Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Page 1

Vol. 8 No. 27

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jimadal Akhir 10, 1433 AH


JNI cautions FG against indiscriminate arrests From Lawal Sadiq Sanusi, Kaduna


he Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) has expressed shock and condemned the bomb attacks in Jalingo, Taraba state, Gombe State University and

…Condemns BUK attacks, others Bayero University, Kano, which claimed many lives were lost just as it has called on the Federal Government to stop indiscriminate arrests in the

name of suspects of terror attacks. It points out that “in spite of the arrests we’re still witnessing the blasts”, saying the

government should “device a proactive mechanism” that will protect life and property. A statement by the JNI in Kaduna signed by its Public

Relations Officer, Umar Ahmad Zaria, also condemned the attack on some media houses both in Abuja and Kaduna and called for sober reflection in the country. The JNI which Contd on Page 2

Curfew imposed in Jalingo as blasts kill 3, injure 22 Police commissioner narrowly escapes death From Ayodele Samuel & Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


A police escort motorcycle caught in yesterday’s Jalingo bomb blast involving the convoy of Taraba state police commissioner. Photo: NAN

Another bomb found in BUK >> PAGE 2

NUPENG threatens strike Yola residents terrified over terror attacks over bomb rumour >> PAGE 2

>> PAGE 3

overnor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the state capital following multiple bomb attacks which yesterday rocked the city. Suntai said the curfew, which will be on from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day, would be in force until further notice. Law enforcement agencies in the state have been directed to ensure strict compliance with the curfew. Three people including a suicide bomber were believed to have lost their lives when a bomb exploded at Government House round-about, Palace Way, Jalingo, a few metres from the Governor’s Office and the police headquarters. Another blast which exploded at about 9 am opposite the state’s Ministry of Finance, was described by residents as a “shocking and terrible experience for the state” though no death was reported. The suicide bomber, according to an eyewitness, was trailing the convoy of the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mamman Sule, on a motorcycle Contd on Page 2

Coach remanded for alleged murder of lover >> PAGE 47

























Another bomb found in BUK From Edwin Olofu, Kano


n unexploded bomb was discovered yesterday at the new site of Bayero University, after the deadly attacks on worshipers on Sunday which left 17 people dead at the University’s old site. Eyewitnesses said the bomb which was planted in the Sociology Department was discovered by a worker who alerted the chief security officer of the institution. He said the bomb planted was a time bomb primed and attached to a wall clock. The chief security officer of the institution was said to have alerted security agents immediately and the Kano state anti-bomb Unit who arrived the scene to defuse the explosive device that was to explode in 45 minutes. Kano state Police Public Relations Officer, Musa Magaji

Majia, confirmed the incident, saying said his men arrived on time to save what would have been another deadly blast in the institution. “We were alerted by the school authority and our men immediately went and defuse the explosive device and everything is under control as I speak with you now”, he said. Meanwhile, the authorities of the university have declared two days mourning over the shooting, that claimed the lives of two professors last Sunday. A press statement by the institution spokesman, Mustapha Zaharadeen, described the attack as “unprovoked and senseless” on Christian worshippers on the old campus of the university, adding that three senior members of the university perished. The statement further said that the Vice Chancellor of the

NUPENG threatens strike over terror attacks in North By Muhammad Nasir

Subsidy probe: Cabal could afford to bribe us with N8 billion, says panel member, Page 37

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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University, Professor Abubakar AbdulRasheed has cut short his visit to Malaysia to commiserate with the community. The Assistant Director on Public Relations at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Aminu

Inuwa, yesterday confirmed that the hospital received 15 dead bodies in its morgue while 24 persons critically injured and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

Tinubu denies secret meeting with Jonathan

Leave vengeance to God, Mark tells bomb victims

he National Leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bola Tinubu, yesterday, said he did not hold any private meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend. Tinubu spoke at the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, in reaction to reports that he, alongside Oba Akiolu of Lagos and Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, met with Jonathan in Lagos at the weekend. “To tell you categorically, I did not attend any meeting with the president, in company with the Oba of Lagos. I was not even aware that the President was coming to Lagos until later after the visit of the Oba at night. “So, there was no meeting between myself, the President and the Oba of Lagos and I am very sure that the governor did not attend any such meeting with the President”, he said. On whether he would be favourably disposed to the president inviting him to a meeting to find solutions to Nigeria’s numerous problems, Tinubu responded in the affirmative. (NAN)

he Senate President, Sen. David Mark, yesterday, appealed to victims of bomb blasts in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Taraba states to eschew vengeance. Mark made the appeal when he received a delegation from Benue at his Apo residence, saying that vengeance belonged to God. A statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, quoted Mark as urging Nigerians to continue to pray for peace, unity of the country and the leadership. The Senate President called on Nigerians who have grievances against the Federal Government to embrace dialogue and desist from ‘’throwing bombs around and killing their fellow Nigerians. (NAN)


Curfew imposed in Jalingo as blasts kill 3, injure 22 Contd from Page 2 when the bomb went off. Among the casualties was the commissioner’s outrider who immediately lost his sight, while22 others were rushed to nearby hospitals for medical attention. The Commissioner of Police, while briefing newsmen after the incident, said the bomb exploded as he was on his way to his office. According to him, three people died and seven were injured. However, top security sources told our reporters in Jalingo that the attack was targeted at the police commissioner who had previously served in Maiduguri”. A survivor, Musa Isa, who

spoke at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo, where he was rushed to, said “I was deafened by the sound of the explosion; I saw a woman run past me when the commissioner’s convoy was passing, then I heard a loud sound that almost deafened me and I fell to the ground”. At FMC, about 15 survivors were being attended to at the emergency unit, while doctors battled to save the life of a young victim who had a fracture on his leg. Head of the unit, Mrs. Oluyemi Sadiku, confirmed that three bodies were deposited at the mortuary. There was chaos on the streets of Jalingo as the news of the early morning blast flittered in. Banks and shop hurriedly closed while

a heavy security presence was noticed on major roads. Condemning the attack, a member Taraba state House of Assembly, representing Jalingo 2 constituency, Hon. Amniu Umar Bako, who visited the spot described the incident as shocking and uncalled for. Speaking to newsmen Bako said: “I was shocked and felt bad about this. Taraba has been peaceful all the while; it’s a pathetic situation, a terrible experience and we call on all lovers of peace to continue to pray for peace in Taraba state.” Yesterday’s terror attacks were the first ever in the state since an Islamic sect, Boko Haram, launched an insurgency in the North-east about two years ago.


JNI cautions FG against indiscriminate arrests Contd from Page 2

commiserated with the families of those who lost their bread winners prayed for the dead and wished the bereaved families the fortitude to bear the loss. It also wished a quick recovery for those who sustained injuries. The JNI called on the Federal Government to stop handling the security situation with levity and advised Nigerians to be security conscious, as according to it, “security is the business of all. “It is now apparent that there is serious disconnect between security personnel and the citizenry on information, hence the need to bridge the gap so that trust and confidence will be restored,” the statement said.



One killed as gunmen attack police base in Akwanga From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


olice authorities in Nasarawa yersterday confirmed that one mobile police was shot and killed when unidentified gunmen invaded the 38th Squadron of the Mobile Police in Akwanga, exchanging fire with personnel on guard. It was gathered that the armed men stormed the base between

1am and 2am, opening fire sporadically, with residents of Akwanga saying that they heard sustained gunfire around the base, located along Lafia road. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Cornelius Ocholi confirmed the incident, explaining that the gunmen stormed the base from the rear. “You know behind the base is bushy. The gunmen came through

the bush and attacked”, he said. He said a policeman whose name he gave as Corporal Madaki Yusuf was hit by the attackers when armed personnel stationed at the base rose to repel the invaders. “There was gun battle between them, and a mobile policeman, Corporal Madaki Yusuf was hit and wounded. He was rushed to the hospital. He died this morning”,

the spokesman said. “The Squadron Commander, CSP Reuben Abibo put his men on alert, if not, it would have been more dangerous. Meanwhile, the area is now calm. The commander has reinforced more men on alert and the place is safe”, he added. ASP Ocholi said the identity of the attackers and their motive remained unknown, because according to him “we are not

suspecting anybody for now, but investigation is on-going to unravel the attackers and their motive.” He said the police could not make any arrest from the attack, adding that “we don’t know the number of the attackers.” He said there was no power supply at the time of the attack, saying “they took light yesterday in Akwanga. There was no light at that time.”

Subsidy scam: Soyinka calls for mass protest


L-R: Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Mahesh Sachdev, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Malam Mustapha Bello, and former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, during the 33rd Kaduna International Trade Fair seminar, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

Bomb rumour causes panic in Yola From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


nhabitants of Adamawa state capital yesterday morning woke up with a scare following speculation that a static Honda Accord car parked at the police roundabout, which is the centre of the town, was bomb-laden. As the news of the bomb scare circulated, residents and motorists were forced to scamper for safety while all routes to the roundabout were immediately cordoned by

security agents. But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Nemuel Yoila told journalists that following a security tip, men of the Anti-Bomb Disposal squad were deployed to the parked vehicle and after series of checks to detonate the purported bomb, it was found out that there was no explosive device hidden in the parked car. “After bomb experts searched the suspected car with registration number AJ 23 JMT, it was found

out that it was broken down and had been parked for two days by the owner,” Yoila stated. The PPRO said it is a false alarm and urged people in the state to go about their daily businesses as the command is making concerted efforts to safeguard the lives and property of citizens of the state. Yoila however disclosed that the police in Adamawa are on red alert to possibly checkmate the influx and activities of hoodlums and called on the public to report any suspected clandestine movement and unknown faces seen.

Rising terrorism: Jonathan urges Nigerians to keep faith By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


gainst the background of the recent upsurge in terrorist attacks, the latest of which occurred yesterday in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital, President Jonathan urged Nigerians and foreigners living in the country not to be discouraged or deterred from going about their regular affairs by the persistence of the bombings and gun attacks. A statement signed by his

spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, quoted the President as havingt condemned the assault on innocent citizens in Jalingo and reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to curbing terrorism in the country and bringing the terrorists and their sponsors to justice. President Jonathan reassured Nigerians and foreigners resident in the country once again that his administration was taking every

necessary action to end the spate of terrorism in the country. “Noting that success in the war against terrorism will be more speedily achieved with greater support and assistance from affected communities, President Jonathan calls on all patriotic Nigerians, once again, to promptly report all suspicious persons to national security agencies,” the statement said. He extended heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the bombings in Jalingo and wished the injured speedy recovery.

obel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday urged Nigerians to be ready for another determined protest over the fuel subsidy scam. Soyinka said at a press conference organised by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) in Lagos that revelations from the subsidy probe dehumanised Nigerians. Controversy had continued to trail the report of the fuel subsidy probe which was submitted to the House of Representatives by its Farouk Lawan-led Committee. "I have studied the figures revealed by the probe and I pinch myself to be sure that I am really living in the real world. "Nigerians are being bludgeoned into sensitivity by sheer excessive corruption by public officials. "We are being treated, not even as second class citizens, but excessively dehumanised," Soyinka said. He said that Nigerians must be ready to come out and demand an end to the insolence of corruption to which they had been subjected for long. The Nobel Laureate said that further inquiries on the subsidy scam must be made public and televised live. "An open examination of what is going on is what is needed now. Let us see those involved attempt to exonerate themselves from this guilt," he said.

Soyinka urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), to immediately launch the prosecution of all those involved to prevent Nigeria from being a laughing stock in the world. "So far, we have not heard any of the figures disputed by relevant government parastatals in the oil industry. "The facts on ground are enough for the EFCC and ICPC to establish a prima facie case against those indicted," he said. Earlier in a written text of their stand on the issue, SNG Convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare, queried how Nigeria spent N3 trillion in 2011 above the N245 billion budgeted for subsidy the same year, as revealed by the probe. Bakare commended the House of Representatives for its consideration and adoption of the subsidy probe report in a record time of two days. "This shall go down in history as one act of redemption by a chamber of the National Assembly that has not done much since 1999, to endear itself to the people it represents," he said. He said that the time had come to save Nigeria from the grip of corruption, warning that the SNG would call the people out for massive protests if those indicted were not seen to be prosecuted speedily. (NAN)

May Day: Kaduna govt courts Labour From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Kaduna state government has reaffirmed it readiness to always partner with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in order to improve the welfare of workers in the state. In a goodwill message on the occasion of activities marking the 2012 Workers’ Day, signed by the Head of Service, Mrs. Hanatu Ugah, the state government urged workers to reciprocate government gesture by enhanced productivity. The statement reads in part: “We believe that the Kaduna state government and the Labour unions in the state are partners in progress. “We have always dialogued and are willing to continue to dialogue with you to find solutions to our common problems as the welfare of the workers in the state is of paramount significance to us. “You can testify to this fact through our frankness with each other during our dialogue on the minimum wage issue in 2011, for

which we have kept to the terms of our mutual understanding and agreement in the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage. “Our willingness to improve the condition of civil servants in the state was seen in the 30 per cent increment in salaries we witnessed when this administration came on board in 2010. We did this even before the minimum wage issue came up. “We have implemented a specialised salary structure for health workers, lecturers, and the judiciary while we approved a 50 percent increment in the pension we pay our retired civil servants, in addition to early payment of pension and gratuity. “We also have a housing scheme for our workers and I am happy to tell you that 473 of such houses area various stages of completion. “Comrades, we will like to assure you that our words will be our honour and the welfare of the workers of Kaduna state will never be toyed with”, the statement read.



N9.7bn loan scam: Saraki surrenders to IGP By Lambert Tyem


enator Bukola Saraki yesterday made good his promise as he submitted himself to the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar. Senator Saraki who was accompanied by former Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun state among others sympathisers arrived Louis Edet House, the Police Headquarters in Abuja before noon yesterday. Former governor Saraki of Kwara state is presently being

investigated by the police over an alleged N9.7billion bank loan. Saraki was declared wanted last Saturday after he declined to show up for interrogation in the past two weeks at the Ikoyi police office. The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer (DFPRO) CSP Frank Mba when contacted said he was not briefed over Senator Sarki’s visit to the Force Headquarters but promised to find out and that the reporter should call back after sometime. But when called upon at the time of filling this report, he failed to respond.

Katsina police arrest 76 thugs From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he Katsina state Police command has arrested 76 Kauraye thugs who it said constituted a great threat to peace and security in the state. Briefing newsmen yesterday in Katsina, the Katsina Police command spokesman, ASP Shehu Koko Muhammad, disclosed that the miscreants were found to be engaged in criminal activities such as armed robbery, criminal conspiracy and attempted homicide. He noted that the street urchins

were also found in possession of dangerous weapons which he alleged was contrary to sections 307. 304, 97 (b) of the penal code and section 8 of the public act and section (1) (2) and (5) of the robbery and firearms special provision cap 389 laws of the federation. On the weekend attack at Sabuwa local g0 overnment where three police officers were killed, the police spokesman disclosed that the command had arrested one Abdullahi Haruna in connection with the incident who according

to him “ is giving useful information to the police on their activities”. Muhammad also alerted the public in the state and especially car dealers on new methods of car snatching through the use of domestic servants, advising people to be wary of them and report persons with suspicious character residing in their neighborhood. Similarly, the police spokesman said the state commissioner of police, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji warned parents to monitor the conduct of their children to make sure they did not associate with miscreants.

…Supporters besiege SFU

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


upporters of former Kwara state governor and serving Senator Bukola Saraki yesterday took over the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), located at Milverton Road, Ikoyi, in solidarity with Senator Saraki who was quizzed by police over fraud allegations. About 200 Saraki supporters were led by the Kwara state PDP chairman, Alhaji Ishola Balogun Fulani alongside the chief press secretary of the state governor, Mr. Wahab Oba, serving commissioners, market women, local traders and prominent politicians from the state to the SFU at about 9 am in about 15 Toyota Hiace buses chanting victory song for the Senator. The supporters carried

placards with Bukola Saraki’s photograph. They were chanting solidarity songs such as, “Sai Bukola, sai Saraki,” “Olu omo of Kwara state.” Balogun Fulani told newsmen that “Bukola Saraki is a man of integrity, very transparent, very plain. He is not guilty of the allegation leveled against him. “He is not a criminal. He believes in the rule of law. He has freed Kwara state from oppression. He is a trustworthy leader.” Saraki is been investigated over a obtained a N21 billion loan from the defunct Intercontinental Bank through a proxy company, Joy Petroleum, owned by his late aide, Matthew Obahor, now deceased. The police had threatened to use maximum force to arrest him and secured a court order to arrest him last Friday.

Nigeria is among the least indebted countries, PDP boasts By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday declared that Nigeria under its leadership has remained one of the least indebted countries in the world. Reacting to allegations by the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that the party was dragging the country back into the debt trap, the PDP in a statement released by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said it was misinformation. He stated: “Firstly Nigeria is still one of the least indebted countries among comparative growing economies with a debt/ GDP ratio of 17.45% as at 2011compared with countries such as Indonesia at 24.5%, South Africa at 35.6% and Ghana at 38.7%. “Secondly the approved external borrowing of $7.9bn dollars in the 2012 budget covers expenditure over a three year period ending in 2014 and it will be applied to specific projects including the Abuja Light Rail project, Zungeru 700mw Hydro Electric Power project, 200 Ultra Modern Bed Hospital in Yobe state, Erosion Watershed Management projects across the country amongst others which will enhance job creation, alleviate poverty and provide

macroeconomic stability. He said, It was the practice even in the most advanced economies in the world to borrow funds to supplement incomes for development projects saying “that Nigeria is found worthy of such credit facilities shows the improved credit rating of the country that was non-existent only a few years ago”. “It is deceitful for the ACN to question our debt profile when Lagos state is the most indebted state with an international debt profile of $491,847,295.53. This constitutes approximately 9% of the country’s total external debt profile. In addition Lagos state also has an internal debt of N100 billion in bonds. “The PDP government will not be distracted from its focus in ensuring fiscal discipline and prudent management of our debt profile which is currently maintained within the sustainable international standard threshold of 40%”, the statement added.

L-R: Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Wogu, during the ministerial platform on 2012 National Democracy Day and one year of President Goodluck Jonathan in office, yesterday at the Radio House, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Security: Jonathan seeks support of Chad Basin countries By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in N’djamena, called on member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to overhaul security to address the spate of violence in individual countries. Jonathan made the call at the opening session of the 14th Summit of the LCBC holding at the Chadian capital. Jonathan had arrived N’djamena yesterday morning to join five other Heads of State and Government of LCBC who are taking part in the summit. The President expressed concern at the new spate of

insecurity and the threat to peace around the borders of the lake. He noted that the perpetrators of the terror attacks, particularly in Nigeria were taken advantage of the freedom of movement around the border areas. The President urged the member states to see the security threat beyond the confines of a particular member state, but as a wider threat with sub-regional implications. In addressing the security threat, Jonathan advocated the expansion of the mandate of the existing multi-national joint task force around the lake. “It has become urgent to give

a new mandate to the multinational joint task force to include cooperation in dealing with such cross-border insurgency within its area of coverage. Our approach should be holistic and robust to address the general security issues around the common border areas,’’ he said. The President also underscored the urgent need to give a new lease of life to the activities of the LCBC in moving it forward. He noted that after 48 years of existence, there was the need to provide LCBC secretariat with the necessary tools to enable it function as a modern and forward looking organisation.

Nigerian awarded 2012 IBA outstanding woman lawyer


he International Bar Association (IBA) Women Lawyer’s Interest Group has awarded Chief Olufolake Solanke, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the 2012 IBA Outstanding International Woman Lawyer Award.

The Award, given in recognition of Chief Solanke’s professional excellence and her contribution to the advancement of women within the legal profession, was presented at the IBA’s 5th World Women Lawyers’ Conference in London. The

announcement was met with rapturous applause and the recipient was encircled by delegates attending the event. Among her achievements, Chief Solanke was appointed as the first female commissioner in the Western region of Nigeria

(1972); became the first female SAN (1981); was appointed Life Patron of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Ibadan branch (1986) and was honoured as a Fellow of The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2009.



Taraba blast: CP not targeted, says IGP By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Abubakar has dispelled rumours that the commissioner of police in Taraba state, Maman Sule, was the target of the bomb attack that killed 3 people and injured several others in Jalingo yesterday. The IGP, who spoke with State House correspondents at the Villa, noted that “My CP was not the target. The bomb was placed on the road and it exploded, nothing has happened to the commissioner and we have made arrest.” On what police have done on Boko Haram since he took over, he said: “Yes we are doing something as you can see. You cannot compare the situation before we came on board and now.”

Jonathan condemns attack on BUK By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the Sunday terrorist attacks on the Bayero University campus in Kano and the brutal killing of worshippers. A statement by his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, said “Jonathan deeply regrets this utterly heinous descent to new depths of calumny by the perpetrators of the attack on one of the nation’s most hallowed citadels of academic endeavour and its members." The President also urged Nigerians to remain united in their condemnation and rejection of the terrorists, “who have shown even more clearly by their latest attacks on the media and the academic community that their objective is to destabilize the nation and its vital institutions.

NLC, TUC attribute insecurity to unemployment, poverty, illiteracy By Muhammad Sada


he Nigeria Labour Congress has described unemployment, lack of education and food as the main reason behind security threats facing the country. This was disclosed at a symposium tagged “The right to work, food and education: Panacea to insecurity”, which was organized by the NLC and TUC at the labour house yesterday and chaired by Comrade Ali Ciroma. The guest speakers at the occasion, including the first president of NLC, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, former President of TUC, Comrade Peace Obiajulu and a Professor of agriculture, Justice Onuh, in their respective speeches, emphasised on the need to provide food, education and work to Nigerians.

L-R: President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, President Goodluck Jonathan, President Idriss Derby of Chad, and President Francois Bozize of Central African Republic, during the 14th Summit of Lake Chad Basin Commission Heads of State and Government, yesterday in N’Djamena, Republic of Chad.

Nigerian Navy, commander to pay N100m damages From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


ustice John Tsoho of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has awarded N100 million damages against the Nigerian Navy and its officer, Commander C.T. Olowu, for negligence which resulted in grievous bodily harm and permanent loss of reproductive organs of a woman, Mrs. Joy Bassey. Justice Tsoho, who handed down the verdict, ruled that there was no amount of monetary damages that could adequately compensate Mrs. Bassey for the

trauma she has been consigned to face for her entire life by the sad development. The court granted interest of five percent on the judgment sum to be payable from the date of judgment until the amount is totally liquidated. The plaintiff, Mrs. Bassey, had filed the suit against the Nigerian Navy and Olowu, who is said to be a consultant gynecologist/ surgeon with the agency for negligence. The suit was filed on behalf of the plaintiff by Mrs. Marian Jones from the Lagos branch of the International Federation of Women

Lawyers (FIDA). The woman was admitted at the Nigerian Medical Centre while in labour, but the negligence of Olowu was said to have resulted in the death of the baby and also a permanent damage to her womb to the level that the plaintiff could no longer bear a child. According to the particulars of damage, the negligence on the part of the defendants (Navy and Olowu) occasioned often dysuria for the plaintiff which makes her now to frequently go to the rest room because her bladder size/ capacity had decreased. Also, the plaintiff developed a

cervical stump which was leaking of urine, while her foetus was also lying completely outside the uterine cavity and the placenta completely detached from the uterus. In his judgement, Justice Tsoho said: “It is beyond denial that the unmitigated negligence and most unprofessional conduct of Commander Olowu has ruined the plaintiff’s marriage, destroyed her fertility and deprived her of peace and happiness.” The defendants were said to have refused to enter any defence to the suit despite being aware of all the processes filed in the matter.

Daily Times saga: Court Nigerian Army trains frees Anosike brothers officers on terrorism From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


Lagos High Court in Ikeja, presided over by Justice Habeeb Abiru, yesterday, struck out the charge of theft of Daily Times property preferred against Fidelis and Noel Anosike by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Fidelis and Noel, who are Directors of Folio Communications, are standing trial for stealing N1.7 billion, property of Daily Times of Nigeria Limited. When the trial came up on Monday, the prosecutor, Mr. L.A. Sanusi of the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) asked the court for another adjournment of two weeks to enable them conclude their study of the file on the matter. Sanusi told the court that there are some information which they require to enable them effectively

prosecute the case. The prosecution had at the last hearing of March 27, 2012, requested for one month adjournment to enable it study the case file which then was just transferred to the DPP by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN). Counsel to the Anosike brothers, Mr. Babajide Koku (SAN) objected to the request of the prosecution for an adjournment. Koku urged the court to strike out the charges against his clients as the prosecutor is not ready to prosecute the case. Justice Abiru said the prosecution does not have a cogent reason for the adjournment being requested for. Abiru said for an adjournment to be granted in a criminal trial, the reason for it must be cogent enough.

From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji, has concluded a special training programme for about 200 officers and men, designed to tackle the current security challenges, especially terrorist activities in parts of the country. Speaking at the opening of a four-day “exercise WAZOBIA,” to mark the end of the programme, NASI Commandant, Major-Gen. Kenneth Osuji, said that it had become imperative for the military to join forces with the police and other security agencies to combat activities of insurgent groups. According to him, “the exercise is aimed at sharpening the skill of field officers and battalion commanders on

internal security duties, in line with the current challenges in the country. “The kind of security challenges we have today constitute a threat from within in which you do not see the enemy, you do not know where they are or who they are; all you see is that they come out, they attack and they disappear. That is what we call asymmetric warfare. “This is in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s vision, to deal with contemporary challenges.” Some of the objectives of the programme also included, procedure for the establishment of joint operations, assessment of likely civil unrest, anticipating and earmarking tasks to troops as well as proper media management during operations.



Minister wants toll-free emergency phone lines, info-box By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


wing to the spate of violent attacks on public and private institutions, the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade has directed the Nigeria Police to establish toll-free emergency telephone numbers to enable members of the public supply information to security agencies at no cost. Olubolade, also directed

the placement of information/ suggestion boxes in strategic places nationwide to also encourage members of the public who may either not have access to telephones, or want their numbers identified, to pass valuable information to the police. A statement issued yesterday by the Assistant Director, Communication in the ministry, James Odaudu, indicated that those

disturbing the peace of the nation and its people, live within the various communities, urging members of the public to monitor the activities of people living amongst them and promptly report suspicious ones to security agencies. It said the Nigeria Police and other security agencies have highly capable and tested officers and men who could provide adequate security to Nigerians

but reiterated the need for the people to be forthcoming with information to assist them. The minister also charged Nigerians to form more PoliceCommunity Relations Committees in their communities in liaison with police formations in the drive to exterminate those bent on fomenting evil in the country. He also commiserated with victims of the attack on places of worship at the Bayero University in Kano on Sunday.

We won’t participate in workers’ day, says ASUSS boss From Ahmed Idris Brinin Kebbi


he chairman, Kebbi State Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), Comrade Ibrahim Garba has said the union has concluded arrangement not to participate in Workers Day [May Day] celebration this year. Addressing newsmen yesterday in his office, the chairman said that the union which is under the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria [TUC] has decided not to partake in this year's event as it has not seen anything worthy of celebration by Kebbi workers particularly secondary school teachers. Garba lamented that all the 30 percent inducement allowances and 27.5 percent TSS enjoyed by secondary school teachers as a result of negotiations with government collapsed and government is poised to replace it with a flat rate of N5,000 each irrespective of grade level or experience. He then urged ASUSS members in Kebbi state to remain at home on May Day. ''We are not happy with the Kebbi state government, with a situation whereby our salary is reduced by 57.5% out of the 100% salary increment as witnessed during March 2012 salary paid to Kebbi workers'', he said. He then admonished the state government to employ more teachers in secondary schools as the population of the students was increasing, adding that no qualified teacher would handle many courses.


he Oyo state government yesterday disclosed plans to revamp the education sector from its deplorable condition with a vow to arrest the poor performance of students in public examinations. The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Tokunbo Fayokun dropped the hint during the Oyo State Education Summit Press Conference tagged "Developing A Sustainable Transformation Plan

From Sam Egwu, Lokoja he Kogi state government is to assist cotton farmers in the state in accessing facilities and other needs that will help in improving their yield in the next farming season. Governor Idris Wada made the pledge when he received a delegation of farmers under the aegis of National Cotton Farmers Association of Nigeria, resident in the state and South West Nigeria. Represented by his deputy, Arc Yomi Awoniyi, he said the transformation agenda of the present administration in the state placed priority on agriculture with the growth of cotton where the state has comparative advantage. The governor promised to create an enabling environment for the growth of cotton since it thrives better in the state in view of its vast arable land, adding that the long stable variety of cotton, considered the best in the world and the presence of the Rivers Niger and Benue, was an added advantage for the growth of the crop. The crop, Wada, maintained, would assist in deriving revenue to complement the dwindling monthly statutory allocation from petroleum. In her remarks, Mrs Lola Adeoye, South West President of NACOTAN, who described agriculture as the bedrock of any economy, advised the state to make cotton production a priority.


