Page 1

The Nigerian

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol . 38 • NO. 463 • THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014 • N 100.00 CHILD HEALTH AND YOU Page 15 Ensuring survival of premature babies

External Reserves rise to $37.9bn LAGOS - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the nation’s external reserves stood at 37.91 billion dollars as at April 15. This was posted on the apex banks’ Website on

Wednesday. According to the apex bank, 36.87 billion dollars of the reserves is in ‘liquid’ form, while 1.048 billion dollars is in

‘blocked’ form. The new figure represents an increase of 60 million dollars or 2.77 per cent over the 37.85 billion dollars recorded on April 1.

Reports state that the reserves has been fluctuating from 43.51 billion dollars in January to 37.91 billion dollars in April. It will be recalled that Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Continues on page 2


SECURITY ISSUES Page 18 Of Primordialism and nationalism security

Shun empty promises, Oshiomhole tells royal fathers By ADAMS OYIBOKE

BENIN CITY- Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has urged royal fathers in the state to remain focused on the maintenance of peace and security in their domains and ignore politicians who make empty promises and have nothing to offer the people, as the 2015 election approaches. He made the call Benin City. yesterday at the The governor said: inauguration of the “as we approach the State’s Council of 2015 elections, we Traditional Rulers and politicians, and myself Chiefs under the inclusive are going to Chairmanship of His go round your Royal Majesty, Omo domains and promise n’Oba Erediauwa, CFR, to put air conditioners Oba of Benin at the everywhere. Some of Government House, us might use ethnic

sentiments where it suits us and to play one brother against another. “This is the moment

where your leadership will be brought to test because for some politicians, the

end justifies the means. “Some will try to spread false rumours, spread disinformation but I pray

that you will remain constant in your commitment to peace and security.” While urging the royal fathers to help the government in the maintenance of peace and security in the state, Oshiomhole said “current Continues on page 2

Ibori’s Assets Trial Rights Group tasks British PM, House of Commons

BENIN CITY- Against the backdrop of lack of evidence by the Southwark Crown Court trial judge, Anthony Pitts, a human rights group, Niger Delta Alliance for Human Rights (NDAHR), has called on the British Prime Minister and the House of Commons to take interest in the on-going assets confiscation trial of former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori. The Group stated that this was imperative so as

not to damage the reputation of Britain even as they took a swipe at the selective war on graft by the Federal Government. Chairman of the group, Comrade Igbotako Nowinta at a World Press Conference in Benin City yesterday, called on the House of Commons to “investigate the use of the British citizens’ tax payers’ 7million pounds which was apparently wasted by the Metropolitan Police in the c o n t r o v e r s i a l

TIT BIT “The opportunity that some persons seek in life is such that would aid them to prevent others from acquiring the opportunities to express themselves” - Kinglsey Ogbeide-Ihama

investigation which yielded no evidence.” The Niger Delta Alliance for Human Rights said “we are particularly piqued that the crown prosecution’s confiscation request is ignorantly anchored on Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC and British Metropolitan Police’s claim that Ibori defrauded Delta State, whereas there is no single evidence Continues on page 2

RECONSTITUTION: Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole (left) congratulating the Vice Chairman, Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, (Edo North), HRH Dr. A.Y.E. Dirisu, OON, Okuokpellagbe of Okpella, (right), while middle is HRH Ehidiamen I, Onojie of Opoji, Vice Chairman, (Edo Central). The reconstituded Council is under the Chairmanship of the Oba of Benin Kingdom, HRM Oba Erediauwa.

Petroleum Subsidy Scam

EFCC recovers N4.3bn from suspects

LAGOS -The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, has disclosed that the Commission has recovered N4.3billion from suspects involved in the petroleum subsidy scam.

In a statement made available to The NIGERIAN OBSERVER, the EFCC boss said this

when the management of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) led by

- Lamorde

its Executive Secretary, Farouk Ahmed paid him

a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja. Lamorde said the Continues on page 2

claim the corpses of their loved ones. Our Correspondent

who visited the hospital reports that many of the Continues on page 2

Deceased’s family members demand release of corpses ABUJA Family Nyanyan blasts:

blast in Nyanya trooped members of persons who to the National Hospital died in Monday’s bomb Abuja yesterday to

News Rights Group tasks British PM, House of Commons

Continued from page 1

from Delta State, the socalled victim, either in the Crown’s trial bundle or the recent hearing that there were withdrawals and funds diversion.”

It expressed shock that “despite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and British Metropolitan police’s arrest, and detention of the officials of Delta State Government

including its AccountantGeneral between 2005 and October 2007, an incontestable fact remains that the EFCC and the British Police did not have any evidence that the state was defrauded by lbori or that the

Shun empty promises, Oshiomhole tells royal fathers Continued from page 1

events in parts of the country have opened the eyes of everyone to the fact that without peace, there can be no development. “We cannot even talk of governance, infrastructure, we cannot talk of investment and wealth creation. “In Edo state, individually and collectively, you have continued to assist government in ensuring that there is peace in your various domains. “There can be no peace in the home if there is no peace in the state. The peace that we enjoy in this state is because of the conscious effort that you are making in your various domains to settle community quarrels, settle family quarrels, to mediate on disputes, local disputes, all of those help us to achieve peace in the state. “I also want to acknowledge the invaluable role you are playing in the maintenance of security. “Many of you Royal Fathers on your own initiative and in collaboration with Community leaders help to put in place vigilante groups and make available to them your wise counsel and guidance and this goes a long way to compliment the other security agencies. “Many criminals have been apprehended as a result of this effort. “I want to say to you that I am very grateful, that I am very appreciative and that I can continue to count on your support, on our shared commitment to make our state a peaceful and the most secured state in the country. “I want to assure you that I remain clear on the need to strengthen the Traditional Institutions and that we do not allow politicians who are short-sighted in calculation to do anything that will lead to crisis or sponsored acts to undermine the authority of any traditional ruler across the state. “If anyone who is associated with Government is involved in any such acts, please feel free to draw my attention to it and I will act promptly. “I am very clear that I am here as governor of Edo State not because everybody wants me to be here but because Your Royal Highnesses along

External Reserves rise to $37.9bn

Continued from page 1

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, had said that there was the need for Nigeria to shore up its external reserves. She said this would enable the economy to be strong enough in event of any global adverse development.

with the good people of the state voted freely to have me here. “At the same time, if there is anyone who wants to undermine your authority or question the legitimacy of your office, you can be rest assured of my support.” The governor appreciated His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin for his untiring efforts as the paramount traditional ruler in the state in ensuring unity across the length and breadth of Edo State and also for his support, prayers, particularly for him, the people and government of Edo State. The governor also thanked the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs for all their efforts not

only in supporting his government in their respectful domains but also for offering useful advice to him. Responding, the Onojie of Opoji and First Vice Chairman of the Traditional Council, HRH, Zaiki Ehidiamen 1 (JP) who spoke on behalf of the Oba of Benin thanked the governor for inaugurating the committee. He said, “I want to assure you that the Traditional Council will continue to play its advisory role in partnering with you in your progressive ideas”. The Council is made up of traditional rulers and chiefs from across the three Senatorial District of the state.

Continued from page 1

Ahmed thanked the EFCC chairman for receiving his team noting that the visit was to further consolidate the relationship between the EFCC and PPPRA. Ahmed who commended the EFCC for its effort to rid the country of economic and financial crimes said he was looking forward to a more effective collaboration between the two agencies. Ahmed requested the Commission to detail a staff to the organisation to ensure seamless collaboration. Among those who accompanied the executive secretary on the visit were Moses Mbaba, Assistant General Manager, Administration; Victor Shidoil, Assistant General Manager, Operations; Alison Tekena, Assistant General Manager, Corporate Planning and a host of other top management staff.

EFCC recovers N4.3bn

collaboration between the two agencies was pivotal to the Commission instituting court cases against 13 oil marketers indicted in the investigations in the subsidy regime. He called for a sustained partnership between the agencies in order to sanitize the petroleum industry, adding that such collaboration was imperative as the Commission will regularly seek for information and documents from the PPPRA. He noted that the EFCC may also pressurize staff of PPPRA by requiring that they testify in court or provide evidence for the prosecution of those involved in subsidy scam. “I know pressure will be put on your staff. Please bear with us. It is because of the need to sanitize the country,” he said. Responding, the PPPRA chief executive, Farouk

state funds could be traced to accounts of the former governor except for his salary. The group commended the trial Judge, Anthony Pitt for being apolitical in handling the case and urged him to be thorough and professional in the discharge of his duties noting that he is on the threshold of making history. The group who said they do not mind if Ibori faces the full weight of the law if credible evidences are found against him also noted that “flowing from the current scenario, it has become obvious that the British Government can no longer continue to advertise the hounding of James Onanefe lbori as a success story against money laundering and corruption as it really isn’t for want of evidence and pushed for the court to set him free if there is no evidence of money laundering or corruption traceable to him. The group also called on the British Government to look beyond Chief James Onanefe Ibori in its war against money laundry and spread its dragnets to other Nigerian elites who have stashed millions of pounds sterling in UK banks, which they said should repatriated to Nigeria. Comrade lgbotako Nowinta also called on the Nigerian Federal Government and its international allies to stop forth with this selective fight against corruption as several corruption heavyweights such as Diepriye Alamieyeseigha who was convicted of corruption in Nigeria and jumped bail in Britain is currently the Nigerian President’s political mentor and has since been pardoned. They also cited the French Government’s pardon of former Petroleum Minister under General Abacha, Chief Dan Etete as the double standards of the western world against corruption and money laundering.

Deceased’s family members demand release of corpses

Continued from page 1

family members were busy filling application forms that would enable them to claim the corpses of their loved ones. Hajiya Zainab who spoke to newsmen said that as a Muslim, it was important for the remains of her late sister to be buried without further delay. “It was said that the president ordered that corpses should not be released to anyone, but as Muslims, we do not keep corpses for too long; we always bury the dead straightaway. “My sister died a few days ago and she should have been buried in the village two days ago; the people in the village have been asking for the corpse. “So that is why we are appealing to them to release the corpse to us so that we can take the body to the village in Kogi state; we are

Igala. “We always take corpses home, whether we are Christian or Muslim; they said we should write applications, which we have done, yet the bodies have not been released,“ Zainab said. Similarly, Alhaji Kazim Akpa, who was at the hospital to claim the remains of his friend’s wife, said that he had been waiting to claim the body since Monday. “My friend’s wife died in the bomb blast; that is why I have come; the hospital officials are in the process of releasing the body. “We saw her body on Monday. The hospital authorities asked us to return for the corpse since there is a procedure to follow before the body will be released. “They say they are almost finished now,“ Akpa stated. Hajiya Rabiah Labaran, Assistant Chief Information Officer, National Hospital, told newsmen that family members needed to be

properly identified before the bodies would be released to them. Labaran, however, said that survivors of the blast were being treated at the hospital and that a list of the survivors had been made to help family members locate them. “Those who have been able to identify their dead relations, have written an application for the release of the bodies; and this will be done as soon as possible,’’ Labaran said. She said that the victims had been responding to treatment, adding that the hospital management had been settling the bills while waiting for government funds as promised. Labaran also said that the Red Cross had donated dressing packs for the injured. She said that some state governors had visited the hospital to see the survivors. She identified them as the governors of Imo, Borno, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, and Sokoto states.

AAU matriculates 4,000 students By OSE EHEBHA

EKPOMA - About 4000 newly admitted students of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State yesterday took their matriculation oaths at the 31st Matriculation Ceremony of the institution. The Commissioner for Higher Education, Edo State, Hon. Washington Osifoh who was special guest at the ceremony admonished the matriculants to shun acts that could threaten the realization of their academic ambitions. Osifoh, an alumnus of the university, reminded them that degrees would only be awarded to them when they are considered worthy in learning and character, and therefore charged them to keep to the rules and regulations of the institution. He also enjoined the new students to take full advantage of the privilege of being admitted among the lot, by studying hard. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof.

Cordelia Agbebaku in her speech cautioned the matriculating students against joining secret cults, saying is an avenue to self destruction. She similarly advised them to shun e x a m i n a t i o n malpractices; an act she said was as evil as cultism. The AAU chief executive expressed the institution’s abhorrence for indecent dressing and encouraged the fresh students to embrace the university’s dress code. She congratulated them on their successes at both the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and the Post-UTME screening exercise conducted by the university. Highpoint of the ceremony was the administration of the matriculation oath to new student by the acting registrar of the university, Mr.Folaremi Ojo-Maliki.

BENIN CITY – Edo State Ministry of Transport yesterday in Benin City embarked on a sensitization of commercial vehicles drivers, commuters and the general public on the newly designated terminals for all the routes linking Oba Ovonranmwen Square, the commercial nerve centre of Benin City. It was tagged “Effective Enforcement of Bus-Stops” commencing April 22, 2014. During the exercise, hand bills, indicating the new route terminals bus-stops, were distributed to the drivers, members of the Drivers’ Welfare Scheme and the Road Transport Employers Association (RTEA) as well as other stakeholders. From the designation, all commercial buses plying Airport Road will divert to the road behind Oba’s Palace, opposite Ezoti Junction; those plying Sapele road will terminate and divert to Ogbesasa Street and come out from Ogbelaka and on to Sapele Road, buses plying Sokponba towards Oba Ovonranmwen Square are to terminate at St. Matthew Anglican Church, make Uturn and queue up to load at Asoro Primary School bus-stop. All buses coming from New Benin through Mission Road are to divert at Nevis Street to Forestry Road and discharge passengers at Omo Street before queuing

to load at the Mission road junction of Omo Street. Buses advancing from Akpakpava towards Ring Road will divert through Igbesamwan Street to Igun Street and terminate at Ihjiekpen Street beside Total Filling for loading of passengers. Those coming from Wire Road into Ibiwe are to divert left into 2nd Ibiwe Street, connect to Lagos Street and come out through Jegede Street to load and take off again through Ibiwe Street. Furthermore, all buses coming from Ekenhuan and Siluko Road axis to the Oba Ovonranmwen Square are to divert to the left or right of Obakhavbaye as the case may be. Those diverting to the left will connect Ibiwe and enter Edo Street to discharge and load passengers while the buses that are currently loading by the side of Urhokpota fence at Oba Market are to divert right into Obakharbye, Off-L road and load by Moslem Primary school, enter Plymouth road, turn to Ekpenede and find their way back to their destination through the same route. Representatives of Road Transport Employers Association, Drivers Welfare, Commuters and other members of the public landed the new initiative designed by the ministry after the Acting Director of Transport; Engr. Austin Orhue had sensitized them.

Ministry sensitises public on terminals for commercial buses

Inside Edo Edo Govt Commends Youth Council On Devt By RICHARD EWEKA

BENIN CITY- Edo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon Chris Okaeben, has commended the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Egor and Ovia North East Local Government Areas chapter for organizing the 2014 annual youth entrepreneurial and leadership training camp.

Okaeben who was represented at the official opening ceremony of the camp in Benin City by Anevberikhai Oseni noted that the NYCN has contributed greatly to the development of the state and Nigeria at large. He assumed the NYCN of government readiness to give

Christ Embassy Church Holds Easter programme By MATTHEW OKAGHA

BENIN CITY- An indoor Christian programme designed to usher worshippers into the presence of God at the momentous period of the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, will hold tomorrow, Friday, April 18, 2014 at Christ Embassy Church, New Benin, Benin City

• Pastor Oma Ola Jeffrey

Tagged “Easter Special 2014, the event is billed to hold at the church auditorium, No 23, Ivbiye Street, Off New Lagos Road, Benin City, beginning at 5pm. The host minister, Pastor Oma Ola Jeffrey said in a statement that the “Christ Embassy Easter Special 2014, will be word-based and Holy Ghost filed programme which will usher the congregation into a higher dimension of spiritual understanding. It is a time to renew our faith and re-awaken your inner man so that you will begin to function in a higher level in the light of God’s word”, she added. Also, Easter Sunday Special comes up at the same venue on Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 7.30am.

necessary support towards ensuring its success. Chairman of NYCN, Ovia North East Local Government chapter, Wilson Ekhomogiazin in his remarks said the camp was aimed at training to be self reliant, as well as equipping them with skills necessary to take over the leadership of the country. Chairman NYCN, Egor local government area chapter, Comrade Peter Aguebor while appreciating participants at the camp, acknowledged the indispensible position of youths in the development of the nation.

Edo Police Arrest 2 Persons Over Azagba one of his boys identified as Community Crisis atIdouloyi Okundia. By MIKE OSAROGIAGBON

BENIN CITY- The Edo State police command said two persons have been arrested in connection with the leadership tussle which claimed two lives in Azagba community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State. The Public Relations Officer of the command DSP Moses Eguavoen disclose this to The Nigerian BSERVER in Benin City, yesterday. He further stated that the police are working round the

Owan East Council Boss Charges APC Exco AFUZE - The Chairman, Owan East Local Government Council, Chief Jimoh Ijegbai has charged the newly elected executive of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in the local government area to hold regular meetings with members of the party inorder to keep them united and also to ensure that the party waxes stronger. Chief Ijegbai disclosed this during the APC Local Government Congress held in Afuze. He stressed that the party is large enough to accommodate new members inorder to bring the desired change to the nation. Chief Ijegbai told the executives to see their reelection as a call to service and to ensure cohesion among members. During the Congress, all former executives members were returned through a consensus except for the position of the youth leader which was contested for and won by Mr. Kassim Zuberu, Speaking after the Congress, Chief Ijegbai adjudged both the ward and Local Government

Congresses as peaceful, devoid of any acrimony as electorates viewed the contests as a family affair. He said what transpired in Owan East local Government was democracy at play in which the minority had their say and the majority their way. The Owan East Council boss commended members of the party in the local government area for standing resolutely

L-R: Head of Service, Edo State, Mr. Igbaekemen Jerry Obazele, his wife, Mrs. Blessing Obazele and HRH Zaiki Ehidiamen I (JP), Onojie of Opoji at the reception held in honour of the Head of Service at Opoji recently. Photo: SUNDAY OSADEBAMWEN.

behind the party and urged them to continue to display the spirit of oneness inorder to take the party to greater height. He also commended the state APC Congress Committee for their supervision of the congress, and therefore called on all members of APC to brace up to the challenges of ensuring victory for the party in next year’s general election.

clock to ensure that peace is restored to the community. Gunmen had last Sunday sacked residents of Azagba community after killing two persons in a broad-day invasion which also left a building razed. When our reporter visited the community, yesterday, the town was deserted as smoke pillowed from a burnt residential building. Domestic animals seen in some compounds were looking sickly and starved. It was learnt that the affected building belongs to the Community Development Association (CDA) Chairman, Mr. Egbe Charles. Stern-looking youths who sat in front of the palace of the community Spiritual leader (Ohen) ran into a nearby bush on sighting police patrol vehicle from Egba division. Victims of the attacked were identified as Idouloyi Okundia and Monday Ighituh said to have been shot dead by the

The Ag. General Managerm BNCL, Pastor Monday Aigbe (left) and B.I. Emoedume, Permanent Secretary Government House/Protocol at the reception held in honour of the Head of Service, Edo State at Opoji recently. Photo: SUNDAY OSADEBAMWEN.

hoodlums. It was learnt that the attack is a fall-out of age-long leadership tussle between the (CDA) Chairman, Mr. Egbe Charles and the spiritual head of the Community Nosakhare Ogierhiakhi. Contacted, the embattled CDA boss Mr Egbe Charles stated that on Sunday, April 13, 2014 he went along with some persons to clean his compound at Azagba community. He added that as they were there, heavily armed thugs sent by the Ohen swooped on the boys and dragged them to the Ohen palace. He alleged that the Ohen drove in his red jeep to his palace and grabbed a gun from one of the hoodlums and shot

The victim’s corpse was said to have been removed from front of the palace of Ohen by the police. The other victim was allegedly chased and killed inside the bush by the hired thugs. He stated that he still enjoys his second tenure as enshrined in the constitution of the CDA of Azagba community even as the community elders have supported his leadership over the years. The Ohen, Nosakhare Ogierhiakhi told The Nigerian OBSERVER in a telephone interview that it was the CDA chairman Mr Egbe Charles who invited thugs to unleash terror on resident of Azagba in other to remain in power as the CDA chairman.

Madam Aimiosevbuse For Burial OZA - The families of Ekhogiawe and Osagie in Oza Community, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State have announced the burial arrangements for late Madam Lucy Aimiosevbuse Osagie (Nee Ekhogiawe). She was 67 years. She is survived by her husband, seven children, 31 grand children, three great grand children, brothers, sisters and other relations. According to the burial arrangements, Friday, April 18, at 9 am, corpse will be taken from Our Clinic Hospital to her residence, No 47, Omoregbe Street, Ikpoba Hill, Benin City, for lying in state.

At 3 pm, there would be service of songs, while interment follows at 5 pm, at the same venue. Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 2 pm there would be social ceremony at the Western Boys High School, Ikpoba Hill Benin City.

Late Madam Lucy Aimiosevbuse Osagie (Nee Ekhogiawe)

South South Crude Oil Theft Causes Environmental Degradation By BETTY IDIALU

WARRI - Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have identified environmental degradation with its attendant implications as part of the negative impact of crude oil theft. He therefore urged government at all levels, multinationals oil companies, host communities as well as security agents to re-double their efforts in fighting the ‘monster’ of crude oil theft. The Governor stated during the Delta State Oil and Gas Industry Stakeholders’ Conference held in Effurun, Delta State said crude oil theft is also responsible for loss of revenue of the nation which has continued to shrink as a result of the activities of illegal oil bunkerers, While expressing dissatisfaction that due to emphasis on the dwindling revenue, the impact on the environment seems to be down played, he said nothing is being said about addressing the impact of the menace of crude of oil theft on the environment He opined that only communities bear the brunt of the environmental impact of oil exploration and theft with beneficiaries of oil revenue only interested in what gets to them at the end of the month. According to him, “were theft to be stopped now, it would still take about 50 years to remediate the devastated environment”. While appealing to host communities to have a sense of ownership of government projects and join the campaign against illegal bunkering, the governor challenged the multinational oil companies to ensure that there was no complicity of their personnel or contractors in the crime. Speaking further, the governor tasked the relevant security agencies to increase their efforts by properly manning and patrolling the exit points of Escravos, Forcados and Ogheye where the products are likely being transported to waiting vessels in the high sea. In his speech, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade ,Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, urged the government, the judiciary, oil companies, communities and security agencies to play active roles in the fight against oil theft. He called on government to strengthen legislations against illegal bunkering, increase

funding to security agencies, facilitate development of host communities and intensify campaign against the trend. A representative of Shell, the Manager, Ogoni Restoration Project, Augustne Igbuku highlighted measures taken by Shell in addressing the menace to include, sensitization campaigns, burying pipes deep beneath the earth surface and covering the surface with concrete. Mr. Igbuku, among other measures called for increased campaigns and engagements, motivation of security agencies and effective prosecution of oil thieves. Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin on his part pleaded with communities to desist from oil theft while urging the regulators to be more responsive, the judiciary to be ensure speedy trials. He called on the multinational oil companies to ensure best practices in their operations and relationship with their host communities. Participants and resource persons at the conference in their separate remarks urged the government to demonstrate the political will by bringing the barons behind the illicit trade to book, adding that the security agencies and

- Uduaghan

oil companies also needed to demonstrate honesty and integrity in the crusade. The State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah had explained that the conference was the second in the series. The theme of the conference was Securing Oil and Gas Investment in Delta State: the Role of Stakeholders; it was aimed at proffering solution to the menace of oil theft and to also provide a forum that would bring together relevant stakeholders to exchange ideas on the best practices locally and globally and on how to secure and protect the huge investment in the oil and gas industry in the state.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina (2nd right), being decorated with Centenary Lapel Pin by the Field Executive, Centenary Lapel Pin Project, Miss Kila Abimbola in Abuja recently. With them are, Minister of State, Mrs. Asabe Ahmed (2nd left) and coordinator, Centenary Lapel Pin Project, Mr. Chuks Chilaka.

