Page 1

Vol. 10 No. 46

Monday, March 4, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Rabiul Akhir 22, 1434 AH




Let thy word be thy bond

bout a fortnight ago, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State said in the course of a radio interview, that President Jonathan reached and signed an agreement with the Peoples Democratic Party governors in 2010 to serve for only one term of four years if he won the 2011 presidential election. But for its timing and the fact that the Nigerian public is generally short-memoried, what the governor said would have been a mere

reminder to us, not a disclosure worth all the excited chatter in the country. For the Nigerian public was never kept in the dark about the fact of such an agreement. No Nigerian would have forgotten so soon the political climate of uncertainties and confusion that necessitated Jonathan's entering into a pact with the governors who, literally, held his future in their hands, on account largely of their stranglehold on the party whose ticket he desperately wanted.

Besides, the parties to the agreement, including Jonathan himself, and those close to them, did tell us, and the rest of the world, that such an agreement had been struck. Katsina state governor, Barrister Ibrahim Shema, who, after the governors' meeting at the time, read the communiqué in which the issue of the agreement was the main item; Jonathan's campaign director, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, who made a

Contd. on Page 12

How scam denies ex-IGPs, others pension By Lambert Tyem


he regime of sleaze uncovered in the management of pensions meant for retired federal government workers has denied payment of over two years’ pension to former Inspectors General of Police and other retired police officers. The affected retired officers have expressed frustration at the insensitivity of relevant bodies saddled with police pension administration, Peoples Daily exclusive findings have shown. Latest checks have revealed that the former IGPs who might not have been paid since 2011 include Alhaji M.D Yusuf, who retired in 1979, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, 1989, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, 2007 and Mr. Mike Okiro, 2009, among others. Former IG, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, while obliging our enquiry, said: “I can't remember when last I was paid pension. Go to the Police Pension Board and verify. What is the relevance of me or any former IG of Police Contd on Page 2

L-R: Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and Adamawa state Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd), during their sympathy visit to the Emir, yesterday in Kano.

JTF kill 20 Boko Haram suspects in Borno >> PAGE 2

Implement Lemu’s report, CPC urges Jonathan >> PAGE 5

Gunmen kill Kwara Police Commissioner >> PAGE 2

















S/Exchange S/Report

23 24-25

Education 27-28 Health


JTF repels attack, kills 20 Boko Haram insurgents From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


peratives of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) yesterday killed at least 20 suspected members of the Boko Haram sect who attempted attacking a military barracks in Borno state. The JTF spokesman, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement issued to newsmen, said the incident occurred yesterday morning and that the attack was successfully repelled after a gun duel between security forces and the insurgents. Sources in the town told newsmen that the incident occurred when over 50 Boko Haram insurgents, armed with assault rifles and explosives, stormed the Monguno military barracks in Monguno local government area of the state.

The attackers reportedly sneaked into the town through the desert and beat all security check points mounted on the major road leading to the barrack. Some of the invaders have reportedly entered into the town in Toyota pick up vans, while were either on bikes or on foot. Our correspondent reports that this is the first time the insurgents would target one of the five military barracks in the state. Monguno which is located along Nigeria-Niger border is about 200 kilometers away from Maiduguri has witnessed series of attacks in recent times alledgedly perpetrated by the insurgents. Residents of the town said they were woken up by horrifying sounds of explosives and gunshots at about 5 am. However Musa explained that

the attack was repelled by the JTF troops at the outskirt of the barrack. According to him, “prior to the incident, we got an intelligence report on the impending attack on the barrack, so our personnel were put on red alert. “So, unknown to the gunmen, as they are approaching towards, the barrack, security forces waylaid them, leading to exchange of fire”, the statement said. “The encounter led to the death of 20 Boko Haram terrorists, several others escaped with gunshot injuries.” According to the JTF, three four -wheel Toyota pickup vans and eight motorcycles used by the terrorists were destroyed. Items recovered comprised of seven AK 47 rifles, 10 Rocket Propelled Grenade, (RPGs), two

RPG tubes, large quantity of assorted ammunition and eight assorted magazines. The task force also declared that it has arrested two top commanders of the sect, for allegedly involvement in carrying out multiple bomb explosions which went off during a meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC), governors, held in Maiduguri last Thursday. “In a related development, based on intelligence report, a special operation was conducted by the JTF which resulted in the arrest of two high profile Boko Haram commanders that were responsible for the explosions in Maiduguri last Thursday during some state governors meeting. Those arrested are in JTF custody undergoing interrogation”, the statement said.

Gunmen kill Kwara Police Commissioner From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin & Lambert Tyem, Abuja


Between Jonathan, Anenih and 2015, Page 4



Strange World 35 Digest










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nidentified gunmen at the weekend shot dead the Kwara state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chinweike Asadu, in Enugu. Asadu was killed near his residence and his attackers reportedly fled the scene. The Enugu State Police Command in Enugu confirmed the report in a statement yesterday. The statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, that the late

*They have murdered sleep, says IGP

Asadu was gunned down as he was about to enter his residence in Abakpa Nike,Enugu at about 9.45 p.m. on Saturday. Amaraizu said the officer was rushed to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu, where he was confirmed dead. He said the police had launched a man-hunt for the killers. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar yesterday said the killers of Commissioner of Police had murdered sleep. The IGP who is currently in Port

Harcourt, Rivers state for the All Police Games Festival, vowed to fish out the perpetrators and make them face the full wrath of law. When contacted, Police Spokesman, Frank Mba, said that the IGP received the news with shock and dismay and directed a manhunt for the killers. Also reacting to the killing, the Kwara state Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, described it as shocking and unfortunate. A statement by the Governor's

Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, said the death of Mr. Asadu was a huge loss not only to the Nigeria Police but also to the Kwara state security apparatus in particular as he exhibited high sense of discipline and professionalism in the course of his duty in the state. According to the statement, "late CP Chinweike Asadu, in the discharge of his duty in Kwara state, contributed immensely to the sustenance of peace in the state and in the upholding of our values as a state of harmony."

How scam denies ex-IGPs, others pension Contd from Page 1 speaking on the matter now? Don't you know the account officers in charge of pension are facing allegations of corruption over unpaid pension entitlements,” he said. Former IG, Ibrahim Coomasie decried the paltry sum of N115,000 monthly pension paid to retired IGs, describing it as ridiculous, adding that the authorities have refused to review the figure for reasons not unconnected with the fraudulent practices in the administration of police pension funds. He said as a former IG who served for six years under four heads of state, it was unreasonable to earn N115,000, even as he disclosed that his predecessors even earns less than that amount and that efforts to review the figure always ended as mere rhetoric . “The police pension managers have hijacked the process and frustrated the effective managements of entitlements of retired police IGs and other officers,” he said. Another former IGP, Alhaji Aliyu Attah who retired in 1993, made suggestions to the effect that

the police pension board does make selective payments to retired police officers by paying some and leaving out others. Attah said in a telephone chat with our correspondent that he has been receiving his pension allowances till date, adding that “I don't know anything about any former IG who has not received pension.” “I initiated during my tenure that any IG of Police leaving office should be on the reserve list and be paid exactly what he has been receiving while in office on monthly basis. “This has been the practice since then. I do receive mine monthly and I think it is what other IGs who have left office are receiving every month. This is done because they are on reserve list and could be called upon any day, anytime to render services to the nation”, he said. All efforts to speak with the other ex-IGs involved proved abortive as they could not be reached on phone. Some pensioners found loitering at the police pension office in Jabi while speaking in confidence lamented that some of them have not been paid since they disengaged from

service in 2004. Others said they were receiving the monthly pension regularly but suddenly, the payment stopped completely in 2011 without explanation from the authorities. The pensioners, who wore grim looks of hunger and frustration, loitered around under canopies and trees at the police pension office saying they lacked money to return to their respective states after coming to check what was happening at the pension board. A source at the pension office who pleaded anonymity said no file was moving in the pension office due to lack of funds. A man of average age who claimed to be a retired police Inspector said he retired a month before the new contributory scheme started and was entitled to pension because of the number of years he put in police service but has not been paid pension till date. “The Obasanjo administration task force on Pension verified us and paid our gratuities and other benefits as well as enrolled me under the pension scheme. “Since then, I have not collected a penny as pension from the police”, the retiree disclosed. Another pensioner who also

preferred anonymity said he retired as a Deputy Superintendent of Police and was receiving pension but further payment ceased about two years ago. “I complained at my police pension office in Adamawa state but they referred me to Abuja. I came to Abuja since last year and has not gone back. Please you Press men should talk to government to pay us because we’re dying,” the old man pleaded. Efforts to speak with the Police spokesman, Frank Mba did not yield fruits as he was said to have travelled out of town. But his deputy, Emmanuel Iyang, a superintendent of Police (SP) said the crisis may be attributed to the non-payment of retirees by the pension Board. He said he was not capable speaking on the issue, but expressed belief that as soon as the problem of corruption and looting among some officers in office were solved, no pensioner would be owed any more by government. Similarly, At the Jabi Police Pension Office Abuja, efforts by our correspondent to speak with the director on the allegations proved abortive.



Again, Boko Haram denies ceasefire, threatens more attacks From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he spiritual leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, at the weekend, released a new video footage, distancing the insurgent group from the ceasefire, declared by its purported Commander, Abu Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Aziz. Shekau in the video threatened that more attacks awaits various parts of the north, more especially

Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Taraba, Yobe, Adamawa and Bauchi states as well as others where his lieutenants are being killed or arrested. The sect’s leader denied ever directing anybody to negotiate with government, saying he did not even know the person who claimed to have represented the group in the truce. According to him, “I want correct the notion which suggests that we declared a ceasefire. People

should know that I have never involved in such rumours being circulated that we have entered into dialogue with government and that we resolved to lay down our arms. This assertion is untrue and a calculated attempt by mischief-makers to scuttle our course. “We have also heard how some of our operations and attacks are being credited to criminals. As such the security agents have been killing our armed members in the

name of criminals. We have seen how our members who were out on holy mission are being attacked and killed with the label of criminals. “We are telling the world that whoever kills any of our members in the name of being criminals, would surely be avenged unless such person repents now". “This message is prepared by me and targeted towards clarifying the issue of ceasefire. We have never had any dialogue with anyone.

Conference on shea butter opens in Abuja By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


global conference on shea butter opens this morning in Abuja. Organised by Global Shea Alliance, the coordinating body for shea industry worldwide, the meeting is in recognition of Nigeria's potential for leading the world in shea butter production and processing. The conference is an annual gathering of producers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers and other stakeholders in the shea butter industry. It is described by industry watchers as the most important shea industry event of the year because it allows everybody in the industry to identify and discuss industry issues and present solutions on how to resolve them. Experts on shea butter say the export of processed Shea butter could boost Nigeria's nonoil earnings by two billion dollars annually.

El-Salem condemns Consumer Protection Council over invasion By Udenna Orji

M Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima (left), interacting with youths engaged by the government to produce interlock blocks, yesterday in Magumeri, headquarters of Magumeri local government area. Photo: NAN

AFDB approves $300m for Nigeria As Shell threatens operation shut down over oil theft From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a loan of $300 million to finance the Transport Sector and Economic Governance Reform Program and the Nigeria Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the period 20132017. A statement by Bakary Sanogo for the AFDB explained that the loan aims to support the Nigerian government to accelerate reform implementation in the areas of transport sector governance, and public expenditure management. Some of the reform measures, according to the statement, include the establishment of a Federal Road Authority, National Road Maintenance Fund, RoadTolling Policy, and Axel Load Control Policy.

In the areas of public financial management reform, the program involves the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), Internal Audit Modernization Plan, Treasuring Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Public Financial Management (GIFMIS), and Transparency and Compliance in Procurement and Audit Practices. The statement noted further that the program will also create fiscal space for increased investment in road infrastructure development. “It is an integral part of a broader set of interventions of the Bank designed to support Nigeria’s transformation agenda with emphasis to economic governance and infrastructure development,” the statement said, adding that the Country Strategy Paper

outlines the Bank’s engagement and assistance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “It will focus on two strategic pillars, namely supporting the development of a sound policy environment, and investing in critical infrastructure to promote the development of the real sector of the economy and the strategy is aligned with the government’s long term development agenda, the Bank said. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s joint venture partner in the production of crude, Shell Production and Development Company (SDPC), has threatened to shut down its Nember creek trunk line owing to the increased cases of oil theft. The SPDC country Chairman, Mr. Mutiu Sumonu, said in a statement that the volume being stolen is in the excess of over 60,000 barrels per day, forcing the company

to often shut down daily operation. Apart from the economic loss to the country, the Sumonu said that level of environmental devastation was also rising to a worrisome height. Between 22nd and 25th February 2013, the company says, 12 flow stations producing into the NCTL was shut down three times due to oil theft and consequently resulting in the deferment of 150,000bpd. “The illegal activity of these oil thieves which is without regards for the impact of their criminal activity on the people have caused what can be referred to as an environmental tragedy for the inhabitants of these regions and their generations to come,” the statement said and noted that Krakama and Awoba communities have the highest cases of oil theft and illegal refineries.

ass housing developer, ElSalem Nigeria Limited, has condemned the invasion of its office by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) alleging that the Council’s officials invaded the Area 1, Abuja head-office of El-Salem last week following a minor dispute. The EL-Salem Managing Director, Mr. Ben Gbade Ojo, who addressed press conference at the weekend said the CPC staff and three others only made equity payments of 20-30 per cent of the cost of the houses they want but are bent on being given the houses without full payment. According to Ojo, “contrary to the misinformation being dished out to the public by the CPC, we wish to state in very clear terms that there is no subscriber who has fully paid for his or her house that has not been given the house. “El-Salem has more houses in the estate than there are subscribers and anybody who fully completes payment for any of the houses will be handed the house the same day. “Till today, we do not have anybody who has completed payment for a house but who has not been given the house. “There are still many houses at the estate waiting for buyers and we want to state clearly that the CPC wrote to us in respect of four subscribers who made equity payments of 20-30 per cent but who have not been able to complete payment for their houses either instalmentally or through mortgage over the years and yet are asking for houses to be given to them or their equity payments to be refunded,” he said.


Between Jonathan, Anenih and 2015 The Board of Trustees of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) is supposed to be a mere advisory body that can only bark without biting. Even though the issue of who becomes the chairman of the 'advisory' body is not supposed to command the kind of media attention it has attracted in recent times, things have been so because the interests of powerful persons have been so strong that tradition and normalcy can be thrown in the winds. The party's BoT now competes with the National Executive Council and National Working Committee for relevance on the front pages. Some may argue that this is due to the undue attention it receives in the media, but the amount of time, energy and resources powerful interests invest in it also attracts editors. This precedent was set by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who, as President, was so over- bearing that he had time to supervise everything in the ruling party from the national to the ward levels. In fact, at the expense of good governance, due process and the rule of law, Obasanjo single handedly handpicked everyone who contested elections under the PDP umbrella while he was president. As far as our post-1999 democracy is concerned, the culture of do-or-die and disdain for people's choice started from those dark days and the country has yet t fully recover from the spillover effects of that period. When his ignoble third term agenda failed, the old man had to put measures in place to make sure he continues to dominate for life. He not only imposed a sickly man on the country as President, he also forced a law on his party to ensure he immediately takes over as its BoT chairman. He staged a coup that ousted his own man, Anenih from the seat. By a twist of fate, the same man has now succeeded him. In that capacity, he wielded some influence and power and was able to support President Jonathan's aspiration in 2011 in the midst of serious confusion and divide about zoning. When he was eventually forced out of the headship of PDP BoT, succession issues now emerged for the organ and a lot of interests were at play. Since the beginning of the battle for who replaces Obasanjo as BoT chairman, it was obvious that many of the contestants were representing interests that

After several months of curious adjournments, the elders of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) recently elected controversial politician, Tony Anenih as the chairman of the party's Board of Trustees (BOT). In this piece, Abdulrahman Abdulraheem takes a second look at the intrigues, politics and the factors that swung the pendulum in favour of the so-called Mr fix it.

Chief Tony Anenih Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the (PDP)

President Goodluck Jonathan had to do with 2015. Anenih, an old politician associated with all the terrible things Nigerian politicians are known for, had clearly abandoned Obasanjo the Otta- based chicken farm (just the way he abandoned the June 12 struggle) and he was widely tipped as the preferred candidate of the powers that be at Aso Rock. His former comrade in the eight year Obasanjo misrule, Ahmadu Ali was also a top contender and was said to be fronting for his master who was fighting tooth and nail to find his way back to reckoning. Anenih needed only an appointment as chairman of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to switch loyalty from Obasanjo to Jonathan. There were also candidates like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Ken Nnamani, Alhaji Shuiab Oyedokun, Dr Akex Ekwueme, Don Etiebet, Bode Olajumoke, Yekini Adeojo, Senator Onyeabor Obi and Harry Marshall. The election was first scheduled for November last year but it suffered several postponements before Mr Fix it finally emerged through a consensus. While former President Obasanjo and the incumbent were said to be at loggerheads regarding the next head of the BoT, many of the several meetings held at the State House Banquet Hall were dedicated towards a debate aimed at finding a meeting

point for all feuding parties. The leadership of the party didn't want an election to decide the outcome just like the President's camp too apparently needed time to exert a good measure of influence on the members before the chairmanship position is decided. While the leadership of the party said it didn't want an election to avoid rancor and pave way for the emergence of a leader that is acceptable to all, political observers contended that the two major camps welcomed the adjournments to have enough time to strategize properly. In one of the deadlocked meetings, the organ decided to set up a committee headed by former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana to streamline the BoT membership. This move was widely suspected to be geared towards whipping

some troublemakers into line or weeding them out of the organ. The day Jerry Gana Committee was adopted the same day it was and on the same day, everyone came out of the meeting congratulating Anenih who just emerged as the chairman of the BoT by consensus. The board is made up of 102 members, comprising serving and past presidents and vice presidents who are still members of the party. Also in the board are all serving and past national chairmen of PDP, national secretaries, all past and serving senate presidents and speakers of the House of Representatives who are still members of the party, all founding fathers and mothers of the party, two women selected from each of the six geo-political zones, three members, at least one of who shall be a woman from each

of the six geo-political zones, and members of the party not exceeding six who have contributed immensely to the growth of the party The PDP constitution also says that the membership of the BoT shall reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the quorum shall be twothirds of the membership. While the modus operandi of the streamlining excise was not made very clear, the secretary of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin said all the amendments would be approved by the national convention slated for 2014. All said, the emergence of Tony Anenih by consensus in a meeting attended by the President is a pointer to the fact that Dr Goodluck Jonathan is fast recovering lost grounds in his undisguised bid to bear the PDP's ticket and retain power come 2015.


Anenih, an old politician associated with all the terrible things Nigerian politicians are known for, had clearly abandoned Obasanjo the Otta- based chicken farm (just the way he abandoned the June 12 struggle) and he was widely tipped as the preferred candidate of the powers that be at Aso Rock. His former comrade in the eight year Obasanjo misrule, Ahmadu Ali was also a top contender and was said to be fronting for his master who was fighting tooth and nail to find his way back to reckoning.



CPC wants Jonathan to implement Lemu’s report By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he leadership of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently embark on full implementation of the reports of the 22-man committee that investigated the violence that erupted after the 2011 Presidential election in the country. The Committee chaired by Sheik Ahmed Lemu was mandated to investigate both the remote and immediate cause of the violence that trailed the 2011 general election in the

Again, court indicts NLC over sack By Josephine Ella


he National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Abuja has awarded substantial damages against the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for unlawful termination of the appointment of Comrade Iduh L. Onah, an Assistant General Secretary who acted as the Head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the NLC between September 2009 to March 2011. The judgment is the second in less than two months that the NIC would indict the NLC for violating the rights of its employees. Earlier in January, the court gave a judgment that re-instated Comrade John Odah who was unceremoniously removed as General Secretary of NLC in May 2011. The court, presided over by the Honourable Justice Babatunde Adejumo, delivered judgment in the suit in which Comrade Onah had sought for a declaration that the termination of his appointment on May 24, 2011 based on an alleged re-organization was a ruse and therefore unlawful. He asked for N10m for damages. Adejumo ordered the NLC to pay Comrade Onah two years salary as general and aggravated damages as well as an order for the payment of three month’s salary in lieu of notice to which the claimant is entitled. The judge further ordered that Comrade Onah be paid all other entitlements due to employees of the NLC within the last two years and awarded 10 per cent interest on the judgment sum from the date of the judgment until when it is fully liquidated. Justice Adejumo lampooned the NLC for its contempt for both its own constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “The appointment of the claimant herein was summarily determined in flagrant disrespect and disregard of cardinal principles of the conditions of service of the claimant as contained in the constitution and conditions,” Adejumo said.

northern Nigeria. In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Rotimi Fashakin, CPC recalled that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had blamed the the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and its national leader, General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) of masterminding the violence in some parts of the north, after the 2011 general elections. CPC therefore, expressed anxiety that though the panel submitted its report, which contains far-reaching recommendations, to the government on 10th of October, 2011, about nine months have passed since the release of the white-paper, yet there is nothing to show that the report will be implemented. The party further observed that the Lemu committee had recommended the setting up of Electoral Offences’ Tribunal, which the white paper produced by the Jonathan’s government,

offered to implement, yet there has never been any sign that such would be implemented. CPC further noted that the committee also identified widespread desire by the people for change owing to the decaying state of the nation’s infrastructure and legitimized culture of impunity encouraged by the PDP rulers since 1999, as a major cause of electoral violence, regretting that no effort has been made by President Jonathan to address the issue. On this basis, CPC accused Jonathan of being the greatest beneficiary of the anomalies in the electoral system, arguing that this is the only reason why he is unwilling to make fundamental changes that will truly give sovereignty to the Nigerian people. “The PDP will be unwilling to support any sustainable, expeditious trial of electoral offences because electoral manipulations and infractions

have become the reason for its tenacious hold on political power in these thirteen years”, CPC said. While describing Jonathan’s ‘nonchalance’ as one implying that the regime did not really intend to unearth the truth about the post-election violence in 2011, CPC pointed out that the President and PDP only sought to use the eminent Nigerians in the Lemu Panel as pawns to indict CPC and its leader, Buhari. Meanwhile, the party recalled that while the Lemu Committee was still sitting, the police declared at a public forum that no fewer than 5,356 people were arrested during and after the April 2011 General Elections in the country for electoral offences. It also observed that out of the number, 2,341 were arrested before the polls and 3,015 for post-election violence, asking what has happened to those apprehended by the Police for perpetrating the heinous crime

against humanity. “Left off the hook? Remanded in police custody? Being prosecuted in a court of law? Nigerians need to know,” CPC demanded. However, the party has said the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Reuben Abati, got the Presidential Adviser appointment owing to his use of the Guardian Newspaper column in disseminating unfounded piece of disinformation about Buhari and CPC. The party, which described Abati as a notable journalist initially, expressed disappointment that he offered himself and his newspaper column as a hireling to do a hatchet job for PDP. “He was eventually rewarded – for the hatchet jobwith a plum appointment as the Senior Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity upon the latter’s inauguration on 29th May, 2011.”, CPC said.

Sokoto state Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (middle),in a handshake with President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic (right), during the governor's visit to Niamey, at the weekend. With them isNigerian Ambassador to Niger Republic, Alhaji Aliyu Isah Sokoto (left).

Jonathan receives Cote d’Ivoire’s highest national honour By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire has conferred that country’s highest national honour on President Goodluck Jonathan. At a ceremony in Abidjan, Jonathan received the award of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Nation, in appreciation of what Ouattara described as Nigeria’s contributions to peace, stability and progress in Cote D’Ivoire. Ouattara also conferred the honour of Commander of the Order of the Nation on the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, at a state banquet in the Ivorian seat of government. Speaking at the occasion, Jonathan who began a state visit to the country on Friday said that Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire must continue to strengthen their bilateral cooperation for the benefit of their citizens and others in the West African sub-region. According to Jonathan, “I

believe that the future of our countries lies in consolidating our relationships in all spheres of human endeavour but most especially in the areas of democratization and good governance, promotion of human rights, poverty eradication and development. “Going forward, our countries must build on the efforts of our past leaders to foster a climate of peace and security in our sub-region. “Without these collective efforts, our hopes and our aspiration of improving the living conditions of our peoples would be imperiled. “We must fight poverty collectively through pooling of our resources, value-addition, intraregional trade and promotion of investments,” President Jonathan said. “As a true friend of Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria will always be on your side to share the joys and pains of friendship, in good times as well as in bad times.”

Meanwhile, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has commended Jonathan’s effort at eliminating the polio virus in Nigeria before 2015. The President of the foundations’ Global Development Programme, Dr Chris Elias, made the commendation during a news conference at the UN Headquarters at the weekend. The News Agency of Nigeria quoted Elias as saying that, “there has been great improvement in the quality of the campaign coverage against polio. “Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the three countries that have yet to eliminate polio.’’ Elias had, during the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Side Event, pledged the foundation’s commitment toward a polio-free world, adding that Nigeria was totally committed to pursuing the goal of polio eradication by 2014. He said the wild polio virus was

now confined to few areas in Nigeria, compared with the widespread situation in the past, with about 84 cases reported by September 2012. He noted that “in the last one year, 94 per cent of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria had become polio-free with no case reported in 25 of the country’s 36 states in more than two years. “The Nigerian Federal Government, in collaboration with the Aliko Dangote Foundation, had invested huge amount of money in the eradication of the disease. “The funds, with that from international donors, are being used effectively.’’ He said that in 1988, organizations, including the U.S Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Rotary International, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, along with many countries of the world, agreed to eradicate polio in the world.


Gangariya radio awards holds in Kaduna


angariya Radio Awards - a platform conceived to promote the growth and development of the vast radio sector is holding its maiden event in Kaduna on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at the prestigious Hamdala Hotel, Kaduna. According to a press statement issued by Executive Director, NEWSPARTNER IMC LIMITED, Yakub Abubakar, the awards would be the first ever since the advent of the first radio station in northern Nigeria in 1962. As a pioneering effort, it would kick start with a total of 32 award categories in English and Hausa. A panel of three independent, unaffiliated judges would sit on all entries. The Organizing Committee would announce three nominees in each award category on Friday, 22 March 2013; while the closing date for entries is Friday, 15 March 2013. All entries are free. The event is expected to gather all stakeholders in the radio sector, including regulators, government functionaries, advertising agencies and media buyers, as well as captains of industry. An appreciable number of corporate bodies have indicated interest to boost the event and still open to others. Organizers of the event NEWSPARTNER IMC - also operate the track and Field Media Index, arguably the only Radio Audience Measurement platform in northern Nigeria.

Turkish investors, Bauchi to explore solid mineral resources From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Conference of Northern states Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in partnership with the Bauchi state government is to fast rack the exploration of solid mineral resources in the state. This was disclosed by the Chairman of the conference, Alhaji Sanusi Maijama stated this yesterday in Bauchi during a grand reception organized by CONSCCIMA (North East) to honour him as the new chairman of the conference. He disclosed that the Conference would seek the expertise of Turkish investors to actualize this dream within the next 40 days. He advised the state government to identify areas with large solid minerals deposit to encourage the conference in mobilising technical support from the Turkish companies that have excelled in the exploration of abundant deposits. The Chiarman implored the state deputy governor who is also the Commissioner in charge of the ministry of solid minerals, to work out modalities for quick partnership so that the Turkish experts could arrive the state to commence operation in forty days time.


NHIS improved maternal, child healthcare in Bauchi - Emir T By Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

he Emir of Dass in Bauchi state, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu Othman has said that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has improved maternal and child health care in the state. Othman stated this yesterday when he received the enlightenment committee on NHIS led by its Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Saleh Jarmayo on a courtesy call in his palace.

He said that women's patronage of health facilities has been on the increase with children also trooping to hospitals and clinics for health care services now available through the NHIS at affordable rates. Alhaji Othman observed that cases of maternal and infant mortality had also reduced as pregnant women who do delivered at home through traditional birth attendants now seek professional assistance in government health facilities.

The Emir however urged the state government to extend the NHIS initiative from urban and semi urban areas to the rural communities where majority of the people reside saying such a move would enable nursing mothers to deliver with ease and reduce complications associated with conveying pregnant women to urban areas through poor rural roads. Speaking earlier, Chiarman of the enlightenment campaign, Alhaji Jarmayo said about 70,000

civil servants and their depend ants out of the 120, 000 have been accessing the NHIS facility. He said the state government set up the committee on realizing that most rural communities were yet to benefit from the scheme adding that for the programme to achieve it's goals, traditional rulers must mobilise experts to educate people at the grassroots so that the scheme which has so far gulped about N800 million could benefit the entire people of the state.

