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Obiano saves APGA from extinction, wins By Emmanuel OGBECHE


he Igbo adage “Nkea bu nke anyi”, this is our own, came true on Saturday in Anambra State as Mr. Willie Obiano was re-elected as governor for another

term of four years. Prior to the gubernatorial election, Chief Victor Umeh, former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APGA, and Obiano’s director-general of campaigns, had warned

that if APGA loses in the November 18 poll, it would be the end of the party. “Anambra election is not only to re-elect Governor Obiano but to ensure that APGA did not go into extinction; we will not allow the only

Governor elected under APGA to be removed from office. “Governor Obiano is the only governor the Igbo race has, so the election is not only for Obiano’s re-election but to make sure the Igbo race is not wiped out in

Nigeria. “The way Igbo are treated in Nigeria has exposed the injustice against the Igbo people and we must struggle harder like never before to ensure that we remain in Nigeria, you should not listen to the people

who are coming here to tell you to join them, their end will soon come.” True to Umeh’s prognosis, APGA trounced the heavyweights which included billionaire Continued on page 3

KIDDIES PAGE >>> PAGE 12 First Published March 2004

Vol. 12 No. 21 ISSN: 1597-2895

October 20 - 26, 2017

Price: 100


BATTLE SHIFTS TO APPEAL COURT …Several SANs Offer To Defend Inquirer For Free …EFCC Still Seeks Elusive Kuku By Godfrey AKON


he Abuja Inquirer has made good its intention to appeal the judgement of the Abuja High Court that found it guilty in a

libel case brought by Kingsley Kuku, exSpecial Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Continued on page 3


UniAbuja staffers embark on hunger strike By Ateed YUSUF


taff of University of Abuja International Secondary School, Giri-Gwagwalada, has embarked on hunger strike and prayers seeking for God’s intervention to resolve

their salaries predicament. Narrating their ordeal on behalf of his colleagues, the school counsellor Mr. Solomon Obiagwu who observed the strike sitting at the Continued on page 3

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere, right, receiving a document from the Chairman of NDDC Verification Committee, Engr. Charles Ambaiowei, during a meeting at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: NDDC.

Herdsmen killed over 2000 in 7 Fight against corruption not FCT taskforce arrests 5, 574 hawkers, years in Benue –Ortom >>PAGE 8 transparent – Nigerians >>PAGE 14 1,835 beggars, 225 cows >>PAGE 20


October 20 - 26, 2017

October 20 - 26, 2017



Battle Shifts To Appeal Court Continued from page 1 Programme. This is as several senior lawyers, including five Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, have asked to join the legal defense team of The Abuja Inquirer for free. In the appeal filed by Barrister Bassey Offiong at the Abuja Division of the Federal Court of Appeal, The Abuja Inquirer is asking the court to set aside the Abuja High Court judgement because it is “perverse and contrary to the weight of evidence”. The newspaper pointed out that the grounds on which it’s August 2015 publication was made are still existing: That Kingsley Kuku is aware that he is wanted by the EFCC for investigation in respect of his stewardship in the Presidential Amnesty Programme and that he is still on the run. “That two of Kingsley Kuku’s closest aides are currently undergoing criminal trial on matters related to the EFCC investigation of Kuku. “That the EFCC through its official admitted in court that the commission has written to the Attorney General of the Federation to effect Kuku’s extradition from the United States or wherever he is.” The appeal is also based on the belief that the learned Justice Jude Okeke erred in law when

he held that The Abuja Inquirer failed to prove the defense of fair comment and justification. This is because the finding by the court that strict proof of these defenses is required from the publication amounted to shifting the burden of proof from Kingsley Kuku, especially since he was yet to prove his case. Also, the court’s conclusion that the appellant’s subpoenaed EFCC witness did not specifically say that the agency had declared Kuku wanted, even though Kuku is still

running away in order to avoid the summons of the EFCC, is against the preponderance of evidence. He added that the court failed to enforce the provision of the rules of court mandating the signing of the pre-action counselling certificate by both Kuku and his lawyer. In its lead story of the edition of July 27 – August 2, 2015, titled Kingsley Kuku Flees Nigeria,The Abuja Inquirer had reported that Kuku had fled Nigeria because he was evading summons from

the EFCC that had invited him for questioning based on alleged fraudulent activities that took place under his watch as chairman of the amnesty programme. In suit number FCT/ HC/CV/2634/2015, Kuku had asked the Abuja High Court, presided over by Justice Okeke, for damages against the publication to the tune of N500 million. In his judgement delivered on November 1, 2017, Justice Okeke awarded damages to the tune of N10 million against the newspaper. Chairman of The

Abuja Inquirer, Dan Akpovwa, who was in court with Emmanuel Ogbeche, Editor of the Newspaper, and Ekeme Jay Akpovwa, to listen to the judgement, told journalists afterwards that he was very dissatisfied with the court’s verdict and promised to go on to the Appeal Court. “A lot of injustice has been done to us by this judgement”, Akpovwa said, “justice has not been served by this judgement and we have to go on appeal”. No date has been fixed for hearing by the appellate court.

L-R: Dan Akpovwa, Chairman of The Abuja Inquirer, Patricia Ruz, a renowned Spanish Dancer and Choreographer, Amb. Marcelino C. Ansorena, Spanish Ambassador To Nigeria and Qudus Onikeku, a leading Nigerian Dancer and Choreographer, during a special contemporary dance organized by the Spanish Embassy in Abuja yesterday…Photo: Wale Elekolusi

Non-payment of salary: UniAbuja staffers embark on hunger strike Continued from page 1 entrance of the University’s staff quarters carrying a placard with inscription “Protest against victimisation of 32 secondary school teachers, impunity and insensitivity by the management of University of Abuja.” He lamented over the negligence of the management of the institution for its refusal to come to the aid their aid and settle their eleven month salary arrears noted that the act subjected them to

hardship to include inability to pay rent, children school fees and eat three square meal per day. The counsellor reminded the management of the University that they remained staff of the University employed in 2009 even as he tasked the management as a matter of urgency to integrate them into the University’s pay roll. Obiagwu revealed that the problem started last year when the federal ministry of education directed the universities to fund their

staff school through Internal Generated Revenue, IGR, due to the short fall in the allocation coming from government coffers. He enjoined stakeholders and Authorities concerned to persuade the management of the University to do the needful noted that other Universities had since converted such workers into their pay Rolland wonder why UniAbuja management remained adamant after several letters written to the Vice-chancellor and the University’s governing

council. Also lending his voice, Ogunbiyi David challenged the action of the management for the non-payment of their eleven months alary beginning from January this year noted that they have not violated terms of their employment agreement. when contacted the information officer of the University Mallam Waziri Garba siad that the affected staff were disengaged since last year but they refused to collect their letters instead they continue to come to the school

for work. He noted that at the interim the university decided to engage the services of the youth corps members whom were prevented by the disengage staff. Waziri also pointed out that the management issue a circular advising them to re apply but he worker refused to comply with the directive after which efforts made by the management to transfer their services to the FCT Universal Basic Education Board was unsuccessful.

Obiano saves APGA from extinction, wins Continued from page 1 politician and businessman, Prince Arthur Eze, former governor of the state, Peter Obi, candidate of the United Progressives Party, UPP, Osita Chidoka, by winning in all 21 local governments. In the result announced late Sunday morning by the Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Zanna Akpagu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Obiano won all the 21 local government areas of the state. Obiano polled 234, 071 to defeat his closest challenger, Hon. Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who scored 98, 752. Oseloka Obaze of the PDP garnered 70, 593 and Osita Chidoka of UPP at a distant 7, 746. The APGA candidate secured 234,071 votes while Nwoye came second with 98,752 votes and Obaze placed third, garnering 70,593 votes. While the process was relatively peaceful and smooth, some members of the civil society that monitored the election have described it as one of the worst polls since the returning of democracy in 1999. The executive director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC, Clement Nwankwo, told journalists in Awka, the state capital, that the poll was marred by vote-buying antics from all the political parties. “The election is very disappointing; this is one of the worst elections that have been conducted in Nigeria since 1999. “We are very disappointed with the political parties and the candidates who have spent this much money on elections that should really be a show of citizens’ reference of who governs them next. “Individuals were being paid from N500 to N5,000.” In a related development, Chidoka has wondered if Obiano has not violated the Electoral Act on Election Day when he addressed his supporters after casting his vote. Chidoka tweeted, “An incumbent who goes to address voters during voting…is that not a violation of the electoral act?”


October 20 - 26, 2017

FCT REPORT Bello’s two years administration in FCT Two years ago, precisely November 11, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration. In this report, our FCT correspondent, Austine ELEMUE, x-ray some landmark achievements of his administration and challenges. Excerpts:


recisely, on November 11, 2015, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello came into office with the mandate to serve as the vanguard for President Muhammadu Buhari’s Change Administration in the Federal Capital Territory. On assumption of office, he unfolded the policy thrust of his administration to include; completion of on-going or abandoned critical infrastructural projects that would have positive impact on the life and economy of the city, zero tolerance to corruption, security of life and property, respect for extant rules and general improvement in services. He observed that Abuja was fast acquiring the image of a huge camp of abandoned projects and the gridlocks at strategic nodes as a result of incomplete works, or absence of finishing touches to major roads and utility projects. Prior to assumption of office, many connecting arterials were incomplete, including ramps, pedestrian bridges, tangent roads, loops, interchanges and critical arterials. These often made navigating the city a nightmare. As it stands, most of these roads, bridges and interchanges have been completed. Pedestrian bridges have been serviced with walkways making them usable by members of the public. As expected, huge emphasis is being placed on environmental sanitation. This began with a change in the management of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, and improved funding of the Board’s activities. The minister led the way by launching the FCT Household and Community Sanitation Exercise Scheme in the area councils and satellite towns. This was with a view to effectively mobilizing the communities to keep their surroundings clean. The administration also undertook drastic measures aimed at the recovery huge debt owed the board and to ensure they carried out their statutory duties in a more proactive manner. Presently, out of the nearly N9 billion owed the agency, the administration has been able to recover more than N2 billion from a recovery rate that was less than N100 million prior to Bello’s term. And having achieved enormous success in these areas, the administration is shifting focus to the satellite towns and area councils. Many rural infrastructure development as well as urban renewal projects are on the drawing board. Checks revealed that notwithstanding the challenges of insufficient funds, the FCT Administration has so far paid the sum of N57.6 billion to contractors handling various projects in the areas of infrastructure, water provision, and railway construction as well as health, education and environmental sanitation services.

Also, 627 indigenous contractors owed N100 million and below, with matured bills and for which provisions were made in the statutory budget were paid the sum of N6.9b in the last quarter of 2016. Another N3.3 billion has been paid to 403 other contractors with similar bills in the first quarter of 2017. On the same line, the sum of N7.009 billion was released to contractors handling the Abuja Light Rail project and presently the first phase of the project would be completed and ready for use by January 2018. Equally, from the last quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, the number of liabilities have come down, to less than 50 percent. And pensioners’ outstanding arrears have been paid upto-date with the release of N2.3 billion for this purpose; this includes all forms of entitlements to retirees. The administration has also paid out the sum of N2.4 billion which form part of its obligation to on-going counterpart projects, while the school feeding programme has been re-invigorated with the sum of N980 million. Interestingly, funding for these payments was mobilized through transparent, diligent and judicious management of funds without leakages in the system. Furthermore, the Inner Southern Express Way Bridge has been opened for public use. The completed portion begins from AYA interchange and cuts off extended distances between AYA and Apo Roundabout, the Murtala Muhammed way and Aso drive making it easy for motorists to drive straight on to most part of Abuja’s main business district. He also awarded the contract and completed the Villa Roundabout Bridge project, which was a major component of the Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX), namely the Murtala Mohammed Expressway. Similarly, one of the priorities of the administration has been to complete the B6 and B12 roads otherwise known as Constitution and Independence Avenues respectively. The roads which traverses the World Trade Centre and the Diplomatic Zones are major infrastructures that hold the key to the economic and social vibrancy of the City. And it is hoped that completion of the roads will enable land owners develop their plots and bring out the skyline of the city centre. Though, there has been some partial opening of some segments of the Constitution Avenue, already it has brought some relief to the traffic coming from Airport Road into the heart of the city. And motorists coming from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport can now travel in dual mode straight through the Churchgate building

without the detour, which hitherto made driving clumsy. Today, Abuja is getting ready for its train ride this December, as work on the project has reached 98 percent completion. This is hoped would bring relief to the challenge of public transportation in the city. Airport travellers would now have a choice, either to board cabs on arrival or departure; or ride on trains from the airport train station to the Central Business District Central. More so, the Federal FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello Executive Council has also given approval of the contract for award rate of between 1 to 1.5 percent. The of Phase 2 of Abuja Rail Mass Transit (Lot facility would be channelled to address 1B), provision of engineering the dearth of modern infrastructure infrastructure to Jahi District, award for among the rural communities. Over one the construction of the Right-Hand million people are projected to benefit Service Carriageway of Outer Northern from the life improvement projects. Expressway, among others. Facilities to be provided include water Against the backdrop of the recent pipelines, electricity, roads, sewage and approval by the Federal Executive other basic utilities. Council, FEC, of the sum of N2.6 billion, Also, the administration is on course the FCTA is poised to begin massive to ensure adequate water supply for FCT construction of road infrastructure residents. Consequently, FCT within its Satellite Towns of Karu Phase Administration is looking to the Chinese 2, Abuja. The project, which is expected NEXIM Bank for a $450 million loan for to be completed within 15 months, will the extension of water supply to hitherto among other benefits, open up the area unreached loops in the Federal Capital for the development of affordable Territory. Areas to benefit from the housing for low income earners, boost project include Lugbe and contiguous economic activities, create jobs, and communities. ensure slum upgrade. Meanwhile, the minister, it would be Obviously, not oblivious of the recalled, recently sworn in his mandate economic importance of good road secretaries, equivalent to state network, the government has shown commissioners. According to him, the commitment to speedily complete the appointment of the new mandate ongoing16.5Km Kuje-Gwagwalada secretaries and political aides is a signal road, traversing major agricultural firms for the commencement of the next phase and farmlands. Underscoring its of the administration’s developmental strategic significance as an alternative initiative. route, the FCTA hoped it would help to Clearly, other areas of priority in this break gridlocks in and out of Abuja as phase of his administration would well as possibility to provide reliefs include education, health and making during emergencies. Abuja a smart city. Hence, his Available information revealed of the unambiguous charge to all his N700 million total contract sum, nearly appointees to get fully acquainted with, N400 million has been paid to the direction and priorities of the contractors thus far, including recent Administration as well as the public payments which enabled the contractor service rules and, government for the Gwagwalada segment to procurement guidelines in line with its mobilize to site. zero tolerance to corruption. On the other hand, the However, in spite of these landmark administration is revving up a subsisting achievements, it imperative to stress that urban renewal partnership project for much has not been achieved in electricity selected rural settlements. This is with a distribution, as incidence of dark streets view to opening up the grassroots of the in the city has increased. The claimed Territory to make them places where procurement of over 25 standby people could live, work and play. The generating sets has salvaged the indigenous settlements include Jikwoyi, situation. Dutse Alhaji, Gwagwalada and some It is also worthy of note that the land Kuje communities. administration is in a state of comatose Under the arrangement, FCT is as the incumbent administration has shopping for a $300 million syndicated recorded zero land allocation for over loan by both institutions at an interest two years.

