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The Nigerian

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol. 38 NO.380• FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 20 13 • N 100.00 ISSUES Page 19 Corruption in the Education Sector

NUJ calls for revamping of The OBSERVER By ANDY EGBON

BENIN CITY – The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Observer Chapel, Comrade Kehinde Osagiede has appealed

to Edo State government to beam its searchlight on The NIGERIAN OBSERVER through the

provision of modern publishing machines. Making the call in Benin City yesterday

during the union’s 2013 F o r u m / A w a r d ceremony, Comrade Continued from page 1


Oshiomhole to Doctors HEALTH

Page 21 Malaria: Life threatening blood disease

BENIN CITY - Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has described the ongoing nationwide warning strike by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) as provocative, illegal, avoidable and unnecessary. Oshiomhole stated dispute because Doctors this yesterday at a in the employment of meeting with the Edo State Government Association of Resident are not staff of the Doctors, Medical and Federal Government. Dental Consultants He said: “The Federal Association in Government has no Government House, hand in your Benin City. employment, no hand in “If you have any your promotion and they grievances you are have no hand in your obliged by law, you are posting. How we find obliged by tradition, you money to pay, the are actually compelled Federal Government has by your own oath not to no hand in it. So, I abandon your patients believe therefore, that as if there is pleasure. even if we are to talk in The facts are not in

No work, No pay By ADAMS OYIBOKE

the context of employeremployee relationship, you are obliged by law to state the particulars of your grievances to your employer. Oshiomhole further

said that: “There is nothing in the convention or the law that allows you to simply walk out of your job. The fact that your colleagues under Federal

employment had dispute and they sought meeting with the Minister of Health, those are meetings between your colleagues and the Federal Government. How is Edo State a part of that? “I expect that if you feel

obliged to go on that strike, I think you should inform us that the strike is inevitable. I do understand the logic and essence of solidarity, but in this business, before you Continues on page 2



Office of the Honourable Commissioner MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC UTILITIES. 2nd Floor, Palm House, Sapele Road, P.M.B 1023, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria


It has recently been observed that certain unknown persons have formed the criminal habit of removing and carting away, the reinforced steel plate covers on manholes designed to maintain Benin City’s underground drainage systems. This unscrupulous activity poses great danger to pedestrians and motorists, who unaware of the open holes, can run into them without caution. We hereby call on those perpetrating this shameful act to desist from it henceforth and show some respect for facilities built with tax payer’s money. Anyone apprehended will be prosecuted according to extant laws on vandalization of government properties; and endangering lives of innocent citizens. May we also use this opportunity in appealing to the general public, to please join the effort to protect public utilities and infrastructures, as they ultimately belong to all of us and designed for our convenience. Report all suspicious activities to the Police or call these hotlines of the Enforcement Unit, Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities. 08131160792, 08182447003 Signed: PRINCE CLEM AGBA Honourable Commissioner

Implement agreement, Mark counsels By JOSES SEDE ABUJA - President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has counseled both the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to respect the agreement that led to the end of the six months old industrial action in order to avoid a repeat of the unfortunate saga in the future. Similarly, Senator Mark advised that the N200billion Naira Education Fund lodged at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) vault for the purpose of addressing the ills in the universities should be used judiciously to curb the defects. Speaking when the Continues on page 2

MEETING: Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State welcoming Dr. Abe Eghe of the Joint Action Committee of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association, Edo State Chapter, yesterday. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE.

FG budgets N4.6tr for 2014 By JOSE SEDE

ABUJA - “Those in favour of the motion that the Senate do now discharge the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy and her

entourage, having performed her duty by laying the Budget Estimate for 2014 at the table say Aiyes!”. The foregoing signified

the end of about three months gridlock between the federal legislature and the executive over presentation of N4.6 trillion 2014 Budget package and

Edo dissolves NYCN Caretaker the 8 November 2013 BENIN CITY- The Committee at the secretariat of the Edo State National Youth M a n a g e m e n t National Youth Council th

Government has dissolved the purported caretaker committee set up to run the affairs of the

Council, Edo State Chapte. The decision f o l l o w e d

committee meeting of the National Youth Council of Nigeria Edo State chapter held on

of Nigeria Edo State chapter. The Commissioner for Continues on page 2

heralded effective legislative starting point of consideration of the fiscal instrument, having been laid at the table of the Senate yesterday, by the finance minister. This is the second time a national budget is being laid at the tables of both chambers of the National Assembly by proxy, the first being Senator Mohammed Abba-Aji who was then Special Adviser on National Assembly Continues on page 2


NUJ calls for revamping of The OBSERVER

Continued from page 1 Osagiede urged the governor to develop the capacity of the workforce both of which are fundamental requirement for the growth and development of the publishing outfit in the face of a dynamic and competitive world. According to him, when these are done, the company would be better placed to serve the government and the larger society in a most efficient and effective way. Comrade Osagiede noted that: “the near sorry state of

state owned media outfits across the country has led to the low public perception of practioners working in these establishments. “More worrisome is the fact that some public servants in critical information management sectors tend to share this unfair perception to the point that they rush to hasty conclusion that workers in state media are lacking in

professionalism”. “I make bold to state here that state owned media, including The Nigerian OBSERVER parade a litany of professionals who unfortunately find themselves in an environment that tends to shackle their sense of industry. “I make bold to declare too that given the poor state of

your members on strike from work go to their own clinics to work. “And to think that anyone would do this, such that those who cannot afford private health care are now left to die, is a gross abuse of your skills. It borders on blackmail on the entire system and holds all of us to ransom. ‘When a doctor no longer borders about the life of a patient, that is the beginning of the end’. Oshiomhole warned that “In Edo State, we will not submit to this blackmail. You are doing essential services because of the nature of your work, you are not expected to go on strike. Let us realise that beyond naira and kobo, there is life. “I simply don’t understand why the NMA wants to preside over mass death at the eve of Christmas. Even If you don’t have other sentiments, on the mood of the Christmas, you choose to watch people die. That is why

yesterday, I told the Honourable Commissioner for Health to put you on notice that if a doctor choose not to work I am sure they also know that they have elected not to be paid. “Where else in the world do doctors go on warning strike for five consecutive days. If the idea is to warn, do you really need five days of watching people die for you to make your point? I worry for Nigeria because no country can make it in this kind of cycle....” The Governor expressed disappointment at the manner of solidarity by the Edo Chapter of the NMA and called on them to have a rethink to save the lives of the people. Responding, Dr. Eghe Abe said the association would convene to take a dispassionate consideration of the governor’s address and do what is in the interest of the state.

education strong and functional. We must strive to lay a solid foundation for our future”, Senator Mark stressed. He sympathized with ASUU on the death of its former President, Professor Festus Iyayi and canvassed for a qualitative education in the country as a mark of respect that late Iyayi did not die in vain. Senator Mark said wide consultation and dialogue remains the best approach to any disagreement saying that constant dialogue is the antidote to industrial dispute. Earlier, the President of ASUU, Isa Fagge thanked

the Senate for the mediation that led to the end of the strike. Fagge regretted the prolonged strike on account of the initial reluctance of government to implement the agreement of the 2009 accord. “I can now confirm that the agreement has been signed between ASUU and Federal Government. The N200billion Naira Education Fund has also been credited at the CBN. We have also constituted an implementation monitoring committee on the agreement to avoid any breach, “the ASUU helmsman affirmed.

Later in a chat with Correspondents, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala explained that expected revenue for the 2014 fiscal year is N3.73trillion while N1.1trillion is for capital expenditure. She further informed journalists that the N1.1trillion Capital estimate represents 27 per cent of the budget while the Recurrent Expenditure of N3.5 trillion represents 72 per cent. The minister added that the N4.6 trillion total package is exclusive of the Subsidy

Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds. “Aggregate expenditure excluding SURE – P funds is about N4.6 trillion and the revenue is about N3.73 trillion. The capital expenditure is about N1.1trillion and makes up about 27 per cent of the budget, the balance of course is the recurrent and it is about 72 per cent of the budget. The distinguishing feature between the 2013 budget and the 2014 budget is the focus we have on really continuing the successes that we had in 2013 in creating

No work, No pay

Continued from page 1

resort to solidarity action, people who are themselves directly involved in the dispute may choose on their own to first go on strike. “If after sometime you feel that no one is listening and there is need to reinforce by way of solidarity, subject to the rule of law, then you can decide to go on a secondary action. I am not aware that you can go on strike the same day as those who are directly affected”, he said. The Governor expressed worry that: “If solidarity was the basis of your participation, why are doctors in the private practice not part of the action”. Oshiomhole declared: “I am unable to resist the conclusion that the strike like some other ones are designed to enrich those at the private practice by shutting down public hospitals so that those who are sick have no choice but to go to private clinics where some of

Implement agreement

Continued from page 1 President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, his Vice, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi and his predecessors Dipo Fashina as well as Dr. Abdullahi Sule-Kano visited him, Senator Mark urged them to do all that is required to return education to its former glory. He restated that Education remains the bed rock of any nation which must not be compromised or toiled with. “Education is the foundation of any development. No nation toils with the education of its citizens. We must make our

equipment in our beloved company, workers and management of the Observer deserve commendation for their knack for result and commitment to deliver on set goals”, he said. He however called on government for immediate implementation of the WeightIn-Allowance for media practitioners in the state public service. The publicity secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former chairman of the chapel as well as the state council of the union, Comrade Godwin Erhahon told guests that The OBSERVER newspapers was the springboard to stardom. He paid glowing tribute to the media outfit but, however, lamented that “those who were built by The OBSERVER often refused to nurture The OBSERVER when they find themselves in a position to do so”. While appreciating the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for regularly paying the salary of staff of the company, he noted that it is a departure from the past where salary are owed workers for months. Ironically, he said: “I see no new structure in the Observer premises, neither do I see evidence of better service condition of service. “I suspect that either that The Observer has been misrepresented or poorly presented to the Comrade Governor for the life line and milk that she desperately needs”. In a lecture titled: “The place of Conventional Media in the Dynamic World of Mass Communication”, a Veteran Journalists and Senior Special Assistant on Legal Matters to Governor Oshiomhole, Barrister Adams Aliu noted that conventional media of the past “has given place to the evolving, digitalized, computerized and dynamic world of mass communication of these days”. The ceremony also featured the conferment of award on distinguished members of the society.

Rotary Club 9140 holds Xmas party By LAMAI CASSIUS BENIN CITY - As part of the yuletide season/ celebration, the Rotary club of Ogba, Benin district 9140 has organized this year’s Rotary family. The event which took place at the Mat Ice Plaza along Ihama Road Benin City was attended by rotary family members and other guests. In a brief welcome speech, the Club President, Rot. Blessing Obasuyi said the party is an annual event and tradition of the club as a way of coming together of members family and an avenue to meet family members and new friends and to extend helping hands to humanity. Rot. Obasuyi said some of the objectives of the club is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and in particular to encourage and foster the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. While it promotes high ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve

society and the advancement and understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in ideal of service. The guest of honour, Chief Solomon Ogbewe thanked the club for organizing the party for their children saying he was happy to be with the children as they are the leaders of tomorrow and prayed that next year’s gathering will be better than this year. While Comrade Godwin Erahon who was the special guest appreciated the Rotary Club, saying their business is purely humanitarian and was happy to be identifying with them for their encouragement of the youths in the society. Highpoint of the event was the presentation of Tshirts by Chief Femi Lawani to members to use to fight against polio in the country. Other prominent members of the club present are Dr. Okunzuwa Osawaru, Past Asst. Governor and Chief Femi Lawani, past District Governor.

Edo dissolves NYCN Caretaker Committee

Youth Sports and Social mobilization Hon. Omorede Osifo disclosed this yesterday during the formal inauguration of a Panel of investigation set up to look into crisis rocking the council. Hon. Osifo stressed that the dissolution has become necessary because the constitution and proceeding of the said management committee meeting were in conflict with the constitutional provisions of the National Youth Council of Nigeria. She directed all aggrieved parties of the council to channel their grievances to the committee for investigation and recommendation and all properties of the NYCN Edo State in possession of the dissolved caretaker committee should be handed over to the

chairman of the panel of investigation Barr. Austine Odigie with immediate effect. Meanwhile, a panel of investigation comprising the following youth leaders Barr. Austine Odigie, Mr. Felix Agho, Mr. Festus Eribo, Mrs. A. Alufokhai Mr. Kelly Owede, Mr. Osaze Igiewe and Mr. J.I Uduebor was inaugurated to look into the crisis within the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Edo State chapter which report should be submitted within three weeks of its inauguration. Responding on behalf of the panel of investigation, the chairman Barr. Austine Odigie thanked the commissioner for the confidence reposed in them and promised that the committee will ensure that the crisis faced by the council will be resolved in line with the fronts of the constitution.

because jobs would be created there. Industries will also be created in solid minerals. All these support will continue to be unleashed. Job creation is the key to really solving the problems of the Nigerian economy. All the programmes that create jobs are very well supported. The SURE-P is also part of it, community service programmes would be pushed and the YOUWIN programme would be pushed. The Infrastructure development is part of it, the Hon. Minister of transport is here, we have been working on rail development. Ministry

of Niger Delta is also part of the infrastructure development, Water resources, FCT development and so on. We have privatised power but we will be working on the transmission to direct resources there. The distinguishing thing is that it is a continuation of what we have done before but with more emphasis on really pushing out jobs and also supporting safety nets that can further redistribute income to poor people in the country,” she added. The 2014 Budget estimate is about N170 billion less than the N4.77 trillion budget of 2013.

Continued from page 1

FG budgets N4.6tr for 2014

Continued from page 1

Matters to President Shehu Yar ’Adua (now late) in November 2009. The Budget is coming after a long-drawn argument and several postponements between the Senate and the House of Representatives over acceptable benchmark price of oil for the 2014 - 2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper The presidential errant simply laid the document which came in a green-whitegreen coloured paper box at the table of each chamber without the usual address and fanfare that always spiced presidential presentation.

jobs for young Nigerians and we are going to push it”, she stressed. Stressing the high premium of the federal government on job creation and inclusive growth, the minister continued. “This budget is the budget for job creation and inclusive growth, meaning that, it is a budget which will continue the President’s Transformation Agenda for several sectors of the economy. The budget is going to support the push in agriculture. It will kick start the housing sector where we can create more jobs. It is designed in line with our policies that would support manufacturing

News Bayelsa Govt Applauds Edo Govt Tax in place such tax laws By VICTOR OMOALU Administration putting that would ensure the reforms

BENIN CITY – The Bayelsa State government has applauded the visionary tax-driven administration of Edo State, describing it as very futuristic. This was made known by a team of officials of the Bayelsa State Internal Revenue Service led by the secretary, Barr. Ezougha Ogborodi who were on a two-day study visit to the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS). Speaking for the team, the Executive Chairman, Bayelsa State Internal Revenue Service, Chief Godson Mark lauded the political will of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole towards the success story of the EIRS. Mark who was represented by Ikobo Anthony Howells, a member of the BIRS, said “What I’m seeing here is very futuristic, you people are far ahead. The level of technology, the passion of the staff, the drive of the executive chairman and the personal involvement of His Excellency in the entire process is something for us to take home,” stated mark. Continueing, he said: “You already have a ten-years plan and you use the technology to compute and update your tax audit, while we are still using the manual.” Mark who expressed satisfaction over the revenue system of Edo State however stated,: “We have noted a lot of things which are quite innovative.” “We have been struggling with the issue of head office which you already have solution to; we are really impressed,” he said. In his remark, the Executive

Chairman, of EIRS Chief (Sir) Oseni Elamah briefed the visiting team on the obsolete status of the agency before he assumed office and how he had been able to bring reformation/ transformation into the system. He said the decision to reform the IGR organ was geared by the need to internalize the tax/ revenue administration by

were done under transparency, accountability, honesty and value for taxpayers money. Augmenting the manpower resources as well as professionalizing the service, chief Elamah said informed the decision to set up the EIRS training school with the aim of training/retraining the staff of the agency.

Ulemon Community Leader Eulogises Benin Monarch At Igue BENIN CITY- As events lined-up for the celebration of this year ’s Igue Festival unfolds in grand style, the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa has been described as a royal father of inestimable reverence, whose influence and symbol of authority is globally acknowledged. A prominent youth activist and Chairman of Ulemon community Development Association, Iyekogab, Oredo Local Government Area Iredia Adun, made the assertion while commenting on the annual event, which showcases the rich cultural and traditional heritage of the Great Benin Kingdom. Comrade Adun pledged the loyalty of the Odionwere, elders and people of Ulemon Community to the Oba, while praying Almighty God and the ancestors to continue to grant the Omo N’ Oba good health long life and peaceful reign on the ancient Benin throne . He maintained that the reign of the Oba has attracted

unprecedented development and progress to Benin Kingdom in particular and Edo State in general.

Doctors Strike Paralyses Activities In Lagos Hospitals

LAGOS - Activities at government-owned hospitals in Lagos State were paralysed following a five-day warning strike by medical doctors. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had on December 15 directed its members to embark on the nationwide strike. The strike is to protest the doctors’ poor working conditions, inadequate funding, and poor infrastructure in the nation’s health sector. Our correspondents, who visited the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), IdiAraba, the Lagos State University Teaching hospital (LASITH), Ikeja, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba and National Orthopaedic

Vigilante Boss Calls For Govt Support


OMOLUA (IGBANKE) – The Session Commander of Vigilant Outfit, Omolua, Igbanke in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr. Michael Adagbon has appealed for assistance from all levels of government, individuals and corporate organization to assist the group function optimally He told The Nigerian OBSERVER in Omolua (Igbanke) that the group complements the activities of the police and other security agencies in the fight against criminals. Presently, he said the group had to contend with the challenge of inadequate finance and other logistics in carrying out its assignment. So far, he said the vigilante has been able to reduce the high incidence of criminalities and juvenile delinquencies in

the area. With adequate support, he said the outfit is capable of surpassing its present track record in crime control and

Mothers and their babies at the 7th Pre-Christmas Babycare mothercare expo at Gwagwalada in Abuja yesterday.

prevention. According to him, the vigilante had organized series of seminars aimed at educating parents and younger ones on the desirability of staying away from crime and criminality.

