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The Nigerian

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol . 38 NO.479 • MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014 • N100.00 ISSUES Pg. 19

Building A Culture Of Pro Bono In Nigeria

House c’ttee seeks emergency funds for NAPTIP

ABUJA - The House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights has called on the Federal Government to provide emergency funds for the National Agency for the

Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), to enable it discharge its duties effectively. Chairman of the

committee, Rep. Beni Lar, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday.

“We appeal to the Federal Government to make available, emergency funds to NAPTIP, to enable it implement its mandate in Continues on page 2


Oil Bunkering


Existentialist Escapes

Jonathan reads riot act WARRI (DELTA) - President Goodluck Jonathan weekend warned people involved in oil bunkering to desist from it or face the full weight of the law. Jonathan gave the warning at the ground breaking ceremony of the Nigeria Maritime University and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Ship and Dockyard in Okerenkpko, and Oporoza, Warri SouthWest Local Government Area of Delta. Jonathan, who

admitted that elimination of illegal oil bunkering in the country might be difficult, accused some influential people of involvement in the illegal business. The president commended the assistance of the international community to the ongoing war against terrorism in the country.

He condemned the disappearance of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno, by the Boko Haram sect, assuring that the girls would be brought to

safety. “I am happy with the support of the U.S., UK, Republic of China and France in searching for the missing girls and also fighting terrorism in

Nigeria. “We are worried because of the sudden disappearance of the over 200 young girls struggling to improve on their education.

“Some wicked people under different kinds of arrangement and philosophy in the name of Boko Haran went and took the girls away. Continues on page 2

Chibok Girls: APC welcomes

foreign support, advises Govt LAGOS - The All Progressives Congress (APC) said it welcomed the arrival of British and American experts in Nigeria to assist in finding the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno, on April 14. Chief Bisi Akande, the Chairman of the party said this at a press conference in Lagos yesterday. Akande also commended the offer of assistance by Canada, China, France, ECOWAS and the UN, among others to help find the girls. He said that the support being offered by the countries and organisations confirmed

the party’s belief that the war against terrorism was a global battle that needed all hands to be on deck. “ We thank all the friendly nations and global organisations that have expressed solidarity with our dear country in her hour of need. “And we urge those that have offered assistance to ensure it extends beyond finding our girls to dealing a crushing blow to the terrorists and defeating them once and for all,’’ he said. Akande, who was flanked by several national executive


“If you wake up to find that all your friends have suddenly become your enemies, it is most likely that you are the one who suddenly turned an enemy of all your friends”. - Kingsley-Ogbeide-Ihama

members of the party, said that despite the foreign support, however, the Nigerian Government should continue to do more to ensure the security and safety of its citizens. He said the party believed that the Nigerian military had the ability to be more successful in the fight Continues on page 2

L-R: Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Fulvius Rusticus; German Ambassador, Mrs. Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzil; Baby Arrion, wife of the head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, and the the Head, EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Micheal Arrion, at a reception to mark EU day in Abuja yesterday.

Abducted Girls

DHQ denies report of arrest of insurgent

ABUJA - The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) weekend said that there has been no arrest or

operation by any foreign military or security allies in the ongoing efforts to rescue the abducted

girls. It said there had not also been any arrest or operation in the conduct

of the ongoing counter terrorist campaign in Nigeria as reported by national dailies and was

Exclusive List: NLC, TUC reject

proposed removal of labour matters ABUJA - The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday asked the National Conference not

to move labour matters from the exclusive legislative list to concurrent list. President of TUC, Malam Bobboi Kaigama,

made the call in Abuja at a joint conference of both umbrella labour unions. He said that if such a move was allowed to sail through, it could destroy

the country and return it to a period when there was no centrally coordinated labour union. “Our attention has Continues on page 2

currently being circulated online. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information. The statement said that contrary to the reports and the pictures being circulated to illustrate the claims, there had been no incident or record as reported. Continues on page 2


Jonathan read riot act

Continued from page 1 “We will do everything to ensure the girls are found.’’ Jonathan said that no meaningful development could be achieved in an atmosphere of violence, adding that the amnesty embraced by the Niger Delta was ushering development into the region. “We have achieved mileage in amnesty, without peace there will be no development and we would not be talking of ground

breaking ceremony like this,’’ he said. He commended the Director- General of NIMASA, Mr. Ziakede Akpobolokemi, for initiating the projects. The president said the institution would help to place the nation’s maritime industry at par with its leading counterparts in the world and also enhance the nation’s economic growth. Jonathan said that maritime was a lucrative business, stressing that, ‘’ now that we

Chibok girls

Continued from page 1 against insurgency if it was better equipped. Akande said that the APC remained resolute that Nigeria could overcome the Boko Haram sect if everyone came together to fight the common enemy. He said that the party was advocating a multifaceted strategy that the Nigerian Government could also adopt in fighting the battle and getting victory. Akande said that the APC believed that the government should develop and/or publish a Counter-Terrorism Strategy and build a new intelligence gathering infrastructure “We need to obtain more timely and actionable intelligence from local sources in the areas affected by Boko Haram,’’ he said. According to him, there is also a need to establish an office of the Special AntiTerrorism Coordinator. The party chairman said that there was a need for improved Intelligence in the fight against terror in the country. “The solution to preventing, limiting and responding better to BH attacks does not lie in deploying more troops but in improving intelligence and increasing force enablers. “The fight against BH will be enhanced if government focuses on these two elements,’’ he said. Akande said that there was a need to improve contingency planning and also align military with political

Abducted Girls Continued from page 1 It said that the pictures being circulated to illustrate the claims in the story were not related to the situation in Nigeria as they were taken from scenes in other countries. “Indeed, no troops of the American Marines have so far been deployed in any part of Nigeria as is being circulated in certain media. “There is therefore no need to engage in misleading speculations while the mission is in progress. The statement added,” it said. According to the statement, the public will be duly briefed on the areas of collaboration with allied forces in the mission to bring back our girls as the need arises.

(negotiated) solutions. “Government must develop a strategy along the lines of the policy followed by President Yar’Adua (over the MEND in the Niger Delta). “At least to the extent that we use employment and other rehabilitative incentives to separate the rank and file from Boko Haram’s leadership,’’ he said. Akande said government should also solicit the operational involvement and assistance of ECOWAS and AU. According to him, that includes deploying multinational security operations across the Sahel to track down Boko Haram’s operational chain. “It is clear that Boko Haram is no longer a ‘Nigeria-only’ problem, but now a regional security menace that requires regional responses,’’ he said. He also called for an economic development plan for Northern Nigeria and the involvement of civilian peace building organisations in the design of peace building initiatives for the North-East. Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Reverend Felix Ajakaye, has advised the military against publicising its strategies against the Boko Haram insurgents. Ajakaye gave the advice in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja on the sideline of the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of Knights of St. John International, Commandery 574. He expressed concern over the way the Nigerian military revealed sensitive Anti-Boko Haram activities and plans in a bid to convince the public that “it was on top of the situation”. He said that such information usually gave the insurgents the opportunity to re-strategise. “We should mind what we say. Even as we are planning, we do not make strategies and reveal them on the pages of newspapers and electronic media. “When the new Chief of Defence staff was appointed, he said insurgency in the country will end in April 2014. “Even if he was planning towards it, he shouldn’t have made such a statement. Since then, the insurgency has continued to escalate. “As foreign countries are coming to help with the Chibok kidnapping, it should have been done in a way that it wouldn’t alert those insurgents,” he said.

have signed the Nigerian Content Law, it will encourage Nigerians to key into the maritime and gas sectors and make money’’. In his remarks, Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan lauded Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda and urged people to support his administration to realise his dreams for the citizenry. “We thank the President for the university,’’ he said. Uduaghan also

commended Mr Government Ekpemupolo (a.k.a. Tompolo) for his assistance in ensuring the execution of the projects. On his part, Akpobolokemi said that the projects were sited in Delta because of its geographical location in terms of oil activities. He said that the project would help to build capacity in maritime sector and reduce over dependence on foreign expatriates in some critical areas in the industry.

Continued from page 1

the past successfully, especially when they had adequate funds,” she said. On the recent abduction of schools girls in Chibok town of Borno, Lar said that the agency was practically not doing much due to constraints of funds. The Chairman noted that the frequent attacks on schools and subsequent abduction of schools girls in the North-East by insurgents, was worrisome. “This is a very worrisome situation and if Nigeria does not do anything about it, it will be a disaster for the country,” she warned. Lar stated that as long as terrorism strived in the country, young girls would continue to be targets of terrorists.

House c’ttee seeks emergency funds for NAPTIP

Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic, as per the bilateral agreements on trafficking in persons. “Without adequate funding NAPTIP cannot carry out its duties effectively in those countries. Tracking Traffickers requires a lot of money,” she said. The legislator said that the committee would meet with the Minister of Finance on this issue to explore the possibility of raising some emergency funds for NAPTIP. “The agency is the official government agency mandated by law to fight trafficking, to rescue girls, repatriate and rehabilitate them back home. “NAPATIP had done this in

NLC, TUC reject proposed removal of labour matters Continued from page 1 been drawn to the report credited to the Chairman of the Committee on Devolution of Power at the ongoing National Conference, Victor Attah. “He was quoted as saying the committee had decided to transfer all labour matters from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list. “This is contrary to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Society, Labour and Sports, which is specifically assigned to deliberate on labour matters at the National Conference,” Kaigama said. The TUC leader said the danger of not having a central co-ordinating labour would be industrial chaos. Kaigama added that if labour issues were allowed to exit the exclusive list, this would jeopardise the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 144 of 1976 which Nigeria is a signatory to. He said now was the time to move the country forward by strengthening all the institutions which had for long fostered national unity and cohesion. “Those who have contributed to the rot of the past, which has brought the country to this sorry state, should not be allowed to mislead us again into taking retrogressive steps,’’ the labour leader said. Kaigama said since governors and other political office-holders had their salaries fixed nationally by the Revenue Mobilisation

Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), workers should not be denied the minimum wage. The union leader said members of the committee needed to be educated on the logic and final implications of what they were canvassing for. He said labour might resort to lobbying other delegates to the conference before the recommendation was tabled before the conference plenary. “We the organised labour won’t tell you our last joker. We will definitely do something. “When we get to the river, we will find a way of crossing it,’’ Kaigama said. In his contribution, the NLC Chief Economist, Peter OzoEson, said what the committee was attempting to do was to cripple the labour movement, especially at the national level. “Some Governors under the aegis of Governors Forum started this just after the minimum wage issue. They actually misunderstood the way these things work. “They don’t seem to understand the implications of what they are asking for. “Those who are familiar with labour history in this country will remember that there was a time when there were house unions and no central national union. But what did we have? “It was really an environment of a very unstable industrial relationship,” he said.

LAPO canvasses gender equality, women empowerment BENIN CITY - Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a nongovernmental organization has canvassed the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment towards overcoming poverty, hunger and disease in the society. Speaking during its first quarter programme review session, General Manager, Sabina Idowu-Osehobo stated that no meaningful development can be achieved without recognizing girls and women as equal players in decision making, up-skilling and investing in them for a better world. She emphasized LAPO’s commitment to advancing

the socio-economic status of women, adding that the organization empowered 56,302 rural dwellers and clients with social, health and free legal services in target communities during the first quarter of the year. Besides, over 26,354 were reached through Information, Enlightenment and Communication materials. In her contribution, Social Empowerment Manager, Mrs. Philomena Elijah declared that economic and social empowerment services have always been an integral part of the organization’s poverty intervention programme in response to the increasing level and severity of poverty across the country.

Benin Airport Manager wants team work Security:

IKEJA - The Benin Airport Manager, Mr. Sunday Ayodele said that all security agencies at the airports should be networking for adequate security in the nation’s gateways. Ayodele gave the advice while speaking with aviation correspondents in Lagos yesterday. He said the management of Benin Airport had put in place adequate arrangement to ensure that security was not compromised at the entry point. Ayodele said that going further to arm the security personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) would be an aberration. The airport manager said that the aviation was a globally regulated sector and that no country could act in isolation under the rules of the

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). He commended the current management of FAAN for its timely interventions and the timely remodelling of the Benin Airport. “But for the timely remodelling of the Benin airport, we would have faced serious dearth of passengers as a result of the Asaba Airport in Delta State which has started operations. “Now that we have a better airport, we do not really feel the heat, even those who used to go by road before are now flying because we now have better facilities under the remodelling project,” he said. Ayodele said that the major challenge being faced by the airport was that of electricity, stressing that the airport used about 7,000 litres of diesel to service its generators monthly.

Chibok girls: Nigeria Councillors

Forum postpones Nat’l conference MINNA - The Nigeria Councillors’ Forum yesterday said it had postponed its 6th National Conference scheduled for May 14 in sympathy of the abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno. The President of the Forum, Alhaji Usman Muhammad, disclosed this to newsmen in Minna. He said that the Forum felt it necessary to show solidarity with the parents of the girls and other Nigerians at these trying times. He said the Forum had directed its members to organise prayers for quick release of the girls and reunion with their parents as well as to meet their academic studies. He said the Forum condemned in totality the abduction of the girls from the North East by the Boko Haram and the wanton destruction of properties in the region. Muhammad called for adequate funding of the local government councils in the country for them to be able to

deliver dividends of democracy to the people. He stressed that adequate funding of the councils would reduce unemployment and prevent youths from engaging in social vices. Muhammad enjoined the delegates at the National Conference to work in favour of complete autonomy of the local government councils and removal of the joint account provision in 1999 constitution. “We have the ability to provide meaningful developmental projects to the people, but that provision has hindered the flow of funds to the local government councils in some states,” he said. Muhammad commended Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State for introducing ‘Ward Development Projects’ through which people initiated projects for the councils and state government to execute. He said many projects were executed by the various ward development committees in the 274 wards in the state on that platform.

Inside Edo NUJ Chairman Charges Youths On and consultation, rather than BENIN CITY –Youths in Devt confrontation. Uhunmwode Local Government Area have been urged to use their time and energy in bringing about actual development of the Council. Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Edo State Council, Comrade Desmond Agbama stated this when he received the executive and members of Uhunmwode Youth for Positive change. Comrade Agbama commended the youths for coming together to chat a common course for the development of Uhnmwode which he described as one of the

least developed local government area in Edo State. He lauded their decision to organized a summit where all sons and daughters of Uhumwode would come together to brainstorm on how to develop the local government area. Comrade Agbama assured them of the support of the NUJ, especially in the publicity of their activities and programmes. He advise members of Uhumwode Youth for Positive Change to engage the people through dialogue, negotiation

Abducted Girls

Catholic Women Pray For Unconditional Release By FAITH ISIKHUEMEN

B E N I N - C I T Y- C a t h o l i c women in Edo and Delta state under the aegis of the Ladies of St Mulumba (LSM) Nigeria marched through the Airport Road to the Oba Ovonranmen Square, the Benin City centre to plead and pray for the unconditional release of the abducted female students in Chibok, Borno state in Northern part of Nigeria. The women who carried placards with various inscriptions, prayed and chanted solidarity songs, condemning the act of terrorism in the country, saying that no group of individuals, no matter how highly placed, has the right to torment the innocent girls. In a press release made available to newsmen, the LSM said that members were tempted to suspect that some illegal immigrants who do not mean well for Nigerians could be using some gullible elements among the citizenry to destabilise the country, while lamenting the

menace of the nations borders which they described as porous. The LSM also called on the federal government and security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the girls from their captors They called on the civil societies, NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs), inter-religeous bodies and all staekeholers to ensure security of lives and property. The women however expressed their sympathy with the affected biological parents of the abducted girls and enjoined Christians and Muslims to pray for the immediate release of the girls. Speaking with The Nigerian OBSERVER, the Noble President of LSM, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Ngor Nwachukwu who was represented by the President, Benin Metropolitan Ladies of St. Mulumba , Lady Uwa Martha Omo-Osagie said the rally was borne out of the necessity to combine efforts with the agrieved mothers of the girls and Nigerian women in general who are praying and pleading for the unconditition release of the abducted girls.

The State NUJ Chairman cautioned them to be weary of politicians who may want to hijack the association for their selfish political interest. Earlier, The President of Uhunmwode Youth for Positive Change, Comrade Raymond Idemudia told the NUJ Chairman that the continuous neglect of Uhunmwode by politicians, and the lack of visionary leaders informed their decision to come together, in order to correct, sensitize, educate and orient the people on the need for a change. Comrade Idemudia informed the NUJ Chairman of the first Uhunmwonde National Youth Summit scheduled for next month and therefore called for support towards the success of the event.

The Acting Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Collins Aibaogun with his wife and Chief Registrar Customary Court, Barrister (Mrs.) A.E. Aibaogun (left); Mrs. U.U. Ikhide and Mrs U. Taiwo on the occasion of the burial ceremony of Mrs. Ewanekenan Usikhifo Aibaogun, mother of the Acting Permanent Secretary at Avbiosi, Owan East local Government Area of Edo State.

Ag Perm Secretary Buries Mother By DOROTHY EGBOBAMWORUYI

AVBIOSI– Avbiosi, a community in Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State came alive weekend when the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr Collins Aibaogwn buried his late mother Mr. Ewanekeuan Usikhifo Aibaogun (nee Uduiguomen) in a grand style. The event which spanned two days had in attendance personalities from within and outside the state including associates who joined the Aibaoguns in the celebration of life and times of their mother.

L-R: The Rector, Lighthouse Polytechnic, Evbobanosa, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, Dr. Dele Suleman; National President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and President, Lighthouse Polytechnic, Rev (Dr.) Felix Omobude; US Consul-General to Nigeria, Mr. Jeff Hawkins; US Political Officer to Nigeria, Katrina Drayton and Pastor IK Ogiugo during US Envoy’s visit to the Polytechnic recently.

Mrs. Ewanekeuan Usikhifo Aibaogun’s journey to the final resting place, began with a procession from the morgue to her father’s compound at old Avbiosi site, her husband’s compound, and her compound respectively where she resided till her death on March 28, 2014. During the procession, her maternal and paternal siblings received and paid their last respect to the great woman where several cannons were shot as a mark of honour to the late Mrs.

Aibaogun. Thereafter, there was an all- night wake which had retinue of dignitaries from different walks of life in attendance. The remains of Mrs. Aibaogun was later interred after a funeral service at the grave side by the Deeper life Bible church where she fellowshipped till her last day on earth. In a tribute, her son, Dr Collins Aibaogun, who described his mother as a very good disciplinarian that made a lot of self sacrifice

in fending and protecting her children, said her resilience, determination and hardwork transcends boundaries. He noted that she was widely consulted in interpretation of dreams, family history and general advice by her community. He maintained that his mother who grew up in his father’s compound as a child –wife started fending for her children after the third child and was known in her days as a strong farmer competing with men in terms of the size of her yam barn, and other form produce.

US Consul General Visits Lighthouse of BENIN CITY -The Polytechnic President-General

prestigious Lighthouse P o l y t e c h n i c , Evbuobanosa-Benin recently played host to the United State ConsulGeneral to Nigeria, Mr. Jeff Hawkins. The Envoy in company of his Political Officer, Katrina Drayton who toured the facilities in the compere of the institution’s president, Rev. (Dr.) Felix Omobude, said they were very impressed with the structures on ground. The US Consul-General who was highly impressed in his remarks thanked the President, Rector and members of the institution’s faculties, saying “your institution is truly a Lighthouse of

learning”. Said he: “thanks to the President, Rector and members of the faculties for this wonderful visit. Your institution is truly a Lighthouse of learning”. President of Lighthouse Polytechnic, Rev. Dr. Felix Omobude had earlier told his visitors that the institution which is government approved, started academic activities in 2008 in a rented apartment in Benin City before moving to its permanent location at Evbuobanosa, near Benin City. Omobude who is also the national President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and

Gospel Light International Ministries New Covenant Gospel Church, stated that the institution is built on a very strong, sound and qualitative science technology and management education at post secondary level. He told the US ConsulGeneral and members of his entourage that the underlying principle of Lighthouse Polytechnic is to develop a modest suburban based technological institution with the aim of producing through sound, discipline, morals, qualitative education and collaborative learning, God fearing, competent and innovative workers and leaders in technology and commerce.


Terrorism: Group Calls For America’s Help BENIN CITY - United States-based human rights and emancipation action movement, Edo United For Homeland Empowerment has called on the U.S. government to initiate international efforts to help Nigeria fight terrorism and kidnapping. The organisation in an electronic mail to the The NIGERIAN OBSERVER in Benin City also appealed to the government to put pressure on the Nigerian government to fight institutional corruption that not only deprives the Nigerian masses of their rights to decent lives, but constantly militates against effective action by the authorities, while calling for sanctions against corrupt public office holders. The organisation described as insane and barbaric, the recent abduction of more than 200 Chibok school girls by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State of Nigeria, saying that the threat by the sect to sell the innocent girls must be taken seriously. Boko Haram, it recalled has unleashed terror of unimaginable proportion on the Nigerian nation with heavy casualty from their suicide bombing, shooting and decapitation of innocent citizens, especially students whom they begrudge for defying their orders to disregard Western Education. The organisation, with headquarters in Boston Massachusetts averred in a petition through Senator

Edward Markey’s office located at the John F Kennedy Federal building in Boston that the current situation, if left unchecked can rapidly and uncontrollably degenerate into revenge killings and ethnic or religious war, thereby plunging the entire West African region in chaos. “If this happens, many American citizens of Nigerian origin, such as us, innocent Nigerian masses and other visitors to the country will suffer”, the organization feared. Rwanda’s genocidal lesson of the 1990s, Edo United remarked is indicative of the heavy price of inaction, or of intervention that arrives too late to halt the train of ethnic cleansing before it becomes unstoppable, a phenomenon which the United States not only regretted, but vowed never to let happen again. The organization bemoaned the increased pace of human rights violations in Nigeria, with frequent bombings of civilian targets by Boko Haram, daily kidnapping of individuals by professional gangs and indiscriminate government’s brutal reactions with heavy collateral damage on the side of the innocent civilians. Members of the group’s Board of Directors, comprising the President, Mr. Frank Ekhator (HRA), Mr. Emmanuel Okunmwendia, Director of Publicity and Secretary-General Ms

Omolayo Yvonne Omoruyi in a closed door meeting with Kate Machet, an officer of the senator in charge of International Affairs presented a catalog of burning issues for which Nigeria need immediate intervention. The petition was signed by all three officials and Dr. Sam Edo, the organization’s Director of Cyber Security and Research. “What makes our great nation (America) great and stands enviably tall in the comity of nations”, the organization continued “ is its unequivocal resolve to defend freedom and democracy around the world”, with reference to President Woodrow Wilson’s words that: “America has a duty to protect lives, spread liberty as well as democracy across the entire world.” “Without external help, Nigeria will slide into another long cycle of anarchy and military coups and possibly, dictatorship from which it emerged only in 1998”, the group warned. “At present, Nigerian citizens, especially women and young school children are in dire need of protection, but such protection is beyond the

competence or concern of corrupt authorities,” adding that only pressure and support from world leaders like the U.S. can make the Nigerian government fight organized crimes that are running out of control in an epidemic of kidnapping, terrorism, sexual

LAPO offering free health screening on communicable diseases in remote villages as part of its social responsibility.