How we’ll develop Niger Delta, says Minister By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

L-R: Bauchi state governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, welcoming the Leader of Delegation, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Professor George Obiozor, during a courtesy visit on the governor, yesterday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

Ogun police recovers N20million stolen tyres From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta gun State Police Command yesterday, unveiled a criminal warehouse where stolen tyres worth N20million were recovered, and the arrest of five suspects alleged to have been part of the gang the stole the tyres. Our reporter reliably gathered that the arrest of the


five suspects Musa Mohammed, Sunday Okolo, Charles Mefuna, Godwin Assan and Richard Garuba eventually led to the discovery of the illegal warehouse where the stolen tyres were kept in Ishara town of the state. It was learnt that nemesis caught up with the suspects when police in Sagamu during a patrol, arrested two suspects caught with guns and ammunition, and in the course

Oyo vows to arrest decline in education From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

Wada pledges support to cotton farmers

For Education in Oyo State" held at Theater Hall, Ministry of Information, Secretariat, Ibadan. The commissioner called on education empowerment summit to brainstorm and achieve long lasting goal for sustainable development in the sector. "It is worrisome for a state with a significant history of educational excellence could in the 1990's have sunk to the lowest of nation's educational ladder with 34th position out of 36 states, pass rate

of 10 percent in the SSCE and NECO exams, the situation is highly unacceptable". She said. She said, the summit was also driven by the need to drive Private Public Sector Partnership to restore and transform the sector. The commissioner said the summit which comes up on 23rd to 24th of May, 2012 would mobilize available human capital resources to lay foundation for the return of the state to her pacesetter position in the education sector.

of interrogation the suspects opened up to have raided a private company with some other gang members. The Commissioner of Police, Ikemefunna Okoye, confirmed the incident. He added that the arrest of two suspects in Sagamu area on a motorbike led to the discovery of the items hidden in Ishara and the arrest of four other suspects. "Our patrol team arrested two men on a bike and after searching, one locally made pistol and some cartridges and laptops were recovered from them. They confessed to have robbed a tire making factory in Lagos and took us to where they kept the tyres in Ishara". The police boss who put the cost of the stolen and recovered tyres at about N20 million, disclosed that the receiver of the alleged stolen tyres was a 31year-old Mr. Benjamin John, adding that "We are still investigating and as soon as we conclude investigation, we shall charge them to court accordingly.


he Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has revealed that his ministry has put in place considerable initiatives to address the developmental needs of the Niger Delta region in line with Vision 20:2020. Orubebe, made this revelation at a plenary session of the 2nd South-South Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta state. He told the participants that "The ministry's package include comprehensive and coherent programme of investment in the social and public sectors of the various communities of the Niger Delta region. "The programme called the Niger Delta Collaborative Development Programme is designed to articulate and spell out the future intervention measures for the Niger Delta region in consonance with the Niger Delta Master Plan and Nigeria's Vision 20:2020", Orubebe said. A statement issued yesterday by Fidelis Osamor, the Deputy Director, Press in the ministry, stated that the programme is being developed by the ministry's staff and representatives of development partners such as UNDP, World Bank, USAID, EU and DFID as well as the Embassy of the Netherlands under the coordination of UNDP.



Lawmaker donates N2 million Islamic school, mosque

Anti-graft agencies not living up to expectation– Don

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

he lawmaker representing Bauchi Federal constituency of Bauchi state, Hon. Aliyu Ibrahim Gebi, has donated the sum of N2 million for the construction of the Zango Juma’at mosque and an Islamic school in the Bauchi metropolis. While presenting the donation during the mosque’s fund raising launching, the law maker said the gesture was part of his mandatory constituency projects calling on other well to do individuals and corporate organisations to assist government in executing developmental projects in the society. Gebi who enumerated the projects he has executed in the constituency since his election promised to introduce more human empowerment programmes so as to alleviate poverty among the people of the area. Others who also donated at the occasion include the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Senator Bala Mohammed who donated N1million while the senator representing Bauchi south senatorial district, Senator Adamu Ibrahim Gumba contributed the amount of N500, 000.

he Chief Librarian of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, Professor Mansur Malumfashi has lamented that all anti graft agencies in the country have not lived up to the expectation of Nigerians. Prof. Malumfashi made the assertion during an interview with newsmen in his office. He said that the anticorruption bodies set up in the country to fight corruption such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), etc are not fighting corruption with seriousness and sincerity even as he alleged that government officials indicted of flagrant abuse of power and sabotage against the economy have never been prosecuted except those perceived to be political rivals. “I am not convinced that these anti-graft institutions are up to date in terms of doing what they are supposed to. They need to redeem their image because even the people at the helm of affairs of these bodies are accused of being corrupt”, he pointed out.


Northern governors commiserate with Oshiomhole over mishap From Iliya Garba, Minna


he Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), yesterday expressed grief at the death of three journalists in an accident during an official assignment with Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, describing the death as a great loss to the journalism profession in particular and the nation in general. The governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu in a message to Governor Oshiomhole, the families and employers of the deceased journalists, said Northern governors were aggrieved by the sudden death of the professionals, especially that the incident occurred few days after many lives were lost in an attack on the offices of the Thisday and Sun newspapers. The forum supported Oshiomhole’s call for an inquiry into the incident, even as it urged all concerned, especially those associated with official convoys to take precaution, including strict adherence to safety rules and regulations in order to prevent reoccurrence. The statement said the nation cannot afford to continue to lose its best brains to avoidable road accidents.


Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Dikko Abubakar (right), yesterday answering questions from journalists on security situation in the country after his meeting with Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

South-south governors call for new revenue formula


he governors of the six South-South states have called for the “restructuring and unbundling of the Federal Government’s existing revenue sharing formula”. They said that the “shedding of weight” at the federal level would give states in the federation more powers and responsibilities. The governors added that more funds would be needed by the states and local governments for developmental programmes. In a communiqué at the end of the second South-south Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta state on Saturday, the governors said that the new structure would leave the Federal Government to handle issues of security. The communiqué was signed by governors Seriake Dickson, Chibuike Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio, Liyel Imoke, Adams Oshiomohle and Emmanuel

Uduaghan of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta, respectively. In the 13-point communiqué, read by Mr. Joe Keshi, DirectorGeneral of the BRACED Commission, the governors urged the Federal Government to urgently address the problems of power and energy in the country. According to the communiqué, the Federation should be restructured and unbundled including the review of the current revenue allocation formula, to give more powers, responsibilities and funding to the States and LGAs as centres of growth. It said that the nascent governance structure in the region should incorporate private sector and other non-state actors with a view to creating favourable policy, legal and regulatory environment.

“This will stimulate greater private sector participation in the development initiatives of the region”, it said. The governors also called for the review of current policies and regulations on power and gas to enable the states generate, transmit and distribute power to complement the efforts of the Federal Government. They contended that review of such policies would facilitate the utilisation of moribund capacity in the South-south, adding that it would promote and accelerate economic development in the region. The communiqué stated that the summit accepted the development of a Niger Delta Energy Corridor, noting that the project had the potentials for connecting the people, industry and natural resources and creating jobs.

Group wants Saraki detained From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ollowing the declaration of Senator Bukola Saraki as wanted person by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police over the alleged N9.97 billion waived by the former Intercontinental Bank, the Kwara Freedom Network (KFN), an Ilorin-based group, has appealed to the Unit to detain him until investigation were completed in order for him not to escape from the country like James Ibori, the former governor of Delta state. KFN at a press conference in Ilorin yesterday, noted that the embattled Senator has many allegations they have written against him before the anti-graft agencies; EFCC and ICPC, but nothing was done about it.

Addressing journalists yesterday, KFN chairman, Chief Iyiola Oyedepo alongside hundred of its members, said the group still has five different petitions against Saraki. He alleged that the embattle Senator used the money he collected from the bank to acquired properties in Abuja and later used it to serve as collateral security with the same bank that waived the said loan to him. “Nobody, including the judiciary should erect a barrier against justice by shielding Senator Saraki from investigation and prosecution. The Senator would appear invincible and that will sustain the culture of impunity of offenders in Nigeria. The ACN, in its reaction noted in a statement by its chairman that “Saraki’s personal business

transactions are of no concern to us, but we note from the newspaper accounts that the transactions in questions took place while he was governor of Kwara state. If that is found to be the case, then he has been guilty of a breach of the Code of Conduct law which forbids public officers from engaging in any personal business activity while holding office. “This is punishable under the law. It also shows that rather than Saraki to devote his energy and time to uplifting the lives of the people of Kwara, he was engaged in pursuing his own personal interests. “Secondly, it also appears from the reports that Kwara state government’s funds through the state’s Ministry of Finance were allegedly involved in those transactions.

FCT judiciary pledges to support NHRC By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) judiciary has pledged to support the National Human Rights commission (NHRC) in the effective discharge of her mandate under the amendment Act. A statement made available to newsmen by Lambert Oparah of Public Affairs and Communications Department of the Commission, said FCT Chief Judge, Justice Lawal Gummi made the pledge while receiving the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe in his office. The chief judge who commended government for the amendment of the NHRC Act, noted that the new powers conferred on the commission captures the essence of government in the present generation. Prof. Angwe noted that the expanded mandate of the commission gives it powers to perform quasi-judicial functions. He called for a strong partnership between the judiciary and the commission as this will further assist in the realisation of the goals of the commission, stressing that it cannot single-handedly accomplish the task of promoting, protecting and enforcing the rights of Nigerians without the support of the judiciary.




L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwahed Ibrahim Omar, and former President of NLC, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, during the 2012 Pre-May Day symposium titled “Right to Work, Food and Education Panacea to Insecurity�, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa


Some newly appointed High Court Judges during the ir swearing-in ceremony, yesterday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (middle), answering questions from journalists at Capital Oil Trailer Limited Park, AmuwoOdofin, shortly after an inspection tour of Apapa, Tin Can, Isola Port, Mile 2 and other areas, at the weekend in Lagos. With him are Director, State Security Service, Mr. Achu Ben Olayi(right), Commander 9 Brigade, Brigadier-General Pat Akem (2nd right), the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Abubakar Manko (2nd left), and Air Base Commander, Air Commodore Tony Omenyi (left).






L-R: Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Major-General Kenneth Osuji, Commandant, Warrant Officers Academy, Brigadier-General Enang Ukagu, and other senior officers during the exercise WAZOBIA programme, yesterday in Jaji, Kaduna state. Photo: Agaju Madugba




Lagos waste management agency creates 22,000 jobs, says MD From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) officials conducting free HIV, blood sugar and blood preessure checks to mark 2012 Pharmacists Week, yesterday at Mararaba, Nasarawa state. Photo: NAN

Nigeria has leadership problem — Unilorin VC From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Professor Is-haq Olarewaju Oloyede has noted that the current crises faced by Nigeria is due to the failure of its leaders and indiscipline among the citizens. Oloyede who was addressing participants at the inaugural lecture of the institution noted that if the university had no high caliber of lecturers and management, it would have been difficult to move the institution forward. In his address entitled, “God Save Nigeria from Nigerians”, the vice-chancellor, stated that the University of Ilorin community was fortunate to have the best minds in Nigeria stressing that it

was a great honour to have disciplined staff on the campus. “At a time that Nigeria appears to be on tenterhooks with various challenges, ranging from unprecedented level of insecurity to mind-boggling graft and crass corruption, in pension and fuel subsidy scams, just to mention two recent revelations among other issues that are of grave concern to

nationhood, it is propitious to her survival that a lecture of this nature, organised by our distinguished academic fathers, provides a roadmap to our search for progress.” Oloyede observed that nothing much has changed since Chinua Achebe wrote in his book, The Trouble with Nigeria adding that to move forward, “everyone has to cure himself of indiscipline”. He added that sincerity, service

and sacrifice must be crucial right from the personal level through the social domain to the public, to heal the society. The Vice-Chancellor, who is also the chairman of the Association of Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria Universities (AVCNU), urged youths to appreciate that a successful life is defined by sincerity, service and sacrifice, not by money or such other mundane things which empty minds crave for.

NUJ holds prayers in honour of dead colleagues From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo state chapter has declared seven days to mourn three colleagues who died in a road accident involving Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s convoy last

Saturday. The dead journalists are, Mr. Olantunji Jacobs, George Okosun (staff of Independent Television, ITV.), While the third, Fidelis Okhani, was a staff of African Independent Television, Benin. The union has equally mandated its members to

participate in today’s special mass at the NUJ Press Centre, which begins at 10am. A statement endorsed by the chairman of the union, Comrade Friday Obanor, requests practicing journalists to wear black arm bands throughout the period which begins today.

he Managing Director of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Ola Oresanya has disclosed that over 22,000 youths have been employed for disposal services in Lagos state and called on Federal Government to take advantage of waste management to create more jobs in the country. The LAWMA chief stated this when he featured on the personality interview programme of the Oyo state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) tagged “Hot Seat”. According to him, there were less than 1,000 sanitation workers few years ago, but LAWMA has employed about 22,000 graduates and able bodied Nigerians in its drive to free the State of the filth it was known for many decades ago apart from over 3,000 volunteers. Oresanya challenged President Jonathan to look inward towards effective waste management as a major means of creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. Oresanya said at about 9,000 metric tonnes of waste are generated daily in Lagos state, adding that over 1,000 youths are on its pay roll working at nights to enforce the rules and guide against dumping of refuse on the roads across the Lagos metropolis. He added that, the consultancy services of the authority has gone beyond the shores of the state in its task of providing professional, efficient and sustainable waste management and disposal services to the general populace. Oresanya highlighted series of waste to wealth programmes of the agency in Lagos State saying the State is the largest producer of compost, supplied throughout Nigeria and to the Federal Government through its Agriculture Ministry and that through its innovations in waste recycling activities, renewable energy, and generally unique model in managing and recycling waste in Nigeria, the State now generates electricity.

Court restrains Kwara govt over installation of monarch From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he last has not been heard of the crisis over the vacant stool of Owalobbo of ObboAiyegunle as the parties to the crisis have dragged themselves to Court and obtained injunction. A Kwara state High Court in Ilorin headed by Justice Mahmud Abdul-Gafar has restrained the state governor, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ekiti local government, Ekiti local government Traditional Council, Chief Julius Bamisaiye and Chief Samuel Alawe from installing Engr.

Samuel Adelodun, former Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), as the Owalobbo of ObboAiyegunle. This is sequel upon an ex-parte application with the supporting affidavit and affidavit of urgency dated and filed on April 26, 2012 by Abiodun Dada Esq. in respect of suit No; KWS/102/2012 where Elder S.S. Bamidele and Pastor Kayode Afolabi, on behalf of themselves and Aofin clan of Ilawe ruling house, Obbo-Aiyegunle, are claimants. In his judgment, Justice AbdulGafar ordered, “an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents from

conducting the installation of the 1st defendant pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction on 4th May, 2012” In their petition entitled, Re: Aofin Clan’s Petition to your Council in respect of procedural deficiencies to fill the vacant Owalobbo of Obbo-Aiyegunle’s stool dated 29th March, 2012, signed by Professor E.A. Abe as Chairman, Elder S.S. Bamidele, Brig-Gen. Olajide (rtd.) and Mr. Gbenga Oluala copied Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy

Affairs, Ekiti Local Government Chaiman, Owa-in-council and made available to Peoples Daily in Ilorin, the clan alleged that, “surprisingly, the one time withdrawn Ijimikin candidate, Engr. Samuel Adelodun, had been making grandiose preparation towards his coronation as the Owalobbo of Obbo-Aiyegunle by openly distributing cloth materials and so on for such celebration that we were told will come up in April, 2012.” Worried by this development, the petitioners added, “there can be no coronation of an Oba of Owalobbo of Obbo-Aiyegunle status unless the council has come out with a recommendation of a

particular candidate to the appropriate authorities”. “We are taken aback by what goes round in Obbo-Aiyegunle and beyond, that notwithstanding the on-going hearing before your council; Your Royal Majesties have recommended Engr. Samuel Adelodun to the appropriate authorities and that his letter of appointment would be signed by His Excellency, the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed any moment from now.” “Be that as it may, we hereby request to know, in writing whether the Traditional Council actually did any recommendation while the matter pends before your Majesties Council.



Yakasai demands Azazi’s resignation From Edwin Olofu, Kano


ormer presidential special adviser on National Assembly Matters, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has called on the National Security Adviser (NSA), General Andrew Owoeye Azazi, to relinquish his position as NSA immediately. Yakasai, who was speaking yesterday in Kano, described the NSA as incompetent and not knowledgeable enough to hold the position. He argued that President Goodluck Jonathan was elected

under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and subsequently appointed Azazi to assist him in implementing the policy of the PDP and if he disagrees with any of the policies, he should resign his position. Yakasai who faulted Azazi’s assertion that the PDP started the zoning policy which is haunting the party, noting that the policy of zoning and rotation did not start with the PDP, but with the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) way back in 1979. He said but for the military intervention of 1983 that policy would have been

officially adopted by all the political parties. He added that during the 1995 constitutional conference all the 380 delegates that represented all shades of opinion in Nigeria unanimously accepted the principles of zoning and that it should be enshrined in the Nigerian constitution as a requirement for the registration of any political party. He said for anybody to be appointed as a national security adviser to the president of Nigeria or any other country, such a person should be versed in the

political happenings not only of his country but also his immediate environment. “For such a high ranking official to demonstrate total ignorance of the terrain of such political party which he is supposed to be advising in maintaining the security, that statement has automatically disqualify him from retaining his position he has demonstrated that he is not competent and not knowledgeable enough to hold that position”, he said. Yakassai equally frowned at assertion that the Boko Haram

insurgency started because of the fallout of the zoning disagreement among PDD members. He hinted that the beginning with the Boko Haram insurgencies began in Yobe state in 2003 and later on move to Borno and Bauchi respectively and except for Bauchi, the states were All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) controlled states then. He therefore said that the Boko Haram insurgency cannot be associated with the practice of the zoning or rotation of the PDP, because it did not emerged from the PDP controlled states.

Polytechnic education vital to national development – Nyako From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


damawa state governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd) says polytechnic education is vital to national development. Nyako based his argument on the reality that polytechnics specialise in imparting students with real skills as well as applied proficiency in all disciplines as against theoretical knowledge offered by conventional institutions. The governor stated this when a visitation team constituted by the Federal Ministry of Education and NBTE on federal polytechnics in the country paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House Yola. “That is why we have established vocational training centres across the state with the hope that when the graduands, who are usually secondary school leavers get admitted into polytechnics, they would develop the skills acquired”, the governor reasoned. According to him, “when we have experts in engineering, artisans and skilled people in the country, foreign investors would not have to use huge money to bring experts from their country.” Leader of the 19-man delegation, Prof. S.O. Asaolu had earlier said his team was in Adamawa to inspect the Federal Polytechnic Mubi with a view to making recommendations that would improve learning standards. The don said part of the terms of reference given to his team includes “examining the structures and facilities on ground, content of the staff, teaching, etc.”

L-R: Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), FCT chapter, Mr. Kayode Adeniyi, ThisDay Editor, Mr. Nduka Nwosu, Vice Chairman, FCT SWAN, Mr. Hyncient Umeh, and Assistant Sports Editor, ThisDay, Mr. Olawale Ajimotokan, during a visit by FCT Swan Executive to ThisDay over the bombing of its offices in Abuja and Kaduna, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


hairman of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide, Most Rev. Samuel Abidoye, has condemned last Thursday’s attacks on media houses in Abuja and Kaduna as assault on Nigeria’s nationhood. Reacting in a press statement in Kaduna yesterday, Abidoye described the media as veritable channel for unity, development and public enlightenment in any society. According to the statement, “the attacks constitute an assault

Cleric condemns attack on media on the foundation of the country as the media is a strategic element for the development and cohesion of Nigeria. “Our hearts bleed for those affected in the blasts and their families. It is a wicked act by some unpatriotic people who are bent on destabilising this country. “The attacks have brought to the fore again, the need to reexamine the foundation of our existence as a nation as well as the need to recognise the strategic relevance of sound moral

upbringing for our children to ensure that they are responsible citizens of the country, and to generate a safer, more progressive society. “The whole country must be prepared to do all it will take to ensure that bad elements are discouraged and ultimately eliminated in our society. “It is not enough to claim dissatisfaction with government policies as reason to foment chaos on the country. “We want to encourage the

media to be unrelenting in protecting the corporate existence of this country. This country is greater than any particular interest or group of people. We resent violence in our land. We resent the distortion of the psyche of our youths and the promotion of violence as option in conflict resolution. We call on governments at all levels to take the welfare of the citizens more seriously, stem corruption, as well as unmask those supporting bad elements in the country.”

Lawmaker advocates care for physically-challenged persons


he Deputy Speaker of Rivers state House of Assembly, Mr. Leyi Kwanee (PDP-Khana), has called on the rich in the society to invest in the care of physicallychallenged persons. A statement by Kwanee’s media assistant, Mr. David Amusa, yesterday in Port

Harcourt said the lawmaker made the call on Sunday in Oyibo, Rivers state, during the inauguration of a centre for the physically-challenged. He commended Mrs. Christy Toby, the wife of former Rivers state deputy governor, for her vision to invest in giving education to the physically-

challenged in the society. Kwanee said that the school, Christie Toby Inclusive Education Centre, would, in a few years, turn the fortunes of the pupils. “This is a way of bringing hope to people who are really challenged, the benefits of this centre will be surprising when

they will start manifesting.” The lawmaker said it was a disservice to the people to amass so much wealth without using some of it to serve humanity. He called on the pupils at the centre to make good use of the opportunity to enliven the abilities in them. (NAN)





Boko Haram: Jonathan, enough of the sound bites

t is about two months to the deadline given by President Goodluck Jonathan for his government to bring the Boko Haram insurgency to an end but it is becoming clear that there is no sign that the promise will be kept. If the president is a man whose word is his bond then we can assume that whenever he retires at the end of each day, he would be deeply regretting making a pledge that he knew he could not keep. It was a reckless utterance more so that it is now evidently clear he has no plan in place for ending these wanton attacks on innocent Nigerians. If the president thought his declaration would achieve the purpose of slowing down the sect, he was mistaken as it has only achieved the exact opposite. Boko Haram has become more daring as evidenced in the recent attacks on the premises of ThisDay newspaper here in Abuja and a compound in Kaduna where it also has an office along with the Daily Sun and The Moment newspapers. The two attacks claimed several lives and left many more injured. And just when the nation was recovering from that shock, a dazed citizenry awoke to the rude shock of another attack on Sunday morning when Christian worshippers were attacked at Bayero University in Kano. Two professors and 14 others have so far been declared dead. As has become the norm, President

Jonathan led a coterie of senior government officials in offering condolences and the usual condemnations with again a promise to fish out the culprits. While at ThisDay, for example, the President said his government would do everything possible to improve the deplorable security situation in the country. While this may be the

We strongly call on the president to overhaul his security team starting with the thorough reassessment of the suitability of National Security Adviser (NSA), Owoeye Azazi, to continue to occupy his office amid the ongoing security emergency appropriate thing to say on such a sad occasion, we beg to ask: hasn’t he got tired of dishing out such sound bites without any commensurate action? It has become abundantly clear that the president and his security team are overwhelmed by the incessant attacks. We, therefore, wonder how the government can effectively function in such a climate. The

OUR MISSION “To be the market place of ideas and the leading player in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the truth, maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards while delivering value to our stakeholders”

president’s recent trip to Germany to, among other things, woo investors is increasingly unlikely to yield any results with the insecurity that pervades the land. We wonder if the South Korean junket where he let slip of the June deadline in an attempt to draw investors here achieved anything as well. We strongly call on the president to overhaul his security team starting with the thorough reassessment of the suitability of National Security Adviser (NSAO, Owoeye Azazi, to continue to occupy his office amid the ongoing security emergency. The NSA, it would seem, is out of his depths in handling the situation. If that happens to be the case, it is high time he went. The billions of naira voted for that office yearly are unjustifiable in the circumstance. In the same token, if come June the Boko Haram insurgency continues then perhaps the president himself should begin to reconsider his position. Before then, we call on the federal government to resume dialogue with the sect in the hope that it will help to bring the insurgency to an end. This remains the most viable option in the circumstance since it is clear that the alternative which is an all out war with the sect is one the government cannot win. The continued attacks and the loss of lives are taking a heavy toll on the nation and the earlier the government ends it the better - before it is consumed by the insurgency.








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By Salihu Moh. Lukman Orientation of Opposition Parties Against the background of this narrow political outlook, one would expect that the opposition political parties would be very active in contesting elective offices at the national level positions of the Federal Government and providing alternative positions of national issues that would expand the democratic space and serve as the roadmap for our democratic journey as a nation. It is the quality of demands and how they are strategically canvassed and employed to contest the ruling party governance agenda that would have given opposition parties a distinct political identity and therefore promote political choices in our polity. The absence of this only makes the opposition parties seem to share the same identity with the ruling PDP, thereby further reinforcing the frustrations of our people and narrowing the prospects for the electoral victory of the opposition parties. The signature of the PDP is simply that of wasteful management, plunder and abuse of public resources. Is there anything that can be done to change this reality? Are our opposition parties in a position to change this reality? Do we even have opposition parties? If we do, who are these opposition parties? To the extent that we have parties that are not in government, it can be concluded that we have opposition parties in Nigeria. However, in terms of policy engagements, very few out of the more than 50 registered By Collins Uma


t has often been said that the average Nigerian can live, work and do business in any part of the world irrespective of how deplorable the conditions are. This is because he believes he has seen and heard it all,no matter what. Every Nigerian you see on the street is proof of the fact that no force—social, economic, political, cultural or even supernatural— can stop a man who is determined to live. Recent events, however, have hit us in such rapid succession that we are all gasping for breath while staggering on our feet as we wonder if the gods have not hit us too hard this time as they test our resolve to run the gauntlet, at the end of which we might find national prosperity and greatness. We lost our ability to be shocked long ago. Like water poured on a duck,we have shaken off some scandals and crises which would have brought other countries to their knees if not to the point of extinction or annihilation. While we were still trying to understand how a President could budget N1billion for his feeding in a year,the Capital Market Probe Committee revealed to us how the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) illegally and criminally spent N30million out of our common wealth for her hotel accommodation. Then came the Pension Scam. Few greedy thieves feeding fat off the toils of millions of Nigerians. Before we could comment on


2015 manifesto of Nigerian opposition politics (II) political parties can be regarded as opposition parties. In fact, most of the parties only come alive during the periods of elections. Many exist as appendages of the PDP and therefore cannot be adjudged to be opposition parties. On account of policy contestation, out of the pack of more than 50 political parties, few parties can be identified. They include the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). The ACN emerged in 2006 out of two political groups – the AD led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor (1999 – 2007); and a group of estranged PDP members led by Alh. Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 – 2007). The CPC emerged in 2010 out of the ANPP. A militating factor was the suspiciously good relationship of the ANPP leadership with the PDP. As a result, a section of the party led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, its presidential candidate for the 2003 and 2007 elections broke away and formed the CPC. The ACN started as Action Congress (AC) and in 2010 changed to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with the merger of the AC and Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa led Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). Alh. Bafarawa’s DPP emerged in 2006 also out of the ANPP pursuant to his (Alh. Bafarawa) presidential

ambitions partly because he could not contend with Gen. Buhari’s popularity in the ANPP. The other group that joined the new ACN in 2010 was also a section of the ANPP that were together with Gen. Buhari in the ANPP but on account of disagreement in the process of constituting leadership of the newly formed CPC, they again broke away from Gen. Buhari and joined the ACN. This splinter CPC group first operated as ANPP Integrity Group before joining the ACN. The coming together of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Alh. Atiku Abubakar to form the AC in 2006 gave the party a national outlook. These two personalities were in fact leading members of the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) that controlled the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) during the attempted Third Republic in the early 1990s. It was largely members of the PDM that spearheaded the formation of the ruling PDP in 1998. However, leadership disagreements led to the split in the ranks of the PDM. A section of members of the PDM from the South West including late Chief Bola Ige and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu pulled out of the newly formed PDP and formed the AD. The formation of AC in 2006 therefore could have meant the re-union of the old PDM

leaders – Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Alh. Atiku Abubakar. This would have had the potential of rekindling the dynamism and national spread associated with late Shehu Yar’Adua’s politics – dynamism that could have been strengthened with the national spread of the new party. In terms of leadership of the AC, Alh. Atiku Abubakar was the presidential candidate of the new party during the 2007 elections. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu did not contest for any office during the 2007 elections but provided inspirational leadership to the party’s candidates in the South West. On account of the influence of Asiwaju Tinubu, the AC was able to retain Lagos State. In addition, the party was able to make good impact in Ekiti, Osun and Edo, on account of which it went to electoral tribunal and was to later win back these states. Notwithstanding the political weight of Alh. Atiku Abubakar in Nigerian politics, the new party (AC) was not able to win any state in the North, not even Adamawa State the political base of Alh. Atiku Abubakar. This factor must have diminished the status of Alh. Atiku Abubakar and to some extent, created leadership dynamics and acrimony. Combined with the pursuit of his personal ambition, Alh. Atiku Abubakar was to later leave the party and go back to PDP.

