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Weekend PUBLISHED SINCE OCTOBER 6, 1990 • Vol.XI NO.3,231 • SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 20 14 • N100.00

MAGAZINE Fighting Corruption:

A War For All Pages 16-17

PERSPECTIVE

The Question Of Diezani’s Chartered Jet -

Page 12

2015 Elections

Jonathan Appeals To Media

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to the media to exercise its freedom with responsibility to Nigerians and rise to the defence of democracy as the 2015 elections draw nearer. The President made the appeal in Abuja at a fund-raising dinner organised by the

Nigerian Guild of Editors. Represented by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, the

2014 Budget To Improve Nigerians - Lawmaker

A member of the House of Representatives has described the 2014 budget, passed by the National Assembly, as “a budget for Nigerians”. He stated this in an interviews with our correspondent in Abuja. Rep. Rasaq BelloOsagie (APC-Edo) said the budget was for the well being of Nigerians. “ I am happy that we are all living witnesses to the process leading to the passage of the budget,” he said. He said he was optimistic that the budget would uplift the quality of lives of Nigerians as well as the development of the country.

“This is a budget for Nigerians, it is not about PDP, APC, it is about our people that we represent who graciously gave us their mandate. “We all agreed that in the best interest of this country and Nigerians, this budget should be passed, the senate has also passed the budget, so, what reason do we have not to pass it,” he said. The lawmaker said that the passage of the bill reflected the “spirit” of cooperation and that when it mattered most, the interest of Nigerians was paramount. He said the house had “delivered “to the people, in spite of the delay in passing the budget.

President said in spite of the challenges, democracy in the past 14 years had served Nigerians better than the decades of military rule. He urged the media to exercise the freedom it presently enjoy with utmost responsibility to the nation, noting that the

better than the military regimes that we have had. “My challenge to practitioners is to present our country in a positive way; let us defend this country and the

democracy we currently enjoy. “Nigeria can only be fixed by the people of Nigeria, that is why I am particularly appealing to the media to project our country in their reports,’’

he said. Jonathan added that in spite of the challenges in the country, Nigeria had done significantly well both at home and in the continent.

Continued on page 4

School Of Health Technology Opens ReRe-Opens Tuesday, April 22

EDO State Government has approved the re-opening of the State School of Health Technology, Benin City which was closed down on 29th January 2014 by the Ministry of Health, Edo State. The School will be re opened on Tuesday 22nd of April, 2014. The Statement from the office of the H o n o u r a b l e Commissioner, Ministry of Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Aihanuwa Eregie said that upon the re-opening all students must come with a sworn affidavit of good conduct, a hand written letter of apology and a sworn affidavit of

Continued on page 4

INSIGHT

Killing In The Name Of God - Page 18

media remained a critical factor in the success or otherwise of the 2015 election. “I am appealing to the media; this democracy we are seeing is far

MEETING: L-R: Strategist, International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), Mr. Justin Arenstein President, Joyce Barnathan;representative of the Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Tony Nezianya and General Manager, Galaxy Television, Mr. Kolawole Akintoba, at a roundtable Strategy meeting with Media Executives in Lagos yesterday.

INDUSTRY

Nigeria’s Industrial Development - Page 25

ANALYSIS The Nigerian Police And TheOrdeal Of Bathered Women - Pages 6-7


Crime

News Court Remands Security Guard In Prison For Stealing N195,650 AN Enugu Magistrates’ Court has remanded a 28year- old security guard, Philip Orji, of Enugu North Local Government Area, in prison over alleged theft. The accused, who is a security guard at Max shop located inside a shopping mall, is facing a one-count charge of stealing The Police Prosecutor, Mr. Matthew Opara, told the court that the case was reported to the Central Police Station, Enugu, on March 24, by Mr. David Adejor, a staff of the shop. “The accused stole five pieces of belt worth N15, 500, 16 pieces of boxers, a corporate pant worth N60, 950 and four pieces of three-quarter shorts worth N18, 000. “Other items he stole include 10 pieces of Tshirts and two shirts worth N50, 400, four Chinos trousers worth N23, 750 and three pieces of jeans trousers worth N21, 300, all totaling N195, 650. Opara said the offence was punishable under the Criminal Code Cap 30 Vol. ll Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004. The prosecutor said that the court granted his request by not giving

judgment on the first day after the accused pleaded guilty to enable him produce some of the stolen items recovered from him. The accused person, an accountancy student in a tertiary institution in Enugu, pleaded guilty to the one count-charge when it was read to him. The Counsel to the accused, Mr. M.I Ogbodo,

Out-going Commanding Officer of 14 Field Engineers Regiment, Onitsha, Col. Bayode Adetoro (right), addressing officers and soldiers of 14 Field Engineers Regiment in Onitsha recently.

EFCC Arraigns Businessman For Alleged laundering Of N102.4m

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos have arraigned a businessman, Frank Amah, over alleged laundering of N102.4 million. The reports state that Amah is standing trial on an amended four-count charge bordering on money laundering at a Federal High Court, Lagos. The accused was first arraigned in 2007 with Justice Peter Olayiwola,

now retired, as the trial judge. The case was transferred to other judges before his re-arraignment before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke. Also joined in the suit is his company — Chy Frank Nig. Ltd. At Wednesday’s proceeding, the prosecutor, Saidu Atteh, asked the court to read the amended charge to the

Man, 44, Docked Over Alleged Theft Conversion Of N350,00 Property A 44-year-old businessman, Abiola Olaleye, have been arraigned in Lagos for theft

Court Dissolves Marriage Over Wife’s Insults To Husband A Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan has dissolved the marriage between Olumide Olapade and his wife Idowu for insults, disobedience and quarrelsome attitude. The President of the court, Chief Henric Agbaje, said from the statements made by the couple, it was obvious that they were no longer compatible. “I, hereby, dissolve your marriage for peaceful coexistence. Henceforth, you should stay clear of each other to forestall any disorderly act,’’ he Agbaje held. Olapade, a tailor who resides at Academy Area, Ibadan, had told the court that Idowu was

pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy by reversing its initial order on the accused. The Magistrate, Mr Frank Chukwu, said that the accused would not be granted bail because he had earlier pleaded guilty to the offence, and ordered that he be remanded in prison. He adjourned the case until April 17 for continuation of hearing.

found of cursing him at any slightest opportunity. “Idowu is so quarrelsome that she has taken cursing me as a hobby. “I have never had any moment of rest since I married her. She either makes me uncomfortable by abusing or cursing me,” he said. Idowu, however, argued that Olapade was such an irresponsible husband, adding, that “he does not cater for our child and myself’’. She, however, pleaded with the court not to dissolve the marriage on the grounds that she hated going into another marriage.

and conversion of property worth N350, 000. The accused appeared before Magistrate Taiwo Akanni of an Ojokoro Magistrates’ Court, on a two-count charge of theft and conversion. The prosecutor, Insp. Lugard Ahonle, told the court that the accused allegedly committed the offences between 5.00 p.m. on Jan. 3 and Feb. 11 at Fagba, Iju, Lagos. “Olaleye collected two mobile phones and clothing materials valued at N350, 000 from one Miss Oluwaseun Otibo, to help her to dispose of them, but converted them to his personal use.’’ The alleged offences contravened Sections 285 and 346 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. He, however, pleaded not guilty of the charge. Akanni granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum. She adjourned the case

accused for him to take a fresh plea. Atteh told the court that the accused fraudulently obtained N102. 4 million from one Mr. Donatus Dunu on pretext of selling some goods to him, but instead converted the money to personal use. The accused used N94.8 million out of the N102 .4 million to purchase a house at Ikoyi area of Lagos, he added. “The remaining money

was used to purchase shares of the defunct Chartered Bank now Stanbic IBTC Bank.’’ He said the offences, which were committed on March 10, 2005 in Ikoyi, contravened Section 14 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Counsel to the accused, Mr. J. Ezike, asked the court to quash the charges

because the prosecution had failed to disclose any offence known to law. Ezike also noted that the prosecution did not comply with the condition precedent to the suit by not swearing to an affidavit in support of the charge. On the application for bail by the defence counsel, Justice Aneke allowed the accused to continue to enjoy bail on the terms earlier granted him. The case was adjourned to May 26 for trial.

Police Arrest 23 Suspected THE Police in Abia said it had arrested no fewer Criminals In Abia than 23 suspected armed robbers, kidnappers and child traffickers from different parts of the state. The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adamu Ibrahim, who confirmed the arrest at a news conference, said the suspects were already assisting the police in investigation. He listed items recovered from the hoodlums to include one short double-barrel gun, two live cartridges, seven Nokia phones, five laptops, two generating sets, one digital camera and three tricycles. Ibrahim said the arrest was made possible “due to our proactive efforts and machinery put in place to checkmate crime and criminality in the state.” The police boss explained that among the suspects were members of a kidnapping syndicate, which had operated in the

state since 2012. He said the police had been on their trail since March 12, adding that the syndicate was involved in a foiled kidnap of one Chief Patrick Ezeugwu and the robbery of traders in Aba. “Upon a hot chase by the police, they abandoned a keke NAPEP with the sum of N1.47million and a locally-made doublebarrel gun.’’ The commissioner said that the suspects would soon appear in court. He said that two undergraduates, Ike Akobundu and Joel Sunday, who were said to specialise in the stealing of laptops from hostels at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, were also arrested. Akobundu, 19, told newsmen that he went into stealing to be able to pay his school fees and

those of his siblings and also support his widow mother. The police chief said that two suspected human traffickers were also arrested after the police raided a maternity home at Umuabuwa Village in Osisioma, near Aba, where they allegedly kept pregnant women until they were delivered. He said that the two pregnant women, Chidinma Okeke and Ozuchi Chinasa, were rescued during the raid. The police boss also said that one Adetonye Olutonye was arrested on March 28 in Aba with two pupils of a primary and nursery school. Ibrahim said that the children were abducted by Olutonye while returning from school. The commissioner said that the kids had been released to their parents, while investigations into the matter would continue.


News

Confab: Women Urge National

SOME women organisations said that the break-up of the country as being canvassed in some quarters was not in the nation’s interest. The groups told newsmen in separate interviews in Lagos that promoting unity was the best option for the country’s development. The President, Catholic Women Organisation of Nigeria, Saints Joachim and Anne Ijebu, Lagos Mrs Francisca Obasuyi, said that identifying the needs of all ethnic groups in order to provide solution to them would serve every stakeholder ’s interest. “I personally don’t think that will solve the problem of Nigeria, we should live as one. “Whether you are from the East, whether you are from the West, whether you are from the South- South, whether you are from the North. “As far as I am concerned, we should live as one, what I would just advise is that our leaders should look into every ethnic group and know their problem. “And try as much as they can to help them so that we can live as one because there is a saying that ‘united we stand, but divided we fall. “But I pray we Nigerians will live as one.’’ Mrs Veronica Odogwu,

Unity

another female delegate, said no region or ethnic group can exist in isolation of the other. “Division is totally out of what we are talking about now. Are you telling me that if my daughter who is married maybe to somebody from the North, we now divide then maybe she goes to the North then I remain in the South and I say because there is unrest, I am totally against it. “The only thing I know we can do is to keep telling each other that we are one. Where are we dividing to? “You come to the South, you cannot be self-sufficient, those who stay at the North will not be self- sufficient. We need each other, No one is an island. “The North can never stand alone, neither the South. So if we separate, am I going to drag my child out of her marriage, and say come back home? “What am I doing to the psychological aspect? What am I doing in bringing up that child, having a happy home as I have? Division? No way, together we do it better. “We are one. I am for one Nigeria, I am not for division, those who are talking about it need to really sit down and look at what they are talking about.

“They talk about division, then they are talking about total collapse; I’m not for it.” Mrs Chinwe Okoye, a teacher at a Federal Government College, said that there was strength in a nation with larger number. ‘To me I think the best thing to do is that we stick together because united we stand, “ndi Igbo na si na igwe bu ike” that number is strength (the Igbo say that there is strength in unity). “To be one big large country like this is a wonderful thing, the advice I am giving to our leaders is that they should know that God has put them there.’’ They, however, advised delegates at the conference to strive to speak with one voice in order to overwhelm the advocates of division of the country in their midst.

Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, Prof. Hayward Mafuyai (left) and United States of America, Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle during the Ambassador’s visit to the University recently.

INEC Decries Lamido’s Condition For Resource Control By JOSES SEDE

IJAW National Congress has squared up to Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha over his position on the demand for resource control by the SouthSouth geo-political zone, warning that issues of resource control should not be tied to any self

L-R:Officer-in-Charge of NNPC Police out-station, ASP Akilu Ghali, Executive Director, Services, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), Alhaji Idi Mukhtar and Manager, Public Affairs (KRPC), Alhaji Abdullahi Idris, at the Physical and Cyber Security Awareness Campaign for NNPC Staff and family members in Kaduna recently.

serving conditions. Mustapha had during a plenary at the National Conference proposed a stringent condition for the demand for a 100 percent resource control by oil producing states to be accepted. The Lamido of Adamawa, who made a veiled reference to the people of Niger Delta region, specifically said that those clamoring for resource control should be ready to lose their lands in the Federal Capital Territory. However, the INC spokesman, Mr. Victor Borubo, explained that the issue of resource control was the right of the people of South-South geopolitical zone. Borubo argued that the issue of resource control should not be tied to any condition, adding that the matter was natural and not subject to any individual approval. He described Mustapha’s stance on resource control as unfortunate and an attempt to draw attention to himself, and urged members of the conference not to take the statement of the traditional ruler on resource control seriously. “We, the South-South people,

UNIPORT Killing: Mob Overwhelmed Police Team A former police sergeant facing murder charge over the killing of four University of Port Harcourt students told a High Court that the mob overwhelmed a police team sent to rescue the students. The accused, Lucky Orji, was charged along with 11 other persons in connection with the killing in Allu Village in October 2012. Reports state that some other suspects were still at large. Orji told the court on Thursday that the police patrol team, of which he was a member, could not rescue the students because it was overwhelmed by the mob numbering about 3,000. Orji, the 2nd accused person, added that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the area

had ordered the team to pull out of the scene of the incident. Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. Uchechukwu Oputa, Orji said that the DPO’s order came on the heels of a distressed call by the team’s commander to the DPO. According to Orji, the commander had told the DPO that “the team was facing mob of over 3000.’’ Apparently contradicting himself, Orji also said that the police had rescued the students and took them to the police patrol vehicle, but did not tell the court what happened thereafter. The prosecution had alleged that the accused person took part in the murder of the four students instead of protecting them in line with

- Accused

his constitutional duty. The prosecution, led by Mr. Rufus Godwins, the Rivers Solicitor-General, said that Orji had used the butt of his AK47 assault rifle to hit one of the victims. Godwins had made an oral application to the court for the video footage of the scene of the crime to be played to prove his point. The video footage was played and Orji was captured in the footage hitting one of the victims with the butt of his AK47 rifle, but he denied that he was the very policeman in the footage. Orji said he had made two statements to the police on October 8, 2012, and October 14, 2012, and claimed that he made that of October 14, 2012, under duress.

According to him, an inspector had slapped him, while forcing him to sign a statement he alleged was written by Mr. Raphael Ezechi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and prosecution witness (PW1) He also claimed that the police team was attacked by the mob, but on cross examination by the prosecution, he denied that the mob attacked the police. The prosecution said it had proved that the two statements made by Orji on October 8, 2012 and 14, 2012, were made voluntarily and urged the court to admit them in evidence and mark them as exhibits. The trial judge, Justice Ledan Nyordee, adjourned the matter to May 5 and May 22, 2014, for ruling in the trial within trial and continuation of the case.

are not asking for resource control. We are saying this because we know that it is a matter of right and the SouthSouth people are going to get it; the truth is that resource control is natural and not subject to any individual’s approval,” he continued. Borubo further noted that Nigerians from all parts of the country own lands in Abuja, and wondered why the Lamido would insist that those calling for resource control (South-South) should relinquish their property in Abuja. To this end, he called on

President Goodluck Jonathan to call Mustapha to order or recall him from the National Conference if the traditional ruler continued to fan the embers of crisis at the confab. “The President should call him (Mustapha) to order or recall him if he refuses to stop fanning the embers of crisis at the National Conference. The condition he (Mustapha) is giving to us is illogical. Why should he be particular about those calling for resource control? He should know that resource control is nonnegotiable and should not attract any condition”, he stressed.

FRC Recovers N120bn From Revenue Agencies

THE Chairman of Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), Mr. Victor Muruako, has said the commission recovered N120 billion from Federal Government’s revenue generating agencies within seven years. Muruako made the disclosure in Abuja at a reconciliation meeting between FRC and the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) over the latter’s non-remittance of operating surplus from 2007 to 2012. He said the money was recovered from 2007 to date, adding that the recovery was made possible through enforcement of prudence and accountability principles in the agencies. According to him, the recovered amount included N20 billion remitted by NCC in 2010 and another N2 billion it remitted on Wednesday. Reports state that operating Surplus is 80 per cent of revenue generated by any government organisation, which should be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). “For the past years, we have been able to recover up to N118 billion from government agencies, and if you add it up with the payment that NCC just made, you will find that the money we have recovered is now N120 billion. “Between 2007 and 2010, NCC failed to remit N22 billion as its operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund but after several meetings with them in three years, they made payment of N20 billion, last year,”

Muruako said. He said that most of the agencies were not responding to the commission’s appeal to them to remit their operating surpluses. “They do not want to accept that you don’t just get money and spend it directly, because out of that money, you are to remit 80 per cent of it first to the CRF account. “But now, I can tell you that a lot of them are coming around on this,’’ he said. He added: “For now, NCC has done well. By this time last year we were still in dispute with them based on the discrepancies found in the financial statements they submitted to us between 2007 and 2010. “We observed a shortfall of over N22 billion in what they were supposed to have remitted within those years as operating surplus into the CRF. “Our investigation unit was able to get the NCC to admit to the shortfall, and I can tell you that as at today, it has paid N22 billion and still has an outstanding N99 million to pay for that period.” In her speech, NCC’s Director of Finance, Mrs. Iyabo Sholanke, has said that remittance by the commission was a demonstration of its commitment to pay what it owed the government. Sholanke said the commission’s earlier remittances to the CRF included N9.3 billion for 2013 and N10 billion for 2012. She reiterated the commission’s commitment to contributing to government revenue generation through prompt remittance of its operating surplus.


e

N ws Oshiomhole’s Administration Development Driven - Oroh By DOROTHY EGBOBAMWONYI THE Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Abdul Oroh has described Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole’s administration as one which is developmental driven and does not segregate in its commitment to bringing the dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of the people. Hon. Abdul Oroh made the assertion recently while playing host to the Edo State chapter of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) who paid him courtesy visit in his office. Admonishing critics to ensure that whatever remarks they made were based on

School Of Health Technology ReOpens Tuesday, April 22 Continued from page 1 not being a member of any secret cult. According to the statement, other conditions include a letter of guarantee from parents/guardians that their ward(s) would be of good conduct and an evidence of payment of all approved fees. The statement also revealed that students union activities remain suspended forth-with and warned that hence forth, there should be no gathering of students whatsoever without the approval of the management within the school premises. It will be recalled that the school was closed down by the Ministry of Health as a result of the student’s unruly behavior outside the school premises which degenerated into serious fracas between them and Bus Drivers along MM Way, Benin City, during the students Health Week activities.

facts, the commissioner emphasised that the comrade governor has transformed all the areas of the state economy through the renewal of the decrepit state of infrastructure in Benin City the state headquarters as well as across the state. Commenting on the diffuse Islamist sect, the Boko Haram insurgency which has been unleashing mayhem on Nigerians irrespective of their religious and political linings, he stressed × they were certainly not Moslems but only using Islam as a cover to perpetrate evil but urged the Islamic scholars and leaders to be fervent in prayers in order for the nation to surmount this menace. Hon. Oroh however promised to channel their request to the appropriate quarter for consideration. Earlier, the Acting Chairman of the Edo State Chapter of NSCIA, Alhaji Osayawe Asani Ebowe told the commissioner they were in his office to congratulate him on his re-appointment by the Comrade Governor which they said was due to his former performance and expressed appreciation to the Governor for believing in one of their own. Alhaji Ebowe who expressed appreciation to the commissioner for the assistance rendered to them during the vandalisation of the Central mosque and to the fire victims urged him not to relent in his humanitarian work, sought the assistance of the state government through the commissioner in the area of provision of beverages during fasting and rams during Eid Kabir and later presented the list of their new Exco members and their entitlement to the commissioner.

Jonathan Appeals To Media

Continued from page 1 According to him, Nigeria represents the hope of ‘Black Africa’ and Nigerians, including that the media cannot afford to fail in their responsibilities. Other speakers at the occasion called for a total change in the orientation to media reportage of events, and political actors in the country. The chairman of the occasion, Prof. Jibril Aminu, recalled that from the first republic through the era of military dictatorship, the media played active roles in stabilising the polity. He urged practitioners to reflect their love for Nigeria in their reports to help stabilise the polity, especially during electioneering periods. He said that Nigerians had no other country to run to hence the need for all Nigerians to put aside ethnic, regional, religious and political differences in the interest of national unity and development. The governors of Edo and

Delta, Comrade Adams Oshiomole and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, in their separate remarks said the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable. They appealed to the media to close ranks with political and opinion leaders in the country and work for the unity of the nation regardless of the bickering among politicians. Earlier in his welcome address, the President of the Guild, Mr Femi Adesina, said the idea of a national secretariat had been conceived by past leaders of the Guild. He said that the current executive was only building on the foundation already laid by previous leaders. Adesina said that the secretariat complex and an annex would be cited in either Lagos or Abuja. Reports state that Maku announced a N50 million donation by the Federal Government for the project, while donations from Edo and Delta state governments were undisclosed.

