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Vol. 9 No. 40

Friday, October 5, 2012

. . . putting the people first

CBN approves INEC voters’ card for bank transaction >> PAGE 3

Zhul-Qadah 18, 1433 AH

Land grab: Jonathan’s aide, FCT minister sued


Robbery gang sponsors member to police college

>> PAGE 3

>> PAGE 4

Overseas education

Senate to ban wards of public officers

By Richard Ihediwa


here are plans in the Senate to insert a new provision in the constitution that would effectively bar serving political and public office holders including the President, vice president, state governors, ministers, members of the National Assembly as well as


4th Oct., 2012


BUYING 154.7 250 200 0.2848 41

SELLING 155.7 251.6 201 0.3048 41.5


BUYING 197 252 40 156.50

SELLING 203.50 256 42 160

others at the state and federal levels from sending their children and wards to schools outside the country. Already, a bill to that effect has passed through second reading in the Senate and has been referred to the Senate Constitution Amendment Review Committee for listing for further consideration. The bill sponsored by Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed seeks to bar public office holders including heads of public institutions and directors in agencies from sending their children to schools abroad except for specialisation at post graduate levels or for courses not offered in Nigerians schools. To achieve its objective, the bill seeks to amend the fifth schedule of the 1999 constitution by Contd on Page 2

Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam (middle) listing to Commissioner for Lands, Barrister Bala Haladu (right), during the governor's visit to the site of the proposed Damaturu Ultra-Modern Market to be built by the state government, yesterday in Damaturu. With them is the Deputy Governor, Engineer Abubakar D. Ali (left).

At last, Jonathan appoints new service chiefs

Retains Ihejirika as Army chief

By Abdularahman Abdulraheem & Joy Baba

A Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim

Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba

t last, President Goodluck Jonathan has announced the appointments of new service chiefs following the expiration of the tenure of the current service chiefs since last month. The President named outgoing

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, as new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) while Rear Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba is named new Chief of Naval Staff (CNS). Jonathan named Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh as the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) while Lt.-Gen Onyabor Azubuike Contd on Page 2























‘I am the most senior female Northern officer in the Nigerian Navy’, Page 40

Inter’l Digest

31-34 36







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Senate to ban wards of public officers Contd from Page 1

providing for a new section 15 which is proposed to prescribe that “a public official shall not send his children or wards abroad for studies on course offered by institutions in Nigeria except for specialisation at postgraduate level”. In the lead debate on the bill yesterday, Senator Mohammed said such is the only way to guarantee commitment of political and public office holders towards the revamping of education in the country. He said allowing public office holders to send their children to schools abroad was largely responsible for the neglect of the

education sector adding that the practice had also led to massive capital flight and brain drain. He averred that such adversely affects the economic and social lives of the nation. Mohammed urged the Senate to pass the bill saying it is only when public officials identify with Nigerians schools that the sector will receive the required attention. “My President, my distinguished colleagues, I sincerely believe that the remedy for this sad situation is the need for a sacrifice by Nigerian public officials, both appointed and elected. Let us directly identify with the Nigerian school system

by training our children and wards in our private and public institutions,” he said. Noting that he has been saddened by the deplorable state of Nigerian schools, Mohammed urged the Senate to imagine what the nation would be in the future if a drastic measure was not taken to salvage the situation. “Today, in this digital age, the pupils sit on bare floor. You then ask; what manner of leaders of tomorrow are we producing? You may also ask: where are the children of the senators, honourable members, ministers and governors. If our children attend such schools, can we afford to leave them in such a sorry

state? The answer is No”, he said. Statistics provided in the lead debate showed that Nigerians in tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom had hit 22,190 with annual remittance of N328 billion as at 2010 which is far beyond annual federal yearly budget for education. The number is expected to get to 30, 000 students by 2015. Similarly, the statistics showed that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) indicated that over 71,000 Nigerians are in Ghanaian institutions with annual remittance about N160 billion. The same trend is applicable to other countries especially China, United States, Singapore, India, among others.

At last, Jonathan appoints new service chiefs Contd from Page 1 Ihejirika was retained as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). The appointment was contained in a statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati in which he said the President also thanked the former service chiefs for their service to the nation. The delay in the appointment, which is coming a month after the expiration of their tenures, is speculated to have been caused by ethnic politics coupled with intensive lobbying by some influential groups putting pressure on the Presidency. Appointment of service chiefs usually reflects consideration for professionalism and geo-political zones for balance. It was gathered that the Presidency delayed in announcing the names as the list was subjected through thorough checks to meet the requirements. It was gathered that the President was bent on choosing trusted officers with good track records. The delay in the announcement of the new service chiefs had however, caused some disquiet as it was learnt that Jonathan quietly extended their tenures to yesterday though sources later hinted that such was to enable them to celebrate the 52nd independence anniversary in active service.

PROFILES OF THE NEW SERVICE CHIEFS Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim (CDS). 57 year old Naval officer and graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji respectively, Ibrahim is also trained with the Royal and Indian Navies. Ibrahim is a Navigation and Direction Specialist. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Ahmadu Bello University. He was at the Royal College of Defence Studies, UK as a member in 2002, where he, in addition obtained a Masters Degree from the Department of War Studies and

Public Policy at the Kings College, University of London. Ibrahim is decorated with the Command of Sea Badge for successful command at Sea on various Nigerian Naval Ships. He was a Directing Staff and a Chief Instructor at the Department of Maritime Warfare, Armed forces Command and Staff College Jaji, Secretary to the Chief of the Naval Staff before being appointed to command the naval operations base, Nigerian Naval Ship BEECROFT in 2001. In 2003, Admiral Ibrahim served as Commander Naval Task Group. Operation HARMONY in the Eastern Naval command, Calabar before he went to the National Defence College Nigeria as a Directing Staff later same year. He left the National Defence College for the Naval Headquarters as Navy Secretary in August 2005. He returned to the College as Director Curriculum and Programmes Development in May 2006. It was from this appointment that he headed back to the Naval Headquarters as Chief of Administration and subsequently Chief of Training and Operations. In February 2009, he was appointed Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, the appointment he held till his elevation as the Chief of the Naval Staff on 8 September 2010. He was subsequently elevated to the position of Chief of Defence Staff on 4 October, 2012. Rear Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba (CNS) Rear Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba was born on 25 July 1958 in Jos, Plateau state, although he hails from Ibusa in OshimiliNorth Local Government Area of Delta State. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna, Regular Course 22, the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji and trained at various times with the United States, Royal and Indian navies. He is a Navigation and Direction Specialist and holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika Ezeoba has had tours of duty on board several Nigerian Naval Ships in various capacities and successfully commanded different classes of Nigerian Naval Ships including the nation’s flagship, Nigerian Naval Ship ARADU. He was a Directing Staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji and the National Defence College, Abuja. He would later return to the Defence College as Director Curriculum and Programmes Development. He also served as the Director of Operations and later as the Chief of Training and Operations at the Naval Headquarters. It was from this appointment that he was appointed as the Deputy Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji. Thereafter, he was appointed as the Chief of Administration at the Defence Headquarters, the appointment he held till his elevation to the present appointment of the Chief of the Naval Staff on 4 October 2012. Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh (CAS) Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh was born in Vimtim, Mubi North Local Government area, Adamawa state on 10th January 1957. He attended the Villanova Secondary School, Numan, Adamawa state, where he obtained School Certificate in June 1976. He was

admitted into the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of the 21 Regular Course on 3rd January 1977, and was commissioned pilot officer on 3rd July 1979. He was promoted AVM on 3rd January 2008. He started his flying career at the 301 Flying Training School on the Bulldog primary trainer aircraft in 1979. Between 1981 and 82, he attended the Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base in the United States Air Force between January 1981 and September 1982. The senior officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has accumulated over 6000 flying hours on the Bulldog 123, Do 128-6, Do 228, Hawker 125, Hawker 1000, Falcon 900 and Gulfstream 5 airplanes. AVM Badeh has extensive International Flight Operations experience. AVM Badeh attended the Junior Division course at Armed Forces Command and Staff College in 1988, and the senior division course at same institution between 1995 and 1996. He attended the National War College Nigeria as a member of course 14 and graduated in August 2006; the University of Ibadan for his Masters degree. AVM Badeh has held several appointments, among which are Staff Officer 2 Operations at Training Command, CO Administration, Operations Support and Operations Wings, and then the office of Fleet Operations Officer all in the Presidential Air Fleet and then Commander Presidential Air Fleet from June 2002 to 25 October 2004. He also held the offices of Command Training officer at Training Command, Deputy Director Training and Director of Research at the Defence HQ. AVM was a Directing Staff and Director National Military Strategy and the National Defence College, Chief of Policy and Plans Headquarters Nigerian Air Force. Presently he is the Air Officer Commanding Training Command Nigerian Air Force Kaduna.



CBN approves voter’s card for bank transactions By Abdulwahab Isa


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has included voters' registration card as means of identifying bank customers for banking transactions including its acceptance for account opening. In a related development, the apex bank has also approved a uniform account opening forms for use by banks and other financial institutions for the purpose of

opening accounts for their customers. The latest information was contained in a circular posted at CBN website addressed to all banks and other financial institutions titled ‘Inclusion of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Voter’s Registration Card as a means of customer identification. “Further to our circular on AML/CFT Regulation 2009 on

acceptable means of identification for the purpose of account opening and transaction of banking business in Nigeria, it has become necessary as a result of the need to enhance financial inclusion, to extend the acceptable identification options. The circular signed by Amugo K. N for the CBN Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, directed that “all banks and other financial institutions are hereby advised to accept INEC Voter’s

Registration Card duly issued by INEC, bearing the holder’s particulars such as name, photograph, date of birth and address as valid additional means of identification of natural persons for the purpose of conducting banking business in Nigeria.” The adoption of voters' registration by CBN, is to enlarge identification items by which banks can certify customers for transactions.

Many dead, scores injured as blast hits Jalingo

From Blesing Tunoh, Yola


he Adamawa state government has pledged to provide relief for victims of last Monday’s killings in Mubi, even as it appealed for calm, saying the security agencies are on top of the situation. Speaking in Mubi yesterday, deputy governor of the state, Barri James Ngilari, said the state government would do everything possible to provide balm for the pain occasioned by the senseless killings. Speaking to the Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Isa Ahmadu, after visiting the scene of the massacre, Ngilari said it was unfortunate that the dastardly act took place. Meanwhile, most offices at the main campus of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, remained under lock and key yesterday.

Fuel subsidy scam: EFCC to arraign new suspects

From Ayodele Samuel & Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo

By Lambert Tyem



everal persons were feared dead with scores of others injured when a bomb explosion rocked Jalingo, the capital of Taraba state last night. The bomb went off at about 8.00pm at Dorawa Quarters along Ganye Road. An eyewitness, Kabiru Umar, said he saw three dead bodies and many people were rushed to the Federal Medical Center. “I was just near the place when I heard heavy sound and thick smoke coming from a local drinking joint; I took off my shoes and ran for my dear life,” he said. Police Public Relations Officer of the Taraba state command, Amos Olaoye confirmed the incident saying “we are yet to know the number of causalities but our men have swung into action by tomorrow (Friday) I will be able to furnish you with details”. As at press time, details were still sketchy as police cordoned off the scene of the incident.

Adamawa to assist survivors of Mubi killings

ome soldiers attached to the Joint Military Task Force, (JTF) were yesterday accused for the extra-judicial killing of two men of the same family in Gamborou Millionaires’ Quarters of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. Late Isa Abubakar Umar, 25 and his brother, Isa Umar, 24, were allegedly shot and killed by some JTF operatives, who stormed their residence in search of suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.