BENIN – One of the defendants in the suit by

Justice Gladys Olotu (rid) against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, before an Abuja Federal High Court, Total E & P Nigeria Ltd, (former Elf Nigeria Ltd), has denied instructing any counsel to write a petition on its behalf in the matter Mouna Youssehan and three others TEPNG to the National Judicial Council, NJC. The NJC was said to have recommended the compulsory retirement of Justice Olotu based on petitions including the one allegedly said to have been written by Mr. Harvey Ideozor of Greenfield Legal practitioners on behalf of Ponticelli Nigeria Ltd, Stolt Oftshore Services S-A, the Vessel MVTheo, owners of the vessel MVTheo, Elf

OYA Demands Release Of Abducted School Girls the rescue of the children as a welcome and a necessary foreign intervention in Nigeria, especially as terrorism and its perpetrators are now becoming global phenomenon. Mr. Ogbomoide, who is also the founder of O.Y.A, noted that the abduction of the innocent girls has exposed them (girls) to an unwarranted and undeserved trauma and

terrorists and kidnappers. We must not allow Nigeria to become another Afghanistan. America and the international community must stand with Nigeria to stop this evil,” the organization demanded.

Defendant Denies Instructing Lawyer To Write Petition Against Justice Olotu

A beneficiary of the health screening programme organised by LAPO.

BENIN CITY- The President of Ovia Youth Alliance (O.Y.A) a sociocultural organsition, Drew Uyi Ogbomoide has added his voice to the call for the release of the school girls abducted in Chibok, by Boko Haram insurgents. He also described the support of United States of America, China and Britain for

violence, human and drug trafficking, economic and political corruption. “Without coordinated international actions to reverse the trends, today’s Boko Haram insurgents and other gangs of “area boys” will turn Nigeria into a safe haven for

risk to their lives and promising future. According to him, the dastardly activities of Boko Haram have left a trail of blood-shed, sorrow and pain which the victims and their surviving loved ones never bargained for.

Advising the Boko Haram insurgents to set the Chibok School girls free and unhurt, he also urged them to desist from being agents of destroying lives and property and change to become useful agents for peace, unity and development in Nigeria.

Petroleum Nigeria Ltd, ADD Marines AG, the Vessel MV Lara s the vessel MV Krysia and Mr. S. B. Harry of S. B. Harry and Co. However, ‘Total E&P Nigeria Ltd., in a letter addressed to S. I. Aheh, SAN, counsel to Justice Olotu, and signed by Oatowun Candide- Johnson (General Counsel), and titled Re: Pm-action notice, said: ‘We are in receipt of your letter with the above subject matter dated March24, 2014. “This is to inform you that, TEPNG did not at any time instruct counsel nor did it cause any petition to be written on its behalf in the matter of Mouna Youssefian and three others versus TEPNG. As we have never seen the petition in question, we would be grateful to receive a copy as soon as possible.” Justice Olotu was also alleged to have failed to deliver judgment only to deliver same in suit No FHC/UY/ 250/2003, 18 months after the final address by the counsel in the suit, contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgments should be delivered within 90 days.’ The otherwise Nigerian gathered that the widow and children of an off shore worker, Mr. Yusuf Youssefian, who allegedly died on board, an offshore vessel MV Theo, a floating

hotel on June 21,2003, after being ill same day, had instituted a case against eight parties. The parties included: Ponticelli Nigeria Lid, Stolt Off shore Services SA, the vessel MV Theo and owners, Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. ABC Marine AG, the vessel MV Lara and the vessel MV Krysia. Justice Olotu was said to have decided the case in favour of the widow and her children noting that the defendants failed to evacuate the deceased promptly or comply with the Medical Evacuation Plan as provided in the contract to provide hotel service between Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd and Stolt Offshore Service. Besides, the widow and her children were said to have sought to enforce the judgment in their favour in a garnishee proceedings against the banks alleged to be in possession of monies. Funds belonging to the defendants/judgment debtors and the garnishee order was temporary granted by the court. It was further learnt that Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd and ponticelli as judgment debtors and who were not parties to the garnishee proceedings, filed separate applications to discharge the temporary garnishee order.

News Osun Recruits 19 Magistrates OSOGBO - The Osun Government has said it had employed 19 magistrates and plans to construct two new prisons as part of efforts to enhance access to justice. Mr. Wale Afolabi, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said this in an interview with newsmen. He said the lock-up prisons would be built in Osogbo and Iwo Local Governments to decongest the two main prisons in Ilesa and Ile-Ife built over 30 years ago. “By the time these prisons are built, they will decongest the main prisons, make transportation of suspects to the court more faster and easier and also improve on our criminal justice system. “This present administration inherited 18 magistrates but we discovered this was not enough and government employed additional 19 magistrates, making them 37. “This is to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the state,” he said. The attorney general also said that 17 lawyers were recruited as public prosecutors for efficient prosecution of criminal cases. Afolabi said the state House of Assembly is currently reviewing existing laws in the state to ensure that they conform to the present realities. On alternative dispute resolution, the attorney general said the government

had revived the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Department, and mediation centers, to assist indigent people to get access to justice. “We discovered that many people are very poor in the state to employ the services of a lawyer to handle their cases. “And as a result of this, when the present administration came into power, the department of public defender and citizen rights in the Ministry of Justice was revived to help the citizens. “Lawyers in these centres are government employees and they render their services free of charge to the citizens.”

Shun Electoral Fraud, Party Chieftain Urges Politicians

L-R: INEC Enugu Administrative Secretary, Mr. Uma Okorie; Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Lawrence Azubuike; Chairman, Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, Dr Boniface Eneh and Igwe Julius Nnaji, during the INEC Enugu Stakeholders meeting on voter registration in Enugu recently.

L-R: President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey; Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazurike Amaechi and Bishop, Rock Cathedral Church Enugu, Mr. Obi Onubogu, during a colloquium in honour of past President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, late Raph Uwechue, in Enugu recently.

Kidnappers Free 2 Nigerian Hostages YENAGOA - Gunmen who abducted three Dutch Nationals and two Nigerians in Letugbene community in Bayelsa have freed their Nigerian hostages. They are, Mr. Femi Soewu and Mr. Sunny Ofehe, who were freed. Three Dutch citizens were seized by gunmen at Letugbene community in Bayelsa on May 4. Ofehe is Founder/ Executive Director Hope for Niger Delta Campaign, a Non Governmental Organisation based in, The Netherlands. Ofeghe said a in statement in Yenagoa that the gunmen were still holding the Dutch citizens. A spokesman of the Bayelsa police command, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, said the

kidnappers were yet to establish contact nor demand for ransom. Ofehe said the Dutch citizens are Mr. Erhard Leffers, Mrs. Marianne Vos and Mr. Jan Andre Groenendijk. Narrating his ordeal, Ofehe said the incident occurred while returning to Warri after a tour of the newly built hospital funded by Chevron. “I and Femi were later blindfolded along one of the creeks and ordered into another boat from the one they first took us with. ‘’They took us to unknown location and left us there while still under blind-folded and were kept separately. “Late Monday evening, we were both taken away in a

speedboat and brought to another unknown community where they abandoned us. “The armed men then threatened us to leave the Niger Delta region if we wanted to remain alive.

‘’We were able to find our way through a path to the town and called for help.’’ He said some local people ferried them to a nearby jetty from where they were taken to a place where they got a

boat to the upland. “While I sympathize with the families of the remaining abducted victims, I appeal to the kidnappers to please release the other members of my team,” Ofehe stated.

LAGOS - Alhaji Moshood Salvador, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain and a former member of the House of Representatives, has appealed to politicians to desist from political fraud. Salvador, who was elected into the National Assembly between 1999 and 2003, made the plea in an interview with newsmen. He said that rigging and other electoral fraud could result to chaos in the polity. Salvador, also a South-West Delegate to the National Conference, said that the level of political fraud perpetrated by some politicians was disturbing. He said that people might not be happy when a politician forced himself on them through fraudulent means. “The electorates are now aware that if their mandate is given to a wrong person, they can protest,’’ the politician said. He advised politicians to campaign openly, so that the public would be able to determine who they should truly vote for. “Politicians have to campaign and let the public know what they have to offer,’’ Salvador said. The politician urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue to educate the public ahead of the 2015 elections. “INEC has so many tasks ahead of it because during the Anambra election, people were blaming it but the blame should be on the electorates. “For example, if you check your name on the INEC register and you cannot find it there, there are INEC phone numbers you can call to complain. “There are so many things that INEC should correct. INEC should do the right thing

Yenagoa LG Spends N2.1bn On Job was not owing staff YENAGOA - The Yenagoa He decried the menace of Creation council salary, adding that staff Local Government Council in unemployment in the area Bayelsa says it has released N2.1 billion to facilitate the creation of jobs for youths in the area. Mr. Chuddy Ben-Walson, the Chairman of the council, said this while briefing newsmen on the activities of the council in Yenagoa. Ben-Walson said that the money would complement the Federal Government’s efforts in creating employment opportunities in the area.

and urged workers in the council to support job creation initiative of his administration. “The importance of job creation to nation building cannot be over-emphasised because if there are jobs, youth restiveness will be reduced. “My council released N2.1 billion for human capital development. I should say that the money came at the

right time and I believe that it will go a long way to reduce poverty. “The ultra-modern information technology centre has also been provided in the council headquarters to kick start job creation. “The centre will create room for learning in every field of human endeavour, people are expected to use the facilities and impact positively on the society.” Ben-Walson said that the

welfare was a priority. The chairman expressed worry over ghost workers syndrome in the council, describing it as a threat to the development of the area. According to him, the council is working hard to fish out ghost workers to easy up staff verification. “A six-man committee has been inaugurated for staff verification to fish out ghost workers in the council,” he said.

South West FRSC Issues 15, 055 New Number Plates

L-R: Immediate past National President, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Chief Niyi Falade; National President, Hajiya Fatima Abdul-Rahman; Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and State ANCOPSS Chairman, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Abigail Ojo-Awo at the 57th National Congress of ANCOPSS in Ibadan recently.

OSOGBO - The Osun Sector Command of the FRSC says it issued 15,055 new number plates between January and March 2014 to motorists in the state. Mr. Muhammad Husaini, the Osun FRSC Sector Commander, made this disclosure during an interview with newsmen in Osogbo. “The figure was submitted to the commission by the State Revenue Board, which is the department responsible for number plate production,’’ he said.

Expert Cautions Parents Against Female OSOGBO - A medical doctor, Oso Taiwo, has cautioned parents to desist from having their female children or wards circumcised in order not to expose them to health risks. Taiwo, who gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Oshogbo said that female circumcision had adverse effects on the girl-child. According to him, many of the gynecological complications in Africa, emanated from female circumcision, noting that the practice was still common in the South-West geo-political zone of the country. “There has been a lot of advocacy against female genital mutilation in Africa, especially in Nigeria, because of the danger inherent in it. “It has been proven by

research that female circumcision can lead to sexual abnormality in women and also expose them to other health complications. “The practice can make a girl to be prone to some diseases because of the unhygienic way of doing it and the nature of the

Genital Mutilation supports that belief, rather, it is the mutilation of the genital organ that can do a great damage in women by rendering them sexually inactive”.

He further advised parents not to shy away from giving sex education to their children because it would enable them to know the implications of some sexual behaviours.

Political Reform: NISER To Hold Seminar

IBADAN - The Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, will hold a seminar on reforming the Nigerian political system tomorrow. This is contained in a statement by Prof. Roberts Nyemutu, the Institute’s Director of Policy Engagement and ICT

Dentist Recommends Twice A Year Teeth OKITIPUPA (Ondo Check-Up State) - Dr Segun Adegoke, the Head of Dental Department, State Specialist Hospital, Okitipupa, Ondo State, has recommended that people should go for teeth check-up at least twice a year. Adegoke told newsmen that the check-up was necessary for the discovery of teeth diseases at the early stages. The dentist said that undergoing check up twice a year was also in line with the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO). “In line with the recommendations of WHO, I urge patients to always go for their teeth check-up at least twice a year for teeth diseases to be identified at early stages,’’ he said. Adegoke said that the teeth were very crucial part of the body which must be given

environment where it is done,” he said. Taiwo said that the belief in some areas that a girl-child who was not circumcised would grow up to a wayward adult was false and unscientific. He added: “Obviously, there is no medical evidence that

Husaini said the figure covered the number plates for cars, buses, articulated vehicles and motorcycles during the period under review. He explained that the commission works in partnership with the state revenue board in the registration and production of new number plates or upgrading of old ones to motorists. “Even though the commission is not a revenue-generating body, the duty of number plate production lies with the state under the supervision and co-ordination of the commission,’’ the sector commander stated. He, therefore advised the public and motorists to follow due process in the number plate procurement and upgrading, saying they could visit the commission for necessary guidelines.

utmost attention. The dentist pointed out that any ailment in the teeth can paralyse the body system and its functions. He said that patients visit dentists only when there were severe cases of teeth problems and that in most of such cases the dentists might not be able to proffer a solution. “Teeth are a very important part of the body which must be given utmost priority, patients should desist from seeing dentists only when there are severe problems,’’ Adegoke advised. He urged people to always ensure proper oral hygiene by brushing the teeth vertically and horizontally in the morning and night to remove food particles which were the cause of damage to the teeth.

Department, made available to newsmen. The statement said the seminar which would hold in Ibadan had the theme “Reforming the Nigerian Political System: Mega Constitutional Change or Pragmatic Non-Constitutional Renewal?’’ It said the NISER Research Seminar Series, was aimed at engaging stakeholders in

development policy debate tailored towards making significant impact on social and economic development of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. It noted that the May edition of the seminar sought to analyse the structural and institutional drivers of Nigeria’s current constitutional future prospects for a more enduring and effective governance of the

country’s constitutional conflict. “The period since Nigeria’s transition from military to civilian rule in May 1999 has been characterised by intense constitutional agitation. “Governmental, civic and ethno-regional groups have invested enormous time and resources in constitutional politics, including launching constitutional reform agendas and other approaches.

“Despite this intense constitutional activism, no significant constitutional change has been achieved in the structure of the Nigerian federal system,” it said. It also said that Prof. Adigun Agbaje from the Department of Political Sciences, University of Ibadan, would chair the occasion. “All stakeholders in national development are invited to the seminar,” the statement said.

Members of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), protesting the abduction of Chibok School girls in Ibadan recently.

Lagos Lagos Ports Expect publication, seven of the 61 Ships expected vessels will arrive LAGOS - The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says 61 ships laden with petroleum products and other commodities will berth at the Lagos ports before the end of May. This is contained in the “Shipping Position’’, a daily publication of NPA, made available to newsmen in Lagos. According to the

with petroleum products, two with used vehicles, and six ships with bulk rice. It said that other 46 ships would sail in with general cargo, bulk wheat, bulk sugar, semi trailer, bulk malt and bulk fertiliser. It also added that six other ships carrying petroleum products had berthed at the ports.

Absence Of Witnesses Stalls Trial Of “Wonder Bank’’ Operator LAGOS - A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed May 22 for the continuation of trial of a “wonder bank’’ operator, Fortune Etaba, charged with N9.8 billion fraud. The case which was scheduled for trial suffered a setback because of the absence of the prosecution witnesses. Justice Ibrahim Buba, in a short ruling, adjourned the case to May 22, and ordered that the accused should remain at Kirikiri Prisons. Reports state that Etaba is charged alongside his company — Establishment House Ltd — on an amended four-count charge bordering on fraud. The accused, who was rearraigned on January 21 on the amended charge, had pleaded not guilty. The judge had granted him bail in the sum of N500 million with two sureties in like sum. Buba also ordered the accused to deposit his travelling documents with the court’s registry with an undertaking not to travel outside Lagos during the trial of the case. He also ordered the accused should be remanded in prison pending the perfection of his bail. The accused was said to have committed the offences between June and December 2009. Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr. Effiong Asuquo, told the court that the accused fraudulently obtained huge sums of money, totaling N9.8 billion from several individuals, especially

businessmen at the Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos. He said that the accused had represented to the businessmen that they would get additional 50 per cent of their deposits after 21 days. The prosecutor said the accused could neither repay the deposited sum nor the “multiplied sum’’ as promised. He said the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 1(1), (a), 8, and 2 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, 2004.

L-R: Emotion-laden winner of a 3-bedroom apartment at Sogunro Housing Scheme, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Lekan-Lawal; Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State; Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje and Commissioner for Physical Planning, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, at the 3rd draw of Lagos Homes Ownership Scheme in Lagos State recently.

FG Urged To Boost Tourism With LAGOS - Mr. Kehinde marketing. Oluwafunso, a Culture and Favourable Policies “This will promote such Tourism Consultant with Panafest Foundation Nigeria, has urged the Federal Government to formulate policies which would attract more tourists to the grassroots. Oluwafunso told newsmen in Lagos that the historical and cultural heritage of a community played a major role in tourism.

“To develop tourism, government should come up with policies that will favour the people who are the custodians of our historical and cultural heritage,” the consultant said. He suggested that government should rehabilitate roads, provide stable electricity and other amenities for the local communities.

The consultant said that such infrasturcture would enable tourists to travel deep into the hinterland. Oluwafunso said that to give tourism a facelift, investors should also use renowned Nigerians as their brands to market tourism products. “Famous Nigerians should be made tourism ambassadors and the face of tourism products for

tourism products in the international market,” the consultant said. Oluwafunso said that travelling agents and the media had a lot of work to do in packaging the tourism industry. The consultant urged the media to always portray the nation positively to the outside world so that tourists would not be deterred from visiting.

supply had forced some companies to close down or reduce manpower due to cost of buying fuel. Ofulue said that the obstacles had also affected

hitch-free business operations in the maritime sector. He said the impediments had made it difficult for

targeted 48 hours. Ofulue added that having a fixed pricing system at the port would take time because some operators took loan from banks to run their businesses. According to him, products, such as rice are diverted to neigbouring countries where revenue on such items are paid and brought into Nigeria to be sold. “The shipping companies are at a loss. The revenue of the country will also drop. With such problems, how can we have a fixed pricing system,’’ he said. Ofulue said that fixing a price at the port should be a win-win situation where the constraints of all parties were analysed and solution proferred. He advised operators in the industry to ensure that the obstacles were curtailed by involving all stakeholders in the industry.

Expert Attributes Cargo Diversion, Others To clearing agents and other LAGOS - A maritime operators to clear and Inequitable Port Pricing expert, Mr. Phil Ofule, has receive goods within the attributed epileptic power supply and cargo diversion among others to inequitable pricing at the ports. Ofule, the Executive Director of Sifax Nigeria

Ltd, Lagos, made the assertion at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos. He said that poor power

Residents of Ijegun and Isheri-Oshun, crossing a bridge under construction at Oke-Afa, Isolo in Lagos State recently.

Across The Nation 8 Die In Autocrash LOKOJA - Seven persons, including a child, were killed in a road accident on the Lokoja-Abuja highway. Other victims, including four women and three men, were said to be on their way to Okene from Kano. The accident which happened at about 6.00 a.m. at Ohono village, near Koton Karfe, involved a white Toyota passenger bus and a truck with registration number Lagos EKY 244 XG. The Kogi FRSC Sector Commander, Mr. Godwin Omiko, told newsmen that the truck was on speed when

the Toyota passenger bus with registration number Kogi XB 641 LKJ from Abuja rammed into it, killing the eight persons on the spot. He said that the dead victims included the driver and seven other occupants of the bus, and blamed the accident on human error. Omiko said that a passenger was fatally wounded in the accident, adding that the corpses and the injured were taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja. He said that investigation into the accident was underway.

Tackle Security Challenges, NGO Urges FG KADUNA - The Sardauna Memorial Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), has urged the Federal Government to take tougher measures in tackling the security challenges threatening the country. Alhaji Shettima Aji, Managing Director of the Foundation, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna, saying that insecurity was affecting national development. “The security challenge is a serious problem that needs to be tackled with seriousness. The government has to address this problem before it consumes all of us. “This is our country and we must remain here to salvage it, because going to any other place is no solution,’’ he said. Aji also called on the government to create an atmosphere of trust between the citizenry and security operatives to end the current tide of

insecurity. “If they do not have that trust there is no way to succeed. You must have the capacity for intelligence gathering to ensure the best cover for all.’’ Aji also advised politicians to bury their personal interests for national development. “We should therefore squarely face what is facing us today. If this security challenge goes on, even if you are a president you will not have any country to rule but suffer sleepless nights,’’ he said. He urged the youth to embrace agriculture as a means of self sustenance. “Our youth should imbibe the culture of agriculture, particularly by seeking encouragement and support from all sectors, including the government and private sector.’’ He said that agriculture and food security should be made the first national security project for the economy to grow.

L-R: Executive Secretary, Plateau State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Al-Hassan Barde; Secretary Administration, SEMA, Mr. Biser Longnan and Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, Mr. Bintan Wuyep, during the stakeholders meeting to review Plateau Contingency Plan and Emergency Profile for 2013 in Jos recently.

Boko Haram Activities Devilish KADUNA - The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has said that the activity of the insurgent group, Boko Haram, was unIslamic and devilish. The President of the group in the North, Malam Yusuf Arrigasiyyu, made the condemnation in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna. He also condemned the recent bombings at Nyanya in Abuja and abduction of over 200 students by the insurgents. “This bombing and killing of innocent souls by the Boko Haram has to stop. “The teaching of boko haram is not Islamic and they don’t represent Islam, they are not Muslims. Islam is a

religion of peace.” He expressed the belief that the present security challenges facing the country have some external influences which the government must look into. Arrigasiyyu also said the government should not allow the insurgents to continue operating with impunity, adding that their activities must be checkmated in the interest of the nation. The MSSN president cautioned against politicising the current security challenges, saying that fighting terrorism require collective action. He also called on political leaders in the country to

People waiting to obtain their National Identity card at the Omu-Aran centre of the National Identity Management Commission in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State recently.

