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PUBLISHED SINCE OCTOBER 6, 1990 • Vol.XI NO.3,199• SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 2013 • N100.00


Al Mustapha And The New Political Opening - Page 7-8

Don’t Purchase Voter’s Card THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned politicians against buying of voter’s cards from the electorate in order to rig the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra. INEC Resident E l e c t o r a l Commissioner (REC) in Anambra Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu gave the warning when members of the state’s council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), paid him a

courtesy visit. Our correspondents reports that the warning came amid widespread reports that politicians were mopping up voters’ cards, ahead of the polls. There were also reports that several politicians had been

ferrying people from Jos and Lagos, among other states, to come and register in Anambra during the seven-day continuous voter registration exercise in the state. But Onukaogu said that such antics would not help the parties

- INEC Warns Politicians

concerned. He said that it was a waste of resources and time for anyone to think that the voter’s cards bought by politicians would be useful during the election, as the cards would not be used to vote.

“For anyone to think that buying voters cards will win this election is dreaming. “Those voters cards politicians are mopping up will not win election. “Let the politicians go and market themselves to the electorate. “Let me caution the electorate about these politicians who will want to buy their cards because it will not work. The cards will not be used to vote. “Selling your card means you will not vote and right now we are in court prosecuting 72 people for multiple registrations during the last voters registration

exercise. “We have caught one or two persons who tried to ‘doubleregister’ and you recall that in 2011, we had many multiple registration. “In the entire country, we have 840,000 multiple registration but Anambra State is the highest with 93,000 multiple registers. “They should stop buying voters cards. “ I have worked on the mind sets of my workers and they can’t be compromised either and our salary is regular as well as all that we need for the governorship election. “I have not visited any politician for this election and I am not

ready to do so. I won’t even partner with any political party in voter’s education. “I can partner traditional rulers and communities as well as institutions, not political parties,’’ he said. The REC assured that INEC would strive to conduct a free and fair election in the state. He said that INEC was ready to work in partnership with members of the NUJ in the state. According to him, the election is critical because “the whole world is watching to see a standard that will be set by INEC in Anambra State.” He said further that Contd. on pg 4

LIFE The Dilemma Of Young Ohikhena President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs 1, Prof. Viola Onwuliri (right) presenting a sourvenir to the outgoing representative of the delegation of European Union (EU) to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr. Davia MAC RAE at the presidential Villa Abuja yesterday.


Our Bungled Democracy - Page 5

- Page 9

EDO @ 22 Socio-Economic Development Of Edo State At A Glance - Page 14





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Mechanic, 29 Arraigned Over Alleged Theft Of Motorcycle A 29-year-old mechanic, Kabiru Fashina, who allegedly stole a motorcycle worth N98, 000 from where it was parked, has appeared before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court. Fashina, a resident of No. 4, Dada St., Iyana Iba, Lagos, is standing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and robbery. The prosecutor, Insp. Samson Ekikere, told the court that the accused committed the offences at 6.00 a.m. on August 11 at Iyana Iba Junction, Lagos. Ekikere, however, said that the owner of the unregistered

motorcycle was yet to be identified. The offences, Ekikere said, contravened Sections 295 and 297, of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Newsmen report that Section 295 provides twenty-one years imprisonment for offenders. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Magistrate, Mrs. Abimbola Oshodi-Makanju, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50, 000 with two sureties in like sum. The case was adjourned to September 12 for mention.

Taxi Driver Arraigned For Alleged Withdrawing N84,000 With Stolen ATM Card THE police have arraigned 20year old taxi driver, Basil Chiahem, before an Abuja Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing a woman’s ATM card and withdrawing N84, 000 with it. The accused person, who lives in Kado Village in Abuja, was arraigned on charges of theft and fraud. The police prosecutor, Inspector Phillip Appolos, said the accused stole the card from Miss Blessing Chidi’s (of Life Camp, Abuja) wallet when she boarded his cab in May. He said the accused left town after withdrawing the money.

The prosecutor said the police arrested him on August 28 during investigation. He, therefore, prayed the court to convict him accordingly. When Magistrate Abdullahi Illela asked the accused to respond to the charges brought against him, he pleaded not guilty to them. Illela granted him bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum, adding that the sureties must have defined addresses and must be living within the court’s jurisdiction. He adjourned the case to September 11 for hearing.

A Paskistani investor displaying his military wares in Gombe during a Trade and Industry Business Forum recently.

Driver Docked For Assualting Traffic Officer A driver, John Peters, 35, has appeared before an Ejigbo Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, over alleged assault on a traffic officer. Peters, a resident of Egbeda area of Lagos, is

facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and assault. The prosecutor, Cpl. Femi Adeleye, told the court that the accused committed the offence on August 28 at 10:00 a.m. at Akowonjo

Police Arraign Driver For Stealing N1m Fuel THE Police in Lagos arraigned a driver, Ahmed Muhammed, 40, for allegedly stealing fuel worth N1, 061, 676 from an Oando Filling Station. Muhammed, who is an employee of Premium Health Ltd. and lives at No. 3, Alhaji Jomoh St., Ijegun, Ikotun, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing at a Tinubu Magistrates’ court, Lagos. The prosecutor, Sgt. Daniel Ighodalo, told the court that Muhammed’s employers had a pact with a filling station on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, which required it to fuel the company’s cars. Ighodalo said that the drivers of any of the company’s cars would

present a valid identification at the station and they would issue him with a receipt after refuelling any of their vehicles. “Muhammed who was assigned two cars by the company for official purposes, claimed that the bills were for refueling the vehicles between January and May. “But the company discovered that one of the vehicles had been out of use for two months and that Muhammed didn’t have access to any of the other cars he also claimed to have used officially, “ Ighodalo said. According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened Sections 409 and 285 (7) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to Section 285 (7), if a clerk or servant steals the property of his employer, he is liable to imprisonment

Cab Driver, 2 Others Nabbed For Abducting Woman THE Oyo State Police Command said that it had arrested a cab driver and two male accomplices who abducted a 31-year-old female commuter. The spokesperson of the command, DSP Olabisi CletIlobanafor, said the three suspects were arrested on

Auto Mechanic Remanded In Custody Over Alleged Armed Robbery AN Ikeja Magistrates’ Court has remanded a 26-year-old auto mechanic, Lukman Abass, in Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos, over alleged armed robbery. The Magistrate, Mrs. Abimbola Oshodi-Makanju, said the accused should stay in prison pending advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). She said: “The defendant is ordered to be remanded in prison custody for a period of not more than 30 days pending DPP’s advice.” Abass, a resident of Ketu, Lagos, is standing trial on a four-count charge bordering

on conspiracy, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms. The prosecutor, Insp. Samson Ekikere, said the accused with others still at large committed the offences at 9.30 p.m. on July 11 at Oniala St., Ketu, a Lagos suburb. He said the accused, who was armed with a gun and some dangerous weapons, robbed one Francis Okorie of N77, 000 cash and a mobile phone valued at N19, 500. Ekikere alleged that the accused also robbed Messrs Chukwu Igwe and Boniface Obi of N140, 000 cash, two

for seven years. The Magistrate, Mrs. O. M. Ajayi, granted Muhammed bail in the sum of N250, 000, with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case to September 9 for mention.

Blackberry phones worth N80, 000 and a laptop valued at N160, 000. According to him, three pistols and 26 cartridges were recovered from the accused. “The accused is a supplier of arms to the various robbery gangs and was caught in the act of robbery,” the prosecutor said. The offences, he noted, contravened Sections 1(2), (a), 3(1) and 5 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Laws of the Federation. The case has been adjourned to September 30 for mention.

Tuesday at Iwo road, Ibadan. Clet Ilobanafor said the victim, Rukayat Adebayo, had boarded a Mazda cab marked CW 369 FST at Ojoo area of the metropolis with the aim of alighting at Iwo Road road roundabout. “To her dismay, the driver refused to stop the car for her to alight at Iwo road roundabout. “ She raised an alarm which attracted people nearby who helped to rescue her,” she said. The police spokesperson added that preliminary investigations revealed that the three suspects had frequently been involved in this type of crime. “When interrogated, they confessed to the crime and added that they only abducted her to obtain some money from her and not for ritual purpose,” she said. She added that the suspects were still in detention pending the conclusion of investigations after which they would face prosecution. Clet-Ilobanafor advised commuters to be vigilant when boarding cabs and reiterated the commitment of the police to curtailing crime in the state.

round-about. Adeleye said that the accused and others at large conspired to assault one Ola Martins, a member of the Peace Corps. He told the court that the accused stabbed Martins with a broken bottle, while he was controlling traffic at the Akowonjo round-about. He said that the accused also used a spanner to hit Martins on his right arm and forehead, which caused him

bodily injury. Adeleye said that the offences contravened Sections 172 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011. The accused, however, denied committing the offence when the charges were read to him. The Magistrate, Mr. P E Nwaka, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50, 000 with two sureties in like sum. He adjourned the case till October 28 for mention.

Wife Seeks Divorce Over Alleged Threat To LIfe A 44-year-old mother of three, Mrs Omolara Achoyamen, 44, has pleaded with an Igando Customary Court in Lagos to dissolve her 14-year-old marriage, alleging threat to her life. Achoyamen, who is also a businesswoman, told the court that her husband, Solomon Achoyamen, was always waking up at 2:00 a.m. to break a coconut and make incantations, mentioning her name and wishing she should die. “At 2:00 a.m. my husband will break a coconut and will be shouting my name to the coconut that I should die. “Sometimes, he will bring out a cutlass threatening to kill me, claiming that I was responsible for his misfortune. “Solomon always forced me into love making and after he is through with me, he will spit on me, telling me that he is only managing me, that I am not his wife,” she said. The petitioner described her husband as an ingrate, saying that she sponsored him through the university with the money she would have used to further her own education. “My sister always sent me money from abroad for my studies, but I used the money to train my husband because I already have a good business that I did not want to

abandon. “On the day of his convocation, he did not inform me; instead, he invited his relatives from the village. “I only saw the pictures when I went to visit one of his brothers,” she said. She complained further that since she married her husband, she had been the one taking care of the family because he was unemployed. She begged the court to dissolve the marriage, that she was no longer interested in the relationship. In his defence, the respondent, Solomon confirmed that she was unemployed, and that he was only using the coconut to pray. ‘’I always pray to God with the coconut that anyone— either my wife, my family or in-law— who is against my progress, should fall down and die,” he said. He said that it was not his wife that trained him through university, but that she only supported him financially. Solomon said that when he had a job, he cared for his children, but when he lost his job he could no longer fends for the family. He consented to the dissolution of the marriage in that his estranged wife was proud and unpleasant.





N ws LG Boss Counts Achievements By ADAMA AUDU

Gbagyi women, from Chukun Local Government Council of Kaduna State, featuring their culture, to mark the closing ceremony of Kaduna State cultural festival (KADFEST) 2013 in Kaduna yesterday.

French To Be Part Of UTME As From 2014 - Minister

THE Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, said that French would be part of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as from 2014 for interested candidates. Rufa’I said this at farewell reception held in honour of the French Language Project Manager, Mr. Jean-Phillipe Roy. She said that being multilingual in the 21st Century was essential as it helps individuals to operate more effectively in the international community. “For Nigeria, the study of French language is quite key, considering the fact that our

neighbouring countries are French-speaking. “Apart from the English Language, French Language is one of the major international languages, ‘’she said. She said Roy came to Nigeria in 2009 under the 2nd Bilateral Agreement between Nigeria and French. The minister noted that he had worked hard to ensure that various components of the project received due attention. Rufa’I lauded his contributions to the reform of the UTME for 2014 in addition to the scholarships awarded to 16 teachers of French

THE National Action Council (NAC), one of the parties deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said that it would contest the Anambra governorship polls scheduled for November14. Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the party’s National Chairman, Dr Olapade Agoro, said sale of nomination forms

had begun in preparation for primaries ahead of the elections. “Our primaries are scheduled for September and there is no going back as far as NAC is concerned,” he said. Newsmen report that NAC was one of the seven political parties deregistered by INEC in 2011after, which 28 others were also deregistered in

Language to study in France for one month. She said the project manager ’s contributions, included supply of books to schools, award of Masters Degree in French as a Foreign Language and supply of DVD and CD player to the project office, among others. The minister lauded the support of the French Government to the Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry, Lagos, the Regional Network of French Language centres in Africa. She also commended the Association of French Language Teachers, and noted the proposed handing

We will Contest Anambra Nov 14 Governorship Polls - Deregistered NAC



USUNOBUN - I formerly known and addressed as Osakpamwan Soccer Usunobun now wish to be known and addressed as Osakpamwan Wesley Usunobun. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

OKPARA - I formerly known and addressed as Miss Otesiri Okpara now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Otesiri Ukpong. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and the general public should please take note.

2012. On July 30, a Federal High Court in Abuja voided the deregistration of the parties, describing it as unconstitutional. It held that the commission had no powers to deregister any political party in the country.

over of the project vehicle to the ministry for the monitoring of the teaching and learning of the Language. “Nigeria and France have come a long way in their relationship. It is a relationship built on mutual respect, cooperation and interest.

EDO people have again been assured that inspite of the meager resources accruing to the Council area, no community will be left undeveloped. The Council Chairman Hon. Joseph Akerejola made this revelations recently when he paid a thank – you visit to the ten wards in the locality. According to Hon. Akerejola, within the first one hundred days in office, he has renovated staff quarters at the Primary Health Center, Okpe; constructed a three – block of classrooms including the head master ’s office at Enekhua Primary school, Uneme – Nekhua; constructed a three – block of classrooms at Afeyeli Primary School, Ikiran-Ile and a three – block of classrooms at Odemina Primary School, Ogugu. Others are the installations of new 500 KVA Transformers at Ibillo; installations of 300 KVA Transformers in

Somorika, and one each at Afekhai quarters and Igarra market Road, Igarra. The Chairman also told the various communities visited that as a way of boosting eletricity supply to Igarra and environs, the Council has purchased a 2.5 MVA Step – down transformer while the councill’s Grader and Tractor which have remain moribund have now been repaired by his Administration. The Council boss further disclosed that as a way of boosting water supply to Ibillo and environs, a motorized borehole has been provided for Ibillo market while that of Ekhuayo quarters also in Ibillo is on – going. The Chairman also informed his people that security in Akoko – Edo has been beefed up while the Ibillo/ Ikiran – Oke axis which has hitherto been the den of armed robbers is now constantly being checked by the various Security agencies since he came on board.

Akoko Edo Chairman Yearns For Additional By ADAMA AUDU the old status-quo Council Areas retains since 1976 when it was THE Federal Government has again been enjoined to as to matter of urgency split the present Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State into three as it is currently about the largest and oldest in the Country. This call was made by the Chairman of AkokoEdo Local Government Council Hon. J.F. Akerejola in an exclusive interview with the Nigerian Observer in his office at Igara, shortly after the end of the twoday thank – you visit to all the wards in the

locality. The Council boss lamented the Meager Federal Revenue accruing to the Council area which he noted was in dissonance with the large population and the geographical spread of the locality. Chronically, the history of the creation of the Council Area, Hon. Akerejola told the WEEKEND OBSERVER that while the Local Government Council Areas under the old Benin Division have since been split, only Akoko-Edo Still

created. Akoko-Edo, Hon. Akerejola further lamented, is endowed with rich mineral and human resources and therefore called on Akoko- Edo indigenes resident at home and abroad to form a united front and ensure that this dream is realized soonest. The Council Chairman was optimistic that if created, the socio-political as well as the economic lives of Akoko-Edo people would be enhanced.

Onilampese Profers Solution To Nation the chairman of Akoko – By ADAMA AUDU Insecurity Edo Local Government THE need for Nigerians

to be closer to God “who is never on holidays” in order to overcome the current security challenges has again been emphasized. This piece of advice was given by the Onilampese of Lampese HRH Oba J.A Ojeifo while playing host to

Council Hon. Joseph Akerejola who paid him a thank-you visit last week for aiding him to victory at the recently concluded April, 20, 2013, Local Government polls in Edo state. Oba Ojeifo who was flanked by his Palace Chiefs, further counselled

the Federal Government to dialogue with Boko Haram sect with a view to arrivin g at a compromise. The Royal father further enjoined Akoko – Edo people to co-operate with Hon. Akerejola and not to expect reward saying “it is only the Almigthy God and not man that rewards”.

Earlier the Council Chairman told the Onilampese that he was in his Palace to formally thank the Royal father for ensuring his victory at the last Council polls and promised all the communities in Akoko – Edo before leaving office.





N ws Don’t Purchase Voter’s Card Contd. from pg 1 INEC trained 320 staff, 551 corps members and hired 30 teachers for the voter continuous registration exercise. The REC decried the low turnout for the exercise but admitted that ICT failed them initially. He said, however, that they later re-energised and bought over 400 generators and brought ICT experts from Abuja to complete the assignment as anticipated. “We had enough funds, mobility and this is the most comprehensive exercise we had. It ended last Sunday. “The next stage is display of voters register but voters cards lost or changed environment should come and apply for a duplicate of their voters’ card.

“This one will last till Oct. 30.’’ Onukaogu said that the commission had set up an inter-agency consultative committee, comprising security heads in the state for synergy on the best way to check insecurity during and after the election. In her speech, Mrs Ifeoma Anumba, who led the NUJ delegation, informed INEC

BY THOMPSON ERHOMONSELE EDO State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Wednesday in Benin City, officially inaugurated the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Edo South Area Command Office block.

I, Citizen Emmanuel Kolawole Okhakhu wish to bring for the information of the general public that I am the same person as Emmanuel Kolawole Okhakhu and Emmanuel Jasiah as appeared in my primary school leaving certificate. It should be known therefore that I am properly known and addressed as citizen Emmanuel Kolawole Okhakhu. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

AYC Summit Commences By DAVID ONIMISI Today LAWANI

to participate in Nation building with a view to strengthening the educational, cultural, environmental, political, social and economic conditions of youths in Afenmai land.” He explained that, the commencement of the free medical service will be preceded with a courtesy visit to HRH Alhaji H. Momoh, The Otaru of Auchi (Ikelebe III). Venue for the event which commences at 10am is Auchi Polytechnic Auditorium, Auchi.

The Governor, represented at the Ceremony by the Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Prof.

RECONCILIATION OF NAME I, IRABOR GIFT ESEOSE wish to bring for the information of the general public that I am the same person as IKPEFUA GIFT ESEOSE. It should be known therefore that I am properly known and addressed as IRABOR GIFT ESEOSE. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities, Olabisi Onabanjo University and Ambrose Alli University (AAU) should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME EMWINDOMWANFO – I, formerly called MISS JULIET OBAKHAVBAYE EUNICE USUNOBUN E M W I N D O M WA N F O OSARIEMEN is now known and called MRS JULIET EUNICE AGBOOLA. All former documents remain valid. Local Government Service Commission, concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME GARUBA - I, formerly MISS ANN EBUN GARUBA, now wish to be known, called and addressed as MRS ANN EBUN IDOGHO. All former documents remain valid. Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Overcomer Nursery and Primary School, Jattu and the general public should please take note.

Auchi Poly: Second Best In Nigeria By MORRISON HAYBLE

LATEST ranking of World Tertiary Institutions in July, 2013 released by Webometrics, 9 rating agency has again placed Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State in the second position as best tertiary institution in Nigeria, thereby retaining its second position. A bulletin issued by the Office of Information and Public Relations, Rectors Officer of the institution and made available to newsmen revealed that while the Polytechnic ranked second amongst Universities, it also retained its position as the

Govt Urged To Tackle Environmental Challenges By ADAMS OYIBOKE government should take deliberate effort in arresting environmental problems ranging from water pollution, air and gas flaring arising from oil exploration in the Niger/ Delta region. While lamenting the non – implementation of laws relating to environmental issues in Nigeria, the legal practitioner cum farmer

Gov Oshiomhole Inaugurates NSCDC Area Command


THE Afenmai Youth Coalition (AYC), the umbrella body for the youth groups in the six local government councils in Afenmai land is organizing a 3 day summit commencing today. The convener of the summit, Dr. Philip ugbodaga, immediate Chairman, NMA, Edo State, in a statement made available to the Weekend OBSERVER said, “the aim of the summit is to provide a formal platform to empower Afenmai Youths

that the union came to know how prepared it was for the governorship election. She assured that journalists in the state would partner with INEC to ensure free and fair polls that would generally be accepted to be credible. Anumba said, however, that this could only be possible “ if the journalists are briefed on daily developments.”

THE Federal and State Governments have been called upon to put in place necessary mechanisms towards the control of environmental degradation, pollution and coastal aeration in the Niger/Delta region of Nigeria. The call was made by the Director Raymos Guanah Farms, Asaba, Barr. Raymos Guanah while speaking with the Weekend OBSERVER on government’s effort at solving environmental degradation in Nigeria. Barr. Guanah said

best Polytechnic in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa in general. Reacting to the development, Rector of the institution, Dr. Mrs. Philipa Idogho expressed satisfaction saying that the ranking was a challenge to her management to work harder to justify the position as remaining at the top was much more difficult than getting there. Dr. Mrs. Idogho also announced the recent affiliation of the Polytechnic to the United Nations Academic Impact, UNAI. She explained that the Polytechnic satisfied the ten principles of UNAI upon which the assessment was based including

commitment to the United Nations Chapter, human rights, educational opportunities for all, capacity building and conflict resolution amongst others. Dr. Mrs. Idogho remarked that the consistent rating of the Polytechnic with the universities demonstrated the high standard of academic activities in the institution. The Rector congratulated the staff and students of the Polytechnic for exemplary conduct and hard work that enabled a peaceful academic environment especially in the past five years.

