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Vol. 9 No. 16

Monday, September 3, 2012

. . . putting the people first

27 Nigerians deported from Spain for armed robbery, drug trafficking >> PAGE 3

Funding structure delaying power projects – NSE >> PAGE 2

Shawwal 16, 1433 AH


Unilorin VC: Applicant sues NUC, Jonathan >> PAGE 3

States, local govts gulp N988 billion . . . In second quarter

States’ Receipts N224.46 bn - April N206.50 bn - May N204.36 bn - June Total = N 635.32 bn

LG Receipts N123.95 bn April N114.31 bn May N114.78 bn June Total = N 353.04 bn

By Aminu Imam & Abdulwahab Isa


Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) economic report for the second quarter of 2012 shows that the sum of N988.36 billion was allocated to the 36 state governments and the 774 local government councils in April, May and June 2012, respectively as statutory allocations, VAT receipts and 13% derivation. The report, obtained from the apex bank’s website, shows that total allocation to state governments (including the Federation Account, 13.0% Derivation Fund and share of VAT receipts) stood at N635.32 billion during the reviewed quarter, representing a decline of 10.0 per cent below the level in the preceding quarter, but exceeding the level in the corresponding quarter of 2011 by 33.6 per cent. Also, statutory allocations to the 774 local government Contd on Page 2


30h Aug, 2012


BUYING 154.8 245 194.9 0.277 41

SELLING 155.8 246.8 196 0.297 41.5


BUYING 201 257 40 159

SELLING 203 259 42 161

Three people were burnt beyond recognition as a petrol tanker fell and caught fire, yesterday morning at Maje village near Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Mother, 2 others die in Abuja tanker explosion By Josephine Ella


woman who wanted to rescue her child from an inferno was among those who were roasted to death when a petrol tanker exploded after the

driver lost control, rammed into a residential quarters and burst into flames in Tunga-Maje in Abuja yesterday. Eyewitnesses said the tanker after losing control, somersaulted and as a result,

rammed into the buildings, setting off the fire that ravaged the affected structures, worth millions of Naira. Charred remains of two occupants of the tanker, suspected to be the driver and his

conductor were found in the wreckage of the ill-fated tanker before it went into flames. The unlucky woman, eyewitnesses said had rushed out of her house to save her child, who Contd on Page 2





Gunmen attack police station, church, kill cop, 2 others





From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri





nknown gunmen at the weekend killed three people including a police sergeant when they attacked a divisional police station and a church at New Marte in far away northern part of Borno state.










It was learnt that the divisional police station in the town and COCIN church were razed down by the assailants. Peoples Daily also gathered that some vehicles parked in the premises of the police station were also burnt. Residents told newsmen that the assailants who were about 20 in number came in

three Golf saloon cars and eight motorcycles and shot into the air which made people to scamper for safety. A resident of the town who said he narrowly escaped the attack told newsmen on phone that the attackers operated for more than four hours without any challenge from security agencies. He said the incident

happened on Friday evening. The body of the police sergeant, our reporter learnt, have been conveyed to Maiduguri and deposited at a hospital morgue. Borno police command spokesman, DSP Gideon Jibrin could not be reached as at press time, but a security source confirmed that there was an attack on the town.

sector reforms. The Society has therefore called on the Federal Government to take into consideration the life cycle of power projects and adopt a five to ten year funding structure to ensure that projects are completed on time for Nigerians to begin to enjoy regular power for economic development. While making the call, the President of the NSE, Engr.

Rahman Shehu, who led his members on a visit to the Transmission Company of Nigeria said “the nature of power projects is such that designs and construction stages normally exceed 2 to 3 years and the whole project cycle can be up to 5 years conservatively from feasibility to detailed design and construction. The annual budget for projects in Nigeria comes with great deal of uncertainty

in the allocation and amount thereby resulting in the following scenarios – delayed payment to contractors and consultants; frequent project argumentation; delayed completion and utilization of the project and late payment penalties”. He said power projects cannot be funded properly through annual budgets.

Funding structure delaying power projects – NSE By Udenna Orji


s the nation awaits a new power minister following last week’s resignation of Prof. Barth Nnaji, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has said Nigeria’s pattern of funding electric power projects through annual provisions in the nation’s annual budgets is the major cause of the delay in completion of power projects and power

States, local govts gulp N988bn Contd from Page 1

Sambo lauds IBB for promoting peace, unity among Nigerians, Page 38

International 32-34 Digest








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councils, including VAT, stood at N353.04 billion. The figure was lower than the level in the preceding quarter by 8.0 per cent, but exceeded the level in the corresponding quarter of 2011 by 18.2 per cent. A breakdown of the figures show that, on a monthly basis, the sum of N224.46 billion, N206.50 billion and N204.36 billion was allocated as statutory allocations, VAT receipts and 13% Derivation to the 36 state governments in April, May and June 2012, respectively. A further breakdown showed that, on a monthly basis, the sum of N123.95 billion, N114.31 billion and N114.78 billion was allocated to the 774 local governments in April, May and June 2012, respectively. According to the report, which is the second in the current year, of the Federal Account receipts, N465.98 billion was for statutory allocation, while N169.55 billion was for the 13% Derivation Fund and that, at N87.06 billion, receipts from the Value Added Tax (VAT) Pool Account was 6.1 and 13.6 per cent higher than the levels in the preceding quarter and the corresponding quarter of 2011, respectively, while receipts from the Federation Account stood at N548.27 billion. The report put the fiscal operations of the Federal Government at an estimated deficit of N211.80 billion or 2.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared with a proportionate budget deficit of N284.05 billion and a surplus of N12.58 billion in the preceding quarter. According to the report, total expenditure for second quarter stood at N1, 063.76 billion, indicating a decline of 16.8 per

cent relative to the level of the quarterly budget estimate. It was, however, higher than the level in the preceding quarter by 11.4 per cent. The development (relative to the quarterly budget estimate) was attributed to the non-release of capital outlay during the period. A breakdown of total expenditure showed that the recurrent component accounted for 72.9 per cent, capital component 23.1 per cent, while statutory transfers accounted for the balance of 4.0 per cent. Further breakdown of the recurrent expenditure showed that the non-debt component accounted for 89.3 per cent, while debt service payments accounted for the balance of 10.7 per cent. The CBN report, in addition, captured agriculture performance during the year. It notes an improved weather situation occasioned by increased in rain fall, thus leading to a bumper harvests in most parts of the country. “The weather situation improved during the second quarter of 2012, as rainfall increased and became widespread in most parts of the country. This led to increased level of agricultural activities, especially cultivation and harvesting of crops such as maize and vegetables. In the livestock sub-sector, farmers restocked broilers and layers to replenish sales of the Easter festivity”. On the performances of crude oil during second quarter, it notes that Nigeria’s crude oil production, including condensates and natural gas liquids, was estimated at 2.12 million barrels per day (bpd) or 192.92 million barrels for the quarter. Crude oil export was estimated at 1.67 bpd or 151.97 million barrels for the quarter, while

allocations to the refineries for domestic consumption remained at 0.45 bpd or 40.95 million barrels. The average price of Nigeria’s reference crude, Bonny Light, estimated at US$109.32 per barrel, fell by 9.7 per cent below the level in the preceding quarter. The total assets and liabilities of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) stood at N19, 966.2 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2012, representing an increase of 0.6 per cent above the level at the end of the preceding quarter. The funds, which were sourced largely from increased demand deposit mobilisation, foreign assets holdings and unclassified liabilities were used mainly in extension of credit to the private sector, increased reserves and acquisition of unclassified assets. The CBN’s credit to the DMBs, largely, loans and advances, rose by 29.0 per cent to N353.8 billion at the end of the review quarter. At N12, 637.8 billion, DMBs’ credit to the domestic economy, rose by 0.9 per cent above the level in the preceding quarter. The development was attributed wholly to the 3.1 per cent rise in claims on the private sector. The specified liquid assets of the DMBs stood at N5, 457.4 billion, representing 42.6 per cent of their total current liabilities. It could be recalled that in July, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala had claimed that the 2012 capital budget implementation as at June 20, was 56 %. However, a document on budget performance submitted to the Senate committee on Finance by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation showed that only 21.35 % of the total allocation has been cash backed and that the percentage amount utilised from the releases by the Finance ministry stood at 12.16% as at July 20th.

Mother, 2 others die in Abuja tanker explosion Contd from Page 1 was outside the house but was consumed by the fire. At least, three other persons sustained varying degree of injuries. The tragic incident was said to have occurred at about 7.00am, with the inferno razing 20 shops and seven residential buildings located near the accident scene. An electricity transformer was also destroyed in the inferno, which eyewitnesses confirmed, resulted in pandemonium as other residents of the area ran helterskelter to salvage their properties for fear that the fire could spread. Meanwhile, the surviving victims of the explosion are now receiving medical treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Abuja. Details of what led to the loss of control of the tanker were not available at the time of filing this report. However, residents suspect brake failure or the usual busy and most times uncoordinated traffic of around the area. There is always heavy traffic of heavy duty vehicles including petrol tankers and trailers in addition to numerous commercial vehicles and motorcycles in the area. The Maje accident occurred just twenty four hours after a trailer ran over a Hilux van, while another truck driver lost control of his vehicle and rammed into 12 vehicles along Nyanya road also in Abuja. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the incident caused the death of one person while 12 others were seriously injured and admitted in hospital for treatment.



ABU to honour Carter, Mugabe, Mbeki, others at golden jubilee From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) arriving the Meskel Square Addis Ababa for the state funeral service of late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, yesterday in Addis Ababa. Photo: NAN

27 Nigerians deported from Spain for armed robbery, drug trafficking By Lambert Tyem


he Nigeria Police Force yesterday said it has been handed over 27 Nigerians deported from Madrid, Spain, for various criminal offences. The police said they received the criminal deportees on 10th August, 2012, at the International wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos. Police spokesman, Frank Mba,

said the deportees committed offences ranging from armed robbery, drug trafficking, forgery and illegal migration. "The deportees who arrived aboard a chartered Spanish Airline were received at the Airport at 07:30am, by officers from the Interpol National Central Bureau, Lagos, following directives issued on 9th August, 2012, by the office of the Inspector-General of Police. "They were immediately

transferred to the office of the Bureau, where they were screened to determine their culpability to the allegations against them. At the end of the screening exercise conducted by a combined team of officers from the police, SSS, NDLEA and the Nigerian Immigration Service, 14 of the deportees were found not culpable for any of the alleged. "They were subsequently, unconditionally released to their

relations on bail. "Meanwhile the other incriminated 13 deportees were handed-over to relevant agencies, based on the nature of their alleged criminal involvement. While assuring the deportees that due process of law will strictly be followed in handling their cases, the IGP advised Nigerians in Diaspora to be mindful of their activities and respect the laws and culture of their host countries.

ormer American President, Mr. Jimmy Carter, Zimbabwean President, Mr. Robert Mugabe, former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki and his former Namibian counterpart Sam Nujoma, are among African and world leaders to get honorary doctorate degree awards from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, during the institution’s 50th anniversary celebration. The Vice Chancellor of ABU in a press statement signed by his Media Adviser, Malam Waziri Isa Gwantu, explained that the ABU is committed to maintaining what it described as laudable and rare principles imbibed from the founder of the University, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto. The statement noted further that the awardees are credible and selfless leaders who have served humanity in one way or the other. “Considering the caliber of dignitaries expected to attend the event and the volume of funds the month-long event is expected to gulp, the university alone cannot be able to shoulder financial responsibilities of the anniversary without the support of its alumni, friends and stakeholders. “The Vice Chancellor therefore calls on all ABU stakeholders to join hands directly with the university or liaise with the national or international leadership of the alumni to support the ongoing preparations to make the event a memorable, unique and successful one.”

Unilorin VC: Applicant sues NUC, Jonathan Sambo charges NAM to remain From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ne of the applicants to the position of vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Rasheed Ijaodola, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Ilorin, over the appointment of the Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali as the vice chancellor of the institution. In the suit, the petitioner sued 18 others among whom are Prof. Ambali, Alhaji Saka Saadu, President , Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister of Education, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), other council members, Prof. Ishaq

Oloyede and four candidates who were selected for interview during the exercise. In the suit, Ijaodola wants the court to determine “Whether in view of Section 2(1) of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No 11 of 1993 as amended by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2003, the selection and appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) can be put into process when the position of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council is vacant and another person is yet to be appointed to fill the vacancy by the President of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria who is the Visitor to the University of Ilorin and the appointing authority for the position of Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council for the university”, amongst other reliefs. The claimant also wants the court to determine “Whether in view of paragraph 1 of the vacancy advertisement placed by UNILORIN for the vacant post of Vice-Chancellor, as contained in the Punch newspaper of May 14, 2012, the discipline of Veterinary Medicine which is the discipline of Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali is a legally existing discipline in UNILORIN when the National Universities Commission has not approved or accredited it”.

agent of peace By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government has urged the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to maintain its capacity and relevance as agent for greater cohesion amongst states and be more robust in addressing the challenges of today. Vice President Namadi Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan at the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, Iran, stated this yesterday, during the meeting of Heads of State and Government of the NAM.

Sambo stated that “dramatic challenges are taking place in the world: uprising in North Africa and some countries in the Middle East.” He said the development has ushered in new opportunities for peace and democracy and the fostering of greater human rights. VP Sambo said that “terrorism and other transnational organised crimes continue to threatened international peace and security despite our concerted efforts.” He urged NAM, “to revive and reinvigorate the stalled UN Conference on Disarmament, not only on issues of non proliferation, but also complete and verifiable nuclear disarmament.”

Tinubu leads opposition to US Democratic Convention From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ormer governor of Lagos state and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will from today (Monday), join the American President, leaders of the Democratic Party and thousands of party members and donors to attend the three-day national

convention of the party in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tinubu who was invited to the Democratic National Convention in his right as the leader of the opposition in Nigeria and an influential national figure will be at the ring side as the Democratic Party conduct activities that will culminate in the nomination of President Obama as its candidate for

the November 2012 presidential elections in the USA. Tinubu receive a gold card invitation and with this, he will be joined by three other eminent personalities – Governor Kayode Fayemi, Mr. Dele Alake and Speaker, Lagos state house of Assembly, Abayomi Ikuforiji. The Democratic National Convention Committee has approved R&B songstress Mary J.

Blige, rock band Foo Fighters, and soul band Earth, Wind & Fire to perform for the delegates and convention guests, at the Bank of America Stadium. The Democratic National Convention is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the Democratic Party. The primary goal of the convention is to nominate

and confirm a candidate for President and Vice President, adopt a comprehensive party platform and unify the party. Total delegates expected are 5,556 for the September 4-6, 2012. Charlotte, North Carolina. Only last week, the Republican Party held its convention where it nominated Romney as its presidential candidate and Paul Ryan as Vice.



Flood disasters: Anticipating the fury Even without the advance warnings by the Ministry of Environment, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of a likelihood of flooding in parts of the country this year, states prone to the phenomenon should have known and prepared better so that the after-tale in the event of flooding is not the usual one of deaths, devastation, destruction and despair. According to Red Cross, about 500,000 people were displaced nationwide in 2011. Alas, the tale in the wake of the deluge of floods that have so far ravaged some parts of the country have been as woeful as they have ever been and continuing, as from Port Harcourt in Rivers state to Nguru in Yobe state, from Makoko in Lagos state to Kano in Kano state, and from Ibadan in Oyo state to Jimeta/Yola in Adamawa state, Mina in Niger state and Jos in Plateau state, the woeful story is the same, reports Abdu Labaran Malumfashi.


arly in August and towards the end of the month, the Federal Ministry of Environment had predicted that there would be heavy downpour as well as windstorm during the rainy season, especially between August and October, which may cause flooding in some 23 states in the country. In a report issued in Abuja by the Deputy Director (Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management) of the ministry, Dr. Morohunkeji Oyeleke, areas that could be affected are the flood prone states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara. In warning statement signed by Mr Eleazar Obende on 5 August 2012, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) urged Nigerians to clear drains in anticipation of heavy rainstorms that may lead to heavy flooding between August and October. The Agency noted that “NIMET has observed wetterthan-normal soil surface moisture and groundwater conditions in some parts of the country over the past 12 months and that northern sector of the country will experience peak rainfall during August to October season, the effect of the wetter-thannormal conditions observed is the prospect of the occurrence of above-normal rainfall, which may lead to surface runoff. ”The flooding incidents that may accompany further one-day high rainfall events in and around Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states will leave in its trail devastation and

destruction.” Even the Cameroonian authorities reportedly gave a prior warning to Nigeria before the release of the Lagdo Dam water that caused the deadly flooding in parts of Adamawa state last week in which about 20 lives were lost and over 10,000 persons were displaced in 36 villages in 13 local government areas. According to the report, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Water Resources Ministry, the Adamawa state Governor, Rear Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were told about the impending floods in advance. True to the warnings, the rains came in torrents, leading to deadly and destructive floods in many parts of the country. But even before all the warnings, some parts of the north had come under heavy flooding that left scores dead and thousands displaced. In late July, floods in Rikkos, Gangere and Angwan Rogo areas of Jos North claimed the lives of about 55 people with about 3,000 displaced. The Acting Zonal Coordinator for North Central

of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Mohammed Abdulsalam, confirmed the death of 47 persons and the destruction of at least 200 houses. He said, “So far we have 47 persons confirmed dead and about 36 still missing. We have over 3,000 people in displaced camps and the immediate concern is to give them some comfort by providing relief materials.” In Oyo state, at least 102 people were feared killed about 2,000 residents displaced by floods in and around the state capital of Ibadan. According to the Nigerian Red Cross, most of the victims are children. In Katsina state, hundreds of homes and farmlands in Safana and kurfi local government areas were destroyed by floods. The floods also wrecked havoc in Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Niger, Cross River, Ekiti and Kebbi states. Flood disaster is an annual calamity caused by both natural and human factors. According to the Director, Weather Forecasting Services of the Nigerian Metrological Agency, Mr Ifeanyi Nnodu, factors such as excessive rainfall, blocked drains and

Factors such as excessive rainfall, blocked drains and runoff from rivers and streams are to a large extent responsible for flooding

Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Jibril Mailafiya

NIMET Director General, Dr Anthony Anuforom runoff from rivers and streams are to a large extent responsible for flooding. He said, “When the volume of rainfall cannot be absorbed by the soil or when the rate of rainfall is more than the rate of absorbing capacity of the soil, then flooding will be experienced. “It happened mainly this year due to environmental lawlessness because people fail to regulate and control their drains.

“In Lagos, we had episodes of rainfall than the soil could absorb; we had rainfall for four days consecutively but because the drains and the water could not flow properly to the rivers, they caused flooding. “But human practices have caused the flooding because the drains are blocked and the water could not flow into proper channels; when things are not done in the right way that we should do it, we will have flooding.



Nigeria, Iran to partner in power supply, others By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government and Islamic Republic of Iran have agreed to partner in electricity supply, agriculture, science and education. This position was reached at a bilateral meeting between Vice President Namadi Sambo and President Mhamoud Ahmadinejad of Iran at the venue of the 16th Summit of the NonAligned Movement in Tehran. While accepting the fraternal greetings of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Iranian President thanked Nigeria for honouring the invitation to attend the summit. Vice President Sambo stated further that to realise the decisions taken at the summit, the level of development in the country calls for partnership so that both countries can realise their developmental objectives. He said though there are Iranian companies in the country,

Nigeria needs more cooperation with Iran attend its developmental goals especially in the power sector. Vice President Sambo expressed the concern of the Federal Government over the eviction notice given to the Nigerian Embassy in Tehran, noting that despite the fact that Nigeria has acquired the property since 1994, three people have come forward in 2006 to lay claim to the property. He used the occasion to highlight what the country has done so far in building both thermal and hydro power projects as well as other projects in agriculture. In his remark, President Ahmadinejad expressed his appreciation for what Nigeria is doing in the sub-region and promised to look into the issue of the Embassy building, saying he looks forward to a stronger relationship between both countries.

Subsidy: Northern Youths warn Jonathan not to shield culprits From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he youth wing of the Northern Union (NU), has warned President Goodluck Jonathan against shielding suspects involved in the subsidy scandal with plea bargaining; rather, the union advised the Federal Government to publicise the amount recovered from the suspects. The union in a statement signed by its national coordinator of its youth wing, Comrade Kolo Jerry, and the publicity secretary, Mohammed Katun, stated that "our stand and resolve against oil subsidy scam is for the Federal Government to find the courage amidst

these revelations and manipulations to see through the prosecution of the culprits and their accomplices within and outside the public service. "We strongly advise the President not to provide a back door exit for the scammers in the name of plea bargaining or soft landing. Also, the Federal Government should bring to the public domain how much it recovers at the end and the names of those involved". The Union however appealed to stakeholders including organised labour unions, civil society organisations and opposition parties to insist that those involved in the scandal should be prosecuted.

NASENI to partner SETRACO on infrastructure development, capacity training By Joy Baba


n line with the Federal Government's principle of deliberate collaboration with the private sector as a way to fast-track development and the achievement of the Vision 20:2020 agenda, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), is seeking partnership with one of Nigeria's construction giant, SETRACO Nigeria Limited to establish a standard Technology Orientation Centre (TOC). This was contained in a statement signed by the chief information officer, media and protocol of NASENI, Mr. Segun Ayeoyenikan. The statement said the Ag. Director-General of NASENI, Engr. Mohammed Sani Haruna, made the declaration when he led members of his management team on a courtesy visit to SETRACO over the weekend. "I believe that for this mandate to be achieved for

Nigeria, the delivery component of science and engineering infrastructure must be fully developed including training and retraining at all times", Haruna said. Responding, the Managing Director of SETRACO, Mr. Michael Hacheuberg, said training and re-training of staff is very important for quality assurance and delivery.

L-R: Major-General Ibrahim Haruna (rtd), Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, during the 71st birthday celebration of Former President Babangida, on Saturday at the IBB Golf Classic Club 2012 in Maitama, Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Nigeria protests 45 days wait for Canadian visa N igeria has protested the delay in the issuance of Canadian visa which takes a minimum of 45 working days to process. Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, described the delay as "unacceptable", and called for a review of the long wait period. Ashiru, who had earlier summoned the Canadian High Commissioner, Chris Cooter, over the issue also suggested the

use of photocopied passport data page rather than holding applicant's passport during the waiting period. "Rather than holding on to visa applicant's passports, the Mission should make do with photocopies of the data pages". "Thereafter, the passports can be surrendered to the Mission only at the point of the issuance of visas". "This will allow passport holders the opportunity to use their passports for other travels,

Appoint competent personnel for Hajj operations, group urges NAHCON From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


non-governmental o r g a n i s a t i o n , Independent Hajj Reporters, has urged the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and pilgrims' welfare boards across the country to ensure that only competent and experienced persons are appointed as

officials for the forthcoming 2012 Hajj exercise. in a press statement in Kaduna yesterday, signed by the national secretary, Ibrahim Mohammed; and publicity secretary, Abubakar Mahmoud, the group noted that the fate of over of 95, 000 Nigerian pilgrims depends on the competence and experience of those

Jigawa government to resuscitate Hisbah board From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa Hisbah Board would soon have a lease of life as the state government has pledged to provide office s and operational vehicles for its guards across the state. The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Lawal Abdu made the promise during the opening ceremony of a four-day training for the members of the agency on Sunday in Dutse.

pending the approval of their visa applications by the Canadian Mission", Ashiru said. The minister, who stressed the cordial relations between Nigeria and Canada, said the binational commission between the two countries had paved the way for deepened relations, especially in the economic sector. In his response, Cooter pledged to report the concerns expressed by Ashiru to the appropriate authorities in Ottawa. (NAN)

Abdu explained that before the end of the administration of Governor Sule Lamido, the government would give all necessary facilities for the smooth operations of Hisbah in the state. H e s a i d the present government was ready to support any organisation that would work to enhance the peaceful coexistence of the state. The SSG urged members of the Hisbah committee to discharge their duties

diligently. In his remarks, the Speaker of Jigawa state House of Assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Adamu, said the establishment of Hisbah guards was backed by law in the state to enforce the Islamic legal system. Adamu charged the members to discharge their duties within the ambit of Islamic law for which the agency was formed. He advised the guards not to indulge in anything that would tarnish the image of Hisbah and Islam.

appointed as Hajj officials. According to the statement, "the success of Hajj operation depends primarily on the quality of those appointed as officials. "Pilgrims rely on Hajj officials for guidance and counseling during Hajj exercise. "If those appointed to guide pilgrims are themselves ignorant on the dos and don'ts of Hajj exercise, it will be a case of the blind guiding the blind. "We strongly advice state pilgrims board to appoint only experienced and competent persons as Hajj officials. "Previous experiences have shown that political and other pecuniary considerations are allowed to influence selection of Hajj officials by various state pilgrims welfare boards. "This practice has brought untold hardship to pilgrims in the holy land, as those saddled with the responsibility of educating and guiding pilgrims often disappear as soon as they enter Saudi Arabia".


Declare Kogi oil producing, youths implore Jonathan From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


youth group in Kogi state under the aegis of Kogi Youth Progressive Association, (KYPA), has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently wade into the disputed oil wells between Kogi and Anambra states and as well declare Kogi an oil producing state. A statement issued yesterday and signed by the chairman of the association, Alhaji Bello Ibrahim, faulted the Federal Government's decision to designate Anambra as an oil producing state while leaving Kogi state out. The group while noting that the crude which was to service the Orient Oil Refinery located in Aguleri in Anambra state, was actually located in Odeke community in Ibaji LGA of Kogi state, saying the Federal Government must not be seen as part of the crisis. According to Alhaji Ibrahim, the issue was first raised in 1994, but regretted that nothing was done then by the Federal Government, saying the only amicable way to resolve the matter was to declare Kogi where the crude was found as an oil producing state along other benefiting states. He enjoined governor Idris Wada to as a matter of urgency open up discussions with his counterpart in Anambra, to avert any possible clash by the contending communities as was the case some years back. According to the chairman, the isolation of Kogi state from the oil producing states is not proper and called for its inclusion in the interest of peace, justice and fair play. Congratulating Kogi people on the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in Odeke, Echenyo and Amambo, he stressed that the people must join other Nigerians in praying for the success of the transformation agenda of President Jonathan.


Jonathan to launch YOUWIN 2 for women today P

resident Goodluck Jonathan will today, launch the second edition of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation (YOUWIN!), a Federal Ministry of Finance innovative business plan competition for talented youth entrepreneurs. A statement issued by Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance, yesterday, said YOUWIN! 2 would be exclusively for young female entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 45.

The statement noted that the first year of the competition, which ended recently produced 1,200 winners from different parts of the country "following a rigorous and exciting contest". It added that winners in the YOUWIN 1 competition were given prizes and grants of up to N10 million, technical support including state-of-the-art websites and strategic guidance by experienced mentors. "The objective is to create thousands of jobs by helping

winners to strengthen and expand existing businesses, as well as turn innovative ideas into solid businesses". The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that during the launch of the National Gender Policy Dialogue organised by the World Bank on May 21 in Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, hinted that the second phase of the competition would be dedicated to women. She attributed this to the fact that out of the total 1,200

Benue civil service boss laments downward trend in service delivery From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


L-R: Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, welcoming Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, to the 40th day Fidau prayers for Ajimobi's mother in Ibadan on Saturday

Police seek Lagosians’ support on community policing he Police Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS), Lagos state command, has called on residents of the state to support it efforts to ensure peace in the communities. Speaking with newsmen at the one year anniversary of Area 'M' Police Command and award day tagged: 1st security and safety award 2012, the Officer-in-Charge of SARS, Lagos State Police Command, Superintendent Abba Kyari, said community policing is

all about the community helping the police with useful information of criminal hideouts, dark spots, and other security concerns in their environment. "We need the cooperation of Lagosians to tackle and overcome the security challenges in the state and the country at large. "If the society can be doing this, it will encourage us policemen to perform even better than what they see now", he added. He added: "Let the traditional rulers and the religious leaders also join us in this crusade by admonishing the people to always

obey the law. We are all community police and if we all submit to the law, definitely a peaceful environment is assured." During his remark, a resident of Lasu-Iba, Mr. Folusho Ojo said the dwellers of the environs really felt the impact and effectiveness of the area 'M' police command within the one year of its commission. "Now, we residents see police from another perspective because its leadership has being brought close to us, we have access to the Area Commander and perpetrators of evil are easily captured", he added.

Adamawa, commended the efforts of the state government towards cushioning the effect of the disaster on the victims and had a trailer filled with 600 bags of parboiled rice delivered for onward distribution to the victims. Secretary to the State Government Mr. Kobis Ari Thimnu who received the donation on

behalf of the state government, thanked the former VP and confessed that the unfortunate disaster caught everyone unawares. He explained that immediately the disaster happened Governor Murtala Nyako constituted a management committee to suggest how to help affected communities and assured that the items would be

disbursed accordingly and for purposes intended. "We are proud of Turaki and while we urge other well meaning indigenes to emulate him, we still warn our people to remain where they are because we have been warned that the flood will continue till the end of September", Thimnu stated.

From Ojebola Matthew & Aramunde Matthew, Lagos


Atiku donates relief items to flood victims From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


ormer Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar over the weekend, donated food items to victims of the flood that ravaged at least 13 local government areas in the state last weekend. Atiku who is an indigene of the state and also the Turakin

winners in the last competition, only 17 percent were women. Citing the 2012 World Bank report on Gender Equality and Development, Okonjo-Iweala said "if empowering women is smart economics, empowering girls is smarter economies". NAN reports that findings from the World Bank report indicates that empowering women and girls had increased many nation's GDP growth, particularly in developing countries. (NAN)

hairman of the Benue state Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Comfort Agogo, has decried the down turn in service delivery amongst civil servants, stressing that they are embarking on re-orientation to improve on the quality of service delivery. Mrs. Agogo who said this during a chat with journalists in her office at the weekend, noted that the problem is systemic, lamenting the lack of discipline and dedication among civil servants. She said the state government is carrying out training and retraining of civil servants as a way of refocusing their mindset. "Greed is killing the system. People are looking for what they can get from the system and not what they can give to it. Civil servants are the engine that enhances implementation of government policies. We are embarking on serious public reforms to correct this anomaly that was bastardized by the military. It is sad that there is no longer merit in the civil service. The civil service boss who said the commission frowns seriously at civil servants who engage in partisan politics, maintained that such, if fished out, would be severely dealt with. She further intimated that over 1000 workers voluntarily retired from the service while 3,200 were promoted for outstanding performance. According to her, "my office is synergising with the offices of the Head of Service and Secretary to look critically at this number of retirees with a view to engaging new civil servants to replace them.


