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The Nigerian



PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol. 38 NO.350• FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013 • N100.00 VIEW POINT Page 21


Governor Oshiomhole sees better!

Strike: CSOs drag ASUU to

ABUJA - Some civil society groups have sued the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the National Industrial Court over alleged illegal and arbitrary strike.

In the first suit, Mr Elaigwu Apeh, President, Northern Nigeria Democratic Forum (NNDF), joined the President of ASUU, Mr Nasir Fagge and nine others as de-


fendants. The NNDF is praying the court to determine whether or not ASUU

can declare a strike over purported breach of the memorandum of agreement by the Federal Government. The group is also Continues on page 2

Edo to conduct competency test for teachers By ADAMS OYIBOKE/ OYENMWEN OMOROGBE / QUEENNETH A. OROBEDO


Page 28 FIFA U-17 W/C Nigeria battle Mexico in epic final today

BENIN CITY – Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole says plans have been concluded for the conduct of competency test for teachers in Edo State. the teachers to make He disclosed this when sure that they are really the executive and memteachers because after bers of Akwa-Ibom Cenwe discovered in the last tral Union resident in Edo verification exercise, the State visited him yesterteacher who couldn’t day in Government read her own certificate, House, Benin City. we found one who Governor Oshiomhole couldn’t name two (2) who was represented by Local Government Areas the Secretary to the State in Edo State, and those Government (SSG), Prof. are people who are supJulius Ihonvbare said the posed to be teaching competency test would your children and mine, ascertain the actual stawe should be afraid that tus of the teachers in the something is wrong”, he state. stressed. He said “ those incomGovernor Oshiomhole petent ones, not qualified who spoke through the to teach will be given the SSG, Prof. Julius opportunity for retraining Ihonvbare further said “it while those not ready to is not enough to buy teach will be shown the laptops for students or way out of the system. buy tablets to give to stu“We are going to test all dents, that is showman-

ship for us here. “There are more fundamental structural problems in our educational system, stressing that government is ready to train and retrain

teachers who are ready and focussed in their job. He said that those found to be incompetent and are not qualified to teach our children will

be given an opportunity to improve on themselves. He noted that there would be a natural selection, stressing that those who know they

cannot do the job should quietly go to the market and trade. He explained the efforts of the state government Continues on page 2

Mark leads FG delegates to cheer Eaglets in UAE

ABUJA - President Goodluck Jonathan has constituted a highpowered delegation to cheer the Golden Eaglets in their final match at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament in United Arab Emirates. This information is contained in a statement issued by Dr Reuben Abati, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Thursday.

The statement said the delegation would be headed by the Senate President, Sen. David Mark, with the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, as member. The other members are: the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu; the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe; and the Minister of State for FCT, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide. It stated that the delega-


“If you protect yourself by erecting a thick wall against everybody, what then is the value of your smile if there is none to appreciate it?” - Kingsley Ogbeide-Ihama

tion would represent the Federal Government at today, FIFA U-17 World Soccer finals between Nigeria and Mexico. Jonathan charged them to ensure that the Golden Eaglets received Continues on page 2

SWEARING-IN: Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu, Deputy Governor of Edo State with His Lordship, Justice J.U. Oyomire at the Batch ‘C’ 2013 swearing-in ceremony of NYSC Corps member at Okada Orientation Camp yesterday. Photo: MOSES OBOH.

Oshiomhole tasks batch ‘C’ corps members on discipline

BENIN CITY – Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has charged the 2013 Batch “C” corps mem-

bers deployed to the state to be responsible and disciplined citizens of the country. He gave the charge at the swearing-in ceremony of the corps

day, the Special Adviser

Reuben Abati, has said.


members which took place at Okada, the administrative headquarters of Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state, yesterday. The governor who was

represented by the State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu enjoined them to shun cultism, religious intolerance, political violence

Guinea-Bissau: Jonathan visits Nigerian ABUJA - President contingent in ECOWAS Goodluck Jonathan is to pay a two-day diploChairperson of the on Media and Publicity According to Abati, the matic shuttle to GuineaMission to the President, Dr visit is in continuation of Bissau and Gambia toJonathan’s duties as

Continues on page 2

and any form of anti-social behaviours, adding that they should not allow disgruntled and unpatriotic individuals to use them for their selfish and destructive purpose. He noted that the people of the state are appreciative of the gallant roles their predecessors have played towards national Continues on page 2





Edo to conduct competency test for teachers

Continued from page 1 in the provision of infrastructural facilities at the state owned Ambrose Alli University, stressing that government has built new hostels for male and female students besides the provision of adequate grant that would enhance research work in the ivory tower. While congratulating executive of the Akwa-Ibom residents in Edo State on their organisational acumen in bringing the people together under one umbrella, Prof. Julius Ihonvbare assured that their requests would be channeled to the governor for action. Earlier in an address, the President, Akwa-Ibom Central Union, Comrade Bassey Lucky who spoke through

the Assistant Secretary, Pastor O.O. Amie, commended the governor for his infrastructural development of Edo State, especially in the areas of road construction, youth empowerment, school building/renovation among others. According to Comrade Bassey, “sir, your transformation agenda no doubt has no limit as it has transformed into human capital development as the blind can even see it”, he said. He, however, said that they were in Government House to identify themselves with the good work in the state and pledged the union unflinching support and loyalty to the state government. He stated some of the challenges facing the union to

include means of transportation, youth empowerment of Akwa-Ibom residents in Edo State and financial support towards the building of their secretariat in Edo State. Highpoint of the visit was an award of Excellence on Governor Oshiomhole for his democratic doggedness, statesmanship and unreserved transparency in governance. Similarly, at a session with members of Telecom Operators and Technician Association of Nigeria (TOTAN), led by Special Assistant to the President on job creation, Josephine Washima, the SSG assured that Edo State would always collaborate with the federal government on issues of job creation saying, “for politics to make

sense to anybody there must be employment”. Prof. Ihonvbare made reference to the appreciable number of job created thus far by the present administration through the Youth Employment Scheme (YES) and the Neighbourhood Watch, adding that more jobs are soon to be created by the flood of investors attracted in recent times due to the ongoing infrastructural development in the state. Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Josephine Washima, thanked the state government for supporting the activities of TOTAN and noted that “job creation and unemployment is not an issue that should be politicized”.

Oshiomhole tasks batch ‘C’ corps members on discipline

Continued from page 1 cohesion and development, especially in the fight against illiteracy through their participation in the Universal Basic Education (UBE) as well as provision of skilled manpower for educational and health institutions in the state.

Comrade Oshiomhole advised the corps members to be security conscious at all times while the state government plays its part in ensuring their safety in the state. The Chairman, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Governing Board and Commissioner for Youth, Sport and Social Mobilization, Edo

Jonathan visits Nigerian contigent in ECOWAS Mission Continued from page 1

ECOWAS Contact Group on Guinea-Bissau. “He will meet with leaders of the Armed Forces of GuineaBissau before visiting the Nigerian contingent in the ECOWAS Mission in the country.’’ He said the President was also scheduled to participate in a programme at National Peoples Assembly and meet Nigerians resident in Guinea-Bissau before leaving on Friday for Banjul, Gambia.

According to him, while in Banjul, the President will confer with President Yahya Jammeh on bilateral and multilateral issues. Abati said Ministers of Information and Supervising Minister of Defence, Mr. Labaran Maku, FCT, Sen. Bala Mohammed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, would accompany Jonathan. The President will return to Abuja on Saturday.

Mark leads FG delegates Continued from page 1

all necessary support and motivation for victory during the encounter. “The president told the delegation to reassure the Golden Eaglets and their handlers of his personal confidence and expectation that they will maintain their excellent track-record in this year’s championship and crown their winning performances with another victory against the Mexicans tomorrow.” The statement quoted the president as conveying to the

Eaglets, through the delegation, the best wishes of all Nigerians for their victory. It stated that the president promised to join other patriotic Nigerians, within and outside the country, to cheer them on to victory during the match. “He looks forward to receiving them at the Presidential Villa and showing them the full appreciation of the nation when, as expected, they return in triumph to Nigeria,’’ the statement added.

State, Hon. Omorede Osifo, assured the corps members that the state government will continue to do its best to ensure that their welfare is catered for. Hon. Osifo appreciated the state governor for his commitment to the scheme financially and morally since the inception of his administration. The state Coordinator of NYSC, Mr. Lanre Ologun disclosed that about 2087 corps members have been duly registered, adding that the orientation course which started two days ago will last for 21 days. He noted that a well planned and deliberately designed programmed of activities have been lined up for

New Benin Baptist Church holds Annual Thanksgiving Nov BENIN CITY-The annual 10some of the things to thank harvest thanksgiving of New Benin Baptist Church holds on Sunday the 10th of November 2013. The Minister in charge, Rev. Wellington Jesurobo who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday enjoined all members to give thanks to God with their bodies and hearts sanctified for God’s use and also with their substance considering the fact that God has been faithful to them from the beginning of the year till now. He reminded them that

CSOs drag ASUU to court

Continued from page 1

asking the court to declare the strike by the university lecturers illegal and a breach of the constitutional right of the students to education. Similarly, another civil society group, Golden Women of Integrity and Vision Association, sued the union in a suit with number NICN/ABJ/ 242/2013 seeking similar reliefs.

The Poverty Alleviation Advocacy and Justice Initiative (PAAJI), in the third suit, also wants the court to award exemplary and special damages against the ASUU. It will be recalled that when the three cases came up for mention in September, the defendants had not filed their statements of defence. The counsel to ASUU, Mr Samuel Ogala, told the court

the period to prepare the corps members for the challenges of National Service and of course, life after the service year. Mr. Ologun used the opportunity to appeal to all corps employers in the state who have requested for the services of the corps members to accordingly arrange to transport them to their various organisations at the end of the orientation course. He also used the opportunity to appreciate the state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the resumption of construction works, and the anticipate speedy completion of the NYSC permanent orientation camp at Okada.

that he had filed a notice of preliminary objections, challenging all the suits. The presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, adjourned the cases to December 17 and January 3, 2014 for the hearing of the preliminary objections. Adejumo also ordered that hearing notices should be served on all the parties in the suit before the next adjourned date.

God for include the gift of life, children, money, good health and other innumerable gifts. He reminded them that so many people who were priviledged to enter this year are either dead or in the hospital and so, they that are alive and in good state of health should give thanks to God joyfully.

Oba Erediauwa meets Chiefs, Enigie, Army, Police, others today By RAYMOND OSOGBE BENIN CITY- All Chiefs, Enigie, Edionwere, Igiohen, Chairmen of the seven Local Government Areas in Edo South Senatorial District, Representatives of the Nigerian Army, 4 Mechanized Brigade, Benin, Representatives of Edo State Neigbourhood Watch, Representatives of the

State Security Service (SSS), and Representatives of the State Police Command are cordially invited to the palace of the Oba of Benin today by 11am. This was disclosed in a palace statement dated November 6th endorsed by Mr. Robinson Osayamwen, the palace information officer on behalf of the Secretary, Benin Traditional Council.

Police parade man, 24, for defiling 20-months old baby By MIKE OSAROGIAGBON BENIN CITY- A 24-yearold man who allegedly defiled a little girl of 20 months old was among 29 suspected criminals paraded by Edo Police Command in Benin City, yesterday. Parading the suspects before newsmen, the commissioner of police in Edo, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo stated that on Thursday, October 10, 2013 one Mr. Ifeanyi Nwong, 24 of Uselu quarters “lured a little girl of one year and eight months into his room and defiled her”. Mr. Adebanjo added that the complainant, mother of the little girl said the suspect is her tenant. He stated further that the suspect has confessed to the crime and would be charged to court. The suspect Mr. Ifeanyi Nwong told our reporter that as he returned from market that fateful day the baby sighted him and swiftly embraced him. The suspect stated that as he carried the baby he had erection which prompted him to ejaculate on the little girls lap. He however denied defiling the child. Also paraded was a 55-

year-old man who allegedly had unlawful canal knowledge of a 16-year-old girl in New-Benin area of the state capital. The commissioner of police Mr. Foluso Adebanjo stated that the suspect one Mbama Fidelis committed the act on Monday, November 4, 2013. He revealed that the victim and the suspect live in the same house. The suspect Mbama Fedelis who claimed to have given the girl some money to buy books that fateful day denied having unlawful canal knowledge of her. One Elvis Idemudia, 22 of Iguedo Village in Iguobazuwa the administrative headquarters of Ovia South West Local Government Area, Edo State was arrested for allegedly having unlawful canal knowledge of a 12 year old girl in his room. One Stanley Edomwonyi alleged to have ambushed and defiled a nine –year old girl hawking fish was similarly paraded. Paraded for similar offence is one precious Omoruyi, 24 who allegedly dragged a 10year-old girl into his room and defiled her.

Association of Christians in authority marks 6th anniversary Nov 9 BENIN CITY- The Association of Christians in Authority will on Saturday, November 9, 2013,hold its 6th Anniversary Celebration/ Honouring Ceremony at the National Orientation Agency, 36 Boundary Road, Benin City, at 1pm. The occasion which will be under the distinguished Chairmanship of Evang. Vincent Agenmonmen, with Dr. S.O. Olotu as Vice-Chairman, will honour prominent Edos, including Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Secretary to Edo State Government, Mr. Lucky

James, Commissioner for Local Government, and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Osaro Obazee, Chairman, Oredo Local Government Area, Rt. Hon. Uyi Igbe, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Barr. Henry Idahagbon, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice amongst other prominent Edo. The Royal Father of the day is expected to be His Excellency, Sir., Chief, Dr. G.O Igbinedion, CFR, the Esama of Benin Kingdom.

Family of 5 perish in auto crash BENIN CITY - The Edo State Command of the FRSC has confirmed the death of a family of five in a car crash at Okada junction on the Benin-Ore highway. The family lost their lives on November 6 while returning from Lagos after seeing off a relation who travelled to America. Dr Kingsley Okafor, President of the Association of Resident Doctors at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, told journalists in Benin yesterday that their member, Dr Ralph Omojefe, was

affected in the accident. He said that Omojefe, who worked in the Morbid Anatomy Department of the hospital, lost his three children and an uncle in the accident. Okafor said that the association had paid a condolence visit to the family of Omojefe while his wife and remaining members of his family had been taken to their village in Delta. He said that members of the association had declared a seven-day mourning period and

would wear black arm band as a mark of respect for their colleague. “We will observe a minute silence everyday before any clinic session,” he said. Mr John Andei, the Public Enlightenment Officer of the FRSC in Edo, said that the command had not received details of the accident.




News Alleged Theft, Assault

Witness Testifies By SUCCESS OSAYI

BENIN CITY – A prosecution witness, Mr. Eseosa Ekhaguene, has told an Egor Magistrate Court II sitting in Benin City that one Mr. Osamuyi Oghagbon and Mr. Oduagbon Ovenseri of Obagie Community in Egor Local Government Area, Edo State committed crimes against himself and people of the community. The court is presided over by Magistrate T.V. Asagba (Mrs.) Mr. Ekhaguene was testifying in the suit number MEG/248C/2013 filed by the State command of the Nigerian Police against Mr. Oghagbon and Mr. Ovenseri (first and second accused, respectively. The accused are standing trial on a four count of theft, assault, breaching of peace and forgery.

Ekhaguene, a carpenter residing at Evbotubu Quarters noted that as at June 2009 when a new executive was to be elected into the youth association of Obagie community, some of the elder of the community nominated the first accused for the post of youth leader which was opposed by some community youths on the ground that he has not been involved in the community development affairs. He added that after series of debates, the elders agreed to a meeting with the youths on June 21, 2009. While the meeting lasted, Ekhaguene said the first accused stormed the venue with thugs who started shooting into the air thereby disrupting the meeting while the elders and youths at the meeting scampered for safety. Eghaguene also told the court that after the crisis had

passed, the first and second accused stole money from the community. He said the money was part of the fee paid to the village for the sale of a portion of the community land. He added that the accused persons had confiscated the son of N4 million, belonging to the community that it took personal pleas from the family members of the accused to get them to return the sum of N1,705,000 out of the total sum of N4 million. He also explained to the court how himself and one Mr. William Uwadiae were attacked and assaulted by the accused in the company of others on Wednesday November 30, 2011 while on their way from a community assignment, which left him, and Mr. Uwadiae with serious injuries. The case was adjourned to December 17, 2013.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole consoles Dr Josephine Akhigbe, widow of the Late Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe during a condolence visit to the Akhigbes in Lagos on Wednesday.

Commissioner Inaugurates EU/NDSP C’ttee

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Commissioner for Energy and water Resources, Barr. Chris Osoba Ebare has declared that the administration of comrade Adams Oshiomhole is committed to providing portable water to citizens of the state. The commissioner made this remark in Benin City when he inaugurated the committee members of European Union/ Niger Delta Support Project (EU/NDSP). Barr. Ebare expressed hope that a lot of benefits would be derived from the laudable project that would be embarked upon by the EU/NDSP, stating that manpower development through empowerment of staff,

training of engineers and geologists in the ministry would go a long way in meeting up with the goals of the ministry, including the provision of potable water supply. He emphasized that the laudable projects by the European Union is to complement the developmental strides of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s led government. Speaking on behalf of the committee members, Engr. Adesoji Adeyemi thanked the commissioner and reiterated that the European Union

Community Leader Urges Govt On Provision Of Infrastructure By JOEL CHUKWUAGHONIM

Governor Adams Oshiomhole signs the condolence register during his condolence visit to the family home of the Late Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe in Lagos, on Wednesday.

EGBEDE – The Odionwere of Iru-Egbede community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area, Edo State, Pa. Emmanuel

Stakeholders Unite On Strengthening Child Protection System By INNOCENT OMOAKA/ ISEHMENBITA FAITH BENIN CITY – Stakeholders at a one day meeting on mapping and assessing the child protection system in Edo State have agreed on the need for collaboration in strengthening the child protection system in the state. The meeting which was held in Benin City on Wednesday was organised by the child Development Department and stakeholders in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and

Social Development. Edo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Blessing Maigida in her remarks lauded the stakeholders for the choice of Edo State for the mapping and assessment of the child protection, prevention and response mechanism. According to the Commissioner, who was represented by the Director, Child section in the Ministry, Mrs. Elizabeth Enakhimion: “the selection of the state would assist it in strengthening the existing

legal and policy framework in child protection”. She however, called for collaboration among stakeholders in partnering on the need to strengthen the child protection system in the state and country at large. Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Lilian Elendu stressed on the importance of sustainable partnership in mapping and assessing the child protection system. She said: “the partnership is

relevant in addressing the management of policy implementation and planning in child protection system in the country”. A UNICEF child protection specialist, Jonna Karisson, expressed the need for the development of statistics and data for evaluating the child protection system in the state. Karisson added that the efforts of the state government in strengthening the child protection system made it a strategic partner in developing effective data and polices in accessing and mapping the child protection system.

Ushi has appealed to the State Government for more dividends of democracy in the community. He made the appeal in a chat with The NIGERIAN OBSERVER, when he expressed the need for the state government to assist the community with the construction of roads linking Iru to Agagbede and to Abudu Iru Hospital road. According to him, “the road, if constructed would open up the community for economic growth as farming is the major occupation of people in the area”. He added that the road would assist the community transport their agricultural produce to neighbouring markets. Pa Ushi used the occasion to appeal to the state government to assist the community with water borehole, stressing that the three boreholes projects sited in the community by the local government council has since not been completed.

project is geared towards the enhancement of the ministry’s in the implementation of water services, planning and service delivery.