Julius Ihonvbere, commended officers and men of NSCDC over their effort at combating crime and criminals inspite of obvious challenges. While noting that the efforts have earned the NSCDC a place in the task of security and protection, he assured the Corps of government support. In a goodwill message, Edo State Commissioner for Special Duties, Oil and Gas, Ambassador Orobosa OmoOjo (JP), recalled how he and members of the NSCDC intercepted oil thieves and got their trucks burnt pointing out that the officers and men were really diligent. Besides emphasizing intersecurity agency collaboration, the Commissioner also disclosed that NSCDC and Edo State Ministry of Special Duties, Oil and Gas, were already in a working

relationship saying it would lead to the reduction of Oil thieves and theft. The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Moris Yusuf, who represented Edo State Police Commissioner and Ajayi Suru, representative of the Zonal Commander of NSCDC as well as Pharmacist Chike Alfa Ikpemoue thanked the state government for its support to the corps and appealed for perimeter fencing of the NSCDC Area Command Office. The Edo South Area Commander, NSCDC Chief Superintendent of Corps (CSC), Esokwu Charity Oluchi, expressed gratitude to all those who facilitated the actualisation of the Area Command’s Office and requested for improved working environment and tools for a more secured and prosperous Edo State

advised officials of National Environmental Standard and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to deal with violators of environmental laws. He said the NESREA laws should be implemented to the letters stressing that the nonimplementation of such laws were the cause of serious degradation and coastal aeration Meanwhile, Chief Bam Fred Majemite political Adviser to Delta State Government and an aspirant to Delta Central Senatorial zone has joined voice on the problems of environmental pollution in the coaster region of Niger/Delta State. He said that the operation of International oil countries in the riverine areas of Niger/Delta State has affected the Life of the people and agricultural products. According to him “if you go to our riverine areas, you will be shocked at what you will see. “One of the biggest problem we have is the declension of the I.O.C. countries is what they are doing here,” he stressed. He said government at all levels should ensure that International Oil Countries (I.OC.) operating in Nigeria meet the minimum International Standard in order to guarantee the safety of our environment.

Politicians Urged To Unite For The Good Of The Countries By MORRISON HAYBLE NIGERIA politicians irrespective of party affiliation have been admonished to come together and work towards the common good of the country by putting behind them political differences. A leader of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, A.C.N in Edo North Senatorial District and former Deputy Chairman of the party in the state, Alhaji Usman Shagadi gave the advice recently at the birth day anniversary celebration of an opposition leader, Chief Kasim Ozeto in the locality. Shagadi who stressed the need for politicians to work in harmony, condemned what he called negative attitude of exclusion by some because of political differences pointing out that there was nothing wrong if people fraternized together and shared ideas for good as everybody could not belong to one political party. The APC leader explained that he had to reciprocate earlier visit of the celebrant who he noted, remained his friend despite political differences and called on politicians to emulate the example. He observed that there

was nothing wrong in the political system of the country as politics was not a bad game in itself but picked hole in the approach of some who play the game. His words: “The political situation is good, it depends on the players. Politics is still the same. If wrong people

come in, they will play it rough and if the good ones come in, they will play it well” Shagadi remarked. He expressed hope that the emergence of the APC would right the wrongs on the political scene in the country describing its coming as a sign of good omen.

Edo Ministry Dissociates From Impestors Oil, Gas Training BY THOMPSON ERHOMONSELE

EDO State Ministry of Special Duties, Oil and Gas has dissociated itself from any purported partnership with Dubri Oil Company Limited and training programme in Warri. The ministry makes this prompt disclosure as it has been brought to its notice that an unscrupulous group of people are going round selling forms for the people of Ovia North East and Ovia South West Local Government Areas for the sum of N5,000.00 under the guise of a partnership between them, Dubri Oil Company Limited and the ministry for a training programme in Warri. This is contained in a Government Special Announcement signed by

the Edo State Commissioner for Special Duties, Oil and Gas, Ambassador Orobosa Omo-Ojo (JP) made available to WEEKEND OBSERVER in Benin City yesterday. “The ministry hereby dissociates itself from the purported partnership and training and wishes to inform the general public that neither Dubri Oil Company Limited nor the Ministry for Special Duties, Oil and Gas is presently planning any such training and has not directed names to be compiled for such purpose,” the statement declared. “Consequently, the general public is advised to disregard such information and report the perpetrators of this economic crime to the nearest security agencies or the Ministry of Special Duties, Oil and Gas,” it concluded.




“Thus Nigerian democracy is founded on rabid corruption and greed; hence the masses are tied to the grinding wheel of poverty, disenchantment, discontent and disenfranchisement. Everywhere you go to in Nigeria today tells the tale of sorrow, resignation, tattered penury, arrested development, huge unemployment, failed critical infrastructures, restiveness, terrorism, insurgence and what have you.”

Our Bungled Democracy THE emergence of democratic rule in Nigeria in 1999 was a welcomed relief to all and sundry, based on the assurance that democracy is the best form of government for the people. In the civilized world or may I call it Western Democracies, their practice of democracy is almost perfect, though there are still some flaws associated with it. On the other hand Nigerian democracy is no democracy at all. Most of the time we deceive ourselves most painfully and laughably that we practice democracy. It is in fact distressingly laughable that we call what we practice under a civilian government since 1999 as democracy. What is obtainable in Nigeria is tragicdemocracy if I may use such a word. Nigeria democracy since 1999 to date is a flawed democracy, it is mimicry of democracy it is a travesty of democracy, it is a mockery of democracy, even as the civilised world silently stare at us with deep pity and sorrow considering our circumstances and situation. Their reasoning based on the thought that the worst civilian rule is better than the best military government in Africa or in other part of the world. However, the reality is that our democracy is

not much different from the military rule which we are used to in Nigeria. Most Nigerians in their inner most mind, feels disdainful about this democracy and would actually prefer military rule. Our democracy reveals most essentially that the will to power is governed and motivated by selfishness and greed and the allure of materialism. Nigeria so-called leaders, so-called democratic leaders are despots and tyrants. They are thieves and rogues whose sole ambition is to amass the nation’s wealth for themselves and their cohorts, leaving the people ever so impoverished and wretched. Thus Nigerian democracy is founded on rabid corruption and greed; hence the masses are tied to the grinding wheel of p o v e r t y , disenchantment, discontent and disenfranchisement. Everywhere you go to in Nigeria today tells the tale of sorrow, resignation, tattered penury, arrested development, huge unemployment, failed critical infrastructures, restiveness, terrorism, insurgence and what have you. Evidently these are the fall out of the rabbit corruption and greed that is rife in the nations body politics today. Today, extreme

• Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

• Late Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua

• President Goodluck Jonathan

poverty abounds across the length and breath of this godforsaken nation where her leaders have looted her to the marrow and the masses just continue to wallow in their dens of suffering and abandonment. The suffering people

of Nigeria know that their leaders are even richer than the so-

called nation itself. The suffering people of Nigeria know that their leaders are thieves, worst than armed robbers and kidnappers. The suffering people of Nigeria knows that their leaders are too greedy, too corrupt, too selfish, too self centred to ever do that which is righteous in the sight of God and in the sight of man. The suffering people of Nigeria knows that Nigerian democracy na wayo, hence there is backward and arrested d e v e l o p m e n t everywhere. The suffering people of Nigeria know that Nigerians want good roads, good schools, qualitative education, a functional healthcare delivery but these are currently charade in our so-called democracy. The suffering people of Nigeria know that they need inexpensive low-cost housing; they want gainful employment and a country where they can live in peace and prosperity. But the suffering people of Nigeria also know too well that Nigerian democracy has failed them woefully, and have become increasingly weary of sustained ongoing trend of bigotry

and ineptitude in the governance of the country. The suffering people of Nigeria now desire a change, a real change. They want true democracy as obtainable in the civilized world, a democracy that would care for them. A democracy that would wipe away their tears and heartaches. Indeed the suffering people of Nigeria are yearning for a positive change, progressive change, true democratic change, true political change. In summing up, right now the Nigeria nation is at a momentous period in its checkard history, as the forces of darkness which has taken over the entire land continues to unleash further hardship for the citizenry. The onus is on the citizenry to take their destines in their own hands rather than relying on failed promises. The Nigerian citizenry needs a new vision of reality to help them deal with their passitivity and ignorance. The citizenry needs to be awakened to a new consciousness of what democracy entails, even if they have to sacrifice themselves.

“Our democracy reveals most essentially that the will to power is governed and motivated by selfishness and greed and the allure of materialism.”





P litics Jonathan: A Mice In Elephant Cage By ERASMUS IKHIDE


PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has made himself a potential port stirrer in recent times. Events at the moment have call to question Mr. Jonathan’s ability to master his own presidency. The presidency seems stranded in all front like an ill-equipped platoon finding itself suddenly on a battlefield. No person of his status – a nation’s president – would squander the immensity of his power and influence on a combustible conflict of disputable merit as that of Rivers State political crisis. Mr. Jonathan has stamped his frenzied drive for forceful domination, a clear testament to the horror the nation is bound to face in 2015 presidency election. The presidency is quick to dismiss all that, calling the predictions “doomsday prophecies”. It’s only a backward looking and unimaginative leader that would allow political crisis to spiral dangerously to such an alarming and boiling point. As he tightens the grip on Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the crisis spreads, so does threat to nation’s instability. Even now, no action has been taken to rein in the feuding parties to peace by the president. Without doubts, there is a dictatorial manual the presidency is acting out religiously – knowingly and unknowingly – to

thwart our present democratic wobbling enterprise and drive the nation to the precipice. This mischievous exploit for uncanny crudity can only lead the country in one direction: violent bloodbath and eventual disintegration. And this is particularly a sharp thorn in the nation’s flesh. Galling enough, the awkward moment is such that consumes all the nation’s virtue. The President had overtly sided, and still siding with the antiAmaechi five leprous members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the 27 others who visited mayhem on the hallow Chambers a few weeks ago. While insisting that Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu must remain the Police Commissioner in Rivers State through the Inspector General of Police, after igniting the crisis, the presidency covertly sponsored one of the injured notorious five for medical treatment abroad. One had hoped that Mr. President would genuinely sort things out for the squabbling legislators, rather he smashed whatever confidence we had that things could be put right as we watched the five renegade elements left off the hook. This is reminisce of the Western Nigeria crisis of 1965 which threatened to split the country at its

seams. Regrettable there is no attempt to draw a line between what is permissible in a democratic space and what is not, what is possible in a civic society and what is not and, what is acceptable and mutually beneficial, politically and what is not. All of this raises the question on how a president with grand ambitions and shrinking horizons can use his office. Truly, Mr. Jonathan is a student of Machavellism, where the end justifies the means, no matter who gets crushed along the way. And the reason for this is clear. Here is a piece of heresy: The notion of “goodluck” presidency entrusted by providence no matter how wrongly he applied himself to the job or what anyone may say, however constructive, is at the heart of the blatant impunity playing out as politics across the country. This zero some game may well consume his taunting ambition beyond 2015 and the existence of his crisisprone party, the PDP at the center. From the dawn of time to now, no one or kingdom survives arrogation of Godheadship or invisibility to himself in a game of numbers, especially in a democracy. Perhaps the President must have persuaded himself that “luck”, not merit, which has been responsible for his meteoric rise will still levitates and retain him in Aso Rock beyond 2015. This is where President Jonathan got his permutations wrong, there by singing his political Nunc Dimittis! It’s the failure of his presidency if he is not aware that the sand is shifting beneath his feet and his behemoth of a party, the PDP. Since the hot-blooded anger against Governor Rotimi Amaechi over his rumoured VicePresidential ambition, Mr. President has further stunted governance by the ever existing ineptitude, distracted more by power

games. Now let it be said: The electorate who gave Mr. Jonathan a Pan-Nigerian mandate, like the building in anticipation of the relief of torrential rains after a season of scorching hot Harmattan winds and bush fires have been tragically disappointed. But President Jonathan has disappointed himself the more. He has undone himself, constituting himself into a squalid nuisance to those who considered him literate enough to lead the nation that has never been so lucky to have a Ph D holder as her president. President Jonathan has reenacted his benefactor ’s narrow mindedness and the bitter politics of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who hunted and hounded his perceived political foes out of existence. The President, if you will recall, sent the Code of Conduct Bureau after Senator Bola Tinubu when he rejected the offer made to the ACN to participate in the Government of National Unity, until the President was disgraced in court. He chased Mr. Dimeji Bankole with the EFCC when he refused to support his nomination of a candidate for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rivers State Governor is under the fervent hunt of the EFCC as much as the former Governor and Senator, Bukola Saraki of Kwara State for given credence to the newly registered APC. The question is how kindergarten or boyish should President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

get to actualise his retention of power? It’s disheartening, to say the least, that instead of arresting the burning issues that are setting the country on edge the floundering President is fiddling while the nation is on fire. But his minders wouldn’t have any of such. His Special Adviser on Media Affairs, Dr. Reuben Abati says the President is having sleepless nights, working tirelessly, day and night. What is the use of useless hours waited on useless egoistic grandstanding against perceived political enemies? What is the use of Presidential hours waited by power-besotted President who cannot differentiate between politics and governance? What is the use of sleepless nights in the life of a nation by a thoughtless leader who occupies his brain with divisive politics other than actual governance? The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on industrial action for the upward of two months and the supposed leaders of tomorrow have been shot out of studies and the sleepless president sees nothing wrong with that. The ASUU strike came after the academic and non-academic staff unions in Nigerian Polytechnics, under the umbrellas of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUPS), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIPS) and NonAcademic Staff Union (NASU) called off theirs after three-month! Why the paralysis in education sector is going on, the insensitive government that pounded her chest that it is not broke a few weeks ago, through the same Minister of Finance and the

supervising Minister for economy toned that it cannot meet ASUU demands! If I may ask: What does the sleepless President think about the power generation output at night with increased daily reduction? What therefore is there to celebrate in a presidency under which power generation has fallen to 2,500MW? What is there to celebrate in a presidency that has only given Nigerians widespread insecurity, unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure, oil theft and unbridled corruption? Of what use is the touted sleeplessness of a President when the people he sworn to provide electricity, protect and give jobs are sleeping in the dark with one eye closed on empty stomaches? That Chief Bisi Akande, the APC interim Chairman alludes to the fact that President Jonathan has ludic intent – kindergarten – to governance is not far to seek. The deadweight of entrenched cluelessness and on-your-face insolence emerged last week when Dr. OkonjoIweala, the Minister of Finance and Supervisory Minister for Economy told the striking ASUU to go to hell. Today, it is difficult to tell whether Goodluck Jona than is Nigeria’s President or anyone answering the name. There is nothing for any one to suggest that we are likely to emerge from these pages in one peace in a far more favourable light. Everything is wrong when a seating President sees himself as an emperor. We want a president in both symbolic and actual status, and not a mice in an elephant cage.

“It’s only a backward looking and unimaginative leader that would allow political crisis to spiral dangerously to such an alarming and boiling point.”





P litics


Al Mustapha

Al Mustapha And The New Political Opening

THE release of Major Hamza Al Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha from prison has obviously sparked varied passionate interests and speculations. First off, is that a very confusing signal is being sent by the media. To the unpredictability of many people, a large section of the media which so vilified him in the past fourteen years whilst in prison has suddenly reversed and became bogusly charitable with publicising his adoring activities. Ordinarily, one would think that it is probably for what looks important to gaining patronage for their newspapers but in reality, this is a stark contradiction because ever since the Appellate Court overturned the Lagos High Court death sentence on Al Mustapha, the superior judgement did not only take away the dark cloud that hung over his survival but the same media has introduced a new elevation to his status. Beyond the media summersault, Al Mustapha’s

release by the Court no doubt has had its fair share of theatrics and noisy commentaries but the extra ordinary and outpouring welcome that greeted his entrance into the ancient commercial city of Kano even in the holy period of Ramadan when most people were busy observing the compulsory religious fast certainly caught many people by surprise. From every logical analysis, it is obvious that Al Mustapha’s detention for about fifteen years has served to make him admired and now a celebrity of sorts. While many had wished to associate Al Mustapha’s heroic welcome in Kano to a phony event, the truth remains that his release has inspired a massive outpouring of emotion laden youths and what happened in his native Kano seems to have had an infectious impact on other places he has visited in the Northern Nigerian. From Damaturu to Nguru, Zaria to Kaduna, Lafia to Makurdi, Abuja to Bwari and many more, the feeling has been the same.

By CHUDE NWOKOLO Indeed, Al Mustapha’s presence along side with Mohammed Abacha, the scion of the late General Sani Abacha in such communities might easily have been mistaken for the victorious outing of a National football team. What stands obvious in the past weeks about the duo appearance of Al Mustapha and Mohammed Abacha is that a message is clinically being sent which may not be far from freedom from political victimization. By and large, what the celebration galore portrayed is that there exist many people in the North who for a slew of reasons believe that Al Mustapha’s incarceration for the past fourteen years was an act of vendetta, probably along ethnic and political divide. Right or wrong, for these sympathizers of Al Mustapha, justice has been done by the Appellate Court even in the midst of the controversy that still greets the judgement. Right now, there is little

doubt that Al Mustapha’s victorious home coming and wide rejoice by many people has not only drawn sympathy to him but has earned him loyalty often associated with victors of a strong battle. The ready guess is that presently, AlMustapha with his popularity seems to be on a good run with winning the trust of the many economically and politically displaced persons of the North. Today, almost every ‘keke’ tricycle, a most popular means of commuting in a large section of the North has a sticker of Al Mustapha on it. Indeed, any objective analyst and student of political history would affirm that beyond the ongoing drama and carnival of Al Mustapha’s legal victory, it is very unlikely that such rare fame would be dumped in the waste bin. The fear that the growing popularity and acceptance of Al Mustapha has the potency to spring up a new wave of political

followership is almost real especially in the youth dominant populated North. Indeed, this calls for a deep analysis not just because Al Mustapha’s documented visits attracted many youths who passionately and openly joy but for the very simple fact that present turbulence in the North depicts the picture of a people awaiting a new socioeconomic and political direction. An interesting twist here is that even though Al Mustapha’s utterances may not contain any potential indication that he would embrace active politics, the current popularity he enjoys from a large section of northern youths rightly contains sufficient hints that he has a role in politics of the North especially for the middle and low class people that have expressed rejuvenated hope with his return. Realistically, Al Mustapha’s vibes that he is not a politician given his engagement in the Nigerian Army may not stand for long because from every logical thinking, the Nigerian Army, his present constituency, is

unlikely to have a provision that would keep him in service as most appropriate. If really anyone wants to be fair-minded, then the right assumption would be that before long the public may begin to hear a lot more about Al Mustapha’s new vocation. Like it or not, fate and history has thrust Al Mustapha into fame and responsibility. As he stands out so conspicuously as a new hero of the northern youths, he may as well get ready for the tasks that will come with it. Indeed, if really, Al Mustapha’s mind was working well in his prison days, the guess is that in his random and wishful thoughts on survival, he would have reasoned on how best to get back to relevance especially in using his assumed status of emerging from nothingness as a prisoner to a hero which is a usual trend for politically victimised persons. In any case, the most important task before Al Mustapha now, would be to dig the

Continues on Pg 8

“Indeed, if really, Al Mustapha’s mind was working well in his prison days, the guess is that in his random and wishful thoughts on survival, he would have reasoned on how best to get back to relevance especially in using his assumed status of emerging from nothingness as a prisoner to a hero which is a usual trend for politically victimised persons.”



o Al Mustapha And The...


