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Vol. 11 No. 79

Thursday, September 5, 2013

15 Borno PDP ofϐicials defect to APC >> Pg 7

. . . putting the people first

Shawwal 29, 1434 AH


Top Army generals, FG seeks 5-year Ngubane, Monguno, jail term for WAEC others retire >> Pg 5 offenders >> Pg 6

Tukur to Atiku, Baraje, G7

You are impostors  No, you are a joker, new PDP replies chairmanw  Party threatens to recall breakaway lawmakers By Lawrence Olaoye


ational Chairman of the troubled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday

declared total war on the splinter group known as the new PDP under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje. Tukur, at a world press briefing at the Wadata Plaza headquarters

of the party in Abuja, declared that the PDP has no faction and that those parading themselves as officials in the Baraje group are impostors. He called on the nation’s

security agencies to regard former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Baraje, Chief Sam Sam Jaja, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the seven governors in the splinter PDP as such.

The seven splinter PDP governors are Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Niger’s Mu’azu Aliyu Babangida, Sokoto’s Aliyu Magatakarda Contd. on Page 2

Dangote builds Africa’s biggest refinery in Ondo  Accesses $3.3bn loan from banks By Abdulwahab Isa


major step was taken yesterday to realise Nigeria’s over one decade dream of having private refineries as Aliko Dangote, Africa’s frontline business mogul, signed a loan agreement of $3.30 billion with a consortium of both international and local banks. The loan is for the purpose of constructing the biggest petroleum oil refinery and petrochemical/fertiliser plants on the Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas free trade zone in Ondo state. The project, which will cost a total of $9 billion will generate up to 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs, in addition to reducing current volumes of refined fuel imports into Nigeria by about 50 per cent. The mega project, which will be financed through $3 billion equity and $6 billiion Contd. on Page 2

Vice-President Namadi Sambo (middle) in a handshake with Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (right) during the signing of the $3.3bn loan agreement between Dangote and a consortium of local and international banks to build the largest petroleum refinery and fertiliser plant in Africa, yesterday in Abuja. Watching with keen interest is CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, West Africa, Mr. Anil Dua,

Syria: Ahead today’s G20 meeting, Putin warns Obama >> Pg 33

















Stockwatch S/Report

23 24-25







Addressing the plight of widows in Nigeria, Page 4



Strange World






News Extra 39-40 Sports






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You are impostors Contd. from Front Page Wamakko, Albdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Rivers’ Rotimi Amaechi and his counterpart from Kano state, Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso. The PDP national chairman equally warned all members of the party in elective positions who have declared support for the new PDP to brace up for recall as he vowed to declare their seats vacant. Already 26 Senators and 102 members of the House of Representatives have declared their loyalty to the Baraje led new PDP. Therefore, these seats are expected to be declared vacant in the National Assembly by the Tukur led PDP. But in a swift riposte to Tukur’s statement, the National Chairman of the new PDP, Baraje, described him as “a joker”. Tukur’s statement reads in part that: “Our reason for being here is to inform you without any iota of doubt that the Peoples Democratic Party has no faction and there is neither room nor reason whatsoever for such a claim under any guise. “The PDP has only one duly elected National Executive Committee (NEC) under my chairmanship. I wish therefore to state with all emphasis that any group of persons parading themselves as leaders of NEC or any other organ of our party are impostors and I urge all Nigerians, especially the security agencies and other institutions of democracy to regard them as such. “Let me state categorically that the PDP as the sole custodian of

the sacred mandate of over 160 million Nigerians and who in the last fourteen years has lifted high the banner of democracy will not fold its arms while some undemocratic and unpatriotic elements destroy our common destiny by causing divisions and confusion among the people. “Consequently, we shall ensure that any person who is not duly elected into any leadership position in our great party and has not been duly assigned any role but goes ahead to arrogate such to himself will be made to face the full wrath of the law. “Similarly, all persons elected on the platform of our great party at all levels who identify with these enemies of the oneness and greatness of our party shall have their seats declared vacant as required by law. “We shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that such persons and indeed any other individual who attempts to subvert the leadership of the PDP shall reap in full, the consequences of such actions. “I wish to emphasize that the PDP has adequate mechanism for internal conflict resolution. All party members are therefore advised to ventilate their grievances through this medium. There is only one lawfully recognized PDP and I am firmly in charge.” Tukur’s outburst may not be unconnected with the outcome of the meeting of President Jonathan with a caucus of the PDP comprising mainly his close allies on Tuesday night. The meeting, which had

the president, members of the PDP NWC led by Tukur, sixteen governors on the platform of the party, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, and other members, reviewed the developments in the party and resolved to confront the splinter group headlong. It was gathered that the decision of the G7 to shun the reconciliation meeting with President Jonathan on Tuesday pushed the caucus to fight on and damn the consequences. A source close to the meeting disclosed that the president resolved not to allow himself to be tossed around by the aggrieved governors and their allies in the new PDP, and also decided to pursue his yet to be declared presidential ambition, with or without their support. According to the source, the action of the aggrieved governors was considered an affront to the Presidency, and therefore, engaging them in further consultations may continue to ridicule that institution. Meanwhile, the national chairman of the new PDP, when contacted to react to Tukur’s tough talk said, “they are all jokers. They don’t know what is party politics. “We are not surprised because it is ignorance of party politics. In any case, the process of declaring seats vacant or recalling members of state Assembly or the National Assembly is well known in the Constitution. “To wake up and threaten that he’s going to recall people shows

the he is ignorant. He (Tukur) is not fit to be called a national chairman of the PDP,” Baraje stressed. Equally reacting to Tukur’s statement, the Convener of the new PDP Stakeholders’ Forum and a chieftain of the faction, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in a statement issued yesterday described the party chairman as a “drowning” man. Ugochinyere added that Tukur’s outburst was “nothing but a desperate crying speech of a reckless fisherman who has lost control of his boat” and is “fast sinking”. He said: “We urge members of the party to ignore the speech like they have ignored the rantings of the impostor chairman in the past. “Tukur is not in tune with realities on the ground. We urge him to stop crying and bow his head in shame for destroying a united party. We dare him to use his impotent childish suspension option which has faded away with his dislodged rotten reign”, he said. He stressed that while the PDP chieftain “continues to hallucinate”, more National Assembly members and other stakeholders have continued to join “the new PDP rescue mission”. While reiterating his call on members to disregard Tukur, he urged the PDP chairman to “face the legal battle fired on him and forget noisemaking as he lacks the power to declare anybody’s seat vacant as such power is with us now.”

Dangote builds Africa’s biggest refinery in Ondo Contd. from Front Page loan, will also help the country to stop the importation of fertilisers. Yesterday’s agreement signing between Dangote and a consortium of 12 local and international banks, signified the first tranche of loans secured by Dangote for the refinery and petrochemical/ fertilizer plants. In his address at the signing ceremony, Alhaji Aliko, who is President of the Dangote Group, said the “plant will further entrench Africa’s role on the global map as not only a valued contributor for natural resources, but also a competent manufacturer of refined products and fertiliser”. He said several African nations would be less reliant on imports for fuel and fertilisers, thus reducing the negative impact of negotiating terms within increasingly turbulent international markets. Vice-President Namadi Sambo who witnessed the signing ceremony described the plant as “a carefully thought out project that will not only go a long way in generating employment both

directly and indirectly; but will reduce production cost, increase industrialisation and improve the general wellbeing of the people particularly the farmers who yearn for one of the outputs, the fertiliser”. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani AlisonMadueke described Dangote as the first mover in the market in terms of taking refineries to the private sector. “I hope this will be the first of a number of such endeavours. Nigeria has the capacity to take a few more of this”, said the minister. Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said the involvement of Nigerian banks in the consortium showed that the nation’s financial institutions are healthier, while attributing their latest venture to the banking reforms carried out earlier. “Today as part of this project, CBN is availing to Dangote N50 billion through the banks at no more than 7% for a tenor of 15 years. We always said we don’t

have ideological opposition to subsidies, but we oppose subsidies for imported consumption of goods. We would not support subsidies for those who are importing petroleum products but we will subsidies those who are building refineries because anytime we subsidise; we set the foundation for the wrecking of our economy and we need to re-define those subsidies, start exporting what we produce and import what we can’t produce”, Sanusi stressed. Also speaking, Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko said the project to be sited in his state represents a paradigm shift from erroneous impression hitherto in which banks were held as merely declaring huge profit in billion with nothing physical to convey their impact. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in a statement by its Vice President (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, lauded the transaction for Africa’s largest petroleum refinery, with a projected daily production output of 400,000 barrels per day, while the fertiliser plant will

churn out 2.8 million tonnes of urea annually. On its part, the petrochemical plant is expected to produce polypropylene which is a common component of most plastic and fabric products, used in various forms of packaging, ropes and agro-sacks. The first facility was jointly coordinated by Standard Chartered Bank as the global coordinator, while Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank Plc is the local coordinator. Other participating banks are Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank Nigeria Limited, Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, UBA Plc, FirstRand Bank, First City Monument Bank Plc, and Diamond Bank Plc. Managing Director of GTBank, Segun Agbaje said: “This is the largest syndication by banks in Nigeria and it is being undertaken with the knowledge that the successful implementation of Dangote refinery and fertiliser project will have far reaching implications for Nigeria’s




PDP: Why we broke away, by Nyako From Umar Dankano, Yola


overnor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state has said that the struggle by the seven governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was to resist what he described as the injustice, maladministration and the impunity with which the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, handles the affairs of the party. Nyako disclosed this at the

Mahmud Ribadu Square during a rally to welcome him back from Abuja, by the state chapter of the party (PDP), under the leadership of Alhaji Umaru Mijinyawa Kugama yesterday. According to Nyako, “all Nigerians are now fully aware of the atrocities of the Bamanga leadership style.” He said that even though Tukur did not make any significant contribution to the development of the party in the state, he has assumed

a position where he believes he can play “God” in running the affairs of the party, “hence the promotion of a reign of impunity never seen before in the party.” Nyako said that unknown to Tukur, many people had become wiser and can no longer tolerate such injustice. According to Nyako, “my decision to engage the National Chairman is to return the party to its lost glory. “I and Tukur share many

things in common but despite our similarities, I deemed it fit to challenge the atrocities he is perpetrating in the party which led to the present quagmire. “I am ever ready to challenge any form of anarchy and travesty of justice being perpetrated by anyone in order to bequeath a lasting legacy for the sake of posterity regardless of the consequences.” He said the current wind of change blowing across the land

was a sign that the people are fed up with the impunity currently in vogue in the PDP. “Since the coming of Tukur, the party has never known peace as he resorted to working in cahoots with few elements whose sole aim is to use the party platform to achieve their selfish goals. “We are set to free the party from the grips of dark forces who are hell bent in truncating the successes so far recorded,” Nyako said.

Jonathan frowns at indiscipline among workers


Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, addressing the 59th Commonwealth of Parliamentary Conference, yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Aliyu demands halt to Constitution review From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


iger state Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has described the on-going constitutional review as cosmetic and demanded an immediate halt to the entire process, and replaced with “wholesome review of the nation’s laws.” He regretted however that the revenue allocation formula places so much money in the hands of


he Federal Government yesterday chided university lecturers, ASUU, over the ongoing strike action describing their demands as unrealistic. According to government, if all sectors of government decide to down tools until all their problems are solved, the country would shut down. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, gave the government’s position while briefing journalists at the end of the weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation (FEC) in Abuja.

the Federal Government which it cannot spend. “Nobody allows the centre to be stronger than the other federating units,” Aliyu said yesterday in Minna as he urged the National Assembly to “please use your constitutional powers to review the allocation formula because people are in the towns and villages, not at the centre.” He spoke when the Senate President, David Mark, led a

delegation of members of the Alumni Association of Course 3 of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) on a courtesy visit on the Governor at Government House, Minna. Speaking earlier, Mark had urged Nigerians who are beating drums of war to stop the action warning that the country cannot afford another civil war. According to him, “the strength of Nigeria is in our unity,

not in our division, so let us all work for the unity of this country. “We urge Nigerians to ensure peace and not shout war slogans because when there is no peace there will be no development.” He described the Alumni Association as a nongovernmental and non-political association which has been working to achieve peace and general development in the country.

resident Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday expressed concern over the growing prevalence of indiscipline amongst Nigerian workers. The President, who expressed the concern while inaugurating the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) in Abuja, said indiscipline was one of the major challenges facing the country. The President said that, “one of the greatest problems we have as a nation is the issue of indiscipline everywhere, from the least office to the highest. “In most cases, people don’t take their responsibilities seriously. It is your duty to make sure that people are disciplined where they need to be disciplined. “And one thing philosophers will say is that in a system where equals are treated unequally or where unequal are treated equally, that system is corrupt.” He called on members of the Civil Service Commission, NASC, and the Local Government Service Commission to ensure that workers strictly adhered to the rule and regulations of the civil service. Jonathan commended members of the reconstituted commission for accepting to serve the nation and urged them to inculcate the virtue of discipline among the staff of the commission. The President congratulated them for their appointment and narrated the key responsibilities of the commission to include appointments of persons to all offices of the National Assembly, promotion of staff, and disciplinary matters. (NAN)

ASUU’s demands unrealistic, FG insists According to him, “this country belongs to all of us and if we all insist that every sector problem must be completely solved, we will down tools we will not work, then the country will stop working. “If we say because of every particular problem we face in this country we will not work until it is resolved, then I’m sure there is no sector that will work.” “We are partners with ASUU, we are friends and they are our patriots and we understand the

critical role that the universities teachers are doing to create a new society that we are hoping to have. “But at the same time, this is a reality question that we need to look at and we have to put the nation first,” he said. Mr. Maku, who said the federal government had spent a lot on the development of tertiary education across the country and appealed to the lecturers to have a rethink on their demands. He said outside of security,

education is one of the sectors the government had expended a lot of money on. As he put it, “I know all of us desire more from the system but the truth is that there are limitations and from the limitations we have, we believe that ASUU really needs to do rethink and ensure that we reopen our universities because really we are feeling the pain of our children being at home and this indeed is completely avoidable,” he said.

“Don’t forget that in 2010 we announced a 53.4 per cent increase on public salaries across board which affected all people in the public service, that has still left a huge deficit in the annual budget of the country. “I just want to say that it is unfortunate that our students are still at home. “It is very sad because the federal government has done so much in the last three years for education.”


Page 4 Report


Addressing the plight of widows in Nigeria By Evelyn Okakwu t is an established fact that widows in most part of Africa are often subjected to some barbaric and unwholesome traditional practices. They are sometimes victimised and dispossessed of their homes and inheritance at the death of their husbands. This has been an age long tradition in most parts of Africa, including Nigeria. And the wicked practices vary from culture to culture depending on their belief systems. In some cultures, the widow will be forced to marry one of the brothers of her late husband and in a situation where there is none; she will have to choose someone from the extended family, who will inherit her with all the property left behind by the late husband. This becomes worse in a situation where the deceased husband died untimely as the young wife will first be accused of being responsible for the husband’s death. As such, she will face the rigor of having to swear to an oath, which most times involve drinking the water used in bathing the dead body of the husband to prove her innocence. Such water, which is poisonous, considering the chemicals used for the embalmment of the body, most times leads to sickness and untimely death of the widows leaving the children orphans. When the widow dies, it will be concluded by the whole community that she was actually responsible for the husband’s death. It does not end there; if the widow survives the poisonous water, she will be shaved to her very skull and forced to mourn the husband, indoors for months without engaging in any gainful venture such that by the time she is freed, she can only be described as a poor widow, having nothing to call her own, so vulnerable that she will readily marry her brotherin- law to protect her children and have a sense of belonging.


Most widows in Nigeria are made to undergo various tortures in the name of fulfilling the burial rites of their deceased husbands Statistics reveal that out have been passed, the level of case, the widow, wherever she of over 115 million widows awareness about the existence is will be brought home dead currently living in abject of these laws has been rather and other persons in the family may follow. poverty globally, 81million very low. “So people do it to save their Findings reveal that one have suffered violence and physical abuse, mostly in the hands of family members. In Nigeria in particular, there have been legislative advocacies for a bill on the rights of widow; a law which protects widows from all forms of barbaric and abusive cultural practices as well as the right of inheritance to widows and their children. This advocacy bill, though has been passed in most states of the federation, including Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Anambra states to protect the rights of widows; the Federal Government of Nigeria has yet to pass a national law protecting the rights of widows across the country. It has been observed that even in states where such bills Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina

Our country must be told that you cannot hold down someone without staying down with that person. The more we hold down our widows, the more we are forced to stay down with them.

of the reasons behind the low patronage of this law in most culture is the fact that the barbaric tradition has some spiritual undertone which most times lead to the death of defaulters. A traditional ruler in Akwa Ibom, simply known as Ette Akpan, who spoke to our correspondent on the spiritual aspect of the practice disclosed that it is fear of death or repercussions that makes most communities even in the 21st century still engage in the practice of widowhood rites. “You see, if it was done to my sister when her husband died and now it is your sister’s turn and you say there is a law, my sister; it will not work. The aggrieved person will do incantation, pour drink and invoke the spirit to act. In that

necks. That is also why most educated persons are not left out except those that are also spiritually strong in God. I will also say that the gospel of Christ has really changed things, most traditional rulers, especially the younger generation like us, have long left most of those wicked things. But some still do out of wickedness,” the man in his 60s said in vernacular. To quell the sufferings of widows in Nigeria, wives of governors are currently implementing interventions that focus on legislation, provision of shelter, economic empowerment, advocacy and massive sensitisation. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with MTN Foundation have established the Widows

Empowerment Scheme, with the plan for providing livelihoods to vulnerable widows across the country. As a way of further ameliorating the plight of vulnerable widows in the society, wives of governors in the South–South/SouthEast region of Nigeria jointly hosted a symposium recently, as part of this year’s International Widow’s Day in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital. According to the convener of the initiative, Mrs. Obioma Imoke, wife of the Cross River state Governor, the objective of the initiative was to galvanise the enormous potential and goodwill of the wives of governors to deploy in helping vulnerable widows in the two regions in the country. Mrs. Imoke, who is also the initiator of Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realization (POWER), stated that the initiative was borne out of the need to meet the Millennium Development Goals 1, 3 and 8; which seek to end poverty, promote gender equality and engender global partnership. The host and initiator of Family Life Enhancement Initiative (FLEI), Lady Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, wife of Akwa Ibom State governor, noted that one of the most traumatic experiences in life is the loss of a spouse. But upon such a loss, widows are subjected to discriminatory customary practices that constitute violations of their human rights. Such practices, according to her, violate their right to health, right to life, right to human dignity and right to freedom from discrimination and such situation can and must change. Considering the matter from the socioeconomic perspective, she maintained that such antiwidowhood practices are counterproductive to the nation’s efforts in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) pertaining to women and children. “Our country must be told that you cannot hold down someone without staying down with that person. The more we hold down our widows, the more we are forced to stay down with them. “Our plural legal system, which encourages the application of statutory law side by side with customary law, only undermines efforts to achieve fundamental rights for women. As a signatory to global charters on fundamental human rights, we must ensure that all laws in our country (whether statutory or customary) measure up to those charters. What we sign, we must live up to. “




Nigeria ranked amongst world’s poorest competitive countries


espite the efforts to diversify the economy and attract investors by the Jonathan administration, Nigeria is still ranked among the stragglers in the Global Competitive Index (GCI) 2013 -2014 released yesterday by the World Economic Forum. According to a report in Premium Times, Nigeria dropped five places from last year’s 115th position to 120thamong the 148 countries profiled. The GCI, which was introduced in 2004, measures how the set of institutions, policies, and other factors determine the level of productivity of a country. The GCI scores is calculated by drawing together the 12 pillars of competitiveness namely: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation. According to the ranking, Nigeria is placed in the poorest pool of economic development possible. Nigeria ranked as a “factor driven” economy with the likes of Liberia, Lao, Mali and Yemen. There are four stages of development with innovation-

driven economies being the best pool of nations. It worries the compilers of the index that Nigeria’s economy is struggling to keep up despite overt advantages over other African countries. For instance, the report noted that Nigeria, due to its population, enjoys a large market size (32ndposition) “which has the potential for significant economies of scale and is an important factor for attracting investors.” It identifies weak institutions (ranked at 129th out of 148),

engrained corruption, undue influence, weakly protected property rights, insecurity (ranked at 142nd), poor infrastructure (ranked at 135th) and poor primary education (ranked at 146th) as the reasons for the country’s abysmal rating. It also points to the overreliance on oil and the poor penetration of ICT as the other reasons for the country’s poor showing. Meanwhile Mauritius has overtaken South Africa as the most competitive country in Sub-

Saharan Africa. Ranked at 45th position the country moved up nine places this year, the country’s enviable showing is bolstered by “transparent public institutions (ranked at 39th) with clear property rights and strong judicial independence and an efficient government (29th),” the report noted. South Africa is ranked at 53rd position while Switzerland, ranked at number one is the most competitive country in the world.

$1.69m fraud: Fred Ajudua seeks fresh bail From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


he alleged notorious fraudster, Mr. Fred Ajudua, yesterday asked a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja for a fresh bail. Mr. Olalekan Ojo, counsel to Ajudua, filed the fresh bail application before a vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari. Ajedua had earlier been denied bail by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, on June 27, 2013. Oyewole had ruled that Ajudua had failed to present convincing materials to back his claim that he would not escape from trial for having done so for seven years when he was earlier granted bail in 2005. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in 2003 arraigned Ajudua and his co-defendant, Charles Hijiudu, for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, to the tune of about $1.69m between July 1999 and September 2000. At the court proceedings yesterday, Ojo, argued the fresh application dated August 19, 2013, saying that there were fresh facts after his client was last denied bail by Justice Oyewole. According to him, after Oyewole denied bail to Ajudua, the defendant was rushed to the emergency unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) when his condition deteriorated. But counsel to EFCC, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde (SAN), opposed the application, saying Ajudua did not deserve any fresh bail. The Judge adjourned the matter to September 10 for ruling.

L-R: Niger state Deputy Governor, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, Niger state Governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, and state PDP Chairman, Hon. Abdulrahaman Enagi, during the meeting of PDP stakeholders across the state, yesterday in Minna.

Generals Mungono, Ngubani, others retire from Army By Joy Baba


uthorities of the Nigerian Army have said the Army Council has accepted the voluntary retirement of some senior officers in line with the Armed Forces Harmonised Terms and Condition of service. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR) Brig-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru in Abuja yesterday. The statement named senior officers to be retired in Major

General cadre to include Lawrence Ngubane, NC Maduegbunam, BM Monguno, OA Ariahu, AK Kwaskebe, and CO Ugwu while those to retire as Brigadier-Gen. are ED Amah, MM Dan-Ali and MA Hassan among others. The statement further said that, as part of routine posting of senior Army officers, the Army headquarters also approved posting and appointments of some senior officers. Those affected are Maj-Gen. SU Abdukadir, Commander, Training and Doctrine Commnd,

Maj-Gen PJ Isang, Chief of Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Maj. Gen. HIO Ayoola, Chief of Research and Development, Defence Headquarters, and Maj. Gen OT Ethan, General Officer Commanding 7 Division. Some of the the others are Brig-Gen. ML Raji, Acting Director, Peace Keeping Operations Defence headqaurters, Brig-Gen. BY Abubakar, Acting Director of Transformation Defence headquarters amongst others.

Insecurity: Army chief wants more collaboration From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Nigerian Army has sought the collaboration of security agencies in the country to collectively and effectively salvage Nigeria from the present security challenges. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Azubuke Ihejirika, made the call at the closing ceremony of a threeday Law Enforcement Seminar organised by the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police (NACMP) held in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Ihejirika, represented by Maj-Gen. Shehu Abdulkadir, Commander, Training and Doctrine, Army headquarters, stressed the need for Military Police to be trained alongside the police. “There is the need to train the Military police alongside Nigerian police especially in investigation of crime scene. There is also the need for MP to be modern in their approach to crime “We must be abreast with the modern ways of doing things,” he advised.

Ihejirika charged the Provost Marshal, Maj-Gen. Raphael Isa to do everything possible to convince the COAS to provide forensic laboratories with a view to impacting modern day crime investigation techniques. Delivering a paper entitled, “Criminal Justice and Forensic Science: Exploiting the Crime Scene Investigation Skills in Law Enforcement”, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, advocated the need for proactive approach to security.

“Islam has no female age barrier in marriage” From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


heikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi has said Islam has nothing to do with bill over marriage age for girls just as he called on the National Assembly not to pass any law that will fix 18 years and above as stipulated age of marriage Bauchi who stated this while addressing journalists in Bauchi yesterday said that, “the bill will affect Muslims fundamental rights and also violate freedom of religion because every Muslim has the right to live and right to practice the religion without hindrance. “Islamic laws do not stipulate age for marriage and no one has the authority to cut the age for girls to marry, under Islamic law Prophet Muhammad married a six years old girl and she was taken to his house when she attained the age of nine years. “And one of his companions, Caliph Umar, married a girl at the age of nine. “Fixing the age for marriage for a woman violates Muslims’ freedom of religion,” he said. Bauchi also condemned same sex marriage, noting that, “even animals don’t do that”.

Amnesty urges Kenya to reject ICC withdrawal bids By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


mnesty International has called on Kenya to reject attempts by the government to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) ahead of today’s debate on the matter in the Kenyan parliament. It called the government’s efforts an affront to the hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who lost their lives or were driven from their homes during the postelection violence that rocked the country in 2007-8. This move is just the latest in a series of disturbing initiatives to undermine the work of the ICC in Kenya and across the continent said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International Africa programme director. The proposal comes days before Kenya’s vice president William Ruto will stand trial in The Hague accused of crimes against humanity. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also faces charges, his trial is due to start on November 10. Both men deny the charges, which stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections in 2007. The ICC said the case would continue, even if Kenya pulled out. If the resolution passes, it will make Kenya the first country to do so.





Senator Bukola Saraki


lhaji La’ziz Ayinla Kolawole has asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which upheld the judgment of a Federal High Court on the election of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly. In a notice of Appeal filed on his behalf by his counsel, Salman Jawondo, the appellant prayed the apex court to set aside the judgment of the lower court for being a nullity and to also hear and determine the appeal on merit. According to the appeal, the judgment of the Court of Appeal is a nullityonthegroundofbeingajudgment delivered by a panel of the court, other than the panel that heard the appeal. Jimoh told the apex court that the Court of Appeal erred in law in entertaining and sustaining the issue of lack o jurisdiction of the trial court raised by Saraki as new issue in utter disregard of his objection. By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

Drama as ‘elected’ PDP councilor rejects Offa re-run results in Kwara From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he on-going protest by the Kwara state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) took another dimension yesterday as one of the 12 elected councilors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared by Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission(KWSIEC) as winners of the re-run election in Offa, Offa local government area, denounced

the result allocated to his party. The Councilor, Mr. Afolabi Olawole, who was candidate of the PDP in Shawo South West Ward, said that he did not win in the election as announced by KWASIEC last Saturday. Olawole who made the confession at the APC’s media briefing said that he rejected the announced victory based on his religious belief that he must not cheat on people. He maintained that the candidate

of the APC, Mr. Adefioye Kayode, won the election, stressing that his position was to prevent Offa, his community, from another violence. Also, a presiding officer at Shawo Central Ward, Mr. Oyetunji Akin said the APC won in the councilorship and chairmanship elections in the ward. He faulted KWASIEC’s announcement that PDP won the ward stressing that that APC polled 1,213 votes to defeat the PDP

candidate who had 568 votes. Prince Saheed Popoola, the chairmanship candidate of APC said that, “we envisaged the struggle a long time and we are ready to face it. “We are very mature about it. We do not want to be violent. We want to ensure that democracy is played with the highest level of maturity. “We will use all legal means to flush them out of that place. The place does not belong to them. It belongs to us, the APC.”

