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The Nigerian

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol . 38 NO. 345• FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013 • N100.00 ART ALIVE Page 18

Local content


Edo Entertainment Stakeholders Call For Legal Framework


Use of idiophones in culture

ASUU Strike: NSCDC embarks

ABUJA - The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) yesterday began seven days fasting and prayer for an end to the lingering Academic Staff of Union

on prayers, fasting

of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) strike. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja

and signed by the Public Relations Officer of the corps, Mr Emmanuel Okeh.

The statement said that Dr Ade Abolurin, the Commandant General Continues on page 2

UBTH to acquire N100m Cancer machine

BENIN CITY - Prof. Michael Ibadin, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), has said that plans are underway to acquire a machine that cures cervical cancer. Oncologist in UBTH, said Ibadin made the cancer of the cervix is disclosure during the caused by a Human maiden edition of UBTH Papilloma Virus (HPV). public lecture series in Gharoro said that Benin entitled: “The globally, about 530,000 Burden of Cancer of the new cases of cervical Cervix”. cancers were identified The CMD said that the each year with 275,000 N100-million cancer deaths per year. therapy machine would “Approximately, 85 per provide 100 per cent cure cent of the deaths occur for cancer of the cervix. in low and middle income He said the machine countries with Nigeria would be acquired in the accounting for more than next few months. 10 per cent. He added that “the “From January 1993 to outlook of cancer cases is December 1998, cervical not as hopeless as before. cancer made up 74. 6 per There are now possible cent of all malignant cure for certain cancers.’’ gynaecological cancer Prof. Etedafe Gharoro, admissions in UBTH,” a Consultant Gynaecology

Gharoro said. He listed risk factors of the disease to include multiple sexual partners, having sex with a male partner who is not circumcised and young age at first intercourse. Other risk factors are non-penetrative sexual contact, poor nutrient status, smoking, having many children and

advanced age. The consultant noted that there were no early symptoms for the disease, stressing that by the time signs were noticed, the disease had already been established.

He said women experiencing irregular vaginal bleeding, postmenopausal bleeding and lower abdominal pains should seek medical care as they could be signs of cervical cancer.

Gharoro said that cervical cancer screening and use of HPV vaccine were necessary to reduce the spread of the disease. He called for effective advocacy and establishment of a functioning national cancer registry and surgical treatment to ensure prevention of the disease.

Electricity workers appeal to new investors LAGOS - Electricity workers have appealed to the new investors in the power sector to prevail on the Federal Government to resolve pending labour issues before handing the companies over. Mr Mansur Musa, President, National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. Musa told newsmen that the pending labour issues could lead to disruption of

operations in the sector. “The representatives of the government were to meet with the workers on Oct. 30, but the meeting was later shelved. “This issues ought to have been raised at the meeting and solutions to them outlined, but the meeting did not hold. “Before the government hands over, the issue of non-payment of retirees who were disengaged in 2011 and regularisation of some casuals already identified should be settled. “The 10 per cent equity

TIT BIT “If you are expecting people to always say what you want to hear, it is safer to fix your ear piece and listen to the sound of your choice; all your life” - Kingsley Ogbeide-Ihama

shareholding by the workers and the shortfall of terminal benefits from June 2012 till date should be addressed. “There is also the issue of pension fund administrators that should be settled. “These issues will continue to recur if unsettled,” Musa said. Continues on page 2

VISIT: Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State (right) receiving Hon. Sunday Abegunde, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Disaster Management during a visit to the Governor in his office, yesterday. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE.

Reps C’ttee tasks residents of flood prone areas By ADAMS OYIBOKE

ABUJA - The House of Representative Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management has appealed to people living in the Ojirami Dam area in Akoko Edo Local Government Area, Edo State to adhere to government’s measures at forestalling disaster. The Committee Chairman, Hon. Sunday

Abegunde made the appeal when members of the committee as part of oversight function to Ojirami Dam paid a

courtesy visit to the Governor in Benin City, yesterday. He said, “the government is working

tirelessly through the National Emergency Management Agency to build a culture of resilience at all levels by

formulating policies and programmes on the effects of flood in the country. Continues on page 2

State govts raised N589bn from LAGOS - Some boursedevelopment in 14yrs state governments - SEC have raised N589 in the last Commission (SEC) has billion from the nation’s bourse (Stock

Exchange) through bonds to finance infrastructure

14 years, the Securities and Exchange

said. Continues on page 2





Commissioner urges mothers to ommissioner for Health, embrace immunisation Dr. (Mrs.) Aihanuwa BENIN CITY – Edo State


Eregie has appealed to all mothers and care-givers to embrace the immunization programme of the state by taking their children to the nearest health centre and designated vaccination post for immunization. The Commissioner who made the appeal in Benin

City yesterday while briefing the Press on the 2013 Integrated Measles Campaign also called on parents to join the state government to reduce illness and death caused by vaccine preventable diseases on children of Edo State, Nigeria and the World at large.

According to Dr. Eregie, Integrated Measles Campaign is a strategy put in place to reduce sickness from measles infection amongst children, pointing out that measles ranks as one of the top ten causes of childhood mortality in the world.

NSCDC embarks on prayers, Continued from page 1 “portend danger to the fasting which future leaders’’.

of the corps, directed the officers and personnel of the corps nationwide, to embark on the exercise. It said the corps embarked on the exercise to seek God’s intervention following the deadlock in the talks between the Federal Government and the striking university teachers aimed at resolving the issue. “Worried by the ongoing strike embarked upon by the ASUU, which has resulted in the shutdown of universities since July this year, NSCDC Commandant General has organised a special prayer for the nation. “ The CG has declared seven days fasting and prayers nationwide to seek an ultimate solution to the problem,’’ it said. The statement said the move was borne out of the desire by Nigerians to see an end to the strike. It quoted Abolurin, as noting that the inability of stakeholders to come to an agreement in resolving the four months old strike was an indication that divine intervention was the only solution to the problem. “While lauding the effort of the government and its unwavering commitment to end the impasse, Abolurin said the nation should not underestimate the power of prayers at critical moments. “We should not be ignorant of the devices of the devil whose mission is to steal, kill and destroy; but through prayer and fasting, the glory of this nation shall be sustained and the much needed success achieved,’’ the statement said. It said that stakeholders, including parents, guardians, government officials, the striking teachers, students,

religious leaders and opinion leaders should pray for an end to the problem. The statement said that the continuous stay of students at home had made them vulnerable to negative vices

It also appealed to the National Union of Teacher (NUT) to rescind its decision to embark on a sympathy strike, saying that this would further plunge the education sector into an unnecessary and avoidable catastrophe.

Electricity workers appeal to new investors Continued from page 1 It will be recalled that Federal Government has slated November 1 as official handing over date of the PHCN companies to the new investors. The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises

(BPE), Mr Benjamin Dikki, said that the government had settled a larger percentage of the workers’ severance entitlements. Dikki said the government had earmarked 2.6 billion dollars (about N360 billion) for the settlement of workers’ entitlements.

State govts raised N589bn from bourse in 14yrs

Continued from page 1

Ms Mary Uduk, Director, Securities & Investment Services Department in SEC, said this at the 17th Annual Stockbrokers’ Conference on Thursday in Lagos. Uduk, who declined to mention all the states involved, said the funds were raised from 1999 to 2013. She said that Lagos State emerged the most active in fund raising as it had accessed the bond market four times since 1999. Uduk said that Lagos State Government was in the process of getting approval for the fifth bond which would hit the market in few weeks. “States internal generated revenue cannot be enough to finance long-term infrastructural projects,” she said. Uduk said infrastructure

deficit of the country could only be solved through the bond market. She said that the capital market offered long-term vehicle which could be accessed through equities, bonds or mortgage bond securities. According to her, government cannot finance the infrastructure deficit through revenue allocation estimated at 350 billion dollars by the African Development Bank from 2011 to 2020. She said that the commission would ensure regular review of its investment guidelines and disclosure requirements for easy access to bonds in the country. Uduk spoke on: “Regulatory requirements in

and Management are here because of the motion tabled by Hon Akpattasson with regard to the incident that happened at Ojirami Dam. Disaster is both natural and man made and it cannot be overemphasised. “Nigeria in 2012 recorded some disaster that devastated some parts of the state and other parts of the country which led to colossal loss of lives and property. Disaster does not know the poor and the mighty as all of them are affected. This committee’s visit to the state is partly to commiserate with the governor and the victims affected by the Ojirami flood disaster”, he added. The Chairman said the

Committee will assess the extent of the damage done by the flood and seek redress for the victims, adding that the committee would make recommendations after the visit. Responding, Governor Oshiomhole who thanked them for responding rapidly to the Ojirami flood disaster said the people of Akoko Edo will be excited by the visit. He said, “When we see occasions like this, it reminds us that our democracy is working; that parliament is listening and it responds to the cry of the very ordinary people, regardless of their location, whether in the urban or rural areas.

Reps C’ttee tasks residents of flood prone areas

Continued from page 1

“It would be beneficial if the people of the state adhere strictly to the policies and programmes towards minimising the effect of disaster on the people. “The establishment of functional local and state emergency management agency is paramount at this material time to augment the efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency to minimize disasters. “I want to assure you that the committee will do all that is humanly possible to ensure adequate redress for the victims of Ojirami Dam. “We, the Committee on Disaster

She further stated that the campaign programme would last from tomorrow to Wednesday next week with all health centres/ facilities including other designated post to be used, as there would be no house to house movement. The Health Commissioner advised that all children aged 9 – 59 months must take measles vaccine which is safe and free during this exercise, irrespective of previous immunization status as it would boost their immunity. She noted that Edo State has achieved 75 percent coverage for routine immunization in the month of September. Meanwhile, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole would on Tuesday November 5, 2013 at Central Hospital, Benin City inaugurate this year’s Integrated Measles Campaign.

infrastructural development through the capital market”. Also speaking, Mr Victor Ogiemwonyi, the Managing Director, Partnership Investment Company Plc, said that the development of any economy would depend on the level of its infrastructure. Ogiemwonyi said that the cost of production would be low with good infrastructure. Mr Tola Mobolurin, Chairman, Capital Bancorp Plc, called for enhanced collaboration between the Federal Government and private sector to bring in more private investors. Mobolurin said that government needed to reduce its recurrent expenditure to enhance the development of infrastructure. Dr Sam Amadi, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), said the government targetted 7,000 mega watts of electricity by December. Amadi said that the target would depend on availability of gas supply in the country. He said that the commission would collaborate with stakeholders in the nation’s capital market to ensure proper financing of the power sector reforms. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference, tagged: “Power, Housing & Energy Challenges: The Capital Market Solution”, was organised by the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS).

Nat’l Confab Fallout: ANEEJ calls for sack, arrest of BENIN CITY - Africa Nyiam Network for Environment and Economic, ANEEJ has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack and order the prosecution of retired Colonel Tony Nyiam, the member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue who shouted down the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole while the governor was making his own opinion on Monday in Benin City. In a press release signed by the Executive Director of ANEEJ, Reverend David Ugolor, ANEEJ said it was sad that such character was exhibited by a retired military officer who knows the sensitivity of the office of a Governor that unguided act or comment by any individual or group towards the office could cause a possible break down of law or anarchy in any given society. “If historical antecedents of Col. Nyiam is anything to go by, we recall his active participation in a coup d’état led by Gideon Gwarzo Okar which sought to topple the Ibrahim Babangida dictatorship in 1990 was later pardoned by the Abdulsalami Abubakar regime. It is, therefore, not surprising that such a character could jump up from his seat as an organisng committee member of the consultation to shout down a serving state governor who was only expressing his personal opinion. “We condemn Col. Tony Nyiam’s actions and we call on him to tender a public apology to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Nigerians of the South-South extraction for bungling the discussions in Benin City”, said ANEEJ. ANEEJ said after a critical examination of the incident on Monday, they observed that it

was an act of God Almighty that the attitude of the retired colonel did not lead to free for all fights in the state. “Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd.) and his co-travellers’ action has exposed much of the fears of many Nigerians towards the proposed national dialogue. “The choice of personalities like Nyiam as member of the presidential Advisory committee truly speaks volumes of what is to come out of the proposed national dialogue. “His presence in the committee is ironical; this is because Nyiam’s antecedents betrays a national dialogue. “In a democracy, there is freedom of speech and no individual or group can volunteer to violate the rights of other citizens from expressing themselves in the preparation of a national dialogue that, in itself, seeks to bring people together to express themselves. “The action of Col. Nyiam against the Edo State Comrade Governor speaks volumes of the motives for the national dialogue. We now wonder what the planned conference seeks to achieve if people are expected to say only what the committee wants to hear. We are left with the impression that the planned national dialogue would not be different from others previously organised national jamborees where public funds are brazenly wasted on unprofitable ventures. “We therefore call on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd) from the committee and prosecute him for violating the right of a citizen, a serving state governor for that matter, for expressing himself in an honest and frank manner.”

Gloryland Group of School wins LAPO Quiz Contest By INNOCENT OMOAKA/ ISEMHENBITA FAITH

BENIN CITY- Gloryland Group of School in Edo North Senatorial Zone has emerged the 2013 winner of Edo State Live Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) annual quiz competition held yesterday in Benin City. The keenly contested quiz organized by LAPO in conjunction with the Edo State Ministry of Education had three Secondary Schools each from the three senatorial zones of the state. Spring Field High School, Benin City emerged as the first runner up with Gaius Obaseki Secondary School in Edo Central Senatorial Zone emerging as the second runner up. The competition featured questions drawn from Physics, Chemistry, English language and Biology Science. According to Associate Director of LAPO, Moses Ehigiamusoe, “the annual quiz event is part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibilities in contributing towards the development of science education in Edo State and Nigeria. He added that the quiz is also aimed at enhancing the understanding of science and current affairs education in

Nigeria, through encouraging the students to study and exchange ideas and learning experiences. Ehigiamusoe also charged the students not to relent but show strong determination in their resolve at all time to be hardworking in their studies. In his remarks, the Edo State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Washington Osifo represented by the State Science Cordinator in the Ministry, Mr. Ehon Godfery lauded LAPO for its initiative in supporting the promotion of science education in the State. Mr. Ehon who was also the quiz competition master said, “the quiz was in line with the drive of the State Government to enhance the growth of qualitative science education in the State. He however called on other corporate, non-governmental and multi-national organisations to join in the campaign for the promotion of qualitative science education, stressing that education for all is the responsibility of all. Prizes awarded to the winners of the quiz competition included, text book materials, science laboratory equipments, white boards, computers among others.





Ex-military Gov Bags Integrity Award By RICHARD EWEKA

BENIN CITY – A former Military Governor of Taraba and Oyo States, Prince Edore Oyakhire has bagged an integrity Award, courtesy of Afemai Youth Coalition. The award which was conferred on him during the Afemai Youth Summit at Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State was in recognition of his contributions to the development of the society and Nigeria at large. Presenting the award on behalf of the coalition, a former chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Edo State branch Dr. Philip Ugbodaga described Oyakhire as a man with unassailable integrity with good track record of patriotic public service. Dr. Ugbodaga eulogized him for his decency, strength of character, value, tolerance, social justice, diligence, selflessness and high sense of patriotism. “We graciously salute you as a great patriot. We strongly salute you as a gentleman of impeccable integrity, nobility, gargantuan intellect, sound professional talents and high

‘ethical standards. “We acknowledge you for being immensely peaceful and articulately well endowed with impressive social credentials. “We honour you today for

being generally loved by many people as a great moralist. We collectively and strongly opine that your organic effigy is unquestionably fit to adorn the nation’s Hall of Fame as a living legend of our time,” he concluded.

Trado-Medical Practitioner Urges Professionals To Acquire Knowledge By JOEL CHUKWUAGHONIM

IDUMUJE UNOR – A traditional Medicine Practitioner in Idumuje – Unor, in Delta State Chief Okolie Osu has called on fellow practitioners to see beyond their profession and acquire knowledge that would boost their services to the people. Chief Osu made the call in Idumuje-Unor in a chat with The Nigerian OBSERVER. According to him, acquisition of knowledge would help update their skills which are needed to face current and emerging challenges in the profession Appreciating the efficacy of traditional medicine, he urged relevant authorities to accord the practice relevant

recognition in the scheme of things through the establishment of tradomedical school and centre of learning. Chief Osu used the occasion to call the attention of Delta state government to the poor state of roads in Idumuje-Unor and therefore called for urgent attention.

Democracy: APC Seeks Members By BETTY IDIALU WARRI – The All Progressive Congress (APC), Uvwie Chapter in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State has called on the party members not to give up the fight in ensuring that true democracy is entrenched in Delta State as well as the nation at large.

Chairman, Owan East Local Government Council, Hon. (Barr.) Jimoh Ijegbai (left) and the Vice Chairman, Hon. Andy Osigwe in one of the classrooms executed at Oruo after its commissioning.


BENIN CITY – The Chairman, Oghaneki C o m m u n i t y Development Association (CDA), Mr. Osas Omorogbe has been murdered in Evbuodia, Upper Airport Road, Benin City. Impeccable sources

disclosed that four heavily armed men stormed his private residence last Tuesday evening and opened fire on him. The CDA boss said to be serving his second term was taking his dinner with his family in his living room when the gunmen entered and shot him on his fore-

Mr. Lawrence Aghedo, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Edo State (right) presenting the brief of his Ministry to Mr. James Omoataman, Deputy Clerk, Legislative Matters, Edo State House of Assembly during the Commissioner’s appearance for the ongoing Ministerial briefing.

head. He was said to have died instantly. The Public Relations Officer, Edo State Police Command, DSP Moses Eguavoen confirmed the tragedy to newsmen in Benin City. He said though, no arrest has been made, the Police are on the trail of the perpetrators.