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discharge their responsibilities with diligence and the fear of God. Arrigasiyyu advised youth in the country to seek for

knowledge so as not to be misled by “selfish and bad religious scholars espousing wrong ideologies”. He expressed optimism that the present security challenges facing the country will soon come to an end.

Be Job Creators, Community Leader Urges Corps Members OMU-ARAN (KWARA) Chief Sunday Adetona, a community leader in Egosi-Ile, Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara, has advised NYSC members to strive to be job creators in their quest for selfactualisation. Adetona gave the advice while addressing the Community Development Service (CDS) group of the NYSC in the council area in Egosi-Ile. He said there was ample opportunity for the corps members to acquire vocational skills to be self-reliant rather than depend on salaries to achieve their live desires. Adetona, also the Odofin of Egosi, said the need for reordering of priorities by the corps members became necessary since the government could not provide employment for all the graduates being churned out yearly. “There is no government or institution that can absorb the numerous graduates coming out of our institutions at the same time. “I think it would be an added advantage if some of you can pick interest in acquiring vocational skills to be selfsustaining and in contributing your quota to the nation’s growth and development. “While striving to impact positively on the living standard of the people of your host community, it is not out of place to also learn one or two things to be able to tackle future

challenges effectively. “That decision toward reordering of priorities in acquiring skills from people of the communities is better taken now as you embark on the vigorous exercise of serving your fatherland,’’ Adetona said. The community leader said a lot of development had taken place within the communities which accounted for the recent influx of youths into the area in search of greener pasture. “Most of the communities are now overwhelmed by different youths and women empowerment initiatives through skill acquisition programmes by both state and local government. ‘This aggressive empowerment initiative has no doubt become the magic wand that had continue to attract a lot of youths into the communities to earn a decent living,” he said. He listed some of the vocational skills to include cloth weaving and dying, shoes, bags and leather works, farming, soap making, ceramics, cosmetology as well as other profitable smallscale enterprises. Adetona pledged the cooperation of the community to make activities of the corps members rewarding. Mr Idris Owoseni, the leader of the group, thanked the community for their hospitality and expressed the members’ desire to impact positively on living standard of the people in the community.

Ecowas To Assist Nigeria On Counter-Terrorism ABUJA- ECOWAS leaders had decided to invoke the community’s protocols on counter-terrorism to defeat terrorism and support Nigeria’s efforts to rescue the abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno. The President of Ghana, Mr John Mahama, made the disclosure at a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on the sideline of the World Economic Forum on Africa yaking place in Abuja. The Ghanaian leader told President Jonathan that a meeting of heads of intelligence services of ECOWAS membercountries would hold in Accra next week. He added that the meeting was specifically summoned to work out a new framework for intelligence sharing in support of efforts to eradicate the threat of terrorism in Nigeria and the entire West African sub-region. The reports state that Jonathan also met with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadré Ouédraogo, who brought a message of solidarity from ECOWAS Heads of State and Government. The President, also at the venue of the World Economic Forum, met with the U.S.

Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle. Jonathan and the U.S. ambassador discussed modalities for the actualisation of the offer made by President Barack Obama to assist Nigeria in rescuing the abducted Chibok school girls. The meeting also discussed the talks held last Wednesday between Mr Entwistle and Nigerian security officials on the U.S. offer of assistance. At the meeting, President Jonathan reiterated Nigeria’s appreciation of the U.S. offer to deploy its security personnel and assets to work with their Nigerian counterparts in the search and rescue operation. Jonathan told the ambassador, as well as other delegations which met separately with him that the support Nigeria was receiving from the international community in the aftermath of the Chibok abduction would certainly help the country to rapidly overcome the Boko Haram insurgency. Reports say that the President also had private meetings with Prof. Klaus Schwab, the Founder of the World Economic Forum. Schwab said Nigeria deserved the maximum solidarity of the world at its trying moment.

Strategic Master Plan Key To Economic Development- Institute ABUJA- Dr Segun Aina, the President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), has said that development of strategic long-term masterplan was vital in any nation. Aina told newsmen that no nation could attain desirable level of development with arbitrary approach to economic development. He said that there was a need for Nigeria to develop a long-term masterplan for the development of the economy. “We need to develop a long-term plan such that whichever government is in office will have a framework with which to work. “What subsequent governments just need to do is to come up with innovations that will ensure that such plan goes ahead,’’ he said. The CIBN president also stressed the need to check the level of corruption in the country which he described as the bane of development of the economy. “There is no country that there is no element of corruption, but it is believed that the corruption level in Nigeria is so high. “Over the years, we have been talking of corruption. If we are able to take care of corruption, it will also ensure that we pass on good values to the young people,” he said. According to him, every young man today wants to make it by any means. “We need to look at the value system and see how

we can let people know that hard work is the only thing that pays and not cheap or stolen money,’’ he said. Aina, who is a member of National Conference Committee on Economy, Trade and Investments, said that the committee was already working to find solutions to obstacles to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

We Did Not Arrest Chibok Protest Leader - Police

ABUJA- The police has denied the arrest of Mrs Naomi Nyadar, the leader of women who protested against the abduction of 234 school girls in Abuja last week. A statement issued by the force Spokesman, CSP Frank Mba, in Abuja, said that Nyadar was only invited for questioning after which she was allowed to go. The statement said the invitation was part of measures to elicit information that could assist security agencies in rescuing the abducted girls. “It was purely an interactive and fact finding interview, Mrs Nyadar cooperated with the police in the course of the interview and was immediately allowed to return home to her family. “She was never arrested nor detained as being wrongly speculated in some quarters,’’ it said. The girls were believed to have been abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on April 14 in Chibok, Borno.

Abuja President Goodluck Jonathan (right), with the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle during a meeting in Abuja

Invest In Agriculture, Expert Urges African Countries

ABUJA- Mr Yemi Ashaye, the Director, Global Shapers Community, urged Africa nations to invest more in agriculture to create more job opportunities. The Global Shapers, an initiative under the World Economic Forum, is a global network of local communities led by young people ready to make positive changes in their communities. Ashaye, who made the call at the Shape Africa 2014 conference held in Abuja, said that agriculture still remained a major employer of labour in Africa. He said that among the many unemployed people in Africa, youths recorded more than half of the population, saying that this problem could be tackled

if more emphasis was given to agriculture. “With tremendous increase in investment and productivity, agriculture remained the hope of any dramatic Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. “Youths account for 60 per cent of all African unemployed and agriculture employs as much as 70 per cent of the continent’s population,’’ he said. On the GDP growth, Ashaye said that Africa was focused at growing its GDP continuously every year, “which is good, but we should focus rather at making this growth more inclusive.’’

“If there is anything we should be worried about, it is inclusive growth because Africa is focused at continuing growing in more than five per cent this year and the next year. “Yes, this growth is great but if that growth is not inclusive the economy is really going to be in trouble,’’ he said. According to him, 40 per cent of Africa’s population is under 15 years and 70 per cent of them are under the age of 30. “The global youth unemployment rate is trending at 12.6 per cent overshadowing the global adult unemployment rate of 4.8 per cent.

Impounded Vehicles

FRSC Issues One Week Ultimatum LAFIA- The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nasarawa State Command has issued a one-week ultimatum to owners of impounded vehicles, including motorcycles to claim or have them auctioned. This is contained in a statement issued by the Commander, Mr Francis

Udoma, and made available to newsmen in Lafia. The statement urged owners of the impounded vehicles now lying at the premises of FRSC and police stations for over six months to reclaim their properties. It said that only owners of vehicles in Lafia, Keffi, Akwanga and Nasarawa units of the command were to

come forward for their vehicles. The statement announced that vehicles in the affected units would be auctioned to the public if the owners failed to come forward to pay fines and reclaim them. It urged other road users in the state to be law abiding, and to obey traffic regulations so as not to face the same sanctions.

“With the right policies, with proper education and with reasoning, this challenge of unemployment can be tackled. “If we have the policies right, the education right, if we will think differently, we will be raising winners,’’ Ashaye said. He said that the Federal Government should create the opportunities required for the youths to explore and excel in their various fields. He added that we should create a level playing ground that was devoid of ‘long leg’ in Nigeria to allow people that deserve certain opportunities to receive them. “We talk about long leg syndrome in Nigeria where who you know translate into the opportunities you get. “We need a level playing field so that young people can grow up because if the playing field is leveled, then what you know will get you to places you deserve,’’ he said. Miss Joycee Awojoodu, the Abuja Hub curator, said Shape Africa 2014’s agenda was focused at entrepreneurship for youths. According to her, the organisation is working at inspiring young people to innovate, participate and collaborate in shaping the landscape of Africa’s future.

President Goodluck Jonathan (left), with President John Mahama of Ghana during a meeting in Abuja recently.

Business + Economy NCRIB Worried Over Members’ Non-Compliance With NAICOM Rules

LAGOS- The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), urged its members to always comply with the rules of the industry’s regulatory body, National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM). Mr Ayo Shoderu, President of the council, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. Shoderu said the advice became necessary following the continued refusal of its members

to comply with NAICOM regulations. According to him, out of 500 registered insurance brokers in the country less that 150 send their financial reports to NAICOM. “There is need for members to always comply with all the requirements and regulations for insurance broking practice as stipulated by NAICOM. “The council has prevailed on NAICOM to reduce the severity of sanctions imposed on some

brokers for going against its rules. “It will, therefore, be most advisable to sustain this good relationship by promptly complying with regulations expected of us,” he said.

The NCRIB president said the council had also recorded a huge success in the training of its members on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). According to him, the council

is able, through its Shared Services Scheme, to engage IFRS consultants to update its members on the new financial reporting regulations. He said the idea was to ensure that its members submitted

IFRS-compliant financial statement in 2015. Shoderu said that this would help its members to avoid any form of infraction that might lead to being penalised by the regulatory authorities. Reports state that insurance brokers were expected to prepare and submit IFRS-compliant financial statement of accounts in 2015.

120 Exhibitors For 2014 Lagos International LAGOS- The Executive Book Fair Secretary of the Nigeria Book Fair Trust (NBFT), Mr Abiodun Omotubi, has said that no fewer than 120 exhibitors including foreigners had arrived for the 13th International Book Fair holding in Lagos. “I want to say that we are happy with the turn out of the public at the first day of the fair. “It has been quite satisfactory compared to what was obtained during the 12th edition in 2013. “I am sure that by the time we conclude the opening ceremony tomorrow we shall be witnessing ‘human traffic’ at the fair. “All the logistics that would ensure the success of the exhibition have been put in place and we are sure that Nigerians and other visitors across the globe would have worth for their money, ’’he said at the opening of the Fair at the University of Lagos. Omotubi noted that in spite of reading culture campaigns by NBFT most Nigerians had yet to embrace the culture. He said:“That is why on our part; we are doing all we can through this fair to add more to the zeal of Nigerians in the area of reading. “We want them to have a rethink and go all-out to improve on themselves by reading something.” The scribe said that this year’s fair was offering a lot to all categories of Nigerians. Also speaking, Mrs Funke Omoare, Data Manager,

Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Ltd, expressed satisfaction with the turnout of people at the fair. According to her, the company is participating at this year’s fair basically to feel the pulse of its customers concerning their products and their activities over the years. She said MacMillan had previously participated at the fair to exhibit its products, but was at the 2014 edition to get feedback from customers on the quality of its products. Miss Atrayee Chandra, Assistant Manager, Repro India Ltd, a mega printing firm based in India, also said that their participation was aimed at attracting Nigerian publishers and to explore business opportunities. “We have always participated in this fair because of its importance to our kind of business. “We will also seize this opportunity to see how much the Nigerian publishing industry has evolved in the past years. “We are looking forward to a successful fair, better than the year before, going by the turn out of stakeholders on this first day,” she said. Reports state that the fair which opens on May 6, has as its theme,“The Emergence of EBook and the Survival of Physical Books in Africa.’’ It is expected to end on May 10.

L-R: World Bank Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly; World Bank Economist, Matthew Morton and Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Chika Akporji at the presentation of Gender at Work in Abuja recently.


Investors Networth Drops By 0.66 Percent

LAGOS- Investors networth on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) depreciated by 0.66 per cent for the month of April from the 2.05 per cent drop achieved in March, reports say. Statistics from the NSE for the period under review showed that the All-Share Index decreased by 255.88 basis points to close the month at 38,492.13 against 38,748.01 posted in March. The market capitalisation increased by N225 billion to close at N12.671 trillion due to the listing of Seplat Petroleum Development Company shares compared with N12.446 trillion achieved in March. Also, the volume of shares declined by 4.62 per cent with an exchange of 7.43 billion

Coca Cola truck impounded by Edo State Ministry of Transport for not meeting vehicular safety requirements.

shares worth N92.21 billion traded in 90,919 deals. This was against the 7.79 billion shares valued N83.59 billion transacted in 92,958 deals in March. The financial services sector remained the toast of investors during the period, accounting for 6.39 billion shares worth N57.66 billion traded in 53,814 deals. Reports state that the financial services sector in March traded 6.31 billion shares valued N46.04 billion exchanged in 52,945 deals. Mr Ariyo Olushekun,

President, the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), told newsmen in Lagos that the market was responding to issues in the country. Olushekun attributed the market instability to security turbulence that created fears among investors. The CIS president said that the nation’s insecurity challenges was affecting the confidence of both local and foreign investors in the market. Olushekun said that “security turbulence is affecting confidence of local and foreign

for SASAKAWA project, an official said. Prof. Tunji Arokoyo, Team Leader, Agricultural Extension Transformation Agenda (AETA), disclosed this at the opening of a maiden meeting between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and SASAKAWA Africa Association (SAA) in Zaria, Kaduna State. The reports state that the meeting, which was held at the National Agricultural Extension and Liaisons Services (NAERLS), Zaria, was attended by managers of Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) from the six geo-political zones. Arokoyo said the money was meant for the purchase of utility vehicles and motorcycles for extension workers across the country in addition to other activities that would ensure the

success of the programme. According to him, the programme will make impact within the short possible time to change the face of agriculture in Nigeria. While calling for sensitisation of communities on SASAKAWA, Arokoyo urged all the state governors in the country to take the programme seriously. In his speech, the Country Director of the programme in Nigeria, Dr Sani Miko, said that the programme would build capacity through adult learning approach. “We try to increase agricultural productivity through training and establishment of demonstration and strengthening capacities of farmers and state extension system,” he said. Miko called on extension state coordinators to be committed and honest to pave way for total

investors”. He said that electioneering activities ahead of the 2015 general elections and tight monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria contributed to the market downturn. Olushekun said that the market was trying to sustain recovery recorded in 2013, but unfolding events in the country had stalled the recovery process. He, however, expressed optimism that the trend would not continue with the Federal Government’s commitment to address the security challenges.

FG Releases N200m For SASAKAWA ZARIA (KADUNA STATE)success of the programme. The Federal Government has Project The Director, Federal released N200 million this year Department of Agricultural Extension, Mr. Damilola Eniaiyeju, represented by Hajiya Karima Babangida, Deputy Director, Extension Services, advised the participants to be committed and dedicated. He described the Sasakawa initiative as strategic partners that would facilitate the attainment of set goals and objectives in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. Earlier, the Director, Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Dr Mustapha Falaki, had said that the meeting was organised to deliberate on possible ways the project would cover the entire country. He recalled that when the programme started as a pilot scheme in Kano and Kaduna states, it had done a lot in providing new technologies to farmers.




































































































































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Close 2018 135.87 155.35 322.97 48.68 141.84 69 10.19 9.5 6.53

TOP TOP 10 10 LOSERS GAINERS Gain 7 6.47 2.35 2.22 0.98 0.74 0.5 0.44 0.32 0.22


Close 38554.19 682.33 2692.3 82 1884.74 2506.94 1737.43 35.2 224 955.24

Loss -86.24 -13.7 -7.84 -3.5 -3.47 -3.37 -2.65 -1.85 -1 -0.89

IT is incontrovertible that the key that opens the door to the development of any society is research and this is basic to the success and growth of societies which have religiously formed the culture and tradition of unending research in all areas of development. ESSENTIALLY, research governs all areas of human endeavour as well as all fields of life. Any innovation that ignores the need for research and lays claim to new discoveries could at best be a fraud and is therefore bound to fail. THAT there is a tendency to confine research to institutions of learning is a measure of how well the output from such academic institutions, particularly the universities is reliable and dependable in the processes leading to new discoveries. INTERESTINGLY, however, these days, most large firms now have their research and development departments in order to remain relevant in a scientifically competitive environment where efficiency and precision are now the hallmarks to survive new trends and modern devices that outpace existing ones surpassing them in all respects. The field of information technology where the pace and speed of research have led to astounding breakthroughs putting such firms as Apple, Nokia and Microsoft on top of the industry. IT is sad to note that in the last two or three decades, there has been a gradual erosion of research culture from our universities, basically due to lack of funding and government’s indifference or fears that research grants are improperly utilized. This has also largely contributed to the worsening conditions which face genuine academics interested in engaging in profitable research work. AGAINST this backdrop therefore, it is an admittance of fact that poor funding, disinterest by government, lack, of commitment and sometimes fraud are


Research And Development Data Bank inevitable drawbacks to research which is a sine qua non and an essential ingredient of the success story of any nation. LEADING nations in the world today, such as the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Russia, China and new emerging Asian powers, including South-Korea, India, North-Korea and many more are changing the face of their societies through research where its end product, technology and scientific discoveries are the inevitable consequences. THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER is worried that Nigeria appears not to have the interest to nurture the culture and tradition of research by granting assistance to universities in the country to embark on research in any area of interest, particularly in science and technology. WE are of the firm belief that many intellectuals in our ivory towers are not bereft of ideas that can help develop extensive research work in their fields of study. WE have for so long taken the Nigerian university system for granted and it is a system that holds much promise for the future if Nigerian political leaders will allow it to take its leading place in providing some level of guidance by way of research works that could propel the nation forward. THERE are instances of many Nigerian intellectuals and egg heads who when they leave the shores of this country go to foreign institutions to make remarkable feats and

achievements in science and technology and thus contributing to the growth of their adopted society, while at home such opportunity was never given room to thrive so that they could prove the depth of their knowledge and learning. WE implore the Federal Government to improve the capacity and ability of the Nigerian university system to deliver in the area of research and development by working through the National Universities Commission (NUC) to challenge institutes, departments and colleges of these universities to come forward with research projects that will better the Nigerian society. The government must not see any amount devoted to research and development as money poured down the drain. At any rate, if just a quarter of the several billions of dollars embezzled and squandered by past leaders have been devoted to research, certainly, Nigeria would have been better for it. THERE is no doubt that the neglect in this area of research contributed to the problem of brain drain and the exodus of many promising minds from our universities to that of foreign nations, hence the need to reinvigorate the research system and put it to better use for the nation’s gains and the benefit. THEREFORE, apart from government funding and assistance, we recommend that to make funds freely available for all kinds of research, the CBN should consider the setting up of a Bank which aims and objectives should be strictly to fund research. WITH proper guidelines and regulations, we believe that this is possible, where there should be an interface between the banking institutions and research institutions. If banks could finance businesses that are colossal failures, then there will be greater benefits to fund researches that could change the course of mankind, particularly in the Nigerian setting and the world at large.

View Point

Winning The War Against Corruption CORRUPTION has been described as one of the major bane of Nigerian economy and development and all corrupt cases have not been pursued to a logical conclusion as such all corrupt officers who should have been jailed to serve as a lesson to the youth of our generation have all gone free. Some of these corrupt leaders have even gotten chieftaincy tittles, national honours and presidential pardon while others got little or no punishment. The act has become an incentive for others to engage in corrupt practices. The act and failure of successive government to make an open shame of corrupt leaders have lured more youths and leaders into corrupt practices, even organisations established to fight the scourge have equally failed woefully leaving the nation to her fate, and today we are more corrupt than yesterday and Amnesty international has declared Nigeria as 127 corrupt nation in the world. The scourge cannot continue unchecked as Nigerians and her concerned citizens have devised various means to check this trend that has eaten deep into the annals of the nation. Various individuals and organisations have showed concern and they have joined forces together to fight the scourge to a stand still by eradicating it completely or reducing it to the barest minimum. Niger


Delta Anticorruption Network (NIDAN) is one of such Non governmental organisation (NGO). Talking about NIDAN, it is a coalition of civil society, organisations and

this era where human rights are being violated as a result of corruption. NIDAN is a platform where citizens can harness their individual and collective strengths/ resources to stop and

individuals committed to fighting corruption in the Niger Delta region and by extension Nigeria at large. The body was launched on the 24 th of July 2013 following the need to build a formidable platform and solidarity in the fight against corruption using strategically effective and sustainable measures. This has become imperative in

prevent corruption from creating further underdevelopment in an economically rich region where access to basic services is presently an anomaly. NIDAN membership includes community based groups, non-governmental organisations, labour unions, trade unions, student unions, academic

unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, lawyers, journalist among others. The mission of the body is to empower and mobilise citizens in the Niger Delta to fight corruption while the

vision; an effective citizens network against corruption in a developed Niger Delta Region. NIDAN Edo State Chapter has been formerly lunched on Thursday, 10th of April 2014 at the Secretariat of ANEEJ in Benin City the Edo state capital. According to the communication officer of African Network for Environment and

“What to be achieved by the body, Umukoro said Edo state is one of the Niger-Delta state where NIDAN has been launched to spread the information on the fight against corruption and by that the state has a lot to learn especially when the body properly enlightens the people on the evil of corruption.”

Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and the Coordinator NIDAN Edo State Chapter Kelly Ovie Umukoro, NIDAN is collaborating with ANEEJ in the fight against corruption in the country. The body has canvassed for an open budgeting to be accepted in Edo State and Nigeria at large. This position was made known in Benin City during a strategic planning meeting/launching of NIDAN. Umukoro said NIDAN

learn especially when the body properly enlightens the people on the evil of corruption. “With the launching of NIDAN in Edo state the platform to fight corruption has been laid and from here we will continue to spread the message to disabused the mind of Edo citizens on corruption and the need to join forces together as a state to fight this dreaded monster to a stand still and develop our life as a people”.

is a brain child of stakeholders’ democracy network and the main purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness on the fight against corruption and to make sure that people are well informed on the fight against corruption in the country which has now become a bane in our developmental process and nobody is doing anything about it. “Our Organisation ANEEJ was distinguished among other nongovernmental organisation (NGOs) to pilot the network in the state”. What to be achieved by the body, Umukoro said Edo state is one of the NigerDelta states where NIDAN has been launched to spread the information on the fight against corruption and by that the state has a lot to

Speaking further Umukoro said the campaign for open budget system in Nigeria will go a long way to assist in the fight against this scourge. “We want to be part of the budgeting system in this country. During our last meeting in Port Harcourt we agreed to have a sign post, marketing tools to raise awareness on corruption. Putting on a touch of green every Tuesday means campaigning for zero tolerance for corruption. Adding his voice, the ANEEJ Policy Officer Mr. Innocent Edemahanria said the Anti-corruption Network has a focus and the focus is open budget. We are taken a cue from the recent international budget partnership publications Continues on pg. 14

View Point Continued from pg 13

where they did open budget survey of 2012 where Nigeria performed poorly, 16 out of 100. What they are looking out for was the level of transparency and accountability in budget process and also the level of information available to the public in terms of prebudget pre-preparation document, budget statement, the real budget itself, quality budget performance report, annual

budget performance report as well as audited report whether this information is to the public is very scanty as regard budget processes. Only recently, you see state government putting budget in the public domain i.e through their website. What the open budget is saying is that, as much as possible the government need to provide sufficient information for the ordinary person such that the information will assist that individual to track

... War Against Corruption government income, expenditure, project and other activities. “What this means is that individuals are supposed to have access to yearly budget speech by the government and also have access to the entire budget. Those budgets should be broken down and all items have to be specific. The government should go

ahead to produce a little pamphlet where all capital projects are listed in clear terms, it will be easy for citizens to monitor and raise question where necessary”. In a bid to sustain the fight against corruption, NIDAN Edo state chapter launched her Green Tuesday Movement (GTM) to raise awareness on the need to jointly stand against

“What they are looking out for was the level of transparency and accountability in budget process and also the level of information available to the public in terms of pre-budget pre-preparation document, budget statement, the real budget itself, quality budget performance report, annual budget performance report as well as audited report whether this information is to the public is very scanty as regard budget processes.”

corruption by putting on a touch of green such as green caps, scarfs, T-Shirts, wrist band, neck ties etc. The movement will serve as a platform to amplify citizen’s demand to end this endemic corruption in Nigeria. “As part of activities to launch the GTM, NIDAN will be creating awareness on Open Budgets and mobilising citizens to demand for Open Budget. The lack of transparency in oil revenue management has largely contributed to the inability of the respective bodies in Nigeria to account for several billions of dollars still missing from the Federation accounts. The call for

citizens to demand open budget is therefore timely

and most appropriate in the history of our country. If the budget is for us, then it should be open. It should not be done without us. NIDAN calls on all to join in her fight corruption campaign to put an end to all forms of corruption impeding the delivery of quality basic services in the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large. Corruption is endemic! Corruption is pervasive!! Corruption retards development and denies us our right to good living!!!.

The Search For Peace And Security In Nigeria

THERE have been series of bomb attacks on innocent Nigerians, in some North Eastern states of Nigeria. The number of human casualties keeps increasing to the charging of Nigerians and it is quite disturbing and alarming. The recent and most devastating being the Nyanyan motor park bomb blast in Abuja on Monday April 14, 2014 in which over 100 persons lost their lives. Since that unfaithful bomb blast which also left many people hospitalized with various degrees of injuries, many Nigerians including prominent citizens and elder statesmen have been condemning the dastardly acts of the Boko Haram. Nigerians that condemned the spate of insurgence in the country however called on the federal government to beef up security in the country in order to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians. Some experts in conflict and insurgency management have stress the need for the federal government to seek for cross boarder cooperation to end Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. According to a retired Colonel in the Nigeria Army, Retired Colonel Paul Ogbebor, the Boko Haram problem in Nigeria is not insurgence parse, but an invasion by some Nigerians aided by foreigners and made possible by the porous land boarders, especially in the North-East. Colonel Ogbebor

called the Federal government to change its current tactics of handling Boko as insurgents, and use the military method for handling invasion or invaders. While well meaning Nigerians are showing concern over the spate of killings and bombings, some persons have not been quite patriotic in their comments which have become very controversial, and it is capable of heating up the polity that is already over charged. Comments by the Lamido of Adamawa Muhammadu Aliyu Barkindo Mustapha and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State is a case in point. Their utterances are capable of inciting some sections of the public against government and even against one another. Meanwhile, the National security meeting held on Thursday April 24, 2014 was very apt, especially in calling on those unpatriotic Nigerians to order over their unguided and inciting statement. The culture of impunity among some of the nation’s leaders is adversary affecting Nigeria’s social, economic and political lives. It should be curtailed, while corruption, deprivation and theft of the nation’s crude oil and other resources being perpetrated by the rich and influential members of the society should be tackled. These are some of the ills in the society that are creating


inequalities in the system, which of course the reformists in the name of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger

Nigerians. This include good infrastructure like road, railways, industries, quality and functional schools and health care services,

To effectively check criminality, insurgency, invasion and militancy in Nigeria, it is suggested that enhanced military training and defense skills be provided for the Army, while

Mohammed Abubakar, Police IG

Delta MEND and Boko Haram are agitated about and trying to revolutionize or change through arm struggle, because it has persisted for so long without any hope in sight for solution from the nation’s leaders. Therefore, to reduce criminality and terrorism in Nigeria requires that our leaders must provide those things that would improve the quality of life of ordinary

employment opportunities, constant and uninterrupted power supply, abundant and affordable food among others.

basic military training should be incorporated into the curriculum of secondary schools and Universities in order to create the desired

awareness and inculcate national consciousness, patriotism, and discipline and right values in the youths, whom of course are leaders of tomorrow. It is true that the frequent attacks on Nigerians by Boko Haram do not guarantee the corporate existence; unity and progress of this country, The security of the nation should be regarded as the responsibility of all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or political persuasion. Therefore, the emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states should be relaxed, while specific roles and instructions should be given to the states governors, legislators, local government chairmen and traditional rulers to find lasting solution to the Boko insurgency in Nigeria. Nigeria has over the years been in the fore front of’ securing peace and stability in many African countries and it should not be seen that it is unable to provide security for itself in times like this. The search for peace and security in Nigeria is a collective responsibility. Desmond Agbama, is Chairman Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

“Therefore, to reduce criminality and terrorism in Nigeria requires that our leaders must provide those things that would improve the quality of life of ordinary Nigerians.”

Education STAKEHOLDERS in the education sector, at various summits stressed the need to give priority to adult and non-formal education in order to achieve Goal Two of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. They say that the achievement of Universal Primary Education by 2015, is not possible without functional adult and non-formal education programmes. The importance of adult and non-formal education, re-echoed at a workshop recently organised by UNESCO in Abuja, in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Education. The theme of the workshop was “Pre-test: An Action Research Guide Book for Youth and Adult Literacy in Multi-lingual Context.’’ Mr Nyesom Wike, Supervising Minister of Education who spoke at the workshop, emphasised the need to revitalise adult and youth literacy education programmes. Wike said that adult and youth literacy education must be strengthened in order for the country to achieve the target of Universal Primary Education by 2015 “The importance and enormous benefits of literacy for both individual empowerment and national development are well known and documented globally in the context of specific countries. “The 2006 Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report Literacy for Life documents, proves benefits of literacy, particularly the positive correlation between literacy, empowerment and national development,’’ Wike said.

Prof. Hassana Alidou, UNESCO Country Director, said that the organisation had renewed its commitment to develop a framework to improve the quality of education in Nigeria. She said that the new framework would offer opportunity to the government to foster effective cooperation for literacy support services. “ The framework will provide a strategy for effective planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes that will improve the basic education of the country, especially adult literacy,” Alidou said. According to her, the low quality of basic education, contributes largely to the decline of literacy in the country, especially among youths and adults. “Special attention must be paid to these people to enable them to rejoin the formal education system,” the UNESCO country director stated. She said that lack of a non-formal education policy and adequate funding for mass literacy had also contributed negatively to the education system in the country. Alidou, however, said that means must be devised to mobilise the necessary investments in literacy and non- formal education. Prof. Oluwayemisi Obashoro-John, Department of Adult Education, University of Lagos, explained that Action Research was one of the mechanisms which could be used to proffer solution in the education sector. According to her, through such programme, researchers come together for practical analyses, and

Boosting Literacy Via Adult And Non-Formal Education

to identify strategy which could be applied to the development of teaching. In his contribution, Mr Joseph Ngu, Director and Country Representative, UNESCO Abuja Office, said that the Federal Government recently signed an MoU with UNESCO. According to Ngu, the agreement is aimed at addressing the issue of illiteracy, developing and coordinating the implementation of projects to revitalise adults and youths literacy in the country. He also acknowledged the contributions of other development partners, and NGOs in the provision and execution of vital projects


in the education sector. Prof. Godswill Obioma, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), said the council was ready to restructure the country’s school curriculum to meet global standards. Obioma said that the council was charged with the responsibility to promote new techniques and approaches to curriculum development as well as formulate and implement a national policy on book development. “NERDC is ready to promote empirical research which will engender curriculum innovations and

“According to her, the low quality of basic education, contributes largely to the decline of literacy in the country, especially among youths and adults. Special attention must be paid to these people to enable them to rejoin the formal education system...”

public policy in education and strategic educational planning,’’ he said. Dr Tunde Adekola, Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank Country Office, in his contribution, expressed optimism that Nigeria would attain 2015 deadline for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education. According to Adekola, the World Bank and other global partners are making efforts to assist Nigeria in meeting the MDGs target in education and Education For All (EFA) target by the year 2015. He said that the bank proposed a global partnership on education projects, which would be based on the development of schools across the country. Adekola further explained that the projects would be of global standards, to ensure that educated children were different from others. “We also have to look at the mileage which Nigeria has covered, and we will appreciate that Nigeria has

really improved in terms of providing Education For All.” Adekola appreciated the level of partnership with UNESCO, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and other voluntary agencies in improving Nigeria’s education sector. He said that the World Bank was also working with other government agencies to carry out advocacy programmes, to sensitise people on the importance of education. “We want to bring more children into school and our major effort will be to support the basic education in the northern part of the country. “This will also create an opportunity to ensure that more girls attend schools, especially in the rural areas. “Whereas in the south, we are focusing more on post basic education, which is about skills acquisition, especially for the boys. “I am optimistic that Nigeria will be among the countries to be reckoned with to meet MDGs’ 2015 deadline on education,’’ Adekola said. (NAN)

Focus VIOLENCE against women, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation”. Also, the United Nations defines violence as any act of gender based infliction of bodily harm that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women and men including threats under the influence of alcohol and other chemical substance that may contribute to violent behaviour. A drunk person will be less likely to control his or her violent impulse when he is angry. Experts define abuse as any physical sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threat of actions that influences another person. This include behaviours that freighter, intimidate, terrorize manipulate hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone. Reasons for violence or abuse according to experts, is that people feel the need to central and dominate the other. Abusers may feel the need to control their

partners because of low self-esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties in regulating anger and other strong emotions, or when they feel inferior to the other partner in Education and Socio-economic background. This domination then takes the form of emotional physical or sexual abuse. Studies suggest that violent behaviour are often caused by an interaction of situational and individual factors. That means that abusers can learn violent behaviour from their family, people in their community and other cultural influences as they grow up, or they might have been exposed to violence as a child or a victim themselves. Furthermore, acts of violence against women or girls are of different forms. There is the dreaded rape which according to one definition is a forceful threat of bodily harm or taking sexual advantage of a victim without getting consent. Rape is a crime or violence and intimidation, in which a person is coerced or manipulated by another person into sexual intercourse. This is common among most men who are not just family friends but relatives and parent who take advantage of teenagers who are place in their care. Recent reports revealed

Addressing Violence Aga that a 95-year-old man allegedly raped an eighty-year-old girl who was his neighbours daughter. This happens yearly in different countries of the world. Statistics from the United Nations news centre recently, has shown there is an alarming rise in rape and violence against women

and the girl child in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu. “Our protection

monitoring teams have registered 705 cases of sexual violence in the region since January including 619 cases of rape” according to the UN high Commission spokesman who are rehabilitating the victims who were physically and emotionally abused in Congo.

Another form is Battering, which refer to violence actspsychological sexual and physical assaults by

“Experts define abuse as any physical sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threat of actions that influences another person. This include behaviours that freighter, intimidate, terrorize manipulate hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.”


an assailant against his wife and partner made with the intent of contriving their partner by including fear and pain on the victims. Around the world, at least one in every three women is beaten, coerced into sex or abused most often by some-one she knows

another, it is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud deception with the aim of exploiting them. The issue of trafficking affects virtually all countries, whether development or not. This has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society

including her husband or another male family member. An instance, was a woman identified as Osarumwense who was allegedly killed by her husband, Endurance Enadebe who resides at Oka quarters, Upper Sakponba, Benin City, few days to the naming ceremony of their twins. Children. Her husband hit her on the head for not breastfeeding their babies and she died in the process. Human trafficking is

and many families push their children into such crime due to poverty. Which the victims are left to suffer the consequence after some time, their might lead to either loss of life orcontraction of deadly disease that are incurable. Similarly, there is also Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which is the removal of the female genitalia organ for non-medical reason. According to WHO, it has no health

b t m s s


ainst Women/Girl Child

benefit and causes harm to girls and women in many way FGM causes severe pains and has several immediate and

long term health consequences including difficulties in child birth. It also causes danger to the child says WHO.

Virtually every country in the world agrees that female genital mutilation is a violation of a female human right.

It is also seen as an extreme form of discrimination against females in the world. Violence against women

cuts across social and economic divides and is deeply embedded in cultures around the world so much so that millions of women consider. It as a way of life, while neglecting the danger it poses to them. Certainly, the female

gender faced with these abuses/violent acts, cannot contribute to the growth of the society and in order to reverse this trend of relegating the women folk to the background, these abusive tendencies and maladies must of necessity, stop!.

The Girl Child Phenomenon AN issue that is sure to attract much response when discussing about it, is the girl-child (woman) especially when not relating it to the kitchen profession. If we can retrospectively examine the off shoot of the personality called woman, a better result as to her importance is sure to be derived, not for the purpose of the kitchen as it were, but for all round societal transformation. The question as to the identity of a girl-child may not require definite statement or explanations but it will be appropriate to employ explanatory measures in order to drive the point of whom she truly is home. The greatness in every woman is perceived in her teenage age. It will be institutionally and religiously correct to assert that Eve in the manual, the Bible and other religion materials was described as the first woman in creation. In Genesis where it was first reported of her involvement in the events that unfolded in the garden of Edem, it would be note worthy to say that she was created from, Adam’s ribs as a girl and not as a child who was on her mother’s breasts. It was clearly stated that she was not made or manufactured from Adam’s ribs with a child in her womb. So, understandingly she was at that instance “a girl”. The Edem says as it is

well known provides for us an avenue to compare the punishment melted on both parties being accomplice to the crime of disobedience which section 7A of the criminal code cap 77, 1990 describes as principal offenders or parties to the offence “Every person who actually does the act or makes the omission which constitutes the offence” are parties to the offence. The criminal code as it is in the South and the criminal procedure code as it applies to the North will not have been merciful to them including, the serpent by reason of its provisions. It could therefore be right to posit that section 7A of the criminal code cap 77, 1990 derived its assertion to the code from the decision of the Almighty to the principal offenders in the Bible book of genesis. A voice from above sounded like the sound of an earthquake saying, “Adam where hath thou?” and Adam responded “the woman whom thou hath given me gave me the fruit of good and evil”. Who asked him? (that is usual the response of a failed general who could not prosecute a war at his advantage but defends his weaknesses by first instigating complaints one will be right to stat that eve was responsible in providing for the home in the first instance. Eve gave Adam an apple to eat which she worked for, probably to a lazy husband who went to drink “ogogoro”. A husband who knows how to give names to things he never works for.

It is therefore permissible to state that the punishment for the accomplice is simply a change in duty. As in, Eve would no longer be providing for you, put your muscles to work. Then for Eve, you will carry a baby in the womb for nine months, including maternity leave. Look at these! A man who is told to prepare for leg amputation state to cry, at the news, after the operation, the doctor prescribes a wheel chair or a sizeable working stick. But a woman who is pregnant cannot commence lamentation simply because of the said pain at delivery. She delivers and it calls for celebration (a blessing after all). Thanks therefore to woman for taking their duty so seriously and having not failed in her responsibilities, especially in the improvement in the world population. We must however guard against Adams errors by thinking that Eve was created only by her maker to make children rather than engage her or better still assist her to identify her God-given potentials which would have been of immense benefit to


this was the same man who

By EMMANUEL U. OKORO Adam in addressing his I were God the child had advised his late

own part of the punishment. And so Adam remained in that error while his generation passed. Unarguably, a man who is ignorant or out of information can end up struggling with life while his generation ends like that of Adam. The resource in the girlchild is yet untapped, which to a large extent connotes that we can take advantage of the opportunities inherent in her untapped resource in this generation, develop it and then develop the world with it. Paradoxically, if you are a girl-child you are at advantage to benefit from this discuss. Gone are the days when little emphasis and regards are attributed to the birth of a female child. Any family that dwell in what I describe as “grand pa idea” are reasonably dwelling in the past and should please allow the 21st century for those who want to join hands to harness the repository benefit in the girl – child. A barren couple who have lived for 15 years without a baby cried and prayed “God even if is a girl – child …. Please Lord, give her to me”. If

giver… I’ll remain silent … prayer not answered. The girl child in not a last resort … she is a phenomenon we must know that there is an element of greatness in every woman. Someone in my neighborhood ended his life with excessive alcohol intake because the wife had six female children without a male. In the evenings he would go to a nearby beer parlour to drink himself to stupour years later, he came up with renal disorder which finally took his life. Few after his death his daughters were first to be reckoned with in the neighbourhood. It would have been a pitiable situation if those girls had sat on their oars and probably depressed by the daily embarrassment they suffered in the hands of their father, did nothing for themselves. But they worked hard, got good education, got married. Occasion attracted dignities from all works of life to great the wedding ceremony of one of the girls. An uncle of their lamented endlessly.. “how I wish my brother was alive … to witness thus great occasion …

brother to take a second wife for the purpose of having a male – child. It is important for us to be careful the kind of advice we accept from people, including family members especially those who talk ill of the girl – child and are gender biased. These are seven principles on how to develop confidence in the girl – child. Teach her to understand (know) that success in all ramification has no gender bias but gender friendly. *Consistently remind her that she can be better than she thinks she can. *Let her see you always happy each time you invest resources towards her education. *Never you express sadness in words or in action about her gender. *Besides, show her that she can do better than her male counterpart by instilling in her discipline and confidence while you help her to identify her God – given talents. *Teach her the ways of God and also the ways of successful living. *Above all pray for her always.

“We must however guard against Adams errors by thinking that Eve was created only by her maker to make children rather than engage her or better still assist her to identify her God-given potentials which would have been of immense benefit to Adam in addressing his own part of the punishment. And so Adam remained in that error while his generation passed.”


My Life At 70 - Elder (Mrs.) WHEN The Nigerian OBSERVER sought her views last week, on life at 70, preparatory to her upcoming birthday celebration next Sunday, May 18, 2014, she was amazingly down –to-earth; she gave us a blow by blow account of her growing up, her Nursing and Midwifery career, her marital life, her Christian Walk and her days as a labour leader or Unionist who patently abhorred and detested bribe and ensured discipline in the Nursing Profession. Indeed, at the end of the interview, it was very glaring that she did not only make her mark in the Nursing profession, but her likes are, indeed, difficult to find.

Elizabeth Okonofua By TUNDE EIGBIREMOLEN

given succour and respite to the several needy, despondent and homeless people whom

Elder (Mrs.) Elizabeth Okonofua EVEN at 70 years of age, she looks every inch agile and smart; speaks Queen’s English, reads anything refreshingly readable; lives a selfless life, academically upbeat and highly articulate. She is also amazingly charming and exceptionally scholastic. Above all, she is didactically a principled mother who is abundantly generous in the much that she has been blessed with. At any and everytime, she wears a disarming smile that could make even the most hostile of enemies to apologetically drop his/her offensive weapons. Richly blessed with a warm personality, she is also usually calm, and collected. And in her calm disposition,

it is very easy for anyone to see a deep sense of humanness and godliness, transparently and staunchly verged on her strong Christian convictions. Truth and the fear of God constrain her always to do good. The fear to do bad, she tells you, is one guiding principle she has lived by all through the years. And when you probe deeply, you discover that her source of happiness, joy, peace of mind spring substantially from living a contented and humble life. This retired Nurse and Midwife is not only a mother to all, but also a spectacular care-giver whose humanitarian and philanthropic gestures have

she had catered for and provided shelter, food and raiment. Very quietly and humbly she has been putting smiles on several faces without necessarily seeking attention and accolades as it is the manner of some. Strangely enough, the army of those who call her “Mummy” are a battalion compared to her eight (8) biological children. The reason is that not a few persons have immensely benefited from her kind gesture of rendering care, assistance and love to those in need. Yet, she is not the stupendously rich, but just a comfortable pensioner who has the heart of giving and catering for other people’s children, out of the little

available to her. Born on May 18, 1944 in an obscure, sleepy village called Arimogija in presentday Ondo State to a very successful Cocoa farmer (Chief Samuel Adodo), Elder (Mrs.) Elizabeth Okonofua is a retired Nurse and Midwife who hails from Ibhiolulu, Uwessan, in present Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State. The only surviving child of her mother, whom she lost to the cold hands of death at a very tender age in life, the young Elizabeth at 10 years of age, while in primary 4 in 1953/ 54, was brought to Benin City alongside her late brother to live with her uncle and continue their education. She completed her primary school education in Benin City before she proceeded to Mary Mount College in Agbor for her secondary education. Due largely to financial constraints, she left school while in class 4 in her secondary school, and in 1962 at age 18, her father took her to Ibadan where she got admission to read Nursing in the then School of Nursing, Eleyele, Ibadan on March 1, 1962. Why did she opt for Nursing? “The principal of my secondary school then in the testimonial I was issued told me that I would do well either as a teacher or a Nurse. So, as a matter of interest, I decided to go for Nursing. In those days, nursing was a very dignified course to read. After a six-month preliminary training, the young Elizabeth and her colleagues were posted to the then General Hospital, Benin City to continue their Nursing training. She recalls: “As at that time, there was no permanent study centre. We were taught in one of the doctor’s rooms by doctors and matrons who chose to teach us. The School of Nursing in the present day Central Hospital was built during our time. We had a Yoruba lecturer from Ibadan who fought for us to have at least, one day lecture in a week. So we were opportuned to have our classes one day a week. We were specially trained in Surgery and Medicine by Specialists and Physicians in their offices. The classes were later adjusted to two days a week until the end of the training.

