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The Nigerian

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol. 38 • NO.417 • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 20 14 • N 100. 0 0 CUTTING EDGE Page 13

Edo 2016

A Word of caution

INTERVIEW

Pages 16-17 Kassim Afegbua Blue-Blood In The Hot Seat!

Bureau of Statistics Bill scales 2nd reading By KEN ABU

BENIN CITY – A bill for a Law to establish the Edo State Statistical System and the Edo

State Bureau of Statistics yesterday scaled through its second reading on the floor of parliament. Leading the debate on the bill, Hon. Philip

Shaibu, the Majority Leader of the House, enumerated the benefits of the bill when passed into Law to include, that the data and information

collected will give government projections into economic development of the state. The Majority Leader Continues on page 2

Education

World Bank grants Nigeria $80 million ABUJA - The World Bank has approved 80 million dollars grant for Nigeria to fund its 10 Centres of Excellence in universities. The Executive capacity in competitively Secretary of the National selected institutions to Universities Commission produce in-demand (NUC), Prof. Julius highly skilled labour and Okojie, announced the applied research. approval in Abuja He said it was also to yesterday at a news facilitate rapid conference on the development within the meeting of World Bank African sub-region with African Centres of through the Excellence (ACE). strengthening of ACEs by Okojie also announced collaborations and that Nigeria won 10 slots partnership in sharing of out of the 18 approved talents, skilled labour and proposals for the higher education establishment of ACEs. services. He said the World “Following the call for Bank-funded ACE project proposals on July 15, was introduced to build 2013, the NUC put in

place a process to ensure that Nigerian universities win most of the ACEs. “This process included

workshops, mock evaluations, proposal development support, etc,” he said.

The executive secretary said seven Nigerian universities were selected from 15

institutions that would benefit from the ACE grant. The universities include Redeemers University, Mowe, Ogun, African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Continues on page 2

Oghiadomhe resigns as Jonathan’s Chief of Staff

ABUJA - Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, the Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan has resigned, Presidential Spokesperson Reuben Abati said yesterday. Abati told State House correspondents that Oghiadomhe tendered his resignation letter to the president on Monday. He said that the former Chief of Staff and a former Deputy Governor of Edo State resigned to pursue his further political ambitions. He refuted the earlier online report that Oghiadomhe was sacked by the president for alleged several contract

scam in the NNPC. “Nothing extensive to say other than to confirm that the Chief of Staff has resigned his appointment. “It has nothing to do with the speculation that one online has tried to put out. “The president received the letter today which is titled “Letter of Resignation” and it says he wishes to pursue other political necessities in our great party. “You will recall that about two weeks ago before the president travelled to Ethiopia, he announced in the council that if there was any

TIT-BITS

“In today’s evil world; man is not even spared the thought of smuggling a gun to heaven’s gate and demanding a forceful entrance from the gatekeeper”. - Kingsley-Ogbeide-Ihama

member of the cabinet or any major political appointee who wants to pursue some other political roles, he or she should let him know; “The president said that if they see that they are going to be really busy, and such activities may occupy their time extraordinarily, they should please step aside Continues on page 2

SECURITY MATTERS : Secretary to Edo State Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere (right) and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Foluso Adebanyo at the State Security Meeting in Government House, Benin City recently. Photo: CHARITY OZIEGBO-ESERE

Ozalla Rainstorm Disaster

EDHA urges govt to provide relief materials

By KEN ABU BENIN CITY – Edo State House of Assembly has adopted a resolution calling on the State Government through relevant agencies including SEMA, NEMA and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to urgently provide succour and relief materials to the rainstorms victims of Ozalla in Owan West

Local government Area of the state. The resolution also

urged the authorities of as a matter of urgency temporary Owan West Local provide Government Council to accommodation for the

displaced people who mainly are elderly people while taking immediate plan of action to alleviate their suffering within a Continues on page 2

APC members laud registration exercise

By CLIFFORD AGBAJOR URHONIGBE (ORHIONMWON) – As the All Progressive

Congress (APC) membership registration exercise continues today,

some members of the party in Orhionmwon Local Government Area

of Edo State, have expressed satisfaction over the orderly conduct of the exercise. They made the remark Continues on page 2


News

World Bank grants Nigeria $80 million Continued from page 1

and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Others are; University of Jos, University of Benin; and University of Port Harcourt. He said the universities were

selected based on their proposals to address specific issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, health sciences; and agricultural sciences. Okojie said because of the excellent proposals from

Nigeria, three more universities, namely, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Bayero University, Kano and Benue State University, Makurdi, were later approved bringing the total to 10 out of 18 ACEs in Africa. “In spite of the challenges

callous and completely unreasonable,’’ he said. Abati said that Oghiadomhe had contributed immensely to Jonathan’s administration. “This is a man who had served and who had given time and energy to the pursuit of the good interest of our country. “Mr President appreciates

would like to put on record that indeed he was a man who discharged his responsibilities diligently. “The country is very grateful to him and the president personally will like to wish him well in his future endeavours,” he said. Abati said no replacement had been made so far by the president.

Oghiadomhe resigns as Jonathan’s Chief his contributions and he of Staff or come and see him for

Continued from page 1

discussion. “That you can confirm. It happened in the open floor of the council. “You can see what I have pointed out as the reason for the Chief of Staff’s resignation is in line with that. “So, we find the speculation particularly by some of the online platforms

EDHA urges govt to provide relief also damaged cars and poles, leaving the Continued from page 1 materials electric entire community in total week and report progress to parliament. The adoption of the resolution is sequel to the hearing of a matter of urgent public importance presented by Hon. Michael Ohio-Ezomo (Owan West Constituency) at the State Assembly. The Lawmaker in his presentation said that on February 8, 2014 in Ozalla

Community, rainstorm destroyed over 150 homes, blowing off roofs of houses and exposing them to flooding in the wake of the rainstorms. Hon. Ohio further said that the palace of the Royal Highness, the Onotare of Ozalla and the residence of the Parish Priest were not spared by the rainstorm which

ABUJA - The Federal Government has said it would give assistance to Nigerians affected by the crackdown launched by the Malaysian against undocumented immigrants. The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ogbole Ode, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. Ode said the ministry was aware of the arrests of some Nigerians in the south-east Asian country after a Jan. 21 deadline for undocumented migrants to regularise their stay. He said the Nigerian mission in Malaysia would ensure that Nigerians detained in the country were treated fairly before the Malaysian authorities took a decision on their immigration status. Newsmen learnt that no fewer than 200 Nigerians have been arrested in Malaysia since the clampdown on illegal immigrants commenced. However, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Amb. Bello Ringim, said: “there has not been a situation where 200 Nigerians were arrested in a swoop.’’

He said that Malaysian law enforcement agencies had the power to detain illegal immigrants for an initial two weeks, which could be extended, before deportation. Ringim said the issue of arrest in Malaysia was a common thing and not peculiar to Nigerians living in the country. “Nationals of the neighbouring countries, like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Filipinos, have been arrested in their thousands for committing one offence or the other. “Nigerians students too have been arrested mostly for immigration offences, internet scam, drug trafficking, prostitution, which the Mission has communicated to the headquarters,’’ he said. The Director-General of Malaysia’s Immigration Department, Aloyah Mamat, said more than 3,700 illegal migrants and 30 employers had been detained in the second phase of a nationwide crackdown on illegal aliens. According to a report

darkness. The Lawmakers were unanimous in their call for the relevant agencies of government to as matter of urgency swing into action by providing succour and relief materials while also planning to provide temporary shelter for the elderly people who are worse hit by the rainstorm.

FG to assist illegal Nigerian immigrants on the website of in Malaysia posted Immigration Department of

Bureau of Statistics Bill scales 2nd reading Continued from page 1

further said the data collected will also provide insight into the number of employed and unemployed people forming the basis for taxable adults in the state, as well as bringing government attention to sectors of the economy that require urgent attention. Deputy Speaker of the

House, Hon. Festus Ebea in his remarks, submitted that adequate statistical information can help government plan adequately as well as provide the platform for members of the general public to view government blueprint for economic development and growth of the state.

Malaysia, Indonesians are the highest number of those arrested. The report stated that there were 1,400 Indonesians being held followed by Myanmar, 537; Bangladeshi, 451; Filipinos, 264; and Nepalese, 239.

APC members laud registration exercise

Continued from page 1 at Urhonigbe when the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu embarked on a fact-finding visit to some designated centres for the APC registration in the locality. The venues visited included, Okaro, Akugbe and Idumwogo Primary Schools all in Urhonigbe as well as Iyobosa Primary School, Urhomehe. Speaking after being registered at Urhonigbe, Johnbull Aiwansedo, Nehikhae John, Robert Osagie and Saturday Ekhator said their registration have made them bonafide members of the APC. They expressed appreciation over the transparency and orderliness that have been the order of the day since the commencement of the exercise in the area. They urged others who are yet to get registered to take advantage of the registration period in order to validate their membership of the party. The registration exercise is expected to end tomorrow.

facing the Nigerian education sector, our universities are doing well. “This competition has indicated the potential of our universities to confront the challenges in their immediate environment and thereby contribute to the overall growth of the nation and the continent. “The fact that we won 10 ACEs out of 18 ACEs indicates that with little more effort, our universities can be ranked amongst the best in the world,” he said. Speaking, the Lead Economist, Africa Education in the World Bank, Mr Andreas Blom, said Nigeria’s win of 10 slots was a “clear demonstration of the potential capacity and talents the country possessed. Blom noted that there were also many potential in Africa’s economy and the World Bank would continue to build African capacity to solve Africa’s problems.

New NAN MD promises to prioritize staff welfare

ABUJA - The new Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Ima Niboro, has promised to prioritise staff welfare during his tenure. Niboro, gave the assurance yesterday during his first official interaction with the workers at the headquarters in Abuja. “I want to pledge that my tenure here will be devoted to your welfare’’, he said to staff members, four days after his appointment was announced by the Federal Government. “ We have about 800 staff members nationwide. When you have 800 men and women, we are talking about 5000 dependants because we have wives, husbands, children, relatives and hangers on. “Of course, you know in Africa, we have a welfare society based on family relationships.’’ Niboro, who recounted his experience as a young journalist in Lagos running around to meet deadlines, said he was aware of current challenges of the profession. “I remember those days when we used to join the molue in Idumota and go to CBN to cover assignments. It was terrible but we thank God journalism has changed’’, he said. Niboro, former Special Adviser on Media to the President Goodluck Jonathan, commended the journalists in NAN for upholding the ethics of the profession over the years. He said Nigerian media had been characterised by a “raging madness’’, which NAN has not been associated with. He urged staff of the agency to continue to do their best to uphold its integrity established since 1978 to promote objective reportage on Nigeria. Some staff members commended President Jonathan for appointing a seasoned journalist to head the agency. They appealed to the new management to prioritise the training of staff and address issues of housing, allowances and prompt payment of transfer allowances. Mr Sani Adamu, Deputy Editor-in-Chief in charge of Production and Library, urged the new helmsman to resuscitate NAN satellite system for news dissemination.

Operational Standard

Govt shuts down health By FRIDAY OBANOR facilities BENIN CITY – As part of Edo State Government effort to stamp out quackery from the Health Care delivery system in the state, the Ministry of Health last week closed down five private Health facilities in Edo North Senatorial District for falling short of operational standards. The facilities closed down were “CARE MEDICAL CENTRE, off Igarra-Ososo Express Road, Enwan, GREATER GLORY/ LABORATORY SERVICES, Okpella, RENA NURSING AND MATERNITY Home, also in Okpella. Others are DIVINE MATERNITY Okpella, NURSING HOME, Okpella and OKPELLA NURSING and MATERNITY HOME, Okpella, all in Etsako East Local Government Area of the State. A statement by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Aihanuwa Eregie stated that beside the affected health facilities, failure to meet up with the required operational

standards, some were operating above the levels they were registered to operate just as they failed to register or renew their operating licencies. The Commissioner who was represented by the Director of Medical Services, in the Ministry Dr. (Mrs.) Helen Eboreime expressed dismay over the poor unhygienic environment in which some of these Health facilities operated. Warning that any health operator that does not comply with the laid-down rules and regulations set by the Ministry, she said appropriate sanctions would be visited on those concerned. She however ordered the operators of the affected facilities to report to the ministry in Benin City as a follow up to the closure of their facilities. She reiterated the present administration’s commitment to the protection of the health of its citizenry.

HOS federation to create new depts in ministries

ABUJA - The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Alhaji Bukar Aji, says plans are on to create two new departments in all ministries in the federal civil service. Aji made the announcement yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session with Directors of Administration in the federal civil service. According to him, the new departments are; Reforms Coordination and Service Improvement and General Services. “We will align the responsibility of the new departments so that they do not necessarily duplicate an already existing activity in the departments.’’ Aji explained that the creation of these new departments became imperative in line with efforts being made to improve service delivery. He said that the proposed plan to create the departments was also to ensure the sustenance of the various initiatives in the current reforms through the utilisation of the highly skilled manpower in the federal civil service. The head of service said that directors in the office of permanent secretaries would be assigned with additional responsibilities of coordinating and supervising the MDAs in addition to liaising with the NASS. He disclosed that the National Records Centre had been reinvigorated and upgraded into an office to be headed by a director. Speaking on the restructuring of the HOCSF, Aji said that a lot had been achieved with the assistance of development partners such as the Federal Public Administration Reform (FEPAR) of the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID). He said that the restructuring had also resulted to the consolidation of 26 departments supervised by six permanent secretaries. Other achievements include the establishment of the

Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) and the appointment of a director-general to manage the pension liabilities in the old pension scheme. According to him, this is in line with the requirement of the pension Reform Act to enhance efficiency. Aji said that other achievement includes the introduction of the Permanent Secretary Peer Review Exercise to ensure that top level management could constantly assess their performance contract to propagate best practices. He stated that 274 MDAs had been captured in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as directed by the Federal Government. “In line with the directive of the Federal Government that all public officers be enrolled on the IPPIS, to date 274 ministries departments and agencies have been captured on the platform with a total of 111,000 core civil servants. “The process is ongoing in order to meet the deadline, and a human resource business model is being packaged to ensure smooth migration of staff records,’’ he said. He noted that his office was working with MDAs to create a toll free GSM line to ensure easy flow of communication between the headquarters and members of staff in the states. “We will provide a toll free GSM line for our staff particularly those of them that are resident in the state of the federation, we discovered that a lot is happening in Abuja and they are not very much aware. “ We are working with the permanent secretary of the ministry of communication to establish a toll free line so that all programmes and activities of government will be sent to their lines and they can feedback the MDAs,’’ he said. He said that 110 officers were promoted to directors during the last promotion exercise conducted by the Federal Civil Service Commission, adding that it was the largest in recent times.


News 2015: Edo OPDA Chairman Cautions

Youths On Violent Crimes

By TUNDE EIGBIREMOLEN

EVBUOTUBU (BENINCITY) - The Edo State Chairman of Oseghevbo Peoples Development Association, (OPDA) Comrade Eghosa Idahosa has again harped on the need for youths to shun violent crimes and cultism and refrain from being used by politicians to perpetrate violence as 2015 general election draw near. The OPDA boss who spoke against the background of huge successes his security outfit recorded in crime control and prevention in Evbuotubu community and environs during the yuletide, said the earlier youths realised that crime does not pay the better. OPDA is a communitybased security outfit which has branches across the local governments of Edo State and is involved in community policing with assistance and support from the police and other security agencies. Speaking on the drastic reduction in crime rate in Evbuotubu and environs, Comrade Idahosa attributed the development to the sustained efforts and commitment of the OPDA members, cooperation from residents of the area as well

as regular support from the Police and sued for sustenance, in order to make the communities crime-free. According to the OPDA chairman, youths who engage in violent crimes, such as cultism, armed robbery and kidnapping fail to realise that these incidents take their lives in the end, and do not lead them on the path of progress. He berated politicians who procure arms and ammunition for youths during elections to fight for power and position, and urged the youths not to allow themselves to be used for negative tendencies any more, asserting that politics ought to be a free and fair game where the one with the majority wins while the loser prepares well for the future. Comrade Idahosa also advised youths to deploy their abounding energies to profitable ventures, work very hard and face their studies in order to be useful and successful in life; instead of engaging in politics of crime which politicians engage them for during elections. He explained that when the Electoral laws and the constitution of the federal

government are strictly enforced in Nigeria, the violence that has become a common feature of electioneering, including the on-going registration for membership by the APC will be curbed. It will be recalled that the Edo State Police Commissioner recently pleaded with other security outfits to connect and cooperate with the State Command of the Nigeria Police in order to rid the state of miscreants, political jobbers. Evbuotubu security outfit cooperated.

AIG Urges Joint Effort To Curb Incessant Robberies

OMU-ARAN (KWARA) – Mr. Christopher Dega, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, (AIG) Zone 8, has called for joint efforts to curb the incessant robbery attacks on banks in OmuAran, Kwara. Dega made the appeal when he visited Omu-Aran as part of his security tour of the Kwara South Senatorial District. Reports state that the zone comprises Kwara, Kogi and Ekiti. Dega told the community leaders that the joint effort was necessary to improve the level of security of lives and property in the community. He said that the police top

Borno Deputy Gov Denies Rift membership registration With Gov Shettima APC and urged his supporters to MAIDUGURI - The Borno Deputy Governor, Alhaji Zannah Mustapha, has denied having any rift with Gov. Kashim Shettima over the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state. Mustapha denied the alleged rift, which he said was making the rounds when he paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Biu, Alhaji Mustapha Aliyu, in his palace. He said it was not true that he had teamed up with former Borno Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, to take over the control of APC in the state. The deputy governor said the rumoured disagreement with his boss was the handiwork of mischief makers. He added that “in my opinion, Gov. Kashim Shettima remains the leader of the APC in Borno. “I want to say without fear of contradiction that Gov. Shettima is the only APC leader in Borno. We are 100 per cent behind him. “All those rumours about disagreements over the state leadership of the party are false. “I wish to call on those

spreading such rumours about division in the party to stop it.’’ Mustapha said he was in Biu, headquarters of Biu Local Government Council of the state to register in the ongoing

Prof. Victor Amen Uhunmwangho, Provost College of Education Ekiadolor, (right) commiserating with the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty Oba Erediauwa over the death of his eldest wife Queen Esther Erediauwa recently. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

ensure that they were also registered. Responding, the emir thanked him for the visit and wished him success in his endeavours.

hierarchy would soon deploy more men and equipment in the community for effective community policing. “My coming here is to enable us rub minds on the way forward as partners in our collective responsibility of ensuring a peaceful atmosphere devoid of crimes. “The act of combating crime should not be left with the police,

alone but a collective responsibility of every patriotic citizen through sharing of ideas and information. “I want to urge everyone to play the role expected of him, especially by volunteering information that would reduce crimes at the grassroots,” Dega said. Dega said that he would also meet with the management of the

Gov Jang Calls For Peaceful LG Polls MANGU (PLATEAU) Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau has called on the people of the state to ensure a peaceful conduct of the February 25 local government polls. The governor made the call while inaugurating the campaign rally of Mr. Caleb Mutfwang, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairmanship candidate for the election in Mangu Local Government Area.

R-L: Mr. C. I. Aghimien, Deputy Provost College of Education Ekiadolor, Mrs. Esther Fenemigho, Registrar and Mr. Emma Esekhile, Bursar of the College during the Principal Officers condolence visit to the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa over the death of his eldest wife Queen Esther Omoye Erediauwa recently. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

Jang, who spoke through the Secretary to State Government, Prof. Shadrach Best, said that the peaceful conduct of the local government polls would prepare the ground for further growth and development in the state. “It is my belief that if we can peacefully conduct the local government elections, as we had during the party primaries at councils and ward levels, then we are on the path of progress. “We should vehemently resist any temptation that will push us into taking up arms against one another during the polls. “Rather, we should display the spirit of maturity and sportsmanship, “ he said. The governor also called on the people of Mangu to support PDP in the forthcoming election to ensure that the council clinched all the elective positions. “I trust the people of Mangu when it comes to support for the PDP and I have no doubt that you will do us proud all through,” he said. Also speaking, Mutfwang, who was presented with the party flag at the rally, urged the people of the area to give him their votes. “All I want from Mangu people is their votes that will ensure my victory at the polls,” he said. Mufwang promised to use his God-given talents for the development of the council if he was elected.

banks on the way forward. Mr. Ayodele Olatunji, Police Area Commander in Omu-Aran, pleaded for more patrol vehicles to curb highway robberies. It would be recalled that incessant robbery attacks on banks in Omu-Aran had forced the banks to shut their premises to customers.

Pa Sunday Ogiesewu Passes On BENIN CITY – The death has been announced of Pa Sunday Aitemini Ogiesewu. He was aged 85. Late Pa Sunday Aitemini Ogiesewu who passed on 15th August, 2013 is survived by four children, thirteen grandchildren and one great grandchild amongst whom are Mr. Violet Okungbowa, Mr. Kester Osazee Ogiesewu, a staff of Bendel Newspapers Company, Mr. Aimuamwonsa Ogiesewu and Miss Ighoghoeyanghian Ogiesewu. Meanwhile, burial arrangement for late Pa Sunday Ogiesewu will be announced later. Late Pa Sunday Ogiesewu was a retired staff of Oredo Local Government Council having served meritoriously in various capacities.

Late Pa Sunday Aitemini Ogiesewu


News Cholera: FG Donates Health Commodities

ABUJA - Federal Ministry of Health, has donated health commodities to the Lagos State government in its effort to control the reoccurrence of cholera outbreak in the state. The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Amb. Sani Bala, who presented the donation on behalf of the ministry in Abuja, said government was determined to ensure that no cholera incidence occurred in 2014. He said “some of the items donated include one carton of 10 by 500ml ecoflac plus and aquatabs for water purification. “Some others are 10 packets of sterile potassium chloride, five packets of ampicilline sodium injection of 25 bottle each, two cartons of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) of 2000 sachets each.’’ Bala said all necessary medical requirements for the control of the disease had been provided.