The slain brothers were allegedly killed when the soldiers were reportedly found a registered double barrel gun inside the room of their father, Malam Lawan Umar. Narrating the incident to Peoples Daily, a cousin of the deceased persons, Alhaji Yakuba Goni, alleged that on sighting the gun, the rampaging soldiers refused to entertain any explanation from the brothers, instead turned their rifles and shot at their direction, killing them on the spot. According to Goni, when the duo were shot nobody came out

to rush them to hospital due to the heavy presence of soldiers, who cordoned the entire area. The man condemned the action of the JTF operatives as “unprofessional” for rejecting the excuse of the victims so as to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of their claim. He said the slain brothers were buried according to Islamic rites, while complain on the matter was lodged at the Lamisula police station. Spokesman of the JTF, LtCol. Sagir Musa could not be reached for comment as at press time.

he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, said it has concluded arrangement to arraign fresh suspects in the ongoing trial of persons and organisations implicated in the fuel subsidy scam today. The commission said barring any hitches, 10 suspects comprising four companies and six individuals will be arraigned today, Friday October 5, 2012 before Justice Habeeb Abiru of the Lagos High Court. Spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren said among the individuals to be prosecuted are Ifeanyi Anosike, Emeka Chukwu, Ngozi Ekeoma, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu Maula, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah. The companies involved are Anosyke Group of Companies Limited, Dell Energy Limited, Downstream Energy Sources Limited and Rocky Energy Limited. These suspects are among several suspects scheduled for arraignment by the commission over the theft of N10.6 billion in dubious subsidy claims.

Awwal Mphammed, and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The plaintiff, in an originating summons filed on his behalf by his counsel, Aliyu Musa Yauri, prayed the court to order the return of the ownership of the disputed land to Adi Ali, among other reliefs. Adi Ali claims that the disputed piece of land located at No 8 Cadastral Zone DO1 Karsana District, Abuja was originally allocated to him but later

unilaterally transferred by the FCT Minister having been misled by Gulak without adhering to due promise. Adi Ali asked the court to, among other things, declare that the transfer of the right of occupancy of the land to Gulak’s company, vests no proprietary interest in Gulak’s company and that he remains its beneficial owner. The plaintiff seeks “a mandatory order compelling the

FCT Minister to cancel the purported offer of the right of occupancy of the said land and a consequential order returning the ownership of the land to him”. In a 6-page affidavit deposed to by Aliyu Salihu, the owner of Adi Ali International, stated that ownership of the disputed land was issued to his company by the FCT in 2011 but was later reallocated to Mr. Gulak. According to a Statement of Claim, Alhaji Awwal Mohammed,

a staff of Duhu Guest Inn, Wuse, Zone 4, Abuja, asked for the original letter of acknowledgement from the plaintiff under the guise that he would help him process the collection of the title deed of the land. The plaintiff later learnt that Awwal had collected the original deed and refused to return the acknowledgement letter to him. This prompted him to petition the police and also file a criminal complaint.

L-R: Managing Director, Media Trust Limited, Alhaji Isiaq Ajibola, Chairman, Jaiz Bank, Dr. Umaru Abdul Mutallab, and Managing Director, Infrastructure Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, during the 2nd National Conference on Shelter and Urban Renewal, organised by Daily Trust Newspaper, yesterday in Abuja. PHOTO: JUSTIN IMO-OWO

JTF accused of killing 2 brothers in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


Land grab: Jonathan’s aide, FCT minister sued

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


resident Jonathan’s adviser on political matters, Ahmed Ali Gulak, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, have been dragged before an Abuja high court for misappropriating a plot of land. Joined in the suit filed by Adi Ali International Limited are: Na Allah Properties Limited, a firm belonging to Mr. Gulak, Alhaji



Rotary club urges Nigerians to fight polio From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Rotary Club International has urged Nigerians to contribute in the eradication of polio in Nigeria by donating to the course. The District Governor of 9125, Rotarian Felix Ayo Obadan who called Nigerians to sacrifice part of their wealth to humanitarian jobs during a press briefing in Ilorin said Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistian were three countries where the disease was reported sighted. He said, acitizens of these nations are in danger if polio was not tackled. He explained that the club with over 1 million members in 250 countries was administering vaccines to children across the world, stressing that its challenges in Nigeria includes inadequate members. Obadan disclosed that few people that voluntarialy joined the humanitarian service later abandoned it. “That is why we need wealthy Nigerians, vocational citizens who are people like me and you to join us in fighting this scourge. Many children were missed during the administration of the vaccines because of tradition and culture. “If all of us can contribute our little efforts sincerely, our children’s lives would not be in danger”.

Cardiovascular disease may increase in Nigeria – Pate By A’isha Biola Raji


he Minister of state for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate has warned that as Nigeria population undergoes a demographic transition with increase in ageing, the burden of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) will likely shoot. The minister stated this yesterday in Abuja at the press briefing to mark 2012 World Heart Day with the theme ‘One World, One Home, One Heart’ focus on women and children. According to Pate, CVDs are responsible for a third of global deaths irrespective of gender or age, while 79% of them are found in both low and middle income countries. “Nigeria is no exception, according to WHO report, fifth of total burden of diseases was accounted for by non communicable diseases,” he said. He however warned people to desist from risky behaviors like smoking, alcoholism and excess intake of cholesterol, which gives “rise to high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol which are factors leading to CVDs.” CVDs claim 17.3 million lives a year globally which is as many as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and diabetes plus all forms of cancer, respiratory diseases and other chronic diseases. He however called for passage of tobacco bill, especially to protect non smokers.

Robbery gang sponsor member to police college * Big men force us to bend admission rules ––Commandant From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


fter undergoing training for over one year at the Police College, Kaduna, authorities there have fished out two armed robbers among the recruits.

The College Commandant, Sanusi Rufa’i, who briefed reporters in Kaduna, said that one of the recruited armed robbers was sponsored into the school by a gang of armed robbers based in Abuja. He explained that the identity

of the second robber-recruit was blown during a court process in Kebbi state. According to the Commandant, a total of 25 recruits were dismissed from the college, for other offences including, certificate forgery, age

President Goodluck Jonathan (right), Senate President David Mark (left), Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (2nd left), and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, after a meeting with stakeholders on the review of the Bakassi Peninsular judgment, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

falsification and pregnancy, among others. He accused politicians and traditional rulers of complicity in the admission of some of the recruits, noting that, “these big people bring their candidates and insist that such candidates must be admitted whether they are qualified or not.” On the armed robbers who would have concluded their training in December, Rufa’i said, “what brought about their dismissal is because I got a report from my colleague, the Area Commander, Kubwa, that one of the recruits undergoing training here is an armed robber. “The police arrested his gang and they mentioned that they sponsored him to come and receive training here. “And about three months ago, from Kebbi state, we received another letter and we detected another armed robber. This one was from a court. “ I do not know what will happen if these people pass out of the college as policemen. “During screening, you find out that some of them come with forged certificates, some cannot read and write, some are overaged, while some of them claim to be drivers but cannot move a car.” He dismissed as untrue, reports that prospective candidates pay various sums of money to policemen to facilitate their admission.

Taraba deputy governor impeached From Ayodele Samuel & Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


t was drama and political intrigue yesterday, when the Taraba State House of Assembly, impeached the state Deputy Governor Sani Abubakar Dalandi for “gross misconduct.” This followed the adoption of a report by the panel set up by the Acting Chief Judge of the state Justice Josephine Tukur, to investigate allegation of gross misconduct leveled against him. The panel indicted Dalandi for gross misconduct after closing its hearing on Wednesday. Danlandi has been at loggerheads with his boss,

Governor Danbaba Suntai who accused him of disloyalty, before he was served with notice of impeachment last month. The Majority leader of the House, Charles Maijamkai who moved the motion for impeachment was seconded by Josiah Sabo Kente representing Wukari Constituency 1, after the House accepted the three recommendation of the panel and voted unanimously for the removal of the embattled deputy governor. Submitting the report of the committee to the Speaker Istifanus Gbana, chairman of the panel Nasir Dangiri said the panel found the embattled deputy governor

guilty of all the allegations. The speaker immediately directed the Clerk of the House Ismalu Tentason to communicate the impeachment to the state governor, commissioner of police, director of the State Security Service for further action. Meanwhile, Peoples Daily gathered that the impeached deputy governor has however headed to a High court in Jalingo challenging the impeachment and panel. The court is schedule to hear the case today (Friday), while the state government has announced Garba Umar as the new deputy governor. A source at the government

told Peoples Daily that plans have been concluded for the swearing of Umaru today (Friday) at the Dome tent Taraba Motel. Dalandi was accused of diverting a Millennium Development Goals project to his private school, Yagai Academy, which houses his other business ventures like Yagai Water, Yagai Printing Press and Yagai Restaurant, acts which the House of Assembly described as “gross misconduct.” Earlier, Abubakar speaking through his counsel, Barr. Yunusa Usman (SAN), said the panel was not properly constituted and was incompetent to investigate the allegations against his client.

ABU @50: Nigeria’s education need radical changes, says Don From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


former dean of students affair of the University of Ilorin and retired Professor of Education Psychology, Prof. Shehu Jimoh has said that the Nigerian educational system needs radical changes in order to move the nation forward. The don who stated this in Ilorin yesterday in a paper presented at one of the activities organised by the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)

(Kwara state branch) to mark the 50th anniversary of the institution, noted that if education sector was properly reformed, citizens would not have any course to suffer. He said “Our educational system at all levels has not achieved the objectives for which they were set up. It has not changed radically from the type we inherited from the colonial era. It remains bookish with very minimal attention paid to the raining of the hands in addition to

the training of the head. “Standards are falling and today’s university graduate cannot communicate effectively in English nor can he demonstrate any other skills and competence relevant to the world of work outside school. This situation is aggravated by the trend of examination malpractice which permeates all levels of our educational system. Thus, when you interact with somebody who claims to be a graduate, you begin

to wonder if he actually earned a degree. “ While the number of universities and student enrolment are increasing rapidly, there are no corresponding quality-assurance measures put in place. This is why we turn out thousands of graduates every year without equipping them to find their way through the conceptual landscape of the knowledge-driven economy of the 21st century.”



Reps committee tasks FG on NDLEA funding From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Mr. Jagaba Adams Jagaba has urged the Federal Government to improve funding for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Speaking during an oversight visit to the Agency, Jagaba lamented the poor state of infrastructure in the antinarcotic Agency and called for an urgent intervention. "We are here on oversight assignment but there is no work for us because of lack of fund. In this year's budget 100million naira was approved for the NDLEA

out of which only 18.7 million has been released. Nothing could be done with the money released because the deficit of the previous year is about 23 million naira. The Federal Government needs to provide funds for the Agency to enable it perform optimally" Jagaba stressed. He said, "this committee has carried out an independent

investigation on the Agency and our findings are worrisome. NDLEA offices across the country are all in dilapidated condition, in dire need of renovation. The Agency lacks operational vehicles, sniffer dogs, training and even arms and ammunitions. In the past 5 years, 20 officers have lost their lives in active service. This is very sad".

Witness’ security concern stalls Atuche’s trial From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


L-R: Representative of the Inspector General Police, DIG, Sulaiman Fakai, Chairman, Civil Society Panel on Police Reform in Nigeria, Mrs Ayo Obe, and Technical Adviser, Innocent Chukwuma, during the panel’s meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Nasarawa agrees to pay N71m September pension From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


ollowing a peaceful protest staged by members of the Nasarawa state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, the Nasarawa state government yesterday, ordered the immediate payment of an outstanding N71 million to pensioners for September. Addressing the aggrieved pensioners in front of the Lafia Government House, state commissioner for finance, Prof. Mohammed Mainoma, disclosed Governor Umaru Tanko Al-

makura's order for the immediate payment of the outstanding pension for September, adding that government was also reviewing gratuity claims and pension arrears, with a view to effecting payment. He urged the pensioners, who are all retired civil servants disengaged from the state civil service, to remain patient as government would sort out perceived discrepancies in both claims. Members of the NUP early yesterday, marched from the

state pension board and pitched tent at the entrance gate of the Government House, demanding to see Governor Almakura. Treasurer of the union, Mrs. Christiana Elayo, while addressing the press earlier, outlined the grievances of the pensioners to include among others; inability of government to pay gratuities to retired workers since 1997, lack of procedures for the payment and the instalmental payment of gratuities, with pensioners collecting as low as N100,000.

