TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol . 38 • NO.337 • TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013 • N100.00 PERSPECTIVE
Pages 16-17 Nigeria’s Education Sector
Still In Bad Shape
Edo Assembly urges ASUU to end strike
By KEN ABU /OSE EHEBHA BENIN CITY – Edo State House of Assembly has adopted a resolution urging the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) to call-off its on-going strike in the interest of the
students and the nation in general. The adoption of the resolution is sequel to the consideration of a motion on the strike embarked upon by ASUU brought to the floor of the House by
the Majority Leader, Hon. Philip Shaibu under Matters of Urgent Public Importance. According to Hon. Shaibu, the over three months on-going strike embarked upon by ASUU
has affected the university adversely and could lead to the eventual collapse of the educational sector of the country. Hon. Shaibu described as unfortunate the fact that despite the policy of UNESCO that 26 percent Continues on page 2
Edo House Sale
HEALTH Page 27 Preventing Avoidable blindness Via effective Eyecare
Royal fathers, others back Oshiomhole
BENIN CITY - The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Erediauwa, the Crown Prince, the Royal fathers of Opoji and Okpella and many other stakeholders yesterday threw their weight behind the plan by the Government of Edo State to sell the Edo House in Lagos. Esere of Benin Kingdom, Speaking at a Town the Oba frowned at the Hall meeting to address hullabaloo generated by the twin issues of security the planned sale and told and the proposed sale of the Governor “go ahead the State’s Liaison office and sell it”. in Lagos, called Edo Also the Crown Prince House, the Oba of Benin of Benin Kingdom, HRH said the Edo House had Ehenede Erediauwa said become a liability and he fully supported the had lost its appeal. sale of the Edo House. Speaking through Chief He said “my presence Stanley Obamwonyi, the is to support the position
of the palace, the position of the traditional rulers that the Comrade Governor who has taken the pains which he did not have to do. There have been governors who will not even talk to anyone
but will do what they have to do. “Here is a man of integrity and principle and he has the time to call this kind of meeting. I have been to Edo House in Lagos and it is nothing to write home
about. It is just that we have a kind man who has the interest of the people at heart giving out all these facts which could easily have been given out by his officials. “I am personally here
to say sell it and invest the revenue in Edo State. Invest it in a five star hotel and Convention Centre which is very important because many big conferences are going on Continues on page 2
Esan N/East Re-Run Election
EDSIEC beefs up security By OSE EHEBHA
UROMI - Ahead of the re-run election in Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State re-scheduled for today, security has been beefed-up in the local government area. The state electoral body, Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) had failed in two previous attempts to conduct election into councillorship and chairmanship positions in
the local government area. The exercise, which held on April 25, 2013, was declared inconclusive by EDSIEC, after it alleged massive violence and electoral fraud. The NIGERIAN OBSERVER gathered that two trucks of mobile police men have been dispatched to Uromi and Uzea-two communities that make-up the local government, to ensure orderly poll.
TIT BIT “A good idea would first take us into the dark; where we seem left alone; but with a successful endurance test, it will come back to rescue us to a place where the people have been kept waiting, to celebrate our successful arrival. - Kingsley-Ogbeide-Ihama
Some residents who spoke with The NIGERIAN OBSERVER, applauded government for the security arrangement, expressing optimism that the election would be rancour free. One of the respondents, Mr. Augustine Akhigbe said activities leading to the Continues on page 2
STAKEHOLDERS’ MEETING: Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom, Ambassador Eheneden Erediauwa, during the Stakeholders’ meeting on security and the proposed sale of Edo House in Lagos held at Idia College in Benin City yesterday. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBE-ESERE.
Police checkpoints to be re-introduced - Oshiomhole in Edo
By ADAMS OYIBOKE/ OYENMWEN OMOROGBE
BENIN CITY – Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said plans
are on with the Nigeria Army and other Security Agencies to re-introduce Police Check Points around border communities and strategic areas in Benin City in order to curtail the
incidence of kidnapping in the state. This formed part of discussions with
Stakeholders at yesterday’s Town Hall meeting on the State of Security in the state and the proposed sale of Edo
Encroachment On School’s Land
Commissioner warns land racketeers BENIN CITY – Edo State Commissioner for Lands and Survey,
Barr. Osikhena-Boih Donald has paid an unscheduled visit to Eweka Grammar
School and Iyoba College both along Benin Technical College Road, Egor
Local Government Area to inspect the extent of Continues on page 2
House in Lagos, in Benin City. Governor Oshiomhole while regretting the pains and agony kidnapped victims are subjected to acknowledged the problems associated with kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes in Edo State. According to him: “Over the years, Edo State had had its share of these crimes and many of the
Continues on page 2
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Edo Assembly urges ASUU to end strike
Continued from page 1
of the nation’s annual budget be devoted to the education sector, Nigeria dedicates less than ten percent of its annual budgetary allocation to education. The Majority Leader therefore appealed to ASUU to shift ground and call-off the on-going strike in the interest of the students, so that universities in the country could re-open while urging the Federal Government to put machineries on ground in order to implement the 2009 agreement it signed with ASUU. On his part, Hon. Kabir Adjoto, the member representing Akoko-Edo I constituency urged ASUU to cooperate with Federal Government, noting that the demands of ASUU are cogent and reasonable but the interest of the country should be given utmost priority.
While appealing to ASUU to call-off the strike which is affecting the students negatively, he however advocated thorough constitutional amendment that children of political office holders be made to attend public schools which he noted will ensure the educational development of the country. However, the Minority Whip of the House, Hon. Kingsley Ehigiamusor posited that ASUU has gone beyond its ambits hence some of its demands are impracticable, particularly the call for the payment of earned allowance of its members which might not be met by some states government.
He noted that the federal government has shown signs of commitment in honouring some of the agreements reached with ASUU in 2009 with the release of over N100bn to the university. Summing up deliberations, Hon. Uyi Igbe, Speaker of the House of Assembly appealed to ASUU to call-off its on-going strike in the interest of the nation while urging the federal government to honour the agreement made with the union. Hon. Igbe also called on the federal government to devote reasonable share of its annual budgetary allocation to education in line with UNESCO policy on educational development.
lamented the serious security situation in the state commended the governor for the initiative to reintroduce check points in the state. “He said past governments have sold government properties in the past and nothing was heard about it and wondered why this one is attracting so much attention. Let the government go ahead and sell the property and invest the proceeds in the state”.” Earlier the Governor explained that the Edo House had become unviable and no longer serves the purpose for which it was meant. He said “government has not sold the Edo House and will not be sold secretly. We
decided at the level of the state government to look at the matter of Edo House and all the issues surrounding it and came to the conclusion that the Edo House be sold in a very transparent manner. “Government properties including landed properties have been sold by previous governments without the benefit of advertising it. If we want to carry out self help we would not need to advertise it. It is consistent with our commitment to transparency and accountability”, he noted. The Governor disclosed that government was holding discussions with the appropriate authority on the issue of re introducing check points to check insecurity in the state.
Royal fathers, others back Oshiomhole
Continued from page 1
elsewhere. When conferences are being held Edo State is screened off. How many retreats have we witnessed in Edo State?” he asked. On his part the Onojie of Opoji, HRH Zaiki Ehidiamen 1 commended the governor for tabling the Edo House issue for discussion “In the past, once the governor says the Government has sold this building that is the end of the matter, heaven will not fall. The House is no longer viable which means it must go. The Government should go ahead and sell it”, he said. The Okwokpellagbe of Okpella, Alhaji AYE Dirisu who
EDSIEC beefs up security
Continued from page 1
election have been peaceful, and expressed hope that it would be sustained during and after the election. Another respondent, Mr. Ehimare implored the
electoral umpire to ensure its conducts a free, fair and credible election, while admonishing all parties to play the game according to the rules. Contacted for comments,
the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the local government, CSP Shaibu Audu assured of adequate security, and disclosed that enough officers and men had been mobilized.
communities. He maintained that reintroduction of police check points would curtail the increasing rate of kidnapping in the state and called on members of the society to give useful information to police and SSS to facilitate the operation. While commending the efforts of the officers and men of the Nigeria Army, Police and SSS, Governor Oshiomhole stated government efforts at providing vehicles, special allowances, security gadgets, funding and rewarding officers who have performed and helped in arresting kidnappers in the state. He however said that unemployment is not the reason people take to kidnapping, adding that available information revealed that those arrested are mostly people with gainful employment. While condemning the level of publicity on kidnapped victims by media houses, Governor Oshiomhole called on professional associations to discourage their members from protesting and engaging in unnecessary publicity about kidnapped persons.
According to him; “such protest and publicity can lead to increase amount of ransom demanded by the kidnappers”, he stressed. He assured stakeholders in the Town Hall meeting and the entire people of Edo State of the safety of lives and property, maintaining that local government chairmen would be directed to hold monthly security meeting with security agencies, traditional rulers and other stakeholders. The stakeholders meeting was attended by service chiefs in the state, including the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Folusho Adebanjo, former Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun. Others were the Crowned Prince of Benin Kingdom (HRH), Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, Chief Stanly Omoregie Obawonyi (the Erese of Benin Kingdom), who represented the Oba of Benin, His Majesty, Oba Erediauwa, Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin Kingdom members of civil society organisations, market women, representatives of Coalition of political parties in Edo State, top government functionaries among others.
Police checkpoints to be re-introduced Continued from page 1
security men including those in the Army, State Security Service (SSS), the police, in the course of their either going after kidnappers or going to provide security may have been killed by the kidnappers”. He described the problem of insecurity as a national problem, stressing that the number of people killed in Nigeria in the last five years in various parts of the region has been unprecedented. He maintained that statistics on ground revealed that Edo State is still the safest. Governor Oshiomhole however said that the statistics was not an offer for comfort, stressing that discussion with the Nigeria Army and other security agencies re-affirmed the urgent need to re-introduce police check points in border communities in the state and strategic areas in Benin City. He stated: “the invisible minimum responsibility of government is to save the lives of the people. He noted that most of the kidnappings and other crimes in the state are committed by migrants from neighbouring states who later escaped because of the absence of police-check points on border
The House thereafter adjourned sittings to October 28, 2013 which according to the Speaker is to enable the House Standing Committees to fine tune their reports for subsequent presentation and consideration by parliament. Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused federal government of sponsoring “false propaganda to disparage genuine struggle of the union”. This is even as the lecturers maintained their resolve to sustain the current strike until government showed genuine commitment towards implementation of the 2009 agreement and 2012 MoU it signed with the union. At a rally by the Ambrose Alli University Chapter of the union in Ekpoma, Edo State, the chapter chairman, Prof. Fred Esumeh alleged that government had employed the services of supposed NANS president, Mr. Yinka Gbadebor, a group by name, Young Academics, market women and the National Council of Women Society to misinform the public. “To state the fact, Gbadebor was rusticated from Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti for cult related offences. He is now a diploma student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Therefore, such character is not fit to be a student, let alone the NANS president. “Rather than address the challenges facing the education sector, government had resorted to the use of “hired clappers” in the likes of National Market Women, Young Academics and National Council of Women Society to mention but a few; to urge ASUU to suspend its current strike. “This strike will not be suspended until the government shows genuine evidence of the willingness to respect the agreement of 2009 and the MoU of 2012 it freely signed with the union” he maintained. The union leader also alleged that government had only implemented one out of 8-point agreement, which is the raising of retirement age of professors from 65 to 70 years. He said contrary to insinuations by alleged mischief makers, ASUU cared deeply about university education, and added that “lecturers are tired of being party to producing graduates who cannot help themselves”.
OAU ASUU takes strike protest to Ooni’s palace By ABIODUN AFOLABI With Agency Report ILE-IFE (OSUN) - The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Chapter, yesterday in Ile-Ife staged a peaceful protest to decry what it called government’s inaction over the ongoing strike. The chapter ’s Chairman, Prof. Peter Akinola, who led the protest, appealed to the Federal Government to accede to ASUU’s demands to enable the union suspend the industrial action. Addressing residents at Ooni Okunade Sijuwade’s palace, Akinola said the education sector deserved a better deal. Also speaking, a member of the union, Prof.
Gbolahan Babalola, said the education of Nigerian children was a more critical agenda. Babalola said the protest was to show the concern of ASUU for undergraduates who had stayed at home for months,. He called on traditional rulers and other stakeholders to intervene to resolve the impasse. The Sarun Oodua, Chief Adekola Adeyeye, who represented Sijuwade, commended ASUU over its peaceful conduct and show of concern for students. Adeyeye said that the Ooni understood that education was the best legacy that any parent or government could bequeath to any Nigerian child. He gave an assurance that the union’s message would be relayed to the traditional ruler.
APC Urges court to stop Kwara LG Poll ILORIN - The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday prayed an Ilorin High Court to stop the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) from conducting the local government election scheduled for Saturday. The party and six candidates filed the motion for an injunction to restrain the electoral body from conducting the election. The motion filed by the party’s lawyer, Deji Gbadeyan, urged Justice Suleiman Kawu to hear the matter on Tuesday in view of the urgency of the matter. Gbadeyan filed the Motion on Notice supported by a 10paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Ayodeji Kudabo from Gbadeyan’s Chambers. Joined in the suit were the Kwara State Government, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and Independent Democrats. The plaintiffs averred that KWASIEC and PDP were bent on conducting and
participating in the said elections on Saturday knowing well that all the parties concerned were in court over the matter. They prayed the court for an order of injunction restraining KWSIEC from conducting any election on Saturday into the councils of the state. APC argued that a matter challenging the validity, legality and the constitutionality of the said proposed election is sub judice and pending before the court in suit No KW/251/ 2013 for determination. The plaintiffs also prayed the court to restrain PDP, LP, PDM and the Independent Democrats from holding themselves or presenting themselves or participating in the said elections. The claimants averred that KWSIEC was a party before the court and should respect it by not foisting a fait accompli situation on the court. They said that a substantive matter in the case was before the court and had already been adjourned to November 7 for hearing.
Commissioner warns land racketeers
Continued from page 1
encroachment on the schools’ land. The Lands and Survey Commissioner maintained that the visit was in response to the cry of people in the areas to the State Government that illegal layouts have been created within Government lands by Land racketeers. Barr. Osikhena-Boih Donald added that the encroachment of the schools’ land was unaccepted and that any person who sells Government Land will be prosecuted and the
buyers will lose any amount of money paid for such land. He then remarked that despite several warnings and notices, people still go about selling Government Land and hinted that “Government teeth maybe blunt but very firm”. During the visit, the Hon. Commissioner took time out to see some Edionwere in the area and told them the reason for the unscheduled visit to the communities. In his response, Pa. Victor Ukperigbe, one of
the Edionwere of “Eguare-Adaiken Quarter” said that he was surprised when he saw Ugbowo Community Youth who brought bulldozer to the School Land and started creating layout on the schools land and he quickly reported the matter to the Egor Local Government Council. Those who accompanied the commissioner during the visit were the Surveyor General, Director of Lands and other top officials of the Ministry of Lands and Survey.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Inside Edo NAS Calls For Radical Approach To Governance BY MORRISON HAYBLE SABO (SOUTH IBIE) National Association of Seadogs NAS (aka Pyrates Confraternity) Edo North Chapter has reechoed the call for radical approach to the contradictions that negate the collective good of Nigerians. At the gathering for its annual feast of Barracuda celebrated worldwide by NAS, Auchi chapter president, Mr. Adamu Obomeghe said that there was a compelling need for Nigeria at 53 to seek a change towards a more purposeful direction. According to him, mere hope was never a strategy even as ideas were useless unless activated. While noting that ordinary cacophony about poor electricity supply, bad roads and use of hospitals as mere consulting clinics was not a solution, the Auchi chapter President of NAS posited that the body was resolved on resetting agenda for the country to a level where excellence could be the driving factor for action. Guest speaker at the occasion Peter Aisagtonhi who spoke on the topic: “Principle of All before Self in Leadership and Nation Building”, explained that the
concept meant giving up ones self-centeredness and independence in order to create a strong, virile, interdependent, united and forward looking nation. Mr. Aisagbonhi observed that the principle of All before Self supported the people’s desire for a better country, adding that it could help recapture the dreams of Nigeria’s founding fathers, religion or ethnicity not withstanding, as the important journey to true nationhood. He lamented that politicians had made democracy appear as a system intended to benefit only those at the helm of affairs as the socalled leaders were not only stupendously rich at the expense of the ordinary Nigerian but also vulgar. Mr. Aisagbonhi, who nonetheless identified corruption as fundamental problem of Nigeria, noted that the trend of growing poverty and need to reverse it must be the concern of all if governance was about improving the well being of the citizens and about the needs of the have-nots. “Let us accept the challenge to protect the unity of our country and intensify the fight for good governance, using the principle of All before Self, he said.
L-R: Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu, Edo State Deputy Governor, Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor, Hon. Patrick Obayangbon and Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) Prof. Julus Ihonvbere during the stakeholders meeting on Security and the Sale of Edo State House in Lagos held at Idia College in Benin City yesterday. Photo: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE.
Birthday Anniversary: Crown
Prince Gives Thanks To God By CLIFFORD AGBAJOR
BENIN CITY – The Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom and
Monarch Urges Govt to Rehabilitate Road
By ADAMA AUDU
The Edo State Government has been called upon to rehabilitate the over 20 kilometer, Iynaran 1 and 11/ Ikakumo/Imogan/Ibillo earth road which has been in a deplorable condition over the years. The Alayanran of Ayanran and Clan Head of Ayanran/ Ikakumo Communities, HRH, Oba V.D. Deji 111 who made this appeal at Ayanran in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, stressed that his people, especially the farmers usually find it difficult to get to Ibillo which is the commercial nerve centre of the areas. According to him, “my domain produces Plantain, Cocoa Coffee, Cashew, Palm – Oil and Cassava in Commercial quantity.” Oba Deji III also called on the state government to collaborate with operators of the Millennium Development Goal Projects to provide additional borehole for Ayanran community so as to
on ground in the area. The Alayanran used the occasion to commend Hon. Kabiru Adjoto for embarking on laudable projects in the area, including the water project while enjoining the lawmaker to complete the on – going water project in Ayanran community by providing a Generator to power the project. He appealed to the state government to provide a Junior Secondary School for Ayanran community disclosing that their children usually trek to neigbouring Secondary Schools in nearby Ondo State Community
because of the inability of previous administrations in Edo State to provide a Secondary School for his people. In a related development, the chairman of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, Hon. Joseph Akerejola has been enjoined to provide more Desks and benches for the only Primary School in Ayanran Community which was founded in 1955. The Royal Father also appealed to the Chairman to provide market stalls for Ayanran Community in order to boost economic activities in the area.
Edaiken N’Uselu, Eheneden Ereadiauwa was at Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Benin City, last Sunday to give thanks to God on his birthday. In a sermon at the service which was attended by Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu, the Ohen-Osa of Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Harrison Okao paid glowing tribute to the Crown Prince who has
returned to Benin Kingdom after a meritorious diplomatic service in several countries. The Ohen-Osa used the ceremony to appeal to the congregation to amend their ways in order to make the society peaceful and comfortable for all. The Crown Prince accompanied by the deputy governor, Dr. Odudu and prominent Chiefs took a regal
Pa Aigbe For Burial Oct 25 BENIN CITY – The burial ceremony of late Pa. Sunday Osarenkhoe Aigbe has been slated to commence on Friday October 25, 2013. Pa Aigbe died on April 8, 2013 after a brief illness at the age of 97 years. According to a statement released by the family on behalf of the children, on Friday October 25, 2013 at 12 noon, the remains of Pa. Aigbe would be taken from
Suyi Hospital, 3 rd East Circular Road to his residence, No 10 Omagbon Street, Iguomo Village, Opposite Ikhueniro, BeninAgbor Road, Edo State. This will be followed at 3pm with service of songs and a funeral mass and Interment at 5pm. On Saturday October 26, 10am to 6pm, there would be socials/reception/ entertainment of guest at his
4 Commissioners For Edo Personality BENIN CITY – As the year General and Commissioner Onwueme has disclosed that runs to an end and the 2014 for Justice, Hon. Henry the 20 anniversary of the Almanac th
Edo State most prestigious who is who almanac, about to be published, the Screening Committee Chairman of the organization, Dr. Roland Duke has completed the screening of Edo State Commissioners as four of them have finally made the
Idahagbon, Commissioner for Works, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Abdul Oroh, and the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Blessing Maigida. Meanwhile, the Chief
step to the altar to offer thanks to God on the birthday. Prayers were later offered for the Edaiken N’Uselu, Benin Kingdom and the nation at large. The thanksgiving service was graced by people from all works of life, including Hon. Rasaq Bello-Osagie and Hon. Samson Osagie, Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
personality Almanac will be celebrated next year. He expressed gratitude to God for the success it has recorded all this years while hoping for a brighter future. The ‘who is who’ personality almanac is a wave making image making publication
Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa; Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Apostle (Dr) Joshua Osasuyi, the spiritual Leader, Christ Chosen Church of God International and other great men of God as well as captains of industry and other
residence. The ceremony would climax with a thanksgiving service at Annointed Warriors Ministries International Incorporated, No15 Tony Deo Street, Akengbuda Junction, Opposite NNPC Depot, Ikpoba Hill, Benin City. Late Pa. Aigbe is survived by a wife and 13 children including Mrs. O.B. Boje of UNIBEN, Osahon Osarenkhoe and Henry Osarenkhoe.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
News Protesting Youths Disrupt Medical Services At Missionary Hospital ISIEKE (EBONYI) - A group of youths from Ohatekwe village in the Isieke community of Ebonyi has disrupted medical services at the Mile 4 Missionary Hospital in the area. The youths, numbering about 30, barricaded the hospital’s entrance and prevented patients from entering. They also forced the hospital authorities to discharge admitted patients. The situation caused pandemonium at the hospital as those who had patients there were seen taking away their sick relatives and pregnant women. Chibueze Egwu, the leader of the youths, told newsmen that they took the action due to the failure of the hospital’s authorities to abide by agreement. He said the hospital had an agreement over developmental issues with the community, which is located in the Ebonyi Local Government Area of the state. “But the hospital reneged on the agreement to release funds for the provision of basic amenities in the community, such as water, electricity, among others. “We are making these demands because the hospital is situated on our land. “In addition, the hospital management had reneged on the agreement to reduce the cost of treatment incurred by indigenes, and provide employment for us (the community’s youths),” Egwu said. The hospital’s Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Mrs Mercy Ozoenyi, said the youths of the community did not accept any incentive given to them by the hospital. “They also rejected all entreaties for a peaceful resolution of the problem. Instead, they cordoned off the
hospital’s entrance and prevented us from working. “They told us to forcefully discharge all patients, including pregnant women and those who gave birth newly,” she said. The traditional ruler of the community, Mr. Emmanuel Ajigbo, promised to do all within his powers to quickly resolve the issue. The land on which the hospital was built was given to the Catholic Church missionaries in 1947. However, DSP Sylvester Igbo, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebonyi Command, said the matter had not been officially reported to the command.