This charge was handed down by an APC stalwart in the area, Dr. (Mrs.) Veronica Ogbuagu at the party’s meeting held in Ekpan-Effurun, Delta State. “I welcome you all to today’s meeting. A meeting summoned to thank you all for your hard work and courage which you displayed during the Delta Central by-election which took place on Saturday, October 12, 2013. “The election was a show of federal might. Uniformed men were threatened to help deliver the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or be transferred; Civil servants were threatened as well. “Aspirants and their Councillors preparing for the Local Government elections were told to take the by-election serious because it would serve as their primaries. “The aspirants and councilors snatched several ballot boxes and thumb printed as if they were working in a printing press. It became a do or die affair for the PDP Chairmanship candidates in Uvwie Local Government Area. “We were able to monitor the elections as a result of several distress calls and text messages we received from party members”. she said. Dr. Ogbuagu saluted the courage of APC members, adding that despite the intimidation and attempt by the PDP to buy them over by offering them money during the by-election, they did not give in. The APC stalwart re-iterated Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s statement, saying: “I congratulate you all, you are heroes; for APC, that is just a new party to have come second without any structure on ground, being a new party shows your courage and doggedness.” Ogbuagu, a former education commissioner in Delta State during her tenure in James Iboriled government, harped on the need for fervent prayers if the ‘monster’ of election rigging as orchestrated by the PDP must be dealt with. According to her, “we must pray that God Almighty will package APC very well; pray for Nigeria continually, don’t lose

hope, no matter how short the prayer; if it is only ‘God Bless Nigeria; if you pray and I pray, I tell you, God will do something, because He sees your heart and He knows that you are fighting a just cause, and will not leave us alone. “Don’t also forget to thank him in anticipation for the answers to your prayers. “If we don’t do something, life can never be better for our children. Let us do something for the sake of our children”. Dr Ogbuagu who opined that “it is very disturbing to hear people suggesting that one good way to conduct future elections with PDP is to adopt a very serious and more violent methods such as the use of guns, and dynamite for ballot box

snatchers. “We have insisted on using only non-violent tactics; this does not mean we would fold our hands and close our eyes in 2015; PDP, enough is enough!” She called on President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian Army,the Police,SSS,to please direct their strength and election rigging expertise to curtailing the excesses of Boko Haran and terrorists activities in Nigeria. Also speaking, a party member, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe from Ughelli South thanked all APC faithful and urged them not to relent as APC stands for change,and the PDP is already afraid of its shadow. While urging the party members to be steadfast as 2015 was around the corner, he said; “what we have seen is one leg of the fight, the next leg of the fight is 2015, let us not give up, as we go ahead, victory will be for APC”.

BENIN CITY – The year 2013 Integrated Measles Campaign is scheduled to hold across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State beginning from Saturday November 2 to Wednesday November 6, 2013. The campaign shall take place in all Health Centres/ Designated posts across the state between 8am and 4pm daily. The designated posts shall include markets churches, mosques, schools and motor parks. A statement in Benin City indicated that the campaign shall feature the administration of oral polio vaccines on children of ages 0-59 months and measles vaccine on children of ages 9-59 months. The statement also indicated that banners would be displayed at the Health Centres and the designated posts as them would be no ‘House to House’ movement. The statement therefore advised mothers and caregivers to avail themselves of this opportunity and take their children and wards to the nearest immunisation centre, irrespective of previous immunisation status. Integrated measles campaign

is a strategy put in place to reduce sicknesses emanating from measles diseases and interrupt wild polio virus transmission amongst children. Measles ranks among the 10 leading causes of childhood mortality in the world . It is a highly infectious viral disease for which humans are the only reservoir, it is also a highly contagious respiratory system disease caused by a viral agent and with no specific treatment. The main signs and symptoms are fever, rash, cough, running nose, eye infection (conjunctivitis) sore throat, light sensitivity and appearance of tiny spots with blue – white centre of the inner lining of the check. The spot starts behind the back of the ears and in few hours begins to spread on the head and neck before it will later spread all over the body and causes considerable itching. It is easily spread through coughing and sneezing. Risks factors that makes one vulnerable to infection include, children with poor immune system, children living in places where measles is common people not vaccinated for measles, children with Vitamin A deficiency and malnutrition in growing children.

Integrated Measles Campaign Begins Tomorrow




Across The Nation Sokoto Govt Uncovers 1,000 Ghost Workers SOKOTO - The Secretary of Sokoto State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Ibrahim Dingyadi, said the state government has discovered

about 4,000 ghost primary school teachers on its payroll. “The ghost teachers were uncovered after four-month verification of all the

teachers in the 1,965 primary schools across the state,’’ Dingyadi told newsmen in Sokoto. The secretary said the exercise was conducted

jointly with the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the state House of Assembly’s Committee on Education. Dingyadi also said the

exercise was successfully conducted between July and October 2013. He said the salaries of teachers in the state during the period were paid through table payments. “The exercise became imperative as a result of the implementation of the new national minimum wage of N18,000 for the teachers. “As at now, we are on the

verge of completing the computation of the amount of money saved as a result of the discovery of the ghost teachers,” Dingyadi said. The SUBEB secretary restated the state government’s commitment to do everything humanly possible to fully revamp the primary and junior secondary education subsector in the state.

KADUNA- The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it had uncovered five cannabis farms in Kaduna State. The Commandant of the Agency, Malam Mohammed Jibrin, told newsmen in Kaduna that the farms were located in Zange village, Gwantu of Sanga LGA; Gidan Bello, Kagarko LGA; Fori village, Kagoma in Jema’a LGA; and Gadan Malam and Amaru, both in Zaria. “ We discovered these cannabis farms through information from members of the communities. “If you find anybody cultivating certain crops near you for which you cannot identify or you can identify it as illicit plants please feel free to inform us. “And it is through that way that we have got information on five different cannabis

today. ‘’ Jibrin stressed the need for the public to furnish the Agency with information that could enable it to combat the increasing rate of growing the weed in the state. He urged the public to divulge information which would reduce drug abuse and trafficking as well as reduce the crime rates usually motivated by the usage. “Even in states where Indian Hemps are cultivated in large scale they started through experimentation like this. “So Kaduna citizens should not say after all these farms are in small scale, they can remain like that; they were not there before, now they are there. “Because the moment these drugs are being cultivated in a community, it becomes cheaper and accessible to everybody and it will destroy more children. ‘’ The Commandant assured the public of confidentiality and safety to any persons that provided it with information that could enable the agency curb drug abuse and trafficking. “ We crave the cooperation of the members of the public, since we are not in every home, every community, we rely on the information from the public. “ We assure them that whoever gives us this information will be treated with outmost confidentiality and it will not be exposed to the dealers and we will move in immediately to get the farms destroyed.’’ According to him, the agency had arrested 300 suspects with over two tons of cannabis sativa, 235 grammes of cocaine and 182 kg of other narcotic substances between January and October.

Agency Discovers 5 Indian Hemp Farms we have located in In Kaduna farms different parts of the state

From left: Former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, president, Wawa Peoples Congress, Chief Emeka Ani and Secretary General, Chief Yahaya Ndu, during a presentation of the National Dialogue Advisory Committee in Enugu recently.

FG Allocates 3,000 Slots To Adamawa Yunusa said that so far, graduates, out of the In SURE-P Scheme 1,000 3,000 that would participate more than 200 government YOLA- Alhaji Salihu Yunusa, the Coordinator of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) in Adamawa State, said that the Federal Government had allocated 3,000 slots to the state in the Graduates Internship Scheme of SURE-P. Yunusa said this in Yola, while speaking at a one-day sensitisation session organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance. He said that the session was organised for the invited and registered companies and organisations that were based in Adamawa to educate them on how to participate in the scheme. “The Federal Government has allocated 3,000 slots to unemployed graduates in the state under the SURE-P scheme,’’ he said. Yunusa said that the aim of the sensitisation forum was to impart knowledge on the registered firms and

organisations which would handle the project in the state. He, however, said that

in the scheme, would benefit from the programme in the 2013/2014 period.

and private organisations had expressed their interest to participate in the programme

From left: Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Plateau State Command, Mr Vincent Bature; Chairman, Association of Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria, Plateau State Chapter, Mr Edinen Usoroh and SecretaryGeneral of the association, Mr Toyin Adeshina, at the Private Guard Companies Stakeholders’ meeting recently.




South South MDG Target On Water, Sanitation

C/River Requires N7bn

L-R: Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Fredrick Akinrujntan, Olu of Famia Ife, Oba Abimbola Akinyele, Chairman of Island Club, Prince Ademola Dada, Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Osuolale Arewu of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Babatunde and Chief Sunny Odogwu, at the Foundation Stone laying ceremony of Island Club Storey Car Park in Lagos recently.

National Confab

Turnout Impressure - Chairman

BENIN CITY - The Chairman, National Conference Advisory Committee, Dr Femi Okunroumu, expressed happiness over the impressive turnout by Nigerians at the different venues of its sittings. Okunroumu, whose committee in Benin City for the South-South zone, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Benin City. “Nigerians have accepted the need to have this conference. We have been to four centres Minna, Akure, Jos and Calabar, and the turnout has been impressive and overwhelming. “In all the centres, Nigerians came from the rural areas, even from the remotest villages to make presentations to us and there are “no-go areas at all. “We are to listen to all Nigerians and I am happy that the turnout has been encouraging to the extent that we requested for bigger halls,’’ he said. The chairman noted that “we have been listening to different groups and views, but no single group who threatens to dismember Nigeria has come before us’’. He said that “Nigerians all over the world are entitled to submit their views, but they must not be in the committee to air their views. They have our e-mail address. “Let them submit their memo to us and their views will be acknowledged. This is the essence of the committee. “That is why we are going round to know what are the things agitating the minds of Nigerians. “We will include these views in our report and these will definitely set the agenda for government and tell government how they want to be governed,’’ he said

NAFDAC South East Zonal Co-Ordinator, Mr. Dauda Gimba (front row middle), with participants and Resources persons at a workshop on Monitoring of Fortified Foods Factories and Retail levels in Onitsha recently.

CALABAR- The Cross River State Government said it requires additional N7 billion for water supply and sanitation in rural communities to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target. Mr Patrick Emori, the General Manager of the state Rural Water Sanitation Agency, made this known in Calabar while presenting two Toyota Hilux vans to Yakurr and Boki Local Government Councils. Emori said the vans were meant to aid implementation of the Water Supply and Sanitation Support Programme jointly supported by the European Union (EU) and UNICEF. According to him, the vans will serve as operational vehicles for water and sanitation projects in the two councils. “This is to consolidate on the Water Supply Sanitation Sector Reform Programmes which will run from 20132017,‘’ Emori said. He said the state had in 2010, partnered UNICEF, EU and other donor agencies to implement water projects valued at N14.3 billion in rural areas over a five-year period to meet 75 per cent water coverage. Emori said that N7 billion had so far been released to meet the projection. The general manager said that the agency had intervened directly in water supply and sanitation projects in five local government areas. He said: “while 13 others

(local governments) are yet to be captured, there are beneficiaries of similar schemes introduced by the state government. “We have so far achieved between 70 per cent and 80 per cent water supply, sanitation and hygiene respectively. “This intervention covers provision of water solar panel, motorised hand-pump boreholes at many sites reticulated to different parts of the communities and schools. “Also, construction of VIP toilets, to enhance sanitation and hygiene in the communities and increased awareness on building toilets. “On the average, we have achieved 55 per cent coverage generally. ‘’About N7 billion would be required to complete the water supply and sanitation projects to meet the 2015 MDGs.’’ Emori also said that the state was also expanding on other schemes to meet the target. Responding, the Supervisor of Due Process and Budget for Yakur, Mr Dennis Bassey, said increased access to potable water supply and sanitation facilities had reduced the incidence of water-borne diseases. Bassey said that cases of diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, pneumonia, among others, were on the decline in the area.

councils in the state. He stated that the objective of the workshop was to enhance knowledge on the strategies for

revenue generation, utilization and accountability, budget and budgetary control and internal control mechanism in local government council.

harvest which is divinely recognized by the Christian community is a time of rejoicing and joyful giving to the lord. He said, “God always love and bless willing and cheerful givers”. Ven. Melekwe said that the theme of this year’s ceremony is a reflection of one’s faith in the lord, adding that in serving God diligently and faithfully, one is expected to reap

bountifully. He advised Christians and religious leaders to continue to serve God with their heart, adding that serving God is the most important thing in the life of any person. Those present at the ceremony included, Hon. Justice and Ezinne S.A Ehiwario, Sen. and Dame A.I. Okowa Hon. Chief and Mrs. I.S. Agidi and Sir and Lady F. Ogbanzu.

Commisssioner Tasks LG Functionaries On Knowledge Acquisition

Edo state commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Lucky James has called on local government functionaries in the state to gather all necessary skills and knowledge to enable them excel. Chief Lucky James made the call recently in Benin while declaring open a two day training workshop on strategies for revenue generation, utilization and accountability for political and non-political office holders in the state local government councils organized by the ministry in collaboration with a consultancy firm. The Commissioner who was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and

Monitoring Services, Mr. Musa Ikoghose charged the participants to learn both the skills and theories of financial management, which he said is a vital area in any administration. Chief James expressed confidence that the facilitators and resource persons would deliver to the participants the extant theories that would enable them propagate ideas to promote development in their various local government. Welcoming the participants to the training workshop, the chairman of consultancy firm, Chief Emmanuel Uaifo appreciated the state

government for its desire to positively enhance the knowledge of the political and non political staff of the local government

Church Holds Thanksgiving By JOEL CHUKWUAGHONIM

AGBOR – St Michael’s Church, Owa-Alero has held its 2013 annual harvest thanksgiving service and fund raising/ bazaar sales. The ceremony had as its theme: “Sow and receives abundantly”. Speaking at the ceremony, the chief host, Venerable P.E.O. Melekwe stated that




South West Man Bags 2Yrs Imprisonment For Electric Cable Theft ABEOKUTA- An Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Isabo, sentenced a 24-year-old man, Taofeek Bada, to two years imprisonment for stealing electric cables valued at N50,000. The convict, of 4, Alao Street, Olomore, Abeokuta, pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing. The police prosecutor, Insp. Augustine Ozimini,

told the court that the offence was committed on April 27 at about 1 p.m. at Gosen Estate, Asero in Abeokuta. He said that the convict was caught by a vigilante group in possession of some quantity of electric cables valued at N50,000 reasonably suspected to have been stolen. Ozimini said that the convict later admitted that

he stole the wire from one of the uncompleted buildings in the estate. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the Criminal Code of Ogun, 2006. The Magistrate, Mr Emanuel Adekunte, sentenced Bada to two years imprisonment in Ibara Prison with an option of N10,000 fine.

Graduates registering for internship scheme in Yola recently.

Ogun Assembly Tasks Council On Chairman Revenue

Players of Government Secondary School, Tudun Wada Football Team, during prize presentation after a demonstration match by Mifalot Educational and Social Project in Abuja recently.

ABEOKUTA - The Chairman, Ogun State House of Assembly’s Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Olakunle Oluomo has urged council chairmen to discover untapped revenue sources. Oluomo said this when he led members of the committee on an oversight function to the Yewa North

Local Government secretariat in Aiyetoro. “The council chairmen should boost their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the face of dwindling federal allocation,’’ he said. The legislator urged the chairmen to ensure that their workers were used for productive activities to increase the IGR of their respective councils. The Chairman of Yewa

Amosun Pledges To Complete Ongoing Projects

ABEOKUTA- Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state promised to complete all ongoing projects before the end of his tenure. He gave the assurance in Abeokuta at a Town Hall meeting on the 2014 budget of the state. He said his administration remained focus on the attainment of its targets and unwavering in its commitment to effecting positive changes in the lives of the people of the state. “I want to state that we have been able to demonstrate that our ‘Mission to Rebuild’ is not just another government propaganda, but an elaborate master plan to bring about socio-economic progress in our state. “We are passionate about our programmes and we shall remain undaunted in their implementation. “Let me assure you that this

administration will not leave any of the ongoing projects uncompleted,’’ he said. The governor said that in spite of the serious challenges occasioned by dwindling resource from the Federation Account, his administration remained committed to delivering on its promises. He said the financial re-

engineering embarked upon by his administration had not only increased Internally Generated Revenue, but also brought about prudence in administering of funds. “Let me say that in spite of the huge ongoing projects in various parts of the state, we remain the least indebted in all the states in the SouthWest region,’’ he said.

Amosun urged the people to collaborate with the government by promptly paying their taxes. In her remark, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mrs. Wande Muoyo, said the essence of the meeting was to enable the people and the government to define their priorities for the 2014 financial year.

Man 45, Docked Over Theft Of in like sum. IBADAN- A 45-year-old Vehicle oneThesurety case was adjourned to man, Taofeek Adekunle, was arraigned before an Ibadan Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting at Iyaganku for allegedly stealing a Peugeot 505 saloon car. Adekunle, according to the prosecutor, Insp Aliu Samad, was arraigned on a one- count charge of stealing. Samad told the court that Adekunle stole the car marked Al 610 NRK and valued at N185, 000. He said the vehicle was the

property of one Wasiu Sikiru of Ogunpa area, Ibadan, adding that the offence was committed in 2010. Samad said the offence contravened section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap.38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000. The accused person, however, pleaded not guilty to the offence. Chief Magistrate Olaide Amzat granted the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 and

She gave the assurance that contributions and suggestions made by the people would be considered in the preparation of the budget. Areas highlighted by participants at the meeting in the preparation of the 2014 budget included youth development, agriculture, employment and health. Students, market women, artisans, various associations, unions and officials of government participated in the meeting.

November 26 for hearing.

North Local Government, Mr Tajudeen Amoo, explained that the N20 million special fund from the state government was used well. He said it was used to construct a block of three classrooms at the Sawonjo area of the council. “Part of the money was also used to construct threebedroom flats and onebedroom apartments for both the Magistrate and the Registrar,’’ Amoo said. He said the local government generated N16.1 million between January and August 2013, out of the N72.3 million proposed for the year. The council chairman said the money generated came from taxes, rents and local licence fees. The Chairman, Imeko Afon Local Government, Mr Tajudeen Ayilara, said the council generated N6.6 million between January and August 2013, out of the N25.3 million proposed for the year.

3 Dragged To Court Over Motorcycles ADO-EKITI- The police The accused pleaded not guilty Theft arraigned three men, Adeleye to the charge while their counsel, Kazeem, Ige Adeniyi and Omoyemi Abanise, before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing two motorcycles. The prosecutor, Sgt. Ebenezer Ewuola, told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 24 at Dallimore Street, Ado-Ekiti.

He alleged that the accused stole two motorcycles valued at N240,000, property of one Adewumi Adeniyi and Adewumi James. Ewuola added that the offence contravened section 390(a) of the Criminal Code Cap C 16,Vol.1,Laws of Ekiti State of Nigeria, 2012.

Mr Yemi Adebayo, prayed the court to grant bail to his clients. Chief Magistrate Olanike Adegoke granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50,000 and one surety each in like sum. She adjourned the case to November 20 for further hearing.




Lagos Akiolu Installs Tinubu Ojo As New Iyaloja - General Of Lagos LAGOS - The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu formally installed Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo as the new IyalojaGeneral of Lagos State. Oba Akiolu advised the new Iyaloja to be diligent and committed to the service of humanity. He said that the position was important to the development of market activities in Lagos State and Nigeria at large. Senator Oluremi Tinubu told newsmen in a separate interview that the new Iyaloja was capable of coordinating market activities in Lagos State. She said that Tinubu-Ojo was

under the tutelage of the late Iyaloja General, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji. “The position of Iyaloja comes with lots of duties and responsibilities. “It is expected that she will succeed with her sense of maturity, respect for elders and diligence,” she said. Tinubu also advised the Iyaloja to use her office to ensure prosperity of traders in Lagos State. Mrs Hawawu Asindemade, the Iyaloja General and Chairperson, Osun Market Board, dismissed criticisms that Tinubu-Ojo was too young for the position.

