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THE WEEKEND

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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

PUBLISHED SINCE OCTOBER 6, 1990 • Vol. XI NO.3,237 • SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014 • N100.00

DISCOURSE

ISSUES

Marital Invasion Beget Irreconciliable Differences

Much Ado About GDP Rebasing

Pages 16-17

- Page 13

Royal Fathers Chide Ize-Iyamu For Decamping To PDP

ROYAL fathers in Edo South Senatorial District have taken a swipe at Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for decamping from the All Progressive Congress (APC), saying his motives are selfish and he is singing the same old song The Enigie, numbering said they defected over sixty who paid a because the Governor courtesy visit to the did not supervise the Governor at the conduct of your party Government House, congresses in a yesterday said they are democratic manner, so happy with the we are glad that was the development strides of only thing they said. They the Governor, especially did not say it was in Edo South and have because of bad absolute confidence in governance or because his government. of the bad thing you did Chairman of the to the Benin people. Enigie, HRH Edomwonyi “It is pathetic and Iduozee Ogiegbaen, shameful because that Enogie of Egbaen-Siluko was the same reason and five other royal they gave when they left fathers spoke on behalf of the PDP just a few years the Enigie. ago. They said the According to HRH powers-that-be of the Osazuwa Idurase, party deregistered them Enogie of Eyaen, the and did not conduct the reasons given by Ize- party congresses in a true Iyamu for defection are democratic process. selfish and not in the They are singing the interest of the people of same old song. the state. “Those who left the He said: “the defectors APC, for instance, we

hear left because they believe their chances of running for Governorship is being frustrated. We hear they have been offered the Deputy Governorship position provided they are able to destabilize the party they are coming from. “If the highest price they will get for leaving the party is an offer of the opportunity to be a running mate to a Governorship candidate from another Senatorial area, we do not see their logic or the wisdom. In any case, the Lord knows who will be there in 2016.” In an address by the Public Relations Officer of the Enigie, HRH. Professor Aduwa Ogiegban, (the Enogie of Ogbeson), the royal father said, “Everybody that is here today is representing a community. Everyone of us is authentic and nobody is fake.

THE State Congress of the All Progressive Congress (APC) earlier scheduled to hold on Saturday, May 24, 2014 has been postponed.

inconvenience this change in date may have caused our party members and faithful. Signed: APC Congress Committee.

“We have watched over the years as you provide development across the nooks and crannies of the state; from Edo South to Edo North. But we are from Edo South and we will be concerned with that in

this visit”. The royal father maintained, “you are about six years in office now and we have seen the changes that have taken place in Edo South. Sir, we appreciate you because you are God-sent.

“Prior to your coming as Governor, we know what our senatorial district looked like; it was shoddy, dirty, no good roads, no potable water, health facilities were in shambles.” He said, “We are here to appreciate you for the

development you brought t o Edo State and Edo South in particular. Some people said you have not been carrying them along but all the Enigie here and those at home have come to say that we have been carried along by you.

Continued on page 4

APC State Congress Now To Hold Monday, May 26 The State Congress will now hold on Monday, May 26, 2014 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City from 10:00 am prompt. We regret any

ISSUES

VISIT: Governor Adams Oshiomhole and HRH, Edomwonyi Iduoze Ogiegbaen, Enogie of Egbaen-Siluko during a visit of the Enigie in Edo South to the Governor in Benin City, yesterday.

INSIGHT

Adopt Full Public Funding For Nigerian Elections - Page 11

Nigeria’s Bringback Our Girls War of 2014 - Page 8

ECONOMY Evolving Sustainable Economic Growth In Nigeria - Page 20


THE WEEKEND

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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

e

N ws Edo State Baptist Conference Ended Yesterday THE three day prayer programme of Edo State Baptist Conference, which started on Wednesday the 21st of May came to an end yesterday. The theme was God will trouble your adversaries. The Guest Speaker Rev. Chris Igbogi took his text from Zechariah 1:14-18 and said the horns referred to in this passage can be likened to those things that trouble us individually or our state and nation generally. He also said the horns, can be seen,

Secretary to the State Government, Edo State, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere (right) in a handshake with the National President, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Mr. Bode Adeaga, during a courtesy visit to Government House, Benin City yesterday. PHOTO: QUEENETH A. OROBEDO.

Group Opposes New Guideline For UNIBEN VC

EDO Unity League, a socio-cultural organization, has vehemently opposed the ten-yearsof-Professorship rule as one of the guidelines for the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin. The group in a statement by its Vice Chairman, Edo North Chapter, Arc. Augustine E. Obadan, disclosed that the guidelines for the Vice Chancellorship race which were due to be advertised by the Registrar of the University of Benin, was a fallout of the resolution of the Governing Council Meeting of last week. The statement described the ten-years-of-professorship rule as “alien and anathema to the wheel of fairness and justice.” It pointed out that such rule was

not a criteria in the University of Nigeria Nsukka and others, wondered why the University of Benin. The EUL noted that as one of the major host community organization of the University, it cannot shy away from critical issues or exercise that can make or mar the institution’s corporate existence or integrity, hence it considered it expedient to publicity address the selection of a successor for the Vice Chancellorship position of the University of Benin. The group asserted that while it “cannot support cumpenpetty Professor(s) of Benin ori-

gin to take over the Vice Chancellorship of a sensitive and special institution like UNIBEN,” its position is however predicated on its “resolve to ensure that only the best succeeds. Prof. Oshodin as VC, UNIBEN.” It added that “considering the gulf of betrayal and distrust that exists in our society today, it can only trust one of its own to continue to propagate a human-face administration style as Prof Osayuki Oshodin has established in University of Benin and her governing components.” While calling for the immediate removal of the ten-years-of-professorship rule, the EUL advised

Tax Evasion: NEITI Vows To Expose Oil Block Owners, Extractive Companies

THE Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has threatened to make public names of oil block owners and extractive companies which had been evading the payment of taxes. The Chairman of NEITI, Mr Ledum Mitee, who made the threat in Abuja at the capacity building workshop for civil society organisations, said this would curtail those companies’ fraudulent activities. Mitee said NEITI would engage the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to help it in exposing companies which are evading taxes in the oil and gas sector. According to him, the plan is in line with the revised standards of global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to hold the companies accountable. “Thus, the revised EITI standards require, for instance, disclosure of production figure, dis-

closure of ownership of the licence-holders and disclosure of beneficiary ownership,’’ the NEITI chairman said. He explained that the new standards also require improved reliability of data transparency on the part of state-owned companies and other government agencies on revenue collected on behalf of government. Mitee, who harped on the need to restore transparency in the extractive industry, said NEITI was ready to collaborate with CAC to identify people behind these companies. “If you say XYZ Limited is this company and all that, sometimes it is abstract and it does not convey the information you want to convey. “So the new process is going to ask us to report on the beneficial ownership, which means for the first time we are engaging

CAC, for them to tell us the people behind those companies,’’ he said. The NEITI chairman said the new standards focus on expenditure, social services, public infrastructure and fuel subsidy payments, adding that the revised standards encourage contract transparency from companies and government. Mitee, however, disclosed that the aspects of the new standards, which were not captured by the current NEITI processes, would be incorporated in the 2012 audit reports now in progress. NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the Fiscal Allocation Disbursement Audit covering the period 20072011 has been concluded and would soon be made public. Ahmed was represented by the Director of Civil Service Organisation, Mr Peter Ogbobine.

that “the selection of a successor vice chancellor, UNIBEN, must be transparent, fair, flexible, global-best practice based, and above all, it must address the collective yearnings and aspirations of Edo people, God, our ancestors and the founding fathers of the university. “We are watching, strategically positioned and fully prepared. We will resist any act of marginalization against our home front,” the statement added.

firstly as politics where family members now turn enemies because they belong to different parties and this has been extended to the church today leading to disagreement in the house of God. Secondly morality which turns people away from God and thirdly as witchcraft or cultism which causes jealousy, selfishness and wickedness which can disturb you so much so that nothing good can come out of you. He enjoined the people to flee from all these evil things so that they can pray to “God and God will truly fight their adversaries”.

Confab Resolves Contending Issues, Adopts Citizenship And Immigration Committee Report THE National Conference in Abuja has resolved contending issues and adopted the amended report of the conference committee on Citizenship, Immigration and Related Matters. Reports state that the report was on Wednesday suspended over contentious issues which centred on the provision and funding of grazing reserves and new technologies for herdsmen. The committee had recommended that grazing reserves and new technologies such as hydroponic fodder solution for feeding cattle be promoted by government. It also recommended that dedicated funds for the acculturation and acclimatisation of herdsmen should be provided for herdsmen for them to settle at designated grazing reserves. While some of the delegates believed states where herdsmen came

from should be responsible for providing and funding grazing, others said that it should be the responsibility of the host government. The adoption of the committee report was preceded by a motion sponsored by 14 delegates and read by Mr Festus Okoye representing Civil Society Organisations, which resolved the contending issues. The motion, which contained three prayers sought that an integrated development and livelihood modernisation programme be implemented. Okoye said the motion addressed settling of nomadic herdsmen into communities based on establishment of cattle ranches with fodder development technologies; including abattoirs, processors and other businesses along livestock value chain.

War Against Terror: FG Advise

Media THE Federal Government has expressed concern over photographs being published by the media on the ongoing war against insurgency, saying they could mislead and create wrong impression in people. Mr Mike Omeri, the Coordinator, National Information Centre, said this in Abuja while giving an update on the operations to rescue the abducted Chibok schoolgirls at a joint news conference. “The centre notes the emerging trend of misleading photographs published by the media. “The truth is that these photographs give wrong impressions in the minds of members of the public on efforts of the government in checking the current security challenges in the country. “We take this opportunity to appeal to the media and other groups to refrain from releasing information of any kind that can harm the ongoing security operations against insurgency,’’ he said. Omeri, however, said government welcome the growing as-

sistance by the international community in the effort to rescue the girls and re-unite them with their families. He thanked the coalition of social groups in the country, including Civil Society Organisations and trade unions for supporting the quest to rescue the girls. “I assured them that there is light at the end of the tunnel,’’ he said. On the Tuesday twin explosions in Jos, Omeri said government was determined to fish out and prosecute the perpetrators and gave the assurance that terrorism and other forms of crimes would be defeated. In a related development, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has described the allegation of genocide against the Nigerian military by a Kaduna-based cleric as “diversionary and unfortunate.’’ The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja. He said “the DHQ wishes to unequivocally dissociate the military from any involvement in the

alleged genocide , as depicted in graphic pictures, which appeared in the front page of one of the national dailies on May 22, entitled: “Alleged Killing Field in Borno.’’ He said that while the military continued to respect freedom of expression of Nigerians, it would not submit to desperate blackmail and propaganda aimed at diverting attention and pitching public opinion against the armed forces. Olukolade, however, reiterated the determination of the military to continue being a professional force, whose operation was guided by high standard of professional ethics. He said “at no time or event in the course of the counter-insurgency operation, had troops embarked on extra-judicial killing of civilians as exhibited in the gory pictures. “The location and occasion where the events captured in the pictures were taken is unknown and had no bearing whatsoever as insinuated in the report.’’


THE WEEKEND

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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

NEWS

CRIME

Police Arraign 3 For Setting Car Ablaze THE police in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, has arraigned three men in an Upper Area Court for setting another man’s car ablaze. The men, Shuaibu Laweli, 26, Sani Nasiru, 25, and Haruna SAlisu, 27, all of Ado Emir House, One Man Village, New Karu, Nasarawa State, are facing charge of malicious damage. The prosecutor, Jospeh Ahua, told the court that the matter was reported at the State C.I.D on April 12 by one Isah Edibo, who resides behind Hotel Karu, Karu Local Government Area. Ahua alleged that the accused persons conspired and malicious destroyed the complainant’s Toyota car marked XD 718 ABC valued at 1.2 million, by setting it ablaze after an accident. He said that the offence was contrary to the Penal Code. The prosecutor then prayed the court not to grant the accused persons bail, saying that they would interfere with

investigation. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The counsel to the accused, Mr A.S. Atumbah, prayed the court to grant them bail, saying that it was at the discretion of the court. The presiding judge, Mr Vincent Gwehemba, granted them bail for N100,000 with one surety each. He said the sureties must be reasonable and responsible persons, residing within the court’s jurisdiction and adjourned the case till June 14 for hearing.

Maj.-General Abubakar Gana, Commandant, Nigerian Army College of Logistics presents a plaque to Governor Adams Oshiomhole during a courtesy visit of the directing staff and students of the College to the Governor in Bnin City yesterday.

NDLEA Arraigns “Mad Man” For Alleged Possession Of 7.5kgs Of Cannabis Sativa JAMES Ugbo, who disguised himself as a mad man, was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Enugu charged with possession of 7.5 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arraigned the accused on a one-count

charge of selling a substance suspected to be cannabis sativa. The prosecution counsel, Mr Moses Onyia, said that following a tip off from a source, the accused was arrested on Emene expressway, Enugu as a mad man. He said the accused disguised as a mad man

during the day and changed to a normal person in the night. Onyia said the accused had two ‘Ghana must go’ bags by his side on the expressway as a mad man. He said when the NDLEA arrested and searched the bags, 7.5 kgs of cannabis sativa was found inside. The counsel said the

Court Sentences 4 Vagrant To 1 Month In A Grade 1 Area Court in nuisance. Kado, Abuja, has Prison For Wandering Earlier, the prosecutor, after they pleaded guilty. sentenced four vagrants for wandering and constituting public nuisance. The Presiding Judge, Malam Abubakar Sadiq, sentenced Kingsley Onyebuchi, 20; Micheal Zaka, 22; Jerry Isaiah, 18 and Smart Barnabas, 23,

Sadiq, however, gave them an option to pay a fine of N3,000 each. Meanwhile, Sadiq admitted three others, Ibrahim Kabir, 24; Simeon Dele,19; Mubarak Makama, 21 to bail in the sum of N2,000 each, after

they pleaded not guilty to same offence. The presiding judge then adjourned hearing on the three others until June 23. The accused persons, all of no fixed addresses, were charged with wandering and constituting public

2 Bag Six Months Imprisonment For Stealing theft of the rams on AN Upper Area Court in Rams In Taraba and arraignment on May 5. Jalingo has sentenced two tricycle operators, Isa Mohammed and Fidelis Baffa, to six months imprisonment each for stealing two rams. The court, however, gave Mohammed, 29, and Baffa, 32, an option of N4, 000 fine each. The Judge, Mohammed Musa, said that evidence before the court showed that the tricycle operators were

caught in possession of stolen animals. He said that the punishment was light because the convicts were first time offenders. Musa warned the convicts against committing crimes in the future, saying that they were healthy adults who could earn a living lawfully. Reports state that Mohammed and Baffa had pleaded guilty to conspiracy

The Prosecutor, Cpl. Usman Dahiru, had told the court that the convicts were apprehended while grabbing the rams into a tricycle on May 4. He said that the convicts were caught by Sabon Gari Vigilance Group led by Mr Baba Danmallam. Dahiru said the offences contravened Sections 97 and 288 of the Penal Code.

Sgt. Saliyu Mohammed, told the court that SP Abdul Akubo and his team arrested the accused persons around Daki Biyu Village and Magape Village area of Life Camp, Abuja, on May 19. Mohammed said that when the accused persons were arrested, they could not give satisfactory account of themselves, which contravened the provisions of Section 198 of the Penal Code. If found guilty, the accused persons are liable to a jail term of not less than one year each or with an option of fine. After the charges were read to them, Kingsley, Micheal, Jerry and Smarth admitted committing the crime, while the three others pleaded not guilty.

accused sold the substance to some commercial bus drivers that ply that road. He said the NDLEA took the accused to the hospital for mental examination and the result indicated that he was of sound mind. Onyia said the accused was arrested on January 14 and was still in the prison custody. The counsel to the accused, Mr Innocent Orji,

said his client had never disguised himself as a mad man, saying that he was living with his wife and three children in Emene. “How can a right thinking human being disguise himself as a mad man just to make money. “My client is living in Emene. How can he disguise himself as a mad man in the same Emene where he is living,” he said.

Court Sentences Man To 7 Months In Prison For Stealing Building Materials AN Upper Area court in Zuba, FCT has sentenced a trader, Awwal Babaji, 20, of Dei Dei junctionAbuja, to seven months in prison for stealing from a building site. Babaji, who resides in Dei-Dei, is charged with theft. Malam Aminu Sa’ad, the presiding judge, sentenced Babaji after he pleaded guilty. Sa’ad, however, gave the convict an option of N40,000 fine. Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl. Momoh Ibrahim, told the court that on April 18, Malam Haruna Abubakar of Kubwa,

FCT, lodged complaints at the Zuba Police Station. Ibrahim said Babaji went to the complainant’s building site at Shagari Quarters and stole two wheel barrows, one bathroom basin, two toilet W.C., 10 pieces of burglary fence, 15 planks and seven flush doors. He said the total value of the stolen property is N228,500. The prosecutor said during police investigation, Babaji admitted to committing the crime. He said the offence contravened the provision of Section 288 of the Penal Code.


THE WEEKEND

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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

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N ws Royal Fathers Chide Ize-Iyamu For Decamping Continued from page 1 To PDP best and anyone else thinks you “Some people said that your government is a one-man show, we know better than that and if by one man’s show, they mean the government of Oshiomhole for the generality of all, and not for the few, so be it. If that is what modern democracy looks like, we will take it”, he said. The royal father sited some areas where the Governor has performed wonderfully to include Sapele Road, Mission Road, Airport Road, Siluko Road, New Lagos Road, 5 junction, Uselu Road, Ogan/ Igbanke Road, Urhornigbe/ Urohmili road and several other roads in the state. “The educational sector has been transformed and Health Centers have been built and facilities provided where there have been none. “You provided succor for our children. Many schools have been renovated and wearing the red- roof. We know you are going to do more. The problem is that you started from the scratch. There was not much for you to build on.” He stressed “In some parts of the state, you went down the deep sea to provide clean water for the people and that is where some people feared they would get drowned in the deep blue sea. The royal father said: “Those who are going home, the socalled home that is in ruins, allow them go because we do not want to return to the dark ages which they took us to some years back”. According to him, “The era of the stone age is over. We want to tell you that gone are the days when the Enigies were referred to as uneducated people. We are on the path of development Responding, Governor Oshiomhole expressed thanks to the Enigie for their show of solidarity. Oshiomhole said, “I am really short of words this afternoon and I do not have the appropriate words to express

myself but just to say sir, your royal highnesses that I am extremely grateful. “I have made this point everywhere, even within our own household, that for the rest of my life, I will always remain indebted to the great people of the great Benin Kingdom. “Beginning with his Royal Majesty, the Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, the Oba of Benin to all of you Enigie, you have shown me uncommon love and encouragement over the years”. Oshiomhole said, “It is possible for you to do your very best or to feel you are doing your

are doing nothing, so I want to thank you so much for your consistent support for my person, my administration and the government of Edo State.”. Governor Oshiomhole assured the Enigie that he will never disappoint them. The other royal fathers who spoke include Prof Aduwa Ogiegbaen, the Enogie of Ogbeson; HRH Edun Akenzua, Enogie of Obazuwa; Prof Greg Akenzua, Enogie of Evbuobanosa; HRH David Ehigiamusoe Igiehon, Enogie of Ehor and HRH Edomwonyi Iduoze Ogiegbaenm Ebogie of Egbaen-Siluko.