FRSC Advises Drivers


AGBOR – The Acting Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Agbor Unit, Delta State, Mrs. I.G. Effiong has advised drivers not to drive under the influence of alcohol in order to avoid accident. In a chat with The NIGERIAN OBSERVER in Agbor, Delta State, Mrs. Effiong also advised drivers to be their brothers keeper, especially as we approach the month of December. She added that drivers would end up not enjoying the holidays should they let their carelessness bring harm upon themselves through accident. In addition, she advised motor-cycle riders to desist from crossing the pavement or road divider while appealing to individuals, including pedestrians to cooperate with men of the FRSC, particularly those posted to strategic locations. While cautioning drivers on speed limit, and disobedience to traffic regulations, she said most accidents are caused by drivers.




News Delta Loses N7.8b To Fire Outbreaks ASABA – Dr. Tony Nwaka, the Delta Commissioner for Bureau of Special Duties, said said that the state lost property worth N7.8 billion to fires from January 2007 to June 2013. The commissioner told a media briefing on the bureau’s activities that the State Fire Service responded to 1,853 distress calls during the period. According to him, 94 lives were saved and 108 lives were evacuated dead in the same period. “The value of property destroyed is put at N7.8 billion, while the value of property saved is N68.7 billion,” Nwaka said. He said in 2013 the fire service received 212 calls, recorded 11 deaths and saved four lives. During the period, the department also recovered property worth N3.3 billion and reported loss of property valued at N315, 000, Nwaka added. He said the state government had given the bureau approval to recruit more firemen to increase its staff strength from the

current 288. On efforts toward equipping the bureau, the commissioner disclosed that three brand new firefighting engines and other equipment had been acquired. Nwaka also said that the bureau would purchase 17 new customised firefighting trucks for the 17 fire stations across the state in the next three years. Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, unveiling the Secretariat Building of the Canon Law Society of Nigeria shorthly after the Conference with the theme (The Church and Politics Pastoral Implications) at Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre in Benin City. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE

10 Suspected Vandals Arraigned

Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor, Hon. Patrick Obayagbon and the Commissioner for Environment, Prince Clem Agba during the CLSN Conference at Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre in ‘Benin. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE.

Stampede In Ogun As Fuel Tanker

WAREWA (Ogun) - Business activities were disrupted at Warewa Community in Ogun following a stampede when a truck laden with fuel tumbled, discharging all its contents. Reports say that the incident caused serious panic and heavy traffic jam as traders shut their business and took to their heels. The truck has registration number XA644 BLG. A witness, Mr. Akin Ojediran, who narrowly escaped death at the scene, told NAN that the tanker was trying to avoid crashing into a car, making u -turn. “This junction is not safe to make u-turn at all because tanker drivers are always on top speed,” he stated. A food seller, Mrs. Mojirat Keshinro, said that she hurriedly fled her shop after the incident. “I was serving my customers when I heard a heavy blast. “My customers and I scrambled for safety, all of us wanted to escape through one

door at the same time. “Accidents at this junction are becoming too many,” she said. The tanker driver, Rabiu Mohammed, told newsmen that he was trying to avoid crashing into the private car when the incident occurred.

Tumbles The District Officer in charge of the Warewa Police Division, DSP. Shina Olumide, directed residents to stay away from the

scene of the incident. “All our officers are out to ensure that everybody complied, to avoid fire outbreak. “We have also sent for the Ogun State Fire Service and they will be on ground soon,” he said.

Mr. Ami Ganiyu, the Akute Unit Commander of the Traffic Compliance and Enforment Corps, said that motorists had been directed to use single lane because of the incident.

Persons With Disabilities Call For Inclusion In Confab ABUJA - Persons with Disabilities Initiatives , an NGO,

has asked to be included in the proposed National Conference, the President of the group, Mr Augustine Onwuamegbu said in Abuja. Onwuamegbu told newsmen that the inclusion in the upcoming conference would create an avenue for equal participation in development processes. According to him, persons with disabilities need to start enjoying the rights they deserve in the society. He explained that persons with disabilities are Nigerians

and so there was the need to create equal opportunities for all of them irrespective of their physical challenges. “Nigeria has not been fair to persons with disabilities; we need to realise that being physically challenged is not beyond anybody. “Persons with disabilities are part of the society and they need to have a sense of belonging in the country, without doubt, the challenges facing persons with disabilities are militating against their performance and productivity. “That is why we are calling for the inclusion of the group

in the upcoming national conference to contribute our own quota,”he said. Onwuamegbu added that most job opportunities which were denied persons with disabilities were discriminatory and had not helped in any way to better their lives. “Government could even make legislation whereby vehicles imported into the country for public transportation are provided with facilities to support persons with disabilities. “These problems call for campaign to sensitise government and enlighten the

populace to create conducive environment for social, economic and political integration of disabled persons,” he said. Onwuamegbu appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to sign into law the National Disability Bill that had been passed by the National Assembly. “Once the President assents to the bill, most of the challenges facing them would have been solved and ensure that ‘special persons’ in the society get a new lease of life,” he added. (NAN)

IBADAN - Ten accused persons have been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Ibadan for allegedly vandalising oil pipelines belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation. The suspected oil thieves were Yusuf Rasaq, Taiwo Kasali, Ajibola Adeniyi, Fasola Adebayo, Rafiu Raheem, Sodiq Abdulah, Segun Adeyemi, Sheriff Olayode, Akinola Segun and Akinola Akorede. The prosecuting counsel, Mudasiru Adegbenro , said that the defendants were arraigned on a six-count charge which included conspiracy, pipeline vandalism, malicious damage, stealing and acts of economic sabotage. Adegbenro told the court that the defendants committed the crime on March 11 at 1 .00 a.m. at Ido area of Ibadan. He alleged that the defendants destroyed an NNPC pipe line and stole 17,100 litres of petroleum products valued at N1.6 million. According to him, the offences contravenes sections 518,1 (7) and 17(3) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Justice Abimbola ObasekiAdejumo granted the defendants bail in the sum of N200,000 with two reliable sureties each in like sum. Obaseki-Adejumo adjourned the case to November 14 for hearing.




South South Navy Reiterates Commitment To Rid N/Delta Of Criminality By BETTY IDIALU

WARRI (Delta) - The Commander NNS DELTA, Commodore Sidi-Ali Garba has reiterated the determination of the men of the Nigerian Navy to ensure that the Niger Delta

is rid of every form of criminality. The commander who was represented by executive officer NNS DELTA C.A Nwagu made this known at the Naval base in Warri Delta State while handing

over a 73 years old woman Mrs. Helen Sakpa kidapped four days ago to her eldest son Mr. Dickson Sakpa.

Nwagu, while briefing the press said they got a report about 0900 this morning from their task force informing them that one Mrs. Helen Sakpa who was kidnapped by five armed men on the October 31, 2013 about 7.30pm at her home Owhodokpokpo in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State while having dinner with her husband was found in a bush by a villager at Agip Beniboye in Forcados area in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. According to the executive officer, the kinappers had demanded a ransom of 50million Naira from the family

before they would release the victim. Adding that the state security service and vigilante have been on the trail of the abductors of the old woman. The naval boss said he was happy to hand over Mrs. Sakpa to her eldest son hale and hearty adding that she was given first aid while she was in the custody of the Nigerian Navy. He thanked everybody for the efforts they put in to frustrate the work of the criminals, while stressing the need to be our brothers keeper, called on citizens of the state not to withhold information that would help expose those involved in any form of criminality from the security agents. Mrs. Helen Sakpa who spoke in urhobo language

expressed joy that she was alive and well after the ordeal. According to her, she was eating with her husband on the fateful day when they heard a bang on the door. She further said five armed men came in and whisked her away in a car after beating up her husband. She said she has been in the forest since her abduction until yesterday when they took her to a river. Responding, Mr. Dickson Sakpa a staff of Globestar Drilling Company while recounting the ordeal his family went through gave glory to God and expressed happiness while thanking the security agents for their efforts in ensuring his mother’s safe release from her abductors without any form of ransome being paid.

Don’t Heat Up Polity, Uduaghan Charges ASABA - Governor Aniocha South Local Politicians inGovernment Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta Area of the State Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu, inspecting Quarter Guard mounted by Batch ‘C’ corps members during the swearing-in ceremony of 2013 Batch ‘C’ at the Orientation Camp at Okada yesterday. Photo: MOSES OBOH.

has charged politicians in the state not to heat up the polity by their actions and utterances. The governor made the call in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere in Asaba.

According to the statement, the governor was reacting to a question after visiting a woman and other victims of an explosion at the Oghara Teaching Hospital. The explosion occurred on Friday November 1 at Obomkpa

Resist Police Excesses, Amaechi Tasks Citizens By ELIZABETH AGBOEGBULEM

PORT HARCOURT - The Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has called on the people of Rivers State to brace up to resist the impunity and fragrant excesses of the Nigerian Police so as to enthrone the rule of law and the tenets of democracy in the country. Amaechi expressed fear that if the way the police exacts force on perceived opponents of ruling political parties, in the states, was not checked, desperate politicians will exploit the compromised nature of the Police Force to rig the 2015 general elections. The governor’s position was influenced by a scene that played out at the Port Harcourt International Airport, where he was to receive the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who were due to arrive from Lagos in continuation of their consultations with the aggrieved seven governors, otherwise known as the G-7 governors. Governor Amaechi told journalists at an interview session at the VIP Lounge of the Port Harcourt International Airport that he was on his way out of the airport to change his clothes and come back to the airport to receive his guests when he saw dozens of armed police men at the main gate leading into the airport. “So, I enquired what was happening and was told by my supporters that the police have prevented them from entering

the airport to welcome our visitors. At that point I told the police men guarding the main gate that if they don’t allow my supporters into the airport premises to receive our visitors, nobody will go in or come out of the airport”. He stressed: “Seeing that I was not prepared to abandon them, my supporters, young men and women, pushed the gate open and rushed towards the airport. Together we marched to the airport. We trekked five kilometers from the main gate to the airport.” Governor Amaechi explained: “That was peoples’ power in action. I left my car and walked with my supporters to the airport. I walked with them so that the police won’t arrest them. So, I asked: what sought of country is this? A Minister of State is holding rallies every week with police protection. But the same police don’t want our supporters to receive our visitors at the airport”. He asked: “Last week, the airport was very busy with visitors and people came to the same airport to receive their visitors. The police didn’t bar anyone from entering the airport, so why will they prevent our supporters from entering the airport to welcome our distinguished visitors?” Governor Amaechi told the journalists that the APC leaders were prominent Nigerians led by a former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari. Other members of the delegation include former

governor of Lagos State, and the National Leader of the ACP, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Interim National Chairman of the APC and former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; former National Chairman of the National Republic Convention, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Vice Chairman, South South of the APC, Chief Tom Ikimi; former Governor of Edo State, Chief John OdigieOyegun; National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Muhammed; former governor of Benue State and Senate Minority Leader, Gabriel

Suswan. About 2,000 supporters entered the airport with Governor Amaechi. The governor had arrived at the Port Harcourt International Airport at about 9.04 am aboard a chartered aircraft. He granted an interview to the government house press after which he hopped into his car, an armourplated BMW sedan and drove himself out of the airport. But the story changed when the governor encountered the police blockade at the airport

road main roundan out. While there were about 10,000 supporters of Governor Amaechi at the airport, the governor’s supporters at government Port Harcourt, were about 20,000. The APC leaders arrived at the Port Harcourt International Airport aboard a chartered aircraft at about 10.45am and left the airport at 11.10am. However, due to the heavy presence of human traffic along airport road, the official convoy of cars took 30 minutes to meander its way out of the airport.

The statement stated that Uduaghan urged politicians and the people of the state not to speculate on the incident as the police were still investigating. “I want to urge politicians and all Deltans to be calm and patient as the police were presently investigating the matter to come up with their findings. “We should also conduct ourselves in a manner that will not heat up the polity especially now that political activities are on the increase,” the statement quoted the governor as saying. It also assured residents in the state of safety of their lives and property, stating that the state government was on top of the security situation. The Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Lucky Uyabeme, confirmed that the Speaker of the state assembly, Mr Victor Ochei narrowly escaped death following an explosion on Friday at Obomkpa which injured some persons at the scene.

Jazz Festival Will Promote Tourism YENAGOA – Mrs. Ebizi Brown, the Director-General, Bayelsa Tourism Development

Agency (BTDA), has said that the maiden edition of International Jazz Festival,

2013 Batch ‘C’ corps members take oath of allegiance during the swearing-in ceremony at the orientation camp. Photo: MOSES OBOH.

- Agency

scheduled to hold in the state on December 7, will promote tourism. Brown told newsmen in Yenagoa that the event tagged “Rhythm of Life” was a step in the right direction. “Jazz music is a rhythm for young and old people; today, our choice of music is affecting the growth of jazz in the state and the country at large. “The festival will give the youths an ample opportunity to network with the big stars in the music industry around the globe. “We call on companies operating in the South-South axis and in Lagos to partner with the Bayelsa Government to ensure that the maiden edition of jazz music festival is a success,” she said. Brown said that the companies’ support would go a long way in efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people through tourism development.




South West Ogun Bans Cattle Rearing Along Abeokuta-Sagamu Express Way ABEOKUTA - The Ogun Government has announced a ban on cattle rearing along the Abeokuta -Sagamu-Siun Expressway. Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, announced the ban in Abeokuta at a meeting with leaders of the Fulani/ Hausa communities in the state. Adeoluwa said the step was part of measures to check criminal activities in the axis. He noted that there had been a sudden rise in criminal activities in recent times in the area, adding: “most of these unwholesome developments were linked to herdsmen operating on the highway.” He said the area had been reserved for industrial development. “This is the area we are looking at to develop as our

prime industrial corridor and it will not be nice if our brothers from the North are spoiling that industrial corridor with their cattle rearing activities.” The SSG noted that the government had maintained cordial relationship with various ethnic groups and nationalities residing in the state, and enjoined the herdsmen to transact their businesses in the designated grazing areas. Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Muyiwa Oladipo, said rearing and grazing of cattle along the axis was a deviation from the set standards, stressing that the act would not be condoned. He, therefore, urged the Fulani/Hausa leaders to constantly educate their people on the need to be law

abiding. Responding, the Head of the Fulani Community in the State, Alhaji Mohammed Kabir, commended the state government for providing an enabling environment for their businesses to thrive. He noted that criminal activities along the axis were a recurring event. He, however gave an assurance that the people of the state would continue to cooperate with the government to check criminal activities in the state.

President Goodluck Jonathan (Left) receiving the report of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North from the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja recently.

FG Distributes Subsidised Feed, Salt Lick To Herdsmen

ISEYIN (OYO STATE) The Federal Government in Iseyin Local Government of Oyo State commenced the distribution of subsidised feed supplements and salt lick to herdsmen in the area.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, said at the ceremony that the policy was necessary to ease the problem of movement of livestock. Represented by Mr. Adbayo Lasisi, the ministry’s Director in the state, Akinwumi disclosed that the programme would also prevent frequent clashes between farm owners and herdsmen in the country. “The measure was put in place to ensure adequate growth of cattle, enhance cow milk production and help farmers to create more jobs. “It is the sincere hope of the Federal Government that farmers will take full advantage of this golden opportunity.

“The programme will enable each farmer to have access to five 50kg bags of feed supplements and one block of salt lick. “Ordinarily, the amount is N15,263 for the products but only 50 per cent of the amount, which is N7,811, would be required as the Federal Government has paid the balance. “This will create more jobs as more and more people will go into cattle rearing and farming since the issue of feeds had been reduced to its barest minimum.” The minister appealed to the herdsmen to stop grazing their cattle on farmlands so as not to destroy crops. Adesina added that the Federal Government had also created special lands for herdsmen in

order to reduce farmers/ herdsmen conflicts to the barest minimum across the country. Also speaking, the Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Yusuph Saheed, called for peaceful coexistence between the herdsmen and their respective hosts. “The country belongs to all and we should endeavour to live in peace. I understand that the Federal Government is doing its possible best to bring the crises situation under control. “It is only responsible for you all to embrace this laudable gesture being extended by the Federal Government as it will improve peace and stability between herdsmen and farmers, “he said. Lasisi and the council boss made the symbolic presentation of the products was ade to selected herdsmen.

Medical Student Murder

Court Issues Warrant On Prisons Mr Lanre Ologun (left), NYSC Edo State Co-ordinator with Lady Omorede Osifo, Chairman, NYSC Edo State Governing Board and Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Edo State, during the 2013 Batch ‘C’ Orientation Swearing-in ceremony at the Orientation Camp, Okada. Photo: MOSES OBOH.

IBADAN - An Ibadan High Court has issued a warrant on the authorities at Agodi Prisons to produce a murder suspect, Sodiq Adedeji in court. Adedeji and three others are standing trial for the murder of Anwal Shanono, a 500-level medical student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

The suspect, who was not in court when the case was mentioned along with Akinwumi Adisa, Olamide Oladeji and Tajudeen Arowotosuna are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, murder and unlawful possession of arms.

Experts Identify Emotional Stress, Fatigue As Causes Of Baldness

LAGOS - Some medical experts on Tuesday identified emotional stress and fatigue as some of the major causes of baldness among men above 40 years. In interviews with newsmen in Lagos, the experts also listed poor nutrition and hormone changes as other causes of baldness. Baldness is partial or complete lack of hair growth. A dermatologist, Dr Modupe Lawal, who works at the MoDerm Clinic, Ikeja, said that emotional stress and fatigue, resulting from lack of adequate

sleep, was the commonest cause of baldness among Nigerians. “A lot of people, who do not get adequate sleep, are stressed, and this can cause hair loss. “In Nigeria, we do not sleep well because we want to meet up with our numerous needs. “Once there is alteration in our sleep pattern, it affects the body’s immune function, hormone secretion and physical and mental stamina,” she said. Lawal said that hair was very sensitive to changes in the body, adding that baldness was a

consequence of “such an internal disturbance’’. She added that it was hereditary and usually occurred in men. “Genetic factor is the most common cause of baldness among middle-aged men because it is being passed from one generation to another. “This genetic factor varies. It can be inherited from either parents, but in most cases, fathers can easily pass on the traits,” Lawal said.

Dr Richard Nwanze, dermatologist at the Skin Ventures, Ikeja, told newsmen that baldness could be treated with Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) injection. “To make this happen, blood is taking from the patient and processed in a machine that removes Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and then injected into the bald patches. “The PRP injected into the damaged area causes a mild inflammation that triggers the

healing process. “As the platelets organise in the clot, they release a number of enzymes to promote healing and tissue responses and also attract stem cells to repair the damaged area. “As a result, new collagen begins to develop. As the collagen matures, it begins to shrink, causing tightening and strengthening of the damaged area,” Nwanze said. Dr Sandra Ijelu, a nutritionist at the Isolo General Hospital, Lagos, told newsmen that inadequate nutrition could lead to baldness.