ABUJA - The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed November 28 to deliver judgment in a suit alleging infringement by INEC on two patented products. Justice Ibrahim Auta gave the date after counsel to the parties adopted their written addresses. The products in dispute included mainly but not limited to transparent ballot boxes and collapsible polling booths. The plaintiff, Bedding Holdings Limited, instituted the suit against INEC and its Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega in 2010. It is claiming it had the patent rights to the products used by INEC in conducting elections.. Other respondents are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Haier Electrical Appliances Corporation Limited. The rest are Zinox Technologies Limited and Avante International Technology Incorporated. Mr. John Okoriko, counsel to the plaintiff, contended that his client specialises in the general fabrication and manufacture of steel metal products like transparent ballot boxes and
collapsible polling booths. Okoriko averred that Bedding Holding was a bona fide “patentee and design rights owner in and over patent rights No. RP 16642 and copyright design No. RD 13841.’’ He told the court that his clients brought the boxes to INEC and that the commission was yet to discontinue the contract with some of the respondents. He stressed that they continued to procure and supply the commission with products his clients had patent rights over. The counsel further said the company had patent rights No. RP NG/P/2010/202 in respect of proof of address system/scheme embedded with the concept of the coded metal plates. He said the plaintiff’s products showed ingenuity and uniqueness, arguing that they were all franchised and registered. Okoriko contended that INEC used the products without seeking or obtaining the prior written license and consent of the plaintiff. He, therefore, urged the court to declare that the plaintiff is the bona fide and sole rights owner of the patents.
Group Condemns Ilorin Stampede
Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu (right) in a tete-a-tete with Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa at a thanksgiving service at Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Benin City to mark the Crown Prince’s birthday anniversary. PHOTO: MOSES OBOH.
Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa(left) and the Ohen-Osa of Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Harrison Okao during a thanksgiving service at Holy Aruosa to mark Eheneden’s birthday anniversary. PHOTO: MOSES OBOH.
ILORIN - An NGO, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has condemned the Sallah stampede in Ilorin which left more than 20 people dead and called for a strong policy to protect women’s rights. CISLAC made its position public in a release signed by its Executive Director, Ibrahim Musa, and made available to newsmen in Ilorin. It will be recalled that more than 20 women died during a stampede in Ilorin on Wednesday during the struggle for gifts presented by Senator Bukola Saraki, a former governor of the state. Musa advised the state government to put in a place a policy that would enable women and youths to access credit facilities and reduce poverty that had often forced them into taking unnecessary risks. “CISLAC recommends that both Kwara State Assembly and the executive immediately increase resources that would benefit women and other vulnerable groups in the state,” Musa said. He said women and other vulnerable groups in the state had been marginalised over the years with regards to developmental projects. Musa said the extreme poverty level in the state had deprived women and youths of their constitutional rights. The fight against poverty in the state, he said, would not succeed if immediate attention was not given to women and youth empowerment.
Patent Dispute: INEC Knows Fate Nov 28 He further sought the abrogation of the contracts between the first and second defendants and the fourth and sixth respondents. He also urged the court to declare the production, procurement, supply, acquisition, importation, purchase, receipt, and sale of Direct Data Machine as infringement on plaintiff’s patent rights.
He implored the court to order the payment of N17.2 billion being 50 per cent of the total contract sum of N34.5 billion as minimum reasonable royalty accruable to the plaintiff. However, the defendants opposed the claims of the plaintiff. Mr. Cornelius Alaje, counsel to the fourth defendant, prayed the court to dismiss Okoriko’s arguments.
Management Of Stroke: GWAGWALADA (FCT) - Dr Peter Alabi, the Chief Medical Director of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, says people with stroke are at a greater risk of having another if not properly managed. Alabi said this while delivering a lecture at the Health Week organised by the Knights of Saint Mulumba, Gwagwalada subcouncil. The CMD, who spoke on stroke and its management, delivered the lecture at St Paul Catholic Church, Gwagwalada. He described stroke as a condition where the brain cells die because of lack of oxygen, adding that it could be caused by an obstruction of flow of blood or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain.
“My Lord, the plaintiff should be made to understand that claims over patent rights have limit. “ It is laughable to see the plaintiff claiming rights over the use of laptops and other ancillary electronic machines manufactured by others’’, he said. Miss Anwulika Osuigwe, counsel to the first and second
respondents, submitted that the claims of the plaintiff were not supported by any sections in the Patent Act. Adopting his address, Mr. Innocent Eremionahale, counsel to the fifth respondents, aligned himself with counsel to the other respondents. He urged the court to award the judgment in favour of their clients.
CMD Counsels Patients
Alabi explained that the risk factors of the disease include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, cardiac disease, alcohol, obesity, age as well as family history. He said the common symptoms of stroke are sudden weakness, clumsiness, heaviness or numbness on one side of the body, hand or face. Others include dizziness, loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes and unusual severe headache. He advised stroke survivors and their families to engage in programmes that would educate them on the disease. “Education of the patient and
the family about stroke and its consequences is an important step of rehabilitation and it begins as soon as a patient is medically stable,’’ he said. To reduce the risk of recurrent stroke, he said survivors should adopt a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, healthy diet and managing the medical conditions given to them. He stressed that before embarking on any physical activity, such patient should consult a specialist to recommend the suitable type of exercise. Alabi also said high blood pressure was the most important risk factor for stroke, warning that those with the condition should avoid alcohol and smoking of cigarettes.
“People should avoid excess alcohol and smoking of cigarettes because they have a lot of effects on the body system, especially on the heart and brain,’’ he said. Mrs. Josephine Agbonika, the President of the Ladies of the Church, said the lecture was rewarding. She advised those with high blood pressure to avoid alcohol as well as sugary and salty food while engaging in recommended physical exercise. Also speaking, Mr. Okoye Valentine, the Deputy Grand Knight, said the lecture was an eye opener on the management of hypertension and stroke. He recommended that such lectures should be held at least twice a year.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
News Man Commits Suicide In Lover’s Room Former Governor of Edo State, Chief John OdigieOyegun (left) and Engineer Jackson Obaseki during a ceremony to mark the 15th year Priestly ordination of Rev’d. Fr. Andrew Obinyan at St. Albert Catholic Church, Benin City. PHOTO: MOSES OBOH.
Four Killed In Auto Crash
IGBARA-OKE (ONDO STATE)-A fatal auto crash that happened at Igbara Oke, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State has claimed four lives while 14 others sustained injuries. M. Joseph Ojerinde, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), in charge of field operations, state command, confirmed the incident in an interview with newsmen in Akure. The officer said that the
accident that happened at 6.30 p.m. was as a result of reckless driving by one of the drivers. He said that the auto crash involved a Mazda bus, with registration number Lagos KSF 706 XF carrying 18 passengers and a Honda Accord saloon car with number AA 239 GBH. “The two vehicles involved in the crash had a head-on collision. “The Honda car made a dangerous overtaking and consequently collided with
the bus coming from the opposite direction. “We were told that the Honda Accord car dangerously overtook a vehicle and in the process, had a head-on collision with the Mazda bus coming from the other side,” Ojerinde stated. “Immediately, we were informed about the accident, our men moved promptly to the scene.’’ Ojerinde, who said that four under-aged children were
He said that the award was in recognition of the first lady’s humanitarian services and in particular, her efforts in fighting cybercrimes. “One will not necessarily bother himself because most of these critics do not understand how government operates. “The mere fact that ASUU is not on campus, does not mean all activities of government will be grounded. “It does not also mean that other staff of the universities are not working. They are working; the only thing is that academic activities are not taking place. “So, if other institutions all over the world want to honour the first lady for her contribution to mankind, I do not see anything wrong with that. “That ASUU is on strike does not mean all universities are on strike. “University of Ilorin is a public university but they are not on strike. “There are also other private universities in this country. So, to me such criticism is completely out of place; it does not make any sense,’’ he said. The minister stressed that the honorary doctorate degree
conferred on the first lady was in recognition of the support she had been giving to the underprivileged. Wike appealed to the ASUU members to shift ground on their demands, just like the way government had done in order to end the four months strike.
also involved in the accident, did not confirm their condition. Reports say that the identities of the victims were not known as at the press time. However, Ojerinde said that the bodies of the dead had been deposited at the morgue of the State Specialist Hospital, Akure. According to him, the injured had been taken to the General Hospitals in IgbaraOke and Ilara-Mokin, respectively for treatment.
Minister Faults Critics Of First Lady’s Honorary Degree ADO-EKITI- Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike has faulted critics of Nigeria’s first lady, Patience Jonathan over the honorary doctorate degree conferred on her by a University in South Korea. The minister, who spoke to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, said that the criticism was “not only out of place, but also bereft of common sense.’’ Wike was in Ado-Ekiti for the inauguration of the College of Technology building in Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) named after President Goodluck Jonathan. It will be recalled that some Nigerians, including the opposition party, All Progressive Congress (APC) had condemned the decision by Mrs. Jonathan to receive the award. The critics had said that it was ill-timed for the first lady to receive the award, when universities in the country were shut down because of ASUU strike. Wike said that there was nothing wrong with the action of the first lady as long as it was the university that decided to extend such rewarding gesture to her.
He called the attention of the striking workers to the fact that the demands they were seeking from government had been there for over 20 years. Wike added that it was impossible for government to fully fund the tertiary institutions and therefore advocated for financial autonomy for the universities.
WARRI (Delta) Residents of Okpokiti Street in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State woke up Sunday morning to hear the shocking news of a middle aged man who committed suicide in his lover’s room. The deceased, a tricycle rider, was said to have gone to the house of his girlfriend who moved into the said apartment barely two weeks ago. The deceased was said to have gone to the lover’s room with his personal effects packed in a Ghana must go bag with the intention of squatting with her. This request was turned down by his girlfriend who insisted that she bore the financial burden of renting the apartment alone and would not allow anyone to squat with her. According to a witness, a scuffle ensued between the two lovers which led to the young lady leaving the deceased behind in the apartment to spend the night elsewhere. The NIGERIAN OBSERVER could not ascertain the names of the deceased and his lover as of press time, however, gathered that the deceased owned a tricycle with which he eked his living. The lady, who is now in the custody of A Division, Warri Command returned the Sunday morning met the front net-door of her room locked and after persistent knocks that yielded no response, broke in and
shockingly met the lifeless, dangling body of her lover. When Nigerian Observer got to the scene of the incident, a mammoth crowd had gathered in groups, discussing the Sunday-day morning tragedy. The deceased was suspended from the ceiling with a new pink color rope, while his legs were delicately resting on two empty fourplastic paint buckets. Reasons for the suicide were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, as the deceased left no note behind. Some neighbors said he returned to the lady’s house the previous night drunk, as some sympathizes attested to the fact that they saw the young man in one of the joints in the area on Saturday night. While some others said that the deceased had a showdown with the lady when the latter rejected the request to accommodate him in her room. The young man was said to have told the lady that he would kill himself and the lady replied that he should do so, before she later stamped out of the room. Meanwhile, a team of overzealous police men, led by a DCO, who arrived the scene at about 8:00a.m., prevented journalists from taking snapshots of the dangling body, which was later whisked away to Central Hospital, Warri. However, the Area Commander, Warri Zone of the Nigerian Police, ACP Husseini Rabiu, could not confirm the incident as he told Nigerian Observer on phone that he was at the state capital, Asaba.
Concerned Mothers of Nigeria in a protest march over ASUU’s strike, insecurity and kidnapping in Nigeria. PHOTO: LUCKY AGIE
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
News Eid-EL Kabir
Commuters Still Stranded In Ilorin
IIORIN- Many commuters travelling out of Ilorin, the Kwara capital, were stranded on Sunday at various motor parks. The development was coming some five days after the celebration of the Eid-elKabir festival. Our correspondent, who visited some parks in Ilorin metropolis, sighted many commuters waiting endlessly for vehicles to convey them to their destinations. The transport fares for the few available vehicles were increased by more than 100 percent in some instances with commuters scrambling to board them. At the popular Sawmill Motor Park in the metropolis, some commuters were sighted engaged in a free-for-all over the few available seats in some commercial vehicles. It took the intervention of some executive members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to restore order. Many of the commuters, who spoke with newsmen, described the few commercial vehicles at the parks as deplorable, adding that many travellers had arrived the parks as early as 5. a.m. The Vice Chairman of the NURTW at the Sawmill Motor Park, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji, lamented the development, attributing it to the few vehicles at the disposal of members.
He told newsmen that the union would, however, arrange for more vehicles to convey passengers by Monday. A trip to Lagos, which used to cost N1, 550 before the festival now attracts N3,000 while Ibadan fare is now N2,000, up from the previous N1,000. It was further reports that other routes to different parts of the country similarly recorded a hike of between 50 percent and 100 percent. At the Maraba Park, the fare to Abuja and Kaduna had shot up to N5, 500 and N6, 000 respectively, up from the previous N3, 000 and N3,500. L-R: Rt. Hon. Bello Osagie, Dr. Simon Imuekhemhe and former Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun during the statekholders meeting on Security at Idia College in Benin City yesterday
Police Begin Investigation Into Attack On Zamfara Acting Governor BIRNIN-MAGAJI (ZAMFARA)-The Police Command in Zamfara says it has started investigation into the attack on the motorcade of the acting Governor of the state, Alhaji Sanusi Rikiji. The Public Relations Officer (PPRO), for the Police Command in the state, Dsp Lawal Abdullahi made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Birnin-Magaji. Abdullahi, who described the attack as “unfortunate”, said that the police would not fold its arms and allow such unbecoming behaviours by the youths.
He said that the police had deployed troops of mobile and regular police to maintain peace in the area. The police image maker assured that anyone found involved in the attack would face “the full wrath of the law’’. Youths in their hundreds on Saturday, attacked Rikiji’s motorcade in Birnin-magajiin, headquarters of Birnin-magaji Local Government Area of the state. Eyewitness told newsmenthat the angry youths took the decision in response to what they described as the “poor security
IKEJA- The first batch of 805 pilgrims that performed the 2013 Hajj in Saudi Arabia, arrived at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, and the Ilorin Airport, aboard Med-View Airline. A statement made available to aviation correspondents by Mr Oyibotha Obuke, on behalf of the
airline, said that a Med-View Boeing B747 aircraft with 507 pilgrims from Osun touched down at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja at 9.00 a.m. It added that 298 pilgrims from Ondo State also arrived at the Ilorin Airport aboard the airline’s B767 aircraft at 5.30a.m.
ILORIN- The Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) has expressed its readiness to conduct Saturday’s local council election in the state. The Chairman of the commission, Dr Uthman Ajidagba, told newsmen in Ilorin that necessary machinery had been put in place to ensure a credible exercise. He said security agencies and other stakeholders had been
contacted to ensure a successful conduct of the election. Ajidagba, however, said only three political parties had signified intention to participate in the election. He listed the parties as Social Democratic Party, Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party. Ajidagba, however, advised youths to abide with the rules guiding the conduct of the election and shun acts that could cause disaffection during the exercise.
The statement said that the airline was pleased with the safe arrival of the pilgrims after a successful pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. It noted that the management of the airline would complete the transporting of the pilgrims allocated to it by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) in record time. The statement added that flights to arrive on Monday would transport the Ogun and Oyo state pilgrims. It quoted a member of the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. M. B.O. Ibrahim— one of the pilgrims— as commending MedView for its hitch-free Hajj operations. He was also said to have called on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to improve on facilities at the Hajj Camp, Murtala Muhammed Airport, to make it more conducive for pilgrims transiting through the terminal.
First Batch Of Pilgrims Arrive For S/Arabia
KWSIEC Ready For LG Poll - Chairman
provision in the state’’, among other grievances. ikiji, who is also the speaker of the State House of Assembly, was in the area to condole the families of three Fulani youths allegedly killed last Thursday by youths of Tudun-Kuya village in the local
government. The killers of the three deceased were said to have suspected them of being members of “the Fulani killer gangs’’ said to be terrorising villages in different parts of the
state. It was also gathered that the youths used stones and sticks on their visitors and it took the combined efforts of the police escort, the military and SSS, who shot into the air to disperse the mob.
Mark Begs Vcitims Against ensuring adequate security to ABUJA- Senate President enable victims return to their David Mark has appealed to Reprisal victims of a recent communal clash in Benue to refrain from engaging in reprisal attacks as government was making efforts to address the matter. The appeal was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Mark’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Paul Mumeh. The statement quoted Mark as making the appeal when he addressed the people of Ogwule-Ankpa in Agatu Local Government Area of the state during his visit to the crisis-ravaged communities. Mark, who expressed concern over the crisis which claimed 17 lives and left 50 houses burnt, said: “I can feel your pains and agonies. It is a disturbing situation. However, vengeance or reprisal attack is not the answer. “ It is the primary responsibility of government to protect the citizenry. “Government would reinforce security in this environment so that you can return to your homes and go about your legitimate businesses.’’ He called for cooperation between Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa Governments to ensure adequate security in
boundary communities in order to check incursion by mercenaries. The residents of the area had pleaded with the state and federal governments to provide relief materials while
communities. Mark, according to the statement, was accompanied by the member representing Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency, Mr Adamu Entonu.
Senate President, David Mark
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Across The Nation S/East, S/South Govs Committed To Jonathan’s Administration -Imoke
ENUGU- Governors of the South-East and SouthSouth have expressed their commitment to the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and to improve economic cooperation in the two zones. Addressing newsmen at the end of their meeting in Enugu, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River said the governors’ commitment was part of the issues the governors reiterated at the meeting. Imoke, who is also the Chairman of the SouthSouth Governors’ Forum, said the governors also
Chime Reconstitutes Traditional Rulers Council ENUGU- Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has reconstituted the state’s Traditional Rulers Council to promote peace and security at the grassroots, an official said in Enugu. The state’s Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Emeka Abugu, said in a statement that the 57member council now has Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu as its chairman. The statement said the council’s other principal members include Igwe Raymond Ezeh who is the First Deputy Chairman and Igwe Julius Nnaji who is the Second Deputy Chairman. “Other members include Igwe Osisi Itodo as the Grand Patron, Igwe Onyioha Nwanjoku, Igwe Edwin Edoga, Igwe Anthony Okorie, Igwe Francis Okafor and Igwe Micheal Odo,’’ it said. The statement said Abugu called on the council members to use their position to maintain peace and harmony in their different communities.
resolved to give Jonathan their support. He said that the meeting also discussed issues of common interest aimed at promoting unity in the
zones, adding that the governors were ready to give Jonathan support. “Governors of the SouthEast and South- South met again and we deliberated
extensively on the same issues that we discussed previously in our last meeting.
“Those deliberations are that we will continue to ensure that we focus on economic cooperation and unity and of course, focusing on our collective interest,” he said. Reports say that governors Theodore Orji of Abia, Sullivan Chime of
Enugu, Peter Obi of Anambra, and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta attended the meeting. Governors Martin Elechi of Ebonyi and Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa were represented by their deputies: Dave Umahi and John Gboribiogha, respectively.