A/Ibom To Establish Bureau Of Statistics

UYO- The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr Akan Okon, said the State Government had concluded plans to establish a Bureau of Statistics. Okon said this during an enlightenment workshop on the “The Role and Importance of Statistics” held in Uyo. He said the bureau would enhance the production of the

State Statistical Master Plan that would aid the production of quality and timely data. “The ministry is finalising the production of the state statistical master plan to strengthen the state statistical system and aid the production of quality and timely data. “It will also aid evidencebased policy to address the challenges of our

development management and socio-economic transformation”, he said. He noted that no meaningful development, monitoring or evaluation of state or national strategies could take place without quality statistics to identify socio-economic problems. He advised statisticians “to

Minister of State for Agriculture, Mrs. Asabe Ahmed (middle), presenting Starter Packs to a beneficiary, Mrs. Martha Daos, during the presentation of Starter Packs for Aquaculture and Poultry Production to trained staff of the Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja recently. With them is Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote.

strengthen and improve our capacity for accurate measurement to produce accurate data for government.’’ Okon assured of the commitment of the state government to build a credible and real time data base. In her paper entitled: “The Role and Importance of Statistics in the Science and Technology Sector”, Mrs Eduma Essien said statisticians should ensure accuracy of their data. Essien, Head of Department of Statistics, Akwa Ibom Polytechnic, said accurate data would enable policy makers to come out with sound and informed decision. She said reliable statistics were essential for economic policies and development programmes. She stressed that high quality statistics commanded public confidence. Reports state that the oneday workshop was organised by the ministry to enlighten the public on the importance of statistics in policy formulation.

Uduaghan Advises Journalists On Objectivity, Unity ASABA - Wife of Delta State Governor, Mrs Roli Uduaghan has advised Nigerian journalists to be objective and promote the country’s unity in their reportage. Uduaghan gave the advice in Asaba during a prayer session organised at the proposed site for the permanent secretariat of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The governor’s wife said that journalist have the responsibility of ensuring good governance and building the society to achieve

the desired objective. She said strict adherence to the ethnics and professionalism in journalism would ensure the desired rapid development in the state and the country. Journalists should always verify their reports before publishing, noting that the society had sustained great losses including loss of lives because of unverified reports. “As watch dogs of the society, you must verify your information before publishing. This is very important because a lot of lives

have been ruined because of false reports “Falsehood, to an extent has a way of tarnishing the image of the profession,’’ she added. The governor’s wife, who took the first reading from Isaiah 54: 1-16, also admonished journalists to commit their lives to God, adding that this was the only way they could live fulfilled lives. Also speaking, Pastor Nelson Olise of the Intercessors Prayers of Nigeria, said: “the first obligation of journalists is truth,

therefore you should stand for the truth.” Olise also urged journalists to use their profession to transform the nation by publishing the truth and engaging in constructive criticism. The Chairman of the NUJ in the state, Mr Norbert Chiazor, said the prayers session was organised to ask for God’s direction in the affairs of the council and to dedicate the site to Him. Chiazor commended the state government for providing the

land for the secretariat and its contributions toward the growth of the profession in the state. He assured that the council would continue to partner the state government in pursuing its three-point agenda of Peace and Security, Human Capital Development and Infrastructure Development. “We journalists in Delta appreciate the good work of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and we will continue to partner with him in achieving his three points agenda,’’ he said.

South West Court Dissolves Marriage Over ADO-EKITI- An Ado- Promiscuity abusive words on him and Ekiti Customary Court has dissolved a 17-year-old marriage between, Aina Matthew, and his wife Abimbola, over frequent fighting and promiscuity. The court’s President, Mr Joseph Ogunsemi, said that the court had no alternative than to dissolve the marriage after several efforts to reconcile the couple failed. Ogunsemi ordered that the three children should be with Abimbola while Mathew should be responsible for the payment of the children’s school fees. He also ordered that Mathew should pay four thousand monthly allowances to each of the three children and have free access to them at all time. Matthew, 41, had told the court that Abimbola was fond of destroying his property when they fight and lacked respect for his

family. He said that his wife kept bad companies and had warned her severally without yielding to corrections. The petitioner said his wife was a promiscuous and wayward woman, adding that strange persons call her regularly and whenever he picked her call it was always a man’s voice. The father of three said his wife always use

his families whenever she requested for money and was unable to get it immediately. Abimbola, 38, denied all the allegations, and said that Mathew was a drunkard and womaniser. She admitted that they both fought and quarreled because he did not care for her and the children. The respondent also denied that her husband had ever caught her with a man.

L-R: Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana; greeted by members of the Federal Government delegation, Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide; Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku and Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina at the Centenary Birthday thanksgiving service of the Olubadan at the Cathedral of St. Peter Church, Aremo in Ibadan recently.

Fashola Tasks Mothers On Family Planning

LAGOSGovernor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has appealed to mothers to embrace exclusive breast-feeding and family planning to reduce the high rate of infant mortality in Nigeria. Fashola made the call at the Pre-Easter Baby Care and Mother Care Expo organised by Afribaby Initiative, a non-

governmental organisation in Lagos. He said that mothers had a role to play in the reduction of infant mortality in the country. ‘’Six months exclusive breast-feeding and adequate child spacing will help babies to grow healthy and fulfil their purpose in life. ‘’Breast-feeding is key to the survival of a child; it

promotes the child’s health and brain development. “Mothers, ensure that you adhere to this because the health and survival of your child is your key responsibility,” he said. Prof. Adewale Oke, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, in his address, said Nigeria had the second highest neonatal mortality rate in the world. Oke said that the rate could be reduced through adequate baby care such as exclusive breast-feeding,

immunisation and healthy lifestyle. He urged fathers to encourage their wives to make the breast-feeding process succeed. “They can also suggest and encourage the new mother that breast-feeding is one of the most important things she can do to get the baby a healthy and good start in life, ‘’ he said. Also speaking, Dr Omolade Okoya-Thomas, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Afribaby Initiative, urged corporate bodies and well-meaning Nigerians to support programmes that promoted

child survival. The founder of the Initiative, Dr Oscar Odibo, said that the body was founded to contribute to the universal action against infant and maternal mortality. ‘’Afribaby Initiative is contributing in her own little way to curb infant and maternal mortality, inadequate nutrition and other issues covered by the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. “We preach exclusive breast-feeding as the surest means of a baby’s health, survival and future to support humanity,” he said.

UNDP Trains 60 Journalists

Students of Junior Secondary School in Iseyin-Oyo Road, undergoing punishment for coming late to School recently.

ADO-EKITISixty journalists selected from various media houses have been trained by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) ahead of governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. The 60 selected journalists are made up of 30 journalists working in Ekiti and 30 in Osun.

Integration Into Society: Refugees

LAGOS- Refugees from some African countries have appealed to the Federal Government to assist them integrate into the Nigerian society. The migrants spoke to newsmen in Lagos at a town hall meeting organised by the Southwest Zone of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally-Displaced Persons (NCFRMI). The meeting, held in collaboration with five Lions Clubs in Lagos, was to distribute relief materials such

as foodstuffs, multivitamins and clothing material to the refugees. Mr Kolinda Natir, a representative of the Congolese Community, said that they were happy about the relief materials and called on the NCFRMI to hold regular meetings with the people, so as to meet their needs. Natir said that the next town hall meeting should be held in a wider environment, to enable the refugees integrate into the society and interact freely with Nigerians.


Ms Mawa Dabo, a Malian, said that the people needed assistance to send their children to school as some who even registered their wards, had to withdraw because of lack of funds. Ms Fanta Rowmoi, an Ivorian, appealed to the commission to provide a better accommodation for the refugees because some of them had yet to get a place of abode. Many others urged the NCFRMI to assist them with

grants to start a business, to enable them to cater for their families. Eariler, Mrs Hadiza SaniKangiwa, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of NCFRMI, advised refugees in Nigeria to be law abiding. Sani-Kangiwa, who was represented by the Southwest Zonal Coordinator, Ms Ngozi Ukaegbu, said that the commission was aware of the plight of migrants and would endeavour to assist them. Mrs Aderonke Elegushi, President of the Ikate-Elegushi

Those selected are also resident media practitioners who will be covering the two elections on June 21 and August 9, respectively. The training workshop which began on Monday ended on Tuesday with UNDP saying the programme was conceived to promote democracy as well as

Appeal Lion’s Club, who addressed the refugees, said that they were not at a disadvantage, even though they were foreigners. Elegushi advised the refugees to respect Nigerian laws, noting that every registered refugee had a right to be employed, regardless of their background. About 100 refugees that attended the meeting were from Mali, Chad, Cote d’lvoire, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

champion cause of credible elections. Dr Mourtada Deme, the Project Director of Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) of UNDP and its media consultant, Mrs Toyin AdewaleGabriel spoke with journalists. They said the project was part of UN’s support for elections in Nigeria. The officials said similar gesture would be extended to other batch of selected journalists in other states preparatory to 2015 elections. They listed objectives of the training as including promotion of best practices in election reportage and coverage. The duo said DGD project was a joint donor-funded project with contributions from the European Union and the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID). Other contributors are the Canadian International Development Agency and the Korean International Cooperation Agency.

Lagos Embrace Peace, LASU Management LAGOS - Authorities of the Urges Lecturers Lagos State University (LASU)

L-R: Barr. Bernard Oyabevwe, Director, Legal Matters and Human Rights, Niger Delta Alliance for Human Rights, Comrade Nowinta Igbotako, Convener, Miss Ugwu Chinelo Maureen, and Jude Isiaye, Director Advocacy and Mobilisation during a press conference on Justice for James Onanefe Ibori yesterday in Benin City. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

Ojo, has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities in the institution to embrace peace as efforts were being made to meet their demands. The management of the university made the plea in Lagos in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kayode Sutton It said that the plea became necessary following the LASU chapter of the union’s declaration of a trade dispute with the university. The chapter had declared a trade dispute and given the institution and its governing council a 21-day ultimatum, effective from March 24, to

meet its demands. It said that it would embark on an indefinite strike if its demands were not met at the expiration of the ultimatum. According to the union, the institution has failed to implement some agreements which were reached on its demands in the past 12 months. The management, in the statement, however, said that there were only three demands, out of the initial 20 of the union, that had not been met. According to the statement, the government has dealt with the issue of salary arrears by paying its part, while the university has also been paying

Power: Regulator Tasks Manufacturers On Quality Products LAGOS – Mr. Peter Ewesor, Managing Director, Electricity Management Service (EMS) Ltd., has urged indigenous electricity equipment manufacturers to insist on quality that would leverage the socio-economic growth of Nigeria. Ewesor made the appeal in Lagos during the company’s visit to some electricity manufacturing companies in the state. He said the essence of the visit was to create a synergy with the two Electricity Distribution Companies in Lagos on ways to stabilise power supply and engender the use of quality equipment in their operations. Ewesor said the company was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the use of quality equipment by the electricity distribution companies in Nigeria. According to him, we are poised to ensure local manufacturing strive in the country and that indigenous meter companies in Nigeria are

supported, “No meter imported into the country will be allowed to go straight into installation without passing through the test for validation. “There is need for distribution companies to promote indigenous meter manufacturing companies. “We should not allow foreigners to take over our local market in meter manufacturing,” he said. Ewesor said that the Nigerian


Ewesor said that EMS must be able to provide the needed services to drive support and sustain the emerging private sector-led electricity industry in Nigeria. “The mandate of the company, according to the minister, includes providing all needed ancillary and support services to the Nigerian electricity supply industry which include engineering laboratory, meter test stations,

Lagos Assembly Urges FG To Sensitise Public LAGOS - Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have called on the Federal Government to sensitise the public more on the Ebola virus to prevent its outbreak in Nigeria. Mr. Ajibayo Adeyeye, the Majority Leader of the House, who moved the motion at the

Film Producer Appeals For Use Of Govt Facilities

LAGOS - A film producer, Mr. Celestine Ndego, has appealed to all tiers of government to allow the usage of government facilities to make film production easier in the country. Ndego told newsmen in Lagos that free access to facilities enhances film authenticity and production. According to him, the use of Police, Army, Navy and Air force facilities also helps the public to be acquainted with the operations of these government organisations. “In the advance world, they have the freedom to use equipments; to use gadgets and even the uniforms of the different personnel. “The government organisations take their time to train a particular artiste to get it right about what the artiste wants to portray to the public. “This is what we want the

Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 provided for the EMS which has been incorporated as a governmentowned limited liability company under the ministry of power. He said the importance of establishing EMS was informed by the need to have a professional and technical agency of government at this crucial stage of the power sector reform to close up technical gaps.

government to do here,” he said. Ndego stressed that the production of a film ought to take some time “but in Nigeria films are produced in a hurry because the facilities hired have time frame.” Ndego, also a dance artiste, urged the government to fund the industry to enable it produce quality films. He said that the industry was capable of contributing significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if the industry was assisted by the government. “So many things are needed to get a good work done, the use of professionals are costly. “But due to lack of funds, producers look for cheap artistes that will produce poor quality films,” Ndego added.

plenary urged the government to take proactive measures in preventing the outbreak of the virus. “We want the federal government to commence urgent public enlightenment to prevent the outbreak of the virus in the country. “People should be aware, and be educated on the causes and effects of the virus so as to

prevent it,” he said. Adeyeye (APC-Kosofe II), in his motion, also urged the people to maintain personal hygiene by washing their fruits and cooking their food properly before eating. The majority leader also advised the government to have thorough check on visitors coming to Nigeria from countries affected by the virus.

central stores system as well as testing and certification of major electrical equipment. “Other activities include providing the platform for standardisation in the industry, archiving the power sector data and information management,” he said.

its own part. “The schedule of paying the balance has already been announced and will be honoured,” the statement said. The management, in the statement, also refuted the claim that it was operating a “no vacancy no promotion policy.” “The Academic Planning Unit has declared over 200 available academic vacancies in the university. It is not, therefore, a blanket thing that there are no vacancies. “Interviews for regularisation of appointments have been completed. Council approval is being awaited before communicating the outcome,” it said. It also said that the Lagos State Government had been in discussion with the students on the issue of school fees, and it should not be a basis for grounding the institution. The management called for continuous dialogue while working at consolidating achievements.

Peaceful Co-existence

Council Boss Tasks Traditional Rulers

BOKKOS (Plateau) – Mr. Monday Kassa, Chairman, Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau, has appealed to traditional rulers in the area to ensure peaceful co-existence among all the ethnic groups in their domains. Kassa made the appeal at a joint peace and reconciliation meeting of Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the area in Bokkos. The meeting followed the series of clashes recorded in the area in recent times, with the last one occurring in Angwan Kwano community in Maikatako Distrct. Kassa described as

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Culture, Mrs. Funmilayo Balogun; Commissioner for Culture, Mr. Disun Holloway and Chairman. Lagos Water Regatta, Dr. Segun Jawando, at the inauguration of Black Heritage week in Lagos recently.

unacceptable, the clashes between herdsmen and farmers as well as the attacks on citizens of the council by unknown gunmen which often claimed lives and property. “Peace is needed to preserve the lives and property of our people, hence the need for all of us to resolve our differences to enjoy this peace. “We all know that without peace, there can be no meaningful development and progress in our area which is home to all of us,” he said. Kassa said that all hostilities must stop to give room for growth and development of the area. “We should use this forum to resolve our differences.” Mr Solomon Maren, the state Urban and Housing Commissioner, expressed the determination of Governor. Jonah Jang’s administration to engage in massive development of the state. Maren noted that developing the area would be an uphill task for the government if the area lacked peace. He charged the traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects to the need for peaceful coexistence in the state. Mr. Mohammed Ado, one of the spokesmen of the herdsmen, said his people would support anything that would bring about peaceful coexistence and restoration of normal life and activities.

News Trado-medicalist Calls For Youth Empowerment By JOEL CHUKWUAGHONIM

ETUA-UKPO- A Traditional medicine Practitioner in Etua-ukpo, in Ndokwa-west local government Area of Delta State, chief(Dr) Monday Ufeli, the Nmor-uku I of Ndokwa west, has advocated for youth empowerment through traditional medicine practice. The herbal doctor who made the call while speaking with newsmen in his countryhome, Etua-ukpo, said that traditional medicine practice

Chief (Dr.) Monday Ufeli

will not only give gainful employment to deserving youths but would also enhance the preservation of our tradition and culture. Chief (Dr) Ufeli said he is willing to impart the knowledge to youths interested in traditional medicine practice. Chief (Dr) Ufeli stated that he had treated and assisted many persons with various ailments and problems, like mental problems, strokes, diabetics, asthma, barreness, weak-erections, pile, liver problems, poisons of any kind, swollen body, among others. He expressed thanks to the Federal Government for the recognition granted to the National Association of Nigeria Traditional Medicine practitioners (N.A.N.T.M.P) and appealed to the three levels of the Government to extend Micro credit facilities to traditional doctors to enable them expand their scope of operation.

Ovia North East APC Chairman elect, Mr. Benson Edosomwan (aka 40-40) being declared winner during Tuesday’s APC Congress by Congress officials at Okada Primary School.

Vigilante Boss Seeks Govt Support By JOEL CHUKWUAGHONIM

ETUA-OLIOGO- The Commandant of vigilante Group of Nigeria (V.G.N), Etua-Oliogo, in Ndokwa —

Ovia North East LGA Elects APC as hitchfree and By KEHINDE OSAGIEDE Chairman exercise credible. OKADA- Mr. Benson Edosomwan has been elected by members of All Progressive Congress (APC) as chairman of the party in the local government area. Mr. Edosomwan Benson aka 40-40 scored 336 vote to defeat elder Patrdek Igbinake who scored just 6 votes while the other two contestants failed to appear at the Okada primary school, venue of the congress, indicating their withdrawal from the race. The peaceful congress which was well attended by party faithfuls had 347 delegates accredited while five invalid votes were recorded after voting and counting in the process which started at about 12.15 pm and ended at about 4.30pm before Mr. Benson Edosomwan was declared winner, having secured an overwhelming 93.3 per cent votes, sending his supporters

Chief (Dr.) Monday Ufeli

into jubilation. One of the contestants and his agent who were visibly deflated by the large crowd of supporters of the eventual winner attempted to disrupt the peaceful exercise by raising false alarm to cause a stir but the situation was immediately put under control by the police and other security operatives that were fully on ground. The congress and INEC officials equally showed their commitment to ensuring credible, free and fair congress in the locality. Speaking shortly after the congress, the chairman-elect Mr. Benson Edosomwan pledged to carry all APC members in Ovia North East along irrespective of who they supported during the congress. He assured members that he will provide credible leadership adding that the era of party leaders forcing aspirants to go and sell their house and other property in order to meet up with financial requirements to secure party ticket was gone. Meanwhile chairman Ovia North east Local Government Council Hon. Barr Lucy Omagbon has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the L.G.A. APC Congress in the locality, describing the

She thanked the Nigerian Police Force and other security operatives for a well done job. the council boss particularly thanked the Edo state police commissioner Foluso Adebanjo for leading a monitoring team to Okada to witness the congress. Other APC stakeholders who made good remarks about the congress include the vice chairman of Ovia NorthEast Local Government Conucil Hon Dumez Ugiagbe, former chairman of the council Hon. F. Ovienrioba and Barr Vincent Uwadiae chairman, EDSOPADEC.

west local government Area of Delta State, Mr. George Onyenike has appealed to the three tiers of government for security logistics. He said the vigilante group has since its inception been inundated with three major challenges which include criminal cases, juvenile delinquency and matrimonial/ spiritual matters. Mr. Onyenike said the vigilante outfit was complementing the effort of the police in ridding the area of criminals adding that those caught were handed over to the police for further actions He disclosed that the group had organized series of symposia to educate parents and the young ones on the consequences of Juvenile delinquencies in the community. The chairman expressed satisfaction at the cordial relationship between the vigilante group and the police and sued for its sustenance. Mr. Onyenike explained that the activities of the vigilante

group were different from that of the youth movement, adding that the vigilante outfit is approved by the community and the police authority in the area. He appealed for the necessary materials and logistics to enable the vigilante group combat crimes and discharge its duties effectively In another development, a

community chief, chief Macdonald Nzeshi, the Ochiosa of Etua-Oliogo has appealed to Etua-oliogo sons and daughters, those at home and diaspora, to come home and contribute their quota to the vigilante groups including philanthropists, nongovernmental organizations (N.G.O), churches among others.

APC Women Leader Lauds Congress Exercise By JOEL CHUKWUAGHONIM

UGUN/AMAHOR - The Women Leader, All Progressive Congress (APC) WARD 8, Igueben local government area of Edo State, Mrs. Christiana Oseh has lauded the successful ward congress in the area. Speaking with the Nigerian Observer Correspondent after the exercise, Mrs. Oseh thanked all those who made the congress a huge success. She noted that the APC is a

Members of All Progressives Congress (APC) on queue during the party’s local government Congress in Benin City recently. Photo: OSADEBAMWEN SUNDAY.

party that has the structures (men and resources) to tackle the opposition coupled with its good programmes and elaborate manifesto that caters for the welfare of the people, saying they will bring about the desired changes at the state and national level. The women leader appealed to all APC be members at the local government, state and national levels, to stand firm and not to allow anybody or candidate to buy them over by dangling monetary enticement. She desired the APC as a disciplined party that can bring about speedy development in the country and advised Nigerians to see it as the party of choice that can deliver the dividends of democracy.

• Mrs. Christiana Oseh

Abuja Niger CJ Frees 4 Prison Inmates SULEJA (NIGER) - The Chief Judge of Niger State, Justice Fati Abubakar, has ordered the release of four inmates serving various sentences at the Suleja Prisons. Abubakar released the inmates, who had between four days and two months left to complete their sentences, during her visit to the prison. The released inmates, Salisu Mohammed,

Mohammed Ibrahim, Francis Okon and Lawal Yakubu, had been convicted of offences of theft, joint act, criminal trespass and conspiracy. Abubakar advised the inmates to be useful to themselves and the society at large and to change from their old ways. She expressed satisfaction that very few of the inmates in the prison were still awaiting trial as most of

Nyanya Blasts:

Staff of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), cleaning the scene of monday explosion at Nyanya in Abuja.