BENIN CITY - Some loyalists of a former leader of the All Progressive Congress in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu have backed out of his decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party saying they remain strong and staunch members of the All Progressive Congress. Spokesman of 27 leaders of the loyalists, Hon. Promise Igbinevbu said the defectors are merely fighting for their own interests and not the interest of their followers and the people of the state. He said the government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has performed beyond expectations and anyone who criticizes such

an achieving government is merely deceiving himself. “The same leader who said they are aggrieved today and defected to the PDP, we have the belief that they are fighting for their parochial interest to the detriment of their followers. They cannot deny it because they have enjoyed this government because we are their followers. “We are the soldiers in the field that were used to deliver Edo South. We are mature enough because we see the works you have done so far for the common people. The few people who have left APC, who call themselves the

Confab: Akinyemi Harps On Proper Conduct By Delegates At Plenary

PROF. Bolaji Akinyemi, Deputy Chairman, National Conference has advised delegates to the conference to conduct themselves properly, given their status in the society. He gave the advice following intermittent use of contentious words by some delegates over some issues at the plenary. Akinyemi reminded the delegates of the importance of the conference adding that most Nigerians were watching the proceedings emanating from such a national assignment. The deputy chairman who commended Justice Idris Kutigi (rtd), Chairman of the conference for his “forbearance and wisdom in handling issues at plenary”, Akinyemi also urged delegates to remain civil in their utterances. “Civility is not an act of weakness and crudity is not a sign of strength; let us keep that in mind. “You have rules of procedure, if you refuse to be governed by what you approved, then what do you want to be governed by,” he said. Reacting, Chief Mike Ozekhome, a Federal Government delegate, said

that delegates had behaved themselves well, given the magnitude of the conference. He said delegates ought to be commended and not reprimanded following the manner in which they had conducted themselves

irrespective of disagreement over certain issues. “I commend the leadership of the conference but I want to disagree with those who are giving the impression that we are unruly here. “I have watched parliaments

accusing the University’s Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, of negligence which allegedly caused the death of one Chiwendu Okafor. Okafor was a 200-level Political Science student of the university. Some of the students, who spoke during the protest, said the deceased was found in his hostel secreting foams from his mouth and was rushed to the hospital for medical attention. A course mate of the deceased, who pleaded anonymity while speaking to newsmen said the deceased was brought to the hospital alive, but his condition worsened after medical help was allegedly delayed. He said Okafor drank a substance called sniper

(poison) and started bringing out foams from his mouth. The student alleged that the deceased bought the sniper, saying he would use it to kill mosquitoes but eventually used it on himself. “Okafor was a lively person and well known in the Political Science Department; why he took the poison we cannot tell,’’ he said. The Chief Medical Director, (CMD), University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Dr Peter Alabi, told newsmen that Okafor was brought to the hospital dead. He said the doctor, who was on duty at the casualty on May 21, confirmed him dead and referred his remains to be kept in the mortuary. Alabi said that the medical record of Okafor described him

document as an attempt by the Executive to indirectly return the 2014 budget to the National Assembly through the back door. “This amounts to indirectly returning the budget to the National Assembly through the back door. “We have completed work on the budget and it is waiting to be assented to by Mr President. “So, I do not see any reason for anybody to bring any budget or expenditure of any agency back to the chamber here, “ he reacted. Sen. James Manager (PDPDelta) said the re-introduction of the 2014 budget document amounted to rubbishing the work already done by senators on the 2014 budget. Manager urged the senate to reject the document in its entirety because Nigerians were anxiously looking awaited the President’s assent of the the budget “This is strange. That means the committees did not do

across the world including Nigerian parliament, where people have disagreed with passion. “We have not conducted ourselves badly at all. I think we need to be commended for behaving well in spite of the feelings over some issues,” he said.

UniAbuja Students Protest Over Death Of as “a lifeless young man, an STUDENTS of the University Colleague undergraduate, brought to the of Abuja has staged a protest,

New 2014 Budget Entry Throws Senate Into Confusion

THERE was uproar on the floor of the Senate following a perceived re-introduction of 2014 budget proposal of some federal agencies for consideration by the senators. The senators were agitated over an entry titled: ‘2014 budget proposal of Federal Government parastatals’, which was listed in the day’s Order Paper. The senators unanimously condemned the attempt to present another budget for the federal agencies which were already captured in the recently passed 2014 national budget of N4.6 trillion. The document read by the Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Abdul Ningi contained 2014 Budget estimates for 52 federal agencies including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), among others. Sen. Smart Adeyemi (PDP-Kogi) described the

Ize-Iyamu’s loyalists back out of defection plot

anything during the budget defence. “Almost all the issues here have been dealt with during the budget defence. There are some isolated cases like the CBN. “The National Assembly and the entire country is expecting our brand new budget to be assented to by Mr President, “he declared. Also rejecting the document, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia) said: “We have already dealt with the budget. “And if there is no substantive motion for rescission we can no longer consider anything that comes on this floor as a national budget.” Similarly, Sen. Ahmed Lawal (APC-Yobe) urged the senators to throw out the document because it did not come as official communication from the President. “I wish to note that even the tone of the correspondence and the way Rules and Business scheduled this is

wrong because this is supposed to be a money bill. “It should be noted that there was no letter read here with regards to this particular request by Mr President. Sen. Ayogu Eze (PDPEnugu) called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the re-introduction of the document by the Rules and Business Committee.

hospital in a car”. “ They did not bring him down from the car with secretion from his mouth,’’ he said. Alabi said there was no issue of negligence on the part of the hospital. He said the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, had a policy that anybody brought to the casualty should be given all attention. The CMD said that the policy also required that even if it was obvious that the doctors would need a police report, the patient must first be attended to. “So, we did not reject anybody on account of not involving the police.’’ The Divisional Police Officer in Gwagwalada, Mr Patrick Daaor, also told newsmen that the police had begun investigations to know the cause of Okafor’s death. Daaor said the deceased’s room mate, Zelux Akinlabi, who allegedly saw him last before his death had been invited by the police, and was currently undergoing investigation. He said as soon as the police were through with their investigation, they would release Akinlabi to the security department of the university. “We got the information from his roommate that the deceased drank the substance called sniper.“

political guru, these people sit down in their houses and they don’t think of the common people”, he said. He explained, “We have decided to move ourselves out of the faction. We told them we are not decamping with them. We have disassociated ourselves from the Ize Iyamu faction. We are tired of leaders of intimidation and oppression. Now that they have left APC for PDP, I think we will have peace. “The people of Edo State want to enjoy more dividends of democracy. The same people who left the APC had become threat to the State Government because of what they want to get from the government. They are greedy” he added. Also, youths of the All Progressives Congress across the state on a solidarity visit to the Governor say they are firmly behind him. Spokesman of the Youths, Aghedo Oscar, said they were in Government House to pass a vote of confidence on the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Comrade Aghedo said, “We are here to tell you we are solidly behind you. We are celebrating the exit of 419 politicians from the APC.They have been constituting nuisance in the wheel of progress and it is good riddiance to bad rubbish”. Other youths who addressed the Governor in Yoruba, Ishan, Hausa and Ibo said their faith in the APC remains unshaken, even if a few people leave the house they helped to build. Responding, Governor Oshiomhole said, “I want to thank you for standing firm on principles, on what you believe in. It is in moments like this that we separate the boys from the men. “When I stepped forward to contest for this office, I made only one promise that I will do my best to lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth and development of Edo State and to improve on the welfare of the people. “In Benin City, I made the point that whereas tPe rest of the country prays for rain, we have enough of it here but that people get scared when it threatens to rain and it was as if there was nothing that can be done about it. Not a few people lost their children because of flooding problem and today they can’t believe that flood has disappeared because of the Benin City Water Storm Master Plan.

UN Imposes Sanctions On Boko Haram

THE UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee has approved the addition of Boko Haram to its list of groups subject to financial and arms sanctions. Reports say that Nigeria sponsored the proposal to add the terrorist group to UN sanctions list. Under the terms of the sanctions, it is now an offence for any individual or entity to provide financial or material support to Boko Haram, including the provision of arms or recruits. Nigeria’s permanent representative to the UN, Prof.

Joy Ogwu, catalogued Boko Haram atrocities in the country, including the August 26, 2011 bomb attack on UN building in Abuja. In his reaction, the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, welcomed the resolution, saying the UK had shown its strong support for securing the listing and co-sponsored Nigeria’s proposal. “I welcome the listing of Boko Haram by the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee. “Boko Haram is an inhumane organisation who has no respect for religion or belief or a

persons’ right to decide their way of life. “Attacks by these violent extremists are causing suffering in communities across Nigeria. Britain was the first country to proscribe Boko Haram and was pleased to support Nigeria’s demand that the UN take action. Hague recalled that at the Paris Summit on Security in Nigeria last Saturday, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin, agreed to pursue sanctions against Boko Haram at the UN. He said the UK, U.S. and EU also supported the move which demonstrated the international community’s support for Nigeria’s neighbours.


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“In actual fact there is nothing like dividend of democracy in Nigeria at the center because you can only have a dividend when your investment begin to yield and truly yield a profit. Thus it is rare to have a dividend were one has not invested. So what can the ruling power, or party say it has invested on Nigeria and Nigerians?”

Nigeria: 14 Years Of Anomie HOW many Nigerians had wished for the return of democracy when the country was held bound by military rule. In fact many Nigerians actually sacrificed their personal comfort and lives to ensure that democracy returned to the bereaved nation. Many Nigerians had also fought tooth and nail, agitated and struggled seizelessly for the return of democracy. In the same vein many Nigerian patriots and comrades from all stratras of society also lost their lives, while others went into forced exiles to escape from the strong grips of tyranny and despotism that had taken over the country during those dark days. After enduring continued period of darkness and suffocation, eventually God Almighty restored democracy to Nigeria miraculously when the people lest expected it. On May 29, 1999, after almost twenty years of military interregnum, began another era of democracy in Nigeria. The Peoples Democratic Party PDP under the leadership of General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) won the general election and was sworn-in on that suspicious day May 29, 1999 to the satisfaction

of everyone. Thus Nigerians had heaved a sign of relief, and with great expectation looked forward to a life of peace, growth, development and progress. But 14

the greed of PDP leaders who choose to serve themselves rather than fulfill their obligation to Nigerians. This is not just the views of a critique of PDP’s inept

• Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

years into our d e m o c r a t i c dispensation, there is virtually nothing on ground to console us of our sad fate and destiny. The bitter filling UP of misfortunes, pain and suffering as a result of PDP’s misrule, misgovernance, maladministration and its failure to fight the mighty corruption has plunged Nigeria into the depth of socio-economic quagmire leaving it hanging by the precipice. According to Jude Oluwajuyitan in a recent write up in the nation of Thursday August 29, 2013”… they remain intractable because of

on the faces of the masses those who have been voting for them. It is a shame indeed that the PDP has failed to deliver the so-called “dividend of democracy”

PDP’s investment on Nigeria and on Nigerians is corruption, looting of public treasury and dissention. And sadly what is the dividend of its investment on Nigeria

• President Goodluck Jonathan

management of the nations affairs, it is also that of the various probe bodies set up by the government itself as well as that of the judiciary that at different periods indicted nearly all the past PDP chairmen, past senate presidents, past speakers of the Lower House, ex-governors some of whom have served jail terms at home for financial malfeasance or abroad for money laundering”. It is therefore regrettable, shameful and scornful that of the 14 years of PDP’s misrule, that the ruling party cannot put smiles

a phrase coined by the media to Nigerians. In actual fact there is nothing like dividend of democracy in Nigeria at the center because you can only have a dividend when your investment begin to yield and truly yield a profit. Thus it is rare to have a dividend were one has not invested. So what can the ruling power, or party say it has invested on Nigeria and Nigerians? What kind of investment has the ruling power invested in Nigerians that is supposed to attract the appropriate dividends? From what is on ground everywhere

and Nigerians is perhaps, nothing but misery and sorrow. Apart from these, PDP’s dividend of democracy to Nigerians in the past 14 years are so many that there is no space to enumerate them all here, but only to mention just a few (which has already made this writer sick) these includes, terrorism, insurgency, bitter ethnic rivalry and conflicts, religious bigotry, (leading to mass killings), mass murder, r e l i g i o u s fundamentalism, human trafficking, poverty, mass unemployment, epileptic

power supply, skyrocketing inflation, food insecurity, insecurity of life and property, program, genocide, socio-economic failure, failed infrastructures failed educational standard, failed water supply, dangerous roads, failed medical care, failed critical infrastructures and so on and so forth. In truth, Nigerians are worst off today than where they where 14 years ago. Today, most Nigerians have become traumatized as if they were living under war conditions. Most parts of Nigeria have become war zones due to the nauseating poverty and wretchedness. Thus the PDP as the so-called largest party in Africa in the last 14 years has plagued the Nigerian soul with darkness, wickedness, lies, and hatred. The PDP has led Nigeria with failed promises, with intrigues and uncertainty. The PDP has thus performed abysmally, abnormally, poorly and nonchalantly. The PDP has led Nigeria to the path of p r e d i c t i o n , retrogression, hostility, conflict, separatism, even as the state of anomie rules the land.

“The bitter filling UP of misfortunes, pain and suffering as a result of PDP’s misrule, misgovernance, maladministration and its failure to fight the mighty corruption has plunged Nigeria into the depth of socio-economic quagmire leaving it hanging by the precipice.”


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Stepping Up The Fight Against Boko Haram Insurgency By CHIJIOKE OKORONKWO

OBSERVERS have raised concerns about the sudden increase in attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in the northeastern part of the country in recent times. They note that the people of the region were beginning to heave a sigh of relief when the sect struck at Izge village in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno on Febeuary 15, killing no fewer than 106 people Reports indicate that no fewer than 47 people were killed at Bama, also in Borno, by the insurgents on February 19, in addition to several other persons who were slain at different locations in Borno and Yobe recently. Barely a week after this bloodshed, specifically on February 25, no fewer than 29 students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe, were killed in their dormitory.

Observers note that the pattern of the recent attacks calls for an urgent review of the various strategies adopted by the security agents to contain the violence. For instance, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno recently called for the commitment of more resources to prosecuting the campaign against Boko Haram insurgents, as the sect had become more daring. Shettima, who spoke to newsmen after a closedoor meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, said that the sect seemed to be better armed than the military. “Soon, we will stop playing the ostrich and rise up to the challenges of the day; we should marshal all resources towards neutralising the antics of Boko Haram. This is what I came to update President Goodluck Jonathan. “We need more resources; more boots on ground. In fairness to the

officers and men of the Nigerian Army and Police, they are doing their best, given the circumstances they have found themselves in,’’ he said. Shettima claimed that the terrorists had more sophisticated weapons, adding that they were also better motivated by their backers. However, the Federal Government disagreed with the governor ’s viewpoint, insisting that the security agents were equal to the task. Dr Doyin Okupe, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, rejected the notion that the military could not contain the Boko Haram insurgency. He said that Nigeria was winning the war, stressing that the country had the capacity to bring the activities of the Boko Haram sect to an end in no distant time. “We state authoritatively without any fear or equivocation whatsoever

that Nigeria is already winning the war against terror and the activities of the insurgents will be terminated within the shortest possible time. “We are certainly not involved in a conventional warfare but we are rather engaged in a guerrilla warfare, with all its unpredictability. “It is heart-warming that our military had acquired the sophistication and necessary capacity to adapt to the everchanging modus operandi of the insurgents. “It is, therefore, wrong for anyone, Nigerian or foreigner, to assert that our armed forces cannot defeat the Boko Haram insurgents or to insinuate that the insurgents are better armed. “We state categorically that the Nigerian military is one of the best equipped in Africa and that in 2014, the Federal Government made budgetary provision, in excess of N1 trillion, for the military and other security agencies. “This definitely belies the suggestion in certain quarters that the Federal Government is not doing the needful in prosecuting this war,’’ Okupe added. Sharing similar sentiments, Jonathan, at a recent media chat, described Shettima’s comments as “unfortunate’’. “The statement is a little bit unfortunate because you don’t expect a governor to make that kind of statement,’’ he said The president stressed that the dialogue option was still open, adding, however, that the Boko Haram sect was not

forthcoming, as they remained faceless. Jonathan, however, expressed the hope that Nigeria would soon surmount the problem of terrorism, which he described as a global problem. As part of efforts to review ongoing security operations in the region, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, has embarked on an operational tour of units under the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army. Minimah, who addressed the Operation Zamani Lafia troops during visits to their different locations in Borno and Yobe, advised the soldiers to make discipline their watchword at all times. He urged the soldiers to remain resolute in the face of security challenges facing the country, noting that the current security challenges would be surmounted if the troops remained resolute and vigilant. Minimah reminded the troops of their responsibility as soldiers, insisting that as professional soldiers, they must always rise to defend their fatherland. He, however, commended the troops for their hard work and dedication to duty, pledging that their welfare would always be his top priority. The army chief advised the soldiers to always abide by the rules of engagement in the conduct of ongoing military operation. “I am aware that your task is not an easy one, considering that you must defeat faceless and vicious enemies. “At the same time, you

must protect the rights of innocent citizens in the operational areas,’’ he said.’’ As a strategy in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents, the Federal Government on February 22 announced the closure of Nigeria’s border with Cameroon in the Adamawa axis. Brig.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Brigade Commander of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, said in a statement that the action became imperative because of cross-border attacks from the insurgents. “It is imperative to completely seal up the border because of illegal movements in and out of the country, coupled with the rising rate of insurgent activities in most of the bordering villages. “Miscreants were coming into our country from other countries before; so, I felt one of the best things to do was to totally close the border to enable my men to discharge their a s s i g n m e n t professionally. “We have passed adequate information to traditional rulers and our stations along the border areas. “Other security agencies such as the Customs Service and Immigration Service have been informed; our soldiers and police officers are also there to ensure that nothing crosses into Nigeria,’’ he said. In spite of the intensification of the Boko Haram violence, observers believe that efforts to contain the insurgency will be successful if pragmatic measures are adopted. They, nonetheless, underscore the need to further explore the dialogue option concerning discussions with the insurgents.


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IN the last few weeks, the issue of the abduction of nearly 200 students of a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State has been largely politicised. Rarely are the real mothers of the girls seen these days on television as some really concerned women and opportunists have taken the centre stage and relishing the attendant publicity, while the parents have been pushed to the background. But at least some measure of good is coming from the situation as a stakeholders’ meeting by First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has come up with a startling revelation that the recalcitrance of Governors Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Kashim Shettima of Borno and Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe may have inadvertently left the nation with this nauseating situation. Head of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Nigerian Office, Charles Eguridu, told the stakeholders gathered with Mrs Jonathan the fertile ground that led to the abduction of the girls was laid, after its request to the state governments for the relocation of the examination centre was ignored. His story: “When we made that representation (letter) to the three affected states, none of them responded to the honourable minister’s request. “We followed it up and I directed my zonal coordinator in Borno state in particular, to liaise with the Ministry of Education in Borno State, and the response we got was so disheartening. We were told that they had security in place for the candidates and that we should come and conduct the examination in the schools and that they were not ready to relocate their students from Chibok and other areas to Maiduguri or

Abducted Girls And The Recalcitrance Of North-East Governors nearby locations where security agencies could provide security. “They said if we failed to conduct the examinations, the world would blame us. And so at great risk, my officers went to Chibok and

By JOSEPHINE BABATUNDE another place called Ubah. And, as I speak, 189 candidates are continuing with the examination in Ubah.” While the most important

Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State

conducted the examinations. After the unfortunate incident in which the students were said to have been abducted, our staff now got a response from the state that they were then ready to relocate the remaining students to

move now is to get our daughters back home to us, away from the wicked and ravenous wolves that keep them, it is about time someone told the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors of these three states that while they may choose to play politics over other matters, they

should not do it at the risk of the lives of our children. In addition, political gymnastics with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled

State government is not to blame? While this is not the best of times for blamesharing, it has become increasingly clear that the federal government should cease wanting to do what is politically

Kashim Shettima of Borno State

federal government may be acceptable in some circumstances, but playing politics with a sub-regional agency is the basest of political behaviour. See where it has led the state government. And who is to say the Borno

correct and impose full and comprehensive emergency rule in the three states of the northeast, more so when the governors are intemperate, especially the drunken sailor, acting more like a rebel leader than a man trained, housed and fed from

“They said if we failed to conduct the examinations, the world would blame us. And so at great risk, my officers went to Chibok and conducted the examinations. After the unfortunate incident in which the students were said to have been abducted, our staff now got a response from the state that they were then ready to relocate the remaining students to another place called Ubah.”

federal resources for about three decades of his life. The source of his stupendous wealth and its movement in the last one year should also be investigated. Away from irresponsible leaders, the federal government should bring to bear its mighty weight upon the French-colonised countries of Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. A few oil deals the way of France may work the wonders that is required to bend France over backwards, while a strong message is delivered to these countries like General Muhammadu Buhari did in the early 80s when a similar group toyed with our territorial integrity. That bloody nose still remains fresh in the mind of our neighbours and a reiteration of our capacity to do it on a larger scale is needed at this time so that enemies without and within will know better not to mess with the federal government. Still on the matter of the kidnapped girls, it is a wonder that those who claim to be our international friends with all the technology in space were oblivious of the movement of the fanatics who moved around and captured 200 girls and redistributed them across countries as it has been claimed in some quarters. Friends, indeed! Also, while contributing to debates on the floor of the National Assembly, lawmakers regaled the nation with the activities of the so-called Boko Haram operatives, including how they were marrying the abducted girls. It makes you wonder how they know so much so soon. Moreover, how come our daughters are escaping from the insurgents when it appears the army is helpless. So, what exactly is going on in Borno State?


