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THE NIGERIAN

The Nigerian

1

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol. 38 NO. 436• MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014 • N 100.00

ISSUES Pg. 15

Centenary Jamboree

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And Rejected

Healthcare delivery: Oshiomhole lauds By CLIFFORD AGBAJOR BENIN CITY - Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has commended the

Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN) for its contribution towards the advancement of healthcare delivery in the state.

Awards

INT’L

FEATURES Pg 24

New Law Drives Uganda’s Embattled Gays Deeper Into Shadows

CHAN

He made the commendation in Benin City at the opening ceremony of a two-day Advocacy training for

stakeholders in Edo and Delta States. The governor who was represented at the occasion by the state Commissioner for Continues on page 2

Fuel Scarcity

Alison-Madueke blames marketers

LAGOS - The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, yesterday blamed the current scarcity of petrol nationwide to the diversion of the commodity by some marketers. The minister made the is that, some drivers will accusation after an not supply the lifted unscheduled inspection products to designated of 15 filling stations in filling stations. Surulere, Ikoyi, Ajah and “Having gone round Iponri areas of Lagos. the state, it is not just the “We have enough fuel filling stations at Ikoyi to serve the country, the that appeared to be challenge we are having without product, but

other extreme locations like Ajah and other parts in Surulere. “It appears there are lots of factors militating

against efficient delivery of fuel. “We learnt that some of the marketers instructed their drivers to

change the number plates of their trucks to make it difficult for tracking. “I have directed the

heads of the agencies DPR, PPMC and PPPRA - to give me a Continues on page 2

Insecurity: S’East Govs

call for prayers

ENUGU - Governors of the South East, have called on Churches to pray for Nigeria to overcome the current security and socio political challenges facing it. They made the call yesterday in Enugu in separate remarks at the investiture of Most Rev Christopher Edeh as the sixth Methodist Archbishop of Enugu Diocese. The Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum and Anambra Governor, Mr. Peter Obi said prayers were necessary to save the

nation from its present predicament. Obi congratulated the new archbishop and urged him to use his position to serve mankind. Also, Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi and Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State said the country needed fervent prayers from all Nigerians for it to move forward. “So we urge the Church to pray for those in authority to enable them pilot the affairs of the country in the interest of mankind.” In his remarks,

TIT BIT “Never allow your revenge to portray you as a more evil person; otherwise, none would remember how badly you were initially hurt.” - Kingsley-Ogbeide-Ihama

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia pledged to work with the Church for the progress of the state and the nation. Earlier, the new Archbishop expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon overcome its difficulties. In a sermon, entitled, ‘Let my people go forward’, Edeh urged Continues on page 2

MATRICULATION: Edo State Commissioner for Secondary, Tertiary and Technical Education, Barr. Washington Osifo (right), and the Provost, College of Education, Ekiadolor, near Benin, Prof. Victor Amen Uhunmwangho at the 2013/2014 Matriculation ceremony of the College recently. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

NHIS: Stakeholders urge improved

patients’ satisfaction

ABUJA Stakeholders at the technical session of the Presidential Summit on Universal Health Coverage have stressed the need for improved patients’ satisfaction to

achieve the objectives of the National Health Insurance Scheme. The President of GE Nigeria, Dr Lazarus

Angbazo, emphasised the stakeholder’s stance in an interview with journalist yesterday in Abuja, on the sideline of

the session. He said if measures were put in place to ensure patients’ satisfaction, the

DUTSE - The Sharia, Area and Customary Courts Judges Association of Nigeria (SACCJAN), yesterday

said it would join the nationwide warning strike by judiciary workers commencing on Wednesday, March 12.

Alhaji Zakariya Adamu, President of the union disclosed this in Dutse, Jigawa, at the opening of the union’s

delegates conference. According to him, the three-day warning strike is to protest the refusal

Judges to join judiciary workers strike Continues on page 2

objectives of the scheme would be achieved and sustained. The president of GE, which is an American m u l t i n a t i o n a l c o n g l o m e r a t e corporation engaged in financing electricity and health services, said “patients often seek for satisfaction for services Continues on page 2


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

News

Oshiomhole lauds CHAN

Continued from page 1 Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Aihanuwa Eregie, noted that as part of efforts to ensure better healthcare delivery in Edo State, government will continue to take necessary steps to check quackery. Oshiomhole stated that CHAN as a body that is out to advocate for a better faithbased mission health facilities and institutions as they affect Edo State, the state government will as much as possible partner with the body. Chairman of the occasion and Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Benin, Rt. Rev. Peter Imasuen, who was represented by Ven. Osaro Igbinosa stated that mission health institutions were legacies established by missionaries while propagating the gospel and healing ministry of Christ. He noted that mission health institutions have in no small measure contributed to healthcare delivery in Edo State. Bishop Imasuen who is also the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Edo State, chapter, stressed the need for government to make policy and legislation that will recognise and provide regular support to faith-based organisations that will enable them function effectively in healthcare delivery in Edo State and in the country. In his goodwill message, former Chief of Staff, Government House, Benin City, Dr. Isaiah Osifo, appealed to Christian leaders to join hands with other wellmeaning Nigerians in the fight against corruption as well as to ensure that only credible people get their mandate, particularly during elections. The chairman of CHAN, Edo State, Ven. Stephen Aghemwenhio, stated that CHAN realises that government alone cannot

provide healthcare for the people without the assistance of mission health institutions. He therefore appealed to Edo State government to assist faith-based hospitals in the state to enable them continue to render

government in the area of healthcare delivery. The theme of the two-day seminar was, “Attracting Health Resources to the Mission Health Institutions in Edo and Delta States of Nigeria”.

a way to monitor and evaluate the performance of healthcare providers. In a related development, Prof. Angela Oyo-Ita, the Commissioner for Health, Cross River, advised Servicom to increase its intervention activities to ensure consumer satisfaction of services given them. Meanwhile, the Edo chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called on the state government to establish a health insurance scheme for the people. Its Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Ighodaro, made the call in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Benin City. Ighodaro said it was important for the state government to establish the scheme to enable the residents have access to good healthcare. He added that many people in the state had no access to health facilities because of the lack of resources. The chairman said government was expected to ensure that the people had access to health services. He noted that “no nation can attain sustainable development when its

citizens struggle to access healthcare from their earnings. “The issue of health insurance is paramount; when every individual in the state is insured, they don’t need to have money in their pockets to access quality healthcare. “This is because everyone is contributing and not everyone is accessing at the same time, but there is a constant pool of fund when needed.’’ Ighodaro explained that health insurance was a shared burden which allowed individuals and government to contribute toward the healthcare of the citizenry. “The scheme is already working at the national level and Edo people must be logged on to it, to provide the health needs of the state”, he said. He also called for immediate establishment of the proposed primary healthcare development agency in the state. He said it would increase access to quality health delivery, especially in the rural areas, noting that over 50 per cent of people with health needs in the state lived in rural areas.

Stakeholders urge patients’ satisfaction Continued from page 1 offered to them.’’ He also stressed the need for continuous training of healthcare workers to improve on their skills and attitude in order to be able to give clients the needed satisfaction. He added that “improved training for healthcare workers will increase their skill to serve people better. ‘Availability of equipment is likewise essential, as it will improve services. ‘To ensure quality, therefore, we recommend that health facilitators be evaluated and rated in terms of customer satisfaction for improved service delivery.’’ Angbazo advised health workers to be friendly, cautious and patient with the sick, noting, however, that the workers should be encouraged through incentives to prompt good behaviours. Similarly, Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas, the Adjunct Professor of International Health, Harvard School of Public Health, emphasised the need for training of health workers. He said “to improve on patients’ satisfaction, such a patient’s right must be considered and respected.’’ Lucas said there should be

Judiciary workers strike

Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1 of the Federal and State Governments to respect a c ourt’s judgement which guaranteed the autonomy of the judiciary. He directed state offices of the union to join the strike, saying, “the fight is for all judiciary workers and we must support JUSUN to have victory in this our cause”.

clear picture and timeline in terms of numbers of trucks coming into Lagos.” She said, “there is diversion and I want some ideas about the diversion. If we can establish there is, I want to know how this is being done. “They need to supply me how these trucks are being tracked because diversion is not easy to do. “They will be sanctioned and I’m ready to publish names of anybody that may be involved.” The minister assured Nigerians that the government has a reserve stock of petrol that could last the next two weeks.

those in leadership positions to always look up to God and never lose hope. He said that the current security challenges and other socioeconomic and political crisis would be over, if they continue to trust in God. The event was attended by the Prelate of the Methodist Church, Most Rev. Samuel Uche, the Prelate Emeritus, Most Rev. Ola Makinde, the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rt Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma and other dignitaries.

Fuel scarcity

humanitarian healthcare services to the people. On his part, the National Director, Media Advocacy, CHAN, Mr. David Omorebokhai pointed out that CHAN is not competing with government, rather it is complementing the effort of

Insecurity Continued from page 1

Adamu said the strike declared by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), was in the overall interest of the judiciary, democracy and the country. “A Federal High Court in Abuja had passed a judgement in favour of JUSUN for the independence of the

judiciary; and both states and the federal governments are yet to implement it nor did they appeal the judgment.” He therefore called on members of his union across the country “to close their courts from Wednesday to Friday, March 12 to 14, 2014”

Commissioner Decries Call To Scrap DESOPADEC SAPELE – The Commissioner of the Delta State Oil and Gas Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) representing Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality, Delta State, Hon. Michael Diden has decried the call to scrap the commission. Attributing such call to human nature, Hon. Diden affirmed that DESOPADEC was doing so much to meet the infrastructural and other needs of the people of Delta State including the Itsekiri nation.

Hon. Diden made the remarks when speaking with newsmen in Sapele, Delta State recently. According to the D E S O P A D E C Commissioner, “I see the commission doing its bidding and living up to the expectation of the people. On the purpose of serving the interest of Itsekiri people in DESOPADEC, Hon. Diden disclosed that they were getting roads and educational institution amongst other social amenities.

Lenten Season Cleric urges Christians to be contented with the gift of life

LAGOS - Rev. Fr Augustine Echefu, the Associate Parish Priest of St. Patricks Catholic Church, Ojo-Alaba, Lagos, yesterday, urged Christians to imbibe the virtue of contentment so as to resist temptation. Echefu made the call during a sermon he delivered at the celebration of a Mass to mark the First Sunday of the Lenten period in the Catholic Church Calendar. He said “lent is a liturgical period in the Church, which heralds the season of Easter; it is a time characterised with prayers, fasting and almsgiving.’’ The priest said that the season was a remarkable one, and urged Christians to guard against temptation, which could lead them to sin. He added that “today, the Church presents to us two popular Biblical stories, which teaches us about temptation. “Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and they yielded to that temptation. “Jesus on the other hand, was tempted in the wilderness during a 40-day fasting, but he resisted all the

plot of the devil.’’ The cleric said that temptation in itself did not amount to sin, because it largely depended on the choice of an individual. “Temptation on its own does not mean sin, but a test of freedom and free will. “Each time we fall into sin, it is because we have aligned our decisions with the temptations we are faced with.’’ He noted that Christians were often faced with challenges such as poverty, the lack of job or the fruit of the womb. He, however, urged Christians to be steadfast and exhibit the virtue of contentment and long suffering, irrespective of the temptation they were experiencing. He stressed that “temptation is a recurring situation; the devil always finds a subtle way to lure human beings into sin, we must pray for the ability to overcome all obstacles in our Christians faith.’’ He then advised Christians to be generous during the Lenten season and abstain from immoral acts.

By ELIZABETH AGBOEGULEM

Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, who ensured that all the relevant logistics were made available to us.” In his response, Barr. Chinye expressed profound gratitude to the committee for its achievement. He assured the new APC members that they have made the right decision, stating that all nonindigenes in Rivers State can be assured that the APC administration come 2015 will give them all the necessary support to succeed in their various endeavours in the State. “Let me reiterate that Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, apart from being very supportive is interested in all that we are doing as he has assured us of his commitment to carry us along; so we need to unite and ensure that an APC administration is installed in Rivers State come 2015” Chinye stated: “Governor amaechi has proven that he is a nationalist who is committed to ensuring that the security and welfare of all Nigerians residing in Rivers State is not compromised”. Barr. Chinye said. Stakeholders in the course of the meeting “mandated the NIPF leadership to begin active mobilisation for the 2015 elections by undertaking a tour of all State’s Chapters to ensure that members of the Forum participate actively in the party congresses expected to start later this month”.

.1m non-indigenes join APC in Rivers Leader of NIPF and the State

PORT HARCOURT About 100,000 nonindigenes of Rivers State resident in the State have registered as members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and committed themselves to working for the party’s success in future elections. This was disclosed over the weekend by Alhaji Yusuf Tanko, Chairman of the Registration Committee of the Non-Indigenes Political Forum (NIPF) of Rivers APC, during a meeting of the Forum held at the State APC Secretariat in Port Harcourt. Submitting a preliminary report of the work done by his committee during the recent APC nationwide membership registration exercise, Alhaji Tanko said: “Our target was to register about 800,000 nonindigenes but due to the attacks on members by PDP hoodlums we could only mobilise about 100,000 nonindigenes who are genuine members of APC today.” “With this number we are capable of mobilising the 1.6m non indigenes voters in Rivers State for any election in favour of APC candidates any day, anytime. I commend and congratulate my colleagues particularly Chief Uchenna Okokoba, the NIPF Coordinator, who was on our neck to ensure that the required result is achieved.” “Of course, greater thanks go to Barr. Chuma Chinye,


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

News

Nephrologist Identifies Early Signs Of Kidney Failure LAGOS - A Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Olalekan Ojo, has advised that generalised and persistent itching of the body could be a sign of kidney failure. Ojo, who works with the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. The National Kidney Foundation says, “Chronic Kidney Disease is a condition characterised by a gradual loss of kidney function over time.” Ojo, who is also the Chairman, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, FMC Owo chapter, said, “Itching is a common skin condition

that is caused by many factors. “It may be generalised, that is, it occurs all over the whole body, or only in one location. “When itching is generalised and persistent, especially after undergoing treatment, it can be a sign of more serious health problem like chronic kidney failure, liver disease and cancer.” He listed other symptoms of kidney disease to include bone pain, drowsiness, numbness in the hands, feet, or other areas and excessive thirst. The nephrologist said that kidney disease was a gradual progressive loss of kidney functions that was irreversible.

Doctors Say Whooping Cough Dangerous LAGOS - Two doctors in Lagos advised parents to vaccinate their children against whooping cough to prevent complications from the disease. They gave the advice in interviews with newsmen in Lagos. A General Physician, Dr Abiola Ajala, said that whooping cough was a vaccine-preventable disease common in children. She said: “ Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and airways. “It is more common in children. “Whooping cough is a vaccinepreventable disease; parents should ensure that they get their children vaccinated so as not to expose them to complications associated with it.” Ajala, who works with the Optimal Children’s Clinic, Akerele, Lagos, said that complications from whooping cough were usually more severe in children than adults. “Whooping cough can result in complications which can be severe in babies. “They are most likely to develop severe complications such as pneumonia, seizures, ear infections, slowed breathing, brain damage, weight loss and dehydration,” she said. According to her, some symptoms of whooping cough include runny nose, sneezing, dry cough and fever.

Also, a Private Practitioner, Dr Rotimi Agboola, said that whooping cough is best prevented through vaccination. Agboola said: “Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. “The best way to prevent whooping cough is with the pertussis vaccine, which is often given in combination with vaccines against two other serious diseases. “It is best to get children vaccinated early to make them invulnerable to the infection and its complications. “Parents, who have never been vaccinated, should get vaccination to protect their children.” He said that whooping cough usually took some time to manifest. “It can take one to three weeks for signs and symptoms to appear. “The symptoms which are usually mild in its early stage include runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and dry cough. “The symptoms may worsen after a week with mucus being accumulated inside the airways, dry-hacking whoop sound, vomiting and extreme fatigue. “To manage the infection, make sure the child gets plenty of rest and drinks lots of water to prevent dehydration,” he advised.

Ojo said that the disease affected between 20 and 25 per cent of the country’s population. “Chronic kidney disease is much more common than people realise. “Although, there are no available accurate statistics, studies have shown that kidney disease affects about 20 to 25 per cent of the population. “It often goes undetected and undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced,” he said. Ojo said that conditions like Diabetes Type II, a family history of kidney disease, sickle cell disease, hypertension and indiscriminate use of analgesics raised the risk of developing kidney disease. The nephrologist advised people to go for regular medical examination to detect the disease early. Also, Mr Banke Ajomale, the Executive Director of Nathan Kidney Foundation (NKF), Ikeja, said that kidney diseases developed slowly and often showed symptoms at later stages. Ajomale said that without warning signs, kidney failure could have reached an advanced stage before the victim knows that something is wrong. He stressed the need for government at all levels to intensify efforts on public awareness. “Lack of awareness about kidney disease ought to be addressed, as these people do not know they have the disease until the situation degenerates, before coming to the hospital. “The situation is unfortunate because once a person’s kidneys are damaged; they are left with the limited options of dialysis or renal replacement therapy, to live. “Dialysis is the process of repeatedly using a blood-cleansing machine to perform kidney functions, while the renal replacement, also known as kidney replacement, involves getting a kidney transplant. “Unfortunately too, most Nigerians cannot afford a renal transplant or to pay indefinitely for dialysis. “Presently, dialysis costs about N5 million annually, while a kidney transplant costs about N4 million and a patient needs about N150, 000 monthly to get immunosuppressive drugs, after a successful transplant. “In essence, kidney failure is usually a death sentence, if not detected early and managed appropriately,’’ Ajomale added.

FRSC Warns Against Fake Driver’s Licence, Number Plates DUTSE- The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has reiterated its warning to motorists against patronising touts to obtain fake driver’s licence and vehicle number plates. The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of FRSC, Mr.Osita Chidoka, gave the warning after attending a stakeholders meeting in Dutse. Represented by Mr Victor Nwokoro, Assistant Corp Marshal, Special Marshal and Partnership Department, Chidoka said any holder of counterfeit driver’s licence would be arrested and prosecuted.

He said the corps had educated banks, which were among institutions that used driver’s licence as identification, on how to verify the authenticity of number plates presented to them for transaction. He said FRSC was working with security agencies in the country in the fight against fake driver’s licence and number plates. “All the security agencies are on red alert to apprehend anyone with counterfeit licence or car number plates,” Chidoka said. He urged motorists to follow

due process in obtaining the documents. “The public need to be informed that not all the staff of state Board of Internal Revenue, Vehicle Inspection Officers and FRSC are designated to issue such items,” Chidoka said. He said he was in the state to sensitise people to motor vehicle administration, which included driver’s licence and the new number plates. He said motorists could verify their driving licence by visiting www.nigeriadriverslicense.org.


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

News

Owan East LG Rehabilitates 2 Roads

IKHIN- Motorist and commuters plying the IkhinOtuo and the Arokho-Ohanmi roads in Owan East Local Government Area can now heave a sign of relief, as the Chief (Barr.) Jimoh Ijegbai-led administration has embarked on the rehabilitation of the road to ease transportation problem of people in the locality. The chairman, who inspected the on-going rehabilitation work on the failed portions of the Ikhin-Otuo road which was last rehabilitated by Hon. Pally Iriase as Chairman of the local government said motorist will no longer have to visit the mechanic workshops as frequently as they did, once the rehabilitation work is completed. The council boss disclosed that the rehabilitation work on the failed portions of the road is his administration’s way of complementing the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s efforts at ensuring motorable roads across the state, moreso that the Ikhin-

Otuo roads is a state road. Aside complementing the governor’s efforts, Chief Ijegbai noted that since the users of the road are indigenes of Owan East, it behoves on his administration to embark on the rehabilitation work as a palliative for the people of the locality. The council boss commended the works Department of the council for a job well done, adding that it is better to salvage the road which has been in a very deplorable state. The Council’s Assistant Chief Engineer, Engr. Chris Ekaaun assured that the rehabilitation work will be completed in two weeks time, just as he commended the council chairman for his pragmatic leadership style of administration, which he said brought about the rehabilitation of the Ikhin-Otuo road. At the Arokho-Ohanmi Road,

Chief Ijegbai inspected the double-culvert being constructed to link the Arokho and Ohanmi communities. He said the project is to ensure that the communities who are predominantly farmers have access to evacuate their farm produce to the market as the bridge often hinder such movement during the rainy season. Engr. Ekaun assured that the double-culvert is being constructed to specification and such, would stand the test of time adding that work will be completed in record time, ostensibly before the rainy season sets in. An elated indigene of Ohanmi, Mr. Tunde Owuh commended the council boss for not only grading the Arokho-Ohanmi road, but that the culvert would provide an all-round movement between Arokho and Ohanmi communities. He disclosed that the platform across the stream was often washed away with the rains.

Edo State Commissioner for Health Dr. Aihanuwa Eregie (middle), who represented Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, flanked by Ven. Stephen Agbemwenhio, Chairman, Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN), Edo State (left), and Rev. Frank Ezelo, Conference President, Edo State Baptist during a two-day seminar organised in Benin City by CHAN for stakeholders in Edo and Delta States recently. Photo: SUNDAY OSADEBAMWEN.

Chairman, Bulet International, Malam Sumaila Funtua (left), with Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal at the Peoples Media Limited Conference in Abuja recently.