Gunmen kill Delta library staff


nidentified gunmen yesterday killed a Delta State Library staff, one Lawrence around Cable Point, Asaba and reportedly carted away the sum of N.6 million from him. Police spokesman in the state, ASP Lucky Uyabeme, told journalists that the police were after the killers, adding that the victim received several gunshots before he died. Sources said the gunmen might have mistaken him for somebody else as they went after him while coming out of a Bank where he had gone to cash some money. By Prince Edward, Asaba

Gunmen kill father, two children in fresh Plateau attack


unmen on Tuesday night reportedly attacked and killed a man and his son at Tanchol, a local settlement of Gyel district of Jos South local government area of Plateau state. Another child, who sustained injuries, reportedly died in the hospital yesterday. A witness said the attackers injured the wife of the deceased. He said the injured persons were hospitalised in a private hospital in Bukuru, headquarters of the council. The Plateau State Commissioner of Information, Yiljap Abraham, at a press briefing yesterday said the woman was in a critical condition at the hospital. Confirming the incident to journalists at the force headquarters in Jos, the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe, said the command haddispatched senior officers to fish out the perpetrators. “Two persons lost their lives in the attack, we have already setup a high power delegation to investigate the killing,” he said.

Head of delegation, United Kingdom House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Gapes (left), with Acting Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Sulaiman Abdulkadir Oniyangi (right), and other members of the UK delegation, during their visit to INEC headquarters, yesterday in Abuja.

WAEC offenders risk five years jail term, N200,000 fine By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Federal Government yesterday rose from its weekly Federal Executive Council meeting approving the enactment of an Act to amend the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Act.

Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the outcome of the FEC meeting. The minister also stressed that under the proposed Act, examination malpractices offenders will face five years jail term or the option of N200,000 fine.

The 2004 Act, to which an amendment is being sought, stipulates that WAEC is empowered to take disciplinary action against anyone who committed both offences and penalties forillegallyusingexaminationpapersand leakage of examination papers among others.

Edo stowaway: Mother offers to replace boy in detention

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin meeting to handover the 13-yearold stowaway boy, Daniel Oikhena, failed on Tuesday night at the Edo state Government House even asthemotherdemandedtotaketheplace of her son in detention. Governor Adams Oshomhole was said to have ordered the release of the boy but reports said that the State Director of Department of State Security (DSS), Alhaji Bello-

Tukur Bakori, declined to effect the release. The meeting, which was called at the instance of Governor Oshiomhole, followed the request by the stowaway-boy, Oikhena to be released to go home with his parents. Bakori insisted that he was yet to get approval to carry out the instruction from the “appropriate authority.” Daniel’s mother, Evelyn Oikhena, was said to have burst into

tears at the meeting which lasted for several hours and voluntarily offered herself for detention, a request which was turned down. According to her, “I will resist any attempt to deprive me of the custody of my son. “If it happens, I will ask them to detain me along with him. I am not after the scholarship money. All that I am after is to release my son to me. I am prepared to be detained along with my son,” she said.

Osaigbovo Oikhena

Mrs Evelyn Oikhena

Daniel Oikhena


According to Section 19(1), “such candidate shall not take or be allowed to take or continue the examination, in addition, he shall be prohibited from taking any examination held or conducted by or on behalf of the Council for a period of two years immediately following upon such contraventions and if a candidate aforesaid has already taken any papers at the examination, his result there from shall be cancelled.” It added that, the candidate may be prosecuted and if found guilty shall be “liable on conviction to a fine of N200,000 or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.” Ruqayyatu, in a memo tabled before the Council, noted that there is the need to domesticate the revised convention establishing the WAEC, Accra, 2003, pointing out that, “the ordinances have beenreplacedwiththeconventionswhich confer legal personality on the Council as an international organisation.” The Council, established in 1952 and operated in Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Gambia and Liberia now operates under a revised convention signed in 2003 and functions through committees. The Council had also directed the Ministry of Justice to take further necessary action on the subject.


Photo Splash

L-R: Alhaji Abdulkadir Aboki, Mr. Stephen Ndako, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, Alhaji Abubakar Garba Rufa’i, Alhaji Dahiru Bako, and Alhaji Idi Ningi, all members of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) taking oaths of office during their swearing in ceremony, yesterday at the State House, their Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye


L-R: Plateau Commissioner for Education, Mr Athanasius Dashen; Chairman of the occasion, Professor Kurism Fwa, and Rector, Plateau state Polytechnic, Mr. Dauda Gyemang, during the first inaugural lecture series of the polytechnic, yesterday in Jos. Photo: NAN

L-R: Village Head of Kirfi, Alhaji Uba Mohammed, Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba Operational Office, Mr. Appollos Jediel, and Director General, NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, during the director general’s inspection of new safer grounds in preparation for 2013 anticipated flood disaster, yesterday in Kirfi LGA of Bauchi state. Photo: NAN

A faction of Mile One Rumuwoji Market Traders Association protesting over removal of their chairman, yesterday in Port Harcourt. Photo: NAN

L-R: Representative of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, FRSC Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka, and Manager, Safety, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Olayinka Babalola, during a stakeholders’ forum on speed limiting device enforcement in Nigeria, yesterday Abuja. Photo: NAN



Attack on Rep: Police arrest Zamfara commissioner, 10 others

From Ibrahim Sidi Muhammad, Gusau.


he Zamfara state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Aminu Adamu Dankwangila, defunct ANPP Gusau local government chairman and nine other close aides of Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari Abubakar, have been arrested and to be interrogated by policemen from

Force headquarters Abuja over alleged involvement in the attack on a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ibrahim Shehu Bakauye. It would recalled that the member representing Gusau/ Tsafe federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bakauye was attacked by thugs in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital, over his alleged gubernatorial ambition against the incumbent

governor. Sources close to the defunct party said, those arrested along with the serving Commissioner were the chairman of the defunct ANPP, Gusau local government chapter, Alhaji Shehu Muhammad J, state youths leader of the party, Alhaji Abdullahi Dan-Azumi, Ibrahim Doguwa, Babiu Rossy, Alhaji Danmaigida and one Malam Matutu. The source further revealed that the former state chairman of the defunct ANPP and his deputy,

Alhaji Lawal Kaura and Lawali Bala Yabakako who were alleged to be at large, were invited to the force headquarters Abuja along with Alhaji Sani Jega and Mustapha Alyaum. When contacted the police spokesperson in the state, DSP Lawal Abdullahi said that the investigation is still on, but added the matter was transferred to the force headquarters and therefore could not speak on the arrest..

L-R: Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, Senate President David Mark, and Senator Tunde Ogbeha, during a visit by members of the 3rd Regular Course of Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) Alumni Association to General Babangida, on Tuesday in Minna, Niger state.

FG approves N16bn for rural electrification project By Etuka Sunday


he Federal Government on Tuesday announced the approval of N16 billion to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to execute projects in rural areas across the country. The fund which was announced by the Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi at the inauguration

of an 11-man Supervisory Board of REA, was to ensure 75 per cent rural electrification access by 2020. The move was also in furtherance of the Electric Sector Reforms Act (EPSR) 2005, with the focus on the execution of electrification project at the rural areas. Speaking, Kuchi said, “Our target is to achieve 75 per cent rural electrification access by 2020. This

is your charge. There should be unity and teamwork in your approach, while all procurement processes should be handled and managed by the agency transparently.” According to her, “the rural economy is so important to all Nigerians that we must ensure zero tolerance for corruption.” While tasking the members of the board on commitment, she said, “as you take on your office

today as members of the Board, let me make it clear that the Board should realise that its function is advisory and that of monitoring and evaluation of projects in the various catchment areas to which you will be assigned.” The Minister assured REA of continuous support especially in the area of payments, adding that there was a strategic plan for REA awaiting the President’s approval.

2012 flood: Nigeria lost 360 lives, N2.6trn, says NEMA From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has declared that the 2012 flood disaster led to the loss 360 lives and N2.6 trillion in the country. The Director General of the agency, Muhammad Sani Sidi stated this yesterday in Kirfi Local government area of Bauchi state during inspection of anticipated flood disaster victims camp


communities in three senatorial zones of Bauchi,Gombe and Taraba state ,saying that as a result of heavy downpour last year in the country, the Agency is trying to mitigate the effects of anticipated flood disasters in the country According to him, the three states of Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba have at least 105,700 persons anticipated to be affected by disaster this year. According to him, “following

the National Metrological Agency prediction that some states, including Bauchi state will experience flood this year, NEMA swung into action by sensitising various state governments, local governments and communities across the country to merge this early warning signs with positive action in order to prevent loss of lives and properties. We do not want the ugly trend of flood disaster to repeat itself again this year”.

Sidi disclosed that NEMA is sited in flood relief camps in the three senatorial zons of Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states for twenty-nine vulnerable communities. He explained that NEMA will no longer establish internally displaced camps in public institutions such as schools, churches and mosques because the approach was unconvincing owners of the institutions.

neighbouring Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. Presenting the materials to the Bauchi state government, the Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Sani Sidi, said that the gesture was to assist the state government in

meeting the basic needs of the internally displaced persons. Sidi said that at the moment, Bavehi had one of the largest collection of internally displaced persons in the country because of the peace being enjoyed in the state.

He said that as soon as the Federal Government declared a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, the agency became concerned about the influx of displaced persons into Bauchi state.

…Distributes relief materials to victims in Bauchi


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on yesterday distributed relief materials to persons internally displaced by flood. Most of the victims migrated to Bauchi state from


New PDP emerges in Taraba

From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo.


new leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has emerged in Taraba state known as “PDP Original” and headed by the immediate past chairman of the ruling PDP Abdulmumini Vaki. Announcing the emergence of the faction yesterday at the NUJ press centre, Jalingo, Vaki said they took the decision because leaders of the PDP at the national level and in Taraba state were operating outside the confines of the party’s constitution. He said that the group, which was made up of the founding fathers of the PDP, was being marginalised and ostracised from the party by those he called “new arrivals” who did not wish the country and Taraba state well. Vaki said, after official complaints to INEC in Abuja and Taraba State without response, the groups as lawabiding citizens, decided to take INEC and the PDP to Court to address the problems especially the illegal congresses held in the state last year. Vaki said since the national leadership of the PDP was perpetrating illegalities, his group had resolved to recognise Kawu Baraje as their National Chairman.

…As LG chairmen declare loyalty to Suntai From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo


ocal government chairmen in Taraba state yesterday visited Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai at the Government House Jalingo, declaring their loyalty to the ailing governor. Addressing Journalists after the visit, spokesperson of the group who is also the Chairman Zing Local government, Kallamu Alhamdu said they were at the Government House to see things for themselves and interact with the Governor. He said their interaction had indicated that his health condition was fast improving, contrary to the insinuations from some quarters that he was in a poor state of mind. Alhamdu described the present situation in the State as a family matter that would soon be resolved and called for prayers and calmness among Tarabans. The Chairman said ALGON in the State still remain loyal to Governor Danbaba Suntai. Also speaking, secretary of ALGON and chairman Ussa Local Government ,Abershi Musa urged Tarabans to disregard negative assertions and place the interest of the state above all.





Kaduna agency unleashes bulldozers on NUJ


R-L: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwabiala, Director, Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. John Shotton, and Education Adviser, DFID, Ms. Emily Oldmeadow, during the permanent secretary’s meeting with DFID officials on teachers’ development grogramme, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue state and founding member of the party, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, has described the president as a mere spectator who does not know what is happening in the party. He also threw his weight behind the emergence of the new PDP, urging President Jonathan to shelve off his presidential ambition in 2015. Shuluwa also regretted the manner in which some elders of the party including Chief Tony Anenih, Chief Edwin Clark and the national chairman of the party make inflammatory statements, noting that they are the architects of the crisis in the party.


PDP crisis: Jonathan a novice, says Shuluwa He said the party had been hijacked by people who were not there at its formative stage particularly the Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur “who was never a member of the PDP. “It is sad that the party is not what we intended it to be when it was formed from Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) in 1998. It has drifted from its ideals and hijacked by selected persons. “Tukur was never elected as he came through an undemocratic

manner. “If there is crisis in PDP, what should bother us is whether the party has the mechanism to resolve it. “Those who left the convention were not satisfied with the running of the party, though did not go to any other party but remained in the party indicating that, they want the crisis to be resolved. “There is a crack in the party. “I am satisfied with what is happening in the party.

“There is no democracy in PDP. “Imagine where a whole state delegate from Adamawa were denied entry into the convention venue. “My fear is that somebody like Obasanjo may take advantage of the break up to hijack the other side because he is the cause of this present crisis when he wanted to go for third term, all these point towards 2015. “Jonathan doesn’t understand what is happening.”

Katsina spends N36m monthly on Almajirai From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina enior Special Assistant to Katsina State Governor on almajiri Affairs, Malam Mani Gambarawa, has disclosed that government spends at least N36 million every month for feeding and allowances of almajiri model schools in the state. Gambarawa who made the


disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Katsina, noted that 100 of such schools from across the 34 local government areas of the state are benefitting from the gesture. He added that 38 of such schools are located in Katsina senatorial zone while Funtua and Daura senatorial zones have 30 and 33 schools respectively.

The special assistant noted that a 14 man committee was constituted under the second phase of the programme which he said had gone round the state for distribution of materials to the selected schools. According to him, government has provided three ambulances which he said had been going round to cater for

the health needs of the almajiri schools across the state. A proprietor of one of the benefitting schools, Mallam Dahiru Jifatu expressed appreciation to the state government for showing concern towards uplifting the standard of almajiri education in the state and assured of their cooperation.

Zamfara court remands woman over alleged fraud From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau Zamfara state woman politician identified as Kyauta Ibrahim has been arraigned before Justice Sanusi Muhammad Magami of the Shariah High Court on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and cheating. The two charges are contrary to sections 123 and 175 of the


State Shariah Penal Code. The ordeal attributed to Malama Kyauta had started when she went to Dumma village under Wanke district in Gusau local government area of Zamfara in company of one Kulu Umar and collected the sum of N4,000 each, from 120 women, under the impression that they would benefit from a gesture of special grant of forty thousand naira with ten bags of fertilizer from one of

the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Alh Bello Moh’d Matawalle. According to the prosecutor, Malam Hamisu Ibrahim Gusau, when the victims realised that the time frame within which the accused person promised to provide the grant has elapsed, without any sign of the promised welfare, they decided to confirm from the campaign coordinator to the gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Sanda Danjari who denied

the claim. The accused pleaded guilty but claimed to have worked with other in the scheme. “I have and hand in the shady deal but I was not alone,” she said. The court ordered that she be remanded in Gusau prison and had adjourned the case to 18th of September 2013 when the other suspect is expected to have recovered.

en from the Kaduna State Urban and Property Development Agency (KASUPDA), yesterday led heavily armed security men in a demolition exercise and demolished the fence of the yet to be completed shopping complex at the Kaduna state council secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The action which was carried out without any prior notice to the council came as a surprise when the heavily armed security personnel, stormed the secretariat and pulled down the fence in an action that drew the attention of passers-by, watching what seems like a drama, causing traffic jam of vehicular and human movement on the ever busy Waff road. The Council Secretary, Dominic Uzu, said the council would take necessary actions and engage relevant authorities to avoid future occurrence and embarrassment. He said, “we were not contacted either through writing or verbally on their executed actions, only to see armed security men with over 10 Hilux vehicles stormed the secretariat and started pulling down the fence.” From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Shema releases N285m to contractors


overnor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina state has approved the release of N285 million to the state ministry of education to enable it pay its contractors. A statement signed by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Alhaji Lawal Ahmad Matazu, said, contractors to be paid are those who executed the projects of building and expansion in the state’s secondary schools. The statement further disclosed that since inception, the administration of governor Shema has completed projects in the education sector aimed at enhancing the quality of education in the state.

Senator Lar on corruption effects


hairman, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and AntiCorruption, Senator Victor Lar, has described corruption in the country as widespread and endemic. He regretted that the development poses challenges to national development. He made this assertion in a goodwill message he sent at a national retreat on ethics and transparency for public and private institutions in Nigeria, held in Kaduna yesterday. He said, “Nigeria has attracted a rather low rate of direct foreign investments as a result of corruption”. From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna



Money Sense How to identify fake naira notes


flipped out a N200 note from my wallet, wanted to buy a BRT ticket at the Ketu busstop over the weekend, only for the ticket-boy to feel the note and tell me it was fake. I was like “fake? What do you mean fake?” He looked at it again, and told me it was fake. He then passed it on to the other ticket-boy who confirmed it as fake. I collected the note, looked at it again and could only muster: fake? Quickly, he asked me to “commot for road” where I stood looking totally embarrassed. I asked him how he knew it was fake, and he refused to answer. Ok, I flipped out another note and handed it over. He took time to take an extra look before he gave me a 50-Naira ticket and my 150-Naira change. Later, sitting in the bus, a man (man#1) who sat on my left side noticed I was all the while looking at the 200-Naira note, turning it over and over. He asked me if it was fake and if I collected it from the ticket boys. I informed him it was the ticket boys who told me it was fake, as I had wanted to use it to buy a ticket. Our conversation drew the interest of four others and a lady, who all took a look at the piece of paper and confirmed it as fake. The lady brought out a 200-Naira note from her purse, handed it to me to compare, but honestly I couldn’t see any differences. I told them the fake-200 was part of the change I collected the previous night in a small yellow bus on my way home. When something happens in Lagos, usually everyone has something to say: Man#1 – night time is the time to spend fake money. He advised that since I collected it unknowingly at night, I should try

to spend it at night. He advised me to use it to buy biscuits at night or cigarettes if I smoked, as most vendors couldn’t identify fake money. I informed him I was vice-free. Man#2 – advised me to use it to buy fuel, or rather to give it to a bus-driver to use it to buy fuel when looking for small bills as change. Man#3 – advised me to spend it at night, that the conductor that

gave it to me knew it was fake, and did it on purpose and therefore makes me to bear an unnecessary 200-Naira loss. Therefore, I was supposed to also spend it at night. I noted that if I heeded his advice, the money would end up in someone else’s hand that might choose to again spend it at night to get rid of it / redeem his loss. As such, this fake 200-Naira would keep on going and going. Man#3 replied “exactly, that is the point.”

First original note: Held over a torch. Please note that CBN200 circled.

I almost burst out in laughter. Man#4 – advised me to tear the money and just forget the loss. He offered me a word of prayer that God will bless me in return, and a curse will follow the head of the conductor who gave me the money. Lady – advised me on how to feel the difference between the original and fake. She said fake money feel exactly like ordinary paper while genuine ones feel a

little bit rough. At home later in the evening, I gathered out 4-genuine 200-Naira bills and decided to do some research. After about an hour of seeing no notable differences, only similarities between originals and fake under a fluorescent light, a thought occurred to me I should check out the views in the dark. So I grabbed a torch and turned off the light. This is what it all looks like.

Fake note: Held over a torch. No CBN inscription.

Money Tip: Whether you’re just starting your life together, or have been splitting things up for a while now, one thing is fairly certain; few things are less fun than figuring out finances. Most days, it’s hard to even look at your bank account, let alone figure out where you can save (is that even possible?), especially when you have bills racking up, student loans to pay off and that ever-present nagging in your head to contribute to your retirement. Luckily, there are sites out there to help you track your spending, send automated payments and get the most from your money, without making you want to stab your checkbook (or yourself). We promise.

Second original note (front/back): Held over a torch. Note the center column (circled) bearing the CBN, CBN CBN…. inscription. The column is black and the inscription white.

Fake note (front/back) - no center black column, no CBN inscription

Quote The great leaders are like the best conductors, they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players – Blaine Lee

Third original note: Viewed in the light, note the shiny center column, six rectangular stamps per note. The CBN inscription could almost be seen, you’ve got to look carefully to see this. This (below) is a new note anyway.

After this cross examination, I thought of either tearing the fake note or keeping it as a souvenir. Anyway, I added my own stamp and date to this FAKE NOTE, which I’m keeping as a souvenir.




Egypt’s political impasse the overthrown and imprisoned Mursi is plainly unrealistic and it had appeared that confrontation was inevitable. However, we believe that the current political transition process being organized by the militarybacked administration would be significantly lacking in credibility, if it does not include the Muslim Brotherhood and other political


fter more than a month of street protests following the military’s sacking of President Mohamed Mursi’s government, the army-backed new regime came down heavily on the sympathizers of Muslim Brotherhood on August 14. In a massive operation, armed police backed by helicopters and bulldozers stormed the protesters, encamped beside a mosque and a university in the capital, Cairo. Over 500 people, including 43 policemen were killed and thousands more wounded. The violence spread to other cities, including Alexandria and Suez. Churches were also burnt in the mayhem. The government quickly declared a state of emergency for a month across the country and imposed curfew in some provinces. The last time state of emergency was imposed was when the disgraced despot, Hosni Mubarak, took office after the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1977 and emergency rule lasted 30 years. Thankfully, this time, the armybacked regime has imposed it for only a month and has started relaxing the curfew it imposed in some provinces. After the mayhem, the government claimed that it used “the utmost degree of selfrestraint” but a police operation that soaked in so much blood could not be said to have been handled with minimum restraint. The brotherhood’s obstinate demand for a return to power of

After the mayhem, the government claimed that it used “the utmost degree of self-restraint” but a police operation that soaked in so much blood could not be said to have been handled with minimum restraint. forces. The danger of Algerian style prolonged armed insurrection when the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), cruising to electoral victory in 1991 was abruptly stopped, may not feature in the Egyptian scenario, but cannot be completely discountenanced if the repression of the brothers and sympathizers continue unabated. That is why we are urging the Egyptian authorities to do everything possible to calm things

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”

down, but provide a respectable political ladder to enable the Muslim Brotherhood climb down. The brotherhood is not new to political persecution and is actually best known for its resilience but in the context in which it clearly blundered while in power and attracted population resentment, it is our considered view that the brothers should realign their strategy and realize that political martyrdom in this instance has low political returns. One season of political loss cannot be or mean the end of an astute political organization and we therefore urge them to re-engage in the new regime’s transitional process. The brotherhood’s political fury can be understood if one takes into account its long-drawn struggle and sacrifice to attain a formal political legitimacy. In our view, Egypt’s turmoil has gone on for a considerable long time, starting with the 2011 revolution that swept away former dictator, Hosni Mubarak. The country is in dire need of stability and reconstruction. The ousted regime of the Muslim Brotherhood did not pay serious attention to that, but could hardly be a sufficient justification for the military coup that kicked it out. We sue that all political forces in Egypt appreciate the turbulence in their region and the fact that continuing turmoil in the region’s biggest and probably its most influential nation could only spell greater peril.











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Opinion PDP and its ineluctable implosion By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju


igeria’s dominant party is face to face with its own mortality; we should let it rest in pieces. Its imminent demise should be celebrated because the PDP as a majoritarian party has never been about us but about them. It has always been about their traditional political agenda. An agenda that serves a majority defined by greed, avarice, peephole exhibitionism and gradations of perversity without any recourse to our fundamental rights as bonafide citizens of Nigeria. No doubt, politics is a contact sport, it always has been and it will always be. We should expect this crisis to deepen. I hope the opposition takes cue from this great unraveling with lessons to be learnt. The PDP is a party of ochlocrats and this is how ochlocrats behave when they are schemed out of power and looking for a way to get back in. This is how politicians behave when faced with political extinction. They cook up a special soup that allows them to rack up a victory within their conclave. We should celebrate this implosion, applaud it and milk it for what is worth by rejecting any reincarnation of the PDP evil at the polls under whatever party acronym, be it PDM, VOP, POP or whatever. The PDP went crazy after the exit of President Obasanjo. The nation had high hopes with the election of Yar’adua until the ravages of ill health robbed him the ability to govern. The PDP could not rise above its primordial

interest and save the nation from embarrassment, its leadership looked the other way while the Yar’adua cabal held the nation hostage with impunity until the heat became too unbearable for the charade to continue. When, Goodluck Jonathan, a minority Ijaw finally got the reins of power; he proved himself a glutton at the sight of food. He hijacked all the control levers of the party and national offices and distributed it to his lackeys and fellow militants. Sufficiently, he alienated the power structures who built the party on whose back he rode to power. Under Jonathan’s militant rule, public discussion of national issues and cohesion are debated in increasingly apocalyptic terms among increasingly uncivil adversaries within the same political party. For a party that boasts being the largest in Africa, the PDP is a victim of its own dominance and hubris. What is happening today is the offspring of dissent and a worthy recompense for a party that has spent the last decade working directly against Nigerians. We should welcome this development with smiles. The emergence of factions and wings like the G5, G7 and other incongruous tendencies are often decisive and disastrous pointers to intra-party conflict and competition and competition is usually a good thing. The civil war within the PDP furthers Françoise Boucek’s argument that prolonged dominance of a party breeds internal dissent because politicians

start using the party as a vehicle for individual ambition and for extracting rents (Factional Politics: How Dominant Parties Implode or Stabilize). Under President Obasanjo, PDP had the semblance of a party because of his dominant role in policy making, as well as the distribution of national offices. The PDP has never a party but an amalgam of diverse interest bent on bankrupting Nigeria. Obasanjo held the umbrella (PDP logo) high enough by providing equal access to the federal gravy train as strong incentives for party unity thus promoting less favorable conditions for the emergence of institutionalized factions. With Jonathan came the Ijaw resource agenda and militancy with sufficient disregard to the vulnerability of the country and the fragility of our union. Every other section of the “chop I chop” elite became alienated and threatened. Jonathan became a hostage of his own fears and paranoia. His lieutenants and lapdogs kept him permanently distracted and embroiled in the 2015 race without a chance to govern or a legacy to pursue. Under his watch, insecurity assumed a critical dimension, oil theft increased, corruption escalated and he began a descent into power induced hysteria. Political calculations heading into 2015 led him to Bamanga Tukur, the Napoleon in PDP’s Animal farm. Like Napoleon, Bamanga is an utterly corrupt opportunist (from his Nigerian Ports Authority days). Even though

he had always been a fixture in the PDP, he was not on record to have made a singular contribution to the earliest formation of the PDP, the formulation of its ideology (is there one?), or to the party’s attempt to establish itself. Since his emergence as party chairman, he has never shown interest in the strength of the party itself, only in the strength of his power over it and of Jonathan’s 2015 ambition, in rub my back and I rub yours fashion. The only project Bamanga undertakes with enthusiasm is the training of a litter of sycophant puppies. He doesn’t educate them for their own good or for the good of the party but for his and Jonathan’s good. The sycophant puppies became his and Jonathan’s own private army or secret police, a means by which he imposes his will on others. The rival factions under the leadership of Atiku are only taking advantage of the weakened party organization, engineering the implosion. The die is cast for Jonathan’s ambition in 2015, whether he knows it is another issue entirely. Jonathan is no politician; he is an accidental president whose vaulting ambition is not matched by political sagacity. The Atikus are reading the political tea leaves, they are noticing the general atmosphere of disenchantment on how the country is being run, the pervasive and disturbing insecurity, the mass despondency and the shifting voters preferences and discontent. Unlike before, the opposition appears to be electorally strong and

able to cooperate. The strength of All Progressives Congress (APC) sent the signal to dissenters within the PDP to abandon ship. Given the winner takes all nature of Nigerian politics and the evolving competitiveness of the electoral market, dissenters may cooperate with the opposition to bring down the PDP. The party’s implosion is a complete compendium and will make a fascinating read of political cooperation, competition, and “cabalization.” In what seems a striking reference to contemporary Nigerian politics, James Madison wrote: “A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points … an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power … have divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress one another than to cooperate for their common good.” We must not be deceived; let it be clear that this struggle for the heart and soul of the PDP is not about good governance. PDP and its reincarnations are two sides of the same bad coin. This crisis is not about policy differences or ideological content, it is about politicians’ individual career motivations, institutional differences and rent seeking. We must remain vigilant and attuned to our interests and reject our traducers. God bless Nigeria! Bamidele Ademola-Olateju is on Twitter @olufunmilayo

…Turmoil in the house of PDP

By Jibrin Ibrahim


he expected implosion of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is well under way, following the emergence of a new faction led by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and seven governors of the party. The emergence of this faction was dramatic as earlier that day some of the governors had walked out of Eagle Square, venue of the special convention of the PDP in protest against some sudden change of rules at the convention. The leadership of the faction has Abubakar Kawu Baraje as national chairman, while Sam Jaja and Oyinlola emerged as Deputy National Chairman and National Secretary respectively. Two weeks previously, Atiku Abubakar’s political friends had succeeded in converting their political movement the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) into a registered political party. There have been press reports that the PDP desperately tried to prevent the registration of the PDM by INEC. Alhaji Ibrahim Bashir Yusuf, a close associate of Atiku, leads the New PDP. The PDM was quick to congratulate the “brave, bold and patriotic action” of the

factionalists that have set out to splinter the PDP. Not surprisingly, the Progressive Governors Forum composed of ten non-PDP governors have also saluted the emergence of the new faction and expressed their willingness to work with them. The turmoil in the ruling party is of a direct consequence of our recent political history. Since 1999, Nigeria has operated as a one party dominant political system in which the PDP held sway and controlled enormous resources compared to the other parties. Since the emergence of President Obasanjo in 1999, the President of the country has always imposed himself as the leader of the dominant party although a party chairman had always existed. At the state level, the governors are the party leaders. Atiku and the others have learnt their lessons; you cannot aspire to the presidential nomination of the PDP without the active support of the sitting president. As Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition to contest for another term in office is the worst kept secret , the tactics of dividing the ruling party while preparing to use an alternative partyas a platform could be an effective one. This approach is novel.