Vandals stop NEMA from Arepo pipeline fire From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos fforts to put out the fire which broke out in the wake of pipeline sabotage, was again stalled yesterday morning when the vandals in the creeks succeeded in preventing emergency managers from getting to the scene of the fire outbreak, thus frustrating efforts at finally putting out the blaze that has raged for the past two days. According to the National Emergency Management Agency’s Information officer, Ibrahim Folarinyo who spoke to our correspondent on phone ,the managers which include the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation’s private security men were ambushed at about 10 am on their way to the scene by vandals who asked to be settled before allowing the emergency managers to quench the inferno In his words “This morning at about 10.00am as we attempt to get to the scene with a view to continue efforts at finally putting out


the fire, we were welcomed with hails of bullets from gunshot from the vandals and we have to scamper for safety and it was by sheer divine will that none of us was hurt”. Narrating further, he said that at about noon, reprieve however came when some NNPC officials went into dialogue with the vandals resulting in the withdrawal of the corporations private security guards whose presence drew the ire of the vandals stressing that work however resumed as soon as the vandals were convinced that the security-men were off the scene. Meanwhile, the Ogun State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye has visited the site amidst tight security, to access the level of security and preparedness of the emergency managers It would be recalled that last week, fire broke out at some NNPC pipelines in the swampy area of Arepo village in Ogun state and it was traced to the activities of vandals who usually operate from the creeks.


Lagos law: No immunity for government drivers T here will be no immunity for any LAGBUS driver that flouts the new Lagos traffic law, says the executive director of the bus service, Mr. Yemi Odubela. Odubela told a two-day workshop for drivers in Lagos on Saturday that any of them who flouts the new Lagos State traffic law, would regret his actions. “Nobody is above the law; that you work with LAGBUS does not give you the privilege to disobey the law of the state. “The reason we have organised this training is to educate you on what you should know, because ignorance of the law is not an excuse,” he said. He said that any of the state government drivers that owned

a motorcycle, either for commercial use or private use, should have a riders’ card because the drivers’ licence or LAGBUS letter was not acceptable for riding a bike. “If you have an Okada , your drivers licence does not cover you, except you have a riders’ card,” Odubela emphasised, and advised the drivers to lead the way by avoiding reckless driving and obeying all traffic laws. “Anyone caught in the act of violating the law and his bus is impounded and the person arrested, will be made to face the law, while we find a way to secure the release of our bus. “We should be a model to assist the Government to achieve its aim of making Lagos State a

megacity,” Odubela urged the drivers. Mrs. Margaret Adewale, Director, Legal Services, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), reminded the bus drivers, also known as ‘captains’, that they and their assistants should be properly kitted and in their uniforms when on the road. “Driving without uniforms, driving without using the dedicated lanes, as well as reckless driving, attracts a fine of N20, 000”, Adewale said. According to her, receiving or making phone calls while driving attracts a fine of N20,000 for a first timer, while a second timer would be fined N50,000.

Minister commission’s Katsina FMC incinerator From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafiya has commissioned a multimillion naira incinerator built at the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina. Commissioning the centre, yesterday in Katsina, Mailafiya noted that the incinerator was built at the cost of 83 million naira. According to her, such incinerators were built in nine FMCs across the country, to ensure clean environment. “These incinerators will help in checking indiscriminate dumping of refuse. A hospital is supposed to be clean to provide comfort for the sick and those visiting the hospitals” she said and urged the management of

the hospital to ensure proper maintenance and use of the facility. Responding, Medical Director of FMC, Katsina, Dr. Abdulmajid Faruq noted that the modern incinerator would help in the safe disposal of the solid, liquid, infectious and harzardous wastes in the hospital. The director assured the minister that the management of the hospital would ensure proper use of the equipment.

L-R: Representative of Minister of Youth Development, Hajiya Salamatu Fulani, representative of Director of State Security Service (SSS), Mr. M. A Wahab, Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Osita Chidoka, representative of Director General, NICON Insurance Limited, Mr. Ajudua Steve, with others, during the FRSC monthly jogging exercise tagged 'Jogging for Youth Development', at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Oyo assures cordial relations with private sector From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State weekend said that his administration would continue to maintain cordial

relationship with the private sector to enhance the socioeconomic development of the state. The governor stated this in Ibadan while receiving members of the management

Commission boss harps on revenue options By Abdulwahab Isa


hairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam, has tasked the states, local governments on the imperative of revenue diversification as means of boosting their economy and employment. Mbam who said at the weekend in Abuja in a chat with newsmen, assured of the Commission’s commitment to boosting economic diversity through constant advocacy and mass mobilization campaign

across the six geo-political zones. A statement by the Commission’s Spokesman, Ibrahim Mohammed said the Chairman charged stakeholders in Nigeria especially the three tiers of government to partner with the private sector to develop the untapped natural resources abound in all parts of the country with a view to boosting their revenue base and reducing the over dependence on oil revenue. The chairman who spoke ahead of the Zonal Advocacy Workshop on Economic Diversification slated for Asaba,

the Delta state capital for the South-South , from 10th-11th September, 2012, also expressed optimism that the constant agitation over the revenue sharing formula would be reduced, if all state and local governments fully exploit resources in their domain. He added that should the revenue derived from natural resources go for governance, the monthly allocation from oil revenue could be used to execute viable capital projects thus promoting fiscal efficiency and prudent management of resources.

team of Stanbic IBTC Bank led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Sola Davies who were on a courtesy visit to him in his office. He said that the overall objective of his administration was to make life more meaningful for the people of the state and to create conducive atmosphere for business investment. “We express our happiness that a leading bank in Nigeria like yours is coming to partner with us, in line with one global objective of working closely with the private sector to promote the business of our people in order to make life better for them”, he said. Governor Ajimobi charged the management of the bank to work together with the committee that would be set up by government to bring about the desired close relationship for the development of the state. While speaking on the

pension management which is the area of specialization of the bank, the governor urged the bank to evolve a new technology that would make fraud and mismanagement in the state Pension Board impossible. In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of the bank pledged the readiness of her bank to partner with the state government in the implementation of the state pension laws which had been passed. Mrs. Davies also assured that her bank would assist government in the execution of its various projects through the provision of expertise in key sectors such as agriculture, finance, manufacturing, investment and infrastructure. She later presented a cheque of N20 million to the governor as part of her bank’s contribution to the recently-launched state Security Trust Fund.



Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) captains at a training and awareness campaign for them on the new state traffic law, at the weekend in Lagos.

L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, presenting the “Do the Right Thing� plaque to Olorogun Adodo of Lagos, Head of Lagos Traditional White Cap Chiefs, Chief Teslim Junaid-Eko, during NOA peace meeting with traditional and religious leaders in Lagos state, recently at the palace of Oba of Lagos.

L-R: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Assembly Affairs, Cameroon, Amadou Ali, Chairman, Cameroun-Nigeria mixed commission, Mr Said Djinni, and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke, during the 29th session of Cameroon-Nigeria mixed commission, on Saturday in Yaounde, Cameroun. Photo: NAN

Photo: NAN

Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (middle), unveiling a flag to commemorate the official flag- off of 54 km Kanawa-Deba-Jagali-Jauro, recently.



30-year-old shoots son to death A From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

30-year-old man, Mr. Ornguga Adega of Agbatse in Kwande local government area of Benue state was yesterday arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi for allegedly shooting

his 10-year-old son, Sunday Ornguga, to death with a single barrel gun. It was learnt that Mr. Adega had on the August 2, 2012 obtained an anti-bullet charm from a native doctor, which he applied on his son's body but however, in the attempt to test

the efficacy of the medicine, shot his son on the right leg resulting in his bleeding to death. Police prosecutor, Inspector Gabriel Egbonyi, told the court that the accused was arrested after he confessed to committing the crime. No plea was taken for want of

jurisdiction as the police prosecutor said investigation was still in progress and requested for an adjournment. Chief Magistrate, Mr. Dan Ogoh ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case to September 12, 2012.

Newsrooms must change to survive, says DG FRCN From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Malam Yusuf Nuhu, has said that for the newsroom to survive and remain relevant amidst challenges posed by technological advancement, "it will need to re-invent itself." The DG made the assertion in his opening remarks at the Heads of News Summit, organised by the FRCN in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital. He observed that that newsmen, as world chroniclers of change, are frightened by it, warning that fear often impede innovation, vital for the business of news reporting. "The public is migrating from us, and it is happily discovering new freedoms, opportunities and choices in a new world of infinite information. Do we cling to our old perceived roles and sink into irrelevance or do we commit ourselves to finding new roles that the public will welcome, even if they are unfamiliar and challenging to us?" Malam Nuhu asked.

SON, Taiwan to check sub standard goods L-R: Guest Speaker, National Peace Summit, Architect Abdulmumeen Ahmed Okara, Convener, Inter-religious Peace Advocacy Initiative, Hon. Emmanuel Nwosu, and Chief Imam, Radio House Mosque, Malam Umar Sanda Askira, during the 4th session of Interreligious Peace Advocacy Summit, on Friday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

NIFOR boss pledges quality NTDC unveils tourism in oil palm produce book for Lagos, Abuja


he Nigerian Institute for Oil palm Research (NIFOR) has promised to ensure that oil palm farmers in the country produce quality palm oil. Executive Director of the institute, Mr. Omorefe Asemota stated this in an interview yesterday in Abuja. According to him, quality control would help to regulate the demand for palm oil and the international rating of the country as a producer of palm oil. "Our people are not too conscious of quality and yet quality is important both from the industry demand and eventually our rating as a nation. ``What is important in quality control is first of all for people to know that the time of harvesting of bunches is important and then also our storage of oil; storage and

marketing.'' He added that the institute would continue to supply the necessary indices to oil palm farmers in order to rise to the challenges of producing quality palm oil. He expressed regret that some palm oil producers in the country did not meet the required standard. Asemota explained that his vision for NIFOR was to ensure that the country regained its status as a leading producer of oil palm. It is also important for us to put in best practices. These are not the days that we can get maximum returns without fertilisers for instance; then in no distance future, we will be back on track again. He said this should be done in a more efficient and larger dimension as the oil palm industry and the demand for palm oil was growing. (NAN)

By Miriam Humbe


he Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has unveiled a new tourism book which captures Nigeria's cultural festivals, destinations, arts and craft, historical monuments and national heroes all in delightful photography aimed at further boosting the nation's tourism potentials within and outside the country. The Director-General of the NTDC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who introduced the 319-page book to the media at the tourism village in Abuja, said the book which is in the process of being uploaded unto the NTDC website as an e-material for ease of reach and the city guides,

were distributed to all ministers, governors, senators, newspaper editors, captains of industry, embassies and other top public office holders with a view to market Nigeria as a viable destination to the international community. The book is a photographic documentation of the history, culture and people of Nigeria and a visual delight intended to guide tourists to destination sites. Speaking at the event, Otunba Runsewe observed that the book called, "Nigeria" is a compilation of Nigeria, her national heroes, historical artefacts, holiday resorts, arts and craft and many more, aimed at promoting and marketing Nigeria in line with international best practices.

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has sought the cooperation of Taiwan to deal with the problem of substandard products coming into Nigeria. SON Director-General, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, made the call when he paid a courtesy call on the Head of the Taiwanese Trade Mission in Nigeria, Mr. Tim Yang in Abuja on Thursday. Odumodu said he had to visit the Trade Mission's office in response to the increasing number of Taiwanese companies seeking to import products to Nigeria. Odumodu decried the manner with which some foreigners connive with some unscrupulous Nigerians to turn the country into a dumping ground for substandard products. Responding, Yang acknowledged the successes Odumodu had recorded within the short time he assumed office and urged him to keep up the good work he was doing for Nigeria. Yang prayed that the SON boss received the desired cooperation from importers and other stakeholders within and outside Nigeria.

Council advocates Nigeria’s cultural heritage in school curricula By Miriam Humbe


he National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, NCT&NO, rose from its annual meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara state with a recommendation to the federal ministry of education to include the study of the country's cultural heritage in

curriculum of primary and secondary schools. In a 14 point communiquĂŠ issued at the end of the three day meeting, the council with the mandate to ratify the policies and operations of parastatals under the federal and state Ministries of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, called for the establishment of a Tourism

Development Fund, TDF, to stimulate investments in the sector which should be funded by the federal government, identified private sector players as well as grants from multinational organisations among other things. The council also approved the holding of NAFEST 2012 with the theme, 'culture, peace and

economic empowerment' in Ilorin the Kwara state capital between October 13th and 20th, urging also that the first and second stanzas of the National Anthem, prayers that reflect the mood of the nation, be properly sung at all official functions. While speaking at the occasion, minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem

Duke called for a re-awakening of the culture of inculcating sound moral values in the youths in order to dissuade them from being misled and used as agents of destruction. The meeting was attended by 286 representatives from 25 states of the federation, the federal capital territory and other stakeholders in the sector.



30-year-old shoots son to death A From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

30-year-old man, Mr. Ornguga Adega of Agbatse in Kwande local government area of Benue state was yesterday arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi for allegedly shooting

his 10-year-old son, Sunday Ornguga, to death with a single barrel gun. It was learnt that Mr. Adega had on the August 2, 2012 obtained an anti-bullet charm from a native doctor, which he applied on his son's body but however, in the attempt to test

the efficacy of the medicine, shot his son on the right leg resulting in his bleeding to death. Police prosecutor, Inspector Gabriel Egbonyi, told the court that the accused was arrested after he confessed to committing the crime. No plea was taken for want of

jurisdiction as the police prosecutor said investigation was still in progress and requested for an adjournment. Chief Magistrate, Mr. Dan Ogoh ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case to September 12, 2012.

Newsrooms must change to survive, says DG FRCN From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Malam Yusuf Nuhu, has said that for the newsroom to survive and remain relevant amidst challenges posed by technological advancement, "it will need to re-invent itself." The DG made the assertion in his opening remarks at the Heads of News Summit, organised by the FRCN in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital. He observed that that newsmen, as world chroniclers of change, are frightened by it, warning that fear often impede innovation, vital for the business of news reporting. "The public is migrating from us, and it is happily discovering new freedoms, opportunities and choices in a new world of infinite information. Do we cling to our old perceived roles and sink into irrelevance or do we commit ourselves to finding new roles that the public will welcome, even if they are unfamiliar and challenging to us?" Malam Nuhu asked.

SON, Taiwan to check sub standard goods L-R: Guest Speaker, National Peace Summit, Architect Abdulmumeen Ahmed Okara, Convener, Inter-religious Peace Advocacy Initiative, Hon. Emmanuel Nwosu, and Chief Imam, Radio House Mosque, Malam Umar Sanda Askira, during the 4th session of Interreligious Peace Advocacy Summit, on Friday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

NIFOR boss pledges quality NTDC unveils tourism in oil palm produce book for Lagos, Abuja


he Nigerian Institute for Oil palm Research (NIFOR) has promised to ensure that oil palm farmers in the country produce quality palm oil. Executive Director of the institute, Mr. Omorefe Asemota stated this in an interview yesterday in Abuja. According to him, quality control would help to regulate the demand for palm oil and the international rating of the country as a producer of palm oil. "Our people are not too conscious of quality and yet quality is important both from the industry demand and eventually our rating as a nation. ``What is important in quality control is first of all for people to know that the time of harvesting of bunches is important and then also our storage of oil; storage and

marketing.'' He added that the institute would continue to supply the necessary indices to oil palm farmers in order to rise to the challenges of producing quality palm oil. He expressed regret that some palm oil producers in the country did not meet the required standard. Asemota explained that his vision for NIFOR was to ensure that the country regained its status as a leading producer of oil palm. It is also important for us to put in best practices. These are not the days that we can get maximum returns without fertilisers for instance; then in no distance future, we will be back on track again. He said this should be done in a more efficient and larger dimension as the oil palm industry and the demand for palm oil was growing. (NAN)

By Miriam Humbe


he Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has unveiled a new tourism book which captures Nigeria's cultural festivals, destinations, arts and craft, historical monuments and national heroes all in delightful photography aimed at further boosting the nation's tourism potentials within and outside the country. The Director-General of the NTDC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who introduced the 319-page book to the media at the tourism village in Abuja, said the book which is in the process of being uploaded unto the NTDC website as an e-material for ease of reach and the city guides,

were distributed to all ministers, governors, senators, newspaper editors, captains of industry, embassies and other top public office holders with a view to market Nigeria as a viable destination to the international community. The book is a photographic documentation of the history, culture and people of Nigeria and a visual delight intended to guide tourists to destination sites. Speaking at the event, Otunba Runsewe observed that the book called, "Nigeria" is a compilation of Nigeria, her national heroes, historical artefacts, holiday resorts, arts and craft and many more, aimed at promoting and marketing Nigeria in line with international best practices.

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has sought the cooperation of Taiwan to deal with the problem of substandard products coming into Nigeria. SON Director-General, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, made the call when he paid a courtesy call on the Head of the Taiwanese Trade Mission in Nigeria, Mr. Tim Yang in Abuja on Thursday. Odumodu said he had to visit the Trade Mission's office in response to the increasing number of Taiwanese companies seeking to import products to Nigeria. Odumodu decried the manner with which some foreigners connive with some unscrupulous Nigerians to turn the country into a dumping ground for substandard products. Responding, Yang acknowledged the successes Odumodu had recorded within the short time he assumed office and urged him to keep up the good work he was doing for Nigeria. Yang prayed that the SON boss received the desired cooperation from importers and other stakeholders within and outside Nigeria.

Council advocates Nigeria’s cultural heritage in school curricula By Miriam Humbe


he National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, NCT&NO, rose from its annual meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara state with a recommendation to the federal ministry of education to include the study of the country's cultural heritage in

curriculum of primary and secondary schools. In a 14 point communiquĂŠ issued at the end of the three day meeting, the council with the mandate to ratify the policies and operations of parastatals under the federal and state Ministries of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, called for the establishment of a Tourism

Development Fund, TDF, to stimulate investments in the sector which should be funded by the federal government, identified private sector players as well as grants from multinational organisations among other things. The council also approved the holding of NAFEST 2012 with the theme, 'culture, peace and

economic empowerment' in Ilorin the Kwara state capital between October 13th and 20th, urging also that the first and second stanzas of the National Anthem, prayers that reflect the mood of the nation, be properly sung at all official functions. While speaking at the occasion, minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem

Duke called for a re-awakening of the culture of inculcating sound moral values in the youths in order to dissuade them from being misled and used as agents of destruction. The meeting was attended by 286 representatives from 25 states of the federation, the federal capital territory and other stakeholders in the sector.




Tips on how to effectively manage your savings account


ere are several ways you can find "extra" money to add to your savings account: Bill Yourself Add your savings account to your list of monthly bills. View your savings as something you need to pay every month. Even just N100 per month can make a big difference. A great way to do this is by setting up direct deposit or automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. Be Thrifty - Items You Should Never Buy New Get the most for your dollar by checking out secondhand options. Many used goods still have plenty of life left in them even years after the original purchase, and they're usually resold at a fraction of the retail price. Items that you should never buy new: Books, maternity and baby clothes, hand tools, sports equipment, gardening supplies, recreational items, DVDs and CDs, home accents and musical instruments. Be a Student of Saving Keep an eye out for helpful tips & tricks and financial seminars to help you set firm and attainable goals. Brown Bag It It's not always convenient for us to stay up late or wake up early to make ourselves lunch for the day, but bringing a bagged lunch even a couple of times a week could lead to a substantial savings. Stick to Your Shopping List Before heading to the grocery store create a list of the items you need. People who create a list and stick to it, spend much less than those who decide what to buy when they get to the store. Your savings could amount to hundreds of dollars a year. Use Fee Free ATMs Use only the ATMs of your bank or credit union. Using the ATM of another financial institution once a week could well cost you N100 a withdrawal or more than N20,000 over the course of a year. Regular Scheduled Maintenance With fuel prices on the rise it's important to remember that your car is a major expense. You can cut down on fuel by making sure you keep up with regular scheduled maintenance, such as changing your air filter and making sure your tires are properly inflated. Doing both can save you up to N15,000 annually.

Quote It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem - Malcolm Forbes

How to cash in on your home and downsize Top tips for homeowners moving to a smaller property


or those nearing retirement, it's common to consider downsizing as a way to free up some extra cash and move to a more manageable-sized home. But even though most people downsize to make life easier, the moving process can still be time consuming and stressful particularly if you're over 50. We take a look at what you need to consider making moving to a smaller property simple and stress-free. Climbing back down the property ladder: Downsizing can release money, but can also prove a pain if you don't think of the practicalities. According to a very reflective saying: 'In a time of economic

uncertainty, downsizing can make a lot of sense, especially for anyone who has an unused spare bedroom, or whose children have flown the nest. 'Even though finding a buyer may be tough, homes are selling if they are priced correctly.' Here are some top tips for those moving down the ladder. Think deeply and carry out a lot of sampling and comparison as you might find a better and more direct guide to finding more suitable and costless way out before making decisions. Downsize your home contents too It may sound obvious, but is easy to forget in the rush of packing: don't take what you don't need.

Downsizing is a great opportunity to focus on exactly what you want in your new home and get rid of any clutter that you definitely won't need. Sell your unwanted items If you find there are a few things you could do without, selling these items could provide welcome cash injection to help offset the cost of your move. Utilize local newspapers and you may even be able to sell some items - such as curtains or white goods - to your house buyer. Plan ahead If you are ordering new furniture or white goods, remember that they often require up to six weeks delivery time. To avoid spending the first

night in your new home without a bed, order these items in good time - although wait until after you have exchanged on the home. Remember to plan how delivery teams will access the property; if your new sofa will only fit through patio doors, make sure there is adequate access to your garden from outside the property. Set up your utilities as soon as possible Once you have a set moving date its worth contacting your estate agent to get details of the previous utility providers so you can contact them to set up new accounts. Make sure that your phone and broadband services are ordered prior to moving in too as these often take a few weeks to install and activate. Avoid making amateurish decisions, ask the professionals The easiest way of getting the most up-to-date information that you need about moving home is to consult a respected, local professional.

Glossary on banking and finance terms (III) * C o n t r o l l i n g Shareholder: Any person who is, or group of persons who together are, entitled to exercise or control the exercise of a certain amount of shares in a company at a level (which differs by jurisdiction) that triggers a mandatory general offer, or more of the voting power at general meetings of the issuer, or who is or are in a position to control the composition of a majority of the board of directors of the issuer. *Convertible Bond: A bond with an option, allowing the bondholder to exchange the bond for a specified number of shares of common stock in the firm. A conversion price is the specified value of the shares for which the bond may be exchanged. The conversion premium is the excess of the bond's value over the

conversion price. * S u b s t a n t i a l Shareholder: A person acquires an interest in relevant share

capital equal to, or exceeding, 10% of the share capital. *Support Level: A price at which buyers consistently outnumber s e l l e r s , preventing further price falls. *Technical Analysis: A method of evaluating securities by relying on the assumption that market data, such as charts of price, volume, and open interest, can help predict future (usually short-

term) market trends. Contrasted with fundamental analysis which involves the study of financial accounts and other information about the company. (It is an attempt to predict movements in security prices from their trading volume history.) *Time Horizon: The duration of time an investment is intended for. *Trading Rules: Stipulation of parameters for opening and intra-day quotations, permissible spreads according to the prices of securities available for trading and board lot sizes for each security. *Trust Deed: A formal document that creates a trust. It states the purpose and terms of the name of the trustees and beneficiaries.





Nnaji’s resignation and its implications (I)

ast Tuesday, the presidency, in a statement by the presidential spokesman, D, Reuben Abati, announced the resignation of the embattled minister of power, Professor Barth Nnaji, from the federal cabinet, which, it said, had been accepted by President Goodluck Jonathan. In his own statement, Nnaji gave out to the world that he resigned voluntarily, on principle, in order to protect both his personal integrity, which he said was being attacked by “powerful vested interests,” and that of the on-going power sector privatisation programme, as well as to prevent a spill-over of the attacks to the president himself. But the fact that his resignation came barely a week after Jonathan made all his ministers to sign a performance contract, the circumstances surrounding it, especially the conflict of interest involving him, and which he himself publicly admitted, and the matter of the running battle he had been having with the power sector staff and unions, who had been calling for his sack, make it difficult for the public to believe that his exit was voluntary. In any case, there have long been widespread suspicions, and even

hints, that the privatisation in the power sector, as in all the other sectors, is being compromised by underhand deals, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest. This last, and the desperation by

We at Peoples Daily do not support wholesale privatisation, involving the giving away, often at ridiculous prices, of public assets, built over decades with public resources and the sweat and labour of generations of workers, to private interests who, most of the time, strip them of everything of value the Jonathan administration to make the foreign concerns keep their interest in and invest in the power sector by ensuring some level of transparency and credibility in the privatisation programme, seem to us to be what forced the president to ask Nnaji to go. If so, it is perhaps a sign that Jonathan is beginning to acquire

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”

and show the firmness required of him in the conduct of his office. But voluntary or forced, Nnaji’s exit has been welcomed across the country, and rightly so. The man’s continuous stay in office, given what we now know, is untenable. It would have completely bleached the privatisation programme, dear to the Jonathan government, of its remaining integrity and credibility. We at Peoples Daily do not support wholesale privatisation, involving the giving away, often at ridiculous prices, of public assets, built over decades with public resources and the sweat and labour of generations of workers, to private interests who, most of the time, strip them of everything of value and do not offer the public the efficient services and lower prices touted as the benefits of privatisation. Even in the most developed capitalist systems, people are now finding out that, contrary to the grand delusion planted in the public mind, the privatised public institutions have brought about not higher efficiency and lower costs, but generally substandard or mediocre and limited services, given to the public at higher prices, and lower wages for the workers.









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Nigeria is a sinking ship, but we must not desert it By Chude Jideonwo


t occurred to me for the first time as I sat in the car’s front seat and felt my father’s cold corpse in the back seat in May 2007. The nurses at the Ikorodu General Hospital had just said no to his body. He had died from heart failure an hour or two before. They needed a police report. I could hardly believe the utter coldness of it. But I had yet to see — or hear — the worst. Because I am born and bred in Nigeria, I knew that, at 11pm, the body of my dear father might rot if I sat there pondering the inanity of the request or stood up to argue its inhumanity, so I led the convoy to the nearest police station. There, with the most pointed lack of compassion I had ever witnessed up onto that point, the police proceeded to haggle with themselves over how much they would extract from a 24-year-old who had just lost his father — a father whose dead body was only a few meters away. As they dropped my father’s body in that unkempt, abominable mortuary (one in which I had to tip the caretaker daily on my way to work so that the corpse would not be left to decompose), I could only think of what an abominable country I was so unfortunate to come from, and to live in. I recalled that scene as I came across pictures of rotten corpses stacked on each other in a room — victims of June’s Dana Crash; “rotting carcasses of human beings stacked on each other, fluids mingling.” That is when it hit me. We are living like animals in this country. I remember my father — and how he, and I, were treated so terribly because our country does not care for any one.

By Ummi Bukar


t has been a year since your departure from this world, a year since we have spoken a very long year since I’ve last seen you. You were a very important part of our lives; the truth is we hadn’t even ever considered what life would be like without you but, alas! Inalillahi wa ina ilayhi raju’un, from God we come and to Him we must return and every soul shall taste death. You have spent twenty years in this world, and while the first half of your life has been carefree, admittedly the latter half of your life has been very difficult and painful indeed ever since you were diagnosed with type1 diabetes at a very early age you have lived your life in and out of hospitals. You have had to forego your best foods and drinks and you who feared injections more than anything found yourself depended on two shots of insulin every day before meals. I can say with all sincerity that you were the most dependable person I have ever known, Your dependability is something we always took for granted because we knew that anything you were supposed to do you can be relied upon to do, your chores at home, or errands you were sent on indeed

These Dana Crash dead bodies weren’t victims of a serial killer locked in a room for months or of a brutal civil war with shut-down health-care services — these were citizens of a country, who had just been visited by their president a day before, nonetheless treated in death with relentless disrespect. They had been killed by their country — and it couldn’t even pack their bodies well. It could have been you, or me. It’s not just that it could have been me. That’s not the worst part. This is the worst part: I could have been the one in that flight waiting for 20 minutes after a fatal crash; sitting there in mind-numbing agony, knowing the plane would soon explode and kill me because I live in a country where emergency services would arrive only about an hour after, and people will die who could have been saved. That’s the part that gets me. And as I watched officials scramble to protect their irrelevant jobs so that they could make enough money to buy First Class tickets on airlines that might crash and kill their children tomorrow, I realized how hopeless we had become as Nigerians. So I ask myself; why are we still in Nigeria — a country that does not deserve many of us — even when we have a choice? Why are we not like the generation that left town? Why are we living in a country that cannot protect us, has not supported us, will not satisfy us? The logical thing to do is to leave fastest way we can; once the opportunity turns up. But we stay and we come back, because we go better, because it is well, because God dey; because somehow, somehow we think we can survive it; maybe even improve it . But let’s tell ourselves the truth — many have already given up on

Nigeria. Many of us are convinced that this ship is sinking, this country cannot change. We do not trust our politicians, but that is even cliché. We do not trust the activists. Everyone is seen as searching for a piece of that national cake. That’s what we have become as a country: an unending race for a part of that cake. It is difficult to have faith in this kind of country; difficult to tell yourself with a straight face that you are proud of being a Nigerian. It is difficult to have faith even when you look at the young people — scrambling for crumbs off the table, buffeted by the need to avoid the poverty of their fathers, changing principle on whim just like those before them; perpetuating scams in the name of advocacy, running businesses long on hype and short on substance. It is difficult to have faith in that kind of country. It is herculean to believe in it. It is almost impossible to be proud of it. No, Nigeria, is not a great country. It wasn’t great yesterday, it isn’t great today. It can be great, it should be great, it could have been great, and if we sit down and get serious, it will be great.

