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The Nigerian


TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

PUBLISHED SINCE MAY 29, 1968 • Vol . 38 • NO. 285 • TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013 • N 100.00

Govt resolves Pool Promoters, Stakers feud

Development Page 20

Harnessing gains of Jonathan’s visit to China


BENIN CITY - The crisis between pool promoters in Edo State and the stakers has been resolved following the intervention of the Executive chairman of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Chief

(Sir) Oseni Elamah. To this end, the EIRS boss has urged that pool stakers be allowed to restake for their money, whenever draws are less than three. In an enlarged tripartite meeting held at the

Imaguero College, Benin City and presided over by the revenue boss, it featured an interactive session with focus on issues militating against the smooth operations of the pool betting industry in the recent time.

Chief Elamah stated that the meeting has to ascertain some of the lingering issues with a view to addressing them amicably. According to him, the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomhole led government in the state Continues on page 2

Report On Varsities


Curbing abuse of Marijuana

Jonathan orders implementation

LAFIA - The Federal Government has approved the implementation of the recommendations of the government’s committee on repositioning federal and state universities. President Goodluck been made available to Jonathan said this the Federal Ministry of yesterday in Lafia when Education for immediate he inaugurated Tanko Al- implementation of the makura (TAAL) Model recommendations of the School. The committee was set We’re hanup following the advice dling deby the Academic Staff tained RivUnion of Universities (ASUU) on improvement ers Lawof the citadel of maker proknowledge. “Billions of naira have fessionally -

committee”, he said. The president, represented by the Vice President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, said the Federal Ministry of Education

had been directed to commence the full implementation of the recommendations of the committee. Jonathan said efforts

would not be spared in ensuring that every child was in school, adding that with 9.5 million children, the country had the highest number of

children without access to basic education in Africa. He pledged that the federal government Continues on page 2


Edo State

GOVERNMENT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT INVITATION TO TOWN HALL MEETING ON EDUCATION EDO State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole wishes to invite the executives and members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Academic Staff Union of Universities, UNIBEN and Ambrose Alli University Chapters, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics in the state, Civil Society Groups, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Market Women Association, Student Groups, Women Associations, Non-Governmental organisations, media executives and practitioners, teachers, Parents Teachers Associations in the state, community leaders and indeed other stakeholders in the education sector in the state to a Town Hall Meeting on Education. Theme of the Town Hall Meeting which will hold from 9.30a.m. on Wednesday, 31st July, 2013 at the Imaguero College Hall, Benin City, is “The State of Education in Edo State”. Signed: PATRICK OBAHIAGBON, Esq., Chief of Staff.

PORT HARCOURT – Mr. Frank Mba, Deputy Spokesman of the Nigeria Police has that the force is handling the case of detained Rivers Legislator, Chidi Lloyd, professionally. Lloyd, the Leader, Rivers House of Assembly, turned himself to the police in Abuja on July 25 following the crisis in the assembly on July 9. He was declared wanted by the police for his alleged role in the crisis. Continues on page 2

TRAINING: Rt. Hon. Uyi Igbe, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly (right) and Hon. Abdul Oroh, Commissioner for Agriculture, Edo State during the Rural Agricultural Development Training Scheme by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Edo State, at Jattau-Uzairue, Etsako West Local Government Area last Thursday. Photo: GODWIN ISEGUAN.

NULGE cancels 3-day warning strike . Workers cripple councils By EMMANUEL EGOBIAMBU/EVELYN IGBINOSUN (With Agency Report)

ABUJA/BENIN CITY The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) yesterday cancelled its planned three day warning strike over Senate refusal to vote in favour of autonomy for local governments.

The House of Representatives last week voted in favour of autonomy for local governments as part of their ongoing

constitutional amendment. Malam Ibrahim Khaleel, the National President of the union, who announced the

cancellation of the strike in Abuja, said the decision followed the intervention of the leadership of the National Assembly.

He said the leadership of the National Assembly had shown concern and interest in the union particularly in its struggle Continues on page 2

N789.6 million fuel subsidy payment. Chidok, Head of the Lagos Zonal Office of the

Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Continues on page 2

N789.6m Subsidy Fraud: PPPPRA did not investigate documents - Witness

IKEJA - A prosecution witness, Mr. Victor Chidok, yesterday said the PPPRA did not

investigate some documents allegedly used by three oil marketers to obtain



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


Govt resolves Pool Promoters, Stakers Continued from page 1 feud

does not give room for any operation that is not in accordance with the law, assuring of the agency’s commitment to ensuring that relevant provisions of the law in the pool sector are complied with. He noted that virtually all the development success across

the state were achieved through tax payers money and urged the pool agents in the state to registry for and obtain the Tax Identification Number TIN. However, ensuring uniformity in the sector he said the EIRS will henceforth carry out inspection of the pool betting industry and advised

both pools promoters and pools stakers to see themselves as parties that work together for mutual benefit The Edo State pool stakers had expressed worry over what they termed as

promoters’ refusal to comply with the rules/regulations governing pool staking in Edo. The pool stakers who highlighted some of their grievances at the meeting said they were tired of the continuous deliberate effort of the promoters to defraud pool stakers.

PPPPRA todid not investigate documents them.

Continued from page 1

The witness said the

disclosed this while testifying at the trial of the marketers before an Ikeja High Court. The marketers; Adamu Maula, George Ogbonna, and Emmanuel Morah were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The accused persons are being prosecuted alongside their firms; Downstream Energy Sources Ltd. and Rocky Energy Ltd. before Justice Lateefat Okunnu. The EFCC alleged that the marketers did not import the 10,862 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), for which they had received subsidy payment. Chidok, who was led in evidence by EFCC Counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), confirmed that Downstream Energy Sources Ltd. participated in the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF). He said the PSF was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2006 to modulate the price of petroleum products in the domestic market. Chidok said the PPPRA was saddled with the responsibility of regulating the price of the products and ensuring that oil marketers imported the volume of products allocated

agency had a check-list of 27 documents which must be presented by all marketers before their subsidy payments are processed. Chidok said the accused persons submitted some documents relating to a ship-toship transfer between MT La Katrina and MT D. Roseline , offshore in Cotonou, Benin Republic. He said the documents, including Cargo Manifest, Haulage Report and Certificate of Cargo Transfer of the vessels showed that the transaction took place between Jan. 2, 2011 and Jan. 3, 2011. Chidok said the documents were issued by an inspectorate

company; Inspectorate Marine Services Ltd., which the marketers claimed had witnessed the transaction. “Before 2011, we depended solely on documents to verify subsidy payments; we did not investigate the documents submitted by the marketers. “We don’t have representatives offshore and we treated those documents on face value. “We only checked the documents to confirm if they tallied with our check-list,’’ he said. The witness said the PPPRA had in December 2011, introduced additional measures to ensure transparency in the importation of petroleum

products. He said the measures included the use of Llyod Intelligence to track vessels and also getting a direct transaction confirmation from suppliers’ offshore. When cross-examined by the defence counsel— led by Prof. Alfred Kasamu (SAN), Chidok admitted that the PPPRA witnessed the discharge of the products at the Apapa jetty in Lagos. “The products were discharged according to the volume allocated to downstream for importation. “The PPPRA only verify when the daughter vessel (MT D.Roseline) came into Nigeria before discharge,’’ he said. The case was adjourned to July 31 for continuation of trial.

We’re handling detained Rivers Continued from page 1 Lawmaker professionally

Mba said on phone from Abuja that detectives handling the case had been meticulous and professional. He said that it was untrue that the police tortured the detained legislator. “I want to say that our handling of the investigation involving Chidi Lloyd has been as professional as possible. “Detectives investigating that case have been very meticulous, very professional. We have done everything humanly possible to ensure

that the honourable’s rights are respected. “It is not true that he is being manhandled, it is not true that he was tear-gassed and it is also not true that he was moved from the airport to the state command headquarters in a black Maria. “As a matter of fact, we used an armoured personnel carrier to move him from the airport to the command headquarters. And the reasons are obvious, because of the peculiar nature of Rivers State politics.“ Mba said the police took

safeguarding the various offices visited. At Oredo Local Government Secretariat King Square, Benin City, except for security personnel on ground, with no staff of the council was seen in the premises. The situation was not different at Egor Local Government Secretariat, located at Uselu, behind the Uselu Market as the premises was quite and devoid of government services even as the offices were locked. At Idogbo, the headquarters of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Council, the situation was the same as there was no human activities in the council premises, except for the security personnel that manned the main entrance to the

secretariat. Officials of NULGE could not be reached for comment. Also, the Anglican Diocese of Kubwa in the FCT has commended the House of Representatives’ support for local government autonomy in the 1999 Constitution amendment. The commendation is contained in a communique issued at the end of the second session of the synod of the diocese, made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja. The communique, signed by Bishop Duke Akamisoko of Kubwa Diocese, urged state houses of assembly to ensure the passage of the constitutional amendments to strengthen the local government system. Reports say that the

Continued from page 1

local government areas of the state. Earlier, Gov. Umaru Tanko Almakura had noted that “this is the first time in many years that the president of our great nation would commission any project in the State”. Almakura said it was unfortunate that “despite the fundamental importance of education to the development of our society and its influence on our way of life, we lost our

precautionary measures to ensure the safety of Lloyd by moving him in an armoured personnel carrier from the airport to the state police headquarters. He said the police had enough men on ground to escort the motorcade carrying the house leader from the airport to state police command headquarters. “I can also assure that it is not true that Chidi Lloyd is having any health issue. He is doing very well,“ he said.

NULGE cancels 3-day warning strike

Continued from page 1 for autonomy.

“As a mark of respect for the leadership of the National Assembly, the three day warning strike has been put off. “All national officers, state presidents and secretaries and members are therefore directed to resume work and continue their normal duties. “We thank our supporters from the press and the general public for their cooperation and understanding,’’ Khaleel said. He said the National Assembly had assured the union of maximum support on the issue, but advised the union to fight to secure the support of the state houses of assembly. The NULGE leadership on Friday directed all its members nationwide to begin a three-day warning strike on Monday, July 29, 2013. Meanwhile, Activities at the Local Government Council Secretariats in Benin Metropolis were yesterday grounded to a halt as the nationwide strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to condemn the senate vote against local government autonomy, was observed in Edo State. Investigations by The Nigeria OBSERVER, revealed that the local council secretariats were virtually under lock and key except for security personnel who were

constitutional requirement is that 23 state assemblies out of the 36 state assemblies must endorse any amendment to the 1999 Constitution before it becomes a law. The synod, however, expressed regret that the Senate failed to expunge Section 29 (4b) of the 1999 Constitution, which stipulates that a married girl-child is considered to be of full age. It noted that the Senate’s decision contradicted Section 29 (4a) of the 1999 Constitution “which adequately defined the meaning of ‘full age’ of marriage.’’ On education, the synod commended the establishment of 13 new universities but expressed concern over the recurring strikes by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Jonathan orders implementation

would continue to provide support to Nasarawa State Government’s efforts to provide quality education through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). President Goodluck Jonathan also promised that the federal government would provide free textbooks and science laboratory equipment to TAAL model school and other model schools in all the

bearing on education a long time ago. “There is no doubt that over the years, we have allowed mediocrity to invade the quality of our public schools. “It is in this direction that we, as a government in our quest to enhance social justice, have established this model school. “This school is not only for the elite, but for all citizens of the state, including the rural population.

Assembly may pass kidnapping Bill today By KEN ABU/WINIFRED OSASOBO BENIN CITY – Edo State of Assembly may today consider and pass into law, the amended bill for a law to prohibit the act of kidnapping in the state. Indications to this, emerged during yesterday’s plenary session following the submission of a report on the amendment by the House standing committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and legal matter. Presenting the report before the lawmakers, the Committee chairman, Hon. Kingsley Ehigiamusoe said the report has one point recommendation and three findings. According to Hon. Ehigiamusoe there was every need to curb security challenges in the state for the safety of its citizens, noting that the existing law

can no longer meet the present day reality. He further said there was need to strengthen the existing law in order to rekindle confidence of investors, in the state. This, he said made the committee to recommend that an amendment to the existing law on kidnapping and prosecution of 2009 be considered with a view to pass same into law in order to reflect the present reality. Summing up deliberation, the speaker, Hon. Uyi Igbe directed the chairman House standing Committee on Rule, Business and Government House to state its consideration today. During the plenary session, the House Observed a minute silence in honour of the late chairman of Esan West Local Government Council, Hon. Henry Irumundomon who died at the Weekend.

Service Delivery

Edo assures on partnership By QUEENNETH OROBEDO BENIN CITY – Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Prof. Julius Ihonvbere said the state is open to building and sustaining partnership towards effective service delivery to the people. He gave the assurance yesterday in Government House, during a courtesy visit, by a delegation of the management staff, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH). Describing the session as, “a necessary interface for a good relationship to enable both sides operate informally and more effectively,” Prof. Ihonvbere said Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital has contributed greatly to the health care needs of Edo people and the country at large. He however, added that there was room for improvement. The SSG assured that the memorandum of understanding between the federal government owned health facility and the state government would be sustained. On the appeal to the state

government for a waiver on the penalties and interests on their tax arrears, which rose as a result of the back duty investigation assessment of 2005-2011, the SSG said he will draw the attention of the Comrade Governor to it. He was however quick to add that, “obligations of the state government to the people can better be met through internally generated revenue.” The Chief Medical Director, ISTH, Prof. George Akpede said the visit was to further the implementation of the memorandum of understanding for the training of clinical medical students of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma through the establishment of an inter-ministerial MOU implementation committee, comprising the representatives of the state government, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health, AAU and the hospital. He also drew the attention of the state government on the need to take the national leadership position amongst the lassa fever affected and at risk states in the country.

Obasogie of Benin Kingdom loses Mum burial arrangements would be

BENIN CITY – The Obasogie of Benin Kingdom, Chief Eduwu Ekhator Obasogie on behalf of the Obasogie/ Ogiegbaen of the Benin Royal Family and the family of Ezomo N’Uzebu has formally announced the passing-on of their beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, Deaconness Victoria Oghomwonyi Ekhator Ogiegbaen at 101 years old. A release issued yesterday in Benin says

announced later.

Late Deaconness Victoria Oghomwonyi Ekhator Ogiegbaen



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


Group Honours Commissioner BENIN CITY- The National Association of Edo State Students (NAESS) has honoured the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Lucky James with an award for his unwavering commitment to community development and youth empowerment. Receiving the award on behalf of the commissioner, the Director of Chieftaincy

Affairs in the ministry, Mr. E Ehigiamusoe thanked members of the association for the honour saying it would spare him to further commitment to duty. He dedicated the award to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, saying he provided the enabling environment for him to do the right thing at the right time. National President of NASS, Prince Festus Otono

Delta Spends N40bn On Federal Roads -Commissioner ASABA-Chief Funkekeme Solomon, Commissioner for Works in Delta, says the state government has so far spent more than N40 billion on the reconstruction and maintenance of federal roads in the state. Solomon, who disclosed this to newsmen in Asaba, said that the state government had yet to receive any refund from the Federal Government for the expenditure. He, however, pledged that the state government would continue to rehabilitate federal roads in the state, as the roads were used mainly by the people of the state. “When we work on the roads, whether state or federal, they facilitate our governor’s peace and security agenda because good roads help to check vandalism of equipment and amenities as well as other obnoxious activities by hoodlums,’’ he said. Solomon did not identify the federal roads that were reconstructed but said that the bills on the projects accumulated from 2007 to date. The commissioner, however, lamented that the execution of some projects in the state was being unduly delayed because of youth restiveness and other problems in some communities. He said that community problems had also discouraged reputable companies, especially those in the construction industry, from accepting contracts from the state government. “Restiveness by youths and unnecessary demands from communities by youths and even elders, create difficult conditions for contractors,’’ he said. Solomon said that “high profile’’ contractors were not interested in contracts in the state, partly attributing this to

the low price being paid by the state government on contracts. “This rate or price problem leads to variations; sometimes, three times higher than the original contract value, in the state, but efforts are underway in the ministry to review our contract rates and prices,’’ he added.

had prayed the governor to consider the payment of bursary to students of the state orgin in tertiary institution nationwide. Other recipients of the 2013 NAESS award included the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Uyi Igbe, Commissioner for Works, Barrister Osarodion Ogie, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Henry Silahaybon and the General Manager, Bendel Newspapers Company Limited (BNCL), Publishers of the Observer titles, Pastor Monday Aigbe.

L-R- Sir Peter Edeoghon, past President of Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), Chief Makole Omo-Azugbene, National Treasurer and Chief John Odigie Oyegun former Governor of Edo State during the Nigeria Institute of Management South-South Summit in Benin City recently PHOTO: LUCKY AGIE

Skills Acquisition: 200 Women ASABA- Chief Betty Efekodha, Commissioner for Women Affairs in Delta, says no fewer than 200 women have benefited from the

2012 Skills’ Acquisition Programme for Women. Efekodha made this known in an interview with newsmen in Asaba.

L-R- Dr UNO Uwaga, Deputy President Nigeria Institute of Management, Sir Peter Edeoghon, past President of the Institute and Chief John Odigie Oyegun, former Governor of Edo State during the South-South summite of the Nigeria Institute of Management which took place in Benin City recently PHOTO: LUCKY AGIE


She said that the women were trained in various skills, ranging from soap making, catering services, tailoring, computer services, hair dressing, bead making and jewellery works. Efekodha said that at the end of the training, starter packs were given to the beneficiaries to enable them set up their own businesses. “Last year, we were able to train women in various skills and at the end of the training programme, which lasted for about six weeks, we gave the women starter packs,’’ she said. Efekodha said that the women, who benefited from the training programme, were selected from Asaba and Oko-Anala community in Oshimili and Burutu local government areas of the

Oil Palm Plantation To Produce 1,000 Tonnes Daily

CALABAR-Mr Ho Dye Joan, the Plantation Head of Wilmer/PZ Cussons oil palm plantations in Cross River, says daily production of highly refined quality palm oil will reach 1,000 tons within the next five years. Joan told visiting journalists in Calabar that the three plantations had been planted with 600,000 high yield palm trees while 2.1 million seedlings were in nursery stages.

He also said that a training school established to provide skilled labour had trained 60 Nigerians in the past 15 months while 22 more were about graduating. According to Joan, a scheme has been established to ensure that out growers could access the milling facilities of the agro business giant, thereby adding value to their products. ,,“ The scheme will improve extraction of oil from the local

palm tree growers/ fruits as well as increase their quality and yield,’’ he said. Joan also said that in addition to providing suitable accommodation for most of its 13,000 direct employees at the plantations, schools and health facilities were being incorporated. The plantations visited at Calaro oil Palm Estate at Mbarakom, Akampa Local Government Area , on the outskirt of Calabar, had a

health centre and an ongoing housing project. Journalists report that the plantations at Mbarakom, Ibiae and Biase, are fully mechanised and cover 50,000 hectares of land. They are expected to produce between 1,200 tons and 1,500 tons of refined palm oil daily by 2018. The high yield palm trees being planted in the plantations would start fruiting after about 38 months.

state. She also said that the training programme for this year would soon commence, adding that the potential beneficiaries had started enrolling for the programme. “And as soon as we are done with the enrolment, we will commence the training because the process is on,’’ she said. The commissioner said that the ministry had established women development centres across the state where women were trained to enable them to contribute to the welfare of their families, especially the education of their children. She said that one of the major duties of her ministry was to train women in various skills, as these skills would be helpful in efforts to equip them for their future. Efekodha, who underscored the need for more women to key into the skills acquisition programme, noted that the programme was aimed at assisting the women to be self-reliant. She pledged that the state government would continue to support programmes that could contribute meaningfully to women empowerment efforts in the state. She, nonetheless, commended the state government for its microcredit programme which, she said, had brought hope to the people, especially women in the state.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Inside Edo Fadama To Sustain Projects Through Cooperative Societies BENIN CITY- The SouthSouth federated Fadama body has unfolded plans to sustain all its projects through cooperative societies. The chairman of the body, Mr. Henry Ebole told newsmen at the weekend that the withdrawal of the World Bank funding by December 2013 is not an indication that the project has ended, adding that the project will continue after their exit. He assured that the federated body, the cooperative societies and the structures on ground would guarantee the sustainability of the projects. “The structures Fadama III has been able to put on ground are meant to sustain the project after the World Bank withdrew its funding. We as a federated body will ensure that Fadama III projects and programmes continue to thrive to the benefit of the targeted rural

population”, he said. “At the level we are now, we cannot afford to abandon the projects because it has impacted positively on the people”, he added. According to him with the help of loans from various micro-finance banks and agricultural development banks, we would be able to sustain the projects after closure in December. Earlier, the body during its annual general meeting appointed members into various committees to pilot the affairs of the SouthSouth federated Fadama III body. Those appointed include, Chief Yami Apati, Nathaniel Nwosu, Elilet Sam, and Blessing Eweareso. They are to run the affairs of the committee on project management, fund mobilization, environmental management procurement, project monitoring and project evaluation respectively.

SABIBGIDDA-ORA - The Chairman of Owan West Local Government Area, Hon. Barr. Godwin Aigbodion has directed the Environmental Department of the council to ensure that the abattoir and its environment in Sabo market is cleaned and cleared up or it will be shut down. Hon. Aigbondion gave the directive when he inspected the market during the monthly sanitation exercise in the area. He said the council cannot allow a situation where the meat sold to members of the public are slaughtered in an unhealthy environment which could compromise the health of the people who consume them. The Council chairman also directed the Environmental Department to find solution on how to evacuate the heap of refuse behind the Uhunmora market. He then commended the people for coming out to observe the exercise and for their efforts at desilting the drains by the road and urged them to ensure it is sustained so as to control the erosion problem for the benefit of us

all. Speaking after monitoring the monthly sanitation exercise with the chairman, Hon. Michael Ohio Ezomo, member representing the constituency in the House of Assembly commended Hon.

L - R, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, his wife, Victoria, Prince MM. Ogedegbe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Edo State and Mrs. Ekiuwa-Inneh, Head of Service, Edo State at a cocktail Party to mark the South South zonal summit of the Nigeria Institute of management which took place at the residence of Chief Oyegun in Benin City. PHOTO: LUCKY AGIE.

Al-Mustapha Was A Scape Goat BENIN CITY-A former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) and a two time Military Governor to

Taraba and Oyo State respectively, Prince Amen Oyakhire has said Major Hamza AlMustapha was incarcerated for 14 years,

andprosecuted for sins committed by his boss, Gen. Abacha. He made this disclosure while speaking in an exclusive interview with

Barr. Aigbodion for ensuring that the whole environment meet the specified sanitation requirements. He also expressed satisfaction at the level of compliance by the people in the locality and that they are beginning to understand

the need for cleanliness and urged them to sustain it. Meanwhile 24 persons were arraigned before a mobile court presided by a magistrate Mrs. Mefo Adebanjo for contravening the monthly environmental

exercise Law of Edo State. She said it will serve as a deterrent to others and sentenced them to two weeks imprisonment at the Federal Prison Auchi or option of fine of N2,000.


