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The Nigerian

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol . 38 NO.416• MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2014 • N100.00



Should The National Anthem Be Rendered AS Entertainment Song?


Pg 21 The Duke At Forestry Road

APC extends membership registration LAGOS - The All The membership could not do so. Progressives Congress registration which began till Feb 12 ‘’We have apparently (APC) yesterday in Lagos said it had extended the period for its ongoing nationwide membership registration till February 12.

on Wednesday was scheduled to end on Monday. In a statement signed by the Interim National Publicity Secretary,

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the extension was to accommodate many Nigerians who had turned out to register but

underestimated the number of those who are eager and willing to participate actively in the change process by Continues on page 2

Peace in Nigeria

Don’t relent in - Jonathan prayers ABUJA - President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja yesterday urged Nigerians not to relent but to continue to pray for the peace, stability and unity of Nigeria. Jonathan made the Diocese. call at the enthronement Job succeeded Most of the Most Rev. Oche Rev. Chimaroke Iweha, Job, as the Methodist who retired in November Archbishop of Abuja 2013.

Represented by Prof. Chinedu Nebo, the

Minister of Power, Jonathan noted that the situation in the country would have gone worse

were it not for payers. “We should continue to serve God in our nation. We need to

continue to cry out (pray) to him; if we have not been doing that it will be much worse. “Even though things don’t seem to be the best, it will have been worse if we are not Continues on page 2

Financial control HOS underscores importance BENIN CITY – past, Accountant in the Participants at the one- of budget employment of the state day sensitization workshop on, “Budget and Accountability” have been told that budgeting is a very strong instrument of financial control in government and organization. Edo State Head of Service, Mr. Igbaekemen Jerry Obazele made this asertion in Benin City when he declared the workshop opened. The workshop was organized by the Office of the AccountantGeneral of the state. He disclosed that, “the state government has never relented in its

efforts at ensuring informed, competent and virile public service that would discharged its duties efficiently, intelligently and prudcutively. This, he said informed the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s zeal to train and re-train the entire public workforce. According to the Head of Service, the Accountant cadre has been a major beneficiary in the training and retraining programme. He told the participants that in the


“By the time you set a new world record, only a few would remember how you use to borrow your training shoes.” - Kingsley Ogbeide-Ihama

civil service have been trained in seminars/ workshops both locally and internationally. Mr. Obazele said he is happy that apart from accountants in the service, other relevant officers in administrative department are attending the workshop, pointing out that the Continues on page 2

THANKSGIVING SERVICE: L-R: Mrs. -Eki Igbeinedion, wife of former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Ms Abby Oviasu-Humphrey, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Rev. Ogbe Oviasu and Prof. Efosa Oviasu during the thanksgiving service of late Deaconess Rebecca Oviasu at the Church of God Mission, Benin City yesterday.

Drop in crime: Oshiomhole lauds police By MIKE OSAROGIAGBON

BENIN CITY - Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has applauded Edo State Police Command for

reducing crime and criminality in the state. The Governor ’s commendation came when the Edo Police Command announced that it recorded 10.8 percent reduction in crime in 2013. Governor

Oshiomhole gave the commendation through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Kassim Afegbua who represented him at the end-of-year get-together organized by the Police Command, weekend in

Benin City. Comrade Oshiomhole who applauded the gallantry of men and officers of the command at combatting crime,

Tax expert lists benefits of TIN By VICTOR OMOALU BENIN CITY - In order to post Edo State on the

path of socio-economic development, the Acting Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Alhaji

Kabir Mashi at the weekend enjoined the people of Edo State to embrace the Tax Payers

Identification Number (TIN) exercise currently going on in the country. Mashi stated this at Continues on page 2

noted that “as a government, we cannot exist without having the police as wonderful partners”. While lauding the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo for his achievement since he assumed office in Edo State, the Governor remarked that ,” since his deployment to Edo State, we have witnessed a magnificent reduction in crime and Continues on page 2


Don’t relent in prayers

Continued from page 1

crying out and telling people not to do the wrong thing,’’ he said. The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, who read the first lesson at the service, also called on Nigerians to be faithful and continue to pray for the nation. “All the faiths have stake in this country. Faith can do so much for us; if we have faith and believe in God sincerely, this country will make progress. “There is no country that can make progress if the people in that country do not have faith irrespective of religion,’’ Mark said. He urged both Christians and Muslims to live in harmony and work together for the progress and stability of the country.

Earlier, the Prelate of the church, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Uche, called on government at various levels to provide for the welfare of the citizenry. “In any nation, there is what we called intangibles, honesty, integrity, transparency, high morality that makes a country stable; these are what the church provides.

“The government provides the tangibles like the roads, water supply, energy, employment, ensure there is security and make sure that citizenry are well cared for. “In other words, the church takes care of the soul and spirit, while the government takes care of the physical needs of the people,’’ he said. Uche urged Nigerians to do things that would sustain the

Tax expert Continued from page 1 the one-day stakeholder’s sensitization workshop on Tax Payers Identification Number organized by the Edo State Internal Revenue Service in collaboration with the Joint Tax Board in Benin City.

Mashi who was represented by the programme Manager, TIN, Oduba Oduba cited the uniqueness, reliable and centralized tax information as one of the reasons for the introduction of TIN. “The TIN enables you to

Continued from page 1 criminality, I think that is worth celebrating”. He further stated that, “Initially, when Edo State was blacklisted by the Americans for reasons that are obvious, we felt very uncomfortable, but since the Commissioner of Police came on stage, here in Edo State, and with the latest report coming from the US, saying that Edo State is now safe for people to do business, for their citizen to also visit, the Government House and the Governor of Edo State have been playing host to organizations, groups and other well-wishers.

of creating employment for the youth. Mustapha gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday. According to him, agriculture is a sector that cannot be exhausted if its potential is properly harnessed. He said that it was only agricultural sector that had the capacity to absorb the teeming unemployed youths by providing a platform for mass food production for the populace. “We could have devoted a substantial oil wealth into agriculture to have averted all these problems that we have been confronted with today. “Though, It is not too late to do it because we can still project what Nigeria will be for another 100 years, therefore, it is not too late to go back and do the right thing. “Agriculture is one sector

that does not get tired with its practises; it does not get tired for investment. “Today, we cannot feed ourselves successfully not because the soil cannot grow food, but our attitudes toward agriculture are not encouraging. “I am appealing to policy makers to change their attitudes toward agriculture because agriculture is more than talking on Television. “It is more than discussing in the Radio and making front pages of newspapers, agriculture is practical. “Although it is not late for us as a nation to retrace our steps and change our attitudes by projecting Nigeria for another 100 years to come.’’ He said that the problem of youth restiveness could only be addressed if agriculture could be adopted as a major source of wealth for Nigeria.

Continued from page 1 synergy derivable from such exercise will be beneficial to the civil service, both in the short and long run. Mr. Obazele salutes the State Governor for his avid and dogged commitment, not only to building an informed, virile and competent public service, but also to his commitment to the welfare of the entire workforce. He urged the participants to

reciprocate the gesture of government by re-dedicating themselves to the duty assigned to them. The Accountant-General, Mr. Isaac Ehiozuwa said the seminar is met to review the past as well as have a pip into the years ahead. Mr. Ehiozuwa said the sensitization programme is met to be an interactive session, stating further that Directors of Administration and supplies in the various Ministries are also

in attendance. The Auditor-General, the Managing Director, ICT were among the guest lecturers at he workshop. The Head of Service, Mr. Igbaekemen Jerry Obazele was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Cabinet, Barr. Sam Oko-ose and Mr. Alfred Omo-Olaye, Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Establishments, Training and Management Services.

Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday inaugurated its interim executive officers to pilot its affairs. Alhaji Abubakar Badaru, a former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 general elections was elected as the chairman. The position of interim secretary went to Mr Ibrahim Hassan, also a former governorship candidate in

the 2011 elections on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Others are Alhaji Faruk Aliyu, treasurer; Alhaji Nasiru Dantiye, organising secretary; Murtala Taura, publicity secretary and Mr. Bala Hamza, legal adviser. Inaugurating the executives, Alhaji Salisu Fagge, the North West interim Vice Chairman of the party, charged them to work

He said the leaders and the followers must work together for the victory of the party in the 2015 general elections. In his acceptance speech, Badaru thanked members of the party for finding them worthy to pilot its affairs in the state. Badaru urged the members to suppress their personal interests and work for the growth of the party in the state.

Former Agric Minister wants FG to reinvest oil wealth in agriculture

ABUJA - A former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Shetima Mustapha, has advised the Federal Government to reinvest the nation’s oil wealth in agriculture as a way


unity of the nation, adding that remaining together would make the nation stronger and viable. In a remark, Job advised the people to shun selfishness, negative political ambition, tribalism, among other vices. “We should pray for good and love one another and things will get better on daily basis,’’ he said.

Financial control

Jigawa APC inaugurates interim DUTSE - The Jigawa harmony to ensure that the officers inparty chapter of the All was rooted in the state.

do all your tax businesses any where in the country,” said the JTB boss. While asserting that TIN has benefits to both the tax authorities and the tax payers, Mashi, commended the Edo State IRS for keeping the flag flying, maintaining that Edo State remains the first to have ordered for additional biometric data equipments. The Executive Chairman of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Chief (Sir) Oseni Elamah said TIN was put in place for the purpose of unifying all eligible tax payers in the country. He said with the introduction of TIN, all obstacles as regards multiple taxation which posed challenge to growth in the tax administration, were to be removed to set the tax system on the path of accelerated transformation. He disclosed to newsmen that the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was ready to key into any initiative that will attract progress to the state, just as he stated that the World Bank, which have evaluated the development stride of governor Adams Oshiomhole adjudged him one of the progressive governor in the country. Chief Elamah used the opportunity to enjoin the people, especially the tax payers to embrace the ongoing TIN registration exercise in the state.

Oshiomhole condoles with lawmaker on father’s death BENIN CITY - Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has condoled with the family of Hon. Patrick Osayimen, the lawmaker representing Oredo West constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly on the death of his father, Chief Festus Osayimen. Addressing the widow and children of the deceased during a condolence visit to them at weekend, Oshiomhole said “I am here on behalf of the people of Edo State and in my personal capacity to convey to you and members of your family our condolences over the passage of your father. “I was shocked when I learnt that he has passed on. It hurts, but we all know that most Nigerians don’t live up to the age of 50 and for people of his generation, to have lived up to 83, it is only God that confers the longevity and good health. “I have no difficulty in

appreciating the vacuum arising from the loss of one’s father, as I lost my father almost ten years ago. Sometimes, I still wish he were around. “As we say, as believers, we can’t question God’s decision as Chief Festus Amen Osayimen actually and truly lived a life very well spent. “I think we have every reason to give thanks to God for his blessings and for what he has used the good family that God raised through our late papa Chief Osayimen.” Responding, widow of the deceased, Mrs Ewaindomwan Osayimen thanked the Governor for the visit. She said she is a true believer in the Governor’s transformation agenda for the state as she always prays for his success. The Late Chief Festus Amen Osayime, the Ogieayevbona of Benin Kingdom, died on Friday, January 24, 2014.

Cleric lauds Jonathan on anti-gay law ILORIN - A cleric, Prophet Theophilous Omolona, yesterday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the antigay law, saying his action had saved Nigeria from facing God’s wrath. Omolona, of the Israel Celestial Church of Christ (ICCC), Ilorin, spoke in an interview with newsmen in the city. He described same sex marriage as a great sin against God, which would have earned the country 40 years of punishment if it had not been outlawed. The cleric said that Nigeria was still bearing the pains of hosting FESTAC 77, which amounted to promoting idolatry. According to him, the country will only recover from some negative effects of the

hosting after 40 years in 2017. “God revealed to me that President Jonathan is a Godchosen Nigerian Messiah being used to prevent the country from slipping back into the second round of 40 years punishment by signing the anti-gay bill,” he said. Omolona quoted Leviticus 20:13 to prove God’s disapproval of gay practises and same sex marriage. “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads,” he said. The cleric condemned the criticism of the ant-gay law by some Western countries. He said that there was hope for Nigeria and in the next few years, it would regain its lost glory.

Kenya urges Nigerians to explore point LAGOS - Mr. Carlos of entry visas Maluta, Minister Counsellor, Kenya High Commission, yeasterday urged Nigerians to take advantage of the policy allowing them to receive Kenya’s visas at the point of entry. Maluta told newsmen in Lagos that the policy would enable Nigerians travelling to Kenya for businesses and

other purposes to obtain their entry visas faster. The envoy, however, said that Nigerians who wished to obtain their visas from the High Commission’s Consulate offices in Nigeria could still do so. “We want Nigerians to know that our point of entry

APC extends registration

Continued from page 1

joining the APC. ‘’Even with one day to go in the original registration schedule, we have exceeded the number of members we set out to register. “Many more have reached out to us to give them the opportunity to join the APC hence our decision to extend

the registration,” Mohammed said in the statement. The party said it needed to ensure that the people who wanted to register as members were allowed to do so. It urged all interested citizens who had not registered to utilise the opportunity offered by the extension to do so.

visa policy is to make it easy for them to travel to Kenya before obtaining their visas. “Especially, those who have urgent business appointments or personal engagements to meet up with. “But, they must have their return tickets and other valid travel documents. More importantly, they should not fall into the category of prohibited immigrants. “Kenya is actually looking at the possibility of promoting an Africa where there is free movement of goods and people across the continent,” he said. Maluta, however, urged Nigerians to always travel to Kenya with necessary documents as any “prohibited immigrant” would be sent back to Nigeria from the airport.


Commission Assures Of Even Devt

APC Chieftain in Delta State, Olorogun Otega Emerhor (right) b e i n g congratulated by Chief Ben Oranusi, APC Chairman of Committee for D e l t a Registration shortly after E m e r h o r ’s registration.

By VICTOR OMOALU BENIN CITY – As the nation prepares towards actualising the vision 20: 2020 goal, the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Edo State has expressed its readiness and commitment to ensure even distribution of socioeconomic development across the nooks and crannies of Edo State. This was made known by the Director of States/ Plenary Department of F.C.C, Abuja, Mr. Vincent Onobun during the staff training workshop held in Benin City. Onobun said that the commission has the statutory responsibility of ensuring equitable distribution of career posts/ appointments as its first mandate. He disclosed that the commission in pursuant of its second mandate was embarking on audit/survey of socio-economic and infrastructural amenities across the government Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the 192 wards in the state, with a view to sighting, verifying and compiling a data base of critical sectors in the state. He enjoined staff of the commission to brace up for the challenges ahead for the purpose of achieving the implementation goal of the commission’s second mandate.

APC, Alternative To PDP - Chairman By BETTY IDIALU WARRI – The Interim Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC), Delta State, Prophet Jones Ode Erue said the party is the alternative party to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Prophet Erue disclosed this in the course of monitoring the ongoing APC registration exercise across political wards in the locality after registering as party member in Emede Ward 5 in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State. The All Progressive Congress (APC) Delta registration exercise committee chairman in the ongoing members registration, Chief Ben Oranusi, said the best thing that has happened to Nigeria politically is the two party system. Chief Oranusi disclosed this while on tour of the various wards across Delta State to monitor the registration exercise. According to Oranusi, a one time local government chairman in Anambra State, and the last Campaign Director for the erstwhile chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamaga Tukur, the best thing for a multi ethnic society like Nigeria is the two party system. He opined that the multi party

2 Party System, Good For Nigeria

will only lead to a situation where we have ethnic political parties; this according to Oranusi will culminate in ethnicism. The APC chieftain was optimistic that the party is ready to take over Delta State, adding that the crowd the party has garnered in the state and the scores of party faithfuls at the registration centres in the various wards, underscores this fact. “There is nothing like PDP. PDP is dead; for 16 years, PDP has been ruling Delta State and there is nothing to show for it, despite the huge resources coming to the state. What we’re seeing everyday in PDP is defections to APC, this simply means that the people want a change”, Oranusi said. While commending the national chairman of the registration exercise in Delta State, Chief Ben Oranusi said the method of distribution of the materials was superb hence the timely availability of the materials at the various wards. He urged the people to discountenance the rumour making the rounds that there were low turnouts and reported cases of hijack of materials

attributing such rumours to the threat the opposition party is already experiencing as there could not have been a more perfect process as the registration exercise. The State APC interim boss while describing the APC as a mass movement of progressives with similar ideology and same pain, said the APC is set to put a government that will truly serve the people because according to him,” the people are tired of the government of impunity, and a government that is unprogressive, government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.” Prophet Erue a political scientist said the APC promises a truly democratic government with a realistic budget that will deliver the dividends of democracy to the people, making reference to Edo State where, according to him, the dividends of democracy is felt by all. According to him, the fact that a merger is succeeding in Nigeria for the first time, is a clear indication that the people desire a change. On the recent defection of the former Sokoto State governor, Attairu Bafarawa from APC, Prophet Erue said Alhaji

Delta State APC Interim Chairman, Prophet Jones Ode Erue (right) and his media Coordinator, Previous Enuenweayoi during the latter’s chat with journalists.

Bafarawa was never a registered member of the APC adding that the former governor was only planning to come to APC which he never did. saying “he could not have defected from a party he never belonged”. Reacting to question on the proposed national confab, the State interim boss who also is the Prophet and founder of the Jabez House of Prayer, Ughelli in Delta State, faulted the confab, saying, it was hurriedly put together, ill timed, to whip up sentiments and with evil intention”. He said the APC led government will emphasise the G factor which is God in governance as according to the clergy cum politician, “when the righteous rule with the fear of God, the people rejoice”. One their entourage was the secretary of the registration committee Nathaniel Silver, a former House of representative member, Mrs Temi Harriman, Barrister Omasan Agbajoh and scores of party faithfuls.

Demise Of Queen Ighile Commisserates With Oba Erediauwa BENIN CITY – The Chairman/Chief Executive of Ighile Group of Company Sir J.O. Ighile JP has commiserated with the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa over the death of his eldest wife, Queen Esther Omoye Erediauwa, The Eson N’Erie of Benin Kingdom. Ighile expressed his condolence during a chat with newsmen in Benin City. He described the late Queen’s death as a monumental and irreplaceable loss to both the Benin Kingdom and the entire Edo State. Sir Ighile also described the late Eson N’Erie as a detribalised woman who imbibed the spirit of fairness, equity and just in any issue brought before her while alive. Ighile however urged the Benin monarch to take solace in the fact that the late Eson N’Erie lived a very useful and fruitful life, beside the positive signs, she left in the sands of time.

Sir J.O. Ighile JP (MOJO)

Owan East LG Boss Applauds APC Registration Exercise ETEYE – The Chairman of Owan East Local Government Council, Barr. (Chief) Jimoh Ijebai has expressed satisfaction with the on-going registration exercise of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the locality. Chief Ijegbai, who expressed this satisfaction after monitoring the party registration in the locality said the enthusiasm displayed by members as well as prospective members of the APC, gave a clear indication that the APC is the party to beat in Owan East Local Government Area, Edo State and indeed at the Federal level in 2015. The Council boss monitored the exercise up to the interior of the local government area, saying that there is no doubt that the APC will reap bountifully in subsequent national elections because every member of the party was enthusiastic to get registered.

He commended the state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the hitch-free exercise, noting that there were no complaints of shortage of registration materials in Owan East during the exercise, which is expected to end today, February 10, 2014. According to the council boss, “this is an exercise that will showcase the strength of the APC, both at the local and state levels of the federation. “If, from the enthusiasm with which the people embraced the ongoing registration exercise is anything to go by, then we can be talking of the party over the Federal in the next presidential election”. He advised those who are yet to register to do so before the end of the exercise today, stressing that there are enough registration materials to go round every person intending to register.

News Climate Change: Environmentalist Wants Losses Addressed

ABUJA An environmentalist, Mr. Lekan Fadina, has urged the Federal Government to put a mechanism on ground to address the damage and losses associated with Climate Change. Fadina, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had raised issues regarding knowledge and understanding of loss and damage mechanism. He listed the losses as the washing away of crops, leading to poor harvest, disease outbreak and increasing climate impacts on vulnerable regions in Nigeria. “Two years ago, we had flooding with the attendance

loss in assets. Are insurance companies ready to meet up with the challenge of flooding? “There is a knowledge gap; we need to address this and share experiences and see how Nigeria can benefit at the global level. “There must be shared vision and collective will on the part of the government to make sure that we really address this basic issue. “ Although we may not bring things to the original form they were before the disaster; but over time, there will be funds at the global level to address it.’’ adina, who is also a Negotiator in the United Nations System on Climate Change, said that as climate change continued unabated,

Climatologist Advises Coastal Communities On Flood Control LAGOS - A climatologist, Prof. Temi Ologunorisa, has urged coastal communities to evolve measures aimed at mitigating the effects of flooding in their communities. Ologunorisa told newsmen in Lagos that such measures would avert a recurrence of the 2012 devastating flood in coastal communities and some parts of the country. “Any moment from now the rainy season will set in and many communities will be exposed to erosion and flood. “In order to prevent a recurrence of the 2012 flood that ravaged many communities, coastal communities and those living in flood-prone areas should start preparing, to avoid emergencies. “We must not wait till floodrelated emergencies occur before acting and that is what we do in this part of the world.’’ Ologunorisa, who is the director of the Centre for

Climate Change and Environment Research, Osun State University, Osogbo, said that there were signs of heavy rainfall this year. He advised those whose houses were built on flood plains beds to urgently begin to relocate to safer places. The climatologist also urged those in coastal communities not to wait for the rains before clearing their drains. Ologunorisa also called for the construction of more drains that would accommodate flood in such communities “Those living in coastal communities and flood-prone areas will even need more drains this rainy season. “We must not wait for our property and loved ones to be submerged by flood, or wait to give or receive relief materials after emergencies. We must all begin to act now,’’ he said.

economic losses from natural disasters were expected to increase. He added that the 2012 flood experience showed that losses caused by weatherrelated natural catastrophes were enormous. The expert, however, said that the path of reducing poverty and vulnerability through climate risk insurance could provide a window of opportunities for insurance companies. “Poverty is a root cause of vulnerability as low income individuals have fewer resources to absorb extreme weather shocks. “By increasing their ability to manage weather-related risks, climate risk insurance had the potential to play a significant role in contributing to social and economic wellbeing. “It is important for us as a nation to get to the drawing board and see how Nigeria can benefit from different global climate finance opportunities. “The negotiation is ongoing and the options can include elements such as climate risk management facility, capacity

building, filling data gaps and identifying financial needs,’’ he said. Fadina further said that the most vulnerable countries to loss and damage due to climate change should not look for one solution or fold their arms. He said rather, they should consider various tools that could be implemented at various levels.

He said that Nigeria should invest in preparing technical papers on non-economic losses and on gaps in existing institutional arrangements globally. “It is clear that even without taking climate change into account, disaster risk continues to increase as more people and assets are exposed to weather extreme. “It is therefore, desirable that we embark on capacity building and involving all stakeholders in addressing the

challenges and opportunities in the loss and damage.’’ A major outcome of the nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP19) was on development of mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change. The conference, which took place in Warsaw, Poland, in 2013, stressed on the implementing approaches to address loss and damage relating to climate change.

L-R: Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone XI, Mr. David Omojola (right), addressing political party leaders at a zonal meeting with political party leaders from Oyo, Osun and Ondo States in Ibadan recently.