Boko Haram: Renew Emergency Rule In Northeast, IYC Tells Jonathan By JOSES SEDE

THE Ijaw Youths Council has charged President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore calls by governors and other stakeholders of states in the Northeast not to extend the emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, describing the calls as unpatriotic. IYC, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Eric Omare, also faulted the comparison drawn by the governors of the affected states between the ongoing killings in their states and the unrest that bugged the Niger Delta in the last few years. The group noted that the persistence of the mayhem being unleashed on the people of the trouble states, despite the efforts of the Joint Task Force (JTF) was an indication that there was need for the emergency rule to be extended. The group also said all those calling for the abortion of the emergency rule, despite the fact that more people are still being killed and peace still under threat should be viewed as sponsors of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgence. “Their sole reason for making the call is that the state of emergency has not worked because the terrorists’ activities have not abated in any way. The three Governors argued further

that the JTF quelled the insurgency in the Niger Delta without a declaration of state of emergency. “The IYC regard this call as unpatriotic and not in the best interest of the people of the North East, especially the youths considering the present situation of insecurity in the North East. It is on record that before the declaration of state of emergency, the terrorists had taken over most parts of those

states which they were using as their camps and it was the military that sent them packing. Also, the comparison between the Niger Delta hostilities and the insurgency in the North East is unfounded. “The IYC wish to state that the fact that the activities of the terrorists have not abated despite the existing state of emergency is a justification to extend the state of

FG Committed To Entrenching Peace, Security THE Minister of Women For National Devt - Minister Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has said the Federal Government was committed to entrenching peace and security in the country for national development. Maina said this in Abuja while inaugurating a 17member National Steering Committee on the implementation of a National Action Plan on the UN Resolution 1325. She said government’s resolve to promote peaceful co-existence and national stability, as well as protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, was unshaken. Reports state that UN Resolution 1325 is an established international norms and standards. It promotes the protection of women during armed conflicts and their participation in peace and

security processes. The minister said the action plan was a practical and operational tool for the participation of women at all levels of peace processes. “The national action plan is a practical and operational tool for the participation of women at all levels of peace processes, as well as means to provide protection for those affected by armed conflicts. “Women, children and communities need to be informed about government’s response to their plight, as well as the support programmes available to them,” she said. The minister said the inauguration of the committee was timely, saying conflicts have placed tremendous burden on Nigerians, especially women and children who are the most

fridge shop were also washed away by the flood. Also, many water tanks and PVC pipes belonging to a building material dealer were washed away or damaged by the flood. The flood also uprooted banana trees, carried them some kilometres away and deposited them in front of houses and the main road. Many of the residents who spoke with newsmen said the flood was caused by the

Suleiman appealed to the state government to expand the canal to allow for free flow of water whenever there was rainfall. Meanwhile, the Kwara Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Abubakar Morah, who visited the scene, sympathised with the victims of the flood disaster. Morah said that the state government would find a lasting solution to flooding in the area.

3 Feared Killed As Rain Wreaks Havoc In Ilorin blocked canal.

NO fewer than three people were feared dead in a downpour that destroyed properties worth millions of naira and rendered hundreds of people homeless in Ilorin overnight. Reports state that two brothers identified as Basil and Gafal, aged four and three and half respectively, lost their lives while an Abujabound bus driver also died in the flood. Our correspondent who visited the scene of the flood along Ajase-Ipo road, Ilorin, reports that over 30 vehicles were damaged due to the heavy flood caused by blocked canal. A resident of the area, Alhaji Ganiyu Suleiman of Alawari Motors, said that the bus driver, having arrived in Ilorin late, decided to sleep in his vehicle, and was washed away together with the bus. Not less than eight houses around a hotel along the road were affected as many occupants of the buildings were seen salvaging their belongings from the debris. Clothes, kitchen utensils and other household items were being retrieved from the collapsed buildings by despondent residents. Many of the damaged vehicles were washed away by the force of the flood while many also somersaulted. According to Suleiman, about 10 refrigerators packed in front of an electronics and

emergency. If despite the existence of a state of emergency, terrorism has not abated in the north east, it follows that without the declaration of a state of emergency, the security situation in the north eastern part of Nigeria would have degenerated to the situation obtainable in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, ” the statement said.

vulnerable. Maina added that most of the victims suffer from gender-based violence, sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorders and other p s y c h o l o g i c a l consequences. She said the Federal Government had demonstrated its commitment to addressing and involving women in the peace process when it launched the action plan in August 2013. “Therefore, I charge members of the committee to show greater commitment to the assignment by advising government on the way forward,’’ the minister said. She also urged them to ensure that frontline security agencies and other stakeholders implement the document, as well as mobilise resources to support the implementation. Reports state that the 17member committee includes representatives of the ministries of Defence, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Youth Development, and Women Affairs and Social Development. There were others from the National Planning Commission (NPC), Nigeria Police, Budget Office of the Federation, National Boundary Commission (NBC), and the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution. The rest are from the National Orientation Agency (NOA), and the Nigerian Stability and Reconciliation Programme.

Anambra Health Ministry Sensitises Residents Ebola Disease:

THE Director of Primary Healthcare in the Anambra Ministry of Health, Dr Chukwudi Okoye, has called on the people to be conscious of the outbreak of ebola disease in some African countries. Speaking with newsmen in Awka, Okoye, however, said that the state and Nigeria were so far safe from the disease. He said the state government was sensitive to the disease because the Onitsha Main Market attracted businessmen and women from all parts of the continent. The director said that as the largest market in subSahara region, there was always an influx of foreigners into the state for business transactions. He said that at least 4000

vehicles conveyed goods and passengers from within and outside the country to Onitsha daily for businesses. He said it had become imperative to sensitise the people on the disease which had no cure or vaccine, urging them to be careful about their eating habits. Okoye listed the symptoms of the disease to include headache, fever, intense weakness, sore throat and rashes. He said they also included vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, conjunctivitis, internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, bleeding gums, bleeding into the skin, and blood in urine, among others. He said the viral hemorrhagic disease was transmitted from monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees and

also could be contracted through body fluids such as blood and secretions. According to him, most ebola infections had occurred in hospital with poor practice of basic hygiene and sanitation. He, however, said that the disease could be prevented by maintaining proper hand washing habit and proper disposal of wastes. Okoye said that ebola could also be prevented by reducing the number of invasive procedures, adding that clinicians should wear personal protective clothing at work. He said that dead bodies of victims were still infectious and so must be safely and immediately disposed off, adding that people should avoid eating bats and other bush meats.


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

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

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

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

• Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

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

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

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

• President Goodluck Jonathan

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

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

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

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

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


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A alysis

The Nigerian Police And The THIS is a the story of Beatrice, Solomon and the Nigerian Police. Beatrice is not her real name for privacy reasons, but all other names, including those of the Police Officers are real. When Beatrice married Solomon in 1998, it was one of the happiest day of her life. She was looking forward to a very loving and long lasting marriage full of joy and blessing. The marriage was blessed with two children in quick succession and everything appeared to be working out according to her dreams. Unfortunately, soon thereafter the happy dream became a nightmare. Solomon soon began a regime of verbal abuse. At every little opportunity, he would rain abuse on

Beatrice, belittling her and her family. Beatrice prayed for salvation for her husband and family, but each time there was a reprieve it was short lived. Sooner rather than later, Solomon would go back to his abusive ways. Beatrice bore the abuse for the sake of her children and in a bid to maintain her matrimonial

home. In addition to the verbal abuse, Solomon was very manipulative and controlling, using his position as the bread winner of the family to oppress and maltreat Beatrice. He vowed that Beatrice would not do any business that will give her financial independence. Each time she started a business, he would by manipulation make sure that he drained the business of money by refusing to provide for the family financially, thereby forcing Beatrice to raid her little resources to feed and clothe her children. Things soon went from bad to worse when Solomon was no longer satisfied with the verbal abuse and other controlling acts. He began to be physically

abusive. Initially the physical abuse would happen when he came back home after rounds of heavy drinking. These occasions became more and more frequent. With no provocation, he would pounce on Beatrice and inflict bodily injury on her with his fists. Fists soon turned into any object that was handy. Many a

By OGOCHUKWU VICTOR ONWAEZE time, he would beat her black and blue. Beatrice was too ashamed to seek help from her friend and family. Like most battered women, she blamed herself for his behavior thinking that may be she was doing something wrong. In addition, Solomon always threatened to kill her if she dared to live. Not only would he kill her but he promised to harm her family as well. Indeed, he would do so far as sending the same threatening messages to Beatrice’s mother and other family members. Beatrice continued to pray for salvation, but it was not coming from any source. The family tried to intervene but Solomon would not listen to anyone. Then in January 2011, he escalated the

physical abuse, inflicting severe injuries to Beatrice, locked her up in the house and left with the keys. She had enough. Beatrice believed it was time to go to the law and get some help in dealing with the situation. Was she wrong? With the help of family and friends, she was

able to get out of the house and rushed to the Police Station to file a report. The initial reaction of the police was that it was a family affair and that the Police could not get involved. Instead they advised her to go back to the house and reconcile with the Husband. The police did not as much as volunteer to even go to the house to inquire about Solomon and what might have transpired. Beatrice persisted and the Police eventually and very reluctantly “invited” Solomon to the Police Station. He honored the invitation and after an apparent exchange of money, the matter was killed off by the Police. Hapless, Beatrice listened to the advice of family and friends and returned to the house. Solomon was no emboldened by his ability to get around the Police by just splashing some money on the investigating officers. He believed that nothing was now in his way of maltreating the wife. Not surprisingly he increased the verbal and physical abuse. Then on December 11, 2013, without provocation, he again attacked Beatrice with his fists and any other object he could lay his hands on. He left several bruises on her and she barely escaped out of the house with her life, leaving her belongings behind. Between the last incident in 2011 and 2013, the Police had set up a human rights division and the Lagos State Government had created a Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. In fact, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation had put out a booklet describing the rights of

battered women and the governmental resources available to them for help in the situation. These bodies were supposed to fight the incidents of Spousal abuse especially against

assigned to Deputy Superintendent of Police Olu Falomo and Inspector Isaac (also known as Ikwukwu) to handle and things quickly went downhill from there. No sooner was the

IGP Mohammed Abubakar

women such as Beatrice. Now Beatrice felt that there was hope that with the help of these bodies something would be done to address the battering she was getting from Solomon. With the blood still on her body, Beatrice went to The Nigerian Police Force Headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos. She was directed to the Human Rights Resource Center under the office of the Lagos State Commission for Police. A Deputy Superintendent Inspector Ben Ekundayo first saw her, received the pictures of the injuries she had taken, and gave her paperwork to go to the General Hospital in Ifako for treatment and documentation of her injuries. Beatrice was full of hope and went to the Hospital as directed and her injuries were documented by Dr. J.K. Bamidele and the medical report returned to the Police. Then the case was

assignment made than Inspector Isaac demanded money to enable him transport himself to Solomon’s residence to interview him. Beatrice gave him 10,000 naira for that purpose. Instead of using the money he had illegally collected to go look for Solomon as he stated, Inspector Isaac did nothing more than make telephone calls to Solomon to invite him to the Police Station. Once Solomon got to the Police station, money must have again changed hands and it became one excuse after the other from Inspector Isaac and DSP Olu Falomo. Rather than producing any tangible result of an investigation, Inspector Isaac asked for more money to allow him to and track down Solomon. But when questioned about his previous efforts, Inspector Isaac could not even describe Solomon’s residence


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A alysis

Ordeal Of Bathered Women that he claimed to have gone to. Beatrice refused to part with any more money, prompting Inspector Isaac to state that from his telephone discussion with Solomon, he could tell that Solomon was a violent person and that he did not feel comfortable going to his house to confront him. To add insult to injury, he asked Beatrice to go and lay siege around the house and call the Police Station if she is able to sight Solomon in the area. This advise was coming from the Police that are supposed to protect its citizenry from any form of physical abuse. Of course, Beatrice being in fear of her life did not take up the instruction from Inspector Isaac to institute surveillance of Solomon. She continued to appeal to the Police for help an even went up to the Assistant Commissioner for Police in Human Rights Center of the Lagos State Police Command. The ACP only made token attempts to have ASP Olu Falomo and Inspector Isaac (A.K.A. Ikwukwu) to track down Solomon. Both Police Officer ashamedly claimed that each time they had called Solomon he stated that he was out of town and could not come to the station to see them and that eventually, Solomon had begun to threaten them with physical harm over the phone. M e a n w h i l e emboldened by the inaction of the police, Solomon continued to send threatening messages to Beatrice directly and through his friends. A month into the devastating ordeal, ASP Olu Falomo and Inspector Isaac summoned Beatrice to the station to inform her that they did not have

enough evidence to proceed with the case, that Solomon had denied ever touching her and that it was word against word. Beatrice was aghast. What about the obvious physical injuries that she had. What about the pictures that she had given to DSP Ekundayo, when she first came to the Police to make the report. What about the

Commissioner of Police to press the case, she was told that she needed to go back to the matrimonial home and resolve the issue with Solomon. The officers handling the case, ASP Falomo and Inspector Isaac, brought in female officers in the department to persuade Beatrice by moralistic arguments to go back

the case, went from promising that they will go and visit with Solomon, and they would write to Solomon to come to the office and they will also call Solomon on the phone to discuss the matter with him to eventually silence and no action at all on the complaint. Beatrice was devastated. Both the

medical reference and the medical reports and documentation by Dr. J.K. Bamidele. What about the tenants that lived at their compound, whose names she had given to the police as witnesses to what happened. How can all this not be enough to proceed with an investigation and prosecution. Something must be wrong. Solomon must have given more money to the police. Beatrice had uncontroverted proof that Solomon was in Lagos, but both ASP Olu Falomo and Inspector Isaac, insisted that he was not, since according to them, Solomon told them he had been in Abia State on business all this while. When Beatrice went back to the Assistant

home, for the sake of the children and other spurious reasons usually used to support and justify keeping women in unsavory matrimonial living conditions. To cap it all, ASP Olu Falomo and Inspector Isaac told Beatrice that she would have to go back home, but that they would keep the case file open and if Solomon ever touched her again, they would certainly step in and arrest him. That the open file would act as a warning for Solomon and keep him in check from future misbehavior. If the police did little investigation, Beatrice’s complaint to the newly minted Lagos State Ministry for Poverty Alleviation received even less attention. The employee assigned to

police and the Ministry for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation that were supposed to protect her from the physical abuse of Solomon have failed to do so, instead choosing to compromise themselves by accepting money from the suspect to look the other way. The case of Beatrice is real and reflects a continuing refusal of the Nigerian Police to take

seriously the issue of battered spouses in the society. The news is replete with cases of women that are killed by their husband after years of unchecked physical battery by the husband. Tragically these complaints of spousal battery are assigned to and handled by male police officers who themselves believe that the woman’s place in the home is one of obedience and that any woman who has been beaten by the husband must have done something to deserve it. The conclusion of Beatrice’s complaint is particularly shocking that she was advised to go home and report back if any other incident occurred. It must not have occurred to ASP Olu Falomo and Inspector Isaac that the next complaint might be one of murder of Beatrice by Solomon. Beatrice’s case played out in the urban setting of Lagos where the police is supposed to be more discerning and there is an additional Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. Beatrice is an educated woman with some means to push her case. There are several similar cases all over the country but if Beatrice’s case received such dismissive attention, what happens to cases of other women not so placed as Beatrice. Indeed, many women do not bother to go to the Police anymore knowing what kind of treatment

would be given to the complaint. The actions of ASP Olu Falomo and Inspector Isaac in the handling of Beatrice’s complaint are despicable and condemnable, but they are certainly not alone in the issue. The superiors and higher ups in the Police are also complicit in the dereliction of duty. They cannot claim to be unaware of the rot in the system, or perhaps they choose to turn a blind eye because they benefit from the trickle down bribes that the junior offices receive from the suspect husbands in these cases. They are content to sacrifice the safety of the women victims in order to line their filthy pockets. How they sleep well at night is unimaginable given the number of women that have lost their lives due to the refusal of the Police to act on complaints of battered women such as Beatrice. There is need for pressure on the Nigerian Police to take the issue of battered women more seriously. Without comprehensive reform in approach, many women will continue to lose their lives at the hands of their husbands, many children will continue to be made motherless in the process and many a family lose their precious daughter and sister in the process. Meanwhile Beatrice continues to live in fear of her live, but has vowed to continue her fight for justice in whatever form she can get it.

“The case of Beatrice is real and reflects a continuing refusal of the Nigerian Police to take seriously the issue of battered spouses in the society.”


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P litics FOR as long as we can remember, power, money, and greed have corrupted our elected government officials at every level. What’s alarming and frustrating is that the blatant corruption running rampant in Abuja and the state capitals is being tolerated by Nigerian people. The victory of Ayo Fayose the disgraced ex-governor of Ekiti State in the recently concluded PDP gubernatorial primaries, is an astounding extended conceit and ignorance on display but expected in the pre political drama for 2015 gubernatorial elections. Fayose contested the primaries with other three aspirants. With a substantial vote of 462 out of 477 votes cast, Fayose rout the other three candidates – the immediate past Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade 7 votes, Dayo Adeyeye 3 votes, and Modupe Ogundipe one vote. Fayose, whom EFCC the anti-graft agency says he stole at least N416 million public funds that belong to Ekiti people, all things being equal, is expected to be the main challenger to the incumbent Governor Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the June 21 gubernatorial election. Since Fayose won the primaries, I have been trying to use mindfulness as a means of living with an emotional narrative, as opposed to thought based narrative. Fayose’s longing stubbornness to regain his old job is like revisiting his childhood obsessions made more grandiose, beatified, and made into overwrought history. A conspiracy which has now ensnared him in the center by playing the fool. And the fool has interest in follies, and follies themselves represent the apotheosis of the absurd. Election and political corruption go together. It is natural to think of elections when we think of political corruption. It is no secret in Nigeria that people or organizations with their own agendas can skew voting. Big donations are given to parties. Parties and candidates buy votes instead of winning them. According to SaharaReporters, indicted drug kingpin Buruji Kashamu is planning to

Returning Of Fayose? spend N1billion to ensure Fayose is returned to the state house. But political corruption isn’t just about election rigging. It can lead politicians in office to steer away from good government. This was proved beyond reasonable doubt during the Fayose administration in Ekiti. As governor, Fayose’s decisions benefited those who fund him and other political appendages. The interest of Ekiti people came second. He diverted scarce resources from poor and disadvantaged people. His private rather than public policy interests dictated policy. Fayose is on trial on 27 counts of misappropriation of state money. Some of the petitions received by the EFCC against Fayose include the N1.4 billion poultry scam. The poultry project was meant for the 16 local government councils in the state. Till today, no poultry was ever built in the four designated centers in the state. His tenure as governor was aptly captured and characterized by The News magazine as a “reign of terror.” The 2004 local government elections in the state were a shamble. Members of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), were handpicked by Fayose himself. The News, in its April 5, 2004 edition reported extensively on Fayose’s reign of terror and how his men went on rampage and killing frenzy. The magazine also reported that Tunde Omojola who vied for the Ifaki Ward II councillorship bye-election was killed by Fayose’s thugs and mobile policemen. Dr. Ayo Daramola, and nine students of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti were snuffed in the political harakiri initiated and supervised by Fayose. Others like Aseweje, Ben Ogundana, Dapo Osunniyi, Kamoru Folorunso, Ojo Sunday, and several others did not escape Fayose’s reign of terror. Fayose literarily prevented worshippers at Emmanuel Anglican Cathedral, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti from

By BAYO OLUWASANMI worshipping when he blocked the church’s two main gates with sand, gravel, and gutter deliberately dug in front of

admirers and supporters believe he’s something. As soon as they start believing he’s something it becomes precarious. They ceased to

Fayose the church because of Chief Ojo Falegan his perceived opponent who attends the church. By thinking about often buried painful memories of his three-year rule as governor in my home state of Ekiti, the Fayose factor in the June gubernatorial elections in Ekiti creates a huge involuntary spasms in my stomach, accompanied by a deep groan. Fayose’s pretentious aura contrasted sharply with the mayhem he provoked and promoted in Ekiti. The atrocities under his administration can never be fully accounted for. The peace loving people of Ekiti became a ping pong ball being battered from one end to another. Political opponents were maimed, hacked, killed, beheaded, kidnapped, dismembered and disposed with gloat and glee. Vicious and cruel ruffians roamed the state looking for people to kill. It was our own holocaust. Fayose and his PDP

be mindful and mistake fantasy for reality. In this process, they have lost all their imaginative faculty. They’re unable to rationalize or ratiocinate the true home-bred feelings that Governor Fayemi’s administration ignited in Ekiti people. Fayose’s candidacy is the ultimate joke of being mistaking “the fool” as the future of Ekiti State. Human behavior is regulated by many factors – moral standards, the sense of shame, of conscience, of duty, and so on. The basic manifestations of ethical life are the sense of social and

personal responsibility and the awareness himself is the real relation between society and the individual. Responsibility expresses society’s specific demand on the individual in the form of duty. And in all societies a certain responsibility is laid down for such violations. People are responsible for those they elected to represent them. Ekiti people will be held accountable for the person they elect as their next governor. If we Ekiti people elected an ignorant, a thug, a reckless and corrupt person, it is because we tolerate ignorance, recklessness, thuggery, and corruption. If we elected a governor who is intelligent, brave, a prudent manager of people and resources, and pure, it is because we demand these high qualities from our governor who is going to direct affairs of the state for the next four years. It is insulting the sensibilities of Ekiti people for Fayose to stage a comeback. The endorsement of Fayose, a criminal suspect as the PDP gubernatorial candidate by the PDP chair, shows clearly there is not a serious outrage of Attention Deficit Disorder in the PDP an increasingly defined party by the ascendancy of corruption. In an abject embarrassment of his past, Fayose pleaded for his unforgivable sins against Ekiti people saying “They should give me a chance so that I will turn around the fortunes of the less privileged in the state. I want them to know that I am Ayo Fayose, 12 years older, more responsible, more experienced and I will listen.” Seems like he’s saying “I

am finally now exhibiting a moral compass about leadership and governance.” Fact is, like the great white shark, a scandal must be fed, or it sinks to the bottom and dies. And Ayodele Fayosegovernor page scandal has not had the full scrutiny. This is the best time – election season – to unearth the buried skeletons in his corruption grave. He dismantled our hopes and disbanded our collective aspirations. We were violated, victimized, and persecuted. Ekiti people have never been so raped – openly I might add. We’ll never forget or forgive what Fayose did to us. Under Fayemi, the Ekiti people are just starting developing coping skills for hoping skills for the future. Now it is time for Ekiti people to stand up and protest the rampant corruption and election rigging that are destroying everything that made our great state of Ekiti great. We need a governor like Fayemi who will place the interests of Ekiti people before petty disagreements and personal agendas. Many of us think the turning point for the prodigal son takes place in the far country when he “comes to his senses.” Fayose’s turning point didn’t take place in a far country and he’s not back to his senses, rather he has only returned to himself. There is no element of repentance or remorse visible and verifiable in Fayose to reconcile him to Ekiti people. He has shown no readiness for reflection, much less contrition. His coming back is ruled by blind necessity. Loud and clear, we say no to the return of the prodigal son.