His departure from the party crashed the structures of the young AC in the Northern parts of the country and confined it to the South West and Edo. Part of the objective of the merger of the AC with the Attahiru Bafarawa DPP and the ANPP Integrity Group was to redress this obvious regional image of the party as a South West party. Unfortunately, owing to absence of a broader support base and good political structures for the DPP and the ANPP Integrity Group, the merger and the emergence of the ACN did not alter the regional orientation of the ACN as a South West party, at least as reflected in the results of the 2011 elections. In the case of the CPC, its membership base is largely concentrated in Northern Nigeria, especially the North West. After the 2011 elections, it was able to win only Nasarawa State and lost some states in North West, notably Katsina and Kano States on account of internal party wrangling. As a product of the ANPP, it also inherited some of its (ANPP) political baggage, which includes being perceived as a promoter of Sharia legal system and therefore a Muslim party. Unlike the ANPP however, the CPC was able to project opposition to the PDP Federal Government. Salihu Moh. Lukman can be reached through States.

Nigeria: Of prophets and profits that,news filtered in of how our dear King Ebele of Otuoke broke his own record of lows by using the office of the President of the most populous black nation in the world to solicit and get a church built in his village by an Italian firm looking for contracts from his government,in blatant contravention of the code of conduct for public officers. We were still gathering ourselves to respond to that embarrassment and disgrace when we got distracted by Mr James Onanefe Ibori,the big thief from The Big Heart. The facts of Ibori’s prosecution,conviction and subsequent incarceration are all there for public consumption. When the pictures surfaced on the net recently of him and a man of the cloth (a highly respected ‘Daddy’ I must say), I pondered in my heart what must have transpired between them. Being an ordained minister and a certified member of the clergy myself,I know that such meetings hardly take place without the transfer of some ‘Prophet Offerings’. It didn’t start here. In the Bible,Naaman,the Syrian government official in the Old Testament (2Kings chapter 5) took some with him when he went to visit Prophet Elisha. Whether our ‘Papa’ in that picture rejected the offering,as Elisha did,is another matter. Nigerians are deeply religious people,which leaves you

wondering how come people like Ibori still exist within the top echelons of our society. The answer is simple. Our prophets have become much more interested in the pecuniary profits they derive from their interactions with these men than in the permanent gains of practicing their profession before these men. Let’s go to church. King Jehoshaphat, in the Bible (1Kings chapter 22), before going out to war against an enemy king,looked around and asked a question. He wanted to win the war and he knew there was a role ONLY a true prophet could play so he looked around and asked,”Is there no prophet in this land?” The country was at war and the prophets acted as if it was none of their business. Those who were called could not look the king in the face and tell him the truth. The importance of religious leaders in a society like Israel’s in the Old Testament and Nigeria’s now can never be over emphasised. That was why the king in Prophet Elisha’s time wondered why there would be a prophet in the land and the people would still be in such socio-economic quagmire,and he threatened to have the prophet decapitated unless the situation changed. That same day, the prophet spoke and 24 hours there was a turn-around 2 Kings chapter 6,verses 24-33 and chapter 7. I ask: Is there no prophet in this land?

Our productive workforce is being decimated daily by a confederation of terrorists,bad roads,police brutality and unspeakable fraud and corruption in government. A mind-boggling N1.1TRILLION has been criminally siphoned from government coffers under guise of subsidy payment mostly to government contractors who imported no petrol. Is there no prophet in the land? Within 24 hours,the Accountant-General of the federation crazily signs 128 cheques each worth N999MILLION for subsidy payment to looters and our Pastors and Imams keep quiet forgetting that this is money that could greatly improve the living conditions of the worshipers in their churches and mosques! Where are the Pastors in Delta state? Gov.Uduaghan was the Secretary to the State Government and Deputy Gov.Utuama was the AttorneyGeneral during Ibori’s reign. They were part of the corrupt administration. How come nobody is asking any questions? Do not speak to me about prosperity if you cannot speak against the instrument the devil is using to deny me that prosperity. Where are the Imams in Abuja and Niger State? Have they asked why Kabiru Sokoto who masterminded the Christmas Day bomb blast in Madalla,Niger State,close to Abuja has not been arraigned? The success of a religious

leader is not measured by his ownership of a private jet or fleet of exotic cars or by the calibre of government officials who pay courtesy calls on him but by what positive change he is able to bring by his words and actions within the society in which he finds himself. This is why America will never forget the Rev.Martin Luther King Jnr, a Baptist Minister and Malcolm X, one of the founding leaders of the Nation of Islam, and founder of the Muslim Mosque Inc. As a religious leader,when your name appears in the news media,it should be for something better than the defence of masturbation. It should not be because you slapped a female member of your congregation or because there is a debate whether or not a former bank chief who is on the run for fraud contributed to the funds for your private jet. Your prophecies should also be about something of more significance than the scoreline of a Super Eagles match or which Nollywood actor will be alive at the end of the year. As we trudge along on our journey to recapture our greatness as a nation,it is time for the true men of God to stand up and be counted. Yes,God is watching. As Rev.Martin Luther King Jnr said, “In the end,we will remember,not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”. Collins Uma can be reached @collinsmaestro



Why Customs cannot operate without a new law By Sa’adatu Shu’aibu


he Nigeria Customs and Ex cise Management Act (CAP C 45 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria came into being 54 years ago, in 1958. It will surprise many that this law has not been amended, except shortly after independence when the mode of exchange was changed from pounds to naira. The law, to say the least, has since been overtaken by events, and it surely does not capture prevailing realities. More importantly, it is shocking to realize that many of the subsisting practices by the Nigeria Customs Service are not captured by any law. Going by the obsolete law, the Service cannot sue, and it cannot be sued. For example, the Nigerian customs Service currently practices Destination Inspection for Imports. However, the erstwhile law, i.e. “pre-shipment Inspection of Import Act Cap P 26 Laws of the Nigerian Federation 2004 is still operational. It provides for pre-shipment inspection of imports but what obtains – and which has been certified as most effective the

world over, is destination Service is ICT driven. Payments that it would spread both the inspection. are effected electronically, yet, president and minister of finance The extant law on pre- there is no legal backing for these of their powers of the Customs shipment inspection of exports by strategic operations. The Service Service. But nothing can be Service Providers appointed by intends to operate the single further from the truth. The government should not be listed window environment. The powers of the president of the for repeal in the new Bill, as it is subsisting law does not capture Federal Republic of Nigeria are considered fully retained and adequately even re-inforced structured to in the proposed e n a b l e Act. The powers of monitoring of the finance Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text the sector. minister to guide messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written A major and direct the contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 indication service are also words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and that the fully retained. current law is The occupant is a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed no longer in going to continue to: tune with as chairman of the c u r r e n t board of the The Editor, realities can Nigeria Customs Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, be seen in the service. 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. punishment The call to Email: let section, revise the Customs SMS: 07037756364 w h i c h Act follows a provides for request made by fines as low as two hundred naira that, too. the Federal Ministry of Finance (N200), which clearly is not Some powerful individuals and in 2005 and His Excellency, deterrent enough. It has been institutions, who feel the new law President Goodluck Jonathan in encouraging criminality, in that being proposed will strip them of 2009 to reform the Customs some people prefer to pay fine and the huge gains they are making, Service. The Ministry of Finance go back to the same offences. have embarked on a campaign of with Technical Assistance from Presently, the entire calumny against the law, going USAID (Markets) established a operations of the Nigeria Customs as far as spreading the rumour technical committee which will


examine the Customs Act with the intention of updating its content and ensuring that the new Customs Act will comply with international standards. The draft Customs Act has been discussed at stakeholder meetings in Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. It has also been vetted by the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation. The revision to the Customs Act is expected to improve the efficiency and performance of the supervision and inspection of imported goods into the country. There is no way the Nigeria customs Service can be effective with the current law standing. The proposed new law should therefore, be supported by all wellmeaning Nigerians. It is reassuring that the Dikko-Inde led customs is spearheading unprecedented efforts to reposition the service for better service delivery. The National Assembly should be commended for efforts being made to pass the new Act into law. Nigeria will be the better for it. Sa’adatu Shu’aibu wrote from 27, Ibrahim Tahir Lane, Utako, Abuja

As ACN battles to reclaim mandate in Adamawa By Adamu Muktar A bully holding an object that belongs to a child would usually bring it down to the child when his hand starts to hurt —African Proverb.


rior to the last gubernatorial election held in Adamawa State on February 4th, 2012, the people of the state suffocated under the tyrannical leadership of Murtala Nyako. For five gruelling years, the people reeled under Nyako’s rudderless administration. And for that period, the people never experienced what is generally known as dividends of democracy as Nyako’s administration was far detached from them. In short, his administration was a disaster. When the opportunity presented itself during the election, the people decided to settle their scores with a man who has come to epitomize ineptitude, mal-administration, corruption and incompetence by roundly rejecting him at the polls. This they did as testified by several election observers; but for reasons best known to INEC, the wishes of the people were subverted and a dubious victory awarded to Nyako to continue with his plutocracy. I monitored the election in the state and what happened in the name of election was scandalous, to say the least. Since he was declared the ‘’winner’’ of the highly acrimonious election, the state has been enveloped in a peace of the graveyard as the people who were obviously short-changed in the entire electoral perfidy are seething with understandable rage. Till date, the nasty outcome of that election is still

reverberating across the length and breadth of Adamawa State. From all intents and purposes, the conduct of the election has been carpeted by sundry election observers and monitors so much so that allowing INEC ‘s declaration of Mutala Nyako of PDP as the winner to prevail will amount to monumental injustice. Consequent upon the alleged widespread irregularities that attended the conduct of the poll, the governorship candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Engr. Markus Natina Gundiri, ex-Director of Federal Ministry of Water Resources decided to go the election tribunal to reverse the declaration of Murtala Nyako of PDP by INEC as the winner. Gundiri, Nyako and Mohammed Marwa of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) were the front runners in the election. In announcing the results, INEC had suspiciously credited Nyako with 302,953 votes and Gundiri with 241, 023 votes. Engr. Gundiri and his party, the ACN in their petition which is currently receiving attention at the tribunal are alleging that the conduct of the election did not comply substantially with the requirements of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and that it was marred by violence and corruption perpetrated by PDP’s thugs, which included but not limited to multiple voting; ballot stuffing; over-voting; inflation of results, thuggery attacks on supporters of ACN. In several instances, ACN averred, INEC refused to return its agents’ forms, thereby allowing the PDP to substitute with its agents to corrupt the entire process. Even in spite of high voters’ apathy

with only 30% of voters recorded from polling units, INEC in a manner akin to abracadabra declared high figures for PDP and its candidate. Mother of all surprises!! Lending credence to ACN’s allegations were monitors of the election such as Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER); Coalition of Accredited Civil Society for the State Election and several others. While NBA said that the election was marred by underage voting, CODER in its observation noted that ‘’series of gross electoral malpractices, rigging, ballot stuffing, ballot snatching, intimidation, financial inducements, and in some locations, voters and observers alike were openly harassed—to pave way for these dastardly acts of outrightly subverting the true wishes of the people to elect a credible leader through a free and fair process’’. It is disheartening that in spite of provisions of part V11 section 124 (b) of the Electoral Act 2010, which forbids using monetary inducement to influence the conduct of an election, PDP and its hired hands massively compromised the conduct of the last gubernatorial election in the state with money. As a matter of fact, ACN which is contesting the results from the following Local governments, Girei, Yola North, Mayo Belwa, Demsa, Fufore, Jada, Mubi South, Maiha, Yola South, Madagali and Toungo vehemently declared that aside from the corruption of the process, the wilful discountenance or exclusion of actual results cast in several instances deprived its candidate of lawful votes, a development

that flies in the face of electoral act and repugnant to natural justice. In Ganye LG, for instance, a PDP chieftain was caught with 6 ballot boxes for thumb-printing, while in Fufore LG, a highlyplaced resident reportedly paid street urchins to chase away observers. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed writing in Daily Trust of Monday November 14, 2011 captured the misfortune that has befallen the nation through the instrumentality of rigging perpetrated by PDP. According to him, ‘’if the development of Nigeria’s democratic traditions and values depended on our present elected leaders, particularly those in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the country would have been dead on arrival. In truth, it is virtually dead, if the events and developments of the last general elections are to be adequately captured by history. It may be expecting too much to believe that leaders who ride to power on the basis of their ability to bend, stretch or break party rules, will respect the same rules when they apply them to others’’. Baba-Ahmed merely hit the nail on the head. Since the advent of democracy in 1999, all elections conducted into the three tiers of government have been marred by massive rigging, a sad development that has passed a sentence of underdevelopment and irrelevance on the nation. And that is why all lovers of justice not only in Adamawa State but Nigeria as a whole must rally round Gundiri as he battles to reclaim his mandate that was snatched in broad day light (or is it in deep darkness?) by electoral robbers in PDP and INEC.

Given the character and personality of Engr. Markus Gundiri, the people of Adamawa State have come to appreciate the enormity of the injustice done to him by enemies of progress. Considering his antecedent, vast experience and good track record of performance at the federal level, it would be suicidal if not blasphemous to deny him a mandate that was freely given by the people of the state. That is why his case pending before the tribunal must be expeditiously accorded fair treatment. That Nigeria is in its present sorry state is not without a cause. Even a piece of metal that goes rusty by oxidation has eternal agents acting on it. That the nation has been virtually static developmentally is a product of our collective efforts. In the same vein, the prevailing pathetic condition of Adamawa State can only be reversed if the election tribunal handling the case does the right thing. It is also necessary to remind the distinguished members of the tribunal that both Christianity and Islam admonish us that one day, we will come before the Almighty creator to give account of our deeds, either good or bad. Let them dare the consequences and pass a judgment that can stand the test of time. With all the avalanche or cornucopia of evidences pieced together by the ACN and its candidate, Gundiri and for the interest of peace and justice, the tribunal cannot afford to do anything to the contrary. For now, all eyes are on the tribunal to put Adamawa State on the path of socio-political and economic recovery. Adamu Muktar, contributed this piece from Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa state



‘Religion, land and population’ By Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u


he title of this piece is not mine. It is the product of a discussion in Boston, United States when by coincidence I met a former Nigerian military General on March 11, 2012 as I visited my friends in the city. As usual with every meeting of Nigerians, nothing attracts attention more than the affairs of our country. While we were having this conversation this military General remained quite, however after about two hours he finally intervened in our discussion. He said as the youths you have to think about the future of Nigeria, and for those of you from the north three things stand out and he mentioned “religion, land and population”. According to him in the north we have the largest population in Nigeria, we have the most fertile land that can almost feed Africa, yet we still live in poverty, and our population is becoming a problem to us because we refuse to turn it into an asset for economic development. Religion is no longer taught by the scholars who have a versatile knowledge; rather to both Muslims and Christians becoming an Imam and a Pastor is so easy that people can just develop an army of followers even if they don’t have sufficient knowledge to guide the people. This actually reminded me of a discussion I heard recently with one of the leading Islamic Scholars in Nigeria who said that in

Ramadan, with just little understanding of the Arabic language, without a deep understanding of the expertise needed to provide exegesis of the Qur’an, people just start giving Tafseer (interpretation of the Qur’an) in various Mosques. Similarly a teacher of mine once expressed concern on how some of his former students abandoned their studies and decided to become Pastors. I hope in the nearest future this General will find time to write in detail what he meant by his thesis of ‘religion, land and population’ as I believe he is more than intellectually equipped to do so. However this piece is a minor contribution on what in my opinion should constitute why we should think critically on how to utilize religion which defines our identity, land which can sustain the economy and population which should turn the two around. A review of the economic development of China in the last thirty years suggests that the vision of its leaders to utilize their population and land to boost agriculture, led to industrialization and urbanization, and today China is the second largest economy in the world, and in the nearest future it will overtake the United States as the strongest economy in the world to be followed by India, another country where population has become an asset rather than a burden, despite the challenges it is facing. You only

need to look at the fields of medicine and information technology to know how India utilized its population to become a source of strength, not for India alone, but the entire world. How did the population of northern Nigeria become a burden, religion mismanaged, and land under utilized? Possibly the answers could be found in five key issues; colonial legacy, the curse of oil, lack of respect for the dignity of labour, exploitation of religion and the selfishness of northern elites. Since the conquest of northern Nigeria by Frederick Lugard and the colonial policies that followed in the region, northern Nigeria has not recovered. Muslims in particular were the heavy casualties of this conquest as expertise in religion and knowledge of other fields of knowledge studied in Arabic or ajami (writing in local language using Arabic letters) was no longer considered a skill that provides employment. The ajami script was substituted with roman script thereby rendering the largest segment of the population illiterate as the knowledge they acquired in Arabic doesn’t provide employment except for few individuals whose services are required to serve as judges, school teachers etc. this was further complicated by the perception of the people in the region that Western education is meant for proselytisation rather than economic development. The effect

of this is still being felt. While the effect of this was still biting, the discovery of oil did not help the population of northern Nigeria as the land used for agricultural production, which was sustaining the region and contributing to the federal government was abandoned. The same population that has been robbed of its intellectual capacity has now lost its economic strength because its population decided to engage in rural-urban migration in search of easy money. Neglecting agriculture is not exclusive to northern Nigeria; it’s the problem of the entire country. The example of United Arab Emirates will be relevant here. When oil was discovered the leaders of the country came together and assembled their intellectuals to advise them on what to do with it. They were advised that they have two potentials, the Sun and the Sea; what that meant is they have two great assets that can be used for trade and tourism, and the oil money was used to develop these two sectors. Today UAE can survive without oil. Think of northern Nigeria, how can the population of the region be transformed into what India and China have done with their people, and for the UAE parable what can the region do with the Sun and in place of the Sea its abundant land? Perhaps when there is 100% resource control, and I am not joking, I heard a deputy governor from the Niger-

Delta talking about it at a business summit in London. Lack of respect for the dignity of labour is a major issue that every reasonable person in northern Nigeria should be concerned about. People are happy to sit for ages under the shade of a tree gossiping for hours and dreaming to become millionaires, yet they are happy to laugh at a neighbour who used his energy in manual labour to earn a living. A university graduate is happy to sleep at home waiting for the job that suits his ego while his friend from the South has saved part of his NYSC allowance and has already started transporting food items produced in the same north to his home town without waiting for anybody to employ him. Exploitation of religion has become the norm, religious leaders are happy to manipulate their followers to earn government favour or in extreme circumstances even extort the congregation to satisfy their personal needs. So why should the average person not acquire the basic literacy to become an Imam or a Pastor? And finally, our leaders have to remember that the children of the poor are also human beings who deserve a decent life. If they fail to uplift their condition somebody will recruit them to make life unbearable for everyone. Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u can be reached through

Developing a pragmatic curriculum for Nigeria’s growth By Simeon Nwakaudu


he Education sector has had two principal challenges across the country. The decay that has characterized the infrastructure of the sector and the second being a curriculum that fails to meet the development needs of the people, especially at the basic education level. For most Nigerians, their worry about the basic education sub-sector centre on the obvious infrastructural challenge that are visible in parts of the country. However, the curricula challenge has been as bad as that of the infrastructure. There was no proper coordination of activities regarding the development of curriculum for years, which made it rather difficult for the targeted results to be achieved. The challenges associated with the faulty curricula at the basic education level accounted for the poor productivity at this level. When the Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike took over the supervision of the basic education sub-sector on July 14, 2011, he was confronted by the curricula challenges facing the sector and the programmes on ground to address them. The Minister of State for Education met with the team at the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council, NERDC, and it was agreed that the focus

would be to develop a curriculum that would drive the economy and empower the youths, right from their formation stage. By December 2011, the first set of projects under his watch was commissioned at the headquarters of the NERDC at Sheda. The commissioning programme was carried out the home-coming of past chief executives of the NERDC. At that meeting, the Minister of State for Education spelt out the thematic area that he has been working and the direction he insists that the NERDC must work whilst he held sway of basic education in the country. Wike declared that the nation’s basic education sector would be reformed to generate employment opportunities for the unemployed. He said that the curricula of vocational and technical subjects would be reviewed across board to promote entrepreneurial skills amongst Nigerian students. Wike said the target of the Federal Government in 2012 is to empower Nigerian youths through expertise in vocations. “The curricula for junior and senior secondary schools have been tailored to produce competent Nigerian youths in trades, so that they can be self reliant with the ability to generate jobs”, Wike noted. According to Wike: “In the Federal Ministry, this transformation agenda entails qualitative changes within the

fabric and soul of education, especially in improved quality of education and more specifically the Basic and Secondary education levels”. Since July 2011, tremendous progress has been in entrenching practical curricula for junior and senior secondary school. The objective being to create the right foundation for Nigerian children to have sound education at the tertiary level and also contribute to national development when eventually they are out of school. At present, the overall revision of the junior secondary school for the first nine years of education is on-going and its completion is expected to re-position the nation’s basic education. Critical areas where progress have been made include: development of Teacher’s Guide for Basic Education Curriculum in Social Studies and Cultural and Creative Arts, development of Teaching Syllabuses for English Studies and Mathematics. Development of Teacher’s Guide for the Teaching of National Values in Basic Education, development of Consumer Education Curriculum, infusion of Consumer Education into relevant carrier subjects at the Basic Education level and infusion of Road Safety Education Curriculum into relevant carrier subjects at the Basic Education. For the senior secondary level, there has been the marked development of Teacher’s Guide for

the implementation of the Senior Secondary Education Curriculum in Science and Mathematics – Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. There has also been the development of Teacher’s Guide for Senior Secondary Education Curriculum in two compulsory cross-cutting core subjects – English Language and Civic Education. The Minister of State for Education in concert with the NERDC has conducted consultation for major stakeholders in the basic and secondary education levels across the six geo-political zones of the country. The subject teachers, headmasters/headmistresses at these levels of education and other education professional stakeholders have worked together to build the new curricula structure aligned with the economy and expected to yield positive results. The achievement in the area of development of proactive curriculum properly aligned with the economy of the nation is underscored by the approval given by President Goodluck Jonathan for the purchase of books in core subjects in the basic education sector to be distributed to Nigerian children across the 774 local councils. The books worth N6.2billion will be procured by UBEC under

the supervision of the Minister of State for Education. The distribution of these books selected based on the new curriculum will be flagged off by Vice President Namadi Sambo on behalf of President Jonathan in May 2012. Wike insists that the distribution of these books will be conducted in a manner that they would not find their way to markets. He said that the teams would be set up to directly hand over the books to the children. To him, not even teachers will be handed over the books. The focus of the Federal Government to the revival of basic education in the country is total. The government believes that ensuring a holistic approach centred on quality infrastructure, teacher capacity building and functional economically relevant curriculum is vital that to achieving the goals of the transformation of the basic education sector. Barr. Wike has resolved to throw everything into the ring to win the war against decadence in the basic education. His motivation flows from the fact that education is the bedrock of development in any community. Basic Education to him is even more critical because it is the plank upon which the entire education structure rests. Simeon Nwakaudu is Special Assistant (Media) to Minister of State for Education.



Monarch appeals for basic amenities By Usman Suaibu


illage head of falindabo, Dei-Dei in Abuja municipal Area Council (AMAC), of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Mohammed Danyibe, has appealed to the chairman of the Area Council, Hon. Micah Jiba, to provide the community with some basic amenities. Danyibe, noted that the community is in d need of basic amenities such as, borehole, transformer and a standard clinic. He explained that the community only has one borehole and a transformer which is not sufficient to the people, adding that the community also lacks a clinic that would cater for the sick in the area. The traditional ruler also urged the chairman to expedite action to provide fertilizer to farmers during this year’s cropping season in order to encourage them to carry out their farming activities successfully.

A young volcanizer at work yesterday at Aco Estate in Abuja.

Photo: Joe Oroye

Man, 23, sentenced 2 months for theft

Abuja indigenes complain over unfulfilled promises A By Adeola Tukuru


buja indigenes have complain over the unfulfilled promises made by the Federal Governement. The Councillor representing Garki ward in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Bala Iya, who spoke on behalf of these indigenes in an interview to newsmen, explained that the proposed plan was that any where development meets original owners of a particular community should be reintegrated, except there are public interests in it. In his words: “But that has not been done to original

indigenes of FCT; the proper compensations have not taken place since Abuja became the capital city of Nigeria, not to talk of resettlements of original indigenes”. “In fact, the government of FCT has failed woefully in the areas of resettling our people and compensating our people on their farmlands that were forcefully collected from them. I have advised the FCDA administration on different occasions when I went to the office of the Director of Resettlement, I told him that they have to take the proper steps in the resettlement of indigenes of FCT”. “That one day, if that is not done, the seats they occupy presently will be too

hurt for them to sit on, because the Gbagy man of before has changed. We Gbagy people are growing and becoming educated than before, when we were taking for a ride. As at last year, among our people, we recorded about 4000 graduates and also Master Degree holders in different field of education, which I cannot presently give you the definite figures. Bala further added that if what should be done is not properly done, as regard to resettlement and compensation, one day it is going to be a problem that will be difficult to solve. “I also told him that they should go back to the round table and rethink and redesign, and set

up communities that will go to different villages and inquire from the villagers their feelings and problems, and if this is done, it will bring peace and lasting solution”. The councilor noted that the federal government should allow Kpaduma communities in Asokoro to live in peace except there are public interests, but if is individual interest allocation, we will not allow that. “There is still enough lands that we can be integrated in, they should build their kind of standard houses and put in place the necessary amenities for us, and we are equal to the task. If that is not done, in the nearest future, there is going to be a problem”, He said.