Hospital, Igbobi, report that the strike paralysed activities at the facilities. Consultants and resident doctors were unavailable to attend to scores of patients who thronged the hospitals. The correspondents also said the situation was the same at the emergency units of the hospitals.

At LASUTH, some patients who were on admission appealed to the doctors to a better means of resolving their grievances with the government instead of embarking on strike. They said that the striking doctors should consider the health conditions of the common people. In his comment, a senior

resident doctor at LUTH, Dr Peter Ogunnubi, told newsmen that a full compliance of the strike by doctors was being enforced. He said the delay by the Federal Government in addressing the “deterioration’’ in the nation’s health sector had forced them into an industrial action.

the strike, adding that this was not good for Nigerians. “Whenever there is a strike, it is usually the poor masses that suffer; the rich man will always have means of accessing care in private hospitals.” Atobatele called on government to sort out the issues to enable Nigerians to access health care in all hospitals. During a visit to Abuja Clinics, Maitama, it was observed that activities were normal, with health workers carrying out their duties. A patient, Mrs. Nkiru Ajufo, however, lamented that the

strike had affected her immensely, saying she was billed for a surgery at one of the government hospitals. Ajufo said: “I have made all necessary arrangements to undergo a surgical operation for the removal of fibroid tissues at the National Hospital but that could not happen due to the strike. “I have to sort myself out in this hospital because I don’t know when the strike will be called off.” Ajufo stressed the need for Nigerians not to see strike as a last resort, saying there should be other avenues for settling disputes.


State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has created the enabling environment for the Hausa community to do business through the distribution of democratic dividend across the state. While praying God to grant him the wisdom to lead the people of the state to greater height, Alhaji Hassan urged members of the Hausa community to contribute their quota to the development of the state.

...As FCT Residents Throng Private Hospitals For Medical Attention

ABUJA - Residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have thronged private hospitals to access medical services, following the warning strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in government institutions. Check in some private hospitals in the FCT showed that activities were going on smoothly, as doctors conducted their normal duties. A patient, Ms Yinka Atobatele, said it was saddening that medical doctors in government hospitals started

Hausa Community Leader Applauds Delta Govt Accommodating Stance

Vice Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Ugbowo Police Division Mr. G.A. Akhanolu (right), presenting a gift to the new Divisional Police Officer (DPO) SP Remigius Ekuri.

AGBOR – The Sariki of Muslim Community Agbor, Delta State, Alhaji Umaru Hassan has commended the state government for creating a conducive environment for them to live in the locality. Alhaji Hassan made the commendation in a chat with The Nigerian OBSERVER in Agbor. According to him, the Delta

News FRSC Deploys 2,400 Marshals On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway - Comander

Women Living With HIV Now Access HIV Grants

- Association

ABUJA- The Association of Women Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN) can now access funds from the National Agency for the Control of AIDS. Mrs Esther James, an Advocacy Officer, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. She said the success was due to the association’s continued advocacy to relevant stakeholders. James said the association also had access to HIV fund from the UN Development Programmes (UNDP) and UN Population Funds. She said the ability of members to access HIV funds would ensure positive results in the fight against the virus. “We have developed a fouryear plan that will be implemented with the aid from the UNFPA, while that of UNDP will run for two years.

2015 Election

APC Urges FG To Ensure Safety Of Life, Property

ABUJA- All Progressives Party (APC) has called on the Federal Government to ensure the safety of lives and property in every part of the country before 2015 general elections. The party made the call in a 7-point communique read by Chief Bisi Akande, its Interim National Chairman, at the end of the party’s Interim National Electoral Committee meeting in. “Federal Government should live up to its responsibilities by ensuring that every part of Nigeria is safe enough for 2015 general elections,” the party said. On insurgency in the NorthEastern part of the country, APC advocated “carrot and stick” method to resolve the problem. On the continued closure of Rivers House of Assembly, the party appealed to men and women of goodwill to speak up on the issue for the benefit of citizens of the state. It called on the National Assembly to investigate the disbursement of ecological fund to ensure social justice.

L-R: US Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. James Entwisile; US Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Samantha Power during their visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja recently.

LAGOS- The Lagos State Command of the Federal Road Safety Commissions (FRSC) said 2,400 personnel had been mobilised for Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for yuletide patrol The Sector Commander, Mr Chidi Nkwonta, told newsmen in Lagos that the step would ensure accident-free period. According to him, the personnel, comprising 1,200 Regular Marshals, 1,000 Special Marshals and 200 NYSC Road Safety Club members, began operations on Monday. Nkwonta added that the command had released 38 patrol vehicles, two tow trucks and two ambulances to arrest any unforeseen situation on the highway.

54% Nigerian Youths Were Unemployed In 2012 - Report

ABUJA- The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that 54 per cent of Nigerian youths were unemployed in 2012. This was contained in the “2012 National Baseline Youth Survey Report’’ issued in Abuja by the NBS in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youths Development. “More than half, about 54 per cent of youth population were unemployed. “Of this, females stood at 51.9 per cent compared to their male counterpart with 48.1 per cent were unemployed,’’ the report said. It said out of 46,836 youths recorded against different types of crimes, 42,071, representing 75.5 per cent were males, while the remaining 24.5 per cent were females. “Among the 32 different crimes committed, Marijuana (Indian hemp) smoking has the highest figure, representing 15.7 per cent. “This was followed by theft and murder with 8.1 and 7.4 per cent, respectively. The least committed crime was Immigration/Emigration

representing 0.04 per cent.’’ The report said more than five million youths indicated they were involved in conflict resolution at one level of governance or the other. “But the response of the youths shows that most of them are involved in conflict prevention at the community level representing 64.9 per cent, while 30.9 per cent are involved at the ward level. “Only 1.6 per cent are involved at the state level, while 83.9 per cent males are involved in football than females with 16.1 per cent. “This is also obtainable in boxing, swimming, wrestling and tennis, however, a higher proportion of females, representing 81.1 per cent, are involved in volley ball than males with 18.9 per cent. “In Hockey, 59.3 per cent females and 40.7 per cent males are involved, while 74 per cent females and 26 per cent males are involved in Track and Field events.’’ According to the survey, the

population of youths aged between 15 and 35 years in Nigeria is estimated to be 64 million, while females are more than males in all age groups. The report said Lagos State had the highest percentage of youths in Nigeria with 6.1 per cent, followed by Kano state representing 5.7 per cent, while Bayelsa State had the lowest with1.3 per cent. “Out of the group of married youths, 68 per cent were females, while 32 per cent were males, the rate of divorce and widowhood was high among the female youths with 70.9 and 71.8 per cent, respectively while 38.5 per

cent females were never married.’’ The report said the objective of the study was to provide useful data for the design and development of youth-focused programmes by the Federal Ministry of Youths Development and other partners in the country. The study was aimed at generating empirical data to inform policy decisions and guide their implementation. It was also aimed at providing government and other stakeholders with useful data that would assist in the development of young people’s employability to ensure their successful transition to the labour market.

“Our corporate goal for this festive period is to record zero crash on Lagos-Ibadan highway and that is why we are not leaving any stone unturned. “We cannot afford to lose precious souls of Nigerians to auto crashes, so effort must be made this year to stop this. “We have strategically divided the highway among ourselves with a senior officer in each to eliminate auto-crashes which perennially terminate innocent lives of Nigerians, “ the FRSC boss said. Nkwonta also warned that motorists should expect enforcement of traffic laws, to achieve the corps’ goals of zero crashes. “FRSC is not an entertainment industry, we are committed to our responsibility; if we keep talking nice and tolerating offences, no one will listen. “This recurrent loss of lives on our roads must stop; acting with impunity and getting away with it must stop through enforcement,“ he said. The sector commander urged the road users to obey traffic regulations because traffic offences would attract appropriate penalties. According to him, drivers should avoid dangerous driving, alcohol intake, overconfidence, use of phones while driving, illegal parking and other actions that were dangerous to safety. “What we need from drivers is to obey traffic laws for their good and the security of other road users,“ he added. He advised motorists to be conscious that many incompetent drivers and mechanically deficient vehicles would be on the road.

Parents, Students Commend FG, ASUU For Suspending Strike

ENUGU- A cross section of parents and students in Enugu have commended the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for suspending the fivemonth-old strike. Some of those who spoke with

L-R: Co-ordinating Director, Field Operations Group, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Julius Bamidele; Director, Programme Management, Non-Tax Office, Chiaka Okoye; Acting FIRS Chairman, Alhaji Kabir Mashi; Director, Large Tax Compliance Group, Sunday Ogengbesan at the inauguration of Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) in Abuja yesterday

newsmen in Enugu have expressed delight at the development. A civil servant, Mrs Chinwe Onuora, said the end of the strike would encourage her to celebrate the festive season well. Onuora commended the Federal Government as well as the ASUU for resolving their differences. “We are very happy about the development. I want to thank the federal government for this and also plead with them not to allow a thing like this to come up again. “Situations like this contribute to the dwindling of the education system in the country,’’ she said. Mr Ndukaku Ubosi, a businessman, described it as a welcome development as parents and students would celebrate the yuletide happily. Ubosi, however, suggested that students should return to their various schools next year to enable them to prepare adequately for academic activities. “It will be unfair to tell students to return to school at this critical period when the roads are

busy. They should be allowed to get prepared for studies and examinations after the Christmas and New Year celebrations,’’ he said. Some of the students who spoke with newsmen expressed joy about the suspension of the strike, saying that they could not wait to go back to school. Miss Adanna Nnanna of Mass Communication Department at the UNN and Mr Arinze Chukwuonwe of the University of Ibadan thanked the federal government for fulfilling the demands of ASUU. They appealed to lecturers to commence academic activities immediately after the festive season to enable them to complete the academic calendar. Meanwhile, some parents complained that they had already spent their money for the yuletide while others said that they would shelve celebrations for school fees. ASUU announced the suspension of the strike on Tuesday after reaching an agreement with the federal government in Minna.

News Same Sex Marrige: Senate Okays 14 Yrs Jail By JOSES SEDE

ABUJA - Two and half years after its earlier passage, Senate of the Federal Republic yesterday unanimously passed

a harmonised Conference Committee report banning same sex marriage in Nigeria, a development that defies stiff western opposition to the ban. This is even as presiding

Senate President David Mark enjoined President Goodluck Jonathan to quickly sign the Bill into law so as to deal with rising immoral acts among the citizens.

“We have been under series of attack from different quarters. I think we believe in this Bill. The earlier we sign it into law, the better. We (Nigeria) have had many shortcomings, we don’t

Mr. Augustine Umhenin (left), helping his wife out of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital as Doctors begin warning strike in Abuja recently. With them is the son.

NGO To Partner NAPTIP On Child Abuse IGARRA (EDO)-A nongovernmental organisation Child Protection Network (CPN) - is to partner with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) to curb child abuse in Edo. The CPN Coordinator in Edo, Mrs. Jennifer Ero, gave the assurance at the inauguration of a branch of the body at Igarra, the Headquarters of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state. Ero said that CPN was a brain child of UNICEF, established in the state in 2011 to join in the protection of child rights. She said that the setting up of a branch in Akoko Edo resulted from reports of cases of child abuses in the area. “Akoko Edo is one of the six local government areas of interest in Edo North because of reported cases of child rights abuse. “We need to draw public attention to the importance of Child Rights Act and the need to vigorously protect the right of children,’’ she said. Earlier, the Chairman of Akoko Edo Local Council, Mr Folorunsho Akerejola, urged governments, nongovernmental organisations and relevant agencies to show more commitment to child rights protection. “The interest of children in the society should be taken into consideration because if we get it right there, all will be right.

want to add this one (same sex marriage) to it” It would be recalled that the Same Sex Bill, which was sponsored to the National Assembly was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, 29, November, 2011 and the House of Representatives on Tuesday 2, July 2013. However, some differences were noticed in the two versions of the Bill, as passed by the two Chambers. Consequently, a Conference Committee was constituted in the Senate on Tuesday 9 July 2013 to reconcile the areas of differences, which appeared essentially in five clauses of the Bill. In detail, the Bill passed by the Senate provides: a marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex by virtue a certificate issued by a foreign country shall be void in Nigeria. Also, marriage or civil union entered into between persons of same sex shall not be solemnized in any place of

worship either Church or Mosque or any other place whatsoever called in Nigeria. Again, only marriage contracted between a man and a woman either under Islamic Law, Customary Law or the Marriage Act is recognised as valid in Nigeria. The Bill also provided that persons that entered into a same sex marriage or civil union contract commit an offence and are jointly liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment each. Also, any persons or group of persons that administers, witnesses, screens, abet and aids the solemnization of a same sex marriage contract or civil union or supports the registration, operation of gay clubs, societies and organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.

Christmas, New Year Festivities:

FRSC To Deploy 2,000 Officials

A Nurse taking care of a patient at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital as Doctors begin warning strike in Abuja on Wednesday.

Budget Formulation: Consultant

Calls For Wider Consultation A financial expert, Dr Tochukwu Nwachukwu, has called for wider consultations during the process of budget formulation. He said that large scale consultation would also enhance budget implementation and reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks. Nwachukwu, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Preston Consultant, made the assertion in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. According to him, many of the chief executive of public agencies are not used to extensive consultations before approving their annual budgets. He urged the civil society to

intensify advocacy for government officials to respect the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 (FRA 2007) which mandated public consultation in preparing expenditure plans. Section 13 Subsection (2) of the FRA 2007 says that government(s) may hold public consultations when preparing the draft Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). The MTEF is expected to express government’s macroeconomic framework, fiscal strategy, expenditure and revenue framework, debt statements and statements on

contingent liabilities for three years. The annual budgets of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government are derived from the MTEF as approved by the National Assembly. “The lack of extensive consultation with non-state actors, civil societies and the public in the process of making a budget will make the document fraught with execution challenges and lacking legitimacy. “Judicious obedience to that provision of the FRA 2007 law that requires consultation with the public will deepen political, social, financial and economic

inclusion in the country. “It will increase the public’s sense of belonging in the budget decisions that our political representatives make on our behalf,” Nwachukwu, a former official of the Budget Office said. Mrs Abimbola Okoilu-Miro, the Assistant Programme Officer, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, advised the National Assembly to delete the word “may” in the FRA 2007 provision that required “public consultation” in preparing the MTEF. “Consultation in public budget making must not be on probability or convenience. It should be mandatory and legally enforceable.

YOLA- Mr. Bulus Darwang, the Commanding Officer, Zone 3, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), said the command would deploy over 2,000 officers to control traffic during Christmas and new year festivities . Darwang said this during the zonal retreat and sensitisation of members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at Jambutu Central Motor Park in Yola. He said the command, comprising Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe states, had identified some accident prone highways in the zone. The commander said that the FRSC had mapped out strategies to ensure zero road crashes during the end of the year celebrations. The zonal commander warned motorists, especially commercial drivers, to avoid speeding on the roads and overloading of their vehicles. He urged people in the zone to give maximum support to the officers, to ensure zero road crash and protect lives and property of road users. The Permanent Secretary, Adamawa Ministry of Transport, Alhaji Abubakar Baba-Kano, said the government had set up a committee to establish an advanced and standard driving school in the state. Baba-Kano said that the state government was also making consultations with the Lagos State Government to establish computerised vehicle testing centre. He said the policy would checkmate the activity of owners of fairly used vehicles and minimise road accidents across the state.

South-West PDP Pledges Fairness To Guber Aspirants OSOGBO- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun, has pledged to create a level playing field for all those aspiring to carry the flag of the party in the forth coming governorship election. Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, the party’s state Chairman gave the pledge in an interview with newsmen in Osogbo. He assured that the party would be fair to all, adding that it had no preferred candidate. “The stand of the party is that any interested aspirant should have it at the back of his mind that the contest for the ticket will be keen. “We have decided to ensure that all intending aspirant are given a fair chance to make a go at the governorship. “The primary will be done in a way that anybody that wins will be generally acceptable,” Olaoluwa stated. The chairman said that the party had fixed N5 million as fee to be paid by any governorship aspirant wishing to participate in the primary election. He said that the party would welcome committed members to vie for the its ticket in the 2014 governorship poll.

NCS Seizes 5,500 Bags Of Rice In Seme

Chairman, Egor Local Government Council, Hon. Victor Enobakhare in a ceremonial inauguration of the rehabilitation of Adolo College Road, Benin City.

BADAGRY (LAGOS STATE)-The Area Comptroller, Seme Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Mr Willy Egbudin, said it seized 1,200 bags of smuggled rice worth N11.7 million. Egbudin, who announced this when he briefed newsmen said the bags were seized from smugglers on December 13. He said the seizure was made at the Kotomeji Area of Badagry, adding that the seizure was made on Friday night. “Ostensibly aware of the implication of being met with their smuggled wares, the suspected smugglers escaped through the sea on sighting our officers who carried out the operation.

OTTA (OGUN) - The Police in Ogun have arraigned three men, Musa Chiroma, 19; Abass Haruna, 20, and Ibrahim Idris, 18, before an Ota Magistrate’s Court, for allegedly fighting in public. The accused, who are of no fixed addresses, faced a one count- charge of unlawfully fighting in a public place. The prosecutor, Insp Oluwatuyi Ajayi, told the court

must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction, and should show evidence of residence and gainful employment. He ordered that the sureties must show evidence of tax payment to the Ogun government and their addresses should be verified by the police. Soneye adjourned the matter till January. 21, 2014 for further hearing.