Trespass: Church Drags Trad Ruler By OSE EHEBHA

UROMI - Diocese of Esan, Anglican Communion has dragged the Onojie of Uromi, HRH Anslem Eidenogie before a state High Court sitting in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State for alleged trespass on a land said to belong to the church. The church, through its counsel, G. O. Giwa-Amu in suit number, HCU/1/2014, is praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the monarch, his servants, agents or privies from entering and/or in anyway trespassing and

To Court

interfering with the claimant’s entire land in dispute. It is also demanding the sum of N5 million as damages for the trespass on the land, measuring 3735.678 square meters, situated along the junction of Uromi/Ubiaja Road and Ojomon Street, Uromi. It would be recalled that one Gregory Okpere had laid claim to the same land, leading to a court action, at the end of which judgment was delivered in the claimant’s favour, by

Honourable Justice D. I.Okungbowa on October 17, 2006. The church, in its Statement of Claim brought before the court by its counsel, averred that vide a customary grant by HRH Ogbidi, the then Onojie of Uromi, (great grandfather of the defendant), and the entire Uromi Community in 1930 to the church, then known as Church Missionary Society (C.M.S). It added that as at the time of the grant, the defendant’s predecessor, HRH Ogbidi was

a regular member of the church, and contributed financially to the building of the church, Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, presently on the other part of the land. The claimant alleged that the defendant without its permission, on January 2, 2014, brought in traitors and commenced building of commercial stores on the said land, adding that defendant was aware of the judgment of the suit between Gregory Okpere and the church, having mediated in the dispute. Hearing of the case comes up today, February 10, 2014, at the High Court, Uromi.

Rainstorm Wreaks Havoc In Ozalla

Former Chief of Defence Staff, Adm. Ola Ibrahim with his wife, Amina during his pulling out in Abuja weekend.

OZALLA - A rainstorm, Saturday night, wreaked havoc in Ozalla community, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, destroying over 70 houses and ravaged large expanse of farmlands in the community and rendering over 1,000 people homeless. Secretary to the Palace of the Onotare of Ozalla, Mr Reuben Aizenabor, “who narrated the incident to reporters at Ozalla said the rainstorm started at about 8:00pm and swept off almost everything in its wake. According to him, “the palace of the Onotare was not spared by the rainstorm as part of the roof was blown off.

“Part of the walls of the Central Primary School, Orhueren also caved in and we thank God that the rainstorm was at night when school was not in session, otherwise it could have been a disaster. The roof of a block at Ozalla Primary was also blown off in the storm. “As it is now, no part of the community is left unaffected; we are still collating the extent of damage to know how many houses were affected; property worth millions of naira were affected by the rainstorm. “Farmlands of Cash crops

and food crops were also affected and almost everybody in Ozalla is counting one loss or the other as we speak. Several electric poles were also uprooted by the storm. “The Member representing Owan West in the House of Assembly, Hon Mike Ezomon and the Chairman, Hon Godwin Aigbodion who visited the community Sunday morning were shocked at the extent of damage. “We appeal to the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to quickly come to our aid as the storm has rendered our people homeless.”

South West AFAN Urges Early Input Supply For 2014 Planting Season ABEOKUTA - Mr Olusegun Dasaolu, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Ogun State, has urged both federal and state governments to work toward early supply of agricultural inputs for 2014 farming season. Dasaolu made that call in an interview with newsmen in Abeokuta. He said that early disbursement of inputs would help farmers prepare their lands, pay for labour, buy seeds and fertiliser in preparation for the planting season. “We want all the agricultural inputs to be supplied latest by March, to avoid late planting season. “Agriculture is a business with time frame; it has its own time, so if our farmers can get inputs on time, that will enable them to plan properly, the AFAN chairman said. Dasaolu said that the agriculture sector remained an engine of growth and a

major contributor to poverty reduction, wealth creation and employment generation. He advised farmers to be proactive and ready to work for 2014 farming season. Dasaolu lauded the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme which he noted, had enabled farmers to receive subsidised inputs from accredited agro-dealers. He said that the GES needed to be enhanced through early supply of such inputs to make it more meaningful to farmers.

President Goodluck Jonathan (right), and the Italian outgoing Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Roberto Colamine at the State House, Abuja recently.

University Admits 550 Applicants OYE (EKITI) - The Federal University, OyeEkiti, Ekiti State, admitted only 550 of the 8,000 applicants who sought admission into the institution for the 2013/ 2014 academic session. The Vice Chancellor of

the university, Prof. Isaac Azuzu, gave the figure on Friday at the 3rd Matriculation ceremony of the institution. Azuzu said that the figure represented 7.5 per cent of the applicants.

Director Tasks Youths On Reading ABEOKUTAThe cannot be over emphasized; Culture Director of Public Library in our youths need to go to the Ogun, Mr Rafiu Benson, has urged Nigerian youths to imbibe reading culture and the use of libraries. In an interview with newsmen in Abeokuta, Benson noted that browsing in Internet cafe, was fast taking over reading culture that youths were known for in the past.

According to him, the advantages of reading are enormous because it develops the competitive instincts inherent in youths. He added that reading and library usage, would broaden horizons and help in building the mind and confidence of youths. “The benefits of reading

library to read books. “It will help them see the world, deepen their intellectual capabilities and prepare them for adult roles in future,” Benson said. He said a reader was a leader and would always excel in his chosen field, than his mentally lazy counterparts.

Fire fighters puting off fire on a building in Ibadan recently.

He advised the successful applicants to make the best use of the opportunity by studying hard to prepare themselves for the future. The vice chancellor charged the fresh students to shun all forms of crime including stealing, cultism and examination malpractice. “The university has zero tolerance for cultism; anyone caught involved in cultism will be expelled and thereafter prosecuted,’’ Azuzu warned. The state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said at the event that his administration donated N20 million to support the various projects going on in the two campuses of the

university. Fayemi gave the assurance that his administration would continue to assist the university in development projects. He charged the students to combine academic excellence with good

conduct to be able to face the future. The governor said that university was not only for education but also for character molding. Reports state that the two campuses of the university are Oye Ekiti and IkoleEkiti.

Bricklayer Abandons Wife With Triplets ADO-EKITI A bricklayer, Mr Adewale Omole has abandoned his wife in a ‘spiritual home’ after he heard that she was expecting triplets in Ado Ekiti. Narrating her story, Mrs Abosede Omole, who already had two children, told newsmen that her husband abandoned her and the babies. She said that her husband started behaving strange after she went for a scan in Lagos where she was told that she was expecting triplets. Abosede, who gave birth at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), said “my husband abandoned me even before I gave birth and he has refused to perform his responsibility as father. “He left me without food. That is why I had to relocate to this spiritual home where I have received spiritual succour and financial assistance. “Since the sudden disappearance of my husband, life has not been the same again, as I, the two

children and the newly born triplets are finding it difficult to survive. “ I am begging him to come back for the sake of these innocent babies,” she pleaded. Abosede appealed to Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and well meaning Nigerians to come to her aid. Confirming the story, the Matron in-charge of the maternity at EKSUTH, Mrs Adenike Oluyide, called on well wishers to assist Abosede, as the triplets are currently at the Special Baby Care Unit of the hospital. A member of Sabbath Mission Church, Omiolori, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti, who came to the hospital to see the woman and her children, confirmed that Abosede came to the church and was taken to the hospital. The church member, who pleaded anonymity, said the leadership of the congregation felt she could benefit from the free medical programme of Ekiti State Government for women and children.

South West

Osun Govt Disburses N753m Agric Loans To Farmers OSOGBO - The Osun State Government has disbursed the sum N753 million as loans for agricultural activities to farmers in the state in the last one year, an official said in Osogbo. Mr. Ismail Alagbada, the state’s Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, made the disclosure while defending his ministry’s 2014

budget. Alagbada had appeared before the state House of Assembly’s Committee on Finance and Appropriation. Alagbada said the Bank of Industry (BOI) was also collaborating with the state government in giving loans to the farmers. He said 77 farmers’ cooperative societies had benefited from the loans under the Quick Impact Intervention

Forest Conservation

Ondo Calls For Community Participation OSE (ONDO STATE) The Ondo State Government has urged community participation to enhance forest conservation. Mr. Tunde Atere, the state Commissioner for Natural Resources, made the call at Ose River Park in Ose Local Government Area of the state. Ose River Park, which embeds Malinbe birds, elephants, boars, different species of trees, covers about 360 sq. kms. Atere urged the neighbouring communities to cooperate with the state government to transform the park to a standard tourism centre. “I want to plead with the neighbouring communities to see this park as a natural treasure to serve them and the state better. “The major work here is conservation. All the anticonservation activities such as hunting, planting and felling of trees should henceforth stop.” Atere said that if the park was conserved, it would serve the people and the state government better. “If this place is finally harnessed, people from parts

of the country will come to enjoy and the river across it can be fully utilised. The commissioner allayed the fear between the warring communities over ownership of the forest, saying, “the issue will soon be rersolved.” “When things are put in place, stakeholders in the area will sit down and choose a common name for the benefit of all.” Also speaking, Mr Dada Falusi, the Director, Department of Wildlife, Conservation Park and Ecotourism in the ministry, called on the government to strengthen the park’s monitoring staff. “I urge the state government to release enough fund as soon as possible to strengthen the staff to have control of the environment.”

Programme of the state government. “The loans were disbursed to farmers in the bid to boost food production in the state,’’ the commissioner said. He said also that the ministry had so far been able to recover N88 million out of the amount disbursed. The commissioner however said the ministry was working assiduously to recover the outstanding N665 million before granting further loans to farmers from the 2014 budget. In his remarks, Mr. Najeem Salaam, the Speaker of the assembly, urged the ministry to look inwards so as to improve its internally-generated revenue.

L-R: Wife of Benue State Governor, Mrs Yemisi Suswam; wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Amina Sambo; first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; President Goodluck Jonathan and FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed at the inauguration of Wuye Ultra-Modern market in Abuja recently.

Female Adolescents: Educationist

IBADAN - Mrs. Jumoke Akere, an educationist and proprietress of J-SAY Prevarsity School, Iyaganku, Ibadan, has advised mothers to maintain a close relationship with their female adolescent children facing emotional challenges. According to her, this will help them arrest any ugly situation that may arise on time. Akere said this in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan at the end of the adolescent Health Workshop organised for students of the school. The workshop was titled: “The adolescent female and

Advises Parents her relationship with the opposite sex.” Akere said a lot of female adolescents went through a lot of challenges silently and were shy to speak out to get help from necessary quarters. According to her, the problems female teenagers face today are varied and interrelated. They feel overwhelmed when faced with unprecedented stress. She added that “it is the strategy of the school to provide personalised and intensive teaching tailored towards meeting individual

Farmer Remanded For Alleged Murder

committed the offences at about 10 p.m. on Lota Road, via Ile Oluji, Ahure Magisterial District, on AKURE - A farmer, Magistrates’ Court. January 22. Chukwuma Nwankpa, The police prosecutor, ASP Adejuwon said that the arraigned for conspiracy and Pelumi Adejuwon, told the accused conspired with murder, has beeb remanded court that Nwankpa, 37, others at large and killed 47in prison by an Akure year-old Solomon Igwe by using a machete to cut his neck. The prosecutor said that the offences contravened sections 324 and 316 and punishable under section 319(a) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ondo State, 2006. He, however, applied for an adjournment to enable him duplicate the case file and send same to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice. Adejuwon urged the court to remand the accused in prison pending the receipt of the legal advice. The Magistrate, Miss Olubukola Kuye, granted the plea of the prosecutor and L-R: Chairman, Northern Elders Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai; Governor Mukhtar ordered that the accused be Yero of Kaduna State and former Minister of Environment and Agriculture, Amb. remanded in Akure prison. Kuye adjourned the case to Hassan Adamu at the Northern Elders Council General Assembly in Kaduna March 26. recently.

physical and emotional capacity of students. “We aim to prepare secondary school graduates for their chosen career and also to groom them to meet global challenges. “We aspire to bring out the best in students mentally, emotionally, spiritually, academically and professionally. “To do this we need to broaden students’ knowledge, increase their academic and personal self confidence and equip them with a range of study and personal skills needed to succeed in life”. She spoke of the challenges being faced by the female adolescent, including unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, virginity, depression, poverty, pressure from home, incest and rejection by one or the two parents. “Eighty per cent of the teens face unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. “Due to the development of secondary sexual

characteristics following adolescence, teens feel a great push to explore and experiment with their bodies. “Early maturing girls are likely to start dating and a combination of the overwhelming urge to explore and peer pressure leads many into sex,” she said. She said the health workshop was organised by the school periodically to bring out the best in students mentally, emotional and spiritually. Akere added that both the female and male adolescents of the school benefited from the workshop, adding that the male and female students attended the workshop separately. The educationist advised mothers to be close to their daughters, to help them out of any emotional and sexual stress they might face. “Stress is characterised by feelings of tension, frustration, worry, sadness and withdrawal that commonly last from a few hours to a few days, and the female adolescent is affected mostly by this,” she said.

Court Remands Suspected Drug Dealer ADO-EKITI - A Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti has remanded one Femi Ajayi in prison for dealing in Indian Hemp. The NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Iliya Waji, had told the court that the accused was caught on January 17 at Oke-Bola, AdoEkiti, with 3.75 killogramme of Indian hemp. Waji said the offence contravened section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The prosecutor opposed the

oral bail application sought by counsel to the accused, Mrs. Amara Okafor. He tendered the October 2010 conviction certificate of the accused for drug dealing, noting that he was standing trial for the same offence. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty. Justice Adamu Hobon refused to grant the accused bail based on the evidence provided by the prosecutor. He adjourned the case to March 11 for accelerated hearing.

Lagos Judge Decries Involvement Of Mechanics In Drug Trafficking

President Goodluck Jonathan (right), and the Italian outgoing Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Roberto Colamine and the Italian Defence Attache, Col. Michele Fucci at the State House, Abuja recently.

LAGOS Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court, Lagos, has expressed worry at the rate mechanics are turning into drug traffickers. Aneke expressed the worry while sentencing a 27-year-old mechanic, Babangida Bello, who pleaded guilty to trafficking in 750g of Indian hemp. The judge sentenced Bello to six months imprisonment without an option of fine.

“What we are having these days are mechanics turning into drug dealers. “Based on the plea of guilt by the accused, his plea for leniency and being a first offender, I am inclined to give him an opportunity to amend his ways for better. “I hereby convict him as charged, and sentence him to six months imprisonment,’’ Aneke held. Reports state that Bello had prayed the court to be lenient with him, saying that he would no longer trade on illicit drugs. He claimed that his friend lured him into the illicit business. During the review of the facts of the case, an officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Sunday Nanpon,

told the court that the substance found on Bello tested positive to Indian hemp. He said that Bello also made a voluntary statement in writing, confessing that he traded on Indian hemp. Nanpon was led in evidence by the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Jeremiah Aernan. Aernan tendered the statement of the accused, certificate of the test analysis and 750g of Indian hemp, among other materials, as exhibits. Aernan had told the court that Bello committed the offence on Jan. 6, 2013, at No 15, Obalende Road, Lagos. He said that the offence contravened Section 11 (c) of the NDLEA Cap N30, Laws of the Federation, 2004. Bello was arraigned on February 3 this year.

NUT Urges LG To Employ More Teachers

President Goodluck Jonathan (right), going through the plaque of Wuye International Market after the commissioning of the market in Abuja recently.

WAEC Inaugurates Security Building

LAGOS - The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has inaugurated its N28.6 million ultra-modern Examinations Security Building at its Ojo area office in Lagos. In his speech at the occasion, WAEC’s Head of National Office, Dr Charles Eguridu, said that the purpose of the project was to assist in stemming WAEC’s logistic challenges at the Ojo/ Badagry axis. According to him, the newly constructed office block which comprises two script halls and a strong room is part of the council’s mandate in ensuring quality service delivery to the public. “We started this project in March 2013 and it was completed in November of the same year. “In all, the council spent a total of N28.6 million putting the structure in place in order to achieve the much needed security for our materials. “I will like to seize this

opportunity to appeal to the Lagos State Government to assist us by constructing a good road network to be known as WAEC Avenue to facilitate the accessibility of this place.” Eguridu said that prior to the construction of the building, the council was faced with challenges of safety and security of question papers as well as answer scripts at its Ojo area office. “We also want to bring

service closer to the people because we have discovered that sometimes, bringing the scripts to a centralised place has proved difficult, largely due to traffic. In her remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, lauded the efforts of the council to guarantee a secured and better future for the Nigerian child. “What you have done today is aimed at securing the

future of our children who are our future,’’ she said. The Head, Test and Administration of WAEC, Mr Kester Ekekwe, said that the Ojo Satellite Office would service zones such as Ajeromi Ifelodun, Amuwo Odofin, Apapa, Badabry and Ojo. He pleaded with the commissioner to expedite action on the construction of the road leading to the office to ensure effective service delivery to the council’s customers.

LAGOS - The Nigeria Union of Teachers, Lagos State Chapter, has urged Local Government Councils in the state to assist the State Universal Basic Education Board ( SUBEB) to recruit more teachers in the primary schools. Mr Segun Raheem, the chairman of the state chapter of the union, said this in Lagos in an interview with newsmen. He said that the recruitment of more teachers would help to address the problem of inadequate teachers in primary schools in the state. Raheem said that the local governments are responsible for financing teachers in the primary schools, while SUBEB was established to implement policies initiated by the councils. “SUBEB does not have the right to employ teachers because local government councils are in charge of paying teachers’ salaries. “SUBEB must obtain approval from the local government councils before it

Political Challenges: Don Identifies

Strong State Institutions As Panacea LAGOS - A don, Mr Sam Goddorms, has said building strong state institutions would resolve many of the nation’s lingering political challenges. Goddorms, of the Department of Political Science, University of Jos, made the submission in a telephone interview with

newsmen in Lagos. He said that many of the problems confronting the nation would vanish, if viable state institutions were in place. According to him, if we successfully build strong institutions that will stand the test of time, election will be held with fewer disputes in

the system. “The major actors in a process of election will view it as a sport and imbibe sportsmanship behaviours. “They will see the process as one that would give room for another opportunity to vie and serve the country in another capacity,” the don said.

Goddorms urged the three tiers of government to be transparent in the management of their programmes and in the execution of welfarist policies. “Our people need more of welfarist programmes, as many of them are not empowered economically,” he noted.

can employ teachers. “The last time there was a major recruitment of teachers in primary schools in the state was in 2006. “One does not need to think too far before realising that there is a need for massive recruitment of teachers in the state. “Every year, teachers are retiring and moving out of the system and there is a need for their replacement,“ he said. Raheem declared that the problem of shortage of teachers in primary schools had degenerated to the extent that non- teaching staff were being compelled to fill the vacuum and teach the pupils. “We now have cases of clerical officers and other nonteaching staff, such as gardeners and cleaners, teaching the students,“ he said. The chairman said the situation in the secondary schools was better because they were directly funded by the state government. He said that since the primary school was the foundation on which other learning institutions built upon, there was need to address the problem of inadequate teachers in the primary schools. “The problem of shortage of teachers in the primary schools contributes to the overcrowding of the classrooms, which makes learning and assimilation difficult for the pupils,‘’ he said. Raheem added that the performance of pupils in primary schools would improve, if more teachers were employed.

Across The Nation Governor Yari Warns Politicians Against Use Of Thugs GUSAU – Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara has warned political parties against the use of thugs in the state, ahead of the 2015 general elections. Yari gave the warning when he received Alhaji Mamman Sule, the Assistant InspectorGeneral of Police (AIG) incharge of Zone 10, at the Government House, Gusau. The governor said the warning became imperative “as the nation prepares for the 2015 general elections. “The Zamfara government will not tolerate any thuggery. This warning is particularly for politicians who engage youths in thuggery just to intimidate the opposition. “We will strongly use the law to stop such people even if they are members of the ruling APC in the state.’’ The governor commended the assistant inspector general of police for taking steps to sensitise politicians in the zone to play politics without bitterness. Yari said the state government would continue to support the police to make their job easier. He, however, urged the

Federal Government to give more logistics to the police for improved security. Earlier, the assistant inspector general of police had told the governor that the visit was in furtherance of the stakeholders meeting he recently held with politicians from the zone in Sokoto. Sule, whose zone comprised of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, said he would continue to visit the three states to ensure hitch-free elections in 2015.

Gridlock at Ojota in Lagos recently.

Standing Surety For Accused

Lagos residents express divergent views

Scene of an accident involving antiquated vehicle and a tricycle at Warehouse Roundabout in Owerri recently.

NURTW To Build School For Orphans MAIDUGURI - The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Borno chapter, has urged the state government to assist it in building a school for orphans in the state. Its Chairman, Alhaji Bello Muhammad, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Maiduguri. He said the union had 700 orphans following the death of its members in the last 10 years and planned to build a school for them, together with other orphans in the state. Muhammad said the union had already secured a land for the construction of the school in Maiduguri, but would require the assistance of the state government. “The school is for the children of the union members in Maiduguri and its environ, who died in auto accidents or as a result of suspected Boko Haram attacks,’’ he added. The chairman said the union had enrolled some of the orphans in Islamic schools in Maiduguri, but many were yet

to be enrolled. He noted that the building of the school would greatly assist the orphans “because we would ensure that they were adequately taken care of, as we would also want our children to be taken care of when we die. “The school will also assist them to become productive members of the society, rather than resort to begging or child labour.’’

Muhammad said no fewer than 83 commercial vehicles were burnt in suspected Boko Haram attacks involving members of the union in the last three months in Kayamla, Baga, Damboa, Ngom and Benisheik communities. “In most cases, the drivers of the vehicles were either killed or abducted by the insurgents. “This is because our members were always on the

road conveying travellers to various destinations. “Some of the drivers have four wives and many children and when they die, we feel it is our responsibility to take care of the children.’’ The chairman said more than 12,000 members of the union were jobless and urged the state government to initiate a transport scheme and employ them.

PDP Will Lead Nigeria To Greatness SOKOTO - President Also, Vice-President Namadi Goodluck Jonathan has said that - Jonathan Sambo and Senate President PDP will work to lead Nigeria to greatness. Jonathan spoke in Sokoto at a grand reception organised for a former governor of the state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, who defected to PDP with his supporters from APC. “The PDP is the only party that is stable and it will continue to uphold the tenets of democracy. “The PDP respects the rule of law at all levels and we respect the constitution,” he said. Jonathan said PDP was the

number one party in Nigeria and would continue to be so. He further said that the Federal Government under the party would continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. Jonathan commended the people of the state for their sustained support for PDP and urged them not to relent. He commiserated with the people and government of the state over the recent fire disaster at Kara Market in Sokoto.

David Mark expressed happiness with the defection of Bafarawa to the party. “ The PDP umbrella is getting filled up and the PDP will sustain the provision of the dividends of democracy to Nigerians,” Sambo promised. The National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, described PDP as the winning party. “The achievements of the PDP are tangible all over the nation and this would be sustained,” Mu’azu said.

LAGOS - Some Lagos residents have expressed divergent views on the propriety of standing sureties by people for defendants facing criminal charges in the law courts. While some believed that it is a risk not worth-taking, others were of the opinion that it is a duty to fellow humans in spite of the risks involved. Reports state that some accused persons had been languishing in prison custody for several months for failing to get sureties as part of their bail conditions. On February 4, a 75-year-old surety, Samuel Osisanyen, was brought before an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for failing to produce a suspected fraudster, Olalekan Kazeem, in court. The septuagenarian, who risks seven years imprisonment, was granted bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like

sum. A businessman, Mr Albert Aluko, told newsmen that standing surety for an accused had caused him some losses and embarrassment. “I stood surety for N2 million for a childhood friend who was facing a fraud charge. “Unfortunately, he ran away from the country when the pressure became too much for him. “Up till today, his whereabouts is still unknown. “I lost a house in the process because the court issued a bench warrant against him and his sureties. “The experience has put a sour taste in my mouth that I can never stand for anyone again,” he said. Also a civil servant, Mr Yekini Adeyinka, recounted how he was remanded in prison when his brother-in-law he stood surety for absconded.

Buhari Obtains APC Membership Registration DAURA (KATSINA STATE) - Former Head of State Muhammadu Buhari, has obtained the All Progressives Congress (APC) membership card. He was registered at the Babban-gida polling unit, Sarkin-yara in Daura, Daura Local Government Area of Katsina State. The former presidential candidate of defunct CPC in the 2011 polls, was registered by the Chairman of APC Registration Committee in Katsina State, Alhaji Bello Suleiman. His registration card’s number is 01000001KAT/ DAU.