STDA to take up cleaning of road corridors, shoulders By Josephine Ella


he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r a y Administration (FCTA) has said it is working out modalities for the Satellite Town Development Agency (STDA) to take up the cleaning of road corridors and shoulders in satellite towns. Minister of State for FCT,

Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, who dropped the hint, said that area councils are expected to take care of other areas in the satellite towns. According to her, "We are looking at how the STDA will take up the cleaning the road shoulders and corridors, while the area councils take care of other areas, so as to ensure cleanliness in the FCT". Peoples Daily recalls that

heaps of refuse unattended to, at road corridors and shoulders are common features of the satellite towns in the area councils. The six area councils of the FCT had been responsible for the general sanitation of the respective towns within their domains. President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier this year, approved the re-

instatement of the defunct Satellite Town Development Agency. While the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) is responsible for development of Abuja City Centre, the STDA, which is expected to kick-off operation soon, according to the minister, is responsible for development of the satellite towns.

n Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court, yesterday, sentenced one Adeboh Mustapha, 23, to two months imprisonment for theft and criminal trespass. The Prosecutor, Insp. Jeremiah Elijah, told the court that the case was reported to Lugbe Police Station by Mrs. Abigail Alao, on April 23. Elijah said that the accused, who resides at Mpape area of Abuja, entered Alao’s house with the intention of stealing. He added that the accused confessed to the police during interrogation that he entered and ransacked the house. The prosecutor said that the accused committed the offence, which contravened sections 349 and 95 of the Penal Code. The accused said he understood the charges against him and admitted that all the charges were true and prayed for the court to temper justice with mercy. He, however, added that his main reason for entering the house was for him to get food to eat as he was hungry at the time. He said that he would never commit such offence again. The Magistrate, Aliyu Shafa, in his ruling, said that the court was not convinced by the reasons given by the accused and that granting him bail would mean that the court had failed in its duty. He, therefore, sentenced the accused to two months in prison with a fine of N2, 000.



Court sacks executives of National Youth Council of Nigeria T

he Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, restrained the 23member committee of the Incorporated Trustees of the National Youth Council of Nigeria from further acting as its executives. Justice Bilkisu Aliyu gave the order sequel to a motion filed by the council and four of its executive members. They are Esse Umoh, Saleh Kubah, Ifeanyi Uzoh and Lanleyin Ismaeel. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Youth

Development, the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, Deolu George, Umar Yakasai, and Dickson Ako, Head of Nigeria Peace Corps are among of the defendants. “From the fact of the matter, it is clear that there is a leadership crisis in the council and that the crisis has brought about factions within the association. “The 23-member committee overseeing the activities of the council is hereby restrained from carrying out any function in the name of the council

pending the determination of the substantive suit. “The fourth defendant (The Minister of Youth and Development) is restrained from recognising or doing any business with the former members of the committee in the name of the council,’’ the judge said. The plaintiffs had sought an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, jointly and severally, from filling any suit in the name of the council. They further prayed the

court to restrain the 23member committee from parading themselves as members of the executive council of the association pending the determination of the suit. The plaintiffs equally sought an order restraining the office of the Minister of Youth and Development from recognising or in any way dealing with the acclaimed 23-member executive council committee of the association. The defendants had argued that their appointment into the committee to serve as

executive council members was known to law. They submitted that Justice Ibrahim Auta of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on Oct. 19 adopted a consent judgment in respect of the matter. According to them, members of the council agreed to dissolve the leadership of the council of which the plaintiffs were members through amicable resolution. They had prayed the court to dismiss the application for lacking in merit. The court adjourned the case to May 17 for parties to address it on whether or not the court has jurisdiction to determine the substantive suit. (NAN)

Over 100 opposition politicians decamp to PDP in Abaji By Adeola Tukuru


he Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Abaji Area Council, of the FCT, Alhaji Idris Gana, yesterday confirmed that over 100 members of the opposition party decamped to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) . Gana, said that the development was informed by the verdict of an election tribunal, last Monday, in favour of Hon. Yahaya Musa Mohammed, of the PDP, as a duly elected Chairman of the council for April 10th Chairmanship election 2010. The PDP chairman, who was delighted by the victory, added that they are receiving opposition members on daily bases. He commended the effort of the incumbent chairman, who despite the two years legal battle could not be distracted from developmental projects. He further explained that the council chairman has already forgiven all those that fought him and invites them to join hand with him to move Abaji forward. Gana, also said that the national body of the PDP was excited about the victory, while calling on people of the area council to join hands with the new chairman for the development of the area. "Most of the opposition disappeared from Abaji town, but I urged all of you who have come to work with the new chairman. " The People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election won in seven (7) wards eight (8) councilors, and now fully prepared to take over the ten (10) political wards of the Abaji Area council, in the forthcoming FCT chairmanship election", he said.

Soft drinks display their wares at Millennium Park, in Abuja.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Women protest half nude against PHCN in Ado By Josephine Ella


he Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), New Nyanya service station, a suburb in the FCT, had more than they bargained for on Saturday, when over 50 women of Peace Zone estate, Ado, in the district demonstrated at their premises half nude. The women, who came out en-masse, said they were demonstrating over the decision of the PHCN to disconnect the entire community. According to the leader of the demonstrating women, Mrs. Victoria Bulus, they came to register their displeasure over the activities of the PHCN for putting the community in total darkness over matters that has

no bearing on them. Commenting on the issue the community though its secretary, Mrs. Gyang Pwang, narrated their ordeal: “This community embarked on electrification project in December, 2009, after tasking every landlord the sum of N50, 000 each. “After been connected by the PHCN, we have been paying our bills, but unfortunately, on 24th February, this year, the same PHCN, New Nyanya disconnected us. Our crime was that we decided to disconnect two community members; messrs, Daniel Ameh and Obinna Okoye, who despite entreaties from community members refused to pay the mandatory levy that every other person paid. They went ahead and got

connected. Mr. Okoye boasted that his brother working at the New Nyanya PHCN will protect him against any wrong doing since as he put it, electricity is free”. Corroborating the secretary’s claim, a leader in the community, Engr. Fidelis Adzo, maintained that the they paid N70,000 to PHCN to get connected in the first instance and therefore sees no reason why an entire community would be thrown into total darkness because of two recalcitrant community members. However, it was gathered that the Business Manager (BM),of PHCN, Mararaba has waded into the matter, mandating that the community light be restored immediately. This was disclosed by Mr.

James Pever, Coordinator of the Licensed Electrical Contractors of Nigeria (LECAN), Karu district. “LECAN has been able to wade into the crisis. The BM has given us the go ahead as the recognised body to reconnect the community. We are however, having problem with Engr. Silas, the service engineer at PHCN, New Nyanya. He has been playing hide and seek with us. We are still waiting for him to come and give us the cables they took away. If at the end of the day, we do not get his cooperation we will be left with no option than to go back to the BM,” Pever said. All efforts to get Engr. Silas to comment on the issue failed as he had not returned to the office some minutes after closing hours.




FAAC allocation for the month of March 2012 S/N




FG (52.68%) States (26.72%) L/govt Councils (20.72%) Derivation (13% of Mineral revenue-oil/gas) Value Added Tax (VAT) & Transfers


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set July 6, 2012 as the date when it would fully implement the cheque truncation system in the banking industry. The Director, Banking and Payment System Department in the apex bank, Dipo Fatokun made the disclosure to newsmen during a stakeholders’ forum on Cheque Truncation in Lagos at the weekend. Cheque truncation eliminates the cumbersome physical presentation of the cheque in the clearing system and saves time and processing costs through the conversion of physical cheque into electronic form for

Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-A BJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30 ABJ-LOS: 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ -SOK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-SOK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-SOK (WED/SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED/SUN): 13.20

AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS-ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS-ABJ (SAT): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU-LOS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU-LOS (SAT): 18.30

DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10 ABJ-LOS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40 ABJ-LOS (SAT/SUN): 13.05, 18.00 LOS-KANO : 08.10 KANO-LOS: 11.25 KANO -ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO : 10.08

613.7 billion


transmission to the paying bank. The pilot phase of the policy commenced in Lagos last August and Fatokun says the the policy would lead to a reduction in the clearing period for cheques. “Instead of T+2 before you get value for your transactions, you get T+1 with cheque truncation. You know when you talk of money, time is very important. So, that oneday reduction in the clearing cycle makes a lot of difference,” he said. “So, instead of you carrying cheque around, you pay in cheque into your account. And if you want to make payment, you use cheque, but based on the limit which is N10 million. So, cheque truncation is an integral part of the cash-less policy,” Fatokun also disclosed that the CBN have commenced a process that would mitigate the risk which may arise from the policy. “We need hardware to be able to present it”, he said, adding: “Then we need enlightenment on the part of those that are to participate in the programme. The onus of responsibility falls on the bank that is presenting the cheque. So, those are some of the challenges that have to be addressed and which the CBN is actually addressing. “And of course, in order to address the risk, the CBN would be visiting the banks with the Working Group and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to ensure that everything in place and to mitigate the risks that could arise from the implementation of the cheque truncation policy.” EXCHANGE RATES


LOS -ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (SAT/SUN): 16.30 KANO-LOS: 07.30 KANO-LOS (SUN/SUN): 10.30

BUYING 0.2926 204.5134 251.4958 41.2478 154.7

SELLING 0.3126 205.8354 253.1215 41.5145 155.7

• £ RIYAL $

BUYING 210 254 40 157

SELLING 212 256 42 158

- Pg 20

NNPC extends crude oil term contract deadline

Mob: 08033644990

Nigeria targets 4m barrels of oil daily by 2020, says Minister


igeria plans to increase crude oil production capacity to 4 million barrels a day by 2020 and expand its reserves to 40 billion barrels, Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has said. The minister said Nigeria also aims “in the years ahead” to boost output of liquefied natural

gas by another 20 million metric tonnes a year from the current level of 26 million tonnes, in a speech delivered at Howard University in Washington, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s spokesman, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma on Friday. Nigeria pumped 2.1 million barrels a day of oil in April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Oil reserves currently stand at an estimated

Unity Bank complies with IFRS, improves performance By Aminu Imam


nity Bank Plc has achieved full compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in line with regulatory requirements. The standards were adopted in the preparation of the bank’s 2012 first quarter unaudited accounts just submitted to the

Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The IFRS are a set of internationally applicable accounting standards designed to make financial statements from different jurisdictions uniform and comparable. Nigerian banks and quoted companies are required to migrate to IFRS reporting effective January 1, 2012. In its first quarter financial

37 billion barrels and its gas reserves are estimated at 187 trillion cubic feet, Ajuonuma said. “With expansion of capacity by almost one million barrels per day over the next few years, Nigeria can significantly contribute to global supply additions and diversification, thereby alleviating the challenge of supply concentration around the Middle-East,” she said. statements prepared in line with IFRS, Unity Bank Plc declared a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N2.3 billion as against a forecast of N1.6 billion earlier released to the NSE. This represents an annualized PBT of N9.2 billion compared to the N7.1 billion for the full year to December 2011 based on IFRS. Consistent with its overall objective of significantly increasing its market share in a highly competitive industry, Unity Bank Plc also grew its balance sheet by 2%.

L-R: Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, former American President Mr. George Bush, and President, African Business Roundtable, Dr. Bamanga Tukur during a high level roundtable on Pathways to Energy Sustainability in a Recovering Global Economy, yesterday at the St. Regis Hotel, houston Texas, USA.

Management Tip of the Day

30th Apr, 2012


ABJ-LOS: 11.30, 3.45, 4.45


By Muhammad Nasir with agency report

CBN set for cheque truncation system From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos



Perfect your pitch

levator pitches aren’t just for start-ups. They are helpful in job interviews, networking events, presentations, or any time you need to quickly explain your case. Instead of stumbling when asked, "What does your company do?" prepare an

effective pitch that outlines win-win goals and launches a deeper relationship. Grab the listeners’ attention with a smart hook, and then convince them of the mutual benefits you could provide. End by suggesting a follow-up and converting a chance meeting

into an opportunity. Speak in terms your audience can relate to. And communicate with the passion that comes from knowing that this opportunity may never come again. Source: Harvard Business Review



COMPANY NEWS Chevron Upstream earnings fall short of expectations


hevron Corp, the secondlargest U.S. oil company, reported a slightly higherthan-expected quarterly profit as rising oil prices and refining margins made up for a decline in oil and gas production.

Belgium Group to invest in Nigeria’s free zones


Belgian group, Buck Consultants International, has expressed its willingness to invest in the country’s free trade zones which, according to the group is untapped.

Shareholders optimistic as FSDH converts to merchant bank

Mobil’s MD top most paid oil executive Stories By Muhammad Nasir


he highest paid chief executive in the seven major listed petroleum products marketing companies in Nigeria is the managing director of Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc. His annual remuneration is N85 million, which is about 23 percent more than the next highest paid director. that amount comes to about N231, 956 per day (including Saturdays and Sundays). These details are contained in the Nigerian petroleum products marketing companies’ disclosure report published recently. The Stanbic IBTC managing director, who tops the pay list in the Nigerian banking industry with N177 million, earns N92 million more than Mobil’s chief executive, as indicated in the

latest edition of the Nigerian Banks Financial Transparency Report. The second highest paid chief executive in the oil sector is from Oando Plc with total annual remuneration of N69 million or N189,041 per day. This ranking is contained in the maiden edition of the Nigerian petroleum products marketing companies’ disclosure report published recently. Forte Oil Plc (formerly African Petroleum Plc) chief executive occupies the third position. He earns N64 million per annum or N175,342 per day. Total Nigeria Plc ranks a close fourth, with its managing director walking home with annual remuneration of N61 million or N167,123 per day. Eterna Oil and Gas Plc and Conoil Plc occupy the fifth and sixth positions, with their

chief executives earning N21 million (N57,534 per day) and N15 million (N41,095 per day) per annum respectively. MRS Oil Nigeria plc has the lowest paid managing director in the industry, with a take home of N5 million per annum or N13,698 per day. When considered in terms of the average pay per director (in each of the companies), Oando Plc displaces Mobil oil Nigeria plc. The average take home pay per director in Oando Plc, including fees and allowances, stood at N62.91 million per annum in 2010. Mobil follows with average pay per director of N24.57 million, while Total Nigeria Plc ranks third with average pay per director of N10.86 million. Forte Oil plc with N7.95 million average pay per director comes fourth. Eterna oil and gas plc and Conoil Plc occupy the fifth and sixth


hareholders at First Securities Discount House Limited (FSDH) have given their nod to the move by the company to go into merchant banking which would broaden its business.

GTAssur bags ‘Great Place To Work’ award


uaranty Trust Assurance Plc has won the third place over-all award at the first ever ‘Great Place To Work’ awards ceremony to be held in Africa. At the event which held in Lagos on Thursday, April 19, 2012, GTAssur came third place behind Guinness Nigeria Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Plc.

Siemens partners Nigeria to support financing of power plants


iemens, a global powerhouse operating in energy electronics and electrical engineering sectors has announced that it has set plans in motion to strengthen its partnership with Nigeria by way of support in the financing of power plants projects in Nigeria.

Glo saves subscribers roaming charges with borderless network


lobacom has announced its new roaming service that offers a uniform local tariff and allows the use of local Glo recharge cards in any visited Glo network country.

L-R: Facilitators, Mrs Tara Fela-Durotoye, Mrs Bukky George, and Toyosi Akerele, during a Women in Management and Business Seminar recently at the University of Ibadan. Photo: NAN

NNPC extends crude oil term contract deadline


he Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) has extended the deadline for companies to submit applications for 2012-2013 crude oil term contracts to May 11 from April 5. Traders said the later deadline would ensure that companies that sign the contracts comply with the Nigerian Content Act, while the government probes corruption in the nation’s oil industry. Last year, the term contracts with NNPC were worth about $30 billion. Barrels were awarded to independent traders such as Vitol, Trafigura and Glencore. Initially, NNPC solicited applications for the 2012-2013 contract on March 21 and 22, with the original deadline of April 5. “All interested applicants are given two weeks effective April

30-May 11 to submit their applications for lifting of Nigerian crude oil during the 2012/2013 contract years,” NNPC said in an invitation document, which was seen by Reuters. The latest invitation said applicants should be either refineries, “established and globally recognised volume traders” or Nigerian oil and gas companies. Nigeria exports about 2 million barrels of crude per day. The barrels that are subject to be sold via annual tenders exclude equity volumes held by oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell. The NNPC invitation does not specify the tendered volume. Key Chinese companies such as Unipec, the trading unit of Asia’s largest refiner Sinochem, do not participate, because they are secured by bi-lateral government agreements.

The invitation does not specify when the 2012-2013 term will begin. Traders, who received the invitation, said they would expect the term to run for 12 months from June or July. At least one big independent trading house in Geneva said the company had participated in the annual tender. The trader declined to be named. Nigerian light crude with lowsulphur content used to be a vital source of profit for independent trading houses, because it is easier to process into more valueadded products such as gasoline and diesel. But it has been becoming difficult to make a sizable profit from trading Nigerian crude this year due to an fall in spot differentials. “As a trader, it is very important to have presence in the Nigerian market,” the trader said. (Reuters)

positions, with average pay per director of N4.28million and N4.15 million respectively. The lowest paid directors in terms of company average, sit on the board of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc with average take home pay of N2.45 million per director. Another exciting feature of the industry is the board size and composition. Oando Plc has the largest board among the analysed companies. It has a total of 16 members on its board.

Engineering society partners PTDF in human capital development


he Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) is set to partner the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to actualise the mandate of the Fund and to boost the nation’s economy. This was disclosed by the President of the society, Mustafa Shehu in Abuja last Friday when the Executive Secretary of the PTDF, Muttaqha Rabe Darma paid him a courtesy visit. Shehu noted that the synergy would help to improve the capacity of NSE members in the oil and gas sector, adding that there is for engineers to build the relevant capacity so as to be in a position to drive the oil and gas sector if the country was to realise the purpose of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Act 2010. The NSE boss said that the society had set up an Engineering Practice and Resource Centre (EPRC) as the training arm of the society to identify the industry’s specific needs and provide the require training to meet such needs. “One of the sectors where the resource centre is interested in is the oil and gas sector where many engineers are employed and the sector has a great capacity to absorb graduate engineers being rolled out from universities”, he stressed. Shehu revealed to the NSE team that the Fund was a special purpose fund, established by the Federal Government to intervene in developing appropriate manpower to man the Nigerian oil and gas industry, adding that the Fund will provided capacity building for various players in the sector, ranging from engineers to craftsmen and technicians. He maintained that NSE is a key stakeholder in the Fund’s activities because oil and gas is mainly an engineering-based industry and that PTDF had commenced the training of engineers, requesting the NSE to collaborate with it in the selection process.



Most experimental laptop designs T

his HP design, while unique, is most notable for its use of Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass not only on the edge-to-edge display, but also covering the entire back of the lid, as well as the wrist rest. On top of that, it’s one of the very first 14-inch ultrabooks, although it’s a bit thicker and heavier than the ultrabook name would lead you to expect. It’s practical, while still being fun to use and fun to show off, and its glass-covered construction makes it feel just a little like an artifact from the near future. he Adamo XPS opens in an unusual way, with the lid shut tight until you swipe a finger on a heatsensitive strip centered on the front edge. Then the lid lifts up,

tilting the screen back and lifting the keyboard on its unusual inset hinge. As a work of technological art, the Adamo

XPS was a real conversationstarter, but poor battery kept it from being terribly useful. (Source: Tech Republic)


NESREA set to prosecute importers of e-wastes, says Oyofo


he National E n v i r o n m e n t a l Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has vowed to clamp down on importers of outdated electrical and electronic equipment, popularly known as e-wastes. This was contained in a statement signed by the agency’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sule Oyofo and made available to the News Agency of

Nigeria (NAN) at the weekend in Abuja. NESREA said that to accomplish the task, it would collaborate with security agencies operating in various ports in the country. The statement denied allegations that NESREA had illegally seized some containers, with e-waste products, belonging to Grimadi Shipping Agency Ltd in Alaba International Market, Lagos.

NESREA, in its counteraffidavit claimed that the containers were “laden with unusable electrical and electronics equipment, containing Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), describing the products as “highly toxic”. The CRT is a vacuum tube, containing an electric gum (a source of electrons) and a fluorescent screen used to view images. The statement, however,

Airtel money adjudged best mobile money service in Ghana By Aminu Imam


irtel’s mobile commerce product, Airtel Money, has been adjudged the ‘Best Mobile Money Service’ in Ghana at the Mobile World Ghana Telecoms Awards. The organisers of the awards say Airtel Money was found to be the best among similar services deployed on the market and provided a seamless, simple to understand mobile based experience for users while at the same time being reliable, consistent and providing value to the user. Managing Director at Airtel Ghana, Philip Sowah said, “I believe this award gives ample testimony to the innovation and strength of the Airtel Money product. We have developed Airtel Money as a product tailored to meet the needs of our customers. As you may know, Airtel Money is the only mobile commerce product which customers are able to link to their banks and are thus able to undertake banking transactions via their mobile phones”.

Mr. Sowah added that “the list of partners for Airtel Money is also growing taller every day. We have several banks partnering with us as well as a host of other business outlets”. Mr. Sowah revealed that Airtel Money is continuing with its expansion via partnering with a lot more financial and business institutions and through the opening of a lot more outlets for Airtel Money. Customers in Ecobank, UBA, Standard Chartered Bank; Unibank , UT Bank, GT Bank and Zenith Bank are able to link their bank accounts to their Airtel Money wallets, a service unique to the service. Airtel Money recently announced new products to further excite their customers; these include Free Life Insurance Cover for all Airtel Money Customer with Unibank, Interest on customer’s mobile wallet with UT Bank Additionally some of the largest outlets in Ghana including Melcom and Koala and Marx Mart (at A&C), Palace Hypermarket, Sneda

Supermarkets, accept payments via Airtel Money. Restaurants – Sunshine, Honeysuckle, Tante Marie, Crossroads, Nibbles etc. The Airtel Money service allows customers to pay utility bills, goods and services, make direct payment for savings and loans contributions, buy airtime, purchase Airtel data bundle, send money from Airtel Money account to other Airtel money customers, send money from Airtel Money account to people on other networks, receive money on Airtel Money account, deposit physical cash for electronic money (e-value), withdraw cash from Airtel money account, send money to and withdraw money from bank account, and use mobile phone to check your bank balance and request for bank mini statement. Airtel Money which has been praised by industry players for its innovative features and secured nature has been expanding over the past few months roping in more banks and business outlets in the process.

added that NESREA had filed a case against Grimadi for allegedly importing harmful electrical and electronic products, classified under Special Criminal Provisions Act. According to the organisation, NESREA’s Legal Adviser, Mr Bola Odugbesan, signed the charge against Grimadi, adding that upon conviction, importers of such products risked life imprisonment without option of fine. The case comes for definite hearing on July 17, at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the statement said. It also said that the agency had commenced criminal proceedings against Airtel for

allegedly violating environmental laws by siting base stations in Lafia and Owerri. “NESREA, consequent upon the sealing of two base stations in Lafia and Owerri, has commenced criminal proceedings against Airtel. “The company has been charged with violating the statutory stipulated setback provided in the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunications and Broadcast Facilities Regulations, 2011. “The Lafia case will come up for hearing on May 15 while that of Owerri will come up on May 17, at various High Courts,” it added. (NAN)

Managing AMR voice recordings and ringtones


f you’ve used a portable device such as an MP3 player or smartphone to record voice, then the digital audio data may be stored in the AMR format — your phone might also have a selection of ringtones in this format too. This lossy audio data compression system is particularly good at handling the human voice compared to more popular formats like MP3, AAC, WMA, and others. AMR files are usually significantly smaller too adding to their usefulness in maximizing your portable’s storage space. However, compared to the

MP3 format, AMR is fairly obscure in the digital audio world and not as well supported by consumer electronic devices and software as a result. If you try and play AMR files on your software media player, then you will probably see an ‘unknown format’ message (or similar complaint) pop up on-screen unless you’ve already got the right codec installed. If you’ve got a selection of AMR files that you’d like to convert to a more manageable format like MP3, then our AMR transcoding guide will show you how using free software. (



ECOWAS urged to step up war on money laundering, terrorism financing From Ngozi Onyeakusi Lagos


he Inter- Governmental Action Group against money laundering in West Africa (GIABA), has called on Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries to step up their approach to the fight against the menace of money laundering and terrorism financing in the sub-region. Speaking at the annual briefing session for ECOWAS Ambassadors and development partners in Dakar, Senegal at the weekend, Director General, GIABA, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, noted that to deepen regional integration in line with ECOWAS’ Vision 2020 agenda, there was the urgent need to improve on the political commitment of member States for the implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/ CFT) regimes in the region.

He explained that the report of GIABA’s recent evaluation of member countries showed that most of them are still struggling with the implementation of the old Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards, stressing that the poor compliance is a pointer to the level of vulnerability of the financial systems to money laundering and other related crimes. Of particular concern, he said, are preventive measures being taken by financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs); institutional and other measures necessary in the system, and the 9 Special Recommendations on terrorism financing, stressing that the weaknesses in these areas portend a major source of worry in the fight against the scourges in the sub-region. “Another area of success for GIABA is in the establishment of financial intelligence units.

However, some of the FIUs in the region are operating suboptimally, hence the capacity to receive, analyze and disseminate suspicious transaction reports that facilitate investigation and prosecution is impaired,” he said. The GIABA boss, who described money laundering as a derivative, migratory and trans- border crime, emphasized that it requires very close collaboration between countries to checkmate the criminals involved, urging member states to pool resources together and support each other in the fight against the crime. While acknowledging the support of the member States over the years, he outlined various efforts by GIABA to deliver on its mandate, and reiterated continued commitment to providing technical assistance to States and civil organizations to fight the crimes. Shehu further disclosed that

FATF, in collaboration with other stakeholders have undertaken the revision of the its Standards which expanded Politically Exposed Persons {PEPs} to include domestic PEPs and included tax crime as a new predicate offence, adding that the revised Standards places emphasis on continuous monitoring; identifying risks, developing policies and ensuring domestic coordination. In her remark at the event, Minister of Justice, Senegal, Aminata Toure, said the priority of the new Senegalese government is the fight corruption and crimes in all its facets, She emphasized the need to develop more institutional

strategies by member States to combat transnational crimes, adding that she would collaborate with the ministries of foreign affairs and finance to step up fight against crimes in her country. Also speaking, Doyen of ECOWAS Ambassadors, Hippolyte Ouedraogo , commended GIABA’s efforts at combating money laundering and criminalities in the subregion. He stated that the fight against money laundering was good for the regional economy, stressing that the economy is fragile and should be protected. He pledged the continuous support of member states to fight the various crimes.