The defence counsel, Kazeem Oyesola, had told the court that Adedeji was not in court because he not brought by the prison authorities. Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Muktar Abimbola, adjourned the case to December 9 and ordered that a warrant should be issued and served on the prisons to produce Adedeji on that day. Earlier, the prosecutor, Kofo Oguntoyibo, had told the court that the suspects conspired and murdered Shanono on June 4, 2011. She said that the offence was committed at about 9.30 p.m. at Total Filling Station, Iwo Road, Ibadan, adding that one of the suspects, Adedeji was also caught with substance suspected to be Indian hemp. Oguntoyibo said that the offences committed by the suspects contravened sections 324, 316 and 5(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II Laws of Oyo Sate, 2000. The three suspects present in court pleaded not guilty to the charges.




Lazgos Solanke Tasks Govt On Criminal Justice System

Fashola Urges Investors Confidence Legal System LAGOS - Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has said the confidence of investors in Nigeria’s legal system was pivotal to the sustainable growth of the country’s economy. Fashola stated this when he declared open the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) West Africa Regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference in Lagos. Reports say that the LCA is an independent and international centre for the resolution of commercial disputes through arbitration and other forms of ADR services. The governor, who was represented by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, stressed the need to provide a conducive atmosphere for investors in the country. He said:“an unfavourable investment climate will slow down our economic growth. “The LCA was therefore established alongside the Lagos State Arbitration Law in 2009, to enhance investors confidence in our legal system, especially in the area of commerce.” Fashola urged the business community to avail itself of the opportunities provided by the LCA to resolve their disputes through mediation and arbitration. In a keynote address, Mr. Arnold Ekpe, Director, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Nigeria, said the ADR was cheaper, quicker and less confrontational than litigation.

Ekpe said the provision of the right environment for investors would help to maximise the utilisation of the abundant human and natural resources of the African continent. On her part, Mrs. Bimpe Nkontchou, the Conference Chairperson, said ADR had a huge potential in the continent of Africa, especially in Lagos. Nkontchou said, “The 48 countries of sub-Saharan African may be disparate, but what excites investors is the expected doubling of Africa’s population to two billion by 2050, accompanied by a trend towards urbanisation.’’

L-R: Vice President Namadi Sambo, President Goodluck Jonathan, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Adoki, Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah and Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja recently.

We’ll Deliver Stable Power

LAGOS - Mr. Kolade Adeshina, Chairman, KEPCO Consortium, the private investor in Ikeja Disco and Egbin Power Station, has assured Nigerians of quality and reliable electricity supply. Adeshina made the promise in a telephone interview with newsmen. He said that Nigerians would soon be enjoying uninterrupted power supply and “cost reflective charges” when the company began operations. He said that the power sector was witnessing a

new era that would be effectively managed by the private sector. The chairman said that the personnel inherited would be retrained in line with the new vision of the investors. “We are going to reduce the technical and commercial loses and we will run a low cost institution. “We are going to be efficient with regards to the metering, billing and collection. “I cannot tell you that we are going to turn around everything now, but certainly it is going to be a

Lagos Screens 850 Cases For Out-Of-Court Settlement LAGOS - The Lagos Multisome support for ADR.

Door Courthouse (LMDC) said it had screened 850 cases for out-of-court settlement during the 2013 Lagos Settlement Week. The Director of LMDC, Mrs. Caroline Etuk, said this in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on the sidelines of the Settlement Week which began on Monday. The week, which ends today was set aside for the resolution of cases through arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes. Etuk said:“After screening the cases referred to us from the high courts and magistrates’ courts, we are now left with 850 cases. “Of the 850 cases, we have received submissions from both sides in about 350 cases.’’ She said ADR was gaining ground and acceptability, noting that more lawyers and liti-

gants had shown interest in resolving their cases through the process. Etuk, however, clarified that not all cases would be entertained during the week. “We are only looking at cases such as assault and battery as well as other minor offences that were referred to us from the magistrates’ courts. “We have also decided not to entertain contentious land matters because of time factor,” she said. According to her, other cases to be entertained include those related to banking and insurance, landlord and tenant matters, property disputes, debt recovery and libel. Etuk lauded the State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, for closing state high courts during the week, saying it has helped to muster

She noted that the move had also promoted alternative processes of resolving disputes in the state.

Supply -New Investor

gradual process. “I can assure you we will put in place well structured process that will bring about customer satisfaction,’’ he stated. Adeshina said that the entire chain depended on availability of power and as such the wisdom of allowing the private sector to run it will definitely bring about the desired changes. According to him, the regime is a two way thing. “Profit for the investors and customer satisfaction for consumers and when these two factors come into play the sector will put the economy on the right track. “We are expected to in-

troduce technology into the system by coming up with a world class technology similar to what they have in Korea. He called for understanding and support of the public to ensure that facilities were guarded to enable the investors focus on core area of effective electricity distribution.

LAGOS - A legal luminary, Mrs. Folake Solanke, has urged state and federal governments to reform the criminal justice system to ensure a more efficient service delivery. Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. She expressed worry that many citizens had been languishing in prisons without trial. “It tortures the souls that many people are being held and forgotten in our prisons. Their trials are not taking place at the right time and it is terrible. “If you commit an offence it is expected that consequences would follow, but it has to be expeditious. “It erodes the good image of our country the way criminal justice is being handled sometimes without enough seriousness,” Solanke said. Solanke urged government at all levels to introduce a sustainable system of reducing prisons overcrowding as part of efforts to ensure justice. The lawyer attributed the high rate of crime in the country especially rape to lack of parental care and guidance. “Crime rate especially in rape cases is high because most parents now work longer hours in offices leaving their children and wards without guidance and attention.’’ Solanke believed that crime rate in the country would be curtailed if more attention was devoted to guiding the younger ones aright.

ICCN To Celebrate 90th Anniversary Of Int’l Court Of Arbitration LAGOS - The International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) said it had lined up activities to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the International Court of Arbitration based in Paris.

Minister of State for FCT, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Mike Oghiadomhe, Minister of State for Niger Delta, Mr. Dairus Ishaku and Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe at the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja

Mrs Olubunmi Osuntuyi, the ICCN Secretary General, said in a statement in Lagos that the activities were to celebrate the court’s role in resolving business conflicts across the globe. Osuntuyi said that part of the activities would be a dinner under the chairmanship of Chief Richard Akinjide, a former Attorney General of the Federation. “The International Court of Arbitration has over the years grown to be popular for allowing the arbitral proceedings to be held in any part of the world. “It has given room to support economies of different nations and possibilities of invisible earning accruing to them through arbitration. “It has also been promoting global trade and investment as well as dispute resolution services that maintain global peace,” she said. Osuntuyi said that Justice Mohammed Uwais, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, would deliver keynote address at the event.




News Wife Seeks Divorce Over Husband’s Failure To Train Children Transition Council Chairman, Musawa Local Government Area of Katsina State, Alhaji Tanimu Kira (L), Measuring grain to a woman, at the launch of sales of subsidised grain to less privileged families in Musawa on Wednesday

Cross section of Catholic faithful at the 3rd Synod of Enugu Catholic diocese on Wednesday.

MAKURDI - A 34-year old woman, Ramatu Ali, has asked a Makurdi Upper Area Court in Benue to dissolve her marriage over alleged refusal by her husband to train their children. She told the court that her husband Musa Ali, who married her in 2003, had also refused to take care of her. She said that Ali, a police officer, had never lived with the family and efforts by her to convince him to stay with her and their three children had failed. “I married Ali in 2003, under the Native Laws and Customs of the Bassa people in Kogi Local Government Area. “The marriage was blessed with three children but since our marriage, we have never stayed together due to the nature of his job. “As a police officer, he is always on special duty in different states and efforts to make him see reasons why we should stay together proved abortive as he was not willing to do so. “He has completely neglected

his family responsibilities. I have suffered all kinds of maltreatment in his hands since we got married. “Even on two occasions, he advised me to abort my pregnancy,” she told the court. Ali said that she no longer believed that there was still a marriage between them, stating that “the marriage has broken down irretrievably’’. She therefore prayed the court to dissolve the marriage and grant her custody of the children. She further prayed the court to order her husband to pay N100, 000 to her monthly “for feeding and health allowance, school fees, uniforms and text books for the children.’’ Responding, the husband admitted that Ramatu was his wife and pleaded with the court to give him time to respond to her averments. The Magistrate, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, adjourned the case to December 18 for Musa’s response.

Firdau Prayers, Burial Rites For Alhaji Aliyu Eshiemogie Holds Nov 30th AYOGWIRI –Firdau prayer burial rites for late Alhaji (Hon) Prince Aliyu Oghiagah

Chime Seeks Churchs’ Assistance In Governance

ENUGU - Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has urged churches in the country to assist the governments in ensuring good governance. The governor made the call in Enugu in a message to the opening of the Third Synod of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu. Chime, who was represented by the Secretary to the state Government, Mr. Amaechi Okolo, said the church should provide spiritual and theologi-

cal explanations and counseling to guide political leaders in the governance of the country. According to him, leaders of the Church should provide moral leadership and exemplary conduct to be able to speak with authority and conviction. The governor commended the church for its immense contribu-

Mrs Osemwogie Ogbebor By PATRICK OJENOR Passes On

ABUDU – The remains of Late Mrs. Osemwogie V. Ogbebor was laid to rest in Abudu, the administrative headquarters of Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, on Saturday the 2nd of November 2013. Speaking to newsmen during the burial ceremony, which was attended by eminent personalities




within and outside the country, at Esigie Comprehensive College ground, one of the children and one time Councilor Orhionmwon Local Government Area, Hon. Patrick Aghatise Ogbebor stated that the death of his mother came to him as a huge shock. He stated that the exemplary life of his mother is worthy of emulation, adding that, “if there is anything like next world in life I will still like to come to life for the children to emulate”. He however expressed gratitude to all those who attended the burial ceremony of his late Mother who passed on at the age of 105. Highlight of the burial ceremony was entertainment of guest and display by some groups led by Isoken Osakpamwan Ohenhen (Junior). The great Austine Dopo, Commissioner of Edo music and Destiny Power sound of Benin led by Saturday Ehis were also in attendance.

tions toward the development of the state, adding that it would continue to be major partners of the government. In his remarks, the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Mr. Eugene Odo, advised Christians to participate actively in politics to improve the norms and values in the society. Odo said that Christians were the people who should be in power because they were in a better position to make meaningful policies. “If there is any class of people who should be in politics, it is people who know God because they are the ones who will elect credible leaders. “When people who do not know God aspire to get power,

they make policies that are obnoxious to human existence. “I personally use this forum to urge the Christian faithful to participate actively in politics by contesting and voting during elections,’’ he said. In a message, the Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev. Augustine Kasujja, congratulated the diocese for holding the synod 12 years after the second one in 2001. Kasujja urged the delegates to come up with decisions that would continue to enhance the church especially in the area of evangelism. Earlier, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, said the synod was a gathering where issues concerning the

diocese were discussed. Onaga said the previous synods led to the creation of the dioceses of Awgu and Nsukka as well as many parishes. The bishop also said the number of priests increased from 70 in 1984 during the first synod to 350 priests as at 2013. He thanked the faithful for their continued support and cooperation toward the growth of the church. The theme of the synod is ‘Renewing the mission and identity of the church in service to integral education and reconciliation’. The synod, which opened with a mass, paper presentations and cultural displays would end November 23.

Abdulsalami Tasks Forum On Sustainable Peace KADUNA - A former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has tasked the Forum for Cities in Transition to promote sustainable peace for national development. Abubakar who gave the charge at the opening of the fourth Annual conference of the forum in Kaduna, urged the organisation to actualise and sustain its commitment in Nigeria. The five-day conference is organised for cities and countries to share experiences on conflicts and measures toward their resolution.

He urged the organisers to inaugurate follow up committee that would actualise and sustain the commitments made by participants geared toward sustainable reconciliation at the end of the conference. He said peace and reconciliation among communities would reconnect the country with other international communities for investment and developmental opportunities. “We must get back to those times when our tribes and religions were the instruments of unity

Eshiemogie has been schedule to hold on the 30th of November 2013. According to the programme of event, the Firdau prayers burial rites, which will hold at Eshiemogie’s compound in Ayogwiri-Uzarue in Etsako West Local Government Area, Edo State begins at 10.30am. The late Alhaji Aliyu Oghiagah Eshiemogie was aged 103. Late Alhaji Oghiagah Esiemogie was a two-time councilor in the old Western region, 1959 – 1961 and 1961 – 1962. He is survived by many children, grand children and great grand children among whom are Mallam Ismaila Eshiemogie, Abdulai Eshiemogie and Amedu Eshiemogie of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

and peaceful coexistence and not the source of discord and strife. “This conference should be a clarion call on all to rise and shoulder the task of restoring the much enjoyed peace and dignity of Kaduna and the country in general,’’ he said. The Founder of the forum, Prof. Pardruig O’Marlley, said the conference was designed to bring together cities to share their experiences on conflicts and measures taken toward reconciliation. Late Alhaji Aliyu Eshiemogie




Abuja Nwokocha Urges FG To Prioritise Teachers Education

Hon. Patrick Aguinede, Commissioner for Basic Education, Edo State (centre), Barr. Usi Osemwowa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic Education (right) and Prince Stephen Alao, Executive Chairman, SUBEB during the Commissioner’s appearance at the Edo State House of Assembly. Photo: GODWIN ISEGUAN.

Nwodo Backs N’Assembly On Pension Review Act

ABUJA - Chief Charles Nwodo, the National Chairman of defunct Progressive Action Congress (PAC), has expressed support for the National Assembly Joint Committee on Pension Review Act. The committee recommends fitness and qualification as major prerequisites for the appointment of National Pension Commission Director General. Nwodo made this known in an interview newsmen in Abuja. The National Assembly committee recommended the removal of 20 years requirement as prerequisite for the appointment to the office of PENCOM Director-General. The committee, however, recommended fitness, education qualification with adequate and cognate experience in pension matters as prerequisite for the post of PENCOM director-general. “Experience of 20 years is not enough to qualify anybody to head the commission,’’ he said. Nwodo said that the number of years did not really qualify the quantitative aptitude of the person’s intelligence. “ The fact that somebody has been teaching for a very long time does not necessarily mean he or she is perfect. “The fact that a driver has been driving for over 20 years does not make him or her experienced driver,” he said. He recalled that there were people who did not learn while in a particular position, adding that counting the number of years did not translate to the quality of experience of those people. He said that it had to match with the real academic and practical qualifications, experience and physical fitness to carry out such responsibilities.

Nwodo observed that some public office holders had been in particular organisations for years; he or she would have nothing to show for it. He said that performance should be the utmost prerequisite for the appointment of the head of any government establishment rather than years of experience. NAN recalls that the National Assembly Joint Committee on Review of Pension Act outlined the qualifications the Director General of the National Pension Commission is expected to possess. The position is currently occupied by Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu in an acting capacity. The Presidency had proposed 15 years’ experience as part of the requirements for any aspiring director general in the amendment bill already being considered by the National Assembly. Chairman of the Joint Committee, Sen. Aloyius Etok, said his committee was likely to consider a further reduction in the proposed years of experience. He said that this was to accommodate persons of good character and experience in pension management, he said. “I will be the last person to consider somebody without experience in pension to head PENCOM, even if the executive sends your name, I will not consider that person. “ We are talking about cognate experience in character and track records,” Etok said. He said that the panel would recommend persons with less than 10 years cognate experience to head the commission, especially if such persons had good track records and expertise to deliver on the job.

He said that age and post qualification experience should not be the major consideration in the choice of the directorgeneral of the PENCOM.

ABUJA - The Registrar, Teachers’ Registration Council, Prof. Addison Nwokocha, has called on the Federal Government to ensure that teacher education was top on its agenda. Nwokocha made the call in an interview with newsmen in Abuja during the Third National Conference of the Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education. He told newsmen that this would help the government to continually be aware of teachers’ needs and also be able to enhance their professional development. “It is a globally accepted fact that no nation can develop above the level of its education, and no

education can rise above the level of its teachers. “We need teachers who can make quality inputs into the system and these teachers must be products of a quality structure,’’ Nwokocha told newsmen. Nwokocha, who was the Chairman of the conference, said the country must have a rethink about its education sector which was universally acknowledged as the instrument of national transformation. On his part, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Isa Ochekpa, said the conference was called to “discuss how things can be made better in Nigeria, particularly in the education sector’’. Ochekpa said teachers

could be used to “address the dynamism of human race’’ because self transformation was the beginning of any transformation. He stated that there were many good teachers in the country and all they would require to turn around the fortunes of the education was capacity building and improved welfare. The don said that teachers were the foundation upon which any strong educational system could be built. “If we do not get the foundation right, the entire system is endangered, and we need to build our foundation (teachers) stronger to ensure a stronger structure (education),’’ he explained.

The Executive Chairman of Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Chief (Sir) Oseni Elamah laying a wreath in honour of the late Permanent/Board Secretary of the EIRS, Elder Sunday Nosakhare Okundia in Benin City.

Kuje Residents Decry Frequent Robbery

KUJE (FCT) - Residents of Kuje Area Council of the FCT have decried the spate of theft in the area. There had been frequent robberies in several houses at the quarters behind the area council secretariat since April. Some residents of the area whose houses where burgled recently expressed the need for the police in Kuje to intensify security measures in the area. They said it was the duty of the police and Kuje Area Council Administration to protect lives and property. One of them, Mr. Andrew Gaza of Danladi Etsu Zhin Street said robbery in the area was a recent occurrence.

“The thieves gained access to my house late in the night through the window by tearing the net and removing the iron burglary. “They stole three of my phones, a Plasma TV, some documents and my travelling bags,” he said. He urged security operatives to expedite action on the matter. Mr. Max Anochie of Eagle House Street said his house was robbed more than once and that many of his valuables were stolen. He said it was worrisome that cases of theft were becoming rampant in the area where past

and a serving local government chairman are residing. “This is the third time my house has been robbed in less than one month. “ The perpetrators always gain access to my house through an empty house next to mine. “They made away with my plasma TV, two phones, a camera, a DVD video player and my wife’s jewellery,’’ Anochie said. Another resident, Mrs. Turu Hanatu, complained that her house was burgled and her computer accessories stolen, stressing that the trend was becoming alarming in the area.

She said security operatives in the area council were not doing enough to protect lives and property, adding that appropriate measures should be taken to arrest future occurrence. “They gained access to my house by breaking the wall fence. “ They made away with a photocopier machine, two laptops, a printer and five computers,” Hanatu said. When contacted, the Kuje Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr Usain Hakim, pleaded with the affected residents to exercise patience as plans were underway to tackle the security challenges in the area.