Speaking shortly after his registration, Buhari urged all APC supporters to come out en masse and register. Those who accompanied Buhari included the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina State Chairman of APC Interim Management Committee, Alhaji Ahmad Musa Dangiwa, Senator Sadiq Yar ’Adua, among others. Reports state that APC membership registration in Katsina State commenced on Saturday, four days after it started nationwide.

Abuja Health Of Children: Physician Advises Parents ABUJA - Dr Deborah Ojo, a general medical practitioner, has advised parents to monitor the temperature of their children often, as it could be due to serious infection. Ojo told newsmen in Abuja that such infection needed prompt medical care. According to her, when an individual has fever, it is usually a sign that something abnormal is going on inside the body. “The case of children require urgent medical attention after careful observation by parents’’, she said. She described fever as a rise in the body temperature above the normal range of between 36.1 degree Celsius and 37.2 degree Celsius. The physician explained that the degree of fever did not necessarily indicate the

seriousness of the underlying condition. “A serious illness might cause a low fever while a minor illness might cause a high fever. “Parents always want to feel the temperature of the child through the use of hands. “Your hand is not a thermometer, use appropriate thermometer for children and ask or learn how to use one”, she said. The doctor identified some causes of fever as common infections, including malaria, common cold and flu, tuberculosis, pneumonia, most bacterial and viral infections. According to Ojo, some inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis, most skin abscess or boil, heat exhaustion and sometimes, some immunisation shots may also cause fever. She identified a rise or rising

body warmth and feeling of discomfort, which might be gradual or sudden, as ways of recognising fever. Ojo said that depending on the cause, associated symptoms might include chills or cold and shivering, sweating, loss of appetite, headache, muscle aches and pain. Others, she said, could be general body weakness, dehydration, high fever of over 40.1 degrees Celsius might cause hallucinations, confusion, irritability, and convulsions. The physician said that sometimes it was not possible to identify the cause of a fever lasting more than three weeks, called fever of unknown origin. She explained that one’s doctor might be able to find the cause after extensive evaluation. “Parents should see a doctor

when their babies and infants have fever, seem lethargic and unresponsive (weak, not alert or look drowsy). The doctor added that if high fever episodes were not well managed, it could lead to febrile convulsions in children less than five years. She, therefore, said that one should tepid sponge or put towel in tap water to mop a child with high fever, as this may avert convulsion. “Do not place any object like pepper, onions, herbal concoction, metal or wooden

spoon in your child’s mouth or try to stop the seizure, as most seizures will stop on their own. “Rather, clear objects that can injure them from the surrounding and make them lie down on their left side until it stops and immediately bring them to the hospital.’’ Ojo explained that the prevention of many illnesses that could cause fever revolved around personal and household hygiene. “Wash your hands with soap and water, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and

Fiscal Prudence: Commission

Seeks Media Support

ABUJA - The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has solicited the support of the News Agency

L-R: Commissioner of Police, Oyo State, Mr. Muhameed Indabawa; Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration), Mr. Adeoye Oyelola and Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone XI, Mr. David Omojola at a Zonal meeting with Political Party leaders from Oyo, Osun and Ondo States in Ibadan recently.

of Nigeria (NAN) and other media organisations in enthroning a regime of fiscal prudence in Nigeria. The Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr. Victor Muruako, made the call while featuring at the newsmen Forum in Abuja. Muruako identified mass ignorance about the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and the nonchalant attitude of Nigerians as the major obstacles to the fight against mismanagement of public funds in the country. He said: “That is why we want to engage the News Agency of Nigeria; we want to engage NTA; we want to engage all the media organisations to look at this fight to enthrone the new regime of fiscal prudence as a collective war. “It is not only the fight for the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, it should be a collective war that we should all put our heads together,” he said. According to him, many Nigerians, especially those at the grassroots, are ignorant of their responsibilities to

the years. He stressed the need for the government to see food as the right of the citizens and do everything possible to make it affordable and accessible to the public. “Improve accountability, reduce corruption and waste, we shall ensure food security without GM seeds,’’ Bassey stressed.

monitor budget implementation and project execution in their communities. He added that the situation was not the same in prosperous nations such as the Asian Tigers where public funds were judiciously managed under effective fiscal framework. The acting chairman, however, said that the commission had achieved a lot since it came into being in 2008 through public enlightenment and sensitisation of government at all levels. He said the Fiscal Responsibility Act had instilled some measure of prudence in the management of government resources, especially at the federal level. “With the coming into being of the Act and commission, the government’s debt limit is not being exceeded. “ I want to say this boldly, based on the effort of the commission and indeed the Act, the governmental debt portfolio has been under check. “That is why when I watch people talk about governmental efforts as if it’s all on the negative side, I say it is not true. “Government has done a lot; even the fact that government allowed this commission which is the standard practice anywhere now to operate and that government is conforming to the debt limit is a point. “Under the proposed budget 2014, the way it is framed is to ensure that government did not exceed the debt limit, that is one of the key achievements of the commission and of the Act.’’

awareness on human rights violation, adding that the role of communication in any society could not be undermined. He said it was important for all stakeholders, including the media to advance practical solutions that would help advance workable solutions to stop violation of human rights. “As the fourth parliament, you can make or mar people. Here is a mission, a worthy course that you must promote as journalists.

“Seek, search and tell the world where the rights of the people are being trampled upon. Tell us if we do it right, we get it right, if we do it wrong, we get it wrong,” he said. The Nollywood actor said as a human rights ambassador, he would not relent in sensitising the masses of their rights. He added that all Nigerians, irrespective of status and social background, deserved to be adequately protected.

Food Security: NGO Urges Nigeria

To Develop Infrastructures ABUJA - Caritas Nigeria, an NGO, said Nigeria needed to develop infrastructures to ensure food security and not Genetically Modified (GM) seeds. Rev. Fr. Everistus Bassey, the Executive Secretary, Caritas Nigeria, said this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja. Caritas Nigeria is an agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria saddled with the task to intervene in development and humanitarian issues. GM seeds are seeds which the genetic materials (DNA) have been deliberately altered by scientists with a view boosting yields and improving nutritional value. Bassey said that Nigeria was not yet ready for GM seeds. He said that the Catholic Church is a proponent of scientific development but will continue to insist on the dignity

of nature and creation. The executive secretary decried the high level of wastage resulting from inadequate storage facilities and poor road network, and urged the government to pay more attention to the development of infrastructures. “It is said ‘think global but act locally’; looking at this country, I do not think we are ripe for GM seeds. “If you travel round the country by road, you will see uncultivated land mass; we have not even exusted the land that exists. “May be in the future or in areas where there are no lands at all or diseased areas, that is where such development can come in. “The church is not against development; the concern of the church is the dignity of creation; that you have scientific knowledge does not mean you go

toil with natural order anyhow.’’ Bassey said the danger GM seeds lay in their ability to dominate other seeds and prevent them growing well even after the GM seeds had been harvested. According to him, the economic slavery envisaged by farmers in regard to GM seeds is genuine. “Nigerians should not just jump in to GM seeds because the West is saying it.’’ He, however, said the reasons being advanced in favour of GM seeds by its proponents seemed good but that Nigeria was not ready for it. The cleric recommended access to resources, market, introduction of social safety, employment, storage and processing facilities and good road network, to guarantee food for the nation. Meanwhile, Bassesy has

coughing, handle food with clean hands’’, she said. The doctor also advised that school authorities should put preventive measures in place and be mindful of the weather and temperature. According to Ojo, this will make them to know when to and when not to put on air conditioners or fans in the classes. “Properly immunise your child, eat a healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables, and get the proper amount of sleep’’, she advised.

called for the active participation of organisations and families in the 2014 International Family Farming Year programme declared by the UN. He blamed the hunger in Nigeria on bad governance over

Ambassador Tasks Journalists On Human Rights Enforcement Abuja - A Human Rights Ambassador, Emmanuel France, has called on journalists to intensify efforts to promote, protect and enforce human rights in their reportage. France, who is also a veteran actor, said as the fourth estate of the realm, the media have the power to expose human rights violations in the country through investigative journalism. He urged journalists to make proper use of the media to create

Business + Economy Commodity Prices Remain Stable

L-R: Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Femi Thomas; Governing Council member, Dr. Ngozi Azodo and Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Shem Zagbayi at the opening of NHIS Governing Council Retreat in Uyo recently.

LAGOS - Some commodity prices have remained largely stable with last week’s prices at some major markets in Lagos, Delta and Kano states, by our investigation. The price of a 100kg bag of drum beans, popularly called “Olotu,” still sold for N22,000 at the Mile 12 market in Lagos state, thus maintaining last week’s price. The paint bucket and kilogramme measurements of the beans were sold for N750 and N203, respectively. At Igbudu Market, Delta State and Dawanau Market, Kano State, 100kg of ‘Olotu’ was sold for N27,333 and N14,067 respectively. A 60kg white Garri bag was sold for N9,000 and N400 per paint bucket at the Mile 12 market, Lagos. In Dawanau market, Kano State, 60kg of white garri was sold to N6,000 last week, but is

Digital Technology Will Integrate SMEs Into Global Market - Expert LAGOS - Mr Adedamola Ajayi, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Business Initiative, Nigeria (YBI-N) has urged entrepreneurs to exploit digital technology to properly integrate small and medium enterprises into the global market. He told reporters in Lagos that businesses that failed to get digitally connected would soon be excluded from the global market. “Digital entrepreneurship embraces all new ventures and the transformation of existing businesses that drive economic and social values by creating and using novel digital technologies,” he said. Ajayi said that digital enterprises were characterised by high utilisation of novel digital technologies to improve business operations. “Digital technologies invent new business models, sharpen business intelligence and improve mode of engagement with customers and other stakeholders,” he told NAN. Ajayi said that utilisation of digital technology would help to create jobs and growth opportunities. “Entrepreneurs should accelerate the transformation of the business landscape through the development and smart use of digital technologies in order to increase growth and create employment opportunities,” he said. He urged stakeholders to come together and launch a set of actions to boost digital entrepreneurship in the country by fostering knowledge on digital entrepreneurship. “The impact of digital technology in the national business landscape will provide an in-depth analysis of major technological trends, new business paradigms and their potential implications on the economy,” he said. Ajayi said that relevant authorities should raise awareness through a nationwide information campaign for entrepreneurs and SMEs on the benefits of digital technologies. “The campaign should promote success stories, nationwide contests and prize/

award schemes to sensitise entrepreneurs to new business practices and opportunities. “Stakeholders must fully recognise the key role of digital technology in improving drastically the business

landscape in the country,” he said. The expert said that governments must aid entrepreneurs and SMEs to fully exploit the potential of information and communication

technology. “Governments should aid businesses and entrepreneurs in terms of supply of new digital products and services and in terms of demand and smart use of these technologies,” he said.

Exorbitant Electricity Billing

Nigerians Protest

LAGOS - A cross-section of Nigerians have appealed to the nation’s electricity generation and distribution companies to make energy consumption people-friendly. They said that their expectations after the unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) have been dashed following the subsisting “crazy bills and the fixed rate billing of electricity.” They made their appeals in separate interviews with newsmen during the National Conscience Party (NCP’s) rally/protest against the management of electricity providers in Lagos. Mr Friday Arinze, who resides at Iyana-Ipaja, decried the what he termed the exorbitant bills of the new energy providers. According to him, poor Nigerians who are in their millions, could not afford such electricity bills. “The bills that they are giving us now is too exorbitant; they should allow the power to be regular. “With the way they are going, the poor will not be able to live in this country, as the standard of living is becoming unbearable for the ordinary man,” he said. Mr Jeremiah Olaoye, a businessman, who lives in Ikeja, also bemoaned the absence electricity supply in his area since November, 2013. Olaoye described bills for electricity consumers as outrageous, adding that the categorisation of consumers was wrong. “We have not had light in my

area since November and at my shop, they bring us bills of about three thousand, five hundred Naira? “I am appealing to them to provide constant electricity and they also need to reduce the charges; it is unfair,” he said. Mrs Falilat Adeyemi, a businesswoman, urged the new investors in the nation’s energy sector to overhaul their billing system. “We want stable power supply because we burn fuel everyday, thereby wasting money unnecessarily,” she said. Mrs Helen Ogbonnaya, another resident of Mowe-Ibafo in Ogun State, said that electricity supply had gone from bad to worse since the new investors took over.

“Sincerely, I will tell you that the electricity situation has gone from bad to worse. We have not had electricity since late last year. “Power was a little bit stable before the new investors took over, but now, the situation has become very bad again,” she said. Ogbonnaya also urged the new investors to end “crazy bills and fixed charges” for those who are not using prepaid meters. “We want stable light because it is not easy to buy fuel; do you know how much my family spends on fuel? “It is not fair to us in the middle class, if the rich can afford it, we cannot afford such. They should have a re-think,” she said.

selling for N6,167 this week, recording a variance of N167. A measure of 100kg of maize (white) sold for N7,000, while a paint bucket measurement was sold for N300. Groundnut (edible) remained stable at N19,500 per 100kg bag and N750 for a paint bucket measurement. A 50kg bag of rice (imported) was N10,000 as at last week, while a paint bucket sold at N800. A 100kg bag of soya beans sold

at N10,000 at the Mile 12 market in Lagos, while it was sold for N8,133 at Dawanau market in Kano state. Sorghum (red) was sold at N9,000 per 100kg bag and N600 per paint bucket at the Mile 12 market in Lagos and N5,900 per 100kg at Dawanau market in Kano State. Onion (violet) 100kg was sold for N11,000 and 2kg for N400 in Lagos. Also in Lagos, palm oil was sold at N6,650 for 25 litres, while a bottle sold for N230.

NSE Trades 273.137m Stocks Worth N3.18b LAGOS - Investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday traded 273.137 million shares worth N3.18 billion in 5,065 deals. Reports state that this was against the 261.840 million shares valued at N2.71 billion traded in 4,700 deals. The All-Share Index appreciated by 7.34 points or 0.02 per cent to close at 40,773.50 from the 40,766.16 recorded on Thursday. The Market Capitalisation, which opened at N13.067 trillion, grew by N3 billion or 0.02 per cent to close at N13.070 trillion. Reports state that UACN and Dangote Cement topped the price gainers’ chart with N2 each to close at N69 and N240 per share respectively. OkomuOil trailed with N1.45 to close at N42.45 per share, ConOil gained 98k to close at N50.98, while Presco appreciated by 37k to close at N43.99 per share. On the other hand, Nigerian Breweries led the losers’ table by 93k to close at N154 per share. Oando followed with a loss of 88k to close at N21.83, while Zenith Bank shed 77k to close at N22.23 per share. Ashaka Cement dipped by 37k to close at N19.11, while Access Bank depreciated by 29k to close at N8.79 per share. The financial services sector remained the investors’ delight as Diamond Bank emerged the most traded stock, accounting

L-R: Immediate Past Attorney-General of Edo State, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana; Chief Executive Officer, Arise Consultancy Service Limited, Prof. Assisi Asobie; and Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana at the celebrating of lives and times of Festus Iyayi and Baba Omojola, Foremost Revolutionaries and Pan-Afrcanists in Abuja recently.

for 26.79 million shares valued at N183.23 million in 68 deals. Zenith Bank followed with 22.69 million shares worth N508.02 million traded by investors in 377 deals, while FBN Holdings traded 20.47 million shares worth N294.34 million in 555 deals.

Materials Hike Cost Of Art Works - Artist

LAGOS - A Lagos-based artist, Mr John Egwuatu, has said that sculptures and art works were costly due to the expensive materials used in producing them. Egwuatu told newsmen in Lagos that arts, especially sculptures, were very tedious to build and gathering materials to do them was very cumbersome. “It takes about a month to three months to do an art work, unlike painting that can take about a week or two weeks to do. “When an art work is finished; it is not something you can just sell off. “It can stay for a long time, up till a year, before it is sold and as the art works stays, you have bills pilling up. “So what you priced after we finished it either goes up or comes down because we want to sell and take care of our immediate needs. “You have a family to take care of, so it beholds on you to choose if your family suffers or you hold on to your prized possession,” he said. Egwuatu, however, said that arts and sculptures could appreciate over time, depending on the circumstance. “An art work or sculpture can go from N200, 000 to N1 million, as the case may be. “There are different kinds of art works and sculptures that people can easily acquire, depending on what one wants,” he said. According to him, the common man does not know the value of the arts, so they do not generally appreciate art works. “It is the rich that seem to know the value of the arts and acquire them; for them, it is also an investment,” he added.

Event The Healing Water Conference At Christ’s Chosen Church Of God Int’l, Benin: The Frills And Thrills BENIN City, the Edo State capital, once again, like the days of the legendary Archbishop Benson Idahosa; Gospel Defender Extra Ordinaire (GDE), witnessed the unusual on the 18th Day of January, 2014 when Christ’s Chosen Church of God (CCCG) Int’l held her Annual International Healing Water Conference. On that day, Most Shops, Commercial and Private, run by women as well as their male folks were virtually empty. Benin Residents trooped and poured out to CCCG. At the event, the programme wore the colours of a feast/festival. The biblical story of the Pool of Bethesda in John 5:1-19, was fully re-enacted, and there was no doubt that the power of God to heal, bless and deliver from the oppression of the devil was present everywhere. God came down; His Stars shone brightly. Miracles broke out, Healing came. And the people were glad! The Healing Water Conference of Christ Chosen Church of God was a significant part of the 2014 International Annual Conference of the church which had as its theme: “Beauty For Ashes”. The entire week-long programme spanned from January 13th to 20th, 2014 with great teachings delivered by Apostles and Pastors of the church. However, it was quite evident that a great number of people particularly looked forward to the Healing Water Conference where diverse healings, like the days of Jesus Christ at the Pool of Bethesda, took place. At the Healing Water Conference, a great multitude of important, yet, impotent folks, the blind, the lame, halt, withered, the barren, deaf and dumb and several other cases of those with all manner of sicknesses and diseases came to be healed, as was the case at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. The venue of the Healing Water Conference was filled to its bream, and there was overflow. Worshippers in their thousands stormed the venue, from different religious backgrounds, to be made whole. And many went home rejoicing. Delivering his address to

prepare the souls for their healing, the General Overseer/Chairman, Church Council, Most Senior Apostle (Dr) Joshua E.E.O. Osasuyi (JP), MFR, remarked that the 2014 annual conference was that of promotion, elevation and healing. “I announce in the name of the Lord that effect from now, promotion and healing are going to touch your life and every part of your endeavour. You will begin to encounter surprises that will put smiles on your faces”, he said, and the great multitude yelled thunderous “Amen”. Continuing, the man of God said, “It might interest you to hear that, first in the history of the church, 17 Appointed Apostles are going to be ordained and inducted into the office of ordained Apostles, 29 ordained Pastors are going to be elevated Appointed Apostles, 70 Appointed Pastors are going to be ordained Staff Pastors”. “The purpose of the promotion”, he stressed, “is to give incentive to the ministers and thereby spur them up to higher productivity. It is also targeted at enhancing and facilitating administration of the gospel”. Undoubtedly, this set the tone for the Healing Water Conference. The bible records in the book of John 5:1-11, that a Pool of water existed in Jerusalem for healing impotent or sick people. During a feast of the Jews when Jesus went up to Jerusalem, he called at the Pool to minister healing to the needy. The healing water at Jerusalem was noted for certain things: “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market, a pool which is called in the Hebrew tongues Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever, then first after the troubling of the water, stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had”. (John 5:2-4) The bible further records that it was at this pool of Bethesda that a certain man laid for 38 yrs with infirmity. The bible calls him, “the

By TUNDE EIGBIREMOLEN impotent man” (V.7) whom Jesus healed and thereafter instructed, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk”. In the manner of the healing which Jesus Christ wrought at the Pool of Bethesda, the entire Christ’s

when the twin-faced conference of the church witnessed the administration of healing water and the elevation of some church workers. The servant of God, popularly called by his

healing available, took time to prepare the minds of those who needed healing using the word of God. In his exhortation titled, “Good Health Is Your Right,” Most Snr. Apostle Osasuyi distinguished those entitled to Divine healing from those not qualified, saying, while group

Most Snr. Apostle (Dr.) Joshua E.E. Osasuyi, General Overseer/ Chairman, Church Council, Christ Chosen Church of God Int’l Chosen Church of God Int’l Central Cathedral Complex Km 8, Benin - Agbor Road, Ohovbe Quarters, Benin City was electrified and agog on the 18 th of January 2014,

church members, “The Joshua of Our time”, Most Snr. Apostle (Dr.) Joshua E.E. Osasuyi, before the administration of the Healing Water which indeed made

one children of God and those genuinely born again and profess Christ unashamedly, and this is made up of Sons of God; the second group, not qualified is made of human dogs; those whose lifestyle

oppose and corrupt the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who rebel in blackmailing men of God and giving Church, Bad name! He explained that God’s children by sonship rights are entitled to faith healing or divine healing without recourse to drugs or any other form of therapy. The reliability of faith healing is that it takes care of all manner of diseases including the dreaded HIV/AIDS and other dangerous diseases. Faith in God’s word is acting in Divine Wisdom which the world cannot give, but is given freely from the Father of Light and Spirit (I Jn. 2:27). Osasuyi also harped on God’s promise to heal, relying on bible book of Exodus 15:26 where God declares “I am the LORD that healeth thee”. He further gave several examples of those who received faith healing in the bible, to include the Syrian army Captain healed of leprosy, Jarius daughter, and healing of the adult who was born lame by Peter and John in the book of Acts. The man of God equally taught how Healing can be received and retained through faith, reiterating that good health is the right of God’s Children “not sons of perdition or worldly persons who dance “Owanbe” or Juju music about. At the end of the ministration of the Healing water, it was indeed, healing galore, and many went home happy. But most importantly, even after the ministration, as folks, once impotent went about their business; testimonies broke out! The much desired healing by those in need sprang forth, and herein lies the beauty of the Healing Water Conference. The feast of, and atOur own pool of Bethesda! All in Benin City.

“At the event, the programme wore the colours of a feast/festival. The biblical story of the Pool of Bethesda in John 5:1-19, was fully re-enacted, and there was no doubt that the power of God to heal, bless and deliver from the oppression of the devil was present everywhere. God came down; His Stars shone brightly. Miracles broke out, Healing came. And the people were glad!”

OBVIOUSLY, Journalism practice is getting tougher by the day. Media practitioners the world over now have varying degrees of occupational hazards to contend with on a daily basis. In the course of their duties, they sometimes get attacked, bombed, maimed, unlawfully incarcerated, shot or killed outrightly. THE recent killing of the Chairman of the Ondo State Council of NUJ and his family members through autocrash, and several other cases of journalists who have died in the line of duty is a case in point. INDEED, at the moment, there is a growing concern over the utter neglect and renewed terror attacks specifically targeted at the Media. No doubt, the media appear to be the least protected whose practitioners are either not covered by any insurance policy or are in most cases, not considered in terms of Budgetary allocation or provision by the state, where the other arms of government, namely the legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary are adequately captured and catered for by the annual budget. TO guarantee the future of the media, and ensure the continued relevance of media practitioners in Nigeria, there is the imperative need not only to approve specialised and consolidated salary scale for journalists but also to heavily invest in human capital development in the industry. Also we recommend that there be a template for a safe, secure and inherently risk mitigating working environment, verged on a definite and clear-cut Insurance Policy which must spell out a specialized salary scale for media workers. THE reason for the above recommendation is not farfetched: Available statistics have shown that rather than attract more patronage from diverse interest groups, these days, the media, as the Fourth Estate of the Realm and market place of diverse public opinion, have attracted more terror, danger and unmitigated risk. INFACT, figures at the disposal of The NIGERIAN OBSERVER have revealed a startling terror attacks against the media. For instance, in 2010, some 97 Journalists reportedly lost their lives to terrorism in the world. The following year, (2011), the figure grew to 106. WITHIN the first quarter of 2013, 44 Journalists reportedly lost their lives around the World. In Jos, Nigeria alone, 7 Journalists were killed within the period under review.