During the Second Republic, the ruling National Party of Nigeria adopted the tactic of encouraging and funding the emergence of factions in the other parties – the Peoples Redemption Party, the Nigerian Peoples’ Party and the Great Nigeria Peoples’ Party. State power was used to recognise the new factions over the “legitimate” ones so that anti-NPN forces were destabilised and left running around for an electoral platform. Some might have re-read the history of the Second Republic and decided to use the tactics which is normally used by the ruling party against it. Of course this is possible only because President Jonathan has failed to keep the loyalty of many of the governors who got their positions on the platform of the PDP. PDP is becoming a victim of the excessive power of its owner, and there is no doubt that whoever is President literally owns the PDP and can do what he wants with the party. Of course the same is basically true of most other registered parties, which are “owned” by the godfather that set them up. The original sin of most Nigerian political parties is that they are owned by godfathers and barons rather than by party

members. These parties have clientelist networks that are used by the party barons to “deliver” crowds for rallies and party congresses. Indeed, parties tend to treat their members with disdain and utter disrespect. Consequently, the political relationship within the parties is essentially one between patrons and clients and the clients are mobilised on pecuniary, religious, ethnic or regional bases. The question is whether the newly emerging parties will be any different. We already know that state governors, all of who are respective “owners” of their parties in their home base are the key drivers in the establishment of the new parties. Can they change their behaviour and submit the new parties to due process, internal party democracy and respect for the views of party members? The transition will be very difficult but the fact of the matter is that it must happen if we are to consolidate our democracy. The tradition in Nigeria is that competition is very intense within the ruling party and less so between the political parties. This is due to the fact that since 1979, Nigeria has developed the tradition of major blocs of the political elite coalescing into a single political party conceived as a hegemonic

party. In elections that are relatively free and fair, namely, the 1959, 1979 and 1999 elections, the parties that had the highest votes, the Northern Peoples’ Congress, the National Party of Nigeria and the Peoples’ Democratic Party failed in their desire to be hegemonic or dominant through the polls. In the subsequent elections of 1964, 1983 and 2003, they all abused their incumbency powers to transform themselves into dominant parties. Today, we are living in interesting times. For the first time, real moves are emerging from the political terrain aimed at significantly weakening the ruling party and establishing real alternatives. It is in this context that the emergence of the APC, the PDM and the PDP splinter could be a life changer in the party system we operate. If the present trend is sustained, the cream of the political elite seeking access to power could have a couple of alternative platforms to realise their ambitions outside the dominant party. Of cause all this will depend on the capacity of the new formations to change the character of our politics by accepting the principles of internal party democracy. Jibrin Ibrahim resides in Abuja, FCT.




Pensioners’ woes: Need for strong labour response By Kola Ibrahim


national daily recently reported that reported one Mrs. Thompson Imakop, a former officer at National Bureau of Statistics, “who retired in 2007, was only paid in 2010.” Since then she “has not received a dime as pension.” If her story is not pathetic enough, listen to that of Mr. Muftau Baruwa, the senior foreman in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, “who retired 11 years and three months ago. He said he was a living dead. ‘I served for 35 years and received a merit award twice by the Federal Government through two different level 14 officers. I joined the service on 19 May, 1967 and I retired May 25, 2002. As we speak, I have not been paid a kobo, both my gratuity and pension. I have been to the hospital twice since my retirement… I think death is better than this suffering. Most times, I go into the streets to beg for money to feed.’” While Mrs. Imakop and Mr. Baruwa are lamenting, just one John Yakubu, converted N23 billion of police pension fund to his own. While he was only given a slap on the wrist with a fine of N750, 000, another man who was employed to uncover the mismanagement of pension funds, Abdulrahman Maina, was himself “uncovered” by a Senate Committee to have mismanaged (read loot) billions of naira from the pension fund. Mr. Maina has jetted out of the country with the support of the presidency! These are just two individuals out of several others involved in feeding fat on the misery of poor and hapless pensioners. Pensioners’ woes are made By Frank Onuoha


any of us have been following judiciously the political crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party and other ruling parties in the states. While some may be shocked at the latest developments like the emergence of a ‘New PDP’ led by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and seven governors of the party or the emergence of two APGA candidates in Anambra governorship election, I am not. I believe the crises were imminent and many PDP chieftains may have also seen the looming unprecedented storm but felt hapless, indifferent or immune. Judging by the way the Tukur-led administration in conjunction with the president, has piloted the affairs of the party with so much rancor from every quarter, we can say the signs were all over the place. Nonetheless, I do not agree the part is about to disintegrate as many commentators believe. However, the crumbling of the once super-structure of these ruling parties means interesting times in politics in Nigeria. Going into 2015, some opposition parties who are smart enough to keep their house together; maintain harmonious stability, may increasingly become the center of attraction for millions of Nigerian voters across the states. In November, voters in this state will troop out to elect their new executive governor. At the beginning of the present democratic dispensation in 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, provided the list of governors which

worse by the collected under virtual collapse the government of social services, pension which in effect scheme. Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, has turned every The future household into a of retirees text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written mini-government. is bleaker contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters Public education under the - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your is being taken out contributory of the reach of the pension name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be poor and working scheme addressed to: people with LASU, than under UNIOSUN, EKSU government demanding an pension The Editor, average of N150, arrangement. Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 000 as fees from For instance, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. students; while the pension public hospitals reform act Email: are more like allows pension SMS: 08134607052 death centres for managers to serious ailments. spend these In this kind of milieu, retirement invest in other social services like pension funds for business. This is more like being sentenced to education, healthcare, job creation is a sure road to disaster, on the permanent poverty, except for the but to loot, just as over $400 billion basis of Nigeria’s neo-colonial, few big bureaucrats. Even when has been reported looted by them bankrupt capitalism. Indeed, the workers are in service, they can since 1999. recent collapse of Nigerian banking hardly make ends meet with their According to this Contributory sector has already put paid to lies meager salaries. Pension Scheme, workers and that private businesses are more As if that’s not enough, the employers (both government and effective and less corrupt. It took ruling elite, in order to legalize and private) are to contribute 7.5 percent government’s commitment of over legitimize the looting of retirees’ of each worker’s salary into the N2.5 trillion of public funds that pensions have come up with the pension fund, to be administered could have been used to fund social dubious Contributory Pension by PFAs and PFCs. Aside the fact services, to revive these banks, Scheme, enacted in 2004 under that the idea of deducting workers’ albeit temporarily. However, the the Pension Reform Act. By these salaries as pension is exploitative maddening gambling and crazy laws, government is shedding and fraudulent; workers are being quest for quick profits have not off the load of ensuring pension seriously shortchanged with this stopped either in the banking or for workers, while handing them arrangement. For instance, what any other sector. Effects of the over to the private shylocks and a worker gets as pension after collapse of stock market or banking profiteers, organized under Pension retirement is this savings which is sector will surely reverberate in Fund Administrators (PFA) and divided into pension and gratuity. the pension administration with Custodians (PFC). Indeed, these This is unlike a government lots of defaults in payments of private profiteers are a gang guaranteed pension scheme, where pensioners. Meanwhile by this of bankers, politicians and big a fixed percentage of workers’ time, these private profiteers would business people, who have set up salary is given as pension with the have gained enough wealth via these companies to feed fat on possibility of increase. By this policy, awarding huge salaries, allowances workers’ pensions. Moreover, the what a retiree in the contributory and bonuses to themselves, as new pension arrangement frees up pension scheme will get is just a witnessed during the banking more money for politicians, not to fraction of what he/she would have crisis.


New states up for grabs include Chinwoke Mbadinuju and Chris Ngige until the All Progressive Grand Alliance caused a major upset when a court ruling sacked the government of Chris Ngige and declared Peter Obi the right winner of the governorship in 2006. From 2006 to 2013 APGA therefore has piloted the affairs of the state not without some internal altercation. For one, the endless tussle for the position of national chairman of the party has blighted the political image of the party since it was created in 2003. The emergence of factions and growing discordant voices within the party may have ensured that the prospect of putting up a united front in any election is almost zilch. The unresolved ghost of the party merger and the suspension of Rochas Okorocha governor of Imo State for ‘antiparty activities’ may haunt them eventually. Presently the party leadership appears lost and unable to contend with the emergence of two candidates on Monday 1 September 2013 for a governorship election that will be held in a month time. If they ever amend their broken walls, one hopes it may not be too late. The opposition parties are not sleeping. It is said that one should not meddle in the quarrel of two politicians because behind closed doors they are having a good laugh at the mediating public’s expense. This notion appears not to be the

case in River State. This is one state that the hope of reconciling warring factions within the ruling party may be lost. The dirty linens of the ruling party, PDP in Rivers State have been in the public domain for more than a year and none of the actors involved appears to be sheathing their swords anytime soon. Virtually anyone – even a child, can tell the story of PDP in River State. The state PDP chapter with the alleged connivance of the Presidency is irredeemably pitted against the state government. The governor has upped the ante by joining the seven breakaway governors in PDP and now resolutely pursuing a new agenda for the party going by the new court action they brought against the national leadership. The prospects of Governor Rotimi Amaechi joining a prominent opposition party in the coming days are high. When that eventually happens, that is another ruling party state gone to the opposition. It used to be the strongest enclave of the Peoples Democratic Party particularly when Dr. Olusola Saraki – the strongman of Kwara politics, was alive. Following his death, the ruling party in the state is no longer what it used to be. There have been rumors of disaffection between the Saraki’s family and the Abdulfatah Ahmed government which both have dispelled. However if all is well at home, it may not be the same abroad. It will be recalled that the

Kwara State governor was one of the seven governors that walked out from the Special Party Convention the PDP held 31 August 2013. The fallout of the crisis in the party may not be unconnected to the council election in Kwara State in which the new opposition party All Progressive Congress nearly defeated the ruling party’s candidate Uthman Ajidagba. The result of the election is still a major issue of contention. Pending when the national leadership of PDP successfully completes their reconciliation overtures with the angry governors, it is safe to say Kwara State is up for grabs. The political crisis rocking the state, many have said,, is reminiscent of the Yar ‘adua episode. The difference however is, the governor of the State is alive and has addressed his citizens even though his words were slurred and many have argued his speech appeared to be the product of his ‘desperate’ allies. Nevertheless, all is not well in Taraba. The hope that all can still be well may rest on who blinks first between Governor Suntai and his Deputy Garba Umar. If Garba Umar blinks as many expect, it is doubtful that both will still maintain a cordial relationship or whether the State Assembly will be willing to ‘forgive and forget.’ The situation will play into the hands of a discerning opposition because the warring parties may be eager to forge new political alliances.

Workers and pensioners at all levels must mount serious pressure on trade union leadership to lead the campaign and struggle for adequate, promptly-paid, living pension for all retirees. Consequently, a 48-hour strike backed up with mass actions like protests, rallies, media campaign and lobby must be called by labour leadership as a first step in this struggle. Labour movement must reject the contributory pension scheme and demand for a living guaranteed pension scheme for all workers, tied to economic indices (cost of living, inflation, salary increase). Moreover, labour movement must demand for a democratic management of pension funds, by elected representatives of workers and pensioners at workplaces, localities and up to the national levels. The representatives will have to give regular reports and updates to workers on the state of their pensions while monitoring and supervising pension payments to retirees at all levels. If government can commit public resources to fraudulent contributory pension scheme, there is no reason why it cannot ensure adequate pension for workers. Labour movement leadership must withdraw its membership from the Pencom board that administers and supervises this swindle of workers called contributory pension. The manner, in which labour leadership botched, at the last minute, the last protest rally in support of pensioners, under the ridiculous excuse that government has promised to look into the issue, is condemnable. Kola Ibrahim is reachable on Taraba state in 2015 may be the opposition’s gold mine. The state may have an antiJonathan governor, but the presence of a PDP kingmaker, General Ibrahim Babangida makes Niger a bit unpredictable. Since the new democratic experiment in Nigeria, the former military president has been wooed publicly and secretly by various formidable opposition parties but has stayed faithful to PDP. However, analysts have observed that the activities and utterances of Governor Aliyu may actually enjoy the backing of the former military president in view of the fact that he avoids discussing publicly issues that involves the governor. Will Governor Aliyu migrate to another party? He has often denied any future plans of leaving but as one commentator stated “when a politician denies something you ought to take that thing seriously”. 2015 elections is a make or break for all the ruling parties across the state. There may be other states that will be lost to the oppositions; all it takes is one unchecked crisis. Any step in the wrong direction will cost any incumbent party dearly. Meanwhile for those who already found themselves on the wrong part, the road to redemption may not be too far behind. However it will require a lot of commitment to truth and loyalty, trust-building, respect of the views of minority no matter how insignificant they are and trashing of egos. Are they willing for the high way? Frank Onuoha is a historian and public affairs analyst.




Martin Luther King’s letter to Obama By Ahmed Sule


ear President Obama, I hope this letter finds you in good health and that your soul is prospering. I wanted to write this letter to you longhand, but I was not sure if you would be able to read my handwriting, hence I have asked Alatenumo to transcribe what I have to say. So if there is anything lost in translation, please accept my apologies. Five decades ago, I stood in the shadow of the author of the Emancipation Proclamation to tell America about a dream. When I made this speech, I never knew that fifty years on, it would continue to reverberate around the four corners of the world. Watching you as you addressed America as its first Negro president at the same spot where I spoke fifty years ago brought a smile to my face. However, I must also confess that seeing you address the country also brought a tear to my face. In short, reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech has been a bittersweet experience for me. One part of me is happy about the progress America has made as a nation since the speech, while another part of me is saddened by the lack of progress the country has made since the speech. Fifty years later, a lot of progress has been made. Segregation is now a thing of the past. A Negro can now aspire to the highest position in the land as evidenced by your election twice as the President of the United States of America. I am glad that the Negro is exercising his citizen rights. We now have Negro senators, governors and Mayors. Since my speech, we have

seen a Negro defense chief, two Negro Secretaries of State, a Negro Attorney General and three Negro National Security Advisers. It is not only in the political establishment that the glass ceiling has been broken for the people of color. In sports, the Negro is excelling in a number of so-called lily-white sports. I am pleased with the accomplishments of the Williams Sisters in tennis and Tiger Woods in golf. In the business world, many Negroes have excelled. There are a number of Negro CEO’s of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies and countless Negro managers, senior managers, and directors in these organizations. Our people have been able to set up businesses and own houses which have helped increase the wealth in the Negro community. We are also excelling academically. Enrollment into schools is much higher than the enrollment rate fifty years ago. Racial expletives such as “nigger” and “coon” that were prevalent back in the days are frowned on

nowadays. Yes, there has been a lot of progress since 1963 and I am optimistic that more progress is on the way. However, we need to be mindful that we are not blinded by these gains and thereby overlook the subtle forms of racism. After I departed this world, I have seen racism metamorphose from the conscious form to a subtle and institutional form. This new form of racism is more dangerous than the old form because it cannot be easily proved, detected or solved. It comes in many forms and guises. One area is the criminal justice system, where the Negroes are grossly over represented. Negroes account for a million out of the 2.3 million people imprisoned in America. A Negro is six times more likely to be imprisoned relative to his white counterpart. I also understand that if the current incarceration rate continues one out of every three Negro male born in 2013 could spend time in prison during his lifetime. I am concerned

Mr. President, I have to be harsh with you and tell you that you have failed in the area of militarism. Towards the tail end of my life, I decided to speak out on the militarization of America. I was a vocal advocate against the war in Vietnam even though it cost me my popularity.

that Negroes are imprisoned for drug related offences at 10 times the rate of whites even though 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as Negroes. I was heartbroken when I heard about what happened to Trayvon Martin, a young man cut down in his prime just because of the color of his skin. I pray that God Almighty will comfort his family. Where do you stand in the scheme of things? You have made some bold statements on race like your “A More Perfect Union Speech” in response to the Pastor Jeremiah Wright saga and your recent comment in respect of the Trayvon Martin incident. Furthermore, the Attorney General’s suggestion on the need for a national race conversation is commendable. While I am conscious of the fact that you are President of United States of America and not the President of Negro America, I urge you to do more in addressing racism, especially the institutional form. Obama, it is a shame that your government is pandering to the interest of Wall Street and you have reneged on your promise to prevent the lobbyists from infiltrating the White House. You have also surrounded yourself with those who want the status quo to remain, so it should be know surprise that the Financial reforms, which was launched with such fanfare, has been watered down by intense lobbying. Mr. President, I have to be harsh with you and tell you that you have failed in the area of militarism. Towards the tail end of my life, I decided to speak out on the militarization of America.

I was a vocal advocate against the war in Vietnam even though it cost me my popularity. During your address at the Lincoln Memorial, you rightly pointed out that economic opportunity was our great unfinished business, however throughout that speech you failed to mention a single word about militarism. One cannot talk about economic injustice without talking about militarism and racism, because these three evils are all interlinked. You have shown little interest in Africa. When you were elected as president, the whole continent rejoiced. Even though many Africans knew that you were elected president of the USA and not Africa, they still expected you to be more engaging. However, you remain aloof. It was only when the Chinese began to increase its influence in the continent that you decided to engage with Africa. During your last visit to the continent, you seemed to spend more time lecturing African leaders to embrace gay rights rather than helping them to deliberate on strategies to solve the continents many problems. I am sure these leaders must wonder why you are so brave and confident to tell them to accept gay rights, while you are afraid to tell leaders in the Arab world to do likewise. You may not know it, but you have become a laughing stock in Africa. Another concern I have about you is that you try to be all things to all men. As a result, you often come across as indecisive. Your father, Martin Luther King Jr. Ahmed Sule’s professional profile is on linkedIn.

Will America ever erase the colour line? A

By Ogaga Ifowodo

year to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for jobs and Freedom and the benediction of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, America reached for a brush, dipped it in white paint and freshened the racial colour line of which King’s predecessor, W. E. B. Du Bois, spoke so eloquently 60 years earlier in The Souls of Black Folk. I am speaking of the murder on 26 February 2012 of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American boy by George Zimmerman, a white-Hispanic American. Martin had crossed the colour line by his sheer presence in Zimmerman’s gated community. Thus, though warned by the police not to follow Martin, Zimmerman would sooner damn the consequences, if any, than let a black boy “get away” with the “crime.” An all-white jury acquitted Zimmerman. Martin’s murder echoes the slaughter of the 14-year-old Emmet Till in the aptly named town of Money (after all, what was slavery for which racism was a necessary ideology but the unconscionable pursuit of lucre?) in Mississippi, a state King described in his speech as “sweltering with the heat of injustice . . . [and] oppression.”

Till’s crime was “flirting” with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, by “speaking” to or “whistling” at her. Days after the encounter, Carolyn’s husband, aided by his brother, seized Till from his greatuncle’s house where he had been staying on a visit from Chicago, drove him to a barn, tortured and then shot him through the head. Bryant and his brother were acquitted of kidnapping and murder. So has nothing changed in the racial psychology of America since the genocide against Native Americans (the true owners of the land), Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, the Civil Rights revolution of the 1960s? You would be an incurable cynic, an insufferable paranoiac, to deny the monumental progress since the unthinkable days of lynchings and “For Whites Only.” But you would be a delusional optimist, a closet racist, to think that America is now in a post-racial epoch. The election and re-election of Barack Hussein Obama, giving him and his all-too-black family occupancy of the White House, is enough to cause such euphoria. Still, the racial cauldron boils over every now and then for the requisite reality check. That is, if the latent or outright racial prejudice many believe is responsible for the daily racial

slurs (and here think of the coded language of sworn opposition from the birthed movement to the Tea Party and right wing talk radio) that Obama endures do not constitute for you enough evidence to the contrary. But when the racial cauldron boils over, we are reminded of the great paradox of America’s self-proclamation as the land of freedom, of the constitutional enshrinement of the equal humanity of all; stirring sentiments founded, nevertheless, on the twin evils of genocide and slavery. Which leads to the inescapable fact of racism as the political unconscious of America. For to perpetuate the national myth of being the land of freedom, America has, necessarily, to deny its history that perpetually mocks the claim. The result, to slightly adapt Du Bois speaking of the Negro (African-American), is “a double consciousness”: the rousing declamation of freedom while committing unspeakable atrocities. Thus, two ideologically “unreconciled strivings,” two “warring” claims in one bodypolitic for a classic case of trauma and repression. Perhaps — and here I am freely speculating — it is out of an uncanny wish for atonement that America has appointed itself as the moral policeman of the world, its

economic or “national interest” apart. As with every trauma, however, the only way to break its crippling hold on the present and the compulsion to repeat the original catastrophe in new, often unrecognisable, ways is to acknowledge it. But America’s refusal to confront its “collective unconscious,” as Carl Jung might have put it, leaves every person of conscience wondering how, in the second decade of the 21st Century, the great miscarriage of justice in the Trayvon Martin case could happen. Or maybe not, since our world as currently constituted remains largely divided by the colour line. In the “unconscious” depths of the mind of white America — and I speak generally, mindful that about a third of the 250,000 thousand that marched on Washington were white people, mindful of the abolitionists, freedom riders and countless others, as individuals or groups, who risked life and liberty to oppose slavery and Jim Crow — the African or coloured person is inherently inferior. Is this a cynical view? Well, then, join Toni Morrison in a thought experiment. In an interview with The Guardian (UK) of 13 April 2012, Morrison disclosed that she performed the experiment, at the age of 17, in an effort to understand the kind of

rage that led some white mothers in the south to try to overturn a school bus carrying black children. “I didn’t know if I could turn over a bus full of little white kids,” she said. “I didn’t know if I could feel that… fury. And I tried very hard to. This is what I did: I said suppose … horses began to speak and began to demand their rights. Now, I’ve ridden horses. They’re very good workers. They’re very good racehorses. Suppose they just … want more. Suppose they want to go to school! Suppose they want to sit next to me in the theatre. I began to feel this sense of — ‘I like you, but …’, ‘You’re good, but …Suppose they want to sleep with my children?” As her interviewer thankfully informs us, Morrison was by this point “laughing heartily.” Then the clincher: “I had to go outside the species! But it worked, I could feel it. You know; don’t sit next to me.” This is the psychic state that keeps the colour line continuously whitewashed and bright in America. But it can be erased. America’s tantalising promise of one human identity, which affirms the dream of a common human destiny, demands nothing less. But will the greatest power on earth even try? Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo teaches literature at Texas State University, USA.



Foundation donates play items worth N1.5m to children with Down-syndrome By Stanley Onyekwere


n recognition of the need for proper care and attention to children living with special needs in the society, an Abuja based nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Jude Nnam foundation yesterday presented kids play items worth N1.5 million naira to children with special needs at the Down-syndrome Support Initiative centre, in Abuja. The centre located within the

premises of the Local Education Authority (LEA) primary school, Wuse, Zone 2, was presented with sets of swindler, slider and amongst other children playing equipment, to the admiration of the staff of the centre, who were on hand to receive the facilities, on behalf of the students still on vacation. Presenting the items to the centre, Founder of the Foundation, Mr. Jude Nnam said the gesture was its way of expressing love and

support to parents of children living with Down syndrome condition; and also to let them know that despite their condition, they can live a normal life, as all hope is not lost. According to him, because of lack of proper care and attention to the issues related to Down syndrome in the society, many children with the condition have either died or been neglected by their parents. He said the foundation which is committed to educating and

developing programmes for children with special needs as well as promotion of community awareness on the Down syndrome; however wants to use its platform to help and strengthened already established centres catering for children with special conditions. In his words: “Also we want to establish a music academy in the foundation, where we can from time to time visit centres like this one and play music and organize

L-R: Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba, Secretary to the Commission, Mr. Mark Ojiah, and Director of Marketing and Services of NBC, Mr. Areh Patrick, during a visit by the NBC management to the minister, recently in Abuja.

music concert for children with Down syndrome; they are musically inclined people as they love music a lot offer. “And it is our desire to organize workshop to educate people especially parents and physicians who specialize in this area, on the need to adequately carter for children living with the condition; as it had been my dream to do something for children living with down syndrome condition, as we don’t have to wait for support from anybody but the opportunity has not presented itself till now,” He said. Nnam therefore called on the government to assist the foundation in its objectives to ensure proper care for the needs of children with Down syndrome condition especially in the area of health; “because some of these children are on medication almost on all the day of their lives while some frequent hospitals almost on a daily basis, which is very expensive in nature.” Assistant Coordinator of the centre, Jane Paul, who received the items on behalf of the Coordinator, Ifeoma Nwosu, thanked the foundation for the gesture, adding that it would go a long way to strengthen the existing facilities at the centre.

RTEAN urges FCTA for more vehicles

Photo: Mahmud Isa

By Usman Shuaibu

Witchcraft: FCT police files T criminal charges against cleric T he police in the FCT have filed a criminal suit against the Chief Overseer of the Sabbath Church in Dape Village, Life Camp, Abuja, Isaiah Okoye, for alleged culpable homicide. The charges, filed by Insp. Tony Akerele, alleged that Okoye

performed a ``special’’ deliverance on two teenagers whom he claimed were witches in his church. Akerele, in the charge sheet, alleged that the accused used ropes to tie the victims for three days without feeding them, which caused the death of one of the

victims The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police also listed Ngozi Ogbonna, a member of the church, in the suit. The suit was filed before Justice Jude Okeke, a vacation judge in the FCT High Court.

Okeke has fixed Sept. 19 for the arraignment of the suspects. A copy of the charge sheet obtained by NAN showed that the police filed a two-count charge on alleged criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, an offence contrary to the Penal Code (NAN).

