Page 1

VOL. 1 NO. 91


JIMADAL AKHIR 14 - 15, 1433 AH


NASS to decide Jonathan’s fate Considers power rotation in new Constitution >> Page 3


Tragedy: Gunmen kill Oshiomhole’s aide >> Page 2

2015: Workers plan mega party Fear grips ruling parties PDP keeps mum ANPP in crucial meeting CPC not perturbed >> Page 3

: Planned protest: r >> Pages 9, 10 & 11 e ov Why Nigerians are angry C


Pages 9, 10 & 11




Edo guber:

Gunmen kill Oshiomhole’s secretary From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


h e Principal Personal Secretary to Edo state governor, Mr. Oyerinde Olaitan was on yesterday, shot dead by unknown gunmen at his private residence at Ugbor Road, near Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Edo state capital The death of the 44-year-old father of three came barely a week after Edo state Commissioner of Information, Louis Odion, raised an alarm that security reports indicated that government officials and those of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), were being threatened with assassination and kidnappings ahead of July 14th 2012 election in the state. Four armed men were said to have scaled through the fence of the bungalow at about 2 a.m. about one hour after the deceased returned from undisclosed venue. The gate keeper, Mr. Ali Alhaji told newsmen that he was tied up while three of the assailants entered the building. According to him, the killers forced themselves in through the main entrance after which they smashed the window of the house to get at their victim who they shot severally at close range. It was learnt that the hoodlums left with the keys of the three cars at the compound, four handsets, and laptops belonging to the deceased. Late Olaitan was said to have indicated the desire to leave Oshiomhole’s cabinet on

secondment to vie for the secretary general of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) but he was prevailed upon to wait till August 2012 after the governorship election. Meanwhile, armed policemen have taken over the residence of the deceased. The Police Commissioner, Mr. Olayinka Balogun said the police are already on the field with a view to apprehending the perpetrators of the act. Also, protesters in Benin metropolis on Friday afternoon paraded a mock coffin bearing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP flag to protest what they termed as unacceptable killings in the state. Meanwhile a disheveled Governor Adams Oshiomhole has blamed chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the killing and threatened to bar the PDP leader, Chief Tony Anenih and PDP governorship candidate, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd), as well as the state PPD Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih from the state, if the violence in the area continues. Oshiomhole who made the declaration after leading 6 kilometres protest match across major streets in Benin City, however, handed down 14-days notice to the Police to unmask those responsible for the unabated shooting spree in some parts of the state. Stating that he will not hesitate to stop the PDP chieftains from coming to Edo state, Oshiomhole said the blood of those felled by politically motivated assassinations will spur him to ensure that justice is done.

The room where Mr. Oyerinde Olaitan was killed. (Inset, the deceased)

‘I want to serve them notice I have the capacity and the men if they do not behave, we can stop them from coming to Edo State. Let me say I have not come to cry today the blood of those young men will whet my appetite for justice because their plan is to postpone again for the second time our campaign. ‘I will convert the leadership of my people to find solution to security. They must not fight like coward. They should stand. Last night like coward, they shot Olaitan in the

Ajimobi, Keyamo, Lagos ACN commiserate with Oshiomhole over killing of aide From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan, Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin, Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state has commiserated with his Edo state counterpart, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over the killing of his Principal Private Secretary, Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde, by yetto-be-identified gunmen on Friday in his Benin residence. The governor, in a message issued on Friday in Ibadan by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, described the killing as heinous, wicked and barbaric. Gov. Ajimobi also recalled the recent fatal

accident involving Oshiomhole’s convoy during which three journalists attached to the Governor’s office were killed. According to him, “the masterminds are nothing sort of agents of darkness, who are hell bent on visiting Edo state with a reign of terror, all in a bid to take over the state through the backdoor and set it on the path of retrogression again”. He called on security agents to do all within their powers to fish out those behind the killing, so as to assure the people of the state that there was no hiding place for criminals. Also Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamu has condemned the killing saying it was a clear case

of political assassination since nothing was stolen from the house. Keyamo in a statement said Olaitan’s death must not be swept under the carpet adding that those who perpetrated this heinous act must be brought to justice. Also the Lagos state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has commiserated with Oshiomhole on the murder. In a release signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party says the murder of Oyerinde has every imprint of the rising culture of desperate politicking that has seized the opposition in Edo state since the invincibility of the candidacy of Governor Oshiomhole became obvious.

chest, head and belly to make sure he never survives. Why will a man in his eighties seat over the death of young children? Why will an old man who has children and grand children supervise the killings of young people? Why will Airhiavbere who wishes to rule Edo state instigate tribalism? “Last week, they succeed in killing three Journalists traveling with me. Last night, they killed Olaitan. Let me be clear they cannot kill my fighting spirit,” he said.

Meanwhile the Benin monarch, Omo ‘N’ Oba‘N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediuwa, the Oba of Benin has expressed discontent over recent killings ahead of Edo state governorship election in July. The monarch expressed his feeling yesterday when he granted audience to Governor Adams Oshiomhole at his palace in Benin City. The Oba said he was shocked by the news and urged politician to eschew bitterness in pursuit of their ambitions.

Stampede in Abuja over fear of bomb By Lambert Tyem


here was stampede in the Wuse II district of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja following rumours that a bomb had been planted in a plaza in the area. However, the police was on hand to calm the situation when it found out that the information that a car which was said have been primed with explosives and abandoned in the areas was false. The police stated that men of its anti-bomb squad had immediately taken over the area, screened the vehicle and certified it “clean”. Spokesman of the command, Jimoh Moshood said however,

that the owner of the vehicle had been picked and was facing a team of police interrogators. According to him, “there was no bomb scare anywhere in Abuja today. A vehicle abandoned in the early hours of today around AP Plaza in Wuse 2 District was screened by Police Anti Bomb Squad and Police Armament Unit; no bomb or explosive was found. “The location is rendered safe. The vehicle and the owner are now with police investigators. Security in the area and all other locations in the FCT has been beefed up. “Members of the public should go about their duties and businesses without fear or

apprehension but report any suspicious movement in their environments to the nearest police station”, spokesman of the command”, he said. Gunmen storm prison, kill guards, police in Borno Unknown gunmen yesterday stormed a prison in Maiduguri, Borno state, killing two guards and freeing the inmates, police said. A police spokesman for Borno state, in the northeast of Africa’s top oil producer, said 23 suspects had since been arrested. “The gunmen first attacked the Banki police station but they were repelled. They then went to Kumshe, a nearby town, and attacked the prison lockup killing two officials before setting all the inmates free,” the police source told Reuters last night.



News 2015:

Workers plan mega party By Richard Ihediwa, Lawrence Olaoye and Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Umar Mohammed


h e tussle for political power in the country has started assuming a new twist ahead of 2015 general elections as the Nigerians workforce have started strategising to secure political power. President General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele let the cat out of the bag in Abuja on Monday when he mulled that the time has come for the labour fronts to rally together to form a party or take over an existing one and use its number to secure political power instead of always going on strikes or mounting protests over unfavorable government policies. Esele, who spoke at a symposium at the Labour House in Abuja on Monday, said it was time labour fronts become more proactive in acquiring political power as such approach will ensure that they can effectively deliver good governance to the people. Already, palpable fear has gripped major parties including the ruling Peoples Democratic

Fear grips ruling parties, ANPP in crucial meeting, PDP keeps mum, CPC unperturbed Party (PDP) and other state controlling parties such as Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) as well as the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), though some of their chieftains has described the position of the labour chief as politically inconsequential. This is because harmless as it may look, Esele’s suggestion may mark the beginning of the end of control of executive and legislative powers by some parties at the national and state levels. Esele said the workers might consider taking over the Labour Party (LP) and rewrite its manifesto to suit that of the labour fronts or take over any other party of similar ideological base. A check by Peoples Daily Weekend shows that the development has caused a stir among some of the major parties with some of them going into crucial meetings on the issue. It was gathered that some

smaller parties are also interested in the development and there are speculations that many of them could fuse into the party that might be floated by the Labour front. It is not known if the various organisations under the TUC and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has started meeting on the issue as many of their chieftains contacted last night refused to make comments on the matter. However, the ruling PDP yesterday refrained from reacting to the development as some officials at the Wadata Plaza National Secretariat of the party in Abuja told our reporter that they were studying the situation. When asked if his party was threatened by the development, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisah Metuh also declined comment. He merely told our correspondent that he had no comments. However, when contacted, the National Publicity Secretary

of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Emma Eneukwu said the party would have to study the development before responding but another official at the party National Secretariat described the move as a welcome development and challenged the labour fronts to ensure that they took the bulls by the horn and seek for political powers. “It is a welcome development. This is a democracy. The labour people should come in and try. I encourage them to do so”, the official, who pleaded anonymity said. However, reacting to the development, the National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Rotimi Fashaki said the CPC is not in any way perturbed by the move adding that the party would want other major and progressive players to join in the political development of the country. He however said that the CPC is currently enjoying the

confidence of the people which the organised labour might not be able to attract to itself if it forms a political party. He accused labour of truncating the January subsidy removal protest but said that the CPC will continue to be on the side of the people. According to him, “CPC is a party of progressive people that truly believe in the redemption of the Nigerian state. It is doubtful if organised labour currently enjoys the people’s confidence as the bulwark of their struggle against the exploitative tendencies of their unconscionable leaders. “The way and manner the collective hope of the people was truncated by organised labour in the January fuel subsidy protests, without a lasting resolution in their favour, cannot be said to be savoury. CPC shall continue to identify with the Nigerian people in their quest for emancipation and redemption from the neo-colonialist leaders,” he said.


NASS to decide Jonathan’s fate in 2015 By Richard Ihediwa


o v e s to entrench rotation of executive offices in the country is gathering steam as it has made the list of one of the major items to be considered in the next round of constitution amendment by the National Assembly. Other major issues that made the list, made public by the Senate Committee on Constitution Review yesterday include recognition of the six geo-political zones of the country, zero immunity for governors, state creation, devolution of powers, role for traditional rulers, fiscal federalism, residency and indigene provisions, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja among others. There are speculations that move to recognise the geo-political zones is to pave way for the rotation of the position of the President on the basis of zones to ensure balance of power and political stability in the country. Federal lawmakers and their counterparts in states may have to decide which zone gets the Presidency in 2015 if the proposal sails through. The new constitution is expected to be ready by July 2013. Lawmakers will have to decide

As moves to entrench rotation of presidency intensify

on the modalities that would be adopted to determine the zone from where the rotation would start and if such would affect the existing status quo at the Presidency especially coming against the backdrop of insistence by some South South elements that President Goodluck Joanthan should be allowed to run for a second tenure. Though Jonathan had not expressed his desire to run for a second time, he had in a recent court affidavit affirmed that he was doing his first term in office contrary to the position of some quarters that he was in his second term. Jonathan had told an Abuja High Court that he is currently serving out his first term of four years from the constitutionally provided two terms, according to an affidavit filed by his lawyers in a case challenging his eligibility for a second tenure in 2015. The case was instituted by a PDP presidential aspirant, Mr. Cyriacus Njoku, who is asking the court to determine if Jonathan could seek re-election in 2015, having taken the presidential oath of office twice so far—first in May 2010 after Yar’Adua’s death

President Goodluck Jonathan

and then in May last year after the 2011 elections. In a counter affidavit to the motion brought by Mr. Njoku, Jonathan said through his counsel that he was in his first term, not second, as “the constitution of Nigeria only makes provisions for a president to contest for not more than two terms of four years each.” The reply, filed by the chambers of Mr Ade OkeayaInneh (SAN) on behalf of the President, also said Jonathan has

never indicated or announced anywhere that he would be standing in the Presidential elections in 2015. “The 1st defendant (Jonathan) is currently doing his first term of four years in office as the president of Nigeria as provided by the 1999 constitution as amended. The first defendant’s status and position is formidably backed by the 1999 constitution. “The constitution of Nigeria only makes provisions for a

president to contest for not more than two terms of four years each. The constitution recognises the Executive President’s tenure of office to be four years. He said Jonathan was on May 6, 2010 he was sworn in as the president after the demise of the late Yar’Adua thereby completing Yar’Adua’s 12 months of the four years tenure. Meanwhile, there are indications that the move to strip governors of their immunity may receive overwhelming support following insistence by many Nigerian groups that the state authorities are swimming in corruption and should be checked. Chairman of the review committee and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu in statement yesterday however, invited Nigerians to make input in the proposed areas of amendments. Senator Ekweremadu in the statement also invited the general public to forward their input on state creation. The committee had earlier received over 54 proposed new states from the various group across the country.



Photo News

Earning a living: A wheelbarrow boy pushes his way, while the conductor of a bus looks out for passengers at Nyanya, on Friday, in Abuja.

Helping hand is needed here, as a Civil Defence Corps staff bus broke down at Jabi, Abuja.

Refuse overflowing to main road after the early morning rain, in Mararaba, Friday.

Local farmers at work at Karmo Abuja.

Boiled corn business along Mabushi Abuja.

Photos: Mahmud Isa




Subsidy probe:

Tambuwal vows to get culprits nailed By Lawrence Olaoye & Mohammed Umar Puma


p e a k e r of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, on Thursday, said the House would follow up on the recommendations of the ad hoc committee on the probe of fuel subsidy.

Tambuwal made the promise when the organised labour paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, saying that the House would continue to make laws for the good of the country. “The House will continue to do things that meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, we will remain focused.

“The National Assembly will not make any attempt to take away the freedom of Nigerians but rather, will make laws to strengthen our democracy”. Tambuwal maintained that the House would continue to partner with civil society organisations (CSOs) as they are critical to the

legislature. Earlier, Mr. Abduwaheed Omar, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that organised labour was in support of the House in the fuel subsidy probe. “We want to assure you that the organised labour will be behind you. We want the report to be taken to its logical

conclusion; all those culprits must be brought to book. “The path you are treading is the right path; whoever rises up to do the right thing must be allowed to continue”. Omar said the National Assembly members were the true representatives of the Nigerian people and must be allowed to do their work.

FG to create sustainable Niger state releases N822m for jobs for youths over next ward development projects 3 years –Okonjo-Iweala From Iliya Garba, Minna

By Muhammad Sada


h e Federal Government has said it will create 80,000 to 110,000 sustainable jobs for youths in the country over the next three years. This was disclosed by the Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during the ministerial briefing on Thursday, at the National Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja. The programme is to be coordinated by the Finance Ministry in alliance with other ministries through a programme tagged Public/Community Works

Programme. According to the minister, the programme which was launched by President Jonathan in February is in alliance with other ministries and has 14 states as beneficiaries. Already, she said, 1,200 winners have emerged out of the 6000 youths selected for the programme and so far, seven out of the 14 states have already got programmes designed for the unskilled and targeted at key areas such as the North-east zone and it is concerned with exploring the potentials of the youths and the disabled.

Savannah, Societe Generale banks not liquidated, says NDIC From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


h e Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said that customers of Savannah Bank and Societe Generale Bank should hold these banks responsible for their deposits. According to the NDIC Director of Internal Audit, Alhaji Ibrahim Tafida, contrary to insinuations that the two banks are not under liquidation as the NDIC takes care of only customers of banks that were liquidated. Tafida spoke on the occasion of the NDIC special day at the ongoing 33rd edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair. According to him, “the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), withdrew the license of Savannah Bank in 2002 and the management went to court and the court gave the license back to the bank. “So, as far as the NDIC is concerned, the bank is still in existence. The management of the bank should be held responsible for the depositors’ money until such a time their license is withdrawn and they

are put under liquidation. “Right now, they are not under liquidation and the NDIC has not taken over the bank. It is the same thing with the Societe Generale Bank which the NDIC attempted to close but the shareholders went to the court and the court gave them the right to continue to manage their bank and bring it back to life. We liquidated 35 banks before2005 but as at today, there are 45 banks under liquidation and we have set aside funds to pay all their insured depositors. “The total is about N5.21billion and people have collected N3.303 billion and we are now looking for those other people to come and collect their money…”


b o u t N822 million has been released by Niger state government to the 274 wards for the execution of Ward Development Projects in the 25 local government areas of the state. Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu disclosed the gesture while speaking in an interactive session with Ward Development Committees in Minna, the state capital, saying, “each ward is to get N3million”. He said, the state government has reserved aboutN2.8billion for the ward

development project while over N3billion has been expended to the successful execution of more than 4,000 projects since he assumed office in 2007. According to him, the state government does not interfere on the nature of project to be executed by the ward development committees, as each committee meets and determines the project to be executed, pointing out that under the present arrangement a monitoring committee would be setup comprising of civil commissioners and special advisers who would go round the wards to assess the execution of projects.

He revealed that the law giving legal backing to the scheme has been further reinforced to ensure continuity and insulate it from politics. Governor Aliyu advised each of the ward committees to draw up a three-year development plan which they will follow for the execution of projects during the period. The Commissioner for Local Governments, Alhaji Yusuf Garba Tagwai in his address challenged the committees to be responsive to the people because the programme is aimed at reducing the infrastructure deficit in the rural areas.

Protesters bar Lagos Speaker over doctors strike From Ayodele Samuel & Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


h o u s a n d s of Lagosians yesterday barricaded the main road leading into the Lagos State House of Assembly blocking the Speaker of the Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, from entering into the complex until he alighted from his convoy to address them.

Their grouse was that the continued strike embarked upon by medical doctors in the state had taken a toll on the residents of the state. They carried placards with various inscriptions calling on the doctors to immediately return to work or face the wrath of the people. One of the protesters, Sesan Sobande, who spoke on behalf of

the others, told the lawmakers present that the people could no longer bear the difficulties they have faced since the strike began. Speaker Ikuforiji, while reacting, promised that the House would spend the weekend resolving the crisis. “We would invite both parties and anyone that refuses to come would be declared persona non grata in the state”, he said.

Electricity consumers call on Jonathan to halt new electricity tariff


resident Goodluck Jonathan has been called upon by electricity consumers in Awka, Anambra state to compel the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to halt its planned new hike in electricity tariff. The appeal was made by the consumers in separate

interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka. According to them, the increase was “ill timed”. According to a NAN report, Dr. Sam Amadi, NERC Chairman, had on March 27 announced that the commission would introduce new electricity tariff on June 1. A tricycle operator, Mr.

Fabian Okeke said many Nigerians were still struggling to cope with the effects of the new price regime of N97 per liter of fuel: “Since the price of fuel was increased from N65 to N141 and later reduced to N97 per liter, life has been very miserable for ordinary people in the country”. (NAN)

corruption in the country Alhaji Hassan made this declaration while delivering a lecture to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day, held at the NUJ secretariat, Bauchi. He however stated that journalists should understand the relationship between the FOI Act and other laws to enable

them harness it for effective performance of their work, saying that the Act can consume journalists if not properly used. He commended the state council of the NUJ for organising such lecture adding that there is need for more forums to allow journalists understand their role on press freedom.

In his remark, Bauchi state Commissioner for Information, Engr. Mohammad Damina represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr. John Maina, said the day was set aside by the United Nations to enable people reflect on one of the fundamental human rights which the press exists to defend.

‘FOI Act will help fight corruption’ From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


h e Head of Department Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Alhaji Hassan Hassan, has observed that the Freedom of Information Act passed into law by the National Assembly will help journalists in fighting



News Jonathan wants African leaders to unite in tackling challenges By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has said African leaders should work together to confront the huge developmental challenges facing the continent. President Jonathan was speaking to Special Envoys of President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, Chairman of the Southern African Development

Community, at the State House Abuja yesterday. The Special Envoys are Mr. Rui Jorge Carneiro Mangueira, Secretary of State of External Relations Ministry, Angola, Hon. Utoni Nujoma, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Namibia, and Dr. Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of State Security, South Africa. The President said African leaders must look at the collective interests of the entire people of

PDP spells conditions for adherence to court orders By Lawrence Olaoye


h e Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to obey all competent court orders provided they passed through the required judicial processes. The party in a statement made available to newsmen by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, this was part of its cardinal objectives as a law abiding political party. It however warned its members against frivolous court actions capable of retarding the progress of the Party. Arising from its National Working Committee meeting, the Party said it has taken note of the various legal actions instituted by some of its members against the outcome of the last congresses in some states and geopolitical zones and warned it would only implement decisions that have

passed through all judicial processes as required by law even as it advised members to be guided by the constitutional provisions in this respect. “The Peoples Democratic Party will continue to uphold the rule of law and shall at all times respect reliefs granted its members by competent courts. However, we wish to make it abundantly clear to all our members that such reliefs must have the backings of the mandatory levels of the nation’s judicial process as required by law and the Party shall exercise its right of appeal to the highest court in the land.” The NWC meeting which reviewed the progress of the Party since the inception of its new leadership in March also urged PDP members to explore the Party’s internal conflict resolution mechanism so as to engender progress in the Party.

the continent, especially considering the huge challenges of hunger, unemployment, terrorism, political and economic stability and development. President Jonathan said Nigeria would continue to sustain her tradition of robustly supporting the growth and development of the continent, like she did during the liberation struggle of Southern African nations. He said issues of leadership

positions in the African Union should not divide the continent, but urged concerted efforts and focus on finding solutions to the major challenges affecting the livelihoods of people. Earlier, the Special Envoys had briefed President Jonathan on the Southern African Development Community’s desire for a resolution of the stalemate in the choice of a substantive chairman for the African Union Commission.

Potiskum Massacre: Mark berates action, calls for justice By Richard Ihediwa


e n a t e President David Mark yesterday condemned the retaliatory attack on the Potiskum cattle market, Yobe state, where dozens of marketers lost their lives and property on Thursday just as he tasked security operatives to bring the perpetrators of the dastard act to book. Reacting to the spate of terror unleashed on innocent Nigerians recently, Senator Mark said this Potiskum attack was callous, heinous and shameful. “The attack was a declaration of war against harmless citizens. It was callous, heinous and shameful,” he said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media & Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan Mark challenged security operatives to further strengthen the nation’s security apparatus to

meet the demands of recent security challenges facing the nation, adding however, that Nigerians should assist the security operatives by making information available to them. “What we are experiencing presently is very strange to us, strange to our culture and our way of lives. We must brace up to combat this monster. Our security operatives must double their efforts and quickly contain the activities of these dreadful individuals in our midst.”Senator Mark urged. He assured of the continuous commitment of the Senate to tackle the issue of insecurity across board, stressing that, “we in the National Assembly are always concerned about the safety of lives and property of all Nigerians and we shall continue to partner with every organisation, agency and individuals that can guarantee absolute security in our nation.”

Nigerian emerges vice president of West African engineers


h e President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Mr. Mustafa Shehu, has been elected Vice President of the newly formed West African Federation of African Organisations of Engineers (WAFOE). The election, which took place in Accra, also saw the emergence of former president of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, Mr.

Kwasi Kwakwa, as president of WAFOE to run its affairs for the next two years. Mr. Ikenna Okpani, the Head of Media of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, conveyed this in statement released in Abuja on Friday. “Engineers from 16 West African countries converged on the Ghanaian capital to form WAFOE.

“Representatives of engineering bodies in member countries ratified the constitution of the body and held its first elective general meeting”. The statement said the new executive would attend the General Assembly of the Federation of African Organisations of Engineers (FAOE) in Nairobi, Kenya on

May 8. It explained that the objectives of the FAOE included the promotion and advancement of engineering science of member organisations. Nigeria holds the position of the Secretary General of the continental body and hosts its secretariat at the National Engineering Centre in Abuja. (NAN)

Politics should be instrument of devt –Ajimobi From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state has charged other political parties in the state to collaborate with the Action Congress of Nigeria-led administration in its resolve towards ensuring rapid development. The governor gave the charge on Friday while receiving the national officers of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) led by the Secretary-General, Chief Whilly Ezugwu, who were on a courtesy visit to him in his office. According to him, politics should not be a door-die, but rather should be used as an instrument of development, stressing that this should be a collective responsibility. “For me, politics is about service delivery; it is not about brigandage; not about thuggery; not about lying against the people; not about propaganda. It is about providing services for the people for their development. In doing this, all of us must join hands together. “We must bring everybody together so that we can work towards the development of not only Oyo state but the entire country”, he said. The governor reiterated his administration’s belief in policies and programmes that would be channeled towards the development of human capital and social services. The CNPP Secretary-General had earlier in his remarks commended the Ajimobi administration for its various achievements in the areas of security, socio-economic and infrastructural development in the state. He said contrary to insinuations in some quarters, CNPP was not an opposition party but an umbrella for all political groups in the country.

Benue PDP scribe denies doctoring delegates’ list From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


e n u e State Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Bem Dzoho yesterday testified in the certificate forgery case involving Hon. Terver Kakih and Governor Gabriel Suswam at the Federal High Court, Makurdi. Under cross examination by

Sam Kargbo, counsel to Kakih, who alleged that the list of delegates was doctored, Dzoho denied that he was part of the team that screened delegates at the ward level, adding that as secretary of the party, he never saw the list of the 828 delegates from the 276 wards of the State. He described as ‘false’ claims by Kakih that the list of delegates was concocted maintaining that the

party constituted a monitoring committee that conducted the wards congresses, report which was only given to him. Hon. Dzoho also noted that the proper procedure was followed in the conduct of the governorship primaries even as he said the State chapter of the party did not screen the Governor. Earlier, counsel to Kakih

Barr. Kargbo objected to the admissibility of documents which include; result of ward primaries election held on 3rd January, 2011, report of gubernatorial primaries held on 5th January 2011 as well as result sheet of the gubernatorial primaries which was signed by agents of the 2 aspirants, maintaining that they do not have origin, neither were they

pleaded. However, Suswam’s counsel Jubrin Okutepa, SAN argued that the facts were in the documents were duly pleaded. Justice Marcel Awokulekein ruled in favor of Suswam stating that document was relevant, pleaded and marked them as exhibits. The court adjourned to June 15th 2012 for adoption of written addresses.