Harmonise workers' pension, Attah tells FG By Maryam Garba Hassan


he first Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ambassador Judith Attah has called on the federal government to harmonize retired civil servants pension to enable them live a dignified life. Attah, who made the call yesterday in Abuja at a summit and special luncheon to mark this year's International Day of Older , urged the government to appreciate the elders who contributed to the development of the nation, by paying their pension as at when due adding that the new pension policy

adopted by the government, would be the foundation for the leaders of tomorrow. Attah commended the present minister for addressing issues related to elderly persons in the country, In her key note address, the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina said, the world is facing a frightening phenomenon of increased ageing population who currently live longer. She said, their sacrifice, wisdom and experiences have remained the pillars of support and stability in the nation. Zainab promised that next year, some select aged persons

will be taken to a place of their choice to celebrate the day as the Federal Government has approved the purchase of two buses for that purpose. In his speech, the national Vice Chairman, Public Service Retirees, Chime Geoffrey, lamented that retirees' pensions for the month of August is yet to be paid. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Development, Mrs. Sarah Pane, said the welfare of the aged is not only the responsibility of the family members but of social institutions adding that Nigerians have refused to make their pathetic lives better.

Funding for the NDLEA is very important and must be so treated by all stakeholders. "Acts of militancy, terrorism, armed robbery and violent crimes are rooted in drug abuse. If we must fight crime in this country we need to control drugs. If we must control drugs, NDLEA must be funded by the Federal Government" Jagaba stated.

he trial of sacked Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, alongside a former director of the bank, Mr. Funmi Ademosu, who are currently facing trial at an Ikeja High Court could not go on due to the safety concern of a prosecution witness. The cross examination of Bolaji Ogunsola, yesterday was stalled over disagreement on alleged safety concern of the witness. Ogunsola, a former Managing Director of Mortgages Bank PHB, was at the last hearing of the matter led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) before Justice Lateefa Okunnu. But at the resumed hearing, the prosecution counsel, Kamarudeen Adebola who stood in for Pinheiro, away for the International Bar Association (IBA), Conference at Dublin, informed the court of the absence of the witness over allegation of threat to his life. Adebola, who displayed a torn e- mail sent by the witness sought for an adjournment in order to make arrangement for his security.

Perturbed by the allegation, Atuche's counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) expressed shock by the prosecution's comment saying they did not disclose where the threats came from. According to Idigbe, the allegation was a ploy to delay trial as about 15 witnesses have testified without any allegation of threat "on a day we are prepared to cross-examine the witness". "I urged the court to order that police security be provided for him so that he can come and complete his testimony". Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till October 9, 2012 for the cross examination of the witness. Ogunsola had at the last hearing of the matter said that he was aware that funds were transferred from some company accounts in Mortgages Bank PHB to some individual accounts, companies and churches in other banks. The companies according to him, includes Clearmount, AFCO, Commercial Trading, Clearview, Noel, Consolidated Business Support, Arabian Probity and Gazali Yakubu. He also stated in his testimony that to his knowledge, nobody in the companies complained about their funds being transferred.

Expert advocates Moringa for African homes By Mohammed Kandi


hanaian Director at Daysah Ventures, manufacturers of food and beverages in the country, Mr. George Amissah, has recommended Moringa ingestion for every African home to boost body immune system and combat malnutrition. He made this known yesterday, at the ongoing 7th Abuja International Trade Fair organized by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA). Amissah, said Moringa(zogale) "increases natural defenses for the body, promotes normal function of the liver and kidney, aids digestion, acts as anti-oxidants and beautifies the skin… contains an extraordinary wide variety of nutritional properties and compounds such

as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Protein". He added that, "the product supports a healthy cardiovascular system and promote normal blood glucose levels in the body." "Take one teaspoonful of Moringa leaf p o w d e r i n t o a cup of hot water, stir and drink, preferably after meal. Alternatively, you can add one teaspoonful in a glass of fruit juice," he explained. Meanwhile, the Daysah Ventures Director who decried the low turnout at the fair ground, attributed it to relocation of the venue to ABCCIMA permanent site along airport road, Abuja far from the city centre as well as inadequate publicity for the event, saying "our concern is the prevalence high rate respiratory diseases and HIV/AIDS in Africa."



Northern group set to tackle Jonathan on alleged misrule From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ), a nongovernmental organisation, says it is set to confront the Federal Government over what the group described as crippling social injustice in the polity as well as on the tissue of lies and unfulfilled promises to the people.

“The era of docility is over because we cannot continue to attribute everything to the Will of God”, the coalition’s spokesman and former military administrator of Kaduna state, Col. Hameed Ali, said yesterday at a press conference in Kaduna. He lamented that the north has been so quiet for a long time even in the face of injustice leading to perverse poverty in

the area and in the country at large. Citing the issue of government’s promise of cushioning the effects of increase in pump price of fuel, through palliative measures, Ali queried, “several months after, where are the palliative buses and other goodies? “That means the government is not sincere and

it is not serious. Nigerians are too docile but we cannot continue to remain like that because if you do not raise your hands and fight for your rights, you will never get what is due to you. “We are ready to mobilise the people to demand for their rights and if we talk and the talk does not work, then we think of an alternative action to take”.

Falaki appointed director of IAR By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, has approved the appointment of Dr. Ahmed M. Falaki of the Department of Agronomy as the Director of the Institution’s Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR). A statement issued yesterday by the Media Adviser to the ViceChancellor, Malam Waziri Isa Gwantu, said Falaki’s appointment, which is with immediate effect, followed the sudden death of the Institute’s former Director, Prof. Tanimu Balarabe and in recognition of his administrative and academic leadership qualities. “By this appointment, you will be responsible to the ViceChancellor for the day-to-day operations of the Institute” the letter reads in part. Falaki, who is an indigene of Kano state was born on the 13th of June, 1951, attended Dandago Primary School, finished in 1964 from where he proceeded to Government College, Keffi where he graduated in 1969. Before his present appointment as the Director of the Institute, Falaki was the Assistant Director Extension Monitoring and Evaluation.

Flood: Crocodiles, hippos threaten homes in Benue By Muhammad Nasir

L-R: Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engineer Andrew Yakubu, Minister of Petroleum Resource, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and Minority Whip. House of Representatives, Hon. Samsun Osagiu, during the opening ceremony of an investigative hearing on oil bloc, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Fuel subsidy bribe: MD, oil firm, others arraigned From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, its Managing Director, Mr. Anthony Ihenacho, the Assistant General Manager Supply, Mr. Humphrey Okoh, and the Financial Controller of the company, Mr. Akinwusi Julius were on Wednesday arraigned before a Tapa Magistrate’s Court over an alleged bribe offered to members of the Presidential Committee on

Fuel Subsidy Verification. Others arraigned with them are three members of the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Verification namely; Alalade Abioye (f), Buhari Ganiyu and Oni Oluwasola (m). They were alleged to have on August, 30 2012 at Integrated Oil And Gas Ltd, 190 Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos, in the Lagos Magistrate District, conspired with others (now at large) and offered the sum of N1.5 million

to members of the Presidential Committee for the performance of their duties an offence punishable under Section 63(1)(a)(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011. Addressing the court, police prosecutor, Superintendent Effiong Asuquo of the Special Fraud Unit, told the court that the alleged bribe was offered to members of the Presidential Committee namely Alalade Abioye (f), Buhari Ganiy (m),

Oni Oluwasola (m) and Chukwujekwu Nneka Akabueze (f). When the charge was read to them, all the defendants pleaded not guilty and were granted bail by Magistrate Matins Owumi in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a civil servant whose office and home addresses must be verified by the court.

Alaibe denies prior knowledge of anniversary day blasts By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


ormer Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Mr. Timi Alaibe, yesterday, denied having prior knowledge of the multiple bomb blasts which rocked the Federal Capital Territory on October 1, 2010 and claimed the lives of no fewer than 12 persons. Standing in the witness box before a Federal High Court in Abuja, Mr. Alaibe insisted that the third accused person in the treasonable case, Edmund Ebiware never informed him of the ploy to bomb Eagle Square,

the venue for the Independence Day anniversary in 2010. Alaibe denied the allegations that he received information from the one of the suspects linked to the incident. The former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) boss, had been fingered in the course of the trial of having first-hand information before the bomb blasts. During cross examination, Alaibe said the only time he came in direct contact with the suspect was when he helped the Amnesty Office in the disarmament process of some ex-militants\ in

Ogbotebe community of Delta state. He added that he had course to caution the accused person against his campaign on the politics of geo-political zoning before the 2011 presidential election. Shortly after the prosecution closed its case with Alaibe as its last witness, the defence opened its case with the accused person, Edmund Ebiware as its only witness. Ebiware told the court that he had course to meet with Mr. Alaibe in his office over threats on his life by the alleged

mastermind of the October 1 bombing, Henry Okah and on the need to disarm ex-militants in the Niger Delta. Ebiware who said his relationship with Okah has always been on the phone, said the MEND leader had threatened him because he felt he was an informant of the government and that Okah never told him of his intention to stage an attack on 2010 independence day. The court gave the parties in the matter 14 days to file their written addresses which are expected to be adopted on November 12, 2012.


angerous animals, including crocodiles, snakes and hippos, have found their way into homes and communities in Benue state in central Nigeria after devastating floods occasioned by the overflow of the River Benue. A report monitored by our reporter on the British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service) noted that the creatures were carried along by floodswollen rivers. According to Wuese Jirake, a Benue state resident, “there is now a hippopotamus in my house, “I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home.” “This morning I visited my house. It is still inundated with the flood waters above my waist. There is now a hippopotamus in the house”, he said. Similar situations have been reported in the towns of Makurdi, Agatu, Logo and Adoka, says the BBC’s Ishaq Khalid. However, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it is working hand in hand with the Benue state government and other relevant agencies to ensure the flood victims return to their homes. The co-ordinator of the agency in north-central Nigeria, Abdussalam Muhammad, told the BBC that it was not safe for people to go back to their houses because of the presence of the dangerous animals.



President/Chief Executive, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (left), with CEO, Tiger Brands Limited, Mr. Peter Matlare (right), and COO, Dangote Group, Mr. Olakunle Alake (middle), during the signing ceremony of the divestment of shares of Dangote Flour Mills Plc (DFM) to Tiger Brands at Dangote Group corporate head office, yesterday in Lagos.

R-L: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Special Assistant (Political) to the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Jacob Beredugo, and Director General, National Teachers Institute (NTI), Dr. Ladan Sharehu, during the presentation of report of the study tour on Kenya Strengthen Mathematics Science Education, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

L-R: National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Micheal Alogba, National Treasurer of the Union, Dr. Nasir Mohammed, and representative of the Minister of Education, Mrs Clara Eminue, during the inauguration of federal wing of Nigeria Union of Teachers, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

L-R: Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Federal Character, Hon. Babatunde Osoba, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ahmed Idris, and Executive Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Professor Shuaibu Oba, during the Committee’s oversight visit to the commission, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

NITEL National Secretary, Senior Staff Association, Mr Emmanuel Adu (left), national President, NITEL Staff Association of Nigeria, Mr Elias Kazzah (right), and others protesting over non-payment of NITEL workers salary, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN



NAFDAC impounds N15.37m drugs From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Edo State has taken delivery of unregistered drugs worth N15.37 million impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’. A truck containing unregistered pharmaceutical products worth N14.8 million and another carrying unregistered animal drugs worth N237,500 were intercepted on the same route by the Customs.