ABU Appoints 23 Professors ZARIA (KADUNA) - The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Kaduna State has elevated 23 Ph.D holders to the status of professors. This is contained in a statement issued on Saturday in Zaria, by the institution’s Head of Information and Public Affairs, Dr Sama’ila Shehu, and made available to newsmen. According to the statement, besides the professors, the management also approved the elevation of 41 others as readers and principal research fellows of the institution. “At the 460th regular senate meeting of Jan. 30, the vicechancellor announced the promotion of 23 professors and 41 readers as approved by the Governing Council of the University.” It described the promotion as a deliberate attempt by the university management to curb brain drain and to enhance the welfare of both academic and non-academic staff.

He said the ministry had provided interventions to 28 states, including Lagos, adding that the interventions were to augment what the states were doing.

The permanent secretary pledged the ministry’s commitment to continue to work together with various states to curb outbreak of diseases.

Mr. Bankole Akinwate, the Officer at the Lagos State Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health, who received the commodities on behalf of the

disease. It would be recalled that there was cholera outbreak in some states in 2013, including Lagos State.

Imo Women Urged To Embrace Partisan Politics registration and during INEC’s OWERRI - Women in Imo have been urged to use the ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) registration to embrace partisan politics and present a voice to reckon with in the governance of the state. The Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Mr. Uche Nwosu, made the call when the APC women leaders from the 27 local government areas in the state paid him a visit. He said their involvement in politics would enable the women to contribute effectively to the running of the government, adding that gone were the days when politics was ‘a man’s affair’. Nwosu commended women who had, through their offices, contributed to the development of the state and the nation and urged them not to relent. “Women are important personalities in the society who should be respected and not be ignored in governance. “I want you to support the rescue mission government of Gov. Rochas Okorocha and the She Needs A Roof Project (SNARP) of his wife, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha. “SNARP has transformed and brought succour to the lives of indigent and homeless widows in the state,” he said. The commissioner stressed the importance of effective mobilisation of women at the grassroots in the ongoing

voters’ registration. He also stressed the need for accountability and transparency among the women leaders in the running of their various offices. Earlier, the woman leader of Nkwerre Local Government Area, Mrs. Juliana Ogbonna, said they came to identify and congratulate the commissioner on his appointment. She expressed the need for the present administration to carry more women along and create an enabling political environment for them to operate.

Senator (Prof) Oserhiemen Osunbor, former Governor of Edo State (2nd left) commisserates with Lady Uwa Osunbor, (right) over the death of her eldest sister, Queen Esther Omoye Erediauwa, the Eson N’Erie of Benin Kingdom, (2nd right) is Chief Simeon Omofuma, APC Chieftain in Esan West. Left is Hon. Monday Abulu, leader APC in Benin City. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

Senator (Prof) Oserhiemen Osunbor, former Governor of Edo State signing the Condolence Register after paying a visit to the Benin Monarch, HRM, Oba Erediauwa over the death of the Oba’s eldest wife, Queen Esther Omoye Erediauwa, the Eson N’Erie of Benin Kingdom. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

Jonathan Urged To Continue With Transformation Agenda

IIORIN - Special Adviser to President on Ethics and Values, Mrs. Sarah Jubril, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to continue with his transformation agenda to ensure electoral

victory in 2015 general elections. Jubril made the call at a rally organised by the Kwara chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ilorin.

Jubril assured the President of the unflinching support of members of the PDP in Kwara, adding that the party would win all elections in the state. She said the president had the

He said the police also recovered four guns, 307 live ammunition and two vehicles from the robbers during a joint operation with police men from Bauchi State. Atajiri said that the vehicles recovered were one Honda Accord and a Toyota Avalon

which were suspected to be stolen from Lagos-Ibadan axis. “Upon seeing a police vehicle, they opened fire and the police returned fire and the ground battle lasted about 45 minutes on the Gombe-Dukku road. “Three of them were killed; we recovered four arms, 307 live

ammunition and two vehicles, one Honda Accord and one Toyota Avalon,. “ The men were believed to have stolen the vehicle from Ibadan-Lagos axis,” he said. The spokesman said that the police were intensifying efforts to arrest other members of the gang who escaped.

Police Kill 3 Suspected Robbers GOMBE - The police command in Gombe State says its officers killed three armed robbers during a patrol on the Gombe-Dukku road on Friday. DSP Fwaje Atajiri, the Police Public Relations Officer in the command, disclosed this to newsmen in Gombe.

state government, expressed appreciation for the gesture. He gave the assurance that the items donated would be judiciously used to control the

love and interest of the people at heart and would ensure that the dividends of democracy got to the grassroots. Also addressing the rally, the Chairman of Caretaker Committee of PDP in the state, Mr Christopher Edoja, urged members to remain firm and loyal to the party. He said; “President Jonathan and the PDP’s National Working Committee under the leadership of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu will soon visit us. “We are committed to putting in place an egalitarian system

where food will be available in abundance to all. “Enough of the era of slavery. PDP has come to free the people of Kwara from the ruling dynasty of the Sarakis. Let us remain committed, focused and steadfast’’, Edoja said. Edoja, however, stressed the need for the PDP leadership to carry all members along. He said the leaders should endeavour to bury their differences in the interest of the party and most especially the victory of the party in the 2015 general elections.


South-South

Senator Wants Police Strengthened 2015:

Chief of Staff, Government House, Benin City, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon (left), Special Adviser on Media to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Kassim Afegbua and the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Hon. Didi Adodo at a ceremony in Government House, Benin City. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE

FERMA Assures Of Roads Rehabilitation UYO - The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has assured residents of Akwa Ibom that it will rehabilitate federal roads in the state. The Project Engineer of FERMA in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Onu, gave the assurance in an interview with newsmen in Uyo. Onu said that the early rain witnessed in some parts of the state would not affect the agency’s projects, adding that work was in progress on four roads in the Oron Area of the state. He told newsmen that a proposal for the rehabilitation of the Ikot Ekpene-Umuahia Road had been made, and assured that work would commence on it immediately the proposal was approved. Onu said that FERMA would resolve issues on the skipped Ikot-Aba portion of

ASUU:

the Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road project with the Niger Delta Development Commission. He appealed to residents of the state to cooperate with the

agency to enable it to achieve its objective of ensuring that all federal roads in the state were motorable all year round.

UYO - A former Minister of State for FCT, Chief John Akpan-Udoedehe, has called on the National Assembly to enact laws that will strengthen the police in 2015 general elections. Akpan-Udoedehe, who represented Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District in 1999 to 2003, made the call when he spoke with newsmen in Uyo. The former senator said that strengthening the police and other security agencies would enhance the success of the elections. He said that the law should create a room for adequate empowerment of the police and other security agencies so that they would not easily be bought over by desperate politicians. Akpan-Udoedehe further said that INEC needed to overhaul its system and ensure that it worked with the law enforcement agencies to

Prof. Victor Amen Uhunmwangho, Provost College of Education Ekiadolor signing the Condolence Register shortly after his visit to the Benin Monarch over the demise of his eldest wife Queen Esther Omoye Erediauwa. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

He advised winners and losers in the elections that brought in the new team to embrace the principle of ‘no victor, no vanquished’. In a goodwill message, Dr Uzochukwu Onyebinama, the Chairperson of ASUU, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia, congratulated the new executives. Onyebinama enjoined members of ASUU in UNIUYO to always bear in mind that the strength of the union was in the members and not in their leaders.

The chairperson said without members, the union would not have been able to successfully prosecute the last nationwide strike. “There is strength in membership. Without this, we would not have been able to prosecute the last nationwide strike. “You must, therefore, draw your inspiration from the slogan ‘United we bargain, divided we beg,” Onyebinama said. n his acceptance speech, the Vice-Chairperson and Acting Chairperson of the UNIUYO

chapter, Dr Aniekan Brown, said that the union, under his leadership, would rely on the principle of ‘injury to one is an injury to all’. Brown solicited for the cooperation of all members, to enable the union to succeed. He urged members to contribute their quota toward the realisation of the goals and objectives of the union. The new executives include; Dr Daniel Udo, Secretary; Dr Charles Obot, Assistant Secretary and Dr Happiness Uduk, Treasurer.

hijacked the distribution of membership registration cards. “APC is interested in having more members, so why should I hijack the process. “If I hijacked the materials in collaboration with the defunct members of ACN, is it only the people from defunct ACN that are being registered,’’ he said.

Complete Abandoned Projects, Monarch Urges Ewa, toured some NDDC NDDC projects in Ibeno community.

IBENO (AKWA IBOM) The Paramount Ruler of Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, Chief Effiong Archianga, has urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete its projects in the area. Archianga made the call when the management of the NDDC, led by the Chairman of the Governing Board, Sen. Bassey

Urban Planning Group Makes Case For Professionals

UNIUYO Gets New Exco

UYO - The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the new executive members of its University of Uyo chapter to be committed to the union’s ideals. The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Calabar Zone, Dr Charles Ononuju, gave the advice after the inauguration of the new executives at the university. Ononuju commended the former officers of the chapter for their commitment to the ideals of the union, and for raising the bar of selfless leadership.

make the votes of the people count. “Unless the institution is strengthened and the people themselves stand up to defend their votes, we should not expect credible elections. “The Police, Military, SSS and other securities agencies must all be involved in ensuring credible elections. He denied that he and members of the defunct ACN

WARRI (DELTA) - Mr. Bala Ka‘oje, the National President, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), has urged Delta government to ensure that professionals managed the state’s Urban and Regional Planning Board. He made the call in Warri, Delta, at the first Public Lecture and Award Ceremony of the Delta chapter of APBN. He said “if you bring a nurse to head an urban and regional planning department, you will not achieve the right results, so I want the government to look into this critically.’’ Mr. Olusola Atilola in a paper entitled: “Professionals in Nation Building, Challenges and Prospects” said nation building could only succeed when the people had common sense of belonging and ideology. “Nation building is where there is justice, peace and security. It is where democracy thrives and where citizens have equal opportunities”, he added. Atilola said no nation could achieve sustainable development without the input from the right quarters.

He said it was unfortunate that NDDC projects that would have helped in transforming the lives of the people of the area had been neglected. He added that “the Ibeno community recognises that contracts have been awarded in various areas of development but most of them have been abandoned due to lack of funds.’’ The monarch listed some of the abandoned projects to include the Iwuoachang Iko Road project, the Ibeno Civic Centre, the Ibeno Mini Stadium, the Ibeno Divisional Police Headquarters and the Ibeno internal road network. Other projects, he said, were the Upenekang/Iwuachang Erosion Control project, the Inua Eyet Ikot/Itio Esek Road and the Iwuoachang Okposo/Mbo Road project. He said it was unfortunate that there was no potable water in the entire Ibeno community. He noted that “the hospital that Akwa Ibom government built few years ago is decaying due to the lack of medical attendants, drugs and power supply.’’ Earlier, Ewa had restated the commitment of the commission to execute projects more effectively to ensure value for money for such projects. He expressed his appreciation to Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom for making the Eket-Ibeno Road a dual road, saying it would alleviate the sufferings of the Ibeno community. The NDDC governing board chairman said the commission would facilitate skill acquisition among youths in the area and advised the youths to take advantage of the commission’s scholarship scheme to educationally empower themselves. “When we go back, we will sit with the director in charge of Akwa Ibom office and try to deal with the challenges you have been facing.’’


Lagos NASME Plans Confab In United Kingdom LAGOS - The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) says it will organise a bilateral trade and investment conference to promote investment, trade and export opportunities in non-oil sectors. NASME Director of Public Relations, Mr. Nerus Ekezie, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. According to him, the conference is being organised in collaboration with Nigerians in the Diaspora, the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom (UK) and UK Trade and Industry (UKTI). Ekezie said that the conference, which would take place in the UK between March 17 and 18, would facilitate stronger bilateral trade partnership between Nigeria and the UK. “It will bring together Nigerian public and private sector organizations, businesses and potential UK investors. “It will also foster stronger participation by the Diaspora in the economic development of Nigeria,’’ he said. Ekezie said that UKTI Nigeria would run a business clinic during the event to counsel British entrepreneurs seeking to invest in Nigeria on the nation’s business terrain. He said that the clinic would also facilitate introduction of NASME members to potential business partners in the UK. Ekezie appealed to NASME members and other interested entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the upcoming conference.

Umar Tasks Stakeholders Over Maritime Cargo Exposure to Risks of Accident “Cargo Damage, Loss and Delay at

Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Babayo Gamawa (left), receiving Federal Government flood relief materials from North-East Head of Operations, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Appolos Jediel during the presentation of Federal Government relief assistance to people affected by the 2013 flood disaster in Bauchi North Senatorial District recently.

LAGOS – The Minister of Transport, Senator Umar Idris, has urged maritime stakeholders to collaborate to check the increasing cargo risks in the country. Umar gave advice at a oneday maritime roundtable held in Lagos. The Minister, represented by Nebolisa Emordi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, said that workshop was organised by the cargo Defence Fund of the Nigeria Shippers’ Council. The workshop, with theme

Presentation of relief materials by the Federal Government to people affected by the 2013 flood disaster in Bauchi North Senatorial District recently.

Nigerians Eager Over 2015 Poll - Ikuforiji LAGOS - The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has said Nigerians were eager to participate in the 2015 general elections. Ikuforiji made the remark in Epe shortly after he registered as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ongoing party membership registration. The speaker registered as APC member at Ward A4 Oke-Oyinbo, Epe, with number 04007901. Reports state that the APC membership registration exercise, which kicked off nationwide on February 5, would end on February10. Ikuforiji said: “Generally,

Nigerian citizens are eager and ready to participate actively in the 2015 general elections. “Perhaps, because of the experience of the past, they have really shown interest in the ongoing APC membership registration. “All the registration centres here in Epe witnessed a tremendous turnout of people,’’ he said. He also advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prepare adequately for the elections by putting necessary logistics in place to allow free and fair elections in 2015. The speaker said that only

free and fair election could give the electoral body the credit it deserves. He said that the alleged

disruption of APC registration exercise in Port Harcourt was undemocratic. The speaker appealed to the

people of Rivers to shun political violence and allow peaceful co-existence in the state.

LAGOS - The Chairman, Lagos State Council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Deji Olumoye, has advised journalists to be security conscious as they carry out their duties. Olumoye gave the advice when he briefed members of the union at the Council’s monthly Congress at Ladi Lawal Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja. He also advised NUJ members to consider sleeping in the office at the close of work if it became

risky to go home at night. Olumoye said journalists should avoid withdrawing money at late hours from Automated Teller Machines as it could expose them to criminals. He urged them to key into the union’s insurance scheme, saying the nature of the job demanded serious security attention. The NUJ boss expressed sadness over the killing of Mr. Toyin Obadina, the Saturday Editor of News Watch Newspaper.

Obadina was shot by unknown gunmen on January 31 in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb. “The report we got is that the editor closed late and was on his way home, collected some money from an ATM. “Then gunmen that attacked him and demanded the money he collected from the machine. “After collecting the money, one of the gunmen shot him at close a range and zoomed off. “I was almost a victim of such people sometimes ago. I and my

Nigerian Ports and Terminals,” was part of the contributions of stakeholders in the ongoing port reform. Idris said that the problems of delay, damage and loss of cargo were affecting developments in the nation’s maritime sector. “The discussion at the roundtable must focus on what should be done to minimize cargo exposure to risks at ports and terminals. “The meeting must create ways to reduce incidents of delay, damage and loss to cargo at the ports and terminals,” Umar said. Capt. Cosmas Niagwan, Chairman of the Cargo defence Fund, said that the Fund had treated about 500 complaints on damages and losses since inception. Niagwan said that the complaints included nondelivery of cargoes, theft or pilfering, illegal charges, nonformalisation of trade, delay and fraud, among others. He also said that the problems of terminal operators were classified into contract, banking and insurance for effective management. Also speaking, Chief Kunle Folarin, Chairman of the Port Consultative Council, urged importers and exporters to adhere to clauses stated in the bills of laden. Folarin said that professional cargo operations remained the only safety net towards losses, damages and other maritime risks. He urged the stakeholders to sign the Memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cargo administration to protect themselves against trans-shipment and other losses.

Be Security Conscious, NUJ Boss Advises Journalists driver were coming home late and decided to collect some money from an ATM. “ After collecting the money, I discovered that a strange vehicle was after us. “When I became suspicious of the vehicle, I requested my driver to move to any where people gathered and stop. “As soon as we stopped, the vehicle trailing us also stopped, the people inside it looked around and zoomed off,’’ he said.


North

Army Committed To Curbing Terrorism KADUNA - The Nigerian Army has said that it was committed to curbing terrorism and insurgency in the country. The Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj. Gen. Mohammed Idris, said this in Jaji, Kaduna, at the graduation ceremony of the Counter Terrorism Course 4/13 at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry. Idris decried the spate of attacks carried out by terrorists in the country, adding that the army would fight the insurgents to restore peace and order in the country. He said the persistent security challenges witnessed in the country necessitated the army to expose its cadets to training in counter terrorism and counter insurgency. “We are resolved to provide

the foundational training needed by the cadets to build up when they graduate as young officers. “The nature of the national security environment we find ourselves in today is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. “This calls for specialised and focused training for young officers in the art of counter terrorism,’’ he said. According to him, the training would also enable the officers to be more focused and motivated in the discharge of their responsibilities. Also speaking, the Commandant, Nigeria Army School of Infantry (NASI), Maj. Gen. Tukur Buratai , said 51 cadets went through 11 weeks of training on counter terrorism.

“The training packages included raid on enemy camps, escort of VIPs, guarding of VPs and KPs, search techniques at road blocks and check points, among others,’’ he said.

Buratai said that Quick Response Group (QRG) and Basic Counter Terrorism Course (BCTC) had also been included to the regular courses at NASI.

- NDA Commandant These, he said, was to further equip the army and other security agencies with skills on

counter terrorism insurgency.

and

NOUN VC Lauds NGO For Creating Jobs KADUNA - Prof. Vincent Tenebe, the Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has lauded the Centre for Human Resource Development and Empowerment Initiative (HRDEI), an NGO, for creating jobs for youths in the country. Tenebe said this in Kaduna at the 4th graduation ceremony of 154 students of the centre established by Alhaji Mohammed Ali, a lawmaker, representing Kawo Constituency in the Kaduna State House of Assembly. The vice-chancellor was represented by Prof. Nebath Tanglang, NOUN’s Deputy ViceChancellor (Administration). Reports state that HRDEI was established in partnership with NOUN. Tenebe said the centre through its activities had impacted positively on the lives of women and youths in the area. “The initiative of the centre is in line with President Goodluck

Jonathan’s transformation agenda and his passion for job creation for the youth. “The skills transfer collaboration between HRDEI and NOUN is well positioned and ready to ensure success of the president’s agenda of creating jobs and putting food on the tables of Nigerians,” he said. Mrs Bose Balogun, the Dean, School of Vocational and Technical Education, Federal College of Education, Zaria, commended the founder of the centre for his foresight and outstanding contributions to business development. Balogun, who chaired the occasion, called on well-meaning Nigerians and lawmakers in the country to emulate the founder of the centre. She urged them to join hands with the government to create jobs in their constituencies. Also speaking, Ali said that the centre was established to create jobs for youths.

Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe (left), with the Managing Director, Salini Nigeria Limited, Dr. Piero Captianio, inspecting the Gurara Multi Purpose Dam in Kaduna.

Sokoto CP Urges Political Parties To Preach Peace, Tolerance SOKOTO - The Commissioner of Police (CP) in Sokoto State, Mr. Shuaibu Gambo, has urged political party leaders in the state to continue to preach peace and tolerance to their followers. He made the call in an interview with newsmen Sokoto. The commissioner said it was only by doing so that politicians could bring about development in the country. He commended the people of the state for demonstrating political maturity during President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to the state on Saturday. He expressed delight that during the visit, there was no incidence that threatened the peace and

APC supporters waiting to register at Kofar-Fada polling unit in Birnin-Kudu Local Government Area of Jigawa.

stability of the state. Gambo commended politicians in particular, “for demonstrating political tolerance and understanding.’’ He solicited the support of the people in offering intelligence

reports to the police, to enable them to check the activities of criminals in the state. He said the police command would intensify efforts in community policing and in sustaining the peace in Sokoto

State. He urged officers and men of the command to continue to work hard, saying “hard working police officers will be rewarded, while the indolent ones will be sanctioned.’’

Buhari Advises INEC To Conduct 2015 Election Same Day DAURA (KATSINA STATE) - Former Head of State, Retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct 2015 general elections on the same day. Buhari gave the advice in Daura, Katsina State, while answering questions from newsmen after he obtained APC membership card. He said that conducting the elections in one day would help in reducing election malpractice and save cost. He added that the litigations that trailed the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections would be avoided if the elections were held on the same day. “If all the elections are conducted on the same day, there will be less cases of snatching of ballot boxes and use of political thugs to rig

elections,’’ he said. Buhari, who urged party members to come out en masse and register with the APC,

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

expressed optimism that the opposition party would win the 2015 general elections in the country.