Business + Economy Unfavourable Govt Policies Cause Customs N603bn ABUJA - Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), said in Abuja that the agency lost about N603 billion this year due to unfavourable government policies. He said that the losses were incurred following waivers on petroleum products, revenue lost to manufacturers and assemblers, revenue concessioned to the Niger Delta Development Commission, import substitution and industrialisation. Dikko made the disclosure when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committees on Finance and Appropriation monitoring the implementation of the 2013 budget. He explained that the sharp decline in the revenue collected by the agency during the year was caused by government policies which granted waivers and concessions on some imported and excisable goods. He said that out of estimated revenue of N718 billion

for the months of January to August, only N530 billion was collected by the agency, reflecting a shortfall of about N188 billion within the period. He said that the Customs also lost N105 billion revenue from import duty as a result of the Federal Government’s ban on rice importation. ‘If not for the government policies on waivers, import duty exemption, some imported goods and free trade zones that are being abused by traders, the Nigeria Customs Service would have collected about N600 billion more than the N530 billion it remitted as at the end of September this year. “Under waivers and import duty exemption on NDDC’s imported equipment alone, the customs service lost N86 billion. “About N264 billion was lost to waivers on petroleum products, N76 billion was lost to manufacturers and assemblers, among others,” he said. Defending the government policies, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-

Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said that the policies were introduced to help certain sectors to grow and generate jobs. “We are aware of the sharp decline in revenue generation of the Customs Service in the current fiscal year; this is partly due to the government policies mentioned. “But we are studying the whole situation to decide what other actions should be taken because we need to be sure that jobs intended to be created are commensurate to the revenues being lost,” she said. The minister said that the 2014 budget would plug loopholes that caused shortfalls in the generation of oil and non-oil revenues. Okonjo-Iweala proposed 74 dollars per barrel at 2.3 million barrels per day as the benchmark for the 2014 budget. She said that the Federal Ministry of Finance had worked out strategies to plug

wastages in non-oil revenue. The minister told members of the committee that a total of N1.01 trillion had so far been released to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), out of the N1.05

trillion budgeted for capital expenditure in 2013. She said that the balance of N400 billion would be disbursed to the MDAs before the year ran out.

People waiting to buy kerosene at N50 per litre at IBB square Bauchi on Wednesday.

Dangote To Invest In Sugar TUDUN WADA He urged the Federal Gov(NASARAWA STATE) - The Plantation ernment to consider

Pavilon of women Agro link foundation from Akwa Ibom, at the 2013 National Agricultural show in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa State on Wednesday.

Dangote Group said that it has concluded plans to invest in 300,000 hectares of sugar plantation across the country. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, made this known at a seminar organised by the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), an NGO, and organisers of the annual National Agriculture Show at Tudun Wada, Nasarawa State. The seminar, with the theme “Promoting Agribusiness In-

Exhibitors Use Music, Clowns To Attract Customers

Lagos Trade Fair: LAGOS - The exhibition arena of the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair has been funfilled as music blared from loud speakers at various stands, which were a haven of business transactions. Many exhibitors used music and mascots to advertise their products and attract customers at the Tafawa Balewa Square, venue of the fair. At some of the stands visited by newsmen, disc-jockeys played music while some youths danced to the admiration of onlookers. Mr. Emeka Adeyemi, a Sales

Agent with De-United Foods makers of Indomie Noodles - told newsmen that music was a powerful tool for advertising. “There is hardly anyone who doesn’t like music. “It has the power to endear and attract people to things they ordinarily would have ignored,” he said. Miss Adebisi Smart, a Marketing Officer representing the X-pression brand of hair attachment, told newsmen that music was irresistible to many people. “People will always be attracted to music, whether they are old or young.

“Brands that advertise their products using music tend to register fast in the minds of the public,’’ she said. Miss Faith Agosh, a professional dancer at the Mr. Chef stand, told newsmen that she enjoyed dancing for fun and for cash reward. I was recruited by this organisation to dance. It will be responsible for my feeding throughout the duration of this trade fair. “It gave all the dancers branded T-shirts for easy identification and will pay us between N20,000 and N35,000 at the end

of the fair,” she said. Mr. Akeem Duro, a clown who dresses up in funny costumes to attract customers at the PZ Nutricima stand, told newsmenthat his job was lucrative. “I dress up in a funny way and paint my face in the colours of the product pack. “Many people visit this stand simply because of my appearance,” he said. Reports say that many visitors have continued to visit the exhibition stands for the trade fair which will end on Sunday.

vestment for Job and Wealth Creation and Sustainable Food Security is part of the activities for the 2013 Show. Represented by Mr Ahmed Mansor, the Executive Director of the company, Dangote said that the group had acquired 32,000 hectares sugar field in Numan, Adamawa, where its sugar company is located. “We have embarked on backward integration in the sugar sector in line with the new policy of the Federal Government that is designed to encourage local manufacture of sugar. “The planned development of other sugar fields across the country put at over 300,000 hectares, will further complement the ongoing revolution in the sugar subsector.” He added that the company would also build a 2.75-million-tonne fertiliser plant that would rank among the biggest in Africa, when completed. Dangote said that the company was working hard to transform the country’s economy from an import-dependent one to a net exporter of sugar, pineapple, rice and other agricultural commodities.

agribusiness as a major avenue to reposition the country’s economy to be among the top economies in the world. In his remarks, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of NAFN, explained that the theme of the show was chosen in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). Adamu, a former Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, President of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and current Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, added that presentations and discussions at the seminar would focus on the theme. “It is our hope that at the end of the day, participants will be better equipped with information on how to maximise the opportunities in the agriculture agenda of the Federal Government.’’ Adamu observed that the show had provided a platform for the establishment of useful contacts, business deals and lasting acquaintances.


























































































































































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15 5.63 4.53 4.18 3.5 2.9 2.45 1.06 0.73

Stock 0 Close Loss -0.02 88,732,790 79,456,019.17 NSEINDUSTR 2280.8 -14.43 -0.06 0 2,973,966 DANGCEM 187.51 3,726,429.80 -2.49 NSEBNK 401.89 -0.99 -0.2NSEINS0 39,430,691 849,348,411.30 139.54 -0.29 BERGER 8.12 -0.28 NASCON 11.92 -0.28 ETI 13.73 -0.22 EKOCORP 3.91 -0.2 ZENITHBANK 21.45 -0.2 OANDO 11.04 -0.16



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, 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 godfathers. Some of the


Constitutional Ammendment Of Minimum Wage 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 selfglorification 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.





Why Are Our Leaders Dying Far Away From Home? By BLESSING YAKUBU

THE failure of our rulers cannot be measured only by the visible decay of infrastructure and the dwindling quality of our lives but also by the way they prefer to die. While ordinary citizens live their miserable lives which literarily expire unsung in the country, our leaders, or rather, rulers on whose shoulders rest the responsibility of taking us beyond the 47 years pegged as our life span live theirs in foreign lands and/or die there. Yet, they daily savour the splendour and all that the high public offices they occupied or occupy but fail to provide the rest of us facilities in the quality measure they enjoy them in the foreign lands they govern us from. Nothing frustrates Nigerians more than the present trend in the health sector where Indian, British, German and American hospitals have all their available bed spaces taken up by Nigerians who seek medical attention for all kinds of ailments ranging from orthopaedic to cancer cases. It has become fashionable to hear wealthy Nigerians, especially those who should fix our health care delivery system, say they travelled abroad for medical check-up or that they had their medical cases treated in India or London. When our Presidents, our governors or their amiable, and not so amiable spouses, or lucky children fall sick with the flu, the nearest medical facility is the one in London or Germany. It is we, the people, who are sentenced to attend the panadoldispensing clinics they call teaching or specialist hospitals here in our country. In our culture, the dead is treated with so much respect that we are told that it is more dignifying to die and be buried at home than to do so in a foreign land. Now, it appears fashionable to travel in the luxury of a business-class for medical treatment abroad be brought back here for burial in the baggage compartment of an airliner. What a shame. Dying far away from home like they do is an indictment on the poor, unfeeling, insensitive and profligate governance which our rulers have provided and continually provide us ordinary citizens of Nigeria. If our general, specialist or teaching hospitals were working, our rulers would not need to travel to foreign lands for answers to their medical problems. And it is ironic that it is those who should make our hospitals work to serve our needs who actually lead the way to foreign hospitals. It is even more ironic that many of the medical consultants and other health care providers they rush to patronize abroad are actually Nigerians driven away from home by lack of basic equipment and conducive working environment at home. The recent death of Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe, former Chief of General Staff/Military Vice President in far away New York, United States of America, of throat cancer is the latest in the long list of our leaders past and present who have died far away from home from ailments which could have been diagnosed and treated here in Nigeria had they provided qualitative health care delivery system while they served. The list includes late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who spent more than three months in 2010 in a Saudi hospital for a yet-to-

be-disclosed ailment. Discerning Nigerians know he was brought home dead. The late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka succumbed to cancer far away from home on April 6, this year, exBiafran leader, Odimegwu Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi, died far away from home in London where he was

ment of ‘’the afflictions of the wicked’’, rich and mighty in our country. What they can, and should, provide here is what they seek abroad which eventually takes their lives away. Would it not be better to die here like ordinary Nigerians do than to die in a foreign land and be flown back like an ‘unidentified flying object’ in the underbelly of a plane for burial here? When shall we

Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Health Minister

flown to by the Anambra State government headed by Governor Peter Obi. Former Ondo Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu and late Professor Omo Omoruyi both died of cancer in October this year very far from home. Even our First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan confirmed she ‘died’ many times last year in a German hospital where she had gone for medical treatment. Nigerians believe that whatever the ailment that took our ‘’mummy’’ away for three months could have been handled efficiently here were our hospitals properly and adequately equipped. You still want to know why our rulers are dying far away from home? The answer is not far-fetched. There are no facilities here for the proper diagnosis and treat-

“The recent death of Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe, former Chief of General Staff/Military Vice President in far away New York, United States of America, of throat cancer is the latest in the long list of our leaders past and present who have died far away from home from ailments which could have been diagnosed and treated here in Nigeria had they provided qualitative health care delivery system while they served.”

begin to think seriously about a health care delivery system which guarantees all Nigerians adequate, accessible and affordable diagnostic and management facilities such that no one needs to travel abroad for specialised or general medical care? When will our teaching, specialist and general hospitals be transformed from death centres to truly teaching and specialist hospitals good enough to attract the patronage of all of us, including our rulers? It is, however, heart warming that some effort is being made in Edo State to provide what the governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, describes as a five-star medical facility equipped with state of the art diagnostic and health care management infrastructure, including personnel, with capacity to provide solutions to complex medical problems like cancer which has become a major killer illness. The Oshiomhole effort which will hopefully come to fruition shortly should be emulated by the federal and other state governments in other to eradicate not only the huge drain on the nation’s resources on hospital bills paid abroad but also stop our leaders from dying far away from home. BLESSING YAKUBU, a Public Affairs Commentator, writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.










Insight BEING a paper Presented in Uyo at the workshop on Conflicts and Crises Reporting organized by the Nigerian Press Council with the support of Akwa Ibom State Government, (3-4 October, 2013). ABSTRACT IT goes without argument that the Press plays a significant role in managing conflict situations in the society. This work therefore examines the surveillance and interpretation function of the press because of its crucial role in conflict discourse. It highlights the nature of diversity in a plural and multi-cultural setting and posits that, often times, how a conflict turns out is dependent on how it is handled. In Nigeria and in other climes, the media have been blamed for their role in the exacerbation of different conflicts at different times. Hence, this paper takes a critical look at the challenges faced by the media in handling conflict situations. It also highlights those media structures and practices that must be established and or re-enforced for the press to wake up to its social responsibilities INTRODUCTION Journalism, by nature has direct impact on individuals, groups and institutions. Put simply, Journalism has significant impact on the society. Hence practitioners have to be guided by some norms in the discharge of their responsibility of transmitting information. The media inform us, they entertain us and they investigate us where necessary. In all of this, the media depend on the social standards and laws of a given society. The professional norms of journalism include the following: truthfulness, objectivity, neutrality and detachment (kempf 2007). The social responsibility theory of the press surfaced in the 20th century as a result of the crisis of confidence that rocked journalism in the 19th century, which led to the gradual shift away from the hitherto practiced libertarianism. According to Peterson, (Egbon 1995) the major premise of this theory is that: Freedom carries commitment, obligations; and the press enjoys a privileged position under our government, is obliged to be responsible to society for carrying out certain essential functions of mass communication in contemporary society. To the extent that the press recognize its responsibilities and make them the basis of operational policies, the libertarian system will satisfy the needs of society. To the extent that the press does not assume its responsibilities, some other agency must see that the essential functions of mass communication are carried out. The social responsibility theory which developed in the United States in the 20th century was as a result of the shortcomings of the libertarian theory of the press. The Hutchins Commission on freedom of the press, media practitioners and media codes set up in the United States of America in 1947 recommended that, other than ensuring and preserving press freedom, the press is required to observe certain social standards and responsibilities in performing their professional functions. Essentially, the Social Responsibility theory has as its chief purpose to inform, entertain, and sell like the libertarian philosophy, but in addition, raise conflict to the level of discussion. In this system everyone is given a hearing. Its control is vertically through community opinion, consumer action and professional ethics. Again, under this theory it is forbidden to invade the individual’s privacy or rights and vital social interests (Egbon 1995). It is germane to mention here that media under this social responsibility theory is expected to assume an obligation of social responsibility, and where they are found wanting in this respect, someone (usually the government) must insist they do. MEDIA FUNCTIONS UNDER THE SOCIAL RESOPONSIBILITY THEORY The social responsibility theory, according to Siebert at al (1956) as cited by Egbon (1995) was hinged air the following functions: 1. Servicing the political system by providing information, discussion and debate on public affairs. 2. Enlightening the public so as to enable it to take self determined action. 3. Safeguarding the rights of the individual by acting as watch dog over the government. 4. Serving the economic system, by bring together the buyers and sellers of goods and services through the medium of advertising. 5. Providing entertainment. 6. Maintaining its own financial self- sufficiency so as to be free from the pressure of self interest. A critical look at this social responsibility theory reveals

Imperatives Of Social Resp that it is just a little improvement on the libertarian theory. Although this theory accommodates the functions outlined above, it does not meet the wishes of some media owners and operators. Hence the need to consider some of the criticisms generally leveled against the press I. The press has wielded its enormous power to its own ends. The proprietors have propagated their own opinions, especially in matters of politics and economics at the expense of opposing views. II. The press has been subservient to big businesses and at times has let advertisers control policies and editorial content. Ill. The press has resisted social change IV. The press has often paid more attention to the superficial and sensational than to the significant in its coverage of current happenings, and its entertainment has often been lacking in substance. V The press has endangered public morals. VI. The press has invaded the privacy of individuals without just cause. VII. The press is controlled by the social-economic class, loosely the business class and access to the industry is difficult for the new comer, therefore the free market place of ideas is endangered. THE ROLE OFA NEWS REPORTER The news reporter is a journalist who gathers facts, crosschecks them and reports them to the organization where he works for editing and presentation. The organization a reporter works for can be a newspaper, a journal, a broadcasting outfit or a news agency. The role of the journalist begins with research work and concludes with conveying facts as they are, without injection of personal bias. In other words, it is the compilation, verification and dissemination of current information that is newsworthy. In addition, the journalist does not only report the news, he also cites his sources, runs background checks and conducts interviews. In some instances, reporters present the news story themselves after working on the content. The act of reporting can either take place from the newsroom or the venue of coverage from where the news originates. Reporting has two main segments, viz the desk and the field. It also has many beats or specific field of reporting such as political desk, sports desk, business desk, foreign desk, to mention a few. These beats are assigned to reporters. Basically, journalists can play different roles- they can cover the news from the field, write the content to be presented, write columns and commentaries, edit, present or do photo journalism. DIVERSITY Diversity is as natural as colours. Diversity is like variety, which is often described as the spice of life. According to Albert (2002), diversity “connotes heterogeneity or dissimilarity on the grounds of sex, cultural practice, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, ideological stance, political leaning, level of social development place of habitation and so on”. Diversity implies pluralism and variety. Nigeria is a good example of a nation of diversity, with over 250 ethnic groups, pursuing diverse goals, speaking different languages, having different religious and cultural beliefs and what have you. Definitely, it would be foolhardy of anyone to expect, that all Nigerians would move in the same direction in all issues. That is why issues of diversity must be handled with care to avert violent conflicts. CONFLICT Conflict is normal in human relationship. Basically, conflict means disagreement between two or more parties. In other words, conflict is a natural phenomenon which is ever present in any inter or intra personal relationship. According to Lund (1997), conflict occurs “when two or more parties perceive that their interests are incompatible, express hostile attitudes or pursue their interest through actions that damage the other parties. These parties may be individuals, groups and countries”. One significant thing about conflict is that it is a motor of change. The change can be either positive or negative, depending on one’s perspective. Again, one’s perspective determines one’s perception. Perception, to a large extent, affects the way people react to situations and therefore plays a major role in the cause of conflict and in the way we try to solve it. Nigeria has had a number of conflicts right from independence, some of which we can recall as below: I. The 1964/5 Election Crisis


II. The Nigeria/Biafra civil crisis Ill. Maitatsine crisis IV. May Riot of 1989 V. Zangon-Kataf Crisis VI. 1993 Presidential Election VII. The Bakassi Issue VIII. Kaduna, Plateau, Numan religious/ethnic conflicts IX. Maiduuri Labour demonstrations X. Ife-Modakeke conflict XI. Yungur/Fulani fights XII. Boko Haram insurgency XIII. Niger Delta struggle XIV. The numerous religious crises, communal land disputes, chieftaincy tussles, trade disputes and many socio-political

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crises Regrettably, one hundred years after her emergence as a unified political entity, Nigeria has not been able to device a formula by which some basic problems of the society would be solved. In fact, Nigeria remains a nation beset with insecurity, hunger, corruption, lack of power, poor road networks, insensitivity of the leaders and so forth. Indeed, there are visible signs of failure in all ramifications. The truth of the matter is that the press is not left out in this failure. Hence, diversity and Conflict issues have been poorly handled. REPORTING CONFLICT IN THE MEDIA Conflict by its nature holds a moving attraction for the mass media. Put simply, conflict sells. Conflict as a matter of fact, is difficult to handle without engaging the emotions of the handlers. This is due to the humanistic implications, more so when conflict becomes violent. Presenting an objective and balanced report therefore becomes a tortuous, almost impossible task (Eti 2009:92) All the same, people depend on the media for relevant information during conflict or crisis periods. This is so because the media have remained the most credible source of information or news. We often use information from the media to form opinion on very serious issues. According to Pate (2013), even though the media do not tell us what to think, they are found to direct our minds on what to think about.

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ponsibility For Journalists In Reporting Conflicts

PROBLEMS OF CONFLICT REPORTING At the level of policy, the press is expected to report obctively. Regrettably, a number of factors mutilate against is noble goal. Some of these problems are according to ate (2013), are as identified below: 1. Promoting, by selective reporting, prejudicial stereopes about groups and individuals. 2. Reporting inter-group conflict out of their fundamental ciological, economical, political and other contexts. In any cares, media persons merely respond to statements of liticians, ethic champions, religions zealots and other inrested party rather than initiate their own independent quiries about specific social conflict.

3. Making generalized statement not supported by conete facts and figures. 4. Attribute statements by individuals to collectives 5. Publishing of rumours as facts. 6. Publishing unfair and discriminating adverts. 7. Use of inflammatory language in news reporting. 8. The problem of editors allowing the letters column and pinion pages to be used to make inflammatory statements ainst some people or groups. 9. The use of inflammatory, misleading and sensational adlines to attract sales. 0. Demonisation of certain ethic, religious or political oups in an already divided and tensed society. 1. The use of cartoons to malign a community, group or dividual. 2. Use of unrepresentative pictures. 3. Un-objective and clearly biased reporting against some oups, individuals or communities. 4. Inappropriate usage of language in reporting conflict ories. 5. Total blackout on some groups, individuals or commuies. 6. Expression of ill-informed opinions by columnists writs, etc on issues that affect certain groups of people in the untry. 7. Shallow and episodic coverage.