“There is no element of repentance or remorse visible and verifiable in Fayose to reconcile him to Ekiti people. He has shown no readiness for reflection, much less contrition. His coming back is ruled by blind necessity. Loud and clear, we say no to the return of the prodigal son.”


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P litics Imo: A House And Its Comedians THE formation of a 6 man panel by the Imo State House of Assembly to investigate the allegations of corruption leveled against the Speaker of the House is all over the news. Ordinarily the announcement of this 6 man panel months after we called for it should have been received with joy considering the negative impacts which corruption has on the masses living standard. However going by the details of the membership of the probe panel our joy is not complete. Indeed the details of the membership of the probe panel again shows how deceitful and insensitive the Uwajumogu’s House leadership are. I condemn in strongest terms the nomination of Hon Barrister Ikenna Emeh as the Committee Chairman of the probe panel . Hon Emeh we all know is the bossom friend of the Speaker Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu. I regard the nomination of Hon Emeh as Chairman as a grand plan by Uwajumogu to cover his tracks on the alleged looting of Imo monies.I observe that the Speaker ’s office has been unable to provide concrete points to deny the hard facts on the Speaker’s looting of Imo

monies rather they have resorted to name callings. Even the comments, actions and body language of some of the members of the House of Assembly tend towards a cover-up for the Speaker. The Speaker’s media aide Emeka Ahaneku is a misfit media aide. He should go and learn public relations from the CPS to the Imo State Deputy Governor Uche Onwuchekwa and even from the CPS to the Governor of Imo State Sam Onwuemedo.Uche and Sam are doing well projecting the image of their boss. I say boldly that setting up a probe panel to investigate you with your bosom friend as chairman clearly underline the fact that the exercise is nothing more than a hoax, a big make-belief. A plan to give the Speaker a clean bill of health. It is also comical to see Hon Stan Dara as member of a committee that will investigate allegations against the Speaker and himself. I say boldly that the Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu’s probe panel is no more than a smokescreen to divert attention from the monumental and unprecedented corruption in the Imo House of Assembly. It is a momentary sensation meant to deceive the

By KENNETH UWADI, MMAHU-EGBEMA public. It insults the intelligence of Imolites and those of us who called for a probe of the Speaker. Some of the members of this kangaroo panel are morally lacking to initiate any manner of

one for that matter.To me, Uwajumogu is a capitalist non performing speaker who supervised the sack of 10,000 Imolites, I mean our Imo 10,000 brothers and sisters. This bigtime pen robber at the

under the rules of natural justice, cannot be a judge in his own case. When Patricia Etteh was involved in 628million naira contract scandal, what happened? She was asked to step aside. Even Chuba Okadigbo was asked to step aside.

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

investigation much less a probe against Mr. Speaker and they have over time behaved like rubber stamp, in fact more or less like zombies . In effect I say boldly that this particular probe panel members cannot look Mr. Uwajumogu in the face and come out with the truth. I therefore call the probe panel a comedy panel ,a Papa Ajasco

helms of Imo House of Assembly having run our youths out of jobs went ahead to loot our monies via road contract scam. He should step aside and allow the house members on their own to set up a panel to investigate him. This panel to me is like a Nollywood movie where the end can be easily predicted from the beginning. The Speaker,

“I cannot be intimidated by the Imo House of Assembly to stop speaking my mind. I will continue to speak out.”

I cannot be intimidated by the Imo House of Assembly to stop speaking my mind. I will continue to speak out. I recently made a peep into certain aspects of the House by showing some pictures of properties fraudulently acquired by the Speaker and some members of the House. Also I displayed pictures of some roads that he(Speaker) awarded to his company Werdis Limited . I told you that Lake Nwaebere Street in Aladinma Housing Estate was poorly rehabilitated by him via his company Werdis

Limited. He collected millions of naira and did a poor job. I told you that Mbano Street (road 17) Aladinma Housing Estate by NYSC office was poorly rehabilitated by his company as well as New Road 1 with bridge leading to Concorde Hotel from JPROSS road .Another road located at opposite St. Peters Anglican Church Ikenegbu Layout by Fano Hotels was also poorly executed by Uwajumogu’s company after collecting millions of naira.I told you that over 3 billion naira has been looted and carted away by the Speaker via road contract scam and that he used the money he got from the road contracts scams to acquire eye popping mansions in Nigeria. I did show you some pictures of some of his properties in Owerri and will show you more pictures both in Owerri and outside Owerri soon amongst several breathtaking evidences of heavy looting. The few pictures that I released are ” mere tip of the iceberg”. In essence, I want you to know that the mind boggling revelations of corruption and misdeeds of the Speaker is also tied to the gangster looting members of the House Committee on State And Rural Roads Monitoring.The House members show of anger against my disclosure is a bold face conduct of incorruptible crooks. Onye Nwere Nti Nya Nuru


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P litics

Rivers In Need Of Breath Of Fresh Air

GOVERNING is a serious matter. Those who desire to rule need to have demonstrated competence in the field before they are thrust into responsibility for governing. Plato’s pupil Aristotle said it this way “if therefore, there is anyone superior in virtue and in the power of performing the best actions, him we ought to follow and obey, but he must have the capacity for action as well as virtue”. Truth be told, Governor Chibuike Amaechi by the “k-legged” circumstances that threw him up as governor of Rivers state, was fired into genuine action right from his first day in office. It is on record that he assumed duty as governor right at the State Secretariat where he visited almost all the Ministries and Department to encourage and motivate the civil servants whose morale at the time were at the lowest ebb as a result of the confusion in the state. And within the first 100 days in office, very tangible feats in terms of projects/ programmes were recorded. Remarkable infrastructure development projects were initiated and kick-started and some even completed within the first one month he presided over the affairs of the state. Who did not know that Amaechi rose up to the then hydra-headed problem of gangsterism and cult violence in the state orchestrated by the politics of supremacy tussle among the different criminal gangs? And within one month, he restored the breath of fresh air as he reversed the harrowing state of insecurity that hitherto blanketed the entire state. Seven years after whatever way you choose to look at the political quagmire in Rivers State, it is obvious that June 12 1993 crisis and its attendant consequences are being replicated in Rivers State.

For the record, the Government of Chief Rufus Ada George was doing well until the Military took over. In Rivers State, the politics and politicians have the understanding unwritten political arrangement of maintaining upland and riverine dichotomy of political parties fielding candidates based on this understanding not necessary base on competence in order to engender equity, justice and fairplay in the polity and among the different ethnic nationalities/senatorial units. The Government of Dr. Peter Odili that the Christian Community played vital role in its emergence was doing well until his desire to aspire to govern at the centre put governance in the state at abeyance. In 2011 when Governor Amaechi was seeking for second term l wrote: “Three major reasons why the Christian Community in Rivers State are supporting Governor Amaechi for second term” – “Why the cap fits Governor Amaechi for second term is based on one, Character two, Competence (capacity) and three, contribution. Like Plato identified in his writing: politic, the place of capacity for action as well as virtue (character). In addition, contribution (the power of performing the best actions) to development of society”. In another article entitled: “Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s Regime as Working Government” I agreed with Chief Chukwumeka Eze’s submission in his press release that Governor Amaechi is “an icon and epitome of excellence and service, a man who has redefined governance in Nigeria and we are ready to support him to provide more of such a glaring and visible leadership to our people come 2011. For a man to resolve to build a

By DR. LEWIS AKPOGENA total new city comparable with any modern city in Europe, initiate the construction of a monorail the first of its kind in Africa, save on a monthly basis for the future of our state the

reclamation/shore protection projects at Andoni, Opobo, Buguma, Abalama, Olobie/Owukiri, Oba Ama, Okirika, construction of two major markets, a shopping mall

today in light of ongoing in Rivers State with governance taking backstage with politics of sentiments, strife, defection, arrogance, threats, intimidations, violence, and lack of accountability,

Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State

sum of N1B without tampering with it the first of a such a move by any government in Nigeria, offer scholarship and free education to our children from primary to secondary levels, construct and equipped 24 model Secondary Schools distributed and sited in all the LGAs of the State, constructed 260 functional Health Centres, constructed 350 model Primary Schools, offer of University scholarship to our people both in Canada, India, Ireland, Singapore and UK, engaged in the construction of 800km of roads across the State, construction of 10 major and 20 minor bridges, land

and two fly-over/ interchange, arrested the precarious insecurity in the State, built and distributed 60 quality projects to 60 Communities in 60 days a move that can only be watched in a movie but a reality only to be achieved by Amaechi, attract foreign investors, build roads on the Sea to link communities that don’t know how cars or roads look like, reclaim lands from the seas, redefine governance, If Governor Amaechi could achieve these much within three years then we can only imagine what Rivers State will look like if he is given another opportunity of extra four years.” Does this testimony hold

“Like Plato identified in his writing: politic, the place of capacity for action as well as virtue (character). In addition, contribution (the power of performing the best actions) to development of society”

transparency, corruption and opposition to Federal Government under President Goodluck Jonathan? What alienated the good government of Dr. Peter Odili at the tail end of his government from the people was when he substituted God’s mandate with his desire to serve at the centre. Today Governor Amaechi derailment started when he wanted to be relevant after his tenure. Subtly under cover, seeking the office of Vice President to a northern candidate against President Jonathan. The politics of sentiments came into play. Governance suffered. The people of Rivers State suffers. While the polity are factionalized along political parties, ethnic groups. The ensuing crises have impacted all sectors of the polity including legislative and judiciary arms negatively. Bloodletting, cultism, militancy, hardship and insecurity that were things of the past have now become order of the day.

Instructively, prior to the defection of Gov. Amaechi to APC with PDP mandate under him the Peoples Democratic Party, the State Chapter of the party was split along several powerful lines with each gladiator holding tenaciously to his sphere of influence and none willing to give an inch to the other. Indeed, it was an era of tension, mutual suspicion, and cosmetic displays of respect when they accidentally meet in public and scheming to gain the upper hand in the affairs of the state chapter of the party. Each passing day a new crisis. Within PDP these selfish politicians are at it again with the politics of endorsing candidates along group, personal and ethnic interest not minding the constitutional and understanding among the diverse interests over the year in Rivers State. It seems to me, some politicians won’t stop at nothing to work against the interest of the people just to satisfy their parochial interest. Where is justice and equity, in some supporters of Chief Nyesom Wike endorsing and advocating he contest for governorship against known fact that it will not work and l assert under God that no political juggernaut can take the Christian Community in Rivers State for granted again. We shall do more than pray as it was in the time of Dr. Peter Odili and Chief Ebenezer Isokrari in 1998/99 elections. No occultic force be it Ogboni fraternity, Freemason, Amorc, Olumba Olumba Obu, etc can stand what is about happening. Rivers State need breathe of fresh air, uncompromising responsive, accountable and committed servant leadership with the fear of God. It is my belief that the Rivers State can reach its full creative potential. This is only possible when practitioners embrace new thinking, new approach and new direction. More or also when we all respect the binding interest of us all, work by the rule and treat others as we will want to be treated. You are blessed for life. Have question, you may call: 08033399821 or w r i t e : akpogena@yahoo.com. Stay blessed.


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P litics APC: Foretaste Of The Looming Crisis AS a political party peopled by strange bedfellows with well-stated, often-divergent interests, many people have always seen the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a disaster waiting to happen. From day one, it was obvious the party did not hold together all the political tendencies that conveniently find shelter within its fold, though it managed to keep its internal divisions away from the public. In the past few weeks, however, the crack in its leadership has become manifest so much that the last meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), nearly ended in fisticuffs. Not only did the meeting veer towards violence, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, one-time Governor of Borno State and the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu, nearly engaged each other in a brawl, thus confirming a tendency that many have predicted would consume the party. On one hand is a self-proclaimed king-maker who believes the party revolves around him; on the other are supposed democrats who believe they are in a political party where members stand on equal ground. Tinubu’s highhandedness and his insistence on having his way on crucial issues within the party may yet prove to be the party’s undoing. As the party prepares for its ward, local government and state congresses as well as the national convention, glaring divisions have emerged among its leadership and ranks. At issue is the critical decision about who emerges the national chairman – a decision that will ultimately

influence who picks its presidential ticket for the 2015 election. While the party’s leaders at all levels had broken into factions behind their choice candidates, Tinubu appears to have, single-handed, worked out who would get what, a situation that offends the spirit of oneness and equality which the party has preached since the

By FEMI AYELABOWO the present interim leadership. Like many others in the party who frown at Tinubu’s manipulation of the party’s leadership, Sheriff who was chairman of the ANPP board of trustees until the merger, clashed with Tinubu when the issues of

Buhari

Tinubu

merger of four parties to give birth to the APC. At an exclusive interactive meeting of the APC contact committee hosted late last month in Abuja by a chieftain of the party and a former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Garuba Ghadi, indications emerged that such vested interests are already threatening the outcome of the impending exercise. To him, the imminent crisis, is avoidable. The growing tendency of Tinubu and his lieutenants in the defunct ACN to continually lord it over the other parties in the merger that brought about APC, may have accounted for sheriff’s frustrations with

APC and go elsewhere if he was not comfortable with the party, confirmed their worst fears. Why would a party that sings equality like a song, be turned into another animal farm by an over-ambitious man? With the ongoing highhandedness which has

Chief Tom Ikimi. To checkmate Atiku, Tinubu had reportedly wanted to personally handpick the convention committee members, an action which did not go down well with Sheriff and some other senior APC leaders, especially Sheriff, Chief Audu Obeh and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, all of who are backing Atiku’s

the party’s impending congresses and convention came up for discussion. The former Borno Governor refused to accept the propriety of the APC Interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande, heading the convention committee that would organize the convention fixed for May 24, 2014, as well as supervising the ward, LG and state congresses in his dual role as Interim National Chairman. This is more so that Akande wants to emerge as substantive national chairman. For those who fear the lopsidedness in the leadership of the APC family, Tinubu’s statements that Sheriff should quit the

already pushed the like of Buba Marwa out of the party. The APC is set to enter the 2015 elections as a disunited political family; yet the permutations are that the impending convention may still further polarize its leaders. The political interest of Tinubu, who is scheming to enter the political contest as running mate to Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 elections, is responsible for the division. While the Buhari/Tinubu ticket being proposed by Tinubu is rooting for Interim National Chairman, Akande, to emerge as national chairman, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s loyalists in the party prefer

“Tinubu’s high-handedness and his insistence on having his way on crucial issues within the party may yet prove to be the party’s undoing. As the party prepares for its ward”

candidature for the party’s presidential ticket. It is this dictatorial tendency of Tinubu that is also threatening to push the G-5 governors who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year, out of the party. The G-5 Governors – Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara) –are threatening to return to the PDP over the policy for the composition of the APC National Executive Council. Tinubu fears that Ikimi’s emergence as the APC National Chairman will scuttle his proposed ticket with Buhari in favour of Atiku who is known as a close Ikimi ally. Analysts believe that is the reason the former Governor of Lagos State now prefers to retain the incumbent APC Interim National Chairman, Akande, to emerge as substantive national

chairman, a stance that negates the earlier decision of the leadership of the party that members of the Interim National Exco should not contest for any offices in the substantive executive at the national convention. As all these play out in the build up to the congresses and national convention, many of the party’s leaders have already queued behind their candidates. Among them, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai, has insisted that the party’s choice of presidential candidate would not be dictated by religion. ElRufai, a close ally of Buhari, is said to be in support of the MuslimMuslim ticket of Buhari/ Tinubu which another party chieftain, Femi FaniKayode, had admonished the APC leadership against. In a statement he issued recently, El-Rufai said the party’s candidates for the 2015 presidential poll should be picked on individual competence rather than on religious affiliation. “APC will present an integritycompetence ticket not religion. Politics and governance are not to be mixed or dictated to by any religion,” El-Rufai said. Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister, had said “the biggest mistake that my party, the APC, can make is to field a Muslim/ Muslim ticket in the 2015 presidential election. If we do that, we will not only offend the Christian community, but we will also lose the election woefully.” How these issues play out in the coming days will determine whether or not the APC remains one. More importantly, if Asiwaju Tinubu eventually has his way as the ongoing machinations suggest, then he would have succeeded in cornering the opposition party to himself and his lieutenants. Whether or not the Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket he proposes will fly, is a decision for the Nigerian voting public to determine.


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P rspective The Question Of Diezani’s Chartered Jet THERE’S a sense in which the larger chunk of what has been written about the use of a chartered jet by Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, mirrors the challenges affecting public discourse in Nigeria. The matter is being pursued by all sides more with emotion than substance and a clear grasp of the crux of the issue. Even among the commentators, very few have done the homework needed to understand the matter fully. The fallout of this unwillingness to properly interrogate the issue is that we are all in danger of failing to draw the most pertinent lesson presented by the matter. To be clear, issues of official conduct in public affairs cut across two aspects. There is the ethical aspect, which involves the use of sound judgement and questions of morality. There is the legal aspect, which, as implied, regulates lawfulness, the lack thereof, and applicable sanctions. Under the ethical aspect, questions of social good and financial prudence are routinely raised. Equally, the ethical aspect is where

By JOHNSON MOMODU queries concerning public sensitivity, standards and best practices are addressed. On the other hand, the legal aspect governs operational acceptability according to the law, the quality of conforming to existing rules and guidelines, or “due process” as we like to say in these parts. Now that we have set out the variables of assessing official conduct in public affairs, let us turn fully to the matter at hand. It has been reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent N10 billion over the last two years in chartering a jet for the use of the Minister of Petroleum Resources. While this amount is certainly mindboggling, the best way we can approach the issue is to leave out the emotion and subject it to the two variables of assessing official conduct in public affairs. Considering that Nigeria, by all indices, is a developing country, does it show financial prudence to spend such an amount on official air transport for the Minister? We should also ask if such expenditure brings

about social good, takes into consideration public sensitivity, meets

say that global best practice for busy business executives and high-ranking government officials overseeing time-

aircraft under discussion? The NNPC has provided statutory evidence that its establishment Act grants it the authority

Diezani Madueke, Minister of Petroleum

acceptable standards and best practices. To call a spade a spade, the connection between spending such an amount on official air transport for the Minister and social good is virtually nonexistent. Moreover, it fails to take into consideration the highly emotional factor of public sensitivity. On the other hand though, aviation industry practitioners

sensitive industries such as oil is to lease or charter aircraft rather than buy outright. As such, on that count, there is nothing ethically wrong in chartering the aircraft. We may now consider the matter under the legal count. The question here is straightforward: Did the NNPC conform to existing rules and guidelines in leasing or chartering the

“It has been reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent N10 billion over the last two years in chartering a jet for the use of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.”

to lease and or purchase aircraft. The corporation has also submitted that it chose to lease the aircraft because it is a more cost-effective option. Therefore, on the legal count it is clear that no laws have been broken. However, the crux of the issue—and we are back to that again— sidesteps the legal aspect and lands in the ethical aspect. And it is therein that we must draw the most pertinent lesson of this matter. For, even though no law has been broken, the matter has raised the ire of the people and if democracy has anything to do with “we the people”—as

we are forever being told that it has—then the people cannot be ignored. The people are right in expressing anger. And the expression of the anger is sufficient censure. But those demanding the Minister’s head are out of line. You do not throw away an experienced and capable administrator because of what is clearly a legal deed even if not a popular one. Moreover, we must apply the rule of law across board and not selectively, otherwise the whole point of democracy would be defeated. Setting aside all the emotions raised by this matter, it is clear for all to see what the most pertinent lesson of this matter is: Having the law on your side in the actions you take does not necessarily guarantee a peaceful coexistence with the people whom you have been called upon to serve. It is also a worthwhile strategy to consider the connection between that which is legal and its ethical implications before embarking on a course of action. In conclusion, it is not for nothing that AlisonMadueke was named alternate president of the Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC). It shows that her minister-colleagues across the globe believe sufficiently in her abilities as an administrator, and since she has broken no law at home, we are best served by allowing her to continue in service.


