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Tragedy! Couple found dead 10 days after wedding By Austine ELEMUE


ragedy struck in Aso ‘A’ of Mararaba in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, as a couple were found dead ten days after their wedding. Our correspondent gathered that the

families of both Luka Adamu and Rebecca Luka are yet to unravel the mystery surrounding the sudden death of their children who wedded on June 30 and died on July 10, 2018. The couple hailed from Askir-Ubah and Chibok Local Government Area of

Borno state. Speaking to our correspondent on behalf of the deceased families, the immediate younger brother of the groom, Samaila Adamu, said the families are still in shock over the tragic incident, just as he confirmed that the cause of their untimely deaths was still

unknown. “We are still in pain over the sudden death of my elder brother and his wife. Nobody except God can tell what really led to their deaths. The couple left the family house on Monday evening, on July 9, 2018 and the following day, July 10, I discovered

their dead bodies precisely ten days after their wedding. “It is the tradition of our people for the bride to cook for her husband’s family for two weeks after wedding. And in carrying out the tradition, she prepared food and brought it to the family house with

her husband. After spending useful hours with other members of the family, they left the family house at 9.00pm. “The following day, that was July 10, I decided to return the plates and food flask to Continued on page 3

KIDDIES CORNER >>> PAGE 13 First Published March 2004

Vol. 12 No. 41 ISSN: 1597-2895

July 16 - 22, 2018

Price: 100


APC sets sight on Osun lBuhari, OBJ Hail Fayemi lINEC Yet To Upload Results on Website By Emmanuel OGBECHE & Ere-ebi AGEDAH


arely 24 hours after the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was declared winner over his main rival, Prof. Olushola Eleka, The Abuja

Inquirer gathered that the party’s gaze has now being turned to Osun state. Osun state is expected to hold its election on September 22, 2018 according to the timetable of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Continued on page 3

Unknown gunmen kill, burn four policemen in Edo By Williams ABAH


n another shocking attack on the police, some unknown gunmen on Saturday shot dead four policemen and proceeded to burn their bodies in their patrol van in Owan West local

government of Edo state. One account has it that the attackers were armed robbers who opned fire at the police officers at a checkpoint at Oke-New community. “Very shocking: While Nigerians were Continued on page 3

World Champions, France, in a confetti of colours after winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Photo: UK Standard.

Scholarship: FCTA dish out N304mn NUC will not allow 100% online to 20,195 students >>PAGE 5 degrees – Exe sec >>PAGE 15

AfDB works to bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap >>PAGE 18


July 16 - 22, 2018

July 16 - 22, 2018



APC sets sight on Osun Continued from page 1 A party chieftain told one of our correspondents that the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, is intent on winning all the states for the APC, and ‘it was not time to celebrate as much work still needs to be done.” In a message shortly after the result was announced, President Muhammadu Buhari said Ekiti people had spoken loud and clear. In the statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Femi Adesina, Buhari described Saturday’s election as “hard fought”, adding, “In all this, the people

of Ekiti State have spoken loud and clear, and democracy has won again.” Buhari urged Fayemi and APC members to be magnanimous in victory as the incoming administration prepares to unfold a new lease of life for the people of Ekiti State through purposeful and r e s p o n s i b l e governance. He called on the losers to be gallant in conceding defeat and to use constitutional means to settle whatever grievances they may have rather than resort to self-help. Similarly, President

Olusegun Obasanjo congratulated Fayemi on his victory. “Indeed, your success at the polls after a hard fought campaign is proof that the people of Ekiti State value your leadership and appreciate the efforts you have made thus far on their behalf,” Obasanjo said in the letter dated July 15. “I salute you and all those who worked for your re-election.” He added, “You will agree with me, no doubt, that the outcome of the election broadly reflects the choice of your people, who have, by their conduct, visibly demonstrated

that they cherish you and will do their utmost to make you succeed. “I urge you, therefore, to reciprocate their trust by doing everything you can to strengthen their faith in democracy and in its ability to bring about improved material conditions and better service delivery to them.” However, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the result of the election, describing it as a clear electoral banditry. At a press conference, Sunday, in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary,

Representative of President Muhammadu Buhari, FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello (L) exchanging pleasantries with Recep Erdogan (R) during the latter's inauguration as President of Turkey in Istanbul.

Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “This electoral banditry cannot stand and the PDP is already collating results and evidences and will make known the next step towards reclaiming our mandate in Ekiti state.” Ologbondiyan said that it has details of results at polling units where its candidate won the election and also evidences of how its accredited agents were chased away by security agents in order to substitute results with falsified ones. The party accused the APC of colluding with security agents and officials of the INEC to manipulate election results to favour the APC candidate, Kayode Fayemi. Despite its promise to fully deploy electronic transfer of results in Ekit, the electoral commission was not only unable to do, but has failed to upload the result on its website more than 24 hours after. INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had promised when he visited the Executive Vice-Chairman of the N i g e r i a n Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently, that “We are planning for full deployment (of electronic and manual transmission) this year in governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun. Thereafter we intend to deploy the system in the 2019 general elections.”

Unknown gunmen kill, burn four policemen in Edo Continued from page 1 busy over the Ekiti Governorship tussle Saturday, the unspoken happened in my local government Area (Owan-West) in Edo state yesterday (Saturday evening). ARMED robbers opened fire at a police checkpoint at Oke-New community, killed four policemen, packed their bodies into the police van and set them ablaze,” Attah Ikharo, a journalist based in

Abuja, wrote on his Facebook page. Giving a more detailed explanation, Leon Esebanme, who lives in the community wrote: “The four policemen, two inspectors and two sergeants, were seen driving out of Sabo police station toward their checkpoint very fast around 6pm y e s t e r d a y (Saturday)...less than 10 minutes later smoke was seen coming from their

people got there, there was nothing to rescue...their hilux and them (sic) were ablaze. “These policemen were armed and did n o t g e t o u t of their vehicle before they were attacked, so I suspect there was an ambush, this is not robbery.” Esebanme further explained that only one the dead officers was an indigene of Ora and appealed to the federal government to see it as a national catastrophe that

requires all the attention it deserves. Barely two weeks ago, July 2, gunmen killed seven police officers in the Galadimawa area of Abuja. The officers were allegedly killed during a shootout with their attackers when they were on stop-andsearch duty operation in the area. Force Public Relations Officer, Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, had a few

days after the incident announced that five of the suspects who allegedly participated in the murdered of seven police officers have been arrested. He also stated that a crack investigation team was on the trail of other fleeing accomplices. Efforts to get his reaction on the latest killing was not successful as calls to his GSM number went unanswered as at the time of going to press.

Tragedy! Couple found dead 10 days after wedding Continued from page 1 my brother and his wife. I was in their house as early as 7.00am on that day. I knocked at the door and there was no response and I felt it was too early to disturb the couple. I dropped the plates and food flask at the backyard before going back to our family house. “I came back later at 12.30pm and the situation was the same. At this point, I was highly disturbed because I don’t know them in this manner. I still managed to go back to the family house. When my father came back, he requested me to check on my late elder brother, but I told him my past efforts did not yield any result. “He, however, insisted that I should go back to the house and check on him again. At this point, it was already 4.30pm. When I got to the house, the situation was the same, I therefore alerted the caretaker of the house who assisted me to pull down the glass window and as soon as I pulled out the window blind, I saw my brother lying on the bed. “When we forced the door open, I also saw the wife lying on the floor. We immediately contacted the police who came to the scene with a doctor who confirmed the couple dead,” Samaila narrated. When asked whether the death of the couple could be linked to food poisoning, Samaila dismissed such notion saying; “every member of the family partook of the food my brother’s wife cooked and we are all alive except the two of them”. He, however, confirmed that the couple slept with generator till the next day, but he was not too sure if the couple died of generator fumes, stressing that it is only God who can unravel the mystery of their sudden deaths. When our correspondent contacted the Mararaba police station for confirmation, the IPO who carried out the investigation, Inspector Francis, confirmed the incident


July 16 - 22, 2018

FCT REPORT Buhari commissions 11yrs old Abuja Light Rail By Austine ELEMUE


resident Muhammadu Buhari has said that his APC-led government has kept its promise of d e l i v e r i n g infrastructural development. He said this on Thursday in Abuja when he commissioned the completed Lot 1A and 3 of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System, The president added that the project is a dream come true in the quest for a modern transportation system for FCT residents and other Nigerians According to him, the project is a demonstration that the APC government is committed to the completion of critical infrastructural projects, and pledged that the government would continue to provide the necessary funding until other aspects of the Abuja rail mass transit system are completed. He further expressed the optimisim that a modern rail service would bring about a boost to the FCT economy and social life, while commending the FCT Administration for its effort in ensuring that the project is completed. The president also extended appreciation to the people and government of China for their investment in the economy and the people of Nigeria. He said this gesture has further cemented the already existing cordial relationship and developmental partnership between Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China. According to him, “I am indeed thankful to the Government and people of China for their investment in the economy and people of Nigeria. I sincerely applaud the CCECC Limited – the

Contracting Firm, for the quality and delivery of this project. Similarly, I thank the EXIM Bank of China for providing the needed funding,” Earlier in a welcome address, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, explained that the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System is an integral part of the FCT Transportation Masterplan. According to him, it was designed primarily to transport large number of commuters and goods

between Satellite Towns and the City. Malam Bello further disclosed that the Implementation of the project has been divided into phases, with phase 1 being what is being commissioned. Phase 1, he revealed consists of Lot 1A & 3 with a total length of 45.3 kilometres. Both Lots, he said, connect at the Idu Station to enable easy passenger transfer with the National Rail line linking Kaduna and Abuja. Giving further breakdown on the cost of

the project, the minister said the Lots 1A and 3 cost the total sum of US$823,540,545.87, with 60 percent of this sum provided by the China – Exim Bank while the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) provided the remaining 40 percent. The FCT minister equally disclosed that the FCTA has also taken delivery of the three coaches meant for initial operations while awaiting the arrival of the rolling stock of 48 coaches. In his goodwill

message at the occasion, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Jingpian, praised the Nigerian government for their commitment to improving the living conditions of the people of Nigeria. He described the relationship between Nigeria and China as very cordial while giving assurances of the commitment of the Chinese government to stronger partnership and collaborating with Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari (3rd Right) listening as the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa, explains during the commissioning of the Abuja Mass Transit Rail, last week, in Abuja. Photo: FTCA.

Food security: NCWS to stage food fair in Abuja By Austine ELEMUE


he National Council for Women Societies, NCWS, in conjunction with Travel Marketing Partners has concluded arrangements to organize a Food Fair tagged: “the First National Unity Food Fair 2018” slated for October 15th – 17th, 2018. President of NCWS,

Mrs. Gloria Shoda, said in a statement in Abuja that the event is aimed at tackling the perennial food shortage in some part of the country. The event which is billed to hold at the Peace Park of the International Conference Centre, Abuja is to coincide with the World Food Day Celebration, which is celebrated on October 16, every year to

highlight the importance of food to humanity and to fight hunger and poverty. The statement revealed that the 36 States of the federation and FCT as well as private sector players in the food industry will showcase their products and services. Relevant ministries and agencies of the federal government will equally

be part of the fair. Mrs. Aisha Buhari, NCWS Grand Patron and wife of the president, will declare the event open. According to the statement, “This event was conceived to enhance the present administration’s efforts towards food selfsufficiency as well as diversification of the economy”.