MTN, Stanbic IBTC Bank partner to provide mobile money services in Nigeria


TN Nigeria Communications Limited, a subsidiary of South Africa’s MTN Group, and Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of Nigeria’s Standard Bank, recently have signed an agreement to provide mobile money services in Nigeria. Further details such as the types of mobile services that will be offered have not been released. According to the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Brett Goschen , “MTN’s partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank was in line

with the telecommunications company’s promise to empower its customers by providing them with improved services and more innovative applications [1].” The agreement complements the Central Bank of Nigeria’s strategy to “usher in a cashless economy in the country [1]” in order to become one of the top largest economies in 2020. As of December 31, 2011, Standard Bank’s total assets stand at ZAR 497 billion (USD185 billion). MTN has 35 million subscribers in Africa. (NAN)

Experts attribute rising inflation to low productivity in real sectors L-R: National Vice- President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mrs Mary Iyasere, Chairman, Conference of Northern states Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (CONSCCIMA), Malam Ahmad Rabiu, and former President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, during a recent news conference on the postponement of the Northern Nigeria Economic and Investment Summit. Photo: NAN

KADCCIMA aims at revamping Nigeria’s economy


he 33rd Kaduna International Trade Fair opened on Saturday with a pledge by the organisers to ensure that it facilitates investments into the country. The President of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), Umar Yahaya said in an address at the occasion, that the Fair would contribute towards the revamping of Nigeria’s economy. Yahaya said KADCCIMA was determined to help sharpen Nigeria’s competitiveness in the global market. He said six foreign

companies from Poland, Hungary, India, Egypt, Senegal and Mali were participating in the fair, which has as its theme “Reawakening Nigerian Enterprises for Global Competitiveness”. He commended the Kaduna State Government for providing electricity transformers at the complex and the security arrangement made to ensure a hitch-free event. The National President, Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture, Mr. Herbert Ajayi noted that the n a t i o n ’ s h a r s h business environment has

limited the capacity of local investors to compete with their counterparts from developing nations. He challenged the organised private sector in Nigeria to reposition itself to face the emerging challenges of global competitiveness by taking the lead in the economy. “If our economy is to speedily recover and enhance her sustainable business and economic growth, Nigeria and their foreign business partner, must be reminded that the expected growth of the economy would not happen without imbibing the spirit of good business ethics.” (NAN)


ome financial experts have attributed the rising inflation rate in the country to low activities in the real sectors. They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos on Monday that the rising inflation rate would retard the growth of the economy. The National Bureau of Statistics has reported that the inflation rate increased from 11.9 per cent in February to 12.1 per cent in March. Mr. Victor Ogiemwonyi, Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership Investment, said that the rising inflation rate was not favourable to economic growth. He advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to strive to achieve and maintain single digit inflation rate. Mr. Eddie Osarenkhoe, a former President of Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (FHAN), identified the partial removal of subsidy on petrol as another factor that had led to

higher inflation. He said that the removal of the subsidy had led higher cost of transporting food items from the rural areas. “The apex bank should continue to monitor inflation rate and adopt policies that will bring down the rate,’’ he said. He advised the Federal Government to monitor its spending and reactivate the real sector. A former President of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria Mr Samuel Nzekwe told NAN that high inflation rate would persist as long as the manufacturing sector was dormant. He said that there would be inflation in an environment where banks’ lending rates were high and the manufacturing sector was not working. Nzekwe suggested that the government should galvanise the real sector to produce more while Nigerians should depend less on imported goods. (NAN)




Charles Taylor: One man, two wars, one guilty verdict On the eve of Sierra Leone’s Independence Day, former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty of war crimes committed during that country’s civil war. But does the verdict represent a major victory for Sierra Leoneans beyond its symbolic value? asks Robtel Neajai Pailey.


uch has changed since I covered the first day of Charles Taylor’s trial for Pambazuka News on June 4, 2007. That day, he failed to show up to court, calling the case against him a “farce.” Today, he was in full view, stoic, resolute and somber. As I sat in the public gallery of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon building at The Hague, peering at the man portrayed as the most notorious African warlord in contemporary history, Taylor’s fate was solidified by one word: “GUILTY.” After nearly nine years in limbo, Taylor was convicted today on all 11 counts of crimes against humanity and violation of international and Sierra Leonean law in that country’s civil war spanning November 1996 to January 2002. Taylor is the first head of state — and the first African — to be convicted by an international tribunal since the Nuremburg trials of 1946. The UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was mandated in 2002 to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for the war that destabilised much of West Africa and stunted economic/political activity. Taylor’s trial is the last one. Sierra Leone and Liberia have both been touted as postconflict success stories, following what some would argue is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ externally imposed system of state-building. But while Sierra Leone and Liberia have attempted to emerge from the ashes of civil war, the specter of Charles Taylor has always hung over their fates like an ominous cloud, forever linking the two neighbours beyond their peculiarly similar historical trajectories. Taylor may have wreaked havoc in both countries, but he has languished in a Hague prison

for the past five years, facing the full weight of international law for only aiding and abetting rebel factions in Sierra Leone’s civil crisis, privately providing arms and ammunition to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) while publicly promoting peace as a standing head of state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It is clear, however, that the decision to convict him was not unanimous. After Taylor’s verdict was announced, Judge Malick Sow, an alternate judge, disagreed with the judgment openly while being rebuffed by colleagues, who stormed out of the court: “I disagree with the findings and conclusions of the other judges…the guilt of the accused from the evidence provided in this trial is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution.” Sow, like others before him, had argued that Taylor did not make or break the war in Sierra Leone. In the concluding chapter of ‘When the State Fails: Studies on Intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War’, [1] Tunde Zack-Williams, editor of the book, argues that Taylor simply tipped over an already bubbling pot: “…it is doubtful if Taylor’s intervention would have been so successful without other underlying long-term factors including: the marginalization of youth, patrimonialism and bad governance, deterioration of the economy and the general crisis of peripheral capitalism in Sierra Leone. By the time Taylor decided to show ‘fraternal revolutionary solidarity’ with Sankoh, Sierra Leone was a failing state, with crumbling social and physical infrastructure, a regime that could provide neither social citizenship, nor

•••Charles Taylor judgment reveals selective international justice important point. Until international justice can prove that it is blind to political maneuvering and power, it will always suffer from the virus of illegitimacy. As argued by Hochschild: “No international court can ever substitute for a working national justice system. Or for a society at peace. And I suspect it will be a long time indeed before three Africans in black robes sit in judgment of the likes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for their endorsement of torture, or Vladimir Putin for his war in Chechnya, or Chinese officials for their actions in Tibet. But if we are serious about the idea that basic human rights belong to all people on Earth, no matter where they live—a principle enshrined in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights—then a justice system that can cross national boundaries is essential.” [2] There has been a new, yet subdued, movement of people questioning the selective nature of international criminal justice, with Taylor’s attorney chiming the alarm bells with alacrity. According to Griffths, Taylor’s case has been politically motivated, “replicating blackness and

Charles Taylor at start of hearing for verdict delivery security for its people, with an alienated youthful population and an electorate that was at its wit’s end with their tormentors” (ZackWilliams, 2012: 247). Regardless of the dissenting judge, Taylor’s sentence will be announced on May 30, two weeks after the prosecution and defense have given their oral arguments in a hearing. He will be transferred thereafter to a British prison to serve whatever sentence he is given. Again, another nonAfrican prison will hold Taylor for crimes committed in Africa. Lest we have selective amnesia, Taylor walked out of a Plymouth prison in Massachusetts while undergoing extradition charges to Liberia in 1985. That was the beginning of Liberia’s tragic epic. Presumably it was also the beginning of Sierra Leone’s. Brenda Hollis, chief prosecutor in Taylor’s trial, said: “Today is for the people of Sierra Leone who suffered horribly at the hands of Charles Taylor and his proxy forces. This [guilty] judgment brings some measure of justice to the

many thousands of victims who paid a terrible price for Mr. Taylor’s crimes.” It may be coincidental that Sierra Leone will be celebrating its 51st Independence Day tomorrow, April 27, but I question whether this verdict represents a major victory beyond its symbolic value. Although the verdict is certainly relevant, clearly sending shockwaves across Africa, I’m not convinced that it has far enough reach to impact the lives of Sierra Leoneans who still suffer from the consequences of the reign of terror wreaked on them for 11 years. Nor does it bring back the deceased in Liberia, where justice still remains elusive. What Charles Taylor’s verdict signifies for me is the need to reconfigure Africa’s domestic systems of justice, so that we don’t have to rely on the West to judge when, where, and under what circumstances we can punish for transgressions that we deem unacceptable. If a mob can stealthily executive an alleged rogue for stealing a loaf of bread from a local market anywhere on the

continent, then surely we can channel that kind of misappropriated anger and violence to constructively tackle the most egregious criminals who break the public trust. Surely we can ensure that wielding money and power and influence cannot cloak a common criminal from facing the full weight of the law, no matter who s/he is. Hollis’ rhetoric proves that she would theoretically agree with this position on an international level but I question her assertion that: “Today’s historic judgment reinforces the new reality, that Heads of State will be held to account for war crimes and other crimes…This judgment affirms that with leadership comes not just power and authority, but also responsibility and accountability. No person, no matter how powerful, is above the law.” International justice is clearly blind to the atrocities committed by Western agents as well as non-Western countries that wield international clout or power. For instance, Russia, China

and the U.S. never ratified the International Criminal Court because they were concerned that their nationals could be held accountable for crimes committed in other countries. And in May 2009, Sri Lanka successfully organised a counter resolution, backed by India, Russia and a majority of Asian, African and Latin American members, when a UN resolution was passed accusing the administration of war crimes. The administration argued that “human rights must not be regarded as a new version of the white man’s burden” in Sri Lanka. This just goes to show that it’s not enough for the likes of Taylor, Bashir, Kony and other Africans to be called before an international tribunal. All those who commit atrocities around the world deserve the same kind of justice, argues Taylor’s attorney, Courtenay Griffiths, from the former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair, to former President of the United States, George Bush, for their participation in an illegitimate war in Iraq. As radical as this view appears, Griffiths has made an

criminality at the international level.” He is not the only one who questions the legitimacy of international justice. Paul Kagame of Rwanda argued that the over $1 billion spent in international donor money on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) — established in 1994 against the wishes of the Rwandan government, and modeled after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) — could be spent on building local justice systems in Rwanda, such as the gacaca village level systems or the Rwandan courts. He argued that the ICTR’s physical detachment from Rwanda prevented it from meaningfully engaging with the Rwandan people. The same argument could be made for the Taylor trial in The Hague. And further research shows that dissenting opinions are not just confined to the continent of Africa. Bosnians, for instance, have moved from an earlier support of the ICTY to a more recent position of skepticism that questions the political neutrality of ICTY judges, leading to the insistence that future cases involving Bosnian victims be tried in indigenous rather than international tribunals. [3]

UN officials welcome court's guilty verdict in Charles Taylor trial

The fact that hybrid tribunals such as the ICTY and the ICTR average an annual budget of US$100 million should be called into question when domestic judicial institutions in Africa and elsewhere must be strengthened. Domestic actors need to ‘own’ the process and international actors can only play a supportive role, if invited to do so. Assuming that no surviving structures of policing or justice worthy of international support undermines what may already exist in countries recovering from complex political emergencies. [4] What were the indigenous systems of justice in Africa used before the onset of

colonialism? Why not return to those, borrowing what is relevant and discarding the rest as historical artifact? It seems to me that we cannot continue to rely on international justice systems to protect us from each other. We must do that ourselves. Two days before the Taylor verdict, a press release was issued from the Government of Liberia, as a founding member of the UN, endorsing its faith in the international justice system. It is ironic that Liberia has yet to deal with its own confounding justice system, or with a set of recommendations from a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that endorsed prosecutions for

Today is for the people of Sierra Leone who suffered horribly at the hands of Charles Taylor and his proxy forces. This [guilty] judgment brings some measure of justice to the many thousands of victims who paid a terrible price for Mr. Taylor’s crimes

those who bear the greatest responsibility for Liberia’s civil war. These recommendations have yet to be implemented, with some arguing that they are unconstitutional. It is ironic that Liberia has praised an international system that asymmetrically favors selective justice. It also is ironic that Taylor’s former allies continue to wield political and economic power in Liberia. A perfect international justice system is one that doesn’t have any trials, as former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Ocampo, once argued. But are we anywhere near making the ICC or other international justice bodies unnecessary? Durable peace in post-conflict countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia require domestic institution building of justice systems, not an expensive, internationally funded legal apparatus. In the Thomas Lubanga ICC trial alone, one man was convicted in one decade, costing the international community US$1 billion. In the case of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), under whose jurisdiction Taylor’s verdict was rendered, it was originally projected that the SCSL would cost US$35 million total. To date, lead donors such as the UK, U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, and Nigeria have helped to raise much more than that. Although the UK has funded judicial capacity in Sierra Leone considerably, clearly more needs to be done, and the investments must come from the Sierra Leone national budget. The fact that the vast majority of Liberians and Sierra Leoneans do not access formal court systems is a telltale sign that we must not be doing something right, that domestic justice systems, just as their international counterparts, are not blind, but rather selective. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Robtel Neajai Pailey is currently pursuing a doctorate in Development Studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), as a Mo Ibrahim Foundation scholar. She is also an opinion fellow with New N a r r a t i v e s (, a project supporting leading independent media in Africa.


Sahel food crisis: Oxfam collaborates with music icons to raise awareness


xfam of Great Britain has said it is collaborating with entertainment icons to raise awareness on the current Sahel food crisis and its impending effects on Nigeria. Oxfam is an international civil society group involved in the fight against global poverty and hunger. Its Programme Assistant in Nigeria, Mrs. Bayowa Roberts, told journalists recently in Abuja that the collaboration which started in February had some musicians and entertainment icons as the torch bearers. The collaboration, she noted, urges early action crucial to saving lives and money, adding that, “We are working on something called the ‘Edutainment’ in OXFAM; like using entertainment to teach people; so arts exhibitions, drama, film shows are very creative ways of promoting our education and awareness for the young ones. “Right now we are working with celebrities; part of the ambassadors we are looking out for is Lami, Sound Sultan, TuFace; we also had Uti. “It’s a way of raising awareness for the African’s Art for Africa Campaign, concerning the Sahel food crisis that is going on; so right now they’ve produced songs and it’s about to be launched; very soon we will see it in jingles and campaign songs to create awareness to a larger public,” he said. The Sahel region is in Sub-Sahara Africa and constitutes a semiarid strip of land. It is a transition zone between the arid north and the tropical green forest that borders the maritime coast. The countries of the Sahel include Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia Ethiopia, and Eritrea threatened by long persistent periods of drought and malnutrition. Recently, poor harvests, pasture depletion, shortfalls in food production and rising food prices are threatening to push millions of people across the Sahel into a major food crisis, especially in Mali, Chad and Mauritania. Erratic weather patterns which result in poor harvests are some of the factors that have contributed to the deteriorating situation in the Sahel regions of Mauritania and Chad. Almost 20 per cent of the population of the Sahel permanently live on the edge of crisis, while most communities are still vulnerable, having not yet had a chance to recover from the food crisis of 2009 to 2010. Oxfam in line with a coalition of aid agencies have issued warnings about the deepening food crisis in the Sahel, which threatens to leave an estimated six million people hungry unless a major funding shortfall is addressed. Roberts, who maintained that water was essential to the production of food to curb crisis in Nigeria, urged all tiers of government to provide water for agricultural activities. “For OXFAM, it is more of sustainable water and food security. We work on agriculture, we work on food; we empower small holder farmers,” she explained. “You find out that without water you can’t have food production, you can’t help secure food; people will fall into diseases. So the relationship is that water is the base rock for good

agriculture; for sustainable food security and livelihood,” she said. Oxfam had earlier called on the Federal Government to invest more in small scale farming in Nigeria to boost the country’s food security and prevent imminent food crisis. It stressed the need for the government to map out strategies to forestall a food crisis in Nigeria since neighbouring of Niger, Chad and Mali were already experiencing food shortages. It maintained that the Sahel crisis would increase pressure on the Nigerian agricultural sector as those countries’ demand for food would be high, a situation for which Nigeria was not prepared. Oxfam noted that prompt actions towards accessibility to water for agriculture would ensure a functional food security system in the country. It was learnt that international organisations such as the Action against Hunger, Save the Children, World Vision and Oxfam are collectively targeting a total of 250 million dollars to provide emergency assistance across the region, but have so far raised only 52 million dollars between them. The agencies say that if the shortfall remains unaddressed, more than two million people will be denied life-saving assistance. They warned that a continued lack of funding might force them to cut back aid programmes in the region significantly. Different reports have also shown that child malnutrition rates are currently above the WHO emergency threshold of 15 per cent in several areas of Chad and Mauritania, and are expected to deteriorate during the annual hunger season between April and August 2012. More than one million children under five in the Sahel are threatened by severe acute malnutrition in 2012. (NAN)


Kano bird market ready for commissioning T

he newly constructed live bird market at Kurmi market in Kano metropolis has been completed and would soon be commissioned. The Kano state government, in collaboration with the World Bank, constructed the market at the cost of N29 million as part of measures to prevent the spread of bird flu and other birds’ diseases. The Desk Officer (Animal Health), Avian Influenza Control Project in Kano state, Dr. Bashir Sarki disclosed this in Kano on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). “The contractor has completed

the job but the internal works have yet to be completed. But as soon as the internal works are completed, the market will be commissioned.” Sarki said that some of the facilities in the new market included metal cages, bore hole, overhead tank and slaughtering facility. Others facilities were the boiler, chimney, plastic transport crates, 12KVA generator and a car wash machine. He advised the Kano state Government to establish similar markets in each of the 44 local government areas of the state to regulate the activities of live bird

traders. Sarki explained that the establishment of such market at the local government level would check the indiscriminate sale of the commodity at unauthoriSed places. “If you go to any market, you will find out that live bird traders have no particular place to stay and this is dangerous to human beings in case of outbreak. “We can design small markets for the local government areas since most of the live bird traders in the local government areas travel to bigger markets to sell their birds,” he said.(NAN)

A heap of cassava tubers on display

We’ll meet local demand for cassava grit, says cassava processors P articipants at a workshop on the processing of cassava grit for poultry farmers in Nigeria have given assurances that processors have the capacity to meet local and international demands for the product. A cross-section of the participants told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the price of the product per tonne would also drop drastically from N50,000 to about N26,000. Mr Philip Ajomiwe, who was the facilitator of the one-day workshop, held at his processing plant in Oriendu near Umuahia, said that cassava farmers and processors would produce enough to meet the need of poultry farmers. Ajomiwe, who is a cassava grower and processor, said that farmers and processors would intensify efforts to meet the Chinese demand for 2,000 metric tonnes of dry chips. He thanked Dr Adesina Akinwumi, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural

Development, for initiating a number of policies that would revolutionise the nation’s agriculture. He explained that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture recently organised a training workshop at Enugu for farmers and processors in the South-East, where they were tutored on modern techniques of cassava processing. ‘’This is just one part of many initiatives by the minister to drive President Goodluck Jonathan’s agricultural transformation agenda through the value chain approach,” Ajomiwe said. He explained that the workshop, which was organised at the instance of the agriculture ministry, had 10 participants (trainer trainees), who were expected to train other processors and prospective ones in their respective areas. He said that the participants were taken round different processes, beginning from weighing 200 kg of cassava tubers to the

grating and mechanical drying to produce 100 kg finished grit. ” Dr Nnenna Mkpa, a participant, described the workshop as ‘’rewarding and instructive,” adding that ‘’at the end of the training, we will go to our various communities to train others on the modern approach. ‘’I learnt that this training is taking place across the different cassava-producing states so I’m confident that by the time many people have been trained, we will produce enough for the poultry farmers,” she said. Mkpa, who is the Chairperson of the Abia State Chapter of the Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria, said that the association was poised to meet the challenges ahead, given the mouth-watering incentives by the Federal Government. ‘’Federal Government has given farmers a lot of incentives, including agriculture loan, so cassava growers in Abia State have commenced farm clearing, preparatory to full-scale

cultivation this season,” she said. Other participants, including Mr Livinus Nweke and Iche Kalu, also shared the same optimism, saying that the value-chain approach to agricultural transformation by the Federal Government would lead to increased output. Nweke remarked that the Federal Government had now realised that Nigeria was spending a lot of foreign reserve on the importation of agricultural inputs. He said that the new commitment by the government would save a lot of money for the country. On his part, Kalu said: ‘’I’m happy because every sector of agriculture is included in the valuechain and that is the best approach in modern agriculture. ”Using incentives, such as the present agricultural loan, to drive agricultural transformation agenda of the President means that farmers will begin to benefit from their toil.”



Fadama: Osun farmers share N60 million


armers participating in the Fadama III programme in Osun have received N60 million grant to boost their activities, the National Coordinator of Fadama Project, Mr Tayo Adewunmi, has said. Adewunmi said on Monday while disbursing the grant in Iwo, that 135 farmers from the 20 local government areas of the state had benefited. Represented by the South West Coordinator, Alhaji Rasak Salawu, Adewunmi urged the beneficiaries to utilise the grants to ensure that all the community based projects initiated by them were completed. He assured the farmers that all projects under the the Fadama III programme would be completed, adding that the balance of funds for the state would be released before the project terminates in 2013. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Wale Adedoyin, who presented the cheques to the beneficiaries, disclosed that more than 600 vulnerable people would be empowered by the grant. He admonished the beneficiaries against diverting the fund, saying “use it strictly for the intended purpose, so as to improve your economic activities”. “The state government has zero tolerance for corruption, abandoned or uncompleted projects and it will collaborate with other stakeholders to monitor as you execute and manage your sub-projects,“ the commissioner said. The state Coordinator of the project, Mr Ganiyu Adediji, implored the benefiting communities to play their part well and on time so as to meet the five year target for the project. He commended the state government for the prompt payment of its counterpart contribution but appealed to some defaulting local government councils to pay up. “This will make implementation to be in full swing for the second half of project implementation across the state,” Adediji said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four community projects worth more than N12 million were inaugurated in Iwo Local Government Area after the disbursement. The projects included 10 lockup shops at Oloogun-Ebi village, Concrete fish ponds with a borehole at Agbowo in Odo-Ori Village and two poultry farms situated at Aba-Aro and Ponyan villages. NAN recalls that the State Fadama III projects was rated first in the South West and second at the national level during MidTerm Review Mission by the World Bank. (NAN)

Stakeholders call for sustainability plans for agric projects


takeholders at the programme implementation review meeting on agriculture has urged on-going donor programmes/projects to articulate sustainability plans for their programmes/projects for continuity. The review meeting, attended by representatives of agricultural organisations, was organized by the Federal Department of Rural Development (FDRD) in Port Harcourt. The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by Dr Alexander Coker of FDRD, was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Thursday. The meeting said that the sustainability plans should also ensure total ownership of the projects by the states, local governments, agencies and beneficiaries. It said that only states and local governments which were ready to meet laid-down eligibility criteria for participation should be given the opportunity to embark on new projects. The meeting recommended the setting up of a Programme Monitoring/Supervision Task

Force to guide programme/project implementation. It also recommended the constitution of a Country Programme Management Team (CPMT) to provide technical support and guidance to all programmes/projects under FDRD. The meeting called for the implementation of all approved recommendations of Supervision Missions and Mid Term Reviews, especially regarding nonperforming states and components. It noted that some state governors had yet to pay their counterpart funds for

programmes/projects being implemented in their states. The meeting called for a delegation, comprising the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and some donor-assisted programmes to visit the affected governors. It said that with the extension of National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) to 2015, the entire on-going donor support NPFS projects closing down should commence the loan extension process. “Based on the realignment to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), all the other donor-

assisted programmes/projects under FDRD, facing low drawdown of loans should also initiate the process of loan extension. “Wherever appropriate, the process of requesting new loans should be initiated by the FMARD,” the meeting said. It, however, called for fasttracking of the on-going regularization of appointments of programmes/projects contract staff. “The meeting is convinced that if all these recommendations are implemented, there will be a notable improvement in the programmes/projects delivery,” the communiqué said. (NAN)

Cross River to build oil palm refinery


he Cross River Government has said it will build an oil palm refinery in partnership with an Asian company to commercialise agriculture and create employment in the state. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr James Aniyom, disclosed said recently that the company, Wilmer, had already acquired two estates in Kalahu and Ibiaye, while discussions had reached an advanced stage for the take-off. “We have a company called Wilmer which is one of the biggest companies in Asia. It has acquired Kalahu and Ibiaye estates for the project in our state here. “There is also another green field that it has acquired at Oron, amounting to 5,000 hectares for each of them”, he said, He stated that plans were on to give the firm additional 50,000 hectares of land for the project which is expected to provide employment for about 3,000 people. Meanwhile, farmers in the state have lauded the new Federal Government policy on the sale of fertiliser. Some of the farmers told NAN that the policy would eliminate corruption in the distribution process and allow the product to get to users at the grassroots. NAN recalls that the Federal Government recently announced that accredited companies would sell fertiliser directly to registered farmers in states and local government councils. (NAN)

An oil palm plantation

Practical approach needed to develop agric in Nigeria – AFAN


ll Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Coordinator in Auchi, Edo, Alhaji Abdulahi Mohammed, is advocating a practical approach to agriculture development in the country as the only way to revamp the sector. Abdulahi, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Auchi on Sunday, condemned the attitude of states and local governments in the country towards agriculture. “What they do only amounts to lip service. Some of the policies being introduced by the Federal Government to boost the sector are bound to fail, even before implementation, unless pragmatic measures are taken. “Specifically, the Growth Enhancement Support Service, one of the new initiatives, is too cumbersome and confusing to the

real farmers, who are mostly illiterate.” Abdulahi stated that about 60 per cent of “real” farmers in Edo would be denied access to farm inputs and implements because they had no idea of the processes under the scheme. Besides, he said, the processes required completion of many forms and submission of documents, noting that most farmers in the state could not contend with such demands on them. The coordinator said that farmers perceived the difficult processes as a ploy by the government to deny certain category of people among them access to available credits and materials. “Most farmers refused to register as they termed the scheme another government gimmick. They are tired of filling forms and not getting anything at the end.

“Even, the forms of most farmers who managed to register were returned as not properly completed and this is because most of them are illiterate, who do not know the difference between acres and hectares,’’ he said. Abdullahi, therefore, urged the government to adopt a practical approach to the development of the agriculture sector. According to him, governments in the country should deploy an agriculture expert to every ward in each local government across the country as supervisor for all agricultural programmes in that area. “The supervisor will monitor all farmers in his ward and by so doing, be abreast with their needs and problems. Anything government needs to get across to the farmers will be through the supervisor.” (NAN)



The IMF and oil: It’s the politics, stupid (II) ANALYSIS By Johnny West


arts of the left sometimes see it as a sinister libertarian plot to undermine the state, making an unfortunate and imported equation between the legitimacy of a state and the amount of money it has. The mental paradigm generally invoked is of throwing bundles of dollars off the back of lorries into a refugee camp. In fact, in the 21st century a citizen dividend would be more likely to take place by digital transfer over mobile phone. Harnessed properly, it would be a massive asset for social and economic development - multiplying the tax base, a key IMF concern, transforming the local finance sector, putting the small business sector on steroids and, in many countries, coming close to eliminating absolute poverty. If you ever go to an oil trade show and approach the stand for Schlumberger or Halliburton, it won't be long before someone tries to sell you an oil meter. Twelve different grades of crude, each with their own specific gravity, flowing down a trunk line? No problem! For a few hundred thousand dollars you can buy meters which measure the amount of crude flowing through pipelines to within a fraction of a per cent, and transmit the data to a collation center in real time. So your company can check to within 0.15 per cent the amount of oil the other company is transferring to you. There are also companies which can sell you satellite and aerial surveillance - able through a variety of techniques to capture the smallest of spills of oil, or produced water, or toxic chemicals, fluctuations in the water table, and a whole lot else, for less than $100 a square kilometre. Any fiscal regime must consider enforcement: if and how it is possible to assess property rights and values. In this case, an industry worth billions can be monitored relatively cheaply if a range of technologies already in standard commercial use are adopted for the public benefit. No country in the world has yet put a system which could

In some cases, governments may benefit from separating oil exploration from extraction comprehensively monitor the nation's wealth online, but in 2012 there is absolutely no reason why they couldn't. Best candidate to take that step? Brazil, where Lulu and now Dilma Roussef drove progressive use of oil revenues and state-owned Petrobras is one of the most innovative companies in the world, bar none. Recognise the symptoms and you can provide the antidote. The development of natural resource wealth often withers other economic sectors, and affects specific demographics. Since this is well understood, it should be factored into planning. The IMF call for comments on its policies recognises that many countries may be better served investing surpluses in their own development than in global financial markets. And yet the history of oil producing countries is littered with failed prestige and white elephant projects. The question is how to ensure a new surge of

commodity rents doesn't lead to a re-run of this kind of paternalistic and grandiose modernism? One approach is what Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion, calls "investing in investing", the creation not of industries but of the infrastructure to support them, that infrastructure being partly physical, such as roads and utilities, and partly social, such as developing trading and legal systems which encourage private investment. Some countries, such as Libya and Iraq, are so rich they could consider using their wealth to carry them through a decade of massive investment in training and education to emerge sometime in the 2020s as knowledge economies. There is also the uncomfortable fact that oil-led economies have a gender dimension, as so ably outlined by Michael Ross in his new book The Oil Curse. Of its nature capital intensive, it fails to absorb large numbers of people, and the revenues it


produces often spawn huge government bureaucracies, both of which disadvantage women. The IMF makes two surprising observations in its consultation document, albeit in carefully coded language. The first is that oil and mining companies might be "undertaxed" relative to their profits and internal rates of return. The second is that "in some cases, governments might benefit from separating exploration from extraction for example, by auctioning known deposits to the highest bidder". Behind these mundane words lies scope for a considerable shift in thinking. The time-honoured argument of Big Oil in response to its huge profits is the "Risk Versus Reward" mantra, the insistence that the company has taken huge risks, drilling one dry well in deep offshore can cost $100 million, and so on. Like Big Pharma, the claim is that what appears to the outside world to

There are also companies which can sell you satellite and aerial surveillance - able through a variety of techniques to capture the smallest of spills of oil, or produced water, or toxic chemicals, fluctuations in the water table, and a whole lot else, for less than $100 a square kilometre.

be massive windfall profits from this or that particular field, or drug, are in fact only the bets that came good, disregarding all the human and financial risk invested in other ventures which failed. But there's only so long you can maintain you're "just an engineering company" - a phrase I recently heard from an earnest VP of a Big Oil firm - if you keep posting ginormous profits. The claim could be fairly easily tested in fact: how do internal rates of return on projects compare with other industries? What does the return on investment in share price and dividends look like, averaged over decades and continents? One preliminary indicator: In the past ten years, ExxonMobil have posted seven out of ten of the largest corporate profits in history. But what if governments could use the wealth of geological data now acquired, and the exponentially increasing power of the processing of that data, to mitigate exploration risk? What if a government simply decided to do its own exploring and then engage the oil companies in a Dutch auction to produce what they found? Sounds like an insane throwback to state-planned economy? In January the Canadian province of Nova Scotia landed $900 million of investment from Shell after launching a bid round based on $15 million of public funds it put into exploring offshore areas hitherto ignored by the companies. As Sandy McMullen, the engineer who led the initiative, said: "When we said we wanted to do the exploration ourselves, the companies said you can't do that. We said 'No, no, no. It's our oil. You want to produce it. Let's start from there'." Low risk, low reward - no rent. Now if that started to happen, Shell really could become "just an engineering company". And oil just another industry. And the world would be a better place for it. Concluded Culled from Aljazeera. Johnny West is founder of OpenOil, a Berlin-based consultancy in oil and other extractive industries. He has covered global energy markets since the early 1990s.