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E ucation

Abbreviations As Part Of Students Failure In Examination SHORTHAND in the days of massive typewriter use was a subject on its own, homogenously learned and adopted, but these days, students have coined weird use of words, especially in English grammar, to communicate. Students’ failure in various examinations is being attributed to several factors including those that are avoidable but which have been erroneously accepted as part of the norms in the presentation of answers to questions. Scholars have attributed the failure to some reasons which include poor reading culture by students, lack of attention from the teachers, inadequate facilities to enhance studying and parents’ neglect of their children, among others. But scholars have also noticed that there is a new dimension to the causes of failures in recent time since the advent of the internet. They argue that although the information technology will suffice for the purpose of enhancing students’ performance, some students have rather been addicted to some shortcuts in it to the detriment of examinations standards. For instance, there are some social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, among others, on which sites students glue to almost every day to interact, using slogans and abbreviations. Scholars say that although these sites are veritable sources of information for students and researchers, its effects on quality presentations of the required response from them by the examiners has left much to be desired.

They argue that it is counter productive when a student surfs the internet and stumbles on games or on a friend to chat with, let alone the abbreviations and slogans in such activities that could slur into his work. They also observe that the use of these facilities is often addictive by which students spend hours on other things like games and social networks rather than study. In addition to this trend, the use of cell phones has also afforded some students the opportunity of sending text messages in short but unfamiliar forms. Abbreviations are used in such text to shorten words and economise on spelling by mixing up numbers and letters or using the first letters of each word such as ‘n’ for ‘and’, ‘TTYL’ for ‘talk to you later’, among others. Scholars say this development has suppressed the ability of the students to write according to the grammar of English language; the mode of writing examinations in the country. Expressing concern about the trend, Prof Promise Okpala, the Registrar of National Examinations Council (NECO) says the use of abbreviations in text messages by students should not be encouraged because it is capable of affecting their use of the English language.

By FOLASADE FOLARIN “It is not advisable and I think teachers, parents and the students should be conscious of the rules of grammar and all the formalities of expression of English language as a formal school subject.”

says. In his view, Prof. Muhammed Junaid, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education, believes that because abbreviation is not a

Wike

According to him, the English language is a living expression that has been adopted for formal use, so it should not be readjusted with the aim of switching when the need arises. “Since it is a living language, the child, learner or student who is used to writing bad grammar will find it difficult to switch code in the examination hall. “It’s better for the learner of a language like English to speak the way he should have written it so that when you make a mistake, somebody will correct you and you will take to correction,” he

formal way of writing, language teachers do not approve of it. “It will certainly affect language acquisition if we encourage it in education because we want children to learn the right way to spell and speak,” he says.. A teacher, Miss Tolu Odeyemi, says writing in shorthand or abbreviations should be restricted to informal use such as text messages so that it doesn’t affect formal writing. “The problem with most people is that they don’t know when to use those abbreviations and when not to use them.

“Most of them are used to writing with abbreviations and this hampers their vocabulary and grammatical construction. “So when they do their assignments or write examinations, they just use it believing that you understand or that it is the normal thing, but it will attract failure”, he says. Mrs. Erueme Aladetoyinbo, an English examiner with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), says the WAEC marking scheme is the same everywhere and cannot allow shorthand or abbreviations. “The children have to really be careful and keep to the rule of grammar because if they don’t, they lose marks. “In essays, we mark for content, organisation, expression and mechanical accuracy and for every WAEC candidate, half a mark is very important and for a child to lose all 10 marks of mechanical accuracy, is a great loss.” Aladetoyinbo observes that abbreviation has crept into students’ work so much so that they are addicted to it and do not even know when they use it in examinations. “Abbreviations have really started doing some harm to these children in their essay writing, you see a child writing ‘ur’ as ‘your’ and ‘sis’ for ‘sister’, yet this is supposed to be formal writing. “When we discover an error in punctuations, spellings and grammar, we give it a ring and each of those rings is minus half and at the end of the marking, you count all the rings

“Since it is a living language, the child, learner or student who is used to writing bad grammar will find it difficult to switch code in the examination hall.”

and if the child has up to 20 rings, that is 10 marks gone. Some students, however, accept that although writing in abbreviations is a wrong way to write, it is always done unconsciously. For Henry Okechukwu, a 400-level student of the University of Abuja, many students do not even understand proper English and, therefore, cannot spell correctly. “It can make students fail examinations because some lecturers are really keen on proper spellings and are strict about them; so for such ones, the student will definitely fail,” he says. Okechukwu notes that the trend is capable of making students to fail examinations. Deji Olusanya, another 400level student of the university, says the inability of students to distinguish formal writing from informal one, is a problem. “The basic problem is the lack of consciousness to know when you are writing text message and when you are writing exams. ‘The solution is that the children should be made aware of the situation, when a child sends you a text message and he makes such mistake, call him to order, send him the correct thing and he becomes educated.”. Aladetoyinbo also suggests that Literature should be made compulsory as a subject to encourage the students to read far and wide. Examiners, however, hold out a strong conviction that it the public is sensitized to the effects of abbreviations on student’s performance, especially in English language, proactive measures within education sector will be found to check the practice.


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BEDC And The Nigerian Debt Syndrome

It is a known fact that the provision of constant electricity is one of the challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation because of the constant darkness that pervade the land. The importance of power in the life of a nation cannot be overstressed as it holds the key to economic prosperity of any nation. The absence of constant electricity is seriously inhibiting the ability of Nigeria to attract foreign industries that heavily depend on electric energy to get their products out and thereby responsible for the high unemployment that the country is facing today. It has affected all sectors of the economy and living standards. The quality of education in Nigeria is indirectly being affected by absence of constant electricity in schools, the business environment has been made difficult for investors. A recent statistics established Nigeria as the largest importer of generators in the world as this has aggravated the spending patterns of Nigerian homes because a average Nigerian home spends between N60,000 to N100,000 per month in a country where per capital income is less than a dollar per day. From one administration to another, there have been promises to solve the problem of darkness

in the country and many deadline have been placed but unfortunately the problem of epileptic power supply still persist. Even with the recent change of name and ownership from National Electricity Power Authority NEPA to Benin Electricity Distribution Company BEDC the problem of power supply is still a mirage. Some persons have argued that the problem may not necessary be the generation of the power but distribution while others contend that it is both generation and distribution that should be tackled by government. But a closer look at the problem has revealed that the present predicament also lies with the consumers who use power and don’t want to pay for the services. How can we explain consumers owing over N3 million on a street and yet they are still enjoying the use of electricity. This particular street in Ekae off Sapele Road in Benin City is just one street amongst others that are owing several millions of naira as electricity bills. The consumers who have cleverly adopted ways of connecting back their disconnected wire have been doing so for over four years. Investigations revealed that some of the debtors also connect

By EUBALDUS ENAHORO back without paying their bills with the connivance of some staff of the electricity company and this has been going on even before the new management took over. As a private business entity that want to make profit, it was gathered that a target has been given to the various service managers to enable the BEDC recover their huge debts. It was sad to note that the lack of funds in the electricity company has crippled the activities of some of the service units to the extent they do not have mobility, ladders and other working tools, while consumers are highly indebted to them. The situation becomes even worrisome when some of these debtors even boast that they will not pay their debts because they are either community leaders or belong to one secret society or the other. It was gathered that a consumer is owing over N500, 000 and yet still enjoys electricity through the back door by connecting illegally. The situation is so appalling to the extent that there is a revenue drive to recoup the debts outside by the BEDC

“It was sad to note that the lack of funds in the electricity company has crippled the activities of some of the service units to the extent they do not have mobility, ladders and other working tools, while consumers are highly indebted to them.”

and a target has been given to the Service Managers within a stipulated period. If the Service

accusing fingers at the government or an authority, while the problems lies with the people themselves. The BEDC is no saint quite alright in their billing system and provision of the desired service, but a lot of community service need to be done by everyone to ensure that there are no illegal

With these measure, he pointed out, they can prevent cases of illegal connections which destroys the transformers, stressing that the people should not hesitate to report such people so that appropriate actions can be taken. As for the case of those who use pre paid

Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power

Manager who has a target to meet want to keep his job, drastic measures must be taken to get the debtors to pay up and that was how everybody on a street was disconnected, including those who use prepaid meters recently and this did not go down well with those who are up to date with their bills. Even at this, some of the debtors still reconnected their houses illegally from another street while those who are not owing slept in darkness, suffering the sins of others. In Nigeria, the people are quick to point

connections. It is such illegal connections that leads to over loading of the transformer and eventual breakdown and the people are thrown in to darkness, both the bad and the good suffer the same fate. In the words of the Service Manager for Ekae Service Unit, Osaro Anthony Osagiede whose office was besieged by angry customers who were disconnected for not paying their bills, “ it is the responsibility of everybody to be vigilant and report any case of illegal connection in their area.”

meters and yet were disconnected during the exercise, the Service Manager apologized profusely for the inadvertent action and advised that they will be reconnected while those owing will remain disconnected until they pay. “I am not competent to speak to the press on the issue because we have a public Relations officer whose job it is to respond to any enquiries, but I want to appeal to those indebted to pay their debts, because I have a target I must get to maintain my job” he noted.


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M gazine CORRUPTION is a global, stigmatic and dreaded bane of economic development. It is a societal endemic plague that has ravaging effects on the progress of every nation, no matter how wealthy the nation might be. Corruption cuts across all strata of citizenry of every nation and is coupled with

Fighting Corruption: A War For By ELIAS OSAGHAE

philosophical and sociological discussions, corruption is a social vile that is synonymous with d i s h o n e s t y , unscrupulousness, deceitfulness, duplicity, fraudulence, criminality,

has authority. The origin of this cankerworm transcends earthly existence as its characteristics can be traced to events in heaven as recorded in the Bible.

President Goodluck Jonathan insatiable tendencies. Corruption knows no satisfaction and has no limitation. This evil is an acknowledged hindrance to the right of individuals to enjoy social provisions such as basic infrastructures. Corruption does not only distorts access to social amenities, but also affects the quality of any such provisions, if at all they are provided. It is tied to egoism, inordinate aspiration and greed. So, in every endeavour of man on this planet earth, corruption rears its ugly head or it is visibly found in some traits of character. The word corruption has a very wide definition. In theological discussion, corruption is spiritual and is synonymous with s i n f u l n e s s , unrighteousness, profanity, impiety, impurity, vice, turpitude, and everything that is short of God’s ideal. In

bribery, bribing, graft, and all that is related to antisocial norms. In his essay, ‘Forms of Corruption’, Stephen D. Morris described corruption as the illegitimate use of public power to benefit a private interest; and in his contribution, I. Senior defines corruption as an action to secretly provide a good or a service to a third party so that he or she can influence certain actions which benefit the corrupt, a third party, or both, in which the corrupt agent

“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee” - Ezekiel 28:17. This Holy Book mentions corruption in about 80 verses. Other religious scriptures may have also touched corruption in their verses. The fall of man in the Garden of Eden can be attributed to corruption. Corruption was with people

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of the earth as they spread from land to land. Today, all nations of the earth are deluged with different forms of corruption. The differences in the volume of global corruption are that the developed nations have put in place mechanisms to control this economic virus, while developing and undeveloped nations are yet to successfully implement such mechanisms. In our dear country Nigeria, corrupt practices date back to colonial era. Writing about the genesis of corruption in Nigeria, Rina Okonkwo exposed that as early as 1947, a colonial government report claimed: “The African’s background and outlook on public morality is very different from the present day Briton. The African in the public service seeks to further his own financial interest.” The colonial report concluded that only public opinion could deal with corruption. The problem was that there was no responsible public opinion to check corruption in Nigeria. Rina Okonkwo went on to list the following as early corrupt cases in Nigeria: * Just seventeen months after the inception of IgboEtiti District Council in May 1954, the colonial government held an inquiry into the affairs of the Council. The inquiry judged that the “conduct of the Council’s affairs had become a public scandal.” The colonial officer who conducted the inquiry, FP Cobb, noted, “public indignation was widespread and strong.

The public outraged at the corrupt behaviours of their representatives. The report on Igbo-Etiti District Council revealed that “there was systematic corruption in the appointment and promotion of staff and in the awarding of contracts. Bribes of L80 to L100 were demanded for u n n e c e s s a r y appointments. The brother of the Secretary to the District Council was hired above a more qualified applicant. In one case, a man paid a L400 bribe to secure a post and was never refunded his money when he did not get the job. Contractors routinely paid ten percent of the value of the contract as bribe. The contracts were not awarded to the lowest bidder or to the most experienced or competent persons. At the end of its first seventeen months of existence, the Igbo-Etiti District Council was L6000 in debt. There was great wasting of public money due to gross dishonesty in handling council affairs.” * In 1956, the FosterSutton Tribunal investigated the Premier of the Eastern Region, Nnamdi Azikiwe for his involvement in the affairs of African Continental Bank (ACB). Under the code of conduct for ministers, a government officer was required to relinquish his holdings in private business when he assumed public office. The Foster-Sutton Tribunal felt that Zik did not severe his connections to the bank when he became a Minister. The Tribunal believed that Zik continued to use his influence to further the interests of ACB. Zik, his family, and the Zik Group of Companies were the

“Today, all nations of the earth are deluged with different forms of corruption. The differences in the volume of global corruption are that the developed nations have put in place mechanisms to control this economic virus, while developing and undeveloped nations are yet to successfully implement such mechanisms.”

principal shareholders of the African Continental Bank. ACB loaned over L163,000 to the Zik Group of Companies at low interest. The Zik group did not have to repay the loans until 1971. ACB was a distressed bank. The new registrar of banks in 1952 refused to grant ACB a license. Attempts to find partners for the bank in Britain failed because of the insolvency of the bank. In the words of a colonial government official, “Where a UK minister to be involved in a series of transactions the result of which public funds were used to support an otherwise shaky institution in which he was directly interested, he would be forced to leave public life.” Why did not the colonial government prosecute Zik for his failure to observe the code of conduct for government officers? The colonial correspondence revealed that the government supported the NCNC as the only party to embrace national unity. Without Zik, the NCNC would collapse. The national interest of the country demanded that Zik continue as leader of the party. Obafemi Awolowo, the first premier of the Western Region was found guilty of corruption by the Coker Commission in 1962. In 1954, the Western Region Marketing Board had L6.2 million. By May 1962, it had to exist on overdrafts amounting to over L2.5 million. A loan of L6.7 million was made to the National Investment and Properties Co., Ltd. for building projects out of which only L500, 000 was ever re-paid. The Western Region Finance Corporation and the Western Nigeria Development Corporation also received loans of millions of pounds, which were never re-paid. The Coker Commission found Awolowo responsible for all the ills of the Western Region Marketing Board, and Awolowo “without a doubt has failed to adhere to the standards of conduct which are required for persons holding such a Continued on page 15


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M gazine Continued from page 14 post.” * The First Republic under the leadership of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the Prime Minister, and Nnamdi Azikwe, the President, was marked by wide spread corruption. Government officials looted public funds with impunity. Federal Representative and Ministers flaunted their wealth with reckless abandon. In fact, it appeared there were no men of good character in the political leadership of the First Republic. Politically, the thinking of the First Republic Nigerian leadership class was based on politics for material gain; making money and living well. Minister of Aviation, K.O Mbadiwe, flaunted his wealth by building a palace in his hometown. When asked where he had gotten the money to build such a mansion, K.O replied, “From sources known and unknown.” Minister of Finance Chief F.S OkotieEboh responded to charges of accumulation of wealth by government officers by quoting from the Bible, “To those that have, more shall be given from those that do not have, shall be taken even the little they have.” The popular acceptance and even admiration for corruption of that era was highlighted in Chinua Achebe’s novel ‘A Man of the People’ about the politicians of the First Republic. The author described people’s attitude to corruption thus: “The people had become even more cynical than their leaders and were apathetic into the bargain. “Let them eat,’ was the people’s opinion... It may be your turn to eat tomorrow.” * In the Northern region, against the backdrop of corruption allegations leveled against some native authority officials in Borno, the Northern Region Government enacted the Customary Presents order to forestall any further breach of regulations. Later on, it was the British administration that was accused of corrupt practices in the results of elections which enthroned a Fulani political leadership in Kano, reports later linking the British authorities to electoral

irregularities were discovered. This writer does not intend to present past and ‘reverend’ leaders as “corrupt” for I, as other Nigerians do not have the moral right to do so. For we all have in one way or the other aided and abetted corruption. The aim here is to draw our attention to the fact that corruption existed and developed over the years; that corruption has

lived regime: Gen. Gowon Administration - Corruption for the most part of Gowon’s administration was kept away from public view until 1975. Though Gen. Yakubu Gowon was not officially indicted for corrupt practices but his officials and state governors were labeled as “misguided” individuals acting like lords overseeing their personal fieldom. The

Murtala Mohammed came up with some reformist changes that would reduce corrupt practices, but he was shortlived. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo who took over after the Dimka coup, did not quite marshalled the political zest to follow in the footsteps of his assassinated boss. In no time, corrupt Nigerians sighed great relief after the demise of the anti-corrupt

General was viewed as timid, in terms of not being decisive against corrupt elements in his government. For the first time, perhaps, in the nation’s armed forces, its rank and file were enmeshed in corruption. Those in stores were helping themselves with all types of furnishings and equipments; the medical personnel were looting drugs; the pay boys were taking thousands of the then Nigeria pounds home monthly, just to mention but a few. In 1975, a corruption scandal surrounding the importation of cement engulfed Gen. Gowon’s administration. Many officials of the defence ministry and the central bank of Nigeria were involved in the scandal. Some of his commissioners were publicly denounced for grafts. Gens. Murtala/Obasanjo Administration - Gen.

of lapsed ethical judgments. It is on record that the Generals were removed from power when their colleagues smelt hypocrasy in their “War Against Indiscipline” (WAI). Besides politicians jailed

billion was missing few years back, to send corrupt politicians to jail for up to 10-20 years. Gen. Babangida Administration - The regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida is

adm give War whic $12. as Fe Auth

• Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser (NSA)

• President Goodluck Jonathan been instituted before the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and this 4th Republics; that the military incursion into governance worsened and heightened corruption; that this economic virus had long infested both public and private sectors of the Nigeria’s project and that we should know corruption is as old as the amalgamation of the north and south of the nation.. When the military struck in January 1966, Nigerians wholly welcomed the development, hoping that this canker-worm, called corruption would be addressed and hopefully be eradicated at most or at least be brought to diminution. But sadly, Nigerians guessed wrongly as the deluge of corruption flowed in new and different directions under the military. Briefly reviewed below, are corruptive accounts of the military administrations after the Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi short-

...A War

crusader and it became ‘business as usual’. In the corruption bu-ha-ha, $2.8 billion oil money got missing under the watch of petroleum minister, then Colonel Muhammadu Buhari. Also accounts were said not to have been rendered for the funds earmarked for the FESTAC, ‘Operation Feed the Nation’ and other national projects. The huge fraud relating to ITT venture in Nigeria, which put whopping billions of US dollars in the pockets of very few Nigerians, was said to have taken place under that administration. Gens. Buhari/Idiagbon Administration - In 1985, a cross section of political gladiators were convicted of different corrupt practices under the government of second republic President Shehu Shagari. However, the administration itself was involved in a few instances

for corruption, no other ‘corrupt operators in the private sectors’ were touched and systematic corrupt practices remained unabated. Many Nigerians questioned the moral rights of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, under whose petroleum ministry a whopping sum of $2.8

seen as the body that openly “legalized” corruption in Nigeria. The general did not, throughout his administration, attempt to fight corruption, but instead set or reduced jail terms of corrupt politicians imprisoned by military tribunals of his predecessors. His

Electi ladde pract how m billion pock admin era th millio case, Gen

“This writer does present past and ‘re as “corrupt” for Nigerians do not h right to do so. For one way or the ot abetted corruption.


a

M gazine

r For All

inistration refused to account of the Gulf r oil sales windfall, ch is estimated to be 4 billion. Projects such

deral Capital Territory hority, Democratization,

ions, etc, were heavily ened with corruption ices. No one can say much public money, in ns went into private kets during this nistration. It was the hat witnessed gifts of ons of naira in brief , to traditional rulers. n. Abacha