October 20 - 26, 2017


FCT REPORT Kuje council takes steps to tackle erosion

Lugbe FRSC Sensitizes Okada Riders On Safety By Chuks NZEH


By Ateed YUSUF


epartment of Environmental Sanitation, Kuje Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, has put in place strong measures to tackle the menace of erosion in Kuje town and its environs. The head of environmental sanitation of the council, Sani Adamu, who disclosed this to The Abuja Inquirer, noted that environmental health officers would be carrying out inspection to educate the residents on the significance of healthy living. He noted that his leadership would be complementing the efforts of the sanitation committee of the council to enable members of the committee discharge their factions efficiently with a view to keeping the entire council clean. The environmental health expert also reiterated the commitment of the council to control the incessant indiscriminate refuse dump, adding that the department under his watch would partner with Abuja Satellite D e v e l o p m e n t Department on liter control. Adamu warned the residents of Kuje against the violation of FCT sanitation law that henceforth the council would commence prosecution of defaulters to serve as deterrent to others, just as he appealed to holds to dig latrine in their houses. The HOD commended the chairman of the council, Hon. Abdullahi Galadima for given the sufficient funds to the department to evacuate refuse in Kuje and environs, even as he tasked the residents to comply with the department in the conduct of monthly sanitation exercise.

A staff of the University of Abuja owned International Secondary School, Mr. Solomon Obiagwu, protesting at the varsity gate when he embarked on hunger strike over backlog of salary arrears owed teachers and staff of the school.

Bello promises improved social services to residents By Edrina EMMANUEL


inister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Muhammad Bello, has promised to up the provision of social services especially health and human services to residents of the territory, within the next phase of his administration. Bello disclosed this during a media briefing to mark his second year anniversary in office, last week. He said the period under review was a time of team work, as what has been achieved within the last two years was a product of collective responsibility. According to him, “what is more important is the way forward, in realising the desire of making Abuja a livable city”. The minister, who gave account of his performance sector by sector, said at inception the thrust of the administration was the completion of ongoing and abandoned critical infrastructure projects. He added that during

the period under review the FCTA has remained steadfast to strengthening existing institutions through necessary reforms and ensuring security of life and property. “The administration is assiduously working towards completing and starting more infrastructure, in order to

ensure rapid development of the Territory,” he assured. On education, he said the administration is expanding the existing public school structures, in order to address the rising influx of students seeking education in the Territory. Also speaking, the FCT Permanent

Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, explained that the cause of the delayed approval of the 2017 FCT budget should not be blamed on FCT Administration, rather the National Assembly, that is responsible for the FCTA’s appropriation, a situation which he said lead to delay of execution of projects.

Police, school proprietors brainstorm on kidnapping in Zuba By Ateed YUSUF


he Divisional Police Officer, DPO of Zuba, CSP Wilson Dankwano, has met with school proprietors in Zuba aimed at tackling the recent cases of missing children in the area. Dankwano in the meeting tasked the proprietors to be discharging their responsibilities to include custodians of the children as well educationists and reiterated the commitment of the command to combat any form of crime that may crop up in the area.

The DPO noted that the police would be collaborating with stakeholders for peaceful coexistence , protection of lives and property even as he implored the residents to always provide useful information to the police at all the time. The Zuba police head tasked traditional rulers and community leaders to preach peace as well as encourage people to be security conscious by reporting suspicious individual seeing moving around in their surroundings to the police to take necessary actions. He also assured the

residents that the police would respond to distress call day and night with a view to giving the residents confidence to transact their business without fear of molestation and harassment from any quarter, adding that crime fighting and control is a collective responsibility. Dankwano tasked parents in the area to be monitoring the movement of their children, just as he called on the proprietors to ensure that the children leave the school’s premises in the company of their parents or guardians.

he Lugbe Command of the Federal Road Safety has organised a one-day sensitization for motorcyclists popularly known as Okada, urging them to shun drugs, alcohol and adopt used of crash helmets. Speaking at the event, which held recently at the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, Okada park, the Unit Commandant, Aisha Sa’ad, said, “We came to continue our enlightenment campaign with the commercials motorcyclists also known as okada, because we have observed the way they operate and we want to engage them to ensure that we have accident free end of year.” She noted that, “We talked to them about the use of crash helmets for safety, because majority of them do not use it, most of them also overload their bikes which is not good and we advised them against the use of alcohol and drugs while riding their bikes. “The idea is to inform them of the risk they expose themselves to when they do these things and not follow the rules.” Sa’ad noted that at times you see some of them riding on the highway, facing oncoming vehicles these are wrong we have come to inform them about it. She posited that, “The challenge which we trying to resolve is the fact the they have several chairmen, about 10 in Lugbe alone, we want them to be unified so that we can engage better through the central body, when we have information to share with them and most of them do not have any form of identification which encourages indiscipline and a security risk.” An okada rider, Mubarack Sanni, who benefitted from the training thanked the command for the interaction, noting that the greatest challenge they have are those who infiltrated the business for dubious reasons and drug abuse.


October 20 - 26, 2017


The Zimbabwe conundrum and what it portends for Africa



he reign of Africa’s ‘oldest emperor’ Robert Mugabe is on the cliff as the Zimbabwean army took control of the nation’s capital. Though the army insists the action wasn’t a military coup d’état, the act puts an end to the 37 year rule of the tyrant. Though the army described the take over as a ‘bloodless correction’ of gross abuse of power, Major General Sibusiso Moyo however insists that the process was a bloodless transition and not a military takeover of government, stressing that Mugabe and his family were safe and sound and their safety, guaranteed. After taking control of the state owned broadcasting corporation last Tuesday, the Zimbabwean military said, “Firstly we wish to assure our nation, His Excellency, the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe and commander in chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, comrade R G Mugabe and his family, are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. “We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice. “To the civil servants, as you are aware there is a plan by the same individuals to influence the current purging which is taking place in the political sphere. To the civil service, we are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.” In spite the colouration by the

For decades, Mugabe made a mockery of the county’s democracy, refusing to allow a level playing ground for his political opponents to contest with him. The 2008 election made a ridicule of everything decent in an election, as his closest rival and candidate of the opposition, Movement for Democratic Change party, Morgan Tsvangiria was severally humiliated and arrested.

army, some Zimbabweans insist it is a military take over and that Mugabe is just a President in name but the actual authority now resides with the military. Alex Magaisa, a former adviser to past opposition Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, said the takeover has all traits of a military coup. “They have decided not to call it a coup because they know that a coup does not sell, it will be condemned.” As expected the takeover has attracted global attention with some describing the process as long overdue and others maintaining it as a dent on the continent’s image. The head of the African Union and President of Guinea, Alpha Conde said the incident is “clearly soldiers trying to take power by force.” Reacting to the happenings in Zimbabwe, the UK Pprime Minister Theresa May has asked Brits in the southern African country to remain indoors as the

situation “remains fluid.” Mugabe’s 37 years rule has been trailed with so much negative reports. Zimbabwe’s economy is worst hit as the country in 2009 had to replace its local currency with the US dollar after a financial crash caused by hyperinflation. For decades, Mugabe made a mockery of the county’s democracy, refusing to allow a level playing ground for his political opponents to contest with him. The 2008 election made a ridicule of everything decent in an election, as his closest rival and candidate of the opposition, Movement for Democratic Change party, Morgan Tsvangiria was severally humiliated and arrested. Only recently the southern African leader sacked his vicepresident, Emmerson Mnangagwa, for what the government tagged “trait of disloyalty.” The was however considered by most Mugabe’s

critics as a power play to make way for the first lady, Grace, to succeed him after his death. Despite the negativity that trailed his leadership style, the 93year old ruler still claims to be Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler and a liberation hero. The European Union in 2002 placed an embargo on Zimbabwe for expelling the head of the election monitoring team. Later in 2003, the country also quit the Commonwealth over suspension from its ranks. Despite the opinion many may have about the coup, Zimbabwe needed the change as the country constantly stood out as that sore thumb. The November 14 transition in Zimbabwe now serves as a constant reminder to sit tight leaders in Africa that followers can revolt against oppression. The2011 Egyptian and Libyan revolution should serve as warning to leaders to see leadership as a call to service and not a divine mandate that can only be ended by God or death as Mugabe boasted in his inauguration speech in 1980. While we condemn military coup in any guise, Africa leaders must learn to loosen their grip on leadership as such acts will only push their citizens to consider other alternative that may not be the globally accepted ways of transiting powers. In the 21st century when countries and continents are making global exploits, Africa cannot afford to lag behind or be pulled back my mundane issues like the transition of power from one democratically elected leader to the other.

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October 20 - 26, 2017



The art of lying by telling the truth By Melissa HOGENBOOM


t is no secret that politicians often lie, but consider this -– they can do so simply by telling the truth. Confused? That statement becomes clearer when you realise that we’ve probably all done it. A classic example might be if your mum asks if you’ve finished your homework and you respond: “I’ve written an essay on Tennessee Williams for my English class.” This may be true, but it doesn’t actually answer the question about whether your homework was done. That essay could have been written long ago and you have misled your poor mother with a truthful statement. You might not have even started your homework yet. Misleading by “telling the truth” is so pervasive in daily life that a new term has recently been coined to describe it: paltering. That it is so widespread in society now gives us more insight into the grey area between truth and lies, and perhaps even why we lie at all. We lie all the time, despite the fact that it costs us considerably more mental effort to lie than to tell the truth. US president Abraham Lincoln once said that “no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar”. In 1996 one researcher, Bella DePaulo even put a figure on it. She found that each of us lies about once or twice a day. She discovered this by asking participants for one week to note down each time they lied, even if they did so with a good intention. Out of the 147 participants in her original study, only seven said they didn’t lie at all - and we can only guess if they were telling the truth. Many of the lies were fairly innocent, or even kind, such as: “I told her that she looked good when I thought that she looked like a blimp.” Some were to hide embarrassment, such as pretending a spouse had not been fired. DePaulo, a psychologist at the University of California Santa Barbara, says that the participants in her study were not aware of how many lies they told, partly because most were so “ordinary and so expected that we just don’t notice them”. It is when individuals use lies to manipulate others or to purposely mislead that it is more worrying. And this happens more often than you might think. When Todd Rogers and his colleagues were looking at how often politicians dodge questions during debates they realised something else was going on. By stating another truthful fact, they could get out of answering a question. They could even imply something was truthful when it was not. Politicians do this all the time, says Rogers, a behavioural scientist at Harvard Kennedy School. He and colleagues therefore set out to understand more about it. He found that paltering was an extremely common tactic of

negotiation. Over half the 184 business executives in his study admitted to using the tactic. The research also found that the person doing the paltering believed it was more ethical than lying outright. The individuals who had been deceived, however, did not distinguish between lying and paltering. “It probably leads to too much paltering as communicators think that when disclosed, it will be somewhat ethical, whereas listeners see it as a lie,” says Rogers. It is also difficult to spot a misleading “fact” when we hear something that on the face of it, sounds true. For instance, the UK’s Labour Party campaign video to lower the voting age said: “You’re 16. Now you can get married, join the Army, work full-time.” The BBC’s reality check team discovered that these facts do not tell the whole truth. “You can only join the Army aged 16 or 17 with your parents’ permission,” the Reality Check team wrote. “At that age you also need your parents’ permission to get married unless you do so in Scotland. Since 2013, 16 and 17-year-olds cannot work full-time in England, but can in the other three home nations with some restrictions.” In another example, the thenpresidential-nominee Donald Trump paltered during the presidential debates. He was questioned about a housing discrimination lawsuit early on in his career and stated that his company had given “no admission of guilt”. While they may not have admitted it, an investigation by the New York Times found that his company did discriminate based on race.