L-R: Former Heads of Service of the Federation, Abu Obe, Steve Orosanye, AfolabiOladapo, AmlaPepple, and Head of Service, Bello Sali, during a reception in honour of Oladapo and Orosanye by Head of Service of Federation, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

NCWS commends kwankwaso on peace initiatives From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina


he National Council For Women Society, NCWS, has commended Kano State Governor Alhaji Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso for supporting initiatives aimed at training women on peace and trauma management. The Kano State Chairperson, Hajiya Zainab Ali Musa made the

From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa state government has targeted 1.3 million children for immunization against Poliomyelitis in the ongoing second round of vaccine exercise in the state. This was disclosed by the state deputy governor and Chairman, state's mobilisation committee on immunisation, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud while delivering his speech during the flag-off of the 2013 second round of polio vaccine exercise at Kanya Babba town in Babura local government of the state. Alhaji Mahmud said, " the state

commendation at a 3 day capacity building training for various women groups in Kano state held in Katsina. Hajiya Zainab noted that the workshop which received the full support of the Kano State government was been coordinated jointly by the NCWS, Democratic Action Group, DAG and the Society for Peace Studies and Practice. The chairperson stated that women suffer most in times of crisis

as they loose their husbands and children, adding that to tackle the effect of conflict and security, women that control the home front must be trained to cope with the situation. "Women that lost the husbands or children during crisis face a lot of physical and psychological trauma. We therefore feel that there is the need to train them on how to cope with the delicate situation", she added.

Similarly, Hajiya Zainab praised the poverty reduction programme of the Kano State government wherein 100 women received N10,000 weekly at the completion of their training. In his remark, the ExecutiveDirector of Democratic Action Group, Malam Muhammed Mustapha Yahaya said the training has become necessary as women were expected to act as light to checking insecurity and crisis right from their homes.

Jigawa targets1.3m children in 4 days has increased the number of polio vaccination teams from 767 to 2,822 teams aimed at reaching all the targeted children in the state". According to the deputy governor, "there is no any report of polio in the last two years in the state, as a result of governor Sule Lamido's led administration commitment in the health sector vis a vis the polio eradication and other preventable diseases policies and programme". The Chairman maintained that, "due to the support and co operations from parents and traditional rulers and other stakeholders, the programme is

succeeding and is about to end the disease in the state". The state commissioner of Health, Dr. Tafida Abubakar said the state came first in good and proper planning and implementation on polio and malaria control in the country as stated in one of the recent review of national health policy meeting in Abuja. The commissioner further stated that, "government had increased the state's ministry's budget from N13.5 billion to N14.5 billion this year, a clear indication and evidence of the present administration's zeal to

provide effective health care delivery to all categories of people in all parts of the state". Speaking earlier, the Director General of the Gunduma health system in the state, Pharmacist Usman Tahir disclosed that the state increased the number of ad hock staff from 5,369 to 19, 754 across the state. "I'm also appealing to you (parents) stop worrying about the number of vaccines administered on their children, it will not harm your children and we shall never be party to what may injure them in any way by God's Grace", he said.



ACN accuses Jonathan of encouraging Borno insurgency From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ction Congress of the Nigeria (ACN) has hailed action of some governors under the aegis the All Progressive Congress (APC), who visited Borno state last week, describing the move as pacesetting and courageous. ACN’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a press statement in Lagos yesterday, noted that the visit has also exposed what the party described as Federal Government’s hypocrisy on the Boko Haram insurgency. According to the statement, “there can be no better assurance of solidarity and support for the beleaguered people of the states affected by the Boko Haram crisis than to see leaders from various parts of the country walking, without donning bullet proof vests and helmets, on the open streets of a city that has been described as the epi-centre

of the Boko Haram insurgency. “It does not mean the crisis does not exist but it sends a strong signal to the insurgents that they have only succeeded in cowing a very few, not all Nigerians and that indeed under a purposeful APC government the conflict will in no time become history. “No part of Nigeria should be a no-go area,

…hails APC governors for visit

especially for the President and the Commander-in-Chief. “Part of the reason this needless Boko Haram crisis has festered is that the President in particular has failed to show leadership. “By staying away from the

Kwara governor’s wife gives amputees artificial limbs


ife of Kwara state Governor, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, has donated artificial limbs to 39 amputees in the state. This is contained in a statement issued by her Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Funke Oludipe, in Ilorin on Sunday According to the statement, the gesture is aimed at aiding the movement of the amputees so as to make life and means of livelihood easier for them.

Ahmed said that her pet project, the LEAH Charity Foundation would not relent in making life more bearable for the physically challenged. “It is the desire of LEAH Charity Foundation to empower and keep amputees and other physically challenged people off the streets,’’ the statement said and advised people who have lost their limbs to register with the foundation so as to benefit from the exercise. (NAN)

affected parts of the country since the crisis started in 2009 for fear of his personal safety, and also receding behind the safe walls of the Aso Rock fortress to celebrate independence anniversaries, the President has unwittingly emboldened the anarchists who have killed and maimed thousands. “When presidents in other lands defy terrorists, it is not that they don’t care about their own safety but that they simply want their compatriots to know that whatever fate befalls them is shared by their leaders. “That was why President George W. Bush of the US flew to Iraq in the heat of the insurgency there and President Barack Obama travelled to Afghanistan even amid threats. “If it is true, as reported, that President Jonathan now plans to visit Borno this week


FG to train 30,000 graduates annually


he Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to tackling unemployment across the country through the implementation of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme. Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said this during the inauguration of the Industrial Training Funds’ headquarters annex and ICT training centre, in Jos last weekend. According to Aganga, the NISDP is a skills acquisition programme designed to attract resource empowerment for its trainees upon graduation and it is in line with the Industrial Revolution Plan of the Ministry of Trade and Investment. He said, “we are already on

Taraba govt tasks LGs, traditional rulers on peace From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo

L-R: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar, former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and General Theophilus Danjuma, during the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria special convocation ceremony and special launching of N50b ABU phase 11 development fund on Saturday in Zaria.

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

(for the first time since the crisis started in 2009), it then means the Commander-inChief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been waiting for the kind of ground-breaking visit of the progressive governors who by the way are mere titular security chiefs of their states before deciding whether or not it is safe for him to visit Borno. “The PDP and the government it controls at the centre have been cowering under the sheets at the prospect of the emergence of the APC, not minding the bold front they have been putting up. “They have labeled a yet-tobe formed party a cult. They have denigrated the group, playing on its acronym”.

the path to addressing the problem of skills gap and unemployment through the introduction and implementation of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme. “The idea is that we want to turn our quantity advantage as a nation into a productive advantage. And the only way to do it is through skills acquisition and education after which we can provide opportunities for those that have acquired the skills to set up their businesses or to be gainfully employed. “Therefore, the strategy of the Ministry of Trade and Investment, working together with the ITF, is to first of all identify the critical sectors of the economy where we have comparative and competitive advantage. “The second thing is to link

those sectors or industries that we have identified to innovation, Research and Development. Then, the third thing is to link those sectors to industrial skills development. That is where the NISDP comes in. “We have already put a robust structure in place to enable those who have been trained to be gainfully employed. “That is the path that we have started already. If we allow this to go on for the next three years, we will make significant impact in terms of turning our quantity advantage into productive advantage – where most Nigerians will be gainfully employed and also have the opportunity to move up the value chain with respect to the skills they have acquired. Earlier in his speech, the ITF Director-General, Prof. Longmas Wapmuk, said that the agency

would establish 37 industrial skills training centres across the country, in addition to SectorSpecific Training Centres for manufacturing, agro-allied, construction and other critical sectors of the nation’s economy. He noted that the implementation of these initiatives, expected to generate 29,875 readily employable graduates annually, would go a long way in reducing unemployment, creating wealth and enhancing national security. “In each of the 46 centres, training will be offered in 25 trade areas. “Each of the 25 trade areas will enroll 25 trainees in line with international best practice for effective hands-on learning. The process will generate a total of 29, 875 readily employable graduates annually.”

araba state government has said it would hold local government council chairmen and traditional rulers responsible for any breach of the peace in their domains. The Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, gave the warning in Jalingo while addressing traditional and religious leaders as well as local government council chairmen and stakeholders, on peace and security. He expressed sadness over the recent conflicts in Wukari, saying this was happening at a time when people of the state needed to strengthen and encourage one another. Umar recalled that the unfortunate air crash of October last year involving Governor Danbaba Suntai was one event that had profound effects on the state and its people. Umar said that the meeting was aimed at arresting what he described as drift in the state noting however that the spate of upheavals in the state may not be unconnected with the lackof jobs for the teeming population of the youth in the state. He assured that that government was firmly committed to providing improved standard of living across the state and that government has awarded a contract for the construction of Bali- Serti-Gembu road and that the JalingoSunkani-Garba -Chede road project would be completed in April. Meanwhile, the police in Taraba state have arrested 125 suspects in connection with the recent crisis in Wukari. The Commissioner of Police, Jubril Adeniji, who made the disclosure during the stakeholders’ meeting described the Wukari as enormous. He expressed sadness over incessant attacks on his men across the state by unknown gunmen assuring that the police was ready to fight criminals in the state to a standstill and urged the people to be security conscious.



I'll not be deterred by detractors -Al-makura By Umar Muhammad Puma


L-R: Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, during the flag-off ceremony for the Christian pilgrimage to Israel, at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja recently Photo: Mahmud Isa

Residents seek reopening of closed Auchi banks By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


esidents of Auchi in Edo state have called for the reopening of three commercial banks shut in November 2012, after a robbery attack on them. The residents said the call was necessary following the difficulties they face in accessing funds and carrying out banking transactions. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that three commercial banks in the town were shut after some armed robbers attacked them on November 26, 2012, killing 10 people. The attack was one in the series

of such incidents in Auchi within a short period and the indefinite closure of the affected banks since then had forced customers to travel to other cities for their banking needs. The situation made customers to spend long time in queues at Automated Teller Machine (ATM) points in the five banks still operating in the town to collect money. Some desperate residents turn up at the available ATM points as early as 5.30 am to stay on the queue. A resident and lecturer at the Auchi Polytechnic, Mr Bartholomew Edigan, however, said that the early rush had led to robbery attacks on many people.

Nasarawa to settle hospital bills of injured varsity students From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Nasarawa state government has requested the management of the Keffi Federal Medical Centre, to forward medical bills of all the students of the Nasarawa state university, injured by security men as a result of the protest and are currently undergoing treatment at the centre, with a view to offsetting the bills. In a release made available to journalists in Lafia, signed by Danjuma Joseph, Chief Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Hon. Dameshi Barau Luka, made the request at the weekend while on a consolation visit to Abdulmajid Ofoku, one of the victims receiving treatment at the FMC. The deputy governor, who consoled the students on behalf of Governor Umaru Tanko

Almakura, sympathised with them, describing the incident as unfortunate while praying to God to grant them quick recovery. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) , Dr Gyiang, in company of other top management staff conducted the deputy governor and his entourage round the centre. The state chairman of Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Ayuwaja Nayagawa told the deputy governor that many students who sustained various degrees of injuries have been treated and discharged. The management of the state university led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Shamsudeen Amali, also accompanied the deputy governor on the visit. Meanwhile, the deputy governor has paid a condolence visit to the family of one of the

He said ``I can tell you that many have lost their money because they wake up early to beat the rush and end up losing such money to thieves.'' Another lecturer, Mr Wasiu Abdulbukoye, said that the services being offered by the ATMs were not encouraging, saying that ``most times network will not be available or the machine will not dispense cash''. Alhaji Abdulahi Mohammed, another resident, said that the bank managements were often indifferent to customers' complaint of poor ATM services. ``While we sympathise with the banks over the frequent attacks, we also appeal to them to consider the masses and reopen the slain students, Aminu Usman, a four hundred level student, who died as a result of the student's unrest. Condoling the family of the late Aminu Usman, in Obi, the headquarters of Obi LGA of the state, Dameshi Luka, urged parents of the late student to accept the incident as an act of God Responding on behalf of the family, a senior brother of the deceased, Samaila Usman, who described the death of his brother as painful, thanked the state government for identifying with them at their moment of grief.

shut branches and those in operation should strengthen their ATM services. ``We are really suffering ‌ most times they end up not making any withdrawal due to one machine problem or the other,'' Mohammed said. He said that the problem with banks and the ATMs were affecting students of Auchi Polytechnic. Meanwhile, the Auchi branch Chairman of Bankers Forum, Mr. Bash Sanusi, had promised that something would be done to improve on the services of the ATMs. Sanusi also said that efforts were being made by the management of the shut banks to reopen them. (NAN)

Education a vehicle for devt, says new registrar From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi

Newly appointed Registrar of the recently approved Federal University Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar Mungadi has described education as a vehicle for the development of mankind. Mungadi who was fielding questions from newsmen weekend at his country home of Mungai in Kebbi state over his new appointment as the pioneer

Zuru Emirate gets new district head From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


ebbi state Governor, Mallam Saidu Usman Dakingari has approved the appointment of Alhaji Muhammed du-Ede as the new District Head of Birnin Tudu in the Zuru Emirate council. A press statement siged by the

overnor Umar Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has said that he will not be deterred in his administration effort in bringing the dividend of democracy to the people of his state. Therefore, he said, his detractors would fail like pack of cards, despite disparaging and derogatory comments against his administration. "Allah will continue to guide and direct him to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of Nasarawa state", the governor who spoke through his senior special Assistant on media and press affairs, Sani Musa Mairiga in Abuja said. Mairiga said, his ascension to power as the governor of was divinely orchestrated and therefore has nothing to fear, especially those who are hell bent on pulling him down and drag his name in the mud. "Some of my detractors have held various positions, they should come out and tell us what they have done to better the living conditions of our people", Al-makura said. He added that anybody attempting to run down his government through whatever means would end up with blood pressure because such attempts would fail. The governor said that he would continue to ensure that Nasarawa's funds get to the poor through the provision of infrastructure. "Some people want power by hook or crook. I want to let them know that power comes from Allah, He bestows it on who He want and nobody has the audacity to question Him". Governor Umar Tanko Almakura said that his administration is working round the clock to create the enabling environment for sustainable peace and tranquility. He however, warned mischief makers to desist from acts capable of causing disaffection among the citizens of the state.

Secretary, Zuru Emirate Council, Alhaji Hassan M. Nasko, quoted the Governor as directing the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to liaise with the emirate council for a befitting turbanning ceremony as soon as possible. The new District Head retired from the cabinet office as a director.

registrar, said that both the federal and Kebbi state governments are doing a lot in the education sector but much need to be done to improve awareness. He therefore advocated for more investment on education by wealthy individuals in the state to compliment government efforts in the development of education. He then solicited for private partnership with government on education, citing the southern part of the country where over 85 percent of education sector is private-driven. The new Registrar who thanked the Federal Government for establishing a university in Kebbi state, also called on the people to assisting in nurturing it to growth . He also called on the secondary school students across the state to face their studies, read hard so that they can qualify for admission into the university.



Get a grip of your budget with personal finance apps


he world seems to be in an unending financial crisis these past few years. As an individual, it is pretty difficult to know where you stand with your money, except you have some assistance. Fortunately, there is a wealth of financial apps on the market, most of them free, which gives you plenty of alternatives for learning how to be more responsible with your personal finances. Whether you're trying to handle your own income and expenses, managing an entire household, or running a small business, there's a programme that can help get your finances in order. Some of the most popular and well-known personal finance apps work on the premise that better money management comes through centralisation and visibility. If you can see, at a glance and in one place, where all your accounts and spending habits stand, you'll be better equipped to make better decisions to stay within your budget. and its mobile apps (such as the Mint iPhone app and Android app) offers a quick and dirty look at all your account balances, from bank accounts and credit cards to loans and investment accounts-the worksupdated in real-time, as long as you're connected to the Internet. Use Mint to set up personalised budgets for various categories of expenses, as well as goals, like saving for a vacation or to buy real

estate. When you purchase something, Mint automatically categorises the transaction and alerts you when you're about to go over budget. Opt-in push notifications can even remind you when bills are due. Mint nabbed the Editors' Choice pick for personal finance apps because of its speed and reliability- truly the easiest way to track all your accounts on the fly. Pageonce We love the Pageonce iPhone app (as well as its apps for Android, iPad, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry) because it's the only

mobile app from which you can perform transactions. Bill pay costs just 30 cents per transaction. If you're the kind of person who doesn't like automatic bill pay and needs to keep a closer eye on exactly when your money goes to service providers, Pageonce is the app for you. It also has the best interface of all the personal finance mobile apps we've seen, placing key account balances in thumbnails that appear on the home screen. Adaptu Wallet iPhone App Entry-level to semiexperienced budgeting

enthusiasts should consider using the Adaptu Wallet iPhone app\ for their personal finance needs. Adaptu packs some features that make it more like a virtual wallet than just a ledger of your accounts. You can track your loyal programmes, create spending forecasts, and store photos of business cards, insurance cards, or anything else you usually stuff into your billfold. Adaptu is free of advertisements (yay), but the company behind the app says it may start charging for advanced features sometime this year (boo).

7 ways to cope with financial hardship


xcept for a few, the issues and challenges of hardship are common with us, particularly in the last few years of global financial crises that lead to loss of jobs and collapse of many organizations. Coping with these challenges, either as individuals or households is what Expert has tried to discuss in this article. Financial hardship has become the bane of every country and Nigeria is no exception. Households are struggling to cope with the ever increasing prices of basic necessities. It is common to see women cutting back on purchases while shopping due to unexpected price hikes. Men (and women) dread the landlords coming round to inform them of rent increase. School fees go up without warning. Everyday life has become a nightmare for many as their incomes can no longer cater for their current lifestyles. It's a gloomy picture of hopelessness. But does it have to be? Are there ways of coping with the current financial climate? Yes, there are a few things you can do to relieve or reduce the financial pressure. Prepare a budget I'm still amazed by the

Quote "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." Colin Powell

number of people I meet living without a budget. This gives a true picture of why there is more financial hardship than is necessary. In Nigeria, it's wellknown that majority lack a regular source of income. For many, it's quite erratic, indeed. The percentage of employed to self-employed or unemployed is terribly high. But, having an irregular income is no excuse for living without a budget. A budget will not only show you where your money should gobut also how much you need to earn to maintain or improve your lifestyle. Shop weekly Shopping on a weekly basis will help when you are living on a small budget. Even though there is no hard and fast rule about shopping, as many shop monthly. Weekly shopping has a number of advantages. It makes sure that your family's needs are covered each week. Second, due to the unpredictable nature of electricity, weekly shopping will prevent you throwing away perishable goods, saving you money. The third advantage, when you stock weekly you reduce the chances of giving food away to family and friends who come visiting. It's great to be charitable but remember, it's bound to affect your budget as you'll need to restock before your next planned shopping date. Get a small generator and

small freezer Save up for a small generator and freezer. I know this sounds farfetched. But having a place to freeze food and other cooked dishes for the week will save you a lot of money. Yes, you'll spend a bit on fuel but you won't be running it all day, schedule running times for it. Make sure the generator is

most important activities in Nigeria. There are households that attend at least one function every weekend of the year. Many go on to buy various party attires chosen for the event. These all add up to a lot of money within the course of the year. This is beside other expenses brought on by the event.

powerful enough for the freezer. Why is a freezer important? The basic requirement of man is food, shelter and clothing. Real hardship comes when the three basic needs are out of reach. A family struggling to feed adds extra stress to the household. When there's food in the home, a third of one's worries are eliminated. A small freezer will truly make a big difference. Reduce social outings Social outings are one of the

Another area that increases social outing costs is social clubs and societies. These include old school associations, religious organisations, family meetings and the likes. It's great to keep in touch and be a part of a few. But when you are a member of so many, you are bound to spend lots of money on dues and social occasions among members. Increase your earnings When your income can do no more, it's time to increase your

Doxo Managing your own money is one thing, but taking charge of household expenses is another matter. Doxo is a relatively new website and service that lets you manage household payments, connect with utility and service providers, and backup important family documents while you're at it. Think of Doxo as an online filing cabinet, where you can view all your e-statements at once. No more logging into ten different sites - your electric and gas providers, cable providers, credit card, video streaming service, etc.- just to know where all the household bills stand. You can even connect to healthcare providers to see medical statements, too. OfficeTime OfficeTime, which records billable hours as you work and generates invoices and reports based on them, is a small business owner's best friend. Freelancers, contractors and others in selfemployed ranks grapple with the financial administration and paperwork that come with running a small business. This highly practical yet relatively simple programme helps SMBs keep track of their billable hours by tracking how much time you spend on various projects and tasks while you're working. It shows the minute-by-minute costs as they accumulate, or with numbers rounded, however, you choose. earnings. Are you working? Then you might need to take on a part time business. Part time jobs are not readily available in Nigeria, so having a business on the side will work for those who are employed. If you are already running your own business then you can expand or add a new product line or service to your existing one(s). Do I hear you say, "Where will I get the money to do that"? One of the great things we do have here in Nigeria is traditional saving schemes, cooperatives, microfinance banks and commercial banks. These are ways and places to save up money to start a small business or improve on an existing one. Set up an expense account Open an expense bank account and put money into it weekly, where possible. You must separate your spending money from your bills money. Your bills money is not your money. It is money meant to pay for services you've received. Plan your month in advance Learn to plan your month in advance. What do you want to happen financially for you in the coming month? Put pen to paper and draw up some realistic financial goals that you can work towards. When you plan your month, it reduces people taking you on their own financial journey. I hope these few tips will help you through the hardest times.(Source: Money Ning.)




Let thy word be thy bond Contd. from Front Page song of the fact of the agreement at campaign outings; former President Obasanjo who took time during Jonathan's closing campaign rally in Abuja to talk about and commend Jonathan for agreeing to be a "one term" president -all three of them, though at different fora, spoke freely, plainly and unequivocally, attesting to the fact of the existence of the agreement. And so did Jonathan himself, in Addis Ababa, when he addressed Nigerians in Diaspora there and told them he would not be contesting the 2015 presidential election. Given all this, it should be obvious that, for Jonathan, a denial that he reached a oneterm-only agreement with his party's governors is simply not an option. For, such a denial will fly directly in the face of the basic truths about this affair, including his own testimony in Addis Ababa. Jonathan's only option is to go back on his words, which will not be his first such action, but which will be fraught with serious negative implications both for him as a person and leader and for the nation. It may be argued, not without some justification, that this is all a PDP internal affair about which the rest of us should not be unduly concerned. And, doubtless, the affair is a reflection of the internal tensions, squabbles and factional fights within the PDP. It can hardly be for nothing that Governor Aliyu chose a time like this, when politics in the country is recovering its zest and the manoeuvrings and scheming for power have started in earnest, to make public his recollections of the 2010 event. This apart, it is not altogether unlikely that this whole thing is intended as a diversion, to distract the Nigerian peoples' attention, discourage them from asking hard questions about the inexcusable failure of the ruling party to put the country's huge resources to good use and block opportunities for greater unity and better understanding of the country's situation among Nigerians. Note, in this regard, that Governor Aliyu's recollections of the 2010 agreement came blurting out of his head at the very time that the major opposition parties in the country served the world notice and unfolded a new platform for merging together. This can hardly be a mere co-incidence. But, whatever it is, and however he got there, Jonathan today is the president, the

leader charged with the responsibilities of steering the ship of state and running the country's affairs in a way that will take it to new heights, and who is expected, in the course of this, to show real leadership, lead by example and cultivate and maintain the highest standards of conduct in both his public and personal life. Most unfortunately, since coming to the Villa, first as Vice President and later as President, Jonathan has at every turn been giving us cause to believe both that his narrow abilities and competence do not match the complexities of the job he has and that his conduct as a leader does not meet our expectations. When as Veepee Jonathan refused to follow

There is a moral dimension to leadership. There is no country in the world where politics is a morality-free zone where politicians operate completely without regard to principles, honour and integrity President Yar'adua's example to make his asset declaration public until pressure was mounted on him, he wittingly or unwittingly planted in people's minds the impression of a leader who had things to hide, a leader who would not come clean with Nigerians even on matters that are not strictly personal. And when as president seeking his party's nomination for the 2011 presidential election, he denied completely the existence of his party's agreement on zoning, of which he himself was a signatory, and spearheaded the violation of provisions of the party's constitution, he gave himself out as a leader who doesn't keep his words, a leader in whose compass of propriety honour doesn't feature prominently. Many of Jonathan's subsequent actions since then have only served to re-enforce these public perceptions of the man in public consciousness, rather than change them in a

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positive way. Maybe the man himself doesn't really care a hoot about these things, believing, as it seems he does, that raw power, money and rigging ability, not perceptions and image, are what 'win' elections for those already in power in this country - a country where political institutions are too weak and the people are generally too poor, too powerless and too disorganised to check the subversion of their wishes by the powerful. Whatever it is, the Nigerian public expects leaders to keep their words and to honour their pledges as a way to earn and keep its (public's) trust. And in case the presidency is unaware of it, or is not reading the signals correctly, the Nigerian people are really very disturbed about the countless half-truths and outright lies that now frequently come out of the presidency. In any decent democracy, these halftruths and lies will be sure to lead to resignations, loss of careers, impeachments, trials and jailing of all those involved. And let no one be deceived that we will not get to that point, perhaps soon, when it will be so herein Nigeria too. Jonathan, obviously, is now in a tight corner. He cannot deny the 2010 agreement. And refusing to abide by it will only confirm him as a leader with honour and integrity deficits. Still, there is a window of opportunity for the man to show us that there is another side to him which is different from the prevailing popular perception of him. And in this connection we offer this piece of advice: respect and honour agreements you have entered into, and don't be quick to enter into agreements you do not intend to keep. An agreement - signed or unsigned, written or unwritten - remains an agreement and should be respected by the parties to it, even if they happen to be politicians. Leaders who habitually break simple agreements think nothing of breaking more complex ones, and doing much worse. There is a moral dimension to leadership. There is no country in the world where politics is a morality-free zone where politicians operate completely without regard to principles, honour and integrity. In any case, it should be obvious that if the presidency keeps being dodgy, scheming and not being honest with us, the president will have very little or no legitimacy and the moral authority to demand from and/or enforce on his appointees any higher standards of conduct. And what a pity this will be for Nigeria.