Asindemade said that the position of Iyaloja was a lifetime position. She appealed to the IyalojaGeneral to be committed to the welfare of traders and use her position to elicit support from the state government. Alhaja Moriamo Folami, Iyaloja of Ojugobi Ereko, told newsmen that market men and women in Lagos would cooperate with the new IyalojaGeneral to ensure her success. Newsmen reports that major markets in Lagos, including that of Oke Arin, Idumota, Balogun, Oshodi, Mushin and Mile 12 were shut in honour of Tinubu-Ojo’s installation.

From left; Special Adviser to Bauchi state Governor on Tsangaya Model Boarding Primary Schools, Alhaji Sayedi Dahiru; Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State and Permanent member, State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Alhaji Isa Narabi, during the visit of the Governor to Tsagaya Model Boarding Primary School in Bauchi recently.

APC Spokesman Calls For Removal Of Disparity In Judicial Officers’ Remuneration IKEJA- A lawyer and Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, called for removal of any disparity in the remuneration of judicial officers. Mohammed made the call in Lagos in a paper he delivered on: “The Disparity in the Judiciary and the Need for a Review”. Newsmen reports that Muhammed delivered the paper in Ikeja at the opening of the 2013 annual convention of the Magistrates’ Association of Nigeria. “There should be no disparity between magistrates and high court judges. They are both administrators in the temple of justice. “The disparity has acted as a bottleneck that has impeded on the justice system of the nation,” he said. Mohammed said that remuneration and appointment of magistrates should be commensurate with those of

judicial officers in high courts. “Justice is the centre point of both the magistrates’ court and high court; so, what is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander. “Welfare packages of magistrates should be improved on so that they do not succumb to bribery and corruption,’’ he said. He said that only four of the 104 magistrates in Lagos State had been appointed to the higher bench in the last 10 years. In his speech, the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice

From left; Head of Division, Election and Party Monitoring, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Gombe state, Mr. Patrick Loko; Gombe State Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Prof. Istifanus Dafwang and the Administrative Secretary, INEC Gombe State, Alhaji Abdullahi Buba, during a stakeholders meeting on preparation of 2015 General Election in Gombe recently.

Nat’l Confab, Opportunity To Save Nigeria - Cleric

LAGOS- A retired Anglican Bishop, Rt. Rev. Peter Adebiyi, said that the proposed national conference would be a golden opportunity to save Nigeria from collapse. Adebiyi, the pioneer Bishop of Lagos West Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) , told a press

Police Arraign Man For Battering Wife To Death LAGOS- After spending four years in prison custody for allegedly battering his wife to death, a commercial bus driver, Babatunde Gbolahan, was charged before a Lagos High Court at Igbosere. Gbolahan, 37, who allegedly killed his wife, Yemisi, in 2009 during a brawl, is facing a charge of manslaughter. Newsmen reports that the accused was brought before Justice Aishat Opesanwo following a legal advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions which established a prima facie case against him. Gbolahan allegedly committed the offence on October 13, 2009

Ayotunde Philips, urged magistrates to discharge their duties without fear or prejudice. “The magistrates in Lagos are the largest in the country; so, I will implore you to write your ruling without fear of appeal. “Lawyers will always petition against magistrates but discharge your duties without intimidation,” Phillips said. She advised magistrates to guard their integrity jealously. Newsmen reports that about 250 magistrates attended the convention which will end on Wednesday.

at No. 9, Olatunji St., Mushin at 7.40 p.m. The prosecution said the accused had an argument with his wife which degenerated to a fight and was beaten to death with a belt. The offence contravened Section 325 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2003. Gbolahan, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The judge adjourned the case to December. 2 to enable the prosecution to produce witnesses.

briefing in Lagos that Nigerians must make maximum use of the opportunity to rebuild the country. He said that the outcome of the conference would affect the 2015 general elections, and appealed to Nigerians to make the necessary sacrifices to move the country forward. The septuagenarian thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the conference, and urged him not to subject the outcome of the conference to the National Assembly for ratification. The cleric said that the president would write his name in gold, if he would subject the decisions at the conference to a referendum. Adebiyi claimed that subjecting the conference to ratification by the National Assembly would defeat its essence in that the lawmakers would ‘kill’ decisions not favourable to them but suitable to Nigeria. “ Let us debate the decisions in our states, local governments and constituencies. The wish of the people should prevail.’’ Adebiyi said that the Federal

Government should not spend its resources organising the conference, if the decisions would not be binding on Nigeria. He said that there was no need for the National Assembly to use

the outcome of the conference in reviewing the 1999 Constitution. “ If it ends well, it is a constitution itself,’’ he said. He urged Nigerians to be bold to say their mind during the

conference, advising that they should not sell their consciences. On the role of the church in nation-building, Adebiyi said: “ The church may be accused of corruption by accepting leaders who are corrupt.

LAGOS Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has inaugurated a Liquified Petroleum Gas(LPG) Plant, and said repositioning and revamping the energy sector was a priority project for his administration. Fashola was speaking when he inaugurated “Eko Gas,“ an LPG plant, in Ginti-Ewu Elepe in Ikorodu. “Eko Gas” is a public-private initiative to encourage the use of cooking gas. The Lagos State Government had, also on June 11, inaugurated a gas plant in Surulere. Fashola, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Adejoke

Orelope-Adefulire, said that Nigeria was still ranked the lowest in per capital consumption of gas, despite being rated its largest producer in Africa. “And actually, this can be made a source of energy to millions of Nigerians as alternative to provide electricity, which is lacking, “ he said. Fashola said that the government recognised the environmental and negative impact that kerosene and firewood posed to the environment and people, in terms of emission. “We also recognise the immense potential of the

country’s gas resources. “It is only right that we devise a means to apply the existing solution to our existing problems, meaning that this gas can be used to provide electricity for our country, “ he said. The governor said that the state government was working tirelessly to strengthen its gas infrastructure to drive development to the power sector. “This will also ensure that residents can make a shift to using gas as a choice for cooking. “A large percentage of households in Nigeria still uses kerosene and firewood for cooking.

Gov. Fashola Inaugurates Another Gas Plant In Ikorodu




Across The Nation National Dialogue: Ohaneze Proposes 360 Delegates ENUGU- The Ohaneze Ndigbo has advocated for equal representation of 60 delegates from each of the six geopolitical zones at the proposed national dialogue. Presenting the organisation’s position at the stakeholders’ interactive session in Enugu its President, Chief Garry Igariwe, said the submission was done

after consultations with other Igbo organisations. Igariwe said the Igbo had been waiting for such a dialogue because they believe in the unity of the country. ‘On the structure and composition of the conference, we advocate equal representation of each of the zones covering all the ethnic

Shippers Council Vows To Fight Piracy

ABUJA- Nigeria Shippers’ Council has in Abuja promised to fight piracy on the coastal frontiers of the country and armed robbery around the nation’s sea ports. The Chief Judge, Federal High Court , Justice Ibrahim Auta, made the promise when he led a delegation of the council on a visit to Justice Aloma-Mukhtar, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). Auta, who is also the Chairman, Committee on Maritime Seminar for Judges, said the visit was to seek the support of the CJN toward the forthcoming 13th Maritime Seminar for Judges, scheduled for Abuja in July 2014. He said the seminar would help to address delays encountered by claimants in courts during adjudication of maritime disputes, “which sometime creates difficulties for judges in reaching decisions. “The National Judicial Institute will partner with the shipper’s council to ensure that judges have a better grasp of contemporary admiralty laws and this will be the focus of the forthcoming biennial maritime seminar for judges. “We are happy to say that the collaboration has yielded positive results over the years, especially at the courts, giving rise to prompt and timely adjudication of admiralty matters. “This has made the judges to be better equipped with knowledge of rudimentary

maritime laws in handling complex maritime claims.’’ Auta said Shipper’s Council had been pivotal to the successes recorded in organising maritime seminars, being its flagship programme in line with its statutory functions. He, therefore, urged the CJN to implore the International and Supreme Court Judges to attend the three-day Maritime Seminar. “We implore you to use your good office to assist the committee in soliciting the participation of judges from countries like the Gambia, Kenya, South Africa, Liberia, Madagascar, among others.’’ The committee had selected six topics ranging from piracy, armed robbers at Nigerian sea ports, charter party issues, lay time and demurrage, marine insurance jurisdiction, arrest and claims for discussion during the seminar.

nationalities — women, labour unions, religious groups, youths and the persons with disability. “The political parties should not play any role in the selection of the delegates because we have more than 50 ethnic nationalities in Igboland. “On the selection, it will be in

line with the ethnic groups in each zone with the total number of delegates being 360 in all. To ensure its legality and integrity, the legal framework of the conference should be instituted through an act of the National Assembly. “The executive should send an

executive bill to the National Assembly to legalise the conference,’’ he said. Igariwe suggested a timetable for the conference, saying the advisory committee should conclude its assignment by November while the National Assembly should process the enactment of the Conference Act in December. He also suggested that the

The Executive Chairman of Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Chief Sir Oseni Elamah, Permanent/Board Secretary of the Service (right) and a guest during the Thanksgiving service for Late Sunday Nosakhare Okundia at the Church of God Mission Int’l Inc., Uwelu, Benin City.

delegates’ conference should sit between January and April while the new constitution should be drafted in May. The Ohaneze chief also suggested that June should be reserved for the referendum on the new constitution while the administrative restructuring of the new constitution should take place between July and September. He said there should be no ‘no-go-area’ on the issues to be discussed which should include the structure of the country, the form of the government, tenure of office and devolution of power. He also suggested that issues to be discussed should include the revenue sharing formular, fiscal federalism, derivation, distribution, citizenship, armed forces and other security agencies to improve the security of lives and property. He said the role of traditional rulers should be defined while population, census, religious and circular matters would all be discussed. Igariwe warned that the outcome of the dialogue should not be subject to any tampering or alteration either by the National Assembly or the executive arm of the government.

Nigeria, Niger Borders Now Well Demarcated ABUJA- The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, said Nigeria and Niger Republic had well demarcated borders to check insecurity in both countries. Mohammed made this known to the State House correspondents following the outcome of the meeting of the Board of the Nigerian Boundary

Commission presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo in Abuja. He said that President Goodluck Jonathan had already approved the purchase of vehicles for the effective patrol of the affected border areas. “I wish to express satisfaction that the boundary areas between Nigeria and Niger have been successfully delineated.

- Minister

‘And we considered proposal from the Director-General of the Boundary Commission about the security of the Nigeria and Niger borders for which already Mr President has approved (the purchase of vehicles). ‘In fact the vehicles had been purchased for the Nigeria-Niger

joint border patrol.” The Minister said further that the commission was working on proper demarcation of borders between Nigeria and Cameroun as well as Nigeria and Benin Republic. He noted that Nigeria was facing serious security challenges on its border areas with Cameroun. Mohammed, however, said that the two countries had agreed to work together to address the problems of terrorism and piracy, adding that already a joint patrol team had been set up

by the two countries. The minister also said that the challenges were being tackled at the level of the presidency of both countries. He said the Board had also considered a proposal for reinvigorating the Nigeria-Benin Joint Commission to NigeriaBenin Joint Commission for Cooperation. According to the Minister, the proposal, which is being worked out by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, will soon be submitted to President Jonathan for his final approval.

Abia Govt Pledges Continued Support For security Agencies

Family of the Late Permanent/Board’s Secretary of Edo State Board of Internal Revenue Service, Elder Sunday Okundia during the thanksgiving at the Church of God Mission, Uwelu District Headquarters, Benin City.

UMUAHIA - The Abia Government has reiterated its resolve to continue to support all security agencies operating in the state to ensure adequate security of lives and property. Mr Chisom Nwamuo, the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, said this when he received members of the Abia State Vigilance Group’s Advisory Committee. “The state government will continue to ensure that the state remains one of the safest in the country,’’ he said. The commissioner commended the state vigilance group and its advisory committee for not only providing security to the business

community, but to other members of the public as well. Earlier, Chief Udeka Onuoha, the Chairman, Abia State Vigilance Group’s Advisory Committee, said the body came to brief Nwamuo on its activities. “We are also here to congratulate the commissioner on his recent appointment,’’ he said. Onuoha, a retired Commissioner of Police, said a greater percentage of the personnel of the Abia vigilance group provided services in markets across the state. He said the advisory committee also had market leaders as members.




Abuja Okonjo Libel Suit: Court Adjourns To Nov 26

ABUJA- An FCT High Court has adjourned the N10 billion libel suit filed by Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala against an online publication to November. 26. The judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, adjourned the matter

to enable Pointblank News Communication, the second defendant to enter memoranda of appearance in the matter. At the resume hearing, Jackson Ude’s Counsel, Mr Mike Alaeto, urged the court to grant him an extension of time, to perfect his appearance in the

matter. Mr Etigwe Uwa (SAN) Counsel to the Okonjo-Iweala, did not oppose the application. Okonjo-Iweala, on March 5, 2012, sued a U.S-based online

news medium, Pointblank News Communication and its directors, Jackson Ude and Churchill Umoren. The minister is claiming N10

billion as general damages and the same amount as exemplary and aggravated damages for the alleged libel. In January. 10 2012, the

defendants published a report “Okonjo-Iweala buys N1.2 billion Abuja mansion’’ from Chief Fabian Nworah, owner of EFAB Properties Ltd., in November. 2011.

Civil Servants Undergo Mandatory Training ABUJA-The Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOSF), Alhaji Bukar Aji, said 15,782 federal and 6,721 state officials had been trained under the Mandatory Training Programme since 2009. He made this known in Abuja while declaring open the Mandatory Training Programme for officers on Grade Levels O8 to 16 in the Federal Civil Service for 2013. Aji, represented by Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, said the training was aimed at building the capacity of officers in the service. He added that the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) was training 500 participants from level O8 to 10. Aji added that the Centre for Management Development (CMD) was handling 350 officials from level 12 to 14 while the Public Service Institute was training 150 officials on levels 15 and 16. He explained that the modules were specifically put up to meet the observed capacity gaps that would benefit civil servants maximally from participating effectively. Aji stressed that human capital development would receive a boost and renewed impetus through the collaborative efforts

with donor agencies and other development partners. The HOSF charged the participants to take the training seriously so as to pass the post training assessment test. He expressed the belief that civil servants would be better equipped to improve their performance after the training. Responding on behalf of the participants, Mr Yusuf Akinwale thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity given to them. “We will make sure we learn hard and in turn utilise the knowledge to improve on our jobs and move the civil service forward.’’

Court To Hear Appeal Against Chime Nov 8

ABUJA - The Court of Appeal on Monday in Abuja reserved November 8 for hearing in a suit seeking the removal of Sullivan Chime as governor of Enugu State. Justice M.D DongbanMensem, who presided over the sitting, gave the date after the court directed the appellant to serve the governor with all documents associated with the appeal. Chief Alexander Obiechina,

Court To Hear Case Nov 5

Unlawful Retirement: ABUJA- The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has fixed November 5 to hear a case of unlawful retirement filed against the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) by its former employees. A total of 76 ex-workers, led by one Mr Mohammed Nadodi, had sued the authority and the Minister of FCT in 2012, challenging their retirement. It would be recalled that when the matter came up for hearing in August the defence counsel, Mr Oba Olufon, raised a preliminary objection, saying that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit. At the resumed hearing on Monday, Olufon prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable him file his reply to the claimants’ counter-affidavit on points of law. He told the court that the claimants’ response to the preliminary objection was not served on time to enable him

Prof. Etedafe Gharoro delivering a Public Lecture on Cancer of the Cervix at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital In Benin recently.

reply on points of law. The Presiding Judge, Justice Peter Lifu, granted the application and adjourned the case to November 5 for hearing of the preliminary objection. The claimants, who had joined the minister, the FCT and Abuja Environmental Protection Board as defendants, alleged that they were compulsorily retired in 2006 by the defendants, sequel to a purported Federal Government reform. The claimants are praying the court to declare their retirement as unlawful, null and void, and of no effect. They are praying the court to order the defendants to reinstate and pay them all their entitlements from the date of the action to date. The claimants also prayed the court to order that, upon reinstatement, they be promoted to the grade level they ought to be.

approached the court challenging the refusal of a Federal High Court, Abuja, to annul the nomination process that produced Chime on April 26, 2011 as the PDP candidate in the gubernatorial election. In an enrolled order, DongbanMensem held that the record of proceedings in Notice of Appeal No. CA/A/358/2012 and all the legal processes should be served on the governor through the state’s liaison office in Abuja. “Upon reading the motion exparte filed on October 21, 2013,

and the affidavit of Bello Ibrahim sworn to on the same date before the court. ‘ And after hearing counsel to the appellants, Oba Maduabuchi, it is hereby ordered that all processes relevant to the determination of this appeal shall accordingly be served on the 3rd respondent, Sullivan Chime. “That the processes shall be served on the liaison officer of the said Enugu State Liaison Office, and such service shall be deemed as properly served on the third respondent. Obiechina is urging the

appellate court to determine whether there was a valid special congress or primary election held in Enugu State on January 12, 2011,’’ he said. He said sections 85(1) and 87(1)(4)(b) of the Electoral Act, 2010 were not followed in the case of the governor. Maduabuchi, counsel to the appellant, urged the court to nullify the primary election and order the governor to vacate the office. The reports state that Independent National Electoral

Commission and the Peoples Democratic Party are the other respondents in the suit. It will be recalled that Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court on May 21, 2012, declined to grant the prayers of the appellant. Bello held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the substance of the case. However, the judge maintained that the issue of nomination and sponsorship of a candidate for any given election was within the realm of the domestic affairs of a political party.

L-R: Principal, Governemnt Secondary School, Tudun Wada, Mrs Essien Okon; Area Manager, West Africa, Motorola solutions, Mr Harel Herzel; Director, development and strategy, Mifalot Educational and Social Project, Mr Clive Lessem; Captain of the School’s Team ‘B’, Master George Nwachukwu and Executive Director, Search and GroomYouth Development Centre, Mr Yomi Kuku, after a demonstration Match between the school’s teams in Abuja recently.




Business + Economy Export Clinic: From left, Benin Zonal Controller, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs Veronica Oriere, Mr Emmanuel Etim, Head, Product and Market development Division, NEPC, and Dr. Julie Momah, South-South Zonal Coordinator, Technology Incubation centre, (TIC) Benin City at a one-day Export Clinic organised for exporters in Benin City by the Benin Zonal office of NEPC recently.