Police Arraign 3 For Fighting In Public that the accused committed the offence on December 14 at about 9:00 Kara Cattle Market, Isheri Olofin, in Ota. Ajayi said that the offence contravenes Section 83 of the Criminal Code, Law of Ogun State, 2006. The first two accused pleaded

guilty to the charge, while the third accused pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate, Mr Aliu Soneye, granted the third accused bail in the sum of N50. 000 with two sureties, while taking facts in respect of the first and second accused persons. Soneye said that the sureties

Man Remanded For Raping Minor

ADO-EKITI- An AdoEkiti Chief Magistrates’ Court has remanded one Adebayo Ajayi in prison custody for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl. The prosecutor, Mr Emmanuel David, told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 4 at Okesa area of Ado-Ekiti. He alleged that the accused on the said date unlawfully had carnal knowledge of the minor which led to her being hospitalised. According to him, the offence contravenes section 31(2) of the Chlid’s Rights Law, Cap C 7,laws of Ekiti State, 2012. The plea of the accused, who was not represented by any counsel, was not taken. Chief magistrate Simeon Ojo consequently remanded the accused in prison custody. He adjourned the case to January15.

Unit Commander, FRSC Ogere Unit, Mr. Godwill Sangbasa, being screened during Health Screening for Drivers at IlishanRemo Motor Park, Ogun during the Ember Months Campaign yesterday.

“Meanwhile, efforts are being made to arrest and bring the persons behind this unlawful act to book by making them face the full wrath of the law. “This is the highest single seizure of rice made by this command this year and we are ready to do more,’’ Egbudin said. He said he spoke with various traditional rulers to warn their subjects on the dangers of smuggling. “I have interacted with all stakeholders in the area, including traditional rulers in Badagry, particularly those whose domains are along the border areas between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. “We urged them to always contribute to the protection of the national economy by discouraging smuggling among their subjects. “Smuggling is nobody’s birth right so people should learn how to desist from such because it endangers the nation’s economy. “Smugglers also face jail term because they would be prosecuted in accordance with the law,’’ Egbudin said. He reaffirmed the command’s determination to curb smuggling during the yuletide period. “We are not going on holiday, we are here round the clock and will continue to seize smuggled wares and arrest people involved in such acts.’’ In a related development, the Ogun Area Command of NCS said it seized 4,300 bags of rice and 64 bags of Cannabis Sativa, popularly called Indian Hemp from suspected smugglers within two weeks. The Comptroller of the command, Mr Haruna Mamudu, made this known when he presented the seized items to newsmen in Abeokuta. Mamudu said that 1,485 cartons of frozen poultry products, 37 used vehicles and 27 motorcycles were also seized within the first 14 days when he assumed duty on December1. “Immediately I took over, I started hitting the ground, the results are streaming in, and this is what you are seeing today within this short period of my assumption of office.

Man, 28 Docked Over Alleged Theft

SANGO-OTA (OGUN)-A 28-year-old man, Monday Emmanuel, was charged before an Ota Magistrate’s Court in Ogun for allegedly stealing four packets of cigarettes and bottles of Alomo and Osomo drinks. Emmanuel was also accused of stealing one radio set, four pieces of tiger battery, 40 pieces of assorted hot drinks, some sachets of Milo and milk, Schnapps and kerewa drinks. The accused, who lives at 16 Ogunmefun St., Off Idi-Iroko Rd., Ota, is facing a one-count charge of stealing. The Police prosecutor, Insp Olumide Awoleke, told the court

that the accused committed the offence on December 13, at about 2:00 a.m. at Long Bridge, along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, Isheri Olofin, Ota, Ogun. Awoleke said: “The accused was found with one radio set, four packets of cigarettes, four pieces of tiger battery and 40 pieces of assorted hot drinks, some sachets of Milo and milk. “The accused was also found with bottles of Alomo, Schnapps, Osomo and kerewa hot drinks, value yet unknown, but suspected to have been stolen.” He said the offence was punishable under Section 403(1)

of the Criminal Code Vol. 11, Revised Laws of Ogun, 2006. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate, Mrs A.O. Abimbola, granted the accused N50,000 bail, with two sureties in like sum. Abimbola said that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction, must be gainfully employed and show evidence of payment of tax to the Ogun Government. The case was adjourned till February 18, 2014, for mention. Meanwhile, A 27-year-old petrol attendant, Oladipupo

Oluwasina, was on Tuesday docked before an Osogbo Chief Magistrate’s Court in Osun for allegedly stealing N813, 000 from his employer. The Police Prosecutor, Insp Isiaka Ajadi, told the court that the accused committed the offence on July 25, at about 10:30 p.m. at Mobil Filling Station, Oke-Fia in Osogbo. Ajadi added that the accused, being a petrol attendant, stole the money which belonged to one Mrs Olabisi Ige, his employer, from her office, after the close of work. He said the accused had,

however, been on the run since committing the crime, only to be apprehended on Monday. The prosecutor said the offence committed was contrary to Section 383(6) and punishable under Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Vol.11, Laws of Osun, 2003. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and his counsel, Mr Nnena Ngwu, applied for his bail in the most liberal terms. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Olusola Aluko, granted the accused bail in the sum of N250, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

Across The Nation

Police Assure Crime Free Yelutide LAGOS- The Lagos State Police Command said it had beefed up security on major routes within the state to prevent criminal activities during the Christmas. Mr Umar Manko, the Commissioner of Police (CP) in the state, told newsmen in Lagos that officers and men were deployed in major routes and event centres to discourage criminals. Reports say that the statistics presented by the police at a Town Hall meeting on November 28 showed that 146 armed robbery suspects were killed by the command from November 2012 to date. It said that the hoodlums were killed when they engaged the police in gun duel at different robbery operations across the state. The command said no fewer than 39 of its men were killed during the same period. The CP said that 919 vehicles were recovered from suspected armed robbers, while 54 robbery cases were prosecuted. Manko said that 472 armed robbers were arrested while 390 arms and 16,034 live ammunitions were recovered from the robbers. The command reported that 1,130 vehicles were reported stolen in Lagos in the last one year while 322 murder cases were recorded during the period. Manko said that the ongoing construction of roads in the state, coupled with the increasing traffic jam, informed the need for the command to re-strategise its security network. According to him, the present security arrangement is yielding results, adding that it was usual for the command to always plan ahead. The police chief also announced that apart from roads and event centres, the command also deployed its men in department stores, markets and motor parks. Manko expressed happiness that the command was on top of the security situation in the state, saying that crime rate had dropped drastically.

He said the last six months witnessed low report of armed

robbery, kidnapping and snatching of vehicles.

report any person or group suspected to be criminal at the nearest police station for appropriate action. The police chief advised the

people to go about their legitimate businesses without fear as the police were out to protect lives and property.

LAGOS - The VicarGeneral, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Bernard Okodua, has described religious harmony as a necessary ingredient for national development. Okodua told newsmen that no country could achieve meaningful development in an atmosphere full of religious crisis and uncertainty. The cleric described peace

and religious co-existence as vital elements to the socioeconomic development of the country. He said one of the ways that lasting peace, unity, and understanding could be achieved in the country was for Christians and Muslims to be tolerant of one another. “Religious harmony is absolutely important for us in this country. “As long as there is fear, there is mutual distrust, and blatant disrespect for people’s religious views and religious freedom to downright destruction of lives and property on basis of religion, there cannot be peace and harmony in this nation. “But if we are able to establish justice and love, then peace will naturally follow, and I think those three qualities that are paramount to establishing a true religion are common to both Islam and Christianity. “A true Christian and a true Muslim must work towards justice, love, and peace, if you are not doing that, even our worship is vain.“ Okodua said for the country to achieve peace and development, there was need for rumour mongers to desist from engaging in acts capable of breaching public peace.

Cleric Calls For Religious Harmoney National Devt:

L-R: Former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Comasie, Chief Launcher, Alhaji Dahiru Manga, and former National Security Adviser, Alhaji Umar Shinkafi, at the MD Yusuf Book presentation in Kaduna on Wednesday.

People watching Television at the department of Family Medicine at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital as Doctors begin warning strike in Abuja on Wednesday.

Abia Assembly Not A Rubber Stamp -Akobundu UMUAHIA- The Peoples Democratic Party’s National Vice Chairman, South East, retired Col. Austin Akobundu, has dispelled insinuations that the Abia House of Assembly was a rubber stamp of the state executive. Akobundu, who said this in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia, said that the Abia legislators were among the most

cohesive and vibrant lawmakers in the country. Dispelling the insinuation of “buy-over’’ he said “it is easy to say this from the outside.’’ “But if you have been part of their deliberations, how they arrive at the decisions they take in support of the executive, you will know the insinuation is not correct.’’ “They have had stormy

Wife Accuses Husband Of Infecting Her With STDs LAGOS- A housewife, Azeezat Ayinde, has urged an Igando Customary Court, Lagos to dissolve her six-year-old marriage to her husband, Mohammed because he infected her with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) Azeezat, 32, who is a teacher, alleged that Mohammed was a womaniser and constantly had extra-marital affairs that had led to her constant visits to the hospital to treat infections. “I have been in and out of hospital treating STDs like gonorrhea, staphylococcus and other infectious diseases due to my husband’s unfaithfulness.

He called on members of the public to always be at alert and

“My husband use to invite a lady in my absence, I have caught them inside our room on different occasions. “He always tell me she is his friend’s wife that she is always lonely that is why he always invite her to our house to keep her company,’’ she said. She accused her husband of abandonment, adding: “he goes out and comes back after four or seven days. Azeezat said she had been the one taking care of the children school fees and feeding that her husband did not care. The mother of two, begged the court to dissolve the six year-old

marriage, stressing that she was tired of spending money on STDs. “I am no longer interested in the union, am fed up on spending the money I suppose to use on food and clothes on treating infections,’’ she said. Mohammed, 40, admitted that ladies always come to their house claiming they were his wife’s friends. The respondent, who is an engineer, said that “her friends always visit me whenever my wife was not around. I don’t have anything to do with them,’’ he said.

sessions in the house but at the point of reaching a decision, they all come together to arrive at a decision in support of the state government in the best interest of the state.’’ “I don’t accept the belief in some quarters that they are a rubber stamp of the state

governor,” he said. Akobundu rather described the Abia House of Assembly as “a stable institution working in partnership with the executive arm of government in making sure dividends of good governance do not elude those at the grassroots.’’

“They have not only maintained stability but have brought experience to bear in support of the government,” he said. The PDP national leader said that his job in the zone was to ensure that there was cohesion among members of the PDP.

2 Charged With Trafficking Two Day-old Baby LAGOS- A man and a woman has appeared before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos over alleged trafficking in a two-day-old baby. The accused, Ogbu Orji, 43, and Chinyere Okonkwo, 27, are facing a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, human trafficking and assault. They both live in Abia. The Prosecutor, Insp Richard Odigie, said that the accused committed the crime on November 6. “Okonkwo stole the baby from Abia and entered a bus to Lagos. “The baby cried for

attention in the bus and the passengers and the bus driver told Okonkwo to feed the baby but she refused. “The driver and the passengers interrogated Okonkwo about the baby and she said that the mother of the baby was in Lagos. “The driver of the bus reported the case to the police at Area F Command, Ikeja, because Okonkwo said that the mother of the child was in Lagos,” he said. Odigie said that a police investigation team went to Abia to arrest Orji who, he said, was involved in the crime. According to the

prosecutor, the offences contravene Sections 274,135,269 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Reports say that the section prescribes 14 years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of human trafficking. Both of the accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs A.A Demi-Ajayi, granted each of them bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case till January 27, 2014 for substantive trial.

North Harmattan; Commercial Motocyclists Complain Of Low Patronage DUTSECommercial motorcyclists in Dutse have decried low patronage due to the prevailing harsh harmattan season in the state, the newsmen reports. A cross section of motorcyclists, who spoke with newsmen in Dutse, said there had been a drop in their businesses since the beginning of the cold weather in the past one week. Aliyu Sanusi, a commercial motorcyclist, said that the climate had affected his business. He said there was no passenger to pick since he came out as early as 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. Sanusi said it was painful to have ignored the cold weather by coming early with the intention to make money, only to end up with little amount to show for the effort. Nuhu Sabo, another motorcyclist, said that he now made N1,000 daily as against N3,000 income before the season. Sabo said most of the government workers would not come out until 9 a.m. while

some no longer hired motorcycles to go to work because of the harsh weather. Salisu Hussaini expressed regret that the season was unfriendly, stressing that if he had any other business, he would have suspended the motorcycle business for now. He said this was imperative because he was prone to a coldrelated illness. Conversely, it was reported that tea vendors are having a field day, making brisk businesses as long queues of buyers are seen daily at various spots. Malam Abu Maishai, a vendor, said the business boomed mostly during the harmattan and rainy seasons. ‘’I thank God for this period; there are times we are not being patronised,’’ he said.

R-L:The Community Affairs Manager, United Geophysical Nigeria Limited (UGNL), Mr. Philip Agudah presenting a Corporate gift to the Sole Administrator of Orhionmwon Local Government Area, Edo State, Sir Iyobosa Igharo while the Enogie of Ugo and Chairman of Enigie in Orhionmwon Council, HRH Edugie Ogiugo looks on in admiration during the final Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting of Party 101 for OML 142 Summit/SUNTERA Project held last weekend at Evbuoehighae in Orhionmwon LGA.

Electricity Consumers In Lagos Bemoan Absence Of Pre-Paid Meters

LAGOS- Some electricity consumers in Lagos metropolis have urged the

new investors in the nation’s power sector to comply with the existing regulation on

FMBN Launches Housing Scheme JOS- Mr Gimba Kumo, the For Informal Sector Chief Executive of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), says the bank has launched a housing scheme for the informal sector. Kumo disclosed this to newsmen in Jos. He said that the launch of the product was made in order to deepen access to affordable housing by all Nigerians. He said that the FMBN Informal Sector Cooperative Society Loan Scheme product would enable operators in the informal sector like farmers, traders, artisans to benefit from the National Housing Scheme like those in the formal sector. Kumo said that the product would provide a platform for members to form housing cooperatives to access loans for estate development.

“Individuals in the informal sector are expected to make a minimum monthly contribution of N450 for at least six months to qualify for these loan facilities,” he said. He said that this loan could be accessed after meeting the requirements from the FMBN branches. Kumo said that the bank was also in the process of automating its entire operations. “We have commenced the automation of our operations which includes the deployment of a robust e-collection platform. “This involves issuance of ecollection cards to contributors which will in turn streamline the collection process and cut out deficiencies of manual collection, while allowing contributors real

time access to their contribution records,” he said. The company executive said that the NHF E-card could be used on any Automated Teller Machine to check the amount which the contributor had contributed. He also said that the NHF Ecard was also an E-post that could enable the card holder to go to any bank and load the card with money which could be withdrawn using the ATM. Kumo said that this development would allow contributors to know at the end of their retirement how much they had saved in their NHF accounts. He revealed that the card would be launched to the NHF contributors in February 2014.

pre-paid meters. Some of the consumers said in separate interviews with newsmen in Lagos that the investors were foisting hardship on Nigerians by circumventing the rules on pre-paid meters. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had in August 2013 directed the new investors to install pre-paid meters for consumers to avoid estimated billing. Mr Amos Dauda, Chairman, Ogudu/Ojota Landlord/Tenants Residents Association, said that the new investors were forcing estimated bills by their failure to implement the Advance Payment Implementation Scheme (CAPMI). Dauda said that they had not been supplied with prepaid meters in spite of their applications to the defunct PHCN. Mr Fashina Danjuma, the Managing Director, Aron Nig Ltd., an Electrical Materials

Manufacturing Company in Ikorodu, said that their electricity consumption was still based on estimated bills. Danjuma alleged that the Eko Electricity Distribution Zone had failed to address their issue in spite of the series of letters to the company requesting for prepaid meters. “It is bad enough that people hardly enjoy electricity, but it is most dehumanising when they have to pay for energy they did not consume. “This issue of over-billing and sometimes crazy bills has been a battle between officials and consumers over the years,’’ he said. Alhaja Tawakalitu Bamidele, a frozen foods trader at Alade Market, Ikeja, said that electricity company had failed to fulfill its promise to install meters after paying N25 000. “I have been paying estimated bills, which is wrong. When I complained,

Jigawa Warns Farmers Against Bush Burning

Cross section of dignitaries present at the final UGNL PAC meeting of Party 101 for OML 142 Summit Oil/SUNTERA Project held last weekend at Evbuoehighae.

MALAMMADORI (JIGAWA)-The Malammadori Local Government Council of Jigawa has warned farmers against indiscriminate bush burning to check spate of fire disaster in the area. Alhaji Abdu Ilu, the Head of Agriculture Department (HOD), made the call when he visited Kashindila grazing reserve in Malammadori. Ilu said the call was imperative to guard against bush burning and protect the forest resources. ‘’It is good for the farmers to eschew bush burning especially in the harmattan season. ‘’Apart from damages to the forest resources, it also results in fire disaster in the society.’’ Ilu also called on farmers to

evacuate their farm produce on time, to guard against clashes between them and herdsmen. The director said that the state government rehabilitated grazing lands and demarcated cattle routes to check incessant farmers and Fulani clashes in the state. ‘’The grazing reserve was equipped with pasture and wind pumps to enhance access to safe drinking water to humans and animals,’’ Ilu said. According him, the gesture is to encourage the herdsmen settle on the grazing lands and encourage livestock production. Reports say that the Jigawa government established grazing lands at Kashindila, Shaya and Girinmo forest in the area.

the manager told me that they had no meter for now. “The latest information is that new management has stopped distributing the meters, but promised to introduce their own measures,;’’ Bamidele said. Mr Chibuike Danies, Chairman of Silberg Industries in Ojota Industrial Estate, also complained that most industries in the area were yet to have pre-paid meters. “Nigerians welcomed the introduction of pre-paid meters with open arms, but have to gasp and groan when they can only see and cannot have them. Mrs Beatrice Johnson, the Managing Director, LarryKay Pure Water Manufacturing Company, Okota, said that “we have heard that one can actually monitor how much he spends on electricity, but here there is no such luxury. “Look at the situation now, in the last five months we have been having electricity for just one to two hours per day. “Some days, there will be no power supply at all, but our bills have been almost constant; an official brings a bill of not less than N35, 000 per month without meter. “There was a month our transformer was out for 26 days, meaning there was no electricity for two weeks, but when it came to the bills it never reflected it. “The amount is as constant as ever. Electricity administrators still bring bills of over N24, 000,’’ he said. Mr Pekun Adeyanju, the Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, however, declined to respond to all allegations made by the consumers.

