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The Nigerian

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol . 38 • NO. 427 • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 20 14 • N 100. 0 0

CUTTING EDGE Page 13 On the state of the Nigerian State


Impotence and erectile dysfunction

2015: Edo North, Igbo leaders endorse Ihonvbere

BENIN CITY Leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Etsako Central and East Local Government Area of Edo state, weekend, at different fora, endorsed

Professor Julius Ihonvbere for the 2015 Edo North senatorial seat, saying, “we will send our very best to the senate in 2015”. Besides, the Ndigbo community leaders in

Edo North Senatorial District during a courtesy visit to the Secretary to Edo State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere at the weekend said, “whoever is a friend to

Ndigbo should be rest assured that all is well.”

According to Etsako East APC leader, Prince Malik Afegbua who among other party leaders played

Continues on page 2

Edo moves against ghost teachers

IGARRA (EDO) - The Chairman, Edo State Committee on Education, Mr Mayaiki John, yesterday re-stated the state government’s commitment to get rid of ghost workers in public primary and secondary schools. Mayaiki made the became imperative commitment during the following the discovery of committee’s assessment ghost workers and tour of government teachers in government schools in Igarra, Akoko payroll. Edo Local Government “We are on Area of the state. assessment tour of He said that the government schools in committee was in the the state in order for us area to assess the quality to salvage the education of personnel in the 71 primary schools and 28 Public secondary schools in the area with a view to Schools updating the staff and teachers’ data on Oshiomhole government’s payroll. Study Group He said that the idea

sector. “The aim of the committee is to locate all government schools in the area to know the number of students as well as teachers on government’s

payroll amongst others,’’ he said. The committee chairman also said that the committee’s mandate included making recommendation to government on the

quality of intervention needed in various schools. Also speaking, the chairman of the council, Mr Joseph Akerejola, pledged to update the

committee with necessary information on schools in the area. He identified manpower and infrastructure as prominent areas schools in the area needed g o v e r n m e n t ’ s intervention. “I am ready to give full support to the committee by making available vital Continues on page 2

warns vandals

GOVERNMENT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT As part of efforts by the Edo State Government to reposition the educational sector in the state, the State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole has invited the executives of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Parents, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, (ASUSS), Benin Forum, Afenmai Forum, Esan Forum, Civil Society Groups, NonGovernmental Organisations, Market Women Association, Student Groups, Women Associations, Media Practitioners, Teachers, Parents Teachers Associations, Community leaders and indeed other stakeholders in the education sector to a one-day Town Hall Meeting on Education scheduled as follolws: Date: Today, February 25, 2014 Venue: Imaguero College Hall, Sapele Road, Benin City. Time: 10.00am prompt Invited guests and stakeholders are to be seated by 9.30a.m, please. SIGNED: PETER OKHIRIA, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Announcer

BENIN CITY – A research-based support group, Adams Oshiomhole Study Group has condemned in strong terms the increase in vandalism of renovated infrastructure in public schools across the State and the wanton criticism of government’s good intentions on various issues in recent times. Coordinator of the group Joseph Gbale, who led other members of the group made the statement during a courtesy visit to Continues on page 2

SEMINAR: President Goodluck Jonathan being welcomed by the Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Patrick Agholor at the International Seminar on the Imperatives of the Observance of Human Rights and International Human Law Norms in Internal Security Operations in Abuja yesterday.

CJ constitutes 2nd election petition tribunal

By ROLAND OSAKUE BENIN CITY – The Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Cromwell Idahosa has constituted the second State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal. The constitution is in line with the State Local Government Electoral Law 2012 (as

amended). A statement endorsed by Hilary Enemaku Esq,

the Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice indicates that the three member

tribunal has Justice Efe Ikponmwen as Chairman while Justice E.A. Edigin

and Justice J.I Acha would serve as first and second member respectively.

Late Queen: Oba Erediauwa thanks all BENIN CITY – The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa has expressed appreciation

to everyone who commiserated with him over the demise of his eldest wife, Oloi Esther Omoyemwense Erediauwa, the Eson

N’Erie of Benin Kingdom. The Oba also expressed appreciation to all those who sent cash and gifts to the Children of his late wife for her

burial ceremony. A statement signed by Secretary to Benin Traditional Council, Frank Irabor indicated Continues on page 2


Edo North, Igbo leaders endorse Ihonvbere

Continued from page 1

host to Ihonvbere in Okpela, “I just want to ask one question, if somebody like this, with a long credentials come to tell you that it’s not governorship this time but want to go to Senate, what will you do with him? “This is the appointed day by God for him to come here. You can see the crowd here, it is because of the love they have

for him. He is a very humble person. Here is a man that contested for governorship of this state twice and you all know what happened but because of the good works the governor is doing, he decided to hang his garment of pride to come and work with the Comrade Governor as SSG. “We have our leaders. We will not impose you on our

people, we will consult and let you know our decision, but I pray God will say yes to your ambition”, he said. Ihonvbere had said he decided to find sometime to consult his people because, according to him, “I looked at Afenmai and as people with very rich history, and very proud to have made countless contributions, both to the development of Nigeria and

Oshiomhole Study Group warns vandals Continued from page 1

the Executive Chairman of Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Chief Oseni Elamah in Benin City. Mr. Gbale in his speech informed Chief Oseni Elamah that the group is dedicated to defence and promotion of the ideals of good governance, people-centred development, public finance prudence and accountability, which the Oshiomhole administration has stood for since inception. Mr. Gbale posited that the pivotal role of Chief Elamah as a patron of the Adams Oshiomhole Study Group would further re-invigorate the values which have endeared the Adams Oshiomhole

brand-name to the citizenry. He expressed the resolve of the group to serve as a formidable non-governmental diplomatic corps with the objective of being the first and last line of defence of the man, Adams Oshiomhole and his legacies. In his response, the Executive Chairman, Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Chief Oseni Elamah, thanked the group for the visit, saying that he is proud to associate with any group that had a lot of offer the society. Chief Oseni Elamah described the Adams Oshiomhole Support Group as a formidable group that will sustain the legacies of the

Adams Oshiomhole administration. He commended members of the group for the confidence in the programmes and policies of the Oshiomhole administration. Chief Elamah noted that the reforms so far carried out by the current administration in all the sectors have yielded positive impact. Highpoint of the visit was the investiture of Chief Elamah as a patron of the group and presentation of award. On the visit were various local government areas coordinators and other members of the Adams Oshiomhole Study Group.

Veteran journalists commiserates BENIN CITY – The League with Oba Erediauwa of Journalists (LVJ), has sent a message of condolence to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolor over the saddening loss of his wife and confidant, Oloi Esther Omoyemwense Erediauwa, Eson N’Erie of Benin Kingdom. In a condolence message signed by its Edo State Council Chairman, Elder J.O. Obadigie (JP), the League recalled the contributions made by the Eson “to the monumental achievements of your monarchy and the peaceful reign over your people.” The league, while acknowledging the late Oloi’s contributions to the Oba’s achievement with his peaceful reign over the kingdom, noted that “a close study of her role shows a compassionate queen and mother, always ready to offer service for the people”. The league recalled the celebration of her 75th birthday anniversary and the outpouring of love on her by both corporate, individual and

Oba Erediauwa thanks all

Continued from page 1

numerous organisations, leading to her establishing a foundation to cater for the underprivileged.

Imbibe Sanitation habits, EDSG urges citizens several ailments. By TESSY OTENE BENIN CITY - Edo State Government has called on residents in the State to imbibe Environmental sanitation habit so as to make their Environment clean, safe and healthy. This was disclosed by the Acting General Manager, Edo State Waste Management Board, Comrade Gillian Ochugbue to newsmen while monitoring the Monthly Environmental Sanitation exercise held at the weekend. Comrade Ochugbue noted that Edo state Government is committed to ensuring that the environment is clean and safe for people to live, adding that a dirty environment can cause

(APC), has rejected the outcome of the bye-election into Takum 1 State constituency. INEC conducted the poll on February 22 to fill the vacant position created by the death of the former Speaker of State Assembly, Continued from page 1 Mr. Haruna Tsokwa in document that would aid November 2013. your job,’’ he said. The Independent National The committee is expect

While supervising the evacuation of refuse with top directors of the Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities, She urged the residence to properly bag their refuse or put it in a drum with cover so as to avoid littering their premises. She assured the residence that State Government’s intervention in refuse collection from household and the public places, especially in the areas where the Accredited Waste Manager has failed to carry out its statutory function will continue. Ochugbue called on the people to support the next level Agenda of the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and however appealed to the resident to always desilt their drains, as Government is happy when there is collaboration.

A Taraba APC rejects Takum Bye-election result

JALINGO - Alhaji Hassan that the Oba prayed God Almighty and the ancestors to Ardo, the Taraba Interim bless them all and prevent Chairman of All such mishap from their family Progressives Congress

Edo moves against ghost teachers

It therefore expressed the condolence of its members, not only to the monarch, bid also to her children and the royal household.

Electoral Commission (INEC) had returned the PDP candidate, Mr. Daniel Tsokwa, as the winner of the election. Tsokwa polled 36,070 votes to defeat his APC rival, Mr. Musa Danjuma, who clinched 4,479 votes. Reacting to the conduct of the poll, Ardo told journalists that it was characterised by “massive rigging and manipulation in favour of the ruling PDP’’. He said the party was considering various options,

state, I realize that if you look at the political balancing and the kind of representation we have now at the Senate, it’s not a true picture of the spirit, courage, vision and intelligence of the Afenmai person. “If I was convinced as a teacher, a pro-democracy activist and administrator, that the incumbent was performing at 30 per cent I wouldn’t have run against him; there would be no need because there would be hope that he will get to 40 per cent and 50 per cent “But, when I looked at what it takes to be a Senator, when I looked at what Afenmai land needs from the Senator, I did not see it there. According to a market woman in Uzeba, the Senate is not a place for political idiocy, recklessness and parambulation. “I believe that somebody going to Senate to represent Afenmai land must be thorough and intellectually sound. He must have capacity for research; he must have ability to understand issues, analyze issues and draw conclusions both medium and long term. “A Senator must be able to anticipate political developments in the state, nation and articulate the interest of Afenmai people in the direst instance. “I believe a Senator is not someone who seeks votes, gets there and forgets the people. If you forget the ladder that took you up or you set it on fire, you forget that you will come down one day; that is not the kind of person who should be your senator. “A Senator is not a person who shows off once a year with some bags of rice and say am your Senator, remember me. He has to be a consistent person and be persistent in his engagement with the people, communities, constituencies and leaders to demonstrate what he or she is doing there for the district. “A Senator must have the ability to recognize that women constitute the majority in Nigeria. A Senator must be able to demonstrate to you on this floor, his track records of engagements, of support, of encouragement and of mentoring. “A Senator representing Afenmai land must be able to come and sit with the Governor and say I want to discuss Edo North with you and not only coming with a small list to say, I want SSA but to be able to sit and discuss with the Governor and chart a course for your people; you must have national and international connections. “A Senator who is worth his or her salt must at least, at the very minimum invite the local government chairmen and councilors to ask, how are you people faring, what nature of support they want and what they want you to present at the national assembly. “I am here to plead with you to give me your support, to let us work together, to let us set a new standard and for you to know that when I give you my words, I will not let you down”.

Edo Renames 3 hospitals BENIN CITY – Edo State Government has re-named the three Women and Children Hospitals in the state. The hospitals are Stella Obasanjo Women and Children Hospital, Benin City now to be known as Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin City. Women and Children Hospital Otuo, now to be known as Otuo Hospital, Otuo, while Women and Children Hospital, Ewohimi will now be known as Ewohimi Hospital, Ewohimi. A statement by the Honourable Commissioner

for Health Dr. (Mrs.) Aihanuwa Eregie says the State Executive Council in its 3rd meeting, held on 20th January, 2014 formally approved the re-naming of the three hospitals. The council decision, she added has become imperative as services provided by these health facilities go beyond the care of women and children only, but also include full range of care as in any standard hospital. She however enjoined the general public to please take note and be guided with the changes.

IBADAN - Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will find a lasting solution to unemployment in the country, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo said yesterday in Ibadan. Okorocha made the pledge at the Progressive Governors Forum, convened by APC to address the issue of unemployment in the country. Delivering a paper entitled: “Visioning Progressive Governance’’, Okorocha said that the current unemployment situation in Nigeria was unacceptable. “Unemployment rate in Nigeria is a danger to the social, economic and political stability of the country. “It also impacts negatively on our ambition as a new Nigeria; after all, how can Nigeria, with over 20 million youths who have no jobs, and millions of several others wasting away, claimed that we want to be a major power in the comity of nations,’’ he asked. Okorocha, who said that Nigeria could no longer remain insensitive to issues of unemployment, stated that the

gathering was aimed at working out tangible and workable proposals that would make immediate impact on job creation. He said that the lecture on unemployment was expected to take place quarterly. Dr. Ayo Teriba, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, attributed the problem to the inability to measure the nation’s unemployment rate. “Until we know the facts of unemployment in Nigeria, it will be difficult to solve the problem. “By extension, until we know the facts about unemployment in a timely manner, no one can tell how our well-meaning attempts to solve other problems, such as tightening monetary policy stance to achieve lower inflation in short term, “Selecting a fanciful oil benchmark that is lower than required to enable nominal government keep pace with the GDP to save for the rainy day, we only serve to make an already ugly unemployment situation uglier,’’ he said.

LAGOS - Mr Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has cautioned politicians against early campaign to avoid overheating the polity. Idowu made the call in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Lagos. He said that INEC had issued timetable which clearly indicated the timeline for commencing campaign by political parties and candidates in the country. According to him, the commission has repeatedly warned political players to always abide by the provision of the Electoral Act to ensure sanity in the political process. “We have issued a timetable to indicate the timeline for campaign. INEC has also repeatedly warned politicians on the need to play politics by the rule”, he said. He said that though INEC was not a law enforcement or security agency, it was however in a position to ask law enforcement agencies

to help in enforcing laws on electioneering campaign. Idowu reiterated the determination of the commission to provide level playing ground to all political parties to ensure justice and fair play, with a view to enhancing citizens’ confidence in its activities. He tasked the media to be factual and objective in their reportage, adding that the use of the media to perpetrate partisan manipulation could affect the success of the INEC. Idowu, who said that INEC was making efforts to improve its activities, urged the media to join the commission for the realisation of free, fair and credible elections in the country. “If politicians succeed in getting the whole of the media to report a perception over and over, then of course, it is going to rub up on the image of the political process. He stressed the need for the media to have the capacity to independently interrogate the political process and be able to report on the basis of the interrogation.

APC Govs to battle unemployment

INEC cautions public against early campaigns

NSCDC Intercepts 15,300 Litres Of Petroleum Products By RAHEEM IBRAHIM

LAGOS - The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos State command has intercepted 15,300 litres of petroleum products attempted to be smuggled to neighbouring countries. The Lagos Corps Commandant, Mr. Clement Adesuyi who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos in his brief on the activities of suspected pipeline vandals and smugglers operating in Badagry area revealed that the products were intercepted on the high sea in Badagry by his men after an intelligence reports. He said, “We recovered 45 drums of 300 litres each and 72 jerricans of 25 litres each and one Yamaha boat engine. “Five suspects who were in the boat jumped into the sea to escape arrest. They were coming from Escravos in Apapa”. The commandant added that his men are still on the watch out for the suspects, saying, “We have spread across the border line to ensure that our petroleum products are not smuggled out illegally through the sea”. Adesuyi lamented, “One major challenge we have in arresting suspects from the sea is lack of speed boat engines.

“We currently have about 30 good swimmers in Badagry alone but we need bigger engine boats”. “Nigeria is losing lots of money daily through the activities of vandals. We will make Badagry a prohibited area for criminals destroying our economy”, he remarked. While showing newsmen all the intercepted products that were evacuated to the command headquarters in Alausa, he revealed that they will be transfered to the NNPC officials soon. He, however pledged that the corps will not relent in its efforts to get rid of bad characters in our society, adding “Pirates will be dealt with accordingly without compromise.

NEMA Distributes Relief Materials To Displaced Persons

L-R: Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, Mrs. Fatou Bensaoda; National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), and President Goodluck Jonathan at the International Seminar on the imperatives of the observance of Human Rights and International Human Law Norms in Internal Security Operations in Abuja yesterday.

Amaechi Urges Clerics To Champion Anti-Corruption Crusade By ELIZABETH AGBOEGBULEM

PORT HARCHOURT - Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has called on religious leaders across the country to champion the vanguard against corruption in the country. He also said the church as a body has the responsibility to examine, enlighten and educate the citizens of the country on the means to ensure that political office holders run accountable

Devt EDSG: Commends Pan Ocean BENIN CITY – Edo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Lucky James has commended the management of Pan Ocean Oil Corporation for partnering with the state government in the development of the state. Giving the commendation in Benin City when members of the management team of the company visited him in Benin City, the commissioner said the state government appreciates the efforts of the company in complementing state and local governments efforts in the area of development. He advised the company officials to always carry the community members along in sitting projects with a view to ensuring that only project that are of direct and immediate benefits are sited in communities while the ministry is saddled with the responsibility of determining project specification. While stressing on the need to build functional and acceptable projects, the commissioner advised the corporation against patronizing non-challant contractors, adding that it (corporation) would be better


appreciated when it is result driven. The company’s Community Relations Manager, Mr. Olabanji Ajibola had sued for the ministry’s assistance, at ensuring the speedy and efficient execution of contracts by contractors who are usually elected from benefiting communities.

and transparent leadership to those who voted them to power. Speaking at Christ Church, Port Harcourt during a service organised for the Induction of the Resident Minister and reception of Assistant President Ministers, Amaechi urged religious leaders to as a matter of responsibility hold government accountable. According to him, “I have been trying my best possible to avoid politics in the church but God will not come down to act, we will act on our own...” Continuing, Amaechi said, “While we are talking about the problem and the ways to end religious wars in the country, others are busy stealing our money, may be, they are using it to divert our attention. The issues of the missing 49.8billion dollars from the Federation account is still there. If you convert that money to naira, you will get 80 trillion Naira, and that money can solve the problem of this country for the next few years. And the federal government says they use the money for this and that. But,

the constitution says, nobody can tamper with that money, the money must first of all be paid into the federation account before releasing the money. So that, Rivers State, or Imo State can have their share. But, the Federal Government have gone upfront to collect this money without actually following the due process as stipulated by law”, Amaechi said. “The church can also examine and preach against the missing funds. Don’t accuse PDP or APC, just accuse Politicians of stealing money. So that you can educate the people on the means to ask for accountability. I am the only Governor that has been made to rule through the Supreme Court judgement without contesting for an election in this country. And having attained that position, my duty is not to only deliver what Nigerians call dividends of democracy without actually ensuring accountable and transparent leadership. Politicians can’t come to Government House to share our

President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) with participants at the International Seminr on the imperatives of the observance of Human Rights and Interntional Human Law Norms in Internal Security Operations in Abuja yesterday.

money. We should not allow politicians to steal our money. We should ask questions about our missing money.” Governor Amaechi also spoke on the sudden suspension of CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. “You can imagine how President Jonathan announced the sudden removal(suspension) of the CBN Governor. He does not have such powers. He knows that nothing will happen that was why he took that action. So, I think the preachers should begin to preach what we called the liberation theology. You (church leaders) are supposed to have more responsibilities to hold government accountable.” Amaechi said. Governor Amaechi equally advised members of the Christ Church Port Harcourt to accord more trust, confidence and encouragement to the newly inducted Resident Minister, Reverend Kaleb Kay Uche and the Assistant Resident Ministers, Rev. Canon Inuma T. Davies and the Reverend Victor Ben. “I urge the church to keep to their vows as it is in page 26 of the programme. By our training in the Catholic Church, the Priests does not lack anything. The church members buy them cars, clothing, food etc. That is why when they die, we bury them in the church premises. You can never disrespect the Catholic Priests.” Amaechi said. He further promised to commence the building of a model primary school in the church premises. Earlier, in his message, the Prelate and moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church of Nigeria to Christ Church Port Harcourt, His Eminence, Reverend Emele Mba Uka highlighted on the significance of the induction of the resident ministers and their services to the church and humanity.

MADAGALI (ADAMAWA) The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has presented relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gulak town of Madagali Local Government Area in Adamawa State. No fewer than 10,000 people displaced from Izge, Bitiku and Waga Chakawa villages attacked recently by insurgents are taking refuge in Gulak the headquaters of Madagali Local Government. Presenting the materials, the chairman of Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) who is also the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Bala Ngilari, commended the Federal Government and NEMA for the assistance. Ngilari said the assistance would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the displaced people. Ngillari prayed for God’s intervention for a lasting solution to the insurgency and other security problems facing the nation. Foodstuff, detergents and mattresses were among the materials presented to the IDPs.

Late Mrs Felicia Osakwe For Burial

BENIN CITY- The Osakwe family of Eguare Ogwa in Esan West Local Government area of Edo State have announced the demise of their wife, daughter, mother and grand-mother, late Mrs. Felicia Osakwe (Nee Ewegba). Age 66, the late Mrs. Felicia Osakwe is survived by her husband, children grandchildren and brothers amongst whom are: Mrs. Philo Omobhude, Lawrence Osakwe, Mrs. Ehizebamen Musa, Mrs. Betty Momoh and Mr. Romeo Osakwe. Her remain will be buried at her family residence in Eguare Ogwa on Friday, February 28, 2014. While social Dance comes up on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the same venue.

Late Mrs. Felicia Osakwe

News Road Users Commend FG On Pedestrian Bridges LAGOS - Road users in Lagos has commended the Federal Government for the ongoing construction of two pedestrian bridges in the Iyana Ipaja area, on the LagosAbeokuta Expressway. They however, appealed for speedy completion of the project to reduce accidents on the road. The road users, in separate interviews in Lagos, told newsmen that the foot bridges would check gridlock and ensure safety of both pedestrians and motorists. Reports say that pillars for the pedestrian bridge at Cement Bus Stop on the Lagos-bound side of the carriageway have been completed. Also, on the Iyana Ipaja end, concrete filling of earthwork on a pillar in the road median is ongoing. Mr. Anthon Okei, a teacher in Iyana Iba, told newsmen that the location of foot bridges on the axis was overdue. “Iyana Ipaja and Cement Bus Stop are central and thousands of people cross to connect various routes; pedestrian bridges in these places are long overdue. “Now that work is ongoing,

we thank government and beg them to finish it on time,” he said. A motorist, Mr. Henry Nwoye, told newsmen that the construction was timely as people crossing the road caused traffic build up. “Traffic at both Iyana Ipaja and Iyana Dopemu area is usually heavy because of the number of people crossing the road. “Every time you pass through these two points, you will discover that there is no obstruction, but for people crossing,“ he said. Mrs. Nike Ojemeneh, another motorist, said the pedestrian bridges would reduce accidents. “I am happy that at last there are pedestrian bridges here, because I am always afraid that vehicles can knock people down here if drivers are not careful. “People at times cross the road without regard for oncoming cars,” she said. Mr. Jonathan Ayah and Mr. Benjamin Ajumayah both pedestrians, said that the foot bridges would ensure their safety and that of the motorists They appealed for the speedy completion of the bridges.

P r e s i d e n t G o o d l u c k Jonathan (left) receiving a Banquet of Flower from little Miss Winifred Obochi at Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Area 1, Abuja recently.

When contacted, the Director, Federal Highways, South-West, Alhaji Kabir Abdullahi, told newsmen that the need to relocate some facilities was slowing down the work on a portion of the project . “There are some structures including fences that need to be relocated to give way to the construction. “Work is going on there now but until the relocation, we cannot move faster. “In places where we have more pillars, it means there is nothing to relocate and all the pillars have been concluded,“ he said.