Nigeria, Hungary To Sign Cooperation Agreement -Minister ABUJA - Nigeria and Hungary are to strengthen their bilateral ties with the signing of an Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) currently being worked out by both countries. Mr. Samuel Ortom, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment and Mr. Peter Szijjarto, the Hungarian State Secretary of Foreign and External Economic Affairs, stated this at a meeting in Abuja. Szijjarto is in Nigeria to push for closer cooperation between both countries as the Hungarian Government re-opened its embassy in Abuja. At the meeting Ortom said Hungary’s quest for closer ties with Nigeria was a further sign of the growing foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s economy. He said Nigeria would leverage on the re-opening of the embassy and the proposed ECA to balance its trade deficit with Hungary. According to him, the trade volume between both countries stood at 5.3 billion dollars in

2012 with Nigeria at a disadvantage. “Nigeria is a virgin land in almost all sectors of the economy. There are lots of opportunities here for the Hungarian government to explore with its advanced technology. “In agriculture, Nigeria is very rich. More than 70 per cent of the 923,000 square kilometre land mass we have is arable. “What we need is processing and preservation of our agricultural products, and I believe we have a lot to benefit from you in this regard. “This new initiative is also an opportunity for both countries to share trade information, hold business forums and trade fairs, and exchange technology to enhance business activities between us.” Ortom added that Nigeria needed Hungary’s technology to further explore and exploit its vast solid mineral and oil and gas deposits. According to him, massive opportunities abound in the

country’s mass housing and construction sectors into which the government welcomes more foreign investments. He commended the Hungarian government for offering additional 50 scholarships to Nigerian students willing to study in that country where 701

Nigerians are currently receiving tertiary education. Earlier, Szijjarto said he was in Abuja to seek deeper economic ties between the two countries. He said the Hungarian government believed Africa is one of the most rapidly emerging

Security At Tin can Island Port At Its Best - CEO LAGOS - The Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) has been operating without hitches since it started implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, a top port official said. Mr. Yehuda Kotik, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TICT, told newsmen in Lagos that there had not been any recorded case of theft at the terminal since 2006. He said the TICT adopted ISPS to ensure that there were no losses as a result of pilfering within its operational base inside the port. “Since the take-off of operation at the port, we have not recorded any theft; not even a pen has been declared stolen. “Being ISPS- compliant, we have intelligence monitoring technology systems to ensure that cargoes are secured,” he said. The chief executive said that the company’s security integrity and infusion of technology in its work had sustained its annual throughput of over 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) containers. “We handle over 400,000

TEUs annually because we use high technology and dedication in offering our services. “To ensure ease of movement in and out of the terminal, we maintain a six-lane entrance gates and these gates have technological devices for proper entrance handling,” Kotik said. According to him, besides security, which is a major consideration in operation, the company collaborates with one of its shareholders in rendering the best port services. “Our wealth of experience and that of Bollore, one of our shareholders operating port terminals in 42 African countries, have helped us to maintain international standards”. He said that for TICT, expansion meant continuous improvement in service rendering. On port assessment, Kotik said that there had been great improvement compared to the pre-concession period. “Before the concession, vessels had to wait outside the port for a minimum of two weeks and operation takes about a week.

Export Clinic: From right, Benin Zonal Controller, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs. Veronica Oriere, the Director of Commerce, Edo State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Ero, and another stakeholder at the one-day Export clinic organised for exporters by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, in Benin City recently.

Ekiti Trains 500 Mechanics On Handling Of Vehciles ADO-EKITI -The Ekiti Government said it had trained no fewer than 500 mechanics for improved service delivery. The Commissioner for Labour, Productivity and Human Capital Development, Mr. Oluwole Ariyo, said this at the closing of a two-day workshop organised for the artisans in Ado-Ekiti. Ariyo said the workshop was part of government’s resolve to empower artisans operating in the state toward boosting good service delivery. He said the workshop was also aimed at exposing them to new methods of handling high profile vehicles and those considered as “too sophisticated’’. He said the participants were drawn from all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state. “The programme is to redirect

the artisans and familiarise them with the vision and policies of government in order to improve their skills. “It is also our thinking that the step we have taken will position them to compete favourably with their counterparts in other parts of the world,” he said. He expressed confidence that the workshop would equip the artisans with modern techniques for optimum performance on their jobs. The commissioner described the consultants that handled the workshop as well tested and capable of achieving results. One of the mechanics, Mr. kunle Oladejo, thanked the state government for the gesture, saying the participants would use the knowledge they acquired to improve on their skills.

NEPC Holds Capacity Building Workshop For Exporters


BENIN CITY – The Benin Zonal Office of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) yesterday organized a one-day capacity building Export Clinic for its registered exporters as well as intending exporters geared towards achieving good success in export trade. The workshop, which was the second phase in the series, had as its theme, “Understanding Export Trade” and was focused essentially on the issues of packaging, costing and Pricing for Export. Welcoming guests to the highly

interactive forum, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), Nigerian Export Promotion Council, whose address was delivered by the Benin Zonal Controller, NEPC, Mrs. Veronica Oriere, asserted that because the international market had become competitive in nature, it has become imperative to key into the right packaging as it will only welcome products of high quality packaging, which are environment – friendly. The Zonal Controller explained that with the sophistication of consumer preference and high

demand for quality products with good packaging, it has become obvious that the issue of packaging has assumed a more important role as key element in the marketing strategy of any producer, hence the attention to quality packaging at the Export Clinic. She maintained that whereas most Nigerian Producers and exporters have the right product, their packaging and labeling of such products were, however poor. While disclosing that Nigeria’s non-oil export was growing,

Mrs. Oriere noted that the products and markets were, however, diversifying, stating that records have shown that over 90 (ninety) different products from Nigeria were exported to about 103 countries across the globe. Delivering a lecture on “Export product Packing,” the Benin Zonal Controller, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, (NEPC), Mrs. Veronica Oriere emphasized key factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure proper product packing, as different from packaging.





A Culture Of Low Expectations

ONE of the most tragic aspects of Nigeria’s aborted promise is that too many Nigerians have now imbibed a terrible culture of low expectations. They look daily at the series of crises bedeviling their country, and they manage, somehow, to see something admirable. It is sad to encounter this attitude in Nigerians who have never traveled outside their country, and who are, therefore, blind to the dramatically higher levels of efficiency in most other countries, including some of Nigeria’s neighbors on the western hump of Africa. Lacking a reference point, these Nigerians may be forgiven for believing that the intolerable state of affairs in their country is a mirror of how things happen elsewhere in the world. But it’s always a case of sheer exasperation when one comes across well-traveled Nigerians infected with the virus of low expectations. These world-wise Nigerians have no excuse. They have been to other efficiently-run countries; they have seen other societies where institutions work fluidly and high quality services are expected and delivered; often, they function within these well-choreographed societies, helping to sustain a culture of excellence. So, why do some of these “exposed” Nigerians nevertheless rush to rationalize, defend or excuse their country’s mediocrity and ghastly performance? Visiting London last week, I was interviewed by Kayode Ogundamisi on his live political program on BEN Television, “Politricks with KO.” The interview touched on the subject of presidential performance. I asserted that President Goodluck Jonathan, like Olusegun Obasanjo before him, had failed to deliver result-

oriented leadership. Soon after, two or three callers questioned my assessment. One, a resident of London, reeled off a few roads he alleged that the Jonathan administration was building. He, or another caller, reminded me that the president had set up new universities. They insisted that the president deserved praise for getting round to roads and the setting up of new universities. Another, resident in London, sought to remind me and viewers that Mr. Obasanjo’s presidency was marked by impressive feats, among them the payment of a huge chunk of Nigeria’s external debt and the husbanding of mobile telephony. The sense of fervor in the two callers’ voices was sad to behold. If they had never been to a society where things work, I would have understood their misplaced advocacy. I reminded them that no serious leader today would have the temerity to list the building of roads as one of his or her achievements. The mayor of London, I argued, would be run out of the city if he ever tried to campaign on his road repair record. British citizens and residents take good roads for granted, which is, as it should be. On the matter of Mr. Jonathan’s new-fangled universities, it was enough to tell my interlocutor that the government had not lived up to its obligation to fund existing universities. What, then, was the sense in creating more? Mr. Obasanjo’s payment of jumbo sums to Nigeria’s external creditors never struck me as an achievement – not when he made the payment and not in retrospect. A more visionary leader might have used all that cash to improve his country’s ghastly infrastructure. Why transfer


nearly $20 billion to creditors when Nigerians have no healthcare, no electric power, no dependable network of roads, and no waste disposal system? Why hand over such princely sum when our public schools, from kindergartens to universities, are in heartrending shape? Why invest in the Paris and London Clubs when the failure to address Nigeria’s electric power woes remains a huge impediment to

Nigerian Musa, Okoye and Adebayo? One of the callers to BEN Television scolded me for the sin of holding a Nigerian president to the same expectations I would apply to President Barack Obama. Nigeria was not America, he stated. It was, on the face of it, a salient point; but it was also a deeply troubling point. Here’s why. Nigeria is in such dire straits that it is in more

Nigerian businesses, hampers economic enterprise, and leaves hordes of Nigerian graduates unemployed? What was the sense in serving the interests of external creditors – many of them complicit in the mismanagement of the loans they gave – when Nigeria’s climate of insecurity gets worse by the day? In short, why hasten to pay the foreign Peter and Paul whilst neglecting the plight of the

desperate need than America (or Britain, Norway, Germany) for tested, committed leaders. In other words, Nigerians need a leader with vision, energy, passion, and drive far more urgently than do Americans. And there are Nigerians who have the intellectual acumen, vision and leadership skills to stand toe to toe with the best leaders anywhere in the world. For some reason, however, the Nigerian state

“It baffles that some Nigerians are at peace with the lavish payments to Nigerian public office holders, from municipal officials to the president. Yet, these same Nigerians raise their hackles the moment a critic demands that our obscenely remunerated officials demonstrate a semblance of engagement. It boils down to that disease of low expectations.”

is rigged by and for mediocrities. Here’s another slice of the argument. Many Nigerians are quick to contend that it’s unfair to demand Americangrade performance for Nigerian public officials. But the same Nigerians are hardly ever outraged at the outlandish payments and perks enjoyed by their officials. Consider this fact: Each member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives hauls away enough cash in a year to pay Mr. Obama’s

expectation? If they’re in the highest paid league, what’s wrong with insisting that their performance be Messilike? Nigerians who have never had the privilege of traveling to other parts of the world – and who, therefore, have never seen the fruits of true leadership – deserve our patience when they mistake the substandard roads most Nigerian governments build as evidence of sagacious leadership. As one caller to BEN Television noted, many

salary several times over. In fact, many local government chairmen take home enough cash to make Mr. Obama – whose salary is $440,000 a year – look, by comparison, like a chump. It baffles that some Nigerians are at peace with the lavish payments to Nigerian public office holders, from municipal officials to the president. Yet, these same Nigerians raise their hackles the moment a critic demands that our obscenely remunerated officials demonstrate a semblance of engagement. It boils down to that disease of low expectations. Given how much money Nigerian officials are paid – to say nothing of the additional sums they steal – why is it out of place to hold them to the highest levels of

Nigerians are so dehumanized that they praise governors for paying salaries! The greater tragedy – absolutely inexcusable – is when those who have seen the world, who ought to know better, embrace the culture of low (even no) expectations. In the end, as I tried to tell the viewers of “Politricks with KO,” Nigeria – on such indices as healthcare, education and social services – lags many countries with significantly less resources. Countries like Ghana, Uganda, Jamaica, South Africa, Botswana and the Philippines are way ahead of Nigeria where it counts. Part of the reason is this: Nigeria is cursed with “leaders” who intone that they’re “moving the nation forward.” But they neither know what “forward” means nor how to move in its direction.



THE Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has voted in favour of the removal of the National Minimum wage from the “Exclusive List to the Concurrent List” in the ongoing constitution review. THE Trade Union Congress in a swift reaction on Tuesday called on the Senators to reconsider their position on the deregulation of the minimum wage. The Union’s President, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama said the decentralisation of the National Minimum wage Law showed clearly that the upper legislative arm was acting contrary to the will of the Nigerian people. WE are tempted to share same sentiments with the Trade Union Congress given the unpopular amendments the Senate has embarked upon since it commenced voting on the recommendations of the Ike Ekweremadu-led Committee reports on constitution review. From the obnoxious 6 year single tenure, to the Child Marriage and now moving National Minimum wage out of the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List. WE believe that there are more important constitutional changes Nigerians have been clamouring for to be reflected in the grand norm which the Senate who ordinarily should be the representatives of the people are shying away from in utter preference for their personal issues and those of their political


Senate’s Constitutional Ammendment Of Minimum Wage godfathers. Some of the important issues Nigerians want to see in their constitution include but are not limited to the followings: true fiscal federalism or resource control, in the alternative, return to regional government as provided for in the 1963 Constitution, devolution of powers to federating states, Local Government Autonomy, removal of immunity clause particularly with criminal dimension to immunity among others. RATHER than give Nigerians a peoplecentred constitution, we are worried that the Senate is currently chasing shadows and wallowing in self-glorification and perpetuation. This is condemnable because, it is only sheepish for a Senator to vote for Child Marriage only to burst into tears when confronted by his constituents. It goes to show that many of the Senators are not voting according to the wishes of their constituencies. This explains the untoward voyage into the deregulation of minimum wage by the Senators. IT is our contention, therefore, that if the

Federal Government should legislate for federal workers and the state government legislates for the state workers, which assembly have the Senators put in place in the same constitution to legislate for the private sector and other none state actors? CREATING two regimes of minimum wage and excluding the private sector in the fixing of wages in the country, offers private operators a blank cheque to exploit Nigerians in their employ. We expect Senators to have this understanding more than any other Nigerian, hence our utter disappointment and we call on the distinguished senators to rescind their stand. IT is for this reason, we want to urge the House of Representatives which has been very progressive in its legislations and resolution since inception of the seventh National Assembly to vote against this obnoxious decision of the senators. WE urge the Committee on harmonization of both houses positions to throw out this vexations provisions from our statute book when they eventually commence sitting on constitution review. In the same token, we call on all State Houses Assembly to reject the proposal if it comes their way. FINALLY, we urge organised Labour as represented by the Trade Union Congress and the Nigeria Labour Congress to rise to the occasion and resist this anti-labour move of the senators.




Education Quality Education For National Transformation Continues from last week

Regular Attendance for Learning. WHEN children reach school age, research has demonstrated that for them to achieve academically, children must attend school consistently. A child’s exposure to curriculum — his or her ‘opportunity to learn’ — significantly influences achievement, and exposure to curriculum comes from being in school (Fuller et al., 1999). A study of village-based schools in Malawi found that students with higher rates of attendance had greater learning gains and lower rates of repetition, a finding consistent with many other studies (Miske, Dowd et al.,1998). Family Support for Learning. Parents may not always have the tools and background to support their children’s cognitive and psychosocial development throughout their school years. Parents’ level of education, for example, has a multifaceted impact on children’s ability to learn in school. In one study, children whose parents had primary school education or less were more than three times as likely to have low test scores or grade repetition than children whose parents had at least some secondary schooling (Willms, 2000). Parental education not only influences parent-child interactions related to learning, but also affects parents’ income and need for help in the home or field — help that often comes at the expense of keeping children in school (Carron & Chau, 1996). Parents with little formal education may also be less familiar with the language used in the school, limiting their ability to support learning and participate in school-related activities. Successful attempts to increase parental involvement have taken place around the world. One example of parental

A Collective Responsibility By PROF IGNATIUS ONIMAWO PH.D FNSN, KSJI

involvement is the study from Sri Lanka, where an eightweek programme that sought to improve the literacy skills of low-income, undereducated mothers found that the mothers’ capacities to help develop their children’s language competencies increased, especially in the areas of listening and speaking (Dharmadasa, 1996). In summary, the home curriculum seems to play a vital role in preparing quality learners for school. II. Quality Learning Environments Learning can occur anywhere, but the positive learning outcomes generally sought by educational systems happen in quality learning environments. Learning environments are made up of physical, psychosocial and service delivery elements. Physical Elements Quality of school facilities. Physical learning environments or the places, in which formal learning occurs, range from relatively modern and well-equipped buildings to open-air gathering places. The quality of school facilities seems to have an indirect effect on learning, an effect that is hard to measure. A study in India, however, sampled 59 schools and found that of these only 49 had buildings and of these, 25 had a toilet, 20 had electricity, 10 had a school library and four had a television (Carron & Chau, 1996). In this case, the quality of the learning environment was strongly correlated with pupils’ achievement in language and mathematics (Carron & Chau, 1996). In Latin America, a study that included 50,000 students in grades three and four found that children whose schools lacked classroom materials and had an inadequate library were significantly more likely to show lower test scores and

higher grade repetition than those whose schools were well equipped (Willms, 2000). Interaction between school infrastructure and other quality dimensions. The quality of school buildings may be related to other school quality issues, such as the presence of adequate instructional materials and textbooks, working conditions for students and teachers, and the

reluctant to allow children — especially girls — to attend if they are located too far away from children’s homes. In general, parents often consider the location and condition of learning environments when assessing school quality, and this can influence school participation and performance. Class size. Many countries significantly expanded access to primary education during the 1990s, but the building of new schools has often not

ability of teachers to undertake certain instructional approaches. Such factors as on-site availability of lavatories and clean water supply, classroom maintenance, space and furniture availability all have an impact on the critical learning factor of time on task. The educational revolution in Edo State has taken these aspects into consideration. Pupils no longer leave the School premises before they visit toilets. When pupils have to leave school and walk significant distances for toilet, clean drinking water, for example, they may not always return to class (Miske & Dowd, 1998). When schools do not have adequate infrastructure, parents may be

kept pace with the increase in the student population. In these cases, schools have often had to expand class sizes, as well as the ratio of students to teachers, to accommodate large numbers of new students. A UNICEF/ UNESCO survey conducted in 1995 in 14 least developed countries found that class sizes ranged from fewer than 30 students in rural and urban Bhutan, Madagascar, and the Maldives, to 73 in rural Nepal and 118 in Equatorial Guinea (Postlewaithe, 1998). Do larger class sizes hurt the quality of education? Educators and researchers from diverse philosophical perspectives have debated the relationship between class size and student learning at length. Many studies have

“Within schools and classrooms, a welcoming and nondiscriminatory climate is critical to creating a quality learning environment. In many countries, attitudes discouraging girls’ participation in education have been significant barriers to providing quality education to all students.”

