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Lassa Fever: 1 hospitalized, 70 under surveillance in Abuja By Edrina EMMANUEL

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here is palpable fear amongst residents of the Federal Capital Territory, following an outbreak of Lassa fever

in the nation’s capital. Confirming the outbreak, the Director, Public Health, FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA-HHSS, Dr. Humphrey Okoroukwu, revealed that one patient

was already admitted, while over 70 persons that had contact with the patient had been kept under surveillance. Okoroukwu, who also confirmed that the affected patient already receiving medical

attention at an undisclosed health facility, stated that the fresh case was recorded in Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC. The director noted that health workers in the undisclosed hospital

were very much at alert to have detected the suspected patient, and that further laboratory tests helped to establish the case. “The patient reported early and the doctor was able to detect the

suspected case, while laboratory test confirmed the case. That is also helping the management to tackle the situation,” he said. The director, while Continued on page 3

SOCIAL CIRCLE >>> PAGE 14 First Published March 2004

Vol. 12 No. 31 ISSN: 1597-2895

March 26 - April 1, 2018

Price: 100

My worries in FCT –Minister lHails Abuja Inquirer for extensive coverage By Austine ELEMUE

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he Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello, has disclosed that his major worries are the vandalisation of public utilities and underutilization of pedestrian bridges by residents of the territory. Bello disclosed this when he played host to

the management of The Abuja Inquirer led by the Chairman and Editor-inChief, Mr. Dan Akpovwa, last Tuesday at his office. According to the minister, he remains passionate about Abuja, and was sad how vandals have continued to undermine the efforts of the administration to Continued on page 3

Defend yourselves or die, T.Y Danjuma to Nigerians By Emmanuel OGBECHE

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s the activities of h e r d s m e n c o n t i n u e unabated on predominately farming communities across the country, a former Minister for Defence, General Theophilus

Danjuma, has told Nigerians to defend themselves or die in the face of ethnic cleansing. Speaking on Saturday at the maiden Convocation ceremony of Taraba State University in Jalingo Continued on page 3

L-R: Dan Akpovwa, Chairman and Editor in Chief Of The Abuja Inquirer, Mallam Mohammad Bello, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, the FCT Permanent Secretary when the Management team Of the newspaper paid a Courtesy Visit to the minister in his office in Abuja last week. Photo: Courtesy FCT Ministry

lSEE MORE PICTURES ON PAGE 13

Two students arrested for alleged FCTA launches draft policy on Early life experiences influence gang rape in Kwara >>PAGE 9 inclusive education >>PAGE 10 DNA in adult brain >>PAGE 21


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NEWS

My worries in FCT –Minister Continued from page 1 keep the city running effectively by stealing electrical cables, manhole covers, while also expressing worry at unnecessary deaths because people will not use pedestrian bridges. The minister stressed that the task of running a modern city such as Abuja was a collective responsibility and challenged the media to be active participants by undertaking advocacy against some of these social vices, reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to work for the enhancement of the city. “I am very passionate about this city and in your paper, I see that passion. So makes us partners in progress. For you to have been around in the last 14 years is great because we have seen a lot of papers go off. But you have continued to persevere. That’s a sign of progress and what we call incremental steady progress. “More importantly, when we decided to start publicizing the area councils’ allocations, it was a deliberate decision that we are going to do it through your paper because your paper is domiciled here and is highly read within the territory. “You are the eyes and ears of the wider community and as public officers, if we decide and agree to work, then we should work and when we make mistakes we should be informed. That’s why we will continue to support you. It’s a symbiotic relationship. We need to support you to support each other,” Bello said. Speaking earlier, the Chairman and Editor-inChief of The Abuja Inquirer newspapers, Mr. Dan Akpovwa, commended the minister for his “uncommon transparency” in the day to day running of the administration. Akpovwa noted that the transparency exhibited in the disbursement of area council’s allocations was unprecedented, just as he enjoined the FCT

Administration to ensure that the developmental stride is reflected in the area councils. He, however, solicited for a more robust partnership between the media and the Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration, noting that some of the giant strides are not given

adequate publicity. “Mr. Minister, I came with a delegation of my management team to specifically thank you for your uncommon transparency in the disbursement of area council’s allocations. It is not in our tradition to sing praises of government officials, but your style of running a

public office is worthy of note. “Since you came on board as minister, we have witnessed the transparent manner in which the allocations to area councils are disbursed. More significantly, we have also seen a systemic increase in the area council allocations. This is highly

commendable and we want to identity with your administration,” Akpovwa stated. He also commended the minister ’s farsightedness in his quest to open up new districts in the nation’s capital, adding that such step will assist in decongesting the city center.

First Lady Aisha Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo and wife, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Walter Onnoghen, and Aliko Dangote at the Wedding Reception of Fatima Dangote & Jamil Abubakar in Lagos Friday. Photos: NOVO ISIORO

I’m incorruptible, I don’t fly Business Class – Minister M

inister of C o m m unications, Adebayo Shittu, has described himself as “moralist and incorruptible”, saying he always tries to emulate his mentor, President Muhammadu Buhari. Shittu said this in reaction to allegations levelled against him by his former spokesman, Victor Oluwadamilare. Oluwadamilare in a letter last Thursday accused the minister of abruptly refusing to pay emoluments of some of his aides despite living luxuriously. He equally accused Shittu of owning 12 luxury houses in Abuja, Lagos and Ibadan, buying a brand new N93 million Printing Press and 25 luxury vehicles for himself, family members and concubines. But the minister said

Oluwadamilare was being used by his political enemies to frustrate his ambitions. The minister said he employed the aide because he was jobless, noting that of all those who showed interest in being his spokesman, Oluwadamilare was the only Christian. Shittu also denied the allegation that he had acquired 12 houses and 25 luxury cars in the last three years. He said the only house he has in Abuja through a loan he obtained from Jaiz Bank and that two influential personalities in Oyo state donated two cars to him. “I thought that I could use the appointment I gave him to rehabilitate him. More so, at the time I appointed him, of all those who applied as media aide, he was the

only Christian. I didn’t want a situation where all my aides would be Muslims, so I decided to appoint him. And I thought the appointment would rehabilitate him because I knew he was jobless at that time,” he said. “He is being used by my political enemies, all of whom, by the grace of God, will fail. “I am a moralist, I am incorruptible and I try to take after my leader, my mentor, President Muhammadu Buhari and I do not do anything that I cannot justify. I go on economy class whenever I am flying, whether within or outside the country. “So, I don’t know what type of luxury life he claims I am living. A lot of people will take pictures with me in the economy class and they do pray for me. There is

this adage that you give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Because they have a target, they want to stop me, but I will not allow them to succeed. “I am ready for the battle and he will certainly get destroyed in the process because he has bitten the fingers that fed him. He was living in a free house in Abuja and he has taken so much, apart from the other monies that I have given him. He has also had several opportunities. He called me Estacode Minister and by my grace, he has also had the privilege of attending conferences and collected estacodes. He didn’t reject these estacodes because they were not unlawful. So, why should I not take estacode if I have to travel and the travel is approved?”

Lassa Fever: 1 hospitalized, 70 under surveillance in Abuja Continued from page 1 declining to disclose the particular location within the territory, where the outbreak occurred, however explained that the over 70 persons the patient had contacts with have been identified and kept under surveillance. He said, “sensitisation on Lassa Fever is ongoing in public and private hospitals in the territory, while health officials are also being trained on how to manage the disease”. He tasked on Abuja residents to imbibe the habit of regular washing of hands, keep their environment clean and dispose their domestic waste to avoid rats, and charged them to promptly report any suspected case of fever to the nearest hospital.

Defend yourselves or die, T.Y Danjuma to Nigerians Continued from page 1 Taraba state capital, he warned that the unnecessary killings in the country was a target to ethnic cleanse the people of Taraba and Nigeria at large. “You must rise to protect yourselves from these people, if you depend on the armed forces to protect you, you will all die” This ethnic creasing must stop in Taraba, and it must stop in Nigeria. These killers have been protected by the military, they cover them and you must be watchful to guide and protect yourselves because you have no any other place to go” The ethnic cleansing must stop now otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play. I ask all of you to be on your alert and defend your country, defend your state,” he said.


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FCT REPORT FCTA pulls down structures in GSM village By Austine ELEMUE

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he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration, FCTA, through the Development Control Department, last week, pulled down clusters of makeshift structures used for leisure near the GSM village, in Wuse Zone 1. Our correspondent learnt that the operation which was executed by officials of Development Control officials backed by armed mobile policemen and military personnel, stormed the area and dismantled the structures operated by Leisure Parks, for purportedly constituting nuisance along the Abuja Rail corridor. A visit to the area revealed that operators and shop owners managed to salvage whatever valuables left inside some of the demolished structures. Some of the affected operators decried that government bulldozers arrived with less than 24hour notice, thereby throwing them into state of despair, as they could only salvage bits of their property. One of the park operators, Mr. James Timi, alleged that the officials only visited the area on Monday to mark the structures for demolition, stressing that officials of the Department specifically urged the operators to vacate the premises within 24 hours. He maintained that no adequate prior notice or explanation was offered by the government officials for the exercise. “I want to know the reason for the demolition before I decide what next step to take. This is very devastating. They didn’t even allow us the 24hour notice they issued.

“Meanwhile, we have a subsisting court order against any such action. Yet, the officials who came for the demolition refused to listen to us. We tried showing them copies of the court order but they refused to look at it but

went ahead with their action. This is very bad of government officials,” he stressed. Meanwhile, when contacted, the spokesman of the Development Control, Larry James, said the exercise was part of ongoing removal of

structures along the Abuja railway corridors, in preparatory for its takeoff. According to him, prior to the exercise, there was adequate notice and sensitization by relevant authorities, as the government does

its work with human face. He said they started last year and that they would continue till the corridors are cleared, to pave way for the speedy completion and operation of the rail project.

L-R: President, National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, Chief Judge of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Administrator, National Judicial Institute, Justice Rosaline Bozimo and Chief Judge of Ogun State, Justice Tokunbo Olopade during a refresher course for judges and Grand Kadis in Abuja... Monday. Photo: Cityvoix.

World Urban Forum: FCTA partners UN habitat to consolidate gains M By Austine ELEMUE

inister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, has indicated that FCT Administration is committed to harnessing the benefits of the recently concluded World Urban Forum in Malaysia. Bello, who made this disclosure when the Programme Manager, UN Habitat, Mallam Kabir Yari, paid him a courtesy call in his office, also said the administration will also explore the option of

signing an MoU with the organization to formalize their relationship towards issues of urban renewal and slum upgrading. The minister also indicated that the administration is willing to have a formal arrangement with the United Nations agency for staff training on how to surmount the challenges of running a modern capital city. Bello, who also revealed that his recent trip to Malaysia with other key officials of the FCT Administration opened his eyes to so many difficulties

confronting other modern capital cities, said urgent steps must be taken to address some of the challenges already bedevilling the FCT before they become entrenched. He called for support of the UN Habitat in tackling the issue of squatter settlements along the airport road that are already spilling into the major gateway to the city with attendant negative implications. “As an administration, we don’t want to use highhanded tactics because they are old fashioned now.

We need to contact them, we need to communicate with them and I believe this is where UN Habitat can be of help to us. On the service lanes, you see the villagers driving against traffic on high speed with motorcycles with no helmets,” Bello stressed. Earlier in his remarks, the Habitat Programme Manager, UN Habitat, Mallam Kabir Yari, said the delegation was in Abuja to see how they could collaborate with the FCT Administration, as well as assist them to move beyond words to practical actions.