Taste For Bushmeat, A Challenge To Wildlife Conservaion - Expert By OLADIPO AIRENAKHO

BENIN CITY-The Managing Director of Ogba Zoological Garden and Park, Mr Andy Ehanire said the continued high taste for bushmeat by Nigerians posses a threat to wildlife conservation and mankind. The conservation expert who made this known in an interview with newsmen in Benin City on the occasion of the 2014 commemoration of the World Wild Life Day with the theme, ‘’If animals go. What next? , said wildlife was a heritage of mankind and needed to be carefully harnessed so as not to upset balance of nature. According to him, the International Union for Conservation of Nature believes that there are over

Egor Legislative Arm Passes Vote Of Confidence On Council Boss USELU: The Legislative Arm of Egor Local Government Council has passed a vote of implicit confidence on the Council Chairman, Comrade Victor Osayande Enobakhare over his prudent management of the council resources. Disclosing this during the legislators plenary session, the leader Hon. Osayuki Edosa said the council chairman has done so well in providing dividends of democracy for the people of the locality and deserves the vote of confidence. Edosa said members of the legislative arm are inundated with insinuations that the council boss was mismanaging the resources of the local government, consequent of which they decide to carry out

their oversight function. This, he said resulted in their inviting the council boss to give the financial account of the local government which was immediately complied with. According to him, the relevant documents were then refered to the councils standing committee on finance and Appropriation which gave the council boss a clean Bill of health. He assured that the legislative arm of government will continue to collaborate with the executive arm of the council with a view to ensuring that the people in Egor Local Government Area get the benefits of governance. Chairman of the House Committee on finance and

Appropriation, Hon. Michael Aigbekhaen who had earlier received the leader’s applaud appreciated the positive disposition of Comrade Enobakhare for honouring the invitation by the committee, saying that the Local Government provision of democracy dividend manifests daily in the lives of the people. Hon. Abor Osemwingie, a member of the legislative arm lauded Hon. Eonbakhare’s humble disposition, describing him as a visionary leader who believes in service to the people and has also touched the lives of Egor people in all sectors, including human capital and infrastructural development. Endorsing the positions canvassed earlier by other

legislators, the Deputy Leader, Hon. Henry Isede said a vote of confidence on Enobakhare will not be misplaced, having proved to be a good manager of resources that has justified the peoples confidence in him.

Comrade Victor Enobakhare Egor LG Chairman

5,000 species that are currently endangered and wondered why in Nigeria, wildlife heritage should continue to be handled with reckless abandon without a thought for the future. “So, with over 5,000 of the earth species endangered, the purpose of the question which is the theme for this year wildlife day is to serve as food for thought for mankind and also set the agenda for the reversal of the damage already done to the planet wildlife. “Mankind, no doubt will be the next to go”, he warned, that humous should

not continue to tread the present path and refuse to acknowledge that there is urgent need for us to preserve our bio-diversity for all the manifestation of lives, the way God has created it”. Mr Andy Ehanire, while pointing out that as one of the several stakeholders in this year event, “hunters in the state are going to be playing an essential role in this new campaign to preserve the wildlife of the state as the issue of illegal hunting is at the forefront of the campaign to put an end to their atrocities”.

Commission Prepares Bill Against Assault On Women ABUJA- The Nigeria Law Reform Commission is preparing a draft Bill for legislation to provide punishment against assault on women. The Commissioner of Nigeria Law Reform Commission, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. Osunbor said the commission felt the bill was necessary considering the increasing level of sexual violence in the country. “One area where we do not have any major legislation in Nigeria is on the issue of sexual harassment. “There is law on indecent assault on women but nothing to prohibit all the various range of activities that amount to sexual harassment. The commission is working on that right now.

“We came up with the initial draft bill and worked on it. What we are doing now is to come up with a neat copy of that draft which we will forward to the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation”, he said. The commissioner also said the commission was working on introducing new legislation on plea bargaining. ‘We will continue to work in introducing new and fresh legislation where nonexisted, for instance the issue of plea bargaining, which has been very topical in recent times. “Plea bargaining was incorporated into the administration of criminal justice bill, which was an initiative from the office of the attorney-general of the federation”, he said.


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

South/South Nat’l Confab

Group Tasks N/ Delta Delegates YENAGOA - A Yenagoabased Non-Governmental Organization, Nengi James Foundation, has advised the Niger Delta delegates to the national conference not to indulge in frivolous activities and time wasting. The President of the foundation, Chief Nengi James, gave the advice in Yenagoa yesterday at the presentation of cash to 20 women traders from various communities in the eight local government areas of the state. He urged the delegates to focus on serious issues that would transform the nation and the South-South region. He also urged them to propose and support resolutions at the conference that would help to reduce unemployment, poverty and environmental pollution. He said that they should pay attention to and support resolutions on resource control. James said the decision of the foundation to empower the women was to encourage other well meaning Nigerians to support the efforts of both the state and federal governments to reduce

poverty and empower women. The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Kenneth Odiowei, described the gesture as “life-changing’’ for the beneficiaries. He urged the state government, wealthy individuals and organisations in the state to support the foundation to reach out to the needy. Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Dick Agbe commended the foundation for the gesture and assured it that the funds would be put to good use. The reports state that cash ranging from N20,000 to N50,000 was given to the women.

Infant Death: ASABA - An Asaba-based Nutritionist, Dr Philip Izedome, has stressed the need for adequate breastfeeding by mothers in order to ensure healthy children and check infant death. He made the call in an interview with newsmen in Asaba. He said adequate breast feeding of children between

Mobil Spends N50m To Train 355 Health Workers EKET (AKWA IBOM) Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), an operator of the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture, says it spent N50 million to train 355 doctors and nurses on emergency medical services in Akwa Ibom . The General Manager, Joint Venture Operations, Mr John Arkley, disclosed this on Saturday at the closing ceremony of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training programme in Eket. He said that the training was part of the joint venture’s community development initiatives aimed at assisting government to provide quality healthcare. The programme involved doctors and nurses drawn from medical facilities in the four local government areas of Ibeno, Eket, Esit Eket and Onna. Arkley also said 10 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) were provided for four health facilities in the communities to enable the trainees practise the skills acquired from the training. He further said an

IPPIS Co-ordinator, Mrs. Nana Mede (left) and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Otuoke, Prof. Bolaji Aloko at the IPPIS sensitisation workshop in Port Harcourt recently.

independent medical consultancy to monitor and evaluate the impact of the programme in the various communities had been inaugurated. Arkley said that plans had been concluded with another medical consultant to conduct free mobile medical services in all the 31 council areas of the state in April. The Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Health, Mr Ememabasi Bassey, commended the oil company for partnering with the state government. “It is the hope and plan of Akwa Ibom Government to set up an emergency service that will strengthen health care services in the state,’’ he said. Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Ime Ekpeyong, thanked the company for the training and promised to put to use the skills acquired. Reports state that the successful participants were awarded American Heart Association certificates.

Nutritionist Urges Adequate Breastfeeding

ages one to six months was very important for healthy growth of children. Izedome said that the development of children largely depended on the amount of breast milk taken at their tender age. According to him, new born babies need adequate breast milk in the first six months of their lives. He noted that breast milk would help to reduce the risk of malnutrition and help children to maintain steady growth. “Breast milk has been identified as the best source of nutrition for new born babies and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that mothers

should breast feed their children for at least for six months,’’ he said. The nutritionist then advised pregnant women to pay adequate attention to their diet,

adding that this would help in the development of the unborn child. He noted that “babies that are well nourished in the womb will always be healthy when they are

born. “Pregnant women should eat foods that are rich in protein, carbohydrate, fats, calcium and water.’’ He also enjoined them to ensure that they adhered to doctors’ prescription in taking their routine drugs.

Police Arrest 75 Robbers, Kidnappers In Delta

ASABA - The police in Delta said it had arrested 75 armed robbers and kidnappers between January and February this year. The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ikechukwu Aduba, made the announcement at a news

conference in Asaba. He said that the Police in Delta would continue to fight criminals in the state. The commissioner said that the State Government had assisted the command with the refurbishment of broken down

Minister of State for Health, Dr. Alhassan Khaliru (left), being welcome to the Ministry by Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu in Abuja recently.

vehicles. Aduba warned criminals and their collaborators that the state was no longer safe for them to operate. . The police chief said that the command had made remarkable breakthrough in the first quarter of the year between January. 1 and March 4. Aduba said that the command recovered N420,000 suspected stolen cash, 68 ammunitions, 23 stolen vehicles, five stolen motorcycles, arrested 19 murder suspects and rescued 10 abduction victims. The commissioner said that 23 firearms were also recovered and that 10 suspects were currently awaiting trials while 107 cult members arrested also during the period. He said the fighting spirit of the command was recently given recognition and motivation by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, with his recent award of service medals to 44 officers in the command. Aduba said that the command was ready to fight crime with renewed vigour, asking for more support and cooperation from members of the public.


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South West It’s Criminal To Build A House Without Toilet - Expert

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr. Habibu Lawal; the Minister, Hajiya Zainab Maina and the UN Women Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Grace Ongile, at a news conference on the 2014 International Women’s Day in Abuja recently.

Ekiti Teachers Get Car Loan

ADO-EKITI - Teachers in more than 800 primary schools in Ekiti are to benefit from a car loan scheme like their counterparts in secondary schools. Governor. Kayode Fayemi said this in Ado-Ekiti when he presented cheques to the first batch of beneficiaries of the scheme. The governor said he approved the car loan for the teachers without political consideration, adding that he was determined to make life worth living for them while in service and in retirement. Fayemi also said he decided to focus on boosting the education sector so as to return the state to its old days of glory.

According to him, a number of measures have been put in place to improve the education sector. He listed them to include renovation of over 100 dilapidated schools as well as procurement of furniture at a cost N4.2 billion. Fayemi also said that 30,000

SANGO-OTA (OGUN) Two men, David Ogundare, 62 and Ola Busari, 40, were docked at an Ota Magistrates’ Court. for allegedly breaking into a church and stealing seven Books of Moses and other valuables Ogundare, of no fixed addresses, are facing trial on charges of stealing, conspiracy, breach of peace and malicious damages. The Prosecutor, Insp. Mustapha Abdulkareem, told the court that the accused committed the offence on April 17, 2013, at 5.05a.m. at Igbesa area of Ota. Abdulkareem said that the accused broke into the Holy Temple Church of God, Jah Compound, Igbesa and stole seven Books of Moses and other valuables worth N660, 000 belonging to one Deborah Obadiah. He also alleged that the accused unlawfully conducted themselves in a manner that was

likely to cause a breach of peace after damaging the Ark of God Covenant at the church. According to the prosecutor, the offences committed contravened Sections 241 (1), 390 and 516 of the Criminal Code of the Revised Laws of Ogun, 2006. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Senior Magistrate, Mrs A.O. Abimbola, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with two sureties in like sum. She said that the sureties must have landed property within the court’s jurisdiction and provide the title documents of their property. Abimbola also said that the sureties must swear to an affidavit of means and submit a passport photograph to the court. The magistrate further directed the sureties to show evidence of tax clearance for the last two years.

laptop computers were distributed to all SS 1 and SS 2 students in all public secondary schools while 56,296 copies of dictionaries were also bought for distribution. Earlier in an address of welcome, the Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, had warned

that only qualified teachers would benefit from the programme. Adelabu, who is also the Chairman of the State Universal Education Board, said any teacher that failed to disclose all indebtedness within and outside statutory deductions to the loan board would be sanctioned.

Ojo, told the court that the Attorney-General of the state, Mr. Adebayo Ojo, had informed her that the process of settling the matter out of court was on going. Ojo told the court that she had been directed to inform the court about the latest development, adding that the hearing of the matter could not commence based on this development. The claimant’s counsel, Mr. Toba Olorunfemi, confirmed Ojo’s submission, saying the attorney –general had intervened in the matter and resolved for out of court

settlement. The reports state that other respondents in the suit are ASP Adesoji Adedosu, Sgt. Abubakar Mude and Sgt. Paul Audu. Justice Olajumoke Aiki adjourned the case till April 23 for report of settlement. It would be recalled that Adeosun had filed the suit against Ajimobi following damages he allegedly suffered due to the actions of police officers attached to the governor’s convoy. Adeosun alleged that Adedosu, Mude and Audu, all attached to Ajimobi’s convoy, attacked, harassed,

OSOGBO - An expert in public health, Mr. Monyinoluwa Segun, has said “it is a criminal offence for an individual to build a house without toilet facility.’’ He made the disclosure in a telephone interview with newsmen. He said “sewage disposal is very important. It is a criminal offence for anyone to build a house without toilet.’’ He, therefore, stressed the need for people to ensure the safety of the environment and control factors that could have adverse effects on people. He added that “people must always be conscious of the purity of the water they use on daily basis, most especially in the kitchen. “This is because the kitchen is the engine room of the house.’’ He also stressed the need for people to always wash their hands before cooking, eating and after returning

from hospitals, markets and toilets, among others. Segun said it had been established by scientists that a gramme of excreta carried more than one million harmful bacteria, virus and parasites. He, therefore, said “the best way to avoid communicable diseases is by washing hands always. “People must always remember to wash their hands after using the toilet and on return from office, hospital, market, among others. “Our children must closely be monitored to ensure that they did not only wash their hands when they come back from school, but must continue to wash hands even while in school. “Since we all agree that prevention is better than cure, it is always advisable to be conscious of some basic health rules instead of spending money in the hospital for cure.’’

N500m Suit: Ajimobi, Others Seek Out Of Court Settlement IBADAN - Governor. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State as well as other respondents have said they were seeking out of court settlement in a N500 million damage suit instituted against them by a lawyer, Mr. Fatai Adeosun. The counsel to the respondents, Mrs. Olumide

2 Men Docked For Theft

intimidated and beat him up on the instruction of the governor. He said the incident took place while he was driving his car at Mokola area of Ibadan. The complainant said when he saw the convoy of the governor in the area, he had slowed down and swerved to the extreme left side of the road. Adeosun said that even with the effort he made to avoid the convoy, one of the buses still hit his car and pushed it to the median of the road. He added that a police truck in the convoy marked “Escort 1’’ also blocked his

car. The complainant said armed policemen numbering more than 18 jumped down from the truck and dragged him out of his car. Adeosun said he was locked up at the Mokola Police Station, adding that he was not allowed to lock his car which resulted in the loss of N100, 300 cash and other valuables. He said that the incident happened on November. 11, 2013, adding that “the conduct of the respondents constitutes an infringement of my right to free access to public road.’’

Peaceful protest by Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria on the recent killings of school children and abduction of young ladies in some parts of northern states in Ibadan recently.


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Lagos Tourism: Expert Blames Poor Growth On Inadequate Legislation LAGOS - Mrs Keji Oladipupo, the Managing Director, Real World Travel and Tours Ltd., has blamed the challenges facing the tourism sector on inadequate legislation. Oladipupo told newsmen in Lagos that the laws for the sector were obsolete. “Lack of adequate legislation is upsetting the development of the sector. “As long as necessary regulation backed by adequate legislation is not in place, Nigeria cannot effectively harness and take advantage of its rich endowment in tourism and culture. “It is sad to note that the tourism industry in Nigeria is facing serious operational problems relating to regulation. “The laws impacting on the Nigeria’s tourism industry are either foreign or dated back to the colonial period,’’ Oladipupo said.

She said that there had not been any law enacted for the sector after the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Decree (NTDC), 1992. The director said that the NTDC only carried out the inspection of hotels, travel agencies and marketers of tourism destinations. Oladipupo regretted that some stakeholders in the industry were taking undue advantage of the inadequate legislation.

Tax Evasion: LIRS Seals

Popular Printing Firm

LAGOS - The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has sealed a popular printing firm over alleged failure to remit N2.7 million personal income tax of workers to the state government. Mrs Folasade CokerAfolayan, the Head of Enforcement Unit of LIRS, said

Fuel Attendant Faces N700,000 Fraud Charge

LAGOS - A filling station attendant, who allegedly stole some litres of engine oil valued at N700,000, was in Lagos charged with stealing and conspiracy at a Yaba Magistrates’ Court. The accused, 32-year-old Kehinde Olamilekan, who resides at Ajefowobi St., Somolu, was alleged to have converted the proceeds from the sale of engine oil worth N700, 000 to personal use. The accused is facing a twocount offence of stealing and conspiracy. Olamilekan, according to the prosecutor, ASP Akinlabi Adegoke, committed the offences on January 24 at Total

According to her, multinational hotels should sign agreements for technology transfer and utilisation of indigenous goods and services. “But these conditions are flouted due to inadequate legislation for the sector,’’ she said. Oladipupo urged the Federal Government to review tourism legislation and come up with a new law that will regulate the affairs in the industry.

Filling Station, Onipanu, Lagos, with others still at large. He said the offences contravened Sections 285 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The reports state that Section 285 prescribes three years imprisonment for stealing, while Section 409 stipulates a two-year jail term for conspiracy. The accused pleaded innocence of the offences. The Magistrate, Mrs Bola Osunsanmi, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum. Further hearing was fixed for April 2.

the company had allegedly been evading tax since 2010. “The company will not be reopened until it remits the tax,” she said. Coker-Afolayan said the state government had written to the management of the organisation on the need to remit the tax. She reiterated that tax payment was a civic responsibility and that the government needed taxes to provide infrastructure for economic growth and improved standard of living. An official of the company, who pleaded anonymity, told newsmen that the company did not owe the state government in tax. She said that the company had always paid its tax, adding that “it is unfortunate that the receipt of the payment is not in the office”. She said that the company was not also given enough time to respond to the allegation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Aminu Wali (left), taking over from the Acting Minister, Prof. Viola Onwuliri in Abuja recently.

Subsidy Fraud: Defence Raises

‘No Case’ Submission

LAGOS - A Federal High Court in Lagos, has fixed March 28 to decide on a nocase submission raised by the defence, in the trial of an Oil Marketer charged with N1.7 billion fuel subsidy fraud. The accused, Samuel Owa and his Company, Stone Bridge Oil Ltd, are charged alongside a Cargo Surveyor, Oassisi Wajutom and his Company, Vibrant Ventures Ltd, on four-counts bordering on the offence. At the last adjourned date

on Feb. 21, the prosecutor, Mr Dania Abdullahi, closed the case for the prosecution, while the court had adjourned the case for continuation of trial. When the case was called the Defence Counsel, Dr Joseph Nwobike (SAN), made a no-case submission before the court, on the grounds that the accused had no case to answer. He, therefore, presented a summary of his submissions before the court.

Marketers Commence Loading Of Petrol at the depots. At Depots Some of the marketers, who

LAGOS - Some major oil marketers have commenced loading petrol at Mosinmi and Ejigbo depots reports say. Our correspondent, who

monitored the situation at Ejigbo and Mosinmi depots, reports that long queues of trucks were awaiting their turns

L-R: Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun-Odunayo, General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA); Mr. Steven Olarenwaju, Secretary, LASBCA and Mr. Shola Famakin, Managing Consultant, Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory, at a Town Hall Meeting with Stakeholders in the Building Industry in Ikorodu, Lagos State recently.

spoke with newsmen on condition of anonymity, claimed that only major marketers were given consideration to load products. They expressed concern over low pace of loading at the depots and appealed to management of PPMC to ensure even distribution of products amongst marketers. An independent oil marketer said the loading of petrol at Mosinmi depot was being done on the basis of 70 per cent to major marketers and 30 per cent to independent marketers. Some major marketers, however, assured that normalcy would return soon to filling stations when all marketers would have taken their turns to load. “The worsening scarcity of petrol is a result of the initial delay in the release of fuel import allocations. Some independent marketers at Ejigbo depot, however, complained of not loading since Monday. They said that loading was skeletal due to non-availability of petrol, adding that only eight trucks were loaded to few major marketers.

The prosecutor, Mr Dania Abdullahi, however, maintained that the accused had a case to answer and urged the defence counsel to open the case for the defence. He noted that since there were conflicting testimonies as to the vessels which the accused claimed brought in petroleum products, there existed doubt as to whether the products were actually imported by the accused. He ,therefore, submitted that such doubts could only be resolved, if the defence opened its case. Consequently, Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned the case to March 28 for ruling. Reports state that the accused were arraigned on June 18, 2013. They had pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were granted bail in the sum of N500 million each, with two sureties each in like sum. In the charge, they were alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N1.7 billion from the Federal Government, under the pretext of having imported about 145 metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit. It was alleged that Vibrant Ventures and its Principal, Wajutom, while acting as Cargo Surveyors, aided the first accused, Owa, and his company, to obtain the said sum for their fraudulent purposes. The offence is said to contravene the provisions of Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, Cap. A6, Laws of the Federation, 2004.


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Across The Nation Kaduna: Govt Alerts

Residents Over Threatening Text Messages

KADUNA - The Kaduna State Government, has alerted residents on some threatening text messages being sent to members of the public by “some criminals” in the state. The Commissioner for Information, Mr Ben Bako, issued the alert in a statement made available to the newsmen in Kaduna. He said those sending the messages were harassing members of the public in order to extort money from them. Bako, therefore, called on the people to remain alert and to ignore such message when they

receive them. He further advised them to always report such messages to relevant security agencies for necessary action. “The KDSG expresses deep concern over the issue and warns the public to monitor their environment and people around them. “The government also warns the people involved in this criminal act to desist from such acts for their own good.” Bako said anyone caught involved in the scam would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

BIRNIN KEBBI UNICEF has commended Kebbi government for paying its N158 million counterpart funding to curb malnutrition in the state in two years. The UNICEF officer in charge of malnutrition, Mr Stanley Okechukwu, made the commendation when he visited Governor Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi in Birnin Kebbi. He also commended the state government for ensuring the treatment of 100,000 malnourished children and enabling the treatment of 600,000 more children against child killer diseases within the period. Okechukwu described the efforts to fight such diseases as highly commendable and assured that UNICEF would sustain its support to the state. Earlier, Dakingari had told

the UNICEF officer that the state government would ensure cordial relationship with national and international donor agencies to ensure improved healthcare delivery in the state. He said “my administration will ensure that polio record remains at zero and we will ensure that 35 new hospitals and 125 MDG clinics are functional.’’ Also, Malam Sani Argungu, the Director, Primary Health Care, said malnutrition in the state had dropped from 8.9 per cent to 0.8 per cent. He added that the achievement followed prompt supply of drugs and feeding formula by UNICEF at the eight designated treatment centres in the state on monthly basis.