Sudan declares emergency on border with south P

resident Omar al-Bashir imposes trade embargo on South Sudan and suspends constitution in southern border region. It said President Omar alBashir issued a resolution on Sunday declaring the emergency in border districts of South Kordofan state, White Nile and Sennar states. The measure follows a month of border fighting with South Sudan, which seceded last July after a peace deal ended one of Africa's longest civil wars, which killed about two million people between 1983 and 2005. An emergency has already been in effect for almost a decade in Darfur, along the western border with South Sudan, while a similar status took effect in Blue Nile state last September when an ethnic insurgency began. Trade across the border has unofficially been banned since South Sudan's independence, but the emergency formalises that prohibition. Bashir's resolution "gives the right to the president and anyone with his mandate" to establish special courts, in consultation with the chief justice, SUNA said. The state news agency also reported that the governor of White Nile state on the border has set a one-week deadline for 12,000 ethnic South Sudanese, who are gathered south of Khartoum, to leave the country. "The wali (governor) of White Nile state, Yusuf al-Shambali, confirmed that he has set May 5 as the deadline for the Southerners waiting in Kosti," a way-station south of Khartoum,

Bosco ‘Terminator’ Ntaganda takes over DR Congo towns


Sudan has declared a state of emergency along its border with South Sudan, in a move that imposes a trade embargo on the South and suspends the constitution, SUNA, the official news agency, said. it said. "The presence of Southerners in Kosti threatens the security and the environment for Kosti citizens," he said. Meanwhile, a South African demining company on Sunday said two of its workers were abducted by the Sudanese military while on a UN landmine clearance contract in South Sudan. Ashley Williams, CEO of state-owned Mechem, said its employees, a South African and a local South Sudanese, were seized along with a British UN employee and a Norwegian. Williams rejected suggestions by the Sudanese army

spokesman that the men were working in support of South Sudan in its "aggression" against the north. "It's humanitarian work so the story of them being military advisers and this type of thing is completely and utterly nonsense and not true," he said. "We are doing humanitarian landmine clearance on a UN contract and our members have full UN immunity. The abduction took place well within South Sudan territory," the spokesman told the AFP news agency, saying the group was travelling south between two UN bases. "Then they grabbed them and drove back to Heglig with them

where they then said they've arrested them in this disputed area while they weren't there at all." A team remained in the area, which the United Nations would bring out with protection over fears of similar action, Williams said. Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said on Saturday the four were captured within Sudan's borders in the tense Heglig oil area. "This confirms what we said before, 'that South Sudan in its aggression against Heglig was supported by foreign experts,'" he told reporters after the men were flown to the capital Khartoum

Ex-Libyan oil minister’s body found in Danube


ustrian police say Shukri Ghanem was found dead in river near Vienna and showed no external signs of violence. Austrian police say former Libyan oil Minister Shukri Ghanem was found dead in the Danube river near Vienna. Police spokesman Roman

Hahslinger told Al Jazeera his corpse was found on Sunday morning floating in the river and showed no external signs of violence. He said the cause of death was not immediately clear, and officials would carry out an autopsy in the coming days. Ghanem, 69, was last seen by

Former Libyan oil Minister Shukri Ghanem

his daughter on Saturday night in their apartment in a suburb of Vienna. She went to bed and when she woke up he was not in the apartment. She called the police who told her the body was found in the Danube, 20m from the shore, close to the apartment in Copa Cagrana, a popular waterfront area filled with bar and restaurants. Ghanem, who worked as a consultant for a Vienna-based company, was wearing jeans and "normal" clothes, but had no personal identification on him other than a document that named the company he was working for, Hahslinger said. An employee of the company was subsequently contacted and identified him, the police spokesman said. Joerg Michener, a journalist based in Vienna, told Al Jazeera that a passerby had found Ghanem's body in the river on Sunday morning. "Initially the family reported that Ghanem had died at home in his apartment but police have now dispelled this rumour. They have

said that clearly somebody has found his body in the Danube River," Michener said. "As far as we know there are no direct links to the Libyan revolution but police are currently investigating this." The police are appealing for witnesses and hope to conduct a postmortem examination on Monday. Hahslinger said Ghanem apparently left his residence early on Sunday morning after spending Saturday evening at home with an acquaintance. He had no further details. Ghanem served under Libya's late leader Muammar Gaddafi as prime minister from 2003 to 2006 and then as oil minister until 2011. He had defected last June during the uprising that toppled Gaddafi. Ghanem helped steer the country's oil policy and held the high-profile job of representing Libya at OPEC meetings. At the height of the crisis in Libya, he crossed over to neighbouring Tunisia in midMay 2011, by car and became one of the highest-ranking officials to defect from the regime.

roops loyal to Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court, have taken two towns in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. A Al-jazeera reporter in the area says thousands of people are fleeing the fierce fighting towards nearby Goma. Hundreds of heavily armed soldiers loyal to Gen Ntaganda recently defected from the Congolese army. Known locally as the Terminator, Gen Ntaganda has denied the ICC accusation that he recruited child soldiers. The Congolese army has admitted its troops were defeated and pushed out of the towns of Mushake and Karuba by Gen Ntaganda's men. The government soldiers have retreated 12km east to Sake, 30km (18 miles) west of Goma, the regional capital, where they are regrouping for a counteroffensive. The reporter says local residents told him they heard the fighting between forces loyal to Gen Ntaganda and government troops going on well into Sunday night. Our correspondent says he saw a constant stream of families loaded with mattresses, kitchen utensils and suitcases on the road between Sake and Goma. "There has been a lot of shooting, this is why we have fled," an elderly man who fled Mushake", said. A woman who left the same area told the Al-jazeera that, she had seen the dead bodies of soldiers and civilians. Several thousand people have been displaced by the fighting, our correspondent says. Many people told the Aljazeera they fear a repeat of scenes in late 2008. Then, Gen Ntaganda was a senior commander of the CNDP rebel group, which threatened to invade Goma. This led more than a quarter of a million people to flee their homes.

Bosco Ntaganda used to fight with Thomas Lubanga, the first person convicted by the ICC



He’s (the) serving spirit! Pub regulars photograph generous ghost of former barman who keeps topping up their drinks drinks. And at a recent retirement party for one of the staff, Paul Morgan finally photographed the mysterious phantom. Father-of-four Paul, 47, who was snapping friend Gerry Goodwin, said: 'I was taking lots of photos with my iPhone because it was a fancy dressthemed party. 'I took a few of a group of friends and it was once I looked at them a while later I noticed something strange in the background. 'I took two shots in a matter of seconds. You can't see anything strange in the first, then a face appears in the next. 'It is very weird. I showed my kids and they couldn't believe it. There was no one near at the time.' Married Mr Morgan, a regular for the popular pub's darts side, said none of the regulars have been put off going in for a drink after seeing the spooky snap.

Ghostly: Spooked pub-goers claim to have pictured the spirit (circled) they say has been haunting their local ale-house for years


pooked pub-goers claim to have pictured the spirit they say has been haunting their local ale-house for years.

Regulars at the Apsley House in Southsea, Hants, say a generous ghoul, believed to be the ghost of a former barman, keeps topping up their

Woman with GOD tattooed across her forehead arrested for stalking (and calls herself the Godologist of Godology online)

Trade: The ghoul has not put regulars off from attending the Apsley House pub in Southsea, Hants Plumbing engineer Paul added: 'The ghost is famous round here now and the pub wouldn't be the same without him.' Landlord Paul Wicks added they had nicknamed their ghostly regular Reedy - after actor and legendary drinker Oliver Reed. He has worked at

the 1960s pub, formerly a Victorian girls' school, for 13 years. Mr Wicks, 51, said: 'People say they have seen the ghost at the bar and that they feel things - cold spots things like that. I am a sceptic but can't see any rhyme or reason for what is in that photo.'

The £100,000 prang: Hit-and-run BMW driver flips into five Mercedes cars at showroom


BMW caused at least £100,000-worth of damage when its driver ploughed through the barriers at a Mercedes Benz showroom into five luxury cars. The white £60,000 BMW X6, which was written off along with one of the Mercedes, is believed to have flipped over on to its roof before skidding on to the forecourt of the showroom in Bolton. It hit the first in a row of brand-new cars, thought to be worth about £40,000 each, knocking it on to its side and triggering a costly domino effect. Police are now hunting the driver, who is said to have scrambled out of the wreckage before fleeing the scene. A passenger, 39, was cut out of the vehicle and arrested. He was taken to hospital but discharged later and has been released pending further

Domino effect: The £60,000 BMW X6 is believed to have flipped over on to its roof before skidding on to the forecourt of the showroom inquiries. A stash of cash and drugs were found in the BMW. Mechanic Paul Widall, who works nearby, witnessed the aftermath of the crash, which took place at about 2am on Saturday. He said: 'The BMW had flipped

over on to its roof. 'It had hit the kerb, took the barrier out and flipped in mid air before rolling on to a post. 'There were bits of light and glass and plastic all over the shop.' No-one at the Mercedes garage was available for comment.

Mugshots: Arrested in March 2011 on possession charges, left, and last weekend on stalking charges, right, Jamie Calloway shows off her GOD inkings


he gives the phrase 'Looking up to God' a whole new meaning. Jamie Calloway, 33, from Ohio, is the latest to join the top ten of hilarious mugshots for having the words GOD tattooed across her forehead. Calloway has twice been arrested on separate charges and police undoubtedly had no trouble identifying her inking and her mouth full of metal teeth. In fact, so proud is Calloway of her teeth and inking that she calls herself 'Jamie Godhead

Platinum - Godologist of Godology' on YouTube, where she has posted a number of videos of herself with passages of the bible mixed throughout. The 33-year-old was arrested last night and booked into the Montgomery County jail on a misdemeanor menacing by stalking count. In March last year she was arrested on possession charges, this time with a head of unkempt fuzzy hair and looking a little less pleased with herself. She is currently being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Destruction: The BMW driver is believed to have scrambled out of the wreckage before fleeing the scene, and a stash of cash and drugs were found in the car



Fertility drugs ‘more than double the chances of children developing leukaemia’


ertility drugs can more than double the chances of children born to mothers who struggle to get pregnant developing leukaemia, a study has shown. Children were 2.6 times more likely to become ill with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common type of childhood leukaemia, if their mothers had been treated with ovary-stimulating drugs. They had a 2.3-fold increased risk of suffering the rarer form of the disease, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Children conceived naturally after their mothers waited more than a year to get pregnant had a 50 per cent greater-than-normal likelihood of developing ALL. But no heightened risk of childhood leukaemia was associated either with in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or artificial insemination. The French scientists cannot yet fully explain their findings, the first to show a specific link between use of fertility drugs and childhood leukaemia. Study leader Dr Jeremie Rudant, from the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at the French research institute INSERM in Villejuif, Paris, said: ‘It has always been hypothesised that assisted reproductive technologies may be involved in the onset of childhood cancer as they involve repeated treatment at the time of conception and or manipulation of the sperm and

egg. And it is now established that a majority of acute leukaemia have a pre-natal (pre-birth) origin. ‘The findings indicate that more research is now needed to investigate more closely the link between specific types of fertility drugs and what role the underlying causes of infertility may play in the potential development of childhood leukaemia.’ Dr Rudant presented the results at the Childhood Cancer 2012 conference in London, hosted by the charity Children

No risk: The study found that in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or artificial insemination offered no risk of developing leukaemia

Risk: A study has found that fertility drugs can more than double the chances of children born to mothers who struggle to get pregnant developing leukaemia (posed by model)

with Cancer UK. A total of 2,445 French children and their mothers took part in the study, comprising 764 children who had been diagnosed with leukaemia and 1,681 who were free of the disease. Mothers were asked if they had taken more than a year to conceive a child, and questioned about the treatments they had received. Around 44,000 cycles of fertility treatment are carried out each year in the UK. Use of fertility technology is

increasing worldwide. In the UK, 1.8 per cent of all live births in 2007 followed fertility treatment, compared with just 0.5 per cent in 1992. Despite a significant increase in risk, the actual number of children developing leukaemia after their mothers undergo fertility treatment remains very small. Just 400 cases of childhood leukaemia are diagnosed each year in the UK, three-quarters of which are ALL. ALL can affect children of any age but is most common

between the ages of one and four. It is also more likely to affect boys than girls. Dr Rudant said: ‘Previous studies have suggested a link between infertility treatments and acute childhood leukaemia but there haven’t been many studies, most of them have been small and they focused either on IVF or hormonal treatment. Our study was much larger and it’s the first time that a specific increased risk linked to fertility drugs has been found.’ Source:

Women who smoke during pregnancy ‘may be more likely to have a child with autism


omen who smoke during pregnancy could be more likely to have a child with highfunctioning autism, say researchers. WHAT IS AUTISM? Autism refers to a range of related developmental disorders that start in childhood and affect the person for their whole life. Symptoms can be split into three broad groups: 1) Problems with social interaction 2) Impaired language and communication skills 3) Unusual patterns of thought and behaviour People with autism may also be over or under-sensitive to sounds, touch, taste, smells, light or colour. Symptoms can range from mild to severe but all can cause anxiety. While some people with autism can live relatively independent lives, others may need a lifetime of specialist support. There is no cure but there are a number of treatments to help autistic people better cope with the world around them. Around one in 100 children in the UK have autism spectrum disorder. It is three times more common among boys than girls.

‘It has long been known that autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and communication skills,’ said lead author Professor Amy Kalkbrenner from the University of WisconsinMilwaukee. ‘What we are seeing is that some disorders on the autism spectrum, more than others, may be influenced by a factor such as whether a mother smokes during pregnancy.’ Prof Kalkbrenner and her colleagues looked at a population-based study comparing smoking data from birth certificates of hundreds of thousands of children from 11 states to a database of children diagnosed with autism. They found that 13 per cent of mothers whose children were identified as having an autism spectrum disorder at the age of eight had smoked during pregnancy. These children were more likely to have high-functioning autism such as Asperger’s Disorder, which has a less severe impact. ‘The study doesn’t say for certain that smoking is a risk factor for autism,’ Prof Kalkbrenner says.

‘But it does say that if there is an association, it’s between smoking and certain types of autism.’ Other risks of smoking during pregnancy are well known. Every time a pregnant woman smokes, she restricts the oxygen delivered through the placenta that’s essential for a baby’s healthy growth and

development. The habit increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Resulting babies are twice as likely to die from cot death. They also have a higher risk of suffering asthma and ear infections. Despite this an estimated 13 per cent of pregnant women smoke in England and the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S recently released data that suggested one in 88 American children have an autism spectrum disorder. Prof Kalkbrenner said it made environmental studies like hers ‘even more timely.’ Because autism involves a broad spectrum of conditions and the interplay of genetics a n d environment is so complex, no one study can explain all the causes of autism, she adds. ‘The goal of this work is to help provide a piece of the puzzle. And in this we were successful.’ The study w a s published by the journal Environmental H e a l t h Perspectives. Source: Smoking danger: Pregnancy is known to increase the risk of miscarriage



Subsidy probe: Cabal could afford to bribe us with N8 billion, says panel member INTERVIEW Dr. Ali Ahmad, a member, House of Representatives ad hoc Committee on Subsidy Management and Chairman, House Committee on justice in Ilorin spoke with selected Journalists on a number of national issues, particularly, the oil subsidy probe. Our correspondent in Ilorin, Olanrewaju Lawal was there. Excerpts:


iven the level of alleged fraud the committee discovered in the oil industry including the NNPC, people are saying that Corporation should be scrapped? What is your take? NNPC should be scraped without delay. But we should not waste energy on that since the Petroleum Industry Bill will be on board very soon. In that bill, there is no provision for the NNPC to be spoon-fed by the government. We should leave that with the PIB. NNPC is another government. We have Federal government and we have NNPC as a government. NNPC is not bound by any law or have respect for anybody. Why did the committee recommend three months for the implementation of the report? Knowing Nigeria what it is, there could be dilly dally here and there, if the recommendations are accepted, it will go a long way in affecting the economy of this country. All these should be done in three months. If we are serious about it, it should be implemented in three months otherwise, it may take another two years and there might be foot dragging. We hope in three months Nigerians will see the benefit of this rigorous and comprehensive probe if implemented. There is allegation that the committee did not reflect certain individuals, for instance, Senators who may have been found culpable? This is the first time I am hearing this. In the report you could see the companies of some past and serving governors, ministers and some top leaders and politicians. If you could find companies of serving governors, how then do you think we will exonerate Senators? We did not look at anybody. Nigeria is greater than anybody. This is what we decided from the beginning that the interest of Nigerians will come first. It is obvious Farouk Lawan has gubernatorial ambition. But he said ‘ensuring a true and thorough report is the ultimate. Even if that will affect my gubernatorial ambition, so be it, I will deliver for Nigeria. Even if the Peoples Democratic Party might not give me ticket, that will not deter me.’ If somebody could go that all out, why

should somebody protect a Senator? Farouk wanted to be a governor and he still wants under the platform of PDP. He has been there for many years. Kano state is a fair state; PDP today, All Nigeria Peoples Party tomorrow. But in his constituency, he has never lost as a PDP candidate whether PDP governor is on seat or not. His people are loyal to him but he said, ‘Look if PDP will not give me ticket for my gubernatorial ambition because of this report, because of influences we are getting, so be it.’ We should not trivialize this report because people have sacrificed a lot. We hope Nigerians, people in authority, the media, civil society groups, NBA and others should vigorously support the report. We know some people will cook up trivialities and throw spanners on the wheel of progress, we are not bordered. What are the challenges the committee faced before arriving at its report? You know that the oil industry is like a secret society. If you now bring people to open it up as we did, I think this has never happened in

Dr. Ali Ahmad the oil and gas industry people. Some of them were jittery and came up with a lot of things. There was the ‘Easter cake’ which we rejected. It happened. They used a lot of interface; they came through our friends, superiors, elders, parents and all sorts of people they could reach. We told them that we must deliver and today we are happy. The report is there and is speaking louder for itself. I am very happy that Nigerians are appreciative of our efforts. We just wanted to show that Nigeria can work. I believe that if everybody tries hard to do the right thing as we have done, Nigeria will certainly work.

The Constitution envisages that once this is done, the executive will implement but if the executive does not, the ultimate power holders are the people. I will be disappointed if something happens along the line and Nigerians keep quiet the whole history of this country. Those that did what they did never in their widest dream thought for one second that this investigation will happen. They did what they did with reckless abandon. Such people will try to protect their deeds and make sure that any kind of investigation will be killed. So, with that kind of mindset we took a decision that we wanted to do a good and right job. That is what guided us. Otherwise, we would have derailed. There were pressures and bottlenecks. Also some people told us that this is a big task and we must deliver. We also had pressure from

Can we know more about that Easter cake? We told everybody that we could not be influenced with money. So they said, ‘Ok, let us give them cake.’ They brought little cakes and said they are for the committee members. You wonder why! That tells you what they must have done underneath. They brought everything, including women but we did not yield to the temptations. They also offered the committee some money? Of course that is what they have in abundance. When you ask people to refund $1tn, they could afford to

give each us of N1bn. We are eight; that is N8bn. That is peanut to them and the money they are being asked to refund. If you collect from one person or organization, they will also alert others to try to influence you. So, if we had succumbed to monetary inducements, we would have become billionaires by now. But what about Nigerian people who are suffering. So we rejected all those inducements and decided to work for Nigeria. We hope our efforts will not go in vain. There is a particular aspect of the report which is quite puzzling! That is the withdrawal of N999m for 128 times within 24 hours? Could you shade more light on that? It is a context in the Guinness Books of Record. It took place. A lot of the investigation we did was forensic in nature. We did not believe what respondents brought to us. So we went to the people who are independent. CBN, the Lloyds’ Reports, they are organizations that never had any issue to protect. We went to CBN and found this entry and we did not find a corresponding entry from the CBN. All other accounts corresponded but that one did not. That is why we said we do not even know which account the money was paid into because it is like a perfected plan. When we asked CBN, they said ‘we are only bankers, those who have the money gave us instructions so we paid’. So we asked them to name the beneficiaries and they said they did not know. We were not satisfied with their explanation. So we said this is way we saw, it is for Nigerians to decide. If the House approves and the organizations or individuals do not refund after the three months as your committee recommended, what happens next?

The whole thing about the report is this: in democracy, there is segregation of power and separation of power. The power belongs to the people. The House has limited power. We are to investigate and expose fraud. The Constitution envisages that once this is done, the executive will implement but if the executive does not, the ultimate power holders are the people. I will be disappointed if something happens along the line and Nigerians keep quiet. If they know their right, if the executive does not implement the report; then the people can exercise their power. The people have the power of vote. Let government know that if you do not do this, we will push you out. That is the power the people have. Civil societies, Nigerian Bar Association and everybody should come out that once the House approves the report, there is no going back. I like the position already taken by the Nigeria Labour Congress. The report must be implemented. So the people should come out and ensure its implementation. Who are those people pressuring or distracting you? There were a lot of distractions. But you know I will not mention names until after the report is accepted. Then I may open up. But you know that the oil industry had been a secret society. Oil industry is so powerful. They are terrible powerful forces. With party supremacy, do you not think that PDP will not trivialize the report? I do not see PDP meddling on the report. PDP is a fair and forthright party. They do the right thing. PDP’s Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, is a well known fair man, an active businessman. He never for once interfered. If he wanted, he would have interfered even before now. PDP, I know will support whatever is the decision of the House There is the fear that government will not implement the result? Contrary to that, the comments we heard from the executive before the report was made is that they were enthusiastic to implement it. I do not know now but nothing should have changed. Up till this moment the enthusiasm is there. What happened in January would have consumed this nation. Some people are saying it is a process. We should address that finally on the issue of oil subsidy. It is up to government. But whatever action anybody takes should have a repercussion. If government implements it, we will all see. If government fails to implement it, there should be a repercussion. And people should decide. Impunity in Nigeria must stop. You can see the report gives credence to that.


Kogi youth charges Wada on corrupt officials From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Kogi state governor, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada has been charged to muster political courage to confront all the government officials found to be corrupt with the view to bringing them to book. The charge was made in Lokoja over the weekend by the Chairman of Kogi Youth Progressive Association KYPA Alhaji Bello Ibrahim while speaking with journalists on the activities of the Association. He said with the steps so far taken by the governor, the hope of the people of the state has been rekindled stressing that the war against graft has begun in the state. Bello noted that with the international exposure of the governor and his Deputy Arch. Yomi Awoniyi in the saddle of affairs of the state criminal elements who have kept the state on its knees will meet a stiff resistance saying that his methodological approach to governance has stood him out in just few months as governor. According to him with the dissolution of the executive council and for the first time in the history of the state appointments are specified with requisite qualifications and experience saying that if fully implemented his transformation agenda will be a success. The youth leader hinted that the state with the highest solid mineral deposits in the country and with highly mobile and intelligent population could be made to wallow in poverty due to misrule of some of the past administration was unacceptable describing Wada as God sent to reclaim the state potentials. The KYPA as an umbrella body for all the youths in the state he said was formed by the youths with the interest of the youth and for the state to champion the cause and welfare of the youth saying that the association under his watch will re orientate and galvanise them for the good of the state. Bello averred that the association has developed a comprehensive youth policy that will assist the government on how to implement issues bordering on the enhancement of the status of the youth for a better contributions to the growth and transformation of the state. He condemned the previous youth empowerment programme in which money was placed in the hands of some very important personality VIP who dish out the largess to those loyal to them without evaluation and feedback mechanism saying it was responsible to array of thugs we had before the emergence of this administration. He advised him to be careful with sycophants and busy bodies who were out not to make a name but to enrich their pockets saying relating with them will not be in the interest of the administration and the people of the state.


Insecurity: We have unwavering confidence in Jonathan, says PDP By Lawrence Olaoye


n spite of the series of bombs attack ravaging the northern part of the country, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday expressed confidence in the ability of President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the security challenges facing the country. This is coming as the party equally commended the Nigerian workers for their diligence and steadfastness in nation building. The party in a statement made available to newsmen by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said "despite senseless criticisms by the opposition, the PDP led federal Government has done well in tackling security challenges in the country. "We must emphasize that the current spate of terrorism is an attack on the entire nation and not on the PDP or the President. It is therefore inhuman and heinous for the opposition to continue to politicise this phenomenon." "Is the opposition gloating over the mindless murder of innocent Nigerians and the destruction of their property?" the party asked. Expressing the Party's solidarity to the workers on this year's May Day, Metuh stated "the National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Bamanga Turkur on behalf of millions of members of

•••commends Labour on nation building

President Goodluck Jonathan the Party wishes to salute the Nigerian worker for his invaluable contributions in the last twelve years of the PDP leadership of the nation". According to the statement, "one of the visions of the founding fathers of the PDP is to rebuild and re-energise the nation's workforce which was neglected under

decades of military rule into a formidable and efficient service capable of driving national development objectives." "We have taken crucial steps towards achieving this goal as the civil service reform which the PDP led Federal Government initiated and has been implementing have achieved

levels of successes in critical areas," he added. According to him, the monetisation of fringe benefits of workers, Contributory Pension scheme, Civil Service E-payment system, Right Sizing of the Service, Rationalisation and Restructuring of Ministries and Agencies of government as well as the establishment of SERVICOM to provide adequate feedback on service provision, are some of the achievements of the PDP led government. He stated further "under the PDP, the nation now has the Freedom of Information Act to ginger vigilance and ease the investigative scrutiny of all Nigerians on the fidelity of service rendered to them." Metuh declared that the party will continue to take serious, the issue of welfare of workers and will remain committed to the success of the reforms intended to achieve a competent work force that can meet the challenges of the time. It said, "we recall that since 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party has kept the issue of workers welfare high on its agenda and has in fact successfully effected wage increment twice in the last twelve years. We shall continue to be alive to our responsibilities to the Nigerian workers".