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Jonathan: The betrayal of a government By Adekoya Boladale Above all odds we set out again. In spite of the bloodshed, we remain stronger. Our blood on the arena, our flesh on the polls. We are not discouraged, for this change we must make. Let our story be told, let our tales be remembered, for this clarion call is greater than our lives.


hose were my exact words two years ago, written on one of the midnight journeys to the village of Uguawalele, in far away Sokoto State Nigeria. My story seems unclear; you may not understand my tales but give me some minutes and follow me to the beginning, where it all started. On October 2010, my colleagues and I were called upon to obey the usual clarion call. This is a sacred duty of every Nigerian graduate towards the integration of the country’s heterogeneous inhabitants. But this time the assignment was different. Our country was passing through a perilous time in its history; our nascent democracy was entering the stage of maturity which historically seems to be the moment things go wrong. Secondly, disunity was foaming up amidst the various ethnic groups on sectional candidacy that seems to dominate the political parties, in the real light it was the South against the North. Above all, for the first time in the history of our nation the electoral commission was posed to conduct a free and fair election and we seems to be the only By S.O.C. Okenwa


n January 19th this year the world was served a horrific photographic menu of scores of human bodies found floating on Ezu River in Amansea community of Anambra State. When the local folks discovered the floating corpses they raised alarm but frantic searches within and without revealed no one in the community was missing. Governor Peter Obi, cutting short his trip abroad, visited the scene of horror to bear witness to the tragedy. Days and weeks and a month-plus gone nothing concrete has yet been done in terms of diligent investigation to unearth the source of the decomposing dead bodies found in that river. Since no one has been declared missing in the neighbourhood or neighbouring villages and towns in Anambra and Enugu states it follows logically, therefore, that the floating bodies must have been those of citizens killed and brought and thrown into the river at wee hours of the night from elsewhere. So who are these 'criminals', these young men who met their ultimely death through 'firing squad' without trial or judgement? The police normally should be able to tell us but the problem here lies in the fact that the police is being accused of being behind the illegal atrocious killings. In other words the police is the chief culprit! Hundreds (if not thousands) had been executed by security forces especially in Igboland without necessary questions asked

reasonable choice. Our task was simple, register voters and conduct the general election. The assignment was easy but technical, fun but with high risk. Without hesitation we picked up our bags and never looked back. We were made to believe our decision is the most humble thing to do and paying the ultimate price if need be so our nation could survive was not just heroic but the highest level of patriotism. In the freezing cold winter of the Sabon Brini desert a three hours journey from the main Sokoto town we were camped to decide the faith of the country. With so much excitement and patriotism, that for once we were doing something great for our country we marched down while graciously singing the youth corps anthem. ‘Youth obey the clarions call; let us lift our nation’s high. Under the sun or in the rain, with dedication and selflessness Nigeria ours, Nigeria we serve’. Who wouldn’t be moved by the rhythms of that song? So you know the feelings and adrenaline that flows through our veins. We arrived the village of Sabon Brini and were summoned to the electoral office in the early hours of the following day. You may not understand my description of the cold temperature around us but coming from the south which temperature usually stood between 28 to 39 degree censuses and now faced by a windy and cold temperature around 12 degree it was extreme cold to us. I remembered my colleagues and I had to find succor in the burning

fire of the local ‘Mashai’ (Tea seller) to quench the over powering cold and now freezing hands. But these weren’t strong enough to hold us down; by 6pm in the evening we resumed at the local electoral office for collection of sensitive election materials, these we didn’t get till 12mid night. After standing, seating and bending for hours, a minimal number of 40 people were loaded into a roofless pickup van with little or no space to stand. Some of us had to hold on to the rear door to make the trip. After 2hours of journey, we arrived Uguawalele around 2am same night. Beds were not provided so all we get is sleep on bare floor and for the lucky ones, the classroom tables of the dilapidated community school. We woke up by 6am ready for the national assignment; our experience has not deterred us a bit. Like the Hollywood movies we felt we were on special ops, so with laughter and smile we left our improvised beds and gisted about the unholy journey we had. So many occurrences came to play during our ‘operation’ like road accident, lack of food for days among others. In the midst of all these we set out to risk our lives for our great country. We may not be heroes but we look forward to making our nation happy. With language barriers and total attitudinal differences we conducted the elections without fear or favour. I could remember vividly when the election was cancelled, I was in my polling unit when the people

came to me and told me the election won’t hold. Being a student of political science who is very familiar with political history and gimmicks I thought the statement was a plot to take control of my polling unit and hijack the electoral materials. I was furious and told my batonless police officer to take charge of the ballot box which he even told me he couldn’t handle. Now I was feeling like oh all this has been staged and my police officer is part of the plan. I couldn’t make a call to demand for back up or at least confirm the authenticity of the story as the area was off the network service grid. I summoned up courage. In my heart my mind was already made up, I felt well the task has fell on me to stand up for Nigeria, I have to be strong and brave no matter what and if I lose my life defending the nation so be it. We took a great risk for our nation and didn’t stop even when in times of death the nation couldn’t protect us. We were prepare to die if need arise just like every soldier in the battle field but we were not soldiers for we were not trained, we were not soldiers for we had neither guns nor bomb. Two years after, the same government and country we fought for, the same government eleven of our colleagues gave their lives for has turned against us. We thought we fought a good fight, we thought we stood for the right thing; we thought we stood for change not knowing all our life worth is just five million naira. We

were not among the twenty two million Nigerians who voted for the president but we laid down our lives to ensure his vote and that of every other contestants counts no matter what. We never asked for luxuries, we never asked for compensation and no we never asked for national honours. Our cry is simple, our fight was for one thing and one thing alone, change. Change from the usual mode of governance, change from maladministration, change from corruption, change from joblessness, change from insecurity, change from epileptic electricity, change from favouritism and nepotism, change from hereditary appointments. Is this too much to ask for? Most of their children served in the corners of their bedroom, some were flown out of the troubled state immediately by choppers, others were guided by heavily armed security to the nearest airport but we stood. Let no one blame us if we take up arms against the government, we gave our lives for change yet their betrayed us. Let no one crucify us if we become terrorist and enemy of the state, it is not our desire, it is not our wish. This country leaves us no choice; we fought for this government it must fight for us. If the President is overwhelmed by the forces within his administration then he should learn to keep his house in order. Adekoya Boladale is a political scientist and wrote via

nor answers provided. Exploiting the people's ignorance of their rights and bowing to intimidation of the gun has conspired to mystify law enforcement in the south-east in particular. Accusations and counter-accusations are flying everywhere between the police and MASSOB on one hand and the government and human rights advocates on the other. The truth must be made to prevail in this sordid incident that calls for our collective indignation and solidarity with the dead. Though a Senate committee has since visited the horrible site in an investigative effort the Federal Government ought to have constituted a special investigation team to try to unravel the mystery surrounding the gory incident. Daily, Nigerians are being executed extra-judicially by the security forces without any proportionate penalty. The combined forces of corruption and leadership mediocrity has rendered living in Nigeria akin to living in hell! Life is therefore worth little or nothing. The law enforcement in Nigeria ubiquitously remains, post-colonialism, a brutal exhibition of naked primitive force fit only for the animal kingdom. Poorly trained, equipped and remunerated the police men and women tend to vent their frustration on a larger society they are supposed to protect. Rather than being seen therefore as 'friends'

they are seen more as enemies worth keeping at arm's lenght. Even the military are not left out of the shedding of innocent blood in Nigeria. Recently, four students of Nasarawa State University Keffi were shot dead by soldiers sent to quell a peaceful protest by the students over water and power shortage. The impunity guaranteed by a lawless federation with an absurd centralized police force makes it possible for men and women in uniform to commit crimes every now and then and go scot-free. That was why a A 27-year-old woman, Mary Sunday, has been in the hospital bed at Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital in Lagos seven months after she was allegedly attacked crudely by her fiancé, Corporal Isaac Gbanwuan,

with a pot of boiling stew and a lighted stove! While Mary is still writhing in pain recuperating from the first degree burns she received from the wicked jealousyinduced attack Corporal Gbanwuan is free as a bird working in his station! Again in October 2009, a 36year old Friday Orjieh, a breadwinner of his young family, a bureau-de-change operator based in Ikeja, was brutally shot dead at close range by an army officer, Private Aminu Audu, of Op-MESA, a joint military security patrol team in Lagos hired by one Mrs Elizabeth Olubunmi. Though the widow, Adiza Orjieh, had recently won a court case against the killer of her late husband it remains to be seen whether such brutal incidents could be nipped in the

bud. Meanwhile the murderer Private Audu and his accomplice Mrs Olubunmi are still at large enjoying the life and freedom they had denied others! The Ezu River macabre discovery bore the hallmark of police brutality. The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) leadership in Onitsha has brought forward facts and proofs that 18 of its members were among those killed and dumped in the river by the security outfit in Anambra state called SARS. One believes the MASSOB story because thus far the SARS commanders have not proven otherwise what the MASSOB were saying by providing the arrested MASSOB members in their custody. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) based in Awkuzu in Anambra State is more of a terrorist organisation, a killing machine than a joint task force against armed robbery, kidnapping and other sundry violent crimes. It must be reformed or disbanded! Much as one is against kidnapping, armed robbery or violent agitation for nationhood (secession) SARS are killing more innocent Igbos than the men of the underworld they are supposed to be tracking and bringing to justice. SARS are operating dangerously as if they were established primarily to kill and maim! To be continued

Ezu river’s floating corpses

The impunity guaranteed by a lawless federation with an absurd centralized police force makes it possible for men and women in uniform to commit crimes every now and then and go scot-free. That was why a A 27year-old woman, Mary Sunday, has been in the hospital bed at Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital in Lagos seven months after she was allegedly attacked crudely by her fiancé



Nasarawa Varsity crisis: Students’ leaders’ testimony By Akum Pamilu


asarawa State University, Keffi, has over the years earned an enviable reputation as one of the few universities in the country where industrial and academic harmony reign supreme. This record is particularly significant against the backdrop of the sundry strikes, students’ unrest and disruption of academic activities that have characterized the life of a typical higher institution of learning in recent times. Bearing in mind this selfevident fact, it must have came as a cude shock to not a few persons across the land, when Nasarawa State University (NSU) was closed indefinitely a few days ago, in the heat of the students’ protest over water scarcity. No less surprising was the circumstances that led to the protest in the first place, and the eventual closure of the school that is otherwise universally acknowledged as a model of serenity and stability. Such an explanation is imperative with a view to not only putting the record straight, but to also correcting the misinformation, distortion, halftruth and outright falsehood that pervaded the atmosphere following the unfortunate incidents that led to NSU’s indefinite closure. This is more so as it widely acknowledged that when falsehood is allowed a free rein for some time, it would sooner or later acquire the toga of truth. In brief, it all started some three weeks ago when water scarcity became prevalent throughout Keffi and, by extension, NSU. Hopes had been raised that whatever was responsible for the scarcity of this precious liquid would be dealt with By Pelumi Olatinpo


aybe you're given an item for which you did not really labor. The value of the item is so apparent it would be madness not to care for it. Sadly, while you understand the worth of the item, you lack the faculty to reasonably care for it. You are illprepared for such a responsibility. To make matters worse, this item, valuable as it seems, has little of your appreciation by way of construction. The design, the components, the structure—would be all much different were you candidly consulted. So, this thing, toward which you are supposed to feel some sense of affection, becomes nothing but an alien item in your care. You cannot truly identify with it. As a whole, it doesn’t represent your dreams, your wishes, or your aspirations. It is more or less a contrivance that exists only in name; and maybe some functionality. And seeing your lack of pride of ownership, for you, there's only one thing to do— abuse the heck out of the darn thing … for all it’s worth. . . . And so goes the tale of modern Nigeria. For all the troubles that threaten to violently dismember this state at a moment’s notice, identification with the nation state is primal. Like all other contrivances of colonial masters in Asia and Africa, getting peoples of over 250 ethnicities, speaking over 500 languages, to buy into a single entity has been an Eden that has

Akwanga-Keffisooner than Abuja highway later. But, alas, was blocked for one week some hours, with stretched into Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text thousands of another without i n n o c e n t any respite. Not messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written t r a v e l e r s unexpectedly, contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 stranded against the residents of words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and their will. In other Keffi in general a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed words, the and the to: students’ freedom university of assembly/ community in association particular, The Editor, eventually started to lose Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, became a patience as the 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. hinderance to s c a r c i t y Email: other innocent stretched on for SMS: 07037756364 citizens’ freedom what, to some, of movement appeared like along the eternity. As a responsible corporate “surprisation” when, even as plans veritably busy expressway. It is pertinent to quote the citizen, the university were being fine-tuned to management, led by the Vice implement these and other far- President of the Students’ Union Chancellor, Prof. S.O. Amali, reaching measures, a group of Government (SUG), Rabiu Tijjani quickly swung into action. students commandeered their Omameh, here if only to put the Following a series of meetings and colleagues into a supposedly whole thing in perspective, more consultation on the best ways to peaceful and orderly protest. so as he was right there as an deal with the nagging problem, Ordinarily, as an institution that eyewitness cum participant. two measures were adopted: water accords due respect to its workers’ According to him, as reported in would be made available to all and and students’ freedom of assembly the media. the protest was not sundry through the boreholes and and expression, NSU has always organised by the union but that water tankers. By implement these made it a point of duty never to he woke up early that Monday measures, it was hoped the effect interfere, let alone inhibit students’ morning to the chanting of students at his front door, of the prevailing scarcity on the or workers’ protests. Sadly, this particular protest demanding for him to supply them university would, at worse, be wasn’t all that orderly. Tempers with water.The union president minimal. One could, therefore, imagine began to flare when, in the course added that following the insistence the management’s utter of the protest, the ever-busy of the students on tap water, he left to place a complaint with the water board but could not find any official on ground, as according to him, “I went there very early and the staff The students’ leader explained that even were yet to arrive for work.” Omameh said he was on his though the students were actually way back to meet further with the students when he saw expressing their grievances by protesting, protesting that the road was blocked, “and I they were however misled by miscreants was left with no option than to join them, if only to coordinate and who eventually took over the crisis control them.” The students’ leader


Like football for life

eluded Nigeria for over 52 years now. It should therefore come as no surprise the demonstrably destructive and unruly offsprings that spring forth from such a loveless and forced union as this. Nepotism, Cronyism, Religious Fanaticism, Hyper-Individualism, Lawlessness, Impunity, and their many brothers and sisters all wine and dine with leisure in public and private life. From public officials to private citizens, no one deems Nigeria an entity worth dying for or caring for. It is the reason why the President of Nigeria could dip his hand into a state’s Poverty Alleviation Fund, meant to help disadvantaged citizens in Bayelsa, and from there take $1 million to pay Beyoncé to come sing the Nigerian National Anthem in Nigeria—without so much as a mass protest in the streets. Nigeria is the bastard child no one is giddy to claim. But wait … What if there was a mystical way to get all these thousand peoples with their thousand languages to mysteriously buy into a singular identity? That is, buy into this “one Nigeria” identity as flawed as it may be. Well, we need not look to the gods for answers. A rare event in the past few weeks prove what is possible in a land that too many

times seems destined for disintegration. I would be the first to admit that I thought the national team had little chance of making it outside their group stage. I was incredulous as were many Nigerians. But still, that’s the lesser occurrence. What transpired once the final whistle went off—is what is more momentous. A phenomenon I have not seen since childhood. It was 19 years ago. The Super Eagles, as the national football team is called, had just won this same tournament. It was a euphoric time. As a kid, I remember deifying every member of that team and owning a poster of the squad on my wall. And I wasn’t alone; everywhere I turned, on TV and elsewhere, euphoric Nigerians waxed poetic about the joy of being Nigerian. It was a singular moment of national pride—of pride of ownership of this “Nigerian” identity. Alas, the scope of which I wouldn’t see again until these past few weeks. Like then, for once, it did not matter what ethnicity dominated this winning national team. And especially now, when the team’s coach is a native son, it has been of little conversation what tribe he hails from. Be it Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or whatever have you—we are all Nigerians has been the rallying cry. Nigeria won. This bastard

child of ours immediately had 162 million giddy parents jostling for ownership. But unbeknownst to us, we had haphazardly, once again, unlocked a secret as ancient as time itself. In our world, no two other forces are as capable of bringing together peoples of varied interests and diverging backgrounds as Religion and Sport can. These two forces were potent tools widely employed by leaders of antiquity to forge collectiveness within empires that did stretch from one continent to another. All across the Roman Empire, amphitheatres (the most popular being the Colosseum), were fixtures of the Roman life. These sport arenas provided a medium for both the poor and the rich to partake in activities all found agreeable. These moments, as innocuous as they might seem, were assistive in defining what it was to be Roman. They were breeding grounds for communality and self identification. Of course, sports cannot ease all ills in society. It would be idiotic to presume so. It didn’t stop Roman territories from revolting against the Empire or Roman officials from never being condescending toward their subjects. Rather, what it did was provide frequent and sustained moments of agreement

explained that even though the students were actually expressing their grievances by protesting, they were however misled by miscreants who eventually took over the crisis, using the moment to rob residents of their phones and cash, even inciting the wrath of the soldiers. It would, needless to say, have been very irresponsible of the NSU administration to have sat down, hands akimbo, and done nothing. For that matter, it would have been regarded as gross dereliction of duty if the Nasarawa State helmsman, who is the chief security officer of our beloved state, had not intervened. Hence, it became imperativethe to order immediate closure of the university. On his part, the university’s VC, Prof. Amali, said in a press statement signed by NSU’s Information and Protocol Officer, Jamil Zakari, that a panel would be set up to probe the unfortunate incident. this is even as, according to him, efforts are being made to reopen the school as soon as the situation permits. From the foregoing, it is clear that some elements within and outside the university decided, for reasons that are best known to them, to turn this unfortunate and unforeseen situation (water scarcity) into an opportunity to indulge in mischief and mayhem. That notwithstanding, it is our hope and belief that this unfortunate chapter shall not only pass as soon as possible, management will put in place some measures with a view to ensuring that never again shall this type of bitter pill be forced down the throat of our students. Pamilu, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Keffi, Nasarawa state that promoted an identity. It mediated a host of societal tensions. It was not uncommon for an emperor to throw games to pacify a belligerent and frustrated population while he attended to their grievances. In Nigeria, where everything seems rife with ethnic and religious fractures, football is proving to be this relief and a common denominator. Although this latest installment almost didn’t happen because of in-house squabbles within the management ranks, when it did happen, it was a time when all grievances and antitribal malice were cast aside for a nation to sing as one. Imagine the possibilities of forging ahead and combating our ills where a threshold of camaraderie exists. But these football moments will need to be more frequent, in lieu of every two decades, to help deposit tokens into any national identity effort. Nigeria is an item bequeathed to Nigerians by colonial Britain. And, so far, Nigerians have not bought into it. Maybe it forever remains unsellable to Nigerians, and marches fatefully toward an inevitable expiration. But before that fateful date, it should be noted that once upon a few times, we all sang as one—when for a nanosecond we bought into this … before quickly reverting to trashing it. Pelumi Olatinpo is a sociopolitical commentator and reachable on Twitter @pelumitv



here was an orgy of violence in Wukari, February 23. At the last count, official figures for the dead stood at 30, with over 100 wounded. Many houses and commercial buildings were razed to the ground. The fire in Wukari this time pitched the predominantly Christian Jukun against the predominantly Muslim Hausa’s, giving it a dangerous mix of religion and ethnicity. For sure tempers have been high since late last year when there was religious crisis in Ibi, a neighboring Local Government. I have observed elsewhere that Nigeria never pays serious attention to the perennial crisis between the Tiv and the Jukun in Wukari because it is not a conflict between north and south, Christianity and Islam or majority vs minority. Since it is a crisis between minority Christian groups, all of them northerners, Nigeria has always left the ‘bush men’ kill themselves while the country moves on. No Nigerian government, whether federal or state has ever prosecuted anybody involved in the crisis or set up a commission – judicial or administrative - to look at the remote and immediate causes of the crisis between the Tiv and the Jukun in Wukari. Not even the 2001 war, culminating in the so called Zaki Biam massacres that attracted both national and international media spotlights merited in the estimation of Nigerian government a careful investigation. The fire in Wukari this time is between the minority (Jukun) and the majority (Hausa); there is also the inflammable religious dimension - Christianity vs Islam. With these, we hope this time, Nigeria will pay some attention to


Wukari: The fire this time

In Wukari, the office of Chairman was hotly contested between a Hausa Muslim candidate, Danladi Shehu, and two Jukun Christians. The Tiv were not interested in that office but wanted one of their own to be made Vice Chairman. They approached the Jukun Christian candidates and made their proposal; No Deal. They then went to the Muslim Danladi who granted their request and entered into an accord with them, securing 100% Tiv votes in the bargain. He rode on the back of these votes to the office as Chairman of Wukari and appointed a Tiv man his deputy.

The consequences of the 1987 vote are still with us in Wukari. The Tiv have earned the eternal enmity of some Jukun politicians who have labeled them ‘bad neighbours’ because they supported a Hausa Muslim in preference to their Christian brothers. The crusades to drive the Tiv out of Wukari from the late 80’s, till date, have part of their impetus from this event. Danladi Shehu himself left office as Chairman Wukari Local Government in a coffin; almost. Beaten by a mob in broad daylight near his office and left for dead, he miraculously survived and was whisked away to Yola. But this is recent history. In 1906, a quarrel broke out between the Jukun and Hausa at Abinsi, a riverside trading post within the precincts of the Niger Company’s trading store. As recorded by my History teacher, Prof. Obara Ikime, “ In the fighting that resulted from the quarrel, the Jukun were coming worse off. They therefore called on their Tiv neighbours to come to their aid. The Tiv who probably saw the Hausas as rivals in trade anyway welcomed the opportunity to join the affray. This support ensured the success of the Jukuns against the Hausa. During the fighting, the Niger Company store was looted and then razed to the ground” Lord Lugard saw this as a good opportunity to deal with the Tiv. Even though the Tiv were late comers and did not originate the quarrel and the fight, he raised the “Munshi Expeditionary Force” with the sole aim of wiping out the Tiv race. It was made up of 26 officers, 2 Medics, 13 NCO’s, 642

rank and file, 850 carriers and four maxim guns under Col Haster, acting Commandant of Northern Nigeria Regiment of the West African Frontier Force. The scorched earth campaign was about to start when Lugard was faced with a new challenge in Sokoto where Prince named Sattiru did not agree with the way the Emirs gave away their powers to the British and started his insurrection against British rule. The “munshi expeditionary force” had to be redeployed to take care of the new emergency in Sokoto. But the British press got wind of Lugards assembled arsenals against the Tiv who were armed with only bows and arrows. They made headline news out of it and Lugard had to be summoned to parliament to explain why he wanted to use maximum force against a civil populace. His unrepentant reply was that the Tiv were ‘nihilists’ by nature and only ‘maximum chastisement’ would stop them from opposing colonial policy. The parliament did not buy his argument and refused to pass the budget for his cruel adventure. When President Obasanjo assembled heavy ammunition carried out his ‘maximum chastisement’ of the Tiv population from Wukari in Taraba to Senatorial Zone A of Benue in 2001, nobody invited him to the Nigerian parliament for questioning. The fire this time in Wukari is religious. The Muslims have suffered heavy casualties in this round one. What happens next? Will the Boko Haram cometo help their own in Wukari? Those of us who come from that part of the country and know a little bit of its history are watching with apprehension.

position on June 27, 2007. Before the ouster, Anenih had been BoT chair since 2004. His return on February 25, this year, is understandably his second missionary journey to help the Bamanga Tukur leadership reposition the party and to support President Jonathan in consolidating his Transformation Agenda. The political relevance of Anenih, the Iyasele (Prime Minister) of Esanland, has not diminished by virtue of a few electoral setbacks that he had understandably suffered in Edo State in recent times. His reappointment as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) back-toback (having occupied the position from 2009 to 2011 ) is a measure of his relevance and influence in the Jonathan administration. His choice by consensus to lead the BoT, which is the moral guide and conscience of the PDP at a time that treachery, intimidation and brinkmanship are denominating political interactions within the party, especially in the light of the 2015 presidential power politics, attests to the amount of trust Jonathan has in him to provide sound political advice and strategies. This is the personal burden that Anenih may have to bear: to remain consistently trustworthy, loyal and committed as he has been to successive presidents since

1999 in the pursuit of an enduring trajectory that will culminate in a Jonathan re-election in 2015 and thereby stabilise the polity. Indeed, this is the exertion and not excitement that his emergence as BoT chair has brought upon him. This may not be evident to the eyes, but it is to the discerning minds. Yet, the party's leadership guard and the presidency believe that Anenih has an incredible capacity to strategise, achieve results and thereby create political excitements that will serve as a signpost to victory in the burgeoning politics and politicking that presage the 2015 presidential contest. Feelers have indicated that a corpus of strategies would be deployed expeditiously to strengthen the party. Expected to be pursued is a deliberate reachout to influential members of the party who are either aggrieved within the party or who have left the party. There is great hope that an air of reconciliation will blow through the party. As someone said, "given Anenih's capacity to do what he promises, members who are reached in the process of reconciliation will rest assured that whatever they are promised will be done." It is also expected that mechanisms would be emplaced to instil and deepen party discipline and supremacy, in addition to ensuring that the office of the president is not undermined in its

political relationship with state governors on the platform of the party. It is believed that once the fundamentals are well laid out within the party, once there is internal democracy and a number of tangible achievements on the ground for Nigerians to see, it would not be difficult for the Anenih-led team of strategists to come up with and fine tune lines of attack that will decimate the opposition parties in the 2015 general polls. The opposition camp is no doubt jittery and has been taking steps in the media to harass him and portray him as incapable of leading the charge against it on account of his age. Whereas, it is not about going to the electoral battlefield, it is about sitting in a room and charting the winning ways which the political foot soldiers will take to achieve victory. The ruling PDP is expected to leverage on its extensive nationwide structures, machinery and contacts, which are expected to be easily oiled and activated for the battle ahead; Anenih and other strategic leaders of the party are expected to deploy their legerdemain, versatility and vast experience in politics and electoral battles to easily achieve a PDP victory in the 2015 general elections, especially the presidency. Ojefo, an Abuja-based journalist, sent this piece via

Wukari - one of its most complicated flash points. When religious riots broke out in Ibi last year, all the government did was to send armed soldiers to maintain the peace; the state government also sacked the Local Government caretaker Committee there. That was all –mission accomplished. There was no comprehensive appreciation of the security situation in the place and its possible fall outs. Now there is a spill over to Wukari, the headquarters of the Kwararafa Kingdom, one of the greatest African kingdoms that existed in medieval times. For that reason, the Jukun ethnic group is very emotionally attached to it. It is today a cosmopolitan town with a sizable Hausa population and is surrounded by Tiv villages. The ever growing Tiv population has always been a source of anxiety to the Jukuns. When a crisis breaks out in Wukari, extreme care has to be taken before it assumes a different and often more dangerous dimension. For instance, the war in 2001 between the Tiv and Jukun started in Wukari Local Government after some Fulani herdsmen killed a Tiv woman, Mrs Mtuem, as she worked alone on her farm. This sparked off skirmishes between the Tiv sedentary farmers and itinerant Fulani pastoralists. Before long, the Jukun joined the affray as major combatants against the Tiv while the Fulani became passive spectators! This is the war that took the country to Zaki Biam with its horrors. A prelude to this is to be found in 1987 when the Babangida

administration introduced the zero party system to elect Local Government executives all over Nigeria. Since there were no political parties to mobilize the electorate, Churches and Mosques became avenues of mobilization. This was particularly so in the north after Sheik Abubakar Gumi in the famous interview with a Lagos magazine urged Muslims not to vote for Christians.

Obasanjo presidency in 1999 and 2003, the late President Umaru Yar'Adua presidency in 2007 and the 2011 presidential election that produced President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. It was in 2002, in the build-up to Obasanjo's re-election in 2003, that the capacity of Anenih as a master strategist was greatly tested and unleashed full-blown on the process due to the political brinkmanship of Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President to Obasanjo, who had plotted to upstage the applecart of his boss' re-election bid. He had loyally worked behind the scene on the side of Obasanjo to secure and achieve his re-election bid: Anenih was at the centre of the overtures and counter-plots by Obasanjo to contain the blackmail and onslaught of Atiku and the more than twenty PDP governors that were in his camp. That was one of the cases in which the sagacity of Anenih proved invaluable in the resolution of political conflicts. There had been many other issues, especially political and electoral, which had been resolved largely through his strategic input. This is why he is, perhaps, regarded by the Jonathan presidency as the most suitable politician in the PDP today to occupy the position of the BoT chair, which Obasanjo resigned on February 2, 2012. Interestingly, it was Obasanjo who plotted Anenih's ouster from the same

Emmanuel Yawe 08024565402

PDP, Anenih and tasks ahead By Sufuyan Ojeifo


hief Anthony Akhakon Anenih is "the man of the moment" in the politics of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by virtue of his emergence as Chair of the party's Board of Trustees (BoT) at its (Board's) last meeting held on Monday, February 25, 2013, in the Banquet Hall of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja. But as associates and followers clink the wine glasses to celebrate his emergence, Anenih, the man who is popularly referred to as "Leader", has continued to relate with the development calmly. His emergence has not gone into his head such as to make him become unusually flippant and garrulous. His peculiarity as "a man of few words but great actions" is more than ever helping to explain his characteristic inscrutability in the cosmos of politics, which has been his forte and devotion in the last thirty-five years. He is not your run-of-the-mill politician whose next moves are easily predictable by what he or she says. This mystique has been deployed by him in quietly formulating strategies and implementing them to deal with knotty issues. And when and where he had failed in the past, this niche had helped him to rebound. His imprimaturs were evident in the presidential power politics that produced the Olusegun


Head teacher lauds repairs at the national stadium, calls for maintenance culture


ead teacher of Grande ville Academy, Life Camp, Abuja, Jeshurun Agobe on Wednesday commended the on-going renovation exercise at the main bowl of the Abuja National stadium. Agobe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the school’s excursion to ‘Package A’ of the stadium that initially, he was disappointed with the state of the stadium. “I feel disappointed that the stadium built some years back would have deteriorated so much and this has left some of the students to start wondering if this place is worth visiting. “But I am happy now that renovation is going on and I hope once it is done, the tempo will be maintained. “We have to keep up the maintenance culture if we want this stadium to be how we want it to be,’’ Agobe said. The head teacher said that the stadium could still maintain its structure, value and be put into constant use but it was still necessary to maintain it to avoid breakdown of the facilities. “Maintenance is an official issue and even if the stadium is put under constant use and it is not maintained, it will still amount to the same thing we are experiencing now. “When it was newly built and Julius Berger was maintaining it, it was in good condition; but we don’t know what happened that they stopped,’’ Agobe said. He noted that the stadium became the school’s choice for excursion in order to expose the students to various public places and installations. “The objective of the educational tour is to expose the children to the various installations and public places in Abuja because the school is an agent of socialisation and education. David Iraoya, a JSS 3 student of the school said visiting the stadium was a dream come true because he had been eager to know the kind of sporting facilities available in the country. “I feel happy coming here today because I have been eager to know the kind of facilities we have at the National stadium because I like participating in sports especially rugby, handball and athletics. Iraoya commended the structure of the stadium compared to what was obtainable in other countries. “I was in London for the 2012 Olympics and I saw the velodrome, basketball and handball courts which were almost of the same standard with what I am seeing here,’’ he said. Another JSS 3 student, Chineme Ojiodu said she was impressed with the size of and structures at the stadium. (NAN)


Yoruba group in Gwagwalada decry lack of transformer By Adeola Tukuru


esidents of Kutunku community in Gwagwalada area council, FCT have blamed the inadequate electricity supply in the area on lack of transformer to serve the entire

community. A group under the aegis of Yoruba Forum made this known to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) chairmanship candidate during political campaign in the community. The Chairman and the secretary of the forum, Barr. Funmi Adeniyi and Samuel

Ogunleye said one transformer is not adequate for the entire community of old Kutunku and Kaida,adding that government impact on improve supply nationwide is not felt at old Kutunku of Gwagwalada as they live on relative six hour supply in a week. The chairmanship candidate

Abubakar Giri however turned down interview when his view on the supply was sought. Our correspondent reports that the area council had at several times promised to complete installation of one additional transformer mounted few years ago without success.