Still On Specialised Salary Scale For Media Workers IN Edo State, within a space of two weeks, in April, 2012 the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) painfully and unavoidably lost five of its members to terror, assassination and autocrash in the line of duty. First, around mid April, a cameraman with the Independent Television (ITV) Benin, Comrade Chuks Ogu, was brutally murdered in Benin City by unknown and yet-to-be identified gunmen. On April 28, 2012, three Journalists in the convoy of Edo State governor met their untimely death, and were killed in the accident involving the governor’s entourage in Edo North. A week after, the crime reporter of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Bronze Fm, Benin, was equally murdered in cold blood along Dawson road in Benin City, the Edo State capital. AS at May 3, 2012, according to the available statistics, Syria, due to the War within, led the pack with 9 lives of Journalists killed, closely followed by Brazil with five Journalists lost. Somalia under Jihadist terror stood third with three lives, while India, Bolivia and Nigeria have officially recorded two deaths each from terror attacks alone, if the trend continues, the figures for this year would be a startling 130 deaths of Journalists in the course of duty, and experts say the figure is an increase of 50 percent over the corresponding period of last year. WHEN one Juxtaposes the scenario above with the grueling situation in Edo State, particularly before the guber poll, wherein the Director, State Security Services (SSS), Bello Bakore-Tukur met with media practitioners to brainstorm and caution them on the security challenges incumbent on their job, it becomes glaring that the call on Media Houses to upgrade their own security outfits is such that must be taken seriously in

addition to putting in place, the enabling Insurance policy that will enable practitioners perform their duties without sorrow. AT least, no one needs to be told that the colossal damage done to lives and infrastructure when the menacing religious sect, Boko Haram, attacked This Day, The Sun and Moment Newspapers in the wake of the serial bomb blasts on these media organisations in Kaduna and Abuja, revealed so much of the hazards now prevalent in the Journalism Profession. AGAINST the background of the growing insecure and hostile environment in which they work, journalists in Plateau State in the heat of terror in 2012 declared a “strike� and threatened not to cover government activities in Plateau State, until such a time that the situation would improve. Also, in the African Republic of Mali Journalists declared a strike and threatened to down tools to protest the hardship and insecurity attendant on their jobs. This, to say the least, is not only pathetic but sad. BASED on the recent sad occurrences in the media industry around the world, the national President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Malam Mohammed Garb a, recently appealed passionately to state and federal governments and private media organisations to urgently begin to implement the 22 per cent weigh in allowance for journalists in the country. He also stressed the need for all Journalists to buy into the proposed Insurance scheme by the NUJ. The need for these welfare packages, geared towards mitigating the impact of the hazards of the profession can never be over emphasized. IN the reasoning of the NUJ President, the Insurance scheme will now be made compulsory for every Journalist, as whoever is to register as a member must subscribe to the scheme because of its security implications. The NIGERIAN OBSERVER, however, wishes to add that media organisations, must take the lead to get their workers Insured and secured. The salaries and allowances of their workers should be worked out in such a way as to cater for their insurance and security as well as those of their dependants. This is the only Pedestal on which Journalism profession can thrive. This way, the media will become strengthened and reinvigorated to discharge their duties creditably and satisfactorily as the true watchdog of the society.

Law The Position Of A Secretary

UNTIL 1971, the status of the secretary in a company was regarded as a mere servant whose functions were only clerical and ministerial. His duties were of a limited and somewhat humble character. Lord Esher said in Barsnett, Hoares and Co v. South London Transway Co: “A secretary is a mere servant; his position is that he is to do what he is told to do and no person can assume that he has any authority to represent anything at all” ‘ It was, thus held, in that case, as stated by Oshio, that a secretary has no ostensible authority in the absence of any actual authority to bind his company. This was the position in company law, until 1971 when modem view was tormented in the case of Panorama Development (Guildford) Ltd v Fidelis Furnishing Fabrics Ltd, where the question was the ostensible authority of a secretary. It was contended that the position of the secretary still remained as stated above by Lord Oshio in South London Tramsway case supra, but lord Denning in judgment referred to that statement of the law and said; “But times have changed. A company secretary is a much more important person nowadays than he was in 1997. He is an officer of the company with extensive duties and responsibilities. This appears not only in modern companies Act, but also by the role which he plays in the day to day business of companies. He is no longer a mere clerk. He regularly makes representations on behalf of the company and enters into contracts on behalf of which come within the day running of the company. He is certainly entitled to sign contracts connected with the administrative side and so forth. All such matters now come within the ostensible authority of a company’s secretary”. Salmon, L.J in the same case observed; inter alia. “At the end of the last century, a company secretary still occupied a very humble position very little higher if any, than a minor clerk. Today, not only has the status of a company secretary been enhanced, but that state of affairs has been recognized, but that state of affairs has been recognized by statute…” Professor Gower observed that the secretary has also graduated as an organ of the company. Though appointed as an organ of the company. Though appointed by the directors, he is not their servant but an officer of the company with substantial authority in the administrative sphere and with powers and duties derived directly from the articles and the Companies Acts. Gower opined that in the performance of his statutory duties, he is clearly entitled to resist interference from the members, Board of Directors, or Managing Director. However, the Secretary differs from them in that he has no responsibility for corporate policy or for making managerial decisions as

opposed to playing an administrative role in ensuring that the policy and managerial decisions are implemented. The courts in Nigeria have generally followed the same approach and have declared a company secretary as a ‘principal officer’ of the company. This was stated in the case of Okeowo v Mighior likewise, in the case of Wimpey Ltd V Balogun, where the question was whether service of a process on a clerk secretary employee instead of the company secretary was valid, the Court of Appeal held that the service was ‘bad’ and that “a company secretary is indeed a high ranking officer in the company set up, and is indeed part of the Management of the Company:. The Company Secretary has also been described as the administrative officer’ of the company and as officer of the company with important duties and responsibilities.’ DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY The duties of a company secretary were not fixed by statutes as observed by Aniagolu, JSC in Okeowo v. Migliore. The Act, however has made both specific and general duties for secretaries. Section 298(1) provides that; the duties of a company secretary include; (a) Attending the meeting of the company, the Board of Directors and its committees, rendering all necessary secretarial services in respect of the meeting with the applicable rules and regulations; (b) Maintaining the registers and other records required to be maintained by the company under the Act; (c) Rendering proper returns and giving notifications to the commission as required under the Act; and (d) Carrying out such administrative and other secretarial duties as directed by the directors or the company. The above duties are in addiction to any specific duties which he is required to perform under the act, such as the signing to perform under the Act, such as the signing of annual return and verifying the statement submitted to official receiver. EmioIa drew our attention to the fact that although the companies Act shop of designating a secretary as an organ of the company, section 297 of the enactment, more than confirms that he might be capable of “acting as the company’s agent” and for that purpose, he owes such fiduciary duties as are owed by agents, in his type of position. It means he cannot make secret profits or allow his personal interest to conflict with his duties. Gone are the days when anybody without professional qualification can be appointed to do the job of a secretary of a company. Chief Nollah Edun write: “We are now in the era in which company’s secretaries are usually among the most respected and the most highly paid office of their companies and their appointment to such

By IKHUENBOR VIKRAM OSARUMEN high offices presupposes the possession of certain basic qualification and experience. Conception of a secretary’s role as that of a mere clerk or servant now clearly borders on heresy.” The new law has boosted the image of the secretaries institutionally. It gave statutory recognition and backing to the institute if chattered secretaries and administrators in participating in corporate affairs in the country. Not only can’t that, in practice, the duties of a secretary be easily fixed by law. They vary from company to company with the size and nature of the company, its

of a company secretary will vary from company to company depending on the organizational structure and the nature of operations of the company. In general terms, a company secretary will be responsible for general administration including planning and control through the formation and maintenance of established systems, procedures and practices. The fiduciary duty is very important. In Aberdeen RLY V. Blaike, Lard Cranwarth observed: “A corporate body can only act by agents, and it’s of course, the duty of those agents

method of operations, volume of business being undertaken and the terms of the arrangement with the secretary and the provision of the Articles of Association. The duties of a secretary in actual day to day corporate administration often exceeds those contemplated by the CAMA as same company, secretaries combine their secretarial duties with other full time and influential assignment in the company. Such assignments may include being the company s legal adviser, financial adviser or even a director. According to Chief Nollah Edun. The statutory responsibilities

sot to act as best to promote the interest of the corporation whose affairs thus are conducting... Corporate Registrar This is a position just carried out of the function of the company secretary as contained in Sec. 298(1) (b) of CAMA thus; “Maintaining the registers and other records required to be maintained by the company under the Act” Invariably that means the issues of shares and share holdings dividends, bonus shares, premiums and initial public offer, debentures etc shall be core responsibility of the corporate registrar,

including the duty to report these activities to the corporate affairs of CAMA. Qualifications and Appointment The position of Company Secretary evolved with company practice and is now established by law. The appointment of a Company Secretary became mandatory for the first time in Nigeria, through the instrumentality of Section 169 of the Companies Act of 1968. However, company practice in Nigeria today is regulated by the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004 (CAMA). This Act expressly provides in Section 293(1) that “every company shall have a secretary . The Secretary is a high-ranking officer of the company and is part of the management. CAMA

also provides for the duties of a Company Secretary as well as the requisite qualifications for appointment. Qualifications Section 295 of CAMA makes it the duty of the directors to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the Secretary is a person who possesses requisite knowledge and experience to discharge the functions of a Secretary of a company. This means that there are no specified qualifications required of a Secretary of a private company. The judgment of the directors is the determinant. In view of the need t o safeguard the interest of the investing public, section 295

“The position of Company Secretary evolved with company practice and is now established by law. The appointment of a Company Secretary became mandatory for the first time in Nigeria, through the instrumentality of Section 169 of the Companies Act of 1968. However, company practice in Nigeria today is regulated by the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004 (CAMA).”

of CAMA that the Secretary of a public company must have one of the specified qualifications. Under the aforesaid section, the Secretary of a public company must be any of the following: (a) A member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators; or (b) A Legal Practitioner within the meaning of the Legal Practitioners Act 1975; or (c) A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria or of such other bodies of Chartered Accountants as are approved from time to time by an Act or Decree; or (d) Any person who has held the office of a Secretary of a public company for at least three years of the five years immediately preceding his appointment; or (e) A body corporate or firm consisting qualified persons under paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d). Appointment As a general rule every company must have a secretary. Sec 293. Under section 296(1) of CAMA, the directors appoint the Secretary and the Articles may provide for his term of office and the conditions of his appointment subject to the act. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION In this assignment, appointment, duties and removal of the company secretary, as well as the corporate registrar, we have outlined all the relevant materials, most especially company and Allied Matters Act. (CAMA). What is however not yet quite explicit in the function of the corporate registrar is the ban going on in other countries before. We have however outlined this as part of the duties of the company secretary under the former arrangement. Sec. 289(1)(b). The earnest worrisome aspect of this is the appointment and removal of the company Sec. as stated in Section 296(1) (2) of C.A.M.A. It is significant to note that the company secretary is just as important as the directors. From the formation of the company to the functioning and binding-up this position is a sine qua non, have it is not one that should be subject to the whims and caprices of the directors. Moreover, the position is one of a statutory flavor which must be given such procedural arrangement for the appointment and removal of the company secretary. Therefore, we submit as follows: . a) The company secretary should be appointed as the Annual General Meeting or a special General Meeting for that purpose of appointment of the Directors and company secretary; on the recommendation of the promoters. b) Similarly, where there is such exigency, the removal of the company secretary should be done by the A.G.M. or a special General meeting covered for that purpose and as a special resolution c) As stated above, this position is a statutory one; hence the tenure should be given a specific tenure.

Health Tackling The Menace of Cancer MRS Ene Adoda, a resident of Abuja, narrated a story of how her mother died of cervical cancer after managing the disease for more than two years at various hospitals. “As a girl, I watched my mother suffer from constant illnesses and the psychological trauma of being alone. “She was left to cater for us because she was not living with our father for personal reasons, and this compelled her to engage in odd jobs so as to train me and my five siblings. “She was diagnosed of cervical cancer and the development marked her deteriorating health condition; she died at the age 47 when I was still a little girl,’’ she recalled. Adoda’s experience aptly typifies the plight of many others, as health experts note that cancer has negatively affected the lives of several people via death of relations, particularly parents or guardians. The experts observe that the situation is more problematic as investigations reveal that cancer has more than 100 types. They also cite a report of the International Agency for Research on Cancer which indicates that there will be 21 million new cases of cancer across the world every year. The reports also states that than13 million deaths from cancer will be recorded by 2030. All the same, Dr Festus Igbinoba, an oncologist with the National Hospital, Abuja, said: “Most cancers are named after the organ or type of cell which they infect. “For instance, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer and cancer cells spread to other parts of the body via the blood and lymph systems.’’ Experts, therefore, call

for a pragmatic approach to deal with cancer via effective disease control, prevention and management methods. Citing the effects of cancer, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, a breast cancer survivor and the Founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, said that no fewer than 80,000 cancer deaths occurred in Nigeria yearly. “In Nigeria, the commonest cancers in women are breast and cervical cancers, while prostate cancer is the commonest in men. However, liver and colorectal cancers are common in both sexes. “Cervical cancer is preventable; yet, it kills one Nigerian woman every hour; we need to start preaching disease prevention methods as the only way of taming this monster,’’ AnyanwuAkeredolu said. Sharing similar sentiments, Dr Celsius Undie, an Abuja-based medical consultant, said that prostate cancer could be controlled or prevented if its symptoms were detected early enough. He called for the introduction of a comprehensive cancer screening programme in the country, insisting that deaths arising from prostate cancer would be reduced significantly via such programmes. The good news is that modern cancer treatment facilities now exist in the country. Prof. Temitope Alonge, the Chief Medical Director of University College Hospital, Ibadan, said that the hospital had recently installed a machine for the treatment of cancer. “We looked at the causes of death in the hospital and found that one of the major causes is cancer; that is why we brought this machine.

By TOSIN KOLADE “The simulator detects the tumour, while the machine which is called Colbat-60 works through radiation and eliminates the disease; if there is steady electricity, close to 50 patients can be treated within a short time. “Nigerians should learn to always come for checkups quickly

preservatives, was one of the risk factors. According to him, processed foods, particularly canned foods, which contain chemicals and additives to prolong their shelf lives, can predispose people to cancer. He also warned that saturated fats from red

Prof. Chukwu Onyebuchi, Minister of Health

whenever they detect any tumour in any part of their bodies,’’ he said. But questions are always asked about the factors that predispose people to cancer. Prof. Ibrahim Katibi, an expert in cardiovascular diseases at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, said that eating processed foods, which contained additives and

meat, including hamburger and fat dairy products, were linked with cancers. Katibi called for the establishment of a national cancer institute to promote research and training in cancer. Dr Femi Olaleye, the Medical Director, Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, said that high level of testosterone (male hormone) in black men

exposed them to higher risks of contracting prostate cancer. He explained that prostate cancer was a cancer which developed in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. “Being a black person increases one’s risks of contracting prostate cancer, not only black communities in Africa, even those in UK and the U.S. “There is higher incidence of prostate cancer in black men, compared to white men, and prostate cancer affects only men. “The common risk factor is genetics; if your father had prostate cancer, there is a five-per-cent to 10-percent likelihood that you could have it. “Smoking is another risk factor; so if you are a smoker, your risk is almost 1.5 per-cent increased; taking alcohol in excess, obesity and sedentary lifestyle also increase the risk of contracting prostate cancer,’’ he noted. Olaleye said that prostate cancer occurred more commonly among black men, as they matured in age, particularly if they were above 45 years old. He noted that prostate cancer often went undiagnosed because most men tended to ignore its symptoms such as excessive or frequent urination, adding that in most cases, the manifestation of prostate cancer was somewhat slow. Olaleye said that the cancer could progress to a point of painful urination and erectile dysfunction if

it was not treated on time. He urged the Federal Government to work towards increasing the public awareness on prostate cancer by mobilising the citizens to undergo cancer screening so as to curb unnecessary deaths from prostate cancer. Echoing Olaleye’s views, Mrs Irene Audu, the President of Nigerian Cancer Initiative, said that cancer patients in Nigeria needed adequate care. “However, machine breakdown is a common problem; treatment is also unaffordable for cancer patients. Besides, some patients, who are diagnosed, do not receive treatment because of the cost,’’ she said. Using breast cancer treatment as reference, Audu said that the treatment was quite expensive “because of breast scan, mammogram, biopsy and other tests, which could cost about N67, 000. “At the treatment level, an average surgery costs between N50, 000 and N150, 000, while chemotherapy is between N90, 000 and N500, 000. “The minimum cost of radiotherapy in Nigeria is N100, 000 and anti estrogen treatment is between N2, 500 and N18,000 per month; and the patient is supposed to be on the therapy for five years,’’ Audu said Health experts, nonetheless, insist that cancer cases are on the increase and warn that they will continue to rise unless adequate steps are taken to ensure cancer prevention, care and management.

“In Nigeria, the commonest cancers in women are breast and cervical cancers, while prostate cancer is the commonest in men. However, liver and colorectal cancers are common in both sexes.”


Using ICT To Boost Administration Of Justice By AHMED UBANDOMA

DELAY in the administration of justice in Nigeria is sometimes blamed on the judiciary. These delays, experts say, could be attributed to the “refusal’’ of the judiciary to key into the modern trend, as judicial officers continue to record proceedings manually. Cases are also filed manually, instead of electronic filing, which is cheaper and faster. They believe that if the judiciary embraces Information Communication Technology (ICT), it will quicken dispensation of justice. However, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), said the judiciary could not continue to live in the past. “The judiciary cannot operate with old models when everything around it, like the economy, education

has radically transformed in the light of current technological realities. He said that the 21st Century Nigerian judges needed capacity building, not just in the area of law and procedure, but also in other areas to enable them to function properly. “They must also be wellgrounded in management skills to manage their court dockets, to manage their supporting staff and perhaps, of equal importance, to manage counsel and litigants/witnesses who come to their courts.” Musdapher, who launched the first-ever Nigerian Judiciary Information Technology Policy Document for the computerisation of all facets of the judiciary in the country, said that the judiciary must embrace ICT. The former CJN, who spoke at the 2013 Nigerian

THE new fashion trend is very sad and appalling as nudity is the order of the day. This goes especially to the women folks. This can be seen by the way some of them wear their dresses by go half naked while others go completely naked. One would wonder if the materials use for making these dresses were not enough? Through ladies fashion sense men are now sexually harassed considering the way young ladies flaunt their sensitive part in public in the name of fashion. The most painful part of this nudity form of fashion trend is that mothers or should we say the older ladies who are suppose to kick against it are into it more than the younger ladies. It is now very difficult to differiante between a mother and a child because what the daughter is wearing is the same thing the mother is wearing unlike those days when it was easier to differiante a mother with the blouse and wrapper they wear while the young ladies are seen with skimpy dresses with which to call suitors to themselves. The excuses most of these women give is that they want to look sexy for their husband so the younger ladies won’t take them away from them, so they dress like them exposing the folded, old looking laps and fallen breast. It has been recorded that women are the most affected when it comes to sexually harassment. This is so because these women are the first to harass and embrass the men folk sexually by arousing the man in them by what they wear. The question on every one’s lip is where is the pride of a

Judges Conference, said: “The time has come for courts in the country to embrace Information Technology so as to reduce the chronic delay of justice delivery. “Various challenges exist and they prevent us from reaching this our vision of

administration of justice”. Musdapher had earlier directed the National Judicial Institute (NJI), to make it mandatory for judicial officers to undergo ICT training to enable the officers to overcome the contemporary challenges.

Mohammed Yayajo, an Upper Area Court Judge in Bajoga, Gombe State, said using modern methods in recording court proceedings would quicken dispensation of justice. “I am certainly appreciative because it will help us in our proceedings, in terms of quick dispensation of justice,” he said. Another participant, Magistrate Regina Basi of

“Musdapher, who launched the first-ever Nigerian Judiciary Information Technology Policy Document for the computerisation of all facets of the judiciary in the country, said that the judiciary must embrace ICT. The former CJN, who spoke at the 2013 Nigerian Judges Conference, said:” having justice system that is simple, fast and efficient. “Primary amongst these challenges is the sustained use of out-of-date paperbased systems and processes which delay the

A cross-section of participants at the Conference of All Nigeria Judges of Lower Courts, also stressed the need to use ICT to quicken dispensation of justice.

Yahei Magistrates‘ Court in Cross River, also said that application of ICT would go a long way in assisting judges in adjudication. On her part, Chief Magistrate Tessi Ansa-

Agho from Calabar, Cross River, said the ICT reform in the judiciary would boost administration of justice. “Personally, I have keyed into it and most of the times if I have judgment or ruling to deliver, I will just type in the topic, pick out what I want and I keep on updating it. “That is how it is supposed to be and it will make justice dispensation easier, quicker, faster, enjoyable and convenient,” she said. Stakeholders want the judiciary across the country to promote the use of ICT. They also want chief judges to emulate the former FCT Chief Judge, Justice Lawal Gumi, who established e-filing of court cases. Under the system, court officials, litigants and lawyers could access or file cases from anywhere and at anytime. The world now is a global village, while ICT has come to stay. The judiciary must embrace modern technology in order to boost quick dispensation of justice and decongestion of the courts.

Is Nudity A Fashion Trend? By IFUNANYA ONGEKAOZURU

“It is now very difficult to differiante between a mother and a child because what the daughter is wearing is the same thing the mother is wearing unlike those days when it was easier to differiante a mother with the blouse and wrapper they wear while the young ladies are seen with skimpy dresses with which to call suitors to themselves. The excuses most of these women give is that they want to look sexy for their husband so the younger ladies won’t take them away from them, so they dress like them exposing the folded, old looking laps and fallen breast.”

woman? Why is it that what should be tridden is now exposed to the public? Every where you go now and every party you attend you see these women in their new fashion trend. Many of then can’t bend dawn because they don’t want to expose what has been exposed. They wear dresses that expose their laps. They wear low waist trousers so as to show off the good portion of the butt. Some even do not wear under wears again so that the shape of their butt is shown. They show off their shoulder dawn to their breast also Before, women wear bra to cover home good portion of their breast but now they are going braless covering only the nipples of their breast and exposing the other part. This is what they now call fashion. If you do not expose one of your numerous sensitive parts, you are old school or in the jewish world as they call it. It is really sad! Looking at this present generation and their fashion trend one would wonder what the next generation would look like since it has been prospered that many thing we are seeing now we may not see them again maybe clothings too won’t be in existence again maybe everyone would go naked. Time has come for auntys and mommys and auntys to start teaching their young girls how to dress decently because it is the way they are dressed that is how they will be addressed parents should try not to let their children wear all what they see especially on the television screen. Also Hollywood, nollywood, music artistic and television stars are not helping issue. One may be right to say that they are the one’s encouraging this indecent and discriminating dresses. This can be seen on the red carpet show, out of 100% of these television star 99.9 percent are guilty of his new nudity fashion trend. Decent dressing matters a lot to a woman. Even the holy book says in I Timothy 2:9 “in like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel …….” for a woman to be respected by all she need to be modest and decent in all things, as a saying goes “good attract good bad attract bad.” If you dress decently, decent men would come to you and if you dress badly the bad one’s would come to you. Pleases women should dress well at all times.