Abuja Demolition Of Chikakore Layout

Residents Express Sadness

ABUJA - Residents of Chikakore layout in Byazhin, Kubwa, Abuja, have expressed sadness over the demolition of several structures in the area by authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration. Some of the residents complained that they were not given notice before the demolition, while others pleaded with government to give them alternative land to enable them to resettle their families. Mr. Olaranewaju Sadiq, a printer, who was affected, told newsmen that the demolition was a heavy blow on his business. He said most residents of the layout got allocation from Bwari Area Council, which they thought had authority to allocate plots in the area. “I have many land allocations here, which I got from Bwari

Area Council; if FCTA says the allocations are not genuine, it should resolve it with the area council. “The authority did not even notify us before the demolition so that we can make arrangement for alternative accommodation.’’ Another resident, Mr. Charles Obi, said he was informed of the demolition by a friend who called him on phone. Obi said “I am a retired civil servant and I acquired a plot here from Bwari Area Council with my retirement benefit, and I have been developing it gradually. “Bwari Area Council should be compelled to compensate people who have lost property in this place.’’ Mr. Samuel Anasala, a construction worker, complained that houses in the adjoining layout were demolished in error

ABUJA - The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has warned those infringing on people’s rights to desist from it or face “the wrath of God’s judgment”. The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, gave the warning when the Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Mr. Kennedy Opara, visited him in Abuja. Angwe said there was no justification for violation of people’s rights, saying violators would be made to account for their deeds on earth and before God. “Today, Nigeria is going through a trying period. We see daily reports on the pages of papers of killings of people. “We are advising Nigerians to do everything to avert the calamity that will befall them here on earth when they abuse human rights. “We advise them to also avert the calamities that await them when they pass from this world to the world thereafter. “Here on earth we will ensure accountability and spiritually too, on the last day, there will be accountability, which means that whichever way they seek to go there is no hiding place. They should repent and

embrace peace so that Nigeria will be a peaceful country,” he said. He enjoined Nigerians to preach peace and avoid any act capable of violating the rights of others and depriving them the opportunity to live as human beings. The executive secretary said that the country would be better positioned when all citizens live in harmony and shun all forms of criminality. According to him, God created us in his own image and gave us the ability to live in peace and harmony. “When people live together, there will be no criminality and where there is no criminality; there will be no violation of human right. “Where there is no violation of human rights, the commission and NCPC will have achieved their mandate,” he said. Angwe said NHRC would continue to work with NCPC to ensure that Nigerians were all treated as human beings. He said that commission considered NCPC as human rights defenders with regards to strengthening of their faith, adding that when that was achieved, Nigerians would live as brothers and sisters.

because they were not part of Chikakore. “The problem was with Chikakore. I live in the adjoining layout but we were also affected even though we do not fall within that layout; We are in Byazhin. “They brought bulldozers and demolished our houses only for them to tell us that it was in error; who will pay for the reconstruction?”, he asked. Meanwhile, Mr. Kalu Emetu, the Head of Public Relations Department, Development Control, told newsmen that the demolition was backed by a court judgment. He said the area was earmarked as a layout for future development before Bwari Area Council started allocating the plots.

Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Cadets for counter terrorism course 4/2013 on demonstration, during graduation ceremony in Jaji, Kaduna recently.

God’s Judgement Will Visit Those Infringing On People’s Rights -NHRC

Best Cadet Officer for counter terrorism course 4/2013 cadet, Akeem Odunsi (left), receiving his certificate from Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj-Gen. Muhammed Idris (middle) during the graduation of NDA Cadets for counter terrorism course 4/2013 in Jaji Kaduna recently. With him is Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Maj-Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Commitment To Leadership

New Methodist Tasks Pol Leaders

ABUJA - The Most Rev. Oche Job, the new Methodist Archbishop of Abuja, has urged elected political leaders to renew their commitments to the people in the interest of the nation. Job made the call in Abuja

while addressing newsmen. He also advised leaders to fear God and to exercise restraint and avoid anything that would lead to destruction of lives and property. “We must all realise that we

Patience Jonathan Commends Onaiyekan For book would provide useful Promoting Religious Tolerance information in the nation’s quest to find lasting peace.

ABUJA - The First Lady, Patience Jonathan, has commended the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, for promoting religious tolerance in the country. Jonathan gave the commendation in Abuja at the public presentation of a book entitled :“ Seeking Common Grounds: Inter-Religious Dialogue in Africa.’’ The book, which is a collection of the cardinal’s essays on religious harmony, was organised by the Abuja Archdiocese as part of activities to mark Onaiyekan’s 70th birthday. According to her, Onaiyekan

is a man who has lived all his life in service to humanity and played a very important role in the peace process of Nigeria. “Since his ordination as a priest in 1969, the Archbishop has been a bridge-builder, a social crusader and a champion of the cause of the less privileged in the society. “Here is a man who believes in God, and not in what any man can do for him. He does not believe in material things, the Cardinal is a man known to be candid in his views and steadfast in his faith. “Because of his outstanding leadership qualities, His

Eminence has been a rallying point for religious and spiritual leaders in Nigeria, irrespective of their creed or faith,’’ she added. The president’s wife said the

“This book will serve as a good reference material for interreligious understanding which will facilitate unity, peace and love among our people.

are given appointments to govern the nation and not to destroy the nation. “Anything that will bring bloodshed just because of the interest of few individuals, we should avoid it. “There may be differences because we are human beings but our differences should not lead to destruction of property or deaths.’’ Commenting on the spate of defections by politicians and crisis rocking the political parties, Job said it was normal in politics and urged Nigerians not to panic.

...Seeks Protection Of Internet Users ABUJA - The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, has called for greater global efforts on the protection of internet users, especially children and youths. Jonathan, who is the Global Child Online Protection Champion, made the call in Abuja ahead of the Safer Interment Day which would be marked globally today.

This was contained in a statement signed by Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, a Director of Information in the Presidency. Jonathan called on stakeholders to take practical steps to promote international and national policies, programmes and educational initiatives to improve child online

safety. She urged the International Telecommunication Union, (ITU) member states and sector members to continually build capacity and develop programmes and curricula to address the safe and responsible use of Information, Communication Technology.

He said “there will be defections as long as politicians have interest. “But as a Church, our prayer is that the defections remain due to political differences and the nation remains one.’’ The archbishop said there would continue to be conflict of interest while politicians were at liberty to defect but urged them to desist from acts that could cause crisis. He also urged Christians and Muslims to respect and love each other for the peace, stability and progress of the nation. He added that “every religion should respect the other religion; God has made us to be one nation and has given us these various religions. “He (God) is interested in us, he has not forsaken us.’’ Reports state that Job took over the Abuja Archdiocese from Rev. Chimaroke Iweha, who has just retired.


News

NBTS Seeks Law On Sale Of Blood ABUJA - Mr. Ehigie Olayemi, Donor Recruiter, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), has advocated for a law enabling the NBTS to stop the sales of blood throughout the country. Olayemi told Newsmen in Abuja at the venue of awareness campaign on ‘voluntary blood donation’, that selling of blood to patients, had discouraged voluntary donation of same. NBTS, in collaboration with Rotary Club of Abuja, Gwarinpa chapter, had embarked on a twoday awareness campaign on importance of blood donation. “We want to put an end to sales of blood that do happen in our various hospitals. “The NBTS has the responsibility to stop it but we have not been backed-up by the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the act of the National Assembly,” he stated. He said until there was such legal backing, stopping the act completely, would be very difficult. He lamented that many Nigerians were not interested in donating blood voluntarily, in spite of awareness carried out by the service. According to him, the demands for blood by patients in hospitals remain high, compared to the blood donated across the various centres in the country. “The truth of the matter is that the demand is so much compared to supply. We want all Nigerians, from the age of 18 to 65, to donate blood at the centres

closest to their homes. “We have offices spread across the country. We have 17 centres, and in Abuja, we are at Wuse zone three,’’ he said. Olayemi explained that the service was yet to witness high turnout of donors, as such it could hardly supply blood to all those in dire need of it. “The truth is that until people come out to donate blood, we will not have enough of it to give to people in need. “By donating blood voluntarily, you are helping yourself, your heart, liver and kidney, because high percentage of haemoglobin is a burden to these organs,” He added that the major beneficiaries of blood donated to the service, are accident victims, Anaemic and cancer patients, pregnant women and People Living Positive, among others. Also speaking to newsmen Mr. James Ugbede, President, Rotary Club of Abuja, Gwarinpa chapter, said that the partnership with NBTS was part of efforts by the club to serve humanity. “As it is, the project is called voluntary blood donation project. We thought it wise that the only outfit that will help us in reaching our target is the NBTS, because that is their primary assignment. “We look at this as one of the six areas of focus of Rotary International, especially in the area of child and maternal health, as well as disease prevention and treatment,” he explained.

Ugbede urged the NBTS to collaborate with National Orientation Agency, to create awareness on the importance of blood donation and other

privilege donating blood to the needy. “I do not know where this blood will get to, but I pray and hope that whoever needs it, gets access to it. This is my first time and definitely, it won’t be the last. I feel happy,” she remarked. Aderogba said that it was unfortunate that people request for financial rewards, rather than donating voluntarily, and therefore called on Rotarians in Nigeria to intensify awareness campaign. Also, Mr. Ayodeji Kajogbola , a regular donor, said that he found it healthy donating once in every three months. “Every three months, I try as much as possible to donate. I last donated in November. Iam donating now; the next time will be sometimes in April or May. “ Nigerians need to be sensitised because some people still believe that if they donate blood, their life-span gets reduced by five years. “This is the kind of story I hear from them whenever I try to encourage them to donate blood,’’ he said. Reports state that about 12 people voluntarily donated blood at the occasion.

UBTH Yet To Record Diabetes In Children - CMD

BENIN - The University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) said it has not recorded any case of diabetes in children eight months after government

By ERANGA ISAAC

Comrade (Mrs.) Abigail Osadebe noted that for peace and unity to prevail inn the state, prayer must be made a paramount feature. She added that for a nation

are here on earth to support each other. This is my second time,’’ he said Another donor, Miss Banke Aderogba said it was a rare

Mrs. Eki Igbinedion, wife of former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion (left); State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion; Edo State Governor, Cormade Adams Oshiomhole, first Executive Governor of the state, Chief John Odigie Oyegun and Hon. Rasaq Bello-osagie who represents Oredo Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives at a Special Thanksgiving held for the Late Deaconess Rebecca Oviasu in Benin City. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE.

TUC Women Holds Prayer Conference

BENIN CITY - The women Commission of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Edo State Council has held the maiden edition of its prayer conference in Cultural Center, recently Benin City. Chairperson of the Edo State Council of the TUC Women’s Wing, Comrade (Mrs.) Rosalyn Osawe said the objective of the conference was to gather people from all walks of life, irrespective of denomination especially the civil servants in the state, to thank God for a new year, she said it was also to intercede for the progress of Nigeria in general and Edo State in particular. According to her, the prayer conference which comprises of different prayer sessions, was also to foster love, unity, fidelity, peace and stability in the state. Mrs. Osawe added that there was need to pray for more of God’s grace and strength for the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to continue the good works he has started for the transformation of the state. On her part, the secretary of the state TUC Women’s Wing

humanitarian activities. Mr. Jeremiah Uche, a donor, said it was quite exciting donating his blood to save lives. “I feel happy and excited. We

of state to move to a progressive height, there was need for prayers of this kind, saying that the prayer of mothers are always honoured to God.

announced free treatment of the disease in government hospitals. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Michael Ibadin, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Benin City. Ibadin attributed the situation to low level of awareness on prevalence of diabetes in children in the country. “Most people don’t know that that their children are diabetic because the symptoms are not classical as we have in adult. “If any adult has diabetes the

person will always drink plenty of water, urinate frequently and get hungry all the time. “Diabetic children also want to eat all the time and may be demanding for water too,” he said. The paediatrician explained that parents of such children who had weight loss very often

Demise Of Queen

Community Condoles Oba Erediauwa By VICTOR IMADE

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Mrs. Ewaindomwan, widow of Late Chief Festus Osayimwen, father of Hon. Patrick Osayimwen of the State House of Assembly during the governor’s condolence visit to the lawmaker in Benin City. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE.

ascribed the situation to something else. According to him, not many people believe that children can have diabetes; they think it’s a sickness for the wealthy. Ibadin said that diabetes in children required life time treatment and involved costs, and called for more awareness campaign on the disease.

IKPOBA-OKHA – The Indegenes and elders of Urora Community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State at the weekend commiserated with the Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa over the demise of his eldest wife, Oloi Esther Erediauwa. A statement, signed by the Director pf Sunny O. Hotel, Mr. Sunny Osagiede described the demise of the Oba as a great shock, not only to the Benin Kingdom, Edo State but also the entire nation. The statement described the

Oloi as a woman of many virtues, adding that the passing away of this great mother who imparted greatly in the lives of many will be greatly missed by all. According to the statement, the passage of the Oloi will create a vacuum too difficult to fill in the entire Benin Kingdom and the nation in general. “She was a mother and great benefactor to all; she was always there when ever her support and assistance was needed in whatever capacity”. The statement however prayed God Almighty to grant her soul eternal rest while advising the Benin Monarch to take consolation in the fact that death is inevitable.


THE violation of women’s rights both at the national and domestic strata have become burning and vexatious issues. What we find happening in this country as regards the denial to women of certain privileges and rights, much more pervades other nations of the world to some varying degree and extent. In some countries women are never heard but they are only seen and are not offered opportunities to make their contributions to national growth and development. THE refrain has always been that we are in a male dominated society and as such the dominance is carried over to other sectors of life, where it becomes very obvious that the male-folks are always in the position to wield power and control. However, the tendency to keep women at the background in most societies is derived from the tradition and custom of old in predominantly medieval communities where women are consigned to basic task of up-keeping of the home and the rearing and bearing of children. AGAIN, there is the perceived social and environmental factors that women are not endowed with equal natural abilities seen against the superiority and innate physical attributes of man, which makes him the stronger sex while the women are regarded as the weaker sex. WHILE it is still in contention that women are spiritually more gifted than the men, there are however, certain, religious practices in traditional religion, Christianity and Islam and many other faith-exercising beliefs where women are barred from priestly role for reasons peculiar to those faith. OVER the years however, women have risen to these challenges to combat and eliminate these practices and to elevate womanhood to the pedestal of dignity and to take their pride of place in society. THESE situations have also given rise to such concepts as women liberation and women empowerment to such extent it appears that there has been an attempt to rewrite the English language to make it reflect the sense of womanhood were such words as “Chairman”

THE NIGERIAN

Advancing Political Rights Of Women and “mankind” are facing the challenges of some etymologists and lexical experts to make them lose their male connotations. WHILE the war to institute the female privilege and the sense of womanhood in the language sector is a continuing one, there are still other areas of human endeavour where our womenfolk are carrying on the battle. It is a matter of fact, that women more often than not now concern themselves with issues such as the problem of development, female health reproductive issues, prostitution, trafficking in women, wife-battering and the political participation of women in the affairs of state. FOR instance, a study by the population reference bureau, “conveying concerns: women write on Reproductive Health,” indicate that the global community is beginning to recognize a crucial, yet long overlooked piece of development puzzle. The study states that the ideas and participation of women are essential for planning appropriate, comprehensive and effective development programs. A DEVELOPMENT effort of particular significance to women, it says is the design of reproductive health policies and programmes to meet the needs of all women, at different stages in their reproductive lives, from different socio economic setting, of different religious and cultural backgrounds. IT also noted that efforts in the past to provide women. reproductive health services seemed to have been implanted without fully understanding the needs and sensitivities of the women they were to serve, following ‘which many women and women’s group became disillusioned with the

development process. HOWEVER, “the increasing problem that women face in our world is that of discrimination which is occasioned by traditional practices in all ramifications, even discrimination in office places and in appointments. In effect, no matter how highly placed a woman might be in respect of achievements and in office; her status is still low because of male chauvinism and its dominating characteristics not to regard a woman’s profile as worth anything not even by men who may have achieved less. WOMEN’s standing has risen dramatically in recent times due mainly to their efforts and that of the international community and many nongovernmental organizations who insist on the rights and privileges which not only they should take from society but what the constitutions and codes of human freedom had also conferred on them. IN this regard a number of international decisions which have helped to legitimize the rights and privileges of women include the 1952 convention on the political rights of women, the 1979 convention on the political rights of women, the 1979 convention on the elimination of Discrimination ‘Against Women and the 1995 Beijing Conference, China, sponsored by the Untied Nations. It was the fourth world conference on women with 189 governments and 2,600 non-governmental groups in attendance. RESOLUTIONS at the conference agreed to a set of strategic objectives and action including efforts to advance the role of women in politics and environment stewardship. BESIDES, the Commonwealth has also been committed to the problem of gender inequality and presented plan of action at the Beijing Conference as well as an update to it in 1997. AT this point, we the women groups yearning for improvements in women conditions nationally and globally to pursue the course relentlessly and not give up. Further, we implore the Nigerian government and other nations globally to address the socio-cultural factors that hinder women from the realization of their full potentials.


A Word Of Caution

Edo 2016: SINCE the commencement of my countdown towards the 2016 democratic transition in Edo State on this page, I have received countless phone calls and emails from concerned individuals from across the state and beyond inquiring to know why I am so interested in a battle that is still light years ahead. My blanket answer to these enquiries is that “I am an individual imbued with a proactive mindset; that unlike the average Nigerian who would wait until the last minute before acting, I believe in preparing early for any battle that is worth fighting; that like a seasoned athlete, I believe that early preparations puts one in better stead to triumph in life’s several marathons. This piece is a continuation of my countdown to 2016. It is a comparative study of two different historical epochs, and how they practically depict the unfolding drama in Edo politics. The Trojan War, in Greek legend, was a famous war waged by the Greeks against the powerful city of Troy. The object of this face off was Helen, an extremely beautiful Greek woman who had been abducted by Paris, son of King Priam of Troy. Helen’s husband Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon led an army of Greeks to besiege Troy. After ten years, with many heroes dead on both sides, the city fell to the trick of the Trojan Horse—a giant wooden horse that the Greeks built and left outside the gates of Troy while their army pretended to withdraw. Not knowing that Greek heroes were hiding inside the horse, the Trojans took the horse into the city. The hidden Greeks then slipped out, opened the city gates and let their army in, thus defeating Troy. Apart from being a legendary story, the tradition is believed to reflect a real war between the Greeks of the late Mycenaean period and the inhabitants of the Troad, or Troas, in Anatolia, part of present-day Turkey. Modern archaeological excavations have shown that

Troy was destroyed by fire sometime between 1230 BC and 1180 BC, and that the war may have resulted from the desire either to plunder the wealthy city or to put an end to Troy’s commercial control of the Dardanelles. Troy’s war with the Greeks was a contest between two powerful entities for a highly prized asset; a bitter battle for supremacy between two formidable foes who longed to possess a priceless object; a duel between two champions for the ultimate article; a titanic fight to the death between two battle-tested opponents for a much coveted piece; a challenge between two extremely antithetical groups for power and respect. This epic story - which is contained in Homer’s Iliad - sprang up in my mind’s eyes as I ruminated over the intrigues that have defined Edo politics since the onset of the ongoing democratic experiment - especially in the light of the recent political re-alignment in the country that witnessed the joining of forces by the Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressive Change, All Progressive Grand Alliance, and the All Nigeria People’s Party to form the All Progressive Congress to challenge the hegemony of the country’s incumbent ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party at the 2015 polls; a development that has significantly upped the ante in the struggle for political power in Nigeria - and the tragic scenarios that might play out in the foreseeable future in the state if certain crucial measures are not expedited. Truly speaking, the ongoing developments in Edo politics can be said to be contemporary parallels of the events that defined the Trojan War. For starters, the vanquished members of the opposition in Edo State, especially those of the former ruling party see Edo State as a prized asset that was forcibly snatched from them by the All Progressive Congress (formerly Action

Cutting Edge With Obuseh Jude

Congress of Nigeria) at the 2007 polls. In the same manner the Greeks saw Queen Helen as an invaluable piece of jewel that was impudently stolen from them by the Trojans, the eggheads of the defunct political establishment in the state see Edo state as a golden goose that has been impudently and unfairly yanked away from them by the current team of musketeers; an unwarranted encroachment on their turf; a bitter pill that is too toxic for them to swallow; an errant insult that must be rebuffed in equal measure,

State, after several failed attempts to win back the state from the APC, will certainly not flinch from trying one more trick in its desperation to march back into the citadel of power and continue from where it ingloriously stopped after it was unceremoniously sacked by the Kamikaze of 2007. For a state like Edo, where the old regime has been

crashing traitors who will turn around to throw spanners in the fast-spinning wheel of unfettered democracy that has brought unlimited joy to Edo State and its people. The truth is that any struggle for power – political, economical et al – involves some degree of warfare. In the same vein Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French leader and

using all available means – fair or foul. Novel as the merger idea might appear, it is my thinking that it gives too much room for fifth columnists to penetrate the fusion arrangement to promote their debauched private agendas. In the same manner the Greeks gained entrance into Troy by hiding in the interior of a large wooden horse – a supposed symbol of friendship and good will – what stops some saboteurs from attempting to play another fast one on Edos by infiltrating the APC with the intention of rocking the boat in future elections? Troy was captured by Greek treachery – not military superiority - after ten years of futile attempts to ram down the city’s walls. The chief opposition party in Edo

successfully kept at bay by the battle-tested legions of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria – now APC – the latest amalgamation of perspectives might have the unintended deleterious consequences of giving room for the opposition to make inroads into the governance of the state if care is not taken. Just like the Troy debacle was settled by Greek guile which came in the form of a decoy – a horse filled with Greek warriors which was offered as a gift to the unsuspecting Trojans – care must be taken by the eggheads of the APC to ensure that candidates that are fielded to fly the party’s flag in future elections are individuals who can be trusted; individuals who have internalized the parties core values; not gate-

military strategist saw power as a mistress that was to be courted, coveted, worshipped, protected, and fought for, his modern contemporaries see power as a deity to be venerated and hallowed. The search for power – especially political power - can be likened to the search for the legendary Holy Grail by King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table; the search for an item that is as priceless and exquisite as it is desirable; the quest for a much-coveted masterpiece; the hunt for a profoundly gorgeous bride; the mother of all searches – a Herculean task in every sense of the word. Power gives its wielder the ability to control others and influence his environment – the ability to make things happen. That is

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why most power seekers are ready to do whatever it takes to possess it; that is why most politicians are ready to go the extra mile in their quest for this instrument of influence; that is why 2016 will be a very challenging year for Edo State and its people. Having been living witnesses to the magical turnaround in the fortunes of a once failed state under the exemplary, awe-inspiring, and productive stewardship of the APC-led government arrow-headed by the comrade governor per excellence, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, and his formidable team of shinning stars since 2008, it would be very heartbreaking to open our eyes and watch our state relapse into another indefinite coma. Before the onset of the current era of democratic bliss, Edos wallowed in a scary labyrinth with spiked walls; levitated in a foul-smelling bottomless pit; wallowed in a tar pit of confusion, hopelessness and helplessness; a past that is better forgotten. Thus, I am using this medium to formally call out to the “true” members of the APC in Edo State – not treasure-hunting decampees - to gird their loins and be wary of all surreptitious moves by certain mischievous elements to clog the state’s wheel of progress. All hands must be on deck to foil any attempt by our common foes to push back the hands of the clock and return us back to the age of darkness: that era of emptiness, lack, pain, fear, tears, sweat, blood, and iron. Unlike the Trojans who avoidably played into the hands of the crafty Greeks – a strategic blunder that resulted in the sacking and burning of their great city – we must beware of all Greek gifts! God save Edo State!