Abuja AU Official Bemoans Security In Southern Sudan

ABUJA- Dr Aisha Abdullahi, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, has expressed concern over the security situation in South Sudan,

following the attempted coup in that country on Monday. Abdullahi spoke to reporters in Abuja shortly after meeting the Acting Minister of Foreign

Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, to discuss preparations for the forthcoming high-level meeting on humanitarian issues in Abuja. She said that the AU had done

its best to ensure that South Sudan and its neighbouring country, Sudan, lived in peace, adding that the AU was encouraged by the progress

recorded in the bilateral relations between both countries. “But this attempted unconstitutional change of government is something that the AU frowns out. “Recently, the AU meeting on governance held in Senegal focused on constitutionalism and the rule of law in Africa because we are retrogressing with what we witnessed in Egypt, Central African Republic and Guinea Bissau,’’ she said. She pledged that the regional group would do all within its power to ensure peace and security on the continent Earlier, Abdullahi said that she

was in Abuja to hold consultations on next year’s high-level ministerial meeting on forced displacements in Africa. She said that Abuja had been selected to host the meeting, calling for the minister’s support in efforts to ensure the meeting’s success. Responding, Onwuliri welcomed the nomination of Abuja to host the meeting but stressed that the final acceptance of the offer was subject to President Goodluck Jonathan’s approval.

FG ’ll Pay Arrears Owed Poly Staff - Wike

Ethiopian Ambassador, Ali Suleiman (left), greeting the Supervising Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri at the briefing of Diplomatic Corps by the Minister in Abuja yesterday.

2015: INEC Canvasses Stronger Autonomy


ABUJA - The Independent National Electoral Commission should be further strengthened by further amending the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and the 2010 Electoral Acts. Making the case in his address at the Retreat of Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution (S.C.R.C.) to deliberate on how to make the Electoral Act, 2010, a more workable document, INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega also called

for statutory provisions to sanction principal officers along with offending media house. To this end he proposed an additional sub-section 3 to Section 158 of the Constitution thus: that the INEC shall not be subject to control of any other person of authority. This is even as Senate President David Mark called for ways and means of ensuring “that every valid vote cast at an election counts, and are counted, this we can only

Ministry Denies Report On Proposed NAMA Strike ABUJA- The Ministry of Labour and Productivity has denied a report that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has suspended its warning strike which began on Wednesday. The ministry’s Deputy Director (Press), Mr Samuel Olowookere, made the denial in a press statement he issued in Abuja and mailed to newsmen His denial came almost five and a half hours after he (Olowookere) first issued an initial statement, with the caption “NMA suspends strike’’ which was in contrast to the content. The statement’s last paragraph read: “In view of the above agreements, it was agreed that the NMA shall convene a

meeting of her members as soon as possible to present the mou to them for consideration, with a view to putting on hold the warning strike scheduled to commence on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013’’. In the second statement, Olowookere said he was retracting what was “erroneously aired and attributed to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu’’. He said it did not reflect the resolutions reached at the meeting between the NMA, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and other stakeholders.

achieve by strengthening the electoral legal framework as the need arises”. He asserted that “sound electoral system is the springboard of a viable democracy”, and that “there still exists the need not only to scrutinize the 1999 Constitution further” and urged the Committee “to concomitantly analyse the Electoral Act 2010 to identify those pitfalls that still dog the electoral system, and to urgently address them”. The Senate President also enjoined politicians to be disciplined and tolerance of one another, stressing that “to sustain democracy in a plural, multicultural and multireligious society such as ours requires tolerance, mutual respect, accommodation, consensus building, and a willingness to play by the rules”. Prof. Jega also noted that going by recalcitrance of certain unscrupulous politicians, it was high time Nigeria introduce establishment of Electoral Offences Tribunals in the country’s Constitution. “Any person convicted of electoral offence should be disqualified for a period of 10 years from the date of conviction including holding

political office”, he added. The INEC boss further recommended that the Commission be allowed to fix election dates, and the Seven days Presidential run-off be increased to 21 days, while qualifications of an electoral candidate should include possession of a voter’s card. INEC further canvassed amendment to the Constitution to empower them to disqualify candidate who evidently do not qualify for the position applied for, and notify the relevant political parties accordingly.

ABUJA- The Supervising Minister for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said the Federal Government would pay the N20.8 billion arrears owed to polytechnic staff as soon as the procedure for payment are concluded. Wike made this known at a meeting with the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Polytechnics in Abuja. He said the Federal Government had met over 80 per cent of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP). According to him, the only thing left to be done is the release of the white-paper on the implementation of their demands. Reports say that ASUP embarked on strike on October 4 after expressing its disappointment at the Federal Government’s ‘cold attitude’ to polytechnic education in Nigeria. He said that contrary to insinuations by the union, the present administration held the polytechnic staff in high esteem. Hence, the setting up of the Needs Assessment to determine

the level of decay in schools and how much would be needed by the Federal Government to revive the institutions, he said. The minister called on the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Polytechnics to mediate in the impasse between the Federal Government and ASUP to ensure that Nigerian students return to schools. He, however, urged the committee to work toward ensuring that the institutions return to their original mandate of producing skilled medium level manpower to drive the economy. Earlier, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Chairman of the committee of pro-chancellors, called on the minister to facilitate the resolution of the strike by the ASUP. He also called on the ministry to work toward the release of the white paper of the Visitation Panels to Federal Polytechnics and pay arrears owed to polytechnic staff. The meeting was attended by officials of the National Board for Technical Education and chairmen of 14 governing councils of polytechnics.

L-R: Flag Officer, Western Command, Rear Adm. Ette Ibasi, representative of Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Adm. Emmanuel Ogbor, President, Naval Officers’ Wives Association, Mrs. Vivian Ezeoba and GOC., 81 Div., Maj.-Gen. Obi Umahi, during the arrival of NNS Thunder in Lagos from Australia after a four month Sail Around the World recently.

Business + Economy Yuletide

Second Hand Clothes, Shoes Sales Boom

The Co-ordinating Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala laying the 2014 Budget Proposal to the Senate in Abuja yesterday.

JOS - Barely eight days to Christmas, dealers in second hand clothes and shoes in Jos have started making brisk business in sales. A survey by newsmen at the various second hand clothes and shoes markets in the Jos metropolis revealed that the traders had been started recording higher patronage. Reports say that many women were now buying second hand clothes and shoes for their children and wards. Some of the markets visited included Terminus, Miango Junction and Katako that are known for various grades of second hand clothes and shoes. Mr Ifeanyi Okoro, a dealer at Terminus Market, told newsmen that he first noticed the increase

NEXIM To Increase Operational Fund Of Mining Sector ABUJA - Mr Robert Orya, the Managing Director, Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank, said the operational funds to the mining sector would be increased to 10 per cent to develop the sector. Orya, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, that the operational cost was increased from three per

cent to 10 per cent to fast track development in the sector. He said that a lot of potential which had not been fully harnessed were abound in the sector. “What we are doing, the little operational funds in NEXIM, we are deploying at least 10 per cent. Two years ago, we had targeted

Sokoto Distributes 2.5m Treated Nets

SOKOTO- The Sokoto State Government, has commenced the distribution of 2.5 million treated mosquito nets to households across the 23 local government areas of the state. Dr Halliru Alhassan, the State Director, Medical Services and Public Health, disclosed this in Sokoto during a news conference. Alhassan said the nets obtained under the National Malaria Elimination Programme, would be distributed at 854,000 designated

centres in the state between December 17 and December 21. “Net cards that entitle a household to collect at least four nets had been distributed across the state. “Efforts were made to cover difficult areas and Fulani settlements to ensure that eligible households collect the nets,” he said. The director said measures had been taken to prevent the nets from being sold by either the officials or the beneficiaries.

ABEOKUTA - Mrs Folakemi Adeosun, Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, has said that N11.6 billion had been earmarked by the ministry for its operations in 2014. Adeosun said this in Abeokuta, while defending the ministry’s 2014 budget proposal at the state’s House of Assembly. She said that N10 million had been projected as revenue, while N3.1 billion and N8.4 billion had been earmarked for recurrent and capital expenditure respectively. The commissioner, who pledged to ensure prudent and sound management of public funds, stressed that the ministry would encourage investments in revenue-yielding projects. “There will be policies and initiatives to support the financial viability of Ogun State in revenue generation and


three per cent of our total loanable funds to that sector. “But because of the importance, because of the huge potential, we have been able to move that from three per cent to 10 per cent of loanable funds. “Again, we are trying to unveil commercial lines of credit from other NEXIM banks in the world, so that we can bring it as investment capital to supplement what we are doing,’’ he said. He said that due to the huge potential in the sector, the government would one day decide to have specific intervention funds to make the sector competitive. Orya said that with the intervention funds, commercial banks would begin to fund the sector. According to him, the bank will allocate 10 per cent of what it generates annually to the mining sector to enhance its

operations. He stressed the need for miners to continue to partner with NEXIM bank and other financial institutions to improve their activities. “It is a sector that has a lot of potential and it also has a lot of challenges. “But the minister has done so much in reforming the sector,

some of the structural challenges we are having, I am sure a lot of them have been addressed.’’ Orya said that with the discovering of 44 minerals in commercial quantity across the country, if developed, would boost the revenue base and create a lot of job opportunities for jobless Nigerians.

LAGOS - The President, National Association of Telecom Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, has hailed the Federal Government’s plan to sanction any telecom operator that fails to improve its services before January 1, 2014. Ogunbanjo told newsmen in Lagos that the proposed sanction had become necessary because

of poor services being offered to subscribers by the operators. He said that subscribers were not getting value for their money on the voice and data services provided by the operators. The official hoped that the sanction would force operators to put in place more infrastructure to improve services.

in patronage in the first week of December. “The high demand for the items I sell has made the business very lucrative since the first week of December. “In fact, customers plead with me to call them whenever I want to open new bales of clothes so that they will be the first to pick the best,” he said. Mr Evans Madubuike, a dealer at Miango Junction, said that he started enjoying a boom in sales towards the end of November. “In the previous months when I travelled, I bought just one bale of shoes and bags for sale due to low demands, but things have changed since the first week of December. “When I travelled in the first week in December, I got three bales of shoes and bags which I have almost exhausted,” he said. Mr Tanko Bello, a dealer in Katako Market, said that he was recording higher turnover in the sale of second hand shirts and trousers lately due to the new season. Mrs Josephine Chollom, a mother and civil servant at the Terminus Market, told newsmen that she was buying second hand clothes because they were more durable than new ones.

Service Subscribers Laud FG’s Plan To Sanction Erring Operation Reports say that the Minister of Communications and Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has promised that the ministry will collaborate with the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to sanction operators rendering poor services or collecting money for services not rendered.

Ministry To Spend N11. 6bn expenditure management,” she said. Also speaking, Mrs Yewande Muoyo, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, said that the proposed budget for the ministry in 2014 was N1.7 billion. She said that N2.7 million had been projected as revenue, while N476.6 million and N1.2 billion had been earmarked for recurrent and capital expenditure respectively. Muoyo, however, projected a 30-per-cent increase in the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) through the diversification of revenue sources. She said also that N39 million would be spent on the purchase of motor vehicles.

The Co-ordinating Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala laying the 2014 Budget Proposal to the Senate in Abuja yesterday.

News Extra Govt pledged to look into activities of Cattle Rearers BENIN CITY- Edo State

Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion has assured Odighi and Odiguetue communities that government will look into the activities of Hausa / Fulani cattle rearers in their communities. Mr. Odion gave this assurance while receiving a delegation of Elders and Youths who were in his office in Benin to lay a formal complain. Speaking through the Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Isaac Okuo, Mr. Odion said that the complaints about Hausa /Fulani cattle rearers owes not peculiar to their community, stressing that government will promptly look into the issue to avoid blood shed. The commissioner commended the communities for not taking laws into their hands and urged them to remain calm and sustain the peace existing between them and

the neighbouring communities as development can not thrive under an atmosphere of rancour. Leader of the delegation, Mr. Omoregie Hilary told the commissioner that some time in June, 2013 a resolution was reached by the State House of Assembly directing the Hausa/Fulani cattle rearers to remove all their cattle’s from both Odighi and Odiguetue Communities within two weeks. Mr. Omoregie said that rather than abide by the resolution, the cattle rearers have re-enforced with impunity, their destructive tendencies in the communities and imported many more cattles to destroy their farm produce and threatened the lives of their people with guns, bows and arrows and daggers. Mr. Omoregie also frowned at the activities of a company which unlawfully encroached into their farmlands destroying their economic plants. He however called on government to look into their plight.

LG Boss Commissions Buses By RICHARD EWEKA

OKADA – Hon. (Barr.) Lucy Omagbon led administration of Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State has commissioned over 10 eighteen-seater Toyota Hiace buses to run a transport line to increase the internally generated revenue for the council area as well as create job opportunities. Delivering her welcome address at the event, Hon. Omagbon said the success of the day can be attributed to discipline in properly utilising the SURE-P fund we got from the federal government which people mis-use. We kept the money intact and the evidence and result is what we are celebrating today” The council boss said the project is income generating and selfsustaining, adding “we met the council in a sorry state but through discipline and determination to succeed we embarked on a clean up exercise and today the council

is moving forward with this laudable project”. Performing the commissioning, Hon. Sunny Uyigue, an APC leader in the state commended the success recorded so far by Hon. Omagbon and encouraged her to cite more people-oriented projects that will transform the lives of the people and move the council forward. Speaking further, Hon. Uyigue said “under the PDP administration, a chairman got 800 million from oil wind fall but did nothing with it to touch the lives of the people but Hon. Omagbon has shown that she has the people at heart by embarking on this kind of venture which will generate income in the council area”. Member representing Ovia North East Constituency 1 in Edo State House of Assembly Hon. Sunny Osazemwinde lauded the achievement of Hon. Omagbon and called for more projects in the council area.

L-R: President, Rotary Club of Ogba, District 9140, Benin, Rotarian Blessing Obasuyi, the Uwayoba of Benin Kingdom, Chief Solomon Ogbewe and a past Assistant Governor of the Club, Dr. Okunzuwa Osawaru at a family of Rotary event held in Benin City on Wednesday. Photo: LUCKY AGIE.

Osasuyi Urges Xtians To Be Grateful To God By ROLAND OSAKUE

BENIN CITY- The Spiritual leader of Christ Chosen Church of God Worldwide, Most Snr. Apostle (Dr.) Joshua Osasuyi JP has enjoined Christians, irrespective of their denomination to cultivate the spirit of appreciating God. Apostle Osasuyi, who admonished the congregation at the Ihinminirin Branch 1 of the Church at their annual ingathering harvest thanksgiving said there were no other better option for a Christian to appreciate God other than thanksgiving.

The Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala laying the 2014 Budget Proposal before the Senate in Abuja yesterday.

The cleric, whose message was taken from the book of Psalm 103:1-5 entitled “showing appreciation to God” and presented by Snr. Apostle David Unuefe further urged Christians to show appreciation to God for their protection since the beginning of the year. He also called on the congregation to still continue

in their spirit of oneness, faithfulness and dedication to God, as well as, extend the olive hands of fellowship to their neighbours, as that was the panacea for the forgiveness of sin Meanwhile, in a welcome message the host pastor, pastor Sunday Okpeye appreciated the General Overseer, as he called on the

flocks to give to God in their widow’s might. Highlights of the ceremony was the various and individual thanksgiving by members of the church. The occasion was attended by Pastor Clifford Anibolu, Elders Osaco Nomamun Edobor, Jackson Osayande Marvellous Ataga among others, who also gave thanks to God.

IPMAN Suspends Edafevwotu, By TUNDE EIGBIREMOLEN Ogbewe, 4 Others BENIN CITY – The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Midwestern Zone, Benin, Warri Depot, under the leadership of Chief Comrade Sylvanus Idanwekhai has suspended Mr. Akpovire Edafevwotu, Chief Solomon N. Ogbewe and four others in the Depot for what it termed, unconstitutional and antiassociational activities. A statement issued and endorsed by the chairman, IPMAN Midwestern Zone, Chief (Comrade) Sylvanus Idanwekhai and the General Secretary, Barrister D.O. Izedonmwen, and made available to The NIGERIAN OBSERVER said the other four members suspended are Mr. Oyibo Yarhere, Elder Peter Agbonkonkon Ogbeide, Mr. Ezekiel Olusegun and Mr. John Kekeocha. It further stated that the affected members were involved in the illegal act of holding unauthorised meeting

and illegally suspending IPMAN members when they, in fact, lack such powers, and therefore stood suspended with immediate effect. The statement, among others, observed that the position of the office of the Acting Zonal Chairman which Chief Solomon Ogbewe was claiming to occupy is alien and illegal to the IPMAN Constitution and that IPMAN, Mid-Western Zone, has only one secretariat which makes the holding of any other unauthorised meetings outside the 86, Sapele Road, Benin City, IPMAN Secretariat illegal. It noted that Chief Ogbewe’s claim to being the Acting Zonal Chairman, Midwestern Zone, amounted to criminal impersonation, unconstitutional and antiassociational activity, emphasizing that the socalled purported suspension of Mr. Benjamin Emoefe and other IPMAN members in

Warri Depot by the illegal Zonal Committee led by Chief S.N. Ogbewe and the subsequent publication in the Vanguard Newspaper to that effect, remained null and void and of no effect. It advised IPMAN members and all stakeholders to disregard the said publication in its entirety. Consequently, the zonal chairman has mandated the zonal Vice-Chairman, IPMAN Midwestern zone, Mr. Harry Okenini and other members of the Unit Executive to run the affairs of the IPMAN Warri Depot unit, with immediate effect pending when a new executive will be elected in April 2014 as recommended by the National Assembly and adopted by the Delta State Government. It, however, advised all IPMAN members in MidWestern zone, especially the Warri Depot Unit, to remain calm, law abiding and go about their normal businesses.