Tokunbo Wears: The good, the bad, the ugly

Second hand cloth is big business across the country By Joy Baba


o m e call them “Tokunbo”, others call them “second hand”. When it comes to clothing they are called “Okrika” or “OK” for short. Despite attendant hazards, second hand items have since tighten grip on Nigerians as purchasing power of the citizens continue to decline, making it more and more difficult for people to buy brand new materials. Across the country, there are huge markets for second hand materials ranging from cars, to office equipments to household items including clothing, shoes, bed clothes, cuisine wares, cutleries and endless array of other consumer commodities. Most Nigerians use second hand materials. This is especially as they insist that the market offers them high quality materials atvery low price even when they have been used before. In fact, in the motor parts markets, many prefer the second hand genuine part to the new ones, as many of the latter have been discovered to be fake. However, there is a booming market of second had cloths popularly known as Okrika in all parts of the country. While some are hung on make shift stalls, okrika is usually displayed on heaps along the roads called “bend down boutique” with assorted cloths ranging from trousers to miniskirts to under wears, including inner pants, bras, leggie among others for customers to select and pay. Apart from the “bend down boutique”, there are first grade okrika cloths especially suits and packet shirts that find their ways to the shops for prices higher than those in the open market but far more lower than new ones.

In fact, unless one is told, the difference between the first grade okrika and the new originals are not easily noticed and many in the elite class patronise this grade and have them pass as new ones. Second hand clothing found in the Nigerian markets are wears used by people in mostly Western and Asian countries and brought into the country through certain illegal routes connected to neighbouring African countries. They come in bails which are sorted to have series of grades beginning from the best to the very bad. Dealers confess making brisk fortune as the market continue to flourish with dwindling economy with youths, lower class and house wives who buy for children ranking highest in the line of patronage. On the whole, second hand clothings come with many health and spiritual hazards. While health expert warn that they play major roles in the circulation of diseases, spiritual leaders also warn that they come with transfer of spiritual contamination from the original owners. However, despite the inherent hazards, checks by Peoples Daily Weekend show that the business is on the increase. A visit to Karimo Tuesday market in Abuja shows that dealers are in a well organised business syndicate. Dealers go as far as Togo and Benin Republic to get their goods through Lagos route. Some traders who spoke to our correspondent said they get their clothes from either Cotounou, in Benin Republic or Lagos. Others go to Togo, Kano or Kaduna. According to a dealer, Ukachukwu Igwilo, the cloths come in four grades with the lowest known as “Kwashi”

which are mostly worn out and weak wears sold at very cheap rates to the very poor in the society. Some of the buyer accosted by Peoples Daily Weekend insist that some of the cloths are better than locally made new ones and some cloths sold at boutiques at very high prices. Some of them argue that the boutique owners even source their materials from the second hand market, a claim that was collaborated by some dealers. Miss Queen Alfred, a student of Imo state Polytechnic said she loves wearing different attire every day and as a student she cannot affords to buy from boutiques she get most of her wears from the second hand market.

She said she could buy a shirt that you get for N3,500 in the boutique for as low as N600 or less in the second hand market. Asked if she would stop buying second hand clothes when she starts working and make more money she said she would still buy here and a little of boutique wears because of the uniqueness of the clothes she finds in this market as she hardly sees other people wearing her kind of clothes. A middle aged woman, who simply called herself Mama Ebuka said she comes to Karimo market most Tuesday and Fridays to get clothes for her children. She buys more clothes with little money for her four kids. She has no regret coming to this market. What

Second hand cloth market in Karmo, Abuja

she simply does is wash and irons them and her kids can wear them. She also buys for herself and her husband. As the market continue to boom, many Nigerians appear to be oblivious of the health and spiritual hazards associated with it. Medical professional warn that wearers of second hand cloths can contact certain dangerous diseases of the skin and the private parts. This is especially when they are used without proper washing and ironing, which many low class Nigerians do not do. Many people in the rural areas seldom iron their cloths. Some buyers said they don’t wash these clothes before wearing as they already look neat. This is a bad practice, especially in the face of allegations that some sellers even use the cloths that are on sale. There are also spiritual hazards. Though there are no scientific proofs, some religious leaders insist that using second hand cloths can lead to the transference of spiritual deposits from the first owner to the new. Speaking on the issue, Rev. Abel Dunia of Abuja based Gospel Power Liberation Ministries, notes that after washing and ironing, people should pray before using second hand cloths or any cloth transferred from unknown persons or persons suspected to be involved in diabolic activities. Drawing examples from the Bible, Duniya said peoples spiritual powers are deposited on their cloths and other materials they used and this can affect others who use such either negatively or positively, depending on the type of spiritual powers possessed by such. He cited the case of Jesus, whose cloth healed the woman with the issue of blood and the use of Paul’s cloth to heal the sick in addition to the use of Elijah’s mantle to part the river. In the same vein, Duniya said if one is unlucky to use a cloth used by person involved in diabolic practices, such person could be affected by the spirits connected to the diabolic person which could have serious consequences. He said the same applies to bed clothes, curtains, cars and other second hand materials. On the whole, second had cloths appear to have come to stay but caution must be applied as cheap materials could cause serious problems to unsuspecting users.



Cover Planned mass protest:

8 days to go

Why Nigerians are angry By Richard Ihediwa


n Monday, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and other pro-democracy bodies gave the Federal Government a two weeks ultimatum to arrest and prosecute all those indicted in the fuel subsidy probe or face a mass action akin to the January nationwide protest. This came barely a week after another group, the United Action for Democracy (UAD), which played major role in rallying Nigerians for the January protest, declared its intention to take to the street on May Day over the same matter. The ultimatum came despite assurances by the Presidency that all those found culpable will not be spared giving off the impression that the group may have since drawn their battle lines following their insinuations that government have not been committed to the anti-corruption crusade.

Matters were worsened with the statement credited to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke yesterday that the probe by the House of Representatives was a fact finding exercise and that the government should not be stampeded to take hasty decision citing the rule of law as basis. With this position, the stage appears to have started preparing itself for a fresh clash between the government and the people. This is because the groups have already made it clear that unless those indicted in the fuel subsidy probe are rounded up and made to face the wrath of the law in next eight days, they will re-enact the fuel subsidy removal protest, which for a week paralysed economic and social activities and also led to the death of many innocent Nigerians. Basically, the groups are insisting that government was not winning the war

against corruption going by the startling revelations of massive corruption and colossal fraud involving top government officials and their cronies in the private sector who had continued to fleece the nation of trillions of naira unhindered, over the past few years. The groups are however quick to remember that some other probes in the past which reports revealing massive underhand dealings have been swept under the carpet. Such include the House of Representatives power probe investigation which showed massive looting of billions of naira meant for rural electrification project; the Senate privatisation probe, which showed colossal abuses and smelly deals amounting to trillions of naira in the privatisation of government owned companies; the Senate pensions probe with mind boggling looting of pensioners funds of over N150 billion among others.

Fuel subsidy probe The last straw that is breaking the back of the camel is the current probe into the alleged mismanagement of the fuel subsidy scheme with revelations that amounts running into trillions of naira were diverted to private pockets while the nation wallow in hardship. Nigerians became deeply involved when President Goodluck Jonathan in January removed the subsidy on fuel citing abuses by cartel as reasons. Nigerians had gone to the streets demanding that the government should have rather dealt with the cartel instead of removing the subsidy which saw pump prices shooting from N65 to N141 before it was reduced to N97 due to the protests. Insisting that the gains of the protests must be consolidated, protesters led by the SNG, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and

Contd on Pages 10,11



Cover Planned mass protest:

Why Nigerians are angry Contd from page 9 the Trade Union Congress (TUC) demanded for a probe into the handling of the subsidy scheme and punitive measures against the cabal cited by the President. Following the findings and recommendations of the Farouk Lawan led House of Representatives committee which investigated the handling of the scheme, the groups are now calling for the head of all those indicted demanding that they must be delivered in the next eight days. The groups are demanding for the immediate sack and prosecution of Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, who was indicted by the committee as well as the prosecution of former National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Ali who was Chairman of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) as well as the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and some other oil companies. They also want the immediate and full implementation of the fuel subsidy, power sector, pension probe reports and steps taken to determine actual daily consumption rate for petrol, actual daily production capacity for petrol by domestic refineries; and Nigeria’s actual daily import requirement for petrol. Proponents of the demands are not happy that since the President cited the cabal and since a list of the companies that benefited from the subsidy bazaar was published by the Senate, no concrete step have been taken to bring them to book, even as there are insinuations of moves by government to scuttle the House probe report. During the public hearings by the Senate, top government officials including the Minister of Finance, that of Petroleum Resources and top officials of NNPC could not give account of how the resources of the nation from the sector were being handled. The officials could not give account of who authorised the overshooting of subsidy and the extra-budgetary spending running into trillion of naira by the NNPC which have not been accounted for nor captured in the records of government. However, from its independent search, the Senator Magnus Abe Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) investigating the management of the subsidy listed beneficiaries and the alleged underhand deals including companies owned highly influential persons in the country. They include; Oando Nigeria Plc, owned by Mr. Wale Tinubu (N228.506 bn); MRS, owned by Sayyu Dantata (N224.818 bn); Enak Oil and Gas (N19.684 bn); Conoil, owned by Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jnr), (N37.960 bn); Bovas and Co. Nigeria Limited

Prof. Wole Soyinka ,(N5.685 bn); Obat Oil, owned by the Olugbo of Ugboland, Ondo state, Oba Eniti Obateru Akinruntan (N85 bn). Others are Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd, owned by former Minister of Interior, retired Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho (N30.777 bn); IPMAN (Independent Petroleum Marketers Association) Investment Limited, (N10.9 bn), A.A. Rano (N1.14 bn); A-Z Petroleum (N18.61 bn); A.S.B (N3.16 bn); Arcon Plc (N24.116 bn); African Petroleum, (N104.58 bn); Forte Oil, owned by Femi Otedola (N8.582 bn); Aminu Resources, (N2.3 bn); Capital Oil, (N22.4 bn); Avante Guard, (N1.14 bn); Avido (N3.64 bn); Boffas and Company, (N3.67 bn); Brilla Energy (N960.3 million) De Jones Petroleum (N14.86 bn); and DownStream Energy, (N789.648 million). Also named by the committee include, Dosil Oil and Gas, (N3.375 bn). Inco Ray, (N1.988 bn); Eternal, (N5.574 bn); Folawiyo Energy, (N113.32 bn); Frado International, (N2.63 bn); First Deepwater Oil, (N257.396 million); Heden Petrol, (N693 million); Honeywell Petrol, (N12.2 bn); Integrated oil, (N30.777bn); AMP (N11.417 bn); Ascon, (N5.271 bn) and Channel Oil, (N1.308 bn). This revelation by the Senate opened the floodgates of others by the House of Representatives as the committee unearthed other smelly deals for which it indicted the top government officials. The committee discovered a colossal fraud amounting to N1.6 trillion and recommended that the petroleum minister, the management of the NNPC and PPPRA and some oil companies should face the music. Currently, the protesting groups are asking questions on why there has not been any executive inquest into the revelations and

Pastor Tunde Bakare why nobody is facing the jury since for the issue. Their anger was heightened by the positions of the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, and the Attorney General for allegedly trying to policies the issue. This is in addition to the statements by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who said resolutions of the National Assembly were merely advisory and not binding on government to implement. Gulak had on Wednesday declared the report of the House as shallow and selective pointing out that the President was even yet to receive it. Gulak argued that the report should have included past petroleum ministers including Rilwanu Lukman and former Group General Managers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) especially, Mohammed Barkindo, both of who he noted served during the period under probe. The following day Adoke took up the issue in a statement and declared that the House probe was mainly a fact-finding mission and that government should not be stampeded to take action against those indicted. He warned that the ultimatum was needless and would only compound the problem. Adoke’s statement reads; “The attention of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to recent calls by some groups and well-meaning Nigerians for the prosecution of those allegedly indicted in the Report of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime. “It is pertinent to reiterate government’s position as aptly captured by Mr. President’s initial reaction to the report of the fuel subsidy probe to the effect that any

person found wanting will be prosecuted, irrespective of the person’s standing in the society. “Nigerians must, however, appreciate that in discharging this onerous responsibility, government must be guided by the dictates of the rule of law and due process as required of any democratically elected and responsible government. “In this regard, the need to ensure that thorough investigations are carried out by relevant law enforcement agencies cannot be over-emphasised. This is more so, as the exercise carried out by the House of Representatives is mainly fact-finding. “I also wish to point out that the report of the ad hoc committee and the resolutions adopted by the House of Representatives have yet to be transmitted to the executive arm of government.” “Experience has shown that whenever our law enforcement agencies are stampeded to arraign suspects, the end result is usually the discharge of such suspects by the courts ostensibly for want of evidence. Nigerians must, therefore, allow our law enforcement agencies to conduct painstaking investigations that will ultimately satisfy the standard of proof required in criminal cases,” he said. The Privatisation probe Another issue that is vexing the minds of those behind the planned protest has been the inability of the authorities to nail those indicted in the Senate privatisation probe last year. The Senator Ahmed Lawan led committee threw up shockers with witnesses after witnesses opening cans of worms of underhand deals and smelly transactions involving top government officials and their cronies in the private sector. The decision of the Senate to undertake the probe followed the

adoption of a motion by Senator Ahmed Lawan, who drew its attention to findings that 80 percent of the privatised companies have collapsed while the core investors engaged in looting spree of the assets of the companies in series of bazaars that stashed away billions of naira from the nation’s coffers. Most of those who testified at the Senate hearing alleged undue interference in the privatisation process by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was accused of forcing the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to sell government companies to firms belonging to his cronies at giveaway prices even when they did not qualify or participate in the bidding process. Witnesses supplied evidences to show that unqualified firms, operating under the protection of the powers that be engaged in the looting of the assets of the privatised companies and made away with billions of naira belonging to the Nigerians people. Such deals include those on the sale and handling of companies such as NICON Insurance, Nigerian Reinsurance, Ajaokuta Steel Complex, Kogi state, Delta Steel Complex Aladja, Delta state Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state, Lagos Trade Fair Complex, Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) among others. The protesting groups are not happy that those indicted by the committee have not been made to face any kind of punishment since then and no effort has been made to recover companies and assets looted in the deals. Those indicted in the probe include current BPE DG, Bolanle Onagoruwa, who was recommended to be sacked for alleged fraudulent sale of the 5 Contd on page 11



Cover Planned mass protest:

Why Nigerians are angry Contd from page 10 percent government share in the Eleme Petrol Chemical Company. Also indicted were past BPE DGs, who served during the Obasanjo regime including former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT Abuja) Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and Mrs. Irene Chigbue who were recommend for reprimand over alleged abuses as well as Dr. Julius Bala, who was recommended to be prosecuted by anti graft agencies. Many Nigerians were also not happy that Obasanjo, who was severally accused by witnesses at the hearings of abusing the process in favour of his supposed cronies, was not recommended for sanctions by the committee. They are also not happy none of those indicted by the committee has been prosecuted. Pension probe Nigerians were startled by the revelations from the Senate pension probe during which the Aloysius Etok led Joint Committee unearthed series of smelly deals and massive looting of pensioners fund by top government officials to the tune of over N150 billion. During the hearing, Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, told stunned Nigerians how a pension fraud cartel was swindling the nation of about N3.3billion monthly, and that N151billion fraud has been uncovered in the pension offices across Nigeria. He also revealed that houses worth about N15billion have been seized from corrupt officials in the Pension Office of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and about 71,133 fake pensioners have been detected. Maina, as he is popularly called, opened so many stinking cans of worms. He told the committee that 32 staff of the Office of the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsanye, have defrauded the country to the tune of N18 billion. He also averred that officials of the police pension office used falsified documents to withdraw N24 billion from the Budget office for the payment of pension that required only N3.5 billion. Abdulrasheed told the committee that the team discovered two major accounts in Lagos where pension fund for the police was lodged, revealing that one account had N21 billion, while the other had N24 billion. However, the table later turned against Maina when Chief Accounting Officer of the Police Pension Fund, Mr. Toyin Ishola, revealed that within three months of taking over the police pension office, the PRTT chairman “has expended over 3.6 billion naira without any entry of such in account books.” The police also accused the task team chairman of inflating contracts and opening secret bank

President Goodluck Jonathan accounts, one of which was being run by his own brother. Among the frivolous and extravagant expenditure in which the PRTT boss was accused of engaging in the alleged spending of N440 million to conduct biometric data capture exercise for the retirees out of which a whooping sum of N240 million was spent to capture less than 20 retirees abroad while N220 million was used for the local bio-data capture. Ishola noted that the task team “compelled the police pension office to drop the previous signatories to the pension account and replaced them with members of the task team,” Those indicted included Abubakar Kigo, a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta; Esias Dangabar; a former director of the Police Pension Office (PPO), deputy commissioner of Police Okafor; Ahmed Wada, a former deputy director of the PPO now a director in the Federal Ministry of Sports; and Abdullahi Umar, now deputy director in the Ministry of Works. Others are accountant John Yusuf and cashier Vicky, both of the pension office. During investigations, security agents raided the offices and houses of the accused, recovering documents and huge sums of money. It was reliably gathered that over N2.5 billion (cash) was found at the house of one of the accused. Currently, Nigerians are watching to see the outcome of the cases especially as they have been charged to court on the issue. The protesting groups want decisive action by government especially as there are already allegations and counter allegation of bribe between the committee and those being investigated just as in the case of the botched House Capital Market probe where the Director General of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Diezani Alison Madueke Arunma Oteh alleged that the Chairman of the committee Hermen Hembe had demanded bribe from the agency. Power Probe Labour fronts are also not happy that nothing has been done on the issues of smelly deals revealed in the power probe by the House of Representatives since the report was presented in 2009. The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) last month called on the House of Representatives to revisit the report and act on it. The union said the call was hinged on the success the House recorded on the fuel subsidy probe which indicted key government institutions and oil marketers in the country. Its President-General, Comrade Peter Esele, said in Lagos at the weekend that: “We therefore urge the House of Representatives to summon the same courage that has propelled this panel and its findings into existence to resurrecting the report and action on the Ndudi Elumelu power sector probe and all other inquiries of this nature that are still lying buried somewhere by political corruption.” On the whole, the groups are not happy that those indicted in probes still walk the street with shoulders high and seek to use the mass action to get them to the hangman. This is especially as the National Assembly laments that it is handicapped by the Constitution, which, while empowering it to conduct investigations, limits such only for the purposes of lawmaking and exposing corruption without spelling out exactly what sanctions or further steps that should be taken in the case that any persons is indicted. However, handing down its ultimatum, UAD said “the ordinary masses, the poor, toiling people cannot continue to bear the brunt of corruption. Let the trillion naira thieves pay for their crimes

to serve as deterrent to others, who definitely, the people’s justice will catch up with. “Nigerians must consolidate on the gains of the January uprising for it not to be in vain by making sure that all ‘cans of worms’ opened up by the House of Representative Probe Panel on Fuel Subsidy are not swept under the carpet. The revelations are part of the fruits of the people’s Uprising in January 2012 amongst others. “We need more than President Jonathan’s promise to prosecute those indicted because he is part of the system. We must struggle to free ourselves from the tenacious grip of the corrupt, extremely wealthy and inept ruling class. Our goal must be for system change, an overhaul of this decadent order”, the UAD said in a statement jointly signed by three of its officials including its convener, Jaye Gaskia last Thursday. On its own part, the SNG said Nigerians now have low confidence in the anti-graft drive of government and will march the street if those indicted are not taken up in the next eight days. They also demanded for a private prosecutor to deal with the fuel subsidy issue. In handing down the ultimatum, SNG Convener, Tunde Bakare said; “Now is the time to act to save our country from the grip of corruption. To this end, we are giving two weeks to see concrete steps in the direction of prosecuting the indicted officials, failing which, we shall be calling our people out on protest. “Our message to our country men and women is that they must be strong hearted and determined to take back our country. If our people realise what N3 trillion can do in the life of a nation, it would not be difficult to understand why we must kill corruption lest it kills us all as it is systematically doing already.

“We have nothing to lose but our chains as we embark on this patriotic and just resistance against the destroyers of our nation. All we must be ready to do is to assert our collective dignity and let our leaders know that we are better than their animals.” Also speaking, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, urged Nigerians to be ready for another protest aimed at terminating corruption in the country following the fuel subsidy scam. “The populace should be ready for another determined march on corruption. Nigerians must be prepared to march and come out enmasse and demand a termination to this insolence against the ordinary people. We have got to a point that one can no longer use words such as contempt and disdain, we are being treated not even like second class or third class citizens, we are dehumanised. It goes beyond insult of arrogance. Just as we cannot recover from the pension scheme scam and now comes this humongous, material assault of the resources of the ordinary people”, he said. Supporting the call for mass action, President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said the entire subsidy issue was entrenched in endemic corruption. According to her; “We cannot condone it any more. It is time to wield the big stick. We demand the prosecution of those indicted and there should be no sacred cows. We urge the government to have the political will to do so. We call on citizens not to agonies but to organise to march against corruption. This official corruption should not be allowed to continue.” Be it as it may, government needs to do something drastic especially as President Jonathan himself had since declared that the handling of the subsidy scheme have been fraught with abuses and fraud.



Community Watch

16 years after, Gudu still groans in poverty Sixteen years after the creation Gudu Local Government in Sokoto state, not much has been done to uplift the living standard of the people of the area in virtually all sectors of development. Our reporter, Sadeeq Aliyu, was among the team of journalists who went on tour of the area to assess the performance of current Council Chairman and reports.


e f o r e the creation of Gudu Local Government Area in the present Sokoto state by the General Sani Abacha regime in 1996, the area used to be a sort of small `Siberia` due to its remoteness and lack of access road. Situated on the desert fringes with arid vegetation with little agricultural potentialities, Gudu was like an abandoned area left to cater for itself before it was elevated to local government status. Its proximity to Niger Republic had made it easy for the people of the area to relate more with people of Niger than their brothers and sisters in Nigeria. At a time, sick people from the area had to cross the border to seek for medical attention which was not forth coming in their territory. All their economic activities were tied to the neighbouring villages in Niger as they were almost cut off with their people in Nigeria. However, when the area was given a local government status, there was a little sigh of relief partly brought about by the access road constructed to connect them with other parts of the state. Recently, the current Chairman of the Council, Yusuf Isa Kurdula took some journalists on a guarded tour of the area. During this tour, it was observed that there was perennial water scarcity in most of the villages visited as people and animals were seen struggling for water to drink from deep wells. In some places, it becomes a daily routine for women and children as well as men too, who carry jerry cans on oxen driven carts going to all directions in search of water.

Cattle at water point in Gudu

Gudu LG Chairman, Yusuf Isa Kurdula In Yaka village, residents interviewed said water is one of their major problems. Due to the deep water table, residents do not have enough water for domestic purposes while agricultural activities have been grounded. In the area, normal social lifes have been shrinked and dried. Illiteracy and unemployment form part of the major problem as there are no secondary schools and no skill acquisition centers to boost knowledge. Also there is the problem of absence of basic infrastructure that would have helped boost economic and social productivity in the area. Some of the youth encountered said the situation has led to untold hardship resulting to a rise in ruralurban migration as the young and old abandon the area in search of greener pastures outside with some natives even venturing into neigbouring Niger.

A household in Gudu The story is the same in other communities such as Karfen China, Karfen Sarki and Bangi villages; and even in Balle, the headquarters of the council. During the tour, it was discovered that economic activities have almost been paralysed. Apart from apart from the seasonal farming which has also been badly hit by inadequate rainfall which has further worsened the peasantry life of the people. Here the poverty rate has continued to worsen as the villagers continue to wait for help that appears to have refused to come. Also in Bachaka, which is the second largest village in the local government still remain inaccessible as all access roads are in very bad shape. The roads can

only be plied by heavy duty vehicles, four wheel drive off roaders and trucks. Currently, the people of the area now have their social and economic lives fused into if not totally absorbed by the powerful drawing influence from people of Niger Republic who appear to show more concern for the boarder communities than authorities in Nigeria especially in the areas of health care and commerce. However, despite the odds, and low indices of development, the council Chairman, Yusuf Isa Kurdula is very optimistic that things would not continue that way under his regime. Outlining his plans to turn around the fortune of the people of

the area Isa said focus has been channeled towards the areas of provision of basic infrastructure that will support and boost economic activities as well as the improve on the welfare of the people. However, reeling out his achievements in the last one year of his tenure, the council chairman said he had executed about 120 developmental projects at the cost of N224 million. These, he said include 30 mosques, seven cemeteries, 36 open dug wells and two blocks of offices. Unfortunately, the dire need for good drinking water still persist while supply of electricity remains a mirage. Some of the residents who spoke to Peoples Daily Weekend lamented that most elected representatives from the area at the state and federal levels have not been supportive enough in the effort to improve the living standard of the hapless population in the fringes and this has been one of the major source of pain for the people, who during elections give them their votes and mandate after promises of better things to come. Some residents lamented that immediately after elections, some of those, who came to solicit their support will abandon them to their fate as they continue to languish in abject poverty and lack, forgotten by the very system which they are part owners. It is critical to point out that all the efforts should not be left on the shoulder of the Local Government. State and Federal governments should rise to the occasion and take a drastic step to bring a new lease of life to these suffering Nigerians.