And even if we do spot misleading truths, social norms can prevent us from challenging whether or not they are deceptive. Take a now infamous interview in the UK, where journalist Jeremy Paxman interviewed the politician Michael Howard (pictured below). He repeatedly asks Howard whether he “threatened to overrule” the then prisons governor. Howard in turn, continues to evade the question with other facts in a bizarre exchange that becomes increasingly awkward to watch. Not many of us are comfortable challenging someone in that way. While it’s common in politics, so too is it in everyday life. Consider the estate agent who tells a potential buyer that an unpopular property has had “lots of enquiries” when asked how many actual bids there have been. Or the used car salesman who says a car started up extremely well on a frosty morning, without disclosing that it broke down the week before. Both statements are true but mask the reality of the unpopular property and the dodgy car. Paltering is perhaps so commonplace because it is seen as a useful tool. It happens because we constantly have so many competing goals, suggests Rogers. “We want to achieve our narrow objective – [selling a house or car] – but we also want people to see us as ethical and honest.” He says these two goals are in tension and by paltering, people believe they are being more ethical than outright lying. “We show evidence they are making a mistake,” says Rogers. We can see the problems this sort of thinking can cause reflected in

society today. The public are clearly sick of being lied to and trust in politicians is plummeting. One 2016 poll found that the British public trust politicians less than estate agents, bankers and journalists. And despite the fact that we now frequently expect lies from those in power, it remains challenging to spot them in real time, especially so if they lie by paltering. Psychologist Robert Feldman, author of The Liar in Your Life, sees this as worrying both on a personal and on a macro level. “When we’re lied to by people in power, it ruins our confidence in political institutions – it makes the population very cynical about [their] real motivations.” Lying can and does clearly serve a devious social purpose. It can help someone paint a better picture than the truth, or help a politician dodge an uncomfortable question. “It’s unethical and it makes our democracy worse. But it’s how human cognition works,” says Rogers. Unfortunately, the prevalence of lies might stem from the way we are brought up. Lies play a role in our social interactions from a very young age. We tell young children about tooth fairies and Santa, or encourage a child to be grateful for an unwanted present. “We give our kids very mixed messages,” says Feldman. “What they ultimately learn is that even though honesty is the best policy, it’s also at times fine and preferable to lie about things.” So next time you hear a fact that sounds odd, or someone to be deflecting a question, be aware that what you think is the truth may very well be deceptive.


October 20 - 26, 2017


Bello commends former FCDA boss on infrastructural devt By Austine ELEMUE


inister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Muhammad Bello, has commended the immediate past Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital D e v e l o p m e n t Authority, FCDA, Engr. Adamu Ismaila, for the development of infrastructures. Bello, who made the commendation while reviewing his mid-term in office told journalists that the achievements recorded in infrastructural development during the years under review could not have been possible without the professional advice of the former executive secretary. The minister, who noted with nostalgia the passion and dedication shown by the former executive secretary during his tenure called on all management staff of the FCT Administration to emulate such spirited Nigeria in the service of fatherland. According to him, “On assessing my midterm achievements, I must recognized with nostalgia the immense contributions of Engr. Ismaila Adamu, the former Executive Secretary of FCDA, who during his tenure has shown tremendous dedication in the development of the city. His services for 35 years in the territory cannot be swept under the carpet. I called on others to follow suit”. He, specifically noted some of infrastructural works being initiated during the tenure of Ismaila to include the eastern portion of the Inner Southern Express Way Bridge, award of the Villa Roundabout Bridge project; a major component of the Outer Northern Expressway, ONEX, namely the Murtala Mohammed Expressway and the B6 and B12 bridges

otherwise known as Constitution and Independence Roads respectively. Bello used the occasion to reveal that the administration has completed the 16.5Km Kuje-Gwagwalada bypass road traversing

major agricultural firms and farmlands and could break gridlocks on the Gwagwalada road, adding that the 15km Apo-Karshi road is ongoing. According to him, “We hope it would alleviate the difficulties

faced by commuters from Mararaba, Nyanya and Karu axis. We are also planning another bypass on the KeffiNyanya road that would link up at the Mpape area. “Work is also ongoing at the ONEX

Dutse-Alhaji link road. The administration has secured approval of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, of the sum of N2.6Billion for massive construction of road infrastructure within the satellite town of Karu Phase 2”.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in a group photograph with participants of the Senior Executive Course 39, 2017, of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Karu at the State House last Friday.

NiMET Gets Research Grant From U.K. By Ere-ebi AGEDAH


he Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has received a research grant from the United Kingdom Global Challenges Research Fund, GCRF, to African Science for Weather Information and Forecasting Techniques (SWIFT). The research, which is intended to improve the existing specialty and accuracy of NiMet forecast making it more spatial and targeted, would also benefit different sectors of the nation’s economy. In a press statement, NiMET stated that, the beneficiaries of the grant were carefully selected in line with their area of specialization and expertise, which suits the above grant.

The experts from NiMet are: Mr. Ibrahim Ishiyaku, Aeronautical Meteorologist, Dr. Mansur Matazu, meteorologist/ climatologist, Dr. Kamoru Lawal, specialist in atmospheric science, and Mr. Eniola Olaniyan, numerical weather prediction scientist. According to the statement, the selected staff would participate in international research project with global consortiums over a fouryear programme by joining a team of 25 UK and 45 African atmospheric scientists, social scientists and operational forecasters who would undertake fundamental scientific research into the physics of tropical weather systems, evaluation and presentation of complex model, satellite data,

communications and exploitation of forecasts. The project which would have direct impact on aviation, agriculture, energy, water resources, health and emergency response will ensure results can be translated beyond partner countries

and into the wider developing world. This achievement further underscores NiMet’s pace-setting efforts in technological advancement of Nigeria and its ability to hold its own in the comity of scientists.

23 Nigerian Civic Groups Get U.S. Embassy $404,553 Grants By Emmanuel OGBECHE


he U.S. Mission to Nigeria has awarded $404,553 to fund 23 projects by civic groups in the country. A statement by the embassy said the grantees include civil society organizations, arts companies, and alumni of the KennedyLugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. “Grantees will execute projects to p r o m o t e w o m e n ’s entrepreneurship and economic development; increase disabled and non-disabled students’ access to primary and secondary education; mitigate farmer-herder conflict; and support anti-corruption efforts,” the statement released on Thursday said. To ensure effective management of the funds, a one-day workshop was organized on November 13 to mentor the 23 grantee organizations on best practices in project management. During the workshop, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington addressed the o r g a n i z a t i o n ’s representatives, emphasizing their partnership with the U.S. Embassy. He underscored the key role the grantees could play in “solidifying Nigeria’s democratic gains, creating economic opportunity, and ensuring a united Nigeria.”

Anti-snake bite venom not out of stock -Adewole By Williams ABAH


inister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has debunked the rumour that the government has ran out of stock of antisnake venom. The minister stated this in Abuja while briefing journalists. Reacting to reports of the death of 91 people as a result of snake bites in Gombe and Plateau states within three weeks, the

minister said that the Federal Ministry of Health still has some vial of anti-snake venom stocked from the 2016 procurement where states were issued upon request. In his words “the states in question have refused to comply with the new procedure of request, hence the inability to access the product from the ministry”. The minister added that five states have

made request and have been issued for the treatment of the victims in the last four months. He revealed that the recent venom drug issued out to states was in September 6, 2017, while expressing apprehension that the 2017 procurements may have some hitches because the funding was mistakenly transferred to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA,

October 20 - 26, 2017



FCTA to commence construction of Kuje prison road Stories by Austine ELEMUE


he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration, FCTA, has concluded plans to award the abandoned Kuje prison road for construction. Coordinator of FCTA, Satellite Towns D e v e l o p m e n t Department, STDD, Yamawo Tanko, who disclosed this during his official visit to Kuje Area Council on projects tour, said once the 2017 budget is passed the contractor will be mobilized to site. He also assured the council of adequate plans to assist in evacuating filth from Kuje. His words: “In Kuje I think it is only few roads now that needs to undergo repairs and construction. The Kuje Prison road has been awarded and the contractor will soon be onsite. We are just waiting for the 2017 budget. Once our budget is passed, we will mobile the contractor to move to site. “The senate access road, the contractor has been working on the site and once the budget is

passed we are going to pay the contractor and the job will continue. I have been told of the challenges Kuje is facing about the waste. But you can see the bin here provided by the STDD, but the problem we have been having is we wanted partnering with the Kuje Area Council by

providing the bin and our truck and the council will be fueling the trucks. “This agreement was initiated by the past administration and the administration was not able to meet up with the fueling of the trucks that will move the bin from here to the dumping site.

The Head of Environment of the council has assured me that the present administration is ever ready to provide fuel for the truck to aid movement of the refuse to the dumping site. When we get back to the office we will put all arrangements in place on

how our trucks will be removing this filth.” Projects monitored by Tanko are Rehabilitation of 6.5km KujeGwagwalada (phase 1) road, provision of Access road to Senate Staff Mass Housing, Up-grading of 5km senior staff quarter’s road network, Kuje among others.

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Industry, Hon. Abubakar Husaini, members of the committee, Hon. Ossy Prestige and Hon. Shehu Sale during an investigative hearing on the utilization meant for students industrial worker experience scheme by the Industrial Training Fund at the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo: Cityvoix.

ANAN lauds FCTA over financial prudence, accountability T

he Association of N a t i o n a l Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN, has commended the authorities of Federal Capital Territory Administration for prudent management of resources and financial accountability. Chairman of the FCT Chapter of the association, Alhaji Abdullahi Yahaya, gave the commendation in Abuja when he paid a courtesy call on the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa. “We need to commend the FCT Administration for ensuring prudent management of the resources at its disposal. We know the Permanent Secretary and the Minister to be people of frugal lifestyle and this is something we need to commend them for”, he said. In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, thanked the association for

supporting the efforts of federal government in ensuring that the country exit recession in a very short while. According to him: “We want to recognize the efforts of ANAN in churning out professional accounting and financial knowledge which indeed assisted in ensuring that Nigeria overcome the challenge of recession it went through recently.”

Ohaa further revealed that administration would partner with the association in the area of training and retraining of its staff, adding that the ANAN has carved a niche for itself in terms of ensuring financial prudence in the management of resources.

In related development, the Permanent Secretary has assured residents of the territory that the FCTA

would continue to collaborate with organizations who are genuinely interested in improving the quality of lives of residents. The Permanent Secretary who made the disclosure when the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the National Institute of Animal Science, Prof. Eustace Iyayi, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, further assured the

institute that the Administration would partner closely with them to move the protein industry in the Territory forward. Earlier, in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the Institute commended the FCT Administration for restoring the payment of CONHESS to about 253 non-health professionals in the FCT hospitals.

FEMA harps on emergency response plans By Austine ElEMUE


ederal Capital T e r r i t o r y E m e r g e n c y Management Agency, FEMA, has carried out a comprehensive review of its emergency preparedness and response plan to reposition the agency for effective response to emergencies in the nation’s capital. Director General of the

agency, Abbas Idriss while declaring the review session open in Abuja last explained that emerging and complex disaster challenges have made the review of the plan a necessity, hence the need to organize this event. “Furthermore, you will agree with me that acting in an emergency situation or milieu is quite challenging even for trained personnel. Without this kind of

document jointly put together and periodically reviewed by stakeholders, confusion and counterproductive actions will tend to set in, in the field. “Without making adequate preparation for disasters, the resultant scenario in an event of emergency could best be described as cacophony of responders who are working at cross-purposes. No meaningful result could

ever be achieved in this manner,” he affirmed. Idriss, also noted that no emergency preparedness and response plan was meant to be static, but rather dynamic in order to meet with societal dynamics, reminding that issues like suicide bombings hitherto thought to be far-fetched, only heard of or read about in the media were now common in Nigeria.

NCPC boss pledges safety of all pilgrims to the Holy Land By Ere-ebi AGEDAH


he Executive S e c r e t a r y, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, Rev. Tor Uja, has pledged the safety of all Nigerians embarking on pilgrimage. He made this known in his office during a security training and orientation of security personnel, staff and stakeholders who are billed to participate in the 2017 Christian pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece. Uja said the commission deemed it necessary to organize an all-encompassing workshop as security remains everybody’s business, also the life of every Nigerian is very important as this will equally translate to a hitch free pilgrimage. “Not every pilgrim has had an opportunity of travelling out of the country, some of which this pilgrimage will be their first time, so we have ensured that we take the pains and time to orientate and educate all that is involved in the process as we are committed to the spiritual rejuvenation of every Nigerian relationship with God” he said. The NCPC, who lamented some challenges faced by the commission, stated that there was a crucial need for a pilgrim’s camp and conference center which would be used to camp intending pilgrims giving the commission an opportunity to subject all pilgrims to compulsory security training. He used the opportunity to call on the federal government and well-meaning Nigerians to support the actualization of a pilgrims’ camp situated close to the airport. The NCPC boss also noted that a lot of Nigerians who embark on pilgrimage usually do not have a bible added that the commission would partner with the Bible Society of Nigeria to produce specially designed bible for all intending pilgrims starting from 2018.


October 20 - 26, 2017

NEWS Delta plans agroindustrial park

Military to Nigerians: ‘Don’t panic when you see us in large numbers’

By Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba

By Chuks NZEH



he Defense Headquarters, DHQ, has announced the quarterly rout march exercise by military and paramilitary personnel, nationwide to enhance fitness of officers and urged Nigerians to be calm. Director, Defense Information, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, made this known in a press conference at the DHQ, in Abuja recently. He noted that “the physical fitness of members of the Security and Response Agencies is germane to the effectiveness of its members, especially in the face of contemporary security challenges in the Country. In the same vein, group interaction through an exercise such as route march is an enhancer of espirit de corps and harmony among members of the security and response agencies.” He noted that “consequently, a route march exercise titled “TOGETHER WE ARE” is being conducted on quarterly basis involving the military, paramilitary and security responses agencies in Nigeria.” According to Enenche “The slogan for the Exercise is: “TOGETHER WE ARE “Protecting Lives and Property, Ensuring Unity and Progress, Supporting Democracy, Upholding the C o n s t i t u t i o n , Defending National Interests.” “Your cooperation and understanding is highly solicited. All Nigerians are to be rest assured that; the security and response agencies in the country are always there to; protect lives and property, ensure unity and progress, support democracy, uphold the constitution and defend our national interests.” he noted.