NIGERIA is blessed with abundant human and natural resources which nature has endowed her with. The country’s climatic conditions favour wide variety of agricultural activities, including the cultivation of wheat. Additionally, Nigeria is the most populous country in the Continent of Africa, with abundant economic resources, which, when properly harnessed, may enable the country to achieve the status of a rich and developed nation. ALTHOUGH its industrial sector is underdeveloped due, in part, to inadequate capital for investment and lack of technological know-how, yet the country has prominent industrial concerns such as giant oil industry, iron and steel complexes, steel rolling mills, pharmaceutical companies, food processing Industries, car assembly plants and so on. Although most of these Industrial concerns are not functioning optimally and many of them depend on imported inputs, they can serve as a basis for industrial take-off, if we put our acts together. HOWEVER, despite Nigeria’s extensive landmass, growing population, agricultural and industrial potentials, the country remains economically backward, indeed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had at a time classified Nigeria as a heavily indebted country with difficulties in meeting debts servicing obligations; Certainly, these attributes are a minus in our national drive towards socio-economic and political development. THERE are divergent opinions on the relationship between effective leadership and the economic organization of Nigeria, and how to expand the productive base of the country. Literally, economics is the distribution of scarce resources for optimum development of a society. Thus, successive governments had pursued vigorously, policies that will strengthen economic growth and development in Nigeria. But despite the economic efforts of past and present governments, Nigeria is yet to achieve basic economic aspirations. LITERATURES on the Nigerian economy have cited leadership problems as a major cause of the country’s inability to effectively mobilize her


Maximising The Nigerian Economy resources. Critics have shown quite clearly effective leadership is a great obstacle to development in Nigeria. Leadership problem has hampered the country’s progress in the political, economic, military and socio-cultural sectors. Poor leadership lies at the root of our continuing social, moral, economic and political crises. Practically, all our misfortunes in Nigeria have been due to poor leadership. It seems, therefore, that the Nigerian leadership structure determined to place the blame for the unstable situation the frustration and difficulties confronting them on their leaders. THUS, in contemporary Nigeria, we have observed and rightly too, that there is a great yearning for the total transformation of the process of producing appropriate leadership. This yearning, which grows more urgent by the day, is both legitimate and understandable. After decades of hopes raised and hopes dashed, it should not be surprising that Nigerians are wary and weary. HAVING gone through decades in which their faith in their national leadership have been abused and affronted, Nigerians impatience with their leaders and almost total distrust of government functionaries can no longer, be-dismissed as mere cynicism. AT independence, expectations throughout Nigeria were high and the possibilities for greatness were almost limitless. Considering her vast resources, the country appeared set for good attainments, and fulfills what the international community saw as her destiny to lead the black race into the main stream human

and technological civilisation. REGRETABLY, the Nigerian economy has hit an all time low. There is massive under utilization of resources. What is more painful is that our industrial sub-sector is not producing at full capacity. Despite being blessed materially and humanly, our cost of production remains high with growing unemployment. Also only crude oil is being seriously tapped, and production was negatively affected by the NigerDelta crisis, thanks to the amnesty programme which has largely restored the oil sector. Our concern here is that outside oil, resource mobilization efforts are rather disappointing. In our estimation, if the attention given to crude oil had been extended to other minerals and the agricultural sector, definitely. Nigeria would have attained desirable and sustainable development. THERE is no doubt that Nigeria is richly endowed. The country has all It takes to become a super power. Somehow, our major problem is the leadership question, which has inevitably impaired our ability to mobilise our resources. However; we believe that our system of government has contributed to this poor leadership problem. Our political structure especially the adoption of a warped federalism has combined effectively to deprive Nigeria of a sound process of getting the right leadership Even democracy which is expected to produce effective leaders is now, a major political problem in Nigeria. WE believe that problems such as corruption, and inter-ethnic wars and suspicion, which have contributed a lot to the failure of leadership, can be adequately tackled, particularly as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has braced up to the problem in recent times. AT independence in 1960, the international community amazed at the economic potentials of Nigeria, was quite certain that if our resources were appropriately managed, Nigeria would one day become the giant of Africa. Unfortunately, due to the failure of our leadership to strategically mobillise our resources for political, socioeconomic and cultural advancement of our nation and people, Nigeria is yet to make appreciable gains in development, worsened by a very poor infrastructure base.


Corruption In the Education Sector THE Nigerian educational system stared slow but soundly developing during the colonial time until the conclusion, so to speak. The Christian Missionaries introduced the Western education in Nigerian in the mid 19th century. The educational system is divided into primary education secondary education and tertiary education. The system started with 6-54 and changed to the 63-3-4 and now 9-3-4 corruption is all in these three (3) educational system. Corruption in education is particularly damaging the system because it endangers a country’s social economic and political future. Corruption is the social problem that has interested many scholars. Ruzindana (1999) assets that corruption in Africa is a problem of routine decorator from established standards and norms by public officials and parties with whom they interact. Corruption in education can take many forms, bribes paid by parents to teachers to ensure good grades in examination result, bribes paid by teachers to public officials to get preferred posting and

p r o m o t i o n embezzlement of found allocated to purchase teaching materials or to build schools. Corruption in the education sector can also mean the by passing of criteria in the approval of school establishment and accreditation cronyism and nepotism in procurement and teaches appointment, resulting in “ghost teachers” or the selling of information on exams. F u r t h e r m o r e corruption practices by parents of students, parents are known to influence their children or wards admission to both private and tertiary schools especially during the entering into the higher institution, curbing corruption in an educational system requires a similar approach to tackling corruption in other social sectors, governments should endeavour to increase accountability in educational systems and within the civil service needs, clear recruitment and careerdevelopment rules that are based on merit, with simple and clear line of responsibility capacities must be built within institutions so for officials to reply existing regulations. Teachers


and civil servants must be adequately paid. Corruption in education is more detrimental than corruption in other sectors because of its long term effects,

life of poverty. Corruption is incompatible with one of the major arms of education producing citizens that respect the law and human rights. If children come to

student and collecting money from them divestion of funds meant for the educational sectors by the ministry of educations example, money meant for the library etc the causes of this corruption

• Nyesom Wike

corruption threatens equal access, quantity and quality of education its consequences are particularly harsh for the poor who without access to education or with no alternative but lowquality education have little chances to escape a

believe that personal effort and merit do not count and that success came through manipulation favourtism and bribery then the every foundation of society are shaken. Corrupt practices by lecturers reducing marks

sometimes is poverty ignorances, lack of implementation of government policies (nobody is abiding by the law). Effects of this is that people outside Nigerian see the Nigeria educational sector very

poor and it’s rated very low. That’s why most rich people take their kids overseas to study. For instance, if two people go for a job interview the one with the foreign certificate will be taken because of their strong educational system. Clear sanctions for bribery must contest with conflict of interest rules and codes of conduct. The administration’s political independence and it’s political commitment against corruption at the highest level are also critical. Another key determinant for successful battling of corruption in educational system is access to information for example on resource allocation to schools, and effective complaint mechanisms for students and parents. The government should endeavour to make sure the primary and secondary teachers have the appropriate certificate to teach. Teachers and lecturers taking bribe should be punished. The agencies established to curb corruption in the country should discharge its duties efficiently and effectively.

Corruption is the social problem that has interested many scholars. Ruzindana (1999) assets that corruption in Africa is a problem of routine decorator from established standards and norms by public officials and parties with whom they interact.

Making Family Planning A Norm

FEMINIQUE With IJEOMA UMEH email: Tel: 08182382839


BEING able to control one’s family and partiality through means other than unsafe abortions is a step forward on the long journey to women’s empowerment. Because unplanned and poorly timed pregnancies pose serious health risks to women and infants, the adoption of modern family planning methods by millions of women in the developing world is an advancement in public health and illustrates well the widespread diffusion of an innovation. As at 2004, an estimated 60 per cent of married women of reproductive age in developing countries were using some means of family planning. Compared with 15 percent in 1960. in 2004, 54 percent were using modern contraceptives over the same period. Fertility in these countries also dropped from over six children per woman to just over three, while over all development played a large part, more than 40 percent of change is attributable to family planning programme efforts. While the history of individual efforts to regulate fertility is ancient the first lane-scale organized family plainly programme began in the 1950s in India beginning in the 1960s as rapid population growth increasingly was perceived as a major factor in environmental deterioration and poverty research has shown a high-level political advocacy groups convinced foreign assistance agencies and foundations, and eventually government programmes around the word to promote and fund family planning services. Although successful in the long run family planning programmes have always generated controversy. However, organized family planning programmes were indeed organized and worked tirelessly to overcome resistance. Government and MGOs designed and launched networks of freestanding family planning clinics, in some regions of the word such as subSaharan Africa, integrated family planning service into maternal and child health organization China and India undertook and vigorously implemented their own programmes Bilateral and multilateral donors foundation and the international planned parenthood federations, provided significant funding and technical assistance to other countries including Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco and Kenya. These countries undertook a massive number of workshops to train doctors, nurses and other health workers to offer modern method of contraception and to counsel clients in their use. Some organisations focused on promoting family planning community events, puppet

shows, dances, singers and other face to face approaches publicized the existence of family planning services reassured potential clients of their harmlessness and encouraged local women and far more rarely men to utilize them. While newspapers, magazines, and television reached the elite opinion leaders with messages about legatine effects of population growth, other forms of mass media, radio posters comic books and billboards reached millions of poor and often illiterate or low-literate audiences, soup operas with family planning themes were broadcast during prime time on radio, as radio coverage grew rapidly in the rural village and pour city neighborhoods community leaders supported group talks and films using portable generators on family planning.

Door to door promotion and distribution of no clinical contraceptive was a response to cultural constraints in countries where women could not be referee to clinics. This approach worked so well in increasing the number of women in rural Bangladesh who used these contraceptives that community based distribution earned fame its own acronym, social marketing used mass media, particularly radio posters and billboards to encourage those with sufficient means to purchase their contraceptive in retail outlets. Eventually with perseverance in disseminating persuasive messages, expansion of available and affordable contraceptive and service and the spread of countries family planning was transformed from a controversial innovation into a glottal norm.

“Although successful in the long run family planning programmes have always generated controversy. However, organized family planning programmes were indeed organized and worked tirelessly to overcome resistance. Government and MGOs designed and launched networks of freestanding family planning clinics, in some regions of the word such as sub-Saharan Africa, integrated family planning service into maternal and child health organization China and India undertook and vigorously implemented their own programmes Bilateral and multilateral donors foundation and the international planned parenthood federations, provided significant funding and technical assistance to other countries including Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco and Kenya.”


Malaria: Life Threatening Blood Disease By OMOYIBO TEGA

MALARIA is a disease which people see as a very small form of ailment that could be treated within few days, but in actual sense, malaria is a life threatening blood disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted to humans by the Anopheles mosquito although malaria is preventable and treatable. Malaria comes from 18th Century Italian Mala meaning “bad” and aria meaning “air”. Most likely, the team malaria was first used by Dr. Franciso Terti, Italy when people thought the disease was caused by foul air in marshy areas. In 1880, scientist discovered that malaria which was a parasitic disease was transmitted by Anopheles mosquito. The mosquito infects the host with a one-cell parasite called plasmodium. By the end of the 18th Century, scientists found out that malaria is transmitted from person to person through the bite of the female mosquito, which needs blood for her eggs. Over 40% of the total global population at risk of malaria infection. Although during the 20th Century this killer disease wad effectively eliminated in the majority of nontropical countries. Plasmodium vivax P.Vivax). This is a more gentle form of the disease, generally not d e a d l y . Notwithstanding people infected with this type of malaria still

need treatment because it may lead to host of health problems. This parasite has a liver stage and can remain in the body for years

cause relapses after very long periods without symptoms. P l a s m o d i u m Falciparum (P. Falciparum) This is the most common and serious of

parasite mixed with the mosquito saliva are injected into human beings. However, when parasites exists in human blood cells, malaria could be

impairment of brain function, spinal cord function and loss of consciences. According to the World Health Organizations (WHO) Approximately

without causing sickness. If the patient is not treated, the liver stage may reactivate and cause elapses after several months or years. Plasmodium Malaria (P. Malariae) It is also a milder form of malaria and not usually fatal. This type of parasite has been known to stay in the blood of some people for several decades and can lead to a host of health problems. Plasmodium Ovale (P. Ovale) This type of malaria needs to be treated because just like the vivax, it can remain in the body for years without causing sickness. Without treatment there is a risk that the liver stage may be re-activaited and

the diseases it affects mainly Africans especially sub-saharan Africa. If not properly treated, it could lead to death. The big question being asked now is how do people get infected with malaria? The female Anopheles mosquito transmits the parasite to a human when it bites the human in order to feed on blood. Only the female Anopheles mosquito can transmit malaria and it must have been infected through previous blood meal taken from an already infected person. When the mosquito bites an infected human a minute quantity of the malaria parasite in the blood is taken approximately one week later the same infected mosquito takes its next blood meal. The

transferred from one person to another through organ transplant, shared use of needles and blood transfusion. Pregnant women are advised to treat themselves properly as an infected mother may also pass malaria on her baby during delivery this is called congenital malaria. In some places where malaria is common, local people usually have some level of immunity which means that many infected people have no symptoms at all or very few symptoms. Some of the early stages of malaria symptoms include high temperature, chills, headaches, sweat, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, dry cough, back pains, muscles pains, enlarged speer. In rare cases,

660,000 people died from malaria in 2010 globally and most of them were African Children. There were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria injection in 2010 globally. Nigeria and Democratic Republic of the Congo account for more than 40% of all malaria deaths globally. About 80% of all malaria cases occur in just 17 countries. Nevertheless, this

deadly disease can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites and this can be achieved through installation of screened windows, air conditions and some other strategies to reduce mosquito populations. Also, malaria can be controlled through the use of Insecticides Treated Bed nets (ITNs), these nets can reduce malaria infection rates, as well as mortality in endemic areas. Not only does the insecticide on treated nets kill the mosquito and other insects, it also keeps them away, it is a replant. In order to prevent this disease, it is important to take antimalaria drugs. Although anti-malaria drugs do not prevent the parasite from entering the blood stream, they stop it from developing in the blood. Malaria can also be prevented, if our surroundings are kept clean, that is if there should be no bushes around our homes and stagnant water should not be found in our homes as all these can cause a great deal of malaria in our homes and thereby causing harm to our body system.

“Pregnant women are advised to treat themselves properly as an infected mother may also pass malaria on her baby during delivery this is called congenital malaria.”

Beauty Guide

Get Rid Of That Bad Mood, Stay Beautiful!

BAD mood affects your body. Anger, frustration, worry and depression all impair your body’s ability to heal itself. They weaken your immune system the scientific evidence for this is overwhelming “Depression, anxiety, anger or hostile people are twice as likely to suffer from heart diseases, asthma, arthritis and headaches, while happy people are more relaxed individuals. Research has shown that what makes people sick is not what we thought when they measure the amount of virus in the blood streams, it seems to have nothing to do with whether the person get sick or not some people with lots virus in their system do not fall sick while some with very little virus get sick one of the factors that is related to getting sick is stress, if the person experienced negative emotions, it is a good predictor of upcoming illness. The more negative feelings a person had during a given period, the more the person is prone to sickness. Apparently bad moods weaken your immune system enough to make your body a nice place for virus to raise family. But your body is not the only thing impared, when a person brings you down, he/she makes you less able to access your intelligence. Have you ever noticed when you are upset, it’s like looking at life through a carnival mirror. In other words. You can look at your life, and you know it’s your life you are looking at because when you move your arm, the reflection moves its arm, but your head looks enormous, your body is elongated, your feet are gigantic its your life, but it’s distorted. Just like a carnival mirror, bad feelings distort your perception big things seem small and small things seems big for example when people bring you

down, they make you angry, you treat a little things like big things. It is commonly known as blowing things out of proportion. Sometimes you can argue for quite a while and the next day not even know what it was about because it was so insignificant but it was a big deal to you as at that time. Your state of mind and emotion change how you perceive things you are still perceiving the world. You are not hallucinating but the emphasis has changed. You interpret an innocent remark as an attack, this is common with most of us you remember all the time someone let you down, and you forget all the times he did you right. We distort in the direction of the state of our minds. Anger biases you to see more loss. Fear biases you to see more danger, our state of emotion colours our world, changing our world, changing our perception so that we look for and find all the aspect of our world that matches our state, that matches what we are looking for. If a person is worried he/ she will see more danger than someone who is not worried. She will see poisonous things, she will remember news about danger with much clarity than other pieces of news. Focusing your attention on danger will distort your world by causing you to miss a lot of non-dangerous things and will make you to emphasis, and pay more attention to list chances of danger. Fear and worry are bad feelings and the cord where it normally was (on the right side), it panicked – and frantically focused on pulling that cord, ripping to shreds the right side of its jacket and even the skin trying to pull the cord. Apathy distorts your perception in different way.