After the Dana Crash, I gave up hope in this country; I lost my faith, I struggled with my love. But two day later, I was back working for the country, and that is the real story. It is okay to fall out of love, it is okay to hate that love every once in a while, it is okay to condemn, to criticise, to react, to fight, to protest, to demand; but you must return to loving it, you must return to being pained. It is the reason despite Governor Amaechi spending two hours debating fiercely with us that our generation is only interested in continuing the “chopping”, he decided that it is crucial to get the brightest of that generation here to inspire the young people in Rivers State and across Nigeria — moving it from an idea in 2006 that couldn’t even pay for the hall in which it held, to a movement in 2012 that has taken over this Port Harcourt. It’s because beneath a toughtalking governor lies a tender spot for his country and its future — and I see it daily across this country even from the lips of those who curse it. Even in those who appear to be ripping the country to shreds,

But let’s tell ourselves the truth — many have already given up on Nigeria. Many of us are convinced that this ship is sinking, this country cannot change. We do not trust our politicians, but that is even cliché. We do not trust the activists. Everyone is seen as searching for a piece of that national cake. That’s what we have become as a country: an unending race for a part of that cake

every once in a while you see that wistfulness for what might have been. But, this is the good news, it is not too late. I do not come as a prophet of cliché, I come here as a student of history because other countries have done it. This shipping is sinking, but it hasn’t yet sunk. As long as we are in Nigeria, as long as Nigerians live in Nigeria and work in Nigeria, and fight for Nigeria, and refuse to give up on Nigeria, there is hope. We cannot ever lose that pain that we should feel for a country that continues to fail us. No matter how disappointed we are in our country, we cannot abandon it. We cannot use Nigeria as an excuse to fail Nigeria. Pehaps we should handle Nigeria the way a mother handles a drug-addicted child — with tough love sometimes, with deliberate gentility at other times; demanding at one time, encouraging at the other. Listen guys, we are all we’ve got, and this should be the turning point generation. I don’t come here to excite you; I come here so we can encourage one another. I come here to remind us that, after all said and done, you and I are still here. And ‘cause we are still here, we have no choice but to keep working. Let’s keep the faith. If we stumble, let’s rise. When we fall, let’s rebound. Let’s refuse to let Nigeria go, let’s insist that it must work. Let’s keep working until it changes; let’s keep changing until we tear down these walls. Because we can. Because we have no choice. Because we love this land. God bless Nigeria. Chude Jideonwo is the executive director of The Future Project Nigeria. (Source: CNN online)

Tribute to a dear brother you will even inquire on your own if anybody had any errand for you to run. I remember while in primary school you used to do your homework in the car before reaching home that was just the sort of person you were, making hay while the sun shines not leaving for tomorrow what can be done today it was as if you knew your time in this world was not very long. You were my baby brother but in most things in life I looked up to you because I knew you always had my best interest in mind at all times. Whenever you came home for holidays I can expect that you have gotten a collection of the kind of things I would love, the sort of music I would love so I became lazy in that department and waited impatiently for when you will come home and say Ummi I have gotten something you might like and you were always right on the money. You taught me everything I know about computers, phones and technology in general i remember the day I wanted to send an email for the first time and I asked our other brother Nur for directions on how to do it and he was trying to

explain to me over the phone but I wasn’t getting it until he contacted you because he knows you had the most patience in dealing with me and therefore the right person to teach me he was right as in less than a minute you able to put me through. One of the things I am most grateful for is that you have always taken your faith very seriously and I can at least be glad that you departed this life before the world had a chance to corrupt you. You were a devoted Muslim who never played with or delayed his prayers, I remember the one thing you hated the most was the devil so much so that at a very early age when you were told that if you didn’t pray at the start of a meal the devil will join you for the meal, you started praying before each bite because you didn’t want to take any chance as far as shaytan is concerned and that has been the way you lived your life, avoiding all things bad so as to avoid the influence of the devil. Whenever I think about you, it is always in one of two compartments, Abba before the diabetes when you were a cranky

little fellow who loved to stay in his comfort zone that is the immediate family, who loved cartoons, was weary of strangers and who used to be at the butt of all our jokes because you were so easy to tease. Abba after the diabetes however was a totally different fellow, it seemed you grew overnight and became more matured than all of us in your outlook on life, you became a people person and nothing seemed to faze you and we did try to tease as usual but you will just smile yes that smile anytime I close my eyes, whenever I picture you in my mind it is with that your sweet innocent smile which you wear all the time. You still loved your computer, your comics, you were a geek really but you accepted your fate with a maturity that is commendable, you became so serene and accommodating, even though it could not have been easy for you to be always conscious of your diet and every few months spend weeks in the hospital in pain. During those times I used to think that the worst feeling in life was watching helplessly as a loved one suffers but now I realise that this pain cannot be compared with

losing a loved one. This disease took control of every aspect of your life and put great restrictions on you but you did not allow it to fully take over and you didn’t succumb to self-pity, studying to be an architect is difficult even for the healthiest of people how much worse it must have been for you as you were sick all the time sometimes not even aware of yourself or your surroundings for days or even weeks but you hardly ever complained in fact most people relied on you on campus to solve all their computer problems. The truth is that you were a an extremely talented, easy going and very promising young man and I can say that you made an impact on so many lives in just the little time you spent on earth you were always the best of brothers, I love you so much and miss you much more than I ever thought possible, you have left a big void in our lives and the only thing left between us now is our constant prayers for you and memories. Rest is peace Abbas Bukar my sweet baby brother. Ummi Bukar wrote from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria



Dankwambo’s pragmatic youth empowerment agenda (I) By M. L. Ismail


t is as certain as daylight that the youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow. But how individuals fit into this maxim is a function of upbringing and the environment in which they are raised, as managed by the government of the day, most especially. The 2006 population census figures reveal that youths constitute the largest chunk of the country’s population. Thus a failure in proper governance spells doom for the society. It is in view of this that successive administrations across the country have made frantic efforts to better the socioeconomic wellbeing of the youths. But the strides so far taken by Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in that direction over the last 15 months in office stand out. Guided by his resolve to uplift the youths, the Governor, since taking the reins of power, has never looked back in rolling out different youth development programmes to the joy of the populace. Speaking with newsmen during one of his triumphant entries into Gombe in the

electioneering period, precisely the Dankwambo immediately set up sufficiency, the state government day he visited the state to obtain four vocational training centres has designed a programme for the his ticket for the race, Dankwambo, across the three senatorial districts training of 1,100 youths on then the Accountant General of the of the state where 320 youths were various agricultural activities. Federation recalled with bitterness enrolled into seven different trades. Government under the how a certain young man in They have since graduated and programme plans to source 1,100 celebration of that homecoming ran were resettled with the tools of their hectres of arable land to facilitate side-by-side with the venture, his car all the way especially as it from Gombe affects crop Airport to the state production. Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text capital (about 35 “Grandaunts kilometres). would be messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written It was there and resettled with contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 then he vowed to implements words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and give his best and a soft loan a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed t o w a r d s to enable to: brightening the them take-off future of youths in on their own The Editor, the state. “How with a strong Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, would it sound that monitoring 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. after four years I team to Email: let did not do anything ensure that that will give the purpose is SMS: 07037756364 people like that not defeated,” young man a hope said the state for tomorrow? I am who I am today trades and an interest-free loan of Commissioner of Youth Affairs because someone gave me a chance N200,000 to enable them stand on and poverty Alleviation, by providing the necessary their own. In the same vein, Mijinyawa Sani Labaran. atmosphere,” said thegGovernor. government has planned to scale Recently, 110 graduates from Therefore, in consonance with up the programme so that it can tertiary institutions went the recommendations of the train520 beneficiaries in 13 trades. through intensive training on committee he constituted to look Similarly, as part of the efforts renewable energy. The intension into the issue of Youth to boost agriculture in Gombe state is to resettle them with tools of the Empowerment and Poverty as well as key into the Millennium trade after training with a Alleviation earlier, Governor Development Goal (MGD) on food proposal for take-off grant loan of


N200,000 in the pipeline. And before the present general security situation in the country and the installation of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s administration was the yan kalare horror, a security challenge known to Gombe state alone. The hitherto dastardly and bloodthirstiness this group knew no bounds. But their reign of terror was brought to an abrupt end with a proscription by the present administration. But with the realization of the need to meaningfully engage them comes big and ground breaking programme tagged ‘Talba Youth Reorientation and Rehabilitation Programme’. Under it, 1,200 youths were camped at the NYSC Orientation Camp for a three weeks rehabilitation and reorientation. There they were grouped into Ward Marshals, Traffic Marshals and Environmental Marshals, put on salary and have been working appropriately. Their responsibility is to complement the efforts of the existing structures in the areas of security, crowd/traffic management and sanitary issues among other things. M. L. Ismail writes from Bolari Quarters in Gombe metropolis.

Mark: Between service and opportunism T By Babatunde Ajibade

he wave of insecurity across Nigeria has today reached a level where the nation is not only wobbly but its image in the international community is fast nose-diving. Locally, the dangers of insecurity have driven the preponderant population in the country into despair. A foreboding that the whole country may disintegrate is looming and the governing clique appears illprepared with solutions. The deadly Boko Haram attacks, which were expected to subside during the Muslim period of fasting have instead increased due largely to the failure of the country’s leadership to respond appropriately to the new security challenge. Thus, Boko Haram has not only sustained its deadly attacks in its traditional enclave of Borno, Yobe, Kano, Gombe, and to a lesser extent Kaduna, it has also opened new front lines-Sokoto and Kogi states. And while the lethal campaign of the Boko Haram sect is yet to peter out, the insecurity situation in the country is taking a much more frightening dimension with the high spate of kidnapping in Delta state as well as the gradual return of militants to the creeks in the Niger Delta region. Going by President Jonathan’s admission crude oil theft has today reached an unprecedented and embarrassing level. What is most surprising about the current developments in our country however, is the manner in which most keen observers have heaped the blame for the glaring failure to address the country’s numerous challenges only on President Jonathan. The National Assembly in any society governed under democratic rules is the

fortress of democracy, and is expected to light the way for the two other arms of government as well as the populace to follow. However, the current National Assembly in our country under the leadership of David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark is not leading by example in many respects. On national security matters the current Senate President has at best paid lip service to the desperate need for a lasting solution. In fact, Mark, from what is obvious, has been playing the ostrich, typical of his opportunistic attitude. Whenever and wherever he gets the opportunity, he climbs the hill and either hectors all of us on what we’re not doing right, or singles out a scapegoat for his punches. David Mark’s (in)famous Uyo Declaration of 25th of June this year is still reverberating in the polity. Tactfully promoting his 2015 political agenda, Mark made the indefinable “Northern elders” his victims for that period. “If the elders in the North cannot speak out and stop this menace let them tell us. Let them come out and say so boldly, because the belief out there is that some elders know about these people and decide to keep quite. If care is not taken, the way things are going, if the Boko Haram menace is not halted, it can lead to break up of Nigeria. Because there is an extent to which the people can take it,” Mark stated. To his greatest disappointment, however, it was quite obvious to even his admirers that he merely sought to make a huge political capital out of the whole show of the gathering. Beyond giving him the opportunity to refer to the Sultan of Sokoto “My fellow comrade in arms”, it is safe to say the retreat has not achieved anything. Beyond the issue of insecurity there are other critical matters on

which the current Senate under Mark has not lived up to expectations. These include the concerns over poor implementation of the 2012 budget, the national pension crisis and the resultant scandal dogging the Senate leadership, the fuel subsidy saga, etc. The Senate leadership, perhaps in a spirited attempt to counter the popular belief today that the House of Representatives is the conscience of the nation, set up a probe into the poor implementation of the budget. At the opening of that budget probe Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu made a heroic show of courage on the part of the Senate leadership to confront the executive over the obvious failure to faithfully implement the 2012 budget. But all of Ekweremadu’s show ended for what it was-a mere pretence- when Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appeared at the hearing. And thus, the hopes he (Ekweremadu) had raised that the Senate would join the House of Reps to confront the executive over the budget implementation riddle were swiftly dashed. Similarly, the Senate probe of the huge fraud in the management of the nation’s pension funds lost steam shortly after a scandal broke about an alleged N2 billion bribery involving the leadership of the Senate. Today, it will appear, the entire probe of the pensions fraud has been swept under the carpet. One would therefore be excused to conclude here that with the monumental fraud that has been going on in the petroleum sector, the rudderless state of our economy and the inefficient power supply in the country all under the supervision of the ministers that were confirmed by the Senate, the upper chamber did not do a good job of clearing the right people for the jobs.

The Senate President was also quick to take credit on behalf of his colleagues for the resolution of the dispute, at the beginning of the year, between the organised Labour and the presidency over the fuel price increase when it was clear the senate only seized the initiative from the House of Representatives. We all recall that it was members of the House who cut short their recess and convened an emergency session where they took sides with hapless Nigerians who took to the streets in protest by demanding the immediate reversal of the obnoxious increase. But for the efforts of Labour, civil society groups and ordinary Nigerians with the support of the House of Reps, the Senate would have conveniently let the presidency have its way. Nigerians will recall that even after the reduction of the fuel price, Mark, using his cohorts in the Senate, sponsored a bill under the “contract act” to curtail the powers of labour unions by amending the Trade Union Act. The Act which was passed in 2005 guaranteed the rights of workers to form unions to protect their interests. That bill was only jettisoned after it became clear that it would not get the required support. This sort of opportunism by the Senate under Mark’s leadership was also at play during the succession crisis that ensued over the ill health of late President Umaru Yar’adua. The Senate took credit for its resolution when in fact it was the Northern state governors who met in Kaduna and resolved that the “doctrine of necessity” be invoked which the Senate President seized upon that to pave way for then Vice-President Jonathan to take over as Acting President. Again in tackling the security challenges facing the nation, the

House of Representatives has taken the lead by going beyond the routine condemnations that the Senate leadership is known for and summoned President Jonathan to explain what actions he is taking to secure the lives of Nigerians and their property. Like the presidency, the Senate has yet to articulate a workable plan of action to help surmount this challenge that seriously threatens our existence as a nation. Perhaps this sort of opportunism is not unexpected from a man who has over the years become adept at seizing such moments to ride to the top. His huge investments outside the country such as the Golf Club in which he has an enormous stake in Ireland and bulging foreign bank accounts mainly from the windfall of the Gulf War are pointers to a man whose only interests in Nigeria are for opportunities to further his own. A closer look at how he has been piloting the affairs of the upper chamber puts this in proper perspective. The shrewd manner, for example, he constituted standing committees has not gone unnoticed to discerning Nigerians. It is not in doubt that the Senate President turned it into a political tool with which he rewarded his cronies and loyalists. That Mark was willing to sacrifice merit to the detriment of good governance in pursuit of his self serving interests says a great deal about his capability to lead a complex and diverse nation as Nigeria. He may not be aware of it yet – being consumed in the enormous power he wields but surely his very poor quality of leadership is without doubt telling on not only the Senate but on Nigeria as a whole. Babatunde Ajibade, a public affairs commentator, wrote fin rom Surulere, Lagos.


By Obiwu


ome heart-throbbing First World issues, like Missy’s feet, Gabby’s hair, and Serena’s ‘Crip Walk,’ stole the grand narrative of the 2012 Olympics. Story has it that many young female swimmers are often victims of their own “abnormal sizes,” and are, therefore, uncomfortable in their bodies. Thus, people reportedly made fun of the ‘huge’ size thirteen feet of the American teenage star-swimmer, Missy Franklin. But it beats me how anyone could muster the courage to say an ill word about a seventeen year-old High Schooler, who is the pride of the State of Colorado. None but the girl and her father had the best answer to the bumbling Bounderbys who could not see beyond a girl’s “big feet.” Her father fondly referred to his daughter’s “built-in flippers” which had helped her to garner four gold medals and world records in the 200m backstroke (short course and long course) and 4x100m medley relay (short course and long course) at such a tender age in her very first Olympics. Ms. Franklin herself proudly talked of how God had blessed her with “an excellent

By Peter Claver Oparah


ur president, Goodluck Jonathan is ill at ease with his perception amongst the people he rules. Some days ago, he laid the blame for his woeful performance on the press and followed it up by asserting that he has lost faith on the Nigerian press to give a fair assessment of his regime. In its stead, he said his government is devising ways of assessing itself by which he meant that he wants to mark his own scripts and his report card. To give teeth to this, he launched what he calls his Ministerial Performance Contract where he and his government decides whether they have performed or not irrespective of how Nigerians feel. He was to quickly follow up some days later when he came out to assert that he is the most criticized president on planet earth. One does not know the statistics from which he arrived at this selfdamning confession. It is certain that he was tapping into Nigerian laboratory of self-fangled certainties where we generalize events and happenings in out small world and lend a planetary halo to it for effect. There is no disputing that our president is well mauled in the public space for his perceived shoddy approach to governance since he came, which has worsened our fate than before he came, waving the bandana of fresh air. So we must grant our president his self confessed fate. But then, is the president not indicting himself by that assertion? Two things come out from that statement; the president has more foes than friends, if he believes that his critics are his foes, and again, his friends feel disappointed in how he is doing his task. Either way, there are more damning value in the statement than whatever benefits in terms of public sympathy the president wanted to curry by that statement. We remember very well that his predecessors like Babangida


All that glitters is sometimes gold swimmer’s body.” The jokers also went after the hair of sixteen year-old star-gymnast and glory of American sports, Gabrielle Douglas. They mocked her “pulledback bun,” in spite of the fact that she had just entered the history books as the first African American to win the all-around and the first American ever to win gold in both the all-around and team finals. As in the case of Missy above, Gabby’s mother was irked especially because of the far-reaching consequences of such petty-minded assault on a young girl’s psyche. “How ignorant is it of people to comment on her hair and she still has more competitions to go. Are you trying to ruin her selfconfidence?” The raucous twits could not deter her father, Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Douglas, who was on active duty in faraway Afghanistan. He had hauled a gigantic American flag across which were emblazoned letters in capitals, obviously enchanted by his daughter’s name – his own family name – on the biggest stage of all: “Go Gabby Douglas! Love, Dad.” Ms. Douglas’s response to the

farcical ‘controversy’ was a class act that showed why she was a champion. “Really?! I won two gold medals and made history and my hair is trending?” It was a retort of both amusement and sarcasm. “I’m going to wear my hair like this during beam and bar finals. You might as well stop talking about it.” Gabby forgot to mention that, in addition to her gold medals, she will come back from London with millions of dollars in won cash and endorsement deals and that her face and full head of hair will flash across the cover of every box of cornflakes that all her detractors would purchase for their breakfast henceforward. It was Serena Williams, the fourteen-time grand slam tennis champion, who ultimately put the ‘haters’ in their deserved place as scum when they went after her for doing the ‘Crip Walk’ on the Wimbledon court after trouncing Maria Sharapova for the Olympics gold barely four weeks after winning the 2012 British Open. Serena explained that her victory jive was a momentous expression of

an excited spirit: “I didn’t know what else to do. I was so happy, and next thing I know I started dancing and moving.” Such an explanation would be reasonable to reasonable people, except Fox Sports reporters. Reid Forgrave accused Serena of “Crip-Walking all over the most lily-white place in the world” and of “dipping into the waters of controversy.” His colleague, Jason Whitlock, accused Serena of “cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church” and of being “immature and classless.” Professional Toms could teach anyone but a thirty year-old, hard-worn warrior-princess about self-righteous race baiting, and Serena said so: “I don’t care. That’s the least of my worries… I’m so excited I was able to do the dance. I’m glad I did it!” That was a battle that Serena and her sister, Venus – who laughed, waved, and clapped for the younger sibling from the stands – knew how to fight more than any other female athlete in the whole world. Serena did not mention that her antagonists should quibble about

her dancing, though she and Venus were the only sisters to hold the world records of winning gold medals in both the single and doubles tennis at the Olympics. She did not have to tell anyone that she is one of only two women, the other being Steffi Graff, in history to win the Golden Slam. She did not have to mention that she was also the richest, award-winning female athlete in the world. Every sport, at its highest level – especially the Olympics – is a contact game that would always befuddle fake indignation. The best athletes of the most disciplined societies – from the fictive Hamlet (in fencing) and Okonkwo (in wrestling) to the historic Mohammed Ali (in boxing) and Michael Phelps (in swimming) – are always its idols and legends, leaders and ambassadors extraordinaire. We live and swear by their fame. Like the poets, it is by the strength of their strides and rhythms that the progress – or lack – of every human community is measured. Dr. S. Obiwu may be reached at

As we await Jonathan’s shocker and Obasanjo made similar statements in the height of their reign so it is not original to him to express his discomfiture with the weighty criticisms against his handling of the ship of state. Going further, our president couldn’t understand why his critics wanted him to solve the problems he rightly stated he did not originate. He wondered whether he brought about poverty, whether he started insecurity, whether he invented unemployment and the cocktail of problems his fierce critics are demanding him to resolve. He wondered if he was the person that started the decay of our roads, the complete defenestration of our energy and power sector, the worthlessness of our economy, the ravaging inflationary spiral, the cringing poverty in the land and many other problems that stare his regime in the face. I read through to see if he would mention kidnapping, which the fiends he is now patronizing with millions of dollars created and which has mutated into an intractable leviathan of sorts but he chose to gloss over that. Jonathan may be right on the origin of this and so is any other regime that has ruled this country. We may even lapse into the period before Nigerian cosmetic federation came to be or even to the origin of mankind to trace the origin of the many problems he mentioned. I don’t know who, in actual fact, levy him with the charge of creating these problems. I don’t know who had come out to state that Nigerian multifarious problems started with the entry of Goodluck Jonathan into our political space. Equally, I don’t know who has levied him with the expectation to wipe out these problems from planet earth. But like the few defenders he has, he made the grievous mistake of substituting the disappointment of Nigerians in his handling of

statecraft and their demand that things should be rightly done with the demand that he should wipe out age old problems that are as old as mankind. He makes the mistake of obfuscating the demand for good and accountable governance with his effort to create a caveat for his inaction. I don’t know if this was deliberate but he creates the impression that he is elected in office to just preside over the steady degradation of Nigeria and not arrest the noxious wheel, which governance entails. Nigerians walk away from Jonathan’s posture with the impression that he was elected into office to continue the ruinous path his predecessors charted and in this feeling they place the deterioration of the Nigerian state since Jonathan came to power. All over the world, similar problems like the ones whacking Nigeria at present exist and the necessity of government obtains from the profound need to deal with these problems for the greater good of all. Few of these problems are meant to be finally resolved while most are meant to be reduced to the level they don’t threaten the well being of the citizens of a state. The degree to which a given

All over the world, similar problems like the ones whacking Nigeria at present exist and the necessity of government obtains from the profound need to deal with these problems for the greater good of all

government deals with these problems is a measurable rod that determines how it had succeeded within a given period of time. No one, in any part of the world, lays an expectation of a deux ex machina on any government to solve every available problem on ground. Not even in the most advanced countries is this impossible expectation laid on any government. This is a well understood creed that binds humanity-to the effect that governments ameliorate rather than eliminate every problem and this is not lost to Nigerians. Closely related to this is the belief that no one government creates or solves all the problems at a given space and time so government is conceived as a continuum, which adds value to the state at each given period. It would be difficult, if not impossible to see or hear any knowledgeable president in any knowledgeable society whelp the way Jonathan did about not being the inventor of problems because that, in itself, is an aberration. But is it right to say that Nigerians who are peeved by Jonathan’s performance, thus far, are demanding that he solve all our problems? Is it fair to equate Nigerians’ expectations from governance to a utopian concept of exterminating all human problems? Is it fair to insinuate that Nigerians are webbing a rocket science for their leaders? Are Nigerians too demanding of those in governance contrary to the wide feeling that Nigerians are so easy to govern? So do we sit by and continue to be mauled by Boko Haram, kidnappers, armed robbers, ritual killers because Jonathan did not create insecurity in Nigeria? Do we continue to endure a near total youth unemployment because Jonathan did not create unemployment? Do we stare on as operatives of

government and their cronies steal and loot us blind because Jonathan did not create corruption? Do we continue to labour and pine under internecine poverty and want because Jonathan did not create poverty? Do we sweat and suffer on horrible roads because Jonathan did not start the degradation of our roads? Do we continue to witness the mass mortality in our glorified mortuaries called hospitals because it was not Jonathan that levied such decay on our health institutions? The question can go on and on and could be liberalized to every sector in Nigeria but from this you can understand why we must tolerate the complete aridity that has met us in all sporting competitions because Jonathan did not create the conditions for such barren sporting outcomes. Nigerians don’t demand much from Jonathan more than to sustain us at the tempo he met us if he cannot improve on it. They do not feel that their fate should worsen under Jonathan as it is doing, if he cannot improve it. They are not demanding extraordinary things from Jonathan and company because they know these bunch are not made of extraordinary qualities. They are just demanding simple things from Jonathan and his group. It is as simple as that. So it may be from such awkward definition of his role that Jonathan promised us a shocker by 2013-four light months from now! No one knows the form in which this promised shocker will come but if we take his earlier promises into consideration, then we may be hoping on nothing if we bank on his present promise. It may be that he drew from his perception that he is not there to solve problems he did not create that he is presiding over the worsening of the same problems. Peter Claver Oparah is reachable on



Judge orders garbage collector out of Abuja after 12 strokes of cane Stories by NAN


udge Mohammed Lawal of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Upper Area Court, Kubwa, on Friday ordered a convict, Yakubu Magaji, out of the FCT after convicting him for criminal trespass and theft.

Magaji was convicted for breaking into a welding shop belonging to one Olabisi Olayinka at Phase Four, Kubwa on August 18, 2012 and stealing pieces of iron rods valued at N20,000. The Police Prosecutor, Corporal Sandra Oparaugo, told the court that the convict was

apprehended while trying to escape from the scene of the crime. She said that the offences contravenes Sections 342 and 287 of the Penal Code. The convict had pleaded guilty to the charges and the prosecutor subsequently applied

Two women exchange blows at Jikwoyi police station


wo women have been sentenced to pay a fine of N4,000 and N2,000 respectively by a Karu Magistrates Court engaging in physical combat at a police station, after a similar fight which landed them in the Jikwoyi police station. Police prosecutor, Pascal Njokwu told the court that on August 26, 2012 that one Chinasa Amankwe, 22 of Kurudu village, Abuja reported the incident to the Jikwoyi

Divisional Police Headquarters. He said that the offence was contrary to Section 113 of the Penal Code. Njokwu said that Gloria Nweke, 27 of the same address went, to Amankwe’s house to attack her without any provocation. He said that investigation revealed that both women engaged in a fight in a public place, and even at the police station. When ask why she went to

Amankwe’s house to fight her, Nweke said Amankwe had been insulting her for a long time. “Amankwe has been looking for my trouble for long now. Anytime I am angry, if I don’t fight, my mind will not calm down. That is why I fought with her,’’ she said. The magistrate pronounced both women guilty of disturbing public peace and sentenced Nweketo pay a fine of N4,000, while Amankwe is to pay N2,000 fine.

for ”summary trial and conviction pursuant to Section 157/1 of the Criminal Procedure Code”. Magaji, a native of Katsina, said he collects and disposes refuse for a living. The Judge sentenced him to 12 strokes of the cane and ordered

his guardian, Abubakar Sadeeq, who was present in court to send him back to Katsina immediately. “Prosecutor, make sure you arrest him and bring him back here if he dares to remain in Abuja without any clear source of livelihood,’’ the Judge directed.

Teenage carpenter bags 170 days for stealing generator


19 year-old-carpenter, Nasiru Hassan of Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja has been sentenced by an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court to 170 days imprisonment for stealing a generator. Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Illela sentenced the convict after he pleaded guilty to a onecount charge of theft. He, however, gave him an option to pay N5,000 fine. Illela said although the convict had begged for leniency,

he must not go unpunished to serve as a deterrent to others. Police prosecutor Salisu Mohammed had told the court earlier that the convict stole a generator valued at N150,000 on August 17, 2012. He said the generator was at the workshop of one Alfa Riliwan at Gwarimpa Estate, and that during investigation, the generator was found in his house. Mohammed told the court that the generator had been returned to the complainant.

Foundation doles out gift items to over 100 widows By Josephine Ella


non-governmental organisation(NGO) based in Nyanya-Gwandara, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, God’s Love Tabitha Royal Foundation at the weekend, distributed bags of rice, toiletries, clothing and cash to widows in the area and other parts of the FCT. The event, which held on Saturday, at Wisdom Academy in Nyanya-Gwandara, beside the foundation, was the organisation’s Annual Love Feast for widows and orphans. Addressing journalists at the event, the founder, Evangelist Victoria Oloche said the love feast was one of the foundations way of showing love to orphans and widows. ”It is a package put together in our own little way, deliberately to demonstrate our love for widows and orphans. We want them to have that sense of belonging despite their predicament. We gather them together to dine and wine with them and at the end of the feast we give them various items to go home with,” she said. Our correspondent, who witnessed the event, reports that it was celebration galore as children from the home entertained guest with cultural display, choreography and recitations. There were drinks and food

The founder of God’s Love Tabitha Royal Foundation, Nyanya Gwandara, presenting gifts to one of the widows, Mrs Monica Ewache while others queue behind. for the orphans and widows, who later went home with a small-sized bag of rice, soap, tissue paper and clothing items. On what informed the establishment of the foundation on 29 August, 2009, Oloche said that she was born into a polygamous setting where she suffered poverty. “ Because of this, we did not have the needed care and

support from our father, so because of the many challenges that faced us as youth, I was moved towards helping the less privileged. That was why I made up my mind that later in life, if I am able to survive, I will establish a home where I will care for the less privileged, the widows and those that missed it,” she explained. According to her, the foundation had empowered over

70 widows and is currently sponsoring the free education of 50 orphans in primary, secondary education. “We keep other children of widows, who we charge only a token to help us pay our workers. We have a factory where we teach widows vocations like garri production, beans powder, soya beans and we help them to set up their own little business on this to generate income for

them. “We also have a tailoring department where we teach them fashion designing and we teach them how to bake cakes,” Oloche added. She said that the major challenge confronting the NGO was space, as she urged well meaning Nigerians to assist them towards building a bigger structure for expansion. “We don’t have enough room and bedding, so the home is becoming tight. We are trying to raise a bigger structure and we are crying for Nigerians that really want to assist the less privilege to come and see for themselves what we are doing here and contribute to the lives of this children,” she said. Meanwhile, reacting to the gesture, the widows who benefited commended the efforts of the NGO as they prayed God for its growth and sustenance. One of them, Mrs Monica Ewache said: “If not for people like this, I have been struggling to survive with my 6 children. May God help them to grow for them to continue to help us”. Highpoint of the event was the presentation of award to 16 personalities in appreciation of their humanitarian works towards improving the wellbeing of the less privileged. Among the recipients were the wife of the Garki Chief, Hajia Hanatu Usman and Ambassador Kate Oparaeke, who’s the founder of Kate Bethsaida Foundation in Garki.