Pupils of Premier International School participating in track event during the inter house competition organised by the school, on Saturday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

CPC raids office of Abuja-based property development firm, takes employee into custody


fficials of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in Abuja raided the office of an Abuja-based private estate development firm, ElSalem Nigeria Ltd, for allegedly exploiting its clients. The CPC enforcement team, led by Mr Shamm Kolo, the council’s Director of Surveillance and Enforcement, had stormed the firm’s office at Area 1, Garki, Abuja, at 11.30 a.m. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the enforcement team confiscated desktop computers, office cabinets and files as well as other operational items of the company. Neither the firm’s Managing Director nor other members of the company’s management staff were around at the time of the team’s visit.

But Mr Daniel Kayode, a middle-aged employee who claimed to be the Internal Auditor of El-Salem, was asked by the team members to follow them to the council’s headquarters. Addressing newsmen later, Kolo said the raid followed the refusal of the firm’s management to respond to CPC’s summons to defend itself against numerous complaints from members of the public. “We have issues with them which border on their failure to deliver the houses paid for by their clients. “Most of the complainants said they made deposits ranging from N1 million to N4 million, but till today they have not been given their property and no money was refunded to them. “After receiving numerous complaints from the aggrieved

clients, the council intervened to make sure that whatever they have promised their clients or customers get to them. “But several attempts, including mediation and everything we needed to do to resolve the issues, failed. “We even served them with the council’s summons, which is the ultimate directive to such agencies to comply, yet they refused to comply. “Today’s enforcement is because of the fact that they failed to appear at the council and state their own side of the story. “We are empowered to force compliance when you fail to appear after summons had been served on you,” he said, adding that the company’s management would be prosecuted. When contacted, Mr Ben

Ojo, who claimed to be the company’s Managing Director, debunked CPC’s claim, saying that his firm had no outstanding issues with the council. Ojo told NAN on telephone that his company received two invitations from the council about six months ago to which it promptly responded. “I don’t know what CPC is talking about, because we don’t have outstanding issues with our clients or the council. “We have delivered the property paid for by all our clients, and as we speak there are over 500 free houses at our estate. “I think they are just doing this to gain cheap popularity. “I have contacted my lawyers and they are currently on their way to CPC to find out what the problem is,’’ he said. (NAN)



Dunamis to hold glory convention 2013 in Abuja By Adeola Tukuru

A middleaged Gbagyi man carrying load on his back, yesterday in Abuja.


he Dunamis International Gospel Centre Phase 4, Kubwa, Abuja is to hold its third Glory Convention and general Family and Friends Deliverance Week with the theme: Surely There’s an End. The convention will take place in the church’s new auditorium at District Centre, behind General Hospital, Phase 4, Kubwa, Abuja. The Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr. Paul Enenche and his wife Dr. (Mrs.) Becky Enenche will minister in the convention along with Pastor & Mrs. Michael Ajogba.

Photo: Justin ImoOwo

Why Wazobia replaced Keke Napep in FCT, says Chairman

Abuja residents urged to take I FCT council election serious

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

By Stanley Onyekwere


buja residents have been urged to take active participation in the forth coming area councils’ elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which forms the bedrock of the larger political activities in the country. Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Political matters Senator Jibril Wowo, who gave the advice in Abuja said election at the grassroot offers the people the opportunity to decide who will govern them and ensure that the interest of the common man is

captured in all policies of the elected representatives for their common good. This, he noted, is an assignment the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has been carrying out and wish to continue by their support. He emphasized that the people are the purpose for any political party and the PDP is no exception. “Come out and vote for the development of the FCT, come out and vote for the progress of the FCT Councils, come out and vote for PDP candidates who have transformational programmes that will influence the policies for good road, improved health care, and

empowerment of the women and children. “The purpose of the creation of the PDP was to give the people of Nigeria a lease of life and the Party has been doing the best to improve on the life of the people since its inception in the country and the FCT in particular,” he said. According to Wowo the successes of the Party in rural health care services has created an unprecedented influx of women seeking healthcare services in the various area councils bordering the city as they are attracted to the free and qualitative healthcare services.

“The healthcare programme of the PDP in the FCT has provided improved healthcare for the women who are the greatest beneficiaries as they receive free services especially the pregnant women in the rural areas,” he added. He said the PDP in the FCT is more determined to offer leadership through its transformational programmes to targeted at women and youth empowerment in the territory that is why the minister ensures that all allocation to the area councils get to them and the additional 10 per cent from the FCT internally generated revenue for the good of the people.

FCT Minister mourns the late Guardian editor By Adeola Tukuru


inister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed has commiserated with the Management and Staff of the Guardian newspapers over the death of their Assistant Political Editor (North), Mr. John Abba Ogbodo who passed on through an auto crash in Kogi State on Thursday. The Minister said the news of Ogbodo’s death came to him as a rude shock “because he died in his prime when his services were still highly needed”. He described his sudden demise as a source of grief not just for his family and the Guardian Newspapers but for the Nigerian media family, Benue, his home state, the National Assembly and the Nigerian polity as a whole. Senator Mohammed equally extended his condolences to the deceased’s family while recalling that a few years ago as a Senator of the Federal Republic, he became

abreast of the refined qualities of the late Ogbodo as a political journalist. “He was a true practitioner of objective and robust political journalism. His death is a devastating blow which will no doubt leave a yawning gap in the media industry,

particularly the political beat,” he stated. The FCT Minister enjoined those the late political journalist left behind to take solace in the fact that he left his imprints on the sands of time as a committed journalist stressing that

it is not how long but how well one lived on this world that matters most. He prayed that Almighty God, will in His infinite mercies, grant his soul eternal rest and equally give those he left behind the strength to bear the great loss.

NUJ, FCT council congratulates NGE new Leadership By Adeola Tukuru


he Nigerian Union of Journalists FCT, (Abuja) Council has congratulated the newly elected Executive members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE led by the Deputy Managing director of The Sun publishing company, Mr. Femi Adesina, for their hard won election. In a press statement signed by the Chairman of the NUJ FCT (Abuja) Council, comrade Chuks Ehirim, the Union stated that the NGE election is worthy of

commendation especially with the caliber of persons who have emerged to lead the group for the next two years. Ehirim added that the NGE election could be favourably compared to NUJ Abuja Council election on July,7th, 2012, which was a pan Nigerian exercise that was devoid of rancour. He urged the new leadership of NGE to reposition the association for the ongoing struggle for the enthronement of genuine democracy in Nigeria, stating that journalists have been in the forefront of the crusade for a

credible, free and fair electoral system in Nigeria. He regrets however that the situation over the years has shown that we have not gotten to the promise land and therefore he uses this opportunity to appeal to every Nigerian journalist most especially the leadership and members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, to redouble their efforts in the current effort to ensure that the country gets an electoral system where the votes of the people counts and not the one where people occupy elective offices without the genuine mandate of the electorate.

n order to reposition the union and give it a new lift, the branch Chairman of Keke Napep forum in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Ghuna Kachala, has said that the change of name from Keke Napep to Wazobia Tricars is to reposition the union in such a way that will reflect their nationality and make it more acceptable among all tribes in the country. The Arab-dede to Utako branch chairman, who made this known in an interview at the weekend, said it is high time Nigerians in all sphere of life begin to propagate and show more commitment to the project Nigeria, adding that such thoughts informed the decision of their leaders across the country to come up with the name that centers on unity. The Union had late last month changed its name from Keke Napep Forum to WAZOBIA Tricars & Wheels Riders “You know WAZOBIA represent nigeria, we are now saying this association is for all Nigerians irrespective of any tribal sentiment.” He noted Kachala, also confirmed that there was still other faction of Keke Napep with another name, appealed to both unions to embrace peace. “I just want to appeal to both unions to allow peace to reign, we suppose to have good understanding between ourselves”, he said, He further stressed that his leadership as a branch chairman has affected positively on the lives of his members by making sure that their welfare is paramount to him. He also pleaded to the Minister of FCT, Bala Muhammed, to allow them operate according to the routes allocated to them, noting further that they have been strictly operating within the assigned routes.






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AfDB Approves N48bn loan to Nigeria

Mob: 08033644990

Unity Bank invests N15bn in Agriculture, says Director By Abdulwahab Isa


nity Bank Nigeria Plc has invested over N15 billion in agriculture-related activities in the country as a way of ensuring the success of the

diversification of the economy. The Bank’s Executive Director, northern operations, Isma’ila Galandanchi disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists at the on-going Kaduna International Trade Fair.

Address cashless policy challenges before expansion - Expert tells CBN


financial expert, Mr, Samuel Nzekwe has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address existing challenges before introducing the cashless policy to other states of the federation. Nzekwe, a former President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), said at the weekend in Lagos that a number of matters had to be addressed first. He said the infrastructure in place for the policy had not improved, and that this was highly necessary. “The CBN needs to carry out its research effectively to prevent a policy somersault,’’ Nzekwe said. The CBN, in a statement it issued on Feb. 26 in Abuja, had stated that the policy would commence on July 1 in five states and the FCT after the Lagos pilot scheme. The five states are Ogun, Kano, Anambra, Rivers and Abia. It could be recalled that CBN had on April 1, 2012 inaugurated the cashless policy in Lagos. The financial expert also said many Nigerians had not seen the effect of cashless policy even in Lagos because people were still carrying a lot of money around. He said it should all start with the use of bank cheques for transactions “because that is the beginning of the cashless policy’’. The former ANAN president lamented that many people were not honouring cheques and were insisting that customers must bring cash before paying for goods and services. “There should be a deliberate effort by the CBN to enforce the used of cheques and if any one violates it the person should be punished according to the law,’’ he said. Nzekwe said the poor state of power generation which made internet connectivity difficult discourages the e-payment system in banks. According to him, sustainable electricity supply is critical to the actualisation of the goals of the policy. “Lack of adequate power supply is an impediment to the success of the policy in Lagos and other parts of the country,’’ he said. Nzekwe pointed out that some traders who do not have the Point of Sales (PoS) machines, as well as some of those who have it, do not understand how to use it. He said the PoS machines were not even available in many areas of Lagos where the pilot scheme was introduced.

The former ANAN president advised the CBN to intensify its efforts at creating awareness. “This is by embarking on sensitisation campaigns to address the security and technical challenges associated with the epayment,’’ he said. (NAN)

He said the bank is prioritizing its investments in agriculture as a way of empowering the teeming population through employment generation, poverty reduction and boosting the productive sector of the nation’s economy. Galandanchi said Unity Bank has over the years had a wonderful and robust relationship with members of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, (KADCCIMA), in order to promote and encourage growth and development in all areas of human endeavours. He said considering the backwardness of the north, the partnership with KADCCIMA was

to further help northern states in technological development, capacity building, entrepreneurship and other areas that could stimulate international interests and investments in the region’s economy. “I assure you that using both unity bank funds and intervention fund that have been injected into agriculture; we have invested not less than N15 billion, and it is just the beginning. We are enthusiastic about it, especially for the fact that our people are into agriculture, cottage industries and other businesses,” he said. Galandanchi also said the bank

was participating in the trade fair with multiple products on offer for its numerous customers, “virtually all the e-products of Unity bank are here and we are also here to market them. Of course, you can see the activities of our ATMs here, it is the busiest in the trade fair and we do our e-business with advanced technology. We also have mobile banking, in which from the touch of my handset here I can transfer money to all the banks in Nigeria from my account”.

IFAD-CBARDP disburses N48m to communities in Katsina


L-R: Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko (CFR) receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from Former US President, Bill Clinton at the 18th Annual ThisDay Awards in Abeokuta recently.

Management Tip of the Day


Win over your new boss

he experience of getting a new boss can be fraught with anxiety and risk. Uncertainties abound when someone new takes the reins — but you have a role to play in taming them. Here’s how to establish yourself as someone your new manager can turn to: · Ease into the relationship. Pick only

a few vital issues to cover early on so you don’t overwhelm her. Over time, you can discuss your other projects in more depth.· Observe her style. Does your new boss prefer short or long conversations? A buffet of options or one best recommendation? Hard data or soft? Use these indicators to shape the way you

present yourself and your ideas.· Be honest. New leaders must depend on relative strangers for honest opinions. Look for openings to provide helpful candor on some key aspect of the new boss’s agenda. Source: Harvard Business Review

he IFAD-Assisted Community Based Agricultural and Rural Development Programme (IFADCBARDP) has disbursed N48 million to 36 communities in Katsina State for the completion of various development projects. The National Coordinator, IFADCBARD, Alhaji Abu Kankia, disclosed this in Katsina on Friday, while disbursing the funds to the participating communities. He said the funds were for the completion of all IFAD-approved projects for the period of October 2012 to March 2013. He urged the benefiting communities to ensure judicious use of the funds for the purposes intended. The coordinator, while commending the Katsina state government for its support to IFAD programmes in the state, however, urged the government to totally adopt the programme like Sokoto and Jigawa states. Alhaji Abashe Sa’idu, Managing Director, Katsina State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KTARDA), said that the N48 million would be utilised for various projects to empower rural dwellers in the state. He listed some of the projects to include the provision of hybrid seeds for 60 farmers, procurement of groundnut grinding machines for 100 women and construction of 12 boreholes for some of the communities. Others include, provision of oxploughs and bulls to 120 farmers, assisting 180 traditional birth attendants with N10,000 each and the construction of toilets in some health centres. Responding on behalf of the participating communities, Alhaji Musa Shehu commended IFAD and the state government for the support. He assured that the money would be used for the execution of IFAD-approved projects. In November 2012, IFAD disbursed N52 million for the execution of similar projects in the state. (NAN)




he Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s crude oil output rose in February, the first monthly increase since October, due to higher exports from Iraq and a slight increase in supply from top exporter Saudi Arabia, a Reuters survey found on Friday. Supply from the 12member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was 30.32 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 30.21 million bpd in January, the survey of shipping data and sources at oil firms, OPEC and consultants found. The survey indicates OPEC output has risen for the first month since October 2012, before cutbacks by Saudi Arabia which coincided with a rise in oil prices towards $120 a barrel. Even so, analysts said, supply remains low compared to recent months.



ebts owed the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Enugu Zone, stood at about N15 billion as at January this year. The zone, which controls the five Southeast states said the money is owed by state governments, armed forces, industrial and residential customers. Disclosing this in Enugu while rolling out a new billing and multi-channel payment system, Managing Director of the Enugu Distribution Company, Suleiman Yahaya said the huge debt was affecting operations of the company.

Nigerian Customs Services


he Customs Area Controller, Seme Border Command, the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS), Comptroller Abdu Saleh Othman, has refutted allegations levelled against the NCS at Seme Border, that importers of Nigeria-bound goods through the Cotonou Port now see Seme as a most viable entry point either for duty evasion or concealment of prohibited items. The Customs boss at a press briefing at Seme, reiterated the command’s drive to ensure that smuggling and other forms of prohibited antieconomic activities were prevented. He disclosed that all the borders under his command were well secured by welltrained officers, who patrol the areas on 24 hours and seven days a week.


From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he Asset Management of Nigeria (AMCON) has announced appointment of a receiver /manager over “the entire undertakings, stocks, goodwill, plant and machinery, moveable and fixed assets,” of Fiogret Limited. It said its decision to appoint Kunle Ogunba (SAN) as the receiver of Fiogret assets was in line with a deed of mortgage debenture dated February 1, 2008 registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). According to AMCON, the deed of appointment of the receiver dated November 2, 2012 has equally been registered From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


terling Bank stock posted a full year return of 71.29 per cent in 2012, twice the rate of average return in the Nigerian capital market during the period, according to data from Business day’s research unit. In nearly 14 months, investors have earned more than 177 per cent gain on Sterling Bank Plc. While the general recovery at the Nigerian stock market has seen substantial increases in values of quoted companies, some stocks like sterling Bank have been quite exceptional. Sterling Bank has proven to be an outstandingly bullish stock since 2012. The Nigerian stock market posted average full-year return of 35.4 per cent in 2012. This implied accretion of some N2.44 trillion in capital gains to investors in 2012. Sterling Bank’s market consideration appreciated by

AMCON appoints receiver/ manager over Fiogret’s assets with the CAC. It listed some of the company’s properties now in possession of the receive/manager to include 43, Norman Williams Street, off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; Plots 230-234 Ikorodu, OwutuIkorodu, Lagos; Plot 15 Layi Ajayi Bembe Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, Etete Road,off BeninSapele Road, Benin City and EastWest Road, Rumuokwurush Obio/Akpo Local Government Area, Rivers state.

AMCON, in an advertorial dated March 1, 2013 and signed by Ogunba, urged all debtors to Fiogret to pay directly to the receiver/manager. The company’s creditors are also to send proof of claims to Ogunba within 14 days of the publication of the advertorial in newspapers. It urged all banks and other financial institutions currently in custody of deposits, cash and other assets of Fiogret to continue to hold them until the receiver/

manager issues further instructions “in accordance with the pre-emptive orders of court in suit: FHC/L/CS/63/2013 pending within the bosom of the Federal High Court, Lagos division. “All holders of such deposits should contact the receiver/ manager, stating the balance and where secured facilities are granted, the type of security attached should be disclosed,” AMCON said.

Sterling Bank stock posts 72 % return in 2012 71.29 per cent in 2012, pushing through the opening price of N1.01 and a low of 80 kobo to close at N1.73. This overrode the negative return of 56.28 per cent recorded in 2011. Sterling Bank’s latest operational report showed almost a double in gross earnings and 64 per cent increase in profit after tax. Interim report and accounts of the bank for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 showed substantial growths across key performance indicators, improving prospects for considerable improvement in dividends for the business year. The report indicated 92.6 per cent growth in gross earnings, underlining the success of the lender’s bank-focused business strategy. Interest income had doubled by 109.9 per cent while net

Inflation rates from Feb, 2012 to Jan, 2013 Max = 12.9 %, Min = 9 % for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 9 % Source:CBN

interest income jumped by 84 per cent. Profit before tax thus rose by 58.5 per cent. Sterling Bank grossed N50.74 billion by third quarter 2012 as against N26.35 billion recorded in comparable period of 2011. After taxes, net profit

distributable to shareholders increased from N2.74 billion to N4.49 billion. Earnings analysis showed earnings per share of 29 kobo for third quarter 2012 compared with 22 kobo in similar period of 2011.

AfDB Approves N48 bn loan to Nigeria


he Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved Wednesday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, a loan of US $300 million (N48 billion) to finance the Transport sector and Economic Governance Reform Program and the Nigeria Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the period 2013-2017. The loan aims to support the Federal Government to accelerate reform implementation in the areas of transport sector governance, and public expenditure management. Reform measures include the establishment of a Federal Road Authority, National Road Maintenance Fund, Road-Tolling Policy, and Axel Load Control Policy. In the areas of public financial management reform, the program involves the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), Internal Audit Modernization Plan, Treasuring Single Account (TSA),

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

Government Integrated Public Financial Management (GIFMIS), and Transparency and Compliance in Procurement and Audit Practices. The program will also create fiscal space for increased investment in road infrastructure development. It is an integral part of a broader set of interventions of the Bank designed to support Nigeria’s Transformation Agenda with emphasis to economic governance and infrastructure development.

Naira weakens further on strong demand


he Naira on Friday eased the third day this week by 31 kobo against the dollar, closing at N158.58/$ as against N158.27/$ on Wednesday at inter-bank market. The naira fell against the dollar at the inter-bank market due to strong demand by endusers, Sewa Wusu, head of research, Sterling Capital said. According to him, this potentially pulled down the naira. “Besides, the anticipated monthend forex sales by oil companies came in at a relatively small space. This could give naira the needed strength”, he said. Wusu had predicted that naira would appreciate within a couple of days if the oil companies make their month-end sales. The nation’s currency on Wednesday depreciated significantly against the dollar by 53 kobo to close at N158.2750/$ as against N157.80/$, according to the data from the Financial Markets Dealers (FMDA). Analysts on Wednesday attributed the naira fall to withdrawal of offshore dollar transactions by two foreign banks operating in the country. As a result of this, there was increased demand for dollar. (Source: Reuters)



NSE loses 0.202 billion shares on investment Stories from Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


nvestment losses occasioned by drop in the share prices of some listed equities on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) last week has resulted in the stock market losing 0.202 billion shares as a turnover of 2.280 billion shares worth N24.633 billion in 28,170 deals was recorded in contrast to a total of 2.482 billion shares valued at N22.815 billion in 32,471 deals recorded the previous week. Similarly, the NSE All-Share Index depreciated by 711.88 basis points or 2.10% to close on Friday at 33,183.20 while the market capitalization of the listed equities depreciated by 2.10% to close at N10.618 trillion. As usual, the financial services sector was the most active during the week, contributing 67.70%, 58.52% and 55.59% to the total equity turnover volume, value and number of trades respectively in 1.543 billion shares valued at N14.417 billion exchanged hands by investors in 15,660 deals.

The Conglomerates sector followed with a turnover volume of 275.094 million shares worth N554.361 billion in 1,530 deals contributing 12.07%, 2.25% and 5.43% to the total equity turnover volume, value and number of deals respectively. The Consumer Goods sector came third with a turnover volume of 138.015 million shares worth N7.719 billion in 4,820 deals. Review of the market revealed that trading in the top three equities namely Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Zenith Bank Plc (measured by turnover volume) accounted for 642.568 million shares worth N8.085 billion in 5,325 deals contributing 28.19%, 32.82% and 18.90% to the total equity turnover volume, value and deals respectively. Also traded during the week were 2,681 units of NewGold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) valued at N6.562 million exchanged hands in 8 deals in contrast to a total of 193 units valued at N471,970 transacted last week in 4 deals. In addition, 1,887 units of

TransCorp Plc

T FGN bonds valued at N2.314 million were traded during the week in 20 deals in contrast to 16,050 units valued at N19.339 million transacted last week in 66 deals. However, there were no transactions in the State/Local Government Bonds and Corporate Bonds/Debentures sectors. The Bloomberg NSE Banking and Bloomberg NSE Oil/Gas appreciated by 0.63% and 1.83% respectively. While Bloomberg NSE 30, Bloomberg NSE Consumer Goods, Bloomberg NSE Insurance and NSE Lotus II depreciated by 1.89%, 1.26%, 3.59% and 1.97% respectively. A review of the equity price

Capital Oil turnover hits N1.2 bn


apital Oil Plc. has recorded turnover to the tune of N1.2 billion for the financial year ended 31st Decembe2011, against N144.821 million written in 2010. According the company’s audited result released by the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) last week, the firm’s Profit/(Loss) after Tax stood at (N98.161 million) in 2011 compared to (N324.782 million) written in 2010, while Net Assets which stood at N1.8 billion in 2010

decreased to N1.781 billion in 2011. Similarly, the firm in 2010 equally recorded a turnover of N144.821 million, compared to N1.142 billion recorded in 2009, while its Profit/(Loss) After Tax for the 2010 stood at (N324.782 million), against (N233.164m) of 2009. Net Assets, which stood at N2.204 billion in 2009 financial year, depreciated to N1.879b in 2010.

It could be recalled that the firm recorded a turnover of N1.142 billion for the financial year ended 31st December, 2009 against N257.595 million written in preceding period of 2008. Profit/ (Loss) after Tax also stood at (N233.164m) in 2009 compare to (N39.413m) recorded in the previous year. Interestingly, the firm’s Net Assets increased to N2.204 billion in the period of 2009 compare to N13.342 million written in 2008.

movements indicated that thirty-eight (38) equities gained while forty-six (46) equities recorded price declines and one hundred and thirteen (113) equities remained constant. When compared with the preceding week, thirty-eight (38) equities gained while fiftyfive (55) equities recorded price declines and one hundred and four (104) equities remained constant. Presco Nigeria Plc led the gainers table gaining N3.68 kobo, followed by ConOil Nigeria Plc. N2.10 kobo, and Ashaka Cement gaining N1.58 kobo. Other stocks that gain appreciation during the week include Lafarge Wapco Cement Plc., N1.40 kobo, Okomu Oil Palm N1.19 kobo, Oando Plc. N0.98 kobo, NCR (Nigeria) Plc., N0.87 kobo among others. On the other hand, Dangote Cement Plc topped the losers chart losing N12.01 kobo, followed by Nigeria Brew. Plc, N4.50 kobo and Nestle Nigeria Plc., N4.00 kobo. Other stocks that depreciated during the week under review include Cadbury Nigeria Plc N1.55 kobo, Mobile Oil Nigeria N1.50, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc N1.45 kobo, UACN Property Dev.,N1.10 kobo among others.

Nigerian market outperforms American equities by a large margin


nvestors who have done well buying U.S. stocks this year could be doing even better with Nigeria. The Nigerian market, in fact, has outperformed American equities by a large margin, up more than 20 percent this year versus the U.S. gain of a stillrespectable 6 percent. Ditto for Dubai, Iceland, Vietnam and Abu Dhabi. Taken together, the countries form an unlikely quintet that leads the global equity markets and poses

opportunities for investors wary of all the stomach-churning turmoil closer to home. “If you don’t know something, you tend not to buy it. That’s human nature,” said Nadav Baum, executive vice president at BPU Investment Management in Pittsburgh. “People know what Coke does. People understand what Heinz is,” he added. “But when you’re playing in those international markets, people get concerned about currency risk, they get


concerned about liquidity, and they really don’t understand the companies out there.” Stuart Oakley, Managing Director, Asian Currency Trading at Nomura, and John Woods, Chief Investment Strategist at Citi Private Bank says expect more market consolidation before a pick up. While equity flows have turned positive in 2013, far more money has gone to global markets than the U.S. The U.S. market is actually

just about middle of the road when compared to others across the globe. It ranks 29th of 77 global exchanges and third among G-7 countries, behind Japan and Britain, which have seen big pops in their stock markets as their respective currencies have tumbled in value, according to Bespoke Investment Group. The world’s worst-performing market is Brazil, down about 7.5 percent. (Source: ProShare Nigeria)

Source:Pro-share Nigeria

ransnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange of the decision of its Board of Directors to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). The EGM is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at Lagos Oriental Hotel, 3, Lekki Road, Victoria Island Lagos at 10.00 a.m. The Company intends to, amongst others, pass resolutions to increase the authorized share capital of the Company from N18 billion to N22.55 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each by the creation of 9 billion new ordinary shares of 50 kobo each and to authorize the Directors to issue up to 13 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each from the Company’s share capital by way of Rights.



igerian bond yields were mixed across various tenors as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) conducted open market operations (OMO), to mop up liquidity as the Federal Accounts Allocations Committee (FAAC) injected liquidity into the system. The FAAC disbursed N270billion as monthly budgetary allocation, while the CBN offered N900 billion worth of OMO bills with tenors ranging from 90day to 161day while N724.60 billion was sold at marginal rates ranging between 10.05 percent and 10.87 percent. This was the highest OMO sale by the CBN in recent months. The yield on Nigeria’s 3 year domestic bonds due 2014 fell one basis point to 10.43 percent last Monday, from 10.44 percent a week earlier according to data on the Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA) website.

London Stock Exchange


he London Stock Exchange expects an increase in new listings from African companies this year as businesses in the continent’s fast-growing economies seek to attract foreign investors. London, which has seen a general drop off in listing activity over the past few years due to the global financial crisis, expects companies from countries including Chad, Mozambique, Nigeria and Kenya could go public on its markets. “Africa is a very big focus for us in terms of future opportunity,” Ibukun Adebayo, the LSE’s Head of Equity Primary Markets for Africa, Middle East and South Asia, said. “You will see Africa have its fair share among this year’s listings.”



