to health should be stopped to avoid the long arms of the law.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
Dirty AEPB and the ugly face of Abuja V
ested with the powers of e n v i r o n m e n t a l management of the Federal Capital Territory, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, (AEPB) since its creation has not impressed its founding fathers because of its leadership’s lack of commitment to duty. Instead of embarking on aggressive enlightenment campaigns to educate the masses especially environmental offenders on the dangers inherent in the pollution of the environment they derive joy in making arrests for whatever reasons best known to them. For, instance, on Thursday July 26, 2012, an Abuja based Journalist, Mr. Tunde Bakare reported that the operatives of Abuja Environmental Protection Board at one of the Gardens in Zone 4 Wuse extorted the sum of N300.00 from a poor Mallam, nail cutter (maiyanka kumba) immediately after giving him a service. He said that the operatives laid ambush for the Mallam to finish his job and on his way out they arrested him threatening to take him to their Area 3 office in Garki. And for fear of the kind of treatment he will receive on getting there the Mallam told Bakare and others who were there that they mandated him to bail himself with the sum of N300.00 which he did. It was on this note that Bakare gave the Mallam N100.00 to transport himself back to wherever he was going to. Mr. Bakare stated that another group of AEPB operatives at a Garden opposite the Abuja Sheraton Hotel & Towers during the week forcefully seized the recharge cards of card hawkers. And in their presence they started recharging their cell phones. When the complaint came to the soldiers on guard duty there, the AEPB operatives were asked why they should forcefully seize the recharge cards from the hawkers. In response, they including the police man attached to them replied that they were doing their job. It was on this note that the soldiers grew annoyed and started drilling them with frog jump with the exception of the police officer whom the military boys asked to disappear from the scene because he was wearing a police uniform, with a stern warning that they should never operate
• One of the eye sore fefuse dumps along Solomon Lar Road, after Thisday Newspaper and before Our Lord’s Chosen Church, at the heart of Abuja city centre.
Charity they say begins at home. But the reverse is the case when it comes to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board. A visit to the corporate headquarters of the board has shown that the place stinks with offensive odours, right from the ground floor through the stair case to the last floor of an office that is supposed to supervise and monitor the city’s environment. Furthermore, its Area 3 Garki office of the Taskforce is not better off as the area is equally littered with unserviceable refuse disposal trucks in front of its gate and all kinds of dirty matters scattered inside a compound that ordinarily would have served as an environmental model office and a reference point when it comes to cleanliness. Our correspondent, CHRIS DNK RICHARDS, who has been following the activities of AEPB, reports. healthy nation is a wealthy nation. And for a solid and sustainable development to thrive in any society there must be adequate security protection of the environment of such society. But the reverse is the case in Abuja because those vested with the powers of protecting the environment has virtually failed by not securing the FCT’s ecosystem for an atmosphere that will be pleasant for human habitation. The citeved to have been disenchanted on what next to do when their lip service orchestra could no longer play the game. A close observation of the activities of AEPB in recent time shows that the board has failed woefully from its original mandate of meeting up with the globally accepted environmental practices irrespective of the huge sums of budgetary allocation to the board that suppose to generate revenue to the government.
within Sheraton area again. This scenario paints bad the image of an organization expected to clean and sanitize a city but decided to indulge in corporate extortion. According to Mr. Bakare when one of the AEPB operatives was queried why they were taking peoples items and taking bribe, he claimed that they also report back to their Ogas by buying them recharge cards. Another case was recorded last weekend when AEPB Taskforce operatives carrying an armed police officer in front of a SAP-CLN bus went inside the bush on Kubwa road and illegally intercepted seven tipper drivers carrying sand
bought from sand excavators and demanded for bribe or face arrest. This allegation is said to be carried out on daily basis at different locations of the city suburb by these bribe-ridden staffers in collaboration with the policemen assigned to them on official duty. Instead of apprehending these so-called offenders for prosecution and necessary stipulated fine payments made, if found guilty into the purse of the government they decide to collect those illegal levies into their private pockets. It will be recalled that these operatives passes through all the adjourning roads linking Continued on page 26
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
yrian forces storm suburb near capital, killing at least 35 people mostly civilians, as rebels shell Aleppo airbase. Syrian rebels have shelled an airbase used by regime forces to pound the northern city of Aleppo, with a human rights watchdog reporting the killing of dozens near Damascus in a series of government raids. “Menagh military airport was bombarded on Thursday morning by a tank captured previously by the rebels,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said of the base 30km northwest of the country’s commercial capital. “We hit the airport using a tank that we captured from the Assad army. We attacked the airport a few times but we have decided to retreat at this time,” a rebel fighter named Abu Ali told the Reuters news agency. The UN confirmed on Wednesday that rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad’s regime now had heavy armour, and that its military observers had seen the Syrian military use a fighter jet to attack rebels in Aleppo. Intense explosions were reported along Syria’s border with Turkey as the fighting rages. The blasts have come from near the rebel-held town of Azaz, across the border from the Turkish town of Kilis. The area is a key route for refugees and rebels heading to fight in Aleppo, some 50km away. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory said government forces at the airbase had used artillery and rocket launchers to bombard the town of Tel Rifaat, which lies between the base and
Syria forces attack Damascus district
• Hundreds attended Mr. Paya's funeral at San Salvador Catholic Church in Havana Aleppo. President Bashar al-Assad’s troops, meanwhile, pounded the strategic Salaheddine district in Aleppo itself with tank and artillery fire while rebels tried to consolidate their hold on areas they have seized. Heavily armed government troops are trying to drive a force of a few thousand rebel fighters from the city in a battle whose outcome could be a turning point in the conflict.
Mobile phone connections have been cut since Wednesday, leading to speculation among residents that an increase in military action might be imminent. In Damascus, troops overran a suburb on Wednesday and killed at least 35 people, mostly unarmed civilians, residents and activist organisations said on Thursday.”We will go after them in the whole of Aleppo, until the city is liberated,” he said. The Free Syrian Army’s military
chief in Aleppo, Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi, said the rebels had “thousands” of fighters in Aleppo.The rebels are consolidating areas they control in Aleppo, attacking police posts and minor military installations with some success. They claim to have seized three police stations this week. “When the streets were clear we found the bodies of at least 35 men,” a resident, who gave his name as Fares, said by phone from Jdeidet Artuz, southwest of Damascus.
“Regime forces entered the Jdeidet Artuz district on Wednesday and arrested around 100 young people who were taken to a school and tortured,” it said in a statement. Pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan on Thursday said security forces were “hunting down terrorist groups” in Damascus province. On Wednesday, video emerged which appeared to show rebels executing regime loyalists in the embattled city of Aleppo. The men, allegedly members of the Shabiha, or armed groups who have assisted in the government’s crackdown, are lined up and shot at point blank range. US ‘secret order’ In a shift toward increased foreign involvement in the war, US President Barack Obama was reported to have signed a covert document authorising US support for the rebels. World powers have watched with mounting concern as diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated solution have faltered and violence that has already claimed more than 15,000 lives. The UN General Assembly will on Friday vote on an Arab-drafted largely symbolic resolution calling on Assad to stand down. British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin were set for tense talks on the Syrian conflict on Thursday, before watching judo together at the London Olympics. Britain has strongly criticised Moscow’s refusal to back UN action against the Syria regime.
Obama inks ‘secret order’ to aid Syria rebels New order broadly permits CIA and other US agencies to support rebels seeking to depose Bashar al-Assad from power. US President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorising US support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, Reuters news agency said quoting sources familiar with the matter. Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding”, broadly permits the CIA and other US
agencies to provide aid that could help the rebels dislodge Assad from power. The shift towards supporting Assad’s armed opponents intensified following last month’s failure of the UN Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government. The full extent of clandestine support that agencies like the CIA might be providing also is unclear. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined comment on the matter.