“At that time, Benin City was still under Ibadan during the Western Region. So, our exams were not taken in Benin. After a year in Benin we were taken back to sit for our first exams. After two years of training, we were taken to Abeokuta to sit for our final exams in 1965, and to God be the glory, I was successful, and became a qualified Nurse. Overall, I put in 35 years of service as a Nurse before my retirement in October 1996”. Asked how she feels at 70, Mummy Grandma, as she is fondly called by her numerous grandchildren, drew a deep breath and enthusiastically declared: “When I look back, I have absolutely nothing to regret. I feel good about everything, and I am, indeed, very grateful to God for keeping me alive. Many are they that we grew up, attended school and got married at the same time together. Today they are no more”. On her philosophy in life and her guiding principle which have kept her going all through the years, she revealed that the first thing for her is the fear of God, while the second is the fear to do bad. From a very tender age, she informs, she had learnt never to put her hands into any bad venture. Her own kind of philosophy was that even of she didn’t have a mother any more, she was always conscious never to disappoint her father who loved her so dearly because of her intelligence and the fact that she was an only child of the mother. Marital Life How old was Mummy Grandma when she got married? And what attracted her husband to her? Again, what were the challenges at that time? To this question she has this to say: “Well, I got married at a very young age, I think before the age of 23. Before I met my husband, or should I say before he met me, I was

living with my uncle in Benin City. My husband was a very tall, handsome young Police officer. When he came visiting my uncle’s wife who hailed from the same village with him, he noticed that I had washed my white pants and neatly put them on the line. He was curious and fascinated about the way I spread the white pants and inquired about whoever had them. I loved white pants and from childhood I have never used any coloured pants till date. From that moment he saw those pants, he picked interest in me and later proposed to me. I gave him a condition, that he should continue to buy me those white pants, which he did not fail to do till he died. “As for challenges, there were quite some. I did not really notice the challenges because I was working and had some money to spend, also both my father and even my husband were solidly by me because they loved me so dearly, particularly my husband. He loved me specially. I was his third wife. “My husband, worked and retired as a high-ranking police officer – (Asst. Commissioner of Police). He was a very loving man. He loved me though we were in a polygamous home. He was generous and caring. Challenges of Marriage to a Police Officer One thing my husband used to tell us his wives was that if you are married to a police man, you are equally a police woman. So, whenever he was talking, I always paid attention to him and took it as though I was learning. I met other women in the family, so mine was to play my own part to satisfy him. Though it was very challenging, I had to cooperate with, and support him. Infact, pleasing him in all respects, included following him to his own church, a White Garment Church, though I didn’t quite

Contd on page 24

“This retired Nurse and Midwife is not only a mother to all, but also a spectacular care-giver whose humanitarian and philanthropic gestures have given succour and respite to several needy, despondent and homeless people.”

Issues PRO BONO publico, which means for the public good, is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service. It is common in the legal profession where access to justice for those who need to approach the court is considered not to be a privilege but a right. According to Wikipedia, lawyers in the U.S. are recommended under American Bar Association’s ethical rules to contribute at least 50 hours of pro bono service per year. It also quantifies the minimal financial contributions that lawyers should aspire to make to organisations providing legal services to underprivileged persons. Since 2002, many UK law firms and law schools have celebrated an annual pro pono week, which encourages lawyers to offer pro bono services, while increasing public awareness on pro bono culture. However, in Nigeria, access to justice, especially for the poor, still remains a mirage due to the absence of an established pro bono culture; although the Federal Government established the Legal Aid Council, which is performing similar functions; Also, the Lagos State Government created institutions such as the Office of the Public Defender, Peoples Advice Centre, Directorate of Citizens Rights and Citizens’ Mediation Centre to perform such functions. Observers, however, note that in spite of these efforts, the indications are that only a small fraction of the legal problems experienced by indigent persons are addressed via such mechanisms. They note that although the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) encourages its

members to provide free legal services to indigent persons, such services have failed to address most of the challenges. They also note that there has been no conscious effort by the NBA to re-orientate lawyers that they have a professional obligation to provide free legal services to underprivileged persons. The concerned observers note that apart from the usual law clinics offered by various NBA branches during their annual week programmes, only a few law firms have designated desks to handle pro bono cases. Worried by this development, the Lagos State Government inaugurated the Lagos State Public Interest Law Partnership (LPILP) in 2012. The LPILP is a platform where the state government partners with private firms to provide free legal services to indigent citizens of the state. However, a recent survey carried out by the Global Network for Public Interest Law in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, shows that 44.7 per cent of law firms in the state have no formal structures in place for pro bono services. Therefore, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, at a dinner to honour some lawyers for their outstanding contributions to the pro bono culture recently in Lagos, reiterated the need for increased public awareness to ensure equal access to justice. “The rights stipulated under the Nigerian Constitution and the rule of law will mean nothing, if people are denied quality legal representation,’’ he said. Fashola said that the idea of protecting the citizens’ rights in civil and criminal cases would be ineffective if those rights could not be fully ventilated in a most qualitative and quantitative manner probably because of

Building A Culture Of Pro Bono In Nigeria

the absence of a lawyer. The governor said that 64 law firms and four nongovernmental organisations had already signed up to be part of the LPILP, making it the “largest law firm in Nigeria.’’ Mr Ade Ipaye, Lagos State’s Attorney-General, who spoke at a recent a pro bono stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, said that the state was set to establish a special fund to assist young lawyers to give free legal services to the poor. “We intend to launch a fund for independent young lawyers to assist them in handling their pro bono cases. “Funds from the fund can


be used for payment of their filing charges and transportation costs so as to fast-track the justice system,’’ he said. Ipaye suggested the inclusion of pro bono as a course in the curriculum of the Nigerian Law School, saying that it would also aid efforts to encourage aspiring lawyers to buy into the idea. Presenting a report on the pro bono culture in Lagos at the stakeholders’ meeting, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun said that there were enormous challenges facing efforts to provide equal access to justice for citizens.

“Besides, Miss Folashade Adebayo, another lawyer, said that the present remuneration of lawyers in the public service was very poor, adding that they had to embark on private practice to enable them to meet some of their basic needs.”

Fagbohun of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies observed that majority of litigants still appeared in court without attorneys for economic reasons. Nevertheless, Mrs Omotola Rotimi, the Director, Office of the Public Defender, urged more lawyers to buy into the ideals of the LPILP. She said that the stakeholders’ meeting was an opportunity for the public and private sectors to brainstorm and collaborate as equal partners in efforts to advance the course of unhindered access to justice. “Our aim is to develop a framework for public-private partnership dedicated to ensuring that no resident of Lagos State is prevented from accessing the justice system on the grounds of lack of means,’’ she said. Rotimi’s sentiments notwithstanding, Mr Tolu Ogundare, a lawyer, argued that young lawyers were not too keen on rendering free

legal services because of the current economic situation of the country. “Our parents paid a lot to see us through university and law school and once we start practising, the first thing on our mind is to repay this debt,’’ he said. Besides, Miss Folashade Adebayo, another lawyer, said that the present remuneration of lawyers in the public service was very poor, adding that they had to embark on private practice to enable them to meet some of their basic needs. “So, there is actually no time for us to start thinking of pro bono because the little time we have, we use it to make some money to cater for ourselves,’’ she added. Irrespective of these challenges, observers believe that if more states can emulate Lagos State by promoting pro bono culture, the culture will become entrenched, while providing a veritable and potent channel for justice administration in the country.



Chibok Abduction: A Living

Nightmare, Find Our Daughters LAST WEEK, civil society coalition groups in Edo State under the aegis of women for peace and Justice coalition comprising CONGOs, SOTHAWALA, FIDA, Edo women forum, FOMWAN, IRRRAG, GPI, Child Rights Initiatives, Widows Coalition Groups, women thinkers in government, Partnership for women and Justice and several others organized a rally round Benin City, traversing the Kings’ Square over three times, walked tirelessly round the market centres, House of Assembly, the NUJ Press Centre and Edo State Government House, agitating for the unconditional release of the abducted Chibok Girls. Leader of the group and co-ordinator sothawala, ROKE OJEIKERE made this salient address and appeal.

SINCE Monday 14th April 2014 when over 200 young female students from the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno State were abducted by heavily armed men, millions around the world have been unable to come to terms with the loss and the implication of this loss. Today, millions of Nigerian women and men call on the Federal Government and the security agencies to find and bring back these girls currently living in captivity. These young girls are daughters, sisters, nieces; tomorrow’s women and mothers. Those directly affected grieve, and we as Nigerians and human beings, join them in their anguish and distress. We want them back. Safe in their homes where they belong. The trend of conflicting information about the exact number of girls who are still missing and even the operations are regrettable. The fact that as yet, no credible claim of responsibility for the abduction of these girls

has been made is equally disturbing. This makes it an imperative for all Nigerians to amplify and demand of those with the responsibility for the safety of all Nigerians to ACT and CONSTRUCTIVELY engage to find and return these girls to their parents. As citizens it is our right and responsibility to ask the following questions which have been on the lips and on the minds of millions around the world. This is even as we wait, with baited breath, to be informed about the fate of these young girls whose only crime is striving for an education: 1. How is it possible in the age of drones, Google Maps, and aerial surveillance that over 200 girls will vanish without a trace? Is this suggestive of the weaknesses of security operations covering soft targets such as schools even after clear indications of their vulnerability? 2. Why was protection for our children in schools in the N.E not intensified even after the devastation and pain of


the 59 innocent children murdered in FGC Buni Yadi on February 25 2014? 3. How is it that security is not upgraded around institutions even when warnings of potential threat or imminent aggressions are issued?

school at Chibok and then flee with over 200 girls to a location yet to be determined by Nigeria’s security institutions? 5. Where are or what has happened to the much mentioned assistance to the Federal Government or collaboration with

challenges confronting Nigeria? 7. What support plans are being made to cater for the emotional needs and management of the trauma the parents of these girls must be going through? The Chibok incidence is CRITICAL as well as a stark reality of the

in security and military operations, however it is our firm belief that these institutions hold in high esteem the value of Nigerian lives as well our sovereignty being their primary mandate. The reading from Chibok is WE, ALL, including the military and security personnel are at great

Persons protesting the abduction of over 200 girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok at the Edo State NUJ secretariat, Benin City.

The warning after Buni Yadi that girls would be targeted or that Giwa Baracks in Madiguri are two cases in point. 4. What is the rational explanation that in a location (Borno State) under a state of emergency; 4 trucks and numerous motor bikes can deploy, move in convoy, unleash terror on the

friendly governments ? 6. Why, despite the massive increase in security spending, (up to N1 trillion in 2013 and N845 Billion in 2)14), are Nigerians not safer; while our security and military personnel are said to be under equipped and ill prepared to face the ever growing security

“As citizens it is our right and responsibility to ask the following questions which have been on the lips and on the minds of millions around the world. This is even as we wait, with baited breath, to be informed about the fate of these young girls whose only crime is striving for an education.”

vulnerability of all Nigerians but most especially innocent children seeking to actualize their right to education towards a potential improvement of quality life. There is a need to scale up security efforts and sustain vigilance until. All the girls are found. They cannot be abandoned and all Nigerians must share in their agony and in the anguish of their immediate families. The media must step up its act especially in reporting and constructive investigative journalism. We recognize the complexities and dangers

RISK of being consumed by the aggression of those in ambush of our peace and prosperity. Extra measures that remain within the legal limits of operations and counter insurgency/terrorism must be employed. Citizens must remain vigilant and supportive of the institutions of security at all times. We speak out today and will do so every day until these girls are ALL accounted for. As mothers, fathers and siblings we call for the urgent and complete end to the politicization of the insecurity in Nigeria. OUR pain and solution are collective.

Archival Matters

Existentialist Escapes By MICHAEL ODIGBE

LIFE is an engaging work of fiction complete with plots, conflicts, characterizations, atmospheres, dialogues, suspense, anti-climaxes and denouncements. It is for this reason life in itself is a catalogue of awesome existentialist escapes from mortal troubles which line our path on earth. Charity, they say, begins at home. Therefore, let me first of all tell the story of my existentialist escape from a burglar’s evil plot. In 2011, I was in Abuja for an international conference hosted by ANEEJ and was lodged with other participants in a five star hotel, I foolishly though I was fully secured. The conference ended on the second day at about 2.10pm. We were paid. I collected my entitlements, deposited them in my hotel room and quickly took a short walk to National Identity Card Management Commission to see its director-general, Mr. Chris Onyemenem. About thirty-minutes later, I returned to my hotel and joined other guests in the lobby in a discussion. While there, a voice inside me was urging me to revisit my room. I listened to the voice. Behold, when I got

to my room, it was wide open!! I looked in only to find a male intruder walking from my wardrobe to my traveling bag where I kept all the money I was paid by ANEEJ. Apparently, he had ransacked the wardrobe and when he didn’t find any money there, he decided to search my bag at the split second that I arrived at the door of my room. Had I delayed my arrival for a minute, he would have laid his hand on my money and disappeared into thin air. So, my presence at the room was, indeed, an existential escape for me from the burglar. My experience is only one face of existentialist escape in our world. More abound. Enter XYZ, now deceased. In the late sixties, he eloped with a barely literate girl while he was a Grade II teacher in his village. But the girl’s father stormed his residence, took away his daughter and handed her over to a forest guard. Mr. XYZ lamented his ordeal. Out of anger, he decided to leave his village for Benin City. Luck was on his side. He got a job as a reporter with a media outfit. While working as a journalist in Benin City, he sat and passed his GCE

Advanced Level. Thereafter, he proceeded to the University of Ife where he read law on study leave. Years later, he resigned his appointment with the media outfit. He migrated to as salt company is Ogharefe and ended up as its managing director before veering into politics in the nineties – as a senatorial aspirant. He didn’t only win his seat, he rose to become a senate president. Afterwards. Ooops he was No 3 in the nation at a period of our history. Who am I talking about? He is late Senator Albert Legogie. When I had a rare encounter with him in 1996, he narrated this story of his life to me. He specifically told me that the forceful separation from his eloped “wife” in his Ekperi village was

nothing more than an existentialist escape from a rural, poor village life to the vast opulence of university education, politics, fame and upper class life he never anticipated. Our bad roads also feed us with thrilling stories of existentialist escapes. For instance, on the eve of 2000 AD as one OROGHO sped home from a business trip so that he could celebrate the New Year with his family, his car had an accident. From his back seat, he was thrown out through the front windshield of his car. He died on the spot. No existentialist escape for him. However, in his own accident Pa. Egharevba harvested one. While on his way to a forest in Ondo State to collect herbs in 2013, his car’s front tyre

exploded. No cause for alarm. He miraculously found himself outside the car sitting on grass ground. As the vehicle, drive by his relation, cut a death path through the forest before crashing into a Also, recall the shipwreck in the Southern Italian Island of Lampedusa about 113 kilometers away from Tunisia. The ship had taken off from Libya with 500 migrants heading for Europe in search of greener pastures on October 2, 2013. Then tragedy struck. The rickety ship capsized. No life jackets. Three hundred and thirty migrants perished. Only 170 of them escaped from death in the rough waters of the Meditarranean Sea. How they managed to survived is still debated today. Similarly, people are wondering how some Jewish survivors escaped from the holocaust gas chambers of Adolf Hitler during the second world war. Remember, too, that America on August 6, 1945 bombed Hiroshima city in Japan as this war progressed into the sixth year. The bomb immediately destroyed everything within two kilometers of its blast epicentrer. Also, the bomb which generated a temperature of 60,000 centigrade, a raging fire, a wind speed of 4.4 kilometers per second and an incinerating radiation damaged everything in its path for upwards of 16 kilometers. But not to worry. People like Iwa Kuwamoto, Dr. Tomiko Kibara and Hiroko Kainou living within the radius of the atomic bomb’s impact survived to the bewilderment of textbook analysts. Too true, survivals in life and existentialist escape are not mathematical

quantities that are subject to human permutations. Only God weans them. He is the author and finisher of our life who dispenses survivals or escapes through His Providence in our material world. It is for this reason that Babangida survived several coup attempts while in office. Take the coup against him in 1990. he was fast asleep after working late into the night when the coup started. However, his wife was awake at the time. It was her, therefore, who woke him up, thus enabling them to escape into safety to hone a counter-attack. Furthermore, don’t ignore that in 1985 it was because of providential favour that Alozie Ogunbuaja survived a bomb planted in his residence for saying that Nigerian soldiers specialize in eating pepper soup and making coups. Also, it was because of divine providence that Alex Ibru, the late publisher of The Guardian, survived the bullets of Abacha goons fired at him at point blank range. Yes, no one can purchase existentialist survivals and escapes. You earn them by grace. Hence, we need grace in abundance as we tangle with the heartless Boko Haram insurgents to free the abducted Chibok female students. Already, fifty-three of them have returned home. Good news. But we require more good works, honest leadership, a sin less nation and abundance grace to secure the release of the remaining girls. In these dire times nothing less is expected. Pharisaical wishes and prayers alone cannot win us an existentialist escape from our current predicament. Or, did they help to save Daniel in the lion’s den? No…No… and No.

“Apparently, he had ransacked the wardrobe and when he didn’t find any money there, he decided to search my bag at the split second that I arrived at the door of my room. Had I delayed my arrival for a minute, he would have laid his hand on my money and disappeared into thin air. So, my presence at the room was, indeed, an existential escape for me from the burglar.”


With Oyakhilome Clementina

Basic Ecological Concept

ECOLOGY is the study of inter-relationships between living organisms and their external environment. ENVIRONMENT This is the sum total of biotic ( living things) and abiotic (non-living things) that affect individual organisms. Examples of Abiotic part includes light, temperature, wind, humidity, PH. Water and soil, while the biotic are basically the living plants and animals. Environment have three parts which are the marine, freshwater, and the terrestrial. BIOSPHERE It is a part of the earth where living organisms exist and exchange materials. LITHOSPHERE This is the solid crust of the earth. HYDROSPHERE This is the part of the earth that is occupied by water ATMOSPHERE This is part of the earth occupied by air. This is a place where species of organisms live. These habitats includes terrestrial which are land locations, arboreal habitats are for organisms living on trees and aquatic are habitats for organisms living in water. NICHE The place and role in a biological community occupied by a particular species. POPULATION This is the number of individuals of the same species that interact in a habitat at a particular time. BIOTIC COMMUNITY

This is a combination of both plants and animals that are living in the same habitat under the same environmental factors and are mutually inter-dependent. ECOSYSTEM A community of organisms interacting with one another and with their non-living surroundings COMPONENTS OF AN ECOSYSTEM Both Biotic and Abiotic components of an ecosystem exists. They are grouped into aquatic and terrestrial. ABIOTIC These are the non-living components which include, temperature, rainfall, humidity, light, wind, gases, pressure. Abiotic components include inorganic elements and compounds examples of which include water, carbon (N) Oxide, Nitrogen, salts, energy, heat, winds, light, pressure, current and moisture. BIOTIC These are living components, made up of plants and animals. And the entire Biotic community is made up of the following. (A) The green plants (B) The Consumers (C) The decomposers. THE GREEN PLANTS They are reffered to as the primary producers or the autotrophs. They are able to produce organic matter in the presence of sunlight. THE CONSUMERS. These are the animals that feed on the plants and other animals and because, they exhibit this kind of nutrition, they are also referred to as heterotrophs. Consumers that feed directly on plants, examples like insects,

rabbits, and cattle are referred as primary consumers or Herbivores while those feeding directly on the herbivores like the dragonfly, hawk, shark and leopards are referred to secondary consumers or carnivores or predators, because the sharks depend on other carnivores they are known as tertiary consumers. THE DECOMPOSERS. They are composed mainly of bacteria, fungi, saprophygles, and micro organisms. They are able to get nutrients from them in the form of inorganic materials. Decomposers make a very small portion of the total weight (mass) of living matter present in an ecosystem and play an important role in the completion of the cycling of material in the ecosystem. All the living area of the biotic (living) community are known as habitats while habitats are classified into aquatic and terrestrial habitats. AQUATIC HABITAT Aquatic habitat is divided into marine and fresh water habitat. The marine habitats includes the seas, which have a high salt content, while the fresh waters includes the rivers, streams, ponds and lakes without a noticeable content of salt. TERRESTRIAL HABITAT They are the land locations which include swamps, marsh lands, forest, grasslands and arid kinds while arboreal are those having their habitats on trees examples are monkeys and the aerial are those having their habitats in the atmosphere. Components of an ecosystem are the Biotic (Living) Abiotic (non living). Aquatic (water) and terrestrial (land).