FCTA assures on regulatory mechanism for digital broadcast By Adeola Tukuru


ederal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has said that more regulatory mechanisms be put in place by the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as the country transcends to digital broadcasting next year. Speaking while receiving the Director General of NBC, Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, expressed concern that the digitalization might be hijacked by some persons with ‘special interest’ while receiving the Director General of NBC, Mr. Emeka Mba in her office recently. He words: “I think there is really a need for us to think as we go digital

how we are going to regulate what is going on within the bounds of the law without violating freedom of expression” “As a democrat, I believe in freedom of the press but I also believe in an emerging democracy or even in a matured one; the regulator and his function is very important because we have to be sure that the press not only be free but responsible. “The NBC is playing a very critical role in ensuring that as we go through our democratic experience and it is not hijacked by special interest” On affordable housing for the commission, she adviced that the commission “apply as usual through AGIS for affordable housing, tick the box for affordable housing, the

cooperative applies and once we have the application we will definitely consider you when are doing phase 2 which will come up before the end of the year” She added that the policy the administration has adopted is “slightly different from the former mass housing model we now have what we call affordable housing, what we do is to put the infrastructure and then divide the land in small parcels. We have already done the first phase. “Government will not give houses but serviced land where you can build houses not too far from the city,” she said. Speaking earlier, DG, NBC, Mr. Emeka Mba, said the pilot take off of the broadcast digitilisation will major

cities in the country. “Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt are going to be the first cities that we are going to switch over from next year before the actual date we will be using that as pilot phase. “There is going to be a lot of aggressive campaign from October for Nigeria transition to digital broadcasting next year. He said, the NBC is aware of the many challenges that could arise with the transition but “we are going to do everything we can do” He appealed to the minister to support the commission in actualising a housing scheme for its staff and synergy between the broadcast commission and FCT as one of the reasons for the visit.

he chairman of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Lukman Obi, has called on the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed to provide more of the Urban Transit buses for the association to boost the morale of commuters. Obi, who made the call in an interview with Peoples Daily in Abuja, also urged the FCT Minister to provide an enabling environment for the transporters to operate successfully in the territory. He thanked the FCT minister for the necessary assistance being accorded to the association so far, saying that his leadership will continue to partner with the FCT Transport Secretariat for the benefits of the association. He further said that his administration would not hesitate to carry the members of the association along, while advising the members to always contribute for the development of the association. He then warned the members against any act capable of causing crisis in the association and urged them to shun rumour-mongering. Obi, therefore, commended the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association, especially the RTEAN’s president, Alhaji Musa Isiwele Shehu for lifting the association to higher heights.


Young men assisting a taxi driver to push his cab from the road, yesterday in Garki 2, Abuja.



An elderly woman waiting for alms on Wuse pedestrian bridge, yesterday in Abuja.

Usual bustling at FCT bus stop, yesterday in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja.

A young woman hawking okpa, yesterday in Garki 2, Abuja.

Hawkers exchanging pleasantries, yesterday in Area 7, Garki, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo



Police arraign man, 32, for alleged theft


he Police have arraigned Linus Auyah, 32, of Mashafa, Mpapa, Abuja, in a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates Court for stealing Christmas nursery plants. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Emmanuel Adikwu, told the court that Ahmed Isa of Agwamada Kwata Suleja, Niger State, reported the matter at Maitama Police Station. Adikwu said the Christmas nursery plant was kept at a spot along IBB Boulevard , Maitama, Abuja. He said during investigations, eight pieces of the said plant were recovered from the accused. Auyah, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. His defence counsel, Mr Goodwill Chukwudi, prayed the court to grant his client bail on liberal term. Chukwudi said his client would not jump bail and would provide reasonable sureties that would take him on bail. The magistrate, Mrs Chinyere Nwecheonwu, granted the accused bail in the sum of N20, 000 with a surety in like sum. Nwecheonwu said the surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and submit a passport-sized photograph to the court’s registrar. She adjourned the case to Sept. 9, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)


Man, 29, docked for alleged attempt to rape nursing mother A

29-year-old man, Stanley Bestman, has appeared before an Abuja Magistrates Court for allegedly attempting to rape a woman, Naomi Haruna, on her farm. The accused, who is of no fixed address, was charged for criminal assault and criminal force with intent to rape Haruna at DakiBiyu village, Jabi, Abuja on Aug. 30.

The police prosecutor, Cpl. Simon Emmanuel, alleged that Haruna was working on her farm with a baby strapped on her back when the accused suddenly emerged from the bush. He said that the accused then grabbed her and pushed her to the ground and forced his finger into her private part with the intention to rape her. Emmanuel further alleged

that the accused ran way when the victim raised an alarm which attracted the attention of people who came to the scene of the alleged crime. The prosecutor said the accused was subsequently trailed and apprehended by neighbouring farmers who took him to the Life Camp Police Station. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty when Magistrate Idaiyat

Akanni took his plea. Akanni admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N100,000 with two reliable sureties. She ordered that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction and one of them must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 7. The Magistrate adjourned the case to Sept. 20,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Court remands 2 labourers for allegedly stealing carpets


Kuje Area Court in the FCT has remanded in prison two labourers, Bala Mohammed, 26, and Bashir Ibrahim, 27, for allegedly stealing carpets. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suspects were charged with joint act, criminal trespass and theft. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Ocheche Samuel, told the court the matter was reported at the Kuje Police Station by Mustapha Suleiman of Shadadi village, Lanto Road in Kuje on Aug. 31. ``On Aug. 27, 2013 at about 2.30 p.m, Mohammed and Ibrahim jointly went to Suleiman’s car wash and stole two carpets spread on a wall and belonging to a customer in Paseli, Kuje. ``After committing the crime, they disappeared and were nowhere to be found for over a week,’’ he said. The prosecutor said during investigation, the two carpets were recovered from the accused’s house. He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 342 and 287 of the Penal Code. Mohammed and Ibrahim, however, pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them. The judge, Mr. Nuhu Ibrahim, ordered the accused to be remanded in prison and adjourned the case till Sept. 9,2013 for judgment.(NAN)

A young man pushing wheelbarrow loaded with orange, yesterday at Mararaba orange market.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Man bags 6 months imprisonment for stealing motorcycle


Zuba Grade 1 Area Court in the FCT has sentenced Abubakar Lawal, 21, of Yimi-Abuja to six months in prison for stealing a Qlink motorcycle. The court also ordered Umar Ibrahim, 19, of the same address to be remanded in for allegedly committing the same crime. The presiding officer, Alhassan Kusherki, passed the six months sentence on Lawal after he pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of Joint Act

and Theft. He ordered the remand of Ibrahim who pleaded not guilty to the same offence. Before passing the judgment, Kusherki said:``I am totally disappointed at the rampant cases of theft of motorcycles within the jurisdiction of this court. ``I think something has to be done so that we will make sure that this is stopped, and this can only be done if severe punishment is meted out to the

perpetrators of such acts. ``As such, even though you are a first offender, you will be punished accordingly. The accused person is hereby ordered to pay a fine of N20, 000 or go for six months’ imprisonment in default of payment. ``As for you who pleaded not guilty, the case will be adjourned to the Sept. 25 for further mention and he should be remanded in prison until then,’’ Kusherki said. The prosecutor, Momoh Ibrahim, told the court earlier that

on Aug. 31, Tsoho Abdullahi of Yimi-Zuba(Abuja) reported the case at Zuba police station. The prosecutor said Abdullahi reported that he parked his Qlink motorcycle in the front of his house when the convict and the accused conspired and stole it. He said that in the course of police investigation, the said motor cycle was recovered from them. He also said that the offences contravened the provisions of sections 79 and 288 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

Security man arraigned for allegedly stealing building materials


he police have arraigned a 27-year-old security man, Peter Onu, of Gosa Airport Road, Abuja before a Kuje Area Court for alleged stealing. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused was arraigned on a two-count charge of joint act and theft, contrary to Sections 79 and 289 of the Penal Code. The Police Prosecutor, CPL.

Samuel Ocheche, told the court that the matter was reported at the Kuje Police Station by one Janet Brainmo of No. 2 Yakubu Jibrin Str. Kaduna on Aug. 28. He said that the accused and one Sunday Ocholi now at large, jointly conspired and stole building materials from her shop worth N1.33 million ``They stole a bundle of aluminium roofing sheets, electrical

wires, plumbing materials, 20 pieces of iron rods, one water tank and one wheel barrow. ``Others items are 10 plastic buckets, six bags of cement, 50 yards of electrical wires, 30 blocks, one bundle of electrical pipes and one trip of sharp sand. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor prayed the court for adjournment to enable

the police to conclude investigation into the matter. The Presiding Judge, Mr Nuhu Ibrahim, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 with a surety in like sum. Ibrahim said the surety must be responsible and a civil servant, residing within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the case to Sept. 23,2013 . (NAN)



Foundation donates play items worth N1.5m to children with Down-syndrome By Stanley Onyekwere


n recognition of the need for proper care and attention to children living with special needs in the society, an Abuja based nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Jude Nnam foundation yesterday presented kids play items worth N1.5 million naira to children with special needs at the Down-syndrome Support Initiative centre, in Abuja. The centre located within the

premises of the Local Education Authority (LEA) primary school, Wuse, Zone 2, was presented with sets of swindler, slider and amongst other children playing equipment, to the admiration of the staff of the centre, who were on hand to receive the facilities, on behalf of the students still on vacation. Presenting the items to the centre, Founder of the Foundation, Mr. Jude Nnam said the gesture was its way of expressing love and

support to parents of children living with Down syndrome condition; and also to let them know that despite their condition, they can live a normal life, as all hope is not lost. According to him, because of lack of proper care and attention to the issues related to Down syndrome in the society, many children with the condition have either died or been neglected by their parents. He said the foundation which is committed to educating and

developing programmes for children with special needs as well as promotion of community awareness on the Down syndrome; however wants to use its platform to help and strengthened already established centres catering for children with special conditions. In his words: “Also we want to establish a music academy in the foundation, where we can from time to time visit centres like this one and play music and organize

L-R: Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba, Secretary to the Commission, Mr. Mark Ojiah, and Director of Marketing and Services of NBC, Mr. Areh Patrick, during a visit by the NBC management to the minister, recently in Abuja.

music concert for children with Down syndrome; they are musically inclined people as they love music a lot offer. “And it is our desire to organize workshop to educate people especially parents and physicians who specialize in this area, on the need to adequately carter for children living with the condition; as it had been my dream to do something for children living with down syndrome condition, as we don’t have to wait for support from anybody but the opportunity has not presented itself till now,” He said. Nnam therefore called on the government to assist the foundation in its objectives to ensure proper care for the needs of children with Down syndrome condition especially in the area of health; “because some of these children are on medication almost on all the day of their lives while some frequent hospitals almost on a daily basis, which is very expensive in nature.” Assistant Coordinator of the centre, Jane Paul, who received the items on behalf of the Coordinator, Ifeoma Nwosu, thanked the foundation for the gesture, adding that it would go a long way to strengthen the existing facilities at the centre.

RTEAN urges FCTA for more vehicles

Photo: Mahmud Isa

By Usman Shuaibu

Witchcraft: FCT police files T criminal charges against cleric T he police in the FCT have filed a criminal suit against the Chief Overseer of the Sabbath Church in Dape Village, Life Camp, Abuja, Isaiah Okoye, for alleged culpable homicide. The charges, filed by Insp. Tony Akerele, alleged that Okoye

performed a ``special’’ deliverance on two teenagers whom he claimed were witches in his church. Akerele, in the charge sheet, alleged that the accused used ropes to tie the victims for three days without feeding them, which caused the death of one of the

victims The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police also listed Ngozi Ogbonna, a member of the church, in the suit. The suit was filed before Justice Jude Okeke, a vacation judge in the FCT High Court.

Okeke has fixed Sept. 19 for the arraignment of the suspects. A copy of the charge sheet obtained by NAN showed that the police filed a two-count charge on alleged criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, an offence contrary to the Penal Code (NAN).

FCTA assures on regulatory mechanism for digital broadcast By Adeola Tukuru


ederal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has said that more regulatory mechanisms be put in place by the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as the country transcends to digital broadcasting next year. Speaking while receiving the Director General of NBC, Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, expressed concern that the digitalization might be hijacked by some persons with ‘special interest’ while receiving the Director General of NBC, Mr. Emeka Mba in her office recently. He words: “I think there is really a need for us to think as we go digital

how we are going to regulate what is going on within the bounds of the law without violating freedom of expression” “As a democrat, I believe in freedom of the press but I also believe in an emerging democracy or even in a matured one; the regulator and his function is very important because we have to be sure that the press not only be free but responsible. “The NBC is playing a very critical role in ensuring that as we go through our democratic experience and it is not hijacked by special interest” On affordable housing for the commission, she adviced that the commission “apply as usual through AGIS for affordable housing, tick the box for affordable housing, the

cooperative applies and once we have the application we will definitely consider you when are doing phase 2 which will come up before the end of the year” She added that the policy the administration has adopted is “slightly different from the former mass housing model we now have what we call affordable housing, what we do is to put the infrastructure and then divide the land in small parcels. We have already done the first phase. “Government will not give houses but serviced land where you can build houses not too far from the city,” she said. Speaking earlier, DG, NBC, Mr. Emeka Mba, said the pilot take off of the broadcast digitilisation will major

cities in the country. “Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt are going to be the first cities that we are going to switch over from next year before the actual date we will be using that as pilot phase. “There is going to be a lot of aggressive campaign from October for Nigeria transition to digital broadcasting next year. He said, the NBC is aware of the many challenges that could arise with the transition but “we are going to do everything we can do” He appealed to the minister to support the commission in actualising a housing scheme for its staff and synergy between the broadcast commission and FCT as one of the reasons for the visit.

he chairman of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Lukman Obi, has called on the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed to provide more of the Urban Transit buses for the association to boost the morale of commuters. Obi, who made the call in an interview with Peoples Daily in Abuja, also urged the FCT Minister to provide an enabling environment for the transporters to operate successfully in the territory. He thanked the FCT minister for the necessary assistance being accorded to the association so far, saying that his leadership will continue to partner with the FCT Transport Secretariat for the benefits of the association. He further said that his administration would not hesitate to carry the members of the association along, while advising the members to always contribute for the development of the association. He then warned the members against any act capable of causing crisis in the association and urged them to shun rumour-mongering. Obi, therefore, commended the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association, especially the RTEAN’s president, Alhaji Musa Isiwele Shehu for lifting the association to higher heights.




FIRS chief says taxation critical to attainment of Vision 20:2020, 08033045613

- Pg 22

Customers urge gov’t intervention in Union Homes strike - Pg 22

L-R: former Head, South African Futures Exchange, Roderick Grandelet-Blondin, Chairman, African Exchange Holdings (AFEX), Tony O. Elumelu, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, and Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Benjamin Dikki, during the signing of a public-private partnership between AFEX and Ministry of Agriculture to create a national warehousing receipts system, yesterday in Abuja.

Customs shuts Nahco, SAHCOL warehouses in Lagos From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) yesterday shut warehouses of both Nigeria Avation Hading Company plc (Nahco) and the Skyways Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) citing breach of consignment clearance procedures. The closure of both warhorses was carried out by the airport command of the Nigeria Customs, an action that receive full backing of Comptroller – General of Customs, Abullahi Dikko Inde. Both Nahco plc and SAHCOL were accused by Customs of giving un satisfactory explanations in connection to exiting of goods from their warehouses without proper documentation. Both companies, according to

airport Command of the Customs failed to produce customs release documentation and evidence of payment of import duty and other statutory charges. Briefing journalists yesterday Public Relation Officer of Airport Command of the NCS in Lagos, Mrs. Thelma Williams said the closure was a follow up to series of meetings between the Customs Area Comptroller Mohammed Dahiru Umar with all Stakeholders, including cargo agents and freight forwarders association. She said the command acted on the approval of the Comptroller General , an action she said was in line with the statutory powers conferred on the Nigeria Customs Service as provided under sections 145(1) (b) and 5 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004, (as amended) and other

extant regulations. Other reasons cited for the action included, non-compliance with Customs procedure and the attendant loss of revenue accruable to the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as its National Security implications. “The refusal of the companies to comply has brought about Unconducive working environment in these warehouses which militates against Officers and Men of the Command discharging their statutory duties effectively”. However, Nahco in a press statement yesterday acknowledged the closure of its facility and explained that the management was in consultation with relevant authority to comply with the custom directives. The company spokesman Adesanya Onayoade told reporters that the custom authority temporarily closed the Customs

Safety code: NERC asks industry operators to comply or face sanction

Bonded warehouse at the Nahco Complex to enable a sanitization exercise that will ultimately improve service delivery and block all revenue leakage. He said measures already measures to sterile areas in the warehouse are restricted to unauthorized people while only licensed customs agents with access cards are allowed in the warehouse. Onayoade said all forms of touting are eliminated around the Nahco cargo complex and men of the Customs Service given all support to ensure full compliance with cargo clearing process in the warehouse and pledge support to accredited government agencies to ensure security and safety. Also, Sahcol spokesperson Mr. Basil Agboarumi said discussions are going on among the custom, its licensed clearing agents and the handling companies to resolve the matter


high and unacceptable. As the infrastructure expands and with the privatisation of the sector almost completed, the need to ensure more accountability and safety of workers and the public in the sector cannot be over-emphasised. The Commission deemed it necessary to ensure the safety of both workers and the public through the implementation of the health and safety code, therefore industry operators must comply with the provisions of this code or else be penalised,” he said. The NERC Boss said that “the health and safety standards embodied in this code have been developed to reduce to zero safety incidences/accidents in the

field,” therefore advised industry operators to set-up a health and safety unit in their respective companies. According to him, the plan to codify the health and safety manual was done in collaboration with stakeholders such as the Ministries of Power and Justice, Integrated Power Producers (IPPs), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Generation companies (Gencos) and Distribution companies (Discos), in line with President Goodluck’s administration concerted efforts in ensuring that electricity is made safe, adequate, reliable and affordable to the teeming Nigerians.

- Pg 21 Exchange Rates CBN

as at4th August, 2013 Buying




















…says Industry witnessed 59 deaths, 60 injuries this year By Etuka Sunday he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday directed electricity operators to comply with the provisions of the new health and safety code or be penalised. The Chairman/CEO of the Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi made the call at the official consultation workshop on the electricity health and safety code for the Nigeria’s Power sector. Amadi’s directive stems from casualties recorded in the industry. “In 2013 between January and July, the Country had witnessed 59 deaths and 60 injuries. These figures are, to say the least are extremely

FG targets 117,000 jobs with sugar, automotive master plan

How to help someone vent


t’s hard to know what to do when someone is ranting. A lot of people will try to jump in and give advice. Others freeze up and just sit there silently. Neither of those approaches will help the person get the negative emotions out and move on (which is what he needs most). Next time someone is bending your ear about a problem, try asking questions. Start by probing into what he’s most frustrated about. If

you ask about his feelings, it often sounds condescending. Asking about frustration is less judgmental. Listen and gather more details about the problem. Once he’s vented his feelings, he’ll be in a better place to think about potential solutions. When people are upset, it matters less what you tell them than what you enable them to tell you. Source: Harvard Business Review




Company News

Controversy surrounds payment for Enugu power firm


total of N16bn will be spent by the Federal Government on rural electrification projects this year, the Minister of State for Power, Mrs. Zainab Kuchi, has said. She said a large percentage of the sum would be used to revive the numerous abandoned electricity projects scattered across various rural communities in the country. Kuchi…

Publicise oil prospecting licences, NEITI tells DPR


he Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has called on the Department of Petroleum Resources to place all oil prospecting licences and mining leases in the public domain in conformity with global standards. It said there was a need for transparency in the acquisition and award of oil prospecting licences and mining leases. The Executive Secretary,…

Constituency projects’ll be implemented with SURE-P model – FG


he Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja stated that lawmakers’ constituency projects as enshrined in the 2013 budget would be implemented in accordance with the model of the Dr. Christopher Koladeled Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme. Under the arrangement, stringent conditions, including supervision right from the beginning of any project and monitoring by the relevant…

Nigeria, Turkey trade volume hits $1.5bn in 2012’


ilateral trade between Nigeria and Turkey in 2012, including imports and exports, was estimated to be worth over $1.5bn. The Chairman, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, made the disclosure at the opening of the Turkish Export Products Exhibition in Lagos on Tuesday. Abubakar, who was represented by…

L-R: Commissioner, Engineering Safety and Standards, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mrs. Mary Awolokon, NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, and Commissioner, Legal Licence and Enforcement, Dr. Steven Adzenge, during a workshop on electricity health and safety code, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

FG targets 117,000 jobs with sugar, automotive master plan Stories by Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


inister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Samuel Ortom said federal government’s sugar and automotive master plan is targeted at creating about 117,000 jobs for Nigerians. He said the programme will not only revolutionalise the automobile industry due to its multiplier effect, but will also, achieve a target of 300,000 units of assembled vehicles by 2018.

“As part of the industrial revolution, we have also launched the National Enterprise Development Plan (NEDEP) with in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Association association of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrail Training Fund ( ITF) and Bank of Industry (BoI) to create an estimated five million jobs by 2015,” he added. The Minister said the awareness created by the ministry, other MDAs are also recording significant inflow in aviation, transport, water, works and power, adding that with

the new Trade Policy, government has repositioned the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and established a training centre at BoI, and embassies to ease Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Dr. Ortom said the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) is at the final stage of due diligence with sectoral focus on agribusiness, solid minerals and oil and gas where the nation has comparative and competitive advantages. He praised the government for consolidating on the achievements

in the cement industry, stressing that the innovative and bold achievement recorded in the backward integration programme would be replicated in all sectors of the economy. He said: “For the first time as a nation, the government developed a strategy for domestic, regional and international trade. We have also established Diaspora Export Programme, six trans-National Border markets beginning with Okerete in Oyo State.”

Why Nigerians imports paints, by manufacturers From Gabriel Johnson, Lagos


he Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(PMAN) has lamented that though Nigeria is self sufficient in paint manufacturing, a lot of people still import because of challenges associated with standards. PMAN Chairman, Engineer Ibikunle Tella addressing newsmen in Lagos decried the lack of standard in the Nigerian paint industry, describing the situation as a disincentive for

genuine paint manufacturers who have to keep up with challenging economic situation. Tella noted further that there is no standard in the local content in the paint industry, adding that the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) is still failing miserably in its duty in specifying the set standard for the industry. “The industry is awash with all mannner of products and the SON needs to step up its game in ridding the industry of substandard products as genuine manufacturers have to keep up

with them in the industry. There should be a morality for the local content and Nigeria as a country has still not being able to do it,” he said. He however decried the situation where manufacturers have to invest millions in the importation of raw materials only to be turned down by customers who demand to know if the finished product is up to standard. Tella noted that apart from the issue of standards, power still remains a major challenge in the industry.

“We spend more than N2 million a month on power. Once the issue of power is fixed then all industries would thrive.” He described the access to credit facilities by manufacturers as a bane of development stressing the importance of soft loans for industries. “The government is loosing sight by neglecting industries. The interest rates charged by some of theses financial institutins is simply outrageous. It is not so in other countries. A lot still needs to be done to address this challenge.”

Nigeria-Indonesia trade hits $448.6m From Lagos




he Indonesia Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) said the volume of trade between Nigeria and Indonesia has hit a sum of $448.6 million. The Director, ITPC, Mr. Pontas Tobing, in a press briefing to announce its forthcoming 28th trade Expo Indonesia scheduled to hold from October16 to 20 in Indonesia said a target to increase the trade

figure by 12 per cent in 2013 has been fixed. Tobing said that commerce between Nigeria and Indonesia has improved significantly compared to last year due to the cordial relationship that exists between the two countries. He said both countries’ trade is reflected in the diversity of products and services, including value added agricultural products, mining products, creativitybased products, strategic industries, construction services,

transportation, manufacturing sector to mention a few. “Although Indonesia is still at disadvantage in this trade, we are not worried about this because we believe as we continue to do business together, there is still hope of both countries enjoying the benefits of trade,” he said. He stressed that Indonesia is committed to continue to boost the development of the Nigerian non-oil and gas sector through market penetration also expanding and strengthening

business relations between the two countries. “We would like you to know that Indonesia still remains a very conducive country for investment after China in Asia. We have over 12 Indonesian companies that have invested in Nigeria and they all have their success stories to tell. I hereby enjoin you to participate in the 28th trade expo Indonesia and I assure you that you will certainly get the best business opportunities without regrets,” he added



Stock Watch

Report as at Wednesday, September 4, 2013




Special Report

Nigerian violence rooted in politics, economics R

eports of Islamist terrorism directed at Christians in Nigeria very often lack context and depth, said Bishops Anselm Umoren, auxiliary bishop of Abuja, Nigeria. Umoren arrived in Toronto, Canada, in late August, to lead local Nigerian Catholics on a pilgrimage to the Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ontario, just as reports surfaced that the head of Boko Haram had been killed. But Umoren, whose archdiocese has suffered some of the worst attacks from the terrorist organization, urged caution about the reports. The Nigerian military claims Abubakar Shekau, who has led Boko Haram into increasing violence since taking over the organization in 2011, was injured in a gun battle June 30, taken secretly to a hospital in Cameroon and then died between July 25 and Aug. 3. However, a video of Shekau was posted to the Internet Aug. 13. While the Nigerian army claims the video is of an imposter, this is the fifth time Shekau has been pronounced wounded or dead. “We’re not yet sure. I’m not sure the military is 100-percent sure,” said Umoren. Beyond the dead-or-alive question, people should be asking whether it will make a difference, said Umoren. “I’m not really sure whether the death of one person will make a difference in what is happening,” he said. What will make a difference is a clearer picture of the complex reality behind the church bombings that have captured the world’s attention,

As if church bombings weren’t bad enough, northern Nigeria is also suffering from oversimplification in Western media reports.

A police officer stands guard outside Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Abuja. the political will to address the poverty and corruption that fuels the fire, and on-going interfaith dialogue that stresses the common ground shared by Muslims and Christians, said Umoren. “What is important for us as religious leaders is the fact that we believe something can be done,” he said.

An Imam and a Pastor in a show of unity

Church bombings and shootings with horrific death tolls have captured world media attention at the expense of more positive stories of Nigerians united against the violence. “In the midst of all this trouble and all this killing there have been Christians protecting Muslims and there

have been Muslims protecting Christians, but we don’t hear those stories,” said the bishop. “Those are the kinds of things that build the community more.” Thousands of Christians and Muslims protected each other from possible terror attacks while taking prayer breaks during a protest of high fuel prices in January, 2012. The unifying events at the protest coincided with a new initiative from the Nigerian Muslim group, Concerned Citizens of Kano state, which puts Muslims in Christian churches to ease any misdirected tensions between the two religious groups. The group’s coordinator, Bashir Is’haq Bashir, said the program seeks to eliminate the confusion that Boko Haram has created, while affirming that Muslim-Christian relations in the country have been – and can continue to be – strong. “It is indeed known to all that Christians have wronged Muslims in Nigeria and also Muslims have wronged Christians, but this is not a time to apportion blames,” Bashir told reporters. “This is a time for reconciliation and forgiveness; a time for us to join hands together for our common good in fighting our common enemies.”