Chevron Boss Canvasses Stakeholders establishing and Cooperation encouraging innovative


WARRI - Ms Rhonda Zygocki, Executive Vice President (Policy and Planning) of the Chevron Corporation,has sued for greater cooperation among stakeholders in the NigerDelta, saying an effective and sustainable development can only be

achieved through synergy and effective hitch free platform. Zygocki, who recently made a working visit to the country with other executive officials of the company, noted that Chevron has been interested in forging a harmonious working relationship towards the enhancement of equitable growth. According to her, mutual cooperation among the stakeholders is bound to engender an enabling environment for optimal production vis-a-vis enduring livelihood initiatives in its host communitie. She noted that NigerDelta will only reach its full potential when all stakeholders start working together in new collaborative ways to provide an integrated L-R: Director, Strategic Grain Reserve, Jide Olumeko, Director, Federal Department of platform for building Agriculture, Dr. Odeyemi Julius and Director, West, Central Africa International Crops Research capacity for conflict Institute for the semi-Arid Troprics (ICRISAT), Dr. Farid Waliya, at the launch of Groundnut resolution and long term Value Chain in Abuja yesterday. development in the region.” While in Warri as part of her working visit, Zygocki KADUNA - Two also reviewed the hundred and forty-eight performance of the Nigerparticipants have so far participating nations to observed that some registered at the on-going include India, Hungary, participants were still Delta Partnership Initiative Kaduna International Pakistan,Turkey, Ghana, mounting their pavilions at (NDPI) established by the Trade Fair, according to an Niger, Australia and Egypt. company in 2010 as part of the ground. official. Billy said that many Billy, who reacted to that, its social investment Reports say that the fair government-owned and told newsmen that the first strategy and its Nigerian started on Friday, February private agencies had also two days of the trade fair affiliate, the Foundation for 21, 2014. registered to participate in were usually that dull. Partnership Initiatives in the Mr. Yusuf Billy, a senior the fair. “The activities are Niger-Delta (PIND). organising officer of the It was observed, fair, told newsmen in however, that activities at usually slow until much “Chevron is committed to Kaduna on Sunday that the trade fair ground were later, like from tomorrow.” instituting partnership You can also see that among the registered were local and international picking up rather slowly as people are still registering; initiatives that boost participants from eight the turn out of people was everything will fall in its sustainable livelihood in the not very massive. proper place from communities where we countries. Our correspondent also tomorrow,” he said. He named the

Kaduna Trade Fair Registers 248 Participants

operate. “That is why the company established the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI) and Nigerian affiliate - the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND),” she said. Moreover, she observed that in 2011, the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID/Nigeria), the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative Foundation Inc. (NDPI Foundation Inc.) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make official an Integrated Peace and Development Alliance (IPDA) worth $50 million with the objective of

multi-stakeholder partnerships that support programmes and activities which empower NigerDelta communities to achieve peaceful and enabling environment for equitable growth in the region. “With a focus on four project areas – economic development, capacity building, peace building, analysis and advocacy – PIND and its partners have successfully established an Economic Development Centre (EDC), which serves as a resource and coordination hub for the development and implementation of projects aimed at reducing poverty in the Niger-Delta region by improving incomes and creating jobs.

Motor Parks Not Recruitment Grounds For Thugs - NURTW

GUSAU - The President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Najim Yassin, has warned “bad politicians’’ against coming to motor parks to recruit thugs. “The motor parks are nogo areas for politicians with bad intentions,” Yassin told newsmen in Gusau. He said that the union had embarked on the sensitisation of its members against allowing themselves to be used by such politicians. Yassin urged the members to be law abiding during the 2015 general elections and cautioned those interested in going into politics against dragging the union into it.

He called on the leadership of the union at all levels to be wary of bad politicians and avoid being used for unlawful actions. According to him, the national secretariat of the NURTW will deal decisively with any of its members that drags the name of the union into partisan politics. Yassin said that the leadership of the union was working to improve the general welfare of the members. “This we have started with the building of a 40-room five-star hotel in Kaduna and the construction of houses across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja,” he said.

News Lagos Trains 18,000 Teachers LAGOS - The Lagos State Government said that it had spent N500 million to train about 18,000 teachers in the last four years. Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and Ms Ronke Azeez, the Special Adviser to the governor on EKO project, said this in Lagos at the Education Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. Reports state that the awards were organised by the state government annually to recognise individuals and organisations that have supported its public schools. Fashola said the government had spent N500 million on the training of teachers in the last four years, explaining that the training and retraining of teachers were part of other strategies to raise standards. He added that the involvement of the private sector in the public education system, through the “ Support–Our-Schools’’ initiative, was to complement government’s funding of schools. It was part of government’s strategies to improve infrastructure in schools and raise learning and teaching standards, he said. “The initiative is to expand the possibilities of corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals in a structured manner to intervene in some of our needs and support the government to improve the education sector,“ he said. Ms Ronke Azeez, the Special Adviser to the Governor on EKO Project, in her speech, said that the teachers were trained in leadership, classroom management, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Their “capacities in the various subject areas were also enhanced,’’ she said. Azeez said the training was in line with the belief of government that the continuous professional development of teachers was key to improving teaching and learning standards. “ We continuously develop the capacities of our teachers because we believe that no matter what we have done to improve the schools or how beautiful the schools are, if the teachers are not motivated or skilled, nothing will happen“ she said. The Special Adviser said the state government was committed to narrowing the 36 pupils -to-one teacher ratio through the recruitment of more teachers and training of existing ones in areas of need. She explained that the engagement of no fewer than 1,311 volunteer teachers in ‘great need areas’ by the state government was a strategy to ensure subject teachers were available in all schools. Azeez explained that the state‘s EKO Secondary Education project, a $90 million World Bank Education Support Programme, was an intervention to provide direct funding to schools, with a view to improving teaching and learning infrastructure. She said the implementation of the programme since 2009 had positively impacted on secondary education in the state and had improved students’ performance in public examinations. “A major outcome of the intervention is the substantial improvement in the public examination results of our students across the state.

“We have moved from a baseline of 18.4 per cent in 2009 to 41 per cent in the last WAEC examination. This is a huge improvement over where we are coming from. “We know we still have a long a way to go, but when we know where we were coming from and where we are going, I think, we will achieve better results,” she said. Earlier on, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija.,the Guest Speaker at the occasion, noted that the nation‘s education sector was facing challenges that must be urgently addressed. She suggested that governments, organisations and all stakeholders should intervene to reposition the sector, to guarantee the future of the country. “The Education system in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, was one of excellent quality, to the extent

that most Nigerians living in the Diaspora, including a number of expatriates in Nigeria schooled their children here, due to the confidence they had in it. “Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of today. What we now have are dilapidated schools, poorly trained teachers and falling standards. “And I think that we need a total overhaul of the system to address our education challenges and secure the future of our children.“ she said. Reports state that individuals and organisations that had provided infrastructure and other forms of support to schools in the state in the last one year were recognised by the government. Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), First Bank Plc, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija and Chief Kessington Wife of the Vice President, Hajia Amina Sambo (left), and the wife of Jigawa Adebutu, were among the Governor Hajiya Amina Lamido at the closing of National Quranic Recitation organisations and individuals Competition in Dutse weekend. recognised at the occasion.

Kaduna Disburses N20m To Victims Of 2011 Post Election Violence

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State assessing the damage done during last Wednesday’s attack in Bama during his sympathy visit to the Emir of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Ibn Elkanemi in Bama, Borno recently.

2014 Qur’anic Recitation

Yero Awards Scholarship To Winners

KADUNA – Governor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State has awarded foreign scholarship to winners of the 28th edition of the National Qur ’anic recitation competition held in Dutse, Jigawa. Yero disclosed this in a statement signed by his Director-General on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Ahmed Maiyaki, made available to newsmen in Kaduna. The governor named the winners of the scholarship as Suleiman Idris and Wasila Sani, both from Kaduna State, who emerged overall winners in both the Male and Female categories during the competition.

The statement also disclosed that the governor presented N 2million to all participating

members of various categories of the competition. Reports state that Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos State chaired the occasion. Some Governors and the

Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal were among dignitaries that attended the occasion.

NDE Spends N75m On Vocational “The NDE has embarked on MAIDUGURI - The National Centres vocational and technical skill Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Borno has said that it had spent over N75 million to build skills acquisition centres in three local government areas. Malam Wakil Kalanga the programme’s coordinator in the state told newsmen in Maiduguri. He said that the directorate was collaborating with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the construction of the centres. He said centres included:

Manguno, Bama and Goza, with each having the capacity to accommodate 250 persons. Kalanga explained that the plan was to build such centres across the 27 local government areas of the state. He said that the centres would go a long way to empower youths, women and vulnerable to reduce poverty and create job opportunities toward selfreliance.

acquisition schemes to provide jobs for school graduates and persons with special needs, as well as vulnerable persons in the state.” Kalanga said the directorate’s effort was in-line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. According to him, it is meant to create more jobs and reduce over dependency on white collar jobs through skills acquisition.

MONDO (KADUNA) - The Kaduna State Government has disbursed N20 million to the remaining 331 victims of the 2011 post-election violence still occupying the Hajj Transit Camp in Mondo, Kaduna. The victims, who have now vacated the Hajj transit camp after receiving the financial assistance were given between N55,000 and N60,000 each. Yunusa Muhammed, Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Board, said in a statement that all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) agreed to leave the camp after receiving the assistance. According to the statement, the beneficiaries include 126 males,128 females and 77 youth groups. It quoted Abdulrahman Mahmoud, Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Islamic Affairs Matters, as saying the government rendered the assistance to the IDPs to help them to seek for means of livelihood. The statement said Mahmoud added that what was given to them was not compensation but rather a form of support from the government. It also commended the efforts of the displaced persons for effectively coordinating their members. The statement said the leader of the IDPs, Dan’azumi Musa, commended the government for the gesture. It appealed to the displaced persons to judiciously utilise the money to sustain their livelihood, particularly to acquire accommodation outside the camp. It also urged the Federal Government to assist the victims of the 2011 post-election violence in the country. Reports state that the Hajj Transit Camp has been handed over to Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board by the government.

News Bishop Harps On Selfless Service As Former Ekiti Acting Governor Is Buried

Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Etsako East Local Government Area, Sir John Oshomah (arrowed) cutting the tape to officially commission the chairs with desks provided by Etsako East Local Government Council to Primary Schools in the locality. Chairman of the Local Government Council, Hon. Suleiman Afegbua (left) of Sir Oshomah).

AYETORO-EKITI, (EKITI STATE) - The Anglican Bishop of Ekiti Oke Diocese, Most Rev. Isaac Olubowale, has called on politicians to always render selfless service to humanity to have a glorious end. The cleric gave the advice at the burial service in honour of a former Acting-Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Friday Aderemi, at Ayetoro-Ekiti, Ido/Osi Local Government Area. He urged politicians to be modest in their lifestyles, build a legacy of trust and good conduct that could serve as a guide to the coming generations. The Bishop reminded the living that “as there is life after death, one should also keep good records that will make people not to forget such a person easily.”

The Bishop described Aderemi, who was also former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, as a man who was not materialistic in spite of the sensitive positions he held. Speaking at the occasion, Governor Kayode Fayemi eulogised the deceased for his simplicity saying that the state and the country would not forget his legacies in a short time. He urged the bereaved family to take solace in the fact that late Aderemi lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation. It woul be recalled that the state government and the state House of Assembly had on February 21 held separate special sessions in honour of the deceased in Ado Ekiti.

Etsako East LG Distributes Chairs To Schools

Sokoto State Grand Khadi, Alhaji Saidu Tambuwal (left) with the Head of Service Sokoto State, Alhaji Bature Shinkafi at a 3 day workshop on criminal justice system in Sokoto yesterday.

Sanitation Exercise

AGENEBODE-The Chairman, Etsako East Local Government Council, Hon Abdulmalik Suheiman Afegbua has distributed chairs with desks to some primary schools in Agenebode, the administrative headquarters. The council chairman who stated that this is the third time that he has distributed chairs and desks in Etsako East Local Government Area maintained that the project will continue until all schools receive adequate materials, as part of his electoral promises to the people. Secretary to the Local

Osogbo Residents Commend Aregbesola OSOGBO - Some residents of Osogbo have commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun for providing the necessary tools for the conduct of the bimonthly sanitation exercise across the state. They made the commendation in separate interviews during the exercise on Saturday when the newsmen visited some areas in Osogbo to monitor the exercise. Mr. Oluwaseun Ajibade, a resident of Osogbo, said the initiative of the present administration in Osun had made it compulsory for every resident to clean his environment twice monthly. “Health is wealth, so the saying goes. The basic concept of the bi-monthly sanitation in Osun is to make people healthy and, by implication, prolong their lifespan.

“The government really organises the exercise perfectly, as there is adequate provision of wastes disposal bins,’’ he said. Mrs. Omolabake Goriola, a resident of Dada Estate in Osogbo, however, raised concern on what he described as misuse of waste disposal bins by some residents.

“Some people do not have proper orientation about waste disposal bins. They do not understand the purpose of the bins. Some will even dump their wastes in the gutter after sanitation. “In spite of all what the government has put in place to ease waste disposal, this attitude

hinders the conduct of environmental sanitation in the state. “The government should do more in the area of instilling consciousness in the people through incessant campaign and advocacy,’’ she said. Mr. Sunday Ogunsakin, an official of the Health Department of Olorunda Local Government

Council in the state, said “our people appreciate the need to have clean environment and healthy living, so, they always co-operate.’’ Reports state that there was a restriction of movement across the state during the exercise with the only exception being workers on essential duties.

Health Minister Eulogizes Psychiatric BENIN CITY- Minister of Olotu had told the Minister Health, Professor Christian Hospital CMD that the hospital is one of the Onyebuchi has applauded the Chief Medical Director, Uselu Psychiatric Hospital Benin City, Dr. Osahon Olotu, saying he is a product of “thorough due process”. Speaking with newsmen after a courtesy visit to the

Hospital, Professor Onyebuchi said the ongoing transformation in the hospital is remarkable, especially with the training and retraining programme for staff of the hospital.

He reiterated federal government determination to give priority attention to mental health related cases, while urging Dr. Olotu to given due attention to sporting activities.

first generation hospitals in Nigeria that offer excellent mental health care services as well as training and research at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Government Hon. Benedicta who expressed happiness for being part of the winning team, described the chairman as a man of his words. While calling on the people to continue to support the local government, she advised pupils in the benefiting schools to imbibe maintenance culture in order to preserve the items. All Progressive Congress (APC) leader in WeppaWanno, Sir John Oshomah who cut the tape to officially commissioned the chairs with desk described the development strides of Hon. Afegbua as unprecedented in Etsako East, noting that the peoples money is being spent on the people” He added that Hon. Afegbua is a worthy leader, adding that the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole laid the coccid foundation which others are now following. Oshomah noted stressing that the council boss has provided the enabling environment for the school pupils to learn. He also appreciated the leadership qualities of APC stalwart Prince Malik Afeghua in Edo North. Secretary to the Local Education Authority, Mr. Ojiko Moses and Miss Blessing Umoru expressed happiness over the project. They commended the council boss over the transformation in the Education sector in the area.

News Dumping Of Refuse On Canals: LAGOS - Mr. Abiodun Tobun, member of the Lagos State House of Assembly has warned Lagos residents against indiscriminate dumping of refuse on drainage and canals to prevent flooding. Tobun, also the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, told newsmen in Lagos that such attitude would negatively affect the environment as rainy season approached. “We all must ensure that drainage and canals are clear, we have discovered that our people dump refuse on the waterways which is responsible for flooding in the rainy season.

“Flooding in Lagos State has been reduced to the barest minimum and we tend to be more prone to flooding but government has been working to reduce the incident. “So the residents also must change their attitude as the rainy season approaches so as to have a flood-free year. “The government is clearing more drains and constructing more drainage across the state,” he said. The lawmaker told newsmen that non-compliance of people with environmental matters

Lawmaker Warns Lagos Residents

served as a major challenge of the government. Tobun (APC-Epe I) added that the state government, through the Ministry of Environment and the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), had embarked on public enlightenment programmes to

educate people on clean environment. The lawmaker said that there were also many programmes in the media sensitising the public on ways to dispose waste products which served as major blockage to the drains. He added that the government

also encouraged people to bring the waste products in large qualities for sale for the purpose of recycling them. “We are encouraging people to bring their sachet water nylons; we buy it from them so as to recycle them to produce more

nylons for use. “The exercise also serves as job opportunity for those who are picking them and to those who are recycling them. “It is part of ‘Waste to Wealth Programme’ of the government,” he added.

Man Sentenced To Death For Killing Banker Wife By REHEEM IBRAHIM IKEJA - An Ikeja High court has sentenced Akolade Arowolo to death over stabbing his banker wife, Titilayo Omozeje, a Skye Bank Staff to death with 76 knife wounds in 2011. Arowolo who is a youth pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Gbagada Parish, Lagos, has been on trial in the court since 2012 over the murdered of Titilayo, a Skye Bank Staff, on 24 June, 2011 at their residence, 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos. The presiding judge of the court, Justice Lateefat Okunu held in her over three hours judgment that evidence before the court proved that Arowolo actually murdered his wife in their matrimonial home. Relying mainly on a forensic report conducted by Prof. John Oladapo Obafunwa, a pathologist, the court held that there was no way the deceased could have stabbed herself to death. Justice Okunu held that by the law principle of ‘Last Seen’ since Arowolo was the only person with his wife when she was stabbed, no one but him could have killed her. Upholding the prosecution’s case, Justice Okunu held that

evidence proved beyond doubt that Arowolo gruesomely murdered his wife with tremendous knife stab force. Immediately after the judgment, Arowolo fell down in the dock and started shouting “Jesus have mercy.” Ironically, Arowolo was sentenced to death on Friday, the same week day he killed his wife. Arowolo was led into the courtroom at 9.30am by prison officials and his countenance portrayed someone who had come to terms with whatever fate would befall him. Wearing a white short sleeve shirt and black trousers, Arowolo, after he entered the courtroom immediately knelt down and prayed for about 15 minutes before he started reading the Holy Bible until the court began sitting at about 9.45am. Arowolo was formally charged with his wife’s murder on Friday, 7 July, 2011 before a Yaba Magistrates’ Court and the matter was later transferred to the Ikeja High Court following an advice by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP). The state had alleged that Arowolo murdered Titilayo, a banker, on June 24, 2011 at their residence, 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos, while a total of 21 witnesses gave evidence in the case that lasted for 26 months.

L-R: Former GOC, 81 Division, Maj-Gen. Abel Umahi; Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and New GOC, Maj-Gen. Tamunomieibi Dibi, during the visit of the Generals to Governor Fashola in Lagos yesterday.

Community Gets New Odionwere EBO (BENIN CITY) – Normally has returned to Ebo Community, Iyekogba in Oredo Local Government Area in Benin City following the installation of Pa. Otarobo Ogunrobo and Ambassador Austin Enehizena as Odionwere and Community Development Association (CDA) of the community respectively. The duo were installed in the community on Saturday along with the youth Chairman, Mr. Festus Omozusi by Chiefs from the palace and elders of the community at a colourful ceremony. Meanwhile, the Chairman Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee (PCRC) in Edo State, Chief Eduwu Ekhator Obasogie, the Obasogie of Benin Kingdom has congratulated the Odionwere and the CDA Chairman, as well

as the entire people of Ebo Community over the peaceful change of leadership in the community. Chief Obasogie, who particularly advised the people to maintain peace, said government would not hesitate to wield its big stick on anyone caught fomenting trouble in the area. He urged them to support the new administration towards the development of the community. According to Chief Obasogie, “we are not particular on who

becomes the leader of the community but we are interested on a person who has the charisma and expertise to lead his people in peace without rancour and destruction of property.” He also called on the new CDA Chairman to carry the people along as well as put machinery in place that would fast track the development of the community. The Odionwere, on his part called on the indigenes of the community to embrace peace

and tranquility in the area, while expressing appreciation to the palace of the Oba of Benin His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa and elders of the community. The Chiefs who performed the installation, included, Chief Alfred Omwenyeke, the Aiyanbuoba of Benin Kingdom; Chief Oghogho, the Aigbovoba of Benin; Chief Moses Igbineweka; Chief Ifaluyi the Ohen of Ekonorhue; Pa Samson Ogbebor; Richard Omwenyeke; and Pa Abraham Enehizena.

Internet Fraud: Court Orders

Seizure Of Expensive Cars IKEJA - An Ikeja High Court has granted an order for an interim forfeiture of three expensive cars belonging to a 28year-old undergraduate,

Corps CoordinantG e n e r a l , Environmental ethics and safety corps, Elder Emenike Eme (left), with representative of the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs. Yeseinde Shebioba, at the launchig of New Centenary, Cleaner Investment Campaign in Abuja yesterday.

Lawrence Orimogunje. Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo granted the order while ruling on an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which had charged Orimogunje with forgery and possession of false documents. The affected cars are a Nissan Infinity G35 with registration number EP150 ABJ, a Chrysler 300 with registration number OLD – 01 and a Range Rover Sport with registration number OLD-03. In his ruling, the judge held that Orimogunje’s “lifestyle” was not commensurate with what he was earning as a student of Lead City University, Oyo State. Lawal-Akapo said conclusive proof was therefore not needed for the order to be granted. He said: “Sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act of 2004 empower the commission to confiscate any property suspected to have been acquired through fraudulent means.”

The judge consequently directed the EFCC to seize the cars pending the conclusion of the trial. Moving the forfeiture application earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mrs. Anita Imo, said it was brought pursuant to Sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act. Imo argued that the cars were acquired through suspected Internet fraud activities and urged the court to grant the forfeiture order. Reports state that Orimogunje was arraigned on February15, on a 16-count charge of forgery and possession of false documents. The EFCC said that the accused was arrested on December 24, 2012 in Lagos for being in possession of various documents used for facilitating internet fraud. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted a N1 million bail, with two sureties in like sum. The matter was adjourned till March 18 for trial.

Across The Nation Kaduna To Disburse N1bn Loan To Farmers KADUNA - The Kaduna State Government yesterday said it would disburse N1 billion loan to farmers in the state. Governor Mukhtar Yero disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the 35th Kaduna International Trade Fair in Kaduna. The fair was organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) in Kaduna. Represented by Amb. Nuhu Bajoga, his deputy, Yero said the low interest loan was part of a counterpart programme with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to introduce and encourage the use of modern commercial farming methods among farmers. “Our goal is to increase harvest, which will not only ensure domestic food sufficiency, but also abundant produce for export to other states as well as neighbouring countries,” he said. He said additional tractors and

other mechanised farm implement would be procured as captured in the 2014 budget of the state to further attract unemployed graduates to go into farming and curb social unrest. “Our aim is to empower our existing farmers and also to make farming attractive to the younger generations. “I believe that agriculture holds the key to cutting down on the unacceptable rate of youth unemployment and social unrest that we are presently facing as a people.” Yero disclosed that efforts were in place with private partners to revive the moribund companies in the state. The governor said such companies include: the Ikara Food Processing Company, Kachia Ginger Processing Company, Makarfi Sugar Company and the Kafanchan Flour Mills. He said that would further boost agricultural production

and building of more agro-allied industries. According to him, this is particularly with potentials such as ginger, perishables, fruits, cattle-rearing, textiles and others

inherent in the state. Yero commended KADCCIMA for organising the fair whose theme is: “Agricultural Transformation for Industrial Development:

Public Private Partnership Approach.,” He said that would add more value to agricultural production. The governor said the fair had also provided a platform for

investors to tap from the abundant potentials and innovations exhibited, as well as interaction toward reaching trade and economic collaborations.