LG Boss Directs Sanitation In Abattoir

A cross section of members of the Nigeria Institute of Management at the South-South summit in Benin City. PHOTO: LUCKY AGIE.


the Nigerian OBSERVER on the release of the former security adviser to late Gen. Sani Abacha. Prince Oyakhire said Mustapha is a brilliant, dedicated, courageous army officer which earned him the position of Chief Security officer to the Late General Abacha as a captain before he was later promoted to a major. He was been punish for sins of his boss. “He was arrested and put behind bars for 14 years but the court of law has proved that he is not guilty of the crime he was accused of and set him free”. “It is incredible to note that a judge will seat down to write 366 pages just to nail an innocent citizens. The Court of Appeal did a good job and took time to look at the evidence and discharge Mustapha from all the crime. The court earlier discharges Shofolahon and Bameyi who were also accused with Mustapha”, he said. He called on those in authority to stand by the truth, be honest in all they do and ensure justice is given to all irrespective of who needs it, as it is on these bases that the society will be stable and equally develop.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

South-South House To Consider Clause On Gender Equality CALABAR-The Cross River State House of Assembly will consider the passage of the clause on gender equality in the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution when it comes before it. Mr Adaji Idagho, representing Bekwara Constituency, said this in Calabar at a consultative meeting organised by a nongovernmental organisation, ‘Gender and Development Action’ (GADA). The meeting was organised by GADA to sensitise members of the state legislature on gender issues in the ongoing constitution review. Idagho, who represented the Speaker, Mr Larry Odey, said that the house was genderfriendly and recognised the critical role of women in the society. He said the house had passed 12 laws relating to gender, including the Child Rights Act and other obnoxious practices against women and children in the state. “If anything is brought before us, we will look at it on its merit and take a position based on our policy on gender. “We are the most genderfriendly state in Nigeria and our position on the matter will not be different,’’ he said. Idagho said the time had come when all stakeholders should take a passionate look at gender issues in the constitution with the view to addressing some of them. The Executive Director of GADA, Mrs Ada Agina-Ude, said that the meeting was held to draw the attention of the legislators on the clauses relating to gender issues in the ongoing constitution review. Agina-Ude said the meeting enabled the legislators to know the clauses that required their consideration and also seek their support to pass the clauses on gender equality when the bill eventually gets to them. According to her, contentious issues like indigeneship, women participation in elective positions, child right and early marriage are some of the issues that the organisation want the house to vote in favour. She said women had been deprived of qualitative education, good health care and equitable representation through these ‘oppressive’ constitutional provisions. In a communiqué issued the end of the meeting, participants stressed the need for a ‘strong structural framework’ for affirmative action in the country. They also called for cooperation among the womenfolk if they hope to realise their ambition. The meeting also agreed that women and youth needed more political orientation. Participants at the one-day meeting were drawn from the house, the civil society organisations and the media.

Delta Empowers People Under Its Microcredit Programme

L-R: Hon. Abdul Oroh, Commissioner of Agriculture, Edo State, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Uyi Igbe, Edo State Director, National Directorate of Employment Ayo Edegbai and Hon. Philip Shaibu, Majority Leader, Edo State House of Assembly at the flagoff of training of the Rural Agricultural Development training scheme in conjuction with Hon. Philip Shaibu at Jattu-uzairue, Etsako West Local Government on Thursday. PHOTO: GODWIN ISEGUAN

ASABAThe Delta Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, Dr Antonia Ashiedu, has disclosed that 111,312 people had benefited from the Microcredit programme of the state government in the past seven years. Ashiedu, who made this known when he gave the scorecard of her ministry in Asaba last week, said that 67,861 of the beneficiaries were females, while 43,451 were males. She said that the beneficiaries were grouped into 10,429 cluster groups. The commissioner said that 15,852 people were empowered under the various cottage industries established by the government, while 22,713 people were empowered under agriculture production. According to her, agriculture is the economic mainstay of rural dwellers and the sector employs more than 60 per cent

of the population of the state. She said that majority of the beneficiaries were actively engaged in agricultural activities, agro-processing and agrobusiness. Ashiedu said that the state was collaborating with relevant agencies and research institutes to develop various agricultural chains, expand existing ones and develop human capital. “This will help to boost the manufacturing sector and diversify the economy in line with the state government vision, “Delta Beyond Oil’’. She said that the government, through its microcredit programme, had conducted a ‘Train-the-Trainer’ course in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research. She said that 52 farmers from the state participated in the course, adding that each of them had trained no fewer than 100 fish farmers in the state.

Delta Awards 367 Contracts In 6yrs

Hon. Abdul Oroh, Commissioner of Agriculture, Edo State Speaking during the flag-off of training of the Rural Agricultural Development training scheme by the National Directorate of Employment in conjuction with Hon. Philip Shaibu, Majority Leader, Edo State House of Assembly at Jattu-uzairue, Etsako West Local Government Area on Thursday. PHOTO: GODWIN ISEGUAN.

Gulf Of Guinea: CALABAR- Rear Adm. Joe Aikhomu, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of Eastern Naval Command, has called on the media to partner with the Nigerian Navy for maritime domain awareness on the Gulf of Guinea. Aikhomu, who spoke with newsmen in an interview in Calabar, said the partnership was aimed at creating public awareness on the importance of the Gulf of Guinea and “the need to protect it’’. According to Aikhomu, the call has become imperative with Nigeria’s plan to host the first Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) Conference in Calabar, Cross River on top gear. He said that the conference, scheduled to start on Monday 29 to 31, at Tinapa Lakeside Hotel will have in attendance Naval chiefs from 14 African countries and the U.S.

ASABAThe Delta Government has awarded contracts for 367 roads and drainages valued at N240 billion since 2007, the Commissioner for Works, Chief Funkekeme Solomon, has said. Solomon made the fact known in Asaba while presenting the mid-term report of the ministry, saying that out of the 367 projects, 92 had been completed at the cost of

Navy Seeks Media Partnership

The FOC said Naval chiefs from Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire; Gabon; Equatorial Guinea; Angola; Namibia; South Africa; Benin Republic; Senegal; Togo; Cameroun; and Sao Tome and Principe will attend the conference. “The Commanders of U.S. African Command and the U.S. Naval Forces, Africa are also expected to present papers at the conference “Also expected is Minister of State for Defence, Dr Olusola Obada, Transport Minister and the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and several maritime stakeholders in the country. “Accordingly, the Nigerian Navy is taking the lead in increasing existing regional maritime domain capability through surveillance systems located along Nigeria’s coastline to improve total awareness of the

environment.’’ Aikhomu said that the effort had already started yielding results as more than 40 vessels engaged in illegal activities in Nigerian water ways had been apprehended. “How to extend this coverage to the entire Gulf of Guinea, through collaboration of other member states is what this conference is set to address,’’ he said. He disclosed that the theme of the conference is: “Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Systems: A key for Enhancing Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea’’. The Naval Chief also noted that expanded economic activities in the Gulf of Guinea had given rise to renewed interest within the region. “The strategic importance of this region derives from the fact that we depend to a large extent on sea transportation, food, trade, energy and capital, all of which are essential ingredients of national

security and imperatives of economic growth and national development. “As bright as the future might seem, there are numerous threats in the Gulf of Guinea that will adversely impact on the present and future development of the region,’’ Aikhomu said. He said the threats included sea robbery and piracy, crude oil theft and illegal bunkering, unreported and unregulated fishing, drug and human trafficking as well as proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Aikhomu said that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, was determined to continually provide “a holistic operational framework anchored on surveillance, response initiative and enforcement’’ in Nigeria’s maritime domain.

N15.2 billion. He said that apart from the projects, the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration inherited 418 road projects measuring 1,372km from its predecessor. The commissioner said the cost of the inherited projects was N133 billion, adding that 60 per cent of the work had been completed. Solomon said that the state government was accelerating the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of trunk roads, rural access and township roads, aimed at promoting economic activities in the state. ‘’Some of these roads include old Anwai Road in Asaba, the dualisation of Ugbenu-Koko Road in Warri North Local Government Area and the Trans Warri/Ode-Itsekiri road which cuts across Warri South and Warri South West local government areas. ‘’The Ugbenu-Koko Road project was awarded at N18.4 billion and N10 billion had been spent on it while the Trans Warri/OdeItsekiri Road, with bridges, was awarded at N27.8 billion. ‘’The Warri/Ode-Itsekiri Road project has achieved 40 per cent completion, while a total of N12.2billion has been spent so far on it,’’ the commissioner said. Solomon said that the ministry would strive to increase the length of ‘’all-weather’’ roads in the state from the estimated 2,230 km in 2007 to a minimum of 5,000km by 2020.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Across The Nation Governorship

Gov Obi Assures Anambra North

ONITSHA - Governor Peter Obi of Anambra has said that he would continue to support Anambra North Senatorial Zone to produce the next governor of the state. “This is necessary to maintain equity, fairness and justice in the politics of this state,’’ Obi said at a town hall meeting in Onitsha South Local Government Area. He said APGA was committed to producing the next governor of the state in the election scheduled for November 16. “Our leader, Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu, died a man of honour and he fought the cause of justice till his last breath. “Together with him, we made a firm commitment that after my humble self, the next governor of the state would come from Anambra North Senatorial Zone. “During the electioneering in 2010, all the candidates promised to support Anambra North. I urge them to be honourable and keep their words,’’ Obi said. He, however, said there was no crisis in APGA, insisting that the party remained one. Obi said the decision to give the state the best candidate was that of the people of Anambra North Senatorial Zone. He called on the people of

Anambra to remain focused and resist undue distraction from any quarter. The governor assured the people that the security situation in the state would continue to improve as part of the long term plans to make it attractive to investors. “I want our people to shun life

styles that constitute security risks, including over-indulgence in material wealth. “We should also shun abuse of privileges and should not celebrate those with questionable sources of wealth.’’

ABEOKUTA - The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka, has denied that there was cholera outbreak in the state. He told newsmen in Abeokuta that 104 cases of “Gastroenteritis” have been ‘line listed’ since the outbreak in June. Gastroenteritis is a condition characterised by inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract. It affects both the stomach and the small intestine, resulting in a combination of diarrhoea,

L - R Rt. Hon Uyi Igbe, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Ayo Edegbai, Edo State Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment, Hon Philip Shaibu, Majority Leader, Edo State House of Assembly and Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, Chief of Staff, Government House during the flag-off ceremony of training of the Rural Agricultural Development training scheme by the National Directorate of Employment, Edo State in conjuction with Hon. Philip Shaibu recently. PHOTO: Godwin Iseguan

Customs Impound Contraband Goods Worth N1.3bn

OWERRI - The Nigeria Customs Service, Zone ‘C’, Owerri has impounded contraband goods worth about N1.3 billion in 76 seizures between January and June. The service said it also made 18 arrests with 17 cases pending in various courts in the zone comprising the South East and South-South states. A statement from the Area Controller of the zone, Mr Victor Dimka, explained that the service also made 21 seizures of contraband goods worth N226.5 million in March as against the N10.3 million worth of goods seized the same month in 2012. It said that the zone also made an ‘unprecedented’ 22 seizures with duty paid value of more than N220.3 million in April. “In May and June, Dimka’s crack team

busted smugglers’ consignments of 11 and seven seizures worth N131.5 million and N141 million respectively,” the statement said. It attributed the successes to the hard work and cooperation of officers and men of the service and other security agencies. According to the statement, the unit seized a 40-foot container stocked with foreign foot wears worth N103.8 million and another 40-foot container of assorted foreign textiles valued at N118 million. It noted that an articulated truck with registration number RUM 112 XA, and laden with sacks and cartons of foot wears was arrested on Eleme-Aba road.

Liver Diseases

Commissioner Denies Cholera Outbreak vomiting and abdominal pain. Soyinka said, “There is an outbreak of vomiting and stooling some of which are Cholera and some of which are not. “Vast majority of the patients tested have no cholera, only three patients have tested positive to cholera”. According to him, government got an alert on June 27, when a patient tested positive for cholera, at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Lantoro, Abeokuta. He noted that 76 cases were line listed in Abeokuta South, 25 in Abeokuta North, two cases in Odeda and a case in Obafemi Owode Local Government Areas. The commissioner said that only three deaths were recorded in Abeokuta South. The commissioner said that government had put measures in place to contain the epidemic. Soyinka added that the state government had provided free kits for the treatment of the disease, noting that health workers at the local government level had begun awareness campaign on the epidemic. He said the state government had responded to the emergency, adding that effective measures had been taken to contain further spread of the disease. He added that majority of the

NDLEA Arrests Drug Suspects

Hon Philip Shaibu, Majority Leader, Edo State House of Assembly (right) and Ayo Edegbai, Edo State Co-ordinator, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), during the flag-off ceremony of training of the Rural Agricultural Development training scheme by (NDE) in conjuction with Hon. Philip Shaibu recently. PHOTO: GODWIN ISEGUAN

Experts Call For Early Hepatitis Screening

LAGOS - Some medical experts have urged Nigerians to go for early hepatitis screening to prevent diseases of the liver. They told newsmen in Lagos that hepatitis “is a silent epidemic’’ because many people do not know their health status. The experts spoke against the backdrop of the World Hepatitis Day slated for July 28. According to an online p u b l i c a t i o n ,, “Following the World Health Assembly in May, 2010, it was agreed that World Hepatitis Day would be recognised annually on July 28. “July 28 was chosen to mark

the birthday of Prof. Baruch Blumberg, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in discovering the Hepatitis B virus.’’ Dr Agada Davids, a physician at the Centre for Diseases & AIDS Control (CDAC), Abuja, said that many hepatitis infections have no specific symptoms. “The issue of hepatitis has to be treated with great concern. Many hepatitis B and C infections are silent, causing no symptoms until there is severe damage to the liver. “It is imperative that people check their health status through regular screening, diagnosis and

areas where the outbreak was recorded in Ijaiye, Abeokuta South, and Adedotun area in Abeokuta North lacked toilet facilities. He, however, urged members of the public to observe high level of personal and environmental hygiene. The commissioner also appealed to residents of the state to always boil their drinking water and cook their food thoroughly before eating. Report however says that scores of victims have been placed on admission in several public and private health centres across the state. At the Ijaiye Hospital, Abeokuta, a ward had been dedicated to victims of the epidemic. Also at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi-Aba, several residents were either hospitalised or treated for the disease. The FMC management also issued circular advising members of the public to take precautionary measures against the disease. Also reacting, the state Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Olusoji Jagun, said laboratory investigations were still going on to determine the real cause of the outbreak. Jagun said the NMA would do its best to collaborate with the state government to contain the spread of the disease.

go for prompt treatment to prevent debilitating conditions,’’ he said. Davids said that lifestyle could contribute to the spread of hepatitis infections. According to him, one can get hepatitis through excessive consumption of alcohol, indiscriminate use of analgesic (pain killer drugs), and poor personal hygiene such as lack of frequent hand washing. Davids said that hepatitis could also be contracted through faecal and waste matters, drinking contaminated water, being in close contact with infected person as well as having sex with someone who has the virus. Also, Dr Olutoyin Asaolu, a

resident hepatologist in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, said that there were five different classes of hepatitis. ‘The complexity of hepatitis disease lies in the existence of different types of viruses. “Five major types of viruses account for majority of hepatitis infections and they are called Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. “ Hepatitis B, C and D cause chronic liver diseases. If they are not prevented or detected in time, they can progress to liver cancer,’’ she said. Asaolu said that viral infection, alcohol, toxic agents or drugs

could cause hepatitis. “Hepatitis B is the most common. Hepatitis A and E are usually acquired via the mouth. “They are food borne and waterborne and can cause illness, but usually do not lead to chronic diseases. “Hepatitis B, C, and D are spread by infected body fluids including blood, by sexual contact, mother-to-child transmission during birth, or by contaminated medical equipment. “Hepatitis B and C can cause chronic infections which can even lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer.

GOMBE - The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Gombe State Command has said it arrested 70 drug suspects in the past seven months. Mr Aliyu Adole, the Commandant of the agency in Gombe, told journalists that drugs weighing 86.10Kg were impounded within the period. He said within the period the agency secured the conviction of 27 drug dealers to various prison terms. According to him, six cases are pending at the Federal High Court, Gombe, while three other suspects will soon be arraigned in court for various offences. He disclosed that four exdrug addicts had been rehabilitated adding that “one of them even got married’’. “That shows that our treatment and rehabilitation centres are working effectively,” he added. He called on Gombe government to help the agency to establish a more spacious rehabilitation centre as that would enable it to do more in the management of addicts.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Across The Nation Lagos Parking On Kerbs And Walkways

Lagos Warns Motorists By RAHEEM IBRAHIM

LAGOS - The Lagos State Government has warned motorists especially, Commercial Bus Drivers and Bank Customers who park on the kerbs and walkways to desist from such unlawful act or face prosecution. The State Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who gave the warning in his office at Alausa, said that inspite of the various efforts of the government to discourage parking on kerbs, it is disheartening that some motorists rather than parking at designated parks still park indiscriminately along the roads, kerbs and walkways thereby disrupting the free flow of traffic and hindering pedestrians’ movement. He said further that “investigation carried out shows that this self serving act of impunity and total disregard for the provisions of the 2012 Road Traffic Law further compounds the traffic build up resulting in unnecessary man hour loss which also hampers the smooth running of the economic wheel of the state”. Opeifa however directed all corporate and commercial entities in the State to ensure the provision of adequate parking facilities for their clients and patrons as traffic enforcement agencies have been mandated to remove all such vehicles with. He said that the State Government is disturbed that these acts are being perpetrated by the so called enlightened members of the public who cite examples in foreign countries where citizens comply voluntarily with traffic regulations and yet find it difficult to do the same here in Nigeria. The commissioner therefore warned those who usually park on kerbs on Agege Motor Road from Ojuelegba Roundabout to Mushin, Iyana Ipaja, Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and other roads not mentioned to desist from such act. Opeifa reminded motorists that the safety of pedestrians on the road is also a priority for the state government, adding that pedestrians like other road users have a right of way.

Meanwhile the commissioner said that the State Government is coming

out with a comprehensive parking policy to address this and other related issues.

Govt Releases Promotion Criteria For Schools By RAHEEM IBRAHIM

LAGOS - The Lagos State Ministry of Education has released promotion criteria for students of public secondary schools in the state, effective from the 2013/2014 academic year. The Director, Basic Education Services (BES) in the Ministry, Mr. Semasa Bamidele Sutton said the recommendation was agreed upon during a meeting with stakeholders, held on Thursday, 6th June, 2013 on 2013/2014 academic year calendar and promotion criteria. According to him, average pass of 50 per cent, including Mathematics and English must be obtained for JSS.1to JSS.11 and JSS.11 to JSS.111, while JSS.111 to SS.1 must have Credit pass in six subjects at JSCE, including Mathematics and English Language. In the Senior Secondary School category, promotion mark for SS.1 to SS.11 is 50 per cent in six subjects, including Mathematics and English Language, SS.11 – SS.111; 50 per cent in five subjects, including Mathematics and English Language as well as 50% cumulative pass at the screening test. The ministry enjoined all public and private schools to

vacate on Friday 26th July, 2013 and resume on Monday 23rd September, 2013. It also said that report sheets should be issued to all students latest by Friday 16th August, 2013. Meanwhile, the ministry has urged all stakeholders, especially Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) to adhere strictly to the academic year calendar and approved resumption and closing dates for schools as offenders will be penalized.

The Executive Chairman of Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS), Chief Oseni Elamah in a handshake with his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr. Isola Akingbade at a retreat organised by Ekiti State Board of Internal Revenue Service for its staff held in Ikogosi, Ekiti State recently.

L-R: Proprietress, Lydia Group of Schools, Benin City, Mrs. E. Ehiorobo, Principal of Lydia Secondary School, Mr. Peter Edeoghon and Hon Soni Idahagbon during the 2013 Annual Graduation ceremony of the school at the weekend. PHOTO: SOLOMON ENAIGBE

No Corona Virus In Nigeria By RAHEEM IBRAHIM

LAGOS - Lagos State government has assured that the deadly Corona virus which it alerted members of the public to its existence recently have not been found in the state or Nigeria. The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris who made the clarification in Lagos along with the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, explained that the alert to members of the public was informed by the need to ask intending Nigerian pilgrimage for the lesser Haji to take precautionary measures since the deadly Corona virus has been found in Asia particularly in Saudi Arabia

and United Arab Emirate. Idris revealed that no fewer than 90 people have been identified as been infected with the deadly virus in the world among which 45 people have died with 70 of the 90 cases found in Saudi Arabia alone out of which 38 people had died. He likened the new virus to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that ravaged the world some years back, adding that the vulnerable people including the elderly, pregnant women, children, chronic lung infection patients, stroke patients and cancer victims are more susceptible to the Corona virus disease. The Commissioner therefore

urged the vulnerable group not to embark on the lesser Haji or the full Haji just as he reiterated his earlier call on the people to observe a high standard of personal and environmental hygienic in order to reduce the risk of infection. Idris noted that as at now there is no specific treatment for the illnesses caused by the Corona virus as well as the ways the virus are spread have not been extensively studied but confirmed that it could be transmitted easily from one person to another through coughing and sneezing, close contact such as touching or shaking the hands of an infected person, and touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes after


touching contaminated objects or surfaces. “The human Corona virus usually causes mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illnesses and can progress to severe respiratory illness and pneumonia particularly in the aged, young and already ill people and its symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath and fever,” the Commissioner opined. He however called on the people to suspect Corona virus in people that develop acute respiratory illnesses with a history of recent travel to areas where the virus has been reported and not responding to

appropriate treatment for the listed complaints or a close contact of a symptomatic traveler to areas where the virus has been reported. The Commissioner noted that the risk of infection of the virus can be reduced if people observe a high standard of personal and environmental hygiene by often washing the hands with soap and water; not touching the eyes, nose or mouth frequently; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; ensuring that objects used by the sick are sterilized; and avoiding being in an overcrowded place.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Across The Nation Environmental Sanitation

NSCDC, Ebonyi Task Force Clash

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right), Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (left), his Physical Planning and Urban Development and Environment counterparts, TPL Olutoyin Ayinde (2nd left) and Mr. Tunji Bello (3rd left) during the Governor’s inspection visit to the Adeniji Adele Housing Estate, Lagos Island recently.

Police Assure Of Adequate Security During Jonathan’s Visit Nasarawa: LAFIA - The Nasarawa State Police Command said it had put security arrangements in place to ensure a hitch-free visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to the state yesterday July 29. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Umaru Shehu, told newsmen in Lafia that many officers and men of the

command in the local government areas had been deployed to the state capital. “This is to ensure that the state is secured, before, during and after the president’s visit’’, he said. Reports say that Lafia is wearing a new look for the president’s visit as buildings on Shendam Road leading to Government House had been re-painted.

Some important structures in the capital like Government House, Lafia City Hall and Hotel as well as the Presidential Lodge had been renovated.

While in the state, Jonathan is expected to inaugurate a High Court, Tanko AlMakura Model Primary School and road networks in Lafia.

Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has called on Christian and Muslim youths to cooperate to ensure peace and stability of the

Makurdi when he held a meeting with the contractors. He said that the delay by the contractors to complete their various project on schedule was causing untold hardship on the corps members undertaking their orientation at the camp.

contractors for attaining 90 per cent completion of the job, said, however, that much still needed to be done in order to give the camp a befitting phase lift. He assured them that the ministry would channel their problems to appropriate quarters for onward action.

the Ramadan Inter-faith Youth Seminar entitled: “Religious ReEducation for Harmony and Peaceful Co-Existence’’, in Abuja. “He who says he knows God must love his neighbour and live in peace with all. “I think we should go beyond co-existence and work for cooperation and solidarity; this is a great value in any religion and in every human society. “For all of us in Nigeria who take religion seriously, we must work for religious harmony, peaceful co-existence and solidarity. “It is only then that religion will not be a curse but a blessing from God’’, he said. Onaiyekan expressed hope for

Benue Gives Contractors MAKURDI - The Benue Deadline Idaah, who commended the

NMA Orders Closure place would be transferred to Of Clinic the General Hospital, Darazo. DARAZO (BAUCHI) -The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Bauchi State has ordered the immediate closure of a private clinic in Darazo Local Government area. The state NMA Chairman, Dr Yusuf Abdu, who gave the directive after inspecting the clinic, said: “we cannot allow the patients’ lives to be put in danger. “We cannot fold our arms and allow unqualified health personnel to attend to the sick as it constitutes threat to their lives,” he said. Abdu said that the clinic was not fit to operate, adding that all patients undergoing treatment at

He said the inspection team also discovered at the clinic that its environment was unhygienic. Abdu said, “Surgeries like appendix, hernia and even complicated deliveries were being carried out by a community health worker.” The team accused owner of the clinic of not providing essential equipment in the clinic, which he said, had been operating for more than nine years without registration with the association. He, however, urged members of the public to report any clinic operating in their environments contrary to the ethics and standards to the association.

not appear in their official uniforms most times, making it difficult for environmental officials to identify them,’’ he said. The commissioner, however, ordered the release of NSCDC officers and the task force’s vehicle impounded by the FRSC. The EBSEPA General Manager, who identified himself as Mr Okeh, said that the task force officials were trained to be civil in their conduct even in cases of serious provocation. “We regret the incident but will call them to order through further enlightenment and disband them if such occurrences continue,” he said. A top official of the NSCDC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity blamed the task force for the fracas and said the agency would investigate the matter. It was however report that over 60 persons were prosecuted for violating various environmental regulations including travelling, loitering and engaging in recreational activities during the period. They were given various jail sentences of between six months and two years or options of fines ranging from N2, 000 to N10, 000.