found a relationship (e.g., Willms, 2000), but more studies may be needed. Psychosocial elements Peaceful, safe environments, especially for girls. Within schools and classrooms, a welcoming and non-discriminatory climate is critical to creating a quality learning environment. In many countries, attitudes discouraging girls’ participation in education have been significant barriers

require girls to do maintenance work while boys study or play, and allow boys to bully girls. Girls most often sit at the back of the classroom, where teachers may call on them infrequently. In some cases, extreme physical assault, including rape, may be perpetuated against girls at school. The threats that come in the form of unequal treatment, harassment, bullying and undervaluing girls harm them in profound

to providing quality education to all students. The Republic of Guinea provides an example of how this barrier can begin to be overcome. Between 1989 and 1997, Guinea was able to increase the percentage of school-age girls enrolment from 17 per cent to 37 per cent. This was done through the establishment of a highprofile Equity Committee. Although curricular reform and other issues remain to be acted upon, and girls’ persistence and achievement have not yet reached the level of boys’, this case shows that efforts to improve the learning environment for girls and all students can lead to real results (Sutton, 1999). In the recent Edo State Education Summit held in Benin City, it was shown that there is no significant disparity between boys and girls in the primary schools enrolment. This cannot be said however about some northern States in Nigeria where school enrolment is positively skewed towards the boys. At school, teachers often

and long lasting ways. This aspect needs close assessment. Teachers’ behaviours that affect safety. Relative to both girls and boys, parents, educators and researchers express important concerns about teachers who create an unsafe environment for students. In some schools in Malawi, for example, male teachers sexually harassed girls even with outside observers present (Miske, Dowd, et al., 1998). So many of these cases have been reported in several Nigerian Dailies. A study in Ethiopia found that nearly 50 per cent of teachers interviewed reported using corporal punishment at least once a week, with 11 per cent saying they use it every day. Just over one third said they never use corporal punishment (Verwimp, 1999). These teacher behaviours affect the quality of the learning environment since learning cannot take place when the basic needs of survival and self-protection are threatened. To be continued
















Art Alive Local Content: Edo Entertainment Stakeholders Call For Legal Framework

THE era of “Monkey dey work, Baboon dey shop” may soon be eclipsed in Edo State for indigenous entertainment practitioners, if the jinx broken by the Edo State Government last week to move the local entertainment industry forward is anything to go by. For the first time in the history of Edo State, the Adams Aliu Oshiomhole-led government, through the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Arts, Culture and Tourism, on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, convened a groundbreaking Edo entertainment stakeholders forum to dialogue on measures to encourage indigenous artistes, entertainers, producers, show promoters, etc, and move the local entertainment industry forward. Arts Editor, FRANCIS U. ODUPUTE, was one of the participants at the event. Excerpts: For several years past, indigenous artistes and entertainment practitioners in Edo State have been suffering in silence, relegated, neglected, sidelined and exploited by many of those who matter, their great and unique talents and contributions not withstanding. What is news, however, is that for the first time, all that is about to change, as the Edo State Government is now championing, in principle, a change to the status quo. Addressing participants at the entertainment stakeholders meeting, the event convener, Mr. Daniel Ehigie Eromosele (popularly known as “Pikolo”), the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Art, Culture and Tourism, did not mince words: “… ‘Voice of Entertainers’ is not another association that seeks to represent any tribe or category of entertainers in Edo State, rather it is solemnly the initiative of the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Art, Culture and Tourism, with the mandate to ensure constant, cordial, mutually beneficial interaction between all Edo State entertainers and the State Government. Consequently, ‘Voice of Entertainers’ strives to provide and sustain an exceptionally interactive platform between our entertainers and the State Government.” “Ladies and gentlemen” he continued, “it is certainly worth a mention that this is the very first time in the history of this State that we can say, without an iota of doubt, we have a government that not

only cares about entertainment and where it is heading, but has also made a significant effort in putting in place structures to ensure sanity and professionalism in the industry. The Comrade Governor, as part of his unprecedented developmental strides, has appointed three key entertainers in the State as SSAs, with two of them saddled with entertainmentspecific responsibilities. This Government, under the able leadership of Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole, has also evolved time-tested and valueadding youth empowerment schemes that have all become avenues for our teeming youths to unleash their diverse talents and express their innate gifting.” Pikolo lauded the efforts of the guest speaker of the occassion, Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Aanena Jemitola, who he described as “an amazingly viable link between entertainers in the State and the State Government”, pointing out that the commissioner had been very helpful to him and his colleagues in proffering useful advice and workable solutions each time they come knocking at her door. “I wish to categorically state that one of the core objectives of this gathering of entertainer is to educate all those involved in the industry on the initiatives and programmes of Government., with a view to phasing off ignorance and unlocking motivated opportunities for our collective good…one main feature of this programme is the interactive platform it provides for all stakeholders. As a matter of fact, the questions and answers session of this programme will avail us all the chance of asking questions on any issues concerning entertainment and the industry in general…” Mr. Eromosele said. Various speakers at the meeting called for a proper structure and legal framework that would enable enforcement of necessary laws to regulate and promote indigenous entertainment efforts. Most of the stakeholders frowned at the negative attitude of some corporate bodies towards the promotion and patronage of local entertainers. They sought government’s cooperation in curbing the habit of multinational companies operating in Edo State hiring artistes and entertainers for their events from outside Edo State, without patronizing their indigenous counterparts who are equally talented and good entertainers/artistes as the outsiders. The stakeholders argued that

SPEECHES: Mr. Godson Edore Aisabora, representing the Secretary to the State Government (left), and Mr. Sam MarcEbi, delivering speeches at the entertainment stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, last week.

in checking most of the anomalies identified. Responding to the sentiments and feelings being expressed by participants, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Hon Aanena Jemitola, while delivering her address challenged participants to go back to the roots and make themselves truly relevant and sought- after by strategically employing local Edo dialects in promoting the entertainment industry in Edo State. The Commissioner assured the meeting that Government would speedily look into all The State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Aanena Jemitola (right) the issues and concerns raised explaining a point to the event convener, Mr Daniel Ehigie Eromosele (aka “Pikolo”). up, with a view to enacting enabling laws and the legal framework needed to properly guide, regulate and promote the entertainment industry in Edo State, emphasizing that when necessary laws are put in place, it would guide and encourage corporate bodies, multi-national companies, show promoters, hoteliers, the media, etc, to ensure local content in their entertainment activities by patronizing indigenous talents in Edo State. Other major speakers who aired their views and or shared some entertainment insights included the representative of Popular indigenous gospel artiste, sister Naomi performing amidst dancing crowd at the SSG, Mr. Godson Edore the entertainment stakeholders meeting last week. the culture of most corporate accusing fingers at some The need for unity and Aisabora, Senior Special bodies and show promoters in electronic media organizations mutual understanding among Assistant to the Governor on Edo State always preferring to in the State who they said were Edo State entertainment Protocols, Mr. Efosa Iyamu hire celebrity entertainers from always in the habit of practitioners was also (also known as Efex), the outside Edo State is a wrong promoting the music or works canvassed by participants at Senior Special Assistant to the precedence that greatly of only international artistes the stakeholders meeting, Governor on Neighbourhood discouraged and and national celebrities in their especially with respect to the Watch, Comrade Tony underdeveloped indigenous airwaves, but demand for proliferation of entertainment Kabaka; Mr. Sam Marc-Ebi of talents and reinforced creative money from upcoming local groups and associations, which the Kleen Generation, Sister apathy, poverty and artistes or entertainers before some noted hitherto precluded Naomi Ehigie ( popular criminality among some their music is played on air or Edo State entertainers from indigenous gospel singer) and talented youths of Edo State. their entertainment works speaking with one voice and many more. The participants also pointed televised. achieving meaningful impact



FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013 With Ambrose O. Ekhosuehi 08057378438

Art And Culture

Uses Of Idiophones In Culture

IDIOPHONES are mainly rattles and jingles use in social dances, religious ceremonies and festivals. Rattles of various materials and shapes are very common. The jingles have been in use since at least the seventeenth century. The pallet bells are oval or spherical brass shells enclosing one or two pellets. They are often attached to ornamental masks or dresses use in certain ceremonial dances. They may also be strung on cords to make armlets and anklets. There are rattles which are held in the hand and shaken, and the rattles which are worn around the arms, the waists, legs, or attached to dresses. There are stick rattles, gourd rattles, and basket rattles, but there is one type of god rattle which can be found among Edo speaking peoples. It is called Ukhurhe in Benin, and Esan, Ukpa among the Ivbiosakon, Ekute among the Etsakon, and Ovio in Urhobo and Isoko, dialects. The godstick- Ukhurhe is a unifying factor in connection with ceremonies for ancestors and certain deities or rites in order to ensure answers to prayers. Godstick rattle is usually made of wood from sacred tree and some shrines have brass or Ivory, generally the shape of ‘Ukhurhe’ is derived from the branches of the sacred Ukhurhe-oho tree and is sewn with cowries and

pellet bells, to produce idiophone, the Sound of jingling and rattling when shaken. God stick -Ukhurhe rattle is often described in the literature on Edo culture; some old bronze plagues of Benin represent instruments of this kind but their functions as sound producing instruments is only mentioned briefly. Jingling idiophone may be used to invoke spirit for prayers and sacrifice during festivals as well as every day ceremonies. The most common jingling idiophone is eroro made of bronze, brass or iron. It can be found in most ancestral and deity shrines. In some ceremonies priests wear bells of this type hung round the necks, while large bells of this kind are used to summon meetings. Brass, bronze or iron clapper bells exist in many different shapes and sizes. It is called ‘eroro’ if it s small in size and ‘egogo’ if it is large. Bells of this type are depicted on many old bronze plagues of Benin and several were found after the British conquest. There are also some references to the use of brass clapper bells, thus Boulton says “Brass bells with unbelievable Sweet tones were used during Ugie Festival” Paula Ben-Amos mentions, “In olden days warriors used to wear brass bells round their necks for protection in battle and to announce their victories when returning home” Jingling idiophones

cannot be regarded as musical instruments as they are not used to produce specific rhymes but their sweet tinkling sounds are used to invoke spirits, and to send messages. Rattle idiophones are used by Edo peoples to produce an accompanying rhythm to mebrano-phone’s music.

aze, and Obisa by Ivbiosakon. The variant of gourd rattle consists of an elongated gourd which is filled with seeds, pebbles or other small hard objects. It is held at the narrow end and shaken with the right hand. This kind of gourd rattle is called Ukuse in Benin, Esan, urhobo and Isoko. The sound produce by

Coral beads for high rank priests, coral agates for priests of lower rank, cowries for the gay deity — oriokho. Esalebo for Esakpaide dancer. A number of the old bronze plagues and bronze figures of Benin represent musicians playing rattles of this type and are often frequently mentioned by visitors to Great Benin.

are common all over southern Nigeria. It is known as Agbe or Ise in Igbo. The Yoruba use the name Aje or sekere, sakara, sere. Similar rattles are found among the Jukun, Nungu, Jarawa and other peoples of central and Northern Nigeria. There is the basket idiophone rattles either

Idiophones for eroro and egogo brass clapper - bells of different sizes.

One of these is gourd rattle -covered with a net to which seeds, beads, agates, or cowries have been attached. It is held and shaken in the right hand or in both hands, occasionally struck against the palm of the left hand. It is called Ukoise in Benin, and Esan, the Etsako calls it

a gourd rattle depends on the size of the gourd and the nature of the rattling substance. In rattling idiophone, the kind of rattling object attached to the net covering the gourd or inside it, is determined by the type of ceremony in which the instrument is used:

“Rattle idiophones are used by Edo peoples to produce an accompanying rhythm to mebrano-phone’s music. One of these is gourd rattle -covered with a net to which seeds, beads, agates, or cowries have been attached. It is held and shaken in the right hand or in both hands, occasionally struck against the palm of the left hand.”

Adams noticed at the beginning of the nineteenth century that some dancers were holding in their hands, excellent substitutes for castanets which consisted of small hollowed gourds over which are spread nets having small pease, strung on the sides of the meshes. Gourd rattles consisting of calabashes filled with small stones were among the instruments observed by some Spanish missionaries visiting Great Benin in the middle of the seventeenth century. Gourd rattle idiophones

single or double, consist of wicker case made of willow cane with calabash bottom, and filled with seeds, pebbles or other hard objects. A variant of the Ayo filled with seeds, or pebbles are however depicted on some old bronze plagues. It is however common among children making music and primarily to produce an accompanying rhymes in certain social dances. Jingling and rattle idiophones produce melodies1 some of which are used to accompany drums ensembles at Festivals and religious ceremonies in culture.




When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is microscopically a thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So, what the hell, leap! - Cynthia Heimel

FEMINIQUE With IJEOMA UMEH email: Tel: 08182382839 Talking of VIP, the governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, loved and admired by all and sundry for his leadership strides, is a very important person

Men’s Rascality At The Confab Meeting

Another Challenge To Womanhood

I SAW men, people I hitherto thought were real men born of women, they were not just youths, they were not boys, gingered by the retired militant, sorry, military man, Tony Nyiam, himself a member of the Committee on National Dialogue and Conference, and followed by Rev. Olu (or whatever) and the bearded war thug from the Niger Delta, and a few probably pre-motivated and hapless youths from the South-South ridicule their maternal DNA at the national dialogue meeting held in Benin City on Monday, October 28, and I thought of an Igbo proverb: ‘Ajo nwa si owerrie ba nneya afo’ which means, “The bad child, synonymous with an imbecile, a hideously deformed being, which entered the mother’s womb through the back door” It is a common proverb used by parents in describing deviant, terribly erring children, children whom it is believed, may be inhabited by strange beings. I thought something must have gone wrong with someone’s familial roots and upbringing somewhere. I thought Tony Nyiam, Rev. Olu(who even conferred him with that title?) and his likes, should actually ask questions about their biology and mode of entrance into our mortal space. I thought, and still maintain that opinion (those hideous fellows think rightthinking people are no longer entitled to their opinions), that there is so much work to do in womanhood, in child upbringing, even in the upbringing of adults who stopped growing as soon as they were born, nay, as soon

as they sneaked into their mothers womb through the back door!. Now, there was a time in Nigeria when youths themselves realized that politicians were planning to exterminate the entire youth force by mobilizing them for political thuggery and gun running, using them as ferries to transfer drugs and hard currency abroad only to subsequently discard them when they had realized their goal; even going on to perpetuate themselves in power while over 80% of the youth are unemployed, never giving them opportunity to actually become the popularly touted leaders of tomorrow, that is, if these youths survived to reminisce on all this. There was such a time! But…on Monday, this week, I doubted if, indeed, the youth, have realized the folly of dying for the bigbellied politicians, for I saw them, conscripted into thuggery by men who have since lost focus and in alliance with men who have totally refused to grow, men who have conferred the position of cretins on themselves, gone ahead to mess themselves up. I wish these kidding men would understand how a mother hurts when a child stops growing – or, when a child stops using their sensory organs to the fullest. It’s difficult to tell men to stop acting like children, but it would be easier to tell women, those mothers who continue to churn out children by the day, though it is no fault of theirs because no woman dictates to her personal god the kind of child she would desire to bear, but they should be more proactive in child

• President Goodluck Jonathan

upbringing, allotting time to nurture, to teach their children and wards, right from infancy the simple principles of life, among which is the duty to give honour to whom it is due! Proverbs is a popular book in the Bible and chapter 22:6 is equally very popular: Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it, and it readily comes to mind now. Mothers play vital roles in the upbringing of children, grooming them from vulnerable young stars to responsible adults. They don’t remain vulnerable, like those men displayed at the conference in Benin, for the rest of their lives, throwing hands in the air and chanting solidarity songs they kept devaluing by the day; songs they don’t know the history and application of. It’s indeed, a big shame that while our youths are realizing that thuggery only

benefits the ‘oga at the top’ at their own peril, men themselves, refuse to grow up, resolving to remain cretins for the rest of their lives. Family trees should be checked. DNAs should be re-examined, and mothers should go back to the basics and be more alive to their natural task of being caregivers to their children and wards. It’s another challenge, just like maternal and infant mortality, even breast and cervical cancer, or the latest, child marriage... That is talking seriously. These men were children, they grew up, or refused to grow, to becoming men and suddenly had retarded growth and life appeared to be at a standstill until they found a vocation – collecting ‘beer and pepper soup’ money from disgruntled elements and going ahead to disrupt proceedings at an auspicious moment like that when a VIP was expressing the obvious.

who, like every other individual, has the right to express himself at any given time. Honour is due to whom it is due! It is therefore, the duty of those men who refused to growup to listen attentively and applaud where necessary, or simply hold their peace. That is honourable, what real children born of women ought to do. By the way, who wants to be a judge in his own cause? Who ever taught Tony Nyiam how to be a member of a committee? Has he ever heard the words, ‘unbiased umpire’? Has he ever heard that people are entitled to their opinion? And talking of opinion, who doesn’t know that the Comrade Governor only stated a naked truth? Does the FG think it is deceiving Nigerians chasing shadows rather than advancing lasting solutions? Is the

poverty of the host of Nigerians not staring it in the face? We don’t know how much money or change has exchanged hands in this public show of shame, but I think some old men will be answering critical questions by now from their children: “Daddy, were you the one that was shouting?” Shameful, isn’t it? The kind of legacy fathers are bequeathing to their children even when mothers had failed to do their home work properly, running helter skelter to amass economic and filial gains, all the distractions still attributed to our collective poverty, the kind the Comrade Governor so fearlessly spoke about, the poverty that he wants addressed rather than the political smokescreen called national confab. It’s time, dear mothers, to look at your children right in the eye and demand of them: “Tony Nyiam, how many times have I called you?” Just hold the thought for now…FG, kindly let Nyiam go home and enjoy his retirement. But not after he must have tendered a written and published apology to the Comrade Governor and the good people of Edo State!