P litics Continued from Pg 7 many northern youths from socio economic and political mire to relevance. This is where Al Mustapha must be ready to present solid and convincing hope for a youth population that seems to be in a web of exploitative socio-economic and political setting. How well he so does such, depends on the nature of tent he builds for them but the way to go, is participation in politics that will offer his teeming supporters hope, resources and proper engagement. The postulation here is that an Al-Mustapha in politics may be a harbinger of hope for many people especially those northern youths that feel betrayed, exploited and marginalized both politically and economically by the existing ruling political class. What this portends is that if Al Mustapha properly articulates his popularity, many youth groups and the peasantry class may not search too far to find a shelter for their aspirations. Already, it seems a script is being played out even in Al Mustapha’s denials of not having politics as a priority interest. Indeed, ever since it was reported by the media that Al Mustapha announced his willingness to invite all youths’ representatives from the 19 northern states to a conference in Abuja to preach peace, unity and progress, the broad assumption is that Al Mustapha is nurturing a political platform and new route if he eventually decides to join active politics. Nevertheless, contrary to what some might think especially for all of the talk in the media that Al Mustapha is evil, the truth is that all these seem to be suddenly changing because his pursuit for peace in the crisis ridden North is not only commendable but a necessity. In fact, it is easy to imagine that the spotlight on Al Mustapha may soon turn from a controversial freed prisoner to a peace preacher. The right guess here is that if Al Mustapha’s new peace measure is implemented with success to the extent that it breeds tranquility and unity that will lessen the present hostilities and agitations by the many aggrieved northern youths, it will not be hard to figure out that such a step will not only enhance the work of the National Amnesty Committee on Boko Haram

their hopes. With these assumptions, it becomes very difficult to ignore an Al Mustapha in politics. The derivative and constructive opinion is that the judicial victory of Al Mustapha especially coming in an election preparatory period will remain a great source of concern to some politicians because his presence or affiliation with any party either way, could affect the new direction of votes in the 2015 election in the North. Specifically, with the 2015 Presidential election becoming increasingly complicated and shaky, it is obvious that the two sides in the presidential battle, the PDP and APC may seek new partnerships to address their

constitute the voting majority, either way, victory seems far from assured for any side and this is where it is likely that Al-Mustapha will be an essential part of the new political road map. Indeed, Al Mustapha and his supporters may offer a potential political opening for any side. Analytically, should a partnership emerge between Al Mustapha’s anticipated new group with the PDP that presently craves for northern alliance, the likelihood is that with its assured votes in the SouthSouth and South East regions, the alliance may be a saving grace for President Goodluck Jonathan because the hold of the CPC, a partner of APC will be grossly weakened in the


insurgents but also eradicate a huge liability that the present administration has carried for ages. However, no matter how hard Al Mustapha supporters pretend not to be testing the murky political water, the truth is that their peace efforts cannot be divorced from a political strategy. Be that as it may, the issue on ground is not about whether or not politics is embedded in this peace motive but the potency of such a measure producing desirable result for restoration of peace in our troubled society should be the focus. So, rather than his critics tear him down, they ought to understand that peace and unity are two major ingredients that all Nigerians have large appetite for. Besides, the fact that Al Mustapha’s proposal may be highly progressive for the unity of the nation, it certainly has some diverse political implications and consequences. To some people, there is something very uncomfortable and complex with Al Mustapha’s presence in Northern politics. First is that some people from the existing political class will surely feel

displaced and irrelevant. Second, is that with the growing acceptance of Al Mustapha by the dominant youth population, there is sure to be huge resistance to his intimidating influence by a few persons that have largely benefitted from the old system. Third, is that with a strong focused youth followership, Al Mustapha is certain to have the potency of upsetting some hitherto political calculations and upturning existing political leadership structures that were firmly rooted and controlled by the old brigades. Indeed, this is another red alert for some politicians and it will not go without a stiff challenge. Nevertheless, the comfort for Al Mustapha here is that even the old brigade of politicians from the North will be hard pressed to complain about his willingness to assist the nation on issues of peace because the tumultuous situation in the North also affects their businesses and personal lives. Another comfort is that the youths seem not ready hear is about anything relating to giving power back to the people that dashed

Tukur, PDP Chairman

present shortfalls. In the present situation where on the one hand, the PDP is juggling with dwindling support from the South West and in need of safeguarding measures for its votes in the North and on the other hand, the new All Progressive Congress as presently constituted, seems more interested in taking power from the PDP back to the old brigades in the North, an agenda that is considered most provocative and unacceptable to the Northern youths who

North and the coalition of CPC with the ACN will die even at its incubation stage. On the other hand, should the new group support the APC, then, it may just be good bye to the 2015 dream of Goodluck Jonathan. However, these are mere conjectures because for a truly prosperous and politically vibrant North which the youths crave for, analysts believe that the way to go for Al Mustapha and his followers would be to seek resources to register a new party that will offer firm

ideology including advancing the interest of a united and prosperous North. If this succeeds, then even without presenting a presidential candidate in the 2015 elections, the group may be strong enough to engage in broad and respectable coalition whilst retaining its independence. While, awaiting the political tent or any group Al Mustapha and his new group may decide to associate with, nothing seems certain but it is obvious that most strategists of various political parties have gone back to their drawing board because the release of Al Mustapha’s is highly suggestive of a dramatic shift in political leadership in the Northern Nigeria. For those who may wish to think Al Mustapha as having inadequate knowledge of political maneuvering or ability to deliver on these seeming assumptions, it is best to have a quick rethink. This is so because where Al Mustapha has just come out from is akin to a ‘high school’ that does not only offer opportunity to the willing to learn but provides an environment for proper thinking on broad aspects of life including understanding the machinations of the Machiavellian principles. All said, let us not forget easily that Al Mustapha is no stranger to politics especially given his rumoured and skewed association with UNCP and GDM political parties in the days of late General Sani Abacha self styled democracy. For now, nothing seems crystal clear on Al Mustapha until the Nigerian Army decides on his fate or he declares his involvement in politics by heeding to the call of leadership by his army of loyalists that somewhat perceive him as a messiah. Nevertheless, in every sense of objectivity, the sure bet is that the wait for Al Mustapha’s arrival in politics would not be for long. For now, it is wise to think that history will repeat itself on Al Mustapha like it did to other people who transformed from political prisoners to political leaders.

“However, no matter how hard Al Mustapha supporters pretend not to be testing the murky political water, the truth is that their peace efforts cannot be divorced from a political strategy.”





L fe

The Delimma Of Young Ohikhena

MOST times we see this kind of scenes in movies and read them on international papers, but the issue of “stowaway” just became a matter for the ordinary Nigerian on the street to ask about. According to the Wikipedia online e n c y c l o p e d i a A stowaway is a person who secretly boards a vehicle, such as an aircraft, bus, ship, cargo, truck or train, to travel without paying or being detected. defines a stowaway to be a person who hides aboard a ship or airplane in order to obtain free transportation or elude pursuers. With this in view, that is why 15 year old

through the right door and through the right means. In an article on the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia, the following were gathered “Poor perimeter security at a number of airports in Africa and in other parts of the world can make it easier for people to stow away on planes. Stowaways in aircraft wheel wells face numerous health risks, many of which are fatal: being mangled when the doors of the compartment reopen. The landing gear compartment is not equipped with heating, pressure or oxygen, which are vital for survival at a high altitude. According to experts, at

tively short distances or at a low altitude. One case is known of a person who survived an altitude of about 39,000 feet (12,000 m); the youngest known survivor was aged nine. Almost all aircraft stowaways are male. From 1947 until September 2012, there were 96 known stowaway attempts worldwide in wheel wells of 85 separate flights, which resulted in 73 deaths with only 23 survivors.” (http://

Daniel Ohekhena has being referred to as a stowaway in the various news media, after he managed to escape airport security agencies, and remained on the wheel cavity of a Lagos state bound ARIK Air flight from Benin City. The young boy had to endure a 45 minutes journey at an altitude of above 21000 feet. This is a dicey matter that has many sides to the coin, depending on the way you want to look at it. There are several talking points on this matter, ranging from security, setting an antecedent, the bravery of a young boy, and the annoying trading of blames by relevant agencies. Furthermore, it is important to point out that the adventure taken by the young boy is a very dangerous one and should not be thought about by any other person. It takes fortune and luck to survive and is not a risk worth taking; hence we should be hardworking and disciplined to enter the plane

18,000 feet (5,500 m), hypoxia causes... By 22,000 feet (6,700 m) the oxygen level of the blood drops and the person will struggle to stay conscious. Above 33,000 feet (10,000 m) their lungs would need artificial pressure to operate normally. The temperature could drop as low as-63 °C (81 °F) which causes severe hypothermia. Those stowaways who managed to not be crushed by the retracting undercarriage or killed by the deadly conditions would most likely be unconscious when the compartment door re-opens during the approach and fall down several thousand feet to their deaths. David Learmount, an aviation expert of \o “Flight International told “BBC News”BBC about a lot of ignorance in this area. He suggested that no one would be willing to risk such journey, having full understanding of this kind of ordeal. Stowaways who survived usually travelled rela- Also, after the historical risky operation has been done, like the normal thing we have come to experience in this nation, authorities have continued to throw blames at each other. Even at this point in time when they should accept responsibility, and implement strategies to prevent future occurrences. “We have launched an investigation into the incident. This is a clear case of security breach,” Yakubu Dati, a spokesman for The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), told AFP. He said that Arik Air should be blamed for the incident, because it had failed to act after the boy was sighted on the tarmac at Benin City. But Arik Air blamed security at Benin. “We are worried by the incessant security lapses at our airports,” said a spokesman. “We are appealing to the management of FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of


Nigeria) to immediately address the problem” (tp://”http:// Just look at how, our dirty linen is being washed in the public, both parties have their mistakes, and hence all efforts should be on deck to make sure such doesn’t happen again , rather than making headlines in newspapers on their inadequacies. Moreover, this is coming on the heels of the celebration of the World Youth Day, with the theme; Youth Migration: The way forward. It is no news that the average Nigerian youth can do almost anything to survive, but government, parents, religious and social institutions should put more effort in channelling this energy and strength into the best of stories to talk about. I was in a seminar, where a recently graduated doctor from the University of Benin, told us a story of how he went to a secondary school where the falling of rain meant no school, teachers did not care about the coming to school of students, absence of adequate learning environment etc, yet he made it through Medical school without any resit. Although, you could bring a point from his brilliance but so many brilliant student have missed it; I believe its family and religious influence that moulded him into such beauty to behold even with his poor educational background. We have enough stories of such encounter, underscoring the resilience of the Nigerian spirit to survive in the midst of hardship. Hence all efforts should be put into making sure that these ones do not lose their life through trying to migrate by illegal means. We cannot take away the

bravery from the child, but that sort of energy channelled into something positive will yield unimaginable results I believe. Experts opine that the length of light helped him survive; just imagine he got his wish and the plane was to go tu UK or America, to a large extent, it might have been a different story we are reading today. The fact that this case has exposed a loophole in the airport security system cannot be overemphasised. It could have been anybody, a militant or any extremist with explosives. Hence, the security agencies in our airports should make sure nothing like this happens again. And a overhauling of the security systems at our airport is not a bad idea, in the light of the recent increase in the matters of insecurity.

we still cannot boast of 24 hours electricity, when it is big deal to pay 18,000 NAIRA minimum wage while we continue to fund a largely expensive executive and legislative arm of government. The future looks bleak, but please give us hope! Please, government officials should not use money meant to protect the future of the youth to do business as usual, give us reason to stay and work, then you will see the beauty of the Nigerian people. Imagine in the midst of all this, a survey still put us as one of the happiest people in the world, can you imagine a Nigeria when things are good? I know this cannot happen in a twinkle of an eye, but please let the efforts begin. To the youths, we are all in this together; if we cry that our fathers have failed us...let us not allow our children cry the same. Let us collectively in Unity; create, build and develop the Nigeria of our dream. The environment might be

Government at all levels, let us effectively begin to take care of our youths, this might not be the end of this kind of issue. So many other Nigerians have died trying to escape through the deserts into other countries. Presently, it takes a youth with strong believe and faith to belief that things will get better, when a former lecturer is president and ASUU has been on strike for about two months, when we produce crude oil but import petroleum products, when

discouraging at times, but let us be inspired from the inside to create the outside that we want. Even as we hear that the DSS called the mother of the boy for questioning and that he is still in custody, as confirmed by Bello Bakori( Director, Edo DSS). We wait to hear more development on the matter. Yes we can do it and I know we will. Let us not put our lives in danger by risky processes like this (stowaway) and other vices. God bless Nigeria.

“So many other Nigerians have died trying to escape through the deserts into other countries. Presently, it takes a youth with strong belief and faith to believe that things will get better, when a former lecturer is president and ASUU has been on strike for about two months, when we produce crude oil but import petroleum products, when we still cannot boast of 24 hours electricity. . .”





V ewpoint

One Strike Too Many

THE essence of education to the growth and development of any nation cannot be over emphasized. Education is so crucial to the economic growth that any nation that genuinely hopes to develop must vehemently and consistently appropriate a large chunk of its budget to developing its educational sector. This is because without education, no nation would attain meaningful economic and sociopolitical development. Now when we talk of our leaders being responsible, what we are saying is that they should stop paying lipservice to the educational sector. There is no doubt that the best legacy any parent can give to their children is quality and good education, so our leaders should realize that there is

below average standard of our lives. Recently, the primary school teachers went on strike over nonimplementation of their TSS by the federal government which almost paralyzed educational system at the primary school level. This was immediately followed by the Academic Staff Union to polytechnics (ASUP) over non-implementation of agreement by the federal government. As if this was not enough for our children to bear, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite nation-wide strike over the failure of the federal government to implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with ASUU with respect to paying lecturing

• Fagge, ASUU Chairman

urgent need to over haul the already decaying education sector in Nigeria because we cannot develop if we as a nation do not have a sound education system. The fact is that there is hardly any segment of our educational system that does not required urgent attention from the primary, secondary to the tertiary education in the country. The same story of neglect abounds. But this time around, we are tired of promises, so we want actions on the part of government if we have to still claim the long giant of Africa, we cannot be giant of Africa only in corruption, poor infrastructural development and living

‘‘EARN’’ allowance of 12.500 per month. While several attempt have been made on the part of ASUU to ensure the government implement the agreement, these had yielded no result over the years since 2009 hence their decision to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike as a last resort. The Nigerian education sector is presently in a state of not and perennial neglect by successive governments and one wonders how we can attain the vision 20; 2020 if education is not given utmost priority in the scheme of things. The issue here is, why would federal government legally enter into agreement and renege on


• President Goodluck Jonathan

such agreement? It beats ones imagination that matters regarding education are handled with utmost levity by the government. Any system that relegates teachers’ welfare to the back ground will definitely produce halfbaked graduates and graduates who cannot prove their mettle in the labour market. Why would any government wait until teachers embark on strike before taking action? Does it mean these strike actions are the only language the Nigerian government understands? When are we going to get to a time when teachers and lecturers will no longer embark on strike before their demands are met in Nigeria? It is evident that strikes are really paralyzing the already decayed education system in Nigeria as our tertiary institution students are wasting their talents at home and streets when they suppose to be meaningfully engaged in

the classrooms or school’s activities, with the current insecurity situation in the country, some of these students who are now idle could be tempted to engage in some nefarious activities or join criminal gang to perpetrate crimes. So the government should as a matter of urgency act to ensure it resolve the issue with ASUU, so that these students can go back to school. One of the reasons why the education sector has degenerated to this state is that the government keeps paying lip services to issues concerning education without taking proactive measures to forestall a crisis. According to 2013 University Web Ranking, Obafemili Awolowo University and University of Lagos ranked 10th and 24th positions respectively out of top 100 Universities in Africa. While South Africa universities occupied 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 9 th positions, but surprisingly a Tanzania

University was ranked 4th position beating almighty giant of Africa to 10th and 24th positions. One begins to wonder then on which areas are we still regarded to be giant? I think declaring a state of emergency in the education sector is long overdue and this should be done to forestall a total collapse of the sector. A lot of reforms are urgently needed in the education sector and I believe that the government can do this if it is really serious in addressing the problem in the education sector in Nigeria. Now that ASUU have embarked on strike over non-implementation of their 2009 agreement of N12.500 EARN allowance and the proper founding of Universities in Nigeria signed with the Federal government , it is expected that the issues should be fought to a logical

ministry of education said only about 500.000 applicants will be able to get admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions out of about 1.7 million applicants that sat for the April 2013 UTME while many eligible applicants will be denied admission placement as a result of shortage/lack of space and requisite facilities in our universities to accommodate them. Though I sympathized with the present administration over the ASUU nationwide strike, but the question is that, was that agreement signed as a result of someone want to win election thereby putting the Nigeria tertiary institutions into shamble? It would have been possible if that agreement was to be implemented since 2009 so that one of the Nigeria University would be among the best in Africa. We are in a country where so

• Prof. Ruqayyattu Rufa’i

conclusion for once so that, in the next future , there should be no strike in our education sector and the tertiary institutions should be well founded as that was why the Federal

many talented people abound and the only way these talents can be discover for the benefit of the country is through sound qualitative education for the people.

“Recently, the primary school teachers went on strike over non-implementation of their TSS by the federal government which almost paralyzed educational system at the primary school level. This was immediately followed by the Academic Staff Union of polytechnics (ASUP) over non-implementation of agreement by the federal government.





V ewpoint Signals From Recent Local Government Election In Nigeria RECENTLY Some States in Nigeria conducted elections to fill vacant posts in their respective Local Government Area (LGA) Councils. The elections were keenly contested especially where it involved electing the Chairmen for the LGA Councils. I was in Lokoja on Saturday May 4, 2013 where I monitored the elections. Kogi State


eventually voted were not available to us. It is however very safe to state that the LGA elections suffer apathy and people’s low expectation attitude. Many people went about their private duties and were not expecting much from their LGA elected officers and therefore the individual

electorates do not expect true figures from their elections so there is always violence after the elections are announced. Those who manage our elections should be aware that the electorates are sophisticated enough to know when incumbency factor is over used, when

contestants were seeing as trying to find a way to enrich themselves. This perceived attitude that Chairmen of LGA councils and their councillors is just another money making avenue for politicians rather than another development avenue or the communities is a source of violence generation. Each faction of the political divide was attempting to outsmart opponent not at campaign grounds but at the announced results. What is finally announced is believed to be more important than voter turnouts or even actual votes earned. It is expected that actual votes earned at elections and the announced figures would not be different. When they are different the people react violently. Unfortunately the

figures are over falsified, when figures are as expected, and so on. Telling the truth always, which is my personal life motto, is one way to curb violence in Nigeria elections. At the national level, as the LGA elections are ongoing, voices from certain quarters are still suggesting that we prefer to shift blames rather than face reality, to accuse others rather than to see what we or our supporters are doing wrong. In this regard a former VC of ABU still believes that a person like OBJ is part of Nigeria problems simply because OBJ might not have honoured an alleged zoning the presidency to a particular part of the country. This was published in Sunday Punch May 5, 2013. Both OBJ and Prof Ango Abdullahi are able to handle


Government had announced the previous night that there would be no movement of persons throughout the state during the election period, from 7 am to 6 pm generally. This write up is not about the rate at which government announcement was kept, whether government was able to enact a law to backup its announcement nor is it about the rate of violence before, during or after the LGA elections. Nevertheless reports had it that some lives were lost and a number of motorists suffered arrest or delay including many intra-cities, inter-cities and inter-states commuters, especially along Itobe, Ajaokuta and at other boundary points. We could not measure the rate of turn out because the template of registered voters and those who

themselves on matters like this. Our concern is that if a lie is allowed to thrive for a long while it might eventually look like the fact. We shall also claim not to know the details of PDP zoning agreement, not to know who owns PDP itself and when and where agreements were made so that we can move our nation forward on principle rather than on selfish zoning ground by any political party, groups or individuals. It was a bad principle for Nigeria to accept that leadership would rotate on any other principle other than merit or finding the best Nigerians to lead us at anytime. However such outbursts would allow us to analyze and enumerate those who are problems of Nigeria and using the LGA elections as a study case. According to what we are getting, someone was picked from prison to lead the country and then asked to handover to the choice of those who picked him. That is using someone to cancel MKO election and then using another one to make everything look as if nothing has happened. Whoever did not agree with this agreement is perceived part of our national problems. Someone in the calibre of (a) the Biafra handed over to him, (b) he became a full General of his country army, (c) he ruled his country as a Head of State and handed over power to elected civilian government and (d) he was a member of many international bodies was to me too big to be used in this way. OBJ is not a zombie or a push over. In any case Nigerians are not blind and many of the things we take for granted are wrong. To us anyone who did not understand the thinking of a Nigerian military leader is also part of our problems. ABU was a great University until it is now run down in manpower, mutual trust and mutual coexistence, religious tolerance and human rights. We need to study which regime did this evil to ABU our own University. Just like the LGA elections some people in this country believe that the art is how to share money and even at that’ more of such

perception must come to them and by rotation. In today’s thinking the President of any nation now has to be a thorough bred community organizer, accountant, educationist, engineer, medical doctor, military man, analyst, and all the others and not just a fanatic in one remote area. We are yet to find an all rounded but OBJ scored in my own score card at least 50% and I published in 1999 in the Punch under OBJ Second Coming. Yet at the time I voted for Chief Falae on my belief that we needed to move from military to civilian rule. We had too many military rule in the system before 1999 and for me to add OBJ at the time was extending the military rule. We must all do more and improve on the level of LGA administrations, elections and general well being of our nation. The pockets o-F resistance we currently have as Niger Delta, Boko Haram, OPC (at one time but I believe OPC people are still alive and ready to invade) and the others are not our problems but signs that things are not right. They are just the symptoms of our conditions. These forces of resistance are reacting to the claims of elites like Prof Ango and the rest of us who they look up to for direction. This is why I advocate Social and Justice Reconciliation for Boko Haram provided a few people are willing to come up to claim the organization. Boko Haram Is not afraid of Jonathan or Nigeria but the Americans and the United Nations who already know them. Nigerians are victims of what we did not commit but we must make truce and reconcile. It is too unreasonable and vague to run down each other simply because the other people’s tribal marks are different from ours or they do not worship the way we do. Let us move to the world of science and the future where all is light and no darkness at all. I don’t know the future of LGA and their elections in Nigeria. We can do a better job than just creating avenue to drain our common national purse for no equivalent developmental and

a c c o u n t a b i l i t y requirements. Similarly we can build stronger political alliances by accepting each other as we are but putting the interest of the common Nigerians first. What pushed us to politics ought to be stronger than just zoning or the like. Party leaders, in the calibre of Prof Ango, are what the system requires and also what we are looking for; but they must show a high level of understanding, tolerance and consistent interest on the plights of the masses. Such party leaders must not be intimidated out of a party at the first sign that initial agreements may be breaking down. Many of our problems are not the persons around but our perceptions, concepts and beliefs both about others and us. At one time, we thought Nigeria was like a strong and hard ball. When such a ball is falling it should bounce itself back and high when it eventually hits the ground. So we should allow Nigeria to destroy itself until it hits the ground hoping it will bounce back high. That was our thought until a student told us that Nigeria is not a ball and it is neither strong nor hard. Nigeria is a tomato ball or an egg which if allowed hitting the hard ground it would scatter beyond repair. This is the delicate path we are all to thread and very carefully. Zoning in an election looks reasonable on the surface until you ask the minority groups like those of us in Kabba who are neither north or south, the people in Jos, the South—South people generally, and many people in Kaduna State of Prof Ango, Zamfara State, Kebbi State who have been suffering silently and for whom the zoning palaba was not designed. Let us collectively look for the best set of parameters to put together and move our nation forward. Our joy is that as long as we have some Obj or some Prof Ango Abudullahi in this country there is still hope. This is a time to face each other and talk eye-ball to eye-ball. We must get the sources of our problems right so that the solutions arrived at could be the robust ones.