Footprints GENGHIS Khan (11671227), was the great Mongol military general and strategist who conquered and founded the mighty Mongol Empire, which had stretched across the Asian continent at the time of his death. Originally named Temujin, he was born on the banks of the Onon River, near the present-day border between northern Mongolia and southeastern Russia. Native folklore is the only source for details about his ancestry, birth, and early life, and thus the facts are intermingled with purely legendary material. His line of descent is traced back, through many generations, to the mythical union of a gray wolf and a white doe. The newborn infant is said to have held in his hand a large clot of blood, thus presaging the future career of the world conqueror. GK’s father, Yesugei, was a local tribal chief and nephew of the former khan (ruler) of the Mongol tribe. The Mongols had long played the leading role in eastern Mongolia but had lost their supremacy and sunk into comparative insignificance after their defeat in 1161 by a rival tribe, the Tatar, in alliance with the Jin (Chin) rulers of North China. (The name Tatar, or Tartar, was later used by Europeans to refer to the Mongol invaders of Europe in general.) Yesugei named his son Temujin after a Tatar chieftain whom he had taken as prisoner at the

time of the child’s birth. When Temujin was nine years old his father took him on a journey into the extreme east of Mongolia to find him a bride among his mother’s people, the Konkirat. Temujin was betrothed to ten-year old Borte, daughter of the chieftain, and left, according to custom, to be brought up in the tent of his future father-in-law. Yesugei was traveling home when he fell in with a party of Tatars who invited him to share in their feast. However, they then recognized their old enemy and poisoned his food. Yesugei survived only long enough to reach his own encampment and send one of his men to fetch Temujin home again to succeed him as chieftain. After his death, Yesugei’s wife and young children were deserted by his followers under the influence of the Taichi’ut, a clan whose leaders aspired to take the dead chieftain’s place. The widow attempted to rally the tribe to her but was unsuccessful. Soon the family was left to fend for itself. When Temujin had grown into a young man, his encampment was attacked by the Taichi’ut. He escaped into the forest but was finally captured. The Taichi’ut spared his life but kept him as a prisoner with a wooden collar around his neck. One night, when the group was feasting on the banks of the Onon, Temujin

eluded his captors and hid, almost completely submerged in the river. He was detected by a member of the party, who, however, befriended him and persuaded the Taichi’ut to hold up the search for their prisoner until daylight. In the meantime, Temujin made his way to the tent of his benefactor, who concealed him from a search party and then provided him with the means of escape. Shortly afterward, Temujin visited the Konkirat to claim his bride, Borte. As a dowry, he was given a black sable coat, which was to prove the foundation of his fortune. He decided to present it to Toghril, later known as Ong-Khan, the powerful ruler of the Kereit, a tribe in central Mongolia. Toghril, who had been an ally of Temujin’s father, took the young man under his protection and promised his support, which Temujin was soon to need. The Merkit, a tribe in the north, raided his encampment and carried off his wife. Temujin appealed for help to Toghril and to Jamuka, a young Mongol chieftain, and together the three were able to defeat the Merkit and rescue Borte. For a time, Jamuka and Temujin remained firm friends, setting up camp and herding their animals side by side, but then they became estranged. This break mirrored the larger political landscape of the time, in which loyalties and alliances shifted constantly.


It was at this juncture that the Mongol leaders declared themselves for Temujin and acclaimed him as their ruler with the title of Chingiz-Khan (Genghis Khan), which translates roughly as ‘universal monarch.’ From then on he began to play a major role in the intertribal wars, but still as the protégé of Toghril rather than his equal. In 1198 the two rulers took part, as allies of the Jin, in a successful campaign against the Tatar. Toghril was rewarded for his share in the victory with the Chinese title of wang (‘prince’), and thereafter he was known as Ong-Khan (‘Ong’ is a corruption of wang). They remained allies and on several occasions between 1200 and 1202 defeated a coalition of tribes headed by Genghis Khan’s former friend Jamuka. In 1202 Genghis Khan conducted a final campaign against the Tatar, which resulted in the total extermination of that people. His relations with Ong-Khan had been steadily deteriorating, however, and in 1203 they fought. After an indecisive battle G.K withdrew into the extreme northeast of Mongolia, then, recovering his strength, returned to the attack and inflicted an overwhelming defeat on his adversary later that year.

G.K was now master of eastern and central Mongolia. In 1206, with the death of his old rival, Jamuka, he was at last in undisputed possession of

“After his death, Yesugei’s wife and young children were deserted by his followers under the influence of the Taichi’ut, a clan whose leaders aspired to take the dead chieftain’s place. The widow attempted to rally the tribe to her but was unsuccessful. Soon the family was left to fend for itself. When Temujin had grown into a young man, his encampment was attacked by the Taichi’ut. He escaped into the forest but was finally captured. The Taichi’ut spared his life but kept him as a prisoner with a wooden collar around his neck.”

Mongolia. In the spring of 1206, at an assembly of the Mongol princes held near the sources of the Onon, he was proclaimed Great Khan. The powerful ruler proceeded to organize

dow G.K inv with How out Beij

the military forces of his empire. G.K was now in a position to embark upon foreign conquests. Hostilities with China commenced in the spring of 1211, and by the end of that year the Mongols had overrun northern China. By the beginning of 1214 all China north of the Huang He (Yellow River) was in the Mongols’ hands, and they were closing in on the Jin capital at Beijing. Peace was purchased by the Chinese emperor at the price of an immense

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enghis Khan

wry for a Jin princess as K’s bride, and the aders began to hdraw northward. wever, fighting broke again almost at once. jing was besieged and

ked in the summer of 5. though the war was not over—indeed the quest of North China not completed till 4—G.K now decided to nquish personal mmand of operations, and the spring of 1216 urned to Mongolia in er to give his attention to nts in Central Asia. nghis Khan’s western tory abutted the state of warizm, a vast but poorly anized empire, ruled by tan Muhammad, ering the present-day ntries of Turkmenistan,

Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, as well as Afghanistan and most of Iran. War between the two empires became inevitable when G.K’s ambassadors were murdered at Otrar on the

Syr Darya River. Setting out from Mongolia in the spring of 1219, G.K passed the summer of that year on the Irtysh River

and by autumn had arrived before Otrar. He left a force to besiege and ultimately capture the town and, continuing west at the head of the main army, attacked Bukhara (Bukhoro) in February 1220. The city, deserted by its garrison, surrendered after only a few days’ siege. The Mongols then advanced on Samarqand, which likewise offered little resistance and was captured the same year. Genghis Khan dispatched his two best generals in pursuit of Sultan Muhammad, who had fled to the west. The sultan finally sought refuge on an island in the Caspian Sea but was found and killed there. The generals, continuing their westward sweep, crossed Caucasia and defeated an army of Russians and Kipchak Turks in the Crimea before turning back to rejoin Genghis in Central Asia. In the autumn of 1220, G.K captured Termiz on the Oxus River (presentday Amu Darya) and in the early part of the winter was active in the upper reaches of that river in what is today Tajikistan. At the beginning of 1221 he crossed the Oxus into northern Afghanistan and captured the ancient city of Balkh. Soon after the fall of Samarqand he had dispatched his elder sons north into Khwarizm to lay siege to Muhammad’s capital. He now sent his youngest son into eastern Persia to sack and destroy the great and populous cities of Merv (now Mary,

Turkmenistan) and Nishapur (now Neyshâbûr, Iran). In the meantime, Sultan Jalal al-Din, the son of Sultan Muhammad, had made his way into central Afghanistan and inflicted a defeat on a Mongol force at Parvan, north of Kâbul. G.K, rejoined by his sons, advanced south in the autumn of 1221 and defeated this new adversary on the banks of the Indus River. With Jalal al-Din’s defeat the campaign in the west was virtually brought to its conclusion, and G.K proceeded by easy stages on the long journey back to Mongolia. In the autumn of 1226 he was again at war, with the Chinese Tangut tribal confederation, but he did not live to witness the successful outcome of this, his last campaign. He died in August 1227, in his summer quarters in the district of Qingshui south of the Liupan Shan (Liupan Mountains) in Gansu, China. G.K unleashed a seemingly invincible military force during his military campaigns. Although usually outnumbered, his forces prevailed on the battlefield through absolute discipline, a well-understood chain of command, superior mobility, and innovative military tactics. The Mongol forces were organized into several formations of 10,000 horse-mounted soldiers, the touman. Their tactical deployment usually relied on surprise attacks on the enemy’s flank and rear, followed by heavy cavalry assaults. Communication was by signal flags and drumbeats, and the

mounted formations responded quickly to commands from the Mongol generals. Once an enemy’s initial resistance was broken, the Mongols would overrun the territory with a speed not to be duplicated until the tank warfare of the 20th century. Mongol soldiers were well trained in marksmanship and horsemanship. A soldier was clad in armor of leather strips lacquered to keep out water. His bow, backed with horn or sinew, was one of the most powerful in the world. After showering the enemy with arrows he would change to his lance or to a curved sword and charge for close fighting. The Great G.K had many wives and concubines, but it was Borte, his first and chief wife, who gave birth to his four most famous sons: Jochi, Jagatai, Ögödei, and Tolui. Jochi’s son Batu founded the Golden Horde, a powerful Mongol state in Russia and Eastern Europe. Jagatai gave his name to a state that he founded in Central Asia. Ögödei was designated by G.K to succeed him, and he ruled Mongolia and northern China. Tolui was the father of Mangu Khan, ruler of the unified Mongol Empire from 1251 to 1259; Kublai Khan, who founded the Yuan dynasty in China; and Hulagu, who founded the il-Khanid dynasty of Persia. G.K knew no language but Mongolian and it has been said that to the end of his days he remained at heart a robber chieftain. No mere bandit, however, could have conceived or undertaken the great campaigns against China

and Western Asia, and in fact, though he spoke no foreign language, Genghis Khan was not without knowledge of the civilized nations beyond the borders of Mongolia. Already at the beginning of his career he counted among his followers certain Muslim merchants from Central Asia, and later he could rely also upon the counsel of Chinese advisers. It was, however, mainly on native foundations that his empire was built. The legal code which he instituted, known as the “Great Yasa”, was based upon Mongol customary law. The instrument of his victories, the superbly efficient Mongol army, seems to have owed nothing to foreign models. It was developed and perfected in intertribal wars before it was turned, with irresistible effect, against the nations of Asia and Eastern Europe. It is, in fact, as a military genius that G.K lives in history. The Great Genghis Khan was the equal of any military genius that ever lived, standing on the same historical pedestal with the likes of Alexander the Great and Napoleon I, neither of who conquered territories as expansive and long-lasting as his. His son ruled over an empire that stretched from Ukraine to Korea. His grandsons founded dynasties in China, Persia, and Russia, and his descendants ruled in Central Asia for centuries. He was a real mighty man of valour whose distinctive footprints will remain eternally etched in the sands of time.

“The Great Genghis Khan was the equal of any military genius that ever lived, standing on the same historical pedestal with the likes of Alexander the Great and Napoleon I, neither of who conquered territories as expansive and long-lasting as his. His son ruled over an empire that stretched from Ukraine to Korea. His grandsons founded dynasties in China, Persia, and Russia, and his descendants ruled in Central Asia for centuries. He was a real mighty man of valour whose distinctive footprints will remain eternally etched in the sands of time.”

Issues Revamping Dwindling Education Sector In Nigeria

YES, for every developing or developed nation or state, education forms the bed rock or becomes one of the measuring indices or parameters for upward mobility of its citizenry in every human endeavour. Education cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand; hence America like other developed western nations says “Education is from cradle to the grave”. Whether the Russian nations or the Asian tigers, education has been the spring board or has created remarkable impact on their great strides to t e c h n o l o g i c a l advancement. These developed nations have invested massively on education, research, advanced technology, nuclear or space programmes which has made them the envy of the rest of the world. As the Americans had conquered space exploration, Russian too and of course the Japanese as electronic wizards are not left out. Nothing can be long lasting than bequeathing a virile education as a legacy to generations unborn. However, the scenario in certain states of the federation, if anything to go by is alarming on both primary and secondary stratum respectively. “It is a case of the more you look the less you see”. As we appreciate some state executives that had been involved in rehabilitation of some schools and colleges, some till now have not paid their counterpart fund for UBE programmes to take off in their states. What a disservice? In some states where the programme is in existence, apart from physical structures of schools rehabilitated in urban centres, schools and colleges in rural areas are massively dilapidated.

and colleges is meant for growth and development of education at these foundational levels, and it must be carried out by p r o f e s s i o n a l

of inspection. Among other issues of concern include; the current would be candidates for WAEC/ NECO who are denied enrolment opportunities except they produce JSS III

of their regular years of service viz; 35/60 years respectively in some states as applicable to some other and the Federal Government Civil Service regulations. If the service years of lecturers is being elongated and we cannot do same at the foundational levels; primary/secondary stratum, then we advise that such callous and

educationalists vast in the pedagogy of the school curriculum not self aggrandized political gladiators pushed into position of authority. At state levels, zonal offices should be created with a pool of inspectors with basic facilities, vehicles etc to help monitor these schools and colleges and instruction. Ad-hoc visitation by state executives and a hand -pull of overzealous officials masquerading as inspectors will not selve the purpose

certificates and must do so in their previous colleges they wrote such certificates exams. As parents migrate with some of these would be candidates from crises zones, would they still enrol WAEC/NECO in their previous schools or colleges? Denying Nigerians basic secondary school certificate exams in any guise is unconstitutional and ultra vile. Again, we hear of efforts to jeopardize the service years of teachers or workers

obnoxious policy be discontinued. Let the normal service year remain. Draconian educational policies should not be formulated or implemented at the detriment of the majority of the society. Nothing is too much as investment on education. It is not a profit making venture where you must recuperate your expenses, and in any case, mass retirement will elicit pension benefits from concerned states and such an exercise will end up in


In some schools and colleges, pupils and students population is at a geometrical progression; 100 - 150 pupils or students per class. In these schools and colleges, there are two or three teachers, sometimes, a principal alone in a college to man the curriculum. There are no learning facilities or books of instruction for students even in the core subjects viz; English, Mathematics, the pure science etc. Most of these students or pupils sit on the bare floor to acquire education. From the bare floors, they write, what a horrible educational phenomenon in this twenty first century of the computer ages? As teachers are bemused in the ugly scenario pervading in the learning environment, some state executives and some uninformed senior officials from the board and ministries troop out in droves in the name of inspection to cast aspiration on the intellect and performance of frustrated teachers. Inspections that are supposed to be for “give and take” and as corrective measures to move the system forward is further exacerbated or jeopardize by these ministry officials. Their authoritarian utterances and disposition to teachers created much to be desired. The so called officials who are suppose to exchange ideas with teachers as major stake holders, appear in the mode of bosses, using derogatory statements or language on teachers and school heads with impunity. The present situation in schools and colleges in some states is dehumanizing to teachers and to the leaners as if the educational system has declined to apartheid system in the days of apartheid in South Africa. Inspections of schools

the axiom, “penny wise, pound foolish”. Education is a right not a privilege to the Nigerian child. State executives must not worry themselves hush because of the amount spent on teacher’s salaries etc. let committed state executives peruse unto the achievements of great reformists on education; Late chief Obafemi Awolowo, Late Professor

Ambrose Alli etc. Their success story was not how much they bewitched and punished teacher with draconian policies and programmes but rather provided incentives, built schools and colleges, train and retrained teachers and motivated them for adequate performances. If we say, we are committed leaders, let us leave behind an enduring legacy that will stand the test of time, both for today and in the yester years to come.

“Education is a right not a privilege to the Nigerian child. State executives must not worry themselves hush because of the amount spent on teacher’s salaries etc. let committed state executives peruse unto the achievements of great reformists on education; Late chief Obafemi Awolowo, Late Professor Ambrose Alli etc. Their success story was not how much they bewitched and punished teacher with draconian policies and programmes but rather provided incentives, built schools and colleges, train and retrained teachers and motivated them for adequate performances.”

Family Planning

With ERANGA ISAAC 08059233001

“We cannot stop working until every girl and woman, no matter where she lives, has access to education she deserves, the contraceptives she wants; the maternal health care she needs, and, ultimately, the opportunity to achieve her dreams.”

Making Girls And Women A Priority Today And Everyday IN the previous year, there have been remarkable strides in women’s health and equality, the United Nations came up with a resolution to put an end to female genital mutilation, global leaders convened at the July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning to make US$2.6 billion in new financial pledges and a series of unparalleled policy commitments to family planning and in October 2012, we celebrated the first ever International Day of the Girl Child. This global commitment to women’s rights and health is generating changes on the ground world-wide. Since 1990, global maternal deaths have dropped by nearly 50 per cent. The world has made giant stride in enrolling girls in school, achieving gender parity at the primary school level. These are great achievements, but we must put in mind the challenges that are still lingering. While maternal deaths world while have decreased, 287,000 mothers-to-be still die every day that is 800 women every day. More than 200 million women

want but do not have access to the tools they need to plan their families, countless girls are held home from school, violence against women is all-toocommon globally, and girls and women continue to face barriers at nearly every rung of the economic social and political ladders. It should be recalled that thirteen years ago, the global community came together to establish the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets to improve the lives and health of millions. Since then, advocates around the world have worked hard to alleviate poverty and turn the tables on gender inequity, among other ills. We have been marginally successful – enough progress to be proud – but not enough that our work is anywhere near finished. As we near the 2015 MDG deadline, one lesson is crystal clear, we will not see real development – or serious poverty reduction – without girls and women. Or perhaps better phrased: when we finally put girls and women at the heart of our development agenda – instead of on the sidelines – we will see exponential

progress stronger political will and financial commitments are urgently needed at the national, regional and global level. We must advocate to ensure that girls’ and women’s health and rights remain priorities. Maternal health, girls’ education and violence against women are not “women’s issues”, they are everyone’s issues. We know for a fact that prioritizing girls and women is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. When women do well, families flourish, communities thrive and nations grow. The math is simple – investing in women pays dividends. We cannot stop working

until every girl and woman, no matter where she lives, has access to education she deserves, the contraceptives she wants; the maternal health care she needs, and, ultimately, the opportunity to achieve her dreams. Advancing a better world: Health literacy Education and health progress have been hallmarks of success that we can embrace synergistically in order to achieve a better world and help secure our future. Opportunities exist to advance this “new synergistic sustainable objective” that aims to increase health literacy (the capacity of individuals to obtain, interpret, and understand basic health

information and services necessary for appropriate health decision-making). The 2012 UNICEF report committing to child survival. A promise renewed, highlights a number of studies that demonstrate the value of maternal education. A systematic analysis of 175 countries, between 1970 and 2009, published in the Lancet indicates that more than half of recent reductions in child deaths are linked to gains in women’s educational attainment. Further, research has confirmed that education has a positive impact on the well being of entire communities not just the health of children. Investing in girls education was also found to reduce poverty across populations and drive local economic and social development. The link between health and education is a promising combination for

a post-2015 agenda. Public and private organizations can engage on multiple levels to advance health out comes and education. In turn, ministries and governments can make better decisions about health laws, programs, and access for their citizens. New technology (e.g. in h e a l t h - h e a l t h communication via phones) can reach everyone with an added return or investment for women and girls to meet sustainable development objectives. This new frame of health literacy has already been identified by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2009. The ministerial declaration stated thus. “We stress that health literacy is an important factor in ensuring significant health out comes and, in this regard, call for the development of appropriate action plans to promote health literacy.

“Further, research has confirmed that education has a positive impact on the well being of entire communities not just the health of children. Investing in girls education was also found to reduce poverty across populations and drive local economic and social development.”


Should The National Anthem Be Rendered As Entertainment Song? UNARGUABLY, singing a national anthem elicits patriotism and pride from citizens of a country. Political pundits agree that a national anthem symbolises the sovereignty of a country. Nigeria’s first national anthem, “Nigeria We Hail Thee,’’ adopted in 1960, was written by Miss Lillian Williams, a Briton. The current national anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,’’ was adopted in 1978 to replace “Nigeria We Hail Thee.’’ The stanzas of the current anthem are the products of five winners in a competition conducted by the National Publicity Committee of Nigeria. The winners were -John Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B.A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P.O. Aderibigbe. The words were put together to compose the anthem by the Nigerian Police Band, under the directorship of late Benedict Odiase. In the past, because of the importance attached to national anthem, children were taught in school to stand at attention while singing the anthem. For now, that practice appears to be waning, while the tune of the anthem, in some cases, has been altered by artistes. They attribute the development to poor attitude of the public to the nation’s cultural heritage as well as ignorance of their civic responsibilities. For instance, some few years ago, it was surprising that some political appointees, who appeared


for screening, were unable to recite the national anthem and the national

pledge correctly. Worried by the inability of many Nigerians to sing the national anthem, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), advocates that the second stanza of the national anthem should be adopted as “prayer’’ in public functions. The stanza reads: “O God of creation, direct our noble cause, guide our leaders right, help our youths the truth to know, in love and honesty to grow and living

just and true, great lofty heights attain, to build a nation where peace and

justice shall reign.’’ Mr Paul Odenyi, said that NOA would not relent in its efforts to popularise the national anthem. Odenyi, who is the Chief Press Secretary to the Director-General of NOA, however stressed that the anthem should not be used for adverts or the rendition changed. “We must retain the original rendition of the national anthem and those who do it differently

shouldn’t be doing it. “The NOA has pointed out that we should try as much as possible to retain the original rendition, and

part of the problem is that many people don’t have the original copy and don’t even know the original lyrics. “Like all national symbols, there are distortions that have emerged over the years, and even the “Coat of Arms’’ have differed in colour overtime.’’ He said that in the original lyrics of the anthem, there is no “shall’’ in the last line of the second stanza,

Worried by the inability of many Nigerians to sing the national anthem, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), advocates that the second stanza of the national anthem should be adopted as “prayer’’ in public functions. The stanza reads: “O God of creation, direct our noble cause, guide our leaders right, help our youths the truth to know, in love and honesty to grow and living just and true, great lofty heights attain, to build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.’’

“Our national symbols should be a source of pride to us and ought not to be mere ceremonial items, rather they should stand as the hallmark of patriotism and nationalism.’’

adding that no one knows where “shall’’ came from. Odenyi however said that NOA has initiated an amendment of the ordinance act to address issues relating to national symbols; like wrong display of flags and to identify those entitled to use the Coat of Arms. “The bill has been in the national assembly for the past two years and we’re hoping they will give it the attention it requires. “It will help solve some of these problems, but the bigger duty for everybody is sensitisation so that people will know. “Many don’t know that if you have the national flag displayed at your office, you should lower it by six p.m. or put on a light to indicate that the nation doesn’t sleep; and that there should be no company flag at the same level with the flag,’’ he said. Mrs Magdalene Akujobi, a banker, stressed the need

to maintain the sacredness and originality of our national ethos. “Our national symbols should be a source of pride to us and ought not to be mere ceremonial items, rather they should stand as the hallmark of patriotism and nationalism.’’ Mrs Stella Azi, a civil servant, said the national anthem is a national identity, “I don’t think it is right to sing or recite it differently from the original composition. “When a football match is about to begin and the national anthem of any country is being sung, everybody stands and the rhythm tells you which countries is playing. “But when they start singing it like jazz, I see it changing the identity and I’ve never been in support of that, ’’she said. Dr Adinoyi Onukaba, a lecturer at the University of Abuja, said there was nothing wrong if the composition or version differed from the original as far as the message was not lost. “There’s nothing wrong with it, the most important thing is to be faithful to the wordings of the anthem; in terms of trying to sing or recite it, it can vary; people should have the freedom to play with it. “It’s like a play, a director could come and give it his own interpretation; the most important thing is that the interpretation must not in any way destroy the original vision or message of the author. “He can decide to emphasise one aspect of it, and as a creative work the interpreter must have freedom to do whatever he wants with it,’’ he said. Stakeholders want NOA to intensify its orientation and re-orientations programmes in order to return the nation to the good old days when national ethos were cherished and respected.