Nat’l Confab: ABUJA - Some of the delegates to the national conference have expressed mix feelings over the inability of the conference secretariat to produce a list of committees for the delegates. The delegates expressed their feelings in an interview with newsmen after the adjournment of the conference to yesterday by 4 p. m. by its Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi (retired) on Monday in Abuja. Kutugi adjourned the sitting to Tuesday to enable the secretariat to finalise the list of membership of the 20 committees. Mike Ahamba, an Elder statesman, said that the adjournment of the conference was proper to enable the conference secretariat get the composition of the committees and its membership right, rather than rush into petitions. “The best thing is to go and get it done properly at this stage because if they get it wrong it can create a longer delay when people start rejecting the committee list and where they are to serve,’’ he said. Ahamba, who expressed support for the proposed 20 committees, called for enough time for the committees to deliberate on issues to be brought before them. “The number of the committees is enough, what I am asking for is that the time of the committee work should be increased because that is where the major area of our assignment is and that is where we are going to do more work,’’ he said

ABUJA -The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has said that the Nyanya blast that claimed 71 lives in Abuja was an unwarranted act of wickedness to fellow Nigerians. This is contained in a statement signed by the First lady’s Media Assistant, Mr. Ayo Adewuyi, and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

Act Of Unwarranted Wickedness -First Lady

According to the statement, Jonathan says the killing of innocent souls is a crime against humanity and must be condemned by all Nigerians. The statement said the first lady also commiserated with the families of those who lost their loved ones and

Mixed Reactions Trail Adjournment

Ahamba said that if the committee was not given enough time to deliberate on issues, the outcome of their recommendations might be “shabby” and this would affect the outcome of the conference. Mr. Anthony Sani, spokesperson of the Northern Delegates Forum, also agreed that the adjournment of the conference would allow the conference secretariat work on ideas raised by the delegates. “If the secretariat wants to go and do a better job based on the observation made at the floor of the conference, it is a good idea. It means they are sensitive to issue of contents and number. Alhaji Nuruden Lemu, a delegate representing Jama’atu Nasrul Islama, said that the adjournment was a demonstration that the conference secretariat wanted to carry everybody along and to get the best through participatory decisions. “It said that to travel far you go along with others: to travel fast you go alone. “Officials here are trying to make sure they take everybody along, which means they have to ensure a participatory way of decision making,’’ Lemu said. Lemu described the committees as the most important segment of the conference, where problems are going to be ironed out, situations are going to be analysed and diagnosed and prescriptions given. “I think slowing down at this stage is critical, of course we wish they could have done it earlier but we wish them the

best,’’ Lemu said. He expressed hope that the conference would come out with a list that will meet the desire of the majority as everybody cannot be satisfied. Meanwhile Nnimo Bassey, representing Civil Society, saidd some delegates who were hoping to serve in select committees were disappointed following the adjournment of the conference to Tuesday evening. Bassey said the 20 committees to be constituted had been known right from the beginning of the conference while delegates had also completed form indicating the committees they would love to serve, close to two weeks ago. “We are now adjourning because the committees had not been constituted. I think it is a sad situation as one would have expected the committees to have been set up even before now. “We are losing time. Let the truth be told,’’ Bassey said. Mrs. Annkio Briggs, a Federal Government delegate, was of the opinion that some of the proposed committees were not necessary as there is already a provision in the constitution to address issues of concern to the committes. Briggs said since the country was practicing democracy all issues should be discussed “what is important is for the committees to start working on how to build Nigeria and diversify the economy’’. Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress said that the number

of committees was enough but there was the need to restructure them. “The number of the committees is enough because if you make it too many it would be rowdy and this will not go well for deliberation and seeking solutions to issues. He added that the adjournment was not the problem of the conference but that of the secretariat as the names had long been submitted to them. “They should have been over with the issue of selection of committee members but now that we have adjourned we hope that the outstanding issues would be sorted out . “Let us also give them the benefit of doubt but I do hope

them were already in court. Abubakar urged stakeholders to continue to ensure speedy dispensation of justice. “I want to call on all stakeholders to ensure that they do their best in bringing justice to those who deserve it,” she said Earlier, the Officer incharge of the Suleja Prisons, DCP Okadamiri Peter, said there were a total of 348 inmates in the prison.

when we resume tomorrow, they will not come up with another excuse that will not be acceptable by the conference,’’ Omar said.

prayed God to continue to console them. “I share the pains of the families of the victims, and pray that God should assuage the pains of the survivors and grant them quick recovery. “I pray also for the repose of the souls of victims and beseech the Lord to grant them eternal rest in His perfect peace,’’ the statement said. It added that Jonathan urged Nigerians to use this period to pray to God to enable the nation to overcome acts of terrorism.

PDP’s Press Centre Gutted ABUJA - There was a By Fire minor fire incident which affected some parts of the Press Centre situated within the premises of the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja . This is contained in a statement signed by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh, in Abuja. Metuh said the fire, caused by some electrical faults at about 8.15 p.m., was

A survivor of Nyanya Motor Park explosion in Abuja.

promptly put off by men of the Federal Fire Service. Reports state that the unit houses the Press Corps Centre and an extension of Metuh’s office. “The PDP rules out any form of sabotage or attack and hereby wishes to inform all our members and teeming supporters that the fire has since been put under control,’’ the party official said in the statement.

Business + Economy

LAGOS - The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) said it was targeting 400 mega watts of embedded power to supply its consumers in the next one year. Mr Oladele Amoda, Chief Executive Officer, EKEDC, disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos. Embedded power is electricity generated from a

Electricity Coy Targets 400MW

plant that is outside the regional electricity grid. Amoda said that the essence of the embedded power was to avoid rationing electricity supply to consumers within the network, adding that it would also save the zone from depending on the national

IGR: Kaduna To Review

KADUNA -The Kaduna State Government said it would review its revenue rates upward to enable the state meet up with its development projects. Mr. Garba Madami, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, told newsmen in Kaduna that the state should be able to generate more than the N1 billion it was generating from tax monthly. Madami said that the projected budget estimates could only be achieved when the projected revenue was realised through reviewed laws. “In 2013, the state lost N18 billion of its revenue due to its unrealistic nature.” Madami said the ministry had taken measures to boost its revenue generation, adding that the state government would reinvigorate its revenue machinery to improve generation. “We will also work with the legislators to ensure that relevant laws are initiated to replace obsolete ones to enhance revenue generation. “We will enhance revenue collections at various levels to enable the state government to implement the budget as planned.’’


Madami said the state House of Assembly was on the top to intensify action on their oversight function in order to ensure efficient budget implementation in the state. He said the oversight function was necessary to ensure probity and accountability in public sector expenditures. The commissioner disclosed that the 2014 approved budget would be implemented adequately in all ministries, department and agencies. Madami said the 2014 budget of the state, tagged, “Budget of Peace and Continuity” had a total revenue projection of N200.96 billion. He said the budget comprised 63 per cent as capital expenditure and 37 per cent recurrent expenditure.

grid. According to him, under the embedded scheme, the energy supply control of the zone is not be subjected to grid manipulation or issue of incessant system collapse. “We are starting gradually to round up with about 400 mega watts embedded energy supply by next year. “So many power companies have indicated interest to partner with us. At the expiration of the ongoing advert, we are going to pick the choice companies to partner with. “Before drawing the Private Partnership Agreements (PPA), the zone will inform the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Agency (NERC) before rolling out the first embedded electricity generation into the system by July 2014,’’ he said. Amoda said that about 35 companies had obtained application forms to partner with EKEDC on embedded power supply, adding that the EKEDC was looking for 100

companies to key into the scheme. He said that EKEDC was discussing with some big companies such as the Flour mills, Honeywell and others which were generating more than what they can use on captive power solution. Amoda, who lamented the increasing vandalism of

identified shortage of gas as another major factor that was militating against regular supply of electricity to the state. Amoda, who said that the company had the capacity to receive about 700 mega watts from the national grid, said that it hardly received 250 mega watts, leading to massive low shedding of electricity.

From left: Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Kaduna State Chapter, Dr. Aliyu Bappa, Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim and National Chairman of MDCN, Prof. Jonathan Azubuike at a News Conference in Kaduna.

Financial Reporting Standards, Impracticable - Micro-Finance Group

LAGOS - The National Association of Microfinance Banks

(NAMBs) said that the CBN’s directive to its members to adopt the

Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, Mr Titus Alams (left) in a handshake with the Chairman, NUJ, Plateau Chapter, Mr. Katdapba Gobum (right) during NUJ workshop for photojournalists, video cameramen and reporters on challenges of reporting in the Digital Age in Jos. With them is the state Commioner for Information, Mrs. Olivia Dazyam (2nd) and Director of Press Affairs, Government House, Mr. James Mannok.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) was impracticable for now. The association’s President, Mr. Jethro Akun, in an interview with newsmen in Lagos, appealed to the CBN to defer the implementation till 2016. Akun said that many of its members were in a fix because they were ignorant of the process. Akun said that majority of microfinance bank operators needed time, money and training to transit from the old ways to the internationally accepted standards. IFRS allows the investing

FG, Niger To Establish Staple Crop Processing Zone MINNA -The Federal and Niger State Governments will collaborate to establish a Staple Crops Processing Zone in Badeggi to boost food production in the state, an official has said. The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, told newsmen in Minna that already, 250 hectares of land covering 30 kms radius had been secured from communities for

facilities, said that EKEDC had being receiving low power allocations from the national grid, forcing the company to ration available electricity supply. He said the company was working relentlessly to improve electricity supply to the zone. The EKEDC boss

the processing zone. He also said that the state government would not pay compensation for the land. He said that the Federal Government had commissioned UNIDO to produce the master plan for the processing zone while the master plan was ready for presentation to the people of the state. The commissioner said that the Federal Government would be

responsible for the ecological study and consultants who would handle the aspect of processing, preparation and marketing of the staple crops. Matane said that the Federal Government would provide the necessary infrastructure such as roads, rail, power and water, to encourage the farmers to produce high yielding crops for local consumption and export. He said that Niger and other

States Rivers, Kogi, Lagos and Edo and Kano had been chosen as processing zones as part of the transformation agenda of boosting food production on a large scale. He said the state government had fulfilled its part of the project by providing 250 hectares of land, feeder roads and other farm inputs to improve rice production in the zone.

public and other stakeholders access to the record of operations of a firm. Only 10 out of the 900 microfinance bank operators have so far complied with the directive. The CBN directive expired on Dec. 31, 2013. The aim is to sanitise and stabilise the sector to repose the confidence of the investing public in it. Akun appealed to CBN not to apply the sledge hammer on the microfinance operators yet to comply with the standards. He said that applying a stringent measure on the sector could hinder the growth and survival of microfinance banks in Nigeria. According to him, many members of the operators are yet to fully comprehend the processes involved in it. “ We are not opposed to this policy and we are ready to comply with the standards. “ We are only appealing

for an extension of deadline for its compliance in order to become familiar with the processes involved. “We have written to the IFRC in Lagos for a meeting to discuss the need for better enlightenment on the pains and gains of the standards. “We need to have an opportunity of interacting with them (IFRC) in terms of trainings, workshops and seminars to understand the benefits of IFRS,’’ he said. He said that only 10 out of about 900 microfinance banks had complied, adding that such banks had to spend huge sums of money on training and the actual conversion itself. He urged CBN to give the operators an additional two years for the remaining 890 members to comply. He appealed to the regulatory authorities not to treat the issue of IFRS compliance as a punitive measure on microfinance banks. According to him, t he sector is a fragile one struggling to develop.


















































































































































































































5,667,684.64 180,335,447.50















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































21,921,670.86 2,026,965.39
























































































































Close 39298.97 666.79 2048 2516.69 171.5 323.8 1766.83 39.6 394.88 122

TOP TOP 10 10 LOSERS GAINERS Gain 81.32 31.75 7 4.61 2.5 2.39 1.92 1.85 1.72 1.5


Close 2808.87 39.9 188 67.35 18.97 27.41 6.2 3.61 4.21 3.59

Loss -2.1 -2 -

IN the last four days, terror groups have unleashed hell on innocent Nigerians, having bombed over 100 persons to death at Nyanyan Motor Park, Abuja and abducted about 100 female students in a Federal Government College in Borno State. Also yesterday about 11 persons were reportedly slaughtered in Borno by the notorious Boko Haram sect. This evil need to stop! TERROR groups in Northern Nigeria have, since the inception of the Jonathan administration unleashed mayhem on innocent citizens in most parts of the region with security agencies and the presidency promising almost on a daily basis to deal with the insurgence without any headway till date. LITTLE wonder then that the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr. Peter Voser raised the red flag that security situation in Nigeria had worsened in the last two years. Voser in a speech posted on the company’s website noted “the stealing and sabotage of crude oil intensified during the year under review thereby threatening its multi-billionairedollar business” and opined that shell alone cannot tackle the issues. THE Company’s chief executive recommended a multi-stakeholder approach as they have pushed for several years which has gone unheeded by the Nigerian authorities. THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER, is disturbed over the security situation in the country as the United States of America recently raised alarm over escalating insecurity of lives, property and businesses necessitating in its restricting the movement of its citizens within some states in Nigeria. WE are even more worried over the


Curtailing Evil Of Terror Groups implications of corporate citizens’ perceptions of our security on larger businesses and in particular, growth and development of the country. Unfortunately, efforts by Nigerian security to address the challenge have not yielded the desired results. IT is an incontrovertible fact that there could be no meaningful development in any society where security of lives and property is heavily under threat. Shell’s expose reveals of colossal sums of money lost through oil theft by criminals who, in our view act in concert with powerful and well connected Nigerians including even some unscrupulous officials of the nation’s security organisations. THE sad situation the nation finds itself is an attestation of the lack of political will by government over the years to deal decisively with the various security challenges that have arisen with one leading to the other, some of which now have ethnic, and religious colourations. KIDNAPPING of multinational oil workers in the Niger Delta went on for too long unaddressed until it metamorphosed into kidnap of innocent low income earners, a situation which speaks volumes of our unpreparedness to tackle the menace of kidnappers until the mother of the Finance Minister and Head of the economic team

of Mr. President was kidnapped by hoodlums to the utter embarrassment of the whole nation. CLEARLY, the Nigeria Police Force havebeen overstretched beyond its capacity in its attempts to fight terrorism and live to its responsibility of maintaining law and order and preventing crime and criminality. THE political class have equally not helped the situation as most of them are involved in arming youth groups to do their political billing who in turn go back to the trenches with such arms to perpetrate criminality against the people and the state. THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER is strongly of the view that if Nigeria must attain its national goals and objectives, the present administration must take proactive steps to fight insecurity in the land and restore hope and confidence amongst all stakeholders. BUT in all, we believe the President needs to exercise the political will to make this happen. Mr. President needs to throw away ethnic, sectional and other sentimental garbs and wear his nationalistic apparel to deal with insecurity in the country. INDEED, we join shell Petroleum Plc to recommend a well organised, multistakeholder approach to dealing with insecurity in the country. The Nigerian Army, Navy, Air force, Department of State Security Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigerian Immigration, Nigerian Customs and most importantly, the Nigeria Police Force need urgent overhaul. All outfits need better coordination to arrest the situation and make the country safer for all.


Considering Abortion Law In Nigeria

IN Nigeria, there are multiple sources of law, which include statutory law, customary law and Islamic law. Judicial decisions (that is, decisions of courts) also play a significant role as they elaborate the meaning, content and applicability of statutory, customary and Islamic laws. As a result, there are multiple sources of law on abortion. These are statutory law, received English law, customary law and Islamic law. At the top of all the law sources, however, is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999). The Constitution is superior to all laws and any law that is inconsistent with the constitution is void. The criminal law, which is statutory law, is the dominant source of law on abortion in Nigeria. The reason for this is that the Constitution prohibits unwritten crimes and until recently, customary and Islamic laws of crime were unwritten. Since 1999, Islamic criminal law has been codified as statutory law in most of the northern states. A. Statutory Provisions The major statutes relating to abortion in Nigeria are the Criminal Codes of the Southern states of the country and the Penal Codes of the northern states. However, with the codification of Sharia criminal law in many of the northern states, the Penal Codes are no longer the only criminal statutes applicable and even in states where the Penal Code is the main criminal legislation; it has been amended to reflect Shariabased values and standards. Criminal Code The relevant provisions of the Criminal Code are Sections 228, 229, 230 and 297. Section 228 provides that: Any person who, with intent to procure miscarriage of a woman whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. Section 229 provides that: Any woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. Section 230 provides that:

Any person who unlawfully supplies to or procures for any person anything whatever, knowing that it is intended to be unlawfully used to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years. Section 297 of the Criminal Code provides that A person is not criminally responsible for performing in

Code provides that: Any person who, with intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman, regardless of whether she is pregnant or not, does any act that causes her death is liable to imprisonment for 14 years. Commentary 1. The law as found in the

lawful administering, supplying or procuring which will not amount to criminal abortion. The scope of these sections was clarified in the case of R v. Bourne (1938) which decided the relevant sections of the English Offences against the Persons Act of 1861. In R

• Mohammed Adoke, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.

good faith and with reasonable care and skill a surgical operation upon any person for his benefit, or upon an unborn child for the preservation of the mother’s life, if the operation is reasonable, having regard to the patient’s state at the time and to all the circumstances of the case. Penal Code The Penal Code provisions are substantially the same as those in the Criminal Code. Section 232 of the Penal Code provides that: Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry, shall if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman, be punished with imprisonment for fourteen years. Explanation: A woman who causes herself to miscarry is within the meaning of this section. Section 233 of the Penal

Criminal and Penal Codes follows the English Offenses against the Persons Act of 1861. 2. Sections 297 of the Criminal Code and 232 of the Penal Code clearly permit therapeutic abortion for the preservation of the life of the mother. 3. The word “unlawfully” used to qualify “administers” in sections 228 and 229: and “supplies” or “procures” in section 230 of the Criminal Code suggests that there can be

v Bourne, Dr. Bourne induced an abortion of the pregnancy of a young girl of 14 who had been raped. Dr. Bourne was acquitted of the offence of criminal abortion under the 1861 Act on grounds that the continuation of the pregnancy would have resulted in the girl becoming a “mental wreck”. According to the court, the word “unlawfully” used in the 1861 Act implied that abortions, in the law’s contemplation could be lawful or unlawful and it is not unlawful when performed

with the intention of preserving a woman’s life or health. Therefore, abortion to preserve either or both the mental and physical health of a woman is not criminal abortion under the criminal code. 5. The decision in R v. Bourne means that under the 1861 English law, abortion is not unlawful where there is need to safeguard the Woman’s health whether physically or mentally. Since Nigerian statutory provisions are restatements of the 1861. the decision in R v. Bourne is relevant and its liberal effect is also relevant to the law on abortion in Nigeria. The decision in Bourne was reaffirmed in R v. Edgal, a decision of the West African Court of Appeal (WACA). The WACA is placed at par with the Court Appeal decisions in Nigeria and so its decisions constitute binding judicial precedent. 6. The Bourne case which provides the only known judicial precedent in interpreting the meaning of the word “unlawfully” for the purposes of sections 228-230 of the Criminal Code clearly expands considerations that may be duly taken into account beyond what people ordinarily think. In practical terms, this means that contrary to popular belief, abortion is not as restricted under Nigerian law. Service providers may validly consider the mental health indication or even non-life threatening physical health indication. 7. Where the abortion procedure entails a surgical procedure, the law requires that a high standard of care is maintained in dealing with patients. Section 297 of the Criminal Code allows surgical interference with pregnancy where undertaken for therapeutic reasons that is, in good faith to preserve or save the mother’s life as prescribed by the Penal Code or for the preservation of the mother’s life as prescribed by the Criminal Code. 8. Where surgical abortion is legal because it is carried out

to save the life of the mother, the existing legal provisions can only be interpreted to give protection to any person who purporting to hold requisite medical qualifications. 9. “What is the standard of reasonable care and skill?” This is the standard care and skills that is acceptable within the different categories of health care providers. CHALLENGES The phrase ‘any person” used in section 297 recognizes that there are other health care service providers apart from medical doctors and it seems that all that the law requires of them is that they demonstrate reasonable care and skill, at a standard reasonable to service providers in the same group. However, given the high rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria, which is not unconnected to the widespread use of traditional doctors and birth attendants, the lack of specificity of the law as it is, is condemnable. This provision means that the law fails to protect women from unsafe abortion in the hands of unqualified persons. • The criminal and penal codes are based on a law, which was passed almost 150 years ago and is no longer responsive to the magnitude of unsafe abortion and its consequences. • Erroneous but widespread belief persists about the scope of lawful abortion. WAY FORWARD • There is an urgent need for abortion law reform to be undertaken through both the legislature and judiciary. • There is an urgent need for the de-briefing the public and all social actors of the notion that all abortions are illegal under the existing law and educating them as to the scope of the law in affording access to lawful abortion. • There is need to mobilize popular support for the law reform by means of: • Advocacy • Popular education (mass awareness) • Capacity building for the justice agents such as the police, lawyers and judges. • Courtesy: IPAS

“The phrase ‘any person” used in section 297 recognizes that there are other health care service providers apart from medical doctors and it seems that all that the law requires of them is that they demonstrate reasonable care and skill, at a standard reasonable to service providers in the same group.”