Sultan Urges Govt To Tackle Nation’s Insecurity DUTSE - Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has urged all tiers of government to fight the current insecurity challenges in the country. Abubakar made the call during the closing ceremony of the National Qur ’anic Recitation Competition in Dutse yesterday. He said that the spate of violence, killings and destruction of property in the North East was disturbing, hence the urgent need of more intervention by the government. The Sultan said that he would continue to appeal

until the insecurity problem was addressed. He urged the government to renew negotiations with all the nation’s aggrieved citizens. He said that it was not a sign of weakness for any government to adopt dialogue to resolve crisis for peace to reign in the country. Abubakar stated that it would not be wise to continue to lose the lives of people to the current security challenge. The Sultan urged the National Assembly members to intervene and work with the executive arm of government to bring peace to the country.

Governor Umaru Al-Makura laying the foundation for a 160 Bed Specialist Hospital in Lafia yesterday.

Sanitation: SOKOTO - A Mobile Sanitation Court in Sokoto has convicted 73 persons and remanded three others in prison custody for breaching sanitation laws. The reports state that the suspects were arrested during the monthly sanitation exercise in Sokoto. The Magistrate, Mr Shu’aibu Ahmed, said that their offence was contrary to section 7(10) of the Public Health Law of the state. The court sentenced the owners of four filling stations to three months in prison, or pay N10,000 each as fine.

Court Convicts 73, Remands 3 Others

Similarly, 15 drivers were sentenced to 21 days in prison or pay an option of N2,000 fine each. The court also sentenced four articulated vehicle drivers to one month in prison, with an option of N3,000 fine each. In the same vein, 50 motorcyclists were sentenced to seven days in prison, with an option of N 1,000 fine each. Ahmed, however, ordered that three suspects should be remanded at the Sokoto central prison, until February 24 for

Emir of Dass, Usman Bilyaminu (left), with programme Chairman Tafawa Balewa LGA, Alhaji Iliyasu Gital during the Turbaning of the 1st Maza Wajen Dass in Dass LGA of Bauchi State weekend.

continuation of hearing. Commenting on the exercise, the Chairman of the Task Force Committee on Environmental Sanitation, Sqdn. Ldr. Aminu Bala (Rtd) expressed delight with the cooperation of Sokoto residents to the exercise. “We have recorded about 90 per cent compliance by the residents and this should be

sustained. “The people should know that the exercise is aimed at keeping the state clean with a view to improving their health,” he said. Reports state that there is restriction of movement between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. last Saturday of every month in Sokoto State for people to observe sanitation.

Kaduna Trade Fair: Participants

Urged To Adhere To Guidelines KADUNA - Participants at the 35th Kaduna International Trade Fair, which kicked off Friday, have been warned to adhere to the rules and regulations of the fair. The Chairman, Security Committee of the fair, Col. Dudu Usman, gave the warning in Kaduna yesterday during an inspection. He said that there were guidelines by the chambers to be followed but that some had been breached by some participants to the fair. “If you have a stand, put your goods inside and not outside to create a passage

for people to pass,” he said. He advised the participants that did not have stands to get them through the chambers and obtain receipts. “Only people who transact business with us legitimately will be allowed into the centre to exhibit their goods. “We will not condole any misconduct, ours is to ensure that the environment is safe and conducive for everyone who comes to the fair,” he said. When newsmen visited the centre on Saturday, people were seen putting up stands to begin exhibition of their products.

Abuja CISM Day Run/Walk Competition: NSCDC Emerges Winners ABUJA- The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has emerged the overall winners of the 2014 fivekilometre run/walk competition to mark the International Military Sports Council (CISM) Day. At the competition’s sixth

edition held at the Aguiyi Ironsi Sports Complex in Abuja, the Civil Defence team who are the defending champions won the male 18 to 30 years category. In the male 18 to 30 years category, defending champion Gideon Goyet of the NSCDC

retained his position while Gyang Yakubu of Army Depot, Zaria took the second position. Sanusi Husanutu from the Nigerian Army came third. John Bulus of the NSCDC won the male 31 to 44 years category, while Jahiu John and Stephen

Jurbe, both from the Nigerian Army, came second and third respectively. In the male 45 years category, Wilson Eku from NSCDC came first, Gontory Sunday and Manga Mohmy from Nigerian Army took second and third positions respectively. In the female 18 to 30 years, Badung Deborah from the NSCDC emerged the winner while Imaobong Okon and Naomi Danladi from the Nigerian Army came second and third respectively. In the same category, Njoku Jimri and Christian Augustine,

both from the NSCDC, came first and second respectively while Monica John from Nigerian Army emerged third. Reports say that military and paramilitary organisations participated in the competition. The Supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku, commended the NSCDC for emerging the competition’s overall winners, stating that it was a wake-up call for others to work harder. “The NSCDC are doing well in all sporting events and the winners should be picked for the national athletics teams to represent the

country internationally,’’ he said. Maku further said the Ministry of Defence would continue to encourage and support all sporting events. “I congratulate the participants for the well-attended exercise. It was not less than the Olympics for those who participated. “But I want to single out the NSCDC for their superlative performance. It is a challenge to other security organisations to do better next year,’’ he said. Reports state that CISM is one of the world’s largest multidiscipline organisations which organises various sports events for the armed forces of its 133 member-countries.

Great Green Wall Initiative

FG Targets 15m Seedlings

L-R: Director-General, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Prof. John Idoko; Director, Strategic Knowledge Management, Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi and Director, Research Department, Dr. Aneni James, at the National Symposium on Utilizing Research to improve HIV/AIDs services in Abuja yesterday.

ABUJA- The Federal Ministry of Environment has said that it estimated to plant 15 million seedlings under its Great Green Wall (GGW) programme. Dr. Bukar Hassan, the Director, Drought and Desertification Amelioration Department, Ministry of Environment, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. He said that the tree planting was aimed at fighting desertification at both state and local levels.

CBN Acting Governor Seeks Support ABUJAThe Acting Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Sarah Alade, has urged staff of the bank to ensure the success of the bank’s policies and programmes. This is contained in a statement

issued in Abuja by Mr Isaac Okoroafor, the bank’s Deputy Director, Corporate Communications. It quoted the acting governor as saying, while addressing staff at the bank’s headquarters in

3 Arraigned For Issuing Dud Cheque ABUJA-The Federal Government has charged Danjuma Ocholi, the Managing Director of M and S Midland Capital Market Limited, and two others with issuing N5 million dud cheque. Ocholi was arraigned alongside, two stock brokers — Afolabi Martins and Chukwu James — on two counts of conspiracy and felony. The office of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation filed the case before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an Abuja High Court. The prosecutor, Mr Moshood Adeyemi, a Legal Officer in the ministry, told the court that in June 2010, the accused persons conspired and committed felony. He said that the accused persons issued a Zenith Bank Nigeria PLC dud cheque NO. 00000179 dated July 16, 2010, for N5 Million to one Mr Patrick Ataman, a

businessman. Adeyemi said the offence is contrary to the provisions of Section 97 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 364 of the law. If convicted, they are liable to 14 years in prison or an option to pay a fine or both. After the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty. Mr Biodun Akin, Counsel to the accused, prayed the court to admit his clients to bail. In his ruling, Baba-Yusuf admitted each of the accused to bail in the sum of N500,000 and a surety in like sum. Baba-Yusuf ordered that the surety must be resident within the FCT and must produce proof of ownership of a landed property. The judge also ordered that if the accused failed to meet up the bail conditions, they should be remanded in Kuje Medium Prison. He adjourned the case to April 21 for trial.

Abuja, that the sudden management change should not discourage them from doing their jobs. “We have to move on because the whole world is watching us to deliver on the statutory mandate of the bank,” she said. Alade reminded members of staff that the CBN had gone through thick and thin in the past, listing the struggle for the bank’s autonomy as one of the challenges surmounted. She said the present situation demands unity and avoidance of rumour-peddling to pursue the

bank’s policies and programmes. “We have also had some difficult moments, but collectively we must move on with our heads up, and resolve to build the Central Bank of our expectation,” the acting governor said. Alade expressed optimism that the CBN would emerge from the ongoing transition to a better positioned bank. The statement said the staff pledged their unalloyed support to the management of the bank in its resolve to deliver on its mandate.

“Since inception in June 2013, the programme has secured plots of land in 92 communities across 46 area councils in the 11 frontline states. “We estimated that we need about nine to 15 million seedlings. “Each community will be raising 80,000 seedlings and if you multiply them by 92 communities, you will know how many seedlings that will be coming out from the communities. “Along the line, the programme will provide facilities like irrigation materials, water, bags and chemicals needed to produce the seedlings. “Now, once these seedlings are raised, the programme will pay the communities and ask them to plant them, while they will be paid some stipend for their activities. “So, when you look at the entire segment of the programme, we are not only getting our land back after a long period of degradation, but also providing livelihood to the people. “They raise seedlings, we buy them over and in turn, pay them to plant; so, at the end of the day, the land and the people themselves are better off,’’ he said. Hassan said that the

programme also intends to establish five fruit and vegetable orchards to be totally owned and managed by the communities. He said that the orchards would engage the communities economically as it would provide additional income for the people. “If you recall, the orchards are normally managed in the dry season, so the communities now have something to do in the dry season. “And they will be able to harvest whatever they plant, sell what they plant and own the money.” Hassan said the programme will also provide all inputs needed to secure the area such as fencing, provision of irrigation facilities and purchase of assorted fruit trees or vegetables they intend to raise. Drought and desertification have been occurring persistently in the arid and semi-arid zone of northern Nigeria with devastating social and economic impact for decades. The primary causes of desertification in Nigeria have been identified as over grazing, over exploitation, deforestation and poor irrigation practises. This has led to negative impacts such as resource-use conflicts and threats to food security.

EFCC Lead Detective, DSP. Owoeye Timothy; Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Bonny, Capt. Daupreye Matthew and Information Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, Lt-Cdr. Abdulsalam Sani during handover to EFCC of 11 suspects alleged to be involved in illegal bunkering at Bonny in Rivers yesterday

News Gowon Urges Nigerians To Pray For Peace, Unity

L-R: Former Special Adviser on Food Security to the President, Prof. Ango Abdullahi; Governor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State; former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd) and President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIM), Dr. Abdul-Alimi Bello at the seminar to mark the on-going 35th Kaudna International Trade Fair in Kaduna yesterday.

Auto Accident

GOMBE- Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has urged all Nigerians to continue to pray for peace and unity of the nation. Gowon, who is Convener of the Nigeria Prays, said this in Gombe when he visited the Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Mr Tha’anda Rubainu. The convener said that the Nigeria Prays project was initiated in order to pray for the leadership, people and lasting peace in Nigeria as part of the members’ contribution to the development of the country. “This is our contribution to see to the peace and wellbeing of Nigeria. “What we human beings cannot do, through prayers,

FRSC Yet To Identify Victims DANGE (SOKOTO STATE)- The Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) in Sokoto State says it is yet to identify those who died in a road accident on Friday at Dange along the Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto road. Its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Karatu Ayuba, said on Saturday in Sokoto however that the commission’s officers had been mobilised to the scene of the accident. He said none of the occupants of the car could be saved, saying “the details and the number of the

occupants who died in it will be made available later’’. An eyewitness had told newsmen that the driver of the car had allegedly rammed into a parked articulated vehicle. The driver of the car was said to have been driving to Sokoto from Gusau with members of his family at around 8 p.m. on Friday. The articulated vehicle was also said to have been parked since Friday afternoon but was not removed from the highway. Another eyewitness, Alhaji Bello Danjuma, told newsmen

that nobody could ascertain the real number of people in the burnt car. “The two vehicles caught fire after the car rammed into the articulated vehicle and nobody was there to rescue the occupants immediately, although the fire service personnel arrived at the scene later,’’ he said. Mr El-Mustapha Sani, the spokesman of the Nigeria Police in Sokoto, however, said the driver of the articulated vehicle had been arrested. “We have just recovered a

2014 Budget: NACCIMA President

Wants Speedy Passage

KADUNA- Alhaji. Badaru Abubakar, National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has urged the National Assembly to speed up deliberations on the 2014 Appropriation Bill. Abubakar made the call at the opening ceremony of the 35th edition of Kaduna International Trade Fair. The reports state that the fair was organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA). He said this would enable the executive arm of government implement developmental projects for the benefit of the nation’s economy. Abubakar also called on the Federal Government to adopt policies that would propel agroindustrial and manufacturing in Nigeria. “There is the need to diversify and increase export of high valueadded agro-allied and manufactured products, that depend on the natural resources which Nigeria has comparative and competitive advantage,’’ he said.

The president advised government to ensure the removal of “procedural and regulatory bottlenecks incompatible with the attainment of the objectives of a dynamic export promotional policy’’. Also in his address, KADCCIMA President, Dr Abdul-Alimi Bello, warned politicians against allowing preelection activities, election spending take its toll on nation’s economy. “Despite our hopes and wishes on the revamping economy, this year and beyond, we must alert and warn that the pre-election activities may take its toll on the economy through distractions of partisan politics and heightened election spending,’’ he said. Bello added: “we have seen that economy generally slows down in every election year. Bello, however expressed optimism that the federal government reforms and planning on agriculture from development to business and profitable ventures would enable the nation emerges as the largest economy in Africa in 2014. “We believe that the Nigerian economy will reasonably recover in 2014. It is hoped that while the

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow at over six per cent relative to the global average of 3.1 per cent. “Nigerian economy may emerge as the largest on the African continent and one of the top 30th in the world after the GDP re-basing, which is expected this year. “The economies of the subSahara African countries are projected to post an impressive average of six per cent growth as against five per cent in 2013. “We need to prepare ahead of forthcoming global economic boom,’’ he said. He therefore urged the FG to address the issue of corruption and power trasmission to achieve agricultural transformation. Bello commended the state government for transforming the State Industrialisation and Microcredit Management Board (KSIMMB) and supporting SMEs, urging other states to emulate. Reports state that the fair which have investors from Egypt, Ghana, Turkey, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Senegal, Niger Republic among others, as well as local exhibitors would end on March 2.

cellular telephone from the car and we will do all we can to verify the identities of the occupants,’’ he said.

God can do something which you and I do not know how it is going to happen. “The good Lord knows what he is doing to change the hearts and minds of those who are doing the wrong thing against the country and the people “The Lord turns that into positive contributors to the peace and wellbeing of the country,” he said. The former head of state said when he was at the helm of affairs in the country he did not renege on prayers. He said he believed it was prayers that sustained the country at that time and not the power of weaponry of the Federal Government. Gowon explained that Nigeria Prays was a programme which encompassed both Christians and Muslims who were having prayer sessions in their respective ways of worship. The former head of state commended Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo for the

infrastructure developments he had provided in the state and urged him to sustain it. Responding, Rubainu said God was with Nigeria and has the final say for what will happen in the country. He said both Christians and Muslims in the country needed each other and that prayer, such as the one offered by the group, was inevitable. The deputy governor said Gombe, which shared borders with the states bedeviled by insurgency, was witnessing an influx of persons displaced by the crises in the affected states. Rubainu expressed the belief that the prayer sessions and those being offered around the nation would ensure lasting peace in the North East. The newsmen report that Gowon, who was in the state for the prayer session, was conducted round some of the projects executed by the Dankwambo administration in Gombe.

Iwuanyanwu Seeks More Federal Presence

OWERRI, -Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, a chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to upgrade Alvan Ikokwu Federal College of Education, Owerri to a university. Iwuanyanwu made the appeal at a rally to receive former PDP members back to the party in Owerri. He said the upgrade was necessary as the infrastructure to make the college of education a university was already in place. He also asked that the Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri , be made a medical school using the Federal Medical Centre in the state. Iwuanyanwu, also a member of the PDP Board of Trustees,

thanked the President for transforming the airport in Owerri into an international Cargo Airport and for his other achievements. He thanked the President for welcoming the returnees and pledged the unalloyed support of the people of the state to the president in 2015 Presidential Election. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, commended the people of Imo for coming out en-mass to welcome the president. She thanked the president for the numerous projects his administration had embarked upon in the state since he assumed duty and promised that the state would not let him down.

A former governor of the state, Chief Achike Udenwa, expressed gratitude to the president for honouring his request to come personally to receive the returnees to PDP. He said the presence of the president and the mood of the masses was an indication that the state was back as a PDP state. The National Woman Leader of PDP, Mrs Kema Chikwe, expressed gratitude to the returnees and to the president for finding time to welcome them. She said the state would continue to support the transformation agenda of the president and urged the returnees to ensure that they worked as one with the party in the state.

A ship impounded by the Nigerian Navy in Port Harcourt over alleged illegal freighting of 500 metric tonnes of diesel worth N90.5 million at Bonny in Rviers yesterday.

THE violation of women’s rights both at the national and domestic strata have become burning and vexatious issues. What we find happening in this country as regards the denial to women of certain privileges and rights, much more pervades other nations of the world to some varying degree and extent. In some countries women are never heard but they are only seen and are not offered opportunities to make their contributions to national growth and development. THE refrain has always been that we are in a male dominated society and as such the dominance is carried over to other sectors of life, where it becomes very obvious that the male-folks are always in the position to wield power and control. However, the tendency to keep women at the background in most societies is derived from the tradition and custom of old in predominantly medieval communities where women are consigned to basic task of up-keeping of the home and the rearing and bearing of children. AGAIN, there is the perceived social and environmental factors that women are not endowed with equal natural abilities seen against the superiority and innate physical attributes of man, which makes him the stronger sex while the women are regarded as the weaker sex. WHILE it is still in contention that women are spiritually more gifted than the men, there are however, certain, religious practices in traditional religion, Christianity and Islam and many other faith-exercising beliefs where women are barred from priestly role for reasons peculiar to those faith. OVER the years however, women have risen to these challenges to combat and eliminate these practices and to elevate womanhood to the pedestal of dignity and to take their pride of place in society. THESE situations have also given rise to such concepts as women liberation and women empowerment to such extent it appears that there has been an attempt to rewrite the English language to make it reflect the sense of womanhood were such words as “Chairman” and


Encouraging Women In Politics “mankind” are facing the challenges of some etymologists and lexical experts to make them lose their male connotations. WHILE the war to institute the female privilege and the sense of womanhood in the language sector is a continuing one, there are still other areas of human endeavour where our womenfolk are carrying on the battle. It is a matter of fact, that women more often than not now concern themselves with issues such as the problem of development, female health reproductive issues, prostitution, trafficking in women, wife-battering and the political participation of women in the affairs of state. FOR instance, a study by the population reference bureau, “conveying concerns: women write on Reproductive Health,” indicate that the global community is beginning to recognize a crucial, yet long overlooked piece of development puzzle. The study states that the ideas and participation of women are essential for planning appropriate, comprehensive and effective development programs. A DEVELOPMENT effort of particular significance to women, it says is the design of reproductive health policies and programmes to meet the needs of all women, at different stages in their reproductive lives, from different socio economic setting, of different religious and cultural backgrounds. IT also noted that efforts in the past to provide women. reproductive health services seemed to have been implanted without fully understanding the needs and sensitivities of the women they were to serve, following ‘which many women and

women’s group became disillusioned with the development process. HOWEVER, “the increasing problem that women face in our world is that of discrimination which is occasioned by traditional practices in all ramifications, even discrimination in office places and in appointments. In effect, no matter how highly placed a woman might be in respect of achievements and in office; her status is still low because of male chauvinism and its dominating characteristics not to regard a woman’s profile as worth anything not even by men who may have achieved less. WOMEN’s standing has risen dramatically in recent times due mainly to their efforts and that of the international community and many nongovernmental organizations who insist on the rights and privileges which not only they should take from society but what the constitutions and codes of human freedom had also conferred on them. IN this regard a number of international decisions which have helped to legitimize the rights and privileges of women include the 1952 convention on the political rights of women, the 1979 convention on the political rights of women, the 1979 convention on the elimination of Discrimination ‘Against Women and the 1995 Beijing Conference, China, sponsored by the Untied Nations. It was the fourth world conference on women with 189 governments and 2,600 nongovernmental groups in attendance. RESOLUTIONS at the conference agreed to a set of strategic objectives and action including efforts to advance the role of women in politics and environment stewardship. BESIDES, the Commonwealth has also been committed to the problem of gender inequality and presented plan of action at the Beijing Conference as well as an update to it in 1997. AT this point, we the women groups yearning for improvements in women conditions nationally and globally to pursue the course relentlessly and not give up. Further, we implore the Nigerian government and other nations globally to address the socio-cultural factors that hinder women from the realization of their full potentials.

On The State Of Cutting Edge The Nigerian State With

WHAT is the state of Nigerian State? This tasking, delicate question was put to the four hundred (400) level students of the Department of Political Science, class of 2000, of the “Greatest” University of Ibadan, by the erudite scholar per excellence, Professor (then a Doctor) Eghosa Osaghae. I was a very active member of that class and can vividly recall how we rummaged through our memories to come up with satisfactory answers to this highly technical question. Professor Osaghae is a man after my heart - an academic mentor whose penchant for startling his students with thought provoking questions made my class one of the best drilled (to the best of my knowledge) in the history of that great department. This same question popped up in my mind’s eye as I pondered on the current sorry conditions of the Nigerian state. What is really the state of the Nigerian state? For starters, the current state of the Nigerian State can be likened to the Babel like scenario that obtained in France prior to the tornado of 1789. Everywhere you look there seems to be a modern replication of the horrible spectacles in France, before the scorching inferno that blazed through the country, smoldering the enemies of the people – the Monarchy and nobility – in its paths. From heart-wrenching forms of poverty, an unrepresentative political system, an impassive political class, endemic corruption, a pandemic of ignorance and superstitious accretions, cyclical unemployment, a regime of hunger and disease, insecurity of lives and properties, to sundry other man-made vices, Nigeria fits the classic case of a Pandora box delicately perched on the edge of a

slippery cliff. A state of anomie pervades the whole country, akin to the “state of nature” depicted in Thomas Hobbes’ version of the social contract theory; a continual state of war of all against all; a Philistine state of crude censors; a condition in which the “real” enemies of Nigeria have turned her into a solitary confinement. Conditions on the ground have created a state of hopelessness in which the people have lost faith in the national mansion and are scrambling into tribal gazebos, searching for answers to national questions that have continued to defy reason; questions which like malignant ailments, have continued to resist therapy. The Nigerian State swims in tempestuous waters infested with bloodthirsty Piranhas, and like a woman experiencing maddening birth pangs, needs urgent attention. These spasms, put together, constitute the true condition of the Nigerian state, which plays out in the form of violence. Concerning violence, a cursory look at the Nigerian tragedy, reveals a worrisome, but obvious reality: the fact that our country is a “violent state” which has created a “state of violence” within its confines. (Violence within the context of this discourse refers to all acts of omission and commission by the Nigerian state, in the discharge of its duties to the citizenry, which are inimical to their common good) The Nigerian state is defined by labyrinths of brutality. This conundrum of hostility is double-pronged: the first emanates from the state itself, while the second is a logical consequence of the first. The Nigerian state perpetrates Violence against

its citizens through the operations of its institutions, and through the actions and inactions of its operators. Ours is a country where force in its latent and manifest ramifications have become the currency of social, political and economic exchange; where the state forcefully confronts the citizenry physically, structurally, psychologically, mentally, (even spiritually) and in other ramifications. Most Nigerians are oblivious of these violent dispositions

Obuseh Jude GSM: 08033510173 of the domineering character of the Nigerian state in its relations with its citizens reveals a very horrible spectacle: “We are living in a state that has launched a war of attrition against us”; a state that is carrying out a silent pogrom against its own people actively and

stated - and having invested their capital in acquiring multiple directorships of this business enterprise, go to extreme lengths in obtaining as much return on their investments as they can once they are in office. Political office ultimately becomes a

dispensation, speaks volume of the high level of corruption ravaging this country. Not forgetting several other higher level cases in the past involving some sacred cows that have been swept under the carpet due to the exigencies of

means to the financial paradise of these people. This has been the standard practice by members of the various administrations that have run the affairs of this country since independence. The several criminal cases of ex-presidents (military and civilian), ministers, commissioners and other top government officials at the various cadres of government, under the searchlight of the country’s anti-graft agencies, such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independence Corrupt practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and other investigative governmental and nongovernment organizations (NGOs), in the current

politics. The several cases of stolen billions in the past and present dispensations are pointers to the continued merciless pillaging of the resources of the country by its operators. The harsh consequences of this regime of graft on the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians cannot be overemphasized. Nigerians surfer violence on different fronts; in standards of living, opportunities for health care and education etc, they are at the receiving end :from the man who is constantly ravaged by hunger and manages to squeeze out a miserly existence on a daily basis, but does not know where the next meal ticket is coming from; the graduate who after having spent Continues on pg 15

President Goodluck Jonathan of the state because they are not easily amenable to casual observation, but are embedded within the routines of daily societal relations; and also because most of my hapless fellow compatriots are preoccupied with merely striving to eke out a living, rather than fighting to transcend the piteous state they currently subsist in by demanding for change. But a closer scrutiny

passively. Political corruption – or criminality, to put it more appropriately - constitutes the chief source of violence in Nigeria. (Corruption within the context of this discourse refers to the use of public office for private enrichment). The wielders of political power in Nigeria, together with their financiers, operate her as a business conglomerate – as earlier

“Ours is a country where force in its latent and manifest ramifications have become the currency of social, political and economic exchange; where the state forcefully confronts the citizenry physically, structurally, psychologically, mentally, (even spiritually) and in other ramifications. Most Nigerians are oblivious of these violent dispositions of the state because they are not easily amenable to casual observation, but are embedded within the routines of daily societal relations.”