Body proffers development agenda for the north From Lawal Sadiq Sanusi, Kaduna


body of experts has proffered a seven-point agenda for the socio-economic and political development of the Northern region. The experts made the recommendation under the aegis of the Conference of Northern States Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (CONSCCIMA). Addressing newsmen in Kaduna, the Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, said they were deeply worried with the retrogression of the region following the failure of successive of administrations to tackle the myriad of problems facing the North. ``Northern Nigeria which is inhabited by over 60% of the population of Nigeria and occupies over 65% of the total landmass is also unfortunately the region with a poverty ratio of over 70% of the population. ``This state of affairs has been brought about by the inadequate development of the human, agricultural and mineral resources that nature has so generously blessed the region with,'' Rabiu lamented. To overcome the challenges, he advised all Northerners to eschew their current zero-result-oriented blaming game and joint forces to redress the situation. The chairman urged the

Federal Government and other tiers of government to vigorously pursue and make short, medium and long term peace and security measures to stabilise the region and redirect its development aspiration. Rabiu also advised the government to invest heavily in infrastructural development, including the provision of power supply, reactivation of the national railway network and inland waterways, to fast track development. ``This is because success in these areas will produce tremendous growth and spin-offs to the national economy while generating employment and curbing youth restiveness.'' Besides, the council advocated for a private sector driven regional development agency to address ``declining revenues and huge costs of infrastructure development'' in the North. He explained that the proposed Northern Nigeria Infrastructure Development Agency would be saddled with the responsibility of developing a Northern Nigeria infrastructure master plan, produce an innovative financing method with an optimal mix of public, private and international development assistance/financing to realise the objective, among others. According to him, the proposed agency would provide advisory services to Northern States Governments on infrastructural

development on a demand driven basis, provide capacity building and training for state Government ministries and agencies in respect of planning, designing, implementation, monitoring, financing, contracting, construction, maintenance and operation of infrastructure. Furthermore, the council advised the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) should commit itself to good governance and develop a Peer Review Mechanism along the lines of NEPAD, commit themselves to international best practices in the issuance of contracts and tender processes for all projects. It also enjoined northern governors to enact laws banning street begging throughout the region and provide alternatives to beggars and their families as well as reform their public service for greater efficiency and transparency. Similarly, the council recommended for a serious programme for ``education renaissance" for the region by committing at least 30 per cent respective state budgets to education for the next 10 years backed with realistic and pragmatic policies. On economy, the body urged the Federal Government to empower the National Planning Commission, Bank of Industry, NAPEP (SMEs), while advising

Northern State to replicate national economic programmes effectively without further delay. Rabiu also suggested for massive investment to address environmental, water and sanitation issues to mitigate healthy region toward a sound socioeconomic and political prosperity. While urging the Federal Government to expedite action in solving the statutory and administrative bottlenecks impeding the smooth operations of the soild minerals sector, the council recommended for a strategic partnership among stakeholders to exploit solid minerals. “Serious effort must therefore be made to attract private sector exploration funds which have an estimated worldwide annual budget of over $10 billion,'' the chairman urged Rabiu, however, announced the postponement of the council's 2012 economic summit, which was earlier scheduled to hold in Abuja from May 7-8, due to security challenges facing the region and their inability to conclude the arrangement with the Northern Governors Forum (NGF). He described the council as the largest regional Organized Private Sector (OPS) body in Nigeria, and the biggest assemblage of business interests in Northern Nigeria, making up of the Chambers of Commerce in the 19 states of Northern Nigeria and the FCT.



‘Submit yourself to psychiatric test’, PDP tells Oshiomhole From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


or attributing last Saturday's ghastly road mishap involving the Edo State governor's convoy which claimed the lives of three Journalists with 11 others wounded to the handiwork of opposition party, the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on the governor to submit himself for psychiatric examination without delay. Addressing newsmen at the party Secretariat in Benin City, the State Chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, urged the Police and concerned authorities to be thorough in their investigations to unravel the circumstances that led to the accident. 'It shows the level of timidity…Oshiomhole mental health need to be critically examined…I'm not in doubt that this accusation is senseless and diversionary…rise beyond parochial politics. 'Oshiomhole was the person that caused the accident…, he said. Chief Orbih insisted that the law enforcement agency should ascertain if Governor Adams Oshiomhole was sleeping while driving before his car veered off the road; whether he has a certified Driver's Licence, or whether he was under the influence of alcohol. According to him, instead of praying hard to God ahead of July 14th 2012 election, he was playing politics with the dead by going to church for thanksgiving in the State Capital barely 24 hours after the crash. He recalled how the former

state Chairman of PDP and his son died in a similar road mishap, yet the PDP did not blame anybody. 'I believe that man needs spiritual cleansing. This is not the first time the governor is experiencing such thing…I don't think we will pay a courtesy visit on the governor'. He insisted that now that the party has ruled out a proposed condolence visit on the governor and insisted that only families of the dead

victims and the State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ would be visited. The party Chairman who claimed that when he and the July 2012 Governorship Candidate, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), alongside party supporters got wind of the ill-fated crash at a PDP rally at Ekiadolor, in Ovia North East local government area of the state last Saturday, they had to suspend it immediately

in solidarity irrespective of party divide. 'He has not asked himself why he has to go to church to be celebrating, dancing barely 24 hours when other people were at the mortuary'. He also said since the PDP raised the alarm about the ongoing construction of N10.8 billion private residence of the governor, Oshiomhole at his hometown in Iyamoh in the Northern part of the State has been unsettled.

R-L: Osun state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, presenting a souvenir to Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state, Alhaji Kareem Afolabi, during the ex-council chairmen solidarity visit to the governor, at Government House, yesterday in Osogbo.

Respect the sanctity of life, Tambuwal tells Boko Haram By Lawrence Olaoye


peaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has called on the Boko Haram insurgents to respect the sanctity of human life and halt series of bomb attacks on innocent Nigerians. The Speaker in a statement made available to newsmen and signed by his Special Assistance, Media and Public Affairs, Imam Imam, decried the incessant bomb blasts in

the country insisting that no innocent life should be wasted on the alter of political motives. Reacting to the twin bomb blasts that rocked Bayero University, Kano and Ministry of Finance building in Jalingo, Taraba state on Sunday and Monday respectively, Tambuwal, urged those responsible for the blasts to respect the sanctity of human lives and halt the attacks. The Speaker equally urged

the victims of the attacks and other Nigerians not to despair over the security challenges facing the nation. According to him, many countries of the world have at one time or the other faced various security challenges, but the important thing was that the collective determination of the people of such countries saw them through the dark periods. "Nigeria is today experiencing its tough challenge. I am however

confident that what we are facing will soon be a thing of the past. Our collective resolve as Nigerians who desire peace and stability will triumph over all dark forces in our country," Tambuwal added. While commiserating with the families of those who died or suffered injuries in the blasts, Speaker Tambuwal urged the security agencies to unmask those behind the blasts and bring them to justice.

Failed party registration: UPGA petitions Jonathan By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


nited Peoples Grand Alliance (UPGA) has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan against the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register the party, urging him to prevail on the Commission to rescind its decision and accord UPGA its due recognition. In a statement signed by its National Secretary, Bello Umar, the party argued against the claim by INEC that the party has a symbol of the defunct Biafra, saying that the UPGA flag cannot by any stretch of imagination be likened to the flag of the defunct Biafra. It further said that the refusal of INEC to recognize UPGA, which the party claimed has become operational in accordance with the constitution of the federal republic, will have a farreaching impact on the perception of the Nigerian people on the capacity of the commission to conduct free and fair elections in accordance with the law. The statement read in part, "Mr. President Sir, the Independent National Electoral Commission was established to regulate the activities of political parties and conduct of elections in Nigeria under Nigerian laws. The commission has responsibility to obey these laws without sentiment or favor. The timeline prescribed by the extant law referred in this letter does not permit INEC the latitude to indulge itself in any device whatsoever outside the dictates of the law." The party argued that it is obvious that the letter which INEC wrote to deny it registration was belated as UPGA has become a political party by the time in accordance with the provisions of section 78(3)(4) of the Electoral Act 2010. In a related development, the party has condemned the recent bamb attack on This Day, Sun and Moment newspapers, saying it is an act of wickedness. It therefore called on the victims to take heart, saying that journalists should not be discouraged in their efforts to propagate the truth.

Plateau NULGE endorses redeployment of LG staff to areas of origin


he Plateau chapter of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has expressed satisfaction with the decision of the state government to deploy local government staff to their areas of origin. The state President of the

union, Mr Samson Mafuyai, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday that the union had ``no objection'' to the policy, adding that the policy would make the workers more productive. ``The state government has the right to bring up any policy,

but we have tried to find out whether such policies are good. `` We have asked government to explain their motives and hope such motives will be very convincing,'' he said. NAN recalls that the government on Wednesday

inaugurated a 16-member committee for the deployment of local government staff to their local government areas of origin. Prof Shedrack Best, the Secretary to the State Government, who inaugurated the committee,

said that the decision was based on the recommendations of a committee on civil service reforms. The committee is expected to identify staff to be affected and determine the total workforce of each local government by January.



Yuguda expresses sadness over NSA pronouncement Group From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state has described the pronouncement made by National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan as an act of betrayal and ungratefulness. It could be recalled that the National Security Adviser General Owoye Azazi had on the second day of the South-South Summit in Asaba Delta state, blamed the People Democratic Party (PDP) Convention that encourages zoning of its offices for the raising insecurity in the country. The governor who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House Bauchi, Alhaji Yusuf Musa Gumli, stated this at the oath taking and swearing-in ceremony of the Bauchi state PDP executive members held at the Party’s Zonal Office in Bauchi metropolis. Yuguda lamented that it was disheartening to hear a respected member of the party, who occupies a very sensitive position in the Government, making aimless statements that were capable of smearing the name of the party. He said as National Chief Adviser and a retired Army General, Azazi should have used his experience in molding his statements adding that matters that affect the party should first of all, be discussed internally before

making any public pronouncement. Governor Isa Yuguda as the leader of the party in the state enjoined the Chairman of the PDP Zonal Working Committee Senator Mohammed Girgir Lawal present at the oath taking and swearing ceremony to convey the feelings of the entire membership of the party in the

state against the statements by the National security Adviser. Meanwhile the recently elected Bauchi state Executive members of the PDP have been sworn and had taken oath of allegiance Speaking at the occasion, the National Vice Chairman of the PDP North East Zone, Senator Mohammed Girgir Lawal,

enjoined the members to maintain the status- quo of the party by avoiding any breach of trust and the party’s constitution. Senetor Girgir also advised them to carry along the entire membership and consider themselves as one calling on those that contested but lost, to prepare themselves for the next dispensation.

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on land transport, Hon. Musa Sarkin-Adar, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Adeseye Sijuade, Project Engineer, Mr. Donatus Ogbodo, and committee member, Hon. Balarabe Salame, during an inspection tour of railway projects, yesterday in Enugu. Photo: NAN

Gov. Yuguda swears in high court judges, Khadis, others From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state has administered the oath of office to four high court judges, two Khadis, two Special Advisers and 14 DirectorGenerals. Speaking at the ceremony, Yuguda said that the swearingin of the Judges and Khadis brought the numbers of high court judges and khadis to 10

each in the state judicial system. He said that the figure falls short of the required number of judges and khadis needed by the state towards adequate dispensation of justice. Yuguda assured that the state government would pursue the appointment of more judges and Kadis for the state with relevant authorities and commended the newly sworn-in judges and khadis over their appointments.

He urged them not to allow themselves to be tempted by material or primordial consideration in the discharge of their duties as judicial officers. Yuguda said that they should stride to be just, fair, and firm in adjudicating cases that would be brought before them. According to him, “as the last resort of the common man, you will give account of themselves not only to the people but also to Almighty God who will surely

judge them in the hereafter.” He said that in the current democratic setup, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary should be partner in progress in line with the tripod roles on which the democratic system relay on. Its gathered that, with the swearing-in of the new judicial officers, the High Court judges has now increased to 10 judges; 10 Khadis; 25 Special Advisers and 46 Director-generals in the state.

Ogun ACN reads Riot Act to aspirants for council poll From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta he Ogun state Chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned all its intending aspirants for the local government elections to avoid bringing crowded supporters to the screening exercise or get disqualified from the race. The warning came barely a week after the Ogun state Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) announced time table for the council poll scheduled to hold Saturday, July,


21, 2012, across the twenty local government areas. ‘Each aspirant shall sign an undertaking to be of good behavior and to be vicariously liable for the actions of his supporters. Where it is established that an applicant and his supporters are responsible for breaches of the peace and law, the aspirant may be disqualified, and in serious breaches be prosecuted’ Handing over the warning in its party guidelines for the inhouse screening, Alhaji Tajudeen Bello, the Party Chairman, equally disclosed that aspirant for the local government

Chairmanship is expected to pay the sum of N150, 000, while Councillorship aspirant would pay the sum of N35, 000 nomination fees. The guidelines, however, exempted female aspirants to pay nomination fee, but would only pay N10, 000 as administrative fee, stressing that evidence of the payment would be verified before being allowed to contest. The party said, toward this, it has concluded arrangement to constitute a 7-man screening committee, which will ensure that aspirants complied with the stipulated requirements and

order. The guidelines made available to our correspondent also posited that the screening committee shall carry out forensic audit and verification of all certificates, documents, claims and other supporting materials submitted by all aspirants in support of their qualifications ‘Each aspirant shall swear an oath under the oaths law that all the information provided in the nomination form is correct. Any false information shall lead to disqualification and in serious cases to prosecution’ the guidelines declared.

condemns attack on Saraki, says it’s diversionary From Lawal Sadiq Sanusi, Kaduna


group known as Northern Nigeria Youth Vanguard Coalition (NNYVC) has described the recent attack on the former governor of Kwara state, Senator Bukola Saraki as campaigns of calumny, diversionary and vicious. According to the group, Saraki’s ‘sin’ was that he was among the arrowheads in the National Assembly who championed the investigation of the fuel subsidy alleged scam. A statement signed by Alhaji Ibrahim Y. Marafa and Dr. Muhammed Sani Ahmed as President and Secretary General respectively of the coalition, made available to newsmen in Kaduna, said, no amount of such campaigns against the Senator will deter him from towing the path of honesty which has its root in the family. The coalition further said the attempt to smear the name of the Senator was to muscle him for initiating the fuel subsidy probe and prevent him from ensuring that the Senate produces a credible report following the report of the House of Representations. “We the Northern Youth Vanguard Coalition are determined that the vicious campaigns of calumny currently being waged against Senator Bukola Saraki bears all the hallmarks and emblems of a deliberate target in an oblique attempt to distract from the reports of the probe of full subsidy management”. “In as much as we do not advocate for Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, we stand firmly for adherence to the principles of fairness, openness and equity”. The coalition said it will not allow anyone to distract the nation from the main issue of implementing fuel subsidy report, adding that the report must see the light of the day and all found to have abused the process brought to book. The coalition maintained that the issue between the Senator and the CBN was a civil matter which none of the parties is complaining and wondered why the trajectory of articles aimed at maligning the name of the Senator and his person. “Instigating the police to invite Saraki over allegations of three years ago and resolved in the past, appears to be a clear case of intimidation, blackmail and political witch-hunting,” they stated


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Lagos FA hosts Sodje brothers, English FA coaches


he Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) has announced plans to host the Sodje Sports Foundation and certified English coaches on a four-day visit to the state. The Sodje brothers (Efe, Steve and Sam) and the other coaching crews would be the guests in a programme designed to expose players and coaches to modern trends in the game. This was disclosed by the LSFA Chairman,

NPL blasts Green over insecurity at Liberation Stadium


he Nigeria Premier league (NPL) has blasted the Rivers state FA headed by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation technical sub-committee, Christopher Green for failing to provide adequate security for teams at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt. Also, the NPL has explained that it directed Dolphins to play its Sunday’s game against Enyimba behind closed doors because safety concerns for the players and officials. It would br recalled that the previous day, there had been alleged violence in the venue that forced the Sharks versus Ocean Boys games to be put off, a situation the NPL secretariat reasoned made the venue unsafe for the huge crowd that was expected atv the Dolphins, Emyimba game. “Obviously, the Rivers FA failed to live up to their duties of providing adequate security before the game before Sharks and Ocean Boys. “And since it is the same FA that is responsible for providing security in the Dolphins (versus) Enyimba game, we felt it was only right for us to ask for the game to be played without any fans,” the acting scribe of the league Tunde Babalola said. Further, he said that the crowd could not be allowed for fear of security challenge. “There were acts of violence on Saturday in Port Harcourt which prevented the game between Sharks and Ocean Boys from taking place. “We (NPL) felt it was only right to ask that the game between Dolphins and Enyimba be played in an empty stadium because the city (Port Harcourt) is not safe going by what happened on Saturday,” he said.

Mr. Seyi Akinwunmi, who said further that the Sodje brothers and then coaches would arrive in Lagos on May 15 for the event. Also, the Sodje Brothers Foundation are expected to bring with them 400 pairs of boots to distribute to grassroots players. “The foundation is solely interested in observing the warm up drills and training pattern of the players, hence the DFAs are to By Patrick Andrew


uper Eagles head coach, Stephen Keshi, has imposed a self-ban on excessive communication with the general public on the goings on within the team Instead, the former skipper of the Eagles said efforts would be concentrated on building the team by chiselling the roughages of the raw materials available locally and those he intends to call up from the foreign legions to forge a new squad. The former Togo and Mali manager, who returned from a month holiday over the weekend, said he had in the past taken unnecessary liberty with free speech instead of focusing dutifully on the task at hand. “I have returned and want to work, I think we should be given space to work and do it well in the rebuilding process of the national team. The time is up for talk. We must concentrate on work. “In the past, we had taken valuable time to talk to the public on what we were doing. Now, we want to talk less but let our work do the talking for us. That way the public will see more of our actions,” he said pleading that the public should bear with the technical crew. “Please let me work and help rediscover


he Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Abuja chapter, yesterday paid a courtesy visit to the ThisDay Newspaper office in Abuja to commiserate with the management and staff of the establishement over the recent bomb attack on their Abuja National Office. The FCT SWAN members led by it’s chairman, Kayode Adeniyi, were received by the Editor, ThisDay Newspapers, National Office, Mr. Nduka Nwosu, at the ThisDay’s premises in Jabi District, Abuja. Adeniyi, who visited along with some of his executive members, condemned the

work with the coaches’ councils within the division to make use of their training officers. “Each division is to pick 36 players from different clubs in the division that are affiliated with the LSFA and also coaches from different councils within the divisions. “On the final day of the tour, the English coaches will point out corrections in the areas that are needed,” he revealed.

The mission of the foundation is to help countries to develop from within, starting with the empowerment of the young people who are the future of these underdeveloped countries. Over the past decade, the Sodje brothers have regularly donated football kits and sport equipment, as well as coaching lessons to the youth. Also expected are Paul Fairclough English FA coach and England C Manager and Olufemi Amusan, the SSF International Media Advisor.

Time up for talk, Keshi declares

Keshi Nigerian football, because too much talk is not good for what we are trying to do in the national team. I talked so much of recent, there is need to have a break as now is the time to start working seriously for the rediscovery of the national team.” Peoples Daily Sports recalls that the

Eagles are scheduled to play a decisive 2014 World Cup qualifier against the Amavubi of Rwanda and then Namibia in the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier. These matches along with a couple of international friendly matches are billed for this month and the next and include such games against Peru among others. Besides, Keshi and his crew are faced the challenge of deciding whether to concentrate on the domestic league players who have won appluase in recent times or draw the bulk of the squad from the foreign-based players whom many have lost faith in, their exposure and experience notwithstanding. Though he insisted that he has some additions that he intends to bring into the fold, he declined to give their names stressing that he would would prefer to keep his tabs close to his chest and assured that Nigeria have the ability not only to qualify for the Nations Cup and the World Cup but to make a great impact at both championships.

FCT SWAN condoles with THISDAY dastardly act and prayed to God to grant the newspaper and those that lost their loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss. “We have come to sympathize with the management and staff of this organization, because we believe this attack was carried out to intimidate the press men in our noble country.” “Let me use this opportunity to also say that this is the time when we all need to be more objective in our reporting, we also wish all the people affected by this incident a quick recovery,” Kayode said.

Responding, the Editor, ThisDay Newspapers, FCT Bureau, Mr. Nduka Nwosu, thanked SWAN for their kind gesture and promised that ThisDay Newspaper will continue to report events in the country objectively. “It was an unfortunate incident and it has made us to know that indeed this county is meant to be one, the feelings of comfort, the outpouring of love, care, coming from every, quarters we didn’t expect, have made us to realise that we are not working in vain.”

Mali coach returns


ali coach Alain Giresse has returned to the country after fleeing the political crisis last month to France with his family. The 59-year-old retired midfielder will most probably sign a new contract this week with the Mali football federation following the expiration of his two-year deal with the body in February. Giresse led the Eagles to third place at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations the team’s best record at the showpiece in 40 years. Reports in Bamako say the Frenchman will be given a one-year extension with an option for another year if Mali qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Mali are drawn in Group H of the qualifiers against Algeria, Benin and Rwanda. The Eagles will face the Squirrels in Cotonou on June 6 in the second round, before playing host to Algeria in Bamako a week later.

Nduka Nwosu (c) taking members of SWAN, Kayode Adeniyi and Hycenth Umeh, round the destroyed building



3SC, Akwa join Gwar chase Gombe


Sibi Gwar

triker Sibi Gwar could still quit Niger Tornadoes as several NPL sides including 3SC and Akwa United have joined the chase for him. Seven-goal Gwar has been a major transfer subject since the mid-season transfer window of the NPL opened as he was immediately on the radar of Kano Pillars and Kwara United. Shooting Stars and Akwa United have now joined in the

race to sign the Benue State-born goal poacher. “My manager informed me of interest from 3SC and Akwa United to sign me, as well as the renewed interest from Kano Pillars to have me. Kwara united too have not dropped their interest,” Gwar said. “This is my profession and I am happy that teams are interested in me. We will talk and decide on the best option for me. That

decision will soon be taken.” 3SC have been shy in front of goal and officials and players alike have admitted they need a proven scorer, while coach Solomon Ogbeide has not hidden his desire to add a good forward to his enterprising Akwa United team. Gwar was a leading NPL goal scorer in 2009 while he was at Lobi Star. Last season, he netted 12 goals, 11 of which were scored in the second round of the league.

Turkish club reports Enyimba to FIFA F

red Okwara’s transfer to Enyimba is on ice after his former Turkish club lodged a complaint against him with FIFA, officials said. General manager of Turkish second division team Adanaspor, Murat Daldik, told a wire service that his club had lodged a complaint with world football ruling body FIFA over the “unprofessional attitude” of the Nigerian striker, who was signed for the Turkish side two years ago. “He got injured and disappeared. We have already lodged a complaint with FIFA and only they can decide what should be done as I don’t see him lacing his boots for any other club now,” Daldik disclosed. “I really do not want to talk about this issue of Fredrick because I took him as one of my own when he came to Turkey, but his attitude to work while there calls for more questions. “Fredrick acted most unprofessionally in Adanaspor and I just hope he changes his attitude for his talent to blossom to the next level.” Daldik has been in Enugu with his agent in Nigeria, Donald Agu, who played professionally in five overseas countries before he retired. The Adanaspor executive said he is in the country to recruit players for his club. “We have come to understand that just inviting these players for trials over there in Europe for only a short time is not producing the right result, so, I decided to come down to see them here do their thing first hand in their own environment before we select them,” said the club chief. “Nigeria is really blessed with abundant talent and teams in Europe should cultivate the idea of coming down here to see these boys do their thing. I have not been disappointed with what I have seen here so far.”

Fred Okwara

...Enyimba to strengthen squad with four players, target return to African glory


nyimba Coach, Austine Eguavoen says he is determined to strengthen the squad to properly equip the team to challenge for a continental slot at the end of the season. He was reacting to the team’s confident boosting draw against Dolphins in Port Harcourt, and Eguavoen says he was delighted with the quality and zest shown byb the players. “I have always been clear that our target is to win a continental ticket and we’re well on course to achieving it. There has been an improvement in our recent games and we look forward to sustaining our push for the title. “If we’re able to go all the way

and win it, then that would be a plus, otherwise qualifying for Africa would also be okay,” he added. Last season, Enyimba failed to find the form that has made them perennial Premier League title contenders, finishing a distant seventh, and Eguavoen knows he would have his work cut out with a modest squad. Though delighted with the presence of the duo of Uche Kalu and Uche Henry, who are members of the home-based Super Eagles, the former national under 23 coach said he would have to reinvigorate his strike force to give more bite for better results. “Let me start by saying the attackers are doing well at the moment, but we need to have

strength in depth,” he said. “There are four players we have concluded personal terms with but they haven’t been cleared yet. “I’m sure our attack would be even better once these players are made available thereby improving our offensive play considerably.”

Austine Eguavoen

counter 3SC violence claims


ombe United top official Faruq Yerma has dismissed claims by 3SC that they were attacked by the home fans after they lost 2-1 in midweek. “I was highly disappointed in 3SC for putting up such a false claim. I don’t expect it from a management that have exinternationals who played to the highest level behaving this way to bring the game into disrepute,”slammed Gombe coordinator Yerma. “I don’t know why they did what they did. This is not a door-die affair, so why will they want to give us a bad name because they want to win points at all cost?” The Gombe official said that ex-Eagles stars Mutiu Adepoju and Ajibade Babalade went against the rule of the game by encroaching on to the pitch to assault the referee after the second goal was scored. “Mutiu Adepoju and Ajibade Babalade deserve to be punished because they encroached on the pitch to go and assault the referee after we scored the winning goal,” he claimed. “The video is there for the NPL to see and the video does not lie. We have drawn games here and nothing happened, why will our fans attack 3SC when we won a match? “I want NPL to take the right decision on this. Abdul Azeez (NPL Chairman of Chairmen) was at the stadium and saw what happened, and the player they claimed was stabbed by our fan injured himself when he hit his hand against the dressing-room glass window in anger that they lost at the dying minute.” Former Gombe United player Babayo Garba said he witnessed how Raheem Owolabi injured himself and won’t blame him for saying he was stabbed because his officials told him what to say. “I was surprised to read in the media that Gombe United fans attacked 3SC and stabbed a player on the arm when instead he injured himself,” said the former junior international. “I saw it happen after the match because I went to their dressing-room to talk to my friend Babalade and I saw Raheem Owolabi hit his hand against the window, may be in frustration that they conceded a goal to lose in the dying minutes. “I don’t expect Adepoju and Babalade who played football to the highest level to be involved in such a thing. It is a shameful act. “Gombe have a good name in terms of fans, we don’t have violent supporters and teams who have picked points here can testify to this.”



Dawson ends Hopkins’ dream


Jhonny Gonzalez, Elio Rojas, during their WBC feather weight title fight

Gonzalez in successful fourth title defense W

BC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez retained his title when he beat Elio Rojas over the weekend. Gonzales won the fight in Cancun, Mexico, by unanimous decision, taking his record to 52-7, including 45 knockouts, while Rojas, the WBC “champion in recess” dropped to 23-2, with 14 knockouts.

John Jackson, WBC light middleweight title

Paulie pounds his way to title


aulie Malignaggi stopped Vyacheslav Senchenko in the ninth round in Donetsk on Sunday to take over the WBA welterweight title. The American, a former junior welterweight champion, won the fight in the Ukraine city when the referee, Steve Smoger, stepped in a minute and 14 seconds into the round. The 31-year-old Malignaggi had scored with so many rights to the head that Senchenko’s left eye was swollen almost shut. Malignaggi’s record improved to 31-4, including only 7 knockouts. The previously undefeated Ukrainian, 35 years old, dropped to 32-1. A sparse crowd attended the tournament at the Donbass Arena. Senchenko has not fought outside Ukraine for more than five years. He struggled against Malignaggi’s speed from the opening round. The New Yorker was able to move in and out, firing rapid punches while avoiding the slower, taller Ukrainian’s strikes. A solid right to the head convinced the referee to stop the fight. Malignaggi will probably take a break before making his first defence of the belt in New York in October.