World Bank, FCTA partner on debt management By Edrina EMMANUEL team of experts from the World Bank visited Abuja to work with relevant Federal Capital Territory Administration officials on strengthening the framework for debt management in the administration. Welcoming the World Bank Assessment team to Abuja, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, expressed appreciation for the series of assistance that the country has received from the bank. According to the permanent secretary, the World Bank has helped the Nigerian government to forestall debt unsustainability in the aftermath of the exit from the Paris and London Clubs debt burden in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Ohaa conveyed the preparedness of FCT Administration to leverage the revised World Bank Subnational Debt Management Performance Assessment, DeMPA, tool. He also noted that the FCT administration has been able to key into the outcome of the Debt Management Office, DMO’s 5 years strategic plan which was designed in 2007 to help the 36 States government and the FCT to develop debt management institutions and capabilities. He said the FCTA, following advice from the World Bank’s Debt Management Office, also set up a Debt Management Unit made up of 10 staff, drawn from a cross section of key departments to assist with debt management policies. “It was against this backdrop that the Debt Management Office, DMO, in collaboration with the FCTA, conducted a debt data reconstruction exercise from November 19 to 30, 2012. This was in furtherance of the DMO’s strategic objectives of building capacity for effective debt management and the establishment of the FCT-Debt Management Unit,” Ohaa said

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FCT REPORT

GSS Gwagwalada organises cultural fiesta

Police sensitise residents on illegal arms in G/lada

By Ateed YUSUF

By Ateed YUSUF

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he Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, in charge of Gwagwalada Area Command, Mijinyawa Jahun, has tasked vigilante groups, Police Community Relations Committee, PCRC, Eminent Persons Forum and community and religious leaders to sensitise residents on the need to surrender illegal arms in their possession. The area commander made this known during a stakeholders’ meeting on proliferation of prohibited firearms and illegal weapons held in the command, noting that acquisition of weapon without license was against the law. He solicited the support of the stakeholders to continue to educate members of the public on the dangers associated with arms possession, just as he tasked those keeping such weapons to take wise decision by handing them over to the police with immediate effect. The police boss enjoined members of the vigilante groups that it is mandatory for them to be working under the supervision of the police. Contributing, the chairman Taskforce on Enforcement of Illegal Weapon, ACP Nura Yakubu, appealed to residents of Gwagwalada and its environs to return illegal weapon in their possession within 21 days as directed by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris. He warned the residents going against the order, noting that punitive measures would be taken to punish those who refuse to comply.

Young FCT science and technology students during the FCT Science and Technology Expo in Abuja, recently. Photo: Edrina Emmanuel.

Prominent UNIABUJA lecturer, Dr. Cecelia Kato, dies suddenly By Godfrey AKON

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he University of A b u j a , UNIABUJA, community in Gwagwalada, FCT was thrown into mourning Monday by the sudden death of one of its longest serving lecturers, Dr. (Mrs). Cecilia Kato. Mrs. Kato, 59, was a lecturer in the English and African Literature and Gender Studies’ departments. The late Mrs. Kato was a well-known writer and gender advocate, Christian leader and respected mentor to generations of her students past and present. Notably, Kato published collections of poems including Desires, and Victims of Love in which she lamented the state of Nigerian nay African women and was equally renowned as an impassioned and outspoken speaker in her various public appearances at religious and circular gatherings.

Kato obtained degrees in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar and started her lecturing job at UNIABUJA (from where she also obtained her PhD) until her death. Our correspondent gathered that Dr. (Mrs.) Kato died on the morning of March 19 after a brief asthmatic attack. Reacting to Kato’s sudden passing, one of her children, Miss Ndi Kato, social activist, founder of the Dinidari

Foundation and an upcoming politician, said “My mother was my heartbeat, my pillar, my rock. She taught me everything I knew and she was my role model.” ‘It’s a colossal loss, ‘said journalist and activist, Betty Abah, a younger friend of the deceased. “Mrs. Kato was the liveliest, the friendliest and most generous person you can find in any gathering. Her laughter and enthusiasm were quite infectious. And she was

quite brilliant. As a fellow mentee of Prof. Ebele Eko, our former lecturer at UNICAL (though she was in a much older set), I formed an enriching friendship with her which lasted more than 15 years. I will certainly miss her. Our world is certainly diminished with the sudden and untimely passing of this wonderful soul, ‘ she added. Kagoro, Kaduna State-born Mrs. Kato was buried on March 23.

HOD commends residents on monthly sanitation By Ateed YUSUF

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he Head of Department, Environmental Sanitation in Kuje area council, Sani Adamu, has commended the residents of the area in complementing the council to record great successes in the conduct of monthly

environmental exercise. Adamu, who disclosed this to The Abuja Inquirer, noted that environmental health officers would continue to educate residents on the significance of healthy living, even as he lauded the chairman of the council for giving

necessary support to the department. The environmental health expert also reiterated the commitment of the council to control the indiscriminate dumping of refuse, just as he implored every household to provide toilets to prevent outbreak of disease.

uthorities of Government Secondary School, GSS Gwagwalada, have held a cultural competition aimed at inculcating cultural values and ideals in the students Speaking to journalists, principal of the school, Alh. Mohammed Ladan, said the essence of the cultural day was to boost the morale of the students at tender age in order to cherish their cultural heritage. The educationist remarked that the school authorities decided to hold the event in place of the usual annual interhouse sports completion with a view to expanding its extracurricular activities to engage the minds of the young ones to stick to their culture. He commented on the significance of the event to include promotion of unity among the students, showcasing variety of dressing, dancing as well as local preparation of food among others. The principal commended leaders of various ethnic groups who graced the occasion, noting that the act would go a long way to encourage the young ones to cultivate the habit of preserving their culture, just as he tasked parents to complement the efforts of teachers in monitoring the movement of the young ones. Ladan also said that the school authorities have taken strong measures to promote academic excellence and discipline of the students with a view to making them become reliable future leaders who would build this country to a greater height.


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EDITORIAL

Dapchi: Time to fix Nigeria’s school system

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he February 19, 2018 abduction and subsequent release of over 100 schoolgirls from Government Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state undoubtedly mirrors the alarming realities in Nigeria’s school system. For a long time, schools across the country have been locked in a battle for survival - inwardly grappling with funding problems, botched policies, limited access and quality issues; while outwardly hounded by potent threats from insurgents, cultists and criminal gangs, who take advantage of lax security to advance their evil causes. When Boko Haram reenacted its organised abduction in Dapchi, it is recalled the over 1,400 schools the terrorist group has destroyed in Borno state alone and over 2.5 million children placed at risk, even as the country still rues the notorious April 2014 kidnapping of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls and other illegal school invasions. As Nigerians watch helplessly, the crippling impact of this disturbing trend has been visible with enrolments plunging and inclusive education receding despite a growing population with equal ratio of female and male children of school age. In north east Nigeria, where enrolment rates for girls are some of the lowest

Given the depth of problems, only a sustained and well-funded intervention programme by the federal government can attempt an enduring solution to the challenges in Nigeria’s school system. To ensure a holistic approach therefore towards resolving the issues, a feasible policy document must be sought to explicate issues of teacher training, recruitment and retention as part of efforts to restore quality and dignity in the teaching profession.

in the entire country, these abductions send a negative message to some parents who are opposed to their daughters undertaking western education. Although the attacks on schools are symbolic of the lax national security in recent years, the failure of a unified approach towards stemming the tide bespeaks of a society unconsciously normalising such worrisome developments. While in 2014 the federal government launched the “Safe Schools Initiative” to help protect hundreds of schools in Nigeria as a response to the growing number of attacks on the right of Nigerian children to education, the project has barely impacted on school security with equal commitment and drive it was estimated. Or perhaps, it has failed to expand beyond the initial target of over 500 schools in the north east to

other parts of the country. In view of these glitches, the federal government must rethink its approach to school security and put in place an effective strategy to beat the invaders to their game, while ensuring synergy with states and local governments to sustain the campaign on school security and instil safety consciousness on students. It is also imperative for government to tinker towards the establishment of a separate security outfit or designate a department of the Nigeria Police Force for the exclusive mandate of protecting private and public schools. While another baffling expose’ from the Dapchi conundrum remains the poor quality of communication by the students, the issue is no doubt, a reflection of the generic problem of fallen standards in the country’s school system.

A tale of unconducive learning environment, poor facilities, lack of instructional materials, unqualified teachers and stark erosion of quality among others, reverberates across the country irrespective of the political weight of some state governors and representatives. We understand that during the over one-and-ahalf decade of Nigeria’s democracy, it has witnessed accelerated growth in population, presenting further challenges in the planning and allocation of resources to the education sector; but the country has failed to meet the UNESCOendorsed 26 per cent of annual budget to education. Given the depth of problems, only a sustained and well-funded intervention programme by the federal government can attempt an enduring solution to the challenges in Nigeria’s school system. To ensure a holistic approach therefore towards resolving the issues, a feasible policy document must be sought to explicate issues of teacher training, recruitment and retention as part of efforts to restore quality and dignity in the teaching profession. In addition, multiple approaches must be adopted on the issue of access to basic, post-basic or university education.

Published by: GAZETTA COMMUNICATIONS LTD Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Dan Akpovwa Editor Emmanuel Ogbeche Associate Editor Jacob Edi Assistant Editor Austine Elemue Ovie Akpovwa Editor, Lagos Bureau Godwin Uzoma Okoro

Snr. Correspondents Sarah Negedu; Onoriode E. Atavwigho;; Mfon Udo-Ema Correspondents Ambrose Imobhio (Asaba) Scholastica Joseph (Makurdi) Ayinde Olarewaju (Ilorin) Akon Godfrey Chukwuma Nzeh Ateed Yusuf Ere-ebi Agedah Ijeoma Ukazu Ismaila Jimoh Williams Abah

London Correspondent Peculia Medinus Online Editor Lucky Akpovwa Advert/Marketing Executive Laraba P. Murey

Photo Editor Wale Elekolusi

Admin Assistant Alex Ukershio Company Secretary Bassey E. Offiong Esq. Legal Adviser Gogo Karibi-Whyte Production Consultant Daniel Soetan


March 26 - April 1, 2018

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Leah Sharibu, a profession of faith W

hen Boko Haram terrorists struck her school on February 19, 2018, and took her alongside 109 of her school mates captive, Leah Sharibu had no inkling that her life was about to change, one which will test the very foundation of her Christian faith. Even more than her abduction was the decision of the terrorist group to release all others but her after a month in captivity because she would not yield to any other god but the One Jesus Christ professes. Today, Leah like her Biblical forebear, the wife of Jacob by the deceit of her father, is faced with the struggles of life. Leah unwanted by Jacob expressed her trials in the names of her sons; Reuben, named so in her idle hope that Jacob will subsequently fall in love with her. “Her second son she named Simeon, after her conviction that the Lord has heard (that means understood or taken to heart) her affliction of being unloved. Her third son she named Levi,

after the conviction that Jacob will now at least become attached to her. When her fourth son is born she seems to undergo an awakening, and she names him Judah, after her resolution to no longer aim her zeal at Jacob but at God.” As Leah counts her days with these sons of perdition, would she aim her zeal only on God her Maker or would capitulate under the savagery of the heathens? Wherever she is, thousands, perhaps millions are offering prayers for her as she stands as a living profession of faith. In all, Leah’s example brings to mind the words of Louie Giglio in his book, The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far, which says; “He wants you to understand that there are no wasted moments. For His glory He uses everything that’s happened, everything that’s happening, and everything that will happen - past, present, and future.”

Have the chickens come home to roost for Magu? T

he uninspiring chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, is a man accustomed to trouble. His proclivity to court bad press and get away with it has more to do with the unyielding nature of the man who appointed him, President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari, it now known, believes his appointees are saints from heaven, and can do no wrong forgetting that even some angels fell from their celestial heights. Last week, it emerged that Magu has been economical with the truth on recoveries he claims the anti-graft body has made. In a telling memo, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, practically called Magu a purveyor of falsehood. Magu at different times had maintained that the EFCC has recovered about N740 billion from May 2015 till date. But Adeosun has faulted Magu in this regard and has asked him to prove his

claim. The minister in a letter dated 9 February, 2018 and addressed to the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, directed the anti-graft agency to appear before the ministry and “clarify where the cash recoveries have been deposited and provide accompanying evidence”. Like they say in local parlance, there is no smoke without fire, Magu from available records is yet to respond to the memo more than one month after it got to his table. Now, people who have always accused him of engaging in press gimmicks are smacking their lips, while his league of clapperboards are confident that he would as usual come out unscathed even if his moral standing takes a further plunge. As the issues build, as the call for his removal becomes more strident, is it a case of the chicken coming home to roost for the anti-graft Czar? Time, as they say, will tell!