Administration - The death of Gen. Sani Abacha revealed the global nature of graft at it’s worst height. The French Government investigations of bribes paid to Nigerian Government officials to

banking commission report indicted Swiss banks for failing to follow compliance process in allowing family and friends of Gen Abacha’s access to accounts and depositing amounts

become a reticulate monster. It is no gain saying that an average Nigerian is corrupt and selfishly perceived corruption to be a benchmark of financial break-through. In other words there is hardly a Nigerian who gets to a position of authority that will not take advantage of that position to enrich him/ herself. Most Nigerians who shout on roof top at

• Mohammed Abubakar, IG-P ease the award of gas plant construction exposed the global level of official graft in Nigeria. The investigations led to the freezing of Nigerian officials bank accounts in Europe containing over $100 million US dollars. In two years after the death of the general a Swiss

not intend to everend’ leaders r I, as other have the moral r we all have in ther aided and .”

totaling $600 million US dollars into the accounts.The same year, a total of more than $1 billion US dollars were found in his various bank accounts throughout Europe. Again, the salient point here is that corruption is not a recent phenomenon that pervades the political, military, police, custom and all national institutions. Even before the development of modern public administration in the country, there have been cases of official misuse of resources for personal enrichment. Nigeria is ranked 144th corrupt country in the world and it took many years of corrupt decadence for Nigeria to rank so highly. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of both public and private sectors of the national society; we nurtured it to

corrupt practices are those unfortunate ones like yours sincerely, who has not had the opportunity to grab. Even if you are the best-publicspirited type, the persuasion of loved ones, the allure of the opposite sex and the influence across the board can covert you to join them. What percentage of the Nigerian population would be exonerated if the Almighty God comes down to Nigeria and judge those in public office and those who have retired from public office of corruption. Corruptive practices do not only entail bribery, it also include bribing and an average Nigerian is guilty of either at a point in time. And the private sector is not exonerated. As a matter of fact, corruption is instigated, perfected and executed by the private sector. This is the sector that cushions bribing that

the public sector relies on and exploit. The captains of industries are on the front burner of ‘kick-backs, forward and kick-by-thesides’ systems of corruption in Nigeria. The system has actually developed from ‘kick-back to kick-upfront’. Now operators in the private sector have to pay upfront percentage of the value of contracts they are vying for before they put pen to paper. An average Nigerian in the private sector believes that ‘nothing goes for nothing’ and so he/she is ever prepared to offer bribe in order to attain goals. The private sector has always been comrade-in-crime to public sector. As corruption has become an evil of the first and vast magnitude in Nigeria enveloping every one, can fighting it be only an individual’s concern? How easy can it now be for a leader to fight and eradicate an evil that had been persistently institutionalized by past administrations? And most importantly, are Nigerians sincere in fighting this damaging scourge? These are some of the pertinent questions that need committed answers. It is very common and easy to expect a leader of the nation to do something about corruption, but it is not common to find answers to some relevant questions as asked above. And what are most appalling nowadays are the defensive mechanisms employed by some corrupt public officials. They point at the speck in the eyes of another in order to distract others seeing the plank in their own eyes. Good examples are the Speaker of the House of Representative, who officiated the fixing of his and other “honourable” members’ salaries, allowances and other corrupt benefits at the expense of poor national development, pointing fingers at the President for not fighting corruption. The suspended Governor of CBN who pointed inadequately, at the financial misappropriation in NNPC and at a time he, himself sat on queries of financial recklessness and infractions of his office. And the political class which now employ corruption as a weapon to outwit the incumbent in power. Corruption has become a bait to be included

in the manifestoes of opposition political parties, in order to hoodwink the unsuspecting electorates, whereas these same politicians have some corruptive smudge in their past public offices. The whole thing smacks of Nigerians re-inventing corruption and then making it an uphill task to eradicate. This writer is of the firm opinion that war against corruption cannot be won in this generation because Nigerians of this generation have not accepted that fighting corruption is not a task for an individual nor for a political party in power. For decades we nurtured, aided and abetted corruption, so we all have to accept our roles individually and forge a united front to fight against its continuous escalation. Corruption in Nigeria is so enormous that no leader nor a political party can boast of eradicating it. Any promise by a political party to eradicate corruption when voted into office is nothing but a mere endearment to catch votes. Such political party should convince Nigerians by outlining its articulated methodology of eradicating the economic virus. The political party has to show where its war against corruption would commence and how it would handle corruption in both public and private sectors. A leader of the Nigerian nation can install a dozen or more corruptionfighting agencies but if Nigerians are not united and committed to the fight, the cankerous monster will continue to feed on the nation’s wealth and grow fat while development is hampered. All past and present attempts at eradicating corruption failed because there was no united front by committed Nigerians to fight it. Nigerians did not see corruption as Americans see tax evasion. A murderer may get away with the crime in America, but a tax evader can never get away with the evasion. Fighting corruption should start from every Nigerian family. Heads of Nigerian families must shun immoralities, be objective and truthful, avoid rigmarole and short-cuts, show contentment and excitement in occupation, and give the young ones good virtues to imbibe. The watch word is “Charity begins at home”


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I Sight AS the Boko Haram “intifada” continues to transmogrify in monstrosity; upping the ante in barbarism and savagery, more Nigerians, undoubtedly, will be martyred. This is not a prognosis of doom, but a cringing deduction from the exegesis of the terror group. However, this article does not broach Boko Haram’s future killing statistics. All around the navel and fringes of northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram roams cutting down feeble “usurpers” who are pawned by fate. From the rustic communities of Borno to the slumbering towns of Yobe; it is the same fate that binds them in one tragedy loop. Boko Haram has become to the inhabitants of this axis of infamy and horror a festering sore which they have to live with; a nightmare that has become a daylight reality. And so it is, today Boko Haram has become the spitting image of evil; the belch from the bowels of hell. True as this representation of Boko Haram may be, the fact is that it has always been with us. Boko Haram has always been the subservient, quiet and docile demon in our ultrareligious space. And when that demon has soaked up enough contaminated religious water, it unleashes itself fiercely on obverse people knifing, biting, mauling and mowing. All tools in its killing kit, it unleashes to relieve itself of religious concupiscence. “Religicide” (killing in the name of God) is the child of ultrareligiousness. It is common where religion trounces reason. And in Nigeria, an ultra-religious country, reason is a prisoner. Again, what ultra-religiousness in Nigeria connotes is incessant frictions and clashes arising from the collision of different religions or faith. And that means, even if Boko

Killing In The Name Of God Haram is subdued today, something greater than it may rise from its ashes. As a matter of fact, Boko Haram is a manifestation of the loss of reason, and it can be apparelled in the robe of Islam, in the hood of Christianity, or in the raiment of any religion. The Anti-Balaka, a

too. The truth is, a mind fecundated by religion is schizophrenic, and as a result, it is dangerous behind the trigger. Come to think of it, have we wondered why terrorism is common in ultra-religious societies? The Middle East, in spite

in promoting democracy, fairness, gender equality and peace. But sadly, that is not the case. Ours is an ultrareligious society with little care for reason. We hold our religious beliefs arrogantly to our chests, and cease to reason out

minds with religious poisons until our guts cannot contain them, and then we puke the poisons on people of obverse faith. Besides, while Boko Haram is waging a Jihad against the country, churches in Nigeria are waging crusades against the pockets of their adherents. Nigerian

collection of Christian militias giving the Boko Haram treatment to Muslims in Central Africa Republic is a clear indication that a delicacy of terror can be prepared and served by Christians

of all its resources is a hotbed of violence, rape, child marriage and gender discrimination. One would have hoped that being ultra-religious; societies in the Middle East would be front-liners

or think through what our religious lords feed us. We gulp down large morsels of religious tommy-rot, and challenge any authority that disputes our “truths”. We keep contaminating our

churches employ mindbending strategies to keep their faithful mass of penitents under a regimen of compulsory and thankless giving. Nevertheless, that is a subject for another day.

By FREDRICK NWABUFO

“As a matter of fact, Boko Haram is a manifestation of the loss of reason, and it can be apparelled in the robe of Islam, in the hood of Christianity, or in the raiment of any religion.”

Truth be told, beyond the political and economic reasons that have been given for the rising and thriving of Boko Haram, one neglected reason that may be the kingpin of the other reasons is religion. Boko Haram is the fallout of our ultrareligious society. Our society being ultrareligious gives expansive room for the mushrooming of dangerous sects and groups. It also engenders religious conflicts and schisms. In the 1980s what appeared to be a harbinger of today’s Boko Haram rampaged through the north. It was Maitatsine and his boys. Then later, it was Musa Makaniki and the residue of Maitatsine boys. Many lives were lost in the riots that these ultra-religious men caused. These terrorists rose and thrived because the society in which they operated was ultra-religious. So, as it is now, if the economic and political causes of terrorism in Nigeria are addressed, the same problem will persist because of the ultra-religiousness of its people. The battle to stifle terrorism must be taken to the minds of Nigerians. Ridding the country of its ultra-religious garb is a necessary action that must be taken to salvage what is left of it. Physical combat may stunt the growth of terrorism for a while, but it cannot kill its seed. The seed of terrorism in Nigeria today is religion. Boko Haram’s ideology is pickled in religion. Steering the minds of Nigerians away from ultra-religiosity through seminal re-education may be the one way out of the one-end street of naked violence. We must de-emphasise religion! The truth is, we are Boko Haram because we are an ultra-religious society.


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I sight CONSEQUENT to our critical criticism of the government, some have asked what people like us would do differently if we were the President. This specifically in relation to our rejection of the insult to the Martyrs of March 15th, “unemployment day,” who the government in our view further debased the memories of and added pepper to the injuries of their families by throwing jobs at them. If I were president, here is an outline of what I would have done after many died and many were cheated. Firstly, I would give an immediate public address empathizing with not only the families of the killed and injured, but all Nigerians on the national tragedy. I would apologize for the behavior of unscrupulous elements

Immigration Job Scam: If I

Were President people and re-assure them of my government’s commitment to their safety, their dignity and their rights to secure decent livelihood, decently and their assurance of justice by my government by immediately announcing the unreserved suspension of the Interior Minister and the Comptroller general of Immigrations. I will promise that all others found culpable in the heinous operation will follow suit. Thirdly, I would suspend and if my powers and the

By DR. PEREGRINO BRIMAH

declare March 15th a national Unemployment day. Consequently, I would participate in the burial of as many victims as possible and meet with the families of all victims as soon as is convenient for them after their events of mourning, to express my sympathy for these Martyrs, and to listen to their grievances and determine with them individually what compensation within the permits of the government will best suit

candidates who applied for the Immigration scam process. I would also compensate them from Federal funds with an additional N50,000 for the national insult, their deprivation of jobs by my government, the embarrassment to their dignity and the compensation for their time wasted. I would also force all the cabal who are aided by my government and governments before me, who are in illegal possession of the nation’s

each family. I will not insult them and the memory of the martyrs by throwing jobs at them. I am convinced that several of these respectable families will even in patriotic altruism, turn down monetary or e m p l o y m e n t compensation and rather stake their lots in an assurance of a better tomorrow for all Nigerians. I would immediately refund the N1000 stolen to all the millions of

oil blocs, land, etc. And who are benefactors of the fuel subsidy scams, the government supported oligopolies and the government assisted extortion of the masses, to immediately employ thousands of youth and pay them proper salaries, whether they have jobs for them or not. I don’t care if the youth will just sit in their courtyards— either employ 20,000 youth each for what you loot from the nation’s commonwealth or run

One of the stadium in which one NIS interviewed was held

and officials of my regime who conceived and orchestrated such a dirty scam and carelessly directly led to the hurt and death of our great youth. I would apologize to the families, the husbands of the pregnant dead who lost their spouses and unborn children. Secondly, an important part of my speech will be my promise that no stone will be unturned in the investigation and prosecution of all culpable in the act. I will placate the

preliminary investigation prompts/allows, immediately sack the Interior minister and place him under house arrest. If as expected, investigations find him unquestionably guilty, he may be hung for the deaths of our great youth and leaders of tomorrow and for the insult to the nation in violation of his pledge to serve Nigeria and Nigerians for which he is over financially compensated. Furthermore, I would

Abba Morro

from the country on selfexile or get ready to rot in jail. I would establish a comprehensive employment committee to look into the evident unemployment crises plaguing the nation. I would immediately trim all Federal ministries, budgets and frivolous projects to free funds to improve the lots of the unemployed. I would sell all the 10 Presidential private jets to utilize the recovered funds for job creation for our millions of youth and unemployed masses. I would also ban all frivolous public expenses including travel for health purposes and other rubbish. Redirecting these unnecessary government expenses to Nigeria will create an

environment for the development of our sectors and this will force the creation of jobs. I would immediately return the looted $20 billion which will all be invested in massive job creation. I would resign for my incompetence, recognizing that since all my chosen cabinet officers have been proven dangerously incompetent and deserving of termination, Mike, Stella, Tukur, Mark, Abba, Diezani, Dasuki, Wike, Ngozi, etc, the problem is actually with me. Finally, but very importantly, I would open a public commentary forum and listen to what you discuss and suggest and do the things you want us to do for the people.

“ I would immediately trim all Federal ministries, budgets and frivolous projects to free funds to improve the lots of the unemployed. I would sell all the 10 Presidential private jets to utilize the recovered funds for job creation for our millions of youth and unemployed masses.”


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V ewpoint I WAS going to title this piece, “Why is Abba Moro Still a Minister?” but changed my mind. In the context of Nigeria, the answer to the question seemed rather obvious. Nigeria is ravaged by human-made poverty. A society with a humane sensibility would invest every resource and deploy its imagination to fight this plague of poverty. In Nigeria, instead, the war is directed not at poverty but at the desperate poor. A culture of depraved accumulation has seized Nigeria. In turn, that culture has created one of the most pestilential crises of deprivation, hunger and disease anywhere in the world. Deprived Nigerians are daily afflicted with the plague of a callous war on the poor. Mr. Moro, Nigeria’s Minister of the Interior, is sitting pretty precisely because the Nigerian state has scant regard for Nigerians wounded by the festering sore of poverty. That sentence actually puts a gloss on the reality. The fact is that, far from seeking to reduce poverty and ameliorate its impact, the Nigerian polity wages an unceasing, gruesome war on the beaten down, the crushed, the poor. On Saturday, March 15, Mr. Moro catapulted himself into the forefront of this grisly war on the wretched of the Nigerian earth. His ministry had fewer than 4800 positions to fill in the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS). The ministry invited more than 500,000 desperate youngsters to jostle for the posts. The applicants were asked to show up at stadia in different Nigeria cities to take an aptitude test that was a first step towards filling the posts. Each applicant was compelled to pay N1000 for a chance to play what amounted to a lottery with long odds. Nigeria’s unemployment figures hover near 25 percent. And that, by the way, is going by the official data. Many Nigerians would describe the official rate as laughably understated. Getting facts and figures right is among the many basic things the Nigerian state hasn’t figured out how to do. The anecdotal hunch is that Nigeria’s unemployment rate is significantly higher. Each year, Nigerian

Abba Morro And The War On The Poor

universities, polytechnics and colleges of education pour out more (ill-educated) graduates into a “patronage” economy that produces millionaires and billionaires, but generates few jobs. I know friends and relatives who graduated from universities more than fifteen years ago, but have never been able to receive employment. They make do however they can. They hustle and beg and lend themselves to all kinds of political schemes—whatever gives them their daily bread. Nigeria has a grave crisis of unemployment. The mix of desperation on the part of the unemployed, the terrible paucity of jobs, and the brainlessness of Nigerian institutions are a recipe for disaster. That disaster was actualized on March 15 when some 20 job-seekers died in stampedes at the National Stadium, Abuja and at other centers where the NIS tests were scheduled. The tragedy is not simply in the lives lost. It’s in the vile, exploitative impulse of the Nigerian state, a monster that feasts on its own children. There were not just 20 victims that Saturday; there were more than half a million! Let’s be clear: the Ministry of the Interior did not set out to offer jobs. At bottom, the ministry had devised a mindless scheme to exploit youngsters who were jobless, desperate and vulnerable. The N1000 fee the ministry charged each applicant amounted to a sort of scam. The ministry was able to collect more than N500 million from the desperate applicants, and had only the illusory reward of 4800 jobs to offer! Who came up with the crazy idea of putting hundreds of thousands of job seekers in stadia, as if the

By OKEY NDIBE

• Abba Morro unemployed were cattle fed through a chute? Who decided that only one gate should be open at the stadia? Whose idea was it to use this mass method to fill 4800 jobs? Whether he made those decisions or not, the Interior Minister, Mr. Moro, owns them. It’s part of the principle of ministerial

responsibility which is respected in every serious country in the world. If the exercise had gone well, Mr. Moro would have been entitled to count it as one of his accomplishments. It ended tragically, a monument to poor planning—and, without question, it’s Mr. Moro’s can

to carry. Except that the minister wants none of it. He’s blamed everybody else, including the dead themselves. He’s told the press that the question of his resignation does not arise. He’s berated that unknown, invisible person who decided that only one

“Nigeria has a grave crisis of unemployment. The mix of desperation on the part of the unemployed, the terrible paucity of jobs, and the brainlessness of Nigerian institutions are a recipe for disaster.”

gate should be opened. He’s implied that the applicants failed to conduct themselves in an orderly manner. Mr. Moro looks at the deadly wreckage of his policy, and the only thought that occupies his mind is how to save his own job. The minister is desperate to shirk his ultimate responsibility for the disaster of March 15. And, this being Nigeria, Mr. Moro can count on many enablers. So-called traditional rulers from his state have urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to sack their “son” in whom they remain well pleased, the needless death of 20 poor Nigerians notwithstanding. One Nigerian newspaper has speculated that Mr. Moro’s cabinet seat is not threatened because the minister has champions in high places, including Senate President David Mark. Nigeria has never had a history of holding any public official to account. Ministers simply waltz away from the sins and scenes of their disastrous policies, their jobs intact. President “DoLittle” Jonathan revels in the tag of “transformational” president. But the president is not about to invoke the ethos of “transformation” to demand that Mr. Moro hand in his resignation. Nor is he about to serve notice to his other ministers and aides that the era of being held accountable is here. There’s little temptation for presidential firmness in this case when the dead were poor, the injured part of that wretched mass that the Nigerian state has made it its mission to decimate. Mr. Moro is likely to hold on to his job. Mr. Jonathan is bound to go on reading speeches that contradict his actions. Hordes of poor Nigerians will continue to die from the callous policies and indifference of the Nigerian state. But here’s something that must give sleepless nights to the Moros of Nigeria. There are millions of desperate, unemployed and angry youths in every space in Nigeria. Sooner or later, sooner than later, they will realize that there’s a war on them, that their wretched condition is not an act of God, but the acts of man/ woman. They will rise in fury, and there will be hell to pay!


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Communion Between The Living And The Dead

IN the past three decades, natural disasters, disability, violent crime and ill health have been prevalent across the universe. The Red Cross and other humanitarian bodies have toiled relentlessly to bring succor to the individual band communities affected but not much had been done to putting paid to this ugly scenarios. For instance lets take a look at the battle to putting paid to hunger. According to a United States newspaper, natural disasters have made many people hopeless and without food. The newspaper reported that the efforts of humanitarian agencies had been hampered by difficult terrains and civil wars. Medical doctors, social and political leaders have tried their best in addressing the issues to no avail. Law enforcement agents peacekeeping forces watch helplessly as Boko Haram and

violent crime persist or even escalates. The return of armed bandictory, sea piracy,

ones and bread winners. Some religious preachers claim that

In a book captioned “wanderer in the spirit land,” it has this to say. “I have seen spirits in such sorrow, such despair, trying in vain to win one conscious

kidnapping e.t.c could not be completely eradicated leading to so many families loosing their loved

all these problems are sign of the end time. That is, the world would soon come to an end.

look. One single thought to shows that their presence was felt and understood I have seen them in their

By EKAIWE IGINUA OSEMWEKHA

despair cast themselves down before the mortal one and seek to hold her hand, her dress, anything, and the spirit hand was powerless to

grasp the mortal one and the mortal ear were ever deaf to the spirits voice. Only perhaps a sense of

sorrow would be given and an intense longing to behold again, the dead without power to know that the so call dead was there beside them. There is no despair of earth, great as it often is equal to the despair a spirit feels when first he realizes in all it’s force, the meaning of the barrier which death has placed between him and the world of mortal man is it then wonderful that on the spirit side of life all means are being taken by those who seek to help and comfort the sorrowing one – both on the earth and in the spirit land. In the light of the above human and spirit challenges it simply reminds me of a popular record by Paul Ede which states “If the earth and the spirit world is not suitable for in habitation the third place is not available. So we must endeavour to adapt to any situation we find ourselves.