Onaiyekan Tasks Christian, Muslim Youths come to terms; there ABUJA - The Archbishop of country. On Peace must“Webemust Onaiyekan gave the advice at regulation of those who the Catholic Arch Diocese of

NYSC Camp:

Government has given the contractors handling the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) camp project up to December to complete the project. Mr Egbiri Idaah, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, gave the deadline in

ABAKALIKI- Some men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Ebonyi Environmental Task Force clashed in Abakaliki during July’s monthly sanitation. Reports say that the clash started when members of the task force intercepted the NSCDC vehicle for plying along the Abakaliki-Enugu express road during the exercise. Reports say that this made both vehicles to collide while the officials involved engaged in a fight. The quick intervention of the Commissioner for Environment, Chief Paul Okorie, and the General Manager of the Ebonyi State Environmental Protection Agency (EBSEPA), Mr Chukwuemeka Okeh prevented the clash from escalating. Okorie, in his reaction, condemned the attitude of security personnel who wander along the streets during the monthly environmental sanitation. “Law keepers should not be law breakers, as security officials should stop violating environmental regulations but set good example for others. “Those who flout this order do

the future of Nigeria and commended the organisers of the seminar. The Minister of Youth Development, Mr Inuwa AbdulKadir, stressed the need to certify preachers before being allowed to preach in the public as some of them do misinform the faithful. He said that a preacher must have the communication skill necessary for the faithful to understand scriptural interpretations. The minister advised clerics of the two major religions in the country to always tell their followers the truth. He urged them to guide the youths on the right path as they were vulnerable and could easily be used.

wish to preach and government needs the cooperation of both Christians and Muslim clerics. “There is no society that would strive without regulations; we cannot afford to operate in a lawless society’’, he said. The Chief Imam of Area 11 Garki Mosque, Abdulahi Karshi, warned politicians not to interpret the scriptures to suit their political ambitions as the consequences could be disastrous. He said anyone who destroyed lives and property in the name of protecting Islam was not a true Muslim. The seminar was jointly organised by the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations and the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria. Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right), addressing residents and community leaders of Adeniji Adele Housing Estate, Lagos Island, on plans to redevelop the Estate during his inspection of the Estate where many of the buildings have been rendered defective by the swampy terrain on Sunday. With him are: Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, TPL Olutoyin Ayinde (2nd right) and his and E n v i r o n m e n t counterpart, Mr. Tunji Bello (3rd right).



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Across The Nation Northern Governors Mourn Alade MINNA - The Northern States Governors Forum has commiserated with the family of the late veteran journalist, Alhaji Alade Odunewu, who died on Thursday at the age of 85 years. Chairman of the forum and Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger, in a statement, described the deceased as a thorough bred journalist who touched the lives of many in a positive way. “His death is a great loss to the journalism profession and humanity in general’’, added the statement signed by his press secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo.

“As a newspaper columnist, through his membership of the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), to his appointment as the Chairman of the Nigerian Press Council, Odunewu remained with the people,’’ it said. The statement expressed the hope that journalists who benefited from his immense knowledge and managerial acumen would keep the flag flying. The statement prayed that God gives the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, while also granting the departed eternal rest.

Gov Obi Wades Into Rift Between Church, Traditionalists AWKA- Governor Peter Obi of Anambra has waded into the rift between the Catholic Church and some traditionalists in Awka. It would be recalled that no fewer than 30 persons were injured on July 24 when the two groups clashed over burial rituals. The governor had called for restraint and assured that government would reconcile the two groups. Obi, during a meeting with people of the community and some members of the State Security Council at Umudioka, Awka, cautioned against any form of violence. He said the government would take all necessary steps to ensure peaceful resolution of the crisis. He assured that he would discuss with the Catholic Church and other principal actors in the issue. Obi assured that his administration would continue to upgrade infrastructure to give the town a befitting capital territory status. He enjoined youths to tread with caution and avoid acts capable of engendering violence as government was determined to find lasting solution to the problem.

The spokesman for Umudioka, Chief Michael Nwobu, commended Obi for his intervention, saying it was a pointer that the governor was a man of peace. The Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Matters and an indigene of Awka, Sen. Ben Obi, said Awka as the seat of government should remain peaceful and stable. He said the people were proud of the achievements of the governor and highlighted the benefits of peaceful coexistence. The President General of Awka Town Union, Mr Anthony Okechukwu, said they had made representation to the Bishop on the issue and had set up a committee to look into the matter. Another community leader, Chief Ogugua Nwosu, observed that the governor was the first state executive to provide Awka with good governance. He assured Obi that the people would maintain peace in the area. The Traditional Prime Minister of Awka, Chief Austine Ndigwe, assured that they would continue cooperate with the governor to ensure lasting peace.

Some popular artistes and stage performers such as Princess (left), Ireti Osayemi (2nd left), among others during the Secondary Schools Performance Presentation 2012/2013 of the 3rd Annual Governor’s Education Award, a Lagos Eko Project initiative, at the Havens Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos recently

Anglican Women Advises Lawmakers

ABUJA- The Women of Anglican Church of Nigeria have called on members of the Rivers legislature to concentrate on serving the people who elected them. Mrs Olufunke Oluwarohunbi, Vice President, Mothers’ Union\Women’s Guild of the church, made the call at the 2013 Arch-Deaconry Women Conference of Church of the Advent in Gwarinpa, Abuja on Saturday. According to her, the crisis rocking the House is appalling. “We appeal to them to bury their hatchet and dwell less on frivolities. Rather, they should concentrate on serving the people who entrusted them with their mandate. “We call on politicians and public office holders to look up to Jesus to empower them with the unction to function effectively in their respective positions’’, she said. Oluwarohunbi commended

steps taken by the Federal Government to tackle terrorism in the country adding that, the approach had resulted in uncovering many of the perpetrators. She welcomed the state of emergency declared in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, noting that would help to fight the menace of terrorism in the country. Oluwarohunbi commended Abia State Government for creating youth employment programme saying that, it

would better their lives. She called on other state governments to tap into the idea of making the youths responsible through employment generation. The Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, represented by the Director of Legal Services of the ministry, Mrs Bose Bakare, urged the women to live righteously. According to Pepple, there is need for women to focus on

Christ even at the point of challenges. “As Christian mothers and women, our Lord Jesus Christ continues to be perfect example and strength at all times and in all situations. “So when we face challenges at home, in our places of work, in our businesses and even in the church, let us continue to fix our eyes on Jesus. “If we remain steadfast, we will also reign with him’’, she said.

Army To Reposition Secondary School ZARIA - The Nigerian Army has promised to reposition the Nigerian Military School (NMS), Zaria, to make it one of the best secondary schools in Nigeria. The Secretary, Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Ugwo Buzugbe, stated this at the Speech and Prize Giving Day of NMS in Zaria, Kaduna State. Buzugbe, Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, said the repositioning became imperative

in view of the leading academic role played by NMS among secondary schools across the country. He said apart from physical development, the army would do everything possible to ensure that all laboratories in the school were fully equipped. The Commandant of the school, Col. Abdullahi Faskari, commended the support he enjoyed from the army headquarters and pleaded for its

sustenance. Faskari enumerated shortage of teaching staff, lack of accommodation and dilapidated officers/soldiers residence as part of the problems of the school. Others were dilapidated parade ground and lack of functional language laboratories. The that highlights of the ceremony included presentation of gifts and awards to students who distinguished themselves in some subjects.

Amaechi’s Wife Pays Condolence Visit To First Lady

A stage drama presentation by students during the Secondary Schools Performance Presentation 2012/2013 of the 3rd Annual Governor’s Education Award, az Lagos Eko Project initiative, at the Havens Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos, recently

ABUJA- The wife of Rivers Governor, Judith Amaechi, accompanied by the State Deputy Governor, Mr. Tele Ikuru, have paid a condolence visit to the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in Otuoke, Bayelsa. The Diocesan Women’s Guild, Bayelsa Chapter, led by its president, Mrs. Ayebaene Oruwori, had also visited Jonathan. This is conveyed in a statement signed by Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, Director of Information to Jonathan in Abuja. The statement stated that the First Lady had continued to receive traditional, religious and

social groups in Otuoke. “Various groups have come to commiserate with her and offer prayers for the extended family and for the soul of the deceased. “They held a prayer session during their condolence visit to the first lady over the death of her (foster) mother, Madam Charity Oba.’’ The statement quoted the first lady as saying that “it was important to trust in God, as only the Almighty can fill the vacuum created by the death of my mother. “It is the Almighty that provides strength in trying times.’’



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Business + Economy Fake Naira Notes In ATM

CBN Blames Commercial Banks

Senate President, Senator David Mark (middle) in a group photograph with the students of Quintessential Nursery Primary School, Otukpo, Benue State during a courtesy visit to the Senate in Abuja.

ABUJA- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) blamed commercial banks for the infiltration of fake naira notes in the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). The Governor of the bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said this while fielding questions from newsmen after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja. Sanusi, who expressed worries over the situation, said the dispense of fake naira notes by the machines was an operational issue of the commercial bank. He, however, said that the apex bank was addressing the challenge. “Fake naira notes in ATM is an

FG To Boost Power Supply Using Energy Mix

ABUJAThe Federal Government pledged to boost the nation’s power supply through the usage of energy mix. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, made the pledge when he presented the achievements/progress of the ministry at the 2013 Ministerial Platform held in Abuja. “In order to enhance the security of power supply, Federal Government is working toward the diversification of the fuel mix via its vast resources such as coal, wind and solar energy.

“Others include biomass and hydro power potentials which will be fully utilised. “Feasibility studies on the development of coal to power are ongoing in five coal blocks in Enugu axis and three coal blocks in Benue, Kogi and Gombe axis,’’ Nebo said. According to the minister, progress of work on the studies of this renewable energy is at 25

Oil Theft, Vandalism

per cent and it is expected to focus on clean coal technology. Nebo stated also that feasibility studies on 10 dams with small hydro power potentials, which commenced in 2011, had been completed and ready for concession. He noted that the Federal Government was currently building new hydro power plants such as Zungeru’s 700 megawatts of power in Niger and 3, 050 mega watts in Mambilla, Taraba. Others included Gurara, two

FG Evolves Holistic Approach Abuja- The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said that the Federal Government is evolving a holistic approach to deal with the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the country. She made this known in Abuja at the 2013 Ministerial Platform and unveiling of the Mid-term score card of the ministry. She said the Federal Government had put in place an aggressive and holistic approach “which strategically involves security forces, multinationals, governors of affected states, host communities and stakeholders in the oil and gas sector. “I can tell you that we are now aggressively addressing the issue of oil theft and pipeline vandalism more than ever before. “We are now working very closely with security forces, chief executives of international oil companies, governors of affected states and other stakeholders in the sector to repel the scourge,” he said. Alison-Madueke, who decried the negative effects of the menace to the nation’s economy and the environment, urged Nigerians to join the fight against the nefarious activities of vandals. She noted that oil theft and pipeline vandalism had resulted in drop in crude oil production and accruable revenue into the nation’s treasury. The minister said the nation now produces an average of 2.3 million barrels per day of crude oil, compared with 2.6 million barrels per day in 2010.

She added that Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) that had been shut down due to activities of vandals would be back to production in few days time and promised that other affected pipelines would soon be re-streamed. The Federal Government was also working hard to reposition the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), which is the exploration and production arm of the NNPC, from its current 100,000 bpd to 250,000 bpd by 2015, she noted. She said plans were underway to meet the target by acquiring divested assets of international oil companies and proper and efficient management of the already acquired oil wells. “The vision of the ministry is to transform the economy of the nation through an efficient oil and gas sector. “The Federal Government’s gas revolution programme is aimed at galvanising the gas to power project, reduce gas flaring, development of gas infrastructure and gas-based industries across the country.’’ The minister noted that Nigeria, with a gas reserve of 182Tcf (trillion cubic feet) as at the end of 2012 compared with total crude oil reserves of 36.8 billion barrels for the same period is more of a gas country than a crude oil country. Alison-Madueke said the massive gas infrastructure development across the country is aimed at getting gas to industries, and that Abuja and the northern part of the country would be linked soon with gas

pipelines for rapid industrialisation by 2015. She said some of the completed and ongoing gas infrastructure projects included Escravos-Oben Pipeline, expansion of ObenLagos Pipeline, CalabarAjaokuta and Ajaokuta-Kano Pipeline Systems. She said aggressive seismic and exploratory work is currently going on in the nine inland basins with preliminary results indicating the presence of hydrocarbon in the Anambra and Chad Basins.

projects in Niger with 360 megawatts, Gurara one project also in Niger and Itisi power project in Kaduna state. He assured that these power projects when fully established would improve the current epileptic power supply in the country. Nebo listed small/medium hydro power studies completed by the ministry to include Oyan in Ogun with 10 megawatts capacity and Kampe in Kogi with three megawatts. Others are Ikere George in Oyo with six megawatts, Bakolori Zamfara with three megawatts, Challawa in Kano with 7.5 megawatts and Tiga in Kogi with three megawatts. He said that other small and medium power studies completed were Owena in Ondo with 0.45megawatt, Doma in Nasarawa one megawatt, Zobe Katsina 0.30 megawatt, Jibia also in Katsina state four megawatts. Nebo disclosed that the Zungeru Power project was approved by Federal Executive Council in 2012. The minister said that it would cost the government about N198 trillion or 1.237 billion dollars and would be built by Sinohydro/ CNEEC consortium.

operational issue, the banks are supposed to process the currency before they put it in the machines. “If they are processed, their machines are supposed to identify fake notes. So, if you find a fake note in an ATM, it means that somebody in the commercial bank did not do what he is supposed to do. “There is also the possibility that the censors of the ATM that receives and pays are not working.” Sanusi said that if such machines had censors, it should be able to reject fake notes. He said that the developments “are purely operational issue and the deputy governor, operation, is working with the banks on this issue.” The CBN also said that there was likelihood for the lending rate to go up than coming down in the election year.

“As election is coming up, the government will be having a lot of financial spending during the period. I have said it before that there is likelihood for the rate to go up than going down in the immediate future.” He said that the government deficit in the first half of the year had increased compared to that of last year. “The fiscal spending of the government is just the problem, the deficit in the first half of this year is over 400 billion dollars compared to 200 billion dollars during same period last year. “We have drawn over 700 billion dollars from the excess crude account at a time when the government is borrowing more and saving less. “You don’t expect monetary authority to lower the rate of interest.” he stressed.

Increased Power Generation

Major Coal Fields To Be Developed ABUJA- The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the country’s major coal fields would be developed soon to contribute 3,000 megawatts to 4,000 megawatts to the national grid. Nebo made this known when he presented the achievements and progress of the Ministry of Power at the 2013 Ministerial Platform held on Tuesday in Abuja. He said: “The ministry will soon develop major coal fields in the nation that will contribute between 3,000 megawatts and 4,000 megawatts to the national grid. “This is aimed at improving energy mix and security of supply. “Also, the establishment of the National Council on Power will harmonise the activities of the different players in the industry. “The stakeholders are the Federal Government, state governments and the local

L-R: Senior Special Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Student Matters, Comrade Musa Alechenu; Barr. Bashir Kadiri, Vice Chairman, Nigeria Leadership Congress, Edo State chapter and former Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Edo State chapter, Comrade Anthony Kaduna Eboigbodin at the National Conference of the National Association of Edo State Students held in Benin City at the weekend. PHOTO: SOLOMON ENAIGBE

governments, among others. ’’ Nebo said the ministry would also leverage on the abundant Renewable Energy sources in the country to increase power generation and guarantee security of supply. The minister noted that the Federal Government has a graduate training programme targeted at producing personnel equipped with the basic skills required in the sector. He said the ministry would consolidate on the gains recorded in the previous years, and improve on it “so that Nigerians can enjoy between 16 and 24 hours of power supply per day.’’ He added that the restructuring of the ministry and its agencies would also be pursued in order for them to cope with the evolving role in a privatised environment. “The present administration has created an environment which is attracting private investors and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI),’’ he noted. He emphasised that a lot were being done in the areas of capacity building, distribution and renewable energy to stabilise power in the country. Nebo listed Transmission Grid Expansion, framework for alternative funding of transmission projects, electricity market development and effective monitoring and evolution as areas which the Federal Government was developing to ensure stable electricity supply. He said the government had concluded all labour-related issues with workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and had developed local content framework in the industry to attract investors. He said the ministry had improved rural access to electricity and was divesting the National Independent Power Projects (NIPPs), adding that it would conclude the privatisation process of the sector this year.



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TOP 10 GAINERS Close 241 75.9 194.77 959 12.1 52.2 47.81 20.05 27 14.46

TOP TOP 10 10 LOSERS GAINERS Gain 11 6.4 4.77 3.98 1.1 1.03 0.86 0.6 0.5 0.46


Close 153.08 39.44 169.32 15.58 2.75 1.85 6.61 1.43 4.76 4.5

Loss -5.92 -4.38 -0.69 -0.42 -0.3 -0.2 -0.19 -0.15 -0.14 -0.1



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

IN spite of the outcry against the imposition of three thousand pounds (£3,000) announced by the United Kingdom authorities against tourists visa seekers from six Commonwealth countries: Nigeria, India, Kenya, Sri-Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh in June, Britain has formally announced that the scheme will commence in November 2013 as reported by Financial Times of London which quoted Home Office as saying. THE United Kingdom considers Nigeria and other affected countries as “high risk” countries. According to the Home Office, some visitors under the scheme, will be asked to pay the sum of £3,000 cash bond in return for visas that allow them to stay in the UK for up to six months. THE Home Office in a statement in London on Friday said that “only individuals deemed “high-risk” would be asked to pay the bond. He argues that in the long run, the UK is interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used its public services.” FIRSTLY, we condemn Nigerians who indulge in circumventing immigration rules who are the reasons for the new policy, which will now be visited on innocent travellers who ordinarily will indulge in overstaying their visa permits. HOWEVER, we fault the new policy because, the world over, there are other laid down policies and rules that can help check the activities and influx of overstaying visitors. The UK could even resort to surcharging them at point of departure without necessarily over burdening an


UK £3000 Visa Bond innocent tourist with a whooping three pounds bond who comes for visa. WHILE we recognise the sovereignty of policies of the United Kingdom, we join the Nigerian Government to protest this imposition, which we consider as prejudiced. To say the least, it fails to take into record, the age-long diplomatic ties between both countries from the colonial era till date. WE contend that Britain has benefited more from the relationship of both countries than Nigeria and, therefore, do not see any cogent reason being advanced by the UK for the latest visa policy for tourist visa seekers from Nigeria. Even though a UK official data explains that “these six countries accounted for more than half a million visa application in 2012”, we find this explanation pedestrian because, in our considered opinion, there are several other ways of tackling the observed overstaying of some tourists. WE equally welcome the denunciation of the bond imposition by the business community in UK, some of whom mull over the plan as “insulting deterrence,” and a move capable of hitting sales in the UK and damaging London’s reputation. WE are pleased that the Federal Government through the Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, had in June registered “the strong displeasure of the

government and people of Nigeria” over the “discriminatory” policy even as he warned the British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock that the move would “definitely negate” the two country’s commitment to double trade by 2014. We call on the Nigerian government to call the bluff off the United Kingdom because; we believe strongly that Britain needs Nigeria more than Nigeria needs her. THE Federal Government should know that it has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect the interest of Nigerians who may be affected by the obnoxious policy. To this end, we recommend that government should equally retaliate with a stiffer visa condition for all Britons entering Nigeria for business purposes. We are aware that Britons equally overstay in Nigeria beyond the time permitted in their visas, yet such measures have not been visited on them. The Nigerian immigration must move quickly ACT against such Britons, no matter their mission in Nigeria. FINALLY, we call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to make effort to develop Nigeria, particularly basic infrastructure, as a lasting way of deterring Nigerians from leaving the shores of their fatherland. Nigeria should turn to China and Japan and other Asian Tigers for trade and business as the new move by Britain sends a dangerous signal for both countries. Nigerians who are keen at going to the United Kingdom should begin to change their levers to other more friendly nations of the world as a better way of calling the bluff of the ex-colonial masters.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Avoiding The Deluge (2) (Continued from last week)

TRUTH be told that an army of patriots is gradually building up in Nigeria, especially in the last couple of years, due to the efforts of popular movements civil society groups, organized labour, faithbased groups, political/nonpolitical groups, and other concerned stakeholders that have organized loosely and randomly around such issues as civil rights, peace, democracy, good g o v e r n a n c e , constitutionalism, feminism, resource mobilization and distribution, environmental protection, and other pressing issues of human concern. Through their various, well-crafted campaigns and advocacy programs, they are gradually reaching into the dark recesses of the frigid cum rigid minds of a large section of the populace, freeing many from the chains of ignorance, and mobilizing them to join in the new crusade for freedom. This new army of “freedom fighters” is growing very fast and could strike any moment without warning. These, indeed, are times that try the souls of men. The true patriot appears overwhelmed by the magnitude of the struggle ahead; petrified by the gigantic size of the monster facing him. The average man on the streets, though tired of the whole nonsense, is confused as to what to do; what action to take in the face of the anomalies in the state he has been called to serve. Even the enemies of the Nigerian people are not left out of the whole quandary as they look on with apprehension, unsure of what the people – the unfortunate victims of their wizardries - might do. An uneasy calm envelopes the whole country; a threatening cloud gathers as an avoidable catastrophe looms in the horizon.

Nigeria is like a mighty laboratory waiting to explode with a big bang. That Nigeria is at the brink of a massive “revolution” is there for every highly perceptive and soundly educated person to see. From heartwrenching forms of poverty that have turned Nigerians into what Frantz Fanon refers to as the “Wretched of the Earth”, a burgeoning regime of mind-blowing corruption that has turned our national exchequer into Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) from where unscrupulous characters make uncensored withdrawals, crass misrule that continues to stifle national development and growth in all sectors, a pandemic of anomie that has turned the country into a boiling point, to several detestably reprehensible crimes being perpetrated by a segment of the ruling class against the larger population, Nigeria qualifies as an inverted pyramid delicately perched on a slippery cliff — one slight nudge and it goes toppling catastrophically down the hill like Humpty Dumpty, whose legendary fall was so great that he could not be put together again. For so many years Nigerians have lived under an order of servitude where the natural rights of man have been mere suppositions. For so many years, Nigerians have been hoodwinked into believing in the existence of a “Federal Republic”; a false entity that was concocted to ease the stealing of the people’s commonwealth by a few parasitic elements. For so many years, Nigerians have been forced to subsist under a state of force powered by the equally forceful mien of its controllers. For so many years, Nigerians have been misled by a gang of selfappointed Messiahs

Cutting Edge

preaching false political doctrines with intent to deceive the multitude. For so many years legions of rubbish have gone on in this country uncensored. The Nigerian State belongs to all of us, whether some people like it or not. It is the land of our birth — and possibly our death, when the time comes. That is why all the stumbling blocks to the full enjoyment of our rights as bonafide members of this body politic must be

Zulu Kaffirs in the midst of the abundance the almighty God has extravagantly blessed her with. I am formally using this medium to call on the contemporary drivers of

hands of its true owners — the people. I am talking about a fair arrangement that will give every Nigerian, regardless of class, a sense of belonging; a Nigeria of Nigerians, for

revealed his visions of the impending blizzard that culminated in the revolution against British rule, he was ignored. When Jean Jacques Rousseau vehemently spoke out

removed by those sailing our ship of state. The conundrums of violence cascading across the length and breadth of this country today are dress rehearsals towards something more gory, if urgent steps are not taken by all those in the mansions of power to check the general systemic decay that has seen the citizens of one of the most naturally endowed countries on planet earth living like Hottentots and

the Nigerian State System to take heed and immediately activate the processes of redressing all the injustices that Nigerians have been forced to endure for so many years; to embark on a total overhaul of all the systemic incongruities that has turned Nigerians into Serfs In the land of their fathers; a shift in citizen-state relations that will put the administration of the Nigerian State into the

Nigerians and by Nigerians; a true federal republic that is built on the foundations of justice, equity and fair-play; a truly democratic order where the greatest good will be provided for the greatest number. That is the only arrangement that can guarantee the peace, stability and progress of this country. Anything contrary to this is an invitation to chaos. When Thomas pain

against the absolutism of the French Monarchy, he was called a rabble rouser. When Nelson Mandela aired his dreams on the imminent end of the inhuman Apartheid system in South Africa, he was seen as a frustrated, mad black man. In this piece, I have revealed the intricate details of my visions of things to come, if things remain the way they are in Nigeria, and I hope no one takes my admonitions for granted. God save Nigeria!