Resettlement: FCDA takes awareness campaign to stakeholders By Austine ELEMUE


o pave way for s e a m l e s s resettlement exercise, the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, officials has taken its sensitization campaign to original inhabitants of Garki chiefdom. Officials of the FCDA along with other city managers interacted with hundreds of stakeholders from Apo, Akpmajenya and Garki villages inside the Sa’peyi of Garki palace on the planned relocation of the people to Apo resettlement area. This is coming against the backdrop of reinvigorated effort towards relocating original inhabitants of Garki chiefdom to Apo resettlement area. Leader of the delegation, director, FCDA Resettlement and Compensation Department, Alh. BabaKura Umar, told the gathering that following a directive by FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, an expanded implementation committee was set up to ensure seamless relocation exercise. Umar disclosed that the government has since commenced issuance of letters of intent to the original inhabitants of Garki, warning that the document is not transferable. He opined that the exercise will be in phases, hence the need for the affected people to be patient as everyone will be properly carried along. Responding, Sa’peyi of Garki, Alh. Usman Nga-Kupi, who expressed satisfaction with the resettlement plan thanked stakeholders for their cooperation in the process. “Don’t sell your papers, because it will amount to selling your children’s future, as community leaders will not intervene in anyway.

July 16 - 22, 2018


FCT REPORT Buhari not losing sleep over merger, says FCT group

AMMC clears illegal night market, others in Lugbe By Austine ELEMUE


By Austine ELEMUE


solidarity group for President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has declared that the Presidency is not losing sleep over the merger of 39 political parties who came together to wrest power from Buhari in 2019. The women group, Noble Women Movement for Buhari and Osinbajo, in a release made available to journalists in Abuja, described the merger as a convergence of politicians who have stolen the collective commonwealth of the people. The release issued by the director of publicity, Dr. Rachael Ahmadu, also described most of the groups as “briefcase political parties” who are not politically relevant in their constituencies. The release quoted the National President of the Noble Women Movement for Buhari and Osinbajo, Pastor (Mrs.) Mfawa Usani, as saying that President Buhari will not be distracted over those who are plotting to institutionalize corruption in Nigeria. “As a group, we want to state unequivocally that the Presidency is not losing sleep over the merger of some briefcase political parties with the Peoples Democratic Party. We saw the convergence of people who are just plotting to institutionalize corruption in Nigeria. People who ordinarily should be begging for forgiveness for looting our collective wealth. “The merger is the coming together of people who do not have political ideology, those who are not politically relevant in their various states and constituencies. They are crop of people who survive by Abuja political oxygen”.

L-R: The Attah, Onu Igala of Karu-Jikwoyi, Abuja, Musa Abdulsalam, assisting Mrs. Funmi Bello Ajare of Helpline Foundation for the Needy, to present cheque to a beneficiary of the NGO’s non-profit revolving loan scheme for vulnerable widows in Jikwoyi, Abuja, weekend.

Abuja indigenes hail Bello over Abaji —Rubochi road I By Austine ELEMUE

ndigenous people of the Federal Capital Territory have commended the minister of the territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, over the rehabilitation of 10.2 kilometers Abaji— Rubochi road project. The indigenous youths have noted that the road rehabilitation which has been neglected for over 32 years will no doubt boost the economy of the rural dwellers in Kuje and Abaji area councils.

The group under the aegis of Abuja Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment, in a statement issued by its President, Commander Isaac David, however, revealed that the incumbent minister has broken a 32 years jinx and therefore deserves commendation. The indigenous youths also called on the FCT Administration to extend the road to Kuje main town aimed at reducing the traffic along Lokoja—Abuja road.

“We want to commend you for the commencement of the rehabilitation of the Abaji -Rubochi road which was last constructed 32 years ago. You have broken a developmental record in the FCT and the indigenes are very happy. “We pray that Almighty God give you the enablement to extend the road to Kuje main town after this first phase, as a testament of your giant strides in the provision of rural

infrastructure. “The rehabilitation will greatly ease the movement of goods and services in that corridor and energise the rural communities to identify positively with your administration. “We also plead that other rural roads that constitute threat to communities in the FCT because of their deplorable condition be captured in the current rehabilitation programme to ease traffic,” the statement added.

Scholarship: FCTA doles out N304 million to 20, 195 students By Austine ELEMUE


he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration, FCTA, has approved N304 million as 2016/ 2017 scholarship award for about 20,195 students. Secretary, FCTA Education Secretariat, Senator Isah Maina, who announced this when he distributed scholarship letters to some deserving students in Abuja, last week, explained that the beneficiaries were selected from each of the 10 wards in the six area councils of the FCT. Maina added that many of the beneficiaries were picked from the hard-to-reach rural

communities of the FCT, in line with the directives of the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, that the scholarship policy should go down to the grassroots. “The beneficiaries of this scholarship award are particularly those living in the rural areas. The FCTA has realized that every year, it spends about N300 million and above for scholarship, but unfortunately those who are hard-to-reach, are not benefiting because they live in the tick rural areas, even though they are part of FCT. “So, the issue here is based on the directive of the FCT Minister that the

scholarship policy should go down to the grassroots, so that we can reach the rural areas. So, we picked the beneficiaries from each of the 10 wards of the FCT to fill the forms, so as to benefit from the scholarship award,” he stressed. While calling on rural dwellers in the FCT, to take advantage of the policy and to support the administration, the education secretary also noted that education is very important in the development of the Territory. Earlier, the chairman of FCT Scholarship Board, Hon Abubakar Giri, had stated that the FCT Administration

was committed in assisting poor parents, to send their children to school. Giri explained that about 18,000 beneficiaries of the scholarship award are fresh applicants, while the remaining 1,525 of them are old students, who are already in school and have been benefitting from the policy. Also speaking, the director, FCT Scholarship Board, Isah Rany, noted that the purpose of scholarship in the FCT was principally to increase access to education, ensure retention and completion rates among the beneficiaries.

fficials of the A b u j a Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, stormed and removed makeshift structures used for open, roadside trading and vocational activities at the popular night market and major road corridors, in Lugbe area of Abuja. Our correspondent reports that structures affected were mainly makeshift kiosks belonging to food vendors, clothing and building materials traders as well as road side mechanics and artisans, whose activities purportedly caused all forms of nuisance and obstructions in the area. The exercise came barely two months after the AMMC, accompanied by a joint security operatives visited and ransacked the sites, for allegedly constituting nuisance and danger to residents. Speaking during the latest round of raid, AMMC Coordinator, Umar Shuaibu, said its essence was to rid the city of environmental nuisance emanating from such sites, in furtherance to keeping the nation’s capital city clean at all times. Shuaibu, who led personnel of the Ministerial Joint Taskforce, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, Department of Development Control and almost all the security operatives on the exercise, vowed that the council would continue to do the right things while carrying out its lawful responsibilities. He, however, decried the attitude of the affected persons, bent on trading in unapproved and inappropriate places in the area, despite heightened awareness campaign against the menace, not only defacing the city but causing untold hardship to other members of the society.


July 16 - 22, 2018


30,000 police for Ekiti guber polls W


ith 30,000 Police men made up of a Deputy Inspector General of Police, and Assistant Inspector-General of Police, 4 Commissioners of Police, 18 Assistant Commissioners of Police, 2 Police helicopters, 250 Police patrol vehicles as well as personnel from other security agencies it will appear no much effort will be required for the conduct of a free and fair election. Indeed, when Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, and Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, spoke about the state of preparedness of the police for the election, he made the narrative too smooth for any loophole to be identified. According to him, the decision to deploy such number of policemen to Ekiti was as a result of what he termed “visibly identifiable threat to peace and security” during the election. He further stated that considering the number of people including VIPs that will converge on Ekiti for the election, the police needed to be on

challenges as if to say only the fire-brigade approach works in Nigeria? With widespread killings in the Middle Belt and Zamfara state and of recent, Sokoto, one would imagine that the focus of the IGP will its toes for the prelegitimize the use of be on those areas were election, election and armed men to conduct a bandits, terrorists and post-election challenges. civil election in a herdsmen continue to Under normal democracy. kill innocent Nigerians circumstances, the excuse It is on record that mindlessly. given by the police there is no known Rather, the police and should have been history of election those in authority have enough if there were no conduct where the police shown that political precedent of police and is not seen to have been power is more important other security agencies’ on the side of the than securing the complicity in election government in power. constitutional guarantee crisis since the return of Evidence abound of as contained in Section democracy in 1999. how police and members 14 of the 1999 For a nation whose of other security constitution that the citizens have become personnel attached to primary responsibility of hapless and in dire need politicians have been government of the of protection as a result used to rig elections in security and welfare of of the general insecurity favor of such politician. the people. currently confronting It is therefore We call on the present her, the police worrisome that 30,000 government to consider deployment to Ekiti for police men will be how it intends to deploy the election is curious unleashed on a security personnel in and suspicious thus population of about 3.5 next year’s general raising the question as to million Ekiti people and elections and should not the real role of the police only a little above 60, 000 use this as test case of in the governorship will participate in the institutionalizing fear election. actual voting. and intimidation as a Some have argued that It is instructive to strategy to gain power. police deployment question why the This election, during elections in nation’s security agency therefore, must not fail Nigeria is nothing new, will always lock down a with all facts considered. but it still does not system with its attendant

Arguments are rife that Nigeria runs a compromised national security system whose personnel are brazenly taking to ethnic, religious and regional alignments. After the killings in Plateau, Amnesty International raised doubts on the neutrality of Nigeria’s security forces when 11 villages were attacked for at least 7 hours without their intervention.

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

Correspondents Ambrose Imobhio (Asaba) Scholastica Joseph (Makurdi) Ayinde Olarewaju (Ilorin) Akon Godfrey Chukwuma Nzeh Ateed Yusuf Ere-ebi Agedah jeoma Ukazu Williams Abah Edrina Emmanuel Elizabeth Offiong

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

July 16 - 22, 2018


For Fayemi, the fates are good I t was Trisha Yearwood that said, “What’s meant to be will always find a way.” So it has turned out for Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is set to return to the Ekiti Government House as governor having trounced Governor Fayose’s proxy, Professor Ishola Eleka. Four years ago, Fayemi, who I prefer to call, The Urbane, was booted out by Fayose who was governor previously. If anything, it seems it is in the stars of the state for their governors to do a term, wait for another opportunity and return to the job. Whatever it is, Fayemi the Urbane is a refined specie in the usually roforofo of South West politics, and Nigeria in general. A sharp contrast to the verbose Fayose, he is nonetheless a politician with the vices of the political class who win by any means necessary.

Now that it is a certainty barring the intervention of the Divine that come October 16 he will be sworn in as governor, does the probability exists that he will do things differently? Can he swear that he will not dip into the Ekiti public till and recompense all those who deployed heavy war chest in swinging the votes his way? Despite his polished language and disposition, can he guarantee that he will not yield to some forces outside the state and ignore the needs of the Ekiti people? Given that there are no absolutes in politics, and life in general, it is about what you see is what you get after all the Ekiti people demonstrated that by showing their votes for cash. Congratulations Fayemi the Urbane on your victory!