Kebbi Targets 70 Percent Immunisation Coverage
Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa (left) during his birthday thanksgiving at Holy Aruosa. With him are Ohonsa, Harrison Okao, the officiating priest of Holy Aruosa and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu. PHOTO: MOSES OBOH
BIRNIN-KEBBI- Dr Abubakar Koko, the Executive Director of Kebbi Primary Health Care Development Agency, says that the agency will ensure 70 per cent success in the coming statewide immunisation against cerebral meningitis. Koko gave the assurance
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor welcomes Chief John Odigie Oyegun, first Executive Governor of Edo State and Hon. Razaq Bello Osagie, member House of Representatives during the 15th priestly anniversary of Rev. Fr. Andrew Aigbe Obiyan at St. Albert Catholic Church, UNIBEN. PHOTO: MOSES OBOH
yesterday while speaking with newsmen in BirninKebbi. He said that the agency had formed 1,081 teams of vaccination personnel, adding that “the teams would strive to achieve wide coverage during the exercise.’’ Koko, who said that the exercise was scheduled to start by the first week of November, stressed that people between the ages of two and 30 years would be immunised against cerebral meningitis. He said that the agency would erect 225 fixed posts to facilitate hitch-free access to the vaccines, saying that it would cover about 70 per cent of the state’s population of 4.5 million within one week. Koko announced that the agency achieved 80 per cent success in the routine measles and polio immunisation that was conducted in the state recently.
Borno Pledges Digitalisation Of Broadcast Media
MAIDUGURI- The Borno Government yesterday expressed its willingness to ensure the full digitalisation of its media organisation, the Borno Radio and Television Services (BRTV), before the 2015 deadline. Mr Inuwa Bwala, the Commissioner of Information, conveyed the g o v e r n m e n t ’ s determination in Maiduguri when he received a document on the roadmap and blueprint for
the media outfit’s digitalisation. Alhaji Usman Chiroma, the General Manager in the Governor’s Office in Maiduguri, presented the document to the commissioner Bwala said that the government placed a great premium on digitalisation of the outfit because of its central role in educating and informing the public. “The administration of
Gov. Kashim Shettima is committed to meeting the 2015 deadline for the digitalisation of the BRTV. “We believe that the digitalisation will open up the organisation for better services to the people,” he said. Besides, Bwala said that a committee had already been set up to work out the modalities for a hitch-free execution of the digitalisation project.
“Twenty new television channels are expected to operate independently after the digitalisation, with each channel under a General Manager and a Director General will be at the centre. “This means that the outfit will operate nonstop services for 24 hours,” he said. Bwala said that plans were underway for the training of the staff of the
BRTV in the lead-up to its full digitalisation. Earlier, Chiroma informed Bwala of the January 2015-deadline fixed by the Federal Government for all broadcast media stations in the country to either get digitalised or close down operation. Chiroma appealed to the state government to fasttrack efforts toward the outfit’s complete digitalisation via staff training and equipment upgrade.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Across The Nation PHCN Workers Must Embrace Change -Director
L-R: Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, the Commissioner of Police, Edo State, Mr. Folusho Adebanjo, Air Commodore Olusoji Awomodu, Nigeria Airforce, Benin City and the representative of the 4 Brigade Commander, Col. Adeola Kalejaiye during the security stakeholders meeting at Idia College in Benin City yesterday. PHOTO: CHARITY OZIGBOESERE.
Sokoto To Spend N2.86 bn On Education
SOKOTO - The Sokoto State Government has said it would spend over N2.86 billion on various projects in primary and junior secondary education sub-sectors. The Secretary of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Ibrahim Dingyadi, said this in an interview with newsmen in Sokoto. Dingyadi said all the projects would be executed under the 2012/2013 FGN/ Sokoto State Government Intervention Funds initiative. He said N1.95 billion would be spent on the construction of three model primary schools in Sokoto city and its environs. The project, he said, was to further decongest the existing primary schools in Sokoto metropolis and its environs. He said the schools would be located at the old Kara market on Dallatu road and on Emir Yahayya road, all within the metropolis. Dingyadi also said that each of the three new primary schools would cost N649 million, including the cost of furniture. “Each of the school will be in a form of a storey building, comprising of several blocks of 24 classrooms. “Each of the school will also have a library, canteen, offices, hostels and staff quarters among others,” he said. He said all the necessary facilities required for effective teaching and learning would
be provided in the schools. Dingyadi gave an assurance that the state government would pay compensation to the owners of property that may be affected by the projects. “The compensation would be paid as soon as possible as it is being assessed,” he said. He also said N295 million would be spent under the primary and junior secondary schools renovation project. Schools to be renovated, he said, included Yakubu Muazu Science Model School, Yahaya Abdulkareem Primary School and Halliru Sarkin Gona Primary School, all in Sokoto metropolis.
The rest are Junior Secondary School, Wamakko and Kajiji Primary School in Kajiji, Shagari Local Government Area. Dingyadi also said N51.2 million was to be spent on additional renovation and expansion of 73 primary schools in the 23 local governments while N567 million would be spent on the renovation of 128 blocks of 361 classrooms. “All these efforts are aimed at making sure that the existing 1,965 primary schools across the state are made conducive for effective teaching and learning,” Dingyadi said.
JOS - As new owners are set to take over the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), its workers have been advised to embrace change in order to remain relevant in the power sector. “We are ready for change and workers must key into the power reforms by embracing this change,’’ Mrs. Vera Osuhor, Executive Director (Market Operations) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said in Jos. Osuhor, a former Managing Director of the Jos Electricity Distributing Company (JEDC), spoke at a send off party organised for her by the management and workers of JEDC. She said the reforms which culminated in the sale of PHCN would create “excellent’’ job and professional growth opportunities and advised workers to maximise the advantages. “I will particularly advise you to clean up your CVs because the new owners would be poaching the best hands from everywhere. “There is no other personnel available to handle the jobs outside you; so you must be ready to work in even more rewarding and challenging environments,’’ she said. Osuhor said that engineers were best placed to explore the opportunities in the emerging power outfits. “For engineers, life has just begun. The new owners will look for you as they compete for the best hands to offer the best services in the competitive power sector. “But I will advise that you should also earn some more management skills and techniques because you will be expected to handle a lot of modern situations,’’ he said.
Ekiti Attracts $300m Investment
Agriculture Sector: ADO-EKITI - Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti said the state received investments worth $300 million U.S. dollars in the agricultural sector in the last three years. Fayemi disclosed this at an empowerment programme organised for farmers in the state as part of activities organised to mark his three years in office. The governor, who also announced the provision of a N80 million credit facility to boost agriculture, presented cheques worth N100 million to 250 farmers to buy tractors. The governor said that the investments were from reputable indigenous and international agricultural institutions. He said one of the institutions, “New Vision
Technology”, was establishing a 165 million-dollar agriculture city in the state. Fayemi said that Dutch Agricultural Development and Trading Company was also working to establish a highquality cassava flour processing factory. “Vege-fresh has taken over the moribund Orin cassava processing plant and has successfully upgraded the capacity of the plant from 10 tonnes to 60 tonnes per day. “The rest, including Datlex, RENL, GIL, Arewa cotton, and Spectra, have also partnered with the state to actualise the vision of the present administration to make the state the food basket of the South-
West.’’ Fayemi warned that the government would not tolerate non-farmers hijacking benefits meant for genuine farmers. He lauded the support provided by the World Bank, African Development Bank, UNDP, DFID and FAO to boost agriculture in the state. He said the state’s Youth Commercial Agriculture Development programme had empowered 250 youths to cultivate 1,900 hectares of cassava and plant 53,000 cocoa seedlings and 109,560 oil palm seedlings. The governor said it also produced 60,000 fingerlings, 6,230 kilogramme of fish, as well as 60,000 broilers.
She assured workers yet to be paid their severance packages that their accounts would be credited next week. “Payment has resumed again; the second and last phase will soon be completed,’’ she said. She identified security as the greatest challenge she faced when she served as JEDC boss, “All the four states served by the JEDC – Plateau, Benue, Bauchi and Gombe - were crises-ridden. “ Providing electricity, repairing faults and collecting revenue in such war zones proved to be tough, but we were able to do much,’’ she said. Osuhor, who attributed her successes to team work, consistent training and effective monitoring, advised her
successor to sustain the momentum. Mr. Fidelis Obishai, who took over from Osuhor, commended her over her achievements, saying her elevation was well deserved. He listed some of her achievements to include the deployment of the first numeric energy billing and auditing system as well as the construction and inauguration of six power injection substations within 24 months. “Above all, during her time, cash collection rose from N500 million to N700 million,’’ he said Reports state that Osuhor, who headed JEDC for two years, received assorted gifts from the management, individuals and groups.
Fashola, Others Honour Departed APC Chieftain, LAGOS - Lagos State Odunsi Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) joined by notables like former Governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and first civilian Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande to pay their last respects to a leader of the APC in Surulere, Alhaji Babatunde Odunsi. The Governor who was one of the earliest callers at the Surulere residence of the deceased in the early hours of Saturday later joined others at the Janazah prayers held at the Wahab Folawiyo Central Mosque, Surulere. The remains of the deceased were later interred at the Vaults and Gardens in Ikoyi after the traditional dust- to- dust rites was performed by the children and relatives of the deceased who were supported by political associates of the late leader including Governor Fashola,
Asiwaju Tinubu, lawmakers from the National and State House of Assemblies among others. Aged 82, the late Alhaji Lateef Babatunde Odunsi was a founding member of several progressive platforms having gone into politics since 1957 starting with the Action Congress to the Unity Party of Nigeria, the Action Congress of Nigeria and the APC. Governor Fashola described the departed leader as a foremost organizer and coordinator who would be sorely missed by all particularly in his Surulere constituency and Lagos State as a loyal party man and thorough grassroots mobiliser. While condoling with members of Alhaji Odunsi’s family and the teeming party faithful on behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, Governor Fashola prayed to Almighty Allah to admit the departed’s soul into AlJannah Firdaus.
Artists Sing For Peace KADUNA - Artists drawn from across the country have converged on Kaduna to spread the message of peace and harmonious living in the city, which had witnessed series of crisis. Reports state that popular singers like Chuddy K, Sean Tizzle, Sani Denja, X-Project and Danbuzu performed at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, to mobilise the youth to champion the cause for mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and love. The concert, organised by Yaks and Mo-tech Solutions Ltd, attracted revellers from across the city who danced, laughed and share banters during the six-hour event. Also at the event on Saturday night, were Bishop Talk and MC Basket Mouth, who regaled the
audience with scintillating jokes and banters. Ibrahim Yakubu, Managing Director of the company that organised the event, told newsmen that the aim was also to bring people together and offer an opportunity for local artists to exhibit their talents. He said it was important for artists to contribute toward the search for permanent peace in the city, which used to be a hub of social activities in the North. On the turn out, Yakubu said it was encouraging, adding that the company plans to hold more concerts before the end of the year. Reports state that there was heavy security presence at the venue, as the police conduct body search on those entering the stadium.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Across The Nation Complete Abandoned Electricity Projects, Monarch Appeals To FG By AUDU ADAMA
IKKUMO (Edo) - The Alayaran of Ayanran and Clan Head of Ikakumo and Ayanran Communities in Akoko – Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, HRH Oba V.D Deji 111 has called on the Federal Government to complete the abandoned Electricity Project which was initiated by the Obasanjo Administration in 2002 by providing Transformers, Electricity Poles and Street Light to complement whatever Constituency Project
already on ground to his ever – expanding domain. The Royal father who made this appeal while playing host to the Nigerian Observer in his Palace in Ayanran stressed that the Electricity Poles along with the wires were successfully mounted from Isua in Ondo State to Ikakumo. He however expressed regrets that because of the abandonment most of the Poles have fallen down. The Royal Father however disclosed that Hon Kabiru Adjoto, Member representing Akoko – Edo Constituency 1
at the Edo State House of Assembly has since come to his People’s rescue by re – erecting the fallen Poles from Isua in
Ondo State down to Ikakumo and had also provided some Transformers, a development which the Alayaran noted has
led to one his Communities currently enjoying regular power supply. The Royal Father was full of optimism that when completed and commissioned,
the Electricity project would not only enhance the Socio – economic lives of his people, it would also check his Youth Migration into other Urban Centers.
Nigerians Urged To Preserve Cultural Heritage By MORRISON HAYBLE
SABO-IYAKPI (SOUTH IBIE) - Nigerians across the country and in Diaspora have been admonished not to allow the extinction of the cultural heritage of their forefathers in the interest of future generation even as modernity poses serious threat. At a ceremony to mark this year’s new yam festival celebrated by the Omuma Community of Ibo extraction in Afemai land, the Igwe Ndigbo of Afemai, Joseph Okeke called for cultural rejuvenation wherever Nigerians found themselves. Igwe Okeke noted that culture was a mark of identity through which people or race could be recognized by their fellow beings any where, adding that anyone without cultural affiliation was lost The traditional ruler of the Ibos in Afemai land described as most unfortunate and ignoramus, the abandonment by some people of their own culture in preference for those of other lands, adding that Nigerian culture, rich as it was could be the cynosure of the world if preserved and given a boost. Also speaking, the Chief celebrant and Ebubedike of Oru in Etsako land, Eze Felix Okeke explained that cultural practice served to enhance the tenets of godliness, honesty and peaceful co-existence as it was in the past, pointing out that the gradual neglect was the result of negative influences being experienced these days. The occasion also saw the conferment of the title: Nze on the Senior Special Assistant SSA to the comrade Government on media, Hon.
Austin Braimah by the Ibo community as the Akwammiri 1 of Oru-NaIgbo in recognition of his contributions to the Ibos in Afemai. In a remark, Braimah said he was excited by the title, noting that several similar offers in the past were turned down but decided to accept this. Describing the Ibos as most resilient race in the world, Braimah pledged to continue to identify with them wherever he found himself.
Traditional rulers present at the stakeholders meeting on security and the sale of Edo House in Lagos at Idia College in Benin City yesterday. PHOTO: CHARITY OZIGBO-ESERE
Gombe To Inaugurate Dialysis Centre In December
GOMBE-The Gombe State Government says that the newly constructed Kidney Dialysis Centre at the State Specialist Hospital, Gombe, will begin operation in December. The Commissioner of Health, Dr Kennedy Ishaya, said this in an interview with newsmen in Gombe. He said that the state government had placed order for four machines and beds, among other equipment, for the centre. Ishaya said that the centre would be well-equipped to serve the whole state and neighbouring states efficiently. According to him, the only hospital with a dialysis centre in the state is the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gombe. Ishaya said that it became expedient for the state government to construct the new dialysis centre, as several patients were compelled to travel to Ahmadu Bello
University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) and other neighbouring states for dialysis. “With the new centre, I am sure the problem will be a
thing of the past. “When completed, the centre will be one of the best dialysis centres in the country. “We want to have enough
Theft: Man, 20,
MAKURDI- A 20-year-old man, David Akaa, has appeared before a Makurdi Grade 1 Area Court, charged with theft and receipt of stolen property. The Police Prosecutor, Cpl. Collins Terfa, told the court that Reuben Atumbu of ITF Logo 1 and Samuel Adaa of Iorhom Junction, Makurdi, reported the case at the police station in High Level, Makurdi, on October 4. Terfa said that the accused, who lived near the NNPC mega station in Makurdi, allegedly stole two handsets, belonging to the complainants, at Yaman Park on October 3. “Akaa stole two handsets, a Sony Ericson set, valued at N12, 000 and a Nokia B&B set, valued at N25, 000, while they were being charged in an office within the park.
“He also stole a Techno phone T50, valued N4, 500, at the same park. “During interrogation, the accused voluntarily confessed committing the crime and mentioned one Nuhu as the person he sold the phones to,” he said. However, when the case came up for mention, Akaa admitted that he stole only one Techno T50 handset. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Sections 287 and 317 of the Penal Code Laws. The judge, Judith Mozeh, however, granted the accused, who pleaded not guilty, bail in the sum of N50, 000 with one surety in like sum. She adjourned the case to Nov. 6 for hearing.
manpower in the centre; hence the need to send some nurses for training,’’ he said.
Ishaya also commended Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo for the infrastructural development of the state.
LG Constructs Primary Health Centres IBADAN- Ibadan North Local Government Council in Oyo State says that it has embarked on the construction of two additional Primary Health Centres (PHC) to enhance healthcare delivery in the neighbourhood. The council’s Chairman, Mr Idris Lapade, told newsmen in Ibadan that apart from the project, all the primary health centres in the area had been rehabilitated. “We have started constructing a new hospital at Mokola Ward Nine and another one at AshiBashorun in Ibadan. “We also supply free drugs every month to all the primary health centres,’’ he said. Lapade said that his administration had also strengthened the environmental
sanitation unit of the council so as to ensure the area’s sanitation. “Right now, we have stationed refuse bins across the local government area and even markets; we send trucks to evacuate the refuse every day. “We clear the drains and evacuate refuse from the markets on a daily basis. Now, all our markets are cleaner. “We have been sensitising the residents to the need to maintain a clean environment and the situation has been improving,” he said. Lapade assured the residents of the council area of better programmes and projects to better their lives. He pledged that the council would always strive to promote the people’s wellbeing and living standards.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Business & Economy Delta Fair CBN, Guinness, Dangote Others Storm Warri
Some market Women Present during the stakeholder meeting at Idia College in Benin City.
Fear Of Possible Demolition
WARRI (DELTA) Guinness Nigeria Plc and the Dangote Group, are among the over 150 companies expected at the Delta trade fair scheduled to take place in Warri beginning from today 22nd October, 2013 have stormed Warri, the economic and industrial hub of oil-rich Delta State, for this year’s trade fair. Dr Kingsley Emu, Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, at a press conference with journalists at the Trade Fair Complex near Osubi in Warri, stated that this year’s fair is unique in that it is a product of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. According to the Commissioner, innovations churned out of tertiary institutions in the state will be exhibited with a view to leveraging on them to further boost the state’s economic policy
Traders Remove Wares From Market UMUAHIA- Traders in Umuahia Main Market have continued to make last minute efforts to remove their goods from the market for fear of possible demolition of the market by government. Report says that the state government had ordered the traders to relocate to the new market at Ubani-Ibeku village, near Umuahia, on or before October 19. The state government had said that it was relocating the market to a new site, to decongest the state capital and build a modern market with more space for the traders. Some of the traders seen carting away their stock from the market said that they feared that government would demolish the market anytime.
They said that the state government had done such in the past, citing the experience at the Timber and Industrial Market Umuahia relocated to Azueke Ndume as examples. It would be recalled that some traders at the Timber and Industrial Market lost their goods during the demolition of the market, following the expiration of the deadline given to them to relocate. “I do not want to have such ugly experience,’’ a female trader, who was seen removing her stock, said on the condition of anonymity. The middle-aged woman, who deals in assorted wine and hot drinks, described the relocation of the market as
PORT HARCOURT- The National Lottery Regulatory Commission says it will prosecute organisers of sales promotion lotteries without government’s approval. Mr. Adolphous Ekpe, the Director-General of the Commission, made the threat in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday. He alleged that some companies were organising sales promotion lotteries without permit from the regulatory body. He said that the issue of promotion lottery had remained contentious because some companies insisted they were not doing lottery. According to Ekpe, the moment the marketer adopts a lottery format, it is
supposed to be regularised by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission where a permit is given. “The essence of the permit is to ensure that the promotional lottery has a beginning date, a terminal date and a date for the draw. “The essence is for the Commission to verify that those who participated will benefit from their participation. “The Commission is looking for those who are operating all these illegal lotteries. “The new strategy that we will adopt is that all those who are operating promotional lotteries without the permission of the Commission will be prosecuted,’’ he said. The Director-General
“ill-timed.’’ She lamented that the Ubani-Ibeku market was not ready yet for business, saying that traders were moving the wares from the market to their homes “to escape the imminent demolition’’. “Government should have waited until the completion of the market before issuing a deadline for traders to relocate,’’ she said. She said that the traders were facing enormous challenges posed by the relocation of the market. Another trader, Mr Nwanayobi Udeh, however, said that the relocation of the market was the best policy so far taken by Governor Theodore Orji, the challenges notwithstanding.
Udeh commended Orji for mustering the political will to relocate the market out of the city centre, saying that the governor had accomplished what past administrations could not “Many administrations in the past had planned to relocate the market could not achieve that,’’ he said. He noted that the relocation of the market would create room for the redesigning of Umuahia into a befitting state capital. He added that it would also result in further development of the communities within the Umuahia Capital Development Territory. A cosmetic dealer, Mr. Eze Udoh, who also spoke in the same vein, appealed to the
advised companies and organisations operating lotteries to apply to the lottery commission for permits stating what they wanted to do. Ekpe said such operators would pay fees and administrative charges to the commission before they would get the permit. “The essence is for Nigerians to be protected so that somebody is not shortchanged or duped while playing the lottery”, he said. He said there had been instances where winners of lotteries did not get their prizes or rewards. “It is an avenue for those who are participating in promotional lotteries to know that the National Lottery Regulatory Commission is there to safeguard them.