Special Report

Pain and anguish: The inside story of suffering in Kaduna Hajj camp “ M From Agaju Madugba

y name is Awwal Idris Matsirga. I am from Matsirga community in Zagon-Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna state. I was born there. My father was born there and my grandfather was born there too. I am a sugar cane farmer. I have eight hectares of land and sometimes, I give out parts of my farm land to other people and they pay me. Where do you want me to go? I cannot go back to my place because my family house was destroyed during the April 2011 post Presidential election riots. “The people claiming to be the owners of the land came after us. I can count several people who came into that community after I was born and they are now claiming ownership of the place. It is going into the second year and I have not been able to farm anything there. I made an attempt to go there but if you are not careful, some youth there will pursue you. If you go there, you continue to hide and that tells you that the people who fought us are still ready to continue to fight and kill us”... The violent riots that trailed the April 2011 Presidential elections may have come and gone but for Awwal and several other victims, the memories may indeed last for as long as they live. Again, for Awwal and about 1,250 others, life has turned nightmarish at the Hajj transit camp, at Mando, in the outskirts of Kaduna metropolis which has been their “residence” for the past one year. They managed to escape to the camp at

Feeding is a problem at the camp

the height of the riots which affected communities in the southern part of Kaduna state and parts of Kaduna metropolis and Zaria. Those who could not flee were slaughtered, men, women and children. In some cases, entire families were reportedly wiped out. Now those who survived have become refugees in their own country as they wait endlessly for the authorities to intervene. “It never occurred to me that we would stay here for this period,” Awwal told our correspondent at the camp, noting that, “government has failed to do the right thing.” Some people refer to them as refugees while government uses the euphemism, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs); but they are no better than destitutes, scrounging to feed daily at the camp and relying on charity for survival. About 421 of them are children below 15 years along with about 411 women; the males are about 418, according to Alhaji Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Chairman of a voluntary committee managing the displaced persons. Members of the committee are also survivors. From Kafanchan, Mohammed had escaped but his house was not spared, along with some of his relations who were killed. “We are doing this on voluntary basis otherwise, we were also victims but the degree was lower because I have a house here in Kaduna and I am a retired civil servant,” Mohammed said. A number of the women are widows who lost their husbands to the crisis. Some of the men are

Children and women are worst hit

there with their children, having lost their mothers. Some other children who were orphaned were brought there by fleeing sympathetic neighbours. For over one year, the children and adolescent have not had the opportunity of continuing their education. Some of the youths among them have since resorted to going to the nearby permanent site of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) to do menial jobs for the contractors. Some of the younger ones hit the streets, in search of alms, but somehow, they limit

their outings to the immediate environment. Their efforts complement whatever comes in as donations from some organizations including ALmanar, Alhidayah and the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), among other groups. According to Mohammed, some Christian groups also contribute to the survival of the displaced persons. He cited the case of a Christian woman, Gladys Ari, from Barnawa who walked into the camp and donated four bags of assorted clothing and other relief materials.

Records at the camp show that the Emir of Katsina had on December 4, 2011 donated a trailer load of relief items. From an initial population of about 4,700 displaced persons at the camp, FOMWAN evacuated some of them, especially some of the widows, children and the aged and currently catering for them at undisclosed locations. The “Dangote assistance” had also helped in decongesting the camp. Business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, had also intervened with

Contd on Page 14

Children at the camp are denied education and proper care



Special Report The inside story of suffering in Kaduna Hajj camp

Normal social life is disrupted

Contd from Page 13 a N100,000 cash donation each for some of the displaced persons at the camp, to enable beneficiaries vacate the camp and seek alternative accommodation elsewhere. But only a few of them got that opportunity. For the remaining women including widows, life at the camp may even be more devastating with record of new births within the period, against all odds. Mohammed put the figure at 189 babies. There are no health facilities and in fact, one of the toilets at the seminar hall of the camp has since been converted to an accommodation facility. The Kaduna state government withdrew the ambulance van there, a month after the displaced persons arrived the camp. The government also stopped any other forms of assistance to the displaced persons and formally announced official closure of the camp. “We take some cases of sick persons to the FOMWAN Hospital and Jinniya Hospital where they are treated free and for some other cases, we go the Baurau Dikko Hospital where we pay accordingly,” Mohammed said. According to him, “when these people came into the camp, government intervened at the initial stage, through NEMA, SEMA, the Red Cross and some other groups that came to help the displaced persons. Some of them had their relations killed. Government catered for them for about a month and then withdrew and the Kaduna state government brought some money for them to cushion their hardship. Government brought N15,000 with a maximum N25,000 maximum for each of the displaced persons, depending on the size of the family, to look for accommodation, to enable them leave the camp. But they refused to collect the money on the grounds that it was paltry and could not

No privacy for displaced families

possibly enable them secure accommodation. “When government withdrew, some Muslim organizations came in, Coalition of Muslim Victims, Alhidaya, FOMWAN, ALmanar. Initially, it was the women Muslim groups that rushed here. But the situation was beyond their capabilities. They were more focused on the widows whose husbands were killed and children. So, we started mobilizing for assistance, foodstuff and medication. We reached out to other Muslim groups and philanthropic organizations and good-spirited Nigerians. They came to our aid, bringing foodstuff. At the FOMWAN Hospital they receive free treatment. But the Barau Dikko Hospital we pay accordingly. At Jinniya Hospital, they are also treated free of charge. This is how we have been able to sustain this place. Nobody wants to stay here indefinitely.” The Kaduna state government had claimed last February that it spent a total of N200 million to provide relief and succour to the affected displaced persons living in camps across the state then. However, a year on, the displaced persons are still at the Hajj camp, apparently waiting for God’s intervention. According to Awwal, “with the support of some NGOs and individuals some people got enough capital and started going out for businesses. If God continues to open the way like that, I believe in the next ten years, if you come here, we would have all left. I cannot go back because all our houses were destroyed. My family house was burnt. Government ought to rebuild our villages before we can think of going back there. Then, there is the problem of insecurity. Even in January, we had a problem over there. Some of the houses were not burnt during the April 2011 problem but this January, some youth went there and destroyed the remaining

houses. So, no one can go back there now.” However, explaining further on the prolonged stay, Mohammed lamented, that “nobody wants to stay here indefinitely. They had houses which have been destroyed; they had business places which were also destroyed. There are those with their families, wives and their children. They are not comfortable here. There are so many things they cannot do here. This is an open place, no secret place. There is nothing they can do for now until their problem is solved. Some of these people were well-to-do before the incident and they found themselves in this condition. They thought they would not stay more than a month here but it is now over a year. The youth among them go the NDA to do menial jobs for the contractors there. Their complaint is that their parents

Families suffer in the IDP camp

who were killed were responsible for them. Government has abandoned them.” However, responding to the issues raised the Special Adviser to Governor Patrick Ibrahim on Religious Affairs (Islamic Matters), Sheikh Haliru Maraya, believes otherwise as he insists that government has already found a solution to the problem of the displaced persons saying they would be settled in the next few weeks. According to him, “I do not want to preempt what government is about to do but as I talk to you now, in the next few weeks, the internally displaced persons will no longer be there because of the package government has prepared for them. Definitely they are going to smile and they will be happy. “As you know, when the crisis erupted, in the aftermath of the Presidential election, the

Governor, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa assumed the mantle of leadership during a very difficult period, financially, economically, socially. Things have started to improve, so, the internally displaced persons will laugh soon. You can only give assistance within the limits of your capabilities. They should bear with government. The Governor has not forgotten them for even one minute. They are going to see something tangible in few weeks to come. There was a time Dangote came and gave them N100,000 each. They are not supposed to be there.” For the displaced person, words without corresponding action by the authorities to end their miseries hurt like fresh wounds. As the waiting lasts the people continue to languish in misery and untold hardship. The question is, when will succor come?


Peoples Page


Nothing will stop me from attending ABU says keke rider

Munkaila Wakil By A’isha Biola Raji


iding in his tricycle popularly known as Keke Napep, Munkalia Wakil can pass as part of the crowd of young men and women in the country that have already giving up on their lofty dreams and have resigned to fate as it comes. However, this young, resilient and serious minded in his early twenties cut the figure of "never say die" as he has resolved to fight against all odds to make himself and ensure that he realizes his dreams no matter how long it took. Despite the adverse social and economic realities as a tricycle operator, Munkaila has held fast to his determination to get good education no matter how frustrating the process has been for him. Sharing his ordeal and determination with Peoples Daily Weekend, Munkaila lamented that fate and the system have continued to deal him bitter blows as he has been denied admission into the university several times despite passing the University Matriculation Examination (UME) on several occasions with

scores above the cut off mark required by the institutions. Since 2004, Munkaila had written and passed the examination yet he has not been given admission into the university. "It has not been easy for me. Since I finished my Senior Secondary Certificate Examination in year 2004, I've written several Jamb exams but have been denied admission despite my high cut-off marks. I don't know why this is so," he lamented. He said that after several attempts, he was forced to take up driving which saw him attending a driving school in Gwarimpa, Abuja. "After several attempts without securing admission even with my high scores I decided to take up driving. I started learning how to drive at Olabisi Professional Driving School in Gwarinpa where I obtained a certificate," he said. That however, did not bring succor to Munkaila as he could not get a vehicle to drive for commercial purpose to generate income to keep body and soul together "I could not get money because there was no vehicle for

me to drive, the effort was in vain", he lamented to Peoples Daily Weekend. It was at this point that Munkaila decided to become a tricycle operator. According to him, a friend taught me to use the tricycle and he has since realised that it is a money spinner. "I have a friend here in Abuja. I told him what I have been passing through and he decided to teach me how to ride Keke Napep. I leant and started riding. It is a lucrative business so I gave it my full concentration," he narrated. Munkaila said his boss, a man he had worked for in the past as a gateman helped out by buying a tricycle for him at hire purchase rate of N550, 000 on the

arrangement that he would be remitting N2,000 daily. On the average, Munkaila said after remitting the N2,000, he gets as much as N1,500 for himself every day. "My Oga helped me, he bought keke for me and asked me to pay if off with little amount of gain for himself. I had worked as his gatekeeper before and we had good relationship," Munkaila explained. However, the earning from the tricycle did not take Munkaila mind off his determination to get education. The resilient young man strived to get admission into the Nasarawa State Polytechnic Lafia where he is currently studying Business Administration. "I bought a part-time form to


Munkaila has remained focused to his dream and he is very confident that he will make it to the top.

State Poly Lafia in February this year and I have been studying there," he said with smiles. On how he manages his business with school, he said he had to organise his schedule in a way that he can give the two endeavours quality attention. According to him "I handle my keke business from Mondays to Wednesdays while I attend lectures from Thursdays to Saturdays", he said. On the days Munkaila would go to school, a friend, Hamisu, would handle the Keke so as to ensure that he remitted the daily N2,000 to the boss. With the little he makes, he pays his school fees and buys book Munkaila has remained focused to his dream and he is very confident that he will make it to the top. Hear him,"I have to be focus and confident if I must achieve my goal of proper education. I still intend to get a direct entry form into the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria to study the same course when I finish from polytechnic. That is why I maintain the keke so it can sustain me for a long period of time," he said.




Where are the gods?

Close-up on Long Juju of Arochukwu By Richard Ihediwa, with tourist reports


ver heard of the Long Juju of Arochukwu Arochukwu? Perhaps not! When one hears this name what readily comes to mind is that, it has to do with shrine and spirits. Of course you are right. This historical tourist site in Arochukwu in Abia state is notable because of the shrine or oracle called Ibinu Ukpabi, otherwise known as the Long Juju. Arochukwu, which is the third largest town in Abia state, after Aba and Umuahia prides as one of the few surviving kingdoms in the country as it still practice the monarchical system of government. It is also home to an array of cultural activities and values as well as the roots of many notable Nigerians including football sensation, Nwankwo Kanu. Arochukwu is key to the history of the Igbos especially because of the Long Juju which was feared across the region. What makes the Long Juju stand out among the other historical sites in the region is the role it played in the slave trade era and thus the impact it made in Nigeria’s history. The shrine is about a kilometer long and existed from the 17th century. The shrine was

Worshippers of Long Juju

administered by a group of “priests”, who were led by a chief priest. They ran an economic and socio-political ring that effectively controlled the region east of the Niger River, and as such had an effect on many people even before the arrival of colonialism. At the advent of the British colonial incursion on kingdoms around the River Niger, the shrine became a rallying point for communities as it became something of an apex court for people living east of the Niger. In effect, it became the most prominent and most powerful of all the deities and shrines in the southeast in the colonial era. Due to the great influence of the Long Juju, shrine stewards and lower members of the Juju cult migrated to clans south of the Niger and settled. In their new abodes, they served as emissaries and informants to the Long Juju. They relayed information on disputes to the shrine and equally arranged trips to the latter and thus a Long Juju network was established in the region. With the Long Juju network already established, trading posts and slave quarters together with satellite shrines were set up in different villages all over the region where small litigations could be handled. Those found guilty were almost always sent to the cave temple of “Chukwu” (not

the equivalent of the Igbo translation of Almighty God) as sacrifices to appease the Great deity, “Chukwu” (whom the shrine symbolised). As the slave era peaked, the Long Juju deviously used its influence in the area to profit from the transatlantic slave trade. Those condemned by the oracles were sold as slaves. Thousands met their fate in this manner. In those days, the Igbos believed in oracles. These oracles were believed to be impartial. People made appeals and offerings to the oracles for rain, to avoid drought in any particular year and also to avoid bad harvest and famine. Igbos equally believed that these oracles could bring good fortunes and luck in their barren business. With the influence of the Juju, the Aros that is, the natives of Arochukwu started wielding very strong influence over other tribes in the area with their influence extending even to the Niger Delta, as they exert control of trade and commercial activities across the area. The Long Juju is said to have inhabited a cave in the heart of Arochukwu from where a long metal pipe is said to be the portal in which the gods use to speak to the people. It was given an exotic name in order to infuse fear into the minds of non-members of the secret society by those who

One of the entrances into the cave shrine

One of the shrines worshipped it. The Chief Priest of the Long Juju comes from the three kindred that make up the town. The three kindreds are Ibom-isi, Oke nnachi and Eze agwu. The Chief Priest comes from Ibom-Isi, which according to history, founded Arochukwu. Arochukwu was the capital of Aro tribe, the home of the Long Juju, sited not too far from Cross River town, Itu. Between December 25, 1901 and January 13,1902, the British forces were engaged in fighting in the Aro

Worshippers at one of the cave entrances

neighbourhood. Eventually, the war spread beyond the immediate vicinity of the Aro districts across Cross River and the Ibo districts south of Aro. Inspite of better equipment, the British command did not find the Aro forces inferior in tactics and strategy. At the end of the heavy fight, all the 14 Aro towns were completely destroyed including the Long Juju and those leaders of Aro who were arrested and tried in the military tribunal set up by the British government.





Women’s colours, feminine and classy — Page 32

I N S I D E:




Relationship Five reasons men cheat T

r u s t and devotion are the hallmarks of true love. Trust brings an innocent acceptance and devotion brings a stability that can only exist in the presence of a pure heart. The purity of this love is what all of us seem to crave for but few of us find. Men cheat in their relationship when there is a lack of devotion towards their partner. Devotion is not a “weakness” as thoughts would suggest, there is a depth and purity to it that cannot be understood by the thinking mind. True love and devotion go hand in hand. A man who is devoted to his wife or girlfriend would refrain from cheating on her. There are several reasons why a man falls out of devotion towards his woman and hence chooses to cheat on her. Listed below are four common reasons why men cheat. Lack of Physical Intimacy Lack of action in bed indoors can drive some men to look outside their relationship. Some cheat because they want to try new things in bed that their partner is not willing to try. Resentment towards their partner Maintaining a relationship takes devotion. After marriage, or once a relationship becomes stable, there is a tendency for the partners to take things for granted. This is when “distance” starts setting in. A man starts to feel that his wife or girlfriend is not respecting him or being as loving as she was before. This hurts his male ego quite terribly. Having an extra-marital affair turns into a channel through which the frustration of an unhappy marriage is released.

A man internally starts deriving a sadistic pleasure out of cheating on his wife who he thinks is being cold towards him. A hurt male ego can easily take solace in sex outside the relationship. Gets Their Adrenaline Racing The excitement that accompanies an extra marital affair can get the male brain to secrete immense pleasure hormones that they get addicted

to. Power and success gets into a man’s head Most men who become famous, rich or powerful change completely from what they were before they attained success. The lethal drug called “euphoria” of success can get into the heads of the best of men. They start feeling invincible and they start demanding more in an effort to satiate their “greed” which has

started taking control of their life. More money, more fame, more success and definitely more sex. There are men who stay grounded in spite of their success, but this requires a lot of character and integrity which is often sadly lacking. It’s easier to give in to the “greed” inducing mind that can’t get enough of the pleasures that success brings, not realizing that the more they get the more

they need – so effectively they are not happier than before. To Feel Young Again Some older men have affairs with women half their age just to reassure themselves that they still have it in them. So in a nutshell, the four reasons why men cheat are – lack of intimacy, need to feel young, resentment and power. In some cases it will be a mix of two or all of these factors.

A few things that can turn your man off


o m e n are called the “fairer” sex for a reason, they are inherently capable of being more dainty and pleasing that the “grosser” sex, the men. As the saying goes, girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, which is why they are perfectly complementary to men. Men get turned on at the drop of a hat, and most women know that it does not take much for them have a man jumping the hoops. But as humans, men are just as prone to being repulsed by certain tendencies in women

which induce a complete turn off. So what are the things that can turn off your man? The Silent Treatment Most women have a tendency to use “silent” treatment when they are hurt or angry about a certain behavior in their man. They put on a cold front and refuse to reply in a normal manner. The usual reply to all the queries that a guy puts through would be a pert “nothing”. It is but obvious that this can be highly irritating. A man would be much happier if his woman is willing to talk out the issues instead of starting a cold

war. Being Overly Possessive Men are usually the “chasers” and they like to stay that way. If a guy finds out a girl is “chasing” him he is bound to lose his interest in her. To keep the guy interested the girl must remain to be a challenge. If she gets overly possessive about him it would just turn him off. A Nagging Attitude There is something about men that gets women to nag them especially as the relationship ages. Most men complain about the hard time they have contending with the

continuous complaints and scorns that their wife dishes out in the name of self improvement. Women on the other hand have no clue what the fuss is all about, after all they are only trying to “improve” their man. Female Chauvinism I t is quite obvious that a man needs a woman to complete him and vice versa. In spite of this there are certain people, in each sex, that end up becoming chauvinistic. A feministic attitude, or a bossy nature, in a woman is what men find extremely irritating, and it’s a big turn off. Many feminists would

like men to conform to certain unnatural standards that are completely contrary to a manly nature, a woman who depicts such an attitude would soon find her man running away from her. So these are some things that turn off most men. Women can come up with an infinite list of things about men that turns them off, because men quite easily but the fact remains that men and women complement each other and its beauty is most evident in an intimate, and healthy, relationship. Source: What Do Men Really



Beauty Tips Life stresses can influence your outer beauty:

3 ways to fight the effects on your appearance W

e all experience stress from time to time, but when stress occurs frequently (chronic stress) and is left uncontrolled it can cause both health concerns and a hazard to your appearance. Stress is a natural response to emotional or physical threats. This can be from work, a daily commute or family life. Why Stress Affects Our Outer Beauty Stress causes a state of alarm, which produces adrenaline and increases levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that can effect oil production in the skin and creates higher levels of visceral fat (abdominal fat). Increased oil production can lead to skin condition flair ups such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, hives and acne. Stress also makes the body more susceptible to infection and causes the skin to repair itself more slowly. 1. Fix the Skin Effects of Stress Stress affects beauty through skin condition worries such as blemishes as well as the loss of moisture, which occurs more rapidly when under stress. Dryness of the skin can create more fine line/wrinkles appearance and causes the skin to look dull and aged. Creating a skin care regimen can help fight stressed skin worries. It is important to wash and cleanse the skin with a mild cleanser that is appropriate for ones skin type (oily, dry or normal). Apply a daily moisturizer with sunscreen in the morning and a heavier cream or facial lotion at night. There are a number of products now that contain antioxidants that can combat stress effects by protecting the skin from free radicals. Dermatologists suggest not only using a skin care regimen for the outside of the skin but a healthy diet to nourish from within. 2. Counteract Beauty Stresses with a Healthy Diet A healthy diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids can help keep skin, hair and nails conditioned from the inside out. Foods such as fish, olive oil and nuts provide healthy sources of this essential healthy fat. Stress not only affects the skin but the hair and nails as well. Both can become dry and brittle from excess stress. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your body in proper function to counteract

Eat plenty of fresh food and vegetables

the affects of stress. As part of a healthy diet drinking plenty of water will keep the skin hydrated and youthful. 3. Basic Relaxation Techniques to Fight Stress With this in mind those who are feeling stressed should add one more tool to fight stress, which are relaxation techniques. These techniques help ease stress in order to provide a healthier life style. There are five relaxation techniques that have proven to relieve tension and relax both the mind and body. 1. Meditation- You don’t have to get a guru for this relaxation tool. Simply close your eyes and breathe. Let your mind go blank and focus on the sound of your breath as you inhale and exhale slowly. It will relax you and refresh you. 2. Aromatherapy- Scents can create a soothing affect. Try using scented oils, potpourris or candles in scents such as chamomile, lavender, rose or

vanilla. 3. Tai Chi- This form of exercise is performed through slow focused movements combined with breathing. It allows you to leave behind stressors and focus on the movement, which slows the heart rate creating a peaceful sensation. 4. Yoga - Much like Tai Chi, Yoga is a fitness method that focuses on slow, gentle postures with a combination of breathing that relaxes both the mind and the body. 5. Massage - It never hurts to treat yourself to a professional massage but if this isn’t in your budget a loved one is certain to help melt the stress away from your neck and shoulders where stress can hide causing headaches and irritation. Stress can cause health concerns and beauty woes but by incorporating the tips and tools mentioned above you can protect your health and your beauty.

Meditation can help relax your nerves

Try getting some massage



Peoples Tech Taking care of Freezers and Refrigerators

By Richard Ihediwa with online reports


he Refrigerator is probably one of the most important appliances in your home. In Nigeria and other tropical countries, fridges and freezers are very useful as they help in getting much desired cold water during hot days in addition to food storage. Storing food in the refrigerator or freezers help save a lot of money for the household as it enable the family procure food items in bulk and store larger cooked food. Buying and storing food items such as meat, fish among others in bulk help save money that would have been used in the case of retail buying as well cost of transportation to the market. Many families also save time and energy used in cooking when various foods are cooked at the same time and stored. However, for maximum result and long life span, it is good that the refrigerator is taken good care of. Poor maintenance of the refrigerator and freezer results in malfunctioning and when your refrigerator fails, it can mess your whole day up. Below are a few things you can do to extend the life of your Refrigerator and keep it running

efficiently 1 Keep your condenser coils clean. This is probably one of the more important things to maintain on your Refrigerator. If the coils get covered in pet hair or dust, this will cut down on the Energy Efficiency. This will cause the compressor to run hotter than it normally would with clean condenser coils. The extra stain on the compressor will dramatically reduce it's life and cause you a huge headache down the road. The Condenser Coils are usually located under the Refrigerator or on the Back of the Refrigerator. See the article on the right for more details on the locations of the Condenser Coils. 2 Ensure proper temperature setting If the Refrigerator's temperature is set too low, it will have to run more to cool to a lower temperature. That means, not only is it going to cost you more to keep your groceries cold, but now you are adding extra run time on the compressor that really doesn't need to be there. Place a thermometer inside the refrigerator compartment. You want the temperature to be around 37 degrees. 3. Check your door gaskets It's important to keep your

door gaskets clean. If they aren't kept clean they can stick to the Refrigerator and cause cracks and tears. If the gaskets are cracked or torn, cold air will escape. This just adds to the run time and can cause other problems. 4. Keep your freezer full The more food you have in your Freezer the better your machine will maintain the proper temperature. There will be less air inside that warms up when you open the doors. Therefore you Refrigerator doesn't have to run as long to cool back down to the set temperature. 5. Don't stand there with the door open!! Every time you open the doors to the refrigerator, warm air gets in and the cold air comes out. That's a fact. Nothing you can do about it. But, you can control how long you stand there and let this happen. Go over to your refrigerator and open the door and stand there, what happens? It kicks on and has to cool down the warm air you left in. 6. Replace the light bulbs If you can't see in your refrigerator, you are just going to stand there with the door open longer. 7. Hot food in the fridge Whenever possible, allow leftovers to cool to room

temperature before placing them in the Refrigerator. This will cut down on the amount of warm air inside the refrigerator and save some run time on the compressor. 8. Replace your old refrigerator If your Refrigerator is 20 years old, it's time for a new one. Older models can use up to 3 times more electricity then newer ones. This could mean the difference of a few hundred dollars a year in savings. There are however, some more technical tips to ensure that your refrigerator and freezers work well. These include monthly and yearly and semi yearly maintenance Monthly: Every month, you should: Sort through your freezer and remove any food that may be past its expiry date or that looks freezer burnt. Over the month, chances are your neatly organized freezer has become a bit of a mess. Take some time every month to reorganize your food so that you know what you have and where it is. Semi-annually If you have a manual defrost freezer, defrost your unit every 6 months if it doesn't need it before then. If the frost build-up is thicker than 1/2 inch, it's time to defrost your freezer. Unplug or turn off your freezer and let the frost melt on its own. Drain out the water that remains in the bottom and clean out the unit with a strong cleaner and deodorizer (if needed). Turn your freezer on again, and wait until the freezer returns to its temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below before restocking it with food.

Yearly Check that your freezer is cooling properly by testing the temperature. Do this by putting a thermometer in your freezer for 15 minutes to see what the inside temperature is. If your thermometer shows a reading of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below, you have nothing to worry about. If your thermometer is above 0 degrees Fahrenheit, adjust your temperature control, and retest to see if that lowers your interior temperature. If that doesn't work, there are a number of things that may be affecting the freezer's efficiency. If you have a self-defrosting freezer, the evaporator coils may have frost build-up. You will be able to tell if this is the problem if you have frost build-up on the inside of your freezer. Clean the outside of your freezer and any components that you have easy access to. Remember to turn off the power to the unit before you start cleaning! Some organization tips If you're lucky enough to have the space for both an upright and a chest freezer, it's a good idea to segregate your frozen foods. Your upright has many shelves and partitions, making it best for boxed items. Your chest freezer is better for large and irregular-shaped frozen goods. Your freezer will work more efficiently when it's full. If your freezer isn't full of food, pack it with empty plastic containers. Pull older items to the front or top of your freezer and place newer items behind it. That way, you will (hopefully) eat the older items first and not waste them.