Mariam Mohammed’s elegance of grace T

he American writer, Richard Diaz, must have been talking about Mariam Mohammed when he said, “There has always been an elegance to the application of excellence.” Mariam Mohammed, publisher of MAKTOUB, is not just like an oasis in the parched mediascape of Northern Nigerian and Nigeria in general, but one committed to elegance and excellence. Last Friday, July 13, 2018 she brought to bear, once again, her signature of class, grace and fine grooming when she hosted the powerful crème de la crème of society at the special unveiling of her magazine: Journey to National Rebirth and Economical Revival at the International Conference Center, Abuja. Mariam has come far and well as a U.K. trained media and communications expert,

breaking barriers to be reputed as one of Nigeria’s upscale publicist and communications strategist. With a Kano Islamic heritage and Yoruba bloodline, Mariam is a child of many experiences. Before her foray into her core area of expertise, Mariam had founded one of the biggest real estate firm in Dubai, Saturn Gates, overseeing the development and sales of some of the biggest projects in the vibrant Arabian property market. In answer to the yearning gap for something new and refreshing, she birthed Maktoub. At the event which had Speaker Yakubu Dogara and a large number of reps, the SGF, governors and a host of other political and economic powerbrokers, Mariam shone like a million stars in leaf green flowing dress. For a lady in a male dominated field, the consensus remains, she has done well and with her pace, she will do even better.

The epiphany of Maheeda


ou remember her? Besides, who can easily forget the Nigerian porn star? The one who defied all of society’s backlash to ‘live according to her calling,” and styled herself as ‘Goddess of X’ and ‘Naija Bad Girl’. Well, it seems she has come full circle. She has come to her awakening; a sort of encountering her own Northern Star that gives knowledge and understanding. For one so given to hedonism and the outward display of forbidden pleasure, many would have given up on Caroline Sam best known as Maheeda. Wrong! “I have been bad. I have been naughty. I believe in being a sex symbol because sex sells. I want to make money and I want to make my name too at the same time and it’s the only space in the

Nigerian music industry that is just there, everybody is scared to take it, so I took it,” Maheeda enthused recently. But Maheeda says her kind of living is not what she desires for her daughter. “She will and is already having the life I only dreamt of having! All my sacrifices are paying off. “I gave her almost all my time so she don’t have to go through what I went through! Or do the things I had to do! I made great sacrifices so she can have a good life!” Indeed the Bible does not lie, and Goddess X is living true to Matthew 7:11 which says: If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts…” Somebody praise the Lord!


July 16 - 22, 2018


Amaechi, Emefiele, others for Blueprint awards By Elizabeth OFFIONG


inister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, will be joined by others at the Blueprint Newspapers annual impact series and awards event on Tuesday. The event expected to be chaired by Samaila Isa Funtua, patron of the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, and a fellow of the International Press Institute, IPI. The theme of the debut event is: Tolerance, Unity and Security: Building a Legacy for National Development with a lecture to be delivered by Zubairu Jibrin Maigari II, the Emir of Birnin Gwari. According to the Chairman of Blueprint N e w s p a p e r s , Mohammed Idris, the choice of the topic is informed by the prevailing circumstances in the country where national unity and cohesion are gradually being eroded. He added that the effort is the company’s modest contribution to national discourse with the aim of proffering solutions to the myriad of challenges faced by the nation. Mr. Idris said Blueprint has grown steadily and has remained an authoritative platform for truth and justice in national discourse and celebrating distinguished individuals and corporate organisations that have made remarkable impact in the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria will go a long way to solidify the place of the paper in the Nigerian media space. Along with the lecture is an award ceremony for some deserving Nigerians in the public and private sector. The Minister of Transport, Rotimi

CHANGE OF NAME I formerly known as Amina Muhammed now wish to be known as APatricia Ashezi Dauda. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please note.

Amaechi, will get the Most Distinguished Achiever in Transport Infrastructure Award; Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele is being honoured with Distinguished Financial Policy Strategist of the Year, while Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state will be honoured as Most Outstanding Governor of the Year. Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, will receive distinguished

education champion award while Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, will be decorated as a distinguished human capital development champion, while the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai is to be honoured with the Distinguished Security Champion award. The CommandantGeneral of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Muhammadu, is to receive the

Distinguished Infrastructure Safety award, while the chairman of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCOM), Abdullahi Muktar will receive the Distinguished Public Service Champion Award. The National President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Najeem Yasin, will be honoured as Distinguished Champion of Transport Workers. Other personalities to be honoured are are Katsina

State Governor, Aminu Masari (Distinguished Agriculture and Environment Champion award); the Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture, Umudike, Professor Francis Otunta (Award of Excellence in Education); and Senator Shehu Sani (Distinguished Public Advocacy Champion). Former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada will be honoured with a Distinguished Award in Patriotism.

L-R: National commissioners, Independent Electoral Commission, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, Prof. Antonia OkoosiSimbinu, INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu and another national commissioner, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu during a quarterly meeting of the commission with political parties in Abuja... Wednesday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

FERMA partners SIP on public property recovery By Chuks NZEH


he Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, has said it is ready to partner with the Special Investigation Panel, SIP, on recovery of public property. This was made known by Managing Director/CEO, Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi,

when he received chairman of the panel, Barr. Okoi Obono-Obla and some members at FERMA headquarters recently in Abuja. A statement by Director/Head Communication and Public Relations, Mrs. Maryam Sanusi, quoted Rafindadi as saying that the agency was aware of the enormous task before

the SIP and it was a privilege to partner with the panel on recovery of public property. “This, he said, will facilitate the effective monitoring of the process of awarding contracts, ensuring that contractors bidding for contracts have the expertise to meet with the acceptable standard, to reflect the judicious

use of the money released by the government.” Earlier, chairman of the panel, Obono-Obla, stated that the purpose of the visit was to acquaint the agency of its activities and to extend a hand of partnership to FERMA, being the sole maintenance outfit of federal roads in the country.

WASCAL appoints NiMet DG into IAB By Ere-ebi AGEDAH


n a bid to strengthening climate related research in the West Africa sub-region, the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, WASCAL, has appointed the D.G. Nigerian Meteorological

Agency, NiMet, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi into its International Advisory Board for a 5-year period. WASCAL which is hosted at the Federal University of Technology Akure, is saddled with the responsibility to tackle the challenge of climate

change in a view to enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. In a statement made available to journalists, the NiMet boss noted that the commission will not rest on its oars to provide a motherly arm towards other African countries by way of

technical support. According to Mashi, the WASCAL project, which is focused on West Africa, has a large scale research program that is initiated to develop effective adaptation and mitigation measures to climate change, with in depth research in case study watersheds in Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana.

Group hails Fayemi over Ekiti guber victory By Edrina EMMANUEL


Buhari/Osinbajo solidarity group has commended the outcome of Ekiti governorship election which saw candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, announced as winner. The Noble Women Movement for Buhari and Osinbajo, NWM4BO, said the outcome of the election validates the position held by the group that no amount of blackmail against the Buhari administration will change the minds of millions of Nigerians who are genuinely yearning for trusted leaders. The commendation was contained in a press statement by its director of publicity, Dr. Rachael Ahmadu in Abuja. The statement quoted the national president of the group, Mrs. Mfawa Usani, as saying that the Ekiti people cannot be insulted by politics of stomach infrastructure, hence they came out in their thousands to choose their leader. “We commend the outcome of the Ekiti governorship race. The result released by the INEC has validated our earlier position that no amount of blackmail will change the minds of the people because Nigerians are wiser and we saw this play out in Ekiti governorship election. “The people of Ekiti cannot be insulted by politics of stomach infrastructure and demobilization. Before the election, the outgoing governor made several attempts to demobilize movement by paying off all taxi drivers, bus drivers and Okada riders to make sure that there was no means of local transportation for Ekiti people to attend APC mega rally. Usani maintained that the group will continue to work assiduously to deliver Buhari/Osinbajo come 2019 presidential elections.

July 16 - 22, 2018



SGF disowns Modu Sheriff’s campaign committee By Chuks NZEH


he Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha has disclaimed the appointment of the Senator Modu Sheriff’s Presidential Support Committee for President Muhammadu Buhari. A statement by the Director Press, Office of the SGF, Lawrence Ojabo, reads, “The attention of OSGF, has been drawn to documents in circulation in print and social media purportedly issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters in the Presidency as public notice, announcing the names of certain individuals and appointing them into different roles under the Buhari 2019 Presidential Support Committee, as well as soliciting for support.

“It has become imperative to clarify to all Nigerians and in particular to APC

members that the said documents are unauthorised, misleading and should

therefore be totally disregarded.” He further noted that “ a p p r o p r i a t e

administrative measures are being put in place to ensure that such lapse does not recur in future.”

By Godfrey AKON


L-R: Chief Risk Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Tunji Kazeem and president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai during an award presentation by the NSE in Lagos...Thursday. Photo: Cityvoix.

Time to purge PDP elements from Buhari’s administration -Oshiomhole T By David LAWANI

he National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said the party would do all in its power to get President Muhammadu Buhari to flush out elements of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in his administration. “When Nigerians complain that they have not seen the change we promised in certain areas, it is because those agencies are still being managed by PDP elements,” he said. Oshiomhole who took a swipe at the PDP led Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, noted that the group is a collection of old coaches, incapable of searching for energetic players but only settling for tired legs. He described the coalition as a gathering of a million snails trying to outrun an antelope, restating the fact that because the acclaimed ‘Reformed’ APC did not

Group tasks FG on Ukelle-Izzi communal clash

get what they wanted in the ruling party was not enough reason for them to have opted out. He noted: “We are aware that even as at today, we still have a lot of PDP people occupying very important positions in federal agencies. We will do everything possible to purge these elements out of the system because we are a party of change. They are the conservative rightwing party. We cannot entrust to conservative forces an agenda for change. Government is

not in the Villa. “Villa is the head of g o v e r n m e n t . Government is in the agencies - what they do, how they do it, the quality of service delivery and the style of that service delivery. That is how the ordinary man interfaces with power and if these agencies are in the hands of those who do not believe in our change agenda, then we cannot expect miracles from them. “And for those who are aggrieved as to how certain things are done,

those who question that they do not seem to see the difference because substantially, PDP is still managing these agencies. So, we have a duty to convince the federal executive that we have no business, this government has no business with any PDP in sensitive federal agencies and using their old tactics in service delivery. That, I believe is a task that all of us must pursue. “I believe that we now must work consciously to ensure that in replacing, we replace

sinners with believers. Believers are those who are card-carrying members of our party and before we go outside the party family, we must convince ourselves that the persons we are taking, we are taking him because we do not have that particular expertise within the family, but even so, he must first take the card and demonstrate loyalty because if you do not believe in a process, you cannot be entrusted with the management of that process.”

INEC warns politicians against flagrant display of bill boards Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba


he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has warned politicians in the state to desist from flagrant display of billboards expressing political aspirations. At an interactive session of INEC and the Interparty Advisory Council, IPAC), held at Asaba, the commission stated that the it was against the Electoral

Act for anybody to start campaigning before the lifting of ban by commission and warned politicians to desist from it. The meeting, which was presided over by Dr. Lecky Mustafa, national c o m m i s s i o n e r supervising Delta, Bayelsa and Cross River states, he reminded politicians that political campaigns can only commence only after the announcement of

elections by the commission not later than 90 days and must end not later than 24 hours before elections. Mustafa explained that the month of August heralds the commencement of activities of various political parties in the state, urging politicians to comport themselves, desist from hate speech and other acts that will trigger violence.