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“When Nelson Mandela aired his dreams on the imminent end of the inhuman Apartheid system in South Africa, he was seen as a frustrated, mad black man. In this piece, I have revealed the intricate details of my visions of things to come, if things remain the way they are in Nigeria, and I hope no one takes my admonitions for granted. God save Nigeria!”



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Nutritional Health And Dietetics


O.C. Anti-Hypertensive Drugs And What To Do Madu IF you are being treated with antihypertensive drugs don’t miss this write- up. Antihypertensive drugs produce two basically different groups of side effects which everyone on this type of medication should know about. On the one hand, comparatively minor discomfort which should not cause undue alarms but on the other hand, warring signals of typical side effects that should be recognised and immediately brought to the attention of the Doctor. According to Dr. Sternberg in the early days or weeks of drug therapy, some patients experience symptoms of low blood pressure (hypotension), the reason being that the brain, long accustomed to a pressure of let say 200 /120 mm Hg initially reacts to lower red levels of say 140/ 90 as though they were suffering from hypotension. This sensation persists until the brain has adjusted to the lower pressure. If you are being treated with antihypertensive drugs you should know that such harmless reactions generally don’t last more than a few weeks. During this transitional period patients frequently complain that everything seems slowed down, their thinking. Their reactions, even their speech. Their concentration and memory are affected, work seems more difficult, they need more sleep. Dr. Steinberg said, if the discomfort persists or if the reaction are very severe (drowsiness, nausea, vertigo) the doctor must be informed promptly. He can check to see whether the decrease in blood pressure has exceeded the tolerance of the brain or kidney, that is, whether these reactions are the result of

hypotension or of an inability to tolerate the medication. Dr. Steinberg said practically, all drugs have undesirable side effects. One might even say that there can be no effective drug against high blood pressure without some side effects. However, the extent and degree of the individual response to a given drug cannot be predicted. It is therefore, essential that everyone taking any of these drugs learn about the possible side effects and their warring signals. Dr. Steinberg mentioned that excessive fatigue, dullness, weakness and loss of energy can be caused by colnidine, reserpin and to a lesser extent methyldopa as well. Patient on these medications must be prepared for these symptoms for they can become work and driving hazards. Vertigo, dizziness and a tendency to fall, Dr. Steinberg asserted that these can be brought on by guanethidine and sometimes by other powerful antihypertensive drugs as well because, these medications affect the sympathico adrenergic system. They can block the adaptive mechanisms of the circulation which prevent a sudden drop in blood pressure when getting up from a sitting position or when standing. To put it differently, guanethidine and occasionally methyldopa and clonidine will lower the blood pressure more in an upright position than when lying down. If the dose taken is too large, the pressure can go down so much as to cause fainting spells. A person treated with these drugs or someone who for any other reason reacts similarly should avoid excessive exposure to

the sun, alcohol rich foods and strenuous physical activity, a patient experiencing any of these sensations should immediately inform his doctors. There is no life without stress. Nervous and psychological stress is an unavoidable part of daily living. It is pointless and unrealistic to tell somebody to avoid stress and not get

unnecessary family and joy conflicts, overtimes work or honorary posts, violent political arguments, exhausting meetings and many similar daily activities that are not absolutely essential. Yet all too frequently, we are confronted by stressful situations that cannot be either avoided or changed such a case, the only thing we can do is to moderate our reaction to the situation, to get

excited. How can one reduce stress? Logically and psychologically there are only two ways. By avoiding stressproducing condition By controlling one’s reactions to known stress producing factors. Some producing situations are avoidable without affecting any major aspect of our personal or professional lives, for example, avoidance of driving in rush-hour traffic,

rid of the irritation as quickly as possible. Letting off steam rather than swallowing one’s annoyance whether it involves a co-worker or friend or close relative, sometimes helps. Many people find release in physical exercise. In the case of long standing career or personal problems you must develop a technique for coping with the stress. There are various ways of adjusting to the situation.

“Practice self-discipline and live sensibly, the fight against high blood pressure does not involve extraordinary measures. All you are asked to do is to take your medication regularly and probably make some changes in your eating and living habits.”

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Which one you choose, preferable with the help of an understanding counselor depends on the nature of the problem and on your personality. The possibilities range from medication to relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to psychotherapy. Re-examine your values and goals. Use the discovery of your hypertension to take

particularly if you are asked to give up something like a favorite dish or cigarettes. Most doctors realise, often on the basis of personal experience, that what they ask of their patients is not always easy. But that does not relieve them of the responsibility to convince their patients of the need for adherence to their orders. In conclusion, I want to mention a simple and proven

stock of yourself. Have you been trying to do too much? Does your job get you down? Do you feel overwhelmed by the demands being made on you? Are you trying too hard to make money. Having thought about these and similar matters you may find that you have been missing out on a lot of beautiful things that life has to offer. And you may also, find that is it foolish to continued chasing after things that may not be all that important after all. Practice self-discipline and live sensibly, the fight against high blood pressure does not involve extraordinary measures. All you are asked to do is to take your medication regularly and probably make some changes in your eating and living habits. Some people have a problem about following the rules laid down. Self control and self discipline are needed,

method of overcoming stress, restful sleep, lack of sleep can make you stress prone and stress in turn keeps you from falling asleep. How does one break through this vicious circle and achieve the relaxation that makes sleep possible? Here are some tips that may help to overcome sleeping problem: physical exercise before going to bed, light reading while sipping a glass of wine or light beer before turning off the light. And if sleep still eludes you, try some relaxation techniques. Sleeping pills, particularly in conjunction with alcohol, should be avoided. They can be addictive and do nothing to get to the cause of the problem. Occasionally lying awake is not a bad thing. It gives you the chance to review your day and think how to cope with stressproducing problems.


15 Pope Benedict XVI declares October 11, 2012November 24, 2013 the year of faith. He marked this declaration with an Apostolic Letter, “Porta Fidei” stating that October 11, 2012, the first day of the Year of Faith, is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is one of the ways to demonstrate the force and dynamism of faith as a key to opening the treasures of heaven for abundant life to the faithful. God invites us into a personal dialogue for this interior conversion and transformation: “Come let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; they may be red like crimson, they shall be as white as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). It is interesting that God is the one who takes the initiative of inviting us to dialogue based on reason for our interior conversion thereby expecting us to open the door of our hearts with the key of faith for this divine union. Faith assists when reason can find no further explanations for our predicaments in the face of evil and suffering. In the Acts of the Apostles we are encouraged to persevere even though ‘we must suffer many difficulties before we enter the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14: 22); our confidence in a future hope gives us a dynamic force to open the door of faith to others. Paul and Barnabas preached to the gentiles, evangelized Iconium and healed a cripple but not without difficulties. At the end of this mission, “they assembled the church and gave account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the gentiles”(Acts 14: 27). In Christian theology faith is defined as a theological virtue which enables us to believe whatever God has revealed without doubting. In ordinary life faith and trust go hand in hand with wisdom. For instance, if a student does not have faith in a particular teacher the student is likely going to fail the subject the

TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013 teacher teaches. A patient needs to have trust, confidence and faith in a medical doctor for quick recovery and healing. Without faith life generally becomes a bore and the future becomes bleak. It is revealed in the Qur’an that whoever receives wisdom (hikmeth) has received abundant goodness; but none heed advice except men of understanding (Qur’an 2: 269). Wisdom as an ability to reach a right decision is based on what is revealed and accepted in faith and reason. This is like a sailing ship with a compass and all the given equipments that enables the sailor go far and beyond to discover the beauties of the Creator in the universe and social life. In this journey, faith and reason are like two boats that roar to keep the sailors on the straight path. The Fountain Magazine of UFUK dialogue foundation teaches this very clearly and shows how Muslims in Turkey are able to combine faith, reason and scientific discovery in evangelizing the world to open up to the reality of life. This year of faith is an opportunity God has given to us to think again about our origin and destiny. God did not create anybody to destroy him /her. God created each and every one of us for a reason. There is something that God wants us to do in this world to add value to humanity. This assignment is given to us in a very personal way such that if we do not do it, that gift will be lost forever. The year of faith invites us to read the scriptures, the document of the second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as guide to open for us the door of faith. “The words of the Lord are pure words like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12: 6).The Scriptures are so important in faith building to the extent that God told the prophet of Islam that if he is in doubt concerning that which Allah has revealed to him, he should ask those who have read the Scriptures (Qur’an 10:94). This could explain why Muhammad

(SAW) was very friendly with Christians like Jabr, Waraqa ibn Naufai (the cousin of Khadija), Uthman ibn Huwairith, Addas, Salman, Suhaib, King Negrus, the Abyssinian monks etc. Some wives of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) like Umm Habbibah, Miriam, Sirin were formerly Christians. According to Ibn Ishaq, Abdu’llah ibn Salam

Fr. Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua

was a Jewish Rabbi and a good friend of the prophet who got converted to Islam and became an expert in the recitation of the Qur’an. This

that can lead to salvation and true happiness in this life and hereafter. Given the context of our world today, the Christians should go beyond

of another’s religion is a panacea to brainwashing and indoctrination. Before then we need to study and understand our individual

making the Eucharistic congress relevant and practical in this year of faith. We can symbolically become

relationship with Jews and Christians was however misunderstood and criticized by some Arabs who concluded that the messages of the Prophet were learnt from men (cf. Qur’an 16:103; 25, 4-6). The point I am trying to make here is the importance of scriptures as a formidable key to open the door of faith

reading the bible and the teachings of the Church to a deep and critical study of the sacred books of other religions. This will promote sincere dialogue and peaceful coexistence given that the God of Christians is the one God who created everybody irrespective of religion, culture, colour and tribal differences. A scientific study

scriptures and professed faith. The word of God is a lamp for the feet and a light on the path (Psalm 11, 105). For John, the WORD is eternal, incarnate and dwells among us (John 1). It is “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have touched…to bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the father and was manifested to us” (1 John 1, 1-2). We must therefore believe in ourselves and our nation. We need to revisit the good values of our ancestors by transforming our communal life to a living Eucharist. This is one way of

the bread broken and shared for others and the wine poured forth to cheer the hearts of people without prejudice and preconceptions. We can transform ourselves to good shepherds by becoming one another’s keeper to give real meaning to our pastoral congresses. If we become the door of faith to others then we can make the world a foretaste of heaven! Believe you can do this for nothing is difficult for a willing heart. Fr. Prof. Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua is the Director of Mission and Dialogue of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja and Consultor for the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims (C.R.R.M), Vatican City, Rome.


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Door Of Faith In Dialogue

“We can transform ourselves to good shepherds by becoming one another’s keeper to give real meaning to our pastoral congresses. If we become the door of faith to others then we can make the world a foretaste of heaven! Believe you can do this for nothing is difficult for a willing heart.”



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


Local government IN a Federal system, power is shared between Federal, State and Local Governments, however, in Nigeria there is an intertwined relationship between the state government and local government because, constitutionally local government are within the constitution mandates of the state governments. Local Government is the closest tier of government to the people. Basically, in any system, local governments are created to decongest the functions and burden of central governments and to provide services that are local in character. Meaning of Local Government Local Government is grassroots government recognized by law. It is defined severally by authors and bodies. Maddick (1963) defines local government thus … a sub-unit of government controlled by a local council which is authorized by the central government to pass ordinances having a local application, levy taxes or exact labour within limit as specified by the central government. The United Nations defines local government as ……as a political subdivision of a nation (or in a federal system, a state) which is constituted by a law and has substantial control of local affairs including the power to impose taxes or to exert labour for prescribed purposes. The governing body of such an entity is elected or otherwise locally selected. The Reform document (Nigeria 1976) defines local government as: ….government at local level exercised by representative council, established by law to exercise specific power within defined areas. From the three definitions above, certain characteristics of the local government system stand out:That local government is a subordinate system of government. It has both legal and constitutional power to perform certain legislative, administrative and quasi judicial functions. Has the power to make policies, prepare budgets and a measure of control over its own staff.

Its council could be elected or selected. It has legal personality i.e. can sue and be sued. It exercises authority over a given territory or population. These definitions, point at local government as having government character within limited powers. This can be further broken down more specifically as follows: Legal entity which can sue and be sued for wrong doing. Power to make its own laws, policies, plans and budgets on what to do, how, why, where, when, for who and at what cost. Legislative body called a council composed of elected councilors and a chairman to make laws and policies. Executive body called the Committee composed of appointed or elected officials and the chairman to formulate policies and laws. Administrative body called the local government service composed of career civil servants to assist in formulating and in implementing laws and policies. Power to tap human, financial and material resources for public use within a geographical area. Answerable to a higher level of government (National or state or regional) on certain power and functions it carries out (especially concurrent functions). This is to say that a local government is not absolutely autonomous. Roles of Local Government The roles of a local government are in some ways similar to those of a central government. A central government exists to provide for development services to the people and provide security for the citizenry and ensures participation of the citizenry in government. To some extent a local government performs such roles even though with some varying degree of intensity. Such roles could be classified into two. Political Role:- They are well placed to mobilization of the people politically through political education, political enlightenment and political actions. The Local Government system has become a very useful tool for the conduct of election at all levels of government. Local governments have the instrumentality of the police at their disposal and work

Development Model Of Fo

with its leadership at the local level to enforce law and order and maintain security along side, certain committees such as the Security Committee and the Police Committee. Socio-Economic Role:The exercise of democracy and human rights can only be meaningful if demands and policies can be translated into physical development including the provision of basic socio-economic services. Services of local government are primary or basic in nature. Some of these are basic health, basic education, agriculture and revenue raising and regulating functions. FUNCTIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT The functions that local governments perform and how much of it that is done efficiently at a given point in time matters. The functions of Nigerian local government are as follows. Main functions of local government councils are as follows: a. The Consideration And The Making Of Recommendations To A State Commission On Economic Planning Or Any Similar Body On – The Economic Development Of The State, Particularly In So Far As The Area Of Authority Of The Council And Of The State Are Affected, And Proposals Made By The Said Commission Or Body; b. Collection of rate, radio and television licenses; c. Establishment and maintenance of cemeteries, burial grounds and homes for the destitute or infirm; d. Licensing of bicycle, trucks (other than mechanically propelled trucks) canoe, wheel barrow and carts; e. E s t a b l i s h m e n t , maintenance and regulation of laughter houses, slaughter slabs markets, motor parks and public conveniences; f. Construction and maintenance of roads, street, street lightings, drains and other public highways, parks, gardens, open spaces, or such public facilities as may be prescribed from time to time by the house of assembly of a state. g. Naming of road and street and numbering of houses; h. Provision and maintenance of public

Imo State As

conveniences, sewage and refuse disposal; i. Registration of all births, deaths and marriages; j. Assessment of privately-owned houses or tenements for the purpose of levying such rates as may be prescribed by the house of assembly of a state; and k. Control and regulation of: Out-door advertising and hoarding. Movement and keeping of pets of all description. Shops and kiosks, Restaurants, bakeries and other places for sale of food to the public, Laundries, and Licensing regulation and control of the sale of liquor, l. The provision and maintenance of primary – adult and vocational education; m. The development of agriculture and natural resources, other than minerals resources. n. The provision and maintenance of the health services, and o. Such other functions as may be conferred on a local government council by the House of Assembly of the State. L O C A L GOVERNMENT AS INSTRUMENT OF DEVELOPMENT The meaning of development may be difficult to pin-down but it points at some qualitative and quantitative advancement in structures, values and skills in a society. It talks about growth, modernization, urbanization, etc. It also talks about advancement, progress, increase, transformation, etc. Development therefore is movement to a much more desirable stage than the one presently experienced. Local governments are supposed to play two important roles and people assess them from those perspectives. These are democratic participation and service delivery. In assessing the role of local government in development, the interest is in physical development especially of a socioeconomic nature.

Development is therefore supposed to tackle the obstacles of the human and physical environment. Development should be about improving the content and quality of life of individuals or groups or the community as a whole. Local government is capable of bringing about development in local communities. These capabilities are based on their potentials which are sourced

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power; Government of the People, By the People, with the People. In simpler terms, it is taking power back to the People. The four cardinal points of his Community Government Council (CGC) are:(2) Will. (2) Culture. (3) Sacrifice (4) And Decentralization

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Gov Rochas Okorocha, of Imo State

from their constitutional basis, their financial wherewithal, their quality of personnel, the quality of leadership and the support they get from the local communities. When these variables are rolled together in some optimum mix more so as Okorocha’s experiment portends, there should be no reason for a more culturally rooted 4th tier not performing its role of socioeconomic development. THE FOURTH TIER GOVERNMENT The role of local governments as enunciated above is what Okorochas is doing with the 4 th tier government but with a cultural emphasis. It is a systematic devolution of

of power towards bringing governance to the door step of the rural dwellers and unlock the hidden potentials in the rural communities. People expect certain services to be delivered to make any meaning of democracy and bureaucracy at the local level. In providing socio-economic services, the Community Government Council is to work with community groups and the citizenry to harness community energies and input into development. A greater part of the developmental initiatives and effectiveness is the function of community development or self-help groups. The CGC, can be seen as the government at the grassroots level designed to

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TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


ourth Tier Government

Case Study


econgest the activities of the igher tiers, transmit policies nd demands and promote emocracy. It is supposed to ring about the development f communities, whether rban or rural. In doing this while enjoy some powers, nd they have some onstraints. They are not utonomous or independent ntities but subordinate

vernments, subject to rious forms of dictates and ntrols. THE IGBO CULTURE The historical background the Igbos helps us to derstand the Igbo identity. thors refer to the Igbos as people of their own with nturies of cultural velopment. Ethnologically, Igbo’s are an ancient race. ey are a unique people with ecific characteristics, a ople with a copious supply versatile common sense and e unique capacity for provisation. In the words of Forde and nes, the Igbos are “generally held to be erant, ultra democratic .... ey dislike and suspect any m of external government

and authority. They have a practical, unromantic approach to life.” They are characterized by a hardworking, enterprising and progressive nature”. The Igbo people’s close attachment to the soil and nature, the warmth of their humanity in personal relationships, their vitality and zest for life which are not circumscribed by too much planning are a cultural

treasure that needs no apology. Igbo culture has been handed down by word of mouth, by deeds and intimate personal contacts from antiquity to the present day through native elders. COMMUNITY A traditional culture cannot exist without a community. The concept of community here must be characterized as a life community, that is, a societal set-up in which there is an intimate face-to-face interaction. Relationship is on a personal, human basis as distinguished from the predominantly impersonal relationship that exists in today’s urban societies where everyone minds his or her own business and frequently does not even know the next-door neighbor.

In an Igbo community which embodies traditional culture, there is cooperation among people residing permanently in a single locality. The members of such a community share the basic conditions of a common life, the physical proximity, the enduring character of their social relationships, the relative similarity of activities and status of its members constitute the peculiarities of such a community. The community strives to maintain the different groups within it while maintaining itself as a community. Hence the life and purpose of the community come, in certain matters, before the individual interests of the members. The community life begins in the family. The marriage bond ties together the young couple from whom the future members of the family must come. The Igbo’s maintain a very strong family system. A family is not formed until all the marriage customs are fulfilled. When a young man and a young lady encounter each other, they do not rush off to court and rattle off promises before a judge, without a moment’s thought of their implications. A long and protracted series of customary ceremonies must be performed to prepare for the important task of marriage. It is not a matter that concerns only the young man and lady. The process of getting married involves families, relatives, and sometimes even the clans and villages of each party. This undertaking can not be hurried because the people are aware of the fact that marriage is a lifelong undertaking. In a traditional Igbo society, a young man does not choose a young lady for marriage because she is beautiful or very, attractive. In fact, a girl of extraordinary attractiveness runs the risk of not getting a marriage partner all her life. A lady does not choose to marry a man because he is handsome or a great lover. Marriages based on these reasons are not regarded as marriages at all.

The principle that dictates the choice of a marriage partner is based on the Igbo notion of life and existence. It is important to mention here the father-son relationship. This relationship is crucial to the traditional system. It is the basis of ancestral authority, upon which the continuity of the institutions, values, attitudes and sentiments of Igbo culture depends. It has its root in the Igbo theory of duality, according to which whatever is happening in this world has its replica in the supersensory world. A man knows fully that the way he treats his son is the way his own ‘father now existing in the supersensory world must treat him and his family. The son strives to be reverent and obedient to his father because he knows that respect to his father means respect to the ancestors and to Chineke. It means being identified with the totality of all that is. Other things could be discussed in connection with Igbo family and community systems, for example: the network of rights and obligations that accompany the Igbo family setup, the matrix of economic, political and religious relations involved in the community system. Accompanying the concept of community in Igbo culture is the notion of tradition, Community is structured the way it is on account of Igbo adherence to the stipulations of tradition. In a work on African cultural history, Basil Davidson observed that the Igbos: uncommonly among Africans have been markedly success oriented, egalitarian but individualistic; they have thought it an essential aspect of the ‘right and natural’ that talent should lead to enterprise, and enterprise to promotion, and promotion to privilege. They have insistently stressed social mobility. In Igbo communities social and religious units are hardly distinguishable. The social setup is also closely connected with political organization. Consequently a quest of the socio-religious mentality of the people implies a political

dimension. The traditional governmental instruments are the family leaders, age-grade associations, title-making societies, and Dibia fraternities. The stages of socioreligious groupings discernible are: the family structure, the Umunna unit, the village- unit and the town unit. The nuclear family {Ezina-uno) comprises a man, his wife and their children as well as their dependents. The man as the head of the family represents all the members individually and collectively as occasions demand in relation to other social units. Officiating as their spiritual leader, he pours out libations on their behalf and blesses them. The “ofostaff” which he holds symbolises his political and religious authority. Thus he combines the office of political leadership and priesthood. The Town unit (Obodo) This is the largest socio· religious grouping in Igboland. It comprises several village units. Obiego describes this as a socioreligious grouping founded on a number of principles. Firstly, it is a local unit in that its inhabitants occupy a common territory. Secondly, it is a mythical kinship unit. Many towns have legendary accounts to substantiate how their units originated, or how their founders came into being and begot children. Thus members of the same town often have some tradition of a common origin or of some kind of common descent. Un1ike the age unit, an obodo usually has a communally accepted guardian or patron who is supposed to be the invisible symbol of solidarity in the whole town. The name of the guardian varies according to what aspect of nature is emphasized in the town. For instance, in Okija it is Ulasi, the name of the biggest river in the town; in Obosi it is ldemili (an area of marsh), while at Akpugo it is AniAkpugo (mother earth of Akpugo). The chief priest of the town is the visible symbol of the patron. Prior to 1977 only a few towns in Igboland had recognized political heads. These few included Onitsha {the Obi of Onitsha), and Aguata (the Obi of Aguata). Since 1978, with the

establishment by the Nigerian government of the House of Chiefs, there has been a proliferation of politica1leaders. This proliferation has been so extensive that in some states a town has several autonomous chiefs. For example, Akpugo in the Nkanu local government area, a town that had no unanimously recognized chiefs prior to 1977, now enjoys the hegemony of five autonomous chiefs, each influential in his own portion of the town. It is noteworthy that even with the chiefdoms instituted in Igbo towns, the governmental system is still democratic. The Okpara’s in different villages still perform their social, political and religious duties. The chief (where there is only one in the town) shares with the chief priest of the town’s patron the social, political and religious functions with their accruing rights and obligations. The chief priests play a vital role in the community. They normally officiate at public religious ceremonies as well as at certain social and political functions. To the Igbos they occupy the highest place in the hierarchy of sensible reality. This is necessitated by the nature of their function of being a link between the sensory and the supersensory world. In Okorochas perception, the fourth tier government is a structure or system copied from the old town union administration with the inclusion of government activity, in order to unlock the comatose and latent resources. It is made up of traditional rulers, town union executives, government appointed speaker and civil servants. He made the traditional rulers the chairmen of the CGC Community Government Council and the President General of the community becomes the secretary. The women leaders, the youth leaders with the government liaison officer complete the team. Town unions have until now been unaccountable with the money realized from their activities. Government needs a better result and hence the change in approach and methodology. These people will oversee the development of the local communities. To be contd



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

International Features

CAMBODIA’s opposition leader on Monday rejected the results of a weekend election showing a win for the long-time ruling party, raising fears of post-poll instability and setting the stage for a new showdown with Prime Minister Hun Sen. The challenge by opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who returned from exile last week to campaign for his Cambodia National Rescue Party, comes despite his party’s relative success in Sunday’s polling, in which the opposition made its biggest gains in years. Provisional results from Sunday’s voting showed the opposition capturing 55 of the 123 seats in the National Assembly. Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party won 68 seats, or a majority of 55 percent. Rainsy — who had earlier vowed mass protests if the voters’ will was denied — called for an independent investigation into allegations that as many as a million people may have been deprived of their right to vote, among other irregularities. He said the challenge was not a bargaining chip to get into government but instead a sign that his party was “interested in rendering justice to the Cambodian people to ensure that the will of the Cambodian people not be distorted or reversed.” The rejection of the results raised the specter that Cambodia might return to a previous pattern of post-election instability that has several times led to political gridlock and turned violent. Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam … Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam Rainsy stands after a press conference in his ma … If the opposition party boycotts the assembly, it may be impossible for Hun

Cambodia Election Challenge Raises Fears “Rainsy, 64, has long been the thorn in Hun Sen’s side. He spent the Khmer Rouge years in France and served as finance minister in the government elected in 1993, but was kicked out from his party and his post for his outspoken anti-corruption stand”

Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) casting his ballot

Sen to legally form a government. Rainsy did not specifically threaten a boycott, but election experts pointed out that the constitution says a quorum of 120 assembly members is needed to open a parliamentary session, raising the possibility that an opposition boycott could leave the country without a fully functioning government. Cambodia faced a similar situation most recently after its 2003 election, when Hun Sen’s party failed to win enough seats to legally form a government on its own. The deadlock was broken only after 11 months and violence in the streets. But Hun Sen faced a divided opposition then, while his opponents this time are united.