. Sympathisers at the scene of an accident, which involved many vehicles, along Kugbo-Abuja, Keffi road, on Saturday evening

2. An elderly man a nap, at the weekend in Garki, Abuja.


. One of the vehicles at the scene of an accident, along Kugbo-Abuja, Keffi road on Saturday

4. A scavenger searching for valuables in waste bin, yesterday in Jabi, Abuja.


A refuse collector making call with is phone, yesterday in Garki 2, Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo and Mahmud Isa







Erosion: Community head hails AMAC’s intervention By Stanley onyekwere


he village head of Gbagarape community in Nyanya ward, Kenneth C. Rabo, has commended the Hon. Micah Jiba- led Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC)’s intervention to savage the erosion ridden road leading to the community through sand filling and grading of the road, thereby alleviating the hardship of the people. The community leader, who made the commendation at the

weekend, when the council chairman visited the area to inspect the level of progress on the affected road, described the action of the council as timely, given the dangerous dimension the situation had assumed. According to him, the road which serves as the main link to six communities in the ward has over the years remained a source of concern to the affected communities especially during the rainy season when erosion creates deep gully on the road, making it difficult for use.

Rabo said, with the intervention of the council, the people are beginning to see signs of relief as the greater part of the road have been restored, thereby reducing the hitherto hardship brought about by the poor condition of the road. He however, urged the council to go beyond providing temporary remedy on the road and adopt measures towards finding permanent solution to the problem. On his part, the AMAC chairman, said the council’s intervention, was in response to the

cry of the people, which he said was a temporary measure to cushion the effect of the gully on the people. “Two weeks ago, the story was pathetic but today the change is clear; and but the expected change is not going to be too fast but gradual as a house was not built in a day but gradual; so I assure the public that gradually the state of the road and

other amenities in the councils would change permanently for good of all”, he maintained. Jiba, who said although there was no budgetary provision to cover the project, the council decided to adopt a temporary measure to address the gully problem threatening to wash away the entire road.

Salesman held for misappropriating company’s cash


he Police on Friday arraigned a 37-year-old salesman, Nuradeen Balarabe, before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for breach of trust, cheating and misappropriation. The Prosecutor, Abdullahi Adamu, told the court that Balarabe was brought to Wuse Police Station by one Qasim Abdulsalam of Direct To Retails Nigeria Ltd., Wuse Market, Abuja, on July 10. Adamu said that Balarabe, who also worked in the same company, was entrusted with some company stock to sell and remit the proceed to the company’s account but diverted the money. “Balarabe sold the stocks and diverted over N2 million of the proceed to his personal use”, Adamu told the court. The prosecutor said that N325,000 was recovered from the

suspect. According to him, the offence contravenes Sections 314, 322 and 309 of the Penal Code. Balarabe, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and his counsel, Anthony Oha, prayed the court to grant him bail in line with sections 36(5) of the 1999 constitution and 341(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code. In her ruling, the Magistrate, Mrs Hadiza Dodo, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N1 million and a surety in like sum, who must reside within the court’s jurisdiction. Dodo said the surety must swear to an affidavit of means and that his passport size photograph alongside that of the accused be attached to the bail bond. She then adjourned the case to September 13, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

Two men allegedly dupe client of N2.5m in car deal

T Wreckage of the ill-fated petrol tanker which fell, went into flames, killed three and destroyed properties in Tunga-Maje yesterday in Abuja.

One of the buildings ravaged by the fire

wo men, Ibrahim Yakubu and Yahaya Kusade are facing charges before a Gwagwalada Upper Area Court for alleged cheating and forgery. Yakubu and Kusada, both of New Kutunku in Gwagwalada were arraigned on a three-count charge of criminal breach of trust, cheating and forgery. Police prosecutor, Martha Paul told the court that the two accused jointly collected a Toyota Camry 2007 model from one Alhassan Musa in Kaduna state. Paul said the accused forged the documents of the car, sold it for N2.55 million and refused to remit the money to the owner. The prosecutor said the offences contravene the provisions of Sections 79, 211, 320 and 264 of the Penal Code, but the accused pleaded not guilty. Counsel to the accused, Mr Albert Ejembi, said his clients “are

presumed to be innocent until proven guilty’’. He, therefore, urged the court to grant them bail, saying that they were well known businessmen and would not jump bail. The presiding Judge, Mr Babangida Hassan, granted the accused bail in the sum of N1 million each with one surety each in like sum. Hassan said the sureties must be residing within the FCT and must be civil servants of Grade Level Eight and above. Hassan added that the address of the sureties should be known by the prosecution and that passport photographs of each surety should be attached to the bail form. He said that if the accused failed to comply with the court demands, they should be remanded in prison custody. The case was adjourned to October 5, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Residents beholding the damaged properties at the scene of the accident






- Pg 20

UBA engages new staff

Mob: 08033644990

By Abdulwahab Isa and Ngozi Onyikusi, Lagos

NAICOM not out to kill insurance coys- Fola Daniel

he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said it has a paramount responsibility to ensure Nigeria Underwriters thrive through its various regulations. Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of NAICOM, Mr. Fola Daniel made the

assertion over the weekend in Calabar, Cross River state at a training session for Insurance Correspondents. He d e f e n d e d e v e r y action of NAICOM was aimed at protecting the policy holders. His comments came against the backdrop of suspension order


the Commission slammed on A&G Insurance and Fidelity Bond Broker over gross misconduct and ethical abuses. Fola reiterated that “NAICOM is not interested in killing any insurance company. Ours is to ensure we regulate in proper way to ensure the entire policy holders

are protected and not put under undue risk”. NAICOM, had on 6th August suspended both A&G Insurance and Fidelity Bond Broker for various offences ranging from doctoring of operating financial statements, to non-payment of claims to policy holders. The management of A&G Insurance is challenging NAICOM action at a Federal High Court in Lagos. A statement signed by Ibrahim Hassan Deputy Commissioner, Technical, which slammed the suspension hinged it on the failure by the respective companies to comply with relevant provisions of the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and the Insurance Act 2003. Specifically, Hassan said the offences of the companies include

non-rendition of accounts; misrepresentation and nondisclosure of liabilities; nonremittance of premiums and commissions, and corporate governance abuses. “The Commission, in the exercise of the powers conferred on it by the enabling laws also states that the suspension order may further be extended at the end of six months until such a period when the Commission is satisfied that: The violation of the provisions of the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and theInsurance Act 2003 has been addressed, and The method of transacting business is no longer hazardous to the policyholders and potential clients. This directive is for immediate compliance” the statement added.

Fitch assigns Rivers’ bond B+ ratings

F L-R: Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan, Deputy Commissioner, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Mr Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance NAICOM at the 2012 seminar for insurance correspondents on Thursday in Calabar.

Dangote is the most certified coy in Nigeria- SON By Aminu Imam


he Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has declared Dangote Group as the most certified company in Nigeria through the array of products from its subsidiaries. The organisation made the declaration during the visit of its management to the Ibese plant of Dangote Cement Plc in Ogun State, even as it announced an impending clampdown on sub-standard cement when the Organization begins an enforcement action within the industry. The SON DG, Joseph Ikemefuna Odumodu said that the organisation was very proud of the exploits of the Dangote Group, describing the company as an example of ‘can do spirit of Nigerian entrepreneur’. According to him “Dangote group has 12 of its subsidiaries certified to the Quality Management System ISO 9001, 2008 standard; Four certified to the Food Safety Management System ISO 22000; Three certified to Occupational Health and Safety Management System ISO 18001 and another One subsidiary certified to Environmental Management System ISO 14001.” After the tour of the factory by the top officials of the SON, Odumodu explained that the SON of recent has been focusing

……To begin enforcement action on substandard cement

on construction industry because of the affordable housing policy of the federal government saying the organisation is monitoring events in the industry to ascertain what needs to be done for the government policy to succeed. The SON boss commended the management of Dangote Cement for its giant strides in the cement industry noting that what he saw at Ibese plant was a success story that should be replicated in other economic sector to create jobs in the country. He stated the SON was particularly happy that the

management of Dangote Cement has been carrying along the SON management in all its stages of operations and that all the products from all its plants across the country have been certified by the SON as not only meeting established standard but surpassing it. Odumodu said his management has noted the environmental friendliness of Dangote Cement operations saying that “on approaching the factory, you would think they are not producing because we didn’t hear any sound, but on entering the factory I could see that production was going. The noise level was also very low while you don’t get to see any dust around as usual with cement factory” He promised that SON will collaborate with the Dangote Cement on capacity building so that more and more Nigerians would be able to work maximally.

itch Ratings has assigned Nigeria’s Rivers State upcoming N100bn fiveyear fixed rate bond an expected Long-term local currency rating of ‘B+’(exp) and National Longterm rating of ‘AA-(nga)(EXP)’. Rivers State has a Long-term local currency rating of ‘B+’ with a Positive Outlook and a National Long-term rating of ‘AA-’(nga) with a Stable Outlook. The final ratings are contingent upon the receipt of the final documents confirming the information already received. The notes are expected to be issued by the end of September

NCC to accelerate broadband services, lobbies investors By Muhammad Nasir


o facilitate growth and viability of IT services, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah, has revealed a master plan intended to launch the country into the global broadband community. Juwah disclosed this at the Nigerian Broadband Forum held at the Eko Hotels, Lagos. The new plan is focused on accelerating broadband connectivity at affordable rate to customers. It will encompass the current State Accelerated Broadband Initiative, SABI, and the Wire Nigeria

Management Tip of the Day

Get clear direction from a boss who is vague


f your boss routinely delegates projects without telling you how things should get done, and then picks apart your work and asks you to start over, you need to get proactive. Asking for more cla r i t y upfront is a place to begin, but if that doesn’t work, try figuring out your boss’

viewpoint in another way. When you’re asked to handle a project, draft a preliminary plan for how you intend to approach the task. Set up a meeting with your boss to review it and see what he thinks. Incorporate his feedback into a revised

2012. The proceeds will be used to finance new infrastructural investments. (accounting for about 4% of the national total). Due to the concentration of oil production in the GDP composition, Rivers state, which is located in the south of Nigeria with a population of 5.6 million inhabitants, is one of the richest in the country. Per capita GDP is estimated at about N600,000 . The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

plan and share that with him again. Keep doing this until your boss signs off. If you do this often enough, your boss may eventually realize that he can save time by being more specific at the outset. Source: Harvard Business Review

Initiative (WIN), programmes of the Commission. The forum had in attendance international audience which includes the Nigeria’s Communications Technology Minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Representative of the ITU Secretary General, Mr. Desire Karyabwite, the Secretary of the Africa Telecommunications Union, ATU, Mr. Abdoulkarim Soumaila and a wide range of experts and Nigerian stakeholders. The masterplan, which was crystallised through the “Open Access Model” is expected to help Nigeria plug into the global knowledge grid and stay competitive with other countries. The open access model is guided by an industry structure of the one implemented in Australia. According to Juwah, the key element driving the objective focus on the open access deployment of fibre infrastructure is to achieve high level of penetration across all geo-political zones, contribute to GDP growth and development of knowledge economy, provide competitive and affordable pricing, and ensure intelligent incentives to support industry players while equipping Nigeria with leading infrastructure in Africa.





&I Leasing has announced that it has set up a new arm which will be dedicated to procurement and joint ventures. The company’s Head of special projects, Francess Ogujawa made this known at the company’s headquarters, saying the need to meet the growing need of companies wanting to do large scale procurement, informed our decision to fill up that vacuum in the market. He said if a company wants to buy equipments, or drilling tools in large scale particularly equipments used for drilling in the oil& Gas sector, they come to them, because they are well versed in that area, coupled with the fact that the company has the expertise in determining best suited equipments for that sector.

Arik Air


rik Air, one of the West and Central Africa’s largest commercial carriers has again launched a new route to its network. The airline, which currently serves 20 destination across Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, sierra Leone, Liberia, London, south- Africa, and USA has added Douala (Cameroon) to its flight schedule. The airline, known as African largest domestic airline, has embarked on a new flight route that will not only bring great benefits to its organization but to the country at large. Douala (Cameroon) a country known as a commercial capital and a home to the country will enhance better communication and family vacation. The new Lagos-Douala route is Arik Air’s second foray into Central Africa coming after the inauguration of Lagos-Luanda (Angola) route on December 13, 2011.The Lagos – Douala route will be served with a Boeing 737-700 Next Generation aircraft.



Destination Inspection (DI) service provider, SGS Scanning Nigeria Limited has deployed two Hitech Gantry Scanners at the Onne and Port Harcourt ports, thereby greatly boosting the Federal Government’s 48 hours target for clearance of imports into the country. The two Gantry scanners, which would be officially commissioned on 6 September 2012, according to the Managing Director, Nigel Balchin, are an improved and most up-to-date technology at the ports, which he said would compliment current efforts aimed at reducing the cost of doing business at the nation’s ports, especially the Eastern ports.

Interbank rates fall on excess liquidity


igeria’s interbank lending rates eased further this week to an average of 10.75 percent, from 11 percent last week, as cash from matured bonds and bills hit the market and unattractive yields on treasury bills limited central bank mop-up efforts. Dealers said about N81 billion ($512.33 million) in matured bonds and open market operations (OMO) bills were repaid. “The system is awash with

liquidity and the central bank has not done OMO since to mop-up idle funds in the market, because banks are quoting higher bids than it was willing to pay for the bills,” one dealer said. Yields on the country’s fixed income paper have been falling across the board, driven by a mix of local and offshore investors’ appetite for Nigerian debt. The market open with a cash balance of about N227 billion on Friday, marginally lower than

about N237 billion that it was at last Friday. The secured Open Buy Back (OBB) was flat at 10.5 percent, 1.5 percentage points lower than the central bank’s 12 percent benchmark rate, and 50 basis points above the standing deposit facility (SDF) rate. The overnight rate closed at 10.75 percent, from 11 percent last week, while call rates fell to 11 percent from 11.5 percent previously.

“We expect the system to remain very liquid next week and rates stable unless the central bank issues fresh OMO bills to mopup idle funds from the system,” another dealer said. The Federal Government plans to issue 142.97 billion naira in treasury bills ranging from 3month to 1-year maturities at its regular auction next week, but dealers said the amount being offered is lower than the amount in bills due to mature. (Reuters)

FG bonds record 2.34% real risk free return


he real risk free rate (based on the inflation expectation of 14 percent in 2012) of Federal Government bonds is 2.34 percent, using the yield on a 10-Year bond (16.34 percent) as a proxy as market studies show that returns on the Federal Government bonds across tenors (5yrs to 20yrs) hover between 14.25 percent and 16.52 percent. Risk-free rate is the minimum return an investor expects for any investment because he or she will not accept additional risk unless the potential rate of return is greater than the risk-free rate. Investment analysts however believe that in reality, the risk-free rate does not exist because even the safest investments carry a very small amount of risk. But market operators believe the real risk free rate for FG

rate is determined by the market forces (Demand and Supply) based on opportunity cost and inflation expectation. However, the Central Bank determines the hurdle rate with which risk free will be based. CBN, through the Monetary Policy Committee, sets the monetary policy rate (MPR). Government instrument is used as proxy for risk free rate. Risk premium compensates investor for taking additional risk over risk free rate investment.

For corporate bonds, yields above the Federal Government security are justified to compensate for additional risks. A study by Meristem shows that yields from non active corporate bonds ranged between 11.5 percent and 19 percent. The company says that the returns on corporate bonds are much in line with economic realities even though they may be at variance with government risk free rate of similar tenor.

UBA engages new staff CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi bonds is justified given the liquidity preference of investors who want to be compensated for delayed consumption. In developed market, risk free

Inflation rates from Jul, 2011 to Jun, 2012 Max = 12.9%, Min = 9.3% for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 12.9% Source:CBN

By Abdulwahab Isa


3 new employees have joined the UBA Group having passed out from a six month intensive training programme that is mandatory for all entry level employees of the bank. The graduands from the UBA Academy Banking school were formally welcomed to the UBA family at an induction/awards ceremony which held at the Amphitheatre of UBA House, Lagos, a statement by UBA said. The training programme is part of measures to entrench sound banking practices, strong ethics and professionalism in the operations of the bank that is widely regarded as one of the leading financial institutions in Africa with operations in 19 African countries including Nigeria . Speaking at the occasion, Deputy Managing Director, UBA

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said the programme was designed to enable the institution implant the UBA DNA on the trainees as well as helping to determine the areas of the bank’s operation would best fit the inductees. “The Management Trainee Programme was conceptualized in line with the bank’s service excellence initiative and a people strategy geared towards engaging the best personnel.” UBA, he stated, has been actively recruiting top African and non-African talents from the continent and in the Diaspora to support the bank’s growth and expansion plans. He charged the graduands to be focused and committed in their new responsibilities. “You are being celebrated because the future of UBA is in your hands. As you have been selected from a large bunch of applicants, you have to prove your mettle. Today you are opening a new chapter in your lives and the fortunes of the bank’’ he added. The Group Human Resources Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Ben Odukwe also counseled the new intakes on the need to be proactive and purpose-driven in all their endeavours as they take on their new assignments. He charged all the graduating Management Trainees to be good ambassadors of the bank and bring their training to bear through enhanced job performance. Certificates were issued to all the graduating students while 3 top performers in various modules were given awards, gifts and recognition for their sterling performance in the course of the training. Okechi Ukaegbu won Best Performer Operations Module; Solomon Idialu won Best Sales Marketing Module while Paul James won Best Performer in the Head Office Function.



Eland Oil to list on London Stock Exchange after buying Nigerian block By Muhammad Nasir with agency report


est Africa-focused energy firm, Eland Oil and Gas will float on London’s junior stock market today with a market value of 135 million pounds ($214 million) after completing the purchase of a stake in a Nigerian oil block, it said at the weekend.

Eland Oil Chief Executive, Les Blair said the company, in partnership with Nigerian oil firm, Starcrest, bought a 45 percent stake in block OML 40 owned jointly by Shell, Total and Eni for $154 million. Blair said the block had 71.5 million barrels of proven oil reserves and it planned to be producing 2,500 barrels per day within 6 months. Eland will list on London’s

AIM market at 100 pence per share today, raising 118 million pounds ($187 million or N30 bn), Blair added. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), owns the other 55 percent of the block and its subsidiary NPDC will take over the operating rights from Shell, Blair said. “We are very pleased this deal has been completed and

we look forward to working closely with NPDC on this lease, which has production and exploration potential,” Blair said by phone. Shell said last year the sale of OML 40 had been agreed but Eland had to go through months of negotiations with the Nigerian government, partly over who would operate production, before the deal was finally signed off on Friday.

Wednesday as unrelenting bargain activities continued to permeate the bourse while NSE Index firms up by +0.59% amid increased optimism witnessed across board. Similar posture was also recorded on Thursday as the rally enters its fifth day while ASI records +0.14% gain. Conversely, trading activities on Friday closed positive as sentiments remained optimistic. Consequently, the key benchmark index inches up by +0.20% while market closed the week with aggregate gain of +1.50%. Further analysis on acquiring banks since transaction date showed that the share price of Access Bank Plc has recorded

+55.56% gains with FCMB recording -23.08% losses while Union Bank Plc leads the chart with +144.02% gains. However, Sterling Bank Plc recorded 17.32% losses while ETI also closed negative with -11.74% loss recorded. However, the All-Share Index in the week under review inches up by +1.50% to close at23,750.82 as against an upbeat by +1.12% recorded last week to close at 23,399.58. In the same vein, the market capitalisation in the week appreciated by N111.80 billion (US$745.34 million) to close at N7.56 trillion (US$50.38 billion) as against appreciation by

N82.28 billion (US$548.54 million) recorded last week to close at N7.44 trillion (US$ 49.63 billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 1.46 billion units valued at N10.14 billion (US$67.59 million) compared with 878.52 million units valued at N9.90 billion (US$66.02 million) exchanged in 17,711 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved up by +66.28% as against decline by -5.80% recorded last week. Weekly value also went up by +2.38% as against positive position of +36.14% recorded last week.

chain of smallholder palm oil producers. According POFON, “This is coming a few years after similar pressure was mounted to lift the ban on the importation of palm oil into Nigeria”. It argues that, “This new move has proved us right and revealed the grand design to cripple our oil palm industry. From the time the ban was lifted in 2009 and now, Nigeria has diminished in its position from number three to number five, overtaken by Thailand and Columbia in the World production of palm oil. Yet the perpetrators and their facilitators would not back down.”

Nigeria is the largest consumer of palm oil in Africa consuming 1,240 metric tons. 850 metric tons is produced locally, whilst the balance of 390 metric tons is imported. It is this supply gap that lobbyists for lower tariff or removal of tariffs are advancing for their action, informed industry analysts hold. The analysts also argue the supply gaps keeps price of palm oil high. But POFON argues if ban is lifted, Nigeria will be flooded with the product and local production will be killed and jobs will be lost. For POFON, it is only in Nigeria’s oil palm industry that secondary producers and end

users cannot show evidence or model for commodity value chain linkages, they must insist on importing palm oil because it is cheaper in Malaysia and Indonesia. “It is also a way of siphoning our scarce foreign exchange,” the statement said. POFON) says it views the purported move with the utmost concern and cautioned that that there is an impending doom that the purported reduction or removal of the tariff portends. The statement adds that the concern of POFON is beyond the protection of parochial corporate interests, that it is more about the protection of Nigeria’s rural economy.

NSE market indicators rise by 0.20%


arket sentiments remained optimistic for the second week in a row as the positive outlook witnessed in all trading days of the week ensured the sustenance of the uptrend amid increased optimism while market breadth also closed very impressive. Trading activities on the Nigerian bourse today closed positive for the first session of the week as All-Share Index (ASI) moved up by +0.39% while market sentiments remain positive on Tuesday as the key indicator further went up by +0.17% with the bulls continually exerting their grip on the bourse. Market sustained uptrend on

Palm oil producers lament FG’s plan to remove 35% importation tariff From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he Palm oil producers (Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON)) has called the attention of the Federal Government to what it calls the orchestrated and clandestine move of certain industrialists aided by the Technical Committee on Tariff and Trade in the Federal Ministry of Finance to pressure the Federal government to reduce or remove the existing tariff of 35 percent on the importation of crude palm oil (CPO) into the country. POFON is made up of PRESCO Plc, Okomu Oil and a




FC, a member of the World Bank Group, and IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund, LP, a private equity fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of IFC, announced they will invest $124 million (N20 billion) in the Persianas Group to support its growth strategy in the rapidly expanding, and underserved, retail and commercial property market in Nigeria. The investment package consists of up to $74 million in equity provided by IFC and IFC ALAC Fund, and $50 million in debt provided by IFC.



he over-the-counter (OTC) market recorded intraday volatility as yields moved in a choppy pattern in reaction to recent market developments. The highest negative change came from the one month benchmark security with 2.75 percent, whilst the next came from the three month benchmark with 0.88 percent, and the least affected was the 5 year with 0.03 percent.



he naira headed for its best monthly performance in six after dollar inflows from the central bank and oil companies. The currency climbed less than 0.1 percent to 157.95 per dollar on Friday. The Naira has climbed 1.7 percent this month, the third-best performer in Africa. The Naira has been “steady” on “dollar inflows from the central bank, and to a lesser extent, dollar sales by energy companies,” said Kunle Ezun and Kenneth Asenime, analysts at Ecobank Transnational Inc. in Lagos.



Source:Pro-share Nigeria

he Federal Government plans to issue N142.97 billion in treasury bills ranging from 3-month to 1year maturities at its regular twice-monthly auction on Thursday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Wednesday. The apex bank said it will raise N32.97 billion in 91day notes, N50 billion in 182day bills and 60 billion naira in the 264-day paper.




Jigawa state Government recently celebrated the 21 anniversary of the creation of the state. Former President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, GCFR, was the special guest of honour during the anniversary ceremonies that involved a symposuim, commissioning of projects, Durbar, and Gala Night. Below are pictures captured during the events.


Commissioner of Works Engr. Baba Aliyu Santali exchanging greetings at the commissioning of Kafin Hausa-ruba to bulangu Road

Emir of Hadejia Alh. Adamu Abubakar Maje and Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida during the latter’s visit to the Emir's Palace

L-R: Commissioner of Works Engr. Baba Aliyu Santali, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Emir of Hadejia Alh. Adamu Abubakar Maje at the commissioning of Kafin Hausa-ruba to Bulangu Road L-R: Commissioner of Edu Prof. Haruna Wakili, Emir of Damagaram, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Gov. of Zindar, Umar Sa’id Iliyasu and Gov. Sule Lamido at the commissioning of Dutse model school

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Emir of Dutse, Alh Nuhu Muhammad Sunusi and Gov Sule Lamido at the Emir’s palace, Dutse.

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, and Gov. Sule Lamido at the commissioning of Kafin Hausa-ruba to Bulangu Road

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (c) unveiling the plague of Kafin Hausa RubaBulangu road, with him are Commissioner of Works and Transport (l), Gov. Sule Lamido and the Site Engr. of Triacta contruction.

Col Maimalari, Gen Rashid Shekoni, Gen Olayinka Sule, Emir of Dutse, Alh. Nuhu Muhammad Sansusi, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Gov Sule Lamido, Gen Ibrahim Aliyu and Barr. Ali Sa’ad Birnin Kudu Emir of Hadejia, Alh. Adamu Abubakar Maje and horsemen in traditional regalia during the durbar organised in honor of Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida

Alh. Bala of MBU Motors and the represenataives of Ibrahim Mijinyawa proprietor of SAHAD stores, Mr. Lee and Former Sport Minister, Bala Kaoje.

Group photogarph of Emirs of Hadejia, Sultan Damagaram, Emir of Yasawa, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Gov of Zindar and Gov. Sule Lamido at the Palace of Emir of Hadejia.

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, exchanging pleasantries with a former Military Administrator, Gen. Rashid Shekoni (rtd.)

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, exchanging pleasantries with a former Military administrator, Gen Ibrahim Aliyu and Gov. Sule Lamido.

Cross-section of mamoth crowed that witnessed the Hadejia Durbur in honor of Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, exchanging pleasantries with first civilian governor of Jigawa Barr. Ali Sa’ad Birnin Kudu on his arrival to the State.

L-R Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Gov. Sule Lamido, Deputy Gov. Ahmed Muhmud, Speaker JSHA Adamu Ahmed paying traditional salute to the Emir of Hadejia durind the durbar.

L-R: Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Gov Sule Lamido and Gen Olayinka Sule watched as Prof. Bolaji Akinyele delivered the 21st anniversary symposium L-R: Former External Affairs Minister Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, and Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida exchanging pleasantries.

Cultural troupe from Niger Republic performing at the Gala Night organised to honor some indvividuals that contributed to the development of Jigawa State

Koroso group at the Gala Night

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, exchanging greetings with a former Military Adaminstor of the state, Col Zakariyya Maimalari (rtd.)



52nd NBA Conference: Impressive turn-out, but marred with protest By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


hen the newly elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Okechukwu Emmanuel Wali (SAN) took the stage to present his inaugural speech, a member of the Lagos State chapter of the NBA shouted, "Praise the Lord" and there was an orchestrated halleluiah. The praises it was latter gathered was to bring to an end the alleged highheadedness of the administration of the immediate past president of the noble association, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN). Many lawyers have expressed dissatisfaction with the planning of the 52nd annual conference of the NBA which closed Friday in Abuja. Beginning from last Monday, when the conference began many lawyers went on the street to protest high fees charged by the association for participation at the conference. The protests which took place in Abuja and in various forms also indicated a rejection of the delegate voting system which deprived about 80 per cent of members the right to elect those who would pilot the affairs of the association in the next two years. Even the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan at the opening of the event was not enough to deter the protesters who barricaded the entrance to the venue where they sang and danced while the opening session lasted. Paramount among their complaints was the issue of "high and unreasonable conference fees" which, according to the Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the NBA, Mr. Onyekachi Ubani, who led the protest, was antithetical". According to the protesters, the fees was un-necessarily increased against what obtained in the past where lawyers of 1-5 years at the Bar were compelled to pay between N2025, 000, 6-10 years paid N30-35, 000, 11-14 years, paid N40-45,000, 15-20 years, paid N50-55, 000, above 20 years, N70-75, 000, SAN/ Attorney General's / Benchers, paid N150, 000, judges, N75, 000, Magistrate, N50, 000, while Governors, Legislators and political office holders paid N200, 000.00 respectively to attend the Abuja conference, transportation, accommodation and feeding not included . Some of the placards brandished by the protesting lawyers who called for the immediate probe of the outgoing NBA leadership over alleged financial recklessness, read: "NBA is not a Plc.", "No to arbitrary and oppressive Bar conference fee", "NBA is not a commercial venture," among several others. Besides, majority of the delegates who paid the said fees, including SANs, were also shut out of the International Conference Center, ICC, whilst the opening ceremony of the conference lasted, a situation that further fuelled the protests, with some of them making demands for a refund. The conference was such that

R-L: President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Joseph bodunrin daudu, President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke, and representative of Senate Prsident, Senator Udoma Egba, during the opening of NBA 52nd annual general conference, recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye after a rigorous accreditation process, from as many lawyers as possible; we lawyers gathered together for the delegates converged at the old parade do not need permission to send it with serious business of deliberating on ground, about a kilometer from the a motion for amendment to the NBA the future of the legal profession and venue, where they entered a bus that General Secretary at our secretariat the nation at large. It is not just a fulfillment of an annual convention conveyed them into the conference in Abuja or Lagos." She noted that the Next NBA for reunion and merriment," he venue. A process the protesting lawyers described as highly annual general meeting would come added, pointing out that the era of up in August 2013 and that "once the the NBa going cap in hand begging unreasonable. Apart from those who carried General Secretary receives the for sponsorship of its programme is plus proposed over. placards to indicate their motion According to Daudu, the slight disenchantment, others came constitutional amendment; he is together under different names to under a statutory obligation to share increase in the registration fee for it by dispatch to all NBA Branches Lawyers to attend the Annual register their displeasure. general conference of the One of the protesting groups, for their input." Meanwhile, the immediate past association is not a bad idea as the NBA Reform Group held a cocktail at a hotel in Abuja, which had NBA president, J. B Daudu, while cost of sensitizing the general public thousands of lawyers including senior reacting to the protest that visibly of the activities of the association is marred the 52nd conference of the rising by the day. members of the Bar in attendance. The lawyers are demanding an NBA said: "As far as am concerned, amendment to the association's this year's conference is well constitution to allow members of the attended and the registration by legal practitioners who participated association more say in its affairs. They said if it was convenient for in this year's conference was an he incoming Executive the association to collect practicing indication that the association was which is the 26th fees from each member, it should not moving forward. administration of the NBA Daudu said, "Nigerian lawyers was elected in what delegates and be difficult to allow each member to have a say in determining who lead must embrace reform in thematic observers described as a free and areas ranging from the quality of fair election at the A-class Park the association. At the cocktail, agitation for legal education to the quality of legal Kashim Ibrahim Way Maitama, reform was loudest as lawyers practice. Reform in the sense Abuja, the nation's capital. representing various branches took conceptualized by the Bar is not The 26th Executive of the NBA, turns to call for changes in the way limited to electing national or sworn in on Friday August 31, 2012 branch officers alone, it is not a that will over-see the affairs of the the association was being run. Addressing lawyers at the political matter, and it is a serious association for the next two years cocktail, a former chairman of the economic issue that concerns the are: and economic Emmanuel Okechukwu Lagos Branch, Mr. Chijioke Okolie, well-being said that the time has come to adopt potentialities of every lawyer. Wali (SAN) - President "When I became the president Emeka Obegolu Esq universal suffrage for election of the of this great association, part of the General Secretary association's executives. A Lagos-based lawyer, Bamidele platform on which I was elected was O.J Erhabor Esq - 1st Vice Aturu, said the association had to improve the financial well-being President become elitist and had alienated the of the Nigerian lawyer. It was Stephen Abar - 2nd Vice apparent that all has not been well President (unopposed) people for which it was established. Chairman of the Ikeja branch of with the following key areas that Francis Ekwere - 3rd The NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani, called touch on our professional Vice President on the incumbent president of the livelihood; (a) our criminal justice Joyce Oduah - Treasurer association to return the fees to what system, (b) the quality of legal Usman O. Sule - Legal services provided by us, (c) the Adviser (unopposed) they used to be. Human rights lawyer, Carol Ajie, influx of a large number of fake Afam Obi Esq - Publicity argued that those desirous of lawyers, (d) the mechanism for Secretary amending the constitution did not the enforcing discipline, (e) slow legal Kelvin Ezinna Esq - Welfare permission of the exco to begin the proceedings, (f) poor economic Secretary process. environment, (g) corruption in the Paul Ebiala Esq 1st She said: "We need the draft copy system, among a few of the factors Assistant Secretary of the constitutional amendment that require immediate attention U.F.O Nnaemeka Esq - 2nd worked out now; we don't need from each and every one of us i.e. Assistant Secretary permission to draft it please; we lawyers. Unwachukwu John Austin require no permission to seek input "The AGC is a congregation of Assistant Publicity Secretary

The 52nd Annual General Conference of the NBA ended on the 31st of August, 2012 with the inauguration of the newly elected executive of the association and the reading the presentation of the conference communiquĂŠ which, among other things condemned the proposed introduction of the N5000 currency note by the Central bank of Nigerian (CBN) and the call on the federal Government to apply to the International Court of Justice (ICJ() for the review of the judgement on the Bakassi, which has thrown the Bakassi people into untold hardship and gross violation of their fundamental human rights by the government of Cameroon and the outright neglect by the Nigerian government. In his inaugural speech delivered shortly after the inauguration of the newly elected executive of the association, the newly elected President of the NBA, Okechukwu Emmanuel Wali (SAN) charged members of the Bar to be bold in reporting any member of the Bench found to have compromised his or her official functions to the association, the NJC or to anti-graft agencies. Wali who said his administration will operate an open door policy, also promised to look into the grievances of the Lagos NBA and other issues; in the over- all interest of the NBA and solicited the cooperation of members of the association so as to move NBA forward. He announced the cooperation of various committees to look into the grievances of members of the Bar and to also look at ways of moving the NBA to a greater height.