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I sight THE Yorubas in Nigeria sa Ònà o‘fun ò gba egungune ja. Meaning the throat cannot accommodate fish-bone. One of my weaknesses is history, reason being that I often do not understand why we often either make light of it or refuse to learn from it. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, and most populous black nation is at war and the frontiers are as confusing as can be. It’s now one month since the reported abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from their school in Chibok. They were writing their final exams. As of my penning this admonition, nothing has been done. The Americans have a dozen or so men of expertise, UK is helping with all the satellite tech and expertise too. France and China has promised ‘promises’ and as long as this sad drama continues, even Togo would promise help to Nigeria. So what is this bring back our girls war, most wars are fought over serious issues like territory, resources or political freedom, but others arise from bizarre and even comical circumstances. Over the years, armies have mobilized and blood has been shed over everything from tragic misunderstandings and perceived slights to petty border disputes and even sporting events. The Jenkins war In 1738, a British mariner named Robert Jenkins displayed a severed, decomposing ear before the members of Parliament. As part of a formal testimony, he claimed that a Spanish coastguard officer had sliced off his ear seven years earlier as punishment for smuggling. Spurred on by this stirring testimony, the British had soon declared war on the kingdom of Spain. Thus began the outlandish “War of Jenkins’ Ear.” The Pig War The controversy began in 1859 on San Juan Island, a chunk of land located between the mainland United States and Vancouver Island. At the time, the island was home to American settlers and British employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and both parties had laid claim to its fertile soil. The first and only shots of the Pig War came on June 15, 1859, when an American farmer named Lyman Cutlar

Nigeria’s Bring Back Our Girls War of 2014 gunned down a Britishowned black boar after he discovered the animal rooting through his potato patch. The ensuing argument over the dead hog increased tensions between the two groups of settlers, and Cutlar was eventually threatened with arrest. After the Americans reported the incident to the

nations would finally negotiate a deal allowing for joint military occupation of San Juan Island in October 1859, ending the Pig War as a bloodless

crossing the border into Bulgaria while chasing after his runaway dog. The shooting became a rallying cry for the Greeks, who soon after invaded

Mexico City during a military coup. One of the victims of the rioting was an expatriate French pastry chef named Remontel, whose small café was ransacked by looters. Mexican officials ignored his complaints, so Remontel petitioned the French government for compensation. His request sat unnoticed until

stalemate—save for one unfortunate hog. The Dog War In one of the most bizarre conflicts of the 20th century, a dog inadvertently triggered an international crisis. The incident was the culmination of a long period of hostility between Greece and Bulgaria, which had been at odds since the Second Balkan War in the 1910s. Tensions finally boiled over in October 1925, when a Greek soldier was shot after allegedly

Bulgaria and occupied several villages. They were even set to commence shelling the city of Petrich when the League of Nations finally intervened and condemned the attack. An international committee later negotiated a ceasefire between the two nations, but not before the misunderstanding had resulted in the deaths of some 50 people. The Pasta War In 1828, angry mobs destroyed large parts of

a decade later, when it came to the attention of King Louis-Philippe. The king was already furious that Mexico had failed to repay millions in loans, and now he demanded they pay 600,000 pesos to compensate the pastry chef for his losses. When the Mexicans balked at handing over such an astronomical sum, LouisPhilippe did the unexpected: He started a war. In October 1838, a

By PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON

Chibok Girls military, the U.S. Army dispatched Captain George Pickett—later a Confederate general during the Civil War—to San Juan with a small complement of troops. Pickett upped the ante by declaring the whole island U.S. property, and the British responded by sending a fleet of heavily armed naval vessels to the coastline. An absurd standoff ensued, and the situation remained on a knife-edge for several agonizing weeks. The two

“It’s now one month since the reported abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from their school in Chibok. They were writing their final exams. As of my penning this admonition, nothing has been done. The Americans have a dozen or so men of expertise, UK is helping with all the satellite tech and expertise too. France and China has promised ‘promises’ and as long as this sad drama continues, even Togo would promise help to Nigeria.”

French fleet arrived in Mexico and blockaded the city of Veracruz. When the Mexicans still refused to pay up, the ships began shelling the San Juan de Ulua citadel. A few minor battles followed, and by December as many as 250 soldiers had been killed. The famous general Santa Anna even came out of retirement to lead the Mexican army against the French, and he lost a leg after he was wounded by grapeshot. Fighting finally ended in March 1839, when the British government helped broker a peace deal. As part of the treaty, the Mexicans were forced to shell out the 600,000 pesos. The #bbog war Finally the #bringbackourgirls war has not been fought. On the contrary, though relegated to the background, another 8 women have been abducted, we have forgotten those abducted in February. The Boko boys have killed more, and blown a few bridges in barely a week, yet the Nigerian government’s best statement of intent is “we shall get them”. The war has been fought in protests in cities away from Chibok in Borno, the war has been fought by the likes of Mary J. Blige, Obama, and stars on the social media called twitter while there’s no electricity in Chibok. We have fought a Jonathan war than tear the evil called Boko Haram down. Rather than a war, we have conspiracy theories on the abduction itself, the number of girls, the mode of kidnap, the principal’s waka, the first lady’s discovery that “dia riz God”, where the parents are; we simply have refused to acknowledge there is an enemy and there is a war to fight, everybody and everything has some limitation, are we ready to face the menace, to face the aberration called shekau or fight boko haram–only time will tell. Yours In High Regards.


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An Open Letter To President Jonathan By RUFUS KAYODE OTENIYA DEAR Mr. Jonathan, With a troubled spirit, a bleeding soul and a broken heart I write you this letter. I pray that you receive the message with an open mind and with little regard to the messenger. My spirit is troubled by the unprecedented level of insecurity in our fatherland where preventable wanton loss of precious lives in droves is clearly becoming a norm. No one feels safe anymore since we cannot be sure of when, where and how the terrorists will strike next. A nation once the pride of her citizens is fast drifting to a pariah state. My soul bleeds for the victims of the Monday, 14 April 2014 Nyanya motor park bombings; for the over 70 hardworking Nigerians who met their shocking and untimely death while going out so early in the day in search of their daily bread and the numerous who were wounded, maimed and rendered disabled possibly for the rest of their lives. This barbaric act is highly condemnable and shouldn’t have happened. My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones and to those who survived but who would have to live with this trauma. My God grant them the fortitude to bear the loss and the strength to carry on. To those who have been widowed and orphaned, may God Almighty be your Helper. Also my heart still breaks with an overwhelming sorrow and grief over the hundreds of female teenage students abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, just a day

after the Abuja blast. The whereabouts of these lasses largely remains a mystery. A Yoruba adage says that ‘omo ku san ju omo s’onu’ meaning that a dead child is better than a missing child. When a child dies, the parent is agonised but this heals with time but when a child misses, the agony increases with time until the child is found. And where the child is not found, the parents and the family never know peace. The thought of not knowing what is happening to the lost ones can kill. I pray that the schoolgirls are found and reunited with their families in no time. Mr Jonathan, on 29 May 2011, you were sworn in as the president of Nigeria for a new fouryear term after completing the term of your predecessor, late President Umar Yar ’Adua and after having ‘won’ the April 2011 presidential poll. You then took a solemn vow to serve the people of Nigeria and uphold her constitution by declaring at a ceremony at Eagle Square, Abuja that: “I, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan do solemnly swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…………and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria. So help me God. You made the above declaration in an oath

administered by Chief Justice Aloysius KatsinaAlu, the then CJN while holding the Holy Bible in a ceremony that had a live coverage on our national television (NTA) meaning that you swore before God and man to protect Nigeria and Nigerians. Leaders are remembered for what they do or what they fail to do. While you have pledged under oath to discharge your duties to the best of your ability, only you can ascertain if your best ability (or not) is being applied to the services you are rendering to nation but if we should assume that you are putting in your best, then we have more than enough reasons to show concerns and frustrations with your best. This best, at best seems not to be the best for Nigeria. To say it’s inadequate is an understatement. In all fairness to you, most of the problems in Nigeria today did not start during your regime; many of them have been around – though at much smaller scale – for as long as we can remember. You came on board when, more than ever, Nigeria needed a very focused, pragmatic and visionary leader. We believed you as you often stated in your electioneering campaigns that you had been around the corridors of power long enough to understand our national problems

President Goodluck Jonathan and you campaigned on the ground of solving the problems. Truly, when the 16 April 2011 poll was held, you were no longer a neophyte in Nigerian politics. You had been around for almost 12 years. You had already served 8 years in your state, Bayelsa; first as the deputy governor from 29 May 1999 – 8 December 2005, a period of more than 6 years 6 months and then

as the governor from 9 December 2005 – 28 May 2007, a little less than 1 year 6 months. You had also served at the federal level for almost 4 years; first as the vice president from 29 May 2007 – 8 February 2010, then as the acting president from 9 February 2010 – 5 May 2010 and finally as president from 6 May 2010. It is not foolish not to think somebody like you who had served at some

“The thought of not knowing what is happening to the lost ones can kill. I pray that the schoolgirls are found and reunited with their families in no time.”

of the highest levels of public service would have no clues about the enormity of the responsibility of the office you were seeking to continue to occupy and the problems ahead. Following the circumstances under which you initially became the president and having completed a lacklustre 4 year term of your late former boss whose poor health, political naivety and his close gang of cabals caused him not to achieve even a point of his now infamous and dead 7 point agenda, the least Nigerians would have expected is a leader who would roll up his slips and get to work immediately after he had got a new four year term especially without the overbearing effects and

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efforts of the political godfathers. Your ‘election’ had caused internal division within your party, PDP having ditched the gentleman agreement of the party to rotate the presidency among the 6 geopolitical zones. Your denial of the agreement to which you were alleged to be a signatory had done more harm than good for the credibility of your government. This has left a region of the country disgruntled because they believed that the second term that death had robbed Yar’adua should have been occupied by someone from their region. Political wisdom demands your administration to set in motion a reconciliatory process to appease these zones and unite the nation; rather you have chosen the path of complacency and indifference. To whom much is given, much is expected. Nigerians have given you not much but too much and considering your pedigree and our nature of being easily contended, not so much is even expected from you, just a little will suffice but what do we get? Almost nothing! You stormed us like a tornado with your shoeless story; promised all, got all, gave none! When the cabal denied you the occupation of the office of the acting president following the disappearance of Yar ’Adua to faraway Saudi Arabia, we all turned out on the streets in an unparalleled manner to demand that which the Nigerian constitution guaranteed to you without any visible and meaningful contribution from you. Without any record of performance other than projection by good luck, Nigerians gave you a benefit of doubt thinking your good luck might at least rob on the nation.

...To President Jonathan What do we have in return? Thanks To You Before your government, there was corruption but thanks to you; it has now been taken to another level never seen here before. Before your government, corrupt people were stealing millions and a few billions

little orderliness, thanks to you there is total disorder. Before your government, there was little shame or guilt for public misdeeds, thanks to you, now shame is dead. Nobody gives a damn; not even you. It is a shame that a serving Petroleum Resources Minister

most needed a decisive and visionary leader who would steer the country through this critical period of global economic upturn following the downturn of the past few years. Your administration tends to be representing all that Nigerian shouldn’t have had. While we might not have had in

the insincerity of your government and the involvement in large scale corruption of people so close to you. It is not strange that no oil subsidy thief has been convicted. May I ask you: How much your government value human beings? How much your

Chibok school girls that were recently abducted by Boko Haram insurgents

but thanks to you; they now steal hundreds of billions and trillions with utmost impunity. Before your government, terrorists and fundamentalists would strike occasionally but thanks to you, they you now strike every so often. Before your government, there was a relative peace in the land, thanks to you; there is now chaos and insecurity everywhere. Before your government, there was poor accountability, thanks to you; there is no more accountability in the system. Before your government, there was

would even approach a court in an unprecedented way to seek interim injunction stopping the House of Reps from carrying out their constitutional responsibility of probing the N10b she allegedly spent to charter private jets for her exclusive use in only two years. The popular aphorism is a fact; we know it that people have the kind of leader they deserve yet while Nigerians are not a perfect people, no one – not even the worst pessimists – would have ever imagined in their wildest thoughts, a leadership like this at the most critical point in our history; a time when we

recent past, selfless leaders who could measure up to the dreams of those altruistic leaders who fought for our independence, this administration has taken inefficiency and corruption to inconceivable levels never ever seen before, and which we may never see again. It is needless reminding you of your numerous promises during the campaigns and your failure to show commitment to achieving them even regardless that your term is winding up. The stories that were uncovered during the fuel subsidy probe showed

government value human lives? What value does your government place on the life of a Nigerian? How much does your government value a Nigerian? Since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 lost contact with air traffic control on 8 March 2014 with 239 people on board, the Ocean has not known peace. Its surface, beneath and shores have been combed ceaselessly with no end in sight even when it had become obvious that there would be no survivors. Uncountable investigative leads have been followed to unravel what went wrong and

how. The same can be said of the South Korean MS Sewol Ferry disaster. Since the mishap occurred on 16 April 2014, the government has not ceased deploying resources to rescue the survivors, recover the bodies of the victims, give succour to the families affected and investigate what went wrong. Yet the Prime Minister, Chung Hong-won resigned because he felt his government did not prevent the tragedy and also felt handling of the disaster was below acceptable standard. Since the news of the April 15 kidnapping at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok broke out, your government has been conspicuously invisible either in rescuing the remaining of the 234 poor girls abducted by suspected jihadist looking for earthly virgins or even giving relief to the affected families. How many more of these gory and savagely cruel acts can we accommodate before your administration wakes up from slumber? Your government should step up to its responsibility, mandate the security operatives to go out there and look for the missing girls and also give the necessary support to the families affected. We have had enough of this embarrassment! We have had enough of this high level corruption! We have had enough of this impunity! We have had enough of this insecurity! We have had enough of this cluelessness! We have had enough of this sleeping on duty! We have had enough of blaming the opposition! We have not voted for a president without portfolio. Whatever you do from now till the end of your term will largely determine where posterity will place you. Now is time to wake up to the task! Sincerely,


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I sues THE Electoral Act of 2010 empowers the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to regulate the sources and nature of funding for political campaigns in Nigeria. However, even though the 2011 general election was declared free and fair by the government, the chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, would later confess that the Commission “does not even have a desk that handles campaign financing” (As quoted in Vanguard Newspaper, May 8, 2011). After a public rebuke, Jega has decided to toe the path of honor and now says that INEC will monitor campaign funds in the 2015 elections (The Punch Newspaper, April 7, 2014). Similar position is canvassed by a broad spectrum of Nigerian elites, including the National Stakeholders’ Forum on Electoral Reform led by former Senate President Ken Nnamani. But President Goodluck Jonathan has flatly rejected the idea, arguing that regulation can only be realistic, “if you’re getting funds from government, then you must set restrictions; but if you’re generating your own funds, then you’ve no restrictions” (As quoted in Daily Trust, April 8, 2014). While it can be convenient to lampoon both the INEC and the President for this pattern of inconsistency, the simple truth is that the issue of campaign finance in Nigeria has been a frustrating mirage. For transparency and fairness, Nigeria should explore the implications of Jonathan’s remarks and adopt without delay

Adopt Full Public Funding For Nigerian Elections

full public funding for inter-party elections. This proposal is consistent with the recommendations of notable organizations, such as the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). The proposal is

By SKC OGBONNIA, PH.D.

contributions. Unlike before, implementation will not be burdened by the number of political parties since the parties themselves are dramatically decreasing to the desired two-party structure. To frustrate political merchants eager to capitalize on the

participation of parties in elections. Perhaps the process to public funding is not expected to be a catwalk in this nation. Nevertheless, any genuine effort must ensure that the long awaited Cashless Policy by the Central

loopholes of the government funding, the INEC should employ more stringent conditions for registration as well as

Bank of Nigeria is fully implemented and INEC itself strengthened to enforce existing laws on campaign finance, including the costs for

Jega

also similar to the McCain-Feingold legislation for presidential elections in the United States of America without the choice for individual

“To begin with, Nigeria can adequately afford government funding for inter-party elections. After all, virtually all individual elections in the country are already being financed one way or another through looted funds from government treasury. In fact, a cursory look at recent Nigerian political diary readily shows that most elective office holders are individuals who have become wealthy by stealing public money or sponsored by godfathers who thrive in stealing public money.”

elections as stipulated in the Electoral Act of 2010. Public funding has become necessary for obvious reasons: To begin with, Nigeria can adequately afford government funding for inter-party elections. After all, virtually all individual elections in the country are already being financed one way or another through looted funds from government treasury. In fact, a cursory look at recent Nigerian political diary readily shows that most elective office holders are individuals who have become wealthy by stealing public money or sponsored by godfathers who thrive in stealing public money. Second, lack of public funding accelerates the engine of corruption in the country. For instance, the corrupt military brigade that funded President Olusegun Obasanjo’s elections enjoyed immunity while he was in office. President Umaru Yar ’Adua’s failure to investigate clear cases of corruption by his predecessor and some ex-governors is tied to the source of the funds used in ushering him (Yar’Adua) to power. Ditto President Goodluck Jonathan, whose party is making matters worse by aggressively soliciting corrupt politicians, particularly notorious ex-governors currently facing charges for looting state treasuries. Besides, public funding will finally allay the fears

of some influential Nigerians (including President Jonathan) who claim that their main reason for advocating single tenure for governors and the president is attributed to the fact that cost of reelections only goes to worsen corruption. More significantly, lack of public funding has weakened competition as well as opposition in national body politics. Public funding would curtail the prevailing pattern where money, instead of the masses, determines the outcome of our elections. It would also broaden the political process so that true competition for ideas rather than competition for access to illegitimate funds is the backbone of Nigerian democracy. The country can then maximize her abundant human resources by attracting the youth, women, and many true patriots who have shield away from politics simply because of funding and manner of the funding. Very essentially, public finance has the potential to engender dynamic opposition activities toward the much desired checks and balances and effective leadership by consequence. Any system whether native authority, military regime, democracy or quasi-democracy without true competition, equal opportunity, and viable mechanisms for checks and balances is nothing but dictatorship.