Shield Corps Members Against Electoral Hoodlums

AS gubernatorial election in Ekiti, Osun and 2015 general elections are fast approaching, corps members and their wellwishers across our dear nation are panicking and trembling owing to 2011 tragic experience. It is a common knowledge that the nomination of Professor Attahiru Jega as Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2010 gave birth to the new idea of using corps members for electoral officer. Prior to the enthronement of the incumbent INEC boss, the idea of using corps members for electoral officer was absolutely inconceivable. Perhaps, the previous electoral boss believed that fresh graduates might not possess the skill required to handle such a sensitive national exercise. However, it is heartwarming that the corps members deployed for 2011 general elections justified the confidence reposed on them by INEC. Remarks by vast majority of Nigerians suggested that they did not only performed excellently during the election alone but also did a quality job during voters registration exercise. To a considerable extent, the idea of charging corps members with the responsibility of electoral officer in 2011 yielded a positive result of efficiency, transparency as well as free and fair election. Painfully, the incurable injury emanated from the INEC modus operandi of partnering with National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the last general elections calls for sober reflection. The unprecedented callous murder of some corps members in 2011 post-election violent cannot fade off in hurry. Oh! May God grant

eternal rest to the departed souls. Surely, families and friends of the last general elections victims will be ceaselessly remembering the bitter incident especially when election is approaching but may God give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Really, a patriotic citizen could die for his nation. But if a man should die for the nation, the death must not come via the senseless hoodlums who are waging war against the basic tenet of democracy. Yes, it must not through the vagabond who after receiving a common loaf of bread from the country’s enemy can go ahead and set the whole nation ablaze. However, without a slight element of doubt, the youth who are in one year mandatory national service will not relent their efforts in discharging any responsibility assigned to them. Without compromising, they are ready to serve the country under the deep and dark climate conditions but they must not be left alone. At this juncture, the burning question that is eagerly begging for answer now is, can corps members lives be fully secured in the course of June 21 governorship poll in Ekiti, August 9 gubernatorial poll in Osun and 2015 general elections? It should be recalled that in the recently concluded voters registration exercise in Ekiti, a corps member, Mr. Thompson Enobong was reportedly beaten up. Reports clearly stated that the corps member was hospitalised due to the attack. Now, if a corps member should be beaten and hospitalised during voters registration exercise, what will happen during the actual election? This is a red signal and the case


must be handled accordingly. Nigeria is a civilized society and after almost one and half decade of uninterrupted democratic

dealing with corps members cruelly during election is barbaric and must be discouraged at all cost. Election does not call for infringement of

had put in place security measures to protect members of the National Youth Service Corps and other ad hoc staff that would be deployed for the 2015 general elections. In the same vein, when

• Prof. Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman

• Corps members

rule, The Giant of Africa ought to be politically matured. How long would violence remain inseparable feature of our electoral process? Election is not a “do or die affair”. It is a process of allowing the bona fide adult citizen to choose their leader. Those who are desiring pleasure in imbroglio should please desist from it for the best interest of this great nation. No rational parent is praying to witness the funeral of his or her child. The idea of targeting and

Professor Attahiru Jega and some other commissioners of INEC paid a courtesy visit to the New NYSC Director-General, BrigGen Johnson Olawumi last month, The INEC boss said the commission was working hard to avert the suffering encountered by corps members engaged in electoral duties in the past. However, INEC boss has spoken. But, is he a law enforcement agent? If he assumed the position of law enforcement agent today, can he present at the thirtysix states of the federation

fundamental human right. Interestingly, the INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega acknowledged that corps members passed through hell in the last general elections in his paper delivered during a workshop organised by the Nigerian Women Trust Fund at the electoral Institute Abuja on Monday 24th February this year. In the paper titled “The 2015 General Elections, Conversations With Nigeria Stakeholders”, Jega disclosed that INEC

at a time? Can Jega protect all corps members at different polling units of the federation simultaneously? The issue on ground requires a collective efforts. Each tiers of government needs to organise security stakeholders meeting. Nigeria law enforcement

agents should also be determined to put everything under control while corps members and other electoral ad hoc staff in the forthcoming elections should endeavour to be vigilant enough. Anybody caught in the act of fomenting trouble should be made a deterrent for others by judiciary. Laconically, if Nigeria should avert last general elections’ tragic experience, security measures must be given a serious priority before, during and after the forthcoming elections.

“Nigeria is a civilized society and after almost one and half decade of uninterrupted democratic rule, The Giant of Africa ought to be politically matured. How long would violence remain inseparable feature of our electoral process?”

Child Health And You

Ensuring Survival Of Premature Babies

THEY are born too soon! They are born with a plethora of difficulties and challenges!! They are born with a compromised chance of survival!!! They too, as any other creatures made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26 and 27}, also have a right to survive and a right to live!!!! These are the products of conception that are delivered much earlier than their Expected Day of Delivery (EDD) or Expected Day of Confinement (EDC). In medical terms, they are referred to as Premature Babies. They are born before 37 completed weeks of gestation or pregnancy. The normal duration of pregnancy is computed from a formula that assumes a 40week period of gestation with the expectation that the products of such normal duration are already well-formed and equipped with the relevant structural and functional ‘readiness’ to survive outside the womb. Therefore, those born as premature babies are delivered without the adequate ‘preparedness’ or ‘readiness’ to cope with the stresses and challenges of life outside the womb; indeed survival outside the womb. Over the years, and with extensive research and scientific inquiry, cutting-edge technologies have been evolved and developed to recognize such premature babies together with their various and varied difficulties and challenges and, indeed, interventions to facilitate their survival, growth and development. In order to insure the survival, growth and development of premature babies, the world has set aside a day to be celebrated as the World Prematurity Day (WPD) desirably for a myriad of justifiable reasons with salutary objectives. Every year, 17th of November is set aside and now designated the WPD to draw attention deservedly, locally, nationally and internationally, to the plethora of challenging issues concerning the peculiar matters relating to the prevention, recognition, difficulties, needs, interventions, future outcomes and abilities/ disabilities of premature babies. The effective celebration of the WPD is the Premium for this Insurance. The story of WPD and 17th of November is instructive and remarkable. Globally, there exists the World Prematurity Network (WPN) which is a conglomeration of various international groups and bodies interested in, and connected with, the matters relating to the prevention, recognition, difficulties, needs, interventions, future outcomes and abilities/ disabilities of premature babies together with

support for the research and future scientific inquiry into the composite and holistic survival, growth and development of premature babies. The WPN includes several Companies concerned with various aspects of prematurity. These include, among several others, critical care equipment for premature babies, intervention drugs for their critical care, facilities as adjuvant to critical care of these babies and state-of-the-art rehabilitative care devices. Among WPN are also Consumer Groups that ensure equity and quality, and best practices and also Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), in the production, marketing sale, purchase and use of the critical care products geared towards the survival, growth and development of premature babies. Also included in the WPN are several international Parent Groups that have also become formidable in drawing global awareness and attention to the bothersome problems confronting the world’s enlarging population of premature babies. Through the joint and collaborative efforts of the global members of the WPN, the world is mobilized to participate in actions/ activities that are geared towards the prevention of prematurity, critical care of these babies, rehabilitation of the survivors of premature births and, indeed, the comprehensive attention to the plethora of issues related to the emerging difficulties and challenges confronting these unique population of human beings who deserve no less entitlement to survival and decent productive life. Several media moieties also collaborate under the bigger canopy of Global Social Media Outreach that help in effective information communication of the matters relating to the prevention, recognition, difficulties, needs, interventions, future outcomes and abilities/ disabilities of premature babies. The powerful influence and impact of the media, particularly the growing sphere of social interactive and network media, cannot be overemphasized. The media represents the force and voice of the voiceless but remarkably vulnerable population of premature babies deserving of world attention and awareness drawn to their plight to excite the desired empathy and support for their total and holistic wellbeing. Remembering that information is power and that information is strength, the media have an enormous global responsibility to communicate the appropriate health messages to garner a global critical mass

for the benefit of premature babies. Effective Communication of the peculiar circumstances of the premature babies should deservedly muster the desired global action and

United States of America (USA) committed to the pervading matters of newborn infants particularly premature newborn infants, the March of Dimes, was also strategising towards

unique difficulties of premature babies and their encumbered families. These International Groups included, among others, March of Dimes in the USA, the National Premmie Foundation in Australia and the Little Big Souls in Africa. Thus, the second International Prematurity Awareness Day celebration was, indeed, an

force to confront and hopefully surmount the challenges and difficulties of premature babies in the world. A very important and unique member of the WPN is the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI). In 2008, the EFCNI convoked the first Meeting of Parents’ Organizations in Europe, specifically in Rome, Italy, to sensitize and draw attention to the peculiar circumstances of premature babies. The Meeting decided to adopt an ‘Awareness Day’ to highlight the peculiar problems of premature babies and the unique difficulties of the families of such infants. The 17th of November was remarkably chosen as the day has an emotional significance for a veritable founding member of the EFCNI who, after the death of his preterm triplets in December 2006, successfully became the father of a healthy female newborn infant delivered on the 17 th November 2008. Thus, the 17th November 2008 appears to be the date of the initial original birth of the need to have a date set aside for the institutionalization of awareness to the plight and peculiar needs of the population of premature babies and their burdened families. As the EFCNI was crystallizing the Initiative for awareness to the peculiar needs and circumstances of premature babies, another body in the

the same Initiative and circumstantially also chose the 17 th November 2008 for its initial intervention with the idea of a day for the celebration. Indeed, in the USA, the MARCH OF Dimes celebrates November as Prematurity Awareness Month. The Initiative to celebrate the awareness drawn to the peculiar difficulties and challenges of premature babies and their families heightened and culminated in the celebration of the first International Prematurity Awareness Day by the EFCNI on the 17 th November 2009. This celebration involved several activities and events that uniquely and innovatively drew attention to the peculiar circumstances of premature babies and their families relating to prevention, care, rehabilitation and attention to survivors with their unique burden on society and the challenge to address these infants and their peculiar difficulties. By the 17th November 2010, the momentum of the celebration of the International Prematurity Awareness Day had become phenomenal culminating in the second International celebration on that day. Instructively and of note was the nominal internationalization of the 2010 celebration with the participation of other relevant interest groups committed to the

international collaboration nominally and programmatically. The Australian and African Organizations were both members of the ‘Global Alliance’ for the commitment to prematurity and its myriad of difficulties and challenges. The World Prematurity Day was first jointly founded in May 2010 in New York by EFCNI of Europe, March of Dimes of USA and the Little Big Souls International Charitable Foundation for Africa. Further progress on the celebration Initiative culminated in a nomenclatural metamorphosis with the birth and formal launching, together with the Australian National Premmie Foundation, of the first World Prematurity Day (WPD) on the 17 th November 2011. The Global Alliance also galvanized the world impact of the celebration through the social interactive and networking media using the ‘Facebook’. Effective Information Communication on the matters related to the prevention, critical care, peculiar difficulties, the unique challenges of survivors of premature births and the unenviable burden of the families of these infants was facilitated through the Facebook and such other celebration activities and innovative events. The second WPD was celebrated on the 17th November 2012 with more global participation and the desired


impact. More countries actively got on the campaign to celebrate the heightening of the awareness to the peculiar circumstances and the unique needs and demands of premature babies. The critical situation of the families of these premature infants occasioned by the birth of such babies was also highlighted. Also brought to the fore is the comprehensive support needed by these families, and their premature babies, to achieve the desired quality of life denominated in useful and productive life. In different countries, the WPD is celebrated with imaginatively innovative activities, actions and events that are capable of drawing public attention to the peculiar problems of premature babies. These include public sensitization lectures/ seminars, video shows, road walks, visits to Intensive Care Units for Premature Babies, Prematurity Awareness Campaigns and Shows by Performing Artistes and Celebrities, Media Shows and Poster Displays. Also, the use of various Social Network Media, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, among several others, has increased the thrust and impetus of the celebration of the WPD. These interactive media add an international dimension to the celebration with an effortless ease and with a seamless overlay. The Institute of Child Health, University of Benin, Benin City participated in the celebration of the World Prematurity Day for the first time in 2012. In collaboration with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), the Institute was featured on the 17th November 2012 on a National Network Programme: ‘AM Express’. During the Programme, the discourse on Prematurity was comprehensively addressed and effectively communicated by the author of this presentation, a Professor of Child Health and Neonatology in the University of Benin and a Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, for the desired effect on the public; the rekindling of the awareness regarding the peculiar issues of premature babies. The NTA, in collaboration with the Institute, featured other similar presentations of the author on Prematurity for continued and enhanced impact to address the problems of premature babies and their families. The Institute discharged this celebration of the 2012 WPD under its innovative Intervention: the Public Enlightenment and Mobilization Programme (PEMP) through its Action Network, the Perinatal Action Network for the Newborn (PANN).


IN discussing light entertainment, let’s try the definitions - It’s such things as films, television and radio performances, etc. that are intended to amuse or interest people, the town, or the group provides a wide choice of entertainment. There will be live entertainment (performed then; not recorded) throughout the day. It’s light entertainment (comedy) the Edo cultural group from Benin City, Nigeria or the Atilogun from Eastern part of Nigeria or the Ogunde group from Ibadan or the Taike group from Kano, give good entertainment value. This means a lot of amusement and interest. Entertainment industry or business existing in Nigeria and other cultures. Entertainment could make one to be enthralled or to make someone to be interested and exited so that they listen or watch something very closely and carefully. Children are always enthralled when they listen to interesting stories. To entertain is to amuse or interest people in a way that gives them pleasure. Olukoye entertained the children with stories, songs and drama. A museum is to entertain as well as educate. It is not all radio or television programming is serious or of vital social concern. A great number of hours are set aside simply for entertainment and these are the hours which build the popularity of radio and television and win and hold audience. Light entertainment seems to be a loose term often used by many radio and television stations to cover a wide field of programming. These are book and short story reading, serialized drama, particularly light and humorous drama (Papa Ajasco, Super Story) in television variety programmes featuring light musical entertainment, comedians, comics, community singing, some types of listeners letter programmes, quizzes and panel games. The more common types of light entertainment are variety programmes quizzes and panel games. They are usually staged before live audiences in cinemas and public halls and sometimes in studios where the station has a suitable large studio. The presence of an audience does much to add to the spirits of a variety programme. Variety Programme Variety entertainment is largely dependent upon the amount of talent available for them to succeed. Variety entertainment in most countries are better off than others in the sense that almost every where, there is some talent available for the light entertainment producer to bring into broadcasting. In African communities established country theatre and singing parties have been enjoying wide popularity in both urban and rural areas. The group attract natural entertainments and comics who express some aspects of traditional culture. They always pull very large audiences which radio and television give them. The amateurs talent or entertainer guest is one type of programme which uncovers new talent and helps raise the entertainment standard. Amateur entertainers such as minstrel, artiste, artist vocalists, musicians, comic or comedians, fire-eaters, jugglers punch, hoofer, cancan dancer, show girls, clowns, bands choirs, story tellers, poets are invited to take part in series of competitions and their performances are judged by the studio audience. The programme series may be staged in many towns and local government head quarters centers until finally national winners are selected. Quiz and Panel Games Quiz and panel games progrmames had formed one of the audience builders in broadcasting industry. They have been very successful in many countries even though their audiences have been deduced with the introduction of televisions in some countries. However, some African

Unveiling Today’s Print And Br (Nigeria) light entertainment producers have introduced them with success to African audience both in radio and television. There are many kinds of quiz programmes ranging from more serious educative general knowledge quiz to the lighter programme played mainly for laughs. The idea on which a quiz or panel game is based is called the format or concept. The more serious type of quiz takes the form of a competition either between individual contestants or groups of contestants representing schools, employees of large institution (banks, government, departments, railways, ports authorities) towns and districts — local councils, companies (Nigerian Breweries) air ways, Nigerian police and others. A lighter style of quiz concept or format can be built around a popular station personality. The master of ceremony (M.C.) quizzes volunteer contestants. If the station carries advertising, prices can be offered by the stations advertisers to winning contestants. The panel game on the other hand is a variation on the quiz. It consists of a panel of four personalities under a master of ceremonies who discuss a subject in a light hearted way. It may take the form of battle of the sexes with two men and two women on the panel or it may be a guessing game in which the panel is asked to guess by questioning the identity of an unseen guest who is later interviewed by the M.C. Panel game can be highly informative educative and entertaining. Quiz and panel game are pleasure and amusement of delight. It could be pop music of refreshment, relaxation and recreational during excursion day out, pleasure trip and social gathering, get together, garden party, flower show jamboree etc. Planning and Preparation Both the quiz and the panel game before a live audience require systematic, detailed organization by the producer for an amateur talent quest or lighter quiz, the participants should be auditioned before the performance for some artiste can ‘freeze up’ at a microphone and this will be evident at the audition. The audition allows the producer to find out some personal and other facts about the contestants which are later summarized on individual cards for the Mc to use in his introductions and interviews. Special seating plan could be worded out where a number of contestants are taking part by bringing each of them to the microphone with a minimum delay (see microphone and voices) the placing of the microphones and the seating of the audience must also be given careful consideration. The question is, can every member of the audience see what is happening on stage? How is the audience reaction to be picked up? Does the audience know what it has to when to, laugh, when to clap? Most audience participation programmes begin with a ‘Warm up’. This is not recorded or broadcast, but consists simply of some activity on stage to get the audience into a good mood, perhaps funny stories told by the Mc. The master ceremony tells the audience during the warm up, what it can do to contribute to the success of the broadcast. If he is an experience master ceremony he may even have to rehearse the audience laughing or applauding which is often very necessary if the audience reaction is to be clearly heard in radio. Seen or viewed on TV. Audience participation shows must run smoothly without stops and starts. This can only be possible by good planning and preparation by the producer or the station.

“In African communities established country theatre and singing parties have been enjoying wide popularity in both urban and rural areas. The group attract natural entertainments and comics who express some aspects of traditional culture. They always pull very large audiences which radio and television give them.”


Action Project The following was a light programme staged by an African light entertainment producer and produced weekly in a public hall before a live audience. It was a great success with its intended city audience. If you were the producer, how would you go about organizing it? What preliminary planning is necessary? How would you stage it? How would you recruit contestants? What kinds of microphone would you use and where would you put them? What kind of script would you write for it? This is an exercise in organization and production. It was an 80 minutes programme titled who’s calling? (Aspinall 1973). The Mc was well-known station personality with great talent for adlibbing and making jokes. The idea behind the programme was simply that four young men each competed in turn for the opportunity to take an attractive and an intelligent young woman out to dinner and dancing at a city club at the expense of the radio station. On stage were two small tables each with a dummy telephones. The tables were separated by a hanging curtain so that the young men and young women could not see each other. Each young men in turn ‘telephoned’ the girl and tried to convince her by telling tall stories about himself that he was the man of her dreams. She would try by her questions to find out the truth about him, she would also describe what she thought he looked like by his voice and manner. At the end of the programme, the four young men would be brought on stage together and the audience would be asked to vote on who was the most eligible. The Mc would briefly interview each young man. The girl then had a ‘Casting Vote’ and the two would go off to enjoy the evening. Participants and the role of participants in light entertainment will be acquitted with these materials. The producer, Director, Assistants to

producer, script writers researchers, cameramen, sound/Audio mixer, vision mixer / switcher, camera unit control, floor manager, VTR personnel, production service set design and construction costume/ make-up, master control Mc person and presenter/ Host. VOICES AND MICROPHONES Good voice and friendly personalities at the microphone are the backbone of broadcasting.

play thou dom Th 20 c whic mea to an code disc wav and born Th brou mod near broa

Journalists on duty

Today over two hundred thousand men and women are paid to speak into the microphones approximately forty thousand radio and television and cable stations in U.S.A. while there are two hundred and fifty radio, television and cable in Nigeria, thousands in England, Canada and Japan. It will be safe to say that over ten excess of a million individual world wide spend time, communicating to audiences over the radio wave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. These voices moving through the ether cover every square inch of the planet’s surface land and sea. There is rarely a moment of the day or night when a broadcast voice performance cannot be heard or seen

throug light. villag Actu fifteen prima both f orato perfor Plato public Voic a desi listen Dut The perfor Micro refine articu intona of a b largel caster statio the s

roadcast Journalism (11)

ying his or her craft from one of the usand of channels scattered across the mestic AM, FM, VHR and UHF bands. he broadcast is a by-product of turn of the century technological ingenuity and vision ch Guglielmo Marconi who conceived the ans of transmitting sound from one point nother without benefit of wires but rather e through air (see vol. 1). Later innovators covered that human uttering onto radio ves created the first electronic mass medium eventually “announcing” profession was n. he announcer as he came to be known, ught about a dramatic transformation in con des. Today most of us are informed about rly every aspect of daily concern by adcast voice performers whose words move

commercial spots bed music, sound effects. Microphone Personality Microphone personality quite often bears no relation to a persons real characters. It is a blend of voice and manner of delivery. A good microphone personality calls for a well-placed voice and a relaxed and friendly manner. The best microphone voice are in the middle to low registers — neither so shrill as to be annoying, nor so deep as to be unclear. Microphone personalities should send confident and self assured not tense or hesitant. They should talk with the listeners or viewers, not at them. The phrasing and the pacing of their speech is each and natural not forced, nor jerky. They possess their unique personalities and these personalities are reflected in their presentation (perhaps in deejay presentations mostly). Three approaches are employed to be listed as (a) personality (b) programme (music) host and (c) staff announcer. These are qualities,

gh the vast expanses of global space at speed of Voice performers have made the world a global ge through their procession. ually, until the advent of the printing press in the nth century, the individual voice sewed as the ary instrument for communicating information factual and fictional. Academicians, story tellers rs, troubadours and town criers were voice rmers in their own right and era. In ancient time Cicero and quintillion practiced art later taught c speaking in Rome and Greece ce performers over thousand of years have shared ire to be both intelligible and interesting to their ners and still, they are day. ties of Broadcast Voice Performer e primary responsibility of the broadcast voice rmer is to communicate in an intelligible way. ophone talent require the development and ement of a host of basic speaking skills including ulation, enunciation, pronunciation variety, ation and naturalness to list a few. The daily duties broadcast voice or microphone performer depend ly on the position (for example, deejay, news r, boot announcer,) and often vary depending on n and market size. Market size means the size of tation, area of coverage both in news and

which attract us to a voice, and they are the basic attributes of the best leading microphone personalities. Personality They first elevate their voice to celebrity status. At every broadcasting station taking the personality approach, air people “are” the product. That is the voice fill the air during the course of the broadcast day and something different is expected from each one of them but all must have a discernible microphone personality. A producer must study the voices he hears on the air from his own and from other stations. Voices are the primary element of programming. These supernovas of the air (voices) are most prevalent during morning drive-time.

Media Humor and wit are the qualities most attributed to these microphone voices and personalities. Morning personalities are rated to begetters and income generators. They set tone and tenor for the broadcast day accorded star status with good stories. Morning personalities generally are the longest on experience at the station in major relevance advertisement or markets. With their voices in advertising, they try to trick us into buying when we might not want to buy. This is acceptable up to a point and we have passed that point. Programme Hosts Programme hosts convey personality and they do so strictly within the context of the stations overall sound and image. The vast group of radio voice performance must adhere strictly to a rigidly defined set of rules to — the — on — air discourse. Programme or music deejays bridge the space or breaks between musical selections d-libs and humor are often a part of their repertoire, but economy is the operative term. Say what you have to say and get off, is the rule. Staff Announcer The last category is the staff announcers. They are least visible and seldom enjoyed man recognition. They are also called newsreaders. Good speech is particularly important for the announcer and newsreader. The announcer is the anchor-man of a radio or television station He may be heard only briefly, but he is heard throughout long hours of the day and over a period of years he can exert considerable influence on the speech standards of listeners. Great care should be given to the selection of announcers particularly where the lingua franca of a country may be a foreign language. The standard of speech observed by the announcer and newsreader should stand as a model for others to follow. Voice Quality It follows that voice is important in radio and television and a major criterion today. It is generally said of the announcer that he should have: clear diction, correct pronunciation in every language that he uses, the ability to read easily and fluently and without any distraction vocal mannerisms or regional accents, an ability to communicate ideas clearly, a pleasing, friendly and acceptable microphone personality. A deep, resonant voice blends well with the format, a smooth medium — paced delivery is what is needed. The announcer should learn how to maximize and control his voice rather than manipulate it. Regard your voice as an instrument and learn to play it like virtuoso. Cultivate your voice box to its ultimate output to be broadcast voice performers key objective. An announcer must be well informed over a wide range of subjects, music, sports, current affairs. Never be caught unprepared. Read and digest everything that is to be aired before airing it, You can’t take intelligence with our listeners. They know when you are out in left field, trying to catch a ball hit to right. The announcer who is also a newsreader must keep up to date with the background to the news and thoroughly familiarize himself with names of people and places which appear in the news. All announcers, programmers must develop a sense of timing. They have to have a sense of clock. This is business that sells time and don’t forget it. We deal in increment of time — thirty and sixty seconds commercials, five minute network news feeds fifteen second or ten second promos and so on. Learn to time your self with stop watch or a clock. Time is the essence of broadcasting business. Our broadcast voice performers must possess a good command of the language and must be well read in a wide range of subjects. Good readers are good communicators and that is what we look for in announcers. Basic verbal skills, pronunciation and articulation rank high. They are important to on-air credibility. When a listener hears something mispronounced or slurred, he feels cheated. Accents are nearly always perceived as negatives to on-air performers. Regional accents are a distraction to the listener and generally unappealing. Dialect suggest inexperience and sound unrefined, and a bit crude. Clichés as earlier remarked, are unwelcome particularly when worn-out clichés and repetitiveness that can turn off listeners.