New NBA Executives


(unopposed) The offices of Financial Secretary and Assistant Financial Secretary were uncontested and remain vacant. The immediate past executive are: President : Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) General Secretary : Olumiyiwa Akinboro 1st Vice President : Blessing Enenoma Ukiri 2nd Vice President : Osas justy Erhabor 3rd Vice-President : Dr. Ogugua Ikpeze Treasurer : Olufunmilayo Oluyede Financial Secretary : Prince Adekunle Ajasa Legal Adviser : Victor C. Nwaugo Publicity Secretary : Emeka Obegolu Welfare Secretary : Sule Usman 1st Assistant Secretary : Stephen T. Abar 2nd Assistant Secretary : Paul Ebiala Assistant Publicity Secretary : Afam A. Obi Assistant Financial Secretary: Chinwe J. Nwadike


Kwankwaso appoints VC for North-West varsity


ov. Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State, has appointed Prof. Mohd. Razali Bin Agus as the substantive Vice Chancellor of the newlyestablished North-West University, Kano. Prof. Bin Agus was until his appointment, the Vice Chancellor of Twin-Tech International College of Technology, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations to the Governor, Malam Halilu Dantiye issued in Kano on Saturday. According to the statement, the governor had also approved the appointment of Faruk ‘Yanganau and Sanusi Nassarawa as Registrar and Librarian respectively, while Yusuf Isa is to serve as the University Bursar. The statement charged the new appointees to be steadfast in nurturing the university into an enviable model in Nigeria and beyond. ‘’Although the task of managing a new university is a challenging responsibility, we are confident that the officers will live up to expectation, taking into consideration their antecedents,’’ it said. The statement thanked the chairman and members of the university implementation committee for their effort to ensure that the institution commenced academic activities on a sound footing. The NorthWest University is expected to commence academic activities before the end of this month.

LG boss pledges to accord priority to education


he Chairman of Guri Local Government Area (LGA) in Jigawa, Alhaji Abdullahi Bulama, has pledged that the local council would give priority to the education sector. “This is necessary because education is the key to human development,” Bulama said in Dutse on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said that in its efforts to improve education in the LGA, his adminstration had renovated and constructed a number of structures in schools, adding that the council had also provided teaching and learning materials to primary schools in the area. Bulama appealed to parents to send their children and wards to school in view of the ‘huge’ resources the council had invested in education. The chairman told NAN that his desire to give priority to education was in line with one of the main thrusts of Gov. Sule Lamido’s administration in the state. He, therefore, solicited the support and cooperation of the people to achieve this objective. (NAN)


TETFund generates N591bn from education tax in 18 years T By Maryam Garba Hassan

he Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has said that it has generated N591.6 billion as education tax in 18 years. As statement issued by the organisation stated that this was disclosed by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Executive Secretary, at the just concluded 2012 Taxpayers Forum in Lagos. According to the statement, Yakubu said Oil and Gas

companies contributed 60 per cent of the fund generated between 1994 and 2012 adding that the fund accounted for 2 per cent of education tax paid from the assessable profit of companies registered in Nigeria and collected by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). He said that 70 per cent of the total fund was generated in four years and that the manufacturing and servicing sectors had also improved the remittance of their taxes in the

last two years. “The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) is a success story in Nigeria. We have generated N591.6 billion as education taxes from 1994 to 2012. “We want to appreciate taxpayers in Lagos for queuing into the drive of Federal Government and for their contributions to the education sector. “We have sponsored 5,867 lecturers for postgraduate studies locally and internationally,

instituted national research fund, national book development fund and special high impact project with tertiary institutions as beneficiaries,” he said. He, however, lamented the decline in the quality of tertiary education in Nigeria, the statement added. “TETFund is never established to solve all the education problems in Nigeria and the growing number of tertiary institutions since 1994 has stretched our lean resources,” Yakubu said.

Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i (2nd left), in a group photograph with executives of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), during the union's meeting with the minister, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

TETFund projects ready for inauguration at Yaba Tech – Rector


rojects worth N1.06 billion, sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) at the Yaba College of Technology (Yaba Tech), Lagos, are ready for inauguration. This was disclosed Friday in Lagos by the college Rector, Mrs.

Kudirat Ladipo while receiving members of the board of TETFUND. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the board members inspected projects including seven-storey buildings with 93 offices, four seminar rooms, a penthouse, a giant-sized

generator, elevators and air conditioners. Others are furniture, a science laboratory, foundry equipment, technology building and a library. The rector thanked TETFUND for its intervention and monitoring of the projects. “I am very excited

Lack of funding is killing new secondary school curriculum – ANCOPSS From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


he All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) has attributed lack of funding as major challenge of newly implemented Senior Secondary School curriculum. Speaking in Lagos on weekend during ANCOPSS' National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting, the National President, Hajiya Fatima Abdulrahman, said most of the pre-conditions for the effectiveness of the new curriculum like infrastructure, man-power and adequate funding are not in place till day. Abdulrahman stated that

though principals have enormous roles to play in the implementation of the curriculum but government and other stakeholders most provide necessary supports to compliment their efforts. "The new curriculum is about technical education and it essence is to induce self reliance of youths into our system. "Though, this suppose to have taken off since September 2011 but the truth is technical education is capital intensive project which needs lot of tools, practically experienced tutors and huge funding. We want government to give schools take -off grants and allow the new curriculum for at least

ten years before review," she added. Fielding questions from the press, Hajiya Fatima stated that state Governors who preach free education without proper funding will kill the vision of the new curriculum. "Though, ANCOPSS as a professional body was not involved in the reviewing process of the curriculum but we are ready to make it a reality. We have gotten artisans to take students technical practices and we call on ministries of education in the 36 states of the nation, philanthropists and corporate organisations to support it," she added

and I thank God for bringing TETFUND to this college. “I must commend the Federal Government, through TETFUND, for developing and upgrading facilities in the institution to create a conducive learning environment. “ The visit is a demonstration of the Fund’s commitment to educational development of our great nation,’’ Ladipo said. The chairman of TETFUND, Musa Babayo, expressed satisfaction with the execution of the projects, saying “the funds were judiciously utilised. “It will not be out of place to make this declaration; no other college has accessed its funds like Yabatech. “On behalf of the board, we are assuring the school that we will give all the support you require’’. Babayo disclosed that the Fund would soon start work on the Epe campus of the school in the state. Mrs Rose Lulabuka, the Director General, Tanzania Education Authority, who was part of the inspection team, expressed satisfaction with the college’s performance, particularly in project execution, she said. (NAN)



Bwari Council to allocate land for JAMB’s computer testing centre

Kano state govt sponsor 501 indigenes to study Master Degree abroad

By Maryam Garba Hassan

From Edwin Olofu, Kano


r. Peter Yohanna, Chairman of Bwari Area Council in the FCT, has Friday in Bwari said that the Area Council would provide land for the construction of a computer-based testing centre for JAMB. According to him, the plan for the allocation of the land for the building of the centre is to serve candidates residing in Bwari and its environs, cater for candidates during the Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (UTME) as well as bring economic development to the area. Yohanna who expressed optimism that residents of the FCT would benefit from the services of the centre when established. He added that the centre when completed is expected to cater for 250 candidates during UTME in March next year. He said the Council which is determined to provide infrastructure to enhance the standard of living of residents of the area council, would continue to collaborate with agencies located in the area to foster grassroots development.

Lecturer wants revenue allocation formula reviewed


ano state Government has awarded scholarship to 501 state indigenes to study Masters Degree at different universities of their choice abroad. Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who disclosed this at the distribution of admission letters to the beneficiaries at the Government House, Kano, over the weekend, said for some time now, the state is experiencing shortage of qualified manpower for quite some time and that the programme is meant to bridge the manpower gap. He said if something urgent is not done, the state will continue to depend on other states to source for its manpower requirement, hence the sponsorship of this first batch of graduates, who have satisfied the conditions. According to him, on completion of their various courses, they will return to the country and take over the realms of leadership of the state at various human endeavours to bridge the manpower, which the state lacking.

Kwankwaso further disclosed that the state government is to embark on the sponsorship of 100 brilliant secondary school students to study medicine abroad, while another batch of 100 will undergo training course in piloting. The sponsorship, Kwankwaso explained would be a continuous process whereby students with first and second class degrees would be sponsored abroad to further their education. “During our screening, we discovered about 900 students, who are qualified, that is why I

directed the Higher Education Ministry to start preparing for the second batch of the programme”, he said. “The secret behind this is to sow the seed for good leaders of tomorrow and have enough manpower to manage our educational institutions, as well as tackle the issue of employment and other social problems which remain a great challenge of the past leaders”. He cautioned the Higher Education Commissioner, Alhaji Umar Doguwa, to ensure that only University graduates with

Gov Ameachi tells ASUU to go to court


ov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers in Berlin on Saturday called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to take his government to court if it was convinced that it breached the law. Amaechi made the call in reaction to the one-day warning strike by ASUU over the reappointment of Prof. Barineme Fakae as Vice-Chancellor of Rivers States University of

Science and Technology (RSUST). He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that RSUST was governed by a state law and could not be dictated to by ASSU´s national leadership with regard to the appointment of its vice-chancellor. ´´There is a difference between the federal law which the president had signed which governs federal universities and the state law.


lecturer at the University of Jos, Mr Solomon Dalung has restated the call to review the revenue allocation formula in the country. Dalung made the call in Bauchi on Saturday while presenting a paper, entitled: “The Quest for peaceful Co-existence in the Northern Nigeria; The Challenges of the youths. The forum was organised by the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO). He described the imbalance in the current revenue formula as the bane of the country’s underdevelopment. According to him, while the Nigerian federation is due for restructuring, cognisance must be given to the current imbalance in the revenue sharing formula. “The centre is strong and lucrative which breeds unhealthy completion and gravitation to the centre. “The formula concedes enormous wealth to centre which has no relevance to welfare of the citizens. “Therefore, for a healthy federation and rapid development, the revenue formula should be restructured in this order: Federal Government: 25 per cent, states; 30 per cent and Local Governments, 45 per cent,’’ he suggested. He suggested that “instead of the derivative principle, it is my submission that the federation be structured into a loose federation with more powers given to the federating units. This, he said, was to enhance peace, unity, security, social harmony and development. (NAN)

First and Second Class Upper Division qualified for the award of the scholarship, pointing out that any anomaly discovered will be sanctioned. He called on the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of the state by exhibiting good conduct and dedication to their studies. Earlier, Kano state Commissioner for Higher Education, Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa, said that the event is a pointer to the current revolution embarked upon by the present administration to improve the educational sector.

Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom wike, addressing students of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Bwari, during the minister's working visit to the school, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

´´They (ASUU) want me to disobey the law that sets up RSUST. I wish them luck but this will not happen within the period that I am governor of Rivers State. ´´There is what is called the rule of law and true federalism, unitary system should not be applied in a state. ´´The law setting up RSUST allows its vice-chancellor to run for three years second term after the expiration of his first term.´´ Amaechi said. He expressed regret that professors in the university, who were members of the governing council, stepped out of the council and made themselves candidates for vice-chancellor. “This action is improper,’’ he said. Amaechi said he reappointed the university vicechancellor in acting capacity at the end of his first tenure based on law, pending the nomination of another candidate by the university council. ´´ASSU in Rivers state wants to take up the position of a governor to appoint the vice-chancellor. There has to be discipline and there has to be implementation of law and order, ´´ he said. The governor vowed that he would ensure that salary was not paid to any lecturer who failed to report for duty. He said that it was unfortunate that lecturers in RSUST who were the highest paid in Nigeria, were in the habit of blackmailing his administration. (NAN)

Plateau inaugurates education secretariat at Mangu By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Plateau Government on Friday inaugurated an Area Education Secretariat at Mangu, Plateau, built with levies collected from secondary school students. The state’s Commissioner for Education, Mr Nanle Dashen, at a ceremony to inaugurate the secretariat, commended the Zonal and Area Directorate of Education and the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPS) in Mangu, for initiating the project, which he said was made possible by the N100 contributed by each of the

students. “I commend your initiative, drive and commitment in carrying out this project that has cost N9 million. I am highly delighted that you people were able to source for funds through the ANCOPSS Project levy. I strongly appreciate parents and guardians of our students for sharing in this vision of repositioning education demonstrated by their payment of the ANCOPSS Project levy for their wards and children. We are glad that people no longer wait for the government to do everything for them,” he said. He urged staff of the Mangu

Education Area Directorate, to protect the building by imbibing maintenance culture and ensuring that the facility was used only for educational purposes. Dashen, regretted the protracted industrial action by primary school teachers in the state in the past four months over salary issues adding “I am not disputing the right of the staff to collectively bargain on issues that concern their welfare but caution must be taken not to throw away the baby with the bath water. “Strike is counter-productive and we have just discovered that parents are withdrawing their wards from public schools, due to

incessant strikes.” He said that government had not closed its door to dialogue, appealing to the striking teachers to suspend the strike in the interest of the pupils. Mrs Naomi Gomen, the Area Director of Education in Mangu, commended the Parent-Teachers Association, the Area Education Directorate in Mangu and ANCOPS for making the project a success. Gomen, however, drew government’s attention to the incessant complaints of shortage of teachers, especially in core subjects and appealed for more teachers to be recruited.


In this report Ayodele Samuel in Lagos takes a look at the use of modern technologies to detect fake drugs and how it is saving millions of lives.


Are NAFDAC’s new strategies yielding results?


he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), under Dr. Paul Orhii’s leadership has introduced new and dynamic ways of waging war against the proliferation of food and drug substances in Nigeria using modern technologies. The result of these innovations has been a massive reduction in the number of such dangerous health- related products coming into the country while local manufacturers are facing the worst fights of their lives. The ongoing revolution has been found to be more effective probably because it predicates on strengthening the institution itself rather than personalisation of the campaign as was the case in the past. One of such novel idea is the use of TRUSCAN, a handheld device using Roman Spectroscopy to detect counterfeit products. With this technology, NAFDAC officials can quickly scan imported products at the Ports and release them on time without compromising their quality. Nigeria is now the first country in the world to use it to detect quality of medicines. Following its success in Nigeria, the Food and Drug Administration agencies in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Canada and many others have also keyed in to it. Again due to the successes recorded with the TRUSCAN experiment, another cutting-edge device called the Black Eye which was manufactured in Israel has been introduced by NAFDAC. The Black Eye compares a tablet that you are trying to check and tell you whether it is genuine or fake and if you ask from the machine, it will break the product down into its component and tell you what it contains; active pharmaceutical ingredients or it contains so much inactive pharmaceutical ingredients. It helps NAFDAC to work faster now because it can take up to 1000 different tablets at the same time and break them down telling the inquirer which one is good or bad. There is also the deployment of a mobile system that works with the use of text messages by consumers to ascertain genuineness of drugs before purchase. This is called Mobile Authentication Service, in addition to the use of Radiofrequency Identification among many others. Apart from these high- tech approaches, the agency, to ensure that enforcement and monitoring personnel catch up with prevailing circumstances and challenges, has embarked on aggressive up- grading of facilities at their various laboratories across the country to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international standards. At no other time have NAFDAC officials received relevant

trainings than in the present dispensation. The agency is also penetrating deeply into new areas provided for in its mandate but which were hitherto not adequately covered by its activities. Such areas include checking the quality of fertilisers brought into Nigeria to ensure that they are safe and of the required standard as well as ensuring that, ways and manners in which foods are processed and packaged by fast food companies operating in the country conforms to international best practices. The only Medical Doctor in the world who is also a Lawyer and Biomedical Scientist, Dr. Orhii’’s wealth of experience and knowledge acquired in different academic and management fields has been brought to bear in a renewed and unusual determination to deal with the task at hand. His deep knowledge of legal technicalities and delivery have combined to engender positive deviation from the manner and ways offenders of the Act establishing NAFDAC are investigated, arrested and prosecuted. He speaks passionately on the need to root out the menace of fake, counterfeit, adulterated, expired and other unwholesome food and drug products as according to him, these are the crux of the matter. Knowing where most of these products enter the country from, NAFDAC has entered into mutually beneficial relationships

with governments of the manufacturing countries. This is in addition to synergies with other sister agencies like the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), NDLEA and many others. The Customs for example now allow NAFDAC access to their system where officials of the agency are able to view the contents of a container and if they believe that the container may have something that is of interest to them, NAFDAC can insist on inspecting the container. There is also closer collaboration with local

NAFDAC boss Dr. Paul Orhii

governments and traditional rulers who have bought into the campaign to stop drug and food proliferation in their communities. In states like Jigawa, Edo and Kano for example, local governments are setting up NAFDAC desks with officers assigned to monitor and arrest offenders. Kano has in addition set up mobile court to speedily try people who are caught hawking drugs. The results of these efforts are very much encouraging as can be testified by the drastic reduction in major cities across the country with Nigerian now looked at as the global leader in the fight against

counterfeit medicine. Many countries especially from Africa including Sierra Leone, Ghana and Uganda have sent their people to work in NAFDAC laboratories, studying how things are done here, and why not? Statistics show that incidence of fake medicine is presently at about just 5 percent in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and in Kaduna while Jigawa is even less. But the NAFDAC boss is not relenting as he said the battle is still raging “Counterfeiting is like a balloon filled with water; you push it on one side, it goes and waits for your hands, and if you want to take the hands, it can bounce back even stronger. So, that is what we saw when NAFDAC fought counterfeiting and reduced it to 15.7 percent, but by 2008, we found out that, more than the 64 percent of the anti-malaria drugs in the circulation were either fake or substandard. So, you cannot celebrate that you have gained some victory, especially now that it is even more dangerous,” Dr. Orhii had told reporters. And that underscores the reason why Dr. Orhii is working fervently with the National Assembly, the Nigeria Bar Association and other relevant agencies to ensure that the Acts establishing NAFDAC is reviewed to provide stiffer penalties up to life imprisonment and confiscation of property for the merchants of death who feed fat on the blood of their fellow countrymen.



Bleaching does not only cause cancer and stretch mark but also diabetes says experts


r Olarewaju Falodun, a dermatologist with the National Hospital, Abuja, has warned women against using lightening creams, saying that it can lead to the thinning of the skin. According to the doctor, lightening creams had the capacity to bleach the skin and that bleaching and toning are the same thing, saying products used for both purposes could lighten the skin. “Bleaching is something that you can also call skin lightening; now toning is a rather vague term used to mean different things. “But most times when people talk about toning, it virtually means the same thing because the products that they use are things that will actually lighten the skin or bleach the skin. “We must understand that God has given us skin as a protection; it is actually meant to protect the other organs in the body from external invasion. “So, anything that affects the integrity of the skin is not good and that is exactly what bleaching does. “A number of the agents that are used would thin down the skin because the skin is meant to be a particular layer thick. “By the time you do a lot of bleaching the skin becomes very thin and that is not good for the skin. “The tendency for the skin to easily get injured is very high and healing is very poor because of that. “When you talk about poor healing, it also has to do with surgeries. If someone who has bleached the skin goes for surgery, wound healing is very poor. Most times it gets very difficult to appose the skin. “There have been instances in which when one does some procedures you realise that when you use your instrument to pick the skin the skin begins to tear apart,’’ he said. Falodun identified some of the lightening agents as hydroquinone, steroids and kojic acid. He explained that such agents, especially hydroquinone, caused patchy discolouration and pigmentation on the skin, whereas steroids caused diabetes and stretch marks on the body. “For those who use steroids or use a lot of it over a long period, there is the tendency for the steroids to be absorbed into the skin and it can give rise to diabetes. “Off course the tendency to infections in the skin not to talk of the bad odours that come from some of these agents at times. “Some people are allergic to some particular components of those bleaching agents and they can have idiosyncratic reactions. Some people can even have allergic dermatitis from these agents. “There is away you know someone is bleaching by the time you look at the knuckles and some parts of the face and parts that are exposed to the sun, you have patchy hyper pigmentation and discolouration.’’

person, who is bleaching will use it, it is used with other combinations and it must be guided.’’ Falodun advised women to become more health-conscious and research more on the products they intend to use on their body to find out the pros and cons. “Most products will have a list of the things contained in them, never mind that there are some that hide some of these dangerous components which is very sad. “You need to do some research about the products that will be used on your skin.” Also, according to a medical practitioner at the American University of Nigeria, (AUN) clinic, Dr. Chuka Ezeaba, said the chemicals in bleaching cream do not fight diseases. Rather, he explained, “they weaken the skin, making it very light and prone to tearing and could ultimately cause skin cancer.” In addition, “a bleached skin finds it very difficult The dermatologist explained that in the past, people used heavy mercury and metal preparations to bleach the skin, thereby causing kidney failure. He said that studies had shown that some of the bleaching agents exposed people to cancers because the protective layer of the skin called melanin had been removed with the bleaching agents. He said that older women experienced more severe side effects, as a result of bleaching, adding that the skin of the older women are less likely to heal faster than the skin of younger women. “To be candid, the effect is still the same. It’s just that of course, when the skin is older the tendency to healing is less. “The older you are the less likely you are to want to bleach, unfortunately we still see a lot of older people that still want to look young and they end up bleaching.

“Let’s face it older people already have wrinkles, they already have problems with healing, the tendency to healing is much less. “The truth about it is that, they will definitely have more of the side effects.” The dermatologist, however, said that in dermatology practice, there are limited and guided uses of bleaching and skin lightening agents for therapeutic purposes such as in the treatment of vitiligo and melasma. He explained that vitiligo is a condition that causes depigmentation to sections of the skin, as a result of an auto immune disease. Melasma is due to hormonal changes in some women that leaves dark brown patches on the skin of the face. “We use some of these bleaching agents to correct these conditions, but not the way the

to heal when injured and leaves spots from scratching and injuries which turn dark after some time.” A poll by a radio station of some ladies in Yola as to why they apply bleaching cream revealed that they envy light-skinned people and wish to be like them. “They don’t feel comfortable in their own skin and just want a change, resulting in skin bleaching,” Those interviewed stressed that the lighter they are, the more people notice them and the more they feel they are becoming successful. Ezeaba cautioned that bleaching cream should only be used temporarily and for no longer than four weeks and should only be applied to spots that need to be removed.” He concluded that, skin bleaching is not recommended during pregnancy or breast feeding, because the cream can get into the mother’s bloodstream and travel to the fetus. Sourced from: NAN with www.americanuniversitynigeria



NAM Summit: Iran’s diplomatic triumph ANALYSIS By Charles Onunaiju


ith Washington and Israel's open and heavy arm twisting of some leaders of the 120 member states of the Non-Align Movement (NAM) to stay away from the 16th summit of the organization in Tehran, Iran, the two day meeting had its largest attendance of top state leaders of the group in recent memory and the most visible international attention at least since the end of the cold war. These shows just how paranoid could bring exactly the opposite result for its practitioners. The US with its major regional ally in the Middle East, Israel by sheer panic and obsession to isolate the Islamic of Republic of Iran merely handed in, to Tehran its most diplomatic victory since the Islamic revolution, about thirty three years ago. The 16th NAM summit was a roaring success by all accounts for the movement which was considered moribund in some quarters and the host, Islamic republic of Iran, whom the West would prefer to tuck out of the limelight. Iran's supreme leader, Ayotallah Ali Khamenei apart from delivering a highly welcomed speech at the opening ceremony, in a fitting mould of a would statesman held court with various leaders of member states, highlighting major issues of global turmoil and the meddlesome hands of Washington and her allies that triggers and fuels its. In spite of efforts to persuade him to do otherwise, the United Nations secretary-General, Mr. Ban KiMoon also went to Tehran to join about 54% of members of the body he oversees. Quoting Ahmad Sukarno, the former Indonesian leader and one of the founders of the non-aligned movement, Ayotollah Ali Khamanei said that "the basis of establishing NAM is not geographical or racial and religious unity, but rather unity of needs". At that time, the member states of the non-aligned movement were in need of a bond that could safeguard them against authoritarian, arrogant and insatiable networks and today with the progress and spread of the instruments of hegemony, this need still exists". The Iran spiritual leader noted the erosion of traditional powers centers in contemporary configurations of the states and highlighted the transitional nature of the current power configurations. In his view the "current power conditions provide the non-aligned movement with an opportunity that might never arise again", noting that "our view is that the control room of the world should not be managed by the dictatorial will of a few western countries, stressing that, "it should be possible to establish and ensure a participatory system of managing

L-R UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei international affairs, one that is global and democratic and this is what is needed by all countries that have been directly or indirectly harmed as a result of the transgression of a few bullying and hegemonic countries". The fiery Iranian spiritual leader however mounted his most acerbic offensive to the unbalanced structure of United Nations and the chicanery it promotes as the norms of contemporary international relations. "The UN Security council has an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism. This is a flagrant form of dictatorship, which is antiquated and obsolete and whose expiry date has passed. It is through abusing this improper mechanism that America and its accomplices have managed to disguise their bullying as noble concepts and impose it on the world. They protect the interests of the west in the name of "human rights". They interfere militarily in other countries in the name of "democracy". They target defenseless people in villages and cities with their

bombs and weapons in the name of 'combating terrorism'. From their perspective, humanity is divided into first,second and third class citizens. Human life is considered cheap in Asia, Africa and Latin America and expensive in America and Western Europe. In alluding to the elaborate camps set up by the U.S. administration, Ayotollah Khameni lashed out at how "it does not trouble their conscience that they have secret prisons in various places on different continents in which defenseless prisoners who have no legal representation and have not been tried in a court of law are treated in the most "hideous and detestable way". Arguing further how the so-called norms of international relations are little disguise of western hegemonic designs, the Iranian spiritual leader blasted away at how "good and evil are defined in a completely one-sided and selective way. They impose their interests on the nations of the world in the name of "international law". They impose their domineering and illegal

demands in the name of "international community" using their exclusive and organized media network; they disguise their lies as the truth, their falsehood as true and their oppression as efforts to promote justice. In contrast, they brand as lies every truth that exposes their deceit and label every legitimate demand as roguish". On the vexed question of Iran's nuclear program, he said that "the Islamic republic of Iran considers the use of nuclear, chemical and similar weapons as a great and unforgivable sin. We proposed the idea of "Middle East free of nuclear weapons and we are committed to it". And he stressed that, "this does not mean forgoing our right to peaceful use of nuclear power and production of nuclear fuel. On the basis of international laws, peaceful use of nuclear energy is a right of every country". "A bitter irony of our era", he told the delegates "is that the U.S. government, which possesses the largest and deadliest stockpiles of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction and the only

"A bitter irony of our era", he told the delegates "is that the U.S. government, which possesses the largest and deadliest stockpiles of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction and the only country guilty of its use, is today eager to carry the banner of opposition to nuclear proliferation. The U.S. and its western allies have armed the usurper Zionist regime (Israel) with nuclear weapons and created a major threat to this sensitive region. Yet the same deceitful group does not tolerate peaceful use of nuclear energy by independent countries and even opposes, with all its strength, the production of nuclear fuel for radiopharmaceuticals and other peaceful and humane purposes.

country guilty of its use, is today eager to carry the banner of opposition to nuclear proliferation. The U.S. and its western allies have armed the usurper Zionist regime (Israel) with nuclear weapons and created a major threat to this sensitive region. Yet the same deceitful group does not tolerate peaceful use of nuclear energy by independent countries and even opposes, with all its strength, the production of nuclear fuel for radiopharmaceuticals and other peaceful and humane purposes. Their pretext is fear of production of nuclear weapons. In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, they themselves know that they are lying, but lies are sanctioned by the kind of politics that is completely devoid of the slightest trace of spirituality". Stating clearly where Iran stands on the controversy of its nuclear program, the Ayatollah Khamanei vowed "that the Islamic Republic has never been after nuclear weapons and that it will never give up the right of its people to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, stressing that Our motto is: "Nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none", and further argued 'that breaking the monopoly of certain western countries on production of nuclear energy in the framework of the nonproliferation treaty is in the interest of all independent the countries including members of the Non- Aligned Movement. The final communiqué of the summit which was read by the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed support for Iran's nuclear energy program, rejected the United State's unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic and called for greater efforts to support the Palestinian cause. The non-aligned movement Tehran communiqué further said that any attack on the nuclear facilities of any country would be a serious threat to humanity and the environment and would be a violation of international law, the UN charter and the international Atomic energy Agency statute. In the closing ceremony, President Ahmadinejad hailed the resolution as effective and historic and expressed gratitude to all the participants of the summit, which he said had a very important message for the entire world. The final communiqué also stated that Venezuela has been chosen to host the next NAM summit. In over all, Tehran gave a crucial substance to NAM and the movement after its previous lull since the end of the cold war has found momentum and could once be in the reckoning as in the heady days of the super power confrontation.