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I sues EVERYWHERE we look in Nigeria today and see death; it is not an accident. It is the price the people pay for the corruption of the government. Everything in life has its consequences. The consequence of intractable government corruption is death. When helicopters are not bought for the police force: the consequence is death. 250 people like you and I died in Zamfara state. There was no helicopter to pursue the killers. There has been no police helicopter to pursue this same set of killers after each killing they ‘enjoyed’ for the past three years. The police do not have choppers as obtains in every decent society because the government has stolen the money for the helicopters and saved it in accounts for their children who they assume will be hopeless in the future—unlike us who happily work for ours— and will need this money to live. The government steals billions of dollars that should have bought thousands of choppers for police in all states or hundreds of thousands of drones. CBN gave the police money for choppers, the police tried to deny it. This means they stole the money. The government steals money that should be used to equip our great military properly to bring an end to unscrupulous terrorists, without soldiers having to lose their lives. We the people pay the price for the government corruption. It is also a consequence; the consequence we pay for allowing the government steal limitlessly, and having not yet revolted. This is why now we revolt. When the government steals money; to steal money they have to bribe many unworthy people in the process. They have to placate and please many co-conspirators, many fellow thieves. The consequence of this is that the society feels the presence of money in the hands of the unworthy. Money flows from one

The Consequences Of State Corruption thief to another crooked friend and then to terrorists hands. Guns are bought thugs are hired by the politicians and their friends. Sometimes terrorists are paid with this stolen money. Terrorists terrorize the masses. The consequence is death. We the people pay the consequence of the stealing of public money as a consequence of our silence, of our delay to revolt. This is why now we revolt. When money is stolen, the police are not paid salaries commensurate of their task. Police are not paid regularly and underpaid. The police spend their time hustling for tips instead of in training and in pursuit of criminals. The police never investigate cases, they never track criminals; and when they do arrest suspects, they release them for some money. The consequence of the money that could improve the security services being stolen is poverty of the police force and death of the people from cheap criminals who would not last a day on American streets. We the people die as a consequence of our tolerating a thieving government. The consequence of our inaction is death. When the government steals money, they pack our unemployed youth into stadia without proper consideration. They humiliate and kill our youth. There is no consequence for their

By DR. PEREGRINO BRIMAH actions because thieves are friends and protectors of thieves. The consequence of their stealing is the martyrdom of our most precious and

the most polluted piece of land on this planet. Vanguard of April 2nd reports that there are 40 oil spills in Bayelsa every single month! This is

about their suffering. Have you seen the type of mud and thatch houses being burned in the north? Did you know Nigerians still live in those? These people have gained nothing from the Nigerian equation, but are dying as a consequence of looting

Abubakar Mohammad, Inspector General of Police

most vulnerable. The consequence of our failure to revolt is our death and pain. Today Bayelsa state is

poisoning and killing our people. Our poorest people, the defenseless, those not like us who can at least tweet reactions

of wealth they do not even know about. Death is the consequence of government looting. And government looting is the

“There is no consequence for their actions because thieves are friends and protectors of thieves. The consequence of their stealing is the martyrdom of our most precious and most vulnerable. The consequence of our failure to revolt is our death and pain.”

consequence of our delay to revolt. Are you seeing all the kidnapping, ritual behavior, the massacres, the return of Nigeria to barbaric ages? This is the consequence of chronic stealing and government promoted vain glorious culture of killing to steal and stealing to kill. This is the consequence of our waiting for change instead of going for change. 168 million of us tied down by a few and being turned into sick psychos our very selves. The government cannot transform the dead. Transformation does not touch the graves. Who will transform the killed and maimed? How will the government transform the pain of the grieving mothers? The pain of the orphaned? The pain of the mutilated? The pain of the crippled? How will the government transform the cancer of the poisoned in the creeks? There is no transformation here. These things cannot be transformed; this must be stopped. This cabal government must be stopped. The consequence of our delay to revolt is continued stealing by the government. The consequence of stealing by the government is death of the people. Do you want to die? Do you think you cannot be the next one to die as many of us have died in villages across Nigeria? God forbid. The consequence of chronic government looting is the revolt of the people. This is the least, most simple and most powerful thing we are obligated to do. This simple thing will change everything. A few hundred greedy Cabal can no longer hold down and kill millions of us. Mark your independence from the Cabal. Nigeria’s 2nd Independence: October 1st, 2014, by God’s mighty grace. Nigeria Will Be Free!


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s

I sues OVER the years, successive governments in Nigeria have always bamboozled us with great terminologies such as GDP, per capita and other macroeconomic indices which they have always used as a ‘good’ scorecard for their stewardship in spite of the terrible spate of misgovernance. Not minding the obvious abject poverty and hunger, the lack of power to do as little as lighting a bulb; the spin doctors of the government still utilize these economic jargons as a justification for their time in office. The recent pronouncement by the World Bank of Nigeria’s economic fortune as judged by the rebased GDP figure has been met with a lot of excitement especially or perhaps exclusively amongst those in government quarters; and of course the fact that Nigeria is now the biggest economy in Africa, and number 26th in the world has popped more bottle caps. I have entered into various discussions of the relevance of the recent pronouncement and most people seem to be at best cynical while a few still feel sympathetic to the government. The cynicism is not unexpected, given the frustration that is rife in our society these days. Is it not enough that the government fails to provide electricity for domestic and business use, also fails to make gasoline available for purchase, yet it becomes inappropriate or sometimes illegal for someone to buy the commodity into Geri cans. It is as though the government is trying to force us into darkness. But that is the subject of another discussion for another day. Now we would try to X-ray what the

Much Ado About GDP Rebasing

GDP rebasing is all about and its relevance to our daily life. According to Investopedia (financial encyclopedia) GDP is defined as the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory. GDP = C + G + I + NX where: “C” is equal to all private consumption, or consumer spending, in a nation’s economy “G” is the sum of government spending “I” is the sum of all the country’s businesses spending on capital “NX” is the nation’s total net exports, calculated as total exports minus total imports. (NX = Exports – Imports) The simple explanation of the above Arithmetic jargon is that GDP sums up all the money exchanging hands in Nigeria due to payment of goods and services. It is expected that as the GDP grows the economy grows and so is the standard of living because another calculation from the GDP is what is called the per capita GDP which is the GDP divided by the population of the country. This however is based on the assumption that the wealth of the country is evenly distributed, but we all know the situation with wealth distribution in Nigeria. GDP was first developed by Simon Kuznets for a US Congress report in 1934. Kuznets however warned against its use as a

By DR. TQUE MAJOLAGBE measure of welfare. While the GDP tends to give an impression of growth, it doesn’t clearly tell the whole story. Just looking at the GDP alone

South Africa in nominal GDP, with a population of 150 million and South Africa with population of 51 million, one can imagine that the per capita

manufacturing sector of the economy contributed 6.81 percent to the new GDP data equivalent to N5.47 trillion ($34.8 billion) out of the total 2013 GDP rebased estimate of N80.22 trillion ($510 billion). In spite of the various strivings by government to boost the manufacturing sector it stills underperforms compared

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Minister of Finance tells a part, but other indices are also part of the financial report. The per capita income for instance is a fair idea of the resources available to the citizens because it divides the GDP by the total population of the country. Therefore even though Nigeria has overtaken

“The same world bank that has given the rebased figure for Nigerian GDP, just recently published a report which showed that Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world. While this may seem like double speak, what it reflects is the reality of what is going on in the country. In spite of the huge spending, the lives of the common Nigerian (now so many) has not being improved. Indeed people seems to be getting poorer.”

GDP of South Africa is about three times that of Nigeria. Besides all these the component of the GDP shows that summing up the GPD can definitely not be a good representative of what is happening to the economy. A closer look may reveal a number of things. For instance, from the above calculation “G” which represents government spending is a very contentious issue in this country. Year in year out, government continues to pass huge budgets without a complementary improvement, be it in infrastructure or otherwise. Adding that figure to GDP is definitely going to be a confounder. A sector by sector look at the GDP also shows a lot going on or not going on with the economy. For instance, the

to other countries. World Bank data shows contribution of manufacturing sector to the GDP in Austria is 19 percent, while that of Thailand remains 34 percent. For South Africa, it is 12 percent, while it is 13 percent for Iran. Crude petroleum and natural gas which comes under the mining and quarrying sector contributed 14.4 percent or N11.55 trillion ($73.56 billion) to the total 2013 rebased GDP. Considering the fact that this sector contributes about 75% of our present earning, it therefore shows untapped potentials due to failure to develop the sector which has largely existed as rent seeking. In 1962, Kuznets stated “Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth,

between costs and returns, and between the short and long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what”. It is therefore instructive for the government to wary on the full implication of GDP when indeed the standard of living of the general populace cannot be said to have improved. The same world bank that has given the rebased figure for Nigerian GDP, just recently published a report which showed that Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world. While this may seem like double speak, what it reflects is the reality of what is going on in the country. In spite of the huge spending, the lives of the common Nigerian (now so many) has not being improved. Indeed people seems to be getting poorer. The reasons for these cannot be far fetched. A country that finds it difficult to pay decent living wage for its civil servants, fails to provide an effective transportation system, fails to provide power to her people, yet goes ahead to increase the price of petrol. We all know where the money goes. I believe that governance is a social responsibility and the works of the government cannot be measured by how much figures is brandished but how the lives of the people are affected. Other figures that may be of interest are: poverty line in the country, food availability, rate of inflation, infant and maternal mortality. The number of people with access to health care. Number of people with access to electricity or access to portable water. Number of houses per Nigerian, youth unemployment figure. These are figures closer to the people which reflect the true picture of what is going on in the country. The government needs to embrace these figures and work by it. Nigerians cannot be moved anymore by the cosmetic figures that have little bearing on the lives of the people and usually comes just before some global institutions are trying to lure us into one financial policy or another. The government can no longer pull wool over our eyes. The reality of the economy continues to stare at us and evoke the necessary responses, actions and reactions from us that will actually deliver us from this quandary. Nigerians are truly in pain.


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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

Af rican Focus UNPRECEDENTED investments in Africa’s ground transportation are hardly enough The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which sprawls over 905,000 square miles, is the second largest country in Africa. Fifty four years after independence, the DRC has no roads connecting one end of the country to the other. In fact, the only way to travel between two distant points is by air. Many Congolese cannot afford air travel, and most feel as if their country is made up of different countries. But imagine multi-lane tarred roads linking Kinshasa in western DRC to Goma in the east, or roads and railway lines from Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo in Egypt, and from Dakar in Senegal to Nairobi in Kenya. Just imagine the endless possibilities that would bring. Improving road and rail systems in Africa will boost the transportation of goods and raw materials, facilitate transactions and negotiations, especially when it requires face-toface meetings, boost tourism and positively impact ordinary lives in diverse ways such as ensuring that people get to the hospital quickly during emergencies, for example. Countless other activities depend on reliable roads and rails. Most of Africa’s railway lines and roads are in bad condition and need huge investments, according to the Africa Development Bank (AfDB). The proportion of paved roads on the continent today is five times less than those in

On Bumpy Roads And Rails BY NIRIT BEN-ARI

developed countries, notes the Bank. As a result, transport costs alone are 63% higher in Africa than in developed countries, hampering its competitiveness in the international and local markets. The AfDB further points out that transport costs represent between 30% and 50% of total export value in Africa. These costs are even higher in 16 landlocked countries, including Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Mali, and Niger, and constitute up to three quarters of their total export value. Poor roads and railways also have a negative impact on intraAfrican trade, which is currently just 11% of total trade. Development experts believe this figure might have been higher with better roads and railway lines. Trade among Southeast Asia’s 10 countries, at 37%, is much higher than in Africa, for example. Railway lines in most African countries were built during colonial times to connect mines and other natural resources to ports. In fact, most of the lines were constructed by mining companies. Even now, passenger services account for no more than 20% of rail

traffic, says the AfDB. Over the years, passenger business has been shrinking steadily, viable only when road networks are inadequate

Infrastructure Development in Africa With Africa’s economy growing at 5% a year on average, African leaders worry that without a good road and rail network, such impressive

Jonathan

or non-existent, it says. According to the bank, the costs of maintaining rail tracks and signalling systems, and the level of spending needed to reach passenger speeds, run into millions of dollars and, if not subsidized, passengers would be unable to afford to pay for operating costs alone. Programme for

(NEPAD), and the African Union, PIDA is an ambitious effort to boost African infrastructure, including rails and roads. Ibrahim Mayaki, the chief executive officer of

the construction of the 4,500 km Algiers-Lagos highway. Also known as the Trans-Sahara highway, the project is already 85% finished and the remainder is expected to be

Eille Sirleaf

economic growth may not translate into real socioeconomic development for Africans. In order to turn the situation around, they established the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) in July 2010. An initiative of the AfDB, New Partnership for Africa’s Development

NEPAD, says PIDA was designed to transform Africa and bridge its massive infrastructure gap. “At the moment,” he noted, “Africa is the least integrated continent in the world, with low levels of intra-regional economic exchange and the smallest share of global trade.” One of PIDA’s remarkable projects is

“At the moment,” he noted, “Africa is the least integrated continent in the world, with low levels of intra-regional economic exchange and the smallest share of global trade.”

completed this year, according to PIDA. Upon completion, the LagosAlgiers highway will create a corridor through the desert that will facilitate trade between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. This means countries such as Nigeria, Algeria and Niger will be able to facilitate trade by road transport easily. Historically, the Sahara Desert has hindered trade between the two sub-regions. Many other rail and road construction projects are underway across Africa. In Kenya, a $25-billion Continues on Pg 15


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Af rican Focus Contd from Pg. 14

infrastructure development plan, including a road construction that links Kenya to South Sudan and Ethiopia, was recently launched by the governments of the three countries. In addition, the AfDB is financing several roads projects in Central Africa. State of rail transport Today, only South Africa has a fairly good railway system, according to the World Bank. Before the FIFA World Cup in 2010, South Africa revamped its railway system, including the new underground commuter train between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Some mining companies in Africa also have dedicated railway lines for transporting their goods. For example, African Minerals, a company mining iron ore in Tonkolili Province in northern Sierra Leone, has invested up to $2 billion in mining and rail infrastructure, according to Africa Review, a Kenyan publication. Most rail networks in Africa are as old as 100 years and have not been upgraded since they were first constructed in colonial days due to lack of funds. These networks cannot meet the demands of modern times, says the AfDB, “Most lines are lowspeed, small-scale, undercapitalized networks carrying low axle loads.” Big projects and China China is throwing a lifeline for Africa’s railway infrastructure. Some 2,000 Chinese companies are in Africa

... Roads And Rails and many of them are heavily involved in roads and rail construction, reports Der Spiegel, a German newspaper. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global finance company, says that China’s goal is to take advantage of the increasing growth of African markets. In the DRC, two Chinese c o n s t r u c t i o n companies and a copper company, all state-owned, have signed a $9 billion contract for the construction of a rail and road network, which is more than the DRC’s entire national budget. Rail infrastructure in Angola, one of China’s top oil suppliers, is rapidly expanding as part of an ‘infrastructure-for-oil’ trade agreement between the two countries. Kenya recently signed a $5billion deal with China to construct a 952-km rail link from the city port of Mombasa to Malaba, a town near its border with Uganda. This is expected to be extended to Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania and by 2018. And that is not all. In September 2012, the China Railway Construction Corp. (CRC) signed a $1.5billion contract to rehabilitate a railway system in Nigeria. The CRC has ongoing projects in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Nigeria worth about $1.5 billion in total. China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation, a major train

manufacturer in China, is bringing $400 million worth of locomotives to South Africa. And China’s Export-Import Bank is financing the Mombasa-Nairobi

times, and many conceded to programmes funded by international financial institutions, leading to increased traffic volumes, only a few

Jacob Zuma

railroad line with $4 billion while the Addis AbabaDjibouti line is being rehabilitated at a cost of $3 billion. Investing in infrastructure Raising enough finance for infrastructure development is one of the key challenges facing Africa’s expanding economies. Although most stateowned railroads have been privatized in recent

private sector could develop infrastructure in partnership. Examples of successful publicprivate partnerships are the Citadel Capital of Egypt, the largest

German Investment Corporation, Netherland Development Finance Company, Industrial D e v e l o p m e n t Corporation of South Africa, as well as transnational finance institutions such as European Investment Bank, International

Uhuru Kenyatta

railway systems are able to generate sufficient revenues to fund significant track maintenance. The AfDB recently announced plans to launch a panAfrican infrastructure bond totalling about $22 billion. Part of this money will be ploughed into rail and roads projects, most of them in East and Central Africa. There have been suggestions that governments and the

investment company in Africa, and the Transcentury of Kenya, a company that is involved in infrastructure projects. These efforts are supported by African banks, which are coming up with innovative products, such as syndicated loans, that provide the necessary financial support. The banks are also bringing on board development finance institutions such as the

“Most lines are low-speed, smallscale, undercapitalized networks carrying low axle loads.”

Finance Corporation, and the AfDB. Ongoing rail and road projects will help accelerate Africa’s industrialization efforts, says Mr. Mayaki. Experts add that there has to be a transfer of knowledge to local managers, local experts, and local workers. This means that when the expatriates leave, locals can continue to maintain the infrastructure. The urgent task now is to commit more resources to improving Africa’s rail and roads networks. Without good roads and railways, industrialization is impossible.


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Di scourse VERY common these days are more age disparities in relationships from those waiting for solid careers to the so called cougars and sugar daddies. Contrary to what many people think, there are true loving relationships here. Many are able to love freely and express shared fantasies without guilt. Even if it has to involve money, most people would rather be more responsible for a relationship they love or loved than forced to pay more for trapped divorce certificates. Indeed, those on their second marriage try harder to make it work than they do on their first marriage for fear of another failure. If they had only put that much into their first relationship, there would be no excuse for divorce. So they advise others to wait, get matured, make more money and explore friendships before jumping into what you may regret later. Young men are more hesitant than young women counting their biological cloak and career at the same time. There is more important aspect of marital sex and love than people are willing to accept. It boils down to: there is no good to a man or woman that cannot take care of his/her family. It means cash and when they say it is not just about money. You can bet your house it is all about money. It becomes insult upon injury when money is no problem but another marital invasion is. So many factors apart from population control and various forms of family planning in different countries are contributing to age disparity in relationships. These factors, either biological clock, career or money tends to favor older men than older women. Of course there are dirty old men that exploit the situation beyond reasonable boundaries. Some are fixated on underage girls that should

Marital Invasion Beget Irreconciliable Differences be in school which clouds serious discussion. Technology has also been kind to women since they can freeze their eggs until they are ready to take care of babies. Moreover, there is nothing like a barren lady as long as she has her money. Usually the environment dictates the ratio of men to women. As the ratio of eligible ladies outnumber men, polygyny results and as the number of men outpaces fertile ladies polyandry is bound to happen. It is survival and procreation, not pleasure or voracious sexual desires. Indeed sex can be boring if one partner makes excessive demand that the other cannot meet. When this lady cried out, she was advised to let her husband date other ladies but remain strict and vigilant as if she did not know what was going on, otherwise he might take it as a license. That way she could stop him when threatened. Well, it could be the other way round. What if a man married a nymphomaniac, it is harder for a man to turn a blind eye except for business. Apart from money, nothing breaks marital homes than indiscrete affairs. The denials in spite of its obviousness, exposé by video, print or orally only multiply the humiliations. The worst part for ladies is men without taste and for men, are women reaching for creeps. Sex is only a small part but important aspect of marriage. The sexual cuddling, touching, spending time with one another contribute

By FAROUK MARTINS ARESA greatly to missing partner ’s friendship, while away from home, even at work. Sometime ago, a

policewoman killed herself in England after she mistakenly sent her husband an amorous text of one affair wishing for more. This was a respectable woman that made one mistake in her life, and could have been forgiven for satisfying, might be, a long held desire. She did not have to deny her family her contributions for a single mistake. The newspaper carried the news and the family was more

devastated by her loss than the embarrassment. There are stories about certain places in Africa

in the acts. What happened to folks’ generosity? It is really hard to tell how much this unexpected rage from a man that was supposed

where a man can visit a family and get generous treatment, not only from the family but sexual pleasure from the wife. As soon as these visitors get back home they relate how generous families are in these parts of Africa. Therefore it was a surprise that a man hunted down the lover of his wife. Apparently he suspected his wife was cheating and decided to lay low and catch them

to share his wife with visitors has to do with new norm, modernity, culture or polyandry. Some social scientists, e s p e c i a l l y anthropologists have documented this behavior in different parts of the world, not only in Asia or Africa. But we have to wonder if the present practices in China and India where male children are preferred will lead to a new wave of polyandry.