Important things seems unimportant so you have some thing big and important and you know you ought to be getting to it, but you just don’t care. You don’t do things you know you should do. When you are in a bad mood, you are looking at your life through a carnival mirror, yes, it’s your life you are looking at, but it’s so distorted, when you try to make decision or come up with solutions they don’t work very well because you are not seeing things truly. It would be like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription you would be seeing the real world, but it would be distorted. You have a tendency to

misjudged distances, and run in to things. If you look at the world through a bad mood, any solution you create will likely be inappropriate for your life. And a bad solution tends to cause more stress. First the stress causes the distortion. Then the distortion causes more stress. It is a counter productive cycle stress that leads to more stress. Bad moods also affect your ability to think you are not as intelligent when you are in a bad mood, and you are prone to do irrational, counter productive things. Stress may even do more damage to your brain when you experience prolonged stress bad moods also damage your character. You

don’t act as well when you are down as when you are up. When you are down, you have brought your worst into the world, caused most of the things you would not have done when you are up. Some times it seems like everything is going wrong, the world looks gray, bleak and barren. Other times may be everything is going right, but you are still miserable. You don’t always have to understand why you are in a bad mood in order to change it. These strategies can help you. Get outside: Being in nature can help to lift your mood and even lull your nervous system. Listen to music: Get your

absolute favourite grouchy, wallowy music and relish in tunes that match your mood for as long as it feels good. Then when you start feeling better adjust your music to fit your brighter feelings. Embody Your Bad-mood: Ask your bad mood how it wants to move and honour its impulses safely and address the mood with the right motive. Tune into your murky mood: Try getting quiet and asking the cranky part of yourself what it’s upset about. In other words, instead of fighting with your feelings, figure out what you need. Some times just honouring the impulse to have some alone time, get more sleep. Assume Control: people who feel like they have some control over their lives are happier than people who feel powerless.


Digestive Systems THEY depend on already made food, prepared by plants hence plants are Autotrophy. In animals this food taken into our system are in the complex form and they need to be broken down into smaller units in other for the body to absorb them. The systems that break down these complex food materials into simple forms are refered to either the digestive systems or alimentary canals. We have two types of digestive tracts, namely, the complete and incomplete alimentary treat. The incomplete tract has just an opening into the outside world which is referred to as the mouth. This serves the purpose of ingestion and egestion an example of an organism with incomplete alimentary tract is a planarian. For the complete alimentary tract, it has two openings to the outside world. It contagious both the mouth and the anus. The mouth serves the purpose for egestion white the anus serve the purpose for ingestion while the anus serves the purpose for egestion. Example of this group is bird, earthworm an goal. Complete digestive tract has some advantages over the incomplete digestive tract, which are as follows. In complete digestive tract, each tract, performs different functions and at the end each tract is specialized on what it does. For example when we put yam into our mouth, the teeth breaks it down into smaller particles and pushes it to the Esophagus where peristalsis

takes place, it is further transported to the stomach where the churning of the food takes place. It further goes to the small intestine, where digestion of food is completed and absorption takes place in the villia while the large intestine absorbs water from the food materials and the reminant are passed through from the Anus away from the body when food is taken in, the incoming food, does not mix with the outgoing undigested food materials. ALIMENTARY CANAL OF PLANARIA It is a free living flat slander small worm the tract has a mouth muscular pharynx and intestine, that is ventrally placed, its pharynx so protrude from its mouth, when ever it wants to attack a prey the pharynx leads to the intestine which has three main branches one anterior and two posterior giving rise to a lateral diverticula’s that eventually forms a gastro vascular cavity which is lined with phagocyte cells, glandular storage cells an gland cells. Planarian feeds on small crustaceans, nematodes, insects and rotifers and this makes it a carnivorous animal. It kills its prey by entangling them with in mucus gland it then sucks them in small bits into its intestine. Digestion is intracellular and food is distributed to all the body parts by a process known as diffusion. ADAPTIVE FEATURES OF ALIMENTARY SYSTEM OF A FLATWORM AMD THEIR FUNCTIONS They (e.g. planarian)


have a simple alimentary canal that has just an opening to the outside world it consist of a mouth on the ventral side of the small intestine. The pharynx is muscular

feautres of m ailenatyr sysetm of an hew tarom r

that secrete calcium arborvitae that removes excess calcium that has been absorbed in the earthworm’s food. The esophagus has a narrow tubular wall. The crop is a temporary place where it stores its food before they are passed into

hew tarom r over that of palnarai

The Earthworm has a long and straight intestine, which makes it efficient for

• Rev. Fr. John Damian Adizie, OCD

and large. It helps to push the food inside it to the small intestine. The small intestine with branches enables the digested food to diffuse to all parts of the body while the undigested food is egested from the mouth which really makes it a primitive organism. The digestion is partly intracellular and partly extra cellular. adapvite

and their funcoitns The alimentary system of an earthworm consist of a long straight tube that is divided into the mouth for the ingestion of food is pharynx with a muscular think wall of which glands from it secrets mucus for easy digestion and a protein digestive enzyme. The oesophagus has a pair of esophageal glands

the gizzard for digestion. The gizzard has a thick muscular wall with stones, which aids the grinding of food particles. The intestine is long and straight where extra cellular digestion of food takes place. advancement of the m ailenatyr canal of

digestion, and absorption of food while the planarian has a diffused intestinal branches. The earthworm has two openings, which is the mouth and the anus, while the planarian has just one opening, which serves as the mouth. The earthworm has a thick muscular gizzard, which it used for the granary of good during digestion which planarian lacks. The earthworm absorbs food in the form of blood, while planarian diffuses as food after digestion has taken place. The oesophagus and the crop of the earthworm serves as a temporary storage of food before digestion takes place while the planarian lacks these products.

“ The small intestine with branches enables the digested food to diffuse to all parts of the body while the undigested food is egested from the mouth which really makes it a primitive organism.”

International Palestinians Ready To Extend Talks With Israel

Egyptian women supporters of outsted President Mohammed Morsi stand inside the defendant cage in courtroom facing six charges after holding an early morning protest recently in Alexander, Egypt.

BEIT JALLA, West Bank— The Palestinians are ready to extend current peace talks with Israel beyond an April deadline if a detailed framework agreement is in place by then, the chief Palestinian negotiator said Wednesday. The comments by Saeb Erekat marked the first time Palestinian negotiators endorsed the U.S. idea of seeking a preliminary rather than a final deal by the end of a nine-month period of negotiations to which both sides agreed at the outset. Erekat said it is possible to reach such a framework agreement by the end of April, despite wide gaps between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime

Syria Opposition Insists West Wants Assad Out

BEIRUT - A senior member of the Syrian opposition said Wednesday Western nations had offered reassurances that President Bashar al-Assad will play no role in a negotiated political transition. His remarks appeared to contradict recent press reports suggesting that Western nations, fearing the rising power of jihadist groups in Syria, may want Assad or members of his inner circle to remain in power during the transition. Monzer Aqbiq, an advisor to the leader of the Syrian National Coalition, insisted that remarks behind closed doors at a meeting last week in London among countries backing the opposition matched a statement issued after the meeting, which said: “Assad

will have no role in Syria, as his regime is the main source of terror and extremism in Syria.” “The 11 countries (including the United States, France and Britain), and behind them the 100 members of the ‘Friends of Syria,’ agree that there should be no role for Assad,” Aqbiq told AFP. “This is not (just) the official line, this was also the line that was repeated inside the meetings.” His remarks came after press reports cited opposition officials as saying Western delegates had told the opposition that Assad or at least his Alawite minority may have to remain in power during the transition because of

BANGKOK - Antigovernment protesters marched in Bangkok on Thursday in a bid to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office but their numbers appeared far smaller than earlier in the month, when she called a snap election to try to defuse the crisis. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban is demanding political and electoral reforms before any vote is held and wants these to be overseen by a “people’s council” that his movement will help nominate rather than by Yingluck, who is caretaker prime minister until the election, set for February 2. Thailand’s National Security Council said only 6,500 people gathered at the busy Asoke intersection in central Bangkok at around mid-day, although office workers and others lined the route of the march to voice support. A separate group of about 1,000 student-led protesters marched to the U.S. embassy. The United States has annoyed

the protesters by calling for the democratic process to be respected, effectively endorsing the holding of an election. Nititorn Lamlua, a protest leader, said U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney ought to be transferred. “If she needs to leave the embassy, she’ll have to go by helicopter because she has badmouthed the protesters,” he said. On December 9, when Yingluck called the election, about 160,000 protesters had massed around her office complex, and before that some had occupied ministries and other state buildings, but police say no more than 2,000 people are now camped out at the main protest sites in Bangkok’s historic quarter. Demonstrators on Thursday held banners saying “We are anti-corruption” and “No elections before reform”. One sign read: “We will not accept Square Face”, a nickname given to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra,

the rising power of jihadists. “I was present in all the meetings and there were no remarks of this kind. On the contrary, what was said was the complete opposite,” Aqbiq said. The United States has been pressing Syria’s fractured opposition to attend peace talks planned next month in Switzerland aimed at ending the nearly three-year civil war, which has claimed an estimated 126,000 lives and displaced millions. The opposition has insisted Assad step down as part of any transition. But the Western-backed rebels on the ground have suffered a

series of setbacks in recent weeks, raising questions about whether any agreement reached next month could actually be implemented. The Islamic Front, an alliance of Islamist rebel groups that is now the largest opposition fighting force in Syria, overran a border post earlier this month and captured warehouses held by the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, leading to a suspension of US and British aid to the moderate group. The Islamic Front does not include Al-Nusra Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — two Al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria — but it has also shown little if any interest in the peace talks.

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a hardliner who holds tougher positions than his predecessors. He suggested that much ground has already been covered in previous negotiations on a final peace deal, dating back to 2000. “Actually, it’s about decisions,” he told reporters in the town of Beit Jalla adjacent to biblical Bethlehem. “If Netanyahu decides it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.” Netanyahu’s office had no immediate comment. The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war, but are ready for minor land swaps to enable Israel to keep some of the larger of dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Unlike his predecessor, Netanyahu has refused to accept the pre-1967 lines as a starting point for border talks and rejects a partition of Jerusalem into an Israeli and a Palestinian capital. Under U.S.-pressure, Israel and the Palestinians resumed negotiations last summer, agreeing to talk for nine months with the goal of a permanent peace agreement. With little progress so far, the Americans are now setting their sights on a preliminary deal. Erekat said that based on the July 29 start of negotiations, they are to end on April 29. “We are not talking about a peace treaty on the 29th of April. We are talking about a framework

Thai Protesters March In Bid To Oust PM, Take Aim At US Yingluck’s brother and the figure at the centre of Thailand’s eight-year, on-off political crisis. Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon, is adored by the rural poor because of cheap healthcare and other policies brought in while he was in power, but he was toppled by the military in 2006 and now lives in self-exile. Yingluck won a landslide victory in 2011 and her Puea Thai Party is well placed to win the next election because of Thaksin’s enduring support in the populous north and northeast. Ranged against them are a royalist establishment that feels threatened by Thaksin’s rise and a middle class that resents what it sees as its taxes being spent on wasteful populist policies that amount to vote-buying. Thaksin fled in 2008 before being sentenced to jail for abuse of power in a trial he says was politically motivated.

Suthep’s movement gained impetus in early November after Yingluck’s government tried to push through a political amnesty bill that would have allowed Thaksin to return home a free man.

After failing to get the politically influential military on his side, Suthep is trying to re-energies his supporters with marches this week and a rally on Sunday.

agreement,” he said. He described a framework deal as more detailed than a declaration of principles and said it would have to be turned into a full peace treaty in six to 12 months. Asked by The Associated Press if the Palestinians would continue the talks, provided a framework deal is in place by April, Erekat said: “Absolutely, if we reach a framework agreement that specifies the borders, the percentage of swaps, the security arrangements, the Jerusalem status, refugees and then that is the skeleton.” Previously the Palestinians indicated that after April, they would resume a campaign of seeking wider recognition at the U.N. and other international bodies in the absence of a peace deal. Israel opposes such efforts, saying they are a way to sidestep negotiations. Still, reaching a framework deal on all core issues is a longshot. Israel and the Palestinians have vast differences over future borders, the status of Palestinian refugees who seek to return to lost properties in what is now Israel and the conflicting claims to Jerusalem and its sensitive holy sites. Meanwhile, Erekat denied reports, including from senior Abbas aides, that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented a proposal for security arrangements between Israel and a future state of Palestine in talks earlier this month. Palestinian officials have said that under that proposal, Israeli troops would be able to control Palestine’s eastern border with Jordan for at least 10 years. Abbas aides have balked at the idea of a long-term Israeli military presence in a future Palestinian state.

Anti-government protesters march during a rally at a major business district in Bangkok yesterday.

International Top US Official In Violence-Plagued Central Africa

BANGUI, Central African Republic — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations arrived Thursday in Central African Republic in the highest profile American effort to date to quell the cycle of violence in this impoverished country that has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced at least 10 percent of the population. Samantha Powers said on the eve of her visit she and President Barack Obama were “deeply disturbed” by the killings by rival militias since the government was overthrown in March. “The violence has been vicious and primarily directed

toward civilians and is increasingly sectarian,” she told reporters in a conference call. “Obviously urgent action is required to save lives.” Powers landed within sight of a refugee camp of 40,000 people and sped off in a convoy of three armored SUVs guarded by U.S contractors in trucks. Powers will meet with religious and community leaders as well as with President Michel Djotodia, whose forces are accused of taking part in the atrocities. While Powers, who has been a vocal proponent of U.S. intervention to stop mass atrocities, cautioned against comparing Central African Republic to other African

Mandela Family Feud Resumes

JOHANNESBURG — An ongoing feud between some of the Mandela family members which has made headlines in the past year has taken another turn with a report that Mandla Mandela was locked out of the family’s homestead in the village of Qunu by relatives four days before his grandfather, Nelson Mandela, was buried there. Mandla is also reported to have found his home on the Mandela estate without electricity and water on the day of his grandfather’s burial. The Johannesburg tabloid The Times reported Tuesday that locks at Nelson Mandela’s home in the Eastern Cape hamlet were changed shortly after his eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, arrived there on Thursday. At the time, Mandla Mandela was keeping vigil next to his grandfather’s coffin while the anti-apartheid icon’s body lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for three days. He escorted the coffin to Qunu

on Saturday for Mandela’s funeral the following day. Approached for comment on the report Wednesday, Mandla Mandela’s spokesman, Freddy Pilusa, told The Associated Press: “He (Mandla) doesn’t want to confirm nor deny the report. He wants to focus on promoting and upholding the legacy of his grandfather going forward.” Mandla and Makaziwe have been involved in a bitter public spat over the control of Mandela’s legacy and leadership of the fractured family. The newspaper report said that since Mandela’s death on December 5: — Water and lights at Mandla’s house on the Mandela estate were disconnected late on Saturday. The occupants, including Mandla, had no water when they awoke on Sunday; — Makaziwe had told Mandla, the statesman’s grandson, that he must remove his cattle, pigs and dogs from the homestead;

tragedies she didn’t hesitate to draw parallels. “Somalia showed us what can happen in a failed state and Rwanda showed us what can occur in a deeply divided nation,” she said. “The population of the Central Africa Republic is in danger.” Before joining government service, Powers wrote a Pulitzer-prize winning book in 2002 about how various U.S. administrations over the years have been reluctant to confront mass atrocities and genocide around the world. Muslim rebels overthrew the government of Central African Republic in March and a cycle of atrocities and revenge attacks followed, peaking over the last few days with hundreds killed around the country. Human Rights Watch said in a report Thursday said Christian militias, including soldiers of the deposed regime, responding to “rampant abuses” by Muslim armed groups have killed hundreds around the country, sparking further retaliatory attacks. According to Powers, some 400,000 people, almost 10

percent of the population had been displaced from their homes in what was already one of Africa’s poorest countries. A French military force of 1,600 backed by 3,500 troops from African countries have

intervened in the country with U.S. logistical support in effort to stop the killings that had left bodies rotting in the streets of the capital Bangui. Human Rights Watch’s U.N. director Phillipe Bolopion said Powers’ early work on genocide make her a significant choice for the first high-level U.S. mission.

“She used to be an observer on the sidelines and now she is at the very center of it so she’s fully aware of what is at stake there and with her background I think she is doing everything in her power to push the U.S. government to react the way it should,” he said.

L-R: Tobeka Zuma, Nelson’s widow, Graca Machel, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s former wife, South African President Jacob Zuma and Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela watch as former South African President Late Nelson Mandela’s casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Quno, South Africa, recently.

Mass: Boy Feared Dead; Mother Charged; 2 Fired

BOSTON— Police in Massachusetts only recently learned that a boy whose family had been getting state social-services help has been missing since September, leading to charges against the child’s mother and her boyfriend and the firing of a social worker and the worker’s supervisor. Investigators say 5-yearold Jeremiah Oliver was last

seen by relatives September 14 but police only learned recently of his disappearance. A prosecutor is treating Jeremiah’s case as a possible homicide, and Department of Children and Families Commissioner Olga Roche called it a “deeply concerning case of neglect and abuse.”

The Fitchburg boy’s family had been receiving services from the department since the fall of 2011 after the agency received a report of neglect. In June, the social worker received a message from Jeremiah’s day care indicating that his mother

had said it was his last day and he would be leaving for Florida to live with his grandmother, officials said. But the social worker didn’t confirm the information and also failed to conduct required checks, they said. “This case represents a serious failure on the part of the social worker and supervisor assigned to the family,” Roche said in a

Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 10 Shi’ite Pilgrims In Baghdad - Police

Maumar Gadhafi’s former spy chief Abdullah al Senussi arrives in Tripoli recently

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber blew himself up near a funeral tent on Thursday, killing at least 10 Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims in southern Baghdad’s mainly Sunni neighborhood of Doura, police sources said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a series targeting Shi’ite civilians and government buildings that have killed scores of people this week before a major Shi’ite ritual. A further 23 people were wounded in Thursday’s

explosion. Security services have been on high alert since last week, expecting more attacks before Arbaeen, which commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Hussein, a major figure in Shi’ite Islam. Shi’ites are considered apostates by Sunni militants, whose resurgence is blamed by the government partly on the impact of the increasingly sectarian war in neighboring Syria. In a separate incident, gunmen raided the home of

a government-backed Sunni “Sahwa” militia leader in western Baghdad, shooting him dead alongside his wife and two of his children, police said. The Sahwa militias fought al Qaeda alongside U.S. troops in Sunni areas from 2006 to 2008, and are viewed as supporters of the Shi’iteled government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. This year has been Iraq’s most violent since 2006-7, when tens of thousands were killed in strife between Sunnis and Shi’ites.