Words on Marble I once complained to my father that I didn’t seem to be able to do things the same way other people did. Dad’s advice? “Margo, don’t be a sheep. People hate sheep. They eat sheep.” - Margo Kaufman If you want a place in the sun, You must leave the shade of the family tree. - Osage Saying We are a spectacular, Splendid manifestation of life. We have language… we have affection We have genes for usefulness, And usefulness is about as close to a “common goal” of nature as I can guess at. - Lewis Thomas If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost, that is where they should be; now put the foundation under them. - Henry David Thoreau




Political Platform THE many voices from the northern part of the country are deliberately banging that power must return to the north in 2015. The undoing of these voices is the unrepresentative tune that has pervaded to tell Nigerians which part of the north they expect the power to return to, unlike Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has always sounded not misleading that power must return to the SouthEast of the country. As we may know, the Hausa/Fulani see power as their inheritance that must not be tasted by other Nigerians, let alone, by minorities in the north. But they are good at calling on all northerners to fight for a collective cause, such as the illusory yearning that power must return to the north in 2015. It is evident that the matrix ‘born to rule Nigeria’, as has been associated with northerners, is not the conviction of all the peoples of the north, but the credence of Hausa/ Fulani dominating north, who see Nigeria as their legacy that must be selfinterestedly protected by them, but using the minorities of the North, as prepared instruments. They also see the people from the Southern part of the country as defeated peoples that must be controlled in the country as long as it lasts. It was this hindsight that perhaps ignited the comment that was credited to Francois Duvalier, then President of Haiti, March 22, 1969, which substantiated that the “Federal Nigeria has never since her independence shown the distinctive mark of a

united nation. It has been impossible for her to silence tribal rivalries – to achieve that mixture of ethnic/cultural blend required to forge National Unity.” But what President Duvalier saw around 1969, was the aim and object of Hausa/Fulani hegemony in the north, which in 1952, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa had addressed the Northern House of Assembly, and purportedly submitted that: “The Southern people who are swamping into this region daily in such large numbers are really intruders; we don’t want them and they are not welcome here in the North. “Since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country. But the people are different in every way, including religion, custom, language and aspirations... we in the North take it that Nigeria unity is only a British intention for the country they created. IT IS NOT FOR US.” Known for their (Hausa/ Fulani) ground-breaking appetite in hostilities, Sir Ahmadu Bello apparently approached the Colonial Secretary in the same year, and said, “If you want us (the North) to be part of this Nigeria you have in mind, then we want 50% of the membership of the National Assembly.” Out-of-control, many Hausa/Fulani anti-truths have tried by magic or design to defend or discredit these comments credited to their personalities, but could not. They, however, resorted to labeling anybody who referred them to such comments as

2015: Orji

Kalu And Northerners

anti-Northerners, or something. But a keen observer of the Nigerian politics would attest to the fact that Hausa/Fulani peoples of the north have always been in disagreement that the manifold ethnic-groups in the country is the ultra of all the realities that formed


an advertorial put up in a national daily by one group with the name Northern Elders Forum/ Assembly. In the same manner, Dr Dikko was said to have made the following comment to Abiola in

reluctant to hold onto truth are the political supports they have garnered from places like Ijaw, Ibibio, Efik, Ikwerre, Kalabari, Ogoni, Ndigbo and so on from the present SouthEast and South-South, since December 1959 till

1983: “Presidency is not for sale”. The Hausa/ Fulani peoples of the north have always been bigheaded with statements that were tailored to churlish the people from across the Niger from becoming President of Nigeria. But what Hausa/Fulani have always forgotten or remembered but are

2007. They have only paid the South-South and South-East zones with unacceptable coin of bornto-rule thoughtless mindset, hence killings and destruction to property of Ndigbo in the north becomes fad. This is the reason all and sundry must support Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who has been shouting above his natural voice that 2015 should be for the SouthEast, because the people from this political zone have compromised much with the political equation in the country and are not ready for such again. Without doubt, Kalu is not using selfishly, any ethnic minorities in the

Dr Orji Kalu

Nigeria. We could recall that when President Goodluck Jonathan on the 15th September 2010 made his aim known that he needed the mandate of his party and Nigerians for another four years, the Hausa/ Fulani went on rampage. They threatened fire and brimstone through many avenues of which one was

“As we may know, the Hausa/Fulani see power as their inheritance that must not be tasted by other Nigerians, let alone, by minorities in the north. But they are good at calling on all northerners to fight for a collective cause, such as the illusory yearning that power must return to the north in 2015.”

South as instrument for this cause just as the Shylockic voices from the north are not proportionate with the truth of where they want the power to be rested should the presidency return to the north. They are now involving all the minorities in the north, when it is obvious that Hausa/Fulani peoples would not allow any minority from there to be a civilian president. Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu had formed the Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA), when it was obvious that he wanted an Igbo presidency, but his kinsmen like ex-Gov. Ikedi Ohakim and Gov. T.A Orji, who were overwhelmingly voted by Ndigbo in their respective states of Abia and Imo, because a personality like Kalu was involved, jumped ship at last and worked against the party, but they could not submerge it. Ndigbo have to align with Kalu since it is obvious that he is the lone voice now championing for Igbo Presidency in 2015, because Ndigbo are not sure when their role in defending their lives and their aboriginal land in the pogrom targeted against them that is christened Nigeria/Biafra war will be forgiven by the powers that be in Nigeria. Kalu is calling for synergy and corporation to move Nigeria forward. It is not sure what has made other Igbo politicians and dignitaries to be mute. He does not want Ndigbo to bear grudges against any tribes in Nigeria for all the pains they have been enduring in Nigeria, because he is of the principle that his movement for Igbo presidency will never be unproductive.




Religion YOUR Excellencies, Media Practitioners, Respected Citizens, Ladies and Gentlemen lend me your ears. You came, singly and collectively, not by accident, misadventure or error of judgment but by the WILL of God to rejoice with us in the peaceful celebration of Sallah festivity. Sallah on this occasion is called Eidel Adha. We welcome you all heartily. There are three Elds in Islam. Eid is an Arabic word which means a day of collective enjoyment, The first Eld is called Al-Jumuah (Q62) which occurs on Friday of every week. The second is Eid-el-fitr which is a ceremony globally celebrated at the conclusion of Ramadhan fasting every year. Besides, there is also Eid-eI Adha or Eid-el Kabr which celebration is the global performance of Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ten weeks or seventy days after the celebration of Eid-el-fitr. The movement to Saudi Arabia for Hajj is the greatest single volume of human movement (traffic) in the World. Eld-el Adha is about obedience, fidelity in the execution of a promise made, sacrifice and the total submission to the WILL of God by Prophet Abraham who willingly offered to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to God. This ceremony is a Symbolism of the honesty, humility and supreme example of obedience which Prophet Abraham AZAR represents in Scriptures. Prophet Abraham was a righteous man and became God’s intimate friend, He and his wife, Sarah, lived near sinless lives. They were strong in FAITH but were childless. They had no boy or girl whatsoever but remained faithful, patient and obedient to God.

Eventually, God Almighty decided to reward them abundantly for their righteousness. Consequently, God sent a message through Angel Gabriel, the Holy Ghost (Ruh-ul-Qudus) to Abraham. God in the message commanded Abraham to leave his family, his clan, his community and his Country for another place entirely. He was asked if there was anything he particularly wanted God to do for him. He expressed his desire for a child and promised to do anything expected of him in return if God would actually bless him with only a child. He did not ask for two or ten children but only one child. He obeyed God’s commandment willingly without delay as delay defeats equity. He took his wife, Sarah and his nephew, Lot, bade his father farewell and left for the unknown in obedience to God’s directive regardless of his age. He was more than seventy years old at the time God directed him to relocate. His name had earlier been changed from Abram to Abraham by God. Interlude: Songs Ohi fe me-. Ohi fe me Ohi fe me o oh x (3): Sike odaro khere, uwa revbodaro. Oba Fe me, Oba Fe me, Oba fe me,.. o oh x (3): Sike odaro khere, uwa revbodaro Prophet Abraham moved to Cannan and settled in Hebron in Israel. He prospered. He and Lot eventually parted ways peacefully. Lot settled and prospered in Sodom and Gornmorah. Initially, God blessed Abraham with the birth of a son, Ishmael., through Haggal, Sarah’s Egyptian house maid. By his fidelity, obedience, righteousness, humility and perseverance God made

Sallah’s Message Concerning-Eid-El-ADHA

him very rich in Cattle, Silver and Gold. God also blessed him with a second child (son), Isaac through Sarah. At the time God considered it convenient, He ordered Abraham through Angel Gabriel to sacrifice his son (Ishmael) in fulfilment of the promise he made to God at the time he requested to be blessed by God with only a child. It was a great moment of temptation in the life of Prophet Abraham. God rewarded him greatly and made him father of many generations at his old age. Interlude: Song Ese khikhe ma! vboa a oh x (3): Ese khikhe x (3): mal vL,oa ..... O oh x (3). Ese khikhe mai vbode ... o oh x (3): Ese khikhe x (3): mal vbode ... O oh x (3).


Surprisingly, Prophet Abraham was provided with a Ram in the jungle where he was about to slaughter his son, Ishmael, in compliance with the promise he made to God. Again, by his immutable fidelity, Lot, his nephew, was saved with his two daughters from calamity (family) during the annihilation or total destruction of Sodom and Gommorah by God. Lessons taught which must be learnt include the fact that human beings must always fear and obey God in humility and sincerity. Mankind must understand and appreciate the fact that there is no armour against fate. Destiny is immutable (cannot be changed by

“He obeyed God’s commandment willingly without delay as delay defeats equity. He took his wife, Sarah and his nephew, Lot, bade his father farewell and left for the unknown in obedience to God’s directive regardless of his age. He was more than seventy years old at the time God directed him to relocate.”

man). Mankind must be patient, persevere, faithful and wait for God’s blessings because God does not diminish the wages of the righteous. Prophet Abraham is a Hero in Scriptures. He obeyed, prepared and progressed to actualise his promise when suddenly in the process of compliance the Mercy of God prevailed. Abraham buried his wife, Sarah, in the Cave he bought for four hundred pieces of silver in Hebron-Cannan when she died at the age of 127 years. Ishmael and Isaac, his two Sons, both buried him n the same Cave when he died at the age of 1Th years. Interlude: Song. So, He is a jolly good fellow... ooh x3: so say all of us, so say all of us x 3. So, He is a jolly good fellow... ooh x 3; so say all of us, so say all of us x3. The message to Nigerians on this occasion is that Religion is meant to be used to relate and understand God properly, appreciate and peacefully accommodate ourselves as human beings whose stay in the World is ephemeral.

Indeed, every Religion advocates peaceful coexistence and condemns violence in totality. No Religion is known to thrive on violence. Nigerians must recognise their individual differences, accommodate, appreciate and live peacefully in social harmony. Insha Allah, peaceful Nigeria will progressively achieve political stability, social harmony, economic growth, greatness and prosperity which will lead to the attainment of an egalitarian society. Citizens who disagree with the Government deserve the respect of civilised engagement and not the visible scorn of assumed imperial infallibility by people in leadership positions. Indeed, good governance will stabilise Nigeria and strengthen the unity of Nigerians. If tomorrow cannot be lived comfortably and directly in the heart of knowledge, then, what is there in tomorrow to be lived? There is the urgent need for stability and harmony in Nigeria.




International Feature

Is Obamacare’s Legality Still In Doubt? LYLE Denniston looks at four potentially very significant new challenges under way to Obamacare, including one argument that is growing in popularity with the law’s critics. “My jaw dropped when I first saw this. This has the potential to sink Obamacare. It could make the current website problems seem minor by comparison.” – Michael F. Cannon, health policy analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington, discussing a series of lawsuits challenging the Internal Revenue Service’s interpretation of a key provision in the new federal health care law, as quoted in an October 25 story by David G. Savage in The Los Angeles Times. Cannon is a critic of the law. “This is definitely heating up. It is now the major focus of the Republican strategy for undoing the Affordable Care Act.” – Simon Lazarus, an attorney for the C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Accountability Center in Washington, as quoted by Savage in the same story. Lazarus is a supporter of the law. WE CHECKED THE CONSTITUTION, AND… In a very real sense, a law’s constitutionality is seldom settled once and for all; Americans are very fond of using the courts to go on challenging a law even if it has once been held valid – or more than once. For example, there is still a continuing campaign to overturn at least parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, nearly a half century after its enactment. For a more extreme example, there is still a good deal of constitutional doubt hanging over a law that Congress passed in 1867, in the middle

of the Civil War, to try to stop fraud by government contractors. If a law is deeply controversial, its critics can be counted upon to try to find ever-new ways to test it. That is the reality today for President Obama’s most important domestic policy program, the overhaul of the nation’s health care system – the Affordable Care Act, or, as it is more widely known, by critics and supporters alike, “Obamacare.”

that mandate. Perhaps only lawyers and judges can draw a point so finely, but the Court last year actually upheld the penalty without explicitly upholding the duty to obtain insurance, and now both are scheduled to go into effect next year. The individual mandate is also at the center of the continuing problems the government is having with the website that is the portal through which Americans sign up for health insurance.

to be vulnerable, in a potentially devastating way, is that so many of the parts are interacting, and a court decision against one may have a spreading impact on others. The reality is that the Supreme Court has only begun to be asked to reject key parts of the law, with more cases making their way through the lower courts. There are four potentially very significant new


From the very day in March 2010 that the President signed that measure into law, it has been under assault on three fronts: in the courts, in Congress, and in nearly three dozen states. Its central feature is a mandate that individuals obtain health insurance, or pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service. Many Americans believe, and even President Obama has been known to say, that the Supreme Court has upheld

The primary aim of Obamacare is to get nearly everybody in America covered by a health policy, but that goal can’t be reached if individuals are thwarted when they try to enroll. One of the reasons why Obamacare cannot escape repeated challenges in court is that it has so many parts to it, and arguments can be made against a good many of them. And one of the reasons that it may continue

challenges under way. Within coming weeks, the Justices are expected to act on the first of this new round of challenges. That is a case being pursued by Liberty University, the religious college in Lynchburg, Va., which contends that the individual insurance mandate interferes with its and its workers’ religious beliefs – a point that the Supreme Court did not consider last year. The administration’s

“The primary aim of Obamacare is to get nearly everybody in America covered by a health policy, but that goal can’t be reached if individuals are thwarted when they try to enroll.”

lawyers are trying to persuade the Supreme Court to deny review of that case, partly for some of the same procedural reasons that they tried to use, unsuccessfully, to head off the earlier challenges to the mandate. The administration itself has asked the Court to review, in the current term, the part of Obamacare that requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide their workers with coverage for a variety of birth-control drugs and pregnancy screening methods. This second challenge developed in more than five dozen lawsuits across the country, with conflicting results that the Supreme Court is likely to step in to resolve. The third new legal protest that may reach the Justices in coming months is a claim, now under review by a federal appeals court in Washington, that the penalty provision that the court upheld last year is itself unconstitutional. The argument is that, since the Constitution requires that all tax and revenue measures must get their start in the House of Representatives, this provision is invalid because it originated in the Senate. A federal judge blocked that claim, on procedural grounds. As part of that lawsuit, the challenging lawyers are contending that the individual mandate was explicitly not upheld by the Supreme Court last year, so it is open to different opposing arguments. The fourth new challenge is just getting started in several federal courts around the country, and it apparently has major potential for disrupting Obamacare’s interdependent scheme of coverage and thus is growing in popularity with the law’s critics. Under the law, if individuals’ income is too low for them to afford insurance coverage, they are exempted from the mandate to buy it and can expect to be eligible for governmentprovided medical care for the poor. But the government wants many of those individuals to

be able to shop for affordable coverage on the new “exchanges,” or insurance marketplaces, that the law creates. To make them eligible, Obamacare provides a tax credit they can apply toward insurance premiums. The tax credit offer is considered vital to making the exchanges work, to assure that many of the nation’s lower income families get covered, and to assure that there are enough customers to keep insurance companies offering affordable policies in those exchanges. The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that this tax credit will be available to lower income people in every exchange across the country. But the new lawsuits contend that the IRS has simply misapplied the law. The law, as they read its wording, says that the tax credit only applies to those shopping at an exchange run by a state government, not at the federal substitutes. Obamacare gives the states the option of setting up their own exchanges. If they choose not to do so, the government will set up an exchange on its own. Thirtyfour of the 50 states have set up their own exchanges, and the new lawsuits are based on the claim that the tax credits don’t apply there at all. Those lawsuits are being pursued by individuals who do not want to obtain health insurance, and they live in states running their own exchanges. They claim that, if the tax credit applies in those states, they will be forced into getting insurance from marketplaces because the tax credit will put the insurance premiums below the mandate’s threshold compared to their income level. That challenge, a threat to the core of the exchange system, is on its surface only a test of what Congress meant in the language it put into the law about tax credits. Ultimately, though, it is a test of how much leeway the government has to write rules that make Obamacare actually work in practical terms, and that, too, has significant constitutional implications.




Issues How Relevant Is The Proposed 2013 Nat’l Confab To Nat’l Devt? By ISAIAH OSIFO

IT is obvious that the proposed 2013 National Conference/Dialogue has received different opinions on the relevance or otherwise of the conference to our national development. The President of Nigeria, National Assembly and the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference/Dialogue are expected to be preoccupied with the relevance of this conference to our national development. In a republican democratic government, what should give legitimacy over and above an existing government that is already put in place by a democratic process? The nature and the composition of the Conference members and the agenda of the conference will determine whether a National Conference/ Dialogue is legitimate, co-ordinate or superior to the existing legislative chambers at the local government areas, States and National. In my opinion, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has defined his own legitimacy and legal framework of the national conference/ dialogue in his remarks that the resolutions of the conference will be sent to the National Assembly for necessary constitutional legislation. Arising from the remarks of Mr. President,

the credibility or the necessity of the National Conference/Dialogue will depend upon the willingness of the legislative arm of government to transform the resolutions of the conference into a law. If the resolutions of the conference will be subjected to the legislations of the States and National Assemblies, where lies the necessity of the conference for our national development? A National Conference/Dialogue must not necessarily assemble people in Abuja, the Federal Capital. If the views of a local farmer or a market woman in the village are reflected and implemented at the central level of government such discussions have become national. The Presidential Advisory Committee should not fall into the temptation of nominating or recommending the nomination of few persons in each state, senatorial and local government areas for the purpose of representing the views of the entire political unit. No nominee from each of this unit can exercise the legitimacy of the people because such nominee is inferior to the existing elected representatives at the local government areas, senatorial and state levels. The Presidential Advisory Committee

President Goodluck Jonathan.

cannot perform the functions of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or State Independent Electoral Commission, (SIEC) for the purpose of electing conference members. Even if INEC or SIEC is willing to conduct the election of conference/ dialogue members, it will be difficult to achieve before 2015 general election. If the conduct of election for conference/ dialogue members is possible before 2015 general election, it will amount to gross profligacy to spend the

resources of our country in the conduct of an election of conference/ dialogue members whose resolutions will be subjected to another round of legislative enactment. It is my opinion that this National Conference/Dialogue was put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria to demonstrate that the present government is the listening type. To convince Nigerians on the sincerity of this conference, the Federal Government has a responsibility to explain what has happened to

the resolutions of several conferences held in this country. This conference can only be relevant to our National development if the government can demonstrate its sensitivity to the feelings of the Nigerian people. Conference members, whether nominated or elected, should not assemble in Abuja and repeat the mistakes of the past by incurring unnecessary huge expenditure on hotel accommodation, feeding, transport and other logistics on issues

that will be further subjected to the scrutiny of the legislative arm of government. We do not want a jamboree. W i t h o u t necessarily pre-empting the views of Nigerians, I hold the opinion that our problem in this country is neither ethnic nor religious. I disagree with those advocating the nomination of National Conference/ Dialogue members on the basis of ethnic representation. Our problem is linked to political leadership and our discussions and actions should be geared towards the evolvement of a responsible political leadership. There is no quick solution to all our problems in this country. Collectively, we can lay a strong foundation in resolving our problems in Nigeria. This foundation should be the sincerity of all tiers and arms of government, clear and unambiguous war against corruption in all its ramifications and the need for the devolution of political power, authority and resources to states and local governments. I am still in search of the relevance of the proposed 2013 National Conference/Dialogue to the development of Nigeria. Isaiah Osifo, Ph.D is a former Chief of Staff to Edo State Government. e-mail:

“There is no quick solution to all our problems in this country. Collectively, we can lay a strong foundation in resolving our problems in Nigeria. This foundation should be the sincerity of all tiers and arms of government, clear and unambiguous war against corruption in all its ramifications and the need for the devolution of political power, authority and resources to states and local governments.”