“It follows that voice is important in radio and television and a major criterion today. It is generally said of the announcer that he should have: clear diction, correct pronunciation in every language that he uses, the ability to read easily and fluently and without any distraction vocal mannerisms or regional accents, an ability to communicate ideas clearly, a pleasing, friendly and acceptable microphone personality.”

Of Primordialism And Security Issues Nationalism Security With


WHEN Adolf Hitler, the potentate of the Third Reich, in the heat of the Xenophobia against the Jews and other coloured peoples of Europe, launched a massive pogrom against these so-called “weaker species”, it was justified on the grounds of Aryan supremacy. When Rwandan Hutus launched a genocidal war of attrition against their Tutsi brothers’, there was a reason for it. When the four wars of Yugoslav secession broke out, it was based on long-held, deep-seated animosities among the groups constituting the country. When the Nigerian Civil War broke out in 1967, something triggered it off. It is against the backdrop of the aforementioned cases that I interrogate the hate-filled expletives hurled at Indigbo by Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a prominent Nigerian of Yoruba extraction, some months ago, and their implications for the country’s security. In three highly abusive, derisive, and derogatory articles (“LAGOS, THE IGBO AND THE SERVANTS OF TRUTH”, “THE BITTER TRUTH ABOUT THE IGBO”, and “A WORD FOR THOSE WHO CALL ME A TRIBALIST”) circulated in both social and regular media – national and international FFK deliberately stoked the fire of violent conflict by exhuming long-buried divisive issues bothering on why Nigerians should be wary of Igbo domination; the same fears that activated the Volcano that almost pulverized the entire country between 1967-1970. His, is the latest in a long tradition among prominent Nigerians that stretches back to the onset of the much-vaunted Nigerian project (?). The implications of FFK’s highly prejudicial statements for national security are legion – thorny issues that are capable of blowing the country into smithereens several times over if not properly handled. At delicate times like these, when the country is already battling with other centrifugal forces threatening its continued

existence on several fronts, it can ill-afford the divisive issues raised by FFK in his highly controversial and reproachful write-ups. For a country with a woeful history of very internecine and intractable conflicts: one major Civil War (1967-1970) and (approximately 38) sundry other low intensity insurgencies (CRESNET, 2001:1) – political, ethnic, religious et al – and where conditions on ground are volatile, Nigeria can ill-afford another major national crisis. FFK’s vituperations constitutes criminal incitement; unguarded statements that are capable of heating up the polity several times over and further endangering the already fragile unity among the heterogeneous groups domiciled within the country’s borders, if not summarily and properly addressed. It is only Nigeria that people make uncensored statements that threaten public peace without concerned authorities taking commensurate steps to check the likely deleterious effects of such careless pronouncements on the larger body politic. In saner climes, a trouble shooter like FFK would have been arrested and prosecuted for inciting the public against another indigent group. His words are not only criminal, but pose a major security threat to the continued existence of Nigeria as a united sovereign state. The World War II Holocaust was preceded by massive propaganda against the Jews and other coloured people on the grounds of racial superiority. But under the caveat of racial superiority lay the real reason for this mass murder – the fear of increasing Jewish domination of all facets of German national life – industry, arts, academia et al. Thus, before the commencement of the war proper, there was already deepseated, widespread xenophobia against the Jews living in Europe. It took the breaking out of hostilities for Hitler and his

bloodthirsty goons to commence the practical expression of their long-held animosities towards the Jews and other coloured groups in Europe. The events in Rwanda and Yugoslavia are two contemporary cases of how massive propaganda preceded genocidal attacks by one group against other indigent groups. FFk’s threat that “history will repeat itself in this country”, if the Igbos living and making their living in Lagos “continue to denigrate and belittle the

response mechanism to act as bulwark against the outbreak of violent conflicts in Nigeria. Unlike the usual practice where the authorities wait until a conflict escalates before reacting to stem it, I am calling on concerned authorities – at national and state levels - to immediately step into this brewing crisis between Igbos and Yorubas living in and around Lagos. The Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern part of the country has already exerted a massive

catastrophe. Such a move will help in building confidence among the Igbo population residing in Lagos, and assure other groups in the country that they can reside and subsist in any part of the country. It will also go a long way in discouraging other chauvinists like him from acting in like manner in the foreseeable future. This will, in no small way, ensure that the nationbuilding process continues

• Mohammed Abubakar, IG-P

Yorubas” is as careless as it is provocative, and should be speedily addressed by the authorities to avoid ugly scenarios of any kind. Such careless pronouncements are capable of triggering off violent confrontations of massive proportions between Igbos living in Lagos and its environs, and their Yoruba hosts. I have always argued for the adoption of a more proactive

toll on the country’s resources and security capabilities to breaking point. The likely consequences of another major crisis on the South-Western front must be averted. To forestall this likely scenario, it is advised that Mr. FFK be immediately called to order by the authorities, and warned to desist forthwith from firing further disparaging salvos at Igbos, before he leads this country into an avoidable

“The World War II Holocaust was preceded by massive propaganda against the Jews and other coloured people on the grounds of racial superiority. But under the caveat of racial superiority lay the real reason for this mass murder – the fear of increasing Jewish domination of all facets of German national life – industry, arts, academia et al.”

unfettered. However, a more comprehensive step towards checking the general pandemic of ethnic bigotry and all other forms of prejudice posing security challenges to the country’s continued existence would be for the Nigerian Government to do a thorough review of the country’s moribund constitution, especially as it concerns the definition of who is a Nigerian. All the incongruities in the explanation of who qualifies to hold Nigerian citizenship in this parent law must be corrected. The ambiguous definition of who is a Nigerian as captured in the several constitutions the country has had since 1960 is largely responsible for the animosities that have defined relations among the several groups constituting Nigeria – a development that has acted as the major stumbling block to

the nation-building process, and one of the greatest threats to national security. This issue has been consistently pointed out by both experts and casual observers of political developments in Nigeria in the past without concrete efforts made to address it. All the past attempts at constitutional review have tended to relegate this primary issue to the background in preference for secondary issues. Again, Nigerian leaders must wake up to the realities of the times and commence the processes that will ensure that every Nigerian, regardless of primordial considerations, is properly catered for. All injustices of the past that have seen the citizens of one of the potentially richest country on the African continent living like Serfs in the land of their ancestors must be corrected. Nigerians are naturally among the most peace-loving and productive people in the world. All they need to bring out their best is encouragement from those at the helm of affairs. Most people resort to whipping up ethnic or other kinds of sentiments when they feel the collective interests of their subnational groups are not being properly addressed by the larger body politic. Responsible, accountable, transparent, and peoplecentered leadership will go a long way in inculcating true nationalism and patriotism into the citizenry. The truth is that good governance can become a major resource for peace, if well utilized. In conclusion, the phantom of violent conflicts will continue to loom large over this country until those operating the system are able to guarantee Nigerians that, regardless of their ethnic, religious, social, and economic backgrounds, they can reside and subsist in any part of the country without fear. A collective security arrangement that takes cognizance of the peculiarities of the different groups constituting the contemporary Nigerian State is the only ironcast solution to the cancer of insecurity in the country. All square pegs must be put in square holes for peace to reign unfettered in this country. Failure by all concerned to make hay while the sun still shines is a careless and open invitation to chaos. There is no short cut to positive peace. God save Nigeria!

C]. Algebra of Matrices Example 3 (Addition) Given the matrices

AB =

( 36 -24 ) and Q = ( -45 22 )


+ 2(4) 5(-1) + 2(2) ) ( 5(3) 4(3) + 3(4) 4(-1) + 3(2) 23 -1 = ( 24 2) Ans

Find P + Q

Mathematics With Stanley Osobase 08023454887

Matrices And Determinants

Solution: P+Q= =



-4 2 3 -2 + 5 2 6 4

3 + (-4) 6+5

) ( ) -2 + 2 = -1 0 4 + 2 ) (11 6 )

Example 4 (Subtraction) From example 3 above, find P - Q. Solution: -4 2 3 -2 P-Q= 5 2 6 4

D]. Algebraic Laws And Matrix Operations Here, we shall discuss the laws of Commutativity, Associativity and Distributivity. Commutativity Note: Only addition of matrices is commited. For E.g:



2 3 3 and B = 3 5 2

(A + B) + C = A + (B + C) is Associative. Now try your hands on on multiplication! Distributivity: Note: Multiplication is distributive over addition and subtraction. DETERMINANTS The determinants of a given matrix is a single number of element representing the matrix. Thus, if A is the given matrix, its determinant is denoted by /A/ or det A. the examples below illustrate better for 2 x 2 and 3 x 3 matrix respectively.

( ) ( ) ( ) 2 3 4 3 :-A + B= ( + 1 2 ) ( 3 5) -7 -4 3 (-4) -2 2 = ( = 6-5 4 - 2 ) (-1 2) 6 6 Example 7 (2 x 2 matrix) = ( ) 4 7 Example 5 5 2 If A = ( , Find det. A. Given the matrix ) 4 3 2 3 3 4 A+B= ( +( ) 3 -2 4 1 2) 3 5 Solution: A= ( , What is 3A? ) 5 2 5 2 -1 6 6 det A or /A/ = =5(4) - 2(3) 3 4 = ( 4 7) Solution: = 14 Ans 3A = (3 -2 4 ) :- A + B = B + A is communtative. Note: Principal diagonal - ordinary 5 2 -1 Associativity diagonal 3 x 3 -2 x 3 4 x 3 Note: Only Addition and =( Example 8 5 x 3 2 x 3 -1 x 3) multiplication are Associative. For 2 3 5 e.g. (A + B) + C = A + (B + C) 9 -6 12 If P = 4 1 2 , find /P/. = ( ) ( 15 6 -3 (A + B) + C = 0 2 3( Answer 3 2 + 1 -4 + 3 9 Solution: ( ) [ [ ( ) [ [ ( ) 1 0 Example 6 5 6 Hint: Apply the 1st row or 1st 4 5 Given the matrices column. Using the 1st row, we get: 3 9 4 -2 :- (A + B) + C = [ +( ) 1 2 -3 4 2 +5 4 1 3 -1 5 2 9 11[ 1 0 /P/ = 2 A= ( and B = ( 2 3 0 3 0 2 4 2) 4 3) 7 7 = 2(3 x 1 - 2 x 2) - 3(4 x 3 - 2 x 0) + = ( 10 11) Ans Find A 5(4 x 2 - 1 x 0) If A =

4 1

(Scaler Multiplication)


(Matrix Multiplication)

Solution: or A + (B + C) 1 5 2 3 -1 3 2 AB = = + 5 4 3 4 2 4 5 The idea is to use row to multiply 4 3 2 = + column. Thus, 6 4 5


)( )

= 2(-1) - 3(12) + 5 (8) = 2 Answer 9 Note: We use two vertical or parallel 0 straight lines instead of parentheses for the determinant of a matrix. 7 11 Ans To be continued

( ) [( ) ( )[ ( ([ [ [ [ 3 -4 + 1 6 7 5 = 10 6

Motoring With OSAGIE AIFUWA 08023412452

telephone facilities, roomy interior and other value - added features of the hollow metal. In the passing millennium cars went compact, shapes went bizarre. Hard metals were replaced by fibre glass, plastic and aluminum, all in a bid to meet customers expectations. Again, craftsmanship and pride of ownership were widespread. With these came individual companies with separate identities. From France came Peugeot and Citroen; from Germany came, Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz, from Italy came Fiat and Alfa Romeo, from Sweden came Volvo and MAN, from Japan came Toyota and Honda and from USA came Chrysler and General Motors, to mention a few. Today, pride of

WHAT feature will the car of the future come with? Perhaps it is not possible to answer in a few straight words. The response are likely to be as varies as the respondents - a car that is fuel efficient; a car that is sophisticated in every letter of the world; a car that comes with state of the art technology; a car that is easy to drive; a car that comes with supersonic speed; a car that comes with aesthetics and comfort. Then, if we take a close look at the car of today, we’ll discover that all these features are present. The passing millennium produced some of the best automobile in the terms of performance, beauty, appeal technology, sophistication, comfort arid much more. Today’s automobile comes in different shapes, sizes, and efficiency of performance. In fact some of the cars of today could best be described as crazy, weird or peculiar in design and construction. Surprisingly, the dramatic land-marks in automobile technology were achieved within the last half of the century. In the period preceding World War II) cars were merely “houses on four wheels’. Like houses, they were less appealing and the interior and exteriors were far from what obtains today in terms of aesthetics, comfort and sophistication. Yet they served their purpose as reliable means of transport. Today’s cars are more than means of transport. They show class, status and personality. They show the best science and technology can offer. Cars that will offer different users, separate from the old service of getting a passenger from place to place in little time in the early days of the automobile they were made to serve this major purpose. But within the last twenty years cars were increasingly made to serve as both means of mobility and as home. How else do you explain the limousine which comes with the attributes of a luxury living room, in addition to being on wheels. The furniture is the best around. As if this is not enough the television set, computer telephone, compact disc, refrigerator, air conditioner, dining and dressing tables all add the lure of the modern house on wheels. Limousine and, other sophisticated cars has facilities for you to make phone calls, send and receive E - mail and surf the internet. If you are less busy, you can play computer games, watch television, listen to music or even dose

Car Of The Future: off in a good bed. If you don’t have a limousine, you should be contented with a compact disc and digital radio,

What Next? ownership has gone, mergers and acquisitions are producing cars of many nationalities.

Safety Checks

DAILY CHECKS i) Check tyre condition and pressure ii) Check door locks and windows winder iii) Check engine oil level and condition iv) Check radiator water level and its condition v) Check fan belts tension and condition vi) Check brake oil level vii) Inspect battery connection viii) Check power steering and automatic transmission oil level (if fitted) ix) Check wiper and windscreen washer water level x) Check handbrake and foot brake operation xi) Clean interior and exterior of the car or bus. WEEKLY CHECKS I) Carry out all daily checks and: ii) Check/inspect engine for oil or water leakage iii) Check battery water level and general condition iv) Check spare tyre, tools and lifting jack. v) Check steering free-play vi) Check brake performance vii) Check fire extinguisher, “C” caution signs and vehicle particulars viii) Check electrical system and accessories ix) Wash underneath the vehicle every two weeks especially during the rainy season, MONTHLY I) Carry out comprehensive daily and weekly checks and effect necessary clean up ii) Check speedometer reading and compare to ‘next service” label figure and sure regular maintenance service. iii) Secure all tools and equipment in the respective positions. iv) Inter-change the tyres in the order specified in the owner’s handbook. v) Check and keep vehicle particulars and log book up to date. vi) Prepare and send the vehicle condition report to the owner or officers in-charge of the fleets.

If all these checks are carried out as specified the vehicle will be in good condition always, free from breakdown, unnecessary stay in the repair workshop and prolonged service life. SAFETY TIP i) Do routine check on your vehicle ii) Always fasten your seat belt iii) Observe speed limit iv) Give due consideration to other road users. DRIVING AT NIGHT OR IN DAY TIME Make sure all your lamps work and that your headlamps are properly adjusted, badly adjusted headlamps can dazzle other users and lead to accidents VIEWING DISTANCE Make sure that you drive in such a way that you always stop well within the distance you can see to be clear ahead with your headlamp. REMEMBER Accidents which occur at night times tend to be more fatal because help may not get you in good time as other road users may notsee you, or may not stop. Also there are fewer road users. Your life is in your hands, exercise extra care! DIPPING HEADLAMPS: dip your headlamps when meeting other users vehicles or road, user before dazzle driver or a vehicle traveling in the same direction in front of you. DAZZLING LIGHTS If you are dazzled by approaching headlamps slow down or stop and keep an eye on the right kerb edge and stay close to it. Do not stare into headlamps. IN BUILT - UP AREAS: Dip your headlamps at night in built-up areas. FLASHING HEADIAMPS: Flashing of headlamps has the same meaning as sounding your horn-to let another road user know you are there. You should not sound your horn at night except in case of extreme emergencies.

Issues FOR those mothers of teenage delinquents, there is hope in the life of St. Augustine of Hippo. While he never spent time in jail, he was guilty of every aberration in the book, sired an illegitimate child, and was thrown out of his home by his mother. Yet, he became a great saint and is probably the greatest intellect of Christianity. He is one of the four great Doctors of the Church, and, incidentally black. This giant of Christianity was born November 13,354 of a Pagan father, Patricius and a Christian mother, the famous St. Monica. The customs of the times didn’t demand baptism immediately, especially as the father was not Catholic. But pious Monica traced the sign of the cross on his forehead and dedicated him to God. His hometown was Tagaste, now known as Souk-Aras and there he attended’ school though he was not a good pupil. Not because he didn’t have the intelligence but because the teacher was a tyrant and school was a prison.” Not robust, he couldn’t take part in rough games, but he was a leader among the boys in other larks — like catching birds. He even sought popularity by stealing goodies from his home to give to his friends to give status to his leadership: by his own admission he was a liar as a child and very proud. He learned Latin, Grammer and Arithmetic but though he had Greek in class, he despised it and never really learned it. But he was intelligent enough to know that he needed an education to get ahead and that idea was foremost in his mind; he wanted to be somebody, he would be a lawyer or an orator (a well paid and respected profession in his day). So his parents sent him to Madaura, twenty miles away, to continue his education and here he buckled down and became the leader of his class. Especially was he charmed by the Roman poet, Virgil, and committed much of Virgil to memory. From here the next step would be to go to Carthage but his parents were not that wealthy, so he spent some time at home in Tagaste. One of his bosom friends and boon companions was Alipius and he remained a life-long friend eventually becoming a catholic and a bishop. But there was not a hint of it in those days. With Alipius and other friends (they were now about sixteen) they sought out girls for friendship and more: they played mean pranks, like the time they stole a whole tree of pears and then out of meanness, fed them to the pigs. He tells us, at that stage of his life, he even bragged to his friends about sins —sometimes about sins he didn’t commit. A rich man

named Romanianus was taken by Augustine and sponsored his education in Carthage. This seaport town of modern Tunisia (city is destroyed) was called the ‘City of Venus” for its immortality. It was a good size city and boasted of fine water brought fifty-five miles. Scholars had schools there, that is, learned men would open up classes for students and the teaching would be by lectures, debates, discussions and seminars. But it was not all study with Augustine. He lived with a girl who bore him a son named Adeodatus (a gift from God!), many hours were spent in parties and carousing. But his studies didn’t suffer; he was the leader of his class, he learned oratory, music geometry, logic and philosophy —he claimed later he learned all his teachers knew. During his stay in Carthage, his father died; Patricius had become a Christian but he was never close to his son, Augustine. However, the money Patricius had been able to send Augustine would come no longer and his mother would need his help as there was also a sister and a brother at home. To supplement his income, he tutored and wrote and was also able to help his mother. Here in Carthage he took up Manicheism and became proficient in it. He formed a group and many hours in the evening would be spent discussing religion, philosophy and life. But still his trouble with passions, and he readily gave in. His Manicheism gave him justification for what he knew to be wrong. By twenty his studies were over and he returned to Tagaste to start a school with the financial help of his patron, Romanianus. At home, Monica was disgusted with his adherence to a heresy and his immoral life and finally asked him to leave home. In her tears she then started a crusade of prayer and penance to win her son for Christ, a crusade she continued until she saw him safely locked in the love of God. He had one pause for serious thought; a close friend died. Before he died he had been baptized and this Augustine ridiculed. His friend was very angry and said the friendship was over if he continued his ridicule. So Augustine was more respectful as he loved this friend dearly. When his friend died, he was disconsolate and left Tagaste to be freed of his memory. So back to Carthage and back to his mistress and there he taught and wrote for nine years, still indulging his passions at every temptation. But Carthage was not the answer. It was hard teaching as pupils were not anxious to learn and he also was becoming a bit disillusioned with Manicheism. He wanted truth yet at this stage, the truth

Lessons From The Lives Of Saints

had to fit his dissolute life. But he spent nine years preparing to leave and finally, leaving mistress and son behind, he left for Rome where there were better students and more money to make. But Rome was all bad for him. Soon after he got there he became ill, then he tried to start a school but that venture flopped; then he became sick again. But here he met his boyhood friend, Alipius again. Alipius had come from a family with money and influence and he was a judge in Rome. He helped Augustine and told him about an opening in Milan, the city council wanted to hire an

orator. Here in Rome he started to seriously doubt Manicheism, the heresy that spoke of two Gods, one of Good and the other of Evil. But he made no move that would put an end to his indulgence in his passions. He applied for the position in Milan, was interviewed and chosen. His fare to Milan was paid by the City Council, here he would have a good salary and good connections. Arriving at Milan, he found a city heavily Christian with a saint for its bishop, Saint Ambrose. This holy bishop preached and was a good orator. To see Ambrose in action, Augustine would listen to the sermons but not accept what was said and certainly not put it into practice. He was awed by Ambrose —only fourteen years older than Augustine —and tried to strike up a friendship; among other things, this would be a good connection for him. But somehow events so conspired that a friendship was not


started. However, out of curiosity he started to study the Old Testament and was drawn to Catholicism. Here life became good for him. He asked his mother, Monica, and his brother Navigius, to come; he brought his mistress and son from Carthage and his friends Alipius and Nebridius came to live with him. Monica cared for the household and the three friends spent many long hours in discussing life and philosophy. Monica engineered the removal of the

and read.” He recalled how Anthony the Hermit had found his vocation by picking up the Bible: he took up the New Testament and opened it and read: “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision, for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof.” That did it! Bathed in tears of joy and gratitude he went to Alipius and Monica. He would be a Catholic. The twenty days left to the school year were finished, he resigned his job as orator and planned to return to Tagaste. But first the baptism. He

mistress who returned to Carthage and left the son with Augustine. Monica also sought to have Augustine marry. But the girl she picked out was two years under the legal age and Augustine would not wait that long; his passions consumed him so that he took up with another girl in a life of sin. His position kept him busy and for vacation he went for a rest to a country villa with his friends and his patron; Romanianus joined them. They discussed and talked —he read Plato and that opened up new vistas. But he was not ready, God did not accord him the gift of faith. At this time he met an African Christian named Ponticianus who told him the story of St. Anthony the Hermit who had found happiness only with God. This impressed him and he wanted God to help him reform his life—but not just now! Yet he became penitent and prayed for God’s help. One day he was in the garden praying and he heard a voice- was it a childs or a girls? saying: “take

prepared well and on the vigil of Easter, that year, April 25, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine, his son, Adeodatus and his friend, Alipius — Augustine was thirty-two. The route home meant taking a ship from Ostia, just above Rome. So there they went and at Ostia his mother Monica, became ill and died and was buried there. For one reason or another the trip was delayed and a year later, he, his brother, son and friends returned to Tagaste to live a communal Christian life in a monastery they set up. Soon his fame spread and three years later he was called to Hippo to help a man find spiritual peace. While there he went to the Cathedral were Bishop Valerius was preaching on the needs of the Church of Hippo, among those needs, more priests. Augustine’s name was cried out in the cathedral, the Bishop encouraged him and he was ordained a priest, just five years after his baptism. Ordained, he became the right hand to the aging bishop,

and performed many of his duties, especially Preaching in the Cathedral. On Vaterius’ death, Augustine was chosen in his place. He started a monastery there in Hippo and lived a strict life with his companions. It was the start of the Augustinian order we know today. He preached, he wrote, he went about his diocese doing good, helping the poor and establishing hospitals for the sick. But trouble arose in a new heresy, the Donatist heresy. They even went to physical violence in their opposition. But eventually he was able to conquer that. Then calumnies arose about him and to quell them, he wrote his famous “Confessions” the saga of a soul being drawn by God to God. Interestingly enough, at this time he had a heated argument with St. Jerome and was so put out he would not allow St. Jerome’s translations of the Bible to be used in his diocese. So saints are human! With peace in his diocese he wrote another monumental work that even today has a freshness about it and is the basis for political science, After fourteen years of study and work he wrote the “City of God.” The treatise shows the interrelationship of Church and State among other things and has relevance even in our times. At the age of seventy-two he appointed Heraclius his successor and ended his days in his monastery writing a commentary on the Bible and preaching sermons that were recorded and have come down to us. His final work was to formulate Catholic doctrine on original sin, grace, the Trinity and the Incarnation, They tell a delightful story about his study on the Trinity. It seems he was by the seashore trying to meditate and understand that great mystery. An angel in the form of a little boy —so the story goes —was digging in the sand and Augustine stopped and asked what he was doing. The child said he was digging a hole to put the ocean in it. Augustine laughed and said the ocean wouldn’t fit in that small hole, the answer from the boy (angel) was: ‘neither will the mystery of the Trinity fit in your head’. In August of 430 he contracted a fever that kept him bedridden. He weakened as the fever took over. On September 5th he received the Last Rites and gave his soul to God. He was seventy-six years old. Much of his works are quoted but nothing is quoted as often as his famous saying: “our hearts are meant for Thee O Lord; and they will not find rest except in Thee”. His peace, happiness and joy and success was found just there, in Christ.