Muslims standing around churches on Sunday mornings and Christians keeping an eye peeled outside mosques Friday afternoons are more reflective of the true state of MuslimChristian relations in Nigeria than bombings perpetrated by a marginal group, he said. It’s not even clear that Boko Haram is religiously motivated, according to Umoren. “I see it more as a political problem and an economic problem,” he said. Massive youth unemployment, failures in the education system and government corruption that has worked to deny many Muslims in northern Nigeria benefits that come with indigenous status have all fed into a situation that has attracted alienated youth to Boko Haram. “They hide under the canopy of Islam to create the trouble,” said Umoren. “Young people very often are pushed to the margin, don’t seem to have an alternative, so they are manipulated and used for certain purposes. Poverty is a factor.” The bishop would like to see the government propose solutions that go beyond deploying elite Joint Military Task Force troops in gun battles. “If the government had made provision to take care of unemployed youth we would probably have less of these incidents,” he said. “The fundamentalists probably would not have a ground.” Umoren points out that statistically, Boko Haram has killed more Muslims than Christians; it has carried out targeted killings of Muslim clerics who have spoken out against the movement and many of the attacks have taken place in market places, office

Muslims pray while Christians form a protective human chain around them during a protest against the elimination of a popular fuel subsidy that has doubled the price of gas in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, Jan. 10, 2012. buildings and other places “that were not really religious grounds.” “You can’t really be certain that this really is a religious problem,” he said. The church’s response has been to foster dialogue with Muslims wherever and however it can. “We’re trying to build a bridge between the Christians and the Muslims,

What will make a difference is a clearer picture of the complex reality behind the church bombings that have captured the world’s attention, the political will to address the poverty and corruption that fuels the fire, and on-going interfaith dialogue that stresses the common ground shared by Muslims and Christians

trying to bring in like-minded Muslims — at least to talk,” he said. Meanwhile, headlines that give the impression Christians in Nigeria are under siege aren’t quite accurate, said Umoren. “You read the news and it’s as if everywhere is in turmoil, whereas it might not be. There is an insecurity problem, but people are going around and doing their business as usual. People are going to church as usual,” he said. Occasionally, word spreads by text message that a particular church may be targeted. Precautions will be taken and parishioners will find another church that Sunday. Not all Nigerian Catholics endorse Umoren’s analysis of the situation, which lines up with Cardinal John Onaiyekan’s approach as archbishop of Abuja. “I see Cardinal Onaiyekan and Bishop (Matthew) Kukah more as diplomats than as pastors when it comes to their

relationship with Muslims,” said Fr. Emmanuel Mbamu in an e-mail to The Catholic Register. Mbamu serves as a pastor in Jos, northern Nigeria, which has been the scene of some of the most deadly church bombings over the past two years. He has spent the last summer in Toronto. Ordinary Nigerian Christians are demanding justice and due process in an environment where Christians live in fear and face constant discrimination and harassment, said Mbamu. “But ‘My Lords’ saw it more as ethnically and politically motivated,” said Mbamu. “Many people feel that the hierarchy appears to be betraying their flock, who have suffered so much.” As for Umoran’s trip to Toronto, the onetime missionary with the Missionaries of St. Paul said visits to the Nigerian Diaspora outside the nation is a natural part of shepherding the Church

in the era of globalization. “People move to a place and sometimes they could be isolated by where they are — by their work, the weather, all kinds of things,” he said. “They need something that can bring them together and help them to renew their faith and continue to worship God.” Whether it is immigrant Catholics looking for a home in their new country or African priests coming to North America, Africans are naturally part of the globalized Church, he said. Bishops in Nigeria are quite aware that various dioceses in North America and Europe have turned to Nigerian seminaries in search of priests, but there’s no concern about losing priests. “I don’t think there is a drain in terms of ministers going across to Europe and America. I think it’s an acknowledgment of where we are,” said Umoren. “The Church is universal, number one. Secondly, the Church should be concerned with one

another. The Church in Africa and the Church in Nigeria particularly, who benefited from missionaries, should be

willing to share.” (Source: The Canadian Catholic Register)

Muslim and Christian Nigerians holding up their respective symbols



Mother Earth

New study shows how Pacific Ocean stalls global warming temporarily A By Mohammed Kandi

lthough temperatures on Earth are higher than ever, the ocean is playing a major role in absorbing excess heat, a new study suggests. Changes in the flow of heat between the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean could help to explain the recent “pause” in global warming that has seen a fall in the rate at which global surface temperatures has risen over the past 15 years or so, a study has suggested. The current global warming hiatus, where the increase in global temperatures has levelled off, can be explained at least in part by natural changes to a cold Pacific Ocean current called La Nina which may have helped to absorb excess heat from the atmosphere, scientists said. It is further evidence that the deep ocean may be playing a major role in helping to dampen down temperature rises at the surface. A previous study for instance found that the heat being absorbed by the deep ocean is equivalent to the power generated by 150 billion electric kettles. Although global average temperatures are now higher than they have ever been since modern records began, they have not increased as fast over the past 10 or 15 years as some climate models have predicted, leading climate “skeptics” to claim that global warming has stopped. Climate scientists have countered by saying that the last decades was still warmer than any previous decade, with 12 of the 14 hottest years on record occurring since 2000, and that periods of natural variability, with temperatures falling temporarily, are always to be expected. Calculations suggest that the overall heat balance of the Earth is showing a positive trend, with more solar heat coming in than thermal energy that is lost into space. Climate researchers have argued that the deep parts of the g ocean are likelyy to be absorbing

A sunrise over the Pacific Ocean at Turtle Bay in the US

this extra heat, rather than it accumulating at the Earth’s surface. The latest study by Yu Kosaka and Shang-Ping Xie, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, supports this idea by a theoretical study of the cold La Nina current in the eastern Pacific which they found is capable of taking up huge amounts of heat from the atmosphere over a period of decades. “ O u r r e s ults show that the current hiatus is part of natural climate variability, tied specifically to a La-Nina-like decadal cooling,” the researchers

Although global average temperatures are now higher than they have ever been since modern records began, they have not increased as fast over the past 10 or 15 years as some climate models have predicted, leading climate “skeptics” to claim that global warming has stopped. said in the journal Nature. “Although similar decadal hiatus events may occur in the future, the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase,” they said. In their computer modelling experiment, the two researchers altered the amount of heat flowing between the east Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere so that the sea surface temperatures in the computer model were forced to agree with the actual observations. “This results in the realistic simulation of the recent surface warming slowdown globally and some unusual weather patterns

such as drought experienced in

the southern United States,” said Richard Allan, a climate scientist at Reading University, who was not involved with the research. “This new study adds further evidence that the recent slowdown in the rate of global warming at the Earth’s surface is explained by natural fluctuations in the ocean and is therefore likely to be a temporary respite from warming in response to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases,” Dr Allan said. “This is important since it adds to a great body of evidence in continuing to confirm the realism of projected dangerous war



Mother Earth Illegal mining: Expert wants FG to implement Minerals Act F

Nigeria is losing billions of naira to illegal mining like these, apart from the health and environmental hazards resulting in deaths.

Waste water management possible in Nigeria–NGO


igeria can achieve centralised waste water management through policies and investment, Fountain Water Limited an international NGO has said. Mr. Abdullahi Aminu, the organisations’s Head of Waste Water, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently in Abuja. Aminu said that Nigerian states could succeed in turning waste water to portable water as many developed nations had done through proper investment. He said that adopting the right policies was key to achieving innovative management of waste

water in the country and would encourage public-private sector partnerships. “It’s a big challenge really, that should be the goal government should be looking forward to. “But because of the limited resources available to the government, even Lagos State is attempting it; but it can’t just find its way around it because it requires enormous fund allocation. “I think through public-private partnership and a good policy, it could be accelerated. If you invest in building such a centralized facility for an area for example, you need the government.

“Sometimes, you don’t want to take the risk because sometimes when government changes, policies change; so you are looking for a balance. “If you could gather international investors to say this is a good project and then waste are just linked from the houses directly into the centralized system,” he explained. “The government could also assist but because we are so far behind, we need some private participation to move as fast as possible to catch up with the rest of the world,” Aminu said “It’s something people have done for decades, now that they are enjoying.”

The Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Samuel Ome said it was imperative as the demand for adequate water supply was on the increase due to migration of people from the rural into urban areas. He said that the treatment and re-use of waste water would cater for water- stressed areas, which had been predicted globally due to expected population explosion. Ome said that if properly funded, the venture would serve as a veritable tool for climate change adaptation, to intensify the production of water suitable for human consumption and for agricultural purposes. (NAN)

ollowing the incessant illegal mining activities and the urgent need to halt such in the country, an environmental legal consultant, Mr. Caleb Mutfwang has urged the Federal Government to fasttrack the implementation of the Minerals Act. Mutfwang, who said that the Minerals Act had more than enough provisions to prosecute illegal miners in the country, the Zamfara lead poisoning incident was caused by non-enforcement of laws. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja recently that “Nigeria had so many environmental laws but lacked the political will to implement them.” “The pace of implementation of that law needs to be fast tracked so that we can avoid incidents like the Zamfara episode because there are a lot of illegal mining sites in Nigeria. “The authorities need to step up because they have the backing of the law to be able to call those illegal miners to order and make sure that things are done in accordance with the law. “People who grew up in that environment just felt it was a natural way of doing things so they need to be educated; part of the key instrument of enforcement of any law is education. “If you don’t educate people to know that this is illegal or this is an offence, they will not be able to stop it. Mutfwang said that the Koko incident was a wake-up call for the management of chemical and hazardous waste in the country. He, however, said there were many constraints against the effectiveness of those laws, among which is the overlapping function of agencies charged with enforcing the laws. “The effectiveness of those laws differ from sector to sector; some of them, like NAFDAC law, which is well known to most Nigerians has been reasonably effective. “The NESREA (National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency) Act is also beginning to create a lot of awareness about environmental safety issues,” he explained.

Deforestation in Africa’s Congo Basin rainforest slows


atellite images of Africa’s Congo Basin reveal that deforestation has fallen by about a third since 2000. Researchers believe this is partly because of a focus on mining and oil rather than commercial agriculture, where swathes of

forest are cleared. It is part of a series that is examining the state of Africa’s forests. Dr. Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds and University College London, said: “Most of the focus has been on the Amazon and on South East Asian tropical

rainforests, and a big bit of the missing picture is what is going on the Congo Basin in Central Africa. “We really wanted to pull together information about this amazing region that we know very little about.” Sprawling across the heart of

Africa, the Congo Basin rainforest is second only to the Amazon in size. It covers nearly 2 million sq km (800,000 sq miles). This latest study, which was carried out by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, reveals that it is far better

health than expected. The Congo Basin is the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon Tree loss in one of the world’s largest rainforests, which has slowed, a study suggests. (Source: BBC)


Emergency Update


NEMA, NOA and emergency management

By Sanya Adejokun ince he resumed in office, three years ago, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad SaniSidi has actively promoted the formation of volunteers groups and mounted massive awareness campaigns on disaster management in Nigeria. Some of the groups in the forefront of the awareness creation on security consciousness include Youths Against Disasters (YADI), Executive Volunteer Group (EVG), Emergency Youth Vanguards (EYV), Journalists Against Disasters (JAD) among others. While the agency is saddled with the coordination of response agencies during emergency situations in the country, it nevertheless co-operates and collaborates with relevant institutions in ensuring that the public are well educated and protected from disasters One federal agency that has come out to further drive and promote the campaign on disaster risk reduction is the National Orientation Agency (NOA) under its current director general, Mike Omeri. As soon as he was appointed early last year, Omeri launched a number of awareness campaigns aimed at changing the attitude of Nigerians positively. He even signed memoranda of understanding with other agencies like the Ecological Fund Office, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and others to promote these campaigns. Some of the campaigns include “Avoid Dirt, Be Clean”, Campaign on destruction of used


NEMA officials distributing relief items to those attacked by the recent insurgency

and empty cans, National Symbols Awareness campaign, campaign for sustainable dialogue, ‘Do The Right Thing’ Transform Nigeria campaign, among others. In a recent paper, NOA stated that it has been engaged in promoting Nigeria’s Core Values by through a nationwide survey of Nigeria’s core values; promoting the dignity of national symbols; cultivating a new crop of leadership; and introduction of civic education in the secondary school curriculum, promoting citizens understanding of the constitution programme;

Abuja-Lokoja road cut-off by the overwhelming flood of 2012

building capacity for community peace and conflict management, feedback to government and forging government/civil society partnership. A new zeal has been introduced into the agency to be driven by volunteer Nigerians for attitudinal transformation. This campaign is being executed with the active collaboration of traditional and religious leaders. The agency has also made sure that school children must also be taught that the bizarre occurrences in the nation in recent times are not in our character and therefore, must

not be imbibed. The NOA is currently integrating into the Community Support Brigade, a corps of 3,000 Neighbourhood Development Ambassadors, a volunteer corps of unemployed professionals, artisans and youths across the various communities in our nation. The agency has been working out strategies to mitigate flood impact in the country as the agency’s “Do the Right Thing: Avoid Dirt, Be Clean” gathers steam. It has in addition developed an initiative based on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in response to recurring flooding with its attendant impact to promote a new set of eco-friendly behaviours in reversing the trend. This initiative had received the endorsement of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and some States’ Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs). The agency had also hosted a maiden meeting of the Inter – Agency Strategy session on border communities’ sensitization on security awareness. The committee is to design strategy for inculcating national interest awareness among communities on the international borders between Nigeria and neighbouring countries including Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Benin Republic and the Central African Republic. This is in view of the growing concern the border communities have a special role in ensuring

that governments’ effort in tackling criminal activities along these borders succeeds. The government was not taking any chance in the fight against insecurity and insurgency and so, has directed that an inter- agency collaboration was required to explain and increase the level of patriotism among residents of the border areas. It is the belief among stakeholders that the agency is in a position to do much more in the areas of citizenship and civic education in and out of the school system by promoting such voluntary organisations like the Boys Scout, Girls Guild, Man O’War and Emergency Vanguard. Since NOA has offices in all the 774 local government councils in the country, it should also concentrate on nudging members of the community into forming awareness and first aid groups especially in view of the devastating impact of climate change to the environment in the last few years. It should be of concern to NOA that these groups be nurtured, promoted and encouraged to become effective tools of combating increasing incidences and intensity of emergency and disaster occurrences across the country. Sanya Adejokun is National Coordinator, Journalists Against Disaster Initiative. www.jadinigeria. org



Emergency Update

NEMA holds evacuation drill for civil servants Stories by Mohammed Kandi ational Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has organised a two-day emergency evacuation drill for civil servants in some of its zonal offices to avail them with some safety techniques against emergencies. In a statement from NEMA office in Abuja, it said in Kaduna State, the exercise took place at the state government Secretariat, under the coordination of the North-West Zonal Co-ordinator of


NEMA, Malam Musa Ilallah. Ilallah told newsmen that the drill was a sensitisation exercise to help build a “culture of emergency readiness in our daily lives due to the security challenges in the country”. He said the exercise was also aimed at mitigating the impact of disasters by strengthening the existing synergy amongst response agencies and grassroots volunteers Ilallah said there was the “need for proactive measure in preventing, responding and mitigating the impact of emergencies”.

“The idea is to prepare our minds, should this kind of thing happen; do Boko Haram members issue alerts when they want to strike? Do fire or flood disasters issue people with notices? “We are living in an environment where we all have to be at alert,” he said. He urged employers to sound appropriate alarms and instruct employees to leave buildings, notify police, firefighters or other appropriate emergency personnel whenever there was disaster. Ilallah said employers must

identify personnel with special needs or disabilities, who would need help in times of disasters. A representative of the State Fire Service, Mr. Adams Kadarams, said the essence of the drill, was to prepare the minds and mentality of workers to be ready for any form of emergency. Mr. Musa Ibrahim, Director of Agriculture Services, Ministry of Agriculture, who spoke on behalf of civil servants, said there was the need to educate civil servants in the state to reduce panic and stampede during emergencies.

NEMA officials distributing more relief items to those attacked by the recent insurgency

...Organises simulation exercise against explosion in Enugu


n continuation with the emergency evacuation drill workshop for civil servants in some of its zonal offices, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) organised a simulation exercise, demonstrating how participants could manage a typical bomb situation in Enugu State. The programme was organised by the South-East Zonal coordinator of NEMA, Dr. Onimode Bandele, a statement said. The drill, which took off with a controlled bomb explosion by the police anti-bomb squad, led to the prompt arrival of different emergency management teams, including the NEMA rescue team, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Emergency Management unit, NSCDC anti-terrorism unit, Enugu State Emergency Response Team, Enugu State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA), the Red Cross Society, Fire Service, among others. Speaking during the evaluation session, Onimode explained that the agency couldn’t have issued alerts to people as the aim would have been defeated. He explained that it was aimed at assessing not only the promptness of the rescue team but also those who may have been within the vicinity of any form of disaster. “The need for proactive measure in preventing, responding and mitigating the impact of such emergencies cannot be over-emphasised on the part of employers, employees and critical stakeholders in disaster management thus the need for education, collaboration and synergy amongst each other. “It is in view of the above that NEMA in its coordinating and collaborative effort is presenting the tips which if adhered to will go a long way in mitigating the impact of these emergencies. “The idea is to prepare our minds should this kind of thing happen; do Boko Haram members issue alerts when they want to strike? Does fire of flood issue people with notices?

FG to avert flood in Kanji, Jebba dams M inister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, said that the Federal Government is making efforts to help avert flooding from Kainji and Jebba dams in Niger State. Ochekpe, who stated this while addressing journalists at the weekend in Abuja, explained that her ministry had received a letter from the Power Management Unit of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, alerting them on the potential threat of the Kainji and Jebba dams.

According to her “this is just a precautionary measure to make sure that the impact of excessive flooding experienced last year is not allow to repeat itself. The Minister said: “Following the alert received from the Transmission Company of Nigeria on the potential threat of flooding of the Kainji and Jebba Dam, The Federal Ministry of Water resources has taken the measures to bring together all the stakeholders in realization that everyone has a role to play and

complement each other to address the issue. “In recognition of the imminent danger of the flooding which is anticipated seasonally between September and November and the urgent need to take immediate action to sensitize communities in the flood plains of the reservoirs of the Kainji and Jebba Dams. “The global climate change and the persistent heavy rains may likely trigger off a recurrence of last year flooding; it has therefore become imperative to address this

issue in other to forestall a future occurrence. “Together, we will put in place advocacy and sensitization programme on flood, using communication experts to visit these areas prone to flooding so as to educate the inhabitants of such communities of project areas. “The floods have not yet come; we are trying to take preemptive measures. We expect that we will all work together. So that the devastating effects of flooding do not affect all Nigerians.

“We are trying to mitigate what may come in future. The government does not want any Nigerian to suffer from the impact of flooding. Those living in the coastal areas should make plans to move,” she added. The stakeholders at the meeting included: the representatives of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NIMET), Ministry of Environment, Niger state commissioner of water resources among others.



News Extra

Effects of cartoons on children By Kerem Kurugh with agency report ver since its invention, television has found its way into every child’s bedroom. It is simple yet powerful and has become an essential part of every household, entertaining children of all ages with the various animated programs it offers. However, the amount of time a child spends fixed in front of a television screen is incredible. In fact, children under the age of 11 spend more than 28 hours a week fixed in front of their television screens. It is important to consider the quality of television shows because no one can deny the fact that children have become addicted to them. Children are subject to a plethora of cartoons that range from entertaining to educational. These programs invite children on a journey to understand the world around them. However, when considering the kinds of programs children are exposed to, one tends to overlook the negative impact some of these programs can have on their development Cartoons are the most frequent and easily accessible source of entertainment which we provide to our children. With the vastness of media and extension of channels, it has become easier for children to watch their favourite cartoons on a single click and at the same time it has become more convenient for parents to provide children with this all-time favourite activity of theirs. Time, which was previously spent by children in outdoor activities is now replaced, as now they can be found glued to the TV


sets for long hours, peering at all sorts of cartoons, mostly without the supervision of elders who are completely unaware that this might have certain effects on their psychological development later on displayed in their behaviour patterns. here is a wide range of cartoons from fairy tales like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to action-based cartoons like ‘Ben Ten’ and ‘Pokémon’. Children between the ages of 3-8 have different preferences; girls are usually into fairy tales and animated ‘Barbie’ series whereas boys and some girls even usually have their favourite super hero cartoons like ‘Spiderman’ or ‘Batman’ or action flicks like ‘Bay Blade’ or ‘Dragon Ball-z’. Children are at a stage when their minds are developing and forms impressions easily so parents need to be careful what they expose them with. t such an early stage children consider the things they watch in cartoons to be real, they are unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality and often believe that if Elmer Fudd remains unharmed even after being bashed by Bugs Bunny with a hammer a number of times so can they. David, 8, studying in class 2 received a warning from his school after he got caught for beating up a fellow student. When asked for explanation the child replied innocently, “I was just showing my friend one of the moves I saw in a cartoon the night before.” His family members admitted the fact that they never kept an eye on his TV activities. From a research I carried out



The influence of cartoons can be made positive by a little effort on the part of parents or elders. They should make their kids realize that these fantasy things have no true value and identity, no such ‘Spiderman’ exists who will jump from top of one building to another with the help of his web.

“Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see.” Thomas, father of two sons said, “There was a time when one of my sons began to play pranks on his little brother quite frequently, and I failed to understand the reason behind this sudden change in his behaviour, one day however I found him watching ‘The Cramp Twins’, and understood the reason for all this bullying.” Thomas also said that he has become conscious of the cartoons that his sons watch since that time. A junior wing school teacher

when asked about children’s behaviours regarding violence and physical actions commented “Some students are always picking up fights in the class, one of the reasons behind this aggressive behaviour could be that they are too much influenced by violence based cartoons or other programmes which parents without any concern let them watch in excess.” Children watching too much cartoons often fantasize about the kind of life that various characters are living. Lisa, an exasperated mother of 7-year-old daughter shared her experiences about her daughter’s fixation with her

favourite cartoon, ‘Winx Club,’ “She creates a lot of fuss every time we go for shopping as she insists on having the same wardrobe as the characters in the ‘Winx Club’.” College going girl, Jessy, elder sister of a young kid Lily says, “My youngest sister is really under the influence of these glamorous tales and she assumes herself to be princess who is interested in wearing strapless frocks and wants to do ball dance.” She believes that such programmes are putting a negative impression on the innocent minds of children. On the other hand, there are lots of cartoons, which are not only the best source of entertainment for kids, but could also be used for educational purposes. For instance, cartoons like ‘Barney’ can be used to stop some toddler from crying whereas ‘Blues Clues’ or ‘Dora the Explorer’ can be used for some brain activity making children learning shapes or identify colours etc. One of the teachers at a local primary school said, “For mind building and constructive learning of children, students have a cartoon period once a week, and we try to show them standard cartoons after thorough selection so that they could derive something positive out of it. The influence of cartoons can be made positive by a little effort on the part of parents or elders. They should make their kids realize that these fantasy things have no true value and identity, no such ‘Spiderman’ exists who will jump from top of one building to another with the help of his web, there is no such ‘Ben 10’ wristwatch which will start blinking and will alert Ben of every evil action before hand. If someone is killed or beaten up by cartoons it does not mean that kids should also start doing the same. Parents need to keep an eye on their children’s activities and should be observant of any peculiar changes in their behaviour. hus, for making cartoons a healthy entertainment and a good and effective source of learning for children parents should pay a little heed towards providing selective cartoons to their children which could have a positive impact on them.





n the period immediately following the French Revolution, an aristocrat and avowed monarchist observed that in a democracy, people get the political leaders they deserve. Joseph-Marie, le Comte de Maistre, may have been a tad cynical, but there is a ring of truth to this aphorism. Imagine, then, the Australian electorate faced with a choice between a gaffe-prone, George W Bushesque right-winger and a vengeful narcissist in the mould of Vladimir Putin. The September 7 poll to determine the make-up of the 44th Parliament of Australia will come down to who is least unlikeable: the leader of the Liberal Party, Anthony “Tony” Abbott, or the incumbent prime minister and Labor helmsman Kevin Rudd. The Australian electorate has always been a little susceptible to personality, but now there is virtually nothing to distinguish the two major parties. Political pragmatism has so completely overtaken ideology that the centre-right Liberal Party and centre-left Labor Party are more easily told apart by the size of the frontrunners’ ears and the colour of their neckties. Australians, who feel like they have been in election mode since the last federal poll in 2010 resulted in a hung parliament - when Labor and the Liberal/National Coalition each won 72 seats - are fed up to the back teeth with the lot of them. Around the country, the typical political conversation around the water-cooler or in doctors’ waiting rooms will include the phrases “I just wish it was over” and “they are both as bad as each other”. When the electoral media advertising blackout descends on September 4 at midnight, there will be a completely bipartisan sigh of relief. This election campaign and the interminable lead-up has been unedifying and unenlightening, punctuated by one-upmanship and me-too pork-barrelling. After the minority Labor government introduced a popular parental leave scheme, suddenly the leader of the Liberal Party had a road-to-Damascus conversion and decided not only to embrace the measure but to pay women much more, for much longer. The prime minister, previously an opponent of gay marriage, became - in the space of less than a year - an impassioned advocate for marriage equality to win back much-needed supporters. But even those of us who more consistently support same-sex marriage cannot help feel that this is just a means to an end that both leaders will say and do anything to win power, with more flip-flops than you could count on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach on a summer’s day. The ‘Tampa affair’ However, both parties do stand their ground on the issue of asylum seekers, also known as boat people. Ever since John Howard’s Liberal government used the refugee issue to garner votes and stave off electoral defeat in 2001, boat people have become the chosen bogeymen of both parties.



In Australian election, the facts have no place

Australia PM Rudd with his challenger In 2001, the Howard government refused permission for the Tampa, a Norwegian cargo ship that rescued 438 Afghans on a sinking asylum boat, to enter Australian waters. The Tampa affair became a turning point in Australian politics. It saw the Labor Party cut itself adrift from core constitutional values, including the “recognition of the inalienable right of all people to liberty, equality, democracy and social justice”. The subsequent excision of Christmas Island and Ashmore Reef - the northernmost points of entry to Australian territory from the nation’s migration zone meant that refugees who arrived there were in a legal no man’s land. Men, women and children could be mandatorily and indefinitely

detained in offshore prisons. Justice Tony North of the Australian Federal Court eventually ruled that the Howard cabinet had breached the Magna Carta and the most basic legal principle: that no person, whether a citizen or non-citizen, can be held in detention without lawful authority. In granting a writ of habeas corpus for the immediate release of the refugees, he declared, “An ancient power of the Court is to protect people against detention without lawful authority”. If only he had delivered that verdict on any day other than September 11, 2001. In a world reshaped by terrorist attacks in the United States our borders became sacrosanct, and the electorate rewarded Howard for his hard line.

Still, it is deeply ironic that Australia - itself a nation of boat people - should be so intolerant and hysterical about newcomers. Yet our political leaders tap into the electorate’s deepest insecurities. In the politics of perception, the facts have no place. Afflicted by our own general affluence and sense of entitlement, Australians are ready to believe the refugees desperately trying to reach our shores represent an invasion. We allow ourselves to be persuaded that on any given day we are somehow worse off, although the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling shows the Australian standard of living has increased by an average of 2.6 percent annually since 1996. Appealing to our basest nature

Put in an Australian context, 4,000 more people around the world become displaced on any given day than arrive as asylum seekers on our shores in an entire year. That is the true extent of our politically manufactured “boat people crisis”.