There is no despair of earth, great as it often is equal to the despair a spirit feels when first he realizes in all it’s force, the meaning of the barrier which death has placed between him and the world of mortal man is it then wonderful that on the spirit side of life all means are being taken by those who seek to help and comfort the sorrowing one – both on the earth and in the spirit land.


o Perseverance

C unselling “WE can do anything we want to do, if we stick to it long enough”. Helen keller said. She demonstrated along with others such as: Nelson Mandela, Jackie Robinson and civil rights marchers that perseverance is about change in both our private lives and the public arena. Choose a perseverance hero to honour and emulate this week, someone who has shown you the value of powerful virtue. In Latin, the term perseverance means one who sees through to the end and one who does not yield. We need this quality of doggedness and determination for our daily labours and for the great work of saving the Earth, which is in deep trouble thanks to our irresponsible behaviour and shortsightedness. Sir Chinmoy has observed: “Patience and perseverance are of supreme importance on any spiritual path. We all know people who have an intense commitment to what they are doing and are able to sustain this steadfastness even in the face of incredible obstacles and set backs. There are also, people who star have an intense commitment to what they are doing and are able to sustain even in the face of incredible obstacles and setbacks. There are also people who start a project filled with high hopes and spurred on by great energy, then, somewhere along the way, lose focus, aren’t able to deal with difficulties that arise or just do not have the will power and stunning to see the project through to the end. What the former have and latter need is perseverance. The solution according to Confucius is never about fixing but staying, with the fear of helplessness and loss of control. God is with those who perservere. All the great persons of the

world, whatever had been their mission in life, proved their greatness by this one quality, endurance. The enduring personality is like a ship that can withstand storms and winds under all conditions, the ship that saves itself and others such blessed personalities, showing the strength of God have been called the saviours of humanity (Hazrat Inyatkhan). Strength Mahatma Gandhi said, does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will. Great works therefore, are performed not by strength, but by perseverance (Smuel Johnson). Sir, Chinmoy expressed that our motto of life should be: Not to give up under any circumstances”. There will be obstacles, but you have to defy the obstacles. Try again and again, you are bound to succeed you must make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius (Joseph Addison). By perseverance, Charles Spurgeon said snail reached the ark. So, when you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though, you could not hang in a minute longer, never give up then, for, it is just the place and time that the tide will turn. Perseverance means persistence in doing something, despite, difficulty or delay in achieving success. That is, the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult. Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition calmly and without complaint. According to Winston S. Churchill: “If you are going through hell, keep going. You may encounter many defeats Winston Churchill

With

O.C. Madu

said but you must not be defeated, in fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out it. “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop” (Confucius). Nelson Mandela said:”A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds”.

snail reached the ark (Charles H. Spurgeon). Abraham Lincoln had a long record of perseverance in his life.In 1831 his attempts at a business venture failed. In 1832, he lost the election for the state legislature. In 1833 Mr. Lincoln had another business venture that had proved unsuccessful. In 1833 his future wife passed on practically, destroying

different angle. However, he did suffer from depression; he did not even allow that to ruin the purpose for which he was created. We can learn a lot from Mr. Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln. A remarkable story of

his lack of formal education which ended with a partial year of grade school. He was often confronted by men from aristocratic families; those men having the best formal education money could buy. While he was self taught.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fall at everything the man who moves a mountain beings by carrying away small stone. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time (Thomas Alva Edison). Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all. By perseverance, the

him. In 1843 another attempt in politics proved unsuccessful as his election for congress was defeated. In 1848 Mr. Lincoln again failed to win a seat in the congress in 1855 his attempt at politics had been defeated as he had lost the US senate elections. 1856 he attempted to run for vice president and once again, he was defeated. Another attempt to run for the state Senate in 1859 had once again failed finally, after many attempts, Abraham Lincoln’s perseverance paid of and he became the 16 president of the United State. In 1860. That’s almost 30years after his first business adventure failed. Here’s the recipe Lincoln followed: Read the Bible one way. Apply the Bible to your daily life. Mr. Lincoln used many principles of the Bible in his life such as men being created equal and a house divided against itself cannot stand. He used these as a guide to his personal life and to rule the country. Trust God and never give up. Abraham Lincoln faced a lot of failures in his life, but, he didn’t give up. Each time he tried things a little differently or from a

perseverance. Often people get discouraged and quit when with just a little more perseverance they could have attained something special. Abraham Lincoln is a great illustration of the power of perseverance as he had terrible and persistent heartache and defeat through his life, get made history and changed the course of America. A summary of his heartaches and defeats comprise an interesting list – prior to marrying Mary Todd, Lincoln’s original love was Ann Rutledge who passed on at the age of 22 Lincoln’s mother had died when he was just nine years old and later his sister Sara died in child birth. Of his and Mary Todd, Lincoln’s four sons, two died as children during Lincoln’s lifetime, each of those deaths causing him enormous agony. Until Lincoln was 21 years of age, his father sent him to labour for others and then kept the wages for his son earned. As an illiterate man, the father saw no importance in Lincoln’s education. Lincoln suffered from inferiority complex from

Lincoln also, suffered from inferiority complex over his appearance which was mocked as being terribly ugly by some writers and political cartoonists among others. Some saw him as being gorilla like while some others saw him as uneducated and ignorant,. Just a country bumpkin way out of his league in national politics. In business, Lincoln failed twice, as a politician he lost eight elections and he suffered a nervous breakdown bedridden for six month, as fears, doubts and uncertainties lived within his soul. Lincoln suffered from depression throughout his adult life. As president during the U.S civil war 1861-1865, Lincoln was often criticized for the incompetence of his generals, particularly, in the early years as battlefield defeats mounted and the death toll was stunning As President, not only did Lincoln write and issue the emancipation proclamation that restricted slavery, but as the civil war was ending in 1865, he initiated the 13 th amendment to the constitution, outlawing US slavery forever. Thanks for reading!

Perseverance means persistence in doing something, despite, difficulty or delay in achieving success. That is, the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.

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o

S ciety

Suicide: A Cowardy Way To Evade Challenges? and below and these are people who are Internet savvy,’’ he said. Mba, nonetheless, called on parents to give more attention to their children’s upbringing, arguing that

hard. “They have to work hard; they should have a vision for the future and know how to achieve this vision in the proper way,’’ he said. All the same, Ebisike

Section 327 of the code says that “any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.’’ The question then is that if taking one’s life is against the law, why do people still

“parental upbringing in this generation appears to be defective.’’ In his view, Bishop Christian Ebisike of Ngbo Diocese, Anglican Communion, Ebonyi, said Christianity totally forbade suicide under any guise. “When somebody commits suicide, it is a terrible sin because you cannot give life and cannot take it; so the Bible is against it,’’ he said. Ebisike urged the church to have counselling departments to advise people, who might be going through harrowing times, on how to cope with life in a more pragmatic way. “The church should be more involved in the ministry of the youth; it should pay more attention to their needs, while guiding them through life. “The church should stop prosperity preaching and teach the tenets of the Bible, the youth should not be made to believe that everything comes easy or that they could be successful without working

appealed to the government to create more jobs for the teeming jobless youths, saying that many youngsters usually lapsed into depression out of frustration. Sharing similar sentiments, Sheikh Nura Khalid, the Chief Imam, National Assembly Quarters Mosque, Abuja, said that it was forbidden and unpardonable in Islam for anyone to commit suicide. Saying that anyone who committed suicide would end up in hell, Khalid quoted a passage in the Holy Qu’ran which states: “The one who kills himself with a steel object will have his steel in his hand to stab his stomach in the hell.’’ Similarly, Section 326 of the Criminal Code Act of Nigeria says that “any person who procures another to kill himself; or counsels another to kill himself and thereby induces him to do so; or aids another in killing himself; is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.’’

see it as a way out of their problems. Commenting on the causes of suicide, Dr Ajiboye Adedotun, a Clinical Psychologist at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, said depression could lead to suicide, if not properly managed. He also said that mental disorder, marital, occupational and financial problems or the loss of a loved one could lead to suicide. “The risk factors for suicide vary by age, gender, and ethnic group and the risk factors often occur in combinations. “Suicide does not just happen as a result of a sudden issue but it is due to accumulated issues; the thought of these issues could probably lead to depression,’’ he said. Adedotun, nonetheless, insisted that “if one takes poisonous substances or tries to take his or her life in the presence of others, such a person is only seeking attention and not trying to commit suicide.’’

By FOLASADE FOLARIN

ON the eve of Christmas Day in 2013; Mr Frederick Onigbo, 40, a father of seven and a resident of Abuja, committed suicide. The man had been complaining about his harrowing experience of living in an expensive city such as Abuja, saying that it had made it virtually impossible for him to cater for his family. Reports said that prior to his death, Onigbo, a cab driver, also complained about his inability to repair his taxi which developed some faults and his inability to pay his children’s school fees due to paucity of funds. Neighbours said that the death of Onigbo’s mother in November 2013 and his inability to raise funds for her burial also made him to become morose and edgy, adding that this might have contributed to his decision to end it all. Onigbo committed suicide by setting himself ablaze behind a petrol station in the Gwarimpa neighbourhood of Abuja. Onigbo’s case aptly typifies the plight of several others who decided to commit suicide because of the hard times they were facing. Concerned citizens bemoan the growing trend of suicide in Nigeria in recent times, irrespective of factors such as age, tribe, religion, social class or gender. They recall that a teenager, Boluwatife Oyeniyi, recently committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree in his school compound in Kwara. Also, 24-year old Abubakar Ahmed of Ganten-Tudu, Kebbi, committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree because he could not produce the N40,000 dowry demanded for a marriage bid. Even an average income earner, 26-year old Motunrayo Ogbara, a banker, was said to be suffering depression before she took her life in

Lagos recently. Observers are particularly worried that most of the people that committed suicide are youths who still have a lot of opportunities in future. With the rising cases of suicide in the country, they, therefore, wonder if suicide has become an acceptable way of dodging the stark challenges of life. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that suicide is one of the three leading causes of death among people with ages from 15 to 44 years in some countries and the second leading cause of death in the 10 to 24 years age-bracket. It states that every year, about one million people die from suicide; a figure which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100, 000 people or one death in every 40 seconds. WHO also predicts that by 2020, the rate of suicide-induced deaths would have increased to one death in every 20 seconds. However, Mr Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police, said that the suicide culture was hitherto alien to Africa because Africans were not known to have suicidal tendencies. He, however, conceded that as the world was fast becoming a global village, Nigeria was now suffering from some of the negative effects of globalisation. “Africans generally are not known to take their lives because the traditional religion, which most of our forefathers practised, sees suicide as a taboo. “In those days, a person who committed suicide was not buried and the body would be dumped in the evil forest; however, the world is becoming a global village. “If you look at those suicide cases, you will discover that it is more of a generational thing and most of them happen among people of 35 years

He condemned some actions which people usually took to stop depression as counterproductive. “Often, people attempt to alleviate the symptoms of depression by drinking alcohol or using drugs which can increase the

risks of suicide by impairing judgment,’’ he said. The consultant said that most depressed people were not even aware of the symptoms, adding, however, that people around them could be of help by giving words of comfort. Adedotun said that being a friend to a depressed person could reduce his or her suicidal tendencies, stressing, however, that failure to treat depression could heighten the risks of suicide. He, nonetheless, said that in some cases, psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy or interpersonal therapy could be used to alleviate the symptoms of depression. All in all, analysts underscore the need for the health authorities to take a holistic look into the factors behind the rising wave of suicide in the country, with a view to addressing them in a pragmatic way. (NAN)


v

A iation IT is rare in these climes to have opposition politicians praise the performance of a government in power. Many people believe all they should do is criticize government, except when it is obvious the government has scored so high in any given field, in which case they simply keep mum. In Nigeria, this democratic absurdity has been elevated to a new height by the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). So when one of its leading lights, Honourable Abike Dabiri, a member of the House of Representatives went on a tangent to hail the massive transformation the aviation sector has recorded under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, it raised so much interest. In one of her regular trips from Abuja to Lagos, she said despite the aspersion being heaped on the Jonathan administration, it has made Nigerians proud in the way aviation sector has been transformed in the past few years. Dabiri’s endorsement of the aviation sector reforms is not an isolated case; like many people across Nigeria, Joseph Oyebanji who has been resident in United Kingdom for the past thirty years, shares the same opinion. When he visited last year, after being away for the better part of ten years, he could hardly believe what he saw at the renovated Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and he said so in no uncertain terms. What he saw, in spectacle and services, were in sharp contrast to his previous experiences. The scenario painted above has been the feelings of most Nigerians towards the massive transformation going on in the aviation sector. Even for Jonathan’s worst critics –like Dabiri’s APC leadership – the aviation reforms have been impressive. No doubt the transformation of the aviation sector is viewed by any objective mind as one of the administration’s defining projects. For the first time in Nigeria, a master-plan is being implemented in the aviation sector which not only improves the aesthetics of the nation’s tourism gate-

The Aviation Reforms ways, it is equally impacting positively on the quality of service as well as safety of the airspace. There has been a radical revision of the Civil Aviation National Policy for the first time in over 12 years, with the result that all 22 federally-owned airports across the country are being remodeled, resulting in improved passenger experience. This is the first

passenger terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu. Not only is there a massive remodeling of these airports across the nation, their obsolete and often embarrassing power and safety infrastructure are being replaced or upgraded. For instance, fire

have been replaced or upgraded to cope with the emerging security challenges in the country. Not only has an Accident Investigation and Analysis Laboratory been installed in Nigeria, it is the only one in the West African sub region and one of the only four in the entire African

Authority NCAA to expand and promote safety oversight, surveillance and human capital development in the industry. According to Captain Dele Ore, an aviation expert, the restructuring being carried out at the NCAA gives one joy that we are for once getting it right in the aviation sector. “President Jonathan should be

of its kind in terms of magnitude in the past three decades, but easily the high point of the ongoing industry reform is the simultaneous construction or reconstruction of five modern international

fighting infrastructures at the airports are being upgraded with state-of-theart fire-fighting equipment across the nation’s airports. Security equipment in all the airports in the country

continent. The issue of safety has always been a major problem to Nigerians who are in the habit of flying- the major reason Jonathan ordered the restructuring of the Nigerian Civil Aviation

commended for being courageous to embark on such exercise because it has earned us respect among our competitors in the aviation industry across the globe”, he said. The aviation sector under

By CHIKA ONUORA

“The scenario painted above has been the feelings of most Nigerians towards the massive transformation going on in the aviation sector. Even for Jonathan’s worst critics –like Dabiri’s APC leadership – the aviation reforms have been impressive. No doubt the transformation of the aviation sector is viewed by any objective mind as one of the administration’s defining projects.”

the Jonathan administration has been able to streamline the General Aviation (GA) to eliminate unauthorized commercial operations, promote scheduled airline profitability and safety. The administration has been able to eliminate the unfavourable concession and lease agreements that were inconsistent with the public interest, industry growth and advancement. It is on record that in his usual commitment to empowering the private sector, Jonathan has for the past three years encouraged the promotion of private sector and international investors’ participation in the nowlucrative Nigerian aviation sector. Since the history of aviation in this country, this is the first time some hitherto unknown airports scattered across the nation are being given face lift. Six of them, namely Jos, Makurdi, Yola, Jalingo, Lagos and Ilorin which are strategically located in proximity to food baskets have been designated as perishable cargo airports and international standards perishable cargo facilities are rapidly being developed at these airports. Because of this innovation, the administration has approved the development of a Cargo Development Division and the appropriate authority in the aviation sector has been directed to do the necessary thing towards realizing the objectives for which they were set up. Aviation experts are of the opinion that the kind of transformation witnessed in the sector have attracted investors who are ready to put in their money because the right infrastructure has been provided. If the previous administrations before Jonathan had done the needful, the sector would have gone far in meeting the parameters in global standards. That is why the plaudits from Nigerians from all shades of platforms, including politicians of the ‘opposition’ stock, have become more significant. It becomes even more so with much promise that the ongoing improvement will be sustained and even improved upon if the President gets the chance of a second term.


n Nigeria’s Industrial Development

I dustry PROMOTING the success of any government in power is a hazardous occupation for me; but, the revolution going on in the manufacturing sector since the inception of the present administration has made me more comfortable in the occupation of mouthing the success of the administration in this

And, as a sure way of encouraging the company, President Jonathan has formulated a policy which made it mandatory for government agencies and parastatals to patronize the cars manufactured by Innoson group as their official cars. The policy has come into effect as most of the ministries now purchase the

regard. Since the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan developed and launched the National Industrial Revolution Plan, the hitherto comatose manufacturing sector has been given a new lease of life as the sector is alive again. Tucked in the remote area of Nnewi, on the outskirt of Anambra State, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Plant only existed before now in the minds of the locals who would dream that one day the product of the company will be used by Nigerians. That dream of the locals came to fruition with the industrial revolution embarked upon by the Jonathan’s administration. Cars of various shapes and sizes manufactured by Innoson have since dotted the Nigerian roads.

vehicles manufactured by the Innoson as the official cars for top officials of the ministries. The effect that this singular policy has on the economy is too profound to hastily appreciate; with the patronage coming from government and individuals alike, Innoson group has no choice but to engage more hands in the manufacturing of the cars. This, in essence, will boost employment in our land; the cash flight due to importation of fairly used cars into the country would be a thing of the past and, more importantly, other companies which supply raw materials for the company will thrive in business and engage more hands. Is this not amazing? If you are carried away by the achievements of the Innoson group, then hold your breath until you

By SYLVESTER OKORO

get to hear about the Peugeot Assembling Plant located in Kaduna in the 80s; the company was moribund many years ago. The industrial revolution embarked upon by the Jonathan administration has not only given life to the moribund company as the company has concluded plans to start

now build a plant where all ranges of Honda cars will be assembled. Apart from the Stallion group, Kewalram, another company which specalises in the importation of cars, has concluded plan to build plant to assemble the brand of cars (Mitsubishi) they import into the

assembling Peugeot cars in the country. The import of this is that employment would be created again by this company. Many other foreign motor companies, which before now imported cars to the country, have concluded plans to build assembly plants in the country. This will reduce the rate of importation of cars into the country. Stallion group that is reputed for the importation of Honda cars into the country will

country. Motor manufacturing is not the only subsector of the manufacturing that is reaping the fruit of the industrial revolution embarked upon by the J o n a t h a n ’ s administration. Federal Government has developed a Sugar master plan to provide roadmap for 100 per cent local production of sugar. Many manufacturers have keyed into the policy and the result is massive sugar

production being witnessed in the country. In the same vein, due largely to the industrial revolution, Nigeria is now a net exporter of cement. Nigeria has moved from producing 2 million metric tonnes in 2002 to a capacity of 28.5 million metric tones at the moment. It is on record that with no permit issued in 2012 for cement importation, savings of over N200 billion were made. This feat remains the first in the history of this country. The Onne Oil and Gas Free zone has been transformed with $6 billion invested leading to the attraction of 150 companies into the zone with 30,000 jobs created as at the time of this write up. Foreign investment in the manufacturing sector is booming as shown by the number of foreign companies flooding the country to establish their manufacturing plants. For instance, Indorama’s $1.2 billion fertilizer at Onne; Procter &Gamble’s $250 million consumer goods plant in Ogun State and SAB Miller ’s $100 million brewery at Onitsha are significant indicators. There are many others too numerous to mention which have contributed immensely to the reduction of the unemployment problem in the country. The administration has equally come with legal support for the manufacturing companies based in the country so that they will

not have undue disadvantage from their competitors based elsewhere. That is why the administration of Jonathan has negotiated a strong Common External Tariff, GET, agreement with ECOWAS partners which would enable the country to protect its strategic industries where necessary. Some of the manufacturers are of the opinion that with the industrial revolution roadmap the country is on the path of greatness but something must be on the ground to sustain the move because that is the only way to belong to the comity of developed countries. “I think this is the first time that Nigeria would be allowed to take their own destiny into their hands. I am into manufacturing and I can tell you that since the inception of this administration I have engaged more hands because there is enabling environment to operate. Jonathan has done well and I think we should support him for second term”, advised Romanus Ani, a local manufacturer. Samson Ngene, who is into juice manufacturing, believes that unlike before it is no more tears for manufacturers as the environment is conducive for them in the manufacturing sector. Whichever divide you might find yourself, there is no doubt that the administration of Jonathan has performed wonders and is still working towards repositioning the economy.

“And, as a sure way of encouraging the company, President Jonathan has formulated a policy which made it mandatory for government agencies and parastatals to patronize the cars manufactured by Innoson group as their official cars.”


p

O inion

The Aftermath Of Immigration Interview By IMUAGBONHON JOHN

employed. Where are we heading to? I therefore encourage the families that have lost their loved ones to sue the immigration authority for damages and claims. From my research, I learnt that it was only about two hundred (200) applicants that - .were -to be employed all over the country. In the usual way things are done in Nigeria, do not be surprise that the names of the 200 candidates had been submitted by the powers that be to the immigration office even before the interview? Nigeria is a country that when your brothers, sisters or godfather is not highly placed you might not ever work as an

immigration, navy, Air force, Army, customs or even police. While there are university graduates of twenty years still roaming about looking for job, there are some serving NYSC grandaunts that are already employed and earning good money in NNPC or other lucrative Government agencies. Can a country continue to be run like this without a revolution one day? Well I encourage both the Federal and state Governments to look inwards by re-awaken all her moribon companies everywhere in the country while Agricultural sector should not be neglected because of the (ALREADY MADE

REVENUE FROM CRUDE OIL). If the Agricultural sector is well hanised it could be able to give employment to more than 50 percent of our youths while the country will become food basket of Africa not to say the world. God almighty has been very good to us but it is now the challenge of our leaders to be able to tap the natural resources to our own advantage if we stop to be greedy over everything. The presence of crude oil in our land have made the leaders and followers lazy. Because, whether we work or not the revenue will come from the sea. This crude oil sector is mostly the reason for the high corruption in the country today. Only God can deliver us.