Nutritional Health And Dietetics


Impotence And Erectile Dysfunction

IF your body is deficient in certain nutrients, you are going to encounter biochemical imbalances. Unique bodily processes will begin to slow down and will not function normally, until, those imbalances are addressed. Ensuring that the food you consume are nourishing, your body is one of the most important things you can do. If you are consuming food that are full of sugar, chemicals, preservatives, artificial ingredients and unhealthy fats, you are simply undermining your efforts to become pregnant. Most people according to nutritionists fail to realize the damaging impact this has. How can we expect our body to do things it should when we have neglected the tools it requires? Be aware of how powerful, real, healthy, foods are adequate in nutritional elements, such as, vitamin B12, Vit E and C, Beta-carotene, lycopene, iron, zinc and selenium are required for both men and women. Also, nutritional drinks may also help with fertility issues. Killing your sex life, with too much sweetsUncontrollable consumption of sugar can eventually kill your sex life? Indeed, researchers have determined that high concentration of sugar in your bloodstream can switch off the gene that controls your sex hormones, excess glucose and fructose are stored as fat lipids after they are metabolized in the liver. The synthesis of these excess fats deactivates the SHBG genes (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) which control your testosterone and estrogen levels, the bioavailability of the sex hormones is greatly influenced by the levels of SHBG. The imbalance in these hormones may lead to deterioration of your sexual functions. This also, increases the chances of acne, polycystic, ovaries, uterine cancer, heart disease and infertility. Research also, found that sugar can negatively impact your lipid profile. Anything that disrupts your lipid profile can lead to impotence and erectile dysfunction. Aside from this harmful impact, sugar also, has a negative effect on your eating habits. It

provides a sudden boost of endorphin production, stimulating you to eat more than you should. The extra calories will make you put on extra rounds which are directly associated with lower testosterone and increased risks of erectile dysfunction. Most men are completely oblivious to the food that they are eating. Either they are aware of the sugar content and pretend to know or they assume they know the content but because the numbers are not known to them, they continue to eat foods high in sugar content. What are the most common physical causes of erectile dysfunction? The most common physical causes of ED are damaged arteries and weak fibrous tissues surrounding the penis. How does stress or anxiety contribute to erectile dysfunction? Stress or anxiety interferes with the erection process by distracting the man from things that would normally arouse his concentration needed during sexual intercourse. Who is at risk of erectile dysfunction? Men from 40 to 70 years old are at risk of ED, Age is the number one risk factor for this disease. Men who have chronic, medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes are also at greater risk of ED. Is erectile dysfunction linked to other medical condition? Yest, Diabetes have been linked to ED, about 75 per cent of men with diabetes have ED. Obesity and cardiovascular problems are other diseases linked to ED. Is erectile dysfunction an aging problem? ED is only considered a medical problem when it happens regularly. It is not an inevitable result of aging. How is erectile dysfunction treated? ED can be treated with oral medications, sex therapy, penile injections, vacuum pumps and surgery. Alternative medicine proposes the use of herbs to address the disease naturally. Can erectile dysfunction be prevented? Yes, taking active measures in your life style and diet maintains good erectile function. Ways to prevent

ED -


Stop smoking Exercise regularly Maintain a healthy weight. Seek professional advice before taking any medication Avoid excessive use of alcohol (no more than

two drinks a day) Avoid the use of illegal drugs - Keep chronic illnesses such as diabetes or kidney disease under control. - Avoid long hours in a hot tub or sauna where temperature is high. - Take the right supplement for virility care. What is erectile dysfunction? Erectile dysfunction also, known as ED, is the inability to achieve and sustain an erection for sexual intercourse. This condition is not considered normal at any age and is different from other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse, such as lack of -

sexual desire and problems with ejaculation and orgasm. In order for erection to occur, the nerves of the penis must be functioning properly, blood circulation to the penis must be adequate and there must be proper stimulus from the brain. If something interferes with any or all of these conditions, a full erection is not possible. Some men aren’t able to get an erection at all. Others can

get one, but it is not hard enough for pleasurable intercourse, while others get a hard erection but lose it before or during sex. According to the National Institutes of Health, a majority of men at some point in their life experience occasional failure to achieve erection which can occur for a variety of reasons such as drinking too much of alcohol or from being extremely tired. Failure to achieve erection less than 20 per cent of the time is not unusual and medical treatment is rarely needed. But the causes of this minor problem might lead to a permanent condition where failure to achieve erection occurs more than 50 per cent of the time.

O.C. Madu GSM: 08056379608 Once this stage of erectile dysfunction is reached, medical treatment is required to reverse the situation. Research shows that your erectile dysfunction increase with the following factors. - Anxiety, where one incidence of ED spirals





into fear of sexual failure, resulting in ongoing ED. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) accounts for 50 per cent to 60 per cent of ED in men 60 and older. Depression D i a b e t e s , approximately 42 per cent of men with diabetes have ED due to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Drinking alcohol Excessive weight Guilt caused by inability to satisfy a partner. High cholesterol Hypertension Indifference to sex


Infrequent exercise Kidney disease Low self-esteem Low testosterone levels, caused by aging or problems with pituitary gland, thyroid gland, liver or testes. - Multiple sclerosis - Recreational drugs - Smoking - Spinal cord injuries - Stress-related to career, money, relationship problems. Treatment: Western medicine according to Dr. Sampson relies on aggressive prescription drugs and surgery to deal with many problems related to sexual dysfunction. These methods generally, address only the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and not the underlying causes. As soon as you stop using the drugs, the problem returns. Also, Dr. Sampson continues that prescription drugs often result in unwanted and even dangerous side effects, for example, the combine side effects of cialislevitra and virginal include abdominal pain, abnormal vision, back pain, bronchitis, cough, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, flushing, gastro enteritis, hypertension, itching, burning during urination, pain in extremity, prolong erection (longer than four hours) etc. Therefore, use the principles of nature to maintain health in a person by keeping the individual’s body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature. Scientific research has found that some natural options are effective at improving symptoms of erective dysfunction. For advice and counseling, the writer will be help to you.

“According to the National Institutes of Health, a majority of men at some point in their life experience occasional failure to achieve erection which can occur for a variety of reasons such as drinking too much of alcohol or from being extremely tired.”

Continued from pg 13

several years in the university, serves his country for one compulsory calendar year afterwards, and spends another seven years or more scavenging for an elusive job; the poor who are denied access to justice whenever their rights are trampled upon by the rich just because they lack the funds to engage the services of legal representatives; the several victims of accidental discharge and other forms of extra-judicial killings by the police and other overzealous law enforcement agencies of the state, who are easily forgotten without any form of redress; the civil servant who is denied minimum wage despite slaving all his life for an ungrateful state; communities which lack basic amenities and infrastructures because their elected representatives have embezzled the funds meant for the provision of these dividends of democracy; the pensioner who has to struggle to receive his dues after retirement from active service to his father land… the ones that die in the process are even worse off; all Nigerians who have been subjected to relentless barrages of lies by their elected leaders; all who have been subjected to the horrors of election rigging and military takeovers; the man with the intellect, but not the financial wherewithal to educate himself; Nigerians for whom the basic necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter etc - have become luxuries, which only the rich can access; the man who is driven into crime because he cannot sustain himself, including the victims of his actions; to several other categories of Nigerians, not included in this list, who are subjected to one form of ill-treatment or the other by the state. The truth is that whatever threatens our corporate existence as Nigerians is an instrument of violence. Whatever petrifies us is violent to our psyche and

... Of The Cutting Edge Nigerian State general well being. Anything that causes any form of injury to us is a tool of violence; for when a serving governor prefers buying a private jet rather than building an airport that will create jobs for his people, he commits violence against them; when politicians fretter millions away on a regular basis paying for the services of their retinue of lazy personal assistants, special advisers and other hangerson, who are mostly without portfolios, they commit violence against the ordinary man on the street who would benefit from a more judicious use of such funds; when politicians use funds stolen from the country’s coffers to set up world-class hospitals, hotels, oil refineries, universities and other capital intensive, economically viable and employmentgenerating industries abroad, causing the flight of muchneeded capital in the process, they commit extreme violence against the country and its people who would have benefited immensely from these projects had they been cited in their constituencies. In fact, any dereliction of duty by any political office holder or public servant is an act of violence. I cannot recognize that aggressive fiend as my state, which is the butcher’s state; a state that constantly attacks its own people on all fronts, snuffing out the lives of many in the process; a state that chastises its people with whips and scorpions; a state that is unmoved by its people’s deplorable conditions and ignores their entreaties for help; a state that is driven by a compulsive bloodlust fuelled by its dislike of opposition of any kind; a state that demands acquiescence to all its insidious inventions, good or bad; a state where dogs eat

dogs; for when over eighty percent of my fellow countrymen live like lepers in the land of their fathers, the beast in me threatens to come to full glare. When I see all the sufferings, rejections, maltreatments and other inhumanities meted out to my people by their own kind, I feel like exploding. This art of war against us must stop. These unprovoked, undeserved attacks must end. Why are we so blest in this country? Why have the powerful refrained from empowering the powerless? Why do our

With Obuseh Jude GSM: 08033510173

duties, it behooves the Nigerian state to feed its citizens when they are hungry; to clothe them when they are naked; to give them water to drink when they are thirsty; to give them hope in their moments of despair; to house them when they are homeless; to keep them warm when they are cold; to

“Why are we so blest in this country? Why have the powerful refrained from empowering the powerless? Why do our oppressors rage? Why do they imagine vain things? Why do the kings of this country plot evil against their own people? Why do they prefer us conquered rather than free? Why are they so passionate in their morbid hatred of us? Is there something we don’t know that they do? But what could that be?”

Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC Chairman oppressors rage? Why do they imagine vain things? Why do the kings of this country plot evil against their own people? Why do they prefer us conquered rather than free? Why are they so passionate in their morbid hatred of us? Is there something we don’t know that they do? But what could that be? Above all other fiduciary

protect them when they are in danger; to empathize with them when they are troubled; to treat them as humanely as it treats its operators and their associates; to provide them with reasonable sources of livelihood; to respect their dignity and other basic rights, first as human beings, and as Nigerian citizens; and to perform all its primary responsibilities to every

“I cannot recognize that aggressive fiend as my state, which is the butcher’s state; a state that constantly attacks its own people on all fronts, snuffing out the lives of many in the process; a state that chastises its people with whips and scorpions; a state that is unmoved by its people’s deplorable conditions and ignores their entreaties for help; a state that is driven by a compulsive bloodlust fuelled by its dislike of opposition of any kind; a state that demands acquiescence to all its insidious inventions, good or bad; a state where dogs eat dogs; for when over eighty percent of my fellow countrymen live like lepers in the land of their fathers, the beast in me threatens to come to full glare.”

Nigerians who has sworn to “uphold her honour and glory”. Desisting from performing these fundamental duties constitutes violence against Nigerians; violence that is likely to be resisted by further violence; for when people are hungry, they become angry; when they are angry, they become unreasonable; and when they are unreasonable, they are most likely to turn violent. I am formally calling on the operators of the Nigerian state to do a rethink of their bellicose dispositions towards the citizenry; calling on those who authoritatively allocate values in this country to repent of their heinous crimes against the Nigerian people and move to

redress the current unsavory conditions in which the citizens of one of the most extravagantly blessed countries on planet earth have been forced to live like serfs and Eskimos in the land of their ancestors. This war of attrition against the people must stop for positive peace – not the negative peace of the grave yard that is currently the order of the day - to reign in this country? That is the only way to prevent a possible deluge of catastrophic proportions; an all-out circle of violence that might never end once it starts. There is a limit to human tolerance. A word is enough for the truly wise! I sign off till next week.

Perspective “Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness Of the whole and not that of one class” PIATO “All well governed states and wise princes have taken care not To reduce the nobility to despair, Nor the people to discontent” NICCOLO MACHIEVELLI. TO expurgate the Byzantine tentacles of politico-socio-economic gallimaufry from our society, leaders are elected and democratically mandated to wield power in the interest of people. The power so vested, is expected to be executed on the lucent plinth of constitutionality, fair play, justice and equity. Indeed, the essayist, statesman and philosopher Thomas Jefferson said in his historic Maryland speech in 1809 that, “the care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the only legitimate object of good government”. But the inability of our leaders past and present to practice the Aristotelian concept of the pursuit of the greatest good for the largest number, altruistic commitment, failure to see the nation, state and local Government Area as one constituency under their leadership etc has given rise to what sociologist call structural distrust, mistrust and fears. The people now believe that the only way development can come to their areas is only when their kinsmen, townsman and tribal cohorts are in power. This has given rise to the clamor in most nations and states etc for power shift. Power shift is seen by some political analyst as one of the taboos to pure and modern democracy. Nigeria is a nation formed as a result of the agglomeration of different heterogeneous groups of people. But after our independence in 1960 the Hausa/fulanis took over the

reins of leadership from the British and went through their Nothernization Policy to entrench a very complex northern stranglehold dominance of all the institutions of coercion, like the Army, Police, Navy, Air force etc. The presidency became their exclusive preserve. The leadership Algebra and political statistical data shows that right from independence in 1960 till date there has been a preponderant dominance by the North,- Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa ( 1960-1966), Gen. Yakubu Gowon (19661975), Gen. Murtala Muhammed (6 months), Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo( he came as military and two-time democratically elected President), Alhaji Shehu Shagari (19941998),Gen.Muhamed Buhari, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993), Gen. Sanni Abacha (1994-1998), Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (19981999), President Musa YarAdua and now President GoodLuck Ebele Jonathan ( not in sequential Order). When these facts are silhouetted on the canvass of time and history, it shows that the North West Geo-political Zone has had 4 presidents, the North central Geo-political Zone have had 3 presidents, the North East Geo-political Zone have had 2 presidents, the south west have had (2 presidents), the South east Geo-political Zone (none) because zik was a figurehead and the South South (Niger delta) (1). It was this transparent and lucid injustice that give rise to the “Power Shift” clamour in Nigeria. The wrangling and farrago gained on immense political intensity, indeed, push came to shove and the Notherners kow-kowed and then called for an election. In the subsequent election, Chief MKO Abiola won hands down, but was manipulated out of the presidency in what is now known as the “JUNE 12TH SAGA”. One thing led to another and THE MAN DIED. Nigeria was thrown

Delta 2015:

into political schmaltzy of unspeakable proportion. The Northerners saw that Nigeria was on its way to Yugoslavia and on the verge and epicenter of disintegration and then decided to call for a fresh election under General Abdusalami Abubakar to empower the South West (Yoruba) because of MKO Abiola’s death. Then power was reluctantly shifted to the south west (Yoruba) with Chief Aremo Okikiola Matthew Olusegun Obasanjo emerging as the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999. The success of power Shift in 1999 led to the recrudescence of the power shift mantra at national, state and community levels that led to the election of President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan. Today, in delta state the power shift Syndrome has attained an unthinkable political crescendo, so much that, it is already setting the stage for a great political mélange and Salmagundi in 2015. The Aniomas, Ijaws, Isokos, Urhobos etc are already strategizing. Delta state is a melting pot. It is a mini Nigeria with 25 local Government Areas and over 8 ethnic groups. It is a consequence of Willinks Commission (1957/58), it became superimposed in the old mid- western Region chipped off old western Region then in 1963, it came into Bendel state until it is finally gained the long sought-after autochthonous status in August 1991, as Delta state (THE BIG or is it the FINGER OF GOD)? The Urhobo ethnic group in terms of demographic data constitutes about 51.4% of the state. Indeed, they enjoy numerical superiority over all the ethnic groups in the state and they have had two democratically elected governors ever since the creation of the state- chief Felix Ibru and Chief James

“Are they aware that the Delta Central Senatorial District where the Urhobos dominate, although they cut across virtually all the senatorial districts, have only had two slots at the Governorship- one truncated by a military coup and the other had eight years. Is not too early for power shift in delta state? Is it the power shift that is critically crucial for Delta state now or credible leadership.”

Power Shift Or

Onanafe Ibori and they are clamouring for an Urhobo Governor in 2015.The question arises, for how long will the Urhobo ethnic group continue to hold on to the Governorship position in Delta state? Is the Governorship position the exclusive preserve and birth right of the Urhobo people? Will other ethnic groups, exclusive of the Itsekeris continue to be political underdogs in Delta state because the Urhobos are in vast majority? Will there be peace, progress and tranquility under such a system. The answer, without slips of prolixity is a resounding and outright capital NO. One of the tragedies of power is in its ambrosial insatiaty. When you are at an advantage you want to consolidate your hold on to power with peremptory magistracy, but when you are at a disadvantage you vociferously assert your rights to that position. This instinctual edacity and natural desire to hold on to power has continued to be a troglodyte and Paleolithic idiosyncrasy of man. But there must be a balancing through political synchronization aimed at ensuring equity through adequate representational participation in the Wheels of governance. When Northern hegemonists through their Hausa/Fulani Oligarchical feudalism dominated and still dominate the political horizon in Nigeria, the Igbos, Yorubas supported by other minorities clamored for power shift. In the old western region the Edo’s clamored for power shift to forestall the yoke of Yoruba’s domination. This ultimately led to the creation of the old Mid-Western state and Bendel State. The political metamorphosis continued until the creation of Delta state. You will observe that once a New a state or status quo is created there always emerges a dominant group. In our peculiar situation in Delta state the urhobos are now the dominant group. Are the Urhobos in a political dilemma over power shift? Will power now shift to the Delta Central Senatorial District to the North or Southern Senatorial District? Was there an amicably agreed functional formula to that effect amongst the political

parties? It will however be tantamount to political escapism and despotism for the Urhobos to say that politics is a game of numbers only, and that the minorities should have their say and let the majority have their way. This will definitely be a recipe for

political topsy-turvydom and a fundamental and sacrilegious desecration of the inviolable pantheons of democracy. If the Lincolonian assertion that “Democracy is a Government of the people, by the people for the people” and if the Jeffersonian dictum that “Democracy is a system of the government that maximizes the level of popular support as a determinant of government policy and action”, then any majority group must not hold to power indefinitely. It must continue to coordinate strategies, orchestrate logistics and fine-tune polices within the ambit of democracy, to make democracy transcend the confines of theoretical brummagem to the high podium of pragmatism. The concept and practice of majority rule or numerical superiority does not mean the dominance of the polity by tribal, clannish and parochial intents, it is the prevalence of


enlighted votes cast in the passing of bills in democratic settings to ensure that the ballot and not the bullet holds away. This is consistent with the fundamental proposition of Marxian dialectics that “All

boundaries in nature and society are conventional and mobile, that there is not a single phenomenenon which cannot under certain

James Ibori


Credible Leadership? GBINIJE

conditions be transformed to its opposite”. The Minorities in Delta state deserve equity. But those who go to equity must come with clean hands. Are these minority groups making up the Delta North and Delta South Senatorial

District where the Urhobos dominate, although they cut across virtually all the senatorial districts, have only had two slots at the Governorship- one truncated by a military coup and the other had eight years. Is not too early for power shift in delta state? Is it the power

Agbarha-warri, Agbarho, Agbon, Arhavwarien, Ewu, Effurun-otor,Jesse, Jeremi, Ogor, Okere-urhobo, Olomu,Okparabe, Oghara, Orogun, Udu, Uvwie,Ughelli and Uhweru, etc and two of these have had opportunity of providing Governors of Delta State. It is clear, that the other kingdoms which constitute part of the Urhobo collectivity are also crying of marginalization, oppression and for power to shift to them, even when an Urhobo is Governor of Delta state. The proclivity and nature of man is so horrendously greedy when it comes to power and money, that no amount is sufficient for him. If power shifts say hypothetically to the Itskeris of Ugborodo, after some time the Itskeris of koko, or Omadino will cry for power shift again. If power shifts to Isokos of Olomoro or Iyede, after some time Isokos of Izoro or IIuelogbo will cry for power shift. With the

political mistrust and social distorts, hence the call and fight of power shift. The call is simply because our leadership is hideously mundane and solipsistic. America claims to be one of the biggest democracies in the world, but America is yet to see a woman president. This is not because of moribund leadership, but because America is potpurri of miasmatic interest and a nexial interconnectivity of complex political web. But the prime objective of every leader is the pursuit of the greatest good for the largest number. Hence , the fight to produce a woman president has not attained a hideous crescendo, because Americans believe that their interest must be safe guarded by their leaders. When Deltans, Nigerians and nay Africans see credibility in their leaders, they will not bother about who is their leader, Head of state, president or Governor.