Archival Matters The Duke At Forestry Road BEFORE Hon Orobosa Omo Ojo was made a commissioner in the ministry of transport, it had been difficult enforcing the colour code for taxi cabs and commercial buses in Edo State. For instance early in 2009, Edo House of Assembly passed a motion calling for an enforcement of the colour code. The motion set the Edo ministry of transport’s colour code ball rolling by fixing April 14, 2009 deadline for all commercial vehicles operating in Edo State to paint them in our yellow and fire red colour. Furthermore, the ministry announced a daily demurrage fee of N1000 for all defaulting, impounded vehicles after an imposition of a fine of N5000 for colour code violation. No dice Our people no day hear word Dem chop tortoise head. Aeboe day! Notin go happen!! Over here sacrifice is better than obedience and old age has a cure: Yes-oo. Our taciturn commercial taxi/bus drivers hardly say a good prayer so, they mock you when you request most of them to join Peter Marshall to recite this personal transformational prayer: “Lord, when we are wrong make us willing to change. And when we are right, make us easy to live with.” Indeed our taxi cab/commercial bus drivers largely never admit it is wrong to refuse to comply with the ministry of transport’s order to brand their vehicles in Edo State’s colour code. Neither do most of them want to co-exist lawfully with the ministry peacefully. Hence, they continue to disobey the ministry’s tall order on colour code. Meanwhile, the ministry never relented in shouting from the rooftops that its proclamation on the colour code must be obeyed. In the same vein, Edo Drivers’ Welfare Association didn’t stop pleading for an extension of the April 14, 2009 knees buckled. And, so, it shifted the deadline to June 29, 2009. This new deadline came and passed. Still, only a few taxi cabs and commercial buses had complied with the colour code directive. What followed? Edo transport commissioner on July 1, 2009 appeared on Man Around Town programme of Independent Radio, Benin moderated by Mr. Efe Osafuomwan. He told listeners that the colour code was not meant for vehicles operating in the GRA, or running shuttle services to and from UNIBEN, EKENWAN BARRACKS, among other routes. Such vehicles should pay a certain, dedicated fee to retain their own colour code. No more, no less. No mention was made by him about the compliance degree with the states colour code by taxis and commercial buses. Silence. Acquiescence. Later on September 2, 2009 the ministry of transport carried an advert on Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) announcing that intra-city commercial bus fleets were exempted from the colour code. The ministry explained that an arrangement had been made for the fleet owners to retain their own operational colour code. But each single vehicle in fleet would have to be registered with N5000. Once again, nothing was forcefully said about enforcing the state’s colour code for our taxi cabs and commercial buses. Nothing!! Only a negligible number of them had complied with the code. Only a few of them. Commercial vehicle colour riot continued to vandalize the sight of decent men in our state who are used to the sync colour choreography of Lagos State’s commercial vehicles. Matters came to a head when on


December 23, 2009 Mr. Efe Osafuonmwan, anchor of independent Radio, Benin programme MAN AROUND TOWN cracked a joke on the colour code pandemonium in our state. See, he said that Lagos State was now helping us to enforce our own colour code. How? Simple. When our commercial intra-city buses enter Lagos State without our colour code, they are

Hon. Orobosa Omo-Ojo, Edo State Commissioner for Transport

impounded. Thereafter, the buses are force to wear our colour code for proper identification before they are released by the Lagos State authorities to their owners. In 2010, Edo State Traffic Management Agency Law was enacted. Behold, the Messiah cometh some of us proclaimed to the high heavens. We reasoned that with “Oshiomhole Police” inauguration all violators of our colour code “go see pepper now! However, not much was achieved by the police. So, does it mean no one can break the colour code enforcement jinx? Eh?? Question.. Question. No answer. Now, enter Hon. Jude Idehen. He moved a motion ordering private taxi cabs to carry the phone numbers and names of their owners on their bodies. The house

adopted the motion and fixed a 12-week deadline for an enforcement of a resolution arising from the motion. Hon Jude Idehen’s motion was aimed at curbing the insecurity of unbranded commercial vehicles in our state just as the colour code prescription. Still, our commercial vehicle drivers ignored the assembly’s branding resolution, and the colour code directives of Edo transport ministry Aeboe day!! But the ministry trudged on. The sitting commissioner for transport Hon Lucas Okosie announced a 7-day ultimatum ending on August 19, 2010 for all commercial vehicles in Edo State to comply with the colour code order or face the full wrath of the law. He constituted a task force to enforce the law on colour code. The task force swung into action. By August 20, 2010, it had impounded 15 unpainted, defaulting commercial vehicles. Later, the task force soon run out of gas and required oxygen masks because of the hard times given it by our recalcitrant, violent commercial drivers. Ooops, the Tuke-Tuke commercial bus drivers are in a class of their own. See crudeness, aggressive tendencies violent behaviour and brashness are first nature to them. So, you may lose an eye, a limb or tooth when you tangle with any one of them. This is why the drivers are dreaded like the spitting cobra. However, no evil endures. Only good lasts for ever. And, so in the last quarter of 2013 Comrade – Government Adams Aliyu Oshilhole deployed Hon. Orobosa Omo-Ojo, one of his commissioner to the transport ministry. Behold, no sooner did he assume duty in the ministry than he began to demonstrate that he is indeed our own Duke of Wellington. To start with, he fixed December 25, 2013 as the final ultimate deadline for all commercial vehicles to be painted in Edo States colour code. No compromise. No blinking. No smiles. He meant business. Yes, everybody could see his red flag fluttering in the air. Beside it, he stood ramrod with a straight face and big stick in hand. Too true, the days of carrots were over. You either obey the ministry of transport’s director, on the colour code now or else the law will catch up with you. Period!! The rest is history. On January 6, 2014 he led his ministry’s staff to begin the enforcement of the colour code for commercial vehicles. Compliance rate is now very, very high unlike before. What the Napoleon Bona partes couldn’t do since 2009, our Duke of Wellington –nay, Hon. Orobosa Omo Ojo – has done. Commissioner keeps the kitchen heat on. Ignore all the distractions. BBC’s African morning proverb of January 2007 says: “The dogs will certainly bark but the camel will still proceed on its journey”.

“Indeed our taxi cab/commercial bus drivers largely never admit it is wrong to refuse to comply with the ministry of transport’s order to brand their vehicles in Edo State’s colour code. Neither do most of them want to co-exist lawfully with the ministry peacefully. Hence, they continue to disobey the ministry’s tall order on colour code.”


With OYAKHILOME CLEMENTINA roads, the food is wasted especially tomatoes, if they are not sold on time or eaten or well preserved, they get rotten and wasted. Lack of market for a particular commodity that is planted if at the harvest time, there is no buyer, the commodity is wasted. Poor harvesting method many cause food wastage if you harvest pear and you cut it mistakenly, when ripe, you cannot sell it, it becomes wasted.

Methods Of Preserving Food

Ways Of Improving Crop Yields Crop methods CROPS have been used through many methods to improve crop yields. They include cross breeding. In cross breeding crops of different specie or varieties is cross breeded may be for their crop yield or resistance to disease. The hybrid becomes stronger than its parent plant. Budding and grafting also help to obtain high crop yield. Different plant species are fused together using skills and techniques to increase crop yield. Pests, diseases and weed control To improve crop yields, pests have to be killed by using pesticides depending on the type of pest, the crop has. Diseases also has to be controlled either at the early planting stage or later, before the period of harvest and weeds have to be controlled so that, they do not overtake the plants, this is done, so that there would be no competition because if there is competition crop yield would be very low. Good farming practices Good farming methods have to be practised in order for crops to improve

their yields. For example when a farmer practices crop rotation method, the crops are protected from diseases, weeds and plants diseases are controlled and if all these diseases and weeds are controlled, one after the other it gives the plant an avenue to multiply greatly. Use of fertilizers After much research, farmers have concluded that they need fertilizers to boost their crop yield. Organic or artificial fertilizers have been able to improve crop yield over the years. Selection During planting season, farmers have made their choice, by selecting plants of desired qualities like large tubers, short fruiting and short maturation periods, resistance to diseases. If all these qualities are greatly considered, the farmer, will have a boost in his crop yield. Improved farming techniques Mechanized farming and extensive agriculture have given rise to a very high rise in crop yield in this type of farming, machines

are used and wider lands are needed for this farming, which will bring about an increase in crop yield. Introduction Farmers, over the years have introduced into the country some crop species, that have good qualities, like short maturation period, disease resistant plant and plants that produces more that enough for example cassava which is a native of South America, but introduced into Nigeria. Different methods of ploughing Soil types and crops and climatic conditions, has brought about the different methods of ploughing in order to increase crop

yields. Causes of food wastage Food wastage over the years has been caused by the following reasons. Microbral attack When crops are harvested during the period of storage, organisms such bacteria, yeast and fungi, do attack them causing them to spoil, without the farmer gaining instead he would run at a loss. Pest attack After crops have been harvested and stored. They are normally attacked by beetles and weevils so that the economic and food value is been reduced but other methods have been improved to scare them off, like pepper have been introduced for beans. Improper storage If beans is stored in a moist environment, they

would be damp and would loss its market value and food value. But when food is stored in silos, no such problem would occur. Pasteurization Pasteurization involves the use of high temperature to kill the micro-organisms after which, it is sealed up. Example is milk and palm wine. Saprophytic action Bread has be saprophytically attacked by moulds. Carnivores and herbivores Rats do attack maize, beans, rice etc during their storage periods. There by causing storage of food. Some food like fish have been destroyed during their storage stage like when fish is dried and some fluids lay eggs that turn to larvae feasting on them and making the fish to get rotten. When there is a delay in transportation due to bad

Canning with the exclusion of air Foods that has been produced, and have the ability not to last long, has passed through a process known as canning, such foods include tomatoes, various juices, corned beef, sardines and vegetables. Refrigeration Some certain foods are frozen at a certain temperature to prevent bacterial growth on them or make them inactive for example meat, fish and fruit. Pasteurization It involves the use of high temperature to kill the micro-organisms after which, it is sealed up example is milk and palm wine. Smoking and drying When water is removed from either fish or meat, it is difficult for microorganism to grow on it or form spores. Salting When salt is introduced to fish or meat, it increases the osmotic pressure of the food which kills or prevents growth of microorganisms.

“To improve crop yields, pests have to be killed by using pesticides depending on the type of pest, the crop has. Diseases also has to be controlled either at the early planting stage or later, before the period of harvest and weeds have to be controlled so that, they do not overtake the plants, this is done, so that there would be no competition because if there is competition crop yield would be very low.�


Winning War Against Defilement Of Minors

ACCORDING to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word defilement means to make something dirty or no longer pure especially something that people consider holy. Children are considered pure and innocent. They have no evil intension against anyone and they expect same from other people who come across their ways. That is why they embrace and run errands for those whom they may have known or are just seeing for the first time. But when one catches in on their innocence to either fondle with their private parts or put them in a family way, one is said to have defiled them. In the 80s, children were made to take their bath outside or even walk stalk naked on the street. Parents confidently entrust their wards to their neighbours for a temporary care while they are away for the business of the day and they will be well taken care of without any molestation. But today, things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold in our society. The stories of how an eighty years old man defiled an eight year old child, fathers defiling their daughters and neighbor defiling their own coneighbours daughters are now the order of the day in our society. So, the fear of walking stalk naked on the streets and not entrusting ones wards to neighbor is now the beginning of wisdom. These UNIVERSITY lecturers in the country just resumed academic activities in the nation’s tertiary institutions after six month strike over non implementation of earlier agreement reached with the federal government. Just as lecturers were coming back, medical doctors in the public health institutions held the federal government by the jugular too, over wage related issues. Today, workers of many institutions are still on strike or about to begin. From across the country strike has become a bargaining tool by workers in both public and private sectors of the economy. If we are to take cursory look at the cost of these industrial actions in terms of naira and kobo, billions would have gone down the drain, lives have been lost and in material terms, productivity hours that would have enhanced the nation’s economy development have been thrown to the winds. And you asked over and


rapists have their various strategies of luring their intended victims such as promising to buy them sweet, giving them money or otherwise. This serious crime against humanity, no doubt has a way of stigmatizing and demoralizing the child which could lead to psychological problem if not properly managed. One wonders what could have endeared the child to the rapist. Could it have been her dressing pattern? This is far from it. A legal expert and chairperson of the federation of women lawyers, Edo State chapter. Barrister Stella Ojemen in 2013 during their FIDA week with the them: Zero Tolerance to Rape and Defilement, End to violence Against women said the issue of rape and defilement in our society has gone beyond been caused by indecent dressing adding that tying it to an indecent dressing is a another way of trivializing the serious crime. She said a child of eight years who was abused by an old man years ago had nothing to do with decent or indecent dressing. However, some of the reasons that keep on encouraging this ugly menaces in our society are the victims mothers and the law enforcement agency. The mothers who may be aware that their daughters are abused, out of shame and what people would say about over again, ‘is strike necessary?’ On one hand you are tempted to say ‘yes’ and on the other hand it is ‘no’ Yes, because from all indications, it is the only language the government and the capitalist economy we operate understand. If we are to search into the past, workers have never won labour war with negation without strike action. Dialogue without strike has not yielded the desired result. Strikes, of course, come at a cost - a cost that is felt in financial, social and other terms. Some, if concluded quickly, may bring benefit to the striking workers and benefit the broader economy by raising the spending power of the lower paid. In other cases - perhaps most cases - they come at a cost to all sides and to the wider economy. Ordinarily, collective bargaining agreement is the ultimate goal of the collective bargaining process. Collective bargaining is a process by which management and labour

them when they grow up possibly come into play. And

because what they would say could make them look less a person, they tend to keep it a secret until it gets out of their control. And to the few bold ones who may want to report the matter to the police, to their greatest amazement, there are few or no gender desks in most of the police stations.

This circumstance further make them handicap. The less talked about defilement is the one that has

to do with the boy-child. The general perception of the public is that it is only the girl-child that could be defiled. They are not, rather there are some men that practice sodomy on them or play with their bodies in a way that subject the children to severe physical abuse. And nobody seems to talk about it.

This unfortunate growing ugly trend called defilement is frown at in world over. And Nigeria will not be exceptional as the quest and battle to stem the tide has already begun. The federation of women lawyers, Edo State Chapter is canvassing for the reviewing of the law of rape and defilement and by the

time that is done, rapists would be spending 21 years in prison. According to Barr. Ojeme, chairperson of FIDA “we are pushing for a review of the law of rape and defilement. We are creating awareness. We are saying they should allow magistrate to give many years of imprisonment to deter

perpetrators of the crime. So, we are going with a communiqué tomorrow in our brief protest rally to the speaker and our recommendations so that they can extend the decision of magistrate court to probably twenty-one years without option of fine so that people will now know that it is not business as usual”. Furthermore, if Nigerians must win the war against defilement, a collective effort is needed and not for a particular group. Charity they say begins at home. Parents especially mothers must be vigilant and should learn how to manage their homes well so as to keep their girl- child protected from the rapist. The law should be gender neutral to accommodate all case even case law interpretation confirms the exclusive reference in girl child or women. The security agencies should wake up to their responsibilities of protecting lives especially the minors who are defenseless. Moreso, the police can do more by creating gender desks in their various stations to give the women a platform to express themselves whenever the dignity of their children is defied. Nigeria Senate, House of Representatives, State House of Assemblies must wake up to the clarion call by promogating law that will make defilement of minors’ death by hanging. Our traditional rulers who are sole custodians of custom should also make banishment a punishment for anyone who defiled a child. When these measures are seriously taken, child defilement will be history in our society.

Strike: A Necessary Evil?

negotiate to reach an agreement on working conditions such as salaries, hours and benefits. Typically, the agreement establishes wages, hours, promotions, benefits, and other employment terms as well as procedures for handling disputes arising under it. Although on the surface this does not sound like a bad thing, the danger lies in non implementation. But you find out in most cases in this part of the world bargaining is not the issue, rather strike is it. One cannot emphatically say strikes are unnecessary yet when viewed against the backdrop of both human and capital losses, and the harm it does to the economy, and the general backlash, strike is not the best for a growing nation like Nigeria. Strikes do impose a serious cost which is near impossible to evaluate and an exercise in futility to attempt to calculate it. However, experts believe

By ALEXANDER EBOS UGHU that attempting to put firm numbers on the costs is close to impossible. There are too many factors - direct and indirect, social and economic - that need to be taken into account to calculate the cost of strikes accurately. Significantly, strike activity downgrades the economy and policy uncertainty thus contributing to reduced confidence and deterred or postponed private investment decisions. No wonder the immediate past Primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, the Most Revd. Peter Jasper Akinola comenting on the prolonged strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities said it portended danger to the lives of the affected students and the country in general. The retired Archbishop who is also the Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University, 0yo made the assertion in his

address at the 9th Founders Day and 5th Convocation ceremonies of the institution, which drew the crème of the society to the ancient town of Oyo. While urging all parties to the prolonged ASUU strike to bury their hatchet in the overall interest of the teeming Nigerian students, Archbishop Akinola specifically called on the government of Nigeria at all levels to “take the issue of qualitative education more seriously and as top priority.” He declared: “A situation whereby university students are compelled by the strike action of their lecturers, to be outside of the classroom for upwards of four months out of a 9-month academic year is destructive and unacceptable. Our country will remain under developed with no well-trained, qualified and competent

teachers, doctors, accountants, pharmacists, engineers, architects and other professionals for as long as students continue to spend more time outside than inside their schools. I call on the Federal Government to be more sensitive and responsible in responding to the academic needs of the youths. Our educational system should help to give better sense of direction to our youths such that would arrest the moral decadence that has eaten deep into the fabrics of our society.” No one can say Nigeria does not have a vibrant collective bargaining process which can guarantee relative industrial harmony in the work place. With vibrant bargaining agents, namely trade unions, and employers’ Associations, and hundreds of thousands collective agreements signed annually, Nigeria is an industrial harmony destination. And therefore strike ought not to be part of the nation’s vocabulary.


U.S. Aid Plan Seeks To Shield Afghanistan From End To War Economy

KABUL - The Obama administration will unveil today a package of aid initiatives it hopes will help Afghanistan, still one of the world’s poorest countries after

a dozen years of massive international aid efforts, shield itself from the departure of foreign troops and an expected drop in assistance.


MISSING OF TITLE DEED DOCUMENTS This is to bring to the Notice of the general public that “TITLE DEED DOCUMENTS” of property situate at No. 11, Olua Street (formally No.2, Olua Street), off Oziegbe Street, Urubi, Benin City, Edo State, belonging to the Late MRS. PHILOMENA IGHIWIYISI ONWUANYI also known as MRS. PHILOMENA IGHIWIYISI IBEMESI of same No.11, Olua Street, off Oziegbe Street, Urubi, Benin City, Edo State, has been declared missing. The TITLE DEED DOCUMENTS of the property which has not been used for mortgage or for any other form of financial transaction got missing sometime in 2013. All efforts made to trace the missing Title Deed Documents proved abortive, If found please contact and return to the SOLICITORS TO THE ADMINISTRATRIX (Mrs. Vivian E. lgbokwe) at the address stated below or to the nearest Police Station. SIGNED: CHIDI EZIHE, ESQ., FOR: C.N. EZIHE (LAW OFFICE) & CO. ABUJA OFFICE: Suite 13, Estate office, NNPC Quarters, Area 11, Garki, Abuja (+23480 6031 1325) BENIN CITY OFFICE: 5, Eguadase Street, off Akpakpava Road, Benin City.

The announcement from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of three new development initiatives worth almost $300 million is part of a U.S. effort to ensure that Afghanistan, as its ‘war economy’ ends, won’t slide backwards into greater poverty or reverse gains made over the last 12 years in health, education and other areas. “The question is, what can we do now to make sure Afghanistan is as healthy, sustainable and feasible as possible going forward,”

Larry Sampler, the agency’s chief official for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in an interview. The initiatives extend U.S. assistance for Afghanistan’s food sector; seek to help the Afghan government boost revenue and join the World Trade Organization within a year; and secure agreements between U.S. and Afghan universities to ensure young Afghans are trained for jobs. But how much outside help aid-reliant Afghanistan will


MISSING DOCUMENT (CAVEAT EMPTOR) I, MR OTAKHOR SIMON wish to bring for the information of the general public that I am the bonafide owner of parcel of land measuring 50ft x 100ft (fifty feet by one hundred feet) lying and situate at No. 25, Orukpe Street, Egor Quarters, Egor Local Government Area, Edo State, that the said land title documents have since been discovered missing since April 10, 2006. All efforts to trace the documents have proved abortive. Concerned authorities land buyers and the general public should please take note and more so the land is not for sale.

Signed: Otakhor Simon

PUBLIC NOTICE This is to inform the general public that the Edo State High Court sitting in Court 4, Benin City, granted an Order of Interlocutory Injunction in favour of the Claimants in Suit No. B/409/2010 between Mr. Solomon Ugiagbe, Mr. Samson Osemwengie and Mr. Marvel Ekhator (Suing for themselves and as representatives of Evbuowe, Evbuoghodo & Idemudia Communites in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State) VS. Mr. Uyiekpen Ale (the Odionwere of Ulemo Community) and Mr. John Erhenyi (defending for themselves and as representatives of Ulemo Community in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State). The Learned trial Judge, Honourable Justice, J.l. Acha on the 31st of March, 2011 while granting the Order for Interlocutory Injunction in favour of the Claimants held inter alia: “The defendants, their servants, agents and privies are hereby restrained from continuing with construction work in the uncompleted buildings on the land in dispute as well as going into and farming on vacant plots within the land in dispute pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit. However, defendants shall have unhindered access to their homes and where they live as well as their farm land within the land in dispute pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.” Members of the general public are by this announcement therefore, warned to desist from tempering with the land which is still a subject of litigation. Buyers be ware!

receive in the years ahead remains in doubt, as uncertainty continues about a possible post-2014 NATO troop presence and as fiscal pressures in donor nations squeeze aid budgets. Last month, U.S. lawmakers halved civilian aid for Afghanistan, reflecting growing reluctance in Congress to continue generous aid levels there, concerns about waste and fraud, and frustration with the Afghan government itself. The Obama administration continues to press Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security pact needed to keep U.S. troops there after this year. His refusal to do so has strained already fraught U.S.-Afghan relations.


OMOREGIE – I formerly known and addressed as Miss Edith Omoregie now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Edith Samuel. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE EMYOOK RESEARCH AND PEOPLE IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE The general public is hereby notified that the above named non-governmental organization has applied for registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. C20, LFN, 2004. The trustees are: BOARD OF TRUSTEES 1. E. B. Koyenikan Esq 2. Dr (Mrs) M. J. Koyenikan 3. Dr (Mrs) C. E. Ofovwe AIMS & OBJECTIVES 1. To conduct gender responsive research and development activities for the improvement of the standard of living of the vulnerable and marginalized people especially in rural and penurban areas. 2. Facilitate people’s empowerment through capacity building, information and technology dissemination to improve their livelihood, attitudinal change as well as political and legal awareness. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Maitama District, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed Dr (Mrs) M. J. Koyenikan



The general public is hereby notified that the above named Club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act No.1 of 1990. BOARD OF TRUSTEES 1. Mr. Christopher Itsoya Esheku 2. Mr. Benjamin Afolabi 3. Mrs. Elizabeta Oghale – Obuke 4. Mr. Daniel Egbo 5. Mrs. Princess Omoyemwen Benjamin – Afolabi AIMS & OBJECTIVES 1. To create a platform where young talents can be discovered and developed at grassroot. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar- General, Corporate Affairs Commission plot 420 Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED:

Princess Omoyemwen Benjamin – Afolabi

Decisions by the United States on future aid levels to Afghanistan may in turn shape actions by other donor nations, which gathered in Tokyo in 2012 to announce their intentions to provide aid to Afghanistan for years to come. While the United States did not pledge a specific amount for future aid, it had promised to seek aid near current levels of just over $2 billion at least through 2015. U.S. officials said the new initiatives would not be affected by the recent budget cut, because they would set aside money now for the full four or five years they are designed to last. Sampler said the initiatives would aim, in part, to provide a buffer as the war economy winds down. As foreign troops leave, so will the contractors and service providers supporting military operations, and the knock-on economic activity they have created since 2001. “There’s going to be a lull in the economy, and we want to minimize that lull,” he said. Andrew Wilder, who directs Afghanistan and Pakistan programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said the focus of the new programs on regional trade and the rural economy made sense given the “difficult and painful” economic transition Afghanistan would face in coming years. “However, realizing this potential will largely be dependent on relative peace and stability in Afghanistan, and a significant improvement in Indo-Pak relations - which unfortunately both still seem like enormous obstacles to overcome,” Wilder said. Under the new USAID programs, $125 million will go to Afghanistan’s food and farm sector, traditionally the base of its economy. While aid programs have poured millions of dollars into the farm sector since 2001, poor roads and Afghanistan’s land-locked position in central Asia make food exports difficult. Sampler said the new programs would focus more on agribusiness and on getting crops to market than in the past. Another $77-million, fouryear program will seek to open Afghanistan up to greater international trade and investment, and to improve tax and revenue collection. Sampler said Afghanistan may be able join the World Trade Organization in late 2014 or early 2015, which could give its economy a boost. A final program worth almost $100 million would seek to help 10 Afghan universities give young people the practical skills they need to work in the private and public sectors, in partnership with three U.S. universities.