• President Goodluck Jonathan

THE fallout of the immigration interview held all over the capital Cities of the states in Nigeria on Saturday 15 March, 2014 must have gone but it effect will be food of thoughts in many decades to come. How on earth can a country occupying the fifth largest oil- production list in the world parade the highest numbers of unemployed youths? It is no longer news that

about seventeen applicants died while so many were injured. My compatriot, this has gone to confirm our cry of very high number of unemployed. This has shown that Nigeria of tomorrow would also be a weak one because the energy of youths are not tapped to prepare the ‘former great country’ for tomorrow challenges. First of all, I fault the management of the

immigration for not taken into consideration the numbers of applicants that purchased their form for a wooping sum of one thousand naira (N1 000) before scheduling the venues. They were more interested in the money they were collecting from the unemployed. It is only in Nigeria that Government agencies collect money from applicants whom they also know will not be

• Abba Moro

“Well I encourage both the Federal and state Governments to look inwards by re-awaken all her moribon companies everywhere in the country while Agricultural sector should not be neglected because of the (ALREADY MADE REVENUE FROM CRUDE OIL).”


Today’s Diet With Pastor E. A. Adeboye

Peace All-Round MEMORISE: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 Read: Isaiah 43:2-4 PEACE is good and needful, whether to an individual or to a society. The presence of peace is to be cherished above having riches without peace. May you not have the kind of wealth that would take away your peace in Jesus’ Name. There is a dimension of peace I refer to as environmental peace: this has to do with physical security challenges such as is being grappled with in Nigeria — terrorism in the north, kidnapping and armed robbery all over the place. The truth is, environmental peace has a way of affecting the peace of mind of individuals. Glory to God, Jesus our Lord goes by the title “Prince of Peace”. What this connotes is that He is the controller, the giver and the One who sustains and nourishes peace in man. He controls all dimensions of peace possible — be it environmental, in the mind or any other. Lack of peace brings fear, confusion, and leads into bondage. No vision, development or progress is made where there is no peace.

The highest level of peace a man needs to attain is peace with God. This is why no one can boast of security except by coming to Jesus. When you come to Jesus — the author of peace, He dwells in you with His peace. He will keep kidnappers, armed robbers and assassins away from you, thus making you to dwell in peace environmentally. Your mind will be at peace also. You must however continue to love and trust Him with all your heart and resources. Psalm 91: says: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 125:2 also says:

“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.” These are the words of the Lord that cannot lie. One limiting problem is that some children of God are ignorant of His promises. We need to stand on His word, claim it, pray it and confess it. It is His plan that we should be delivered from our enemies so that we may serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives (Luke 1:74-75). Whatever negates that plan must not be accommodated. ACTION POINT Pray for peace in Nigeria and all troubled spots in the world. Pray that the gospel of Jesus will thrive in all nations of the world.

“The highest level of peace a man needs to attain is peace with God. This is why no one can boast of security except by coming to Jesus. When you come to Jesus — the author of peace, He dwells in you with His peace. He will keep kidnappers, armed robbers and assassins away from you, thus making you to dwell in peace environmentally.”

CHANGE OF NAME OBAGBALU – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS FLORENCE FOLAKE OBAGBALU now wish to be known and addressed as MRS FLORENCE FOLAKE OGUNMOLA. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME AGBEYEGBE – I, formerly known and addressed as MRS MERCY AGBEYEGBE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS MERCY ATUMU. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

KOMOLAFE – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS KOMOLAFE ABOSEDE RACHEAL, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. ADEDAYO ABOSEDE RACHEAL. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

OJEIFO – I, formerly called MISS OJEIFO BLESSING DOLA, now wish to be called MRS. OYARELEMHI BLESSING DOLA. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME BRAIMAH – I, formerly called MISS BRAIMAH R A H A M A T U OMOKHEFUE, now wish to be called MRS. A K H U E W U R A H A M A T U OMOKHEFUE. All former documents remain valid. Unified Local Government Service and the general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME IYEN – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS IYEN ENIBOKUN OSARIEMEN, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. IDEHEN ENIBOKUN OSARIEMEN. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note. CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME OMEH – I, formerly called MISS OMEH ANNASTASIA IFEOMA, now wish to be called MRS. OMEH – MOMODU, ANNASTASIA IFEOMA. All former documents remain valid. St. Philomena’s Catholic Hospital, School of Nursing, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nursing and Mid-Wifery Council of Nigeria and the general public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME OKOSUN – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS OKOSUN AMENAWON LORENTA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. AMENAWON LORENTA EJIRO-DAVID. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities, Post Primary Education Board (PPEB) and the general public should please take note. CHANGE OF NAME OHIOSUMUAN – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS O H I O S U M U A N PATIENCE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. AGUDA PATIENCE. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities, Nigeria Police Force and the general public should please take note. CHANGE OF NAME

WOSU – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS WOSU EUGENIA EBERE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. EUGENIA E. EMMANUEL. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME OSAYANDE – I, formerly MISS BEAUTY OSAYANDE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as MRS. BEAUTY OSAGIODUWA E K H O R U TO M WA N EVIDENCE. All former documents remain valid. Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME ONUABUCHI – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS H A P P I N E S S ONUABUCHI, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. A I W E K H O E AGHADIAGBON HAPPINESS. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and general public should please take note.

ODIGIA – I, formerly known and addressed as MISS ODIGIA AKHERE PROMISE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. A PROMISE BELLO. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

THIS S PA C E IS FOR SALE

Jemima Weds Eric The solemnisation of marriage between former Miss Jemima Akihomi (BIU Student), and Mr. Eric Iyare (Businessman), took place on Friday April 11, 2014 at the Oredo Local Government Council Marriage Registry, Benin City. Amongst dignitaries present were Mr. Godday Agazuma, Mrs. Itohan Omobude, Mr. Anthony Uyi Odobo, Comrade Eric Okundaye, Mr. Andrew Osagie, family members, relations, friends and well wishers. Pictue shows the couple at the registry. Congratulations! Photo: SONNIE E.


p

O inion NO, forget those fancy words, “corruption” and all that. It is those words that are delaying our brains in understanding what is taking place and preventing us from crying if we cannot get them out of there and line them up in front of a squad with very poor aim—who will miss their target for a tortuous bit. We have thieves in power, plain and simple. “ole” in Yoruba. “barawo” in Hausa. “àgàfù” in Igbo. How did we get here? All we read every day is theft; robbery of the first degree.. Governor Akpabio stealing our millions by siphoning this through the airline company of Kola Aluko, that international thief and launderer for Jonathan and Diezani. Our missing petroleum billions of dollars, case wide open. Berne declaration report on more billions of dollars being stolen. Fuel subsidy stealing, kerosene subsidy stealing. They have stolen so much they do not know what to do any more. They have given us this artificial fuel scarcity to pave paths to steal even more. They want to remove the petrol subsidy to punish us, not the kerosene subsidy we are telling them to remove already, no; it is the petrol subsidy they are after, the bunch of thieves. It is all about stealing, every day, stealing. They steal millions of dollars every hour, neigh, every minute. They are back to sell our refineries again because they need to steal more. Refurbish it for trillions and sell it for billions so they can pocket trillions as they did with PHCN: refurbished for 3 trillion and sold for 400 billion. No power supplied, but they are collecting monthly payments from the poor; thieves! Mere thieves. They must have grown up in derelict and lacking families because they have

• Late Sani Abacha

• Stella Oduah

Corruption Galore obviously never seen money before. Stealing from Almajiri—building their so-called schools at 20 times the cost; stealing from unemployed youth…and killing them in the process. Oh my gosh! What is this! I was young and in school when Babangida and Abacha were stealing their own, and they used guns so I cannot blame myself too much for allowing them steal like that…it was my father they chanced then, but these nonentities in caftan’s and cowboy caps and head ties, stealing and stealing from us every blessed day, na curse? 100 million Nigerians living under a dollar a day and some miscreants who stole our revolution which we used to

By DR. PEREGRINO BRIMAH

• Diezani Alison Madueke

eject Babangida and our prayers which helped us seize Abacha’s soul, are just sitting there governing by stealing or is it stealing by governing? Words cannot describe this. Where did these demons drop from? Is it a plague? Are they human beings at all? No surprise the thieves give awards to thief Abacha. Why will Obama ever visit Nigeria? Not that it is that special, but the guy will not touch this nation with a cursed regime and impotent citizens with a garden fork. No surprise the 12 northern governors were directly invited to the US to discuss the terror situation in the north and the “president” was shenked. Washington is not that

“Why will Obama ever visit Nigeria? Not that it is that special, but the guy will not touch this nation with a cursed regime and impotent citizens with a garden fork.”

stupid to invite this hopeless thief who lacks the credibility to lead even a nursery school and has demonstrated clearly that he lacks the commitment, mental capacity and cannot hold enough span of attention to barely face the ridiculous threats that have decimated over 16,000 lives across the land since he resumed office. Dear Lord, we apologize for offending you. Please forgive us; we cannot take this punishment any longer. What have we done, and how do we atone for our sins? We repent for ever using nice whiteman words like “corrupt,” “embezzle,” “mismanage” and the rest for this bunch of thieves in government and their cabal friend thieves out of it. Lawrence Anini was corrupt; he was not a robber or a thief. No. He did not deserve the firing squad. We are sorry for having him shot to death. We have learned our lesson; we should have given him national honors. Lawrence looks at these and shakes his head in disbelief. He killed 100 times less and stole a billion times less too. Lord, we have turned the criteria on its head. We are sorry for all the armed robbers we caught and for all the petty thieves we have in jail. These are honorable men. There is no explanation for those who just “corrupt” from our pockets a few thousands of naira to be in jail when these REAL THIEVES are in government; none, whatsoever. It is not a government; it is a den of thieves. This government are all thieves. We will now call them so and we will gather the stones today that someday soon we will rain them upon their rotten heads. Thieves!!!!! Murderous thieves! Bunch of thieves. Where is my biro? Yey! Did someone let the government in?


ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS EDO STATE

RE-RUN OF WARD CONGRESSES The State Congress Committee hereby announces Re-run

Ward Congresses as follows:

DATE: SATURDAY 12TH APRIL, 2014. TIME: 8.00a.m. VENUE: as tabulated below: NOTES: 1.

ACCREDITATION FOR ADMISSION INTO EACH CONGRESS VENUE SHALL RUN FROM 8:00AM TO 10:00AM USING THE ORIGINAL MEMBERSHIP SLIP BEARING EACH HOLDER’S PHOTOGRAPH AND NAME. MUTILATED OR PHOTOCOPIES SHALL NOT BE ACCEPTED. ONLY ACCREDITED MEMBERS SHALL VOTE.

2.

MONITORING BY PARTY LEADERS, SENATORS, MEMBERS OF THE HOUSES OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ASSEMBLY, COUNCIL CHAIRMEN ETC, IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. EVERYONE SHOULD RESTRICT HIS/ HER MOVEMENT TO HIS/HER WARD CONGRESS VENUE ONLY, VIOLATORS SHALL BE APPROPRIATELY SANCTIONED. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION EDO STATE

INDEPENDENT_NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION EDO STATE

EGOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, USELU S/NO 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

WARD/ REGISTRATION AREA OTUBU OLIHA OGIDA/USE EGOR UWELU EVBAREKE USELU I USELU II OKHORO UGBOWO

COLLATION ASORO G/SCHL, EVBUOTUBU AUNTY MARIA GROUP OF SCHL, OGIDA EWEKA P/SCHOOL, USE EGOR PRY. SCHOOL, EGOR UWELU S/SCHOOL, UWELU EVBAREKE G/S, EVBAREKE OLUA P/SCHOOL, USELU USELU S/SCHOOL, USELU EGHOSA ANG. SCHOOL ADOLOR COLLEGE UGBOWO

IKPOBA OKHA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, IDOGBO S/NO 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

WARD/REGISTRATION AREA IWOGBAN/UTEH OREGBENI OGBESON ADUWAWA ST. SAVIOUR SCHOOL OF HEALTH TECHNOLOGY UGBEKUN IDOGBO OBAYANTOR OLOGBO LGA: COLLATION CENTRES

COLLATION ARMY DAY CHILDREN SCHL. OGHENI PRIMARY SCHOOL ERESOYEN P/SCHOOL ADUWAWA SECONDARY SCHOOL IVBIYENEVA P/SCHOOL SCHOOL OF HEALTH TECHNOLOGY, DUMEZ ROAD, B/C. OLOGBOSERE P/SCHOOL IDOGBO SECONDARY SCHOOL OGHEGHE HEALTH CENTRE OLOGBO PRY. SCHOOL IDOGBO SECONDARY SCHOOL

OREDO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, BENIN CITY S/NO

WARD/REGISTRATION AREA

1. 2. 3. 4.

OGBE GRA/ETETE UZEBU URUBI/EVBIEMWEN/IWEHE/

5.

URU/EVBIEMWEN/IWEHEN/ IHOGBE/ITSEHERE / OREOGHENE/ICE RD NEW BENIN I NEW BENIN II OKEDO IKPEMA/EGUADASE UNUERU/OGBOKA OGBELAKA/NEKPENEKPEN IBIWE/IWEGIE/UGBAGUE

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

COLLATION GARRICK MEM. COMP. P/S OREDO MODEL P/S OBA AKENZUA II P/SCHL EMOKPAE PRIMARY SCHOOL, MISSION ROAD, B/C OLIHA P/SCHOOL MIN. OF EDU. IYARO PAYNE P/SCHOOL EYAENUGIE P/S IGBESANMWAN P/S ASORO P/S OHUONBA P/S AGBADO P/S

.

INDEPENDENT_NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION EDO STATE ORHIONMWON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ABUDU WARD/ REGISTRATION AREA COLLATION 1. AIBIOKUNLA 1 ESIGIE COLL. ABUDU 2. AIBIOKUNLA 11 OZA/P/S EVBOGHAE 3. UGBEKA EVBOGHAE P/S EVBOGHAE 4. IYOBA EVBOKABUA P/S EVBOKABUA 5. UGBOKO UGBOKO-NIRO P/S 6. UKPATO OKOGBO P/S OKOGBO 7. URHONIGBE NORTH IDUMWONGO P/S 8. URHONIGBE SOUTH ENIGBE P/S URHONIGBE 9. UGU URHEHUE P/S 10. EVBOESI IDUSI P/S 11. IGBANKE EAST AKE P/S AKE 12. IGBANKE WEST IGBONTOR P/S IGBANKE

OVIA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OKADA WARD/ REGISTRATION AREA

COLLATION

1. OKADA WEST 1 2. OKADA WEST 2 3. UHEN 4. ADOLOR 5.OFUMWEGBE 6. OLUKU 7. UHIERE 8. ISIUWA 9. OKOKHUO 10. OGHEDE 11. ODUNA 12. IGUOSHODIN 13. UTOKA

IKALADERHAN P/S, OKADA UGBOKUN P/S, UGBOKUN UHEN HEALTH CENTRE EKHIBI P/S, OVBIOGIE EGBAEN P/S, IWU EROSOYEN P/S, OLUKU AMAYO P/S, ODIGHI ISIUWA P/S, NIFOR OKOKHUO P/S, OKOKHUO OGHEDE P/S, OGHEDE EWWKA P/SCHOOL, ODUNA IGUOSHODIN-NIGBEMABA P/S ARUIGIE P/S, UTOKA

INDEPENDENT_NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION EDO STATE OVIA SOUTH WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA IGUOBAZUWA WARD/ REGISTRATION AREA

COLLATION

1. IGUOBAZUWA EAST 2. IGUOBAZUWA WEST 3. UMAZA 4. SILUKO 5. UDO 6. ORA 7. USEN 8. UGBOGUI 9. OFUNAMA 10. NIKOROGHA

OZOLUA P/SCHOOL MIN. OF EDUCATION ADOLOR PRY. SCHOOL SILUKO PRY. SCHOOL EZOTI PRY. SCH.UDO OZOLUA PRY. SCHOOL OSASEYI P/S, USEN IGBINOBA PRY. SCHOOL EGBEMA P/SCHOOL OLODIAMA P/SCHOOL

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION EDO STATE UHUNMWODE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA EHOR WARD/ REGISTRATION AREA

COLLATION

1. EHOR 2. UHI 3. IGIEDUMA 4. IRHUE 5. UMAGBAE NORTH 6. UMAGBAE SOUTH 7. ISI NORTH 8. ISI SOUTH 9. OHUAN 10. EGBEDE

ARUOSA P/S, EHOR UHI G/SCHOOL, UHI ODOGBO P/S IGIEDUMA OSARO P/S, IRHUE OKUOSA P/S URHOKHUOSA ASE P/S, IDUMWUNGHA ISI G/SCHOOL, EGUAHOLOR IGUOGBE P/S, IGUOGBE EVBOENEKI P/S EVBUENEKI UGBONEKI P/S, UGONEKI

APC! CHANGE!!


p

O inion TO close the sale, you must knock on doors and ask for the order…… For decades, the only emissions out of Akwa Ibom Atlantic coast line communities have been that of hydrocarbon polluting the air from producing oil wells and associated economic activities. And yes, today, these communities (geo-politically referred to as “Eket Senatorial District” (ESD), hold much promise for the future of Akwa Ibom State, just as it did in the past in providing Akwa Ibom with a formidable patriot and champion of good in the person of Sir Justice Udo Udoma. We the Concerned Citizens of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria (CCAIN) see no dearth of leadership capacity within “Eket Senatorial District”, and so we support the quest of the district towards winning the governorship election and assuming the mantle of gubernatorial leadership in Akwa Ibom State come 2015. However, recent emissions out of persons and groups purportedly representing “Eket Senatorial District” is clouded with the stench of “affirmative action” and/or “quota system”, often weak in considering excellence as a selection criteria. It must be in the tactics, because we in CCAIN are certain “Eket Senatorial District” have sophisticated minds and the district extend well beyond the “Ekid” communities that have just issued a rather boring, weak, and whining communique out of the just concluded AKISAN National Convention <albeit they characterize their occasion as some International Summit>. “Eket Senatorial District” includes Oro and MkpatAbasi communities and we encourage all from these communities to come forth with the quality of advocacy that is worthy and will assure gubernatorial election victory on the road to 2015. We trust that “Eket Senatorial District” will return with a communique that goes beyond the ring of entitlement, to substantive value proposition; a communique that pivots away from the “Justice” mantra, to presenting a candidate with a pedigree of justice, fairness, and a heart that seeks equity for all Akwa

The Road To 2015

Ibom communities. Politics has never been about “Justice”, it has always been about substance, reason, and emotion; And of course in Akwa Ibom State, forced outcome through murders, kidnappings, ballot box high jacking, election rigging, and bribing of election workers and judges. So, what lies on the road to 2015?! Appealing to Godswill Obot Akpbio (a person whom when one looks at his face, one sees the Tin-Can face of a Tin-God, a Tyrant Cannibal; one sees on his face murders, kidnappings, looted Akwa Ibom treasury, profligacy, and a bitten finger that fed him stuck in his fat mouth. Many substantive Akwaibomites have no interest in looking at his face and so boycott events with Akpabio in attendance...), is the first sign the signatories to afore mentioned “Ekid” communique need to STOP, for they appeal to instincts that will return Akwa Ibom State to those dark days of murders, kidnappings, ballot box high jacking, election rigging, and bribing of election workers and judges. Didn’t same Godswill Akpabio invade CRARN in Esit Eket and drove Sam Itauma into exile? Didn’t same Godswill Akpabio shut down all efforts at employment of Eket people through stifling Amakpe Refinery out of Eket?? Didn’t same Godswill Akpabio violate Ekpotu and Nsima Ekere of Ikot Abasi??? OK! He favored his family’s historical allies in Eket!!….is that what this empty and whining communique is all about in the name of the good people of “Eket Senatorial District”?! In appealing to Godswill Akpabio, you tacitly become an accomplice in the evil, intimidations, kidnappings, murders, and profligacy visited upon ‘Eket Senatorial District” and Akwa Ibom State by this evil faced and evil hearted person. Godswill Akpabio knows he is despised for the blood on his hands and no litany of Attah initiated projects nor claim of credit for other people’s ideas will absolve him of accountability. Alright we have seen those videos on “urban Renovation”, but so what! We have also seen the flooded-out school in Ikot