E D O S TAT E C H I E F E X E C U T I V E S S I N C E 1963

•Dennis Osadebey - 1963 - 1966

• Lt. Co. David Ejoor - 1966 - 1967

• Brig.-Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia - 1967 -1975

• Col. George A. Innih - 1975 - 1976

• Comm. Husaini Abdullahi - 1976 - 1978

• Brig.-Gen. Abubakar Waziri - 1978 - 79

• Prof. Ambrose F. Alli - 1979 - 83

• Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia - 1983 - 84

• Brig.-Gen. Jeremiah Useni - 1984 - 85

• Col. John Mark Inieger - 1985 - 88

• Col. Tunde Ogbeha - 1988 - 90

• Col. John E. Yeri - 1990- 92

• Chief John Odigie-Oyegun - 1992 - 93

• Col. Mohammed A.S. Onuka - 1993 - 94

• Col. Bassey Asuquo - 1994 - 1996

• Group Capt. Baba Adamu Iyam - 1996 - 98

• Navy Capt. Anthony Onyearegbulem - 1998 - 1999

• Chief Lucky Igbinedion - 1999 - 2007

• Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor - 2007 - 2008

• Comrade Adams Oshiomhole - 2008 to date




Edo @ 22 Celebrating A Progressive Entity By RICHARD OKORO-EWEKA EDO State, the heart beat of the nation is an inland state in Western Nigeria. Its capital is Benin City an historic city and the cradle of black civilization. The state is bounded in the North and East by Kogi state and Anambra state, in the South by Delta stat and in the West by Ondo state. The state occupies a land area of 17,802km (6,873 sq mi). 1991 population census put the population of the state at 2,159,848. Estimate (2005) put it at 3,497,502. As we celebrate 22 years of the existence of the state kudos and appreciation should be given to the Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa for the role he played to ensure that the dream of creating Edo state became a reality today. The move to realize the Edo dream became more visible on December 10th 1980 when the former Commissioner for Information, Social Development, Youth, Sport and Culture, Mr. Magnus Odion Ugbesia (Secretary) and other members of a steering Committee that was set up to work out proposals for the creation of the state had its first meeting. It is important to note and placed on record that the original request for the creation of Edo state was presented to the National Assembly in Lagos on July 16 th , 1981by a delegation headed by the Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa. Bendel state where Edo state was curved out was one of the oldest political entities in the history of Nigeria having started as Midwestern Region which was created through a referendum on August 9 th 1963. From Midwest region it became a Midwest state from where it became Bendel

state. The sharing formular from the federal revenue was hampering the growth of state across the country and policies was also not helping matters in developing the already exiting states as such agitation for the creation of more state intensified. In 1963 to 1976 I was just four state created by Gen. Yakubu Gowon, he added 8 more in 1967 to make it 12 states. In 1976 Gen. Murtala Muhammed added 7 more to make it 19 states and Edo state came on board during the regime of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida when he created 2 more state; Edo and Delta from the old Bendel state, a state that was intact became disadvantaged in regards to access to federal revenue. Edo state is occupied by Edo speaking people and Delta state is occupied by a more heterogeneous mix of ethnic groups. With the creation of Edo state, the dream of Edo-speaking peoples and other groups in the territory for a separate identity and entity and entity was finally fulfilled. In Nigeria, Edo state is one of the more homogenous state, you may want to ask why this statement? It is clear. The cultural and linguistic affinities that exist among the various groups in the state points to this fact. A lot of the communities in the state trace their roots to the ancient Kingdom of Benin. The people in the state share similar customs, burial rites, diet and traditional modes of dressing etc. The state is made up of three major ethnic groups namely the Bini, Esan and Afemai. The state is made up of 18 local government council and the main languages spoken in the

• David Ejoor

• Prof. Ambrose Alli

• Dr. S.O. Ogbemudia

• Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

state include; Edo, although variations are observed from one subsection to another. Esans speak the Esan dialet, Etsako speak the Etsako dialet. AkokoEdo people speak Yoruba, Ebira, Okpameri, Uneme Ososo etc. Due to the cosmopolitan tendencies, the state has a high presence of residents from across the country and world. Benin City, the capital of the state has a history of being one of the foremost destinations Europeans during their exploration of Africa continent many centuries ago. Some of the flash points of these people have become a tourist destination site today earning revenue for the state. The state is home to every positive minded person who wants to invest and contribute his or her own quota to the development of the society and her inhabitant. Three religions are practiced freely

“Edo state is culturally active state, she keep her culture very relevant as such over 100 festivals are celebrated annually in the state, mainly between March and September. The celebration create and offer people opportunities for reunion with their friends and family members apart from creating room for people to worship their gods and purification of the people and the land.”

without any intimidation in the state. The religion includes; Christianity, Islam and Traditional worship. Traditional worship is as old as the people of the state while Islam was introduced by the Nupe warriors towards the end of the 19 th century. Christianity reached Edo state in the 15 th century through the Portuguese. Edo state is culturally active state, she keep her culture very relevant as such over 100 festivals are celebrated annually in the state, mainly between March and September. The celebration create and offer people opportunities for reunion with their friends and family members apart from creating room for people to worship their gods and purification of the people and the land. The state is blessed with tourist attraction site pleasant to experience by visitors and non visitors alike. Such tourist sites includes Okomu National Park, Emotan statue at the heart of Benin City, Ise Lake and River Niger beach in Agenebode in Etsako East, Ambrose Alli Square in Ekpoma, River Niger beaches at IIushi, BFFM building in Ewu, Ogba zoo, Okpekpe mountain terrain, Somorika hills and rocks in Akoko Edo, where a government-run

tourist center at Ososo is set among spectacular scenery. The Benin moat, wood carvers and bronze casters operating at Igbesanmwan and Igun streets in Benin City, the Benin Museum, the Oba Palace and its wall dated back to centuries ago and now the water fountain developed by the Oshiomhole’s administration. The state is known for her arts and crafts which has made the state famous all around the world. This has been in existence right from the time of civilization. Specialized professional guilds or Societies were set up to promote the highest ideals in the various arts. These guilds were accorded royal patronage. The work of arts is as old as mankind in the state and art is a form of communicating with the people and preserving the history of the people in art form to be passed from one generation to the other. This sector of the state has been greatly explored, especially for recording memorable events in life of various communities. Some of these arts work are used by government functionaries, captain of Industries, CEOs and other notable and prominent personalities as souvenir for

guest. Brass casting has its origin in Benin City in the 13 th Century and it was introduced by Igueha. Indigenous artist have followed suit and evolved a peculiar house style in brass casting and created the largest brass Industry in the African continent. The state has one of the highest looted bronze and other arts works in the world. Many of these precious art works was looted by the British forces during the invasion of Benin Kingdom in 1897. The Oba of Benin spear-headed renewed efforts to repatriate these valuable art pieces from Europe. The Idia ivory mask, which was the official symbol of the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) 1977. The state since 1963 is in the part of development as every administration that comes on board contributes to the economy development of the state. Various individuals have all they could to ensure the state is in safe and good hands. Dannis Osadebey, Samual Ogbemudia, Ambrose Alli and Adams Oshiohmole hava all contributed to the social, human and infrastructural development which as today places the state in an enviable height in the nation.





E o @ 22 Socio-Economic Development Of Edo State At A Glance

SOCIO-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. This is very visible in Edo State. Edo State was formally in the Midwestern region of Nigeria. The mid western region was a division of Nigeria from 1963-1976. It was a combination of the present Edo and Delta States and Benin City was its capital. In 1976, Bendel State was created. However, Edo state was created on August 27 th 1991 by General Ibrahim B a b a n g i d a ’ s administration from the then Bendel State out of agitations for a state of theirs by the people of the state. The state occupies about 2.1 percent of Nigeria’s total landmass. The economy of the state has undergone growth in the last 22years. It is one of the oil producing states in the country. Back then, it was a major producer of cocoa and rubber in Nigeria. The state has various industries, and some make use of the natural resources located in the state. These industries are the Edo state cement company at Okpella, sawmills, textile factories etc. the state has a large brewery, Bendel breweries, though it is not presently at its full working capacity. S u c c e s s i v e administrations, since the era of the Midwestern state till now, have strived to bring about socio-

economic development in the state. The military administration of the defunct Midwestern region, under the administration of General Samuel Ogbemudia, witnessed massive development in terms of construction and rehabilitation of roads, water supply, security, power, quality education and job creation. It is worthy of note, that the famous

under the leadership of Professor Ambrose Alli in 1981, established the first and only university owned by the state and it was then known as the Bendel State University. Apart from this giant stride, Professor Alli left no stone unturned in ensuring that all state roads were adequately constructed and rehabilitated and also provided with drainage

administration, the state witnessed a high level of underdevelopment, corruption and mismanagement. The economy of the state then was at a standstill, his government cared less about the basic needs of the citizens. He did little for the state in terms of infrastructural development. Although, his administration brought about some

Transport Service (ECTS). Though, most of these industries have been left in ruins even during his administration but at least, it ranked the state among other industrial states in the country. It is obvious that the present government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is doing its best to put the state on the right path. The government has been able to generate

Samuel Ogbemudia stadium was established in this administration. General Ogbemudia, also built model farms. After General Samuel Ogbemudia, other successive military leaders in the state did not give their best to the state. Also, Bendel state

systems. Their administrations were milestones in the development of the state. After its establishment in 1991, the first civilian governor was Chief John Oyegun. In 1999, Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion became the governor of Edo State. During his

level of progress to the state, like the establishment of Usen Polytechnic, College of Agriculture (Iguoriakhi), Edo State Skills Acquisition Centre, Ehor Food Processing Plant, construction of the Upper Mission Extension, the Benin Bye-pass and Edo City

thousands of jobs for its unemployed youths under the Youth Empowerment Scheme, also known as YES. Also, the information technology unit has also provided useful job opportunities for graduates. The present administration, has


“Successive administrations, since the era of the Midwestern state till now, have strived to bring about socio-economic development in the state.”

removed darkness from the major roads and streets in Edo state, by installing street lights. It has also brought about the beautification of ring road now officially known as Oba Ovoranmen square. This has attracted investors into the state. The present government of Edo state is doing quite well in the area of infrastructural developments in the state. The government has repositioned the state through construction and rehabilitation of roads. Governor Oshiomhole has also rehabilitated the Benin airport up to a first class standard and it has been ranked as the 4th busiest airport in the country. Also, the state capital has changed for good and has been transformed into a modern city. The economy of the state is now viable in the sense that there is room for local and i n t e r n a t i o n a l investments. The establishments of hotels and other institutions in the state have provided the government with a huge revenue generation base. The state is greatly endowed with great tourism potentials which have undoubtedly benefited the economy of the state. The economy of the state, has witnessed tremendous growth and also, the World Bank has decided to partner with the state by assisting the government with S75million. The present administration can be compared to that of Professor Alli and General Ogbemudia who gave their best to the state in terms of socio-economic development. The state seems to have proven itself as “the heartbeat of the nation”.





I sues

Nigeria’s Alarming Debt Profile SOME days back, the minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, announced that the country was in great debt and its debt profile had risen to N6trillion. This high level of indebtedness is likely to turn disastrous for the nation’s economy. Any economy mainly sustained by borrowing, cannot survive. It would have been understandable if these loans are effectively used by the government to bring about investment but most of these loans are used for unnecessary spending and sometimes when budgeted for developmental purposes, it is hardly felt by the masses. Nigeria spends more on consumption rather than on investment. As a result of Nigeria’s huge debt profile, the nation’s image is now dented. The Nigerian government’s attitude to borrowing from the World Bank, Paris club etc has become a national stigma. In 2012,the federal government budgeted a whooping sum of N560trillion for loan servicing only. With the various natural resources available in the country, it is baffling that Nigeria is still indebted. High level of indebtedness, can mount pressure on the federal government when it is time to pay back and this may cause the government to abandon certain government priorities to

its citizens. There is nothing wrong for developing countries to secure external loans to supplement domestic savings in the absence of capital. But most developing countries in Africa especially in Nigeria always borrow more than they can pay back. Most countries rely on official and even private foreign financing. But this has piled up external debts of these countries and it is viewed as unsustainable. In 2005, Nigeria incurred close to S40billion debt with overS30billion of it owed to the Paris club. External debt has become a burden in Nigeria because loans are not used judiciously; therefore returns on investment are not sufficient to meet the demands of the loans. External debt also has a negative impact on economic growth in the country. Some facts have shown that Nigeria’s huge external debt is as a result of the structural adjustment programme introduced in 1986 to put the economy on a sustainable way to recovery. It is quite alarming that Nigeria’s debt profile has increased drastically in president Jonathan’s administration. When former president Olusegun Obasanjo left office in 2007, Nigeria’s external debt profile had reduced with over S34billion. Financial and economic experts have argued that for the nation’s debt to reduce,

By ODINUKAEZE NNENNA there has to be a lesser dependence on crude oil by developing the non oil sectors to generate revenue for the government. The government should also

debt, what will be the future of Nigeria’s economy? There is nothing wrong in taking loans as financial experts have opined that “no economy

yeaers. High level of indebtedness is a sign that the nation’s resources are being mismanaged and it has grave consequences for the nation. Nigeria continuously borrows

can exist without some level of indebtedness and that debt is good for the health of the economy”. But the problem with Nigeria is that it borrows so much but has little to show for it. Most of these loans are embezzled and if not embezzled, they are used for projects that are not necessary for the economy. It is outrageous that the federal government under president Jonathan borrowed N3.52billion everyday within a period of 2-

money that is not needed and is not properly utilised. If the federal government utilises these loans by investing properly in a sector like the power section, when power becomes steady, the cost of production will be reduced. Then growth, employment and also the economy will have generated the resources needed to pay back these loans. Recently, the federal government signed a US600million dollars loan deal with china’s

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

strive to create different means of generating revenue. Are these loans used judiciously? Everyday, there are reports of figures borrowed externally but there are hardly any corresponding projects that the loans are meant for. Some of these debts are not channelled into productive sectors of the economy. Some of them are used to service extravagant political spending at the country’s and its citizens detriment. With this huge

“It is outrageous that the federal government under president Jonathan borrowed N3.52billion within a period of 2-years.”

export import bank, a huge share of the loan will be used for the construction of a rail line in Abuja. The fingers of Nigerians are crossed and their hearts are in great anticipation as to whether it will be fully utilised. Often times, there have been cases of government securing external debts all in the name of embarking on project but these projects are abandoned halfway and the funds diverted into unnecessary projects. Also, Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has lamented on the rise in the nation’s debt profile. She said that “the interest rate at which the federal government and states are raising debts is too high at 15% in the face of having to finance expenditure and capital”. Government’s expenditure and government borrowing, i n c r e a s e s unemployment in the country. Facts and data have shown that any 1% increase in government expenditure, increase unemployment by 0.0029%. On the other hand, a 1%increase in government borrowing, increase unemployment by 0.0019%. Most Nigerians are of the view that most of the loans end up in individual pockets of those in government. It has become a trend, for states in Nigeria to go to the capital market to borrow money just to test their viability and the federal government always stands as a surety in obtaining these loans. The Central Bank has warned that “the continued increase in the public sector’s external debt may constitute a threat to the existing debt sustainability position of the country if future loans are not project tiled and self sustaining”.





E o @ 22

Edo And Its

EDO State, ‘The Heart Beat of the Nation’; a land with a unique culture and tradition. A state that has been the bastion and citadel of culture in Nigeria; the custodian of important historical artifactsbronze, woodwork, terracotta and brass. Edo marks 22 on Tuesday August, 2013. The state was formed on 27 August, 1991 with Benin City as its capital, when the former Bendel State was spilt into Edo and Delta State. The state is home to several

culture which dates back to the ancient Benin kingdom. Historical evidence gives credence to the fact that Edo people believe that their kings come from the sky or more appropriately, from heaven or from God. It is a belief which explains why the Oba is seen as the embodiment of the culture of the Edo people. The Oba is

ethnicities among them are the Otuo, Bini, Esan, Akoko, Igara, Ora, and Afemai. Edo State is bounded on the north and east by Kogi state, on the west by Ondo state, and on the south by Delta State. This great state is known for its unique

very much respected and at such everything revolves around the Oba. The early kings in Benin were known as Ogisos. The Oba succeeded them which began with Oba Eweka 1. Over the years, there have been controversies about


where the word Oba originated from. Some writers claim that the word Oba is a Yoruba word which means king. While others insists that the word must have been derived from the original name of the first Ogiso Obagodo (Oba- king, Godohigh), which when brought together means ‘High King’. Edo culture is not just about the mode of dressing, singing, dancing, and what they eat. It includes the celebrations of birth and death, their spoken language, and numerous festivals. A unique culture that every Edo man and woman takes pride in. An Edo man takes pride in speaking and teaching his children Edo language. Even the non- Edos admire the unique arts and cultures of Edo state. FESTIVALS AND CEREMONIES In Edo State, there are traditional festivals that showcase its rich cultural heritage. These include; IGUE FESTIVAL- this is a festival heralding good luck. The people of edo believe that the luck of the Oba is intertwined with the people over which the monarch reigns. Since the Oba is the embodiment of

the Edo culture, the people look up to the Oba for luck. It is for this reason that the Igue festival is celebrated. IKHUREThis is the festival celebrated in the first month of the Benin year in which the children of the reigning Oba observe the festival of ‘AMA’. This festival marks the

fertility of the soil. UGIVIE- This is a festival for cleaning and washing of the Royal coral beads. UGIORO- This is a festival for commemorating affluence. Oba Ewedo (Circa 1255 AD) introduced the

“‘The Heart Beat of the Nation’; a land with a unique culture and tradition. A state that has been the bastion and citadel of culture in Nigeria; the custodian of important historical artifactsbronze, woodwork, terracotta and brass.”

ceremony but the ceremonial bird (Ahiamwe-oro cast in brass) was introduced into the ceremony by Oba Esigie about 1504 AD. IHIEKHU- This festival is a thanksgiving ceremony to the hands which are considered to be creator of many things. UGIOGUN- a festival in memory of the god of iron. UGIEERHOBA- A festival in

memory of the Oba’s father. ISIOKUO- This is a festival in honour of Ogun (The implement of war) which was used for the destruction of the maneating monster ‘OSOGAN’. At this festival, the Oba and his war chiefs parade the city in war costumes and the ILOBI people fight a mock battle with poisoned arrows invented by the deity ‘AKE OF ISI’. AGUEBenin traditional fasting period. UGIEODODUA- a festival to commemorate Ododua, but Oba

Eresoyen (1740- 1750 AD) later modified the mask of the masquerades to the present seven bronze masks which were modeled after the masks of Osa N’Uzala (a spiritual deity from Uzala). Other important festivals celebrated in Edo State are Ekaba, Ukpe, Irua, Agiele, AduIkukwua, Ebomisi, Eho, Ipihionua, Ugbele, Itakpo, Ofarhe, Emomorhe, Iko, Uzo, Ugozo/Ihiasa, Uba, Egbere, Owere, Ukpako, Oriminyam, Ohonmoimen, Itikiri, Ivhamen/Ororuen, Amekpe, Oto-Uromi, Ighele and OkpugeOro. The masquerades in Edo State are generally believed to be earthly representatives of some celestial gods, goddess or ancestors. Masquerades like the Igbabonelimi of Esanland are very popular social entertainers whose secrets and workings are only known to initiates who are sworn to utmost secrecy. Some masquerades are linked to traditional festivals, while others are linked to social and ritualistic backgrounds. ARTS AND CRAFTS Edo state is well known for its brass and ivory sculpture which is found in museums throughout the world. The state has many tourist centers including Bronze Casting Centers, the National Museum at Benin, and the Okomu Wildlife Sanctuary. Edo state also has a rich heritage of artworks including brass casting