Why Ukraine Spurned The EU And Embraced Russia

KIEV - On September 4, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich called a meeting of his political party for the first time in three years, summoning members to an old Soviet-era cinema called Zoryany in Kiev. For three hours Yanukovich cajoled and bullied anyone who pushed for Ukraine to have closer ties to Russia. A handful of deputies from his Party of Regions complained that their businesses in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east would suffer if Yanukovich didn’t agree to closer ties with Russia. That set him off. “Forget about it ... forever!” he shouted at them, according to people who attended the meeting. Instead the president argued for an agreement to deepen trade and other cooperation with the European Union. Some deputies implored him to change his mind, people who attended the meeting told Reuters. Businessmen warned that a deal with the EU would provoke Russia - Ukraine’s former master in Soviet times into toughening an economic blockade on Ukrainian goods. Yanukovich stood firm. “We will pursue integration with Europe,” he barked back, according to three people who attended the meeting. He seemed dead set on looking west. Less than three months later Yanukovich spurned the EU, embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin and struck a deal on December 17 for a bailout of his country. Russia will invest $15 billion in Ukraine’s government debt and reduce by about a third the price that Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national energy company, pays for Russian gas. It is not clear what Yanukovich agreed to give Russia in return, but two sources close to him said he may have had to surrender some control over Ukraine’s gas pipeline network. What caused the U-turn by the leadership of a country of 46 million people that occupies a

strategic position between the EU and Russia? Public and private armtwisting by Putin, including threats to Ukraine’s economy and Yanukovich’s political future, played a significant part. But the unwillingness of the EU and International Monetary Fund to be flexible in their demands of Ukraine also had an effect, making them less attractive partners. And amid this international tug-of-war, Yanukovich’s personal antipathy towards his jailed political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, was a factor, according to Volodymyr Oliynyk, an ally of Yanukovich and a prominent member of the ruling party. The EU accused Ukraine of treating Tymoshenko unfairly - to the annoyance of Yanukovich, according to his supporters and one of her lawyers. The upshot is that Yanukovich, 63, has split his party and his country. Some leading party officials have deserted him. His hopes of reelection in 2015 - if there is a free and fair vote - look weak. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, demanding he step down and the country pursue closer links with the EU. Yanukovich, who has been increasingly cut off in his sprawling residence outside Kiev and distant even from some of his oldest friends, did not respond to requests for comment. PROUD EGO Risen from humble roots, Yanukovich likes to be treated with respect and as an equal, a characteristic that has informed much of his reluctance to join the customs union of former Soviet states that Putin wants to create. Colleagues describe the burly leader as an intuitive politician who cannot abide being patronized. Inna Bohoslovska, a member of Yanukovich’s Party of Regions until last month, said Yanukovich made clear at the cinema meeting his dislike of Russia treating Ukraine as

second rate. “He told us Russia was not fit for talks, Russia did not consider Ukraine to be an equal partner, that it tried to force us to act by its own rules, that Russia does not act in Ukraine’s best interests in any negotiations, and therefore there can be no talk of having negotiations with Russia,” she said.

cooperation with the EU. Now deeply disillusioned, Zhvaniya feels misled by Yanukovich: “He tricked us all ... It was a complete, utter lie.” He accuses Yanukovich of acting like a tsar. Others say Yanukovich’s desire to forge closer links with the EU was genuine, but that he became dismayed when he felt the EU failed to acknowledge

investment it needed. An EU source said Ukraine could have been in line to receive at least 19 billion euros in EU loans and grants over the next seven years if it had signed a trade and cooperation agreement and reached a deal with the IMF. But that sum was not mentioned to Ukraine officials during negotiations,

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, (centre left), meets with Bangui’s Archbishop Dieudonna Nzapala Inga, foreground left, Imam Oumar Kubiba Layama, foreground right, at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Bangui, Central African Republic yesterday. Yanukovich felt he was better treated by EU officials, two party members said, despite finding it hard to grasp the complexity of EU bureaucracy. Hailing from Ukraine’s industrial east, Yanukovich also seemed the perfect man to persuade Ukraine’s pro-Russian eastern regions to agree to closer ties with Europe. “That a president from the east would bring Ukraine into Europe was the ideal combination for us. We were willing to do anything,” said David Zhvaniya, a former member of the Party of Regions who helped lead efforts to prepare Ukraine for deeper

the scale of the financial difficulties he would face if he chose Brussels over Moscow. Yanukovich estimated that he needed $160 billion over three years to make up for the trade Ukraine stood to lose with Russia, and to help cushion the pain from reforms the EU was demanding. The EU refused to give such a sum, which it said was exaggerated and unjustified. The EU offered 610 million euros ($839 million) immediately. EU officials said increased trade, combined with various aid and financing programs, might go some way to providing Kiev with the

“An EU source said Ukraine could have been in line to receive at least 19 billion euros in EU loans and grants over the next seven years if it had signed a trade and cooperation agreement and reached a deal with the IMF. But that sum was not mentioned to Ukraine officials during negotiations, said the source.”

said the source. To Ukraine, there seemed little prospect of getting the EU, already struggling to help its indebted members, to offer a better deal than its original offer. Oliynyk, who is Ukraine’s permanent representative for NATO, and others were furious. He told Reuters that when Ukraine turned to Europe’s officials for help, they “spat on us.” Next year Ukraine will have to cover foreign debt payments of $8 billion, according to its finance ministry. It was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, partly because Moscow was blocking sales of Ukrainian-produced meat, cheese and some confectionery, and scrapping duty-free quotas on steel pipes. Some officials said the restrictions showed what life would be like if Ukraine signed the EU agreement. Yanukovich’s other hope was the IMF. It rescued Ukraine during the onset of the global financial crisis with a $16.5 billion loan in 2008 when Tymoshenko was prime minister. It also approved a

$15.5 billion stand-by program for the Yanukovich government in 2010, disbursing about $3.5 billion, before freezing the program in 2011 because Ukraine failed to meet its conditions. A year later, the program had expired. The IMF, like the EU, was unwilling to grant the sort of loans Yanukovich wanted under a new program. In a letter dated November 20, it told Ukraine that it would not soften conditions for a new loan and that it would offer only $5 billion, Oliynyk said. And Kiev would have to pay back almost the same amount next year, he said, as part of repayments for the earlier $16.5 billion loan. The IMF declined to comment. According to IMF figures, Kiev should pay back $3.7 billion next year. “We could not contain our emotions, it was unacceptable,” said Oliynyk. Yanukovich was furious, party members said. He believed the IMF had ignored what he saw as reasonable demands to lift tough conditions for its earlier help, such as increasing the retirement age and freezing pensions and wages. Worse, the IMF was asking him to repay a loan that had been negotiated by his arch enemy, Tymoshenko. JUSTICE ON TRIAL Despite his reputation as a hard man - he was sent to Soviet prisons twice for theft and assault when he was a youth Yanukovich has a particular weak point: jailed opposition leader Tymoshenko. He both detests and fears her, according to his aides and diplomats. Conspicuous for her plaited blonde hair, Tymoshenko was one of the leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution, which snuffed out Yanukovich’s first bid to be president. She served as prime minister in 2005 and then from 2007-2010, and their enmity deepened when a plan to form a coalition against a common enemy failed in 2009. Tymoshenko, who has said she wanted to “kill” Yanukovich over his policy U-turn, was jailed in 2011 for abuse of office after a trial Western governments say was political. Most Ukrainians think she should be released, though many question how she amassed her wealth. To the EU, Tymoshenko’s case represented an unacceptable standard of justice. As part of the trade pact, the EU demanded Ukraine release Tymoshenko or, as some officials suggested, make a commitment to do so.

EVERY FRIDAY WEEK 23, 2013 LAST SEASON RESULT Anderson Richwell 1.2. X. Forecast

WEEK 23, 2013 NO. OF DRAWS 14

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For One X?



Newcastle Coach Charged By FA

City Continue Title Pursue In London MANCHESTER City’s pursuit of title chasers Arsenal will resume when they head over to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham on Saturday afternoon. The Sky Blues staked their hunger in becoming a title contender when they defeated the Premier League toppers 6-3 in a nine-goal thriller last weekend. Manuel Pellegrini’s men were in scintillating form and the way the league leaders were taken apart at times gave Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger something to keep him up at night. It was a performance which confirmed the overflowing quality in City’s team but they however were dealt two plays just days later in the Capital One Cup win over Leicester. Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta both limped off in the encounter, ruling them out for the trip to London and most likely even longer. Meanwhile, along the river Thames, things have been far from fruitful for René Meulensteen’s men. Only one win since October 21 has put them in contention to be a favourite to go down next season as they sit second bottom in a tightly compacted foot of the Premier League table. Things need to turn around quickly for the Cottagers as they head into the Christmas break and they will hope that City’s still much needed improvement on the road front will be delayed for one more fixture.

NEWCASTLE coach Andy Woodman and Southampton striker Dani Osvaldo have been charged by the Football Association. Osvaldo has been charged with violent conduct following a touchline fracas at Newcastle on Saturday. The 27-year-old Italian, who had been replaced by Adam Lallana at half-time during the 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw, faces a Football Association charge in connection with an incident which saw the occupants of both benches clash deep into injury-time at St James’ Park. Magpies goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman, who was sent to the stands after the melee, has been charged with improper conduct. Both men have

Andy Woodman

Ki Hopes Goal Fires Sunderland Survival Bid

SUNDERLAND’S League Cup match-winner Ki Sungyueng has urged his team-mates to carry the momentum from their shock 2-1 win over Chelsea into their fight to avoid Premier League relegation. The South Korea Stadium of Light. midfielder scored his first However, with Sunderland goal in English football to five points adrift at the foot dump Chelsea out of the of the league table ahead of League Cup in the quarter- Saturday’s home game with finals on Tuesday, netting Norwich City, Ki says that with two minutes of extra thoughts of the semi-finals time remaining at the will have to wait.

United Out To Avoid Unwanted last weekend is a prime Hat-Trick Villa example of this – but they

MANCHESTER United will look to avoid a third straight home defeat in the Premier League when they host West Ham United on Saturday. Kick-off at Old Trafford is set for 17h00 CAT. The Red Devils suffered back-to-back home 1-0 losses against Everton and Newcastle United in their last two league fixtures at home, and cannot afford an unwanted hat-trick if they are to revive their hopes of getting back into contention for a place in the upper echelons of the table. David Moyes’s team is placed a lowly eighth, 10

David Moyes

points adrift of leaders Arsenal and seven from the top four spots that qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, meaning there is plenty of ground to be made up. However, they are still far better off than their opponents, who are placed 17th – just one point and one position above the dreaded relegation zone. The Hammers’ struggles have dialled up the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce, who saw his team grind out a goalless draw at home to bottom-of-thelog Sunderland last weekend. It was a result that had West Ham fans booing their team off the pitch upon full time at Upton Park, and Allardyce admitted that the supporters were right to vent their frustrations. “It doesn’t make it easier for me, but it is part of the job,” he told Sky Sports. “You sit there and you expect that reaction when your team doesn’t perform. “We didn’t entertain them and, more importantly at the moment, we didn’t win.” Man United have often looked better away from home – their comfortable 3-0 win at Aston

desperately need to turn Old Trafford back into a place that visiting teams fear travelling to. Taking on a struggling West Ham could be the perfect match for Moyes and co. to kick-start an improved home run that returns the Theatre of Dreams to a fortress for the Red Devils.

“Chelsea are one of the best teams in England. Even though this is the League Cup, we don’t care because we will get a lot of confidence from that,” said Ki, who is on loan at Sunderland from Swansea City. “I think definitely it can help our league form. The atmosphere is buzzing among the boys and we all believe. “If we can beat Chelsea, we can beat other teams. But we have to get our focus back for Saturday.” Ki’s goal capped a stirring fightback from Gus Poyet’s men, who had fallen behind to a Lee Cattermole own goal in the 46th minute, only for Fabio Borini to equalise two minutes before the end of normal time. With 118 minutes on the

clock, Ki collected a pass from Borini and cut inside Michael Essien and Gary Cahill before steering a low shot into the bottom-left corner. “I can’t express the feeling,” he said. “It’s my first goal in England, a quarterfinal against Chelsea and scoring in the last minute — that’s maybe a once-in-alifetime experience. “It was great to celebrate and to get through to the semi-final. I had a chance a few minutes before with the header, but I thought I would get another chance. “The boys were desperate to win. They had a lot of energy and we were fitter than Chelsea. We controlled the game in extra time.”

Manchester Giants Kept Apart In Semi-Final Draw SUNDERLAND will face Manchester United with Manchester City meeting West Ham United in the twolegged League Cup semifinals. The semi-finals are due to be played on the week commencing January 6, 2014 with the second legs on the week beginning January 20. The draw was made by former United striker Andy Cole and former Sunderland manager Peter Reid. United booked their spot in the last four with a 2-0 win at Stoke City with West Ham

scoring twice late on to complete a 2-1 over managerless Tottenham at White Hart Lane. An early second half goal from the returning Emmanuel Adebayor looked to have sent Spurs through to last four of the competition. But goals from Matt Jarvis and substitute Modibo Maiga secured Sam Allardyce’s side a crack at big-spending City. David Moyes’s United side sealed their progress courtesy of two second-half goals from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra in some driving wind and

rain at the Britannia Stadium. Manuel Pellegrini’s City eased through on Tuesday night with a 3-1 win at Leicester with Sunderland upsetting Chelsea 2-1 at home after extra-time. Both Manchester clubs will fancy their prospects of meeting in the final with United visiting the Stadium of Light for the first leg. City will hope to build up a healthy lead to take with them to Upton Park after the first leg at the Etihad Stadium, a venue where they have been scoring goals for fun this season.

until next Monday to respond. An FA statement said: “Newcastle United coach Andy Woodman and Southampton player Dani Osvaldo have both been charged by the FA following an incident in the recent fixture between the two clubs. “Osvaldo has been charged with violent conduct in relation to the incident in the 94th minute of the game at St James’ Park on Saturday, December 14. “Meanwhile, Woodman, who was sent to the stands following the incident, has been charged with improper conduct. Neither club will face charges. “Both parties have until December 23 to respond to the charges.”

Dani Osvaldo

Swansea, Hull Fined For On-Pitch Melee SWANSEA City and Hull City have each been fined £20,000 ($32,800, 23,800 euros) over an on-pitch fracas during their Premier League encounter last week, the Football Association announced on Tuesday. The clubs both admitted to a charge of failing to ensure that their players “conducted themselves in an orderly fashion” during their 1-1 draw at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium on December 9. The charge related to a confrontation late in the game between Hull pair Tom Huddlestone and Yannick Sagbo and Swansea centre-backs Ashley Williams and Chico Flores. Sagbo and Williams were both booked, while Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was also cautioned in the aftermath of the incident. “Swansea City and Hull City have both been fined £20,000 following a mass confrontation between the two sides,” read a statement on the FA website. “The clubs each admitted a charge of failing to ensure that its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.”

Gattuso Backed To Prove Innocence

Ghana Rank World 24th Best GHANA ended the year in 24th position and second best in the Africa according to the last edition of the FIFA World Ranking. This means the Black Stars made improved as compared to the December 2012 ranking where the national team finished in 30th position. Ghana played a total of 14 competitive matches ( 8 matches in the World Cup qualifiers and 6 matches in the Africa Cup of Nations). They won nine matches; lost four and drew three matches. The top ten remain unchanged. Spain continue to lead the table ahead of Germany and Argentina, followed by Colombia, Portugal and Uruguay. In total in 2013, the results of 918 matches have been taken into account, many of which were friendlies (415) and more than a third of which (347) were qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Ramos Wins Appeal Against 18th Red Card REAL Madrid defender Sergio Ramos will be free to play against Valencia on Sunday after the club’s appeal against his 18th career red card in the game with Osasuna last Saturday was successful. The first of Ramos’ two yellow cards in the first-half of the 2-2 draw in Pamplona was rescinded by the competition committee of the Spanish Football Federation on Wednesday. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti had described the Spanish international’s dismissal as “hard to understand” and the Italian will be relieved that Ramos is available for the trip to the Mestalla as he has a shortage of options at centreback. Portuguese international Pepe is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Osasuna, whilst Raphael Varane remains sidelined by a knee injury. Madrid are also hopeful that Gareth Bale will be fit to face Valencia despite being ruled out of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash with Olimpic Xativa due to a calf injury.

• Sergio Ramos

• Novak Djokovic

• Serena Williams

THE International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Wednesday named Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Serena Williams of the U.S. as the 2013 ITF Male and Female World Champions respectively.

Victories at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon saw the brothers hold all four majors at the same time before they lost in the semifinals in New York. They won 11 events during 2013 to improve their all-time records to 15 Grand Slam titles and 93 titles in total. For the Women Doubles, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are the first pair since 2008 to be named

Djokovic, Williams named ITF 2013 ITF World Champions

ITF said in a statement that the selection of its senior World Champions was based on an objective system that considered all results during the year. “But it gives special weight to the Grand Slam tournaments and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Federation Cup also by BNP Paribas,’’ the statement said. It quoted ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti as saying that “Williams demonstrated once again why she is one of the greatest athletes of all times and a worthy winner of the women’s award.’’ The men’s award was more closely contested, but our criteria reward players for their performances at the Grand Slam tournaments and in the team competitions. “Rafael Nadal made a remarkable comeback from injury with two Grand Slam wins, but it is Djokovic’s consistent results across all four Slams that saw him named world champion,’’ it said. Some of the competitions are Davis Cup and the ATP World Tour Finals. The statement said that this was the fourth time Williams would be named women’s world

champion and the third successive year Djokovic would receive the honour. Williams is named women’s world champion for the second straight year after reclaiming the year-end world number one ranking for the first time since 2009. The 32-year-old was almost invincible in 2013, winning 78 of 82 singles matches played and a career-best 11 titles. She captured two Grand Slam titles, at Roland Garros and the US Open, to stand at 17 career majors, and went on to win the year-end Women Tennis Associations (WTA) Championship. Twenty-six year-old Djokovic won his third successive Australian Open title and was a finalist at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and a semi-finalist at Roland Garros. He won seven titles during the year, including the ATP World Tour Finals and was unbeaten in seven singles rubbers as Serbia reached the Davis Cup Final. Meanwhile, Bob and Mike Bryan were named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the 10th time after a spectacular year in which they narrowly failed to complete the Grand Slam.