Other polls in recent decades have been followed by confrontations and violence. After his party ran second in U.N.-sponsored elections of 1993 — the culmination of a process to end decades of civil war after the Khmer Rouge’s murderous 1970s regime — Hun Sen insisted on being named co-prime minister. He then ousted his partner in government four years later in a bloody coup. Recent years’ elections have mostly had a peaceful aftermath because Hun Sen’s party, which controls most levers of power, won decisively over a divided opposition. But the strong showing of the more-united opposition this year may embolden Rainsy and his

“Cambodia faced a similar situation most recently after its 2003 election, when Hun Sen’s party failed to win enough seats to legally form a government on its own. The deadlock was broken only after 11 months and violence in the streets. But Hun Sen faced a divided opposition then, while his opponents this time are united”

allies. Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam … Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam Rainsy, center, speaks during a press conference … Hun Sen has not spoken publicly since the election. At 60, he has a reputation as a wily survivor, starting with his defection from the Khmer Rouge to Vietnam, which after invading to oust the radical regime installed him first as foreign minister and later as prime minister. Rainsy, 64, has long been the thorn in Hun Sen’s side. He spent the Khmer Rouge years in France and served as finance minister in the government elected in 1993, but was kicked out from his party and his post for his outspoken anticorruption stand. He founded his own party in 1995, and two years later Rainsy narrowly escaped being killed in a grenade attack on a rally he was leading. Rainsy said shortly after polls opened Sunday that his party would wait before deciding what to do about the alleged irregularities, but added that if it was clear the voters’ will was being denied, “definitely, there will be protests.” The opposition’s challenge could be mostly bluster. Hun Sen’s party dominates nearly all the state bureaucracy and the courts, which will almost certainly affirm the CPP victory. It was unclear what the opposition would do if its complaints were not sustained. Foreign countries such as the United States, which had expressed doubts before the election about its fairness, are unlikely to pursue the point with enthusiasm. They have accepted results of past elections with much more open intimidation and violence, and will likely regard this year’s results as a major step forward.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


How To Prepare for One’s Death By ANGELA PAUL OFOR

SOME people might be wandering or angry with me on my idea of advocating or advising people to visit mortuary or cemetery once every week or month. The reason for these is because any man who lives with the thought or memory that what befalls others in the cemetery or mortuary could also happen to him or her will be careful of his or her daily activities at home, school, church and at work. Death is a compulsory debt we must pay. It has no regard or respect for the poor, rich, and educated or uneducated. Death is an unexpected visitor that comes into our lives or homes unexpectedly. It owes no man an apology for its actions. Any one who wishes to die peacefully, joyfully or gracefully must visit mortuary or cemetery once in a week or month in order to shun any act that will jeopardize his or her peaceful death. Each time I visit mortuary and cemetery, it is always a period to reflect on what goes on around my life and my personal activities which also border round God’s assignment in my hands and my daily interaction and behaviour towards my fellow brothers and sisters in our society. Our actions and conscience tells the direction where we will spend our eternity Any man or woman who takes delight in killing innocent people, lying against his or her neigbour stealing and cheating people will certainly not have an inheritance in the kingdom of God. But those who shun and avoid any act of evil, feed the poor, help the orphans, treat others without partiality, obey God and serve him faithfully will surely find comfort with God in heaven. If I may ask, have you ever visited the mortuary or cemetery before? What did you see or what were your observation? You probably saw dead bodies in different shapes and sizes. The faces of some of them lying there might be familiar to you or strange to you. Friends, I have an advice for you. Each time you visit mortuary and cemetery and see people lying there, please put yourself in

that position. This act or pretence will help you and I to stop sinning against God and our fellow brothers and sisters and prevent us from living life contrary to God’s commandments.

DESTROY ANY SATANIC PROPERTY YOU MIGHT HAVE OR KEPT IN YOUR HOUSE True men and women of value and honour seldom retail or keep satanic property in their offices and houses. If you sincerely want to die peacefully, joyfully and gracefully, then you must as a matter of urgency discard, reject and hate any satanic item or the worship of idols, People who live with satanic property in their houses live in fear, accuse people falsely and die prematurely and horribly. If by any chance you

acquire some property through satanic means it will not last in your hands. Satan has no free gift. Anyone who keep his property is directly or indirectly under his influence and control. Those

who live under control of satan live constantly in fear, torment, regret and in difficulties. God is always against any individual or a nation who patronize, serve or keep

satanic property in his or her custody. The children of Israel tried to substitute idols for their true God and this act led to thousands of them dying in the wilderness. If God did not spare the lives of the children of Israel and judge them harshly, then I see no reason

why he will spare you and 1 and tolerate our patronage of satanic property. If you have a friend, father, mother or brother that is leading you or encouraging you into idol worshipping,

With Apostle Dr. Raphael O. Ayemere 08035459593

please separate yourself from such friendship and act and serve God faithfully. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Paul, Peter and John served God faithfully and they never regretted it and they were handsomely rewarded. I have made up my mind that no amount of persecution, hunger, difficulties and threat from any government policy, Satan or his agents can hinder my relationship with God. As for me and my house we will never accommodate any satanic object in our house, church or in our offices. If you sincerely want to serve God faithfully, die peacefully joyfully and gracefully, then remove any satanic object from your house or offices and discontinue your friendship with anybody or family that will lead you into keeping of satanic objects. MAKE PEACE AND LIVE IN PEACE WITH ANYBODY YOU COME ACROSS IN LIFE People who advocate peace or live in peace directly or indirectly control the world and all its resources. The foundation of this world and its creation were founded on peace by God and he earnestly encourages and expects everyone of us to live in peace with one another. God hates any act of unjust war and violence. He knows the consequence of such action in a family and in a nation. Any one who once fought in a war always hates any discussion that will lead to war or disunity in his family, church or in his country. In order to die peacefully and gracefully you must avoid any act that will

jeopardize peace in your family, church, community or in your country. No man takes delight in any woman who nags often and fights with her neigbours. Every one of us expects our wives and husbands to be peaceful in our various houses, As a child of God your priority is to initiate peace, promote peace and encourage people to live in peace in their various offices and houses. Any man or woman who lives in violence or profits through violence constantly lives in fear and torments of his or her actions and dies horribly. Have you ever seen any family or nation that progresses in the midst of anarchy and chaos? This is the reason why you see the entire world clamoring for peace and unity. A peaceful wife is a joy to her husband and a peaceful husband is a great joy to women. Your ability to live in peace with each other is what makes you a positive point of reference. Your maturity is a plus to your family, community, church and to your nation. During Jesus earthly missionary assignments he constantly urged his disciples to live in unity and avoid disunity and anarchy against each other during and after his departure. If they don’t, they will lose focus of their assignments and achieve nothing. I beg you in the name of the Lord to shun any act of violence and live in peace with anybody you come across in life. This act will guarantee you peaceful exit on earth to heaven.

“If you sincerely want to serve God faithfully, die peacefully joyfully and gracefully, then remove any satanic object from your house or offices and discontinue your friendship with anybody or family that will lead you into keeping of satanic objects.”



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Development Harnessing Gains Of Jonathan’s Visit To China “TODAY, our unity is firm, our purpose is strong and our determination unshakable. Together, we will unite our nation and improve the living standards of all our people, whether in the North or in the South; in the East or in the West. “We must grow the economy, create jobs, and generate enduring happiness for our people. I have great confidence in the ability of Nigerians to transform this country.’’ Those were the words of President Goodluck Jonathan when he assumed office on May 29, 2011 amid jubilations and hope for a better Nigeria. When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became the country’s President in 1999, political analysts then expressed the hope that the restoration of democracy in Nigeria would solve virtually all the socio-economic and political problems of the country 14 years into the democratic dispensation, observers are, however, quick to wonder whether democracy, as practiced by the country’s politicians and understood by its electorate, has made any significant difference in the lives of the citizens. Cynics continue to criticise successive administrations for non-performance in spite of enjoying the inherent benefits of democracy. They insist that it is only when a democratically elected government is able to positively affect the lives of the citizenry that a democracy could be said to have yielded dividends. In a nutshell, they contend that the efforts of successive governments to provide basic amenities such as electricity, roads, health care, water and schools are simply not enough. On the other hand, optimists and social commentators insist that Nigeria is practising a true democracy, which has, indeed, produced a lot of social, economic and political gains for the country and its citizens. They argue that since the onset of the current democratic dispensation, Nigeria has, by all means, fared well. The government’s mouthpiece, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, stressed that President Goodluck Jonathan had fulfilled his campaign promises to Nigerians. He listed the areas in which the president had fulfilled his promises as improved


investments in the power sector, road constructions, revival of the railways and job creation through the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P), among others. Maku noted that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had grown more than that of any country in Africa in the last few years. On the issue of power, the minister assured the citizens that the Federal Government had been tackling the electricity supply challenges facing the country frontally, saying that more power projects would soon be inaugurated. Maku conceded that although a lot still needed to be done, the Federal Government was determined to complete all the major road projects as well as other infrastructural projects. “The ongoing East-West Road project would be completed by the end of 2014. “The SURE-P programme alone had impacted on no fewer than 3,000 persons in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “In the 19 states so far visited during the good governance tour, we have seen some concrete development brought about by democracy, and what we saw is far better than what was obtainable during the military era,’’ he said. Sharing similar sentiments, the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, said that the Federal Government was committed to expanding road constructions from 200,000 km to 300,000 km within the next five years. Without doubt, tangible efforts have been made in this regard. For instance, work has started on the Abidjan-Lagos transnational highway, which is expected to be completed in 24 months, while the construction of the 37-km Nkporo-AbiribaOhafia Road in Abia and to Osso Eda in Ebonyi, which was abandoned a long time ago, has resumed. Apparently irked by the condition of roads across the country, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the award of contracts worth N51.4 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of 13 roads across the country. “The roads for construction and rehabilitation are Vandeikya-Obudu-Obudu Cattle Ranch road (Phase One) in Benue, Mbaise-Ngwa Road in Imo and Abia and Abriba-

Arochukwu-Ohafia Road, also in Abia. “The Makurdi-Gboko road (Phase One) in Benue, Ohafia in Abia to Oso in Ebonyi, Sections 1A and 1B of SokotoTambuwal-Jega-Kontagora roads in Sokoto Kebbi and Niger states respectively were also among those awarded,’’ Maku announced, after the FEC meeting. This somewhat demonstrates the government’s commitment to constructing and rehabilitating roads across the country, even as the

as an epitome of quality service delivery. Besides, the groundbreaking efforts of the Federal Government to eradicate polio from the country cannot be over-emphasised. From all indications, Nigeria is set to be certified free of guinea worm disease, which has ravaged parts of the country over the years. Reports from the Nigeria Guinea Worm Eradication Programme (NIGEP) indicate that Nigeria has attained a guinea worm-free status and she is eagerly awaiting the visit of the International

enhance food production. In particular, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Jonathan-administration is aimed at reviving and boosting agricultural production in Nigeria, while reducing the country’s dependence on food imports. The government’s agricultural transformation agenda has received support from international agencies like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which committed 88.5 million U.S. dollars (about N14.2 billion) towards the project. Besides, the Federal Government introduced the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), under its Agricultural Transformation Agenda, to boost supplies of agricultural inputs like fertilisers to farmers

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Xi Jinping of China

government plans to spend N921.4 billion on 925 ongoing road projects, which are expected to be completed soon. As part of efforts to enhance roads’ construction and maintenance, the Federal Government is proposing a new Road Sector Reform Bill to replace the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Establishment Act No 7 of 2002 and herald the birth of the Federal Roads Authority (FRA) and National Road Fund (NRF). In the health sector, the Federal Government has, over the last 14 years, made some remarkable achievements. For instance, NAFDAC has been repositioned and strengthened to curb the prevalence of fake drugs in the country. Observers commend NAFDAC for its efforts to stamp out the production, supply and sale of fake or adulterated drugs in the country, describing the agency

and cut off the activities of middlemen in the inputs’ distribution chain. The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, stressed that 4.2 million registered and certified farmers were to get fertilisers and improved seedlings directly from the government, while fish farmers would also get fingerlings. In the area of agricultural mechanisation, the government has been making efforts to expand the farmers’ access to tractors and other agricultural machineries, as it stressed that 400 tractors would be made available in 80 centres across the country for hire at subsidised prices. The government has also distributed high-yielding seedlings and seeds to farmers, even as the bio-safety bill, which is currently awaiting President Jonathan’s assent, is aimed at transforming agricultural production in the country via biotechnology

Certification Team (ICT) next month. As part of efforts to make healthcare delivery accessible to the citizens, the government also introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), in which workers contribute a token sum every month to benefit from quality health services. In the last six years, the NHIS has been able to cover not less than 4.7 million people in the formal sector, according to its Acting Executive Secretary, Dr Abdulrahman Sambo. Mr Emmanuel Okafor, a civil servant, said that he and his family had been enjoying excellent health care delivery via the NHIS since 2009, describing the health programme as a true dividend of democracy. Moreover, the country has experienced a remarkable growth, particularly in the agricultural sector where significant efforts have been made to equip farmers and

applications. In pragmatic terms, the government has initiated plans to improve dry season rice farming, as part of efforts designed to boost rice production in Nigeria and reduce its over-dependence on rice importation. The government’s agricultural programmes have been yielding tangible results and it is very pertinent to note that in spite of the floods that ravaged many farmlands across the country in 2012, the country’s food security is still assured, as food prices have been quite stable. By most accounts, the government’s policy on the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry has been quite beneficial. Observers note that the

traditional long queues at fuel stations have completely disappeared, while petroleum products are now readily available across the country. One particular feat that excites observers is the growth of the telecommunications and the ICT sectors. Statistics from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) reveal the exponential growth of the telecommunications sector has been instrumental to the creation of thousands of jobs and the employment of millions of Nigerians. The data particularly reveal that currently, there are 110,000,000 GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) subscribers in Nigeria, while the country’s tele-density peaked at 78.21 per cent by the end of 2012. Even as analysts insist that a lot still needs to be done in the nation-building efforts, they reiterate that the citizens have been enjoying the dividends of democracy since 1999. (NAN)



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Issues Society

Strengthening Love Among Families THE pivotal roles of families in promoting purposeful living and better society, perhaps, inform the UN’s decision to declare May 15 as the International Day of Families. The aim of the UN action is to raise global awareness on the challenges facing families, while providing policy guidance on how to strengthen family-centred components of policies and programmes, as part of a comprehensive development approach. Therefore, the UN says that day provides an opportunity to promote public awareness of issues relating to families, while increasing knowledge of the socio-economic and demographic processes affecting families. Stressing the importance of the day, UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon says, in his message on this year’s celebration, that “families hold societies together and inter-generational relationships extend this legacy over time. “This year’s International Day of Families is an occasion to celebrate connections among all members of the constellation that makes up a family. “It is also an opportunity to reflect on how they are affected by social and economic trends – and what we can do to strengthen families in response.’’ The UN insists that it is imperative to foreground issues relating to family connections because changes on the global economic landscape and its effects on the most vulnerable members of the society – the children — have been largely overlooked. It, therefore, says that the International Day of Families is certainly an occasion to attract global attention for the


children’s plight. Besides, the UN stresses that those working with more than two million of the world’s most vulnerable children and their families have provided a unique insight into the issues affecting families. Supporting the idea that a good family is one that is nurtured under the atmosphere of love and care, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) observes that children in their tender years treasure their families and feel that they are special and irreplaceable. “Families provide children with a sense of belonging and a unique identity; they are, or should be, a source of emotional support and comfort, warmth and nurturing, protection and security,’’ the academy says. Stakeholders are also of the opinion that the family is the basis for all other existing units in the society. Mr. Eghosa Erhumwunse, the National Director of the SOS Children’s Villages, Abuja, says that childhood plays a critical role in adulthood. “The quality of one’s childhood could either be a plus or hindrance in life; adult life reveals the nature of one’s childhood. “The quality of our childhood is what set the stage for our future development, loss and hurt or love and respect. “We all know that childhood is a decisive stage but many children are still ignored, manipulated, abused and abandoned,’’ he says. Erhumwunse underscores the need for Nigeria to address the plight of orphans and other vulnerable children, while stressing the importance of promoting healthy family

units. However, Mrs. Ijeoma Aduba, a housewife, says that the International Day of Families presents an occasion for members of families to reflect on their joint and individual responsibilities within the families.

“Every child deserves to have a family where he or she belongs, feels loved and secure; the value of an intact family is infinite and the emotional security it conveys is the most extraordinary experience a child or an adult can have. “A family picnic, doing crafts together, cuddling up to your parents on the sofa; these and many other small day-today family moments mean a lot more than spending time together regularly. “They make sure that children flourish and form

strong relationships which help them to cope even with difficult living conditions, while engendering a better society,’’ Aduba says. But what are the lessons which the society has learnt from the past editions of the day’s celebration? Mrs. Monica Adeoye, a civil servant, says that she has been

able to jettison the habit of beating her children impulsively; adding that she now shows love and care to them even when they have done something wrong. “I have learnt to talk to my children; in the past, I beat them when they did not do their chores. I now talk to them; I am now aware of the benefits of the new approach, as I have started seeing the impact,’’ she notes. Speaking on factors hindering the evolution of good family ties, Mr. Charles Adebayo, a businessman,

“This year’s International Day of Families is an occasion to celebrate connections among all members of the constellation that makes up a family. It is also an opportunity to reflect on how they are affected by social and economic trends – and what we can do to strengthen families in response.’’

believes that a lot of challenges are causing the breakdown of family values in the country. He says that for instance, poor living conditions and the struggle for economic survival have created undue pressure and despair for several family heads. “Breadwinners often worry about their ability to pay bills, the search for better income and the chances of losing a job; all these create social pressure which threatens the unity of most families,’’ he adds. However, Ms Ene Ujah, a psychologist, argues that

some of these challenges could be tackled through proper guidance and counselling, insisting that investing in the lives of one’s children is necessary in efforts to ensure their survival later in life. She observes that the children in strong family units usually stand a better chance of doing well in the society. “The psychological cost of poverty is humiliation, despair and a sense of shame and failure; this particularly contributes to feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. “Such feelings, in turn, increase the people’s vulnerability and undermine their belief in their ability to be good parents,’’ he says. A human rights lawyer, Mr. Yemi Ajayi, nonetheless, has a different viewpoint on how to tackle some challenges militating against the

nurturing of a good family. He stresses that government at all levels has a legal duty to support families with good housing, good sanitation, food security, good health care delivery and education. Ajayi, however, agrees that issues such as pitiable living conditions and the struggle for economic survival often provoke feelings of despair in people. Nevertheless, Malam Musa Abdallah, a Muslim cleric, insists that a family’s socioeconomic empowerment is quite essential for the family’s survival. He, however, underscores

the need for family heads to adopt the virtues of hard work and diligence in efforts to take care of their families. “Every man knows it takes a lot of hard work to keep the family going as an effective, adaptive and functional unit. “In the Qu’ran, it is stated that a man should do whatever he can, within the legal limits, to meet all the needs of his family’’. All the same, experts believe that the lot of families could be improved via the provision of a variety of support such as vocational training for men and women as well as job opportunities. They, however, urge the government to adopt a holistic approach in its education, health, nutrition and economic policies so as to promote the wellbeing of Nigerian families, in line with the salient objectives of the International Day of Families.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


AS a young lady going into marriage, she never knew that when she signed her marriage register, she was signing herself to battery and assault. On that fateful day, Olawakemi, incurred the wrath of her husband after she moved out of their home due to battering. Kemi, sustained injuries after her husband bath her with hot water. The incident burned her neck down to her waist. Recounting her ordeal, the mother of three, Oluwakemi Fawowe, said “I left my husband when his beating becomes (sic) too much. I left our house in Lagos to stay with my in-laws at Ijoko in Ogun State, but he trailed me there. I was not expecting what he did next because I felt I was safe with his family and he will not hurt me in their presence.” Continuing, she said, “But I was wrong as he threw a hot stove on me and both the hot stove and boiling water splashed on me; my body was on fire. I started shouting and that was when people rushed to save me.” This case presented above, is just a tip of the iceberg and one of the avalanche of cases of domestic violence in the country. Although defining domestic violence might be cumbersome as there is no universally accepted one, it is akin to note one here. According to the US office on Violence Against Women, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviour in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control. Also, the United Kingdom Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service puts domestic violence as patterns of behaviour characterized by the misuse of

power and gaining advantage over another. Although, domestic violence is seen by many as affecting or having women victims only, but experts and reports have revealed that men equally have their fair share. Statistics show that 50% of women in Nigeria, experience domestic violence. Ironically, 65% of educated women are in the horrible situation when put side by side with their low income counter-parts (55%). Further research by the National Demographic and Health Survey in 2008, revealed that domestic violence is more likely to take place in urban areas than rural dwellings. Similarly, the forms in which domestic violence comes are varied in nature. The online, encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, gave physical aggression or assault chitting, kicking, bitting, showing, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery, or threats thereof; sexual abuse, emotional abuse; controlling; intimidation stalking, among others, as various forms of domestic violence. It can also come via unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment, mean endangerment, and criminal coercion. According to Media report, cases of domestic violence attract silence due to the shame, fear, stigma and cultural taboos. The National Demographic and Health Survey in 2008 revealed that up to 43% of women thought that wife beating could be justified on the grounds of matters as: burning the food; arguing with the husband; going out without asking permission; neglecting the children and refusal to have sexual intercourse.