Nutritional Health And Dietetics HERBAL medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine refers to the use of plant seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark or flowers for medicinal purposes. It is the oldest and most widely used system of medicine in the world today. It is used in all societies and is common to all cultures. The History of Herbal medicine –Plants have been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history, for example ancient Chinese and Egyptian papyrus writings describe medicinal plant uses. Indigenous cultures such as Africa and American used herbs in their healing rituals, while others, developed traditional medical systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine in which herbal therapies were used systematically. Scientist found that people in different parts of the globe tended to use the same or similar plants for the same purpose. In the early 19th century, when methods of chemical analysis first became available, scientists began extracting and modifying the active ingredients from plants. Many modern pharmaceuticals have been modeled on or derived from chemicals found in plants. An example is the heart medication digoxin derived from foxglove (Digtialls puerperal. Recently, the world Health organization estimated that 80 percent of people world –wide rely on herbal medicines for some aspect of their primary health care. No wonder the current minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu proposed that traditional medicines should be incorporated into the current medical curriculum. The article further stated that medical practitioners ought to equip themselves with expert knowledge of traditional medicines. As with everything, there are pros and cons to such proposals but I am of the opinion that this is a splendid idea, one that ought to have been. Traditional medicine is undoubtedly, a reliable alternative approach to healthcare delivery in the

metropolis, because, it is cheap, easily accessible and efficacious. Herbs are obtained from bushes around, the neigbourhood and forests from adjacent states. Recipes for the treatment of common ailments which are reported almost on daily basis

Traditional Medicine Practitioners to encourage release of information. Animals live in equilibrium with the plants surrounding them, using these plants as sources of food and intuitively or through years of trials and error, as medicine refers to

found in every society irrespective of its level of development and sophistication (Odugbemi, 2006). The earliest references to these medicinal plants as cure for diseases are to be found in the manuscript of the “Eber

such as hypertension, dysentery, low sperm count and weak erction, coated tongue, pile,, menstrual disorder, leucorrhoea and fevers were

health practices, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plants, animals and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques

papyrus” which contains 700 medical formulas and it dates back to 16 th century B.C. (Simpson or and Ogorzaly, 1986).

and exercise, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well being (NNMDA, 2008, WHO 2005) The use of plant as medicine to cure or prevent illness and to lubricate the wheels of social interaction at the interpersonal and group level is a behaviour that predates civilization. It is

The drugs of today’s modern society are products of research and development by major pharmaceutical companies, but among the most important raw materials researched and developed are naturally occurring materials obtained from plants. Hence, when we take well packaged medicine

With

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Importance Of Herbal Medicine

given by the practitioners. Lagos state Traditional medicine board and the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency are praised in facilitating recognition of herbal medicine in the metropolis. Government should help in the area of conservation of medicinal plant and protect patent right of

“Medicinal herbs have been in use for thousands of years and are renowned for their effectiveness in many diseases. These natural herbs are very effective in boosting the resistance to infections, healing the allergies, raising and renewing the body vitality.”

today, it is well to remember that we might be taking a processed plant product. Interest in medicinal plant as a remerging health aid has been fuelled by the by the rising costs of prescription drugs in the maintenance of personal Health and well-being and the bio-prospecting of new plant derived drugs. Based on current and research and financial investments, medicinal plants will, seemingly, continue to play an important role as a health aid (Moerman, 1996). The use of medicinal plants constitutes an important part of traditional medicine, which is a part of African heritage, though, modern/ orthodox medicine has improved the lot of many cultures. Moderns medicine complements traditional practices as is obtainable in industriatized societies eg China and India (odugbemi, 2006) In these societies, herbal remedies have become more popular in the treatment of minor ailments and also, account of the increasing costs of personal health maintenance. Indeed, the market and public demand have been so great, that there is a great risk that many medicinal plants today, face either extinction or loss of genetic diversity. In Nigeria, the majority of citizens still use medicinal plants and visit traditional medicine practitioners for their health care needs (Odugbemi, 2006). It was reported by WHO that in Nigeria, the ratio of Traditional Health Practitioners to the population was 1.110 while, the ratio of medical Doctors to the population was 1:16 (African Health Monitor 2003). This gives credence to the fact that, people patronise Traditional medicine practioners TMPs) for their primary health needs, more than, orthodox medical doctors. Medicinal plants is defined as any substance with one or more of it organ containing substances that can be used as precursors for the synthesis of antimicrobial drugs (Sofowora, 1982, 1984). It is estimated that there are about 250,000-5000,000

species of plants on earth (Borris, 1996) of which a relatively small percentage (110 percent) of these are used for food by humans and animals. Medicinal plants contain numerous biologically active compounds such as carbohydrates, proteins, enzymes, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, terpenoids flavenoids, carotenoids, sterols, simple phenolic glycosides, tannins, saponins, polyphenols, to mention few which have medicinal activities. Medicinal Herbs Guide Medicinal herbs have been in use for thousands of years and are renowned for their effectiveness in many diseases. These natural herbs are very effective in boosting the resistance to infections, healing the allergies, raising and renewing the body vitality. Many people have started to resort to herbal remedies for diseases and as a result, they have started growing herbs in their garden. If you also want to grow herbs in your own garden then you should follow too. Allium sativum, poor man’s Treacle, Bawang Bauarrg, monocot pernial. Readily available and in expensive, garlic may be the first line of defense in treating high blood pressure and dealing with common skin and fungal infections. Zingber officinale luyang Dilaw, perennial monocot reed. Ginger combines well with many herbs improving taste and potency. Ginger speeds up the delivery of healthy plant chemicals into the blood stream while adding a spicy, hot zest to your favorite dishes. Ocimum sanctum, Tulsi, Tulasi, Indian Basil has been used for thousands of years in the traditional medicine of India, Ayurveda known to Hindus as Tulsi. Lommphora myroha tree. One of the three gifts of the three magi. Myrrh was used in religious rituals in ancient Egypt, myrrhs antidungal, antiseptic and sastringent help treatment of infections.


Judiciary

THE maxim “justice delayed is justice denied’’ is a universal truism in legal practice. It axiom implies that if legal redress, which is available for a plaintiff, is not forthcoming within a specified period; it has the same effect as having no redress at all. Consequently, the belief is that if justice is not dispensed promptly; it is tantamount to lack of justice. This principle forms the basis for the agitation of legal experts for the need to uphold the people’s right to a speedy trial and other judicial privileges that are meant to expedite the dispensation of justice. The experts argue that great injustice is done to a plaintiff if he or she has to put up with the wrongdoing of a defendant for a long time, with no end seemingly in sight. They observe that over the years, the issue of delayed justice in Nigeria has become a source of concern to proponents of legal reform, particularly those who feel that the court or government is too slow in resolving legal issues. The experts attribute this to the fact that the extant legal system of the country is too complex, overburdened or affected by extraneous factors such as political interference. In Nigeria, there abound court cases that have dragged on for years without reaching a conclusive conclusion,

Dealing With Delayed Justice Syndrome By TALATU MAIWADA

they moan. In 2009, for instance, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) preferred 170 charges against former Gov. James Ibori of Delta but the Federal High Court in Asaba later absolved him of all the charges. While the case was still pending on appeal in Nigeria, Ibori pleaded guilty to similar charges before a London court and was duly sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment. Commenting on the situation, Mr Onyekachi Ubani, the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), solicited a total overhaul of Nigeria’s justice system to expedite the dispensation of criminal cases across the country. He made the call, while reacting to the conviction of the Niger Delta militant, Henry Okah, by a South African court of terrorism charges. He said that Nigeria should learn from Okah’s conviction on how to speed up the dispensation of justice in its legal system. Ubani stressed Nigeria’s justice system was rather slow, ineffective and inefficient to meet the wishes and aspirations of the citizens. “Ibori was jailed by a UK

Court, whereas the crime was committed in Nigeria; Okah has been convicted by a South African court of an offence also committed

purportedly engaged in one wrongdoing or the other, have yet to be brought to book many years after leaving offices because of the delayed justice. According to them, examples of high-profile cases, in which influential

Justice Mariam Mukhtar, Chief Justice of Nigeria

in Nigeria. “This shows that there is something fundamentally wrong with our criminal justice system and the system needs to be overhauled,’’ he added. Beyond that, observers cite the cases of the incumbent governors of Anambra, Ekiti and Edo and Osun, who won elections in their states but had to wait for many years before winning their cases at appellate courts. Critics allege that many Nigerian leaders, who

persons deliberately use their influence to delay the course of justice, abound in the country. Observers also note a plethora of cases involving the arrest of some lessprivileged persons, who are charged to court and remanded in prison custody for years without facing trial. Giving an insight into the causes of delay in justice, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), argued that judges were largely

“However, Justice Mariam Mukhtar, the incumbent CJN, noted that corruption at the bench was responsible for the apparent lethargy in Nigeria’s judiciary, leading to protracted adjudication.”

responsible for the perceptible delay in the dispensation of justice. “Some judges, wittingly or unwittingly, aid this process by failing in their duty to be firmly in control of criminal proceedings in their courts, thus allowing these gimmicks to go on unabated,’’ he alleged. In his presentation at a conference in Asaba in 2012, Musdapha said: “Almost every criminal trial, especially on serious charges of corruption, is now preceded by endless objections and applications to quash charges.’’ He said that these arbitrary objections and applications effectively stalled the main court proceedings and resulted in the misuse of judicial time resources. However, Justice Mariam Mukhtar, the incumbent CJN, noted that corruption at the bench was responsible for the apparent lethargy in Nigeria’s judiciary, leading to protracted adjudication. Muktar, who spoke in Abuja at a seminar organised by NBA in 2012, said: “The judges adjudicate anti-corruption and criminal litigation but they allow litigation to continue indefinitely, while the criminals walk away and the people forget. “If you steal a goat or a thousand naira, you go to jail, but if you steal crude oil or a billion naira, you plea-bargain and walk away scot free; a sublime piece of mysticism and nonsense,’’ she added. In the light of this development, legal experts insist that delayed justice in Nigerian courts has propelled many people to believe that seeking redress in law courts is somewhat a time-wasting venture. Therefore, the experts

underscore the need for the courts, particularly magistrates’ courts and state high courts, to adopt new court procedures. Mr Akin Abiri, a lawyer, said that such procedures should include a condition that once trial had commenced in a case, no party should be entitled to more than two adjournments, after which the court must proceed with the trial. He said that such an arrangement would go a long way in discouraging lawyers, who hid under the guise of seeking adjournments, to perpetrate their machination to delay the determination of their cases. Sharing similar sentiments, another lawyer, Mr Fajimi Akin, stressed that the Nigerian judiciary has a great role to play in the country’s development, saying that an efficient judiciary would make the society to function in the way it ought to function. Even President Goodluck Jonathan is not left out in the campaign for quick dispensation of justice in the country. He called on judges to always ensure quick dispensation of justice, particularly in efforts to fight corruption. The president made the call when he inaugurated the Federal High Court Complex, Lokoja, on Sept, 24, 2013. Represented by Gov. Idris Wada of Kogi, Jonathan said that the quick dispensation of justice would help rekindle the confidence of litigants and the general public in the judiciary. “The cry of everyone is for speedy dispensation of justice; all hands must be on deck to ensure that cases are not unduly delayed,’’ Jonathan added.


Interview SINCE he assumed office in 2012 as Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to the Comrade Governor of Edo State, Prince Kassim Afegbua, offshoot of the sprawling Afegbua Royal Family of Okpella in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State has not stopped fuming and cracking bones, quite like his boss, the Comrade Governor! Not once, nor twice, he referred to the opposition as either, ‘busy bodies’ or ‘jobless leaches’ and like his boss, whenever he makes his popular defense appearances, he draws the administration’s teeming supporters and antagonists alike like magnets and they watch and applaud him like the famed European League! No doubt, working hard and talking tough may not be mere past time nor exigencies of the office for the OAU, Ile-Ife English graduate, for it is gleaned that his family tree, as expansive as the native green tree, sprouts budding nononsense fruits. The Okpella Prince who also holds a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the NIJ and yet another in Good Governance and Democracy from the Marquette University, Milwaukee, U.S.A shares with our Principal Features Writer, Ijeoma Umeh, the historical and memorable moments of his life which is replete with men of might who helped shape his perspective about life and brought out more fire in him, including his ‘no back seat, no retreat’ philosophy, stating boldly, “crisis situations bring out the best in me!” Excerpts: Let us take a peep into your profile Kassim Afegbua is my name. I hail from Okpella village in

of that party, 2006/2007, I was a member of the party until INEC de-registered us a year ago, it is now that I want to

Kassim Afegbua: B

government to formally register for the APC. Now, we see what makes Prince Afegbua tick…? Do I really tick? (laughter) I have been actively involved in politics, at least I was a member of the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), I worked with M.D Yesufu when he was aspiring under Abacha’s contraption. After that I entered PDP as a foundation member, I actually worked at the headquarters of the PDP for close to two years, 1998 to 2000, before we pulled out and formed the National Frontiers, which later metamorphosed into the National Democratic Party (NDP). Talking tough, is it a blend of the blue-blood and what the job has made of you?

Prince Kassim Afegbua Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State. I am a politician, also a media practitioner. I run a fashion outfit in Abuja, I also run a media concern, specifically a consultancy service. I like fashion, so I am into fashion. I am an employer of labour, with about 46 staff under my employment. Tell us about your incursion into politics I was a foundation member of PDP, 1998, foundation member of NDP, 2011, I rose to become Director General of the National headquarters , NDP, I also rose to become the Acting National Chairman

formally register with the ACN, but I was working for an ACN government. I was also former register with the APC, before now I have never been a member of the ACN, before now but I was working for an ACN government. I was also former media spokesman to IBB for nine years. I was invited to come and participate in Edo state politics and I participated in the re-election campaign of Oshiomhole as Director, Media and Publicity. I served previously as CPS, but resigned after five months to pursue greener pastures The registration in APC is on going now… Yes, I will be in my local

Maybe it runs in the blood, in the family. Senator Franca Afegbua, my first cousin and first woman Senator, If you know her, you would

also know that she’s a very tough woman, tough in every sense of the word. She’s like a man; and that was why she could win election, independent of the schemes, as it were then, to ensure women’s rights are subjugated, and edge them out of the scheme of things, during the second republic, so to speak. So it is a blend of natural steam and blue-blood? The thing is, we are driven by our own convictions. Personally, I am driven by my own conviction: I do not believe, yesterday, today and tomorrow, that my destiny lies in my body’s hand. I like to be my own man. So, when people say I talk tough, it simply implies to my own understanding, that the extent of my personal conviction oozes forth without any conscious effort on my part to keep it in that template. It is innate; oftentimes I don’t like anyone to think they are my personal god, whether as small or capital “G” I try to speak the truth at all times. When I was in Lagos, I resigned from two different appointments, when I also resigned from Oshiomhole’s appointment in 2009, it was becoming a recurring decimal, and I didn’t quite like it, but again, it is because I needed to at times temporary exit the system to look inwards. For my own person, some would say I am very difficult to deal with, that I am unpredictable, some would say I am fearless, but I like to live my life within that innate positive propelling force, I don’t like somebody ramming things down my throat without giving me a chance and a thought to think about the rationality of it, or otherwise. That’s why I am an employer of labour, I like doing things. I like to struggle, I like to struggle to grab something, I don’t like to get things cheap. When there are crises situations my brain functions optimally, thinks better but during moments of quiet and tranquility and all that, I am just withdrawn, but when there are crises situations, I

tell you, I think better, I proffer strategies better and get on to solutions better and almost immediately. So, my brain works better under crises situations. There are people like that. And for me, it doesn’t matter whose ox is gored; I like to speak the truth; I don’t like gossip; I don’t like back-biting, but I can tell you, in politics it is difficult for you to be so principled and yet stay afloat; I am that kind of person that can tell you, you have my support in this election or that for a, b, and c reasons you are not getting my support and you wont take me to task on that, you cannot crucify or kill me; you are not my God. My destiny is not in anybody’s hand. You definitely would have challenges Whatever I will be, God has positioned it before I came forth; so if I would or have challenges he knows that I will overcome such challenges because that is the life he has structured for me. Human beings may want to delay your destiny by way of spirituality and otherwise, but they can only delay it; they cannot stop it from happening! Are you proud to be identified with this government? I am one strong-willed person and thank God I am in this government. I am learning from those who know what they are doing. I am proud when I hear people say ‘the comrade governor is performing’ just as I am humbled when people regard me and say I have got something upstairs. The governor is one individual who sees effective governance as the exclusive right of the citizenry and is doing all he could with the lean resources at the disposal of government to ensure that the right things are done, so, for me, I am proud to be identified with such a person who knows what needs to be done and doing all he can to do it, unmindful of the cost. From where do you derive your inspiration? Well, I learn from others and still go on to develop myself,

• Speaks • Lessons

so strongly. I derive that inspiration from IBB. I call him my boss for life; for until death do us part, he would remain my boss. When I became his spokes person I was not the most qualified; I accord him that recognition; he said he wanted a young man who has got stuff up there and can grow on the job. And so, the lot fell on me. And discussing with him, I saw the level of his intellect, so couldn’t help but start buying books on various subject areas; it was as if I was to write examinations the following day. I had to capture new knowledge and also catch up on his level of knowledge on wide subject areas; because if you discuss with IBB and you are not knowledgeable you are likely going to be intimidated, even in your own field, you would be ashamed of yourself. The man reads widely; always ahead on news and information across the globe. If he is telling you about the politics or exchange rate in China and Vietnam and you do not have an inkling, then you are lost; you are not there. So I had to spread my tentacles. I studied English; I have a postgraduate in Public Relations, but again, politics, economics and all that, are areas that I did a whole lot of personal, painstaking studies on. I also have a postgraduate diploma in anticorruption studies. A whole lot of things are happening in the area of corruption, and I have a working knowledge of how to tackle corruption. You sound like there are great underlying philosophies behind your being… Yes, I hate doublestandards. I don’t like people who say one thing and end up doing another; if I am

“Edo state is a peculiar state; very unique in its own way. We have all the configurations in terms of character indices of individuals, groups and personalities. Again, if you look at Edo state, it is like a miniature Nigeria; that is why it is called the heartbeat, apart from the geographical reasons behind its situation.”

tak con rea dec to e one arti bec and gov tim und pol pub he inte till was ma kno equ per lear lead and me is to the beh is k Wo Com Yes equ vot whe reco the sec blo sw gov elec mo IBB arti lead term con pro wit seri An tha Com fev dau out Ye lea abil that mu tho voc the pow bes him you He in a deli he’ hith use per wh


Interview

Blue-Blood In The Hot Seat!

On His Philosophies, Challenges, Achievements s He Learnt From IBB!

ing any decision I want to nvince myself that there is a ason why I am taking that cision and should be disposed explaining it to people. I was e time a critic of IBB ; I wrote icles about him and that was cause at that time my intellect d knowledge about vernance was not deep at the me. But when I got to derstand the variables in litics and governance, I blicly apologized to him that should take me for an ellectual repertoire. IBB is, date, one of those rare men I s privileged to work with; a an who articulated his owledge and political uations right. From that rspective, I have been able to rn so much from him; former der, former head of state,, d those lessons have prepared for greater challenges as it oday. I now fully understand e dynamics and the logic hind ‘Nigerian politics’ as it known today. ould you say the same of the mrade Governor? s, he also applied his uations right and the people ed for him en-mass, and even en his mandate was stolen he overed it through the courts, n he was re-elected for a ond tenure which was mindowing considering how he ept the whole 18 local vernment councils in an ction that was described as on slide. So, compared to B Oshiomhole is intelligent, iculate, and his prospects in dership are brilliant too. In ms of governance too, he ntinuously regards the omises he made to the people th all sense of service and iousness. nd it is a widely held notion at those who work with the mrade Governor work at ver pitch. Has it been that unting, does it also bring t the best in you? es, because one thing I have rnt about leaders is their lity to communicate. In fact, t is my first attraction. You ust put your views, your ughts in very clear, verbal, cal and legible terms. That is class of the governor. His wer of oratory remains his st selling point. Don’t give m an opportunity to talk, if u do, you will be persuaded. would put his views across a wonderful prose, and his ivery is superb, even when s trying to sell an idea that herto may not get to point of e; when I enquired into his rsonality from some persons ho have the gift of the

metaphysics I was told Oshiomhole is an old soul; an old soul reincarnated, so to speak. That is why the man is versatile in all areas; he could interrogate professors, challenge authorities, interact with all manner of persons, meaningfully engage any kind of audience. And his sense of logic and delivery is superb. For those of us who are trainers and communicators when we see these credentials and potentials in any leader, we tend to admire and align with them. To a large extent, I don’t work with people who do not have what it takes to communicate with people. You know, the whole essence of leadership is the ability for you to connect with people so that they will also see your viewpoint and the reason you had to take the decisions you took. Good leaders are not those ones who pander to the sentiments of their followers, those who know where they are taking their followers and not where their followers are taking them. That is how to define a good leader. Because if you use public opinion or mass hysterias a base of garnishing your policy processes, you will miss the point all the time. Who moderates public opinion? So, that is why working with him comes with a lot of challenges. The man is ready to break someone’s head as egg to make omelete. And if you actually want to achieve, you must be ready to do that all the time, break as many heads as you possibly can. What is your assessment of Edo state thus far? Edo state is a peculiar state; very unique in its own way. We have all the configurations in terms of character indices of individuals, groups and personalities. Again, if you look at Edo state, it is like a miniature Nigeria; that is why it is called the heartbeat, apart from the geographical reasons behind its situation. Edo state is also strategically placed in the epicenter of politics considering how those who once called the shots led the state and its people; considering the expectations of the people from one successive administration on to the next and with the dynamics of the politics that changed the history of governance in the

state; we also find the opposition going about and seeking relevance by whipping up primordial sentiments and the government of the day still ever focused on actualizing its visions and turning the fortunes of the state around through marked development indices that the visible eyes can see. Now, if all the

do you consider the opposition in Edo state a formidable one? The PDP is a party that leads at the national level and still fuming to hold on to what is left of power at the units. Also considering how power was wrested off its grip in Edo state and being put in that precarious position of being the opposition rather than the party in power, there is bound to be kicks, off and on, to show relevance and also

leaders are doing to ensure democracy is deepened and sustained. Would you, in principle have expressed this same opinion if you were in that same party, considering that you have gone through the whole hog? Yes, I have clearly no inhibitions about expressing the truth no matter whose ox is gored, as I have said earlier. And that is the beauty of this administration. You are at liberty to express your

Prince Kassim Afegbua variables are continuously articulated and repositioned as it were, then Edo state will get to the zenith in development. Now, still on talking tough; the opposition appears to often put you in that state where you operate at optimal rate;

prove the element of presence; still holding on to the little fabric of command which it enjoys as the party in the federal might. So, I would give it to the PDP. However, what matters to the people is what this party did while in the saddle of leadership and what the new

opinion whether it is in tandem with government’s clear-cut policies and agenda or not. Elsewhere, you are muffled and strapped of your freedom of expression. I don’t like being muffled, or being emasculated of my right to express my opinion.