Sustaining Free Medical Services For VVF Patients SHORTLY after the creation of Ebonyi State in 1996, the state’s Ministry of Health organised a workshop for traditional birth attendants. Observers then expressed surprise about the large turnout of participants but the organisers were quick to explain to journalists that traditional birth attendants enjoyed high patronage in that part of the country. “We are organising this workshop for them to let them know their limits, so as to avoid endangering the lives of pregnant women. “We also want to check the menace of Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) disease and other diseases associated with childbirth,’’ the organisers said. A UNFPA 2008 report stated that “nationally, about 64 per cent of pregnant women deliver without skilled birth attendants, while the statistics in Ebonyi stand at about 48 per cent.’’ UNFPA also estimates that “about 800,000 to one million women suffer from Obstetric Fistula in Nigeria, with 20,000 women added yearly.’’ VVF is said to be one of the key contributory factors to the high maternal mortality rates in the country, in which not less than 56,000 women die yearly from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. VVF is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder (vesico) and the vagina that allows continuous, involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault. It is often caused by childbirth complications; particularly when prolonged labour presses the unborn child tightly against the pelvis, cutting off blood flow to the vesico-vaginal wall. VVF could also result from

violent rape, cancer operations and radiation therapy, among others. It was, therefore, a great relief in 2008 when Mrs Josephine Elechi, the wife of Ebonyi state governor, initiated the establishment of a VVF centre in Abakaliki, the state capital. As a result of the poverty level of most VVF patients, treatment at the centre, right from its inception, is free. The VVF centre, located inside Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, was later taken over by the Federal Government and renamed National Obstetric Fistula Centre. Even though the centre was taken over by the Federal Government, the free treatment of patients was sustained. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who spoke at the centre’s acquisition ceremony, said that the sustenance of the free medical treatment was documented in the MoU signed between the Federal Government and Ebonyi State Government. “Free treatment continues. When it is not being done, you invoke the MoU. That the free treatment continues is not based on the fact that the minister is saying it but because it is based on the MoU signed. “We are going to move the centre beyond mere treatment; it is now going to be a centre for training and research. We have to expand the services here to accelerate the clearance of the backlog of VVF cases,” Chukwu said. The centre has treated 1,726 VVF patients since its inception in 2008. Mrs Elechi, who is the Chairman of the centre’s Governing Board, disclosed this recently in Abakaliki


when some VVF patients were discharged after undergoing some repair surgery. The governor’s wife said that the patients were from 20 states across the country, adding that the repair surgery was carried out free of charge. Elechi distributed clothes and other items to the patients, while giving them some money for their

these women, who were earlier abandoned, rejected and ridiculed by the society, wearing smiles of joy as a result of their new look, while looking forward to rejoicing with their kith and kin,” she said. Elechi, however, noted that the society was fraught with cases of gender-based violence affecting women on a daily basis, describing the stigma of VVF patients as a

patients who had undergone corrective surgery to adhere strictly to the medical advice given to them by the medical personnel during their therapy so as to guarantee effective and lasting recuperation. Elechi, nonetheless, stressed that the prevention of the VVF disease was as important as its cure. She underscored the need to propagate VVF disease prevention messages across the country, particularly in the local areas. “I call on traditional rulers, opinion leaders, among others, to discourage pregnant women from patronising quack birth attendants in their

Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, Health Minister

transportation and starting a business. “The free repair surgery is necessitated by my feelings of compassion for the ugly plight and dehumanisation suffered by VVF/uterine prolapse victims in the society as a result of their condition. “The routine fistula repair always gives me joy, as I see

form of gender-based violence. “You will agree with me that the worst form of gender-based violence is the ostracism of victims of VVF/ Uterine Prolapse by their relations, communities and the larger society because of a condition which is no fault of theirs,’’ she said. She urged those VVF

“We are going to move the centre beyond mere treatment; it is now going to be a centre for training and research. We have to expand the services here to accelerate the clearance of the backlog of VVF cases...”

communities, as most cases of the VVF arise from prolonged labour. “You should evolve measures that would make it compulsory that no woman should go through labour for more than ten hours before being referred to a referral centre,” she said. Elechi also urged men to encourage and support their wives to go for antenatal care, while providing money for their antenatal and postnatal care. Dr Sunday Adeoye, the Medical Director of National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, also underscored the need for pregnant women to regularly visit health facilities, as 90 per cent of

VVF cases were caused by prolonged labour. Adeoye, who gave the advice in Umuahia at the launch of the VVF Repair Project recently, however, noted that the occurrence of VVF was not peculiar to a particular section of the country, as it was wrongly presumed in the past. He stressed that 79 cases of VVF were recorded in 12 out of the 17 local government areas of Abia, with Umunneochi recording 16 cases, followed by Obingwa with 14 cases and Umuahia South, 13 cases. He said that the culture of denying the existence of the VVF disease in some parts of Nigeria had somewhat frustrated efforts towards its total eradication in the country. Adeoye called on local government chairmen and women groups to embark on structured public enlightenment campaigns so as to make the health problem known to the rural populace, stressing, however, that the disease was curable. He reiterated that the centre had been offering free services prior to its acquisition by the Federal Government. “We were able to offer free medical services to our clients because of the assistance we received from Ebonyi State Government, through the office of the wife of the governor. “Besides, our development partners, like USAID and UNFPA, have provided us with free resources and consumables that enable us to provide excellent services.” Adeoye said that even though the centre was located in the South East geopolitical zone, it “receives and treats VVF cases from the South South, the South West and the South East geopolitical zones.’’ Observers note that the important services which the centre renders, perhaps, compelled the Federal Government to take over its management. They, nonetheless, urge the Federal Government to ensure adequate funding of the VVF centre, while sustaining the free treatment of its patients at all costs.

International Features

A Year On, Bitter Italians Keep Grillo Flying High FRANCO Picini, a schoolteacher in Italy’s capital city, says he has voted for the left all his life, but in this month’s European parliament elections, he will back the 5-Star Movement of comedian Beppe Grillo. “I know his political platform isn’t very clear, but enough with Italy’s old political guard! They all have to go,” said the slim 58year-old, who teaches teenagers with special needs. “Grillo is the only alternative ... if we want to start over.” The 5-Star Movement swept into Italy’s national parliament for the first time last year, riding a wave of discontent with the country’s politicians and their mismanagement of the euro zone’s third largest economy. But over the past year, 5-Star has been rocked by internal strife and has little to show in the way of new legislation. Even so, with Italy still scarred by a three-year economic downturn, the 65-year-old Grillo’s grassroots populism remains a potent electoral weapon. Polls put Grillo’s support at about 27 percent for the European elections on May 25, up from the 25.6 percent he took

in last year’s national elections. That’s behind the Democratic Party’s 33-34 percent, but some say polls underestimate 5-Star as pollsters typically conduct telephone surveys on land lines, while younger voters, the core of Grillo’s support, tend to use mobiles. “Since the crisis isn’t going to be resolved over the next few weeks, the political space for Grillo is still vast,” says Elisabetta Gualmini, political scientist for the Istituto Cattaneo research group and author of a book on the 5-Star Movement. Italy, like other southern European states, is showing tepid signs of economic recovery, and investors are returning to a debt market they had shunned en masse, but business is still suffering, and unemployment high, especially among the young. Even before the crisis, Italy’s real per capita gross domestic product had not improved since 1997, two years before the introduction of the euro, according to Eurostat. Grillo’s critics say the party has wasted an opportunity over this past year to put their popular mandate to good use, maintaining a stance of opposition in parliament, and

refusing to join with other parties to pass legislation. But it is seen as a badge of honor by supporters disillusioned with decades of political compromise that has kept coalitions together at the expense of much-needed reform. And Grillo is having a broader influence on Italy’s political discourse. The Democratic Party’s new prime minister Matteo Renzi, at 39 Italy’s youngest ever, peppers his speeches with slogans from Grillo’s hymnsheet, and last month announced he was selling dozens of official government cars on eBay as a way to reduce the fringe benefits of Italy’s politicians. “Renzi and Grillo are very similar. Renzi is the only politician who could eat into the 5-Star Movement’s popularity, because he uses the same populist communication strategies that Grillo uses; he speaks directly to homemakers, factory workers,” says Gualmini. In last year’s elections, Italians lapped up Grillo’s rhetoric that it was time to make government more accountable, especially after a year of austerity measures at the hands of the technocrat government of Mario Monti, who was appointed, not elected, to bring Italy back from the brink of default.

My Life At 70... Contd from page 18 like the idea. By way of support, I usually uphold my husband in prayers, because he was one man who loved prayers. I was always obedient to him too, at all times. This is one thing I think girls of nowadays should learn to practice. Obedience and submissiveness in marriage. It is very important to the survival and success of marriages. BEING BORN AGAIN Because I attended a Catholic School (Mary Mount College in Agbor) I was a baptised and confirmed Catholic, but when I got married, I deviated because I had to do my husband’s bidding so as not to cause any conflict. I started following him to White Garment Church. But I really gave my life to Christ and became born again when we moved to Spirit and Life Bible Church in 1991. It was one of my children, Pastor Collyns Isimemen Okonofua who actually talked us into joining that church. That was where I really gave my life to Christ. When I joined my husband in attending a White Garment Church it was just to fulfil all righteousness. In Spirit and life Bible

Church, we were now taught how to fast, pray, read the bible and pay our tithes. In the course of getting spiritually matured, I was ordained an Elder in the Ikpoba Hill chapter of the church. Nursing Then And Now During our time, Nursing wasn’t politicised. I also became a tutor in the School of Midwifery, because I also did Midwifery aside Nursing. I did my Nursing Management Administration in UNIBEN. Then you don’t need to know anybody to sit and pass any examinations. Today, we hear all sorts of stories about question papers leaking, which was quite strange in our time. Education, when politicised creates problems, as you have half-baked Nurses and graduates who do not know what they are really doing. Then, as a Nurse, we feared and respected our superiors unlike what the practice is today. One thing I want to let people know is that if you are not interested in any profession you can never do well there. You must put interest first, not only in Nursing profession. During our time, you are given three chances to do your exams after which you will be withdrawn from the school if you fail. Pregnancy

was also not permitted among the students Nurses unlike now. We tried as much as we could those days to maintain good relationship with our superiors. So anybody who wants to be a Nurse should not go into it with the wrong notion of looking for money. Three things are needful in Nursing: You should be Caring, Obedient and Responsible. You should also learn how to respect one another and be patient with your patients. In all my years as a Nurse, I can’t remember having any moment of regrets. None. I tried to balance the profession with the Home and Marriage. CHILDREN UPBRINGING That I have 8 children, all graduates today is no magic. The secret, if I must call it so, is that all my life, I never moved with the so-called society women, because I wouldn’t be able to buy their kind of clothes. If I did otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to satisfy my children. With the meager resources I earned at that time, compared to the salary that a Nurse earns nowadays. At what age should parents begin to educate their children about sex education? During our time, there was nothing like sex education,

“Neither the right nor the left has done anything to make our life better, or to try something new,” says Massimo Ornaghi, a 42-year-old information technology engineer who voted for Grillo in last year’s national elections. Ornaghi says that if 5Star hadn’t run, he wouldn’t have voted at all. The result gave 5-Star a formidable block of 163 lawmakers between the lower house Chamber of Deputies and upper house Senate. “The attention we were getting, particularly abroad, was huge,” recalls Vito Crimi, speaker of the party in the Senate. “It was enough to give us all big heads, and some did get cocky.” From the start, Grillo, who founded and runs 5-Star but is not in parliament, said his party “was neither right nor left, but behind the scenes to check on those who govern”. Sometimes they have been very much center-stage, including a heated attempt to filibuster a property tax bill that led to scuffles in parliament. They failed on that occasion, but on others have exerted influence on government policy. On party financing, long a controversial issue in Italy, they helped push the former government of Enrico Letta to substitute state financing

the topic only came in during our nursing programme. Nowadays, even when parents do not give their children sex education, they know it more than their parents. One thing is for you as a parent to educate your children on sex, another thing is for those children to grow up and develop their own minds. I had noticed it. I don’t know if it is the type of education that they are given or it is the society itself. You are 70, you don’t look it. What is the secret? That is why I want to thank God. Though I thank God everyday. But this one is a special one. You know why? Because anywhere I go especially the Central Hospital where I worked, people will continue to ask “Mama, don’t you ever get old? My prayer everyday is, “God, I want to serve you all the days of my life, I want that glory and strength to be in me”. If I am too old, I might not be able to serve God. There is no special food that I eat, I eat what other people normally eat alongside some multivitamins in order to stay healthy. What would you want to be remembered for? If only in my profession, I want to be remembered for my hard work. I did well, and there is no bragging about that. I had a good rapport

with voluntary contributions by 2017. 5-Star also say they influenced Renzi’s plans to reduce the power of various levels of local government in Italy. “(Grillo) has managed to strip certain controversial issues that used to previously belong either to the right or to the left of the political spectrum,” says Roberto Weber, from polling organization Istituto Ixe’. Perhaps 5-Star’s most effective move, in the eyes of its supporters, is to have agreed to halve their salaries to about 4,000 euros a month and use the savings to support small and medium-sized enterprises. “The other lawmakers drone on about spending cuts, but when we asked them to follow our example and cut their salaries, there was no response,” said Nicola Biondo, head of communications for the party in the lower house. Though in terms of legislation the party has little to its credit, it did secure a popular amendment to the budget that allows private businesses to withhold tax for unpaid bills owed by the state. Its popularity has survived what often proves fatal to mainstream parties - a series of bitter internal feuds and highprofile defections and expulsions. As many as 14 of its 54 senators and four of its 109

with everyone I worked with. In every profession, one gets to be liked and not liked depending on your working relationship. I was someone who might tell you I will issue you a query, at the end of the day, I may not even do it. But I would have corrected you and made you to know what you have done is not good. Is there any of your children whom you encouraged to go into the nursing profession? None of them was interested in it. If you force your children into the profession they don’t like, they will not do well there. You were a unionist even as a nurse, how were you able to combine unionism with your profession and what position did you

deputies are no longer with the party. “The idea that everyone counts in the same way in 5-Star is pure hypocrisy,” says Luis Orellana, one of the senators who was expelled in February. Hurt by the defections and to counter the freshness of Renzi, who had not set foot in parliament until he became premier, 5-Star has been tweaking its policy platform. Grillo, in his blog, has recently tried to attract center-right voters, in particular small businesses and entrepreneurs, traditionally on the right of the political spectrum, whose biggest complaint is Italy’s high taxes. “The party has gradually been moving towards the right,” says Mario Catania, a member of the centrist Civic Choice party and former minister of agriculture in Monti’s technocrat government. That’s partly a strategic move, analysts say, as Grillo is trying to take disillusioned voters from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, which has also suffered internal divisions. On the blog, which is also an active debate forum, Grillo in April suggested abolishing Equitalia, a private tax collection agency, which he dubbed “the oppressor of small and very small companies, while closing an eye to rich people”.

occupy? I rose to the position of the chairman of the Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Bendel State. I started when I was at the Central Hospital, Benin where we have a branch. Gradually, I picked interest, and then contested for the post of a Treasurer which I won. Then I contested for the post of chairmanship, which I also won. There were lots of challenges then because some of the members were nonchalant towards work, they were only interested in the financial benefits. But my husband counseled and advised me on how to handle the issues. And I was a successful Unionist as well. It was during the splitting of Bendel State into Edo and Delta States in 1991 that my tenure came to an end.

Elder (Mrs.) Elizabeth Okonofua fielding questions from journalist.

International S/Korea Parliament To Begin to access the submerged Ferry Disaster Probe long vessel. SEOUL - South Korea’s parliament is to open an investigation into the ferry disaster that has left 300 people dead or missing, politicians confirmed yesterday, as the government counters criticism of its handling of the tragedy. A special parliamentary session will open this week and a number of committees will begin work from today, the government and opposition said, dedicated to confirming the cause of and responsibility for the sinking of the Sewol. Park Young-Sun, of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, said the session would focus on “a (parliamentary) investigation, the nomination of a special prosecutor and hearings.” The ruling Sanuri party’s leader of parliament Lee WanKoo told a joint press conference it would “make efforts ... to prevent a recurrence of such a disaster.” The confirmed death toll stands at 275 with 29 still unaccounted for, more than three weeks after the ship capsized off the country’s southern coast. Victims’ families have been extremely critical of nearly every aspect of the government’s handling of the disaster, and had demanded a government investigation in addition to the police’s efforts. They want explanations for perceived delays in the initial

rescue effort, and are calling for those they believe responsible to be punished. The recovery operation remained suspended Sunday due to a looming storm and high tides. Despite enormous hazards and challenges, including near-zero visibility and strong currents, divers have been under immense pressure to retrieve all the trapped bodies as quickly as possible. But as days go by, they are retrieving fewer and fewer bodies. Partition walls on the ship have started warping and are at risk of collapsing, complicating their work. Many relatives believe some children may have survived for hours or even days inside air pockets in the capsized ferry, but died because rescuers took too

The Sewol was carrying 476 people when it sank on April 16 after listing sharply to one side and then rolling over. Of those on board, 325 were children from a high school on an organised trip to the southern resort island of Jeju. Initial investigations suggest the ferry was carrying up to three times its safe cargo capacity. The Sewol’s regular captain, who was off duty on the day of the accident, has told prosecutors that the ferry operator — Chonghaejin Marine Co — “brushed aside” repeated warnings that the 20-year-old ship had stability issues following a renovation in 2012. Five Chonghaejin officials, including the company’s head, have been arrested on various charges including manslaughter, negligence and breaches of vessel safety laws.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during an annual rally commemorating anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, at the Azadi ‘Freedom’ Square in Tehran, Iran yesterday.

Iran’s President Offers Transparency In Nuclear Talks

TEHRAN - Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday his country has nothing to offer except transparency in nuclear talks with world powers, rebuffing hard-liners as negotiators seek a final deal over the Islamic Republic’s contested program. The talks, resuming tomorrow, face an informal July deadline to hammer out a final deal to limit Iran’s ability to build nuclear arms in exchange for ending the

crippling economic sanctions it faces. While the moderate Rouhani and Iran’s negotiators have the backing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hard-liners increasingly criticize the deal as giving up too much while gaining too little from the West. Speaking yesterday to a group of Iranian medical and nuclear experts, Rouhani appeared to be trying to counter the hard-liners by saying Iran would never

accept “scientific and nuclear apartheid” by giving up its program. “If the world seeks good relations with Iran, it should choose the way of surrendering to Iran’s rights, respecting the Iranian nation and praising Iranian scientists,” Rouhani said in the speech, which was aired live by state television. “Iran’s path to achieve nuclear technology has been a correct way and it will never stop,” he said. “We do not want to withdraw one step in technology.” Rouhani also stressed Iran has not sought nuclear weapons and urged the West not to accuse Iran of doing so. “The Iranian nation has never been after weapons of mass destruction since it does not see it as legitimate,” he said. The West says Iran’s nuclear program could allow it to build atomic weapons. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes, like medical research and power generation. Iran reached a historic interim deal in November with six world powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. In it, Tehran agreed to stop enrichment of uranium to 20 percent — which is a possible pathway to nuclear

arms — in exchange for the easing of some Western sanctions. It agreed to dilute half of its 20 percent enriched uranium into 5 percent and turn the remaining half into oxide, which is very difficult to be used for bomb-making materials. It also allowed international inspectors into nuclear sites. In the last week, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations watchdog, visited a uranium mine and a uranium-thickening facility in the central Iranian towns of Ardakan and Yazd. Iranian officials said that

fulfilled a series of demands it had for Iran, including releasing information about its efforts to develop a type of explosive detonator that can be used in nuclear weapons. The talks beginning Tuesday hope to iron out a comprehensive deal placing long-term caps on Iran’s enrichment program and other atomic activities in exchange for full sanctions relief. The two sides hope to reach agreement by July 20 but can extend negotiations if both agree to do so. Already, Iran has said it will redesign its Arak heavy water reactor to greatly limit the amount of plutonium it can make, a major concession.

Germany’s Schroeder Defends Party With Putin

BERLIN - Germany’s exChancellor Gerhard Schroeder is defending a much-criticized embrace with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a recent birthday party and insisting that threatening sanctions is the wrong response to the Ukraine crisis. Schroeder, who left office in 2005, has long had a close relationship with Putin. He is now chairman of Russian-led gas pipeline consortium Nord Stream.

Schroeder drew widespread criticism over pictures of him hugging Putin in Russia April 28, at a time when German military observers were being held by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. Schroeder told Sunday’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper Putin “isn’t persona non grata.” He said he asked Putin to help free the hostages and asserted the talks “led to success.” He was quoted as saying: “it is certain that sanctions and isolation will achieve nothing.”

S/Sudan Rebels Accuse Govt Of JUBA - South Sudan’s rebels Ceasefire Violation yesterday accused government forces of multiple ceasefire violations along several fronts, just hours after a truce aimed at ending the five-month conflict came into effect. “The violations of the Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan shows that (President Salva) Kiir is either insincere or not in control of his forces,” rebel military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said in a statement. Koang alleged the violations occurred in the oil-rich northern states of Upper Nile and Unity, and included both ground attacks and artillery barrages. He added that rebels reserved “the right to fight in self-defence”. Clashes were also reported around the northern oil hub of Bentiu — which has changed

hands several times in recent weeks and has been described as being particularly tense. In the capital Juba, however, the government said their forces had been given strict orders to its troops to respect the peace deal. “The orders have been given to the army to start observing arrangements for the cessation of hostilities,” President Kiir’s spokesman, Ateny Wek, told AFP. He said the government had received no word from the rebels, but added that government army commanders “have sent any reports of violations” by forces loyal to rebel leader and former vicepresident Riek Machar. Kiir and Machar met in the

Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Friday and agreed halt fighting within 24 hours — or by Saturday evening. The agreement came after massive international pressure on both sides to stop a fivemonth conflict marked by widespread human rights abuses, a major humanitarian crisis and fears the world’s youngest nation was on the brink of a genocide and Africa’s worst famine since the 1980’s. The war has claimed thousands — and possibly tens of thousands — of lives, with more than 1.2 million people forced to flee their homes. Kiir and Machar had agreed to a ceasefire in January, but that deal quickly fell apart.

International 3 Terrorists Killed Near Yemen Presidential Palace

SANAA Three “terrorists” were killed Sunday in clashes at a checkpoint near Yemen’s presidential palace, two days after a suspected Al-Qaeda attack on the same post killed five guards, the interior ministry said. A civilian was also killed in the gunfight which erupted at dawn after gunmen attacked the presidential guard checkpoint near Misbahi roundabout, around 500 metres (yards) from the palace, a statement said. Authorities use the term “terrorists” to refer to AlQaeda militants in the impoverished Arab country, where an army offensive against jihadist strongholds has been underway since April 29. Sanaa has been on alert for days, and tensions rose after the army said troops had entered Azzan, a jihadist bastion in southern Shabwa province, prompting the United States to close its Sanaa embassy on Thursday. On Friday five guards were killed in clashes that broke out after gunmen attacked the checkpoint outside the republican palace in Sanaa which the president — who was not there at the time — only uses for meeting. That attack came hours after the defence minister, who has vowed to crush jihadists active in Yemen, survived an ambush by suspected Al-Qaeda militants in the south of the country. Yemen’s army says its offensive against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula strongholds in the contiguous provinces of Shabwa, Abyan and Baida has inflicted heavy losses on the jihadists. AQAP is considered by Washington as the most dangerous affiliate of AlQaeda and has been linked to failed terror plots in the United States. The jihadists took advantage of an Arab Spring-inspired uprising that forced autocratic president Ali Abdullah Saleh from power to seize large swathes

of southern and eastern Yemen. The army recaptured several major towns in 2012 but has struggled to reassert control in rural areas, despite the backing of tribal militiamen.