Healthy Living Soya milk 'protects Pregnant women's questions liver' from fat build-up S and answers (4) I can't function without my morning wake-meup coffee. But now that I'm pregnant, can I still have my cup of coffee every morning? Check with your doctor about caffeine intake during your pregnancy. One cup of coffee is usually OK, but it's best to not have more than that. It's hard to know exactly how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee, since it changes based on factors like the brand of coffee and the size of the cup. Studies indicate that caffeine consumption of more than 150-200 milligrams a day (about 1-2 cups of coffee) can put a pregnancy at higher risk. High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increased risk of having a low birth-weight baby or miscarriage. If you're having a hard time cutting back on coffee cold turkey, here's how you can start: Cut your consumption down to one or two cups a day. Gradually reduce the amount by combining decaffeinated coffee with regular coffee. Eventually cut out the regular coffee altogether. (Concluded) Kids health

o y protein appears to help repair a pathway in the liver involved in breaking down fat Soya milk is not just good for those who are lactose intolerant researchers have found it's good for the liver as well. A team from the University of Illinois found soy protein, which is also found in tofu, may reduce the build-up of harmful fat in the liver. Scientists in the US compared the livers of lean and obese rats fed a diet containing either milk or soy protein. No differences were seen in lean animals. But obese rats fed soy showed a 20 per cent reduction in overall levels of fat accumulation in the liver. Triglycerides, a type of fat known to be harmful to the heart, were reduced by the same level. This means soya could protect against 'fatty liver disease', a condition linked to obesity that can lead to liver failure. Study leader Dr Hong Chen, from the University of Illinois, said: 'Almost a third of American adults have fatty liver disease, many of them without symptoms. Obesity is a key risk factor for this condition, which can lead to liver failure. 'When fat accumulates in an organ that's not supposed to store fat, like the liver, that organ's vital

function can be dangerously compromised.' The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in San Diego, California.

Soy protein appears to help repair a key signaling pathway in the liver involved in fat metabolism, said the scientists. This made it harder for the liver to become a 'dumping ground' for excess fat.

What you need to know about Electronic Health Record (EHR) (2) I

s Patient Privacy Protected? Yes. A federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) identifies who's allowed access to medical records. Specifically, HIPAA protects: any information that your doctors, nurses, or other health care providers put in the medical record conversations between doctors and others about your family's care or treatment information about your family in the health insurance carrier's computer system billing information So you shouldn't worry if, for example, your nosy neighbor happens to work in the same

hospital where your child receives treatment. HIPAA bars anyone from snooping into patient records. And any attempt to access classified information would likely trip an alarm within the institution's computer's system and can be traced. Also, hospital employees only have access to the parts of the EHR required to do their job. This helps keep the rest of the record secure and private. And after a user's session has been inactive for a few minutes, the system automatically logs off to protect others from viewing the information. In addition, a provision of the law, called the Security Rule, specifically addresses the

security of EHRs by establishing national standards for protecting certain health information that is stored or transferred in electronic form. Any provider who transmits health information electronically is required by law, for example, to have safeguards (hardware, software, etc.) in place to limit access to that information to those permitted to see it. Can I Access My Child's Files? Yes. Just like with oldfashioned paper charts, you have the right to view your child's medical information. Because EHR technology is still in its infancy, not all health care facilities provide ways for patients and their families to log

into the system, but some do. If your health care provider offers this service, ask what's required of you. You'll probably need to register into the system and provide a username and password. Things like your child's medical history, family history, allergies, and prescription medications will be viewable, but any physician notes, test results that haven't been reviewed, and most psychiatric evaluations will be hidden. Additionally, if your child is a teenager, it's likely that more areas will be hidden to protect your child's privacy. If your health care facility does not yet offer access to EHRs, you still can request a paper or

digital (CD-ROM) copy of the file. Digital copies can be stored on software known as a Personal Health Record (PHR), either on your home computer or online. Some online PHRs are free, while others have initial setup fees and monthly maintenance costs. With these accounts, you'll be responsible for keeping your records up to date. While this may take some work, it's a good way to make sure that all of your child's medical information is in one place. Patient-owned records are especially useful for managing the care of kids with chronic conditions and those who receive care at multiple institutions.


With Aunty A'isha

PAGE 23 08082071393.

Sights and sounds Avalanches Wha he? hatt is an Avalanc alanche?


n theory, an avalanche is any amount of snow sliding down a mountainside. It can be compared to a landslide, only with snow instead of earth. Another common term for avalanche is ‘snow slide.’ As an avalanche becomes nearer to the bottom of the slope, it gains speed and power, this can cause even the smallest of snow slides to be a major disaster. There are two common types of avalanches, a Surface Avalanche that occurs when a layer of snow with different properties slides over another layer of snow, for example when a layer of dry loosely packed snow slides over a dense layer of wet snow. The other common avalanche is known as a FullDepth Avalanche which, as its name would lead you to believe, occurs when an entire snow cover, from the earth to the surface, slides over the ground. An avalanche can be composed of many different kinds of snow depending on the region, temperature and weather. It

could be compiled of loosely packed light fluffy snow, which can still be very dangerous even though it may not a p p e a r threatening. It could also consist of a thick ‘slab’ which is an area of tightly packed together snow that separates itself from the surroundings. What causes avalanches to happen? The snow packed down on the surface cannot support itself with all the weight. When another factor is introduced, such as a person’s step, this helps to loosen the snow and an avalanche occurs. Major temperature changes, rapid wind speed and man-made influences are the main causes of avalanches. Most avalanches begin within weak layers of snow, which evolve within the snowpack or form on top of the snow and become buried. Eventually these weak layers can no longer hold up the weight on the overlying snow, and will give way causing the snow above them to break free and slide downhill.


Tom the dog


here once lived a dog named Tom. Tom was adopted as a pet in a wealthy caring household. All day, Tom lived in a kennel within the compound of the house guarding the home of his mistress. Whenever a thief or a burglar came within the vicinity, Tom would bark as loudly as he could to scare the criminal. The neighbourhood dogs were not so lucky and they were jealous of Tom’s fortune. Now and then, they would bark from outside the gates of Tom’s house and utter curses at him. All this disturbed Tom a little, but he would only say, “Poor fellows, they have to struggle so much for their food while I am so lucky. I must not shout at them and add to their misery.” One day, as he was taking a walk with his mistress, Tom found that some young boys were throwing stones at those same dogs who insulted him. The dogs were cornered and they had nowhere to go. Many of them were bleeding and barking feebly in protest. But the boys did not let go of them. Tom could not hold himself back. He was of a strong build and had a very deep voice. He knew that he could scare the boys. He ran towards the boys, the boys were startled at the terrible barking that Tom directed at them. Their blood froze at the sight of the huge Tom baring his fangs and running towards them. They dropped their rocks and ran

away as fast as their legs could carry them. “Go home” Tom said to the other dogs “no one will disturb you anymore.” He ran back to his mistress who had seen all that Tom did. She patted Tom and praised him for his courage. That night, Tom’s mistress saw a strange sight. The dogs whom Tom had saved in the morning had gathered near the gates of her house. It seemed to her as if they were telling something to her pet.

“Maybe they are thanking Tom for his brave gesture.” she thought. And right she was! From that day, Tom and the other dogs who were his abusers had become friends. Tom’s kindness had won over his abusers’ hatred and he had earned their love, respect and admiration that nothing on earth could buy. Moral: Be good to all, even if they happen to be your enemies.


Egyptians bury their Kings in Pyramids

Pyramid of Giza


hen people around the world think of Egypt, they think of pyramids. While other peoples of the ancient world built these interesting structures, the countryside of Egypt is best known for them. These ancient structures stretch up from the sandy desert ground toward the skies, timeless reminders of the power of the kingdoms of this historic country. Most pyramids are three or four sided structures, meeting at the top in a triangular, pointed tip. The solid base and small top made for a solid building design. The largest pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Khufu, covers an amazing 13 acres and originally stood 488 feet (149m) high. Due to wear and theft of the beautiful limestone used as the outer walls, the structure now stands

only 455 feet (138m) high. Around 1,300,000 bricks were used, but not bricks like we think of today. The ‘little’ cut limestone pieces weigh 5,500 pounds each and the larger ones weigh 33,000 pounds! Pyramid building became more and more efficient, with early pyramids, such as the step pyramid tomb of Pharaoh Djoser, in ruins. Built on a poor

foundation, the pyramid architect did not carve the stones so that they leaned slightly inward, making the weight of the stones lock the pyramid into place. Later structures, such as the three Great Pyramids of Giza, were put together much better and have stood the test of time with little damage. NB: Tomb means grave where people are buried



With Aunty A'isha 08082071393.


Party for horned animals only (II) “


ook, friends, at the despicable little hare, the uninvited guest, with the beeswax melted by the sun and his horns lying at his side. We’ve been tricked by this impostor who came to our party under false horns. He must be punished and punished severely for mocking all us horn animals.” “Hear! Hear!” the frightened hare heard the other animals saying, and he opened his left eye ever so slightly. He was surrounded by a half-circle of horned animals and his mind was working swiftly. He noticed that rhinoceros was not very steady on his legs, and he thought to himself that the rhino would not be able to move quickly in that condition. So, before the animals quite knew what had happened, the hare jumped to his feet and scooted through the rhino’s legs. The startled animal tried to turn, fell with a crash, and some of the other animals stumbled over his massive body, giving the hare a chance to escape. But he didn’t get very far, for even a hare is not as swift as a buck, and as he realized that he would be caught, he scurried into a tiny cave in the hills. It was just big enough to contain his body, and he thought he was safe until he felt somebody pulling his tail. But his quick mind did not let him down, even though the

Make your own chalk

Learn how to make chalk with this recipe. What you will need: A shape/mold (an empty toilet paper roll, a candy shape or a cookie cutter.) food coloring Plaster Paris A large plastic bowl A stick or spoon to stir it Water masking tape Scissors Tips: You can make your chalk glow in the dark by using glow in the dark paint. You can light up your chalk by adding glitter. How to make your chalk: Mix 1 cup of plaster Paris and 4 tablespoons of water together. Stir until the lumps are gone. Then add 2 tablespoons of paint or 6-10 drops of food colouring. (The more drops of food colouring that you add, the darker your chalk colour will be.) The more you stir the ingredients the more solid your

pain was unbearable. “Ha! Ha!” he laughed, “You think you’ve got hold of my tail, don’t you, but what you are pulling is a root. You’re fooling yourself, whoever you are” for his nose was stuck in a corner of the tiny cave and he couldn’t see behind him. Whoever was holding him let go, and at that moment he heard the elephant trumpeting, “There’s his tail! Pull him out! Pull him out, the hornless rascal!” After great effort he managed to turn around so that he could look out, and he was delighted to see the elephant


pulling a root that was growing just outside the mouth of the tiny cave. His eyes twinkled with merriment. “Ouch!” he cried. “Oh, don’t be so cruel, O horned creatures. You’re pulling my tail and the pain is unbearable. Oh! Oh!” Spurred on by his cries, the elephant pulled even harder, the rhino pulled the elephant, the warthog pulled the rhino, the small antelope pulled the warthog, and so on, until a long chain of animals was straining to pull out the root they thought was the hare’s tail. And the hare pretended to be crying in agony. Suddenly, the root came out of the ground in a rush, and the animals tumbled backwards, falling upon one another in great confusion, the drunken rhino lying on his back with his legs waving feebly in the air. The hare jumped out of his cave, leaped upon the belly of the helpless rhino, danced a brisk tattoo upon him, screamed with laughter and was gone before a single animal could rise to its feet. “I’m a brilliant fellow,” he thought as the sand spurted by under his speeding feet. “I’ve foxed all the horned animals, and now, with that experience behind me, I can surely fool my old enemy the tortoise,” hare gladly said. - Concluded



chalk colour will be. If you like, you can leave swirls by not mixing as much. Pour your mixture into your molds quickly because it sets up fast. You want to fill your mold when your mixture is a liquid not clumps. If you use a toilet paper roll, cover one end with masking tape or duck tape. Then pour your mixture into the top. If you use a cookie cutter, lay the cookie cutter flat on a piece of cardboard. Fill it up with your chalk mixture. If you use a candy mold, just pour your

mixture in. If you want thinner chalk, take your toilet paper roll and cut the tube length wise. Bring the cut ends together to make a thinner tube. Tape it shut. Once you have poured the chalk mixture into the mold of your choice, let it set for two or more hours. After at least two hours, remove the chalk from the mold. Then let the chalk air out for 24 hours before you use it. This is GREAT chalk! Have fun using new homemade chalk.

Name and paint the above picture with beautiful colour, show your work to your teacher for correction. Cheers!


Kannywood Mercy Johnson, Genevieve, Omotola, others in hot contest over NMA Award


First Nollywood Movies Awards (NMAs) 2012 N ollywood Movies Awards will celebrate both English speaking and Indigenous talents with a Nominees’ party set to take place on Saturday 5th May 2012 at the Oriental hotel in Lagos, Nigeria with the Main Awards Ceremony on Saturday 2nd June 2012 at the Civic Centre also in Lagos, Nigeria. The Main Awards Ceremony will be hosted by: Julius D Genius Agwu and Kate Henshaw The primary aim of the Nollywood Movies Awards (NMAs) is to honour and recognise excellence in the Industry. The Awards will also focus on the highest achievements of films produced for the industry each year in order to motivate and encourage those who make them and inspire new entrants into the industry. The Press Conference was held on Friday, 27th April, 2012 at the Lagos, Ikeja Hotel (Best Western) where the full list of categories and nominees were revealed. The highlights of the ceremony will be screened later on Nollywood Movies (SKY Channel 329) and on other notable platforms


Nollywood Movie Star Family

NMA Press Conference 2 - (Kola Munis, Ifueko Gbinigie, Alfred Soroh, Chelsea Eze)

Maureen finds her feet


fter countless attempts in the motion picture industry, fast-rising actress, Maureen Okpoko has finally found her feet doing what she loves best- acting. The delectable fair complexioned graduate of English and Literary Studies from the University of Port Harcourt said although it wasn’t easy at the beginning, now, there is no week that you would not see her on screen. With three beautiful children, Okpoko who loves wearing low cut spoke about her fledgling career, how she nearly relocated to England after a heartbreak, an accident that threatened her career, and lots more. Speaking on her entrance into the industry, she said: “I have always had the flair for acting but I never really got that push to move on. I did a couple of commercials in the late 90s. At a point, I got involved in some sort of getting together with a group, the lady in charge was supposed to shoot a soap. Clarion Chukwurah,


he battle line appears to have been drawn for top Nollywood actresses, Omotola Ekeinde Jalade, Mercy Johnson, Genevieve Nnaji, Uche Jombo and Omoni Oboli as they all get set to slug it out in winning the maiden edition of Nollywood Movies Awards (NMA) in best Actress category. Nominees for NMA were unveiled at a press conference in Lagos last week Friday. Van Vicker would have to beat Ramsey Nuoah, Joseph Benjamin, Charles Okafor and Trybson Dudukoko to win the Best Actor prize. The nomination party will take place at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos this Saturday May 5 while the main awards ceremony holds on Saturday June 2, 2012 at the Civic Centre in Lagos.

Maureen Okpoko Paul Obazele, Sola Sobowale and Liz Benson were all there. All of a sudden she said she was travelling to America to get sponsors. I can’t remember her name now. I gave up on it but I had this friend of mine who was working with Media International, Collins Onomo who was trying to push me to doing one thing or the other like acting or modelling. I didn’t take it seriously each time he came; it was either I

had travelled out of Lagos or that I was not in. Even when I came back, I still really didn’t bother”. Then one day in 2000, I used to work with a bank, Premier Commercial bank. I also worked with a telecommunication organisation in Ikoyi, Lagos. I disengaged from the job in 2004 and started buying and selling. I even had a canteen at a construction site. After sometime, I got tired. In 2007, there was this lady, Chinyere Uba who called for an audition in her place at the Airforce Mess, Kofo Abayomi and I had a family I used to visit there, my friend Imaculata. She studied Mass Communication and is also interested in acting. We went for the auditioning in one of the apartments there. Leo Slabus was part of it too. Then they came to the National Theatre for another big audition. The audition was held and I left, but everything came to naught at the end of the day. “In 2008, I decided to go into it fully. I had an accident that actually

made me draw back for a while. Later I decided to try my luck again. One day, in a bus, I met a guy and we got talking. He told me he had a friend, Omoh Weeks and his girlfriend, Ijeoma Imo, that he would introduce me to them. We came to Winnis and he introduced them to me. We sat down and we got talking. Ijeoma was trying to be helpful but since she couldn’t get me into the system within as I wanted, she told me to go to PEFTI at Oshodi but I didn’t go. I left again, went back home in 2009. I travelled and came back. By November, I decided to go again”. Nollywood

‘How I met and fell in love with my wife’ - Chidi Mokeme

Stella Damasus, Shan George, Emeka Rollas made UN Representatives

How did you meet your wife? met my wife in America in 2008. I had gone for the inauguration of President Obama. There was one of the town hall balls that was organised in his honour by the ‘Africa Business Round Table’ in Maryland. I was there too. It was there I ran into my wife. What was the attraction? First, she’s a pretty woman. She’s imposing, and stands out. As soon as you see her, you will notice her. I think everything else must have grown with time. You begin to discover who she is. And then the more I discovered, the more I was sure we were going to end up in marriage.



tella Damasus, Shan George, Emeka Rollas have joined the growing list of Nollywood actors that have been made United Nations (UN) ambassadors. The trio were confirmed representatives of the world governing body few days ago in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. They have joined the likes of Ini Edo, Chika Ike and others who are already UN ambassadors. Shan George

When, how and where did you propose? I proposed to her in the States last year. It was a surprise. She came back from work one day, she opened the door and I was there. Candles were all lighted up; I was there inside her house on bended knees asking her ‘Would you marry me?’ Why did you go for a USbased lady when there are thousands of home-bred ladies in Nigeria? I don’t think that is a problem. It doesn’t matter where a person in based. You don’t marry a woman because of where she is based. What matters is her personality. And then geographical location absolutely

means nothing because that arrangement can be changed by one conversation. It doesn’t take anything to relocate. If she would be relocating to Nigeria, we would make our family in Nigeria. Will Jean agree to relocate to Nigeria , leaving her thriving practice? She is in a business that is required everywhere in the world. There is nowhere in the world you don’t require the services of medical practitioners. She’s not only a doctor; she’s a doctor’s doctor. That means she has a doctorate degree in a specialized area of medicine. She has a doctorate degree in pharmacy. You know she can never be out of work. Is she your dream woman? We said ‘I do’ (laughs) -


Dakore and her husband, Olumide Akande

Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme, others in Ibadan for Lions of 76


ollywood stars Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme, and many others are somewhere in Ibadan shooting a movie titled Lions of 76. The flick, which is being produced and directed by Izu Ojukwu, is centered on the 1976 coup and assassination of one time Nigerian military ruler G e n e r a l M u r t a l a Mohammed. It was learnt that almost every part of the movie is being shot in t h e military barracks, and that the story is Nuella basically Njubuigbo about how soldiers tried to p r o v e t h e i r innocence after the coup, because if found guilty they’d be killed.

Stephanie Okereke speaks on N100m Paris wedding, says “I’ve always dreamt of a fairy tale wedding”


he much talked about wedding of Stephanie Okereke-Linus has come and gone. The talented thespian finally married her longtime sweetheart, Idahosa on April 21,2012 in Paris, France. About 400 close colleagues and friends of the actress from all over the world attended. It was the sort of dream wedding the actress had always fantasized about, and the aura of Paris and a castle further helps to deepen that romantic and enchanting feeling as she enters into matrimony. It would be recalled that their affair, was made public in 2010.Shortly after, Linus took a bold step and proposed to the actress on a dinner date at a posh location in Ikoyi, Lagos, after which there have been speculations on their wedding on several occasions, which never held. The last wedding date of Stephanie and Linus that circulated was February this year, but in an interview she had, the actress debunked the wedding rumours. After many of her fans had waited endlessly for the wedding, she took the industry by surprise when they both chose an Exclusive Castle in Paris for their wedding, which according to the actress is Nigerian Wedding of the Year. It was learnt that to wed at the castle costed £100,000. The wedding between Stephanie and Idahosa Linus is estimated at almost N100 million! Nollywood’s newest and hottest

bride, Mrs. Stephanie Idahosa, in a chat with newsmen said words cannot express her feelings on the huge success recorded at the wedding. “We thank God and our families for standing by us throughout the period of this wedding. We are also grateful to all of you that came from far and wide to honour us with your presence.” On why they settled for Paris, France, as venue for the very expensive nuptials that was reeking in opulence, the cerebral screen goddess had this to say: “I’ve always dreamt of a fairytale wedding, especially as a child growing up. I’ve always imagined a fairytale wedding with my prince charming in a castle on an Island. And thank God that my husband finally made that possible inside this 16th century castle in Cernay, Paris, France. It was a fairytale dream come true. It’s the ambience fairy-tale like. It is reminiscent of culture, of peace and love; something away from the chaos we get used, something fresh, new and different It’s a beautiful feeling to be in love and be with the one person you wish to spend the rest of your life with. She gushed with smiles. Stephanie concluded by telling what women really want in marriage “Love, peace, security. A man to share your dreams with. One who truly respects you and sees beyond just your beauty but your true essence. A real man with real values”



Hollywood/Bollywood Khloe Kardashian angling for own Reality Show


h l o e Kardashian doesn’t need a man in order to anchor a reality show! On the heels of Lamar & Khloe concluding after this season, multiple sources confirm that this sister remains in talks with E! for her very own series. “Khloe wants to develop a new reality show for E! as soon as Lamar gets picked up by a team and Kris Jenner is helping,” a Kardashian insider tells Hollywood Life, adding that Odom is fine with that arrangement as long as he can get back into basketball shape without cameras around. The source says there’s pressure on Jenner to continue spinning off her children in order to fulfill the family’s new $40 million contract. TMZ confirms the chatter, meanwhile, quoting an E! mole who admits the network is in the “Khloe Kardashian business” and would be interested in a show featuring this sibling. But what might it be titled?


Jessica Simpson welcomes baby girl


essica Simpson finally gave birth to her baby girl today. Maxwell Drew Johnson, weighing 9 lbs., 13 oz. was born in L.A. It’s the first child for the star and her fiancé, former NFL player Eric Johnson.

Little Maxwell is named for Eric’s middle name, and will go by Maxi. Her middle name is a tribute to her grandma, Tina Simpson, whose maiden name is Drew. After six months of dating, Simpson, 31, and Johnson, 32, got engaged in

November 2010, and then allegedly pushed off their wedding when she got pregnant. The Texas native, now 31, was famously and previously married to Nick Lachey from 2002 until their separation in 2005, but the couple had no children. She first shared her own happy pregnancy news with the world on Halloween, and the deluge of TMI Jessica Simpson quotes has continued unabated since. As her due date approached, the uninhibited singer has spoken candidly about all things pregnancy, from cravings to sex to mommy brain and even swamp ass. “I feel like I have a bowling ball sitting on my head,” she said. “Apparently I have a lot of amniotic fluid, so when my water breaks, it will be like a fire hydrant!” With Maxi weighing in at such a healthy size, this was probably true. Anyway, congrats guys!

Carrie Underwood Announces Tour Dates, Looks Absurdly Hot in Glamour


t ’s a great time to be a fan of Carrie Underwood. The season four American Idol champion released her fourth studio album today, while also announcing a

Katrina Kaif enjoys working with Salman Khan

number of upcoming tour dates and looking ridiculously hot in the pages of the latest Glamour. To wit: Once you eventually remove your eyes from those pictures, and the

drool from your keyboard, read on to find out when Carrie will be coming to a city near you, and check out her performance of “Good Girl” on The Late Show with David Letterman.

a t r i n a Kaif is not new to the industry rumors and link-up with male co-stars. She now, has made a place for herself in the industry and knows to carry herself very well. Recent rumors had it that Katrina Kaif is back to Salman Khan. The actress rubbished them saying, “When we start working for a movie we go in as professionals. I am here to do my job and if people want to highlight baseless stories then it’s up to them. I don’t think that these stories will have any effect on my work and the film,” Katrina Kaif is quoted as saying by a news agency. The actress is so used to being linked up with her male co-stars that such rumors doesn’t bother her anymore. “I am never bothered about such stories. Why should I? I think it’s what every actor goes through. When you start working in the industry, people talking about you becomes a part of your life. Why analyze it so much?” Katrina Kaif said. The rumors of Kat and Sallu’s rekindling

romance started during the shoot of Yash Raj film Ek Tha Tiger. “I am excited about the film, it’s shaping up good. Salman is working with Yash Raj for the first time and it’s my second film with them.

It’s always fun working with Salman, he makes everything very comfortable on the sets,” she said. Katrina Kaif is presently also working with Shahrukh Khan.

Madhuri to play the lead role of gangster


c t r e s s Madhuri Dixit is on a roll. After signing Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘Dedh Ishqiya’, the Bollywood diva has now been roped to

play the lead role of a gangster in Anubhav Sinha’s home production ‘Gulab Gang’. “We have signed Madhuri for ‘Gulab Gang’.

She would be playing the lead role of Gulab. She heads the gang of women,” Sinha, told PTI. It was director Soumik Sen who narrated the story and I really liked it. It was his idea of having Madhuri in the film. He met her and she was also extremely excited about it,” he said. ‘Gulab Gang’ is a story of a gang of women fighting against social injustice. “It is not a biopic. It is not based on anyone. It is in a way inspired by something that happened in UP. It is a fiction,” Sinha said. The producer said there will be about six female characters in the film. “We have just finalised Madhuri. Soumik had mentioned that he wants to cast Mahie Gill, Shilpa Shukla for other roles. But I don’t know if he has met them and things have been finalised or not. Also, we are looking for a female antagonist,” he said. Produced under Benaras Media Works banner, ‘Gulab Gang’ would go on floors post monsoon and would release next year on Women’s Day, March 8.