Curbing Domestic Violence

Moreover, the Gender in Nigeria, 2012 report, also indicated that young women between the ages of 15 and 24, were more likely to have experienced physical violence and most likely to justify violence, including wife battery. Shockingly, 97.2% of domestic violence are not reported to law enforcement agencies with the believe that the law will not help them, as it is a “family matter.” Additionally, experts have said that poverty, drug abuse, use of alcohol, personal dispositions


and other reasons, propel. domestic violence. For the Executive Director, Project Alert, a nongovernmental organization that promote and protect the rights of women and young girls, domestic violence is a power relationship. They said it is more about men

Effects Of Asthma

ACCORDING to experts, Asthma is a chronic disease that involves inflammation of the lungs. Airways swell and restrict airflow in and out of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The word asthma comes from the Greek word for “panting”. People with this disease pant and sneeze because they can’t get enough air into their lungs. Normally, when somebody with asthma breathes in something irritating or does something that cause him/her to need more air like exercise, air ways relax and open. But with asthma, muscles in the airways tighten, and the lining of the air passages swells. The World Health Organization, (WHO) said Asthma is a chronic disease of the bronchial system, the air passages leading to and from the lungs. In 2011, WHO said 235 million people suffer from asthma and that it is common mostly among children than adults. This chronic disease is characterized by recurrent


attack of breathlessness and sneezing. It varies in severity and frequency from person to person. Symptoms may occur several time in a day or week in affected individuals, for some people its becomes worse during physical activity or at night. During an asthma attack, the lining of the bronchial tubes swell, causing the airways to narrow and reducing the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Some fundamental causes of asthma, according to World Health Organization WHO are a combination of genetic predisposition with environmental exposure to inhaled substances and particles that may provoke allergic reaction or irritate the airways such as. Indoor allergers (for example, House dust under carpets and stuffed furniture, pollution and pet hairs. Tobacco Smoke Chemical irritate in the workplace

Air pollution Other triggers can include; cold, air, extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear and physical exercise. Ever certain medications can trigger asthma: aspirin and other nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers (which are use to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions. According to reports. Asthma symptom may flare up from time to time. There is often no apparent reason why symptoms flare up. However, it can be triggered or even made worse. Things that may trigger asthma symptoms

includes the following. Infections – Particularly colds, coughs and chest infections Pollens and mould-Asthma is often worse in the hay fever season. Exercise: it is important to note, however, sport and exercise are good for your health. If necessary, you can use an inhaler before exercise to prevent symptoms from developing. But, as a rule, exercise induce asthma often. Smoking and cigarette fumes – if you smoke and have asthma, you should make every effort to stop. See a doctor for help, if you find it difficult. Passive smoking can make asthma worse too.

and boys feeling they have power and control over women and young girls thereby sexually and physically assaulting them into submission. Apart from the above, a sociologist, Pa. Aderibigbe. Olofin, stated that violence at home could be as a result of

Other fumes and chemicals – for example fumes from paints, salvents and pollution. The increase in air pollution may be a reason why asthma is becoming more common. Certain pillows and mattresses may be a trigger. It is thought that some people develop asthma symptoms from chemical (isocyantates) methlethyl ketones etc) that are emitted in very low qualities from memory foam pillows and mattress corvers. Emotion – Asthma is not due to ‘nerves’ but such things as stress, emotional upset or laughing may trigger symptoms. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre treatment. Avoiding asthma attack – reduces inflammation and preventing lung damages are

avoiding important issues out of fear or excessively jealous and possessive or domineering behaviour. He said, “When your partner control where you go or what you do, limit your access to money, phone or car’ destroy your belongings or property; threatens to hurt you or kill you if you opt out of the relationship or marriage could be a possible cause of domestic violence.” Reports and studies have shown that domestic violence does not only lead to physical injuries but includes emotional, financial and others. Wikipedia identified increased aggressiveness, anxiety, depression, emotional insecurity and mental disorder as part of the emotional problems associated with the menace. Regrettably, few states out of the 36 states in the country, have passed laws against domestic violence. Lagos State enacted the new law in May 2007 and has not yet received the needed awareness. Therefore, to stern the tide of this ugly trend, there is need for an all-round sensitization and awareness generation, that will target the public and other stakeholder on the menace. According to Chukwuma – Effa, “relevant agencies charged with responding and providing support services to victims, should be well trained to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.” Until these things are done, the country will not seize to harvest a plethora of domestic abuse and violence. Time to act is now!

the primary goals of treatment. The more you know about your condition, the more closely you work with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan. The Medication for asthma are prescribed for two different purposes; to stop an immediate attack, and to control inflammation and reduce lung damage over a long term. These quick relief medications are called bronchodilator which help open the airways when you have an attack. Other drugs include prednisone, p r e d n i s o l e n e , methylprednisolone, and Hydrocortisone. Drugs used in reducing inflammation are taken everyday; inhaled corticoster oids to be used when prescribered by your doctor.

“The Medication for asthma are prescribed for two different purposes; to stop an immediate attack, and to control inflammation and reduce lung damage over a long term. These quick relief medications are called bronchodilator which help open the airways when you have an attack. Other drugs include prednisone, prednisolene, methylprednisolone, and Hydrocortisone.”



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

View Point

P.J.O ROURKE, U.S writer and humorist, once said that, ‘‘marijuana is self punishing. It makes you acutely sensitive and in this world what worse punishment could it be?’’ Marijuana is a common name for a drug made from dried leaves and flowering tops of the Indian hemp plant cannadis sativa. People smoke, chew, or eat marijuana for it hallucinogenic and toxicating effects. It is known by a number of slangs and names, including Indian hemp, Pot, Grass, weed, Igbo (in Yoruba), Wiwi (in Hausa) among others. At present, marijuana has no legitimate medical use, but it is known to contain an active chemical called ‘‘tetrahydrocannabinol’’ (THC). Under various concentrations, the THC can produce relaxation, cuphoria, and increased appetite. The THC has been known to impair judgement and perception. Marijuana and its chemical derivation can be found naturally in Resin exuded from the flowers, leaves, seed and stems of the female plants of the common weed CANNABIS SATIVA or Indian hemp. It is made by drying any part of the top of the female plant. Marijuana has been used for centuries as an intoxicant, mostly eastern culture where the smoke it, cook and eat it with food. The effects of the active ingredient (THC) among users are variable, for example, the chemical is supposed to heighten pleasant as well as unpleasant experiences. If a person smokes marijuana containing at least 0.5 gram THC, he or she undergoes a condition known as ‘‘getting high’’. This highness refers to enhanced sensory inputs. Music is supposed to sound fuller, colours are brighter, smells are richer, food tastes better, sex and other experiences becomes more intense. Other ordinary events take on a kind of extraordinary profundity.

World Health Organisation (WHO) described drugs and substance abuse as ‘‘the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drug.’’ There are many reasons to be worried by the rate at which marijuana is openly been used on our streets, especially among the youth. In most countries, marijuana is classified as controlled substance, it is illegal to sell or possess. It is therefore, a great concern that in Nigeria today, Indian hemp smokers now do their thing in the public. Marijuana is now as available as other commodities in the open shop. In Nigeria, Ondo, Ekiti and Edo states are ranked highest in the cultivation and consumption of marijuana. The root causes of this are multi-faceted and clearly explain the reality of the death of traditional Nigerian society that so jealously guarded the security of the youth. It illustrates how we have thrown our moral values to the dustbin. It is important to illustrate what marijuana does to the body and minds of the users. The smoke from marijuana is toxic. It can lead to serious disorder, confusion, acute panic reaction, anxiety attacks, fear and loss of selfcontrol. Chronic marijuana users may develop a motivational syndrome, characterised by passivity, decreased motivation and preoccupation with taking drugs. Like alcoholic toxication, marijuana intoxication impairs judgement, comprehension, memory, speech, problemsolving abilities. Of particular worry is the permanence of it ill-effect among people who began smoking in adolescent. Aside the smoker, every passive smoker is potential victim of some of the illeffects. Yet there is hardly any area in Nigeria free of this drug problem and the subsequent criminal behaviour of its users.

Curbing Abuse Of Marijuana By EGHWRUDJE PRAISE

No doubt, when you give people foothold, they take a stronghold. As such, the unpleasant issue of discriminate use of marijuana is an indictment of our security operatives, especially the anti-

public offices, in sane society are almost nil here in Nigeria. Teenagers and young adults aged 15 and 29 years are the biggest abusers of marijuana, codeine, alcohol and other most commonly abused drugs

narcotic agency. It is sad that some security officials legalise the activities of hemp smoker through the illegal act of extorting money from those that deal in the illicit drug. Perhaps, more tragic is the fact that some of the so-called security operatives also use the drug at some spots where criminal activities are planned and executed by hoodlums. Traditional standards and values that place additional responsibility on the holder of

and substances in Nigeria, according to latest poll results released by NOI poll limited. Overall, 91 percent agreed that there is high level of drugs and substance abuse in Nigeria. The finding support UN data that Nigeria has the highest level of abuse of cannabis (marijuana) in Africa. On the chart identified by 22 percent of the respondents is codeine (cough syrup followed by alcohol 20 percent), then

“It is important to illustrate what marijuana does to the body and minds of the users. The smoke from marijuana is toxic. It can lead to serious disorder, confusion, acute panic reaction, anxiety attacks, fear and loss of self-control. Chronic marijuana users may develop a motivational syndrome, characterised by passivity, decreased motivation and preoccupation with taking drugs.”

tobacco with nine percent, prescription nine percent and hard drug six percent. Reasons adduced from the trend as identified by respondents in the poll conducted between July 1st and 4 th , 2013 included

from uncertain future. Nigeria is going through a phase for which the social, economic, political and psychological life is uncertain and as a matter of fact, the future is very uncertain. These factors may expose youths more to the dangers of marijuana

poverty and unemployment, peer pressure, society influence and bad friends. It has also emerged true from this poll that the most abused substance in Nigeria is marijuana. The findings come on the heels of the 2011 Report of United Nation Office on Drugs and crime which rated Nigeria top on the chart in drug/substance abuse in Africa and largest abuser of cannabis. In fact with the economic down-turn, uncertain political nature, and the stress of unemployment social problems may precipitate more marijuana use in the very near future. For example, the reasons given by Odejide (1991) on why youths take drugs of which marijuana is one, was unemployment, including psychosocial stresses arising

smoking which is already growing in fast speed. In curbing the issue of Nigerian youths and marijuana, it is recommended that a call for more focus on enforcement of laws and penalties, as well as careful consideration to be given to creation of more awareness on the effects of drugs and substance abuse. This is to be greatly supported by youth empowerment and more job creation in order to generally improve standard of living especially within the age group identified. In addition, there should be more focus on the enforcement of laws and penalties which should be enforced in order to keep a check and balance on the drugs problem, which has greatly affected the Nigeria society.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013



Myanmar’s President Wants Ex-Governor YANGON- President Back To Head Central Bank

Myanmar’s President Thein Sein gives a speech during a launch ceremony for rural development

Italian Bus Crash Kills 39

MONTEFORTE IRPINO, Italy- Thirty-nine people were killed and around 10 injured when a bus plunged off a viaduct in southern Italy in what Prime Minister Enrico Letta described yesterday as a huge tragedy. Initial reports suggested that the coach was travelling at speed and had hit four or five cars before crashing over the roadside barriers on a stretch of road near Monteforte Irpino, east of Naples, on Sunday night. There were around 50 people on board, including many children. It was one of the worst road accidents in Italy’s

history, and the second transport disaster to hit southern Europe in the space of five days. Seventy-nine people were killed when a high-speed train derailed in the Spanish pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela on Wednesday. Letta, on an official visit to Athens, canceled a private visit to the historic Acropolis before meetings with his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras. “It is a very sad day for Italy, what happened last night. There are no words for it,” he told reporters. “It is a huge tragedy.” A statement from

TEHRAN - Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani will nominate Bijan Zanganeh to return to the post of oil minister which he held under Iran’s reformist government from 1997 to 2005, Iran’s ISNA news agency said on Monday. Quoting sources in Rouhani’s office, it also said the moderate cleric, elected last month and due to be inaugurated on August 4, would nominate Mohammad Forouzandeh as head of the Supreme National Security Council, a position which would make him Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. Forouzandeh is a former Revolutionary Guard, a current member of the Supreme National Security Council and head of a large and economically powerful state charitable foundation. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s ambassador to the

United Nations from 2002 to 2007, would become foreign minister, ISNA reported citing a list of 17 nominations it said were the most likely choices based on information from Rouhani’s office. There was no official confirmation. Parliament must approve all the president’s ministerial nominations. As oil minister until President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to office if 2005, Zanganeh helped attract billions of dollars of foreign investment into Iran’s oil and gas industry. He was seen as enjoying the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. “He’s a good communicator and respected within OPEC,” said a Gulf OPEC delegate. “This is good news in terms of oil prices and market stability.”

Iran’s Rouhani To Nominate Zanganeh As Oil Minister

motorway operator Autostrade per l’Italia said the coach appeared to have been travelling fast in the vicinity of slower-moving traffic, even though the lower speed had been clearly indicated. “You would think that the barriers on the viaducts and bridges should prevent this type of accident but evidently it seems the impact was so strong that even the barrier gave way,” said Alessio Barbarulo, head of the local fire brigade division that coordinated the rescue effort. As rescue services worked, crushed wreckage from the coach lay on its side, while bodies covered in white sheets were lined up on the road before being taken away by ambulances. Thirty-six people were killed immediately and another three died later in hospital, a police official said. Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi said it was too early to say what may have caused the accident but that there was no indication of technical problems with the bus, which had passed its annual inspection in March. An official from the prosecutor’s office in nearby Avellino said investigations would look at the possibility of manslaughter or causing an accident. The driver was killed in the crash. All of the victims appear to have been Italians returning from an excursion to the town of Telese Terme, known for its hot sulphurous springs and a nearby lake popular as a fishing spot.

Thein Sein has proposed that a former head of the central bank of Myanmar be brought back as governor as part of reforms that will make it independent from the Ministry of Finance, a source at the president’s office said on yesterday. “In his message sent to the Union Parliament, the president last week proposed appointing Kyaw Kyaw Maung, retired central bank governor, as the governor,” the senior official said, asking not to be identified. Kyaw Kyaw Maung, a career banker in his early 70s, was governor of the central bank from 1997 to 2007. He graduated from Mandalay University and briefly worked there as a tutor before joining the Ministry of Finance. Thein Sein signed a new central bank act into law on July 11, adding to the economic and political reforms he has pushed through since taking office in March 2011 after nearly half a century of military rule. Than Lwin, vice-chairman of KBZ Bank, the biggest

private bank in the country and a former vice-governor of the central bank, applauded the mooted appointment and those of other senior officials. “I think the president has made the right choices to take care of nurturing the newly reformed central bank. Parliament should approve it very soon,” he said. Aye Maung, an upper house lawmaker, said the proposals would be tabled for the current session of parliament this week. The source from the president’s office said the present governor of the central bank, Than Nyein, had been proposed for a post of vice-governor. Than Nyein, CHANGE OF


NEHIEZANA - I formerly known and addressed as Miss Nehiezana Mabel Omowkhor now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ehigiator Mabel. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

60, a former army officer, took over from Kyaw Kyaw Maung in 2007. Set Aung, deputy minister of national planning and economic development, and Khin Saw Oo, a senior official at the central bank, had also been put forward as vicegovernors. Set Aung is a Westerneducated economist in his early 40s. He has been deputy minister as well as a presidential economic adviser for about a year. Khin Saw Oo, a career banker in her early 60s, is currently in charge of the regulation of financial institutions and the antimoney-laundering department. CHANGE OF


OGOR – I formerly known and addressed as Kenneth Chukwuemeka Ogor now wish to be known and addressed as Keneiro Cortez. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.


NOTICE is hereby given that a Petition for the Winding up of the above named Company by the Federal High Court holden at Benin was on 7th February, 2013 presented to the said Court by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation of Plot 447/448 Central Business District, Constitution Avenue, Abuja. And that the said Petition is directed to be advertised and set for mention before the Court sitting at Benin on 10th October, 2013 and any contributory of the said Company desirous to support or oppose the making of an Order on the said Petition may appear at the time of hearing in person or by his Counsel for that purpose and a copy of the Petition will be furnished by the undersigned to any creditor or contributory of the said Company requiring such copy on payment of the regulated charge for same. Dated this 23rd day of July, 2013.

NOTE: Any person who intends to appear on the hearing of the said Petition must serve on or send by post, to the above named, notice in writing of his intention so to do. The Notice must state the name and address of the person; if a firm, the name and address of the firm, and must be signed by the person or firm or by his or their Solicitor (if any) and must be served or if posted, in sufficient time to reach the above named not later than 48 working hours before the date the Petition is for mention in Court.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


EU’s Ashton On Mediation Mission Mursi.” To Egypt forMore marches were planned

CAIRO- The European Union’s foreign policy chief was in Cairo yesterday, the first senior overseas envoy to visit Egypt’s new rulers since the weekend killing of at least 80 supporters of the country’s deposed Islamist president. The dawn killings on Saturday have triggered global anxiety that the Arab world’s most populous country faces wider conflagration after the military overthrow of Mohamed Mursi on July 3. Catherine Ashton, the EU’s chief diplomat, was scheduled to meet General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the Egyptian armed forces who ousted Mursi, interim President Adli Mansour and officials of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing. In a statement, Ashton said she would press for a “fully inclusive transition process, taking in all political groups, including the Muslim

Brotherhood.” It was unclear what leverage Ashton has. The United States is Egypt’s chief Western backer and source of military aid, but the EU is the biggest civilian aid donor to Egypt. The EU has attempted to mediate in Egypt’s political crisis over the past six months as Egyptians have grown increasingly suspicious of U.S. involvement. Underscoring the risk of more bloodshed, several thousand supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood threatened to march on the military’s intelligence headquarters in defiance of a warning from the army to stay away. They turned back early yesterday, having left the site of a Brotherhood vigil in northern Cairo chanting, “Our blood and souls we sacrifice

for yesterday evening. “The danger we face because of the political situation and the coup is greater than the violence we face in marches,” said Brotherhood member Islam Tawfiq, 26. awfiq was among thousands of supporters of Mursi camped out at the Rabaa alAdawiya mosque in northern Cairo demanding the reinstatement of Egypt’s first freely elected president. The health ministry said yesterday that 80 people were killed in the early hours of Saturday, up from a previous toll of 72, when security forces opened fire on marchers. Egypt’s army-installed authorities have vowed to clear them from the site after complaints from residents about the huge encampment on their doorstep.


A female member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi

Somalia PM: Turkish Official Died development projects, In Car Blast including street renovations

MOGADISHU — A Turkish security official and a Somali student were killed in Saturday’s attack on the Turkish consulate and relief mission in Mogadishu, Somalia’s prime minister said Sunday. Three suicide bombers also died in the attack on Saturday, said Abdi Farah Shirdon, who also condemned the violence. He said acts of terrorism will not affect Somalia’s relationship with Turkey. “Our friends and partners station(ed) in Mogadishu are very important for the speedy recovery of Somalia and we have to protect them by all means,” Shirdon said. Somali militant group alShabab has claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter saying they were targeting a group of Turkish diplomats. The group said the operation was not a suicide attack and that those who carried out the attack had

safely gone back to their bases. The al-Qaida-linked alShabab espouses a strict form of Islam and has long been threatening Turkish workers and aid agencies in Somalia accusing them of spreading secularism. Police officer Mohammed Abdi had said Saturday the terror attack took place at the Turkish hospital known as AlShifa after a suicide bomber detonated a mini-van laden with explosives. It is unclear why the officials referred to the same area by different names, except that the buildings may be in the same compound. Turkey is playing a big role in Somalia’s reconstruction. Turkish Airline is the first international airline to fly direct to Mogadishu. Turkish Red Crescent aid workers have been undertaking

and the construction of schools. Turkish aid workers are also rebuilding one of Somalia’s biggest hospitals. Recent attacks by Islamic insurgents on Somalia’s capital has forced investors, businessmen and aid workers to have second thoughts about expanding operations in Mogadishu. In May, a Somali official said the Turkish Red Crescent was reviewing its operation, because of security concerns after a series of attacks. Omer Tasli, the head of the Turkish Red Crescent while admitting security is concern, said they would not pull out.

Taiwan President and Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou gives a speech during a news conference

TAIPEI - Taiwan’s government said on Monday the defense minister will step down amid a public outcry over the death of a soldier, in a bid, according to analysts,

by President Ma Ying-jeou to boost his increasingly poor popularity ratings. The minister, Kao Hua-chu, who has held the post since 2009, has borne the brunt of

criticism over the death this year of the soldier, Hung Chung-chiu, after punishment for minor violations of military conduct.

HARARE — Frenetic campaigning entered its last stages Sunday for make-orbreak elections in Zimbabwe on July 31 with both main contenders calling for their supporters to turn out in large numbers to cast votes. President Robert Mugabe, 89, spoke for two hours Sunday at the main 50,000seat sports stadium in Harare that was not filled to capacity. He said his ZANU-PF party will rescue the troubled economy with a renewed black empowerment program. His campaign organizers said 1,138 foreignowned companies still operating in the southern

African nation will be targeted to yield 51 percent control to blacks. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told enthusiastic crowds of his supporters at another sports arena that he wants to create jobs and rebuild the economy with new investments. He said Mugabe ruined the once prosperous nation through reckless policies. “We want to build, not destroy. We will remove dictatorship using democratic means,” Tsvangirai said. Amid concerns of voting rigging, lawyers for Tsvangirai’s party said Morgan Komichi, a top party

official and the deputy transport minister in the coalition government, was arrested for questioning by police earlier Sunday. Zimbabwean President and Zanu PF leader President Robert … Zimbabwean President and Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe, left, and his wife Grace greet the … Komichi reported being handed voting papers from a special ballot that was held July 14-15 for uniformed services on duty on election day. He said the papers, which carried votes for Tsvangirai’s party, were found in a garbage can outside a convention

facility where the state election commission has its command center. He said they had evidently been thrown away. Police said he should have reported the find first to the commission before releasing the information. Mugabe used his campaign to voice his criticism of same sex partners, telling a rally in the second city of Bulawayo on Saturday he believed in “castration” for homosexuals. Earlier, he described Tsvangirai as a “frog” and a “python” that nearly swallowed voters in the last disputed elections in 2008 that

led regional leaders to intervene and form Zimbabwe’s shaky coalition. “We should make him vomit this time,” Mugabe said. “Tsvangirai is a coward, more like my late Uncle Shoniwa’s dog which used to run away from game when we went hunting. It died without killing a single prey and the same will happen to Tsvangirai.” Tsvangirai is to hold his last campaign rally in downtown Harare yesterday. He questioned Sunday why Mugabe wanted another five years in presidential office.