Raja Casablanca Stun Mineiro To Reach Club World Cup Final HOME-GROWN midfielder Mouhssine Moutouali converted an 84th minute penalty to help ensure Raja Casablanca became only the second African team in history to reach the Club World Cup final as they defeated Brazilians Atletico Mineiro 3-1 on Wednesday. The Moroccan champions, who qualified as the host team, equal Congolese club TP Mazembe who lost the 2010 final against Inter Milan, and will now face European champions Bayern Munich in Saturday’s final in Marrakech. However, unlike Mazembe, Raja did not even qualify for the tournament, taking part only because they are the champions of the host country — making their achievement all the more impressive.

Brazil Orders End To Night Work At TragedyBRAZIL’S northern Hit Stadium daily fine of 100,000 reais

Amazonia state ruled Wednesday that work could resume fully at the World Cup stadium in Manaus where a worker fell to his death over the weekend, media reports said. Construction at the site partially resumed on Monday, although not at the roof where the 22-year-old worker fell 35 meters (110 feet) Saturday after his protective cable snapped. However, the public prosecutor ’s office, which approved the resumption of construction, also ruled that

there should be no further night work. The victim — the second fatality at the Arena Amazonia this year — died as he prepared to finish a night shift. An investigation into health and safety conditions at the site determined that main contractor Andrade Gutierrez had undertaken measures to improve safety, such as increased supervision of safety equipment and the stability of scaffolding. The company had faced a

world champions in consecutive years. The Italians’ year was highlighted by three titles together, including the Australian Open and they went on to lead their country to victory in Federation Cup by BNP Paribas. They were also finalists at Roland Garros and ended the year co-ranked number one on the WTA Doubles Rankings.

($45,000) had it not fully complied with judicial worker safety regulations. Workers had threatened a strike after Saturday’s tragedy, the fourth to hit World Cup stadiums. On November 27, two construction workers died at the stadium in Sao Paulo, which will host the June 12 opening match between Brazil and Croatia after a crane fell onto part of the stadium at it lifted a final piece of roofing into position.

Striker Mouhcine Iajour, who was on the scoresheet during the 2-1 extra-time quarter-final win over Mexicans Monterrey, hit the target to send the partisan 35,000 crowd into hysterics with the opening goal six minutes into the second-half. However the lead was shortlived as former world player of the year Ronaldinho levelled 12 minutes later when he beat Khalid Askri in the home goal. The game appeared to be heading towards extra-time before Rever brought down Iajour in the box, allowing Moutouali to become the hero, smashing home the ball with just minutes remaining. Then deep into injury time, Central African international Vianney Madibe capped a glorious night in Raja’s history with their third goal, to the delight of their Tunisian-born 63-year-old coach Faouzi Benzarti, who has enjoyed three spells at the helm of his national team and also won the African Champions League in 1994 with Esperance. The Brazilians, whose 50year-old coach Cuca is equally well travelled and working for his 20th club, had held the upper hand during a scoreless first-half that saw them manage seven shots, but only one on target. Raja came back into the match as the half wore on and possession was equally shared by the time Spanish referee Carlos Carballo sent the two teams in at the break on level terms.

THE presidents of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and Italian FA (FIGC) have backed Gennaro Gattuso to prove his innocence amid allegations of match-fixing. On Tuesday, former Italy international Gattuso was named as one of a group of former and current footballers drawn into an ongoing investigation into match-fixing in the country. The former Rangers and AC Milan midfielder has pleaded his innocence and CONI president Giovanni Malago says he has no reason to doubt him. “I would bet on Gattuso [being innocent],” Malago said, according to ANSA. “He’s a good person and I would trust what he has said blindly. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m convinced that he’s a good person both in a sporting and human sense. I heard the tone of his voice and I’d really like to know what’s behind this investigation.” FIGC president Giancarlo Abete added: “I have every faith in Gattuso. Knowing him, it doesn’t seem possible and I’m convinced he will emerge from this ordeal.” Gattuso’s house was searched on Monday night, although he was not present at the time, but the 2006 World Cup winner believes that, in hindsight, it was probably a good thing.

Bafana Vs Brazil Confirmed For March BAFANA Bafana will take on Brazil in a friendly international to be played at FNB Stadium on March 5. The fixture has long been mooted, but SAFA confirmed the date and venue at a press conference on Thursday. Having just beaten world champions Spain 1-0 in a friendly last month, it is another high-profile game for Bafana Bafana and presents them with an opportunity for a great ‘double’ of wins against two of the world’s best teams. For Brazil it will be an opportunity to fine-tune for the 2014 FIFA World Cup that they will host from June next year. It will be the fifth time that South Africa have met Brazil, with all four games having been won by the South Americans. Bafana lost a friendly clash 3-2 in 1996 and were beaten again the following year in another friendly, this time by a 2-1 scoreline.

NFA Gives Financial Breakdown Of FIFA 2014 World Cup Largese

THE Nigeria Football Association (NFA) has explained in detail, the amount to be received by the country following its participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.

Aminu Maigari, NFA Chairman

The financial explanation is coming on the heels of reports in some sections of the media that the NFA does not need money to prepare for the World Cup. The report said that the FIFA financial reward for participating countries was enough to prepare the NFA and the Super Eagles for the 2014 World Cup. A statement issued by the NFA, however, quoted its Director of Competitions, Mohammed Sanusi, as saying

Keshi Won’tNigeria.” Promise CHAN Trophy

SUPER Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has said he will not promise the 2014 CHAN trophy, but hopes the team will still make Nigeria proud. “It’s because we’ve got little or no time and we are working with new boys on this project, but I hope we do the nation proud in CHAN, but I cannot promise the trophy,” Keshi declared. He restated that Eagles skipper Joseph Yobo, Osaze Odemwengie, Lukman Haruna, Chinedu Ogbuke and others who have not featured in his plans are still part of the team but warned against being sentimental. “We don’t want to play names, but any player who can bring success to the team is what we are after and if these players we have mentioned have it, then they can go with us to the World Cup,” he said. “We have players as old as 39 years old playing at top level for their countries and some have been very successful at that, I want to see that happen in

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles continued their build-up for next month’s CHAN in South Africa with a 2-0 trouncing of hardfighting Niger Tornadoes on Wednesday. The team will next tackle Plateau United at the same venue on Saturday morning. Keshi started with a very strong squad of captain, Chigozie Agbim in goal, Azubuike Egwueke, Yinka Adedeji, Solomon Kwambe and Ogonna Osuchukwu holding sway in the defence. Christian Pyagbara, Rabiu Ali held sway in the midfield, while Gbolahan Salami, Barnabas Imenger and hard-working Abubakar Aliyu were the preferred strikers. Imenger got the Eagles on the score sheet 14 minutes into the encounter after Abubakar was brought down for a free kick. Ali flicked it in and after Abubakar and Pyagbara shots were blocked, Imenger coolly slotted in for the opener. Thereafter, it was Eagles all the

way with Imenger, Ali, Abubakar and Egwuekwe all coming close, but the half ended 1-0. But not without incidence as Agbim, was made to pull off a fantastic save with a tip of his fingers in the 44th minute of the highly robust encounter.

that FIFA would pay each participating member association the sum of 1.5 million U.S. dollars (about N240 million) as preparation money. “We have been reading and listening to a lot of expert views and analyses on the financial details of Nigeria’s participation in next year’s FIFA World Cup finals. “The amount guaranteed for each team’s participation in the championship is the sum of 8 million U.S. dollars. “No team will get this exact sum because the money will be subject to with-holding tax, deductions on accommodation and all extras, as well as other deductions. “More importantly, this

money will not be paid until after the World Cup finals and when what is left is eventually paid, certain percentage of it will go to the players,’’ Sanusi was quoted as saying in the statement. Sanusi said it was unbelievable to hear that the NFA would not need money for the world cup, stressing that “it takes so much to prepare a team for the world cup’’. He gave assurance that the NFA would not hide anything regarding monies received for

the country’s participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and that the money would be duly accounted for. The NFA Director regretted the misinformation by some media outfits on the FIFAWorld cup-participationlargesse, noting that any money released by FIFA would be in the public domain. “I urge Nigerians to shun the assumptions by these uninformed football analysts who derive joy in dishing out negative information,’’ Sanusi added.

... Nigeria Drops Again In FIFA Rankig NIGERIA has again dropped in the monthly official FIFA World ranking from the 36th spot to the 37th. The ranking table on the World governing body’s website yesterday showed that though Nigeria still had 710 points, like it had in the last ranking in November, but it dropped by one spot. However, in the December ranking, Nigeria still remained the fourth in Africa behind Algeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire with 800, 849 and 918 points, respectively. On the global scene, Spain maintained the first spot, ahead of Germany, Argentina and Colombia, who also maintained the second, third and fourth spots, respectively. Though the ranking might

be a disappointment to Nigerians with the successes recorded by Nigerian teams in recent times, the ranking procedure explains that many things are put into consideration. It stated that the number of points that can be won in a match depends on “if the match was won or drawn, and how important the match is.’’ It also considers how strong the opposition team are in terms of ranking and the confederation they belong to. These factors brought together are used in the formula to ascertain the number of points got from a match. The next FIFA World ranking will be published on January 16, 2014.

Osaze Odemwingie

Iheanacho Will Succeed At Manchester City, COACH of the FIFA World coach also commented on Says Garba Manu U17 winning team believes his whether the UAE golden boot golden boy will become a big hit with the Citizens if given a chance to prove his worth Manu Garba, head coach of Nigeria’s Under-17 national team is optimistic Kelechi Iheanacho will thrive at Manchester City or anywhere he chooses to play his professional career. U17 star Iheanacho was given leave from the Super Eagles B camp to travel to England for contract talks with Etihad Stadium-based Premier League side two days ago.

Joseph Yobo

Coach Manu who discovered him told Goal thinks he is not too young to play for a big club like Manchester City believing he has all it takes to become a superstar. “He has paid his dues at the youth level and he should be given the opportunity to play so as to blend with the tactics of the club [Manchester City],” Manu told Goal. “With this, it will hasten his promotion to the main team where he will have the chance to prove to the world what he

has. I believe he will excel in England and with proper focus, he can play in any team in the world.” The coach, who confirmed that he has not been officially announced as Flying Eagles

Beach Soccer Will Get Better In 2014, Says Adamu

KINETIC Sports, organisers of the 2013 Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament, on Wednesday assured that more than four countries would feature in the 2014 edition of the annual competition. Samson Adamu, Chief Executive Officer of Kinetic Sports, told newsmen in Lagos that they had noted some lapses in the 2013 edition of the competition.

“We have noted some of our lapses in the competition held from December 13 to December15 and won by hosts, Nigeria. “Senegal, Lebanon and Germany were the other countries that took part in the three-day competition, but we expected about 10.

“We will strive to surpass the achievement of the tournament’s previous editions by increasing the number of the participating countries in 2014, to make it more competitive. “The publicity, though fair, we expected more. So, we are going to ensure that the 2014 edition of the annual programme is better organised.

“We intend to work on the publicity because awareness is essential. “That is what we have learnt over the years, and I believe that when we get this part together, we will begin to achieve more results. “It is obvious that when we work on this, we will attract more sponsors, which is our objective and we are getting there with our plan for more awareness.

Kelechi Iheanacho

winner deserves a chance in Stephen Keshi’s squad to the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil. “Well it all depends on the coach whether he will give him the chance to prove himself or not,” concluded Manu.


Dan Orbih’s Obtuse Assessment Of Oshiomhole It is Dan Orbih’s propaganda that is failing him. If a housefly perches on Dan Orbih’s ever open lips, he accuses Oshiomhole of trespass. If a rat runs over his uncontrolled legs, he blames it on Oshiomhole. Today, Dan Orbih nauseates most Edo people who often watch his foul-mouthed, garrulous, disrespectful, and senseless outpourings against a sitting governor. Some have even called for his arrest and prosecution for conducting himself in most unruly manner of time. In civilised climes and advanced democracies, there is decorum in opposition. Reading through his usual rubbish published on page 46 of the VANGUARD of Monday, December 16, 2013 entitled “Oshiomhole’s Propaganda is now failing him-Orbih,” one is left with no option but to write him off as one who has gradually degenerated to melancholy stage of those who have gone bananas. Otherwise, why will he continue to unnecessarily politicise the issue of the widow who breached the law in Edo State? What sentiments did he want to whip and what cheap political point did he want to score? The said widow, Mrs. Joy Ifijeh has since apologised for pushing the governor to the extreme with her disobedience of the law. The Governor in an uncommon show of humility by a political office holder in Nigeria tendered an unreserved and open apology to the widow. No PDP Governor, past or present has ever shown such humility to the led. None. And I stand to be corrected. Making an issue of it, reinforces the fact that Dan Orbih lacks humility and as such cannot appreciate any one who is humble if he sees one. So his timidity, quirk political idiosyncrasy, and social folly has packaged him as an oddity for anyone to really join issues with. Edo people know too well that Dan Orbih wants to commit suicide because the widow turned down his Greek gift of N250,000 as widely demanded by Edo people. The widow, Mrs. Joy Ifijeh properly counseled Orbih to go and give the money to other widows in the state who may need such

support if he and his crisisridden PDP ever meant well for widows. But even when it was obvious to all that Orbih had goofed, in desperation to perfect his evil plot, Dan Orbih had organised a make- shift and ill-fated ceremony where he still gave out the said amount of N250,000 to the PDP woman leader and lied to the

a new born baby starved of her mother’s breast milk. If, not dirty politics, how many vulnerable citizens of Nigeria has Dan Orbih and his PDP provided for? There is nothing wrong in citizen’s participation in government vide criticism, but Participation in government through criticism must not be in negative, insulting and

common wealth, insecurity and massive unemployment. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has articulated all of these in an 18-point missive to Jonathan. The Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido has fired his own salvo that over $49.8bn has been stolen by the PDP-Led Government as unremitted money to the federation account. Dan

Matters In Focus By DAN OWEGIE government. Were Orbih to be a genuine critic, who wants to be an active participant in government as he claims, with his daily oral diarrhoea in Edo, why has Orbih not raised his voice on all of these issues? He prefers to

• Governor Adams Oshiomhole

public that the money was given to a representative of the widow. That shameful act by Orbih gave him out as a desperate propagandists whose evil plots collapsed on his head. Mrs. Ifijeh is a woman of integrity that was why, having been robustly empowered by the Comrade Governor with a mouthwatering N2million to enhance her business and offered employment as Special Assistant to the Comrade Governor with a scholarship to one of her sons, she was not in any way attracted to the booby trap of Dan Orbih and his plummeting Edo PDP. She appropriately shunned the charlatans. Why should you play politics with a widow and her livelihood if you are sane? That, perhaps is why Orbih is today weeping like

demeaning but constructive. Your intensions count. In offering Mrs. Ifijeh N250,000 what was the intension or motivation of Dan Orbih? Obviously, it is to reap where he and the PDP failed to sow. Today, there are many burning issues seeking to dismember Nigeria. Widespread corruption, mindless thieving of our

Orbih has not been heard to speak to any of these issues. Monies that would have been enough to provide employment to all Nigerians, monies that would have been enough to end poverty in Nigeria and empower all the widows in Nigeria, monies that would be channeled to addressing most of the needs of the physically challenged have been stolen by a few in PDP

keep quiet when poor Nigerians are dying every day as a result of hunger, starvation and curable diseases. Prof. Wole Soyinka in his book, The Man Died said : “The Man dies in him who keeps silence in the face of tyranny.” Obasanjo has said that the PDP government is training snipers which are to be used to kill 1000

Nigerians raising their voices against a desperate federal government. Dan Orbih has not responded. The PDP has not said anything concrete, yet political jobbers are busy insulting Obasanjo for exposing their wicked plot against Nigerians instead of taking the expose as a working document to begin to fix Nigeria. In few days time, we will be in 2014, Jonathan has not been able to present the budget to the National Assembly. What does this portend for Nigerians and why has orbih not raised a voice? What about the infighting in the PDP that has seen five state governors, hordes of National Assembly members, hundreds of local government chairmen abandoning the sinking PDP for the All Progressive Congress? Has Dan Orbih been heard to say anything regarding the implosion in the PDP? He has shut his mouth. But if Oshiomhole sneezes, Orbih will shout. If Oshiomhole yawns, Orbih will lose sleep. He now has no job doing. No business else than making noise around a performing state chief executive. How many PDP governors have performed up to Oshiomhole given the resources at his disposal? It is not enough to bandy figures. Today they talk of N80bn tomorrow they say it is N200bn. What comes to Edo State from the federation account is released on a monthly basis to the public by the Federal Ministry of Finance. Anybody can check them out and forget about the misleading numbers being bandied by loquacious Dan Osi Orbih. • Mr. Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress of Nigeria, APC, Edo State.

“There is nothing wrong in citizen’s participation in government vide criticism, but Participation in government through criticism must not be in negative, insulting and demeaning but constructive. Your intensions count. In offering Mrs. Ifijeh N250,000 what was the intension or motivation of Dan Orbih? Obviously, it is to reap where he and the PDP failed to sow.”

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Nigerian observer 20 12 2013  
Nigerian observer 20 12 2013  

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