COVERAGE OF NATIONAL CRISES IN NIGERIA This is an assignment which requires special skills and tact. Many media personnel in Nigeria have used the mass media to serve selfish and minority elite interests. The Press has often been accused of having a harsh adversarial posture towards government and basking in infatuation with the phenomenon of press freedom There is no gainsaying that the freedom that journalists talk much about cannot be without responsibility. In fact the failure of many journalists to abide by the professional code of ethics which emphasizes objectivity, balance, fairness, thoroughness, honesty and relevance have led to the belief that many of our media house through their coverage of conflict and diversity always fail to emphasize how to make contribution towards a culture of peace, and build polices and leadership ethos that could support sustainable peacemaking, going by pates position (2013). As it were, the Nigerian press tends to throw up more issues of relating to our differences. Issues of religious, ethnic and political differences are given undeserved emphasis in most case. In some cases one sees a display of professional incompetence, arising from laziness, poor research and analytical skills, as well as arrogance among some journalists. With this it becomes difficult to educate and unite the people as expected. However, some journalists are not to blame in situations where some government officials tend to suppress information during tense moments. This has always turned out to be more dangerous to the society as it has always created room for rumour to thrive. And nothing is as dangerous as rumour, since it is uninvestigated and therefore unconfirmed story. Exaggeration and understatement are always hallmarks of rumours. According to the American commission on the freedom of the press referred to earlier, one of the injunctions is that the press be accurate and not lie. The second requirement is that it serves as a forum of the exchange of comment and or criticism. Another requirement is that the press must project a representative picture of the constituent groups in society and must be responsible for the presentation and clarification is the goals and values of the society. The final requirement is that the press provide fill access to the day’s intelligence, according to Egbon (1995) To achieve the targets, the practitioner must be provided with the requisite meansafel be given a conducive environment some of the journalists who are competent are often subdued by the attitudes and policies of their media house, compelling them to sacrifice professional honour. This leads us to the attitude of the journalists. Similarly the survival intact common among media organization also deserved mention in an attempt to outshine others in the same business, there is the tendency for them throw journalists ethics over board, and this may have negative impact on the society. There is also the question of lack of basic infrastructural facilities, absence of some working tools, inadequate security cover and weak resource base. Finally the Nigerian journalist is poorly paid so much that it is difficult to be free from corruption. There is as the need to reiterate here that freedom of expression under the social responsibility theory does not centre absolute right on the journalist as with the pure libertarian theory one’s right to free expression must be balanced against private rights of others well as vital social interests. THE WAY FORWARD It is important that the reporter analyzes all sides or outlooks in a given situation. In order to maintain social harmony. One must mention both the negative and the positive outcomes of an action. Also, there should be no blood shown on television or in the newspaper. This is capable of creating social unrest and anxiety. Instead the news reporter can highlight the unsolved issues by seeking explanations using the potency of the media. Every journalist should endeavour to be well versed with all legalities relating to the field of journalism. The reporter must be aware that he should know about laws that can create trouble for him or his organization. For instance, a reporter should not make an individual’s private life or any

kind of confidential data a subject of public discussion. Also, slanderous or defamatory remarks or graphic representation of a person or entity can attract trouble as the affected party can sue for damages. Journalism demands a fair and undistorted representation of the truth in a balanced form. This indeed is the hallmark of a responsible journalist. This profession also demands timely delivery of news report that must be packaged carefully so is to expunge any provocative or undeniable comment. In fact, anyone desiring to be journalist must educate himself before taking the plunge. Formal education in this field is a sine qua non, as it given shape to the career. With the fast growth of journalism or mass communication Intec world, it is only advisable to use every available training institution that offer mass communication and journalism at all levels. TIPS FOR REPORTING CONFLICT We cannot claim to have had a useful discussion without dropping some tips on strategies of covering conflict situation. Here we will depend largely on Jaldeep Kat WaIa who has been in journalism practice since 1985. Below are the hints. 1. Don’t write in clichés “The heart of darkness” is the title of a book by Joseph coward written in the early part of the 20th century about a trip up the River Congo. It does not need to feature in every story about the Congo and especially not in the headline. 2. Don’t believe everything someone tells you. International NGOs by definition are on the side of the victim, the underdog; they are keen to generate interest in their perspective. They have a story to tell. Often that story is shocking in its own right without the extra twist given by the NGOs Reminder this especially when you are dealing in second- hand accounts of what eye-witness said. 3. Don’t hunt for the ‘definitive truth’ The truth is out there, but it is incredibly hard to find it. Take the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example. It is a huge Country- bigger then Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland combined. As a journalist, unless you will have experienced the situation first hand, you will have to rely on what someone else tells you. Do so with caution. 4. Don’t get things out of context. What you witness may be terrible locally, but be sure to offer national, regional, global and historical context to your reporting so that those you are informing have the widest perspective of the significance 5. Don’t accept information without question facts are loaded. A review of the cuttings fade on Congo will show you that 5.4 million people have died in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Do you know how this figure was arrived at? Do you know what period the statistic covers? If you don’t then don’t use it. 6. Don’t forget the human face of suffering sexual violence and rape are terrible crisis when reporting; don’t forget that all the headlines and stories written have a human face. 7. Don’t be sloppy with words use language with ear. Genocide is a specific legal term with a particular meaning. It does not automatically follow that, because a large number of people have been killed, it is genocide. 8. Don’t be led by another’s agenda It is all about timing. Remember that pressure groups will often release information to concede with significant events in the political calendar. For example, UN Security Council debates are often previewed by NGOs making demands calling for action. As a journalist, you set the agenda- don’t have it set for you. 9. Don’t ignore the local pressures Congolese journalist work in a complete different political environment than the one you are lucky to work in. They face censorship (or self censorship), harassment, intimidation and murder threats. They are often not able to report what they would like to. 10. Don’t ignore history History repeats itself. Journalism don’t have to be an accumulate of chinches ending with the latent addition to the mix. Think originally; think laterally find stories which tell the untold facts and which get beyond the clinches CONCLUSION In the coverage of conflict situation in each nation, the press responds from the perspective of the perceived national interest. For this reason, ethical guidance is given a pride of place in free expression whether in crisis or peace. And the freedom of all citizens is tied to the freedom of the press. Viewed against the backdrop of professional attributes, the contents of media to regards coverage of diversity and conflict issued in Nigeria leaves much to be desired. This could be linked to the “Nigerian factor” that has infested all professions in the land. To say the leant, it would be in our common interest to insist in one way or the other that professionalism be enthroned and protected by the journalist, media owners, the courts, the government and the people of Nigeria.




Art Alive


Art As A Means Of Communication FROM a behavioural point of view, art is a means of communication. Already, art has been defined by several persons as that form of behaviour by which humans purposefully interpret and enhances the quality or essence of their experiences,


through the things that they create. The reciprocal action that leads to aesthetic and cultural growth is the fact that art enhances human experience and human experience enhance art. For example an architect provides shelter for human beings and the


I want to live I don’t want to die I want to spend my days being honest for it pays I don’t want to live in lies Cos I want to live even at death ‘Cos there is life after death So I say I want to live I want to live Live to fulfill my purpose Live to fulfill my goals So, I choose to live even at death

Life Life is a story It makes some people happy It makes some people sad It makes some people cry It makes some people laugh Life is a mystery It places you where you belong Life could be tiresome at times It is a struggle for some people to live. Life is a daily affair Life could be burdensome Life could be lonesome Life could be a brief ecstasy Some people could ask life “Is this what you have made me?” Some would say “Life has made me what I am” Yet others would say “Life is what you make it”

design of the building changes with the changing time and the style predicts the activities or the type of work that is being carried out in the building, whether the building is a residential apartment, an industry, a hotel, an office, a school hostel etc. So the architect does his work according to the needs of the society and uses his talent to symbolize the nature and essence of the particular activities for which he designs in order that everyday that comes in contact with the building receives some informat8ion about its function. In addition, the building adds or distracts from its surrounding through its aesthetic quality. There are all various types of visual communication that can

be derived from the building. On the painter on the other hand responds to his experience and invents symbols to communicate the way he feels. The craftsman on his part reacts to his materials and the functions of his own products. These products have meanings which enhances experiences of the people who make use of them. It has been said that without art both formal and informal education, transmission of culture from one generation to the other will not be possible. This is because art as one of the major recording systems through which man describes and explains his progress in details and takes the next step forward. Evidence of this is seen in traditional arts


and crafts. It is also a symbolic communication system for describing status and roles through costumes, design, architecture. For example, it is through artistic endeavour and design that the attires we put on the communicate our status and roles are made possible. Furthermore, people will not have art forms to enhance the quality of their experience. Since early times, man has beautified his tools that he used for works, ritualistic ceremonies and sign of prestige. No matter the changes humans experience, symbolic enhancement communicate what the essence of experience should be. Lastly, art is used in mass media communication especially in the area of industrial visual arts. Art therefore is seen as a ma-

jor communicating force in developing and maintaining society and should be part of the education system. Therefore art education should recognize art as a communicative tool and strive to develop the behaviour involved in visual perception and production. Unless we use our visual capacities to the full, we will be missing much of the beauty and wonder of nature and art, and this may lead to big misunderstanding and illiteracy. One major solution to this problem of misunderstanding and illiteracy is that training, adequate one at that should be given from early school years and continue through one’s education so that people like me can get the sense fully before commencing drawing assignments.




FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013 With Ambrose O. Ekhosuehi 08057378438

Art And Culture

Membrano-Phones Music In Culture PHONES are instruments in which the sound of music is produced by the vibration of stretched membrane, animal skin used in covering the drum that is beating to produce the sound. Drums are covered with membrane and by beating the membrane with hand or stick, melodious sounds echoes. The body of the drum is usually made of wood while

by pushing in or pulling out the pegs. A higher pitch can also be produced by exposing the membrane to the heat of the sun or to warm heat, and lower pitch can be obtained by cooling or moisturing the skin, Four variants of braced, single membrane cylindrical drums can be found among Edo Speaking people. The most common consists of a hollowed out

Membranephones and Idiophones

the opening end is covered with leather or skin. Drums are beaten either by sticks, hands or a combination of both. The left hand is often used to control the pitch, When any part of the membrane is pressed and the remaining portion is made to vibrate by beating; the pitch is high but if the fingers do not press any part of the membrane while the drum is being beating, the pitch is deep and sonorous The pitch can be raised by driving wedges if the skin is braced with aces which are tied to a chord under which wedges are placed or lowered by slacking the wedges. The pitch can be changed

trunk covered on one end with leather and opened at the other end. The leather is braced with laces which are tied to a cord rolled up in the edge of the skin and to another cord from the rim. Wooden wedges are placed under this cord. The drum is played either by sitting down with the drum between thighs or beating it with both hands, standing and walking with the drum under the armpit. Small drums of this kind are used in religious ceremonies and are mentioned by some visitors; thus, Van Nyendeal say that the Benin used small drums covered with leather

or skins, while Talbot said that small wooden drums with skin covered belong to the most common musical instruments used by the Edo people. There is another variant of braced, single membrane cylindrical drum that is used among the Edo people. Its bottom part is carved into conical shaped socle, very high and large called Agban drum, Oze, and Igbudu respectively

this cord. The egoma is always played with sticks whereas the agbala is played either with hands or with sticks. The egoma is a shrine drum. Its use is restricted to certain rites in which it is played together with other drums. On the other hand, Agbala drums are the main membranophones of the agbala dance which is performed in certain festival.

carved into a more or less conical shaped code with ring at the top of the cone. Drums of this kind are called ewinni for the smaller one and Ube for the larger one. They are decorated with carvings. Ewinni drums are used during Ugioro, Ugie Erhaoba, and Igue festivals. It is also used in harem entertainment. The Ube drums are played during Igue, and during the



among the Benin, Esan and Etsako. It is tilted when played and beaten with either hands or sticks. Agban, Oze and Igbudu drums are used in various ceremonial ensembles such as communal deities and are played only by men. Two footed variants of the braced, single membrane cylindrical drums called egoma and agbala have four legs each and are carved out at the bottom part which are not covered. In both variants, the Leather is braced with laces which are tied to a cord rolled up in the edge of the skin and to another cord from the rim. Wooden wedges are placed under

of the old bronze plaques of Benin. These plaques represent double or single membrane tension drums of hourglass type; and another depicted on a carved wooden chest of the nineteenth century and is beaten with the hand on leather covering the narrow end. In contemporary literature on Edo culture Idan drums are mentioned and the Edo tension drums are

The Edo Type of tension drum known as Idan or Uzebu is carried suspended from left shoulder by a strap. This strap is attached near the top of the drum and just above the wider bottom end. When playing, the performer uses the left hand to pull the laces and the right hand to beat the leather. Idan drums are used in various ceremonies and festivals for processions and ceremonial dancing such as in Ekaba festival. Drums of this kind have existed for more than three hundred years. Hand beaten tension drums with body contour of an Idan drum are depicted on some

different from the ones used by other Nigerian peoples. Traditional Benin Festival drums “Emugie� consist of emaedo and emaighan. Emaedo was invented in the middle of the fifteenth century. Musicians playing drums that look like the emaedo are carved on a nineteenth century wooden chest and are depicted on some of the Benin bronze plaques, appear to have been used for at least more than three hundred years. The large pegged, single membrane cylindrical drum differ from the others because it is always large, and the bottom part of it, is

rites for ancestral spirits. Single membrane cylindrical drums are depicted on some of the bronze plaques of Benin which means that ewinni drums have existed for at least more than three centuries. Membranophones, music, sometimes accompanied with idiophones have several variants that can be distinguished and found in many communities during ceremonies and festivals. These are conical drums, Braced Agban drums, Ighede drums barrel shaped drums, Hourglass drums and frame drums, that belong to various ceremonial ensembles in culture.




Ah! The Year Ends Again! FEMINIQUE So What?

LIKE a windmill, 2013 is gradually grinding to a halt. The hurly burly of a year that must end has started again, and virtually everyone around me, particularly my female folk have adorned, that façade again, as if they didn’t know that one second one minute would one day snowball into one year as soon as they screamed ‘happy new year!’. How often would I tell both family, friends, colleagues, folks and even foes that the cross over night means a new phase has begun? I am getting fagged out hearing all those lamentations about “the year ending again and nothing for the yuletide….” and all that tongues. Now, tell me, are we just living for the yuletide? Is the cross-over, all the lighting of candles, glorious halleluyas, fireworks and fine praises, unending melee and back tapping just because we wish to live through twelve months and go through all that again… cross-over… light candles…. chant glorious halleluyas, throw fireworks…. engage in unending melee, back tap our neighbours and … just like that? Not again! We are not living for Christmas or the yuletide! I see you have been singing that carol, “may we live forever more because of Christmas day!: I beg your pardon! No one would live forever just to catch the yuletide fun. We go through the life voyage to make our own meaningful imprint in the sands of time and if we are fortunate, leave a lasting legacy behind. Having said that, rather than bemoaning the end of year, I would rather want to hear you counting the gains, the fortunes (not necessarily

physical resources that are at your disposal, it also means what you have been able to achieve with the resources deposited inside of you, that is, if you agree with the dynamics of creation that you have got something unique, something peculiar to you, that makes you that special person that you are. Oh! You never knew! Oh! You knew but took it as one of those talks that would keep you rolling the suicide noose round your neck rather than kicking off the stool and letting the noose snap! Come on! Don’t just go there! That’s what cowards imagine: life is too hard, the days are too tough, let me take this life and have my peace!. Well, I am still waiting to see someone who saw that last flash of light and came back to mortal existence to tell us how it was at the other end, but from all that my mind’s eye tells me, there will be someone who will stand at the other end to say, “what have you done with the talents that I gave you? Give them back to me, you egg head!”. Forget it, I wouldn’t even want my worst foe to die with their innate talents, inert. Therefore, to quell that inertia, you have to discover yourself. Oh, forget it, the witches, wizards, enemies of progress and star gazers are there watching or spying on you, but forget it, it’s when they find you doing something that they try to spin the webs around you, but if you do nothing… it’s even worst of, because you are more easy target, more

at night! What would you be doing when the witches meet you? (a) sleeping (b) playing? It’s (a) when you’re sleeping, of course!. That’s just the simple equation of life, and it does not mean that there are no ‘arrows that flyeth by day’ too. They are everywhere, my dear, but you don’t dodge them by standing still. You either lie down flat or you keep moving, from one direction to another, dodging

as you move, till you get to safety. For me, I would prefer you keep moving than he down flat! There are missiles which only motion can thwart. Poverty is one of them. There’s an Igbo proverb that began to make sense to me as I grew up: ‘anagha a no otu ebe ekiri

“Well, I am still waiting to see someone who saw that last flash of light and came back to mortal existence to tell us how it was at the other end, but from all that my mind’s eye tells me, there will be someone who will stand at the other end to say, “what have you done with the talents that I gave you? Give them back to me, you egg head!” in naira and kobo but the substance of the worth while things you had evoked by the application of craft or intellect, if not by yourself, then through others. Counting your blessings and naming them one by one doesn’t just imply the

vulnerable prey when you do nothing! You think that’s difficult to understand, isn’t it? Okay, let’s take it in our childhood storyline way… the witches and wizards sneak into you at what time of the day? (a) In the morning (b) at night? It’s (b)

mmuo.’ It means you don’t stand at a spot to see the masquerade. As the masquerade moves, displaying its gayish appurtenances, you change to another vantage point to have a better view. Life is truly likened to a giant masquerade, gliding around the village square and putting up all manner of show, pulling the crowd like a magnet as it glides. Sometimes too, like the mischievous masquerade life suddenly turns to chase you what do you do? Keep

running, keep moving, my dear. So, as we move to this cross over night (oh, thank God for His mercy! Shout his praise to all the ends of the earth!) please, don’t forget your talent, don’t burn it off with the candle, don’t light it away with the fireworks, don’t guzzle it up with the wine, don’t chew it up with the grilled bacon, don’t even

chant it away in praise and worship, for even the one you chant to would one day require an account of stewardship from you, despite all the praise. Praise him, prove yourself worthy too!. Discovery. Discovery Discovery. That’s the key to recovery! Now what’s your talent? These words are mine

Peter MCWilliam’s Point Of View

THERE are two primary benefits to action. The first is obvious: if we don’t do something we are not going to get anything except, “what comes our way”, which may or may not be what we want. The second benefit is that we make mistakes. Mistakes show us what we need to learn. Mistakes indicate what we must study in order to have success. This “study” might be finding out more information, or it might mean more practice of what we already know. Either way, when we make a

Words On Marble THERE is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life. - T.H. Huxley

With IJEOMA UMEH email: Tel: 08182382839

EVERY man has the right to risk his own life in order to save it – Jean Jacques Rousseau

mistake, it’s a golden arrow indicating, “study this if you want success. “From error to error”, Freud said, “one discovers the entire truth”. Fred Astaire said, “the higher up you go, the more mistakes you’re allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it’s considered to be your style.” All great people review their actions, even those actions that led to success and ask themselves, “how could I have done this better?” It’s known as critical thinking, we criticize our behaviour so that we can do better next time. Most people, however, use their critical ability; they use it to fund reasons

for giving up. “I did so many things wrong. Why should I bother trying? I quit!”. Of course, we are going to do things wrong. We should be grateful that we have the ability to recognize wrong when we do it. The mediocre are satisfied with any old thing and that’s precisely what they wind up with. You will do better next time, as long as you are actively involved in pursuing your goal there will always be a next time. If you’re moving toward your Dream, opportunity doesn’t just knock once – it will knock you down. The process of learning can be summarized in four steps (1) Act (2) Look for the mistakes (criticize, evaluate) (3) Learn how to do it better next time (4) Go to number one above!.