How to choose dining tables for small spaces

Drop leaf tables


henever we think of the term - "dining tables", a picture of a big dining table with huge chairs flashes immediately in front of our eyes. However, this was the scenario a couple of years back, things have changed drastically now. If you have a small dining space, then you need not deprive yourself of enjoying a meal on the dining table as there are several types of dining tables, specifically available for small spaces. Let's begin by knowing the different types of dining tables you can choose for small spaces Wall mounted dining tables Wall mounted dining tables are an excellent selection for small spaces as they do not occupy floor space at all. These dining tables are mounted against the wall, and they can be folded "in" or "out" as required. As surrounding space and elements are not disturbed, these tables are ideal for loft rooms, studio apartments, and dorm rooms. Folding dining tables: Folding dining

Gataleg tables

tables are simple dining tables that can be easily folded and stored elsewhere when not in use. These tables are generally available for two to four persons, and they are ideal for homes that do not feature separate dining space. Drop leaf tables Drop leaf tables are similar to the folding tables, but they cannot be folded flat and stowed away. These tables are ideal for dining rooms with limited space, as commonly found in one to two bedroom flats. Gataleg tables Gataleg tables feature two drop leaves on each side of the table, and the legs open out like a gate in order to support the leaves. The most beneficial feature of these tables is that they can be used for displaying things when the table is not being used for dining purpose. As you now know the various types you can select for small spaces, you should now consider other relevant factors.

Firstly, measure the available space for the dining table. Consider the probable traffic around the table that might be created and the provision of leg space. It’s always recommended to settle for square tables in case of small spaces so that intimate cozy settings are created and there is no waste of space. Prefix a budget before you set out to buy the dining tables so that your specific need is catered, and you do not land up spending beyond your budget.{pic 1 from, 2 from} ce-Saving Design: Collapsible Coffee & Dinner Tables Most of us enjoy being able to exercise control over our surroundings, down to the built environments we occupy and homes we call our own. These transforming table designs might seem boring and conventional – or they may be a welcome simple and space-saving relief from the recent influx of complex convertible creations. There is one trick to these, one which

is both simple to see and easy to use: flat rectangular surfaces slot into place for compact storage when not in use, and pull out to whatever length is required for a given task. No flip-up, fold-down, spin-around secrets, just simple sliding motions to increase or decrease available dining, work or side-table space. These tables from Sculptures-Jeux come in a vast variety of types, heights, colours and layers that slide in and out of a core rectilinear table frame. Some are designed to serve as small nightstands or simple coffee tables while others accommodate seating for a family of six at dinner or work as a sizable home office desk. Aesthetically, they are tied together through a common theme: accented edges stand out from the surface areas to emphasize the structural independence of each moving part within the whole. Some are colourful while others have toneddown gray-and-black palettes, but in virtually ever example you can immediately see from the contrast how to operate these dynamic furniture designs.




Pots & Pans

With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi

10 Simple kitchen tips


. Use tongs to cook pretty much everything Spatulas are awesome for anything that needs to be flipped or scraped, like eggs and pancakes. For everything else, tongs are the way to go. They're much more nimble and less awkward to use, and you'll find far fewer things jumping from your pan onto the floor. 2. Store everything in tupperware As much as you'd like to be the kind of person who trims their herbs, puts them in a vase then wrap them in a damp paper towel so they last a week, if you are too lazy for that. The good news though is that tupperware keeps almost everything fresh for much longer than your crisper, including berries, salad greens and produce that have already been cut. Because it is reusable, it is also more ecofriendly. 3. If you own a knife, don't use a

garlic press Peeling and pressing garlic is a huge waste of time. To use a clove of garlic, set it on a cutting board and smash it with the flat side of a big knife (any chef's knife will do). The papery skin will come right off, and you can mince it real quick right there in about 10 seconds. Done. 4. Keep a separate cutting board for things you don't want flavoured with garlic and onion Assuming you follow any recipe ever, you'll probably be using your cutting board for cutting onions or garlic. If so, it is recommended that you get a separate board to keep aside for cutting fruits, cheeses and other things that you'd prefer didn't absorb the odors of previous meals. 5. Herbs that are supposed to be green should be purchased fresh, not dry With the possible exception of dried

oregano, herbs are always better fresh. They're also cheap and available almost anywhere. In particular, always buy fresh parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, tarragon or chives if you can help it (a few should be in your fridge at all times). The dried versions are too delicate and the jar will be bad before you use it twice. 6. Don't bother with pre-filled spice racks If you want spices to serve their purpose (making food taste better), you shouldn't own a pre-filled spice rack, spices go off quickly, and when their colour starts to dull they've lost a lot of their flavour. There are several dried spices that are invaluable in the kitchen (cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, etc.), but you should purchase them as you need them, and in small quantities unless you use them frequently. 7. Overcooking is

the biggest single kitchen mistake O v e r c o o k e d vegetables are mushy and flavourless,

overcooked meat is tough and chalky, overcooked grains are soggy and fall apart. Overcooked food is bad food. Learn the art of taking food off the heat just before it is done, and let it finish cooking with its internal temperature. You can always cook it more, but you can never cook it less. 8. If it tastes OK but not great, it probably needs salt-and maybe some vinegar or groundnut oil The media loves to bash salt, but I'm not convinced that it (rather than processed food) is the real problem. Also, the small amount you use when cooking at home won't compare to what you'd get at a restaurant or in a packaged meal. Though over-salted food certainly tastes bad, under-salted food is bland and boring and another dash can often save a dish. If you think you've added enough salt but something is still off, try a splash of vinegar or

lemon (any acid) to brighten the flavour. If the food is dry or sticky, try adding a touch of groundnut oil. These 3 things can fix almost any lackluster meal. 9. Don't buy regular big onions, use shallots or leeks For most everyday cooking, milder onions will enhance your dish and give it more nuances. Big, strong onions certainly have their place in cooking (soups, roasts, etc.), but most kitchen experiments will be improved by more subtle onion flavour. 10. Fruit (other than berries) shouldn't be stored in the fridge Refrigerators dull the tastes of most produce, so if you bought something that doesn't need to go in there, leave it out. Most fruits including apples, oranges, pears and bananas don't belong in the refrigerator unless you're not planning on eating them soon. most people don't refrigerate tomatoes, avocados or peppers either.

Homemade fresh ripe mango juice


h i s is the season when one can relish fresh homemade ripe mango juice and you can make the best use of mangoes for your cooking or for your fruit salad. There is a variety of sweet mango which is best suited to prepare mango juice. Its pulp blends well to yield a smooth creamy juice. The next time you head for that bottled mango juice, do yourself a favour by blending a glass of fresh mango juice to relish the real taste of mango with all its nutrients. Peel and chop ripe mango into pieces, place in blender with crushed ice, water and sugar or honey, or date syrup as required. Blend to a smooth consistency and run through a sieve. Discard the left over pulp in the sieve. Pour into tall glasses and serve.




Aisha Jummai Alhassan: Redefining the cause of women By Miriam Humbe, Abuja and Ayodele Samuel, Jalingo


aking life meaningful for the womenfolk through advocacy and the introduction of pet projects is one of the core values upon which the philosophy of Senator Aisha Jumai Alhassan is based. A Lawyer and former Taraba State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, she was also appointed the Chief Registrar of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on 17 December 2003 where she served until her retirement to go into business. The Amazon is widely reputed as being very uncompromising, especially when it comes to issues of injustice and gender equality. Senator Alhassan has an alluring personality; always wearing a smile which attracts people to her like bees to honey. For good measure, no doubt she's genuinely amiable. Little known in her constituency of Taraba North Senatorial zone before 2010 as a political icon, Mama Aisha, as her admirers prefer to call her, exploded on the political stage like a shooting star and shocked the immediate past governor of the state, Rev. Jolly T. Nyame to pick the PDP senatorial nomination ticket. She proceeded to win the race squarely against all her opponents. Regarded as an underdog in the race, she had served and retired as a judicial officer with the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, where her famed wealth added to her political capital. It was from Abuja that she came forward to pursue her political ambition. However, when she expressed her desire to run the senatorial race, cynics doubted the ambition. Many questioned if she was sufficiently armed to ride roughshod on the slippery political turf, most especially as many thought her high ambition was also running away with her. But all that is now history. At the seventh National Assembly, Senator Alhassan is rigorously championing the affairs of women with all her strength and redefining their cause. She passionately believes on

Senator Aisha Alhassan

the need to position the womenfolk to be relevant in the scheme of things for the betterment of the society and is reputed for advocating for Nigerian women on the floor of the Senate, this she attributed to the disadvantaged position of women in the nation's life and politics and their overwhelming support during the election. "We are certainly not satisfied with the 35 percent slots allocated to us, however, let's start somewhere and from there we can push for more things. Personally, I will not sit here and watch women being pushed to the wall in the allocation of positions and other dividends of

democracy, she said". Senator Aisha is of the opinion that service to humanity could be harnessed even with fewer resources where there is an understanding

between the governed and the governance. Since her election into the hallow chamber Senator Aisha has intensified efforts in the welfare of her constituents with


Senator Aisha is of the opinion that service to humanity could be harnessed even with fewer resources where there is an understanding between the governed and the governance.

the provision of scholarship, sinking of boreholes, medical services and the rehabilitation of schools among other projects. In doing these things, she gives special attention to the less privileged groups especially the womenfolk and has unveiled plans to sponsor the treatment of VVF and cancer cases among rural women in her state. In order to get the young ones financially equipped, she is also engaging youthful minds in Taraba state in the area of sports. Only recently, she donated two trophies which are to be competed for annually to the Taraba State Football Association. One of the trophies is christened Senator Aisha Alhassan State Unity Cup while the second is Senator Aisha Alhassan Zonal Unity Cup. The zonal unity cup is to be competed for by youths in her zone (Taraba north) while the state unity cup is to be competed for by all the three senatorial zones in the state. Other sporting items she donated include 50 pieces of football; 10 sets of goal post net; 1368 sets of complete jerseys comprising shirts, shorts, football boots, Socks and wrist band. Senator Alhassan also doled out 76 complete sets of goal keeper outfit, 190 sets of uniforms for officials and 190 storage bags. "In our contemporary world today, we know that sports is a veritable foreign exchange earner for many countries, therefore we can develop our sporting activities to a level that sports will be revenue earning tool for our dear state," she said. Aisha Jummai Alhassan is a woman worthy of emulation as she tops the list of seven female Senators who are playing critical roles in the affairs of the Seventh National Assembly, in spite of women's topsy-turvy march in the apex legislative house; she remains a woman of substance in the politics of Taraba state. Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan has a very impressive personality and leadership qualities which left no iota of doubt in the minds of the people of Taraba state as to her capabilities when they gave her their mandate to represent them at the National Assembly at the 2011 polls.



Do you have old pictures for memories? Send them to

From the archives From Soyinka’s Album

Captions: 1. Wole Soyinka as a ten-yearold choir boy in 1946. 2. Wole Soyinka, age 18, a college freshman.



3. Wole Soyinka with his daughter Moremi in 1963. 4. Wole Soyinka's mother, "Wild Christian," on her 70th Birthday with her children in 1978. Clockwise from left: Wole, Yeside, Femi, Kayode, Folado and Tinu.


5. Wole Soyinka today.



1 2 3


Peoples Classroom M Book Review

Book Title: Finding Meaning in Difficult Times Author: Grace Ozioma Onotu Publisher: Bethel Creations, April, 2012 ISBN: 13-978-978-50996-1-4 Grace Ozioma Onotu in her book, ‘Finding Meaning in difficult Times’ addresses the frustration of man in trying to chart for himself outside God. It also helps every reader to find rest in a restless world and to face the challenges of a modern age. With a conclusion that the secret to living an exceptional life for a larger than life experience is in having a personal relationship with God and allowing His word have final authority over our circumstances. The author is the third child of a family of seven. She grew up to meet a comfortable life where her parents met her needs and that of her siblings. Suddenly, events turned around and her parents lost all they had in a mysterious way. She and her siblings had to hawk food items to earn a living as their parents could no longer pay their bills. It got so bad that they had to skip going to school in turn to help their mother sell in the market.

They had to move out of their house and started living in a cement shop owned by their dad’s friend. Through all this challenges, Grace never allowed the mental picture of being a medical doctor she had carried in her mind to fade. Through thick and thin she never gave up her desire one day. Today, she is a proud medical doctor. The book uses the first person narrative as to allow Olotu give account of her growing up and all the challenges she faced as a child, a student up to her present stage in life. One thing she learnt over the years was to adhere to the virtues of exceptional living. Life becomes a lot easier if we learn to accept people the way they are without being judgmental. Olotu said she learnt to believe in herself and carried a mental picture of what she wanted to be no matter the circumstance and challenges she refused to allow the mental picture of her

By Joy Baba

future to fade. The book advises that people should refuse to accept negative circumstance they are surrounded with and believe they can rise above whatever challenges life throws at them. Hear her “I had a mental picture (and still have) of how I wanted my life to be and clung to it. Also perseverance is another factor. Almost every single day I had to cope with varying degree of pain but I never gave up” The author also used some other people’s life experience and how they managed to overcome life challenges against all odds. Living exceptional life she said requires patience in everything we do. We must be patient with ourselves when we are not meeting our own expectations and be patient with others when they fall short of our expectations. Every one of us she said on a final note can be a world player irrespective of our background. It is all about our individual guts and willingness to take responsibility for a future that is so dear.



o s t of us run a website to make m o n e y . Whatever your website is, a blog or a portfolio website, the website performance is essential to our success. How to improve your website performance to generate income on its own? Here I'd like to suggest some solutions. Improve web hosting performance Web hosting performance, play an important role. No one wants to stay on a product website on a frequently interrupted website. A 100% uptime hosting is unpractical. But be careful when you are choosing web hosting for your website. Make sure its uptime guaranteed and respond and deliver page quickly. Use a well designed and efficient website design I would never believe in a ugly designed website or blog. This is also true to many other people, even if they are not a website designer as me. A well designed website tends to be more trustful. How could we believe that a web site with bad design can deliver good quality products or services? Please note that, a well designed website is not equivalent to a beautiful design. Sometimes, a simple text page even get more conversion (web sales). Make sure you advertise your products not only your website. Certainly, a design corporation should display a beautiful website to their users. Make value added contents The contents are the most important section to make your website success. Don't

writing articles which will give useful information to your readers. Business transaction improvement Many of us webmasters are trying to get more traffic. We believe more readers will bring more profits. But this is based on the think that the transaction remains the same. Some website with small traffic will win more consumers because they get highly targeted readers and show their adverts in a proper pattern. A webmaster should do studies to improve their transaction instead of devote all your energy to increase website traffic. Social Network Ads Social network website gathered large traffic. This is the best place for entrepreneurs who want to get free but profitable traffic. Most social network website allows anyone to register free account. If you can post interesting content, you will get many fans. People will like useful contents. You can put your trustworthy product details in your profile. And many of

known how to uses these tools to get free traffic. Surely, you need also build social network accounts for you website or product to get a positive reputation. Email Marketing Services The traditional email marketing services are proved to be effective as before even the Web 2.0 era provides rich choices for people to gain information. Most people still open the email inbox more than once a day. This may because they need to verify their register information or so. However, no matter why people read their email, we get the chance to display your content to them. Emails keep readers from too much information on one page. The Gmail, for example, will only display relevant ads on the right and the bottom. This makes the reader more concentrate on your well written points. And they are more likely to click through to your product after reading your email. Google Adwords Google Adwords is the best ads unit I have ever used. It

just put junk information on your website just to keep it updated. Though frequent updates have benefits to SEO, bad contents will hurt your readers. Make sure you are

your fans will click through these links. So make sure you have build social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn accounts for your online business and have

will only display your ads on most relevant websites. This guarantee you get the most Relevant Traffic. And these traffic will brings the biggest profit to you.


Bello Abdul’Azeez +234 805 113 0075

How to improve website performance and generate income



F Women’s colours, feminine and classy Compiled by Miriam Humbe


ight from cradle, it is possible to tell if the new born is a girl by merely seeing the color of the baby’s blanket. Its common knowledge that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. It however appears to be a cultural phenomenon. Pink is

woman’s color, it is feminine and classy. It is both a day and night color and comes in both bright and cool shades. Top Nollywood actress, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal personifies the feminine slate as she steps out stylishly in different shades of pink dresses with matching accessories to grace her beautiful curves.




Massive investment in agriculture is panacea to Nigeria economic problem.

AGRA earmarks $4m for small-holder farmers Mohammed Kandi with agency report


h e Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), headed by Ghana’s International Diplomat and Statesman, Busumuru Kofi Annan, has earmarked an initial $4 million to support small-holding farmer groups in four African countries, out of which Ghana would get $900,000. In line with the support, AGRA would this week launch the maiden Farmer OrganiSation Support Centre (FOSCA) in Ghana to set the tone for smallholding farmers who belong to recognizable and thriving farmer groups to benefit from AGRA grants and

technical support under the FOSCA initiative. FOSCA Lead Coordinator, Fadel Ndiame said in an exclusive interview the FOSCA initiative would also be launched in three other AGRA-member countries; Mali, Tanzania and Mozambique, but Ghana was chosen for the maiden one because the conditions in Ghana were more conducive and promising, so lessons could be leant from Ghana to benefit the other countries. He said AGRA had identified 80% of farmers in Ghana, for instance, were small-holding farmers, most of whom stood alone, lacked access to credit, got low farm

yields due to poor practices, lacked easy access to ready markets, and were not able to meet market demands. Mr. Ndiame said FOSCA was therefore designed to assist the small-holder farmers to have access to opportunities to improve their produce and income, adding that FOSCA would therefore seek, among other things, to link smallholder farmer groups with sources of finance, technical support, technology and best practices to improve yield and eventually meet market demand, and improve their standard of living. The farmers would also benefit from one of AGRA’s main focuses; advocacy for government policies that would create the enabling environment for the entire

agricultural sector to improve. They would also benefit from AGRA’s Value Chain Driven Intervention, where AGRA ensured that from the seed to the consumer, the farmer got the best support to optimize his or her benefits. Mr. Ndiame explained that under the FOSCA scheme, farmers would be supplied with improved seeds and fertilizers, regular technical support and other inputs to improve on the quality and quantity of their produce at the lowest cost possible, but that would be done through identifiable farmer groups to ensure accountability. He said the reason for Contd on Page 34

FG sets new price for rice importation By Abdulwahab Isa


he Federal Government yesterday announced new benchmark price for all types and origins of imported rice for the second quarter of the year 2012. All consignment of imported rice is now charged at USD 639 with a freight charge of USD 60 amounting to a total of USD 699 per metric ton. A statement issued yesterday by the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Wale Adeniyi cited a a statement issued by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala which was sent to the Nigeria Customs Service as directing that the benchmark price for

all consignments of rice during this period be fixed at USD 639 with a freight charge of USD 60 amounting to a total of USD 699 per metric ton. According to her, the policy was a fall-out of the decision of an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractices (PCTM), Federal Ministry of Agriculture (FMA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMTI), Budget Office of the Federation and Rice Millers, Importers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN). She tasked all the stakeholders to enforce the new benchmark prices and ensure that strict adherence is maintained throughout the second quarter of the year.



Business News NAFDAC DG warns water producers against abnormal practices

FG saves N14bn in 4 months through Integrated Payroll —Okonjo-Iweala

From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

h e Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Thursday that N14.2 billion has been saved on personnel cost through the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS). She made this known in Abuja at the ministerial platform to commemorate the 2012 Democracy Day and the one-year anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan administration. She listed the savings as a key achievement of the administration recorded at the end of the first quarter of 2012. She said as at April this year, 94,299 public workers have been captured on IPPIS in 75 Ministries,


h e Director General National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhi has warned water producers against abnormal practices in the production process of pure water across the country. Orhii, who made this warning at the workshop organised for water producers in the North Central zone held in Ilorin on Thursday said the agency would continue to impose maximum sanction on those found to be producing low quality water for drink in the country. Orhii, who was represented by Deputy Director, North-Central zone, Mr. Norbert Madueke disclosed that the agency have discovered that producers of sachets water are involving in abnormal practices in recent times in the course of its inspection ranging from improper use of water treatment chemical like chlorine and domestic water filters. In order to avoid running against the full wrath of the agency, the NAFDAC DG urged the producers to guide against the use of high density polyethylene as primary packaging materials or inappropriate labelling of their products. The DG said that there are over 8,679 water producing factories in the country and that many more are yet to come forward to be registered said the agency has put in place many measures to ensure quality of packaged water through the process of inspection, laboratory analysis and registration of products. The state Chairman of Table Water Producers of Nigeria (ATWAP) in Kwara state, Mr. Leke Adewunmi thanked the agency for organizing the sensitization programme stressing that the workshop would go a long way to assist the water producers to improve on their production quality.


Departments and Agencies (MDAs) The system was conceptualised as a central payment process for all public servants whose emolument is drawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The minister said that government had made remarkable progress in the implementation of Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). She said that 108 MDAs had been integrated on GIFMIS, while 421 officers had been trained on the scheme. On 2012 budget implementation, Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said

N151billion was released to MDAs in the first quarter. She said that the ministry had encouraged transparency and accountability through a monthly publication of the revenue allocations of each level of government. In his remarks, the Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, said the ministry achieved a record reduction on disputes related to the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). Ngama praised the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for surpassing their revenue targets last year. According to him, the fourth quarter revenue of FIRS, from

Lufthansa Air launches new aircraft By Muhammad Sada, with agency report


L-R: Administration and Finance Officer, African Development Bank (ADB), Mrs. Comfort Lawal Country Programme Officer of ADB, Mr. Peter Sturmheet and Country Representative of ADB, Dr. Ousmane Dore, during the Press Briefing on African Development Bank Annual General Meeting,

AGRA earmarks $4m for small-holder farmers Contd from Page 33 choosing to work with farmer groups was to ensure that the farmers could leverage examples of best practices within the group, make it easy for them to have access to finance because banks were more comfortable working with groups, and also to ensure that AGRA was able to measure the success rate of the FOSCA initiative. “We have targeted that by the close of the programme we would have supported 220,000 smallholder farmers across the four Africa countries and because of

October to December 2011 stood at N1.2 trillion, which is 39.71 per cent higher than the Federal Government’s quarterly target revenue. For the NCS, he said total revenue collected in 2011 was N741.83 billion, out of which, federation account was N430.68 billion and non-federation account was N311.14 billion. He said that increased antismuggling activities resulted in seizure of 5,748 goods, including textiles, poultry, used compressors, furniture and general goods. The minister put the value of the seizures made from January to December 2011 at N8.4 billion.

that each farmer group is in competition to grow its membership by between 25% and 50% by close of the programme to justify advancement of more support from FOSCA,” he said. Mr. Ndiame said AGRA had already advanced grants to some NGO’s to build the capacities of the farmer groups in best practices that financial institutions required before providing farmers with credit. “It is important to note that we are not here to meet needs but to support success stories of smallholder farmers and to leverage on that to help those farmers who

were net buyers of food even though they produce food,” he said. He gave an assurance that sustainable funding for the FOSCA programme was not a problem for AGRA, provided the farmer groups applied the available resources judiciously and showed results. “There is lots of funding looking for opportunities like this to support and they are waiting to come onboard provided the farmers would make this initiative work – AGRA is willing to provide the necessary support but the farmer groups must ensure that their members adopt the best

practices to improve,” he said. FOSCA would be launched in Accra on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 and would be preceded by a workshop for the farmer groups, where a farmer group from Ethiopia, which has its own bag manufacturing factory, would be available to share its experiences with Ghanaian small-holding farmer groups. Mr. Ndiame expressed the hope that the FOSCA initiative would make agriculture attractive to the youth, because it would portray agriculture as a lucrative business rather than just a way of life.

he German airline, Lufthansa, yesterday, became the first airline in the world to take delivery of a Boeing 747-8 at their Frankfurt hanger. According to a NAN correspondent who covered the launch, the new plane described as the Queen of the sky” was showcased at the airline’s hanger in Frankfurt, Germany to the admiration of the public, journalists and aviation stakeholders. While speaking at the launch, The Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Airlines Carsten Sphor said the “Jumbo” plane was characterized by lower noise emissions and fuel consumption when compared to the previous Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet and also added that, “The aircraft boasts of significantly improved aerodynamics and newly developed wing tips, and also provides tangible improvements in terms of Eco- efficiency”. He also added that Lufthansa will take delivery of 20 planes from the new Boeing series by 2015, adding that the aircraft would be deployed to its Washington, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chicago and Los Angeles routes. Also speaking, Mrs. Elizabeth Lund, Vice President of Boeing 747 Commercial Aircraft, said Lufthansa passengers would experience a new level of comfort with the launch of the “Queen of the sky” and added that Lufthansa and Boeing partnership dated back to the 1960s, stressing that they would continue to cooperate in bringing innovation to the aviation industry. The New Boeing 747-8 is 76.3 meters long, 5.6 meters longer than its predecessor the 747-400 and can accommodate 362 passengers, eight in first class, 92 in business class and 262 in economy class.