This Bill Gates no dey fear! S

ome people simply lack manners if not how would a visitor be chastising his host in his own home? One wonders if the American and one-time richest man on earth, Bill Gates, has not come across the saying that says, ‘when in Rome, behave like the Romans.’ But like they say in Warri, oyinbo dem head no dey ever correct! Nothing could be farther from the truth than the verbal slaps that Gates dashed President Muhammadu Buhari at a recent meeting in Abuja As if he is now a member of the Wailers Club of Nigeria, the co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was just wailing at Bubu’s empire that the federal government’s economic plans does not meet the needs of Nigerians. The web owner, he is not master, deflated the ego of the APC crowd as he shredded the much fancied and glorified Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, in such a manner that one had to remember “You call Uganda money shit

paper?” “Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad. One in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished. “The Nigerian government’s economic recovery and growth plan identify investing in our people as one of three strategic objectives. But the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs, prioritizing physical capital over human capital. “To anchor the economy over the long term, investments in infrastructure and competitiveness must go hand in hand with investments in people. “People without roads, ports, and factories can’t flourish. And roads, ports and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy.” Seriously, ehn, that Bill Gates no dey fear face, if not him for know say in Nigeria, nobody contradicts Emperor Bubu!


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March 26 - April 1, 2018

NEWS

Court strikes out corruption charges against Justice Ngwuta I

By Emmanuel OGBECHE

t was relief for embattled Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Ngwuta as the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Friday, struck out the 13count criminal charge the Federal Government preferred against him. The court, in a ruling that was delivered by trial Justice John Tsoho, held that FG failed to fulfill the condition precedent that is required before a serving judicial officer could be arrested or charged to court over corruption related offences. Relying on a recent decision of the Court of Appeal in the case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, who was also accused of engaging in acts of corruption, Justice Tsoho, maintained that FG ought to allow the National Judicial Council, NJC, to “appropriately scrutinize” allegations against judicial officers, before charging them to court. “Any direct arrest and prosecution of a judicial officer by security agencies as in the present case should be declared a nullity”, the court held. According to the court, it was not in dispute that Justice Ngwuta is a serving judicial officer, stressing that sections 152, 158 and Paragraph 21 Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution are clear and unambiguous to the effect that only the NJC has administrative and statutory powers to disciple judicial officers. “No matter how incompetent the NJC may seem to the security agencies, its powers are constitutionally vested”, Justice Tsoho held, adding that such powers “cannot be switched or overrun under democracy. “This court is of the view that it will be tidier and safer that all kinds of offences against judicial officers must first pass through the NJC”.

He said the NJC should be allowed to “first consider cases involving judicial officers across all offences before the involvement of security agencies”. Besides, the court noted that some of the charges against Ngwuta were vague. “This court has difficulty seeing a clear distinction as to

whether the alleged acts are within the scope of Applicant’s performance of his official function or outside the scope of offences within the rank of theft, arson or murder”. The court said it was not persuaded by FG’s argument that the appellate court had in Nganjiwa’s case, held that judicial officers could be prosecuted for

committing offences like theft, arson or murder, without recourse to the NJC. It maintained that FG has no option than to report erring judicial officers to the NJC, pending the filling of lacunas in the constitution. “It is the humble opinion of this court that condition precedents to the filing of

the charge herein against the Applicant was not fulfilled. “Consequently, the jurisdiction of this court to try same was not properly invoked. Therefore processes herein before this court is declared a nullity. The charge is struck out and the applicant discharged”, Justice Tsoho held.

L-R: Co-Chairman, Grand National Summit, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, chairman of the cccassion, Dr. Abdujhalii Tafawa Balewa, former Labour Party Secretary, Mr. Kayode Ajulo and Director General, Nigeria Intervention Movement, Mr. Olawale Okuniyi, at the Grand National Summit and Official Launch of Grand Political Coalition on the Future of Nigeria in Abuja...Wednesday, Photo;Wale Elekolusi

Community appeal to Kwara CJ over chieftaincy tussle By Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin

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he Odo-Oja Ruling house of Oke Onigbin community in Isin local government area of Kwara State has appealed to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Durosilohun Kawu, to allow Justice A. A. Adebara deliver his decision on the chieftaincy tussle before him. The family also expressed dissatisfaction over the sudden transfer of the matter from the presiding judge through a motion on notice filed by its lead counsel, Barrister Tosin Samuel Alawode, challenging the procedure as unwarranted.

It would be recalled that the Odo-Oja ruling house had instituted an action to challenge the appointment of Mr. Kamaldeen Salahudeen as the Onigbin of Oke Onigbin vide a Writ of Summons issued on the 6th of July, 2017 wherein the case assigned to Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara sitting at Offa. Barrister Alawode further stated that, “They sued the appointed Oba, two of the kingmakers and the Governor of Kwara State as defendants in the matter. The appointed Oba and the two kingmakers filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit which was argued on

23rd of October, 2017 and Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara, reserved his decision to a date to be communicated to the parties.” According to the motion on notice dated 5th march 2018, Barrister Alawode maintained that, “When there was no information from the Court on when the decision would be delivered after about four months from the date parties argued the objection, our team discovered with shock on Friday March 2, 2018, that the matter had been withdrawn from Hon. Justice A.A Adebara since December, 2017 and transferred to another Judge, Justice Umar by

the order of the Chief Judge of Kwara State. “Whilst they were waiting to receive a notice for the delivery of the decision of the court, Chief Samuel Abolarinwa, the head of the Odo-Oja ruling family stated the position of the family shortly after a meeting held on Monday March 5, 2018.” He said that neither them nor their lawyers was given a notice or informed of any application to transfer the matter from Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara to another other Judge. The family stated that they have no reason to doubt the competence, integrity and neutrality of Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara to do justice in the matter.

Power Dialogue: Consultant wants FG, stakeholders to change strategy By Chuks NZEH

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n energy consultant, Engr. Belije Madu, has charged the Federal Government and other stakeholders to change their communication strategy. He made this known at the March edition of the monthly Power Dialogue, organized by Nextier Power, in Abuja. Madu, who spoke on the topic, Market Design: Achieving Bankability in Nigeria’s Electricity Supply Industry, said it is not proper to tell the consumer that there is going to be a tariff increase, because “we try to save money for the consumers, because selfgeneration is far more expensive than grid based or off grid supply. “What we try to do is to bring tariffs to cost reflective levels such that we can supply you electricity 24/7 and you can keep away your generator.” He added that, “If it is not cost saving then it is not worth it, because if for instance you spend N50, 000 for your diesel generator, we should be able to give it to you at roughly N30, 000:00, or at least N40, 000:00, that is what makes it a good proposition for you. The essence is to make sure you replace your generators. “The leadership of not just the minister of power, Babatunde Fashola, but the entire power industry, the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, Generating Companies, GENCO, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, they need to change the dialogue.” Also speaking at the event, the Senior Adviser, Department of I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, DFID, Keith Hammond, who spoke on “Utility Financing: Best Global Practices,” said that, “There are challenges in each of these areas. Probably the biggest single challenge is the amount of money being collected which is a function both of the tariff and collection losses. If enough is being collected the problems of splitting up the money and raising new capital become much more easily solvable.


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NEWS

Deputy Speaker supervises ongoing projects at Ndokwa East Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba

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eputy Speaker Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi paid an unscheduled visit to Ndokwa East local government council, Aboh. Osanebi, who was accompanied by the D E S O P A D E C Commissioner representing Ndokwa ethnic nationality, Nnamdi Ezechi, commended the effort of the new leadership of the council, noting that it was the first time he was visiting the council and harped on unity and synergy between the various arms of government. He charged the councilors to put sentiments aside and make useful contributions for the development of the area, adding that positive change unlike APC’s change. “There’s time for everything, you have campaigned, you have won elections, and the time you are now is for governance”, he said. Osanebi who was shown round departments of the council and some projects abandoned in the area, lamented the poor condition of the legislative chambers and promised to get the place furnished and in good condition before the councilors’ next sitting. “You need a comfortable place to make good laws”, Osanebi opined. The deputy speaker further inspected the constructed and abandoned police post, and high court building in the area that has been overgrown with grasses. Speaking after the inspection, Chief Tony Uti, chairman, Ndosimili Lawyers Association, said: “with the intervention of the deputy speaker, the high court will be ready very soon and the judges’

quarters also, in-line with the state chief judge’s directive before the court is opened”. In a similar development, the Deputy Speaker left Aboh and went to Beneku to see for

himself the rate of work at the 5 kilometer Beneku internal road being constructed by the state government, next stage will commence next week calling the contractor to double effort to enhance the

speedy conclusion of the work. Thanking the Deputy Speaker for the visit, the council chairman, Engr. Amachee Juan Governor, expressed joy at the visit. “Your coming is a

sign of change indeed, we can’t thank you enough, because you have demonstrated rear capacity. We thank you for taking away the burden of renovating our legislative chambers”, the elated chairman said.

L-R:Chairman, Governing Board, News Agency of Nigeria, Alhaji Wada Maida, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu and Chairman, Trust Media, Malam Kaburi Yusuf at Daily Trust 20 years of Credible Journalism in Abuja. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

Two students arrested for alleged gang rape in Kwara By Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin

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he Peace Corps of Nigeria, Kwara state command, last Thursday, arrested three students of a secondary school in Ilorin, Kwara state for alleged gang rape of 14 year old girl (names withheld). The state commandant of the corps, Patriot Lukman Yekini, who spoke

with journalists in Ilorin, said the suspects have been handed over to the police in line with the rules of engagements of the corps. Yekini said the suspects were arrested while attempting to rape the victim, who is a student of a junior secondary school. The Peace Corps commandant said the three had succeeded in stripping the victim naked

but the rape was averted due to intervention of an officer of the corps who stumbled on the scene of the incident. According to him, two of the suspects managed to escape but the third suspect that was arrested at the scene of the incident later assisted the corps to apprehend the other two that had fled the scene. “We are very happy

yesterday when our officers handed over the suspects to the police at “A” Division because they really commended our efforts at ensuring that the rape was averted”. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officers, Kwara State Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident and said the police was still investigating the matter.

Dapchi girls: PDP, APC trade blame By Nicholas ACHEDE

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s jubilation trail the release of the Dapchi school girls by their captors, last week, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has engaged in blame games with the All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration on the circumstances surrounding the release. The main opposition party accused the government of staging the abduction and eventual release of the Dapchi schoolgirls to score political points. In a chat with journalists in Abuja, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Olagbondiyan, referred to the abduction as a crime against humanity, and called on the United Nations to launch investigation into the matter. “Our party considers this act as wicked, callous and tormenting; to use innocent schoolgirls as pawns in an ignoble script that was designed to hoodwink Nigerians and orchestrate a great rescue and security prowess of a conquering general, all to push a 2019 re-election bid, is an unpardonable gamble with human lives. “Nigerians know that the main aim of this devilish act was to delude the public, set the stage for an orchestrated rescue, create a heroic myth and false sense of achievement around the APC administration, and serve as a spur for President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration to contest”, he said. However, the federal government has described the allegation by the PDP as “erroneous and extremely dishonourable”.

NSCDC goes tough on oil thieves and vandals Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba

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he Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Delta State Command has put measures in place to protect oil pipelines and other installations across the state and put vandals at bay.

Commandant Ego .E. Sam, state Commandant of NSCDC stated this at the headquarters of the corps in Asaba while briefing journalists. She maintained that within the period under review, a lot of arrests have been made by NSDC on pipeline vandals, and oil thieves (bunkers) saying

that such suspects are facing several cases in courts. She maintained that in Delta State, the measures adopted by NSCDC has reduced incidence of pipelines vandalisation/bunkering to the barest minimum to the administration of oil. According to her, the

crime of oil pipeline, vandalization, bunkering and other installations are economic sabotages which the NSDC attach zero tolerance and that it will continue to play its role of protecting government installations across the state. She advised parents

and guidance to warn their children not to engage in vandalism and other despicable acts as anyone caught will be made to face the full weight of the law, just as she called on communities to always assist the command with useful information that will enable them to serve the citizen well.