The exciting future of non-interest banking in Nigeria By Bashir Ibrahim Hassan here may not be a direct link between the growth of noninterest banking (a.k.a. Islamic Banking) around the world and the credit crunch financial crisis that almost brought down the world financial system in 2008. It cannot be claimed, either, that Islamic Finance is growing out of the ruins of the western interest based financial system that has been suffering one set back or another since the 1980s with rate of banks' failure rising steadily. But, there is no denying the fact that, Islamic Banking is providing an alternative model or at least redefining the conceptual approach to banking and finance. It is showing how the edifice of banking needs not to be built around fear, uncertainty and insatiable greed but rather on strong moral and ethical framework with socioeconomic justice as the ultimate goal and without jeopardising reasonable profit-making. For so many reasons, Islamic Banking is growing around the world and growing fast in recent times. It is asserting itself as key player in the global financial system. For instance, in 2011, the Islamic banking worldwide assets grew by 19 percent to $1.3 trillion. Altogether, Islamic banking worldwide increased their profit making by 15 percent during that period. Resilience of the Islamic Banks during the credit crunch crises could also be pointed as another reason for not only growth (through increased patronage) but also the increased confidence in the system as viable alternative to the interestbase banking. The case has been made of, for example, the Islamic Bank of Britain which has been operating before the 2008 financial crises, and has attracted over 40,000 customers; HSBC Amanah, the Islamic finance subsidiary of HSBC, has been operating for over ten years in London, focusing mainly on institutional clients and business finance and Alburaq, the Islamic finance subsidiary of Arab Banking Corporation, has become the market leader for shari'ah compliant home finance in the United Kingdom. But none of these institutions has been affected by the global financial crisis. Another reason could be the growth of the Muslim population and the increasing demand for Sharia compliant banking services. This is true in


Jaiz Bank MD, Mohammed Bintube Western countries (like Britain where the Muslim population has reached about 2 million) as well as the Muslim countries. Growth within the Muslim population throughout the emerging markets of Middle East and North Africa and Asia (MENA) are key drivers behind increasing demand for Islamic financial service. If looked at from generally underpenetrated market position Islamic banking has considerable growth opportunities when compared to the more developed economies. The growth of Islamic Banks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) subsector of the industry alone is projected to be worth $990bn by 2015, a significant growth story from its 2010 position of $416bn assets. And globally as mature markets press forward with banking reforms; alternative Islamic finance option will feature more prominently. So as the world bade farewell to universal banking model it welcomes non-interest banking one. "The decline of the universal bank will pass unlamented" remarked The Economist in its current publication The World in 2013, adding that "The promise of the cross-selling financial supermarkets has long been eclipsed by the destruction of the shareholder value after the (2008) crash" Sub-Saharan Africa offers a tempting growth opportunity for Islamic banking. The African states are joining the Islamic banking club. Post Gaddafi Libya is moving towards Sharia compliant banking, Tunisia is mulling Islamic banking regulations, while Kenya is emerging as Islamic

Finance gateway of East Africa according to the 2011-2012 World Islamic Banking Competitiveness report. These are all in addition to the more experienced members-Egypt, Sudan and South Africa. In 2011 Ja'iz Bank, Nigeria's first Islamic bank opened shop. Several attempts to establish Islamic Bank in Nigeria in the past has met stiff resistance from religious quarters most of it based on ignorance or fear of the unknown or both. But confidence in the viability of the non-interest banking model in Nigeria is growing by the day. Since it opened shop, Ja'iz, has witnessed phenomenal growth in customer base, assets and branch network. This confidence is accentuated due to the fact that the bank opens its door to both Muslim and NonMuslim (allying the fear that Islamic Banking is for Muslims only). It is on record that the first and the third persons to access loan from the bank were of Christian faith, not coincidentally. From a humble start of three branches in 2011, today the bank operates from 10 branches and it is eyeing to double that number before the end of the year 2013. Jaiz Bank Plc makes profit from three different service offerings. Foremost, is trading, which means the bank buys and sells items. The second method is leasing. This applies to supporting entrepreneurs with sufficient capital to, say for example, acquire machinery. The bank does this by buying the required machine and leases it to the entrepreneur. As the entrepreneur uses it he pays the lease rental. The third method is called partnership. If an entrepreneur cannot raise the entire needed fund for his or her business, the bank will come to the rescue. Either the profit or a loss will be shared in the ratio of 60 percent for the bank and 40 percent for the entrepreneur. To me, the prospect f Ja'iz model of Islamic banking lies in the third service offering. The prospect looks brighter if we realize that the loans sharks have long threatened the social and economic life of the Nigerian business community, especially the struggling Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). So, the sky is the limit for Ja'iz Bank to grow if it can provide financial assistance to the SMEs, as long as they are not acting like loan sharks too but are striving to protect the

struggling entrepreneur from unfair loan contracts. The future of NonInterest banking in Nigeria is bright. Ja'iz as the pioneering non-interest based deposit money bank (DMB) is proving a good model to build and test the regulations regarding noninterest banking. For instance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched Liquidity Management Instruments to assist non-interest banks to be able to manage their liquidity since they cannot put their funds in interest bearing treasury bills, while National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has in collaboration with Ja'iz designed an Islamic cooperative kind of insurance called Takaful. Similarly, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and I n f r a s t r u c t u r e Concessioning and Regulatory Commission are mulling how to come up with non-interest based bonds for financing infrastructure. The credit behind the success of the Ja'iz under this

short period will definitely go to its Managing Director and CEO Mr. Mustapha Bintube, a quintessential banker with several years of experience and his team and of course the shareholders-who included some of Nigeria's finest bankers-who who provided the fund to establish the bank. The history of Islamic Banking in the world is not a very long one. The first private Islamic Bank, the 'Dubai Islamic Bank' was set up in 1975 by a group of Muslim businessmen from several countries. Two more private banks were founded in 1977 under the name of 'Faisal Islamic Bank' in Egypt and Sudan. In the same year the Kuwaiti Government set up the 'Kuwait Finance House'. Since then the Islamic Bank have been growing steadily. Although majority of the banks were established in Muslim countries but there is significant number of them today in Western countries today such UK, Denmark, Luxembourg and Switzerland. As the first Islamic bank in Nigeria, Ja'iz cannot afford to fail. It must be well managed for people to have

faith in the new system. It must poster cooperation with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) as it has already started. It must also leverage its association with established Islamic bank to adopt best practices. It must remember the soundness of Islamic banks model in the world is accounted for by the fact that they use a classical banking model, with financing derived from deposits, rather than being funded by borrowings from wholesale markets. Ja'iz will do well to stick to this model. This was the secret of the resilience of the Islamic Banks in Europe when the credit crunch crisis induced halting of lending in the wholesale money market the Islamic banks were not exposed. As Ja'iz leads the way it must sow the seed for other noninterest banks to grow and blossom in Nigeria and the future looks excitingly promising. Bashir Hassan wrote from Maitama Abuja and can be reached at




Rumbles over serial plane crashes T

he recent reports of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Aviation on crash of Dana and Allied aircraft which concluded that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and its officers were not competent as against international judgment on the agency will only mar the industry’s successes rather than reshape it. The reason is because both the upper and lower chambers of the legislature allowed what some industry experts called ‘self-imposed’ rules to interfere with known international practice, hence some detrimental pronouncements were made out of ill-information and political interests. If there is any issue that has been more debated in recent times in the aviation sector, it is the crashes in Lagos and Accra, which unfortunately happened within 24 hours of each other last year. The issue became more prominent not only because it affected human lives directly but because some bodies that were supposed to be silent on the matter interfered and turned it into politics of some sort, thereby making the aviation sector and Nigeria a laughing stock in the international community. While the government could sometimes act on the spur of the moment when an unfortunate incident or

NCAA Director, Harold Demuren

Dana, Allied crashes and NASS report pitch Nigeria against global standards, reports Sade Williams accident mishap happens, rather than achieve intended results, it distorts laid down procedures. For instance, the fact that a public hearing was conducted by the National Assembly into the crash alone stands against international aviation regulations as contained in the International Civil Organisation (ICAO) which Nigeria is a signatory to. Even though the plan to conduct the public hearing was opposed by Stella Oduah, aviation minister and the same plan came under attack of members of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), the lawmakers went ahead with it, strangulating global norms. In a petition addressed to Mohammed Joji, chairman of the committee by the Secretary General of AON, with copies sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, David Mark, the senate president; AminuTambuwal,the speaker of the House of Representatives, and other principal officers of the National Assembly, the airline operators noted that “it would be illogical to

conduct any public hearing or investigation when the body statutorily charged with that responsibility, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was yet to conclude its investigation. “In addition, members of the association noted that in any aircraft accident all over the world, public hearing into aircraft accident is not held in public because of its volatility due to loss of lives in such an accident, as it could heat up the polity. If this is allowed to continue it will put the Aviation Industry in bad light,” AON warned. ICAO standards When an accident happens, involving an international civil aviation flight, Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Convention sets out the rules on the notification, investigation and reporting of the accident. It spells out who should conduct the investigations, which are the parties who can be involved, the rights of each party, how the investigation should be conducted, and how the final results should be reported. Annex 13 also states that the sole objective of the

investigation of an accident or incident is to prevent accidents and incidents and the investigation is not to apportion blame or liability. In the event of an air crash, ICAO standards stipulate that the accident investigation agency of a country conducts thorough investigation and make recommendations on the crash. Most air accident investigations are carried out by an agency of a country that is associated in some way with the accident. For example, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch conducts accident investigations on behalf of the British Government as the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) conducts same on behalf of Nigeria. Snippets from report vs standards The conclusion by the National Assembly that the NCAA did not comply with its own procedures for issuance of Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to Dana Airlines and that most NCAA inspectors are not licensed or type rated on aircraft. From available records, the AOC process is perhaps the most intense, technical and comprehensive safety process the NCAA engages in. It is a five phase process which includes flying the aircraft in demonstration flights for 50 hours without passengers in the 4th phase. The only people on the aircraft are the crew and NCAA Safety Inspectors. According to Harold Demuren, NCAA director general, who reacted to the allegation, the process of AOC issuance also “involves analysis of technical and other operational manuals and processes of the airline including number of crew and their qualifications and evidence of the plan or program for carrying out both light and heavy repairs on the aircraft of the airline.” The process, Demuren said, is exactly the same for every airline, adding that after the crash, Dana has undergone the rigorous AOC recertification. Demuren explained that ICAO requirements for Aviation Safety Inspectors in Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) globally is that they must possess aeronautical engineering degrees and complete aircraft manufacturer’s course on the various types of aircraft and engine operating in the country. “The NCAA fully complies with this. These are key issues that were inspected and examined in Nigeria in

Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah passing the ICAO Safety Audit and United States Federal Aviation Administration (US- FAA) Category-1. Even persons who were previously maintenance engineers cease to be when they start working for the CAA. The CAA’s role is safety oversight, not aircraft repair, among NCAA safety inspectors include pilots type rated that flew the MD-83,” Demuren explained. The report also recommends that the Director General of NCAA himself be removed from office for negligence and incompetence. On this, experts are of the opinion that “what the report characterises as negligence actually demonstrates

appropriate safety precautions and deployment of the right, skilled and qualified personnel in carrying out the functions of the NCAA. “The NCAA AOC procedure is in line with regulatory requirements, international practice and ICAO standards. It has been developed to a level of competence that has never been in its history,” the NCAA DG said. Reacting to the allegations, Demuren dismissed the claims noting that currently, Nigeria and this current administration have proudly attained the highest available standards in aviation. “We are currently not on the European Union Blacklist. We possess the ICAO Universal

We have got to the stage where industry experts and consultants that supplied the legislature with information should come out boldly and defend their reports, information and allegations individually or collectively rather than hide under the ambit of the hallowed chambers

Safety Audit certification, and U.S. FAA Category-1 certification. Even after the crash, our current reputation is enviable and exemplary in Africa. Recently, ICAO sought Nigeria’s assistance with the possibility of sharing its experience in promoting safety with several other African countries,” Demuren added. Stakeholders’ view Members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) berated the lawmakers for this position saying that the public is only being fed with wrong information from those that are supposed to represent them rightly. “It is therefore incorrect; the sweeping conclusion by the House that NCAA does not have a single qualified inspector on the MD 83. It is also not true that the NCAA does not have in its employment any person rated on the MD-83. “From our investigation in NCAA and from commentaries from our members, NCAA inspectors pride themselves with multiple ratings and some of the best training portfolio in the world,” BenjamiOkewu, president, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) said in a statement.

Another error made by the legislators was on the fact that Dana Air made 14 air returns in three years apart from noting that MD-83 aircraft, which was used by Dana, had been phased out by the manufacturer.

DANA Air crash

Analysts note that such statements could be misleading because ‘Air returns are not necessarily an indication that the aircraft is not airworthy. It is a standard recommended safety precautionary measure and after every single air return. NCAA Airworthiness Safety Inspectors physically clear the aircraft before it is released back to operation. Demuren explained that current operators of MD-83 aircraft range from the largest foreign and domestic carriers to new start-up airlines and charter operators. “Two of the three largest United States airlines; American Airlines and Delta operate MD-83s currently. American Airlines has 275 of the series in its fleet. Delta has 117 of this aircraft type,” NCAA DG said. Condemning another part of the report which asked government to revoke the license of Dana Airlines, OlumideOhunayo, a travel analyst, described it as a bad one adding that the airline has just been recertified by the NCAA and some other airlines are going through that same process. “If the legislature views the certification of Dana despite having an international Air Maintenance Organisation (AMO) as partner as faulty and that the NCAA cannot be trusted, it means all other AOCs issued by the NCAA should be revoked with immediate effect; anything

short of this is racism. I just pray their country of descent will not target Nigerian investors too, the priority should be payment of compensation to all,” Ohunayo explained. He said that the directive demanding for the removal of the Director General and the dismissal of the engineer who inspected the ill-fated aircraft is ‘distasteful, hasty and ugly.’ “Rather, a speedy investigation and conclusion of the accident report should be our priority; at that point there will be no place to hide for everyone anymore. What is playing out right now is the age-long rivalry between the academically qualified engineers and those that rose through the ranks, which has metamorphosed into type qualified and type rated. “We have got to the stage where industry experts and consultants that supplied the legislature with information should come out boldly and defend their reports, information and allegations individually or collectively rather than hide under the ambit of the hallowed chambers,” he pointed out. Ohunayo also noted that demands of the Senate is not based on tribal sentiments as espoused in some quarters rather it is based on some information that look mischievous emanating from the cocktail of submissions made before, during and after the public hearing. He cautioned that the director general of the NCAA

should not be tagged with incompetence based on his record so far, adding that he should rather be decorated with national honours for elevating the regulatory institution rather than being hounded disrespectfully. “Let the senate hang proven corruption charges and breach of contract on him, the tide will change ferociously,” he added. He cited that ROSAVIATSIA, the Russian equivalent of NCAA was almost pushed last year, by their parliament to revoke the licenses of some airlines due to air mishaps but the Agency resisted and conducted their investigations. “Red Wings Airline only last week lost its AOC in that process. The Russian regulator said they were losing the license not because of the air crash they had on the 29th of December 2012, but due to the numerous significant violations found during recertification. The airline lacked financial resources to provide ongoing operations consistent with appropriate level of safety. These are processes and procedures without interference but requisite oversight responsibility by all parties,” Ohunayo stated. Ohunayo concluded that by being hasty and not conforming to international standards, ‘we are scaring investors, we need to stop the bickering and attract them by capitalising on our Category 1 status.”



Water supply in Yobe: What’s the journey so far? By Yusuf Wagani


rom time immemorial, human beings have always had a contradictory, even counterintuitive, relationship with water. Although more than 70 percent of the world is made up of water (giving rise to the popular wisdom that the earth is mostly water), large swaths of humanity have no access to clean, safe drinking water. What this means, sadly, is that water is the most abundant scarce commodity on earth! This paradox is encapsulated in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous quote in the Ancient Mariner that goes: "Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink." But since water is, as Leonardo da Vinci reminds us, "the driving force of all nature," people all over the world now routinely measure the effectiveness of governments by the extent to which they are able to provide potable water to their people. Water is life, and its absence often signals death both literally and figuratively. Fela Kuti captured it well when he sang that "Water no get enemy." It is the ultimate sustainer of life. That is why access to clean, drinking water is one of the cardinal goals of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. In spite of the modest progress that has been made in making water available to a wide and diverse spectrum of people across the world, the United Nations children agency (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) say about 783 million people, representing 11 percent of the world's population, still lack access to safe drinking water. Unfortunately, as with most things, a disproportionate percentage of the 783 million people without access to drinking water live in Africa. Of this luckless lot, more than half live in the desert regions of the continent. In the light of this reality, it is appropriate to examine how the desert states of northern Nigeria are faring in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goal of making water available to everybody by the year 2015. As a Yobe State indigene, I am particularly interested in knowing what my state governor is doing about water supply especially to our state's rural poor. This is particularly important because when Governor Ibrahim Gaidam was elected governor, he made the provision of clean water as a high priority of his administration. People close to him say water supply is one area of governmental responsibility that is so close to his heart. Even when he is on transit, it is said, he insists on personally attending to files relating to water supply. This uncommon devotion to water supply is inspired by two things. The first is that being a state that is located in the desert, Yobe has always contended with water problems for long, and several attempts to redress the state's water challenges had always fallen short. The governor took it upon himself to frontally confront the challenge of making clean, safe drinking water accessible to every Yobe State indigene. The second inspiration, according to people familiar with the inner workings of the state government, was the earnest, heartfelt requests that several communities made to the governor to help them with boreholes, hand pumps or wells during the campaigns for the 2011 elections. The governor was genuinely touched and gave the people his word that he would oblige their requests. So it is, for the governor, not just a matter of government's routine responsibility to its people but also of fulfilling his own promises. To this end, the governor made it a policy priority to ensure that all communities in the state have access to clean and potable water before the end of 2015 in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals. He therefore devised a threepronged strategic initiative to achieve his goals. As a first measure, the state government directly

Yobe State Governor

IBRAHIM GAIDAM drills scores of boreholes and hand pumps across the state through the Ministry of Water Resources and the Rural Water Supply Agency (RUWASA). From May 2011 to date, the Gaidam administration has committed over 6 billion naira on water supply across the state. This, according to sources, entails both direct spending on water and water-related equipment and provision of counterpart funds. Of this amount, N1.145 billion was paid for the continuation of work on the Damaturu Regional Water Supply project. This project, when completed, will provide Damaturu and its environs with adequate water supply. The Damaturu Regional Water Supply scheme is designed in three phases, with a total of 30 boreholes which will pump up to 6 million gallons of water per day to an elevated reservoir, which will then distribute the water across town. There will be a total of 200 km of pipe which will be used to reticulate the water. So far, the first and second phases of ten boreholes each have been completed with reservoir and equipment and generators all


From May 2011 to date, the Gaidam administration has committed over 6 billion naira on water supply across the state. This, according to sources, entails both direct spending on water and water-related equipment and provision of counterpart funds. Of this amount, N1.145 billion was paid for the continuation of work on the Damaturu Regional Water Supply project. This project, when completed, will provide Damaturu and its environs with adequate water supply.

in place. The pump house is also 50 percent completed. In addition, the state government has funded the drilling of 26 constituency boreholes for members of the Yobe State House of Assembly at the cost of N300 million. Many of the boreholes have already been completed while others are still ongoing as I write this piece. When this is all done, it is expected that communities without adequate water in the state will have improved access. The second strategy is to encourage and empower local government councils to complement the state government's efforts. Already all the local government councils in the state have also been drilling boreholes for their communities. Tens of boreholes and hundreds of water pumps and wells have been provided by the local councils so far, and several are under way. They are all a product of the state governor's single-minded determination to make local councils align with his pledge to make water accessible to all Yobe indigenes by the year 2015. The third strategy the government is pursuing to democratize access to water in the state is to partner with international agencies and financial institutions to complement the state government's efforts. For instance, a total of 506 boreholes are now being drilled at the cost of N2.7 billion in 10 local government areas of the state with support from the African Development Bank (ADB). The local governments that have benefitted from this initiative are Nangere, Gujba, Fune, Gaidam, Machina, Yusufari, Jakusko, Yunusari, Damaturu and Potiskum. The state rural water supply agency (RUWASA) with support from the Japanese International Development Corporation has also drilled 178 boreholes across the state. But that is only the start. More such projects are on the way. For example, 384 additional boreholes across the state will be drilled with financial support from the ADB, according to available information. These boreholes will be drilled in Bursari, Karasuwa, Bade, Nguru, Fika, Tarmuwa and Gulani local governments. Tenders have been advertised and will be opened this month. Similarly, there is a community and social development agency (CSDP) which is funded by the state government and the World Bank that builds water projects in communities all across the state. These collaborations with international donor agencies, financial institutions, foreign governments, and NGOs are a consequence of the recognition that the limited resources of the state government are not sufficient to solve all of the state's water needs. Even in advanced countries, partnerships help fund capital-intensive projects for the benefit of the greater majority of the people. There is cause for optimism that when all the ongoing water projects in the state are completed, the target of water for all communities by the end of 2015 will hopefully be achieved, and Yobe will once again justify its nameplate catchphrase as the "pride of the Sahel." Dr. Wagani, a researcher and writer on water and sanitation, lives in Garki Area 2, Abuja.



NMC gives scholarships to competition winners By Maryam Garba Hassan


he National Mathematical Centre (NMC) has announced that it has given scholarships to 3 top winners of the just concluded national mathematical competition organised by the Nigerian

Turkish International Colleges, Abuja and the Centre. This was announced at the weekend in Abuja, by the representative of the Director General of the Centre and Head of International Olympia, Nigeria, Mr. Steven Oluwoniyi, at the award and prize giving

ceremony of the winners of the competition. He said the 3 pupils wonld be given 100 % scholarships into Model Science Academy, a school owned by the Centre, for their 6 years secondary education. Oluwoniyi said although the school is not as expensive as NTIC

which fee is N1.5m per term but that it is equally expensive as the Centre will be spending 18million on the 3 students for the 6 years of their stay in the school. He said the Centre will soon be having its annual training workshop for the Olympiastes adding that this year, Nigeria

will host the Pan African Mathematics Olympic (PAMO) with 54 African countries expected to participate in the event. He commended the teachers of winners for the consistent training they give them and for contributing in building the education sector.

AUN organises Abuja 3rd career fair By Maryam Garba Hassan The American University of Nigeria, AUN has organised its 3rd Career fair for its 300 and 400 level students, 32 industry leaders, potential employers, graduates and alums for jobs and internships. Speaking to journalists at the event, Dean Baron Bullock, Vice President of the institution, said the essence for the fair which is an annual event is to create an opportunity for the students to interact with potential employees, and choose the best among them as well as connect with the happenings in the outside world. He said many of the companies present at the event keep coming back to the fair because of the quality they get in terms of students. Grace Nwokoma, career coordinator of the institution said the University is the first in the country to initiate the idea to prepare students for the labour market. She said a lot of companies in the country attend the fair to interview the students, select the best out of them and offer them employment at the end of their National Youth Service adding that this year, 32 companies were signed up for the fair. "The career fair is a platform for students and alums to connect with companies, business leaders, government agencies, captains of industry and diplomatic missions throughout Nigeria to explore internship and employment opportunities," she said. Nwokoma further explained that some of the graduates of the University have been offered employment in a number of the companies present at the fair adding that the University selects the companies to attend the fair based on the courses offered in the institution and the organisations that are related to such courses. Mr. Linus Ikyuran, the University officer in-charge of enrolment, stated that AUN ensures that its students offer entrepreneur courses to equip them with knowledge and also to create opportunities for those students who are academically sound to do part time work in the school to earn extra money. The fair was attended by alumni and graduates of the school.

Students of Premier International School in a march past, during the inter house competition organised by the school, on Saturday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

University Don suggests N600b for North-east special development fund By Ahmed Kaigama


University lecturer, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, has appealed for N600 Billion North-Eastern Region Special Development Fund for the development of the sub-region. Prof. Bogoro, a lecturer with the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, made the appeal on Saturday at the Award Ceremony of some distinguished sons and daughters of the state organised by the Bauchi Development Awareness Circle. He said the Federal Government should partner with political and opinion leaders at the three tiers of government to propose a Special Development trust Fund for the North-eastern

part of the country. Bogoro said the N600 billion ($4 billion) fund should be launched and globally solicited for from governments, donor agencies, development foundations, and wealthy individuals within and outside the country. The proposed N600 billion Trust funds according to Bogoro, should be managed by trustees to be shared at an agreed rate between the 6 states in the subregion namely, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba. He explained that prioritised intervention programmes under the fund must include education, agriculture, and basic social infrastructure, stressing that if education is enhanced and

prioritised in the sub-region, other benefits will follow in a matter of 10 to 20 years. The University Don attributed his suggestion for the special fund to the unfortunate devastating effect of the on-going security breach that has stifled socio-economic life in the Northeastern geopolitical zone of the country. Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Bauchi Development Awareness Circle, Alhaji Adamu Hassan expressed concern with the non-recognition of some sons and daughters of the state whom, he said have immensely contributed in enhancing the quality of life of the people socially, economically and politically. Hassan said the circle viewed

it imperative to address the anomaly by identifying and bringing into limelight the contributions of those people to the society; hence the award ceremony to create a platform and congenial atmosphere that will encourage healthy competitions among citizens. The awardees were Wazirin Bauchi, Alhaji Muhammadu Bello Kirfi, former SGF Aminu Saleh, Wazirin Katagum, Alhaji Sule Katagum, Senators Adamu Ibrahim Gumba, Abdul Ahmed Ningi and Babayo Garba Gamawa, FCT Minister Bala Mohammed, Alhaji Aliyu Umar Misau, Alhaji Mohammed Nada Umar and Hajiya Hauwa Abiodun Isa Yuguda.

Sokoto schools closure: 2,800 pupils thrown out of schools By Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


ore than 2,800 pupils were recently thrown out of schools in Sokoto state following the closure of some private schools across the state for non-compliance with the stipulated guidelines of the state government. it would be recalled that last month 40 private schools operating illegally in the state were shot down during Task Force

raid carried out by the team of Inspectorate Division of the State Government led by the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Education, Alhaji Bello Muhammadu Gwiwa. However, it was alleged that the exercise was carried out without a prior notice to the affected schools' proprietors. Some of the Proprietors who spoke to People's Daily, described the situation as "barbaric treatment of non-natives of the state ", adding that most private

schools in the state have been working hand-in-hand with the officials of the state government for the interest of uplifting the standard of education in the state. They further alleged that some of them spent hugely to acquire license to operate the schools that were closed down. Reacting, Head of Monitoring Units of the Ministry of Education, Malam Dogon-Daji, said the exercise was carried out to improve the ventilation and good atmosphere for learning in the

state, adding that what government is doing is to improve on the ways and manner school children were Jam packed in classrooms without cross ventilation. He said the state government has recently rehabilitated all its schools across the state in view of the development, adding that teachers are also receiving various trainings organised by the National Teachers' Institute (NTI) on the new methodology of teaching techniques.



ASSUU UniAbuja chapter organises public lecture to mark 25 years Anniversary By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), University of Abuja chapter, is organissing a public lecture to commemorate the institution's 25 years of existence. The lecture with the theme "University of Abuja at 25: Challenges and Prospects" is scheduled to hold on the 7th of March, 2003 at the ASUU National Secretariat, University of Abuja Main Campus. Guest lecturer at the event is former national President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Festus Iyayi. The lecture is expected to be attended by the Minister for Education prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'I who is the special guest of honour, Minister of the FCT, Chairman Senate Committee on Education and

Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Education. Other dignitaries expected at the public lecture include, former Vice Chancellors of the University, Presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress, TUC,

SSANU, NASU and NATS, Chairmen of the six Area Councils in the FCT, and all former national Presidents of ASUU, the Executive Secretaries of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and that of the National Universities

Commission (NUC). The Chairman of the occasion is the former Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Professor Mamood Yakubu. The Panel of Discussants include, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuize, Prof. Kayode Omole, Dr.

Dikpo Fashina, Dr. Sule Kano and Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson. The current Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. James Adelabu is the Chief Host. It would be recalled that the University of Abuja was established on the 1st of January, 1988.

Education vehicle for developmentsays new registrar From Ahmed Idris, Birinin Kebbi


ewly appointed Registrar of the recently approved Federal University Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state, Alhaji Ibhrahim Abukaari Mungadi, has described education as vehicle for development for mankind. Fielding questions from newsmen at the weekend at his country home of Mungai in Kebbi state over his new appointment as the pioneer registrar of the university, registrar said both the federal government and the state government are doing a lot in the education sector but much is needed to be done in term of awareness. He therefore advocated for more investment in education by wealthy individuals in the state to compliment government efforts in the development of the education sector. He however, solicited for what he called private partnership with government on education, citing example with the southern part of the country where over 85 per cent of the sector is private driven adding that if this happen in Kebbi, the state will rise to the top educationally. The new Registrar while appreciating the Federal Government for establishing a university in the state also called on the people of the state to take good advantage of the gesture to assist in nurturing it to growth in all ramifications. He also called on the secondary school students across the state to face their studies, read hard so that they can qualify for admission into the university.