Afmadow remains secure, reports of helicopters downed “false”: Gutti By Joy Baba


Marikana mine strike: South Africa to drop murder charges


outh African prosecutors have provisionally dropped murder charges against 270 miners whose colleagues were shot dead by police. The charges cannot be dismissed formally until the end of the inquiry, but prosecutors said all detained miners would be freed. Local authorities used a controversial apartheid-era law to accuse the miners of provoking police to open fire. Miners were demanding a huge pay rise and recognition of a new union. The killings, at the Marikana mine, owned by Lonmin, shocked the nation. State prosecutors charged 270 miners with murder under the "common purpose" doctrine. The rule was used by the whiteminority apartheid regime to crack down on its black opponents, and at the time was opposed by the now governing African Lawyers had asked President Jacob Zuma to reverse the decision. But he said in a statement earlier that he would not intervene in the case. Acting national director of prosecutions NomgcoboJiba held a news conference on Sunday to announce the charges would be scrapped. "Final charges will only be made once all investigations have been completed," she said. "The murder charges against the current 270 suspects will be formally withdrawn provisionally in court." She said those whose addresses have been verified by police would be released on Monday, and the rest would remain in custody until their next court appearance on Thursday. The BBC's South Africa analyst Farouk Chothia says the decision has salvaged some of the government's credibility. But he says the government will have to make sure that the miners co-operate with the judge-led commission of inquiry that was set up by Mr Zuma to investigate the 16 August shootings. South African media reports suggest some of the mine workers have decided to hold their own inquiry into the killings, which would create more embarrassment for Mr Zuma, says our correspondent.

Marikana mine violence

he African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander, Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, has said Al-Shabaab claims suggesting that Afmadow, a city in Southern Somalia is not secure is "an untrue and baseless propaganda". General Gutti said "Afmadow remains in the full control of AMISOM security troops and that Al-Shabaab's claim that the city is insecure untrue and a baseless propaganda. According to him, "It is a desperate attempt by AlShabaab, to misrepresent realities on ground where AMISOM troops

AMISON force commander, Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti.

are providing security and stability to allow the local population to carry on with their normal lives, free from the fear, intimidation and violence". General Gutti further confirmed that reports of saying that helicopters downed near Afmadow were also untrue: "No helicopters have been attacked. This is also part of Al-Shabaab propaganda with no basis or fact". AMISOM troops according Gutti, have been providing security and stability to the local people of Afmadow since securing the town over two months noting that its operations in Afmadow have been led by the Kenyan contingent, which officially became part of AMISOM in February 2012.

AMISOM forces capture Miido town, 36 Al-Shabaab killed By Joy Baba


he African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces, together with Transitional Government (TFG) soldiers, said they have captured Miido town on 31 August 2012, in an operation that killed 36 Al?Qaeda linked Al?Shabaab militants. Miido is situated 16 kilometres south of Afmadow, which has secured by

AMISOM troops since July 2012. A statement issued by African Union (UN) said during the operation, 7 Al?Shabaab vehicles and logistic supplies were destroyed while other assorted weapons and ammunition were recovered although regrettably, 5 AMISOM personnel are currently missing in action after the incident.

Their status is currently unclear, but search and rescue operation has been mounted the statement said. Three other AMISOM soldiers also sustained injuries and have been flown to Dobley for medical attention the statement further said. AMISOM Force Commander Lt?Gen Andrew Gutti said: "This was a brave and important operation conducted by the AMISOM forces in lower Juba.

Securing the strategic town of Miido will allow local community to rebuild their lives free from the terror and tyranny imposed by Al?Shabaab. I pay tribute to the bravery and commitment of all the soldiers involved in this operation. AMISOM is committed to protecting hard won security gains to ensure Somalia continues on the road to a sustainable peace".

swap. MUJAO has claimed the April 5 kidnapping of seven Algerian diplomats from a consulate in the town of Gao. A video MUJAO released on August 26 showed one of the four remaining hostages pleading with the government to save his life. The wife of one hostage called on MUJAO to free them in a statement published by the Algerian press on Sunday, saying they were only "innocent civil servants," and urged President AbdelazizBouteflika to

work for their release. Alessandra Giuffrida, an anthropologist at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London who specialises in the Tuareg of northern Mali, said that MUJAO "possibly" had links to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and had no links with the Tuareg movement. "One has to be quite careful about identifying these groups using ethnic labels, particularly as we know that the majority of the Islamists who are fighting in northern Mali are not Malians," she told Al Jazeera.

In recent years been involved in drug trafficking and abductions of foreigners, she said. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was originally an Algerian-based movement that migrated south in the Sahel region. The MUJAO, along with similar groups like Ansar Dine, have been enforcing strict Islamic law in northern Mali. In separate news, MUJAO seized another town, moving closer to government-held territory and signalling possibly expanding ambitions.

Mali Islamist group ‘kills Algerian diplomat’


armed religious movement that has taken control of large swathes of Mali has reportedly claimed to have executed an Algerian diplomat who was kidnapped during their takeover of northern Mali, according to a statement published by a Mauritanian news agency. TaherTouati, the Algerian vice-consul "was executed this morning [Sunday] at dawn" read the statement from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa [MUJAO] published by online news agency ANI, known for carrying reliable information on extremist groups in the region. "The Algerian government must take complete responsibility for the consequences of its stubborness and the misguided and irresponsible decisions of its president and its generals," read the statement. Al Jazeera has been unable to independently authenticate the origin of the statement. The Algerian foreign ministry was investigating the opposition fighters' claim. As of Sunday afternoon, Touati's family told the Algerian daily newspaper El Watan that they did not yet have any confirmation. MUJAO had on August 24 given an ultimatum to Algeria, threatening to kill the hostage after Algiers said that they rejected its demands for the release of prisoners affiliated with the movement in a hostage

Wife of the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mrs. Azeb Mesfin Zenawi (middle) being consoled by relatives during the state funeral service for her husband, yesterday at the Meskel Square, in Addis Ababa. Photo: NAN


Asia and Middle East


etanyahu's remarks suggested a growing Israeli impatience with its main ally, the United States, and other countries that have been pressing him to give diplomacy and sanctions more time to work and hold off on any


Netanyahu urges international “red lines� to stop Iran go-it-alone Israeli strike on Iran. "I believe the truth must be stated: The international community is not placing a clear red line for Iran and Iran does not see international resolve to

stop its "Unless Iran sees this clear red line and this clear resolve it will not stop moving forward with its nuclear programme, and Iran must not have nuclear weapons," he said in broadcast

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world powers on Sunday to set a "clear red line" for Tehran's atomic activities and said they had failed to convince it of their resolve to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms.

remarks. Although Netanyahu did not single out the United States or U.S. President Barack Obama in his criticism, Israeli officials have said they hope for stronger language from the president about possible U.S. military action. Obama, who has had a frosty relationship with Netanyahu, has insisted he will not allow Iran to build atomic weapons and that all options are on the table. On Saturday TzachiHanegbi, an influential former Israeli legislator and a Netanyahu confidant, said "the rhetoric of the U.S. president is too vague, very amorphous" and Iran was not taking Obama's words seriously. In a U.S. election year, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has also sharply Obama's handling of Iran as not being tough enough.

US halts Afghan police training after attacks


here have been 34 friendly fire attacks this year - at least 12 in August alone - that have killed 45 international troops, throwing doubt on the ability of Afghan and coalition forces to live and work together during a key time in the transition to Afghan control of security. The coalition, known as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), has promised to hand over responsibility for the country's security to Afghans by the end of 2014. US and Afghan leaders fear the rise in attacks indicates that the Taliban has infiltrated the ranks of the military and police, while other analysts say deep grievances against the presence of foreign forces could be motivating police and others to attack their erstwhile

The US military has halted the training of some Afghan police officers for at least a month after a string of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on their international allies, officials said on Sunday.

Tokyo and Beijing have long feuded over the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China [Reuters

Tehran says it is refining uranium to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants so that it can export more of its oil and gas. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of a covert bid to develop the capability to make nuclear bombs. Israel, believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, views a nucleararmed Iran as a threat to its existence. Netanyahu has said he will speak out about the dangers of Iran in an address this month to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. He is also expected to hold talks with Obama during his visit, but no announcement has yet been made. A senior Israeli official told Reuters last week Netanyahu would seek a firm pledge of U.S. military action if Iran did not back down on uranium enrichment. Such a promise could dissuade Israel from attacking Iran alone, Israeli officials have said.

allies. Lieutenant Colonel John Harrell, a spokesman for US special operations forces in Afghanistan, said the pause to reassess the vetting of new recruits affects about 1,000 trainees of the Afghan Local Police, a militia backed by the government in Kabul. "The training of the ALP (Afghan Local Police) recruits has been paused while we go through this re-vetting process, to take a look at this process to see if there's anything that we can improve,'' Harrell said. "It may take a month, it may take two months, we don't know.'' Afghan Local Police forces that have already been trained will continue to operate, and the government will continue to recruit new members, Harrell said.

Japanese officials tour disputed islands


okyo city officials planning to buy tiny islands at the centre of a longtime territorial dispute with China have surveyed the area and taken water samples in a showcase meant to send a message of ownership. The boat, carrying a survey team of 25 experts and officials, as well as journalists, on Sunday circled around the five uninhabited East China Sea islands, which are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan. Waters were calm beneath clear skies for the endeavour, which city officials have said is crucial and would include measuring the water depth to build a dock at the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Japan's central government did not grant permission to land on the islands. "It is an undeniable fact that the

islands are Japanese territory, so our task is to see how we can best maintain that," Yoshihiko Yamada, a special adviser to the city's team, said aboard the boat. The boat departed late on Saturday from Okinawa in southwestern Japan, and the team aboard was scheduled to study the islands for about 10 hours, before heading back later on Sunday. A symbol of patriotic pride for some people in China and Japan, the islands are near key sea lanes and are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and untapped natural resources. China's foreign ministry had no immediate comment on the trip, but the voyage was grabbing headlines in the Chinese media. The nationwide news broadcast on China Central Television called the survey "illegal".


Europe and Americas Activists, police plan for big protests at Democratic convention


Desmond Tutu calls for Blair and Bush to be tried over Iraq


he big protests that were planned outside the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa, Florida, never really materialized, doused in part by a tropical storm. But activists say they expect a stronger showing this week, when Democrats gather for their nominating convention in Charlotte. Law enforcement and officials in North Carolina say they are prepared if several thousands protesters show up as activists hope, starting with the first major demonstrations of the week on Sunday. "We'll be ready," Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx told Reuters. The 80-plus groups that make up the Coalition to March on Wall Street South plan to hold a 3-mile (5-km) march on Sunday aimed at putting a spotlight on Charlotte as the United States' second-largest financial center, behind New York. Activists plan to stop in front of the headquarters of Bank of America and Duke Energy and the main Eastern hub for Wells Fargo to speak out against what they see as a range of injustices, including foreclosures and high student loan debt. Organizers expect several thousand people to participate, including some coalition members who were involved in much smaller protests last week in Tampa, during the convention where Republicans nominated Mitt Romney for president. The protest organizers are seeking to distinguish their efforts from those of the anarchist movement, which in recent years has destroyed property and tried to disrupt activities at major political and government events. The FBI warned of possible action by anarchists in Tampa last week, but the protests there were small, peaceful and overwhelmed by the thousands of security officers there. The demonstration in Charlotte on Sunday is intended to be nonviolent and family friendly, said Ben Carroll, a volunteer organizer. "We don't anticipate any problems," he said. Bank of America and Wells Fargo representatives say the banks have plans in place to minimize disruptions to their operations during the Democratic convention, which is expected to draw about 35,000 people to North Carolina's largest city.

Protesters getting set (file: Reuters)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been a long time critic of the war in Iraq


ony Blair and George W Bush should be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague over the Iraq war, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said. Writing in the UK's Observer newspaper, he accused the former leaders of lying about weapons of mass destruction. The Iraq military campaign had made the world more unstable "than any other conflict in history", he said. Mr Blair responded by saying "this is the same argument we have had many times with nothing new to say". 'Playground bullies' Earlier this week, Archbishop Tutu, a veteran peace campaigner who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 in recognition of his campaign against apartheid, pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg because he refused to share a platform with Mr Blair. The former Archbishop of Cape Town said the US- and UK-led action launched against Saddam's regime in 2003 had brought about conditions for the civil war in Syria and a possible Middle East conflict involving Iran. "The then leaders of the United States [Mr Bush] and Great Britain [Mr Blair] fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand - with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us," he said. He added: "The question is not whether Saddam Hussein was good or bad or how many of his people he

massacred. The point is that Mr Bush and Mr Blair should not have allowed themselves to stoop to his immoral level." Archbishop Tutu said the death toll as a result of military action in Iraq since 2003 was grounds for Mr Blair and Mr Bush to be tried in The Hague. But he said different standards appeared to be applied to Western leaders. He said: "On these grounds, alone,

in a consistent world, those responsible should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in The Hague." In response to Sunday's article, Mr Blair issued a strongly worded defence of his decisions. He said: "To repeat the old canard that we lied about the intelligence [on weapons of mass destruction] is completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown. "And to say that the fact that Saddam massacred hundreds of thousands of his citizens is irrelevant to the morality of removing him is bizarre. "We have just had the memorials both of the Halabja massacre, where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam's use of chemical weapons, and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million, including many killed by chemical weapons. "In addition, his slaughter of his political opponents, the treatment of the Marsh Arabs and the systematic torture of his people make the case for removing him morally strong. But the basis of action was as stated at the

time." He added: "In short this is the same argument we have had many times with nothing new to say. But surely in a healthy democracy people can agree to disagree. "I would also point out that despite the problems, Iraq today has an economy three times or more in size, with child mortality rate cut by a third of what it was. And with investment hugely increased in places like Basra." Human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman told BBC Radio 4 the Iraq war was an illegal aggressive war. He said a war crimes trial "should be and could be held on the basis a crime of aggression has been committed and the crime of aggression was starting the war. "It's now almost certain that the war was illegal because it breached the UN Charter provisions which say that all member of the United Nations must refrain from the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." Former Lord Chancellor Lord Charles Falconer said he disagreed with Desmond Tutu and Sir Geoffrey.

Tutu argues US-led 2003 Iraq war to topple Saddam Hussein created the backdrop for civil war in Syria [File: Reuters

European Central Bank urged to take Eurozone action


he head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has called on the European Central Bank to take action on the eurozone crisis. "It has to be a credible signal," Angel Gurria said. "If you have the ECB which can work in the markets... then why not?" The ECB meets this week amid much speculation it will resume buying the debt of countries with high borrowing costs. Germany and others oppose such a move. Mr Gurria was asked by news agencies whether the ECB should buy bonds of Italy and Spain, two countries whose interest rates at auction have exceeded 7% in recent months. "Yes, they should," he replied. "If

you ask when, the answer is the sooner the better." "I think that the ECB is the bazooka, the firepower, the muscle, the one that has the capacity to impress upon the markets," he added. "We have passed the question of moral hazard, these are performing countries, now it is the system that is at stake." The OECD is an organisation that consists of 34 countries, including the US and Western European nations. Germany, Europe's largest economy and the biggest contributor to the region's many bailouts, believes they are inflationary, and the ECB's priority is to keep inflation under control. The ECB is also forbidden to lend money to European governments

under its constitution. And Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann, one of 17 eurozone central bank chiefs involved in ECB

policy, has said any bond-buying plans risked making central bank financing "addictive like a drug" for struggling eurozone governments.

The crisis in the eurozone has been on the radar for some time




Obama regains narrow lead over Romney


modest rise in popularity for US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney from the recent Republican Party convention looks to be shortlived, according to a Reuters/ Ipsos poll. Democratic President Barack Obama regained a narrow lead on Saturday by 44 per cent to 43 per cent over his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Romney. The Reuters/Ipsos rolling poll measures national sentiment during the two-week convention season by polling over the previous four days. Romney was ahead by one point in Friday's online poll and by two points in Thursday's survey as his campaign came under a blaze of media attention at the convention in Tampa, Florida. In his acceptance speech on Thursday, Romney urged voters to get behind him and help rebuild the economy. His address followed three days of speeches by Republicans, including testimonies from Romney's relatives and friends aimed at improving the image of a candidate who is often seen as stiff or aloof. "This wasn't a lightning bolt convention," Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said. "Comparatively speaking, this was a more muted convention in general ... So it doesn't surprise me that [the bump in polls] wasn't a great deal bigger." Post-convention poll bounces are common but fleeting in recent years, and Obama could see one himself next week after he formally accepts his party's nomination for a second term at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. But with the candidates treading

water in a dead heat race, Clark said she expected polls to remain extremely close all the way to the November 6 vote. Romney's muted benefit from the convention may be in part because of his decision to unveil his vicepresidential choice, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, weeks before the convention. The convention was also overshadowed by Hurricane Isaac, which caused the cancellation of Monday's events, as well as a bizarre performance right before Romney's

speech of Hollywood star Clint Eastwood, who addressed an imaginary Obama in an empty chair. On Friday, the poll found Romney improving his standing with voters on various favourable characteristics, such as being "a good person" or "tough enough for the job". As millions of Americans welcomed the return of college football on Saturday, Romney tried to make the most of the opportunity. Both Romney and his running

mate appeared in the critical swing state and football haven of Ohio on Saturday, with Ryan attending a game at his alma mater and Romney blasting Obama by telling a crowd of 3,000 supporters that America needs a new coach. "If you have a coach that's zero and 23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach," Romney told a rally in Cincinnati, referring to the number of Americans the Romney

President Obama waves back to onlookers as he departs South Lawn for series of campaign events [GALLO/GETTY]

Republicans head to the poles in Tampa


t was always going to be a tough expenses claim to file. A gaggle of svelte waitresses, laced tightly into stars-and-stripes corsets, bustled past me to deliver drinks form the bar. I steeled myself, remembering the enthusiasm of my editors for me to be here, at Thee Dollhouse one of Tampa's most (in)famous "gentlemen's clubs". Before the Republican National Convention hit this city, a media storm had swirled around Tampa - often referred

to as "the strip club capital of the nation" - as many of the city's less-than-fully-clothed bars prepared for a windfall from convention-goers. A report from the Association of Club Executives (ACE), which represents some 4,000 owners of "gentlemen's clubs", revealed that, while Republicans make a big fuss about cutting federal spending, they're happy to splash the cash in strip clubs. On average, Republicans in one of ACE's

clubs spend some $150 a night, compared with Democrats' $50 a head, said the trade association. Here at Thee Dollhouse, owner Warren Colazzo had been bracing for a boost to business. He spent more than a million dollars on a full refurbishment of the club, one of the few in the city to serve alcohol. City statutes state that clubs that feature fully nude dancers must not serve any alcohol, so a modicum of modesty is in order

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney look on during a campaign rally [GALLO/GETTY]

here, amid the mirrored ceilings, polished poles and gyrating flesh. So had the bump in trade arrived as expected? "Business has doubled over our average this week," Colazzo told me. "We'd been hoping for it to triple, but I'm not going to complain." Colazzo, whose deep Floridian tan is offset by the gleam of the rings upon his fingers under the flashing bar lights, told me how business had been helped by the arrival of adult performer Lisa Ann - famed for her Sarah Palin lookalike performance in the Larry Flyntproduced "Who's Nailin' Paylin?" "She packed out the place, wall to wall, on the first two nights of the convention," he told this reporter. "I couldn't get any more people in here if I tried." But could he prove the increase in customer numbers was directly due to the convention? "Well, we've been really busy all week," he told me, as a dancer twirled upside-down above our heads, her legs wrapped around a floor-toceiling pole. "I think they were trying to be subtle at first," he said. "But, on the final night after it was all over, they packed in here again - and most left their passes on - so they were definitely convention attendees." Now all eyes are turning to Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Democrats' convention there this coming week. It remains to be seen if they can also get ahead in the poles.

campaign says are unemployed and underemployed. "It's time for America to see a winning season again, and we're going to bring it to them." While Obama and his supporters rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, next week, Romney will be off the campaign trail to prepare for the televised debates this autumn against the Democratic incumbent. Senior Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden said Romney planned to spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on debate preparation at the home of Kerry Healey in Reading, Vermont. Healey was the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts while Romney was governor of the state. Madden could not confirm whether Romney would campaign at all during the week of the Democratic National Convention, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday in Charlotte, but he downplayed the move and insisted it was not a reversal of previous plans. Senior Republican strategists, including Madden, said last month that Romney would have a full campaign schedule, including in battleground states, during the week of the Democratic convention. Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio will stand in for Obama during Romney's debate preparation, while Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will play Romney during Obama's pre-debate sessions. The incumbent candidate tried to bolster his re-election campaign on Saturday with a fierce critique of the Republicans' convention and a plea to supporters to cast their ballots as early as possible. Speaking to a crowd of 10,000 in the battleground state of Iowa, Obama said rival Romney and his fellow Republicans had offered no new ideas when they held the national spotlight for three days during their convention in Tampa. "What they offered over those three days was more often than not an agenda that was better-suited for the last century," Obama said. "We might as well have watched it on a black-and-white TV." Obama criticised Romney for failing to mention the war in Afghanistan or his plans for veterans care in his speech, and said he had failed to outline a credible plan to boost the economy. "There was a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices ... but no one ever actually bothered to tell you what they were," Obama said. Obama is gearing up for his own star turn next Thursday at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he will lay out his argument for reelection in a football stadium that can hold almost 75,000 people. The speech is likely to offer few surprises, as Obama has been arguing since June that the election is a choice whether to continue the policies he enacted in his first term. These include keeping his health reforms in place and bolstering education spending, rather than returning to policies enacted under former Republican President George W Bush that Obama says hollowed out the middle class in order to cut taxes for the wealthy.



Low calorie diet won’t help you live longer F ans of the longevity diet say cutting your calorie intake well below recommended levels will add years to your life. Now researchers have cast doubt on the claim after finding the emaciating diet didn’t increase lifespan in rhesus monkeys. ‘If there’s a way to manipulate the human diet to let us live longer, we haven’t figured it out yet and it may not exist,’ said biologist Steven Austad from the University of Texas Health Science Center, who wrote an analysis of the study in Nature. Since 1934, research has shown that lab rats, mice, yeast, fruit flies and round worms fed 10 per cent to 40 per cent fewer calories than their free-eating peers lived some 30 per cent longer. In some studies, they lived twice as long. Such findings have spawned a growing community of believers who seek better health and longer life in calorierestricted (CR) diets, as promised in the 2005 book “The Longevity Diet,” including 5,000 members of the CR Society International. The research has also prompted companies like Procter & Gamble and Nu Skin Enterprises to develop drugs to mimic the effects of calorie restriction. The new study, from the National Institute on Aging, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, suggests this link doesn’t hold true for all species. It found that most of the 57 calorie-restricted monkeys did have healthier hearts and immune systems and lower rates of diabetes, cancer or other ills than the 64 control monkeys. However, there was no longevity pay-off. ‘You can argue that the calorie-restricted animals are healthier,’ said Austad.

‘They have better cholesterol profiles, less muscle loss, less disease. But it didn’t translate into greater longevity. What we learn from this is you can unlink health and longevity.’ The NIA study, launched in 1987, is one of two investigating whether eating just 70 percent of the calories in a standard lab diet extends life in a long-lived primate. The Wisconsin National Primate Research Center’s study, begun in 1989, also uses rhesus monkeys, whose physiology, genetics and median lifespan (27 years) are closer to humans than are the rodents in earlier calorie-restriction research. Initial results were promising. In 2006 the NIA group reported that calorierestricted monkeys had younger-seeming immune systems. Wisconsin reported that after 20 years of eating like birds, the monkeys were less likely to get heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases of aging. They also lived longer: By 2009, 80 percent of the freeeating Wisconsin monkeys had died of age-related illness, but only 50 percent of calorierestricted monkeys had. Those findings, the scientists reported at the time, showed “that CR slows aging in a primate species.” Experts on aging have since waited for the NIA to weigh in, and the verdict was a shock: ‘The calorie-restricted monkeys lived no longer than the other monkeys,’ NIA’s Julie Mattison, who helped lead the study, told Reuters. The oldest animals in each group had the same incidence of tumors, heart disease and general deterioration. While the abstemious monkeys had some improved health markers such as cholesterol and triglyceride

A study has cast doubt on the claim that a calorie-constricted diet could lengthen life. levels, Mattison said, “that didn’t translate into better survival.” The NIA study showed that even monkeys starting calorie restriction early in life, from 1 to 14 years of age, had no lifespan edge over their gourmand peers. With 19 of the 40 monkeys whose eating was restricted starting in youth still alive, the NIA scientists calculated, the chance that they will outlive free-eating monkeys is less than one-tenth of 1 per cent. Perhaps more surprising, health markers were often worse

in monkeys that began calorie restriction as young adults than older ones, the opposite of what scientists expected. And more of the animals that started calorie restriction when young died of causes unrelated to aging than did their free-eating peers. ‘There may be something about calorie restriction that makes animals more susceptible to death from other causes,’ said Austad. Scientists offered several explanations for why the NIA’s findings differ from more encouraging results in the

Wisconsin study. The Wisconsin monkeys’ diet had seven times the table sugar (28 percent of calories, like Americans’ diets) as the NIA’s (4 percent). The Wisconsin control monkeys also ate however much they wished; the NIA control monkeys ate a fixed amount and, as a result, weighed less. That suggests the longevity diet didn’t really extend lifespan in the Wisconsin monkeys: It only seemed to because the control monkeys ate themselves into an early grave. Source:

Chocolate may protect the brain from stroke


ating chocolate may reduce the long term risk of stroke, research has shown. Men who consumed moderate amounts of chocolate each week were less likely to suffer a stroke over a period of 10 years than those who ate none. The difference was small, but significant. Study participants who ate the most chocolate, equivalent to about one third of a cup of chocolate chips, reduced their stroke risk by 17 per cent. A total of 37,103 Swedish men aged 49 to 75 took part in the study. Their diets were assessed with food questionnaires, which asked how often they ate chocolate. The men’s progress was then followed for 10 years, during which researchers recorded 1,995 cases of a first stroke. Previous studies have shown that chocolate may help prevent diabetes, control blood pressure, and protect against heart disease. Healthy antioxidant plant chemicals called flavonoids are

thought to explain the health benefits. Dr Susanna Larsson, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who led the latest research, reported in the journal Neurology, said: ‘The beneficial

Interestingly, dark chocolate has previously been associated with heart health benefits, but about 90 per cent of the chocolate intake in Sweden, including what was consumed in our study, is milk chocolate

For every 50g per week increase in chocolate consumption, stroke risk decreased by about 14 per cent

effect of chocolate consumption on stroke may be related to the flavonoids in chocolate. ‘Flavonoids appear to be protective against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anticlotting and antiinflammatory properties. It’s also possible that flavonoids in chocolate may decrease blood concentrations of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. ‘Interestingly, dark chocolate has previously been associated with heart health benefits, but about 90 per cent of the chocolate intake in Sweden, including what was consumed in our study, is milk chocolate.’ The men who ate the largest quantities consumed a modest 63g of chocolate per week. This is about a third of a cup-full

of chocolate chips, or just a little more than a Mars bar which weighs 58 grams. Put into context, the 17 per cent risk reduction amounted to 12 fewer strokes per 10,000 participants over 10 years, or 100,000 “person years”. The research was followed up by a larger analysis of data from five studies in Europe and the US that included 4,260 stroke cases. This showed that people eating the most chocolate were 19 per cent less likely to have a stroke than those consuming the least. For every increase in chocolate consumption of about 50 grams per week, stroke risk decreased by about 14 per cent. In their paper, the scientists said further studies were needed before any recommendations could be given about chocolate consumption. They added: ‘Because chocolate is high in sugar, saturated fat, and calories, it should be consumed in moderation.’ Source:




he ancient city of Owo is famous for being the cradle of politics and struggle of liberation in the South West region of Nigeria. The town came under British rule in 1893. After the nation’s independence in 1960, it was part of the Western Region until 1967 when it became part of the Western State. History of progressive politics in the country would not be complete without making reference to Owo, where the Action Group (AG), believed to be the first political party with progressive ideas and ideology, was formed. Those who propagated the idea of forming the AG, which later contributed to the transformation of the region, were believed to have first gathered at Owo. Starting from hosting the meeting of the Action Group led by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo , the city has continued to remain relevant to politics of the region generally and Ondo State in particular. Also in the struggle for democracy, the town also became very popular during the darkest days of the military rule in the country when progressive politicians regularly gathered to review the administration of the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s military government. Its famous son and first governor of Ondo state, late Pa. Adekunle Ajasin had at that time, assumed the leadership of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere and as well as the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). Without doubt, the ancient town occupies an important position when it comes to the social, economic and political development of the old western region. Ahead of the October 20 th gubernatorial election, Ondo state’s incumbent governor, and Labour Party candidate Olusegun Mimiko last week took the battle for the control of the state to the ancient city and hometown of the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), when he flagged off his re-election campaign with a pledge to work with renewed vigour towards a better state just as he took a swipe at those who are aspiring to capture the state to perish the thought. Storming the city strategically with thousands of people who came from all over the state chanting the praises of Iroko, as he is fondly called, to show his popularity and acceptance by the people, was however described as


Ondo 2012: Owo, the battlefield for Mimiko’s return As the October 20th governorship election in Ondo state approaches, our reporter, Ayodele Samuel, in this report takes a look at the impending political battle, raising the questions on the ability of Governor Olusegun Mimiko to break the second term myth in the state just as he underscores the importance of the ancient city on who produces the next governor of the Sunshine state. political miscalculation by oppositions in the state. The opposition in the state based their argument on the town’s popular myth that no one ever brings war of any kind to the city and goes back home victorious. “Mimiko has just failed, coming to Owo to declare war is very wrong and time would judge because Owo people hate threats of war” Addressing the supporters, Mimiko said Ondo state will never worship on the altar of any foreign god adding that one million godfathers and their District Officers would meet their match on October 20, when the people shall once again speak loudly with their votes as they did in 2007. Mimiko, who lampooned ACN candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, whom he accused of being a foreigner in the state; who did not register to vote and never even voted in the state before but suddenly woke up with the idea of governing the state, insisted that the people want a committed Governor, not a District Officer. ”In 2007, we promised to work for you; we promised that your concerns shall be our concern; that in all seasons, we will work for you; that we shall unleash our incredible creative ingenuity to develop the state. In the last three and a half years, there are empirical facts on the ground that we have delivered on our promises and Ondo state is working again, and we are happier. We have in place over 350 projects in all our rural communities dictated by our people themselves.