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NEWS Nigeria now has 147m mobile phone subscribers –NCC

Family of six hit by strange disease in Nasarawa State By Scholastica JOSEPH

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onfusion has hit G i t a t a community in Nasarawa State following a strange ailment that has left six members of a family paralysed. The six are the children of the late Danladi Bawa and usually suffer the affliction after turning 18 years, the eldest male in the family, Mr Danlami Danladi, said. Danladi said in the family compound in Gitata on Saturday that their father died in 1990, while their mother died in 2017 but not from the disease. “My name is Danlami Danladi, I am 38 years old; as you can see, our parents are late. “My father died in 1990 after a brief illness and our mother died in 2017 from malaria and typhoid attack. “Our parents did not die of this disease. They gave birth to eight of us and six of us have been paralysed by a mysterious ailment. “When we grow up and reach the age of 18, we find ourselves paralysed. We don’t know what happens and this kind of disease. “When my father died in 1990, it was our mother that usually provided us with our needs. Her death affected us more as we find it difficult to eat and take care of our medical treatment. “I am the second born of our parents and I was paralysed in 2006. And let me tell you what disturbs us is that, six of us were paralysed when we were above the age of 18. It was after we grew up and we don’t know what is happening to our family. “All of us went to Federal Medical Centre, Keffi and Godiya Clinic, Jabba Local Government Area of Kaduna State, after various tests, they told us that nothing was discovered. “We pray that we will be healed of this mysterious disease one day,” he said. Appealling to the federal and state governments as well as well-meaning Nigerians to come to their assistance, Danladi said the situation was dire.

By Sarah NEGEDU

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The Force Public Relations Officers, ACP Jimoh Moshood, last Friday, March 23, 2018, paraded 22 suspected robbers, car snatchers, cattle rsutlers and kidnappers at Sabon Wuse, Niger State.

FCTA launches draft policy document on inclusive education By Austine ELEMUE

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he Education Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration has launched a draft policy document on inclusive education aimed at integrating the differently physically challenged Nigerians into all facets of society especially in the area of education. Speaking at the launch of the draft policy on Friday, FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said it is unfortunate that the disabled and physically challenged in Nigeria’s society are discriminated against even if not deliberately. Represented by the Secretary for Education,

Senator Isa Maina, Bello stated, ‘’There must be a deliberate, conscious and concerted efforts to integrate the differently able Nigerians into all facets of society starting of course, with education, we must chart a new orientation, that which sees ability in disability, we need to build confidence and acceptability in the consciousness of our society particularly our children.” In his comment, Maina, who was represented by the Director, Administration and Finance, Mrs. Eunice Okechukwu, assured that inspite of their physical challenges, some of the children are enormously endowed with talents and skills that need to be

harnessed for the overall development of the nation. E d u c a t i o n stakeholders in the FCT have expressed worry that the over 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria is inappropriate, not encouraging, and no longer acceptable. They said time has come for government at all levels, international organizations and the private sector to ensure that the primary underlying factors of exclusive and inaccessible nature, bad structure and system in virtually all primary and secondary schools in the country are addressed. . A representative of the United States Agency for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, USAID,

Mrs. Lydia Odey, said that of the 10.5 million out of school children in the country, about 7 million are children with disabilities. Odey said, “This projection is in line with World Bank and WHO that persons with disabilities constitute about 15 percent of populations in developing countries and that between 80 to 90 percent of them do not gain access to basic needs of life especially basic education’’. Odey commended the FCT Education Secretariat for coming up with a draft policy document on inclusive education, stressing that the policy when fully implemented will serve as a pilot scheme for other states of the federation.

We are committed to regular promotions - PSC By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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he Police Service Commission, PSC, has stated that it will continue to ensure promotions in the Nigeria Police Force are regular and that exemplary performance will also be recognized. Chairman of the commission, Sir Mike Okiro, said this while decorating three newly promoted officers serving in the commission to their new

ranks. The newly promoted Officers are DSP Joseph Ugwu Onaji, Personal Assistant to the chairman, who is now Superintendent of Police, DSP Telfum Falle and ASP Ozoana Chidozie, who are serving in the commission’s police liaison office and were promoted to SP and DSP, respectively. Sir Okiro said in the last four years, the commission has promoted 31, 652 senior

police officers stressing that promotion is another way of enhancing the welfare of the officers and a tonic for greater efficiency. The chairman noted that from 2,652 officers promoted in 2013, the commission was able to promote 10,223 officers in 2017. He reminded the newly promoted officers that the promotion and higher ranks comes with higher responsibilities

and commitment to the ideals of the Nigeria Police and greater service to their fatherland. “This is recognition for a good job done in accordance with the tenets of the Act of the Nigeria Police Force”. Sir Okiro urged them to rededicate themselves to the service of their fatherland, stressing that they should be proud to be worthy officers of the Nigeria Police Force, a noble profession throughout the world.

he Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, said that the country now has 147 million phone subscribers as at January 2018. Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during the NCC Special Day at the ongoing 29th Enugu International Trade Fair. The fair, organised by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture, ECCIMA, has people drawn from across the South East and Nigeria in general. The EVC, who was represented by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo, said that the country’s social media space had continued to thrive. “Our statistics continue to show positive movement in the provision of services with internet and phone penetrations standing at over 100 million and 147 million subscribers respectively in January 2018. “With broadband penetration of 21 per cent, Nigeria’s social media space has continued to thrive and citizens are enjoying access to modern ways of interaction in the cyberspace,” he said. According to him, Nigerians were not left behind with services and innovations that abound in the Information Communication Technology, ICT, industry. “It is our commitment to keep the nation abreast of developments in telecommunications industry through innovative and world class regulatory processes,” he said. Dambatta further noted that the commission would soon issue directive to service providers to give 14 days’ window to subscribers to enable them roll over their unused data. “In other words, this will stop the current practice where subscribers lose unused data even if they fail to renew on the date of the expiration of the current subscription.


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SHORT STORIES

Reward for bravery RIDDLES 1. I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I? 2. In a one-storey pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower– everything was pink! What color were the stairs? 3. What has hands but cannot clap? 4. What is at the end of a rainbow? 5. What starts with the letter “t”, is filled with “t” and ends in “t”?

KIDS AND HEALTH

How Do Genes Work? E

ach gene has a special job to do. The DNA in a gene spells out specific instructions—much like in a cookbook recipe — for making proteins (say: PRO-teens) in the cell. Proteins are the building blocks for everything in your body. and teeth, hair and earlobes, muscles and blood, are all made up of proteins. Those proteins help our bodies grow, work properly, and stay healthy. Scientists today estimate that each gene in the body may make as many as 10 different proteins. That’s more than 300,000 proteins! Like chromosomes, genes also come in pairs. Each of your parents has two copies of each of their genes, and each parent passes along just one copy to make up the genes you have. Genes that are passed on to you determine many of your traits, such as your hair color and skin color.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Quiz

Which year is Nigeria scheduled to have its next presidential election? What is the full meaning of the acronym INEC? What is the legal voting age in Nigeria? The electoral official who announces election results is called? When an election does not result in a winner, the subsequent contest to determine a winner is known as?

1. 2019 2. Independent National Electoral Commission 3. 18 years and above 4. The returning officer 5. Runoff election

Answers

throw Orlando down in the fight. The girls approached Orlando. They requested him not to fight. Orlando refused gently. He said, “I have no one to care for me. I do not care even to die.” The match began. Orlando was much stronger than Charles. Orlando lifted Charles above his shoulders. Then he threw him down. Charles became unconscious after falling. Frederick and all others were happy. They congratulated Orlando. Orlando told Frederick, “I am the second son of late Sir Rowland de Boys.” Frederick did not like Orlando from that minute onwards, because Frederick had not liked Sir Rowland de Boys. The two girls on the contrary praised Orlando. Rosalind was happy. Sit Rowland had been her father’s friend. She then took out a chain from her neck and presented it to Orlando. This was the reward for his bravery.

Answers

died leaving all his property to his eldest son whose name was Oliver. Oliver was jealous of his younger brother whose name was Orlando. Oliver did not give any part of the property or money to Orlando. He did not even educate Orlando either. In Duke Frederick’s court, there was a powerful wrestler. His name was Charles. No young man dared to challenge Charles. But Orlando accepted the challenge. Oliver met Charles secretly. He instructed Charles to do the worst to Orlando. At the wrestling place there were many people. Duke Frederick was also there. In the earlier matches Charles threw little challengers one after another. All the three challengers had broken their ribs. They were struggling for life. Celia and Rosalind also had come there. Duke Frederick asked the girls to talk to the young man, Orlando. Frederick had felt that Charles would

1. A candle 2. It was a one storey house, there were no stairs 3. A clock 4. The letter W 5. A teapot

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here was once a kind Duke. He was loved and respected by his subjects. This Duke had a wicked brother. His name was Frederick. Frederick rebelled against his brother. He drove away the Duke. The Duke was a peace loving person. He left the Dukedom. He went to the forest called Arden. His followers also went with him. There he led a peaceful life with his followers. Frederick became the Duke. The Duke had a daughter. Her name was Rosalind. Frederick also had a daughter. Her name was Celia. Rosalind and Celia were fond each other from their childhood. Celia wanted Rosalind to be with her in the palace. Frederick allowed Rosalind to be in the palace with his daughter. This was for the sake of his own daughter, Celia. Sir Rowland De Boys was friend of the elder Duke who was in the forest. Sir Rowland

Maybe Emma’s mother has one gene for brown hair and one for red hair, and she passed the red hair gene on to Emma. If her father has two genes for red hair, that could explain her red hair. Emma ended up with two genes for red hair, one from each of her parents. You also can see genes at work if you think about all the many different breeds of dogs. They all have the genes that make them dogs instead of cats, fish, or people. But those same genes that make a dog a dog also make different dog traits. some breeds are small and others are big. Some have long fur and others have short fur. Dalmatians have genes for white fur and black spots, and toy poodles have genes that make them small with curly fur. You get the idea! From m.kdshealth.org

Did You Know? l Did you know it’s possible to lead a cow up stairs but not down? l Did you know frogs can’t swallow with their eyes open? l Did you know elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump? l Did you know frogs don’t usually swallow water, they absorb most of the moisture they need through their skin? l Did you know hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards?


March 26 - April 1, 2018

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P a p a r a z z i

FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello (4th from Right) and the Chairman/Editorin-Chief, The Abuja Inquirer Newspapers, Mr. Dan Akpovwa, with officials of the FCTA and management of the newspaper.

A cross section of FCTA officials during the courtesy visit.

The Abuja Inquirer Team Visits FCT Minister

FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello and Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of The Abuja Inquirer Newspapers, Mr. Dan Akpovwa, in a hearty mood during the visit.

Last week, the Chairman and Editor In Chief Of The Abuja Inquirer, Dan Akpovwa, led the management team of the publication on a Courtesy visit to The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mallam Mohammad Bello. They were personally received by the Minister, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa and other leading members of his cabinet. Here are some faces from the Visit as captured by WALE ELEK OL USI ELEKOL OLUSI USI, our Photo Editor.

L-R: Editor of the newspaper, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche being introduced to the minister by the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper.

Associate Editor of the newspaper, Mr. Jacob Edi, being introduced to the minister by the Editor-in-Chief while the editor looks on.

L-R: Editor-in-Chief, Mmr. Dan Akpovwa, FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello and FCT Perm Sec, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa in a group picture.

L-R: Associate Editor, Jacob Edi, Cosmas Uzodinma, Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Editor, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche and Sani Abubakar, Special Assistant (Media) to the minister during the visit.


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Nigerian movie industry needs at least 774 cinemas — NFVCB M r Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, has disclosed that Nigerian movie industry needs at least 774 cinemas across the country for it to tackle the menace of piracy. Thomas said this at a meeting with members of NFVCB branch of Radio Television and Theatre Art Workers Union, RATTAWU, in Abuja. According to him, establishing at least

one cinema in every local government in Nigeria will serve as antidote against survival of unwholesome films and video works in the growing movie industry. He added that “we have 774 local governments in Nigeria, and having cinemas in each area means that genuine and approved films will be easily accessed by Nigerians, thereby minimising the survival of pirated films.

He however, reiterated the board’s determination to sanitise the industry of uncensored and unclassified films and video works. He noted that the creative industry was acclaimed to have contributed 1.4 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP and could do more for owners, producers and distributors of films and video works to get value from their investment. He said “if the sector was in a mess, investors would not

come, hence the need for us to keep on delivering on our mandate and clean the market for the film owners to enjoy the rewards for their works.” The chairman of RATTAWU, Mr Jack Okoko, who spoke on behalf of the staff, commended Thomas “for your passion and commitment toward repositioning the board.” He then appealed to him and the board’s management to “prioritise staff welfare to enhance productivity.