International Israel City Divided By Religion After Close Vote

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel After a contentious mayoral election between secular and ultra-Orthodox rivals, this deeply divided city has become a flashpoint for a religious struggle that is threatening to tear Israel apart. Claiming the election was stolen, secular and moderately religious residents of Beit Shemesh are arranging large demonstrations against the ultraOrthodox mayor, demanding a new vote and even suggesting the city be split in two. But the protests go far beyond the alleged election fraud. They cut at the very nature of Israel as it tries to maintain its character as both a Jewish state and a pluralistic democracy. “I really feel like they (the ultra-Orthodox) are trying to conquer our city. It’s not ‘live and let live.’ They are pushing us out,” said Etti Amos, 56, who has lived in Beit Shemesh since her family emigrated from Morocco when she was a child. She said her three children have left town because they saw no future. Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 10 percent of Israel’s

population. Maintaining a strict lifestyle that revolves around prayer, most live in ultraOrthodox dominated towns or in insular neighborhoods in larger cities like Jerusalem. While generally keeping to themselves, they often face resentment from the general public for shirking compulsory military service while receiving taxpayer stipends to pursue religious studies. They have also caused controversy by trying to force their conservative lifestyle on others. Beit Shemesh, a city of about 100,000 west of Jerusalem, is split almost equally between the ultra-Orthodox and the others — a vibrant mixture of secular, modern Orthodox, Russian and American immigrants and Jews of Middle Eastern descent who all coexist peacefully. Frictions have increased as neighborhoods have begun to overlap. Residents also say that the ultra-Orthodox mayor has neglected their needs, reneging on promises to build a sports stadium, a cultural center and a library, while funneling resources and construction projects almost exclusively to

his own community. “If the current planning policies continue to be as they have, there will be no need for an election in 2018 because the ultra-Orthodox will already be a clear majority,” said Daniel Goldman, a modern Orthodox religious activist. “There is a constant undercurrent of tension and the more the ultra-Orthodox grow, the more influence they wield in City Hall, the more we feel uncomfortable.” Last week’s municipal election highlighted the divisions. Secular challenger Eli Cohen said the campaign should have focused on the mismanagement by incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul. Instead, it became about religion. Official results show voters lined up almost entirely along religious affiliation. UltraOrthodox neighborhoods voted overwhelmingly for Abutbul, while other areas supported Cohen, with a little more than 900 votes separating them. Dozens of witnesses have alleged fraud, including ballots

that were damaged and disqualified, and residents with questionable identification trying to vote more than once. About 2,000 people demonstrated late Tuesday, calling for a new election. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said eight people have been charged with voter fraud after being found with 200 fake ID cards. Abutbul rejects the accusations and says he won fairly. He boasts of paving roads and building malls and restaurants that cater to secular residents and says he will continue to serve everyone

equally. “Even if they need to have a revote at one or two ballot boxes, the results will stay the same,” he told The Associated Press. “The city will stay the same city. There is room for everyone. ... I build for everyone. Those who will try to distort my image will face stiff resistance.” He said those who questioned the election were “making it such that good people will not come to the city.” With their high birth rates, the ultra-Orthodox are the largest growing segment of Israeli society. Many see Beit Shemesh as a battle that could signal trends in the country.

Syria Meets Deadline To Destroy Chemical BEIRUT - Syria has Production Facilities destroyed or rendered inoperable all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities, meeting a major deadline in an ambitious disarmament program, the international chemical weapons watchdog said Thursday. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which won the Nobel Peace prize this month, said its teams had inspected 21 out of 23 chemical weapons sites across the country. The other two were too dangerous to inspect, but the chemical equipment had already been moved to other sites that experts had visited, it said. Syria “has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable,” it said, meeting a deadline to do so no later than November 1. The next deadline is November 15, by when the OPCW and Syria must agree to a detailed plan of destruction, including how and where to destroy more than 1,000 metric tonnes of toxic agents and munitions. Under a Russian-American brokered deal, Damascus agreed to destroy all its chemical weapons after Washington threatened to use force in response to the killing of hundreds of people in a sarin attack on the outskirts of

Damascus on August 21. It was the world’s deadliest chemical weapons incident since Saddam Hussein’s forces used poison gas against the Kurdish town of Halabja 25 years ago. “This was a major milestone in the effort to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons program,” Ralf Trapp, an independent chemical weapons disarmament specialist, said. “Most of the sites and facilities declared by Syria to the OPCW have been inspected, their inventories verified, equipment for chemical weapons production disabled and put beyond use, and some of the unfilled weapons have also been disabled.” Mohammad, a 13 year-old fighter from the Free Syrian Army, aims his weapon through a hole in a wall … At one of those locations the OPCW said it was able to verify destruction work remotely, while Syrian forces had abandoned the other two sites. Trapp said it was “important to ensure that the remaining facilities can be inspected and their equipment and weapons inventoried and prepared for destruction as soon as possible”. The United States and its allies blamed Assad’s forces for the attack and several earlier incidents. The Syrian president has rejected the charge, blaming rebel brigades. Under the disarmament timetable, Syria was due to

render unusable all production and chemical weapons filling facilities by November 1 - a target it has now met. By mid2014 it must have destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons. The OPCW mission is being undertaken in the midst of Syria’s 2-1/2 year civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people. The unprecedented conditions had raised concerns that the violence would impede the disarmament, but the OPCW says Syrian authorities have been cooperating with the weapons experts, who have been able to visit all but three of the chemical sites. Syrian authorities said that “the chemical weapons program items removed from these sites were moved to other declared sites”, an OPCW document said. “These sites holding items from abandoned facilities were inspected.” The OPCW has not said which sites it has been unable to visit, but a source briefed on their operations said one of them was in the Aleppo area of northern Syria and another was in Damascus province. One major chemical weapons site is located close to the town of Safira, south-east of Aleppo. Assad’s forces have bombarded the town in recent weeks in an attempt to expel rebel fighters including al Qaeda-linked brigades.

• Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

In its most extreme neighborhoods, the ultraOrthodox have erected signs calling for the separation of sexes on the sidewalks, dispatched “modesty patrols” to enforce a chaste female appearance, and hurled stones at offenders and outsiders. Other signs exhort women to dress in closed-necked, longsleeved blouses and long skirts, and announce that computers and Internet connections are prohibited. In the most famous case, an 8-year-old girl was assaulted two years ago by extremists who spat on her and called her a whore for walking through their neighborhood in an “immodest” fashion.







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Arshavin Bemoans Arsenal Fans’ Lack ANDREY Arshavin has hit Of Passion White Hart Lane. out at fans of former club Arsenal, describing the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium as ‘like a theatre’. The Russian said Arsenal had no home advantage due to the lack of noise, and claimed senior players had also grumbled about it. He told The Sun: “The atmosphere was weird. It felt like the crowd was at the theatre…good seats, expensive tickets and they wanted to see a show, not to support the team. “It was like there was no advantage in playing at home. Many of the players…the leaders that were left from the club’s time at Highbury…often

• Andrei Ashavin

Arsenal, Liverpool In Top-of-The-Table Clash

ARSENAL and Liverpool will look to continue with their positive starts in the Premier League when they meet in an anticipated clash at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday night. The Gunners kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa back in August but since then they have gone for eight matches without defeat, winning seven of them. The brilliant run has sent Arsene Wenger’s side to the top of the log standings 22 points from nine matches. However, they go into this game looking to bounce back after losing 2-0 to London rivals Chelsea in a midweek league cup clash and defender Thomas Vermaelen believes it’s vital to maintain their league form. “It is a bit disappointing of

course,” he said in reference to the cup loss. “I don’t think they (Chelsea) had a lot of chances to be honest, especially in the second half when we dominated the game. “We couldn’t create a lot of chances ourselves but at the end it’s quite a disappointing result. “It’s really important for the league, we need to respond quickly. It’s good the game is on Saturday and we can respond on the defeat from Tuesday night.” Liverpool go into the clash high in confidence following their 4-1 league win over West Bromwich which left them in third place with 20 points, just

two points behind the Gunners. A win on Saturday could send the Reds to the top of the table and midfielder Jordan Henderson says they are determined to make a strong statement away from home. “Confidence is very high at the minute,” he told the club’s website. “We’ve started the season very well, but there’s still room for improvement and we’re still going to push and try and become better as a team. “So hopefully we can keep doing what we’ve been doing and we can go to the Emirates and get a good result. “They’re all tough games in the Premier League and Arsenal have been flying of late. But so have we, so I think it will be a good game to watch and

Mourinho Loses Spanish Libel Case

JOSE Mourinho has lost a legal case taken against Marca writer Roberto Palomar — who wrote in an article that Mourinho was like a “typical hit-and-run driver”. The article was published on September 17, 2012 at a time when Mourinho’s Real Madrid side was not playing well amid

Cristiano Ronaldo’s claims of ‘sadness’ and the worsening of relations between Mourinho and players including Iker Casillas. It argued that the Portuguese coach did not take responsibility for his own mistakes, and he was the type of person who

Pellegrini Keeps Keeper Hart MANCHESTER City In Suspense manager Manuel Pellegrini has hinted that under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart could be dropped for his side’s game against Norwich City on Saturday. Hart was criticised for racing from his line and gifting Chelsea a late winning goal in City’s 21 defeat at Chelsea in the Premier League last Sunday. He was one of 10 players

rested for Wednesday’s 2-0 League Cup fourth-round win at Newcastle United, with Romanian deputy Costel Pantilimon producing an assured display in his absence. But while Hart would ordinarily expect to be recalled for the league game against Norwich, Pellegrini said that he had been impressed by Pantilimon’s performance.

would cause a mess and not stick around to fix it. Mourinho was not impressed and ordered his lawyers to sue for retraction, while also seeking 15,000 euros in damages which he would donate to the youth team in Madrid for which his son played at the time. On Wednesday, judge Sagrario Arroyo Garcia rejected that plea, ruling that “the freedom of information and expression of the accused must prevail, so the legal action has been rejected.” Palomar’s article was an early skirmish in the long-running battle between Mourinho and the local press in the Spanish capital, at the beginning of what would prove to be the Portuguese coach’s final season at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

hopefully we can get a good result. “It would send out a message to the rest of the teams that we’re here and we mean business. But I think the main focus is going there and playing like we have been.” Last season this fixture ended in a 2-2 draw with the Reds racing to a two-goal lead through Luis Suarez and Henderson, before Arsenal replied through strikes from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.

complained that the atmosphere in the stands was so bad.” Arshavin made a sensational start to his Gunners’ career after joining in February 2009, including a four-goal salvo against Liverpool. However, he failed to maintain his level of play and fell from favour with Arsene Wenger before leaving the club permanently in June. His comments are unlikely to find much favour with Arsenal fans, who often criticised the mercurial Arshavin for failing to apply himself consistently. In January 2012 loud boos rang out when Arshavin came off the bench to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during a home defeat to Manchester United. Arshavin’s comments follow complaints by Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas about the lack of support at White Hart Lane against Hull on Sunday. Villas Boas said after the 10 win: “We didn’t have the support we should have done. There was much anxiety from the stands, the players had to do it alone.” However, he was full of praise for the fans after Wednesday’s League Cup victory, also against Hull at

Beckham Backs Moyes For Success

DAVID Beckham has backed David Moyes to win over his doubters at Manchester United, after insisting whoever succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson was likely to be in for a rough ride at Old Trafford. Beckham dodged questions about Ferguson’s controversial autobiography in an earlier media appearance to promote his own new book, but he was a little more candid on talkSPORT radio when quizzed on Moyes’s stuttering start to life at his former club. “I played with him [Moyes] during my loan spell at Preston and I’ve seen him progress as a manager over the years at Everton,” said Beckham. “I’m really happy for him that he got the job at United because he’s a really great person and he’s a talented manger. It’s good to see him there and the United fans are behind him well which is a good thing. “Whoever took over after Sir Alex Ferguson left it was

always going to be a difficult time, a transitional time, but at the end of the day, it’s like when a player leaves, Manchester United are still Manchester United. “Sir Alex has retired, but David Moyes has taken over, United always move on when they sell players and I’m sure they will with Moyes as manager now.”

• David Beckham

He said: “They were the difference, inspiring us always cheering, always supporting. “It was a great atmosphere and it was great for the team to feel that empathy with the supporters.”

Toure Doubts United Ability To Defend Title MANCHESTER City midfielder Yaya Toure has said in The Sun that Manchester United are “really struggling” under manager David Moyes. United have begun the defence of their Premier League title with just four wins from their opening nine matches of the 2013-14 season. The Red Devils trail leaders Arsenal by eight points, though seventhplaced City sit just two points above Moyes’ side in the standings. Regardless, Toure doubts if United can retain their crown and instead has tipped Liverpool, who are currently third, as a force to be reckoned with. He said: “United will find it hard to defend the title since they have a new manager and are really struggling. “Liverpool are a big threat at the moment because they have a strong squad and their strikers — Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge — are scoring goals at will.” Toure also gave his backing to goalkeeper Joe Hart, whose place in the side has been up for debate following his mistake in the 2-1 loss at Chelsea. The Ivory Coast international added: “Joe is a top keeper who gives his all to the team.”




‘Commander’ Ronaldo Hits Back At Blatter

Maradona and Sergio

Ancelotti Praises ‘The Real’ Gareth Bale

REAL Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes Gareth Bale finally proved his worth with a starring display in Wednesday’s 7-3 win over Sevilla. Bale scored a brace and physically and he is provided two assists in an improving his eventful win for Los confidence, so he will be Blancos and the very important for us in Welshman’s performance the future.” garnered high praise from Real’s attacking line his team-mates and proved most effective, coach. with Cristiano Ronaldo Ancelotti insists Bale’s grabbing a hat-trick and overall movement shows Karim Benzema breaking he is gradually adapting his goal drought with a to the La Liga style. double of his own. “Tonight everyone saw The potency in front of the real Gareth,” he said. goal helped to cancel out “He played really well, the Spanish champions’ showing fantastic skills. defensive woes, as It takes time [to adapt] but Sevilla made a number of it was a necessity. Now he valiant attempts to doesn’t have problems salvage a result.

“It was a bit of a crazy game, we started very well and were 3-0 up,” Ancelotti added. “We then lost a bit of concentration and balance and the game was alive again. Offensively we played very well, we scored a lot of goals. We had a lot of good individual performances, especially up front.” Midfielder Xabi Alonso made his return from injury and Ancelotti is happy to gradually ease the Spain international back into the squad. “We need to give him minutes, he was desperate

Messi Distanced From Tax Issue tax havens.

THE court hearing Lionel Messi’s tax case has been told the Barcelona player did not have any role in managing his own ‘image rights’ income. Messi and his father Jorge

Lionel Messi

gave evidence in court in late September, answering charges the pair evaded over four million euros in taxes between 2007 and 2009 by routing such ‘image rights’ income through offshore

The pair deny any wrongdoing, and reportedly told the judge that they were misled by their financial advisors and were now happy to make right any wrongs they had unwittingly committed. Messi senior then told the media that he and his son were both cooperating fully with the authorities. Reports in Spain say the judge was told by experts from Spain’s ‘Hacienda’ tax authority, in a hearing this Wednesday, that Messi junior did not ‘manage’ his own image rights. It now looks likely the four time Ballon d’Or winner will not face further direct punishment, having already paid a total of five million euros to cover money due for the period in question — including taxes which were not paid initially, plus ‘reparations’. Earlier in the summer the Messi family paid 10 million euros in taxes due on such ‘image rights’ income for the years 2010 and 2011.

to play and I think he is ready to play from the beginning,” he said. “He has done everything he needs to be physically ready and he is a player that doesn’t need the physical conditioning of others because he has so many other qualities.”

CRISTIANO Ronaldo hit back at FIFA president Sepp Blatter during his blistering hat-trick for Real Madrid against Sevilla. The Portuguese celebrated the first of his three goals in a 7-3 win with a militarystyle salute, a reference to Blatter’s mocking claim that Ronaldo behaves “like a commander on the field of play”. Blatter’s comments at the Oxford Union included a dig at Ronaldo’s hairdressers’ bills and an admission that he prefers Lionel Messi. They provoked a furious response from Ronaldo and

Real Madrid, forcing Blatter into a grovelling apology. The 28-year-old followed up a carefully-worded ‘tribute’ to Blatter with his on-field salute during a performance that spelled out the benefits of a player who takes a commanding role. Ronaldo scored his 22nd hat-trick for Real Madrid, taking his season’s tally to 15 goals in 13 games. Gareth Bale added two, his first for the club, in an outrageously entertaining match that saw Real bounce back from their 2-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona.

on a group of Spurs fans in a pub in Rome last year November have been jailed. A bunch of English fans were drinking peacefully in a pub last year in the centre of Rome before a Europa League clash with Lazio when AS Roma ultras launched a vicious attack on them. The police later described the attack as a well-planned “urban

guerrilla warfare” operation using smoke bombs and tear gas to help neutralise their victims. Thirteen people were injured in the attack at the Druken Ship pub in the Campo de Fiori piazza. On Monday, two men, Francesco Ianari (27) and Mauro Pinnelli (26) were sentenced to four years and five months and five years and six months in jail respectively.

Italian Hooligans TWO Italian hooligans Jailed who took part in an attack

Maradona Labels Sergio Aguero Radio Metro AFTER celebrating his ‘A Wimp’ Argentina’s while in Dubai. “I spoke to

53rd birthday, Diego Maradona has hit out at his former son-in law Sergio Aguero, calling the Manchester City striker ‘a wimp’. Aguero split with Maradona’s daughter Giannina earlier in the year after they were married for four years. The couple had one son, and the child and

mother are currently residing in Madrid. Having been the most highprofile father-in-law at the time, Maradona has now slammed Aguero, and is threatening to take legal action against the City man. “He’s a wimp, who I don’t even want to name,” Maradona told the ‘Perros de la calle’ programme on

Benjamin [Aguero’s son] on Skype two days ago and he said to me: ‘Grandpa if I don’t see you, happy birthday’. I began to cry. “In my daughter’s next meeting with a lawyer, I want to be by her side. We’ll see who can talk. The next time I want to be there to see if he [Aguero] says anything.”