He advised youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used for irresponsible acts as they are very vital to the survival of the nation. Earlier the INEC administrative secretary in Delta State, Mrs. Rose Oriarian, maintained that the commission is committed to conducting free, fair and credible elections in 2019 and the cooperation of politicians was essential in this regard.

communitybased group, Project 1000, has called on the Federal Government to take drastic action in ending the protracted communal clash between communities in Cross River and Ebonyi states without further delay. This was contained in a statement signed by the communications director, Project 1000, Ebriku John, who said the bloodbath has to end, and it was in the interest of the federal government to do so as the crisis has gone beyond the control of state and local governments despite their interventions. The statement reads in part, “We the members of Project 1000 condemn in its entirety, the ongoing war/communal clash between the Izzi community of Ebonyi State and the Ipollo community of Cross River State that has claimed many lives including those of innocent travelers. “We call on the Federal Government to erect a national monument, a school or barracks on this boundary just the way there’s a barracks demarcating Ogoja from Yala. While that is on, Traditional Rulers and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) of these two communities should be required to maintain the peace in their communities/ jurisdiction or pay for any life lost to any violence. “We also pray the top brass of our security agencies for speedy interventions going forward as they are the resort of the common man in security issues.” The group went further to call on those sponsoring and fueling the crisis to stop their evil act, and also urged elders and youth of both sides to embrace dialogue to end the crisis. “We call on both sides to drop their armaments and have a round table discussion as only a dialogue can proffer long lasting solution to this unreasonable war that has lasted for over 13 years.


July 16 - 22, 2018


FIRS meets 75% revenue target By Sarah NEGEDU


he Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said it has realised 75percent of its total target for the year, which is an improvement over what was garnered at the corresponding period in 2017. The service has realised a total of N2, 529,615,174,601.25 (Two trillion, five hundred and twenty-nine billion, six hundred and fifteen million, one hundred and seventy-four thousand, six hundred and one naira, twentyfive kobo) from various taxes from January to June 2018. A report on the revenue performance by the Agency, submitted to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, confirmed that the N2,529,615,174,601.25 has an increase of N746,107,323,247.26, representing 42percent when compared to the N1,783,507,851,353.99 total tax revenue realized in the corresponding period in 2017. An analysis of the total amount shows that N1,168,627,365,306.67 was collected as Petroleum Profit Tax as a g a i n s t

N636,170,585,753.57, resulting in a variance of N532,456,779,553.10. From the Company Income Tax, the FIRS realized a total of N680,093,730,362.25, which was N128,151,996,465.68 more than the N551,941,733,896.57 in the previous year. Value Added Tax

yielded a total of N536,525,540,228.39 in the period under review, which was N68,841,756,240.06 more than the N467,683,783,988.33 realized in 2017. Further analysis shows that Education Tax brought in N77,191,051,329.11 compared to the

N58,868,372,910.79 in 2017, showing an increase of N18,322,678,418.32 Revenue from Stamp Duties was N7,492,592,658.35, which was N2,346,472,953.70 higher than what was realized in 2017 from Stamp Duties which was a total of N5,146,119,704.65. The FIRS said it

r e a l i z e d N1,006,543,151.07 from capital Gains Tax , an analysis of which shows that the amount was N64,916,270.95 more than the N 941,626,880.12 in 2017. FIRS is optimistic that its effort will have a significant outcome, particularly in increasing revenue for 2018.

Members of Global Rights and other civil societies group during a march on the killings and massacres across Nigeria at the entrance of the Presidential Villa in Abuja...Wednesday. Photo: Cityvoix.

Forgery: We are ready to face Adeosun in court -Olorunyomi By Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin


he publisher of the P r e m i u m Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, has said that his medium would like to meet the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in court if she chooses on the story that she allegedly forged her youth service exemption certificate. “Adeosun forged her exception certificate. The story is real. We did a water-tight investigation that took us three months before we came out with the story. We encourage her to go to court if she will like to prove us wrong,” he said. He insisted that the investigation by the news medium evidently shows that the exemption certificate Adeosun parades is a forged one. Olorunyomi stated this when responding to a question from a member of the audience after he

delivered a lecture entitled “Independent Journalism at the Interface of the Digital Transition,” at the University of Ilorin last Thursday. He delivered lecture at the 9th annual lecture organised by the Mass Communication Department of the university in memory of Mr. Doyin Mahmoud, pioneer head of the department who died in 2009. Mahmoud was a former managing director of the Independent N e w s p a p e r s

Limited, publishers of Daily Independent. Responding to another question on the anti-corruption war, the veteran journalist advised the government to strengthen all the agencies responsible for the campaign against corruption and encouraged all stakeholders to be part of the campaign to make it successful. Olorunyomi, while delivering his lecture pointed out the importance of independent media to

democracy saying “you really can’t have a healthy democracy without independent media.” The journalist who noted that there is increasing financial crisis occasioned by such factors as drastic drop in circulation of newspapers, dwindling patronage in advertisement militating against independent journalism, and advised that stakeholders must be proactive in addressing the problems to ensure independent media is maintained.

He described Mahmoud under whom he said he worked, as a great and knowledgeable journalist who he said was always thirsty of ideas and knowledge and after improvement of individual journalists and the institution of journalism. Also speaking, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, explained that legacies of Mahmoud were being celebrated by the department and advised that people should do good to leave good legacy behind.

2019: Women urged to take centre stage By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi


head of 2019 g e n e r a l elections, women all over the country and Benue in particular, have been urged to play active roles to ensure their proper representation. Barr. Jane Otor, who is

aspiring to represent Oju/ Obi Federal Constituency under the platform of APC, stated this in a chat with The Abuja Inquirer in Makurdi. Otor said the role of women in Nigerian politics is pivotal and critical to nation building and its socio-economic development and called

on women not to lag behind. The House of Reps hopeful maintained that women must take a centre stage come 2019 to ensure the full and proper representation just as she advised them to support their fellow women in politics particularly those contesting in various

platforms. She emphasized that women must kick against party jealousy, envy and look beyond sentiments which often times is the bane of women growth in present political dispensation and urged them to embark on aggressive mobilization and voter education.

Osun guber: My antecedents my strength - Lasun By David LAWANI


ne of the g o ve r n o r s h i p aspirants in the Osun governorship election, Yusuf Lasun, has said he is the most qualified to govern the state in 2018, adding that his antecedent will speak for him. The aspirant, who is the deputy speaker, House of Representatives, stated this last week at the APC secretariat where he officially obtained his form to run as a governor under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. He noted that he is relying on his legislative experience as his pedigree will work for him in emerging victorious. “As the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives for more than 8 years now, God has blessed me tremendously with the help of my people. My slogan is “the nearer the better”. I want to serve my people at a very close range. “No one has the antecedents and experience as a member of the House of Representatives. I have contributed positively on the floor of the House which has been of impact to Nigerians. “As the chairman, adhoc committee of constitution review in House of Representatives, this is first time in the history of Nigeria’s democracy that the National Assembly would conclude matters of constitutional alterations within 2 years. “This is also the first time in the history of the National Assembly that those sections of the constitutions are broken down into separate bills not as a document like in the past. Out of the 5/6 bills that have been signed into act and part of the constitution”. He maintained that his campaign promises are geared towards reducing poverty level among women in Osun State by creating an enabling environment that would evolve around the socio economic development of the state.

July 16 - 22, 2018



July 16 - 22, 2018


When Adversity Knocks

Quiz 1. The highest mountain in the world is? 2. The largest coffee growing country in the world is?

Did You Know? l

Did you know roosters can’t crow without fully extending their necks?


Did you know frogs don’t usually swallow water, they absorb most of the moisture they need through their skin?


Did you know Coca Cola launched its 3rd product Sprite in 1961?


Did you know wine is sold in tinted bottles because it spoils when exposed to light?


Did you know the average person consumes over a ton of food and drink each year?

3. The biggest desert in the world is? 4. The largest ocean in the world is? 5. Where in the world did the first industrial revolution take place?

before it was boiled; now it has turned soft and smooth. Also, the egg was delicate but after boiling it became hard. Sip the tea. It is delicious!” Mary asked, “What does it mean father? I don’t understand!” “Each object responded differently to water. Each object was put under the same kind of circumstances, faced similar adversities, but reacted differently. The potato, when put in boiling water, became very weak. The soft egg became very hard when we put it in boiling water. And the tea leaves are unique. It changed the water itself, giving it a unique flavour and aroma! It gave something new.” Mary understood that we can create something new and unique even when we experience adversities. So, what are you? A potato, an egg, or a tea leaf? From

RIDDLES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

A boy was rushed to a hospital emergency ward. The doctor saw him and said, “I cannot operate on this boy, he is my son.” But the doctor was not the boy’s father. Who was the doctor? What can run but can’t walk? If an electric train is going east at 60 miles an hour and there is a strong wind, which way does the smoke from the train drift? What has a head, a tail, is silver, and has no legs? You live in a one storey house made entirely of redwood. What color would the stairs be? What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?


all these things?” Mary asked, really annoyed with her father. “Just wait fifteen minutes,” said her father. The impatient daughter managed to wait for around 15 minutes. Father removed the potato from the pot and placed in a plate. He did the same with the eggs. He filtered the tea decoction using a cup. Now, he placed the two plates, one with the potato and the other with the egg, and the cup of tea in front of Mary. He asked Mary, “What do you see?””Potato, egg and a cup of tea,” said Mary. “No, you are wrong,” said her father. “Look at it closely and answer me.” Mary replied the same. “Now touch it and answer me.” The potato was cooked and was soft, the egg was boiled hard, and the tea carried a nice aroma. Mary couldn’t find the correct answer. Her father said, “The potato was so hard and strong

1. The doctor was his mom 2. Nose and water 3. Electric trains don’t emit smoke 4. A one naira coin 5. There are no stairs, it’s a one storey house 6. Charcoal


ary was a young girl. She used to get annoyed with everything. She had a negative attitude towards life. Once, when she felt that life was unbearable, she asked her father what to do. She told him that if she was able to manage and solve one problem, another one followed quickly. Her father consoled her and took her to the kitchen. He asked Mary to take a potato, an egg and two spoons of tea leaves. Mary was surprised, and asked her father, “Do you want me to cook?” “No,” her father said. He then took three vessels and poured one cup of water in each vessel. The vessels were placed on the stove. Once the water started to boil, he dropped the potato in a vessel, egg in the second one and the tea leaves in the third one. “Why are you doing


Are video games bad for me? L

ots of kids love video games. In fact, they like them so much that they might hear something like this from mom or dad: “Enough! Unplug that thing and find something else to do!” It can be good advice, even if you were just about to crash through to the next level. Why? Too much of anything is just too much. It’s true that some studies have shown certain video games can improve hand–eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and the mind’s ability to process information. But too much video game playing may lead to health problems. It’s hard to get enough active play and exercise if you’re always inside playing video games. And without enough exercise, kids can become overweight. Really overdoing video games also could affect other important

stuff, like friendships and how well a kid does in school. And kids who play violent video games might act more aggressively. But here’s the good news: Playing video games some of the time can be OK. Just choose quality games and limit screen time — which includes TV, computer, smartphone, tablet, and video game time combined — to no more than 2 hours a day. A good game will be the right one for how old you are. Games are rated like movies and your mom or dad can help figure out which ones you should use. If you can choose one that gets you up and moving, that’s even better. You might challenge your mom, dad — or even your grandma — to swing the bat in a game of baseball or try out some fancy moves in one of the dancing games. Could your grandma be a dancing queen? Time to find out!