L-R: Jigawa State Governor Mohammed Badaru, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and Executive Director/ CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo during a meeting on national export promotion in Abuja...Thursday Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

NNPC to promote in-country technology By Godfrey AKON


he Nigerian National P e t r o l e u m Corporation, NNPC, has pledged to promote the development and commercialization of home-grown technology in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB. A statement by the C o r p o r a t i o n ’s spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, said the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made the pledge while delivering the lead paper at the 47th Conference and Annual General Meeting of

Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers in Port Harcourt. Baru moted that efforts to develop and commercialise homegrown technology in the industry would be driven by the Research and Development, R and D arm of the Corporation. He said the collaborative effort with the NCDMB was already manifesting with the joint establishment of research clusters that will specialize in different areas of the oil and gas activities. The GMD declared that Nigeria was in dire need of urgently clawing back, from foreign yards, most fabrication works

and other services in the industry to boost the contribution of the industry to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product GDP. “The new operating philosophy should lay emphasis on in-country manufacturing, job creation, skills development, technology development, capital retention, research and development and fostering sectorial linkages with other critical sectors of the economy in order to drive industrialization,’’ he said. The theme of his paper at the occasion was Nigerian Content Development: Catalyst

for Industrialisation. Baru revealed that the Corporation was currently in collaboration with NCDMB with a view to aligning the Nigerian Petroleum Exchange, NipeX portal and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System, NOGICJQS portal, to adequately capture the capacity of local companies. He called for a closer examination of the compliance level of the extant legislation and policy on Nigerian Content to evolve new models that would shape the policy and legislation on the subject in many areas.

NULGE begs Ortom to ‘free local councils’ By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi


he Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE has appealed to Benue state government to give total freedom to local governments in the state to make them more functional. But Governor Ortom in a swift response stated that he has long given autonomy to local governments by insisting, “I do not tamper with their money”. National President of the union, Comrade

Khaleel Ibrahim, made the appeal, last week, when he led Local Government workers in Benue State on advocacy visit to Ortom to support the initiative for return of autonomy to local governments in the country. He said LGs were created to have an inclusive platform of governance and democracy and called on the Governor to be an ambassador of the campaign and speak to his colleagues to follow in his footsteps. The NULGE president further tackled Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-

Rufai for the proposed sack of teachers in his state advising that he should rather build the capacity of primary school teachers in his state through quality training and retraining for optimal performance. “What El-Rufai should do is to dialogue with the teachers to see how he can better their lot and no to worsen their situation with sack. By this, he has shown that he lives in another planet and has no feel of the grassroots.” Ortom aligned himself with the union members in keeping faith with the tenets of

democracy describing himself as a product of local government autonomy. The governor expressed his willingness to support the initiative for local government autonomy pointing out that his administration has already given autonomy to LGs in Benue. “As a product of LG autonomy and with my experience of over 30 years, I should be a role model to others”, he said adding that he is working out a template to reduce the over bloated wage bill of civil servants in the state.

he Delta state government has approved the establishment of an agroindustrial park at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area. Also approved is the construction of Ayakoromo Bridge across River Forcados in Burutu Local Government Area. Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, said that the approvals were part of the decisions taken at the state executive council meeting held in Asaba. He said that the agroindustrial park will provide common dedicated infrastructure and facilities for agroprocessing, value addition and agribusiness as a means to improving the easeof-doing business and promoting economic diversification and growth of the state, including creating more than 5,000 jobs along the agricultural value chain. According to him, the park will be executed through public-private partnership between the state government, Mirai Group in Israel and Norsworthy Investments Ltd. On the Ayakoromo Bridge, Ukah said the approval is in line with the avowed determination of the state government to link riverine and upland communities in the state to bring about economic and social integration, The commissioner added that with the construction of the Ayakoromo Bridge, Burutu town, which hitherto has not been accessible by road, will soon become a beehive of social and economic activities with vehicular movements witnessed for the very first time. He stated that the bridge will also connect other riverine communities to other parts of the state.

October 20 - 26, 2017



October 20 - 26, 2017



We ordered tea, and asked the driver to join us and have a cup of tea. The driver refused. I insisted, but he refused again politely. My friend asked, “Will you not take tea from this shop or what?” The driver replied, “No Sir, I don’t feel like having tea now.” I asked again, “But, why? A cup of tea will do no harm.” Smiling, the driver replied, “Thank you sir, but I’m sorry.” My friend asked, “Are you against eating or drinking outside?” The driver said, “No!” I was really surprised at his behavior and asked my friend not to compel him. In 15 minutes, we reached our house. We paid the fare and the driver thanked us. On an impulse, I stopped him, as I really

Quiz 1.

What is the colour of the Nigerian flag?


In which Continent is Nigeria located?


What are the animals in the Nigerian coat of arms?


What is the commercial capital of Nigeria?


What is the national motto of Nigeria?

wanted to ask him why he refused to drink tea with us at the restaurant. He thought for a moment and replied, “Sir, my son passed away this noon in an accident. I don’t have enough money for his funeral. So I took a vow not to drink even water, until I earn enough money for my son’s funeral. That’s why I didn’t drink tea when you offered. Please don’t misunderstand.” We both were shattered and offered him more money for his son’s funeral. He politely refused, “Thank you for your generosity sir. In one or two hours, if I get one or two more customers, I will earn the money I need.” And he left the place. We were amazed at his strength of character and integrity. From

Did You Know? l Did you know gold is about eight times heavier than any other metal on earth? l Did you know a cat has 32 muscles in each ear? l Did you know the only continent with no active volcanoes is Australia? l Did you know a wind with a speed of 74 miles per hour or more is designated a hurricane? l Did you know at 4,145 miles, the Nile River is the longest in the world?



t was a cold and windy night. My friend and I had met after a long time, and were chatting for hours. We did not notice the time passing by, and soon it was close to ten in the night. We decided to take an auto rickshaw to go to our house. It started raining, and we hurried to get into an auto rickshaw and reach our place. None of the auto rickshaws stopped for us, except one. The driver asked us where we wanted to go and we told the place. Without saying anything about the fare, he said, “Please get in!” We thanked him and got in. Since it was very cold, I asked the driver to stop at any small restaurant or a tea shop. We wanted to have a cup of hot tea. The driver stopped near a small restaurant.

1. Rain 2. A candle 3. Mary 4. It can have a hole in it. 5. There were no stairs because it was a one storey house

The honest auto driver

1. What comes down but never goes up? 2. I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I? 3. Mary’s father has 5 daughters – Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the fifth daughters name? 4. How can a pants pocket be empty and still have something in it? 5. In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower– everything was pink! What color were the stairs?


Dehydration: What Are the Signs of Dehydration?


eing thirsty is the top clue. Here are some other signs that a person might be dehydrated: feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or tired, rapid heartbeat, dry lips and mouth. Another sign of dehydration is not peeing as much or having dark or strong-smelling pee (pee usually is a pale yellow color).

What Should I Do? If you can, try not to get dehydrated in the first place. If you’re going to be going outside, it’s a good idea to drink water before, during, and after you play, especially if it’s hot. Dehydration can happen along with heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So do you have to drink eight glasses of water a day? No, but you do need to drink enough to satisfy your thirst, and maybe a little extra if you’re going to be exercising. Also, it’s smart to dress in cool clothes and take breaks indoors or at least in the shade. If you’re sick, keep taking small sips of drinks like water or diluted juice, even if you’re not that thirsty or hungry. Eating an ice pop is a great way to get fluids. Other foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain water too, but if your stomach is not feeling well you might not be ready for them. Limit soda and other sugary drinks, such as fruit punches, lemonades, and iced teas. These

drinks have a lot of sugar that your body doesn’t need. Some also contain caffeine, which can make you pee more a lot. In other words, it tells your body to get rid of fluids. And as you now know, that’s the opposite of what you need to do if you’re dehydrated! Do I Need a Doctor? Some cases of dehydration can be handled at home. But sometimes, that isn’t enough to get a kid feeling better. A kid may need to go to the doctor or emergency room if he or she has a heat-related illness or a virus with vomiting or diarrhea that just won’t quit. At the hospital, the good news is that an intravenous (say: in-truhVEE-nus) (IV) line can get fluids into your body fast. An IV line is a special tube (like a very thin straw) that goes right into your vein, so the liquid goes right to where your body needs it most. It may pinch a little when the nurse is inserting it, but it will help you feel much better. From

1. Green- white- Green 2. Africa 3. Two horses and an eagle 4. Lagos 5. Unity and faith, peace and progress


October 20 - 26, 2017


Woman accuses actress Yvonne Nelson of ‘snatching’ hubby N

ollywood’s Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, who just gave birth, allegedly snatched her ‘baby daddy,’ a Nigerian fashion model, Keera Harrison, has claimed. Ms. Harrison claims the man at the center of the controversy, a British photographer, named Jamie Roberts, is her husband. In a series of chats, which was leaked on Instagram, Ms. Harrison indicated that Yvonne Nelson followed her on Instagram and went on to request for assistance in securing some slimming pills. She then stated that her husband went behind her back and requested for Yvonne’s number on the pretext of

taking the number on his wife’s behalf. She insinuated that from then on, the two began seeing each other. She also disclosed that, although she is still married to Yvonne Nelson’s baby daddy, they are in the process of divorcing after they got married in 2015. The ‘scandal’ is currently a hot topic on Instagram. Yvonne is yet to react to the allegations. She could not be immediately reached. Ever since the news broke three weeks ago that Yvonne had welcomed a daughter, many have wondered who the father of the child up until this revelation. The actress spoke about the pregnancy and

the father of the child during an interview with WOW Magazine, which published photos

and an interview with Yvonne Nelson when she was heavily pregnant.

I’m ill, but not a destitute –Actor Sadiq Daba


St Donald Catholic Church holds Harvest of Praise


n thanksgiving to God for his goodness and mercies in 2017, members of St Donald Catholic Church, Karu, Abuja, Sunday, held its harvest thanksgiving and bazaar with the theme: Harvest of Praise. In his message during the harvest, the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Boniface Ngene, said: “The theme was adapted from the ‘magnificat’, a Latin expression of Mary’s prayer of praise in Luke 1:46.” He said: “We have come to praise the Lord for all his blessings on us as a parish. We recognise that our lives, families and friends, faith, graces, talents and achievements are all his gifts. “Let us praise him for the air we breathe, the sunlight, the rains, the trees and all other gifts of nature which we tend to take for granted

and often abuse. “As we celebrate God’s blessings we acknowledge that the years has also been challenging for a number of families. As individuals we may have sometimes found life burdensome and struggle to carry our crosses.” Delivering the homily during the mass, the Chief Celebrant, Rev.

Fr. Cyprian Imandeh, encouraged parishioners to remember that we are “mere stewards” of Godgiven resources. He urged the Catholic faithful to remain thankful in all situations, pointing out that: “It’s only when things are not going well for us that we look up to God.” Chairman of the Harvest Planning

Committee, Barr. Cyprian Ogwumike, in his message thanked parishioners and committee members for making the harvest a success. “There can be no better way to celebrate life than to return some of our treasures to Him who kept us alive to witness yet another harvest ceremony after the 2016 event,” he said.

City Breakthr ough past or ffor or burial in U .S. Breakthrough pastor U.S.


he remains of the co-pastor of City Breakthrough Churches, Abuja, Rev Joy Chinwe Oruma, held on Saturday, November 18 in Maryland, USA. A press statement by the church in Abuja said the deceased cleric, who is the wife of the founding pastor of the church, Bishop Ben Oruma, died on November 8, 2017, in Maryland, USA, after a

brief illness. A service to celebrate the life of the late Rev Joy, who was also Global President of Flame Fellowship International, the statement said, would be announced on a later date. She is survived by her husband, Bishop Oruma, her daughter, Omenesa Akomolafe and a host of other relatives.

eteran actor, Sadiq Daba, has said that despite his ailment, he is not begging for financial assistance as speculated on social media. Mr. Daba said this in a chat with PREMIUM TIMES. He also expressed displeasure with the news of his illness making the rounds. “The way you people (media) are going about my case as if I’m carrying a bowl in hand, moving around Nigeria, begging people; that I am a destitute. I am not. Yes, I have health challenges. Yes, I am sick. So, what is the big deal? The way people are taking it, ‘Sadiq Daba is dying’, ‘Sadiq Daba is doing this.’ I’m a journalist. I’m a broadcaster. There are certain ways you can go about it if you want to help somebody. “Yes, I am sick. Will I be the first person to be sick? I’m dealing with prostate (enlargement); I’m dealing with leukaemia. That is no news. And by the special grace of God, I’ll get over it. I have that faith that God is in control,” he added. The actor also told this newspaper that he is currently receiving treatment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital and “the doctors have been wonderful.” The ace broadcaster said he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is coming barely months after he was hospitalised for months due to leukemia. One of Nigeria’s most loved television stars, the actor has had a long career in broadcasting with the Nigerian Television Authority. He also appeared in early soap operas such as Cockcrow At Dawn and Behind The Clouds. He co-hosted the popular AM Express with late Yinka Craig (who died of a similar illness in 2008) and had an award winning role in Kunle Afolayan‘s October 1 in recent times. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells and has no known cure. However, with adequate medical care or a blood marrow transplant, the disease can be managed.