E o @ 22

Unique Culture of natural and stylized sequences. Arts and crafts in Edo state is promoted by s p e c i a l i z e d professional guilds or societies. These guilds were accorded royal patronage, and to this day, some of these guilds, like those of wood carvers and bronze casters, are still operating at Igbesanmwan and Igun streets in Benin City. Art form was a major form of communication in Edo state. This art has been used for recording of memorable events in the life of various communities in Edo State. Effigies of Obas, heroes and heroines were sculpted for posterity. These artworks were looted by the British forces during the invasion of Benin Kingdom in 1897. Despite Oba Erediauwa’s efforts to repatriate these various art pieces from Europe, the Queen Idia ivory mask, which was the official symbol of the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), is still lying captive in a British museum. Pottery, basket making, cane furniture, cloth- weaving, matmaking and goldsmithing trade strives in Edo state with quality and standard that can be compared with others anywhere in the world. The art of basket- making is popular among the Esan ethnic group. The Uneme- Nekhua and the South Uneme people in Akoko- Edo and Etsako West Local

Government Areas are renowned for their dexterity and skills in traditional black smithing and ceremonial swords. Gold and silver smiths are found in all major towns in the state. The Edos specialises in the making of ornamental

adornments like trinkets, bracelets, beads, bangles, chains, and earrings. Auchi, Igarra, Somorika, and Ubiaja are major areas known for traditional clothweaving. The colorful artistic motifs of the Igarra people have won national and international acclaim. Ojah in Akoko- Edo Local Government Area is known nationally for its fine pottery. The people of Udo in Esan South East Local Government Area, Uhonmora in Owan

West Local Government Area, Okpekpe and Imiegba in Etsako East Local Government Area are also known for making fine pottery. RELIGION In Edo State, there are three main religions practiced in the state. Christianity,

market road and Akpakpava road in Benin City. CUISINE Edo state has a wide range of meals which can be compared in terms of quality and taste to southern states in Nigeria. Most of the food in Edo state can be obtain in most

eaten in the state is mostly the yellow garri which can be accompanied with beans, meat, fish; groundnuts etc. Nonindigenous foods like amala, starch, pepper soup, fufu and banga soup, have lately crept into the local cuisine. Pepper rice is also

Islam, and traditional religion. Today, the traditional religion is finally giving way to Christianity and Islam. Christianity was brought into Edo State by the Portuguese in the 15 th century with three cathedrals built in Erie (Aruosa), Oba

southern states. Pounded yam or Eba are eaten with vegetable, melon or okra soups are cooked with either bush meat, beef or fish. Yam and rice is eaten with other varieties of soup and meat or fish throughout the state. The Garri

common in the state. MUSIC AND DANCE Edo state is blessed with great music and dance. The state is blessed with a large coterie of performers that has gained national and international acclaim. Sir Victor Uwaifo leads

the pack, a great musician and performer, who was trained at Yaba College of Technology and the University of Benin. Others in this category include Sunny Okosun, Peter King, Felix Duke, Osayomore Joseph and many others who have flown the flag of Edo State creditably. Itinerant traditional performers who are mainly hired for burial, naming ceremonies, age-grade festivals and others abound in Edo state. In Edo State, the dance or song has satirical connotation. The songs and dances that have evolved in many communities in the state have sociocultural backgrounds. Most traditional songs are accompanied by heavy beats with dances that step in tune with it. Today, the banner of Edo State has continued to be hoisted on the national and international level. Edo State has a lot of interesting places to visit, arts and crafts to see, great meals, and a splendid culture and tradition. Benin City, the state capital is famous for its unique bronze, brass and ivory works of arts which are found all over the world in museums.

“Art form was a major form of communication in Edo state. This art has been used for recording of memorable events in the life of various communities in Edo State. Effigies of Obas, heroes and heroines were sculpted for posterity.”




Edo @ 22

Developing Transportation In Edo TRANSPORTATION is a key factor in economic development. Be it air, sea or road, it is required for movement of goods, personnel and service, without which there will be economic stagnation as it is a most effective mode of communication. During the Mid-West Era the mode of transportation were the

traffic light and road signs all the means of transportation during the Mid-West and Bendel state Era was operating without proper identification, all commercial vehicles operating during the Mid-West and Bendel state Era did not have the approved colour code so it was difficult

motor vehicle, taxi cab (Morris Minor) and bicycle. Chief Osadebey was the premier and the Governor was Jereton Marierie. In 1966-1970 when the civil war was fought, the means of transportation remained the same. Dr S.O. Ogbemudia was the military Governor of MidWestern state before the state was changed to Bendel state. The means of transportation during the Bendel Era still remained motor vehicles and used to transport passengers and foods (food stuff) from villages and the control of vehicles was in the hands of ministry of transport through the vehicle inspectors and the Nigerian police traffic division and there was no

then to easily identify one used for transportation. During the time of Ogbemudia, Mid-West line came in and later changed to Bendel line and again changed to Edo line, For so long, the transportation system in Edo state suffered abandonment in the hands of previous administrations, resulting in the regrettable dilapidation of infrastructure. The Adams Oshiomhole-led administration was fully conscious of this, when it was inaugurated in November, 2008 it took bold and decisive steps to improve the quality of our roads which constituted death traps and nightmare to the motorists and

By EFEMWENKIEKIE OSAS KELVIN commuters. Today, the intervention of Government has become very visible as evidenced in the massive construction of roads and drainages in Benin city, the Edo state capital and other Local Government Area of the state with Commensurate

buses for intra-city operations and its service gratifying to Edo city transport service which has the mandate to operate the intra-city bus service. The procurement of the buses according to Governor Adams Oshiomhole “is to ensure

preparation for an eventual acquisition of modern motor vehicle to cater for the masses. This of course, becomes a prelude to the introduction of mass Transit transportation designed to address growing urban transportation challenges. Government provided counterpart funding towards the acquisition of some one hundred new

the effective and easy mobility of passengers and goods, reduce wastage of commuter’s time and address the horrifying bottleness at the city centre” when operational, the buses will ply all the major roads in the Benin metropolis thus putting smiles on the faces of commuters and it was during this present administration that company buses spread

out, thus making the citizens of Edo state to travel with the bus of their choice. Apart from the introduction of the mass transit, it is on record that under the Oshiomhole Administration, deliberate and conscious efforts have been made to improve the general well being of the transport industry in the state. Before the advent of the Adams Aliyu O s h i o m h o l e administration commercial vehicles in the state especially in the Benin metropolis operated without proper identification mark. This has since changed with the enforcement of the necessary legislation which makes it mandatory for all commercial vehicles, operating in the state to be painted with the approved colour code of yellow upon fire red. Needless to say that this has not only enhanced the identity of commercial vehicle in the city, but has gone a long way in reducing crimes perpetuated by some u n s c r u p u l o u s commercial vehicle operators. It is also to the credit of comrade Adams Oshiomhole that so much has be achieved in traffic control with the training and development of over hundred traffic control officer at major road junctions and streets in the Benin metropolis. This is why traffic flow in Benin City is relative smooth despite the massive road construction going on in several parts of the city.

Motorists are now more conscious of goods driving habit and proper parking due to the massive public enlightenment carried out by the ministry of transport. This is in addition to the installation of road signs on major roads in Benin City and it also the time of this present Governor Adams Oshiomhole the long comfortable buses, Benin City transport service (ECTS) was provided to the citizens of Edo State to take them to their final bus stop at the cheaper price and the credit card makes the bus so interesting and it was also to the credit of Governor Oshiomhole that motorcycle was ban. The emerging rapid pattern of ban on motor bikes as a means of transportation in many cities of the federation is an indication not only that it is no longer fashionable, but also a glaring realization that its negative impact clearly out weights whatever advantage associated with it. It is an undisputed fact that many citizens have been maimed and even killed as a result of recklessness, inexperience, lack of skill and ignorance of roads traffic law and signs especially by commercial bikes riders. There is no doubt that with the present tempo of development which will certainly be sustained, the transportation industry in Edo state will in the next couple of years become model for other states in the federation to emulate.

“Apart from the introduction of the mass transit, it is on record that under the Oshiomhole Administration, deliberate and conscious efforts have been made to improve the general well being of the transport industry in the state.”




Edo @ 22

Development Of Education In Edo IN a commonsensical way, education is defined as the medium for transmission of knowledge and worthwhile values from a person to another, and it transcends generations. In the history of our precolonial existence, we were told from folktales that our ancient people had unique ways of documenting events, such that they could go to the wall where they inscribed some marks and tell their children or relations what exactly transpired on that day. They equally developed a system of oral communication, traditional norms and values which they pass on to their children and generations. For instance, Edo language, mode of traditional worship, chieftaincy and coronation rituals, Igue festival, craft making, bronze casting, native architecture, mode of dressing, symbols of royalty, native security system etc., are some of the cherished values that have transcended generations in Benin Kingdom. But when the colonial masters came, the education which people recognised was seen as nothing. According to an intelligence reports, Benin Division shows the people to have been educationally backward in terms of attainment of educational qualifications and employment in the colonial service. Benin Division was carved out of the core area of the Benin Kingdom after British conquest of the kingdom in 1897. It was incorporated and subordinated into the colonial state that had been established in the Nigeria area. There are different factors that influenced the introduction of Colonial Western Education into Benin Division by the colonial state. First, the

prejudice of the British against the Benin Kingdom as barbaric and fetish ridden made the colonial state want to pursue a civilizing mission among the people. In the annual report of 1897, Benin was recommended for the establishment of a school to improve the people. The civilizing objective was initially taken very serious by the state and education was seen as the instrument for it achievement. Secondly, the pre-colonial Benin Kingdom bureaucracy and educational system were unsuited to the kind of skill, training and rate of efficiency necessary for capitalist exploitation and domination of the human and material resources of Benin Division. The colonial masters therefore imported skilled and literate personnel to service the lower echelons of the colonial administration and sending indigenous people out of the division for training. The title holders were urged to bring out their children for schooling in Calabar. But they reluctantly sent only three of their numerous children by 1898. The Benin people only sent their dependents and slaves because of their distrust of the colonial officials believed to be using schooling in Calabar as a punitive measure against them. Professor Ambrose Folorunsho Alli was the First Executive Governor of Bendel State now Edo/ Delta states. Having won his governorship election on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), the party election manifesto promised free education at all level. The main thrust of his four years administration was liberalization of educational opportunities for all. He founded the Bendel State

University now Ambrose Alli University. According to him, ‘‘when you educate a child, you educate a nation. When you educate the body and mind you have an effective instrument for social and economic development. Education is the platform for progress. It is the foundation of life itself.’’

Area, which had only six secondary schools for the period between 1979, got nine secondary schools within two years. Other areas, which had many educational institutional institutions before 1979, got more secondary school to meet 100 per cent transition of pupils from primary to

totally or almost in total infrastructural failure, apathy and low morale on the part of the workforce and over concentration of teaching staff in the urban area. Governor Adams Oshiomhole in a bid to make an impact in the lives of the people of Edo State acknowledged the fact that Education is the bedrock of socio-economic development of the state,

Between October 1979 and March 1980, professor Alli administration established 80 new Secondary School in the state in addition to 187 already in existence. Approval was also given for the establishment of 338, new secondary school in all parts of the state in such a way that no pupil would thenceforth, travel more than five kilometres from his home to attend a secondary school. By the new dispensation, some local government in the state with just six secondary schools before he was elected governor in 1979 got as many as 16 additional day secondary school in two years. Bomadi Local Government

secondary schools. Ethiope Local Government Area for example, which had ten secondary schools before 1979, got additional 25 secondary schools, similarly Oredo Local Government Area which had 16 secondary schools before 1979 had additional 40 day secondary schools. Etsako Local Government Area got additional 32 secondary schools, Ndokwa 31, Okpepho 32, Orhionmwon 43, and Ughelli 39, during the first two years of Governor Alli’s administration. In less than three years, the number of secondary schools in the schools in the state rose from 187 in October 1, 1979. This made it possible for every pupil who had completed primary six to attend secondary school. All these were at a time when some state in Nigeria had less than 50 secondary schools and primary schools yet had problems with the payment of teacher’s salaries. Before the ruling governor came on board, the educational sector was

poverty reduction and wealth creation. He has therefore started the transformation of the state in the area of education. New schools are being built, old ones modernised, to ensure that the pupils are protected within the school environment. School children that used to study under trees and in dilapidated school buildings are now provided with desk and chairs in descent school environment. Currently, Governor Adams Oshiomhole in his strong determination to provide quality education has commenced the construction of schools across the three senatorial Districts in the state. That apart, there are lots of developments going on in the sector, for instance, teachers were recently screen for valid certificates in order to ascertain whether they have capability that is required for them to perform their job which they were employed for and to make sure that best education is given to the school children.


‘‘. . . when you educate a child, you educate a nation. When you educate the body and mind you have an effective instrument for social and economic development.”

The governor re-invented education in the state which made the school environment conducive for teachings and learning. He introduced the ‘‘Total School Transformation Programme’’ which has changed the face of 27 hitherto dilapidated structures in some Junior and Senior Secondary Schools in the state with the construction and renovation of 511 classroom. Parents are now happy to send their children to nearby public schools instead of having to transport their children and wards to private school in distant places (like they did in colonial days). More unemployed but qualified teachers are being offered teaching jobs. School fees in the tertiary and junior secondary schools are affordable, in some instance, are completely wiped out. The University of Benin, Benin City, the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, the Igbinedion University, Okada and Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Auchi are among the institutions of higher learning located in Edo State. Edo state leads all other states in the south-south zone in educational attainment in terms of numbers admitted to Nigerian Universities in 2007/2008 with a total of 3,569 while Bayelsa has only 434. The 2010 National Literacy Survey Statistics indicate youth literacy in Edo as 89.7%. Edo however has the lowest percentage of adults literate in English at 73.5% in the south-south zone. According to an advisor to the governor, the state was previously recognised as the ‘‘Miracle Centre State’’ because of the high incidence of examination malpractice prevalent there, the state was adjudged best overall in WAEC examinations in 2008. In 2012, Edo state had an increase in the capital expenditure in it educational sector from #5.6bn in 2011 to #7.7bn in 2012. It is hoped that, it would be a step in the right direction in support of the education for the state.





W eKEND ENTERTAINMENT I Want God To Bless Me With Right Man - Genevieve Nnaji How does it feel to have rised this far within a short time? (Smiles) I’m trying to handle it as much as I can. It feels fulfilling. I feel I’m having the best of my time. I feel the Lord is with me. I feel I have been able to make an impact on my people and I have a lot of fans and I’m enjoying my life. It feels good. To what or whom do you own all that? God’s gift, talent, determination, pride … Do you believe in love at first sight? I believe in infatuation at first sight. Love is a very strong feeling. It does not just come. People think infatuation is being in love. They are two different things. You don’t know anything yet until you get to meet the person and you begin to fall in love. Not just physically, but emotionally with the person. Can you recollect the first time you fell in love? Yes Tell us about it? I think we met at a show. This was when I was in secondary school and we shared a lot of things in common – singing. It was a case of two compatible people who were so much in love with each other and

like I said, relationships must come and go. You can’t help everything that happens. Some things just happen for no reason. Can you date a fan? I’ve never dated a fan and I don’t know if I can. But people come around to toast as per fans. But it’s a matter of nicely telling them off. There are different reasons why fan like or love artistes. So, it actually depends on why my fan loves me. It depends. I don’t think it is advisable to date a fan. The reason being that people are in love with what they see on the screen, not the real you. Are you eager to get married? No, no, no, the thing is just that there comes a time in your life where

everything is going fine. And all you say to yourself is after this, what next? After everything you have to get married as far as you are a woman. Why have you not furthered your education? Life is not the same for everybody. Some people are so lucky, they come out of secondary school and they go straight to university because they have the back of people and it’s easy. It looks simple…mine was different, but I’m determined. Definitely, I’m going to go back to school. I wanted to make money, so, I will go back when I’ve made a enough. But even while I’m there, I won’t stop working. What’s the greatest complement that has ever come your way? My complexion.

If You Are Not Married, Then Your Are Not A Man - Eedris Abdulkareem


THE bible says ”he who found a wife has found a good thing”, and a good wife indeed has found a controversial Nigerian rapper, Eedris abdulkareem found in Sekinat Abdulkareem, who he has been married to for 11 solid years; and since then it has been from one level of greatness to another. Most people believe that in this present dispensation, breakup is the hallmark of celebrity marriages all over the world, but Eedris and Sekinat have exhibited what a through role is all about and have shown marriage can indeed work. It’s not often you found couples who are driven by the same motives, sentiments etc but for this two lovebirds, they’ve made it possible Sekinat who gave up everything for Eedris who is always in the middle of controversies and rebellion here and there has over the years been a source of joy to him. After a couple of years filled

with media hostility and failed albums, the troubled artiste and wife, got cause to cheer, come December 14th, as the lovebirds will be celebrating 11 years of being happily married and the marriage is blessed with 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls Eedris once revealed

why he believed so much in the institution called marriage. His words: “Kenny Keke Ogungbe (my boss) made me realized that if you are not married, you are not a man because you do not have responsibility and I saw it as a challenge that must be conquered as a man”.

• Eedris Abdulkareem

Oh Slip: Tony Braxton Shows Annie Idibia Blasted A Fan On Twitter Bare Booty During Performance inciting Annie to get AFTER posting her recent picture online taken with her only daughter, Isabella, a fan (named withheld) wrote, “ that mouth of hers I will kiss it one day, I promised her that.” Actress and mother of one definitely did not

• Annie Idibia

• Genevieve Nnaji

find the statement funny, as replied the fan saying, “You are a fool!!! Get off my page sick man” Meanwhile, there have been responses to the tweet by the fan, which many condemned for

haywire on twitter with her response. Some have called for silence as the best way to treat such comments by some fans, while others believe the fire-to-fire approach is appropriate.

OH SLIP! Toni Braxton Shows Bare Booty During Wardrobe Malfunction on Stage Well it happened to the best of us! Toni Braxton might be in talks for being in the legendary R and B books for high unique voice. But that wasn’t what kept the spotlight as she performed in New Jersey. While putting on a great show for her loyal fans in New Brunswick, the 45-years old singing sensation suffered a pretty bad wardrobe malfunction on stage. Toni sang her heart out as the back of her dress started to come down undone, showing off her bare booty to the audience when she turned around. Yikes! Seeing her mishap in the spotlight for all to see, a dancer eventually came up to Toni on stage and gave her a

jacket to wear while a crewmember came behind her to tier up the dress. Even though she continued to sing, the crowd just couldn’t hold their

• Toni Braxton

laughter, and neither could Toni! What a good sport! It’s great that Toni was able to laugh off the situation, but we’re sure she wants a dress without string next time.





W eKEND ENTERTAINMENT J Martins Blasts Wizkid Over ‘Broke’ Fan Comment J. MARTINS recently on Hot FM 98.3 Abuja gave his humble opinion on Wizkid calling fan broke: ‘I’m not taking any side, don’t mean no beef, no disrespect and no hate but let the truth be told’. I don’t believe because you feel you have a few change your didn’t have a few years ago and which you cannot guarantee having in a few years to come then you wake up and took at those people who have cheered you up, loved you, supported your music, bought your CDs, prayed for you, just because you can lay your hands on some phone and you call them ‘poor’. Am not in and will never be in support of anyone who has such bad attitude. It needs to be corrected, we own our fans the duty of being good examples that’s why they hold us in high esteem, that’s why you are a role model and if

you know you cannot be a good role model you have no business in music. You don’t know if it’s that

person that might help you tomorrow, whoever does that should be checked. You have to decide why you are in the music industry. If you know you cannot be a role model then you have no business being there.

• J Martins

I Don’t Know Iyanya Personally, Tonto She said this about Iyanya Dikeh Blast ‘when I hear people say I

NOLLYWOOD actress and singer Tonto Dikeh was a guest on Ebuka’s Rubbing Minds program on Channels TV where she reveals more about her relationship with Iyanya, her

58 tattoos that represent specific events in her life, the marijuana, Indian hemp pictures, Don Jazzy being her very first, and her singing abilities.

have dated Iyanya before, I find that funny. I mean this someone I have only met once or twice. I am a fan of his music just the same way he is also a fan, but if I don’t even know him personally, how do I date him? Why they say these things, it is because they know I don’t respond to these things.