Now, APC is making sweep stakes across all political divides, gathering momentum as it goes. How do you feel about that being a potential party stalwart yourself? Well, considering how the APC has moved from almost ground zero to counting beyond both palms the number of states it has won, then it is easy to say now that the party has prospects, and every day that prospect becomes more promising. It becomes more interesting as it unfolds and personally, I think a oneparty state is not good for democracy, whether at the federal, state or local levels. The state government has elicited the assistance of civil society organizations to wade into the teachers’sack and competency test issue which has become topical now; what is your position on teachers writing the competency test, after years of employment? It is unfortunate that this simple issue is now added among topical issues. It shouldn’t be. It is my candid opinion that these teachers in tandem with their supporters are making mountains out of mole hills. How can a system work without checks and balances? Today in Edo State we have some teachers who make you want to puke, who send goose bumps down your spine when you think of them; teachers who cannot read their own affidavit and spell out the words legibly written on their credentials. The government is very passionate about education and is seriously concerned about what knowledge is being imparted in the children and wards; there is no more interest in the primordial sentiments of ‘old school teachers!’ They should prove their mettle, they should prove that they are worth being entrusted with the future of our children as long as academics is concerned.

“It is unfortunate that this simple issue is now added among topical issues. It shouldn’t be. It is my candid opinion that these teachers in tandem with their supporters are making mountains out of mole hills. How can a system work without checks and balances? Today in Edo State we have some teachers who make you want to puke, who send goose bumps down your spine when you think of them; teachers who cannot read their own affidavit and spell out the words legibly written on their credentials.”


Issues

ASUSS: The Dogged Journey

To Promise Land

THE Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Ogun State voluntarily put pen to paper on a document titled Terms of settlement before Justice S.A. Olugbemi sitting in an Ogun High Court on August 6, 2008. Because of this settlement, the learned judge struck out the case between the ASUSS and NUT pending in his court. Highlights of the sixparagraph Terms of Settlement were that ASUSS and NUT should continue to co-exist as trade unions as well as “enjoy deductions of union dues and levies from their members for them to operate”. It was expected by ASUSS that, following this out-of-court settlement of the dispute between ASUSS and NUT, perpetual peace would now reign between them. But how mistaken ASUSS was!! Not long afterwards, however, N UT broken honour’s man the piece. It decided to shred the Terms of settlement and confine it into historical irrelevance by dragging ASUSS to the Federal High Court, Abuja and later the National Industrial Court, Lagos claiming that ASUSS is not a registered trade union. Therefore, ASUSS is not entitled to legal, recognizable existence as a union and so no dues and levies from primary/secondary school teachers salaries should be paid to it in Ogun State. Following this new development, ASUSS got in touch with Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi, a notary public and national legal adviser to ASUSS. In reaction, Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi, leading Barr. M.A. Kassim, assumed the responsibility of becoming

By MICHAEL ODIGBE

a defence counsel to ASUSS. At his appearance at the National Industrial Court, Lagos, he filed a motion on notice on August 12, 2011 presiding over the case, should strike it out. Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi gave reasons for his prayers. Among other things, he argued that, to start with, NUT lacked locus standi to institute the suit. Secondly, he stated that NUT court action also was an abuse of court process since a similar suit against Federal High Court and Court of Appeal, all in Abuja. Olayiwola Afolabi canvassed that the National Industrial Court lacked competence as well as jurisdiction to entertain, hear and determine the suit since the subject matter in it had already ben settled out of court when it was pending before Ogun State High Court in Suit No. HSC/59/03. Justice Agbadu Fishim of the National Industrial court in his ruling dismissed Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi’s application, ordering the suit instituted by NUT against ASUSS to proceed for trial. Displeased by the ruling, Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi appealed against it to the Court of Appeal, Lagos citing eight grounds on which Justice Agbafu Fishim erred in law in his ruling. Hearing of Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi’s appeal began on October 9,2013 through suit No.CA/1/426/ 2012. Justices Amina Adamu Augie, Joseph Shagbaor Ikyegh and Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji heard the appeal. On the November 29, 2013 the Court of Appeal, Lagos delivered its judgment read by Justice Samuel

Chukwudumebi Oseji. The first major casualties in the suit were the 4th and 5th Respondents namely,

For instance, in the court’s judgment, Justice Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji observed: “The standard principle of law in this regard is that a respondent in an appeal has a duty to support rather than criticize the judgment of the lower

Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi

the Ogun State Teaching Service Commission chairman;and the Attorney –General/ Commissioner for Justice of Ogun State joined in the suit by the Ogun State wing of NUT. Their briefs of argument were discountenanced by the Court of Appeal on the legal ground that they neither appealed against the ruling of the National Industrial Court, supported sthe ruling of the court, nor did they file a cross appeal in the Court of Appeal, Lagos hearing Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi’s appeal.

court (in this case, the National Industrial Court). A respondent who has no cross appeal cannot be found to complain about the decision of the court…. In the instant case, the 4th and 5th Respondents did not file any cross appeal and rather than support the ruling, appeal against it or at best decline from filing any brief, opted to challenge it. This cannot be allowes and the consequence is that the brief of argument filed by the 4th and 5th Respondents shall be and is gereby discountenanced”.

Continuing with the court judgment, Justice Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji, thereafter, turned his attention to the pleadings of both Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi and Barr. P.R. Omotosho, counsels to ASUSS and NUT respectively, on the Terms of Settlement agreed on by both organizations in 2008. The judge ruled that by any stretch of the imagination, the Terms of Settlement was not a consent agreement recognised by law. This was Because ASUSS and NUT didn’t fulfill the legal requirement of paragraph 2 of the document. It prescribed that the document ought to have been filled in the Ogun High Court, where it was formally sealed, and made a judgment of the court in line also with judicial precedents set by the Supreme Court. Justice Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji cited two supreme court cases to buttress his point –namely, the suits between Woluchem Vs Wokoma (1974) and Adedeji Vs Oloso (2007). However, inspired by Lord Denning’s thinking that the law is not an ass, Justice Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji ruled that it would be contrary to public policy as well as irrational and unacceptable in line with juris prudence for NUT to renege from the Terms of Settlement voluntarily entered into between ASUSS and it Justice Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji continued: In the

instant case, the action of the 1st and 3rd Respondents (state chairman of NUT Ogun State Wing and the NUT as a body) is not founded on the breach of any clause of the terms of settlement by the appellants (ASUSS president and secretary) and it was not equally shown that they reneged from any terms of the settlement. Rather, they (NUT and allies) instituted the action to pull back the hand of the clock by asking the court to intervene and annul the terms of settlement which the parties tacitly entered into and duly endorsed, including a clause of withdrawal of all pending case in court. Having said this, Justice Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji ruled that the judge of the National Industrial Court erred in law by saying it couldn’t properly determine its competence and jurisdiction to hear the suit brought against ASUSS by NUT until full trial began. Finally, he set aside the ruling by the National Industrial Court on May 24, 2012 that it had the competence and jurisdiction to hear the said NUT suit. Invariably, therefore, the extant Terms of Settlement between ASUSS and NUT entered into in 2008 stands. ASUSS is allowed by law to co-exist with NUT as well as collect dues and levies from primary? Secondary school teachers’ salaries. Alas, ASUSS arrived at its promised land in Canaan. Any trade union God has blessed, no one can curse!!

“But how mistaken ASUSS was!! Not long afterwards, however, NUT broken honour’s man the piece. It decided to shred the Terms of settlement and confine it into historical irrelevance by dragging ASUSS to the Federal High Court, Abuja and later the National Industrial Court, Lagos claiming that ASUSS is not a registered trade union.”


Drumbeats

How To Achieve Wealth And Fame (3)

THE avis and doubting Thomas in our society and across the world might find these statements embarrassing and can also see it as a task that is too difficult for any man to attain. Be a friend of God is something that can be desirable and achievable. The Bible refers to Abraham and Job as friends of God and this great attribute credited to them and pronounced by God often led to their ultimate relationship with God and it also helped to enhance their wealth and fame. It is only a true and faithful friend who can entrust his wife and property into his friend’s care and custody A truthful, loyal, honest and dependable friend thinks about the welfare and satisfaction of his beloved friends. If we sincerely want to achieve wealth and fame, then we must as a matter of urgency cultivate the habit of becoming faithful, obedient and dependable friends of God. God owns the universe and He can only entrust his wealth and riches to those who He loves and cherishes. Being friends of God can guarantee us longevity of life, fame and riches. Those who followed God wholeheartedly and became His friends lived joyfully, became very famous, wealthy and reference points to millions people across the globe. Friendship with God is not by force, but by choice. Please choose to be a close

friend with God in season and out of season. Your choice of becoming a friend of God should be backed up with strong resolution never to compromise your faith and loyalty to Him. Such resolution will help you to overcome every trial and temptation that usually characterize the lives of those who sincerely want to follow Him, die in Him and with Him and sacrifice all they have got to Him if need be. The way you see God and follow Him is same way He will reveal Himself to you and respond to you. I have been following God for several years now and I have observed that there is none like Him and that He is capable of protecting me from all evil, enhance my wealth, riches and make me famous in any capacity I want to go and be in life. If you will sincerely embrace God’s friendship, then you will observe that wealth and fame are not difficult to achieve on earth. Can you sacrifice your time, money, business and family in order to be a friend of God? Millions of people all over the world have done so and till date they have no regret for their action. I encourage you to follow God wholeheartedly and be a truthful and loyal friend to God. Age, colour and size are no barriers when approaching God for friendship. The price might look too difficult, but it’s surely worth it. Enlarge your Thinking Capacity Wealth, fame and riches

respond positively or negatively to our thoughts. What you think often is what determines the level of your wealth and fame. Enlarging your thinking capacity will help to enhance your fame and riches. Fame and riches are products of what we do and

to overcome his low moment in prison and became the Prime Minister. Nelson Mandela spent twenty seven years in prison for venting his anger and opposing the injustice perpetuated in his country (South Africa) by the White

say to ourselves, business and in all our career. Inferiority complex retards people’s fame and riches, thereby hindering their dream and goals in life. Inferiority complex can hinder you from enlarging your thinking capacity. What we think about and practice often are the things that determine the level of our wealth and fame. Joseph was kept in prison and his positive thoughts and focus on God’s dream upon his life enabled him

Minority rulers. I have seen and heard of numerous people that died in their first month or year in prison because they allowed their thoughts to weakened by the ugly trend in prison, people’s opinion and lack of comfort. If Nelson Mandela had allowed his thoughts and circumstances that characterized his life prison to retard his life and thought, he certainly would have died in prison and thereby forfeiting his

“Wealth, fame and riches respond positively or negatively to our thoughts. What you think often is what determines the level of your wealth and fame. Enlarging your thinking capacity will help to enhance your fame and riches. Fame and riches are products of what we do and say to ourselves, business and in all our career.”

With Apostle Dr. Raphael O. Ayemere 08035459593

wealth, fame a presidential grace which the entire South Africa citizens would have been ready bestow on him. A case study of the life of Abraham Lincoln will unveil to you the power of

that your thinking power is the most ingredient that determines your wealth, success and fame. During Jesus earthly missionary assignment he constantly exhibited his positive thoughts to

positive thinking. Abraham Lincoln knew a great deal about less. His mother died when he was nine, he lost election to the Illinois State Legislature (1832), failed to obtain a desired appointment as Commissioner of the General land office i Illinois (1849) lost senate races (1855-1856), lost a Vice Presidential nomination (1856) and in (1864) he seemed on the verge of losing a bid for a second term as president in (1850) his four year old son died, few people, however remember Lincoln’s losses because his victories were so important and well pronounced. If Abraham Lincoln had not enlarged his thinking capacity to achieve his desired wealth and fame he probably would have died poor and unknown to his admires across the World. Friends, I say to you again

achieve his desired aim and objective for mankind. The greatest tragedy in Christendom today is that people allow their low moments in life and people’s negative opinion about them to destroy their goals and dreams in life. I urge you to shun peoples negative opinion about you and your undertakings in life and emulate the life of Jesus and famous people across the world to determine what you say and do. Friends, I say to you again that what you think often and say is what determines your success or failure in life. Shun every negative thought in your business, marriage and ministry. And if you do all the constantly, then you will observe that fame and riches which you desired earnestly will beckon on you.


View Point

Removing Nigeria From Economic Doldrums By ABAYOMI OLUGBOLAGA SHOYOMBO

IT has been said more repeatedly that there is no magic wand, and no secret formula that will eliminate poverty and hunger over night without identifying the sources of economic, political, social and religious problems and equally with same power work seriously to eliminate them. Hence it is important that we should do something that will help all of us to stay together, contributing to the overall development of the country in all spheres and staying together alive to enjoy it together. You will agree with me that Nigeria’s problems are interwoven, you cannot remove political problem from economic problem and also the social and religious related and cannot be separated from each other. A slow motion or total collapse of one will geometrically have serious consequences on the others. That is why without mincing words our polity is being overheated from right, left front, back and centre bombarded with these problems. Right from the word go, the constitution of the country has some serious lapses giving room for loopholes in the nature of administration and proper execution of the parts or section which was put there deliberately by the powers that do not care about the ordinary man on the street It is therefore not surprising that the democracy, we have now is democracy of looting and non-performance. It is therefore not surprising what we are seeing now where our so called leaders handle our affairs with kid gloves, carelessly with great impurities and abandon recklessness. They are more concerned in taking care of their nuclear and extended families dealing with issues in

an unserious manner superficial and very cosmetic, you and I can never benefit anything from corrupt politicians who often get away with all sort of heinous act against the Nigerian people chiefly because there is little or no morality on the part of the governed. Our people lack the moral conviction and courage to move against their corrupt rulers because of their stupid ethnic sentiment and prejudices — “my brother must be there syndrome”. More often than not they see position of power as a means

treatment meted to them they allow it go in the normal way of allowing peace to reign “leave am for God - syndrome which does not take us any where except for the leaders riding on us like horses and taking us for granted. Democracy in its present colour in Nigeria has been unfair to the generality of the people as it widens the gulf between the haves and the have not’s which is pregnant with unforetold consequences. Mr. Ben Lawrence in his

Rather, what we see is unending antagonism between party in government and the opposition party, the latter not proffering solutions to problems whenever such occur. There is also lack of synergy between the universities and industries, companies, government departments and parastatals and Agricultural extension formation in cooperation and working out modalities how to absorb fresh graduates from the universities and polytechnics

Ngozi Okojo-Iweala, Finance Minister

Sanusi Lamido, CBN Governor

to enrich themselves so any attempt to stop their sibling is tantamount to not liking them or denying them of their right and privilege. They are always waiting for the time when one of their own will assume public offices they too can share from the spoils of office. Again, their sense of reasoning is beclouded with irrelevant issues. Rather than handle issues with great emphasis and act either positively or negatively to

into the system by providing them sustainable gainful employment. There is aloud vacuum in public administration in Nigeria let’s recapitulate the old glorious days in which the country not only set the pace for even our colonial masters but also we are the envies of the eyes of them in those days. You want to talk about strong our currency is? How clever we are when it comes to planning and development.

column “globally frank” in a topic titled suffering amidst plenty have been asking why have Nigeria’s been so backward in thinking?. Are we moving with the way we ought to be living in a democracy in which consultations and alliance building are crucial to initiating and implementing successful public policy. Inter Agency dialogue is essential to getting new initiatives to the level of political acceptability.

“Some 30 per cent of our federal budget goes into capital expenditure while the bulk of 70 per cent goes to recurrent expenditure (consumption) and that is why we always here budget deficit and not being able to implement budget content to the latter that would be beneficial in terms of building project and infrastructure.”

It is still a surprise to the outside world how we fought the civil war, reconciled, rehabilitated destroyed structures without any foreign assistance. We were conscious of balancing our economic expenditure with our income, and everything was going on well. We are now with a bowl in hand asking for crumbs in the midst of plenty. Government and heads of government agencies, departments and parastatals are not helping situation as they take delight in telling lies and giving false information’s about the going on in government and its policy and

how it affects the generality of the people whom they claim they are serving! The government is at a loss on how to manage the affairs of the nation but they keep on hoping it will be better at least for the time they are in government. Any problem can be sure to be passed to another government without strong determination to solve the problem once and for all. That has always been the case. There is no culture of continuity in the policies, procedures and the system of administration ever since this writer was born. Take for instance, the minister overseeing the affairs monitoring and supervising the ministry of finance and national planning although she is good in mesmerizing Nigerians about economic theories and postulations knowing fully within her that

there is problem. Much as she want to hold on to her meal ticket she look much more confused than the time she came on the saddle of piloting the nation to nowhere else than economic collapse and precipitation. Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that control the fiscal, monetary and foreign exchange policies of the government under Mallam Lamido Sanusi is more confused and disoriented. The only point for him was just the recapitalization of banks so as not to let them die. Meanwhile economic reformation and transformation is more than that. What about controlling the consumption attitudinal patterns and preference of the people and monitoring and evaluating the productive activities of the people. Instead of viewing this and finding a lasting solution to it, he is only concerned about the issuance of N5,000 s note reprinting and re-branding all other denomination at the expenses of the wellbeing of Nigerians. What we need is not necessarily an over-valued currency but a stable one. We need a naira that is solid. It is better to focus on one idea at a time to make the naira a strong international current than to be involved with so many things, that world quickly fizzle out. Some 30 per cent of our federal budget goes into capital expenditure while the bulk of 70 per cent goes to recurrent expenditure (consumption) and that is why we always here budget deficit and not being able to implement budget content to the latter that would be beneficial in terms of building project and infrastructure. We can learn from countries like china Malaysia, chile etc. We cannot really grow if we continue spending most of our budget ourselves and consumption. It is the capital investments you make that translate into accelerated growth over the long term. Again peace and harmony are the factions that are usually responsible for prosperity coupled with supply side issues such as energy infrastructure, and a sound business environment, strong leadership and consensus among the country political class is essential to


Issues View Point

building the sort of confidence that will unleash the energy of our people. Increases in rent in commercial properties should be kept within the acceptable rate and a fixed price for all products especially as it is done in some other countries. The productive activities of people should be looked in as it is at its lowest able. This determines the Grose domestic product, a nation within a time frame that eventually underscores the ability of the people to consume, save and vast majority of our able and employable citizens are idle and cannot be expected to be generating enough income to support the populace. Since the economy is financed mainly from the production of crude oil a natural resources that may dry up one day or meet adverse situation in the international market since more than 70 per cent of the budget goes into over head and security sectors there is little left to boost production of goods and services. Monetary policies of the government has failed to really achieve successes and has not really impacted on the consumption pattern and preferences of the people. Agriculture and industry are two key factors that can determine whether we can be a great country and consider first among the equal as a nation. Nigeria’s promise of greatness too cannot be realized without a robust manufacturing base. If Nigeria is to achieve sustainable economic growth and development and becomes one of the largest economics in the world, then the manufacturing sector which has crumbled and still crumbling for decades must be revived. The sector has suffered neglect as the country shifted focus to the oil and gas sector. President of MAN (Manufacturers Association of Nigeria) Kola Jamodu describes the manufacturing sector as a very critical sector in any economy and that it holds the key to tackling the worsening unemployment situations in the country. He emphasizes need for us to stop importing goods, since when you import goods into the country, you are providing employment opportunities for those countries from where you are import where as if you empower the manufacturing sector in the country, it will

employ people provided the right and conducive atmosphere is provided. Some of the challenges confronting the some of sectoral group are dumping, smashing, faking and adulteration of products, over-dependence on imported raw materials, absence of basic local raw materials, use of obsolete equipment, non implementation of the buy made in- Nigeria policy and the absence of basic petrochemical industry in the country among other despite manufacturing sector Nigeria still remain the investment destination of choice in the world due to the abundant human, material and natural recourses. Another area of focus is Agriculture which we have abandoned out rightly there by pursuing shadows of oil and gas. Agriculture as a rural development factor can provide shelter food, security and economic security now and in the future but not the hypocritical way we have been going about it these years. One thing we should note is that rural dwellers who constitute majority of poor people must not be treated as victims, in need of charity. Some of them have the capacity and the power to build better house for themselves and also build the nation. Let’s focus on helping them to grow their business, first to achieve food security and to produce surplus. Government must also invest in rural areas, creating the infrastructure to link rural people to markets. Another threat to success is the ability to manage risk. Risks of non-storage facilities for excess farmer produce, The lack of tools to manage risk all to often dampens entrepreneurial spirit of people The way forward is to understand how we can contribute to reduce risk for this sector just like major corporations. There is a great concern about the current debt trend. Not only that the government has been under pressure to borrow heavily from the international finance institution, it has indeed being borrowing from every angle. The federal government is not alone in the carrying of bowl asking for the crumbs that fall from the table of these so called wealthy nations. The failure of the civilian leaders and their military predecessor who had noting doing about ruling and management of resources like it is today,

... From Economic Doldrums brought the nations to her knee and stunt our growth even up till now. They press it on us like a bitter pill we wouldn’t have wanted to swallow on a good day on good health of not for the pitiable situation we find ourselves. We must stop and never ever borrow for wasteful proposes If we must borrow, it must be for real sector infrastructure and industrial

and resources at the centre, is stifling our march to true greatness as a nation and threatening our unity because of all the abuses, inefficiencies, corruption and reactive tension that it has been generating. The immense developmental studies achieved by our first republic leaders were achieved without oil revenues, yet we have for over forty year’ been

projects that would yield a demonstrably positive rate return on investment. We should look forward and inwards too for ways of financing social and other human development programmes. Decentralization is not an invitation to the breakup of the country and national unity should not continue to be confused with Unitarianism and concentrations of power and resources at the federal level. Everyone who cares knows that concentration of power

behaving as though nothing can be achieved without oil revenues. I do not know of any country in the world that has developed just by its leaders gathering in their capital city every month to share revenues from rent. Finally, on the general recommendation of the blueprint, to urgently address the unemployment situation in the country is important. No country can afford to have million of unemployed youths. This reserved army of the unemployed should not be

kept for wars directly or indirectly. They constitute a time bomb, government at all levels must embark on massive residential housing construction particularly for low income earners. Residential housing construction is one of the potent components of investment; a visit to a typical housing construction site would convince any pessimist about the number of jobs that

graduates to become primary/ secondary school teacher with enhanced salaries as incentives recruitment of graduates particularly youths, incentives(to the private sector to employ youths are areas to be considered. Accountability and transparency in governance, effective anti-corruption crusade oft administration to avoid multiple taxation

could be generated for all ski11s. Empowering trainees in the various entrepreneurship trainees to set up small businesses on completion with proper ordnance to ensure survival of such enterprises is relevant. Also creating public sector jobs such as, cleaning of roads, maintenance of government building and other government physical assets among others, providing short term teaching skills for

synchronization of monetary fiscal trade and industrial polices as well as consistency in government policies should be encouraged also. The need for stable exchange rate, curbing trade malpractices, infrastructure development, industrial clusters, promotion of research and development, as well as recapitalizing the Bank of industry so that it can provide long term funding for the manufacturing sector among other cannot be swept under the canpet.