October 20 - 26, 2017


Fight against corruption not transparent -Nigerians Since his assumption of office in May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has not hidden his disgust for corrupt practices. As a result, the fight against corruption became one of the focal points of his administration. While prosecuting the fight, several public office holders were arrested and remanded in custody, but later released, while others were prosecuted and billions of naira recovered. Although the doggedness of government in the anti-graft war is commendable, Nigerians who spoke to WILLIAMS ABAH and Idrina EMMANUEL disagree on the point of transparency. Excerpts: BENSON RAYMOND: The fight against corruption has taken different dimensions. You can see that every public servant is now afraid because it is no longer business as usual. Like you rightly pointed out, corruption is endemic in our society and has affected the growth of the nation’s economy. But I think the present administration is putting all mechanisms in place to fight against corruption across all boards. However, the level of transparency in the anticorruption fight is quite another issue as many who are alleged to have committed crimes have not been prosecuted. That is why the issue of fighting those in the opposition party is always arising. For instance, if a member of APC is alleged of corruption, the anti-graft body looks the other way or seek permission from the powers above before they do their job. Transparency is hidden in their agenda. Efforts should be intensified by the government to ensure that those who are alleged of corrupt practices are made to face the full weight of the law irrespective of political affiliations. VICTOR AMEH: For me, I think the government has done quite well. The problem of our policies in this country is effective implementation and transparency. I am worried that since anticorruption became the slogan of this administration, a lot of stolen funds have been recovered, but no statistics of how much was recovered has been made public. Almost on daily bases we read on pages of newspapers about huge sums of money that have been stolen, but thereafter, nobody hears of how the money has been

want to fight corruption start from your house; start from your colleagues before you fight corruption outside. When you are fighting corruption in the camp of your opponent and your cabinet is corrupt, corruption cannot be fought. If you want to fight corruption fight it both inside your cabinet and outside your cabinet.

Benson Raymond

Wisdom Acka

but he is thrown into detention without trial, even when the court has given order for his bail, I think that is highest impunity that cannot in any way bring about the transparency we talked about.

Victor Ameh

recovered and where it is channeled for productive use. The problem is not about who is involved in the corruption allegation, but how the government consistently follows due process prescribed by law on the investigation and prosecution of the offenders. If somebody is alleged to have stolen billions of naira and no proper investigation is carried out

ABDUL YUSUF: we need to support the government in their quest to end corruption in Nigeria. Talking about transparency, I think so far the government has demonstrated political will to fish out anybody who has been accused of any financial crime. However, the level of prosecution is still low. If those who are found guilty of financial crimes are not properly prosecuted, then the circle of corruption will continue around us. I want to urge all Nigerians to stop taking sides when somebody is accused of any financial crime so that collectively we can support the government to achieve a great feat in the fight against corruption. JAMES ADAMU: government is fighting corruption as if it is fighting its political opponents. When they see white they call it black. Is that the way to fight corruption? If you

WISDOM ACKA: I can say that transparency in the fight against corruption is relative. I believe that there is transparency. You know, the president himself is a symbol of integrity. He is an incorruptible person. So he has tried to make sure that the government is transparent in this fight. But looking at some of the people working with him, a lot of corrupt practices have been committed by some of his aids and government officials that are close to him. The president has just sacked the secretary to the government of the federation and another high profile person from the security subsector. So we believe he is transparent to a very large extent. It’s just the people around him that are not being transparent enough. AWULU ENEOJO CHRISTIAN: The fight against corruption is not transparent. Yes, we know that Mr. President is trying to fight corruption but that corruption is still there because his appointees are corrupt. In our presence they behave as if they are the best but when we are not there, they turn into something else. We noticed this thing since Jonathan’s administration where somebody will steal N30 billon and they will say bail yourself with N25000. Although there are slight changes, corruption still lives.

October 20 - 26, 2017



JAMB Schedules 2018 UTME For March Stories by Godfrey AKON


he Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has fixed March 9-17 for the conduct of the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME. Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, disclosed this at a critical stakeholders meeting in Abuja, to discuss plans and modalities for the sale and registration of the 2018 UTME application. Oloyede said before proposing the date of the 2018 UTME, the board took cognizance of the dates of other public examinations in the country such as the April/May senior secondary school examination conducted by the West African Examination Council, WAEC, the June/July National Examinations Council, NECO and the July/August business and technical examination, NABTEB. He disclosed that an optional mock examination is also proposed to take place from January 22 to 24, 2018, depending on the number of interested candidates and centers to

be used for the exercise. On the participation of foreign candidates, the JAMB boss announced a significant slash on foreign registration fees from $100 and $150 US dollars paid in the previous years to $20 US dollars to be paid from 2018. He however said the Board retained the N5,000 fees candidates within the country are required to pay as

registration cost with an additional N300 paid as bank charges. The JAMB boss announced that the sale of registration forms for the 2018 UTME would commence on November 22, 2017 and span through a period of two months with a deadline of January 22, 2018. Oloyede said the board’s management would strictly adhere to the sale period as it has

put all logistics in place for the smooth conduct of the exercise in 2018, while advising all critical stakeholders to support the board in ensuring the successful sale and registration process. He called on all state governors, legislators and philanthropists who plan to purchase and distribute application documents to take advantage of the date of sale as the board has no

intention to extend the deadline Speaking further, he disclosed that as part of its anti-malpractice moves, the board will deploy electronic jammers to maintain the integrity of the exercise, while prohibiting items such as electronic gadgets, devices, lens, as well as wrist watches, any form of pen and eye glasses from the examination session.

L-R: A consultant, Mr. Kenneth Eigbedion, MD/CEO, Max-Migold Ltd, Mr. Paul Erubami, MD, Total Facilities Management Ltd, Mrs. Nwando Chukwurah and Director, Corporate Services, TFML, Mr. John Ekpenyong during a training program on facility management in Abuja...Tuesday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

UNICEF Recounts Tragic Woes Of Borno Schools T he United Nations C h i l d r e n Emergency Fund, UNICEF, has again narrated the tragic situation of schools ravaged by insurgents in Borno state, north east Nigeria. Chief Education Officer of UNICEF, Mr. Terry Dunmian, said the deliberate targeting of schools, began in 2009 and has been intensified, adding that disruption to learning had been severe as all schools were burnt and looted, with Borno state being the worst hit. Dunmian, who stated this in Abuja while on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, noted that Borno lost about 635 out of 1,359 schools by 2016, while all schools in the North East states were closed from November 2014 - June

2015. He said by August 2017, an estimated 57 per cent of schools remained closed in Borno as well as 3 per cent of schools in Yobe equally remained closed. The UNICEF Chief Education Officer noted that the humanitarian need of the affected population in North-East Nigeria is a tragic situation demanding systematic targeting of education outcomes. He disclosed that an estimated 2.9 million conflict-affected children were in need as they are deprived of quality education or have access to education. According to him, despite on-going supply of teaching and learning materials, the construction and rehabilitation of classrooms remains a

priority as $249 million US dollar worth of education infrastructure was reportedly damaged in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as at 2016. The UNICEF representative observed that there is need for Psychosocial Support interventions and training for teaching staff as well as support in identifying and contracting teachers where there are shortages.

He said the United Nations Office in Nigeria has approved the provision of $1,000,000 US dollars for Education sector priority need for the provision of safe learning spaces for children, including appropriate wash facilities and school supplies. Responding, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, commended the global

organization for its tremendous support to humanitarian services in the North-East geopolitical zone. Adamu however stressed the need to focus on “out of school children” as well as those in school to foster their education and work with the state governments to reduce the rate of out- ofschool children in the country.

Adamu Wants Emergency Declared In Education


he Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the education sector to overhaul the system to produce the required manpower skills that can drive the socioeconomic development of the nation. A statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Pricilla Ihuoma, said Adamu made the call in Abuja at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on the challenges facing the education sector in Nigeria. According to the Minister, declaring emergency in the sector will garner the financial and political resources required for the country to tackle the challenges bedeviling it frontally as the challenges are not insurmountable. “The strong political will needed to do all this is present in this government. What this government must now do is to make funds available,”he said. He said only government has the moral and resource capacity to intervene promptly, substantially and sustainable in all areas of education. Adamu lamented the low annual budgetary allocation to education since 1999 as it has always been between four and ten per cent, stressing that that none of the E9 or D8 countries other than Nigeria, allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education. “Indeed, even among Sub-Saharan African countries, we are trailing far behind smaller and less endowed nations in terms of our investment in education. There is need for a major investment in education in the national interest,” he said.

Delta Emerges Winner Of NNPC National Quiz Competition


elta State has emerged winner of the 2017 national quiz competition organized by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The state’s representative to the grand finale of the competition in Abuja, Mr. Isioma Nelson

Ifeanyichukwu, defeated contenders from 18 states with 75 points to pick the coveted top spot. Other winners in the second and third positions included Abia state’s Banjamin Chisom Chinueze with 70 points and Ondo State’s Adkunle Samuel Ayomide with 60 points in second and third

positions respectively. The 18 contenders were grilled on knotty issues in physics, mathematics and general knowledge on NNPC to the delight of the audience which had the Governors of Edo and Sokoto States, Godwin Obaseki, and Aminu Tambawal along with other dignitaries.

Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the Corporation was committed to science education given the critical role of Science, T e c h n o l o g y , Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, education in Nigeria’s quest for nation building.


October 20 - 26, 2017


Nobel or No Nobel, Achebe Lives Forever (Tribute to the Eagle on His Birthday) A

midst the torrent of tributes and acclamations that heralded the transition of Professor Chinua Achebe to higher glory about four years ago, some hacks or literary kill-joys still found space to circulate that Achebe’s style of writing and literary philosophy were not original or sophisticated enough to attract the sympathy of the Nobel Committee. That is to say that the whole gamut of Achebe’s literary corpus was not deserving of the Nobel Prize for literature. Whereas the import of this piece is not about the politics of Achebe’s world view as a global citizen, no amount of false-hood and propaganda can diminish the fact that he was one of the most cited twentieth-century thinkers and quintessential intellectuals. While this may not be surprising for a man who had authored one of the most influential novels in world literature – and had changed the way the world at large appreciates the African cosmology and ontology – Chinua Achebe remains a conundrum to most people. From a modest childhood as a son of a missionary cum teacher in a small village called Ogidi in the present Southeast Nigeria, who started learning the English Language at the age of 8, to the pinnacle of academia teaching in some of the most distinguished Ivy-League universities across the world, Achebe had remained private and mysterious. Even though he wrote in almost all known and established literary genres, Achebe did not manifest any pretence to his bias for the novel. He led a generation of scholars, insisting that the novel was not a poor cousin of philosophy, linguistics and aesthetics but a symbolically coordinated discipline that outlines the shape of human imagination itself. Today, Achebe’s work and words are familiar to generations of writers, intellectuals and students everywhere with most of them attesting to his strong influence. Despite the antics of fifth columnists who would want to crucify his image due to his political views, Achebe was at home with the rudiments of his calling as a novelist and his reflections on the largest questions of life and art. In fact, a disinterested textual study of his novels would reveal that, from generic identity, narrative technique;

point of view; plot; symbol; to life and art, Achebe was second to none. The gratifying success his books have enjoyed over the years, especially the classic, Things Fall Apart, published in 1958 confirms the appeal and usefulness of their premises. But the novel is, indeed, a mixed genre. Its origins lie in a dozen different forms: essay, romance, history, the “character,” biography, comic and sentimental drama, and so on. Traditionally, it is flexible and indeterminate in its form. From time to time critics have offered to define “pure poetry,” not a very fruitful enterprise, but one understands its motive. No one, with the possible exception of the practitioners of the “new” French novel, has ever attempted to define a “pure” novel. With a genre so eclectic and various as to include Emma, Moby Dick and Malone Dies, the concept of purity is irrelevant, and with a genre so “impure” the demands that theoretical criticism be appropriately flexible are so considerable as almost to inhibit theory altogether. Furthermore, the novel has suffered from the conviction that it is an inferior form. Like the drama, the novel has been subjected to continuous extra-artistic pressure – from publishers, serializing editors, readers with tastes running from the vulgar to the hyper-refined, from the salacious to the overdelicate-all of which tends to limit the taking of its artistic integrity with the same seriousness with which one takes, say, the lyric. A good many of its chief practitioners, too, have willingly conspired to produce the impression that they, and their art, are anti-intellectual, even anti-artistic. No lyric poet of any quality has ever set about undercutting before the public his own claims to artistic seriousness. But in the history of the novel one finds Defoe, the purveyor of true memoirs, Richardson the earnest moralist, Trollope, the selfconfessed hack, Dickens, the public entertainer, and so on. Finally, the very nature of the novel has supported criticism which is antithetical to general theory. The novel, more than any other genre, is capable of containing large, developed, consistent images of people, and this is one of the reasons that anyone reads novels. The novel, also, more than any other genre, can give form to a set of attitudes regarding society, history,



This linguistic mediation has been taken up by other writers such as Nkem Nwankwo, Elechi Amadi, Obinkaram Echewa, I.N.C. Aniebo, Ossie Enekwe, and John Munoye, among others. Indeed, Achebe’s literary genealogy is long and can ever cast its long, haunting shadows to incorporate much younger writers like Ben Okri, Akachi Ezeigbo and Chimamanda Adichie in his literary paternity for a most robust inter-textual dialogic interaction.