“Apart from money, nothing breaks marital homes than indiscrete affairs. The denials in spite of its obviousness, exposé by video, print or orally only multiply the humiliations. The worst part for ladies is men without taste and for men, are women reaching for creeps.”

While some people want it all in one relationship so that they have their cake and eat it, others have embarked on open marriage, same sex marriage or contract marriage stipulating three strikes for dooming relationships. Reasonable people, if we can call them that, cry out that we are moving towards decadence that led to Sodom and Gomorra. Hypocrisy amongst those that call t h e m s e l v e s monogamists while in fact they engage in serial marriages vindicates polygamy. Needless to say, some ladies and gens should remain single and be accessible to multiple partners to satisfy their desires. Trying to conform to society norm because it is expected has led to more dislocation of lives than ever. The reason is simple, we are at exploratory age where everything is within reach and possible. So, people express themselves sexually and verbally than ever in terms of liberty. Unfortunately, their consequences may be irreversible. Most people agree on the responsibility of adults to behave in a civilized way and bring children up in a happy home. Children live in an ideal world and they question any aberration from fair and just society. As they grow up they wonder why they are treated differently from mum and dad to why they are treated differently from other kids. Even animals do differentiate some abnormal behavior from human. These are not the generation we want to transfer weirdness to.


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D scourse

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“THE Nigerian nationspace is poised on a knife’s point; it is failing, but not beyond redemption. The rescue of the abducted Chibok school girls and the outcome of the National Conference would help define the country’s future.” – Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, on BBC Hardtalk Programme, Saturday 10 May 2014. The dramatic macabre dance since the midnight hostage-taking of the yet-tobe-rescued over 200 Chibok school girls in Borno State of Nigeria, on 15 April 2014, by Boko Haram terrorist elements, has now ascended a crescendo of pulsating emotional gyration, anger ventilation and global condemnation. That sordid and barbaric incident has now drawn both the anger and dagger of the world of civilised humanity across all the hemispheres. Some days back, the World Economic Summit, WEF, concluded its 3-day multi lateral business deals and seals in Abuja; out of which Africa cornered a chunk of $68 billion in prospective inward investment. This largest world’s marketplace also brought Nigeria under global security and governance scrutiny. Hence, the pervasive threat and stealth of death, the groans and moans of the abducted and maimed in the country; all combined to nearly steal the shine from the superpolished presidential shoes of the chief host, President Goodluck Jonathan. By the way, in far away Thailand, a Prime Minister, Lady Yingluck, was swiftly removed from office recently by the country’s highest court for “a gross misuse of power.” Keep aside the digression. The man who wears the crown at the centre, GEJ, has been under the eye of the storm lately, but, still hanging on hopefully on the thread expectation. He’s been openly chastised by some eminent authorities in global politics and media, particularly from the West. Leading this pack is former US Secretary of State, Senator Hilary Clinton; plus the New York Times and the Economist. They have all thumped down Nigeria’s selfacclaimed architect of transformation: tagging his administration, rightly or wrongly, “wasteful, corrupt, incompetent and callous” In the same nagging vein, ‘mother of the nation’ Dame Patience Jonathan has drawn

Chibok’s Hiccup: The Error Of the ire of the public. The tragicomedy of her seemingly theatrical and emotion-laden teary-eyed telly ‘courtmarshal’ of the school principal of the missing girls, and the denial of abduction by leading members of her ruling party, PDP, have placed the First Lady ingloriously on the e-platform of the “mocked and disdained.” Pitiful pictures and audio-visual captures of her low performance now indelibly adorn the internet. Here was a classic crisis control event being mismanaged and actually suffered a ricochet; it boomeranged calamitously? Serious trouble-shooting situations have no room for grandstanding. Unlike the proponents of the conspiracy theory, spearheaded by former Minister Kema Chikwe, who’s now the national women’s leader of the party in government; Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, ex minister of education and former vice president of the World Bank, has succeeded in getting the eyes, ears and heart of the world into the “BringBackOurGirls” campaign, that she has meticulously masterminded, alongside other women of substance, to force the government in Nigeria to rescue and re-unite the kidnapped girls with their anguished families. Hers is a humane protest to which the whole of humanity now attest and plugged in. With the media frenzy accompanying the campaign, the United States was jolted into action. Father-of-two teenage daughters, President Barrack Obama, instantly took the gauntlet and pledged to support Nigeria with the American might in the winnable fight against the army of guerrilla terrorists. The United Nations and ECOWAS, Britain, France, Canada, China and key war leaders including Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, the Pope, so on promptly followed suit. But, frighteningly, Amnesty International has alleged that Nigerian security officials did ignore a “3-hour” preinformation warning on the invasion of Chibok. Now it race against the tide of time, as days roll into weeks and months on the unreolved incident. It has left a baffled world in trance, like the missing Malaysian plane, that an error

Living With Terror By ALABA YUSUF of untamed terror in Nigeria could become a mathematical impossibility. They all ask their conscience, why the local denial and long delay by officialdom in rescuing the

disappearance to the issue of girls’ education worldwide.” In a fusion of anger and hope, a plausible Mrs. Obama, carrying a protest banner, told the world

Dame Patience Jonathan

hapless and helpless young women, forcibly removed from school into the den of bandits as sex slaves and human shield? Gracefully, “US First lady Michelle Obama made a rare appearance on her husband’s weekly radio address on Saturday, 10 May 2014, to express her outrage over the recent kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls, and link their

from getting an education – grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls. In these girls, Barak and I see our own daughters and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”

demonstrations locally and globally, President Jonathan, and most Nigerians, are beginning to heave a sigh of relief, with foreign military presence; that the menace of Boko Haram is almost near its decisive end. “Chibok is the

Mrs Hillary Clinton

unequivocally that: “Like millions of people across the globe, my husband and I are outraged and heartbroken over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school dormitory in the middle of the night.” Adding that, “this unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls

With such a formidable strength of leadership coming from the White House, US Marines have now landed in Nigeria – with their tech-cultured expertise and bravery, battle-ready to unravel the mystery of the blood-letting Boko Haram insurgency. Furthermore, and despite the increasing prevalence of “Free Our Girls”

“Come what may, we must remind ourselves as a nation, to nip in the buds the errors of the past that escalated and gravitated into this monstrous act of terror. For as small as the soldier ants are; they know where to hurt the giant elephant (Kenyan proverb). Finally, let us not rent room for avoidable conflict situations that could lead to painful consequence similar to stirring the hornet’s nest. For no matter what the case may be, evil can hardly thrive or survive when good people gather together to decisively stamp it out.

beginning of the end for the insurgents”, declared a confident GEJ to the media recently. Come what may, we must remind ourselves as a nation, to nip in the buds the errors of the past that escalated and gravitated into this monstrous act of terror. For as small as the soldier ants are; they know where to hurt the giant elephant (Kenyan proverb). Finally, let us not rent room for avoidable conflict situations that could lead to painful consequence similar to stirring the hornet’s nest. For no matter what the case may be, evil can hardly thrive or survive when good people gather together to decisively stamp it out. That time for concerted effort is here at our bay. Nigeria has come to stay, and so shall it be. Chibok and Boko Haram, like Biafra, would be remembered in the future as one of those nationbuilding hiccups. There’s gain of wisdom in every pain. No condition is permanent. Long live Nigeria and may peace return to our world.


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D velopment SATELLITE towns in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are described in the territory’s master plan as “the remaining portion of the FCT…’’. This tacitly implies that the settlements are not regarded as being in the mainstream of Abuja but as the environs of the metropolis. The master plan, however, indicates that the city and its environs should be planned and d e v e l o p e d simultaneously. The Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA) is established and saddled with the responsibilities of opening up the satellite towns for development by providing infrastructural facilities for their teeming inhabitants, thereby improving their living standards. The STDA is also mandated to provide an enabling environment for the development of the satellite towns via the provision of basic amenities so as to further reduce the pressure on Abuja city-centre, while facilitating the growth and upgrade of the satellite towns. The satellite towns in the FCT include Bwari, Kubwa, Karshi, Kuje, Karu, Lugbe, Chika, Kuchigworo and Nyanya, among others. However, an integral aspect of the functions of the STDA is to ensure the sanitation of the satellite towns in a manner that is akin to the role of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) in ensuring the cleanliness of the Abuja city-centre. The STDA is, therefore, mandated to facilitate and oversee efforts to ensure a clean environment in the satellite towns, in line with the vision and mission of the FCT

STDA And Challenges Of Effective Sanitation Of FCT Satellite Towns Administration (FCTA). Consequently, the agency is expected to make efforts to strike a balance between human needs in the satellite towns and the carrying capacity of the environment through s t r u c t u r e d environmental sanitation processes. Mrs Aishat Adebayo, the Director of AEPB, said that the board started collaborating with STDA in the area of environmental sanitation since 2013. She, however, pledged an improvement in the collaboration to enable the satellite towns to meet the standard of Abuja city-centre in terms of cleanliness. “Our collaboration with STDA and all the Area Councils in sustainable waste collection commenced in August 2013 and the cooperation has been yielding commendable results; and we intend to sustain this,’’ Adebayo said. However, some residents of the satellite towns have been complaining that they have not felt the impact of the STDA as regards environmental sanitation. Some of them grumbled that the STDA recently issued out sanitation bills to them without discharging any

By ABDULRAHMAN KADIRI (NAN)

waste management function, while others claimed that they were not even aware of the agency’s existence. Mr Harrison Igbe, a resident of the PW neighbourhood of Kubwa, stressed that he had been fully responsible for refuse disposal in his house since he started living in the area in 2008. He, therefore, said that he found it extremely difficult to justify, under any guise whatsoever, the sanitation bills which the STDA recently issued to him. “I have lived in this house since 2008 and no government agency has ever come here to collect refuse. Now, I was given a bill of N2,000; I don’t even understand the details of the bill. “Is this the best way to introduce STDA to us in Kubwa? Why should the agency distribute backdated sanitation bills? From all indications, the bill is not justifiable and I will not stress myself to pay the fees,’’ he said. Nevertheless, Mr Salisu Lawal, a resident of Phase 4 in Kubwa, advised the STDA to make itself more visible and relevant by

routinely clearing the mounds of refuse that dotted the landscape of several areas in Kubwa. “If a government agency is taking charge of sanitation of our environment, it will be

regular basis and it is, therefore, wrong to ask us to pay for services that were not rendered,’’ he said. Sharing similar sentiments, Mr. Stanley Okere, a resident of Kuje, stressed that the presence of the STDA was not felt in his

huge, backdated sanitation bill to my compound; we don’t even know the criteria which the agency used in arriving at the amount in the bill,’’ he said. Okere stressed that the STDA ought to carry out a lot of public enlightenment

Bala Mohammed, FCT Minsiter

obvious; but we don’t see officials of any agency. “In my compound, we patronise Mebola (local refuse collectors) on a

neighbourhood in terms of sanitation. “We have been responsible for our refuse disposal but the STDA recently brought a

However, an integral aspect of the functions of the STDA is to ensure the sanitation of the satellite towns in a manner that is akin to the role of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) in ensuring the cleanliness of the Abuja city-centre. The STDA is, therefore, mandated to facilitate and oversee efforts to ensure a clean environment in the satellite towns, in line with the vision and mission of the FCT Administration (FCTA).”

campaigns in the satellite towns to inform the residents about its functions and their obligations, particularly in the evolving waste m a n a g e m e n t arrangement. In spite of the numerous complaints by the residents of satellite towns, the STDA claimed that it has been effective in its waste management efforts in the satellite towns. Mr Tukur Bakori, the Director of STDA, who Continues on page 19


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D velopment Continued from page 18

gave the assurance, however, warned residents to promptly pay their sanitation bills, so as to avoid sanctions by the agency. He argued that some people were only complaining about the agency’s nonperformance in waste management as part of a plot to evade meeting their obligations. “If we have not been managing waste in the satellite towns well, the places would have become uninhabitable by now. But we observe that residents of the satellite towns are reluctant to pay their sanitation bills. “The only bills Nigerians prefer to pay are the pre-paid electricity bills and telephone charge but we have already finalised plans to prosecute defaulters through our mobile courts,’’ he said. Bakori, however, solicited the support of the residents of satellite towns for the STDA to enable the agency to give excellent service delivery. He argued that licensed waste management companies that were engaged to clear refuse in the satellite towns could only sustain their activities if the residents paid their bills regularly. Besides, Bakori disclosed that the STDA was planning to clear the drains in the satellite towns in order to forestall flooding which could result in the destruction of people’s lives and property. He said that work on the drainage systems would begin before the onset of heavy rains. “The STDA did a lot in clearing the drains in satellite towns in 2013 and that was why there were no floods. “As soon as we get

...Of Effective Sanitation Of FCT Satellite Towns

funds, we will commence clearing the drains this year and this will be done in collaboration with the area councils,’’ he added. Bakori, however, urged the residents of the satellite towns to support the area councils’ efforts to promote healthy environment and good sanitation in the neighbourhoods. “Residents should avoid indiscriminate refuse disposal by bagging their waste properly and paying their sanitation bills regularly; they should also not cut the roads carelessly. “Government property belongs to all of us; we should all take responsibility and manage it well,’’ he added All the same, Mrs Fidelia Ohanashonam, the Supervisor, Environment and Sanitation, Bwari Area Council, said that the area council, in partnership with the STDA, had been removing refuse in the area. She stressed that the partnership had been very effective in efforts to rid the area council of huge wastes. She, however, said that the STDA’s involvement in waste collection and disposal was an intervention programme that was

designed to enable the council to stabilise before taking full charge of waste management processes in the area. Ohanashonam made the remark during a

Bwari. “The STDA is partnering with us in the areas of waste collection, erosion control and other environmental activities. “This collaboration has

Ohanashonam said that the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) was also part of the collaboration, as the agency hired some women whose duty was to sweep the streets and

recent refuse mop-up by the STDA and Bwari Area Council, which saw the evacuation of garbage from refuse collection points in Kubwa, Dutse and Bwari to a major dumpsite in

been very effective because if you go round Kubwa, Dutse and Bwari; you will see that the waste have been cleared and transferred to dumpsites,’’ she said. M o r e o v e r ,

clear the drains in the satellite towns every day. Nevertheless, Mr Ahmed Labaran, the Head of the Department of Environment, Bwari Area Council, agreed that concerted efforts should be made to sensitise the residents to salient environmental and sanitation issues. He said that plans were underway in the area council to step up the sensitisation of the residents to sanitation issues. All in all, Ms Felicia Meeme, the Head of Public Relations in the STDA, urged the

“The STDA is partnering with us in the areas of waste collection, erosion control and other environmental activities. This collaboration has been very effective because if you go round Kubwa, Dutse and Bwari; you will see that the waste have been cleared and transferred to dumpsites.’’

residents of satellite towns to promptly pay their sanitation bills. She said that the prompt payment of the bills would enable the agency to discharge its duty of maintaining excellent sanitation in the satellite towns Meeme said that

sanitation of the satellite towns was contracted out to some private companies whose charges could only be paid when residents paid their sanitation fees. She said that the monthly sanitation charges ranged from a minimum of N200 for the smallest housing unit to N500 for the biggest housing unit. She, however, said that the huge bill, the major bone of contention, was due to arrears of sanitation fees induced by several months of accumulated bills.


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E onomy IN 2001, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., an American multinational investment banking firm, rated Nigeria as one of the economies in Africa that has the potential of becoming one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020. It, however, recommended that Nigeria must maintain an annual average growth rate of 12.4 per cent over the next 15 years and ensure meaningful development to attain the goal. The company identified the financial sector and diversified economy as catalysts for achieving the vision. According to it, the idea is to strengthen the domestic financial market in the country by developing competence and skills for the financial services industry. The company also recommended improved access to finance, provision of integrated infrastructure for the financial industry and creation of a vibrant capital market for economic stability. In the light of this, the Federal Government launched the Vision 20: 2020 programme, with the Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020 as its major component. One of the aims of the programme is to ensure stability and develop Nigeria’s financial system into a major international financial centre by 2020. Subsequently, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) was introduced by President Goodluck Jonathan on Oct. 23, 2012 in Abuja. Reviewing the importance of NFIS, Hajiya Umma Dutse, the Director, Department of Consumer Protection, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that it placed emphasis on knowledge acquisition in financial dealings. Speaking at a consumer sensitisation forum in Enugu recently, Dutse said that the programme was useful because of the fact that a high percentage of stakeholders in the financial sector were not financially literate. She observed that a significant percentage of the total amount of economic transactions was not even

Evolving Sustainable Economic Growth In Nigeria captured in the formal financial system due to this setback. “This is not good for the nation’s economic growth as it negates the efforts of

By EMMANUEL ACHA

Development Finance, CBN, said that although Nigeria remained a strong

Botswana have 26.0, 32.0 and 33.0 percentage exclusion rates

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Minister of Finance government toward the FSS 2020 objective of financial inclusion. “It is imperative that we engender trust and confidence among Nigerians to bring the financially excluded into the formal financial system,’’ she said. According to Dutse, financial inclusion is the process of increasing access to a broad range of financial services such as payments, savings, remittances, insurance, pension and credit at reasonable costs. She observed that more than 2.5 billion people worldwide, who made up about the 50 per cent of the world’s working population, lacked access to financial services, particularly in developing countries such as Nigeria. Mr Issah Idriss of the Department of

force in sub-Sahara Africa, the country was not doing well in the provision of financial products and services. “In 2012, the financially excluded reduced to 39.7 per cent from 46.3 per cent in 2010, whereas South Africa, Kenya and

respectively. “A survey by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the National Bureau of Statistics in 2011 revealed that there are 17, 284,671 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in

Nigeria. “Out of these, 17, 261,753, making up 99.87 per cent of the MSMEs, are micro enterprises; and they are the foundation for any sustainable financial inclusion programme because they are the bottom of the pyramid,’’ he said. Idriss said that although the national economy had shown some promises for the realisation of a sustainable financial inclusion, some factors had contributed to the high financial exclusion rate in Nigeria. He said that the financing gap for the formal and informal micro enterprises stood at N1.79 trillion and N540 billion respectively. He stressed that this factor had led to low income among Nigerians, adding that about 24 per cent of the adult population in the country earned less than two dollars (about N324) per day. Idriss said that it was in the light of this challenge that the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN was established. He said that through the department, a N220-billionMSMEs Development Fund was set up to provide long-term, low-interest funds for the sector through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), with 60 per cent of the funds dedicated to women enterprises. According to Idriss, the broad target for financial inclusion in Nigeria is to ensure that 80 per cent of

“This is not good for the nation’s economic growth as it negates the efforts of government toward the FSS 2020 objective of financial inclusion. It is imperative that we engender trust and confidence among Nigerians to bring the financially excluded into the formal financial system, she said.”

the adult population has access to appropriate, affordable and diversified financial services by 2020. Mrs Ifechukwu Chiobi, Deputy Manager, Department of Consumer Protection, CBN, said that in addition to accessing the fund, customers of banks ought to be advised on specific products and services of the banking community. She noted that the banking environment was awash with products and services that might be misleading. “The relationship between banks and customers is contractual under the law and you will be held responsible for certain actions you take. “So, you need to ask indepth questions before going in for any product or service, no matter how stupid your banker thinks such questions are. “Such products or services may have hidden clauses which you may not have seen and these clauses will turn back to haunt you in the future. “You have the right to choose what you want and if you choose wrongly you will regret it,” she added. However, Mr Obinna Akoma, Assistant Manager, Department of Consumer Protection, CBN, observed that the drive to achieve financial inclusion of stakeholders could be hindered by the high prevalence of dud cheques in the system. “In 2012 alone, 167,000 incidences of dud cheques, valued at N166 million, were processed by the CBN. “This policy will be at risk if we continue to issue such cheques because it will increase the volume of cash in circulation, as people will lose confidence in the system,’’ he said. All the same, Akoma noted the current federal administration had renewed its commitment to pursue the vision of transforming Nigeria into one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020. Observers, however, emphasise that in efforts to fulfil the commitment, the banking sector should not deviate from pursuing the goal of responsible and sustainable financial system.