Business Sealink initiative, bridge to achieve free movement in ECOWAS sub-region, NEXIM that will promote regional trade. Mr. Ousmane Bocoum, director of EBID’s private sector operations, the bank hopes to invest in the equity and debt aspects of the initiative when they review the feasibility study report for a better appreciation of the project. Raising concerns about the relationship between the Sealink and ECOMARINE, which was set up to provide similar maritime logistics services, the NEXIM MD said the SEALINK project is private-sector driven by participants drawn from West and Central Africa. The EBID officials heard the SEALINK project had learnt valuable lessons from the failure of ECOMARINE and the success of ECOBANK Transnational, which business model it has adopted, resulting in the setting up of a promotional company, the SPV, prior to the establishment of the Regional Maritime Shipping Company. Meeting with the Guarantee Fund for Private Investments in West Africa (GARI Fund), Mr. Orya told the acting Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Nignon Jacques, the need for the two institutions to explore

By Chinedu Madugba


he managing director of NEXIM bank, Roberts Orya, recently paid a twoday visit to Benin Republic and Togo aimed at solidifying the Sealink initiative of the bank aimed at economic development of the ECOWAS sub-region. In Lome, the NEXIM team explained the initiative and the intervention of the bank which is in tune with NEXIM’s mandate to deepen trade within the West African sub-region. Mr. Orya presented the initiative to the West African Development Bank [BOAD] and the ECOWAS bank for Investment and Development (EBID). He said the Sealink initiative was the missing ingredient towards achieving the intendment of the protocol on free movement of persons, goods and services which was signed by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Lome, Togo since July 5th, 1985. The officials of EBID welcomed the initiative. They said it was in line with the developmental role of the bank and also stressed the position of the bank to support initiatives

Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Roberts Orya

avenues for more transactional relationships. Mr. Orya called to consolidate the already mutually beneficial partnership between the two organisations and introduce the SEALINK Project to get GARI Fund to provide financing for the acquisition of sea-going vessels for the initiative. Mr. Jacques said the strategic focus of GARI was to grow its interventions in Nigeria, which informed the enhancement of country funding limit for Nigeria from US$15million to US$20 million. He said GARI’s policies are still flexible and could be adapted and waivers granted on transactionspecific basis to increase Nigeria’s transactions on GARI’s portfolio. Mr. Orya reiterated the commitment of NEXIM to the sustenance of the good relationship with the FUND and to ensuring the prevalence of the favourable policy environment to enable the fund to expand the scope of its intervention in Nigeria. He promised that NEXIM would forward some pipeline transactions within the next three months to GARI FUND for consideration.

All-Share Index inches up by +2.52% in the week; sentiments remain unchanged


igerian Stock Market sustained uptrend for the third week in a row just as profitable transactions continued to permeate the Nigerian bourse amid unrelenting bargain activities while the Exchange notified all quoted companies that the 1st Quarter Financial Statements for 2012 is expected to be IFRS Compliant as Statements that do not meet with statutory requirement will not be recognized as appropriately filed and will not be presented to the market. Furthermore, the key benchmark indices maintained downtrend by -0.29% to open the first trading day of the week negative as sell pressure outweighed bargain hunting in some sectors across the main board while market retraced in the second session to close in the positive territory by +1.39% as market breadth closed very impressive. The bulls continue to dominate market activities as bargain hunting continued to outweigh sell pressure in the third session just as NSE ASI firms up by +0.84% to maintain northwards movement as market YTD performance stands at +8.72%. Conversely, trading activities on Friday closed northwards as sentiments remained positive. Consequently, the key benchmark indices inches up by +0.57% while market closed the week with

aggregate gain of +2.52%. Further analysis on acquiring banks since transaction date showed that the share price of Access Bank Plc has recorded 36.97% gain, followed by FCMB with 43.08% gain while Union Bank Plc leads the chart with 108.61% gain. However, Sterling Bank recorded -2.36% loss while ETI closed positive with +0.26% gain recorded. See the tracking table below However, the All-Share Index in the week under review moved up by +2.52% to close at 22,665.99 as against an upbeat by +1.62% recorded last week to close at 22,109.44. In the same vein, the market capitalization in the week appreciated by N177.49 billion

(US$1.18 billion) to close at N7.22 trillion (US$48.17billion) as against appreciation by N112.55 billion (US$750.37 million) recorded last week to close at N7.05 trillion (US$ 46.99billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 2.44 billion units valued at N20.74billion

(US$138.23 million) compared with 1.96 billion units valued at N17.23 billion (US$114.87 million) exchanged in 23,547 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved up by +24.79% as against downwards movement by

-4.24% recorded last week. Weekly value also went up by +20.33% as against positive position of +9.54% recorded last week. The volume traded in the top ten most traded stocks for the week represented 73.80% of the entire market volume transactions and their total value accounted for 68.16% of the market value. Financial Services sector emerged the most traded sector in the week in terms of volume. The volume traded in the sector this week alone closed at 2.02 billion units, valued at N14.70billion and exchanged in 9,644 deals compared with 1.70 billion units, valued at N12.58billion and exchanged in 14,914 deals in the preceding week. The volume traded in the sector accounted for 82.61% of the entire market compared with 86.63% of the ratio recorded last week. FCMB Plc led the market volume for the week to displace UBA Plc as top traded stock on the transaction volume chart last week. The sector’s volume transaction was mainly boosted by trading in the shares of the companies in the top-ten category. Services sector followed with 144.55 million units valued at N135.47 million and exchanged in 792 deals compared with 21.17 million units, valued at N48.98 million and exchanged in 535 recorded in the sector last week.



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









“To be a reputable, profitable, innovative and technologically reliant media company offering world class services and products”

May Working class and challenges Re: Day: Sovereign wealth fund of social transformation in Nigeria


h i s article is in memory of Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, former governor of Old Kano State, the first to declare May day celebration in Nigeria in the 1980s The Nigerian Workers celebrated 2012 May Day, amidst new social contradictions; of corruption, unemployment, insecurity, and deindustrialisation of the economy. Beyond the rhetoric of the impact of neo-liberal globalisation and the restructuring of social relations of production globally, the role of the Nigeria's elite towards development and democratisation is dismal. Historically the working class in Nigeria was in alliances with the progressive forces in challenging the excess of colonial exploitation. This tradition of Social movement unionism which pertains to a link between trade unions, communities and civil societies is crucial in mitigating the exploitation and kleptomaniac attitude of the Nigeria ruling class under the People Democratic Party (PDP) The current social contradiction facing Nigeria testifies the fact that Nigeria's ruling elite are incapable of addressing the socio-economic problems facing Nigeria; worst still is their lackadaisical attitude in addressing corruption. The revelations of the House committee on petroleum subsidy is a case in point, it indicts big men and corporations who formed an unholy alliance to bastardise Nigeria's economy. Nigeria typifies Evans notion of "predatory state" and Joseph's "prebendal politics" both predatory and prebendal politics entails the extent to which the elites capture state power and arrogate to themselves the prerogative of sharing the proceeds of national economies through patronages. Clientalism defines social relations, in which the ruling elites in concert with the business elite squander national resources. The working classes in Nigeria which is an embodiment of all the

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily Weekend welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: oppressed were expected to use the 2012 May Day celebration to ponder on the critical social contradictions that is about to cripple the nation. The working class should also strengthen alliances between trade unions, civil societies and communities to evolve an alternative platform of political unionism to rival the current bourgeoisie politics of self enrichment. To do this, we need a strong solidarity that will tame with the obvious challenges of social fragmentations among the alliance partners. Nigerian needs a mass-based platform with which to canvass for political power for social transformation. It is pertinent for the Nigeria progressives to eschew any piece meal reform initiated by the current failed ruling elites through their accomodatory strategy of appeasing the civil societies, what we need is real transformation. However not the type of transformation canvassed by the Jonathan government, because his transformation is an attempt to capture the working class vocabulary for social deception. Is it part of transformation that Nigeria has become ungovernable? Is it also a transformation that corruption is the prime priority of this administration? To avoid confusion, the only transformation Nigeria needs lies with the Nigeria people whom have demonstrated their ability during the fuel subsidy mass-protest across the country. Unparallel in the Nigeria's History, the 2012 mass-protest has unified Nigerians despite their religious or ethnic inclinations.

The Nigerian people should not be deceived by the recent patriotic deception of some ethno-cultural groups like ACF in the north, those guys were accusing the states and the nation because they are no longer in power, imagine! Some of them met at a farm in far away Niger state to proffer solutions of the problem they have created for two decades through their abuse of power. The Nigeria project is a project to be led by the Nigeria people against the Nigeria elites of whatever colouration. It is not a project against PDP or Jonathan, rather, it is a project of the oppressor Vs the oppressed. In this project, the Nigeria working class should endeavour to deemphasise identity politics in the wake of the current social contradiction that is about to consume all of us. The working class in Nigeria should go back to the balance sheet of the January,

2012 Mass-protest, to review the gains and shortfalls with a view to sustain the Nigerian spirit of social transformation that permeates gender, class, ethnicity, religion and other social strata. So that solidarity should be our watch word, a word which the ruling class fears most. This year Nigeria marked the centenary of Trade unionism, since the formation of Nigeria's Civil Service Union in 1912. With the current problems facing the wage labour as a result of flexible labour regime ranging from outsourcing, sub-contacting especially in the private sector and various reform of downsizing in the public sector, trade unions need to be more bold to checkmate the labour rationalisation in the post-fordist labour regime. Finally, I hold the believe that, beyond the rhetoric of neo-liberalism as the basis of Nigeria's social contradictions, the role of the Nigeria's elite is critical, they hold the state to ransom at the expense of public goods. Therefore, Nigeria's working class have to re-awaken and champion the struggle of genuine transformation that the political elites in power sung, which to me is a castle in the sky. Muttaqa Yushau Abdulra'uf, wrote from University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Nigeria typifies Evans notion of "predatory state" and Joseph's "prebendal politics" both predatory and prebendal politics entails the extent to which the elites capture state power and arrogate to themselves the prerogative of sharing the proceeds of national economies through patronages.




Youth Empowerment: Shema's strategies in Katsina By Lawal Rimi


l t h o u g h the trumpet may not have been blown, the pace and trend of development in Katsina state cannot be ignored. Within the first quarter of this year, 2012, Gov Ibrahim Shema launched some programmes in all the 34 local councils of the state, that are now generating employment opportunities for over 30,000 youths across the state. Recently, the Governor at a ceremony attended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal in Katsina, distributed 340 trucks to all the 34 local governments in the state. The breakdown of the vehicles distributed shows that each local government in the state received a total number of 10 trucks, made up of three refuse collection vans, three water tankers, one road roller, one road grader, one fire fighting vehicle and one 10 tyre tipper. Apart from the fact that the vehicles distributed provided employment instantly to over 1000 people across the state, the trucks have also been assisting greatly in facilitating the development of the rural areas. For instance, Shema, through the ministry for local government

affairs specifically directed through a memo to the caretaker committee chairmen of the state 34 local councils, to ensure that the three water tankers purchased for each local government were used to supply water daily to the rural communities that are yet to have access to clean water. This is to complement the state government's effort in providing bore holes in rural areas of the state. From all indications, this is the first time in the history of the state that a Governor will deem it fit to provide an alternative arrangement for water provision to the villages and hamlets in the state. Investigations revealed that since the commencement of water supply to the rural communities through the newly purchased water tankers, the excitement and the joy of the rural dwellers that greeted the exercise has no bound. While the rural communities in each local government area are yearning for more water tanker vehicles, they have also been showering encomium on Governor Shema for his commitment towards alleviating the plight of rural dwellers. The idea of providing refuse collection trucks for all the local government in the state is unique. It is total departure from the trend

in other states in Nigeria. The common practice in the country is for the government to concentrate sanitation effort on only the major cities, while the rural areas are being neglected. The refuse collection vans distributed across the 34 council areas are meant to serve the people of the state irrespective of their geographical It is also interesting to note that the 34 fire fighting vehicles distributed to the local governments have generated employment opportunity for over 700 people across the state. The analysis shows that each fire fighting vehicle will have 21 staff running three shifts. There will be seven officials per shift comprising one driver and six personnel. Already the state government has organized a 9 months training for the newly recruited fire fighting staff. This training according to the state ministry for local government affairs will be conducted in three batches for all the staff recruited in the 34 council areas. Other vehicles like roller and grader purchased are to assist the local councils in construction and rehabilitation of rural feeder roads. In addition to this, the equipments are also to be used in construction of earth dams. Since inception of his administration, the Governor has

not minced words in declaring that good access road for both urban and rural dwellers are part of his top priorities projects. According to Governor Shema, easy movement is part of the inalienable right of the citizens which must be provided by the government for the society to progress. The massive construction of both urban and rural roads has also provided job opportunities for thousands of people across the state. Similarly in the month of April, Governor Shema launched the youths empowerment scheme for petty traders and artisans across the state, aimed to make over 200 youths in each local government have access to interest free loan on monthly basis for the next three months. Within the three months period, over 25000 youths including men and women would have access loan to support their trades and crafts. The government is expected to spend over#300 million for this three months scheme. From the approach to governance in Katsina state and commitment of the state governor towards the welfare of his people, there is a need for other stakeholders in propagating good governance in Nigeria to take a cursory look at the development going on in Katsina state, and urge other public office holders to emulate the Katsina state Governor in his

quest to transform the state. Nigerians can no longer afford continuation of paying lip service to good governance. There is a need for total commitment and dedication from people holding public trust for total emancipation of the people. Also in the month of April, the state youths craft village established by Governor Shema graduated over 500 youths that are well trained in different crafts. Apart from providing the training and feeding free during the period of training at the village, Governor Shema also approved the release of fund to serve as operating capital for the graduates. Another thing that is worth of note in Katsina state is that Governor Shema is using multi facet approach in tackling the menace of youth unemployment. From his approach to governance in Katsina state and his commitment towards the welfare of his people, there is the need for other stakeholders in propagating good governance in Nigeria, to take a cursory look at what is happening in Katsina, and urge other public office holders to emulate Shema's strategies for purposeful leadership, for our country to get out of the woods. Lawal Rimi, wrote from Rimi local government, Katsina state.

Public opinion andfarmers subsidy reversal On Nigerian E-wallet idea G By Nasiru Suwaid

enerally, human beings by their intricate nature are inquisitive souls, who always seek for ways to explore new things in order to enhance the conditional setting of their living, which is concretely crystallized when a single idea is formed, that seeks to tackle a particular situational challenge or an evident societal deficiency, such an idea later germinates and blossoms into a realized dream. Fundamentally and from the long historical journeys of human growth and development, that has been the basis for the progress attained by the pioneer generation of the past millennia, which has excelled in great discoveries, unique inventions and monumental attainments. Our great forbearers have strived to stage revolutions in violent and peaceful formats, with the industrial and agricultural types happening without the usual disruptive dislocations, while the political revolutions came with the vicious vile of the shining armors and destructive effect of a gun powder. Yet, all of them are products of a determined effort to concretize and achieve an idea. Anybody that is ever to have had the opportunity of being in my village, would have been left with an indelible impression that indeed, Nigeria is in big trouble, not because of the fact that my hamlet is unique in the socioeconomic setting it exist upon,

rather, because of the reality that my place of origination, represents an identical caricature of nearly all the villages in Nigeria. An area vastly populated with the old, the not so smart and those that are bereft of choice in matters of habitation, for the smarter ones, the many that had the wherewithal of movement and most especially the younger ones, have already left for the big cities in search of greener pastures or more appropriately to further exacerbate the rural-urban migration drift, and as a confirmation of the globally acclaimed congestion scenarios evident in our cities. Thus, the only ones left to carry the burden of agricultural production do so without any choice in the vocation fate and destiny had placed on their plate. Unfortunately, it is upon such a communal setting that the Nigerian Economic Team mooted an idea or more appropriately conceptualised a new agricultural policy called the Nigerian Incentive based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), which is primarily a new governmental initiative that seeks to circumvent the perennial bureaucratic bottlenecks of the Nigerian civil service, when it comes to the allocation of necessary subsidy to the required farm inputs in the agricultural area of the economy, by shifting the organization and

disbursement of governmental agricultural support to the more accountable private sector . The new policy was unveiled nearly two weeks ago as an Electronic Wallet initiative, which would subsidize for up to 50% of prices of necessary farm inputs of fertilizer and seeds, with the subsidy cost shared between the three tiers of government. For while the federal government incurs half the amount of the agricultural subsidy support, the participating states and local government share the remainder cost of the 50% subsidy. A descriptive pictorial of the new concept is based on the grand assumption of over 75% of Nigerians having a mobile set, with the device being the exclusive working and connecting tool between a farmer and the agricultural support service (MDA's), as already the federal ministry of agricultural had already generated a data for nearly 3.5 million farmers, with the initial subvention of over 27 billion naira set aside for the pilot venture. When a farmer wishes to participate in the new initiative, he or she is required to act upon an alert sent to the each and every prospective farmer, with the alert usually containing information on the availability of fertilizers and seeds and their likely cost in the Village Agricultural Store, usual a small branch of a private enterprise participating in the new agricultural initiative, pending

which the farmer goes to the agriculture store with the correspondence notification and inquires on the prices of needed farm inputs, before paying for only half the price on a voucher that the private agricultural enterprise later presents for reimbursement to the appropriate governmental agency, evidently, a novel concept that effectively shields the corrupt civil servant from the process of agricultural subsidy operation, because no monetary allocation and contractual undertaking passes through the hands of those parasitic government officials. Historically, periods before the beginning of the rainy season have always been a time of monumental vanishing acts, as hundreds of lorry convoys make a disappearing act that could easily put the best magician to shame while contractors, have the unique Nigerian gift of making massive tones of fertilizers to vanish from our highways in broad day light, without the usual mystery of organized stage supporting service. Thus, when a new concept that seeks to exclude such a counterproductive bunch of individuals was mooted, a lot of Nigerians hailed the idea as a great relief to the much abused and neglected agricultural industry, because the initiative would allow the farmers to get their due in governmental support, without the disruptive influence of armchair profiteers.

While the initiative could be great in its conceptualization, it is on the area of its practical application that problems are likely to arise, especially when the famous Nigerian factor is inserted into the cataclysmic mix. Because of the fact that the policy is premised upon so many assumptions; a farmer owning and operating a handset and being able to write or access texting service, the ability of agricultural inputs company to be present in proximate localities, the subsidy payment voucher being a sacred instrument that is not easily susceptible to manipulations for corrupt purposes. The simple truth is that while the initiative could be of noble intention, as it is said to be applicable in other countries similar to Nigeria and far outweighing us in progress on agricultural production, the concept is highly prone to abuse as it is still within the purview of influence of the much vilified civil servants, more so as the private sector in Nigeria always driven by unethical profit motive, have a documented history of collusion for corruption purposes with government agencies. While the ordinary Nigerian citizen talk less of the farmer does not have a great history with automated financial instruments, as all such modern initiatives gets abused through the infamous acts of fraudulence. Nasiru Suwaid



Interview Nigerian youths are part of the problem —Tarok Youth Leader Lets meet you sir, My names are Pirtim Andrew Bali. I am the Leader of Ngwang Ishi Otarok (NIO)Facebook, a youth group movement on the internet. I also work with Diamond Bank in Abuja. Sir, you were quoted somewhere, saying that the Nigerian youth is lost and blinded by material things. In essence what do you mean? Certain realities in our context speak for themselves. It is no news that the Nigerian youth prefer to be a beggar. He is contented with begging as a profession and does not want to work for himself. In present Nigeria, the youths, instead of working hard to be the leaders that they ought to be or should be preparing to be, prefer to be instrument of destructions. They are used by politicians to anchor their grievances whenever they are in disfavour with certain policies. The waves of violence in the country is fuelled by the political class but executed by the youths, making the society to see the youths as gullible object of manipulation in the hand of few who control the economy of this country. The future of the youth is bleak, owing to their acceptance of the role that the politicians bestowed on them. What category of youths you are referring to? We have those who have gone to school and are working hard to earn a living. Let me tell you the truth, those who have gone to school are worst than the illiterates. These two categories of youths play different roles to the same people. Those you called literates, owing to their knowledge of the western education are cajoled with money, to be script writers, speech writers, secretaries and personal assistants on various affairs while those who were not privileged to attain western education help as political thugs to fuel violence and snatch ballot boxes during elections when the votes are not in favour of their lords. In this analogy, you would see that the youths are used in various forms to achieve victory for their lords who just sit in one comfort zone and use his money to direct these classes of people to perform certain roles for him and execute it the way it pleases him. Economic empowerment seems to be the reason for these whole problems. Should we attribute it to poverty? One thing with Nigerians is that they have a perfect way of attributing their failures to something; someone must always take the blame. Poverty is an issue everywhere not only in Nigeria. But it is just that here so much emphasis is being laid on money. That is why you see people eschewing virtue for money. One other thing is that we are not patient, we don't want things to happen gradually, and we all want quick change. We want to make money at all cost so as to belong and join the class of other people. It is only in such environments that you see a lot of violence simply because we don't want to work and wait for the right time, where we can reap what we sow. It is also a known fact that these leaders know our short coming as youth in Nigeria. In other climes, the youths

Pirtim Andrew Bali, a banker and a unionist, is also the leader of the Tarok Youth Association. In this interviewwith Tobias Lengman Dapam, he blamed Nigerian youths for the current societal problems and gave reasons for his feelings.

Pirtim Andrew Bali

are drivers for change. We have seen it in Egypt and other neighbouring countries where the youths want the whole system to change for the entire people and not for the few privileged. Until we are able to put selfishness and greed aside we will not go anywhere. Lets talk about your immediate community, as a youth leader, how have you been able to change these realities in to something better for the youths? In my immediate community, we have device a platform to bring the people together, through a social network like face book, tweeter and other forms to communicate to them and set an agenda for discussion, which will connect all the youths in the community so as to be self reliant, to work for themselves and create other means of business instead of the unnecessary rural urban migration which will not benefit a lot of them. I discovered that people can make meaningful business in the village instead of migrating to cities for white collar jobs. We have a lot of economic trees in the village which can fetch them money. Recently, research has shown that the oil and seed produced from Moringa tree can cure over 250 ailments. There is a group that uses it on facebook and when you click like on it, you will get money

that is to show you that people are making money from this business. We have these trees in the village and our parents use it to fence their houses, imagine if we can exploit the economic importance of this tree and begin to engage these youths to hold on to themselves so as to be productive. We are already hatching a plan to buy the machine that will extract this oil. We have also been able to connect those in the rural areas with those in the cities, through a community programme that takes everyone home during festivity to communicate to them in the language, most especially some of our girls who feel they are more western than Americans. There is every need for cultural renaissance so as to inculcate the values in the people to first know where they are coming from and how they can help the society and bring about change. To engage everyone in this project, during Easter we organised a mountain climbing program and all the youths climbed the mountain. It was tiring, at some point you want to give up but someone said you are almost there, giving you the encouragement that you are almost there, you strive to catch up with the next person. I was tired myself but I can't let them down so I continued. On the mountain, we invited

motivational speakers to talk to us and encourage us to be self reliant so as not to keep depending on someone but yourself. We have also outlined some projects to be carried out in December. We are going to plant 5000 Moringa trees in Langtang North and South. We are also organising music show and competitions where talented youths into music will show case their Talents and the winners go home with prices. We have also planned to organised extra moral lessons for students in secondary schools. The NIO youths in different areas of specialisation will go to classrooms and teach. These and many more we want to do for ourselves. We want to contribute to the building of our society. We can make ourselves and not waiting for government or godfather somewhere. Somebody said the youths in your area are proud because they feel they have prominent people from the area. That is part of the idea of this movement. I told them to begin to look inward and see the potentials that they are made up of instead of calling names of prominent people like Jeremiah Useni, John Shagaya, Domkat Bali and others who have made names for themselves. We communicate to them the values of individualism and how they can be productive to themselves and the community. Most of them are realising this, that is why in my community there is massive awareness of the youths and I am happy to say there is a wind of transformation basking in the air; it is just a matter of time for the youths to reclaim their rightful place. That is how the wind of change began in other parts of the world and the history has always been the same. No one can do it for us if we don't do it for ourselves. I use to tell them that you can be a Shagaya or Useni of tomorrow. They also started from somewhere; so your destiny is in your hands to begin to work hard so you don't just constitute nuisance where the society will be tired of you but where the society will keep looking for you. What would you like to tell Nigerian youths, most of whom have resort to violence as the only means of registering their grievances? I will tell Nigerian youths to use the social network as an agent of transforming the ignorant ones, so that the youths will speak with one voice and elect leaders who would do the wish of the people and not those who steal election and turn their back on the people when it matter most. We should view ourselves as agents of change and we should not allow ourselves to be used as instruments of destruction, though one of Nigeria’s problems is that the weak are working while the energetic youths are in the street. Let's realise our problems and turn our energies into something better so that we will be agents of change and not nuisance.



Wellness Zone

Phyllis Ogo Ogah +234 80 58425746 (sms) only

A starters guide to walking

Walking is a form of activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and gender.


e l l o friends and welcome back from the May Day break. I hope you all had a nice time out relaxing, and of course taking part in the May Day rallies. Its show time and I hope your trainers and workout gear are ready? This weekend we'll be looking at a starters guide to walking which you can adjust to suit your various fitness levels and a post working stretching routine. Remember not to take fluids caffeinated fluids or heavy food 30 minutes before hitting the road except where it is medically advised. Grab your pedometer, heart rate monitor and water bottle and let's get cracking. Warm Up Activity Cool DownTot Week 1 Session A Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 5 min. Walk slowly for5 min. Total time, 15 min. Session B-Repeat above pattern. Session C-Repeat above pattern. Continue with at least three exercise sessions during each week of the program. Week 2 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 7 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 17 min. Week 3 Walk slowly for5 min. Walk briskly for9 min. Walk slowly for5 min. Total

time,19 min. Week 4 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for11 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 21 min. Week 5 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for13 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 23 min. Week 6 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 15 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 25 min. Week 7 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for18 min. Walk slowly for5 min. Total time, 28 min. Week 8 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 20 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 30 min. Week 9 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 23 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 33 min. Week 10 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 26 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 36 min. Week 11 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 28 min. Walk slowly for5 min. Total time, 38 min. Week 12 Walk slowly for 5 min. Walk briskly for 30 min. Walk slowly for 5 min. Total time, 40 min. Post work out stretches Flexibility training is an important ingredient of overall fitness. It is



Calv es Calves

Place one heel on a raised surface, kneel softly, push your torso forward from the hips.