“Everyone who cares knows that concentration of power and resources at the centre, is stifling our march to true greatness as a nation and threatening our unity because of all the abuses, inefficiencies, corruption and reactive tension that it has been generating.”


Echoes

I Inherited A Disunited Abia Says Governor Orji By EMMANUEL IHEANACHO

HATE him or love him, one thing you can’t take away is the fact that Governor Theodore Ahamefula Orji has laid the foundation for a new and united Abia State, where every Abian is a stakeholder. He has done what governors before him in God’s Own State failed to do. He has not only liberated the state from the politics of family affairs, he has also united the state, and restore peace among political blocs in the state. He is busy laying foundation for the state, building infrastructures that were never existing in the state. Recently the easygoing Governor Orji, spoke with THE ADVOCATE NEWSPAPER in the state. Governor Orji spoke on tropical issues in the state. The legacy projects that we have seen must be a very big dream, can you tell us how you come about them? I thank you very much. Legacy project as it is appropriately called, are projects that are foundational. They are projects that are essential. They are projects that will outlive us, projects that you and I will be remembered for. Abia State was created in 1991, and one naturally expects that as a new state, there should be foundational structures that should be on ground to enable the state to take off and rum well. Such projects like a befitting Government House, and a befitting state secretariat that will house all the civil servants and provide them with a conducive environment to do their work as the engine room of government, all these structures were lacking. But we have provided them. The hospitals and diagnostic centers, which provide service for the health of the people, these are the things that should be on ground for a state to be called state, if you go to other states, they are there, but here in Abia they’re lacking, we don’t have them. We have also provided them. When I came, I said; if I can lay the foundation for all these essential infrastructures that we are lacking, and put up a very solid foundation for Abia State, I will always be remembered, and that is why I embarked on laying foundation for the state by building government structures that were not here before, I call

them foundational or legacy projects for the state. If I build a government house, the only thing the government after me will do will be to renovate it, same goes to the secretariat, these are the things we are doing in Abia. You’ve gone round and see for yourselves, the foundational projects that we are doing for Abia, not only in Umuahia the state capital, but across the entire state. So that is the dream I have which I am sure, I must achieve before I leave office in 2015. How are you able to do all these given the lean purse of Abia State, we understand that you’ve not taken any loan? That’s a very good question. And this is one question every journalist that comes here ask me, after going round to see what we have done. They’re surprise how we do it. The new market at Ubani cost the state N3.5 billion. My brothers, the magic we are doing here is prudent expenditure and managing the resources very well and use it for the welfare of the people. Get good contractors that don’t charge you exorbitant prices, contractors that will do quality job, and you negotiate with them how you will lay them as the money comes, and they will do the job for you. I tried going to the bond market very early around 2008, but Abia people cried, by then I had a lot of people opposing me in the state, they opposed the idea of going to take loan, I said ok, I will not go there again, and I put a full stop to it and since then I’ve never tried it. So the money we have been using for the projects in the state are the resources that we get including our IGR (internally generated revenues), which have been struggling everyday for it to increase and it is increasing day by day. So the magic is due to prudent management of our resources. Tell us more about the insecurity that was a major issue that confronted the state, how did you attack it, and how have you been sustaining it? The magic we used in Abia to fight insecurity was determination, and being resolute in taking decisions. Security is a paramount duty of government, that is security of life and Property, any

government that fails on this, is faced with problems. That was what we faced here, insecurity came from nowhere. Kidnaping, which we have not witnessed in Abia, became a major problem to the government especially in Aba, because of the wealth that is in Aba, the kidnappers concentrated there, and become a terror to the state. With kidnapping, all sort of criminality and armed robbery also came in, it was a major constraint to us at that time. As the governor, I am elected by the people, and it was my

invested to fight insecurity is not a waste, because today you can see that Abia is one of the safest states in the country. I won’t tell you that kidnapping has gone totally, but it is an occasional crime now in Abia and we are not relenting, we are still hunting after them, and it is because they know we are equal to the task, that is why it’s now occasional and we are out to face them. We have done well in the area of security and that is why Abia is getting awards as one of the secured states in Nigeria today. Recently, you recalled non indigenes you sacked

record straight that what Abia did then, Abia was not the first to do that. There was a time the economy was bad and other neighboring states disengaged people who are not from their states but were working in the state civil service, we got our own people who were disengaged, some of them are still in services, while some have retired. I can call some of our people that were affected, some came back from Enugu, Anambra and Imo states, they’re here. What those states did that time, was to cushion of the effect of the economy.

Governor Theodore Ahamefula Orji function to protect the live and property of my people, so I have to reorganize myself, got into partnership with the federal government, and then the job was done, today, the problem of insecurity as it were, is history. It is capitally intensive, and if I tell you how much we invested in security in Abia you will shudder. But we have to do it to make sure that my people are secured, and I am happy that the money I

from the state civil services. Tell us about what informed the decision to recall them? I didn’t sack them, what I did was to transfer their services to their various states of origin. Before doing that, I wrote their states executives, and told them about my constraint and what I want to do, and I didn’t get any reply from any of the states executives of the affected states. Let me also put the

“Do you know that the total number of people we disengaged were 4000 workers, and we have recalled 2700 of them since the time the policy was introduced. Even at that, we have ask the remaining people who still want to come back to take advantage of this window and come back.”

People didn’t know that our people in other states were also pushed to us, when our people returned to us, there was no agitation and we didn’t make any noise about it, instead we took them and integrated them into the service here in Abia. Even our pension in Imo State, their files were brought to us without notification and we took their files and they are still here with us. When the federal government introduced the N18,000 minimum wage policy, we came back and calculated how much it will cost us, and we saw that we can’t make it, when we looked into it, trying to find solution to the problem of minimum wage, idea came of what other states had done in the past, they said this is a period of peer review, and why not we try

what others have tried and see if it will work for us, that was why we did that and in doing that we didn’t sack anybody, we write their states, pleading with them to take their people into their states services and let us see how we can manage our people, and it worked for us because within that period we did it, till now, we maintained industrial harmony in the state. And don’t forget that we are paying the highest minimum wage in the whole federation, we are paying N20,100 as minimum wage. Do you know that the total number of people we disengaged were 4000 workers, and we have recalled 2700 of them since the time the policy was introduced. Even at that, we have ask the remaining people who still want to come back to take advantage of this window and come back, we will take them back. What we have done is human and the right thing to do, especially when it has come to our notice that their state government have refused to take them, they should come and we are ready to take them. But one question we have continue to ask is; if when Abians were brought back to us and we took them in, why didn’t the government of other states take their own people in, when they were sent to them? I can’t understand whey they castigated me and played politics out of the matter. If I say look, I am saturated here, please try your state civil service let them engage you, if I have my people there, bring them back, already you’ve brought them back, but if there are remnant still bring them back, so that there will be equity in the whole thing. In the federation account, you get your share, we get our own, and my first priority is to take care of my people here. Now, I have called them back, who is a better person now? This is not politics and I have asked my people to out advert in the newspapers for people to see it, so that those who are willing to come back can apply, and we will take them. You talked about building an airport for Abia, considering the number of projects you have, also looking into the purse of the state, and with the fact that you don’t have much time before 2015, how are you going to actualise the airport projects? I will actualise the Abia Airport project the same way I have actualised others. But for the airport I want to be sincere to you, I may not finish it, considering the time factor, but my happiness will be to start it and see that the foundation has Continues on page 23


Echoes Continued from page 22

been laid. If we get the land, we will acquire it, pay compensation, clear the site and start skeletal structures, do all the paper work, get the permission and all that, which is something. But some people will argue that since there is an airport in Owerri, why do you need one in Abia. What is the basis of that argument? Do you know that majority of the people that use the Owerri airport are from Abia, and we want direct communication and contact, there many things to gain when you have an airport. It will boast the economy of the state, create employment and bring development. What are the southeast governors doing to ensure that people can fly into London, US and other parts of Europe from the Enugu International airport considering the number of our people that are in those areas? We are doing something to ensure that happens. And you don’t know what the southeast governors did for Ethiopian airline to come. We pleaded with President Jonathan to have an eye on Enugu airport to make it international and he has done it, and that is the first and foremost, that the President listened to us and paid attention to Enugu airport. All the planes will not come at once, there are rules and regulations, and we are following them one after the other. Today we have Ethiopian airline, others will come, so that people from the southeast will not go to Port Harcourt, Lagos or Abuja before traveling outside Nigeria. The southeast governors are not sleeping; we are working for the welfare of our zone. You said you had a lot of opposition in the state, which was one of the reason your attempt to take load was frustrated in your first tenure, now you appears to have the support of those you considered your opponents then, what did you do to get them to your side. The magic we did was to unify all Abians, not just the politics leaders, but every Abian, is because we ran an inclusive government. By the time I would have served out my tenure as governor, I want to be recognized by my state government, not jsut as a former governor, but as

statesman. The recognition am talking about is to listen to me when I talk, to seek my opinion in things that are critical and to pay me respect. This was what we were lacking before I became governor, which annoyed a lot of Abia political stakeholders. It polarised the polity. Our people ran away, notable Abians absconded and had no interest in what was going on in the state. They were living in Abuja and Lagos and left the government and governance of the state, the consequences was grievous. I inherited that system, and I knew what I saw between 2007 to 2009, the old system in Abia affected me seriously, and it made me to rethink. I said no, Abia belong to every person, it is not my personal property, I am a governor by divine intervention and the will of the people, the longer I say her as governor is eight years, and another person will come. So I told myself that within this eight years I have to stay here, Abians must have a sense of belonging, they must know that the state belong to them, and I decided to open the doors of government to them. That I am the governor doesn’t mean that I am the most intelligent person in Abia. I am intelligent, but I have to add the intelligence of others, so I seek the opinion of others, when you are taking decision about the state, you call stakeholders. It gives them joy that the governor called to seek their opinion in issue affecting the state. When you call the major stakeholders like Ike Nwachukwu, Onyema Ugochukwu, Adolph Wabara or any of them, and said this is what I want to do, what is your view, how do we do it, they will be happy that their governor is consulting them. If you want to make appointment, you don’t give it to your mother or brother to write list of people you want to appoint for you, appointment is for everybody, you. You make your own input base in the antecedent of the people you want, and then you give the major stakeholders the opportunity to make input. They have people that have the capacity to work, they will give suggestion about people they know will contribute to the governance of the state and you look I to that, take their candidate, and form your cabinet. But as the governor,

I Inherited A Disunited Abia... you have the final say. You don’t just because you’re the governor, you write all the names of everybody that will be in the executive council, and if you look into it, you discover that most of those you brought in don’t have the capacity to work, they have nothing to add, but you just put them there because you’re governor, that is not how it is done.

man is gone, that divide I want to break it, even though it will still be there. What are the feedbacks you are getting from the youth empowerment programme you have been doing? I am getting very good feedback, wonderful feedback, and positive feedback. I want you to feel it by going into the street and ask those using the

criminality will go, we are doing very well in youth empowerment and we shall continue with it. What are you doing in the area of encouraging investors in the state. We have an office that is in charge of helping investors in the state. If any investor comes to invest in the state, that office will help to ensure that the investors will not have

Governor Theodore Ahamefula Orji We have changed that system, what is happening in Abia now is that we consult everybody and give everybody the opportunity to make input. We are running an inclusive government, which is what, is happening now and that is why there is peace and unity in the state now. Go and ask those who were attacking me before, and hear what they will tell you about me now because the reality is clear and everything is now on ground. In this government, every Abian has a stake. We resolve that whatever we are doing here, we will invite our people and you will see the who is who in Abia in attendance. One of the legacy am leaving behind in Abia is the legacy of peace and unity, there will be no divide. The era of he is an Ukwa-Ngwa or old Bende

yellow taxi how they feel about our youth empowerment scheme. Not only in the area of giving out vehicles, we are training them, we have skill acquisition centres, the last time we graduated about 500 people that were trained in various skills that was in Umuahia alone, when they were graduating, money and equipments were given to them to start off. We encourage our youths to grow in their talent, your talent can die with you if you’re not encouraged to grow it. That is why we are taken football very serious in the state; today Abia has two teams that will play in the Nigeria league that is Enyimba of Aba and Abia Warriors of Umuahia. When our youth are engaged,

“We have changed that system, what is happening in Abia now is that we consult everybody and give everybody the opportunity to make input. We are running an inclusive government, which is what, is happening now and that is why there is peace and unity in the state now.”

problem in getting their Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and other relevant things they need to start, so long as the investors do the right thing, because you cannot just come and say you’re an investor and we listen to you. We had a nasty experience here, people came parading themselves as investors and ask for C of O we gave them they vanished. Amaokwe Housing estate and the market are typical examples, we learnt our lesson. What are you doing about the Golden Guinea breweries in Umuahia. I promised Abians that one of the things I will do is to revive Golden Guinea breweries in Umuahia, but then I hadn’t gotten the details about the company. You know Golden Guinea is a Plc, is not owned solely by Abia, and for you to do anything there you have to follow due process. Somebody is there doing business, the only thing we can do as a government is to support him and we have told him that as a government, we will support him, we cannot for now, jump into it. What is your take on

President Jonathan and 2015. President Jonathan has bright future in 2015. We expect that he will contest because it is his entitlement to complete his tenure. Though he has not said anything, but if he decides to run in 2015, Abia will support him for sure, I know that in the southeast he has a lot of followers and supporters. We expect him to run and complete his tenure because he has done well. Don’t mind those things they’re writing against him, the man has done very well. He has made an impact in every sector and nobody can deny that, so he should be allowed to continue and finished his tenure and I believe that in his final tenure he will do more. In Abia, after 2015 I will not be governor, and I expect that God will help us to get somebody who will continue to keep Abia united, who value the legacy projects and will sustain them, somebody who will satisfy the yearnings of the people. Somebody that will sustain what we have done in security. What we don’t want in Abia is domination. We don’t want anybody that will come and say that Abia belongs to him or his family. Abia belongs to all of us. We want Abian to continue to be free. So we want somebody that will sustain the good foundation that we have laid. That is my wish for Abia from 2015. People are talking about power going to Abia south senatorial district; others think it should be UkwaNgwa, where is power going in 2015? I have said it, it is not something that is hidden, I have said it severally. We have two blocs in Abia; Ukwa-Ngwa and Bende. For equity and Fairplay which I believe in, and against the domination I am talking about, I believe that Bende has done its turn, it is now the turn of Ukwa-Ngwa, let us allow them, let a governor come from that place so that the people will not be crying everyday and doing as if Abia does not belong to them. Let them have a sense of belong also; we should all help, in terms of equity and fairness, that is what I am saying. If we live it open and say let every person come, it may not go that way, that is why we are preaching and that is what a leader should do, to lead the people right. That is what I believe is fair to me, and I know a lot of people will appreciate that. Your friend and brother, the Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief Godswill Akpabio said he will go to the senate in 2015, are you also going to senate in 2015. Let Godswill be done also (laughs).


International

US To Unveil Aid Plan For Afghanistan KABUL - The Obama administration will unveil a package of aid initiatives it hopes will help Afghanistan, still one of the world’s poorest countries after a dozen years of massive international aid efforts, shield itself from the departure of foreign troops and an expected drop in assistance. The announcement from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of three new development initiatives worth almost $300 million is part of a U.S. effort to ensure that Afghanistan, as its ‘war economy’ ends, won’t slide backwards into

greater poverty or reverse gains made over the last 12 years in health, education and other areas. “The question is, what can we do now to make sure Afghanistan is as healthy, sustainable and feasible as possible going forward,” Larry Sampler, the agency’s chief official for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in an interview. The initiatives extend U.S. assistance for Afghanistan’s food sector; seek to help the Afghan government boost revenue and join the World Trade Organization within a year; and secure agreements between U.S. and Afghan universities to ensure

Fugitive Owners Of Bangladesh Fire Disaster Factory Jailed DHAKA - Two fugitive owners of a Bangladesh garment factory turned themselves in on Sunday to face homicide charges for the deaths of 112 workers in the country’s worst factory fire, a prosecutor said. The owners of Tazreen Fashions, Delwar Hossain and his wife Mahmuda Akter, and were sent to jail after being refused bail. They were among six fugitives wanted in connection with the November 24, 2012, fire in the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka. Many of those who died in the multi-storey building perished because supervisors ordered workers back to their stations even as an alarm rang and smoke rose through an internal staircase. A state prosecutor, Anwarul Kabir, said the couple had pleaded for bail after surrendering. “The court sent them to jail after rejecting their bail petition,” Kabir said. Witnesses said several hundred people gathered at the court and chanted for the pair to be given the death penalty. If convicted, they could face life in prison. In all, 13 people were charged in connection with the disaster, a

rare step in a country where critics complain that powerful garment industry bosses often go unpunished for factory accidents. The charges included breaching construction rules, such as the failure to provide two emergency exits. Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China, in December raised wages for garment workers and allowed workers to form trade unions in July after a string of factory accidents thrust poor pay and conditions into the international spotlight. The $22 billion export industry, which supplies many Western brands, came under scrutiny when a building housing factories collapsed in April, five months after the Tazreen fire, killing more than 1,130 people. The owner of that building that collapsed, Mohammed Sohel Rana, was arrested after a fourday hunt as he appeared to be trying to flee across the border to India. After the Tazreen blaze, both Wal-Mart Stores inc WMT.N and Sears Holdings Inc said that goods were being manufactured for them at the factory though both had denied it authorization as a supplier.

young Afghans are trained for jobs. But how much outside help aid-reliant Afghanistan will receive in the years ahead remains in doubt, as uncertainty continues about a possible post2014 NATO troop presence and as fiscal pressures in donor nations squeeze aid budgets. Last month, U.S. lawmakers halved civilian aid for Afghanistan, reflecting growing reluctance in Congress to continue generous aid levels there, concerns about waste and fraud, and frustration with the Afghan government itself. The Obama administration continues to press Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security pact needed to keep U.S. troops there after this year. His refusal to do so has strained already fraught U.S.Afghan relations.

Decisions by the United States on future aid levels to Afghanistan may in turn shape actions by other donor nations, which gathered in Tokyo in 2012 to announce their intentions to provide aid to Afghanistan for years to come. While the United States did not pledge a specific amount for future aid, it had promised to seek aid near current levels of just over $2 billion at least through 2015. U.S. officials said the new initiatives would not be affected by the recent budget cut, because they would set aside money now for the full four or five years they are designed to last. Sampler said the initiatives would aim, in part, to provide a buffer as the war economy winds down. As foreign troops leave, so will the contractors and service providers supporting military

operations, and the knock-on economic activity they have created since 2001. “There’s going to be a lull in the economy, and we want to minimize that lull,” he said. Andrew Wilder, who directs Afghanistan and Pakistan programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said the focus of the new programs on regional trade and the rural economy made sense given the “difficult and painful” economic transition Afghanistan would face in coming years. “However, realizing this potential will largely be dependent on relative peace and stability in Afghanistan, and a significant improvement in IndoPak relations - which unfortunately both still seem like enormous obstacles to overcome,” Wilder said. Under the new USAID

programs, $125 million will go to Afghanistan’s food and farm sector, traditionally the base of its economy. While aid programs have poured millions of dollars into the farm sector since 2001, poor roads and Afghanistan’s land-locked position in central Asia make food exports difficult. Sampler said the new programs would focus more on agribusiness and on getting crops to market than in the past. Another $77-million, four-year program will seek to open Afghanistan up to greater international trade and investment, and to improve tax and revenue collection. Sampler said Afghanistan may be able join the World Trade Organization in late 2014 or early 2015, which could give its economy a boost. A final program worth almost $100 million would seek to help 10 Afghan universities give young people the practical skills they need to work in the private and public sectors, in partnership with three U.S. universities.

Soldiers stand next to South Sudanese internally displaced people waiting on a boat at Mingkaman’s temporary Camp recently as they head back to Bor.