“They have to report issues relating to promotional lotteries to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission for investigation”, Ekpe said.
government to pay compensation to owners of shops in the old market for losing them. Udoh said that he bought his shop for N1.3million in 2009, and added that it would be regrettable to lose it, only to pay for a new one without compensation. The traders also enjoined the government to provide adequate security at the new market.
of Delta beyond Oil, being championed by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. The trade fair, which is expected to last for one week will also be graced by popular music artists performing live during the expo and over 608 small scale business outfits. The Commissioner noted that the event will also witness a twoday SMEs clinic to avail participants the opportunity on how funds available for SMEs can be accessed by individuals who are into small scale businesses. Participating at the clinic are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry, Dangote Group, Zenith Bank Plc, which is the banker for the trade fair, Warri Industrial Business Park, Delta Micro Credit Programme (DMCP), Zartech and micro finance banks, among others, who will share session with the people on how the over N220 billion finds available can be accessed by individuals to aid small scale businesses. Dr.Emu opined that “the trade fair is for people who want their businesses to reach or go forward as Delta State has a lot of resource,” he observed. While promising that the departure from government’s sole sponsorship of the fair and the involvement of the private sector was borne out of the need to make it an annual event as well as sustainable, adding that the event is expected to begin to hold for 2 weeks.
Commission To Prosecute Operators Of Illegal Promotion Lotteries
CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido
Etsako East Opens Tenders’ Bids
AGENEBODE: - Etsako East Local Government Council, has performed the opening of tender bids for projects to be cited in some communities in the locality. Executive chairman of the council, Hon. Abdulmalik Suleiman Afegbua who declared the bid ceremony open, said that it was part of his electoral promise to operate an open and transparent government. He said he has executed some projects through direct labour, noting that others were advertised for bidding. The council boss maintained that several contractors have
bidded for the projects in accordance with relevant laws. Declaring the meeting open, he called for strict adherence to the principle of public procurement, stressing that his administration would not tolerate any waiver or abnormalities in this bidding process, especially in the areas of taxation and company registration. Responding, Mr. Ayo Aregbe of the Due Process Office, Benin City said that the award of contracts to contractors remains
a betters option to direct labour, especially in the area of transparency. Speaking on behalf of bidders, the Managing Director of Dasanzbowski Nigeria Limited, Chief Simon Dania Obalo expressed satisfaction with the exercise, acknowledging the transparency of the process. Present at the occasion were representatives of the various bidders, official of Due Process Office, Zonal Director of Works, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and other top council officials.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
NSE DAILY ACTIVITY SUMMARY (EQUITIES) AS AT YESTERDAY (21/10/13) Stocks
TOP 10 GAINERS Stock PZ CONOIL UACN GUINNESS INTBREW OANDO DIAMONDBNK DANGSUGAR NB FBNH
Close 41.47 38.56 66 239.96 22.2 11.23 6.73 11.95 172 16.5
TOP TOP 10 10 LOSERS GAINERS Gain 1.97 1.83 1 0.95 0.8 0.53 0.31 0.15 0.12 0.1
Stock NESTLE MRS CHAMPION WAPCO STANBIC DANGCEM ZENITHBANK UBA IHS STERLNBANK
Close 1010 34.34 16.15 98.5 19.3 186 21.87 7.7 2.41 2.3
Loss -30 -1.8 -0.84 -0.5 -0.22 -0.2 -0.17 -0.15 -0.12 -0.12
FOR almost four months now, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is prosecuting an indefinite strike action to press home their demand for the implementation of a 2009 agreement reached with the Federal Government and a Memorandum of Understanding entered into with the same government based on the 2009 agreement and how best to implement. FROM our understanding, the crux of the matter is the Federal Government’s irresponsibility as it enters into agreement with the striking teachers only to renege on implementation. We consider the action of government as irresponsible and we condemn such official rascality, given the fact that ASUU in 2011 also dislocated the nation’s public universities for the same grievances. WE are deeply concerned with the severe impact of strike actions on our public Universities across the country, which has led in the past to even loss of academic calendar and incalculable losses as it pertains to dislocation of learning process by affected university students. STRIKE actions have also contributed significantly to the decline in the quality of graduates of our public universities as students are hurried with lectures as soon as such strike actions are called off. Also, as a result of hurried academic calendars, little attention in most cases is paid to research, which is an important component of academic pursuits. THE on-going ASUU strike undoubtedly has disrupted examinations in a number of public universities and paralysed academic activities in all others. This is unacceptable
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013 THE NIGERIAN
Ending ASUU Strike
and we urge both parties to the dispute to always consider the future of the students first, above all other considerations. IN the light of the forgoing, while we believe that the university lecturers will from time to time have legitimate grounds to be angry with their employers, the frequent resort to the strike option is also unacceptable. WE are, however, disappointed at the poor handling of the dispute between it and the University teachers by the Federal Government as evident in the empty claims of the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai who merely tells the teachers to call of strike action after some poor coordinated meetings of some officials. WE urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to be a responsible corporate citizen who respects agreements with other parties and institutions. Government disputes with university teachers lately have been largely due to broken promises and unfilled agreements, very often on the part of government. WE expect ASSU to equally resort to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms used by organized labour in other parts of the world to safeguard our public University system, which is the only option available to children of the poor who would not be able to afford private university education.
ON funding, ASSU must understand that Government (Federal or State) alone cannot fund university education in Nigeria. It is important for ASSU and university authorities to begin to look inwards for internal revenue generation. Elsewhere, public Universities’ research and business activities operated by the universities generate substantial amount of income for funding teaching and learning. A situation where public universities depend almost one hundred percent on government is deplorable. IT is on this score we want to call on the federal government to immediately revisit the issue of university autonomy with a view to divesting its grip on the nation’s universities and provide a policy framework for responsible internal revenue generation and transparent as well as accountable and judicious use of such revues for the overall development of each of the public universities. ALSO, we call on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to respect its 2009 agreement with ASSU and implement all provisions to the letter. LASTLY, we want the federal government to carry out a comprehensive review of all conditions of service of all government workers whether academic, non-academic, hazardous or non-hazardous with a view to harmonizing all wages/salaries, allowances and entitlements across its workforce and eliminate all disparities that tend to fuel all kinds of chain agitations from various trade unions and professional associations with an ultimate goal of ending the resort to strike actions once and for all.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
JAPANESE culture is replete with plethora of intricately interwoven relationships. From the individual, family, group to community levels, these closely-knitted interactions animate Japanese traditional life on a daily basis. Of all these relationships, the one between the Sempai and the Kohai is one of the most outstanding and significant. The Sempai-Kohai relationship is a traditional association that is as old as
to a higher level of leadership (becoming a Sensei), while the Kohai gains the experience necessary to become a Sempai. If both parties acknowledge and respect their roles in the society, then natural order is maintained. The relationship benefits both parties individually. For the Kohai, it is necessary for him to be protected and trained, and for the Sempai, it is necessary that he learns what it means to lead and follow (you are, even as
mothers. In their backgrounds, philosophies, and dispositions to leadership, these two men obviously share a lot in common. Perhaps these striking parallels account for their compatibility – a crucial element that has accounted for their awe-inspiring feats since the hands of providence thrust them into Government House consequent to the political kamikaze of 2007. Together, these tag-team heavy weight
Cutting Edge With Obuseh Jude GSM: 08033510173
Between Sempai Oshiomhole And Kohai Odubu
Japan itself. It is a practice that has stood the test of time, despite the ravaging effects of Western cultural imperialism; a mode of social interface that has become a reference point in contemporary discourses on leadership and followership globally. A Sempai and a Kohai are two separate, but closely related individuals involved in a mutually re-enforcing relationship. A Sempai is the senior party in this relationship, while a Kohai is the junior party. The Sempai is like a mentor to the Kohai; a kind of guardiancounselor whom the Kohai is expected to understudy until he comes off age; a sort of role model after whom the Kohai is expected to pattern his life. A Sempai guides, protects and teaches his kohai as best as he can, while a Kohai must in turn, obey and respect his Sempai. In the Sempai resides all the much revered and desired virtues of manhood in Japanese society, which the Kohai is expected to internalize as he passes through the process of socialization. The Sempai-Kohai relationship is not a master-servant affair; not a one way relationship where the junior has an opportunity to train with a senior; not defined by the traditional superiority of the senior over the junior; but by a code of mutual respect between two individuals playing two different - but complementary roles their society have assigned to them; roles that are performed for the benefit of the society in general, and not just for the two primary parties involved. It is like a father-son relationship that is projected towards the betterment of the society as a whole, with the sole objective of strengthening ties between the older and younger generations: A medium for leadership training through which the younger members of the society are taught the future roles they are expected to play as members of the society. This relationship is driven by the principles of mutual respect, honour, trust, humility, simplicity and camaraderie. Again, the relationship between the Sempai and the Kohai is a symbiotic one. It is an interaction that benefits both parties: the Sempai gains the experience required to advance
Sempai, still Kohai to someone) and to be responsible not just for yourself, but for the community as a whole. The Sempai is a person acknowledged as having earned the privilege of a higher status by means of seniority within the organization. Any older person might be your Sempai, but your “true” Sempai is someone who has earned your respect. One of the closest contemporary depictions of the Sempai-Kohai model is unarguably the blooming intercourse between the two arrowheads of the new political order in Edo State, Nigeria: the Comrade Governor, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, and his deputy, RT Hon (Dr) Pius Egberanmwen Odubu. It is a partnership that has continued to boom since the winnowing currents of change brought it into existence; an alliance that has gradually metamorphosed into a blooming relationship; a relationship that is as fluid as it is lucid; a creaseless affair that has become the reference point in contemporary discourses on collaborative leadership across Nigeria and beyond. The steaming romance between Sempai Oshiomhole and Kohai Odubu, both of the All Progressive Congress (formerly Action Congress of Nigeria), is a productive marriage that has become the standard to beat since its inception; a holy match made in heaven; a profound, exquisite and seamless definition of all that is poetic, glorious and grandiose; a fairytale union that has given birth to the fresh fruits of the current political dispensation in the state; a state of ecstatic bliss that has shown no sign of abating; a textbook saga that has spurred eulogies from far and near. That Sempai Oshiomhole and Kohai Odubu have a lot binding them together, is a gross understatement: they are Siamese twins from different
champions have brought about a new era of progressive politics which has catapulted Edo State from being an alsoran in the committee of Nigerian states to becoming the beautiful bride that is revered by many and courted by others; gladiators who together have so far bested all the challenges that have confronted them since their meteoric rise to political prominence. Sempai Oshiomhole and Kohai Odubu have displayed unusual
codes of honour that established (and regulates) their offices - a mutually respectful and positively re-enforcing relationship that promises to produce more healthy fruits in the coming years. Theirs is simply an exemplary relationship that is built on mutual love, honour, and trust. Unlike the vainglorious power mongers who have bestrode Nigeria’s political landscape over the years these role models have remained united. Like true
Governor Adams Oshiomhole
comradeship in their relations with each other; a rare attribute among today’s politicians – especially those privileged to hold public office – who, as soon as they get into their hallowed positions, develop enemy images of co-wielders of authority. Despite the deep gulf that traditionally defines a chief executive’s relationship with his deputy in Nigeria, Oshiomhole and Odubu have developed a very solid bond – a cordial rapport between a senior and a junior who see each other as partners in progress. Rather than the usual adversarial scenarios we have become accustomed to in this part of the world, both leaders have stayed true to the silent
results that have become the bold signature of this administration. As noted in the opening analogy, a Sempai and his Kohai ultimately graduate to newer and higher positions with fresh sets of duties and responsibilities. Just as the Sempai, at the culmination of his stewardship as a mentor and role model to the Kohai, moves up to a higher calling – becoming a Sensai - Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, after the
maintaining the fluidity and lucidity that has become the face of governance in the Heartbeat of Nigeria. Come 2016, it would not be out of order if RT Hon (Dr) Pius Egberanwen Odubu steps up the ladder as the next Governor of Edo State, having been under the direct tutelage of the grand master himself. Where this to happen, it would be a natural transition from one productive generation to another; a seamless change of guards that is bound to guarantee the continuity of the ongoing transformation of the state under the close watch of the
Dr Pius Odubu, Deputy Governor
leaders, these men have stayed true and committed to their job descriptions - never crossing the lines of decency, nor engaging in any sterile personal pursuits. They are team-players who believe that nothing good can come out of over ambition – out of a greedy overstretch that saps men of their humanity - vain pursuits that are as empty as they are worthless. It is this unity of purpose between these two super-heavy weights that have driven the groundbreaking feats the present administration has so far achieved - with more obviously in the offing. The fluid, cordial relationship they have maintained is a fruitful union that has stood the test of time, resulting in the impressive
completion of the fairytale ride he currently enjoys - as the head of government in Edo State - would be expected to move up to a higher pedestal of leadership with greater responsibilities, having successfully groomed the next man on the job. Of all the Kohais currently undergoing leadership training under Sempai Oshiomhole, the one who ultimately steps up the ladder to take over from him as the new chief executive of the state must be an individual who should be able to engender the same kind of followership that has been responsible for the phenomenal leaps the state has made in recent years; a leader who is committed to
present team of musketeers. That Odubu has been a committed Kohai since the hands of fate catapulted him to the seat of the number two citizen of the state is there for all discerning minds to decipher. He has been a willing, focused, and dedicated student who has gradually assimilated the basic ideas of leadership from an equally devoted, tested and tried tutor who would want to see the sustenance of his groundbreaking achievements in the state over the years by the time he calls time on his glorious stewardship. “Great teachers naturally hand over to great students”. It’s a natural graduation!
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Nutritional Health And Dietetics
Effect Of Stimulant On O.C. Madu The Body THE relationship between tobacco smoking and cancer, heart disease and emphysema bronchitis are well established, even if some of the causes and effects links are missing. Large scale studies of the death rates of smokers and nonsmokers have been carried on for the past 20 years. One group, consisting of nearly a quarter million war veterans, yielded results indicating that smokers are from 10g to 16 times as likely to die of lung cancer as nonsmokers. (The higher the ratio is for heavy smokers) similar results have been obtained from studies of smokers and non-smokers with heart disease and lung aliments. Burger’s disease: one of the possible, although rare effects of smoking is the aggravation of symptoms of a particularly insidious circulatory disorder known as burger’s disease. As noted above, one of the effect of nicotine is a drop in skin temperatures. Smoking a single cigarette can cause the temperature of the finger and toes to drop as much as is degrees Fahrenheit, the results from constriction of the blood vessels at the extremities. Blood clots may develop in the vessels that have been constricted. Cutting of the flow of blood to the tissues of the area. When there is numbness or pain in the extremities, the condition should receive swift medical attention to prevent serious consequences. Burger’s Disease – Throm – boangitis obliterans – Burger’s Disease or thromboangitis obliteran, thought to occur only among Jews because Dr. Burger first observed it among Jews, not knowing it was the effect of tobacco, is now found to be common among the rest of the population. The lower limbs are most usually affected by this disease. Nicotine in tobacco has been shown to be a primary cause. The disease contracts and occludes the blood vessels producing a blue discoloration (cyanosis) when the limb is down and an extreme pallor when elevated. At first, pain comes only on exertion, the pain gets severe and continuous after inflammation of the blood vessels later on. Disappearance of the pulse and development of gangrene can be checked if smoking is stopped early enough and other treatments instituted. Unless
smoking is absolutely discontinued, there is no hope of preventing the development of gangrene though, still commoner among men, unless present day women are warned in time to greatly reduce or give up the habit of smoking, the next generation may turn out to have as many cases of this disease and of arterio sclerosis and true angina pectoris among women as among men. Carbon monoxide – Accumulation of another little publicized effect of smoking is the accumulation of carbonmonoxide in the blood. carbon monoxide is one of the lethal gases omitted in automobile exhaust. It is also, produced by burning materials such as tobacco. It is the dangerous gas because of its strong affinity for the hemoglobin of red blood cells. Unlike oxygen and carbon dioxide, which become temporarily attached, then released from the hemoglobin molecules carbon monoxide becomes permanently locked into the red blood cell chemistry so that the cells are no longer effective for their normal function of transporting oxygen to the body tissues. With the oxygen carrying capacity of part of the red blood cells wiped out, brain cells and other tissues suffer a mild oxygen. Caffeine – Caffeine, which is naturally present in coffee and tea and is used in many carbonated beverages and medications, stimulates the central nervous system to overcome fatigue and drowsiness. It also, affects a part of the nervous system that controls respiration, so that, more oxygen is pumped through the lungs. In large amounts, caffeine can increase the pulse rate, but, there are few long range effect because, the substance is broken down by the body tissues within a few hours and excreted. It is because of the action of
caffeine in stimulating, an increased intake of oxygen, sometimes is used to combat the effects of such nervous system depressant as alcohol. Nicotine – Nicotine is one of the nearly 200 substances in tobacco. It affects the human physiology by stimulating the adrenal glands to increase the flow of adrenaline. The blood vessels become constricted and the skin temperature drops, producing affects not unlike
The nicotine in tobacco can be absorbed simply by contact with the smoker from the tobacco of the smoker. Burning tobacco produces a myriad of substances found in the smoke of many plant materials when they are dried and burned. More than 50 different compounds are known to occur in concentrations of one microgram or more in each puff of tobacco smoke. Again, laboratory tests have
chocolate, coffee has no food value, but the drug “caffeine” is a greater heart and brain stimulant than the bromine in cocoa or theine in tea. A cup of coffee contains 3 to 5 grains of caffeine, depending on the amount of coffee used and on
Like all drugs, it really should be used only in emergencies. Cocoa and chocolate are derived from the cocoa beans, which comes from a different plant than the one from which cocaine is derived. Cocoa, however, also contains a drug
exposure to cold temperatures. When comparatively large amounts of nicotine are absorbed by the body the pulse becomes rapid and the smoker has symptoms of dizziness, faintness and sometimes, nausea and diarrhea. The release of adrenaline, triggered by nicotine, will produce temporary relief from fatigue by increasing the flow of sugar in the blood. However, the effect is transient and the feeling of fatigue will return again after the increased blood sugar has been expended. Other properties of tobacco.
demonstrated that the substances in burning tobacco do not have to be inhaled, most of the chemical compounds can be absorbed through the mucous membrane, while a puff of smoke is held in the mouth for a few seconds. At least, ten of the substances in tobacco smoke have been shown to produce cancer in animals. Other chemicals in tobacco tars are known as cocarcinogens, although they do not produce cancer themselves, they react with other substances to produce cancers. Coffee – Unlike cocoa and
how much milk is put into the cup. But even 3 grains is a large dose and if taken too often will produce toxic symptoms of heart palpitation, flushes of the face, nervousness and jitters (like alcoholism) followed by mental depression, anxiety and insomnia. Coffee should not be used except by well people and only occasionally if at all. People with heart disease, angina pectoris, high blood pressure stomach trouble, skin affections, arthritis and liver disease must abstain from it entirely.
(Theo bromine) which acts as a stimulant to the heart and nervous system. Theo bromine has the same action on the heart and brain as caffeine, it makes the heart go too fast and the brain overactive. Both effects are undesirable in our present overworked and over stimulated way of life. Cocoa or chocolate consumed before going to bed may keep you awake all night as coffee will. If you suffered from palpitation, high blood pressure, rapid pulse or other affection of the heart, you had better keep away from them. Not considering the Theo bromine, cocoa is a nutritious food, a cupful with milk in it yields 100 calories. It contains approximately 20 percent protein, 25 percent fat and 35 percent carbohydrate and the minerals potassium, sculpture and phosphorus. The fats of cocoa and chocolate are very hard to digest and interfere with the digestion of other foods. Thanks for reading.
“Cocoa or chocolate consumed before going to bed may keep you awake all night as coffee will. If you suffered from palpitation, high blood pressure, rapid pulse or other affection of the heart, you had better keep away from them.”