UNICEF Commends Kebbi For Paying N158m Malnutrition Fund

Governor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State (left), receiving the GOC 1 Div. Maj.-Gen Kenneth Osuji in his office, during his courtesy visit in Kaduna recently.

Sokoto Signs N7.6bn Water Contract With Chinese Company

SOKOTO- The Sokoto State Government, has signed N7.6 billion water projects agreement with China Zhangou Nigeria Ltd. The Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Shehu Dalhatu, signed on behalf of the state government, while the firm’s Managing Director, Mr Kang Chang, signed on behalf of the company. Speaking at the occasion, Governor Aliyu Wamakko, said that the project included the construction of 40 boreholes at the cost of N5.7 billion. He said three water treatment plants in Sokoto would be rehabilitated at the cost of N1.9 billion. He added that “the 40 boreholes, when completed, will provide additional 40 million gallons of water to the people of Sokoto per day. “The state government is currently providing 52 million gallons of water to residents of Sokoto and its environs daily. “The state government is targeting the provision of 100 million gallons of water per day to residents before the expiration of this administration’s tenure.” Wamakko reiterated the commitment of his

administration to provide adequate potable water to the people of the state. The state Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji

Dalhatu Tangaza, commended Wamakko for giving special attention to water supply in the state. Tangaza promised to

ensure strict supervision of the project to ensure its completion within the stipulated nine months.

Anambra’’. “We have changed their uniforms, and educated people are being engaged to strengthen the workforce. “We are also warning motorists in the state, especially

of our roads as we are going to intensify confiscation of errant vehicles,’’ he said. Reports state that an ASTA official was killed in January while on duty by trailer drivers on the Owerri-Onitsha.

Anambra Traffic Agency Sacks that decongestion is 168 Officials instillOnitsha, on. They should steer clear

AWKA -The Anambra Traffic Agency (ASTA) laid-off 168 of its personnel in the last12 months, Dr Chike Ohamobi, the Commissioner for Transport, said in Awka. Ohamobi told newsmen that the affected persons, including 33 regular and 135 ad hoc staff, were sacked for various offences. “We have laid-off some 168 personnel who were caught in unethical practices in the past one year. He said the action was part of an on-going effort to reposition the agency for better service delivery. He said that the exercise was also aimed at ridding the Agency of miscreants who tarnished its image through various nefarious activities. Ohamobi said investigations were on-going to establish the culpability of trailer drivers who allegedly killed an official of the Agency in January in Onitsha. He pledged that the law would take its course to bring the culprits to book, adding that policemen were now attached to ASTA officials to ensure that the ugly incident did not reoccur. He said that the ministry would erect road signs across the state, adding: “there is an ongoing repositioning and rebranding of ASTA in

Blocked drain at Mikola Area of Ibadan recently.


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Abuja Join INEC In Fighting Malpractice, NOTAP Boss Urges Nigerians

L-R: Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Ima Niboro; NUJ National President, Malam Muhammad Garba; Executive Director, Editorial Matters, NAN, Mr. Isaac Ighure and Deputy President, NAWOJ, Mrs. Ify Omowole, during a courtesy visit by NUJ National President on NAN Managing Director in Abuja recently.

ABUJA - Mr Umar Bindir, Director-General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has urged Nigerians to stop blaming electoral woes on electoral officers but rather join in the fight against the rot. Bindir said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja during the “Do The Right Thing; Patriotism and Ethics First”, campaign, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Abuja. It was meant to sensitise members of staff of NOTAP. He said that to keep Nigerians away from

corruption, there was the urgent need to strengthen institutions, which was the only way to checkmate the impunity in the polity. According to him, institutions cannot survive without patriotism and ethics, “which is why some of our electoral officers cannot perform their duties without being corrupted”. He said that if Nigerians continued to blame electoral officers for electoral sins, “then we are acting like people who have nothing at stake”. He said that Nigerians must rise above corruption and primordial sentiments in the drive to move the nation forward... He commended the NOA for organising the round table on “patriotism and ethics” to capture all the essential virtues needed to move forward. According to him, Nigeria has one of the best structures to ensure that every citizen imbibes the culture of patriotism and ethics.

He premised this on the structure of governance being practised in the country from the traditional rulers, the councillors and chairmen of local governments to the president. He said that the structure had helped the society to function without any hindrance, adding that the societal values in the country remained the best in the world. Bindir said that without patriotism and ethics, the nation’s institutions would not be able to survive, stressing that a nation where patriotism was lacking would suffer monumental damage. The NOTAP boss said that Nigerians should use their differences to improve on the country’s social, economic and political development. “Our differences should be assets for negotiation and not problems for fighting each other, and it is only when we work together that we can make progress.”

FCT Residents Decry Poor State Of Roads In Satellite ABUJA - Some residents of Towns satellite towns in the Federal

L-R: Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Ima Niboro; NUJ National President, Malam Muhammad Garba; Executive Director, Editorial Matters, NAN, Mr. Isaac Ighure and Deputy, NAWOJ, Mrs. Ify Omowole, during a courtesy visit by NUJ National President on NAN Managing Director in Abuja recently.

Voter Education Is The Responsibility Of All Stakeholders ABUJA - Voter education is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the electoral process, Mr Peter Ameh, the National Chairman, Progressive Peoples’ Alliance (PPA), has said. “Voter education is not a job of a single individual or organisation. “Community leaders, political parties, INEC and Civil Society Organisations are all responsible for voter education. “All hands to be on deck to achieve result,’’ Ameh said in Abuja in a telephone interview with our correspondent. He said that voter education was necessary to enlighten the electorate on the need and importance of performing their civic rights by voting during

elections. Ameh said that voter education would also enable the electorate to know the value of their votes. He added that it would also enable them know that the ballot was the major factor in

- PPA Chairman determining the candidate who would govern them. The chairman said that political parties were doing their best to educate the electorate on the importance of

voter education. He urged the federal government to fund political parties to enable them effectively carry out this function.

Priscilla Oguamalum told the court that the accused and his relatives, had abducted her key witness, Ms Praise Enoch-Kaa, her adopted daughter. “The court hereby orders the accused to produce the witness unfailingly by May 30,” he said. Earlier, Enoch-Kaa’s counsel, Mr Joseph Henkeyerr, argued that the prosecution did not submit an application for the witness to be made available in court. But Oguamalum disagreed

and told the court that she could not be applying to the court all the time for them to produce the witness. “Mr Lord, the witness is the accused’s adopted daughter and they lived under the same roof before the crime was committed. “The witness saw all that happened on that fateful day of Match 16, 2012. “The accused knows that she will be testifying in the case today. I don’t have to keep reminding them that she should

Capital Territory (FCT) has decried the deplorable state of some roads in the towns. While some complained of lack of maintenance of the roads, others decried the slow pace of work in on-going road projects. They told newsmen in Abuja that the situation would make movement difficult for the residents even as the rainy season sets in. Mr Yusuf Yakub, a resident of Kuje, FCT, told newsmen that many roads in the area were not motorable. “If you drive round Kuje, you will observe that most of the roads are very bad and we don’t know what plans the government has for the roads in 2014. “The construction of dual road on the Kuje-Gwahwalada route has been on for some time but they are yet to complete it and we don’t know when it will be completed. “The Kuje Area Council appears not to be very functional

Homicide: Court Orders Accused To Produce Key Witness ABUJA - Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an FCT High Court has ordered a pastor, Terkura Enoch-Kaa, to produce the prosecution key witness in his custody on May 30. Enoch-Kaa, an Abuja-based pastor of the Household of Grace Church, Kubwa, FCT, was arraigned on March 16, 2012 for allegedly killing his wife, Lorreta, 44, and an assistant pastor of the church. Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, gave the order after the prosecution counsel, ASP

be in court,” she said She prayed the court to gave an order for the accused to produce the witness in court. It will be recalled that EnochKaa had pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge of homicide which the prosecution said contravened the sections 221 and 224 of the Penal Code. If convicted, he faces the death sentence. He pleaded not guilty.

and we expect the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to intervene,’’ he said. Mr Harrison Chukwuma, who resides at Kubwa, complained that the inner streets in Kubwa were not maintained. “Most of the roads in Kubwa have been tarred but the inner streets are not tarred. This makes them impassable, particularly during rainy seasons,’’ he said. He advised Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA) of the FCTA to urgently address the situation. Mr Michael Udeora, a resident of Jikwoyi, also complained of bad roads in Jikwoyi, and advised the STDA to step into the situation. “Most of the inner roads in Karu and Jikwoyi are in a bad state. The government should repair them as a matter of priority, ‘’ he said. The Director of STDA, Mr Tukur Bakori, said that the agency had been forced to prioritise its projects due to paucity of funds. “We have decided to prioritise and complete existing projects as fast as possible. For now, we don’t have any new projects. That will make us to effectively manage our resources. “Some of our priority projects include the Karshi-Apo road, which will check traffic logjam in the Nyanya-Mararaba axis, and the Kuje-Gwagwalada road,’’ he said. Bakori said that the benefits of such prioritisation would manifest in 2014 when the urban renewal projects in the satellite towns would have been completed.


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Business + Economy Investors Await New Tariff On Vehicles

ABUJA - Mr Aminu Jalal, the Director General, National Automotive Council (NAC) has said new investors were waiting for increase in tariff on imported vehicles before building their assembly plants. Jalal told newsmen in Abuja that raising the tariff as planned under the new auto policy would discourage importation and boost investors’ confidence in the government’s automobile programme. According to him, except the new tariff regime comes into force in July in line with the new auto policy, the investors will not be encouraged to commence the building of their assembly plants. Jalal allayed the fears of Nigerians, saying the current stock of imported vehicles across the country was enough to meet local demands until the assembly plants began operation. “Unless the hike in tariff starts, no company is ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in setting up assembly plants in the country. “I know people will say let them come, set up their plants and produce before the new tariff kicks in but the truth is they will not do it. “Except the new tariff starts, the auto policy is just another government promise and no investor will take action on promise because it will mean we are not serious. “They are currently making all the preparations, waiting for the new tariff regime and until that is done, they will not believe us,’’ he said. Reports state that under the new tariff, which takes effect in July, imported cars will attract 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent

levy. Companies involved in assembly operations in the country will only pay 35 per cent duty for fully built units, and zero duty for Completely Knocked Down parts to assembled in the country. Imported commercial vehicles will attract only 35 per cent duty with zero levy, while companies with plants in the country will pay only 20 per cent duty for their commercial vehicle imports. Stakeholders have, however, cautioned the Federal Government against the planned tariff hike, saying the policy will deny many Nigerians access to affordable cars, especially the fairly used ones.

ABUJA - The National Automotive Council (NAC) says more than 10 automobile companies had indicated interest to set up vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria since the introduction of the new auto policy. The Director-General of NAC, Mr Aminu Jalal, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. Jalal also said that some reputable auto giants such as Peugeot and Dana Corporation, which had relocated their plants from the country due to the failure of previous policies, were back. According to him, the new policy, which is aimed at promoting investments in affordable made-in-Nigeria cars, will reduce the huge import bills and attract the interest of global auto giants. Jalal said the President of Germany, Mr Joachim Gauck, would visit the country in March

to explore opportunities provided by the new auto policy to set up a vehicle assembly plant. “Because of this policy, reputable automobile manufacturing giants that left the country as a result of unfavourable investment climate and policy are coming back.

Economist Tasks FG On New Industrial Plan

L-R: President, Enugu Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye; Deputy Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Enugu Branch, Mr. Paschal Abba and Director-General, ECCIMA, Mr. Emeka Okereke, during a courtesy call by AFAN on ECCIMA in Enugu.

ABUJA - Mr Odilim Enwegbara, an economist, has urged the Federal Government to tackle the country’s infrastructure deficit in order to pave way for the success of the new industrial plan. Enwegbara said this in a telephone interview with newsmen in Abuja. It will recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan, had on February 11, rolled out a new Industrial Revolution Plan and National Enterprise Development Programme for the country. Enwegbara said that government should compel Nigerians to cut down their taste for foreign goods and services. According to him, efforts should also be made to reduce the cost of doing business in the country. Enwegbara said that these factors were inimical to the successful implementation of any industrial revolution plan. The President had said that the plan would place Nigeria among the first ranks of advanced industrial nations with an annual inflow projection of N5 trillion (about 30 billion dollars).

ECOWAS To Set Up Youth Entrepreneurship Programme

L-R: Minister of State (1) for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Aminu Wali and Permanent Secretary, Amb. Martin Uhomoibhi at a maiden meeting of the Minister with staff of the Ministry in Abuja recently.

10 Auto Companies To Set Up Plants In Nigeria “In all, we have over 10 companies that have approached us to do assembly operations, while the existing assembly plants that weren’t doing well are gearing up. “In fact, sometime around March 20, the president of

Germany is coming to Nigeria to explore the possibilities of setting up vehicle assembly plants,’’ Jalal said. He said that the new policy would afford Nigeria the opportunity to be a vehicle manufacturing hub in West and Central Africa and urged all stakeholders to key into it.

“The auto industry in Africa currently has two hubs, South Africa and Egypt, which supply neighbouring countries. “Even right now, we are getting some models from South Africa. So, if we miss this opportunity to make Nigeria the hub in West Africa, the auto giants will move to somewhere else.

JICA Submits Water Master Plan To FG

ABUJA - The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has handed over the final copy of the reviewed National Water Resources Master Plan to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. Mr Tetsuo Seki, the Country Representative of the agency, handed over the document at a ceremony in Abuja. He said the review of the master plan started 30 months ago after a joint technical agreement between the Federal Government and Japanese

agency to implement it. Seki, who said the first water master plan was established in 1995 but was not fully utilised, however, urged the ministry to ensure full implementation of the reviewed copy. According to him, the completion and delivery of the document marked the beginning of a new era in the sector. “Honourable Minister, the master plan is now in your hand. Please use it wisely and sustainably for the improvement

of Nigeria’s water sector. “Master plan will not do magic if it is not implemented and followed as scheduled. “Likewise, I strongly encourage the international development partners to incorporate the master plan in their projects,’’ Seki said. In her address, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, thanked JICA for the job done. She observed that in spite of various difficulties, the agency’s

project team held tenaciously to the project schedule and drove the implementation process with diligence and uncommon commitment. The minister said that as part of efforts to ensure full implementation of the master plan, a Project Monitoring Unit and its members had been approved. “As part of our commitment to the effective implementation of the 2013 of the master plan, I have approved the setting up of the Project Monitoring Unit.

ABUJA - ECOWAS has said that plans were underway to inaugurate a youth entrepreneurship programme. Mr Kennedy Barsisa, Head of Youth, Sport and Employment Division of the Commission, announced this to newsmen in Abuja. Barsisa said the aim was to provide financial support to enable young entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and also fight unemployment in the region. He said that promoting entrepreneurship was the fastest way of getting people employed. “A lot must be done to address the problem of youth unemployment in Africa, as it is associated with higher levels of crime, violence and drug use which hinder economic growth. “We are thinking of establishing a regional fund for the empowerment of the youth and that will be geared toward providing support to young entrepreneurs to develop their own businesses,’’ he said. Barsisa advocated for the creation of opportunities to allow for the huge potentials that abound in the region. According to him, it is necessary to unlock people’s creativity, allow people to innovate and start new companies because all these will add to promoting entrepreneurship. Barsisa said that a draft paper on the initiative had been developed, “although it had yet to be adopted’’. “The idea was that entrepreneurs would be provided with funds to establish their businesses.


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International Features

China’s Massive Legal Reforms

CHINA has curtailed the power of the ruling Communist Party’s Political and Legal Committee, a secretive body overseeing the security services, to interfere in most legal cases, scholars with knowledge of the situation said - a significant reform at a time of public discontent over miscarriages of justice. The move, which has not been made public by the party but has been announced in internal meetings, would clip the wings of the party’s highest authority on judicial and security matters. Interference from the committee has led to many wrongful convictions, many of which have been widely reported in the press and even highlighted by President Xi Jinping as an issue that needs to be urgently addressed. Part of a package of legal reforms, the move signals a willingness by Xi’s government to reform its court system as long as it doesn’t threaten the party’s overall control. China’s highest court, the Supreme People’s Court, will delivers its work report to parliament on Monday, which could detail some of these reforms. But the party would still have final say over politically sensitive cases such as those involving ethnic issues and senior politicians - like the disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, who was last year found guilty of bribery, corruption and abuse of power, and jailed for life and would use the courts to convict citizens who challenge its authority. Chen Guangzhong, who took part in discussions with officials on reforming the criminal law system after the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, said he has

seen an internal document saying “there can be no coordination allowed on cases”. Judges typically convene with police, prosecutors and officials from the Political and Legal Committee to coordinate on verdicts for cases that will have a “political influence” or relate to social stability. These offences range from murder to rape to corruption. “This is a problem unique to China,” Chen, a law professor from the China University of Political Science and Law, told Reuters. “If ruling parties in the West interfere with the judiciary, if they intervene, they’ll have to step down. But the recognition of this problem has not been consistent.” Chen, who helped draft the latest amendment to China’s Criminal Procedure Code in 2012, said the party has started to curtail the power of the Political and Legal Committee, but added there are few details to this guideline. Meng Jianzhu, head of the Political and Legal Committee, had said at an internal meeting that officials “are not allowed to intervene in specific cases”, said Jiang Ming’an, a law professor at Peking University, citing people at that meeting. Jiang, who was at a meeting with the prosecutor’s office, said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s graft watchdog, will also not be allowed to intervene in corruption cases once they are transferred to state prosecutors. The Supreme Court and the Justice Ministry did not respond to requests for comment for this article. Much of the previous

abuses to the rule of law can be attributed to former security chief Zhou Yongkang, whose term “caused a big setback to the judicial system”, said Jiang Ping, a deputy director of the National People’s Congress Law Committee from 19881993. Zhou had expanded his role into one of the most powerful and controversial fiefdoms in the one-party government. During his term, Zhou said the courts should put the party’s interests above the people and the constitution, according to Jiang Ping. “That caused tremendous chaos to the judiciary because putting the party’s interests above everything else meant that everything had to be in obedience to the Political and Legal Committee,” Jiang Ping said. Scholars say the downgrading of the position previously occupied by Zhou, who was a former member of the party’s ruling inner core Politburo Standing Committee, in late 2012 is another sign of the weaker powers of the Political and Legal Committee. His successor, Meng, is only a member of the Politburo, the 25-member body which reports to the Standing Committee. Sources have told Reuters that Zhou is under effective house arrest while the party investigates corruption allegations against him. In a sign of the government’s interest in legal reform, the Supreme People’s Court said in November it would eliminate the use of torture to extract confessions, stop local officials from interfering in legal decisions and allow judges to make their own decisions. China is now debating

• Xi Jinping, Chinese President

trimming the number of crimes subject to the death penalty, according to officials and scholars. Rights groups say China uses capital punishment more than any other country, raising public concern of irreversible miscarriages of justice. Various government departments are “actively studying” reducing the number of crimes that carry the death penalty, Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong told reporters during the Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue last month. Chen from the China University of Political Science and Law said the government is holding discussions with legal scholars as part of this review. But Chen said several officials in the courts, prosecutors and the police are resisting the changes to the death penalty. He said an announcement on dropping the death penalty for up to half a dozen “non-violent”

“That caused tremendous chaos to the judiciary because putting the party’s interests above everything else meant that everything had to be in obedience to the Political and Legal Committee.”

crimes could be due this year. Capital punishment applies to 55 offences in China, including fraud and illegal money-lending. China won’t, however, scrap the death penalty for those found guilty of corruption, which the government is waging a renewed campaign against, Chen said. “China now has some major corruption cases, and (if the government) were to scrap the death penalty, the ordinary people will not agree.” China guards the number of people executed every year as state secrets. The San Francisco-based Dui Hua Foundation, which seeks the release of political prisoners in China, estimates that 3,000 people were executed in 2012. For comparison, 43 people were executed that year in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The changes to the death penalty crimes are not expected to significantly reduce the number of executions in China, said Fu Hualing, a professor of China’s criminal justice system at the University of Hong Kong. The legal reforms reflect a desire by Zhou Qiang, who took over as head of the Supreme People’s Court a year ago, to handle cases in a more professional way, and tackle wrongful convictions, scholars said. But whether his reform efforts can move China forward to a country that is ruled by law is still an open question.

“Zhou Qiang seems a serious political character, he’s not only well connected, he’s legally sophisticated,” said Jerome Cohen, an expert on Chinese law at New York University. “But he’s not allpowerful, and whatever he says doesn’t necessarily take place at the local level. This is a continuing struggle.” Eva Pils, a law professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said “the biggest concern about the judiciary remains that it is a weak institution compared to the Party-State security apparatus,” as well as the public security ministry. Judges are still appointed by the party and the government has been silent on establishing an independent judiciary. “There’s now no mention of judicial independence, we haven’t reached that stage yet,” said Jiang Ming’an, the Peking University law professor who has participated in consultations with Zhou Qiang on judicial reform. Changes to the judicial system will be constrained by the lack of political reform such as greater room for freedom of expression, said Jiang Ping, the former deputy director of the National People’s Congress Law Committee. “Because the judicial system is tied to the political system, if there is no real political reform, the reforms to the judicial system cannot be fully realized,” he said. • (REUTERS)


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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.