View Point

GOD is still looking for the symbolic representatives of Jesus Christ in our generation. I mean those that will know what is right and do it. Zig ziglar said that we lie loudest when we lie to ourselves and that we cannot consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way we see ourselves. I condemned the unceremonious attack of the comrade Governor in a meeting held at Imaguero College by the South South zone of President Goodluck Jonathan’s committee for national dialogue. That was not the first time in history a proposal meeting for such a dialogue on national issues is made. The previous meetings for national conference, constitutional review, and others never saw the light of the day. If the previous conferences in Abuja were aborted, what are the causes of the abortions? If a woman persist in abortions a wise husband should know that making love is not the problem. Searching out what causes the continual abortions will solve or stop the abortions. We cannot continue to pursue shadow when the substance causing destruction, depression, distraction, disintegration, degradation and degeneration of our national economy is feeding fat. It’s not possible to roof a house without foundation. The Bible asked a question, “If the foundation has been destroyed, what can

the righteous do? Ps 11v3. We cannot continue to put a new iron door in a decaying wooden house. That is what late AbamiEda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, called koko mentality. Selecting delegates in Abuja for national dialogue is not the issue. Doing a serious work on the character, mentality of the citizens of our nation, is what will prognos and bring to light the peace, progress, prosperity, and harmony that we presume for our nation. Nobody steals what does not belong to him by mistake. Every stealing case is a calculated attempt at stealing. Every murder case and every crime was formally conceived. I still reflect and refer our national leaders to the option of the Arewa Consultative Forum A.C.F. that anybody caught for corrupt practices should face capital punishment. If this is carried out, it therefore means, that a solid foundation for oneness, togetherness, economic progress, political stability has been made possible for Nigerians. If a thief is sent to America for instance, he must look for what to steal except his mind has been decoded and re programmed. Romans 12 verse 2. Oscar white saidthat it is an unfortunate thing for those that are in capable of learning, to be teachers. The brief summary of what the comrade Governor was trying to say is that, it is time we learn

Governor Oshiomhole Sees Better!

from the past. He was misconsented because, many look, but few sees. I am one among the few Nigerians that sees. I want to also say here, that the shambolic national dialogue will culminate in shamble.


will create again an opportunity for our representatives to ventilate their opinions. But opinion can-

The burial ceremony of corruption, will give birth to harmony. Jesus came after the death of Adam.

not survive if one that is not reliable, enlightened credible, bold, outspoken, truthful, honest unique and sincere is not involved. The involvement of the people with the above characters is one thing, the implementation of it is what matters.

Let me end my observation with this parable of the trees and the bramble tree. In the book of Judges chapter 9 from 14-15. We are told that all the trees gathered and met the bramble tree and saidReign over us. Then the bramble tree replied, if in truth you anointed me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow, and if not let fire come out from the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon. The bramble tree saw what the trees couldn’t see. The bramble tree sees better. Dialogue cannot survive in a society where trap is instructed on the kind of

animal to catch. The bramble tree in the spirit of leadership, that goes with sincerity, boldness, honesty and accountability, was not ready to spear

Gov Adams Oshiomhole

If our representatives to national conference should buy the option of the Arewa Consultative Forum, we are on our way to national liberty. It may not be news to God because even God Himself said that the wages of sin is death. National dialogue

“The violent crime of killing, robbery, kidnapping and others that is ravaging our nation came as a result of the violation of Biblical laws by our privileged leaders. Selfishness,

Art As A Means Of Communication

covetousness and gArt Alive


the Cedars of Lebanon. Cedars of Lebanon are a special strong tree that does not surrender to the wind or any torrential rainfall. The violent crime of killing, robbery, kidnapping and others that is ravaging our nation came as a result of the violation of Biblical laws by our privileged leaders. Selfishness, covetousness and greed are three major causes of evil even from Biblical understanding. Mr. President, national dialogue is not the thing; learning from the bramble tree will do a great deal!




Issues Nigeria:

Surge In Rape Cases

UNLIKE emotional or physical reactions in western societies, when an undergraduate university female student or married woman is sexually assaulted in Nigeria, quickly, not a few Nigerians would blame her for indecent dressing or seductive behavior. But what would one say when innocent female children in Nigeria suffer similar fate, especially in the hand of a clegy who ordinarily is seen as role model and an epitome of good moral. The case of a 47-year-old Pastor, Eze Eze Fidelis, Coordinator of Deeper Life Church, alleged to have simultaneously defiled nine and eleven year old girls, and that of a professional block moulder, Mr. Ogbe Felix, said to have waylaid, raped and dispossessed two married women of their monies and phones in Benin City, Edo state, on Saturday July 6 and Monday, July 8, 2013, including many other cases of rape has prompted many Nigerians to ponder what might have accounted for such gender violence. Similarly, on Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Ibadan, Oyo state, a 28- year-old, Taye Ige was arraigned before an Ibadan Chief Magistrate Court for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl (names withheld) at Akinjobi-Ojaoba area of Ibadan. The prosecutor, Corporal Oriola James, said the defendant was arraigned on a one-count charge of unlawful carnal knowledge. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Ebeloku Riskat-Mustapha, however, directed that Ige be remanded at Agodi Prison and the case file be sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, for legal advice. Meanwhile, a serving Nigerian Army Officer with the Nigeria Defense Academy NDA, was made to appear before a Kaduna Magistrate Court sitting in Bamawa on Wednesday, November 28,2012 to answer charges of alleged sexual assault on a 16year-old girl whose name was given as Muimuna Inusa. In an application of direct criminal complaint against the officer, Inusa accused the officer who is a Lieutenant Colonel, of luring her into his house and forcibly having sex with her against her wish, leaving her traumatized. In the case KMD/19DC/ 2012, she is accusing the Colonel of committing criminal intimidation, rape, acts of gross indecency, abductions and threat to life, contrary to Sections 397,282,285,272 and 372 of the penal code.

According to the statement of claim, he alleged that on the October 22, 2012, the accused person called her on the excuse that he wanted to send her on an errand without knowing that the officer had an ulterior motive for the invitation. She noted that after inviting her into the house, he forced himself on her and threatened to kill her if she made any noise. She said all her efforts to resist him proved abortive since he was stronger than her. In Lagos state, in the month of June 2013, it was a pathetic story when a family of three stormed Ejigbo Chief Magistrate Court to witness the arraignment of a suspected randy man, who allegedly raped a housewife and mother of one. The husband, the wife who was the alleged victim and their son (names withheld) were in court to witness the arraignment of the defendant, Ifeanyi Amos, whose action has allegedly put the family in trauma. Amos, according to the prosecutor, committed the offence recently in council area of Egbe-Ikotun when he was alleged to have had unlawful carnal knowledge of the victim (names withheld). According to the four-count — charge preferred against the defendant, he was alleged to have conspired with others now at large to commit the dastard act. In other to actualize the alleged evil act, the defendant allegedly in concert with others now at large assaulted the victim by beating her to surrender to their alleged bestial desires. Besides, the defendant and his co-travelers allegedly stole a sum of four thousand naira from the victim before they had illicit sex with her. According to the prosecution, the alleged sins of the defendant offend sections 409, 258, 168 and 278 and punishable under sections of the Criminal Laws of Lagos state of Nigeria, 2011. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to three of the counts while the trial Magistrate, Patrick Nwaka, declined to take his plea in respect & count two (the offence of rape). Meanwhile, in a related development, a commercial bus driver, Mr. Adewale Adeloke Adetayo, was in July 2013, arraigned before Court 6, Ikeja, Magistrate Court, for allegedly defiling his daughters (names withheld), aged 10 and 13 years. Adetayo, a native of Modakeke, Osun state, who plies Ikotun-Mushin route, was apprehended by Esther


Child Right Foundation and Compassionate Women Initiative, following a tip-off by one of his neighbors. According to the president Esther Child Right Foundation, Mrs. Ogwu Esther, the accused confessed to the crime in his Police statement and when he was quizzed in a popular Yoruba television programme, “Labe Orun.” Adetayo reportedly confessed during the programme that he had been sleeping with the girls

dered an investigation into the incident and vowed that the suspect would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others. Like a scourge, these regular cases of reported rape by the media in Nigeria and its attendant stigmatization of victims confirm the absurd extent of the crime. For instance, in the United State of America, USA, where about eighty thousand cases of rape reported to the Police form

neighbors; strangers are offenders in about ten per cent of child sexual abuse cases, the studies revealed. But there are some pre-disposing risk factors; like poverty-induced child labour which forces some parents and guardians to allow their under aged girls to hawk petty items. In the process, these girls are unduly exposed and are usually lured by criminally-mind, dirty adults to be raped. When a young rapist who serially raped old women was apprehended and interviewed recently, he said they engaged in the act because they could not afford the services of hookers and they needed to satisfy their sexual

any victim shall be liable, jointly and severally, to minimum of twenty years imprisonment without an option of fine; where the offender is less than 14 years, he shall be liable to a maximum of fourteen years imprisonment and a minimum of 12 years, without an option of fine.” The Nigerian society should stop blaming rape victims for the assault on them. Rape is a crime, the long walk to minimizing it starts with rapist facing stringent punishments rather than society excusing their aberration for whatever reasons. This is in addition to the fact that, apart from the commensurate punishment, alleged rapists should be

RAPE: Some Nigerian female children who have become sexually vulnerable to male predators.

at his Abaranje home after he divorced their mother. A radio anchor, Mr. Ademola Olota, said he was called and informed the incident on June 26, 2013, by one of his listeners. His words, “it was just few minutes after my programme on that fateful day that a listener called me and pleaded not to mention his name because he wanted to discuss something with me”. In Ogun state, the Police command arrested a 45 — year — old man, Toyin Sodimu, for allegedly raping his 16— year — old daughter in Temidire community of Oke Apo, Akomoje, Abeokuta on Saturday, July 20, 2013. State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement that the teenager reported the incident to the Adatan Police Division after her father raped her about 2:00am. Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, said following Sodimu’s arrest, the 16 — year — old girl had been taken to the hospital by the Police for medical examination and treatment. He added that the state Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, had or-

2004 to 2010, according to United Nations data, US Justice and Department estimates three hundred thousand American women are raped annually, and the Centre for Disease Control says one point three million. The six hundred and seventy-eight cases the Lagos State Police Command said it recorded between March 2012 and March 2013 should be seen as numbers. This is because unreported rape cases are on the increase. More alarming is that the epidemic affects underage persons. The media are replete with reports of young girls sexually violated, as young as three months. According to a 2009 study in Clinical Psychology Review, CPR, in 65 studies from twenty-two countries, the highest prevalence rate of child sexual abuse was in Africa (34.4 per cent). However, most child sexual abuse is by men About thirty per cent are relatives of the child — brothers, fathers, uncles or cousins — about sixty per cent are other acquaintances such as friends’ of the family, babysitters, or

urge. He said it did not have anything to do with rituals as it was hitherto suspected. There is no gain saying the fact that obstacles abound in fighting rape. Section 353 of the Criminal Code Act treats rape discriminately. While unlawful and indecent assaults of male person as felony punishable by three years imprisonment, Section 360 of the Act regards indecent assault of a woman, a misdemeanor, with two years’ imprisonment. More obstacles- the laws experts collaborated evidence of a witness for a crime committed mostly Secretly. If the case survives these encumbrances, the serious crime of having unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl of or above 13 years and under 16 years of age or of a woman or girt, who is an idiot or imbecile is punishable by two years’ imprisonment. The law never imagined rape of much younger people. Anyhow, a bill is before the House of Representatives. A section of the bill reads, “Any man convicted of rape is liable to life imprisonment. Persons convicted of gangraping

availed psychiatric assistance, not only to possibly rehabilitate them, but also to get information from them about why they rape. Obviously these are sick felons, especially those who defile little girls, too young to be considered as being sexually attracted. It would, however, seem that the bulk of the work of prevention belongs to parents and guardians whose responsibility it is to protect these hapless young children, especially as the establishment has adopted a callous attitude and is seemingly unwilling to enforce compliance with the law. Most importantly, parents and guardians should no longer take the trust of relatives and friends for granted as many of the felons who defile children have been found to be trusted friends and relatives who eventually betrayed such trust. The welfare department should also be alive to its responsibilities and remove the kids from the streets.





(Memorandum To Committee On National Dialogue)

Association Of Edo Professionals: PREAMBLE: Association of Edo Professionals is a body made up of professionals in the various fields of human endeavour. One of the aims and objectives of the Association is to Reach out to all Professionals in Edo State with a view to stimulating and sustaining their awareness and interest in the sustainable development of Edo State and the general progress of Edo State, its people and Nigerians in general. The members of the hoard of Trustees are: 1. Dr. Chief Solomon lyobosa Edebiri, MON, JP 2. Dr. Momodu Kassim-Momodu 3. Mr. Clifford Enobun 4. Mr. Joseph Gregory Akpeokhai 5. Mr. Collins Edebiri 6. Victor Osarenren Without prejudice to the positions already canvassed during the course of your committee’s consultations across the nation, we wish to humbly articulate the following issues for your committee’s consideration, towards setting an agenda for the Conference. The Issue of Sovereign

National Conference: With the various organs of government in place and functioning according to the provisions of The Constitution of The Federal Government 1999 as amended, we believe that it will be an aberration to have a ‘sovereign’ National Conference. In the same breath, we object to the position being canvassed that the decisions of the National Dialogue be subjected to the approval of the National Assembly. We humbly submit that the decisions reached should be subjected to a Nationwide referendum. Representation at the Dialogue: We submit that representation at the Conference/Dialogue should represent the broadest spectrum 0f Nigerians at home and abroad. These include but not limited to the following: a. Representatives of the various ethnic nationalities b. Traditional Rulers c. Professionals d. Women groups e. Youths and Students f. Physically challenged persons g. Armed Forces h. Public Services

I. Police and other law enforcement agencies j. Nigerians in diaspora, etc. Time frame for The Dialogue and Referendum: A time frame should beset for the

present. Though we are conscious of the historical fact that no geo-political entity lasts forever, our preference is the unity of Nigeria. We do not

reports of the various National Panels set up in the last thirty years of our history, published or not published, should be made public and made available as

Senator Femi Okunrohunmu, Chairman, PAC on National Dialogue

Dialogue and subsequent referendum. National Unity: While the President of the Fedora] Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck E. Jonathan, has assured that there arc ‘no-go’ areas, we would like to make a plea that we stand for the Unity of Nigeria as it is constituted at

however, object to integrating any African Country, contiguous to Nigeria into the Federal Republic of Nigeria in deference to the wish of the countries or part thereof concerned. Reports of various National Panels as working tools for The Dialogue: We pray that the

working tools or aid memoirs to accelerate and enhance the work of the Conference. Conduct of Delegates: While the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended guarantees “Freedom of Speech” we advocate a Code of Conduct” for all participants, with appro-

priate sanctions. This is to ensare that the delegates conduct themselves with deconim, necessary for meaningful interaction and dialogue. No Room for Non-Nigerians: There should be no room for nonNigerians - persons, groups, nations, international organizations, etc at the conference, either as delegates or observers. Interference in the form of memoranda, etc should NOT be accepted or entertained. Participation: We have begun the mobilization and sensitization of our people towards the Conference. We are also in touch with and prepared to work with persons and groups across the Nigerian landscape towards the success of The Conference and the good of the nation. Submission of Memorandum: Either as participants or non-participants, we are preparing a memorandum on germane national issues for the Conference.

“We have begun the mobilization and sensitization of our people towards the Conference. We are also in touch with and prepared to work with persons and groups across the Nigerian landscape towards the success of The Conference and the good of the nation.”




International Scots Have Kilts, What Do Catalans Have?

MADRIDWhen Catalonia’s local language was reintroduced in the northern Spanish region’s schools three decades ago, Nati Grabiel was on the frontlines of the effort, training teachers to educate in the Catalan tongue. Today, the 72-year-old retired schoolteacher is on another crusade: trying to convince the world that Catalonia should break away from Spain. She and five other pro-independence senior citizens are travelling to the United States early next year to shoot a film that explains Catalan culture and history. “There is no going back. No, no, no,” says the dynamic, white-haired Grabiel. Grabiel’s cinematic adventure is one of many marketing efforts, including movies, books and web projects, to promote a growing movement to make the region of 7.5 million people - 16 percent of Spain’s total - an independent state. Around half its residents would choose independence in a yes-no breakaway referendum, according to polls, and they are pushing for a vote similar to the one Scotland will hold next year on leaving the United Kingdom. The central government has resisted the move, saying a referendum would be unconstitutional. Most Spaniards struggle to understand the campaign for independence, since Catalonia has significant self-governing powers and last year received a financial rescue of billions of euros from Madrid. But many Catalans feel they would not have needed a bailout if their taxes weren’t partly used to support poorer regions. Catalonia’s drive for more control over taxes and public spending has gained force in the last two years as all of Spain has undergone painful austerity measures to cut a dangerously high public deficit. Tensions between the region, which makes up a fifth of the Spanish economy, and Madrid over budget and other issues have raised the prospects of a break-up. In hopeful anticipation, Catalans are trying to get their voices heard

worldwide. Magazine editor Claudia Pujol recently raised more than 150,000 euros in an on-line campaign to produce a book of photos and English-language essays “Catalonia Calling”. She says the book will be mailed to 10,000 world figures such as U.S. President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, former footballer Pele and Hollywood star Nicole Kidman. “Everyone knows Scotland

- the kilt, the whisky. But they don’t know much about Catalonia, so we want to make it an international ‘brand’ and publicize our struggle to become an independent state,” says Ferran Civit, one of the leaders of the Catalonia National Assembly. His group, an independent civic organization, has organized mass demonstrations for independence, including a

human chain formed on Catalan national day September 11, when hundreds of thousands of people held hands across the entire region. Though Catalonia is one of Spain’s most prosperous regions, with major banks and industry and the vibrant art and tourist city of Barcelona, resentment over perceived cultural and economic discrimination has grown over the past few years.

Toronto Mayor Bob Ford gives children a tour of the office during “take your kids to work Day” at City Hall in Toronto.