Cuba Frees Jailed Canadian Businessman TORONTO - A Canadian businessman who served 2 1/2 years of a 9-year prison sentence in Cuba for corruption has abruptly returned to Canada. Sarkis Yacoubian, president of Tri-Star Caribbean import company, said Saturday that he’s extremely happy and excited to be home in Toronto. However, he says he is still adjusting after he was given only 24 to 48 hours’ notice before his release. Yacoubian was arrested in 2011 by Cuban authorities but was not formally charged until April 2013 with bribery, tax evasion and “activities damaging to the economy.” He said that because he was expelled from Cuba, he is not subject to transfer conditions that would require him to serve the rest of his sentence in Canada. “I can’t discuss on what grounds I was expelled,” said the 53-year-old Yacoubian. “When somebody goes to jail, most of them claim that they were innocent. It’s not only the facts that support this for me,

but official recognition that supports this,” he said. “I’m still confused. They released me, 24-48 hours’ notice, I still don’t know exactly how this whole thing happened. I’m trying to figure out what happened, who had interest behind it, which were the organizations or companies that did what they did to me. So it’s just 48 hours. The decision, nobody knew that. They just said we’re going to let you out,” Yacoubian told The Associated Press from his mother’s home in Toronto. He said that he is willing to share his story but wants to consult with his lawyers, who he said are currently on vacation, before he provides further details about what he calls a “very interesting, exciting story.” “I want to be properly vindicated on the highest level once the facts are there. I’ve already been officially vindicated, but I just can’t tell you how, but it’ll come out in the next two

weeks,” he said. Yacoubian, who is Armenian, was born in Lebanon, where he studied international relations before coming to Montreal to earn his MBA at McGill University. He then ventured to Cuba, where he spent about 20 years. There, he partnered with the Cuban government on multiple ventures. “(I developed) probably the third or fourth largest company (in Cuba). I started with $3,000 and that’s where I got millions of dollars of credit from factories, and all my money was confiscated, so there’s a story behind the story,” he said.

Syrian men help survivors out of a destroyed building after a Syrian forces warplane’s attack in Aleppo, Syria, weekend.

Cease-Fire In Syrian City Falters, Aid Halted

BEIRUT (AP) ó Two trucks carrying food and medical supplies into rebel-held neighborhoods in the central Syrian city of Homs turned back under heavy fire Saturday, leaving four paramedics wounded as a cease-fire faltered, Syrian officials said. Talal Barrazi, the governor of Homs province, told the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV that the attack occurred late in the afternoon and that the trucks were targeted by two roadside bombs and a mortar shell from the rebel side. Homs activist Ahmad alQusair however denied there had been roadside bombs and said the convoy was attacked by

mortar shells fired by government forces. Barrazi later told Syrian state TV that two trucks were able to reach opposition-held neighborhoods earlier in the day. Al-Mayadeen also reported that two trucks, carrying 250 food parcels, were able to cross into rebel-held areas Saturday. The state TV said four members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were wounded by rebel fire in the area, but gave no further details. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said on its Facebook page that its members were able to deliver

250 food parcels and 190 parcels containing detergents and medicines to the central neighborhood of Hamidiyeh despite begin targeted by several mortar rounds. It added that one of its members was lightly wounded and two trucks were damaged. It was not immediately clear why state media said four paramedics were wounded and the Red Crescent said only one. Barrazi said about 100 civilians expected to be evacuated from rebel-held areas had yet to arrive. On Friday, 83 children, women and elderly people on

As much as 27 centimetres (10.6 inches) of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists. The storm hit Tokyo on the eve of its gubernatorial election. Observers say the heavy snowfall may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people. As a depression moved along the Pacific coast Saturday, the northeastern city of Sendai saw 35 centimetres (13.8 inches) of snow, the heaviest in 78 years. Local media said at least seven people have been killed in snow-linked accidents — mostly crashes after their cars skidded on icy roads. In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car slipped on the icy road and rammed into an advertisement steel pole, a local rescuer said. Public broadcaster NHK reported at least 1,051 people were injured across the nation, many of whom had slipped on the ground or fallen while shovelling the snow off their roofs, NHK said. More than 20,000 households were without electricity early Former Health Minister Yoichi Masuzoe, a candidate for the Tokyo gubernatorial elecSunday while airlines cancelled tion, delivers a speech during his election campaign rally in Tokyo.

nearly 300 domestic flights a day after more than 740 flights were grounded Saturday. Nearly 5,000 people were stranded at Narita airport Saturday as traffic linking the airport to the capital was disrupted, NHK said.

Tunisia Forces Kill Suspect In Brahmi Slaying TUNIS, Tunisia - Tunisia says a wanted militant has been killed and three other arrested in a late night operation around the capital. Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui says counterterrorist forces assaulted the house of the suspect just before midnight Saturday. Aroui said Sunday that in the ensuing exchange of fire, Ahmed Melki known as the “Somali” was killed and

three others were arrested. Melki was wanted for involvement in several attacks, including the July 25 assassination of opposition politician Mohammed Brahmi. Last week, Tunisian forces stormed the house of another suspected militant wanted in the February slaying of a leftwing politician. Tunisia has been battling al-Qaida linked extremists since its 2011 revolution.

Seven Dead, 1,000 Injured As Heavy Snow Hits Japan - Reports

TOKYO - The heaviest snow in decades in Tokyo and other areas of Japan has left at least seven dead and more than 1,000 injured across the country, reports said Sunday.

wheelchairs were evacuated from Homs, the first people to leave the area in months, the U.N. said. Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have prevented the entry of food and medical aid into rebel-held parts of the city for over a year, badly affecting hundreds of civilians holed up in the areas. An agreement had called for a three-day truce to allow the evacuation of some civilians and the entry of food shipments. Al-Mayadeen aired live footage from the city’s Clock Square showing two white trucks identified with Syrian Arab Red Crescent markings as they returned from their unfulfilled mission. The station’s reporter in the area said the radiator of one of the trucks was hit by a bullet. “After the vehicles drove about 200 meters (yards) two roadside bombs went off, and when they kept going a mortar round fell in the area coming from the direction of Hamadiyeh,” said Barrazi, referring to a rebel-held central neighborhood.

German FM Makes Surprise Visit To Afghanistan

FRANKFURT - Germany’s foreign minister FrankWalter Steinmeier arrived Sunday in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan for an unannounced visit, a spokeswoman said. Most of the 3,000 German troops deployed in Afghanistan are based in this northern Afghan city. The German government decided Wednesday to extend by ten months its military presence in the country until the end of 2014. The lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, must still give its approval. It is the first visit to Afghanistan by the Social Democrat minister since he

entered the coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel that emerged from September’s legislative elections. It comes as the United Nations said the number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan rose 14 percent last year. A total of 8,615 civilian casualties were recorded in 2013, with 2,959 killed and 5,656 wounded, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s annual report. More than 50,000 NATOled combat troops who are still in Afghanistan are due to leave by the year-end.


Nuclear Deal Heightens Tension Between Iran President And Guards BEIRUT - The article on Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency appeared routine: the minister of roads and urban development said the ministry does not have a contract with construction firm Khatam al Anbia to complete a major highway heading north from Tehran. Two things made it stand out: Khatam al Anbia is one of the biggest companies controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and company head Ebadollah Abdullahi had said just three days earlier that it did have the contract. The December report was one of a series of signs that President Hassan Rouhani, who came into office last August, is using the political momentum from a thaw with the West over its nuclear program to roll back the Guard’s economic influence. Existing government contracts with the Guards have been challenged by ministers and some, like the highway contract, that were left in limbo when Rouhani succeeded the more hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been rebuffed. Senior commanders in the Guards, established 35 years ago this week to defend the clerical religious system that replaced the Western-backed Shah, have criticized the nuclear talks but been more muted over the curbs on their economic interests. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said in December that Ahmadinejad’s government had insisted the Guards get involved in the economy. “But we have told Mr. Rouhani that if he feels the private sector can fulfill these projects, the Guards are ready to pull aside and even cancel its contracts,” he said, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency. In the same speech, Jafari lashed out at the nuclear negotiations, saying Iran had lost much and gained little and took aim more directly at Rouhani. “The most important arena of threat against the Islamic revolution - and the Guards have a duty to protect the gains of the revolution- is in the political arena. And the Guards can’t remain silent in the face of that,” Fars quoted him as saying. Mohsen Sazegara, one of the founding members of the Guards who now lives in the United States, said that was no surprise. “It was predictable that the Guards would have a cold and harsh response,” he said. “It’s because they see themselves as running things. And more importantly they’re not happy that their hands have been cut out of some oil, energy

and road projects. And they’ve shown this displeasure in a number of ways.” The interim nuclear deal agreed with the West in November threatens the ideological basis of the power of the Guards, set up to counterbalance the military and protect the 1979 Islamic revolution from external and internal interference. The nuclear program, which Guard commanders call a source of national pride, is being curbed in return for sanctions relief and a diplomatic thaw with the country the Guards have long said is their biggest enemy, the United States. Despite the criticism from the top, the Guards are not a monolithic organization and there are elements within it which have reacted more pragmatically. At least one senior commander has spoken publicly in support of the nuclear deal. For now, backing for the nuclear talks from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest power in the country which the Guards, at least in public, must defer to, has kept the hardline elements within their ranks in check. There is also a realization that the dismal state of the economy, largely brought about by sanctions, leaves the country few options. “Khamenei himself is supporting the talks,” said Sazegara. “And from another side the Guards don’t have much choice given the situation with the economy which has scared everybody.” The Revolutionary Guards control broad sections of the economy and are also involved in political and cultural activities. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has said in imposing sanctions that the IRGC controls “billions of dollars of business”. At times, Guard businesses,

which include a share in the country’s largest telecommunication company and construction firms, overlap and work closely with an organization controlled by the Supreme Leader that Reuters estimates is valued at approximately $95 billion. In November, the news agency published a three-part series examining how the organization, called Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam in Farsi, has become one of the most powerful entities in Iran.

gates/iran/ During former president Ahmadinejad’s two terms in office, the Guards expanded their economic interests as sanctions ramped up. Now, Rouhani is using the unique opening presented by the nuclear deal to decrease their economic presence and, as a result, their broader influence in the country. Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Foundation For Defense of Democracies and an expert on the Revolutionary Guards,

said the government used two main arguments to cancel the contracts. “The government can’t afford the contracts, and the state is no longer subjected to the sanctions regime and there is no need state of emergency where IRGC participation in the projects is needed,” Alfoneh said by email. While Rouhani’s use of the nuclear negotiations to decrease the economic influence of the Guards has heightened tensions, the ongoing talks over the coun-

• Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani takes questions from journalists past a bouquet of flowers at a news conference in New York recently

try’s nuclear program are more contentious for the Guards, analysts say. Some senior Guard commanders have pointed out that stopping uranium enrichment altogether could be a slippery slope toward the dismantling of the country’s nuclear program, which Western leaders say they fear has military aims. Guard commanders and senior Iranian government officials maintain that the country’s nuclear program is peaceful. They argue that enrichment, a controversial point in the talks with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, is necessary for medical and energy purposes. Rasoul Sanai-Rad, the political deputy of the Guards, warned against giving too many concessions, pointing to Libya where Muammar Gaddafi agreed to dismantle his nuclear program but was later attacked by a coalition of Western countries. “Libya gave up all of its [nuclear] facilities but what result did they receive?” he said in an interview with Fars, one of almost daily attacks on the deal by Guard commanders. Rouhani has fought back: in a speech last Tuesday, he said that only a few “ignorant” people have been speaking out against the deal and asked for academics to express their support publicly.

US To Expand Recognition Of Gay Marriage NEW YORK - US Attorney General Eric Holder will expand government recognition of same-sex marriages in all federal courtrooms and prisons Monday, and ensure they receive the same benefits as heterosexual ones. The move, which Holder announced Saturday at a gay rights

US Attorney General Eric Holder pictured at a gay rights dinner gala in New York weekend.

dinner gala in New York, marks a major gain for advocates of same-sex couples after the Supreme Court issued two rulings expanding gay marriage rights last year. Under the new policy, samesex couples will enjoy the privileges even in states that do not recognize their marriages, so long as they legally wed in another state. Among the key benefits the Justice Department will now ensure are extended to same-sex couples are the compensation fund for the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as death and educational benefits for the surviving spouses of police officers and firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty. “In every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said. Same-sex couples would also

be held to the same legal standard as their heterosexual counterparts on matters such as how debts are handled in federal bankruptcy proceedings and visitation policies at federal prisons, as well as compassionate release or sentence reductions in certain cases of crisis involving their spouse. Advocates of gay rights immediately hailed the decision. “This landmark announcement will change the lives of countless committed gay and lesbian couples for the better. While the immediate effect of these policy decisions is that all married gay couples will be treated equally under the law, the long-term effects are more profound,” said Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, whose gala was the site of Holder’s speech. “Today, our nation moves closer toward its ideals of equality and fairness for all.” But conservatives blasted the decision, suggesting President Barack Obama’s administration

had chosen a liberal interpretation of the Supreme Court rulings. “The news that the Justice Department will extend sweeping recognition to ‘marriages’ of same-sex couples, even in states that do not recognize such unions, is yet another illustration of the lawlessness of this administration,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said in a statement. The policy memorandum will “formally instruct all (Justice) Department employees to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law,” Holder said. The first African American attorney general also stressed that his predecessors played a key role in the civil rights movement half a century ago. “As all-important as the fight against racial discrimination was then, and remains today, know this: my commitment to confronting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity runs just as deep,” Holder said.


Marketing Africa’s Home-Based Players

HICHAM El Amrani is the Secretary General of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). He says CAF is satisfied with the performances of players at the just concluded African Nations Championship (CHAN), hosted by South Africa. Unlike the African Cup of Nations, CHAN is for players, playing in the domestic league of African countries. The first edition of tournament was held in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009, while Sudan hosted the second edition in 2011. The third edition, hosted by South Africa this year, ended on Feb. 1, with Libya emerging as champions after beating Ghana on penalties. Nigeria made her debut in the CHAN tournament in South Africa, and won the third place match after beating Zimbabwe 1-0. El Amrani said that CAF was impressed with all the three editions of the tournament held so far, adding that FIFA has recognised CHAN. “ This is so far a very good tournament for us. We look forward to maintaining a much higher attendance. “ From the development perspective, this is what

gives us the actual temperature of African football because everybody playing here is evolving within national leagues of their respective countries,’’ he said. Mr Mvuzo Mbebe, the Chief Executive Officer, Local Organising Committee of the CHAN tournament in South Africa, said that the competition has helped to expose Africa’s homebased players. “The CHAN tournament is indeed a step in the right direction. Some of the players that took part in the third edition of the tournament are playing big time football for the first time,’’ he said. Ian Gorowa, head coach of Zimbabwe national team, agrees with Mbebe, that the CHAN tournament has helped the home-based players to market their talents. Gorowa also said that the standard of play was high. “ I was surprised, to be honest with you, with the high level of standard displayed by the homebased players. “ So, I think this is probably the best thing which has ever happened in African football . “ We really appreciate, and we really appreciate

By MIKE MBONYE that this will continue because it gives the local players that experience which they need to further their football career. “ Once again, I must say, this is the best thing that has happened in African football,’’ Gorowa said. Aisha Falode, the CAF Media Officer in charge of the Bloemfontein centre in South Africa, said the objective of organising the tournament had been met. “ The overall goal of the tournament is to develop and strengthen domestic leagues in Africa. ‘ And we can see that, that goal is being met, the objective is being met. “ Without this competition in place, perhaps, all those players

from around Africa who had the platform to play on the big stage, will not have the chance. “ This was really for them. It was their show and they enjoyed it “ I am sure by the next edition, Nigeria will be hungrier to perform in this competition,’’ she said Chris Green, the Chairman, Technical Committee, Nigeria Football Association (NFA), said the association was impressed with Nigeria’s performance in the maiden outing. Green said that the home- based players used the opportunity to express themselves, and prove a point that the Nigerian league had come of age.

He said though Nigeria won the third position, there was room for improvement in subsequent editions. Other stakeholders also commended CAF for the incentives introduced for the home-based players in the tournament. At the end of the tournament, Libya, the champions, went home with 750,000 U.S. dollars, while Ghana the runnersup, got 400,000 U.S.dollars. Nigeria which placed third and Zimbabwe which came fourth, each got 250,000 U.S. dollars. Teams that took part in the tournament received various sums of money ranging from 175,000 U.S. dollars to 100,000 U.S. dollars.

‘’ This is indeed a good motivation for home-based players, and it is hoped that more countries will show interest in the next edition of the tournament, Gorowa, stated. For Nigeria, the maiden participation was indeed significant. Ejike Uzoenyi of Rangers International FC of Enugu, was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, while Coach Stephen Keshi has identified players to be considered for Super Eagles’ Team A. CHAN is an innovation which FIFA has acknowledged; it should be sustained in order to market African players, playing in the continent’s domestic league.

Mr Mvuzo Mbebe, the Chief Executive Officer, Local Organising Committee of the CHAN tournament in South Africa, said that the competition has helped to expose Africa’s home- based players. The CHAN tournament is indeed a step in the right direction. Some of the players that took part in the third edition of the tournament are playing big time football for the first time.’’

Enjoyment Key To Madrid Form, Says Bale

REAL Madrid winger Gareth Bale had a perfect return to action after three games out through injury, with a goal and an assist as Los Blancos moved to the top of La Liga. Madrid’s 4-2 win over Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu coupled with Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 defeat at Almeria allowed Real to go above Atletico just three days after they had also dealt Diego Simeone’s side a 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final. Bale opened the scoring on Saturday with his 11th goal of the season before teeing up Karim Benzema to make it 20 inside the first 25 minutes. Jese Rodriguez and Benzema with his second rounded off the scoring for the hosts after the break, whilst Mario Gaspar and Giovani Dos Santos scored two brilliant consolation goals for Villarreal. Real are now unbeaten in 23 games stretching back to October and Bale believes the results show he and his teammates are enjoying their football right now. “We managed to get three important points. I am very happy with my goal, but the important thing is that the team won and that we put pressure on our rivals for the title,” he told Real Madrid TV. “The team is doing very well and we are enjoying ourselves

on the pitch. The proof of that is in the results.” A key figure in Real?s unbeaten run has been midfielder Luka Modric and the former Spurs’ man received a standing ovation from the Bernabeu crowd after another stellar performance on Saturday. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said after the game that Modric fully deserved the praise he has

received of late, but the Croatian insists the plaudits won?t go to his head. “They were three very important points for us, above all after the difficult game we had against Atletico that left us very tired physically and mentally. We played a great game against a very difficult team in Villarreal. ?I am very proud that the fans sang my name. It is incredible and I feel very at home here. But, as I have said on pre-

Sir Alex Ferguson, former Man United Manager

vious occasions, the important thing is that the team is playing very well and winning. We will continue to work hard to continue like this.? It was a night of contrasting emotions for the sides from the Spanish capital as Atletico lost for just the second time in the league this season to relegation threatened Almeria. Simeone?s men were without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois due to injury and the Belgian?s presence was sorely missed as replacement Daniel Aranzubia endured a nightmare evening. The former Deportivo la Coruna keeper was badly at fault as he flapped at Verza?s opener for Almeria 10 minutes from time and he was then sent off just six minutes later for bundling over Jonathan Zongo inside the area. Verza doubled his tally with ease from the spot to ensure Real would go top on goal difference, but Simeone refused to make excuses for the injury problems that have blighted his side in recent weeks. “We lost, the opposition did a great job and we congratulate them for that. The only way in which we know how to continue as we had been is to work hard and that is what we are going to do.”

Racism Not Behind Balotelli Tears

CLARENCE Seedorf has dismissed rumours Mario Balotelliís tears during the AC Milan-Napoli match were down to racist abuse. The striker broke down on the bench after his substitution during Milan’s 3-1 defeat to Napoli after he had just missed a great scoring oppor-

• Mario Balotelli

tunity at the Stadio San Paolo. There have been some reports outside Italy that he was crying because of racist abuse from the Napoli fans, but there appears to be no evidence of this. “What can I say about Balotelli’s tears? They were

the tears of a sportsman,” said coach Seedorf in a press conference. In an interview with Mediaset Premium Seedorf also noted “Mario is human. These are things that happen many times in football and sport in general. Ií’ say it was actually beautiful, but I’d pre-

fer to talk about the game.” Seedorf also told Sky Sport Italia “we are players and there are times when we express ourselves that way. I see nothing wrong or abnormal in that. I experienced it at times too.” Teammate Ignazio Abate suggested the tears were not of anger, but of disappointment. “Mario really cares about doing well with Milan and making his mark. He is sentimental. It’s a shame that he got so downhearted about it, as he needs to keep his head up.” It has been an emotional few days for Balotelli, as DNA tests proved he is a father to Pia, the daughter of his ex-girlfriend Raffaella Fico. It’s worth noting his former partner is from Naples and lives in the city, so it’s possible he saw his daughter for the first time this weekend. Balotelli also wrote an open letter to explain his emotions at this discovery, which terminates a lengthy and often bitter legal battle.

On And Off Target Badu Scores In Udinese Win

GHANA midfielder Emmanuel AgyemangBadu scored the final goal in udineseís 3-0 win over Chievo Verona on Saturday night in the Serie A.

• Agyemang-Badu

Badu applied a sublime finish to a nice move wove by Luis Muriel and Bruno Fernandes for him to sidefoot home. The 23-year-old has now scored three goals in 16 Serie A matches for Udinese this season. Di Natale latched on to Dusan Basta’s ball to continue his recent scoring spree with the opener on 56 minutes. He then put Pereyra through to square low for Fernandes to make it two in the 76th minute and effectively put the points in the bank for the Zebrette.

Waris Grabs Winner For Valenciennes GHANA striker Abdul Majeed Waris struck a winner two minutes from time for Valenciennes in their 2-1 win Nice and breathe life into their survival campaign in Ligue 1. Released by Gary Kagelmacher’s measured through-ball, Waris delivered the ideal cross for the unmarked Tango Doumbia to head home emphatically for the gameís opener on 26 minutes. Against the run of play that Nice levelled when Christian Bruls teed up Maupay to finish clinically in the 75th minute. When it looked like both sides were heading for a draw, Romain Genevois was robbed by David Ducourtioux who fed Waris - in full flight, the

Ghanaian deftly stepped inside Mathieu Bodmer before smashing a shot beyond goalkeeper David Ospina to spark delirium at the Stade du Hainaut. Waris, on a six-month loan from Russian side Spartak Moscow, has scored two Ligue 1 goals since joining in January.

• Abdul Majeed Waris

Uchebo Sent Off In Belgium FORMER Nigeria youth international Michael Uchebo was sent off for

• Uchebo

Cercle Brugge in a Belgian league clash weekend. Uchebo’s received his first caution of the game which Cercle Brugge drew goalless with WaaslandBeveren in the 80th minute, before he was sent off for second bookable offence in the 90th minute. He has scored five goals in the league so far. This was the match during which Nigeria international Gabriel Reuben made his debut for Waasland-Beveren.