and the general culture of which the novel is a part, and this too is a reason for reading novels. But the criticism which results from this motive runs the danger of treating fiction as a document, evaluating it less as art than as culture exhibit and ideological force. Among those weary pronouncements that the novel, more than any other genre, evokes – that the novel is dead, for example, and that its dying gasp was breathed by Flaubert, or James, or Joyce – one often encounters the conviction that the novel has no poetics, that it can never and should never have one. It is difficult to think of another area in which the same assumptions have any currency, assumptions which imply that to describe, to define, and to generalize are somehow to sap the vitality of the subject. It is difficult to think of another area in which they are less appropriate. For the novel is rich enough and intricate enough as a genre to demand the combined insights of formalist criticism and cultural history in understanding its tradition, and it is vital enough to survive any amount of theory or criticism, even if that criticism is badly done. The Achebe School in African Literature is present in his creative manipulation and subversion of English, the imperial language of colonial hegemony and cultural deracination which he has deterritorialised and domesticated through the infusion of Igbo linguistic idiom and cultural resources to lend local flavour and invest it with the halo of authority. Discourses surrounding the linguistic question in African literature have endured since Obi Wali’s proposition that language constitutes the dead end of African literature during the 1964 Kampala conference. Achebe did appreciate the intractable imbrications and inspiring

pleasures associated with the deployment of colonial languages in the articulation of African literature. Understandably, Achebe himself had settled for the option of “Engligbo” by grafting Igbo idiom on English to achieve a unique linguistic fusion. He shares this strategy with Gabriel Okara who also bends English to the needs of and blends it with his native Ijaw but differs with Ngugi who advocates the abandonment of foreign languages as linguistic receptacles of African aesthetics. The appropriation of Igbo proverbs, aphoristic articulations, fables, tales and other loric resources has enriched, heightened and deepened Achebe’s language in his writings. This linguistic mediation has been taken up by other writers such as Nkem Nwankwo, Elechi Amadi, Obinkaram Echewa, I.N.C. Aniebo, Ossie Enekwe, and John Munoye, among others. Indeed, Achebe’s literary genealogy is long and can ever cast its long, haunting shadows to incorporate much younger writers like Ben Okri, Akachi Ezeigbo and Chimamanda Adichie in his literary paternity for a most robust inter-textual dialogic interaction. Therefore, to now resort to hasty conclusions that Achebe’s work lacks originality and depth is the height of intellectual dishonesty. In fact, Achebe would have rejected the Nobel Prize. Period! As we mark the birthday of the Eagle who wrote Africa in gold in the literary map of the world today November 16, we owe it a duty to meticulously and conscientiously dissect his literary style and philosophy for generations yet unborn. May the soul of this human Mississippi continue to rejoice with his compatriots in the literary firmament of Heaven.

October 20 - 26, 2017


Brexit: EU gives May two weeks to act


heresa May has been told she has two weeks to put more money on the table if the EU is to agree to begin Brexit trade talks before the end of the year. EU Council President Donald Tusk said he was “ready” to move onto the next phase of Brexit talks, covering future relations with the UK. But he said the UK must show much more progress on the “divorce bill” and the Irish border by early next month. Mrs May said “good progress” was being made but more needed to be done. The talks are currently deadlocked over the UK’s financial settlement, citizens’ rights and Ireland with Irish PM Leo Varadkar accusing the UK of not “thinking through” the implications of Brexit for his country. A week ago, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier informed his UK counterpart David Davis he had a fortnight to spell out in more detail what he was prepared to pay the EU to “settle its accounts” and to clarify how trade between the Republic and Northern Ireland and security across the 310 mile border would be preserved after the UK leaves the single market and customs union. After holding talks with Mrs May on the margins of a jobs summit in Sweden, Mr Tusk repeated the message, saying “much more” progress was needed on these two issues if he was to recommend to EU leaders at their next meeting on 14 December to give the green light to the next phase of talks. He said he would meet Mrs May in a week’s time to assess progress but warned time was running out for a breakthrough before the end of 2017. “We will be ready to move on to the second phase already in December,” he said. “But in order to do that we need to see more progress from the UK side. ”If there is not sufficient progress by then, I will be ... not be in a position to propose new guidelines on transition and the future relationship at the December European Council....I made it very clear to the Prime Minister May that this progress needs to happen at the beginning of December at the latest.”

Protestors hailing the 'ouster' of long-term President Robert Mugabe after a military coup. Photo: BBC.

Crowds demand Mugabe leave office P

rotesters in Zimbabwe have headed towards the office of President Robert Mugabe to urge him to step down. The march came on a day of widespread jubilation in the capital Harare and other cities following the army’s takeover on Wednesday. Soldiers at State House gently pushed protesters away in

scenes resembling a party, says the BBC’s Andrew Harding. The army intervened after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, signalling that he favoured his wife Grace as a successor. Mr Mugabe, 93, has led Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980. The military has kept him confined to his residence and says it is

“engaging” with him and will advise the public on the outcome of talks “as soon as possible”. Saturday’s rally is supported by the army and members of the ruling Zanu-PF party. Veterans of Zimbabwe’s war for independence - who until last year were loyal to the president, the best-known among them

- are also saying Mr Mugabe should quit. The leader of the organisation urged people to head towards Mr Mugabe’s private residence, too. Outside State House some people staged a sitdown protest in front of a line of troops, and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the crowd, to cheers.

The BBC’s Andrew Harding in Harare says this is a watershed moment and there can be no return to power for Mr Mugabe. Our correspondent says the situation may appear to be getting out of Zanu-PF’s control and there could be a broad push to introduce a transitional government that includes the opposition.

Ohio Supreme Court Judge Bill O’Neill brags of sex conquests


hio voters are in shock after a top judge boasted of having been “sexually intimate” with “approximately 50 very attractive females”. State Supreme Court Judge Bill O’Neill, who is a Democratic candidate for state governor, made the claim on Facebook on Friday afternoon. In a follow-up interview he defended his post and a senator who was pictured apparently groping a sleeping woman. Ohio Democrats condemned Judge O’Neill’s comments. His post began: “Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males.” Judge O’Neill noted that as a candidate for

governor, his admission would “save my opponents some research time”. “In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females,”

wrote the Chagrin Falls, Ohio, native. The 70-year-old Democrat went on to describe two of the women and his alleged encounters with them. “It ranged from a gorgeous personal

secretary to Senator Bob Taft (Senior) who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn.” He later edited the post to clarify it was the secretary - not Senator

Taft - with whom he purportedly had sexual relations. In an interview with after the post was published, Judge O’Neill confirmed he had written it.

Syria: Russia again blocks extension of chemical attacks probe


ussia has cast a second veto in as many days to block a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended an international inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Russia rejected a Japanese draft resolution to prolong by 30 days the Joint Investigative Mechanism, whose mandate ends at midnight on Friday.

Western nations condemned the move. It is the 11th time Moscow has used its veto powers in support of its ally since the conflict began. On Thursday, Russia blocked a USwritten draft to extend the JIM’s mandate for a year. The JIM was set up in 2015 to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks. It is the only official

mission investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Moscow strongly criticised the inquiry when it blamed the Syrian government for a deadly nerve agent attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April. Syria denies using banned chemical weapons. The attack on Khan Sheikhoun left more than 80 people dead and prompted the US to

launch missile strikes on a Syrian airbase. Last month, a UN Human Rights Council inquiry concluded a Syrian air force jet was responsible, dismissing statements from Russia that the jet had dropped conventional munitions that struck a rebel chemical weapons depot. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the incident in Khan Sheikhoun was a “fabrication”.


October 20 - 26, 2017



75% Internet users in Nigeria are on social media -Shittu Stories by Sarah NEGEDU


inister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has identified the social media as a veritable tool for information gathering and dissemination, hinting that at least 75 percent of internet users in Nigeria are on the social media. Shittu disclosed this at a retreat on ‘Social Media and Good Governance’ hosted by the Ministry of Communications in Abuja, he said Nigeria has a high number of social media users, but however warned against abuse of the platforms. The minister said though government would not limit Nigerians’ access to social media solely on the basis that they might be used to express views critical of the government, he added that the social media space must be regulated to guard against abuse and hate speech. Emphasising the size of Nigeria’s online population, Shittu said, “About 75 percent of Nigeria’s online population use social media and the number keeps growing on both social networking sites and blogging sites. “The size of social media, taken as a whole, can be overwhelming. As of June 2016, there were about 80 million tweets per day. Facebook chat usage is currently over one billion messages daily, according to the Nielsen report of 2016.” He added, “In an era when the social media have become very strong platforms for i n f o r m a t i o n dissemination and public discourse, it is imperative for the government and the key players in the private sector to pay extra attention to feedback from and utilise these new media to provide

L-R: Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, chairman BoI board, Mr. Aliyu Dikko, MD/CEO, Federal mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, MD, Swaziland Development Finance Corporation, Mr. Dumisani Msibi and Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mr. Jonathan Tobin, during 2017 CEOs forum of African Development Finance Institutions in Abuja...Friday. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

platforms for government-citizen and business-public engagement in an online, real-time and interactive manner. “On the other hand, social media can also be a nuisance to the government and society at large. Mudslinging, hate speech, cyber bullying, rants and unbridled ventilation of anger are common features on these

platforms.” He however added that “Government will not limit Nigerians’ access to social media simply because of abuses. Nigerians must use it to express their views. Government will ensure easy interactive platform for the dissemination of its achievements. “The parochial, religious and ethnic use of social media should be

checked. Only an i r r e s p o n s i b l e government will allow unguarded use of social media.” Meanwhile, the N i g e r i a n Communications Commission, NCC, has said only five of the 37 E m e r g e n c y Communication Centres, ECC, are functioning across the country. The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC,

Ikoyi loot: FG denies withholding whistleblower’s reward


he federal government has denied media reports alleging government’s refusal to make payment to the whistleblower who provided the tips that led to the recovery of funds stashed away in a property in Ikoyi, Lagos State. Explaining the procedure around payment of whistle blowers, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers.

A statement from the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, Oluyinka Akintunde, insists that the Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower. A section of the media had earlier reported plans to dilute the estimated N850million reward money entitled to the Whistle blower. They claim that that the federal government is plotting to slash the payment to N350million or less. According to the statement which reads in part, “The Minister wishes to state unequivocally that

the Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower. The Ministry has in place detailed procedures for processing payments due under the Whistleblower Policy. “These procedures include an application by the agency who recovered the funds including evidence of the recovery, confirmation that there are no pending legal issues on the recovery, verification of the identity of the information provider, calculation of the amount payable and computation of relevant taxes.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this when a delegation from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, paid him a visit. He said work was however ongoing to make the 32 other centres operational very soon. He said the ECC project was intended to bridge the communication gap between the distressed and emergency response agencies in the country. Danbatta said the NCC has undertaken the task of facilitating the building and equipping ECC in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. He said many of such centres were being built and provided with equipment across the nation in all the six geopolitical zones. On her part, the Director General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, revealed that a new subject on human trafficking would start as an independent subject in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria in the next academic session in 2018/2019.

Our strategies will ease debt service risk –Adeosun


he federal government has e x p r e s s e d confidence that the various revenue and debt management strategy employed by the current administration would mitigate the country’s debt service risk and fasttrack her development. According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, a key element of the economic reform strategy was the mobilisation of revenue to improve the debt service to revenue ratio. This, she said, is being undertaken through a number of initiatives including, the plugging of leakages and the deployment of technology revenue management. While welcoming the advice of Nigeria’s i n t e r n a t i o n a l development partners, including the International Monetary Fund, Adeosun said the strategy would achieve a number of objectives that include: mobilising revenue whilst reducing the debt burden by lengthening the maturity profile, increasing foreign exchange reserves, reducing crowding-out of the private sector, and creating savings in debt service cost. Adeosun specifically cited the example of the Health Pay, a pilot cashless revenue project in the health sector, which recorded material increases in revenue, adding that the ongoing Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, is equally expected to impact positively the level of tax collections. “The difference in our economic strategy is that we are changing the mix of revenue sources available to government from the traditional oil or debt to a combination of oil, debt and domestic revenue. “This is a long term strategic reform which is critical to our future economic growth and in the short term will enable our debt service to revenue ratio to improve.”

October 20 - 26, 2017



FG to revamp textile industry in Nigeria Stories by Sarah NEGEDU


he federal government has expressed its commitment towards revamping the cotton and textile industry in Nigeria. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, recently gave the assurance when she received a delegation from the Dutch textile and design company, Vlisco Group. Adeosun who expressed delight at Vlisco’s proposed investment in the cotton textile industry, said the Federal Government would stimulate and support sustainable value addition along the entire cotton, textile and garment sub-sector in order to create jobs and wealth for Nigerians and enable technology transfer. She urged the investor to take advantage of the Nigerian government’s incentives for the cotton, textile and garment sub-sector to expand its brand portfolio in Nigeria. The Chief Executive Officer of Vlisco Group, Mr. David Suddens, who led the group’s delegation to the meeting, said the investment would boost growth and jobs in Nigeria across the entire value-chain from cotton to fashion. The group is participating across the sector value chain from sourcing of cotton, textile printing, wholesale, retail and ecommerce distribution, garment manufacturing and supporting and training of Nigerian fashion designers. According to Suddens, “Vlisco foresees an end-to-end involvement in the Nigerian textile industry from cotton sourcing to retail. We are expecting this investment to yield benefits for the Nigerian economy in terms of economic diversification and job creation in line with the country’s Industrial Revolution strategy. “Vlisco Group’s

activities are expected to generate more than 10,000 jobs in Nigeria in the medium term. We also envisage a Vlisco printing factory in Nigeria using Nigerian designs for the Nigerian

consumer, retail outlets selling Vlisco products and trained tailors sewing Vlisco fabric into garment.” He noted that the group had formed partnership with two

spinning and weaving companies based in China and Pakistan in order to help build the Nigerian cotton textile industry. “The two partners are very serious

industrialists with firstclass operations in their own countries. Both are prepared to move quickly if Vlisco guarantees the purchase of their output, and if

L-R: Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, the Minister of State, Mr. Suleiman Hassan and MD/CEO Rural Electrification Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi, during the media engagement workshop on the Power Sector Recovery Programe in Abuja...Wednesday. Photo:

agreement can be reached on the details of the Nigerian operation,” he added. The two partners, according to him, are expected to start operations with a weaving mill of between 120 and 140 looms, with each mill p r o d u c i n g approximately 12 to 15 million metres of cotton fabric annually. “Once success is established, both partners will integrate b a c k wa r d s into spinning. The first spinning mills will be for 25,000 spindles, p r o d u c i n g ya r n f o r approximately 20 million metres of fabric. “These mills will then be doubled in size to 50,000 spindles and the weaving mills will also be doubled to 240-280 looms for each factory,” the foreign investor explained. Founded in 1846 in the Netherlands, the Vlisco Group designs produces and distributes fashion fabrics for the West and Central African market and African consumers in global metropolitan cities.