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

THE NIGERIAN

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 ad-

dition 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.


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Development share its experiences with ECOWAS. He also outlined the benefits of promoting free movement through the project. “We must recognise the importance of road infrastructure to promoting regional integration and crossborder trade in our regions, mainly because of the long distances that we have between our landlocked countries and ports. “Our experience in Southern Africa tells us that you need to cooperate as a group of nations to design, develop, build and operate such crossborder infrastructure. “The benefits are immense. Most of our economies are constrained by lack of access to markets; our transportation costs and terms are very high because of poor infrastructure and lack of harmonised transport laws, regulations and standards,’’ he added. President Goodluck Jonathan, during the 42nd ECOWAS Summit in Yammoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, stressed the need to

Examining Economic Importance Of The Proposed Lagos-Abidjan Highway

FIVE members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), recently agreed to contribute 50 million dollars each, for the design and feasibility studies of the proposed 1,028 kilometres Abidjan-Lagos road project. The six-lane highway will link most of the major ports in the participating countries-Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The ECOWAS Commission put the cost of the project at about two billion dollars (about N320 billion), while 2014 is the deadline for the commencement of work. Nigeria’s Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, restated commitment for the project at a recent meeting of ministers in charge of roads from the five member countries, held in Abuja. “It is about looking at ways to make the Abidjan-Lagos corridor to work; it is actually part of the ECOWAS coastal road, linking Lagos to Dakar, Senegal. “We are concerned with the first phase of the project, which will connect Lagos with Cotonou, Togo, Ghana and will end with Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, covering a distance of over 1,0280 kilometres. “It is the desire of member countries that we remove all red tapes on this corridor, in other words, it will be a dis-

tinct corridor with its own laws because it’s going to be a common corridor for the five countries. “That is why the legal framework has been drafted by the committee of experts drawn from the ministry of justice from the five member countries. “Also, the financial framework has been worked out by a committee of experts drawn from the ministry of finance and development donor agencies from across the globe,’’ the minister stated. At a recent meeting of experts and development partners for the project, also held in Abuja, President of ECOWAS Commission, Amb. Kadre Ouedraogo said that the project would open up trade in the sub-region. Represented by the Commissioner for Infrastructure at the commission, Mr. Ebima Njie, Ouedraogo said the project would anchor the bulk of economic activities in the region. “Seventy five per cent of our trade movement relies on this corridor. “We are going to put up a funding mechanism; we’ll take loans and grants in order to make sure this is realised. “Until the design is done properly, we cannot come up with a tangible figure, but cost estimates; we are looking at one billion dollars to two billion dollars within that bracket in order to fund this project.

By CHIJIOKE OKORONKWO “The improvement and livelihood of our member states cannot be overemphasised. “The free movement within ECOWAS is there, but this is another level whereby we can bring income generation within our member states,’’ he said. Onolememem, who was represented by Mr Umunna Ekenna, Deputy Director, Highways Planning, said that the project would facilitate free movement across borders in the West African sub-region. The minister stressed the need to actualise the project within the shortest possible time in order to promote the economic growth of the West

African sub-region. “ Regions around the world are pulling resources towards creating opportunities to maximise the areas of strength for individual states within their regions. “Consequently, it is fundamental for us to actualise this project within the shortest possible time, to pave the way to our economic prosperity which is long overdue, bearing in mind the abundant natural and human resources within our region,’’ he said. Mr Lovemore Bingandadi, a representative of South African Development Community (SADC) secretariat, who was present at the meeting, expressed the readiness of the SADC to

expedite action on the project. ‘We believe that when we have this express road the issue of movement, interference by customs and police will be minimised because that will be an ECOWAS road. “The laws regulating the use of the road will not be the laws regulating that of the roads in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana. “It will be of international standard and everything will be done in such a way that movement of goods, services and so on will not be interfered with by local restriction.” Jonathan said that the projects would not be financed with public funds, but by development partners and some viable banks which would re-coup their funds through tariffs and toll fees. “It is a viable project that

banks and business men within and outside the region will key into and which will generate enough money in short time. Jonathan further explained that the project when completed would integrate the entire region. “Togo has seven million, Benin Republic, eight million, Cote d’Ivoire, 25 million, Ghana 26 million and Nigeria about 167 million. “When you add all these, it gives you about 236 million out of the projected 287 million of ECOWAS. “So, these five countries, by the time you traverse from Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire, then you will easily integrate the entire sub-region. “You will so integrate the system in such a way that you can key other countries along, that is why we decided that we must work with our business men and women to develop an express road from Lagos to Abidjan,’’ he said. Ahead of the completion of the project, Abidjan-based Nigerian business men have started counting the gains of the trans-ECOWAS road project. Adebaye Yaya, a major furniture and electronics dealer, said the road would boost economic activities in the sub-region. “We hope to see it become a reality, carrying goods by road across the borders have really become a source of worry to us as business people,’’ he said. Another Nigerian, Chief Don Alexander, commended the five countries for the initiative, adding, “ it is a welcome development which all of us are waiting to see. “We pay all kinds of charges moving our goods to their destinations. With this road to be constructed and managed within the provisions of ECOWAS laws, businesses will fare better,’’ he noted. Stakeholders want the government to ensure completion of the project, which they say will boost economic activities in the entire West Africa region.

(NAN)

“We believe that when we have this express road the issue of movement, interference by customs and police will be minimised because that will be an ECOWAS road. The laws regulating the use of the road will not be the laws regulating that of the roads in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana.”


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Education Nigeria’s Education Sector And UNESCO’s Report

THE Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, in Nigeria, Professor Hassana Alidou at a recent launch of the Education For All, EFA, Global Monitoring Report, GMR, said that Nigeria has some of the worst education indicators in the world. In ‘Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all’, an account by the UNESCO launched 29 January 2014, Nigeria is among the 37 countries that are losing money being spent in education, because children are not learning. UNESCO disclosed that the menace is already costing governments $129 billion a year. The report stressed that despite the money being spent, the rejuvenation of the primary education is not in the near future because of poor quality education that is failing to ensure that children learn. But speaking in Abuja as at June 2013, when he granted audience to the Director of the Bureau for the Development of Education in Africa, BREDA, an arm of UNESCO, Dr. AnnTherese Ndog-Jatta, the supervising Minister for Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike declared that President Goodluck Jonathan was fully committed to the elimination of all forms of illiteracy from the country, stressing that there is no way significant development can take place in the face of illiteracy. Extolling President Jonathan’s giant stride in education, Wike blamed past governments for the challenges being faced in the country’s education sector. “If previous administrations had worked towards eradicating illiteracy the way President Goodluck Jonathan has done in the past two years, we would substantially have tackled this challenge. However, I am happy we are making serious progress with our direct partnership with UNESCO and we shall continue to build on the successes already recorded,” said Wike. Ten per cent of the global spending is on primary education, yet, hardly a child out of four children can read

a single sentence or solve a simple mathematics. UNESCO feared that it would take poorest young women in developing countries of Asia until 2072, for all to be literate. On subSaharan Africa, UNESCO bemoaned that it would take about the next century for all girls to finish lower sec-

pervising Minister of Education, Wike, disagreed with these figures saying, “I don’t know where UNESCO got the statistics from, but I am particular about Nigeria, especially what the Supervising Minister of Education is doing. Apart from the various restructuring programmes he

demanded that teachers be upgraded and, this is being done in collaboration with the Nigeria Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna. Nevertheless, UNESCO was not alone in its position about the poor state of education in Nigeria. Contrary to Oparah’s position, Mr. Hassan Soweto who is the National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign,

ondary school. With the development, pundits on education in the country decried the supposition by the Federal Government in 2000, boasting of meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goal in education, whereas the UNESCO said that it would take more than 70 years for all children to have access to at least, primary education. UNESCO tailored the number of children who did not even get basic schooling to 57 million, of which a huge portion was from Nigeria. The number of Nigerian children out of primary school was given as 10.5 million. The number of children in poorer countries who remain illiterate, notwithstanding having been in school, was given as 130 million. These worrisome figures by UNESCO, however, did not go down well with the stakeholders in the sector. Mr. Lambert Oparah, the Special Assistant to the Su-

is undertaking to ensure that our education system is uplifted, he has also ensured that those managing the education system, particularly teachers, are properly trained so that they can effectively impart their knowledge to the students. “In the next couple of years, Nigeria will begin to see improved quality of education in Nigeria, given the efforts of the Federal Government towards this effect presently.” Oparah concluded that of late, the federal government

ERC, was of the view that the education sector in the country is nothing to write home about. He contended that there are 10.5 million out of school children in 2013 as compared to 2004, when there were 7.3 million. Soweto revealed that there is less corresponding increase in number of schools compared to the number of applicants to the universities in the country. At the 11th Education for All Global Monitoring Report by UNESCO, the bleak

By ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE

future that Nigeria’s education sector faces means that it would not be able to meet EFA’s Goals 1, 2 and 4 by the year 2015. According to UNESCO’s report, Nigeria is one of the only 15 countries that the report projects will have fewer than 80 per cent of its primary school age children enrolled by 2015. Nigeria’s out-ofschool population not only grew the most in terms of any country in the world since 2004-2005 by 3.4 million, but also had the 4th highest growth rate. It was revealed by analysts that while huge sums of money

are yearly budgeted for the education sector in the country, the 2014 budgetary allocation to education in particular, cannot sufficiently address its numerous woes. There are challenges and prospects of achieving the six goals of EFA, adopted in Dakar in 2000, according to Professor Alidou, but inequality and inequity are very pronounced in certain parts of the country, as she noted in an EFA global monitoring report. As UNESCO seemingly

promised to give-a-hand to the federal government in education, developmental agenda and security challenges, hope has been raised in the Nigeria’s education sector. Speaking at the lunch of Opo Imo by the Osun state government last year, Senator Sola Adeyeye, the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, challenged the leaders of Nigeria to integrate technology into Nigeria’s education system. “Nigeria could raise nearly half a billion dollars per year for education if 20 per cent of its oil revenue was invested in the sector. The amount raised would be almost three times what the country currently receives in aid to education,” he said. Also Bar Wike, promised that the government would continue to work to eradicate illiteracy. “We still appeal to UNESCO to continue to extend more technical support to us in the area of elimination of illiteracy in our nation. By next year, we shall increase the level of funding for literacy programmes and all mass literacy agencies will be galvanized to take the efforts of the administration to improve our literacy to the next level.” Findings are that for the education sector in the country to move forward, corruption must be stemmed and the flagrant mismanagement of the country’s human and natural resources should be properly utilised. Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, former education minister is of the view that Nigeria has a need to amplify public awareness among learners, families and all other stakeholders on the potential for succession, employment and selffulfillment that Technical Vocational Education and Training could offer.. Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Port Harcourt

“Findings are that for the education sector in the country to move forward, corruption must be stemmed and the flagrant mismanagement of the country’s human and natural resources should be properly utilised.”


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Issues

Centenary Jamboree And Rejected Awards LAST week, AIT and NTA were awash with the Nigeria Centenary Awards, especially last Thursday, when over 25 leaders from around the world graced Abuja penultimate Thursday. The awards categories included contributors to the making of Nigeria, heroes of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence/pioneer political leaders, pioneers in professional callings/careers, promoters of democratic transition in Nigeria, internationally acclaimed artists, literary icons, journalists, Whether or not you believe we should celebrate the centenary of the Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorate that resulted in the enterprise called Nigeria, you cannot help but be amazed by the Centenary Celebration Jamboree with all the lights, electrifying acrobatics, dancers and musicians – both old and new. Just to hear Sir. (Prof.) Victor Uwaifo perform his signature tune again “Guitar boy”, was nostalgic for many of us. The ostentatious display caught the eyes of many people and the minds of many frugal analysts. The protagonists and antagonists alike have their view of the event. However, the common denominator in most of the events was “money.” It costs a lot of money to put together the events. In this country where it is usually difficult to put a handle on the exact expenditure of government, we can all make an educated guess and know it is in billions of Naira. Yes, the events were planned months ahead, but the other question was whether in light of recent killings in Yobe-AdamawaBorno states, the events could have been cancelled or kept very low key. Another point worth considering is whether the funds could have been diverted to meet security challenges. As though Boko Haram members were reading my mind, even before the thought entered my mind, they immediately unleashed mayhem in Adamawa State, to buttress the point about our porous security situation. Yes, they dare not come to Abuja that day because of the beefed up security, but they also had an advantage as more security personnel were deployed to Abuja, arguably leaving a security vacuum in the North East. As with a drunkard or glutton that has had his fill, when they hangover or food has been excreted, we still

By ALEX O. ATAWA AKPODIETE must deal with the reality of the situation on ground. Part of the Centenary celebration was to give awards to some notable Nigerians who are still alive and others post-humus. Three posthumous awards went to Late. Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, Chief Abdul-Ganiyu “Gani” Oyesola Fawehinmi (SAN) and Fela Ransome Kuti. Interestingly, all three families declined the awards for apparently cogent reasons.. “According to the Fawehinmi family, they can’t accept the award because former president, General Ibrahim Babangida who tortured and dealt with their father while alive is part of the people on the list to be honoured. They also felt their father wouldn’t have been a part of it because of the recent $20 billion missing in NNPC and would have gone to court by now. The recent killing of 43 students in FGC, Yobe State was also part of the reasons listed.” Another controversial award recipient was late Gen. Sani Abacha that was responsible for Ken Saro Wiwa’s death. Truthfully, it is difficult to comprehend which category IBB and Abacha fit in. Also, Fela’s family through his son Femi said “the family would not honour the awards unless the government first of all apologies for the murder of their grandmother and the burning down of their father’s house Kalakuta Republic” Late Chief MKO Abiola, Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and late Fela Kuti rejected Centenary awards from the grave. On the rejection of awards, it is not the first time the Nigerian government has had its awards thrown back in its face. The Late Prof. Chinua Achebe did it twice. So, it is not new. The only dimension to this rejection is that it was from the family of the deceased awardees. Alright, so Chief Barr. Gani Fawehinmi rejected one of the highest national honours that can be bestowed on a citizen by the Nigerian government - Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2008, prior to his death. Based on that spirit, his son Mohammed Fawehinmi sent a rejection letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, through the Sec-

retary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. Part of the letter stated, “Our late father was empathetic to the sufferings of our people, particularly students. In the last 72 hours, 43 innocent students were mowed down by the blood- thirsty Boko Haram terrorists in Yobe

anti-corruption activist, if he were to be alive, our late father would have confronted the issue head-long and possibly gone to court. With the issue still raging, would our late father have accepted this award at this critical moment? Certainly no. Our late father was unrepentantly for the unity of Nigeria. However, with the level of profligacy in some of the events celebrating Nigeria’s Centenary, our late father would

“Interestingly, all three families declined the awards for apparently cogent reasons.. “According to the Fawehinmi family, they can’t accept the award because former president, General Ibrahim Babangida who tortured and dealt with their father while alive is part of the people on the list to be honoured.”

President Goodluck Jonathan decorating former Head of State Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) during the centenary celebration. State, while 20 other girls were similarly abducted by this same band of terrorists. These girls are still in captivity while their fate is unknown. If our late father were to be alive, would he be wining and dining with all the glitterati at a Centenary celebration under these circumstances? Certainly no. In the past few weeks, the polity has been assaulted with putrid odour of corruption with the alleged $20 billion missing in NNPC, a development that became the Achilles heel of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the suspended Governor of Central Bank. As an

have preferred these multimillion Naira expenditures channeled to our decrepit Teaching hospitals, than unproductive razzmatazz that do not improve the socio-economic wellbeing of our people.” The roll call of awardees included: Sir Samuel Manuwa, Professor John Edozien, Dr Moses Majekodunmi, Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe, Professor Latunde Odeku, Professor Nelson Oyesiku, Dr. Funmi Olopade, Professor Oyin Olurin, Professor Orishejolomi- Thomas, Pro-

fessor Bello Osagie, Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, Professor Ade Elebute, Dr Akinola Maja, Professor Femi Williams, Professor Ambrose Alli, Dr Dalhatu Tafida, Professor Ishaya Audu, Professor Oladele Ajose, Professor Tola Adebonojo, Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Fredrick Lugard, Dame Flora Louise Shaw, Ex-Military Heads of State and Civilian Presidents, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, Prof. Wole Soyinka, late Prof. Chinua Achebe, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, Chief Odimegwu Ojukwu, Nwankwo Kanu, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed Dangote, Chief

Mike Adenuga, Honourable Justice Maryam Aloma Mukhtar, GCON, Sir Abubakar Sadiq III, and Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye of RCCG.. We should be aware of “owanbe” celebrations when our house is on fire. Also, the President should be wary of those who will sacrifice his well-executed transformation Agenda on the altar of greed and sycophancy. A tainted record is difficult to wipe clean.

“As though Boko Haram members were reading my mind, even before the thought entered my mind, they immediately unleashed mayhem in Adamawa State, to buttress the point about our porous security situation. Yes, they dare not come to Abuja that day because of the beefed up security, but they also had an advantage as more security personnel were deployed to Abuja”


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Footprints G E N G H I S Khan (1167-1227), 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 presentday 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 alli-

The Great Ge WITH OBUSEH JUDE

ances 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 OngKhan (‘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 ri-

“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.”

val, Jamuka, he was at last in undisputed possession of Mongolia. In the spring of 1206, at an assembly of the Mongol princes held near the sources of the Onon, he was proclaimed Great

empe imme prince and th withd Howe out ag

Khan. The powerful ruler proceeded to organize 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

Beijin sacke 1215. Alth yet ov quest not co G.K n quish p opera spring Mong his at Centr Khan abutt Khwa poorly ruled Muha


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Footprints

enghis Khan

ror at the price of an ense dowry for a Jin ess as G.K’s bride, he invaders began to draw northward. ever, fighting broke gain almost at once.

ng was besieged and d in the summer of

hough the war was not ver—indeed the conof North China was ompleted till 1234— now decided to relinpersonal command of ations, and in the g of 1216 returned to golia in order to give ttention to events in ral Asia. Genghis ’s western territory ed the state of arizm, a vast but y organized empire, by Sultan ammad, covering the

present-day countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, as well as Afghanistan and most of Iran. War between the two empires became inevitable when G.K’s am-

bassadors 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 t a c t i c s . The Mongol forces were organized into several formations of 10,000 horsemounted 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 longlasting 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.”