• and Western officials have noted improvements in the coherence of the Syrian armed opposition
The White House has apparently stopped short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some US allies have been doing just that. US and European officials have said that there have been noticeable improvements in the coherence and effectiveness of Syrian rebel groups in the past few weeks. That represents a significant change in assessments of the rebels by Western officials, who previously characterised Assad’s opponents as a disorganised. Overt support Separately from the president’s secret order, the Obama administration has stated publicly that it is providing some backing for Assad’s opponents. The State Department said on Wednesday the US government had set aside a total of $25m for “nonlethal” assistance to the rebels. A US official said that was mostly for communications equipment, including encrypted radios. The State Department also says the US has set aside $64m in humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people, including contributions to the World Food Program, the International
Committee of the Red Cross and other aid agencies. ‘Nerve centre’ A US government source acknowledged that under provisions of the presidential finding, the US was collaborating with a secret command centre operated by Turkey and its allies. Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents. This “nerve centre” is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 100km from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a US airbase where US military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence. Turkish authorities are said to be increasingly involved in providing Syrian rebels with training and possibly equipment. European government sources said wealthy families in Saudi Arabia and Qatar were providing significant financing to the rebels. Senior officials of the Saudi and Qatari governments have publicly
called for Assad’s departure. On Tuesday, reports emerged that the Free Syrian Army had obtained nearly two dozen surfaceto-air missiles, weapons that could be used against Assad’s helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Syrian government armed forces have employed such air power more extensively in recent days. NBC network said the shoulderfired missiles, also known as MANPADs, had been delivered to the rebels via Turkey. On Wednesday, however, Bassam al-Dada, a political adviser to the Free Syrian Army, denied the NBC report, telling the Arabiclanguage TV network Al-Arabiya that the group had “not obtained any such weapons at all”. US government sources said they could not confirm the MANPADs deliveries, but could not rule them out either. Current and former US and European officials previously said that weapons supplies, which were being organised and financed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, were largely limited to guns and a limited number of anti-tank weapons, such as bazookas.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
SON to sanitize telemetric sector By STELLA WILLIAMS, Lagos
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has beamed it’s searchlight on the Telematics sector which covers operators of vehicle tracking devices and services in a bid to sanitise and rid the sector of poor quality products and service providers. Director General of the agency, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, who disclosed this • L-R: Director, Large Tax Department (Oil and Gas), Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Ajayi at a Technical Committee Bamidele; Acting Chairman, Alhaji Rabir Mashi, and Coordinating Director, Field Operations Group, Mr Samuel Ogungbesan, at a sensitisation workshop on Personal Income Tax Amendment for Meeting on Vehicle Security in Lagos, said that the quality Ministries, Department and Agencies in FCT, yesterday. of most tracking equipment brought into this country are very bad and besides that, there are usually reported cases of failed tracking systems in the event of the vehicles being stolen which is not a good thing By CLEM KHENA-OGBENA areas the ministry has 26000 coming up as a considering the money recognised in its quest to guidance standard for doing invested to install these car business. he Federal encourage Foreign Direct With the first report on the tracking and recovery (FDIs) and Government has Investments adoption of the process to be due devices by car and vehicle promote home grown reiterated its in December, Odumodu said, owners. commitment to industries, in line with the “It will be a good target to President’s Transformation He added that SON will not sustainable development redefine our business process through promoting an Agenda and MDG Goals 1, 7, relent in its efforts at within the period we are environment where and 8 as streamlined in the maintaining zero tolerance to include intervening , it will be useful organizations would thrive, ISO26000 for substandard products as a more objective of what is governance, bound by the highest global organisational expected of companies and campaign across the country issues, human standards and operating best consumer organizations as a whole, with the aim of improving the rights, labour practices, practices. their Social quality of life for Nigerians. operating regarding Trade and Investment environment, Responsibility performance practices and community minister, Dr Olusegun Odumodu said that SON and which goes beyond compliance partners with stakeholders Aganga, represented by a involvement with the law or philanthropic director in the ministry, Mr development. from different sectors acting The Director General of SON, activities”. Oladele Jaiyeoba, gave the as a secretariat to identify He insisted that if best assurance , Tuesday, in Abuja Joseph Odumodu, in his practices were applied in the needs for establishing at an ISO/SON national remark, while commending organizations, Nigeria could various standards in the National Mirror workshop on ISO26000 and Committee on ISO26000 offer a proper balance between different sectors of the social responsibility. safety economic and Noting that SON’s active role adoption in Nigeria, headed by economy. environmental factors, while in enforcing and promoting the Director General of the DG further added that the promoting innovation, adding national and international Consumer Protection Council Vehicle Security Operators that it would ensure that standards has contributed, in (CPC), Mrs Ify Umenyi, said Nigerian industries were of Nigeria (VESON) came up no small measure, to the Ethical Committee for adoption equipped to meet the with the idea of a code of country’s commercial process must fairly incorporate requirement for global standards for telemetric all stakeholders, including the successes, Agaga said that supplies. which will cover the Nigeria was only pleased to NGOs, community associations He further stated that the as well consumers among have participated in the global of vehicle Nigerian contribution through operations process but has now also others. He added that it must tracking for security and SON to the development of commenced the process of ensure that they all have equal ISO26000 would stand out fleet management. adopting the international rig ht. even as they commended the In his words, “We realised Although he said companies standard locally. National Mirror Committee on that it was actually overdue Agagu stated, “ISO standards are no longer judged by their ISO 26000 for its steadfastness in the country, so we quickly economic responsibilities alone make positive contributions to
Nigeria streamlines process for adoption of ISO26000
the world as they facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology and share good management and conformity assessment practices. ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, medical devices, information and communication technologies, energy, environment and quality management systems”. The minister defined key
but also how they live up with their social responsibility. Odumodu also said that the FG attaches great importance to the principles of Social Responsibility, adding, therefore, that the adoption of ISO 26000 is critical with ongoing tools to help companies with the principles of social responsibility . He said that the emphasis would be to ensure that a lot more local companies were attracted, judging from the fact that the local people have not appreciated the fact of the Social Responsibility as critical to business, especially with ISO
in projecting Nigeria.
started the process and set up a collaborative work group committee that fine tuned the draft document which is now being presented to the technical committee for approval before it is forwarded to the standards council which is the apex body that approves standards for SON”. He said that once we have the standard codes it becomes mandatory for every practitioner that is involved in the installation of vehicle tracking systems or fleet management to comply with the requirement of these codes if they wish to continue in the business of installing tracking devices in vehicles or else they would be sanctioned appropriately. According to the DG,at a lot of unscrupulous businessmen engage in the act of bringing in obsolete and substandard telemetric equipment into the country, a trend which he noted will be stemmed by this telemetric code of standard being prepared by SON. “With these standards in place, we will now be able to harmonize the operations of the practitioners by ensuring strict compliance to the minimum standards required of them and also flush out the quack practitioners while restoring consumers’ confidence and value for their money on services rendered. The DG who was represented by the Director of Electrical Engineering, Adewumi Richard, said “We are also going to be certifying the organisations in the sector such as VESON so that consumers would know who to patronise and who not to patronise since only those who carry our certification can be guaranteed to offer effective and qualitative services”. Bureau d Change Rates
Source: S&J Bureau De Change, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
business NIPOST to operate financial, digital services From GABRIEL AKINLADE-DANIEL, Lagos
he mi n i s ter of Communication T ec h n o lo gy , Mrs . Omobola Johnson has said that the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) will soon c o mmen c e i n n o v ati v e an d meaningfu l service su ch as financial and digital service. The minister disclosed this during a presentation forum organised by Web Ju rist, a rati n g agen c y h eld at th e Victoria Crown Hotel Plaza in Lagos. He lamented the sidelining of NIP OST by th e telecommunication revolution which began over a decade ago. Sp eak i n g d u ri n g h er presentation in a paper titled “Cashless Nigeria-The Related T elec o mmu n i c ati o n an d
Technology Issues”, Johnson s ai d th e go v ern men t h as d ec i ded to rev iv e th e o ver 3,000 post offices which have become empty of customers across the country.
According to her, “We cannot talk o f c as h les s ec o n o my w ith ou t fac tori ng th os e i n rural areas. The farmers who need to do one transaction or the other without necessarily
• Minister of Communications, Mrs. Omobola Johnson
going to the bank saying that over 3,000 post offices with good structures are scattered across the country and so we n eed to u ti li ze th em fo r optimal benefits of Nigerians ev en th o u gh th e GSM revolution has taken over the role of they used to play. Their services will be financial and digital inclusion where cashless services can be transacted and where personal computers and in tern et c on nectio n are available for public use.” Ho wever, the min is ter cautioned that cashless society campaign may not go far if the issue of electricity, illiteracy and relevant technology are not addressed. She also called on teleco mmu n ic atio n o perato rs to co ntin u e to embrace i nfrastru ctu re sh arin g to red u c e co st o f operation and enhance faster network coverage.