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E ent ENGLISH is the mother tongue of the English man. In the U.K, there are other languages being spoken such as Scouts language being spoken in Scothland and Welesh being spoken by the people in midland. For about four hundred years after Williams of Normandy conquered England in 1066, Norman French became the language of the English court and schools. So, the modern English contains many hundred of Latin and French words or their derivatives. For instance all the following are of French origin, abbit, assize, beef, charity comedy, courtesy, humour, justice, verdict, tragedy, trespass, just mention a few although Latin is referred to as a dead language French is a functional language whose knowledge enhances our knowledge of English since the later is to a larger extent derived from it. For sheer romance and richness no language surpasses French, Edo, Yoruba Hausa or Ibo. If you have listing to Benin traditional folk tales and poems. You will appreciate that these stories are very educative in helping to put our children on the right path of thinking. If you have read the poems of Leopold Senegal Semberene, Busmane of the novel Camara laye all of Senegal Francis Bebey the Cameroon’s or shoddy overrun of Dahomey are testimonies to some of the best books

24th April: World English By EKAIWE IGINUA OSEMWEKHA ever written. Learning of English language can be defined as a state of giving on through which a person gets utility and a mental perspective of his other neighbourhood, in other words, it is a process where both for mal and informal education make a great contribution in the order of return in accountability. However the early teaching of English language in Benin Kingdom did not quite reflect my definition because our Edo Language was referred to as vernacular, not to be heard in the classrooms. Consequently, the early learners of English language became enslaved by the limitations of their era. This led to inferiority complex which translated to a hall mark in the midst of other tribes like Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba who were determined to maintain the status quo of speaking their language despite the challenges militating against their use in classrooms. This attitude culminated to a depressive magnitude that the obnoxious English language designed to create a yawing gap in communication amongst the Benin speaking people translated to Pidgin English.

If these assumptions is cut down to the desire

specifications it would become clear that the bifocal interactions between the community of Benin speaking people generated lesser opportunity for individual. The fact remains that when the populace have good communication skills in their mother tongue like it is done in civilized society of Europe that they can fully comprehend the introduction of English as a foreign language.

“Consequently, the early learners of English language became enslaved by the limitations of their era. This led to inferiority complex which translated to a hall mark in the midst of other tribes like Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba who were determined to maintain the status quo of speaking their language despite the challenges militating against their use in classrooms.”

Speaking Day

So, when this basic rights of life was removed or restrained by people who tried to entrench foreign culture on our people tantamount to a society dish of basic necessity of life. A good or bad society is usually assessed by good or bad communication skills or by the degree of antisocial behaviour. Our kids have been turned into a generation that can no longer speak correct English or their mother tongue. An example of a generation that can no longer speak their language or correct English can be found in Benin market places. A woman who wanted to purchase beef meat from a retailer said, “how much you de sell your meat”? The trader responded “Na five hundred naira”. The purchaser replied, “Na two hundred I get” The retailer became furious and responded. “I no think say your teeth strong well

to chop meat”. If not for the quick intervention of other buyers and traders alike, it could have degenerated to a serious fracas. Let take a look at another scenario at Ibadan, I was about to purchase a loaf of Bread and I said to a retailer. How much is your bread? The lady retorted, “me Ogbor Oyi-bo”. In trying to inquire further the lady rhetorically said, “file-jare, Omokobokobo, me Ogbor” I was wondering how non indigene can purchase goods and services in such environment devoid of people who do not understand simple English. But after knowing that these people will not speak Pidgin English I was compelled to learn the local language. In Europe, if you speak English to an Italian Police, he will reply. “Me Italiano no speak English” so if you want to live comfortably with them, you must learn and interact in Italian language. Benin Empire have negatively impacted

on Edo language. In the 15th century our contact with the Portuguese and the appointment of Benin crown Prince to Portugal as ambassador brought languages fusion and cultural relationship. Some of our language today contain many Portuguese words such as Kuye, meaning spoon Akpkpava, meaning broad way e.t.c. It is unfortunate that these days, Edo language is systematically driven to near extinction by internet technology as well as Pidgin English. For the purpose of intergenerational equity the Benin people show know that the celebration of English language day is not meant for the English man alone and that the literacy of a Benin man in his mother tongue is imperative in the sustainable of any foreign language in our society.


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Focus ON Tuesday, April 15th, 234 girls attending school in Chibok, Borno State in Nigeria’s northeast were abducted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists. This was reported barely 16 hours after deadly explosions at Nyanya bus stop in the nation’s capital left at least 72 dead and hundreds injured. According to 18 yearold Godiya Usman, a girl who escaped the abduction, as the Boko Haram terrorists drove to their hide-out, they stopped at every village they came across and shot indiscriminately at every villager in sight. This continues a pattern for the past four years where the terrorists, usually camouflaged in military outfit have massacred and burnt down entire villages and towns in Nigeria’s north, leading to up to 40,000 deaths by recent estimates. There is increasing suspicion of government involvement and at least, government complacency in the killings. Recent accusations by a prominent northern governor, the failure to arrest a single sponsor in over four years of unabating terror and a report from the Voice of America, VoA, of alleged military-on-military ambushes and possible top security sabotage, have sharply delineated and exacerbated such sentiments. Summarily, with three northern states in a state of emergency and calls for more states and perhaps the entire nation to come under emergency rule, the government of Nigeria is asserted to be helpless and increasingly desperate in the face of increasing, deadly terror and social destabilization. In appreciating the Nigerian debacle and determining the proper solutions urgently required, visiting the history of neighboring Algeria is imperative.

How Algeria Checked Its ‘Boko Algeria should be of Black Decade Haram’ Crises In Thecrash90’s paramount focus. A in Nigeria’s south. many repentant Self-Defense Militia:

By DR. PEREGRINO BRIMAH

Algeria’s 1991-1999 Civil War/The Black Decade In 1991, fearing a victory of the increasingly popular Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) party, the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party, cancelled the elections. A coup followed and President Chadli Bendjedid was ousted. The popular FIS party was banned, which many FIS loyalists regarded as a declaration of war. Suddenly armed guerrillas appeared, the Armed Movement (MIA) in the mountains, which later evolved into the FIS-loyalist Islamic Salvation Army (AIS) and the Armed Islamic Group, GIA in towns. There were many other nonspecific terror groups. With the eruption of all these terrorist groups, Algeria was wrecked with all types of terror and massacres including a famous Algiers 1992 airport bombing, for the better part of ten years. At the beginning of the civil war, the attacks were primarily at the government and government supporters, similar to Nigeria with Boko Haram, but as time went on, the terror groups, especially the GIA, began massacres of entire neighborhoods and villages. On August 26, 1994, the GIA even declared a caliphate in Algeria, this crumbled as MEI top leader, Said Mekhloufi shortly after announced his withdrawal from the GIA, which he said was a mere political machine and had deviated from Islam. The Algerian massacres reached a dangerous peak in 1997. Much infighting and disorder was also featured among the various terrorist groups. Again, similar to situation with Nigeria today, as

Algeria transitioned the 90’s, with talks, elections and increasing conflict, there was notable suspicion of government involvement in the chaos and deadly terror that claimed up to 150,000 lives. Again, as occurs in Nigeria, according to

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, attacks and massacres occurred in close proximity to army barracks’, with the soldiers reported doing nothing to stop the attacks and killings. Habib Souaidia and other’s who defected from the Algerian government, alleged that the security services had themselves committed some of the massacres [http://en.wikipedia.org/ w i k i / Algerian_Civil_War#cite_note22]. Nigeria similarly has had a prominent head of Security, NSA Andrew Owoye-Azazi, allege that the ruling political party, PDP was behind the sudden sophistication and success of Boko Haram terrorism. General Azazi was sacked after he made the allegation and killed later that year in a suspicious helicopter

There have been other strong allegations of direct government involvement or aggravated complicity in the terror from other agencies and participants in Nigeria. “Self-defense Militias”, The “Patriots” After the elections in 1996, as violence continued, the Algerian

terrorists who had no blood or rape on their hands and promised fair trials for those who had killed civilians or soldiers. The Civil Harmony Act of July, 1999 granted pardon to Islamist fighters not guilty of murder or rape, if they turn themselves in. This succeeded in drawing in several

request for the permission to arm “Patriots” in Nigeria was presented to the Nigerian government on April 26, 2014, by ENDS as clamored by the Civilian-JTF and other Nigerian youth determined to combat and eliminate Boko Haram terrorists and rescue abductees. Memo: “Request For Executive Authorization

government took decisive step to arrest the terror. It embarked on arming trusted civilians in the worst affected and vulnerable areas, to defend themselves from the terrorists. This campaign was promoted aggressively on national television. The citizens were trained by the government military and given weapons. These armed civilians, the selfdefense militia, (Groups for Legitimate Defense, GLD), who were also known as “Patriots,” successfully reduced the spate of attacks on prior d e f e n s e l e s s communities. Enter Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 1999: With his election victory, proarmy candidate, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika added certain measures to address the Algerian terror crises. He offered a limited, conditional amnesty to

guerrilla fighters to surrender their weapons. With the ‘Patriots,’ civilian defense and the conditional amnesty, terror deaths decreased from a monthly average of 200. In 2005, the Algerian government passed the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation, supported almost unanimously in a nationwide referendum. Legal proceedings were terminated on exmilitants and victims and families of victims of terror were compensated. There was some opposition to this amnesty however, because it forced victims to forgive the perpetrators; which is contrary to divine laws. As Nigeria grapples with identical terror crises, of similar design and with similar ethnic hired mercenaries at play, the approach of

to Recruit, Mobilize, Train and Deploy Concerned Volunteers Against the Boko Haram Insurgency.” The government is yet to address this memo. Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Monday the 28th, won a fourth 5-year term in a (contested) election victory. When the Nigerian president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan extends his congratulations to 77 year old, wheel-chair bound Algerian president, it is urged Nigeria’s embattled ruler and state security chiefs attempt a conversation with the ailing Algerian leader on the approach his country utilized in ending the Algerian terror crises: the conditional amnesty for those not guilty of murder or rape, arming Patriots ‘GLD’ civilian defense militia and compensating victims approaches among other strategies that brought an end to the Algerian Black decade.


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P rspective The Chibok Girls: A Challenge

DID anybody watch Dame Patience Jonathan outburst on Chibok girls in a meeting with women in Abuja the other day? Did you see the drama? Did you see the body language? Did she believe that the girls are missing? What did it suggest to you as the wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Can we trust this woman? Last week Mrs Kema Chikwe the National Women Leader of PDP shocked Nigerians with these questions: how did it happen? Who saw it happen? Who did not see it happen? Who is behind this? Kema Chikwe of PDP was reacting to the abduction of the over 200 Chibok girls which had been trending for weeks now. Now, look at this. A day after the bombing at Nyanya where nearly 100 people died, President Jonathan jetted to Kano to dance Azonto music and to continue his campaign for 2015. Many saw this as an outrageous display of leadership failure, lack of concern, lack of empathy, lack of tact and disparaging the rules of engagement. But ask yourself; does the President believe that the girls were abducted in the first place? Does he believe that even with the worldwide uprising against the kidnap, that some Nigerian girls were kidnapped? If Dame Patience Jonathan does not believe the girls were abducted, and a Kema Chikwe the Woman Leader of PDP earlier questioned that kidnap, where does that leave us? What does it tell you about the ruling party and its leaders? Dame Patience Jonathan sleeps with the President of Nigeria and if she says that no girl is missing, you can then understand the mindset of the President and the wife. Until the list of the Chibok

To Nigerians And The World girls were published, I do not think the presidency believe the story about the Chibok girls. The supporters of the Jonathan presidency and the PDP members are still doubting Nigerian girls were kidnapped. They scrounge every space to put a lie to the stories of the kidnap and everything that seems to question the creditability of the kidnap story. If they do not believe that any kidnap took place, how and where will they start rescuing the kidnapped girls as the whole world is demanding now? Days ago the bubble burst after the leader of Boko Haram issued a statement in a video coverage that the girls are with him and even threatened to sell them to punish Nigeria further. The doubting Thomases now know that the abduction is real and not a circus show. The whole nation has been challenged, the whole 150 million Nigerians have been challenged, the whole security agencies have been challenged and the whole real men in Nigeria have been challenged and we must do something. Watching and following the international media shows that the kidnap

By JOE IGBOKWE case is one of the hottest news items in the world today but the presidency and his party seem not to believe and that is why many are scared.

would-be mothers were abducted for weeks now and the president goes about dancing and campaigning for 2015 elections. Like I said, the

been telling a thousand lies to cover their inadequacies, weaknesses and mediocrity. Have we forgoteen the egregious lie from the military that it had rescued the girls few days after their

President Goodluck Jonathan Few years back a little American girl was trapped in a well and the whole America remained awake, all day, all night until the young girl was rescued. In Nigeria our more than 200 girls, our

president, his wife, Kema Chikwe and many PDP Chieftains do not believe our girls were abducted. Some others have been lying about it just to earn a living. Our security agencies have

kidnap only for it to be proved a ruse some days later? Maybe we do not know the enormity and how grave this matter is in the eyes of the world. In another serious clime the whole country would

“If President Jonathan is still in doubt of the true situation of things, I think he should wake up. There is war in the land and the bucks stop at the president’s table. Now it is becoming clear that the seat of power in Abuja is no longer safe. No city or State in Nigeria is now safe. And if reality is to prevail the President must act as the commander-inchief, being presidential and taking responsibility.”

have been put on hold until the girls are rescued. All the security agencies would have been mobilized and deployed to the letter. But this is Nigeria where impunity, selfishness and political irresponsibility take the centre stage in matters of national significance. My submission is that Nigeria deserves something better than this at a time like this. If President Jonathan is still in doubt of the true situation of things, I think he should wake up. There is war in the land and the bucks stop at the president’s table. Now it is becoming clear that the seat of power in Abuja is no longer safe. No city or State in Nigeria is now safe. And if reality is to prevail the President must act as the commander-in-chief, being presidential and taking responsibility. This is not the time to continue to listen to the types of Bishop Oritsejafor or Chief Edwin Clark. The President must use his power to arrest the situation and restore his dignity and the dignity of Nigeria. It is going to be a collective responsibility with the President leading all Nigerians to rescue the girls. Elders are known for standing up when the need is greatest. Let the Northern leaders work with Southern leaders to retrieve the soul of Nigeria from lost soulless scoundrels and lost generation. Consequently, the world must help Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram because Boko Haram is a threat to world peace. If a group rises up anywhere in the world to claim that education is evil the world must feel challenged and therefore respond accordingly to crush that group. We cannot go back to the Stone Age. Shekau and his Boko Haram must be stopped now!


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H alth THE first African Health Ministers meeting, organised by African Union Commission and World Health Organisation (WHO) in Luanda, Angola, reviewed health care services in Africa and expressed concern about the disease burden on the continent. At the conference held in April, the ministers noted that heavy burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Africa necessitated the need to facilitate the implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) across African countries. Citing a report of WHO, the ministers said that Africa had 69 per cent of the world’s HIV cases, 26 per cent of global tuberculosis cases and 80 per cent of the world’s malaria cases. According to them, the report indicates that the figures account for 47 per cent of global underfive mortality and 65 per cent of global maternal mortality. The ministers, however, expressed worry that most African countries had yet to be on track in efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on heath. Stakeholders observe that this development is because most of the populations are not covered by effective healthcare interventions, while accessibility and coverage of essential health services are still low. Making reference to a report of the health experts’ technical session at the meeting, they note that 43 per cent of pregnant women had access to antenatal care, while 49 per cent of births were handled by skilled attendants. In the report, the experts stressed that the percentage was low, compared with the global average of 55 per cent for access to antenatal care and 70 per cent for

Disease Burden In Africa:

Matters Arising skilled personnel managing childbirths. At the end of the technical session, the experts proposed the adoption of UHC as a tool for addressing factors relating to inadequate health care delivery in

By ANNA ANGBAZO

deadline for African countries to implement UHC. “You cannot just work without a target; it is like playing football without a goalpost. Setting the

financial barriers and ensuring quality care,’’ he said. Chukwu assured the participants at the meeting that Nigeria would meet the deadline,

Onyebuchi Chukwu, Health Minister

most African nations. The experts noted that WHO attested to the viability of UHC as a programme that could ensure the evolution of required health services without suffering financial hardship. With this development, Nigeria’s Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, therefore, proposed 2020 as the

deadline is to encourage countries to implement the UHC. “This is required especially in countries that have not started anything about the UHC; if the year 2020 is set as the time limit, many countries will work hard to implement it. “The aim of the UHC is to ensure equal access to health care, breaking

stressing that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had set pragmatic targets to implement UHC. He also said that the Nigeria’s Presidential Summit on UHC organised in March was, indeed, a platform for the implementation of UHC in the country. Nevertheless, Dr

Oluwafemi Thomas, the Executive Secretary of NHIS, said that although Nigeria would be able to meet the deadline, other African countries might not beat the 2020 deadline. “In Nigeria, we have started; we have got all the political commitments and the restructuring, which we need, is also concluded. “The UHC Fund has been established; I think the strategy is right and the procurement process is on. Therefore, as soon as we procure all the equipment that we need, we will deploy them. “Even at that, from the little efforts we are making, it is getting clear that people are beginning to trust NHIS programmes because we have seen renewed interest in the programmes via increased enrolment. “In the last quarter, we have been able to enrol more persons than what we did in the last three years; so we are really on course. “From 2011 to November 2013, the NHIS was able to enrol 600,000 enrollees but in the last four months or thereabouts, we have been able to enrol more than 700,000 persons,’’ he said. Sharing similar sentiments, delegates of Ghana and Rwanda at the meeting opposed the 2020 deadline, insisting that many African countries had their peculiar challenges. They stressed that

“You cannot just work without a target; it is like playing football without a goalpost.”

2020 was too close for many African countries in efforts to attain effective implementation of UHC. Nevertheless, the representatives from Namibia, Senegal and Republic of Congo concurred with the proposed deadline. Dr Luis Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said that although the interest exhibited at having a deadline demonstrated the commitment of the health ministers to the full implementation of UHC, an agreement ought to be reached on a deadline. He urged African countries to strengthen their health care systems, while improving on efforts to have skilled human resources so as to ensure quality health care delivery. The ministers, therefore, agreed that a 2025 deadline should be set for AU member states to implement UHC so as to allow the countries to have more time to take action. They noted that the challenges facing most African countries in efforts to implement UHC included political instability and incoherent health financing policies. The ministers, therefore, pledged to develop comprehensive policies and strategies for health systems, in collaboration with other sectors, in their respective countries in order to achieve effective implementation of the health programme. All in all, analysts agree that the implementation of UHC will be feasible in Africa within the specified time-frame, if all countries exhibit appreciable commitment to providing unrestricted health care services for their citizens before the deadline.