Australian Wildfires Raze Homes, Hurt Fire 173 people and destroyed more Fighter than 2,000 homes in Victoria in

Anti-government protesters react as they listen to a leader’s speech at an intersection protesters are occupying in downtown Bangkok recently.

MELBOURNE, Australia Scores of wildfires raging across southeast Australia in dry and windy summer conditions on Sunday destroyed homes and injured a firefighter, authorities said. Victoria state Fire Service Commissioner Craig Lapsley said 37 blazes were burning out of control across the state, threatening rural towns and the fringes of Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne. Homes were lost in Victoria, but authorities had yet to assess the numbers, Country Fire Authority spokeswoman Anushia Sivanesan said. Lapsley said at least one firefighter was injured. The firefighter was hit by a falling tree and received medical treatment. According to Lapsley, the fire conditions were at their worst since 2009, when wildfires killed

little more than a single day in February. Strong winds were fanning flames and prevented water bombing aircraft from flying, he said. In neighboring New South Wales state, the Rural Fire Service reported 50 fires burning, one temporarily closing the Hume Highway, which connects Melbourne with Sydney, Australia’s largest city. There were no immediate reports of homes lost in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state. Destructive wildfires are a common feature across much of Australia during the summer months. Temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in parts of Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, and New South Wales.


International

US Suspect Possibly Targeted For Drone Attack AN American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials said, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year. The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he’s a U.S. citizen and the Justice Department must build a case against him, a task it hasn’t completed. Four U.S. officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And President Barack Obama’s new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House. Two of the officials described the man as an alQaida facilitator who has been directly responsible for deadly attacks against U.S. citizens overseas and who continues to plan attacks against them that would use improvised explosive devices. But one U.S. official said the Defense Department was divided over whether the man is dangerous enough to merit the potential domestic fallout of killing an American without charging him with a crime or trying him, and the potential international fallout of such an operation in a country that has been resistant to U.S. action. Another of the U.S. officials said the Pentagon did ultimately decide to recommend lethal action. The officials said the suspected terrorist is wellguarded and in a fairly remote location, so any unilateral attempt by U.S. troops to capture him would be risky and even more politically explosive than a U.S. missile strike. Under new guidelines Obama addressed in a speech last year to calm anger overseas at the extent of the U.S. drone campaign, lethal force must only be used “to prevent or stop attacks against U.S. persons, and even then, only when capture is not feasible and no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the threat effectively.” The target must also pose “a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons” — the legal definition of catching someone in the act of plotting a lethal attack. The Associated Press has agreed to the government’s request to withhold the name of the country where the suspected terrorist is believed to be because officials said

publishing it could interrupt ongoing counterterror operations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the classified drone targeting program publicly. House Intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., complained last week that a number of terrorist suspects were all but out of reach under the administration’s new rules that limit drone strikes based on the target’s nationality or location. Two of the U.S. officials said the Justice Department review of the American suspected terrorist started last fall. The senior administration official confirmed that the Justice Department was working to build a case for the president to review and decide the man’s fate. The official said, however, the legal procedure being followed is the same as when the U.S. killed militant cleric and former Virginia resident Anwar al-Awlaki by drone in Yemen in 2011, long before the new targeted killing policy took effect. The official said the president could make an exception to his policy and authorize the CIA to strike on a onetime basis or authorize the Pentagon to act despite the possible objections of the country in question. The Justice Department, the Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment. If the target is an American citizen, the Justice Department is required to show that killing the person through military action is “legal and constitutional”— in this case, that the Pentagon can take action against the American, as the administration has ruled him an enemy combatant under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, a resolution Congress passed a week after the 9/11 attacks to target alQaida. Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame, said there is a school of thought that the Obama administration’s drone policy is “lawless.” “Why should the Justice Department issue the execution warrant for anyone abroad? The fact that they give extra scrutiny only because he’s an American exacerbates this negative impression,” O’Connell said. U.S. drones have killed four Americans since 2009, including al-Awlaki, who the administration said was actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens. Attorney General Eric Holder said the three other Americans were killed by drones, but were not targeted.

The three are Samir Khan, who was killed in the same drone strike as al-Awlaki; alAwlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a native of Denver who was killed in Yemen two weeks later; and Jude Kenan Mohammed, who

was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan. The case has galvanized congressional opponents of Obama’s plan to transfer drones from the CIA to the Defense Department. Before the plan was announced,

either CIA or Pentagon drones could go after terrorist targets, even if they were U.S. citizens. The CIA could also fly drones in areas where host countries might object. But by law, the Pentagon can only strike in war zones, in

countries that agree to U.S. counterterrorism action or in lawless areas like parts of Somalia where that government’s security forces cannot reach. Even then only al-Qaida-linked suspects can be targeted.

A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus.

Looting A Way Of Life For C/Africa’s Lost Generation BANGUI (CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC) - DEPRIVED of schooling by years of inept leadership, the forsaken youths of the Central African Republic see raiding and plundering as the only career their country has to offer. There are looters among the Seleka rebels, looters among the Christian vigilantes fighting them and “freelance” looters — all vying for the meagre spoils of the year-old sectarian conflict. It was already one of the world’s poorest nations before last year’s coup but now the Central African Republic is plundering itself into extinction. Jean-Gabriel Alaba, a computer scientist who lives with his family in the capital Bangui, said it should not come as a surprise that youngsters bite the hands that failed to feed them. “Central Africa has sacrificed the future of its young generation on the altar of political gamesmanship. The future of our children is getting ever darker,” he said. “What is happening now — young people committing massacres, pillaging, raping, stealing — was predictable. It’s because school never gave them anything.” In recent months, scenes of plundering by marauding armed groups or frenzied local youths have been a daily feature in the riverside capital and other cities. It was soon after the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition entered Bangui and toppled then president Francois Bozize in March 2013 that rogue insurgents began looting. In February 2014, nearly a year on, foreign military contingents have moved in and ex-Seleka warlords are on the back foot, but Christian vigilantes have taken over the pillaging. In their wake, loose gaggles of local youths scavenge for unclaimed and often worthless loot, venting their rage by destroying everything they cannot take with them. For some of them, it is the closest thing to a job. “It’s outrageous, Sangaris is preventing us from looting,” an indignant looter told AFP, giving his name only as Benjamin. He was referring to the military operation France launched two months ago. The aim was to prevent its former colony from sinking even deeper into chaos but the violence has continued to escalate. The Central African Republic’s generation of looters is the product of a failing educational system. The list of so-called “blank” academic years that were not

completed or declared invalid speaks for itself: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2013. In a country where 40 percent of the 4.6 million inhabitants are under 14, an insolvent school system in ruins has had devastating consequences. The gaps in the academic calendar mirror the endless mutinies, rebellions and coups that have stunted the development of state institutions and kept most of the country in dire poverty. The landlocked nation’s vast mineral reserves have remained largely untapped, and infrastructure is often non-existent. Only around five percent of the population has access to electricity. ‘Our children are halfwits’ Even before the turn of the century, successive cash-strapped governments chronically failed to pay salaries to their civil servants, teachers included, leading to strikes that further deprived students of learning time. “Because of the ‘blank years’ of the nineties and political instability of the following decade, all our children are halfwits. They have an unfair handicap,” said Jean Zato, a Bangui carpenter. “All this needs to stop, for Christ’s sake, our children have a lot of catching up to do,” he said. On January 20, the day she was picked as interim president, Catherine Samba Panza stressed that all the fighters and looters should be considered “children” of Central Africa. She replaced Michel Djotodia, the ex-Seleka boss who had been reluctantly accepted by the international community after ousting Bozize but was eventually sidelined by his regional peers when his inability to contain the chaos became evident. The administration is still mostly paralysed, however, and many schools have yet to reopen. Students leaving the country “These days, if you don’t leave the country to study, you don’t stand a chance,” said Emery Danzou, a high school student who has been at loose ends for months. “But not all parents can afford that. We lot, well... we have to live with it,” he said. His friend Arlette Ndetie hopes to join the school exodus. “All my friends have gone abroad, because we just can’t take it here anymore,” she said. “I’m looking hard for a way of getting to Senegal or Benin. Leaving is the only solution.”


International ‘Case Against Congolese Militia Leader Is Test For Global Court’ HAGUE, NETHERLANDS Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda appears at the International Criminal Court yesterday charged with war crimes and other atrocities in a hearing that will be a test for the global legal institution after a string of troubled cases. Ntaganda is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder and rape, all allegedly committed during a 2002-03 conflict in the mineral-rich east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has yet to enter a plea. The court, 11 years old this year, has handed down just one conviction - jailing another Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga, for 14 years in 2012 for using child soldiers. Ntaganda, who is believed to be aged around 41, handed himself in to the U.S. embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali last March after a 15-year career as a commander in a series of rebellions in Congo’s Ituri province. Shortly after his arrival in The Hague, stretched prosecutors asked for time to

rebuild a case which had been dormant during five years Ntaganda spent on the run. At yesterday’s confirmation of charges hearing, the lawyers will lay out their arguments that the evidence they have marshalled is strong enough to merit a full trial. The session will be a test of chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s promise that cases will be “trial ready” by the time they come to court an implicit response to criticisms by academics and member states of earlier cases which collapsed when judges ruled evidence was not strong enough. “The court is struggling, and the prosecutor, with her new strategy, has been trying to turn something around,” said Bill Schabas, professor of international law at Middlesex University. “The new strategy was a good sign, showing there was a sense of dissatisfaction with how things were going,” he added. Judges are due to decide over the next few weeks whether to suspend their most high profile current case -

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

OGBEIDE – I formerly known and addressed as Miss Stella Maris Ogbeide now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Stella Maris Ezegbebe. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

ERHAHON – I formerly known and addressed as Ivie Betty Ehimwema Erhahon now wish to be known and addressed as Princess (Mrs) Ivie Betty Ehimwema UwaIgbinoba. All former documents remain valid. National Council for Arts and Culture, Embassies/High Commission and general public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE X RIDERS MOTOR CYCLE SPORTS CLUB The general public is hereby notified that the above named non-governmental organisation has applied for registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap, C20, LfN, 2004. Board of Trustees 1.Chief Osamede Adun 2. Prince Bob Aiwerioba 3. Dr. Chris Ekiyo Aims and Objectives 1.To unite persons of like mind and passion. 2. To help develop the sport from local to international standard. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Maitama District, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

against Kenya’s president on charges of orchestrating violence following 2007 elections - after prosecutors said several witnesses had withdrawn. Uhuru Kenyatta denies the charges. Two other prominent figures facing charges Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Saif alIslam Gaddafi, son of the ousted Libyan leader - remain beyond the court’s reach because their countries refuse to surrender them. Wars in Congo have killed about five million people in the past decade and a half, and many eastern areas are still afflicted by violence from a number of rebel groups despite a decade-long U.N. peacekeeping mission.

Defence Counsel Marc Desalliers (right) and Caroline Buteau look on during the case against Congolese Militia leader Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court in the Hugue.

Car Crashes In Florida And California Kill 11

ELEVEN people died early Sunday in two highway collisions, one in Florida and one in California, caused by drivers going the wrong way, authorities said. Five people died in the Florida collision and six were killed in California. A Ford Expedition SUV traveling south on northbound Interstate 275 in Tampa, Florida, collided head-on with a Hyundai Sonata just after 2 a.m., killing the SUV driver and all four people in the other car, according to a Florida Highway Patrol news release. The SUV became engulfed in flames, the patrol report said. The other vehicle was also damaged by fire. The driver and all three passengers in the car were members of the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the patrol said. CHANGE OF NAME ELEMAH – I formerly Miss Awawu Elemah now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs Awawu Momodu Lukman. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the general public should please take note.

The identity of SUV driver has not been confirmed due to extensive damage to the vehicle, the patrol said. It is unclear if alcohol was involved in the crash, the patrol said. In California, six people were killed in a pre-dawn crash when a motorist was traveling the wrong way on a highway east of Los Angeles, according to the California Highway Patrol. Three vehicles were involved in the crash on the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar, California, according to a state patrol news release. A Chevrolet Camaro was headed eastbound in a westbound lane of 60 east of Diamond Bar Boulevard when it struck a Ford Explorer, which was then hit by a Ford Freestyle, the patrol said. The driver of the Camaro, a 21-year-old woman, suffered major injuries and two of her passengers died, as did four

people from the other two vehicles, the patrol said. The driver was placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol causing great bodily injury and death and for manslaughter, the patrol

said. Online state patrol logs show a vehicle was reportedly traveling at 100 mph on the wrong side of the highway before the collision occurred. Diamond Bar is 30 miles east of Los Angeles.

RUSSIAN police killed four suspected militants, law enforcement officials said yesterday, in a shootout at a house in the North Caucasus, highlighting regional security concerns near the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The gun fight broke out on Saturday after police surrounded a private house used by militants in the province of Dagestan, which lies some 600 kilometers (380 miles) from Sochi on the other end of the Caucasus Mountain chain. There was no indication the shooting was connected with the Games. President Vladimir Putin, who has invested personal and

political prestige to ensure the Games’ success, ordered security forces on high alert after a suicide bomber killed at least 37 in the southern Russian city of Volgograd in December. Militants wage violence to establish an Islamist state in the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus. Militant leader Doku Umarov, Russia’s most wanted man, threatened to disrupt the Olympic Games in a video posted online last year. Russian newspaper Kommersant said among those killed was an ethnic Russian convert to the insurgency.

DAMASCUS - An al Qaeda splinter group has withdrawn its forces from Syria’s oil-rich eastern province of Deir al-Zor, activists and rebels said yesterday, after days of heavy fighting with its rivals. Rebel groups, including al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate the Nusra Front, have been battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for control of towns and oilfields in the area,

sparking a spate of car bombs in the province. “The ISIL fighters have almost completely withdrawn from Deir al-Zor. The fighters are moving to Hassaka and Raqqa (provinces),” said a source from the Nusra Front, who asked not to be named. Raqqa remains the stronghold of ISIL. Pro-ISIL activists on Twitter said the group had withdrawn from Deir al-Zor to prevent

further bloodshed. Several rebel groups launched a campaign last month to try to push ISIL forces, their former allies, out of opposition-held regions in northern and eastern Syria. Islamist opposition groups joined forces with some secular rebel units to fight ISIL, with whom they have territorial disputes and ideological differences.

Russian Police Kill Suspected Militants

Al Qaeda Splinter Group Withdraws From Syrian Province


Opinion “Consumers must also realise that they will be punished for contravening the law and putting people’s livelihoods as well as the economy of the country as a whole at risk.” Some of the materials to be levied include audio cassettes, DVDs, video cassettes, USB flash drives, photocopy machines and computers, among others. He allayed fear that the introduction of the levy would lead to increase in the prices of the items, to be levied. Aderemi said that the levy would attract a paltry amount, compared to what is levied on such items in

Afam Ezekude, NCC Director -General

Boosting The Creative Industry Through Copyright Levy

THE Nigerian creative industry is being threatened by the activities of pirates and copyright violators. Experts say that if the activities of these violators are not checked, Nigeria’s quest to become preferred destination for foreign direct investment may be jeopardised. These pirates do not place value on intellectual property of others, as their sole aim is to reap where they did not sow. Piracy and copyright infringement are globally known to be ‘ organised crime,’ which explained why the Federal Government established the Nigerian Copyright Commission(NCC). The mandate of the commission is to: “Advance the growth of the creative industry in Nigeria through the dissemination of copyright knowledge, efficient administration and protection of rights.’’ The NCC, in its determined efforts to check copyright violations, proposed the introduction of ‘Copyright Levy’’ on

By KINGSLEY OKOYE materials used for piracy. Mr Aderemi Adewusi, Head Corporate Affairs of NCC, said the levy would help stakeholders in the creative industry to recoup their investments. “It is a legislative framework designed to generate income for stakeholders in the creative industry as well as deter pirates from carrying out their acts.’’ Adewusi said the levy was intended to make copyright infringement more expensive for pirates, adding that the levy would serve as compensation for stakeholders, who may suffer losses through the activities of pirates. “It will make it more costly for pirates to engage in piracy. “But I think the main thing it will achieve, is that it will generate compensatory income for our stakeholders to compensate for the potential loss they could suffer,“ Aderemi said. According to him, the levy

will be on materials that can be used for infringement of copyright. He said that materials imported into the country would be levied at the point of entry, while materials manufactured, produced, and assembled in Nigeria would be levied at the point of production. He explained that when collected, the levy would be distributed among the stakeholders, the NCC, and the Federal Government. Aderemi said it would be distributed in the following way: “Twenty per cent will go to the Federal Government, 20 per cent will be retained by the NCC, while 60 per

cent will go to our stakeholders especially owners of intellectual property,“ he added. Aderemi explained that the levy would be a flexible tool for regulating piracy, adding that it would help intellectual property owners to recoup their investments. He stressed that it would greatly boost Nigeria’s film industry, popularly called Nollywood, said to be the second largest film industry in the world, “The introduction of the levy will help Nollywood industry, and other intellectual property owners recoup their investments. “The levy will also motivate people to embrace the creative industry and make it more productive,’’ Aderemi added.

other countries of the world He said that the levies on the materials would deter pirates and copyright violators from carrying out their illegal activities. The commission has also continued to accord priority to its mandate of protecting the rights of copyright owners. Mr Afam Ezekude, the Director- General of NCC, who spoke recently on the activities of the commission in 2013, said the commission successfully prosecuted 40 cases of piracy, while 109 cases were still pending in various Courts. He said that enforcement and awareness creation were also intensified in 2013. Available records also show that 55 strategic antipiracy operations were carried out in 2012,

culminating in the arrest of 85 suspected pirates and seizure of over three million units of assorted pirated copyright works estimated at about N4.3 billion. Also 26 convictions were secured from the cases prosecuted. Mr Augustine Amodu, Director of Enforcement, reiterated that NCC would sustain its enforcement efforts. “This enforcement action helps in getting consumers to understand the risk they are exposed to when they engage in the illegality of purchasing counterfeit products. “It also helps to protect genuine business whose true purpose is to add value to the customer.” Amodu said that local Nigerian businesses had difficulty competing with counterfeiters that have priced their goods at belowmarket levels and are then forced to cut jobs. He described piracy as a “cankerworm that is eating through the fabric of societies all over the world. “Consumers must also realise that they will be punished for contravening the law and putting people’s livelihoods as well as the economy of the country as a whole at risk,’’ he said. Stakeholders want the NCC to sustain its campaign against piracy as well as ensure implementation of the proposed copyright levy.

“This enforcement action helps in getting consumers to understand the risk they are exposed to when they engage in the illegality of purchasing counterfeit products. It also helps to protect genuine business whose true purpose is to add value to the customer.”


Barclays Premier League...Barclays Premier League...Barclays Premier League...

Rodgers Hails Liverpool Youngsters LIVERPOOL coach Brendan Rodgers has highlighted the contribution made by his young players during Saturday’s 5-1 win over Arsenal. Nineteen-year-old Raheem Sterling scored a brace and Phillipe Coutinho provided an assist, while Jon Flanagan had a solid game in defence before Jordon ibe was given a run in the second half. “This year was going to hopefully be another big step for our development,” said Rodgers. “Look around the team - we’ve got 19-year-old players, Raheem Sterling was incredible. “We had an 18-year-old coming on, Coutinho is 21, young Jon Flanagan is 20 years of age. “It’s a very young side, but with a wonderful appetite for the game and a wonderful ability to learn. “They want to learn and progress. You can see as time goes on, the idea to press well and

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Coach

Gunners, United Set For Key Battle

ARSENAL will host Manchester United tomorrow night for a Premier League clash that is vital for both teams’ ambitions. The Gunners come into the clash on the back of a chastening 5-1 defeat away to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, easily their worst performance of the season so far. The result saw Arsene Wenger’s side drop from top spot in the league (now occupied by their London rivals Chelsea) and their credentials as title contenders have been seriously questioned. The French manager has called on his team to react positively to the defeat, something the Gunners have done well this season. “What is important is that we respond to that result, especially respond with a different performance because our performance overall was poor,” said Wenger. “On the concentration level, on

pace, on defensive stability, it was very poor and we always looked vulnerable. “If you concede two early goals from set-pieces then you are in a position where you always have to come out. “I just think the whole team have failed to turn up with the right performance. We know that you need to be better focused at this kind of level. “Overall our performance was just not good enough and I include myself in that performance. “For me it is maybe better I don’t talk too much, go home and respond better on Wednesday night.” As for United, they missed out on a great chance to make up some ground in the battle for a top four spot after they were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-of-the-

log Fulham. Manager David Moyes felt they should have gotten more from the game, given the way they dominated possession and territory. He told Sky Sports: “We should have won it but lapses cost us. We probably had to defend three or four times in the whole game, but that happens sometimes in football. “We tried everything to try and win - we crossed it, passed it, tried to get through - but we just didn’t quite have the finishing touches. “I think if we had got a goal early on then it would have completely altered the game. As it was, the more we went to score, they had a couple of chances and one of them they scored from. But I hardly felt as if they were on the park today. “It has been quite often here at

Old Trafford when we haven’t got the goal, we have then maybe lost a goal and ended up chasing the game. We did it today. “If we hadn’t got back into the game then there would have been something up because we totally deserved it. We deserved to win the game, but you don’t always get what you deserve.”

MANCHESTER City manager Manuel Pellegrini has taken another swipe at Chelsea by insisting the Blues aren’t the Premier League title favourites. Chelsea moved above Arsenal into top spot in the table after they defeated Newcastle 3-0, while Arsenal were hammered 5-1 by Liverpool and City failed to break the deadlock against Noriwch. “It is very difficult to know

Liverpool’s fifth goal. With Arsenal facing Manchester United on Wednesday before an FA Cup rematch with Liverpool, Arteta told national newspapers: “We have to react. “We know we need to improve and face those games in a different manner because after 18 minutes we were 4-0 down and it was like a car crash. “The manager was really upset at half-time because it

wasn’t good enough for this football club. It was the angriest I have seen him.” Meanwhile, reserve goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has turned down the offer of a new contract at the Emirates Stadium and will leave the club in the summer in the hope of boosting his international prospects. Fabianski has won 21 caps for Poland but has been largely frozen out at Arsenal, serving as back-up to international

colleague Wojciech Szczesny. “I want to be number one in the club and in the Polish national team,” Fabianski said in comments reported by the Daily Star. “I have learned a lot at London during very positive and challenging periods. “With biggest respect to this great club, I didn’t accept the extension offer as I am looking forward to a new challenge in England or abroad.”