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Opinion

Afejuku, Iredia And An Old Edo Song

ACKNOWLEDGING that some good has been done by another, especially an opponent, political or socio-economic, or an enemy, imagined or real, can be a difficult proposition in our clime. This is because it is in our character not to do so. We pigeon hole ourselves into the ‘we and they’ divide so much that we must seek to pooh-pooh good works done by another no matter how beneficial to us as individuals and as a community such good works may be. We deliberately deny credit to others for things we wish we had done ourselves if we had the opportunity. Tony Afejuku, unfortunately, was caught in a snare with his piece titled ‘’Benin Bullies’’ published in the Nigerian TRIBUNE of Monday February 24, 2014. In the said article, Tony Afejuku sought to rubbish the transformation wrought on Benin City, especially in road and traffic management, by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole administration. His pick, the officers of the road traffic management agency and their alleged excesses, is to say the least, an unfair and wicked angle to attack a state capital and, by extension, the whole entity called Edo State. Afejuku, a travelled man, has lived so long in Benin City not to forget the chaotic nature of traffic there and the harrowing experiences of both residents and travellers going through the city. There simply was no order in the madness. This sorry state of affairs was not acknowledged by Afejuku before warning Nigerians, as he did, against travelling to and through Benin City on account of his ‘’Benin Bullies’’. According to him, ‘’you will certainly not fail to notice them if you are a motorist journeying through Benin to your destination in eastern Nigeria, or northern Nigeria or western Nigeria or any city or town or village in neighbour9oing Delta state, depending of course on where you are hopping from’’. The Oshiomhole administration has, by this inadvertent admission, scored a point by ensuring that officers of the traffic management agency are visibly present on the roads to ensure sanity and discipline

be fully felt unless order and sanity returned to the management of traffic on the roads. What has happened to Edo roads and traffic management has

Afejuku claimed, to ‘’vigorously’’ violate another. This shows how fixated a critic this University of Benin don has remained since the days of Prof. Grace Alele Williams as his Vice Chancellor. It is still

diciary as well as the government of Edo State over the outcome of the last Esan North East Council polls which chairmanship result was cancelled by an election petition tribunal recently. I find it quite odd that Iredia appeared to have put every public officer in Edo state into one ‘’rubber bag’ labelled ‘’dishonest citizens’’. He wrote: ‘’Justice Eruaga has thus done her part and we cannot but sa-

been replicated in areas like Lagos and Onitsha where, before now, traffic was impossible. Today in both cities, the situation is different and commuters are happier for it. Tony Afejuku’s article dwelt on his perceived wrong doing of the traffic officers without, as every constructive piece should, pointing the way forward for the traffic agency. And as he himself pointed out, ‘’my vignette of them may be wrong and far from perfect’’. It is very wrong and so far from being perfect, for no government would empower a citizen, not the least a traffic officer, as

the same old ‘’pull him down’’ song , accompanied this time, not by a twanging ukulele of Afejuku’s fertile imagination but by a blaringvuvuzela from an ivory tower Busy Body (BB) who once hopped around town as a Bus Conductor (BC). This same song was sung somewhere else last Sunday when Tony Iredia, journalism icon, former spokesman of the defunct National Electoral Commission and former Director-General of Nigeria Television Authority, writing in his Sunday Vanguard column, donned the toga of self-righteousness and disparaged the ju-

lute high sense of integrity. Not many public officers are that honest in our state’’. No, sir. There are far more honest public officers than there are dishonest ones in Edo state and what the tribunal found and held may well be an isolated case which, in any case, is open to further scrutiny at a higher court of competent jurisdiction. The one-man, one-vote mantra is Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s contribution to our nation in its quest to find an enduring solution to election rigging. It has been practiced here in Edo State and elsewhere and found to be sustainable especially as

By BLESSING YAKUBU

on the part of road users. One interesting aspect of Afejuku’s warped, mischievous, diabolic and ill-conceived deliberatefaux pargoes thus: ‘’And if you are careless enough to ‘’err’’, and lose concentration momentarily and attempt to flash your way without heed to traffic light positioned ahead of you, you sure are in for it. No momentary human lapse is excusable. Even if you are careful enough to heed the control of the traffic light, and park thereafter somewhere to make a call, or answer a call or text a message from your mobile you are sure going to engage in some kind of struggle with them. Usually, they will gain the upper hand against you and only you, no matter how many you are in your vehicle. Always, they will outnumber you, no matter what, even in the art and act of bullish behaviour. In the end they may make you a bullock, these traffic violators, who are the new police traffic inspectors in Benin. These dull-blood uniformed men have since appeared and grown in my factuaql imagination as bullies because of the reckless, uncouth and vile manner they go about the business off maintaining traffic ‘’peace’’ and ‘’sanity’’ within the city of Benin.’’ If it is true, and it is undeniably so, as Afejuku stated, that only ‘’careless’’ drivers ‘’err’’, ‘’lose concentration momentarily’’, attempt to flash their way ‘’without heed to the traffic light positioned ahead’’ of them and park somewhere or anywhere, to make a call, answer a call or send a text message, how then can or should the resultant sanction occasioned by a driver’s disregard for road traffic regulations be the fault of the traffic officer or even the government of Edo state?Citizens of Edo State, resident in the state and elsewhere like Afejuku’s fairy tale don friend from the University of Ibadan, as well as all those who travel through Benin City acknowledge, without being high on Gordon Gin, that great improvement has been done to the road infrastructure in Benin City the impact of which would not

a wake-up call to the people not only to go out and cast their ballot but particularly to defend their vote. It is this ability to defend votes that gives one-man one-vote its true meaning. I do not think that Tony Iredia was in Edo state in 2012 when the last governorship polls took place. If he was, then it is highly uncharitable to write as he did that: ‘’In reality, however, Edo state was neither ready for free and fair elections in 2012 nor has it

as at today moved towards the prospects of a credible election.’’ The governorship election of 2012 was adjudged free and fair, producing as it did a highly credible result which the losers could not challenge. One-man one-vote is alive and well. What remains is for the people to insist on defending their right to have their votes count.

BLESSING YAKUBU, PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR, LIVES IN YENAGOA, BAYELSA STATE.

“If it is true, and it is undeniably so, as Afejuku stated, that only ‘’careless’’ drivers ‘’err’’, ‘’lose concentration momentarily’’, attempt to flash their way ‘’without heed to the traffic light positioned ahead’’ of them and park somewhere or anywhere, to make a call, answer a call or send a text message, how then can or should the resultant sanction occasioned by a driver’s disregard for road traffic regulations be the fault of the traffic officer or even the government of Edo state?”


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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

Family Planning

Ways Of Ensuring Effective Postnatal Care EARLY postnatal care plays a very important role in improving newborn health and survival. Many deaths are seen in the first hours and days after birth and early postnatal period is a highly vulnerable time for mothers as well – 60 per cent of maternal deaths occur in the first day after delivery, says XFLi, et al, in their “the post partum period. The key to maternal mortality”, cited from the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Midwives and community health workers can offer a range of services such as counseling on newborn care practices, ensuring immediate and exclusive breastfeeding, and recognising health problems (such as infections) among mothers and newborns that require immediate attention. Postnatal care would cost less than half the amount of skilled care during childbirth to scale up and has the potential to prevent as many as 20 to 50 per cent of newborn deaths, depending on the setting. However, postnatal care for

mothers and newborns to date, has received relatively little emphasis in public health programs with only a minority of mothers and babies in high-mortality settings receiving postnatal care in the first hours, days and weeks. The following below are ways of ensuring effective postnatal care. Breastfeeding – Immediate breast feeding is one of the most effective interventions for newborn survival. Breast milk provides nutrients, warmth and stronger immunity for the baby. It also promotes bonding and helps a mother’s uterus contract to reduce her blood loss. During the first days of life, breast feeding helps to prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and low temperature (hypothermia), both of which are important contributors to newborn deaths. One of the most important services that can be provided to a mother is preparation for and support during breastfeeding. The World Health Organisation recommends that newborn babies should be put to the breast within one hour after birth and that exclusive

breastfeeding should continue for six months. With the right interventions, breastfeeding behaviours can be changed quickly and dramatically. One effect in Africa that enlisted families and communities to become breastfeeding advocates documented impressive results. Within three to four years, the program increased early initiation of breastfeeding by about 30 percent in Ghana and Zambia. Rates more than doubled in Madagascar in five years. And in Ethiopia, they rose by nearly 80 per cent in just two years. Exclusive breastfeeding for longer periods of time also increased significantly in all countries. Recent studies in Ghana and Nepal suggest that 20 per cent of newborn deaths almost 600,000 deaths each

year – could be prevented if all babies were breastfed within the first hour of life. Sadly, in most regions of the world, fewer than half of all newborns are put to be breast within and hour of birth, says UNICEF global databases (www.childinfo.org). Kangaroo mother care – “Kangaroo mother care” is a simple effective way for mothers to help underweight babies survive the first critical days of life. Preterm and low-birth weight babies need special care, particularly with regard to warmth and feeding. Through this approach, mothers are taught how to keep their newborns warm through continuous skin-to-skin contact on the mother’s chest. This encourages the mother and baby to bond emotionally and enables the baby to breastfeed

With Erange Isaac

at will, giving the baby the energy to produce its own body heat. In many cases, Kangaroo care reduces the need for incubators, which are prohibitively expensive in developing countries. A recent comparison of studies in 15 developing countries found that Kangaroo care was more effective than incubator care, cutting newborn deaths by 51 per cent for preterm babies who were stable, says Lawn, Joy, Judith MwansaKambaf wile and others in “Kangaroo mother care to prevent Neo-natal deaths due to preterm birth complications”, cited from international journal of Epidemiology volume 39, issue supplement 1, 2010. pp i144-i154. An analysis based on these findings suggested that up half a million newborns could be saved each year if Kangaroo care was promoted every where. Clean cord care to prevent infection – Sepsis, meningitis and tetanus account for approximately 15 percent of all newborn deaths each year. Many of these infections come from bacteria that enter the baby’s bloodstream through the recently cut umbilical cord. To prevent infection, the cord should be cut with sterile scissors or a new razor blade. The cord stump should then be kept clean and uncovered until it falls off and heals. New evidence suggests many thousands of newborn lives could be saved by applying a low-cost antiseptic called chlorhexidine (or CHX) to the umbilical cords of all newborns, especially these born in settings with poorhygiene. A tube of chlorhexidine costs about 25 cents. It can be administered successfully by health workers with minimal training and even of family members. Amazingly, this inexpensive, easy-to-use product is not yet commonly used in the developing world. Only two countries – Nepal and Nigeria have taken steps to make it widely available. Antibiotics to treat sepsis

– Sepsis is an infection affecting the baby’s whole body. It may be in the blood or in one or more of the baby’s organs. Organisms that cause sepsis may enter the baby during pregnancy, during labour or birth, or after birth. They can spread through the body from an infection of the skin, or cord, or other organ. Sepsis can kill quickly, but low-cost inject able antibiotics – such as procaine, benzyl penicillin, gentamicin and leftriaxone – can save lives if administered by a skilled health professional or a community health worker in some settings. Costing up to $2 and often much less, these drugs – together with chlorhexidine for clean cord care – could save 509,000 newborn lives each year if they were available to every baby who might need them, says the list analysis (lives saved analysis) of save the children. Maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria Nigeria is one of the six countries that account for 50% of global maternal deaths there has been global and national initiatives aimed at improving maternal health hence reducing the unacceptably high Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in low income countries including Nigeria. In Nigeria, these strategies and militaries include the adoption of the safe motherhood initiative launched in Nairobi in 1987, the road map for accelerating the attainment of MDG 4 and 5 in 2005, the integrated maternal, newborn, and child health strategy in 2007 and currently the establishment of the midwife service scheme to address the shortage of skilled birth attendants at delivery. Despite all these polices and strategies, maternal death still remains a great challenge in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the 5 leading causes of maternal death include obstetric hermorrhage, eclampsia, sepsis, obstructed labour, and complications of unsafe abortion.

“In many cases, Kangaroo care reduces the need for incubators, which are prohibitively expensive in developing countries. A recent comparison of studies in 15 developing countries found that Kangaroo care was more effective than incubator care, cutting newborn deaths by 51 per cent for preterm babies who were stable, ...


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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

Perspective Re: Dear Mrs Okonjo-Iweala

THE problem I have with Mr Sonala Olumhense’s articles on the Coordinating Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the general absence of verified facts and the basing of opinions on gross inaccuracies. For instance, Mr Olumhense writes that $2.5 billion of Abacha money was recovered during Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s time as Finance Minister under President Obasanjo and that the money disappeared implying some involvement in the disappearance by the Minister. This is absolutely false. First, the amount recovered was $500 million, not $2.5 billion. The recovered amount was channeled into rural projects and programmes as per the agreement with the Swiss government which repatriated the funds. A combined team of Nigerian and Swiss NGOs with the World Bank later verified the use of this money on the ground in the projects cited and they certified the money had been accurately utilized. The World Bank had written about this in a 2007-2008 Handbook on stolen Asset Recovery where the case was cited as a best practice example of how to deploy returned proceeds of looted assets. Readers of Mr Olumhense would benefit more if his passionate writings on Dr Okono-Iweala are supported by a bit more research as opposed to sweeping, unverified statements. A second inaccuracy in Mr Olumhense’s article is the claim that NEEDS was to be the last reform agenda of Nigeria. Who on earth made such a claim? The idea that a country needs one magical reform startegy to take care of all current and future chal-

BY PAUL C. NWABUIKWU lenges is strange. It simply doesn’t make sense. Every country continues to reform as circumstances change – the name may change but the process of reform is and should be continuous. President Obama is currently re-

most of the examples of political corruption were from Nigeria. But unlike some of those that talk about corruption, Okonjo-Iweala has not stopped at talking. The clean-up of the fraud in the subsidy payments

answer to the prayers of well-meaning Nigerians that brought her back, alive. Where was Mr Olumhense at this time? How can he claim that this woman is not at the forefront of the fight against corruption? Thank God her mother is still alive to tell her traumatic tale and nobody

strongly about – the terrible experience that many senior citizens have to go through just to collect their pensions – and serious work is going on to ensure that fix this long-standing problem in a sustainable way. On the NNPC oil accounts issue, Mr Olumhense seems to have forgotten that Dr OkonjoIweala has called for an independent forensic audit to establish the facts of any unaccounted for money and ensure that all every Naira that is owed the treasury is returned to the Federation Account. This is the best way to proceed given the conflicting claims by Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the NNPC. After all the

nomic development of the country is beneath Mr Olumhense’s gaze as a professional critic. Like many OkonjoIweala critics, he is too apoplectic with contrived rage to see anything good in whatever she does. Their minds – and eyes – are shut to any possibility of any positive contribution. As the minister has always maintained, we face serious challenges at so many levels as a country. But that is precisely why progress should be recognized so that it will act as a beacon for more work to achieve more progress. A climate of total and complete hopelessness, like the one which commentators

“As the minister has always maintained, we face serious challenges at so many levels as a country. But that is precisely why progress should be recognized so that it will act as a beacon for more work to achieve more progress.” Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister forming the health and immigration systems in America. The United States, like many other countries, has never stopped reforming. Why should Nigeria? I suppose I should thank Mr Olumhense for finding something positive in anything Dr OkonjoIweala has said, as he did on her comments on corruption in her TedxEuston talk. But if he listened to the talk carefully, he would have noted that

regime to oil marketers for which she paid a heavy personal price in the form of the abduction of her mother by paid kidnappers in November 2012 is one clear example. The sole demand of the kidnappers for the first three days of the abduction was that the minister should resign and leave the country for spearheading the clean-up. Her 83-year old mother was held for five days and it was only the intervention of the Almighty God in

should make light of that sacrifice. Another example is the clean-up of the pension fraud with the establishment now of a new institution under the Federal Ministry of Finance – the Pension Transition Administration Department to ensure that pensioners under the old defined benefits scheme are not defrauded anymore. The department is a practical response to an issue that many of us feel very

“But unlike some of those that talk about corruption, Okonjo-Iweala has not stopped at talking. The clean-up of the fraud in the subsidy payments regime to oil marketers for which she paid a heavy personal price in the form of the abduction of her mother by paid kidnappers in November 2012 is one clear ex-

speeches and comments like that of Mr Olumhense, the fundamental problem of determining the facts as a basis for action must still be tackled. Is there room for more action on corruption? Of course the answer can only be yes. But action is needed to achieve change. Talk is cheap, action is crucial. Mr Olumhemse is entitled to his opinion of the status of the Transformation Agenda but his failure to say anything about visible achievements in roads, rail, power privatization, agriculture and job creation programmes like YOUWIN speaks volumes about the bias and lack of balance in his comments. Of course the foundation of a mortgage housing programe for the country, a project with profound positive implications for the overall eco-

like Mr Olumhense are working so hard to achieve, is not in the interest of any Nigerian. Finally, on the issue of the recurrent budget, the Minister has publicly explained the origin of the present imbalance between recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure. The huge salary increase of 53% and attendant pension increases awarded to public servants in 2010 is the major factor. Unfortunately for Mr Olumhense, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was not in office then. Was Mr Olumhense a columnist then? I believe so. Since he is so passionate about the high recurrent expenditure, he should avail us of what his critical analysis of what transpired at that time. If he said nothing then, then he has no moral authority now to lay blame where it does not belong.


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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

Archival Matters

Readers Vs Digital Ignoramuses

EACH time, Rhoda Oboh is on NTA’s A.M. Express programme she often ends her newspapers review segment with these words: readers are leaders. She is not saying that reading will make you a president, governor, senate president, speaker, traditional ruler or a vice-chancellor. No, this isn’t the point she is making. What she is saying emphatically, is that reading is a reliable way of transforming yourself into a man or woman with the ability to navigate the stormy waters of life to positive success. Of course, she is absolutely correct. Indeed, if you stand by books, they will lift you high. To start with, there was this man born to a Jewish family in Ulm, Wurlemberg in Germany on March 14, 1879, Biographers said he had speech disorders in his early life. One day, he even missed his way home because he could neither read road signs nor express himself well. However, when he came of age, he knew that if he didn’t befriend books and a resilient reading culture, he wouldn’t make it in life. So, he became very studious. Later, he turned out to be a great physicist while in 1999 he was crowned man of the century by people’s magazine. Who is the man? He is Albert Einstein. How about Helen Keller? She was born blind. Despite her visual challenges, the urge to read burned inside her. This motivated her to develop Braille, a form of writing which enabled blind persons to read with their fingers. At the end of the day, she bagged a PhD without any examination malpractice. Too true, blind persons are the most honest candidates during examinations. Since they cannot cheat sighted

invigilators, they always read hard for their examinations before D-day. In my secondary school days, there was this boy who was a hard reader. He and his books were inseparable. When ever examinations drew near as a student from class one to four, he did incredible things to beat the regimented reading template allotted to students in this class category. He would lie to the dormitory prefect that he was going to the lavatory. On getting there, he would read for about an hour. Not defaecate. Later, when he was in his final year in class five, during which burning the midnight oil was allowed by the school authorities, the boy went full blast with reading. No sleep sometimes throughout the night. Because of this exploit we nicknamed him D6 WITC. Remember, witches don’t sleep at night. Or do they? Ask the shrieking owls!!. Today, this boy is however reaping the fruit of his robust reading culture. He is a celebrated lawyer sought after by clients. Now, enter Professors Chike Obi and Mike Ikhariale. See, Prof. Chike Obi only went to a secondary school early in life. Thereafter he studied at home via tuition for his first degree in mathematics before proceeding abroad for his higher education which climaxed with a Ph.d in the same discipline. Before he passed on his name was synonymous with mathematical ingenuity and wizardry. Prof. Mike Ikhariale is a cousin to my late friend Omon Oko-Odigie. Ikhariale never attended a secondary school. He read at home and

By MICHAEL ODIGBE

passed his GCEs with flying colours and then proceeded to read law at the university. Presently, he is a world accomplished academician in international law. Like him, Chief Afe

At UNILAG, there was this Library-genic student who read so hard one day that tired, he slept off and didn’t leave the library at close down… When I ran into him in Lagos in 2001,

Babalola didn’t attend a secondary school. But the Ekiti – born SAN, today, owns a university and is armed with a master’s degree in law. When he got his first degree in law, he was offered several jobs with fabulous pay packets. But he rejected them because his eyes were fixed on reading further. The rest is history. He stayed back in his one-room apartment from where he acquired his LL.M in law on a shoe-string budget of survival. Today, he owns vast estates in addition to a university.

he was a big man in one multi-national company which is holding tight to him because he is one of its brain boxes. UNILAG also reminds me of the Prof. Ayodele Awoyobi the Akoka giant whose statue now adorns Lagos, courtesy of talkless, work hard governor of Lagos State. It is name conjures up proverbs 10.14 where we are told. “Wise men store up knowledge while fools disparage it. Therefore, it was no surprise Awojobi was a voracious reader. He consumed books just as

“Like him, Chief Afe Babalola didn’t attend a secondary school. But the Ekiti – born SAN, today, owns a university and is armed with a master’s degree in law. When he got his first degree in law, he was offered several jobs with fabulous pay packets. But he rejected them because his eyes were fixed on reading further.”

herbivores eat leaves and grasses. Although, he hold a D.SC in Mechanical Engineering, Awojobi was at home in political science, sociology, medicine, psychology, media studies, biology and any other discipline. Infact, he was reading law before he died under mysterious circumstances. He was a mobile encyclopaedia, extraordinary!. In passing I must not fail to visit Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma in my attempt to spotlight readers. In this university, you will

As an aspiring young man, he joined The NIGERIAN OBSERVER with a National Diploma in Mass Communication. Therefore, he bowed before his books, read hard and earned a Ph.d in philosophy. A great man, he is. He deserves our maximum appreciation. Lest I forget, after his overthrow in 1975 General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), our deposed military head of state for nine years, dusted his school certificate and other qualifications earned as a soldier. He enrolled at Warwick University, United

find William Mote who lectures in the law faculty. His hobby is reading wide and drinking from the deep prierian spring of good books on which be spends a fortune. While the little – hearted thinking of his shoe rack wardrobe, perfume vanity box and epicurean stomach, William Mote goes a shopping for great books that nutures the mind-brain complex. His inspirational guide are the words of Mark Twanin. “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” At Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma also, there is another lecturer worth celebrating and who holds up The NIGERIAN OBSERVER newspaper as a media outfit for respect, not despise by self appointed Pontius Plates. He is Dr. Philip Igbafe lecturing in the Department of Philosophy.

Kingdom. There, he earned his first and second degrees in political science capping them up with a Ph.D in the same area of study. It is no wonder there is an expansive, positive wellbalanced and celebral vision as well as mission in his post military mind set. His conceptualization of issues is better for it, today. Unfortunately, despite the tremendous benefits a robust reading culture bestows on man it is on the retreat today. The cry now is to kill the book. If you cannot do this burn it. If you cannot do either of this, hate it. It is not surprising, therefore, that populations of digital ignoramuses are currently all over the place. A food for thought, however. Hear Hosea 4:6. My people perish for lack of knowledge. So can’t you now see why Golgotha is staring at us?.