Taiwan Defence Minister To Step Down

Zimbabwe Campaigns Enter Final Stages

Separately, the island’s top financial regulator Chen Yuhchang will step down as part of a cabinet reshuffle, a source close to the Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday. Chen is widely seen as close to Ma. The government said it will announce further details of the reshuffle at a news conference at 0630 GMT (2.30 a.m. ET) The reshuffle comes amid already rock-bottom approval ratings for the president, whose economic and China policies have triggered widespread criticism. Amid Taiwan’s less-thanstellar economic performance and stagnant wage growth, Ma’s ratings have hovered around the 20-percent mark for months. Ma himself has personally apologized for the Hung incident.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013



Pope Draws 3m To Mass As Brazil Trip Closes

U.S. secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at Queen Alia International airport.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil Pope Francis’ historic trip to his home continent ended Sunday after a marathon weeklong visit to Brazil that drew millions of people onto the sands of Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Copacabana beach and appeared to reinvigorate the clergy and faithful alike in the world’s largest Catholic country. Dignitaries including Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer turned out at Rio’s Antonio Carlos Jobim international airport to bid farewell to the Argentine-born pontiff after a visit marked by big moments. They included a visit to a vast church dedicated to Brazil’s patron saint, a rainy walk through one of Rio’s dangerous slums and a papal Mass that was one of the biggest in recent history. Speaking from a white stage on

the sands of Copacabana on Sunday, Francis urged a crowd estimated at 3 million people to go out and spread their faith “to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.” “The church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you!” he said to applause in his final homily of World Youth Day festivities. Later Sunday, he issued a more pointed message to the region’s bishops, telling them to better look out for their flocks and put an end to the “clerical” culture that places priests on pedestals — often with what Francis called the “sinful complicity” of lay Catholics who hold the clergy in such high esteem. People pack Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, …

strategy. Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war at Israel’s founding, along with millions of their descendants, claim the right to return to their original homes in what is now Israel. The Israelis rule that out as demographic suicide, saying the refugees should resettle in a future Palestine or elsewhere. Netanyahu says any peace accord must safeguard Israel, which has often clashed with Hamas in Gaza and fears the Islamist movement could gain ground in the West Bank. Kerry has also described Israel’s security as “paramount”.

Abed Rabbo said Israel and the United States had been conferring about security without including the Palestinians. “This is a big shortcoming in the Israeli and the American behavior because they are not discussing their bilateral security, they are discussing a central and a fundamental issue of ours and it concerns our future as a whole,” he said. After months of intensive and discreet mediation, Kerry announced on July 19 in Amman, Jordan, that the parties had laid the groundwork to resume negotiations on the so-called “final status” issues that must be

resolved to end the dispute. “The meetings in Washington will mark the beginning of these talks,” Kerry spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “They will serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural work plan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months.” In what it dubbed a goodwill gesture required to restart diplomacy, the Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved the release of 104 long-serving Palestinian security prisoners in stages. Thousands more Palestinians remain in Israeli jails.

Zealand’s military. That document was leaked to Hager, who provided a copy to The Associated Press. Coleman said the order will be modified to

remove references to journalists. He also said the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) had conducted an extensive search of its records over the weekend and had found no evidence that either it or any other agency had spied on Stephenson.

Israel, Palestine, Dispute Peace Talks Format

JERUSALEM/ RAMALLAH, West Bank Israeli and Palestinian officials put forward clashing formats for peace talks due to resume in Washington yesterday for the first time in nearly three years after intense U.S. mediation. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to bring the negotiators together in the evening and today to renew talks that broke down in 2010 over Israel’s settlement of occupied land where Palestinians seek a state. Previous attempts to resolve the decades-old conflict had sought to ward off deadlock and the risk of knock-on violence by tackling easier disputes first and deferring the most emotional ones like the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees. This time “all of the issues that are at the core of a permanent accord will be negotiated simultaneously”, Silvan Shalom, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu’s cabinet and rightist Likud party, told Israel’s Army Radio. The Palestinians, with international backing, want their future state to have borders approximating the boundaries of the West Bank, adjacent East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip before Israel captured them in the 1967 Middle East war. Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation, said the U.S. letter of invitation to the Washington talks had not specified which disputes were to be discussed. But Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio the talks “will begin, in principle, on the issues of borders and security”. Netanyahu had resisted Abbas’s calls to accept the 1967 border formula before talks resumed. Shalom said that the Israeli position would help keep the talks, which are slated to last nine months, comprehensive. “Had the matter of borders and

territory been given over, what incentive would they (Palestinians) have had to make concessions on the matter of refugees or Jerusalem?” Shalom asked. Israel deems all of Jerusalem its capital - a status rejected internationally - and wants to keep West Bank settlement blocs under any peace accord. It quit Gaza in 2005 and that enclave is now ruled by Hamas Islamists hostile to the Jewish state and opposed to Abbas’s peace

NZ Report Reopens Debate On Spying Of Journalist WELLINGTON - A disputed report that U.S. spy agencies and New Zealand’s military conspired to spy on a freelance journalist in Afghanistan has opened a new front in the debate over whether democratic governments should be monitoring the activities of reporters. The New Zealand government said yesterday there is no evidence to support a report in Sunday Star-Times newspaper that the military was assisted by the United States in monitoring the phone data of journalist Jon Stephenson, a New Zealander working for the U.S.-based McClatchy news organization. But Prime Minister John Key fanned the debate by saying it is possible that reporters could get caught in surveillance nets when the U.S. spies on enemy combatants. New Zealand and the United States are party to a five-country agreement on sharing intelligence information. U.S. surveillance programs have become the focus of a global debate since former defense contract worker Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the National Security Agency in June. The U.S. says the NSA programs are

necessary to avert terror attacks, while critics have called it unregulated spying. But the Sunday Star-Times report is the first indication that the NSA’s techniques may have been used to spy on a journalist. Military officials in Wellington were quick to reject the claims in the article by freelance investigative reporter and liberal activist Nicky Hager. He wrote that the military became unhappy at Stephenson’s reporting on how it treated Afghan prisoners. “We have identified no information at this time that supports Mr. Hager’s claims,” Maj. Gen. Tim Keating, the acting defense force chief, said in a statement. He said the military officers responsible for operations in Afghanistan had assured him there had been no unlawful monitoring of Stephenson by New Zealand. “This includes asking foreign organizations to do this on our behalf,” he said. Also yesterday, New Zealand Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman acknowledged the existence of an embarrassing confidential order that lists investigative journalists alongside spies and terrorists as potential threats to New

People pack Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 28, 2013. Hundreds of thousands … Despite a series of organizational snafus, including a subway breakdown Wednesday that stranded hundreds of thousands of people for hours, Francis’ visit was widely hailed as a success by the Vatican, pilgrims and everyday Brazilians alike. His nonstop agenda was followed live on television for all seven days, his good nature and modesty charming a country has seen the phenomenal rise of Protestant and evangelical Pentecostal churches in the past decades. “You came to see the young people but you ended up enchanting all Brazilians,” Temer said on the tarmac of Rio’s main airport minutes before the pope’s takeoff. He added that the country’s door would be permanently open to the pontiff and called on him to “just enter without knocking, because there will always be a place for Your Holiness in Brazilians’ hearts.” Nearly the entire 4-kilometerlong (2.5 mile) Copacabana beach overflowed Sunday with flag-waving faithful, some of them taking an early morning dip in the Atlantic and others tossing T-shirts, flags and soccer jerseys into the pontiff’s open-sided car as he drove by. Even the normally stern-faced Vatican bodyguards let smiles slip as they jogged alongside Francis’ car, caught up in the enthusiasm of the crowd. The numbers clearly overwhelmed the area’s services: The stench of garbage and human waste hung in Rio’s humid air, and the beach and adjoining chic Atlantic Avenue looked like an improvised refugee camp plunked down in the middle of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Copacabana’s famous mosaic sidewalks were strewn with trampled cardboard, plastic bags, empty water bottles and cookie wrappers as trash collectors in orange uniforms tried to restore order.

Sam Rainsy, President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) makes a point as he addresses reporters.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

The Nation

A Nation Of Perverts And Paedophiles THE Nigerian Senate includes some of the brightest minds in our country many of whom are friends of mine and most of whom have been in active politics for many years. They have my respect. However what transpired in the Senate chamber a few days ago was a great cause for concern for not just me but millions of Nigerians from all over the world. How an innocent and seemingly uninteresting, uninspiring and unimportant debate about when and at what age a Nigerian citizen could legitimately and lawfully renounce his or her citizenship turned into a referendum on paedophilia and child marriage I don’t know. Yet sadly that is precisely what happened and ever since then the nation has been on fire. Senator (ex-Governor) Ahmed Sani, the Yerima Bakura and the Apostle of political sharia in Nigeria finally got his way and the futile attempt by a small number of good, noble and honourable Senators to amend the existing law on marriage and properly define the age of a female that is eligible to marry was thwarted by the propaedophilia, pro-child rape and pro-child marriage group within the Senate. Sadly our distinguished Senators eventually bowed to the will of Yerima and his friends and agreed to remain silent about the age that young girls can get married in Nigeria. What this means is that girls that are as young as 9 years old can continue to be lawfully bedded and married in our country providing they are deemed as being ‘’physically developed enough’’ to do so by their suitors, their prospective husbands and their parents. That is the law and that is the sordid level that we as a people and as a nation have degenerated to over the years. I weep for Nigeria and, perhaps more appropriately, I weep for the Nigerian girl child. I weep because it is obvious to me that the Yerima’s of this world wish to turn our country into a giant Bangkok to which millions of sexual deviants

think speaks volumes. He wrote“Those who are railing against ‘paedophile’ senators, like Yerima Bakura, must be told that a Muslim can’t go wrong while imitating the examples of the Apostle of Allah himself and the founder of his religion, in the same way a Christian cannot be criticized for following the

that does not mean that Christian countries, or indeed secular states like Nigeria, should stone adulterers. Neither does it mean that we should preserve the institution of slavery or crucify petty thieves simply because the Holy Bible endorsed both practices in the Old Testament. We must accept the fact that the interpretation of biblical and koranic provisions are evolutionary and are ever changing. Jesus

examples of Jesus Christ. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) married Aisha at the age of six and consummated the marriage when she was nine. So, why are we judging Muslims by our own standards?” I am appauled by these words. The truth is that I have never heard such a selfserving and specious arguement in defence of the philosophies and beliefs of the Ayatollah of Bakura, Senator Ahmed Sani, the practising paedophile who married and bedded a 12 year old Egyptian girl, as this one. Ahmed Sani himself could not have argued it better. Yet I think that it is an utter shame. And this is more so because the individual that is putting the arguement is supposedly a Christian. The Old Testament of the Holy Bible prescribes ‘’stoning’’ for adultery but

Himself said ‘’laws are made for man and not man for laws’’. The suggestion that paedophilia has any place in any modern and decent society simply because it was once practised in the distant past is not only a despicable arguement but it also does not make any sense. After all cannibalism and child and human sacrifice were once widely practised and were held as being perfectly acceptable throughout the world as well but that does not mean that we should practice any of those terrible vices today. The young man, Uche Ezechukwu, who appears to be defending child rape in the name of Islam, should either let someone lay with and ‘’marry’’ his own 6 or 9 year old daughter or he should seal his lips forever and stop trying to defend the indefensible. His


flock from all over the world to ‘’enjoy’’ our ‘’tourist attractions’’ and ‘’have a taste’’ of our young and beloved children. Worst still they wish to use religion to defend and justify it. Yet we have no choice but to live with this new reality and to accept it as it is. After all, our representatives in the sacred halls of the Senate were not sensitive enough or ‘’man enough’’ to shoot down the whole thing, to stand firmly against the unholy agenda and to say boldly and firmly that ‘’come what may’’ our children must be protected from sexual deviants and reprobates. And since the Senate, in its infinite wisdom, has now bought into and openly endorsed the “Paedophile Charter” which essentially makes it lawful and constitutional for very young girls to get married and to have sex at a very young age it is my firm view that we have now become a nation of perverts and paedophiles. The Senate had a chance to clear the air and amend the law but, out of nothing but sentiment and an inexplicable eagerness to compromise with that which is clearly evil, they threw that chance away and sacrificed our most sacred values to Yerima and his gang. Worst still they did it with a smile on their faces. Every Nigerian should bow his or her head in shame because instead of crushing the head of the lustful beast that seeks to fornicate with our children, to steal their virtues and to destroy their future what the Senate did the other day was to compromise with and cater for the filthy appetites and godless fantasies of a bunch of child molestors and sexual predators. It is sordid. It is ungodly. It is evil. And it is unforgiveable. Surely we ought to be seeking to protect our children and not seeking to bed them. Yet it appears that not everyone shares our outrage and collective sense of shame. One Uche Ezechukwu made the following contribution which went viral on the social media networks and which I

assertions, and I daresay those of Senator Ahmed Sani and anyone that shares their primitive views, are not only utterly immoral and reprehensible but they are also intellectually dishonest. I say this because the truth is that there is NO Muslim country in the world that has adopted the “paedophile charter” where 6 or 9 year olds can marry and be bedded except for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen. Every other Muslim country in the world, including Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, Jordan, Senegal, the Sudan, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine, United Arab

misinterpretation of its provisions to try to justify or rationalise what is essentially depraved, shameful, disgusting and barbaric behaviour and the most sordid and filthy expression of sexual deviance and perversion. Even animals do not marry or bed their own infants. The bitter truth is that paedophiles have no place in any civilised society. I am constrained to say that in the light of their “yes” vote to child marriage and their green light to paedophilia, every single member of the Nigerian Senate that voted with Yerima on that day and that supported his filthy agenda should bow their

Emirates, Bangladesh, Qatar, Bahrain, Dagestan, Albania, Bosnia, Somalia, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Azerbejhan,Niger, Turkestan, Chechnya and Syria have specifically banned child marriage, paedophilia and child rape in their various constitutions and laws and some have declared it ‘ ’ r e p u g n a n t ’’ , ‘’unacceptable’’ and ‘’unislamic’’. Are these people not Muslims too? As a matte if fact are they not better Muslims than those that insist on sleeping with or marrying underage girls in the name of Islam? Like Christianity and judaism, Islam is a noble, pure, honourable and ancient faith that seeks to protect the weakest and most vulnerable in society, including children. No-one should use the

heads in utter shame and they should be compelled to offer their own infant and under age daughters to strangers for marriage. I repeat, they have turned us into a nation of perverts and paedophiles and I say a pox on all their houses. I reserve my commendations and respect only for those Senators that opposed and voted against Yerima’s protestations and agenda and that stood for that which was right even though they could not muster enough votes to have their way. My word to this brave and righteous few is simple and clear- keep the struggle alive and continue to resist the evil that resides amongst us all. You are the only thing that stands between our children and the practising paedophiles in our midst who seek to ravage and bed them even before they have entered their teens.



Rodgers To Ease Suarez Into Season BRENDAN Rodgers insists Luis Suarez will gradually become more integrated into the Liverpool squad over the course of the pre-season as the club looks to fend off Arsenal’s interest in the striker. Reports in the British media on Sunday suggested the Gunners are preparing a third bid for Suarez, despite already being rejected twice by Liverpool. Suarez made his first appearance of the preseason in last week’s win over Melbourne Victory and was used as a second-half substitute in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Thailand.

TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Madrid Dangle £85m Bid For Bale

Rodgers denies the transfer rumours have kept Suarez on the bench, admitting the Uruguayan’s lack of fitness and the fact that he will be forced to miss the first seven games of the Premier League season through suspension GARETH Bale’s fate took a dramatic twist on mean it is not vital to get him Sunday night when Spurs chairman Daniel Levy cut match fit. short his holiday and flew to London for crunch talks “He has still got some way with the £85million-rated winger. Levy had informal Sunday. to go,” Rodgers said. “He is a number of weeks behind the discussions with the Bale has a strong other players. I also have to Welshman during his brief relationship with staff and consider that our focus over trip to Hong Kong for the supporters at the club but the course of pre-season is for Barclays Asia Trophy last he wants answers from the first game [of the Premier week. The chairman was Levy as Real Madrid League] and Luis will not be scheduled to fly back to prepare to test Tottenham Florida to continue his with a world record bid. available for the first game. Levy insists he will not “But it is important he is family holiday, but instead he travelled to London on sell his star asset but Bale, very much part of the group. He is working hard on his conditioning and over the course of time as he gets closer to playing we will build him up to more minutes on the field.”

Liverpool Eye Lorenzo LIVERPOOL manager Melgarejo Brendan Rodgers could move to sign Benfica left-back Lorenzo Melgarejo on loan as he looks to increase his defensive options, according to reports. Rodgers believes the 22year-old, who can also play in a more advanced left-sided role, would provide ideal competition for Jose Enrique. Melgarejo, who played in Benfica’s Europa League final defeat to Chelsea last season, is believed to be keen to play Premier League football, and a move to Anfield could become permanent after an initial oneyear loan spell. If a deal is agreed, Liverpool would have to apply for a work permit to complete the signing because Melgarejo has won only one cap for Portugal. UK immigration laws say any footballer from a country outside the European Union must have played 75% of his

Wayne Rooney

national team’s senior competitive games over the two years before arriving in order to qualify automatically for a permit. In addition, that country must be in the top 70 of FIFA’s rankings when averaged over those two years.

Gareth Bale

Blues ‘Delay New Bid For Wayne CHELSEA could hold off on “I still think Wayne Rooney Rooney’ said: a second bid for Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United. until after he has played in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial next week, the Times says - with the Blues hoping a hostile Old Trafford reception would convince him to move to London. Earlier this month, Chelsea confirmed that they had made a bid for Rooney, 27, but denied initial reports that the offer was £10 million plus Juan Mata or David Luiz. It was later reported that they had around offered £20 million for the England forward, with the bid being turned down.

United manager David Moyes has insisted that Rooney – who played for him at Everton – is not for sale, but Mourinho insisted the England forward was his only summer transfer target, with reports suggesting that Chelsea could bid up to £30 million. At the end of last season, former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Rooney had submitted a transfer request. At the club’s final home game of the season, against Swansea, the striker was booed by sections of the crowd. Summer reports that he was “angry and confused” after Moyes indicated he would be a back-up to first choice striker Robin van Persie, along with reports that he has indicated a wish to move to Stamford Bridge, are likely to see him given a tough time by the Old Trafford crowd if he plays next week. And Chelsea are reported to believe that could work to their advantage, with United more likely to negotiate if the player is subjected to a rough reception. United have said he will be back for their friendly against AIK Stockholm in Sweden, also next week, with Sir Bobby Charlton predicting he will stay at the club and beat his goalscoring record. Charlton, who scored 249 goals for United – Rooney has 197 –

Wayne Rooney is a Manchester United player, and I think that he will continue to be a Manchester United player.”

24, is demanding to know whether there has been any contact between Real and Spurs over his potential transfer to the Bernabeu. Although he has not submitted a transfer request, it is now becoming a realistic option if he wants to pursue his ambition of playing for the world’s biggest team. Real’s posturing has gone so far this summer that there is no turning back and they have little option but to make a written offer to Spurs. Many of Bale’s team-mates understand the lure of Real Madrid and expect him to leave if they match Spurs’ valuation. Bale missed both matches in the Asia Trophy with a gluteal injury and flew back from Hong Kong on Sunday night with the team. They are scheduled to arrive in London on Monday morning and will be given two days off by coach Andre Villas-Boas. The PFA Player of the Year stopped to sign autographs as he boarded the team bus for the airport, but TV images appeared to show him looking miserable. He is due to return to training on Wednesday and is expected

to be fit for Saturday’s friendly against Claudio Ranieri’s Monaco. Spurs have told Bale to outline his salary demands as they open talks over a new contract extension but he is determined to get answers this week. He has three years left on a deal signed in 2012 which does not contain a release clause. Levy is adamant that Bale, who scored 21 goals in the Premier League last season, will not be leaving this summer but despite that, there is a belief at White Hart Lane that a world record bid would change everything. Real paid £80m to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009 and Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has made it clear he wants the Wales flyer, will have to offer around £85m for Levy to twitch. The Spanish club may try to offer a lower cash sum, perhaps £60m, plus players they know Spurs admire such as Argentina winger Angel di Maria and Portugal left back Fabio Coentrao, but that sort of exchange is sure to complicate negotiations.

Mourinho Predicts Chelsea Return For transfer window. CHELSEA manager Jose Drogba “He is a player and he is a Mourinho has predicted that Didier Drogba will return to Chelsea but not in a playing capacity. Drogba, who was voted Chelsea’s best ever player, formed a special relationship while playing under

Didier Drogba

Mourinho during their time together at Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese coach says that the Galatasaray player holds a special place in the hearts of the Blues faithful and has envisaged a return to the club, but not during this

winner and he enjoys his game and I almost had a heart attack because of him,” Mourinho was quoted in the Telegraph. “Let him enjoy a good couple of years of football but, after that, he is loved in this club by everyone and that’s very, very normal. I think one day he will have a Chelsea future.” Asked if Drogba could return as a coach, the Chelsea manager said: “It’s more a global question than a specific question to the manager. “I am nobody, I am just the manager. Is he a very important player in Chelsea’s history? Yes. Will Didier be always in the memory of Chelsea fans, Chelsea board, Chelsea owner, Chelsea fellow players, Chelsea kids growing up? Yes. “Is it normal that Didier will be in the future connected with Chelsea again, I think yes. How? I don’t know.”



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Buffon Tips Napoli, Fiorentina For GIANLUIGI Buffon has Success tipped both Napoli and Fiorentina to have an equally successful season after their summer spending and believes Milan are still strong despite their lack of transfer activity. The Partenopei and Fiorentina have been tipped to mount a serious challenge in next season’s Serie A campaign following the arrivals of Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Gomez respectively. “Napoli and Fiorentina have been playing good football for a year, made spectacular process and I think the players who have chosen to play in Italy have also come to this conclusion. Our game is improving,” he told “Milan are competitive even without making big statements in the transfer market, because they’ve already got players that allow them to be amongst the front runners. Inter’s best signing has been their manager and they already have a foundation of six or seven young and important players. They’ll soon be able to get back to winning ways. “Elsewhere, Napoli have bolstered their squad and recruited a winner as their manager. He’s someone I have a great deal of respect for, a great professional who knows what’s required in order to win. Fiorentina also have the signing of Beppe Rossi, who if he clicks with

Gomez will form part of an international level strike force.” The smart transfer activity means that there will be an increase in competition for the Bianconeri next season, but Buffon is adamant that the team will rise to the challenge. “It won’t be easy to reclaim our title, in fact, this year will be even harder than the previous two. But the fact that our rivals are strengthening, coupled with Conte’s unrelenting approach, will only help us to remain on the ball,” he concluded.

Buffon Hails New Recruits

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi Wins Goal 50 Award

THE Barcelona forward says he is “very excited” after topping our annual list of the world’s most outstanding players for the the third time Lionel Messi has won scorer to 313 goals in all the Goal 50 award for the competitions by the end world’s best footballer of the season. after another recordMessi struck in his 19th breaking season. consecutive La Liga The Argentinian game in March 2013, forward claims the title becoming the first for the third time in footballer in history to recognition of an score in consecutive incredible campaign matches against every during which he beat team in a major Gerd Muller’s 40-year- professional league. old record of 85 goals After receiving the scored in a calendar year. trophy from Goal’s The 26-year old scored Barcelona correspondent 91 goals in 2012 and Pilar Suarez at the club’s increased his total as training ground, Messi Barcelona’s all-time top said: “I’m very excited

Bayern Keep Cool After Supercup BAYERN Munich are best - ourselves included. Loss remaining calm after their 4-2 Supercup defeat by Borussia Dortmund, with coach Pep Guardiola saying there was time to correct “minor mistakes” before the Bundesliga season begins. It was the first time Bayern had conceded more than three goals in a competitive game since their 5-2 defeat to the same opponents in the 2012 DFB-Pokal final. “We now have ten days until the Bundelsiga kicks off. We’ll correct our minor mistakes,” Guardiola said. “Overall, I am satisfied with our performance. We played well and took up good positions.” Guardiola, who mixed up his starting formation and played Croatian attacker Mario Mandzukic on the left wing in the first half, added: “Even though we lost, I don’t have the feeling

Dortmund were superior.” Netherlands international Arjen Robben, who scored both Bayern goals, told kicker the treble-winners “threw it away”. “We should not panic,” he said. “We made mistakes. We need to learn from that, but I don’t want to exaggerate it. “You always play to win. Every title is one more, and that’s why we want to win all titles. It did not work out in the Supercup, but there are still a lot of titles left to win.” Bayern skipper Philipp Lahm said: “We still have to keep on working, but we knew that. We still need a little time before everything works the way we want it to work.” Winger Thomas Muller echoed his words and said: “Any team can be beaten if they don’t perform at their

“That applies even more when you’re playing Dortmund, who are a great team as well. So we didn’t lose the Supercup to any old team. Although, that said, we’d still rather have won it.”

about this. As players, we work the entire year to win honours for the team, we don’t look for the individual awards, but when they come it’s an incentive and gives us strength to continue on the same path.” The Goal 50 is regarded as one of the most credible and respected awards in sport because it is chosen by the world’s biggest football website. Voting takes place at the end of domestic and international seasons for the majority of countries. More than 500 Goal journalists from around the world vote to select their top 50 players, giving a truly global view. Messi heads this year’s list in front of second-

placed Franck Ribery, who helped European champions Bayern Munich win an historic treble. Last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo is third. Commenting on the results, Graham Shaw, Editorial Director, said: “Messi had a spectacular season and it is incredible to think he has achieved so much by the age of 26. His award this year takes him past Cristiano Ronaldo to a record three Goal 50 titles and recognises the individual brilliance of a player who is rightly recognised by some as the greatest of all time.”