Bend one knee, pulling your heel to your bottom. Use the same hand as heel. Keep your knees aligned together and tuck your pelvis under and forward.

Stand on a raised platform with soft knees. Drop one heel down.

Shoulder s Shoulders & Back

Gluteals & IT Band

Place hands against the wall or on a table? Height platform. Step back, align hips over ankles, and drop torso between your arms.

Begin seated with legs extended out. Bend one knee, crossing the foot over the straight leg. Wrap opposite arm over bend leg and rotate torso.

beneficial to have a structured stretching program, such as a weekly yoga class. However, taking a few minutes to stretch after each workout helps prevent muscle soreness and injury, so that you can keep moving forward toward your fitness goals. Below are six stretches that cover most major muscle groups. You may need to add a few more, depending on the specific

movements of your cardiovascular and strength training. Your range of motion for each stretch should be at a point of comfortable, moderate tension in the muscle. Hold each stretch for minimum 15 to 30 seconds and up to 60 seconds if time permits. Repeat unilateral stretches on each side of the body. Keep a steady inhalation and exhalation as you hold each stretch.


HEAL TH CO ACH TIP OF THE WEEK HEALTH COA The lymphatic system cleans all the tissues of the body. Avoid wearing tight clothing when unnecessary, which will obstruct the flow of lymph in your body. Keep moving.

Place hands/forearms on either side of an open Door way. Gently lean forward through the doorway.



International Clashes as thousands protest Egypt’s military Egyptian armed forces and protesters have clashed in Cairo, as troops used water cannon and rocks to disperse demonstrators trying to reach the Defense Ministry. Hundreds of troops guarding the ministry surged forward on Friday when protesters began cutting through barbed wire used to seal off the ministry building in Cairo’s central Abbasiya neighbourhood. “We understand that just a few minutes ago, the protesters tried to remove the barrier with barbed wire between themselves and the defense ministry,” said Al Jazeera’s Steve Chao, reporting from Cairo. “Security forces responded with water canons. Protesters responded with rocks.” He also said that the military forces say their actions are in “self defense”. Friday’s mass protests came amid heightened tension after 11 people were killed in clashes that broke out on Wednesday when unidentified assailants fired at protesters staging a sit-in outside the ministry of defence in Cairo. Protesters plastered Cairo’s Tahrir square with banners reading, “Down with military rule”. “I’m telling the military council… enough bloodshed, enough fabricated crisis, enough unleashing of thugs on the public, enough destruction… we want them to transfer power to an independent transitional authority tomorrow,” Akrami Darwish, a protester, said on Friday.


At least 11 people were killed on Wednesday after unidentified group attacked protesters in Cairo [AFP]

The protests, to “protect the revolution and halt the bloodshed”, are expected to draw people from all major political formations in Egypt, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, a section of the Salafist movement and the liberal activist movements. Several pro-democracy movements, including April 6, as well as the powerful Muslim Brotherhood said they would be joining the protests in Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

The ultra-conservative Salafi movement, which has become increasingly popular recently, is also participating in the rallies. Its candidate, Hazem Abu Ismail, was disqualified because his mother had dual Egyptian-US nationality. In Cairo they plan to demonstrate in Tahrir Square - the epicentre of protests that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year - but some have said they plan to gather outside the defence ministry, prompting the army to issue a warning.

“If anyone approaches its (installations), they should hold themselves responsible,” General Mokhtar al-Mulla, a member of the ruling military council, said on Thursday. Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said: “It has really boiled down to an issue of trust. Whatever the ruling military council promises, people simple don’t trust them, at least the protesters.” “It is definitely turning into a battle of the wills between the two sides,” she said.

Ukraine rejects Russian refuge for Tymoshenko


kraine has rejected an offer by Russia for Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed former prime minister, to receive medical treatment in Moscow. Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin had on Thursday offered to host the opposition leader in Russia for treatment after claims of abuse in detention. “It was president elect Vladimir Putin who made this offer to the Ukrainian authorities on Thursday saying it would be our pleasure for Yulia Tymoshenko to come to Russia for medical treatment,” Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reported from Moscow on Friday. “But it was swiftly followed by a rebuttal from the Ukrainian prosecution office saying they would not allow this to happen for a prisoner to leave the country for medical treatment under


he unrepentant brother of the man who killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was released from prison after serving 16 1/2 years for complicity in a murder that stunned Israel, and according to some destroyed an opportunity for peace. Hagai Amir, 43, is not known to have expressed remorse

Rival Sudans agree to AU roadmap

Yulia Tymoshenko has been on hunger strike since April 20, protesting what she calls mistreatment in prison [Reuters] Ukrainian law.” Tymoshenko, 51, has been on a hunger strike since April 20 to

protest her alleged beating by wardens in a prison where she is serving a controversial seven-

Israel releases accomplice in Rabin murder for his role in the death, and upon his release on Friday, he told Israel Radio, “I am proud of what I did.” Amir helped plan the 1995 killing. His brother Yigal Amir, an ultra-nationalist Jewish

extremist, is serving a life sentence for killing the prime minister after a Tel Aviv peace rally. Channel 2 TV showed several dozen peace activists outside the prison ahead of Amir’s release

year term for abuse of office charges some say were politically motivated. Putin made the offer in a bid to defuse the crisis that is putting pressure on the Ukraine ahead of it co-hosting next month’s Euro 2012 football tournament with Poland. But Putin has also rallied to his neighbour’s defence by saying he disagreed with EU states’ attempts to mix politics with sport. Turton said the reaction to Putin was the same response the Ukrainian authorities gave to Germany after it also offered Tymoshenko medical attention there. German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Ukrainian leaders on Thursday to give Tymoshenko “proper treatment” for her ailments. holding signs reading, “We won’t forgive, we won’t forget.” As Amir exited the prison and was whisked away in a white van, they chanted “disgrace.” Amir was greeted by his mother and was expected to be taken to a relative’s house in a Jewish West Bank settlement for his first night of freedom.

udan has endorsed the African Union’s (AU) roadmap to avert an allout war with South Sudan, though it insisted on retaining the right to selfdefence. Earlier on Thursday, South Sudan said it had accepted the AU’s sevenpoint roadmap that called for a cessation of hostilities. Based on the seven-point roadmap, the two countries have until next Tuesday to restart stalled negotiations and three months to reach an agreement. The AU is trying to get the two sides to again negotiate the countries’ shared border, citizenship matters and oil revenue sharing. The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution threatening Khartoum and Juba with sanctions if they failed to silence the guns and resume talks within two weeks, endorsing the AU’s deadline of May 8. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday accepting the AU plan as well as the UN resolution.

Mali army commanders say Bamako under control rmy commanders in Mali


say that they have regained control of the capital following three days of skirmishes. Bamako has been tense since soldiers loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure attempted to stage a counter coup on Monday. Hospital officials said at least 22 people were killed in fighting between Toure’s loyalists and soldiers behind the earlier coup. The leader of the March coup blamed the counter-coup on “foreign elements backed by dark forces from inside the country”. West Africa’s regional bloc, who met in Mali for negotiations, said it soon will deploy forces to Mali, a plan already rejected by the country’s ruling junta. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the president of the commission of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, said the group intended to send forces immediately but still needed to consult with its partners about financing the deployment. The announcement came late Thursday after hours of meetings in the Senegalese capital that were aimed at resolving the political impasses in Mali and Guinea-Bissau following recent coup d’etats.




Floyd Mayweather Miguel Cotto (L) Avs Manny Pacquiao, Manny fights for the WBA title with Floyd Mayweather today


fter five days of confinement in Bamako, Mali, members of the Sunshine Stars returned home yesterday amidst concern over their safety. Sunshine Stars, who were in Bamako to honour a CAF Champions League date with Djoliba FC of Bamako, could return as expected on Tuesday because of renewed fighting between rebel groups for the control of Mali’s capital city. The insurgence led to the closure of the airport as well as major streets in Bamako. This meant that 10 persons including Super Eagles Assistant coach, six players, two journalists and an official of the team could not return on Tuesday after the first batch of the contingent left on Monday were unable to do so the following day. The team left the Bamako International Airport at about noon following Mali’s government assurances that airport would be opened for them to fly out to Cotonou, Benin Republic from where they would connect a flight to Lagos and then hit Akure by road. An official of the team, who spoke shortly before their departure praised the Mali FA for taking good care of them even as he said the experience was traumatic and would need time

Trapped Sunshine Stars return, at last before they overcome the aftermath of their experience. It would be recalled that on Wednesday, Malian authorities had said the earliest Sunshine could depart was next week Monday, but following diplomatic pressure they changed its initial stance that made it possible for the team to leave. Also, on Thursday, heavily armed soldiers ransacked a room of one of

Falconts tackle Congo DR for Japan ticket


igeria’s U-20 female host their Congo DR counterparts today in the first leg of the FIFA U-20 World Cup ticket. The Nigerians had whitewashed their Zimbabwean colleagues 6-0 aggregate while the visitors oveercame Malian women to earn a

Gbenga Ogunbote, coach of Sunshine Stars

the players stranded in Bamako with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) expressing “deep concerns” for the safety of the team in Mali. A military aircraft Thursday airlifted trapped Al Ahly of Egypt from Bamako, while the Nigerian government was still grappling with the decision of sending a Nigerian Airforce jet to ferry the team home or not.

Arsenal to play match in Nigeria Page 42

Robin Van Persie

clash against the Falconets. However, the Falconets know that today’s clash won’t be a walk in the park because the visitors will parade nine senior team’s players two more than their hosts who would have the benefit of seven Super Falcons’ players.

Coach Edwin Okon should throw in the likes of Esther Sunday, Desire Oparanozie and Ebere Orji among others to complement the fresh blood in the squad to fight for the maximum points. Of course, they have the support of Abeokuta soccer fans who have always stood behind

FA Cup: LIverpool or Chelsea, whose cup? Page 44

them as had the NFF which have made all necessary arrangements to boost their comfort. According to the Acting scribe of the football federation, Musa Amadu, all incentives have been placed at the disposal of the team to ensure that the players concentrate and the job of dismissing their opponents with relative ease.

Coach Edwin Okon



Niger Tornadoes reel over N100m debt N

iger State Commissioner for Sports Development, Alhaji Hassan Abdulahi, yesterday said that Niger Tornadoes FC are owing players and individuals about N100 million, a debt he said had accumulated since the 2009 season till the present one. Hassan made the disclosure when he handed over the club’s papers and other documents to the club’s newly constituted management team in Minna, the capital of Niger State. “Tornadoes owe over N100 million in liabilities. These include sign-on fees, match bonuses, salaries and payments to individuals that rendered various services to the team. “We carry out verification on the issue before we commence payment. We started with the players and technical team by telling them to forward information on the amount owed them to the new management.’’ Hassan said the ministry and

Gov. Babangida Aliyu management committee would look at the documents available and ascertain the actual amount owed by the club and approach the state government to commence payment. The commissioner advised the

management committee against borrowing money to manage the club as was done in the past, saying that a by-law would be released to enable the management know the limit of its powers. He urged the committee to work as a team and carry the players along so as to improve on their performances, in order for them to move out of the current relegation zone. “We want you to turn Niger Tornadoes around. It is not a task beyond your capability. For us, we are going to give you the necessary support to make sure that you succeed. “Very soon, the state governor will meet with you to iron out a few things that will assist you to move the team forward.’’ Responding, Alhaji Abdulahi Paiko, the chairman of the new management committee, re-assured government that the committee would ensure that the club did not go on relegation in spite of the threat before them.

ABS settles players’ salary arrears T

he Management of the Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC, Ilorin, has paid the three months salary arrears and outstanding bonuses to the players and officials, to return them to winning ways. The Team Manager, Mr Alloy Chukwuemeka, who confirmed the payment in a statement signed by the club’s Media Officer, Jimoh Bashir, yesterday, attributed the team’s decline in performance in the league to unpaid salaries and hopes that the situation would change for better now that the

backlog of debts has been cleared. The club, which occupied the fifth position at the end of first round, playing nine matches unbeaten, now slumped to 14 th position, due to the backlog of salaries and allowances. The ABS management, in a statement, described Wednesday’s 1-3 home defeat to the visiting Sharks of Port Harcourt as the worst result so far in the history of the club. It described the defeat as ‘unfortunate and a big set-back to the club’s aspiration to finish amongst the

top four teams at the end of the season.’ The management also blamed the loss to lack of fitness and psychological imbalance on the part of the players. “We hereby assure the teeming fans and supporters of the only privatelyowned club of our readiness to make appreciable impact in the league, as well as the Federation cup.” The management had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Technical Director of the Kwara Football Academy, Paul Ashworth, as an observer coach.

Local fabrics ‘Adire’ for Falconets


layers and officials of the Falconets, currently in Abeokuta for today’s 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifier, were yesterday presented with “tie-and-dye” fabrics, popularly known as ‘adire’ The national U-20 team would play against their Congo DR counterparts at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta. Adire is a popular fabric produced in Abeokuta, a city known for its rich culture. The gift, donated by the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson, was presented on her behalf by a journalist, Mr Kunle Oluwusi. A statement by Ejiro FemiBabafemi, Media Officer of the National U20 Women Team, described Lawson as a patroness of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club. The statement stated that the donation was part of Lawson’s contribution to the team’s success. Two members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Subcommittee, Paul Bassey, and the General Coordinator of the women national teams, Aisha Falode, were on hand to give pep talks to the players. Falode, a member of the CAF media committee, urged the girls to maintain a strong character against their opponents. “This is the biggest of all matches since the qualifiers started. You are playing against an opposition that eliminated Cameroon and Mali, two of the biggest teams on the continent,” she said. Bassey said: “Congo is not Zimbabwe. There are nine players in the senior national team that are in this present side that you will be facing tomorrow (Saturday). You have to score at least four goals to make the return leg much easier’’. The match is the final round and the first leg of the Africa qualifying series which will be concluded in a fortnight. The winners of the two-legged encounter will represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan.

France eyes 41 medals Arsenal to play match in Nigeria A at London Olympics


rance aims to win 41 medals, 14 of them gold at the London Olympic Games, said French Sports Minister David Douillet has said. “The French Olympic team should comprise some 340 sportsmen and women, and the French Paralympics team, some 175 sportsmen and women and guides,” the minister said in a statement. “France has set target of 41 medals, 14 of them gold at the London Olympic Games, and a target of 52 medals, 16 of them gold, at the London Paralympics Games. “The government has played an active role in preparing for the games. “The elite athletes’ training and preparation programme was overhauled at the start of the current Olympiad to make it more

personally tailored to their needs,” the minister noted. The minister, according to the statement, also confirmed that a financial investment was made in revamping facilities at the establishments involved in preparing high-level sportsmen and women. He also added that the human resources allocated by the government have been maintained. The summer Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in London from July 27 to Aug. 12, 2012 and from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9, 2012 respectively. Some 10,500 athletes representing some 205 nations and regions will participate in the Olympic Games and 4,200 athletes representing some 150 nations and regions will take part in the Paralympics Games.

rsenal will play a top African national team in Nigeria this summer as part of the English Premier League side’s global preseason tour that also includes visits to China and Malaysia. Arsenal’s first match ever on Nigerian soil will be at the 60,000seater Abuja National Stadium on August 5 against opposition yet to be

Robin van Persie, Arsenals skipper

confirmed. It will be the London club’s first visit to Africa since a tour to South Africa in 1993. The match in Abuja will conclude a preseason tour that starts in Kuala Lumpur when the team plays a Malaysia XI on July 24. Arsenal plays Manchester City in Beijing three days later and Kitchee FC in Hong Kong on July 29.



Blake battles Bolt in Kingston showdown today Yohan Blake wins World Championship in Daegu August last year.

By Patrick Andrew with agency report


wo of the world’s 100m rave of the moment, World and Olympic champions and current world leaders led by double World record holder Usain Bolt and the youngest IAAF men’s World 100m champion Yohan Blake will compete against each other this evening at the Jamaica Invitational Tournament, an IAAF World Challenge meeting. Since making a sensational false start in Daegu,

Xiang, Kipruto, Felix, Montsho go to the wire in Kawasaki


he Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, Japan, takes place tomorrow afternoon with featuring eleven men’s events and seven women’s events featuring. Four events will be the standout shows. Liu Xiang, 2004 Olympic and 2007 World 110m Hurdles champion, is back into top form this season having already taken silver at the World Indoor Championships in March, and set an Area indoor record for the 60m Hurdles earlier in the indoor season. The Kawasaki meeting will be his 2012 outdoor opener. Birmin Kipruto, the 2008 Olympic and 2007 World 3000m Steeplechase champion, will face stiff competition from his main challenger, Jonathan Ndiku, 2008 and 2010 World Junior champion. Ndiku, improved his personal best by 10 seconds last year and may be ready to improve it by a large margin again this season. Roba Gari who was fifth at 2011 World Championships should also be competing for the top spot on the podium. Allyson Felix, three-time World 200m champion (2005-2009), and Amantle Montsho, 2011 World 400m champion are the headline attractions from the women’s

South Korea, last September, Bolt has not confronted his training partner officially and would relish the opportunity to do so today. Blake went to win the race and only three weeks ago ran a world leading 9.90 seconds in rainy conditions at the UTech Classic and expectations are that Bolt should lower that time before moving on to the European circuit. Trinidad and Tobago’s Beijing Olympic Games silver medalist Richard Thompson, Antiguan Daniel Bailey, IAAF World Indoors 60m silver medalist Nesta Carter, relay gold medalist Michael Frater and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Lerone Clarke are also slated to take part in the event. But one person may be conspicuously missing: Asafa Powell, who had hoped to challenge Blake, the second fastest man over the 200m distance ever with 19.26 seconds done last year. Powell, who ran the anchor leg on his MVP team’s 4x100m Relay that finished second to an Usain Bolt-led Racers team three weeks ago, had complaint of groin injury and uptil late last night was yet to confirm a rethink on his non-participation. In the absence of Powell, Blake’s competition should come from Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure and Jamaica’s World University games champion Rasheed Dwyer and Nickel Ashmeade who won the event last year. World 200m leader American Carmelita Jeter will seek to defend her 100m title form last year and will have Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Bianca Knight, Kelly Ann Baptiste, Debbie Ferguson McKenzie as well as Olympic silver medallists Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson in what is expected to be one of the top races of the evening. World female 400m season leader Sanya Richards Ross who is seeking her first Olympic individual gold medal, returns to the country of her birth and will seek to atone for a disappointing fifth place last year. The Jamaica trio of Novlene Williams-Mills, Rosemarie Whyte and Kaliese Spencer who took the podium places last year are also expected to take part. Canada’s Pricilla Lopes-Schllep who was second in Guadeloupe on Tuesday (1 May) in her first race back after giving birth will face former World champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Vonette Dixon and last year’s side of the programme. Montsho, who showed class and form in Fukuroi on Wednesday by improving her personal best at 200m to 22.89 in the Shizuoka International, should dominate the 400m in Kawasaki, as Joanne Cuddihy and Mary Wineberg are unlikely to pose serious challenge. Felix will be running the 100m, rather than her specialty of 200m, and thus may have competition from Ivet Lalova, who was only eighth at 60 metres at the 2012 Amantle Montsho and Allyson Felix in stiff battle for at the Daegu Worlds

Usain Bolt surprise winner Tiki James in the 100m Hurdles. Reese has been one of the best female long jumpers in the world over the past two years and is coming off a win in the World Indoors and will come into the meet with a 7.12m world best. Americans Brianna Glenn and Janay Deloach as well as Jamaicans Jovanee Jarrett will also compete in the Long Jump. Hoffa who has a world season leading 21.73m distance to his credit will be the class of the field in the Shot Put. World Indoor Championships. Japanese fans will be looking for a national record from Chisato Fukushima. Fukushima recorded a 60m national indoor record in Istanbul, but Fukushima has yet to run a satisfactory outdoor race this year (11.34 at 100m and 23.12 at 200m). The men’s 100m is shaping up well. Kim Collins, 2003 World Champion, and Mike Rodgers, 2010 World Indoor silver medallist are the top international names but there is significant local interest too in the guise of Ryota Yamagata. The 19-year-old improved his 100m personal best from the 10.23 recorded last year to 10.08 in the Oda Memorial in Hiroshima on 29 April. He was fourth at 100m in the 2009 World Youth Championships, and perhaps will be able to further improve his 100m personal best in Kawasaki. Another Japanese runner to look out for is Takayuki Kishimoto. He improved his personal best at 400m Hurdles from 49.27 from 2011 to 48.88 in the Shizuoka International in Fukuroi on 3 May coming from behind to defeat Johnny Dutch, the 2008 World Junior Championships silver medallist. Kishimoto, the 2011 World University Games silver medallist, also competed in the 2011 World Championships but failed to advance out of the semis. After setting his personal best in Shizuoka, Kishimoto said, “Not only I am determined to go to the Olympics, but I consider the Olympics to be the race of redemption after what happened in Daegu last year.” He races against Dutch again on Sunday.



FA Cup: LIverpool or Chelsea, whose cup?

By Patrick Andrew


iverpool and Chelsea have had horrid season. Ironically, Liverpool won the Carling Cup at least to have a trophy in its cabinet. However, few clubs, especially the top four, hardly make that competition a priority. Chelsea started the season on the high: Andre Villas-Boas was brought in to take charge of the hugely rich club. Then, things fell apart. The floundered in the league, dropped points with reckless abandon and were at the verge of exiting the UEFA

Champions League when Roman Abramovich quite in tune to character showed AVB the exit door. In came Roberto Di Matteo, an ex-Chelsea who conjured magic first by upturning Napoli’s 3-1 advantage and incredibly stopped defending champions and World Clubs champions Barcelona in a dramatic fashion to secure a berth in the final of UEFA Champions League, something that was unimaginable in January. But like Liverpool, Chelsea have fared poorly in the Barclays league. Though they have had vast improvement since Di Matteo took over, next season’s Champions League campaign is almost an unattainable dream because of the fierce competition for top four placement. The Blues are four points adrift of Tottenham and Newcastle, the latter humbled them at the Stamford Bridge only last Wednesday, after Liverpool crashed before Fulham at Anfield the previous day. The Reds though rested nine regular players evidently to demonstrate their focus on today’s cup match. Chelsea at first did the same but later poured in all their big boys but failed to stop Demba Papa Cisse from hammering in the season’s best goal to secure a brace and effectively handed Newcastle their much needed succour in the race for Champions League slot. Now, Chelsea must beat Bayern Munich on May 19 to guarantee participation in Europe’s elite clubs fiesta. But first there

FACTS BOX * Liverpool have won the FA Cup seven times, Chelsea have won it six times, but neither club won it for the first 94 years of the competition’s existence until Liverpool’s 1965 win over Leeds United. * Chelsea’s first win was not until 1970 - also against Leeds United - 99 years after the competition started in the 187172 season. * Chelsea beat Liverpool 3-2 in the 2005 League Cup final but This will be the first time they have faced each other in the FA Cup final. Their last FA Cup meeting was in April 2006 when Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-1 in the semifinal. * This will be their 31st meeting against each other since October 2004 - a total that includes 10 meetings in the Champions League. * This will be Chelsea’s 11th appearance in an FA Cup final having won six times in 1970, 1997, 2000, 2007, 2009 and 2010. They were runners-up in 1915, 1967, 1994 and 2002. * Chelsea’s interim manager Roberto Di Matteo won two FA Cups with the club as a player - in 1997 he scored the fastest goal at the old Wembley stadium, after just 43 seconds in their 2-0 win over Middlesbrough and in 2000 he netted the last-ever Cup final goal at the old Wembley in their 1-0 win over Aston Villa. * The last two managers to win the FA Cup have been Italian - Roberto Mancini with Manchester City in their 1-0 win over Stoke City last year and Carlo Ancelotti for Chelsea in their 1-0 win over Portsmouth in 2010. * He can also become the fourth Italian, and the third for the club, to win the FA Cup after Ancelotti and Gianluca Vialli in 2000. * Ashley Cole has won the FA Cup six times (three with Chelsea, three with Arsenal), more than any other player. * Didier Drogba has scored seven goals in seven Wembley appearances and has scored three goals in FA Cup finals. * Liverpool’s Ian Rush holds the record with five goals in the Cup final scoring twice in 1986, twice in 1989 and once in 1992. * Liverpool are taking part in their 14th FA Cup final having won it in 1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2001 and 2006. Their six defeats were in 1914, 1950, 1971, 1977, 1988 and 1996. * In Kenny Dalglish’s last FA Cup final as manager, his Newcastle United side lost 2-0 to Arsenal in 1998. * Dalglish has previously won two FA Cups with the club - in 1986 (as player/manager) and in 1989 (as manager). * Like Drogba, Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard has scored in a previous final, netting twice in 2006 when Liverpool beat West Ham United on penalties after the match ended in a 3-3 draw.

is today’s hurdle: Liverpool. Twice in the league the Reds defeated the Blues, but that’s totally different from the task on hand: it’s an important game FA Cup Final. A trophy is at stake and Chelsea’s something in their trophy cabinet. Besides, they need the positive frame of mind ahead of the epic Champions League final and having the complement of depth in surplus, the Blues are unlikely to spare a thought for the afflictions which have been the lot of Liverpool. Yes, Anfield have lost its reputation as the fortress of Liverpool. This season, the Reds have surrendered 30 points to visiting teams and have only five games. Well, Wimbledon is today’s venue and Liverpool are likely to crave for the luck that they had against Cardiff in the Carling Cup final. That would depend on if Chelsea, as usual, under the influence of John Terry would that be. Terry, who led Chelsea to FA Cup glory in 2007, 2009 and 2010, will hope to become the first captain to win the FA Cup four times with one club. Arthur Kinnaird lifted the trophy four times in the early days of the competition, twice with the Wanderers in the 1870s and for the Old Etonians in 1879 and 1882. The Champions League finalists are bidding to win the FA Cup for the fourth time in six years and have all their players available for the trip to Wembley apart from injured central defenders David Luiz and Gary Cahill, who have hamstring problems. In form Fernado Torres, is vengeful, Solomon Kalou, one who has always had his way against Liverpool, and deadly Didier Drogba who is likely to pair upfront with Torres, Frank Lampard, John Mikel Obi, Branislav Ivanovic and their ever dependable safehands Petr Cech could be uncompromising. They did it against Spurs trouncing them 5-1 and went to whitewash Norwich 6-1 in a game Torres had his first Chelsea hat-trick. However, Liverpool, like Tottenham could cause the upset when least expected and some are wont to say that this might just be it. Steven Gerarrd, Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique, Jay Spearing, Pepe Reina, Steward Downing and Jordan Henderson, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger are the men to lead the charge against Chelsea. And they have always beaten the odds to decision Chelsea.