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Empowering The Youth Via Agricultural Programmes: The Ekiti Example
AYODEJI Owoeye was unable to secure employment five years after he graduated in Biochemistry from the Lagos State University. An opportunity for selfemployment, however, came his way following the introduction of the Youth Commercial Agriculture Development Scheme by the Fayemi Administration in Ekiti State. Within seven months, Owoeye had 10,000 oil palm seedlings, 20,000 cocoa seedlings and 20,000 teak seedlings for sell to farmers in the state. ‘I have become a manager, an employer of labour at my Igede-Ekiti farm, and I am comfortable,’’ Owoeye said. Also, a group of eight graduates in Efon-Alaaye, in Efon Local Government Area of the state have similar success story to tell. The group, including a female, successfully set up a viable commercial fish farm project under the scheme, thereby contributing meaningfully to the economy of the state. Five of the youths, Ojo Olajide, a graduate of Mining Engineering; Adejumo Adesegun, a graduate of Accounts; Austin Olalekan, a graduate of Education Management; Otunlape Amos, an economist and Olajide Adeola, a graduate of Fishery, are jointly operating fish farms in Efon Alaaye. Another beneficiary of the scheme, Zoki Benjamin, a non-indigene
of the state, has more than 50 hectares of rice farm in Ikoro-Ekiti, in Ijero Local Government Area of the state. Two other beneficiaries among the eight, Omotosho Adebayo and Kunle Bamidele, have six hectares of rice farm each at Ikoro-Ekiti. “This is the first time in the history of Ekiti State that youths are given solid empowerment, one of them, Adebayo said. “When we first heard of the scheme, we all thought it was a political gimmick to deceive the electorate. “Fortunately for us, we enlisted and we were trained and empowered; and today, we have every reason to thank God for this sudden turn-around in our lives,’’ Benjamin said. Gov. Kayode Fayemi inaugurated the Youth Commercial Agriculture Scheme on April 29, 2012 at Orin-Ekiti Farm Settlement in Ido-Osi Local Government Area of the state. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, witnessed the ceremony at which 1,500 unemployed graduates of various disciplines were engaged under the pilot phase of the scheme. Under the scheme, each of the 1,500 beneficiaries was provided free accommodation for the duration their training, as well as a repayable loan of N30,000, and farm inputs. They have a maximum
By IDOWU ARIWODOLA
period of one year to repay the loans. Fayemi said that the decision to introduce the scheme was informed by his determination to combat poverty and reduce unemployment among youths.
state forward. He noted that the state which previously led in cocoa production had lost its position because the ageing farmers depended on ineffective farming methods. “The Youth Commercial
He regretted that scores of youths had abandoned the rural areas, leaving the poor and old persons who depended on ineffective farming methods and inputs to work. According to him, modernising agriculture was the third component of his administration’s eightpoint agenda to move the
Agriculture Scheme is going to be highly mechanised as tractors and other modern equipment, including chemicals, have been procured for its success,’’ he said. Fayemi stressed that agriculture remained a key factor in the effort of the state government to turn around the fortunes of
“Under the scheme, each of the 1,500 beneficiaries was provided free accommodation for the duration their training, as well as a repayable loan of N30,000, and farm inputs. They have a maximum period of one year to repay the loans.”
youths. “The move is also aimed at ensuring that agriculture contributes at least 50 per cent of the state’s internally generated revenue by making it more attractive to youths,’’ he said. Adesina was optimistic of the potential of Ekiti in the Federal Government’s
Area, corroborated saying: “We were selected through a thorough screening process in different fields of agriculture, including aquaculture, livestock and arable farming.’’ Yet another beneficiary, Veronica Ogunniyi, said: “We are expected to return
A g r i c u l t u r e Transformation Agenda, as he urged other states to emulate the state by using agriculture to reduce unemployment. Another beneficiary of the scheme, Mr Olowolodu Ademola, who has more than 9,000 birds in his poultry at Erinfun, in AdoEkiti Local Government of the state, said that his success story was being replicated in other parts of the state. According to him, beneficiaries of the scheme were picked on the bases of proven entrepreneurial skills. Kayode Ilori, a beneficiary in Ikole-Ekiti, in Ikole Local Government
the loans over time and then take full possession of the business as our own; but with continued incentives from the government.’’ Stakeholders in agriculture have lauded the Ekiti State initiative of empowering unemployed youths through various agricultural schemes to make them self-reliant and contribute to the state’s economic development. They, however, cautioned that no effort must be spared to make the scheme sustainable by ensuring repayment of the take-off grants to enable other youths participate in the scheme. (NAN)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Perspective AS I took a stroll along the male hostel of the Ekehuan campus of the University of Benin, I cited a male student sitting alone on a bench, staring at emptiness. As my usual self, I wanted to pull a small joke out of it, so I walked up to him and asked in pidgin, “Guy, wetin bi the problem, nah hunger cause am, or abi your babe don get belle?” he laughed at that, and his reply was, “Men, I don tire for this strike oo..., I don tire for educational system in Nigeria. Nah only God know how long this ASUU strike go last. Federal government no won meet ASUU demands, and ASUU no won relent. Guy, nah private schools nah hin win am oo…” My dad used to tell me, how Nigeria’s educational system was back in the days, how Nigeria used to have a good educational system; our universities competed very well with universities around the world. Our students could compete comfortably with their peers from universities around the world. Students were employed right out of higher institutions. Public institutions then were up to standard, and parents were happy to send their children to these government institutions. And how infrastructural facilities were in place and teachers’ welfare was properly catered for. But today, reverse is the case. Today, the
educational system in the country is in shambles; today the system is in rot, and plagued with corruption. Today, the system is facing a lot of challenges ranging from, logistics, lack of funds, poor infrastructural facilities, maintenance and others which have crippled its effectiveness. Our educational sector is in such a bad shape that, it has become a threat to national productivity, competitiveness and national security. Over the years, the educational sector have been paid lip-service, especially since the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), when the government drastically cut down on the funding of the educational sector, and even withdrew education subsidy. Since then, the government has started cutting down budgetary allocation to education which goes against UNICEF (United Nations International Children Emergency Fund) stipulation that governments should allocate at least 25 percent of their annual budget to education. The government commercialising education by granting university licenses to corporate individuals, organisations, religious bodies and churches is another unfortunate issue; because the emerged private schools became the ideal schools for the rich and ruling
Nigeria’s Education Sector: class. If every child in the country including the children of the ruling class attends public schools, if their children are partakers in the numerous discomforts experienced in public schools, the ruling men and women would have done something about it. But since their wards are in private schools or schools aside the country, they pay lipservice to the welfare of teachers and students in public schools.
Education is no longer a right but a privilege, and this is one major reason why many Nigerians dip their hands into government purses just to give their children the best education money can buy. There is no doubt that the educational sector is presently in a state of rot and perennial neglect by the government. There is no segment of our educational system that does not require urgent attention. From the
let alone chairs for the pupils to sit on. Still, we’ve been hearing promises, and have grown tired of promises: we have grown tired of hearing the talk of vision 2020, because there is no vision 2020 if education is not given utmost priority in the scheme of things. The struggle of Nigerian lecturers did not begin today. Since 1991, Nigerian lecturers have been trying to ensure the adequate
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there have been many strikes that have rocked the educational sector. On June 1, teachers in 11 states went on a three weeks strike over the non-payment of 27.5 percent salary increment; the strike was also to protest the non-implementation of the N18, 000 National Minimum Wage by the governments of the states. On April 29, the Academic Staff Union
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Today, education is beyond the reach of most Nigerians, particular the common man. Even the few that have access to education suffer from intellectual malnutrition because of the poor state of the educational sector.
primary, secondary, to the tertiary level, the same problem abound. The most disturbing sector is the primary sector. Statistics shows that, there are about 2,015 primary schools in Nigeria with no buildings of any types,
“Today, education is beyond the reach of most Nigerians, particular the common man. Even the few that have access to education suffer from intellectual malnutrition because of the poor state of the educational sector.”
funding in Nigeria’s tertiary education. Between 1994 and 1996, the university sector was rocked by protracted industrial unrest, as a result of the government’s refusal to honour the terms of the Federal government and ASUU agreement of September, 1992. Hardly any year goes by without the lecturers going on strike to demand that the government implement the agreement reached, or call for a review of the agreement. Today, the issue of incessant strike still abounds. So far this year,
of Polytechnics (ASUP) embarked on an indefinite strike, to protest the government’s insensitivity to their demands. The strike lasted for 81 days, and was suspended on 17th July, 2013. But the union resumed the suspended strike on October 4, 2013, and continue to press home their demands. On July 2, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) commenced a nationwide strike that is still on-going, over the failure of the federal government to honour
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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
ll In Bad Shape
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the 2009 agreement on the funding of universities, as well as the January 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) More recently, the Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU) embarked a weeklong strike to press home their demands for payment of last August and September subvention to
universities by the federal government. And also, the Nonacademic Staff of Universities (NASU) embarked on a strike on October 3, to protest the two months unpaid salaries by the government. Furthermore, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the country, have threatened to close down the nation’s schools should the federal government and ASUU fail to reach
an agreement after two weeks. Actually, I don’t see how ASUU problems concern NUT, but according to the president of NUT, Mr. Michael Olukoya, it is become necessary to protest the failure of negotiations between ASUU and the federal government. Fundamentally, with all the strike actions going on today, we would say that Nigerians, students and teachers alike have
lost faith in our government, in our educational system. What we are seeing today if not address properly, will definitely lead to the collapse of Nigeria’s educational system. Today, parents prefer to send their wards to private schools and schools outside the country, as lots and lots of Nigerians every year, leave the shores of the country for their education or further their education in countries with better educational system. This is an
indication of the lost faith in the educational system of Nigeria. As a matter of urgency, the educational sector in the country needs to be saved; it needs to be moved forward. Because improving the educational system would definitely pave the way for the nation’s prosperity. And to do that, necessary steps and plans need to be put in place. Necessary policies adopted; policies that would enable appropriate development in our educational sector. Because in so doing, will
the current trend in the educational sector change, and the confidence in the educational system be regained. And so, we don’t want to hear talks of vision 2020, we don’t want promises anymore; promise of a good educational sector, of constant electricity, of good road, of this, of that. We want action from the government now and not promise, because actions will make our educational system to be what it used to be and even better.
Promoting Socio-Economic Activities Via Good Road Network
OBSERVERS and takeholders have expressed atisfaction over the ehabilitation works on the oad linking Vandeikya in Benue and the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River, aying it is vital for socioconomic transformation of he two states. They also noted that good network of roads across the ountry would contribute owards enhancing the nation’s tourism potential, specially the VandeikyaObudu road. According to them, the oad that is 50 per cent omplete will expose the Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort o more tourists, and boost conomic activities in Benue. The resort area with a near emperate weather condition s located on the Obudu Plateau close to the Cameroon border with Cross River. Rehabilitation works on he 96 kilometre highway tretching from Vandeikya o the Obudu Cattle Ranch was inaugurated in March 2013, and being executed by CCECC Nigeria Ltd. The phase one of the project is estimated at N3.2 billion, with 12 months ompletion period. Observers have said that he need to rehabilitate the
highway was due to the growing international status of the ranch, and the Federal Government’s desire to open access roads to it from the neighbouring states. Residents of Vandiekya and Obudu have lauded the effort as they believe the road would enhance evacuation of their farm produce. Mr. Zahemen Tikyaa, a business man in Vandiekya, said that government’s decision to ensure good road network between Obudu and Vandiekya was a welcome development for the people as it would boost the economy of the two states. He called on the federal government to also rehabilitate other dilapidated roads in other parts of the country. Mrs. Doosuur Terwase, a trader in Vandiekya, noted that the road rehabilitation would reduce crashes on the road, thereby saving lives of commuters as well as serving as alternative to river transportation for the people of the area. A foreign tourist, Mr. Joseph Nelson, recalled how a trip on the road was like a nightmare to him during his previous visit to the ranch resort.
By BRIDGET IKYADO
“Previously, I had an opportunity to come to the ranch with my family, and my wife never repeated the trip.
uncontrollable. “My wife ended up carrying our children on her laps as I drove, and on getting to the ranch everyone was sick and
Architect Mike Onolomemen, Minister for Works.
“The deplorable state of the road made her uncomfortable throughout the trip; at a point, the children cried as the vehicle drove almost
tired; we could not tour the ranch as planned,’’ he said. Nevertheless, Nelson had some words of commendation over government’s decision to
rehabilitate the road as he noted that tourists would drive with ease to the site when the road is completed. Mr. Benedict Kume, Chairman, Vandeikya Local Government Area, described the rehabilitation work as a blessing to communities in the area. He said that the road is central to the communities as it links the ranch with the northern and southern parts of the country. Kume noted that when completed, the road would boost socio-economic activities in the area and link the communities. Minister of State for Works Bashir Yuguda said while inspecting the project that the rehabilitation works was in consonance with government’s desire to open up the six geopolitical zones of the country for viable socioeconomic activities.
“I am delighted that the project is one of the major roads receiving federal government’s attention within Tiv communities of Benue. “When completed, the road will provide better access to Nigeria’s foremost tourist destination, the Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort, and ease transportation of farm produce within and outside Benue,’’ he noted. The minister advised the contractor to adhere strictly to inclusion of local content in the project execution. However, stakeholders insist that government should prioritise the construction and rehabilitation of road networks, saying there is a strong correlation between provision of good network of roads and economic development. (NAN).
“When completed, the road will provide better access to Nigeria’s foremost tourist destination, the Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort, and ease transportation of farm produce within and outside Benue.’’
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Japan’s Past, Hunting Relationship With Neighbours
THE World War II era dispute is still sharply relevant today, driving a wedge between Washington’s two biggest allies in Asia. Young Koreans protest outside the Japanese embassy weekly. Kim Bok-dong and Kihl Wan-ok, two wizened octogenarian women, do not look as if they could pose much of a threat to US grand strategy in the Pacific. Nor do they intend to do so. But as President Obama tries to put his “pivot to Asia” into effect, making the region key to his foreign policy by directing more military forces and diplomatic efforts there, he has hit a snag: the leaders of Washington’s two biggest allies in Asia, the nations that should be the twin pillars of Mr. Obama’s policy – Japan and South Korea – are barely talking to one another. And in large part that is because of a few dozen old Korean ladies like Ms. Kim and Ms. Kihl. They were forcibly recruited by the Japanese army during the Second World War as sex slaves, and they are demanding an apology and compensation from the Japanese government. Tokyo insists it owes the so called “comfort women” nothing. “Japan has leveled insults at them rather than offering an apology,” South Korean President Park Gyeun-hye told visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month. “I know Japan is an important country to cooperate with for peace and stability in Northeast Asia…but trust has not been established.” Some people involved in the issue worry that as the handful of surviving victims reach the end of their lives, the time for a change of heart from Japan is running out. “And if they don’t resolve this, it will continue to weigh on our relationship” into the future, says Yoon Meehyang, an activist with the Korean Council for the
Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. CONTINUING PROVOCATIONS Historical grievances relating to Japan’s behavior towards its neighbors during World War II have long dogged Tokyo’s relations with China as well as South Korea. Neither feel Japan has shown enough contrition for its war crimes. The abuse of “comfort
term as prime minister, he argued that there was no evidence that any of the “comfort women” had been coerced into prostitution. That contradicted the earlier finding of an official Japanese commission, and caused an outcry around Asia. Though Mr. Abe has kept quiet this year, “I think he still believes that,” says
women” system “necessary,” and the government spokesman did not disown the comment. “These continuing provocations just fuel the fire,” says Ms. Yoon. “They make people here furious and the government cannot ignore them.” A poll earlier this year by a Japanese policy think tank, Genron NPO, found that 76.6 percent of South
Shinzo Abe, Japan Prime Minister
women” has proved a particularly painful memory, not least because for nearly half a century it was repressed. Only in 1990 did the first South Korean women lift the veil of shame they had drawn over Japan’s forcible recruitment of an estimated 200,000 young women and girls to serve in military brothels. Just 56 of the 239 women who publicly acknowledged their experiences are still alive. The controversy has grown since Shinzo Abe became Japanese prime minister last February. Six years ago, during his first
Seo Hyun-ju, an expert in the “comfort women” issue at the Northeast Asian History Foundation, a government-funded think tank in Seoul. Another prominent nationalist Japanese politician, Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, earlier this year called the “comfort
Koreans had an “unfavorable” or “relatively unfavorable” impression of Japan, and that for 77 percent of them that was because of Tokyo’s “inadequate repentance over the history of its invasion.” “Japan’s apology should be sincere and true and come from the bottom of
their hearts,” says Yoon Chang-mee, an elegantly dressed woman attending one of the weekly demonstrations outside the Japanese embassy. Held each Wednesday at noon, the protests generally attract a couple of hundred supporters – largely young people – who gather round whichever of the increasingly frail victims feels strong enough to attend. For an hour or so they listen to speeches and songs and chant “Just Do It” at the red brick embassy across the road. The embassy’s blinds, however, remain drawn. TIME RUNNING OUT? Public interest in the fate of the “comfort women” has surged, activists say, since a Constitutional Court ruling two years ago that the South Korean government was obliged to be more diplomatically active on behalf of the victims to secure an apology and compensation. The government’s passivity, the court found, was a violation of the women’s human rights. Yoon Mee-hyang, who leads the Wednesday demonstrations, says the government’s efforts are still “insufficient’ and Ms. Kim agrees. “They shouldn’t leave us old women to do all this,” she sniffs. “They should be doing more.” Seoul has tried repeatedly to engage Tokyo in talks, says Dr. Seo, but the Japanese authorities insist that a 1965 peace treaty ruled out any subsequent reparations
and that they are not legally obliged to compensate the “comfort women.” South Korean officials argue that the fate of the women was never discussed during negotiations for the 1965 treaty and that it should be addressed now. Japan’s refusal to reconsider its position has fueled widespread resentment in South Korea. A planned treaty allowing Tokyo and Seoul to share military information was torpedoed at the last minute in 2012 in the face of public opposition here. The Japanese government has also lodged their own complaints about a statue of a comfort woman built directly across the street from the Japanese embassy in Seoul. “The whole Korean citizenry is very upset” by the “comfort women” issue, President Park told Mr. Hagel. “Relations with Japan are not a matter of summits; this is a problem that needs to be solved with the Korean people.” But the time for apologies and compensation is running out, as the 2012 court ruling warned: “if there is an additional delay in time, it may be permanently impossible to do justice to history and recover the victims’ dignity and value as human beings through settlement of claims,” the court found. “If there is no sincere apology or compensation by the time the last ‘comfort woman’ dies, normalization of diplomatic relations will become very difficult,” says Seo. “Public opinion demands that this issue be fully resolved before there is any real cooperation with Japan.”
“The controversy has grown since Shinzo Abe became Japanese prime minister last February. Six years ago, during his first term as prime minister, he argued that there was no evidence that any of the “comfort women” had been coerced into prostitution. That contradicted the earlier finding of an official Japanese commission, and caused an outcry around Asia.”
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Ingredient For Living A Successful Life Continued from last week
Never Accept Defeat INGREDIENT for living a successful life can be possible in your life when you know how to shun every act of defeat satan or his agent may bring across your way.. The reason for your existences is to fulfill the heavenly assignment concerning you on this planet earth. But when you allow inferiority complex to over shadow your life, you can only do little or nothing to this present world. The Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me” Philippians 4:19. if you allow this word of God to control your life, you will not be afraid of defeat or failure in your endeavor. How will you define defeat or failure? To me, I see defeat or failure as my best teacher. Friends, there is ability in your disability; because excuses is no reason for failure. Some years ago, I met a woman in Aba who was very sick. Because of the sickness she desired to die, rather than to live. I told her that God has nothing to glory of. If she died at the age of thirty seven. To whom she would leave her children if she had such an untimely death, with no meaningful achievement to compliment her purpose on earth? After this question, her faith began to grow and she started seeing many reasons why she should not die, and why she should not allow that sickness to terminate the essence of her existence. When I discovered the strength of those words on her, I laid my hands on her and rebuked that sickness. The following day, I saw her in the morning going to the market to buy food item. Friends, this is how God will perform miracles in your life when you refuse to be defeated. Let me show you man who was supposed to be defeated while trying to actualize his vision. “Are they Hebrew? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I are. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool I am more in labour more abundant, in a stripes above measure, in prison more frequent, in deaths often. Of Jew five times received I forty stripes save one. Twice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered the deep. In Journeys
often, in perils of waters, In perils of the City, in perils among false brethrens. In weariness and painfulness, In watching often, in hunger and thirsty, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness. Besides, these things that are without, the care of all the church. Who is weak, and I burn not? If I must need glory, I will glory of the things, which concern mine infirmities. The God and father of our lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for ever more knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretag, the king kept the city of Damascus with a garrison. Desire to apprehend me. And through a window in basket was I let down and escaped his hand. Second Corinthians 11:21-23. Anytime you are worried or defeated, look at the life of Apostle Paul and you will discover that you have no reason to complain or be defeated in your profession. PRINCIPLES ON HOW TO OVERCOME DEFEAT. TAKE RISK- Life is all about risk, if you don’t take risk, risk will take you. If you want to overcome the spirit of defeat in your life, you must be willing to take risk which other people fear to take. “Anti they came unto him bringing one sick of palsy, which were borne by four. And when they could not come night unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was, and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed where in the sick of the palsy lay When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sin be forgiven thee. I say unto thee, arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed and went forth before them all the people there were amazed and gloried God, saying, we never saw it in this fashion”. Mark 2:5,;11l2 This is what will Happen to you if you will obey God and do what he has told you or put in Your mind to do. 2. BUILD YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST- If you don’t build your faith in God, you will not be able to overcome the Spirit of defeat in your life. “Woe to then, that go down to Egypt for help, and slay on horsemen and trust in chariot because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong but they look not unto the holy one of Israel neither seek the Lord” Isaiah 31:1
With Apostle Dr. Raphael O. Ayemere 08035459593
3. REMIND THE DEVIL OF YOUR LIBERTY IN. CHRIST- “Stand in therefore in the liberty where with Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” Galathians 5:1 4. BE BOLD -Boldness will help you to overcome every spirit of defeat. Boldness will help you to do great exploit for
The bible says, in every thing, we should thank God, if you cannot thank God for what he has done for you yesterday, even if he gives you millions today, you will not also he grateful, to God. if you want to be flee from the spirit of worry, anxiety and defeat, learn to thank God always. Saving is very vital in our lives if we want to enjoy ingredient for living a successful life. Don’t eat your tomorrow
Don’t disobey the rules of nature and expect to be a winner over night. There are principles you must adhere to in order to succeed in all your endeavor saving is one of these principles you must not ignore in your quest for success. “For Got! so loved the word,
some years ago. In fact my first saving occurred in my early thirties, After saving about thirty thousand naira I went back to the bank the following week and withdrew over fifteen thousand naira and four mouth later I went to the manager and convince him that I had some
God. the bible says “the righteous are bold like a lion ‘ Friends, are you aware that the size of an elephant does not intimidate lion? 5. GO BACK TO WHERE YOU HAVE FAILED AND FIND OUT WHAT LED TO YOUR FAILURE- What ever happen to you in this life, know that God has a lesson to teach you, but if you fail to learn the lesson on time he will bring the same thing across your way. “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord neither be wealthy of his correction. For whom the lord love!!, he correct even as a father the son in whom he delighted”. Proverbs 3:11-12 6. THANK GOD ALWAYS-
today. Saving ten or twenty per cent of salaries or interest in our business will not reduce our money rather it will enhance it. If you set one dollar today, and keep it always in a saving account that paid 5% simple interest, and if you see to it that your account is updated each year, your family would have one million dollars by the year 2262. Your family would be billionaires by the year 2403, and would be as wealthy as the combined fortunes of the Rockefellers, Rothschild Dugouts, and melons by the year 2452, the above excerpt and culled from George Sterm secret of the millionaires.
that he gave his only’ begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved’ John3:16-17. In the above passage, the Bible says, God gave him son to save the world. Friend, God did not just only give his son, he also saved his son in his heavenly account to get the world back to himself. Joseph used this principles of saving to deliver the entire Egyptian and world at large from being destroyed by poverty. You could not have convinced me of saving ten or twenty per cent of my money
major things to do with my money and that the money I had was not enough for me and that I wanted to close my account. This was how I closed my first current account in one of the leading banks in Nigeria. But today I discovered that saving is very important for my daily life and have since re-opened my saving and current account in various banks in our country (Nigeria). What could have happened to Noah if he had refused to build the ark which God instructed him to build? Beloved, Noah did not build the ark when it was raining. Think about that for a moment. “a word they say is enough for the wise”.