Iw as a victim of was rape - Ifu Ennada, BBNaija housemat e housemate

Mo Hits: Don Jazzy, I D’Banj hint on reunion

Don Jazzy

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he yearnings of fans for a reunion by the defunct Mo Hits Squad, is gradually becoming a reality as Michael Collins and Dapo Oyebanjo a.k.a Don Jazzy and D’Banj respectively have publicly announced a ‘Reunion Tour.’ The duo made the announcement on their respective instagram handles. D’Banj, with over two million followers on instagram @iambangalee, stated: “@donjazzy Are they ready’’ Similarly, Don Jazzy, with about 3.9

D’Banj

million instagram followers in his characteristic responded on @donjazzy “@iambangalee How many states/countries should we give them?’’ However, the exact dates, venues or artists to perform during the tour were not mentioned in their different posts. Nevertheless, it is a welcome and cheering news for fans of Mo Hits Records, after members of the group went their separate ways in 2012. The group founded in 2004

dominated the Nigerian music scene between 2004 and 2012. The defunct Mo Hit Records artists first performance after the break up took place at the recent “Davido’s 30 Billion Music Concert’’ in December last year. The Squad had artists such as Don Jazzy, D’Banj, Dr Sid, Wande Coal, D’ Prince aka Omoba and KSwitch. After the break up, Don Jazzy went on to establish another record label known as Mavin Records (MR) and took along with

him, D’ Prince, Dr Sid and Wande Coal. Later, the iconic producer and the Chief Executive Officer of MR went on to sign the likes of Tiwa Savage, Korede Bello, Di’Ja, Reekado Banks, Johnny Drille, Poe and the DNA Twins. D’Banj On the other hand, signed a record deal with American Kanye West’s “Good Music’’. He founded DB Record where he signed his younger brother, KSwitch alongside two producers Jaysleek and Deevee.

heme Faith Uloma, aka Ifu Ennada, evicted contestant in the ongoing reality TV show, BBNaija “Double Wahala,’’ says she was raped and infected with a Sexual Transmitted Disease, STD. Ifu Ennada, who is also an actress, content producer, TV host and fitness entrepreneur took to her instagram handle, @ifuennada to make the revelation citing an unnamed personality in the entertainment industry as the rapist. The BBNaija contestant said that she has already documented her ordeal in her latest short story film titled, ‘Tears of A Broken Virgin.’ According to her, during her stay in the BBNaija House when emotions were raised during a ‘Truth or Dare game,’ she affirmed that she had not rally had sex. The fashion designer and graduate of Computer Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun added that people interpreted that she was claiming to be a Virgin. “ “The truth is in 2016, I was raped by someone in the entertainment industry,

before then I was a Virgin. “This person also infected me with an STI. “I was also threatened by this person and was very scared of social media’s bashing with the usual questions of “what was she wearing!’ Why did she go to his house?’ “So in all my sadness and depression, I decided to tell the world what had happened to me using film as a medium. “I was inspired to write and produce my film `Tears of A Broken Virgin’. I got a lot of help from social media. “People volunteered to work for me free of charge even my director Benny Atagame Alli. “Though some parts of my film are fiction, the bulk of it was inspired by my story. The lead character’s name is Ada which is a short form of my name Adanne- popularly pronounced as Ennada. “Because of my sad experience I battled depression, developed trust issues and found it hard to connect with people especially men.”


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EDUCATION

Buhari appoints class teacher member of NTI Board Stories by Godfrey AKON

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resident Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a young private school teacher, Mrs. Maureen Paulinus, as a member of the board of the National Teachers Institute, NTI, Kaduna. Maureen was inaugurated in Abuja, last Thursday, along with the Chairman of the NTI Board, Senator Kaka Mallam Yale, and Boards of 19 Education Parastatals as well as Governing Councils of the National Open University of Nigeria, and Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko. Her appointment is viewed by many as a beacon of hope for Nigeria’s hard working teachers whose plight has dominated public discourse in recent years. Shortly after her inauguration, the Joel Model College, Kagini class teacher, told journalists that she will not quit teaching as the board appointment would by no means diminish her passion for the job. “I will not quit; let me say it’s a passion, I have the passion and by God’s grace I will continue teaching until when I will retire,” she said. While inaugurating the Boards and Governing Councils, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said Maureen won every teaching competition she ever entered, adding that the teacher was neither known to him nor President Buhari before the appointment. Adamu, who reminded members of the boards that the current administration was running an agenda of change with education as a major pillar, urged them to carry out their assignments with professionalism, dedication, sincerity and patriotism. ”You are expected to be guided by the conditions of your appointments as contained in your letters

of appointment and other relevant government circulars as issued from time to time. With your appointment as boards, I expect you to play your roles with skill and efficiency,” he said. The minister also charged them to be courageous, innovative and responsive, and provide leadership that will engender transparency and accountability in pursuit of the mandates of the parastatals.

While urging the boards to maintain harmonious relationship with the management of the agencies and strictly adhere to the laws and operational guidelines of the agencies, he warned them not to interfere in the day-to-day running of the agencies but be concerned with policy formulation. “It is the board that reviews, approves and monitors the agency’s budget and evaluates its performance as well as

assesses the overall impact of its implementation. And the board is also expected to make deliberate efforts to diversify the sources of income and support for the agency,” he said. Adamu said the education ministry has commenced the implementation of the Ministerial Strategic Plan, 2016-2019, stressing that the boards are expected to key into the document and use it as one of their policy guides.

Chairman of the Board of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof Ayo Banjo, who responded on behalf of all the boards, noted the enormous challenges in the education sector and stressed that the problems were interrelated. Banjo pledged that the boards will do all they can to raise the standards of public universities across the country and place them on the world map.

L-R: Deputy Governor Nasarawa State, Silas Agara, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, and Executive Vice Chairman /Chief Executive, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Prof.. Mohammed Haruna, during the inauguration of NASENI Technology Orientation Center in Abuja...Tuesday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

NUC moves to reform Nigerian universities

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s Nigerian universities struggle to meet the nation’s manpower needs, the National Universities Commission, NUC, has commenced efforts towards reforming the system to enhance graduate employability. Speaking at a workshop on the proposed Higher Education Reform and African Centres of Excellence jointly organised by NUC and the World Bank in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, said many graduates of Nigerian universities were only tolerated in their areas of

employment. Rasheed, who stressed the need for reform of the entire university system, said a Reform Committee set up by NUC in December 2017 had already turned in a draft report, adding that consultations were ongoing to commence implementation of the goals before 2018 draws to a close. He said the report of the committee bothers on restructuring of the NUC, an overhaul of the entire gamut of governance structures in the universities, as well as reduction in the incidents of academic corruption such as plagiarism, sexual

harassment, bullying and failure to attend lectures among others, by 10 per cent before the end of 2018. The NUC boss decried inherent problems in the current university system where majority of the institutions find it difficult to release results on time, or issue academic transcripts among other challenges. “Nigerian universities are often criticised by employers of labour, professional bodies, and individuals for not producing the right graduates; many of our academics stay ten to fifteen years before acquiring their PhDs. “Many graduates of

social sciences from Nigerian universities cannot construct good sentences while many of their engineering counterparts cannot fit into the system after graduation. “We are seriously committed towards ensuring that the curriculum of Nigerian universities becomes one of the best three in Africa; we have already started consultations to that effect,” he said. While disclosing that the curriculum reengineering process started last year, he pledged that in the next two years, NUC will come up with a sustainable funding model for public universities.

2018 UTME: JAMB releases results of 1,502,978 candidates

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he Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has released the results of 1,502,978 candidates who sat for the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME. JAMB, in a press statement released late Tuesday by its Spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin, announcing the results, said 112,331 results were yet to be released out of which 350 are the results of the blind candidates which would be released soon and 111,981 results withheld for further screening. The Board said the results were released after viewing all CCTV footage during the conduct of the 2018 UTME and considering reports from its supervisors, monitors and other independent Nigerians who took interest in promoting the quality of public examination in Nigeria. “After viewing all CCTV footage during the conduct of the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and considering reports from our supervisors, monitors and other independent Nigerians who took interest in promoting the quality of public examination in Nigeria, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has released the results of (1,502,978) One Million, Five Hundred and Two thousand, Nine Hundred and SeventyEight candidates who sat for the 2018 UTME. “A total of (1,652,825) One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five candidate had indicated interest in the examination by registering for the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). “(112,331) One Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-One candidates results are yet to be released out of which (350) Three Hundred and Fifty are the results of the blind candidates which would be released soon and (111,981) One Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-One results withheld for further screening.


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March 26 - April 1, 2018

POLITICAL FEATURE

Nigeria and the Nadir of Power Following the ‘unconditional release of 104 girls by Boko Haram last Wednesday and the reactions that have continued to trail the “morality” of the terrorists, Our Associate Editor, Jacob EDI, raises some posers surrounding how the abduction has played out:

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o responsible government will announce it paid any form of ransom to kidnappers for the release of her citizen(s). Such a line has come to be an acceptable norm for governments, the world over, to save face. On that note, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, spoke the truth when he said the Nigerian government did not pay a dime for the release the Dapchi girls, instead the directive by the president to all security agencies “to do everything possible” to secure the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls did the magic. It is hoped that President Moahammdu Buhari will give the same directive in the case of the remaining Chibok girls who are still in captivity four years after. However if the reason for the unprecedented return of the girls is a result of some ceasefire deal between the government and the terrorists, then certain questions are begging for answers. Is Nigeria at war? Is Nigeria under occupation? What are the terms of the deal between the federal government and the insurgents? Is government in same deal with the rampaging Fulani herdsmen? If the answers to the above posers are in the affirmation then it will not be far wrong if government is talking about a ceasefire, otherwise one will be tempted to ask if the so-called deal is only in adherence when it has to do with returning the young girls that were seized and not to prevent the insurgents from attacking. When 110 female students of Government Girls School Dapchi, were kidnapped by terrorists, suspected to be members of Boko Haram and then last Wednesday, all the girls, except five, were reunited with their families. It is instructive that no member of the BH sect has taken responsibility for the kidnap of February 19. For a government that boasted of technically defeating Boko Haram and a military that kept “arresting” the BH leader without really arresting him, the abduction of the Dapchi girls must have come as not only a rude shock but a huge embarrassment. Mention must be made of the ease of operations when the girls were picked and returned. Very few Nigerians will rise in defense of government when suspicion of complicity in high quarters is raised and this is even without prejudice to the confusion between Aso Rock and Federal ministry of Information over the number of girls released by their abductors. It is cheering news that the hapless girls have been reunited with their parents, though. If things were normal, the development of Wednesday would have been a landmark achievement for the struggling administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. But things are not normal! Without ceremony, or according to

President Mohammadu Buhari, middle, in a group photograph with the girls from Dapchi School released by Boko Haram last week in Aso Rock Villa. Photo: Courtesy State House

the Presidency, non-payment of ransom, Boko Haram leaders drove into Dapchi of their own free will and released the girls they had kidnapped to their parents. This specie of terrorists sure deserve a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is unprecedented that a terrorist group will waste it’s time to plan and execute a kidnap of such magnitude for the fun of it. No exchange of prisoners. No money exchanged hands. Nothing… Just like that… Phew! But this is a matter for another day. There is no gainsaying that many Nigerians have been in a quandary on whether the Dapchi girls were returned, released or rescued. Indeed, some incurable pessimists strongly believe the whole story about the Dapchi saga was stage-managed to gain political mileage. It will be utterly shameful if this whole drama is scripted just for that purpose. But many indicators seem to authenticate such perception. The way and manner the girls were picked as well as how the entire security around the area was reportedly comprised, the alleged warning by Amnesty International among others. The body language of top government functionaries has done incalculable harm to the confidence level of this government. No sooner had the kidnap taken place than the Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali, went to town and gave an impression the girls will be found in no time. While some government apologists see nothing wrong about the matters arising from the Dapchi story, concerted effort is being made to change the narrative. For them, the Buhari administration deserves commendation especially that the girls were returned in record 30 days unlike the Chibok saga. Yet the nagging question is whether the president will

continue to sing the song of its swiftness in handling the Dapchi saga and consider the Chibok abduction as a Jonathan/PDP challenge or a national problem that should be given equal attention. Since the return of the Dapchi girls, all major outlets of governments’ information machinery, both formal and informal, have concentrated their efforts at playing up the fact that this administration was swift in handling the matter, hence the release of the girls. Of course this is a very sweet narrative. But it beats commonsense that every effort of government is geared towards measuring its achievement against that of the previous government. The challenges confronting this administration are enormous. Nigerians are daily living in fear and generally feel unprotected. The economy is far from being strong. It is embarrassing that Nigerians cannot even tell which years’ budget is in use. State governments are not, or better still, can’t pay salaries so government workers go months without salary while government officials live in affluence. The government pays deaf ears to some officials who are neck deep in corruption and yet carry on the toga of anti-corruption. Nigerians are no longer interested in excuses. They want answers. The sustained and rather coordinated attack of Fulani herdsmen has left another dent on this administration. Just last week the social media was agog with gory pictures of innocent men, women and children from the eastern part of Kogi state. Several villages across three local governments in the state, Bassa, Dekina and Omala, were reportedly sacked and a lot of people are currently homeless. Adamawa, Taraba, Nassarawa, Plateau and Benue have