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F nance

i

MRS Celina Bitrus, sells roasted yam at the popular al- Rufai Bus Stop, Kubwa Abuja. Business has slowed down of late, because of her inability to give change to buyers with higher denominations of the naira. “ If this scarcity of lower denominations continues, I may run out of business,’’ Bitrus who has been in the yam roasting business for over five years complained. Bitrus is not the only one affected, as many traders lament the predicament of having to look for change before they can make sales. According to them, scarcity of small denominations like N5, N10, N20, N50, N100 and N200 was hindering smooth business transactions. They say that they have to buy lower denominations to enable them make sales. Worst hit are hawkers, petty traders, commercial motor drivers and other informal businesses. A trader in Agege Market, Lagos said she had since resorted to buying lower denominations, adding that it reduced her profit margin. “I buy lower denomination currency at the Agege Motor Park so that I don’t have to be running helter-skelter looking for change to give to my customers. “The idea is working well, but at a cost. Passing the cost to the customers will make the items of my competitors cheaper. “The customers will go elsewhere to make their purchases, so I bear the extra cost,” she lamented. Malam Sani Saleh, a grain dealer at

Examing Effects Of Scarcity Of Lower Denomination Naira International Grain Market, Dawanau, Kano said that the time used in selling their products was now taking longer, as traders spent a lot of time looking for change. “We are left with coping with our

By FOLASADE FOLARIN Machines (ATMs) pay N500 and N1, 000 notes. In April 2013, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), announced that polymer notes of N5,

year, we will start producing the lower denomination notes in paper not in polymer. “My plea is that Nigerians should be patient with us. It wasn’t

Mrs. Sarah Alade, Acting CBN Governor

customer ’s change issue. I have to ask a customer if he has change before selling. ‘’You may end up going round the entire market without getting change of N1,000 or N500; this has been going on since 2013,’’ he said. Most commercial vehicle drivers, in their bid to save time and avoid arguments, demand payment from passengers before entering their vehicles. Customers however say that they cannot give what they do not have, as the banks and the Automated Teller

N10, N20 and N50 would be replaced with paper notes by the middle of the year. The announcement was made by Dr Tunde Lemo, then Deputy Director, Operations of the CBN. “By the middle of the

the fault of the CBN; it is just because we have to go back to the drawing board. “We will correct that in the course of the year. Polymer certainly will be phased out. In fact, no new note is being printed in polymer now,’’

he said. According to him, the new smaller denominations will be in paper form with their present features. “They will be on paper since we didn’t succeed in convincing Nigerians that those smaller denominations should be in coins. “But there will be a time in the future when we will all understand why they have to be coined. “But now, we are back to status quo ante; that is, they will reappear in the old form that they were except that they are going to be in paper, not polymer.’’ Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor, Head of C o r p o r a t e Communications Department of the CBN, said reverting to paper notes became necessary because of the challenges associated with polymer notes. He however noted that in spite of the CBN’s plan to print paper notes, the bank was determined in its effort to ensure a cashless society through the cashless policy initiative. “We want less of cash in the system. We are encouraging people to use their payment devices such as Point of Sale (PoS) machines, phone lines and ATM

cards,’’ he said. Okoroafor was quoted recently as saying that sufficient lower denominations had been circulated to the banks. “There is sufficient supply of lower denomination notes currently. We have supplied enough to the banks. “In addition, all our branches have been directed to indeed interface directly with members of the public including shop owners to enhance the easy circulation of these notes,’’ he said. Some banks in Abuja however said that the smaller denominations were now available, but easily exhausted. A grocer at Wuse Market in Abuja, Mr Tony Okechukwu, urged the CBN to solve the problem of scarcity of lower denominations. “We are tired of looking for change before we can sell our goods, CBN said they were changing from polymer notes to paper notes since last year, and until now we haven’t seen anything. “If paper notes are not coming, at least give us what we used to have before and make it available, please.’’ Okechukwu urged the CBN to do something about their predicament by injecting enough lower denominations into circulation. Injection of lower denominations into the system is what the people want. The CBN should do this.

“According to them, scarcity of small denominations like N5, N10, N20, N50, N100 and N200 was hindering smooth business transactions. They say that they have to buy lower denominations to enable them make sales.”


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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

P litics WATCHING Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso address the matriculating students of Northwest University, Kano, on national television, one thing was clear: the man whom students at the ceremony ought to have looked up to as a role model is the opposite of what a governor should be behaviour-wise. Instead of the governor to advise the matriculating students on how to be good citizens of the country, he used the occasion to attack the elected president of the country, calling him unprintable names. Moreover Kwankwaso and his cohorts turned what was supposed to be a solemn academic ceremony at a citadel of learning into a political rally. To make matters worse, the matriculating students were addressed in Hausa as if that is the official language of the university and as if the school is closed to students from other ethnic nationalities. The example shown by Kwankwaso at the ceremony raises worrying questions about the quality of education that Northwest University imparts. The essence of a proper matriculation ceremony where students are advised on how to be good students by avoiding anti-social activities like cultism and examination malpractice was lost on the governor who chose the occasion to announce his ambition of becoming the president of the country. While nobody is against Kwankwaso ambition, relying on a convoluted narrative about imagined vultures to push his campaign is what is inappropriate and unacceptable. In his verbal war against President Goodluck Jonathan, Kwankwaso said that Jonathan, his Vice, Secretary to the Federal

Kwankwaso And His Narrative Of Vultures Government as well as PDP are vultures. A governor whose utterances and deeds suggest that the gory and savage activities of the nefarious Boko Haram are commendable is today turning round to call others vultures. What an irony! Interestingly, Kwankwaso has kept the Kano electorate in the dark concerning the money meant for the development of the local council areas in the state; money which has m y s t e r i o u s l y disappeared under his watch. The self-righteous governor should have used the matriculation ceremony to explain to the young students how he has spent the money meant for the development of the state. N255 billion is not the sort of money that will just vanish. Yet, while the governor offered no answers as to where the money has flown to, he was busy darkening the hearts of the young minds who were matriculating with his uncouth narrative of vultures, hatred and ignorance. Kwankwaso in his vituperations on President Jonathan betrayed ignorance when he said that the president is insensitive to Nigerians because he was not mourning the death of Nigerians caused by the Boko

By CONSTANCE OKECHUKWU Haram, a terrorist organization which the governor has shown through his actions and words that he has

The same Jonathan who, according to Kwankwaso, is insensitive to Nigerians, cancelled all official engagements on

which he had, indeed and action, shown sympathy. Kwankwaso further debased governance when, after the unity rally organized by the Peoples Democratic Party, he organized his

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governor of Kano State

sympathy for. If Kwankwaso was not hellbent on mischief, he would have remembered that Jonathan visited the scene of the Nyanya bomb blast where he commiserated with the families affected by the blast.

that day to mourn the dead. The governor who is now moralizing has not cancelled any of his official assignments to visit Abuja and commiserate with the victims and certainly he would not do so because the blast has the signature of a group for

“Kwankwaso in his vituperations on President Jonathan betrayed ignorance when he said that the president is insensitive to Nigerians because he was not mourning the death of Nigerians caused by the Boko Haram, a terrorist organization which the governor has shown through his actions and words that he has sympathy for.�

cabinet members with brooms to sweep away the footprints of Jonathan and those who accompanied him to Kano for the unity rally. The sweeping exercise smacks of the attitude of a co-wife towards the success of her co-wives children. Such action is unbecoming of a sitting governor who wants Nigerians to support his ambition of replacing Jonathan as the president of the country. What would have been the reaction of the governor if any of the local government chairmen who were elected on the platform of

PDP decided to ignore his visit to the local government only to mobilize his cabinet to sweep away the footprints of the governor after he left? How does sweeping the footprints of Jonathan provide employment to the Kano youths? How does the sweeping exercise provide free education to the teeming almajiris in the state? How does the sweeping exercise provide health care to mothers, elderly people and infants in Kano State? It amuses one that a governor who should concentrate on how to develop the state as well as the electorate that brought him to power, is using the precious time of doing something meaningful for the state to engage in a laughable sweeping exercise. Simply put, Kwankwaso lost it when he left the facts on the ground to pour vituperation on the president; instead of telling the matriculating students how to make the country great and making good use of their time in the school. Kwankwaso and his cohort have refused to note that we are a nation, and as a nation we speak with one voice when a tragic incident like that blast in Nyanya happened instead of talking as if Jonathan caused the blast. If the APC, which the governor of Kano pretends to represent, wants to take over power from the incumbent at the centre, it is not by encouraging our common enemy Boko Haram whose goal is to snuff life out of us. Kwankwaso should note that Nigerians cannot be fooled again by the antics of politicians who criticize just to grab power only to behave worse than the person they had criticized unfairly.


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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

Today’s Diet

PhotoSpeak

With Pastor E. A. Adeboye

The Covenant Of Total Recovery MEMORY: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 Read: Genesis 17:1-7 ‘COVENANT’ literally denotes a contract. A contract is an agreement between two or more parties comprising of specific issues on which they have come to a consensus. At a later time, one of the parties involved may change his mind and that could dissolve the contract a covenant with God is more than that. It is an eternal arrangement and is eternally binding (Genesis 17:7). In our Bible reading today, our God entered into a covenant relationship with Abraham. He changed his name from Abram to Abraham and the name of his wife from Sarai to Sarah. When God enters into covenant with anyone, the first thing he does is to change the person to a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:1 7).The covenant between God and Abraham was sealed with the blood of circumcision. In the same vein, Christ shed His blood to seal the covenant between you and God (Matthew 26:28). Many blessings accrued to Abraham and Israel on the basis of the Abrahamic covenant. As long as they kept the covenant, there was no sick person among them; God became their only Physician (Exodus 15:26).The Almighty God was also their Protector (Exodus 23:26) and the captain of their host. The covenant guaranteed their physical protection from their enemies, from pestilence and from

diseases. When they sinned against God by breaking the laws of the covenant, their prosperity became austerity, and their blessings were turned to curses. Jesus is the founder of the new covenant (Hebrews 7:22). Whoever becomes a child of God by surrendering his or her life to Christ has a lot to gain from God, because Jesus stands behind every sentence in the New Covenant. The resources of heaven are behind Jesus and all power belongs to Him (Matthew 28:1 8). Are you a child of God? Have you surrendered your life to - Jesus? Are you born-again? Are you serving God in holiness and in truth? Be assured that the covenant of recovery is yours. Based on the new covenant,

every true child of God is called into a blessing that is richer and more assuring than is contained in the Abraharmic covenant. All you need is faith to access it (John 11:40). How do you experience this total recovery? Be born-again. Diligently study the scriptures to identify what is right and be diligent to do them. Be humble enough to trust God for your recovery and go ahead to receive your healing, divine health, divine prosperity, peace and life in abundance. Fray without ceasing, shun sin and continue to serve God in holiness and truth. Learn to appreciate God. Give thanks always and praise God for all things. Finally be a witness. Be a fruit-bearing Christian. Win souls and ensure that the souls won are followed up properly so that each will become a true disciple of Christ.

ACTION POINT Renew your covenant with God and make up your mind to be more committed to His service.

“Are you a child of God? Have you surrendered your life to - Jesus? Are you born-again? Are you serving God in holiness and in truth? Be assured that the covenant of recovery is yours. Based on the new covenant, every true child of God is called into a blessing that is richer and more assuring than is contained in the Abraharmic covenant.”

The Secretary to the Government of Edo State, Prof Julius Ihonvbere (6th right) in a group photograph with a delegation of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, led by the National President, Mr. Bode Adeaga during a courtesy visit to Government House, Benin City yesterday.

ADVERTISE IN THE WEEKEND OBSERVER AND GO CHANGE OF NAME OMOROGIEVAI forPLACES merly addressed as Miss

IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE IN THE WEEKEND OBSERVER CHANGE OF NAME

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EZEH –I formerly Miss Ezeh Chizoba Ogadimma, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. Nwankwo Chizoba Ogadimma. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note. CHANGE OF NAME

OKE- I formerly known and addressed as Miss Gloria Ugochukwu Oke now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Gloria Ugochukwu Omokhuale. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

ISIWELE- I formerly known and addressed as Miss. Isiwele .O. Rosemary now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Otoide O. Rosemary. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

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KYENLONG – I formerly known and addressed as Miss Kyenlong Jummai Janet Mangse now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Dalong Jummai. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

ODOKWU- I formerly addressed as Miss Gladys Kwene Odokwu now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Gladys Kwene Edoigiewerie. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities, Local Government Service Commission and the general public should please take note.

AKUE- I formerly known and addressed as Miss Akue Ehinomen Benedette now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Eronmwon Ehinomen Benedette. All former documents remains valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

Adesuwa Rhoda Omorogieva now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Rhoda Adesuwa Uyi H. Edokpayi. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.


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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

p

O inion Nigeria’s Leaders, Cabal Are Like Children WHEN you look at the leadership of Nigeria, one thing strikes you: they are like little children. The way, when you parent a child, you see them go for the cookie jar or the sweets… they want as much as they can have. They have not yet learned restrain—that too much is bad for you; responsibility. Children do not yet understand consequence, complex derivatives, dependence, addiction, prevention, precaution… control. These are things that in psychology, they say we learn after toilet control, from experiences… as we develop our superego. But our leaders did not develop the superego. They still dip their head in the honey jar, drinking and drinking, no stop. You only have to replace sweet with money and the identically becomes poignant. This is why you see they organize stuff like the deadly immigration recruitment scandal. They were just transfixed on the sweet, the money—more and more sweets, they craved. This is why they gathered millions and invited close to a million for interview the fateful day when they killed twenty of us, without realizing what was so wrong with their setup from the get-go. They lack the maturity to realize they are children. If they don’t get what they want, we know the tantrum, the way they will cry like they are about to die. The way they pinch you, hit you (plot terrorism) to get the sweet (loot). When you look at how they handle terror, you wonder, you are puzzled, piqued. What are they doing? Why are they doing such things? Where are the choppers? Where are the drones, the night-vision goggles? Where is the strategic response? And more critically, where is the strategic and tactical, societal prevention plan? There is none. Bomb after bomb, no plan! Abduction after abduction, nothing! Like children, their response is always one-track. I am bringing development. I built that road. I built that airport. I provided you telephone service; just like kids saydaddy, I did my homework, so can I get more sweets!!! Same way the leadership feels entitled to the money (sweets) they steal, due to (and as part of) the 10 things they did, out of the more urgent million they could do with the time and fortune of

By DR. PEREGRINO BRIMAH the nation, but did/do not. They have very simple minds: one track. The kid who says, I finished my meal, I did something great, and claps for himself, splattering more of the food he designed the table with, around the house. They are just children, we realize.

on simply who they are, but their insight, their understanding, and their long-term vision. We in Nigeria have children at the helm, the lowest cadre. One must commend the work of some of our editorials and outspoken outliers. Yes, these are the parents of the

David Mark Like the child who plays with a wobbly standing clock that is about to fall on his head and kill him, but he does not know or notice, so also the cabal of Nigeria and those of them in power, play with all sorts of dangerous ‘toys,’ without the faintest realization that these decisions or the lack of them kill thousands in the nation each time: Benue, Bama, Baga, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Yobe, Nyanya, Chibok, etc, etc. They’ve allowed that oil to spill and burned that gas in Bayelsa for 53 years! Children will never shut off an open bathtub tap, they’ll just waddle in the water and keep slapping it in glee, till the house is ruined and they drown if no adult comes. The hierarchical arrangement goes from children to parents and then the top level, ‘parents’ who are visionaries— philosophers. The visionaries, like late Awolowo and the founding fathers of America, build a nation with plans centuries ahead. Their campaigns are not based

pension money of your fellow police? That’s the child eating his brother’s candy because he does not yet understand the concepts of ‘mine’ and ‘yours,’ and ‘control’ and ‘repercussion.’ Remember when Goodluck Jonathan first handled the mantle of Nigeria and the national soccer team lost in South Africa? Remember how he

something? The way they go after the money; you see them old, old men, till they die, still wide eyes, stealing money (sweets). You see them sick, dying like Abacha; still they keep amassing the wealth (sweets). Remember those Abacha ads on NTA, those ‘who does the cap fit?’ and ‘where does the key fit?’ ads? Take a look at the

Jonathan children in power. Imagine what Nigeria would have been today had there not been Soyinka, Punch, SaharaReporters, Fela Kuti… PremiumTimes? *Shudder! The children ‘leaders’ would have emptied the entire syrup all over their heads and choked themselves (and the entire nation) to death. When you look at the police pension thief boss, you understand exactly what we are talking about. No adult will ever behave that way. Who will steal all that

disbanded the team? Or remember when he said, to test if the army is helping, I will withdraw it in Borno and you will see what happens? That second one was a joke the whole week on TV in America. This was on stations that usually don’t ever talk about or ‘know’ Nigeria; but this particular kiddy joke simply went viral. Over coffee, people were telling themselves that can you imagine a president of that country in Africa talked about pulling out troops from a conflict area to prove

senate, at governors, you will see them. They have stuffed their mouths with sweets, more than they can chew from several regimes passed. Take a look at the senate president for instance. His name is like ‘Nigeria.’ They never feel humiliated, ashamed or tired. You have to tell them when its bedtime, else, they will stay at it indefinitely. The community leaders, even the religious leaders are not much different. You hear them making lists and soliciting prayers and

“When you look at the police pension thief boss, you understand exactly what we are talking about. No adult will ever behave that way. Who will steal all that pension money of your fellow police? That’s the child eating his brother’s candy because he does not yet understand the concepts of ‘mine’ and ‘yours,’ and ‘control’ and ‘repercussion.’

responses for the children victims of terror, based on the religion of the children/ victims. Unbelievable, but that is our portion in Nigeria. Our Christian leaders go through victim lists to find those that are ‘theirs.’ Our Muslim leaders are not much different. We have to understand that these are children. Our president’s wife says she will ‘protest to Chibok.’ To do what? To demand the parents, who are the people in Chibok, ‘release their children?’ We ‘adults’ know protests and action either goes to Abuja or to Sambisa, not Chibok. Relief is what should go to Chibok, Chibok is a place of mourning, not a place of noise, political filth and protest; but these people are children, we do not expect them to reason as adults. And her husband who is clearly evenly yoked with her, argues that Nigeria is not poor, because he and his cabal entourage took the most private jets in history to Nairobi; he says that, Nigeria has Dangote, the world’s 25th richest billionaire—one of the culprits who benefits from government enforced oligopolies that ensure 100 million Nigerians are desolate, living below the dollar-a-day mark—that billionaire’s like Dangote prove we are a ‘rich’ people. A child will say that because he eats three times-a-day, the whole world does so too. It is a wonder how with these children, Nigeria has gotten along this far; but clearly Nigeria has reached the end of its survival under the rule of children, even with the supervision of the media (adults) and new generation youth (parents) and other vocal outlier (parents) critics. For the dead, maimed, kidnapped, poisoned, robbed, raped, it’s been way too long already that we the adults of Nigeria didn’t grab the steering from the kids. And for us, if we do not pull them off the stool now, and take control, we will crash so horribly, it will be the most epic recorded human catastrophe read in history books of the future. What date do we get them out of the driver seat, stuff their mouths with a pacifier and fasten them in their strollers? Our 234 girls in the bushes, married and raped by terrorists (terrorists made and tolerated by our children in power) for three weeks, deserve this at the very least from us.


THE WEEKEND

29

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

n

I sight HAVE you ever imagined what your life would have been If God was not on your side or what you have done right to merit the privileges you are

by the day with special detention centers created for them. An unemployed single mother of five children who has the misfortune of having one of them as a sickler has been faced

there is nothing they can really do than to appeal passionately to the patients to pay up. But with the hash economic situation in the country, can one really blame these patients who

on wealthy Nigerians to sometimes remember these categories of people who are unable to foot their medical bills and not only concentrate on showing love to the orphans alone while they

was rushed to the Teaching Hospital at Oghara, in Delta State and after examination by a Ear, Nose and Throat, ENT doctor, the baby was referred to the UBTH for surgery which must be done on that same day or

Indigent Patient Prisoners Of Health Institutions

enjoying today and not the other way round. Your existence on earth is the greatest miracle which has happened to you but because you wake up and all is well, you hardly value the importance of sleeping and waking up with good health. When it is good for you, it should be noted that some other people are not as fortunate like you as there are different sides to a coin so there are different situations for others. A visit to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH will give anyone with a heart of stone another reason to appreciate God for His mercies and protection and thank Him for whatever situation they find themselves. When you are mentally and physically well, you don’t know what you have until you meet someone who is sick and in a difficult situation without money to take care of him or herself. There are several patients who have received treatment first from the hospital due to the severity of the ailment and when they are discharged from the hospital bed they are unable to pay the bills for the treatment. They are detained by the hospital authorities until the relations of the patients go and bring the money to settle their debts. On some occasions the relations who could not get such money especially if it is on the high side, abandon such patients. This is the situation in several government owned hospitals and the number of these indigent patients are increasing

By EUBALDUS ENAHORO

with the burden of settling a bill of N150, 000 after the child was discharged from

on arrival at the hospital are in very critical conditions.