Normalcy returns to CAC after suffering service setback By CLEM KHENA-OGBENA
The Corporate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) services recently suffered major set back after thieves had vandalised fibre optics cable connecting its offices at Wuse Zone 5 and Maitama, both in Abuja. A statement issued by the Head, Public Relations, CAC, Mr. Williams Churchill, said that the Registrar General of the Commission, Alhaji Bello Mahmud promptly instructed repairs to restore prompt and efficient service to customers. The statement said before the incident occured, CAC was processing what is described as name availability within two days , while incorporation was done within four days, adding, however, that normalcy had since been restored in the services of the Commission. According to the statement, the registrar general regretted the downtime experienced during the period. It noted that the fibre otpics cable is at a distance of about 3.5 kilometres from CAC Wuse Zone 5 office, adding that the cabling path to Maitama office was vandalised.
It also stated that concerted efforts by a team of CAC ICT personnel with some consultants discovered the vandalism at Wuse Zone 4 Junction by Wuse Zone 3 and it was further discovered that inside the manhole, some unscrupulous elements vandalised 9 fibre and power cables belonging to various government and private organisations. The statement said engineers
had since completed work on the repairs and normal services had resumed, stating that it, therefore, renewed the Commission’s determination to provide prompt and efficient service to its valued customers. The statement noted, “CAC used the forum to urge members of the public to always be vigilant and report suspicious characters around installations to guard against
vandalism of public property for the growth of the economy. “It could be recalled that in the early hours of 21st June, 2012, the CAC dispatched its offices to carry out diagnosis on its server room upon distruptions in services which was later discovered to occur as a result of vandalism of the fibre optics cable linking its Wuse Zone 5 and Maitama offices.”
NNPC buys Shell’s onshore oil block The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation in partnership with a Nigerian firm has bought an onshore oil block operated Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L). NNPC said in a statement in Abuja that the OML 34 is amongst three onshore blocks that the Anglo-Dutch major has been trying to divest this year as part of a rejig of its portfolio in Nigeria. NNPC said it and a company called ND Western will now run the oil block, saying in the statement that it is “a major milestone in the oil and gas sector”. “The taking over of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 34 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and ND Western (is) part of measures to grow the in-country upstream capacity of the petroleum industry,” the statement said.
NNPC takes 55 percent and ND Western 45 percent of the block from Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, a Shell-run joint between NNPC, with 55 percent; Shell, with 30 percent; EPNL, with 10 percent; and Agip (ENI.MI), with 5 percent. Reuters reports that Shell has been winding down some of its onshore operations to focus on offshore and deepwater drilling. The sales follow similar divestments over the past two years. ýÿ The company said last month it was seeking buyers for OMLs 30, 34 and 40. Shell’s onshore facilities are plagued with problems such as militancy and rampant oil theft, although the firm says such problems have not influenced its divestment plans.
Last year Shell sold its 30 percent stake in Nigerian onshore oil block OML 42 to local consortium Neconde Energy - which includes Nestoil Group, Aries E&P Company Limited, VP Global and Poland’s Kulczyk Oil Ventures - for $390 million. In the same year, it divested its 30 percent stake in block OML 26 to First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN), which is part-owned by Afren (AFRE.L), for $98 million. Nigeria’s government has a policy of boosting local participation in the oil industry, although critics say NNPC lacks the funds to invest sufficiently in its own assets. The statement said the sale of the block “would give indigenous companies ... the impetus to become an active player in the oil and gas sector.”
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
business IMF releases balance of payments, international investment statistics By Ese Awhotu
he International Monetary Fund (IMF) on W e d n e s d a y released the August 2012 editions of International Financial Statistics (IFS) and the online Balance of Payments Statistics (BOPS)
OPEC oil output falls OPEC crude oil output has fallen in July as US and European sanctions have cut supply from Iran and due to reduced shipments from Angola, Saudi Arabia and Libya, a Reuters survey showed on Monday. Supply from the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has averaged 31.18 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 31.63 million bpd in June, the survey of sources at oil companies, OPEC officials and analysts found. OPEC’s production has declined since it pumped 31.75 million bpd in April, the highest since September 2008, based on Reuters surveys. The biggest drop in supplies this month came from Iran, whose crude is subject to a European Union embargo that started on July 1 barring EU insurance firms from covering Iran’s exports. Iran’s supply slipped by 150,000 bpd to 2.80 million bpd in July, according to the survey. That would be its lowest output in more than two decades, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. The US and European sanctions have pushed Iran from its traditional position as OPEC’s second-largest producer to rank third behind Iraq, which this year is benefiting from a longawaited expansion in export capacity. Angolan output has fallen as oilfield maintenance curbs exports from Africa’s secondlargest producer. Libyan production was hit early in the month when protests by groups demanding greater autonomy for eastern Libya disrupted exports. Saudi Arabia trimmed supply slightly because of lower demand from some customers, such as in the United States, sources in the survey said. It still kept output at 10 million bpd, near the highest level in decades. OPEC is still pumping almost 1.2 million bpd more than its official ceiling of 30 million bpd, despite agreeing to stick to that target at a June 14 meeting.
Database. The releases, according to an IMF statement on its website covers 2005–2011 and for the first time contain balance of payments (BOP) and International Investment Position (IIP) data presented on the basis of the sixth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6). In order to present data on a consistent BPM6 basis in its publications, starting with Wednesdays’ releases, the Statistics Department of the
IMF converted the data for countries who continued to report data to the IMF on a BPM5 basis onto a BPM6 basis. IMF said that the conversion was undertaken in close consultation with the IMF’s Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics and member countries. According to the IMF, while, in general, the impact of conversion to BPM6 on most major aggregates and balancing items is rather limited for many economies, users will immediately see some significant changes in
the new presentation: in the account, revisions to the methodology for recording transactions on goods for processing results in increases in imports and/or exports of services (equivalent to the amounts received or paid for manufacturing services), and larger reductions in gross goods imports and exports (due to the elimination of imputed transactions in goods that do not change ownership).In the financial account, a clearer distinction is made between debt and equity transactions and in
the IIP, there are significant increases in both gross assets and gross liabilities for many economies due to the change in the presentation of reverse investment in foreign direct investment. Net IIP is not affected by this change. BPMP was published in 2009. It updates the international methodology for balance of payments and IIP accounts for development s since the publication of the f ifth edition (BPM5) in 199 3.BPMP is fu lly consistent with the system of national accounts 2008.
•CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi addressing delegates at the high level trade and investment summit on Nigeria in London.
U.S. raises pressure for action on euro zone crisis The United States raised pressure on euro zone leaders to take decisive action to solve the region’s debt crisis, notably by lowering troubled members’ borrowing costs, on the eve of a crucial European Central Bank meeting. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the euro zone must take steps including “bringing down interest rates in the countries that are reforming and making sure those banking systems can provide the credit those economies need”. He made the comments in
an interview with Bloomberg Television recorded in Los Angeles on Tuesday, a day after he flew to Germany to meet Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and ECB President Mario Draghi. They were broadcast on Wednesday. Italy and Spain, the euro zone’s third and fourth largest economies, could lose access to credit markets as the risk premium that investors demand to hold their bonds rather than safehaven German debt has spiralled to levels considered unsustainable in the long term. Italian Prime Minister
Mario Monti said Draghi’s pledge last week to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro were “bold and appropriate”, and said European leaders were weighing joint intervention by the ECB and the euro zone’s rescue funds. He predicted that the future permanent rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), would “in due course” be granted a banking licence so it could tap ECB funds to buy almost unlimited amounts of bonds. However, German ViceChancellor Philipp Roesler rejected pressure for the ECB to step in and cap the
borrowing costs of troubled euro zone states, saying the central bank should stick to fighting inflation and not ease market incentives for reform. “If you take away the interest rate pressure on individual states, you also take away the pressure on them to reform,” Roesler, economy minister and leader of the Free Democrats, junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition, told reporters in Berlin. He also reasserted Germany’s firm opposition to letting the ESM borrow from the central bank, dubbing that “the road to an inflation union.”