Barca Welcome 10 More Players BARCELONA will be close to full strength when they

Lewandowski Reveals Dortmund ROBERT Lewandowski the club. ‘Issue’ representing indicated he has a “problem” “When I am on the pitch, I with Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke in a Sky interview following his team’s 4-2 victory over Bayern Munich at the weekend. Lewandowski has made no secret of his desire to join Bayern this summer, but Dortmund — who already lost Mario Gotze to the champions — have refused to contemplate a sale. Jurgen Klopp, the Dortmund coach, acknowledged earlier this month that Lewandowski will move to the Allianz Arena on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer but said the Poland striker had

a key part to play in ensuring the club is successful in the coming season. “I know Robert sees things the same way,” he added in Welt am Sonntag. Saturday’s German Supercup meeting had been keenly anticipated as the player made his first competitive appearance for Dortmund since the 2-1 defeat to Bayern in the Champions League final. Despite failing to score, his overall performance was impressive and, interviewed post-match, he said he did not have a problem

JUVENTUS skipper Gianluigi Buffon has hailed the capture of new signings Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente and Angelo Ogbonna. The shot-stopper, who met up with his team in their Jeep US Tour after featuring in the Confederations Cup with Italy, says that the recruits have already adjusted well to life at their new club. Buffon describes Tevez’s arrival as a ‘real statement of intent by the club’ and feels that the new arrivals can help mount for a serious challenge for silverware this season. “I’ve come back to a stronger Juventus side. Now we’ve got additional elements of excellent quality. We’ve taken a genuine step forward,” he told the club’s website. “The acquisition of Tevez was a real statement of intent from the club. Carlos is one of those players who can tip the balance and the fact that a champion like him has considered Juve is also a point of pride for us players. “Evidently, his decision to come here means that we’ve also done something important on a European level. The new arrivals have already blended in well with the group and don’t hold back when there’s work to be done. They’ve got an excellent attitude.”

want to play well and score goals,” he told Sky. “That is the most important thing for me, no matter where I play.” However, he added: “I feel fine in the team, but with other people I do have a problem. That is a difficult issue.” The statement appeared to be directed at Watzke and sporting director Michael Zorc, who had refused to grant him a move to Bayern this summer. Watzke, speaking to Bild, said: “It’s obvious Robert is focused on me, but I need to make decisions for the good of the club. I can accept that Robert bears a small grudge against me.”

welcome their Spain and Brazil internationals to preseason training on Monday afternoon. The players were given extended leave after reaching the finals of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup with their respective nations back in June. The eight Spanish internationals, alongside the Brazilian duo of Neymar and Dani Alves, will undergo routine medical tests at the Ciutat Esportiva in the morning. The players will then join their teammates in the afternoon for the first training session under new coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino. The Argentine was watching from the stands as the Catalans demolished Norwegian side Valerenga 70on Saturday.



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

EMMANUEL Adebayor Belgium Deal Nigeria’ll For GhanaDo U20 V/Ball Champs: Well NVBF is still a-target for Turkish club Besiktas who believe they can GHANA U20 goalkeeper Goalkeeper Antwi land him if they can escape a E ric Ofori Antwi has

received an offer to join a club in the Belgian Pro L e a g u e , can exclusively reveal. His club Amidaus Professionals are expected to reach a deal with the unnamed club before the transfer window shuts next month. Antwi was a pillar

between the sticks for Ghana at the just ended 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey. Pundits believe his firsthalf injury contributed to the Black Satellites 2-1 semi-final defeat to eventual winners. At the African Youth Championship, he won the Fair Play Award in their

defeat to Egypt on penalties in the final match. Antwi was instrumental in Amidaus Professionals surviving in the Ghana topflight on their debut. The Tema-based side finished 11th at the end of the season under Tony Lokko who has left to take up the job at Berekum Chelsea.

the club’s official website. “It was a great experience to get playing time with the senior side.” Meanwhile, Cameroon international Alex Song also hailed his side for a solid performance and stated that he was looking forward to working with

“The new manager watched the game and we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks,” said Song. “I think we played well today (Saturday).” Last season Song made 34 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona.

JAPAN said Monday it has protested at the display of a banner criticising Tokyo when its football team played South Korea in the final match of the East Asian Cup in Seoul. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference the display was “extremely regrettable”, according to Kyodo News. The Japanese government “will respond appropriately based on FIFA rules when the facts are revealed”, Suga said, referring to the sport’s governing body. The Japan Football Association has submitted a letter of protest to the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF), public broadcaster NHK and other news reports said. Japan won the cup Sunday after its men’s team defeated

South Korea 2-1. During the match at the Olympic Stadium, South Korean fans displayed a giant banner reading, “There is no future for people who have forgotten their past” — a reference to Japan’s reluctance to acknowledge its colonial and militaristic history, including in Korea. The banner, which may violate

Dongou Pleased With Barca new coach Gerardo CAMEROON Brace Martino. teenager Jean Marie Dongou says he was delighted after netting a brace for Barcelona during Saturday’s 7-0 win over Valerenga. The 18-year-old scored twice on his first team debut as the Catalans overpowered their Norwegian opponents, adding to goals from Alexis, Cristian Tello, Lionel Messi, Jonathan Dos Santos and Joan Roman. “It feels good to score two goals with the first team, it’s special,” he told

Partizan Belgrade Set To Lure Tagoe SERBIAN giants Partizan Belgrade are set to make an official offer for Ghana striker Prince Tagoe who is a free agent. The 26-year-old has left Turkish giants Bursaspor on mutual consent and he is on the market looking for a new club. Tagoe played on loan at Partizan from TSG Hoffenheim in the 2010/ 2011 season where he won the League and Cup double. He scored 12 goals (9 league and 3 cup goals) in all competitions. That happens to be the only successful spell he has had in Europe in his professional career. Tagoe spent the second half of last season on loan at Saudi side Ittifaq where he scored one goal in 8 appearances.

ban for alleged match-fixing. Spurs are willing to listen to offers for the 29-year-old Togo international striker after he scored just five League goals in 25 appearances last season. Besiktas are ready to stump up the £6.6million asking price but know they have no chance of attracting him if they are not in the Europa League. They are facing a ban from next season’s competition for alleged match fixing but have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and are confident of getting the decision overturned. Besikta president Fikret Orman said: “We are interested in Adebayor and a transfer can always be done. “Once [the UEFA case] is settled, I am going to London to sort out the transfer.” Besiktas have been granted entry into the preliminary stages of the Europa League until a final decision is made on 30 August 2013.

Adebayor Still A Target For Besiktas Adebayor has two years left on his Tottenham contract

after moving to White Hart Lane on a permanent basis last year.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Japan Protests Over S/Korea Match Banner

Sepp Blatter

EAFF regulations banning political campaigns during its games, was taken down after the first half. “It was regrettable,” Japan Football Association president Kuniya Daini said, according to Kyodo. “We want the East Asian (Football) Federation to investigate and deal with the case

firmly.” Japanese fans at the game waved the Rising Sun flag of their country’s military — seen as a symbol of its imperialistic past — before they were asked to put it away. Relations between the two countries are often prickly, with disputes often related to Japan’s harsh 1910-45 rule over Korea.

The acrimony sometimes clouds sporting fixtures. A similar incident occurred when the two football teams met during the London Olympics last year. South Korea’s Park JongWoo was banned for two games by FIFA and fined after he displayed a sign referring to a territorial dispute between the two countries.

Anti-Racism Group Launched To Tackle Abuse

FOOTBALL anti-racism group Kick It Out on Monday launched a new mobile phone tool for fans and players to report racist or homophobic abuse, after a number of highprofile incidents last season. The mobile phone application will allow fans and players to report abuse

directly to Kick It Out, which will follow up the cases with the football authorities and, if necessary, the police. “Part of the problems that were raised last season were players saying they had complained about an incident and nothing was done about it,” said the organisation’s chairman Herman Ouseley. “Some of them never even found out about the outcome of their complaint, especially if it was not found in their favour because we had not been involved. “Now if players have got a problem they will be able to contact us directly and, if they wish, anonymously, and we will follow through on the complaint. “Fans will also be able to contact us if for some reason they don’t feel the confidence to report something to a

steward.” English football has been marred by incidents of racism on and off the pitch over the last two years, with the John Terry and Luis Suarez cases provoking criticism of Kick It Out’s response by some players. Ouseley hopes the new season of action will prompt clubs to take the fight against discrimination more seriously, rather than paying

lip service to the battle against racism during the organisation’s traditional twoweek advertising campaign. “We felt the old format was stale,” he added. “Clubs need to show they are being much more inclusive and reaching out to fans to show they are embracing everyone, and taking the responsibility for educating everyone - players, supporters and employees. “If an incident does happen then clubs need to take responsibility and not blame someone else.”

Bumper Cash Pay-Off GHANA striker Prince Tagoe For Tagoe was paid 500,000 Euros by Turkish side Bursaspor after both parties reach an agreement to terminate the player’s contract. The player had one year left on his contract but the club decided to dispense with his services after failing to make an impact there. Tagoe joined the club in 2011 from TSG Hoffenheim-where he flopped-for a transfer fee of 1.5 million euros. But the 26-year-old failed to establish himself after scoring just one goal in 11 appearances. He has failed to make an

impact in Europe but has excelled in the Gulf with clubs as Al Ittifaq, Al Shabab and Al Ittihad.

Prince Tagoe



TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Emenike Says He Is E M M A N U E L Better Emenike scored his

Fatai Amoo

Stephen Keshi

NIGERIA’S 2-0 loss to the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire in the final leg of the final round of the African Nations Champioship (CHAN) qualifier has been described as a good experience for the national team by head coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi. Nigeria qualified 4-3 on “If you say it was a game aggregate after winning the of two halves I may tend to first leg 4-1 in Kaduna. agree with you. Because we In a post match press started poorly largely due to conference, Keshi said: experience and then when “We thank God we we came into the game they qualified at the end of the struggled against us, but that day but my boys did not is football, we are just pick up till the second half grateful to the NFF, and I must say to you that Nigerians and God that we I am happy and this is a made it for the first time to great experience for a the CHAN tournament.” young side like the home Ivorian coach, Saraka based side.” Norbert, who also spoke at The coach admitted that the post match conference his players were jittery at admitted that the Nigerian the start of the match side were slightly more which led to them experienced than his side, conceding two quick goals even as he refused to blame in the first half but they the two red cards the team woke up and gave a good received in the first leg in account of themselves in Kaduna for his side’s ouster. the second.

“Nigeria is a great country economically, socially and even in football and we must admit that when we get to their heights in the near future, Ivorian football will be great again,” he said. Norbert again reiterated his love for the Nigerian handler, whom he described as an Ivorian and wished him well in his future endeavours. The Nigerian team is scheduled to depart Abidjan on Sunday morning and will

come through Lome, the Togolese capital. The team is expected to arrive Nigeria at about 4:00pm Nigerian time and is expected to disperse immediately from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, accordingm to team administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor. The next big assignment for the Super Eagles will be the Nelson Mandela Challenge contest against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Durban in August.

SUNSHINE Stars’ head coach Fatai Amoo has revealed that he never tendered any resignation letter as circulated in the media but only refused to go back to Akure because of threats to his life. Amoo was reported to have resigned after he was assaulted by supporters of the Akure Arsenal after their loss to

Nasarawa United in the Round of 16 of the Federation Cup on Wednesday. But the former 3SC and Enyimba coach has asserted that he only steered clear of Akure because of constant death threats he received from some miscreants within the state because of the loss. Amoo disclosed that he would be ready to return to Akure to resume his work when he gets assurances that adequate security would be provided for him and his players to ward off death threats to their lives. He said he would like to have an enabling environment that would be devoid of the unnecessary distractions including threats to his life by some miscreants that he knows very well. Amoo alleged that his problem started when Sunshine lost 0-1 to Nasarawa United in the Federation Cup Round of 16 despite playing with an understrength team at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja. “I am still the technical adviser of Sunshine Stars and I have not resigned at all as it is being peddled in the press. I only chose not to return now to Akure until the government deals with the issue of threats to my life by some miscreants who I believe were sponsored to cause disharmony in the team,” said Amoo.

Keshi Picks Positives From Abidjan Game

Alhaji Gero

Abidjan last weekend told Goal that the squad can repeat what the main team did in South Africa this year by winning the CHAN trophy for the first time. “I believe we are going to win the trophy because we have players in Nigeria who can become the best with the right motivation. “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we will do well. Now that we have qualified, you are going to see how the players at home will take the competition. “This is the opportunity we have been waiting for, and now that it has come, we are not going to let it go without the trophy resting in Nigeria. “It was a good feeling beating a tough Ivorian side to participate in the CHAN competition for the first time. I knew that there was no way we were going to lose to

“I am back and better. It’s my business to score goals so when I do, I am thrilled. I am promising to reward my team and fans with many goals this season. I just want to keep scoring,” he told The big Eagles striker has scored two goals in the three-week-old Russian Premier League with his club Spartak Moscow setting the pace on top of the table with a perfect nine points.

Emmanuel Emenike

Fatai Amoo Stays With Sunshine Stars

S/Eagles Can Win CHAN

RANGERS striker, Alhaji Gero has said that the Super Eagles have all it takes to win the African Nations Championshp (CHAN) trophy which comes up in January next year. Gero who was part of the team that qualified for the competition for the first time in

second goal for Spartak Moscow at the weekend and says it can only get better for him since his long-term layoff. Nigeria striker Emenike was on target in Saturday’s 4-1 away demolition of Dinamo Moscow and he told he is back to score more goals for his club this season. Emenike was on target in the 30th minute to give Spartak Moscow a 3-0 lead.

- Alhaji Gero the Elephants. “We are going to prepare very well and with coach Stephen Keshi in charge, you can be sure we are on the right track,” said Gero who was recently promoted from the U20 team. Nigeria missed the first two editions of the nascent championship, exclusively for footballers plying their trade in their country’s domestic League. Ghana shut out the Eagles from the inaugural edition in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 while the Eagles’ path to Sudan 2011 was barred by Niger Republic. Nigeria join Morocco, which eliminated cup holders Tunisia, as well as Libya, Ghana, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Uganda and hosts South Africa in the 16-team finals due from January 11 next year.

“We went to Lokoja with 21 players of which 4 were goalkeepers. Some of our best players registered for the competition, like Yahaya Adamu who now plays for Kwara United, have left for other clubs. The new players we just bought are not eligible to play. “We had to use a goalkeeper as a cover up to complete 18 players during our game against Nembe City and we won 2-1. No one said anything then but when we were beaten 1-0 by Nasarawa United, same side that beat Sunshine Stars 3-0 last year while they were still in the National League in the same competition, heaven wants to fall. “There was no any record that the players or the coaches were assaulted when they lost 3-0 to Nasarawa United that were in the National League last year, but why now? We played with a half strength team and still held our own against them. “But after the match some miscreants came to us and started beating Francis Shedrack, a striker because he couldn’t score the chances that came his way. Will he deliberately not want to score? “They came to where we packed our vehicle, they smashed

the glass of the side window which injured our goalkeeper Moses Ocheje and also started raining curses on us that they would kill us if we come back to Akure because they say we are not from the state. Are we not one Nigeria? “I will be ready to continue to work because I am not the type that abandons my work at the middle of the battle. I have the confidence in myself to deliver that was why I took up the job in the first place. The Ondo government must guarantee the safety of the coaches and the players and also strive to fish out those that have threatened to kill me if I step into Akure again. “We have suspended training sessions because of the threat to our lives and the players are scattered as I speak with you. But as soon as all these are resolved, we are able to have an enabling environment to work and those that are causing confusion are fished out I will be ready to return,” the former Eagles coach affirmed. It was gathered from a top source that the coach will resume his duty on Monday after he was prevailed upon to come back and that security issues around him will be resolved. Sunshine Stars are 10th on the log with 31 points from 22 games and they travel to Gombe to face Gombe United in a Week 23 clash on August 4.





IBERIA celebrated its 166th independence anniversary on July 26th this year. In line with the distinct tradition of selecting individuals across the social divide as orators to give the nationally televised independence speech, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf picked a prominent lawyer, Councillor Varney Sherman, as the orator. Events to mark the anniversary also included the dedication of several development projects in the three counties selected to host the celebrations this year. It was an opportunity to reiterate the government’s commitment to building a stronger democracy and improving the social conditions of a nation that witnessed one of the worst civil wars on the continent. It has been ten years since the civil war, which lasted for fourteen years, and government efforts at improving living conditions for the majority of Liberians have been impressive if we consider the depth of decay the country is emerging from. There is no doubt that there have been immense challenges, some of which would require many more years to fix- Nigeria still struggles to correct some of the social consequences of a civil war that ended over thirty years ago. The independence celebration is also a moment of reflection on the nation’s journey so far; two civil wars that shattered the lives and dreams of millions have given rise to a perceptible feeling of vigilance in safeguarding the nation’s new found peace. Across the country, memories of this conflict have reshaped the social outlook of the people but have not dampened the legendary verve with which the average Liberian lives life. This zeal to survive has been a major factor in effecting one of the fastest recoveries any nation ravaged by war has ever experienced. Estimates suggest that since the end of the civil war, and particularly since 2005, with democratic elections and a new government in place, Liberia’s GDP growth has been accelerating, reaching 9.4% in 2007; a strengthening agricultural sector, led by rubber and timber exports, increased

TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

growth to 5.1% in 2010 and 7.3% in 2011, making the economy one of the 20 fastest growing in the world. A United Nations ban on Liberian diamond export, which was put in place in 2001, was lifted in 2007. Like most African nations, Liberia is still grappling with political and economic challenges that have defined the course of its

bullet holes that stood as constant reminders of a macabre past, in equal measure. In some ways even, Monrovia, indeed the whole of Liberia, had acquired some kind of Hollywood status for many of us impressionable young men in the 90s, considering that we had never seen a conflict that played out in such sinister acts as young men with ladies’ wigs on

history over the years; like in other African states also, the government of Liberia struggles against all odds to reposition the country for growth; this has not been an easy road to travel. On my first visit to

their heads and wearing boxer shots- or sometimes even going into battle stark naked and feeding on

Liberia At 166: Slowly,

But Surely, Picking Up The Pieces light traffic and rain the day I arrived, cars drove past seeminly oblivious to memories of a time when

President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson Monrovia in 2010, some of these challenges were evident. The civil war years, which exposed the rift between Liberia’s social classes and played out the consequences of ignoring public demands, had brought the country to its knees. Liberia in 1990 had become the launch pad for a series of conflicts borne out of public anger against governments that had seen themselves as infallible and the frustrations of a people who had been left with no other means of addressing their social and economic demands. As I arrived, the feeling of anxiety could only have been surpassed by my sense of relief that I had finally achieved a dream. I had made up my mind that Monrovia, considered during the 70’s as a West African melting pot, could hardly disappoint me: its natural beauty would excite but so also would its decrepit buildings, with

human parts- brandishing AK47 rifles in one hand with human skulls hung on stakes at checkpoints. To many, these scenes seemed more like clips from a movie by a producer with a feral imagination. Driving into town from the airport, I could start replaying some of the clips in my head. I constantly battled with conflicting scenarios: ECOMOG troops battling fierce resistance from rebel formations to seize the stretch between Robertsfield and Monrovia had given way to a smooth thirty minutes drive that had some of the best sceneries of verdant forests and serene homes I had ever seen; belligerent young men moving in zig-zag formations as they fired indiscriminately, in motions that seemed more like dance moves than war tactics, Tubman boulevard had given way to a wide nylon tarred road with a

people scampered across those same lanes for safety; the streets around Congo town had no special memories for me but images of fleeing AmericoLiberians (known locally as Congos) who must have realised that years of president Doe’s shackles and attacks from rebel groups who carried out a war of extinction against them left no options for them besides fleeing made the area an interesting stop. Tubman boulevard runs through Sinkor, where the famous Spriggs Payne airfield, liberated by ECOMOG troops, is located. Sinkor was the scene of heavy fighting in both civil wars and two massacres occured there. Everywhere across this city with a population of over a million, the memory seemed engraved on decrepit structures, the faces of young men and women, and it had obviously changed

perceptions, inspiring a nationwide insistence on sustaining the new found peace. Downtown Monrovia still had war scars everywhere I turned: to borrow the words of Liberian American writer Helen Cooper, parts of downtown ‘still looked like the set for an African “Apocalypse Now”. My visit was on an invitation to attend an ECOWAS regional conference themed “Two decades of peace processes in West Africa; achievements, failures, lessons”, which was also a commemoration of seven years of the end of the devastating conflict. I have always wanted to go back and see the changes that a stable democratically elected government has been able to make in seven years. Even if I haven’t visited, I have followed the political happenings in the country ever since. There is no doubt that the challenges ahead for Liberia are immense; still reeling from the total collapse of its public services, and the emigration of its most valued brains and investors, Liberia has an unenviable task ahead. Considering how difficult it is to meet the demands of a struggling population still coping with the myriad effects of war and a government that struggles to sustain its public wage bill. It is admirable that the people and government have continued to show the same resilience that saw them through the war years. The commitment to strengthening the foundation of democratic and responsible governance yielded positive results. President Sirleaf that “The first six years of our administration was our period of stabilization – where our goal was to formulate the laws, strategies and policies to

reform state structures by changing procedures and technologies to make existing systems more effective. In this second term, our goal is to transform our nation economically, as well as socially. For Johnson Sirleaf, there is no doubt that the task of governance has been immense, but she is no spring chicken to Liberian politics; her active participation in Liberia’s political field spans several administrations and some of its most trying periods of political transition. In fact, her role in the creation and dissolution of past regimes is legendary; many remember her for her outspokenness against the Doe regime, which she had been a part of and had resigned from, in the face of imminent prosecution. Without faltering, Sirleaf kept up the pressure against that administration. One of her most celebrated moments in her opposition to the policies and programmes of the Doe administration was a speech at the United Nations in which she referred to that administration as one run by “simpletons”. Mrs. Sirleaf dared return to the country after that; the consequence of that outspokenness was a stint in prison that didn’t do much to alter her position. She kept up the pressure, becoming one of the key players in exposing the failures of that government. Today, her efforts are admirable under the circumstances. Public reaction to unacceptable government policies have been fervent so far and this seems to have been the result of the government’s commitment to free the political space and to allow room for criticisms and contrary opinions to thrive.

Printed and published by Bendel Newspapers Company Limited, 24, Airport Road, P.M.B. 1334 Benin City. Telephone; Lagos: 01 4930929, Benin: 052 257492, 257531 Editor: Barr. SOLOMON IMOHIOSEN (KSJI)- (07030699646), Deputy General Manager, Marketing (08023457566), Assistant General Manager, Advertisement (08023808856) Lagos Office: 3/4 Amode Close, Kudirat Abiola Way, By Olushosun Bus Stop, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. Abuja Office: Floor 1, Edo House, 75 Ralph Shodeinde Street, Central Business District, Abuja. Tel/Fax: 09-5237631. All correspondence to: 24 Airport Road, Benin City. E-mail: (ISSN 0331-2674)

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