Assistant Director and Coordinator of the Agency in Edo state, David West who made the disclosure in Benin City, said, “the truck laden with drugs was intercepted by men of Nigerian Customs Services on routine patrol along Benin–Asaba Highway and on close examination discovered that the consignment contain unregistered drugs.” He however said that no arrest was made as the driver of the truck absconded on sighting the uniformed men. According to him, the

pharmaceutical products , which consists of Ampiclox (ampicillin cloxacillin) 250mg/ml, Nilstat (Nystatin) oral drops drops 30ml, Aeroline Evohaler 100mg, Optalidon (prophenazone + caffaome) tabs, Cicatrin Powder (Neomycin Sulphate + Bactracin Zin), Ibrumol capsules, Diclofen forte didofenac sodium caplets, Disprin Soluble Aspirin tablets, Augmentin syrup in powder form156.25mg/5ml and Dettol 100ml were all without NAFDAC registration number and were ostensibly heading to Onitsha before they were intercepted.

West further said that the pharmaceutical products bore Pakistan, India and China as countries of manufacture. “They include Citriaxone – sodique, Invomec’O – Ivermectin injection 1% and Ox bull – Ox tetracycline HCL Injection 1% with Germany and China as the countries of manufacture”, he said. He called on the public to always report cases of unregistered drugs to the agency, adding that the impounded drugs would be moved to NAFDAC’s Enforcement Directorate, Lagos

for further investigation. Meanwhile, NAFDAC has told sellers of beans, grains and related food products in Edo State to desist from using harmful chemicals that can result in food poisoning. The warning came from NAFDAC in the state, during a sensitisation exercise at the various markets in Benin metropolis for Northern traders. Addressing the traders, Mr. West urged them to always use approved pesticides in the right proportion to avoid food poisoning, and to properly store the food items.

EFCC arraigns company staff over fraud By Lambert Tyem


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC yesterday arraigned one Mr. Felix Walbe before Justice Nimpar Yar'gata of the Federal High Court Jos, on a two count charge of fraudulent conversion of N450, 000 and giving false information to the Commission. According EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the offence is punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code and Section 39 sub section 2 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004. Walbe allegedly made false statement to officers of the EFCC when he claimed that one Athanasius Danbaba, an employee of Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority is also employed by, and receiving salary in Natco Nigeria Limited and had also corruptly enriched himself as well as bought several properties in Jos. One of the charges against the accused person reads: “that you Felix Walbe, being a former employee of Natco Nigeria Limited between June 2011 and June, 2012, in the Jos Judicial Division of the High Court of Plateau State, and in such capacity entrusted with certain property, to wit: N450,000 (four hundred and fifty thousand naira) committed criminal breach of trust by dishonestly converting the said sum to your own use, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 315 of the Penal Code, CAP 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria,1963”. Walbe pleaded not guilty. The prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Audu, thereafter prayed the court for a short adjournment for hearing and pleaded that the accused be remanded in prison custody. Justice Nimpar Yar'gata, in his ruling remanded the accused person in Federal Prison, Jos and fixed October 25, 2012 for definite hearing. From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


middle-aged man identified as Alhaji Bila is among five persons that were yesterday confirmed dead at a rehabilitation centre for displaced victims of flood in Edo State. Alhaji Bila reportedly slumped and died at Ekperi rehabilitation

L-R: Durbin Zazzau, Alhaji Ali Bamali, Niger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, and former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, during the third-day Fida’u prayer of the late Dallatun Minna, Alhaji Usman Abubakar, at the deceased's residence, on Wednesday in Minna.

Gov Aliyu approves Sallah bonus for workers Kabir (sallah) festival. He instructed the Commissioners for Finance and that of local government and chieftaincy Matters to ensure payment of the October salaries to all workers not less than one week to this year’s Sallah festival. Speaking after inaugurating

the Niger state Justice Sector Reform committee and presentation of the Niger state High Court Civil Procedure rules at Government House Minna, Governor Aliyu warned that he would not tolerate the purchase of materials for the civil servants saying “:everything should be

monetized and allow workers to decide what they want with the money”. Governor Aliyu also directed the Commissioner for Finance and the Attorney general of the state to work out modalities that would see government assisting judicial officers to purchase their vehicles.

judges and other judicial officers do not relate regularly with other members of the society has distanced them from realities in the society. The governor also stated that the nation is right in adopting the alternative conflict resolution principle so as to reduce the delay in passing judgements and reduce court and prison congestions.

He said the justice sector reform has become necessary because the country practices the United States of America presidential system of government whereas the laws of the land still revlves around the conservative parliamentary system. Governor Aliyu however assured his government’s support for policies and programmes that

Five Edo flood victims die

the federal government and Nigerians to be more proactive in disaster management to minimize the risk associated with flood and other natural disasters. Enabulele said their visit to the rehabilitation camps was necessary to save lives, particularly women and children who are most vulnerable to preventable epidemic like malaria.

would lead to the respect of fundamental rights of the people and quick dispensation of justice. The governor also presented the new Niger state High Court Civil Procedure rules which was last produced in 1987 at the occasion and directed that all commissioners Special Advisers, Local government Chairmen and their secretaries as well as Permanent Secretaries be given a copy each of the document. Responding, Chairman of the committee and Chief Judge of Niger state, Justice Jibrin Ndajiwo announced that Niger state has been picked as one of the states in the country where the Alternative Dispute Resolution programme would commence.

From Iliya Garba, Minna


he governor of Niger state, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu yesterday put smiles on the faces of civil servants in the state when he proclaimed that government will pay bonuses to them for the celebration of Eid-el

…inaugurates justice sector reform committee


he governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu Wednesday inaugurated the Niger state Justice Sector Reform Committee saying the judiciary can no longer continue to estrange itself from other members of the society. Inaugurating the committee at Government House Minna, Aliyu said the practice whereby

camp located at Ekperi Grammar school,Ughepe Azukhalu,in Etsako Central local council area of Edo State, triggering anxiety in the camps. The incident occurred during an on-the-spot assessment of the displaced persons by the Nigeria

Medical Association (NMA) for presentation of relief materials including drugs worth millions of naira, bottled water and repellents. NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulale, shortly before the presentation yesterday called on


Becoming more strategic: Three tips for any executive


ou don't need a formal strategy role to help shape your organization's strategic direction. Start by moving beyond frameworks and communicating in a more engaging way. 1. Understand what strategy really means in your industry By the time executives have reached the upper echelons of a company, almost all of them have been exposed to a set of core strategy frameworks, whether in an MBA or executive education program, corporate training sessions, or on the job. Part of the power of these frameworks is that they can be applied to any industry. 2. Become expert at identifying potential disrupters Expanding the group of executives engaged in strategic dialogue should boost the odds of identifying company or industrydisrupting changes that are just over the horizon-the sorts of changes that make or break companies. But those insights don't emerge magically. Consider, for example, technological disruption. For many executives, the rise up the corporate ladder requires a deep understanding of industry-specific technologies-those embedded in a company's products, for example, or in manufacturing techniquesbut much less knowledge of crosscutting technology trends, such as the impact of sensors and the burgeoning "Internet of Things." 3. Develop communications that can break through A more adaptive strategydevelopment process places a premium on effective communications from all the executives participating. The strategy journey model described by our colleagues, for example, involves meeting for two to four hours every week or two to discuss strategy topics and requires each executive taking part to flag issues and lead the discussion about them. In such an environment, time spent looking for better, more innovative ways to communicate strategy-to make strategic insights cut through the day-to-day morass of information that any executive receives-is rarely wasted. This requires discipline, as it is always tempting to invest in further analysis so that the executive has a deeper grasp of the issues rather than in communications design to ensure that everybody has a good grasp of them. It also may require building new skills; indeed, developing messages that can break through the clutter is becoming a required skill for the modern strategist.

Quote Be awful nice to ‘em goin’ up, because you’re gonna meet ‘em all comin’ down. - Jimmy Durante


Nine strong tips on saving and managing your finances S

ome understanding of economics and personal finance doesn't mean you won't make mistakes or face financial disasters. But you can lessen the odds and repair the damage faster if you know the rules of the game. Here are the economic and financial concepts everybody should know: 1. The difference between needs and wants Our actual needs are pretty limited: food, shelter, clothing, companionship. Just about everything else is a "want," and our wants are essentially endless. Because our resources are limited (see "scarcity," below), we have to make choices about which wants to fulfill. Also, the way we fulfill our needs involves a lot of choice. Shelter, for example, can be a bed at a mission for the homeless or a N250 million mansion. Our food choices offer a similar range, from beans and tap water consumed at home to steak and beer at an exclusive restaurant. I've discovered many people believe they have to spend money in certain ways or in certain amounts, when in reality their spending is a choice -- or is at least based on choices they made earlier. If you're facing a monster mortgage payment, for example, it's because you chose to buy that home and selected that particular mortgage. Taking responsibility for our choices can be scary, but it should also be empowering. After all, if you have choices, you're not just a victim of circumstance. 2. Scarcity makes your choices for you It's lovely to believe in a world

of endless abundance, but the reality is that at any given point in time, our resources have limits. Whether it's oil in the ground, our time here on Earth or the cash in our pockets, there's only so much available to be spent. People who ignore this reality are the ones who run out of paycheck before they run out of month, or who extend their unsustainable spending by relying on credit cards, home equity loans and other reckless borrowing. Their refusal to make the sometimes-hard choices needed to responsibly manage money means that they will have even fewer choices in the future. The money they spend on stuff and on interest

can't be invested in other goals, like retirement, so odds are pretty good they'll wind up old and broke. 3. The pointlessness of the hedonic treadmill This isn't the latest workout device at your gym. The hedonic treadmill means that we quickly adjust to improved circumstances. A raise at work or a new possession may make us happy for a little while, but we soon take our situation for granted. Our expectations continue to rise: If only I could get another raise, or a better car, or a bigger house. Should those expectations be satisfied, again we'd adjust and quickly want more. This has a lot of implications for personal finance and the economy,

but here's something to consider: Maybe we need to look beyond our wallets for true happiness. 4. Every money decision has a cost of its own "Opportunity cost," very simply, means what we give up to get something else. In every choice, there's an opportunity cost. If you decide to go to college, for example, you're giving up the income you could have earned by working full-time during those years plus whatever you could have purchased with the money used to attend school. You also may take on loans to pay for school, which will have to be paid back with future income that could have gone for other purposes.

Investment mistakes to avoid (II)


ailure to rebalance portfolio: Rebalancing is the process of returning your portfolio to its target asset allocation as outlined in your investment plan. In view of the fact that this contrarian action is very difficult for many investors, they fail to capitalise on the benefit inherent in it. Though rebalancing is difficult because it forces you to sell the asset class that is performing well and buy more of your worst performing asset classes, it should still be undertaken to facilitate reaping long-term benefits. Rebalancing must be guided by a well-structured investment blueprint, and not carried out for the sake of a price movement in the market. Trusting absolutely on hindsight It is often assumed that because you can see the past clearly, you think you have a similar ability to tell the future. Hindsight error is common at the moment, because many people are convinced they saw the crash coming in 2007. In reality, they may have thought a crash was

possible, but they also thought the market might continue to trend upwards. Now, investors are convinced they actually saw the problem in 2007, but just did not act on it. So, they believe wrongly that they can act correctly today. They think they know enough to sell at the precise moment the market is high and buy when the market is low. People also expect that trends that existed in the recent past will continue in the future. The stock market is dynamic and it requires requisite commitment to study and follow the trends in the market. Spending the principal: Some investors fail to set some money aside in a savings or money market account for smaller expenses like furniture, vacations, hobbies, computers, car repairs, and babies. When an urgent need arises they are forced to break their investment plan to address their immediate needs. A well thought out week, monthly and even yearly budget is a prerequisite for investors who wish to make investing a veritable

tool for growing their wealth. Overconfidence: Unrealistic mental frame has led many to believe without justification that they have the ability to pick stocks that will have above average returns. This more often than not, is a set up for an accident caused by an error of judgment fostered by the emotional belief that investors have an all knowing ability. Balance can be achieved by applying fundamental and analytical benchmarks to moderate extreme cases of investors' overconfidence. The wisest of investors treat every investment decision with a certain amount of caution and this has served many well because the market will always remain an unpredictable entity. Internal conflict When confronted with information that contradicts their belief in a hypothesis, investors disregard it, preferring to look for information that confirms their hypothesis. From the print to broadcast media, investment experts provide more often than not constitute postulations on what

the market will do, thereby misleading many investors through hype and generation of group think solutions. Having an investment blueprint in place is a sure means of safeguarding against being internal conflict arising from contradicting investment information. Illusionary ability to control: You may believe in your ability as an investor to ride the market when in actual fact you may just be pulling a tiger by its tail. This has led many investors to believe that they can make the market go up or down. If you think you have a trick that can get the market to go your way, you better think twice. They are sitting on the sidelines in cash earning no return. Given the valuable prices of stock in the Nigerian market, the memories of previous losses have held many investors captive from investing, forgetting that "Risk and return go together." Mastering emotion of any kind is a perquisite for any investor willing to excel in the market.