NATIONAL ACCORD, Friday, August 2, 2012
Taming the evil beast of anger One of the most dreaded evil beasts among mankind, ravaging many destinies, is the beast of anger: the anger of men. Anger is a phenomenon that has its devastating hold upon so many people and out there in the society, than can ever be imagined. Anger wrecks homes; destroys relationships; steals peaceful coexistence; frustrates purposes and life endeavours. Anger sometimes leads to shame and reproach, curses and failure. Anger is perceived to be the remote cause of more than 50 per cent of suicide and murder cases in our society. Anger therefore, is one of the greatest destroyers of destiny. It is a social nuisance borne out of the pride of life, that should be tamed within us at all cost. The first recorded death on the planet earth was prompted by the beast of anger, fuelled by envy and resentment, due to rejection. Two brothers, who hitherto had enjoyed cordial relationship, brought their offerings to worship their maker – God. The one was accepted with his offerings, because he took time to prepare and offer something worthy, in honour of his maker. The other was rejected because he felt his Creator did not deserve such great attention; and so, haphazardly packaged an unworthy offering and presented anyhow. From that moment, the cordial relationship between them gave way to incense to kill; because Cain had allowed the
beast of anger to take advantage of his rejection. This account is recorded in Gen. 4:3-5: “And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering He [God] had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” Propelled by the blood thirsty beast in his thoughts, Cain rose up against his fellow sibling and slew him in cold blood without compassion. The devastating effect of Cain’s anger is manifold: he had killed and destroyed life; procured curses upon himself and the ground; ended up as a fugitive and vagabond in his land of nativity where he was supposed to be in dominion. All these came upon Cain because he could not tame the beast of anger in him. A more graphic illustration of the egregious consequences of anger is painted in the valedictory speech of Jacob to his children recorded also in Genesis
(Gen. 49:5-7). As a compassionate father, Jacob had witnessed the gory manifestations of the beast of anger in two of his eldest sons: Simeon and Levi. Out of anger the two had conspired and slain every male in the City of Shechem and burnt down the entire city. The action had terrified Jacob and his entire household, so much, that it remained indelibly imprinted on his memory. At his death bed, Jacob recalled that shameful way of giving full vent to anger, and instead of blessing them as the other children, cursed them. Simeon and Levi were cursed in many respects for their anger: One, that because of the instrument of cruelty in their spirits they will not see honour; two, that they would be divided and scattered in Canaan; three, that his soul [as their father], shall not unite with them in their life endeavours to help them. Oh, what a tragic fate awaiting people who can’t control their emotions! Friends, the beast of anger is cruel and wicked. It does not know mercy or compassion. If allowed to have full vent, it can even cause a World War. Whole nations have gone to war
The first recorded death on the planet earth was prompted by the beast of anger, fuelled by envy and resentment, due to rejection.
WORD OF TRUTH with
Rev. SUCCESS J. AONDOAWASE 0803-653-5505 email@example.com
because their leaders were simply angry at each other’s outburst of words. There has been carnage and ethnic cleansing due to someone’s anger in the neighbouring community. But God hates it, when men allow anger to control them and have the best of their relationships (Mal. 2:16). Anger is a manifestation of the flesh, in selfishness and pride (Gen. 49:6). It is not a product of a regenerated spirit and so, does not please God. The root cause of anger is offences. When men are inclined to be easily offended, they also become prone to the beast of anger. To tame anger, you must first deal with that inner tendency in you to easily get offended at people’s deeds and conducts around you. You have to build an inner resistance that is insensitive to offences. The Lord said that offences will always come, “it is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” (Lk. 17:1) The only way you can build resistance against offences and stop the beast of anger from ravaging your destiny, is to maintain a heart of
praise and gratitude to God for all things, and, at all times (Eph. 5:18-20). This is very important because your destiny is at the mercy of your temperance level. Those who are filled with the spirit of joy are always praiseful to God for all things; and nothing offends them (Ps. 119:164, 165). Those who are soon angry are those who hardly see reasons to rejoice; they are filled with sorrow and pain. But whoso has a quick temper exalts foolishness; for anger rests in the bosom of fools (Ecc. 7:8,9). I believe, you will agree with me that you are not a fool. Then, why do you seek to destroy others because you are angry at the turn of events in our country? Your agitation should not be transferred to aggression against your fellow countrymen. Let’s control our emotions as wise people and seek for peaceful solutions that will come out for the good of all. Thank you for reading. *Rev. Success James Aondoawase is Founding Pastor, Pillar of Truth for all Nations (aka Good Success Chapel), Abuja.
Christian news Knights of St Mulumba offer scholarship to orphans By GABRIEL GWAJIME
nights and Ladies of St Mulumba, Charity Zone of Wuse SubCouncil, Abuja, have undertaken to write off the costs of training in secondary school of some inmates of Daughters of the Needy Orphanage, in Gwagwalada. A statement by Public Relations Officer of KSM Wuse, Sir Tony Obiechina, says Chairman of the Charity Zone, Chief Anthony Ezekwesili made the undertaken on behalf of the Knights and Ladies when they visited the orphanage penultimate Saturday as part of their individual birthday activities which was marked collectively last Sunday. Chief Ezekwesili, who said he was impressed with the
general atmosphere and cleanliness of the orphanage, announced a cash donation of an unspecified amount and various items to the orphan-
age for the upkeep of the inmates. He promised a regular visit of the group to the orphanage and other charity
Inmates of Daughters of the Needy Orphanage, Abuja
homes in the FCT with a view to monitoring the progress and welfare of the inmates whom he said would henceforth be regarded as their adopted children. Coordinator of the orphanage, Rev Sister Onyekachi Udeozor disclosed that the home currently has about 45 inmates some of whom were picked from the streets as destitute and abandoned children. She said a good number of the inmates have been enrolled in secondary schools for further education, adding that the orphanage spends about sixty thousand Naira as
school fees for each inmate. Otherwise known as Anawim Home and operated by the Missionary Sisters of the Poorest of the Poor, the orphanage organises activities for children, young mothers, destitute, street children and youth or mentally ill; to take care of the patients and other people in the compound if you are a doctor. There are around 18 sisters that work with orphans, mentally ill, around 16 young mothers (of unwanted pregnancy), destitute and street children and youth. All of them live in the compound except for the street children and youth. There are around 40 children of 0 to 15 years old, 20 mentally ill people and some destitute. There is also a skill acquisition centre for these groups.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
DIPLOMATIC LOUNGE ECOWAS Commissioner calls for more commitment from member States
COWAS Commissioner in-charge of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Dr Lapodini MarcAtouga, has called on member states to show more commitment to the development of the agriculture sector. Marc-Atouga made the call yesterday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). “What member states should be working towards is how to feed the millions of people in the sub-region, and this calls for a lot of commitment.” According to him, the
52 foreign coys for Akwa Fair 2012 Fifty two foreign companies from 28 countries will participate in the Akwa Ibom International Trade Fair, “Akwa Fair 2012’’scheduled for December. Mr. Obong Ebong, the Chairman of Akwa Ibom International Trade Fair, said during the inauguration of the fair’s Central Working Committee (CWC) recently in Uyo. “The 2012 Akwa trade fair is an initiative of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to queue into and complement the state government’s industrialisation dri ve. “It would be unforgivable if the state indigenes fail to take advantage of the number of infrastructure being put in place to stimulate the economy,” he said. Ebong, who is also the NIPS Marine and Maritime Consultant Nigeria Ltd., solicited the cooperation of the Uyo Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (UYOCCIMMA), the public and the press to make the fair a success. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akwa 2012 Trade Fair has 12 objectives which include harnessing the OPS potential in the development of the state’s and national economy. The others are the facilitation of the state’s industrialisation drive, the Federal Government Transformation Agenda and the actualisation of Vision 20:20 20.
agriculture sector should be taking seriously as it is the main sector of the economy of all the countries in the subregion. Marc-Atouga stated that ECOWAS was working out plans on how to create “decent’’ income to farmers that provide the food for the sub-region through the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP). He stressed that ECOWAP would address some of the many agricultural issues facing member states of the body. ECOWAP is rooted in Article 25 of the revised ECOWAS Treaty adopted in 1993, which stipulates that “member states shall agree to cooperate by adopting a common agricultural policy”. The goal was also driven by the need to promote economic development and eliminate poverty and food insecurity, as well as to overcome the forces that tended to marginalise the region relative to the rest of the global economy. Marc-Atouga observed that rural development, food security and productivity
were high on the priority list of ECOWAS member states. “West Africa has immense agricultural potential, with arable land, pasture, as well as both surface and underground water sources. A lack of inputs, services, organisation and supply channels, however, have restricted the growth of the sector. “ECOWAS is looking to develop a policy to exploit the strengths and overcome the weaknesses, including managing trans-boundary waterways, matching agricultural supply with regional market demands and building on complementary assets.’’ He advised member states to be more concerned about how to make agriculture competitive in order to grow the sector. Marc-Atouga also identified the issue of climate change as one of the problems the commission was grappling wi th . The commissioner explained that humanity faced difficulty in producing sufficient food to feed its growing population and
• ECOWAS President, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo stabilising climate change. He said that the commission had outlined some major areas for policy action to bring
interconnected and climate systems within a “safe operating space’’ in the subregion.