I ’ll Keep Helping People To Participate In BBA - Denrele Edun Stories By EDIONHON UYI THOMPSON

POPULAR television presenter, Denrele Edun, has vowed to keep on providing assistance to fellow Nigerians who want to participate in the Big Brother Africa reality TV show in the future. Known to his fans as Denrele, he said this in response to those who severely criticized him for his presumed role in the appearance of Nigeria’s controversial female representative in the 2013 BBA show, Beverly Osu. Denrele said Beverly’s failure to emerge winner of the show, which ended on Sunday and to take home the $300,000.00 star prize, would not deter her from succeeding in life. Beverly was the first housemate to be evicted from the grand finale of the show; she was followed by fellow compatriot, Melvin Oduah, the Ghanaian housemate, Elikem and Zambian representative, Cleo, in quick succession. The Namibian housemate, Dillish, eventually emerged the winner of the 2013 show. Angered by Beverly’s alleged sexual intercourse with Angelo Colllins of south Africa in a bath-tub, the critics had blamed Denrele for using his position as a presenter on Channel O to get her on the MINETsponsored reality show. As soon as it became obvious that Beverly could

not win the show, some angry Nigerians launched an attack against him on twitter and other social media. He lamented that he had been taking the heat for Beverly and pledged to keep supporting her in spite of the criticism. Those who blamed Denrele for Beverly’s escapades, which they felt has portrayed Nigeria women as immoral, warned him to henceforth desist from getting his preferred friends and associates on the annual reality show. One Chuky Unadulterated tweeted via @ChukyUnfazed, ‘Denrele just respect yourself from now on and stop filling forms,

and henceforth let normal regular Nigerians have a chance too’. But Denrele in his responds on tweeter said that he watched the grand finale of the show on TV in Nigeria after he missed his flight to South Africa on Saturday night, has declared that he will not stop helping people to achieve their dreams. He lamented that he had been taking the heat for Beverly and pledged to keep supporting her in spite of the criticism. The presenter further said he was not angry with those who had been calling him names, adding that the BBA Chase had already put Beverly in the limelight.

• Derenle Edun

Iyanya Warns Fraudsters Against Using His claims to be Iyanya money NIGERIAN musician Name On Facebook for a laptop and a phone Iyanya has released a

statement disclaiming reports of fraud by someone claiming to be him on facebook. On Monday, August 26th, 2013, Iyanya has made the following statement

• Tonto Dikeh

Age Difference: Kaffy Aide’s Fires Back RECENTLY, there were reports all over social media that popular dancer Kaffy was eight years older than her husband, Joseph Ameh, the international drummer who rolls with Psquare. One of the aids of the dance queen has responded the many critics who are bashing the couple about their

At Critics

age differences. Her aid said ‘what is the big deal about age that the social media are carrying about? Is Dare Art-Alade not younger than his wife? Kaffy and Jo love each other so much, that’s all that matters not age. This cant pull a string from their hair; so why

making a mountain out of a molehill’.

• Kaffy

available via Twitter. ‘I have through the PR Company representing me sent an official disclaimer on recent report of fraud by someone on facebook using my name’. Please my real name on facebook is Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk, please disregard any other account that ask you to send money to them, he said. The musician also published the real name and contract information of his manager and advised people to ignore anyone posing as him to ask for money. Iyanya also mentioned some specific examples of imposters’ actions; ‘A lady called my manger last week from Ireland saying

she almost sent $50,000.00 to a fake Iyanya (imposter) for a show. Another guy from Uyo last recently called that he gave someone who

• Iyanya

and hasn’t seen the person. Iyanya called on whoever was behind the illegal acts to stop and warned that ‘we shall find you’.



Edo @ 22


The Political History Of Edo State At A Glance

EDO State is one of the oldest political entities of Nigeria which has over the years moved into a great political greatness. The state has a lot of political history which dates back to the Mid-

have ruled the state right from the Midwestern region to when it was known as Bendel State and now Edo state is as follows: Chief Dennis Chukudebe Osadebay


renamed the Midwestern state to the ‘Republic of Benin’ lasted a few hours before the state was liberated from the Biafia secessionist force by the Nigeria Federal troops in September. Brig. Gen. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, served as administrator and lasted as the Military Governor of Midwestern state from September 1967 to July 1975. He was born on September 17th, 1932 in Benin City

civilian government, Waziri combined his responsibilities as military administrator with those of Brigade Commander, 4 Mechanized Army, Benin City. He retired as a Major General. Prof. Ambrose Folorusho Alli served as Civilian Governor from October 1979 to September 1983, he was the first executive governor of Bendel State under the political party platform of UPN.

• Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

Western region from when it was known as Mid-Western State, after which it became Bendel State and now Edo State. Edo state was created 27th day of August 1991 which the state capital is Benin City and the 1991 census shows that 2,159,848 people where then living/residing in the state but the 2005 census estimated the population of Edo State to be 3,491,502 and by all indications the population figure of Edo State must have grown rapidly over the last census carried out in the year 2005. Edo state is an inland state in western Nigeria where its capital is Benin City and it is bounded in the north and east by Kogi State, in the south by Delta State and in the west by Ondo State. The state which is also known as the Heart Beat of the Nation (Nigeria) came into existence on the 27th day of August 1991 and the political structure of the state can be traced back to when the state was under the MidWestern region of Nigeria. The governors and administrations that

who was appointed as administrator of the newly created Midwestern region on August 19th, 1963 and he eventually became the first premier from February 1964 to January 15th, 1966 under the political party platform of (NCNC). He was born in Asaba, Delta State on June 29 th, 1911 and a lawyer by profession; Lt. Col. David Akpode Ejoor, served as a Military Governor from January 1966 to August 1967 and was the first military governor of Midwestern state. Born on January 10, 1934 and his rule was cut short by the invasion and occupation of Midwestern state by Biafia secessionist troops in August 9th 1967. Major Albert Nwazu Okonkwo served as Biafia secessionist occupation force administrator of Midwestern state from August 17th to September 20 th , 1967. He was appointed an administrator by Biafia secessionist leader Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu when the state was under rebel occupation forces who

Oyegun a Civilian Governor of Edo State from 1992 to 1993 and was the first civilian governor of Edo State. Colonel Mohammed Onuka served as a Military Governor of Edo State from 1994 to 1996. Group Capt. Baba Adamu Iyam served as a Military Governor of Edo State from 1996 to 1998. Navy Captain A.I. Onyearugbulem served as a Military Governor of Edo State from 1998 to 1999. Chief Lucky N. Igbinedion served as a Civilian Governor of Edo State from 29th May 1999 to 29th May 2007 under the political party platform of PDP. Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor served as a Civilian Governor of Edo State from 2007 to 2008. Comrade Adams A. Oshiomhole is the present serving civilian governor of Edo State was sworn into office

been controlled by elected chairmen who sees through the day to day running of the local government council and also bring developmental awareness to the areas. The political structure of the state which is been headed by the governor and other elected officers whom are well elected into various political offices and there are ministries under the state government which are controlled by commissioners appointed by the governor and each of the ministries also have permanent secretaries and directors working under the supervision of the commissioners to see to the day to day activities of the various ministries. The ministries under the present political structure/ administration in Edo State lead by the comrade governor Adams Oshiomhole are: Ministry of Urban

Prof. Osunbor

the Edo State capital and he was appointed military administrator following the liberation of the state from Biafia secessionist occupation. Col. George Agbazika Innih served as Military Governor of Bendel State from August 1975 to March 1976 and was born on September 25th, 1939 at Agnebode, Edo State. Commodore Husaini Abullahi who served as Military Governor of Bendel State from March 1976 to July 1978. Brigadier Abubakar Waziri, served as Military Administrator of Bendel State from July 24th, 1978 to September 30th, 1979. During the transitional period of military to

Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia served as a Civilian Governor of Bendel State from October 1983 to December 1983 and won the gubernatorial election in the political party platform of NPN. Colonel John Mark Inienger, who served as a Military Governor of Bendel State from September 1985 to July 1988 and was born on April 16th 1945. Colonel Jonathan Tunde Ogbeha served as a military governor of Bendel State from 1988 to 1990. Colonel John Ewerekumoh Yeri was a military governor of Edo State from 1990 to 1992. Chief John Odigie-

• Chief Lucky Igbinedion

November 12th 2008 after the Appeal Court, Edo State declared him the winner of Edo State gubernatorial election of April 2007 under the political party platform of Action Congress (AC). Prior to his election as governor he was the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress. Edo state is comprised of 18 local government areas and the local government areas are

Development & Housing, Ministry of Basic Education, Ministry of Oil & Gas, Ministry of Environment & Public Utilities, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Ministry of Lands, Housing & Survey, Ministry of Budget Planning & Economic Continues on Pg 23




Edo @ 22 The Political History Of... Continued from Pg 22

Development, Ministries of Higher Education, Transport, Women Affairs & Social Development, Justice, Special Duties, Works, Finance, Information & Orientation, Energy & Water Resources, Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Agriculture. These various ministries over sees all the political structure of Edo State while all the commissioners in these ministries report to the state governor. Politically, Edo State is blessed in both human and natural resources in the sense that the state has produce great men and women whom have served the state and the nation in general, some of whom are Chief Anthony Enahoro who fought for the independent of Nigeria, the present governor of the state Adams Oshiomhole who has served the country as the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe who is the current Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Tom Ikhimhi who is currently one of the APC leaders, Dr. S.O. Ogbemudia who is widely regarded as the architect of Midwestern region, Bendel state and now Edo State, he is also a national leader of the PDP, his legacies in office are still visible for all to see and appreciate, Prof. Ambrose Alli of blessed memory, must also be applauded for the bold steps he took to make Bendel State the number one state in Nigeria. Presently, the political structure of Edo State is very competitive in the sense that the various political parties in the state are striving to produce the next governor of the state as the current ruling party ACN now APC are doing every thing politically possible to remain in power while the number one opposition party in

the state the People Democratic Party are also striving to produce the next governor of the state. In my own view, Edo State has grown politically, whereby the political structure has being competitive over the years and has opened for every person

messiah of Edo State politics, saying that the people of the state must pray to God and the ancestors to give the state another Oshiomhole after his tenure in office; directing his address to the opposition party the PDP in the state over their relentless criticism of the

economic and social development of the state. He also said as the Benin Adage goes, the governor has been the biblical David in front of Goliath. The Crown Prince said we must also commend our indefatigable governor for his relentless effort to combat godfatherism syndrome in Edo Politics, which I hope other parts of the country have drawn lessons from. He spoke when the Afemai Traditional rulers and people of Afemailand in Edo North senatorial district held a reception in respect of the governor (Oshiomhole) who was honoured with the title Oshio-Osimua (meaning he who saves from

Oyegun of SDP, who defeated chief Lucky Igbinedion of the NRC at the 1991 gubernatorial polls. But the military junta of late Gen. Sani Abacha in November 1993 sacked all the democratic institutions and return the country to dictatorship that lasted for six years. In that period, Edo State had its own share of military recklessness and poor vision in governance with the periodic posting of military officers to hold forte in states. The structure of governance since 1999 has been benchmarked by the constitutional demand of public elections and majority rule. Politics therefore took center stage in the quest for

• Chief Odigie Oyegun

of the state to come in and participate either by vying for one electoral position or the other. And the electorate also has the choice of electing (voting) for whom ever they wish to vote for, like before now when voters will be given some stipend of money to cast their vote for a particular person (candidate). Furthermore, recently, the Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom, HRH Ambassador Ehenede Erediawa described the present governor, Adams Oshiomhole as the

Oshiomhole led administration. The Crown Prince said: ‘Those who doggedly want to criticize the governor for this and that, among others, should remember that he is just human like every one of us with human short coming’ he further says that the people of the state must therefore commend the present political terrain for the bold, resolute, resilient and principle approach in his handling of the many issues that have undermined the political,

• Dr. S.O. Ogbemudia

shame) and the Crown Prince was the chairman of the occasion. Political governance in the state like other parts of the country had a brief stint of democratic rule of less than 23 months with the civilian administration of Chief John Odigie

public political offices; this was the legal and constitutional foundation that led to the emergence of the Lucky Igbinedion led PDP candidate as the executive governor of Edo State in 1999. In 2007 Prof. Osunbor became the governor of

“The incumbent political dispensation of Edo State lead by the comrade governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who has brought in a lot of courage, vision and drive into political governance and has further put the past administrations in a dimmer perspective.”

the state and his administration lasted only 18 months but the 18 months period received a lot of revenue from the federation account more than what the Lucky Igbinedion last administration receives in the state from 2003 to 2007. The prevailing political public verdict, however especially in the media, is that the administration failed to meet the developmental expectations of the Edo Citizens, who yearned seriously for a new lease of life in the state (reconstruction and rehabilitation of public infrastructure). The incumbent political dispensation of Edo State lead by the comrade governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who has brought in a lot of courage, vision and drive into political governance and has further put the past administrations in a dimmer perspective. Edo State has come to see a new style and level of political governance since Oshiomhole came on board, after upstaging Prof. Osunbor at the Court of Appeal. It has become very clear that personality, political dynamics and availability of resources, all combine to define the different era of political governance in the state since the Midwestern region, Bendel and now Edo State. Oshiomhole’s administration has opened up the three senatorial areas in the state with quality roads and massive renovation of schools. He has also shut down the influence of political godfathers and expanded the tax net to improve internal resources and attract funds to pay contractors executing projects statewide. The success story has been tremendous, the feelings of Edo people profound and the impact on Edo political equation very definitive as the governor was voted massively back into office for a second term.





I sues The Problem Of Insecurity In Nigeria INSECURITY could be described as the presence of fear and absence of economic or physical protection for individuals, properties and countries against threats like crime

The country is now faced with the worst plight of insecurity since independence. Not enough is been done to extinguish this fire of insecurity. By the feeble


because of the boldness in which violence is perpetuated. It was as a result of this, that the federal government

• President Goodluck Jonathan

and violence. The greatest problem facing the Nigerian society today is insecurity. The state of insecurity in the country is becoming worrisome considering the fact that the rate at which innocent citizens are attacked by criminals, has become alarming. No day passes without a Nigerian kidnapped, killed or molested on the streets or even in their own private residences. Over the years, the federal government has spent massively on security in the country by providing vehicles and communication gadgets to the police force and the military. Yet the problem still remains without a solution. It is very disturbing that gunmen now hit their targets including police stations and get away without being caught. Crime no longer occur at night, this days, even in broad day light, crimes are committed with the assailants shooting sporadically.

efforts of the government, secret service and the other security agencies, it is clear that they are bereft of ideas on how to end this crisis. Nigerian defence agencies, lack the sophisticated weapons and facilities to tackle insecurity in the country. Though, insecurity problem is not alien to other countries like the US, UK and other advanced countries. But the difference is that, they know how to manage this threats, how prepared they are, how resources are deployed and how united and patriotic they bare against threats of insecurity. Boko Haram has become more organised in carrying out terror in Nigeria, and government establishments especially in the northern part of the country. This terror group has spread its network beyond the north eastern axis to the north central and north western zones of Nigeria. This sect has made Nigerians panic stricken and anxious

declared a state of emergency in the region. This was aimed at reducing the level of violence in the northern part of the country. Despite the state of emergency rule, the sect succeeded in carrying out some attacks at the beginning of the rule, killing more than 29 students and a teacher in an attack on a government school in Yobe. This was a direct slap on the face of the government by the Boko Haram sect, mocking the emergency rule. It is quite alarming that the president has himself stated that the sponsors and members of this sect have infiltrated his government, yet nothing has been done to bring them to justice. The truth is that the Boko Haram insurgency will not end unless their sponsors and informants are persecuted. Additionally, the Boko Haram insurgency was the reason why the 36 states governors under

the Nigeria governor’s forum insisted on the creation of state police. According to them, they claimed it was the only way insecurity could be curbed in the federation. This was kicked against as citizens and the federal government gave the opinion that if each state was granted the autonomy to control its state police force without interference from the federal government, there will be chaos. Furthermore, the continuous increase in poverty is one major cause of insecurity in the nation. A vast number of Nigeria’s population are poor and at such, in order to meet their needs especially the youths, they take to crime. The Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido has also said that unemployment is one of the major reasons for insecurity in the country. He blamed the high level of poverty in the country on “the federal government’s inability to provide a social security programme that would solve the basic problem of the people as it is done in other developed

“A vast number of Nigeria’s population are poor and at such, in order to meet their needs especially the youths, they take to crime.” people and properties in different parts of the country, is no longer news. Citizens of Nigeria, irrespective of status, religion, and ethnicity are not safe. Government should strive to provide sophisticated security personnel and weapons in order to tackle security challenges like robbery, terrorism and kidnapping. Furthermore, security does not bother only on terrorism but also robbery and kidnapping. On daily basis, reports of kidnappings and armed robbery have become a norm. It is very common in the east and also in the Niger Delta area of the country. No day passes without one hearing the

• Alhaji Namadi Sambo

countries”. Insecurity is one of the challenges undermining everything that can move the country towards a brighter economic, social and political future. It has gotten to the stage where killings and bombings of

news of a kidnap. Some weeks ago, some primary school teachers in Edo state were kidnapped by unknown gunmen and were later released after paying some amount of money as ransom. Kidnap cases related to

ritual killings, are also on the rise in Nigeria. The African Insurance Organisation has reported that “Nigeria accounts for 25% of kidnap–for– ransom cases reported worldwide”. Nigeria has been described by this organisation as the global capital for kidnapping due to its increased record of kidnap cases in the country yearly. Most Nigerians are afraid that the insecurity challenges in the nation may escalate in 2015. This may not be far from the fact that the different ethnic groups in the country are threatening war if not given the chance to contest for the presidential elections. The rate of bombings, kidnappings and armed robbery over these few years has led to a huge loss in resources and this is dangerous to the economy. Nigeria is the second largest and strongest economy in Africa yet, if insecurity challenges persist in the country, no investor will want to invest in the country. The Human Rights Watch has stated that about 2,800 lives were lost in 2012 in 275 suspected attacks by the Boko Haram group. It also stated that 211 police officers were killed. Nigeria is no longer a safe haven, no one is safe in the country and the government needs to act fast to salvage this situation. The future of the country is at stake if nothing is done to bring this situation in the country under control.





I sues Bicycle; A Reliable Transport Solution After The Banning Of Bikes DUE to Edo State deregulation of motorbike in Benin metropolis, many commuters are now reverting to bicycles for coping with the challenges of moving from one place to the other.

It is advantageously reliable due to its ability to meander through the heavy vehicular movement associated with city centers. In the rustic communities in Benin Kingdom, bicycles still play a vital role of transporting people to the farms. Some farmers do travel about 90 killometres everyday. It also makes the transporting of harvested crops easier for the individual farmer. Those less privileged to purchase this easy mode of transportation very often resort to carrying heavy loads on their heads for several kilometres. The production of motor tyres in Scotland about 150 years ago became a pedestal for


the invention to bicycle, motorcycles, motor vehicles and even the Aeroplane, which today is the fastest mode of travelling. Bicycles were first introduced to the ancient Benin Kingdom

ideology. Bicycle was equivalent to the most expensive car on our roads today. It was in the interest of a would be owner of a bicycle to undergo an orientation in a bid to acquiring basic skills of

in the early 40’s as the fastest mode of transportation and communications postmasters were able to deliver letters to long distances, which were hitherto difficult to do. Very few people could purchase this new mode of transportation. In this era under review, there were no pleasure cars, professionals like medical doctors, lawyers and civil servants were not easy to come by, but standard six teachers, were everything in the ancient Benin Kingdom which was bulk of the landmark in West African sub region. The invasion of French and British imperialist consequently pave way to the entrenchment of European educational

routine maintenance and repairs of the newly acquired mobility. In a situation where a bicycle owner had a flat tyre or brake failure, he has to be prepared for the unexpected. The groups of people who eventually emerge as bicycle repairers were referred to by the local indigenes as “macalasion”. These people were responsible for the maintenance and repairs of bicycle when there is a flat tyre or other structural failure. So, people saw them as highly skilled and of very high potentials in the new engineering technology. The brand name of the favourite bicycle in the U.A.C was called Raleigh white bicycle. So it was an

unprecedented scenario in the life of the rustic community of Iyekeorionmwon when a son of the soil, a highly respected teacher rode a bicycle from Benin City. A distance of more

than 100 kilometres to visit his parents. The ovation from the crowd that cluster around the bicycle to have a glimpse was over two hundred people. All of them wanted to witness this epic event of modern technology in transportation. So, it was with undaunted optimism that the bicycle owner would commend the efforts of the vigilant youths who tied his bicycle to an Iroko tree

in order to prevent it from escaping into the forest. Some of the unlookers who were not so sure if their peer group did the right thing decided to notify the bicycle owner of this initiative. The rustic youths were however disappointed when the bicycle owner was very furious with them for breaking the side mirror. One of the rascals said to the teacher “you no happy say we no let your animal escape into the forest like antelope”. In the argument that ensued there was about to be a community fight over who was right or wrong. In Europe and America, bicycles have become a very lucrative source of game for participants in bicycle race know as ‘Tour de France’. And those who won bicycle race are acknowledged as super stars in the field of sports. A respondent Mr. Agheyedo who is now about 85 years old said. “A scenario that is still fresh in my memory was when an Urhobo man who had great passion for bicycle riding said to his son, “my boy, I will soon purchase a white bicycle in order to match my new status as a first class chief” and the son responded. “Sir, if you buy this wonderful bicycle, I will just ride it every where non stop”.