We will only bother wether he has the right carriage and attitudinal orientation to serve the totality of the nation as one constituency in honesty, truth and love. Then the mantra of power shift will cease. We also want to blame the electorate who are used by the leadership or political prestidigitators to perpetrate all sorts of violence against themselves. Our clamor should be for credible leadership and not power shift. If the citizens make conscious choice of good leaders at every level, they will have discharged their responsibities properly. But if the citizens do not, they will have cheated themselves and the future of the nation and the lives all of us may be adversely affected. Any government as a human institution will have it’s shortcomings. But one major cause of the failure of civilian administrations in this country is/was that our leaders concentrate and still concentrate on the part and ignored the whole, hence regionalism, tribalism, sectionalism, corruption and

ethnicity became the order of the day. Let our leaders now correct the past, which failed us. Let our leaders and political aspirants look upon the whole, not the part, let us remember the past and look forward hopefully to the future, let us march forward in solidarity and unity of purpose and together build a delta state and a Nigeria ever more united, greater and stronger. The concept of power shift will die a natural death if our leaders decide today to be committed to the tenets of good leadership. If we find a good leader we will not ask for power shift. After all Plato said “democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, dispensing a kind of quality to equals and unequals alike”. NOT POWER SHIFT BUT CREDIBLE LEADERS FROM ANYWHERE BOBSON GBINIJE Mandate Against Poverty (MAP) Warri;08023250378

“How can one explain a situation where the late Governor of Bendel state, Ambrose Alli decided to site a university in his home town Ekpoma? How can one explain a situation where 30% percent of development projects where all concentrated in governor Iboris own town, Oghara, when he was governor etc. The impression that Nigerians have is that our leaders are out to serve themselves, families, surrogates, tribal groups and political hirelings etc. This kind of scenario stimulates political mistrust and social distorts, hence the call and fight of power shift.” districts ready with the right caliber of leaders that will carry Deltans along? Are they prepared for leadership albatross? Are they aware that the Delta Central Senatorial

shift that is critically crucial for Delta state now or credible leadership? We are aware that urhobos have twenty-three kingdoms of Abraka, Agbarho-Otor,

Aniomas, Ijaws etc the same thing will happen after some time. We will not all be calling for power shift if we had leaders who are credible, patriotic and altruistic. Leaders who can call Delta state and nay Nigeria their only constituency, where every man, Local Government Area, state are treated as one under the umbrella of great progressivitic unanimity. How can one explain a situation where the late Governor of Bendel state, Ambrose Alli decided to site a university in his home town Ekpoma? How can one explain a situation where 30% percent of development projects where all concentrated in governor Iboris own town, Oghara, when he was governor etc. The impression that Nigerians have is that our leaders are out to serve themselves, families, surrogates, tribal groups and political hirelings etc. This kind of scenario stimulates

Gov Emmanuel Uduaghan

Issues NEWS of the surging violence by the shadowy sect, Boko Haram, has continued to inundate us even if some no longer shudder at screaming headlines of dozens whose throats have been slit; the extremists have sustained the ongoing brutal campaign against civilian and security targets. The vicious group has showed no sign of slowing down in 2014 with a string of coordinated attacks from Borno to Adamawa and Yobe states. It is inconceivable and incomprehensible in a state under emergency, that terrorist attacks in villages and towns last for hours without any kind of security intervention. The escalation of violence between January and February alone has claimed over 650 lives between Borno and Adamawa. For now, Gwoza, Bama, Konduga and Damboa towns and all the villages around them are facing extinction! The insurgents have left on its trail: lives lost, properties destroyed and terrified residents fleeing their homes. Guerilla tactics in rural areas have made the people vulnerable where Christians and Muslims alike have been on the receiving end of the morally reprehensible sect’s abhorrent violence. Borno, to Boko Haram, is their spiritual home where the ‘struggle’ began. Losing the battle on this turf to the federal forces will effectively signal the end of their insurrection. In this state, their attacks have been more vicious, somewhat sporadic but with a high level of coordination unexpected in a state under emergency. Their resolve is strengthened by the scores they slaughter in the wee hours of the night. The Nigerian military still has a lot to prove that it is capable of putting down the insurrection. Guerilla wars(better known as asymmetric combat) are the most difficult to prosecute because the enemies live within the civilian population. Security operatives become vulnerable because they are identifiable but the terrorists are almost invincible. It might be asking for too much from the ill equipped and trained Nigerian military to wage a successful war against them. Such an operation is quite complicated and requires cerebral personnel. It is doubtful if the Nigerian military give

adequate training to its men to fight guerilla wars – a 21st century security challenge. The unimpressive way the counterterrorism campaign has been waged by the combined team of security agencies have laid bare their conventional and stereotype inbuilt structure of warfare where there is a clearly defined enemy in a well-defined geographical location. The Nigeria military’s symmetric approach to an asymmetric counterterrorism battle in states under emergency, clearly, has failed. The spate of almost daily attacks on hapless civilians in Borno underscores this point.Their modus operandi is similar to all known terrorist groups in the world. The trademark of the organization is blood, tears and sorrow with both covert and overt violent assault against police officers, military, churches and civilian targets.These persistent and mindless killings from highly networked, richly financed groups waging insurgent war often from within civilian population, use a combination of traditional and modern weapons. There tactics can best be mitigated and/or quelled by

Borno And The Changing Dynamics Of Boko Haram By THEOPHILUS ILEVBARE military operations backed by the most sophisticated and technologically advanced security gadgets. It is a known fact that the structure and design of Nigeria’s national security is too outdated to meet present day security challenges. It has also been reported that the morale of the military and police is ebbing. In contrast, Boko Haram is better armed and motivated. Years of corruption in the military and police have robbed us of the best. Consequently, the cruel marauders pose a serious threat to the nation’s sovereignty and the continual harmonious coexistence of the various tribes and religions. The possibility of

overrunning the country is real. However, Nigeria’s security challenges are not insurmountable. With commitment and a dogged political will from the government, the nefarious activities of the blood thirsty fundamentalists can be effectively contained. Furthermore, government should tighten what many now regard as the most porous border in the world! We would easily win any award in that category. There is still an ongoing war in Mali; it’s only been months since the Arab Spring ended. All these have put arms and ammunition in the wrong hands. Those who

proliferate these weapons move them across our borders to a mix grill ready market of terrorists, pirates, hoodlums, unrepentant and backsliding ex-militants, 2015 election tugs and other criminal minded elements. To quell this increasingly complex threat, the tangled-web of terrorist financing must be demystified and those found wanting brought to book. Collaboration like joint military action with our West African neighbours to combat threats along border towns and villages is a strategy the military should urgently explore as part of a comprehensive approach to counter the deadly extremists. The fierce unrelenting assault on neighbouring villages bordering the Borno state

“Borno, to Boko Haram, is their spiritual home where the ‘struggle’ began. Losing the battle on this turf to the federal forces will effectively signal the end of their insurrection. In this state, their attacks have been more vicious, somewhat sporadic but with a high level of coordination unexpected in a state under emergency. Their resolve is strengthened by the scores they slaughter in the wee hours of the night. The Nigerian military still has a lot to prove that it is capable of putting down the insurrection.”

capital, Maiduguri, has highlighted the inefficiency and numerical disadvantage of the Nigerian military and police. With over 8000 troops deployed already to the sub-region without any success, the International Criminal Court was spot on when it said Nigeria was embroiled in another civil war. Remote border towns with Cameroon like Banki, in Bama Local Government Area have been the worst hit as the remoteness of their location have made it almost impossible to respond to distress. Recently, the military decried insufficient personnel in such remote towns and villages, as its bane. Residents say in some villages, about six military men, poorly armed, and just about half a dozen policemen are present. This is grossly inadequate and easily outnumbered by over 50 insurgents who storm these target locations in vehicles and motor bikes, armed to the teeth. The presence of more security personnel in the remote villages will to a great extent improve the security situation. It is ridiculous when our security chiefs give themselves a pat on the back for ‘curtailing’ the Islamic fundamentalists in the North East, preventing their activities from spreading to other parts of the country. This kind of attitude that promotes mediocrity in the rank and file of our national security must be discouraged. Sabotage, negligence of duty and unhealthy competition among the security agencies are

some of the reasons insecurity has been on the rise in the troubled states of the north east, particularly, Borno. The military offensive against the sect has been nothing short of a complete failure. It is shameful that politicians under whose watch the insurgents evolved still strut the corridors of power, and are partisan politicians till today. It must be traumatising for the victims of Boko Haram. Unfortunately, those who sowed the seed of bloodbath are still at large. Sponsors of the terror group, directly or indirectly, must be brought to justice. Prosecuting the counterterrorism war without exposing and prosecuting their financiers will amount to an effort in futility. The spirited attempt by the Jonathan government to fight terrorism with mass education of Almajiris is commendable. More of such schools is needed in northern Nigeria. It is an approach that should be encouraged to fight an insurgency that is firmly rooted in illiteracy and ignorance. Dealing decisively with the grievances that are spawning terrorism and encouraging radicalisation as well as implementing reforms and policies are pathways to restoring lasting peace, security of lives and properties in the north-east and the nation at large. Now, more than ever, decisive and sustainable victory against Boko Haram has become more elusive but imperative.


How To Achieve Wealth And Fame (5)

ASK QUESTIONS ONE of the major ingredients that enhances the growth of any child and build his or her intelligence is his or her ability to constantly ask the parents and teachers questions. If the physical and mental growth of a child could be enhanced by the kind of questions he asks, then I see no reason why you cannot cultivate the culture of asking questions to build your fame and riches. Jesus said” Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” Matthew 7v7. The right questions asked at the right time and in the right place coupled with good motive can enhance your chance of becoming very rich and famous in your generation. Any man or woman who sincerely desires riches and fame must be willing to ask useful questions from those whose legacy and positive contribution have immensely affected our society or our world positively. Our ability to ask questions regarding our birth, family, history, nation and in any area of our life endeavour can help us to achieve our purpose in life. Friends, are you aware that many people still doubt that God created the heaven and the earth and made us in his image and likeness? Do you blame them? To me the reason for their ignorance is as a result of their inability to ask useful questions. If you want your success to be visible and attractive , then you must increase your rate of asking question in any field of your endeavour. By constantly asking other people questions on how you can improve on your business, build industries, build houses, buy cars, promote peace in your marriage and family, you’ll be doing a great deal at ensuring that your positive wishes are implemented. Many people in our society because of their inability to ask useful question that will change their destiny positively had fallen into major problems.

FIVE REASONS WHY WE MUST CONTINUE TO ASK QUESTIONS Number one reason is to define your destiny. Your destiny is defined and well positioned by the question you ask daily. Any man who lack the courage to ask questions will certainly lack direction of what to do, how to implement his dream, where to work or where to stay and will also lack the ability to fight for his or her right. Number two reason why we must constantly ask questions is to remove satanic influence in our lives and destiny. Jesus refers to Satan as a thief. The major characteristics of a thief is to kill, steal and destroy. The right question you ask will determine your level of freedom from satanic bondage. The third reason why we must ask question is to enhance our knowledge. Hosea 4 vs 6, the bible says that “People perish because of lack of knowledge”. Inability to ask questions will display your ignorance in the public and make you an object of mockery. What you know will not kill you or lead to your downfall, but it will help to enhance your dream and goal in life. The fourth reason, why we must ask useful questions is to enhance our longevity on earth. Longevity of life is attainable. It comes by doing the right thing, serving God without partiality and by assistance to the less privileged in our society. The last but not the least reason why we must constantly ask useful questions is to serve God faithfully. It baffles me whenever I hear people questioning and doubting about the existence of God. God is supreme and He earnestly desires our reverence, faithfulness to Him, obedience to his words and teaching and total submission to His will in our lives. With no iota of controversy, God is real and His existence abounds everywhere. Your right question can unveil His secret and enhance your chances of sitting upon the throne of your destiny in life. Seek God’s guidance Seeking and relying on the guidance of God is one of the greatest ingredients that have

enhanced the fame and riches of thousands of people across the globe. Wealth, fame and riches emanated from God and as such we should constantly seek His guidance so as to enjoy His riches and fame. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, 1 will guide you with my eye. Do not be like horse or like

carried them away and went their way. So David and his men came to the city; and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you” Psalm 32vs 8-9 The biblical reference above a Psalm of David, unfolds an account David’s benefits and pleasurable ride with God into the theme of His (God’s) abundance. Certainly his admonition to present day generation is coloured against this backdrop. “Now it happened, when David and his men came to Zikiag, on the third (lay, that the Amalekites had invaded the south and Ziklag, attacked Zikiag and burned it with fire. And had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great, they did not kill anyone, but

And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every p man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, please bring the ephod here to me. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David, so David inquired of the Lord, saying, shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all. 1st Samuel 30vsl-8.

“The third reason why we must ask question is to enhance our knowledge. Hosea 4 vs 6, the bible says that “People perish because of lack of knowledge”. Inability to ask questions will display your ignorance in the public and make you an object of mockery. What you know will not kill you or lead to your downfall, but it will help to enhance your dream and goal in life.”

With Apostle Dr. Raphael O. Ayemere 08035459593

David’s success, fame, wealth and riches were all anchored on his ability to seek God’s guidance at all times. We fall into troubles and difficulties when we try to achieve our aims and objectives in life by our physical strength and power. God is supreme and He alone

Jehoshaphat, there is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, let not the king say such things. Then the king of Israel called one

has the power to entrust us with His wealth and fame in abundance. “Jehoshaphat had riches and honors in abundance, and by marriage he allied himself with Ahab. After some years he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria, and Ahab killed sheep and oxen in abundance for him and the people who were with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead so Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead? And he answered him, I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war. Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, please inquire for the word of the Lord today. Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain? So they said, Go up, for God will deliver it into tile king’s hand. But Jeliosliaphat said, is there not still a prophet of The Lord here, that we may inquire of him. So the king of Israel said to

of his officers and said, Bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly. 2 Chroniches l8vs 18. The scriptural references above unveil the source of Jehoshaphat fame, wealth and longevity of life. Jehoshaphat constantly sought the guidance of God in pleasant and in unpleasant situations. These positive attributes in his life prevented him from dying alongside with king Ahab in their battle against Rarnoth Gilead. King Ahab’s bad leadership and subsequent downfall were as a result of false prophets and human guidance he surrounded himself with. If king Ahab had listened to God’s guidance and genuine prophets, she would have lived long enough to see his children and enjoy God’s best. Friends, if I may ask, who are you listening to in your family, church, business, marriage and in your office? The more we seek and depend on God’s guidance the more we will enjoy the dividends of Christianity and reap the fruits of our labour. I urge you to shun any act or group of people that will deprive you of seeking and relying on God’s guidance.


President Goodluck

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance

World Economic Forum: Wooing

NIGERIA and other nations recently brainstormed at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, to make projections and analyse prospects for economic growth. The forum, which ran from January 27 to January 31, brought political, government, business and civil society leaders together to discuss topical economic development issues. A recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) report indicates that Nigeria still remains the leading destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa.

Investors To Nigeria By CHIJIOKE OKORONKWO As an investment haven, Nigeria’s participation at the forum focused on stimulating more foreign investment so as to meet the target of being one of the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020. President Goodluck Jonathan, who led the Nigerian delegation to the forum, said that his administration had provided a good environment for foreign investments to flourish with enabling policies and programmes. He said that such

policies had repositioned the national economy, thereby provoking the evolution of Nigeria as one of the emerging markets alongside, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. He also said that the backward integration policy of the Federal Government had boosted local production in the country. “Three years back, we were a net importer of cement. We were producing only two million metric tonnes of cement, with a demand

level of 18 million metric tonnes of cement. “Now, we are producing above 20 million metric tonnes of cement over a three-year programme because of the government policies. We are creating similar programmes in terms of rice and sugar,’’ he said. Jonathan pledged that the Federal Government would expose the Nigerian business environment and that of the entire African region to the world at the forthcoming World Economic Forum on Africa. Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Jim Ovia,

“Those talking about political issues have nothing to worry about. Foreign investors would want to wait until after elections before making investment decisions. However, there is nothing to worry about regarding Nigeria. Investors should come and take advantage of the various opportunities and reap high returns on their investments.”

the Founder of Zenith Bank Plc., assured potential investors that the Nigerian economy was very much conducive to investments, as it provided one the best returns in the world. He stressed that while the average return on investment in many countries was about 17 per cent, the average return on investment in Nigeria was about 35 per cent. Ovia dismissed insinuations that the political and security climate in Nigeria was not favourable to investments, insisting that the appropriate authorities were taking care of the situation. “Foreign investors should come and invest in Nigeria and reap returns as high as 35 per cent; compared to the average return of about 17 per cent in other parts of the world,” he said.

“Those talking about political issues have nothing to worry about. Foreign investors would want to wait until after elections before making investment decisions. “However, there is nothing to worry about regarding Nigeria. Investors should come and take advantage of the various opportunities and reap high returns on their investments,” he added. Besides, Ovia stressed that there had been a significant improvement in infrastructure development in the country, adding that private companies were now in charge of electricity generation and distribution. “It has never been done before where you have power plants sold to private investors. This is a good development that will impact positively on the economy generally. “There are other policies that are making the manufacturing and Continues on pg 21

Issues Economy Continued from pg 20

agricultural sectors more attractive to investors,” he said. Beyond the delegates’ viewpoints, perceptive experts at home also appraise the inherent benefits which Nigeria stands to gain from the global economic gathering. Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, a professor of Economics at the University of Abuja, said that with a population of 170 million, Nigeria was by all means attractive to any reasonable investor. She said that the forum provided a veritable platform for Nigeria to sensitise foreign investors to the benefits of investing in Nigeria. “What they are bringing is the capital expertise; our huge population provides the market; it also provides cheap labour and there will be good returns. “It is true that Nigeria’s infrastructure is not at its best but it is being upgraded. Roads are being rehabilitated; new ones are being constructed and the rail sector is witnessing a revolution. “Moreover, there is hope of achieving steady electricity supply with the privatisation of the power sector,’’ she added. Anyanwu said that the networking, which the forum engendered, would aid efforts to improve foreign exchange earnings, balance of payment and terms of trade. She said that the longterm effects of such favourable trade arrangements included employment creation and reduction in poverty level, as well as other multiplier

effects. “One should recognise the fact that attracting investments in the agric sector will modernise agriculture and bring about food security,’’ she added. Anyanwu, nonetheless, said that the security situation in the country was not dire enough to scare away investors. She noted that that apart from the north-eastern part of Nigeria where there were serious cases of insecurity, there was no other part of the country that was not safe for investment. All the same, Mr Okechukwu Nebo, a former Managing Director of Citizens Bank, said that Nigeria had not benefitted much from participating at the forum. He said that the planners of the forum and the participating nations had no focus on how to solve some nagging problems facing the nations. “If you have to participate in an economic forum, you must have some factors as your plan. What are the ingredients which the economic forum planners have, particularly on the issue of unemployment? “You see that most times people come to protest at the forum because what they discuss do not help world economies, especially in the area of employment creation,’’ he said. Nebo rejected the sentiments that the forum represented a veritable platform for enticing potential foreign investors, insisting that investors would always come to the

A Cement Factory

...Wooing Investors

country if the factors which guaranteed good business existed. According to him, such factors range from security to policies and infrastructure. “We don’t have factors that will attract potential investors like security; people are afraid because of the Boko Haram palaver, friendly business laws are not there. “If you go the Corporate Affairs Commission to register a business, it takes weeks and this can be very discouraging. “We must put certain factors in place to attract investors to come and do business here; it doesn’t just end in mere inviting them to come.’’ Meanwhile, Dr Ngozi

To Nigeria Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, has warned of the consequences of the dwindling Excess Crude Account. She, however, said: “We have tried to set the country’s main parameters in a very modest way. We have made our budget at a very reasonable benchmark price for oil. “This is to shield us and ensure that we are not subjected to any volatility that could arise in the oil markets.” Okonjo-Iweala predicted a 6.75 per cent expansion in Nigeria’s

“In Nigeria, we are growing very fast but that growth has come with increasing inequality and lack of inclusion of certain segments of the population.”

economy this year, compared to a growth of 6.5 per cent in 2013. She, however, conceded that increased growth had also fuelled rising inequality in the country over the years. “In Nigeria, we are growing very fast but that growth has come with increasing inequality and lack of inclusion of certain segments of the population,” she added. The Excess Crude Account has been depleted from 8.65 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2012 to 2.5 billion dollars currently, while Nigeria’s external reserves dropped by 11 per cent from the peak of 48.85 billion dollars in May 2013. it is, however, very pertinent to note that Okonjo-Iweala announced that Nigeria would be hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa this year from May 7 to May 9 in Abuja

“It is a reflection of the growing attraction of Nigeria to the international capital market as one of the world’s most rewarding new markets. “The WEF is an unprecedented opportunity for Nigeria to showcase its vast economic opportunities. ‘It will deepen dialogue on economic reforms between the international and Nigerian private sectors on one hand, and the Nigerian government and international and domestic investors on the other. “The theme chosen by the WEF for the 2014 summit aligns perfectly with the medium and longterm aspirations and commitment of the Federal Government,’’ she said. All in all, observers underscore the need to channel more pragmatic efforts toward harnessing the investment potential of the country for inclusive growth and job creation. (NAN).

Teens And Mothers

‘My Mother Told Me’ YOU are welcome to this great edition in this great day of the great week. It came with wonderful topic full of great insights under the platform of what “My mother told me”. You may be wondering what this topic is all about. Well it is not just a story as you may think, but serves as a medium through which both the young and the old are thought. It is educative, informative, entertaining and inspiring. Mothers and their children share a closer relationship, it is by this means that they air their mind to their offspring. Not only that, they find it easy to instruct, correct or advice them when they are

closely interacting. The children in other words ask questions about different issues in life. It was in one of these occasion that this question was thrown to my mother. “WHERE DID IGBOS COME FROM”? This question has been disturbing me having heard much emphasized Oduduwa of Yoruba believe that they originated from Oduduwa, their first ancestor. They sing about him and even bear it as their name. In the Igbo tribe such does not exist. Even if we have origin no body talks about it. Though we all believe that we are created by God, but the creation was not made

consecutively, but continues. This continuity was left to man through procreation. God did the first creation. So I believe that we Igbos have an origin. We ought to have a common ancestor from which we sprout out as descendants. This is because to every creature is an origin. Man and woman, plants and animals, Rivers, Oceans, Rainfall and everything you may think of have origin.

On my way to church one day, I saw a cast oil seed on the road (it was actually in the village). This attracted my attention and so I asked myself “where came this seed?” looking around, by my left, I saw the shell. When I traced further, I found the tree near-by and so I understood that the seed was from the tree (cast oil tree) owned by a certain man. Having discovered this, I wanted

With Cynthia Jiwueze 08095627953

to dismiss the thought, but it suddenly occurred to me that the man himself also has his own origin which is his own father, his ancestor and then God. Can Igbo race or tribe be traced as such? Then my mother began telling me what she heard from her great-grand-father concerning Igbo origin. In her story my mother told me that the ancestor of Igbos originated from the area they inhabit, presently known as AWKA-OKIGWE hence, the communities known as UMU-NRI regard themselves as the decadents of a hero called Eri, who along with his wife, Nnamaku was sent down from the sky by CHUKWU, the Igbo supreme God. I must confess to you that this claim sound like a folk tale “Akuko Ifo”. Is it possible for one to fall from heaven and succeed living in the planet earth? Even a ten-year old child would never believe this story. However, come what may, 1 strongly believe that lgbos have common ancestor who perhaps proceed from other part of this world and as such settle in this part of Nigeria with his wife or there about and started procreating and multiplying. This I thought You know as a teenager I was very inquisitive. Certainly, there is no “abracadabra” in Igbo Man’s origin, we are from some where. One thing I am sure of is

that the early lgbo man perhaps did not consider documentation necessary and we the descendants therefore missed the actual road to our origin. Trust Me Igbos are more pragmatic in the claim of their origin like other tribes in Nigeria. To suit their natural and competitive tendencies they rarely rely on myths legend and oral traditions. What the average Igbo man cannot hold on in respect of practical evidence, he would rather resign to fate and to God with whom he is more comfortable. This explains why they answer such names as Chimaroke (God Knows my portion), Chikere (God created), Chinenye (God gives) etc. However, apart from the above story which my mother told me, some people have tried to link the lgbos to the Jewish race, while others simply see them as the JEWS OF AFRICA. This confirms what I was taught in social study during my Junior secondary school. Well it may not be a mistake to mention that the lgbos have geological relationship as well as historical resemblance with Jewish race. This is because of the similarities in characteristics which Igbos share with the Jews. First and fore most, the lgbos are usually adventurous and aggressive. When I say aggressive 1 mean that an lgbo man is pushing not afraid of resistance. This Continues on pg 23

“Trust Me Igbos are more pragmatic in the claim of their origin like other tribes in Nigeria. To suit their natural and competitive tendencies they rarely rely on myths legend and oral traditions. What the average Igbo man cannot hold on in respect of practical evidence, he would rather resign to fate and to God with whom he is more comfortable”.