Foreign company invests $33m for real Estate dev in Ekiti From ROTIMI OJOMOYELA, Ado Ekiti
Determined to improve the Housing and property sector in Ekiti State, an investments’ maintenance Company, Fountain Holdings, is
• Taraba State Kayode Fayemi
proposing the construction of 1,000 low cost housing units in the State. The Company’s Management also dispelled the rumour milling round that the Company is heavily indebted to the State Government in the franchise right arrangement in its ownership, saying it has remitted the N2.5 million monthly lease agreements with the Government up –todate. The Managing Director of the Public-Private Partnership Company, Mr. Olusegun Osinkolu , who lamented the poor industrial development of the State, assured that the Government is ready to give tax reliefs to any intending investor that takes Ekiti as a base. Osinkolu while addressing the newsmen in Ado Ekiti, said the Housing project will gulp about N4 billion and interested partners have
already shown interest in the gigantic project. Osinkolu, who revealed that Fountain Holdings is Private Company, saddled with the responsibility of managing the state government’s investments, added that it has already secured the commitment of a foreign partner, J.D. Forbes Incorporation for the injection of about N33 million Dollars into the multi-billion naira project. The Company’s MD, said the housing units will comprise of 200 two and 500 three – bedroom bungalows and 200 Duplexes, at the cost of N4.5m, N5.5m and N12 million respectively. He maintained that the body is contributing very meaningfully to shore up the revenue profile of the State by ensuring that all the State’s investments are put in proper shapes. On the moribund statuses of the State owned investments,
Osinkolu hinted that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mutual Model Transport Limited for the purchase of 50 fleet of buses to facilitate the resuscitation of Ekiti Kete Transport Company. Osinkolu, said work is ongoing on the Ire Brick Industry and that no fewer than 500 unemployed youths will be engaged when the industry is fully revamped and commence operation. He noted that the Company is stepping up efforts to buying more shares at the Ikogosi Warm Spring , where the State Government presently has 18 percent share , describing the tourist attraction as the most viable public-private investment in the State. The MD disclosed that the Company is working in partnership with Galaxy Blackbone, a Federal Government Internet Provider for ICT investment in the State.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
SP RTS Gumel presents medal at London Olympics
igeria’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Habu Ahmed Gumel on Wednesday became the first Nigerian member of the international body to present medal at the ongoing London 2012 Olympic Games. The medal presentation took place at the ExCeL Sports Complex, venue of the weightlifting event of the Games. Gumel presented the medal to Xiaojun Lu of China, who set his second world record of the event by scoring a total 379 while competing in the Men’s 77kg Weightlifting. Gumel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the venue of the presentation that he felt honoured performing the role. He said it was particularly significant since the presentation was made, among others, to an outstanding Chinese athlete, who broke the world record twice in a given competition. “I am sure it was by coincidence that I was selected for the medal presentation,’’ he added. A top Nigerian sports administrator, Olabanji Oladapo, who is the
• Habu Gumel
Executive Vice President of the African Table Tennis Confederation, hailed the choice of Gumel for the
presentation. He said: “The role he performed was an honour to Nigeria.’’
FCT pays FCT Queens FC backlog of salaries The FCT Sports Council has paid the backlog of salaries and sign-on fees of the FCT Queens FC, a t o p o f f icial o f t h e co uncil, Dilichu k wu Onyedinm a, s aid in Abuja. Onyedimma, the Deputy Directo r, Tech nical, FCT S po rt s Co uncil, said o n Thursday that the monies were paid late on Tuesday to t he players and th eir coaching crew. She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the council was able to pay the players and co ach es 12 months arrears for 2011. “I th ank God t h ey h ave been paid their 12 months’
salary. All of t hem are happy and the government is happy too. “Th is debt did no t disco urage t h em f ro m playing their games; they h ave been play ing th eir matches knowing that one day the monies will be paid. “They know also that their o ff icials at t he spo rt s council are not happy with the delay in payment but thank God we can now sleep with our two eyes closed,’’ Onyedimma said. She said the Establishment Department of the Federal Capit al Territ ory Administration (FCTA) had concluded arrangement to keep custody of the players’
files to ensure their salaries were paid regularly. Captain of the team, Oluchi Ezeji, confirmed th e payment to NAN but said t hey only received nine months salary and sign-on fees for 2011, while 2008 and 2009 were still pending. “The account officer who paid us at the So cial Development S ecret ariat said he was directed to pay u s nine mo nt hs and ou r mat ch b o nu ses were no t paid for the period too,’’ she said. Ezeji disclo sed t hat th e least player among them got abo ut N180, 000 fo r th e nine months salary arrears excluding the sign-on fees.
Solomon Ogba, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), has assured that Team Nigeria was in good shape to excel in the track and field events of the 2012 Olympic Games. He told journalists covering the 30th Olympiad in London on Wednesday that the athletics team would do its best to bring smiles on faces of Nigerians during the Games. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Team Nigeria is yet to get onto the medals table at the Games as at the official day six of the 17-day Games on Wednesday afternoon. Already, its four table tennis players have crashed out of their events in the competition, just as its lone competitor in the canoeing event has lost out. Two of its three boxers at the Games have also been knocked out of the competition, while the men’s basketball team have won only one of their two games played so far. ‘’The athletics team at the Olympics here will do their best, though I am not promising anything. But all I know is that these athletes are in good condition, ‘’ Ogba said. He said he was hoping that all the 29 track and field athletes would get to the semi-finals stage of their respective events. ‘’For me, I want all of them to get to the semi final, and I am sure that from there, anything can happen, ‘’ the former Delta Sports Commissioner said. He said his federation had taken measures to ensure optimum concentration on the part of the athletes ahead of their competition on Friday, Aug. 3. Ogba said he had imposed bans on frequent meetings with the athletes as well as barring visitors to the team, saying he informed the athletes of this at a meeting with them. ‘’I will not want people to distract
Team Nigeria won’t disappoint in athletics, Ogba assures the athletes by locking them up with meetings, and I have told them that there should be no meetings with my athletes, and that there should be no visitors, too. ‘’I want these athletes to concentrate and have peace of mind before their events start, ‘’ he said. Ogba assured that the athletes have been in a good mood and training well, saying this was why he wanted them to remain focused and not be burdened with meetings. “I don’t know what they are meeting about, but all have changed now and the athletes are presently in good condition to give Nigerians Olympic smiles, ” he said.
Owoeri big doubt for Champions League clash John Owoeri may again not debut for Sunshine in the Champions League this weekend as his transfer papers are yet to come through. The former Enyimba and Heartland winger has already featured for Sunshine in the Nigeria Premier League, but the late addition to the team’s Champions League campaign has yet to feature for the Nigerian club in the continental competition. The experienced Owoeri missed the crucial Group A clash at Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia two weeks ago as a result of this reason. Top Sunshine Stars official Mike Idoko admitted Owoeri remains a big doubt for Sunday’s crunch clash against visiting Aso Chlef of Algeria in Ijebu-Ode. “Owoeri is in camp training ahead of the game, but I can’t say whether he will play or not on Sunday because we are still waiting for his transfer papers,” Idoko informed MTNFootball.com Cameroonian defender Isaac Hele
also missed the trip to Etoile because his work permit has expired. Idoko though is bullish of his team’s chances against the Algerians, who are bottom of Group A as they have lost their two group games thus far. “This game is very important to us and everybody here is aware. We will put in everything within our capacity to see that we win the game,” he declared. “It is a must-win game for us because victory over Aso Chlef could well determine our fate in this competition. “Our draw with Etoile in Sousse and the victory over Warri Wolves in Warri (in NPL) are tonic for the team to do well against the Algerian team, who are no pushovers as their position on the table does not reflect their potentials. “I watched them against Esperance and they played fantastic football only to lose 3-2.”