Meeting The MDGs Deadline

Precious Gbenol Reels Out Nigeria’s Achievements THE President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has given May, 2015 as deadline for the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). That is not news, what is news however, is that this is a longsought relief for all well-meaning advocates, including credible Civil Society Organizations, State coordinating authorities and others alike. It indicates a positive turning point for the actualization of all the issues which the MDGs target to achieve, including health, education and poverty reduction, the fast-tracking of which social experts say, would also accelerate Nigeria’s socio-economic development. The previous week, President Goodluck Jonathan directed

reeled out Nigeria’s achievement thus far and futuristic plans before the press. “As a whole, Nigeria has been able to achieve MDGs goals one, reducing the number of people that suffer from extreme hunger by half” Miss Gbenol stated. Also on gender equality in schools she state that Nigeria has been able to achieve goals three, and then goals six, which is the HIV prevalence of the country. “HIV has been halted, reversed and is on the downward slide. Currently, the national prevalence of HIV for the country is 3.4. It rose to 5.8 and then came down to 4.8, 4.4, 4.1 and the current national prevalence of HIV for the country is 3.4.

Dr Precious Gbenol the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, MDGs to work with the governors of the 36 states of the Federation towards ensuring that they meet targets before May 2015. Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr Precious Gbenol, after presenting an assessment and monitoring report on the MDGs, stated that all is geared towards meeting the MDGs, and that her office has set machineries in motion to meet with the governors to work out modalities for achieving the target. GEJ had directed that the MDGs office, in alliance with coordinating authorities, need to disaggregate data more, work closely on issues like education, where the number of out-of-school children is higher, on the areas where HIV prevalence may still be high and where the poverty indices are still high. At the end of the briefing the MDGs woman

She also stated that the country is working very hard on achieving goals five, which is reducing material mortality. And she hopes that between now and 2015, that goal will be achieved. She also stated that the MDG was collaborating with the legislative arm of government to ensure that their senatorial districts and constituencies benefit from MDG projects. “The various amount spent in the various constituencies around the country in 2013 are what we want to do in 2014, going forward. Our areas of intervention is to look at the MDGs that are still lagging behind, like the under-five mortality rate. We need to crash it further.” “We are also looking at reaching out to certain geopolitical regions of the country, where the attendance in schools is negatively affected. We are working out with the state governors in increasing the FGs investment, even in those

“Each goal has specific targets and dates for achieving those targets to accelerate progress, the G8 Finance ministers agreed in June 2005 to provide enough funds to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AFDB) to cancel 40 to 55 billion dollar in debt owed by members of the heavily indebted poor countries...”

Gender Advocacy With Ijeoma Umeh e-mail ladywithgo states.” There was also an indication an outcome of the briefing that ministers also mentioned what they are doing to achieve the MDGs. International development partners, media executives, General and Development Advocates and other civil society personnel attended the briefing. Again, Let’s Consider the MDGs THE Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a United nations (UN) initiative. They are eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium summit of the United Nationals 2000, following the adoption of the United National Millennium Declaration. All 189 United Nations member states at the time (there are 193 currently) and at least 23 international organizations committed to help achieve the MDGs by 2015. The Goals are as follows: (1) To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. (2) To achieve universal primary education (3) To promote gender equality and empowerment of women. (4) To reduce child mortality rates (5) To improve maternal health (6) To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (7) To ensure environmental sustainability (8) To develop a global partnership for development. Each goal has specific targets and dates for achieving those targets to accelerate progress, the G8 Finance ministers agreed in June 2005 to provide enough funds to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AFDB) to cancel 40 to 55 billion dollar in debt owed by members of the heavily indebted poor countries, (HIPC) to allow them to redirect resources to programs for improving health and education and for alleviating poverty. Nigeria is a beneficiary of that grace. The MDGs, like other development initiatives globally, have had its fair share of criticisms, among which is focusing on lack of analysis and justification behind the chosen objectives, the difficulty or lack of measurements for some goals and uneven progress. Although aid given by developed countries for achieving the MDGs rose during the challenge period, more than half went for debt relief, with much of the remainder going towards natural disaster relief and military aid which do not further development. As of 2013, progress towards the goals was uneven. Some countries achieved many goals, while others we not on track to realize any. A UN conference in September 2010 reviewed progress and concluded with the adoption of a global plan to achieve the eight goals by their target date. New commitments targeted women’s and children’s health and new initiatives in the world wide battle against poverty, hunger and disease.

Stop Violence! Stop Violence, End violence: respect rights and dignity of all persons! Donate to an orphanage, adopt a child! Get authenticated list of all orphanages in Nigeria from our desk. Let Peace be your watch word, dialogue, not confrontation, is the way to attain progress and stability. We Mourn! Victims of the Nyanya, Abuja bomb blast. We sympathize with family, friends and the rest of our fellow Nigerians. Let’s keep hope alive!



The Ministry Of The Super Natural (3)

SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATIONS MANIFESTATIONS are simply outward signs of the move of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is surely behind all supernatural manifestations of God. When there is a move of the Holy Ghost and outward signs follow, we call these signs manifestations. Jesus talked about outward signs following his disciples in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. “And he said unto them, go ye unto all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. ..And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, It shalt not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover” Mk16:15 -18 From these statements of our lord, I am able to decipher four types of manifestations that usually occur in the super-natural ministry. The first is the Deliverance manifestation “in my name shalt they cast out devils”. The second is Baptism of the Holy Spirit manifestation- he said: “they shall speak with new tongues” the third is I M PA R T AT I O N MANIFESTATION He said: “they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them’ The fourth is Healing/ miracle Manifestation. He said: “they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover” I shall discuss these manifestations one after the other with full biblical proofs. THE MANIFESTATION OF DELIVERANCE. When demons are cast out of the possessed person or the oppressed is loosened from their grip, they usually follow with some outward signs. From biblical examples (though not in all cases; for there are cases when demons leave quietly too). In Capernaum Jesus delivered a man who had an

unclean spirit and it followed with an outward sign “And Jesus rebuked him saying, hold thy peace and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him and hurt him not” Lk 4: 31, 35. In the same manner Jesus healed a child that “had, a dumb spirit” The Bible says when “they brought him unto him, and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tore him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming” Mk 9 :20. This is a kind of manifestation that occurs with anointed deliverance ministers even today that the evil spirit began to manifest even before the deliverance occurred. What happened next? The bible says: “he rebuked the foul spirit saying unto him thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee,, come out of him, and enter no more into him Mk 9:25. What was the result of the rebuke? There was a manifestation and the demon fled and the child was instantly healed. “And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him; and he was as one dead; in so much that many said he is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose” Mk 9:2627. More manifestations followed: “For he healed many insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits when they saw him, fell down before him and cried”. Mk 3:1O-11. Philip the evangelist when he ministered the gospel in Samaria experienced manifestations in healing, miracle and deliverance. “For unclean spirits crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies, and that were lame were healed” Acts 8:7 THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MANIFESTATIONS. This is very obvious that the baptism of the Holy Spirit

when it comes on persons follow with tremendous manifestations. This was the effect of the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the early church on the day of Pentecost. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind... and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance” Acts 2:1-4. The manifestations were so ecstatic that the non Christian Jews and other nationals around were amazed and some accused them of

drunkenness. “And they were all amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meaneth this? Others mocking said these men are full of new wine” Acts 2:12. The baptism of the Holy Spirit manifestations is usually ecstatic- full of joy, praises; some speaking in tongues, some prophesying, some being slain in the spirit. This has been my experience when I minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit to many congregations world wide. When Paul the apostle also

ministered, the baptism of the Holy Spirit to some brethren at Ephesus, manifestations followed. “He said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? ... And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” Acts 19:2 -6. I M PA RTAT I O N MANIFESTATION The third type of manifestation is the impartation manifestation For this type of manifestation Jesus said:

crusades and conferences fall under a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit by impartation with manifestations following. This impartation is for empowerment. The believer should be empowered by the Holy Spirit over and above demonic powers and demonic attacks. Christians who fall prey to demonic attacks who are victims of the powers of darkness have not received this type of empowerment in their spirit. The spirit man in you needs to be empowered;

I have seen many healings and miracles happen with manifestations following. I also know that some healings and miracles do occur without manifestations. Healings and miracles that occur as a result of the possessed being delivered or the oppressed being loosened often occur with demonstrative manifestations akin to a deliverance session. This has some biblical proofs. The child who was both dumb and deaf could not be healed by the disciples of Christ when the father had earlier brought him to them. But Jesus prayed for him to be healed and manifestations

“they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them”. This is obviously impartation for power for the believer in Christ. Paul explains it as impartation that will establish the believer in Christ. Paul wrote to the church in Rome of this impartation thus: “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift to the end ye may be established’ Roms 1:11 I have seen many in

because, spirit is life. (Jas 2:26). Man is made up of the SPIRIT, the SOUL (mind) and the BODY lThess5:23. Impartation is reflected upon the spirit man (the inside man) and the manifestations follow from the outward man (the physical body) The inward man is the spirit man and the physical body is the outward man. The laying on of hands by impartation or the calling down of the power of the Holy spirit upon the congregation for impartation purposes, ignites the inward man and is usually followed with demonstrative actions outwardly. I have seen this happen several times in crusades and conferences where there is an outpour of the Holy Ghost and the name of our lord Jesus Christ is magnified. THE HEALING / M I R A C L E MANIFESTATIONS

occurred in so much that some people thought the child was dead. The child was eventually healed after the demons possessing him had fled. The child was healed of deafness and dumbness Mk 9: 25 -26 Demons have the power to afflict those they possess with diseases. “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way” Matt 8:28. No doubt the demons possessed these men and afflicted them with lunacy. When Jesus healed them there was a great manifestation in so much that the demons were sent off the men and entered the swines and the swines rushed into the sea and they got drowned. Matt 8:28-34.

“This impartation is for empowerment. The believer should be empowered by the Holy Spirit over and above demonic powers and demonic attacks. Christians who fall prey to demonic attacks who are victims of the powers of darkness have not received this type of empowerment in their spirit.”


293 Missing In Ferry Disaster SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Nearly 300 people were still missing yestersday several hours after a ferry carrying 459,

most of them high school students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast, killing at least two and injuring

seven, officials said. There were fears, however, of a big jump in the death toll, as dozens of boats, helicopters and

Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali speaks at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

divers scrambled to rescue passengers who had been on the ferry traveling to the southern tourist island of Jeju. One passenger said he believed that many people were trapped inside the ferry when it sank. The ferry sent a distress call at about 9 a.m. local time yesterday after it began leaning to one side, according to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration. The government said about 95 percent of the ferry, whose passengers included 325 high school students on a school trip to the popular tourist island, was submerged. Coast guard officers, speaking on condition of anonymity citing department rules, said at least two people died and 293 were unaccounted for, but gave no further details, including what might have caused the ferry to sink. Official estimates of the missing, dead

and even the number of passengers on the ship varied wildly as the search went on. A government official had earlier said that more than 100 people were unaccounted for, but officials later boosted the number to 295 missing and then changed it to 293. Media photos showed wet students, some without shoes, some wrapped in blankets, tended to by emergency workers. One student, Lim Hyung-min, told broadcaster YTN from a gym on a nearby island that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets and then swam to a nearby rescue boat. “As the ferry was shaking and tilting, we all tripped and bumped into each another,” Lim said, adding that some people were bleeding. Once he jumped, the ocean “was so cold. ... I was

hurrying, thinking that I wanted to live.” The water temperature in the area was about 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit), cold enough to cause signs of hypothermia after about 90 minutes or 2 hours, according to an emergency official who spoke on condition of anonymity citing department rules. Officials said mud on the ocean floor made underwater search operations difficult. The ship sank in waters several kilometers (miles) north of Byeongpung Island, which is near the mainland and about 470 kilometers (290 miles) from Seoul, according to the coast guard. Local media earlier showed the mostly submerged ferry tilting dramatically as helicopters flew overhead and rescue vessels floated nearby.

PARIS - Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali was released following his arrest in Paris on an international warrant over corruption charges from his time in Hosni Mubarak’s government, a judicial source said on yesterday. French police released Boutros Ghali hours after he was arrested at the request of Interpol on arriving in Paris from London on Monday, the source said. The source said Boutros Ghali had to be released because of his status as a political refugee in Britain, which includes a guarantee against imprisonment

under the Geneva Convention. As the owner of a Schengen visa, he was free to remain in France or travel within the EU visa-free space, the source said. Boutros Ghali was sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison in Egypt for corruption and abuse of power following the uprising that unseated Mubarak in 2011. He was one of a group of influential economic policymakers close to Mubarak’s son Gamal. A nephew to former U.N. secretary general Boutros Boutros Ghali, Boutros Ghali left Egypt just after the 2011 uprising, which was fuelled in part by increasing economic hardship.

Former Egypt Finance Minister Released Hours After Arrest

Syrian Airstrikes Kill 4 In Rebel Town DAMASCUS - Activists say that Syrian airstrikes have killed at least four people in the town of Zabadani, one of the last

Oscar Pistorius, (centre), leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, recently.

Pistorius Trial: Judge Sets 2-Week Adjourment PRETORIA - The judge in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius ruled yesterday that proceedings will adjourn for more than two weeks after today and resume again on May 5. Judge Thokozile Masipa said that she was responding to a request for a break from the chief prosecutor and which was supported by the defense. Pistorius’ trial started March 3 and Masipa said the case had lasted longer than expected. She said she granted the break because a member for the prosecution team has to attend to another case. Masipa also noted that the

court record for the Pistorius trial is now almost 2,000 pages long. The trial was initially scheduled to last just three weeks. “At the time, it was not envisioned that this trial would run this long,” Masipa said. Masipa also noted that much of the evidence is “technical” and given by expert witnesses. Chief defense lawyer Barry Roux has said he will call between 14 and 17 witnesses and predicted he would finish presenting evidence by midMay. Forensic expert Roger Dixon, the third witness called

by the defense, was testifying Wednesday, the 24th day of the trial. He followed Pistorius, who was cross-examined by prosecutor Gerrie Nel for five days. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home last year. He says he shot her by mistake; the prosecution says he killed her intentionally after an argument. In his testimony, Dixon, a former policeman, contradicted previous opinions given by a police expert and a pathologist

on details of the wounds suffered by Steenkamp when she was shot through the toilet door by the double-amputee athlete. Police Capt. Christiaan Mangena said Steenkamp was shot in the hip first, the second shot missed, and then the last two shots hit the model in the arm and head. Dixon disagreed with that order and testified the first two shots hit Steenkamp in the hip and arm in quick succession while she was close to the door, apparently backing Pistorius’ version that he shot in quick succession fearing an intruder was coming out the

toilet cubicle to attack him. Dixon also testified that Steenkamp’s right arm may have been stretched out toward the handle of the door, suggesting she may have been in the process of opening the door. The defense was using the testimony to try to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case that Steenkamp was hiding from Pistorius after a late-night fight and had locked herself in the cubicle to seek refuge. Nel questioned whether Dixon was qualified to analyze the circumstances of Steenkamp’s death.

rebel-held towns on the Lebanese border. Activist Ammar al-Hassan says the strike occurred early yesterday. He says shelling also had increased on the town lying in the rugged hills of the Qalamoun region. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported on the strikes. Zabadani protrudes into the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon. The town and the nearby community of Madaya are effectively the last rebel strongholds in the Qalamoun, serving as an opposition supply route. Syrian forces, bolstered by fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, have taken other border towns in a campaign that began in November.


Ocean Floor Search Runs Into Hitches

Missing Malaysia Plane: PERTH, AUSTRALIA The search for a Malaysia Airlines jetliner deep in the Indian Ocean was again cut short yesterday when technical problems forced a U.S. Navy underwater drone to surface without finding anything, officials said. While a massive air and sea search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is continuing almost 2,000 km (1,200 miles) off the coast of Perth, hopes have been pinned on the Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle finding the first concrete sign of the plane in more than six weeks of hunting. CHANGE OF NAME

OSHEKU – I, formerly Miss Ruth Osheku now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. Ruth Leo Okoror. All former documents remain valid. Edo State House of Assembly and the general public should please take note.

Malaysian authorities have still not ruled out mechanical problems as causing the Boeing 777’s disappearance, but say evidence suggests it was deliberately diverted from its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. An aircraft’s black box records data from the cockpit and conversations among flight crew and may provide answers about what happened to the missing plane. A unspecified technical problem meant the Bluefin resurfaced early yesterday and analysis of the sonar data downloaded showed no significant detections, the

Australian agency leading the search said. It has subsequently been relaunched to continue its search. The drone was forced to end its first deployment early on Monday after it exceeded its 4.5 km (14,750 feet) depth limit in the remote stretch of ocean where search authorities believe the jetliner crashed after its disappearance on March 8 with 239 people on board. The introduction of the Bluefin marks a methodical, slower paced new phase of



EKHATOR – I, formerly Miss Happiness Osemwonyenmwen Ekhator now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. H a p p i n e s s Osemwonyenmwen Ogofure. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

AMIATOR – I, formerly called Miss Amiator Obehi is now known and called Mrs. Obehi Eguaoje. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

FEDERAL NEURO-PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, P.M.B. 1108, BENIN CITY STAFF VACANCY POST: DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the post of Director of Administration at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City. QUALIFICATION AND EXPERIENCE Candidates must possess a good honours degree from a recognized University in Health Services Management or any of the Social Sciences or Humanities. Possession of a Master Degree in Public Administration or Health Services Management will be an added advantage. Candidates must be an Associate member or a fellow of the Institute of Health Service Administrators of Nigeria (IHSAN). Candidates must have not less than eighteen (18) years cognate administrative experience in a Federal/State Healthcare Institution, part of which must be as a Deputy Director. He/she MUST currently be a Director or a Deputy Director. Anyone below the grade of Deputy Director and earning below CONHESS 14 (GL 16) need not apply. Prospective candidates must also not be more than fifty (50) years old. DUTIES Successful candidates will be responsible to the Medical Director for the effective functioning of all the administrative divisions in the day-to-day management of the hospital and be Secretary to the Management Board. CONDITIONS OF SERVICE These are as obtainable in the Federal Public Service of Nigeria. SALARY: CONHESS 15 (N4,224,544.00 - N5,128,200.00) per annum. METHOD OF APPLICATION Applicants are to forward fifteen (15) copies of: i. Their applications with detailed curriculum vitae and photocopies of their credentials; ii. Their vision for the hospital; iii. All applications must also contain candidates’ e-mail addresses and telephone numbers; iv. Applicants should request three (3) referees of their choice to write confidential reports on them directly to the Medical Director. All applications should be enclosed in a sealed envelope marked ‘Post of Director of Administration’ on the top left hand corner and forwarded to: The Medical Director Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, P.M.B. 1108, Benin City

CLOSING DATE The closing date for submission of application is six (6) weeks from the dated of this advertisement. Only applications of short-listed candidates will be acknowledged, please. Signed: Management

the search, now in its 40th day and described by the search coordinator, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, as the most expensive in aviation history. U.S. Naval personnel have said the drone could take up to two months to scour a 600 sq km area where the plane is believed to have sunk. The deep sea area now being searched, the Zenith Plateau, has never been mapped in detail because it is not in any country’s economic zone. However the sea floor is

likely covered in “foraminiferal ooze”, a sludge formed by microscopic marine organisms, which would show up any large metallic object clearly, James Cook University marine geologist Robin Beaman told Reuters. “A sidescan is very good at detecting the difference in the acoustic return of a hard object versus a soft, muddy sea floor,” he said. “This is quite a good environment for looking for wreck debris, albeit deep.” An air and sea search for floating debris continued on yesterday, but Houston has

indicated that will soon end. Up to 11 military aircraft, three civil aircraft and 11 ships would help in Wednesday’s search, covering a total area of about 55,151 square km in rainy conditions. Authorities have targeted the remote stretch of ocean based on four acoustic signals they believe are from the plane’s black box recorders. But they have not heard a “ping” for a week and with the batteries on the locator beacons now 10 days past their 30-day expected life, authorities have decided to stop searching using a Towed Pinger Locator and to use the Bluefin instead.