OLYMPIQUE Marseille will try to stop their descent into hell when they travel to Rennes on Saturday in matchday 12 of the Ligue 1 (Kickoff at 18h00 CAT). The Marseillais have just suffered five consecutive defeats through all competition and have no choice but to win if they do not want to sink completely. It is the message Olympique Marseille’s goalkeeper Steve Mandanda sent after their defeat against Reims at the

Vélodrome Stadium last weekend. “Now it is just too much, whether it is for the club or the fans who did not give up and have been supportive through all this. We have to be better and not give up. The season is still long,” declared OM’s skipper. “You may not want to hear the same story, but it is the reality of the situation, there are many games left. We are going through difficult times, we have to stick together and move forward.”

The Marseillais have not lost a game in Rennes since 2008, but the Bretons are picking up confidence at the moment. After a tricky run of two defeats and as many draws, Philippe Montanier’s men trashed Toulouse 5-0 away in their last Ligue 1 outing before booking their ticket for the round of 16 in the League Cup against Nancy. Currently lying in eighth place, the “Rouge et Noir” can overtake their opponent of the day should they secure the three points at home.

OM Vow To Stop Their Downward Spiral




Reformer Wants Swiss Govt To Be More Interested In FIFA

MARK Pieth, a selfacclaimed reformer of FIFA, on Wednesday said sponsors should take a bigger interest in the way the world football governing body is run. “The Swiss government can also do more to prod Zurichbased FIFA to change its ways,’’ Pieth added during a presentation to the “Play the Game’’ conference in Aarhus, Denmark, on Wednesday. “It’s a bit of a sad story that the sponsors haven’t come out more forcibly and I think we should encourage them to do so,” he said. Pieth suggested to the sponsors to take the football body’s governance reform very seriously. He however said recent events in Brazil, which is hosting the 2014 World Cup, may have forced sponsors to think differently. The Confederations Cup, a dry run for next year’s tournament, took place amid a wave of nationwide protests in Brazil. The cost of hosting the World Cup was among the causes of public anger. “I think for the first time in Brazil, they have realised the buying (sponsoring) of such an event can also turn to a disadvantage....if your name is associated on television with unrest all the time,” said Pieth. He said Switzerland could do more simply by ending taxexempt status. “The host state could require a certain minimum in governance (standards). “You don’t have to change a single law or the status of these companies. If you cannot judge whether they’re non-profit, you cannot give them tax-exempt status.” “The consequence could be that they will flee the country. That is what the state needs to do.” “With FIFA, you have the difficulties that the world is facing vis-a-vis corruption, and you have a patronage network of people who believe they are in a private environment,” added Pieth. “You don’t have to go so far to realise this. If you go to southern Europe, you have fantastic football nations, one after the other. But they are not very enthusiastic about this reform process and would rather ditch it sooner than later.” However, he said the recent changes to FIFA’s executive committee could eventually lead to reform. “Between one quarter and one third of the executive committee has been changed,” he said.

Sepp Blatter, FIFA boss


FIFA Tasks Toure YAYA Toure has been offered a role on FIFA’s antiracism task force after voicing his disturbance in being racially abused by CSKA Moscow fans. The Ivoirian’s allegation of being a victim of monkey chants during Manchester City’s Champions League win at CSKA Moscow led to his meeting the leader of world football’s fight against discrimination, Fifa vicepresident Jeffrey Webb. A brief talk was held after City’s defeat to Chelsea on Sunday evening and it included a discussion about the midfielder getting involved in the task force. FIFA and UEFA’s control and disciplinary body will meet to determine whether CSKA supporters are guilty of ‘racist behaviour ’ towards Toure, something which could lead to a stadium ban and a heavy fine

Rory Mcllroy

Golf: Mcllroy

RORY McIlroy enjoyed one of his best rounds of a disappointing season to storm into a two-shot lead over a star-studded field at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament. Spaniard Gonzalo Displaying a deft short Fernandez-Castano and game with a new lob wedge, Welshman Jamie Donaldson McIlroy reeled off eight are tied for second on fivebirdies en route to a first under, one ahead of a group round seven-under-par 65 at of four players that includes the $8.5 million (£5.3m) American prospect Jordan World Golf Championship Spieth and Briton Justin event in Sheshan. Rose.

Tennis: Federer Seals

Spot In London

ROGER Federer confirmed his spot at the end of season ATP Tour finals by reaching the third round of the Paris Masters. Federer beat Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4 to ensure he would be one of the eight participants at the event in London. It will be the Swiss master’s 12 appearance at the seasonending Finals, although he does not enter as one of the favourites after a poor season saw him drop to seventh in the world rankings. The 32-year-old, who was a beaten finalist in London last year, is the most successful ever player at the Finals, winning three titles and boasting a 42-9 record. Federer barely broke sweat to knock out Anderson. He broke his opponent’s serve in the first game and never looked back. Anderson’s series of unforced errors made sure there would be no contest at Bercy, even though the world number 21 rallied from 4-1 down in the second set. World number one Rafael Nadal saw off fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5 7-5 to advance into the third round as he looks to bag

one of the three Masters titles he has never won. Nadal was never really troubled by Granollers and broke decisively in the 11th game of each set to set up a meeting with last year’s runner-up Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, the 14th seed. Nadal won 80 per cent of his service points but only needed to break serve twice to triumph in one hour and 42 minutes. “I am happy about the victory today,” said Nadal. “First match indoors against not an easy opponent. So it is a good victory, a positive one for me. “The victories on days when you are not playing well have much more value than the victories on days that you played well. “He did a lot of things well. He played short points. He went to the net a lot of times. I have to improve a lot for tomorrow. I hope to be ready to do it. “Tomorrow will be a tough match. I had a very tough one against him in Montreal this year. I’m going to try to play aggressively, play with more intensity than what I did today.”

Surges Clear In Shanghai

After cruising along nicely for 16 holes, British Open champion and two-time winner of this event Phil Mickelson looked primed to challenge McIlroy’s lead until he suffered a dramatic late-round meltdown to fall off the pace. The left-hander dropped four strokes at the par-five eighth, his 17th, where he twice found the pond in front of the green, and also dropped a shot at the ninth after pulling his second into the water for a one-under 71. McIlroy, on the other hand, had no such misadventures with his only dropped shot coming on the 11th hole, his second of the round. “It’s only one round but it’s definitely the way I wanted and needed to start this week,” said the two-time major champion, who was ranked number one in the world as recently as March but has yet to record a victory this season. However, refreshed after a recent four-week break and armed with a new driver and new ball, the world number

six looked to have rediscovered the swagger that carried him to order of merit titles on the European and PGA Tours a year ago. His improvement was not readily apparent in his tie for 27th at last week’s BMW Masters, also played in Shanghai, but when he beat Tiger Woods in an exhibition on Monday, his timing and demeanour around the course looked like the McIlroy of old. “Last week I wasn’t reading the greens very well and my pace was off as well and when you have that combination you’re not going to hole any putts,” he said “I let a couple of putts get away from me today - a couple of the downhill ones but I was able to hole the ones coming back. “And with the irons, I pretty much had the ball under control all day. I hit a couple of loose drives but it’s one of the best rounds I’ve played (this year). “I shot 64 at Boston (Deutsche Bank Championship) but this is

probably better because of a little trickier conditions.” McIlroy is a surprising 62nd on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. Only the top 60 qualify for the seasonending event in a fortnight, so he is not quite guaranteed a spot yet, but has made a huge step in the right direction. “I obviously want to play myself into Dubai and pick up my first win of the season,” he said. Fernandez-Castano, meanwhile, continued the form that carried him to victory at the BMW Masters on Sunday. “I was feeling a little tired on Tuesday but I guess it’s normal after all the adrenaline rush,” he said. “I was feeling a little tired but I wasn’t in the pro-am yesterday so I took a good rest and I’m feeling 100 percent.” Donaldson is also feeling refreshed after suffering from jet-lag last week. “I didn’t sleep great last week but I’m fully acclimatised now so there are no excuses,” said Donaldson, who eagled the par-four 16th after driving the green.

action should be taken against Dyson. “If, following the hearing, the panel decides that a breach of the code (of behaviour) has been established, it shall impose a sanction that it considers appropriate having regard to the circumstances,” the tour said in a statement. “Such sanctions may range from a reprimand, a censure, a fine, a suspension of Membership, a suspension from

participation in one or more tournaments or for a given period, or expulsion from The European Tour, or otherwise as the panel shall determine.” The panel will comprise an independent lawyer, a player and a sports administrator. Dyson has denied deliberately cheating. “I have never deliberately broken the rules either on this occasion or in the past,” the 35year-old golfer said in a statement.

Dyson Risks Tour Expulsion SIX-time winner Simon Dyson could be expelled from the European Tour following a rules violation at last week’s BMW Masters, golf officials said on Thursday. Dyson was disqualified from the event in Shanghai after TV viewers alerted officials that the Englishman had fixed a spike mark in the line of a putt. The tour announced that a disciplinary hearing would take place to decide whether further




Kano Pillars Considering Siasia, Foreign Coach

Ivory Coast Eyeing U-17 Semi Final IVORY Coast could equal their best record of a semifinal qualification in the U17 FIFA World Cup should they defeat Argentina on Saturday afternoon. Ibrahima Kamara’s side became the first of two African nations to qualify for the quarter-finals of this year ’s edition of the tournament when they edged out Morocco. The all-African affair saw the speedy and talented West Africans take an early lead through Frank Kessie’s fourth minute penalty, but only for Younes Bnou Marzouk to hit the equalizer on the hour mark. Junior Ahissan sealed the 2-1 victory for the Ivorians, setting up a tantalizing meeting with the South American giants. Argentina’s road to the quarter-final of the competition saw them beat another African team, Tunisia, 3-1 thanks to fine goals from Joaquin Ibanez and Sebastian Driussi. Tunisia’s German Ferreyra and Hazem Haj Hassen had seen the game drawn on par at half-time before Ibanez and Driussi settled the match. The continental battle between the two giants is expected to produce an outstanding round of football as both teams head into the match fighting for a spot in the final four.

NIGERIA champions Kano Pillars have said they are considering hiring exEagles coach Samson Siasia or a foreign coach to take over the team. This month, Pillars successfully retained the Nigeria league as they finished top of the 20-team table with 63 points from 38 matches. Pillars chairman Abba Yola said: “We have plans to beef up the technical bench of the team and even the playing staff. “We are not sacking any of the coaches, but we want to bring more experience to the bench. “I have already opened

• Isaac Success

FIFA U-17 Q\Finals:

Eaglets To Risk Injured Isaac Success Against Uruguay NIGERIA U17 coach Manu Garba has revealed injured striker Isaac Success will be thrown into the fray should he only be near full fitness.

GFA To Must Work On The Players Mentally

GHANA Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi says they will have to prepare players mentally for next month’s visit to Cairo to face Egypt There are reports some key players might pull out of the trip to the Egyptian capital due to the recent spate of violence in the North African country. Contrary to expectations of the Ghana FA and players, FIFA approved Cairo as a safe

venue to host the crucial 2014 FIF World Cup qualifier. “We have taken it in our strides. We are focusing now on our preparations towards the match,’’ Nyantakyi said. ‘’Our duty now is to psyche our players and insure us all obstacles are removed to secure a win in the return leg to Cairo.’’ Ghana annihilated Egypt 61 in the first leg of the final round of Fifa world Cup qualifying game.

FIFA Orders Ghana To Play Qualifier FIFA have rejected the for the second-leg match Ghana Football Association’s In Cairo following a recent visit by its request to have their World Cup play-off against Egypt moved from Cairo because of security concerns. Ghana urged FIFA to find an alternative “safe and secure venue” because of fears over player and crowd safety. But the match, due to be played on November 19, will go ahead in Egypt’s capital, with Ghana all but assured of World Cup quailfication following their 6-1 romp in the first leg. The GFA confirmed that they received assurance from FIFA and Ghanaian fans would be allowed to enter the Air Defence Stadium.

“FIFA says the World Cup play-off between Egypt and Ghana will go ahead in Cairo despite a request for next month’s game be moved to a neutral venue,” a statement on the association’s official website read. “The Ghana Football Association expressed concern at the security situation in the Egyptian capital, as it urged world football’s governing body to find ‘a safe and secure venue’ for the November 19 return leg. “But FIFA in response to the GFA on Wednesday confirmed Cairo as the venue

security inspection delegation after writing to Egypt to provide the sport body with guarantees on the security situation for next month’s tie. “FIFA added that the decision of CAF (Confederation of African Football) to host the Champions League final on 10 November at the Air Defence Stadium shows that ‘the current situation in Egypt has turned back to normal’, the letter from the world governing body read. “The decision means football fans will be allowed into the Air Defence Stadium for the game.”

“Our attack revolves around him. When Success gets to 75 per cent fitness, we will use him again,” Manu Garba told Morocco 2013 U-17 Championship hotshot Success scored a wonderful goal, a volley, against Sweden which will go down as one of the best goals in tournament history.

He is down with a hamstring injury, which has seen him miss the team’s last two games against Iraq and Iran. Success has scored two goals in this tournament. Nigeria face Uruguay for a place in the semi-finals of the FIFA U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates tomorrow evening.

discussions with my friends in Europe, Asia and UAE to get good hands because we want to make sure we make an impact in the CAF Champions League next year.” Yola added,” We will also look within if we could not find a good and free coach. “Yes, Samson Siasia is a friend of the house and we are considering him, but that would depend on whether he is available or not because he has the experience and an addition like him to our bench would not be a bad one.” Incidentally, Siaisia handled Heartland in the group stage of the 2010 CAF Champions League. In 2009, Pillars reached the semi-finals of the competition and they were handled by Slovenian Ivo Shaj.

• Samson Siasia

. . . Taribo Begs NFF To Keep Eaglets’ Talent, Zeal Alive TARIBO West, an exfootball international, has said that the Golden Eaglets had the talent and zeal to make Nigeria proud, and must be provided with a structure to develop. West told newsmen on telephone that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) should provide the structure to keep the talents alive. He was reacting to Nigeria’s 4-1 victory over Iran to qualify for the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup going on in the United Arab Emirates. “The NFF does not have a structure that supports football development. It is sad that we may never hear anything about these boys again. “One will naturally expect them to proceed to U-20, but

you will be shocked that none of them will make it to U-20. “This attitude cannot help football development,’’ West told newsmen. Reports say that Nigeria

• Taribo West

will play against Uruguay in a quarterfinal match on Saturday. The competition which began on October 17 will end on November 8.





FEED Corruption Time BACK - Nigerian Time Offering Time - Blessing Time


“OFFERING time; Blessing time” Always I chuckle on hearing this phrase. Even as I feel it is not proper to take any aspect of a religious service for granted, so I manage to suppress the inner laughter which swells in my stomach each time this phrase is uttered. The phrase is said when the service has been brought to a reasonable silence. It is mentioned in a way that nobody is confused about what is being said. Its effectiveness is further echoed with the understanding that no worshipper intends to leave a religious service without taking away the blessings which are being offered at a time the church-shop is being thrown open to interested buyers. And indeed Nigerians need to purchase a lot of blessings spanning protection from hunger, fake drugs, kidnappers, accidents from bad roads, extortion from both legal and illegal government officials, attack by armed robbers, boko haram insurgents, fully accredited illegal schools, job scam or ‘my oga at the top racket’, non functional health centres, and so on, and so forth. For these reasons the shop is always going to be left opened to increasing number of buyers. Somehow, more and more persons have been made to understand that they cannot receive God’s blessings solely from how they relate with their next door neighbour. A lot of us have been made to accept that the age old creed of loving one’s neighbour as much as we love ourselves is no longer tenable, and definitely cannot inculcate in us a mindset that would prevent the necessary

buying of all the blessings we hurry to acquire from religious shops being presented as churches. Therefore, the common attitude is to literally keep aside the unending quarrel with our neighbours for a short time, and then hurry up to any well marketed churchshop for a recharge or fortification of our weapons, including the assurances of an ultimate victory over identified and imagined enemies. Truly, we have become adept in believing that loving our neighbours, or having good thoughts towards them would not eradicate our monstrous corruption, malignant hunger, stop boko haram insurgency, break the increasing band of armed robbery, wipe out daredevil kidnapping, prevent electoral rigging and bad governance. Also on this realm is the assumption that blessings can never be gotten from merely staying at home on every Sabbath day; which may be the only convenient time a person has to do a common good such as helping an old lonely widow to fetch water and firewood: An act which emphasizes the issue of charity and love for one another upon which Jesus Christ rests all His teachings: An act which necessitated Jesus’ dispensing of healing on a Sabbath day; forbidden by the laws of man for such act of kindness to be exhibited. Whereas it is now right for the hard earned money of worshippers to be collected through offerings and tithes in building church owned schools which the worshippers’ children cannot attend, owing to the exorbitant school fees.

But should any person imagine that all these questionable issues which stem from the religious quarters have nothing to do with the state of affairs in this country; then I would consider such a person as one of those who are interested in the

which has to do with corruption. And therefore the phrase is apt when put as Corruption time; Nigerian time. On the Oduahgate N255m bullet proof cars matter, a friend recently told me how events are fast turning it into a give-

the world, when other countries are suggested as the possible answer without including Nigeria. In this case, I do not expect to be charged on the issue of patriotism which encourages Nigerians to be truthful but

away answer to the entire world when there is a question requesting an example of a country where corruption is a permanent feature of their operating system. He went further to tell me that it would even be considered a grievous error by most citizens of

forbids them from speaking the truth when it paints a negative image of the country; because I fear about what could happen as it did in a one homogeneous community which fell apart when it began to feel it was harmful and unpatriotic to expose the bad things in

• Lamorde, EFCC boss

problems of the country but lack appetite for the causes. Talking about the impression that comes to my mind on hearing the phrase ‘Offering time; Blessing time’ I have never failed to link it up with what it portrays when one hears about anything

their midst to strangers. Being truthfully and doing the right thing was considered capable of casting aspersions on their towering image, which would negatively impact the economic fortunes of the land. And so the withholding or conspiracy of silence created a fertile atmosphere for evil deeds to keep mutating until evil became the only perfect order in the land. Will Rogers (1879 1935) a U.S. writer, actor and humorist said “A comedian can only last till he either takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious” Perhaps, this is the greatest tragedy that Nigeria finds itself in today’s world. And the rulers failing to acknowledge the citizens’ awareness of the charade in most of their performances feels very confident to take the citizens for granted. Even when the citizens hardly act beyond their complaints, the rulers conclude as Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) an Irish poet and playwright “The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster” This in apparent suggestion of a people most difficult to please. And interestingly, this is the status quo most rulers of Nigeria want sustained.

“On the Oduahgate N255m bullet proof cars matter, a friend recently told me how events are fast turning it into a giveaway answer to the entire world when there is a question requesting an example of a country where corruption is a permanent feature of their operating system. He went further to tell me that it would even be considered a grievous error by most citizens of the world, when other countries are suggested as the possible answer without including Nigeria.”

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Nigerian observer 01 11 2013  
Nigerian observer 01 11 2013