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
SPORTS NPL Star of the Week: Gambo Mohammed Kano Pillars star striker Gambo Mohammed emerged as the MTNFootball.com NPL player for Week 36 after he moved closer to challenging Sibi Gwar at the top of the scorers’ chart. The big striker, who is Turkeybound for trials, was a picked ahead of Lobi Stars duo of David Tyavkase and Tony Okpotu after his brace against Jigawa Golden Stars on Wednesday took his tally to 15 goals for the season. Gambo revealed to MTNFootball.com his three targets are - the league championship, the Federation Cup as well as the top scorer award. “I want to win the league, Federation Cup with Pillars,” he declared. “I believe I can still score up to 20 goals this season. I am on 15 now and will do my best to get to that mark which is my target.” The consistent striker also said he derives inspiration from Brazil great Ronaldo de Lima. “I look forward to be like Ronaldo of Brazil. He is my idol and it would be great to be like him. I want to make a name for myself as he did,” Gambo told MTNFootball.com PROFILE Date of birth: March 10, 1988 Clubs: Buffalo FC Position: Striker Height: 1.85m Honours: NPL winner 2008/2009, CAF Champions League semi-finalist 2009/ 2010 Goal scoring record: At Buffalo 2006- 16 goals; At Pillars 2006/2007-6 goals; 2007/2008-8 goals; 2008/ 2009-10 goals; 2009/201012 goals; 2010/2011-10goals; current season-15 goals
Who wins the NPL 2011/12 Golden Boot? From AYO BADRU, Lagos
s the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) 2011/12 season draws to an end, there have been words on who will emerge as the highest goal scorer of the season. Only two players, Sibi Gwar of Niger Tornadoes and Gambo Mohammed of Kano Pillars are leading the goals
chart with 16 and 15 goals respectively. Should the two keep up the tempo, one will eventually end the season as the highest goal scorer in the NPL. However, with just two matches to end the season, Gwar has an edge as Niger Tornadoes last two matches are at home to Dolphins of Port Harcourt and Jigawa Golden Stars while Kano Pillars last
3SC need a chief coach now – Official From AYO BADRU, Lagos After the sack of Festus Allen in Kano, 3SC management has come out to say the team has two caretaker coaches on the same level of rating. Media houses have different choices of which they will recongnise as the head of coach of the team. Tunde Busari and Odubola have done so well since they both took over the team. Sitting on the 5th position after Wednesday game, massive Adamasingba record in the second stanza, securing away points, this were all missing in the past season of the Oluyole Warriors. From relegation contender to continental contender was the good thing to happen to 3SC and Ibadan fans have something new to celebrate.
“Two captains cannot be in the same ship. 3SC need a leader in the technical department. I’m not talking about the management planning to bring in a low pedigree coach to thinker with team but I believe this two coaches are ripe enough to lead the team to glory. “Busari or Odubola should be given the chance to be the head coach while the other assist. I think they (management) have more time to study both coaches and find one as the best to lead the team next season. “3SC are title hopeful next term only if they can keep this set of players and add more quality to the team. “Hon Commissioner for Sports, Dapo Lam must checkmate some bad eggs and the management have to step up because they need to do more and prove they deserved to be in the office,” these
were words of an official of the team who pleaded for anonymity. Meanwhile, their last home match played at the Lekan Salami Salami Stadium, Adamasigba, Ibadan, Shootings Stars pierced the heart of Owerri fans as their darling team, Heartland FC was defeated 2-0. Gabriel Adikwu and Moses Ogaga were the goal scores for Shooting stars who continue their late chase for a continental ticket. The Coach Tunde Busari led side had only on Sunday evening defeated another Oriental team, Enugu Rangers, by a lone a goal. Wednesday’s game at the Adamasigbna stadium was the last home game for Shooting Stars as they now have to travel to Warri and Ilorin to face Wolves and Kwara United in their last two matches of the season.
two matches are away to Akwa United of Uyo and
Sunshine Stars of Akure. Who will win the Golden Boot?
HOW THEY STAND ON THE NPL TABLE Pos. Teams 1. Kano Pillars
Bottom 4 17.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
AYC qualifier: Onigbinde, Erico advice Obuh, Flying Eagles From AYO BADRU with agency reports
Ex-Nigeria U20 ace Onazi Ogenyi scored his first goal for Lazio on Wednesday in a preseason game against Nuova Circle. The midfielder, who made his senior debut last season against Atalanta in the Italian Serie A, has been a regular face for his club in pre-season ahead of the forthcoming 2012/2013 season. Onazi, who has shone in the Lazio reserves, told MTNFootball.com he is delighted with his progress at Lazio and looking forward to the new season. He said, “I am happy with my progress here and also excited with my first goal for the senior team, I am looking forward to scoring more when season starts.” Such is the progress the former U17 and U20 star has made that he is being considered for an improved contract by his Rome club.
ederation of International Football Association (FIFA) instructor, Adegboyega Onigbinde and former Super Eagles coach, Joe Erico have called on chief coach of the national Under-20 team, John Obuh and the entire team not to be complacent in the return leg match of the African Youth Championship (AYC) qualifier against Tanzania. Nigeria took a massive step towards reaching the next qualifying round of the 2013 AYC after they beat hosts Tanzania 2-1 on Sunday. Enugu Rangers striker Alhaji Gero netted a first-half brace, before the home team pulled a goal back on 51 minutes through Alhaji Said. The winners of the match between Nigeria and Tanzania will clash with the winners of another second round match between South Africa and Congo. Congo won the first game at home 2-1. “It was a good result but it is not over until it is over. They should have behind their minds that the second leg is yet to be played and so they must be focused and determined,” said Onigbinde in a chat with our correspondent in Lagos. In his remarks to the victory, Erico called on Obuh and the players to see the return leg as if the first leg had not be played. “They must not be complacent. They must be prepared for war because if they can go there and beat them at home, they must not allow that to get into their heads, rather, they must be ready to consolidate on the result,” advised Erico. However, Tanzania coach Jakob Michelsen insisted his team still have a chance in the return leg in a fortnight after their spirited performance after the interval. “We lost the first half, but won the second half and there are still two halves to be played,” said the young Danish coach, who was playing his first competitive game in charge of the Ngorogoro Heroes. “We made two terrible mistakes at both ends of the first half and we paid for them, but I believe we still have something to play for going into the second game even against the African champions.” He added: “We played a good match and the players showed a lot of heart. With a bit of luck we should have got two penalties for hand ball, but all the same I’m proud of the boys.” Nigeria U20 coach, John Obuh also praised the second half showing of the Tanzanians. “It was a good game but the
Onazi Ogenyi scores first Lazio goal
• Flying Eagles in training home team came out the stronger in the second half. They had the advantage of having already started the qualifiers before us (Tanzania won a first round qualifier versus Sudan) and also they were playing at home. “But we knew we had to win this match even against a very smart Tanzanian team, who at a time almost got my team to play their long ball tactic. “All the same, we still have a second leg to play, but we expect to reach the next round of the competition.” Big striker Gero got Nigeria off to a dream start after just two minutes when he dashed into the Tanzania goal area, before he fired a left-footed shot beyond goalkeeper Barwany Khomein Abubakar.
He will moments later be denied a second goal, before Simon Happygod Msuva broke through the Flying Eagles defence only for goalkeeper and skipper Samuel Okani to make a timely save. The Ngorogoro Heroes responded positively as they used the long ball and their speed down the wings to pressure the Nigerian back four. Despite the pressure, the Flying Eagles still carved chances. Aminu Umar’s header from inside the box on 19 minutes missed its mark and Chidi Osuchukwu effort from inside the box also came close. Happygod Msuva shot after half an hour missed narrowly for Tanzania and on 36 minutes, Okani did well to
scramble a clever lob by Issa Rashid Issa for a corner. Gero eased the pressure two minutes from the break when he again found target after a good combination play involving Yahaya Adamu and Um ar . Tanzania came back into the game six minutes into the second half, when Alhaji Said headed home after he had earlier missed a similar opening in the 48th minute. There were a number of close calls for both Tanzania and Nigeria, while in the dying moments of the encounter; a penalty appeal by goal-bound Gero was ignored by the Kenyan referee and substitute Harrison Egbune failed to connect a loose ball inside the Tanzania vital area.