had their share of the bestiality. In the case of Benue, the anti-open grazing law was said to have angered the herdsmen, even as unjustifiable as it sounds, but no credible reason can be adduced for the attacks in Kogi state. No credible arrest has taken place even when leaders of the Fulani sociocultural group has made comments that should ordinarily indict the group. This has fuelled insinuations that there is more than meet the ordinary eye. Are they above the laws of this country? Even after President Buhari announced that the Inspector-General of Police had disobeyed his directive, the nation waited in vain for any consequential order or any form of sanction for that matter on the Niger State born IGP. It is unheard of that the orders of the Commander-in-Chief was not carried out by the nation’s top cop. It is disloyalty. It is disobedience. In other climes even the IGP will toe the path of honor as the presidents’ comments is not far from a vote of no confidence. It is apparent that the president and his managers need to up the game. They should sing a new song as 2019 elections is getting closer. Nigerians need more than the euphoria of the return of abducted girls that create doubts in the minds of citizens. Government needs to do more to instill confidence in the minds of Nigerians and that will give it more political mileage that it so desperately seek. The major function of government is the protection of lives and property of all citizens. Sadly, the situation we have in Nigeria is a far departure from the philosophy of safety as enshrined in the constitution. It is instructive that the merchants of CHANGE need to change tactics in order for Nigerians to change their perception.


March 26 - April 1, 2018

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WORLD TIT-BITS ‘March For Our Lives’ holds rallies across US

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undreds of thousands of Americans turned out for rallies across the country on Saturday in support of tighter gun control. March For Our Lives grew out of a movement calling for change after 17 people were killed by a gunman at a high school in Florida last month. On Friday, the White House said it would ban bump stocks, which give semi-automatic guns rapid-fire capability. But many activists are calling for more extensive legislation. They want to seize on public outrage in the wake of the 14 February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to convince US politicians to finally take decisive action, including by banning the sale of assault weapons. However, the issue divides Americans. The right to bear arms is protected under the 2nd amendment of the US constitution and the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun lobby remains highly influential. Organisers say up to half a million people rallied in Washington DC in a protest that could be the largest since last year’s women’s march. Hundreds of events are scheduled all over the US, and globally including in UK cities like Edinburgh. “This issue is going to turn into the No 1 issue in this country. I know that’s not only what I want, but I know it’s what you guys want,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, Alfonso Calderon, told students in Washington on Thursday, ahead of the march. Some 69% of Americans think gun laws should be tightened, according to a new poll by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, up from 61% in October 2016.

Women dressed in traditional costumes ride motorbikes as they celebrate the Gudi Padwa festival, the beginning of the New Year for Maharashtrians in Mumbai, India.

DR Congo to shun its own donor conference in Geneva T

he Democratic Republic of Congo says it will not attend a donor conference in Geneva next month, complaining the country is being given “a bad image”. The meeting aims to raise nearly $1.7bn (£1.2bn) for what the UN has described as a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Acting Prime Minister Jose Makila

acknowledged that the country was facing an emergency but said the UN’s reaction was discouraging investors. The UN says more than 13 million Congolese need humanitarian aid. Nearly 4.5 million people are currently displaced in the country, having fled violence, it says. DR Congo is rich in mineral and other

resources but is affected by armed conflicts, corruption and a political crisis. In response, the UN has declared that the humanitarian crisis facing the country is Level 3 - the body’s highest-level emergency. It organised a high-level humanitarian conference for the DR Congo in Geneva on 13 April. But Mr Makila

accused the UN of overreacting and said that aid organisations were propagating a “bad image of DR Congo throughout the world”. “The Democratic Republic of Congo declines to participate in the Geneva conference,” he said. “While recognising that the country is facing an emergency situation... the activation of the top-

level humanitarian emergency acts as a brake [for development].” President Joseph Kabila has been in power in DR Congo since 2001. His second and final term officially ended in December 2016. Elections have been scheduled for December this year but correspondents say it is unclear if President Kabila will give way.

Brexit: EU adopts guidelines for negotiations on future relations

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U leaders have approved guidelines for the negotiation of future relations with the UK after Brexit. The text on trade, security and other issues was agreed in “less than half a minute”, clearing the way for the next phase of Brexit talks to get under way. The UK is due to leave in March 2019 and negotiators have said they want a deal in place by the end of the year. Prime Minister Theresa May said she believed there was a new “spirit of co-operation and opportunity”. The formal adoption of the guidelines, although widely expected, is seen as another key step as the

Brexit process gathers momentum. The guidelines give chief negotiator Michel Barnier the mandate to talk directly to the UK about the future

relationship with a view to reaching a broad political agreement by October to allow the EU and UK parliaments time to consider it. European Council

President Donald Tusk said the “positive momentum” should be used to settle outstanding issues like avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland.

Israeli man fined for urinating on memorial at Auschwitz

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n Israeli man has been fined after he was caught urinating on a monument for the victims of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. The 19-year-old, who has not been identified, was questioned by Polish police for several hours and released. He reportedly apologised and accepted a $1,500

(£1,060) fine. Polish law says those who desecrate a monument or a public place devoted to a historical event or a person can be punished with a fine or imprisonment. The man urinated on a monument located between the ruins of the two largest crematoria in the former death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

A museum guide noticed it and called the police. No details have been released. It is estimated that 1.1 million people, most of them European Jews, were murdered at Auschwitz before it was liberated by Soviet forces in 1945. Earlier this year, 12 people who stripped naked in front of the former camp were convicted of profaning the site.

EU leaders will decide in June whether the “Irish question” has been resolved and will look into a “common declaration on our future”, he added. Mrs May, who was not present when her colleagues met to discuss Brexit, said she believed there was a “new dynamic” in the negotiations. “I believe we are approaching this with a spirit of co-operation, a spirit of opportunity for the future as well, and we will now be sitting down and determining those workable solutions for Northern Ireland, but also for our future security partnership and economic partnership,” she said.


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March 26 - April 1, 2018

BUSINESS

FCT REPORT

Sale of national assets pointless -RMAFC

Metering: Electricity consumers to pay extra service charge T Stories by Sarah NEGEDU

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s the federal government prepares for the enforcement of the new Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018, about a week from now, customers metered under the new arrangement will have to pay what government terms ‘Metering Service Charge’. The additional charge follows the unveiling of the new regulation, which enables Meter Asset Providers, MAPs, to take up the responsibility of providing meters to customers, among other functions. Before now, the Power distribution companies had the sole responsibility of providing meters to electricity consumers in the country. But the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ,NERC, states that the objectives of the MAPR 2018, was to provide standard rules to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in the electricity supply industry and eliminate estimated billing. However, with the regulation which takes effect from April 3, electricity consumers who acquire their meters through the MAPs arrangement will have to pay an additional metering service charge. Section 10 (5) of the MAP regulation states that, “The distribution licensees shall include a metering service charge as a clear item on the billing of its customers provided with meters under an MSA with MAPs and shall be separate from the energy charge. The charges will however have to be approved by the NERC subject to, “the outcome of the procurement

process for the MAP.” Customers who choose to buy meters can do so through the DisCo, and upon certification of the premises, MAP shall install the meter in 10 working days, but such customers will not pay for meter service charge again, it explained. The Commissioner, Legal, Licencing and Compliance at NERC, Dafe Akpeneye, while presenting the new MAP regulation at a recent 25th power sector meeting in

Akwa Ibom State, said electricity consumers will have the option of selffinancing. But that those who don’t want this “will be able to obtain meters from MAPs and there will be a metering service charge spread over a period of 10 years.” He added, “MAPs will be independent people who will be approved by NERC but contracted by the Discos to bridge the metering gap. In doing this, there

will be various options available to customers.” To qualify as MAP, firms have to apply to NERC with a 10-year business plan along with other documents. “The tenure of MAP Permit shall be 15 years for successful firms in the first instance,” it said, and that it would grant such permit in 21 days of application based on criteria. The proposed rule still recognises the 71 Metering Service

Providers, MSPs, licensed by NERC in its 2017 updated list. Therefore, MSPs will be engaged by MAP in the metering exercise. The regulation directs DisCos to engage MAPs and conclude the procurement process within 120 days (four months) to provide meters to the huge “wait list” of customers. After a DisCo gets a MAP, NERC said it would engage a tender auditor to probe the procurement process.

L-R: Member, House of Reps, Hon. Abdullahi Idris Kontagora, embattled former chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin and Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, as Abdulmumin resumed plenary after his suspension by the leadership of the House at the National Assembly in Abuja, last Thursday.

BON Hotels reposition for better service, says Geldart By Ere-ebi AGEDAH

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ON Hotels has launched their revamped branch in Abuja, stating that the group will continue to be foremost in its efforts to ensure that Nigerians enjoy a firsthand experience of international hospitality services. General Manager of the hotel, Ankia Geldart, said that the process of revamping was a challenging period as

their guests were exposed to a lot of inconveniences during the 18 months process but its commitment remains paramount to provide a home away from home. “As a working hotel, with in-house guests, the revamp was a challenge as the hotel needed to consider guests and mitigate any inconvenience.” he said. According to Geldart, the hotel, which holds 28 rooms, has a four-star

international standard offering and is set to lay down a new benchmark for hotels in Nigeria. Owner of the property, Mr Ikenna Chukwueke, said “Our mutual commitment to this project speaks for itself, you simply do not achieve an average room occupancy of 90% by accident. This takes careful design, and commitment of both parties to consistently delivering 4-star international service

standards and products, and BON Hotels have certainly proved their worth.” Also Speaking at the event was, Guy Stehlik, CEO of BON Hotels International West Africa, “with owners who are wholeheartedly passionate about our brand, with the value and experience our board, management and staff bring to the table, we are undoubtedly confident about our success in Nigeria.”

he Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, has again warned against the outright sale of the nation’s national assets, saying such move will only enrich the buyer at the expense of the country. It said the proposed reduction of government’s equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas as contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan was unnecessary. The commission rather advised the country to borrow the equivalent sales value of the assets since the loan could be repaid from the dividends that would have been lost if the assets had been sold. A statement by RMAFC’s spokesperson, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, noted that the persistent clamour for the sale of the oil and gas assets has continued unabated in spite of its earlier advice against such. The commission believes that the sale of NLNG is pointless seeing that the firm has been managed efficiently, profitably and paying dividend to its shareholders and the Federation Account. For instance, in July, 2015, about N412.6 billion was paid as dividend to the Federation Account, while in December, 2015, $400 million was also paid. Consequently, the Federation Account would continue to benefit from the annual dividend as well as from the capital appreciation in value of this asset over time. “The persons supporting its sale and those clamouring to buy are aware of the benefits they would make from such transactions,” it said. The commission therefore suggest that instead of the outright sales of the assets, government should consider borrowing the sales value of the assets since the loan could be repaid from the dividends that would have been lost if the assets had been sold, as the dividends would have gone to the new buyers of the assets.