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Science

With Clementina Oyakhilomhe

because they are not carworous animals because they lack canines, there is a big gap or space which is referred to as the diastema. Premolars and molars are ridged and because they are ridged they are used for the grinding of vegetation. Dentition in carnivore e.g. dog The incisors are small and pointed they are manly used for holding preys canines are long and curved they are used solely for the tearing of flesh. The premolars and molars are used for crushing meat and bones. The last upper premolar and first lower molar are known as carnassials teeth. Carnassials teeth are used for tearing flesh from bones. Omnivore e.g. man Their incisors are broad and sharp for the cutting of food. Canines are bluthly pointed, the premolars and molars do have flat surfaces which are used for either chewing or grinding. Digestion in birds Birds do not have teeth, hence they swallow their food whole which is stored in the crop which is large and sac-leke. The crop is a place, where food is stored temporarily before they are digested and ejected from the choaca. The food passes from the crop to the gizzard whose muscular wall grinds up the food with the help of small stones often swallowed by the bird. Digestion in amoeba

Understanding Different Types Of Teeth

WE have four different types of teeth which include Incisors, Canines, Premolars, Molars. Incisors They are flat and are chases shape it is used for cutting and bitting of food. Canines They have pointed edges and they are used for tearing. Premolars and Molars They are flat with cusps. They are used for grinding and chewing The human tooth is made up of three parts, namely the crown, neck and root. The enamel is a very hard structure that contains about 96% of mineral salts, which are mainly calcium phosphate. The define also has a hard surface that surrounds the pulp cavity. The food cavity, contains blood vessels, nerve fibre and pain sensory receptors. The cement is a bone like lawyer that fixes the tooth, to its socket. The periodontal membrane, fixes the tooth to the jam bones. Dentition

This is the number and arrangement of teeth in an animal. Dental formula It show the number and types of teeth an animal has in one half of each jam for example. Man 1 2/2 (1/1 PM 2/2 M 3/3 = 32 Dog 1 3/3 (1/1 PM 4/4 M 2/3 = 42 Cow 1 0/3 (0/1 PM 3/3 M 3/3 = 32 Adaptation of dentition to mode of nutrition Mammals have milk teeth, or temporal teeth. These teeth, do not last for a long time before they fall off while the permanent teeth, are those that last forever, when, they break accidentally, they never grow back except an artificial teeth is put there as a replacement. Herbivores dentition Incisors here are flat and sharp they are used for the cutting of vegetables. They lack canines

They feed on micro – organisms like diatoms, organic matter and particular. They do so, by engulfing the foods, which makes the two ends of the pseudo podia to touch one another, which forms a cup shape. They fuse and enclose the food into the body with a little amount of water that forms a vacuole. Inside this vacuole, you have digestive enzymes stored within the Iysosomes which hydrolyzes the food and breaks it into smaller molecules for easy absorption through the vacuolar membrane to the cytoplasm. The vacuole, which is cup shaped is the temporary stomach of the amoeba. As diffusion takes place, the vacuole diminished which means digestion has taken place. After which the organism moves away, leaving behind the undigested particles. There is no special organ or opening for the ejection of undigested food particles. Ejection is a by process of exocytosis.


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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

Agriculture WHEN the Federal Government introduced the electronic system of fertiliser subsidy administration in 2012, many skeptics, including farmers themselves, doubted the government’s sincerity and as such never gave it any chance of success. Their cynicism stemmed from the fact that most farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, had never benefitted from the government’s subsidised fertiliser distribution programme on which billions of naira had been spent over the past 40 years. Dr Akinwuni Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the new fertiliser distribution arrangement was introduced due to the outcome of some studies. He said that the studies revealed that only 11 per cent of the country’s estimated 70 million farmers had been able to access the subsidised fertiliser over the past four decades. He added that the studies also revealed the fertiliser distribution scheme had been hijacked by “political farmers’’ who made the product available to their cronies and relatives as well as middlemen who, in turn, sold it in the open market at cut-throat prices. Genuine farmers were shortchanged and they were forced to procure fertiliser at exorbitant prices orchestrated by the shylock fertiliser merchants. However, after two years of the implementation of the innovative fertiliser subsidy system known as the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES), there have been several testimonies about the scheme. Farmers, agro-dealers, agri-businessmen and women, agriculture sector

watchers and other stakeholders acknowledge that the scheme is working very well in spite of some challenges. They describe the scheme as the best fertiliser subsidy programme ever conceived and implemented in the country. Mr Michael Aondoakaa, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, said: “For somebody to say nothing is being done in agriculture, to me, it is strange; since the beginning of this country, this is best agric policy; anybody who says anything contrary will have to give reasons. “As a participant in agriculture, and I have been part of government before; I have never seen a well-focused and a more articulated agric policy than that of this government. “The number of integrated mills in the country has increased from one to 15 through the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme. “The policies are welldefined and straightforward; we that are in the processing industry are seeing the reality of the programme,’’ Aondoakaa added. The fertiliser subsidy regime is the flagship programme of the Federal Government under its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). Through the programme, fertiliser and seeds are allocated to registered farmers via an electronic system known as the “e-wallet’’. Observers note that this is the first time that a database of Nigerian farmers is being developed. Under the system, implemented via a publicprivate-partnership, registered farmers receive their allocation of fertiliser and improved variety of maize

Assessing The Agricultural Transformation Programme By NKECHI OKORONKWO

or rice seeds via their mobile phones and they are directed to go to identified Redemption Centres to redeem their allocations. Under the arrangement, the farmer pays 50 per cent of the cost of the fertiliser, while the federal and state governments defray the balance. The improved seeds are, however, given to the farmers free of charge. Within two years of implementation, the support scheme has been expanded to include other aspects of agriculture apart from crops, such as livestock, fisheries, cas-

sava cuttings and oil palm, among others. In more pragmatic terms, the agricultural transformation programme is aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy away from oil and restoring the glory of agriculture in the nation’s scheme of things. Following the discovery of oil in the 60s and the oil boom in the early 70s, with attendant phenomenal increase in oil revenues, the agriculture sector was somewhat neglected. Gradually, Nigeria meta-

“Within two years of implementation, the support scheme has been expanded to include other aspects of agriculture apart from crops, such as livestock, fisheries, cassava cuttings and oil palm, among others. In more pragmatic terms, the agricultural transformation programme is aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy away from oil and restoring the glory of agriculture in the nation’s scheme of things.”

morphosed into an import dependent nation with growing, massive food imports. Adesina said that studies by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that Nigeria’s food import bill peaked at approximately 11 billion dollars in 2011. In specific terms, wheat imports cost N635 billion (3.8 billion dollars), rice imports N356 billion (2.3 billion dollars); sugar, N217 billion (1.3 billion dollars) and fish, N97 billion (582 million dollars). Speaking on the objectives of the ATA, the minister’s aide, Mr Adetunji Oredipe, said: “We want to cut our food imports and build up the production levels of our local farmers. “The Agricultural Transformation Agenda Programme (ATAP) is also a means of developing the rural areas, reducing the poverty rate as well as checking the exodus of people to big cities such as Abuja and Lagos.’’ The minister once unveiled ATA targets and

these include adding 20 million tonnes to domestic food production by 2015, creating 3.5 million jobs in the agriculture sector by 2015 and providing more than N300 billion of additional income for Nigerian farmers. Other targets are making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production by 2015 and reducing the level of wheat importation by substituting 20 per cent of bread wheat flour with high-quality cassava flour. On the successes so far recorded, Adesina said that so far, the scheme had improved the food security situation of not less than 30 million persons in rural farm households. He said that 6.4 million registered farmers had received agricultural inputs under the GES programme, while the number of registered farmers was expected to hit 10 million this year. “The system is working. In the past two years, the system has reached 6.4 million smallholder farmers and it has enhanced the food security

Continues on pg. 27


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International Features

New Law Drives Uganda’s Embattled Gays Deeper Into Shadows WITH a World Bank scholarship and top grades in the first year of her masters degree in agriculture, 27-yearold Cleo Kambugu should be well on the road to her goal of an academic career in Uganda. Instead, she’s working out how to leave after the passing of a law that toughens prison sentences for homosexuality and a tabloid campaign to “out” gays. “There is totally no hope right now,” said Kambugu, still legally a man despite a sex change in the last year that is not recognized by Uganda, a nation that now has some of the toughest anti-gay laws on a continent where 37 states ban homosexuality. She worries about her safety on the streets after the newspaper Red Pepper slapped her picture on its front page under the headline “How we became homos”. The paper said such articles were in the public interest. Rights groups say it simply encourages people to take the law into their own hands. The bill, signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni on February 24 has forced embattled gays deeper into the shadows, by threatening life in jail for “aggravated homosexuality” and a sevenyear term for “aiding and abetting homosexuality”. The United States has condemned the law and other donors have withheld aid. Some foreign investors are quietly reviewing plans. But it has broad backing from politicians and the public, while many popular churches preach against gay sex. Fearing the worst, members of the gay community retreated. For weeks, Kambugu has stayed in her flat where she lives with her boyfriend. Her curtains are drawn and she rarely goes out. “I can’t even open my windows,” she said, her breast implants, red lipstick and long hair belying her legal gender.

“I don’t walk any more, I drive. I don’t want to overstep the little security I have.” Many gay Ugandans are now torn about what to do next: stay in Uganda and risk going to jail or seek asylum abroad. Some have already chosen to go. Julian Onziema Pepe, spokesperson for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), said more than 20 gays had fled since the parliament first passed the bill on December 20, sending it to the president for his signature. Gays report being harassed - one was even beaten. Beyonce Karungi, a transgender activist, was punched and kicked by a mob in January. “We’re going to chase you out of Kampala,” the men shouted, Karungi told Reuters when recounting the incident. Passing the law has come at a cost for Uganda. The World Bank and donors - Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands - have withheld aid or loans worth more than $118 million. Uganda’s currency has tumbled on fears of further cuts to this vital source of hard currency. Investors are nervous. The United States, a big donor, has called the legislation “atrocious” and compared it to anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany and apartheid in South Africa. It says it is reviewing ties. But the 69-year-old rebel fighter-turned-statesman seems to have his gaze trained closer to home. Despite Western opprobrium, the popular law could help shore up support before a 2016 election. Though he has not said he wants to extend his 28year rule, he is expected to run. Only two MPs in the 260seat parliament publicly criticized the bill. “If you are a homo and you

are destroying our society, you should be stopped,” said lawmaker David Bahati, author of the bill that had initially sought the death penalty for those considered the worst offenders when he introduced it in 2009. Uganda officials have also brushed off Western criticism, saying threats to cut aid are tantamount to blackmail. Uganda will instead turn to China, Russia or India for loans or investment, as that

officials repeatedly assured the U.S. ambassador Scott DeLisi they would “manage” the bill but urged the U.S. and other donors not to make a fuss so it could be quietly scrapped. But when Museveni first suggested he planned to sign the law on February 14, it drew a swift response from U.S. President Barack Obama, who declared any such move a “step backward” for Uganda. About a week after those comments,

emerged in 2009. “Suddenly he’s my villain,” added Ogwaro, a 41-year-old man who was married and lived a double life for years because he feared the consequences of “coming out” in Uganda. The chorus of anti-gay voices is not restricted to parliament. Influential pastors, who draw thousands to Sunday services, often openly denounce homosexual acts.

Museveni inked the law. “There’s now an attempt at social imperialism, to impose social values,” he said at the signing before foreign media. “We’re sorry to see that you (the West) live the way you live, but we keep quiet about it.” Gays had hoped for a different outcome during the years of haggling between parliament and president over the bill. Geoffrey Ogwaro, a gay activist, said Museveni had been his “hero” for stalling the bill since it first

The huge stage at Kampala’s Watoto church is one place where the message is delivered in spectacular style, with smoke machines, disco lights and the throbbing beat of a gospel choir. On a Sunday in March, during one of five packed services held that day to fit in the crowds, Canadian pastor Gary Skinner told worshippers not to “sexually sin against their own bodies”. The church has hosted Scott Lively, president of the Abiding Truth Ministries and prominent anti-gay campaigner. Gays say U.S. evangelical churches have encouraged Uganda’s antigay clerics. “The West says it’s a human right. Africa says it’s a human vice,” Martin Ssempa, a firebrand Ugandan pastor with links to U.S. evangelical groups, told Reuters. Ssempa said he will launch mobile “rehabilitation” clinics for gays across Uganda, a nation with 34.5 million people.

• Yoweri Museveni

support won’t come with strings, they say. Homosexuality has been banned in Uganda since independence in 1962 from colonial power Britain, which at that time also had laws under which gays could be prosecuted. But Museveni still procrastinated about toughening the law. As he delayed, officials assured Western allies that it would be buried. An official at the U.S. embassy in Kampala told Reuters that senior Ugandan

“Uganda officials have also brushed off Western criticism, saying threats to cut aid are tantamount to blackmail. Uganda will instead turn to China, Russia or India for loans or investment, as that support won’t come with strings.”

Those with a different message can barely be heard. Former Church of Uganda Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, the country’s only openly progay clergyman, delivers his sermons in the cramped garage of a small house on the edge of the capital. Kicked out of the church for pro-gay views and stripped of his pension after nearly half a century of service, Senyonjo said the law has silenced voices who support gays. “We are gagged,” Senyonjo said inside his simple office. “I think people will not speak out unless they are ready to sacrifice themselves, and not many people will do that.” It leaves gays struggling to find a way forward in Uganda. Kambugu, who wants to complete her studies abroad after she said her sex change made it impossible to do so in Uganda, advocates a tactical retreat by activists until there is a change in the febrile mood on the street. “We will be of no help dead. We will be of no help in prisons,” said Kambugu. “Right now we are in a place where people are frothing at the mouth and not listening to anyone.” She said activists should take a gradual approach, trying to educate public opinion and make sure gays were given security. Western states might also need to calibrate their approach. David Mpanga, a lawyer who represented a British producer deported from Uganda for staging a play about homosexuality, said it was no use for the West to condemn the anti-gay law vocally if it then stayed quiet on other rights abuses. Despite opposition to the anti-gay law and concern about corruption, Western nations’ criticism may be tempered because of Uganda’s readiness to send troops into places like Somalia to fight Islamists, easing pressure on the West to act. Rights activists, meanwhile, say they will contest the law in court, though that will not address the broader issue of entrenched public opinion that sees homosexuality as wrong. “The law did not bring homophobia to Uganda,” said Kambugu. “The law will not make it disappear.” (REUTERS)


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International Crimea Referendum ‘Illegal’ - Cameron, Obama LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron has held further talks with US President Barack Obama. Cameron and Obama spoke Saturday about recent events in the former Soviet republic, the situation in its Crimean peninsula and US measures on the state of events. Russia effectively seized Crimea last week and the Black Sea peninsula’s autonomous parliament has decided to stage a March 16 referendum on joining Russia. Concerned states should work together to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin “to choose this diplomatic path out of the crisis,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said following the talks. Cameron and Obama “agreed that there is still an opportunity for Russia to resolve the situation diplomatically by engaging in direct talks with the Ukrainians, returning Russian troops to their bases in Crimea and working with the rest of the international community to support free and fair elections in Ukraine in May. “Both the prime minister and the president firmly believe that the proposed referendum in Crimea would be illegal and that any attempt to legitimise it would result in further consequences for Russia.” Pro-Kremlin militia fired warning shots as unarmed foreign observers tried to enter Crimea on Saturday while Russia stepped up its stand-off with the West over Ukraine by threat-

No Guarantee Of Final Iran Nuclear Accord - Ashton

TEHRAN - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said yesterday there is “no guarantee” that talks with Iran on its disputed nuclear programme will lead to a comprehensive agreement. “This interim agreement is really important but not as important as a comprehensive agreement (which is)... difficult, challenging, and there is no guarantee that we will succeed,” Ashton told a joint news conference in Tehran with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Iran clinched the interim deal in November with the so-called P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany — under which it agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Negotiators are trying to reach a final accord in the coming months. “It is very important that with the support of the people of Iran for the work to going on by the minister and his team and with the support of international community for my work that we should aim to try to succeed,” Ashton said. Western nations and Israel have long suspected Iran is covertly pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian programme, charges denied by Tehran.

ening to keep Washington from checking on its nuclear arms. Cameron also spoke to his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper about the need for the International Monetary Fund to take the lead in advancing a financial assistance package to Kiev. This should “help provide economic stability in the months ahead and to ensure that the new Ukraine government implements the necessary economic reforms,” the spokeswoman said. “They both agreed that President Putin still had the opportunity to de-escalate the situation,” she added. Cameron is expected to keep in close contact with other Group of Eight leaders on Ukraine in the coming days.

Aid Groups Demand Humanitarian Access In Syria

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, pictured at a press conference in Tripoli weekend has threatened to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker at an oil terminal held by militants in the restive east, saying it was being loaded illegally.

Britain Cannot Change EU By Loitering Near Exit - Clegg LONDON - The European Union needs reforming but Britain cannot do it with one foot out the door, Nick Clegg was to say yesterday in his speech to the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference. The deputy prime minister was to claim that his party is the only one clearly making the case for staying in the EU, in his speech in York. And he was to take another swipe at UKIP leader Nigel Farage, ahead of their radio and television debates in the buildup to the European Parliament elections on May 22. Clegg was to say the international financial crisis and the global power shift away from the West had created an urge to

turn inwards and “shun the outside world”. “The question — one of the biggest questions of our time — is how we protect the liberal values of this nation,” he was to say, according to extracts from his speech released in advance by his party. In his attack on Farage, he was to say: “An ungenerous, backwards looking politics has emerged in Britain. The politics of blame has found an acceptable face: it wears a big smile and looks like someone you could have a pint with down the pub. “So I’m drawing a line in the sand. I am going to defend the tolerant and modern Britain we love.

“The Liberal Democrats are now Britain’s only party of ‘in’. The only party out there explaining the clear benefits of Britain’s place in Europe.” The polyglot former MEP was to say the Lib Dems accept the Brussels institutions are not perfect. “This isn’t about some starry-eyed affection for the EU

— of course it needs reform. But you can’t change it with one foot out the door. You change it by taking your place at the table — which is where you protect Britain’s national interest too,” he was to say. “There are plenty of people out there who don’t want anger. They don’t want bile. They want jobs. They want our country to have influence. They want opportunities. Ultimately, they want hope.”

DAMASCUS - Nearly 130 organizations have called for immediate and permanent humanitarian access to civilians throughout Syria to help relieve the immense suffering caused by the country’s civil war. The 128 groups making the appeal include United Nations agencies and relief organizations from around the world. In a statement released Sunday, the groups urge all sides in Syria’s conflict “to listen to the voice of the international community as expressed unanimously through the Security Council.” A U.N. Security Council resolution last month called on Syria’s warring sides to facilitate aid deliveries. The U.N. says more than 9 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance. Many of those most in need live in areas under government-imposed blockades, while others are in territory under the nominal control of rebel groups.

Libya Threatens To Bomb N/Korean Ship

BENGHAZI (LIBYA) Libya threatened to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker at an oil terminal held by militants in the restive east, saying it was being loaded illegally.

Separatists blockading AlSidra facility attempted to load crude aboard the Morning Glory in the latest challenge to central government control. “The attorney general has given the order for the ship to be stopped,” Prime Minister Ali Zeidan told a news conference. “All parties must respect Libyan sovereignty. If the ship does not comply, it will be bombed,” he said. Zeidan said the authorities had told the vessel’s captain to leave Libyan territorial waters, but he said armed gunmen on

board were preventing him from leaving. The self-proclaimed government of Cyrenaica in the east, the political wing of the separatists, said oil exports from AlSidra had now begun. “We announce to Libyans and to the whole world that we have begun exporting oil,” said Rabbo al-Barassi, who heads the Cyrenaica executive bureau formed in August by federalist activists. “We are not defying the government or the Congress (parliament). But we are insisting on our rights,” he said.

PUBLIC NOTICE

TALENTED WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR FARMERS ASSOCIATION – BENIN

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to journalists as he arrives at the European Union Council building in Brussels recently.

Russian Forces Take Over Border Guard Post In Crimea

KIEV - Russian forces took control of a Ukrainian border guard post in western Crimea yesterday, trapping about 30 personnel inside, a border guard spokesman said. He said by telephone that the Chernomorskoye base on the

western edge of the Back Sea peninsula had been taken over without bloodshed at around six a.m. (0400 GMT). The spokesman, Oleh Slobodyan, said Russian forces now controlled 11 border guard

posts in Crimea. Russian forces’ seizure of the southern Ukrainian region, which began 11 days ago, has been bloodless. Ukrainian troops are trapped in a number of bases but have offered no armed resistance.

The general public is hereby notified that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Mrs. Taiye Nohuwa Agbontaen 2. Sir (Engr) Andrew O. Agbontaen (JP) 3. Mrs. Kehinde Ogunleye 4. Mrs. Glory I. Igbinomwhia 5. Mr. Justice Emonaerere Nuagbe 6. Mrs. Annette O Nuagbe 7. Mr. Mannix Edosa Osa-Agbontaen AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To promote the interest of members and boost food production. 2. To enhance economy development in the society. 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 Mrs. Taiye Nohuwa Agbontaen (President)


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International Afghanistan’s V/President Dies KABUL - The powerful Afghan vice president died of natural causes yesterday, a government spokesman said, only weeks before Afghanistan goes to the polls to elect a new president. Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, vice president since 2009, had been a top commander in the Northern Alliance, a group of antiTaliban militia leaders, during the civil war. “Marshal M.Q. Fahim has passed away. May his soul rest in peace,” presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi wrote in a tweet. Fahim, a former defense minister, was a staunch backer of President Hamid Karzai and commanded great loyalty from former fighters of the Northern Alliance, which he headed after the death of famous militia leader Ahmad Shah Masoud in 2001. His loyalties in the presidential election had swung between different candidates, said Davood Moradian, the

head of the Kabul-based Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies. Fahim had links with the both president’s brother, who stepped down this week in favor of Zalmay Rassoul, another candidate close to the president, and Abdullah Abdullah, a former aide to Masoud, he said. Fahim spoke little to the media, said Kate Clarke of the Kabul based thinktank Afghanistan Analysts Network, but wielded great influence in closed door meetings. “Karzai, Fahim and the Americans have been the three key powers in Afghanistan since 2001,” she said. “He was one of the key people to win over because he car-

Ukraine:

Afghan Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, pictured in Kabul on September 22, 2011, has died of natural causes.