Igiebor’s new pay demand scuppers Betis move Nosa Igiebor’s move to Spanish La Liga club Real Betis from Hapoel Tel Aviv of I srael h as co llaps ed af ter t he player asked for more money. According to a report on the Real Bet is official website, the deal was called off b y the club after the Nigeria int ernational midfielder requested for an increased salary when he had initially agreed on a certain amount. “Real Betis announce that they are breaking off negotiations with the player Nosa Igiebor,” a statement on th e club’s official site
read. “We had reached an agreement with both the player and his club Hapoel Tel Aviv, but in the last few hours the player has requested a wage increase that was not already agreed. “The club views this as lacking respect, seriousness and professionalism which we will not accept.” The 21-year-old Igiebor, who has also been capped by Nigeria at Olympic level, was close to joining up with the Spanish La Liga club, who once featured former Nigeria star Finidi George. Last season, Betis placed 13th in the Spanish La Liga.
No Milan offer for Ogbonna Torino president Urbano Cairo has confirmed that ‘no one has asked me’ about Angelo Ogbonna’s possible Milan future. The young defender has been considerably linked with a move to the San Siro outfit for the past twelve months, and while the volume of the speculation seems to be on the increase, Cairo has confirmed there is yet to be a proposal. “Ogbonna? [Adriano] Galliani is looking for a central defender but no one has asked me about it,” the president noted while addressing other questions about Torino’s transfer market. The Nigerian-born Italian was an influential player in helping the Toro return to Serie A, and it seems he will be the likelier candidate to replace the departed Thiago Silva who left for Paris Saint-Germain.
Friday, August 3, 2012, National Accord
SPORTS Muntari yearns for quick injury return Injured AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari is itching to return to action before the first half of the season. He underwent surgery last month after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in his left leg while on holiday. Muntari is set to remain on the sidelines for six months but the 27year-old hopes to make a quick return to action. “I cannot wait to come back, everything is going well and even psychologically I am feeling good,” he told Milan Channel. “I have to be patient but everything is going well with the doctors. “I do not think I will be out for too long, I will be back as soon as possible to help out my teammates. “We must win. I did not want to injure myself but these things happen in life and the injury is now a thing of the past.”
Keshi invites 25 home-bred players against Niger
uper Eagles’ Head Coach Stephen Keshi on Wednesday invited 25 players from the local league for camping, ahead of the international friendly against the Mena of Niger. This was contained in a statement by the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. The statement stated that the players are 24, from the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and one from the lower league. The players, according to the statement, would battle to make the squad for the encounter, billed for Aug. 15 at t he Sey ni Kou tche Stadium, Niamey. Top on th e list of goalk eepers are: Chigozie Agim of Warri Wolves FC and Chib uzor Onyekwelu of FAME Academy, who emerged as t he surprise inclusion from the lower
league. Heartland FC’s Daniel Akpeyi and Moses Ocheje of CAF Champions League campaigners, Sunshine Stars, completed the goalkeepers’ list. NAN reports that t here were a new number of faces in th e defence, inclu ding Enugu Rangers’ ace, Osuch ukwu Ogo nna, Kwamb e Solomo n of Sunshine Stars and Heartland FC’s Francis Benjamin. Others are: Ezekiel Henry of Rising Stars, Umar Zango of Kano Pillars, as well as Azubuike Egwuekwe, Papa Idris, Juwon Oshaniwa and Godfrey Oboabona. The midfielders and strikers include: Kano Pillars’ Reuben Gabriel, Izu Azuka, Sunday Mba, Ejike Uzoenyi, Uche Kalu, Henry Uche and Obinna Nwachukwu. Christian Ofili, Solomon Jabason, Kabiru Umar, Chibuzor Onyekwelu, Sanusi
Sani, Sibi Gwar and Philip Asuquo, who are making their first entry to the team, completed the list.
The invited players are expected to resume at the Bolton White Apartments, Abuja on Aug. 5.
•Dolphins FC players
MILO BASKETBALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIP
Organisers warn officials on cheating By AYO BADRU, Lagos As this year’s edition of the annual Milo Basketball Secondary Schools
Taiwo’s dream comes to an end Taye Taiwo has thanked Milan for making his ‘dream come’ but explains why he opted to move away from Milanello. The Nigerian defender will be running plying his trade in Ukraine next season after he completed his move to Dynamo Kiev after a disappointing spell with the Rossoneri. “I thank Milan, it is a great club but I am not the type of player to take a salary just to watch from the bench,” revealed the full-back. “To play at Milan was a dream come to, but I didn’t have the opportunity to out myself out there, it is because of this I have chosen to leave.” Taiwo joined Milan 12 months ago, where he featured four times before being shipped of on-loan to Queens Park Rangers for the final six months of the season.
• Nestle Milo Basketball game
Championship draws near, organizers of the event have warned officials of participating schools to desist from the usage of
ineligible players. Championship coordinator, Col. Sam Ahmedu, said agecheats would not be allowed during the championship and
warned that schools caught would be penalized. “We will descend heavily not only of the schools, but also on the officials, the school principal and all collaborators. “We’ve implored the schools to field only eligible players as the purpose of the championship is not to win at all cost but to help develop the game from the grassroots,” he said. Meanwhile, the grand finale of this year’s edition which is the 14 th in the series will dunk off on Tuesday, August 7 to end on Saturday, August 11 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Unveiling plans for this year’s event which is the 14th edition, Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria Plc., Mr. Martin Woolnough, said the championship is aimed at discovering and nurturing the sporting skills of future champions. The first place winners (male and female category) will receive a sum of N150, 000 each. The second place teams will get N120, 000 while the third place teams will be rewarded with N100, 000 each. A special basketball camp organised by the NBBF for the best 50 players of the championship will hold between August 12 and 14.
National Accord, Friday, August 3, 2012
digest shouting and shaking. ‘I called my dad and shouted down the phone that he needed to come home because there was a scorpion in the case. ‘He didn’t believe me at all but I insisted. ‘When him and my mum came home, we straightened out the coat hanger and nudged open the case and they saw it and jumped as well. ‘My dad threw the case into the garden an d fo r • Ben Waterfall spent six minutes giving Atlas mouth to mouth after the animal fell into his water bowl s o m e reason my mum decided the best thing to do was call L o n do n Zoo. ‘ Th e y said they couldn’t do any thing, so eventually we family were shocked realised it was a scorpion. c a l l e d t h e R S PC A and they ‘We both screamed and slammed when they returned the case shut and threw it into the ca me an d p ic ked it up. Th ey home from a holiday to bathroom, there was a lot of told us eventually it was called Spain and found a deadly scorpion hiding in their suitcase. Hollie Jayes, 18, found the Deathstalker scorpion - the second most poisonous species in the A quick-thinking doctor saved the Dr. Waterfall had been tending his world - crawling inside her life of his pet tortoise after it nearly garden when he had walked past mother’s luggage at their home in drowned - by giving it mouth-to- Atlas’s run and noticed that his pet Skegness, Lincolnshire. mouth resuscitation. was in serious trouble. Theresa Jayes, 43, had emptied The eight-year-old reptile, Atlas, He said: ‘I saw his back feet sticking the suitcase of her clothes and left appeared to have drowned in his up out of the water. I pulled him out it in her bedroom without water bowl at Ben Waterfall’s home in but he was not breathing and was noticing the 10cm-long (four- Swimbridge, Devon. completely floppy. The horrified family doctor saw the ‘I did six minutes of mouth-toinch) creepy crawly inside. tortoise half submerged in the bowl mouth before he slowly started It was only when her travel and picked him up to find he was not breathing and blinking.’ agent daughter went to borrow breathing. The doctor, who works at a GP’s her mother’s suitcase for a trip to But the determined 34-year-old surgery in Barnstaple, North Devon, see a friend on Saturday that the acted fast, and spent six minutes admitted: ‘I was quite emotional at creature was discovered. giving his pet mouth to mouth until the time. The yellow scorpion - which is the tortoise started breathing again. ‘I first started doing it and I had my more commonly found in Egypt - had crept inside the luggage while Mrs Jayes was on holiday in the tiny village of Santa Peta in Andalucia with her 12-year-old son David last month. Her daughter said: ‘I was getting ready to go out with a friend and I needed to pack some stuff to stay at hers. ‘I walked over and opened the case and just saw this thing on the top of everything in there. ‘I thought it was a spider so I screamed and slammed the case shut. ‘After I calmed down, me and my friend picked up a coat hanger and opened the case and we • The poisonous deathstalker scorpion found in a suitcase after a family holiday to
There’s a scorpion in my suitcase! Family found 4-inch Deathstalker in their luggage
a Deathstalker. ‘I was terrified when I opened the case, I’ve never seen a scorpion before. ‘The RSPCA gave us the case back and told us to make sure it hadn’t laid any eggs in it.’ Mrs. Jayes, who sells window b l i n ds , a dd e d: ‘M y h us b a n d w a s a t t h e f is h c o un t e r i n M o r r is o n s buying some mussels and he got a phone call from two girls screaming about a scorpion. ‘He said to me “we can’t go home, there’s a scorpion in the house” and laughed because we thought it must be an earwig or something. ‘When we got home we found m y s o n Da v id s t o o d o n t h e l a n din g w it h a n e m p t y w in e bottle ready to bop it on the head if needs be. ‘Wh en we saw it we were q ui t e n a i v e b e c a us e w e t h o u gh t i t m u s t b e s o m e common thing, not dangerous, but it turns out it’s the second most deadly in the world and there’s no anti-venom in this country. ‘It’s quite scary to think back I put my hand in that case 20 or 30 times while unpacking, I must have been so close to it.’