Public use of the Catalan language was widely banned under dictator Francisco Franco from 1939 to 1975, and education had to be in Castilian Spanish. Since Spain returned to democracy, Catalonia has implemented a Catalan-dominated curriculum. Catalans like Grabiel have chafed at what they see as central government attempts

No End In Sight For Toronto Mayor Crack Saga TORONTO - Protesters left colorful chalk messages on walls and pavement outside Toronto City Hall on Wednesday urging Mayor Rob Ford to quit after his bombshell admission on Tuesday that he has smoked crack cocaine. “I’m a taxpayer, and I would like you to resign now,” read one message targeted at the right-leaning mayor, who speaks often about saving taxpayers’ money. Another said: “This wall would be a better mayor.” But Ford’s chalk-wielding opponents may have a long wait. The mayor, who made

Thai Senate Brings Forward Debate On Controversial Amnesty Bill BANGKOK - Thailand’s senate will on Friday begin deliberations on an amnesty bill that has sparked mass protests, beginning its reading of the draft law earlier than planned and stirring expectations of a decision that could end the demonstrations. Thousands of protesters rallied on Thursday in Bangkok’s historic area near the United Nations’ Asia-Pacific headquarters, calling for the withdrawal of the bill. Some protesters also called for the overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s populist government. “We will move deliberation of the bill to tomorrow from November 11,” Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanij said on Thursday. Critics say the bill is aimed at bringing back Yingluck’s brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, from self-exile without serving jail time. He was convicted in absentia in 2008 of corruption - charges he said were politically motivated. The bill, backed by Yingluck’s ruling Puea Thai Party, has been

heavily criticized as a measure that would absolve all leaders and protesters involved in political unrest in Thailand since 2004 of any wrongdoing. In her first official remarks since the bill passed the lower house last week, Yingluck said on Tuesday she would leave its

fate in the hands of senators. Some analysts read that as a sign she was backing down over it. In her second televised address since protesters took to the streets last Friday, Yingluck said her government would not re-introduce the draft law if it was rejected by the Senate.

to water down their Catalan education model by increasing daily class hours in Castilian. “I want people to understand it’s not all in our heads. They took away our language and culture. It’s been centuries of hardship,” she says. The new marketing efforts are, therefore, aimed at celebrating and promoting Catalan culture and history

“This issue is over. We ask that protesters stop their activities as we are concerned this will affect investor sentiment and tourism,” said Yingluck. “The state will not use force to disperse the crowd.”

A woman takes picture in front of a line of policemen blocking protesters against an amnesty bill, on the main road near the government and parliament buildings in Central Bangkok.

his admission after months of dodging questions about reports that he had been caught on video smoking crack, has said he will not resign and plans to run again in next October’s mayoral election. “Rob Ford is a liar,” is how the Globe and Mail, Canada’s staid national paper, opened its editorial on Wednesday. And later: “A more honorable man would do the right thing. He’d resign. Rob Ford has shown time and again that he’s not that guy.” A bloc of angry city councilors is now set to try to pass motions to curb Ford’s already limited powers as a Toronto mayor, but it is very difficult to remove a sitting mayor. One of Ford’s policy aides quit on Tuesday and Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said he has suggested that Ford step down temporarily. But Ford insists he has nothing left to hide, and over his years as a bombastic city councilor and now as a polarizing mayor, he has proven resistant to both public criticism and private advice. The story of the crack video, the existence of which was first reported in May by media blog Gawker and then by the Toronto Star newspaper, has never been exclusively about whether Ford has used illegal drugs. It has also raised questions about Ford’s ties to alleged drug traffickers, and pitted him and his brother, also a member of Toronto city council, against the city’s chief of police, who said last week the force had obtained a video “consistent” with the Gawker and Star accounts. Ford’s personal life started




International American Hijacker, Back From Cuba, Faces Justice MIAMI, USA - An American Black Panther who hijacked a plane from the United States to Cuba in 1984 returned to his home country Wednesday and was arrested, the Justice Department said. William Potts, now 56, has a life story that reads like something on the big screen, spent almost three decades in Cuba, while American prosecutors sought to bring him to justice in the United States. In Cuba, Potts reportedly thought he would be warmly welcomed and trained as a revolutionary; instead he was tried, convicted and served 15 years in jail where he also converted to Islam. The American, also known as William Freeman, had been charged with hijacking in the United States for the crime carried out March 27, 1984. Prosecutors said in their indictment that on that flight, which set out nearly 30 years

ago from New York, Potts presented himself as Lieutenant Spartacus. In a note handed to flight attendants, he called for his brothers and sisters in South Africa to be freed. Potts also criticized US policy toward Nicaragua’s Sandinistas at the time of the hijacking, and sought a ransom of five million dollars, US prosecutors said in a document. He was arrested Wednesday at Miami’s bustling international airport, and was to appear before a federal judge here and could face up to 20 years in

He said he hopes any prison sentence he faces in the United States will be reduced by the time he has already served in

Cuba, but understands that there are no guarantees. Potts also said that when he sent his daughters to live in the United States and “watched their plane take off, he said he was filled with regret for having

hijacked a plane,” the cable television network said. US and Cuba, which do not have full diplomatic relations, do not routinely cooperate as they did in his return to US shores.

Kerry In Jordan For Mideast Peace Push

AMMAN - US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived yesterday in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II in his latest push for Middle East peace between the

World Powers To Resolve Decade Old Dispute GENEVA - World powers will seek to hammer out a breakthrough deal with Iran to start resolving a decade-old dispute over its nuclear program in two-day talks that begin yesterday, although both sides say an agreement is far from certain. The United States and its allies say they are encouraged by Tehran’s shift to friendlier rhetoric after years of hostility since the June election of President Hassan Rouhani, who has pledged to repair ties with the West and win sanctions relief. But they stress Iran needs to back its words with action and take concrete steps to scale back its atomic work, which they suspect has covert military aims, a charge Tehran denies. “What we’re looking for is a first phase, a first step, an initial understanding that stops Iran’s nuclear program from moving forward and rolls it back for the first time in decades,” a senior U.S. official told reporters on the eve of the talks. That would help buy time needed for Iran and the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - to reach a broader diplomatic settlement in a dispute that could otherwise plunge the Middle East into a new war. The six nations want Iran to suspend its most sensitive uranium enrichment efforts, reduce its stockpile of such material and diminish its capacity to produce it in the future. In return for any concessions, Iran wants the powers to lift

prison in the United States, prosecutors said. So why would Potts return to the United States, even as a disillusioned revolutionary who has served years in tough Cuban prisons? Potts, who had two daughters with a Cuban wife, said he refused earlier Cuban offers to send him back to America. But now he is desperate to see his daughters who left Cuba for the United States, he told CNN. He told the network he was unable to negotiate a plea deal with US authorities.

painful economic sanctions that have slashed its daily oil sales revenues by 60 percent in the past two years and devalued its rial currency by more than half. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told French daily Le Monde a deal was “not that far off,” although it might not be struck at the talks in Thursday and Friday in Geneva. “We can conclude (a deal) this week in Geneva, and if that’s not the case, it’s not a disaster, as long as things are moving forward,” he was quoted as saying. The exact contours of a potential first step in the elusive deal were unclear, but the six nations are unlikely to agree on anything less than a suspension of enrichment of uranium to 20 percent fissile purity, a level that constitutes a major advance on the way to making weapons. “The nuclear talks are complex and have entered a serious phase,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who oversees the talks with Iran on behalf of the powers. “We have to make concrete progress.” The U.S. official said that Iran at this stage must address key aspects of its nuclear program, including sufficient international monitoring. Iran’s construction of a research reactor near the town of Arak is also a growing concern for the West because it could yield plutonium for bombs. “We’re looking for ways to put additional time on the clock,” the administration official added.

Palestinians and Israel. Kerry headed for a meeting in Amman with the king, a key US ally, before once again holding talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, this time in the Jordanian capital. The top US diplomat will also meet with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh before the two officials hold a joint news conference. Kerry, who is who is on his seventh visit to Israel and the West Bank since February, has singlemindedly fought to get the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations back on track despite recriminations on both sides. Kerry held talks on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas, reaffirming US opposition to Israeli settlements, as the contentious issue threatens to derail the peace process.

• Barack Obama, US President

Guarded Hopes As Iran Nuclear Talks Kick Off took office in August pledging GENEVA - A fresh round of talks between Iran and world powers kicked off in Geneva yesterday amid guarded hopes a deal may finally be possible in the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme. In their second meeting here in less than a month, negotiators from the United States and five other world powers will sit down with Iranian officials for two days in the hopes of hammering out a framework agreement. Officials have said the contours of the “first step” of a deal are emerging, with world powers offering a limited easing of sanctions in exchange for Iran freezing its most controversial nuclear efforts.

• John Kerry, US Secretary of State

Both sides have said recent talks have been the most productive in years but admit that reaching a deal will not be easy. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said yesterday the talks were expected to be “very difficult”. “We have entered a detailed phase that is still difficult and precise,” Zarif said on his Facebook page. Zarif had sounded an optimistic note earlier this week however, saying he believed it would be “possible” to reach an agreement this week. The meeting is the second since President Hassan Rouhani

to resolve the nuclear dispute and lift sanctions by engaging with world powers. Iran is anxious for relief from crippling economic sanctions that have cut oil revenues in half, caused the value of the rial to plunge and pushed inflation above 40 percent. The West is also keen to seize a rare opportunity to build bridges with Iran after decades of hostility, opening the door to engaging with Tehran on other issues like the conflict in Syria, where Iran has backed President Bashar al-Assad against the anti-regime insurgents. Last month’s talks in Geneva — held in English for the first time — saw Iran reportedly outline a two-stage process that would resolve the dispute within a year. ‘Limited, targeted and reversible sanctions relief’ Speaking to journalists in Geneva on the eve of this week’s talks, a senior US official said Washington is willing to offer Iran limited sanctions relief if it agrees to take a “first step” to stop advancing its nuclear programme. “What we’re looking for now is a first phase, a first step, an initial understanding that stops Iran’s nuclear programme from moving forward... and that potentially rolls some of it back,” said the official. “We are prepared to offer limited, targeted and reversible sanctions relief. We are not talking about touching the core architecture of the Iranian sanctions regime in this first step,” the official said.




International Features What Has Edward Snowden ‘Manifesto’ Accomplished?

EDWARD Snowden has released an open letter and a manifesto in recent days, with critics saying he’s angling for clemency. Actually, it’s not clear what he’s doing, but it’s not likely to amount to much, experts say. In many respects, it appears as if Edward Snowden got what he wanted. Congressional hearings to examine National Security Agency surveillance practices are under way. A spate of new legislation has been proposed to rein in NSA surveillance methods. Even the White House has conceded a need for change and convened a panel to modify surveillance practices. Meanwhile, a host of foreign governments from Brazil to Germany are decrying the NSA’s practices and, according to a July Washington PostABC poll, 74 percent of Americans say the NSA is intruding on privacy rights. RECOMMENDED: How well do you know the world of spying? Take our CIA and NSA quiz. So what is Mr. Snowden trying to accomplish in moving back to the front of the international discussion with two missives in the past week – one an open letter to German authorities investigating US surveillance practices and the other “A Manifesto for the Truth”? The letters have invoked a strong backlash among American politicians who suggest that Snowden might be trying to receive clemency, though he never explicitly asks for it. Others say that Washington is trying to spin the letters to its advantage – suggesting that Snowden is seeking clemency as a way of making it appear as if he’s tacitly admitting his guilt. In the end, however, the letters only prove that the convulsions caused by Snowden’s leaks have now become far larger than the man himself. The kinetic

energy of the events Snowden has set in motion have made his personal situation or opinion largely inconsequential. “The stories and the

Monday’s manifesto comes at a time of international outrage over revelations that the US spying net included not just terrorists but also senior

Two days earlier, Snowden issued a “To whom it may concern”

German, Brazilian, Spanish, and French leaders. Last month, leaks linked to Snowden revealed that the NSA had allegedly eavesdropped on cellphone calls by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now German lawmakers are calling for Snowden to testify about US surveillance practices. “Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested,” Snowden wrote in his “manifesto” in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, according to a Reuters translation. “Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.”

letter issued to German authorities. “I believe I witnessed systemic violations of the law by my government that created a moral duty to act,” Snowden wrote, asserting as well that he has faced a “severe and sustained campaign of persecution that force me from my family and home.” A single paragraph in the letter, however, caused the most uproar in the US. “Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense,” Snowden wrote. “However, speaking the truth is not a crime. I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United

• Edward Snowden

issues have moved past Edward Snowden and have a life of their own,” says Ellen Shearer of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. “Maybe that’s why he wrote this. He realized no one is paying attention to him anymore.” If true, there is an irony in that. When Snowden first leaked his information to The Guardian, he said he did not want to story to be about him but about US intelligence practices that he felt had spun out of control. But “this manifesto is in many ways attempting to shift the focus from the very conversation that Snowden claims he was trying to start to himself and his plight,” says Stephen Vladeck, an associate professor at American University’s Washington College of Law.

States will abandon this harmful behavior.” US officials united to dismiss Snowden’s hopes. “Mr. Snowden violated US law,” White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. “He should return to the US and face justice.” “He’s done this enormous disservice to our country,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein (D) of California on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. “I think the answer is ‘no clemency.’ “ “No, I don’t see any reason” to grant clemency, added House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R) of Michigan on the same program. “I wouldn’t do that. He needs to come back and own up.” To his detractors, Snowden’s public statements appear to be a bald attempt to win domestic and international support for a bid to reverse espionage charges brought against him by the US Department of Justice. “He’s asking for something he doesn’t deserve, asserting that he’s exposed law breaking when, in fact, the only lawbreaking is by him,” says Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of “Necessary Secrets,” a history of leaking and government response to leaking. “He may have done a public service by igniting an overdue debate on surveillance, but there are many ways to ignite such a debate and the way he chose was blatantly criminal.” Others say the “clemency” claim is a

canard put forward by the administration to discredit Snowden. “There is no fair reading of that manifesto that can possibly be interpreted as a request for clemency,” says Jesselyn Radack, the National Security & Human Rights director for the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a national whistleblower protection and advocacy organization based in Washington. “They have manufactured a fake request they can swat down or deny. It is completely disingenuous and shows their antipathy and complete disregard for his rights.” But what Snowden has gained – if anything – from speaking out now is unclear. Snowden’s credibility is not going to turn on what people think of his motives, but on the impact of the disclosures themselves, says Professor Vladeck of American University. And that is already well beyond Snowden’s control. “People really are just wasting their time and breath – including Snowden himself,” says Vladeck, who is an expert on the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act that Snowden ignored by going directly to the news media with documents. “The surveillance horse is out of the barn along with Snowden’s role in disclosing it. Only time will tell – and without regard to how Snowden or the government try to shape the story.” “We’re increasingly at a point where the disclosures speak for themselves.”

“But what Snowden has gained – if anything – from speaking out now is unclear. Snowden’s credibility is not going to turn on what people think of his motives, but on the impact of the disclosures themselves....”




EVERY FRIDAY WEEK 17, 2013 LAST SEASON RESULT Anderson Richwell 1.2. X. Forecast

WEEK 17, 2012 NO. OF DRAWS 15

13 18 35

By SAM EHEBHA GSM: 08056626091

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7 13 16 18 20

5 23 27 35 39

25 18 B SEAMAN NAP 13 13 5 13 C 18 20 18 NAP 7 35 39 Pair X X 5,13,18,20 37 FACE TO 9 16 FACE U.K EDITION



For One X?






Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets 2013 Squad

FIFA U-17 W/C:

Nigeria Battle Mexico In Epic Final

THE FIFA U-17 World Cup final between Nigeria and Mexico today will not be an easy one, says Nduka Ugbade, an Assistant Coach of the Golden


Eaglets. Ugbade told newsmen on telephone yesterday that this was because both countries would be meeting again. It will be recalled that when both countries met at the group stage, Nigeria defeated Mexico 6-1 at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The final will be the toughest match we’ll be playing, not just because it is the final match, but because we’ll be meeting the defending champion (Mexico), for the second time in the competition. “Although we already know their style of play, it still will not be an easy one. “We are going to play a compact game to over-

GOMBE United have given Belgian coach Maurice Cooreman a new one-year

contract. General co-ordinator of the club Yarma Farouk told

whelm the Mexicans and eventually win the cup,” he said. Ugbade told newsmen that the Eaglets had come this far and would put in

The Golden Eaglets trashed Sweden 3-0 on Tuesday, to book a place in the final against Mexico. Nigeria won the 1985, 1993 and 2007 editions of

the competition and finished as runners up in 1987, 1995, 2001 and 2009.

... Eaglets Have Enough Character To Win, Says Eguma, Others SOME Nigerians have continued to hail the qualification of the Golden Eaglets for the final of the FIFA U-17 World

Gombe Renew Cooreman’s Contract


their best to lift the trophy. He said that Isaac Success might also miss the final match because he had yet to be certified fit to play. extended Cooreman’s stay because they believe in continuity. “You know in the Nigeria league, it’s in the character of clubs to change coaches at the end of the season, but we are not in the bandwagon of those clubs and that is why we have given Cooreman another one year contract,” Farouk disclosed. “Even though the Belgian is back in Belgium to see his Family, we have sent him a precontract to study so immediately he returns he would sign the contract.” The top Gombe official added:” We extended his stay because we are satisfied with his performance at the justconcluded season, where he picked players from Gombe United feeders’ team to prosecute the season.” This past season, Gombe finished seventh in the premier league with 55 points from 38 matches.

Cup, holding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The highly-motivated Eaglets had made mincemeat of their Swedish counterparts with a humiliating 3-0 victory, in a match the Nigerians clearly dominated. The fans, who were no doubt elated at the team’s inspiring performance, were particularly happy at the humbling of the Swedes — a team that had tried to rattle the national team at the group stages of the competition. The Eaglets fought three times from behind to level scores at 33 with the Swedes at the group stage. Some of the fans said they would postpone their victory celebration “until the last huddle’’, an apparent reference to the final match today. The fans were unanimous in urging the team to be more focused now, so as to finish-off the job by winning the trophy for a record fourth time. The Dolphins of Port Harcourt Manager, Stanley Eguma, said the Eaglets showed character and zeal to win the FIFA U-17 world cup. He told newsmen in Port Harcourt that the 3-0 victory over Sweden showed that the Eaglets could be world champions. “The Eaglets have really kept a clean slate. They have shown that they can be world champi-

ons and I commend their bravery. “Ordinarily, a team that lacks character will approach this match with fear, but having been threatened by Sweden during their past meeting, the Eaglets came out with a full determination to overwhelm them. “If you look at the game statistically, Nigeria has scored more than a goal per match. It shows that we have the fireworks up front, to be able to lift the trophy,’’ he said. Eguma urged the Eaglets to come out more determined in the final match against Mexico, a team he said had shown they were good, because after losing their opening match 1-6, they were able to bounce back to

Manu Garba

qualify for the final. “After the first loss to the Eaglets, they re-organised and came back in the tournament. It shows they are a good side’’. A Port Harcourt-based soccer enthusiast, Kenneth Nnadi, said the Eaglets that humbled the Swedes were obviously the improved Eaglets. A footballer, Bethel Ugonna, with a feeder team in Port Harcourt, urged the Eaglets to keep working hard, to the glory of the country. Mrs Ogechi Sylvia, a female fan of the team, said they had done the country proud, but should finish the job by defeating Mexico.