Russia Kicks Against Far Right Leader

MOSCOW - The Kiev authorities should block the presidential bid of the leader of Pravy Sektor, or Right Sector, movement, Dmytro Yarosh, the Russian foreign

N/Koreans Cast Votes PYONGYANG - North Koreans went to polling stations yesterday to approve a new national legislature. The vote for the Supreme People’s Assembly is the first in five years and the first under leader Kim Jong Un. The last elections were held in March 2009, when 687 deputies were elected to the assembly. It is the most powerful body under North Korea’s constitution, but which in reality has little political power. Instead of choosing who they support, voters are given the choice of a yes or no for the single candidate on their ballot. Virtually all choose yes. Despite the lack of drama, the voting was being held in a holiday atmosphere, with national flags hoisted along the streets, women decked out in colorful traditional clothing and dancing events held in parks, schools and riversides. Voting in authoritarian North Korea is considered to be obligatory. Outside observers say that this makes elections in North Korea an opportunity for the authorities to check up on the population and tighten control. Hyon Byong Chol, the chairman of a preparatory committee for one of the subdistricts in the election, called the vote “meaningful” because it is the first under Kim. “Through this election we will fully display the might of the single-hearted unity of our army and people who are firmly united behind our respected marshal,” he said. The Supreme People’s Assembly usually runs five-year sessions. It meets only rarely,

ries a lot of influence within ... one of the big politicalmilitary parties.” The polls are due to take place April 5. If they proceed normally, they will mark the first time in Afghanistan’s history that power has been handed from one democratically elected government to another. Hamid Karzai is barred by the constitution from seeking a third term. He has not offered his backing to any of the candidates. The election is taking place against a backdrop of uncertainty and deteriorating security as U.S.-led forces in the country since the Taliban were ousted in 2001 are due to withdraw by the end of the year.

often only once a year. When it is not in session, its work is done by a smaller and more powerful body called the Presidium. Kim is also a candidate. State media announced that his constituency is a remote mountain area on the border with China. Mount Paekdu is venerated in North Korea’s official history as the birthplace of Kim Jong Il, although historians outside the country agree that he was born in the former Soviet Union. Election results are normally announced the following day. The new parliament was expected to meet next month. No date has been officially announced.

ministry’s rights envoy said yesterday. “The de facto authorities in Kiev and their Western protectors must close the road to power for the neofascist Yarosh and his supporters,” foreign ministry rights envoy Konstantin

Dolgov wrote on Twitter. “The violent mayhem committed by ultranationalists, taking advantage of lawlessness, has completely discredited the Maidan movement,” Dolgov added, referring to Kiev’s Independence Square protest hub. Pravy Sektor on Friday

announced that Yarosh would stand in elections scheduled for May 25 and said it was ready to go to war with Russia. The ultra-nationalist group was at the frontline of clashes with police in Kiev. An ex-Soviet soldier with a degree in Ukrainian litera-

ture, Yarosh founded the group in November 13 to coordinate radical forces within the Kiev protests. Russia is seeking Yarosh’s arrest on suspicion of calls to commit extremist acts and “terror” in Russia.

Iraqi PM Accusses Saudi, Qatar Of Funding Violence In Anbar BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of openly funding the Sunni Muslim insurgents his troops are battling in western Anbar province, in his strongest such statement since fighting started there early this year. Security forces have been fighting insurgents from the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Anbar’s two main cities Fallujah and Ramadi - since January after the arrest of a Sunni lawmaker and the clearing of an anti-government pro-

test camp prompted a tribal revolt and allowed ISIL to set up fighting positions in the cities. Maliki’s remarks play to Iraqi fears of the Sunni Arab states as he tries to burnish his standing as a defender of the mainly Shi’ite country before elections at the end of April. Violence has escalated in the last 12 months - ISIL has led a devastating campaign of suicide bombings since mid-2013 - and Maliki said in a mid-February speech that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were offering money to recruit fighters in Fallujah. More than 700 people died

Voters line up to cast their ballots to elect deputies to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang, North Korea recently. North Korean voters went to polling stations to elect a new national legislature, although they don’t get to choose who to vote for since there is only one candidate per district.

in violence in Iraq in February, not including nearly 300 reported deaths in western Anbar province and last year was the deadliest year since 2008 with nearly 8,000 being killed. “I accuse them of inciting and encouraging the terrorist movements. I accuse them of supporting them politically and in the media, of supporting them with money and by buying weapons for them,” he told France 24 television late on Saturday. “I accuse them of leading an open war against the Iraqi government. I accuse them of openly hosting leaders of al Qaeda and Takfirists (extremists),” he said in the interview when asked about possible Saudi and Qatari links to the violence. Maliki has long had chilly relations with the Gulf states, who view him as too close to Iran, and has long suspected them of funding al Qaeda-linked groups in order to bring down his Shi’ite-led government. He accused the Saudi government of allowing “commissions” there “to attract Jihadists, to lure them, to get them fighting in Iraq”. He also blamed both countries for launching Syria’s threeyear civil war through al Qaedalinked groups that now operate on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border, next to Anbar. “They are attacking Iraq through Syria indirectly. They absolutely started the war in Iraq, they started the war in Syria,” Maliki said. ISIL has been one of the biggest fighting

forces in Syria’s civil war. “Saudi Arabia supports terrorism against the world, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Libya.” Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have played an activist role in the Syria war, supporting armed groups fighting President Bashar Assad. They both deny supporting al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar on Wednesday in an unprecedented public split between Gulf Arab allies who have fallen out over the role of Islamists in a region in turmoil.

Japanese Jet Makes Emergency Landing HONOLULU - A Japan Airlines flight bound for San Francisco carrying more than 170 people made an emergency landing at the Honolulu International Airport. The airport manager’s office said that the jetliner landed without incident around 1 p.m. Saturday. Airlines spokesman Yang Jian said the Boeing 787 had cockpit indicators showing engine trouble and made the emergency landing in Honolulu. Jian said none of the 160 passengers and 11 crew members was injured. He said that the cockpit indicators showed that oil pressure was down with an engine.


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Agriculture

Continued from pg. 23

of 30 million persons in rural farm households. “Women farmers, who never got fertilisers and seeds under the old system, now have better yielding fields with subsidised farm inputs which they receive through their own mobile phones. Dignity has been restored to farmers,’’ he said. Similarly, the minister stressed that the number of seed companies had grown from 11 to 77, with the three largest seed companies in the world — Syngenta, Monsanto and Dupont – planning to establish seed companies in Nigeria. He also said that 3,000 small and medium agribusinesses in the input supply chain had sprung up across the country as part of the feats of the GES. Adesina noted that the country’s food import bill had dropped from N2.3 trillion to N1.8 trillion within the past two years, while 15 million tonnes of food had been added to the country’s food stock within the period. He expressed the optimism that Nigeria would become self-sufficient in rice production by 2015. The minister, however, attributed the successes so far recorded to several factors which included the adoption of a new approach to managing agriculture as a business venture rather than a development programme. Besides, Adesina said that the government’s partnership with the private sector, which also focused on the value chains of all commodities, spurred the progress. “We have stated it clear from the beginning that agriculture would no longer be treated as a de-

velopment programme but as a business concern. “Our approach was deliberate: We want to grow the agriculture sector, using the private sector to drive the growth, while focusing on value chains for all commodities and connecting farms to mills, aggregators, storage, improved logistics, processors and value addition.’’ Observers note that these innovative ideas and the successes of the agricultural transformation programme have earned a lot of recognition for Nigeria and its agriculture minister at home and abroad. In recent times, delegations of farmers from different states across the country have paid courtesy visits to the minister to convey their appreciation for the feats which the agricultural transformation programme recorded within two years. More importantly, in 2013, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) listed Nigeria among the countries which had achieved Goal One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — reducing by halve the number of people living in abject poverty and hunger. Besides, Adesina won the Forbes Magazine award as the “2013 Africa’s Personality of the Year’’. Recently, he was also named an “Ambassador of Goodwill’’ by the International Crops Research Institute for the Sahel and Tropics (ICRISAT). In spite of these achievements, the minister stressed that it was not yet “uhuru’’ because there were still some serious challenges, as revealed by an independent survey commissioned by the ministry. The survey listed the

... Agricultural Transformation Programme

major challenges as infrastructure, finance, supply security and government regulations, tax and policies. Others are human capital, security, land and government coordination. However, Adesina said that efforts were underway to tackle these challenges frontally, adding that one of the strategies entailed development of Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZs). The SCPZs are expected

to create 250,000 jobs across the country, while adding N1.4 trillion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The minister said that the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance, in part-

“Adesina noted that the country’s food import bill had dropped from N2.3 trillion to N1.8 trillion within the past two years, while 15 million tonnes of food had been added to the country’s food stock within the period.”

nership with the German Development Bank, had set up the Fund for Agricultural Financing (FAFIN). FAFIN is a private equity, quasi-equity and debt fund which will provide 100 million dollars in long-term

“They, nonetheless, note that the allocation of N66.64 billion to the agricultural sector in the 2014 budget may not be sufficient enough to achieve the desired results. The stakeholders emphasise that the figure is lower than the 10 per cent of the annual budget, which was recommended by the African Heads of State in their 2003 Maputo Declaration.”

finance to agribusinesses. As part of efforts to consolidate the gains of the agriculture transformation programme, the Organised Private Sector (OPS), which comprises about 20 companies, established the Nigerian Agribusiness Group. The major objective of the group is to help drive the ongoing regulatory and policy reforms so as to ensure that they are well protected and sustained. The group is expected to work closely with the government in efforts to further improve the business environment in agriculture. With the 2015 target date for the MDGs and ATA around the corner, agricultural stakeholders expect a quantum leap in the suc-

cesses so far recorded. They, nonetheless, note that the allocation of N66.64 billion to the agricultural sector in the 2014 budget may not be sufficient enough to achieve the desired results. The stakeholders emphasise that the figure is lower than the 10 per cent of the annual budget, which was recommended by the African Heads of State in their 2003 Maputo Declaration. They note that only eight countries, excluding Nigeria, have been able to achieve the target set for the finance of the agricultural sector.

(NAN)


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‘Old Man’ Eto’o Mocks Mourinho

Walters Red Was Harsh STOKE boss Mark Hughes -Hughes described Jonathan Walters’ red card as “too harsh for the crime” and felt his side were on course to beat Norwich at the time of the dismissal, only to end up having to Bradley Johnson had put Norwich ahead at Carrow Road just after half-time as the Canaries looked to pull further clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone, but Chris Hughton’s side were pegged back courtesy of a Walters penalty 17 minutes from time. Sebastien Bassong was guilty of bundling down Stoke substitute John Guidetti and former Ipswich man Walters silenced the home faithful as he smashed the resulting spot-kick past John Ruddy. But Walters’ celebrations were short-lived as he was shown a straight red card less than five minutes later after catching Alex Tettey with a high challenge. Hughes felt the penalty decision was correct but was not as pleased by referee Andre Marriner’s decision to dismiss his player. “I’ve looked at the incident and there is contact and Jon has accepted that he caught him,” he said. “But both players had their feet high and I think the punishment was too harsh for the crime. Both players just intended to win the ball and Jon just caught him with his follow through. “It was the first sending off of Jon’s senior career so he is obviously very disappointed and he now misses three games. “As for the penalty, Guidetti was impeded and Jon as always took responsibility and dispatched it with aplomb. At that stage I thought we would go on and win the game but then the sending off changed everything.” The Potters were guilty of spurning a number of early chances as Norwich struggled to get up to the speed of the game but Hughes hailed the desire of his side to get back into the game after Johnson’s opener. “I thought we were the team in the ascendancy first half and we had more control of the game,” he said. “We had a number of chances and should have converted at least one of them. Second half we knew Norwich would come back at us and they did. But it was disappointing to concede the goal from the set piece. At that

stage we had to show some character and we went out and won the penalty.” The equaliser keeps Stoke ahead of Norwich in the table, with Chris Hughton’s side four points clear of the relegation zone. Hughton had a different view than Hughes on the penalty decision and felt his side had relinquished a great chance to rack up a second home win in succession. “It was not a classic game,” he said. “I think it’s two points dropped rather than a point won. I thought it was a very soft penalty but Bassong didn’t have to go for the ball. Another referee might not have given it.

ARSENE Wenger believes Arsenal can use their march into the FA Cup semi-finals as a springboard for a great escape in their Champions League tie at Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Wenger’s side cruised into the last four of the FA Cup for the first time since 2009 thanks to their 4-1 win over Everton on Saturday. That stroll in the spring sunshine in north London should serve as a morale-booster before the far more daunting task of taking on reigning European champions Bayern in their own backyard.

Arsenal need to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the last-16 second-leg tie in Germany and Wenger said: “It was important for us to win on a psychological front for a good mind. “We can be inspired by our focus of the day and we need that same desire to go to Bayern with the same spirit. “The statistics are against us going to Bayern. But we have to make sure the performance goes for us.” Arsenal, who beat Bayern in Munich at the same stage of the competition last season but still

• Samuel Eto’o

United Line Up £58 Million For Van Persie’s Replacement

ROBIN van Persie is set to go to extraordinary lengths to secure a move away from Manchester United; David Moyes has lined up his replacement in Edinson Cavani; PSG set to make a sensational move for Chelsea’s Oscar while Arsenal could be priced out of a move for Alvaro Morata, it is the Van Persie set to waive £10million loyalty bonus to leave United: Disillusioned Robin van Persie is so keen to leave Manchester United this summer that he is willing to waive a £10 million loyalty bonus, report the

Sunday Mirror. Reported interest from Juventus is said to have turned the player’s head and convinced the striker that his future lies away from Old Trafford. Speculation has mounted that

the former Arsenal man has been unhappy in Manchester since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and the report cites the Dutchman’s reaction to being substituted in yesterday’s 3-0 win against West Brom as further proof of this.

CHELSEA striker Samuel Eto’o made fun of manager Jose Mourinho’s doubts about his age with an ‘old man’ celebration during his side’s 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur weekend. Mourinho sparked controversy last month when footage of him suggesting that Eto’o may be older than he claims — 32 — was broadcast by a French television channel. After putting Chelsea ahead in the 56th minute, Eto’o raced to the corner flag, but abruptly slowed down, putting his left hand on his back and stooping to mimic old age. The celebration met with a flurry of approval on Twitter, with one picture quickly garnering more than 1,000 retweets. Mourinho claimed to have enjoyed Eto’o’s celebration,

telling Sky Sports: “It was fantastic. We knew it, because he was preparing something. “I think he’s amazing. The way he copes with the situation in the last couple of weeks, I think he’s fantastic. And today I told him before the game: ‘You are going to score for sure.’” In the clip broadcast on French television, which showed Mourinho in conversation with a Swiss businessman during a commercial event in Switzerland, the Portuguese said: “The problem with Chelsea is we lack a striker. I have one (Eto’o), but he’s 32. Maybe 35. Who knows?” Mourinho subsequently rebuked the channel for showing the footage, claiming that it showed a “private conversation” not intended for public consumption.

I’d Rather Be In City’s Shoes JOSE Mourinho insisted he would prefer to be in Manchester City’s position in the Premier League title race despite his Chelsea side moving seven points clear. Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over played a game fewer. Tottenham took Mourinho’s City are two points further team to 66 points, while adrift but have three games in Liverpool and Arsenal lie hand on Chelsea and have a second with 59 points having superior goal difference,

Says Mourinho

prompting Mourinho to claim the advantage in the battle to become champions lies with Manuel Pellegrini?s team.

• Jose Mourinho

• Robin Van Persie

Wenger Hopes Cup Stroll Serves As Euro Boost bowed out on away goals, face an uphill task to keep alive their European hopes and their Premier League title charge appears to be fading. But Saturday’s FA Cup success means they do at least remain on course to end their nine-year trophy drought. Mesut Ozil’s early opener against Everton was cancelled out by Romelu Lukaku. But there was no way back for the Merseysiders once Mikel Arteta converted a penalty against his old club before substitute Olivier Giroud added

the gloss to the win late on with two goals. “We are in the semi-final and we have always taken this competition seriously,” added Wenger. “We had a good FA Cup draw in the fact we had games at home, but we played difficult opponents in Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton so it shows we have taken this seriously.” Wenger reserved praise for Ozil, who will return to Germany with a point to prove. Arsenal’s record-signing has

struggled since the turn of the year and was even jeered by his own country’s supporters in their friendly win over Chile last week. But he ended his three-month goal drought and turned in an improved display which suggests he has turned the corner. “It’s important for him as you want him to take his chances,” added Wenger. “He always looks for a good pass. “What I liked from him is he looked physically regenerated and he did a lot of dirty work. He tracked back with long runs.”

“I would like to be in their position. If they win the matches, they’re top of the league,” he said. “If City win the 12 matches they have, they’re champions. They have the destiny in their own hands. I would prefer to have destiny in my own hands. It doesn’t depend on us. It depends on them.” The Chelsea manager did concede that his side had all but achieved their initial objective of guaranteeing a top four place after moving 13 points clear of Tottenham in fifth place. The manager added: “The top four is for us to lose. We are 13 points from Tottenham, and 15 from Man United and Everton. “This game could have reduced the gap to fifth to seven points, but at this moment it is 13 points and I really don’t believe we’ll lose that distance. “So objective number one, top four, is in our hands. Now let’s go for objective number two, top three with direct Champions League qualification.” Samuel Eto’o put Chelsea on their way with the 56th minute opening goal which he followed with a celebration that poked fun at off the record comments made by Mourinho about the striker’s age. The striker imitated an elderly person leaning on the corner flag and Mourinho said: “I didn’t suggest (the celebration) but we knew it (was coming). We knew it. We thought it was more than fine.


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Brisbane Stretch Lead At Summit BRISBANE Roar claimed a 2-1 win over Adelaide United to virtually seal the A-League Premier’s Plate at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. A Besart Berisha brace after 22 and 52 minutes allowed Mike Mulvey’s side to open up a 10-point lead at the top of the table with five rounds remaining before the finals series. Jeronimo Neumann scored a consolation goal at the death to make it 11 matches in a row that Adelaide have found the net. A late goal from Kenny Cunningham earned Wellington Phoenix a point in a dramatic finale to their 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium. Glory opened the scoring through defender William Gallas in the 34th minute, but Costa Rica striker Cunningham nodded home the equaliser with five minutes remaining.

Stuttgart Sack Schneider

BUNDESLIGA strugglers Stuttgart have sacked coach Thomas Schneider and appointed Dutchman Huub Stevens in his place, the club announced on its website. Stuttgart have slumped to 15th in the 18-club league, just three points ahead of bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig, who held them to a 2-2 draw at home on Saturday. “The management has taken this decision in agreement with Thomas Schneider,” club president Bernd Wahler announced on the website. “The current state of affairs meant the club had to face up to the responsibility of taking such a difficult decision.” Stevens, 60, will take his first training session on Monday morning as the club prepare for the difficult visit to Werder Bremen next Saturday. Stevens is no stranger to life in Germany, having previously coached Schalke 04 and led them to the UEFA Cup in 1997 and the German Cup in 2001.

La Liga

Enrique Rues Five Minutes Spell CELTA Vigo coach Luis Enrique believes the game against Atletico Madrid was won and lost in a decisive five minute period. David Villa scored twice in two minutes just after the hour mark to give Atletico the victory at Balaidos. Enrique told his post-match press conference that for the majority of the fixture Celta were matching their title-challenging rivals, only for it all to go wrong very quickly. “The team has been at a good level against a team who are contenders for the League and the Champions League,” Enrique said. “We took it to them and tried to make life difficult for them. The game was opened up by a mistake and from there five minutes were decisive.”

Daniel Sturridge

Hodgson Plots New Role For Sturridge

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson has told striker Daniel Sturridge that he must be prepared to adapt his game if he wants to play an important role at the World Cup. Sturridge scored the only goal stamp their feet in one position, of the game as England beat so that this one’s got to play down Denmark 1-0 at Wembley Sta- the left channel, this one’s got to dium earlier this week in their play down the right channel. final friendly match before “There might come times in Hodgson names his 23-man games where we’re not doing squad for the tournament in Bra- very well or we’ve lost the ball zil. and we need help, and I shall be It took his tally of goals to 12 expecting anybody to be putting in his last 13 matches for club the effort in to help us out. and country, but the 24-year-old “Just because he (Sturridge) found himself deployed in a happens to be a goal-scorer or a slightly different position to the forward, doesn’t preclude him one he usually adopts with from coming back and doing a bit Liverpool. Selected in a fluid front three alongside Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling, he started the game wide on the left and at one point in the first half tracked Denmark right-back Lars Jacobsen all the way back to the England byline. During his time at former club Chelsea, Sturridge complained about being asked to play wide, although he said after the game against Denmark that he would be happy to play anywhere for England. Explaining the configuration of the England attack, Hodgson said: “We wanted to get the three of them on the field, we wanted flexibility. “We made it clear to all three players that we didn’t want to Roy Hodgson

of a job and helping out. But it certainly wasn’t the plan that he would support the full-back.” Sturridge and Sterling were two of five Liverpool players in the starting XI and Hodgson admitted he was eager to harness the momentum that has seen the Merseyside club mount a renewed challenge for the Premier League title in recent weeks. “It’s not surprising that Liverpool probably have been the form team in the last few weeks and have been getting enormous praise for their per-

...Keen To See Out Deal

Thomas Schneider

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson has urged the Football Association to allow him to honour his current contract, even if the national team fail to fire at this summer’s World Cup. The 66-year-old was appointed to the post in May 2012, signing a four-year deal which will see him through to the end of Euro 2016.