This utterance was very provocative to the would be owner of the bicycle and consequently struck his son with his walking stick and roared “do you want to destroy my bicycle,” his son eventually collapse and was rushed to the nearest traditional healer. When the kid was fully revived, the Dr. then asked the Chief. “What happen to your son”. And the Chief replied, “don’t mind this stupid boy, I told him I was about to purchase a brand new bicycle and he said he will ride it every where non stop”. So, I struck him on the head for planning to destroy my bicycle. The traditional doctor said to the local chief.” You have not even purchase any bicycle and yet your nearly killed your son”. Even at this early stage of transportation technology, armed bandits who snatch bicycles from their victims abound at Oghara junction along Sapele Road. They do flag down bicycle owner with their walking sticks and say “Ijeghere Okpokpor”. Before you say Jack Robison your bicycle will disappear. In other to ameliorate the sufferings of commuters due to the deregulation of motorbike, Government should provide a l t e r n a t i v e transportations.

“. . . the Dr. then asked the Chief. “What happen to your son”. And the Chief replied, “don’t mind this stupid boy, I told him I was about to purchase a brand new bicycle and he said he will ride it every where non stop”. So, I struck him on the head for planning to destroy my bicycle.”





L isure IN the flurry of packing for a vacation or business trip, it’s easy to get carried away and pack everything but the kitchen sink into your suitcase and carryon. But over-packed luggage and improper lifting and carrying techniques are common causes of injury to the

out of your vacation. Choosing Your Luggage When shopping for new luggage, look for a study, light, high-quality and transportable piece.

A good quality backpack with adjustable, padded shoulder straps and a waist strap makes

easy pitfall, but consider that the larger and heavier the luggage, the more susceptible a traveler is to

Ensure your carry-on luggage does not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of your body weight. Keep the contents of any carry-on luggage to a minimum, pack heavy

back, neck and shoulders. According to Ontario Chiropractic Association, the good news is many of these injuries can be easily prevented. The following tips can help take the pain

Avoid purchasing luggage that is too heavy or bulky when empty. Choosing a bag with wheels and a handle can go a long way to lighten your load.

an ideal carry-on because when worn properly, backpacks can evenly distribute weight. Packing Your Luggage Over-packing is an

neck, back and shoulder injuries. Try to only packing what you absolutely need. If possible, place items in a few smaller bags instead of one large luggage piece.

items at the bottom of the bag and make efficient use of the bag’s pockets. Lifting And Carrying Your Luggage Lifting your luggage can’t always be avoided,

Packing For A Vacation By ISEMHENBITA FAITH

How To Handle Your Handbag SOME women carry the whole world in their handbag, but a heavy bag or purse can cause pain and injury to your back neck and shoulders. Overstuffed bags also cause poor posture by encouraging the carrier to lean to one side. According to, the good news is pain and injury can be easily avoided by following a few simple tips. Choosing A Handbag Choose a handbag that is proportionate to your body size and no longer than what is needed. Your handbag should not weigh more than 10 percent of your body weight. Choose a handbag that has several individual pockets, instead of one large compartment. This will help to distribute the weight of the contents more evenly and keep them from shifting. Packing A Handbag

Change the size and weight of your wallet once in a while. You may also consider one wallet for your work and a different one for when you got out, as you may need different objects for both. Ensure the weight is evenly distributed in the purse by using all the pockets. Carrying A Handbag Use both hands to check the weight of the handbag. Instead of always carrying your handbag on the same shoulder, switch sides often so each shoulder gets a rest. Square your shoulders – many women have a habit of lifting the shoulder on which the purse is carried to keep the straps from slipping. According to Ontario Chiropractic Association, there are more tips of carrying a handbag, which includes: Try to maintain good

By ISEMHENBITA FAITH posture. When standing, your head, shoulders, hips and ankles should line-up, one comfortably above the

other. If you can walk to lunch or a meeting, lock your purse in your desk or locker

and carry only your cash and/or credit cards in a pocket. By following these simple strategies, it’s easy to lighten your load.

even if your luggage has wheels. But practicing safe lifting techniques can substantially reduce your risk of injury. Move slowly and, whenever possible, break the action into smaller parts. For instance, when loading a suitcase in the trunk of a car, try lifting it

first onto a chair or step stool, then lifting it into the trunk. Similarly, when pacing luggage in an overhead compartment, first lift it onto the top of the sweat. When lifting your luggage, first get close to the load and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees and let your leg muscles, rather than your back, do the lifting. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid twisting. Instead, turn your feet in the direction you are headed and turn your entire body in that direction. Do not carry bulky luggage for long periods of time. Make sure to check heavier items when traveling rather than carrying them for the duration of the trip. Try to carry light pieces in each hand rather than a single heavy item on one side. If using a backpack, use bother shoulders straps and the waist strap, and adjust them to minimize the bag’s movement. If using a duffel or shoulder bag, switch sides often to reduce strain.




Today’s Diet With Pastor E. A. Adeboye

You Can Overcome Memorise: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. - Romans 8:37. Read: Matthew 4:1-11 Bible in one year: 1 John 3-5




The Solemnization of marriage between former Miss Davies Iyobosa Mary (based in England) and Mr. David Osafuekhoerhe Airueghiomo (A Civil Servant) took place on Friday 30th August, 2013 at the Oredo Local Government Council Marriage Registry in Benin City. Amongst those present were Rev. J.A Airueghiomo, Mr. Felix O. Isibor, Rev. E. Peter Otabor, Mrs. Osarenmwinda Iyobosa, family members, relations, friends & well wishers. Picture shows the couple at the Registry. Congratulations. Photo Sonnie E.



The solemnization of marriage between former Miss Osato Oriakhi (A Civil Servant) and Mr. Ikhide Iyamah ( A Business man) took place on Friday 30th August, 2013 at the Oredo Local Government Council Marriage Registry in Benin City, amongst dignitaries present were Mr. and Mrs. Pius D. Iyamah (Groom’s Parents), Sir, Dr. & Dame C.A. Oriakhi (Bride’s Parents), Miss Obehi Iyamah, Mr. Ogbeide Iyere, family members, relations, friends & well wishers. Picture shows the couple at the Registry. Congratulations. Photo: Sonnie E

TO bring down a believer, the devil focuses on his or her weak points. Everyone has at least one weakness. Yet to overcome the overtures of the devil, you must focus on what he focuses on. That is if he focusing on your weakness so that he can bring you down by it, you too should focus on how to use the word and prayer to work on it, until it becomes your strong point. Do you know that if your weakness is that you find difficult to resist anything in skirt, God can help you to the extent that even when a lady is naked before you, you will not be under any pressure to sin with her? Such character does not evolve by itself. It takes a careful study of the word of God, prayer and discipline. Are you ready to turn your weakness into your strong point? Satan is good at

showing people things to tempt them. That he showed you something does not mean that you have already sinned. In Matthew 4, he took Jesus to a height and showed Him the glory of this world. Thereafter, he offered to give these to Him if only He could bow to him. Oh! How cheap you may say! Just one innocuous bow and you get all these? What a lie! A bow to Satan is more than an ordinary bow. That single bow will subordinate you to him and his evil government. That bow would make you his slave for a lifetime. That bow would separate you from

the Lover of your soul and drown you in hell eternally. One way out is to refuse to see what the devil wants to show you. In your office as an account or finance officer, Satan can show you the loop hole in the organisation’s account and tell you to exploit it and make ‘clean’ money for yourself. Don’t agree with him. Do you know that, Satan agent of temptation, who is saddled with the task of making you sin, can be converted? Today, some ladies who came to lure some brothers to fornication have ended up giving their lives to Christ. This is why when the spiritual battle is getting too hot, Satan withdraws his agents out of fear of losing them. You can overcome the devil!

Key Point: Just as Satan can set you up to fall into sin, you too can prayerfully set up Satan’s agent to be saved. And Satan will be in sorrow.





I sues

Ozekhome: Let Him Go Now

AS you may know our brother, Mike Ozekhome, the last two decades, at least by international standards is one of the most prominent and loudest human rights voice in West Africa, Nigeria in particular. The reason for this is clear. With his legal voice he has engaged in targeted attacks against poverty, inequality, joblessness and injustice that continue to threaten the people and trigger behaviors like what you are putting him through right now. Ask him questions about his work, about his pronouncements and his protests, you will notice a man constantly clashing with the government be it the military or civilian for causes that go far beyond personal gain; instead for groups’ interest like those of the youths and others in a state of struggle. Thank goodness for his


personal success but his fight against corruption, political mismanagement, financial waste, tribal disputes and the lack of aid for the average Nigerians is something we need more of. He is called a radical because he talks and writes aggressively against the exploitation of the average person. There is a possibility that he might even give you his last penny, dance, eat, sing, cry and bleed with you, because that is his nature! He will assure you that there will be no revenge towards you once you let him go only because he has constantly warned the power-that-be that they are to be blamed for problems like the one both of you are in right now. I know many of you are educated about the news from the print and Internet

• Ozekhome

media, just read about what the international world is saying about this man in the last 20 years. Just the other day, for the sake of the nation and the

average Nigerian, he told the world of a nation in crisis and about the current detriment of the common people. He stated, “Less than one

percent of the populace is eating the entire wealth meant for over 156. 5 million people and that is why Nigeria is not developing. When you use 85 percent of your national budget on recurrent expenditure rather than on capital project, and most of the money is channeled to massage that the egos of people in power? “What is the business of a minister moving around in a convoy of12 to 15 cars? In America, they are called Secretaries, and they drive themselves. “Here in Nigeria, when a Senator is moving, he goes with siren and no fewer than 15 vehicles…So you find out that we are always spending more than our budget and that is why we are getting to a stage, where we may be broke, the synopsis and the prognosis are that Nigeria may be broke and when

Nigeria is broke, there will be trouble because it will affect not only Nigeria but the entire West African and African regions.” Is this the type of man that the nation, his family and the world will no longer have access to because of you? Therefore, let him go, now! In conclusion, be rest assured that Ozekhome will defend you personally and negotiate with the police and the court to protect your rights, as that is the type of person you now have in your custody. May be you did not mean to get into a shoot-out with the police who were called by witnesses but things happen, and it is only proper that you make it your responsibility to protect him and release Ozekhome now, as you and me will need his voice again, and again on behalf the citizens of this country, called Nigeria.

International Features

Syria Crisis: Dovish Democrats Urge Obama To Consult Congress nothing to do with military WITH Washington focused on the prospect of military action in Syria as retaliation for the apparent use of chemical weapons by its government, whither Congress’s more liberal members? It seems the doves have a dilemma. To support their Democratic President in the quest to right a humanitarian wrong? Or to back the institutional protections that require congressional approval before a White House can engage in anything resembling war? “There’s a certain wing in the Democratic Party that’s pacifist that doesn’t support the use of force in most instances, except in the case of an attack on the US,” says Brian Katulis, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress. “I don’t think they’re going to move.” RECOMMENDED: Briefing Chemical weapons 101: Six facts about sarin and Syria’s stockpile These and other Democrats are also concerned that public opinion isn’t yet in favor of military intervention in Syria. Mr. Obama should not move forward with military action, they say, without a full congressional review and members’ approval. Spearheaded by Rep. Barbara Lee (D) of California,

54 Democratic members, many of whom made up the coalition of those opposed to the last Iraq war, sent a letter to the White House Thursday “expressing unequivocal condemnation over the news that chemical weapons were reportedly used by the government of Syria” but also cautioning against bypassing Congress. The apparent human rights violations there “should not draw us into an unwise war,” they write. “While we understand that as Commander in Chief you have a constitutional obligation to protect our national interests from direct attack, Congress has the constitutional obligation and power to approve military force, even if the United States or its direct interests (such as its embassies) have not been attacked or threatened with an attack.” These lawmakers urge Obama to “seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any US military engagement to this complex crisis.” Polls are an issue for members of Congress, regardless of party identification, and on the Syria matter, they’re showing the public to be war weary following years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Reuters-Ipsos survey released recently indicated that most Americans want

action in Syria – some 60 percent are opposed, while 9 percent are in favor. The number in support of intervention only modestly increases – to 25 percent – when the variable of a chemical weapons attack is introduced. Iraq fatigue is of particular note where Syria is concerned. After all, the evidence presented by the administration of President George W. Bush as he made his case for war there turned out not to be accurate. Democrats, and Republicans, reflecting on the Iraq intervention, which dragged on for years, are proving they’re once bitten and twice shy. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D) of California, who opposed the Iraq intervention and Thursday signed onto Lee’s letter, wants a congressional vote, not just a briefing. The president, she says, needs to make an appeal to Congress. It is, after all, she reminds him, the people’s house. “Aside from the legal requirement, there’s a political requirement,” she said Thursday afternoon in an appearance on MSNBC. “The president apparently believes that some kind of military action should be taken. The American public doesn’t agree. So he needs to make his case. We need

to listen carefully to his arguments to understand why bombing Syria would be good for America, good for the world. What’s the end game?” The tensions in Syria and prospect of strikes there seem to be drawing together an unlikely grouping of tea party Republicans and more conservative members with liberal Democrats, according to former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello, who represented Virginia’s fifth congressional district in the House from 2009-2011 and now serves as president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. Perriello believes Obama does not need congressional approval in this case for a limited engagement in Syria but that it helps his cause to have “as much buy-in as possible from the legislative branch.” “For those of us who care about international norms and crimes against humanity, you’re likely to come down on the side of intervening in some way,” Perriello says. “I really do think that members of Congress from both parties are taking very seriously this question of whether this is the next Iraq or the next Rwanda.” On the matter of congressional sanction of the administration’s Syria policy,

it seems the parties aren’t that far apart – about process at least. House Republicans, almost 100 of them, have lined up to register their fervent plea that President Obama consult Congress before taking any military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Another 18 Democrats signed onto that letter to the White House, which was circulated by Rep. Scott Rigell (R) of Virginia. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat who voted against the US invasion of Iraq during the Bush years, was one of them. “Since there is no imminent threat to the United States, there is no legal justification for bypassing the constitutionally required congressional authorization,” said Nadler, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee. “The American people deserve to have this decision debated and made in the open with all the facts and arguments laid out for public review and debate, followed by a congressional vote.” The White House is actively engaged in courting congressional approval, although for now that process seems informal. In a conference call Thursday evening, the White House provided leading members of

Congress with evidence that the Syrian regime had carried out chemical weapons attacks that killed hundreds of civilians. With members out of session until Sept. 9, Obama would have to call them back to town for a more formal vote. For his own political cover, and perhaps for the good of his party more broadly, many members believe he should allow Congress to do its part to weigh the issues involved in the Syria conflict. Lofgren says Congress has been overly lenient in recent years in allowing presidents to seize too much authority over these types of interventions. “Congress has been complicit in allowing the executive, including this one, but not just this one, to act without regard to the requirements of the constitution, and without regard to the War Powers Act,” she said on MSNBC. “I think that’s not correct. It’s not the right course of action. The fact that it’s happened in the past does not mean at this juncture in our history that we shouldn’t go back to what the law and constitution requires. I think the country will be better off if we do.” And, she added: “There’s a broad bipartisan consensus, way more than a majority in the House, that says the same thing.”




Dortmund Looking To Maintain Perfect Start

Boateng Undergoes Schalke Medical GHANA’s midfielder KevinPrince Boateng is set to seal a move to Schalke 04 after arriving in Gelsenkirchen yesterday morning to undergo a medical. The news comes a big blow to Milan fans after the enforced scored a brace on Tuesday to propel to the group stages of the Uefa Champions League Boateng was contracted to the Rossoneri until 2015 but after the European giants failed to offer him a new deal he has left the club. He returns to Bundesliga where he started his career with Hertha Berlin before later joining Borussia Dortmund The 26-year is eligible to play for Schalke at the Group stages of the Uefa Champions League as he has already played for AC Milan. Boateng played 100 matches for Milan and scored 17 goals after joining the club in 2010.

Kevin Prince Boateng

EINTRACHT Frankfurt will be hoping to be the first Bundesliga team to make Borussia Dortmund drop points when they clash on Sunday afternoon at the Commerzbank Arena in a Bundesliga match. Kickoff is set for 17h30 (CAT). Dortmund, the winners of two Bundesliga titles in the last three years, have started the season like a house on fire. They have won all three of their opening leagues games of the season. Jurgen Klopp’s men accounted for the scalps of Augsburg (4-0 away), Eintracht Braunschweig (2-1 at home) and Werder Bremen (1-0 at home). The hard fought win over Bremen was Dortmund’s toughest match of the season thus far. Dortmund are currently occupying second place on the standings with a maximum of nine points. They are part of four teams

Gareth Bale in Madrid

Bale’s Real Move Could Drag On Longer - AVB ANDRE Villas-Boas has conceded that Gareth Bale’s proposed transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid ‘could drag on for a couple of days’. window on Monday and now Spurs’ coach has indicated The proposed world record that it may take at least a move for the 24-year-old has couple of days longer too. been delayed this week amid “There is no new news,” reports of relations between Villas-Boas told reporters after the clubs souring. Tottenham’s Europa League Madrid say that they hope play-off win last night. the deal will still be completed “This might drag on for a by the close of the transfer couple more days. I have no control of the situation to provide a definitive answer.” Meanwhile, reports are that Bundesliga side Bale’s possible presentation Freigburg plus Estoril as a Real Madrid player could be delayed until midand Liberec. September, should Tottenham Lyon, beaten by Real extend negotiations through to Sociedad in the Monday. Despite the 24-year-old Champions League having failed to train with play-off, take on another Spurs through this week and Spanish side, Real reportedly struggling with a Betis, in Group I, along foot injury, he has been with with Vitoria de selected in the latest Wales squad. Guimaraes and Rijeka. AS believe that because of

Spurs Face Anzhi In Europa TOTTENHAM have League been drawn against Anzhi Makhachkala and Swansea City will face Valencia in the Europa League group stage. Spurs — who reached last season’s quarterfinal stage — will also face Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova and Tromso of Norway in Group K. Valencia and Swansea are joined in Group A by Russia’s Kuban Krasnodar and St Gallen of Switzerland. Group D contains FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic — since relegated to the Championship — along with Rubin Kazan, Maribor and Zulte Waregem while, in Group H, Sevilla take on

this, should Bale complete his transfer to Madrid on the final day of the transfer window next Monday, then his presentation in the Spanish capital could be

Madrid Content With Champions League “We know Galatasaray REAL Madrid director Draw from last season, and we Emilio Butragueno says his side are content following the Champions League draw. The Whites have been drawn into the same group as Italian champions Juventus, as well as Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen and he says Butragueno says the draw could’ve gone either way. “It’s hard to know what to say about this draw,” he told reporters. “It could have been worse and it could have been better. It will be very even.

Vaz Te Hands In Transfer Request WEST Ham striker Ricardo Vaz Te has handed in a transfer request, citing his frustration at being asked to change positions last season as a motivator behind his decision. Cardiff and Crystal Palace are in the frame for the Portuguese player, with West Ham now reportedly open to offers after Vaz Te’s public admission. In a statement released to Sky Sports, the disgruntled

26-year-old spoke of his anger at not being “appreciated” at Upton Park last season and says he is ready to find a new club. “In my 10 years as a professional football player I have never submitted a transfer request nor issued a statement,” Vaz Te said in the statement. “However, I am frustrated at West Ham United Football Club. “Last season I was asked to change positions for the

delayed until mid-September. This is because Wales boss Chris Coleman is asking for players called up to the national team to report in the day after the close of the

that have gathered a full haul of points in their opening three encounters of the season. Third and fourth placed Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz 05 are on the same points as Dortmund. Bayern Munich are currently occupying the summit of the standings with 10 points but they have played a game more. The treble winners could find themselves in sixth place by the end of the weekend. Dortmund’s weekend opponents, Frankfurt, have had an indifferent start to the season. They started the season on a horrible note when they were thrashed 61 away from home by promoted Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. Their season got tougher when they faced Bayern the next weekend, but showed some fight as they eventually went down 1-0. Their season, however, was given a boost when they defeated Braunschweig 2-0 at home in the battle of the Eintracht’s. Dortmund have surprisingly not dominated this fixture in the recent past. In their last five matches against each other both sides have won two matches a piece with a drawn encounter squeezed in. Last season Dortmund won 3-0 at home while the match in Frankfurt ended in a thrilling 3-3 encounter.

benefit of the team even though I had just scored 24 goals. The main objective was to finish top 10 in the Premier League and I followed my instructions to the best of my ability as the club always comes first. As a result even though I was injured for three months no other player made more assists than me and no other winger scored more goals than me.

“In Europe you can never be sure of anything and think that you’re already through. “We have two exciting games against Juventus, our historic rivals who have grown a lot and have a lot of quality. It will be very tough

know what they’re like. They’re strong at home. We were given a tough time in Turkey and we know their supporters really get behind them. “Copenhagen may be the least well-known but they are also dangerous at their stadium.”