Possible Toure Ban Not Worrying Boss MANCHESTER City boss Manuel Pellegrini has said he is “not concerned” about a potential retrospective ban for Yaya Toure after an incident at Carrow Road on Saturday. Toure was seen kicking out at Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the second half of City’s goalless draw, which allowed Chelsea to go top of the Premier League table with their 3-0 win over Newcastle. Referee Jon Moss took no action despite an angry reaction from Van Wolfswinkel, and Pellegrini has insisted he is not worried that Toure could face a three-match suspension if the Football Association finds him guilty of violent conduct. Pellegrini said in the Daily Mail: “I didn’t see it and I’m not concerned about that.” Norwich boss Chris Hughton added: “If that’s the case, then enough people will have seen it, even though Iíve not seen it at this stage. Rickyís not one for complaining, he generally just gets on with it.” Third-placed City, who have now gone two league games without scoring a goal, are next in action at home to Sunderland on Wednesday.

Osaze Says Stoke Deserved Southampton Draw

• Yaya Toure

• Osaze Odemwingie

MANCHESTER City are still favourites to win the Premier League and are the “Jaguar” car in the title race, according to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. Despite watching his side the BBC. move to the top of the table “Manchester City is a Jagwith a 3-0 home win over uar. You cannot put an LNewcastle United on Satur- plate behind a Jaguar. We are day, Mourinho said Chelsea’s what we are and we know only aim was to qualify for where we want to go and this the Champions League. season we only have one obThe Portugese manager jective, which is to finish top also said it was time to stop four.” comparing the race for the Arsenal’s 5-1 thrashing at title to horses, instead opting Liverpool and City’s 0-0 for a car metaphor in which draw at Norwich City on Sathe inferred his team are still urday left Chelsea a point learner drivers. clear at the top but Mourinho “It’s time to kill (talk of) the again played down his team’s horses,” Mourinho, who de- chances of being crowned scribed his team as a “little Premier League champions horse” in the title race after for the first time since 2010. beating City on Monday, told “We are happy with what

we are doing and at this moment in time we are top,” he said. “That is great, but we want to play well and improve and that is it. “I want to secure a Champions League position and the further we are from fifth place, then we can begin to think about other things. For

No More Horses, Man City Are Jaguar In Title Race - Mourinho

Moyes Ready For ‘£45m Swoop cording to the Daily Star. DAVID Moyes is planning a Evertonís Republic of Ireland £45 million outlay to make For Duo’ right-back Coleman is the ManSeamus Coleman and Luke Shaw his full-backs next season; Arsenal are to make a surprising bid for an England midfielder; and Liverpool are set to make a move for Chelseaís Ashley Cole ñ the top stories from the morning papers.

• Seamus Coleman

ëUnited to spend £45m on duoí - Manchester United manager David Moyes is planning to spend £45m to sign full-backs Seamus Coleman, 25, and Luke Shaw, 18, from Everton and Southampton respectively, ac-

chester United managerís latest target at his former club with a price of £20m on his head. The Southampton left-back, 18, is a Chelsea fan and the Londoners were seen as favourites to sign him for £25m. But there is growing optimism at Old Trafford that he can be persuaded to choose United. Paper Roundís view: Moyes has so far signed Marouane Fellaini from Goodison, failed to land Leighton Baines and been linked with Ross Barkley. If he is now aiming to sign Coleman then he will very understandably be pigeon-holed as a manager who only looks behind him at former players, which is hardly going to win over his critics. Coleman is surely a more likely target than Shaw who is believed to prefer a move to Chelsea, but United are clearly keen to hover and pick up the left-back if indeed the switch to London does not work out.

now, my concern is increasing the gap between ourselves and fifth.” Chelsea host fifth-placed Everton on Feb. 22 but first travel to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Tuesday and visit Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.

NIGERIA striker Osaze Odemwingie has said Stoke City deserved the point they got at Southampton. Saturday’s EPL clash finished in a 2-2 draw with Osaze scoring in the 38th minute to bring the game to 1-1. “We deserved a point in the game because we showed great organisation and we defended well,” he said. The former West Brom striker, who made a winter switch from Cardiff City to Stoke, was delighted to get his first goal for his new club. “Very happy to get my first goal for the club. Good team performance. Big thanks to our fans for the support in this tough weather,” he tweeted.

Martinez Okays Financial Fair Play Rules

EVERTON manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed the idea that clubs could benefit unfairly from UEFAís financial fair play rules. Martinez takes his side to Tottenham on Sunday lying fifth in the Premier League, and in a strong position to qualify for Europe. He believes Everton are in a strong financial position to face the future after last month announcing a 1.6 million pound pre-tax profit for 201213. Some clubs in the Premier League, though, are concerned that the new UEFA rules will allow the countryís richest sides to widen the gap between themselves and the rest. Those rules compel clubs to limit losses for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons to a combined figure of 37 million pounds, with a ban from European competition the strongest possible sanction for breaking those rules. But an argument against the new rules, designed to encourage clubs to get closer to spending only what they earn, is that they offer an advantage to those sides with a higher income. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho suggested at the beginning of last week that the new regulations might make it impossible for his club to compete

with Manchester City, arguing that they have enjoyed the backing of multi-billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour. But Martinez is adamant that the rules are there to protect clubs, and will not increase inequality. He said: ìI think financial fair play is about trying to control clubs who spend money that they havenít really got. “Itís very important that we donít allow situations that have happened in the past, where a history of more than 100 years vanishes because of bad management at a club. Fair play maybe will stop that. “Finances and new projects and people investing a lot of money, thatís beneficial and it helps competition. “I donít think anyone will

• Roberto Martinez

get an unfair advantage. I think clubs will be protected from something you donít want to see in football, which is people investing money that cannot then be repaid — as you can then get hurt in the future.” Martinez believes that careful stewardship of the club under the watch of chairman Bill Kenwright means that Everton are in a healthy state both on and off the pitch. The manager stated just before the opening of the January transfer window that the club was financially strong enough to be able to resist any bids for England midfielder Ross Barkley. He added: ìInternally, weíre getting very, very strong, and weíre ready to build something special for the future. ìItís not about when weíre going to do it; itís about making sure that every day works in our favour. “But financially, weíre in a very good position. The squad is as strong as itís ever been, in terms of the combination of the senior figures with the younger players. “So Iím really excited about the future. There are many reasons for us to work as hard as we can behind the scenes, as we always do, to make sure weíve got a bright future.”

Lennon Takes Players To Task As Celtic Lose Hold On Cup

CELTIC manager Neil Lennon said there were no excuses for his side’s shock 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen in their fifth round Scottish Cup tie at Parkhead. The Hoops have been alon to the bar before Russell most unstoppable this seaAnderson ended Forster’s son with keeper Fraser run of 19 hours and 23 minForster setting a new club utes without conceding a record of 13 clean sheets in goal as he volleyed Abera row as Neil Lennon’s side deen level in the 38th won 14 consecutive games minute. going into the match. Celtic then found themBut the holders’ hopes of selves trailing in a game for completing a second succesthe first time since Novemsive league and cup double ber 2 when Peter Pawlett ended as Aberdeen inflicted sent a superb angled shot their first domestic defeat past Forster in the 49th since September. minute. Anthony Stokes fired The Dons held on to book Celtic into a ninth minute a place in the last eight as lead as he showed good conthey joined Morton, who trol and skill to fire past knocked Celtic out of the Jamie Langfield. League Cup at the same However, the Dons arrived venue in September, as the in Glasgow as the last side only teams to have defeated to score against the Hoops the Hoops domestically this back in November and buseason. oyed by their League Cup Celtic manager Lennon semi-final win over St couldn’t hide his disappointJohnstone last weekend. ment at his side’s poor perAdam Rooney diverted an formance. Andrew Considine header “We wanted to defend the

cup - it’s in our DNA as a club - and to go out so early in both competitions is hugely disappointing,” the Hoops boss said. “I can factor in the League Cup as at the time we were in the Champions League and I made some changes for that game, but there are no excuses for today as that was a poor performance. “We all have to accept the responsibility and the criticism that will come our way. “You have to give Aberdeen credit as they played well on the day. Going a goal down they showed a lot of character to get back into the game. “But I’ve got to look at my own team and that’s as poor as we’ve played here for a long, long time. “We missed too many decent chances when we didn’t work the goalkeeper and there was a flatness about our play today. I don’t where that has come from.

THE British government has corrected a blunder in which it barred 2,500 of England’s most notorious football hooligans from just the opening day of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a newspaper said yesterday. Police Minister Damian Green signed a legal document that would have left them “free to cause mayhem”, The Mail yesterday said, had one of his team not later spotted the error. The statutory instrument forces known hooligans to

fice interior ministry then noticed the blunder. The corrected version, entitled The Football Spectators (2014 World Cup Control Period) (Amendment) Order 2014, was laid before parliament on Thursday. “An amendment order was drafted immediately,” a spokesman was quoted as saying.

MELBOURNE Heart’s impressive A-League recovery continued yesterday with a 2-1 win over Perth Glory in Albury. A week after his brilliant individual effort sealed all three points late on at home to Sydney FC, David Williams was the match-winner again for Heart. The 25-year-old forward came off the bench to net the decisive goal and make it an improbable three wins from four attempts for the previously hapless team in red and white, who are now unbeaten since losing away to the Glory on Jan. 10. Williams’ 12th strike for the

TEENAGER Hirving Lozano made a dream first division debut, coming on in the 85th minute and scoring the winner in the 90th to give Pachuca an upset 1-0 victory over America at the Azteca on Saturday. A win would have lifted America into first place in the Clausura championship standings. Instead they remain one point behind unbeaten leaders Cruz Azul who can pull further away when they visit Atlante yesterday. “To score a goal at the Azteca, I think it’s the dream of all youth scheme players, it’s the most wonderful

thing,” said midfielder Lozano, who fended off Mexico centre back Francisco Rodriguez to score his goal. “The boss (coach Enrique Meza) told me to go out there and take the game to the opposition• The confidence he has in me was important,” he told reporters. America’s Argentine coach Antonio Mohamed was upset that in the two matches his team have lost, including a 1-0 defeat at Tijuana last month, the opposition scored in the final minute, leaving them with no time to hit back.

Britain Corrects Football World Cup Hooliganism Blunder

• Sepp Blatter

surrender their passports between certain dates. It initially said the travel ban would start on June 2 — 10 days before the opening ceremony — and end on June 13, rather than July 13. The tournament’s first full day of matches are on June 13, with England’s campaign opening with their match against Italy the following day. The instrument was put before parliament on January 29. Officials at the Home Of-

“We can analyse it to death but we gave the players all the preparation needed for today and cup ties are like that. We didn’t play anywhere near the level that we can.” Aberdeen, who face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in next month’s League Cup final, now have the chance to win both domestic cups. And Lennon believes it is a realistic prospect. “Absolutely,” the Celtic manager said. “They could win both trophies now and I think coming here and winning will give them a huge shot in the arm.” The Dons will be joined in Sunday’s draw for the quarter-finals by Rangers, who thrashed fellow League One

side Dunfermline 4-0 on Friday night, St Johnstone, Albion Rovers and Dumbarton while Stranraer and Inverness will need a replay following a 2-2 draw.

Hibernian’s 112-year Scottish Cup hoodoo continues as Championship side Raith Rovers defeated Terry Butcher’s side 3-2 at Easter Road.

• Neil Lennon

Melbourne Heart Revival Continues club also saw him become the joint leading scorer in Heart’s brief A-League history, along with Eli Babalj. Defender Patrick Kisnorbo had given Heart the lead five minutes into the second half. Steven McGarry equalised for the Glory with 17 minutes to go, before Williams intervened to see John van ‘t Schip’s resurgent side close to within eight points of a finals berth. Wellington Phoenix occupy sixth spot following their 3-2 victory at the Newcastle Jets yesterday — and it is the New

Zealand side who are up next for Heart at Westpac Stadium in round 19. An early Carlos Hernandez goal was cancelled out by Craig Goodwin after 25 minutes at Hunter Stadium before Stein Huysegems gave the visitors a 2-1 half-time lead. Goodwin’s second goal early in the second half levelled the scores before substitute Jason Hicks grabbed the winner with a well-taken strike in the 71st minute. The win saw the Phoenix move into the top six while the Jets remained second-bottom and in danger of falling out of finals contention.

Teenage debutant sinks Mexico’s America at Azteca “I’m angry because we lost at the finish. This (game) is about results and unfortunately we couldn’t score,” Mohamed, nicknamed El Turco, said. “The one thing that bothers me is that the two matches we lost were in the 90th minute, that leaves a sour taste because you can’t react,” he said. “I’d be worried if we hadn’t had goal chances, we had seven or eight... With finishing, there are days when you are inspired and others not.” America were without suspended Argentine midfielder

Rubens Sambueza, sent off in last weekend•s 1-0 win over Atlante, and injured Colombian striker Luis Gabriel Rey. Title holders Leon, winners of the Apertura championship in the first half of the season, also lost, 2-1 at home to UNAM Pumas, and sunk into the bottom half of the Clausura standings. Argentine striker Mario Bravo scored both goals for recovering Pumas, who notched their third win in a row after having won only once in their previous 20 games all season and finishing bottom of the Apertura table.


Morakinyo confident Of Nigeria’s Appearance In World Championships EBENEZAR Morakinyo, Vice-President, Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), yesterday said he was confident that the senior national volleyball team would perform creditably at the final round of 2014 Menís World Championships qualifier. Morakinyo told newsmen volleyball team was high bein Lagos that the players se- cause of the level of experilected for the competition ence of the coaches and playwere capable of winning the ers. zonal finals and proceed to “We believe the team will the World Championships. do well and come out tops in The NVBF had selected 12 their group because of the players to represent the coun- level of the teamís preparatry at the final round of the tions. 2014 FIVB Menís World “I expect the very best from Championships Pool ëTí the team because they have qualifier. been training well in camp,íí The competition will hold he said. from Feb. 12 to Feb. 18 in The vice-president also Cameroon. said that in spite of the tough He said the quality of the

competition expected in the group, he hoped they would to qualify for the finals of the competition. The team will begin its campaign against hosts, Cameroon on Feb. 13 and slug it out against Gabon the next day. It will tackle Rwanda and Algeria on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17 respectively. The top team in the pool will join the winners of the other two pools to represent Africa in Poland. FIVB Volleyball Menís World Championships in Poland will take place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 21.

men and women. “We are organising this training because we have to acquaint our match officials with the new and complex issues that could hinder proper officiating in the coming season. “They will also undergo physical fitness examinations and written examinations to ascertain their alertness and the ability to do their job effectively. “The participants are drawn from all parts of the federation and they will form the nucleus of the ta-

ble officials, match commissioners and scorers. “ Those who are successful at the end of the training, would be picked for the coming season,íí he said. Some of the participants also told NAN that the training programme had become a yearly event which was important in preparing young and old officials for the new season. Abdulahi Alimi, a FIBA zonal referee from Lagos, said that the training sessions had been interactive and educative. “I have gained so much in the training and I am confident that I will do well in the coming season,íí he said. Abdulkadir Adamu, a referee from Gombe State , said that he now had a better understanding of the changes taking place in the world of basketball. “It is a well organised session and we have been able to learn new things as regards officiating and through the played video tapes, we saw our mistakes,íí he said. Also speaking, Rasaq Odekeyi, a FIBA incensed referee from Lagos, said, “We are looking toward a great basketball season and hopefully to be on top of our assignments.íí The basketball season for the DStv/Menís league begins on Feb. 28.

Eagles World Cup Watch MIKEL Obi and Victor Moses did not see action in the EPL, but Eagles outcasts Osaze Odemwingie and Joseph Yobo pressed for World Cup consideration. Osaze Odemwingie: He helped Stoke City earn a point at Southampton in a 22 draw, getting one of the goals. He also played a full

Mikel Obi: He was an unused substitute in Chelsea 30 win over Newcastle United. Nemanja Matic is keeping Nigeria top star on the bench. Mikelís compatriot Shola Ameobi was also an unused substitute for Newcastle in the same game. Efe Ambrose: He was on from start to finish but could not help Celtic from crash-

52 Basketball Referees Undergoing Training In Abuja

NO fewer than 52 referees are currently undergoing training at the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Stakeholders Seminar in Abuja. Yinka Famogbiyele, the facilitator of the training session and a Federation of International (FIBA) licensed referee, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Saturday. According to him, the referees are made up of old and new officials who would officiate in the 2013/ 2014 basketball leagues for

• Bolaji Abdullahi, Sports Minister

• John Obi Mikel

• Joseph Yobo

game. Will coach Stephen Keshi forgive and forget now? Joseph Yobo: Another Eagles outcast, the experienced defender made his debut for Norwich City as they held a rampant Manchester City to a goalless draw. Yobo saw 90 minutes of action in the heart of the defence. He again showed he is far from finished. Vincent Enyeama: Nigeria number 1 goalkeeper managed a clean sheetl for Lille as they beat strugglers Sochaux 2-0.

ing out of the Scottish Cup as they fell 2-1 to Aberdeen. Nosa Igiebor: The midfielder returned to action following weeks on the sideline due to injury. He was a 67th minute substitute for Real Betis in a 5-0 loss to Valencia. He may not be able to save his club from relegation but at least he has boosted his chances of flying to Brazil with the Super Eagles. Godfrey Oboabona: The ex-Sunshine star captain was not listed by Turkish club

Rizespor in a 1-1 draw at Erciyesspor. Kenneth Omeruo: After his debut last week, he was an unused substitute for Middlesbrough in the goalless draw against Blackburn. The young defender needs more game-time as soon as possible. Ike Uche: He watched his team Villarreal lose 4-2 to Real Madrid from sidelines due to injury. Hopefully, he should be fit in time for next monthís friendly against Mexico in the USA. Ramon Azeez: The young midfielder was again in fullgame action as his club Almeria beat Athletico Madrid 2-0 to ease relegation worries. They are now 13th on the La Liga table. Yesterday Mba: He played the full game as CA Bastia lost 4-1 at home to Chateauroux. His team may be hopeless, but he is clocking more game-time in Europe after several months of inactivity. Obinna Nsofor: He debuted for Chievo Verona in a 3-0 loss to Udinese. He played for 28 minutes. Victor Moses: Liverpool smashed past Arsenal 5-1 but with Raheem Sterling in such great form, the Nigeria star could only watch the entire game on the bench. His loan spell at Liverpool is proving a disaster and this could work against him at the World Cup, where he is expected to be one of the countryís key players. Sone Aluko: He was a 78th minute substitute for Hull City in their 2-0 away win at Sunderland. Great for the winger to return after a longterm injury. Gabriel Reuben: He made his debut for WaaslandBeveren in a goalless draw with Cercle Brugge. He was on for the entire duration of the game. The highly-regarded defensive midfielder is back playing again and this will lift his confidence and improve his chances for Brazil 2014. Michael Olaitan: He scored a brace in Olympiacos 5-0 win over Veria. He saw 90 minutes of action for the table-topping Greek giants against his former club. Who will now bet against him not earning at least a call-up before the World Cup.


EDO State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently faulted the 2014 Appropriation Act signed into law by the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, describing it as “motley of uncoordinated numbers and lacking reality.” The state party Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, who led his entire executive at the press briefing sheepishly claimed that the budget has an inbuilt deficit spending of 30 per cent. The PDP media hype has left more questions blowing in the winds for Edo people. What does Dan Orbih know about budget process? How many economists does the PDP have to challenge the APC-led government budget of consolidation? Why did the Edo PDP army of economists not advise the former governors who pillored the state resources for over ten years? The Edo State 2014 budget, just like all previous Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole led administration deliberately put capital estimates over and above the recurrent estimates. This is what has led to the transmogrification of Edo State, which the Edo PDP left in ruins. It is incontrovertible that Edo state is far much better today than what the PDP left of it. But on the contrary, the PDP Federal Government budget of over four trillion naira, earmarks over 72 per cent of the budget for recurrent expenses, leaving capital projects with a paltry 28 per cent. The 2014 Federal Budget is simply designed for PDP to manipulate the upcoming 2015 general elections. The budget has been clandestinely prepared to be stolen through all dubious means by the PDP to return the party through

a do or die process. Sadly, Dan Orbih and his cohorts in Edo PDP have not raised a voice against the ill-conceived, badly prepared 2014 Federal Budget. Orbih lied that “N49 billion out the total budget of N160 billion

year, PDP-led federal government is borrowing N1 trillion. So you can see that it is the pot calling the kettle black. It is ridiculous for any individual or Egbekegbe society called Edo PDP for that matter, if one may borrow from the

By OKHAREDIA CHIEF DAN OWEGIE By IHIMEKPEN embark on the building of new universities in all the states which did not have one in Nigeria? What did

Ehor Fruit Juice factory is rotting away, and the planned Uromi Cassava Plant is still moribund.

Shaming Dan Orbih’s Gaffe On Edo State 2014 Budget was expected to be sourced through loan,” how did he arrive at such a concocted budget figure when the Governor that presented the budget did

legendary words of Fela Ani Kulapo Kuti, to criticise Oshiomhole over the planned building of three model schools in each of the three

Chief Dan Orbih, Edo State PDP Chairman

not state so? As a pathological liar, Dan Orbih deludes himself in the aphorism that “when you keep on telling a particular lie all the time, it will be mistaken for truth by credulous listeners.” But he hit the rocks because, Edo people are too politically matured to be told such obvious lies. But in any case, If Orbih is saying Edo will augment the 2014 budget with some borrowings, what Orbih failed to tell Edo people is whether the PDP-led federal government on its own proposed a surplus budget for 2014! Out of a N4 trillion budget for this

senatorial zones. To make matters worse, he foolishly claims “facts on ground showed that existing ones were illequipped in terms of content and facilities” Where were such facts obtained from? What was the state of public schools under PDP led governments in Edo State? Dan Orbih should stop marketing his ignorance of observable facts in Edo State. Education under the PDP was a disaster. At the Federal level, in spite of the poor funding of public universities which is clear to all, did President Goodluck Jonathan not

Orbih say about that. He kept silent. Professor Wole Soyinka assures that the man dies in likes of the Orbihs who keep silent in the face of

Where else can jobs come from? But this kind of brainless message can only emanate when stark illiterates begin to dabble

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor

tyranny, as is now evident in the PDP- led federal government. Education under the PDP in Edo and at the federal level is a disaster! Orbih should not even go there at all. Again Orbih embarked on the harakiri voyage when his leaking mouth recklessly drove him into the sales of industries in Edo state for which he thoughtlessly accuses the Oshiomhole administration. In his words: “Bendel Brewery is dead, Nigerian Observer is in comatose, Edo Line is bedridden, Edo Transport is being buried, the long proposed

on issues they don’t understand. Edo State Government has described as ridiculous accusations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the state-owned industries have been sold. The PDP administrations in Edo State should be held responsible for the sale of the industries and mismanagement of the proceeds realised from such sales to the detriment of the people. The PDP leaders need to bury their heads in shame having ruined the state economically. The records are there for all to see: There are existing

documents to show how the industries were privatised. Churchgate Industries acquired Bendel Brewery Limited in 1992, Josien Holdings acquired majority shares in Edo Pharmaceuticals in 1993 while Bendel Feeds and Flour Mills was bought in 1986. Others are Bendel Cement Company purchased by Scancem Holdings, Solid Minerals Processing Company purchased by Goopex Nigeria Limited in 2005 and Fruit Juice Processing Company bought by Alliance Limited in Lagos State. Where does the APC government come in all of these? But Edo State Government of today is not folding its arms and lamenting. It has created the enabling environemt for industries to thrive as a first step through the provision of basic infrastructure: Roads, water and electricity. In order to continue its programme on poverty eradication, Edo state Government has concluded plans to tap into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N220 billion Micro finance Intervention Fund. When fully operational, small and medium scale industries would bounce back and employment rate would be leap-frog. Besides, Edo City Transport Service has since be repositioned by the State Government and is solving the transportation needs of Edo people. Edo people must continue to ignore the unresearched, evilintended, ill-conceived, mischievous and malevolent criticisms of loquacious Edo PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih. · Mr. Dan Owegie is a Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Edo State.

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Nigerian observer 10 02 2014  
Nigerian observer 10 02 2014  

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