Teens And Mothers Continued from pg 22

is why they survive anywhere they find themselves. I don’t think we are all that quarrelsome; disposed to attack or offensive. Before Christianity came to Nigeria, Igbo custom used to permit a man to raise children from his brother’s widow, just like the Jews. They have a similar tradition of lengthy funeral ceremony. lgbos and Jews have common circumcision date on the eight-day following the delivery of a male child. Igbos and Jews use intermediaries in marriage negotiations; this is practicable in Igbo land up till now. Abraham did it negotiating with Rebecca for Isaac (Genesis 24). Apart from these similarities which make people connect Igbos to Jewish people, many groups of scholars have the same view. Example is one of them called Equaino. In one of his findings, he discovered that some names amongst the lgbos such as Uburu and even the “lgbo” Itself are derived from Hebrew words. Rev. J.T Basden, an Anglican missionary, who worked in lgbo land for over a decade, in his own shared or suggested an opinion that the word “Igbo” might be a shortening of a longer name of an lgbo influential aucestor. Another school of thought led by late Prof Dike, whose book was

With Cynthia Jiwueze 08095627953

‘My Mother Told Me’

expanded by I.C.U. Enochusi in his book “The living Document of Ekwulabia”, found out that the lgbos had three origins and set led in their homes in two different periods. According to them, the first branch of the Igbos was Jewish stock who wondered through the Sudan and eventually settled at their current home earlier than 9 th century A.D. The Jewish Igbos have the same tradition and customs with the Jews of

the Yoruba and originate from Benin Kingdom or the Ika Igbo country land of the lgbo man in 17th century A.D. Dr. K.O. Dike, in support of this assertion, said that there was an eastward movement of population from Benin in 17th century A.D., which results in increased population of the western, or Ika lgbo country. The third lgbo origin is the Benue River Region

Shaw, asserted that ancient lgbos had settled at lgbo-Ukwu-AguataAnambara state earlier. That in 19th.century A.D., Igbo-Ukwu, Ekwulebia and the environs were believed to belong to Jewish lgbos due to the period of the settlement. Another group headed by A. E Afigbo linked lgbos to branch of a Negro race who originated along the Latitude of Asselar and

Ikeanyibe, as for geographical migrations and settlements, majority of Igbos are satisfied to accept Israel. Hypothesis supported by the triple testimonies of oral tradition, Eri migration and the biblical evidence of Eri as a true historical descendant of Israel and the archeological evidence, some of which are non lodged by Anambra state

the Eastern World. They are the NRIS, the AROs, the IGBO Ukwus, and the OTUOCHAS and so on. The second origin is the Benin or Oduduwa origin. These lgbo were believed to be part of the descendants of Oduduwa, the father of

Origin. These Igbos migrated from Igala country of the Benue River country into Igbo belt late 17th century A.D. to avoid the Fulani Slave trade. Majority of these Igala Igbo settled in the Northern part of the Igbo territory. Other researchers from university of Ibadan, led by Thustern

Kharntoun. Some linguistics in support of this came out with the view that the lgbo originated from NigerCongo family. This was due to the alignment of the language with that of “KWA” In this area who were separated from lgbos by the Niger confluence. According to Uche P.

Government at lgbo-ukwu musem. This may be the reason why Ogbuefi Madubueze Enemmuo, speaking on the origin of the Igbos, on behalf of Nri people, during an audience participation programme of Radio Nigeria on July 13, 1966, was quoted as having said, “about two years ago, Israel government sent delegates to our place, Nri to confirm the historical relationship between Igbos and Hebrew people. We took Israel officials round historical places in our town. They expressed surprise at what they

“Nowadays, the relationship between the mothers and their children seem to have been diluted. Why wouldn’t such happen? Where the mother goes out as early as 6 o’clock am when the children are fast asleep either to the market or work only to come back again around 6 or 7pm ‘ exhausted? Maids are now doing most works meant for mothers in home.”

observe as obvious similarities between our custom and theirs. Later they could not help but conclude that Nri and lgbo in general are among the lost tribes of Israel. Nevertheless, I must not forget that what prompted these discoveries was as a result of what my mother told me. Though it is true that her answer to me seemed confusing, but I wouldn’t have sought more if she did not tell me anything. Nowadays, the relationship between the mothers and their children seem to have been diluted. Why wouldn’t such happen? Where the mother goes out as early as 6 o’clock am when the children are fast asleep either to the market or work only to come back again around 6 or 7pm ‘ exhausted? Maids are now doing most works meant for mothers in home. There are no more time for folk-tale and enough chatting, where issues like the just discussed can be shared and discussed. The young ones on the other hand are so careless that they remain insensitive to certain issues they are supposed to ask questions about. As a result our society becomes filled up with mediocre, people with lack of in-depth knowledge of themselves and the society they are into. For this, I hereby, charge the young to develop their thinking abilities, making use of their creative mind to exploit positively their parents and the elderly on issues and matters around them now they are alive. By so doing our future generation can be fed well. Meanwhile, what Has your own mother told you?

International US-South Korea War Games Loom Over Korean Reunions he was taken during the war by

SEOUL - A year ago, North Korea vowed nuclear attacks to retaliate for U.S.-South Korean war games. But the start yesterday of this year’s joint military drills comes as Pyongyang allows wrenching reunions of elderly Koreans separated since the Korean War. As always with the rival Koreas, cold political calculations loom behind the scenes of pure emotion. The reasons for Pyongyang’s about-face are seen as having more to do with the impoverished country’s desire to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington and its need for money than with concern about the painfully brief reunions of Koreans who haven’t seen each other since the war’s end in 1953. “Humanitarianism is not at all what North Korea is about,” Scott Snyder, a Korea specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in a recent online post. Improvements in ties “always engender doubts about how and when the other shoe will drop.” After a last-minute cancellation of reunions in September, Pyongyang allowed them to go forward this time after recent rare high-level talks with Seoul. The first reunions of North and South Koreans in more than three years have been held despite the refusal by the U.S. and South Korea to cancel what they call routine drills, but which Pyongyang says are preparations for an invasion. The two sets of drills began yesterday as scheduled, but there was no immediate reaction from North Korea’s military, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry. On Sunday, about 360 South Koreans arrived at the North’s Diamond Mountain resort to meet dozens of North Korean relatives, the second and final group of Koreans to participate in reunions that began Thursday and end Tuesday. These are the lucky few. Only a fraction of the millions of Koreans separated by the Korean War have been reunited, and there have been no second meetings. South Korean Lee Yik-kyu, 80, hadn’t seen his 83-year-old North Korean brother, Ri In Gyu, since

North Korean soldiers. The brothers approached each other awkwardly at first on Sunday before embracing and weeping. “Are you my brother?” Lee asked. “It’s Yik-kyu.” Lee told South Korean reporters that his mother grieved Ri In Gyu’s loss until she died 18 years ago, often calling out, “In Gyu, are you dead or alive?” North Korea allowed these reunions, analysts say, largely because it wants increased aid shipments, outside investment and negotiations with Seoul over the resumption of once-lucrative jointly run tours at the Diamond Mountain resort. Those tours were put on hold after a North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean tourist in 2008. After last year’s tumult on the Korean Peninsula, which included North Korea’s third nuclear test and the last-minute cancellation of the scheduled reunions in September, Pyongyang has this year pursued a charm offensive, albeit one laced with occasional angry rhetoric. The Koreas have resumed work at a jointly run factory park in the North that Pyongyang had shut down last spring. Seoul also says that this year it has permitted five private groups’ aid shipments to the North, worth about $1.4 million. Even as Pyongyang eases its stance toward Seoul, it has repeatedly accused Washington of engineering efforts to divide the Koreas. The U.S.-South Korean military drills are an attempt by Washington to keep alive a “vicious cycle of escalated tension in the peninsula,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a recent commentary. One of the drills is 11 days of computer-simulated war games involving 5,200 U.S. and 10,000 South Korean soldiers. The second one scheduled to last until April 18 is field training exercises involving 7,500 U.S. and 150,000-200,000 South Korean troops, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry and the U.S. military command in Seoul. The allies didn’t disclose details of yesterday’s drills.

North Korean Nam Gung Ryuck, right, meets with South Korean daughter Nam Gung Bong-ja during the Separated family Reunion meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea.

Wiretaps, Aides Led To Drug Lord Arrest - Officials

, MEXICO - As Mexican troops forced their way into Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s main hideout in Culiacan, the country’s most powerful drug lord sneaked out of the house through an escape tunnel beneath the bathtub. Mexican marines working with U.S. authorities chased him but lost the man known as “Shorty” in a maze of tunnels under the city, a U.S. government official and a senior law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Sunday. It would be a short-lived escape for Guzman, who was captured early Saturday hiding out in a condominium in Mazatlan, a beach resort town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. He had a military-style assault rifle with him but didn’t fire a shot, the officials said. His beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel, was with him when the manhunt for one of the world’s most wanted drug traffickers ended. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss specific details of how U.S. authorities tracked down

Anti-government protesters brought by trucks to the foreign Ministry compound in Bangkok.

Guzman. For 13 years Guzman watched from western Mexico’s rugged mountains as authorities captured or killed the leaders of every group challenging his Sinaloa cartel’s spot at the top of global drug trafficking. Unscathed and his legend growing, the stocky son of a peasant farmer grabbed a slot on the Forbes’ billionaires’ list and a folkloric status as the capo who grew too powerful to catch. Then, late last year, authorities started closing in on the inner circle of the world’s most-wanted drug lord. Bit by bit, they got closer to the crime boss. Then on February 16, investigators from Mexico along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs

Enforcement caught the break they badly needed when they tracked a cellphone to one of the Culiacan stash houses Guzman used to elude capture. The phone was connected to his communications chief, Carlos Manuel Ramirez, whose nickname is Condor. By the next day Mexican authorities arrested one of Guzman’s top couriers, who promptly provided details of the stash houses Guzman and his associates had been using, the officials said. At each house, the Mexican military found the same thing: steel reinforced doors and an escape hatch below the bathtubs. Each hatch led to a series of interconnected tunnels in the city’s drainage system. The officials said three tons of drugs, suspected to be cocaine and methamphetamine, were

found at one of the stash houses. An AP reporter who walked through one of the tunnels had to dismount into a canal and stoop to enter the drain pipe, which was filled with water and mud and smelled of sewage. About 700 meters (yards) in, a trap door was open, revealing a newly constructed tunnel. Large and lined with wood panels like a cabin, the passage had lighting and air conditioning. At the end of the tunnel was a blue ladder attached to the wall that led to one of the houses Mexican authorities say Guzman used as a hideout. A day after troops narrowly missed Guzman in Culiacan, top aide Manuel Lopez Ozorio was arrested. The officials said he told investigators that he picked up Guzman, Ramirez and a woman from a drainage pipe and helped them flee to Mazatlan. A wiretap being monitored by ICE agents in southern Arizona provided the final clue, helping track Guzman to the beachfront condo, the officials said.

Thai PM Leaves Bangkok As Bombs, Gunfire Punctuate Unrest Tuesday, and is due to attend a

BANGKOK - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the target of anti-government protesters who have blocked parts of Bangkok for weeks, has left the city and is staying 150 km (90 miles) away, her office said yesterday, without specifying the location. The protests, punctuated by occasional gunfire and bomb blasts, including one on Sunday that killed a woman and a young brother and sister, are aimed at unseating Yingluck and erasing the influence of her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra who is seen by many as the power behind the government. Yingluck’s office told reporters she was not in Bangkok and asked media to follow a convoy outside the city to where they said Yingluck was “undertaking official duties”. The office would not confirm how many days Yingluck had been working outside the capital. She was last seen in public in Bangkok nearly a week ago, last

corruption hearing there on Thursday. “It is highly likely that we will hold the cabinet meeting outside of Bangkok. As for the prime minister’s exact whereabouts today, I have not been informed,” Surapong told reporters. The political crisis, which pits the mainly middle-class antigovernment demonstrators from Bangkok and the south against supporters of Yingluck from the populous rural north and northeast, shows no sign of ending soon. But the army, which toppled Thaksin in 2006 in the latest of 18 coups or attempted coups since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932, said it would not intervene this time round. “Somebody has to take responsibility but that doesn’t mean soldiers can intervene without working under the framework (of the law),” army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said in a rare televised address.

“How can we be sure that if we use soldiers, the situation will return to peace?” Protesters, who disrupted and boycotted this month’s general election, have been urged by their leader to target businesses linked to Thaksin and gathered outside a television station yesterday managed by Thaksin’s son. They also headed for the foreign and finance ministries. The Election Commission had said it would try to complete the election process in late April, but has since suspended that date pending a court decision, leaving the country in limbo under a caretaker government with limited powers. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for Sunday’s bomb blast in a busy central shopping district, but the polarization of Thai society raises the possibility of wider civil strife. The six-year-old sister of a boy killed in the attack died yesterday doctors said, taking the death toll to three.

International No Regrets About Benghazi Remarks - Susan Rice

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, addresses a gathering with the theme “A Human Approach to Peace and the Individuals” at a stadium in the northeastern Indian City of Guwahati.

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said on Sunday she has no regrets about initially characterizing the September 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, as a “spontaneous response” to an anti-Islam video. “What I said to you that morning, and what I did every day since, was to share the best information that we had at the time,” Rice told NBC’s David Gregory in her first appearance on “Meet the Press” since making her initial remarks about the attack on the show. “The information I provided, which I explained to you, was what we had at the moment. It could change. I commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning, was provided to me and my colleagues and indeed to Congress by the intelligence community, and that’s been well validated in many different ways

Arrest Warrant For President Yanukovych Ukraine Issues:

S I M F E R O P O L , UKRAINE— Ukraine’s acting government issued a warrant yesterday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Calls are mounting in Ukraine to put Yanukovych on trial, after a tumultuous presidency in which he amassed powers, enriched his allies and cracked down on protesters. Anger boiled over last week after snipers attacked protesters in the bloodiest violence in Ukraine’s postSoviet history. The turmoil has turned this strategically located country of 46 million inside out over the past few days, raising fears that it could split apart. The parliament speaker is suddenly nominally in charge of a country whose economy is on the brink of default and whose loyalties are torn between Europe and longtime ruler Russia. The acting finance minister said yesterday that the country needs $35 billion (25.5 billion euros) to finance government needs this year and next and expressed hope that Europe or the United States would help. Ukraine’s acting interior minister, Arsen Avakhov, said on his official Facebook page yesterday that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Yanukovych and several other officials for the “mass killing of civilians.” At least 82 people, primarily protesters, were killed in clashes in Kiev last week. Avakhov says Yanukovych arrived in Crimea on Sunday, relinquished his official security detail and then drove

off to an unknown location, turning off all forms of communication. “Yanukovych has disappeared,” he said. Earlier, after signing an agreement Friday with the opposition to end a conflict that had turned deadly, Yanukovych had fled the capital of Kiev for eastern Ukraine. Avakhov said he tried to fly out of Donetsk but was stopped, then went to Crimea. Tensions have been mounting in Crimea, where pro-Russian protesters raised a Russian flag on a city hall in one town and scuffled with police. Russia maintains a big naval base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol that has tangled relations between the countries for two decades. The tensions seem to be driven by Russia, though a representative of the proMoscow Russian Unity party played down fears that Crimea could secede, saying that they want to maintain ties with Moscow and a Putin-driven Customs Union but do not want Crimea to break away. Yanukovych set off a wave of protests by shelving an agreement with the European Union in November and turning toward Russia, and the movement quickly expanded its grievances to corruption, human rights abuses and calls for Yanukovych’s resignation. “We must find Yanukovych and put him on trial,” said protester Leonid Shovtak, a 50year-old farmer from the western Ivano-Frankivsk region who came to Kiev’s Independence Square to take part in the three-month protest movement. “All the criminals with him should be in prison.” The speaker of parliament, , Oleksandr Turchinov, assumed the president’s powers Sunday, even though a presidential aide told The Associated Press on

Sunday that Yanukovych plans to stay in power. Meanwhile, Yanukovych’s archrival, Yulia Tymoshenko, blond-braided heroine of the 2004 Orange Revolution, is back on the political scene after having been freed from prison. Turchinov said top priorities include saving the economy and “returning to the path of European integration,” according to news agencies. The latter phrase is certain to displease Moscow, which wants Ukraine to be part of a customs union that would rival the EU and bolster Russia’s influence. Russia promised Ukraine a $15 billion bailout after Yanukovych backed away from the EU deal but then froze disbursements because of political unrest. The EU is reviving efforts to strike a deal with Ukraine that could involve billions of euros in economic perks. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is visiting Kiev yesterday and Tuesday. Ukraine’s acting Finance Minister Yuri Kolobov said in a statement yesterday that Ukraine hopes for an emergency loan within the next two weeks from foreigner partners such as the United States and Poland, and called for an international donors conference to discuss aid to Ukraine. U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said Sunday the U.S. is ready to help Ukraine get aid from the International Monetary Fund. The protest movement has been in large part a fight for the country’s economic future — for better jobs and prosperity. Ukraine’s trading partners are also interested in its large potential consumer market, educated workforce, significant industrial base and good natural resources, in particular rich

farmland. Ukraine has struggled with corruption, bad government and short-sighted reliance on cheap gas from Russia. Political unrest has pushed up the deficit and sent exchange rates bouncing, and may have pushed the economy back into a recession.

Per capita economic output is only around $7,300, even adjusted for the lower cost of living there, compared to $22,200 in Poland and around $51,700 in the United States. Ukraine ranks 137th worldwide, behind El Salvador, Namibia, and Guyana.

since.” Rice and other administration officials later came under fire after the attack was determined to be an act of terror. “That information turned out in some respects not to be 100 percent correct,” Rice continued. “But the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration is patently false, and that’s been amply demonstrated.” Rice also weighed in on the ever-shifting states of play in the Ukraine, Russia and Syria. On the unrest in the Ukraine, Rice said President Viktor Yanukovych, whose whereabouts are unclear, is clearly “not leading.” “He has gone,” Rice said. “Yanukovych has lost enormous legitimacy, despite having been originally democratically elected. By turning on his people, by using violence in the streets against peaceful protesters, and by flouting the will of the Ukrainian people. “He left Kiev, packed up, and in an orderly fashion, took his stuff, his furniture, with him,” she continued. “This was not fleeing in a very disorderly fashion. So now he is in a place where it will reveal itself. Yesterday we know where he was, today, we’re not so sure. But the fact is he’s not leading at the present.” If Russian President Vladamir Putin decides to send forces into the Ukraine to restore the kind of government that Russia would like to see, Rice said it would be “a grave mistake.”

Russian Police Clampdown On President Viktor Protesters drove Yanukovich from power - and

MOSCOW - Russian police detained dozens of protesters yesterday outside a Moscow courthouse where a judge was expected to sentence eight defendants convicted of attacking police at a 2012 demonstration against President Vladimir Putin. Hundreds of people chanting “Freedom” came to support the defendants in the “Bolotnaya” case, who Kremlin critics see as victims of a clampdown on dissent during Putin’s third term. Relatives of the defendants fear

the recent upheaval in Ukraine, where several police officers were among the dead in a bloody standoff the Kremlin blames on opposition leaders and the West, would prompt the Russian court to send a firm signal by imposing long sentences. Demonstrators outside the courthouse shouted “Maidan” a reference to the square in Ukraine’s capital at the heart of anti-government protests that

called the Russian police “Berkut” after the Ukrainian riot police that battled protesters in Kiev. The judge on Friday found the defendants guilty of rioting and attacking police at a protest on May 6, 2012, the day before Putin, in power since 2000, returned to the presidency after a stint as prime minister. The defendants blame police for the clashes that erupted at the rally and pleaded not guilty.

Defendants in the “Bolotnaya” case stand in a holding cell as they wait for their sentencing during a court hearing in Moscow yesterday.

International India To Try Italian Marines Under Less Severe Law NEW DELHI — The government told India’s top court yesterday that it will not use a severe anti-piracy law when it tries two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012. Government attorneys told the Supreme Court that the law, which carries the death penalty, will not apply in the case. India has previously ruled out the possibility of a death penalty but said it would still prosecute the marines under the anti-piracy law. The Italian government has strongly protested India’s

position and sought U.N. and European Union intervention in easing the deadlock. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were providing security aboard a cargo ship in February 2012 when they opened fire on a fishing boat they mistook for a pirate craft and killed two Indian fishermen. The marines are on bail pending trial, and are living and working at the Italian Embassy in New Delhi. The case has sparked a bitter row between the two nations. Last week, Italy recalled its ambassador to India to register

protest over the delay in filing charges against the marines. Italy also has fought India’s insistence on prosecuting the marines, saying the shooting happened in international waters during an international antipiracy mission and thus Rome, not India, should have jurisdiction. India’s Home Ministry has entrusted the investigation to an anti-terrorism agency. The Indian attorney general has blamed delays in the case on witnesses from the cargo ship failing to return to India to give evidence.

Mass Protest A four-year-old orphan pictured on Sunday, one of thousands of children living on islands and scavenging for wild fruits in the swamplands around Nyal, a once neutral and sleepy village in South Sudan’s Unity state.

A supporter of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro with his beard reading “Peace”, takes part in the “March of Seniors” in Caracas recently.

Venezuela President Calls For Talks CARACAS - Venezuela’s president called for crisis talks in an attempt to defuse weeks of often deadly anti-government protests that have brought the biggest challenge yet to his regime. At least 10 people have been killed and scores wounded in daily anti-government demos that began on February 4. The leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro is still reeling from a massive protest march in Caracas Saturday called for by opposition leader Henrique Capriles. Hundreds of thousands met to vent their anger against the government, upset over the soaring crime rate, high inflation, a shortage of food and commodities, and alleged official involvement in thuggish progovernment armed gangs. At least 25 people were injured in late Saturday clashes with security forces that were some of the most serious to date. Outside the presidential palace on Sunday, Maduro called for “a

national peace conference” to be held Wednesday “with all social, political, union and religious groups.” Maduro also said he would ask the National Assembly to form a Truth Commission to look into the protests, which he claims are an attempt to “justify foreign intervention in Venezuela,” in an interview on the Telesur TV network. Maduro, a former bus driver and union activist, is grappling with his biggest crisis since he was narrowly elected president in April 2013. He became leader of Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution” following the death early last year of leftist icon Hugo Chavez. The ‘Chavista’ administration can still count on core support among the country’s working class, and Maduro held counter rallies both Saturday and Sunday in the capital. On Sunday, groups of elderly people marched to show their support for the socialist regime, in power since 1999. Pro-government demonstrators dressed in red, waved Venezuelan flags and pro-Maduro banners,

S. Sudan Civilians Reduced To Scavenging NYAL (SOUTH SUDAN) As the narrow dugout canoe glides softly across the vast swamplands around Nyal, a once sleepy town in South Sudan’s Unity state, the only sound between the rhythmic plops of the paddle is silence. But earlier this month, the swamps were alive with the cracks of gunfire, the screams of the dying and the desperate splashes of those fleeing soldiers and armed youth that forced what local officials say is tens of thousands of people to maroon themselves on islands and scavenge for survival. “Now, we just depend on water lilies and palm tree fruits,” said William Gatkoy, who ran for his life for three hours carrying the smallest of his eight children to reach the nearest dusty patch, where around 100 people have erected dens from palm branches and pieces of cloth. The stones of rapidly diminishing fruits litter the floor, and it takes all day digging through mush to find the black, knobbled roots of water lilies that resemble rotten potatoes.