To be continued
“I wanted to close my account. This was how I closed my first current account in one of the leading banks in Nigeria. But today I discovered that saving is very important for my daily life and have since re-opened my saving and current account in various banks in our country (Nigeria). What could have happened to Noah if he had refused to build the ark which God instructed him to build?”
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Isoko South Constituency 1 And 2
SINCE the creation of Isoko South Constituency 1, no candidate has served two tenures in the Delta State House of Assembly. It is poignant that some of the self-styled political leaders elected to serve in this coveted capacity abysmally failed to deliver the dividends of democracy in their constituencies over the years in Isokoland. Isoko region is from the minority group in Delta State that needed credible people with orientedvision to carry the electorates along in terms of quality leadership. In 1991, precisely, Hon. Mrs. Catherine Ilolo was the first woman to be elected to serve the Isoko South Constituency 1 and only served one tenure but was shortly truncated by the then military government. Isoko South Constituency1 has not produced a woman to serve that capacity except the men folk after Hon. Mrs. Ilolo. Isoko South Constituency 1 is full of political actors and dictators which also served as godfathers and godmothers of the highest order in Isoko politics. They want their candidates at all means to be elected without due process. The problem with Isoko South Constituency 1 is that everybody wants to emerge as a candidate without political credibility. Isoko South Consituency 1 comprises Irri, Oleh and Emede while Isoko South Constituency 2 comprises Aviara, Uzere and Olomoro. All these Isoko communities and clans have their villages which elections are conducted. Every Isoko South Clan wants power at all cost.PDP is one of the viable political parties in Delta State while APC and LP are novel in the system. Though DPP was one of the opposition political parties in Delta State in 2011 elections but some of the DPP faithful have now defected to either PDP or APC.
Matters Arising In 1999 to 2003, precisely, Hon. Lucky Okperi was elected into the Delta State House of Assembly and he was from Oleh town. He only served one term and 2003 to 2007; Hon. Ross Uredi of Idheze-Irri was elected and served one tenure and Hon. Benjamin Efekodo of Oleh kingdom was elected from 2007 to 2011. Though, Hon. Benjamin Efekodo witnessed awful failure of his political leadership in the Delta State House of Assembly from Isoko South Constituency 1. It was alleged that he was an arrogant political leader who saw himself as the only leader with integrity. Isoko South Constituency 1 started with political party called Social Democratic Party (SDP) and later transformed to the almighty Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Politics in 1991 was not pronounced as it is today. Most of these so-called political representatives only represented themselves rather than the people of Isoko South Constituency 1. Hon. Benjamin Efekodo did his possible best to return in 2011 but was won by Chief Benjamin Essien of IvrogboIrri of the DPP now APC who displayed genuine political manifestoes to the people and they authentically verified his political ambition as the bonafide candidate of Delta State House of Assembly. It has also been alleged in some quarters that Hon. Benjamin Efekodo is intending to stage a comeback tactics in 2015 that Oleh indigenes are now regretting of supporting Hon. Benjamin Essien of IvrogboIrri. Politics is all about people not individual ambition. Though money politics was much played in Isokoland over the years, until political enlightenment started graduating into the political
By GODDAY ODIDI
system of Isoko region. Can Hon. Benjamin Essien be reelected in 2015 under the platform of the novel APC which he recently defected from DPP to?Can he break the political jinx of Isoko South Constituency 1 of being reelected? Only time will tell If Isoko South Constituency 1
House and intending to contest for the fourth term. Hon. Prince Erijo is the only Isoko representative that has served three times in the Delta State House of Assembly. Now that Hon Ferguson Onwo of Olomoro town intended to contest for the same position of Hon. Prince
Assembly has politicians who have been serving their various positions since 1999 till date without voting them out because of their numerous achievements in their constituencies over the years but Isoko nation is not so rather than promoting intellectual corruption and arrogance. Most of these socalled political leaders have not delivered genuine
Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State Governor will vote for him. In Isoko South Constituency 2, 1999 to 2003, Hon. Prince Johnson Erijo was elected into the Delta State House of Assembly and from Aviara town. In 2003 to 2007, Hon. Silas Ureh Buowe was elected and served one tenure and 2007 to 2011, Hon Prince Johnson Erijo contested and won and returned to the house and in 2011 he was re-elected and presently serving three consecutive times in the
Erijo in 2015. Hon, Ferguson Onwo is the man of the people for 2015. He has helped to elevate poverty in Isokoland through his regular widowmite support to youth empowerment and others. He is a credible politician to be voted for 2015 in Isoko South Constituency 2. It is time for Hon, Erijo to retire from Delta State House Assembly matters and allow younger politicians like Hon. Ferguson Onwo to contest. Though Delta State House of
“Lastly, it is time for Isoko people to vote wisely in 2015. The era of money politics is over in Isokoland. Now that DPP is no longer relevant in both Isoko South and North, the choice of candidates would be determined by the electorates not godfathers of Isoko politics.”
democracy to its people in Isokoland rather stockpiling constituency allowances for themselves. To some extent, Hon. Benjamin Essien has opened the eyes of Isoko electorates through his massive youth empowerments and others. Most of these Isoko political leaders and elders do not take advises from competent people in the land rather than using the constituency allowances to overawe the poor Isoko people that voted for them and intended to remain in political offices forever. The likes of Barr. Duncan Afakohor, Hon. Evans Egbo,Hon. Fineboy Ebegbare and others should be given opportunity to contest for 2015. We need to try the younger generation than the old leaders that want to die in power in Isokoland. Any political opposition that
intends to challenge any infamous leadership in Isokoland is either kidnapped or killed to give them easy access to political dynasty of Isoko politics. In 1991, Isoko North Constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Okoro was elected and he eventually emerged as the speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. In 1999 to 2003, Rev. Paul Akegwure was elected and 2003 to 2007, late Hon. Barr. Y.D Igbrude was elected and also emerged as a speaker of the house whose tenure was prematurely terminated for alleged corruption against him. In 2007 to 2011, Hon. Timi Kome Owhefere was elected and 2011 he was also re-elected to serve Isoko North Constituency. Though Hon, Emmanuel Egbabor also contested for the same position of Hon. Timi Owhefere but politically stepped down for him. Other contestants are yet to identify themselves with Isoko North politics until 2015. Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor is also one of the credible young leaders to identify with in 2015 and nothing else. Some of these ostensible Isoko political bigwigs implicit that they are very close to the present Governor of Delta State, Dr, Emmanuel Uduaghan and Chief James Ibori that can give them power to remain in politics forever. Lastly, it is time for Isoko people to vote wisely in 2015. The era of money politics is over in Isokoland. Now that DPP is no longer relevant in both Isoko South and North, the choice of candidates would be determined by the electorates not godfathers of Isoko politics. PDP must play genuine politics in 2015 in Isokoland not do or die mechanism being operated in 2011 elections. We must vote for credible candidates with clear visions not criminalminded ones. The best candidates will be x-ray before 2015 while the choice belongs to Isoko voters. All Isokos in Nigeria and Abroad must come home to register for their voters’ card against 2015 to increase our population in Delta State. We must take Isoko nation to the next level not voting for politicians that would not pick calls or reply text messages after elections in Isokoland. Godday Odidi, Public Affair Analyst wrote from Lagos.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Issues Opinion LAWMAKERS at both federal and state level are voted into power to primarily make laws to improve the lives of citizens. These laws include appropriating money for the executive to carry out developmental projects and run the government. By extension they oversee how these monies are spent on various projects and the quality/quantity of projects executed. They watch the day to day activities of the executive to see if they are going against the constitution, they have the power to remove any elected executive member from office through impeachment. This is what should be expected from them and their assessment should be based on this. But there was a twist in the expectations of the electorates. The electorates expected them to build schools, construct roads, provide water, transformers, give scholarships and do all other works of the executive which they are not constitutionally empowered to do. This deviational expectations of the electorates midwifed the birth of constituency project allowance, which the lawmaker is to use in providing projects that will be of common good to the people in his/her constituency. Whether or not they are using this fund judiciously should
be a matter for another day. My headache is; how does the constituents see this fund? What is their attitude toward the fund? Just as there was a twist in what the constituents expected their representatives to do, there is also a twist in what they expect them to do with the constituency fund. This fund is meant to carry out projects that are common interest to the constituents. It is unfortunate that many people don’t see it this way, rather, they see it as money given to the lawmaker to solve the health, educational or social problems of individuals in his constituency. This is absolutely wrong, undemocratic, unprogressive and worst of all, a mischievous distraction to our lawmakers. Unlike the executive, lawmakers are often with the people, this makes them easily accessible which most of us are also abusing. A man whose wife delivers and is unable to discharge her from the hospital runs to the lawmaker. •A man whose child is sick and is unable to pay hospital bill runs to the lawmaker. A man who is unable to pay his children’s school fees runs to the lawmaker. A man who is preparing for a burial ceremony runs to the lawmaker. A man who is unable to pay his debt runs to the
What About The Constituency Project Allowance?
lawmaker as if the lawmaker is tree that produces money. More worrisome is the activities of some layabouts who has their nose to the ground like dogs, smelling the presence of lawmaker. They go to him demanding money to feed their family. They go to him demanding all sorts of alcohol drinks.
performing. Some party leaders are not left out. They expect the lawmaker to pay homage at every celebration, be it traditional, Christmas, Easter or New Year, they must bring bags of rice, meat, drinks and cash.
They are the first to knock at his door in the morning and the last to leave his house at night. They will even expect his wife to serve them food with the very plate she uses in serving her husband. These kind of people are whistle blowers, so long as the drink and food is flowing the legislator is
Any time one tries to engage them with a view to changing their attitude, they will tell you that they sent the lawmaker to the house so he should solve their personal problems with the constituency fund. They see it as a right for the legislature to spend the constituency fund to solve their personal
By UKHUN FELIX
“A man whose child is sick and is unable to pay hospital bill runs to the lawmaker. A man who is unable to pay his children’s school fees runs to the lawmaker. A man who is preparing for a burial ceremony runs to the lawmaker. A man who is unable to pay his debt runs to the lawmaker as if the lawmaker is tree that produces money.”
problem. They don’t care how many bills he is able to sponsor, they don’t care how many motions he is able to move, they don’t care how he is able to contribute to debates at the floor of the house, they don’t care if he is
able to present the challenges of his constituency before the house or executive. They judge him by the number of individual problems he is able to solve with the constituency allowance instead of how many projects he is able to attract for the benefit of all. Let us stop choking our legislatures, let us stop arm-twisting them to spend constituency fund to solve individual problems instead of our collective problems, let us stop behaviours that will make home-coming unattractive to them, let us stop stressing them financially, let us give them a breathing space to
utilize constituency project fund for the purpose it is meant. Funny enough, when ministers and commissioners visit their constituency, constituents don’t gather round them the way they gather round lawmakers. We are quick to say that
the lawmakers are not performing forgetting that many of us force them to spend a great part of the constituency allowance and even their personal allowance on entertainment and solving individual problems that can’t be accounted for. Constituency allowance is not for buying alcohol, bags of rice, meat, it is not for cooking large meals to feed lazy mouths, it is not for paying hospital bill or to solve any individual problems it is for projects that will be beneficial to all, we must let it be so.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Issues Education MANY stakeholders in the education sector have argued that formal education of the girl child has not been receiving adequate attention by governments in the country. They have also noted that even when girls are in schools, they are faced with several challenges including coping with household chores, insecurity and lack of funds to meet their needs. These challenges and many others, they say, had contributed to poor performance and low quality of education among girls in Nigeria and other developing countries. Anita Ubong recalls that said dropped out of school in Cross River when she was 11 years old because her parents could not fund her education. She said she had to take a job as a nanny when she was 13 years to enable her raise money to go back to school. “I worked for three years as a nanny before I went back to school because I knew how important education is, especially for a girl like me who wanted to become very useful in life,’’ she said. In response to issues of girl child education, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Dec. 19, 2011 declaring every October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. The focus of this year ’s celebration, “Innovating for Girls’
Education’’, is to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face globally in the pursuit of formal education. Mrs Ifeoma CharlesMonwuba, Director at ActionAid Nigeria, says the celebration of the day in Nigeria will improve the number of girl enrolment in schools by creating awareness on the importance of education for girls. Quoting a UN report, she says that 36 million school-age girls are not in school globally, and that Nigeria accounts for more than six million of the figure. “Most of the girls’ rights are violated and all of these necessitated the UN to set aside this day as the International Day of the Girl Child. “The day is meant to promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities among girls and boys in schools. “Many girls in developing countries become mothers before they are 18 years and more that 50 per cent die annually during childbirth. “The International Day of the Girl Child gives people and organisations an opportunity to raise awareness on the different types of discrimination and abuse many girls around the world suffer,’’ she noted. Charles-Monwuba insists that when given equal access to resources and education, women reduced the number of
Innovating For Girls’ Education
hungry people worldwide by 16 per cent. “Educated girls grow into educated women who have healthier babies and more likely to educate their children. The implications of not giving the girl child education are diverse, and covering areas of nutrition, life expectancy, income levels, family relationship, hunger and malnutrition. “For instance, a study indicates that girls who
By ABIEYUWA MORU
stay in school are four times less likely to be sexually active than those who dropped out, reducing the incidence of HIV drastically,’’ she said. Charles-Monwuba says ActionAid is advocating that all states in Nigeria should pass and implement the Child’s Rights Act, noting that 12 states have yet to implement it. Besides this, she
“Many girls in developing countries become mothers before they are 18 years and more that 50 per cent die annually during childbirth.”
advises that parents, extended family members, traditional and religious institutions and politicians, should encourage girl child education and discourage early marriage. Sharing similar sentiment, Dr Patrick Okolie, an Abuja-based general medical practitioner, says that child marriage exposes young girls to diseases. According to him, allowing female children to attain age of maturity before going into marriage after their education will prevent diseases and promote development. In recognition of the importance of girl child education, stakeholders
have urged UN agencies, member states, civil society organisations and private sector actors to encourage girls to advance their education. They call for improved public and private means of transportation for girls to get to school and provision of science and technology courses targeted at girls in schools, universities and vocational education programmes. To ensure that awareness on girl child education is more effective, observers recommend a review of school curricula to integrate positive messages on gender issues relating to violence, child marriage, sexual and reproductive health, and the roles of males and females in the family.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Kenya Mall Attack Echoes 1980 Hotel Bombing
FLAMES and smoke, the whoop of sirens, the flicker of ambulance lights and uniformed men shouting in darkness. These are my childhood memories of the chaotic aftermath of a hotel bombing in Kenya’s capital on New Year’s Eve, 1980. The attack on the Norfolk Hotel, popular among foreign tourists, preceded the September 21 assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi by a generation. Then as now, a city landmark was hit, Kenyan and foreign civilians died, leaders pledged to stop it happening again and talk turned to recovery. Much about the hotel bombing remains a mystery as investigators now seek to unravel the plot behind the mall attack, a horror replayed on closed circuit TV footage. The motive and method were different for the two attacks, but Kenya is confronting the same questions about security, freedom of movement and the nexus between local and international militancy that it did decades ago. I was 13 years old at the time and watching “Superman II” with my family in a cinema in Nairobi, where my father was based as an Associated Press journalist. A boom interrupted the soundtrack. My father made a telephone call and within minutes we were driving to the hotel. No time to drop the family at home. My father’s reporting
captured the same kind of panic and confusion that shrouded the Westgate mall attack. Firefighters struggled with equipment. Some people speculated that a small plane had dropped a bomb on the historic hotel, which had a mock Tudor facade, an aviary and a verandah restaurant accessible from the street. Days after the blast, I wandered in the rubble. The twisted frame of a steel tennis racket and other burned belongings of guests lay there. Suspicion fell on Palestinian militant groups that allegedly targeted Kenya for supporting Israel in counterterrorism missions, including a 1976 hostage rescue in neighboring Uganda. The groups denied involvement. At least 15 people died at the hotel, according to Kenyan media. Al-Shabab, a Somaliabased al-Qaida-linked extremist group, said it attacked Westgate, where at least 67 died, to punish Kenya for fighting Islamic militants in neighboring Somalia. The mall is at least partially owned by Israelis. Kenya is a periodic target, vulnerable to infiltration, because of its role as a Western ally and regional hub. Thirteen died in a bomb attack on an Israeli-owned hotel on the Kenyan coast in 2002. Hundreds died in alQaida’s 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In a Jan. 7, 1981 editorial titled “International Terrorism,”
The Standard newspaper of Kenya wondered whether the Norfolk assailants were “a loosely knit but well-funded gang of mercenaries which at any stage during their mischievous ‘safari’ on Kenyan soil, may have colluded with ‘local’ or ‘regional’ contacts.” Kenyan authorities said the bomber was a Moroccan militant
staircase from his room on the first floor of the western wing, walked out past the reception counter and was never seen again. At 8.30 p.m., with a blinding flash and a roar that split the night, the Norfolk exploded,” Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel, as it is now called, says on its website. Ruth Rabb, a Block family member, was
“It was hard work and determination,” Rabb said. My parents dined at the Norfolk on the night before the blast. The family returned for tea a week later, when a hotel restaurant reopened. The Norfolk bombing and the strike at Westgate, in which attackers with guns and grenades slaughtered civilians, represent different eras.
driving to the Norfolk that night to have dinner with friends. She said some people initially thought the explosion was caused by a gas leak. A dining room, a lounge, some guest rooms and other areas were destroyed, but much of the hotel was intact. Rebuilding began quickly.
Extremist groups have evolved from largely topdown structures, sometimes with state support, to fragmented cells with shifting alliances. “There’s definitely a more horizontal structure to these networks than the vertical structure that we saw in the past,” said Colin Clarke, an associate political scientist at the U.S.-based RAND Corporation. He said attacks can be more lethal because of new technology and the ease with which militants can communicate.