UBTH. Being unable to pay the bill, the patient is being held prisoner while the mother goes about seeking for help to defray the bill, and there are several of such patients with much more higher bills to settle. They have been discharged from the bed to create space for other patients and they are only allowed to sleep on the bare floor. With this condition some of them have been infected with other diseases while waiting for their relations to scout for money to pay up. On a daily basis the numbers of these categories of patients are increasing and the hospital authorities can no longer cope with the trend, and

At that stage, they cannot be turned back but attended to by the doctors whose business is to save lives. It is a fact that no one will deliberately want to fall sick, but when it comes they must seek for treatment and the government hospitals are more receptive to such patients because the private hospitals will first demand for some form of payment before admitting the patients. There have been cases when the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole paid the bills of such discharged patients at the UBTH who could not pay in the past. There is a clarion call

are celebrating their birthday or want to extend help to the needy. It is not that there are no efforts by some persons

and organizations towards alleviating the plight of the poor patients, but more should be done because God has blessed them to be a blessing to others rather than pilling up riches for their unborn children. There is the story of a mother of a two year old child who swallowed a tiny wristwatch battery who

the life of the child will be at stake because the battery was already emitting poisonous substances in the toddlers stomach. The female doctor immediately wrote her recommendations and

directed that the child be taken to the theatre directly when they get to the hospital in Benin City. Apparently confused for the lack of money to begin the journey to Benin City, the parent of the child was asking which was the way to UBTH. At that point, the life of

the little girl who probably would become a doctor in future is at the mercy of money that will facilitate the surgery to take out the battery from her bowels. Even when they get to UBTH and the operation is carried out successfully, the inability of the parent to meet up with the hospital bill may make them join the prisoners of health. A patient who was referred to go for diagnosis in a well equipped hospital in the Eastern part of the country could not afford the bill given to him and he decided to go home, few days later he died. There are so many who are victims of inadequate medical attention due to financial constraints and they kick the bucket, while those who could afford to treat themselves are still living. The efforts of our government to provide the necessary health institutions that will bring affordable health care to the reach of all Nigerians is a subject that should be taken seriously through the national health insurance scheme which should not be limited to some class of people alone. It is necessary for the affluent in our midst to be merciful especially to the needy and poor. There are so many people living in affluence whose neighbors are languishing in abject poverty. There are many who cannot feed properly once a day, is it these same people who will be able to foot the exorbitant hospital bills when they fall sick, they would rather remain alive as prisoners of these health institutions than be killed by sickness.

“The efforts of our government to provide the necessary health institutions that will bring affordable health care to the reach of all Nigerians is a subject that should be taken seriously through the national health insurance scheme which should not be limited to some class of people alone.�


THE WEEKEND

30

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

Dummett Threatened Over Suarez Tackle

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is foulded by Newcastle United’s Paul Dumeet, who was sent off for the challenge.

NEWCASTLE defender Paul Dummett was the subject of online death threats on Thursday after Uruguay fans blamed him for the injury that has dealt Luis Suarez a World Cup scare. The Uruguay Football Association announced that 27year-old Suarez had undergone minor knee surgery, suggesting he damaged the meniscus in Liverpool’s final match of the season against Newcastle. Suarez’s arthroscopic surgery lasted about 30 minutes and he is likely to be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks, but Uruguay officials remain confident he will be fit for the World Cup. Uruguay’s first match is against Costa Rica on June 15 before they face England in Sao Paolo on June 19. The assurances were not enough to prevent a furious reaction from several Uruguay supporters on Twitter, including menacing warnings for 22-year-old full-back

Arsene Wenger Backed To Spend Big

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger could break the club’s transfer record again this summer, club director Lord Harris of Peckham has told The Times. The Gunners spent a clubrecord 42.5 million pounds on Mesut Ozil from Real

Madrid last summer, with Wenger having previously been reluctant to spend big

in the transfer window. After finishing fourth in the Premier League and lifting their first trophy since 2005, Wenger is being encouraged to again strengthen his squad this summer, amid reports of a return for midfielder Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. Harris said: “We want to win the Premier League and the Champions League. If we buy two or three players then I think we can. “We want to win. We don’t want to be second, we don’t want to be third and we don’t want to be fourth. We will support Arsene with the players he wants to buy. He has always been encouraged to spend.” Asked if Arsenal could exceed the fee spent on Ozil, Harris said: “We would. It

Arsene Wenger

Rodgers Prepares ForAnother Title Tilt

RODGERS has galvanised the Merseyside club, steered Liverpool back into the UEFA Champions League and brought a buzz back to

Brendan Rodgers

matchdays at Anfield. While missing out on being crowned champions of England for the first time since 1990 to Manchester City will be hard to stomach for everybody associated with Liverpool, Rodgers is keen to back up his ‘we go again’ mantra by being decisive in the close-season. And plans are already in place to strengthen his squad as he bids to keep pace with the likes of City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, who are

also expected to be active in the transfer market. “As much as we’ve had a good season, we want to go one better next season if we can,” Rodgers told the club’s official website. “Our work has started already. “We had a three-hour recruitment meeting. So there is certainly no complacency; we’re hungry to succeed here. “You can’t take your eye off the ball. This is an everevolving league; it gets better every season. “We’re in a league where there are not just British players - this is a league that is full of world-class players.”

would be easy. “I wouldn’t say it [the total transfer budget] is 100 million pounds, I wouldn’t say it’s 50 million pounds and I wouldn’t say it’s 150 million pounds. “If Arsene has asked for any player then we have always backed him to go and buy. With the exception of [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo or [Gareth] Bale, we could buy

most players.” Wenger has yet to officially agree a new contract at Emirates Stadium, with his current terms due to expire this summer, but Harris is already looking beyond the deal the Frenchman is expected to sign in the coming weeks. Harris added: “He gave us his word back in the autumn, just after the season started, and it was just a case of sorting it out. “If he wins the league and the cup and the Champions League in the next three years, then I am sure he will stay [on after that].”

Dummett, who collided with Suarez towards the end of Liverpool’s 2-1 victory at Anfield. Dummett was sent off after catching Suarez in what looked an accidental collision, and his red card was later rescinded. One Twitter user wrote: “Hi @PaulDummett, from Uruguay we hope someday u come here to have a nice time w/ friends. We have things for you, like a bullet in the head.” Another posted: “We kill you.” There had been no report of an injury for Suarez as a result of the challenge, but he complained of pains at the start of Uruguay’s training camp and was sent for an MRI scan. Dummett, who has been called up by Wales for their forthcoming friendly with Netherlands, told the Daily Mirror on Thursday: “The challenge was inadvertent. I hit him and the ball with my left foot and he went down under the challenge. “I hope he makes the World Cup because he is one of the best players in the world so he should be there. Having said that, I injured my meniscus three years ago and I was out for three months, so it will depend on the injury and exactly where it is on the knee.” Asked about the fact an injury to Suarez could help England, he said in Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle newspaper: “I was born in Newcastle and went to school here but I am a Welshman now in that I am playing for Wales. I qualified through my dad’s dad, who is Welsh. “Suarez thinks he will be back in two weeks — we will have to wait and see how he does.”

Moyes Investigated Over Alledged Bar Assault FORMER Manchester United manager David Moyes is being investigated over an allegation he assaulted a man in a wine bar. The Scot, who endured 10 unsuccessful months as the manager of Manchester United before being relieved of his duties in April, was reported to police for allegedly assaulting a 23-year-old man. The former Preston and Everton boss is said to have been at the Emporium wine bar in Clitheroe on Wednesday evening, reportedly around 10pm, when the alleged incident occurred. Lancashire police released the following statement: “Police are investigating a report of an assault at the Emporium wine bar in Clitheroe. “Officers attended the bar at about 10pm yesterday (Wednesday, May 21st) and it was reported that a 23 year old local man had been assaulted by a 51-year-old man. He did not require hospital

treatment. “Inquiries are ongoing and we are speaking to a number of people to try to establish the circumstances. “There are a number of dif-

David Moyes

fering accounts which we need to work through to try to establish exactly what has happened. “No-one has been arrested at this stage.”


THE WEEKEND

31

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

Cameroon Set For Moldova Warm Up CAMEROON have found a replacement for their planned World Cup send off in Yaounde next month with Moldova agreeing to play on June 7, Cameroon Football Federation chairman Joseph Owona said yesterday.

Earlier this week, Cameroon announced the cancellation of the planned final pre-World Cup warm-up and send off in front of their home fans against Guatemala. The match will be the last for Volker Finke’s squad before they travel to Brazil, where they play in Group A against the hosts, Croatia and Mexico. Cameroon on Tuesday started their training in Austria and play friendly matches against Macedonia, Paraguay and Germany before a brief return home for the last stage of the preparations.

Injured Lars Bender To Miss World Cup GERMANY have suffered another injury blow as Lars Bender has been ruled out of the World Cup with a thigh problem, the DFB announced yesterday. The 25-year-old Bayer Leverkusen player sustained the injury during training on Thursday and will now miss the tournament in Brazil, handing head coach Joachim Loew more selection problems in midfield. “It is disappointing for everyone when a player suffers an injury that close to the tournament. I am really sorry for Lars,” Loew said on the official DFB website. “I know he absolutely wanted to make it to Brazil. He is a role model on and off the pitch.” Bender, who has been capped 17 times by Die Mannschaft, can play in holding midfield, but also played at right-back during the 2012 European Championships. The Bayer Leverkusen player’s versatility would have been useful for Joachim Loew, who already has fitness concerns for the main figures in holding midfield. Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is in Italy for Germany’s training camp, but has been limited to light work on the training pitch due to knee problems. Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira will join Loew and his men next week, but

the former Stuttgart player has only just returned to action following an ACL tear in November. Borussia Dortmund duo Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender both failed to make the Germany squad with persistent injury problems. Still, Loew ruled out calling up another player to his squad for the tournament in Brazil, which former Germany captain Michael Ballack believes the manager needs to win in order to keep his job.

2014 World Cup

Keshi, Home-Based Eagles Depart For London ’Morrow THE Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, and members of his technical crew are scheduled to depart the country tomorrow for London ahead of Eagles’ international friendly with Scotland. Ademola Olajire, the Assistant Director, Communications, Nigeria Football Association (NFA) told newsmen that the team would depart aboard British Airways. The match scheduled to take place on May 28 at Craven Cottage, London, is one of the tune-up matches lined up for the Eagles’ preparation for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. “The team will depart from Abuja aboard British Airways in the morning of Sunday, May 25. “They will get to London in the evening and will stay at the Hilton Cobham Hotel. “The match is on May 28,

Azubuike Egwuekwe

comfort of the team both in the U.S. and in Brazil. “Everything concerning the team’s movement and stay both in the U.S. and Brazil have been sorted out,” he said.

Stephen Keshi

Wilshere Takes Number Seven Shirt

Lars Bender

I’Won’t Disappoint At World Cup - Egwuekwe

SUPER Eagles defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe, has pledged to put up a superlative performance at the 2014 World Cup. He spoke against the backdrop of his unimpressive outing during the 1-2 loss by his Warri Wolves side to Crown of Ogbomosho in Ibadan on

in the evening, at the Craven Cottage ground of Fulham Football Club,’’ Olajire said. According to Olajire, the five home-based players in the team are expected to depart with the technical crew, while the foreignbased players will link up with the team in London. The home-based players include goalkeepers Chigozie Agbim and Daniel Akpeyi , defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe and Kunle Odunlami as well as winger, Ejike Uzoenyi. The NFA spokesperson also said that the team would depart London on May 29 for Philadelphia, U.S., in preparation for another tune-up match with Greece on June 3. He further said that the team would depart Philadelphia for Florida, U.S., for the tune-up match with the national team of the U.S. on June 7 at Jacksonville. Olajire also said that the team would finally depart

the U.S. on June 10 for Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the World Cup where they will base for their group games. He said that all logistics and financial arrangements had been made for the

Wednesday. But Egwuekwe told newsmen after the Globacom Premier League match that he would not be found wanting at the World Cup. “Today was not a good day for us, especially me. If we had played the way we often did, then we could have emerged victorious against Crown,’’ he said. NAN reports that Egwuekwe is among the 30 players short listed for camping ahead of the Super Eagles’ preparation for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The defender was among the bronze-winning team at the last African National Championship (CHAN ) in South Africa in February. Speaking on the presence of

players like Lionel Messi of Argentina and Andrés Iniesta of Spain in their countries’ World Cup squads, he said there was nothing to fear. Egwuekwe admitted that even though these were good players, he had the experience playing against them in the Confederation Cup . “When we played against them at that competition, I saw them as players like me and that gave me the confidence to check them. “It will surely be a different ball game when we play at the World Cup. “My poor outing against Crown means nothing as I am prepared to hold any player if I make Coach Stephen Keshi’s squad,” he said.

JACK Wilshere looks to be firmly in Roy Hodgson’s first-team plans after he was handed the number seven shirt for the World Cup. The Football Association announced England’s squad numbers for the tournament in Brazil on Thursday afternoon. Wilshere has endured an injury-hit season for Arsenal, but he has been given the number seven

Jack Wilshere

shirt, which suggests the midfielder could be in line to start England’s World Cup opener against Italy on June 14. Frank Lampard also looks to be in the first-team reckoning as he has been given the number eight shirt. Danny Welbeck will wear 11 despite his poor season at Manchester United. Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana have been

widely tipped to sneak ahead of Welbeck into the first team, but they have been given 19 and 20 respectively. Lallana wears the same number for his club team Southampton. Leighton Baines looks to be Hodgson’s first-choice left-back. He will wear three in South America while his main rival Luke Shaw has been handed 23. Captain Steven Gerrard will wear four while talismanic striker Wayne Rooney, as expected, has been given the No.10 shirt. Daniel Sturridge has been rewarded for his fine season with Liverpool by being appointed England’s number nine - following an illustrious list of strikers that includes the likes of Alan Shearer and Sir Bobby Charlton. Hodgson confirmed Phil Jagielka (six) and Gary Cahill (five) as his firstchoice centre-half pairing. England’s only out and out right-back, Glen Johnson, will wear two. There were no surprises at the top of the list, where Joe Hart’s name stood as England’s number one.


THE WEEKEND

32

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

CMYK

Champions League Final Thriller In Lisbon Today

• Diego Costa

• Arda Turan

Costa, Turan Train Ahead Of Today’s Final

DIEGO Costa and Arda Turan both trained with the rest of the Atletico Madrid

• Cristiano Ronaldo

group, and could be fit for the Champions League final. Atleti face Real

Match Preview: Why All The

Pressure Is On Real Madrid

IT’S quite amazing for two teams from the same town to be playing each other in the final of the Champions League. It’s unique! It means that half the city will be will be happy, and half of it will be sad at the end of Carlo Ancelotti too at the match. But we football lovers, Real. The Italian has intewe only wish that we will see a nice match. grated well in the SpanAll the ingredients are ish team. Ancelotti is here. One team is able to well adapt anymore compact, relies where because he has more on defence, and real human intelligence the other team is more and he quickly underskilled, twirling and stands how it will go. I think he had a great fast. But, ultimately, both are counter-at- season, as he does tacking teams, and the everywhere he goes. first goal will set the Real want to win this tone for the rest of the final so badly. If they lose it, they will be refinal. It’s a nice clash of ally disappointed. At styles. Diego the end, 12 months of Simeone’s team plays hard work will be delike him, with a lot of cided on details, and fighting spirit and ag- it’s a bit hard to accept gressiveness, but also it. You have to forget the a lot of tactical discipline. He did a wonder- idea that the manager ful job with Atletico. is responsible for the

result of a final. As a manager, you control the quality of the work all year long. But the greatest players make the difference during matches. An important match is quite easy to analyse: your goalkeeper has to save one or two dangerous shots, and one of your best players has to appear and make the difference. It’s as simple as that. If your goalkeeper does not have a good day, if your best player is having a bad day, you are much more likely to lose the final. The outcome of the final will depend on big players. Naturally, all other players must play well too, but the difference will be made by these players. And it’s

Ronaldo Trains, Pepe Si€ts Out CRISTIANO Ronaldo trained normally with the rest of the Real Madrid squad, but Pepe is unlikely to be fit for the Champions League final. Los Blancos face Atletico Madrid in the European Cup clash today at Lisbon’s Estadio da Luz. Ronaldo trained for

25 minutes with the rest of the group, and 20 minutes on his own with the physios. Karim Benzema meanwhile, was on his own with the doctors, with the medical staff keeping a eye on his troublesome groin. Pepe though, is set to miss the match today with Carlo Ancelotti

resigned to the fact that Raphael Varane will start at centre-back alongside Sergio Ramos. Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for Englishspeaking fans of Spanish football

hard to bet on anything. Atletico have managed their most important matches well in recent years: they were present in the Europa League, in the European Super Cup. The real pressure will be on Real. Atletico will have the advantage of being the outsiders who are able to destroy their rivals. They are really good at this, and I was very

impressed when they played against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The real question with Atletico is: how far will they be able to go physically? They don’t have a lot of extra players and this team has given a lot.

Madrid in the European Cup clash in Lisbon today - with both forwards injury doubts having come off injured in last weekend’s league decider against Barcelona. Costa, who has scored 27 goals in La Liga and eight in the Champions League this term, left the field of play following a recurrence of a hamstring injury while Turan came off with a pelvic complaint. But in their last training session before they left for the

Portuguese capital, the pair played a part along with the rest of the squad. The Spain international is hopeful that the horse placenta treatment he underwent in Belgrade this week will cure his hamstring tear in time for the match. Turan’s bruised hip has healed quicker than expected but the Turkish international remains a risk should he feature.

Real’s Final Place Fully Deserved - Ramos REAL Madrid defender Sergio Ramos says his first Champions League final — against Atletico Madrid in Lisbon today — is a reward for the hard work and sacrifice put in over the years. Ramos, 28, has won three La Liga titles, three Copas del Rey and three Spanish Supercopas with Madrid, as well as two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup with Spain. But he has not yet experienced a Champions League final in his career, with Los Blancos having fallen at the semifinal stage in each of the last three cam-

paigns. The Andalucian told his club’s official website that playing in the biggest European club game of the season would be a “unique” and “amazing” experience. “This is a unique experience,” Ramos said. “It is a reward for all the hard work and sacrifice over so many years. Although, we look it from the perspective of the group, this is the payoff for the work the team has put in throughout the last few years, during which time we hadn’t been fortunate enough to reach the final. At last the time has

come to experience this amazing moment.” Having Carlo Ancelotti, who has won the trophy twice as a player and twice as a coach, on the Madrid bench was a big boost, Ramos said. “Apart from being the boss, the skipper, the captain of the ship, he’s a friend and he understands us perfectly,” he said. “That makes the job a lot easier and it lifts your self-esteem and confidence. “In this sense he’s one of the main reasons behind the great season that Madrid has had, fighting for the league until the end, winning the Copa del Rey and

now having the chance to play in the Champions League final”. The former Sevilla player has scored five goals in last six games, after previously going 41 games without scoring for Madrid or Spain. “It’s always great to end a season in a very good state mentally,” Ramos said. “Physically I’m also in very good shape and, in front of the goal, if I can contribute and add things for the team, then all the better. “But although we all excel individually, what’s important is our teamwork, and all this will help us go into the final at our best.”

Printed and published by Bendel Newspapers Company Limited, 24, Airport Road, P.M.B. 1334 Benin City. Telephone; Lagos: 01 4930929, Benin: 052 257492, 257531 Editor: HENRY BALOGUN- (08058767088). Deputy General Manager (Marketing) (08023457566), Assistant General Manager (Advertisement) (08023808856) Lagos Office: 25A Alli Street, Off

Tinubu Square, Lagos Island, Lagos. Abuja Office: Floor 1, Edo House, 75 Ralph Shodeinde Street, Central Business District, Abuja. Tel/Fax: 09-5237631.

Nigerian observer 24 05 2014  
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