Governor Olusegun Mimiko “Today, we are here again to solicit for your votes, we want you to vote for us and I sincerely assure you that we shall continue to work for you with renewed vigour. We have been with you; we know your concerns and aspirations and we have been meeting. We know that you want your children to have quality education without you selling your properties. We will continue to work to make Ondo state a real place of pride in Nigeria; we will continue to develop Agriculture, build more roads, build more mega

I must warn you not to vote for these people who are very desperate even when they are not on ground but say they will do everything to capture Ondo state. In LP, we did not impose Mimiko unlike some people who sat in their mansion in Lagos state and selected for their party. In fact, one of their leaders openly stated recently that they don’t believe in primaries

schools for our children, markets for our women, more hospitals, our cities shall be the best cities in Nigeria” While noting that the choice of Owo town as the venue of his campaign flag- off was symbolic, Mimiko said that Owo was the de facto home of the progressives in Nigeria because in 1951, the Action Group (AG) was founded in Owo, making it the home of brave progressives when many towns were reluctant to host the group. “And we as inheritors of progressivism in Nigeria, have latched onto this proud heritage and we have taken hook line and sinker the ethos of progressivism in Nigeria and today, Ondo State is a model and the real progressives, as opposed to those who just mouth progressivism by mere words of mouths and not in deeds,” Mimiko said. The governor appealed to the leaders of the Afenifere, who have been lampooned by some so called leaders in recent times for daring to identify with him by describing him as following the footsteps of Pa Obafemi Awolowo saying that the whole world salute them

for being the proud inheritors of progressivism in Nigeria. In his address, the national Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Dan Nwanyawu, urged the people to vote for Mimiko who he noted had performed beyond even the expectations of the party pointing out that going by his landmark achievements in the state, he deserved to be voted for. While urging the people to be wary of those whom he noted had vowed to capture the state, Nwanyawu stated that they had no plans for the people as they only wanted to share the peoples’ common resources for their god fathers. “I must warn you not to vote for these people who are very desperate even when they are not on ground but say they will do everything to capture Ondo state. In LP, we did not impose Mimiko unlike some people who sat in their mansion in Lagos state and selected for their party. In fact, one of their leaders openly stated recently that they don’t believe in primaries. “All they are looking for is to increase their territories; they want to expand and they have not said that Mimiko has not performed but they just want to grab. Please, don’t vote for them because they will ferry your wealth to feather their nests outside Ondo state and destroy the good legacies that Mimiko and other governors have done in Ondo state as they are doing in the states that they are now governing,” he said. But responding to the allegation that its candidate is a foreigner in the state, the ACN said “”For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to assert that Rotimi Akeredolu is a registered voter in his home town, Owo, and this is verifiable. The ACN candidate, with intimidating credentials coupled with his credible pedigree, no doubt, is the candidate to beat in this election, hence all antics to pull him down at all cost.” Winning Owo remain a key political calculation if Mimiko must return to Alagbaka House as the first governor to serve two tenure in the state



Sambo lauds IBB for promoting peace, unity among Nigerians


ice President Namadi Sambo has commended former President Ibrahim Babangida for his efforts in ensuring peaceful co-existence and progress among the different ethno-religious groups in the country. Sambo made the commendation at a dinner and presentation of trophies to winners of the maiden edition of the Ibrahim Babangida Golf Classic 2012, organised by the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja. The classic was part of activities to mark Babandgida's 71 years birthday. The vice president stated that as a statesman, Nigerians would continue to be proud of him for his role in promoting social cohesion and prosperity in the country. ``As a statesman, we are proud to say that you have played and still playing your role to ensure peace, progress and prosperity in our country. ``We wish you many more years, many more years, many more years and many more years. ``Let me use this occasion to call on well-meaning individuals and corporate organisations to join hands with the club to ensure the realisation of the noble objectives of the club.'' Sambo also lauded the IBB International Golf for organising the event, which he described as a Birthday Golf Tournament for the former president. He, therefore, urged the leadership of the club to ensure that the club's decision of hosting the tournament annually was sustained. ``With its rich historical background, we salute the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja, having at the back of our minds the general and his passion for the game. ``As we celebrate this maiden edition, we pray that the decision of hosting the event annually shall be sustained.'' In his remarks, former president Babangida ongratulated officials of the IBB Golf Club for making the club one of the best Golf Clubs in Africa. He noted with delight the maintenance culture being exhibited by the management of the club, since its inception. "For the members who run this club, first of all, I want to congratulate you. "When it was finished, my problem then was the maintenance of the club and I' m proud that you kept to this promise. ``All the former captains and the present captain and those involved in the administration of this club have really tried. ``I haven't seen a lot of clubs, but so far I can proudly say that this is one of the best in Africa.'' Earlier, the Captain of the club, Mr Anthony Azogu, had narrated the history of the club where he described the former president as the brain behind its establishment, its prestigious site in Abuja. (NAN)

A member of representatives, Hon. Hamisu Mailatarki (left), representing Gombe/Kwami/Funakaye federal constituency, presenting bags of fertiliser to his constituents, on Saturday in Gombe. Photo: NAN

PDP berates Buhari over comments on its achievements

By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party yesterday slammed the Presidential candidate of the Opposition Congress for Progressive Change, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) for being unappreciative of the dividends of democracy since it assumed power in 1999. The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, cautioned the former Head of State to show statesmanship in his comments regardless of his political differences with the ruling party. PDP had alleged that Buhari in Kano recently said "under normal circumstances we are supposed to work strictly within the provisions of the constitution, but this is Nigeria and nothing is perfect and the only thing they have not tampered with between 1999 to date in Nigeria is the Holy Koran."

The party lamented "We are shocked that an elder statesman could paint such an ugly picture, tissue of lies, of his dear nation just to advance his political fortunes. We shudder that a former Head of State under whose watch freedom of expression landed many Nigerians in detention on account of his obnoxious decrees, and who now enjoys such freedom, is utterly ungrateful to the efforts of our great party in advancing the cause of democracy." Although the party has acknowledged that there is room for further improvement in its service delivery, it emphasized that it has been tolerant of criticisms without clamping down on the opposition. The PDP also said it has become tolerant of the opposition even as it takes defeat in elections without grudges. "Today, criticisms, even destructive ones are hurled at the PDP led federal government and no one is harassed because we uphold the

inalienable rights of the people which is at the heart of democracy .We throw our doors open to criticism so that we accommodate alternative views." "Today, the PDP loses elections and winners are sworn in and we do not use our incumbency at the centre to truncate the democratic wishes of the people. However, in the states held by the opposition parties, local elections are massively rigged as witnessed recently in Lagos and Ogun States and where we defy the odds to emerge victorious like in Imo State, machinery of government is used to frustrate the expressed wish of the people." "The rule of law if we must state further is that in our drive for transparency and accountability, some leaders of our party have been caught by the long arm of the law and we never obstructed the course of justice." "Do we need to add that the PDP

led Federal Government does have other preference to the rule of law and that is why we enacted the Freedom of Information Act so that every Nigerian will not be in the dark as to how the nation is run, and so that they can be armed to demand for what is right." "Must we also tell the leadership of the CPC that in our congresses and convention, deference to the rule of law is the word. And that notwithstanding our size, we successfully manage dissenting views and establish strong leadership not dogged by factions like the CPC." "And for General Buhari, the evangelist of rule of law, Nigerians wish to know if unlawful incitement of the populace to violence and attack on the institutions of democracy is part of the rule of law? Is the imposition that marked the congresses of the CPC in 2011 which is still hunting the Party till date an act in rule of law?"

It’s the turn of Bauchi North or Central to produce governor, says PDP Stalwarts Mu’azu who ruled (the state) for interest of justice trust and fair play.” From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s stalwart in Bauchi state, Alhaji Bibi Dogo, has said that it is the turn of either the Bauchi North or Central Senatorial district to produce the governor of the state. Dogo stated this while briefing newsmen at the secretariat of the Correspondent Chapel in Bauchi yesterday, saying that if Bauchi South denies them a chance to

produce the next governor, it would amount to injustice. He said “In 1999, it was a consensus for Bauchi South because Bauchi North and Central agreed with a brotherhood agreement that Bauchi North produced a governor in 1979 when late Abubakar Tatari Ali, during (President Shehu) Shagari emerged and late Dahiru Deba from old Bauchi Central which is the present Gombe State and because of that in 1999 they allowed Bauchi South to produce Ahmed

eight years. Isa Yuguda is also from Bauchi South and he is about to finish his eight year rule in the interest of brotherhood and justice. Bauchi South should allow next governor to come from either Bauchi North or Bauchi Central” According to him, “as one of the elders of PDP in Bauchi state, we have gone round and sensitized our people and the people of Bauchi state will not support any body from Bauchi South as Governor of the state even if he contests in the opposition party in 2015, we will not support him in the

Responding, the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Bashir Bukar Rimin Zayam, faulted the zoning arrangement of PDP in state, He said with the situation on ground presently, everybody from all the three senatorial zone has a right to contest, because in 2007 Isa Yuguda was not supported by the then ruling PDP. The PDP then supported Alhaji Nadada Umar from Bauchi Central, but he lost to Yuguda who contested under the opposition party and won.



$15m Ibori’s bribe: CPC wants Uba, Lamorde prosecuted By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ollowing the unending controversy trailing the alleged $15 million the former Delta state governor, Jmaes Ibori offered the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s boss, Nuhu Ribadu,in 2007, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has called for the prosecution of those mentioned in the scam. Those fingered include Andy Uba, Ibrahim Lamorde, Chibuike Achigbu. The party, in a statement issued yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, expressed surprise over the level of controversy the alleged bribe has generated, saying that as a party, it views the latest twist in the saga as a threat to the fight against executive corruption in Nigeria. Quoting Section 7(1) b of the EFCC Act 2004, CPC stated that the Commission is entrusted with

powers to investigate the properties of any person if it is convinced that the Person’s lifestyle and extent of the Properties are not justified by the source of income. On the basis of the above section, the party called for the investigation of Senator Andy Uba as the locus in the controversial bribe money, adding that the current EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, should come out and tell Nigerians all he knows about the case since his name has been mentioned in the deposition. The party also said that the

anti-graft agency should investigate Chibuike Achigbu, the alleged donor of the money, to ascertain the source of his income, vis-à-vis justification for making such huge donation, emphasizing that the alleged deposition by a serving PDP Senator, has further exposed the ruling party as responsible for the corruption in the country. Meanwhile, it has alleged that the illegal jerking up of the expenditure for the 2011 fuel subsidy from N240Billion to N2.67 trillion is an indication that PDP is not worthy for the trust of

the electorates in Nigeria. It would be recalled that in the bribe scandal, Delta State Government has showed up as the rightful owner, claiming that the money was siphoned from it by Chief James Ibori, when he was the governor of the state. While the matter was pending in the Court, a businessman, Chibuike Achigbu, also approached the court claiming that he is the authentic owner of the money. In a deposition filed by a team of ten lawyers, including three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Mr

‘Nigerians must get rid of the cancer PDP,’ says Engr. Buba Galadima From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


Subsidy: Northern Youths warn President Jonathan against shielding culprits From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Northern Union (NU) (Youth wing) has warned President Goodluck Jonathan against shielding suspects involved in the subsidy scandal with plea bargaining rather just as it charged the government to publicize the amount recovered from the suspects. The NU in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Youth Wing, Comrade Kolo Jerry and Publicity Secretary, Muhammed Katun, stated "our stand and resolve against oil subsidy scam is for the federal government to find the courage amidst these revelations and manipulation to see through the prosecution of the culprits and their accomplices within and outside the public service. "We strongly advise the president not to provide a back door exit for the scammers in the name of plea bargaining for soft landing. Also, the federal government should bring to public domain how much it recovered at the end and the names of those involved". The Union however appealed to stakeholders including organized labour unions, civil societies organization and opposition parties to stand firmly and insist that those involved in the scandal should be prosecuted by federal government.

Achigbu stated that he donated the money for electioneering campaigns of the PDP in the 2007 general elections. He further explained that the money was allegedly given to Uba, now a PDP Senator, who was then the Senior Special Assistant on domestic Affairs to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, to give to EFCC for it to confirm its suitability for donation. Uba was alleged to have passed the money to Ibrahim Lamorde, the then EFCC Director of Operations and now the substantive Executive Chairman.

R-L: Wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Esther Tunde Ogbeha, celebrant, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, Bishop of Kaduna Anglican Communion, Bishop Idowu Fearon, Galadima of Lokoja, Dr. G.T.N Ajakpo, and Lola Ologbondiyan, during the 65th birthday service for Ogbeha, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

My legacy continues, says Kebbi LG boss From Ahmed Idris, Birinin Kebbi


he People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Birnin Kebbi Local Government chairmanship candidate and the former Kebbi state ALGON Chairman, Alhaji Musa Dan’illa, has assured his supporters and the people of Birinin Kebbi that he will continue with its good legacy if re-elected. He made this assurance at the while address newsmen shortly after the screening exercise at the

Kebbi State Electoral Commission’s office (KSIEC) adding that he promised to continue with the ongoing projects and assured of contributing more for the development of the state. Dani-lliea further pointed out that his administration will give more priority to education, health, agriculture and infrastructure alongside with the welfare of the staff by given them their benefits and establishing training workshop

for them on the rule and regulations of the civil services. ‘’ I promised to leave a good legacy in Birinin Kebbi local government; this is not my first term; it’s because of my good will that my people called me back to complete and I will not disappoint them’’ he said. The Chairman then urged all its supporters to remain calm and avoid any political thuggery just as he enjoined them to embrace peace and harmony with one another.

Cleric urges leaders to be good shepherds


he Assistant Parish Priest of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Akwanga, Rev. Fr. Azige Alfred, has urged leaders to be good shepherds in all their endeavours. He made the call on Sunday during the Church's service in Akwanga. The Parish Priest said in his homily that leaders must live up to their expectations and

discharge their responsibilities diligently and truthfully. Azige, who expressed concern over corruption cases in Nigeria, said ``it is only in this country that people suffer in the midst of abundance.'' He urged Nigerian leaders to work toward massive job creation for the teeming young graduates produced yearly in the country, saying ``if our

youths are engaged, the rate of vices will drastically reduce.'' Azige also urged leaders in different capacities to work toward improving the health and social facilities in their areas. “If only we can fix our health sector, no official will have cause to travel abroad for medical attention and the masses will benefit from it, too.'' (NAN)

he National Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Engr. Buba Galadima, has urged all patriotic Nigerians to join hands together in order to get rid of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), come 2015, adding that the issue has gone beyond the merger of opposition parties but that it requires the effort of all well meaning Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliations, to dislodge the “cancer that is PDP.” Engr. Galadima laid the charge at the weekend in a chat with journalists at a thanksgiving service/reception organised in honour of Senator Solomon Ewuga, which held at the ERCC LCC Church, in Alushi, Nasarawa state. He said the all parties should work together to defeat the ruling PDP in the 2015 general elections stressing that it has become incumbent on all well meaning Nigerians to wrestle power from the ruling party. The CPC strongman described the gathering at Sen. Solomon Ewuga’s reception as an indication of the new spirit, with people from all persuasions, political parties, religious groups, coming together to rejoice with the celebrant, who has become a rallying point for all. On recent claims attributed to Senator Abdullahi Adamu, alleging that Nasarawa state Governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura, former minister of works, Dr. Hassan Lawal and other prominent former PDP members have indicated their interests to return to the party, Engr. Galadima dismissed such insinuation as baseless. ”Let me give you a prophecy. Even Abdullahi Adamu is on his way into the CPC. Because if he is a patriotic Nigerian, a honest Nigerian, he will have no place in PDP because it is filthy. So all men and women of goodwill must leave that stock.”



Group rally support for Uduaghan's successor From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


pressure group, Reconciling Deltans for the Emergence of Emerhor (REDEEM), is grooming a successor of Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan ahead of 2015 governorship election in the state. A statement endorsed by its president, Chief Ejiro Nomuoja described the Chairman of the Standard Alliance Group, Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, as a man with unparalleled commitment to deliver the state from underdevelopment. The statement read "Emerhor should come out of his shell to contest the 2015 Delta guber election because Deltans know that he has the pedigree, charisma, wealth of experience and the wherewithal to tackle the

L-R: International Coordinator, Centre for the Advancement of Christians in Politics (CACP), Senator Ebenezer Ikeyina, International President of CACP, Hon. Victor Dan - Jumbo, and Vice-President, Mrs . Doris Dan -Jumbo, during the 2012 international summit of CACP, with theme "The Unity of Purpose in Africa's Political Dispensation", at the weekend, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Zamfara Lead Poisoning: FG reaction unfortunate-says ANPP By Umar Muhammad Puma


he All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has described the reaction of the Federal Government to the discovery of fresh lead poisoning cases in four wards in Gusau, Zamfara state, as unfortunate and sad. In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity secretary, Hon. Emma Eneukwa, the party said so far, two children had already died in Maitoshi village while some others have been affected by some diseases in which doctors confirmed as lead poison. "Our great party is concerned because of the Federal Government's attitude in tackling this menace which had been adjudged the largest heavy metal incident in the world during the period it broke, considering the total number of deaths and life threatening exposures. The government's negligence, insincerity and hypocrisy in affairs concerning the lives of its citizens are heartrending. To start with, the Federal Government did not rise up to its duty when the tragedy struck in 2010, and it took pressures from international aid agencies, who rushed in to help the Zamfara State

government, to get a half-hearted promise of N800 million funding proposal from the Federal Government, which up to this moment it has not provided". He stressed "It is also on record that in May of this year Medicines Sans Frontiers Doctors Without Borders, (MSF), one of the international aid organizations working to contain the lead poisoning epidemic, had vehemently criticized the Nigeria's government for lack of action to tackle the lead poisoning epidemic that has killed over 400 children and poisoned ten times as many. We are especially disappointed because this government has consistently shown a classic penchant for kneejerk approach to national problems, and a palpable nonchalance for the welfare of its citizens. It is also more heartbreaking that the dynamic of lead poisoning emergency is worsened by the fact that local miners are extremely poor with no access to amenities, jobs and good education; a situation exacerbated by the unpopular policies of this present government; therefore igniting a vicious circle of suffering for the masses who put their lives in danger to help themselves as

their government has failed to do so. The party however called on the government to release the fund it promised for the clean-up effort in Zamfara State. This will go a long way to help in providing medical help and enlightenment facilities for the affected communities in order to contain the emergency, and educate those living there on precautions to aid safe mining. "It should also raise a special emergency committee to raise lasting solutions to lead poisoning and other potential dangers of illegal mining which has been described as a silent bomb claiming hundreds of lives. We believe that there can be no government without the people, and there can be no healthy regime without a healthy and secure citizenry. A government can only earn acceptance through the way it cares for its citizens especially in times of emergencies," ANPP posited. It would be recalled that in 2010 alone, lead poisoning, caused by illegal gold mining in Zamfara state, had killed 163 Nigerians, most of them children; and since then mining has continued with more than a hundred children dead and an estimated 4000 contaminated.

Yobe has cause to celebrate, says governor's aide


he Special Adviser (Political Affairs) to Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Maimala Buni, said the five-year transformation recorded in the state, in the last five years, justified its creation. He said this on Friday in Damaturu while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the 21 years anniversary of the state. Buni also commented on the efforts of the current administration in the state, saing the administration provided massive projects to the

people without mortgaging their future to facilities drawn from financial institutions. "There is accountability and service delivery in governance and, the people are now feeling the impact of the state creation better than ever. "It is on record that the incumbent administration constructed over 1, 000 kilometers of township and rural roads, built over 1,000 housing units, health centres and provided educational facilities to the people."

Buni said that those projects were evident in all the 17 Local Government Councils of the state in the last five years. According to him, the construction of township and rural roads across the state, provision of potable water and health facilities had also improved the social and economic activities of the people. Buni said that border communities, which were completely neglected in the past, had been provided with roads, potable water and health centres. (NAN)

myriads of problems facing Deltans; he has demonstrated that he does not play money bags politics. He is one of the few Urhobos that do not feed on government patronage. A very honorable and disciplined politician, this is the kind of person that can lead us to greater heights in Delta state " It continues, "Emerhor is a renowned professional with sound business acumen and entrepreneurial skills. We believe and know that he would absolutely harness the untapped potentials of Delta State to the utmost benefit of Deltans if he contests and wins the Delta governorship election in 2015" "Emerhor is not a green horn in Delta state politics and he should contest on a formidable political party in 2015," he said.

LGs fund: Kwara Govt can’t be trusted, says ACN From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state chapter of Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN) yesterday said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)administration in the state’s claim that it has never tampered with local government funds cannot be trusted. The party in a statement signed by its State Chairman, Mr. Kayode Olawepo said “its doubt flows from the inconsistent and contradictory figures the government is giving regarding the alleged shortfall in the allocations to the local councils.” Olawepo said that a government issuing conflicting figures on the same issue cannot be trusted, particularly when the council fund comes to it first before being disbursed to respective Local Government Areas. “The contradictory statements from the same government make it impossible to trust its claim that it is not deducting the funds meant for councils. We draw the attention of the public to the hot debate patriotic Kwarans have engaged Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed on twitter, a

social media network, on this issue. In his response to a poser by Kwara Whistleblower who uses @kwhistleblower handle, and others like @IamDiranEbo and @Kwarason, Ahmed said the shortfall in allocations to the councils between May, June and July was exactly N1.2b. “But his SSG and Information Commissioner told a press briefing on Wednesday that the shortfall is well over N1.25b. Who do Kwarans believe between the governor and his men?” Olawepo added that “Governor Ahmed and his men’s refusal to disclose the exact amount accruing to the LGAs before and after the reported drop in federal allocations deepens suspicion about the claims of the government. The party chairman who noted that the its party was suspecting the state government for linking shortfall on its failure to pay two months salaries, since all other states equally affected by the drop in allocation are paying salaries. ”We have watched with rapt attention the PDP-led

Imoke calls for effective policing in Nigeria fully involved in the internal


ov. Liyel Imoke of Cross River in Calabar on Saturday stressed the need for effective policing of the country to safe-guard the lives and property of the people. Imoke told newsmen that the call for State Police was because of ineffective policing of the nation. ``Why are people clamouring for state police in the first place; it is because the current police is seen to be inefficient,'' he said. He decried the increasing wave of crime in the country, adding that Nigeria needed community policing. ``If we had a society where there is hardly any danger of serious crime, I do not think that anyone mentioning state police will be listened to.'' He observed that members of the Nigerian Armed Forces were now

security of the country rather than their traditional role of protecting nation's territorial boundaries. ``In any country the traditional role of the Armed Forces is to maintain the territorial security of the nation but today in Nigeria, the Armed Forces are now doing internal security. ``So invariably, the job of the police has been taken over by the JTF in almost all the states of the federation.'' Imoke said the issue of policing should go beyond politics because it involved the lives of the citizens. He advised Nigerians to agree on common solution to the rising insecurity in the country. ``Let us fight crime in our society and overtake crime in our society before it overtakes us.'' (NAN)



Papa Idris, Fedelis, 7 others dropped from Eagles


ano Pillar’s defender Papa Idris was the biggest name in the list of the nine players Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, dropped from the domestic league players that will team up with their foreign-based counterparts to tackle the Lone Stars of Liberia in the final phase of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier, next weekend. Idris, who has been battling knee-injury for awhile now was ommitted along with Heartland’s pair of Benjamin Francis and Kabiru Umar, Saviour Fidelis of FC Taraba, Henry Ezekiel (Rising Stars), Christian Ofili (ABS FC),

Chibuzor Onyekwelu (Fame FC), Femi Ajayi (Crown FC) and Ogochukwu Ugonna (Enugu Rangers). This means that out of the 26 players in camp, new faces like Sani Sanusi, Philip Asuquo, Zango Umar, Jabason Solomon, Solomon Kwambe and Emmanuel Francis, had impressed Keshi enough to be retained for the game in Monrovia. The join the likes of Azubuike Egwueke, Sunday Mba, Chigozie Agbim, Ejike Uzoenyi, Gabriel Reuben, Godfrey Oboabana, Izu Azuka among others in the battle for shirts along with their foreign-based colleagues. Making this known yesterday,

team’s media officier, Ben Alaiya said the dropped players have since left the Bolton White Apartment where the Eagles are lodged. Earlier on Saturday, the national team defeated a highly impressive, Abuja Football College 4-1, with Keshi describing the amateur side as one of the best sides his team have played against of recent. The highly entertaining encounter played under rains at the Abuja FIFA Goal Project saw the Eagles forced to some desperate defending in the early part of the encounter. Theophilus Solomon, Mark Tanko. Collins Jamilu and Philip Ikeocha, gave the national team

food for thought with their organizational play and precision passes. Sunday Mba, however, brought experience to bear when he raced clear to tap home the first goal after Ajayi and Sani Sanusi had ran the Academy side’s defence ragged. This was in the 17th minute and it was the only goal of the half. Ajayi added a second in the 50th minute, after Juwon Oshaniwa powerful run from the left. Then there was a momentary loss of concentration by Philip Asuquo which gifted the youthful side a goal five minutes later through the hard working Theophilus Solomon in the 55th minute. The 3SC schemer was to make up for the error by having a hand in the last two goals of the national team both of them scored by Fidelis Saviour in the 65th and 75th minutes.

Brazilians name WCup ball ‘Brazuca’


IFA says Brazilians have decided to name the 2014 World Cup ball “Brazuca,” an informal word often used to describe national pride in the South American nation. FIFA says more than one million people voted to select the ball’s name, with 70 percent picking the term. Football’s governing body says the name “symbolizes emotion, pride and goodwill to all,” mirroring Brazil’s “approach to football.” Adidas, the official World Cup ball supplier since 1970, says two other names had made the final list Bossa Nova and Carnavalesca. FIFA said yesterday it was the first time fans were directly involved in the naming of the World Cup ball, which is still being developed and tested with several clubs and associations worldwide.

Rwanda coach thumbs up for Golden Eaglets


Esther Onyema

Paralympics: Nigeria win two more gold in powerlifting By Patrick Andrew


eam Nigeria contingent to the ongoing Paralympic Games in London yesterday added two more gold medals to their collection as Nigeria continue to dominate in powerlifting. Nigeria’s impressive performance was ignited by the duo of Esther Oyema and Joy Onaolapo, who both broke the world records enroute to their gold medals. Onyema was first up at the ExCeL, venue of women’s -48kg and matched the world record set by compatriot Lucy Ejike with an opening lift of 130kg. The 30-year-old Oyema broke that with her second attempt of 132kg and then extended it to 135kg, although she did miss out on a fourth attempt at 140kg. Russian world champion Olesya Lafina and China’s Shi Shanshan won silver and bronze medals respectively. Sapele-born Onaolapo dominated proceedings in his event and after breaking the category’s Paralympics record with a second lift of 130kg, she successfully completed 131kg to break the world record. Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Nnajiofor took silver in the men’s -60kg category with a lift of 188kg. Speaking after their medals, the gold medalists said they were

delighted to have lifted the dull from the hearts of Nigeria following the woeful performance of their able-bodied counterparts who failed to win any medal. “The people of Nigeria will feel so happy. For the Paralympians to bring medals back to our country, they will feel very happy. “I feel very, very good. I decided to be a world recorder and to be a champion. I never doubted it. There are more records to come. I will keep going, by the grace of God,’’ Oyema said. Also, Onalapo they had been determined to succeed after those who were relied upon to win medals failed to do so. “We are doing well because we have determination, discipline and focus,” she said of Nigeria’s success. We take it very seriously. It is our job. We don’t get paid, but we treat it as our job and take it very seriously,’’ Onalapo said. Meanwhile, six African countries have made the medals table after five days into the London Paralympic Games pooling a total of 27 medals. Of the lot, Nigeria led with four gold and three silver, medals, South Africa followed with two gold and four bronze medals, Tunisia, a gold and two silver, Egypt, also a gold and two bronze, Morocco, a gold and Algeria with a silver and five bronze medals. Their performances are in sharp contrast with the contingent’s abled-body performance at the just-concluded Olympic Games, where they finished with 24 medals.

unior Wasps of Rwanda coach, Richard Tardy has tipped the Golden Eaglets to qualify for the 2013 Under17 AYC in Morocco. The coach handed down the verdict after watching the Eaglets devoured his side 5-0 in Friday’s friendly match at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar. The coach of the East African side said he was impressed with the Nigerian team in the first of the two-leg friendly game. The second was played yesterday. “The Nigerians are good team and we can see that their players are tactically sound and without doubt we lost to a good team,” said the French. “Playing against the Nigerian side at this stage of our preparation is a real challenge. This is the first real match since we started our programme about one month ago. We lost 0-5 to Nigeria and that shows there is work to be done before we play Malawi or Botswana in October. “But I’m hopeful about our chances of qualifying for the next African championship in Morocco. We will play better when we meet on Sunday. I wish Nigeria well in their game against Niger Republic next week,” he said. Tardy, who declined to single out any Eaglet for praise, said he was impressed with the mobility of the Nigerians and added that great work must have been done on the team before they could play with such intensity and drive.