Keren-happuch Amihere of Rightsteps Montessori Academy, Abuja, displaying her certificate of graduation from nursery to Grade 1 (primary). She won Best Behaved Child.

1, Mount Everest 2. Brazil 3. Sahara desert 4. Pacific Ocean 5. England


July 16 - 22, 2018


I Go Dy e shades Dye Fayose o eargas ovver tteargas incident

Onaiyekan, Ekweremadu, Tuface unveil Catholic S social media app


he Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has unveiled a new social media app for adherents of the Catholic faith all over the world. The unveiling ceremony of the social media app, known as “Wow Catholic”, was graced by prominent personalities including Archbishop John

Cardinal Onaiyekan, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, and Innocent Idibia also known as Tuface in July 15. Speaking on the motives behind the initiative, Chief Executive Officer of the project, Fr. John Oluoma, told reporters the need to leverage on mobile technology for

the promotion of scriptural teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church among its nearly 4.2 billion global adherents inspired the project. The clergyman said the app which possesses the basic features of other social media platforms has extra modules for marriage courses, television and radio channels, as well

as inter-religious dialogues among users. Oluoma noted that while the new social media app was designed to accommodate all prospective users, special technologies have been deployed to filter hate speeches and inciting comments while fostering religious harmony among users.

rent leading to a dangerous encounter. Produced by Orwi Manny Ameh, written and directed by Cheta Chukwu, the movie features actors including Big Brother Naija Season 2 runnerup - Bisola Aiyeola, Baaj Adebule, Comedian Ebiye Victor, Mawuli Gavor, Meg Otanwa and Zack Orji. Revolutionary director, Cheta Chukwu echoes the newly formed perspectives of cinema goers in Nigeria, who are more concerned about resourceful stories rather than the

faces, as he rowed his boat to a totally new direction by making use of young and talented actors in his cinema debut, PayDay: “I want to tell African stories not just for Nigerians, but the global audience. With the success of Black Panther, the world has started paying attention to African Cinema and I feel that as filmmakers it is our duty to tell stories that are originally African to the world.’ Sharing his experience on set,

Adebule, who played one on the flat mates, Paul said that this is his first time doing comedy adding that the set was more like an adventure to him. “It took a lot of learning, research and patience. Interpreting comedy requires getting your timing right else your audience miss the joke. Shooting the movie however took longer than planned because sometimes planning can go wrong. We shot both in Lagos and Abuja and a lot of night shoots too, at the end it was all worth it.”

ocial commentator and humour merchant, Francis Agoda, known by many as I Go Dye has shaded Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State over the teargas incident that happened last week at the PDP rally in Ekiti, which had the governor crying out to the international community for help over what he described as injustice and highhandedness of the federal government. I Go Dye wrote on his Instagram page “When pensioners protested this is what they got. When we protested for fuel pump hike this is what we got. When we protested against bad leadership this is what we got. “When we protested on power failure or increase of minimum wage this is what we got. This is a good experience for you and it will serve as a lesson to others, that they should join Nigerians when they face hardship and speak against it, because of corruption and the ills of the political class. “Please get up, this is just a small thing compared to the

injustice and pains that corruption have caused in this country. Oga governor, you are still among those governors that have short changed some of our youths destiny, even the president is not exempted from any of such consequences. Until all of us use our respective positions to promote what is right, every citizen of this country can face this kind of situation.” However, the comedian who has a mandate to speak out on corruption on account of his ambassadorial endorsement by UKAid condemns the act of the law enforcement agencies by resorting to crude method to maintain law and order at the rally, by describing it as an abuse of Human Rights. “

Call me “King PayDay debuts in cinemas this weekend Tonto” - Tonto Dikeh


feel good comedy, PayDay, follows the story of two best friends and flatmates, Paul and Ortega, who just before they renew their yearly rent lost their Landlord suddenly, and seemingly without any heir apparent. The young men seize upon the unfortunate but good opportunity to ‘enjoy’ a little. Unfortunately, the Landlord’s daughter shows up and gives the boys a 24-hour notice to pay up or quit. They embark on an overnight scheme to recover the


ollywood actress Tonto Dikeh has officially changed her name to ‘King Tonto’. The actress, whose surname remains Dikeh, wants to be addressed as KingTonto. Tonto, who is yet to provide reasons for the change, posted a picture of her voter’s card on her Instagram page reflecting her new name. “She wrote: “Officially changed my name to King Tonto that feels good. Bear with me while I opt for

greatness, King Tonto.” The development is coming several months after she separated from her husband Olakunle Churchill.


July 16 - 22, 2018


Why we support state police - FCT residents Since 2014, after the abandoned recommendations of the National Conference, agitations for state police have been occasionally loud; but the loudest voices resurfaced in the wake of recent mass killings across the country, forcing the National Assembly to commence hearing on a Bill establishing the security outfit. Williams ABAH and Edrina EMMANUEL spoke with some FCT residents on the move. Excerpts: OGALA GIDEON: The creation of state police is long overdue. I think it is high time the government takes a look at it. State police will be more familiar with the environment within their jurisdictions. Even the vigilantes perform better than our federal police. Let us not deceive ourselves, the present security structures in Nigeria cannot withstand the insecurity in the country. If we had state police in volatile areas where Fulani Herdsmen are killing on daily basis, they would have done better because they are familiar with the terrain. Imagine a situation where herdsmen confidently carry out attacks and still go into hiding within that community and the police cannot fish them out. What government needs to do is to device all means necessary to tackle the persisting insecurity in the country. As it is now, nowhere is secure. Last week seven policemen were killed at Galadimawa in Abuja. If this kind of insecurity can occur in the nation’s capital, it then means that nowhere is safe. As we speak, Abuja metropolis is dangerous because the rate of crime has increased. I was in Lagos before I came to Abuja to do business, but with the wave of insecurity in this place, I’m now discouraged. JACOB AUDU: Government has not shown concern over the lives and property of the citizens. We see political leaders driving with mass police escort, while the less privileged continue to fall prey to criminals. I blame the government for the high rate of crime in the nation’s capital. Police are not well equipped; and not enough to fight crime. Yet a large percentage of them are working in private homes of the high and mighty. The creation of state police is the best solution to the current insecurity across the country. As we speak, the so-called security personnel have been polarised along religious and ethnic

personnel, there is no way the officers will engage in sharp practices. In the curse of legislation, I also want to suggest that the government includes standard disciplinary measures to guide the conduct of the personnel. JAMES ENEJOH: The issue of insecurity is getting worse due to economic challenges. There is need for government to properly equip the police to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. The creation of state police would be a great idea. But I think for now, there is need to strengthen the operations of the existing police force. Ogala Gideon

James Enejoh

Jacob Audu

Celina Edward

lines. So the creation of state police is inevitable. If State police come on board, they would curtail all criminal activities in communities.

During Jonathan's administration, it generated a lot of debate. Some people said if State Police is created, they would become a tool in the hands of the state governors. For me, the government needs to put in place, independent sources where money will be utilized to fund the organization when created. If there is an Independent source to fund state police and provide better welfare packages to the

ABDUl AYENI: It is good the issue of state police is being discussed at a time when Nigeria is facing serious insecurity within. I think government needs to demonstrate political will and come up a legislation to create state police.

KANGAMA HARUNA: The creation of state police is not a welcome idea because the chief executives of the states will abuse it. The state of insecurity is actually bad. Security agencies are not up to task in performing their constitutional roles of protecting lives and property. So I want this to be a wakeup call to the FCT administration. The security in FCT is very bad. The administration should try as much as possible to empower the youths so they can stay away from all forms of bad activities. STEVEN OJODALE: Looking at the state of insecurity in Nigeria, we need adequate policing in every state of the federation, including the FCT. Now, a state governor that we call the chief security officer of the state does not even have the power to command a commissioner of police. He has to wait for orders from above. The governor should be able to order the police or the security apparatus in the state. He is supposed to be in charge. The serious insecurity across the country is because we don't have state police. Some people are saying if we have state police, governors would abuse it, but I think it would be easier to hold governors responsible for insecurity in their states.

July 16 - 22, 2018



NUC will not allow 100% online degrees -Rasheed Stories by Godfrey AKON he Executive Secretary of N a t i o n a l U n i v e r s i t i e s Commission, NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, has said the commission will not allow 100 per cent running of online degrees in Nigeria as it could spell doom for the university system. Rasheed, who stated this during an annual retreat for Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities in Abuja, said NUC only approves open and distance learning education, ODL, in the country. The NUC boss cited w i d e s p r e a d irregularities observed in online programmes, lack of university experience by students and other anomalies as reasons for NUC’s decision not to allow its full operation. He said the commission was finalizing work on its protocol for open and distance learning to encourage a blended system, stating that when the document is ready, it would be open for criticism and inputs. While noting that the country’s university system was growing with 164 universities, 2 million enrolments and over 60 thousand academics, Rasheed stressed the need for periodic review of what it intends to attain to enhance common quality and forge more collaboration. “The University system is growing, with over 2 million enrollments and over 60,000 academics; we have a large growing expanding system, that we need to monitor effectively, in order to ensure high quality assurance,” he said. Rasheed said NUC and the Nigerian University System have already embarked on an ambitious reform agenda for the system and were considering a review of the university curriculum. He added that in the past one year, the commission has approved the full complement of ICT degree-awarding courses.


According to him, the approved courses include: software engineering, cyber security, among others while appeals have been made for the approval of data management and networking. He further stated that private universities in the country can only accommodate 6 per cent of the annual student

population. The NUC boss said the number of students admitted each year by the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, was more than what the 75 private universities admitted in four years. Earlier, the chairman of Committee of Vice Chancellors of State Universities, Prof

Samuel Bamidele, commended NUC for its commitment, quality accreditation, in novation and efforts towards ensuring quality education in the universities. Also speaking, the chairman, Association of Vice Chancellors of Private Universities, Prof Debo Adeyewa, lauded NUC’s

involvement of private universities in the discussion of how to move the university system forward. Adeyewa stressed the need for quality assurance and unity to ensure common quality in federal, state and private universities that will be at par with the quality of universities abroad.

L-R: Rep of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Adeola Hundeyin, President/Chairman of Council, Nigerian Institute of Training and Development, Mrs. Janet Jolaoso, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo and Director, Technical And Vocational Services, Mr. Laolu Oguntuyi, during an awards ceremony by the institute in Abuja…Friday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

Don advocates review of Nigeria’s electoral system By Yusuf ATEED


lecturer with the University of Abuja, Prof Yusuf Zoaka, has advocated a thorough review of Nigeria’s electoral system before the 2019 general elections. Zoaka made the suggestion during a roundtable discussion organized by the university with support from Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, Germany. The HOD of Political Science and International Relations in University of Abuja, said the present electoral system has outlived its usefulness, stressing that the voting system which was adopted in 1999 has become flawed, as it promotes unparalleled

violence and increased apathy among the electorate. He added that the current system breeds thuggery, desperation and wasteful spending by politicians, a winnertakes-all mentality as well as unhealthy competition and rivalry, which has transformed Nigerian politics into a do-or-die affair. Speaking further on “the quest for p r o p o r t i o n a l representation in Nigeria,” the political scientist said women, the physically challenged, members of the academic community and youths of voting age have been politically alienated since the day Nigeria adopted the present democratic system.