Like Westgate, the Norfolk’s clients were mostly people of means, some of fame. Guests included Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt; in 1979, Jerry Brown, California’s governor then and now, stayed there with singer Linda Ronstadt. Hilary Ng’weno, publisher of The Weekly Review, a Kenyan journal, wrote at the time of the explosion that it created “uncertainty” between Kenya and foreign visitors
Attacked Kenya Hotel.
traveling on a Maltese passport who on Dec. 23, 1980 checked into the Norfolk, then owned by the Blocks, a Jewish family. He left on a flight to Saudi Arabia hours before the blast. At midday on Dec. 31, 1980, the suspect “ran down the wide carpeted
“Suspicion fell on Palestinian militant groups that allegedly targeted Kenya for supporting Israel in counterterrorism missions, including a 1976 hostage rescue in neighboring Uganda. The groups denied involvement. At least 15 people died at the hotel, according to Kenyan media.”
and aimed to undermine a political system with a continental reputation for stability. Ng’weno said: “Ironically, it is the very nature of a free society in Kenya which has made the bombing at the Norfolk possible.” The hotel, now Saudiowned, marked its 2004 centenary with a parade of vintage cars and horsedrawn carriages. The theme was the Norfolk’s iconic role in the growth of Kenya’s capital, which is again embarking on a path to recovery.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Preventing Avoidable Blindness Via Effective Eye Care MEDICAL experts say that blindness can be avoided through effective care of the eye. They also warn that people who have eye problems and pay less attention to them may go blind. According to them, many people ought not to have gone blind if they were aware of the causes of blindness. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that more than 80 per cent of blindness and visual impairment is either preventable or treatable, adding that saving one’s sight can be as simple as getting an eye test. Regrettable, however, the WHO notes that a person in the world becomes blind every five seconds, while a child is blinded every minute. Dr Muhamoud Chiroma, an ophthalmologist at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, says the prevalence rate of blindness in Nigeria is 0.8 per cent. He notes that the rate is more in adults than children, and cautions that no eye ailment should be considered insignificant. Experts say that cataracts — clouding of the lenses in the eyes, river blindness and glaucoma — the infection of the eye’s optic nerve, among others, are the leading causes of blindness. Other causes, they say, include eye injuries sustained by children, measles infection, vitamin A deficiency and congenital cataract. They observe further that early symptoms of blindness include not being able to see well at night, double vision and frequent prescription changes of eye glasses, among others. “ T h e r e f o r e , individuals who have eye
problems should immediately seek medical help from eye doctors, and not patronise quacks since delay in getting appropriate care can lead to permanent visual disability,’’ Chiroma advised. To promote universal eye health coverage and reduce levels of avoidable blindness, October 10, 2013 is recognised as the World Sight Day with the theme: “Universal Eye Health’’. The day is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness under the Vision 2020 Global Initiative. Analysts insist that preventing blindness should be key to Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020, and is in tune with global goal for eliminating avoidable blindness and low vision by 2020. To achieve the objective, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Secretary of FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, wants eye health programmes to be extended to primary and secondary schools to prevent childhood blindness. Mohammed notes that not having access to eye care delivery at the grassroots is a major challenge to preventable blindness. Sharing Mohammed’s view, Dr Anne Ebri, SubRegional Manager, West African Branch for Brien Holden Vision Institute in Lagos, says most Nigerians, especially those in the rural areas, are not informed about the causes of blindness. Ebri advises that people at the grassroots should be educated on the need to present their eye problems or that of their relations early to prevent
By JACINTA NWACHUKWU blindness. “For a young child, vision is not usually clear at birth; but as the child progresses to six months, if you try to establish eye
melon, stockfish and fresh fish for their nutrient contents. “Nutrient is a very important component of our vision in the sense that
contact, you will find that a child with an eye problem will probably look elsewhere. “Also, if you try to give a child food and he is not responding, or you find that the child when able to walk is constantly running into objects; these incidents should not be ignored,’’ she observed. Dr Kingsley Ekemiri, an optometrist at Living Faith Health Clinic, Abuja, notes children’s poor performance in school could be associated with their eyes. He says that eye problems can be managed by eating carrots, water
when we eat properly, we tend to improve our vision. “Basically, carrot has what is called carotene, a very important component of the retina; when you eat a lot of carrots, it tends to improve the immunity and health of your retina that makes you see much better. “Stockfish and also fresh fish are very important nutrients for your vision; so also is red oil which is palm oil because it contains retinol,’’ he said. He, however, advises people to desist from frying red palm oil so as not to destroy the nutrients that aid vision, and warned
against using local herbs to treat eye infections. Ekemiri suggests that government should organise eye care programmes in schools to address eye problems in children. In the same vein, Ms
Yemisi Olowookere, a dietician at the Garki Hospital, Abuja, notes that insufficient vitamin A in food can cause blindness. Olowookere names foods containing vitamin A to include liver, cod liver fish oil, carrots, yam, pumpkin, squash, leafy green vegetables, apricot and pawpaw. Others, according to her, are red pepper, chilli powder, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes and dried herbs. Nonetheless, she cautions that excessive consumption of vitamin A can also result in jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite,
irritability, vomiting and hair loss, advising that the food should be taken with moderation. For further precaution against blindness, Dr Regina Morgan, an ophthalmologist at the National Hospital, Abuja, advises users of contact lenses to be careful as improper use may result in blindness. She says that proper attention should be given to
wearing, removal and care of the lenses to avoid damage to the eyes. Morgan says that wrong use of lenses can also cause damage to the cornea, the black part of the eye, cause redness, discharge, discolouration, itching and dryness. However, observers and medical experts believe that the celebration of the World Sight Day in Nigeria should include advocacy for governments at all levels to pay more attention to eye-related health challenges in order to reduce blindness. (NAN)
“Also, if you try to give a child food and he is not responding, or you find that the child when able to walk is constantly running into objects; these incidents should not be ignored,’’
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Lines Man Hit By Smoke Bomb A linesman in Aston Villa’s game against Tottenham was hit by a smoke bomb thrown from the Tottenham supporters’ section at Villa Park. David Bryan, running the line in front of the Spurs fans located in the Doug Ellis Stand during the first half, was hit by the smoke bomb, which was thrown after Andros Townsend opened the scoring in the first half as Spurs won 2-0. The restart after the 31stminute goal was delayed by the incident but Bryan, who appeared to have been hit on the back of the neck, was able to continue. A fan was seen being led out of the stadium by police and stewards soon afterwards. The FA confirmed that it would investigate, while police said two men had been arrested. An FA spokesman said: “The FA will investigate this matter, which is unacceptable. We will await the match officials’ report and will be speaking to the clubs. “Such incidents highlight the dangers of pyrotechnics being used in a football stadium.” On its Twitter account, West Midlands Police said the two men arrested were aged 25 and 47, and added: “Fortunately, the linesman wasn’t injured.” Spurs boss Andre VillasBoas condemned the incident, saying: “I think situations like this do not have a place in football. I sincerely hope it does not happen again.” The Premier League, who have issued warnings about flares this season, is also likely to investigate.
Manuel Pellegrini ‘Lied About United’
Linesman David Bryan feels the back of his neck after being hit by a smoke bomb thrown from the crowd.
Mourinho Could Escape Touchline Ban
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho could escape a touchline ban after being sent off during Chelsea’s 4-1 Premier League win against Cardiff. and manager Malky Mackay has Mourinho consistently left his said that he will ask referees’ technical area to complain to chief Mike Riley for clarification referee Anthony Taylor about on the decision. Cardiff’s perceived time-wasting However, Mackay does not resulting in him being asked to anticipate the impact of the leave the dug-out. controversial defeat at Chelsea to Taylor, though, could be stood linger. down for the next set of fixtures The visitors took a shock early after failing to spot Samuel Eto’o lead at Stamford Bridge through illegally take the ball from Jordon Mutch, but conceded an Cardiff goalkeeper David equaliser when Samuel Eto’o Marshall to assist the opening illegally dispossessed David goal for Eden Hazard. Marshall when the goalkeeper The newly promoted Welsh had possession of the ball and side are expected to make their Eden Hazard struck. discontent at the decision known Mackay, whose side next play
Wenger Refuses To Write Off United
Arsene Wenger believes it is too early to write Manchester United out of the race for the Premier League title. The champions slipped up at the weekend when Southampton came from behind to claim a point in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, leaving David Moyes’ side with just three wins from their opening eight league fixtures. United trail leaders Arsenal by eight points — and the champions are also just three points above the bottom three — but Wenger, who has been in a similar situation to that facing Moyes, insists they are capable of fighting their way back into contention. “It is too early. They are not out of the title race,” Wenger said. “We are only two points in front of all the others. “Are Man United out of the title race? No, but of course 10 points starts to be a little gap.” Wenger continued: “If you have the choice, you want to be in the race at the top, but you cannot rule Man United out today.
Micah Richards has revealed to the Daily Mirror that Manuel Pellegrini inspired his Manchester City players to victory at West Ham on Saturday by lying about Manchester United’s result. The City manager told his team that United — who actually conceded a late equaliser — had beaten Southampton, so when they played in a later kick-off at Upton Park, they had to defeat the Hammers to ensure they remained ahead of their rivals. Sergio Aguero hit two and David Silva scored once as City went on to record their first Premier League away win under Pellegrini, allowing the club to extend their advantage over United to five points. “We thought they were winning 1-0. The manager said they had won, Arsenal had won and Chelsea had won, and so we had to win,” Richards said.
“They have big players, big experience and they are a big club. “It (points advantage) is three games basically, that is very quick in our league.” Wenger also claimed that he will only add to his squad in the January transfer window if the opportunity presents itself, saying he already has a “massive squad”. The purchase of Mesut Ozil to the Gunners’ squad during the summer has helped them to make a strong start to the Premier League campaign, but Wenger says it is not essential to add to the squad again. “We have a squad that is very, very good in quality and in numbers,” Wenger said. “If there is a good opportunity to make another signing in January, why not? But we are not desperate now. “It’s important to remember who is out injured because when they all come back in November and the beginning of December,
then we have a really massive squad.” Arsenal targeted a new striker during the summer with Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez linked to the club, but the form of Olivier Giroud has convinced Wenger that he is good enough to lead the line. He said: “Maybe it was a bit of luck for Olivier that nobody came in. It meant he knew at the start of the season that he would get a chance to show just how good he is. “And this season he has been amazing. His technical level has improved so much since he arrived here. Instead of always just thinking ‘I have to score’ he has become a real team player. “I was always thinking that his second season with us would be the decisive one. We have seen that many times with many other players. “To adapt to the kind of game we play takes time so I was not too worried when we didn’t bring in another striker because I knew it would give Olivier the chance to develop.”
Norwich, was at Watford when Reading were awarded a goal in September 2008 by referee Stuart Attwell despite the ball going well wide of the Hornets’ net. “We were on the end of the ghost goal, when the ball didn’t even go in the net,” Mackay said. “I was first-team coach. I was standing watching that not happen. “The following week you’re back at it and you’re just playing the following team and it’s completely different. It’s not something that ever gives that much of a hangover. We get up and get on with it. There’s no hard luck stories here.’’ Despite being on the receiving end of the unjust episode at Stamford Bridge, Mackay will not be calling for television replays to be introduced. He added: “It’s not a set-play game. It’s not like American football. It’s a free-flowing game. Where do the replays come in? At what point do you stop? Eventually there might be (replays), but at least we’ve got goal-line technology. It’s only taken about 10 years for that to happen.” The Scot will, though, ask officials’ chief Mike Riley for clarification of the incident when Anthony Taylor allowed Hazard’s equaliser to stand after approaching the match officials in the immediate aftermath of the match. There was no great protest from the Cardiff players when Eto’o stuck his foot out to take the ball from Marshall, but that was because they had to react and defend, Mackay insisted. He said: “You’ve got to keep playing on. If we’d stood and watched it that would’ve been sacrilege.” Mackay disputed Chelsea’s claim that Cardiff were time wasting, insisting the four minutes added time at the end of the match were correct. Jose Mourinho was so furious he was
sent to the stands. “He certainly wasn’t ranting at me,” Mackay said. If anything, Mackay had more of a reason to be frustrated, following the equaliser and a challenging international break in which his head of recruitment Iain Moody was replaced by 23year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov on an interim basis.
“Maybe it was a bit of reverse psychology but it was obviously nice. United will come strong. “We just knew we had to win. If we had dropped points today, well... we watched Liverpool because they kicked off early.” City now sit fourth in the Premier League table, three points behind leaders Arsenal, and Richards believes the Gunners have a good chance of retaining their lead over the coming weeks. “They looked strong and Arsenal just keep winning,” he said. “I know people always say Arsenal will blow up, but when a team gets that confidence going it’s hard to stop and they will do well this season.” But despite United having lost Sir Alex Ferguson, who won 13 league titles during his reign, Richards is refusing to rule them out of the race for the Premier League. “They still have the same players,” he said. “They have massive experience and experienced players around who will get them going. So I have no doubt that United will come back stronger from this. “Let’s not kid ourselves, Fergie is probably the best manager ever. He’s probably like having a 12th man in your team. But [David] Moyes is a great manager. He’s done a similar job at Everton, he didn’t have that much to spend and he kept them consistently playing well.
Evra Asked To Explain Attack On Pundits
The French Football Federation has asked Manchester United defender Patrice Evra to explain his outspoken attack on four pundits during a television interview. Evra called 1998 World Cup winner Bixente Lizarazu and three other pundits “tramps” on French TV programme Telefoot. His comments came after the quartet criticised the impromptu half-time talk Evra gave his teammates during a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belarus, for which he was a substitute. France ended up winning the game 4-2. An FFF statement said: “Following the remarks made by Patrice Evra in an interview to Telefoot after France v Finland,
president Noel Le Graet and coach Didier Deschamps, while recognising that no attack was made against the FFF, the France team, the coach or the players, have decided to ask Patrice Evra to come to explain certain statements about the broadcasters.” Evra, 32, claimed the pundits had been trying to tarnish his reputation, adding: “There are some pundits with whom I will settle my differences... they want to sell a lie to the French people that Evra is disliked. But that is not the case at all. “I do not know what Lizarazu has against me. I was twice voted best left-back in the world. Him, I don’t even know if he was ever voted best left-back in the world.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Injury ‘Blown Out Of Proportion’ GARETH Bale says clash with Juventus at the - Bale his recent injury issues Bernabeu on Wednesday have been “massively” overplayed in the Spanish media, however he is being careful about easing himself back into action given he remains less than 100 percent fit. Bale played the final 15 minutes of Saturday’s La Liga win over Malaga at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, entering from the bench and soon winning the late penalty which sealed a 2-0 home victory. Afterwards the former Tottenham winger told Real Madrid TV that it had been great to play again after three weeks out, and he was happy with his contribution to the win. “It is just nice to get over the little injury that I had,” Bale said. “It has been difficult getting back in as I had no preseason and stuff like that. It is great to get back on the pitch and get a few minutes under my belt and m+ake a good impact. It was massively important for us to get the win today and I thought we played well through the whole game and deserved the win.” Marca had reported that Bale had a slipped disk in his back, a long standing injury that would need an operation to fix, however he himself said the problem was just a “minor” thigh problem. “It was just a little thigh strain,” he said. “The fact that I have not had a lot of game-time and a lot of preseason games or training or running, you
always pick up little niggles. I think everything was blown out of proportion, massively. It was just a little minor injury, and I am back playing now.” The Malaga win set Madrid up well for a huge week which features a Champions League group
RICARDO Kaka has admitted that stepping out onto the field of the San Siro as a Milan player was an ‘emotional experience’. The Brazilian made his first appearance in front of the home support for the first time since 2009 after coming off the bench in the Rossoneri’s 1-0 win over Udinese on Saturday. “It was an emotional experience playing again at the San Siro,” the Brazilian said after the game.
“I’ve been thinking all day about when I was coming onto the pitch. The fans, the welcome… it’s something that I’ll always keep with me. It was fundamental to win here and we did it. “Tuesday [against Barcelona] will be a tough game but we’re getting players back and the team is getting stronger and stronger.” It was only Kaka’s second appearance since signing for the club on the penultimate
evening, and then the season’s first La Liga Clasico against Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon. Asked if he expected to start in these games, Bale was cautious, offering a reminder that he was not yet match-fit after his
much interrupted preseason and start to the campaign. “I have to take things one step at a time,” he said. “I have not had too much training or games, it is all about building me up now. Obviously I will do what the manager says, but yeah I just need to introduce myself now and prepare myself right for the rest of the season.”
Madrid To Tackle Juventus, Barcelona
REAL Madrid will look to continue with their winning streak when they face Juventus in the Champions League tomorrow and Barcelona in a La Liga clash on Saturday. The Whites reduced the Catalans’ lead in the domestic league to just three points with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Malaga over the weekend. Alvaro Morata was handed a start while Karim Benzema didn’t feature for Carlo Ancelotti’s side but the young striker believes the Frenchman will be ready in time for the tough fixtures.
“He (Benzema) took a knock but he will be ready to play against Juventus and will help us a lot,” said Morata. “It is a very important week if we work as a team and we are united. I am sure that we will get two wins. “We are playing for a lot this season and we have to be eager and enthusiastic.” The last time Madrid hosted Juventus, the match ended 2-0 in favour of the Italian side, while their last trip to the Camp Nou resulted in a 2-2 draw.
Torino-Inter Nearly Suspended TORINO’S 3-3 draw at
Gareth Bale comes off the bench to finally make his return from injury.
home to Inter Milan on Sunday risked being suspended as visiting fans put strict rules on discrimination to the test. Showing solidarity with their rivals AC Milan, who were due to stage their 1-0 win over Udinese behind closed doors at the San Siro on Saturday before that punishment was overturned, Inter supporters expressed the kind of discriminatory language which has been the subject of such contention in recent weeks. While nobody is questioning Italian football’s attempts to stamp out racism, it is the restrictions on territorial discrimination that has caused uproar. Milan’s fans were being
Inter Laments Perplexing Referee Display
INTER director Marca Branca was left lamenting the referee’s decisions in their 3-3 draw to Torino on Sunday evening, stating they were left ‘perplexed’ by his actions. “He was irritated by the Samir Handanovic way the game went and received his marching orders certain decisions, as we all in the fifth minute for are,” Branca told Sky Sport allegedly bringing down Italia to explain Mazzarri’s Alessio Cerci in the box, abscence. resulting in Inter playing a “We can start from the man down for most of the penalty, then a few free kicks match given and not given. The In protest, Walter Mazzarri refereeing left us somewhat enforced a media blackout.
perplexed. “It was a great game and hard-fought, so it deserved a better refereeing performance.” Inter still managed to get themselves back in the game and almost stole a late win if it wasn’t for Nicola Bellomo’s 90th minute goal. “Everyone has their
day of the summer transfer window and he admits he faces a long road back to fitness. “We can do very well. I spent a month not playing and working on getting back and now I’m back,” he added. “I’m missing match fitness and I don’t know when I’ll be back on form but I am hoping to make it as soon as possible. It’s great to know that the fans expect a lot of you. “It’s good to hear what you see from outside, you know me well and have seen good
things from me. It’s very pleasing. I’ll try to help the team in any way I can with my attitude and showing that as a team we can go far. “We need to be a solid group if we are to win and that’s what I want to transmit to the team. We can only win as a team, as individuals we can’t do it. My family is very important. I’m happy that they’re here to see me back playing and see what Milan means to me.”
Kaka Reveals ‘Emotional Experience
opinion. There have been incidents in the past that were treated differently. I think a few minutes into the game the referee could’ve controlled the situation better, especially as there was already a penalty. We are not contesting the spot-kick, but a yellow card would’ve been enough,” he added. “Ishak Belfodil was constantly kicked and then given the free kick against when he tried to get back into position, while Esteban Cambiasso’s booking on Cerci was also strange. We were perplexed by some of the decisions. “We needed to become competitive again this season. We are very satisfied with the work of the Coach and the players, so we are developing a good campaign. This is why we’re so disappointed, as this sort of work deserves more concentration from everyone. “We are not offending anyone. We are simply expressing how perplexed we are. It’s a shame for the players and the Coach after a game like that to drop points, especially after an undeserved defeat to Roma.”
punished for repeating the now-traditional expletives aimed at Napoli supporters due to the Campania city’s geographical location. Only an appeal by the Rossoneri and widespread disillusionment of the stadium ban brought about a rethink, but Inter fans wanted to test the Lega Serie A’s patience at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. The usual chant of “burn the city down” and other derogatory remarks towards a group of supporters were heard repeatedly from the visiting fans’ section. However, the Inter supporters were in fact insulting themselves. Milan was the city they wanted to burn and the Interisti were the fans not worth consideration, yet an announcement still had to be made warning them to stop, or else the game would be suspended. Rival clubs and their followers were also given short thrift by the Inter fans, justifying the intervention by the fourth official, who called for the announcement. But with punishments running from partial to full stadium closures, and forfeited games and points deductions, rather than being discouraged from such insults, fans now appear to have been empowered with deciding the destiny of the 2013-14 Serie A title. As Milan’s vice-president Adriano Galliani succinctly put it, he and a group of friends could infiltrate into any ground and shout defamatory remarks to earn that club a punishment. If the 2006 Calciopoli scandal was all about influencing the choice of referees and trying to fabricate suspensions of players to ease certain teams’ paths to success, 2013-14 risks seeing fans influence the suspension of grounds, and the distribution and deduction of points for a similar scope.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
Conte Disappointed In ANTONIO Conte Defeat expressed his disappointment in seeing his Juventus side squander a two-goal advantage to lose 4-2 to Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi. The manager believes his side were the better team for the majority of the encounter and could have sealed the three points before Giuseppe Rossi’s penalty sparked a comeback. “We lost a game that we dominated for 70 minutes, we were home and dry and had
more than one opportunity to score the third goal. Suddenly something strange happened, if I could explain why it would be simple,” he told reporters after the game. “But that’s football, we hope this afternoon serves as experience and we’ll keep working and looking to move forward. I don’t think our focus was already on Real Madrid, otherwise we would have got our overall approach wrong.”