ABU DHABI - Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he does not fear opposition from hardliners as he leads negotiations to reach a comprehensive agreement about Iran’s nuclear program with world powers by the end of July. “I am optimistic” that a deal will be reached in three months, he told Journalists in Abu Dhabi. “There is the political will to get an answer,” he added as he boarded a plane back to Tehran on Tuesday. Iran and six world powers the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China - struck an interim deal in November under which Tehran agreed to limit parts of its nuclear work in return for the easing of some sanctions imposed on Iran for its disputed atomic program. They have set a July 20 deadline to clinch a long-term deal that would lead to a gradual lifting of all nuclear-

related sanctions. Iranian hardliners, unsettled by the shift to a more moderate foreign policy since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August, have repeatedly criticized the agreement. However, Iran’s most powerful authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed the negotiations. “The domestic audience will be satisfied if we have a good deal,” said Zarif when asked if he feared domestic pushback. “Of course some people will never be satisfied but that is fine because we have a pluralistic society.” In their latest criticism of the interim agreement, some hardliners have said Iran has had difficulty receiving billions of dollars of oil revenue unfrozen under the agreement. Majid TakhtRavanchi, an Iranian deputy foreign minister, rejected the assertion on Tuesday, saying Iran’s central bank has no

problem accessing the funds, according to state news agency IRNA. Iran and the six powers ended their latest round of talks in Vienna last week and said they would start drafting an agreement ahead of their next meeting there on May 13. The Islamic Republic denies accusations by Israel, Western powers and their allies that it has tried to develop the capability to produce atomic weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear energy program. During his visit to the United Arab Emirates, Zarif met with officials including Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed an-Nahyan and Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui. Efforts to resolve the civil war in Syria were also among the topics discussed, but officials did not elaborate.

ADDIS ABABA Gunmen ambushed a bus carrying dozens of people in western Ethiopia near the Sudanese border, killing nine and wounding six others, state-run media said yesterday. There was no claim of responsibility and no group was blamed for the attack, but Ethiopia says it has thwarted several plots in recent years by Ethiopian insurgents as well as Somali al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab Islamist militants. A handful of rebel groups are waging low-level separatist insurgencies in Ethiopia, while Ethiopian troops are part of an offensive against al Shabaab in neighboring Somalia. The bus ambush on Tuesday evening - near the $4 billion-Grand

Renaissance Dam - was the second attack on public transportation in the Benishangul Gumuz region in five months. Four people were killed by a bomb on a minibus in November. “The bus was targeted while travelling 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of (regional capital) Assosa,” a report on stateowned Ethiopian Television said. No further details were given, and officials were not immediately available to comment. In September, two Somali suicide bombers accidentally blew themselves up in Addis Ababa while preparing to detonate explosives among football fans during Ethiopia’s World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria.

Iran Optimistic Of Nuclear Deal

Gunmen Kill 9 In Ethiopia Bus Attack

Armed Pro-Russians Enter Mayor’s Office SLAVYANSK, UKRAINE - Pro-Russia activists stands in front a socalled Donetsk Republic flag as they guard a barricade outside the regional police building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, on April 15, 2014 (AFP Photo/Genya Savilov) Donetsk (Ukraine) About 20 pro-Russian protesters armed with Kalashnikov rifles entered the mayor ’s office in Ukraine’s eastern industrial city of Donetsk. The men, who met no resistance from the building’s security personnel, said their only demand was for the heavily Russified region to stage a referendum on turning Ukraine into a federation with broader local rights.

International Features IN his weekly sermon, Muslim cleric Ali AbdelMoati preached to his congregation in a southern Egyptian city about the evils of making hasty judgments. That prompted a complaint to authorities from a judge, who accused him of criticizing a recent mass death sentence issued against supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Days later, Abdel-Moati was suspended from the mosque in Assiut, replaced by a new preacher, and put under investigation by the Religious Endowments Ministry. Egyptian authorities are tightening control on mosques around the country, purging preachers and seeking to control the message, as the militarybacked government cracks down on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood following his ouster last summer. Some 12,000 freelance preachers have been barred from delivering sermons. The Religious Endowments Ministry, or Awqaf in Arabic, now sets strict guidelines for sermons, and anyone who strays from them in Egypt’s more than 100,000 mosques risks removal. The aim, officials say, is to prevent mosques from spreading extremism and becoming a platform for political groups, after widespread criticism that the Brotherhood and its more ultraconservative allies used them to build support, recruit new followers and sway voters. During elections the past three years, Islamist clerics would often tout a vote in the Brotherhood’s favor as a vote for Islam or supported by God. But the result is silencing any sort of critical voice and making the minbar — the name for the pulpit in a mosque — apolitical, bringing no potential challenge to authorities and delivering a single shade of Islam to the public. “The aim is to prevent mosques from serving agendas of political parties or being used as propaganda machine for any ideology either those with the government or not,” Sheik Ahmed Turk, director of the Grand Mosques in Egypt, the Awqaf department that oversees the largest mosques, told The Associated Press. “Now we push our own preachers and clerics to give apolitical message to normal people.” The 37-year-old AbdelMoati, in Assiut, says he is not a Morsi supporter. He said he criticized Morsi in

Ismail el-Diftar

Egypt Clamps Hold Over Mosques To operate. Last month, Gomaa his sermons, saying he was Control Message announced plans to bring all turning himself into a zawaya under state control. “pharaoh” through his decrees and that the Brotherhood was dividing Egyptians. When Morsi visited Assiut as president, Abdel-Moati said he was replaced by another cleric for the day because of his criticisms. An Awqaf Ministry official said the judge complained that AbdelMoati was “interfering in judicial affairs,” claiming that in his sermon he directly criticized the court verdict in the city of Minya that sentenced hundreds of Morsi supporters to death for killing a police officer in a mob attack. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Abdel-Moati said he never mentioned the verdict or the courts at all and only warned against “making hasty judgments because it could lead to bloodshed.” He said he believes the judge was not even present at the sermon and heard about it secondhand. “Now because of the deep polarization, any word can be used against anyone because of the hypersensitivity between the rival sides,” Abdel-Moati said. The campaign is being led by the new Awqaf minister, Mohammed Mokhtar Gomaa, who took his post after Morsi’s ouster. He vows to ensure mosques transmit only the message of Al-Azhar, Egypt’s premier

Islamic institution that touts itself as the voice of moderation. The drive aims to go beyond any such attempts during the 29-year-rule rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. His government had loyalist clerics who stuck to a state line, but not all mosques came under state control. The government moved only sporadically to rein in mosques connected to jihadi extremists, but allowed Muslim Brotherhood-run mosques to expand their charity network, which built grassroots support for the group. Ultraconservative Salafis — who advocate a strict Saudi-style version of Islam and an unbending literal interpretation of the Quran — enjoyed virtually free rein to expand since they were seen as apolitical and no threat to Mubarak’s rule. After Mubarak’s fall in 2011 and Morsi’s rise to the presidency, the Brotherhood was accused of pushing its loyalists to prominence in

the Awqaf Ministry. But facing a backlash, it was unable to bring mosques under its control. It is not clear if the government will have the ability to completely control the vast number of mosques, given the state’s sometimes limited reach. Still, Gomaa’s moves have been sweeping. In his first decision, he revoked the licenses of all clerics and preachers and forced them to apply for new ones, giving the ministry the chance to vet them. Some 12,000 were barred. More than 80,000 have been licensed, including some 55,000 employed by the ministry. The rest are AlAzhar-trained clerics. Gomaa also issued a ban on holding Friday prayers at thousands of small, unregulated mosques known as “zawaya.” Usually built by well-off families in their home neighborhoods, zawaya were often a fertile ground for preachers from the Brotherhood or Salafis to

The ministry’s website also posts outlines for the weekly sermons delivered each Friday. It sets each week’s main topic, the Quranic verses to be discussed and the sub-topics the preacher can use to develop the main subject. Recent subjects include the environment, the role of young people, helping street children and dealing with addiction. Violators of the guidelines face punishment, including suspension. Salafi preaching — perhaps the most swiftly spreading in the past decades — has been dramatically muted. Salafi TV networks have been shut down. Hugely popular top Salafi clerics are among those refused new preaching permits, including the head of the main Salafi religious association, the Gamiya Shariya, Mohammed Mohktar al-Mahdi. The Gamiya Shariya, which runs some 5,000 mosques, reached a deal

“Some in the congregation said the policy was good, reining in mosques from which the Brotherhood launches its protests. But Mohammed Hassan, a 40-year-old who came to pray w-ith his two sons, was not impressed.”

with the ministry that allows the group to appoint its own preachers but under supervision to ensure they abide by the ministry guidelines, the association’s spokesman Hamid Ahmed said. Last Friday, a prominent Al-Azhar cleric, Ismail elDiftar delivered the sermon at one of Egypt’s most prominent mosques, Cairo’s Amr ibn al-Aas Mosque, built by the Muslim general who first conquered the country 1,300 years ago. He stressed the need for unity in the Muslim nation and warned in vague terms about the “enemies of Islam” — seen by many worshippers as a reference to the Brotherhood. Some in the congregation said the policy was good, reining in mosques from which the Brotherhood launches its protests. But Mohammed Hassan, a 40-year-old who came to pray with his two sons, was not impressed. “This new policy is meant to make all people think the same way in accordance to the ruling authority.” In the upscale Cairo district of Maadi, Hala Salah was furious about the sermon about unity delivered by a top Awqaf official at the mosque she frequents — the El-Rayan Mosque, long a center for Salafis and Brotherhood supporters that once attracted prominent Salafi preachers. Salah was particularly upset when the Awqaf preacher said that even if someone worships an idol, it is better not to let them do it if arguing will cause divisions. She scoffed that she may quit the mosque. “The cleric has to speak out about the state of the nation. You can’t disassociate completely from surroundings,” she said. “You can’t keep telling me not to differ, in order to get along with the ruling authority.” She then went to join a Brotherhood protest nearby. The cleric who delivered the sermon, Mohammed Kilani, said he has seen harsher receptions. In December, he accompanied an Awqaf cleric to preach at a Brotherhood-run mosque, the al-Azizi b’Illah, in an old Cairo district. Islamists mobbed the cleric, shouting “traitor” and raised their shoes at him in a sign of contempt, and someone snatched the cleric’s skull cap off his head. “It was a surprise to me,” he said. “I didn’t expect people to behave this way inside the house of God.” Courtesy AP

Almighty God’s Law For You

THE Law of Almighty God for you is: You are permitted to wander through creation. Go in such a manner as to cause no harm to others in pursuit of your personal desires. Otherwise, threads will be woven into the carpet of your paths which will hold you down and prevent you from ascending to the luminous Heights of conscious and joyful activity in the gardens of all the Realms of your God (Abdru-shin- in the Light of Truth). He says that is the basic Law containing everything you need to know. If you follow this, nothing can happen to you. You will be led upwards by all the threads created by your thinking, volition and actions. That is why the son of God once said in all simplicity: “Love your neighbour as thyself.” Fundamentally, this has exactly the same meaning. You are allowed to wander through creations. This holds the command to constant movement. You must not standstill. You could not infact, do so, because the self-created threads which form your paths always drive you forward, according to their nature – either upwards or straight ahead for a time or also downwards. You can never stop, even if you yourselves should wish to do so. And during this wandering Abd-ru-shin cautions that you shall not harm one another, who like you are also, journeying through creation, just to satisfy some personal desires. It is not difficult to grasp this aright, for when your perception is calm you are quite well aware of when, where and how you harm others. All that remains for you to do in this matter is to become clear as to everything which falls into the category of desiring. However, you have already been told this clearly in the commandment. It is not necessary for me to repeat it once more.

You may enjoy everything here in Creation, you may taste of everything but it must not bring harm to your fellowman. Again, this only occurs, if you become a slave to your desires. But you must not get too one-sided. An idea of what this desiring implies. Not only earthly property and physical body are included, but also, the desire to undermine the reputation of your fellowman, giving way to your own weakness and many other things (Abd-rushin). Today in particular, far too little attention is paid to this giving way to one’s own weaknesses, and yet, it falls into the category of fulfilling one’s own desires to the detriment or suffering of your neighbour. The threads which become knotted thereby, are dense and thus hold down every soul which has acted in this fashion. Such weakness Abd-ru – shin says comprises of distrust and envy, irritability, coarseness and rudeness, in other word, lack of selfcontrol and refinement, the latter signifying nothing less than the necessary consideration for your fellow men, which must be present if harmony is to prevail For harmony alone furthers Creation and yourselves. It is a close weaving which comes about through such weaknesses, forcing many to fall just because, so little attention is paid to it, although, it inflicts disquietude, pressure, annoyance and often your fellow-men. But in each case harm. Abd-ru-shin opines that, if men let themselves go to such an extent there immediately rises through radiation of the slightly or greatly excited blood, a strong dimmed layer which places itself separately between man’s spirit and his

luminous guidance thus, immediately stands alone and also, completely unprotected, which may cause such damage as prove to be irreparable. Everyone wishing to ascend should engrave this upon his mind. This advice is a lifebelt which may save him from drowning, from destruction. It is of the utmost importance for

thereby, becoming self conscious, but in so doing you must not harm others to satisfy your personal desires”. Abd-ru-shin contends that there is nothing in creation you would not be allowed to enjoy in the sense in which creation gives it to you, that is, for the same purpose as that for which it is developed. However, you do not know the real purpose of so many

everybody in their earthly existence. You may journey through Creation consciously. However, you must not harm others in order to satisfy your personal desires. Live accordingly and you will then be happy and wander upwards into the Luminous Gardens of your God, there to help in joyful activities with the further and eternal development of this creation Abd-ru-shin concludes. The Lord has said. “At your desire, you are allowed to wander through Creations,

things and erroneously commit many excesses which are bound to bring harm, the desire to taste, to get to know and to enjoy often increases until, it becomes a propensity, which finally, keeps you enchained and quickly enslaves your free volition, so that, through your own selves you become servants instead of masters. Abd-ru-shin admonishes: Never to let yourselves be subjugated through enjoying, but take only what is necessary in life on earth for the maintenance and

“He who literally wishes to retire completely here on earth has no longer any goal before him and thus, no right to continue living in this creation, because, he has set an end to himself through his volition. The swinging of Creation, however, does not show any end, it has no end.”

Man And Nature With O.C. MADU 08056379608

development of the good things entrusted to you. You hinder all development by excess, no matter whether the body or the soul is involved. Just as you hold things up through excess, so also, through negligence or imperfection. You disturb the God-willed development. Everything which you

end of his life, such a man will be cast aside by the law of rhythmic movements of this Creation as being an over –ripe fruit because, all the swinging, much stronger than the movement within himself, which must keep in step such a man is bound to grow weak and fall ill. Only when his individual swinging and alertness keep pace with the prevailing

now wish to do with the best volition to adjust and compensate for such mistake remains nothing but patchwork, leaving traces of repair which do not look nice and which can never be the same as on uniform and unpatched work. Remember, motion is a basic law in the entire creation, thus also, on earth, Motion of the right kind. But has been disregarded and also, applied in the wrong way. It was only through motion that everything could come into being. Upon motion, incessant motion, therefore depends the preservation and restoration of all that Creation embraces. Man cannot be considered an exception. Abd-ru-shin says that the man who really retires here on earth, who wishes to rest from his activities until the

movement in Creation, only then, can he remain healthy, hearty and happy. The saying ‘stagnation is retrogression” gives an idea of this great law. Movement alone assures progress and preservation for everything that is to be found in Creation. He who literally wishes to retire completely here on earth has no longer any goal before him and thus, no right to continue living in this creation, because, he has set an end to himself through his volition. The swinging of Creation, however, does not show any end, it has no end. Continuous development through movement is a law in the will of God and can therefore, never be circumvented without ill effect. Abd-ru-shin says that those people who have continually to exert themselves in order to earn their living are often much healtheir and live longer


Ozil Nears Arsenal Return ARSENE Wenger has confirmed Mesut Ozil is expected to be available for Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Hull City on Sunday, while Abou Diaby is set to return to full training this week. Germany international Ozil has not featured for the Gunners since a 1-0 loss to Stoke City at the start of March, having picked up a hamstring injury, while Diaby has not made a single appearance for the club this season having torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last year. However, Arsenal will be boosted by the news that their club-record signing could be fit to face Hull in a dress rehearsal of the FA Cup final, while Diaby is ready to make a long-awaited return to training - though Wenger is keen not to risk the injury-prone midfielder too soon. “Ozil should be available for the weekend,” said the French boss after his side’s 3-1 victory over West Ham on Tuesday night that saw them reclaim fourth place in the league table. “Diaby is back in full training on Thursday. It’s very difficult to say because he’s not played for over a year now. “It’s difficult for me but he looks physically fine but he has to play one or two games before I can consider bringing him back.” Despite the absence of Ozil, Arsenal claimed a hard-fought victory over West Ham on Tuesday that saw them leapfrog Everton and take back fourth spot, with goals from Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud sealing the three points.

Man City Pay Sport’s Highest Wages

• Mesut Ozil

MANCHESTER City have been revealed as the best-paid team in world sport in a survey conducted by Sporting Intelligence and ESPN the Magazine. The Capital One Cup winners’ first-team players earn on average $8.1 million (5.3 million pounds) per year, putting them just ahead of two baseball teams, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. City’s overall team payroll, of 202 million dollars, is the third highest, behind the Yankees and the Dodgers, who spent 241 million dollars on salaries, but the 2012 Premier League champions’ average income is the highest.

Race For Premier League

Emotional Liverpool Will Blow Title If . . .

I think we all have to take a step back, take a deep breath and calm down before making any predictions in the race for the Premier League. Liverpool are slight favourites, but that is all. Chelsea and Manchester City remain well in the hunt. Liverpool are on a great run, but they still have to win four games on the bounce which remains a big ask. Chelsea also have it in their own hands. You saw nerves at the weekend in Liverpool’s 3-2 win over Manchester City which you have to expect because they are young, and they are going to get nervous.

City did well to recover, and looked destined to pick up three points. It was only a poor mistake that an experienced player like Vincent Kompany should never be making that handed them the three points.

Chelsea ‘Paying Little Known Youth Player £20,000-A-Week’ A CHELSEA youth team player who has never played for the first team is on a salary of £20,000-a-week, according to a report. The Daily Mail says Danish centre-half Andreas Christensen pockets the £1m annual salary despite having only turned 18 last week. Christensen is considered one of the most outstanding talents for his age in the world but has only made the Chelsea bench once – as an unused substitute in Rafa Benitez’s final game in charge against Everton last season. Chelsea beat off competition from a host of clubs to sign Christensen from Brondby before the 2012/13 season with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Barcelona said to have been

interested. According to Chelsea’ s official website, Christensen is a “tall, ball-playing centreback whose game is similar in style to Ricardo Carvalho, his father is a former professional goalkeeper.” Christensen has helped Chelsea reach the FA Cup Youth semi-final where they hold a 2-1 advantage over Arsenal after the first-leg of their last four tie. The second-leg takes place this evening at the Emirates, with Fulham awaiting the winners in the final. Chelsea are known for handsomely paying young players but many have struggled to break into the first-team. Midfielder Josh McEachran is one such example. After making a few promising

appearances under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010, the midfielder was handed a contract worth £38,000-aweek. However, since then he has struggled to make much of an impact and has spent time on loan at Swansea, Middlesbrough, Watford and current side Wigan Athletic. Now 21, he is not expected to play for Chelsea’s first team again. Nemanja Matic is another who struggled to break through into Chelsea’s first team while a youth player. Matic was then sold to Benfica in 2011 as part of the deal that saw David Luiz come to the club, only for Chelsea to pay the Portuguese side £21m to resign the Serbian in 2014.

You can’t say it is black and white, that Brendan Rodgers’ side have it in the bag. The best team will win the Premier League title, but until you’ve actually done it you can’t say Liverpool are certainties. They have yet prove themselves against City and Chelsea squads who have been over this ground before. With four games to go, there are some huge moments remaining. Too many teams have been in positions when it has been in their hands, and lost the initiative. Every time it has been in somebody’s hands to get themselves a few points in front, they have blown it. City and Chelsea have suffered that problem. Now Liverpool are in a position where it theirs to lose. You look at it, and Liverpool have yet to go to a Crystal Palace side playing some great stuff. Chelsea went there, and lost. Everyone is getting all romantic and emotional, but that doesn’t win you anything.

• Brendan Rodgers

Emotions cost you scenarios, and if everybody starts getting emotional there is going to be a problem somewhere in those closing four matches. I thought it was a little bit early to start crying and getting the bunting out after beating City because nothing has been won yet. Steven Gerrard is one of my favourite players, and he is probably the one guy who is allowed to cry. He is the only one guy left at Liverpool, who is a one-club man, a figure born and bred in the city who loves his club. He can have that. I’ll accept that from it, but I won’t accept it from any other players. I can always accept it from Steven Gerrard, and what it means to him. The moment of the occasion got to him, but you do worry about all the players and supporters getting too emotional. A lot of Liverpool supporters think that it is simply going to happen because it is 25 years from the horrific events at Hillsborough. But football doesn’t work that way. There is no date with destiny on the anniversary of that terrible tragedy. There is no sentiment. If Liverpool get there, they are going to have to do it the hard way. You win nothing with sentiment, you win nothing with emotions. Liverpool will win it with football, not losing themselves in a false sense of elation with the job not finished.

It represents a 256 percent increase in salaries over the last five years at the Etihad Stadium, although the mean wage for a first-team player only rose 0.6 percent in the 2012-13 season. Their biggest earners that year, when they were runnersup in the Premier League and the FA Cup and failed to get out of the Champions League group stages, included Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, David Silva and Yaya Toure. The survey comes at a time when City’s finances are under scrutiny amid reports they will fail UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) regulations, although the club are confident they will pass the test. After City, the football clubs with the highest average salaries are Real Madrid and Barcelona, where players’ incomes of $7.58 million and $7.44 million respectively put them fourth and fifth in the sporting world, while Bayern Munich are seventh. Manchester United are the second Premier League club to feature on the list. They stood eighth after the average wage went up to $6.56 million per year when they acquired Robin van Persie. However, Chelsea dropped two places to 10th on the list after a three percent reduction in the average wage to $6.05 million. Arsenal, at $5.92 million per player, were ranked 11th while the current league leaders Liverpool, at $5.17 million, were only 20th. Wigan, who won the FA Cup and were relegated last season, had the lowest average payroll of any Premier League club in 2012-13, with wages of $1.75 million per player putting them 166th in the table. The survey took into account 294 teams in seven sports, across 15 leagues and 12 countries, and covered 8,663 sportsmen who earned a total of 16.15 billion dollars between them.