There are suggestions a poor showing at the World Cup in Brazil could see his tenure brought to a premature end, but Hodgson is hoping that will not be the case - especially as he remains open to the suggestion of extending his stay. “I signed a four-year contract and I’ve always been working myself towards that four-year

contract,” he told several English newspapers. “Whether contracts mean four years when you sign them or not, that’s not anything to do with me. That would be other people’s decisions. “I shall be working hard to fulfil the contract and hope that the FA will fulfil their side of it. “And another one after that? Who knows?”

formances,” said the England manager. “As a result, people like Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, they’ve been getting terrific headlines alongside the more experienced Glen (Johnson) and the magisterial (Steven) Gerrard. “It’s good sometimes that you can give them a chance to show what they can do for England in a similar sort of environment, and we did have that thought in our mind.” Hodgson had warm words of praise for Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana, who may have booked his ticket to Brazil with a lively second-half cameo that included the assist for Sturridge’s 82nd-minute goal. “To be fair to some of the other players, he did have a fantastic impact, he played very well, but he did come on at a time when we were very dominant and where our play had worn down the opposition a little bit,” Hodgson said. “But that’s not to denigrate his performance or play it down in any way. He was faultless and what’s more, he gave that incredible energy.” Hodgson also had a warning for the senior players on the fringes of his squad, declaring that he will not take players to the World Cup out of loyalty alone. “People will have to accept that it will be my job to pick the best 23, the best balanced 23, and I’ve got to do it on the merits of the players,” he said. “It’s not going to be like sometimes it’s been in the past, that loyalty can be rewarded. It’s got to be a question that if you’re on that plane, it’s because I believe you’ve really got a role to play and I can justify it to myself.”

Enrique added, however, that he never expected the season to be straightforward and the loss to Atletico doesn’t change much. “I’ve not relaxed at any moment this season and I’ve always said it will be difficult, right until the end. “The way the team is playing gives me cause for optimism but nobody can guarantee results.”

Pogba Value Immense

JUVENTUS director Beppe Marotta assured Paul Pogba’s value “is immense and he’ll stay with us for many years.” After reports this week PSG offered 70m euro (£58m) for the French midfielder, Marotta was asked how much Pogba is worth. “His value is immense. We are happy to have him and did not discuss him with anyone. This is his natural habitat and he’ll stay with us for many years.” Andrea Pirlo is suspended today, so Marotta was questioned on potential replacements in future. “Our football is global, so players are not tied down to one specific role. There is the option to change system and adapt players like Claudio Marchisio to positions that they are not naturals in. “Juventus are always looking for eclectic players.”

Paul Pogba

Jordan Ayew Sees Red GHANA striker Jordan Ayew received a red card on a night his Ligue 1 side Sochaux were beaten 2-1 by Monaco on Saturday. The 22-year-old was shown a straight red card by referee Mikel Lesage in the 84th minute for a savage tackle on Andrea Raggi. Despite being told to work on his temperament, it was his second red card in the French Ligue since making his debut in the 2009/2010 season for Olympique Marseille. Last week, he came off the bench to score a goal in the 2-0 win over Bordeaux.

Jordan Ayew


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

Vertical Jumps Being Revived LAGOS - A vertical jump coach, Kola Adebayo, said that vertical jump was being repositioned once again in athletics. He told newsmen in Lagos that the discipline had been neglected for a long time because athletes thought it had no medal prospects. Vertical jump is also known as high jump. Adebayo said that the country stood to benefit with the renewed interest in the discipline. “It was neglected for a long because it was felt that it was not a sport with quality, it became of less interest lately,” he said. The coach told NAN that the sport lacked facilities that could develop it in the country. “There are very few states that have standard facilities for the sport which has affected its development in most states. “But I am hopeful that with time that states will embrace the sport and ensure its development,’’ Adebayo said. NAN reports that Nigeria won a medal in vertical jumps at the 2011 All Africa Games in, Mozambique with Doreen Amata clinching a gold medal. The male national record is held by Anthony Idiata with a jump of 2.27m in 1999 at the All Africa Games in South Africa.

NBSA To Hold Qualifiers Ahead Of African Championship

Chris Okaeben, Edo State Commissioner For Youth and Sports

lected based on their performance at the qualifiers. “The best club that will emerge in this qualifier will represent Nigeria in Bulawayo at the Africa Club Championship. “The participating clubs are expected to put in their best as selection will be based on merit,’’ he said. Onyukwu urged the invited clubs to register before March 20 to be eligible to participate in the qualifiers. He said that only registered clubs would be allowed to take part in the selection process of the NBSA. Baseball and softball were introduced in the country in 1989, with the first match played at the Union Bank Sports Club, Surulere, Lagos.

Edo To Revive Sports Festival

EDO State Ministry of Sports on Friday pledged to revive its moribund sports festival to develop grass-roots sports in the state. The Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Okaeben, made the pledge at the presentation of kits to the Edo State Football Academy by its consultant, Amodu Shuaibu. Okaeben said the ministry had therefore concluded ar-

rangement to host the festival between July and August. He said that the festival would provide a platform for youths to showcase their talents in sporting activities. The commissioner added that talents discovered at the festival

NCF Introduce Chess In Schools To Enhance Academic Performance

LAGOS - Lekan Adeyemi, the President of Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), said the body had concluded plans to introduce the sport in schools to enhance academic performance. Adeyemi told newsmen in Lagos that the introduction would benefit the students when it eventually kicked off sometime later in the year. “Chess has been found to actually help children in their academics because when you can concentrate, you can equally assimilate. “That is why we plan to introduce it in schools so that our children can play chess. “It will improve their grades because chess is a calculative sport, it will help the brain to think fast. “The brain can develop only if you put it under test. We believe that if chess is introduced in schools it will help students’ academics and help them to make choices. “It will help their perception about how they see life. Chess is life,” he said. He said the NCF would partner with Garry Kasparov,

LAGOS -The Nigeria Baseball and Softball Association (NBSA) on Friday said that four states would participate in a qualifier to select the country’s representative for the 2nd Africa Baseball Championship. The championship which is organised by the Africa Baseball and Softball Association (ABSA) is slated for April in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The NBSA development secretary, Robert Onyukwu, disclosed the date and number of participants for the tournament to newsmen in Lagos. Onyukwu said that clubs from Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Kwara would participate in the qualifiers that would hold from April 3 to April 6 in Port Harcourt. He added that the country’s representative would be se-

a former chess world champion, to roll off his chess foundation known as Kasparov Chess Foundation to bring this event to a success. Adeyemi said the initiative would impact positively on the development of chess. “We all know Kasparov; he

is a legend in the game of chess. “He came to the country last month to start this initiative, collaborating with the NCF in developing chess and also establishing his foundation. “Many schools will benefit from this and it will raise the standard of chess in the country,’’ he said.

would be groomed for national and international competitions. He added that engaging in constant sporting activities would provide an opportunity for youths to be taken out of the streets. The commissioner expressed regret that the state, known for its prowess in sporting activities, had not had it good recently. The commissioner also expressed the determination of the state to return to stardom. “This state must be repositioned to its era of sports prowess in the country,” Okaeben stated. According to him, the state government is very concern and is doing everything humanly possible to reposition sport in the state. The commissioner noted that government was interested in the academy and the future of youths, hence the massive in-

Paralympics Gold Medallist, Emoghawve Restates Commitment To Para-sports LAGOSMonday Emoghawve, a gold medallist at the 1992 Paralympics Games in Barcelonia, Spain, on Friday restated his commitment to the development of para-sports in the country. Emoghawve disclosed his resolve to newsmen in Lagos while speaking on the “Global Sports Competitions’’ category award bestowed on him and four others. The award ceremony was held on Feb. 28 in Abuja as part of activities that marked the nation’s Centenary Celebration. Others honoured in the same category are Chioma Ajunwa,

Kanu Nwankwo, Richard Ihetu, and the late Michael Okpala popularly known as “Power Mike’’. Emoghawve, who is now the President, Nigeria Paralympics Committee (NPC), said that he was determined to ensure the development of the sport at the grassroots. The president recalled that he was discovered from the grassroots before making it to stardom and pledged to ensure the development of talented athletes. The president thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for the award, saying he was happy to

be among the five recipients in the category. “Receiving the award is one of the best things that has happen to me. “It is a great honour for me and I’m so grateful to President Jonathan and Nigerians for the recognition. “Whatever we are doing in life, we should always be passionate and be committed,’’ he said. He then advised physically challenged athletes to always strive hard to win laurels when representing the country at international competitions.

- Commissioner

vestment in any activities concerning them. “We are doing this not only to catch them young but also to prevent them from becoming liability to their parents and the state. Okaeben commended Amodu for adding value to the lives of the young stars through the donation. “You have shown them the part to prosperity because without the youths, there will not be

any nation. “Their future begins from today; so, effort must be made to develop them,” he added. Shuaibu, while making the presentation, said that the state government’s investment in the academy had sustained it in the last three years. He charged the players to be upright as the government was making plans to continually engage youths for national and international football competitions.

Poor Facilities At Stadium Hampering Weightlifting LAGOS - A Weightlifting Coach, Taiwo Olabanji, said that the poor state of the weightlifting gymnasium at the National Stadium, Lagos was affecting development of the sport. Olabanji told newsmen in Lagos that the low turnout of athletes for training at the facility was due to its poor shape. “ The accessible platform rubbers are in wreck, the weights have worn out and the benches are also in bad shape. “The toilet and bathroom is a complete right-off. “We cannot even get water to clean up after training and you need to see the way we sweat after undergoing series of work outs as part of preparation for competitions.’’ He said that upcoming lifters would not be motivated to develop their skills for fear of sustaining injury in the course of

training. “There is a problem which requires an urgent attention; the initiative of producing competent weightlifters who can win medals in major games is not certain. “The young ones are afraid of training and as a coach who is closer to athletes, I just have to open up that we are no longer comfortable.’’ Olabanji called on the authorities to assist in the development of the sport by updating facilities. He also canvassed for the provision of training kits, illumination, plasma television sets and DVD players. “We will use the television sets and DVD to watch clips of weightlifting championships to add to our knowledge, thus helping lifters to do better in championships,’’ he said.


THE NIGERIAN

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

Nigeria National League New Boys Taraba, Abia Warriors Off To Flying Start

THE new Nigeria league season kicked off Saturday with newly promoted FC Taraba and Abia Warriors off to winning starts. defence as he was busy In Umuahia, hosts Abia searching for goals. Warriors beat Kaduna Experienced goalkeeper United 2-0 to start their Emmanuel Fabiyi made campaign in the top flight some saves to see that his on a good note, while side kept a clean sheet. Taraba beat visiting Bishop Onyeudo, who Nasarawa United 1-0. was a 74th minute Abia Warriors captain substitute for Chisom Chima Uluocha gave his Chikatara, confirmed side the lead with a well- victory for the host 10 taken penalty in the 28th minutes later with a good minute after Kaduna volley which the Kaduna United goalkeeper goalkeeper did not have Hussaini Rabiu brought an answer to. down rampaging forward Abia Warriors Ifeanyi Onyeali in the goalkeeper Emmanuel vital area. It looked a Fabiyi told harsh decision by the MTNFootball.com the referee. victory will give them Onyeali was torn in the more confidence in flesh of Kaduna United subsequent games.

“I am happy with the way we played and the victory. There are no better ways to start the season, this is our first year in premier league and this victory will increase our confidence in subsequent games,” Fabiyi told MTNFootball.com In Jalingo, another new entrant Taraba FC saw off Nasarawa United 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored early in the first half by Bobby

Abel. Former Kano Pillars and 3SC goalkeeper Richard Ochayi in goal for Taraba FC denied the visitors a point from the game with a penalty save in the early minutes. Ochayi told MTNFootballl.com that his team will do well in the league. “We have started well and we hope to continue this way. We will do well in the league, that I am sure of,” Ochayi said.

Mixed Feelings For Obasi After Goal Vs Ex-club NIGERIA striker Chinedu Obasi has told MTNFootball.com it was “mixed feelings” for him when he scored against exclub Hoffenheim. Schalke 04 demolished Hoffenheim 4-0 on Saturday with Obasi among the goals. They are now fourth on the Bundesliga table with 44 points from 24 games. Obasi was delighted with his first goal of the season, but told MTNFootball.com he suffered from “mixed feelings`’ as it was against his former club, who he still cherishes because they gave him his big break in Germany. “It was mixed feelings for me and so I couldn’t celebrate the goal because it was against my former team Hoffenheim and I respect them a lot. Hoffenheim gave me a great chance to excel in the German League,” Obasi told MTNFootball.com “I am very loyal to the fans but the goal was great for me, especially now. I need more goals to justify a lot of things, but with time I will do more.” Obasi, who has suffered

from long-term injuries, was replaced in the 71st minute by Christian Fuchs. He has played six games this season with a one goal to his credit.

•Obasi

6 New Records At Lagos Premier Lotto Athletic Championship

THE finals of the 2nd Lagos State Premier Lotto Athletics Secondary Schools Championships ended on Saturday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, with the setting of six new records. The new records were in high jump (girls), short put (girls), 100m (girls), 100m (boys), 1,500m (girls) and 1,500m (boys). The championships are Premier Lotto’s support to efforts by Lagos State Government to promote sports at the grassroots and enhance the quality lives of youths in the state. The two-week event had participants from the six districts of the state. Esther Isah from district three which comprised schools in Epe, Ibeju Lekki and Lagos Island set a new record in the Girls High Jump by jumping 1.45m.

Isah’s feat nullified Joy Patrick’s 1.42m record in the 2013 edition while in the Girls short put, Joy Michael of district two, threw 9.37m to displace Ojo Ojoluwatide’s 9.25m record in the maiden edition. Other record breakers were Magdalene George 12.68 return time in 100m Girls, Sunday Emmanuel 11.50 in 100m Boys and Saka Sanusi, who finished 4.13, in the 1,500m for boys. Akin Folarin, an official of the championships, said,“The improvement in finishing time was expected as this is championships of zealous youths. “Every athlete at this stage wants to make it to the elite stage where more rewards and recognition are accorded.” Saka Sanusi, 17, sprinter from Eko Akete Senior Secondary School, said it was

a make-up for the 2013 edition where he came second in the finals. “With this feat, the coast is now clear for a promising career in the sport”, Sanusi said. According to him, the victory will accord him due recognition in the state where he hopes to begin his professional career as a sprinter.

DSTV B/Ball: LAGOS Islanders on Friday got the basketball rolling as the Youth Alive Community League prodigy, Andrew Austin, 16, shone in their victory against Customs of Lagos, 79-47. It was the team’s first match in the DStv Men’s Premier League Basketball played at the Indoor Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. The Islanders Coach, Lateef

NIGERIA international Kenneth Omeruo survived an injury scare when he featured for Middlesbrough against Ipswich Town in an English Championship game on Saturday. Omeruo, who just returned from international engagement for Nigeria in a friendly match against Mexico in USA, was badly tackled by Taylor in the 13th minutes and the game was held up for few minutes while he received treatment. He went ahead and posted another man of the match performance in the heart of Middlesbrough defence. In the 28th minute, he blocked a goal bound shot from Murphy and then he was on hand to turn Taylor’s attempt at goal in the 54th minute for corner kick.

Injury Scare For Omeruo He was on for the entire duration of the game. Last year, the young central defender suffered a shoulder injury during the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil which kept him out several months as he was operated on.

• Omeruo

Oshaniwa Israeli Club Miss Play Off

NIGERIA international Juwon Oshaniwa will not feature in the Israeli Championship playoffs as his club FC Ashdod missed out on a top-six finish. With a game to go, Ashdod could not make the top six with 30 points from 25 matches as they are eighth on the table after losing 5-4 at home to Hapoel Tel Aviv. Sixth placed Bnei Sakhnin have 37 points from 25 games. Oshaniwa, whose main target this season was to make the championship playoffs so as to secure a continental ticket, told MTNFootball.com he was disappointed. “We won’t be playing in the championship playoffs as it is now certain we won’t make top six to make that happen. We looked good to get it at

some points, but now we are out,” Oshamiwa told MTNFootball.com “I am very sad about this because I was looking forward to play in Europe, but that can’t happen this season again.” Left back Oshaniwa is a regular for his Israeli club, but missed this weekend’s game due to late arrival from USA, where he was called up by Nigeria for a friendly against Mexico.

• Oshaniwa

Lagos Islanders Beat Customs 79-49 Erinfolami, told newsmen that the team’s performance was impressive. “We played very well and we deserved to win. The results we had in the four quarters showed we were more prepared than Customs. “This is the type of performance I want from my

players and if they can keep the discipline, then we may end the season well. “I am also proud of Austin’s performance. It was his first game and he showed he was made for the game. “In the ten minutes he played, he competed well for the ball and showed a lot of courage for his age.


THE NIGERIAN

CMYK

32 “HERE is a country trapped in the violent sinister cycle of democratic abuse and bigotry in governance. Our collective wish for a strong virile nation has been recklessly discarded. What an absurdity and mockery of our collective nationhood!” Quoted in WHERE WE ARE (page 129). Labaran Maku, the nation’s Minister of Infor- Sanusi Lamido Sanusi mation is someone I used (though, he has his perto respect because of his antecedents before he became a member of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s council of ministers. Few days ago, Minister Maku made a remark sonal shortcomings) is no about the now suspended longer where he could former Governor of the raised issues. Once again Central Bank of Nigeria, those looting us at the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, NNPC have won, while the which revealed the fact nation has lost. What a that he has been bitter by pity! How long can we conthe bug of those intoxi- tinue to gallop along like cated by power. Labaran this? Certainly, a Nigerian Maku said that Sanusi revolution is virtually ineviLamido Sanisu as Gov- table because of the way ernor of the Central Bank the affairs of our country was in the habit of reel- are being run. Only God knows the biling out unsubstantiated lions of dollars that are befigures about the activiing stolen with impunity ties of the Nigeria Nadaily by those managing tional Petroleum Corpothe Nigerian National Peration (NNPC). What is the business of troleum Corporation. I Minister Maku about fig- have never really bought ures coming out from the idea of celebrating Sanusi Lamido Sanusi? what one guy conceived in T hat comment of his has 1914 and sold the idea to really showed the abys- his masters in London –the mal level which Labaran amalgamation of Niger Maku has descended Area (Nigeria). But more into. As Minister of Infor- painfully, the Nigerian rulmation, it is unfortunate ers of today have shown and sad that Mr. Maku their sense of confusion, was speaking the mind of immaturity and emptiness the Federal Government about nation building with the way and manner they of Nigeria. That statement of Maku dished out letters of honour equally displayed the fact to some personalities in the that Lamido Sanusi was name of centenary cellike an albatross hanging ebration. Before we will discuss proon the neck of the fessor Wole Soyinka’s exJonathan administration cellent patriotic example in while he was in charge at rejecting to be honoured the apex bank. It goes further to expose the in- along with Nigeria’s most sincerity of the present notorious dictator, late administration concern- General Sani Abacha, I ing its much talked about want to quickly remind us about the urgent need for transformation agenda. Certainly, we are no an Electoral Offence Tribufools or robots, if any nal. government or adminis- The Electoral Offence Tritration want to sanitise bunal is an idea which time the polity, it will go extra has come. I have raised mile to put in place transparent and accountability measures that will leave nobody in doubt. If the Jonathan administration really want to be a clean brake from the past administrations that we have had in this country, a Sanusi Lamido Sanusi would have been a beautiful bride? Today, all of us agree that there is a tragic problem with NNPC, but sadly

this issue profusely on this column, but nobody seems to be interested at the highest levels of decision making in our clime. When I checked, I discovered that President Goodluck Jonathan mentioned legislation like Electoral Offence Tribunal when he

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014 trying to rig the almighty 2015 general elections? What are law makers saying about this very important legislation? Professor Attaruru Jega has mentioned his handicap about prosecuting electoral offenders; he has called for

Soyinka’s Example was vice-president to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

an Electoral Offence Tribunal.

eral elections. Is it impossible for Mr. President to

Prof Wole Soyinka Why is Mr. President not raising this piece of legislation again, that will go a long way in discouraging do or die politicians from

Recently, the United States has called for the need for the establishment of Electoral Offence Tribunal before the 2015 gen-

send an executive Bill in this regard to the National Assembly? It will be too tragic and shameful if the 2015 general elections go

“I must state here categorically that Professor Wole Soyinka won my heart when I saw his press release rejecting to be honoured side by side with a celebrated thief and one of Africa’s most brutal dictators, late General Sani Abacha, as part of the Jamboree called centenary celebration of the birth of Nigeria.”

the way of the previously massively rigged elections in this country. I must state here categorically that Professor Wole Soyinka won my heart when I saw his press release rejecting to be honoured side by side with a celebrated thief and one of Africa’s most brutal dictators, late General Sani Abacha, as part of the Jamboree called centenary celebration of the birth of Nigeria. Really, General Sani Abacha’s name was not the only name that was not supposed to be included on that ‘special list’, for there are numerous others who have no business being honoured as heroes of the Nigeria nation. But, I am limiting my concern here to the reference to Abacha by nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka. The inclusion of General Abacha’s name is a terrible insult on all of us. What do our so called rulers take us for? I am not really surprise because the annual ritual of national honour being conferred on some individuals by the federal government has been politicised, as mediocres, bandits celebrated drug barons are normally captured, instead of celebral, competent and real achievers. Nigerians must continually speak out against negative actions and policies of government. The Wole Soyinka’s example is most welcome at a time, some people are talking of national conference. Do we still have any value for good name and positive achievements? Surely, our country cannot be run for ever by misfits, visionless and incompetent rulers. It is sad that our rulers have learnt nothing positive, even after 100 years of Lugard’s dream. Nowinta, wrote. WHERE WE ARE

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


Nigerian observer 10 03 2014