Saudi Arabia’s deportation of our female pilgrims T he ongoing deportation of Nigerian women pilgrims not accompanied by male guardians (maharam) from Saudi Arabia by that country's authorities must rankle as a huge blow to the pride of every patriotic Nigerian. As of Monday, when a batch of 52 women pilgrims was turned back from the holy land, the number of the deportees had reached 1000. Before the deportations began, the Saudi authorities had detained 400 of our women pilgrims at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah under inhuman conditions for three days immediately after their arrival from Nigeria last week. When news of the women's detention broke, the reaction of Nigerian officials was, understandably, one of outrage even though some officials of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) tried to downplay the gravity of the situation by describing the cause of the incident as a communication gap, which would be quickly sorted out. And when the 52 were deported on Monday, NAHCON's spokesman, Uba Mana, blamed the women, saying some of them had expired passports while others had false visas, as if the commission had no hand in the acquisition of both. The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar, who is the Amirul Hajj, said the action of the Saudi authorities was "an insult to Nigeria and to this country's millions of Muslims." He added that the Saudis "never raised this issue and never demanded that the female pilgrims must have a 'maharam.' They did not make this a requirement for

issuing visas". And the minister of foreign affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, who had protested the shabby treatment meted out to the female pilgrims at a meeting with Saudi Arabia's acting minister of foreign affairs, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in Washington last week, fumed that "the action of the Saudi authorities was not only unfortunate but did not truly reflect the historic friendly ties between the two

the deportation of the Nigerian women pilgrims must be seen for what it is - the willful failure of some officials at home to do their job well nations". However, the fact that the Saudi authorities singled out Nigerian women pilgrims for this sordid treatment means that Nigerian officials associated with the 2012 pilgrimage exercise have a question or two to answer. Why were some of the travelling documents of the women pilgrims filled with false information? And didn't the officials have any inkling of what awaited the pilgrims? It is our position that the NAHCON and the states' pilgrim welfare boards, as the

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

organizers of the annual pilgrimage to the holy land, must take the blame for this avoidable diplomatic slap on Nigeria. Although in the past women had been allowed to perform the annual hajj pilgrimage without the presence of a maharam, the Saudi authorities have every right to now insist on compliance with that requirement because it is religious. And because ours is a culture that delights in breaching the law does not mean other nations must tolerate our lawless ways of doing things on their shores. After all, Nigerians of all genders are not noted as the most saintly of people on earth, as some have the unfortunate notoriety for engaging in all manner of unsavoury practices even while on trips that are supposed to be wholly religious. Also, in not a few cases have some absconded while on holy visits to Saudi Arabia, Italy (Rome) and Israel (Jerusalem). Besides, many of the illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia are Nigerians. Even here at home, the ill treatment foreign missions mete out to Nigerians seeking visa suggests that some compatriots can go to any length to depart our shores. But after all is said and done, the deportation of the Nigerian women pilgrims must be seen for what it is - the willful failure of some officials at home to do their job well. The deportees must not be allowed to pay for that failure, especially if the Saudi authorities insist that they only be allowed back into Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj rites in the company of their maharam.









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


By John Igoli


he problem with our claim and celebration of independence is that Nigerians as a people are still very much dependent. While the poor are dependent on their “rich” relatives, the rich are dependent on foreign markets for their shopping. The government personnel are completely dependent on approval by foreign authorities claim to performance and acceptance. They depend on international workshops, meetings and conferences to speak about issues at home and tell the world how well informed and hardworking they are. Their progress reports and governance scripts are only valid for external examinations. They will fail woefully if marked by internal examiners or ordinary Nigerians. Still it is a great feeling to know that your leader is one of you. His origin can be traced to one village or the other in your country or locality. There is no disconnect between you and your leader and he is expected to know and understand your feelings and peculiarities. Hopefully his background may be the similar to yours and he must surely know how it is down here. Hence he is


Our dependent independence expected to come over for a brotherly chat on how to surmount the challenges facing us. He will trust us to have the best of intentions for our communities and country. He should address problems with practical solutions rather than palliative statements, concepts and plans for the future. He should strive to correct the injustices of the past and restore our lost glories because he is one of us and should know. Unfortunately, we appreciate ourselves more abroad than at home. We are a very orderly people abroad and quite disorderly at home. We confess to crimes (committed at home) abroad and deny them with the stout defence of lawyers at home. We seek and win more scholarships to go abroad than to study in our country. We even organise workshops and training for our local leaders abroad! Our statistics are only valid when quoted from a foreign report or another. At home there are no statistics of whatever type, even our population census figures are not acceptable to all. Our elections must feature foreign observers and their reports if favourable will become an

anthem for years to come. Meanwhile the people have a different opinion altogether. But for mobile phones, telephone conversation would have ended in Nigeria long ago. Today we have one of the most expensive internet and mobile phone network coverage which can be sabotaged at any moment. We depend totally on foreign cars, petrol, oil and international air travels. Our sportsmen can only be stars if they can go abroad and perform well. We organise birthday parties abroad and shop for wedding and other occasions abroad. Our leaders depend on foreign hospitals and schools for themselves and their families. They buy houses abroad and spend more time abroad than in their villages. Some even have permanent residency overseas and will immediately leave Nigeria as soon as their tenure is over. All their thinking and strategizing is geared towards leaving Nigeria with their families. So while new appointees or elected officials are busy planning on how to desert Nigeria the

recycled ones are busy funding their families who have been “successfully” or are being settled abroad. This vicious cycle continues as no one who has the opportunity wants to be termed a failure for not being able to arrange for the relocation of his family members in a foreign country. Our Ministry of Education boasts of sending lecturers abroad for training and to acquire higher degrees. No one tells you that over 70% of Nigerians who go abroad on educational sojourn do not return home to help salvage the educational sector for which they were supported. While other nationals return home promptly to serve out their bonded periods or years in the research sector or Universities, Nigerians stay back busy studying the immigration policies and begin a steady plan to have their families abroad and to be nationals of other countries. By the time a Nigerian has obtained a master’s degree in any academic discipline he has obtained a PhD or has become a professional in exploiting

immigration guidelines for his benefit to remain abroad. The Nigerian who will not go to work until 10.00 am at home will report for duty promptly at 04.00 am. A Nigerian does not miss an immigration appointment or his flight to a foreign destination. In the light of the present reality, it will be difficult for the ordinary Nigerian to “celebrate” our independence no matter how old we claim to be. The anniversary years will make no difference either as the adversary years are still very much with us. For us to celebrate we must show that in one aspect of our life, be it economic, academic, political, health, petroleum products or even food, we are truly independent of other nations providing them for us. I believe we can achieve this if we depend more on ourselves and our people at home. As it stands today our independence is almost totally dependent on other nations willing to provide our basic needs as a country and people. John Igoli can be reached on

of our national debt has hit the $42 billion mark while we continue to borrow at the rate of roughly $1billion a month. We have been told that our economy is growing at between 6 - 7% over this period but this growth, taking the above statistics into account, must be benefiting only a handful of Nigerians or else, is taking place on planet Mars. Overwhelmed by unspeakable level of corruption and brutalization, Nigerians have resorted to turning on themselves. Rarely a day passes by without an eccentric academic, an attention-seeking politician or a pseudo socio-cultural group hurling virulent invectives against fellow citizens from other ethnic groups, who may practice a different faith or who live in parts of the country they consider unfit to share the same nationality with. There is much talk of fossil oil, cotton, groundnut and other agricultural products and, in extreme show of intolerance, there is the stereotyping of citizens along religious lines. Elder “statesmen” breathe fire and brimstone while the younger ones, taking a cue from them, have become hate-mongers on the Internet. For those who get their information from the web, reading news and commentary from and about Nigeria by Nigerians is like watching the Hobbesian state of nature unfolding before your very eyes. The raw passion Nigerians display and the uncivil language they deploy against each other is unfit for animal consumption, not to talk of consumption by human beings. We disrespect and vilify each other without a proper illumination of the issues and, therefore, without addressing the real problems. In majority of the cases, what passes for a discourse on the state of the nation by members of the Nigerian elite generates more heat than light and could, if stripped of all pretensions, pass for hate-mongering

and base sentiment. The net effect of all these is that uninformed Nigerians, who constitute the bulk of the citizenry, have become victims of two types of crimes: their criminal debasement by the elite through unbridled corruption, in addition to deliberate and criminal incitement. Little wonder ordinary Nigerians are prepared to visit mayhem on each other at the slightest provocation even as their elite-patrons continue to plunder our commonwealth. When it comes to their favourite pastime, the Nigerian elite speak with a unanimous voice, completely blind to section, religion and tribe. For some of them, the solution to the problems Nigeria face is to break the country up into North and South; or to give every one of the nation’s over 250 ethnic groups “autonomy”, whatever that means; or to divide the country between Muslims and Christians, regardless of how absurd and impractical this may seem. The false logic in this proposition is that the problems of Nigeria are to be blamed on either the North or the South, or on ethnic groups other than the one to which we belong, or on either Christians or Muslims, each as a whole. The other false logic is that these problems will disappear once the presumed guilty party is excised. The more pretentious of the elite have resorted to blaming our

laws, insisting that once the constitution is created anew, corruption will be stopped dead in its tracks, equity and justice will reign and Nigerians, or whatever variety of them that may emerge from the exercise, will begin to live in heavenly peace. It is truly aggravating that these self-serving propositions are canvassed by those who benefit from Nigeria the most, the same group largely, if not solely, responsible for the nation’s predicament. Never mind that the 70% of Nigerians, who eke out a miserable existence below the poverty line, the truly neglected and marginalized have, by the very fact of their marginalization, been denied the voice to canvass for a position of their own. It is, in the event, most dishonest and absurd for those who impoverish a people and strip them of decent human existence to turn round and claim to be speaking for them. So, for who do these attentionseeking agitators speak? Why is it that, as a rule, their agitation is about the sharing of our commonwealth? When are they going to begin to agitate for an end to poverty, corruption and bad governance and all the evils that have made Nigerians prone to violence while reducing the country to a universal laughing stock? If these pretentious elite are

truly committed to the welfare of the people as they claim, why are they unable to stop corruption and bad governance in their own states of origin or in the local councils closest to them? Or is it by breaking the country up into ethnic enclaves or by writing new laws that these crimes they, themselves, perpetrate against the people they claim to represent will come to an end? Let us put a few popular fallacies to rest. The first is the claim that Nigeria’s current predicament is rooted in the nature of its diversity or, specifically, is to be blamed on particular sections, ethnic or religious, other than our own. This is an elite contraption which is not supported by the facts. Recent events have shown that when ordinary Nigerians are able to free themselves from elite manipulation, especially in the face of existential threats, they close ranks, regardless of section, ethnicity and faith. This has been demonstrated during the fuel subsidy protests in early January in both the North and South, specifically in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Kaduna, where young people, Muslims and Christians, took turns to protect each other from possible brutality by agents of the State, to enable each to practice their faith. In the same vein, we are witnesses to the spectacle in the House of Representatives which lasted for weeks, during which oil marketers from the North and South, Muslims and Christians, from different ethnic backgrounds, were being investigated for mind-boggling fraud, in concert with agents of the State. Which of Nigeria’s sections, ethnic groups or religions is responsible for the fraud which the oil marketers and their collaborators allegedly perpetrated on the rest of us? Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim may be reached at