L-R: Anambra state Governor, Mr Peter Obi, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, and Vice-chacellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Boniface Egboka, during the 2013 Annual Lecture of the university, recently in Awka. Photo: NAN

NTIC, NMC awarded winners of mathematics competition By Maryam Garba Hassan


igerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC) has awarded the 52 successful pupils of its 10th annual national mathematical competition organised by the Colleges and the National Mathematical Centre (NMC) across the nation. Speaking at the final stage of the ceremony at the Turkish Nile University, Abuja, at the weekend, Chairman of the Colleges, Mr. Hikmet Goban, said the aim of the competition was to arrest mathematics phobia in pupils at the foundation level of the educational system, sensitise, encourage and pick from the grassroots, qualified candidates

who will represent Nigeria in the annual International Mathematics Olympiad. He said the competition which was participated by over 25,000 pupils from 4000 primary schools in the country, was conducted in 36 states of the federation and at the state and final levels adding that in the second stage, 113 successful candidates emerged in the 36 states with 3 pupils representing each state. Goban further explained that 59 students were invited from 20 states to Abuja for the competition while 54 pupils from 17 states went to Kano for the final stage of the competition. He said 50% scholarships were given to the 93 outstanding pupils while 20 have 100% scholarships

to study at NTIC for 6years which includes tuition fee, feeding and accommodation. Congratulating the successful pupils, he commended the National Mathematical Centre for their support to the college and the teachers who prepared the pupils for the competition. Newly appointed Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Mustapha Pulat, said mathematics is the foundation of many sciences adding that the importance of the subject is discipline and that whoever wants to be successful must know mathematics and commended the students for their courage to participate in the competition and the organisers for rewarding the successful pupils for their

exceptional performances. He urged parents to instill moral values in their children. Overall winner of the competition, 11 year old Rastogi Oomisha of Indian Lagos school who scored 97,856, went home with gold medal, cash prize of N100, 00 and a computer for her school, Uduji Ezinwa from Ray Jacobs Primary school, Imo state, who emerged second with a total score of 96,996 also went home with N75,000 while 3rd position Okojie Osakwe from the Groove Primary school, Rivers state who scored 96,824 points, went home with N40,000 and a printer for his school. 4th to 10th positions each went home each with cash prizes as well as their teachers.

More Universities, solution to admission crisis, says Fountain Scribe From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


he Secretary of the Board of Fountain University Osogbo, Mr. Yinka Yahaya, has said that creation of more Universities in Nigeria would be a practical solution to admission crisis in the

country. Yahyah who stated this in Ilorin while speaking with Journalists also called on government and the private sector to establish more Universities in the country. He pointed out that development of human capital

would accelerate nation development and technological breakthrough and that unemployment rate would come down if the citizenry were given skills in education which would enrich their initiative capacity. The Fountain Board Scribe

bemoaned the alarming failure rate of JAMB and Ordinary Level Examinations and urged government and stakeholders to improve on teachers' education, provision of infrastructure, laboratory equipment and teaching aids.



Clearing throat always could be doing more harm than good, warn experts T hroat clearing may harm the throat and vocal chords, it is a vicious cycle - the more someone clears throat, the more they feel they need to clear it. Colleagues who habitually clear their throats have long been the bane of many office workers' lives. They now have a good reason to be silenced, after experts warned that the process can do more harm than good. Dr. Brian Rotskoff, of the Claritin Allergy Centre in Chicago, says that too much habitual throat clearing harms the throat and vocal chords if left untreated. He believes that if someone is frequently clearing their throat for more than three months, the condition becomes chronic and can gradually alter the voice. Once someone becomes used to clearing their throat, it can become more of a behavioural issue that is, the more they clear their throat; the more they will feel like they need to clear it. Dr. Rotskoff, who specialises in a variety of throat conditions like asthma, nasal allergies, and sleep apnoea, often sees chronic throat clearers and coughers whose voices are affected. He told Reuters Health: "Throat clearing is a symptom, not a condition.

"Often it's the spouse of a throat clearer that pushes them in my door. It's like chronic snoring because it's pain-free, those around you are the most bothered." He adds that says that the need to clear your throat usually begins with causes like a cold or upper respiratory infection, but sometimes patients are unclear of the onset and can remember always having a constant tickle

around their voice box. Like a chronic cough, and sometimes nasal congestion, throat clearing results from something affecting the throat or airways. It can be caused by something actually being stuck in the back of the throat, but the sensation often tickles the throat without anything actually being there. "Your throat and vocal cords take repeated abuse with

constant clearing,' said Rotskoff. 'The resulting inflammation only reinforces the urge to clear and the cycle continues. Even if you don't feel discomfort there can be lasting damage to your throat and voice." Why people start habitually clearing their throats Asthma, Hay fever, Acid reflux, side effects from blood pressure medication Habit and unexplained

New constructed Nigeria-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital to be commissioned soon, at Kado in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

chronic cough: Some experts say habitual throat clearing is a reflex action which people can have when they are under stress. "It's common among young entrepreneurs, care givers of sick relatives or anyone living with constant pressure in their lives," says Dr. Adam Frosh, a consultant ear, nose and throat specialist at the Lister Hospital, Hertfordshire. It can also be linked to allergies: Phillip Song, a laryngologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, argues that pollen and mold can cause itchiness in the nose and throat which causes the desire to clear the throat. Treatment for habitual throat clearing depends on the original cause of the problem. There are medications available that ease reflux, allergies and asthma and voice therapy can help break the cycle. Almost half of the population has experienced globus pharyngeus - feeling as if you have persistent phlegm or tightness in your throat Sufferers feel the regular need to clear their throat of phlegm but an examination will find nothing physically wrong.



Why some people have pimples and others don't: 'bad' bacteria that cause blemishes


veryone's skin carries acne-causing bacteria of which there are 'good' and 'bad' strains. Having too much 'bad' bacteria is what causes acne. Findings could pave the way for new treatments. The days of spots may now be numbered after scientists discovered why some people are more prone to them than others. The researchers, from UCLA, have discovered more about the bacteria that live on the skin and cause acne. They have found that this bacterium contains 'bad' strains which cause pimples and 'good' ones that may protect the skin. Having too much 'bad' bacteria is what causes spots, they say. This is rather like an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut causing digestive issues. It is not yet clear why some people have more of either type of bacteria, or what comes first, the acne or the bacteria. Other factors such as an individual's genetic make-up or the sensitivity of their immune system, may also dictate whether good or bad strains grow on skin. The breakthrough could pave the way for the development of new acne treatments. About 80 per cent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will be affected by acne. It can continue well into adult life. About 5 per cent of women and 1 per cent of men over 25 also have the condition. "We learned that not all acne bacteria trigger pimples, one strain may help keep skin healthy," said the study's principal investigator, Dr. Huiying Li, an assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA. "We hope to apply our findings to develop new strategies that stop blemishes before they start, and enable dermatologists to customise treatment to each patient's unique cocktail of skin bacteria." The scientists, who published their findings in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, looked at a microbe, propionibacterium that thrives in oily pores. When these bacteria aggravate the immune system, they cause the swollen, bumps associated with acne. Using over-the-counter pore-cleansing strips, researchers lifted the bacteria from the noses of 49 pimply and 52 clear-skinned volunteers. After extracting DNA from the strips, the laboratory identified the bacterial strains in each volunteer's pores and recorded whether the person

suffered from acne. "We were interested to learn that the bacterial strains looked very different when taken from diseased skin, compared to healthy skin," said co-author Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist at the UCLA Medical Centre. He added: "Two unique strains of bacteria appeared in one out of five volunteers with acne but rarely occurred in clear-skinned people." However, the biggest breakthrough came when the scientists discovered a third strain of the bacteria that is common in healthy skin. They believe that this strain contains a natural defense mechanism that enables it to recognise attackers and to destroy them before they infect the bacterial cell. They believe that this strain contains a natural defense mechanism that enables it to recognise attackers and to destroy them before they infect the bacterial cell. People who didn't suffer spots had more of these 'good' bacteria. Offering new hope to acne sufferers, the researchers believe that increasing the body's friendly strain of the bacteria through the use of a simple cream or lotion may help calm spotty complexions. Dr. Li said: "This bacteria strain may protect the skin, much like yogurt's live bacteria help defend the gut from harmful bugs. "Our next step will be to investigate whether a probiotic cream can block bad bacteria from invading the skin and prevent pimples before they start." The news comes just after scientists at New York University discovered that diet does impact a person's complexion.

A landmark overview of research carried out over the past 50 years has found that eating foods with a high glycaemic index

(GI) and drinking milk not only aggravated acne, but in some cases triggered it, too. The study was conducted in

conjunction with researchers at Washington University in St Louis and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute.

Even celebrities cannot escape the acne-causing bacteria: Cameron Diaz succumbs to an outbreak of spots



The Kenyan election and political double talk

President Mwai Kibaki had an opportunity to weaken ethnic politics but instead "regressed to old tribal tricks" [AFP]

ANALYSIS By Lori Allen


n February 11, 2013, Al Jazeera aired Kenya's first ever televised presidential debate. This was a lively exchange between the candidates and it was refreshing to see the eight contenders, including the two leading rivals, Odingaand Kenyatta, amicably and politely debate ideas. Such civility was in sharp contrast to the horrific political mayhem that marked the aftermath of the last presidential election in 2007 in which the principal contenders stood by, as hundreds of innocent citizens were slaughtered. Watching the debate one would think that a political revolution had taken place since those gruesome days in 2007. Three issues dominated the debate: First, there was the discussion of the pending International Criminal Court case against Kenyatta. Second, much verbiage was devoted to tribalism and party politics in Kenya. Third, there was some discussion of corruption in government and what might be done to clean it up. However, there is a gulf between the rhetoric of the candidates and the reality of politics in Kenya. In particular, it is worth underscoring how far the candidates went to distance themselves from tribal politics and corruption. Any informed person about

the country knows that elitedriven ethnicity has been the grammar of Kenyan politics since shortly after independence. Despite this common knowledge, senior political leaders have consistently pretended that they are the servants of all Kenyans. Even President Kibaki, who had a golden opportunity to fatally weaken ethnic politics as a result of the broad coalition that came together to defeat former President Moi in 2003, regressed to old tribal tricks as he sought a second term in the presidency. When ethnic mobilisation failed to deliver victory, his associates gerrymandered the election results, which led to a blood path that nearly destroyed the country. The terror which that fraudulent victory spawned frightened the civic movement and helped them push the

political class to agree to some major structural reforms. The product of this process was Kenya's new constitution. However, it is one thing to rewrite the constitution, and an entirely different matter to legislate political morality for an elite steeped in malfeasance and sectarian entrepreneurship. Although constitutional reform and heightened civil awakening has yet to seriously dent the appetite of the political class to mobilise the electorate on the basis of ethnic sentiments, this energy will hopefully prevent another slaughter the morning after. In light of this, it was amusing to hear nearly all the candidates "announce" their enduring civic commitment, and rejection of tribalism and corruption. Given the country's tribalistic and corrupt political culture, Kenyan citizens of


The terror which that fraudulent victory spawned frightened the civic movement and helped them push the political class to agree to some major structural reforms. The product of this process was Kenya's new constitution.

goodwill must hope that the almighty will bless the declaration of the candidates and turn them into a new political reality after the March election. Short of such a miracle, old political realities are being reworked in the election campaign. It is true that none of the major candidates have openly articulated their campaigns to be ethnically anchored, but the fact remains that the country and the campaigns are Balkanised into ethnic blocs. For example, most of the major coalitions are based on tribal formulas which directly negate all rhetorical declaration made during the debate. This double talk among Kenya's presidential aspirants mirror the current government's Janus-faced policy on Somalia. Over a year ago, when Kenya invaded Somalia, the KibakiOdinga government claimed its intention was to drive alShabaab from its stronghold in the Juba region centred on the port of Kismayo and then withdraw its forces. Somalis did not believe Kenya's intentions were limited to getting rid of al-Shabaab, and it appears that Somali suspicions have been borne out. The government of Kenya, led by President Kibaki and Premier Odinga, has been involved in mobilising certain Somali tribal groups to support its agenda in Somalia. Since the defeat of alShabaab, Kenya continues to host mini-tribal conferences that it hopes will lead to the creation of a "Jubaland state" in Somalia. The aim has been not only to

create a buffer zone for Kenya, but for Kenya to have a strong sphere of influence which it can use to press its desire of taking some of Somalia's richest marine resources south of Kismayo. To add insult to injury, Kenyan military commanders in Kismayo blocked a delegation sent to the city by the recently selected Somali president to visit Kismayo, reinforcing Kenya's illintention for Somalia. On a second front, the government of Kenya has been the vanguard of institutionalising clan political boundaries between Somali communities in Somalia through its involvement in the so-called Somali peace conferences, and participation in the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). I witnessed this firsthand when Kenya hosted one of the so-called Somalia "reconciliation" conferences in 2003-2004 and more recently through its endorsement of a particular candidate in the 2012 transition. Despite all of its claims of goodwill towards Somalia, existing evidence indicate that Kenya's rhetorical pronouncement about Somalia is belied by its policy and practical engagements. For instance, there was a recent Ministerial Meeting of the Core Group on Somalia in Addis Ababa on January 25, 2012, in which the Kenyan Foreign Minister questioned the legitimacy of Turkey's willingness to help rebuild Somali security forces. He claimed that such a project was the preserve of IGAD and that Turkey had no business in interfering in this matter. He also insisted that the newly formed Somali security force must be representative of clan divisions illustrating Kenya's commitment to Somali subjugation. It is evident that Kenyan leaders, current ones or the aspirant group, are at ease in living a double life. Their public narrative to the people of Kenya exudes common civic identity while their political practice deeply invests in tribalism and deceit. Given the unchanged political strategy of the presidential candidates the best one can expect, in the immediate term, is continued salience of political tribalism rather than putting the new constitution in to practice. The gulf between the reality of Kenya's involvement in Somalia and its public pronouncements is equally incongruous. Publicly, Kenyan leaders shed "crocodile tears" to show their empathy for the Somali people. In private, they engage in policies and practices which reproduce Somali vulnerabilities and that exploit them to the maximum. Both instances elucidate that neither the citizens of Kenya nor Somalia can expect civic relief from the current cohort of political candidates anytime soon. Source: Al Jazeera



Chad says it killed Algeria hostage mastermind in Mali C

hadian soldiers in Mali have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the al Qaeda commander who masterminded a bloody hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant in January, Chad's military said. The death of one of the world's most wanted jihadists would be a major blow to al Qaeda in the region and to Islamist rebels already forced to flee towns they had seized in northern Mali by an offensive by French and African troops. "On Saturday, March 2, at noon, Chadian armed forces operating in northern Mali completely destroyed a terrorist base. ... The toll included several dead terrorists, including their leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar," Chad's armed forces said in a statement read on national television. On Friday, Chad's president, Idriss Deby, said his soldiers had killed another al Qaeda commander, Adelhamid Abou Zeid, among 40 militants who died in an operation in the same area as Saturday's assault - Mali's

Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near the Algerian border. France which has used jet strikes against the militants' mountain hideouts - has declined to confirm the killing of either Abou Zeid or Belmokhtar. In Washington, an Obama administration said the White House could not confirm the killing of Belmokhtar. Analysts said the death of two of al Qaeda's most feared commanders in the Sahara desert would mark a significant blow to Mali's Islamist rebellion. "Both men have extensive knowledge of northern Mali and parts of the broader Sahel and deep social and other connections in northern Mali, and the death of both in such a short amount of time will likely have an impact on militant operations," said Andrew Lebovich, a Dakar-based analyst who follows al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Anne Giudicelli, managing director of security consultancy Terrorisc, said the al Qaeda


Hosni Mubarak retrial to begin 13 April

ormer President Hosni Mubarak will face retrial on 13 April, Egypt's appeal's court has decided. He faces charges of conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 revolt that ended his 29-year rule, and corruption. A retrial was ordered in January after a court accepted his appeal against the life sentence he had been serving since his conviction last June. Mr Mubarak, 84, is currently in a military hospital.

About 850 people were killed in the 2011 crackdown. Mr Mubarak's Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, will also face retrial, the Mena state news agency quoted the head of the court as saying. Last year, he was sentenced to life for contributing to the killing of protesters, and for five and 12 years for corruption charges.

Somali woman cleared in 'false rape' case

A Mokhtar Belmokhtar in a undated video. commanders' deaths - if confirmed - would temporarily disrupt the Islamist rebel network but would also raise concern over the fate of seven French hostages believed to be held by Islamists in northern Mali. Chad is one of several African nations that have contributed forces to a French-led military intervention in Mali aimed at

Mr Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, will be retried on corruption charges for which they were acquitted in June, because of the expiry of a statute of limitations. Mr Mubarak was also found not guilty of corruption. In addition, six Mubarak aides will also return to the dock, Mena reported. Anger sparked by the

ridding its vast northern desert of Islamist rebels who seized the area nearly a year ago following a coup in the capital. Before In Amenas, some intelligence experts had assumed Algerian-born Belmokhtar had drifted away from jihad in favor of kidnapping and smuggling weapons and cigarettes in the Sahara where he earned the nickname "Marlboro Man".

acquittal of key security officials over the protesters' deaths was a major factor in demonstrations in the wake of the June 2012 verdicts. During the 10-month trial, Mubarak appeared in court on a stretcher, amid frequent reports about his ill-health. He was treated in a military hospital after falling in his prison bathroom in December.

Fighting between rebels and army erupts in central Sudan


ighting has broken out between government forces and rebels in central Sudan, both sides said in a possible escalation of violence that has hitherto been concentrated closer to the African country's borders. Rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) from the western region of Darfur said

they had launched an attack on the army in North Kordofan state. JEM and two other Darfur rebel groups formed an alliance with a rebel group from southern Sudan, the SPLM-North, in 2011 to try to topple veteran President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Fighting with the army has been so far mainly limited to

court in Somalia has dropped charges against a woman who was given a jail sentence after alleging she was raped by security forces. She and a journalist who interviewed her were convicted a month ago by a Mogadishu judge on charges of offending state institutions. The appeal court said the woman would be freed but the journalist who did not report the story would stay in jail. Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, 25, had his sentence cut to six months. The case prompted an outcry last month from human rights groups and journalists, who said it was politically motivated. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was "deeply disappointed". Both the woman and the journalist were originally given one-year jail terms, but the trial judge said the woman would not be imprisoned for six months as she was caring for a baby. She had reported the alleged rape at a police station in Mogadishu and prosecutors alleged she and others had been paid by Abdinur to lie. She was convicted after the judge cited disputed medical evidence saying she had not been raped. The journalist, who was detained in January, was accused by police of collecting material for an al-Jazeera media report on rape in camps for displaced people. He had been working for Somali radio stations and international media but had not been involved in the story in question, the network said. His lawyer said that he had been prevented from producing witnesses in court. Human Rights Watch criticised the decision to keep Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim in jail. "The court of appeals missed a chance to right a terrible wrong," Africa director Daniel Bekele said in a statement.

South Sudan's army spokesman Philip Aguer

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, addressing a news conference with President Alassane Ouattara of Cote D'ivoire, after a bilateral meeting between the two leaders, on Saturday in Abidjan.

Darfur as well as South Kordofan and Blue Nile states bordering South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011. The state of North Kordofan is closer to the Sudanese capital Khartoum and a large producer of gum arabic, a substance extracted from acacia trees used by the food and drinks industry and an important sources earnings for cash-strapped Sudan. JEM said it had seized the area of Wad Bahr in North Kordofan

from government forces on Saturday. "We beat the army and seized many weapons," JEM spokesman Gibril Adam said. Sudan's army spokesman could not be immediately reached, but officials confirmed the rebel attack to local media. "The fighting continued from one o'clock until four and sporadically until the evening," the area's local commissioner told the independent al-Sahafa newspaper.

Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim had his sentence cut to six months.



Asia and Assad accuses Britain of escalating conflict Middle East


yrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused Britain of acting in a "naive, confused and unrealistic manner" and warned other nations to stop interfering in his country's affairs, in a rare interview with The Sunday Times newspaper.

In the interview published on Saturday evening, his first with a western newspaper in more than a year, Assad said he was also unhappy with the UN for overestimating the death toll in the conflict at 70,000 in a bid to justify outside intervention. "This (British) government is acting in a naive, confused and unrealistic manner," he said of Prime

Minister David Cameron's conservative leadership, for trying to end an EU arms embargo so that the rebels could be supplied with weapons. "We do not expect an arsonist to be a firefighter," he said, dismissing a suggestion that Britain could help to resolve the conflict. "If they want to play a role they have to change this, they have to act in

a more reasonable and responsible way." The two countries have not had contact for a long time, he said. Offering a message to "anyone who is talking about the Syrian people," he said, "only Syrian people can tell the president to stay or leave, come or go, no one else." Lebanese-British reporter Hala

Netanyahu given more time to form government Israeli president Shimon Peres has given prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu an additional 14 days to try to form a new government, after he was unable to complete the task during an initial 28-day period. Talks with potential partners have been deadlocked since elections on January 22, and if he is unable to form a government by March 16, a new poll could be called. Netanyahu's Likud party, which ran on a joint ticket with the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu, won 31 of the Knesset's 120 seats, a diminished lead that forced him to cast a wide net for partners while juggling their demands. During the 28-day period, Netanyahu managed to forge a pact only with the party of former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, whose sixmember Hatnuah ("The Movement") has given him 37 seats, far short of the minimum 61 needed to confirm a new coalition. In a brief statement following his meeting with Peres on Saturday night, Netanyahu hinted that at least one potential coalition partner refused to sit alongside others. Netanyahu has faced demands from the parties that placed second and fourth, Yesh Atid ("There is a Future") and Bayit Yehudi ("Jewish Home"), to slash mass exemptions from military conscription and cut welfare stipends to ultra-Orthodox Jews.

China's graftfighting Xi says party future is on the line


President Bashir al-Assad

Bangladesh deaths rise as protest strike begins


t least 16 people have died in clashes in Bangladesh at the start of a strike called over a death sentence given to an Islamist party leader. Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, of Jamaat-e-Islami, was sentenced on charges including murder, rape and torture during the war of independence in 1971. Thursday's sentence sparked riots that have left about 60 people dead. The Islamists say the tribunal is politically motivated, something the Bangladesh government denies. Jamaat-e-Islami called a two-day strike across the country, beginning on Sunday, in protest at the court ruling. Troops were called in in the northern district of Bogra, where police said thousands of Jamaat activists armed with sticks and homemade bombs attacked police outposts early on Sunday. At least eight people were killed and dozens hurt in clashes in the district.

Jaber, who also interviewed Assad in 2011, spoke this time to the president in Damascus. She said he drove himself to the location, "a relatively modest building", and was told "that despite regular explosions, Assad insists on maintaining a normal lifestyle including - to his security chief's dismay - driving to the office in the morning."

Netanyahu (L) with former foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

China's President Hu Jintao (L) wipes his face next to China's Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping during the opening ceremony of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

hina's ruling Communist Party will only be able to mark its 100th birthday in eight years time if officials can learn from the selfless sages of the past, party chief Xi Jinping said in remarks published on Sunday, taking another swipe at corruption. Xi, who will take over the reins of state power from outgoing President Hu Jintao at this month's annual full session of parliament, has made fighting pervasive graft a central theme since assuming the top job in the party and military in November. The Communist Party marks the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2021, one year before the second of Xi's two five-year term ends and he steps down as party chief. "Only if the capabilities of all party members unceasingly continue to strengthen, can the goal of 'two 100 years' and 'the dream' of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people be realized," Xi said in a speech marking the 80th anniversary of the Central Party School, which trains rising officials. "Two 100 years" refers to both the party and the People's Republic ofChina lasting at least a century each. The People's Republic turns 100 in 2049. The Communists swept to power and founded the republic in 1949 after winning a civil war and forcing Chiang Kaishek's Kuomintang, or Nationalist, troops to flee to Taiwan, which Beijing still claims as its own. The concept of "two 100 years" has been alluded to in state media over the past few weeks, but this is the first time Xi explicitly mentioned it in his speech on Friday, which was carried in whole by the People's Daily, the party mouthpiece. Xi has warned in the past that corruption threatens the party's very survival and launched a campaign to prevent waste and graft. He also banned the 2.3 million-strong People's Liberation Army from binge drinking and told it to be combat- ready. The Chinese leader peppered his latest speech with references to aphorisms from virtuous officials and philosophers from ancient China, including Confucian philosopher Mencius (372 to 289 BC) and Zhuge Liang (181 to 234 AD), a statesman and strategist lauded to this day for his wisdom and devotion to his monarch.



Europe and Cardinal Keith O'Brien sorry for sexual misconduct Americas C Queen in hospital with stomach bug


he Queen is in hospital "as a precaution" where she is being assessed for symptoms of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace says. A palace spokesperson said the 86-year-old monarch had been taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London. All official engagements for this week, including the Queen's trip to Rome, will be either cancelled or postponed. The Queen was driven to hospital by private car on Sunday and the palace said she was "in good spirits". She had earlier carried out a medal presentation at Buckingham Palace. The BBC's royal correspondent Peter Hunt says the Queen will remain in hospital under observation for around two days. The Queen was last in hospital 10 years ago for a minor knee operation. News of her illness emerged on Saturday after she was forced to cancel a trip to Swansea to mark St David's Day in a military ceremony. Gastroenteritis causes inflammation of the stomach lining and intestines. The infection can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or contaminated food and drink. Symptoms can include vomiting, fever and stomach ache. The Queen had been due to spend two days in Rome with the Duke of Edinburgh next weekend, at the invitation of Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano. It is not now clear whether the visit will be re-scheduled. A reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday for MPs and MEPs will go ahead with other members of the royal family present.

Queen Elizabeth

ardinal Keith O'Brien has admitted that his sexual conduct has at times "fallen beneath the standards expected of me". In a statement, he apologised and asked forgiveness from those he had "offended". He also apologised to the Catholic Church, and to the people of Scotland. The cardinal resigned last Monday after three priests and a former priest made allegations of improper behaviour against him. Cardinal O'Brien had been Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric when he stood down as the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh. At the time, he said he would not take part in the election for a successor to Pope Benedict. The statement issued through the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland read: "In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and nonspecific nature led me to contest them. "However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. "To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. "I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further

part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland." The cardinal - who initially said he was taking legal advice when the allegations against him were made public - had been due to retire later this month when he turned 75. The former priest and three current priests from the diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh complained to the Pope's representative to Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, in early February about what they alleged had been inappropriate behaviour towards

them in the 1980s. The ex-priest told the Observer he was disappointed by the "cold disapproval" he faced for "daring to break ranks". He also claimed to have only gone public because he feared the matter was in danger of being swept under the carpet by the church. Last week, the Observer reported that the former priest had claimed Cardinal O'Brien made an inappropriate approach to him in 1980, after night prayers, when he was a seminarian at St Andrew's

College, Drygrange. A second statement from another complainant said he had been living in a parish when he was visited by Cardinal O'Bren, and inappropriate contact had taken place between them. A third complainant alleged he faced what he described as "unwanted behaviour" by the cardinal in the 1980s after some late-night drinking. The fourth complainant claimed the cardinal used night prayers as an excuse for inappropriate contact, the newspaper said.

Keith O'Brien

Drugs: Brazil troops raid Rio airport shanty towns


razilian police backed by troops, helicopters and armoured vehicles have moved into shanty-towns near Rio de Janeiro's international airport. More than 1,300 security personnel were involved in the operation in the Caju and Barreira do Vasco neighbourhoods. It is part of a strategy to take control of Rio's poor districts from drug-trafficking gangs before

next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Security forces met no resistance as they moved into the area before dawn. "The operation has been a a success, this important area was taken without firing a shot," military police Col Frederico Caldas told Brazil's Globo TV. Three hours after they moved in, police hoisted the flags of Brazil and Rio to show the authorities were now in control

of the neighbourhoods, after decades of domination by drugs gangs. A number of arrests were made and guns and drugs seized. The occupation of the shanty towns or favelas is part of a plan to secure access to and from Rio's international airport. Since 2008 more than 30 favelas in Rio have been "pacified" in the government campaign to improve public security before it hosts the world's two biggest

sporting events. The programme has helped bring down crime rates in and around the communities, the BBC's Julia Carneiro in Rio says. But there are more than 600 favelas in the city, and critics say the pacification programme only benefits areas near richer neighbourhoods popular with tourists or Olympic and World Cup venues, our correspondent adds.

Obama calls lawmakers over spending cuts, no resolution seen


resident Barack Obama has reached out to Republican and Democratic lawmakers in search of a resolution to automatic across-the-board government spending cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, but Republican congressional leaders offered little hope for a quick solution. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, both expressed confidence that there would not be a government shutdown at the end of the month amid the showdown with Obama over federal spending. "I don't think anyone quite understands how it gets resolved," Boehner said on the NBC program "Meet the Press" as he put the blame squarely on Obama and his fellow Democrats. "It's time for the president

and Senate Democrats to get serious about the long-term spending problem that we have," Boehner said. Obama late on Friday formally ordered broad cuts in government spending after he and congressional Republicans failed to reach a deal to avert


the automatic reductions that could dampen economic growth and curb military readiness. Government agencies now will begin to cut a total of $85 billion from their budgets from now through September 30 under automatic reductions

known as "sequestration." Half of the cuts will fall on the Pentagon. Gene Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Obama spoke on Saturday afternoon with a select group of lawmakers to try to find a path out of the current fiscal crisis a "bipartisan compromise." He did not identify the lawmakers to whom Obama spoke. "He's reaching out to Democrats who understand we have to make serious progress on long-term entitlement reform, and Republicans who realize that if we had that type of entitlement reform, they'd be willing to have tax reform that raises revenues to lower the deficit," Sperling said on the CNN program "State of the Union." Obama did not call McConnell or Boehner, Sperling said, noting that the president had met with them on Friday in a meeting that failed to resolve the issue.