March 26 - April 1, 2018

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BUSINESS

FG saves N68bn on personnel cost in 2017 By Sarah NEGEDU

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he federal government said it has saved at least N68billion on personnel cost in 2017 alone, through the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, made the disclosure during her presentation of “Status Update on the Implementation of Federal Executive Council Approved Projects” at the Council’s meeting. She said the aggregate savings by the Government on personnel cost since 2007 to date, stands at N288 billion. Adeosun, according to a statement by her Media Adviser, Oluyinka Akintunde, told the Council that the savings were achieved despite increased in personnel, including the employment of 10,000 by the Nigerian Police. She said the sum were funds that would have otherwise gone unaccounted for which, she added, were now free for the Government to fund capital projects. The Minister confirmed that a total of 511 Ministries, Departments and Agencies had been captured under the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, with staff count of 607,843. Adeosun was quoted as telling the council that, “As at 20th March, 2018 the number of MDAs on IPPIS Payroll is 469 with 316,158 Staff Count with gross salary of N43,979,383,997.78 and 42 Police Commands and Formations paid on IPPIS Platform in February, 2018 with Staff Count of 291,685 and gross salary of N22,276,669,257.21. “Staff of ParaMilitary Agencies (Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Prison Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps) enrolled to date is 100,822 for which a trial payroll of N11,456,278,859.00 have

been sent for review and update for April, 2018 payroll,” Adeosun said. The introduction of the IPPIS Adeosun said, had resulted in the reduction of ghost workers syndrome, enforcement of compliance with due process on employment of staff in MDAs, and prompt and timely payment of salaries and remittances of third

parties payments. She noted further that the IPPIS had become an assured source of internally generated revenue through payee to States and Federal Government. While calling for adequate funding of the IPPIS project to achieve its objectives and to enable replacement of the obsolete infrastructure, the minister also

canvassed for a legislation to impose sanctions on non-compliance MDAs to achieve speedy and successful service delivery. “There is need to kit IPPIS stakeholders to overcome challenges for effective and efficient service delivery at all times,” Adeosun recommended. The IPPIS is a federal government initiative

which undertakes human resources management activities from recruitment to separation, including payroll and pension processing. The system also aids budgeting, monitors monthly payment of staff emoluments against what is provided for in the budget, ensures database integrity among several functions.

L-R: President, Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmud SAN, General Secretary, NBA, Mr. Isiaka Olagunju, Executive Director, Justice Research Institute Limited, Mr. Ikem Isiekwena and JRI member, Mrs. Hadiza Abdulazeez, during the singing of MoU between the NBA and JRI in Abuja...Thursday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

FIRS grows tax revenue by N700bn in 2years

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he Federal Inland Revenue Service said it has fast-track tax payment compliance and raise tax revenue by over N700billion in the last two years through the deployment of Information and Communications Technology. The Executive Chairman of the agency, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, disclosed this at the opening session of the 13th General Assembly of the West African Tax Administration Forum. Fowler noted that the use of Information Technology had enabled the FIRS to simplify tax administration as four million fresh taxpayers had been added to the tax database between 2016 and 2017.

He said, “In Nigeria, we have in the past two years taken the route of increasing the use of the ICT in facilitating taxpayers’ compliance and introduced initiatives to improve inter-agency collaboration, all with a view to enhancing tax administration and reduce tax revenue leakages. “Our efforts in this regard has made an impact and contributed to an increase in the taxpayers’ roll by an additional four million taxpayers and an increase of over N700bn in tax revenues in 2017, above the taxes collected in 2016.” The FIRS boss called on WATAF member countries to embrace the use of the ICT tools in their tax administration processes. He said this will help to check the issue of tax

evasion and abuse of the tax administration processes. “It is pertinent that tax administrators in West Africa re-strategise if they are to live up to their mandate. One of the viable means is by implementing initiatives to tackle tax abuses. “While the dynamics of tax administration might vary amongst countries within the West Africa sub-region, the challenges of tax evasion and avoidance schemes are similar.” In the meantime, the FIRS took its tax amnesty campaign to the Institute of Chartered Accountants, ICAN, where urged association to partner with the government on the implementation of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration

Scheme. The head of FIRS Integrated Tax Administration System, Project Office, Adamu Muhammed Kudu, at a seminar to sensitise stakeholders on implementation of VAIDS, said the implementation of the scheme was made easy through different channels He said channels of electronic and online processing of tax outcomes known as eservices, comprising eTCC, e-filling, e-VAT, eenquiries and e-TIN have made the process convenient. “The deployment of efilling is to enable tax payers perform their tax obligations without necessarily coming to FIRS,” he said.

FG to fight malnutrition through increased fish production

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he Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Haineken Lokpobiri, has assured Nigerians that the present administration is committed to develop fish farming and aquaculture in the country. The minister while delivering his keynote address at the International Worldfish Stakeholders workshop, said the present administration is set at growing agriculture especially the fish and aquaculture sector in order to overcome malnutrition and create wealth for the youth, entrepreneurs and women. “As you know, Nigeria is a large fish consuming nation and a net importer of fish and fisheries products. Currently, our annual national fish demand is in excess of 3.2 Million Metric tonnes while the production is about 1.1 Million Metric Tonnes from all sources (aquaculture, artisanal and industrial fishing sectors) resulting in a demand-supply gap of about 2.1Million Metric Tonnes.” Lokpobiri commended Worldfish for selecting Nigeria as a focal country in his research development programme. Contributing, Worldfish Director of International Partnership, David Shearer, explained that any country desirous of making success of its development programme must pay attention to priority, partnership and pipeline. He said the wish of the organisers of the workshop is to see necessary modalities developed for the establishment of Nigerian Worldfish Development Centre at the end of the programme. He described Worldfish as a reputable global organisation noted for building capacities for optimum production of fish worldwide especially Tilapia. In his address, the Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry, Alh. Muazu Muhammed, described the country as the largest producer of cart fish.


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March 26 - April 1, 2018

FOCUS

The community of 2,000 people with 151 cases of sex crime By Linda Pressly, BBC

Norwegian police have documented 151 cases of sexual abuse, including child rape, in one small community of 2,000 people, north of the Arctic circle. The offences occurred over decades between the 1950s and 2017 - but were only recently uncovered. How could such serious sex crimes go unchecked for so long?

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ina Iversen says she has always been someone who talks - and has often talked about what happened to her when she was growing up in Tysfjord. “I always spoke about it. From when I was 14 years old, I thought: ‘I’ll write a book about this abuse - I’m going to stop it.’ But of course, I wasn’t able to.” When she was a teenager, young people confided in each other about the sexual abuse they had experienced, but adults would not listen. “We were called whores and liars. There were many of us who were treated like that. And we were spat on if we tried to talk about it,” she remembers. Iversen’s abusers were her relatives, so as a child she lived family life in a perpetual state of terror Now 49, she no longer lives in Tysfjord, but says she still doesn’t feel safe. A remote community dominated by a 900m-deep fjord, Tysfjord is split in two - one part, Drag, lies on the western shore, and the other, Kjopsvik, on the eastern. A car ferry ploughs its way back and forth between the two. About half of those living here are from the indigenous Sami community some of Scandinavia’s earliest inhabitants, who live in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. But Sami people accounted for about two-thirds of the 83 victims and 92 perpetrators identified in the police report on sexual abuse, and discrimination and racism had an impact on how the story played out. By 2005, Nina Iversen was a mother. Worried about her children, and the threat to them of sexual abuse, she was in touch with child welfare services. Again she spoke about her own experiences. She told her doctor. “I told everyone,” she says. “But to be listened to, you had to have the right background. Someone like me, who comes from a poor family, just got ignored.” Iversen was not the only one trying to get the authorities’ attention. In 2007,

Anna and Ingar Kuoljok, outside the Sami hut used as a church. desperate Sami parents of a child who had been sexually abused wrote a letter to the prime minister asking for help. The letter gained traction in the media people expected action. At that time, Anna Kuoljok, a deacon in the Norwegian Church, and her husband Ingar, a lawyer - both of them Sami - were in touch with 20 families whose children had been sexually exploited. The couple spoke up at public meetings attended by local politicians, health workers, the police and other authorities. “They thought it couldn’t be true there were so many cases - that’s what they said to us,” remembers Anna. “They thought we were lying.” “They were just not comfortable with these kinds of stories,” says Ingar. “They didn’t know how to handle it.” The Mayor of Tysfjord, Tor Asgeir Johansen, remembers those meetings too but has a different explanation for what went wrong. “They didn’t get a grip on things because people wouldn’t tell,” he says, referring to the victims of sexual abuse. “The community isn’t the police - we can’t go around looking in people’s homes. People must come and ask for help.” Reporting sexual abuse is difficult for many victims, regardless of their cultural heritage. But in Tysfjord there was a further reluctance to speak out - in many cases the Sami people did not trust the police or authorities. At the same time, Nina Iversen - and she was not alone - was trying to tell her story, but was not listened to. Ethnic divisions were compounded by geography and politics - the more Sami-identifying village of Drag in the west, separated from the more Norwegian village of Kjopsvik in the east, where most authorities were based. Nearly another decade would pass before the abuse story broke in the press.

Nina Iversen Those years were difficult and lonely for Nina Iversen. She was depressed, and posted a poem about sexual abuse on Facebook, writing ‘TYSFJORD’ in angry block capitals. Another local woman with experiences similar to Iversen’s saw it and got in touch. She said she was already talking to two freelance journalists. And then the ball started rolling. Nina contacted other victims she knew, including women in her extended family. On 11 June 2016 a national newspaper, Verdens Gang, published the story of sexual abuse in Tysfjord based on the testimony of 11 survivors women and men. The reaction was immediate. Tone Vangen, Nordland Police District’s chief, was relaxing at home that Saturday. She abandoned her weekend from the moment she read the press report. “This was really serious. We had to put it at the top of our priority list - the main aim was to prevent further cases of sexual abuse in Tysfjord. The following Monday we started to build the organisation that could start the investigation.” Vangen asked everyone who had experienced sexual abuse, however long ago, to come forward. “We said - even if the Statute of Limitations on offences means we can’t take the case to court, we want to take you seriously and we want to understand this problem. But we just didn’t realise how big it was.” Police officer Aslak Finvik was tasked with making contact with Sami people and creating trust so they would talk. “It was complicated,” he says. “There were many things the police didn’t know about before - family ties, religion. And in Sami culture there are elements from pre-Christian times. People believe in healing, and that a shaman can get power over someone by

reading their pain. They felt ashamed to talk about it because from a Norwegian point of view, we can’t understand it. But it was very important for Sami people that we did.” That understanding would result in the first prosecution in the Tysfjord case - a man who gained access to women by claiming the power to heal and to drive away evil spirits, who sexually assaulted his victims during “treatment” sessions. He was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison. By 2016, Nina Iversen’s abusers were dead, so she would never see justice done in court. But she was very happy to collaborate with the police. Meanwhile, in the weeks after VG published its story, about 40 victims sought help from the local doctor, Fred Andersen. The youngest was 10, the oldest 80. “We had to give them huge medical and psychiatric support,” he says. “It’s been a very heavy burden. The young people will survive and come out of this with new strengths and self-respect. But the elderly, and those of 50 or 60 who are unemployed with psychiatric problems, they suffer.” Inevitably, questions have been asked about why it is Sami people who feature so largely in this story of abuse. But Lars Magne Andreassen, director of Arran - the Sami community centre in Drag - resists a cultural explanation. The revelations have taken a huge toll on a vulnerable community. They have left in their wake fractured families, broken lives and at least two suicides. Nina Iversen’s experience has been entangled with that bleak history for decades, but as one of the first 11 survivors who told their story, she feels as though life is finally moving in the right direction. “Today I can say I’m proud of what we did. Now they’re listening. We’re getting somewhere - people believe us.”


March 26 - April 1, 2018

21

Healthwise

Early life experiences influence DNA in the adult brain I

n the perennial question of nature versus nurture, a new study suggests an intriguing connection between the two. Salk Institute scientists report in the journal Science that the type of mothering a female mouse provides her pups actually changes their DNA. The work lends support to studies about how childhood environments affect brain development in humans and could provide insights into neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. “We are taught that our DNA is something stable and unchanging which makes us who we are, but in reality it’s much more dynamic,” says Rusty Gage, a professor in Salk’s Laboratory of Genetics. “It turns out there are genes in your cells that are capable of copying themselves and moving around, which means that, in some ways, your DNA does change.” For at least a decade, scientists have known that most cells in the mammalian brain undergo changes to their DNA that make each neuron, for example, slightly different from its neighbor. Some of these changes are caused by “jumping” genes — officially known as long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) — that move from one spot in the genome to another. In 2005, the Gage lab discovered that a jumping gene called L1, which was already known to copy and paste itself into new places in the genome, could jump in developing neuronal brain cells. The team had hypothesized that such changes create potentially helpful diversity among brain cells, fine-tuning function, but might also contribute to neuropsychiatric conditions. “While we’ve known for a while that cells can acquire changes to their DNA,

it’s been speculated that maybe it’s not a random process,” says Tracy Bedrosian, a former Salk research associate and first author of the

study. “Maybe there are factors in the brain or in the environment that cause changes to happen more or less

frequently.” To find out, Gage, Bedrosian and colleagues began by observing natural variations in maternal

care between mice and their offspring. They then looked at DNA from the offspring’s hippocampus, which is involved in emotion,

L-R: Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Mohammed Usman, Chairman, House Committee on HIV/ AIDS, TB and Malaria, Hon. Davematics Ombugadu and representative of the Speaker, Hon. Sam Onigbo during the launch of the Nigerian Parliamentary Tuberculosis Caucus at the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo: Wale Elekolusi

Adewole inaugurates committee for review of herbal pharmacopoela By Williams ABAH

I

n recognition of the global upsurge in the use of herbal and traditional medicines resulting in a huge market and wealth creation, the Federal Ministry of Health has inaugurated a 16-man expert committee for the review of the first edition of the Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Speaking at the inauguration in Abuja, permanent secretary of the ministry, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, said Nigeria is blessed with vast bio-diversity of different medicinal herbal species, many of which had remained untapped. In view of this, Uwaifo said there was need to scientifically organise information and documentation on useful medicinal herbs which were found efficacious in the management and treatment of several ailments in Nigeria. He further explained that the first edition of Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia published with the support of World Health Organisation, WHO, in 2008, contained 42 commonly used medicinal plants in Nigeria.