Making his fourth defense, Gonzalez was in control throughout and knocked Rojas down in the tenth round. The scores were 116-111, 116-112 and 117-111. Earlier IBF junior lightweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado moved to 25-1-1; 16 and retained his belt when he beat Martin Honorio (32-7-1; 16) on a majority decision. Honorio was knocked down in the second and third rounds. Another Gonzales retained his belt when Nicaragua’s Roman Gonzalez, the WBA junior flyweight champion, stopped Ramon Garcia in the fourth round of a bout in Pomona, California. Garcia went down from a solid combination and when he was knocked down again soon afterwards referee Raul Caiz Jr stopped the fight at 2 minutes 9 seconds. Gonzalez improved his record to 32-0; 27 and Garcia dropped to 16-4-1; 9. Tony Bellew retained his British light-heavyweight title when he stopped Danny McIntosh in the fifth round of a fight in Liverpool. McIntosh was knocked down in the fourth and fifth rounds before referee Terry O’Connor stopped the fight. Bellew’s record now stands at 17-1; 10 and McIntosh’s at 13-3; 7. Maracay, Venezuela: Liborio Solis (14-3-1) retained his WBA interim super-flyweight belt when he outpointed Santiago Costa (17-9-2; 7) by 117-111, 119-109 and 120-108. Chester, Virginia: Veteran heavyweight Brian Minto improved his record to 36-5, including 23 knockouts, when he defeated Matt Hicks (13-7; 12) after only 2 minutes 48 seconds. Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands: John Jackson remained undefeated and moved to 13-0; 12 when he knocked out Mexican Jesus Selig (14-1-1; 9) in the third round to retain his WBC youth light-middleweight title. Jackson’s older brother Julius stopped Durrell Richardson (13-5; 5) in the second round of a super-middleweight bout to improve to 13-0; 9. Hvidovre, Denmark: Martin Poulson, a 2.185m tall heavyweight, suffered an arm injury in his professional debut. His fight against Andris Naglis (3-1-1; 2) was stopped in the third round. Bernalillo, New Mexico: WBC lightweight youth champion Fidel Maldonado (13-1; 11) suffered his first defeat when he was stopped in the second round by Mexican Fernando Carcamo (10-3; 7). Welterweight Hector Munoz moved to 20-7-1; 13 when he stopped John Revish (9-6-2; 8) in the third round. Atlantic City: Yusaf Mack beat Omar Sheika on points over twelve rounds in a USBA light-heavyweight title fight. Mack improved his record to 30-4-2; 17 and Sheika dropped to 32-12; 21 after taking a count in the final round. The scores were 119-107 and 118-109 on the other two cards. On the same card super-middleweight Derrick Webster remained unbeaten at 12-0; 7 when he came back from two knockdowns in the seventh round to win on points over eight rounds against Sabou Ballogou (8-5; 3). Austin, Texas: Light-heavyweight Denis Grachev (12-0-1; 8) knocked out Ismayl Sillakh in the eighth round. Sillakh, who is ranked No 2 by the WBC, lost for the first time since he dropped to 17-1; 14. Tokyo: Takuya Kogawa improved to 19-2; 10 and retained his Japanese flyweight title when he beat Tetsuma Hayashi (18-2-1; 6) on points over ten rounds.

had Dawson ended old man Bernard Hopkins’ dream by a majority decision in Atlantic City on Saturday night to take over the WBC light-heavyweight title. Two judges scored the bout 117-111 and a third had it 114-114 to end the expectation of 47-year-old Hopkins, whose record dropped to 52-6-2. Though the rematch lacked finesse, it was however an improvement on their first bout last October in Los Angeles and may well be Hopkins’ last fight despite harbouring the hope of taking another run at the title. The 29-year-old Dawson, who improved to 31-1, with 17 knockouts, never let a deep cut near his left eye affect his methodical approach. After their first fight, Dawson’s TKO victory was overturned and the result was ruled a no-contest and the belt returned to the Philadelphia fighter. This time, Dawson came off second best in a clash of heads that caused a cut near his left eye. But he kept his composure and cranked up the pressure in the later rounds. No fighter has ever knocked out Hopkins and Dawson never came close. After beating the oldest man who has ever defended a “world” title, Dawson held the belt high over his head and slung it over his shoulder in celebration. “My head is hurting from all the headbutts,” Dawson said. “I’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He’s a future Hall of Famer; he’s a hell of a fighter. But he’s a dirty fighter. If you can get through twelve rounds with him, you can get through anything.” Hopkins held his own against the younger, more talented fighter, but was never a serious threat. He stood on the ring apron after the bout and barked at the crowd, “Look at my face!” It was only slightly swollen. But Dawson could have told him to look at the scorecard. “I did what I came to do,” he said. “I got my belt back.” Hopkins had a reputation of running his mouth as much as winning title bouts, but he fell silent before this fight. He bypassed the traditional trash talking and refused to explain much about his future plans. That didn’t change after the fight. He was visibly angry when the decision was announced and quickly headed toward the locker room. “What did he do to win that fight?” Hopkins said. “I knew the only way I would win is if I knocked him out. Let the public judge for themselves.” Knowing he needed a knockout to win, Hopkins gamely tried attacking Dawson early in the eleventh round. The two tussled and crashed to the canvas, making the crowd of more than 7 000 howl.

Bernard Hopkins




igerian women 4x 100 relay team showed some flashes of brilliance over the weekend at the Penn Relays as they put up an impressive performance against star-studded American and Jamaican teams. Though they were third with the time of 43.92 seconds, which was well behind American Red team, who were the winners with 42.19 seconds and the 43.31seconds time by the Jamaicans, it was however impressive as the Nigerians are capable of upping their feat before the London 2012 Olympics. Agnes Osazuwa, Damola Osayomi, Gloria Atuma, ran the race which was anchored by Blessing Okagbare. However, Idara Otu, Ajoke Odumosu, Magret Etim and Bukola Agbogunloko did not replicate the performance of the 4x100m team as they finished fifth in their 4x400m race with a time of 3.031. Expectedly, in the 4×400 men’s race, the quartet of Saul Weigopwa, Tobi Ogumola, Godday James and Obinna Metu were disappointing with a time of 3.009 to come last in their race and finished 13 out of the 14 countries that took part in the event. In a similar unimpressive race, the quartet of Peter Emelieze, Benjamin Adukwu, Obinna Metu and Ogho Egwero failed to warm the hearts of Nigeria as they placed fifth with a time of 39.98 seconds in the in the 4×100 men race. Meanwhile, reigning 100-metre world champion Carmelita Jeter and last year’s 100 and 200 world runner-up, Walter Dix, anchored US 4x100 relay routs of Jamaica on Saturday at the Penn Relays. With an eye toward showdowns at the London Olympics, the Americans swept all six “USA Versus the World” events, although Jamaican men’s superstars Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell were not at the meet. The US men’s 4x400 relay, anchored by reigning Olympic 400m champion Lashawn Merritt, also set a 2012 world best by winning the two-heat final in 3:00.15 and the US 4x400 women won in 3:21.18 to beat Jamaica by 5.37 seconds. “If today is a preview of what we’re going to see in the Olympic Games, we’re in great shape,” said Max Siegel, who becomes USA Track and

Agnes Osazuwa

Nigeria’s relay team clinches bronze as Americans sweep top titles at Penn Relays Field’s new chief executive on Tuesday. In cool conditions with a slight breeze, the American women’s foursome of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Jeter won in 42.19 seconds, this year’s world-fastest time. “The US is definitely ready for London,” Jeter said. “We’re prepared. Now all we have to do is stay healthy.” Jamaica was a distant second in 43.31 with a lineup that featured Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart and anchor Shelly-Ann FraserPryce, the 2008 Olympic 100 chmpion, from last year’s world runners-up plus Aleen Bailey as third leg. Felix pulled away in the second leg and Knight handed Jeter a huge edge and watched the world champion pull away from FraserPryce to the finish line. “We wanted to come out and run a great race,” Jeter said. “We have great chemistry. We had great handoffs. I’m glad we got it around.” In the men’s 4x100, American Mike Rodgers and Jamaica’s Nesta Carter were even after the first leg but US star Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic and 2005 world 100 champion who was disgraced by a four-year doping ban in 2006, pulled away in the second leg, Darvis Patton kept the edge and Dix stretched the gap even more at the finish to win in 38.40. “This is definitely what they may see in London,” Dix said. “I can’t wait to get there.” A second US squad with Ivory Williams, Shawn Crawford, Trell Kimmons and Ryan Bailey was second in 38.47 with Jamaica third in 38.98. Merritt, who served a 21-month doping ban after winning the world 400 crown in 2009, anchored the US 4x400 relay victory at last year’s world championships in South Korea and did the same at Franklin Field at the 118th Penn

meet. Calvin Smith, Angelo Taylor and Bershawn Jackson began for the Americans but trailed Bahamas as Merritt took the baton a couple of strides behind Chris Brown of the Bahamas. Merritt ran the final leg in 44.8 to 45.6 for Brown as the USA Red squad beat Bahamas by .41 of a second with USA Blue third in 3:03.13 and Jamaica fourth in 3:03.28. “Cal to Angelo to Bat (Jackson) did their job, so it was up to me to do what I was going to do,” Merritt said. “I knew I was going to make a move as soon as we got the stick. I just took it from there.” In the women’s 4x400 relay, Natasha Hastings pulled away

with a 50.32-second third leg and Sanya Richards-Ross raced to a 49.47 final leg to lead a US rout. Leo Manzano overtook Bernard Lagat on the final lap of the closing 1 600m leg to give USA Blue a victory over USA Red in the men’s distance medley relay in 9:18.31, beating their compatriots by .57 of a second with Ethiopia third in 9:21.42. American Maggie Vessey held off Britain’s Marilyn Okoro after Jamaica’s Korene Hinds faltered in the closing 800m leg to give the US women a victory in the Sprint Medley Relay in 3:42.85. Britain was second in 3:43.72 with Jamaica third in 3:45.79. The Jamaicans had won the event each of the past four years.

Magret Etim

RESULTS: Men 4x100 relay: 1. USA Red 38.40 seconds 2. USA Blue 38.47 3. Jamaica 38.98 4x400 relay: 1. USA Red 3:00.15 2. Bahamas 3:00.56 3. USA Blue 3:03.13

Idara Otu

Distance Medley relay: 1. USA Blue 9:19.31 2. USA Red 9:19.88 3. Ethiopia 9:21.42 Women

4x100 relay:

Obinna Metu

1. USA Red 42.19 2. Jamaica 43.31 3. Nigeria 43.92 4x400 relay: 1. USA Red 3:21.18 2. Jamaica 3:26.55 3. USA Blue 3:27.08 Sprint Medley relay: 1. USA Blue 3:42.85 2. Britain 3:43.72 3. Jamaica 3:45.79

Bukola Abongoloko

Ethiopians shine in Hamburg, Dusseldorf


thiopians Shami Dawit and Seboka Diriba Tola broke local marathon records in winning the men’s races in Hamburg and Dusseldorf on Sunday. Dawit posted two hours five minutes 58 seconds over the 42.195 kilometres in Hamburg, bettering the previous best mark in the northern German city of 2:06.52 set by Julio Rey of Spain in 2006. Ethiopian Dadi Yami was second in 2:07:01, with Augustine Ronoh of Kenya third

in 2:07:23. The women’s race was won by Rael Kiyara of Kenya in 2:23:47. Tola and Kenyan Agnes Jeruto set course records in winning the men’s and women’s races in Dusseldorf. Tola crossed the line in 2:08:27, edging Duncan Koech of Kenya (2:08:33) and Abraham Kiprotich of France (2:08:35). Jeruto clinched the women’s race in 2:25:49 ahead of Nastassia Staravoitava of Belarus (2:27:24) and Melkam Gisaw of Ethiopia (2:27:50).







Pictorial 5


Pix 1: Roy Hodgson arrives at Wembley to start talks with the FA and is expected to be named England boss within 48 hours. Pix 2: Arsenal's longawaited purchase of Germany striker Lukas Podolski from FC Cologne has been confirmed. Pix 3: Chad Dawson defeats veteran champion Bernard Hopkins on points to take the WBC lightheavyweight title. Pix 4: Dwain Chambers is free to compete at the Olympics after a court overturns the BOA's lifetime ban on drug cheats.

Pix 5: Luke Donald leapfrogs Rory McIlroy to become the world number one again with a third-place finish at the Zurich Classic. Pix 6: Britain's Heather Watson comes through a hard-fought encounter with American Sloane Stephens to reach the main draw in Estoril. Pix 7: England's Ian Bell believes he is "one knock away from it all turning round" after an indifferent start to Warwickshire's season.






PLSG happy with quality of Jos stadium

Cooreman says Black Leopards can’t stop Warri Wolves


lthough Warri Wolves defeated Black Leopards of South Africa in the first leg of the second round match of the CAF Confederation Cup by 3-1, Coach Maurice Cooreman has blamed the players for failing to play to instructions during the game. Cooreman, who had wanted a pounding of the visitors, disclosed that the star-glut team failed to respond positively to tactical instructions especially in the first half of the game stressing that had they adhered to instructions they would have walloped the South Africans. The Wolves had to come from a goal down inside the first 20 minutes before they eventually won this second round clash. “I told them all they needed to know and gave them instructions but in the first half they played something else,” lamented Cooreman, who led Kaduna United to the group phase of the same competition last year. The Belgian coach, who avoided praising his boys, maintained that he had always known that Black Leopards will not stand in his way in this competition. “I know this South Africa side very well and I don’t see them stopping us. But right now we want to concentrate on the two games ahead of us in the league before we turn back our attention to the continent,” he said. Wolves, who are10th on the NPL log with 30 points from 21 matches, are to play Akwa United midweek in a rescheduled last week encounter.

Chigizie Agbim, Warri wolves’ Goalkeeper


A Nigerian chess player in action

Coach remanded over alleged murder of lover A Yaba Magistrates’ Court in Lagos yesterday adjourned till June 6, further mention in a case of a football coach charged with the murder of his girlfriend. Temuru was arraigned on March 30 over alleged murder of Miss Margaret Usen, who he allegedly impregnated. Yesterday, the court could not take Temuru’s plea as the Magistrate Olalekan Bashorun insisted that he needed the advice of the state Director of Public Prosecution before further hearing could be conducted. Consequently, he adjourned the case pending when

the DPP, after he was told that the DPP’s advice would be ready within three week. Further, he ordered that the coach, Emmanuel Temuru, should remain in prison custody, pending the DPP’s advice. The prosecutor, Insp Philip Ugbodu, told the court that Nsen died after drinking and bathing with herbal concoction given to her at a clinic where Temuru took her. Ugbodu had noted that the offence contravened Section 319 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State adding that it is a murder case that is punishable with death.

Open selection trials for Chess Olympiad, says NCF official


he Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), Mr Femi Solaja, has said that the selection trials for the forthcoming Chess Olympiad will be thrown open to players nationwide. Solaja said on Saturday, in Lagos that the trials are scheduled to hold from May 25 to May 29 at the Media Centre of the National Stadium Abuja. He said that 12 players, six males and six females, would be selected during the trials to participate in

the Olympiad, slated to hold in Istanbul, Turkey, later in the year. Solaja noted that many chess players nationwide had complained over the years that they were not allowed to participate in the trials. “They complained that the federation does not give room for players in other states, apart from Lagos and Abuja, to participate. Players in the other states were not specifically schemed out of trials; the problem is getting information across to them on time,”

he said. Solaja said that this time, however, the federation forwarded information on the trials to the various states early enough to enable them to prepare. He debunked allegations that the federation had reserved special slots for some players for the Olympiad. “In the real sense, we do not have special slots in selecting players for the Olympiad as they claimed we do. It is rather unfortunate that players who complain do not

always qualify from the selection trial,” Solaja said. He said that the selection of players for the Olympiad had always been open, while only qualified players were selected. Solaja said that the federation always announced the dates and venues of its tournaments in the media, adding that there was, therefore, no reason why players should accuse it of partiality. He urged players in the states to be mindful of the dates and venue of the May trials.

he Plateau State Government has e x p r e s s e d satisfaction with the quality of work on the multi-billion Jos stadium. Mr. James Yakubu, Commissioner for Sports, said in Jos while inspecting the facility that the “quality of work, and the steady progress being done were encouraging and commendable“. “I was indeed happy to see that the main bowl has been completed with the pitch grassed and running track laid. If the tempo is sustained, the project will be completed on schedule,” the commissioner said. He said that N3 billion was being sunk into the ultra-modern stadium and declared that it would be one of the best in Nigeria and the West African subregion. Yakubu, who lauded Governor Jonah Jang’s special interest in sports, said that the decision to revisit the Zaria Road Stadium, abandoned for some 20 years, was a testimony to that. “From our records on the sports desk, no Governor on the Plateau has ever committed so much to the sports sector. We are sure that such a commitment to sports revival will restore the sector’s fortunes in Plateau.” He said that the ministry was planning a mini sports festival that would expose the talents within the state as part of preparations for the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Lagos. The commissioner said that the festival, slated for August, would be organised by some agents, who would get some corporate bodies to sponsor events. He decried Plateau’s dismal performances in sports over the years and promised a reversal of the situation “very soon”.

Hamilton wants NFF to name World, Nations Cups venues now


ormer national and junior national teams’ handler, Paul Hamilton, has urged the NFF to confirm the venues for the 2013 Nations Cup and the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Hamilton made the call following the security concern in respect of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna earlier picked as the venue for the qualifiers after the city was subjected to bomb attacks. Though the football federation has inspected stadia facilities in Calabar, Ibadan and Owerri as well as the National Stadium Abuja, it was yet to name a definite venue, a development Hamilton says was unhealthy. The Super Eagles have a 2014 World Cup date against Namibia and Malawi, and thereafter face Rwanda in the 2013 Nations Cup reverse fixture in June. The first

leg ended goalless in Kigali. Hamilton said that the earlier an alternate venue is named the better for the team and their preparations for the crucial qualifiers in June. “I know they have done the right thing by inspecting stadia in three states to pick one as alternative to Kaduna. They should hasten action to name a venue, time is ticking away and the qualifiers are closing up. “The team should know on time where their matches are holding, it helps them psychologically and mentally to focus and prepare. A team at home should truly and indeed be at home, there should be a sense of unity between the team and venue. “And these relationships are built over a period of time not a day or week. NFF must move fast and sort out the venue things as quickly

as possible. “They may reckon that there is a month to toy with and whichever venue chosen is a Nigerian stadium but I tell you three months may not be enough for a team to properly settle down on a new ground,” Hamilton warned. The former Nigerian player suggested that once the venue is sorted out NFF should move the team to the venue for the duration of the qualifiers. “In order to make up for the lost time, the entire team should head straight to the venue and practically do everything there, at least, the period it will take them to prepare and play the qualifiers. “No country should be underrated, every team must be respected and you do it by adequately preparing very well,” he said.

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Sometimes you can't see your self c lear ou see ourself clear learlly until y you yourself through the eyes of others — Ellen DeGeneres

TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012


LA TEST LATEST City rekindle title hope, edge United in derby


incent Kompany's powerful header sealed a 1-0 win for Manchester City over title rivals Manchester United yesterday to rekindle hope of clinching Premier League glory. It was Vincent Kompany that made the difference just before half time when he rose unmarked nod in and thus settle a compelling and frantic derby that lacked quality but more than made up for that in tension. United could not respond as City moved above their neighbours on goal difference with a match at Newcastle United and a home game with strugglers Queen Park Rangers to come. United have softer opponents as they have Swansea and Sunderland to grapple with in the remaining fixtures. Besides they must score 10 goals in each game to tie with City. Both sides have 83 points, with City having a superior goal difference of eight, and the momentum is now with Roberto Mancini's side who have clawed back an eight-point deficit since Easter to move within sight of their first English title since 1968. A crackling atmosphere greeted the players as the sun set in Manchester and it was Alex Ferguson's experienced title winners who began with real urgency. There were clearly some nerves in the home ranks, both on and off the field, and United threatened in the opening minutes when Ryan Giggs was allowed too much time to cross into the box and, as City struggled to clear, Michael Carrick prodded wide. With Diego Maradona watching from the stands it was City's South Americans who began to warm to the task, along with Spaniard David Silva who orchestrated City's attack. Yesterday victory also meant that City have upped their win over United to 45 but are inferior as the latter have 67 wins to their credit.

City Manager, Roberto Mancini


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Azazi decoded


eneral Owoye Azazi, Nigerian National Security Adviser, is the man effectively in charge of our nation's security. His unprecedentedly huge budget that translates to N2.0 billion a day, reflects the importance attached to security in these troubled times and attests to his high status in the President Jonathan's court. Azazi is, besides, a kinsman and a close associate of the president. And he is believed to have the president's ears. Many say he is not just a member of GEJ's innermost circle, but the man to whom the former has subcontracted his strategic thinking. All this is why we must take what Azazi says, or doesn't say, very seriously And last week Friday, at the 2nd South-South Economic Summit held in Asaba, Delta State, Azazi did say a few things deserving of our serious attention, not the least because of the unflattering light they have shone on the inner thinking and mindset of those who now run. At the summit, Azazi gave his own version of how and why the current unprecedented rise in the level of insecurity in the country, as exemplified by Boko Haram's ceaseless bombing campaigns, came about, and why it persists. According to Azazi, the problem is to be blamed largely on the "undemocratic practises" of our political parties, especially the PDP, whose zoning formula he described as the "politics of exclusion". Hear him: "The issue of violence did not increase in Nigeria until there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest". For Azazi, PDP's policy of rotating is presidential ticket between North and South - which some prominent Northerners had sought to rely on to block Jonathan's ambition in 2011 - was what "created the climate for what is happening or manifesting itself in the country (today)" . And to further drive home the point he said: "Let's examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, or something else was responsible." Azazi did not leave his listeners guessing what that "something else" might be. For, according to him, it involves three things: the politicisation of the security issue, the desire or insistence by some people to rule Nigeria and the problems being caused by politicians who had been assured, or believed they would win but failed to win the presidency. Azazi perhaps sees himself as a technocrat, whose remit as an adviser does not require carrying and flaunting a party label. And

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FOR THE MASSES By Rufa’i Ibrahim he was right about PDP, whose undemocratic practices are what define it as a party in popular consciousness. But the PDP too was right to take umbrage at what it must have seen as the case of a man biting that finger that so generously feeds him. But was the PDP as a party that real target of Azazi's attack? And is the attack on the PDP, and by implication, its leaders, including Azazi's boss, evidence of a fissure between the adviser and his principal? There are many who think so, among them, unfortunately, newspaper editors whose publications, almost without exception, have carried front lead stories suggesting, or saying directly, that Azazi is "in trouble". Yet, all that Jonathan said, in response to a question, was that Azazi should explain what he meant by what he said. He, however, cautioned us to remember that a word once uttered can mean different things to different people. Now, in view of this caution, if what Jonathan said suggests to some that Azazi is in trouble, to others it may suggest the direct opposite, that Azazi was right and might even be speaking the president's mind. Nuance is not Azazi's natural state. He is a man easy to decode. In fact, once the PDP veil is lifted, it is as easy as ABC, even for the untutored in our affairs, to see the real targets of Azazi's attack. The PDP as a party, let us recall, did not try to block Jonathan's bid to get its ticket. But some people, from both within and outside the party, did. And these people were Northerners, who based their action on both the PDP zoning policy and what they saw as the elite consensus on power sharing and rotation in the country. Of course, going by the president's caution, we must grant that other interpretations are possible. But the most appropriate in the circumstance, and in view of the other things Azazi said, are that, one, by PDP Azazi meant specifically the Adamu Ciromaled Northern Elders Group; two, by those with desire to be permanent rulers of Nigeria Azazi meant the Northern political elite generally; and, three, the person who was assured of winning 80% of the votes in 2011 but failed to win and is now causing trouble is

General Buhari. Simple. These things, and the stereotypes, suspicions and the unreasoning fears that inform them, are not new. They are being said in barely audible tones in the inner circles of power. But now, Azazi has forced them out into the public domain. It has been suggested in some quarters that Azazi spoke out of the frustrations he feels, engendered by the difficulty he has been facing in his effort to rein in Boko Haram. The assumption here is that Azazi in fact wants an early end to the crisis. Does he? Is it altogether unlikely that there is an end - political social or economic - which is best served by keeping the crisis going? In my view, the much more plausible explanation as to why Azazi chose to go public with his own version of events is that this is all part of the political manoeuvring and preparation for 2015. The race has begun in earnest. This should be obvious from the timing, venue and audience chosen by Azazi, all of which are significant. Azazi chose a time when the government has declared a total war on Boko Haram and when the issue of whether Jonathan should or can contest in 2015 has already shot to the top of the agenda of public debate and is a matter in court awaiting judicial interpretation. For venue, Azazi chose Asaba, the Capital of Delta, a state in the South-South where Jonathan is son of the soil and where his (Azazi's) version, though profoundly unhistorical, is sure to resonate with the population. It is, besides, a region where the bogey of the Northerner as Nigeria's problem has taken hold in the public mind as a result of constant repetition by the region's leaders and in the media. Azazi chose for his audience a gathering of South-South leaders who, by and large, share his version and who are expected to do even more than they are already doing to sell to their publics Azazi's version. Azazi's main goal, it seems to me, is to exploit the widespread but unreasoning fear in the South of Northern domination, stoke the fires of anger and resentment against the North and then mobilise and turn these ugly human instincts into political capital for Jonathan. That was precisely how the socalled "majority of minorities"

coalition that helped Jonathan to win the presidency in 2011 was built. And it is precisely how the Azazis want to keep the groups in the coalition glued together for 2015. The Jonathan campaign will, understandably, have the biggest war chest ever in our history. But if those we know - the Azazi's and Clarks - are to remain in the forefront of it, the campaign will suffer from a dearth of both new ideas and men and women who think and act with grace across the ethnic, regional and religious divides in the country. Besides, there will be no impressive record of performance to show. Jonathan has, by all accounts, so far scored only mediocre marks from the public in terms of performance. Given this, the Azazi and the Clarks will have to rely even more on, and will in fact become prisoners of, the sentiments and passions they have worked and have been working overtime to stir, in order to put Jonathan in Aso Villa. To be fair to Azazi, he did cite in his speech at the summit, the issue of poverty as another cause of the escalation in the insecurity situation in our country, thereby giving the problem a socioeconomic context. He said, in fact, that even if all the Boko Haram leaders were killed, the problem wouldn't just disappear. Why? Because, according to him, there are what he called "tentacles", and the situation that created the sect that must also be tackled, i.e poverty and the insatiable desire of some people to be permanent rulers of the country (read Northerners here). There is, so far, nothing by way of fighting poverty-no intervention programmes or big federal capital projects or job creation schemes of any type in the North-East where Boko Haram is most active. So, the solution is to tackle these Northerners with insatiable greed for power. By implication, therefore, the all-out war declared by the government against the sect is really a war against Northerners. A declaration of war is freighted with implications. Governments use it to, justify human rights violations, relieve themselves of certain responsibilities, and divert attention from their failures. War provides a good excuse for failure. And Jonathan is badly in need of such an excuse War, they say, is the continuation of politics. The war against Boko Haram seems welltimed and geared toward not just economically and socially emasculating the North, but also moulding public opinion against the region and its leaders as the source and cause of the nation's woes. This way, no Northerner will be in serious contention for the presidency in 2015, or any time in the near future. And this way too, the Azazis will be killing two birds with a stone: ensuring that the North is down and keeping their man in power beyond 2015.

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