“They’re tasteless. You just eat them to save your life,” said Gatkoy, stroking the scaly arm of one of his dust-caked children suffering from the diet and from drinking water from swamps that double as toilets. On February 7, officials say that around 1,200 soldiers and a small army of young men swarmed Panyjiar county to carry out a killing, looting and razing spree that left 60 dead and 26 wounded. Home to over 50,000 people, it was always considered a safe haven, even during decades of civil war with Sudan that ended in 2005 and led to the birth of South Sudan in 2011. But a power struggle between leaders hundreds of kilometres (miles) away in the new nation’s capital Juba in mid-December revived old ethnic tensions between South Sudan’s largest Dinka tribe and secondary Nuer tribe, then poisoned a shallow well of unity, leaving villagers behind enemy and tribal lines. In Panyjiar, an overwhelmingly Nuer area bordered by a Dinka majority, the only place to hide is the swamp.

“Our problem here is the government. That’s why we’re afraid,” said Simon Kuol, a local representative for the state-run Relief and Rehabilitation Commission. From the air, the circles of ash and black lines snaking around villages appear to show a scorched earth campaign, with even UN buildings in the county capital Panyjiar collapsing in on themselves. “There were police uniforms, army uniforms and some with civilian clothes,” says William Ter, one of nine gunshot wounded patients admitted to Nyal’s only clinic run by Sign of Hope (SoH), a small German charity. The hard lumps on his leg from the shrapnel make an already elderly man shuffle, but the iodine soaked cloth rested on a seeping wound where a chunk of hand should be makes him suck in the stale air and wince with his good eye. But Ter says his physical suffering is nothing compared to the pain of losing a life’s work. “They took all my cows and

burnt my house,” he said. “I have nothing. I can’t do anything now.” And helping even those who are not stuck on islands will be difficult. Benjamin Bangoang, who ran SoH’s dispensary in Kanynhial, about 10 kilometers (six miles) from Nhial, fled to the swamps with his family. After seeing six people shot dead, including two women running near him in the swamps, he hid for days in the dark bog. Compelled back to help the wounded, he returned to find only smouldering ruins and bodies. “They came and shot guns around the village and they killed people. Even the drugs that are usually kept with me, they burnt them,” Bangoang said. Peace talks being held in Ethiopia have provided little reprieve from atrocities sweeping silently through villages. In major towns decimated several times by opposing forces, a handful of anonymous aid workers speak of mass rape and killings. Some have watched executions just metres (yards) outside United Nations bases, where tens of

thousands of people are hiding from soldiers and militiamen hunting house to house for the ethnic rivals. Others have been hacked to death inside these refuges, as former neighbours and colleagues turned on one another. In Panyjiar, which was devastated by floods last year, the increasingly brutal tribal conflict has left Gatkoy and many others high and dry: desperate not to become involved but hoping the ethnic tides will soon allow them back to shore. There are major fears of a major outbreak of pneumonia and malaria, as well as the diarrhoeal diseases already affecting many stick-legged but heavily paunched children. Despite the pain of seeing his children waste away, Gatkoy is determined to stay for at least two months, when the rains come, and only if he has stockpiled enough black roots to see the family through the next six months. “We worry that when we go out, we will lose our lives,” he said.

and protested what they called “fascist violence” by student opposition. “That’s enough youth violence. This is a country of peace. We want a future of peace,” Cristina Marcos, 60, told reporters during a rally that began in the morning and headed to the Miraflores Palace, where the president spoke. The daily anti-government protests, which began in the western city of San Cristobal led by students angry over the soaring crime rate, have increasingly been accompanied by violence. In Caracas there have been incidents of men on pick-up trucks, escorted by motorbikes, intimidating protesters. Maduro who denies any links to armed pro-government groups, insists the protests are part of a coup d’etat plot instigated by Washington and conservative exColombian president Alvaro Uribe. Dozens of people, including Leopoldo Lopez — an opposition leader openly calling for Maduro’s ouster — have been arrested or wounded. Of 25 people hurt in the late Saturday unrest, 14 were wounded from birdshot before protesters were dispersed using gas and birdshot, the mayor of Caracas’s posh Chacao municipality said. The talks are an attempt to blunt the government’s negative portrayal as it attempts to ride out the protests, said political analyst John Magdaleno. “The government has seen how high the public opinion price is at home and abroad for his security forces’ actions,” Magdaleno told AFP. “With these crisis talks, he (Maduro) is looking for some kind of appeasement.” Participation by longtime opposition leader Capriles in the talks could put the former presidential candidate in a position to benefit — if the talks pan out. Capriles “could be the sort of middle ground, after Leopoldo Lopez pushed for an end to Maduro’s government,” Magdaleno opined. Maduro might see Capriles, who is governor of Miranda state, at a gathering of governors in Caracas. Magdaleno however was skeptical that the talks would succeed or that the street protests will lead to Maduro’s resignation.

Trend told David Letterman on the “Late Show,’’ a talk show aired in the U.S. that she developed an allergic reaction to the glue that held the extensions in place. This, she said, was because the glue contained formaldehyde, which made her eye swell up, caused her to sneeze and make her “look like I have lips on my eyelids.’’ Dr Stephen Ume, a c o n s u l t a n t Ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Clinic in Abuja, said apart from the itchiness, other reactions include swelling of the eyes. He also said that many of the people that carry out the procedure, lacked the skills to handle the chemicals, resulting to eye irritation called kurtosis. “People come in here with their eyes filled with

Examining The Effects Of Eyelash Extension

THE quest for outstanding beauty has made many try out various beauty treatments, such as surgery and body extensions. One of the most popular is eyelash extension and eyelash surgery; procedures that give people thick, luscious and longer lashes. This trend has become popular in the fashion world, that it is now almost a must for women seeking to look glamorous. The procedure involves sitting still while applying glue to the eyelids, to keep the extensions in place with the aid of a sharp object. In Nigeria, many patronise the road side beauticians because their prices are cheap. Blessing Akachukwu, a beautician in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, said she charges between N300 and N700 depending on the type, adding that it doesn’t take much time to


fix. While some go for the temporary extensions, others go for permanent extensions, which involve surgery. A banker, Miss Tolani Abubakar, says the extension makes her happy. “Whenever I fix them, I’m happy because they look so natural and people just stare at my new long thick lashes.” Mrs Mercy Auve, a hairstylist says, “naturally I have thin lashes and a few bald spots in my lash line, so I decided to try eyelash extensions to see if they could help. “Now with them I feel like a celebrity and it makes me look more beautiful.’’ Mrs Amoge AduIbrahim, a lawyer, says like any other beauty procedure or treatment, it helps to enhance a woman’s facial beauty. “To me, if you can have

hair extensions, why can’t you have eyelash extensions?’’ she asked. Mr Innocent Okri, a plumber, said he doesn’t know why women have to do it as they naturally look beautiful. “I don’t like it because it makes them look too artificial and they resemble baby dolls, and that doesn’t go well with me.’’ However, Mr Isaac Ogor, a civil servant, said there’s nothing wrong with women making extra effort to make themselves look more beautiful. Nevertheless, experts say going the extra mile to be glamorous may have

attendant health risks. According to an Optometrist, Dr Michael Ezinne of Quality EyeCare, Ikeja, Lagos, improper use of eyelash extension could cause “traction alopecia.’’ This is a condition where the hair falls out due to excessive tension placed on the hair shaft. “As a result, this can damage the hair follicle in the eye, which can slow down and even cease production of hair.’’ Ezinne said that the false lashes could also trap dirt and bacteria, cause irritation, among others. Singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth, after suffering an adverse effect,

puss after fixing eyelash extensions, because the eyes have been infected with whatever was used in fixing the extensions. “You also see people that tug and pull the lashes, and that can lead to alopecia, which is loss of hair follicles, so you have people who after years of wearing extensions have no eyelash left. “Most times you see them pulling the eyelashes, and when they do that, it’s the natural lashes that fall off and then they begin to have bald spots. ’’ According to Ume, another condition called stye (swelling at the edge of the eyelids) could also arise as a result of the

eyelash extensions. “Oil glands produced by the eyelid is used to moisturise and lubricate the eyes and these glands can actually get infected or blocked by the use of eyelash extensions, so you see people having things like boil on the upper or lower eyelid because the oil glands were blocked.’’ He however said that if women must fix eyelash extensions, they should go to professionals. “The eyes are very delicate and we cannot allow chemicals to keep getting into them because after a while they get toxic. “Even if you have to fix them, it shouldn’t be all the time; give your eyes a break and let them rejuvenate, because if you have it day in day out, you will cause damage to the eyes. “If anything goes wrong, the first thing the person should do is to keep the eyes open, and thoroughly wash away the chemicals with clean water, then seek medical attention.’’ He kicked against eyelash surgery, because it may alter the original arrangement of the eyelash. “The eyelash of the eyelid is supposed to grow out, and when that surgery is done it can actually alter the contour or shape of the eyelids. “So, instead of growing out, they begin to grow in and begin to irritate the eye, and as such anything can happen to the eye. “When that happens or in the case of a mistake it becomes difficult to correct,’’ he said. Experts have given their opinion, it is for those who want to enhance their facial beauty through eyelash extension to take the decision, whether to continue or not.(NAN)

“Even if you have to fix them, it shouldn’t be all the time; give your eyes a break and let them rejuvenate, because if you have it day in day out, you will cause damage to the eyes.”

Is Anichere West Brom Messiah?

BIG boy Victor Anichebe could well prove to be the man to ensure West Brom beat the drop from the EPL this season. West Brom are battling for survival in the EPL . They are now just a point above the drop zone with 25 points from 27 matches. But their biggest undoing is an inability to score goals despite

the presence of strikers like Matej Vydra, Saido Berahino and Thievy Bifouma. but Anichebe appears to have taken it upon himself to rescue ’The Baggies’ in recent times when he was been considered for action. The imposing Nigeria international did not enjoy a fine run under former boss Steve Clarke, but Pepe Mel has

changed that and it is paying off for him. Playing six games getting two goals and two assists in four draws and two losses, Anichebe is set to lead the survival charge. Following his big-money move from Everton to ‘The Baggies’, much was expected from Anichebe even though his injury woes have remained a serious concern.

“He is going to be hot property. He is going to get a lot of press tomorrow and I am going to leave him out of the next 11 (games).” Remy’s last-gasp intervention came in the nick of time as he smashed home from close range in the second minute of added time at the end of the game after substitute Luuk de Jong’s cross had been deflected into his path. That would have come as a huge relief to him as well as well as his manager after he had hit the post with the goal at his mercy two minutes earlier. Team-mate Papiss Cisse too will have been mightily pleased to see the ball end up in the back of the net after a dreadful miss at the end of the first half. Pardew, who had gone into the game with the club having denied his reign could be over if he lost it, believed the game turned on a vital interception by central defender Mike Williamson as he cut out Christian Benteke’s through-ball to spark the home crowd into life. He said: “It was a strange game because our crowd was definitely quiet up until the interception from Williamson, and a strange thing like that lifted the stadium, lifted the players and suddenly we created three or four great chances.

“That’s what this place is, it’s almost like a breathing, living animal, this stadium, and we needed it to come alive. It did and it helped us. “As a football manager, you are on 40 points - I think we have had a decent season. But the recent run put pressure on myself and the team, and my staff as well.

Remy Gives Pardew A Problem

NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew has admitted his hopes of signing Loic Remy permanently are receding with every goal he scores. The France international returned from suspension to fire the Magpies to a vital 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, although he left it late to do so. Remy’s 12th goal of the season came in the 92nd minute at St James’ Park and served as a timely reminder of the loan signing’s potency, with other potential suitors also casting eyes over him. Asked if every additional strike takes the frontman further from his grasp, Pardew said: “I think that’s fairly obvious.

Loic Remy

If given more playing time, Anichebe could be the Messiah West Brom need to get the goals that will take them out of relegation. Whenever Anichebe is on the pitch, ‘The Baggies’ attack is more active and effective, and he showed class against Chelsea and Liverpool recently. Anichebe is fast, strong, good in the air even though he could be a lot more prolific in front of goal. He is literally a beast when close to the opponents’ vital area as he uses his size to great effect. His major undoing is being prone to injury, but should he stay fit, Pepe Mel will get the best from him and West Brom will be the much happier for it because they will still be playing in the English top flight by the coming season.

Victor Anichebe

Rodgers To Keep Faith With Attacking Philosophy

BRENDAN Rodgers vowed to keep faith with Liverpool’s attacking style after a rollercoaster 4-3 victory over his former club Swansea. Liverpool, whose four goals Shelvey before Wilfried Bony were shared by England scored a brace. internationals Jordan Liverpool have shipped Henderson and Daniel eight more than title rivals Sturridge, squandered leads of Manchester City and Arsenal 2-0 and 3-2 before finally securing the points, overtaking Manchester City as the Premier League’s top scorers with 70 goals. Although irresistible going forward the fourth-placed Reds were again erratic in defence, conceding to their former midfielder Jonjo

and 14 more than tabletopping Chelsea, but Rodgers is not prepared to revert to a cagey game plan. “I think that’s not our style,” he said. “I worry always to play good football. I’m not totally

Rooney Worth The Money - Evra MANCHESTER United defender Patrice Evra says Wayne Rooney is worth every penny of his new bumper contract. Rooney signed a new longterm contract with United on Friday, and 24 hours later smashed in a brilliant goal, from Evra’s cross, in the 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace. The England international is reportedly being paid

Wayne Rooney

£300,000 a week by United, making him the best-paid player in the Premier League by some distance. But left-back Evra says he is worth every penny. “He deserved to have a big contract,” Evra said. “I’m so happy for him because he is working hard, and it is a good sign for the future of Manchester United, for the fans and for everyone.

“I’m really pleased with ‘Wazza’ because he deserves it. What a great finish it was, my cross was not easy to take, but it was a great volley.” United leapfrogged Everton into sixth place, and United kept successive clean sheets for the first time under David Moyes in the Premier League, following the 0-0 draw with Arsenal. “It was job done,” Evra said. “It was really important, we have had some bad results and we could not afford another defeat. I think we saw a strong Manchester United, confident to play with the ball, and I’m really pleased for all the lads.” With the experienced duo Nemanja Vidic, who will leave Old Trafford in the summer, and Rio Ferdinand back at the heart of the defence, Evra believes the clean sheets can continue. “We had a lot of experience, and when Rio came on at Arsenal, I thought he was fantastic,” he added. “You could see with Rio and Vidic in good form that we can be solid and get more clean sheets. “Don’t forget Chris Smalling can play there, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans can get back from injury. We have good centre-backs and that is important for the team.”

Yohan Cabaye

satisfied with always grinding out results. “It’s the point of the season where it’s about winning, that’s what professional sport is about at this level especially if you’re up there challenging - but for us, I will always concentrate on performance. “Ultimately I always think the consequence of performing well consistently is good results. “This season shows that, I think. When we play well more times than not we get the win. “Today we were not quite at our best but we scored four goals and won the game. It was a very, very important performance for us.” Sturridge, who opened the scoring by rounding Michel Vorm and added a rare header before half-time, is used to seeing his name on the scoresheet, but Rodgers was delighted to see Henderson joining him.

Yaya Predicts CoachingInfluence MANCHESTER City midfielder Yaya Toure feels that the Premier League title race will boil down to a strong character leading the bench. The Ivoirian international refused to offer his prediction in how the season will end come May, but insists the managers’ influence means a great deal in the latter stages of a season. “The mental aspect will be the key factor now. Chelsea have [Jose] Mourinho there,” Toure told The Sun. “Arsene Wenger’s there with players who have a lot of experience of the English league and at the moment they want to prove it. There’s also Liverpool and

Yaya scored the only goal of you shouldn’t forget Tottenham. It’s going to be the game to hand City a 1-0 win over Stoke City on the close, very, very close.” weekend.

Yaya Toure

Claudio Lotito Refuses To Sell LAZIO president Claudio gate for the season was Lotito has insisted he will not Lazio registered as part of an step down in spite of fierce protests during a 3-2 win over Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday night. The Biancoceleste president remains defiant in the face of criticism from the club’s fans, having faced opposition from the stands for years and been the subject of

death threats. On Sunday, “Free Lazio” was emblazoned on thousands of cards held aloft by the Lazio supporters after a march to the stadium involving an estimated 5,000 supporters. An increase of around 10,000 on the club’s average

organised initiative to remove Lotito, but he was unmoved by their protests. “People are asking me to sell Lazio, but they all know I have no intention of doing so,” he told Sky television. “I’m going to leave the club to my son. I’m not concerned in the slightest. I’m happy to hear constructive criticism. In 2004, I put in approximately 150 billion old lira (75 million euros) and took on debts of 1,070 billion lira (500 million euros). “I’ve fitted the club out with its own TV and radio station, I’ve renovated all of Formello [training facility], and the club now have the highest-ranked youth academy in the country. We’ve won two Coppa Italias,

one unforgettable one which will go down in history, and, finally, one Supercoppa.” That success, including last year’s Coppa Italia victory over city rivals Roma, does not appear to have done enough to calm the fans’ anger at a man they continue to blame for the club’s ills. The sale of Hernanes to Inter Milan during the winter transfer window, after a disappointing first half to the season, proved to be the final straw, with Sunday’s protests organised to show Lotito how much ill feeling there is among the club’s fans. “The club cannot be broken up, and that’s the message I give to those who want me to sell,” Lotito added. Lazio are currently 10th in Serie A, level on points with AC Milan.

Balotelli Denies Altercation With Photograph AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli on Sunday denied being involved in an altercation with a photographer following media reports of an alleged assault outside a nightclub. Domestic news agency ANSA said Balotelli, who was ruled out of his side’s trip to Sampdoria on Sunday due to injury, had travelled to Liguria, on Italy’s north-west coast, to watch his brother play in a football match. The report said Balotelli later refused a photographer’s request for a photo when he showed up at a restaurant with his fiancee Fanny Neguesha and some friends. The party moved on to a nightclub, where the same photographer was waiting. According to witnesses, Italy international Balotelli kicked the photographer after refusing another request for a picture.

The photographer called police and later accompanied them into the nightclub to identify the 23-year-old. But Balotelli told ANSA: “I categorically deny being involved in the altercation, I was standing apart” from the incident.

Mario Balotelli

Osasuna Thrashing Dents Atletico’s Title Hopes

Claudio Lotito

Barcelona ‘To Pay Neymar BARCELONA are reportedly set to announce Tax Fraud Sum’ after a board meeting on Monday that the club has decided to pay the 9.1 million euro sum which the Spanish tax authorities say was avoided during Neymar ’s controversial transfer from Santos last summer. Barca have been charged with not paying the tax due on two payments totalling 37.9 million euros made to a company controlled by the Brazil international’s father during the move. The authorities see these payments as “income” which should have been declared in the Catalan club’s tax returns. Barca — and apparently Neymar Snr — had maintained these sums were actually a “penalty clause” due to the company, and therefore any


taxes on the sum would be due in Brazil. The Blaugrana last week denied that they had done anything illegal and said they would work with the court to demonstrate this, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu telling Spanish TV he was confident Barca would be found to have done everything properly. However, well-sourced Catalan paper La Vanguardia — who broke the story that Sandro Rosell was set to resign as the controversy over the transfer intensified in late January — reported on Sunday that the club would pay the 9.1 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities to avoid any further penalties. The report claimed that Barca’s accountants Cuatrecasas had put together a plan which aimed to “reduce the financial and legal implications” of the fraud charge filed last week. According to El Pais, Spanish companies found to have defrauded the taxman can face penalties of up to six times the initial sum, while company directors involved in any fraud can also face individual punishments.

ATLETICO Madrid missed the chance to join Real Madrid atop La Liga as they were beaten 3-0 by Osasuna at El Sadar on Sunday. The hosts got off to a perfect three points, but can make start when Alvaro Cejudo amends when they host Los took advantage of some slack Blancos at the Vicente marking to volley home a Calderon next Sunday. Diego Simeone’s men had short corner at the back post. Osasuna doubled there taken a huge step towards advantage on 21 minutes reaching the last eight of the when Emiliano Armenteros Champions League in fired a sumptuous left-footed midweek as they won 1-0 effort in off the post and away at AC Milan, but their Roberto Torres killed the efforts on Wednesday looked game as a contest when he to have taken their toll as headed in the third just before they conceded three times in the first-half for the first time half-time. Atletico now trail Real by

since Simeone took charge over two years ago. The Argentine had left out three regular starters in Miranda, Koke and Arda Turan from his starting line-up and those coming in did little to further their case for more playing time. Cejudo opened the scoring on six minutes when Arementeros’ cross perfectly picked out his late run into the box and he finished first time low past the helpless Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian keeper was beaten again 15 minutes later

Ibrahimovic Treble Caps Incredible Week

ZLATAN Ibrahimovic says that it is not up to him to decide whether he is currently the best player in the world or not after scoring five goals in a week. Ibrahimovic, 32, scored a hat trick in Paris SaintGermain’s 4-2 win over Toulouse on Sunday to add to the brace he got against Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the week. The Swedish striker is now the top scorer in Europe this season with 37 goals in 36 games in all competitions — three more than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The PSG talisman’s monumental recent performances have inevitably wowed the French media, with L’Equipe referring to him on Monday as “the other Eiffel Tower of Paris.” But despite bringing his total to 72 goals in 82 matches for PSG, Ibrahimovic was, for once, doing his best to tone down the hype.

“I feel good physically and mentally,” Le Parisien reports the striker as saying after the win over Toulouse. “But there are still three months left until the end of the league. It’s at that time that you have to assess things and especially to see what you’ve won.” The former AC Milan forward’s recent glut of goals have come in spite of the fact that he has been playing with an injury. “I played with pain in my back again,” he continued. “But winning and scoring goals makes me forget about the pain.” The win over Toulouse maintained PSG’s five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 and Ibrahimovic’s teammates were thankful that he was able to take to the field. “We’re really lucky to have him,” midfielder Marco Verratti told L’Equipe. “He’s

the player who really makes the difference in our team. He has unbelievable desire.” Ibrahimovic’s close friend Maxwell, who has played with the Swede at Ajax, Inter Milan and Barcelona, was also full of admiration. “He’s the type of player who can do something different, something magical on the pitch,” the PSG left-back told Le Parisien. “Sometimes he still surprises me, even though I know him.”


when Armenteros saw off a weak challenge from Atletico captain Gabi before rifling the ball home from 25 yards. Atletico briefly threatened a comeback when Diego Costa’s driven effort flew inches wide and Mario Suarez just failed the connect with Gabi’s in-swinging freekick. However, any doubt over the outcome was wiped away three minutes before halftime when Torres found space between Diego Godin and Toby Alderweireld to head home Damia’s cross from the right. Simeone introduced Koke, Turan and Raul Garcia after the break but Atletico were still unable to find a way through. Garcia saw an acrobatic effort from a narrow angle toched to safety by Andres Fernandez before Costa blasted his side’s best opening of the game over eight minutes from time. Earlier, Athletic Bilbao consolidated their position in fourth with a 2-0 win away at nine-man Real Betis. Iker Muniain put Athletic in front before Damien Perquis and Lorenzo Reyes were given their marching orders for two bookable offences. And 20-year-old forward Guillermo Fernandez Hierro sealed all three points with his first senior goal for the club nine minutes from time. Valencia and Sevilla also kept up their fight for European football with narrow victories over Granada and Rayo Vallecano respectively.