Zoaka said western nations and African countries that practice mixed proportional voting system such as Ireland, Sweden, Malta, Australia, South Africa and Rwanda among others, were more peaceful and experienced greater economic growth as well as seamless transition of government after elections due to i m p r o v e d representation of the people in the political system. The professor of political science maintained that nothing good can come out of a faulty and overtly expensive experiment, stressing that except the nation takes urgent steps to

decriminalize elections by adopting better political cultures, the desperation among politicians to grab power at all costs will get worse in the future and eventually lead to a complete failure or collapse of democracy. Another contributor, Dr Angela AjodoAdebanjoko, a senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Federal University of Science and Technology, Lafia, Nasarawa state, appealed to INEC to put in motion the necessary instruments for proper transition from the present unhealthy political culture to a better system to ensure equitable participation of Nigerians.

UBE Act: Amendment lowers counterpart funds for states


s the bill to amend the free and compulsory Universal Basic Education Act 2004, scales through second reading in the House of Representatives, the proposed law has reduced counterpart funds paid by states to draw from annual allocations by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC. The Bill, which seeks to amend Section 11 of the 2004 law was necessitated by the inability of most states to provide the 50 per cent counterpart funds required by law to access their annual federal allocations through UBEC. A member of the House of Representatives and sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Afe Olowookere, APC-Ondo, argued that counterpart funding by states should be reduced from 50 to 25 per cent as the high matching grant had resulted in the backlog un-accessed lying unused in the Central Bank. He said the importance of education in the life of human beings, the application of free basic education should not be negotiated. It is said that only two states: Borno and Rivers, have been able to fully meet these requirements and duly enjoy the benefits of the scheme; this is indeed worrisome. While supporting the amendment of Billm, Hon. Aishatu Dukku pointed out that the inability of States to access these funds was responsible for why so many children go to school in dilapidated structures. Also speaking, Hon. Tahir Monguno wondered why states which see education as a priority fail to pay up their counterpart funding when an insecurityravaged state like Borno can meet up. He urged for more commitment from States. The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the Committee on Basic Education and Services.


July 16 - 22, 2018

July 16 - 22, 2018


METRO How MDAs waste funds in yearly purchases of cars By David LAWANI


t is an undeniable fact that the election or appointment of public office holders in the country comes with huge financial implications. Part of this cost is the purchase of vehicles for the officers among other perks of the office, with the purchase of brand new cars being the priciest. Every year billions of naira is voted for the procurement of new vehicles in government agencies, with previous ones hardly ever used. These purchases do not only encourage wastages, but also avenues for siphoning public funds. Most times new vehicle are bought in government offices because the occupants of the offices bluntly refuse to use cars used by previous occupants of such offices. The cars are then left wasting in car parks while new ones are bought for the new occupant of the office.

METRO observed an assemblage of varieties of expensive cars parked at the car lounge of some ministries and parastatals domicile in the FCT without their proper utilization. When this reporter sought to find out reasons for the wastage, no specific or tenable explanation was given for this, rather than some flimsy fear of diabolic spells cast on the cars to either protect owners or attacks from perceived enemies who might also be angling for position. A security guard at one of the ministries told this reporter in confidence that a head of department at his ministries bluntly refused using the car used by his predecessor, saying he would rather wait till he is due for a new car. In his words, “This issue you just raised is happening across most of this ministries and parastatals of government. I was expecting that when Buhari came on board and

couple with the fact that he is against waste of any form, some of these ministers and their subordinates’ heads will join him in fighting these wastages rather the tradition is still maintained. “Some give reasons that are untenable and this is quite unfortunate considering the government in power who have always sound it to the hearing of Nigerians that it is fighting corruption.” A staff of the agency told METRO that some of political appointees just want to show off that they have high taste for expensive cars even though they don’t pay for these cars. According to her, “We are not surprise at what some of this appointees do. Just take a walk across this car park, you will see varieties of cars wasting and rusting away as if they are preparing their ruts for experiment. “One would have

Official cars of the President of Senate. Photo: File.

expected that the federal government to issue a directive to public officers ordering them to use vehicles for at least five years before they can request for replacement. Government should ensure that none of its appointee refuses to use any vehicle left behind by his predecessor. There is no doubt the authorities saddled with the responsibility of distributing and

monitoring these vehicles are not carrying out their duties appropriately. “Inventory of all government vehicles must be taken so as to keep track of them and also know the applicable sanction to be taken against those wasting public resources in order to enthrone sanity in the system.” Some civil servants who confided in this reporter alleged that most

abandoned vehicles are usually auctioned at giveaway prices suggesting that there is a deliberate plan to keep wasting the taxes payers hard earned monies on flimsy measures. The vehicles are reportedly sold at cheap prices to cronies or stooge of political godfathers as rewards for their loyalty or even shear waste of public funds that are hardly ever accounted for.


July 16 - 22, 2018



AfDB devise strategies to bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap Stories by Sarah NEGEDU


he African Development Bank, AfDB, has said it will assist Nigeria put together an array of bankable projects that would help bridge the county’s infrastructure gap in the shortest possible time. This is part of a $130billion infrastructure financing mechanism meant to stir Nigeria and other African countries towards fast racking the sustainable development goal. Nigeria alone is said to require an estimated $3trillion to bridge its infrastructure gap in the next 26 years. According to the lender, the plan will take full shape at the African Investment Forum, AIF, scheduled to hold in Johannesburg, South Africa in November. Speaking at the AIF Road show held recently in Abuja, the Senior Director, AfDB Nigeria, Mr. Ebrima Faal, said the AIF idea came from the reality that the government alone could not finance the infrastructure gap in the country. “Over the last decade, and despite impressive growth rates in most of the continent, Africa’s infrastructure needs remain formidable with annual financing gap between $130billion and $107billion annually. “ N i g e r i a ’ s infrastructure cumulative financing needs are estimated to reach $3trillion by 2044 or about $100billion annually. This is all happening at a time when public sector finances are extremely pressured. To this end, Faal said there is a critical need to change the current funding mix and create partnerships to finance infrastructure and other projects in Africa. He said the bank will galvanise private sector funds and other development partners to

handle infrastructure projects that have been verified by the bank and approved by the respective countries. Some of the projects selected for funding in Nigeria under the new plan are the Abuja Integrated Infrastructure Project, otherwise known as the Satellite Towns, and the Bus Rapid Transit and the Eko Atlantic City project in Lagos. He said the new funding mechanism had become imperative given that Overseas

Development Assistance, ODA, had become unpredictable, encumbered and decreasing. According to him, whereas in the past, the ODA accounted for about $6billion or 15 percent of the financing of infrastructure, the amount has been declining and has become more unpredictable. Also, a Senior Director at the AfDB in charge of the African Investment Forum, Ms Stella Kilonzo, said through the forum,

the bank aimed to de-risk investments in Africa. Kilonzo said the bank would fast track the Sustainable Development Goals by developing bankable projects in the agricultural, energy and infrastructure sectors, among others in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President and Coordinator, Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, Mr Folarin Alayande, commended the AfDB for seeking alternative funding for infrastructure

development in Nigeria and Africa in general. He said the Federal Government had identified key priority projects that would spur sustainable growth in the country. Alayande noted that to deliver fast results on mobilising private investments and job creation, the investment focus of the country was in the areas of agriculture and transportation, manufacturing and processing, power and gas supply.

Former CBN Deputy Governor and presidential aspirant, Mr. Kingsley Moghalu with Mr. Hayyan Bhabha, Senior Advisor to the UK Parliament and Ministry of Defence, during the latter’s campaign trip to the U.K

‘De-risk your economies or risk investors’ flight’


igeria, and indeed other A f r i c a n countries have been urged to focus on derisking their economies and build confidence in their financial systems or risk facing issues of investors’ flight. The Chief Executive Officer of African Trade Insurance Agency, ATI, Mr. George Otieno, gave the advice at a roundtable event on financing and regulatory considerations around AfCFTA, on the sidelines

of the African ExportImport Bank’s Annual Meetings and 25th anniversary celebrations held in Abuja. Otieno warned that investors would run away from Africa unless adequate risk measures were put in place to address actual and perceived risks. He said investment insurance remains a critical missing piece that will enable Africa to reach its full growth potential. Such insurance

Otieno said, is the hidden but necessary c o m p o n e n t underpinning most transactions. This is especially true in Africa where country and subinvestment grade credit risks are often the largest hurdles preventing deals from reaching financial close. Also at the event, the ATI’s Chief Underwriting Officer John Lentaigne said the shortage of Investment insurance capacity is particularly acute in

certain African countries like Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia. He said, “This is because most investment insurers cap exposures in any given country and these caps are normally based around the sovereign’s rating rather than the size of their economies.” ATI explain that Nigeria, with a GDP of USD376 billion, has an economy that is Continued on page 19

FG looks to foreign interests to boost automotive industry


he federal government is positive that the recent visit of foreign investors and consultants from the automotive industry will serve as a boost for the development of the sector. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah described the visit of the more than 20 foreign investors as a contact that could further push the automotive industry in Nigeria. Enelamah said, “It is an encouraging expression of confidence in the leadership of the country and our spirited efforts to exploit the socio-economic potential of the automotive sector in the country to the fullest for the benefit of all Nigerians. “The visit also offered networking opportunities for Nigerians in the auto industry and other stakeholders. We are excited by the role the automotive industry plays in the strategic and catalytic economic development of countries. And we are committed to developing the sector speedily to facilitate the economic diversification of the country,” the minister explained. The minister further stated that the international investors in the African automotive industry, who visited Abuja, Lagos and Edo State to engage various stakeholders, were in the country to have an insight into the business opportunities. He said the visit would also enable them to build relationships and networks with key government and private sector figures, deepen the structured business links and investment between the private sector of Nigeria and South Africa.

July 16 - 22, 2018



Workers’ protest: Vandals attack MTN installations Stories by Sarah NEGEDU


ritical telecommunication installations belonging to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited were recently vandalised by unidentified persons after the recent picketing of the company by members of the Nigerian Labour Congress. Government fears that sustained attack on telecom facilities could lead to collapse of the telecommunications grid or further pose a security threat to the country. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has therefore mobilised men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to protect the equipment and installations of the leading digital mobile operator. Members of the NLC, last week, besiege the MTN head office in Lagos and other offices in different parts of the country, over alleged anti-labour practices by the telecommunications service provider. A statement issued by the NCC explain that the dispute between the telecom firm and the labour union had resulted in the vandalism of telecommunications equipment, thereby prompting the regulatory agency’s intervention to save the country’s critical infrastructure. “In the wake of the labour dispute between MTN, one of its major licensees, and labour, and the protests that have resulted in the vandalism of telecom infrastructure, the NCC on Monday night activated the Memorandum of Understanding with the NSCDC to protect the switch stations and Base Transceiver Stations belonging to MTN and other telecom operators. “The commission had contacted ACG Iyogho of the NSCDC on the matter and directed MTN to liaise with the NSCDC on the issue of the picketing by the NLC and the reported destruction of telecom infrastructure across the

country. “The NCC has also briefed the security agencies on the developments, particularly the implications of the attempt to shut down the Ojota switch station. A collapse of the telecommunications grid is likely if these attacks on MTN and other telecom facilities are not

abated.” Telecom infrastructure had been classified as critical national infrastructure by the Cyber Security Act domiciled with the Office of the National Security Adviser. Already, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta has opened talks with other critical

stakeholders through the office of the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders’ Management, Mr Sunday Dare, on the issue. The NCC stated that the leadership of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria and Association of L i c e n s e d Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria was

working with the regulatory agency on the developments. It added that it was working behind the scene to protect telecom infrastructure and minimise service disruption in order not to compromise national security, quality of service and to protect over 160 million subscribers.