By OBONG UMANA

Ibiok Eket! Now where is the “First in Africa” Jacked up drainage system?! Ikot Ibiok Girls School in Eket is more representative of Akwa Ibom beyond the paint-up window dressing along the main thoroughfares. Akwa Ibom is all adorned in con; Iyayake! That is why we need a credible “Eket Senatorial District” candidate that trusts in the power of democracy and the people’s vote, not in Akpabio’s pronouncements and election rigging. Recently, some individual shared the postulate that “Politics in Akwa Ibom had since moved on”; Question is: moved on to where?! We in CCAIN see a tendency to move Akwa Ibom Politics back to the very dark days…it is such tendency that enable “Justice” mantra and clamor for entitlements. An overload on entitlement and emotional appeal is only begging for more of the same Akwa Ibom politics of forced outcome through murders, kidnappings, ballot box high jacking, rigging, and bribing of election workers and judges. Is this what lies on the road to 2015?! Modeling Mugabe of all people?! “Quoting Robert Mugabe, the retired senator said that for Eket Senatorial District, “the 2015 gubernatorial election is a life and death issue.” – Samuel Essien PEOPLE, REALLY?! “You in the Diaspora must act and write open letters. Write to the leadership of PDP in Akwa Ibom. Write to Governor Godswill O. Akpabio. Write to President Goodluck Jonathan. Write to Alhaji Bamaga Tukur. Write to Chief Tony Anenih. Write to all stalwarts of PDP on this all important and weighty subject.”- Samuel Essien Oh no! This is simply pitiful and somewhat desperate. Please dear ESD people do not heed the Retired Senator Etang Umoyo’s advice. And do not, repeat, do not bring Zimbabwe ZANU-PF style strife to Akwa Ibom State; it’s very bloody. There is a better way…. The cry for “Justice” is a flawed tactic…….. We in CCAIN therefore

urge a return to a campaign of “Substance, Reason, and Emotion” by every constitutionally qualified Akwa Ibom State citizen. We in CCAIN urge Akwa Ibom citizens to remain resolute and resilient in our commitment to winning the future for Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, a future devoid of insecurity, a future strengthened by our rich diversity, and the relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation. On Zoning and how we select our leaders: In Akwa Ibom State there are families and blood lines that have been historical beneficiaries of community goodwill, but have retuned to claim dominion over those who sponsored and enabled their prominence. These families and persons thereof come under the pretext of wishing to give back to the people of Akwa Ibom State, they talk “POSITIVE ANGER!” but turn around to remain perpetual leaches, plundering Akwa Ibom common wealth whenever they have the opportunity. It is important that you know this and reject any future derivatives from these families that have demonstrated they are not good for Akwa Ibom State. As we look for leaders, Akwa Ibom must reject the tendency towards leaders with potential of further fragmenting Akwa Ibom communities. Akwa Ibom must reject candidates from communities with deep seated historical grievances that eat away at them and manifest in over compensation and sheer evil while in government. To ignore these facts, is to extend the days of murders, kidnappings, mayhem, and fear. The one thing Akwa Ibom must never do again is select her leaders out of a stock that come with grievance against Akwa Ibom people. They have consistently come with scourge earth agendas and vengeance. And to those that insist on zoning – Zoning arrangement within PDP political party is not an “Akwa Ibom State Policy”. Zoning is not in Akwa Ibom

State governing laws. So if PDP party agreed to a rotating representation schedule, that is fine and should be honored within the Party; an agreement is an agreement and carries TRUST as an inherent element. But if a candidate is

of diminished performance. S o c i o - P o l i t i c a l l y, affirmative action endorsements may seek to solve one problem, but they generate yet other conflicts and concerns. So invariably, the TRUST problem remains. Some one somewhere will always complain! The populist candidate goes to every constituency and persuade since there are no guarantees; the populist candidate then must

Gov Godswill Akpabio

outside the PDP party, he or she should be free to go out and persuade the electorate (that is if such a person has the resource and political platform). A fundamental question to ask is: what is the expectation when an Uyo person is Governor?! Develop Uyo only? Take turn in emptying Akwa Ibom treasury?? Benefit only folks from Uyo senatorial district??? Appoint, employ, and favor only family members and persons from Uyo???? If the answer to above questions is YES, then alright, there is value in the rotations and entitlements. But if ultimately we expect a Governor to serve the entire Akwa Ibom State equitably, then the zoning logic is confounding. It would not appear to matter where the person originates from! Zoning seems simply an exercise at appeasement; just so that an Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, or Eket person may earn bragging rights that their neighborhood person governed Akwa Ibom State (competent or not). Affirmative actions (zoning, quota, etc) have always bred a sense of entitlement and the mockery

demonstrate why he or she is the best for every constituency or be sufficiently charismatic to appeal to all or the majority. Oh! How naïve we are…in Akwa Ibom State votes do not matter…. Leaders get APPOINTED and names get crossed out and written in….well then… may be the whiners are on the right road to 2015! Zoning we characterize as an unsustainable sociopolitical model; it has the potential of exacerbating divisions to a point that there will be outright conflict if a group strongly feels marginalized; it stifles competency and suppresses the emergence of “best candidates”. Flawed processes consistently yield flawed or substandard outcomes. We at CCAIN urge Akwa Ibom to promote processes that lead to the emergence of “best candidates”, over affirmative action candidates. CCAIN wishes Akwa Ibom State a safe journey on the road to 2015. CCAIN Can… Obong E. Umana @ObongandI on Twitter for CCAIN Board of Directors


Asafa Power Handed 18-Month Doping Ban FORMER 100m world record holder Asafa Powell has been banned for 18 months after testing positive for a banned substance last year.

The Jamaican sprinter, 31, tested positive for the stimulant oxilophrine at last year ’s national championships and the ban has been backdated to June 21 2013 - the day he provided the sample. His ban will end on Dec 20. The chairman of the threemember disciplinary panel, Lennox Gayle, said: “The panel arrived at a unanimous decision, and it is a decision that in all the circumstances Mr. Powell was found to be negligent and that he was at fault, especially in light of the fact he (is) an elite athlete.

“It is our decision that the period of ineligibility will be 18 months commencing from the date of the sample collection ... the period will expire on the 20th of December 2014.” Powell added: “Panels such as these, I understood, were assembled to allow athletes who, consciously or unconsciously, come into conflict with the rules of sport a chance at equitable redemption. Unfortunately, this was not the case. “This is the first time in nearly 12 years of being in the sport and over 150 tests that

Asafa Powell

Platini:

Monaco Job Would Suit Zidane

MICHEL Platini has told L’Equipe that Zinedine Zidane is ready to become a coach as speculation links the 1998 World Cup-winner with Monaco. Zidane is currently assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, but the 41-year-old has stated his ambition to take charge of a team himself. While former Marseille coach Elie Baup said last month that the former twotime World Player of the Year would do well to take over at his hometown club, French media claim the former France international could replace Claudio

Lidane

I have had an adverse finding. It is for a stimulant, a stimulant that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects. “Sanctions for a stimulant and this kind of infraction usually range from public warnings to a ban of three months, six months in the most extreme cases; I was and am still more than prepared to accept a sanction that is in line with the offence. Instead, nine months later, what has been handed down is clearly not based on the offence nor the facts surrounding it. “My team has begun preparations for an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. “I want to reiterate that I have never knowingly taken any banned substances.” Powell’s sanction comes two days after his former training partner Sherone Simpson received an 18month suspension from the same panel for the same substance. Another Jamaican, Olympic discus thrower Allison Randall, was also handed a two-year ban for using the prohibited diuretic hydrochlorothiazide on Tuesday.

Ranieri at the Stade Louis II this summer. Though the Ligue 1 side, and Ranieri himself, have denied the rumours, UEFA president Platini believes the club would not be making a mistake in giving Zidane his first senior coaching role, and that the principality side would be a good fit for the former Bordeaux, Juventus and Madrid man. “If Zinedine wants to be a coach, it’s good to start with Monaco, which is a good club that has means,” Platini said. “He has spent a year with Carlo Ancelotti at Real. So, he’s ready. If he wants to do the job, he has to take

the step. And if he wants to take charge of the French national team one day, it’s better that he starts with a club. “I have spoken to Zinedine, and I know that he wants to commit himself. He has a name, he’s intelligent. He’ll be a very good coach.”

Powell was not at the hearing but his lead attorney, Kwame Gordon, told Reuters: “We are disappointed that having had two months to review the matter and provided all the evidence, we have no written reasons and the sanction would imply that the athlete is being held at a certain standard. “It would have been, I think, appropriate if the panel had applied the same standard to themselves and provided us with written reasons.” Powell, who missed last year’s world championships as a result of his failed test, had testified in January that Canadian physical trainer Chris Xuereb provided him with nine supplements, including Epiphany D1. Xuereb denied providing performance enhancing drugs

and said the sprinters should take responsibility for their failed dope tests. Powell, twice a 100m world championship bronze medallist, said: “As an athlete, I took a legal supplement - Ephiphany D1. As it turns out, that supplement was contaminated with oxilofrine. “My team commissioned two private laboratories that confirmed that oxilofrine was present in the supplements, despite it not being listed as an ingredient on the bottle nor on its website. “I would also like to share that upon realising that the supplement contained oxilofrine, my team made contact with both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who not only

ordered samples of the supplement from the manufacturer but also tested and confirmed our findings. “USADA has also since issued a warning on their website for athletes to avoid the product as it contains banned substances. “I did all the necessary checks before taking Ephiphany D1, and it is my hope that the CAS will prove to be a more open and fair avenue for the review of all the facts in my case.” IAAF spokesman Chris Turner declined to comment on Powell’s punishment, saying only: “This is a legal process following IAAF rules which are in accordance with those of WADA and the IAAF does not comment until cases are closed. “This case concerns an international athlete and the full, reasoned decision of the member federation has to be sent to the IAAF and considered by the doping review board.”

Real Face Bayern IN Blockbuster Semi CHAMPIONS League holders Bayern Munich have been drawn against Real Madrid in this season’s semifinals, while Atletico Madrid take on 2012 winners Chelsea. Bayern are aiming to become the first team in the Champions League era to retain the trophy and beat Manchester United 3-1 on Wednesday to book a place in the last four; for Real it is a clash with German opposition for the second successive round after they narrowly saw off Dortmund in the quarterfinals. The tie sees Pep Guardiola renew acquaintances with Real — who play the first leg at home on April 23 before going to Munich on April 29 - having faced them numerous times as coach of

Barcelona, including a Champions League semifinal triumph over Los Blancos in 2011. Both Guardiola and Real coach Carlo Ancelotti have won the competition twice previously and should one of them triumph this year they would become only the second coach after Liverpool’s Bob Paisley to lift the European Cup on three occasions. Also gunning for that honour is Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who won the competition with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010. He takes his Chelsea side back to Madrid - where he worked as coach of Real for three years — on April 22 to face an Atletico team currently sitting top of La Liga and on the crest of a

wave after beating Barcelona to claim a spot in their first semifinal in the competition since 1974. The return leg at Stamford Bridge is on April 30. A major player in Atletico’s progress to the last four has been goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is on loan from semifinal opponents Chelsea. It had previously been thought that, due to a clause in the loan contract, the Belgian would not be able to play against the Blues. However, UEFA on Friday claimed that any attempts to prevent Courtois’ involvement would be “unenforceable.” Ties to be played on April 22/23 and April 29/30 Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Atletico Madrid v Chelsea

Arsenal Will Sacrifice Everything For FA Cup Win ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has insisted he never lost his desire to win trophies as he looks to battle through to his first FA Cup final in nine years at Wembley on Saturday. Wenger heads into the semifinal against Wigan under considerable pressure, as his side’s latest title challenge has crumbled in disappointing fashion in recent weeks. But his season could be revived with a victory in the FA Cup. Arsenal are the strong favourites to end their nine-year trophy drought in the FA Cup finals at Wembley on May 17. While Wenger has gone on record to suggest a top-four finish in the Premier League is a bigger target for him than a domestic cup success, he has changed that tune a little ahead

of the clash with FA Cup holders Wigan. “Don’t imagine I sacrifice every day of my life not to win a trophy. Everybody fights for that,” Wenger told reporters at Arsenal’s London Colney training base. “We are back at Wembley and it is great. The FA Cup is an important competition. You know we will not fight for the championship anymore, so it is the only competition. We are motivated to do well in it.” Wenger went on to reminisce about his childhood memories of the FA Cup, which he recalls as being the first football matches he got the chance to see live on television. “It was a dream when I was a kid to watch the FA Cup. It was

one of the competitions you could watch in black and white on television,” recalled the Arsenal boss. “I don’t remember the teams [in the first match he watched], but what struck me at the time was the ball was white and the pitch was perfect, absolutely immaculate. I played in a village where the pitch was a disaster. “Also, I remember that the players had their hair well combed, and the managers were relaxed at that time, they joked together on the bench. “The great thing about the FA Cup is everyone can dream of winning it at the start of the season. In the championship [Premier League], only seven clubs can dream of winning it. “Last year Wigan won the FA

Cup, this year you have Sheffield United in the semifinal and that kind of dream, open to everybody, makes the competition special. “In the championship you can talk and talk, but we know the biggest budget will win it; that open dream [of the FA Cup] is what makes this competition special in football. “In basketball, if you play against a team from Division Two, there is absolutely no chance unless you give them 30 points. Only our sport can create that excitement because it is uncertain.” Wenger again refused to discuss the prospect of him signing a new contract at Arsenal, despite persistent questions from reporters.


CMYK

Top Four More Important Than Goal Tally -Suarez

LUIS Suarez says that Liverpool “can’t stop now” in their pursuit of a first league title in 24 years. The Uruguay international has hit 29 goals this season

Luis Suarez

Livepool Trip Sweep Match Liverpool duo Luis Awards Suarez and Steven Gerrard have jointly been awarded the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award for March, with Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers collecting the Manager of the Month award. The clean sweep for the Liverpool trio rewards a month in which the club won all five of their games to go top of the Premier League table, with Rodgers’ side scoring 18 goals as they beat Southampton, Manchester United, Cardiff, Sunderland and Tottenham. Uruguay international Suarez bagged six goals in those five games, including a hat trick against the Bluebirds to cap an impressive 6-3 win, while club captain Gerrard scored fouls goals — including two penalties at Old Trafford in a convincing 3-0 victory — to put the Reds within touching distance of their first league title in 24 years. Liverpool are currently two points clear of second-placed Chelsea with five game to go, and face a vital game against third-placed Manchester City on Sunday. Suarez, 27, says that Liverpool cannot sit back in their pursuit of a first league title in 24 years. “We also know Chelsea and City dropped some points, so we’re at the top of the league now and that’s amazing for us,” the 29goal striker said. “Now we can’t stop because we have a really good chance.” Gerrard, meanwhile, believes Liverpool will be champions if they beat Manuel Pellegrini’s men, but insists his team must remain composed in the run-in. “If you say to me now, ‘Beat Man City and you will win the title’, I think

the answer would be ‘Yes’,” he said. “But all it will give us is three more points and that is what we plan to do. There will be four huge games after that. “I’m not convinced just yet — we’ve got a very hard game next week. I think the message is to stay calm.”

to help guide the Reds to the top of the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers’ side lead the league by two points with five games to go, and face a crucial match at home to thirdplaced Manchester City on Sunday. Liverpool recorded a ninth successive league victory by winning 2-1 at West Ham last Sunday, with Suarez playing a key part even though he failed to score — winning the first of his side’s two penalties and hitting the bar twice. Five more victories will ensure the league title comes to Anfield, and

Hert ‘Lives For Games Like Liverpool-City’ MANCHESTER City goalkeeper Joe Hart has told The Times that he is looking forward to the “fun” of facing Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in Sunday’s title showdown at Liverpool. Hart, a Premier League winner with City two years ago, will be aiming to deny the Premier League’s most potent attacking duo in a match from which the winners will have their title destiny in their own hands. Suarez and Sturridge have scored 49 league goals between them this season, more than half of the league leaders’ total of 90 so far in the campaign. City are the division’s secondhighest scorers, with 84 to date. Despite the prospect of Sunday’s crucial clash being a highscoring affair — and having watched the 4-0 thrashing of Tottenham in Liverpool’s last match at Anfield — England keeper Hart said he is revelling playing in such acritical match. “I know there is a lot riding on every game with us,” he said. “I live for playing at Anfield. It is an amazing place. I watched the [Tottenham] game and the belief has taken off.

“But that is what I live for. I am lucky to play in those situations. I like that pressure. It is my job. It is my life. It is all part of the fun.” Hart insisted that, unlike other players, he pays attention the fixture list throughout a season. City go into Sunday’s match with two games in hand on title rivals Liverpool and Chelsea, but the 26year-old believes that his side will face several more stern tests to overcome after their trip to Anfield. “I look at the games,” he said. “There are players who don’t, but it would be boring if we were all the same. If we were, you wouldn’t get the creativity, the spark, the genius that there is in football. “Liverpool are going for the title, so that will be tough. Then it’s Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion, who are fighting for their lives. Then it’s Crystal Palace, who are desperate to stay up. Then Everton, going for the top four. Then Aston Villa, who could still be in the relegation battle, and then West Ham, which is always hard. “Every single one is a different challenge. There are none that are easier than the rest.”

Suarez has urged his teammates to go for it in the face of a demanding run that also includes a home match against second-placed Chelsea. The 27-year-old told Liverpool’s official website: “With all the games, every week, we work to try to win. We work very hard. Our target was to finish in the top four and we’ve won our last few games. “We also know Chelsea and City dropped some points, so we’re at the top of the league now and that’s amazing for us. Now we can’t stop because we have a really good chance.” Liverpool’s nine-match winning run in the league is just three short of the club record, set over two seasons between April and October 1990, the year of their last title triumph. Suarez added: “For some people, it’s a surprise because in the Premier League it is difficult to win nine games in a row. But if we continue at this level, we’ll play very well. “On the pitch we try the best to help the team. The team know we’ve had some really good performances in the last few weeks and we’ll try to continue in this way.” Suarez’s tally of 29 league goals has come despite the fact that he did not play until late September as he completed a 10-match domestic ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

He needs three more goals to set a new record for the highest total in a 38game top-flight league season, set by Alan Shearer with Blackburn in 1995-96 and equalled by Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United in 2007-08. But Suarez is more concerned with team achievements than personal records. He said: “If I wanted to do that, I could ask Stevie if I could take a penalty, but I don’t like that. For myself, it is more important that Liverpool finish in a good position. “I try in every game to score because I am a striker. I love to make goals, but for me if I could swap being top scorer or winning the Golden Boot for the team finishing in the top four, that would be more important.” Meanwhile, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has admitted he would likely still be warming the bench for City if he hadn’t made the decision to leave the Etihad Stadium in 2009. Having come through the ranks at City, Sturridge joined Chelsea on a free transfer after a frustrating three years in the first-team setup. He made just five league starts at City, with his chances limited due to the big-money signings brought in following Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in 2008. “I would not have got to where I am today if I had stayed,” said Sturridge in the Mirror. “It was difficult for me at Manchester City as a young player aged 18

or 19, with all the money they have. “Realistically, you look back and they only have Micah Richards from the academy playing for the club’s first team — everyone else has been signed by Man City, so I feel I made the right decision leaving there.” Sturridge’s experience at Chelsea was no different, admitting he “fell out of love with the game” after being forced to play out wide on his rare appearances while Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres fought it out to get the nod up front. “At first, it was a matter of learning from the likes of Didier [at Chelsea], and I thought I would get my opportunity sooner, but they didn’t believe in me as a centre-forward,” he said. “They always said, ‘You’re not a centreforward, you’re a winger’ — that’s how they saw me, but that hurt me because I’ve played down the middle all my life. “The pitch has always

been where I’ve been able to express myself the most, where I feel happiest, and I was deprived of that opportunity at Chelsea. There were times when I was sat at home, very upset, and I fell out of love with the game. “In every job, you want to be able to do what you love, and it’s the hardest thing to accept when someone takes it away from you. “I was scared, I wasn’t sure about the future and I’m thankful to God that I had my family behind me. In the end, I was so happy that I was able to go on loan to Bolton [in January 2011] and prove to myself, ‘I can still do this.’ “It’s difficult when you are not playing for so long. Young players do get wrapped up when they are at a big club and they are not playing, so it’s been a whirlwind 15 months since I joined Liverpool. “First and foremost, I feel blessed that I’m at a club where I can push myself to the limit, always listening to my team-mates and especially the manager. This is a time in my life I’ll always remember because of everything that’s gone on in the past.”

EPL Table Liverpool Chelsea Man City Arsenal Everton Tottenham Man Utd Southampton Newcastle Stoke West Ham Hull Aston Villa C Palace Swansea West Brom Norwich Fulham Cardiff Sunderland

P 33 33 31 33 32 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 32 32 33 32 33 33 33 31

W 23 22 22 19 18 18 17 13 14 10 10 10 9 10 8 6 8 8 6 6

D 5 6 4 7 9 5 6 9 4 10 7 6 7 4 9 14 8 3 8 7

L 5 5 5 7 5 10 10 11 15 13 16 17 16 18 16 12 17 22 19 18

GD 50 41 55 16 21 0 18 6 -13 -11 -7 -6 -13 -16 -4 -11 -26 -41 -35 -24

PTS Joe Hart 74 72 70 64 SATURDAY 63 Sunderland v Everton 59 Southampton v Cardiff City 57 Fulham v Norwich City 48 Crystal Palace v Aston Villa 46 Stoke City v Newcastle United 40 West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur 37 36 SUNDAY 34 Liverpool v Manchester City 34 Swansea City v Chelsea 33 TUESDAY 32 Arsenal v West Ham United 32 27 WEDNESDAY 26 Manchester City v Sunderland 25

Match Fixtures

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Weekend observer 12 04 2014  

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