Polo: The game, the passion Compiled By Richard Ihediwa with online reports


ometimes called, “The Sport of Kings”, it was highly popularised by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet. The traditional sport of polo is played at speed on a large grass field up to 300 yards long by 160 yards wide, and each polo team consists of four riders and their mounts. Field polo is played with a solid plastic ball, which has replaced the wooden ball in much of the sport. In arena polo, only three players are required per team and the game usually involves more maneuvering and shorter plays at lower speeds due to space limitations of the arena. Arena polo is played with a small air-filled ball, similar to a small soccer ball. The modern game lasts roughly two hours and is divided into periods called chukkers. Polo is played professionally in 16 countries. It was formerly, but is not currently, an Olympic sport. The origin of Polo goes back to Persia. The game first played in Persia at dates given from the 5th century BC or much earlier. Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king’s guard or other elite troops. To the warlike tribesmen, who played it with as many as 100 to a side, it was a miniature battle. In time polo became an Iranian national sport played normally by the nobility. Women as well as men played the game, as indicated by references to the queen and her ladies engaging King Khosrow II Parviz and his courtiers in the 6th century AD. From Persia, in medieval times polo spread to the Byzantines and after the Muslim conquests to the Ayyubid and Mameluke dynasties of Egypt and the Levant, whose elites favoured it above all other sports. Later on Polo was passed from Persia to other parts of Asia including the Indian subcontinent and China, where it was very popular during the Tang Dynasty and frequently depicted in paintings and statues. Valuable for training cavalry, the game was played from Constantinople to Japan by the Middle Ages. Known in the East as the Game of Kings The name polo is said to have been derived from the Tibetan word “pulu”, meaning ball. The modern game of polo, though formalised and popularised by the British, is derived from Manipur (now a state in India) where the game was known as ‘Sagol Kangjei’, ‘Kanjai-bazee’, or ‘Pulu’. It was the anglicised form of the last, referring to the wooden ball which was used, that was adopted by the sport in its slow spread to the west. The first polo club was established in the town of Silchar in Assam, India, in 1834. Polo later spread to Europe and Americas in the mid 1800s. In 1862 the first polo club, Calcutta Polo Club, was established by two British soldiers, Captain Robert Stewart and Major General Joe Shearer. Later they spread the game to their peers in England. The British are credited with spreading polo worldwide in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. Military officers imported the game to Britain in the 1860s.

The rules of polo are written and used to provide for the safety of both players and horses. The rules are enforced in the game by the umpires who blow whistles when a penalty occurs. Each team consists of four mounted players, which can be mixed teams of both men and women. Each position assigned to a player has certain responsibilities: Number One is the most offence-oriented position on the field. The Number One position generally covers the opposing team’s Number Four. Number Two has an important role in offence, either running through and scoring themselves, or passing to the Number One and getting in behind them. Defensively, they will cover the opposing team’s Number Three, generally the other team’s best player. Given the difficulty of this position, it is not uncommon for the best player on the team to play Number Two so long as another strong player is available to play Three. Number Three is the tactical leader and must be a long powerful hitter to feed balls to Number Two and Number One as well as maintaining a solid defence. The best player on the team is usually the Number Three player, usually wielding the highest handicap. Number Four is the primary defence player. They can move anywhere on the field, but they usually try to prevent scoring. The emphasis on defence by the Number Four allows the Number Three to attempt more offensive plays, since they know that they will be covered if they lose the ball. Polo must be played righth a n d e d . Strategic plays in polo are based on the “line of the ball”, an imaginary line created by the ball as it travels down the field. This line traces the ball’s path and extends past

the ball along that trajectory. The line of the ball defines rules for players to approach the ball safely. These rules are created and enforced to ensure the welfare of players and their horses. The “line of the ball” changes each time the ball changes direction. The player who hit the ball generally has the right of way, and other players cannot cross the line of the ball in front of that player. As players approach the ball, they ride on either side of the line of the ball giving each access to the ball. A player can cross the line of the ball when it does not create a dangerous situation. Most fouls and penalty shots are related to players improperly crossing the line of the ball or the right of way. When a player has the line of the ball on his right, he has the right of way. A “ride-off” is when a player moves another player off the line of the ball by making shoulder-to-shoulder contact with the other players’ horses. The defending player has a variety of opportunities for his or her team to gain possession of the ball. He or she can push the opponent off the line or steal the ball from the opponent. Another common defensive play is called “hooking.” While a player is taking a swing at the ball, his or her opponent can block the swing by using his or her mallet to hook the mallet of the player swinging at the ball. A player may not purposely touch another player, his or her tack or pony with his or her mallet. Unsafe hooking is a foul that will result in a penalty shot being awarded. It is a foul for a player to reach over an opponent’s mount in an attempt to hook.



Democracy Watch From the National Assembly

From the Villa

Occupy Nigeria Season II

Subsidy probe: House, W cabal and the rest of us By Richard Ihediwa


i n c e the House of Representatives adopted the report of the Farouk Lawan committee which probed the alleged mismanagement of the subsidy scheme and indicted some top government officials and some oil companies, Nigerians have been waiting to see if the legislature can take the next bold step to get its well a p p l a u d e d recommendations implemented by the executive, which members were found wanting. The committee presented a damning report in which is indicted Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani AlisonMadueke, former National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Ali who was Chairman of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Gombe state governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, who was Accountant General of the Federal as well as the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and some other oil companies. Though the House at plenary cleared Dankwambo of blames, lawmakers tighten the noose on Alison-Madueke, Ahmadu Ali, NNPC and the other oil companies and recommended that the Presidency should kick the footstool.

However, since the adoption of the report by the committee, Nigerians have been waiting for the next move, which they expect should be the commencement of punitive measures against those indicted. Already some groups, including pro-democracy organizations have been calling for the sack and prosecution of indicted government officials with some of them giving the Federal Government two weeks to act or face mass action by the people. This is coming against the backdrop of insistence by the National Assembly that its powers as vested by the Constitution ends at exposing corruption from where the executive should take over and bring the culprits to book. Nigerians are quick to remember that this position of the National Assembly saw to the sweeping under the carpet of the issues raised in the power probe by the House of Representatives, the privatisation probe by the Senate among others. There are fears that the same will happen to the subsidy probe and the pensions probe unless drastic measures were taken to get the recommendations implemented. The position was however worsened by the Wednesday outburst by the Presidency that the report was shallow and selective. This came on the heels of recent statements by some members of the executive, including Information Minister,

However, since the adoption of the report by the committee, Nigerians have been waiting for the next move, which they expect should be the commencement of punitive measures against those indicted.

Labaran Maku that resolutions of the National Assembly were merely advisory and not binding on government to implement. On Wednesday, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak in condemning the report as shallow pointing out that the President was even yet to receive it. Gulak argued that the report should have included past petroleum ministers including Rilwanu Lukman and former Group General Managers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) especially, Mohammed Barkindo, both of whom he noted served during the period under probe. This raised some question as the Special Adviser on the President on National Assembly, Senator Joy Emodi had last week assured Nigerians that the President was on the same page with the House of Representatives on the issue. Emodi had said that President Jonathan welcome the probe by the House of Representatives and added that he was poised to sanitise the oil sector and to ensure transparency and probity in the industry by not sparing anyone found culpable on the issues. Stating that the probe by the House of Representatives was in line with Federal Government anti-graft war in the petroleum industry, Emodi said it was wrong for some quarters to claim that there was uneasiness in the administration over the recommendations of the Farouk Lawan committee. However, Nigerians appear not to be at home with the seeming politicisation of the issues and may have decided to take the horse to the water and force it to drink water. The issues may only have started unfolding

h e n on January 1 2012, the F e d e r a l Government decided to murder sleep and jerked up the pump price of fuel from N65 to N141 as part of its deregulation policy, Nigerians from all walks life took to the streets in protest, telling government to go to hell that they had had enough. In announcing the policy, government appeared to have under estimated the potential reaction of people. The same government that has failed to provide stable power after all the billions was now asking people to pay more for fuel which they use for their vehicles and power generators. From Gani Fawehinmi Park in Lagos to Ilorin, to Abuja and to Kano, the rejection was total as the rest is now history. And now that the Farouk Lawan-led House of Representatives committee has unearthed more mind boggling atrocities about the subsidy regime than the Executive ever thought of, it is expected that the people who stole trillions of naira and subject poor Nigerians to avoidable hardship will be brought to book. But what do we have, Presidency huffing and puffing about implementing the report, ministers singing discordant tunes, top government officials raising arguments against the report and all that. To cut the long story short, the January protest would have come to nought if the civil society, labour, media and the generality of Nigerians don't rise again in the case government fails to act on the report. Listen to President Jonathan's Political Adviser, Ahmed Gulak who spoke to some State House correspondents during the week on the issue :“it looks like the probe is targeted at some individuals: “Why did they not invite Rilwanu Lukman? He was the minister of petroleum resources during the period of the probe? Where is Mohammed Barkindo who was the Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the time? Where are the other


By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem 08098639161 key actors who where at the vanguard of the subsidy regime? The House of Representatives must probe these individuals before we can truly say they are doing the right thing otherwise the report will lack credibility. What is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” Good talk. But Gulak appears to be looking for the slightest excuse to get the report burried. Talking about some people that were not questioned which he claimed affected the credibility of the report, that reminds me of the Nuhu Ribadu days at the helm of affairs of the EFCC. I was always defending him anytime this issue of selectivity arose because culprists will just use part of their stolen wealth and run to the media to whip up sentiments anytime Ribadu sought to investigative their corrupt deals or arrest them as the case may be. If you say you should not be arrested because some persons had committed similar crimes without being touched, does that justify your own crime? Does that mean those yet to be touched will not questioned someday? A thief is a thief. The question is did you steal? Some of them even went to the ridiculous extent of obtaining cash and carry

court injunctions to stop EFCC from either investigating or arresting them. It was that bad. This column believes firmly that if there are 100 thieves in a society and the system arrests and punish only 20 even if 'selectively,' the society only becomes better for it. After all, its not a guarantee that the remaining 80 will remain untouchable forever. If we allow people like Gulak to have their way, the oil subsidy report will never be implemented. But we will appeal to Mr President because we know he will listen to us. We are not asking for too much. People lost their children in the January protest and the President told the world that he was ready to combat corruption in the subsidy regime. So, the time is now. Go ahead and prosecute them and recover EVERY kobo stolen by the crooks. We are not talking about plea bargaining or the kind of cases that will remain in courts till eternity, we mean something more serious please. After the people indicted by the present report are duly dealt with, we can now listen to Gulak on the need to hear from Rilwan Lukman and others. We know he is only trying to act as a brake on the wheel of progress.

And now that the Farouk Lawanled House of Representatives committee has unearthed more mind boggling atrocities about the subsidy regime than the Executive ever thought of, it is expected that the people who stole trillions of naira and subject poor Nigerians to avoidable hardship will be brought to book.



From the Pulpit Lord save me! “


mmediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’” (Matt 14:22 –33 NKJV) In verse 27 of the passage above, Jesus told the disciples “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Initially, Peter wasn’t afraid as he began to walk upon water but verse 30 says when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and began to sink. It is easier to criticize Peter than to step out of the boat like he did. Peter

might have been afraid and sinking, his next step was correct. As he was sinking he cried, “Lord save me!” Jesus did just that – he saved him. If Peter had not cried out for Jesus to save him, he would have drowned. So while many people focus on the fact that Peter was afraid and began to sink and criticized him for this, they fail to see that he did the right thing by calling upon Jesus to save him. That is a lesson for you and me. We may have erred by doing some things wrong but we should know the next right thing to do. Don’t concentrate on your efforts alone. Your best effort will, many times, not be enough without the help of God. Learn to look unto Jesus the author and the finisher of your faith (Heb 12:2). That three-word prayer “Lord save me” is probably one of the most powerful prayers you can ever pray. Learn to cry to the Lord to save you. It is not a show of weakness. It is recognition of your limitation, and a show of your faith in the Lord. Don’t perish There is another story in Matt 8:23-27 where that prayer “Lord save me!” comes to the fore again. “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” (NKJV) From that passage, you can see that the disciples were in a similar situation like Peter was. Jesus was in the boat with them, and Jesus was

sleeping while the tempest on the sea was beating against the boat. The disciples woke him up and cried, “Lord save us!” Jesus rebuked them for their little faith and rebuked the winds and the sea. Great calm was restored. You may blame the disciples for their lack of faith but they could also have kept quiet and perished. But they did the right thing. They knew where to get what they lacked. They knew who to call upon who was very much in the same boat with them. They didn’t die for their inaction. What do you do when you face a similar situation like the one Peter and the other disciples were in? You don’t have to perish because of your failure. Call upon the Lord to save you. Paul, quoting from Joel 2:32 says, “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Rm 10:13 NKJV). Peter also speaking in Acts 2:21 referred to this same scripture. There is no other condition given other than to call upon His name. “Lord save me!” No matter how precarious your condition is, learn to call upon his name; the Lord will save you no matter the danger. Cry “Lord save me!” It’s a short prayer but very powerful, very effectual. “Lord save me!” is an alarm to Heaven for divine intervention – it’s an SOS. “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” (Num 10:9 NKJV) Did you see that? “Lord save me!” is an alarm, and God will always respond to that alarm. The latter part of that scripture assures, “and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” Cry to the Lord When you cry “Lord save me!”

GREEN PASTURES By Pastor T.O. Banso GSM: 08033113523 what you’re saying to Heaven is that you are helpless but you put your trust in Heaven. Salvation belongs unto the Lord and he will save you. He saved Peter when he was sinking and held his hand and the two of them walked back into the boat. That means Peter still walked on water. You can still walk on the same water where you’re sinking. In the same area where you’ve failed, you can still succeed if you will cry to the Lord to save you. He will save that marriage, that business, that child etc. – all you need to do is not to be self-sufficient, self–confident, and cry to him to save you. You will experience a great calm if you cry to the Lord to save you in the midst of the raging storm in your life, home, career, health etc. Just as God saved Peter and the disciples, he saved David when he was in trouble fleeing from Absalom and he cried to the Lord to save him. David lamented his trouble and helplessness but didn’t fail to cry to the Lord to save him. (Ps 3:7-8) Pride will not let some people seek help from someone else until their trouble destroys them. But a man may try to justify not asking help from fellow humans but what justification will someone have for refusing to ask God to help him out of his trouble? What wisdom is there in that foolishness? Who are you trying to impress? You want to give credit to yourself, your intelligence, your efforts? You don’t want to give the glory to God?

David is considered a great warrior but not without God’s help; he never failed to ask for God’s help whenever he was at his wits end. David prayed a similar prayer in Ps 7:1-2, 116:1–14, 118:25. “Lord, save me.” Be wise! If you cry to the Lord to save you, you can rest assured that your trouble will not consume you because God’s presence is with you (Is 43:2, Jer 30:11, Isa 41:10). Lord save me! TAKE ACTION! If you are not born again, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God” I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.

The test of conviction and faithfulness (2) Daniel 3:1-18 2. THE CALL AND COERCION TO WORSHIP AN IDOL i k e most men, idolatrous and occultic men, Nebuchadnezzar was not content to worship his idol alone, he must have others worship with him and share in his condemnation. If they would not fall down and worship the golden image voluntarily, he must coerce, threaten and compel them to sin! Nebuchadnezzar's punishment for not worshipping his idol was severe but God's judgment for worshipping idols is eternally and infinitely more severe. His threatened punishment for refusal to worship his idol is temporary suffering. "And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace" (Daniel 3:6). God's judgment for worshipping idols is infinitely greater. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the ABOMINABLE, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and IDOLATERS, and


all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE". "AND SHALL BE TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT FOR EVER AND EVER " (Revelation 21:8; 19:20; 20:10; 14:9-11). "And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace" (Daniel 3:6). This was not an empty threat but a very serious realizable threat. Idol worshippers did not put much value on human life. They could even throw their own children into the fire to sacrifice to their gods. "They have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with THEIR IDOLS have they committed adultery, and HAVE CAUSED THEIR SONS, whom they bare unto Me, to PASS FOR THEM THROUGH THE FIRE, TO DEVOUR THEM " (Ezekiel 23:37; see also 2 Kings 16:3; 17:17; 2 Chronicles 33:6). Those who did not feel any restraint or pain in throwing their own children into the fire would not find it difficult casting those


Pastor W. F. Kumuyi who refuse their idolatry into the burning fiery furnace. Moreover Nebuchadnezzar was well known for his cruelty and brutality in dealing with rebels. Even today, there are idolaters, occultists and false, fanatical religionists who would rather have someone die than see them live not worshipping their false gods with them. The threat was to force and compel everyone to sin against

God through idol worship. Three believers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego remained uncompromising. Some cowardly conspirators reported them to the king. The king was furious and in his rage he repeated and reemphasized his threat, but these three committed believers stood their ground. The greater the rage of the king, the greater the resolve of these godly men. 3. THE COURAGE OF CONVICTION AGAINST IDOLATRY The situation was intimidating; the king was in a rage, angry and furious; the Chaldeans were indignant, the accusers were bitter, other Jews already had bowed and worshipped, the multitudes were watching, yet these three uncompromising non-conformists were unshakable in their conviction. Without inner strength and internal principle, external pressure can crush our will. Those who have lost real christian conviction and an internal principle of righteousness are

easily intimidated. They bow to pressure in order to avoid burning in the furnace. For these three conquerors, great was their affirmation of faith in God. They were absolutely committed to the pure worship of the true and living God. They accepted God's will even if it meant death. They were resolved, if need be, to die for God's holy cause. They had decided to worship God and to worship no other god; they had known the truth and made up their minds to live for the truth and to die for the truth. Neither the promise nor the punishment of the king was going to change their mind. The pressure was great but their purpose of heart was greater. The demand was irreversible and their decision was irrevocable. They conquered the unrighteous demand with their unhesitating determination. They were resolved to suffer rather than sin and leave the outcome in God's hands. The courage of conviction will always result in God's glory and be rewarded by God.

BIG PUNCH “We have nothing to lose but our chains as we embark on this patriotic and just resistance against the destroyers of our nation”. —Pastor Tunde Bakare on the planned protest for trial of fuel subsidy cabal


A path to the future?


h e r e is no doubt that our nation is sick, but how to cure its ailment has become the issue of the moment. The North is so far at best reticent, but perhaps also unsure and hesitant. But the most outspoken on the matter are the proponents of National Sovereign Conference. Their single proposition is that the 'National Sovereign Conference' is the one and only solution to what can be called the 'National Question.' Prof. Wole Soyinka, one of the country's foremost intellectual is their most outstanding spokesperson. In a lecture at the just concluded South South economic summit, he outlines the position most forcefully and eloquently. In the continuation of the discourse on the Northern Elders we present Soyinka's arguments presently. According to Prof. Wole Soyinka, Nigeria is 'tied up', metaphorically and literally, even to the extent of immobility. In his words: 'Traffic is tied up. Security is tied up. Productive motion is tied up. Commerce is tied up. Governance is tied up. Individual, corporate, even leisure schedules are tied up - all to pander to bristling head-ties tied up in a floating parade of gorgeous fabric, sterile, provocative and contemptuous of the rights of others to their own desperate mission, the mission of generating the life-sustaining morsel for family and self.' Continuing, Soyinka says: 'A vanity parade born perhaps of boredom or a feeling of neglect, this banal extravaganza has transferred to our supposedly democratic environment under various pretexts, guzzling funds and guzzling the productive time of others. Productive motion is held to a standstill and citizen rights are trampled upon. This disrespectful misappropriation of public space that exists primarily for the movement of goods and humanity, especially by the unelected, by mere appendages to constitutional power, has become a culture of spousal aggression and can only beget a response of disrespect and ridicule from those it most affects.' Though Soyinka was in fact referring to a particular event that happened recently in Lagos, the point he seeks to make is that it has become the habit of a tiny minority in Nigeria who hold the reigns of power and privilege - who, for example, would let the health sector to collapse because they could always, at public expense, 'fly to New York to


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803

cure a toothache' - to engage in a systematic dismantling of the fabric of the nation and its institutions if it suits their personal interests. So, where is Nigeria now? To sum up the Soyinka's thesis: Nigeria languishes in an infantile state of being, still refusing to grow, still refusing to be weaned, and so still an unfinished business, incapable of self assessment, incapable of


Ibraheem Sulaiman

Prof. Wole Soyinka

forward movement, not yet a nation. And since it is the nation that defines its citizen, the citizen of Nigeria, which is yet to become a nation, remains unfinished, a creature in the limbo of identity, leading an improvised, unsecured and uncertain existence, until such a time when the nation itself can boast of a recognizable and functional identity. 'Some nations are wise enough to acknowledge their state of incompletion, and take steps - even while the business of governance remains uninterrupted - to tackle this essential business head on, addressing the very history that brought them into being and examining the factors - both positive and negative - that have shaped their existence since they began to recognize, and conduct themselves as nations', Soyinka asserts. 'Others muddle on, immured in an impenetrable carapace of complacency. They list their achievements, both internal and external - economic buoyancy, a prestigious foreign policy, low level of unemployment, a highly literate

311 689 606 327 454

7458 1765 3308 1969 0344

society, eradication of diseases, uninterrupted electric power, potable water and other indices of enhanced civic life, as proof of the claim that they have "arrived", and can confidently assess themselves as nations, beyond the mere naming. They refuse to recognize that some at least - not necessarily all but some part - of a suppressed social malaise or political fractiousness can be traced to the basic issue of the unfinished aspect of their self-constitutive process.' Pointing a finger at Nigeria, he concludes: 'This includes those who, long after any self-respecting nation should have been weaned, continue to insist that their endemic negative symptoms are merely "teething problems." Such nations are clearly on a self-destruct trajectory.' Soyinka then recalls an incident involving a bus from a girls' school. 'That bus was waylaid, its occupants robbed, assaulted and raped - that is the level of depravity to which the nation has been brought. On that road of the pupils' martyrdom was re-enacted the continuum of the

history of this nation: Violation. Rape.' Indeed, many would readily agree with Soyinka that so much of Nigeria is a victim of rape and violation on a phenomenal scale, foremost being the treasury, but also even democracy itself. What is the future? Prof. Wole Soyinka future Nigeria is bleak, abysmal, miserable. 'First, what do we see when we do turn to that future? We shall let our present interrogate that future, and what does it spell? Peril. An imperiled future, and that means - an imperiled generation of a nation's humanity,' he says. 'In practical details, what the present projects objectively as its offspring, is a vista of brain wastage, thanks to unstable tumors that peek and vanish, undetected, and when detected, are left uncorrected.' Still we insist, what is the future? And finally Prof. Soyinka opens up. The future lies in a 'Sovereign Conference' or perhaps a 'National Dialogue'. It will enable Nigerians to seize the future by the throat, to demand of themselves what they can make of that future and to try and finish the long abandoned business of achieving 'nation becoming', that is, the business of growing Nigeria into maturity. But who will convene such a conference, and how; and equally important, what happens the day after? Prof Soyinka appears to have given up the original idea of the conference, conceding that, playing the devil's advocate, it has become a mythology. But he, however, remains undeterred. Here now, in the next two paragraphs, is Prof. Wole Soyinka's new thesis: 'Central to these gatherings [of regional groupings] will be the very antithesis of that word 'central' decentralization. Engaging in policies and strategies of development that progressively renders the centre reduced in its ability to impede - for this is what has been the norm - impede the pace and quality of development of the constituent parts of the nation. The constitutional envelope that currently holds the parts together

should be pushed as far proves possible without it actually bursting, leading to a vibrant competition - and collaboration among its constituent parts. It is then left to the courts of arbitration to interpret those areas where it might appear that the envelope has been pushed too far. Each regional grouping should, by its policies, declare an uncompromising developmental autonomy - I repeat, Autonomy - leaving the centre only with its competence provenance foreign policy, national security and inter-state affairs - including peace subversive, Peace Advocacy - but minus its propensity for inflicting heart seizure on productive human concourse. 'Let each regional grouping with compatible ideas of the ultimate mission - the future of the humanity for which they are responsible - begin to call the shots, and relegate the centre to its rightful dimensions in any functioning federated democracy. Let each state call its own conference of peoples to articulate in just what direction they wish to direct their leaders and relate to the centre and other states. Let each regional grouping and its member states single-mindedly project and pursue their strategies for the enhancement of the quality of life and the dignity of their peoples, quarry into their resources to extract the material required for their very existence, material that they can exchange among one another based on their spatial developmental advantages in short share among themselves areas of specialization, substituting strength for the weakness of their partners, expertise for deficiencies in one member or the other. Such collaborating states need not even be contiguous, what matters is a community of interests, no matter how physically distanced from one another. Nigeria has proved too large and inefficient for the centralized identification and management of such human skills and material resources, the centre having become self-aggrandizing, bloated, parasitic and alienated. Now is the time to put into practice that ancient saying: Small is beautiful. We must return to the earlier days of creative rivalry that pronounces that vanishing past an interrupted project of promise, creativity and productivity. Then, it may be possible for your [the young] generation to say contentedly, even while the harvest is still distant but the soil is cleanly prepared, the seeds implanted and germinating: Mission? Accomplished!'

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday, May 05, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday, May 05, 2012 Weekend Edition