L-R: Sales Director, Public Sector, Cisco Nig, Mr. Bodunrinde Oyebade, DG, National Population Commission, Dr. Gaji Ismaila Bello, MD, BCX Nig, Ayo Adegboye and Regional Manger, North, BCX, Mrs. Julia Obasi during the BCX Technical Seminar on Rethink Data Security in Abuja…Thursday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

June salary uncertain as FAAC, NNPC disagree T he Federation A c c o u n t s Allocation Committee meeting for May 2018 again ended in deadlock Thursday last week, making it the third consecutive time the meeting will be suspended in recent times. The meeting which was to consider and approve revenue disbursement among the three tiers of government was suspended indefinitely following the disagreements with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation over remittances into the Federation Account. C h a i r m a n , Commissioners of Finance Forum, Mr Mahmood Yunusa, had at the end of the rescheduled meeting, said the NNPC had refused to meet its revenue obligations to

the Federation Account. He said Committee therefore agreed to suspend meetings indefinitely until an effective revenue collection process is implemented, even as the states vow to continue with the battle until the right thing was done. “FAAC meetings have been suspended until a more effective collection method is established. “What we are looking for is for the process to be strengthened, once the process is strengthened there is no need for this fight. It is about the system and the process and we are working on it. It is no longer a joking matter, it has gone to the highest level. “Mr President is highly interested in this

and he is taking his time to ensure that the right thing is done.” He said apart from ensuring that the right revenue was remitted, there was a need for the government to strengthen the operational processes of the corporation. “We want to strengthen and deepen this process; once the process is strengthened, the correct amount is supposed to go to the federation’s revenue account. Even if it is small, we cannot challenge the NNPC. So, we are also helping the NNPC from undue pressure,” he stated. Yunusa said that the decision to hold NNPC accountable came with a price, meaning some states may not be able to pay salaries. He, however, expressed the hope that

once the process was completed, it would serve as a permanent solution to the reoccurring issue of under-remittance by NNPC. “We know that people are facing difficulties but this is a sacrifice that all of us must do to get out of this problems of the NNPC’s underpayment. If the process is operated the way it is supposed to, nobody will complain. Recall that earlier FAAC meetings scheduled for June 27 and July 10 both ended in stalemates over allegations of revenue underpayment levelled against the NNPC. The committee is insisting that the NNPC only remitted N127billion into the Federation Account, as against the N147billion the corporation claim to have remitted.

‘De-risk your economies or risk investors’ flight’ Continued from page 18

approximately 10 times larger than that of its regional peers but it faces acute constraints on available investment insurance. The problem they said is compounded because most of the capacity is taken up by high-levels of foreign currency sovereign borrowing, which will generally be de-risked with investment insurance. The end result is that Sovereign borrowing then tends to crowd-out appetite for private sector risks in the very countries in which it is most needed. “With our presence in any given market, we are able to crowd-in a new class of investors who might otherwise have turned their back on opportunities in the region. We are looking forward to Nigeria finalising its membership in order for the country to completely benefit from ATI’s ability to help the country attract more investments,” Otieno further explained. He said many international lenders are bound by regulations that prevent them from lending significant amounts to subinvestment grade borrowers, which is the case for most African countries and corporates. Institutions such as ATI that provide investment insurance can help to mitigate these risks and thereby bring added investment capacity to African markets. ATI and Afreximbank are both multilateral and p a n - A f r i c a n organisations founded with a common mandate to provide a solution to financing and trade challenges on the continent. While Afreximbank focuses on financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade, ATI’s core objective is to provide the insurance capacity to underpin private investment flows / FDI into the continent in addition to increasing traders’ access to credit facilities.


July 16 - 22, 2018

1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” We are called as priestly citizens to represent God’s Spirit, Soul and body and this representation comes through Spiritual Sacrifices. The Spiritual Sacrifices make us attain our redemptive packages. Our lives, attitudes, wealth, etc. Are to be released unto the Lord, if we must be readily available and productive in the things of God through spiritual sacrifices. Spiritual Sacrifices are activities/ measures carried out by the children of God in order to harness the redemptive packages, Christ delivered to us, after his death and resurrection. Spiritual Sacrifices are not child’s play, neither are they gimmicks but they are sacrificial acts to make us lively stones, set after the similitude of God’s palace. Components of Spiritual Sacrifices 1. Our Bodies: Our bodies should not be inhabitants for sins and sicknesses. The body is a tool that reflects who we are submitting to, the devil or God. What you wear and how you treat your body determines the outcome. The body is a reflection of our connection and relationship with God. Carry your body with dignity, because it is a property of

such sacrifices God is well pleased.” 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”

Spiritual Sacrifices the divinity. Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 2 Corinthians 6:16 “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them ; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2. ACTS OF LOVE: What you cook in your kitchen smells out, therefore Love is an aroma that reflects, if you are sweet or sour. Love/Hate is infectious and contagious. Love is sacrificial and giving and its rewards are

undeniable. Love is not devoid of rebuke and chastisement. Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” 3. GENEROSITY: Generous people are dangerous peopke, because givers never lack. He who is generous can never be stranded, generous individuals are standards for others to emulate. Learn to distinguish between a seed and harvest: sow your seeds for a multiple harvest by generosity. Generosity gives you the capacity for multiple harvest. Faithfulness in little is the brain box for fruitfulness. Hebrews 13:16 “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with

4. OUR PRAISE TO GOD: Praises turns God on. The situations or challenges around should not be a determinant of how we praise God: in fact when we praise God in our down moments, it gorces him into action, because praises is an act of faith communication unto God. He who praises God will be raised. Praises is a lever for advancement and fulfilment of expectations. Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” 5. OUR WORD OF LIFE AND FAITH: The confession of our faith in terms of positive words is a reflection of our word level. We are aligned and directed in the paths of destiny according to our word level. The word of God is the compendium of all we need to advance our lives and career. The words confessed determines how your world is framed. The word of God is our profession, and when we connect to our profession, our confessions are validated. Hebrews 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;” Conclusively, the level of our spiritual sacrifices determines our depth and height, we would attain in our spiritual walk, which would reflect in our physical endeavours.

BOOK REVIEW Drug Abuse: The Cankerworm Ravaging Our Society Author: Andiaty Marjah Ngatida Reviewer: Ben Adoga


his book is completely proudly Nigerian and to bring it home, a product of the FCT, Abuja. Like an oven fresh cake in our hands, this 143 page book was produced in April, 2018 here in Kpeyegyi, Abuja. When I started going through the book, I thought the author was a medical practitioner, but rather a graduate of Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Maiduguri. She was propelled by the love and affection for youth and her desire to give back to society and protect the future of the young ones (women inclusive). She is already involved in this

using her NGO, Conveyors of Hope International. The book is specifically targeted, by my understanding, the youth, school age children, parents, guidance counsellor and the general public who is at the mercy of illicit drug misuse and abuse, consciously or unconsciously. Because this book is targeted at all, it is written in simple day to day narrative format, though some medical jargons are inevitably used in few cases. The author clearly intends to reach the young people whose future are being destroyed by substance abuse. Summary of Content Chapter One captures the evolution of drug abuse in Nigeria, starting from the desire of man to kill pain and promote pleasure with local

brews like Ogogoro, palm wine and other mixtures before the introduction of Indian hemp, otherwise called weed, ganja or marijuana by returnee soldiers from the Second World War The advent of globalisation has worsened the situation, in spite of the benefits of technology and ICT. Chapter Two treats

the effects of drug addiction on the brain. Do you know what Homeostasis means? Read the book! Chapters three, four and five deal with factors influencing drug abuse and addiction, how even culture facilitates drug abuse and an expose of frequently abused drugs. Gender was

mainstreamed into the subject matter in chapter six. Consequences of substance abuse to the individual, relationship and the society was treated in chapter seven while eight provides clues extensively into knowing when a loved one is abusing drugs. The author did not leave us stranded with the challenges and the gory picture of the situation, she took steps in chapter nine and provides the solution while ten and the conclusion challenges relevant authorities, groups and organisations to wake up and do something. The book is handy, well packaged for easy handling and reading. The artistic presentation of one trapped in the prison of drugs is not just apt, it can’t be better symbolised. The book is scholarly presented

with bibliographic references. As at the time of writing this book, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that 40 percent of Nigerian youths abuse drugs. The current figure from that same organisation is 48.5 percent, while 60 percent of the estimated figure are from Northern Nigeria. She, however, made it clear that drug abuse is prevalent in all parts of the country. Note that the federal government, only recently banned the sale of codeine and some substances. We all need to read this book for better understanding of the issues. I recommend this book for schools, libraries, parents and even churches and mosques as well as every young adult should read this book.

July 16 - 22, 2018



Obesity alone does not increase risk of death – Study

Timing is key for bacteria surviving antibiotics


or bacteria facing a dose of antibiotics, timing might be the key to evading destruction. In a series of experiments, Princeton researchers found that cells that repaired DNA damaged by antibiotics before resuming growth had a much better chance of surviving treatment. When antibiotics hit a population of bacteria, often a small fraction of “persister” cells survive to pose a threat of recurrent infection. Unlike bacteria with genetic resistance to antibiotics, evidence suggests that persisters stay alive in part by stalling cellular processes targeted by the drugs. In a new study, Princeton researchers examined a class of antibiotics that target bacterial DNA. In bacterial populations, some cells repair damaged DNA before resuming growth, and others resume growth before making repairs. The researchers found that those that make repairs before resuming growth generally are the ones that survive as persisters. The research advances a long-term goal to make antibiotic treatment more effective. In results published June 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Wendy Mok, a post-doctoral researcher, and Mark Brynildsen, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, analyzed the responses of E. coli bacteria to treatment with ofloxacin, an antibiotic that causes DNA damage by blocking enzymes needed for DNA replication and RNA transcription. Their work built on previous results from Brynildsen’s lab, which revealed that persisters to ofloxacin required DNA repair machinery to survive.

esearchers at York University’s Faculty of Health have found that patients who have metabolic healthy obesity, but no other metabolic risk factors, do not have an increased rate of mortality. The results of this study could impact how we think about obesity and health, says Jennifer Kuk, associate professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, who led the research team at York University. “This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor,” says Kuk. “This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, ‘healthy’. This is likely why most studies have reported that ‘healthy’ obesity is still related with higher mortality risk.” Kuk’s study showed that unlike dyslipidemia, hypertension or diabetes alone, which are related with a high mortality risk, this isn’t the case for obesity alone. The study followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorized as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor. Researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors. Current weight management guidelines

suggest that anyone with a BMI over 30 kg/ m2 should lose weight. This implies that if you have obesity, even without any other risk factors, it makes you unhealthy. Researchers found that 1 out of 20

individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities. “We’re showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality

rate. We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors. “This means that

hundreds of thousands of people in North America alone with metabolically healthy obesity will be told to lose weight when it’s questionable how much benefit they’ll actually receive,” says Kuk.