Brendan Rodgers

Odemwingie In Good Spirits At Stoke

STOKE’s Peter Odemwingie is feeling happy and confident once again after putting an ill-fated spell at Cardiff behind him. The 32-year-old forward ended a tumultuous three-year association with West Brom in the summer to join the newlypromoted Bluebirds. However, it was a move that did not go to plan and Odemwingie left the Cardiff City Stadium in January as part of a player-exchange that saw Kenwyne Jones move the other way. The deal gave both the chance of a fresh start and it is one Odemwingie is enjoying, highlighted by his celebrations after his first

‘Chelsea Aren’t Favourites’ - Pellegrini

‘Car Crash’ Defeat Rocks Artefa

MIKEL Arteta admits Arsenal’s 5-1 hammering against Liverpool on Saturday felt “like a car crash” and has challenged his team-mates to respond. Arteta’s penalty was the most meagre consolation after the Gunners had been blown away by four goals in the first 20 minutes at Anfield. Martin Skrtel’s brace was added to by Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, with Sterling later adding

pass well. That was the key for us.” Although they managed to stun the Gunners, Rodgers believes his side are still not involved in the title race, despite being just six points behind current leaders Chelsea. “There’s no doubt we’ve been outstanding for a big part of the season,” he added. “We’ve had one or two off days, but in the main the quality of our game has been incredible. “The objective has always been to finish as high as we possibly can, but you have to also look at the other teams around. We’ll just keep focused and keep our concentration.

“I want to be in a position where we can really challenge for the title. The players have been incredible; we just hope to continue with that development and see where it takes us.”

who are the favourites,” Pellegrini told the Manchester Evening News. “For me, the favourites were Arsenal because, after playing 25 games, Arsenal were leading the table for most of them.” Blues boss Jose Mourinho played down Chelsea’s title chances by saying they are a “little horse” in a two-horse race for the Premier League. However, Pellegrini responded by saying Chelsea were a “little horse, but very rich.” “[Then] we were the favourites though, because we had been playing very well before this week,” continued the Chilean. “Chelsea are now playing well as well, but they are not the favourites - and don’t forget about Liverpool, and maybe Everton or Tottenham. “I think five teams are going to fight for the Premier League this season. This year the Premier League will be closer than ever. We hope that we will continue fighting until the end.”

Stoke goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton. “Very often I was pulled out of games,” he said of his time in south Wales. “I had a poor pre-season and I needed the full 90 minutes to open up and get my fitness back. “It was a similar situation all the time: the team not doing too well, I would be the first to be pulled off and those things no player can be happy with. “It became too often and it affected my game and confidence but now I am happy. I can be playing and doing well for the team. “Three games so far, three 90 minutes. “I have been in the game a lot of years and I know where I can do well and I saw this team has the quality of players that will make me better. “There were games in Cardiff when I had to be a target man, backing into players. It is not my game. “I have never been so strong physically to do that. I would say I was not used in my best way I could have been.” Odemwingie is enjoying playing off Peter Crouch and is hopeful that Mark Hughes’ side, having followed up the 2-1 win against Manchester United with a point at St Mary’s, can kick on up the table. “In the dressing room we want the top half and hopefully we can achieve that,” he said, with the Potters 13th ahead of Wednesday’s match with Swansea. “The home results are good but away they were not so good. “For that to happen you have to win a few away and draw a few. “Hopefully we can get that towards the end of the season and keep the home form going.”


Mourinho Feels For ‘Good Friend’ Alan Pardew

CHELSEA boss Jose manager Alan Pardew after Mourinho has expressed that losing star midfielder Yohan he feels for Newcastle United Cabaye.

Mourinho and Drogba

Nolan Slams FA Over Carroll Error

WEST Ham captain Kevin Nolan has criticised the decision to uphold a three-match ban for team-mate Andy Carroll, claiming it was a missed opportunity for the Football Association to admit it had made a mistake. Carroll was sent off after it was deemed he had struck Swansea defender Chico Flores and the Hammers, upset that the FA did not overturn the decision, took the matter to an independent arbitral tribunal on Friday seeking what manager Sam Allardyce claimed would be “justice”. However, the independent panel, at which the FA was also represented, found there was “no serious issue to be tried” and as such rejected West Ham’s submissions, meaning Carroll must serve out his punishment. The first game of that suspension was the 2-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday and Nolan, who scored both goals at Villa Park, still believes the FA was wrong not to overturn the initial decision. “We have nothing against the FA, they’ve just got to get it right,” he told several national newspapers. “When people get things wrong we expect them to hold up their hands and say, ‘Yeah, I got it wrong’ and move on, like we all have to do.

“We have to hold our hands up as footballers when we get it wrong and take the stick that comes with it. I think they had a chance to redeem themselves and they haven’t taken it. “We were disappointed with the outcome. We thought it was an injustice. Andy is also frustrated, he’s a good mate of

SUNDERLAND defender Wes Brown will be suspended for two games following his dismissal against Hull, the Football Association has confirmed. The 34-year-old was sent off by referee Mike Jones just four minutes into Saturday’s 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by the Tigers at the Stadium of Light after felling striker Shane Long as he headed towards goal. FA disciplinary chiefs have confirmed he will receive a one-match ban for denying a goalscoring

opportunity, and another as it was his second red card of the season. The former Manchester United defender will miss Wednesday night’s league trip to Manchester United and the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Southampton on Saturday as a result. However, he will be available for Sunderland’s league visit to Arsenal on February 22 and more importantly, the Capital Cup final clash with City at Wembley the following weekend. Brown has actually been sent off three times this

mine and I felt really sorry for him. “We’ve got to forget about Andy for the next couple of weeks now. He has to work hard and get himself ready because if we keep winning games it’s going to be hard for him to get back into the team.”

I Never Expected This - Moyes DAVID Moyes admits he never expected his debut season as Manchester United manager to go as badly as it has done so far. replied with a very frank: United now stand nine “No, probably not.” points behind fourth-placed United have now dropped Liverpool following their 18 points at home this season, latest disappointing result - a and with away defeats to 2-2 home draw against Liverpool, Manchester City, Fulham. Chelsea and Stoke, Moyes never thought bookmakers have the Red replacing Sir Alex Ferguson Devils down as 6-1 outsiders would be easy, but when to make the top four. asked whether he ever thought Those same bookmakers it could have gone as badly as were offering odds of 23-1 on this, the former Everton boss

Two-Match Ban For Brown

season, although his first red card was rescinded on appeal. He received his marching orders from referee Kevin Friend during the 2-0 defeat at Stoke on November 23 for a challenge on midfielder Charlie Adam, but later had a claim for wrongful dismissal upheld. However, he was suspended for three games after being dismissed for a crude tackle from behind on Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel during a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light on December 21.

Alan Pardew

Fulham to beat Moyes’ side before Sunday’s match. Fulham were rock bottom of the Barclays Premier League with the worst defensive record in division. Five days earlier they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United, who are in the League One relegation zone. But the Cottagers took just 19 minutes to open the scoring and they then survived an onslaught from United to eventually come away with a 2-2 draw thanks to Darren Bent’s 94th-minute equaliser. United flung a record 81 crosses into the Fulham box, but with 6ft 7in centre-back Dan Burn in the away side, visiting head coach Rene Meulensteen said his team were well prepared for everything the hosts threw at them. “When I saw Manchester United today I thought the game-plan was quite straight forward - get it wide, get it in,” said Meulensteen, who walked away from Old Trafford last summer following a long spell among Ferguson’s backroom staff.. “If you’re well organised and the goalkeeper is in good positions to come and collect the ball it can be easy [to defend against]. “You need a little bit of creativity and a bit of variety at times to open [teams] up.

“It was partly straight forward. “We know that we had to be more compact and tight in wide areas because United would cross the ball a lot.” Moyes defended his decision to pump so many balls into the box even though it was clear that the tactic was not working. “It wasn’t always one way. One of the big things about Manchester United is that they do play with width, they do cross the ball, its in their genes here,” the Scot said. There was a downbeat answer from Moyes when he was asked whether his team could finish in the top four. “We will do our best,” Moyes said. “We have a good team and there will be very few teams desperate to play Manchester United, that’s for sure.” It is hard to believe that Arsenal, who face United on Wednesday, will share Moyes’ point of view after this latest underwhelming display from the champions.

David Moyes

Mourinho showed some sympathy towards his counterpart, who has seen some of his best players leave St. James’ Park in recent times. “I would be a hypocrite to say losing a player like Cabaye is not a problem for Alan,” said Mourinho. “My club could react if we sold some players. Unfortunately for Alan they couldn’t give him a player to replace Cabaye. “Cabaye was one of the best midfield players we had in the Premier League.” Cabaye joined Paris Saint Germain from the Magpies last month in a deal worth £19 million.

... Claims Drogba Return Will Be ‘Special’

JOSE Mourinho has claimed that return to Stamford Bridge will be a “special moment” but has cautioned against underestimating Galatasaray. Chelsea travel to Turkey to face Galatasaray at the end of February for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie before welcoming Drogba and another former Mourinho charge, Wesley Sneijder, to Stamford Bridge three weeks later. The game will mark Drogba’s first return to west London since he scored the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final, and Mourinho expects it to be a special occasion. “I think it will be a special moment for Didier and for the Chelsea fans when he comes back on to the pitch at Stamford Bridge. “He deserves the best reception – he is a hero here for what he achieved and he is a great guy as well as a great footballer,” added Mourinho. Having had first-hand experience of Drogba’s devastating talents, Mourinho expects a tough game against the Turkish champions, though. “So there will be a lot of love when that happens, but we also have a game to play – we know that Didier will be giving his best because we know the professional he is, but we will also be giving everything to progress. “For sure, it is going to be something amazing to experience.”


Madrid Motivated By Ronaldo Suspension

Title Race Not Over Yet, Says JUVENTUS coach is a great Conte example, Antonio Conte said the title alternative. Nobody is race was far from over after his table-topping side threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Hellas Verona on Sunday. Although their nine-point lead at the top of Serie A remains intact because Roma also drew, 0-0 at Lazio, Conte feels the points lost in the 94th minute could prove costly. He urged his players to be more ruthless in seeing out games, and Gazzetta dello Sport quoted him as saying: “We could live to regret these two points lost. “The title has not been won, and we’d better get that into our heads. We switched off. Maybe we thought it was all over, and that Verona would never get back into the game. “We had already dropped our rhythm in the first half. [Luca] Toni’s goal then generated anxiety, and it’s a shame because we were controlling the game — but when your opponents are on the ground, you’ve got to kill them off sportingly. We instead helped lift

Verona up, forgetting that games last 95 minutes.” Conte called his players in for training on Monday rather than giving them their usual day off, and told them he would have no hesitation in altering his starting lineup. “I don’t know if some people feel their place in the team is certain, but I have no problems changing things if I notice they are not working,” he said. “[Claudio] Marchisio, for

certain of their place.” Carlos Tevez scored his first goals of 2014 to give Juve their two-goal cushion, but was downbeat at the final whistle, saying: It’s worthless. We can’t be happy. It’s not like Juve to play like this. “I don’t care how many goals I score, come the end of the season, I want the Scudetto. We weren’t tired, and it shouldn’t be hard to try to keep our concentration.”

Messi’s ‘Pride’ Restored, Says Barca Boss BARCELONA coach Gerardo Martino said Lionel Messi had answered his critics in the best way possible as the Argentine scored his first two goals from open play in 10 league games as Barca won 4-1 at Sevilla. Sevilla had gone ahead early evening with another sweet finish on under the torrential rain at the from Andres Iniesta’s pass 11 Sanchez Pizjuan, but Messi led minutes after the break and Cesc his side’s revival as he firstly Fabregas rounded off the scoring crossed for Alexis Sanchez to three minutes from time. bundle home the equaliser before Messi had been questioned for finishing off a fine counter-attack his poor goalscoring form since with a stunning half-volley just returning from a hamstring injury before half-time. at the start of the year, but Martino The four-time World Player of insisted it was only a matter of the Year doubled his tally for the time before he returned to form in

Benzema Happy To Match Ronaldo’s Record REAL Madrid striker Karim Benzema says he is delighted after Saturday’s brace helped him match Ronaldo’s goal tally for the club. The retired Brazilian forward scored 104 goals in 177 during his spell with the Whites and Benzema’s double during the 42 win over Villarreal saw him reaching the milestone after 215 matches. “I’m very happy to get to that level,” he told reporters. “For me, Ronaldo is the best ever. “It’s hard to score but I have the help of my teammates, so I am enjoying this moment because I scored. “But the most important thing is to win games. I see we have a good team, with a lot of depth in the squad. “We are ready to continue like this and Madrid is always one of the favourites.” Benzema also praised fellow striker Jese Rodriguez, who also found the back of the net for Madrid on Saturday, alongside Gareth Bale. “He’s in fine form. He’s a player I really like,” said Benzema. “Jese is young but he is already a good player. “This is a great team with lots of strikers, and that’s good for everyone.”

Antonio Conte

Lionel Messi

front of goal. “I always say the same with respect to Leo. I never run the risk of going over the top with him. “Those that do say something negative about him sometimes don’t realise what they are doing is affecting his pride and, when you do that to the best player in the world, this is what happens.” Victory moved Barca back to the top of La Liga on goal difference over Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with all three sides tied on 57 points. The Catalans had started the weekend off top spot for the first time in 59 league matches following a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Valencia last weekend. And Martino is determined not to hand the advantage to their title rivals again in the 15 league games that remain. “To have the opportunity to recover and regain the lead just a week after losing it is reassuring. “We start again now and we will see which of the three teams make a mistake first. We hope it won’t be us again.” The game was also notable for Iniesta’s return to form. The Spanish international hadn’t played 90 minutes since the 4-0 win over Elche on

Emery Rues ‘Offside Goal’

SEVILLA coach Unai Emery believes Alexis Sanchez’ equaliser was the turning point during Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Barcelona. The Andalusian side broke the deadlock through Alberto Moreno before Sanchez scored from what looked like an offside position. However, the goal stood and the Catalans eventually ran away with the match as Lionel Messi scored on either side of the break before substitute Cesc Fabregas netted late to seal the win. “The offside goal was a very decisive moment, because we

were playing well, with a goal up; we were creating chances and the game was going in our favour,” Emery told reporters. “Then there was an action where Nico Pareja was going for the ball against Messi on the ground and I think he touched the ball. “The referee’s style undermined us because we were afraid of getting involved in duels. “Later on, the referee realised he didn’t have to be so strict and in the second half he allowed more. “After playing a great game, we lost. The penalty areas were determining factor and their

accuracy decided the match.” Despite suffering their third loss in a row, Emery praised his side for putting up a strong challenge against the defending champions and remains hopeful that they will turn the corner. “We have to keep in mind that for many of our players, this was the first time they’ve played at this level,” he added. “We need more experience to give them more confidence and to allow them to use this game to grow. “We are in a negative run of form and we need to break it with a victory, we need to find some sort of balance in the defence.”

January 5, but was undoubtedly his side’s best performer in midfield as they recovered control after a difficult opening. However, despite his own contribution, Iniesta was also keen to laud the difference made by Messi. “Leo never goes missing, he is one of the few players in the world that in a few seconds or in a few metres can turn a game. He does it all the time and he did it again today,” he told Spanish TV station Canal Plus. “It was important to win today and to return to the top of the table. We lost the leadership last week and it is good to return so quickly. The conditions weren’t the best but we managed to take the three points. “The equality between all the teams is good for everyone. We will see what happens come the end of the season.”

REAL Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence has served as motivation for his side. The Portuguese international is currently serving a three-match suspension following his dismissal during the 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao. However, the Whites continued with their winning ways on Saturday night as they downed Villarreal 4-2 courtesy of a brace from Karim Benzema as well as a goal each from Gareth Bale and Jese Rodriguez. “The absence of Cristiano gave us more motivation because he is an indispensable player for us,” Ancelotti said. Without him the rest work even harder; “Bale has played well, like his teammates. “It was not an easy game. I understand that after the work we put in against Atletico Madrid it was not easy to approach this game. “But Bale scored the first goal, assisted the second and put in a good level of performance.” Ancelotti also lauded young striker Jese, who continues to find the back of the net when given a chance to play. “At the moment Jese is very good for the team and he works hard,” added Ancelotti. “He’s doing what everyone wants from him. He’s doing very well for his age and it’s a good thing for everyone.”

Tevez Praises Conte For Helping Him Settle

CARLOS Tevez brushed off further talk of Argentina by thanking Antonio Conte’s contribution for helping him settle in at Juventus. The 30-year-old netted twice for the Bianconeri on Sunday afternoon to take his League tally to 13 and, whilst it was not enough to see Juve take the three points away from Verona, it once again prompted reporters to ask the forward of his hopes of making the Argentina squad this summer. “I’m not happy with the two goals, our objective is always to win. “The World Cup? I do not want to always talk about the national team,” afterwards reflected Tevez, who has not been picked by Alejandro Sabella yet. “I’m playing well here, I am happy at Juventus, this is important, then it is down to the Coach [Sabella] to

decide. “I am settling in at Turin alright and that is the result of the work of Conte, we work and play together every day in training. “The relationship with the fans is one that I feel greatly, I try to satisfy them with what I do on the field. “Osvaldo? Since he has arrived he has been fine. He is a player who can serve us much in attack.”

Carlos Tevez


CMYK

FINALLY, the government seems to have been convinced of the futility of its insistence on keeping Police Commissioner Mbu on as The head of police in Rivers state. One wonders why it took so long to reconsider it’s puerile insistence on keeping an who obviously was caught on the middle of a battle he had been given a huge mandate to tackle. It would have been impossible for Mbu to sustain his intransigence, which he clearly displayed through arbitrary misuse of authority and disregard for the demands of the people of the state. For those who still insist that he was only doing his job, there were several instances where he obviously crossed the line of duty and assumed the responsibilities of the Chief Executive of the state. At some point he seemed oblivious of the fact that the era of military rule had passed and that his role as head of the Police in Rivers state came under strict guidelines that included his deference to the duly elected governor of the state. While some would like to see his obstinacy as a rejection of the overbearing trends of the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, we fail to see that his actions did not speak of the great sense of responsibility ascribed to him. There is no doubt that the desire to impose his whims on Mbu would have been a driving force behind some of governor Amaechi’s actions and complaints of Mbu’s obstinacy. Under Nigeria’s lascivious political inclination, this is the sad trend; where elected officials quickly become dictatorial in

their approach to governance. It is possible that the refusal of Mbu to allow governor Amaechi use the Police in his favour against growing opposition was the reason behind Amaechi’s insistence that he could not work with him (Mbu), however, it is impossible

had gathered at the Liberty Stadium in Port Harcourt for verification of their documents by the state government, we’re dispersed with tear gas by the Police who claimed they had assembled in preparation for a political rally. Even if they were, there was no

to see this as the only reason for the complaint when we assess the many sins of the police during Mbu’s reign as CP in the state. If we compiled Mbu’s sins as CP, we would fill the pages of a huge notebook, and none of them spelled a sense of responsibility, or a commitment to duty, or respect for the rights of the citizens of Rivers state. If, for any reason, his actions could be excused as consequences borne out of the rigours of his job, his own explanations and defiance in the face of evidence that exposed the lopsidedness of his actions could not be tolerated. Mbu was arrogant and supercilious. He carried on as if proudly flaunting the superiority of the voice he listened to over that of the state governor. He did it to the point that, It seemed, we had reached a point in the country where a state could be run by two executives. At some point, the joke was that Joseph Mbu was the Military administrator of the state. There are many who believe Mbu could not have been so bold without some backing from top powers at the federal level: his actions clearly reveal a boldness that could have been inspired only by such support. There are several that come to mind easily. One sad incidence was when teachers, who

logical reason for breaking up the gathering, especially as no reports of violence had been made. Before that, Mbu’s bias was clearly exposed during the fracas that

Joseph Mbu’s Many Sins coordinated plot to unseat governor Amaechi. The extent to which Mbu chose to carry out his persecution of these members spoke volume of a sinister scheme that he could not

his orders to his men to disperse a rallysupposedly peacefulwhere Senator Magnus Abe, a serving senator from the state, was allegedly shot at. Even if this only mirrored the

Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State ensued in the state House of Assembly. Even as all evidence pointed to a coordinated plot by a few members to destabilise the House proceedings commenced by the majority, obviously buoyed by a covert support from higher echelons of power, Mbu’s force chose to hound the majority of the House members who insisted on standing against what they claimed was a

have cooked up himself. The constant disruption of rallies organised in support of the governorand the attendant excesses of the police during the break up of these rallies- is an example of a flagrant disregard for the rights of the people for which Mbu also became famous. I guess the high point of Mbu’s disregard for any political authority in Rivers state came with

usual obstinacy he was known for, it had reached a point that even his superior knew could not be condoned. For those who continue to defend his actions on the grounds that he chose to fight all attempts at political influence, it is important that they assess his actions and ask themselves if his refusal to hound any of the five members who allegedly sparked the

crisis at the Rivers state House of Assembly, while he persistently pressed on with the persecution of some members considered p r o - A m a e c h i supporters, showed any sense of professionalism; they should also ask themselves if the refusal of Mbu to hold the mandated regular discussions on the security situation in the state with the governor seemed like the expected outcome of a professional police officer who had regards for his superior. It is also important to question the rationale behind Mbu’s arbitrary disruption of gatherings of any nature, even as he did not have the right to do so. The volte-face by the Police Service Commission, in its decision to recall Mbu, is welcome and clear proof that there is acceptance of Mbu’s flaws. At the point where he decided to override the authority of the state governor in all his decisions, even if this was as a result to protect his job by doing his master’s bidding, Mbu lost all credibility as a responsible officer and an example of a police force willing to remodel it’s image. He may have served his purpose as a porn in the hands of a few but his errors will remain lasting proof of our poor record in the respect of constitutional norms.

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Nigerian observer 11 02 2014