Ex-Rival’s Support Boosts Abdullah In Afghan Election A Yemeni soldier mans a checkpoint in the capital Sanaa

N.Korea Renews Threat Of Nuclear Test PYONGYANG - North Korea renewed a threat on Saturday to conduct a nuclear test amid heightened concern that the reclusive state with a stockpile of missiles may set off an atomic device for the fourth time on the path to building a nuclear arsenal. North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was justified in using all available means at its disposal to counter aggressive challenges by the United States and South Korea aimed at stifling its sovereignty. North Korea clarifies “its resolute stand that it would take counter-measures including nuclear test to protect the sovereignty and dignity,” the newspaper said in a commentary carried by the official KCNA news agency. The threat comes days after statements by South Korea’s

defense minister that preparations for a new test appear to be near completion although analysis by an American think tank last week suggested a test may not be imminent. A U.S. official said the United States is “closely monitoring” the situation on the Korean peninsula and urged North Korea to refrain from actions that could threaten regional peace. “The United States remains steadfast in its commitment to the defense of its allies and continues to coordinate closely with both the Republic of Korea and Japan,” National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in an emailed statement. North Korea had stepped up the threat in March to show off its military strength to counter what it said was hostility led by the United States after the U.N.

Militants Kill 20 Troops In Northern Iraq BAGHDAD - Militants in Iraq launched an audacious attack on a military barracks in a remote area in the country’s north and killed 20 troops overnight, including some who had been bound and shot at close range, authorities said Sunday. The killings at the barracks in the village of Ayn al-Jahish outside the northern city of Mosul represent the latest blow to the government’s efforts to achieve stability in restive Sunnidominated areas. Gunmen staged the assault late Saturday night, two police officers said, shooting some at short range while others died when insurgents stormed the barracks. A medical official, who confirmed the causality number, said 11 troops had their hands tied behind their backs and suffered close-range gunshots to the head. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information to journalists. The slain troops are in charge of protecting an oil pipeline that sends Iraqi crude oil to international markets and guarding a nearby highway. Attacks on this pipeline are

common in that area near Mosul, a former insurgent stronghold located about 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad. The brazen attack comes amid a surge in violence to levels unseen in Iraq since 2008. It’s been the most serious challenge to the Shiite-led government’s efforts to achieve stability.

Security Council condemned Pyongyang’s launch of midrange missiles into the sea. “We would not rule out a new form of nuclear test for bolstering up our nuclear deterrence,” it said in March. North Korea is under heavy sanctions imposed by several U.N. resolutions adopted beginning in 2006 but has defied pressure to abandon its missile and nuclear programs. It last conducted a nuclear test in February last year. The impoverished state under young leader Kim Jong Un has

channeled resources into building a nuclear arsenal and is believed to be working to miniaturize a warhead to mount on its long-range missiles to try to strike the mainland United States. But general consensus among experts and officials is that it is some time away from perfecting the technology. North Korea has conducted engine tests for an intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States, according to a U.S. think tank.

KABUL - Afghan election front-runner Abdullah Abdullah received a major boost to his campaign Sunday when Zalmai Rassoul, a close ally of the current president, endorsed him after withdrawing from the race. Rassoul was seen as the favoured candidate of outgoing President Hamid Karzai, and his support for Abdullah could be a decisive move in deal-making to choose Afghanistan’s next leader as US-led troops withdraw from the country. Rassoul’s own bid to become president gained little momentum and he came third with a disappointing 11.5 percent in the first round of voting, but he remains an influential powerbroker. “The moderation, equality and reconstruction team led by Doctor Zalmai Rassoul announces its support for the team led by Doctor Abdullah Abdullah,” Javid Faisal, Rassoul’s spokesman, told a press conference.

Polls Open For Presidential Election winning about 47 percent of Grybauskaite told In Lithuania the vote. Although the polls borders,” reporters recently. “First, it’s VILNIUS, Lithuania Polls opened Sunday for the presidential election in Lithuania, where toughtalking incumbent Dalia Grybauskaite is widely expected to be re-elected for a second term. The presidential election is the sixth since the former Soviet republic regained independence in 1991. Seven candidates are competing in the race and recent opinion polls showed 58-year-old Grybauskaite, who was previously EU budget commissioner and Lithuania’s finance minister,

put her far head of rivals, she is below the simple majority needed to avoid a runoff, to be held along with European Parliament elections on May 25. In a country occupied by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Grybauskaite’s approval ratings have risen after her strongly worded rejection of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and her staunch support for boosting NATO forces in Lithuania. “Europe must understand that Russia is trying to redraw the post-war map and

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite, a presidential candidate, casts her ballot at a polling station during the first round presidential elections in Vilnius, Lithuania yesterday.

Ukraine, Moldova will be next and, finally, it can reach the Baltic states and Poland. This is a serious threat to our region.” Each of her closest rivals — populist Labor lawmaker Arturas Paulauskas and European Parliament member Zigmantas Balcytis, a social democrat — are far behind, both with 10 percent ratings. The margin of error in the April 4-9 survey of 1,001 people by pollster Vilmorus was 3.5 percentage points. Grybauskaite is an economist who was educated both in the Soviet Union and the United States. She became Lithuania’s first female president when she was elected in 2009. With her re-election seen as all but certain, critics say Grybauskaite’s lead has sucked all the energy out of the race. “I have never seen in any country such a dull election campaign,” former president Valdas Adamkus told lawmakers in parliament. Pre-election surveys suggest that about 52 percent of the 2.5 million registered voters in Baltic coastal nation intend to cast their ballots.

Culture THE atmosphere was charged and colourful as cultural dancers, youths, students, performing Troupes from Afenmai land and assembled masquerades and Traditional folklorists with well designed costumes reeled out lyrics bothering on morality to unfold traditional setting of the kukurukus. The show was an imperative effort by the Afenmai Heritage and Cultural studies an organization privately owned by a veteran Journalist and cultural pundit, Alhaji Usman Abudah to unfold the artistic potentials of the Afenmai people. This is however believed to be sustained by this organization to further emphasize the existence of the numerous available opportunities which the youths should embrace towards self employment rather than lazing away and insisting on government to create jobs which are sometimes not available. The body inaugurated by Prof. Wole Soyinka, the Noble laureate, has been involved in the promotion, propagation and the documentation of Afenmai creative concepts toward a uniformed calendar for the numerous seasoned festivals of the people. Chaired by the Executive Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Council of Edo State, Prince Suleiman Afegbua, the occasion which was spiced up by the wonderful rendition from the band stand mounted by Constance Boliva Osigbemhe who has been keeping his late father’s Band going was a beauty to behold. The open Pavilion of the federal Polytechnic Auchi,

Venue of the event was filled to capacity with a lot of over flow spectators who had thronged the place to catch a glimpse of the beautifully dressed masquerade and their dance step blend with the flute, gong and drum from the drummers stand. In a lecture entitled “Rhythms of Drum And Gong, Strokes Don’t Lie” delivered by an Islamic Scholar, Mallam Barrister Nuredeem Asurudeem, he said that we are at a juncture in which providence seeks to give us a refocillating assurance even as he advocates for a true leader in Nigeria who understands and appreciates the Rhythms of drum and gong strokes of life. According to him, “The dance steps and drum of the various cultural troupes that performed in the show are cementrical, so leadership should be inspirational in order to understand the minds and body movement of the people they lead.” On his part, the hosting Royal father and Otaru of Auchi, HRH Alhaji Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III commended the initiator and co-ordinator of the yearly cultural festival, Alhaji Usman Abudah praying God to continue to empower him to do more for the Afenmai people and human race in general. The Otaru however appealed to government at all tiers and influential Nigerians to see how best evil can be eliminated from the society adding that evil against good in our society must not be allowed to continue. In his remark, the initiator and co-ordinator of Afenmai Heritage and cultural studies, Alhaji Usman Abudah said the artistry of a people is a natural phenomenon that

Aluaye cultural dance from Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State, one of the troupes which performed during the cultural fiesta held at Auchi, April 26, 2014.

Do Rhythms Of Drum And Gong Strokes Lie?

can not be polluted by intrigues, politically or otherwise by influences originated by government or ethical interventions rather the output should be natural with very sincere contributions based on events surrounding human existence. “This is the focus of this year ’s show which happened to be the second edition of the “Mass Assembly of Afenmai Masquerades and Traditional Troupes,” of the six local government council Area of Edo North Senatorial District of Edo State,” he said. He however hinted that his organization will


continue to appeal to the six Local Government Council Area in the Senatorial District to show positive interest in its efforts to unveil the creativeness of the Afenmai people as demonstrated at the maiden edition held last year April 2013 when the Executive Governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole attended the outing with a promise of the genuine readiness of the state government to partner with Afenmai Heritage in showcasing the artistic themes of the people. Mounted exhibition on sculpture, Loom Weaving,

“Kudos continue to go to the sponsor for using his lean resources from his monthly pension to finance a worthy venture of this nature which is capable of creating employment as well as taking youths out of idleness by bringing out the inordinate talents endowed in them by God.”

Pottery, Book Publications by Afenmai Authors, masquerade costume production, skin decoration formats and Blacksmithing featured prominently at the exhibition stand of the event. Also on hand to entertain the audience was a special groomed female folklorists costumed by the coordinator Alhaji Usman Abudah to unfold Afenmai lyrics bothering on morality and hard work which are the pillars of success in life. Roll call of Traditional Troupes and masquerade dancers that performed during the programme was endless but prominent cultural dance from Fugar, Isiko Hunters Dance Auchi, Aloaye Cultural Group from Okpella Aimi masquerade dancers from Ogbonna, while the female folklorists from Ogbonna added pep to the event with their colourful costume and beautiful rendition.

Also in attendance was the representative of the Noble Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka who was ably represented by Dr. Asari Edo Omozua. While kudos continue to go to the sponsor for using his lean resources from his monthly pension to finance a worthy venture of this nature which is capable of creating employment as well as taking youths out of idleness by bringing out the inordinate talents endowed in them by God, there is the need for government to key into project of this nature and invest adequately in the development of the Nigerian Youth. This persistent jaw-jaw is hinged on the fact that because the youths are the future leaders of the country and a society that fails to design conscious programmes of development and empowerment for her youths would have inadvertently, mortgaged and consigned its future to doom.

Barclays Premier League...Barclays Premier League...Barclays Premier League... Adam Hit It Late For Stoke

CHARLIE Adam’s sweet 87th-minute strike ensured Mark Hughes’ Stoke ended their Barclays Premier League season on a high with a 2-1 win over West Brom at The Hawthorns. Substitute Adam, an 80thminute replacement for Jon Walters, lashed a left-footed shot from the edge of the box which beat Ben Foster and grabbed a deserved victory for the visitors. It was a sad end to the season for the Baggies and in particular boss Pepe Mel, who is due to meet chairman Jeremy Peace next week in a bid to thrash out his future. Stephane Sessegnon’s 56thminute effort had looked likely to earn Mel’s men a point after Stoke had gone ahead through Gareth McAuley’s 22nd-minute own goal. For all the irrelevance of the game barring the impossibility of a 17-goal swing involving doomed Norwich at Carrow Road, both sides - and their supporters - had done their best to make it a memorable one. Stoke might have been missing winger Oussama Assaidi due to a knee injury but they dominated the first half with a brand of slick, passing football few could have imagined at the same stage last season. The Baggies had the first chance when Graham Dorrans’ corner from the right was headed down by Craig Dawson and Sessegnon pounced at close range only to see his effort ricochet off Steven Nzonzi and strike the underside of the bar.

Canaries’ Relegation Confirmed NORWICH’s relegation from the Barclays Premier League was confirmed as Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners at Carrow Road, where England midfielder Jack Wilshere made his long-awaited return from injury. The Canaries were already all but down - needing to win, West Brom to lose and by a 17-goal swing. Arsenal, who play in the FA Cup final next weekend, were not in a generous mood. Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy, hoping to be in Roy Hodgson’s England squad along with Wilshere when it is named on Monday, made three fine saves in the first half before he was beaten by a fine strike by Aaron Ramsey on 53 minutes. Defender Carl Jenkinson swept home another for his first Arsenal goal as the visitors closed out a comfortable victory ahead of their Wembley return, while Norwich, who sacked manager Chris Hughton with just five matches left, must now regroup for life in the Sky Bet Championship along with Cardiff and Fulham.

Toffees Tame Tigers On Final Day

Manchester City’s players celebrating the League title victory at Etihad Stadium yesterday.

Manchester City Crowned Champions

SAMIR Nasri and Vincent Kompany scored the goals as Manchester City reclaimed the Barclays Premier League title with a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham. The goals came in a 10-minute spell which straddled the halftime interval at the Etihad Stadium, rendering nearest rivals Liverpool’s win against Newcastle academic. With ex-Liverpool players Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing in their side, as well as Reds fan Kevin Nolan, West Ham did have the personnel to provide one last dramatic twist at the end of a compelling season. But realistically - with City having a two-point advantage that was always a long shot and there was never any hint that the nerve-jangling final-day drama of their title win two years ago would be repeated. It was raining heavily at kickoff but the atmosphere was raucous and City approached the game with the confidence of a side that were comfortable and in control of their destiny. City’s top scorer Sergio Aguero was back in their side after injury but not at his sharpest, although on this occasion his brilliance was not needed. West Ham did play more positively than the previous visitors to Eastlands, Aston Villa in midweek, but the occasions they threatened were still few and far between. The hosts appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty early on after Mark Noble deflected a Pablo Zabaleta cross onto his hand. Their first real chance came after David Silva and Aguero combined well on the edge of the box. Yaya Toure’s initial effort was blocked before Silva volleyed over from a Zabaleta cross.

Zabaleta then wanted a penalty after going down under a challenge from Mohamed Diame before Aguero showed some nimble footwork to spark an attack from inside his own half. The ball was worked across the field and Aguero tried to finish from distance but slipped as he shot and Adrian saved comfortably. Nasri then had a good cross turned behind and Toure curled a shot narrowly wide as news filtered through that Liverpool had fallen behind in their game against Newcastle. City maintained the pressure, with Aleksandar Kolarov forcing Adrian to tip over a powerful drive from distance. Nasri finally broke through six minutes before the interval as he took aim from 20 yards and struck a powerful low shot which went in off the post after a possible touch from Adrian. City fans then increased the volume significantly and Aguero glanced a header wide before Silva saw an effort deflected onto the bar off Carroll. City truly got the party started four minutes into the second half when Kompany stabbed home from six yards after Edin Dzeko won the ball from a corner. The City captain celebrated with unconfined joy. West Ham did make a rare charge to the City end but Matt Taylor’s mistimed shot bounced wide. Aguero had two opportunities to extend City’s lead but headed wide at the near post and then failed to connect in front of an open goal from a Zabaleta cross. Aguero appeared to pick up

another knock in the closing moments and he showed his frustration by bundling over Noble off the ball. That sparked an unecessary scuffle between several players of both sides and Aguero was

eventually booked, but it could not dampen City’s celebrations. They knew the job was completed and the hosts duly played out the closing minutes with little alarm to prompt a pitch invasion and jubilant scenes.

ROMELU Lukaku left Everton with a final reminder of his considerable talent as his 15th goal of the Barclays Premier League season helped the Toffees to a 2-0 victory over Hull. Everton boss Roberto Martinez would dearly love to make the Belgian’s stay a more permanent arrangement following a hugely successful season-long loan from Chelsea, but the striker is sure to have plenty of high-profile suitors. He was the standout performer in Everton’s win over the offform FA Cup finalists, involved in James McCarthy’s ninthminute opener, showing power and poise to double that lead just after half-time and otherwise causing the Tigers all manner of problems. For the hosts, an impressive return to the top-flight ends on something of a bum note with just one win from their last eight fixtures and four points from a possible 24. Steve Bruce’s side still have a first-ever cup final to look forward to against Arsenal next weekend, but they will need to be significantly better than this to compete with the Gunners. There was some good news with Allan McGregor and Paul McShane both coming through comeback matches to put their names in the hat for Wembley, but both could have done better for Everton’s goals.

Chelsea Finish With Scrappy Win FERNANDO Torres netted his first Barclays Premier League goal since January as Chelsea finished the campaign with a 2-1 victory at alreadyrelegated Cardiff despite an abject showing. A rare trophyless campaign for Jose Mourinho ended on something of a high as Chelsea scored twice in four second-half minutes following Craig Bellamy’s opener.

Substitute Andre Schurrle equalised before Torres - in possibly his farewell match, with the Blues rumoured to be prepared to cut their losses on the B£50million striker this summer - added a second for his first goal in 12 league games. It was a performance which must have left Mourinho considering a major revision of the end-of-season report he will present to the Chelsea hierarchy

Newcastle, but it was not enough to end the Anfield side’s 24-year wait for the title. Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge scored within two minutes of each other to give Liverpool a 2-1 win over Newcastle, who had gone ahead through Martin Skrtel’s fourth own goal of the season. But the celebrations at Anfield were kept to a minimum as Manchester City beat West Ham 2-0 to win the Barclays Premier League. In the first half Liverpool were well below their best. Newcastle, who had Paul Dummett and Shola Ameobi dismissed, could have been 3-0 up at the break. But after the restart, Liverpool

displayed glimpses of the kind of swashbuckling play that Reds fans and neutrals alike have enjoyed all year. The Liverpool fans hailed Rodgers at the final whistle, and they had every reason to. After all he is responsible for taking the club from seventh to second within a year. He is the man who has turned Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Sturridge from average players with potential to top-class performers and he has managed to get the best out of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. But a little part of the Liverpool manager must have been thinking ‘What if’ as he stood on the touchline at the final whistle.

Victory Not Enough LIVERPOOL rounded off their season with a narrow For Reds victory over nine-man

on Monday on a day of goodbyes and potential farewells. Mourinho says he wants to keep out-of-contract trio John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, who is considering his options away from Stamford Bridge after eight years. Cole captained Chelsea on what could be his final appearance in the absence of Terry (knock) and Lampard (illness), both of whom are reportedly pondering contract extensions on reduced terms. The future of Mourinho’s much-maligned strikeforce is also in doubt as the Blues boss seeks a prolific goalscorer to lead Chelsea’s title assault next term. Torres missed an open goal after four minutes after being distracted by balloons and Cardiff went in front 11 minutes later. Bellamy, playing for his hometown club for perhaps the last time, benefited from a huge deflection off Cesar Azpilicueta to beat Mark Schwarzer before Schurrle’s introduction sparked a late revival for Chelsea, with the German providing a goal and an assist. Mourinho may be contemplating more of a summer overhaul than he admits if Chelsea are to challenge for silverware next term. Cardiff must also regroup, albeit outside the top flight, after a calamitous campaign.

Zidane In Line For Juventus Job

Lille Still Chasing Champions League Spot After PSG Loss TEN-man Lille missed a chance to secure third place in Ligue 1 and a spot in next season’s Champions League when they lost 3-1 at home to title winners Paris St Germain on Saturday. PSG’s victory saw them equal the record for the most wins in a Ligue 1 season, with 26 from their 37 matches, and they have also recorded the most points in a campaign with 86, moving past Olympique Lyon’s previous best of 84 set in 2005-06. Lille’s Marvin Martin was sent off in the 37th minute for an awful tackle on France midfielder Yohan Cabaye which saw the former Newcastle United player carried off on a stretcher, and were 1-0 down soon after when Brazil’s Marquinhos headed home. Lucas Moura doubled the lead for PSG, who won their second straight title on Wednesday despite losing to Stade Rennes, after 65 minutes and Blaise Matuidi added a third before Jonathan Delaplace got a consolation for the hosts in the 90th. Lille’s first loss in 14 games leaves them with a two-point lead over St Etienne, who won 3-1 at Nantes, in the race for the Champions League playoff spot with one round of matches left. Second-placed AS Monaco moved on to 79 points with a 21 win at Valenciennes thanks to Nabil Dirar’s 87th minute strike after Valere Germain gave them the lead five minutes before halftime, with Tongo Doumbia equalising for the hosts in the 70th.

• Zanetti bades farewell to San Siro

Zanetti Says Emotional Farewell To San Siro

Gregorio Manzano in December 2011, winning the Europa League, Uefa Super Cup and Copa del Rey so far, and Giovanni described the sense of expectation in the Simeone household for more silverware. “We gather in the kitchen [to watch Atleti games],” the former Estudiantes coach’s progeny continued. “Except my brother who goes to watch in his room alone. He always screams before the goals because of a delay. We are almost more aware of Gianluca and his shouting than Diego Costa’s goals!” Atleti top La Liga with 88 points from 36 games, three ahead of secondplaced Barcelona with the two clubs set to meet on the final day of the season.

everything. But I think that a person like him deserves all that and also deserves all of our affection and to be remembered for ever.” The Argentine’s 614 Serie A appearances is bettered only by former AC Milan and Italy defender Paolo Maldini but is by far and away the most of any foreign player to play in Italy. In that time Zanetti has won five league titles, scored in a 3-0 1998 UEFA Cup final win against Lazio and played a key role in the treble-winning 2010 side that claimed the club’s first European Cup in nearly half a century. But he was also part of the team that handed the league title to arch-rivals Juventus in 2002 after a spectacular collapse in the final weeks of the season. A 4-2 defeat at Lazio saw them drop from being league leaders to third place in the space of 90 agonising minutes. Zanetti will leave the game a symbol of better times for Italian football, when one-club legends like Maldini, Alessandro Del Piero and Francesco Totti helped make Serie A the toughest, and arguably the best league in the world. Next season only Totti will be left, and his role at Roma is becoming increasingly marginal. “It wasn’t easy to take this decision, I’ve given everything I had,” Zanetti said. “I’m glad to be able to quit when I’m

physically and mentally fit.” Moratti’s sold his controlling interest in the club to Indonesian Erick Thohir last year and is now at the club only in an honorary capacity. Thohir, though, has assured fans that Zanetti will take up a backroom role but so far has refused to say what position. Zanetti, who won 145 caps for his country, was already advising the next generation. “I’ll tell the lads who pull on the Inter jersey in future that they have to honour it and defend it as I’ve had the privilege of doing,” the Argentine said. “It’s important to have that sense of belonging and understand what it means to play for Inter and defend these colours across the world. That’s what they need to understand.” During his on-pitch speech, Zanetti called out fellow Argentine and Inter treble winners Walter Samuel, Esteban Cambiasso and Diego Milito to take the applause from the crowd. Both Milito and Samuel are expected to leave before next season in further changes post Moratti. “I’ll miss lots of things: the dressing room, drinking Mate (a hot drink popular in South America) with Samuel and Milito and the training camps,” Zanetti said. “I’ll carry it all with me for the rest of my life.