When politicians talk about our “porous borders”, what they really mean is borders to the poor. They are appealing to our basest nature on a question that won’t make one iota of difference to the quality of the average Australian’s life. According to the latest figures from UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, 45.2 million people were in situations of displacement at the end of last year, including 15.4 million refugees, 937,000 asylum seekers, and 28.8 million people forced to flee within the borders of their own countries. During 2012, some 7.6 million people became newly displaced, including 1.1 million crossing borders as refugees and 6.5 million as internally displaced people. This translates to more than 20,000 people around the world forced to flee their homes every single day and this does not include the latest waves of millions of Syrians. Put in an Australian context, 4,000 more people around the world become displaced on any given day than arrive as asylum seekers on our shores in an entire year. That is the true extent of our politically manufactured “boat people crisis”. So back to the Comte. Do Australians deserve the leader they get in 2013? As long as the majority of us are not prepared to live in the real world and accept our responsibilities as good global citizens, the answer must be yes. Source: Al Jazeera



International Ibrahim Boubacar Keita sworn in as Mali president


ali’s President-elect, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, yesterday morning took the oath of office before members of the Supreme Court, during a swearing-in ceremony held at the Bamako International Conference Center (CICB). “I swear before God and the Malian people to faithfully protect the republican regime, to fulfill my duties in the supreme interest of the people, to protect the democratic achievements, guarantee national unity, independence of the homeland and the national territorial integrity,” the new president said before the people present at the function. “I promise to do everything

possible to achieve national unity, “ he reiterated. The swearing-in ceremony comes two weeks after the announcement of the final results of the second round of the presidential elections held on Aug. 11, by the Constitutional Court, in conformity with article 37 of Mali’s Constitution. During the announcement of the final results on Aug. 20, the Constitutional Court president AmadiTambaCamara declared that Keita won the elections with 77.62 percent against his challenger, SoumailaCisse who obtained 22.38 percent. Another swearing-in ceremony will take place on Sept. 19 at the biggest stadium in Bamako. During the event, 25 presidents

from the sub-region will take part, including French President Francois Hollande and South

Africa’s Jacob Zuma. Source: Xinhua

Arson attack on ANC hq draws outrage Keita

Egypt interim president defends military coup



gypt’s interim president has defended the military’s removal of former President Mohamed Mursi and said his government’s top priority is to restore security. In his first interview since he took office, Adly Mansour yesterday

said that Egypt was “moving towards democracy” and that the country’s was sticking to a military-backed road map for transition after the July 3 coup. Mansour said Egypt’s interim government is charging ahead

with a transition plan, appointing a committee to review the constitution passed under Mursi. A new version is to be put to a popular referendum within two months, and if passed, it would open the way for presidential and parliamentary elections. “The state, with all its agencies, will not allow any party to prevent it satisfying the aspirations of the people,” he added. Mansour defended reinstating emergency laws in the meantime, and said that his government would not hold reconciliation talks with any individuals who have incited or taken part in acts of violence. The interview aired on the same day that a military tribunal issued verdicts against supporters of Mursi and a court ordered channels perceived to be sympathetic to the former regime off the air. State media has frequently accused Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood group and their supporters of carrying out acts of “terrorism” and

attacking police stations, churches and government buildings. In the past several weeks, many leaders and members of the Brotherhood have been detained and face prosecution on charges ranging from inciting violence to possession of weapons and murder. Mursi’s backers say the new leaders are relying on security forces and a corrupt system to go after the group to avoid finding a political solution or compromises to the crisis. Mursi himself has been held in an undisclosed location since his July 3 ouster. Mansour in his interview also called for a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria “that protects the unity of Syria and puts it on the path to democracy”. “Egypt condemns any use of chemical weapons but it is important to wait for the results of the inspector’s report regarding this issue to reach a conclusion of who has actually used these weapons,” Mansour told to state television.

Kenya parliament calls urgent debate on ICC membership


enya’s parliament has been recalled for an emergency session today to debate ending membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC). A resolution supporting Kenya’s withdrawal is likely to be passed, making it the first country to do so. Deputy President William Ruto is due to appear at The Hague next week on charges of crimes against humanity. The ICC said the case would continue, even if Kenya pulled out. President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to appear at The Hague in November on charges similar to those faced by MrRuto. Both men deny the charges, which stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections in 2007. They were on opposite sides of the 2007 election but formed an alliance for elections in March this year and analysts say the ICC prosecutions

bolstered their campaign as they portrayed it as foreign interference in Kenya’s domestic affairs. Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso issued the order for the “special sitting of the assembly” to take place today. About 40 MPs said they would support a motion calling for Kenya to end its membership of the ICC, the local Daly Nation newspaper reports. Kenya’s parliament is dominated by the Jubilee coalition, led by Mr Kenyatta and MrRuto. Some MPs hope the motion, expected to be passed, will free Mr Kenyatta and MrRuto from the ICC cases, says the BBC’s Ruth Nesoba in the capital Nairobi. However, ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah has been quoted by local media as saying that the cases against Kenya’s two top leaders and journalist Joshua arap Sang would go ahead even if Kenya withdrew from

Kenyatta the Rome Statute that established the ICC. Mr Abdallah also said it would take at least a year before an application to withdraw from the ICC comes into effect. Any decision by Kenya to withdraw from the ICC would have immense implications, our reporter

says. No other country has ended its membership of the ICC. Both Mr Kenyatta and MrRuto have repeatedly called for the cases against them to be dropped, saying the charges are politically motivated. The ICC has refused and says it pursues justice impartially.


fire-bomb attack on the headquarters of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) drew outrage from the politics arena in South Africa yesterday. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), an alliance of the ANC, called the attack “an attempt to terrorize and intimidate a political movement.” The attack took place Tuesday evening at the ANC headquarters, known as Chief Albert Luthuli House. A fire, caused by a fire-bomb, broke out at the reception area next to the main entrance. Security personnel managed to put the fire out before it spread. “This criminal act should be treated as attempted murder, since had the fire spread throughout the building, many lives could have been lost. This is not just an attack on the ANC, but on our constitutional democracy, an attempt to terrorize and intimidate a political movement,” COSATU national spokesperson Patrick Craven said. This terror attack would not deflect the ANC and COSATU from the struggle to build a democratic, non-racist and non-sexist South Africa, Craven said. Also yesterday, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) condemned the suspected arson attack, saying such incidents undermine the spirit of democracy and the freedom of political parties to campaign without fear of intimidation. “The DA hopes that the perpetrators of this alleged crime will be caught and prosecuted in terms of the law,” DA spokesman MmusiMaimane said. “In a country where constitutional freedoms have been achieved through great sacrifice, we cannot allow such actions to take us back to a place of fear or intolerance,” said Maimane. The motive for the attack remains unknown. So far no arrests have been made. The ANC said it viewed the attack in serious light as it appeared “as an act of attempting to destabilize the ANC through acts arson and sabotage.” Source: Xinhua



International Asia & Middle East Syria: Putin warns Obama Pakistan’s

By Hassan Haruna Ginsau with agency reports


ussian President Vladimir Putin has warned the US and its allies against taking one-sided action in Syria. Speaking ahead of today’s tense G20 summit in St Petersburg, Putin said any military strikes without UN approval would be “an aggression”. US President Barack Obama has called for action in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack. Mr Putin said Russia did not rule out supporting a UN Security Council resolution authorising force, if it was proved “beyond doubt” that the Syrian government

had used chemical weapons. The summit in is supposed to concentrate on the global economy, but now looks likely to be dominated by the crisis in Syria. Mr Putin said it was “too early” to talk about what Russia would do if America took action without a UN resolution, but added that Russia has “plans” on how it would react if such a scenario unfolded. In an interview with Associated Press and Russia’s state Channel 1 television, Putin said it was too early to talk about what Russia would do if the US attacked Syria but added: “We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case

the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise. We have our plans.” He howevr added that Russia would “be ready to act in the most decisive and serious way” if there was clear proof of what weapons were used and who used them. Putin has stuck by the al-Assad regime ever since the start of the war, stating that it was “ludicrous’’ that Syrian President Bashar alAssad, an ally of Russia, would use chemical weapons at a time when it was gaining ground against the rebels. Meanwhile, Russia dispatched a missile cruiser to the eastern


Mediterranean yesterday, which will arrive in about 10 days. The ship, Moskva, will take over operations from a naval unit in the region that Moscow says is needed to protect national interests. It will be joined by a destroyer from Russia’s Baltic Fleet and a frigate from the Black Sea Fleet. US, senators will begin a series of votes on Wednesday to authorise a 90-day window for US military action against Syria. On Tuesday evening, members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations agreed on a draft resolution backing the use of military force The draft resolution was agreed after the secretary of state, John Kerry, pressed a forceful case for striking against the Assad regime. Earlier, Obama secured the backing of the Republican leadership at a key White House meeting. The French parliament debated the question of intervention in Syria yesterday, but without a vote. After addresses to the parliament and senate from the prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, and the foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, MPs and senators put out their views on whether and how , as the president, François Hollande, has stated, the Syrian regime should be “punished” for chemical weapons use. Opposition MPs have warned France must not merely “tag along” behind Washington but the government insists it is determined to act.

Sixteen family members killed in Iraq


rmed men in Iraq have shot dead 16 members of the same Shia family before blowing up their two neighbouring homes south of the capital Baghdad, police and medics said. The overnight attack took place in the town of Latifiya, 40km south of Baghdad, officials said yesterday.The dead included six children and eight women. “Gunmen broke into our house overnight and shot my father four times in the head, they killed my two brothers, they killed my cousin, they were shooting everyone they saw, I escaped from the back door,” HaneenMudhhir said. The killings came hours after

at least 60 people were killed in a series of car bomb explosions in Baghdad. The largest death toll was from a car bomb explosion in a busy street in the al-Talibiya district of northern Baghdad. No one, nor any group, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Violence in Iraq has intensified since April to levels not seen since 2008. More than 4,000 people have been killed over the past five months alone, including more than 800 in August, according to figures provided by UN officials based in Iraq. The bloodshed, 18 months after the withdrawal of US troops, has stirred concerns about a

Family members mourn the dead return to the sectarian slaughter of 2006-07, when the monthly


akistan’s top court yesterday dismissed a petition seeking actions against U.S. drone attacks in the country’s tribal regions. The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled the matter relates to defense and foreign affairs and does not come under the domain of judicial proceedings. “Intervention in the matter will be a violation of constitution and law,” short order by the apex court said. The petition has prayed the court to direct the federal government to command the armed forces to defend Pakistan against external aggression, in a reference to the attacks by U.S. spy aircraft. A two-judge bench comprising Justice TassaduqHussainJillani and Justice Ameer Hani Muslim ruled that the issues raised in the constitution petition and the prayer made are relatable to matters of foreign policy, defence and security of the country. U.S. drones routinely fire missiles into Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region despite strong opposition by the government. The United States says the CIAcontrolled covert campaign is aimed at targeting suspected militants in Waziristan who are blamed for crossborder attacks into Afghanistan. Pakistani tribesmen insist the drones also kill civilians. Residents say drones have spread psychological stress among the children as spy aircraft fly over the area before the strikes and create panic. A group of lawyers had filed the petition in the Supreme Court, which said U.S. drones are violating the sovereignty of Pakistan and their attacks must be stopped. The counsel for the petitioners told the court that U.S. drone attacks are also a violation of international laws. Justice TassaduqHussainJillani maintained that the interference by the courts in this matter would be violative of one of the foundational principles of the constitution, which envisages a trichotomy of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary.

Israeli forces surround al-Aqsa mosque

T The al- Aqsa moosque

death toll sometimes topped 3,000.

top court dismisses petition against US drones

here are confirmed reports that Israeli forces have surrounded the alAqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem after it was reportedly stormed by Jewish groups. Witnesses inside the mosque said that Israeli forces

had detained several Palestinian Muslim worshippers inside and were firing tear gas. Witnesses also reported clashes between a Jewish group and Israeli forces near the mosque after a number of farright Jews stormed it. Israeli police closed all gates leading to the mosque and prevented

worshipers under 50 from entering, Ma’an news website reported. They also stopped dozens of buses in Jerusalem carrying Palestinian worshipers to the mosque and told them to turn around, the website said quoting Israeli media. The website also quoted Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of endowment and affairs at al-Aqsa Mosque, saying that clashes had taken place around the mosque.



International US credibility on the line in Syria response – Obama


resident Barack Obama issued a blunt challenge to skeptical U.S. lawmakers yesterday to approve his plan for a military strike on Syria, saying otherwise they would put America’s international prestige and their own credibility at risk. Using a visit to Sweden to build his case for limited military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Obama insisted that the international community could not remain silent in the face of the “barbarism” of the August 21 chemical weapons attack he blamed on Syrian government forces. “My credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line,” Obama told a news conference in Stockholm. “And America and Congress’ credibility is on the line, because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important.” Just a day before he travels to St. Petersburg to attend a G20 summit hosted by Vladimir Putin, Obama said he held out hope that the Russian president would back away from his support for Assad. But he stopped short of saying he had any high expectations for a change of heart. Obama has taken a big political gamble by delaying military action in Syria and instead trying to convince a divided U.S. Congress to grant authorization for a strike on government targets in Syria. Aides say that even as Obama

travels he will stay on top of the congressional debate raging back in Washington, where his national security team has waged an intensive campaign to ease the concerns of reluctant lawmakers and a war-weary American public. While declaring that he believes Congress will give him approval, Obama ratcheted up the pressure for swift legislative action, saying inaction could embolden Assad to carry out further attacks. “The question is how credible is Congress when it passes a treaty saying we have to forbid the use of chemical weapons,” Obama said. Obama declined to say whether he would proceed with a military strike even if Congress rejected the plan. But he said he was not required by law to put the matter before Congress and made clear he reserves the right to act to protect U.S. national security. Obama will fly to St. Petersburg on Thursday to take part in an annual two-day summit of the Group of 20 leading economies, a gathering sure to be dominated by tensions over Syria. The meetings will bring him face-to-face with Putin, a key Syrian ally, the main arms supplier to Damascus and a staunch critic of the U.S. push for military action. “Do I hold out hope that Mr. Putin may change his position on some of these issues? I’m always hopeful, and I will continue to


in his cell. Prison officials said he died in hospital late on Tuesday, after prison medical staff failed

Obama engage him,” Obama told reporters. Obama’s three-day foreign trip offers a chance to lobby world leaders for their support and possibly shore up a shaky international coalition against Syria. Britain, a generally reliable U.S. ally, pulled out after a parliamentary revolt last week, but France, western Europe’s other main military power, is still coordinating possible action with the Pentagon. Any attack on Syria is likely on hold until at least next week, the earliest timeframe for a vote by lawmakers, who formally reconvene on September 9 after their summer break. Obama faces a tough fight

to revive him. Castro, 53, held three women against their will for about a decade until May this year. He kept his victims chained up and raped them. He was sentenced on 1 August to life imprisonment without parole plus 1,000 years. The house was demolished. The former school bus driver abducted Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, from the Cleveland streets between 2002-04. A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, JoEllen Smith, said: “He was housed in protective custody which

Turkey ready to join any coalition against Syria – PM


urkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan reiterated yesterday that Turkey would take part in any international coalition against Syria, but stopped short of saying whether that would include military action. “We have said that we are ready to take part in any kind of coalition and we perceive this as a coalition of volunteers,” Erdogan said without elaborating, shortly before leaving for the Group of 20 meeting in St. Petersburg.


Power cut leaves seventy percent of Venezuela with out electricity


in Congress for endorsement of military action over what Washington says was the killing of 1,400 people in a chemical weapons attack carried out by Assad’s forces. Many lawmakers staunchly oppose a strike, fearing it would entangle the United States in the seemingly intractable Syrian civil war. Others favor rewriting the useof-force resolution the White House sent to Capitol Hill over the weekend so that it sets clear limits on any military action. Still others, mostly more hawkish Republicans, want Obama to make sure any strike is punishing enough to weaken the Syrian military, and are calling for increased help for beleaguered anti-Assad rebels.

Cleveland kidnapper, Castro, found hanged in cell

Castro riel Castro, who kept women captive at his h o m e i n Cleveland, Ohio, has died after being found hanging

Europe and Americas

means he was in a cell by himself and rounds are required every 30 minutes at staggered intervals. Ariel Castro at his sentencing: “I’m not a monster, I’m a normal person, I am just sick, I have an addiction” “Upon finding inmate Castro, prison medical staff began performing life saving measures, shortly after he was transported to [the prison medical facility] where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 pm.” “A thorough review of this incident is under way,” she added. A preliminary medical examination found his cause of death was hanging, said Dr Jan Gorniak, the Franklin County coroner. Castro was placed in protective custody because of his notoriety, but was not on suicide watch, which requires constant observation. A former neighbour said Castro’s death had cut short the life term called for in his plea deal. “It does give a little bit of closure to the families and people that got affected by what he did, but at the same time he deserved to be in there for his life because of what he did to those girls,” Jessica Burchett told the Associated Press news agency.

power cut has left 70% of Venezuela without electricity, including parts of the capital Caracas. The blackout disabled traffic lights in the city, causing traffic chaos. It also partially disrupted the underground transport system. Thousands of workers were sent home. Power was slowly being restored in different areas after the cuts. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the opposition for “sabotage” to power transmission lines. Everything seems to indicate that the extreme right has resumed its plan for an electrical strike against the country,” he said in a tweet. In a live address on state television, the president also said the cuts were “part of a low-level war” against the country, a “folly by twisted and desperate minds”. President Maduro did not give any evidence of the “sabotage” but said he had instructed the military “to protect the entire country”. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said the government was trying to divert public attention from the country’s problems by concocting the conspiracy theory. Deputy Electrical Energy Minister Franco Silva said a fault had occurred in one of the national grid’s main transmission lines at 12:30 local time (17:00GMT). The cut affected large parts of the country for about three hours, after which time power was gradually restored. The oil industry was not affected as Venezuela’s oil refineries are powered by separate generator plants. Government officials have in the past said that high energy consumption at peak times and poor maintenance of transmission lines have led to a high incidence of cuts. In 2010 the late President Hugo Chavez signed a decree declaring an “electricity emergency” to help his government tackle power shortages. The opposition says the government of Mr Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, may have spent billions of dollars on programmes to garner votes from the poor but has failed to invest in the upkeep and expansion of the electrical grid to meet growing demand. Although Venezuela has big oil reserves, it is dependent on hydroelectricity for some 70% of its power.



Strange World

Father sends his children’s toys into outer space


hildren make all kinds of ridiculous requests, and sometimes parents agree to them, even if they don’t plan on keeping their promises. But not Nicholas L., a French father-ofthree who in order not to let his kids down actually sent a couple of their toys into outer space. Last December, Nicholas’ three children asked him to send their favorite toys into space. Without giving much thought to what he was getting himself into, the young father agreed. Later he realized he didn’t want to be the kind of parent who disappoints his kids by not keeping his word, so he embarked on an incredible project to fulfill their wish. In the beginning, the Frenchman had no idea how he was going to pull it off, but after spending four months researching online he had a list of necessary equipment to fly the toys into outer space and retrieve them, as per his kids request. He ordered a weather balloon from a US army surplus

The toys flying in space store, and had the parachute and GPS tracker shipped all he way from Hong Kong.

He was ready for the big test, but he needed proof to show his kids he had actually sent their toys

into outer space, so he installed two GoPro waterproof cameras on his DIY flying device to record the

entire journey. On a sunny day in July, Nicholas L. took his whole family to the outskirts of their village in Ain, France for the big take off. He inflated the balloon with Ballonium (a special mix of helium and air), attached it to a basket carrying his kids two favorite toys, a Hello Kitty and a Bad Piggy from the popular Angry Birds video game, an iPhone and an external battery, and let it fly. The toys flew all the way up to 20,000 meters above sea level, before coming back down, 50 kilometers from the launch site, and the GoPro cameras recorded the whole trip. Recovering the toys was the hardest part of the project, because the GPS tracker had been damaged by the cold at high altitude and failed to indicate the right coordinates. Finally, after driving 300 kilometers, the family finally found the precious cargo in a cornfield. Now the kids can proudly say they are the owners of two toys that have traveled to where no other toy has gone before. So the next time you child asks for the moon and stars, think on it for a moment, maybe there’s a way to make it happen.

Chinese army plays lethal pass-the-bomb game

The officers playing the game


video showing Chinese soldiers in a circle passing an explosive satchel from one man to another, until one of them decides to throw it in a hole just before it explodes, has been making the rounds online, leaving everyone flabbergasted. Photos of South Korea’s special forces troops training in all kinds of extreme conditions have been showing up on the Internet for a few years now, but nothing those guys go through compares to the shocking drill the Chinese devised. During an exhibition drill in Hong Kong, last month,

an elite garrison of 6,000 PLA troops staged a series of impressive exercises for the visit of the island’s chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang. Snipers shot tiny glasses, soldiers carried heavy logs and jumped through rings of fire, but nothing as incredible as a group of men playing a game of pass-the-bomb. The lethal game is played by six soldiers standing in a circle with a dug whole in the middle. They pass an explosive satchel from one two another, counting down until it detonates. Just before it explodes, one of the soldiers throws it in the hole and they all leap away as the ground trembles and

dirt starts flying from the pit. Any miscalculation could mean the end for all six players, but they don’t seem very intimidated by that. They just calmly pass the live satchel as if it were a simple bag. One PLA officer said drills like pass-the-bomb were designed to improve “psychological strength” and forge “fighting spirit” through “nearly impossible tasks”. CCTV added that this kind of exercise helps soldiers remain calm when confronted with real emergencies. Well, if holding a live bomb in your hand doesn’t freak them out, I don’t know what will.




Memory weakens but steadies with age, study finds

The steady approach By Paula McGrath orgetting things seems to be a part of getting older which everyone accepts. But could the confidence of the young be covering up their own memory slips? Older people were more consistent in memory tests, research from Germany shows - although younger people did achieve overall higher test scores.

The assessments were carried out in Berlin on 100 older people - aged between 65 and 80 - and 100 people in their 20s. They had to show up at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin for 100 days of tests. “We were very nice to them and had a good atmosphere at the labs,” says Prof Florian Schmiedek. “People got to know each other, it was kind of a social activity for them.

By James Gallagher esearchers at Oxford University say they have found the “molecular brakes” that prevent light resetting the body clock when we fly - causing jet lag. Experiments, reported in the journal Cell, showed “uncoupling” these brakes in mice allowed them to rapidly adapt. Researchers hope the discovery will help find new drugs for jet lag and mental health treatments. The body clock keeps us in tune with the pattern of day and night. It means we sleep at night, but also affects hunger, mood and blood pressure. Light acts like a reset button to keep the clock to time, but when we fly around the world it takes time for our body clocks to adjust. The resulting fatigue, which can last for days, is known as jet lag Master clock The research team, funded by The Wellcome Trust, was trying to figure out why people do not instantly adapt. They looked in mice as all mammals have the same core body clock mechanisms.

They focused on the “master clock” in a part of the brain, which keeps the rest of the body in sync, called the suprachiasmatic nuclei They were looking for sections of DNA that changed their activity levels in response to light. They found a huge numbers of genes were activated, but then a protein called SIK1 went round turning them all off again. It was acting as a brake by limiting the effect of light. Experiments to reduce the function of SIK1 meant the mice could rapidly adjust their body clock when it was shifted six hours - the equivalent of a flight from the UK to India. Prof Russell Foster told the BBC: “We reduced levels by 5060%, which is big enough to get a very, very big effect. What we saw was the mice would actually advance their clock six hours within a day [rather than taking six days for untreated mice]. “We’ve know there’s been a brake on the clock for some time, but we had absolutely no idea what it is, this provides a molecular basis for jet lag and as a result new targets for potentially developing new drugs.” He said some mental health disorders including schizophrenia


And we also paid them for those 100 days.” The brain remembers things by forming connections between its 100 billion neurons or brain cells. Memories are formed when these connections - or synapases - are strengthened. Information from the senses is sent to the brain’s cortex, and then on to parts surrounding an area called the hippocampus. Younger people assume they have

fast reaction times, especially younger men. But they have an over-confidence issue.” Dr Carol Holland Research Centre for Healthy Ageing These ‘bind’ the memory together, before it is sent to the hippocampus itself, where information about context or location is added. “Working” memory - crucial for solving problems and making plans - is like a blackboard of the mind, located in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. It is used to remember phone numbers long enough to make a call but then it is usually forgotten unless it is passed on to the long-term memory for storage. The tasks were designed to test different types of memory. In one, the participants had to remember a list of words. Another had a list of numbers to memorise while simultaneously carrying out simple arithmetic on those numbers - to challenge their “working” memory. The overall scores for older people were lower than the twentysomethings. It has long been known that cognitive performance drops as we age, with some loss of cells in the brain. But Dr Carol Holland, director of the Research Centre for Healthy Ageing at the University of Aston in Birmingham, says we forget a lot less than we think we do. “Long-term memory doesn’t change in normal old age, we are just

as good at remembering poetry learned as a child. Learning new things - that’s where differences start to show. “But there is lots of variability - one 80-year-old might learn just as quickly as a 19-year-old. Another 80-year-old might have real problems.” Dr Holland said the findings were encouraging in countering the stereotypes about older people being forgetful - and a reminder that ageing might not be at the root of the problem. “An older person might attribute losing their keys to just having celebrated their 70th birthday Prof Schmiedek says the size of the study helped him to show that good and bad days exist. “But that the variability is not as large as one might expect. It’s more of a moment-to-moment fluctuation in performance that often creates the impression that we have good and bad days.” Prof Schmiedek whose research was published in the journal Psychological Science, was surprised by the difference between the two groups. “If we compare younger and older adults, the interesting finding was that across the nine tasks older people fluctuated less day to day.” As well as testing their memory, the team also gave participants questionnaires to assess their mood. Older adults appeared to be more motivated to do well in the tasks and worried less about life and its stresses.

‘Molecular basis’ for jet lag found


were linked to an out-of-tune body clock, so these findings may open up new areas for research. The brakes are likely to be in place to prevent the body clock from becoming erratic and being reset by artificial or moon light. Dr Akhilesh Reddy, a specialist in the body clock, at the University of Cambridge,

was very confident that treatments would follow as “it is a very drugable target and I would suspect there are lots of potential drugs already developed”. He told the BBC: “We have known a lot about the basis of jet lag and why it occurs. “This shows how you can get

into the brain and manipulated the clock, which is why this study is important. “We have drugs which can make the clock shorter or longer, what we need is to shift it to a new time zone and that is what they have done.” Source: BBC

Scientists believe they have figured out why it takes us so long to adapt when we travel to new time zones.