• Manuel Pellegrini


Ex-Barca Coach Says Messi Is ‘Muddled In The Head’ FORMER Barcelona and Argentina coach Cesar Luis Menotti believes Lionel Messi is fighting to overcome a case of mental burnout. Menotti, who led Barca normal when there are a lot between 1983 and 1984, has of games and he has many spoken to La Xarxa and gave obligations. his impressions of his “Maybe a couple of days compatriot. rest would help him “Messi has to overcome the recompose his head and be sadness of poor the best in the world again.” performances and rediscover It was suggested that Messi the joy, pride and passion it was already thinking of the takes to play at a club like World Cup, but Menotti Barcelona,” AS reports rejected that as a cause of the Menotti as saying. forward’s malaise. “I’ve seen more mental “I don’t think he is already fatigue than physical. It’s

thinking of Brazil. I think there is some disorder in his head, that his head is muddled,” Menotti added. “It’s happened to the best players in the world but I have great confidence in Messi and feel that he will have a great Cup final and rebuild himself. “Messi is always very

open-handed. I don’t think it has anything to do with the World Cup. “It happens to us all. There are days when things don’t go as we want. He should be helped to get back to his best.” The question of Barca as a whole was raised after La Blaugrana lost to Granada and fell to third in the League

Dortmund Looked Drained, Admits Klopp

JURGEN Klopp admitted his Borussia Dortmund side were drained after booking their place in the DFB Pokal final with a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg. BVB beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the second-leg of their Champions League quarterfinal seven days ago, before thrashing Bayern 3-0 on Saturday, prior to Tuesday’s semi-final clash. The exertions of the past seven days appeared to take their toll, with Wolfsburg creating several good opportunities during the 90 minutes, though BVB’s superior quality eventually told. Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the scoring in the first half and Robert Lewandowski doubled Dortmund’s lead with his 100th goal for the club before half-time, with Klopp relieved to see his players come through a stern test. “We have made the final, all is well,” he told reporters after the game. “With the quality that Wolfsburg have it is normal they have chance. The boys have played a lot of football and today it has taken its toll for the first time. “Wolfsburg always stayed focused and we had our chances on the break, but we didn’t have our usual control because of a lack of freshness.”

• Jurgen Klopp

table. Menotti pointed at a lack of cohesion in the team as the reason for their mixed results, believing Barca rely too heavily on moments of individual magic. “What the club needs is to regain its status and the quality of its play,” Menotti argued. “[The Copa del Rey final] is a good opportunity to do

Toni Kroos Going Nowhere, Says Agent TONI Kroos is not going anywhere before the summer of 2015, the Bayern Munich midfielder’s agent has told Bild. Rumours of a possible transfer to Manchester United resurfaced when Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told a news conference in Munich that the midfielder’s future is in his own hands on Tuesday. Earlier that day, the Guardian reported that the 2013 Premier League champions have offered Kroos a 260,000-pounds-aweek wage, a figure that would quadruple his reported current salary of 72,000 pounds a week with

• Messi

Gattuso Would Like To Coach AC Milan

GENNARO Gattuso has his sights fixed on becoming AC Milan coach in the future after doubts about Clarence Seedorf’s future in charge of the club resurfaced in the Italian media. Gattuso, 36, is keen on a return to the dugout, in spite of an ill-fated stint with current Serie B leaders Palermo at the start of the season. The former Milan and Italy midfielder — who began his management with a short stint at Swiss side Sion — claims to have turned down several offers already, and appears to be waiting for a call from the Rossoneri. “I’ve decided to stay where I am, also not to uproot my children from school,” Gattuso said at a book presentation. “But I am missing coaching a lot. I decided to start from the bottom and work my way up, but I would not mind returning to Milan one day. I was happy there and they are the side I supported since I was a child.” That opportunity could arise in the not too distant future with Seedorf again on the verge of

so against the eternal rival. “Barca are going through a difficult time. The worst is that the team has lost its order and has a huge dependence on the adventure of Neymar, Messi and Andres Iniesta. “Hopefully it’s down to circumstances. I’m still confident against Real Madrid that there are ideas to strengthen the collective and make the most of the great players Barca have.”

being dismissed, according to reports in Italy. General manager Adriano Galliani skipped a scheduled meeting with the coach — and the media — on Tuesday, fuelling speculation that his relationship with the Dutchman is deteriorating. A 1-0 win over Catania at the

weekend has done little to quell speculation, however, with Tuttosport suggesting that divisions have formed in the dressing room. Even finishing fifth and qualifying for the Europa League may not be enough to save Seedorf’s job, even if that was the objective he was set

when he arrived in January. Gattuso, however, believes his former teammate — with whom he won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles — is already having a positive impact. “It’s not right to question him,” said the 36-year-old. “He had the courage to accept this situation a few months ago, and now things are finally starting to work.”

PARIS Saint-Germain president Nasser alKhelaifi has dismissed speculation surrounding the future of Laurent Blanc and offered the embattled coach his “unconditional support”. Blanc has come under fire following a dismal week which has seen his side exit the Champions League after squandering a 3-1 first-leg

advantage against Chelsea and then lose 1-0 at Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1. Going out of European competition was a significant setback for a club bankrolled by the Qatar Investment Authority but Al-Khelaifi insists Blanc is secure in his job. He told Le Parisien: “I am extremely surprised to read the various reports on our

coach. “It’s very simple: he is our coach now and I insist that I want him to stay. I was very clear on that before the return game against Chelsea and my opinion has not changed.” PSG have the chance to avenge their loss to Lyon when they take on les Gones in the Coupe de la Ligue final on Saturday but Al-Khelaifi is adamant

Bayern. Kroos, contracted to Bayern until 2015, rejected Bayern’s contract offer in January, which would have reportedly doubled his salary. On Tuesday, Guardiola said that Bayern “will do everything to keep Toni here. But it is up to Toni. He is a young person, it is his decision.” On Wednesday, Volker Struth, the Germany midfielder’s agent, told Bild that, so far, United have not officially approached Kroos. He said: “There is no official contract offer. Moreover, there is no need to make an official offer, because Toni Kroos will play at FC Bayern at least until 2015.”

• Toni Kroos

PSG President Offers Blanc Unconditional Support

even a third straight loss will not alter his stance. “Laurent Blanc has my unconditional support and anything that happens on the pitch cannot change it,” he added. Blanc is under contract with PSG until the end of next season and the club have already proposed a 12-month extension, which the former France boss is considering.

France Will Not Win The World Cup - Deschamps DIDIER Deschamps does not believe that France are among the favourites to win the 2014 World Cup and has downplayed expectations ahead of this summer’s tournament.

Les Bleus were eliminated in the group stages during the 2010 World Cup and only qualified for the finals in Brazil after beating Ukraine in the play-offs and head coach Deschamps feels France are no longer one of the elite national sides in the world. “There are six or seven teams out there that head into the competition to win it, but France are not among those teams,” Deschamps told RMC. “Our first objective is to win our opening game against Honduras on June 15. “The last time France

won a World Cup groupstage match was against Togo in 2006. We are no

longer among the elite teams in Europe or worldwide. “I am a realist and keeping my feet on the ground. Is France’s level

that of the first leg against Ukraine or that of the return? We have to rely on what we did in the second game and try and replicate that each match.” Deschamps then went on to laugh off suggestions that he is the French equivalent of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. “Am I the French Mourinho? No, no,” he added. “I have talked with great coaches like Mourinho and [Vicente] del Bosque and they have had their fair share of luck, too. You need a lot of things to go your way. And you have to believe in yourself in difficult situations.”

Jetro Willems Ruled Out Of World Cup

NETHERLANDS fullback Jetro Willems will not play for his country this summer after suffering a knee ligament injury that rules him out of the World Cup. Willems, 20, has attracted the attention of some of Europe’s elite for his performances in the Eredivisie but was injured in PSV Eindhoven’s defeat to Feyenoord on Saturday. In a statement on the PSV website, the club said: “Jetro Willems is to

miss the rest of PSV’s season after having been ruled out for several months with knee ligament injury. “PSV’s medical staff reports that the 20-yearold left-back has damaged his knee. Willems hopes to be fit again for preseason training.” Willems was the youngest player to appear at the Euro 2012 championship and was tipped to impress this summer.

• Didier Deschamps

Deschamps To Pick Squad With Euro Manchester City DIDIER Deschamps will 2016 In Mind midfielder Nasri has been left

make his World Cup squad selection with the 2016 European Championship in mind, the France coach said on Wednesday. Speaking to French news channel BFMTV, Deschamps suggested he had to balance a desire for glory in Brazil this June with longterm success. “I’m also projecting myself to what we can expect at Euro 2016,” he said. France qualify automatically as hosts of Euro 2016. Deschamps, who will name a preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup on May 13, said he wanted to emphasise team spirit when making his selection. Asked if he could omit a player in order to preserve

the squad’s unity, Deschamps replied: “Yes, it is possible, there is a balance (to respect).” He added: “I’m not France coach to take the 23 best players but to form a group who will go as far as possible.” France have been undermined by off-field problems in recent tournaments. At the 2010 World Cup, the players went on strike in support of Nicolas Anelka, who was reported to have insulted then coach Raymond Domenech. Two years later, Samir Nasri was involved in a foulmouthed rant at a reporter after Les Bleus were eliminated by Spain in the quarter-finals.

FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne says the organisation must do more to tackle inequality in football. Champagne, 55, is a former FIFA executive and could face the current president, Sepp Blatter, as well as UEFA president Michel Platini in the May 2015 election. The former French diplomat told Le Parisien that the lack of a level playing field is damaging the game. “Inequality between the continents and inside certain

countries — the German or Spanish league for example — is growing,” he said. “It’s FIFA’s duty to struggle to preserve the universality of the game to avoid it transforming into an NBA, where only about 15 clubs would be at the top and the rest lagging behind. “The last 16 of the Champions League this season showed huge gaps. It’s the responsibility of FIFA and the other institutions of football to protect the uncertainty of

out of the squad for France’s last two matches, against Ukraine in a World Cup playoff and against the Netherlands in a friendly. France next play at the Stade de France against Norway on May 27, before two further friendlies against Paraguay in Nice and

• Jetro Willems

Drunk Irishmen Jailed For Racially Abusing Andy Cole

TWO Irishmen have been jailed for racially abusing former Manchester United star Andrew Cole. Dubliners Gregory Horan, 26, and Lee Byrne, 28, were sentenced in Manchester after drunken behaviour during an Aer Arran flight from Dublin to Manchester last December. Byrne has been handed a 20-week sentence and Horan

a ten-week sentence, after they subjected Cole to slurs such as “Mr Blackman” and “spook.” Both men were drunk by the time they boarded the plane despite the flight only taking off at 09:30am.

Champagne Wants To Restore Balance results.” Champagne, who has been working as a football consultant, said he does not feel that Platini had succeeded in restoring the balance. He added: “The Champions League is becoming a more and more elitist competition. The Europa League is monopolised by teams fished out from the Champions League. “Financial fair play is a good idea. No entity should spend more than it earns. We’ll have to see how it’s applied over time.

“For the moment, the punishment has focused on small Romanian, Portuguese or Serbian clubs. It is a good idea but financial fair play does not respond to the problem, which is the disparity in the redistribution of money. “Thirty-two clubs collect 85 percent of the money from the Champions League. It’s pointless at the moment to hope that a Norwegian, Bulgarian or French club — that is not the property of a foreign state — can go a long way in European competitions.”

Before take-off they were asked if they wished to disembark the plane but refused. They smuggled a bottle of rum onto the flight and were abusive to staff when asked to hand it over. The court also heard how they “hassled” and kicked the chairs of two female passengers. A statement from Cole was read out in court which said: “I’ve been the victim of racism before and will not tolerate this abuse in any capacity. “I am worried if nothing happens or changes the next generation of young people, including my own children, will suffer the same discrimination and that is unacceptable to me.” Cole, now 42, is the second

highest goalscorer in Premier League history after Alan Shearer. As well as playing for United, he enjoyed successful spells at Newcastle, Blackburn, Fulham and Manchester City amongst others. He won 15 caps for England and is currently a coach with Huddersfield Town.

• Andy Cole

DSTV Basketball League

Mark Mentors’ Coach Calls For More Sponsors The coach of Mark Mentors Basketball Club, Peter Ahmedu, has called on public and private organisations to join DSTV in the sponsorship of the Men’s Basketball Premier League. Ahmedu told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja that this was necessary for players’ sustainability. He said more sponsors would be needed to attract outstanding players to the league. “The standard of the league this season has improved, compared to what we used to have. But I still want to emphasise the fact that more sponsors have to come into this league.

Super Falcons

Ahead Cameroon Friendly

Super Falcons To Remain In Camp During Easter

The national senior women football team, the Super Falcons, will remain in camp throughout the Easter period, an official said on Tuesday. The team’s Media Officer, Gracious Akujobi, said in a statement that none of the players would also be released for the weekend’s Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) week eight matches. The statement quoted the team’s head coach, Edwin Okon, as saying that there was still much to do on the team. The team is preparing for an international friendly match against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, scheduled for April 29 in Abuja. The friendly match is preparatory to the African Women Championship (AWC) qualifier against

Rwanda. “There will be no Easter break for any one of us. We shall all do the Easter on the pitch, because we want to focus on the matches ahead of us. “And, no player will be released to her club,’’ the statement quoted the coach as saying. It however said the coach hinted that the team would likely go on break after the friendly match against Cameroon. “This is because we hope to use the Easter break to strategise and perfect plans for the matches ahead of us,” Okon said. According to the statement, the coach was

delighted at the players’ prompt response to training and said he could now pick the quality ones among them. “I am happy at the response of the girls to training over the past three weeks and, having screened and assessed the players over a period, I can now pick the quality ones and start blending them to our style. “I am elated that the team is gradually taking shape and by the time the players square up with the Indomitable Lionesses, we will know how far they have progressed,” it quoted Okon to have said. The statement also said Okon promised to build a formidable team for the AWC qualifiers. “I promise Nigerians that

I will build a new Super Falcons and that is why I am happy that we have to play Cameroon before taking on Rwanda in the AWC qualifier. “The match against Cameroon will be used to see how the players fit into match situations, teamwork and coordination,” Okon said.

FCT To Introduce Cricket In EMEKA Onyeama, the Schools where“It Iwasstarted. in a bid to start President, Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), said on Tuesday that plans were on to introduce the game in secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Amuneke Says Eaglets Ready For WAFU

EMMANUEL Amuneke of the national under-17 team on Tuesday said the team was ready for the forthcoming U-17 West African Football Union (WAFU) tournament in Togo. Amuneke, who stated this in a statement issued by the team’s Media Officer, Morakinyo Abodunrin, said that the Golden Eaglets defeated Pepsi Football Academy 9-0 in a friendly match. The match was

played at the Agege stadium in Lagos. “I am hopeful that the boys will give a good show in Togo, though we are not there yet, but we are impressed with the players’ performance today. “The attack was forceful and I really want to commend the players for being able to reproduce some of the things they have been

learning in training. “If we can continue to work collectively as we have done today, we can pull surprises in Togo. “By the grace of God, we are going to give a good account of ourselves and make a good impression,’’ the statement said. According to the statement, a hat trick from Orji Okonkwo, and a brace from Kehinde

The statement said the coach, however, called on the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) to arrange more friendly matches for the team ahead of the fixture against Rwanda. The Super Falcons will first travel to Rwanda for the first leg match between May 23 and May 25. The return leg will be played in Nigeria between June 6 and June 8.

“If we really want to get the best players to stay long in this league, we need more sponsors. “This is because if there are no sponsors, you find out that after one or two seasons, our players will want to go to either Europe or Asia to play because of the standard of their leagues. “But if there are more sponsors that are supporting DSTV now to put more money into the league, then we can begin to talk of good basketball,’’ the Mark Mentors coach said. “If there are more sponsors, this will in turn increase the number of league matches to be played in a season. “And I wish we play more matches in the league, so that the ability and skills of the players will be increased as they play more matches. “But all this boils down to having money which will come from sponsors and DSTV is trying its best. But we need more.’’ NAN reports that Multichoice Nigeria Ltd. have been sponsors of the DSTV Men’s Basketball Premier League since 2008 and has since then been the sole sponsor for the league.

Ayinde with a goal from, Kelechi Nwakali, gave the Golden Eaglets six goals in the first half. While a goal from, Dauda Abdulganiyu, and a brace from, Kingsley Michael, sealed the victory for the under-17 lads. The Golden Eaglets were pooled in Group B with Niger and Mali for the WAFU tournament. The six-nation tournament is scheduled to hold in Togo from April 19 to April 27.

Onyeama who was among the newly inaugurated seven-member board of FCT cricket association, told newsmen in Abuja that the association would achieve its objective within two years. “Today we have a cricket association in the FCT. “We need the media to begin to disseminate this information to the younger ones while we also prepare ourselves for a coaching clinic that will ensure that two-third of the secondary schools within FCT will play cricket in the next two years. “The game has always been there from inception of Nigeria. “Thank God today that the present government has given credence to sports, hence this game has to been revived.“ Onyeama said Tuesday’s inauguration of a FCT cricket board was the beginning of good things to happen to the sport in FCT. “It’s the beginning of a new dawn for cricket in FCT; this has always been my aspiration because this was

this association that I ended up at the federal level; so today is my happiest day that we have this association in the FCT. “As the President of the Cricket Association of Nigeria, my presence will be felt more in my local community, which is the FCT. “So, you will see that most of the programmes we will run nationally are going to stem from FCT. “FCT will be a pivot part of the whole operations of cricket in Nigeria.“ according to reports, 21 boards of sports associations in FCT were inaugurated on Tuesday by Blessing Onuh, the Secretary, Social Development Secretariat of FCT. The other associations were: athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, karate, kickboxing, scrabble, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, and football.


Wanted: Amnesty For Edo Teachers C I R C U M S TA N C E S around us could change from time to time but the history of those circumstances, once properly captured, remains more permanent. History reminds us that the circumstances around the Edo teacher have been changing most rapidly. It is only a thorough understanding of the changing situations of the Edo teacher that would show that the current imbroglio between Governor Adams Oshiomholeís Administration and the Edo teachers is absolutely unnecessary. They both want the best for the State but they only differ in their approaches to this ideal. In the beginning, the teaching profession attracted the best brains. Only the best went to the teachersí training colleges and this was to show up later as most of the countryís ruling elites virtually came through this noble profession. At that time, schools were held in the highest esteem and they were seemingly personalized. School heads were given free hands to do whatever was necessary to keep their schools on top; and in helping their schools to maintain the best academic records, including issues of recruitment and the filling of urgent vacancies. My younger brother, Solomon, as a student in Pilgrim Baptist Grammar School, Ewohimi, had passed through S.O. Ayobahan who was a senior tutor at the Institution. By early 1970s Ayobahan was the Principal of Edo Boys High School, now Adolo College, Benin City. Four of us were yet living in this cranky room at Rasaq Balogun Street, Surulere, when Solo obtained his advanced level GCE papers. As soon as news of

this achievement got to Ayobahan, he personally came to Lagos to remove Solo to teach Geography at Edo Boys. That was how Solo left his Ministry of Communications job to become a tutor ñ a big name that he paraded so jealously. From Ambrose Folorunsho Alli to Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole: The Edo teacher had a peculiar history in these two regimes. Professor Alli was a scholar par excellence. He could test positive for education, anytime. But unfortunately, he became the Governor of then Bendel State in 1979, at a time when there was a dearth of teachers in our schools. It was not unusual to see big schools with many students; but with only one or two teachers. Alli needed teachers to prosecute the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, education policy, which was the partyís topmost cardinal programme. And the teachers were also needed to rescue the educational system, which was at the verge of imminent collapse. Overnight, teachers training colleges sprang up everywhere and, of course, the conditions for admission into them were liberalized. People were granted permission to go to teachersí colleges on leave of absence, with or without pay. The popular American belief that, it is permissible, sometimes, for people to tell small lies on their ages and on their income tax returns, came to the fore. Under the circumstance, nobody was asking or looking for the best. We looked the other way if people presented certificates that did not appear quite straight. Women abandoned their market stalls and headed for teachersí colleges. Where a woman who had been selling pepper for 15

years at Uwa Market was being offered an opportunity to return to school she quickly reached for her cosmetics box; increased her pancake powdering to 500 grams; and headed for the nearest court registry to adjust her age accordingly, unknown to her that some day, somebody would come to demand for her primary six certificate,

colleges, they became useful right from the stage of teaching practice. On a moral high ground, it might seem unfair to treat them as expendable items towards their exit point. Their gallant gamble must not end in the dust! There is, however, an admixture of these ìinterventionist teachersî

this, the embarrassment occasioned by the system. In a recent exercise, it was discovered that the younger ones were even the worst culprits in lying about their ages. Understandably, people who have been looking for jobs for upwards of 15 years

• Gov. Adams Oshiomhole

which when taken seriously, would indicate that she obtained that Primary Six Certificate when she was not yet conceived! Thatís where we are now. It is instructive that most of these teachers came on a rescue mission and they truly rescued our education system from collapse. The moment they went into the training

and those employed under the candle light. As we speak, dubious elements in the system might be busy, at the hinterland, hawking teachersí appointment letters, perhaps unknowns to headquarters. Teachers employed under the scheme are quickly regularized between board dissolutions and reconstitution. Add to

and now stand the chance of getting one, after paying heavily, also stand the chance of cutting down on their ages so that they could work for sometime to recoup their investment and get near pension-attracting before retirement. All these put a lot of strains on Governor Oshiomhole. Who wants to be the Governor of a

State where a teacher cannot spell ìteacherî? What future is such a Governor leaving for the children? Since when did an employer lose the right to regulate his employeesí condition of service, including occasional assessment tests for such employees if the employer so desired? Edo teachers are engaged in a fight they can hardly win. Jawjaw is better than warwar. Anyone who knows how his behind is should be the best judge of how to bend down. Dialogue is the mother of peace. It is not yet too late in the day for Edo teachers to change their strategy; and appeal to their Governor for amnesty. Yes, you supported the Governor during the elections but you did not support him to come and destroy the education system. If anything, you wanted an improved education system. After the amnesty programme, which would ease out the teachers gracefully, the Edo State Government should sanitize its system and ensure that henceforth, only good teachers are employed to teach our children. The teaching profession should return to its glorious past instead of being an all comers affair.

“It is instructive that most of these teachers came on a rescue mission and they truly rescued our education system from collapse. The moment they went into the training colleges, they became useful right from the stage of teaching practice. On a moral high ground, it might seem unfair to treat them as expendable items towards their exit point. Their gallant gamble must not end in the dust!”

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. All correspondence to: 24 Airport Road, Benin City. E-mail: (ISSN 0331-2674)

Nigerian observer 17 04 2014  

Nigerian Observer E-Digital Edition