Doctor saves his pet tortoise by giving it mouth to mouth after it nearly drowns
a Spanish village
mouth over his whole head, mouth, nose and nostrils. Then I changed it to sort of breathing into his nostrils. ‘He has a run outdoors which had some water in a concrete container about ten inches long - the same width as his shell. He had just fallen in. He was essentially dead.’ Dr Waterfall’s wife Subhani had been putting the couple’s two-year-old son Harry to bed when her husband saved the life of their pet. The doctor told his son that Atlas had ‘been swimming’ because the boy was too young to understand what was really going on. The family, who also have a cat, have had Atlas for a year and Dr Waterfall said that to lose him would have been devastating. He said: ‘When my wife came downstairs she said that Atlas is supposed to outlive us. He is not supposed to die young at eight years old.’ Tortoises generally have lifespans comparable with those of human beings, and some have lived for more than 150 years. The pet owner took Atlas to the vet to be checked out and he was given antibiotics in case he had any water in his lungs. ‘The guys at work think it is hilarious,’ added the doctor. ‘There is a mixture of laughter and them kind of saying well done for giving it a go.’
THE BACK PAGE
Friday, August 3, 2012, NATIONAL ACCORD
So where are the seeds?
ne of the biggest problems affecting most of the poor nations of the world, with Nigeria being a prominent member of the block occupying the lower rungs of international development, is the adoption of wrong policy choices. It was a spectacular sight to behold, as the image appeared on the screen, of a village farmer making an enquiry on the promised free seeds and subsidized fertilizer. By the way, he was attired with an old and archaic hoe by the right shoulder, while a water jug stayed by the left hand, you could easily have mistaken him for a 15th century commoner peer, had Nigeria being a study in class relations of the past era. Actually, the obviously and psychologically tormented farmer who is subject of this essay, was answering a question with a question in one of the local television stations, on whether he had been able to secure the necessary farming production supports, that had been promised by the federal government, as part of its new public/ private partnership in the agricultural sector called Nigerian Incentive based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). The reason for the genuine worry was that it is almost at the end of July, which for a vocation that is almost dependant on a seasonal rainfall, unavailability of the promised agricultural inputs portends a grave danger in loss of time, required for a farmer to plant his or her crops and them getting the proper nourishment of the natural moisture through the perennial torrents of rain droppings. One of the biggest problems affecting most of the poor nations of the world, with Nigeria being a prominent member of the block occupying the lower rungs of international development, is the adoption of wrong policy choices. Which are either proposed by international financial institutions, that do not have clear understanding of the local idiosyncrasies of the countries of application or rather the enabling of organizations and individuals that are having little proximate relationship with a particular sector of the economy, to formulate policies for such a subsector that they neither have much knowledge of, nor having tangible understanding of its operating environment. A classic example is the case of the new and current agricultural policy in Nigeria, a singular initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which clearly exhibits a definite contempt of the mother ministry, going by the fact that from its unveiling by governor of the apex bank himself, to its general funding and operative administration, to its promotional sponsoring in local television stations, the image is that of a baby of the national bank. The new concept is premised on an Ewallet initiative, which enables a local farmer to receive alerts on a mobile phone, about the availability of the best variety of seeds and subsidized fertilizer, with the announcement of its presence in a nearby private agricultural store.
Guest Columnist By NASIRU SUWAID Upon reaching the commercial enterprise all that is required of the farmer is the proof of participation in the program, after which he or she signs a voucher of the full sum, while remitting only fifty percent of the cost of the fertilizer. Then the farmer is also expected to get free portion of the highly improved seeds on offer. In an ideal situation and taken from the realm of mere bureaucratic projection, it could easily be dreamed as a roaring success. However, it is when placed on the pedestal of cold hard re ali ty of im plem ent atio n, cou pled wi th i ts insertion into the cataclysmic mix of an uns tabl e o pera tin g Ni geri an en vir onme nt, a grea t a nd
revolutionary a gricultura l i d e a crysta ll izes in to an unworkable government p o l i c y ini tiati ve. Th e fi rst challenge bei ng t he fundam ent al
ne cess ity of capt uri ng t he participating farmers in the program, however as at the present period, only ten percent or less of the hundred and forty million people, with a verified projection of over sixty percent of the cit izen ry b eing acti vely eng aged in th e ag ricu ltu ral sub- sec tor, it is ne ithe r f eas ible no r ra tio nal for a program to disenfranchise so many of its eligible participants, yet expect to achieve any expectation of success in se ttin g an ag end a f or t he mo dern iza tion of the Ni geri an agricultural system. Indeed like any initiative in Africa an d pa rti cula rly in the Ni geri an na tion , i t i s on th e c rux of im plem ent ati on t hat th e co unt ry
al ways sp ecta cul arly fa lter s, es peci all y w hen the fo rmul ato rs exhibit such lack of judgment, as to deny the farmer seeds at the eve of the month of August, simply because the necessary paper work for the take-up of the program has not been finished. De spi te t he man y c hall eng es afflicting most of the critical aspects of the new policy, the fact that the aim of its un veil ing , wh ich is to proactively tackle corruption in the agricultural sector of the economy, could still be defeated because of the gu llib le sys temi c b eli ef i n t he sacredness of the payment voucher, di sper sed in hun dre ds of r emo te vi llag e i n th e cu sto dy o f p riva te en trep ren eurs tha t a re a nsw erab le only to the gods of profit margin. Th e t empt ati on is easi ly to fraudulently sign-off the vouchers as sold to a hapless farmer, thus collecting the remittance from the government, wh ile at t he time ho ardi ng t he products for onward transmission to city markets and probable selling at exorbitant commercial rates. In deed su ch a sc ena rio has a precedent in the recent times, as both the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Co mmit tee on Fue l S ubsi dy Prob e, ch aire d by th e co ntro ver sial Far uk Lawan and the Presidential Technical Co mmit tee on Fue l S ubsi dy Management, under the leadership of Ai gboj e A ig- Imou khu ede , ha ve co nclu ded in to t hei r r epor t t he cr imi nal and co nsp irat ori al complicity of the officials of Petroleum Pr icin g Mana geme nt Com mitt ee (PPMC), in effecting and perpetuating fr aud in t he admi nist rat ion of t he funds meant for the sustenance of the su bsid y r egim e i n t he d own stre am sector of the petroleum industry. Thus fo r t he p ers onn el of t he co ntem ptu ousl y i gnor ed pare nt mi nist ry of agri cul tur e, t he opportunity of fleecing a fund imbued with many hardly to monitor holes is too tempting to pass-by, while for the economic managers of the present administration, who have trumpeted times without number, about their gross aversion to subsidy support mechanisms in governance, being only tools for corruption. The Nigerian Incentive based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending and the E-wallet initiative is a similar type avenue where civil servants collaborate with the private sector to defraud the government, albeit at the expense of the poor Nigerian farmer.
Minister of Agric. Dr. Adesina Akinwumi
Then the farmer is also expected to get free portion of the highly improved seeds on offer. In an ideal situation and taken from the realm of mere bureaucratic projection, it could easily be dreamed as a roaring success
QUOTE As long as I’m in great shape, nobody beats me, for sure. – Usain Bolt
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NATIONAL ACCORD NEWSPAPER AUGUST 3RD 2012 EDITION