Govt dialogue with insurgents not a sign of weakness, says Turaki INTERVIEW


ow far has your committee gone in the task given to it by President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue of insecurity in Nigeria? Upon the inauguration, the committee was given the mandate by Mr. President to constructively engage the key members of the Jama’tu Ahlis sunna lid Da’awati wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram in constructive dialogue that would lead to peaceful resolution in respect to insecurity or the security challenge that we have in the Northern part of this country, most especially the North Eastern part of this country. We have been asked to define a comprehensive and workable framework for resolving the crises of insecurity in this country. We have been asked to develop a frame work for the granting of amnesty in deserving cases. We have also been asked to develop a frame work through which amnesty will take place after ceasefire agreement will have been signed between the federal government and the insurgents. We have also been directed to develop a victim-support programme that would assist government as much as practicable to support the victims of some of these incidents in such a way that will again assist them as much as practicable to go and be living their lives in ways and manners they have been doing it before the unfortunate incidences that has affected them. Finally we have also been asked to develop a mechanism that will enable the government to underline causes of insurgencies in all parts of Nigeria with a view to preventing future occurrences. In this committee, President Jonathan took time to draft creditable Nigerians of impeachable records; people who have been accomplished and have reached the peak in their profession and vocations in life. People who rarely have something to seek from Nigeria than what to offer Nigerians. We resolved as a committee that we will approach the national assignment without any assumption or presumption but draw our conclusions on the basis of facts, evidence and the information that would appear or be presented before us. And so we decided to approach it with free mind, allowing our all members to be guided by their conscience and fear of God in the course of our assignment. From the beginning, we decided to have interaction with critical stakeholders and we identified the Yoruba Unity Forum as a critical stakeholders that we must interface with. But first, we say we needed to interact with chieftains of security agencies and institutions in Abuja and thus we started the interaction at the office of the National Security Adviser. The interaction we had with the chieftains of the security agencies gave

Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North and Minister for Special Duties, in this interaction with selected newsmen in Lagos, said government is sincere about dialoguing with the insurgents. Our Lagos Correspondent, Ayodele Samuel, was there. Excerpts: us a greater insights into understanding the nature and context of the assignment that has been entrusted on us. Having had this interactive section with security agencies and other stakeholders, we resolved that we should deployed ourselves into the frontline states. Those states in this country where incidents of insurgents has taken place or are still taking place for a better understanding of the issues involve, so that whatsoever recommendations we will make as a committee would be grounded in evidence, facts and information that has been received by us and which we can justify. In all the states that we visited, we had interactions with top government officials, security agencies that are involved in the operational activities within the confine of those states; we met with elders, traditional institutions, various groups, clergy and above all we also had interaction with victims of the acts of insurgency. We assured the victims that not only is government aware of their plights but that indeed government is prepared, upon our recommendations to give them the support that would try to return their lives to normalcy with the way they have been living before the insurgency. We also visited those places that were affected by the insurgency and in some cases, terrorism. We visited places of worships, government and private properties and other affected areas including motor parks. We even went to hospitals to see victims who are receiving treatments and also identified with them. We have also taken the pains of condoling and consoling members of the families of those who have lost their lives in the course of this several unfortunate acts of insurgency. This visitation we made has broadened our understanding of the issues and we have received lots of information that we believe will assist us rightly in coming up with suggestions and drawing framework and arriving at conclusion that will assist the government to comprehensively address the issue of the insurgency. How have you been dealing with the insurgents? Our approach has been from a twin perspective to deal with members of insurgent that are in detention and those who are in the field. But, the greatest challenge this committee had from inception was how to locate the members of these insurgencies, particularly the key ones; having a direct link with them; create a line of communication; develop confidence and build that confidence to critical

Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki trust where members of this insurgents would agree to speak with us without any fear, particularly in the light of their assertion that previous attempt that were made for dialogues were mere traps that we have set up for them, which later led to the arrest of some of their members. So, we took a lot of valuable time in establishing the links and developing that confidence and we took more time in building trust upon that confidence and we have got to a point now whereby we ask them to come and they will freely come to us without any fear. The consequence of what I am saying is that dialogue has started. Dialogue has started on these twins perspectives and we have gone very far and the committee is on course. The issue of security is not just the issue of security agencies; it is the business of all of us. And so we need, as concerned individuals, as stakeholders to take more than a passing interest in what happen around us and within our vicinity. What are some of the challenges faced by your committee in the course of discharging your duties and do you see government implementing some the recommendations of the committee at the end of the whole process? At the beginning of the assignment, we were faced with challenges but the most consoling thing is that whenever

an issue came up that we needed to have a quick actions taken on them, that we needed even at that stage even before the submission of our final report to governmenttomakerecommendations, all our recommendations were swiftly accepted by government and the implementations directed immediately. This has established two things, one that the government is sincere about the dialogue option. The needs arise, at a certain stage of our assignment,that some vulnerable group of persons were released from detention, including women and children, people who have been investigated by security agencies and have not done any criminal act and other people who were in the wrong paces at the wrong time who were not members of the insurgency nor have committed any offence. So we took them up one after the other and we are glad that Mr. President ordered the immediate release of the vulnerable category of people. This is one of the things that have assisted us in building confidence in the interaction we had between us and the insurgents. We believe and we have cause to believe that whatsoever recommendation we make at the end of the day, would be recommendation that government would take very seriously and would be recommendation that worth accepted. Do you see government implementing the recommendation of your committee considering that

several committees’ reports that have been swept under the carpet? We have addressed this issue severally and our position is that for us even before we got to the point of beginning to write our report, matters have risen that necessitated our making suggestions to Mr. President and he did not only accept those suggestions but gave immediate instruction for implementation alongside those suggestions that we have made and this was not once, twice or thrice. So, we believe that if Mr. President can take this committee that serious then at the end of the day when we submit our report, Mr. President would take them very seriously and will begin the process of implementing them. Like when would the issue of terrorism be over in this country? The issue of terrorism is not something that will erase within a short period of time. We even see some developed countries where robust agreement of cease fire had been signed still facing the issue of insecurity. We hope the dialogue option that has been given by President Jonathan would allow any Nigerians to live anywhere in Nigeria. Nigeria is the most prayerful country in the world there is no country in the world as prayerful as Nigeria irrespective of the religion that is why God will not forsake us in everything we are doing as a people and as a nation. There is this believe that the Federal Government option of dialogue is a sign of weakness on the part of President Jonathan. Let me say the offer of the dialogue option is by no means a sign of weakness on the part of the government because government has consistently established beyond doubts that not only does it have capacity but indeed has the political will to take proactive measures to protect lives and property of all law abiding Nigerians wherever they may be. But when as it were, you are forced into a situation you have to direct your military, police, armed forces to take up arms against your own citizens, it takes a lot of a courage and you do it with a very deep heart and that is why President Jonathan is saying for those who want peace, the dialogue committee is there; for those who believe that their mother would not sleep, they themselves would not sleep. There is this believe that your committee is lopsided in the favour of Muslims and also trying to pacify the Continued on page 38




APC battle ready for LG election in Nasarawa-Al-makura’s aide From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa has said it is ready to face any challenge that may arise from the opposition as political parties in the state prepare for the scheduled local government election expected to hold before the end of the year. Zakari Idde, Special Adviser to Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura on Political Matters, stated this yesterday while chatting with newsmen in his office. He observed that the defunct Congress for Progressive Change

(CPC) took power from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at a time when the party does not have a proper structure on ground, not even a single councilor, saying that now that the APC is better organized, with the party entrenched in all the nooks and crannies of the state, the party is battle ready to face the election. On the lingering crisis between the executive and legislative arms of government, al-makura aide said such is to be expected under a democracy, noting that already efforts have been made to address the matter, with the governor already reaching out to the legislators to

appeal for their understanding. “What the present administration will not accept is hooliganism as demonstrated by the youth that invaded the Assembly, throwing stones. The governor utterly condemned the incident and he visited the Assembly to commiserate with the members. The actions of the youth were condemnable and this administration is not part of it”, the SA stated. Idde explained that in a democracy, the people also have the power to checkmate the excesses of the lawmakers through the process of recall, as according to him, “the

people can also recall a particular lawmaker if they find out that such a person is not representing their interest.” Commenting on the crisis engulfing the PDP at the national level, Idde maintained that the eventual break-up of the party may after all lack any serious impact on the APC as according to him, “with the successful merger of the defunct ACN, ANPP and CPC, the APC already has a national spread that can challenge any party, even a united PDP. So whether the PDP remains as one or they go their separate ways, the APC still waxes stronger.”

President Goodluck Jonathan (5th right), Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo (5th left), Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (4th left), Head of Service, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji (4th right), Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), Alhaji Adamu Mohammed Fika (3rd right), in a group photograph with members of the National Assembly Service Commission they were their sworn in, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

APGA moves to reclaim Imo from APC By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ll Progressives grand alliance (APGA) yesterday set up a 29-member caretaker committee in Imo state, as a measure to reclaim the state’s government house from the serving Governor Rochas Okorocha. The committee members includes Chudi Onuzo, as the state’s interim chairman, David Iwuagwu, his deputy, Ndubuisi Richard Okoroikpa, the secretary and John Iwuala, as the organizing secretary, among others. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the caretaker committee

• Sets up 29-member caretaker committee

in Abuja, the National Chairman of the party, Victor Umeh, vowed to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the current governor, Okorocha, does not return in 2015. Umeh, who lamented the decision of Okorocha to dump the party that gave him his first political mandate in Nigeria’s political history, therefore charged the committee members to be objective and just in running the affairs of the party pending when state congress would be conducted. He also declared All Progressives

Congress, (APC), dead in Imo State following the recent comment of the governor who had earlier pronounced APGA dead after his defection to APC. Umeh said: “Following the dissolution of the State Executive Committee of APGA in Imo State, following the raging confusion going on there, the outright defection of the govbernor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who also pronounced APGA dead in Imo State, We have come together to inaugurate a committee that will declare APC dead in Imo state.

“We have made that APGA remains in the minds of the people in Imo State and we will not leave any stone unturned and immediately turn the heat against them until they (APC) run away. We inaugurate you into action. “Okorocha won the governorship election because he joined APGA and not him that won the election, and he cannot take that mandate to APC. Those in the National Assembly and State House of Assembly cannot cross over to APC.

Drama in Kwara as PDP councilor rejects Offa rerun results, says APC won From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


he on protest by the Kwara State chapter of All Progress Congress(APC) took another dimension yesterday when one of the 12 Councillors of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) declared by Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission(KWSIEC) as winner of the rerun election in Offa,Offa Local Government Area of the state came out to denounce the result allocated to his party. The Councilor, Mr. Afolabi Olawole, who is a Councilorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Shawo South West ward in Offa Local Government, said that he did not win in the election as announced by the Kwara state Independent Electoral Commission in Saturday’s rerun election. Olawole, who confessed this at the APC’s media briefing in Offa on yesterday said that he has rejected the announced victory based on his religious belief that he must not cheat on people. He maintained that the candidate of the APC, Mr. Adefioye Kayode, won the election stressing that his position was to prevent Offa, his community from another violence and retrogression and hat his open confession was not influenced by anybody. Also, a presiding officer at Shawo Central ward, Mr Oyetunji Akin, said the APC won in the Councillorship and chairmanship elections in the ward. He stated that KWSIEC announcement hat he PDP won was wrong revealing that APC polled 1,213 to defeat PDP candidate which had 568. Speaking at the briefing, Prince Saheed Popoola, the Chairmanship candidate of APC said “ We envisaged the struggle will take a long time and we are ready to face it. We are very mature about it. We do not want to be violent. We want to ensure that democracy is being played with highest level of maturity. “Already we have petitioned Radio-Kwara for breaking the rules of NBC. The guideline is here on the conduct of the announcement of result of election.

Govt dialogue with insurgents not a sign of weakness, says Turaki Continued from page 37 Christians victims neglecting others. People should take into account that the people who are involved in this act of insurgents are basing their causes on Islamic dogma as misguided as it may be. In the course of our interactions, we get people that engaged them in intellectical arguments on the bases of Islamic principles, to bring them back on track and kill the misguidance, then identifying the point of departure from the proper and genuine Islamic principles and perspectives. We are being accused that we are giving more preference to Christians

victims some people say we are visiting only churches and pacifying Christians and we are not giving attention to Muslims victims. Wherever we go, we try to accommodate everybody, we would not speak for ourselves we would allow our work to speak for us. If you go to a place like Borno, for instance, how do you interact with the victims there. Because every family is a victim. They have suffered one degree of deprivation or another; they have suffered one form of colossal loss or another; they have one member of their family that is either been killed or one vital part of their body affected. How do you do that?

But some people, especially from the North are saying the government may not be sincere, since on one part it is trying to dialogue with Boko Haram members and on another side fighting the terrorists. Isn’t this a kind of contradiction? Nobody from the North geo political zone will nurse this view because we have been to the frontline states, including the three key states where the state of emergency has been declared by Mr. President and the response from the people who live in these areas has been so commendable. It is very commendable because they

appreciate the effort of the president providing security to protect their lives and properties. Again, members of the communities in this state have been more proactive. They have realized that the issue of security is not the business of security agents alone and so they are more proactive and taken it upon themselves not only to give qualitative information to help the security agents but to also take their destiny and life in their hands by coming out in many cases and in many areas to partner with the security agencies in arresting the issue of insurgency. Your committee have asked

for additional two months, have your committee achieved any success so far? We have achieved a lot. You could remember that we recently held a world press conference in Abuja where we were able to give brief of what we have done so far to member of the local and international media and we released a video containing members of the Shurab sitting in council and then accepting and recommending to themselves and all other members of the Jamā’a Ahl alsunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihād, the issue of dialogue, saying there is no option than dialogue as far as Islam and Muslims are concern. That is an achievement.



News Extra

BRIEFS Kebbi monarch turbans Speaker


he District Head of Jega, Alhaji Muhammadu Arzika Bawa, will on Saturday turban Speaker of the Kebbi state House of Assembly, Alhaji Aminu Musa Habibu Jega as the Wambai of Jega. The ceremony is expected to attract speakers from the various houses of Assembly as Jega is also the chairman of the Speakers Forum of Nigeria. The Chairman, Publicity Committee for the ceremony, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi (Danmasanin Jega), told Peoples Daily that the monarch and the district council decided to confer the title on the Speaker considering the enormous contributions he is rendering his communities. He described Jega as a philanthropist who has the feelings of his people at heart. From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi

FRSC warns on speed violation


he Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Osita Chidoka, has said that records from the past seven months indicated that speed violation was responsible for most of the road crashes in the country. Chidoka spoke yesterday in Abuja during a ceremony to mark a stakeholders’ forum on “speed limit device enforcement.” The organisers explained that the forum was aimed at encouraging private transport owners to install speed limiting device in their vehicles so as to save the lives of people who patronise them. He said between January and June, 2013, a total of 1,397 buses were involved in traffic crashes, killing 1,437 and injuring 6,831 persons. By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Rep Makinde on oil theft, vandalisation


member of the House of Representatives from Ife federal constituency, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, has raised concern over the increasing magnitude of crude oil theft and vandalisation in the country, urging the Federal Government to adopt home-grown tactics to curb the menace. Makinde, who spoke with newsmen in Lagos, averred that an estimated 400,000 barrels per day which translates to about 20 per cent of Nigeria’s crude oil output is being lost to the illicit activities of vandals and thieves. “Sadly, the activities of oil thieves which hamper the amount of barrels of oil available for export and insufficient investments in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry have remained major impediment to our economic growth,” he said. Makinde, expressed doubts about the current security arrangements for petroleum products pipeline in the country. From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

A cargo train derailed yesterday at Ikeja, in Lagos.

Photo: Olawale Rotimi

Insecurity: Kebbi community establishes ‘civilian JTF’ From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


pparently worried by recent security challenges in Kebbi state, residents Aliero Quarters have introduced what they refer to as “Civilian Joint

Task Force (CJTF) expected to collaborate with other security and vigilante groups. Justifying the measure at a press conference yesterday, a spokesman for the community, Alhaji Issa Mohammed Zuru,

lamented that the several incidents of killing and robbery, describing them as alarming. According to him, “almost every day, Aliero Quarters which is close to Police headquarters and State Security Services (SSS) office has

been a target area for hoodlums. “We had to invite and organised the youth to please assist as everybody lives with fear and nobody can dare stay outside beyond 10pm due to the robbery attacks,” he said.

Sambo decries poor rural electrification By Etuka Sunday


ormer Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Prof. Abubakar Sani Sambo, on Tuesday described as appalling, the 0.9 per cent electricity growth in the rural areas, lamenting it cannot

stimulate development. Sambo who spoke in Abuja at a workshop on Energy Access for Sustainable Development, said, that, “it should be noted that while electrification growth in urban areas is 1.7 per cent, it is 0.9 per cent in rural areas.” Sambo who is the Vice

Chairman for Africa, World Energy Council (WEC) as well as Chairman, Nigerian National Committee (NNC) on Energy also lamented the energy, deficiency and effects on rural citizens in developing countries. Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey

Ewa, while declaring the workshop open, said Nigeria was endowed with various sources of energy. According to him, out of about 56 per cent average electricity access, only 20 per cent of grid electricity is being accessed in rural areas where over half of the nation’s population resides.

Court freezes accounts of police pension fraud suspects By Joy Baba


ustice Sunday E. Aladetoyinbo of the Federal Capital Territory High Court has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an interim order to take possession of the assets and properties of Atiku Abubakar Kigo and Mrs. Uzoma

Cyril Attang, the 2nd and 6th accused persons, respectively, in the N32.8 billion Police pension scam. This was contained in a press statement signed by Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC. The statement explained that the order which was given on July 30, 2013, was pursuant to section 29 (a)

and (b) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, also covers the freezing of the accounts of the suspects pending the hearing and final determination of the corruption case filed against them. The statement also said Attang who was an Assistant Director at the Police Pension Office between 2005 and 2008 and Kigo who was

the Director of the Police Pension Office, were first arraigned on March 29, 2012, on 16-count criminal charge bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust before Justice Mohammed Talba of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja alongside seven others.

Niger: Social development projects uplift communities From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


he Niger state Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) has said that its activities have impacted positively on over 85,000 less privileged persons in about 56

rural communities. The CSDP General Manager, Garba Musa Baba, who spoke with our reporter in Minna also noted that the agency has provided 106 micro projects in the health, education, transport power as well water sectors. According to Garba, “the

Agency has in no small measure increased the benefiting communities access to improved social and natural resource infrastructural services. “As a result of this, it has contributed tremendously towards the realisation of Niger state’s Vision 3:2020 and the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he said. He enumerated some of the Agency’s challenges to include delay in posting staff to already completed schools and clinics which he said hampers the realisation of the desired result of their establishment.



News Extra

World Bank report shows Malaria, HIV/ AIDS reduction in sub-Saharan Africa By Etuka Sunday


orld Bank’s report released yesterday revealed that Malaria and HIV/AIDS were the leading causes of premature death in sub-Saharan Africa as at 2010 but has been reduced now due to consistent interventions. The report said, Children in sub-Saharan Africa are now less likely to die from diarrhoea and pneumonia, but these illnesses are still the most common causes of childhood death and sickness in most African countries. The report also has it that, loss of health due to diarrheal diseases dropped 34 per cent between 1990 and 2010, lower respiratory infections (LRIs) such as pneumonia dropped 22%, and protein-energy malnutrition was down at 17%. The report also finds that nutritional deficiencies were the leading cause for disability in childhood, mental and behavioral disorders accounted for the most illness during adolescence and young adulthood, while musculoskeletal disorders were the largest drivers of disability in adulthood. The report also identifies trends in leading risk factors that cause the most disability in the region. Under-nutrition during childhood and household air pollution were among the leading factors behind premature death and disability A statement by the World Bank quoted its Director of Health, Nutrition, and Population, Timothy Evans, as saying that “the rapid

Customs server crashes …says childhood diseases remain major threat at Apapa port shifts in disease burden place poor people in low- and middle-income countries at high risk of not having access to appropriate services and incurring payments for health care that push them deeper into poverty.” Care delivery and youth empowerment, has also paid the sum of over N30 billion as liability inherited from previous PDP administrations. A statement by the Senior

Special Adviser, Public Affairs, to the Governor, Abdulhamid Kwarra, said the action was to distract the attention of the APC government from providing the dividends of democracy to the people. According to the statement, “in only two years, what this administration has done for the people of the state far outweighs what the previous administrations did in 12 years. These are facts that

are verifiable. “This government is aware of the subtle move by the opposition to come up with all sorts of accusation, to distract attention, since it has became apparent that they lack what to tell the people for the misery they inflicted on them in the last 12 years. “But we must say to them that we can never be distracted by their antics which Nasarawa people are already familiar with.”


he Niger Delta Renaissance Organisation, has urged state governors to be more committed towards funding of basic education. The group at a press conference in Abuja decried failure of some of




he Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation on Tuesday in Gusau, Zamfara state, awarded 190 students from the northern states scholarship of N100,000 each.

L-R: Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, and Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafiya, jointly briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

the governors to access the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Fund for the development of basic education in their states. The group’s National Coordinator, Comrade Nwokoma Messiah, spoke while reacting to the appointment of Chief A. J. Turner as Chairman of the Board of Universal

Basic Education Commission (UBEC). He described basic education as the foundation stage of educational development of any society. According to Nwokoma, the appointment of Turner, a seasoned administrator who has distinguished himself in public

service and that of other board members, is commendable and will help in charting a new course for the Commission. He also urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to allow reason to prevail and return to the classroom while negotiations continue with the Federal Government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the occasion, Justice Mamman Nasir, urged northern leaders to pay serious attention to ensure the development of education. He said that without provision of sound and quality education in the in the region, it would continue to

lag behind in terms of political and economic development. Nasir recalled that the government of former northern region under the late Premier, Ahmadu Bello, focused attention on the development of education, through establishment of secondary schools with required facilities.

The former Chief Justice of Nigeria urged governments of the northern region to embark on activities for educational development so that the desired goals would be achieved. Earlier, the Executive Officer of the Foundation, Dr. Shettima Ali, said that it was established to promote the legacies of the late Sardauna.

Jonathan wants Police Academy to review curriculum From Edwin Olofu, Kano


reight forwarders operating at the Apapa port in Lagos may be facing hard times as the alleged failure of the server of the Nigeria Customs Service has reportedly made it difficult for cargoes to be captured and released. The freight forwarders told Peoples Daily that the development has caused delays in the rate at which cargoes are moved out of the port. Web Fontain, providers of the internet technology on behalf of the Customs Service has also been accused of inefficiency even as operators have suggested a backup server. Coordinator of the Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers, Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC), Sir. Osita Patrick Chukwu, said the situation which started last week, still persists. From Dapo Olalekan, Lagos


Ahmadu Bello Foundation awards N19m scholarships From Ibrahim Gusau


Nigeria certified Guinea worm-free

Group tasks govs on basic education By Etuka Sunday


resident Goodluck Jonathan has urged authorities at the Police Academy, Kano, to re-evaluate the institution’s training curriculum and instructional techniques in tandem with current global challenges. According to Jonathan, this will enable the Academy produce professional officers who are

better equipped to deal with the multi-dimensional security challenges of today, especially as the school has been upgraded to a degree-awarding institution. The President spoke in a message he sent on Tuesday during the passing-out parade of the batch ‘A’ of the Cadet ASPs and Inspectors at the Academy. Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb

Olubolade (rtd), represented Jonathan at the programme. According to Jonathan, “Authorities of the Academy must strike that delicate balance between academics and police training,” adding that there was need to emphasise professional leadership and ethical training, using appropriate technologies and modern practices, so that the graduands can render useful services to the nation.

inister of Health, Prof. Oyebuchi Chukwu, said on Tuesday that Nigeria had been certified as a Guinea worm-free country. Chukwu made this known in Ibadan at a symposium on “Global Perspective in Emerging Diseases’’ held in honour of Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe. “For any country to be certified as a Guinea worm-free, you must not record any Guinea worm for three consecutive years. “The success recorded in Guinea worm eradication will make the World Health Organisation (WHO) to present a certificate to President Goodluck Jonathan in December,” Chukwu said.

Dana Crash: Lagos compensates owners of cenotaph land


agos state government yesterday compensated five landlords whose land was acquired for the construction of the Dana Cenotaph in Iju-Ishaga axis of the state. This came barely three months after Governor Babatunde Fashola unveiled the cenotaph, to mark the one year anniversary of the ill fated Dana plane crash of June 3rd, 2012. Although the government did not disclose the official amount paid t vanguard gathered that over N20 million was paid to the landlords to part with their lands. Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Hakeem Muri-Okunola said that, “the compensation was paid in accordance with the fair market value for a plot of land in the local government, which is valued between N4 to N5 million.” From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


NBF selects 50 boxers ahead of world championships


he Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) has selected 50 boxers, including three females, for preparation for the World Boxing Championships to hold in Kazakhstan in October. The NBF Secretary, Tunde Laguda, said yesterday that the federation’s recent National Open in Lagos was used to rank and select the boxers. He said that five boxers were selected for each of the 10 categories of the competition scheduled to hold between Oct. 11 and Oct. 27 in Alamty. “We are not leaving any stone unturned in our bid to get the best from the selected boxers. They will soon be invited to camp for final selection. “We are going to select both male and female boxers with the determination to win medals at the event,” Laguda said. The secretary, however, did not mention the names of the selected boxers. “The invitation is still open because states with good boxers but did not feature at the National Open in Lagos can still forward their names for rating based on their pedigree,’’ he said.


Eagles match bonus:

You can’t force NFF to pay 10, 000 dollars, T Maigari tells Eagles Stories by Albert Akota


he President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Alhaji Aminu Maigari has said that the Eagles won’t force the federation to pay ten thousand dollars as winning bonus. The Super Eagles would play host to the Flames of Malawi in a return-leg of the 2014 FIFA World cup qualifier scheduled to take place in Calabar which first leg had ended 1-1 apiece in Blantyre, Malawi, in June. Maigari who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja at a news conference, said that the Eagles bonus row was been over-flogged and insisted that the football house has agreed to pay 5,000 dollars as win bonus as they confront Malawi this weekend. He said that it was only wise for the Ministerial committee set up to investigate the matter has proposed a smooth way forward.

Mikel The NFF boss however, noted that while the report of the committee was being awaited, the football house would be concerned with paying the Eagles their normal five thousand dollars win bonus. “You know just of recent, the minister set up a panel to

investigate, advice and come out with a resolution on the bonus row. “So let us give them the benefit of doubt to work. But as far as the NFF is concerned, we are paying our normal five thousand dollars winning bonus,’’ Maigari said.

logistic concerning the match had been put in place. Peoples Daily Sports recalled that the match between the Super Eagles and Flames of Malawi would be as second round Group F encounter at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar. The match is the last group

match before the final qualifying round, with the Super Eagles leading the group with nine points. The Nigerian side only needs a draw from the game to qualify for the final round, while the Flames need to secure a win to advance. Maigari said Calabar is a safe place for the encounter with the level of security the NFF had put on ground for the game. `”Calabar is a safe ground where several decisive matches have been played and I can assure you that there is a powerful team of security men on ground. “Now, we are ready to receive our Malawian counterparts and also ready to ensure that there is a hitchfree match,’’ he said. The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) had in August requested from FIFA a change of venue for the World Cup qualifier for security reasons. But the NFF, following a directive from FIFA, sent a detailed security plan for the match, giving security assurances. Maigari noted that securing the 2014 World Cup ticket was his biggest dream and expectation. “The 2014 World Cup ticket is my biggest dream and expectation day in day out, and I am sure it is the wish of the other management staff of the NFF that we secure this ticket.

“This is why we have been working hand in hand with the federal government to earn the ticket and we are sure we will achieve it,’’ he said. The NFF president however pleaded with Nigerians to support the team with prayers and also give them moral support for the realisation of their dream. “I thank Nigerians for their support. But, this time around, we need more of their prayers to achieve what we have set out to do. “I also want to appreciate Liyel Imoke, the Governor of Cross River, for supporting our teams, especially the Super Eagles, and for bringing our campaign to this level,’’ he said. In his remarks, NFF’s General Secretary, Musa Amadu, disclosed that the advance party of the FAM for the match was impressed with the security arrangement put in place. “Two members of the FAM, the General Secretary and the Chief Accountant, arrived in Nigeria on Monday and were at the NFF Secretariat before proceeding to Calabar. “I can disclose that when they arrived in Calabar, they were impressed with the security arrangement put on ground. So, there is no cause for any agitation,’’ he said.

2014 World Cup Qualifier: NFF assures Nigerians of good outing against Malawi

NFF president, Maigari


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that all is set regarding Saturday’s 2014 World Cup Qualifying match involving the Super Eagles and the Flames of Malawi. The president of the NFF Aminu Maigari who disclosed to newsmen yesterday in Abuja said that every

Referees lambast minister over comments

he Nigeria Referees Association, (NRA) has lambasted the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi for accusing them of being responsible for the rot in the Nigeria Professional Football League. The minister had said that Nigeria referees are mainly responsible for the case of corruption that has rocked the nations leagues, arguing that, should the referees who are the arbiter on the pitch refuse to accept bribe there is very little the clubs officials would do. In their reaction to newsmen at the Glasshouse in Abuja before seeking audience with the president of the NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, the deputy national president of the NRA, Mr Tade Azeez accused the minister of not being objective in criticism. “We need to state it in clear terms here that recent comments by the sports minister that referees are corrupt is disturbing, especially coming from a minister who is supposed to view things dispassionately’’ Azeez said. The NRA boss stressed that what is most disturbing is that the issue of bribery goes beyond the Referees, because clubs and some top government officials are also involved. “A situation where most of these government clubs will want to justify the huge budget they get from their governors by buying matches should not be put at the door step of the referees alone. For God’s sake he is a minister of sports and not for football alone, “ he said. Mr Azeez also wondered why of all places it’s the minister’s home state of Kwara that a referee was beaten to coma, and he was there. He however, argued against bringing the said match now to Abuja to be replayed. The match in question is the Kwara United vs. Warri Wolves’ last week league fixture where the centre referee was assaulted.