... It’s Tough Group - Messi THE Catalans have been drawn into Group H, which has been dubbed the group of death as it includes former champions in Barca, AC Milan, Ajax Amsterdam and

Lionel Messi

Celtic. “We have a lot of even groups. We’re going to have some really good games,” Messi told reporters. “We’ve already faced Milan and Celtic, and it will be the first time against Ajax. I think it will be a difficult group, like always. “Barca are obligated to win because of what this club means. We’re preparing ourselves even though it gets more difficult each year because our opponents get stronger.” Barcelona last lifted the trophy in 2011 and AC Milan last won it in 2007 while Ajax and Celtic won the cup in 1995 and 1967, respectively.




Victor Namo Named Nigeria League Star Of The Week

Who Joins Giwa FC In Nigeria Top Flight Today? THE final week in the National League today will produce the three other clubs to join Giwa FC in the Nigeria top flight next season. Eight clubs namely, FC Taraba, Ranchers Bees, Plateau United, DSS FC in Group A and Abia Warriors, Crown FC, Remo Babes and Gateway FC in Group B battle for the remaining three slots to join Giwa FC in the top flight. Plateau United, for one, will be counting on city rivals Giwa, who have already won promotion, to do them a big favour by getting a result at promotion rivals FC Taraba, while they go for broke at home against Ranchers Bees.

Ranchers would also need to win Jos to ensure a longawaited return to the Nigerian top flight. In the same vein, there is also fierce battle to avoid the drop to the Nationwide League, which is the amateur rank. Among the troubled teams are Adamawa United and Niger Tornadoes in Group A, while Prime FC and Rising Stars FC are battling for survival in Group B. NNL chairman, Emeka Inyama, said the board has put everything in place to end the season on the high as the matches will be played simultaneously. “I have no doubt in my mind that we shall see a perfect end of the league with the logistics deployed to ensure a flawless handling of the final matches nationwide,” Inyama stated.

Scrabble Solomon Kwambe Championship Opens In Eagles Vs Malawi: Abuja Sept 7 SUNSHINE Stars defender Solomon Kwambe will replace THE Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) has said more than 150 players were expected nationwide at its two-day 5th Abuja Opens scheduled for September 7 and September 8. Farouk Baba-Inna, member, Technical Committee of the federation, told newsmen in Lagos that the championship would feature three categories. They are the Masters, the Intermediate and the Opens. Baba-Inna added that the championship, as part of the federation’s programme for the third quarter of the year, would enable the federation to rate the junior players to the senior cadre. “The two-day competition is part of our developmental programmes for the year. “This is yet another competition to ensure that the sport is properly developed to attain international standard.

Kwambe To Replace Injured Ogude

injured Norway-based Fegor Ogude for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifier against Malawi. would have healed, but unfortunately it hasn’t. The African champions lead “Sunshine Stars Solomon their qualifying group on nine Kwambe has been drafted as points from five matches and a replacement for Fegor will need only to avoid defeat ahead of the Malawi game.” against second-placed The inclusion of Kwambe Malawi next week Saturday at takes the number of homehome in Calabar to advance based players in the squad for to final round of qualifiers for the Malawi game to four the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. following Godfrey Malawi are on seven points, Oboabona’s move to Turkey. while Namibia have five points The players from the and Kenya are bottom with domestic league are goal three points. keeper Chigozie Agbim, Super Eagles coach Azubike Egwuekwe, Sunday Stephen Keshi specially told Mba and Solomon Kwambe. Fegor is “You have all the names of out of the Calabar clash and the home-based players he will be replaced by already, just add it to the Kwambe. invited foreign-based with the “Fegor is out rightly ruled out exemption Fegor and you of the game against Malawi,” have my list for the Malawi Keshi told game,” Keshi said when “We were thinking that by asked about his final squad. now the injury which he Keshi selects 42 for Malawi sustained in South Africa

Champions League: Musa Tips CSKA Moscow AHMED Musa has tipped his Russian club CSKA Moscow to go past a tough Champions League group that has champions Bayern and Manchester City. CSKA Moscow have to contend with defending

Ahmed Musa

For Group D Success champions Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Czech Republic club Viktoria Plzen in a difficultlooking Group D for the two slots in the knockout stage of the Champions League. And their opening game is on September 17 at Bayern Munich. However, Nigeria international Ahmed Musa said the Russia double champions will be fired up to compete with Bayern Munich and other teams in the group to make it to the Round of 16. “I am sure we will go past the group stage. I am not afraid of facing any of our

opponents, it’s football,” Musa told Efe Ambrose says no fear “Every team at this stage are potential winners. All the teams in our group have an equal chance to go through. Two seasons ago, Russian army club CSKA reached the Round of 16 before they lost to Real Madrid. The best showing by the 2005 UEFA Cup winners in this competition was achieved in the 2009/10 season, when they were beaten in the quarterfinals by Inter Milan.

Keshi had earlier called up a bogus 42-man list made up of 18 Europe-based stars and 24 from the home league. That means Chelsea stars Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and France-based goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama will be available for this qualifier. The Eagles training camp will open on Monday in Calabar with a sprinkling of the players expected to hit camp on Tuesday night. The squad: Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC/FRA), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR), Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers) Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga/ POR), Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC/SCO), James Okwuosa (Chippa United/RSA),

Azubike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor/TUR) Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG),John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra/ POR), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio/ITA), Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan/ITA), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis/ SPA), Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers) Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United/ENG), Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce/TUR), Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo/NED).

NASARAWA United striker Victor Namo is the star for Week 28 of the Nigeria league after a hattrick in a 3-0 spanking of Dolphins. Namo was picked ahead of Warri Wolves Musa Najere, who also netted a treble in his team’s 4-0 drubbing of Kaduna United, and Ighodalor Osagona, who sealed victory for 3SC against El Kanemi after he came off the bench. Namo has told he whishes his goals will power bottom club Nasarawa United to safety. “I am happy to score three goals in the match. I was happier we won by wide margin because we need that as goal difference may count at the end of the day,” Namo told The Jos-born star, who has scored 12 goals this season, has set a 20-goal mark, but his priority is the Lafia club’s survival. “I have a personal target of getting 20 goals in the league this season, but that is secondary, my priority is to help my team escape relegation,” he revealed. “The way we played this game shows our spirit is high and something tells me we will escape the drop, we just need to keep up the pace.”

Nigeria Stars Blow Hot, Cold In Europa Imoh Ezekiel was an IT was mixed fortunes for League unused substitute as his Nigeria stars in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday as some saw their clubs advance, while others were booted out. Brown Ideye was on target as Dynamo Kiev beat Aktobe 5-1. The Nigeria international, who was a 46th minute substitute, scored his side’s fourth goal from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute. Dynamo Kiev thus advanced on 8-3 aggregate. Ex-Monaco midfielder Lukman Haruna was an unused substitute for the Ukrainian side. Former Nigeria U20 star Nurudeen Orelesi, who did well for Skenderbeu Korce, providing assist for the only

goal of the game turned vilian as he missed one of the penalties for his Albania club to crash out 7-6 on penalties to Chornomorets of Bulgaria after the game was tied at 11 aggregate. Nigeria striker Michael Eneramo was in action for 29 minutes as Besiktas beat Tromso 2-0 to book their place in next round of Europa League on a 3-2 aggregate. The ex-Sivasspor striker replaced Hugo Almelda in the 61st minute. But unfortunately, Besiktas run in the competition has ended after the Court for Arbitration for Sports (CAS) upheld a year’s ban on the Turkish club for match-fixing.

Belgian club Standard Liege saw off Dinamo Minsk of Belarus 3-1. The aggregate scores were 5-1. However, Kehinde Fatai, Emmanuel Ekpo and Daniel Chima could not rescue their teams from crashing out of European second-tier club competition. Fatai was in action for Romania’s Astra Giurgiu, when they drew 1-1 at home against Maccabi Haifa, who defeated them 2-0 in the first leg. Ekpo and Chima played the entire duration as Molde of Norway lost 3-0 to Russia’s Rubin Kazan and thus bowed out on a 5-0 aggregate.




Schweinsteiger In Germany Squad For World Cup Qualifiers CENTRAL midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has shaken off a minor ankle injury and been included in the 24-man Germany squad named yesterday for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Austria and the Faroe Islands. Schweinsteiger, who needed foot surgery at the end of Bayern Munich’s treble-winning campaign last season, missed most of his side’s pre-season preparations and has yet to hit top form. He also picked up an ankle injury in Tuesday’s 1-1 league draw at Freiburg but the knock turned out to be less severe than initially feared. Coach Joachim Loew also included Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Sidney Sam and forward Max Kruse, who were part of a U.S. tour in May and June. However, Sam’s club team mate and last season’s Bundesliga top scorer Stefan Kiessling, who already has two league goals in three games this campaign, was once again overlooked by Loew. Kiessling, who last played for Germany in 2010, said this week he was not expecting to play again under Loew after being snubbed for years. Loew will also be without injured midfielders Lukas Podolski and Ilkay Guendogan. “We are top of our group and have a good lead but we have not yet qualified,” Loew told reporters. “Our aim is clear and that is to take the next big step with two wins in the two games.” After six rounds, Germany top Group C on 16 points, ahead of Austria, Sweden and Ireland, who are separated by goal difference on 11 points each. Kazakhstan have a single point and the Faroe Islands have lost all of their matches to date. Germany host Austria in Munich on Sept. 6 followed by the away tie against the Faroe Islands on Sept. 10.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Rene Adler (Hamburg SV), RonRobert Zieler (Hanover 96) Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler 9Schalke 04), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich) Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sidney Sam (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).

Kaka Wants Out Of Madrid Before Deadline

Franck Ribery

Europe Award

Franck Ribery Hailed In Germany THE German media greeted the UEFA Best Player in Europe award with excitement as Franck Ribery became the first Bundesliga player to win the accolade since Matthias Sammer in 1996. “Better than Messi and Franck RIbery pipped Ronaldo – European Lionel Messi and Cristiano Footballer Of The Year: King Ronaldo to UEFA’s Best Franck I,” Munich-based Player in Europe Award. Abendzeitung headlined and There had been an hailed the France expectation in Germany that international, who has been at Ribery would pick up the Bayern for six years. trophy ever since he was “For him the title is the named the only Bundesliga ultimate dubbing. Le roi? player on the shortlist. After C’est moi,” AZ wrote and the Bayern Munich midfielder commented that the picked up the award — Frenchman was now one of beating Lionel Messi and the favourites to win the Cristiano Ronaldo to it in the Ballon d’Or in December. vote among journalists from “The crowning of the rogue,” across Europe — with a shy German news magazine smile, he was proudly praised Spiegel headlined in a as the deserved winner of the lengthy tribute looking back 2013 trophy. on his career.

Platini Describes Current Transfer System As Robbery, Calls For Revamp UEFA president Michel Platini described the current transfer system as ‘robbery’ and said he would like to see it revamped.

Michel Platini

“I think transfers are robbery,” the former France captain told a media conference. “Today, the player is more

a product than a player and that irks me because there is a whole lot of people trying to make this player make money in order to earn commissions, we should think about that and try to find something more healthy. “Players are not free and they don’t even belong to clubs, they belong to financial holdings, companies or people, whereas before you belonged to the club, now it’s holding company or a financial company or one person. “I don’t think it is right. I believe this is important and this is new in the world of football,” he added. “We are looking into that, working on it, I agree maybe this window is too big, too long.”

“Ribery is someone who thirsts for recognition. A simple man, like he has said so many times. On Thursday he stood in the rich man’s paradise Monaco, in a dark suit and tie, and thanked his family. Less than two kilometres away from his French home, where he never was adored as much as in Munich.” German broadsheet FAZ headlined “Ribery is king of Europe” and reminded its readers that not only Ribery but also four other Bundesliga players had been on the longlist and finished just outside the shortlist. “The accolade for Ribery is the next appreciation for the successful Bundesliga year,” it said. The paper also acknowledged the decision of those voting to not judge players by goals, but rather “by their general performance and the number of trophies won with the club”. Football weekly kicker also crowned him “King Franck”

and said it was a “logical vote not only for Jupp Heynckes”, who had praised his former player in a long eulogy for the magazine. “Over the success of the collective you have achieved this personal triumph,” Heynckes wrote. “You were rewarded for your unselfish attitude.” The tabloid Bild summed it all up with the headline: “Ribery is now Kaiser Franck.”


REAL Madrid midfielder Kaka has said he is looking to agree a move away from the Spanish giants before the transfer window closes on September 2. The Brazilian has failed to make much of an impression in the Spanish capital since his 68 million euro ($89 million, £56 million) move from AC Milan in June 2009 in what was then a world transfer record. It had been hoped that the appointment of his former boss at Milan, Carlo Ancelotti at the Bernabeu may have been able to inspire him to rekindle his old form, but the signing of Isco and the imminent arrival of Gareth Bale has instead seen him slip further down the pecking order. “I want to leave,” he told reporters after scoring twice in Real’s 4-0 friendly win over Deportivo la Coruna on Thursday. “I think it is the right moment for me and for the club to leave in an amicable fashion. “I have spoken with Ancelotti and the club so everyone knows. My father (and agent) is speaking now with the club to try and resolve the situation. “Things are now difficult for me to get into the team and the club know what I want. “It is my obligation to work and continue training, but my father is already working to see if anything comes up.” The 31-year-old has been an unused substitute in both Madrid’s first two La Liga matches and his desire to leave is even more immediate given that the World Cup will be played in his homeland next year. He hasn’t been called up by Luis Felipe Scolari since March and missed out on the Confederations Cup success back in June.

APOEL FC Replace Banned Fenerbahce APOEL FC have replaced banned side Fenerbahce in the group stage of the Europa League. On Wednesday, Turkish side Fenerbahce were removed from the Europa League and banned from European competition as part of a match-fixing case related to the 2011 Super Lig title. Fenerbahce had taken part in a Champions League playoff against Arsenal, which they lost 5-0 on aggregate, before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the

club’s two-year UEFA ban. Their replacement was decided at a UEFA draw held yesterday morning, with Cypriot side APOEL the chosen team. Turkish club Besiktas have also been excluded from the Europa League after CAS upheld a UEFA-imposed one-year ban from European competition for match-fixing. The UEFA Emergency Panel has decided to reinstate Tromso, whom Besiktas beat 3-2 on aggregate, meaning the

Norwegian outfit will be part of Friday’s UEFA Europa League group stage draw. Meanwhile, the remainder of AZ Alkmaar’s meeting with Atromitos will be played on Friday at 10.00 BST, after the second leg was abandoned due to a fire breaking out at the AFAS Stadion. Atromitos are trailing 3-2 on aggregate, with 33 minutes remaining of the tie to be played out versus AZ, who are down to ten men after Markus Henriksen was sent off in the second minute.


Weekend Sport




Anelka Back For Baggies

Liverpool Apologise For Distasteful LIVERPOOL have Munich Tragedy Tweet been forced to apologise after its official Twitter account appeared to mock the 1958 Munich air disaster which claimed the lives of eight Manchester United players.

After the club’s account asked for recommendations for Sunday’s playlist when United visit Anfield, one fan suggested Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly

Eto’O Happy With Premier League Chance NEW Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o says he is delighted with realizing his dream of playing in the Premier League after signing a one-year deal with the Blues. The 32-year-old has starred in Spain, Italy and most recently in Russia and he is relishing the chance to make his mark in one of the biggest leagues in Europe. “I’ve had a couple of opportunities to come to England before, including the first time Jose was here, but it didn’t work out for one reason or another,” Eto’o

Samuel Eto’O

told Chelsea’s official website. “Since that time, I have had a career where I have been lucky enough to win a lot of trophies in different countries, but one of my last dreams as a professional is to come and play in England and see if I can have the same success as in my previous clubs. “I don’t see it as a final challenge, but to have a good time, enjoy my football, and have success with this team.” Click here for Eto’o joins Chelsea on oneyear deal The Cameroon international says he is aiming to make the best of the 2013/14 season and will worry about the possibility of extending the contract later. “This is the thing that least preoccupies me,” he added. “It’s something to talk about later; both sides need to be happy but importantly the club needs to be happy with me before they even ask my opinion on that.”

With Me”, Reel 2 Real’s “I Like to Move It Move It” and “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” by Eric Idle. The latter two songs have had their lyrics reworked to make derogatory references to the Munich disaster. A tweet sent from the official Liverpool account replied: “Have you been sneaking a look at the dressing room iPod?” The tweet has since been hastily deleted and an apology has followed. A club spokesperson told the Huffington Post: “Liverpool Football Club responded quickly to correct the error of judgement that was made last night on it’s official Twitter account in responding to a distasteful and inappropriate tweet. “The club took decisive action and the comment was deleted swiftly,” they added. “We apologise, unreservedly, for any offence that was caused by this

Victor Moses

West Brom Keen On Victor Moses

STEVE Clarke has confirmed that he is interested in signing Chelsea winger Victor Moses — and expressed concern that West Bromwich Albion have not done enough in the transfer market. long ago that he could not prise Romelu Lukaku The West Brom head away from Stamford coach, having accepted Bridge for a second time, has noted that Moses may now be available on loan following Jose Mourinho’s dealings this The 39-year-old is week. expected to return to his But he is not overly former club Wigan with optimistic of securing the an offer for midfielder ex-Wigan player as James McCarthy and Liverpool, Everton and told British daily Southampton are also newspapers: “I’ve had reportedly on his trail. conversations but not in “Moses is available to a formal way.”

Everton Quiet On Improved Bid For EVERTON were Baines, Fellaini remaining tight-lipped about reports that they have rejected an improved, £36 million bid from Manchester United for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines. The Merseyside club were quick to brand an earlier, £28 million joint offer for the midfielder and the left-back “derisory and insulting” and club officials were eager on Wednesday to dismiss suggestions the England international had asked to be allowed to leave Goodison Park for Old Trafford. But both the club and manager Roberto Martinez have opted to stay silent when quizzed about a larger offer, while the Spaniard admitted he is coming up with a contingency plan should he lose

players in the last few days of the transfer window. As he had done after Wednesday’s Capital One Cup win against Stevenage, Martinez deflected questions in his Thursday press conference when asked about a new offer from United, saying: “I’m not going to talk about any stories and speculation. I’m not going to comment on anything regarding the transfer window in terms of coming in or going out.” Martinez reiterated that Baines had not requested a move to United, now led by former Everton manager David Moyes, but conceded he has considered who to buy should his prized assets leave.

WEST Brom striker Nicolas Anelka is available again for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Swansea at The Hawthorns after missing the last two games while on compassionate leave. Anelka’s return is timely as head coach Steve Clarke is without Matej Vydra, who sustained a hamstring injury in the 3-0 Capital One Cup win over Newport on Tuesday. With goalkeeper Ben Foster out for 12 weeks with a stress fracture of a bone in his right foot, Boaz Myhill should start despite a wrist injury. Midfielders Zoltan Gera, George Thorne (both knee) and Steven Reid (knock) remain sidelined.

come out and he’s a player we would be interested in,” Clarke said. “But I can’t say I’m confident in landing him or any player at the moment. “Time is short. I’m getting nervous and I’m concerned we’ve left it too late - that we won’t get the players in to improve the squad. We do need some help. Scott (Sinclair) coming in was great as he gave the place a lift. “It would be nice to get a couple of others in. It’s a long way to go until January, so there will be

Nani Staying At United NANI has agreed a new contract with Manchester United, according to Juventus,


one of the clubs who had considered signing him. Nani’s current deal, signed in 2010, is set to expire in the 2014, meaning United risk losing him on a free transfer next year, and the Portugal international has been the subject of reported interest from several clubs this summer, including Monaco, Galatasaray, Anzhi Makhachkala and Juventus. United have made no announcement over the

player ’s contract but Juve director general Giuseppe Marotta told Mediaset Premium: “He’s renewed his contract with Manchester United and we never negotiated for him.” Nani was a £17 million signing from Sporting Lisbon in 2007 and has gone on to score 40 goals in 212 games for United. He won their Players’ Player of the Year award in 2010-11, his best season at the club.

no other solution. “The chairman and Richard Garlick (sporting and technical director) are working hard to make things fall for us but a lot of the big targets are gone now. “I’m a head coach - not a manager with a budget, remember. That means the club have the final say. I can make recommendations but it’s down to the club to bring in players. My job is to work with the players. “It would be nice if the club could help us with a couple of signings before the window shuts. We still need one or two in.”

Clarke, who has made defender Gabriel Tamas available for sale, says Boaz Myhill will start in Sunday’s home game against Swansea as long as he is fully fit after the injury that kept him out in midweek as Ben Foster embarked on what could be 12 weeks out of the team. One man who could come into Albion’s thinking as they seek experienced cover is Aston Villa’s Shay Given. Clarke also said he had no doubts that Nicolas Anelka — also in line to face the Swans — would return.

Premier League Fixtures Today’s Matches Manchester City v Hull City Cardiff City v Everton Newcastle United v Fulham Norwich City v Southampton West Ham United v Stoke City Crystal Palace v Sunderland Tomorrow’s Games Liverpool v Manchester United West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

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Weekend observer 31 08 2013  
Weekend observer 31 08 2013  

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