Time to stop this brinkmanship (I) By Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim


igeria must be among the world’s most battered nations, and Nigerians among the most psychologically brutalized citizens. The dangerous game the Nigerian elite play is coming to a head and it is time to bring this needless brinkmanship to a stop. The two years since October 1, 2010 have ushered in one of the most divisive and self-destructive eras in our history since the civil war. We have witnessed the first bombing of Abuja, the nation’s capital, hitherto considered the most secure city in the country; an election that was bitterly fought along sectional, ethnic and religious lines because politicians could not honour their word; communal warfare bordering on genocide and sectarian insurgency which has, so far, claimed thousands of innocent lives; not to talk of mind-boggling corruption, the intensity of which has not been experienced anywhere else in the world. We have brought more misery to this long-suffering nation and its people, in these two years than other countries experience in an entire lifetime. There is only so much any one country can take at any given time. To be sure, we have not come close to being a Somalia yet but for a nation blessed with enormous human and material resources, Nigeria has no business being at the lower rung of the ladder of development. In 2011, the UNDP Human Development Report ranked Nigeria 157th out of 187 countries, with lower life expectancy rate than the Republic of Benin. 20% of our newborn die before they attain the age of five. According to our own National Bureau of Statistics, one out of every four Nigerians is unemployed while 70% of the population, or 119 million Nigerians, live below the poverty line. The cumulative value

In the same vein, we are witnesses to the spectacle in the House of Representatives which lasted for weeks, during which oil marketers from the North and South, Muslims and Christians, from different ethnic backgrounds, were being investigated for mind-boggling fraud, in concert with agents of the State


By Anthony A. Kila


t today’s Independence Anniversary declaration, we are compelled to analyse the history of Nigeria once again. The first imperative is that although a lot of people try to make it appear a complex and peculiarly incredible series of events and situations, the history of Nigeria is in reality just a tale of three generations. Those three generations, in all their actions and inactions, are the key to understanding everything Nigerian and therein also lie possible solutions to the woes of the country. The troubles of the country are many and obvious for all to see; there will be no awards for predicting that many analysts and commentators will be understandably delving into those woes this week. On my part, I would like to make it clear that I am firmly convinced that there is nothing wrong with Nigeria that cannot be cured; all we need is the personal courage to make eye contact with reality, regardless of what it looks like, and to have the collective ability to live with the consequences of our actions and inactions. The three generations to be followed in the tale of Nigeria are the generation of dreamers and inspirers; the generations of squanderers and survivors, and the generations of redeemers. The latter generation is yet to come and with them lies all our hope as a people. Yes, civically speaking, the beautiful ones are yet to be born. The first generation of


A tale of three generations dreamers and inspirers are those we Nigerians put the masses at the heart The second generation, the refer to as our founding fathers. of the actions. They knew they had generation of squanderers and Conventional wisdom in Nigeria uses to build institutions and survivors, came into office wearing the names and images of the trio of infrastructures and they went about uniforms and seized power with the Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Namadi it diligently. Awolowo led the way use of boots and bullets. These were Azikiwe and Sir Ahmadu Bello plus and others swiftly followed suit in a bullets and boots that we gave them that of Sir Tafawa to defend the Balewa to symbolise c o u n t r y that generation. A a g a i n s t better list, even if external minimal, should threats; keep Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text always include the an eye on your messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written names of Herbert “maiguard” if contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 Macaulay, Eyo Ita, you have one. Alvan Ikoku, Udo They never words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and Udoma, Aminu bothered to a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed Kano, Anthony inspire or to: Enahoro and convince, they Michael Okpara. simply scared, The Editor, A major trait of tortured and Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, the generation of subdued their 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. dreamers and fellow citizens. Email: let inspirers is their With their SMS: 07037756364 visions for their decrees and country and dismissive African continent. orders they They all had grand ideas and ideals creative competitive way that ruined the institutions they met for their country and people; they became a win-win situation for all. and annihilated the middle class wanted both to be free and great. In From the free education programme, that could check them. their minds, they were not just in to the establishments of Ikeja After they had wrecked all they politics to administrate power, they Industrial Estate, Aba and Port could and utterly disgraced saw themselves on a mission to rescue Harcourt Industrial layouts and themselves, they eased their ilk into their race. They communicated Kaduna and Kano Industrial areas. power to continue their misdeeds. their visions and aspirations with The fruits of their labour were real, While the squanderers were their speeches and writings. Their clear and are still yet to be surpassed. destroying the country, the other rhetoric was always grand and they International analysts saw them at part of that generation, save for a never shied away from challenging work and predicted that Nigeria was very few, did not fight back. Most of injustice, rather they seemed to enjoy destined for greatness. There is still a them who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, or the confronting of power. lot to be learnt from and about that simply didn’t stand up to leaders, turned looters. They simply Once in power, this generation of generation.


resorted to finding means of surviving. Many left the country to seek greener pastures; the ones that stayed became beggars and hustlers. Rather than being proud of their ideas, dedicated to their professions and be protective of their ideals, they, in the name of survival, became accommodating to rascals. Just to survive they lowered their standards, wasted their knowledge and allowed mediocrity to thrive. Terms like dignity, duties and rights have been trashed by many in this generation; fathers of family are proud to identify themselves as someone else’s boy, professionals beg for appointment, contractors and suppliers beg and bribe to be paid. Rather than protect their schools, they look for private schools for their children; rather than campaign for good roads, they buy jeeps; rather than insist on stable electricity, they queue to buy generators. The generation that will save the country from all this rot will be the generation of redeemers. They have a strong battle in their hands for they have few examples at hand to support them. Yet they have no choice but to find their voices and chart their own course. They will have to face reality, see where survival mode has gotten the country and they will need to realize that only dignity and dedication can lead to greatness. Anthony A. Kila is reachable on Facebook.

A response to Femi Fani-Kayode’s Nigeria treatise By Godwin Onyeacholem


efore embarking on a disinterested scrutiny of Femi Fani-Kayode’s published essay on the Nigerian condition at the 52nd independence anniversary, which he foregrounded with a denunciation of his former British classmate Lord Aspley’s characterization of Nigeria as a fecal space with the repulsive smell of horror, it is important to remark the phenomenon of cheeky about-turns routinely exhibited by political office holders no sooner than they are out of office. While in government, these guys exuberantly defend and never see anything wrong in the government in which they served. It’s just as though the scandalous appurtenances of office often impair their sense of reasoning and perpetually thwart the luxury of unbiased critical assessment of the administration that employs them. But once they are out, the scales begin to fall from their eyes. They suddenly don the toga of activism – something they had spent almost a lifetime denigrating – and launch into an overstated revivalist campaign of a new order for which they had previously vilified genuine activists who are already laying down their lives for good cause. How then, shall we describe this creeping attitude? Despicable? Yes. And if nothing else, it is an assault on a people’s intelligence. It speaks not just to the stark debasement of morality in the society, but also an impetuous exhibition of sheer opportunism fueled by a telling

deficit of honour among a growing band of young educated elites who ironically are beginning to position themselves as potential leaders of this country. It is not known yet if Femi has by now left the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) the ruling party since 1999. But it is well known that he was in PDP when he diligently served in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, first as one of the spokespersons and later as cabinet minister. In both portfolios he was very visible and vocal, taking on as many eminent citizens of this country that attempted a most benign critique of the Obasanjo administration. Some of the victims of his cutting tongue were Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Yakubu Gowon, all highly regarded patriots with measured contributions to the growth of humanity in Nigeria and beyond. Nothing personal though, one is by no means a supporter of the kind of leadership the PDP has offered this country till date. However, the problems listed in Femi’s jeremiad certainly antecede President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. And any honest observer of the scenes on the political landscape since this pretend democracy began some thirteen years ago should be quick to hold the Obasanjo administration responsible for watering and nurturing the surviving seed of decay at a period when a unique opportunity presented itself for the deployment of his vast public service experience at the highest level towards satisfying a burning necessity for national rebirth.

For the reason stated earlier, which is undeniably self-serving, Femi and a handful of bright young minds like him who served in Obasanjo’s government could, sadly, not find the nerve to speak the truth while in service. Deliberately, they skirted around facts, advanced nauseating propaganda, encouraged willful filibustering, fostered extraordinary impunity, insulted the intelligence of the Nigerian people and coordinated vicious verbal attacks against anyone, especially the civil society, who dared criticise glaring negative actions of the administration. Granted, all of this is within their right. There are many Nigerians who would today ask why Femi would not find the courage to articulate his objection in whatever form when Obasanjo brazenly parceled out a resource-rich portion of his country to a neighbouring country. More than a few would also ask where he was when his boss was busy cobbling together strategies for actualising a third term in office. He neither raised a voice against it nor did he do anything to demonstrate his aversion for that atrocious agenda. If he claims he advised against it but his boss did not listen, did he make a personal sacrifice by resigning to show his commitment to decency and integrity in public service? Of course not. So where now is the moral platform on which he can stand to argue for a better future for this country? It is also both amusing and strange that he is now proposing either a people’s revolution or a sovereign national conference as the only avenues through which the

unity of Nigeria can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, the Obasanjo administration frowned seriously upon the mention of these options (no matter how nicely presented), let alone consider them. Because he so relished the comfort of being in government at the time, Femi could not see the urgent need for backing any of the two innocuous propositions. Indeed, he and a few other colleagues were at the forefront of arrogantly squashing these proposals he now doggedly pushes for in his essay. For the record, it’s worth pointing out that at the height of the hostility, they stopped short of advocating a charge of treason for anyone who called for a sovereign national conference, not to talk of a people’s revolution. How times change! But what should really be more worrying is that he is comfortably settled in a time warp, unquestionably trapped in the club of Nigerians who keep blaming the British colonialists for the tragedy which this country has become. Yet events seem to have overtaken what appears to be an endless lamentation. Time to stop blaming the colonialists, please. For God’s sake, these invaders left in 1960. Since then, successive local leaders have had not one, but two golden chances to end residual iniquities and remold the country with the vision of a just, egalitarian and united society that would be a beacon for the Black Race. But what did the leaders do? Lacking foresight, imagination and unable to imbibe the necessary qualities ascribed to enduring statesmanship, they fluffed every

begging chance on the altar of ignorance and self-absorption. Therefore, Femi should rather anchor the blame for Nigeria’s failure to develop to its full potential not on the British, but on this cycle of visionless leaders in military and civilian attires of which he himself had been a key part and an implacable apologist in very, very recent past. So whenever Nigerians bemoan failed leadership in their country, they would do well to recall that Femi, a top delegate of the disastrous ruling party, PDP, is one of them. His treatise also enunciated the banal theory of “poor husband” and “rich wife” to illustrate the reality of an indigent northern region, aided by the British, that continuously lords it over a more prosperous southern region. He contended that anyone who had a functional brain and a brave heart to confront the truth was always rubbished and wiped out, citing Obafemi Awolowo and MKO Abiola as examples. He may be right. But since he mentioned Awo, it would serve historians and political scientists better if Femi could shed some light on the role his aristocratic father, Remi Fani-Kayode, the great “Fani Power,” an illustrious politician of pre and post-independence Nigeria, played in the politics of that era. To what extent, for instance, did Fani Power share in Awo’s vision and how far did he go to help realize it? Case closed. With due respect to Femi, this piece ends with the same prayer that ended his: May God deliver us. Godwin Onyeacholem is a journalist based in Lagos


By Chinedu Ekeke


ast week, I did a deep commentary on the deceitful publication by the Jonathan government on what they termed “Sure and Steady Transformation”. I dismissed the book as nothing, and particularly stated that the president and his team wouldn’t need to write books to show us their works which, ultimately, are expected to be visible on our roads and in our homes. I was clear on my assertion that the president is a bumbler, and that that book was another needless waste of our money by Mr Jonathan and his handlers. Well, such is the fate of the critic. You don’t rail on the president of 160 million people, especially on a project he considers key to his public rating, and expect everybody to rise in instant praise of you. Those who particularly see President Jonathan as a performer simply because of where he hails from were the most hurt. They had thought that the minor – actually, quite negligible – improvement in electricity generation, in the last two months or so, was significant enough to hush us up. They must have been quaffing expensive wines in their closets in celebration of what should amount to the eternal silence of the twittering children of anger, a standing member of which I am. It