Sports Essien, Fletcher miss out on Champions League squad


ichael Essien and Darren Fletcher are the notable absentees from their clubs’ 25-man group stage squads in the Champions League. Essien was out on loan at Real Madrid last season and had looked to be back in the fold at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho. But the 30-year-old has only been an unused substitute during three of the Blues’ opening four games this season and misses out on a European spot. Scotland captain Fletcher has played just thirteen games since being forced to take an extended break from professional football in 2011 after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The decision of David Moyes to omit Fletcher from the United squad suggests that a timescale is still to be set for the 29-year-old’s return to the first-team and with United’s Champions League group stage exploits ending in December, United fans will fear Fletcher may not be back this calendar year. In August, Fletcher revealed that he had banned himself from United’s AON Training Complex in Carrington.

Calabar is very safe, says NFF

Gov. liyel Imoke


he President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Alhaji Aminu Maigari has insisted that the city of Calabar, capital of Cross River State is indeed very safe, and has always been very safe, for international matches of all the various national teams. Speaking at a brief interactive session with members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter, yesterday afternoon, Maigari applauded the efforts of Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State and his administration in hosting the Super Eagles and the U-17 National Team, Golden Eaglets in their various competitive international matches for the past one-and-half years. “The Government and people of Cross River State deserve nothing but high commendation for their generosity and hospitality. They have continued to be good and great hosts for the Super Eagles and the Golden Eaglets. “On our part, the NFF has perfected all arrangements to host a hitch-free World Cup qualifying match, and we are assuring the Government and people of Nigeria that our Super Eagles are adequately prepared to achieve victory against Malawi on Saturday,” said Maigari.


Eagles’ players upbeat against Flames of Malawi

Eagles in training Stories by Albert Akota


he Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, says his players are not under any pressure in their final Group F African qualifier for Brazil 2014 World Cup match in Calabar on Saturday. Keshi said this in Calabar yesterday at a media briefing on the team’s preparations for the crucial encounter. He said that the team and the coaching crew believed in hard work to get the maximum points. “I have always believed in hard work. I do not believe in anything that is do or die. I am not under any pressure. We are only going to give our best on Saturday.’’ The chief coach also said that the team had started training, adding that

he was encouraged by the spirit of the players in training. He further said that the controversy over his comment on the Malawian coach was meant to defend Nigeria and the Super Eagles. “I was defending my country and my team. Whatever I said was not directly to him personally,’’ he said. Keshi also said that Ikechukwu Uche of Villariel of Spain was still part of the team, adding that he had nothing against any player. He said that Nigeria had a lot of players but not all of them would play at the same time. “Ikechukwu is part of this team. There is nothing against any player. Only 11 players are needed in any match, so it is not possible to call everybody at the same time,’’ he said. He described Calabar as the home of the team and thanked the people

and Government of Cross River for their reception. Also speaking, the stand-in Captain of the team, Vincent Enyeama, said he was not in any competition with any player in the team, adding that all the goalkeepers in the team were equally good. Enyeama, who said that he would soon leave the stage for the younger goalkeepers, however, did not specify on the time to quit nation’s football team. “The camp is amazing and I thank God for that. The first training was great with 12 players but I am optimistic that come Saturday we will win. Almost everybody is in camp. “Calabar is one of the most secured places in Nigeria. I do not really know from where they got the information that Calabar is not secure. “Calabar is also quiet. But I want

“We are now in Calabar where your Director of Technical (Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme) gave us a fantastic reception. Thank you for welcoming us at your offices in Abuja and football is a unifying factor and we are indeed brothers.

“We will be accommodated at DANNIC Hotel which is generally very good. We will inspect the training pitch and the venue of the actual match,” Nyirenda wrote in a mail to NFF’s Head of International, Mr. Bola Oyeyode.

Malawi delegation arrives today


he Delegation of the Football Association of Malawi to Saturday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria will land in Abuja today morning. Already, General Secretary of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), Mr Suzgo Nyirenda is on ground, having arrived in Nigeria on Monday, and is now in Calabar to see facilities for himself ahead of his team’s arrival. Nyirenda, who fired a letter to world-football governing body, FIFA last month suggesting that Calabar is not safe for the qualifying cracker, has turned around to praised the NFF for its professionalism, maturity and hospitality. “On behalf of the Football Association of Malawi, I would like to thank you and the entire Nigeria Football Federation for the warm welcome that you accorded me and my accountant (advance party) both in Abuja as well as in Calabar.

The flames

the Flames to come out and play their game, have fun and be happy. “We are professionals we know what is at stake and what is expected of us. We are not under any pressure, we are going out there to dorn the colour of Nigeria which we are also proud of,’’ he said. Chigozie Agbim, one of the three Super Eagles’ goalkeeper in camp for Saturday’s crunch Brazil 2014 World cup qualifier against the Flames of Malawi also said that. ‘The spirit is high; the players’ spirit is high for Saturday’s match. Personally, I am 100 per cent ready. Our team doesn’t make noise. “We will talk on the pitch on Saturday. But I can assure you that we will win them very well,’’ he said. The 20 players have so far reported to the Metropolitan Hotel camp of the Eagles while three players were being expected. Some of the players in camp include Vincent Enyeama, Chigozie Agbim, Emmanuel Emenike, Obinna Nsofor, Ahmed Musa, Godffrey Oboabona, Sunday Mba and Azubuike Egwueke. In a related development, the State Police Command says it is ready for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar. The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Hogan Bassey, gave the assurance in a telephone interview in Calabar. Bassey said that the command was putting measures in place to ensure that adequate security was provided before, during and after the match. ‘It is not in our character to disclose our strategies but I can assure you that the police are ready to provide adequate security,’’ he said. He called for full and relentless cooperation from the government and people of the state by reporting any suspicious character to the command.




Moyes missing men: Why Manchester United failed to sign Fabregas, Modric, Herrera


anchester United’s attempts to bolster their midfield descended into anarchy as Monday evening’s 11pm transfer deadline approached. Chief Executive Ed Woodward’s embarrassing and naive scattergun was brutally exposed, as a final few days jam-packed with panic bids, fruitless negotiations, and alleged imposters threatened at one stage to present a doomsday scenario where United would end up

without a single midfield addition. United finally forced through an inflated £27.5million move for Marouane Fellaini in the final minutes of the transfer window, would Woodward and manager David Moyes allow the situation to become so frenetic. Manchester United chased midfielders, from the hopeless pursuit of Cesc Fabregas to the drama of their last-gasp attempts to recruit Ander Herrera and Sami Khedira.



he former Arsenal captain began this summer as David Moyes’ top target - along with Fellaini - as the new United boss attempted to add steel and creativity in equal measure to his midfield. Sources close to the club suggested that it was Moyes’ dream to have a midfield three of Michael Carrick, Cesc Fabregas and Fellaini for both European matches and the major fixtures on the domestic scene. United pursued Fabregas publicly, briefing the media of

their interest and both Moyes and Woodward suggested that they were playing with an unlimited budget. It is believed that Fabregas may have considered a move to Old Trafford if a bid had been accepted - but the Spaniard had no intention of forcing a move. United made two bids, the second worth £30million plus add on, but Barcelona didn’t want to sell. United wasted too much time pursuing Fabregas and waited too long to pursue other targets. Disappointing: David Moyes (right) was only able to tempt former Everton player Marouane Fellaini to Old Trafford.


Former Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas was thought to be the marquee player Moyes was looking for.



t remains unclear whether United pursued Thiago with any real vigour. Following his move to Bayern Munich, Thiago’s father and agent Mazinho revealed that United had come close to signing the Spanish under-21 international but the 22-year-old has since refuted that version of events, saying, ‘The truth is that in no moment did United come to us and talk to us.’ However, United goalkeeper David De Gea has admitted that he tried to persuade Thiago to head to Old Trafford during the UEFA under-21 Championships in Israel earlier this summer. So, it’s as clear as mud. What we do know, however, is that Thiago had his heart set on a reunion with former Barca coach Pep Guardiola at Bayern. United’s attentions were focused (too heavily) on Cesc Fabregas at the time, but one suspects that even if David Moyes had worked harder on a deal for Thiago, the midfielder would still have ended up with Bayern.

LUKA MODRIC (Real Madrid)

nited did not make a sustained effort to sign the Croatian this summer but the former Tottenham player had been on the club’s radar since Real Madrid won at Old Trafford in the Champions League in March. Modric would be open to a move to United and he is widely seen as having the kind of elegance, flair and range of passing that the United midfield are sorely lacking. Should Gareth Bale’s world-record move to Madrid have been concluded earlier, United may have been able to work on a deal. Nonetheless, United’s realistic chances of capturing Modric came to an end after Xabi Alonso was ruled out for three months with a broken metatarsal - thus raising the importance of Modric in Carlo Ancelotti’s thinking.

United received their opening public snub of the summer when Thiago Alcantara joined Bayern Munich from Barcelona.


Luka Modri (right) has impressed before in the PL with a fantastic passing range.

ANDER HERRERA (Athletic Bilbao)

rom the very start, Athletic Bilbao made it clear that they would not negotiate in a deal for creative midfielder and the Basque side stated that they would only do business if United met the player’s £30.5million buyout clause. Bilbao players are rarely sold below their buyout fee as the club only use Basque players and are therefore loathe to sell. Bayern Munich signed Javi Martinez last year, and the Germans privately admitted that it was one of the most complicated and hardfought deals they had encountered. United - inexplicably - tried to haggle. Woodward and United’s team of negotiators should have done their homework. Reports suggested that United were undone by a complex tax system but should they have fully researched the club and region they were dealing with, they may well have found themselves better prepared.

A deal to bring Ander Herrera to Manchester should have happened much earlier in the summer




England eye EuroBasket top 6 to secure 2016 Olympic funding


ritain men’s basketball team head to the EuroBasket in Slovenia knowing the future of their 2016 Olympic funding hangs in the balance. UK Sport initially axed all support for the men’s and women’s programmes in December, but then offered a conditional reprieve in February. For funding to extend beyond an initial 12 months, they were set the target of a topsix finish at the EuroBasket. Despite impressive EuroBasket victories over Serbia, Latvia and Croatia in June, the GB women’s team failed to achieve their target of a top-six finish and have

admitted concern about future funding. A top-three finish in Group A will put Great Britain’s men into the second round and a top-four place at the end of those additional games would put them through to the allimportant knock-out phase. They have lost their last six warm-up matches, culminating in a record 100-46 defeat by Spain last week, but Vicecaptain Kieron Achara believes they can reverse that form in Slovenia. Six of the 12-strong squad are currently without domestic clubs, so the competition could potentially help players attain some much-needed attention ahead of the new season.

Britain Basketballer

Youzhny ends Lleyton US Open L

Lleyton Hewitt

leyton Hewitt let a golden chance to reach a first Grand Slam quarter-final in four years pass him by as he lost to Mikhail Youzhny in five sets. The Australian, 32, led 4-1 in the fourth set and 5-2 in the fifth, but Youzhny won 6-3 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 7-5. Top seed Novak Djokovic beat Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-0 6-0, while women’s second seed Victoria Azarenka battled past Ana Ivanovic 4-6 6-3 6-4. Azarenka struggled to find anything like her best form in a

match postponed from Monday because of rain, dropping the first set before failing to serve out the match after fighting back. The Belarusian needed four match points but eventually sealed the win in two hours and 10 minutes. Li, a former French Open champion and two-time Australian Open runner-up, produced 44 winners and 42 unforced errors in a wildly uneven display, but still secured her first US Open semi-final place.

ICC lauds Irish cricket progress at Malahide sell-out clash


he International Cricket Council (ICC) says the success of one-day international at Malahide was a big step for Irish cricket. ICC global development manager Tim Anderson said he was impressed by Tuesday’s occasion with over 10,000 watching the defeat by England. Despite Ireland’s six-wicket defeat after earlier appearing to have England in trouble, Cricket Ireland chief Warren Deutrom felt that there were many positives that could be taken from the country’s biggest ever home game. Anderson added that Ireland can hold out hope of having more opportunities to play against full member countries in the coming years. Full members struggle to play every one of the other full members so moving that concept ahead is not easy but we are considering those options with our full members. The ICC official said that Irish cricket’s governance is one of the best in world cricket and not just in the affiliate and associate countries.

Murray beats Istomin to reach quarters


efending US Open champion Andy Murray beat Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin to set up a quarter-final against Stanislas Wawrinka today. The Briton was irritated by a number of bad line calls and struggled for consistency on a windy evening, but was not seriously threatened in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4 6-4 win. Murray, 26, was given primetime billing on Arthur Ashe Stadium and duly delivered the expected victory to reach his 17th Grand Slam quarter-final. However, it was hard going over three hours and seven minutes after he let a winning position slip in the first set, and it was 11.44pm local time (04:44 BST) by the time he punched away the winning volley. He will next face ninth seed Wawrinka today after the Swiss upset fifth seed Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-1 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 on Louis Armstrong Stadium. Murray could only show the quality that has brought him the US Open and Wimbledon titles in occasional bursts against Istomin as both men struggled in the conditions. Three forehand errors from Murray handed Istomin a chance to serve for the opening set, but when the Scot broke back immediately it seemed as if the world number 65 had missed his opportunity.

Irish players

Vonn backs in action after 7 months lay-off


Lindsey Vonn

lympic gold medallist Lindsey Vonn is back in action seven months after rupturing her cruciate ligaments in her right knee. The 28-year-old crashed on the opening day of the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Austria in March. Scans revealed the rupture of the cruciate and medial ligament as well as a fracture of the tibial plateau. The 2014 Winter Olympics gets under way in March where she will be looking to add the downhill gold

she won at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and the bronze she took in the super-G. Vonn made her World Cup debut aged just 16 in 2000 before competing at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. In 2008, she claimed her first World Cup title to become only the second American woman to lift the trophy. Her request to compete in a men’s World Cup downhill ski race was rejected by the International Ski Federation (FIS) last year.

Andy Murray






2 1. Franck Ribery believes he can win the FIFA Ballon d’Or after beating Messi and Ronaldo to the UEFA Best Player in Europe award. 2. Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall added tandem road-race silver to their time-trial gold at the Para-cycling Road World Championships. 3. Mount Athos and Brown Panther head a strong European entry for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on 5 November. 4. Real Madrid’s record fee to sign Gareth Bale leads the latest stats review from FIFA alongside success for two European clubs and a shock result for the Chinese Super League leaders.



5. Henry Thomas hopes a good start to the Premiership campaign with Sale Sharks will result in more international recognition with England this season.




Sports 1993 FIFA U-17 in Japan put me in world map, says Kanu “

It’s a long time ago isn’t it? I’ve got great memories of that tournament,” he said from Lagos. “Representing your country is always an honour and to go on and win the tournament was huge for all of us in the team it helped put us on the map. “Personally I did well, and it started me on the road to joining clubs like Ajax and the ones who followed, but without it I wouldn’t be here today. It was very important.” Representing your country is always an honour and to go on and win the tournament was huge for all of us in the team it helped put us on the map. The tournament began well for the former Inter Milan and Arsenal man, scoring in just the first minute of Nigeria’s opening match

in a West African grudge match, pitting the Golden Eaglets against Ghana, making a huge game for the then-youngsters that little bit more important. “Of course it was a big game, particularly with it coming against Ghana. They are clearly one of our major rivals,” he admitted. “But we are brothers there is always this desire to be the better than one another.” Goals from Wilson Oruma and Peter Anosike secured a 2-1 win, and the fact it was against the Black Starlets made it all the sweeter for Kanu and his team-mates. “Because it was between the two of us it was even bigger. It meant that when we walked away with victory it was almost a double win!”

against Canada, on the way to scoring 14 without reply in a group that also contained Argentina and Australia. “That goal relaxed me, and it’s very important to score early to settle the team,” Kanu recalled. “From there the team was able to gain more confidence and just grow from there.” The tournament culminated

It was Nigeria’s second title of three so far at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, as well as claiming a further three runners-up medals, making them the most successful team in the tournament’s history. “In Nigeria we are blessed with talent, and we have a lot of young players coming through,” he said. “Any opportunity given to them, they want to prove something.”

The veteran forward believes there’s no reason why the latest iteration cannot take up the mantle and continue their world-leading performances in UAE. “I’ve watched them play. I’ve seen how they perform and since then I’ve believed they could be a champion, so let’s hope they can go do that, as they have a good team.” Kanu’s exploits in Japan led him to pulling off arguably his finest achievement in the green of Nigeria, when the team claimed gold again at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, USA. The tournament even began memorably for him, smiling broadly as he recalls the opening ceremony. “I remember when I was there, being asked to be an Olympic torch bearer, it was something special. For us to go there, becoming the first African team to win it, beating three some huge teams in the process, is something special.” Those three sides Nigeria dispatched in the knockout stages were Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, but it was the victory over thenworld champions boasting the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos in the semi-final that will live long in Kanu’s memory. “At the time everybody knows they were the best in the world, with players turning out for teams like Barcelona, so we were certainly a little scared of them,” he recalled. “But it was a semi-final and not something you could really predict, while we had good players in our team too, like Jay Jay Okocha and Daniel Amokachi.” The writing looked to be on the wall when they were 3-1 down with 12 minutes to go. However, Victor Ikpeba’s goal gave them hope, but Kanu fired the game into extra time, before going one better and hitting a stunning golden goal for a

Nwankwo Kanu 4-3 win. “We drew level in the 90th minute and at that time we knew we were back in the game and thought ‘whatever happens we can make it through to penalties’,” he said. “However, I had a bit of a magic moment in extra time, where I just dribbled the ball and shot to score the golden goal. For us, at that moment, we knew we were going to win the Olympics.” The final was equally dramatic, with a last-minute Emmanuel Amunike goal securing a 3-2 win over Argentina, but fuelled by the previous round, the Super Eagles were never in doubt of victory. “After beating Brazil – the dream team who we felt had the best players in the tournament, we were full of confidence in the final. For us, that was the final. Against Argentina we thought, ‘whatever happens, we are flying – they can’t stop us’.” It is a triumph that Kanu feels he and his team-mates will be

Representing your country is always an honour and to go on and win the tournament was huge for all of us in the team it helped put us on the map.

remembered for, having broken the European and South American hegemony at the Olympics. “To say we were there, picking up a gold medal, is really something. No one expected us to do it and it’s something that Nigeria, and possibly the world, won’t forget. Two African player of the year titles followed, but Kanu was always disappointed the success did not transfer to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations or the FIFA World Cup. The Super Eagles came close in the former, finishing runnersup to Cameroon in 2000 in front of a home crowd in Lagos. While the last-16 at France 1998 was as far as they got, appearing at the global showpiece in 2002 and 2010 is still something he remembers fondly. “Everyone wants to represent their country at the World Cup and there are three goals you want to achieve there. The first is to participate, the second is to make your mark, and the third is to win it,” Kanu explained. “If you achieve any of these, you feel like you have done well in your football career.” It was also to be the stage where Kanu would make his international swansong, bowing out in his side’s 2-2 draw with Korea Republic at South Africa 2010. He now spends his time focussing on the Kanu Heart Foundation, which he set-up in 2000, which aims to help children and young adults with heart defects – an ailment he overcame in 1996.



Some Interesting Facts


he cigarette lighter was invented before the match. • Americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza every day. • Almost everyone who reads this email will try to lick their elbow. • If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. • If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb. • A pig’s orgasm lasts for 30 minutes. • Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour. • Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure. • The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. (Hmmmmmmmmm........) • Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. • The ant can lift 50 times its own weight, can pull 30 times its own weight and always falls over on its right side when intoxicated. •Polar bears are left handed. • The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds. • The flea can jump 350 times its body length.

It’s like a human jumping the length of a football field. (30 minutes...can you imagine?? And why pigs?) • A cockroach will live nine days without it’s head, before it starves to death. • The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The


female initiates sex by ripping the male’s head off. • Some lions mate over 50 times a day. • Butterflies taste with their feet. • An ostrich’s eye is bigger than it’s brain. • Starfish don’t have brains. • Mosquito repellents don’t repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there. • Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least 6 feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

Say what?



. . . putting the people first




Enyeama, Onazi promise victory against Malawi


he Super Eagles stand in skipper, Vincent Enyeama, was in jolly mood as the team held its media parley with the national team yesterday morning, declaring that he was not in competition with any of the goalies for the number one shirt of the national team. Enyeama also gave a hint that sooner than later he will quit the Super Eagles, even as Lazio of Italy midfield youngster, Ogenyi Onazi assured that the team will come out clean against Malawi on Saturday. Enyeama, who spoke first, told the media that all the three goalkeepers in the national team, himself, Austin Ejide and Chigozie Agbim are in the form of their lives and any of them will man the post well if chosen by the national team handlers. “All of us are good and I must say I am not in competition with any of them neither are they with me. Nigeria is blessed with great talents and it’s always good when you are called up to play. Onazi on his part said he along with his teammates are fired up for Saturday’s game and assured that the team will not disappoint despite the furore that has been generated ahead of the encounter. The team trained under rainfall yesterday at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar, Nigeria’s preferred tourism destination with Sports Commissioner, Patrick Ugbe monitoring proceedings. Keshi said during training that whether it rains or it suns the team was ready for the battle against Malawi, declaring the focus is not only to win against Malwai but to get to the World Cup Championship in Brazil next year. Despite the heavy rains that prevented some of the players from coming for the evening training, only Nnamdi Oduamadi and John arrived the latest to the Eagles camp.


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he violence we see in Syria has a disturbing back-story, closely intertwined with the same Powers that are suddenly ‘outraged’ and baying for more blood(?) because of a chemical weapons attack that killed at least 1400. I have kept asking: what about the 100,000 murdered before last week’s chemical weapons atrocity? Or the millions that have been turned into

QUOTABLE QUOTE I think ASUU should change their position in the interest of Nigerian students since government has presented something on the table for them. — Benue state Governor Gabriel Suswam who heads the government team negotiating with striking university lecturers


Western value system that appears to be sanctioning ‘the best methods’ for murdering

whole peoples. Guns, bombs, starvation, ok. Gas, no. The reality is that the West’s (US) Middle-East foreign policy so far, from Palestine to Syria, Iraq to Iran, Afghanistan and yes ,to Egypt, has had very little to do with human rights or democracy, or the sanctity and equality of human life. This educating piece is written by the heroic British journalist, Yvonne Ridley.

anywhere. So what is a person of conscience to do or think? If the US and Britain are really to be taken seriously both need to show more even-handedness, for there is another state in the region which has chemical weapons and has already used them in recent times; step forward Israel. I never knew my maternal grandfather; he was gassed during World War One and died prematurely at the age of 50, never having recovered from the mustard gas attack launched on him and his comrades in 1916 as they fought in windswept trenches in France. In Vietnam in the 1960s, chemicals called Agent Orange and Agent Blue, as well as napalm, were dropped by wave after wave of ugly American B-52 bombers, and the impact is still being felt today. Despite knowledge of the horrific consequences, chemical weapons were deployed by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s, and in 1988 Saddam unleashed mustard gas and other nerve agents on the Kurdish population of Halabja in Northern Iraq. All of this was with the full knowledge of the CIA and US government. In 1993, though, the Chemical Weapons Convention was signed, outlawing all uses of chemical weapons in war, but that didn’t stop Israel using White Phosphorus rounds against Southern Lebanon in 2006 and on a civilian population in Gaza throughout “Operation Cast Lead” in December ’08 and January ‘09. White Phosphorus is an indiscriminate killer, as gas released from the explosion burns exposed flesh and the lungs of the victims, whichever way the wind blows. It is supposed to be used to provide a smokescreen for ground troops; when it is used against civilians, as it was by Israel, it is not only extremely lethal but also

extremely illegal. So when Obama talks about red lines being crossed, he is right; they have been crossed many times in recent years by friends and foes of the West, but red lines are meaningless if they do not draw a meaningful, uniform response from the international community. While the Labour whips were punching the air and cheering on young Ed Miliband in Parliament after voting down the British government on the Syrian issue, the opposition claimed that Assad’s army used napalm in Aleppo, with all the consequences you’d expect from such an evil action. Talk about dancing on the graves of babies. What is the solution? Intense diplomatic lobbying, not in the West but in the Arab world accompanied by some serious arm twisting must be done. This is the same Arab world which falls on its knees whenever Washington demands favors for Israel, which has to keep well out of this. Not everything is or should be focused on the Zionist state. In the meantime Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other kingdoms in the region need to realize that democracy is not the Devil’s spawn. China and Russia need to start showing some compassion and maybe it is time to revisit the Syrian National Coalition’s (SNC) Moaz al-Khatib’s 16-point initiative to help ensure a peaceful transition of authority and an end to the violence in Syria. This is no longer about presidential or political egos, red lines, special friendships, uneasy alliances, revolution, democracy, dictatorships or saving face; this is about saving lives. And that is something that most people seem to have forgotten. Published in Foreign Policy Journal on Sept 2,

With Aisha Yolah 08086296783 (text only please) refugees in an exodus from their homes in Syria? Something is wrong with this

Syria: Forget the red lines and political egos; focus on saving lives By Yvonne Ridley


am a peace activist, but at the moment one wrestling with her conscience because, in truth, if someone gave me a gun and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad strolled into the crosshairs I think I would struggle not to pull the trigger. The former eye doctor is a monster who has no boundaries when it comes to killing his own people. I have known this for many years, and so has America, Britain and their allies. In fact, until recently, the US has been more than happy to hand over people to the Assad regime in the full knowledge of what would happen to them in the notorious torture dungeons hidden across Syria. As a craven partner in the war on terror, Britain will also have been kept in the loop. These same dungeons were set up by Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad, a man who ordered the massacre of 20,000 Syrian citizens in the city of Hama in 1982. It was a brutal operation supervised by younger brother General Rifaat alAssad. It seems that the apples do not fall far from the Assad family tree. As such, for Obama to talk about red lines and for David Cameron to try and do a Blair, please forgive me for gagging with the stench of hypocrisy. A red line was crossed way back in February 2011 when 18 schoolboys were “disappeared” by the Assad regime for daubing some harmless graffiti on a wall in Dera; another red line was crossed when the 11-year-olds re-emerged three weeks later with all of their finger nails missing, some of them castrated and every single one with at least one broken bone in his body, according to a relative I interviewed in East London

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Syrian President Bashar Assad recently (I am working on doing a documentary and am busy trying to locate all the families, many of which are in refugee camps in Turkey but I have names of all the boys). A red line was crossed when, after six months of public rallies demanding justice over the treatment of the Graffitti Boys, more than 1,000 civilians had been killed; that was the breaking point for ordinary Syrians who had, until then, resisted calls to join the Arab Spring. A red line was crossed a few weeks ago when the civilian death toll exceeded 100,000 and millions of Syrian men, women and children were listed as refugees in squalid camps in neighbouring countries. The world is now confronted by a humanitarian disaster on a rapidly unfolding scale which can barely be compared with any other in recent times, man-made or otherwise. That the West thinks it can drop some bombs and cure the disaster speaks volumes in itself and reveals that nothing has been learned from the mess that is Iraq. Nevertheless, the reality is that chemical weapons are being dropped on the Syrian people and they do need help from somewhere;

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, 05 September, 2013  
Peoples Daily Newspaper, 05 September, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, 05 September, 2013