Ferdinand Keen To Cut Arsenal’s Lead RIO Ferdinand has told the Daily Mirror he has been impressed with Arsenal’s start to the season but has called on his Manchester United teammates to cut their lead at the top when they meet on Sunday. Arsenal are currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, with United eight points behind in eighth place. The pair go head-to-head at Old Trafford this weekend, with the Gunners boosted after their 2-0 win over Liverpool was followed by a 1-0 victory at Borussia Dortmund. Ferdinand said: “Arsenal have been impressive. Ozil has had a big impact. He has lifted the players around him. “We’ve seen that in [Aaron] Ramsey. These types of players, like [Olivier] Giroud, they’re all doing well. If we’re going to win on Sunday, we’re going to have to play well. “But I don’t go for the fact we have to make a statement. It’s part and parcel of being a Manchester United player — you have to win your games at home.” United have endured a mixed start under new manager David Moyes but have won their last two league matches — and Ferdinand is demanding better from the champions. “I don’t think we’ve shown ourselves this season on a consistent basis, [and] not just in the big games,” Ferdinand said. “It is time to start putting our foot on the pedal now and motor on. “We have to do that if we want to remain in contention to win the league. To do that, we have to get points on the board and that’s what we are

aiming to do. “Arsenal are in a good vein of form at the moment. They had a good performance against Liverpool. They are the team to catch. We have to

JOHN Barnes claims the recent abuse of Yaya Toure by CSKA Moscow fans is not a concern, because racism is as prominent in England. The Manchester City midfielder was the subject of racial abuse during the Citizens’ UEFA Champions League trip to the Russian capital two weeks, which has since seen CSKA punished. However, Barnes feels that there is an equally big, if not bigger, racial problem back in his homeland of England, which has prevented black players from bettering their careers. “It is pointless and pretty ridiculous to be worrying about a footballer getting racially abused,” the former Liverpool man told the Guardian. “A millionaire getting

booed in Russia is nothing compared with generations of people never getting the chance to better their lives and those of their children. “There are so many intelligent former black players who never got a chance to become a top manager, because of the perception that surrounds them. “They are black - which, for many, means they are good athletes but incapable of being anything above and beyond that. “The truth is that those at the top of British football do not care about getting rid of racism, they just don’t want to hear it or see it.” Similar incidents have plagued Italian football in recent years, which saw Kevin-Prince Boateng boycott the match during a friendly against Pro Patria.

Taylor: No Barriers To

Asians In England

SWANSEA City defender Neil Taylor does not believe there are any barriers preventing Asian players making it to the professional level of the

Rio Ferdinand

Wenger Urges Arsenal To Remain Focused ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger did his best to dampen down the rising tide of optimism surrounding his side after their impressive 1-0 Champions League win against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night. Aaron Ramsey’s second half goal gave Wenger’s side a valuable three points at the home of last season’s Champions League runners-up, with the Arsenal boss suggesting an improved mentality in his side was the crucial factor in their success. “It was a very mature performance,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “We were under consistent pressure from the first

City Turn Attention To Sunderland

MANCHESTER City will turn their attention back onto the English Premier League when they head over to Sunderland on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off at the Stadium of Light will be at 16h05 (CAT). Manuel Pellegrini’s side has had nothing short of a successful few weeks, qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League in and amongst running riot over their local teams. City have found the back of the net a staggering 12 times in just two games and will be hoping to continue that momentum when they take on a team lingering in the relegation zone. The hosts have won just one of their 10 Premier League encounters thus far this term and with recent results coming in a 70 demolition of Norwich City

make sure we are right and ready for the challenge. “We have to win every game. It doesn’t matter what

game it is or whoever we play against. Whether it’s a top of the league team or not, we have to get points. “Nothing changes — we expect to win every game we play at home.”

Yaya’s Racial Abuse Is ‘Nothing’ - Barnes

and 5-2 win over CSKA Moscow. But it is their away form that has been unconvincing so far, with a victory on the road to Upton Park being their only win in five games. However, with Sunderland having lost all but one of their five home matches already this season, Sunday’s clash represents a fine chance for in-form City to claim a valuable victory. Defender Martin Demichelis is backing Pellegrini for success: “He is an expert in European competition. He can always find a way to win. “He has a way of making sure his teams play in the free way he wants, that we play effective football and that we can challenge for important things.

to the last minute and we didn’t make mistakes. It was a very tight game, very difficult, but we had that kind of united compact block that didn’t give them any chances. “I was concerned that there was a long time to go when we scored, but we created chances and could have scored the second. They tired a little as well and we knew that it was a case of keeping the team focus and let out our technical superiority come through at some point in the game. It happened and it was Ramsey who scored. “A year ago I thought it would be difficult for Ramsey to score, but he is a young player with confidence and he has improved tremendously, which is a huge credit to him. “This [win] gives us a big lift because not many teams have won here. We are on a good run in the Premier League, but with every game you need to turn up with a top level performance and that’s what we want to do on Sunday.” Arsenal’s star of the season, Ramsey, will receive yet more plaudits after his winner

in Dortmund, but he was eager to share the credit with his team-mates. “I’m enjoying myself at the moment and everything seems to be going in,” he said. “I’m delighted with the way I’m playing, but this was a great achievement from the lads. “This is always a difficult place to come, but our fans were magnificent for us tonight. They stuck behind us and we managed to get the win. We were patient and it was a great away performance. We defended ever so

well and we got them on the counter attack. It was a great team effort. “They [Dortmund] are no mugs. They got to the final last year and were very unlucky. They are a very strong team. We had to do our defensive work well tonight and we are over the moon with that.” Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, claims Arsenal can go all the way to the title this season. “Yes, Arsenal have the quality to win the Champions League,” he said. “They are young, healthy and good technically. They were clever enough to get a result tonight. Of course they can win the final if they don’t play against Bayern “Ashley Young Munich.” is much worse

game in England. Taylor, 24, is the most highprofile British Asian player, having played in the Premier League for Swansea since 2012. But despite Asians making up 7.5 percent of the population in England —according to the 2011 census — there is little representation in professional football in the country. There are currently only eight players plying their trade as professionals in England and the FA is to announce plans to improve Asian inclusion later this year. But Taylor, whose father is English and mother is from Kolkata in India, told BBC Sport: “Hopefully, we’ll see more Asian players in the next few years. But I don’t think there’s anything out there stopping people. “It’s not like there’s a barrier the FA has to lift up and say right you can now come and coach and play. There’s no discrimination. “But if they’re going to encourage it more that’s great and we need more Asians to be playing.”

Young Antics Worse Than Suarez FORMER Liverpool defender Dietmar Hamann has criticised Ashley Young’s “blatant cheating”, insisting the Manchester United winger’s antics are “worse than Luis Suarez has ever been”. Young has been widely condemned for going to ground under minimal contact and winning a penalty in United’s Champions League draw with Real Sociedad on Tuesday. United boss David Moyes shied away from accusing the 28year-old, who was booked for simulation earlier in the season against Crystal palace, of diving, but Hamann believes Young is tarnishing his own reputation.

- Hamann

than Suarez has ever been,” Hamann told talkSPORT. “It’s blatant cheating to try to win a penalty. “You’ve got to be very careful because sometimes it’s about protecting yourself in anticipation of a challenge. If someone comes to clatter you, your first instinct is to jump in order to protect yourself. “(With Young) there was no protection (issue), it was a slight touch on his arm and he stated rolling over. I would say to Young, ‘if you want to stay in the game for the next 10 years,

you’ve got to cut that out’.

Asbley Young




Blatter Lends Support To Iran Asian Cup Bid

World Cup Trophy To Tour Kenya, Tanzania TWO countries in the East and Central African region, Kenya and Tanzania, will have chance to view the World Cup trophy. After hosting the trophy in 2009, Ugandans and Rwandans will not take closer look at the trophy for a second time despite the fact that the tour this year will cover 88 countries. The 2013 tour is part of the 267-day globe-trotting journey of the 6.175Kg 18 carat trophy which began its journey in Brazil at Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro City on November 1. In Africa, the trophy will kick off its 20-day tour, when it enters the continent through Egypt (November 14-16) then proceeds to Tunisia, Algeria and finally ends its North

Adidas Denies Plot To Move Lionel Messi ADIDAS has denied a report that it offered to put up 125 million euros in the summer so that Lionel Messi could join one of the clubs it sponsors — either Real Madrid, Chelsea or Bayern Munich. Mundo Deportivo had claimed that the German sportswear giant, which provides Messi with boots, was keen for him to play for a team for which it acts as kit supplier. The story said the company would pay half of Messi’s 250 million euro release clause and also raise by 40 percent its own commercial contract with a club that could sell replica jerseys with the four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s name on the back. This revelation led to a host of stories in the UK and elsewhere suggesting the Argentina international could have either joined Barca’s bitter rivals Madrid, rejoined his former coach Pep Guardiola in Munich, or even moved to London to play under Jose Mourinho. Adidas moved quickly to quell this speculation, issuing a statement to L’Equipe to clarify the situation. It read: “The relationship of Adidas with one of its players is purely commercial. Any sporting decision is between the player and his representatives.” Regardless, Mundo Deportivo had said that Messi had no intention of taking up any offer to leave, and had told Barca officials as much. The 26-year-old, who has been at the Camp Nou since he was 13, currently has five more years to run on a contract signed just last February. In the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo signing a new 20 millioneuro-plus annual deal with Madrid in September, there had been rumours in Catalonia that Messi was looking to increase his current 12.5 million-euro-a-year salary, but they were laughed off at the time by Blaugrana president

African tour in Morocco. After Morocco, the trophy will head to Ghana (November 25-26) then to Kenya (November 27-28) and Tanzania (November 29-30) en-route to South Africa and back to Brazil where it is expected on December 6. The last time the trophy visited Uganda was back in 2009 ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in South Africa. Sepp Blatter, FIFA President

Keeper Loses Four Fingers In told Laprensa he was saddened Accident by the incident. thumb,” he added. “They have

A goalkeeper in Uruguay lost four of his fingers in an accident while doing repairs on his house on Monday and has been told he will never play again. Juan Obelar, 34, once played for Uruguayan giants Penarol and won the Honduran league with Marathon in 2008. He left Uruguayan side Fenix at the end of last season to take a break from the game, but was planning to return in January before the accident occurred. “I feel so awful, this is the most horrendous thing that has ever happened to me. It is a very painful moment,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I was doing a few things for my house, putting wood through a plane and the next thing I know the machine ripped off four fingers.” As a goalkeeper, the injury is career ending and although Obelar will undergo surgery to reconstruct his hand, surgeons have said they cannot save his fingers. “I was on my own, I didn’t have help from anyone and the only digit I had left was my

RICKIE Fowler shot a sparkling eight-under-par 63 to take a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Australian PGA Championship on Thursday, outshining local hero Adam Scott in his return Down Under. Starting his round on the 10th, the flamboyant American reached the turn at the Gold Coast’s Royal Pines at two-under but caught fire on the back day,” the 24-year-old Californine with six birdies to fend nian told reporters. “You never know what off a clutch of locals on sixunder including Masters you’re going to get ... if I can get myself into a position champion Scott. “I’ll take eight-under every where I have a chance come

SVEN-Goran Eriksson’s phone was hacked by the News of the World throughout his time as England manager, the Old Bailey heard on Wednesday. Eriksson, who coached the Three Lions between 2001 and 2006 and helped them to reach the quarterfinals of the 2002

and 2006 World Cups, was the subject of several highprofile stories at the former tabloid newspaper. The court heard that Eriksson’s phone was hacked the day before England began their 2006 World Cup campaign and also in the days leading up to newspa-

already told me I am not going to recover a single finger, but they will try to rebuild me a bit. It’s painful, but God knows why these things happen.” Manuel Keosseian, who coached Obelar at Marathon,

“Juan called me and told me what had happened,” he said. “I was very sorry as before that I was talking to him and he said he would have liked to return to play in the next tournament with Marathon.”

Iran. The next tournament in 2015 will be held in Australia, with Iran currently on course to qualify. Coached by Portuguese former Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz, Iran have also qualified for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Blatter is on a 36-hour “courtesy visit” to Iran and is also due to attend a football and science seminar on Thursday organised by the Iranian Football Federation. “It is a courtesy visit to the Iranian football federation, after I postponed my visit last year,” Blatter told FIFA official media. “It is a good time to go. There was a change, I’m honoured to meet President Rouhani to speak with him about the future of the country and the future of football.”

Golf: Fabulous Fowler Snatches

Spotlight From Local Hero Scott

Eriksson Hacked While England Boss

Sven Goran Eritksson.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has given his support to Iran’s bid to host the 2019 Asian Cup during a visit to the country on Wednesday. The official Iranian news agency Irna reported that Blatter and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Salman bin Ibrahim AlKhalifa of Bahrain met Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, with Rouhani thanking both men “for their support of Iran’s candidature for the 2019 Asian Cup”. “Football can reinforce relations between nations,” Rouhani added. Iran won consecutive Asian Cups in 1968, 1972 and 1976, hosting the 1968 and 1976 tournaments. A total of eight countries submitted bids to host the 2019 finals, with Bahrain, China, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates joining

per stories in which he was duped by an undercover reporter acting as a prospective Premier League football club owner. Eriksson’s phone number was also found in the notebooks of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire from May 2002 and June 2004. Prosecutors also confirmed to the jury that recordings of two voicemail messages, one from Everton owner Bill Kenwright and one from an Italian footballer, were found at Mulcaire’s address. The trial is taking place as part of a wider investigation into phone hacking which saw the News of the World shut down in 2011 after it emerged that the newspaper had tapped into the phones of dozens of public figures. Eriksson has been in the news this week following the release of his autobiography and an interview with the BBC in which he claims that England will not win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Sunday then that’s where I want to be.” Making his first trip back home since becoming Australia’s first U.S. Masters winner, headline act Scott also carded a bogey-free round on a course criticised for being too undemanding for the game’s top professionals. After a patient start, the world number two notched three straight birdies from the sixth and birdied the last to keep the heat on the tournament’s second major drawcard Fowler. Aiming to complete a career sweep of Australia’s marquee tournaments, having already won the country’s Open and Masters titles in years past, Scott has also turned his

Rickie Fowler

thoughts to the champions’ dinner at Augusta next year. Tradition dictates that the reigning champion decides the menu and Scott forecast a distinctly Australian flavour to the dinner, nominating flathead lobster, known locally as ‘Moreton Bay bugs’ for their local habitat near Brisbane, as a likely dish. “I’m trying to make sure I serve something that everyone will eat. I don’t know that I can get away with serving meat pies, unfortunately,” added the Australian, referring to the country’s ubiquitous pastry-based parcels containing meat of sometimes dubious quality.








In Disobedience To NNS Fearless Okhai Akhigbe

IT is not only wrong to speak ill of the dead, but cowardly, uncultured and dubious to dance on its grave. Sonala Olumhese syndicated his privileged column in The Sunday Trust, The Nigerian Observer and The Guardian Newspapers of November 3 and 6, 2013, to malign, denigrate and bitterly extract a pound of flesh of a fallen foe. Olumhese set out to create ethnic animosity between the families of two great sons, friends and Statesmen of Edo state, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu and Admiral Fearless Okhai Akhigbe. By describing Akhigbe as a tough-talking protégé of Aikhomu to whom he said, he owed accelerated political advancement, is whimsical and cheap blackmail. Admiral Okhai Akhigbe would have suggested that I ignore Mr Olumhese. He never believed in joining issues with ill informed persons. Not even the fame- seeking, vengeful hectors who use their privilege to play god more than Jesus. He would have asked me not to dignify such trash with factual response because those were not what the writer lacked. He would have pointed out to me part of the altruistic objective of the writer who claimed he made him an “incredibly lucrative offer” which he humbly declined without naming the offer. On a point-by-point note, let me suspend my disbelief over Olumhese clear objective to settle an old score with the fallen Admiral by disclaiming his lies. If he wants to know


what Admiral Akhigbe achieved in his brief stay in Ondo state as Military Governor, let him go to Akure today and speak ill of him. He will surely get instant response. His brief in Lagos State was similar. Each Military Administrator at that time, governed according to the brief given to them by their Commander-in –Chief. Those who deviated were dropped while those who performed well were rewarded with further political positions. That was the lot of Admiral Akhigbe which the writer failed to appreciate. If Olumhese was indeed a qualified journalist in the mid 1980, let him seek and publish the records of the NNS Fearless Akhigbe. Perhaps, Olumhese’s puzzle is the fact that NNS Fearless was never given to grandiose lifestyle. He was never a loud public fellow but an effective, clinically efficient and eclectic officer. Members of the famous NDA Course 3 who named him NNS Fearless did so for his remarkable courage, dislike for ambidexterity; forthrightness and reliability. The Senate President, David Mark, is the president of the NDA Course 3 officers. Many of them are still alive and assessable to all. If Olumhese can reach any of them, he will realize that Admiral Akhigbe deserves all the tributes he is receiving in death. A man of the writer’s standing need not be told that even if NNS Fearless had built the best Hospital in the world, he would still

pass on at his time like others. If the writer pretends not to know, Akhigbe did not only inspire the creation of six additional local governments in Edo State, he facilitated the reconstruction of several federal and State roads. Go and ask the people of Ekperi, Ogbonna, Auchi, South Ibies,

in response to the vengeful syndicated opinion. Readers will be amused that an experienced writer like Olumhese will wait for the demise of a Statesman before choosing to disinter his past. It is instructive to note that such unverified claims over some bogus inducements which the

Right Of Reply journalists, we expect the writer to avail us the effort he made to find out what Obasanjo’s government did with the money recoverd from Abacha minsters and family. How do you hold

• Late Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe

Uzairue and Fugar. Admiral Akhigbe is highly revered in his community and the entire State. He touched the life of so many common people and groups. It will be immodest to publish the lists of his achievements

writer is brandishing against the late Admiral, Abdulsalaam and Obasanjo were originated and published by him and his friends only in the softsell News magazines and were so ignored by Nigerians. As

Admiral Akhigbe responsible for the money he told Nigerians that were recovered and handed over to another government? General Abdulsalaam Abubakar is no longer in power but still alive. General Olusegun

Obasanjo is no longer in power but still alive. Most other officers and civilians who served Nigeria during that period are still alive. Sonala Olumhese should not wait for them to die for schadenfreude is not part of the ethics of our training. As we celebrate the passage of our leader, mentor, father and revered statesman, let me remind Olumhese and those whom the NNS Fearless may have offended during his service to the Nation and mankind that to err is man. Olumhese should reflect on the popular William Shakespeare play, Julius Caersar. A foremost character in that play famously enjoined his countrymen to let him humbly bury Caeser for the “good is often interred with their bones”. We wish NNS Fearless Okhai Akhigbe stenght in his journey beyond. Farewell. • Austin A. Braimoh, Former Chief Press Secretary to the Late Chief of General Staff, Adm.Okhai M. Akhigbe,GCFR,MNI.

“Members of the famous NDA Course 3 who named him NNS Fearless did so for his remarkable courage, dislike for ambidexterity; forthrightness and reliability. The Senate President, David Mark, is the president of the NDA Course 3 officers. Many of them are still alive and assessable to all. If Olumhese can reach any of them, he will realize that Admiral Akhigbe deserves all the tributes he is receiving in death.”

Printed and published by Bendel Newspapers Company Limited, 24, Airport Road, P.M.B. 1334 Benin City. Telephone; Lagos: 01 4930929, Benin: 052 257492, 257531 Editor. BARR. SOLOMON IMOHIOSEN (KSJI) - (07030699646), Deputy General Manager (Marketing) (08023457566), Assistant General Manager(Advertisement) (08023808856) Lagos Office: 3/4 Amode Close, Kudirat Abiola Way, By Olushonsun Bus Stop, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. Abuja Office: Floor 1, Edo House, 75 Ralph Shodeinde Street, Central Business District, Abuja. Tel/Fax: 09-5237631. All correspondence to: 24 Airport Road, Benin City. E-mail: (ISSN 0331-2674)

Nigerian observer 08 11 2013  
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