Twenty two of the cultivated plants were indigenous to Nigeria, 18 were introduced into Nigeria from other countries, while only two were not grown in appreciable quantities in the country and as such predominantly imported. Uwaifo therefore charged members of the committee to put in their

expertise and explore more herbal medicinal plants not captured in the first edition. He also advised the committee to take a cue from countries with various editions of Herbal Pharmacopoeia such as, Ghana and India to update and adopt plants with similar agronomical proportion with a view to coming up

with a second edition. Responding on behalf of the other members of the committee, the Acting Chairman, Prof. Tony Elujoba, said that the Herbal Pharmacopoeia represented the official documentation of medicinal plants, their values and standardization of quality and quantity.

memory and some involuntary functions. The team discovered a correlation between maternal care and L1 copy number: mice with attentive mothers had fewer copies of the jumping gene L1, and those with neglectful mothers had more L1 copies, and thus more genetic diversity in their brains. To make sure the difference wasn’t a coincidence, the team conducted a number of control experiments, including checking the DNA of both parents of each litter to make sure the offspring didn’t just inherit their numbers of L1s from a parent, as well as verifying that the extra DNA was actually genomic DNA and not stray genetic material from outside the cell nucleus. Lastly, they crossfostered offspring, so that mice born to neglectful mothers were raised by attentive ones, and vice versa. Initial results of the correlation between L1 numbers and mothering style held: mice born to neglectful mothers but raised by attentive ones had fewer copies of L1 than mice born to attentive mothers but raised by neglectful ones.

Ehanire commissions isolation unit at FMC Keffi By Williams ABAH

M

inister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has commissioned an Isolation Unit, Electronic Personnel Record, EPR, and a new administrative block at the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State. Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, last week, Ehanire noted that the projects initiated and executed by the Centre would remain indelible in the annals of Nigeria’s healthcare delivery. “I am delighted to be here again to commission new administrative complex, Isolation Unit anand Electronic Personnel Record

initiated and executed by the management of this Centre. “I am more often in FMC Keffi not because it is near to Abuja but because there are good things to show in order to ensure effective healthcare service delivery which have direct bearing on the lives of the patients and other Nigerians”, he said. He added that the Federal Ministry of Health would do its’ very best to continue to assist the centre to achieve more giant strides. According to him, “The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is doing its best and wants to upgrade health facilities across the country despite paucity of fund. ‘’In achieving this

objective, there is need to work together, all hands must be on deck in driving the health sector in Nigeria.” Ehanire emphasized the need for good maintenance of the hospital facilities and their environment to encourage patients, adding that it was not enough to have qualified health professionals. The minister pointed out that the Isolation Unit would boost healthcare delivery service at the centre and this development should assure patients and the public of safety from outbreaks of diseases like Lassa fever. ‘’It is hoped that from now on, any suspected case of disease that carries the danger of spreading to other persons would be safely

isolated accordingly, for proper care as standard operating procedures have been designed to fish out such patients at the entry points of the hospital’’, he revealed. He commended Dr. Joshua Giyan, the Medical Director of the Centre and the Management Staff for keying into projects that had direct bearing on the lives of the staff and patients at large. Earlier, in his remarks, the Chairman, Governing Board of FMC Keffi, Prince Sule – Iko Sami, pledged the commitment of the members to work assiduously towards achieving its mandate, just as he expressed the need for team work with the top management of the Centre for the benefit of all.


22

March 26 - April 1, 2018

PEOPLE SPEAK

Our joy for Dapchi girls, but… Last Wednesday, Boko Haram freed most of the 110 girls it abducted from Government Science and Technical College, Dapchi on February 19, 2018 with five of the girls reportedly dead. The terror group drove the girls into town in 9 vehicles, the same way it took them out. The Nigerian Government had assured of efforts to ensure the safe return of the girls and deployed the Airforce and other security agencies to search for the missing schoolgirls. As the issue continues to dominate discussions, Nigerians who spoke to Ere-Ebi AGEDAH-IMISI and Nicholas ACHEDE expressed joy over the return of the girls but question government’s handling of security matters. Excerpts: ABUBAKAR WIDI-JALO: It is a joyful thing that the girls are released to reunite with their families. Under the law of armed conflict, there is no way anyone would have attacked them while they were releasing the girls or on their way back, for the safety of the girls and for the agreement of safe passage. Ceasefire agreement may have been involved for the purpose of exchange or return of kidnapped civilians as we saw in Dapchi. There is nothing strange about the method or way and manner the Dapchi girls were released. What is shocking is just the stark reality that we are indeed in a war situation. So, under the circumstances of the kidnap of 110 girls, their release had to be guided by the law of armed conflict where unfortunately the rebels also get some form of protection. OPEYEMI BABALOLA: For me, yes the Dapchi girls are back, except for the 5 that are dead. However, Boko Haram drove all the way from Sambisa forest to drop the girls in Yobe town and drove back and nobody saw them? It is obvious that Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen are both Political. So unfortunate! Nigerians are watching. PINDIGA UMAR SANI: As a father it really baffled me but I came to realize that destiny held its portion. At first, there were held captive without security in town and later brought back without security in place. Federal, state and local governments should place security, at least vigilantes, in schools hospitals and other public places to prevent such occurrence in the future. The Chibok and Dapchi School girls’ abductions have sent a negative signal to many parents in the North East who are denying their daughters

Opeyemi Babalola

Destiny Adams

Pindiga Umar

of a good western education. Government should please do something even though security is everyone’s business.

them into power but I must confess that we made a big mistake. It reads like a story from a book written and actors playing out the script. What manner of military do we operate in this country? So many questions and no good answers! Like I said earlier, I am happy the girls are back to their parents but the circumstances surrounding the adoption remain unexplained.

administration will be pushed out of office because the scales have fallen off our eyes. I just want to plead with this terrorists to please leave our helpless women and girls alone. If you want to kidnap go and take the strong men, the ones in Aso rock, state house, Villa as you would get a better bargain.

DESTINY ADAMS: It is cheering news that the Dapchi girls are back. However, some Nigerians are applauding the efforts of the government while others are rather attacking its effort. For me, I will say Roses come with thorns, Rain comes with mud, Sugar attracts ants and Success attracts haters. That is life, as a matter of fact. If your success does not attract haters, it is suspicious success. Appreciate your haters. They are a sign you have succeeded in life. EMEKA OZUBULU: The return of the Dapchi school girls is a good one and a plus to this administration as compared to the Chibok case. It is just painful that we have to pass through this lane as a country, and I ask myself, what type of leaders do we have in this country? How can young girls be taken away and the military fail to apprehend the perpetrators? APC convinced us to vote

JOY OGUNDARE: I heard about the release of the girls and I was happy. I am a woman and I do not want to imagine how I will feel if my child is taken away. If there was a way I could open my heart for someone to see how I feel about this country, this administration and the whole events since we were first hit by this terrorist group. God in heaven has special love for this country and that is why we can still move freely. Some persons are still looting our funds; kidnap today, release tomorrow. If God takes his hands away, we would be doomed. This government has proven to all Nigerians that what glitters is not gold. It can be a counterfeit which can never last. This

BABAJIDE AWOSIKA: This is all politics at play; very calculated, deadly and heartless one at that, where the life of a human being is used to get a favour. Some of us are aware of the scheme and techniques this administration is using to play this game. We seem helpless but in the long run, they will lose out. Now, you ridiculously send a bill to the National Assembly against hate speech to silence us as you are gradually migrating into a military administration. Most definitely, the way it was voted in will be the same way this insensitive administration will be pushed out. We know that the military, the terrorist group and the government planned it all, but all this will be in the past very soon.


March 26 - April 1, 2018

23


March 26 - April 1, 2018

De Gea slams World Cup ball, ‘it’s really strange’

lDe Gea

M

anchester U n i t e d goalkeeper David de Gea has given his verdict on the World Cup ball, the adidas Telstar 18, and he believes it is going to be a nightmare for shotstoppers. The 27-year-old is widely recognised as one of the foremost players in his position in the world, but gave the thumbs down to the ball following Spain’s 1-1 draw with Germany on Friday. De Gea conceded a thumping shot from Thomas Muller early in the second half and, while he is not crediting the new ball with that, he does believe it behaves in a strange manner. “It’s really strange,” he said. “It could have been made a lot better.” Pepe Reina, the Napoli No.1 and understudy to De Gea in the Spain national team, was equally critical. “I bet you as much as you like that we’ll see at least 35 goals from long range in Russia, because it’s impossible to work out,” he grumbled. “It’s covered in a plastic film that makes it difficult to hold on to. Goalkeepers are going to have a lot of problems with this ball.”

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo

Bale should snub Man Utd to stay at Real Madrid –Giggs W

ales boss Ryan Giggs has told Gareth Bale to forget the approaches of Manchester United and stay instead at Real

Madrid. Giggs is an Old Trafford legend but he has counselled his current charge that remaining at the

Bernabeu would be best for his career. Bale has struggled to win playing time in recent months under Zinedine Zidane, and

while that has led to reports of a potential exit in the summer, his international manager does not see that has a major concern.

I have been struggling with hamstring, says Messi

L

ionel Messi has been suffering “for some time” with the hamstring problem that forced him to miss Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Italy on Friday. Messi was reduced to the role of spectator at the Etihad Stadium, where goals from Ever Banega and Manuel Lanzini ensured the win for Jorge Sampaoli’s men. The Barcelona superstar has been in typically free-scoring form for the Blaugrana, finding the net eight times in his last six

games, with his tally for the season up to 35. And that run looks even more impressive following Messi’s admission of his injury problems, though he is hopeful of being fit to face Spain on Tuesday. “I have been suffering from this hamstring injury for some time,” Messi told TyC Sports before the game. “I always want to play, but the road to the World Cup is still long. We decided to wait for this game [against Italy] to rest but I’m optimistic about playing against

Spain.” Head coach Jorge Sampaoli added in his post-game media conference: “We had planned the game with Leo Messi in the starting line-up, but he had an injury and we preferred him not to take part.” Angel Di Maria, though, will miss the meeting with Spain in Madrid due to a problem with his right thigh. The Paris SaintGermain midfielder was replaced by Diego Perotti in the 64th minute of Friday’s encounter and the Argentine Football

Association (AFA) later confirmed he will sit out the game at the Wanda Metropolitano.

lMessi

“It’s Real Madrid – there are only a handful of clubs who have got that aura,” he said. “Of course you would want to stay there. What’s Gareth won, three Champions League titles? The proof is in that. When you are at clubs like that, you are always going to win things.” Giggs took the praise one step further for the man who this week became his country’s record scorer by netting three times in a friendly against China, comparing him to Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo. “Gareth has the ability to score every type of goal and there are similarities with Ronaldo,” he explained. “They both started out as wingers and they are now goalscorers.”

The Abuja Inquirer is published by Gazetta Communications Limited. HEAD OFFICE: Plot 207, Jumai Kwanashie Crescent (Formerly 44 Crescent) CITEC Villas, Gwarimpa II, ABUJA, NIGERIA. Tel: 08033027995 E-mail: letters@theabujainquirer.com: Website: www.theabujainquirer.com. Publisher-Editor-in-Chief: DAN AKPOVWA

Edition 31  
Edition 31  
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