By Ugochukwu R. Ogubuariri


s Nigerians express growing disquiet and utter disappointment over the alleged uncharitable treatment meted out to the country’s contingent to this year’s holy pilgrimage in Mecca by the Saudi authorities, and as government officials strive to put up an appearance of actionable response to rehabilitate the country’s international image and reputation, it has become pertinent to add some flesh to the dry bones of the ongoing debate regarding the mistreatment of Nigerian females on pilgrimage to Mecca. In doing so, I do not intend to get entangled in the dialectics of “who is right or wrong,” or in the propriety of the Saudi government’s stern and belligerent disposition towards the Nigerian contingents. On the contrary, I posit that our inclination to become wholly absorbed in such tangential debates have led us to ignore and possibly camouflage what could be described as “a perfidious scandal” regarding the very question of pilgrimage operations in Nigeria, unmindful of its deleterious repercussions on the economy and polity. Here, I am referring to the culture of state-sponsorship of pilgrimage in Nigeria - a practice whereby federal, state and local governments appropriate and expend huge sums of taxpayers’ money to ferry some privileged and politically-connected individuals to Mecca, Rome and Jerusalem ostensibly to enable them fulfill their religious obligations. On the face value, the active involvement of the government in sponsoring such religious jamborees would seem quite permissible since the intending pilgrims could always be saddled with the altruistic mandate of going to the holy land to pray for the oneness of the country and for value-orientation. However,


Our case against Jonathan was shocking to them, therefore, that I made attempts, and I was the first person who did, to reduce their ‘performance’ book to what it is: nothing. Here’s a notice I wish to serve my critics: I will not be stopping my critical analysis of the Jonathan administration any time soon; not until he addresses the one and only real issue holding Nigeria on the ground. For now, Mr Jonathan is the chief promoter of that killer: sleaze. In one of my essays, I wrote on The Time Value Of Corruption. Those who claim I have never proffered any solution to my criticisms were blind to that piece. Well, that article was celebrated everywhere, in churches, mosques, the academia, corporate circles and amongst civil society organizations, as a clear blueprint to any serious government on the reason why the fight against corruption should commence now and be sustained. Of course, the only place it wasn’t seen must have been in government circles; the bakery of corruption. In that piece, I proved, in quantitative terms, using the basic concept of finance, how a kobo stolen today becomes naira tomorrow, and how we will be jeopardizing our 20

years from now if we keep quiet on the massive stealing of our oil subsidy funds. I equally showed in clear terms, using a steady exchange rate, how much the Gulf windfall stolen by Babangida’s regime was worth this year. If you want to read or reread the article, search for it on the home page of Our case against Jonathan is corruption. I am convinced – and this is one conviction I hold strongly to – that once we take the fight against corruption as seriously as we should, more than half of our problems as a nation will be solved. Unfortunately, in every way, President Jonathan has demonstrated his love for corruption and the corrupt, and his desire to put those fighting them in check. I have heard several arguments against my conviction on corruption. But none of those arguments is convincing enough. We have tried all manner of things, and they have all failed: we have zoned the presidency and other political offices, we have created many states and local governments, we appoint at least a minister from each state, we appoint two ministers to handle some ministries, we have uncountable parastatals and

agencies, we have set up innumerable committees, we have set up probe panels, and we have coined up acronyms that never worked: FDRI, MAMSER, SAP, FEAP, NEEDS, SURE-P. We have done many things which never really sent any criminal to jail. In all these, we have not demonstrated to anybody the powers of the Nigerian state in upholding that which is fair and just. Everything we have done has been to, in truth, avoid the real work which is to jail thieves and deter others from stealing what belongs to all of us. We have tried every other thing, and they failed us. Why don’t we try fighting corruption and see if we won’t get this solution that has eluded us for decades? There are proofs that the corruption rate in any country has an inverse relationship with development and a sound economy. The higher the rate of corruption, the more sickly the economy and the higher the lack of development. In other words, corruption and development cannot share the same room. Our case against Jonathan is that he supports corruption, and has laid a firm foundation for its growth, even as the monster has already

attained a troubling peak in Nigeria. The only way we will drop this case against him is if he immediately confronts the criminals who have stolen Nigeria empty. He can begin by granting them amnesty – which is to ask them to surrender all they stole peacefully. If they fail to surrender within the set timeframe, then the force of the state will be applied in bringing them to justice. He must equally tackle the criminal elements in the nation’s judiciary because those have shown how well they want to sustain the current misnomer in the polity. Those who run organized scams in various sectors of Nigeria’s economy cannot continue to be in the good book of any president who works for Nigeria’s progress. Those are the people President Jonathan must face squarely. Ironically, those are the same people he likes to see as his friends. This is why his supporters claim the task is tough, another laughable argument. There’s nothing difficult about this task for a president who understands patriotism and the need to return his country to a prideful place in the comity of nations. Follow Chinedu Ekeke @ekekeee on Twitter

Nigeria’s problem with Hajj such a puerile excuse flies in the face of logic and empirical reality. For all practical purposes, it would seem that while government-sponsorship of pilgrimage in Nigeria has grown in arithmetic progression, the spate of social disequilibrium occasioned by elite-corruption, mindless misgovernance, ethno-religious polarization, systemic and deepseated moral decadence especially amongst the youth population have all proceeded in geometric progression. It is troubling that the Nigerian state is deeply and profoundly enmeshed in the illogic of sponsoring pilgrims to foreign countries. Such an anachronism becomes even more egregious when one considers the question of who is being sponsored and for what purpose. As one commentator rightly observed, “the whole twist to pilgrimage in Nigeria is that many now see it as patronage, and government sponsorship has now become a campaign tool and a means of democratizing the culture of corruption and settlement in the system.” Nothing better illustrates this entrenched absurdity than the comments credited to the former governor of Oyo State, Alao Akala, when he seized the opportunity of a send-forth organized for the state’s Hajj contingent to announce as follows: “If these 1,500 and another 1,500 that will be going to Jerusalem bring along 10 persons each to vote for us, then we will be here again next year (new tenure) to do this kind of programme for another set.” As if to be assured that his credulous audience was properly schooled on the significance of his political arithmetic, he further added, “As you are going to the holy land, you will pray. Pray for the peaceful coexistence of the country and that

of the state. Pray for us to return to power in the next election, and encourage another 10 people to vote for us in the election.” With such an overdose of politically-laden exhortation hanging on their necks like the sword of Damocles, there was no doubt that these political captives re-branded as pilgrims and sponsored with taxpayer money would have besieged Mecca and Jerusalem with only one paramount supplication uppermost in their minds, namely: lobbying God’s endorsement of their principal’s re-election and prayerfully soliciting His talismanic powers in raising “stones’ to vote for their party during the election (a cliché for rigging). Unarguably, state-sponsorship of pilgrimage has become highly problematic on account of the fact that the process of selecting participants for such exercise is fraught with much arbitrariness and nepotism. Often, the basis for such selection is not transparent and is hardly advertised. In fact, it is my considered opinion that a great majority of those who enjoy such patronage have no business whatsoever straying beyond the shores of Badagry beach in the guise of performing pilgrimage. Yet, the government spends colossal sums for an exercise meant to be a personal

spiritual obligation. According to figures turned in by the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalization of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, the government spent over N4.706bn for the maintenance of the personnel of the National Hajj Commission and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission from 2009 to 2011. The committee also noted that the practice of granting concessionary foreign exchange rates for pilgrimages was exerting serious distortions on the FOREX market to the detriment of the economy. Additionally, when the cost implications for the 36 states and the innumerable local governments are factored in, the magnitude of fiscal hemorrhage becomes even more stupefying. In a society like ours where poverty literally looms large like the proverbial “ghost of Banquo,” the idea of state-sponsorship of pilgrimage would have become less repulsive and more seductive if it were consciously utilized as a tool of moral empowerment for the indigent members of society. For the very idea of sponsorship connotes the marshaling of resources (both in cash and in kind) by the state, an organization or even an affluent

It is troubling that the Nigerian state is deeply and profoundly enmeshed in the illogic of sponsoring pilgrims to foreign countries. Such an anachronism becomes even more egregious when one considers the question of who is being sponsored and for what purpose

individual in aid of an individual’s desire to fulfill certain legitimate aspirations for the overall good of society, especially where the latter is hamstrung by his or her precarious material circumstance. Paradoxically, the corruption and patronage system immanent in pilgrimage operations in Nigeria has invariably become a means of reinforcing the already ominous social inequality and the economic marginality of ordinary Nigerians who have become terribly marooned in material poverty that their eligibility for pilgrimage is construed as utopian imagination. For the political leaders, deploying the resources of the state in sponsoring pilgrims have become a potent weapon in their arsenal for the purpose of prodding their pliant beneficiaries to remain subservient to their benefactors’ political interests and hegemony. Hopefully, the recent debacle which culminated in the massive repatriation of the country’s female sojourners to Mecca offers us an opportunity to pull the chestnut out of fire by critically reappraising the entire architecture of pilgrimage in Nigeria. In this regard, the government should restrict itself only to the provision of consular services and vaccines to intending pilgrims. The National Hajj Commission and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission should be abolished and their functions transferred to a department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Accordingly, the enabling statutes of the two commissions should be amended. Government should also stop granting concessionary foreign exchange rates to pilgrims. Ugochukwu Raymond Ogubuariri is reachable on



Gwagwalada L.E.A inspects ongoing projects By Usman Shuaibu


A refuse collector fiddling with his phone, in Garki 2, Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Mother narrates how pastor impregnated 15-year-old daughter By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he mother of a 15-year old girl has told the chief magistrate court in Karu, Abuja how her pastor had serial canal knowledge of her daughter on the pretence that he was carrying out deliverance on her. Mrs Ngozi Iwuoha told the court that her pastor, Apostle Princewill Basil lied to her daughter that there was a “dirty foundation that defined her life” and that he will cast away from her. Apostle Basil who runs ‘Mountain Mover Fire Ministry’ church in Nyanya an outskirts of Abuja city asked the girl in his office to remove her dress in other to cast away the dirty spirit in her. After she removed her dress, the pastor started pouring and robbing certain oil on her body, Mrs Iwuoha, who was testifying in the trial of the pastor by the

police, said even when the girl asked the pastor whether one do remove ones dress for deliverance, the pastor slapped the girl. The pastor, she said also told the girl after robbing her with oil that there still remain certain spirit in her body which can only be removed by her husband and since she is not married, he was going to do it for her. Consequently, he asked her to close her eyes and by the time she opened her eyes, the pastor had removed his dress. At this point, the pastor removed a handkerchief and robbed her face which made her unconscious. By the time she regained her consciousness, she noticed there was blood all over her private part. The pastor, she said cleaned her and brought a knife and threatened her never to reveal

the encounter to anyone including her mother otherwise he would kill her. Mrs Iwuoha told the court that from the deliverance record she got from her daughter, the pastor first had canal knowledge with her daughter on July 27, 2011 and carried on the dastard act until her daughter missed her menstrual period in December 2011. “When the pastor discovered that my daughter was pregnant, he took her to Mararaba and aborted it for her. But it was when I found out that my daughter was ceaselessly bleeding and that it was no longer looking like menstrual period that I began to ask her questions”. The police has however arraigned the pastor for unlawfully having canal knowledge, impregnating and aborting Mrs Iwuoha’s daughter, Favour Iwuoha and for having

sexual intercourse with one other girl of 15 years old called Amarachi Onuha. The police charge stated in parts, “that you Apostle Princewill Basil had several unlawful canal knowledge with one Favour Iwuoha 14 years old and Amarachi Onuha 15 years old who are all students and members of your church, in your church office on the pretence that you are carrying out deliverance on them, and you impregnated Favour Iwuoha. “When you discovered such, you conspired with Pauline Okoh Odey and took her to Fantami head medical center Mararaba and you falsely impersonated yourself as her father and aborted her pregnancy without her consent. Chief magistrate Shuaibu Ahmed however adjourned till November 13 for continuation of pastor’s trial.