GHANA striker Asamoah Gyan replicated his international scoring at club level by netting a hattrick for his UAE side Al Ain in a league match on Sunday. Gyan’s goals polished Al Ain’s title credentials with the humiliating 5-2 defeat of Dubai Club at the Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium. The former Sunderland man scored two goals last Tuesday when Ghana thrashed Egypt 6-1 at home in the Brazil 2014 World Cup playoff first leg. Ismael Ahmed handed Al Ain a half-time lead only for Rami Yaslam to equalise for Dubai during the early stages of the second period. Gyan scored two in quick succession to give The Boss some breathing space before Dramane Traore gave the visitors a renewed life line. However, Australian
forward Alex Brosque fired in from the first move after the restart to restore Al Ain’s two-goal cushion before Gyan completed his hat-trick to ensure three points for the league champions. Abdulrahman was the orchestrator as his firsttime threaded pass found Brosque, who calmly slotted his shot low beyond Abdallah. Al Ain weren’t finished there as Abdulrahman produced arguably the assist of the match. Spotting Gyan’s diagonal run across the box, Abdulrahman split the leftback and central defender with a perfectly-weighted fizzing pass. Gyan beat his marker for pace and fired home firsttime to complete the rout. That is now seven goals in just four games for Gyan, who last season broke the UAE football goal-scoring record with 31 domestic strikes.
GPL Clubs To Be Paid TV Rights Money Today THE Ghana Football Association will today disburse the first instalment of the Premier League TV rights money to clubs. South African Pay TV channel SuperSport clinched a three-year deal reported to be worth US$ 700,000 per season late last month for the Ghanaian top-flight. The relationship between the Ghana FA and SuperSport was officially announced in Accra last Thursday at a ceremony. This has come as a big relief for all 16 clubs after m o b i l e telecommunication giants Glo, then title sponsors, defaulted in paying. “The first payment will
Gyan Grabs Hat-Trick In Ain Win
reach the clubs next Tuesday, the rest will come at scheduled times,” Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi confirmed at the launch. “I wish I could disclose the amount involved in the deal but because of the company’s (SuperSport) policy I cannot.” Nyantakyi, who is also the president of Wa All Stars Football Club, is optimistic the new TV deal will help clubs to bring on board corporate bodies. “The decision of corporate bodies to sponsor our clubs is influenced a great deal by television coverage, and SuperSport will be providing us with quality coverage; and this will attract many brands to associate with our clubs and the League,” he said.
Federer Back In Spotlight As Nadal Skips Swiss Indoors
ROGER Federer has regained the spotlight at his home Swiss Indoors which began yesterday following the late pullout of Rafael Nadal, who said that the strain of winning ten titles this season had sapped him of all energy. Federer, who got his start in the home in the sport after game as a ballboy at the event, Wimbledon. This edition will have even owns five Basel titles and has played nine finals at the St more significance than usual for Jakobshalle, his second spiritual the 32-year-old who needs a solid
showing in Basel and the week following at the Paris Masters if he is to earn one of four spots remaining for the eight-man World Tour Finals starting in just over a fortnight in London. Nadal’s voluntary exit caught organisers on the hop, with
FIFA To Make Decision On ‘Ghost Goal’
THE German Football Association (DFB) has handed all responsibility regarding a possible replay of the Hoffenheim-Bayer Leverkusen game to FIFA following Stefan Kiessling’s ‘ghost goal’. Leverkusen striker Kiessling doubled his side’s lead with a 70th-minute header which went wide, only to fly through the side netting and into the back of the net. Referee Felix Brych allowed the goal to stand, however, and Leverkusen went on to win Friday’s game 2-1. On Saturday, Hoffenheim confirmed that they have lodged an official complaint with the DFB. “The aim of the lawyer’s letter via mail and fax is to request a replay of the match,” a statement on the club’s official website read. However, DFB vice president Rainer Koch confirmed on the governing body’s official website that the final decision is not in the DFB’s hands. “We can fully understand that such a ‘ghost goal’ is
regarded as unjust. The reflexive call for a replay is understandable, but from the past we know that FIFA protects the referee’s decision,” Koch said. “What matters are which options the regulations and statutory provisions generally allow us, because FIFA is substantial in such a decision.” In the past, FIFA has repeatedly refused to replay games following similar ‘ghost goals’. In 1994, a Thomas Helmer ‘ghost goal’ in the match between Bayern Munich and Nurnberg led to a replay, but FIFA has since tightened its rules. Under law five, the FIFA rules now state: “The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final. The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.”
Since Brych restarted Friday’s match before he realised his error, it appears that a replay of game is unlikely. And local media have voiced their concern that a replay of the game could be costly for German football. “Should DFB begin a row with FIFA, they, in an extreme case, could ban all German teams from FIFA competitions,” an article in DerWesten read. Meanwhile, calls for the introduction of goal line technology have grown louder in Germany. “We could have spared us a lot of stress and trouble if we had the option to fall back onto technical means. Let’s hope that this is introduced as soon as possible,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller told kicker. In March 2013, the German Football League decided against the introduction of goal line technology before July 1, 2015 — unlike the Premier League, who introduced it ahead of the 2013-14 season.
feelers going out immediately to world number two Novak Djokovic asking him to reconsider and join the field. But with the Serb declining — as he did for the week’s other ATP event in Valencia — tournament boss Roger Brennwald may have begun making his commercial peace with Federer after harsh business negotiations apparently went sour months ago in the planning of this autumn’s edition. Federer has long been the backbone of the prestige local event, but Brennwald had reportedly been dismayed by financial demands from the Federer camp and signed Nadal last February by way of insurance. Now the flanking action has blown up in Brennwald’s face, leaving the high road to the wildly popular Federer, who said months ago that he would play without a guarantee payment after all of that budget likely went to Nadal and holder Juan Martin Del Potro. The Swiss will lead a local onetwo punch along with US Open semi-finalist Stanislas Wawrinka, who stands provisional seventh in the race to London — one spot ahead of Federer. Del Potro, who won Tokyo and played the Shanghai final a week again against Djokovic, will open against Finnish-Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen while Czech second seed Tomas Berdych plays Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic. Federer takes the third seeding and starts against Adrian Mannarino of France, whom he beat in the US Open third round. Wawrinka, seeded fourth, plays another French opponent in Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Canadian Milos Raonic, also in the running for London, withdrew from the event due to personal reasons, a blow to his qualifying chances.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
CAF Champions League
Al Ahly Berth Into Final AL-AHLY restored some pride for Egyptian football on Sunday by squeezing into the 2013 CAF Champions League final after a penalty shootout. The Cairo-based side won Unmarked Soliman hurried 7-6 against Cameroonian a shot which finished well off visitors Coton Sport at the target and a looping Rabiea Red Sea resort El-Gouna header off an Ahmed Fathy after a 1-1 draw in the second free-kick landed on top of the leg match played behind net. closed doors. Coton Sport finally came A 1-1 first leg draw in alive during the 10 minutes Garoua two weeks earlier before half-time and gave the meant a 2-2 aggregate tie as record seven-time champions the clubs sought a final several scares. showdown with South Ewangue Mbongo got past African side Orlando Pirates. a defender and goalkeeper and Needing to score to level captain Sherif Ekramy used his the shootout, Jacques Haman legs to block a close-range blazed over for Ahly to keep alive hopes of a record eighth shot. Kingue Mpondo came even CAF Champions League closer three minutes later, title. hitting the post after stretching The outcome was a to connect with a partiallymassive relief for Egyptian cleared cross. football after their senior After 35 largely idle national side of 11 Al-Ahly minutes, Ekramy was stars lost 1-6 to Ghana in a suddenly the busiest footballer FIFA World Cup play-off in El-Gouna and needed two five days earlier. attempts to hold a snap shot Al-Ahly went ahead inside three minutes following a from teenager Alexis Kada. The half-time whistle was a simple goal as Sayed relief to Al-Ahly, who were Moawad crossed and lucky to be one goal ahead on Abdullah Al-Saied towered the day and on aggregate. above two defenders to nod Coton Sport continued to the ball wide of Luc Feudjou. press as the second half The home side dominated progressed without creating the first quarter of the game with a timid Coton Sport side any clear-cut chances on a repeatedly running around clear hot afternoon in northeast Egypt. trying to gain possession. But, with 65 minutes gone, But it took Al-Ahly until the Cameroonian side midway through the half deservedly drew level when before they threatened to several Al-Ahly defenders score again, with chances failed to cut off a low cross and falling to Walid Soliman and Kada netted with a close-range Rami Rabiea in quick tap in. succession. That was all the scoring in
Kaduna United Over-Run 3SC In Last League Match KADUNA United Football Club on Sunday beat visiting 3SC FC of Ibadan 2-0 in a 2012/2013 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) week 38 match played at the Kaduna Township Stadium. The match was one of the last matches in the league season, and both sides did not have much at stake in the game. While the 3Sc were already relegated as they sat in 20th place on the 20-club league table, Kaduna United were well above the relegation zone with 53 points. The match’s first half ended goalless, even though the hosts dominated the game and even lost a penalty kick in the 37th minute through Emmanuel Panamaras. Linus Adams however scored the opening goal for the home side through a penalty kick in the 57th minute of the game.
Iliya Jibo scored the second goal in the 73rd minute also through a penalty kick. Speaking shortly after the match, coach Ben Duamlong of Kaduna United expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance of ending in the top 10. Mustapha Zukoki, a member of the Kaduna United FC Management Board, praised his club’s players for working hard to end the season in a comfortable position. “The league was challenging and competitive, but I am happy we were not relegated,” he said. Speaking also, the head coach of the visiting team, Akin Busari, expressed satisfaction with the match’s outcome. “Even though we have been relegated today, but we accept defeat and will now go on to work extra hard. “There is room for improvement and that is what we will work on,” he said.
regulation time, forcing the penalty shootout to determine the semi-final winner. After a perfect start for both sides, Al-Ahly finished their sixth and seventh attempts, while Coton could only manage one. South African club Orlando Pirates had earlier reached the final after an 18-year absence by holding Esperance 1-1 in
Tunisia on Saturday. The Soweto side qualified to meet Al-Ahly on the awaygoal rule after the first leg of the semi-final finished 0-0 two weeks earlier. Rooi Mahamutsa headed the Buccaneers in front soon after half-time and Iheb Msakni equalised just three minutes later.
Glo Premier League
Kano Pillars Are Champs Again! DEFENDING champions Kano Pillars Football club on Sunday retained the 2012/2013 Glo Premier League title in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) even after losing on the competition’s final matchday. The Kano side lost 0-2 to Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi in a week 38 match at Katsina-Ala but the loss did not stop them winning their third league title. They won the title with 63 points from 38 matches, one point ahead of former winners Enyimba International FC of Aba who surged into second place after a 1-0 home win. The Aba-based former African champions finished with 62 points from 38 matches after beating Sharks FC of Port Harcourt. They leapfrogged Bayelsa United of Yenagoa who dropped to third place after losing 0-1 to Gombe United FC and ending up with 61 points. El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri also dropped to fourth place from third place, with 60 points after a 0-1 loss to Rangers International FC in Enugu. In other matches played in the league, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi lost 0-2 to Dolphin FC in Port Harcourt, while ABS FC of Ilorin lost 0-1 to hosts Warri Wolves. Akwa United FC of Uyo also drew 1-1 with hosts Kwara United FC in Lokoja, while 3SC FC of Ibadan finally went down after a 0-2 loss to Kaduna United FC. The loss kept them at the bottom of the table with 46 points, and will be joined by three others on the list of four clubs relegated into the lower Nigeria National League (NNL). Meanwhile, two football
Hamilton Hails Golden Eaglets PAUL Hamilton, a former Super Falcons Head Coach, on Sunday commended the Golden Eaglets over the 6-1 humiliation of Mexico in the ongoing U-17 World Cup. This edition of the World Cup is being hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Hamilton told newsmen that Saturday’s match witnessed a brilliant performance by the Eaglets. “That was a great result and a very good beginning for the U17 team in their quest to win the cup,” he said. Nigeria marked their 50th game at the U-17 World Cup in grand style. With the victory of the Golden Eaglets in the match opener, they are now on top of their group F, ahead of Sweden on goal difference. The former coach said that the result was expected considering the level of preparation they had been put through. “I believe they prepared very
well and their coach is highly experienced. This is what we expect from him,” he said. “They should just keep it up so that they will go far in the
competition, I have no fears, I’m impressed,” Hamilton added. The Golden Eaglets will face group F strong contender, Sweden, on Thursday in Dubai.
enthusiasts yesterday hailed the emergence of Kano Pillars Football Club as winners of the 2012/2013 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Sunday. Speaking on the development, the Secretary of FCT Football Association, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the winners were worthy champions of the season. He told newsmen in an interview that Kano Pillars deserved the title because they were the most consistent team this season. The FCT FA Secretary explained that the defending champions had won the league competition as early as in the first round. “I must congratulate Pillars, because they recorded more away wins than any other club in the league this season. “Winning away at Wikki Tourists of Bauchi and ABS FC of Ilorin, combined with away draws against Dolphins and Sharks, gave them eight points in the first round. “This was very crucial to their campaign this season,” he said. Abdullahi said the fact that Pillars did all the hardwork in the first round greatly helped them in winning the title at the end of the day. “They did all the hardwork in the first round and this made the second round a little easier for them,” he said. Speaking also, Colin Udoh, a football journalist, expressed satisfaction with the way the league ended. “The winners of the league actually deserved it,” he said. Udoh said the suspense and uncertainty which marked the end of the season made it even more interesting, with all three contenders playing away from home. “They all had a chance of clinching the title on the final day of the season. “Pillars faced a tough duel in Katsina-Ala against Lobi Stars who needed all the three points to stay afloat. “Bayelsa United also needed the maximum three points to have any chance of lifting their second league title when they travelled to Gombe United. On the other hand, El-Kanemi Warriors faced the biggest opponents in Rangers International in Enugu, even though they were not desperate for the three points considering their position on the table,” he said. All three top contenders lost their away games while Enyimba, who were fourth before, sneaked into second position with 62 points after a 10 home win. Bayelsa United were third with 61 points, while El-Kanemi Warriors were fourth with 60 points.
HARD as the government tries to wish away the raging controversy over the incompetence and blatant frivolity of the aviation minister, Princess Stella Oduah, it just seems to erupt further. I would like to see how the President intends to handle this obvious challenge to his much touted anti-
already drawing up an elaborate plot to deal with those who exposed her. As her truculence dictates, the issue for her is not a consideration of how best to correct the obvious gaffe that has compromised her and the entire government’s reputation, but how best to launch a surreptitious plot to deal with those bold enough to
corruption battle. We have constantly been bombarded by canards from presidential spokesmen about how hard hitting the battle against corruption has been under this government and that this president has been most uncompromising in dealing with corrupt officials, even those close to him. It would be interesting to see how he intends to tackle this scandal that has roped one of his most vocal and loyal supporters since his 2010 campaign for the presidential seat. Even when the police pension trials ended in questionable verdicts, we were told that this was only a slight hitch and it would not affect the spirit of an anti corruption campaign that recognised no sacred cows. It was the same with the subsidy scandal. Now that it involves a member of the president’s inner circle, who evidently considers an imagined threat to her life a more pressing issue for the aviation ministry than the improvement of safety standards for millions of Nigerians, will reason supersede emotions here? Let us hope so. It would be inconceivable that a government, which vehemently defends its commitment to fighting graft and nepotism, would allow the use of public funds for frivolous extrabudgetary purposes, or simply keep mum over the resulting controversy in the hope that it will simply go away. In the usual style that seems now to be the trademark of this administration, there are reports that the minister and her cronies are
expose her flaws. This is the person in charge of a sector as sensitive as aviation. The aviation minister, whose sense of fashion betrays her penchant for the excessive, has tried, without success, to sell herself as a technocrat who has a clear understanding of the rudiments of administration. She has tried to stand her grounds against a stream of criticisms over her failure in implementing regulatory policies that could have saved many lives. She insists that her policies have been effective but the records tell a different story. Since 2011, there have been seven crashes and two near misses. The tale of disasters starts with a cargo Aircraft of Allied Airlines, which crashed in June 2, 2012 in Accra, Ghana, with 10 people killed. The next was the Dana Airlines crash of June 3, 2012 in Lagos that claimed the lives of 153 persons. Next was a Nigeria Police Helicopter that crashed on March 23, 2012 in which a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and three officers on board and several other people in Kabong Village, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau state, were killed; then came Odenegene Air Services (OAS Helicopter), which crashed enroute Akure in 2012, all on board were killed. The Taraba State Governor’s aircraft crash in Adamawa state on October, 2012 was well publicised. The Governor, Danbaba Suntai and others survived but were seriously injured. There was the Augusta 109
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
helicopter crash in Bayelsa State that claimed the lives of former National Security Adviser (NSA) General Azazi, Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, two naval pilots and two aides on December 15, 2012. The most recent was the Associated Airlines crash on October 3, 2013 in Lagos that claimed the lives of 16 persons on
Aviation Minister’s Personal Safety Or Prevention Of Air Mishaps: Which Comes First?
Princess Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation board with 4 injured. There have also been three near crashes: one was a Kabo Air aircraft on October 4, 2013, Maxi aircraft on October 4, 2013, and IRS airlines on October 13. The minister ’s response to public outcry over the spate of crashes and the obvious complacency of the regulatory agencies, under the control of the Aviation ministry, in these incidences reeks of the mediocrity that pervades leadership today. She thinks that all these crashes have simply been acts of divine design and not the consequences of obvious flaws in the implementation of regulations; in fact she hits back at critics of the ministry’s incompetences, calling them “drunks and drug addicts” who choose to cast aspersions from the comfy confines of beer parlours. Well, I have always been told that only
a mad man can tell when another mad man speaks: I hope that, in this instance, this aphorism does not explain her rant. The minister’s explanation of the cause of plane crashes, immediately after the Associated Airlines incident, exposes an obvous inanity that would immediately disqualify her from holding public office in any country where governance is taken seriously. Rather than publicly committing to immediate investigation of possible technical incompetences on the part of the regulatory bodies as the most obvious response to an abnormally high number of crashes, she starts by claiming devine involvement as if her duty as minister straddles a thin line between the supernatural and the earthly. It seems like the minister is revelling in the imaginary successes that her administration’s
canards have continued to promote than face the reality around her. Burnishing the facts with statistics that even the experts in the industry do not know about further reduces whatever little confidence the public may have had in her. As the minister speaks glowingly about her many renovation efforts, she ignores the fact that Nigeria’s aviation industry regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, is yet to certify any of the 22 airports in the country because the airports have been unable to meet the requirements on the regulator’s checklist, particularly in the area of security and safety in the last 20 years. The recent incidence when a thirteen year old boy beat airport security and hid in the wheel well of a Lagos bound flight from Benin is clear proof. According to reports, the security aspect has to do with control of access to the airport’s sterile areas or airside and the security of other major points like the catering departments, boarding gates, check-in points and perimeter fencing. The safety aspect deals with runway light, taxi way light, approach light, fire station and airport emergency response system. These are vital to airport operations. Madam minister seems proud of her misdirected “Restoration” efforts that concentrate on aesthetics rather than functionality. If these efforts have impressed Mr. President, it has clearly not fooled the aviation experts. I will draw some quotes from those who work in the aviation industry, and who have constantly expressed
worries about the inherent failings. Recently, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) petitioned the National Assembly over a New Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) that it says infringes on the 2006 Civil Aviation Act. It also complained about the overwhelming powers the new policy grants the minister of aviation. In the petition the AON accused the aviation minister of cashing in on the security challenges in the country to formulate a policy that gives overwhelming powers to the minister of aviation contrary to international standards. Part of the petition, as published in the national daily, reads: “The policy seeks the transfer of economic regulation to the Ministry of Aviation. This is a violation of Civil Aviation Regulation, Paragraph 18 Volume II, covered by the official Gazette. Violating this regulation automatically violates the Civil Aviation Act which is the Law of the Parliament”. The minister may shrug such complaints off as the rantings from “nattering nabobs of negativism”- to borrow the words of Spiro Agnew- but she cannot ignore the fact that the international ratings she so eagerly points to as proof of her successes do not mean much to the lives already lost, neither do they hide the fact that Nigeria’s rates of air accidents have surpassed those of other country’s with same international ratings and less budgetary support. Something must be wrong. We may be drunk, but the disasters are real.
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