Kwara varsity lecturer commits suicide over appointment By Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin


former lecturer at the Department of Crop Production, College of Agriculture, Kwara State University, Malete, Dr. Solomon Osunlola has committed suicide. Informed sources said the registrar of KWASU had written informing him of his conversion to a contract staff from full time appointment. Osunlola was s u b s e q u e n t l y depressed and started misbehaving as one of his friends was said to have offered to assist him with a job at Landmark University Omu Aran but the deceased did not submit his credentials for the propose job. It was further gathered that the

d e c e a s e d P h D certificate was doubted by the university authority. Since the conversion of his full appointment to a contract staff, the deceased had surprise the people with his strange behavior which prompted a friend of

his to take him to a cleric after noticing that he was depressed. The cleric was said to have counseled him w h i l e h i s friend followed him to his family who were residing at Ibadan. The family members, were said to

have forced his room door open when he did not come out in the morning and were shocked that he had committed suicide. The director, Public Relations, KWASU, Dr. Isiaka Aliagan, confirmed the story and said the

Ayade suspends carbon emission tax in Cross River


overnor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has directed the suspension of carbon emission levy collection in the state Senior Special Assistant and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita, said in a statement on Thursday that the suspension is in “keeping with the

present administration’s resolve not to place too much burden on residents and indigenes of the state on payment of taxes.” According to him, suspension of the carbon emission levy was with immediate effect, and called on “all consultants and agents associated with the collection of this revenue head are

hereby directed to withdraw from the field and halt their activities with effect from Thursday, 16th November, 2017.” Ita urged members of the public not to comply with any such demands henceforth, warning that those who fail to comply with the directive will be arrested and prosecuted.

m a n a g e m e n t , confirmed that late Dr. Oluremi Solomon Osunlola, was a Lecturer 1 in the Department of Crop Production, College of Agriculture. Aliagan added that the deceased joined the services of the Institution on a fulltime appointment in 2010. “However, during staff verification, it was discovered that the late Osunlola had already retired from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, before taking up a full- time appointment with KWASU. “Despite that the deceased violated the rule of his engagement, the university converted his appointment to contract on compassionate grounds.”


October 20 - 26, 2017


FCT taskforce arrests 5, 574 hawkers, 1,835 beggars, 225 cows Stories by Austine ELEMUE


s part of efforts to bring sanity to the nation’s capital city, the ministerial taskforce has revealed that from June to November, a total of 5, 574 hawkers, 1,835 beggars and 225 cows have been removed from the city centre. Briefing journalists recently, the Special Adviser, Security Matters, Sq. Ldr. Abdullahi Monjel (Rtd) said these elements constitute major nuisance and security threat in the FCT and their arrest was to clear the city centre of such nuisance. Monjel regretted the recent skirmish between the taskforce and some unpainted taxi drivers in Wuse area of Abuja and explained that effort was on to restore sanity to the city, warning that illegal loading and off-loading would not be tolerated as well as other illegalities. While explaining that contrary to social media claim, no driver was killed, explaining that the arrested hawkers were handed over to the

mobile court, while the beggars were taken to the Bwari rehabilitation centre and the cattle owners fined. Mongel, however, lamented the obsolete and non-existent laws to tackle some of the challenges the taskforce is mandated to take care of.

He said some of the arrested beggars simply pay up their fines and return to business while some hawkers who are fined as low as between N500 to N1, 500 also pay up and return to business as the fines do not deter them.

While calling on the relevant authorities to make laws that can deter miscreants from constituting nuisance to the public, he pointed out that beggars and hawkers constitute security threat as a hawker who was arrested with a pistol has been handed over to the

police for proper interrogation. He was also worried that the taskforce does not receive the necessary cooperation from the public which they strive to serve, while calling on member of the public to give their necessary cooperation.

L-R: The Director General, Nigeria Governors Forum, Asishana Okauru, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faizer Shuaib and chairman, Network for Health Equity and Development, Dr. Shehu Sule at the consensus meeting with 36 state commissioners of health and FCT on the need for functional primary health care systems in Abuja. Photo: Wale Elekolusi.

Nonpayment of salary: Kogi elders tackle Gov Bello, says it’s inhuman By Ere-ebi AGEDAH


ogi East Elders Council, KEEC, have decried on the deplorable and deteriorating condition of the state as well the nonpayment of staff salary stating it as inhuman and unacceptable. At a press briefing in Abuja, the chairman, KEEC, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, said the Kogi East Elders Council had decided to give the young administration the opportunity to take the right path but all hope had been dashed as the Bello Yahaya led administration has proved to be cruel to its people. Ahmadu, who spoke on behalf of the council, lamented the lingering crisis between the Academic Staff Union of tertiary institutions in the state and the government, said that if the issue was

not resolved urgently, the state university stands a risk of losing accreditation of many of its current academic programmes as well as its position of the first among the state universities as accredited by the National University Commission.

The council also noted the increase rate of crime in the state said, added that without a secure atmosphere there can be no development and they therefore called on the police and other security agencies in the state to put all hands on deck and

arrest all criminals, bring them to justice rather than donation of vehicles to the police as the Yahaya administration has been discovered to be doing. The council however called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the crises in

The Abuja Inquirer’s Akon elected official of CROSSJOF By Chux NZEH


he elective congress of the Cross River State Journalists Forum, CROSSJOF, Abuja chapter ended on a successful note on Saturday with Mr. Godfrey Akon of The Abuja Inquirer elected as PRO into the 7-man exco. Mr. Gabriel Odu of the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, emerged as chairman, Joseph Orok still of the NTA as vice chairman, Odama David, secretary of the

Vanguard. Other officials are; Francisca Ogar, assistant secretary - ITV, Idara Ukpanyang, treasurer – FRCN, Okon Ene, financial secretary – Cool/Wazobia FM, and Lesley Out, internal auditor - SheWorld Magazine. Presenting the newly elected excos to the congress, the chairman of the electoral committee, Mr. Mathias Okwe, congratulated the exco and urged them to live up to the responsibilities of their offices.

Mr. Okwe was assisted by Mrs Chizoba Ogbeche and David Agba. Speaking on behalf of the newly elected officials, the chairman, Mr Odu, thanked members for electing them and promised to reposition the forum and take it to an enviable height through visionary, transparent and accountable leadership. It would be recalled that the former acting chairman of the forum was Mr. Sunday Ayami of African Independent Television (AIT).

Kogi state by setting up a presidential committee to investigate and ensure that staff salaries are paid. Furthermore, the council stated that the Kogi state government should immediately pay up all entitlements due to the state civil servants and pensioners because there was enough money in the coffers to do so. The council however added that Kogi state belongs to over three million people who hail from the confluence state and not the few persons who hold political offices. “Every indigene of the state is interested in lifting it to the height of progress and prosperity; therefore the state government should consider critical voices as partners in progress, not enemies. It is imperative for this government to run an allinclusive administration as that is the best way in which the state can move forward.”

Make use of your numbers to change society, youths urged By Williams ABAH


youth activist, Comrade Nixon Odimbu, has urged youths to use their numerical strength to cause a paradigm shift in the socio-political environment of Nigeria. He stated this Friday in a chat with journalists in Abuja. He advised the youths to break away from what he called the shackle of the oppressors and elite ‘bandits’ who according to him have perennially relegated the youths to the back seat. “The power we have as youths has not been effectively utilised. As youths our power is laying fallow because we think we don’t have anything. Gone are the days when the youths are used as thugs by the same old leaders” he added. Comrade Odimbu, a former students’ union leader, said bad leadership, which is the bane of Nigeria’s development, has continued because the youths have refused to take back the country and build the kind of future they want to see. He urged the president Buhari-led federal government to do away with propaganda and come clean to regain the confidence of the people. According to him, the government has played the card of nepotism and ethnic jingoism which in his words has not gone down well with a session of the country. He used the opportunity to announce his intention to gun for Aniocha North federal constituency of Delta state in the House of Representatives under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He promised to initiate bills that will improve the standard of living of his people and bring infrastructure to their doorstop which he said they have lacked over the years.

October 20 - 26, 2017



TSTS, Solution To Health Sector Dearth - Health Commissioner By Ijeoma UKAZU


he Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr Jide Idris, has said that the Task Shifting and Task Sharing, (TSTS) policy was adopted to help reduce work load on health professionals. Addressing journalists in Lagos, the commissioner who was represented by the director of Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Moyosore Adejimoh, said that the policy is meant to address what we currently have in the country not in just in Lagos State. “The dearth of human resources in health that is critical and necessary for quality health care has been identified long before now. To make the duties and responsibilities of core professionals efficient and effective. If they are shared and shifted where appropriate and where there is capacity, patients seeking health, whether it’s the public or private space would have access to health care. “We are taking our cue from the Federal Ministry of Health which already has the policy in place. It is decentralization of the policy that has been adopted by the Lagos State Ministry of Health. “Some of the advantages of TSTS policy is the appropriate sharing of duties to sub cadres of the main professional group. Patients will not be turned away and these professionals would be better enabled by virtue of the fact that they won’t be overwhelmed by too many patient who want to see them and complain of doctors, nurses and pharmacists been over worked would stop. “Also, the fact that we do have health workers whom with extra training and capacity building can also provide those services. It is a positive

development when and if properly implemented and we are looking towards ensuring that there is a robust monitoring and supervision as well as evaluation in the state,” he explained. He said it is a living document that will continue to be reviewed, reapplied until we get to that stage when professionals don’t have to shift or share duties. According to him,” the document is already in place and ones we have the necessary structures for monitoring and put in place Standard Operating Procedure, (SOP) which is the core aspect of any policy is been rolled out, the work implementation, work plan and action plan will commence.” Also speaking, Save the Children, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Advisor, Dr Opeyemi Odedere, said

the TSTS policy was planned as a result of the shortages in human resources and inadequate skill distribution within the health system and the quality of service delivery can sometimes be questioned. Oludere said the policy is a stop gap measure as the population of Lagos State keep increasing, it has reduced the health worker to patient ratio resulting in the shortage of health workers across all cadre, hence the Lagos state government showed interest in the national TSTS policy and subsequently decided to adapt to Lagos peculiarities. He added that “TSTS will provide the path necessary to support the achievement of significant progress in improving the performance of the health system by

combating health workers shortages. It would also help the government to appropriate training to different cadres taking cognizance those tasks have been shifted to or shared with. Ultimately, the essence of this is to achieve the Universal Health Coverage and attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Speaking further on the plan, the Lead Consultant for Save the Children Nigeria, Akaoma Onyemelukwe said, “what we did was to validate the Human Resources for Health, HRH, which is a five year implementation plan. This action plan talks about eight priority area one of which is communication and connectivity and also the work force plan which is the bane of the plan.” Onyemelukwe said

that the plan can only work if it is well resourced, the investment on HRH is increased in terms of budgetary and nonbudgetary allocation as well as funding, hoping that the Lagos State government will demonstrate its leadership by implementing the TSTS plan and by 2025 the mission of this strategic plan must have been achieved. Dr. Edun Omasanjuwa of Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), said that the Task Shifting and Task Sharing is a policy which implies that, “if a superior officer is not available at a time of need, a junior or sub cadre staff can provide that services provided that they have been adequately trained, monitored and certified to provide that service under supervision.”

Monkey pox: Lab tests show presence in Bayelsa -Adewole By Williams ABAH


he Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said that the tests conducted on the recent outbreak of monkey pox disease, and the samples obtained tested negative. He stated this at a press briefing in Abuja while briefing journalists on the government’s efforts totackle the disease. He however added that four cases of monkey pox have been confirmed in Nigeria, noting that the entire monkey pox test sample obtained from Lagos tested negative. Adewole said “as of October 13, 2017 they were 17 suspected cases reported from Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa state”. He further stated that the ministry has received

laboratory confirmation for monkey pox virus, according to him; three of these cases are from the WHO laboratory in Dakar Senegal, adding that samples from 12 other cases from Bayelsa were negative. In his words “with these results, first suspected monkey pox outbreak in Yenagoa have been confirmed with laboratory evidence, the most likely source of infection is a primary zoon tic transmission, from animals, with secondary person to person transmission”. The minister also said that since the initial announcement of monkey pox outbreak, a total of 43 other suspected cases have been reported from eight other states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa,Rivers and

F.C.T which have been tested and confirmed to be negative for the monkey pox virus. In his words “we expect that many of these cases being reported from other states in Nigeria are not caused by the monkey pox virus, but we will continue to investigate all those cases that fit the case definition”. He further added that laboratory test using Genomic sequence is being carried out by the Africa center for Genomics and infectious disease in Redeemer University Ede Ogun State. The minister also said that monkey pox is largely limiting disease, from which all suspected patients that have been reported to date are doing well clinically. He noted that even before the outbreak

of monkey pox, all the necessary public health measures have been put in place and will continue to be implemented. The ministry of health through the Nigerian Center of Disease Control, NCDC, has established an emergency operation center and promise to continue coordinating the response across states and test samples from other cases, adding that NCDC, will also continue to support all states in their response and keep the public informed as the situation unfold. According to NCDC officers, measures that can be taken to prevent infection includes, avoid contact with rats and other similar animals especially when animals are sick and found dead in an area the monkey pox virus is circulating.