Germany’s Loew Admits World’s Cup Injury Concerns GERMANY coach Joachim Loew admitted Sunday he has a to Bayern Munich last week in few concerns ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with several the Champions League’s last 16. of his stars either struggling for form or injured. “Mesut didn’t have a good day, but he can deal with concerns about attacking “There are eight or nine players criticism,” said Loew, after Ozil who have not played for a long midfielder Mesut Ozil, who’s was left out of Arsenal’s 4-1 form has dipped recently at time,” admitted Loew in Nice league win against Sunderland Arsenal and missed a crucial after the draw for the 2016 penalty in their 2-0 home defeat on Saturday. European Championships. “He has already learnt to do “They have no playing rhythm and for some it is questionable whether they will come back in time. “That worries me and gives me a headache.” The main concern is in Germany’s defensive midfield where Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger are Loew’s firstchoice. Madrid’s Khedira faces a race against time to be fit for Brazil having torn his cruciate knee ligament last November, while Bayern Munich’s Schweinsteiger only started his first game for the European champions on Sunday after an ankle injury late last year, then a knee problem. Their back up, Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, has not played since August after suffering from a back injury and a virus. Loew received more bad news in the position on Sunday when Dortmund’s Sven Bender was ruled out for 10 weeks with an inflamed pelvis. Up front, both strikers Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez have struggled with injuries this Joachim Loew season. Likewise at centre-back, Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels is struggling to return from an ankle knock, his fourth injury since September. HOLLAND coach Louis van Bayern’s Holger Badstuber is Gaal has dropped a fresh hint that the Barclays Premier League only just starting to run again he would welcome an approach would provide him with a “new after twice tearing knee ligaments from Tottenham following the challenge”. and having last played in World Cup finals. Quoted in the Guardian, the December 2012, while fellow The 62-year-old was linked former Barcelona and Bayern central defender Benedikt with the White Hart Lane post Munich manager said: “I will Hoewedes of Schalke 04 has had after Andre-Villas Boas was definitely not be in charge for the three injuries in the last three sacked earlier this season but the Euro 2016 qualification months. job eventually went to Tim campaign. I don’t know where I “At the World Cup, we need Sherwood, who signed an 18- will go next. “Normally I go with my players who are in a very good month contract in north London. rhythm,” said Loew. Van Gaal confirmed he would pension, and go to live in “I hope some of the players can not continue as Holland boss Portugal (where he owns a take a few steps forwards in the beyond the World Cup finals in property), but maybe there will next few weeks.” Brazil and suggested working in come a new challenge. “I have said before that a But Loew said he had no

that at Real Madrid. “For us, he is a key component.” Germany open their World Cup campaign against Portugal in Salvador on June 16, then face Ghana and the USA in Group G. Loew has friendlies against Chile in Stuttgart next month and Poland in May to fine-tune his World Cup squad before matches against Cameroon and Armenia just before the Germans jet to Brazil on June 7.

ENGLAND boss Roy Hodgson fears UEFA’s new format for international qualifiers will reduce even further the time he has with the team. Hodgson, speaking after

Roy Hodgson

England were handed a straightforward draw for Euro 2016 in Group E alongside Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino, said playing matches on a Thursday would mean having just one day to train with the squad. Euro 2016 qualifiers will see UEFA’s ‘week of football’ idea put into practice, with matches taking place every day from the Thursday to Tuesday of doubleheader international weeks. England’s first home match of the campaign is on a Thursday, against San Marino on October 9, and Hodgson, who also admitted the Football Association faces a tough task to sell out Wembley for the low-profile opponents, said: “It will affect the national teams. “One of the major problems for us could be a Thursday game if

the Super Sunday has four of our best teams taking part, taking as many as seven or eight of our first XI players. “That means Monday is a write-off, Tuesday for some of the older players will be a writeoff because they need a two-day recovery and don’t train two days after a game. “That would mean we have one day, the day before the game, to prepare the team. “The clubs will be happier because it used to be two weeks for the national teams in these breaks. “That got knocked down to 10 days. Then it was knocked down to nine days. Now it’s seven or eight days, so the clubs, I would think, are rubbing their hands all the time because they get the players back quicker all the time.”

Ferreira Out As Coach At Braga FC Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

Jesualdo Ferreira

United Ready For Athens Challenge

MANCHESTER United will hope to establish a first leg advantage in their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie against Olympiacos Today. Kick-off at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens is set for 21h45 CAT. With the Red Devils struggling just to make the top four in the Premier League, winning the Champions League may be the only way that they can return to the competition next season, though most critics would suggest this United team is not good enough to see off Europe’s best and claim the trophy. However, they have been

Van Gaal Drops Fresh Spurs Hint

Hodgson Reveals Qualifying Fear

JESUALDO Ferreira has agreed to stand down as manager of Portuguese first division side Sporting Braga after a run of disappointing results. The 67-year-old returned last summer for a second spell at the club, having previously been in the job from 2003 until 2006. But to date this season Braga have managed just eight wins against nine defeats and three draws leaving them in seventh position. On sunday they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by lowly Arouca. Ferreira is one of the most experienced coaches in Portugal having been in charge of all three of the country’s biggest clubs,

challenge should be a club in the Premier League. That’s a challenge. “Maybe Tottenham are coming but, first, we have to go to Brazil.” Last week Van Gaal, who is out of contract with the Oranje after the World Cup, stressed he would not limit his options to Tottenham. He told the Daily Mail: “I am mostly interested in England because I have been a coach in Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands so I think England is the next step in my career. “It could be another club (other than Spurs), it depends on the vacancies because Spurs were already (in touch) with me. “I prefer to be focused on this World Cup and now there’s another coach (Sherwood) so as coach, you cannot say ‘I go to that club or that club’, it depends on circumstances.”

Louis Van Gaal

given a kind draw for the first knockout round of the competition after topping their group last year and will start as favourites to overcome Olympiacos, who narrowly edged out Benfica to finish as runners-up in their pool behind Paris SaintGermain. While manager David Moyes acknowledges that it will be difficult to go all the way in the competition, he believes United’s pedigree in Europe makes the club a force to be reckoned with. “Everybody wants to win it and we’ll try to do it,” Moyes says. “I never said we would or we can but we’ll be in there. “Teams don’t want to play Manchester United. They know what it stands for as they have been successful. I hope we can play well enough to get through this round and see what happens next.” Olympiacos will face United without former top scorer Konstantinos Mitroglou, who signed for Fulham in January. While that sale has obvious benefits, Moyes concedes it also poses a scouting

dilemma. “They are really good and have had a great record. They are undoubtedly the best team in Greece, no question about it. They also have a lot of Greek internationals who will go to the World Cup and it will be a really tough game,” he added. “Mitroglou was a really good goal scorer for them and a main player. Does it weaken them? I think they’d rather have him than not but probably felt the offer was so good they had to take it. Since then, they’ve brought in two or three other players as well and I couldn’t be sure who will and won’t play.”

David Moyes

IOC Boss Hails Successful Winter Olympic Games THE International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, on Sunday hailed a successful Sochi Winter Olympic Games, saying the response from participants were overwhelmingly positive. “I spent four nights in Olympic villages, and I have to tell you that I did not hear a single complaint from athletes,’’ he told a news conference. The IOC chief said a series of record numbers also manifested the success of the games, including the record number of 2,876 athletes from 88 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). “There were also a record number of 2,631 doping tests and a record number of 88,000 hours of television coverage through more than 300 channels,’’ he said. After 17 days of competitions, Russia lead the medals table with

12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals. Bach said the success of the hosts was almost the important part of the success of the games. “I appreciate the host team that they have l eft some medals to visiting teams. They did not take them all. We can only congratulate the Russian team,’’ he said. The IOC president also commented on the five positive doping cases at the games. “The number of cases is not important, what is important is that we see that the system works and shows the IOC are serious with zero tolerance,’’ he added. However, Bach made no comments on the latest case in which Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr was kicked out of the Games after testing positive for the blood booster EPO.

Yobo Outshines Adebayor NORWICH City defender Jospeh Yobo continued his

Jospeh Yobo

dream return to the English Premier League as the Canaries beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Carrow Roadon Sunday. Spurs striker Emanuel Adebaoyor went = into the game in hot scoring form, but Joseph Yobo and co. halted the lanky Togolese frontman to pick up three valuable points and subsequently move seven points clear of bottom-placed Fulham. Needing a win to keep their Champions League hopes alive, Spurs were ousted by Norwich, who played with grit and determination.

Yobo, who has been included in the Super Eagles side that will play a friendly against Mexico on March 5, had a decent game to help Norwich’s bid to beat the dreaded drop. Robert Snodgrass scored in the 47th minute to move Norwich up to 14th spot on the log. The 33-year-old Yobo hasn’t played for the Super Eagles since they won the Africa Cup of Nations last year.

Abwo Explains New Form And Goals SOLOMON Abwo again shone for his Polish club at the weekend and has said his coach will take the credit for his newfound form and goals. Former Nigeria Olympic international Abwo was the hero

of Zaglebie Lubin as he scored the only goal that earn them a point on the road at Korona Kielce on Sunday in a 1-1 draw. He gave his team the lead in the seventh minute and Zaglebie Lubin are 14th on the table with

Obodo Sees Red In Portugal FORMER Nigeria international Christian Obodo was sent off in Portugal while

Christian Obodo

in action for Olhanense against Gil Vicente. Obodo was shown a straight red card in the 14th minute of a game his side won 2-1. another Nigerian, Femi Emmanuel Balogun, was on parade for Olhanense. Olhanense are 15th on a 16team league table with 16 points from 20 games. In Turkey, former Nigeria youth international Nduka Ozukwo was on target for his team Mersin Idmuryurdu in a 3-1 win over Fethlyespor. He gave his side a 2-0 lead in the 56th minute.

Nigeria National League

Ranchers Bees Sting DSS FC Speaking shortly after the

RANCHERS Bees Football Club of Kaduna on Sunday beat city rivals Dynamic Sports Solution (DSS) FC of Kaduna 2-0 in a Division A match in the Nigeria National League (NNL). In the season 2013/2014 week two match played at the Kaduna Township Stadium, Ahmed Samaila opened scoring for the Ranchers after a goalmouth scramble in the 4th minute. Samaila went on to extend his team’s lead in the 54th minute of the game with a shot from inside the penalty area.

match, Ranchers’ coach John Alhassan expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance. “I am happy we won the match, even though we missed chances. But we are going to work hard and ensure we score more goals in our other matches,’’ he said. Also speaking, coach Tunde Sanni of DSS said he had accepted the defeat and would work hard for his team to be in a good position as the league progresses. He however expressed his dissatisfaction with the match’s officiating.

Supreme Court FC Beat Sokoto Utd FC THE Supreme Court Football Club of Abuja on Sunday recorded their first points of the 2013/2014 Nigeria National League (NNL) season with a 2-0 defeat of Sokoto United FC. The Division A week two match was played at the Old Parade Ground Sports Complex. The win was the first for any of the four FCT-based clubs in the NNL this season. Prisons FC and FRSC FC were held to 1-1 draws in their opening games of the 2013/ 2014 NNL season in Abuja. Supreme Court FC, on their part, lost their first game of the season 0-3 to Niger Tornadoes FC in Minna.

TEAP FC, who are yet to play their week one match, drew goalless at home on Saturday against Mighty Jets. Both Prisons FC and FRSC FC lost their away games on Saturday. But Supreme Court FC braced up to their game early, taking control from the opening minute, and getting rewarded through Governor Ernest’s goal in the 30th minute. Sokoto United could have had an equaliser five minutes later, but Aminu Bala’s diving header was excellently saved by Owoicho Edoka, who was solid in defence. Peter Mikel made it 2-0 for the home side with a measured 18-yard shot in the 49th minute.

Abwo in great form

23 points from 24 games. An elated Abwo who has scored three goals in last two games for his team, revealed to that his resurgence was due to encouragement from new coach Orest Lenczyk. Abwo, who has now scored five goals for his struggling club, said this season has been a difficult one because the former coach did not believe in him. “This season has been the most difficult in my career because the former coach did not give me a chance to play, in fact at times I sit out of training,” he revealed to “But when the new coach, Orest Lenczyk, came in, the first question he asked was why I was not playing and I told him I don’t know. He gave me my confidence back and I scored in my second game under him, and then I scored again on Sunday.” The Jos-born player, who scored a brace the previous weekend in Zaglebie Lubin’s 30 win over Gomiz Zabrze, has now revealed he has set an eightgoal target for the season. “My target is to score eight goals because we have seven games to go. I have scored five already,” Abwo said.

20 Boxers Participate In Lagos Saturday Boxing Show NO fewer than 20 amateur boxers participated in the 50th edition of the monthly Lagos “Saturday Boxing Show’’ at the Mobolaji Sports Centre, Yaba, Lagos. The championship which the month was to discover holds every last Saturday of budding talents at the

DESOPADEC To Boost Scrabble

HENRY Ofa, Commissioner, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), on Monday in Lagos called for the empowerment of physically challenged people through scrabble to broaden their intellect. Ofa told newsmen that physically challenged people could also be engaged in activities that could task their intellect rather than dwelling on physical endeavours alone. The commissioner, who represented DESOPADEC, cosponsors of the 3rd Victor Ochei’s International Wheelchair Basketball Championship, concluded in Lagos on Saturday, added that he would strive to actualise the idea. The commissioner, who is also the Chairman of the Delta Scrabble Association, said the drive to engage physically challenged people in scrabble would be mutually beneficial to everybody.

“Apart from the wheelchair event there are other sports that can be of help to the special people, it’s only for people involved to indentify such areas. “My coming to Lagos for this event has opened in me a new vista to better the life of the physically challenged in our society,’’ he said. Ofa also expressed happiness at the positive impact the wheelchair basketball tournament had had on the participants. He commended the Speaker of the Delta House of Assembly for engaging in the programme unlike others who would not want to be associated with such. “We are going to start with the state associations before the end of the year, after which we will widen it to the federation level to accommodate more athletes in the scheme. “It is no longer fashionable to see physically challenged people beg for alms in the streets,” he said.

grassroots It is being sponsored by Olawale Edun, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance and currently, the Chairman, Lagos State Boxing Hall of Fame (LSBHF). Edun told newsmen on Saturday that the show had helped to develop amateur boxing in the state. “The show is a good platform for young boxers because it will help them to develop their talents and prepare them for future challenges in boxing. “We want to give the youths an opportunity to express themselves in the boxing ring through this monthly programme,” he said. Shina John defeated Taiwo Oyegunwa in the 75kg, while Saheed Lawal knocked out Samuel Elegbede in the 69kg in the female bout. Aisha Oriyomi, representing Lagos State also knocked out Andefreke Rose from Oyo State in the 54kg, while Kazeem Saka also of Lagos State defeated Afeez Afolabi from Osun State in the 64kg. Rilwan Oladosu of Lagos State defeated Musiliu from Osun State in the 60kg, while

Oliwo Kazeem of Lagos State defeated Akande from Oyo state in the 56kg. Aisha Sani from Gbagada Girls Junior Secondary School and Safiat Latifu from Wisdom of God Primary School, Alagbado, had the same points in the 31kg female exhibition match. Micheal Ogunremi from Alakoto Senior High defeated Oyetola Ayomide from Ifesowapo Junior High School, Iganmu, in the 31 kg. Aisha Oriyomi 54 kg female champion, who won on knockout, said that the show was a good platform for young boxers to develop their talents for future engagements. “I thank the sponsor for promoting boxing and sustaining this programme because it has helped to discover lots of talents from the grassroots,’’ Oriyomi said. She appealed to boxers to learn the techniques of the sport and obey the instructions of their coaches for them to become world class champions. “I am training hard so that I can be a world class boxer and represent my country at the Olympic Games,” she said.


THE dust raised over the president’s decision to suspend the Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, will not settle that easily, and for good reasons too. Beyond the obvious disregard for clearly stated guidelines that inform on the legitimate process by which a Central Bank governor could be removed from office, the decision undermines the strategic relevance of that position and that of the nation’s apex bank. Beyond that also, it is only natural that public inference would tilt towards the assumption of a clear witch hunt and a disregard for due process, considering the c i r c u m s t a n c e surrounding the removal. The president clearly got this one wrong. Just as many others have noted, this decision was wrongly timed and clearly taken to serve some personal whim rather than to address what the report describes as financial recklessness. I say this for several reasons. Though I may fall within the group of people that the Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati, describes as largely uninformed about the reasons for the action, I am sure even he would accept that the document he claims lucidly explains what informed the president’s decision is the same one that has been made public, and which, even he admits, has been submitted to the president for over a year now. There is no doubt that the report by the Financial Reporting Council lists very grave infringements purported to have been committed by the governor, and that the crimes stated are damning enough to send Sanusi to jail. However, there are some pertinent questions that must be asked before the public is expected to swallow Abati’s explanations hook line and sinker. First, and the most obvious, is, since this report was released in 2013, why did the president not initiate the process of suspending, or even sacking, the governor all this while? Well, Abati explains that investigations had to be carried out in order to certify the veracity of the claims by the institution, and that such investigations usually took time to reach their conclusions on such matters in order to ensure that due process was

followed. Abati would have helped Nigerians immensely if he gave details of when such investigations were ordered by the president, at what time, if ever, requests for such investigations were put before the Senate, whose endorsement is required to legitimise the removal of the governor. It would also have been expedient if clear documentary evidence of

would naturally be presumed that the suspension had other underlying influences beyond the reasons given. This is not only because the reasons do not adequately address the questions of legitimacy and logic, but also because the issues raised by Sanusi over serious financial infringements in some government agencies have

Sanusi’s Suspension And The Unexplained Details

the investigations were given. As far as I know, there has been no evidence of this. If this was not done, and Abati tells us that the president’s decision was taken after such investigations were carried out, how come the public was never informed? Abati goes on to contradict himself when he says that Sanusi’s suspension was necessary to ensure that he does not interfere with investigations. If investigations had gone on for over a year without the suspension of the governor, and the conclusions had been published in the tome we were presented with by Abati, what purpose is the suspension supposed to serve now? The second pertinent question that raises doubts about the reasons given for Sanusi’s suspension is, if investigations conducted have revealed that he (Sanusi) was guilty of the allegations, why would the Presidency settle for his suspension rather than his outright sack? It would have made a lot more sense if the government sought the dismissal of Sanusi through legitimate channels and commence his prosecution, rather than hastily carry out an action that would raise all kinds of legal dust, especially when it vehemently claims moral vindication of its decision. If, as some people claim, the decision was proof of the president’s staunch stance against corruption, I would have expected that The GMD of the NNPC would also have been suspended to allow for unhindered investigations of the dealings with the oil behemoth. By no stretch of the imagination would the president-either through Abati or a priest for that matter- be able to defend such a hasty decision fraught with legal impediments when an easier and more logical approach was available. It

not been addressed and he seems to have been conveniently silenced just as controversy builds around the allegations he has made. THE SACRED NNPC F I L E S

Federal Ministry of Finance, hired KPMG and another Nigerian auditing firm, S.S. Afemikhe & Co., in July 2010, to look into the books of the corporation following allegations of “wrongful deductions at source by the

Sanusi Lamido Why have all attempts to probe the financial transactions in NNPC been scuttled by bureaucratic impediments and public disagreements that are usually preceded by well choreographed public presentations of files that end up un implemented? Why have all public officers who have recently made efforts to investigate the transactions within the seemingly inviolable walls of the corporation been unceremoniously dropped or disgraced out of their positions? These are serious questions that must be answered before we can ascertain the the veracity of Abati’s claims. We are all aware of the myriad attempts at auditing of the NNPC accounts, and the way it is administered. The first was a forensic auditing carried out by KPMG. The Federal Government, through the

NNPC to fund its operations” by the 36 state governors. According to the 41-page report, the NNPC is a cesspool of monumental corruption and fraud. The report detailed the corporation’s sharp business practices, violation of laid down rules and regulations, illegal deductions of funds belonging to the state, and failure to account for several billions of Naira that should go to the federation account. The report noted that NNPC had also severely defrauded the country “in subsidy claims. Auditors found that between 2007 and 2009 alone, the NNPC over-deducted funds in subsidy claims to the tune of N28.5bn. It has not been able to account for the sum ever since. “For example.” This excerpt makes for an interesting read: “N25bn was deducted as subsidy

estimate for September 2009 from domestic crude sales proceeds while PPPRA approved a subsidy of N23.8bn. N35bn was also deducted as subsidy estimate fro November 2009 but PPPRA approved of N21.3bn. Over-deduction for these two months amounted to N14.9bn. However, only was swept into the Federation Account by the NNPC as adjustment for subsidy claimable in the two months”. Juxtapose that with this bit curled from Sanusi’s submission: “NNPC had previously explained that it had stopped deductions from 2011 and that the N180b taken in Q1:2012 related to fuel imports for Q4:2011. As from 2012, the directive was for NNPC to submit its papers to PPPRA, the relevant government agency set up and given the responsibility for verifying and paying subsidy claims. Having officially reported that it was not making deduction for fuel in 2012 and 2013, it is surprising that the GMD and GED of NNPC would now claim that $8.49b was used to pay for subsidy.” While I may not be technically competent to understand the details of the report, I am sure I am not too far off point to say that the recurring issue here is “wrongful deductions”. Between the KPMG report and the submission by Sanusi, huge deductions by NNPC that are not accounted for constitute a major problem that refuses to go away. What is even more interesting is the fact that, even as detailed and revealing as the KPMG report was, nothing has been done to ameliorate the situation within the Corporation. Rather, between 2012, when the KPMG report was made public, and Sanusi’s recent submissions, steps taken by government have been more suggestive of a contrived move to suppress

these reports. If the examples given above are not enough, then these two would most likely suffice: memories of the drama that played out at the presentation of the Ribadu report are not easily forgotten. In its 178page report, the committee revealed how oil money in the custody of the NNPC were spent on extra-budgetary purposes such as the acquisition of a N2.23billion chopper for the president and a purported sponsorship of the World Cup. The report also revealed that the NNPC also gave out N700.5million in loan to Sao Tome & Principe based on instruction from the presidency. It also made a payment of N2.421billion to a foreign company, Royal Swaziland Sugar Company. The reason for the payment is unclear. The Corporation also claimed to have underwritten a N521million expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources. This is in addition to the N250million the agency told the committee it spent on court cases involving the ministry, even when the ministry has its own budgetary allocation. Beyond the fact that these findings are not different from the same “financial recklessness” for which Sanusi has been accused, it becomes clearer why it would be impossible for anyone, or investigative body, to win the battle of wits against NNPC. There is no doubt that Farouk Lawan learnt the hard lessons of attempting to expose the malfeasance that is well guarded within NNPC walls. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is about to be made the second scape goat. How successful this will be is anyone’s guess. If, as Abati says, this is not the case, then the president’s decision was wrongly timed and largely insensitive to the forces that determine the economy and, sadly, the political repercussions may be damning.

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