FORMER Inter owner Massimo Moratti has announced that Javier Zanetti is to become vice-president of the club, after making his final appearance at San Siro as a player on Saturday night. The 40-year-old defender received a rapturous reception when he entered the pitch in the 52nd minute of the game against Lazio, as goals from Mauro Icardi, Hernanes and two from Rodrigo Palacio earned the

Nerazzurri a rousing 4-1 win. Zanetti addressed the San Siro crowd after the game and the celebrations to mark the end of his time at the club, with whom he has won 16 trophies since joining from Banfield in 1995, continued at the Botinero restaurant, where Moratti made his revelation on the star’s future. “I had thought of a role as president,” the 68-year-old told reporters. “But I know that

he’ll be vice-president, which I imagine is something prestigious for him. “I’m glad this was thought up. It’s up to him to do well in this role but he certainly will do because he has the right head for it.” Inter captain Zanetti has made 857 appearances for the club and is also Argentina’s most-capped player having represented his nation 145 times - and Moratti was keen to

INTER Milan defender Javier Zanetti was given a rousing farewell by the club’s appreciate supporters after the 40-year-old Argentine ended an era by playing his final match at the San Siro. Zanetti came on as a 52nd minute substitute during a 4-1 win over Lazio that booked Inter ’s place in the Europa League for next season, a final high for a player who was a rock of consistency in a topsy-turvy two decades at the club. It was his 857th appearance for Inter since signing for the club in 1995, when he became

Massimo Moratti’s first purchase as Inter president, and he could make one more in their final Serie A match of the season at Chievo next week. “From the moment he arrived at Inter he always honoured the shirt and always made us proud to be Inter fans,” former Inter owner Moratti said on Saturday. “We have won a lot with him,

Diego “Changing Football” At Atletico Madrid

GIOVANNI Simeone has credited his father Diego with “changing football” at Atletico Madrid, believing the club embodies his footballing philosophy. With the Spanish title race nearing its conclusion, los Colchoneros could seal their first La Liga win since 1996 on Sunday if they beat Malaga and Barcelona also fail to overcome Elche After being granted permission by his father to speak to the Spanish media, Simeone junior spoke proudly of the development and success that has been witnessed at Vicente Calderon since the appointment

of the former Argentina midfielder as head coach. “[My father] is changing football,” the 18-year-old striker told Mundo Deportivo. “Changing the philosophy of the game, the thoughts behind each tactic. Atletico today are a reflection of what he thinks. “[For him] on the field he you go for the kill, eat at the heels of your opponents. It is amazing what he has done since joining Atletico Madrid.” Simeone has already brought substantial success to los Rojiblancos after replacing

ZINEDINE Zidane is the latest name being linked with the Juventus job should Antonio Conte leave. The Coach has refused to confirm or deny what he’ll be doing next season, insisting he needs to sit down with President Andrea Agnelli and discuss transfer strategy before deciding. La Gazzetta dello Sport suggests a new name in the race to replace Conte, his exBianconeri teammate Zidane. The Frenchman is currently assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid as well as sporting director, but has no real management experience. French newspaper L’Equipe maintains Bordeaux have also prepared an offer for Zidane to begin his coaching career. Several star tacticians have been named as potential successors to the three-time Scudetto winner, including Roberto Mancini, Luciano Spalletti and Massimiliano Allegri. Jurgen Klopp and Diego Simeone are glamorous but unlikely options, as they are solidly at Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid. Meanwhile, President Agnelli travelled with the team and Conte for today’s game with Roma, so they may well have continued discussions on the plane.

• Zinedine Zidane

...Named Inter Vice President

• Simeone

express his affection for the player. “I’m fond of all the guys who got the treble,” the Italian continued at the restaurant coowned by Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso. “Javier came five months after I took office. He has experienced the same emotions and stories as I have. I understand him. “There is a special feeling for me and he has earned this sincere and spontaneous celebration.”

Omar Gonzalez Out 1-2 Weeks

Ancelotti Has Won Just Three Titles In 18 Years JOSE Mourinho called himself ‘The Only One’. After winning La Liga with Real Madrid in 2011-12, the Portuguese became the first coach to claim league titles in four different countries and his self-proclaimed title was a sign of his pride at that achievement. But things soon went downhill after that at the Santiago Bernabeu and his successor, Carlo Ancelotti, can emulate that record by claiming a championship in Spain. League titles, however, aren’t the Italian’s speciality. Ancelotti has won just three leagues in his 18-year coaching career: one at AC Milan, one at Chelsea and one with Paris Saint-Germain. Barring a minor miracle, the 54-year-old won’t be adding to that total this term either as Madrid now need both Barcelona and Atletico to majorly slip up over the last two rounds of the Primera Division. It’s just not going to happen. Since 2000, Mourinho has claimed seven titles, while Pep Guardiola now has four and only began coaching in 2008. But Ancelotti, one of the game’s most decorated coaches in terms of trophies, with two Champions League crowns and a host of cups to his name, seems to struggle somewhat

• Carlo Ancelotti

when it comes to winning leagues. It was similar in his playing days. Although part of the greatest Milan side ever seen, that team won only one league under Arrigo Sacchi and another with Fabio Capello as coach in his final season. Ancelotti also claimed the title earlier in his career at Roma. Three leagues in 16 years - very similar to his record as coach. In that time, however, he won four Coppe Italia (all with Roma), two European Cups, two Intercontinental Cups, two Uefa Super Cups and one Supercoppa Italiana (with Milan), while he has won 14 trophies so far as coach. Only three, however, are league titles. At Madrid, his debut campaign will be viewed as a successful season if he can add the Champions League to last month’s Copa del Rey success against Barcelona.

• Pele

Pele Urges Brazil To Make Up For 1950 World Cup Loss PELE has called on Brazil to regain the World Cup on home soil this summer and thus make up for their infamous loss to Uruguay in the 1950 final in Rio. The 2-1 defeat at the to see his beloved Brazil Maracana 64 years ago exorcise some demons this remains one of the most summer. “There is no doubt,” the painful memories in the country’s long and proud 73-year-old told Telefoot. sporting history, even though “Brazil can avenge the 1950 the Selecao have since lifted World Cup with a win at the trophy a record five times. home.” Coach Luis Felipe Scolari Speaking alongside several announced his 23-man World members of Luis Felipe Cup squad last week and did Scolari’s current squad, Pele not spring any surprise admitted that he is desperate selections, though

Real Madrid Will Fight To Beath the Madrid Masters, club For La Decima - Perez atpresident Perez admitted that everyone at the Santiago

FLORENTINO Perez says Real Madrid “will fight to the death” to claim their 10th European Cup against Atletico later this month. Los Blancos have not featured in a Champions League final

• Florentino Perez

since beating Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow 12 years ago but will face their city rivals in Lisbon on May 24. Speaking whilst attending a tennis match between Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut

Bernabeu has become obsessed with being crowned champions of Europe for the 10th time. “We will fight to the death to win la Decima,” the 67-year-old told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta. “We’re sweating every drop to win the Champions League, as does Rafael Nadal in his matches.” Los Merengues have already secured the Copa del Rey this season with a 2-1 win over Barcelona in Apriil but have slipped to third in the race for La Liga with just two rounds remaining, meaning Perez is focusing all of his attention on Europe. “To Real Madrid, the Champions League is a competition in which we have been very comfortable,” the Blancos supremo stated. “We owe it to our fans. We are going to do everything possible to win.”

experienced internationals Robinho, Ronaldinho and Kaka all missed out on a place. David Luiz is in no doubt that Brazil have both the drive and the talent to propel themselves to World Cup glory. “We want to show the world that we are a great country on every domain,” the defender declared. “The Brazilian culture is to give people love and happiness whenever they come to our country. We can and we will do it. I believe in my team-mates, in my coach and in this extraordinary team.” Chelsea’s Oscar admitted that the Selecao’s primary concern is coping with the pressure of bringing joy to

an entire nation. “The main threat against Brazil is Brazil,” the attacking midfielder mused. “The Brazilian people are helping us. “We all want to win the World Cup. We only think of winning. If we do, Brazil will stop, there will be a two-year non-stop party.”

• Omar Gonzalez

Oviedo To Miss Clash Against England

World Cup:

EVERTON defender Bryan Oviedo will not face England at the World Cup this summer after it was confirmed he will not recover from his broken leg in time. The Costa Rica full-back broke his tibia and fibula during the FA Cup fourth-round victory at Stevenage in January and was immediately ruled out for the rest

Ter Stegen To Play In La Liga Next Season MARC-Andre ter Stegen has revealed that he will be playing in La Liga next term, all but confirming a deal with Barcelona. The 22-year-old goalkeeper rejected a new contract from Gladbach in January, with Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Wolfsburg likely to be his last appearance for the club, and is widely tipped to replace the outgoing Victor Valdes at Camp Nou. The Germany international has refused to name any club specifically but delivered a series of thinly veiled hints that he will soon be a Blaugrana player. “I’ve got a

CARSON - The Los Angeles Galaxy say defender Omar Gonzalez will be sidelined a week or two after injuring his left knee. Christopher Hanewinckel/ USA TODAY SportsOmar Gonzalez’s injured knee won’t keep him from reporting the the United States’ World Cup camp. Gonzalez was injured last Saturday during a game against Colorado and left at halftime. Galaxy spokesman Brendan Hannan said Friday that Gonzalez “tweaked” the knee and that Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena believes the defender will report on time to the U.S. national team’s preWorld Cup training camp, which starts Wednesday in Stanford, Calif. Gonzalez had surgery in January 2012 to repair a torn ligament in the knee and returned that July 4. The 25-year-old was a Major League Soccer All-Star last year. Kofi Opare replaced Gonzalez at Colorado, and is likely to partner Leonardo at the back when the Galaxy visit Portland on Sunday. In other MLS injury news, the San Jose Earthquakes announced that defender Andreas Goerlitz will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in Wednesday’s game against Colorado.

new club and I’m learning Spanish,” he told German broadcaster ZDF in an interview on Saturday evening. “I can’t say where I’ll be going just yet. I’m going to a great, great team, a very special club that is one of the best in the world.” When asked if that meant he was joining Barcelona and might be present when Barcelona face Primera Division Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou next weekend, he replied: “I cannot say anything [about the alleged deal with Barca] but no, I will not [be at the likely title decider in Catalunya]. I will be on holiday.”

of the season but was making good progress to be fit in time for this summer’s tournament in Brazil. However, Costa Rica team doctor Alejandro Ramirezhas confirmed he will need more recovery time and will not be lining up against England in the final Group D game on June 24. “Today he was told to do some physical activity on a hard surface and showed some pains during the activity,” he told Costa Rican newspaper Al Dia. “It means the player will be in no physical nor medical shape to play the World Cup.”

• Bryan Oviedo

Federation Seeks Maximal Use Of Stadium Facilities THE Aquatic Federation of Nigeria on Friday called on corporate bodies to take advantage of the standard swimming facilities at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos and sponsor competitions. Babatunde Fatai-Williams, the President of the association told newsmen in Lagos that sponsoring competitions would ensure regular use of the facilities to avoid decay. “The facilities are already on ground; they are of international standard and have electronic timing system. So, we have to put them to regular use as a way of maintaining them. “The Lagos State Government has upgraded the facilities; we are calling on corporate and publicspirited Nigerians and those living abroad to sponsor

competitions at the stadium,’’ he said. According to him, regular holding of competitions at the stadium would go a long way in developing new talents and the existing swimmers. “We have swimmers at the junior and senior categories, as well as in different events; their skills can be highlighted only when they participate in competitions,’’ he explained. He expressed the need to monitor the performance of swimmers who participated in the 2014 Ibile Games, especially in the junior category so that they can excel in their chosen career. Fatai-Williams appealed to parents and guardians to encourage their children and wards to either take part in swimming or watch swimmers competitions. According to him, the pool has convenient space for spectators.

• Flashback: Two amateur boxers slugging it out at a recent National boxing championship in Benin City.

Basketball League

We Will Be Stronger Next Season, Says Plateau Rocks Coach

Manager Raises Hope For Team THE Team Manager of Akure-based Rising Stars Football Academy, Sunday Erelesusi, said on Saturday that the team would improve after its 1-3 loss to Lokoja FC in the Nigeria Nationwide League. Erelesusi told newsmen in Akure that although Friday’s loss in Lokoja was painful, he was optimistic that the team would bounce

back. “It just was not our day; we lost the match 1-3 and I do not want to turn it into a habit by complaining about the referee in away matches. “The boys will be better in upcoming matches and the technical crew will work on where they feel the boys were deficient,” he said. Rising Stars have 12 points from 11 matches.

• A recent basketball contest at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

National Sports Festival

Bantamweight Boxing Champ Vows To Retain Title AISHAT Oriyomi, defending champion, Female Bantamweight category in boxing of the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos, said she would retain her title in the forthcoming NSF. The 19th NSF tagged ‘Paradise Games’ would hold from Nov. 27 to Dec.3 in Calabar, the capital of Cross River. Oriyomi told newsmen in Lagos that she was as fit as a fiddle and still had ample time to improve on her stamina before the festival. “I am very fit and focused toward the approaching festival later in the year. I promise my fans that I will bring the gold home again,” she said. The boxer said that she had an impressive record of gold medals mentioning the Governors Belt which held in Lagos in 2013 as

part of the competition she won. Oriyomi, who represented Lagos Island Local Government Area (LGA) at the just concluded boxing event of the Ibile Games in Lagos, said she also won gold in her weight category. The boxer said that she was impressed with her performance and noted that her fighting skills had improved overtime. “Checking my medal table, you too can see for yourself that, I am ready to take on any opponent at the Calabar NSF,” she said. Oriyomi said that she won Mustpha Olumide of Ifako-Ijaye LGA 3-0, but commended the fighting skills of her opponent.

Kazeem Oliwo, gold medalist of the Male Super Bantamweight category representing Ajeromi LGA, said that he won Adisa Saidi of Ifelodun LGA 3-0 to emerge victorious in the bout. Oliwo said that consistent training and hard work was the secret of his success, noting that he would continue to improve on himself to make progress in the sport. Philip Eugene, of AgbadoOkeodo LGA, said he defeated John Shina of Oshodi LGA 2-1 at the super middleweight category to stake his claim to the gold medal. “It was a tough fight because my opponent too is a very good boxer, but I have superior boxing acumen. “He is a strong boxer, but I

used foot-walking skills to evade his powerful shots at me to deliver punches to his head heaping points for me,” Eugene said. Ishola Omotajo, Coach of Star Boxing Club, Ajeromi LGA, said he was impressed with the turnout of spectators that came to watch and support the sport. Omotajo lauded the Lagos State Government for the initiative because it would continue to encourage the development of sports in the state. Other gold medalists include Segun Ibrahim of Lagos Island LGA, who knocked out Sunday Okoro of Ojo LGA in round one of the heavyweight category. Gabriel Francis of Lagos Island LGA knocked out

Godwin Sunday of Badagry LGA in the third round of the Cruiserweight category. Samuel Ebohen of Oshodi LGA won Sodiq Akano of Ajeromi LGA 2-1 in the light heavyweight category, Rufai Hammed of Onigbongbo LGA defeated Taiwo Olowu of Ojo LGA 3-0 in the light welter category, while Rilwan Oladosu of ApapaIganmu won Taofiki Ibrahim of Oshodi 3-0 in lightweight. For the women event, winners include Oluchi Osoma of ItireIkate LGA defeating Mary Akintunbowa of Lagos Island LGA 2-1 in the light heavyweight category. Funmilayo Adekunle of Ojodu LGA defeated Fatimo Jimi of Ajeromi LGA 3-0 in the lightweight category.

ALEX Guwan, the Plateau Rocks women basketball team’s coach, on Friday in Ilorin assured that the club would perform better in the 2014/2015 Zenith Bank National Women Basketball League. Guwan gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after his team secured their second win in the second phase of the league’s 2013/2014 competition. The Jos-based side beat Coal City of Enugu 62-29 in their seventh and last game in Group B of the second phase of the league. “We just managed to come with some of the players here, because they are new in the team. They don’t have any experience. “This situation is because many of our key players are not around. They are tied up in examinations in their various universities. “Also, our tallest player had injury in the first phase in Abuja, so she wasn’t able to come. “But now we will go back to the drawing board and start preparations on time for next season, and I am sure we will come back stronger next season, because we want to play in the final eight playoffs,’’ Guwan said. The second phase of the league which ended Friday, May 9 started on Friday, May 2 with 16 teams divided into Group A and Group B. Only eight teams — four from each group — will qualify for the final eight playoffs in Lagos, scheduled for June.


2015: Oshiomhole-Led APC

Will Sweep The Polls In Edo TONGUES have been wagging since some few persons opted to resign their membership of the All Progressive Congress in Edo State. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has cashed on it to make reckless and unguarded comments about the person of the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Like in previous elections, they are boasting around that they will win the upcoming general elections in 2015 and go ahead to put a PDP government in place at Dennis Osadebey Avenue in 2016. What is at stake here is Edo State and the future of Edo people. Those resigning and decamping must be truthful in letting Edo people understand their motives. Why do they move up and down from one political party to the other? Is it because they love Edo State very well or they love Edo people more than those in control of government in the state? Is it not because some were not a p p o i n t e d Commissioner or Special Adviser that is why they are running? Is it because the recently organised party congresses did not go their personal way or the congress will not make some become governor then they have to decamp? If such persons now become governor with such selfish motive, what will be the fate of Edo people under the administration of such characters? Many questions begging for answers. But these runaways and those believing the many lies exuding from the stench of their breath today do forget

one simple fact that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s tenure ends in November 2016 and that means that he has well over two years to serve as Governor of Edo State. What that further means is that Edo people still have over two years to enjoy the dividends of

right thing. Otherwise, why will some citizens seeing the beautiful projects put in place by the Oshiomhole administration in the cities still throw wastes all over the roads that have just been constructed and beautified when there are waste bins along

programmes introduced by the Oshiomhole administration to get Edo State out of the woods and put it at par with civilized societies. Those complaining today when they travel overseas they pay their taxes, rates, rents and obey traffic rules. Europe and America

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State

democracy from the very first government which has demonstrated more passion to develop Edo State and its people. From every intent and purpose, and from every new policies and programmes, Oshiomhole ensures they are pro-poor and people centered. One thing is clear: the average black man needs a little bit of force to compel them to do the

such roads? Why will traders, in spite of repeated warnings chose to use the pedestrian walk ways as wracks for their wares? Why will a driver, private or public drive against traffic? Why should they beat red traffic light? Why should a responsible citizen not pay his or her own tax? These are innovations, policies and

were developed by their citizens. America can help look for our missing girls in Sambisa forest where the PDP federal government has failed to do so, but America and Europe will not repair Edo State for us. It is our collective responsibility as Edo people to do so and that is the cross, Comrade Oshiomhole is carrying and leading us to

By DAN OWEGIE achieve. This is why I have repeatedly said that history will remember Oshiomhole in Edo State long after he would have left office. Today, the P is telling Edo people that citizens would not be made to pay their taxes. This is a retrogressive promise, because even Jesus Christ paid his tax and instructed his followers to pay their taxes as well. Tax is important if we have to sustain the tempo of development, more so in the face of dwindling nationally shared oil revenue and competing social and developmental needs in Edo State as Oshiomhole has opened Edo peoples eyes to behold his m o n u m e n t a l achievements in all sectors. Edo people will certainly regret if they allow the PDP to manipulate their way into government. When therefore, the PDP is promising Edo people that it will not collect taxes, Edo people should know that the party is desperate to return them to Egypt and Edo people must be united to remind them of the Biblical dictum that “affliction will not visit the state again.” As a party, the APC is confident that come 2015 general elections, we will sweep the polls in Edo State. Dan Orbih’s campaign of calumny and the party’s mongering of tissues of lies and inciting citizens against government will fall flat on their face. They are sure to boomerang because of the inordinate ambition of some of the characters in the PDP and the runaway

fellows. These motives will consume the opposition party in no distant time. Only recently, the Edo state government has implemented the salary relativity it negotiated with workers and most workers are happy about this development. Yet, Dan Orbih opens his garrulous chamber on his fore head to slander such an administration which has done so much for the workforce in the state, including teachers. The desire to give the education sector in the state a solid stand is a priority of government which everyone in the state appreciates. Our teachers need to key into this effort of government to make it work for our people. Our joy today is that Edo people have continued to repose their confidence on the APC given the extent the Adams Oshiomhole-led administration has touched lives of citizens and communities positively. Anyone who has a complaint about his administration should check himself or herself and their ambition properly. Oshiomhole has largely satisfied Edo people with his services, and he is willing to do more, but there is no way he can satisfy anyone’s greed. Mr. Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Edo State.

Printed and published by Bendel Newspapers Company Limited, 24, Airport Road, P.M.B. 1334 Benin City. Telephone; Lagos: 01 4930929, Benin: 052 257492, 257531 Editor. BARR. SOLOMON IMOHIOSEN (KSJI)-(07030699646). Deputy General Manager (Marketing) (08023457566), Assistant General Manager (Advertisement) (08023808856) Lagos Office: 25A Alli Street, Off Tinubu Square, Lagos Island, Lagos. Abuja Office: Floor 1, Edo House, 75 Ralph Shodeinde Street, Central Business District, Abuja. Tel/Fax: 09-5237631.

Nigerian observer 12 05 2014  

Nigerian Observer E-Digital Edition

Nigerian observer 12 05 2014  

Nigerian Observer E-Digital Edition