Tackling bullying could help reduce depression in autistic teens


eenagers with difficulties in social communication, including autism have higher rates of depressive symptoms, especially if they are being bullied. Researchers at the University of Bristol, using questionnaire, clinic and genetic information on 6091 young people from the Children of the 90s longitudinal study, found that children with autism and those with autistic traits had more symptoms of depression when they were 10 years old than their peers and that this continued at least up to the age of 18. Children with difficulties in social

communication were also more likely to have a diagnosis of depression at 18 and the findings suggest an increased risk for those who suffered from bullying. The researchers did not find any link between having higher genetic tendencies towards autism and depressive symptoms. Dr Dheeraj Rai, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at the Centre for Academic Mental Health said: “We still know very little about why mental health problems are common in autism and what could be done to address them. “Thanks to the wealth of data collected within the Children of

the 90s study, we tracked the development of depressive symptoms in children with autism and autistic features up to the age of 18 years. “We found that these children have more depressive symptoms than their peers at age 10 and these continue through adolescence to age 18, especially in children who reported being bullied. “More research needs to be done to understand other pathways contributing to the risk of depression in autism across the life course, but these findings suggest that focusing on the role of traumatic experiences such as bullying and interventions targeting

these, could be important and may have the potential to make a real difference to the wellbeing of autistic people.” Alan Emond, Professor of Child Health at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Bristol added: “Bullying can be detrimental to anyone’s mental health, but young people with social communication difficulties and other autistic traits seem to be particularly vulnerable. “To protect autistic children and young people a whole school approach is needed to prevent bullying, coupled with targeted support for vulnerable individuals.”



July 16 - 22, 2018


How UNICEF’s G4G inspires girls’ retention in schools So far, 15,303 girls in Bauchi, Katsina and Zamfara states have been enrolled in UNICEF’s Girls For Girls, G4G, initiative aimed at improving enrolment, retention, completion and transition of the girls from primary to junior secondary schools. The program is implemented in 300 pilot schools spread across 18 local governments in the three states. Godfrey AKON reports:


or 13-year old Fatima Abba, the journey through primary education, however stormy and challenging, is just weeks away from ending. The primary 6 pupil of Tudun Wada Primary School located in the outskirts of Talata Mafara, Zamfara state, hopes to transit to junior secondary school after the August holidays, as she pursues her dream of becoming a social worker. Fatima had refused to be trapped by cultural and social barriers, waived hawking during school hours, and shunned peers who were ill-disposed to the idea of enrolling and completing school before reaching her final year. The teenager told reporters that the Girls for Girls initiative did not only inspire and build her confidence to go through school but also imbued her with capacity to advise peers who were not in school to enroll, complete their education and become relevant to the society. “We have also learnt to solve our problems in school as girls; those who are not in school will always be different from us. Some do not even know how to maintain good hygiene,” she said. Fatima’s experience is shared by over 15,303 girls in Zamfara, Bauchi and Katsina states, who have been enrolled in the G4G initiative, barely a year after the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, commenced implementation of the program. While the girls’ mass participation indicates their growing interest in education and school attendance, the program has also instilled them with the commitment to remain in school, complete and transit to secondary school. Statistics earlier rolled out by UNICEF showed that over half of the girls who complete primary school in Katsina state fail to transit to junior secondary school, while many in Zamfara and some northern states leave school after primary four. UNICEF Education Specialist, Azuka Menkiti, said the agency initiated the G4G in 2017 to tackle the alarming rate of school dropouts among girls and improve enrolment, retention, completion and transition of the girls from primary to junior secondary schools. Menkiti, who spoke at a media dialogue jointly organized by the Child Rights Information Bureau, CRIB, of the Ministry of Information

and Culture, and UNICEF in Gusau, Zamfara State, said the initiative was implemented in 300 primary schools in 18 local government areas. "15, 303 girls; Bauchi 5, 284, Katsina 5620 and Zamfara 4,399, have been enrolled and participating in 813 established G4G groups across 18 LGA's in the 300 pilot schools in three states. "In the months following the inception of this program, a lot of positive changes have been seen in the girls who now aspire to become great women in future. The G4G is to create a platform for empowering girls with knowledge, skills and confidence to exercise the right to enroll and remain in school," she said. The G4G initiative is a component of the third phase of the Girls' Education Project, GEP3, being implemented in northern Nigeria by the UK Department for International Development, DFID, and is funded by the United Kingdom Agency for International Development, UKaid, While the program terminates in 2020, it has the goal of bringing over 1 million girls to learn in school and part of the approach being worked out with the Ministry of Education is to embark on exchange learning where some girls will be taken abroad and trained. So far, the tremendous success recorded by the G4G is not unconnected with its method of implementation in all three states. According to the Executive Director of Life Helpers Initiative, a

partner agency implementing the G4G in Zamfara State, Mr. Tayo Fatinikun, implementers adopted a four way channel involving State Universal Basic Education Boards, SUBEBS, Mothers Associations, among others. Fatinikun said the role of SUBEBS was to provide overall direction and actively participate especially through local government education authority and head teachers, as well as supervise, monitor and if possible, replicate the program across all LGAs. The program is also being implemented in collaboration with School Based Management Committees and Mothers Associations whose duty is to actively participate in the running of the 813 groups and provide community supports to them. Civil Society Organizations also provide direct technical support such as establishment, coordination and content implementation as well as supervise, mentor and monitor groups’ activities. The High Level Women Advocacy, HILWA, provid regular interface with all stakeholders including the girls and conduct high level advocacy for positive government programs or policies towards girls’ education. In Zamfara state, 100 schools were selected in Anka, Talata Mafara, Shinkafi, Kaura Namoda, Bugudu and Tsafe local government areas for implementation of the program and child protection issues were highlighted, as well as girls’ abuses.

According to Fatinikun, the progam which focuses on developing girls’ interest in education, life skills and health had 3 mentors in each school comprising of female teachers, where available, and members of mothers’ association. He said there are currently 185 groups across 6 LGAs of the state with a total population of 4099 girls, over 960 of whom are being trained on social, vocational and health based issues through school-based safe space, extra curriculum activities established in support of the enrolled girls in benefiting local governments. Aisha Abdullahi of Community Action for Popular Participation, implementing partners of the initiative in Katsina State, said a key intervention of the G4G in the state was community enrolment campaigns by mothers association and other partners. Abdullahi said mothers associations and high level women advocacy as well as other partners carried out community campaigns, peer support to girls and family negotiations to improve attitudes towards girls’ enrolment, retention and completion. She narrated the success story of the G4G in tackling the out-of-school children syndrome, girls’ molestation and provision of life skills to girls, adding that the girls were also trained on vocational skills such as soap making, bead making, making of sanitary pads among others. Despite the early success of the G4G initiative however, the program is faced with daunting challenges. In Zamfara state, due to insecurity, some girls do not go to school regularly while mentors are unable to safely access some communities for mentoring. The state is also challenged by low infrastructural development as conducive learning facilities are in short supply while there are no girlsrelated recreational and sport-related facilities. Besides, in Katsina state, parents are still a major factor hindering girls from enrolling, staying and completing education, while the state has only a handful of female teachers as girls are more likely to stay under a female teacher than male. Implementers also lament the lack of cooperation by Integrated Quranic Schools, IQS, as proprietors approach the initiative with skepticism even as random transfer of teachers is also affecting the initiative.

July 16 - 22, 2018


July 16 - 22, 2018

Mbappe emulates Pele with final goal as Pogba sets Man Utd first


ylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba both set records on Sunday during a goal-packed World Cup final between France and Croatia. Les Bleus edged a tense first half leading 2-1 , with Mario Mandzukic putting through his own net and Antoine Griezmann netting a penalty either side of Ivan Perisic’s goal. But with Croatia seeking a way back in the game opened up after the break, and France took full advantage. Pogba and Mbappe were on target in quick succession with fine long-range efforts past Daniel Subasic, and in doing so each player made their little bit of history.

Ronaldo in Turin for Juventus medical


ristiano Ronaldo is in Turin to finalise his sensational transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus, the Italian giants confirmed. The striker agreed terms last week over a •100 million (£88m/ $117m) switch to Serie A, a move that shook the world of football in the middle of the World Cup. Under the deal, Ronaldo will receive a bumper •30 million (£26.5m/$35m) a season contract that will run for the next four years. And, ahead of an expected presentation this week as Juve’s latest summer signing, he is now in Turin to complete the formalities of the transfer.

France players throwing their coach, Didier Deschamps after winning the World Cup, Deschamps

Vive le France! France beat Croatia to lift World Cup F

rance beat Croatia 4-2 to land their second World Cup title two decades on from their famous victory against Brazil on home soil. An own-goal by

Mario Mandzukic followed by goals by Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and teenager Kylian Mbappe were enough to secure the Les Blues another World crown in

Moscow. France went into the match as clear favourites to triumph and was fuelled by the bitter disappointment of losing the Euro 2016 final to Portugal in Paris.

Croatia had brought joy to their Balkan nation of just four million people by defying the odds to progress to the final while reigning champions Germany, then Argentina and

Brazil all fell by the wayside in Russia. They inspiration through mercurial midfielder Luka Modric and coach Zlatko Dalic, were not enough to see them past France.

Chinese embassy, NUJ FCT hold tennis tournament


he second edition of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, FCT Council Inter-

Chapel Table Tennis Tournament with Chinese Embassy was held at the Chinese Cultural Centre,

weekend. The Deputy Head of Mission, Chinese Embassy, Mr. Lin Jing, in his opening

Winners of the 2nd NUJ FCT Table Tennis Tournament which held weekend at the Chinese Cultural Center. L-R: men’s champion, Adesanya Adetokunbo of NAN, Onasanya Henry, Ministry of Information, 1st runner-up, Odhomi Christopher, Ministry of Information, 2nd runner-up, and women’s champion, Kisit Golit of the VON.

remarks said the essence of the tournament was to foster cooperation and effective communication between both countries. He said, “table tennis holds a special place in the hearts of the people of China. It enables everyone irrespective of his or her creed, profession, belief and religious inclination to communicate and relate effectively with everybody.” The National Secretary of the NUJ, Mr Shu’aibu Usman Leman, in his contribution commended the Chinese Embassy, NUJ FCT Council and all the chapels’ representatives for

putting up spirited efforts for the successful hosting of the tournament. In his words, “I want to commend the Chinese Embassy, NUJ and all the chapels that deemed it fit to be part of the second edition of this year ’s tournament. This a huge opportunity to promote unity in our unique diversity. This event is important to us. “Activities like this will further cement our relationship with China. The idea is to open up our respective unions for greater opportunities. The national secretariat is desirous of fostering this relationship.”

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The Abuja Inquirer Edition 41  
The Abuja Inquirer Edition 41