Middle-aged man ‘living for six weeks’ in a Cambridge college library A middle-aged man is thought to have been living in a Cambridge college library for up to six weeks, reports suggest. The man, who is understood to be homeless, has been "living under the radar" in the library at St John's College, Cambridge. It is thought he may have followed students into the building late at night. He was reported to porters at the college and was asked to leave after he could not prove he was a student. St John's College said he has not been seen since. One member of the college said on Twitter the man had been "living under the radar" for six weeks. The front door of St John's Working Library is unlocked when staffed, but locked outside these hours. However students can get in and out of the library 24-hours a day, seven days a week, using their access card. To enter the building, the man would have had to creep in while students were accessing the building using their key cards or walk in during the hours it was staffed and then have stuck around.

The man was located by porters and asked to leave on Valentine's Day.

A spokesman for St John's College said: "The presence of a male in the library was

reported to the porters who asked him to leave when he was unable to identify himself

as a student of the college. He has not been seen in St John's subsequently".

St John's College, Cambridge.

Meet the German family who lives without (almost) any money Chinese

The Fellmer's


9-year-old Rafael Fellmer and his family lead a very frugal lifestyle, one that requires them to spend almost no money at all. They get their food from organic supermarket dumpsters, "pay" their rent by doing all kinds of chores around the house and use a barter system to get the things they need. They only use money when they absolutely don't have any other choice. Rafael Fellmer was born in a good German family. His father is a successful architect and his mother an art therapist. He himself graduated in European Studies, in Hague, so there's no question he could have gotten a good job, if he so wanted. But a few years back, Rafael realized there were things in this world much more important than money. He started gradually reducing his expenditures by

doing things that didn't require him paying anything. The economic crisis, the global food and water shortage, climate change, they all inspired him to live a frugal lifestyle, and made him realize that giving up money is a sure way to a more stable world order. Although there are those who consider him a "deadbeat" for not getting a proper job and providing for his family from supermarket dumpsters, Rafael Fellmer commands a lot of respect from those who share his views, and he is considered the leader of the life-without-money movement that is gaining a lot of popularity in Germany. For Rafael, the journey to a life without money began two years ago, with a trip to Mexico. A friend of his invited him to his wedding there, so he and a couple of buddies decided to travel there

without spending a dime. He hitchhiked, offered to work on sailboats in exchange for transportation, slept in trucks on the street, in schools and at fire stations, but after 11 months he reached Guatemala's border with Mexico. Two reach Italians had taken him on their yacht to the Brazilian coast. Fellmer cooked, scrubbed the deck and kept watch during the night, to return the favor, and then made his way through Central America, all the way to Mexico. He found the whole experience so rewarding that he decided to start living a life without money. It was in Central America that he met his wife, Nieve. She soon became pregnant, so the life-withoutmoney project had to be interrupted. An airway employee they contacted on the Couch Surfing website negotiated a flight back to Germany for the couple, for just 150 euros.

Photo: Forward Revolution

Back in his home country, Rafael decided to stay with his parents until he could find a place where they could pay the rent in services: guarding the house, cooking, cleaning, computer maintenance and even pet care. Now the family lives in a small apartment in the basement of a villa in Kleinmachnow, near Berlin. They take care of the gardening and repairs and only have to worry about electricity and water bills. Fellmer says the pay very little, as they only use these resources when they absolutely have to. Still, the couple admit they sometimes have to pay for things with cash. Like when Nieves had to see a gynecologist during her pregnancy, and in order to get health insurance. "We're not perfect," Raphael Fellmer says. "We are trapped in the mill of money, without meaning to."

businessman outsources daughter's homework


he senior executive's cunning plan was revealed by the Qianjiang Evening News, after one of his weary workers snitched to the local newspaper. The employee, who only gave his name as Mr Chen, said it took three days to finish the homework. "We stayed up late for two nights," he complained. "The girl was quite demanding. She only needed to do one of the four options, but she insisted on doing them all, without actually getting involved herself in any way". S t u d e n t s w e r e a s k ed to follow their parents back to their home towns, and to either draw a picture, create a video, take photographs or write an essay about the changes that had happened over the past decades. Mr Chen, a professional photographer, said he was in charge of taking the photographs. "My boss said it was practice for me too. But there was a dilemma. I could not take great pictures, since they were supposed to be by a 12-yearold, but if the pictures were bad my boss would blame me."



Caesarean babies at higher risk of allergies


aesarian birth greatly increases a baby's chances of developing allergies, a study has found. Infants delivered by Csection are five times more likely than those born naturally to become allergic to common triggers such as dust mites and pets, according to the research. Scientists believe the babies are left vulnerable by avoiding the journey through the birth canal, which would normally expose them to their mother's bacteria. The discovery lends support to the 'hygiene hypothesis' that links childhood allergy to overclean conditions early in life. Lead researcher Dr Christine Cole Johnson, from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, in the U.S., said: 'This further advances the hygiene hypothesis that early childhood exposure to micro-organisms affects the immune system's development and onset of allergies. 'We believe a baby's exposure to bacteria in the birth canal is a major influencer on their immune system.' Dr Johnson's team studied 1,258 newborn babies and

Five times more likely: Being born by caesarean section greatly increases a baby's chances of developing allergies, a study has found assessed them when they were one month, six months, one and two-years-old. By two years of age, babies born by C-section were much more likely to have developed allergies to triggers in the home such as the droppings of house

dust mites, and dander, or dead skin, shed by dogs and cats. Umbilical cord and stool samples from each baby were analysed, together with blood samples from both parents, breast milk and household dust.

Information was also collected on every family's history of allergy or asthma, household pets, tobacco smoke exposure, baby illnesses, medication use, and aspects of pregnancy. The results of the research

were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Antonio, Texas. Half of all children and teenagers in the UK have experienced allergies by their 18th birthday. Each year the number of allergy sufferers in the UK increases by 5 per cent, half of whom are children. An estimated 21 million UK adults have at least one allergy. Ten per cent of children and adults under the age of 45 have two or more allergies. Maureen Jenkins, director of clinical services at the charity Allergy UK, said: 'During a natural birth the baby travels slowly down the birth canal where it ingests normal bacteria, which has been shown to aid a healthy immune response and protect against allergy. 'In the case of a Caesarean section, the baby has no contact with the birth canal. Instead it is immediately removed from a sterile environment, meaning the chances of developing allergy could be heightened.' Source:

Marriage will help you stay healthy in old age because stability leads to less stressful life By Mark Howarth


arried life is one of the keys to a healthy old age - because the biological clock ticks more slowly in couples. A study found that telomeres, which protect the body's chromosomes and the DNA they contain, tend to be bigger among couples particularly those who are financially secure. This limits damage to cells, meaning being married probably makes people less prone to cancer and heart disease.

The Taiwanese study, published in the journal Age And Ageing, examined 300 adults aged 65 to 74. The authors said their study found that unmarried, widowed or single older adults had shorter telomeres while couples and older adults with higher incomes were associated with longer telomeres. Short telomeres have been linked to the incidence of cancer, particularly among white and Asian people. Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust said: 'Research continues to uncover the value of the lifelong union

Sleep deficiency is associated with a host of conditions including obesity, heart disease and mental impairment

of a man and a woman. Marriage is associated with better health, lower rates of injury, illness and disability, and longer life expectancy.' The study by two Taiwanese universities, IShou University and Kaohsiung Medical University, examined around 300 adults aged between 65 and 74, taking blood samples along with details of their marital status, wealth, lifestyle and physical and mental health. It concluded: 'The state of being married was the only significant predictor of telomere length when all other factors were not adjusted.' After filtering out the other elements, the authors added: 'Older adults with higher income [were] found to be significantly associated with longer telomere length compared with those with lower income. 'The relationship between income and telomere is not accounted for by physical diseases, mental state and neighbourhood experience. 'To a lesser extent, our study also found that unmarried, widowed, or single older adults had shorter telomeres.' And they warned: 'Unmarried older adults or those with lower income may be experiencing accelerated

cellular ageing.' Short telomeres have been linked to the incidence of a range of cancers including bladder, lung and stomach, particularly among Caucasian and Asian people. US research has also shown that, among the over-60s, they leave people three times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely from an infectious disease. H e a l t h psychologist Dr Cynthia McVey of Glasgow Caledonian University said: 'These are fascinating results. 'The fact that telomere length is predicted by both marriage and high income suggests that this is about the effect of stress in people's lives. 'Having a sense of being loved, respected and cared for by another person over a significant length of time can only be beneficial to someone's wellbeing. 'In this day and age when marriage is not as fashionable as it was and divorce rates are

In good health: Marriage could well be the idea of bliss high, there can be a tendency in society to look upon commitment as a burden. 'So it is refreshing to see the emphasis back on the positive side of marriage." Dr McVey added: 'It would be interesting to find out how specifically this research translates into British culture; is it marriage which is linked to longer telomeres or simply a longlasting relationship? 'It may be that the public commitment that a marriage represents brings its own unique sense of security and certainty which creates a low-stress environment for those in the relationship. Source:



Let Buhari serve single term, fight corruption, Kaduna politician proposes INTERVIEW


iger state Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu is one of the first politicians who welcomed the emergence of the APC. What do you think about that given the fact that he is in the PDP? Babangida Aliyu is not a hypocritical person or coward; he is a straight forward person. He was happy about the merger issue and had stated the truth and disclosed what they agreed on: that the man should go on a single term. All the governors are aware of this agreement but yet none of them has co0nfirmed or refuted the statement. So, I think if we have people like Babangida Aliyu that will come out and say such things, he will be the kind of leader that we would love to have politically. People like us that are in CPC and are in this merger, we are offering Babangida Aliyu an invitation and any other governor that wants to join APC. Babangida Aliyu is in his last tenure as governor of Niger state and he is a retired civil servant; from day one, he is not a politician but he has done his best to become one of the best politician even among the older politicians. He welcomed the merger issue and said things about his party that they are not doing well, we should agree with him he is a straight forward governor. The common man who does not know anything about internet will vote for Buhari. In the next 2015 election, Buhari alone can bring 15milion vote. Can the governors bring us 5million vote? They cannot. They only have resources but they can’t bring the votes. Tinubu is coming out with his six governors how many vote can they deliver only 1.8million. So, CPC will still be the biggest votes puller come 2015. All we need from the governors is their protection; there is a phrase that Buhari uses in Hausa “a kasa a tsare a raka”, most of the CPC members and supporters know how to make use of it but when Buhari says “a kasa a tsare a raka”, the PDP are very shocked. They think he is inciting violence and they don’t like it. And what it simply means is stay and protect the vote and escort the vote to final destination. And the PDP don’t like such act, they always want people to go so that

Sadiq Mamman Lagos was a former Chairman, Kaduna North Local Government Area and a former Special Adviser to Vice President Namadi Sambo on Special Matters. In this interview with our Kaduna Correspondent, Nasiru Mu’azu Isa, Lagos proposes that the newly formed opposition All Progressives’ Congress (APC) presents General Muhammadu Buhari as its Presidential candidate for 2015 with a mandate to serve for a single term to clear the Augean stable by stamping out corruption in the country. He also counsels that notable politicians in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be poached ahead of the 2015 general elections. Excerpts they can maneuver everything. People are saying it is only opposition parties that are coming to join us, but that is not true even more governors from PDP are coming on board, there are some credible people in PDP that we need because we can’t win this election without some of them. PDP has only one problem that is for Jonathan to contest the election, if today Jonathan is not contesting and they bring a credible person from the north, then they will give the merger a tough time in the 2015 elections and even some of the PDP governors will not even decamp they will stay. All political parties have their own strategies and tactics, how will these strange bedfellows be able to diffuse their identities into one in the new party, All Progressives Congress? That’s why I am advising the leadership of the parties to go and sit down and bring credible people to lead the party. The only people that will not bring problem to this merger is the ACN because they are organised and they don’t have any factions. The ANPP has factions; the CPC has factions and all the rest of the parties. The PDP are using some people in these parties to distablize the merger. But I am glad the leadership of APC is aware of it and they are in control of the situation. All I want from the leaders of APC is that they should try and bring credible politicians like Babangida Aliyu, Senator Ahmed Makarfi into this new party because the party they belong to don’t know how to make use of them. There is a report that here in Kaduna that some notable politicians, including those you just mentioned, are working hard to join APC I can’t say that because up till now the APC has not come down to state level; they are still working in the federal level. Anybody that tells you anything about APC in the state level is a liar because they have not even chosen coordinators in the state level. We only have six coordinators for the different

Sadiq Mamman Lagos zones but people that have shown interest we know them, and there are also some existing governors that have shown interest. If Jonathan is contesting election, PDP governors will join APC but if he is not APC is in trouble. What about the APGA issue? We understand there is a faction that is distancing the party from the merger. The governor of Anambra (Peter Obi) has ever a PDP man and he has been associating him self with PDP. It is just Rochas Okorocha that is on his own; he is business man and he has fought for the Presidency in this country and he has made up his mind to serve his people. I am telling you, the merger is the best option for Nigeria. But we have to organize if want to take power from the PDP; we have to sit down and organize ourselves properly; we have a lot of technocrats that are coming on board trying to bring power point presentation and that is not politics. This is not a ministry or corporate company; this is politics and with your PhD I will take you to Birnin Gwari where

a local man will ask you a question and you cannot answer him. Assuming the APC is well organised and the PDP brings a credible person to contest the presidency, what are their chances? No matter who they bring APC will win the election. Do you think Buhari will contest the Presidency again? Even before the merger, Buhari said he was not contesting; it is people that are pressurizing him to contest. To say the fact, there are a lot of people that are better than Buhari, all Buhari has is popularity and discipline and that is what Nigeria wants. If you compare Buhari and Makarfi, Makarfi is more intellectual than Buhari but Buhari has more discipline than Makarfi. We are tired of all those technocrats such as Ngozi, Sanusi Lamido, El-Rufai and the rest, they just blow grammar. There is no government that gave technocrats a chance like Obasanjo but it failed. The Ngozi, Nasiru, Obi were all there. They just carry their

laptops and spoke their grammar and left but still no result, that’s why Ngozi and Sanusi Lamido are making Jonathan to fail. Between Namadi and Makarfi, who do you consider better? You can’t compare them. Namadi came from private sector and within a short period he became the governor of Kaduna state and within a short time, Vice President and it was the same thing with Jonathan. When Yar’adua became the President, they ignored Odili and Donald Duke because they are very smart so they looked for a quiet person and that is how Jonathan emerged as the Vice President. Makarfi is an eight year governor; he has been in politics ever since, a very humble politician with good track record. What are the chances of APC without Buhari because it seems you are hinging the success of the party on him? With or without Buhari, there is a possibility of wining depending on how they plan it. I believe ACN and ANPP have the resources and we have the votes; it is a 50-50 arrangement. We own the business, they own the money so we give them the business and they bring the money and finance it and we get the results. All we need is for Buhari to serve one term so that he can fight corruption and step down. Just like Mandela, Buhari is an easy sell and we need someone like him that the common man believes in. Don’t you think there will be a problem the merger considering the discordant tunes from the APGA? They only have one state and how many are their votes? If all the parties will produce their governors and funds, we will produce 15million votes and one governor. As long as we organize ourselves, the sky will be our limit. Look at Ghana, where the opposition won, they were well organized. It will be the same if we do exactly that. No problem we will win the next election in 2015.



Group drums support for APC across Nasarawa From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


L-R: National Director, Planning and Strategy, PDP National Youth REAP, Comrade Chidi Nmegwugum, National Organising Secretary, Hon. Chidi Chielo, National Auditor, Chief Ayayi Oluwagbenga, and National Secretary, Mr. AdemolaAyayi, during the Youth REAP press briefing, congratulating the Chairman and members of the newly formed PDP Governors Forum, at the Weekend in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

UPP vows to dislodge PDP In AMAC election By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he United Peoples Party (UPP) over the weekend, vowed to do everything possible to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has remained unbeaten since it occupied the chairmanship position in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) since 1999. The AMAC Chairmanship candidate for UPP, Chambers Okorie, who stated this while briefing journalists in Abuja, pointed out that PDP has no business again in AMAC since it has disappointed the grassroots people by not delivering the dividends of democracy to them, adding that a dormant party cannot not continue to lead AMAC.

Okorie said his party has concluded plans to deliver infrastructures when voted into office, niting that his strategy when he takes over the helms of affairs in the council will be unique. According to him, “ If politics is about the popular will of the people, I can say in confidence that we are very much ready to dislodge PDP from the seat of power in AMAC, because the people are yearning for change. Even the Gwari people who have their sons and daughters in AMAC and Senate are not impressed with what is happening in the area council, including the non-indigenes. “With the newness of our party is the attraction we also hold, and we are not encumbered by any political

god-father or perceived ethnoreligious sentiments. It is a party meant to develop democracy for the betterment of the people.” He said UPP is making determined effort to make the electorates see reason why they should give them the necessary backing and support. “We are working very hard traversing the 12 electoral wards that made up Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, to canvass for votes and the response has been encouraging. The state of deprivation and huger is clearly written in the face of the people, and they are yearning for change that has meaningful in their lives, because there is no iota of good governance around them. We are out to add

We’ll win Bauchi LG elections, PDP boasts From Ahmed Kaigama Bauchi


he Assistant Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bauchi State Chapter, Alhaji Bashir Bukar Rimin Zayam, has assured that the party would win the forthcoming local government elections in the state. In an interview with newsmen in Bauchi yesterday, Zayam said “Going by the history of political parties, everybody knows that Bauchi is a PDP state. Even with the little problems that occurred in the past all the aggrieved leaders of the party are still in PDP; none of them left the party up to

the time when the party was harmonized and resolved all internal problems.” We are one family; we are united and we are committed to defend our votes because PDP has its structures and offices in all nooks and crannies in the state which other parties doesn’t have; and based on that, we can mobilize our people easily to vote for the party and we will do our best to put acceptable candidates to all with fairness.” On the merger of opposition parties, he said” the issue of merger is not new in politics. Even if all parties can merge together, they can’t defeat PDP because history of merger was as old as history of Nigerian politics.

During the first republic, there was merger; during second republic there was merger. The issue of merger will only be a threat to inexperienced politicians, but not to a big party like PDP.” He called on all politicians as well as Nigerians to stop condemning the leaders saying ” let’s always pray to God to guide them to the right path as well as to give them the wisdom to be fair and just and to carry out their duties that will better the living standard of our people.” He advised politicians to always practice politics without bitterness or hypocrisy for the development of the country.

value to the politics in Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, “Okorie said. Okorie, who lambasted the outgoing AMAC chairman, for performing poorly, said that the area councils should be used to set example for why the local governments should be granted autonomy, pointing out that they are not encumbered by state legislatures as obtains in the states. Meanwhile, the election is billed to take place on the 16th of March, among four major opposition parties, including CPC, ACN, ANPP, APGA, and the ruling PDP.

group, A Secured Nasarawa State Organisation (AS-NS), has appealed to other political parties that have yet to join the merger, civil societies, progressive elements and individuals, including those in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to come forward and join the All Progressive Alliance (APC. In a press briefing held in Lafia at the weekend, Protem Chairman of the group, Hon. Stanley Buba, a former Chairman of Akwanga Local Government Area under the Labour Party (LP), while showing appreciation to Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura, for his courage, alongside other governors, prominent and well-meaning Nigerians for initiating the merger, observed that the APC is the harbinger of a sound ideology and philosophy of progressive change, good governance, fairness, justice and rapid grass root development. While noting that the development is viewed as the only recipe for securing and realigning Nigeria on the path of progress, and indeed Nasarawa state on the part of development, the group went on to state that it is not deterred by the propaganda and make-belief reportage of people decamping to the PDP in the state, as according to AS-NS, “this is clearly people deceiving people.” AS-NS then called on all the parties in the coalition to work assiduously to achieve the objective of the merger, adding that on its part, the group shall commence a process of mass mobilisation from local governments, electoral wards, polling units, villages and all nooks and crannies of the state for the merger.

Governor’s Forum: Youth Group caution Amaechi By Chuks Obi


ouths in Niger Delta region, under the auspices of Wakirike Youths Democracy Initiative (WYDI), have urged the Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi to mend fences with President Goodluck Jonathan rather than heating up the polity. The youth group accused the governor of running the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in a gestapo manner, saying under Amaechi, the forum has been used to fight against the interest of Nigerians. In a statement signed by WYDI President, Ebitamuno George, the youth group said Amaechi should apologise to

Jonathan, saying the “these unnecessary ripples have caused dissatisfaction among key political actors in the country.” It said while the governor has the right to vie for any political office, he should conduct himself in an orderly manner. “It is disheartening to note that in as much as he has the right to aspire to any office of his choice, there are laid down procedures, rules and guidelines including civilized manner in which this can be attained rather than the ambush tactics displayed by the governor using the Governors’ Forum as a lame duck to achieve his selfish personal aggrandizement (sic) through the back door” it said


Rep commends Dankwambo over successful council polls By Chris Alu


member of the House of Representatives representing Yamaltu Deba federal constituency of Gombe State, Hon. Shaibu Umar Galadima, ( P.D.P) has commended Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe state for conducting the most peaceful council election in the state in spite of its security challenges. Speaking to our correspondent in Yamaltu Deba, the lawmaker said many people were of the view that the elections would not be peaceful because of the security challenges and opposition from other political parties, expressing happiness that the governor proved them wrong by making the whole exercise free and fair. According to him, the implication is that nobody should be afraid to come and stay or transact business in the state, hence it is peaceful. He further explained that most of the opposition parties’ candidates stepped down willingly for peace to reign, pointing out that they did this without negotiating with any body. On this basis, he commended the governor for taking the right step at the right time by bringing security challenges under control. “The governor has proved rumour mongers wrong by bringing security issues under control in last week’s council polls, this shows that the state is peaceful and not the way people term it”, he stated. Galadima nevertheless, attributed this feat to the ability of the governor to carry everybody along, saying that aside this, he has executed laudable projects to better the lives of the people in the state.


Rep backs inclusion of exmilitants in amnesty programme By Lawrence Olaoye


member of the House of Representatives, Hon Daniel Reyenieju, at the weekend expressed support for the renewed agitations from some group of ex-militants from Niger Delta for their inclusion in the government's amnesty Programme. Reyenieju who is also the Chairman House committee inter-parliamentary Relations, while speaking at

the House Press Corps' Hot Seat programme however cautioned the management of the programme to do their due diligence before the group would be included especially now that they are coming out. The lawmaker representing Warri federal constituency was of the view that if the group are actually ex-militants, they should be allowed to commence the process that would lead to their inclusion.

He said "If those who implemente the programme feel that after their investigation, certain people have been shut out, I believe they will be brought in because it is a programme that is designed to ensure that a level of peace is achieved in that region. So, I don't believe the Amnesty Office will want to see people on the street at the end of the day going back to the street to perpetrate criminality"

Chairman, House Committee on Inter parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Daniel Reyenieju (left), addressing journalists on a hot seat series organised by House of Representatives Press Corps, at the weekend in Abuja. With him is his Special Assistant on Legislative Matters,Mr. Olushola Salawu (right). Photo: Mahmud Isa

According to him, "When the programme was initiated by the late President Yar'Adua, it had terms and conditions that were set up for accommodating people into the fold. That you must possess arms and that you must submit those arms willingly within a certain period, and that you must be registered and then you must go through some sort of orientation before you are qualified and then it now becomes the responsibility of the agency in charge to now place you in an area where you fit in. But, unfortunately in policy implementation there are bound to be some mistakes, errors; whether knowingly or unknowingly". "The implementations of the Amnesty programme has being thorough. I give the chance of maybe 80/20 or 90/ 10. I must say that the implementors of the Amnesty Programme have given their best considering the difficulty in putting together the sort of people we call ex-agitators", the lawmaker maintained. "The programme has been working, in the sense that since it started, you can attest that the production of oil in that region dropped from about 2. 3 million barrels of crude daily to close to paltry 800,000 barrels at the peak of the crisis, and it lasted for about 3 years", he added. "So you can imagine what the nation must have lost within that period that the struggle was on but , what has been the result of the oil production in the area? It has shot back to about 2.6 million barrels in the last two years and it has been steady. So in terms of oil and sales, this country has benefitted a lot".

APC heading for the rocks, says group By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


group, Searchlight of Hope, has predicted that the All Progressive Congress (APC) is clearly heading for the rock and will sink just like many in the past even before the general election in 2015. The Non- Governmental Organisation which made this prediction at the weekend in Abuja through its National Coordinator, Barr. Offiong Ekanem, insisted that “the Kangaroo set up is doomed even before it gains grounds in the polity”. “The merger is bound to fail due to the antecedents of the proponents of the so called ‘Mega Party’.” The group recalled that efforts to constitute a Mega

party by oppositions in 1964, 1982, 2007 and 2011 all failed because just like the APC, they were made up of individuals full of self interests, aggrandizement, undefined ideology and the likes.

While acknowledging that the birth of the new political party was a welcome one, Searchlight of Hope frowned at “the unbridled attitude in which these parties are going about to express their

intention in recent times.” The group stressed that the party has lost its track, adding that rather than focusing on policies, programmes and issues of public interest, it was busy attacking the office of the

President of the country. “The initiators of the merging parties are expected to deduce their proposed programmes and policies for public debate and not to ridicule the present administration.”

PDP’ll regain Zamfara in 2015, says party boss From Zakari Maradun, Gusau


he Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Zamfara state chapter, Alhaji Ibrahim Mallaha, has said that the party will take over Zamfara from the incumbent by 2015. He also disclosed that the party has continued to be popular in the state despite

being in the opposition. Mallaha made the assertion in Gusau, capital of the state recently while speaking to newsmen on the activities and preparation of the party ahead of 2015. He explained that the people of the state will not abandon the party going by what it did while in power, the impact which according to him, is still being felt across the state.

The Chairman, who was in Gusau to witness the formal declaration Alhaji Sagir Hamidu’s intention to contest for the governorship of the state on the platform of the PDP in 2015, also stated that he had never dreamt of failure against the party just for the simple reason that it was defeated in the 2011 April polls. “Our defeat at the polls in the 2011 election has

never scared me; in fact, it has even given me more courage to move ahead, because I know that we have done the best we could do to our people and that is why we are still in their hearts and months.” Commenting further, Mallaha stated that what they need more from the people is patience and courage as, according to him, they are the keys to progress and success.