Ex- table tennis star laments poor standard of sport


x- Nigerian table tennis international, Kehinde Okenla, has decried the declining standard of the game. Okenla disclosed in Abeokuta that the standard of the game had dropped considerably compared with what it used to be. “It is saddening to note the declining standard of table tennis in our country and if something urgent is not done to reverse the trend, the future of the game will be bleak,’’ Okenla said. The former African table tennis female champion attributed the situation to lack of sponso,rship of competitions, over concentration on football and poor funding among others. Okenla recalled that in her playing days in the early 80s, there were about nine major competitions across the nation within a year. She listed some of the tournaments as Star (Open), Omo (Open), Coscharis (Open), Asoju -Oba (closed), Cocacola (open) and Bournvita (open) competitions. She explained that the competitions were sources of motivation for players, saying: “They served as platform through which we displayed skills acquired during training.’’ Okenla said that young stars were usually discovered through the tournaments, adding that the lack of adequate competitions accounted for the dearth of new and young stars who could replace the old ones. “Old stars like Segun Toriola, Monday Morountoun and Funke Oshinaike had continued to dominate the scene in the past years because there are no suitable replacements for them.” Okenla expressed regrets that Egypt had taken over from Nigeria as African champion and urged private organisations and governments to fund the game to restore its lost glory. She called for the revival of age-group table tennis competitions and more commitment from coaches as other means of improving the declined standard of the game.

Gaiya charges Flamingoes to emulate Falconets


he House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports has urged the national U-17 female team, the Flamingoes, to emulate their counterparts, the Falconets, who on Thursday booked a semi-final berth at the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. Rep. Godfrey Gaiya, chairman of the committee, made the appeal in Abuja on Friday in a goodwill message to the

Flamingoes. Gaiya urged the girls to do the country proud at the U-17 Women’s World Cup, promising to be with them in Azerbaijan to cheer them to victory. “Please tell your coach and players that I cannot make it personally to come and wish them farewell as I had planned because I’m travelling now but I will definitely be with you at the World Cup proper in Azerbaijan, “ Gaiya said.

Haile Gebrselassie

Gebrselassie eager to run two Oceans M

arathon world record h o l d e r H a i l e Gebrselassie of Ethiopia says he is interested in running the Two Oceans Marathon and he wants to do it soon. “I know what goes on in Cape Town. I know about the Two Oceans Marathon,” Gebrselassie said in a video message at the

Lagos swimmers set to dislodge Delta in sports festival


he Lagos State Swimming Association (LSSA) said over the weekend that its swimmers were in good form, to dislodge their age-long rivals, Delta, at the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival. Samuel Ebito-Jesimiel, the association’s Chairman, disclosed this at the end of the state’s two-day Age-Group and Open Swimming Championships. Ebito-Jesimiel said that he was impressed with the turnout of swimmers and their speed, which he said, had improved and was better than before. According to him, the swimmers only needed further training to put them in proper shape for the Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 festival in Lagos. “With this competition, our eyes are set on nothing other than gold medals at the sports festival, such that even Delta, who have been our long-time rivals, cannot stop us,’’ Ebito-Jesimiel said. He also said that the association’s technical department had discovered no fewer than 15 talented male and female swimmers whose speed could win medals at the festival. The coach thanked the state government for bankrolling the championships, saying that it was an avenue for the state to discover medal hopefuls in swimming. Meanwhile, Bestsellers Club, Lagos Island, emerged the overall champions in the male events of the championships with four gold and six silver medals. Ikorodu Club emerged the overall female champions with four gold, one silver and two bronze medals. The first to third positions in each category received cash and gift prizes. No fewer than 60 swimmers aged between 14 and 18 from various clubs, as well as U-14 swimmers from secondary schools, competed in the 24-event championships.

Haile Gebrselassie

launch of the 2013 race in Cape Town on Thursday night. “One day I will come to run this race, and that means soon.” Gebreselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medallist in the 10 000 metres, was revealed as an ambassador for the annual 56km ultra-marathon and 21km halfmarathon, which will next year

be held under the slogan “Two Oceans, One Spirit”. Foreign athletes have dominated the 56km race, which was first held in 1970, in recent years, with only two South African men Bethuel Netshifhefhe in 2007 and George Ntshiliza in 2011 winning the ultra-marathon in the last nine editions of the event. No local woman has won the 56km race since Sarah Mahlangu in 2000, though South Africans have dominated both men’s and women’s halfmarathons since the inaugural 21km race in 1998. Race director Rowyn James said there would be an increase in prize money for the halfmarathon, and they expected it to become the “richest” 21km race in the country, along with a sliding scale for time incentives. “The faster the time, the higher the money,” James said. The organisers said the entry and qualification process had changed, with the first 10 000 half-marathon entries only open to previous Two Oceans trail, ultra- or half-marathon runners from November 1. From January 15, an additional 6 000 entries would be opened to all other interested runners. The ultra-marathon entries would open on September 20, with manual entries set to close on February 20, while on-line entrants would have until March 5, or earlier if the 11 000 cap was reached before those dates. The qualification period had been stretched to run from July 1, 2012, to March 5, 2013.



World Hockey League: NHF invites 41 players to camp


he Nigeria Hockey Federation (NHF) over the weekend called up 41 players to camp in preparation for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League qualifiers. The players are to jostle for selection to represent the country at the qualifier billed for Accra in Ghana from September 7 through 9, according to a report from its secretariat. It said specifically that 21 male and 20 female players, from which 18 players each would be selected for the male and female national teams have been invited to camp. Fatai Atanda, the Selection Co-ordinator, while announcing the names of invited players said they were expected to report on Sunday, Sept. 2 at the FIFA Goal Project in Abuja. The former national player said the players were expected to report to the Camp Co-ordinator, Samuel Fadele, with their travelling documents. He listed the male players to include Kichimen Gomerep, Femi Afonja, Dare Adeleke, Simon Awasa, Tinat Jonathan, Adamu Kolo, Peter Sunday, Clinton Nwagbara and Idris Dakumi. The rest are Oghenevo Omokoro, Philip Ardo, Michael Agbaegbu, Aliyu Jauro, Muiz Bello, Hussaini Bala, Musa Abdullahi, Collins Ifeanyi, Mohammed Inusa, Monday Emmanuel, Emmanuel Ochai and Shaibu Agada. Atanda also named the female players to include

Jessica Pam, Patricia Uzuegbu, Bomeigha Ikirika, Sarah Izang, Ifeimi Tulanga, Juliet Ogbakpah, Owundinjo Adaugo and Ebitimi Sampou. The rest are Justina Onyedum, Susan Bulus, E d i g u e O s h a g h a e , Stella Nnanna, Ajuma Ejegwa, Alfa John, Ruth A n t h o n y , Inatimi Nelson, Mary Anboyi, Yiman Akusu, Osato Odduoh and Dorcas Daniel. F u r t h e r , Fadele said all arrangements had been concluded for a hitch-free programme said. “We have made all arrangements for the camping Bolaji Abdullahi, Sports Minister period and we

don’t envisage any hitch as we have no much time to waste before the teams leave for Ghana,’’ he said. “Actually, there had been some sort of open camping, from where we had selected the players who are now reporting in camp,’’ he said adding that the two teams have been scheduled to depart for Lagos on September5 and Accra on September 6, where they would jostle for qualification tickets to the Round Two Qualifiers. The male team will contend with hosts Ghana, Zimbabwe and Egypt for one of the available two tickets. On their part, the female team will jostle for the lone ticket available in their category with host Ghana and Zimbabwe. The competition leads to qualification to the 2016 Olympic Games and the FIH World Cup. The World League is being used to decide which teams will qualify alongside the continental champions and hosts for future Olympic Games and FIH World Cups. The competition is open to all members of FIH and all teams playing in it will also gain world ranking points. Two teams from the men’s competition will advance to the next rounds of the FIH World League, scheduled for February or May 2013. The qualifier from the women’s competition will advance to round two of the League, expected to hold in Johannesburg, South Africa in February 2013.

Tokyo-based bizman lavishes Falconets with gifts

E Roger Federer

US Open: Federer brushes Verdasco aside, faces Fish


orld number one Roger Federer eased into the last 16 of the US Open with a straight-sets win over Fernando Verdasco at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 31-year-old Swiss took just over two hours to dispose of the Spaniard 6-3 6-3 6-4. Federer, who won at Wimbledon earlier this year before claiming Olympic silver, hit 30 winners and faced one break point in beating the 25th seed. He will face 23rd seed Mardy Fish in the next round after the American beat 16th seed Gilles Simon 6-1 5-7 7-6 (5) 6-3. Federer was defeated in the semi-finals at the US Open last year when he let a two-set lead slip as well as missing out on two match points against eventual winner Novak Djokovic. Milos Raonic became the first Canadian to reach the fourth round since 1988 with an impressive 6-3 6-0 76 (7-3) victory over former world number four James Blake. The 15th seed produced a masterclass in serving, hitting 28 aces and winning 89% of points on his first serve to set up a meeting with third seed Andy Murray. Sixth seed Tomas Berdych also won but had a tough time against in-form 27th seed Sam Querrey, beating the American in four sets. The Czech recovered from a set and a break down to win 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-3 6-2 and set up a last-16 clash against 11th seed Nicolas Almagro , who defeated Jack Sock. Martin Klizan and 12th seed Marin Clinic will join them in the next round thanks to respective victories over 32nd seed Jeremy Chardy and 17th seed Kei Nishikori. There was British success in the men’s doubles as Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins beat Brian Baker and Rajeev Ram 7-5 6-3 to reach the third round, while Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski progressed with a 7-6 (7-3) 76 (9-7) win over Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner.

ach member of the U20 Women National Team over the weekend got a Samsung Galaxy Tab and IPAD for their splendid run at the on-going FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. 21 Players and 10 Officials got the mobile device from Nigeria businessman, Stanley Okafor who is based in Japan at a colourful ceremony which took place at the team’s Hilton Hotel in Tokyo. Hattrick Heroine, Francisca Ordega and defender Ugo Njoku were given an IPAD each. Okafor who has watched all the team’s matches right from the preliminary round, had given the team 800US dollar prior to its match against Italy. “Its my widow’s mite of saying weldone. You have made us proud. This is the

best National Team as far as l am concerned and l am delighted to be identified with you,” he said. The Nigeria businessman who has spent over 22 years in the Asian Capital assured the

team of more goodies if they eventually lift the trophy. “All l just want from you is to do your part by defeating U.S.A on Tuesday and by extension lifting the Cup. God has

Francisca Ordega, received an ipad

given you what it takes to win,” he said. For his generosity which left many speechless, Okafor was presented with a full regalia of the team Adidas kits by Head of Delegation and Nigeria Football Federation, board member, Chief Effiong Johnson. “On behalf of the President of NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, l want to say a big thank you for what you have done. I do not know the words to describe how grateful we are for the show of love. May the good Lord replenish your pocket,” said Johnson. The event coincided with the birthday of keeper, Damilola Akano who turned 19. Nigeria’s Falconets face U.S.A tomorrow at the Tokyo National Stadium in the first semi final clash of the competition.

Mazembe, Al Ahly reach CAF Champions League semi-finals


P Mazembe beat Al Ahly 2-0 in L u b u m b a s h i yesterday to see both sides qualify to the Champions League semifinals. Mazembe and their Egyptian opponents are level on an unassailable 10 points from five games to see both sides seal their top two semifinal places in Group B with a match in hand. The DR Congo side was in command of the game

that finished scoreless at halftime. Mazembe striker Mbwana Samata saw his 18th minute head come off the woodwork while Rainford Kalaba was unlucky not to find the target after his deflected shot off Wael Goma in stoppage time of the first half before AlAhly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy saved on the rebound. Mazembe took the lead in the 50th minute through

Samata who headed in a cross from Tresor Mputu. The Tanzanian striker turned provider for team mate and striker Deo Kanda 10 minutes later to make it 2-0. Kalaba came close to adding a third in the 76th minute as Mazembe got revenge over Al Ahly for their opening Group B to see both side match on to Octobers semifinals. Al Ahly, who suffered their first Group B loss this

weekend, and Mazembe head into their final matches against Zamalek and Berekum Chelsea respectively in a fortnights time to decide who finishes top of the pool. Debutants Berekum, on six points, are out of the contest after a 1-1 away draw in Cairo with Zamalek earlier on Saturday, a result that handed the bottom placed Egyptians their first points in Group B.



Djoliba beat WAC in Confed Cup


Yakubu Adesokan

Paralympics: Powerlifters, coaches in Lagos hail Adesokan


s Nigerians continue to rejoice over the first gold medal won at the ongoing Paralympic Games in London, some powerlifters and coaches in Lagos have hailed Yakubu Adesokan, the winner of the medal. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adesokan twice broke his own world record, lifting 180kg to clinch the gold medal on the first day of the ongoing 2012 Paralympic Games. The powerlifters and their coaches told NAN in Lagos that the disabled athletes have done what the able-bodied athletes could not do at the just-concluded 2012 London Olympics Games. They, therefore, urged the Federal Government to focus more on the development of the special athletes, with the provision of equipment, regular competitions and good welfare packages for their motivation. Thomas Kure, a 60kg power lifter, said that he was very excited when the news broke, saying that the unrecognised and unmotivated disabled athletes have finally made Nigerians proud. “I rejoice with Adesokan; he was a talented powerlifter who has made Nigeria proud, I appeal to government to invest in the disabled athletes to motivate them adequately,’’ he said. Yemisi Adewole, a 67kg powerlifter, said that disabled athletes were more talented than their able-bodied counterparts, saying: “there is some great ability in disability’’. She said that Adesokan’s gold medal was enough for the government to begin to accord adequate recognition to the disabled athletes. Tope Fashola, an 82kg powerlifter, urged the government to create employment opportunities for disabled athletes and to provide them a means of livelihood after they would have retired from sports. Fashola added that providing them with some gainful employment would also assist in keeping them off the streets. Sunday Adeogun, Chief Coach, Lagos State Paralympics Association, also hailed Adesokan and expressed the hope that the athletes would be able to win more medals at the Games. Adeogun, however, lamented that Adesokan’s coach, Taofeek Arasi, who discovered him, was dropped from the list of officials for

the Games. “I am so sad that Adesokan’s coach is not with him at the London Games. For sports to thrive in this country, coaches must be adequately acknowledged, for them not to be demoralised on the job,’’ Adeogun said. Another powerlifting coach, Femi Afolayan, said he was grateful to God that the Para-athletes may be able to pull some surprises. This will proove that if given the opportunity, they can manifest good skills. The Head Coach, Lagos State Powerlifting Association, Ene Bassey, expressed satisfaction with the accomplishment of the disabled powerlifter, saying that ‘he has been able to do the nation much pride’. “We are very proud of the feat, coming on the very first day of the Games. I know they will do much better and much more should be expected of them,” Bassey said. Coach Ijeoma Taiwo of Lagos State, said that what the ablebodied could not do, the disabled have done, adding that more could still be delivered for the country if the athletes were motivated. Taiwo said that she knew before now that the Para-athletes would clinch lots of medals at the ongoing Games because of their preparations for the Games. Sunday Eze, a shot putter, said that the powerlifter had done the country proud and should be celebrated. Eze said that more medals could be delivered to the country if the disabled athletes were adequately empowered. “Government doesn’t care for them at all. They have their focus on the able-bodied athletes. Government should now pump money into the disabled sports so as to make our lives enviable to others who have chosen to be street beggars,” he said. Esther Ezenwafor, a 100m and 200m wheelchair sprinter, lamented that Nigeria does not value the sports events of the physically-challenged, noting that “Adesokan has demonstrated that we can make Nigeria proud, if given the opportunity.” Ikechukwu Stephen, another 100m and 200m sprinter, said that he knew that Team Nigeria would return home with many medals from the Paralympic Games. Stephen, however, urged the Federal and State Governments to sponsor competitions, to enhance disabled sports in the country.

joliba of Mali beat Wydad Casablanca of Morocco 21 in a CAF Confederation Cup Group B match played in Bamako yesterday. Djoliba thus consolidated their top position in the group as they now have seven points from three matches, while WAC slipped to third place on two points. In the other game played Saturday also in Bamako, Stade Malien and AC Leopard of Congo played out a 1-1 draw. Leopard therefore climbed to second place on three points, while 2009 competition winners Stade Malien remain at the foot of the standings after they recorded their second point of the campaign. The visiting Wydad took the lead on Sunday against Djoliba after 38 minutes through Youness Hawassi after teammate Mohamed Barrabeh missed a 31st minute penalty. However, the home team fought back after the interval with striker Aliou Bagayoko

hitting target on 75 minutes, before they converted the winner from the penalty spot on the stroke of full time. For the next round of matches in a fortnight, Wydad will aim to stage a big comeback as they

welcome their weekend conquerors Djoliba, while Stade Malien will be the guests of AC Leopard. The knockout rounds of the second-tier competition are slated for November.

Djokovic makes quick work of Benneteau


ovak Djokovic woke up early and got things over with in a hurry yesterday at the U.S. Open. The defending champion completed his second straight match without facing a break point and defeated No. 31 Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the fourth round for the sixth straight year. Djokovic needed only 1 hour, 37 minutes to clear out of the stadium, where Roddick was the headliner on Sunday’s schedule. Djokovic finished with 13 aces with a top service speed of 128 mph. He said he’s not so used to early wake-up calls at the season’s last major, where he has made the final the last two years and is more used to playing in prime time. To make sure he wouldn’t be late for the third-round match, he shaved the night before and had a bit of stubble jutting from his chin by the early afternoon. Djokovic’s entire match took only 23 minutes longer than the first set between No. 4 David Ferrer and 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt in Armstrong Stadium. Ferrer saved five set points in the first-set tiebreaker then went on to a 7-6 (9), 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory to advance to the fourth round for the 10th straight Grand Slam tournament.

SWAN declares sports dead in Abuja, wants Onu, Alim sacked By Patrick Andrew


ports Writters Association of Nigeria (SWAN), the Federal Capital Territory chapter, has decried the death of sports in the territory and hinged same on the apparent want of vision and political will. Accordingly, SWAN through its leadership, has urged the FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed to come alive with sports in the territory by removing persons allegedly seen as impediments to sports development. Specifically, the FCT SWAN wants the Minister to awaken to the aspirations of youths in the territory by relieving the Secretary of Social Development, Mrs Blessing Onu and the Director of Sports, Mallam Alim Musa of their respective posts. Further, SWAN alleged that the minister has by his seemingly non-challant attitude to happenings within

the Social Secretariat (Sports in particular) and the FCT Sports Council, shown clearly that the youth of the Territory are in his consideration. “The FCT Minister, (Sen. Bala Mohammed) the Secretary of Social development (Mrs Blessing Onu), and the Director of Sports (Alim Musa), have shown, through their actions and in actions, that the development of sports is not their priority,” Chairman of SWAN, Kayode Adeniyi, said in a release signed by the association’s chapter scribe, Martins Odiete. Kayode lamented that rather than address issues that could easily tackle youth restiveness in the Territory, the minister is focusing on the demolition of suburbs, which he said would accelerate crime rate in the formerly peaceful and relatively crime-free city. He asserted as Sports Reporters, his members have practically nothing to report about sports in the Territory

because of lack of activities and wondered on what and where all the funds budgeted for sports and released to the social secretariat are put into. The association expressed sadness over dearth of sporting facilities in the Territory and argued that in the face of lack of activities where the Territory would get athletes to the represent it at the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival scheduled for Lagos in November. But it is our job to ensure that such thing is changed. Because if we do not do this very soon there will not be any sports for us to report in the territory. So, what we are fighting for is to protect our job.” “The minister, who is more concerned with the demolition of structures in the suburbs, should use that same zeal in the development of minisporting facilities and playgrounds in the Territory, and ensure that sports men and women in Abuja are well taken care of,” Adeniyi said.

Gambo Mohammed joins Turkish club


FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed

ano Pillars striker Gambo Mohammed has sealed a deal with Turkish second division side Adana Demirspor. The second highest goal scorer in the Nigeria Premier League with 15 goals agreed a year's loan deal with Adana Demirspor after he failed to pen a deal at Samsunspor. Ahmet Arslan, the brokered the deal confirmed from Turkey that Gambo Mohammed was signed as a replacement for Izu Azuka who kept the team

waiting. "Gambo Mohammed has signed a year's loan deal with Adana Demirspor. He is a good player and real professional. He was signed as a replacement for another Nigerian Izu Azuka, who kept the club waiting for long." Ahmet told a wire service. Eagles midfielder Raheem Lawal also penned a two-year deal with the club, but it failed to see the light of day after Spanish club Atletico Beleares failed to sanction it.











\1/ Brendan Rodgers has said he would not have allowed Andy Carroll to leave Liverpool had he known they would not sign a replacement and he is willing to consider all options of out-ofcontract strikers, including Michael Owen. \2/ Goals from summer signings Podolski and Cazorla secured Arsenal their first win of the Premier League season as they beat Liverpool 2-0. \3/ Michael Essien says he is thrilled to reunite with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and has not ruled out a permanent move to the Spanish capital. \4/ Leicester Tigers spoil London Welsh's debut as a Premiership club by scoring five tries in a convincing 3813 win at the Kassam Stadium. \5/ presents some of the biggest names in football who will be celebrating their birthdays during the week. \6/ Carl Froch makes his first defence of his IBF super-middleweight title against American Yusaf Mack on 17 November. \7/ speaks to Nigeria striker Desire Oparanozie about her ability to recover from mistakes, the expectation on the Falconets, and her desire to go one better at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.



FACTS 36. Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest. A ten year study in Scotland found that 20% more people die of heart attacks on Mondays than any other day of the week. Researchers theorize that it's a combination of too much fun over the weekend with the stress of going back to work that causes the increase. 37. Provided there is water, the average human could survive a month to two months without food depending on their body fat and other factors. 38. Over 90% of diseases are caused or complicated by stress. 39. A human head remains conscious for about 15 to 20 seconds after it is been decapitated. While it might be gross to think about, the blood in the head may be enough to keep someone alive and conscious for a few seconds after the head has been separated from the body, though reports as to the accuracy of this are widely varying. 40. Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood the number is reduced to 206. Source: Weird facts


Glad to be drunk A completely inebriated man was stumbling down the street with one foot on the curb and one foot in the gutter. A cop pulled up and said, "I've got to take you in, pal. You're obviously drunk." Our wasted friend asked, "Officer, are you absolutely sure I'm drunk?" "Yeah, buddy, I'm sure," said the cop. "Let's go." Breathing a sigh of relief, the man said, "Thank goodness, I thought I was crippled."

Quick CrossWord (18) ACROSS 1 Fruit skin (4) 4 Spinal column (8) 8 Visions during sleep (6) 9 With hands on hips (6) 10 Item worn on the foot (4) 11 Loss of status or importance (8) 13 Ill at ease, self-conscious (13) 16 Native of a place such as Arran or Jura (8) 19 Member of Guru Nanak’s religion (4) 20 School of rubber (6) 22 Go to ground (3,3)


23 Conman (8) 24 Music with lyrics (4)

DOWN 2 Speakers worn on the head (9) 3 South American plains dweller (7) 4 Fundamental (5) 5 Beguiling person (7) 6 Physique (5) 7 Pen component (3) 12 Famous (4-5) 14 Concerning a group of states (7) 15 Rejoinders (7) 17 Mallicious fire-starting (5) 18 Person in power (5) 21 Lacking experience (3)

Yesterday’s answer

It is hoped that this man in Jos, carrying 14 empty jerry cans is not praying for fuel scarcity. Photo: Mahmud Isa

. . . putting the people first



Liverpool considering Owen deal


iverpool are weighing up a move for free agent Michael Owen after failing to add a striker to their ranks on transfer deadline day. The out-of-favour Andy Carroll was loaned out to West Ham United on Friday and it appeared Liverpool would replace the forward to offer back-up to Luis Suarez. They were linked with moves for Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge and also Clint Dempsey, with the latter subsequently joining Tottenham from Fulham after the Reds reportedly failed with a £4 million bid. Owen, 32, is without a club after being released by Manchester United at the end of last season and is free to sign a for a new team outside of the transfer window, although he needs to sign early next week if he is to be certain of being eligible to play in Premier League matches before January. All top-flight teams must submit their finalised 25-man squads for the first half of the season by 4pm on Tuesday. Later registrations have happened in the past, notably with Aston Villa signing Robert Pires, but are at the league's discretion and require the club involved to have an unfilled space in their 25-man list. Liverpool could yet consider a swoop for their former attacker, who scored 118 league goals in 216 appearances before moving to Real Madrid in 2004. Stoke have also been linked with Owen, although the club are wary of being able to match his wage demands, even on a structured pay-as-you-play deal. Owen said on Saturday that he had "spoken to a few clubs", although he cautioned not to expect any sort of announcement before next week. "I know who is interested but nothing will be done until next week," Owen said on Twitter. "Obviously can't tell you who I'm in talks with yet. I have an idea where I will go but you never know who else could enter the fray!"


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE The recent proposal by the Central Bank of Nigeria is one of those policies we must vigorously oppose. We see in (it) a policy contradiction that completely exposes our policy makers as playing the devil’s advocate — Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar C Pr esident Omar,, NL NLC President

The fall guy and other stories The difference between a man and his valet: they both smoke the same cigars, but only one pays for them - Robert Frost


hether you believe former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji jumped or he was pushed will depend largely on where you stand in your assessment of the general levels of transparency and integrity of the federal administration. If you felt a tug in your heart a few days ago at the passionate lamentation of President Goodluck Jonathan over the unceasing and nearuniversal criticism of his administration, you are likely to believe that one of the few bright sparks in the administration was eased out as a part of an effort to commence a roll-back process against corruption. You will then say he was pushed. If, however, you are among the cynics who believe that the administration has neither the will nor the capacity to fight corruption, you are more likely to believe that the good professor resigned to salvage what is left of his good name, rather than save the administration further embarrassment over endemic corruption. You may then believe that he jumped. Either way, the circumstances around the departure of the former minister and its implications for some of the policy priorities of the administration do not reflect very well on a government which says it is transforming the nation. There are so many questions and inconsistencies around the whole saga (with the highlights being President Jonathan publicly eulogizing the removed minister) that it is safer to believe that there is a lot more to the story than has been revealed. But it will not be idle speculation to ask whether Professor Nnaji’s resignation has set a new bar for this administration in terms of accountability and respect for the rule of law, or is challenging it to set one since it does not appear that one has existed. Certainly, in the context of events which have exposed the administration to accusations of being soft on corruption, or, at the very least, of being indifferent to accusations that some of its frontline ministers and executives are sitting smugly on top of entire systems which will not stand the slightest scrutiny, the circumstances of Nnaji’s departure cannot fail to

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

Former Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji shake the ground a bit. He could be a fall guy, a man sacrificed for a comparatively minor offence of indiscretion and poor judgment, so that the administration can earn a few brownie points on probity. Or he could be the tip of an iceberg of institutional weaknesses, weak political will, and a system in which corruption now inspires and influences policy. Either way, the administration has lost one of its more capable hands in an episode it could have shrugged off, or made efforts to limit the damage by settling those he had offended in a sensitive bidding process, or simply blaming others for his misjudgement. You now have to wonder if Nnaji, one of the best and brightest, could fall so spectacularly on a questionable moral issue, what other ministers are doing that may not stand up to any scrutiny. The real test of the value of the President’s removal of Nnaji lies in what happens to the pivotal privatization policy of power stations. Will the entire process now be re-visited afresh, using different institutional mechanisms? Will it be a fresh bidding process, or will existing bids go forward? How much integrity will the entire exercise have, now that Afam has revealed how murky the procurement waters can be? Given the volatility around the entire privatization policy in the power sector, what impact will the revelations from Afam have

on the programme as a whole? Can this administration be trusted to undertake sensitive and far-reaching reforms which represent key aspects of its transformation agenda? Will the international and investor community retain the same level of trust now that one of its blue eyed boys appears to have bitten the dust, or has been unfairly sacrificed? Will major labour issues around the privatization programme now disappear, or will labour unions dig in their resistance to key aspects of the policy? Will the new Minister be better than Nnanji, or will he or she avoid pitfall and booby traps in a sector that needs courage and competence? The Nnaji saga must have a lot more behind it, but for now, it will merely remind Nigerians that corruption in and around government is the most serious problem the nation faces. It will remind Nigerians that it took the most monumental struggle by citizens and civil society groups to open up the subsidy scams, and even with what government claims to be openand-shut cases against many of the scammers, the nation was recently reminded of its vulnerability to corruption after it was alleged that the scammers were behind a union strike. There are reports of attempts to pay some, and withhold some of the amounts being owed to importers, even when the issues relating to culpability or otherwise are being examined. Trials will take months or years, and with very expensive lawyers lining up to take up costly briefs, no one should hold their breaths over possibilities of convictions. Yet key players who participated in the administration and management of the subsidy policy before the lid was inadvertently blown open by President Jonathan’s decision to remove subsidy are sitting exactly where they have always been, some with even more powers. They straddle the oil and gas sector like colossus, and

every decision or appointment in the sector is made by them. The landscape is replete with issues begging for the application of some decisiveness and political will around openness and integrity from the administration. The shocking revelations around the pension scams are being dulled by the timehonoured Nigerian strategy of burying one scandal with a bigger one. The involvement of the legislature in probes of suspected scams is now looking like a liability after it promised so much in terms of prying open the rock-solid defences of the intimate relations behind corruption and the operations of key institutions of the executive arm. Time and time again, legislators have fallen prey to corruption tentacles themselves. It is anyone’s guess where the investigations on the pension scam are. The legislature got its fingers burnt over Oteh, over subsidy probes, and even over constituency projects. If legislators become reluctant to join the fray after another major exposé, some Nigerians will think it is for the better; but the nation would have lost a valuable leverage for demanding higher levels of accountability and openness in governance. As things stand, both legislative and executive arms of government need massive purges to regain public confidence. Both are in the gutter, and it is unclear whether one or both of them are looking up at the stars. President Jonathan recently cried out to high heavens over criticisms of his administration, basically saying he is not the architect of the problems he is being blamed for. Just when Nigerians were putting those lamentations down as familiar refrain, he concluded by promising Nigerians that he will surprise everyone by 2013 with his achievements. How comforting it will be to believe the President; and how desperately Nigerians will hope that the removal of Professor Nnaji as power minister will signal the beginning of a new era in the life of this administration in which drift, incompetence and corruption will be decisively tackled. 2013 is only a few months away, and President Jonathan has no minister of defence or power. He may perform the 2013 miracle groping in the dark to find solutions to the insecurity threatening the very existence of the nation.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 606 3308. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 03, September, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 03, September, 2012 Edition

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