Spanking linked to increase in children’s behavior problems


hildren who have been spanked by their parents by age 5 show an increase in behavior problems at age 6 and age 8 relative to children who have never been spanked, according to new findings in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The study, which uses a statistical technique to approximate random assignment, indicates that this increase in behavior problems cannot be attributed to various characteristics of the child, the parents, or the home environment — rather, it seems to be the specific result of spanking. “Our findings suggest that spanking is not an effective technique and actually makes children’s behavior worse not better,” says psychological scientist Elizabeth T. Gershoff (University of Texas at Austin), lead author on the study. Historically, trying to determine whether parents’ use of spanking actually causes children to develop behavior problems has been difficult, because researchers cannot ethically conduct experiments that randomly assign parents to spank or not. “Parents spank for many reasons, such as their educational or cultural background or how difficult their children’s behavior is. These same reasons, which we call selection factors, can also predict children’s behavior problems, making it difficult to determine whether spanking is in fact the cause of behavior problems,” Gershoff explained. “We realized that the statistical method of propensity score matching could help us get as close to an experiment as possible.”


October 20 - 26, 2017

1 Chronicles 13:9-14 “And when they came unto the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God. And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day. And David was afraid of God that day, saying, how shall I bring the ark of God home to me? So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed– edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed– edom, and all that he had.” The blessings of the Lord are latent because we are partakers by virtue of the blood and covenanted grace of God. God’s blessings is without prejudice, it is for all but our surrender and salvation attracts it from God and makes us the irrevocable force with the blessings of the Lord. The connection of man is limited in what he can get for us or humans but the ultimate connector of all connections, which is Jesus Christ, who was made poor that we might be rich has all connections that can terminate all forms of disgrace, penury, calamity and reproach. Every great thing must be tested, tried and proofed before the emergence of testimonies and promotion. God is not silent, it is just that He is not talk carelessly, you probably did not understand timing. God does not go out of season like fruits, He is always available for us, only if we remain righteous and holy, to be inheritors of the promises. One of the watchword of dogged followers of Jesus Christ is wealth. The

Blessings in the order of Obededom wealth of God is not for some specific class of people, it is for all of us. We would inherit it, if we learn to discover our identity in Christ and harness our testimonies. Wealth will get to you by generosity, because our God is generous, to be stingy harms you and impedes your route, privileges and opportunities to be blessed by God. Appropriating the blessings of God 1. Run from sin: A blessed man is very far from sin. Sin is a separator and a divider between God and man. Sin will not make you get to your zenith in life. Sin is a reproach, we must therefore approach God to be able to live a righteous and holy life to be able to get our miracles, blessings and testimonies from God. 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

2. Love God Contagiously: Loving God is a license to harness all our Inheritances. You cannot love God genuinely and remain static or be stagnated. God is love, we therefore must love God and love our fellows. You cannot hate people and claim to love God. Love God and he will settle all the rough situations and challenges of your life. Romans 5:2 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” 3. Abandon yourself to God’s work: You cannot work for God and be stranded. God is not a task-master but a good master, who will not with-hold any good thing from those who work uprightly. God will reward our efforts and labour of love, if we do not give up. The earthly employer pays our wages, how much more, our heavenly father, who blesses without prejudice. Work

tirelessly and be blessed by God stupendously. 1 Corinthians 16:15 “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)”. 4. Keeping the bond of the first love: Salvation is a gift from God. When we give our life to Christ, it is the new beginning of a new relationship with God, our creator. We must keep pursuing and longing hard after God. When God sees your desire for followership and fellowship, He will keep showing and revealing himself unto you. The desire of Moses to know more of God, gave him an irrevocable encounter that is still talked about. Revelation 2:4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” 5. Be sure to know your latter will be glorious than your former: We must learn not to give up on God or the promises, he has for us. God is not slack or weak in fulfilling his promises, but we must learn to wait patiently, knowing that, this present challenges, shall surely pass too. There is no better today, there is always a better tomorrow and a best future to come. This is not the zenith of our destination, eyes are yet to see and ears yet to hear the greater promises, which God has in store for those that love, trust and wait on God. Job 8:7 “Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” The blessings of God is for all, we must therefore partake of it through dogged faith. The blessings coming your way in this last quarter of the year will leave a lasting legacy that generations to come will thank God for your life, family and walk with God.


NDDC, SMEDAN to establish enterprise innovation hub in Niger Delta T he Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, and a private sector organization for the establishment of Nigeria’s first and grandest enterprise innovation and growth hub. The tripartite agreement, which kickstarts the investment hub project, was signed yesterday during a meeting at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt between the NDDC, SMEDAN and Builders Hub Impact Investment Programme, BHIIP. NDDC’s Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, said that the meeting was a follow up to a previous engagement

with Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda, at his office in Abuja. Ekere said that the partnership with SMEDAN was one way of proving to Nigerians that i n t e r - a g e n c y collaboration and synergy could work. He said: “We have different kinds of agencies and initiatives in this country with different and specified core mandates and I believe that if all of them can come together, it would be for the good of all. I believe that NDDC and SMEDAN are setting an example for Nigeria. The NDDC boss added: “I am in a hurry. We can’t wait to create more jobs for the people of the Niger Delta. We want to fight unemployment, we want to fight poverty, we want to fight restiveness and this is one way we can use

to ensure that militancy is eradicated in the Niger Delta. “I believe that we can create new jobs for our people, we can build the economy of the Niger Delta, but more importantly, we want to ensure that the youths are engaged. If the youths are engaged on a daily basis, there won’t be time for them to be planning mischief.” The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that the enterprise hub would help the youths in so many different ways. He stressed; “We must get this running in the shortest possible time. We have made provisions in our budget and I think that in the next one or two months, we will have sufficient budgetary provision for the takeoff.” “The idea is that we will start with one of the IDC’s owned by

SMEDAN in the Niger Delta but ultimately, our intension is to see that all the IDC’s owned by SMEDAN in the Niger Delta region are revamped and revitalized. And we must pay particular attention to our women and youths.” The Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Radda said that the agency was well positioned to create jobs and alleviate poverty in the country and always ready to work with the NDDC in the implementation of its work plan for the development of the Niger Delta region. He also said that SMEDAN had 23 Industrial Development Centers, IDC, nationwide and four of the centers were located in the Niger Delta. Dr Radda lamented that facilities in the IDCs were dilapidated with most of the equipment

obsolete, coupled with the problem of land encroachment. According to the Director General, SMEDAN was planning to convert the IDCs into enterprise clusters where enterprises involved in similar products and activities will be located in the same place with all necessary machines, equipment and trainings provided for them. The DG stated that SMEDAN was set up to facilitate the development and promotion of MSMEs in Nigeria by stimulating, monitoring and coordinating the development the sector. The Director-General commended the Managing Director for identifying and acknowledging the importance of the agency in helping to actualize the mandate of the Commission. Making a

presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of BHIIP, Barr, Natasha Akpote, emphasized the need to stimulate indigenous innovations. She said that Nigeria would be better served having more entrepreneurs than academics, noting that the future lay with entrepreneurship. Akpote said: “we will focus on areas where training expertise can create more jobs.’ Earlier, the NDDC Director, Commercial and Industrial Development, Mr Anietie Usen, said that the concept of growth pole was captured in the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan. According to him “the concept has become more academic than real. It has just been paper work. So, we are here to change paper work into hard work.”

October 20 - 26, 2017


October 20 - 26, 2017

How effective is Twitter in Govt Communication in Nigeria? H


ow does one talk about the use of Twitter in governmentpublic communication without the mention of US President Donald Trump? He is perhaps Twitter’s biggest customer, tweeting directly many times a day to his nearly 42 million followers. Although this has been described as “unpresidential”, and many Americans have disapproved of it, he is not about to stop. According to last September’s NBC/ WSJ poll, 66 percent of Americans disapproved of Trump’s use of Twitter, and that includes 87 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of women, 64 percent of independents, 61 percent of men, 59 percent of seniors, 46 percent of Republicans and even 36 percent of selfdescribed Trump voters. His defence has always been that tweeting directly without going through the conventional news media helped him win the elections; and Twitter is a vital way to communicate directly with the American people because of what he sees as bias in mainstream media against his administration – a way of going around the so-called filter of the press. The practice of tweeting directly is not without risks. He has goofed many times on Twitter, contradicting his media team and other officials or making typographical mistakes, but that will also not stop him; not even when tweeting on impulse or in anger to attack people sometimes land him in trouble. He continues to tweet and during a visit to China during the week, he flouted the Chinese government’s ban by sending a series of tweets to his followers. The ability to communicate directly with 42 million people is for sure a big political advantage, but with it sometimes comes an equal weight of risk. The Company Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, also known as “tweets”, restricted to 140 characters. The company has disclosed that it will increase the characters to 280. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, United States, and has more than 25 offices around the world. It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, and was launched in July of that year. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity. Benefits of Social Media for Government

Studies have shown enormous benefits governments can derive from the social media. Some of them are listed in this report by Sproutsocial. Citizen Engagement: In the US, and other advanced countries, no matter what area of the public sector you’re in, there are some people you serve who are on social media. They’re asking questions and voicing their opinions. The worst thing to do when people are trying to engage you is ignore them. It’s even worse for government agencies because there’s already a negative stigma attached to their level of citizen engagement. Social media presents a great opportunity to change that perception. Acknowledging incoming Tweets or replying to Facebook comments can be enough to show concern or that an effort is being made. Spreads of Information: If you want to make the public aware of new legislation, promote a cause or just inform citizens of important news, social media is the best place to do it. Mail is often just thrown away and never read, email delivery can be unreliable and just posting information on your website doesn’t guarantee that anyone will see it. In the US, 62 per cent of adults get their news from social media. Also, information spreads easier on social media. People can share your Tweets or Facebook posts with the tap of a button, and immediately put it in front of their friends, family and colleagues. Easier Communication: Whenever a major crisis breaks that directly impacts citizens, keeping the public well informed and up to date can build trust and provide some transparency. While you may not be able to share certain sensitive information, an occasional Tweet can go a long way. Nigeria There has been an increasing use of the social media by the tiers of government in Africa, including Nigeria, but Twitter appears to be the most preferable for government public communication. Facebook is also very popular, but in Nigeria it is very rowdy platform and so widely abused that many government officials and executives of companies avoid it. How Africa Tweets is an annual study by Portland Communications which highlights Twitter trends, hashtag usage and online habits in Africa. In their 2015 report, Portland analysed 1.6 billion geolocated tweets and the top 5,000 hashtags for 2015. Here are highlights compiled in some reports.

· Tweets regarding entertainment dominated the pan-African feed last year, totalling just over 20% of all hashtags posted. The next four most popular hashtag themes were commerce, politics, lifestyle and football. · The most tweets in Africa came from up north, with Egypt accounting for about 500 million. Nigeria came in second with 360 million tweets followed by South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana sitting at 325 million, 125 million, and 70 million tweets respectively. It total, Africa tweeted 1.86 billion times last year. · English is the most used language on Twitter in Africa – as 77% of the top 5,000 hashtags were in English. · The study shows a trend towards having political debates on Twitter – with discussions around the category accounting for 10% of all geo-located tweets in Africa, compared to just 2% of hashtags in the US and UK. · The two most active countries in the political debate were Nigeria and South Africa – possibly owing to the Nigerian presidential election and the studentlead #FeesMustFall movement in South Africa. Effectiveness of Tweets in Government Communication in Nigeria If the essence of Twitter in public communication is to engage the public directly, clearly its success rate will depend on the percentage of population that uses Twitter, and the number of followers account owners have. In Nigeria, it is not clear if any government or MDAs tries to use Twitter to side-step the press or go around their filter. If that is the case they have failed woefully because most of their key followers are indeed the media, which publishes what it receives on Twitter. The source of the tweet also

determines its usage. There have been cases recently where some government spokespersons tweeted vital news into the dark because they didn’t have much followership, even in the media. For example on July 3, 2017, the spokesman of a top government official tweeted his principal was travelling overseas for the media to relay to the public. But as at the following morning this writer was the only one who had used it in his NEWS MORNING bulletin for some bigwigs because he had stumbled on the tweet the day before. There are issues with the new media of course: the fact of anonymity and given mischief which promotes arrogance, criminality and unmitigated idiocy, and the absence of regulation or control, but it nonetheless remains a liberating, liberal and democratic medium. The social media in other words is here to stay, making it useful to our democracy and the human space is the challenge. Its abuse could delimit the province of democracy and prove disastrous. You asked about twitter – it falls within the framework and I believe, I am convinced, it will remain relevant, as it has been, but addressing the larger issues, contradictions and discontents of the new media, in our emergent democracy and society is where the task ahead lies. Twitter is a great platform for public communication, but unlike the US where 62 per cent of adults get news from the social media, and a president has over 42 million followers, we are not there yet. We should not discard the use of the traditional press releases and regular engagement with the media and stakeholders. Twitter alone cannot do the job of a good spokesperson and his or her principal. · Bisi is a journalist, author and communications consultant

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Edition 21  
Edition 21