AL-Makura and the quest for improved power supply By Rayyanu Bala


he problem of inadequate electricity supply in Nigeria is not peculiar to Nasarawa state. It is a common problem affecting all the states, forcing each to devise one means or the other aimed at improving the situation in its area of jurisdiction. The importance of electricity to our modern day development cannot be overemphasized. For most of us in the towns and cities, it is difficult to imagine life without it. Most of our basic requirements of life in these modern times depend wholly or partially on electricity. It is in realization of the importance of electricity to our lives that, since its debut, the Al-makura- led administration in Nasarawa State has been concentrating much of its time and energy on improving the power supply to the state. The issue tops the list of the governor's priority list, and he has so far not spared any effort to significantly improve the power situation in the state. And, thank God, it is now clear that his tireless efforts are beginning to bear fruits. It may appear to some as though the improvement in power supply seen in Nasarawa is part of the general improvement countrywide resulting from a general increase in the level of power generation. But those who knew the really terrible and pitiable situation of power supply in Nasarawa before the coming of Governor Almakura cannot but testify that it is largely thanks to his doggedness and efforts that the present level of improvement has been achieved. The problem in Nasarawa state before Al-makura was not just the scandalously small amount of power supplied the state through the national grid. It also had to do with the distribution of whatever amount of power was supplied the state. The governor must be given his well deserved credit for working round the clock to set the Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN) to increase the quantum of its power supply to the state. But he deserves even much more credit for ensuring, within the state, a much more effective and efficient distribution to the people of the power supplied, thereby helping to improve the people's living standards. Only recently, Al-makura was quoted as indicating the readiness of his administration to invest the sum of over N5billion towards construction of new power sub- station in Lafia, the state capital. At a meeting in Lafia with some experts on power sector, Almakura regretted that despite the fact that 330 transmission lines passed through Nasarawa state from Enugu to Jos, there is no plan afoot by either the federal ministry of power or PHCN for a stepdown in the state. He assured that in spite of the facts that the project is capital intensive and the state has only very limited resources at its disposal, his government would do its best to construct the sub-station for effective step-down from 330 transmission lines which passed through Lafia. He disclosed that, already the state government had contacted the presidency, National Integrated Power Project(NIPP) and the PHCN for approval to commence the work in conjunction with some private investors. It is on record that the Al-makura-led administration has, from its inception in May 2011, expended huge amounts of money running into billions of naira on the purchases of transformers and other electricity accessories to boost electricity supply to, and distribution in the state. The considerably improved power supply to the state and its more efficient distribution within the state are the just returns on these huge investments and the fruits of the governor's untiring efforts. Before the coming of the Al-makura- led administration, power supply to the state was not

Nasarawa State Governor

UMARU TANKO AL-MAKURE insufficient and extremely epileptic, but it also came in such very, very low voltage that it could not power even the most common electrical appliances in most households. But working through the stateowned Nasarawa Energy Company, the administration took concrete steps and measures which helped in no small way to boost the supply of power to the state and its effective and efficient distribution to the people within the state. These measures include, among others, the following: installation of 40MVA 132/33 KV transformer as well as 40/60 MVA mobile Power transformer at the biggest/main injection sub-station in the state which is located at Akwanga; purchase and installation of 30no of 33 and 11KV/0.415KV transformer in Lafia, Keffi and Akwanga towns; repairs/maintenance of Capacitor Bank to boost voltage at Lafia 7.5MVA 33/111CN injection substation; creation of 11KV feeder from 2x15MVA 33/ 11 KV injection sub-station along Shendam Road Lafia; and maintenance/ rehabilitation of 11KV feeder along UAC Road in Lafia. Others measures taken are: replacement/relief of burnt transformers at various sub-stations across the state such as, Garaku sub-station, Gwanje sub-


It is in realization of the importance of electricity to our lives that, since its debut, the Al-makura- led administration in Nasarawa State has been concentrating much of its time and energy on improving the power supply to the state. The issue tops the list of the governor's priority list, and he has so far not spared any effort to significantly improve the power situation in the state. And, thank God, it is now clear that his tireless efforts are beginning to bear fruits.

station, Gunduma town in Keffi substation, Akurba and Adogi substations, central primary school sub-station in Akwanga, Bukan kwato sub-station in Lafia, substation in Duduguru and Agyaragu in J e n k w e development area, NADP Qtrs and Deeper Life substations and Alkali street sub-station in Lafia as well as provision of 3no 3 3 / 0 . 4 1 5 K V transformers at Assakio town. Others include, purchase and installation of 3 0 0 K V A transformers each at Precious FM station and NTA station in Lafia, purchase and installation of 2 . 5 M V A transformer in Obi town, and purchase and installation 2no 300 KVA transformers in Udege as well as purchase and installation 500 and 300 KVA transformers at the School of Nursing in Lafia and Sabon Gida near Keffi respectively. The efforts of Al-makura led administration towards improving electricity supply in the state also cover purchase and installation of 500KVA transformers at Ombi 2 and purchase and installation of 300KVA transformer at Shenge Road, new layout, in Lafia, as well as 25km,33KV ITC Sub transmission line extension from Adogi to Assakio. This is in addition to purchase and installation of 3no transformer stations (2-500KVA,1-300kVA) 3km Dual HT/LT distribution line and 2.5KM Township distribution Network (TDN) all in Assakio. Ningo village in Akwanga and Mararraban Gongon in Wamba Local government as well as Mararraban Udege in Nasarawa Local government also benefited from these projects as 500KVA 11/ 415KV transformer replacement and TDN extension were installed at Ningo, and Mararraban Gongon enjoyed a 500KVA,33/415KV transformer replacement, while Marraban Udege also benefitted 500KVA,33/415KV transformer replacement, among other towns and villages which, for want of space we can list all here. Without a doubt, Nasarawa state is today by far better than before the coming of the CPC- led administration in the state. The CPC administration came with a clear vision, focus and commitment to better the condition of the people of the entire state through provisions of critical infrastructure that are vital to people's existence and well-being. The entire resources of the state under CPC- led administration are being channelled towards more productive sectors of the economy, as evident from the efforts of the government in ensuring such a significant improvement in the level of power supply to the state. Clearly, the difference is clear, today is far better than yesterday. Bala wrote in from Lafia <>



I miss football, says Emenike A

FCON Goal King Emmanuel Emenike has said that he misses the game as he remains sidelined by a long-term hamstring injury. “I miss football. Football is part of me and I always want to play,” Emenike said. The second round of the Russian Premier League will resume next week Sunday with Emenike’s Spartak home to closest rivals Terek Grosny. Both teams are on 32 points after 19 matches with fifth-placed Spartak only ahead on goals’ difference. Emenike, who fired four goals at the recent Nations Cup, missed the AFCON final against Burkina Faso after he suffered the injury in the semi-final against Mali in Durban. The medical team at Spartak say he could be out for as a long as two months, which could well rule him out of a 2014 World Cup qualifier at home to Kenya later this month. Emenike rubbished a media report that he has since returned to action. “I am yet to return to action, but I am only focusing on good recovery from the injury. I want to get back to my best form for my great club who have stood by me,” Emenike said “I didn’t post anything about being back in action on Facebook or anywhere else, as I am thinking only about my recovery.

Eaglets bear down on Botswana again


Emmanuel Emenike

FIFA appoints Bondo as referee for Nigeria, Kenya match


orld football-governing body, FIFA, has appointed Botswanan referee, Joshua Bondo to take charge of this month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Harambee Stars of Kenya, slated for the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar on Saturday, 23rd March. Bondo, 35, has been an international referee since 2007. He will be assisted by compatriots Meshack Medupi (Assistant Ref. 1), Moemedi Monakwane (Assistant Ref. 2) and Kutlwano Leso (Fourth Official). Medupi, 37, has been an international assistant referee since 2005 while Monakwane, 36, has served in the same position for three years. Leso, who is also 36, has been an international referee since 2010. FIFA also appointed Richard Mbaku-Fonjah, Cameroonian, as the referee assessor while the renowned Alhaji Omar Sey of The Gambia, a former FIFA referee, will serve as Match Commissioner. African champions Nigeria aim to pick up three points against the Kenyans in Calabar to solidify their leadership of Group F of the African series for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, which will take place in Brazil next year summer.

Joshua Bondo

he U-17 National Team, Golden Eaglets, will today evening in Calabar unleash venom against their counterparts from Botswana in the second of a two-match international friendly arranged by the Nigeria Football Federation. In the first encounter at the same venue on Saturday, the rampaging Eaglets thrashed the visitors 3-0, despite Coach Manu Garba resting five regulars. Taiwo Awoniyi, a fresh graduate from the U-15 National Team, hit two goals with the other a delightful free-kick by Ifeanyi Mathew, at a match attended by sports-loving Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross State his first official outing since returning from a two-month leave in USA. Prior to the start of their 2013 African U-17 Championship qualifying campaign, the NFF arranged a similar two-match friendly for the Eaglets, against their Rwandan counterparts, whom the Nigerians pounded 8-0 on aggregate. The NFF has also concluded arrangements for the three-time world champions to spend four weeks at the world-renown Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha to perfect final training programme before flying into Morocco for the African U-17 Championship. In Morocco, the Eaglets, winners of the African Championship the last time they were at the finals in 2007, will play Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Congo-Brazzaville in the group phase.

Yakubu backs Moses, Emenike partnership


usted Super Eagles’ striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni has rated the striking partnership of Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses as the best Nigeria ever. The duo were impressive at the 2013 African Nations cup held in South Africa helping the Super Eagles win their third African title. Emmanuel Emenike, who plays for Russian club, Spartak Moscow was the 2013 Africa Nations cup top-scorer with four goals, while the 22-year-old Chelsea striker, Victor Moses netted twice against Ethiopia in South Africa. Yakubu, 31, is however optimistic that the duo would soar at the Fifa 2014 world cup in Brazil should the Super Eagles qualify for the championship. “Emenike and Moses are fantastic strikers whose performance at the Nations cup in South Africa was superb and

Maigari hails sports minister on award


Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi

he President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari has congratulated the Minister/ Chairman, National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi on the latter’s recent honour as African Sports Bureaucrat of the Year. Abdullahi, who has continued to record success after success since coming on stream as substantive Minister of Sports only 10 months ago, was given the esteemed award at the African Achievers Award Ceremony, which took place in

Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday, 24th February. The event came exactly two weeks after Nigeria’s Super Eagles defeated Burkina Faso’s Etalons 10 at Soccercity in Johannesburg to lift the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 19 years, and only the third time in the competition’s 56-year history. “The Minister greatly deserves this award and the Nigeria Football Federation is happy to congratulate him. We are very happy for him. He is a young and dynamic person with positive intentions for Nigeria sports and

we pray that God will continue to be with him and guide his actions. “Awards do reward excellence, and this one has come at a right time for a man in love with hard work and always committed to achieving excellence,” Maigari said. Organized by the Institute for Leadership Management (ILM), the colourful ceremony at the heart of Kenya’s capital was attended by several leading personalities across the African continent. Mallam Abdullahi was honoured for on-going reforms in the sports

their pairing would be great in Brazil. “Although, I have never played with none of them, but they are talented gifts to Nigeria,” Yakubu said. Yakubu, would ever be remembered for his shocking gaffe when Nigeria faced South Korea at the 2010 Fifa world cup in South Africa. He has played 57 games for Nigeria scoring 21 goals.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni sector in Nigeria, and his efforts to build enduring governance systems and entrench the culture of excellence in Nigeria sports. Amond those honoured were late Professor John Evans Atta Mills, former President of Ghana (Post-Humous Award for Excellence in Leadership), Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, former Petroleum Minister and respected OPEC chieftain (Lifetime Achievement Award). Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (Leadership and Good Governance Award) and Dr. Ken Kwaku (Excellence in International Corporate Governance Award).



Djokovic seals Dubai title N

Novak Djokovic

ovak Djokovic won his fifth title in six tournaments and extended an unbeaten run to 18 matches as he clinched a fourth Dubai Open title with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Tomas Berdych on Saturday. The world No 1 from Serbia underlined his pre-eminence in the world game with an athletically aggressive performance against the world No 6 from the Czech Republic, who knocked out Roger Federer, the titleholder, in the semifinals. Berdych had chances to take control of the first set after making the first break of serve, but missed three chances to consolidate it, and also narrowly failed to convert three crucial break points in the following

game. These moments suggested that the biggest difference between the two men is a mental one, something indicated again near the end when Djokovic coped with a time violation warning from the umpire as he was serving for the match. Djokovic was clearly delighted to triumph in his first tournament since successfully defending the Australian Open title five weeks ago. Djokovic also believes that his victory on Dubai’s fast courts will stand him in good stead with the year’s opening Masters event getting underway at Indian Wells next week. Djokovic’s success on Saturday was also due to tactical prowess. At times he provoked errors by subtlely making Berdych

generate his own pace, and then increased his own pace or counter-attacked at well-timed moments. There were certainly moments when it seemed that Berdych, a player sometimes troubled by tension, might get himself far enough in front to relax into overdrive. He made the first break at 23, and having lost it in a game of four deuces, almost got another when he chiselled out three break points in the ninth game. Had he converted any of these Berdych would have been serving for the set, but he missed his best chance at 30-40, with a forehand pulled wide, while Djokovic typically played two fine rallies on the others. Djokovic also hung tough in the crises. Berdych, by contrast,

Bolt to run at Paris Diamond League


lympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has been signed up to run the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Paris in July, organisers said on Tuesday. “With Bolt, we know that we will easily fill the Stade de France.” said the head of the meeting, Laurent Boquillet, adding that organisers had shelled out $300 000 to bring the Jamaican track king to the French capital on July 6. Bolt, 26, won 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold at last year’s Olympics in London, repeating the feat that he first achieved in Beijing four years earlier and cementing his reputation as the greatest sprinter of all time. Boquillet said the fee was standard for a runner of Bolt’s calibre, pointing out that before his Olympic triple feat last year, he was available for $250 000 per meeting. The Paris Diamond league meeting is the ninth on the main athletics circuit.


Usain Bolt

Sandton Convention Centre near Johannesburg, won 118-110, 117-112 and 116-112. Hatton did nothing to explain why he is nicknamed Magic but he probably did much to enhance Van Heerden’s boxing education. The challenger, 31, turned the fight into a disappointing affair

by tying the less experienced, 24year-old champion into knots, holding, clinching and hitting behind the head, and using his head in more ways than one. Referee Howard Forster of the United Kingdom had almost as much work to do as Van Heerden, who did most of the attacking but hardly ever had

2005 re-testing shows several athletes positive


Chris Van Heerden

Amir returns to fight in England


Van Heerden beats Hatton, retains IBO title hris van Heerden retained his IBO welterweight title when he beat Matthew Hatton on points on Saturday night. The South African, bleeding from a cut above the right eye for most of the fight at the

was occasionally at his most fallible when it mattered most. He allowed Djokovic’s break back for 4-4 after sneaking himself into a great position to make a stolen volley, only to miss the shot. Then when he was serving to save the set at 5-6 he played his worst game of the match. The second set hinged on a break at a psychologically damaging time. When Djokovic steepled up an enormous, but short lob and Berdych hammered it wide, it put the favourite 5-3 ahead and gave the underdog little time to repair the damage. Although Berdych did get a break back point at 30-40, courtesy of a rare Djokovic double fault, the world No 1 played close to his best in four of the next five rallies, closing the match out.

he IAAF says several athletes who competed at the 2005 world championships have tested positive for doping following re-testing of their samples and their names will be revealed shortly. Frozen urine samples were re-tested by the IAAF just within the eight-year statute of limitations for drug violations laid down by the World Anti-Doping Code. In an email to The Associated Press on Saturday, IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies confirmed the announcement last month by Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency that it provisionally suspended long jumper Tatyana Kotova for failing a test at the 2005 worlds in Helsinki. He added that more positive tests from those championships will be announced, although no date was given.

the Englishman in serious trouble. The southpaw champion failed to keep Hatton at a distance and seldom used his left hand as effectively as his supporters may have expected. But he did land a number of solid right uppercuts during the early rounds to earn Hatton’s respect. It was, as expected, the most difficult fight of Van Heerden’s career. The Meyerton mauler showed courage to overcome the constant bleeding. Taller, bigger and stronger than former world champion Ricky Hatton’s brother, he certainly gained in experience. The 25-year-old Van Heerden improved his record to 19-1-1 with 10 knockouts as Hatton’s dropped to 34-7-2; 17. Van Heerden, nicknamed The Heat, had won the vacant IBO title on September 24 2011 when he beat Kaizer Mabuza. He retained the title against Sebastian Andres Lujan from Argentina in June last year, also winning on points over 12 rounds.

mir Khan will fight in England for the first time in two years when he faces Julio Diaz in April. The former WBA lightwelterweight champion will meet the Mexican in Sheffield on April 27, promoters announced on Thursday. The Bolton fighter and Diaz will fight in a tournament dubbed “Return of the King”. Also on the bill is the professional debut of London Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo of Britain. Khan, 27-3 with 19 knockouts, and Diaz, 40-7 with one draw and 29 knockouts, will meet in a catchweight bout that Khan hopes will boost his chances of reclaiming his world title. “It has been two years since I last fought in the United Kingdom and I can’t wait to get in the ring in front of my fans,” Khan said. Khan lost a controversial decision to Lamont Peterson in December of 2011, but reclaimed the WBA title when the American tested positive for a banned substance ahead of a planned rematch last May. Khan was stopped in the fourth round last July by WBC champion Danny Garcia to lose his crown but bounced back with a victory in December, stopping American Carlos Molina in the tenth round in Los Angeles. Diaz, 33, has not fought for a world title since 2007 and comes off a ten-round draw with American Shawn Porter in December. Ogogo, set for a four-round middleweight bout, said: “The opportunity to turn pro on such a big fight card in England is a dream come true. I want to become a world champion and this is the first very important step.”



New offside rule takes effect July 1, to reduce confusion


ootball’s rule-makers have sought to clarify one of the game’s most misinterpreted laws - offside - in a bid to reduce widespread uncertainty for referees, players and fans. In a change to take effect from July 1, the International Football Association Board decided on Saturday to clear up when exactly attackers are influencing play. The change states that an attacker should be considered offside when “gaining an advantage by being in that position” in situations that will now include receiving the ball from a rebound or deflection from the goal frame or a player in the defending team attempting a tackle, block or save. IFAB, which comprises officials from FIFA and the four British football associations, also attempted to safeguard its future by opening up its decision-making process. With the organisation of world football undergoing an overhaul under the wake of a series of corruption scandals, there were calls for the British to cede their influence on IFAB, which has been meeting since 1886. But at the annual IFAB meeting in Edinburgh, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said “this institution will go on. I am sure it will not be a victim of the reform of FIFA,” Blatter added. FIFA is looking to take greater control of IFAB by establishing a new unit to run the body while stressing that the “composition will remain unchanged.”

IFAB has agreed, however, to consult more by establishing a technical panel featuring refereeing experts and a football panel containing around 20 former players and coaches as well as current coaches. IFAB meetings had previously been bitterly divided by the issue of goal-line technology, but the issue has been settled in the last year after FIFA President Sepp Blatter ended his opposition to high-tech aids being given to referees. Also, it was announced that a fourth system had been licensed. GoalControl-4D, which uses seven high-speed cameras aimed at each goalmouth, joins another camera-based system, Hawk-Eye, and two other projects - GoalRef and Cairos - which use magnetic field technology to judge if the ball crossed the line. FIFA is yet to disclose the costs of the technology, but FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said the cheapest costs around $100 000 to install in a stadium and maintain. Valcke was speaking after IFAB approved the use of the goal-line technology decision sent to referees’ watches also being seen by television viewers and in stadiums on big screens. IFAB also decided that competition organisers can allow the technology to be used in competitions, such as World Cup qualifiers, even if not all countries have systems in place.

The IFAB delegates deferred two decisions. Instead of approving trials of electronic chips in players’ shirts which could potentially warn of medical problems, a group of experts will examine the benefits of such devices in the next year. Electronic communication between players and staff is currently banned. IFAB also wants further consultation before deciding whether to close a loophole on goals following uncontested dropped balls.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

IFAB says goal tech can be used selectively


oal-line technology could be used in some matches in a competition and not others following a decision taken by the International Board, soccer’s lawmaking body, on Saturday. A tweak clarifying the

use of words in Law 11 on offside, detailing when an attacker is interfering with play or not, was adopted but a change to Law 8 regarding the restart of a match for a dropped ball following a stoppage for injury was deferred for further study.

As for goal-line technology, the Board approved the use of images on giant screens and on TV of goal-line incidents and said it was up to the individual competition organisers to allow those images to be used in stadiums or not.

Competition organisers can now also determine whether to approve the use of goal-line technology in their own competitions, whether it be a domestic league or a cup competition, but not all matches in any particular competition have to use it.

“If goal-line technology exists in a stadium, there is no advantage to one side or the other and therefore if the technology exists and it has been switched on and agreed by the competition organisers then there is no reason why it can’t be used,”

Webb demands end to racism FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb spoke after the IFAB General Annual General Meeting about his new role as the head of FIFA’s Anti-Racism Taskforce, announced by the FIFA President yesterday, following the recent meeting of the FIFA Strategic Committee. What is the role and scope of this new taskforce? There are two main elements as I see it. Firstly we’ll be reviewing the current sanctions for anti-discrimination. The second is an education process, where I want to engage players, the broader football community and NGOs. Do you think football has done enough to tackle racism, in particular? President Blatter at the Strategic Committee said we’ve been talking a long time about these issues, but now we have to look at this issue again. Players have clearly not been supported enough, and this is a travesty. Players work hard, the game is their life, their occupation, and we need to do more to support them. You mentioned fines. Should they be stronger? Fines have clearly not acted as a deterrent and are not working. We need to engage clubs, member associations, some NGOs and campaign groups, and then if there are consecutive infringements, punishments have to follow. I can’t say what I would do if I was a player who was abused on the pitch. But what would happen if a player was being abused in the World Cup final? We have to find some solutions. Why do you think there has been a resurgence of racism in the game globally? I don’t know. Just because racism exists in society, it doesn’t mean we have to tolerate it. As a football family we have to sit down, and look at ourselves in the mirror. Do people of colour really have the chance, or equal opportunity to coach or become involved in football administration? I want to have the chance to sit down with players, people who have been victimised, and listen to their experiences.

Jeffrey Webb

What are the next steps for your taskforce? The plan is for more concrete proposals to be discussed and formalised at the Executive Committee on 20 and 21 March. I would hope for the Taskforce to comprise representatives from FIFA’s six Confederations, and also to involve some campaign groups, who have been fighting to eradicate discrimination for many, many years. I have very good relations with The FA in England, and I will visit their Chairman and their Equality team shortly. The mood in the Strategic Committee was that ‘enough is enough’. We have to try and get to the root of why such behaviour exists, and by speaking to different people across the game, I hope we can affect change, change behaviour, and also ensure that people have an equality of opportunity to get involved at whatever level in the game.

Stewart Regan, the chief executive of the Scottish FA which hosted Saturday’s meeting, told a news conference. “If it has been approved it will then be up to the individual club in consultation with the organisers or their league body to decide if it can be used.” That notion throws up a potential interesting conflict that could arise in the future as many of Europe’s richest clubs will have goal-line technology for their domestic matches but UEFA, under president Michel Platini, is staunchly opposed to its use in their competitions like the Champions League and Europa League. FIFA has said it will be used at the 2014 World Cup. On offside, the law has been changed to make it clear that a player is considered to be interfering with play if he challenges an opponent for the ball and is in an offside position. An offside player is also considered to be gaining an advantage if the ball comes to him following a deliberate save by the opposing goalkeeper, but not from an opponent “who deliberately plays the ball”. The last change to the Board’s structure came 100 years ago when FIFA combined forces with the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland FAs to create an eight-man panel which needs a threequarters majority to implement any law change. Under the FIFA reform process there have been a number of suggestions that the IFAB membership should change, but it will now remain the same and is expected to be ratified in its current format by the FIFA Congress in Mauritius in May.




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Last edition’s solution

Some Interesting Facts •When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror. •When snakes are born with two heads, they fight each other for food. •When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city. •White Out was invented by the mother of Mike Nesmith (formerly of the Monkees). •Who's that playing the piano on the "Mad About You" theme? Paul Reiser himself. •Wilma Flintstone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker. •Windmills always turn counter-clockwise. Except for the windmills in Ireland. •Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance. •Women's hearts beat faster than men's. •You blink over 20,000,000 times a year. •You can only smell 1/20th as well as a dog. •You'll eat about 35,000 cookies in a lifetime. •You're born with 300 bones, but when you get to be an adult, you only have 206. •You're more likely to get stung by a bee on a windy day than in any other weather. •Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day. •Your ribs move about 5 million times a year, everytime you breathe. •Your right lung takes in more air than your left one does. •Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself.


Celebration: Crowds gather to watch the displays during the Rural Olympics in India. Source:

. . . putting the people first



Tottenham win Arsenal 2-1 to go third in EPL table


ottenham won a pulsating north London derby to go third in the league and seven points ahead of Arsenal. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon slotted in two carbon copy goals in three first-half minutes after defence-splitting passes to put Spurs in control. It was Bale's ninth goal in seven games but Per Mertesacker's header went in off the Welshman to give Arsenal hope. Bale skied a far-post chance before Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey almost equalised but drove a shot just wide. Tottenham's failure to take a number of glorious chances to wrap up the game as Arsenal desperately chased an equaliser only added to the drama. But the home side held on after enduring six minutes of added time to go 12 games unbeaten and, in the process, leapfrog Chelsea as well as move two points behind second-placed Manchester City. The wizardry of Spurs winger Bale has swept all before him this year and he was again on the score sheet for his side as the Spurs standard bearer took his tally to 20 goals for the season. The Gunners paid the price for a serious lapse of concentration towards the end of the first half, with their determined efforts after the break not enough to retrieve the situation. Arsenal was tigerish and tenacious but the promise of their attacks was continually snuffed out by the excellent Tottenham centre-backs Vertonghen and Michael Dawson.


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Without political stability our economies cannot grow and stronger economies will help us achieve greater political stability. We need to strengthen ECOWAS by strengthening our individual countries economically and politically — President Goodluck Jonathan

Signs and blunders History never looks like history when you are living through it. It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable — John W. Gardner


t should surprise no one that the issue over whether President Jonathan will run in 2015 was made more or less a settled matter in the last two weeks. The emergence of Chief Tony Anemih as opposed to his other rivals for the position of Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP was a significant factor in the jockeying for positions. The Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur himself more or less affirmed the President's plans to run. The President's wife rallied PDP women around to mock the opposition and in her inimitable way, challenged 100 parties to try the PDP for size. Then you had the familiar disclaimers from people who a few weeks ago were all over the place strutting as northern champions for the position. First Governor Sule Lamido told a bewildered nation that he had never nursed an ambition to contest for the presidency. People shook their heads in amazement, and a few who had seen it all before concluded that old tricks were being pulled out of the bag. The travails of members of his family were being rumoured as screws being tightened to squeeze him out, and it was working. Then Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu screamed blue murder at attempts to smear and blackmail him over his much celebrated accusation of the President as a promise breaker. Whatever is being done to or against governor Aliyu, it is likely to be a while before he puts up his hand again when potential contenders are asked to show themselves. The one or two less courageous PDP governors who were also gearing to go will almost certainly lower their heads and profiles a bit more now. But by far the fiasco around the attempts to remove the governor of River State, Rotimi Amaechi as Chairman of the Governor's Forum is the most significant indicator that the President will brook no challenge or opposition in the ranks. Known for some relative independence of mind and with a record of stepping on some very powerful toes, Amaechi's sin in being mentioned as part of a north-

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

President Goodluck Jonathan south presidential ticket triggered a massive fight. The PDP turned inwards in a civil war involving its generals. The party and the Presidency pulled out all the stops to prevent his reelection as chair of the Governors' Forum, that self-created behemoth which Chief Clark said represents a virtual opposition to his godson, the President. Twenty five PDP governors fought each other and others tagged along to pick up the pieces and reinforce their opposition against Jonathan's administration. The primary constituency of the President, the south-south was torn to shreds, and the President's men walked away licking their wounds after a bruising and unsuccessful fight. Amaechi himself and his supporters achieved a small victory, but they were reminded by their own bruises that President Jonathan's people also pack a punch. Everyone got a tiny breathing space, but the fight is by no means over. The alarm bells should start ringing, among those who worry over what 2015 portends. It does not make much sense now, when people say the President has not said he will run in 2015. Even among those most disposed to being charitable to him, events in the last few weeks will make it difficult to continue to give him the benefit of doubt. Nor does anyone believe the empty words

mouthed by the President and those being chased away from aspiring, that 2015 is still too far away, and that there is still much work to do. The vicious fights to keep away opposition should convince Nigerians that the President wants a smooth sail towards the PDP ticket in 2015. His remaining threat are likely to come from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or one or a number of PDP governors who will defy blackmail and other intimidating tactics to put up their hands once again. PDP governors are a very powerful lot within the party. If they have their ranks broken by President Jonathan, which is very likely, he is likely to secure another ticket. If the plan to create a PDP governors forum is resisted by some northern governors, this will create imminent crisis in the PDP the like of which has not been seen. If the President finds a way around resistance by some northern PDP governors, and succeeds in knocking people like Amaechi back into line, the PDP ticket will be his in 2014. What Nigerians say about his candidature and another four years of his presidency will then largely depend on the integrity of the electoral process. There will be many legitimate concerns regarding the route to 2015. If the President has to start fighting this early and this badly against his own people for a ticket and victory in 2015, what does that say about the prospects for free and fair elections in 2015? If and or when he secures a ticket to run again in 2015 against substantial resistance from elements within the PDP, how would the fallouts be managed? If the resistance against another four years of a Jonathan presidency comes from the PDP, but it does not stop him, would there be large defections from the PDP into opposition parties? Would resistance feed off and reinforce dangerous faultlines around religion and region?

What will be the fate of the PDP, if it fields a largely unpopular president who faces a distinct possibility of defeat from a stronger opposition? How desperately will the President want another four years? Desperate enough, for instance, to risk major crises within his own party, and compromising the integrity of the electoral process to avoid defeat? Will the nation survive a largely disputed election result, this time involving much wider interests and regions? It can all be argued, of course, that President Jonathan will radically improve his record in office between now and 2014, and convince Nigerians that he deserves another term. It can be argued that he will win the legal arguments around his candidature in 2015. It can be argued that he will paper the severe cracks in his party, particularly at the level of governors, and smoothen resistance against another term in 2015. It can be argued that he will convince northern PDP governors and leaders to line up behind him again in 2014 and 2015. It can be argued that President Jonathan will be such an overwhelming favourite that the electoral process will return him to office without the slightest interference from the PDP. All these can be argued, but the facts on the ground are that a Jonathan candidacy in 2015 has already been hurt badly. The claim that he is reneging on a promise to run for only one term in 2011 will cast a tall shadow on his integrity. The skirmishes to snuff out any hint of resistance from his party from the north, and rebellious elements from the south will suggest that his candidature will be about everything except his popularity. Some major blunders have been committed so far in pursuit of another term for President Jonathan in 2015. The signs point to more blunders involving muscle and other traditional PDP tactics to whittle down opposition. If these blunders produce a candidate that is the product of intrigues, tricks and contrived tensions, the opposition is likely to coast home to victory. Unless, that is, the PDP does not commit the biggest blunder of all, which is to attempt to compromise the electoral process.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 805 727 9862. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 4, March, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 4, March, 2013 Edition