Police arraign three for threatening to set building ablaze


he Police yesterday arraigned three persons before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for alleged intimidation and mischief against Mr Moses Matthew. The accused persons were Ernest Nwankwo, Ejike Ezeji and Chika Okpara, all of Karmajiji village, Airport Road, Abuja. Prosecutor Andrew Aichenede told the court that the case was lodged at the Lugbe Police Station

by Matthew of the same address on October 2, 2012. He explained that at about 1:00 a.m of the same date, Matthew was sleeping with his family in his house when the accused persons and others now at large, came to his premises. Aichenede said the accused persons came with cutlasses, sticks and other objects to Matthew’s house and cut down three pawpaw trees within the premises.

He said that they dumped all sorts of waste at the frontage of Matthew’s house, screaming and threatening to burn down the building. The prosecutor said that the accused persons also threatened to kill Matthew and other members of his family, an offence that contravenes Section 397 and 327 of the Penal Code. The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the

allegations against them while their counsel, Mr Johnson Musa, urged the court to grant them bail. Senior Magistrate Aliu Shafa granted bail to each of the accused persons in the sum of N100,000 and a surety each in like sum. He ordered that the sureties must be civil servants. Shafa adjourned the case to October 23, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

he Secretary of Local Education Authority (LEA) in Gwagwalda Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Abubakar Garba Alhassan, has inspected on-going projects in secondary and primary schools in the area. Alhassan, who led a delegation in the inspection tour said that the current administration of the council would provide an enabling environments for teachers and pupils to enhance learning. He further said that his administration would continue to provide instructional materials for the schools as well recruiting the qualified teachers in Gwagwalada. He appealed to both teachers in secondary and primary schools to consider the students/ pupils as their biological children and inculcate moral values in them. Alhassan maintained that the on-going projects would be completed before the end of this year The schools visited were L.E.A primary schools at Zuba, Giri and Gwako respectively.

House help arraigned for allegedly stealing master’s money


house help, James Joshua, 21, of Life Camp, Abuja, appeared before an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court in Life Camp yesterday, charged with theft. Prosecutor Sergeant Phillip Apollus told the court that one Ernest Uguagu of Life Camp employed the accused as his house keeper. “The accused dishonestly entered his master’s room and stole his N188, 000", he said, adding that Uguagu reported the matter at the Life Camp Police Station on September 25, 2012. Joshua pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him. The prosecutor objected to his bail, saying the case was still under investigation. He said that if the accused was released on bail, it would jeopardise the investigation. Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Ilellah said that he used the discretion of the court to grant the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two reliable sureties each in like sum. Illelah said that the sureties must have known and defined addresses within the court‘s jurisdiction. He adjourned the case to October 15, 2012 for hearing.(NAN)



Tenant, 24, defiles landlord's 14-year-old daughter T

he police have arraigned a 24-year-old man, Paul Fedelis of Angwan Fulani, Jikwoyi, Abuja, before a Karu Magistrates Court over an alleged defilement of a 14-yearold girl. Police prosecutor, Glory Iheanacho said that the offence contravenes Section 282 of the Penal Code.

"On October 2, 2012 when Richard Goodness of Agwan Fulani, Jikwoyi, went to work, Fedelis, a bakery worker and a tenant in the house of Goodness, came into his house to meet his 14-year-old daughter under the pretext of collecting rent receipt. "Fedelis forcefully had carnal knowledge of the girl.

When the girl ran out of the sitting room to a neighbour's room with blood stains, Fedelis followed her," she said. The accused pleaded not guilty, saying: "It was in their sitting room; I only used my fingers on her before she fell asleep. When she woke up, she started shouting and ran out of the room.

An orange hawker out for business, at Area 1 in Abuja.

"When she ran out, I followed her to calm her down,'' he said. The Magistrate, Christopher Oba, denied the accused bail, saying: "The accused should be reminded in prison custody pending a bail application". He adjourned the case to October 15, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Photo: Mahmud Isa

RTEAN appeals to FCT minister to reposition trailers park By Usman Shuaibu


he Chairman of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Dei-Dei Chapel 1 in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Awwal, has appealed to the FCT Minister,

Senator Bala Mohammed to reposition the trailer park in the area to avoid accident along the Abuja-Suleja Expressway. He said this if done would reduce the risk that drivers face when parking their vehicles. Awwal, who made the appeal in an interview with Peoples Daily in De-Dei

emphasised that the association was facing the problem of a permanent motor park in the area. He said his administration would liaise with the FCT Administration to bring all the users of road-side motor parks to the main park. He advised drivers in the

association to obey the traffic rules and regulations while embarking on journey and urged them to maintain cordial relationship with their commuters always. The chairman also commended the FCT minister for providing urban mass transit buses for the association.

Applicant burgles Amigo Supermarket in Wuse 2


n Abuja Magistrates’ Court on yesterday sentenced Jamilu Hassan, 25, of no fixed address, to two years imprisonment for theft. Magistrate Musa Jobbo, who sentenced the convict, did not give him an option of fine.

Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Mr Ude David, told the court that, Danladi Ude, a security guard attached to Amigo supermarket, reported the theft at the Wuse police station on October 1, 2012. David said that the convict and another man, who is now at-large,

broke into Amigo supermarket through a window and attempted to steal a laptop computer. He said, during police investigation, the convict admitted to have stolen three laptops and some money in a previous burglary in the same supermarket, for which

he was given N130,000 by his accomplice. He said the offence contravenes the provisions of Sections 79, 95,287 and 348 of the Penal Code. The convict, who pleaded guilty to the charges, however, begged the court for leniency. (NAN)

Scavenger bags three days imprisonment for stealing drainage cover


scavenger, Awali Aliyu of Banex junction, Abuja has been sentenced to three days imprisonment by an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for stealing a drainage cover. Senior Magistrate Josephine Obannor, however, gave the convict an option to pay N1,000 fine.

Police prosecutor, Emmanuel Adikwu had told the court that Aliyu was arrested on October 3, 2012 at about 5:30 a.m. by Inspector Mohammed Hussani and his team. He said that Hussani and his team who were manning the Farmers’ Market junction, Maitama, caught Aliyu in possession

of the cover. Adikwu told the court that Aliyu could not give reasonable explanation of how he came by the cover, adding that the offence contravenes the provisions of Section 319 (A) of the Penal Code. The convict pleaded guilty to the allegation and begged for mercy.

“I picked the drainage cover by the road side; I am begging the court to forgive me as I will not commit such an offence again,’’ he said. Magistrate Obannor said although the convict was a first time offender, he must be punished to serve as a deterrent to others. (NAN)

Mothers decry poor immunization services in Kubwa By Adeola Tukuru


others in Pipeline Extension, Kubwa District in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried the absence of immunization services in the area. Some of the women, who spoke to Peoples Daily lamented that immunization that ought to come to the area to immunize their children against preventable diseases, were often not available during routine immunization exercises. According to them, they have often had to take their children to hospitals or out of the area before accessing the immunization services. A mother of four, Mrs Bose Ojo, said officials rarely come to the area to immunize her children, a situation she described as unfortunate. “Those of us residing in this area usually carry our children to the city centre in Kubwa, such as Phase 4, PW, Phase 3 etc before we see these health workers, as if we in these area not human beings, “ she said. Another woman, Mrs. Janet Okoro said that since she relocated to the area in the past six months, she has never seen any of the immunization officials in the area, adding that she normally goes to the hospital to vaccinate her children. She pointed out that: “This is not supposed to be so. They should be going from houses to houses to give out these vaccines because our children need it”. She appealed to the Area Council Chairman in charge of Kubwa and also the FCT minister and other related agencies to come to their aid by providing them with the immunization services to protect their children from polio and other diseases. It would be recalled that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently, advised the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on the provision of immunization services against vaccine-preventable diseases be carried out more often to realize the desired impact of shoring up the immunity level of children in the FCT. WHO’s FCT State Coordinator, Pharmacist Soji Taiwo emphasized this at the flag off ceremony of Local Immunization Days, noting that the immunization coverage in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has not been very impressive in the recent times. He explained that before the introduction of Penta-valent vaccine, the cumulative FCT DPT3 coverage was 39% in May, 2012: with 24,358 un-immunized children. According to her, the challenges to reaching every child with vaccine in FCT include funding, logistics and non-compliance by some caregivers, poor social mobilization and weak support supervision, among others. The FCT Minister of States, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide had assured that about 250 health facilities within all the area councils and quite a number of outreach sites will be involved in providing services.




2 4 3 1. Young men selling engine oil in bottles, yesterday in Bwari, Abuja.


A young man carrying meat in an unhygienic way from abattoir to Garki market, yesterday in Abuja.

3. Two young men loading bags of cement in a wheel barrow, yesterday In Durumi, Abuja.



. A middle-aged woman hawking local bathing soap, yesterday in Area 1, Garki, Abuja.


A man taking nap inside his SUV, yesterday in Area 3, Garki, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-owo






- Pg 20

CIPM annual conference to enhance delegate’s learning experience – Jonathan

Mob: 08033644990

Nigeria loses N99bn to gas flaring in 6 months By Muhammad Nasir with agency report


as flaring has caused the nation to lose a total of N99 billion in monetary terms in the last six months, according to an industry report. According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in its quarterly petroleum information bulletin, the nation flared 222.8 million standard cubic feet (mscf) of gas, during the period under review, which if processed and exported, would have fetched the country about N99 billion and minimised the health and environmental hazards of gas flaring. A breakdown of the report showed that Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell, accounted for 67 percent of total gas flared in the first six months of year 2012. This is equivalent to N67 billion ($424) in monetary terms, using the current international price of $2.83. Of that, Chevron topped the list, flaring 59.7 million standard cubic feet (mscf) out of 130.2 mscf produced, while ExxonMobil flared 56.6 mscf, out of 212.9 million. These are equivalent to N27 billion ($169 million) and N25 billion ($160 million) respectively.

Leading operator, Shell, which runs Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, flared 33.9 mscf, a relatively small part of the 414.3 mscf it produced. This is also equivalent to N15 billion ($96 million) of the N99 billion. The remaining 73 mscf of gas flared, was accounted for by other Joint Venture Companies (33 mscf); production sharing contract (33bscf); service contract companies (5 mscf), indigenous companies and marginal fields (2 mscf). Considering the scenario painted above, alongside what the newly drafted oil bill says, “Natural gas shall not be flared or vented after 31st December, 2012, in any oil and gas production operation, block or field, onshore or offshore, or gas facility,” except under exceptional and temporary circumstances and that “Any licensee who flares or vents gas without the permission of the Minister in (special) circumstances ... shall be liable to pay a fine which shall not be less than the value of the gas.” Experts believe that the mandate given to oil firms to stop gas flaring by the end of this year is unrealistic. According to Osten Olorunsola, director,

NEPC grants N236bn to 420 exporters By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Wednesday said 420 exporters had benefited from the N236 billion Export Expansion Grant (EEG) Scheme between 2004 to date. NEPC Executive Director, Mr David Adulugba disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja. Adulugba explained that “EEG is a Federal Government initiative aimed at encouraging exporters, especially those that add value to their products.” “The grant ranges from 5 per cent to 30 per cent of the Free on Board (FOB) value of the item exported, depending on the degree of processing the item went through in Nigeria before exportation. “The EEG scheme is processed in Nigerian Export Promoting Council (NEPC) and administered in conjunction with the Implementation Committee inaugurated by the government. “The grant is issued in form of a Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCC). This is sold as a discounted instrument to an importer who then uses it to pay their import duties,” Adulugba said.

He, however, said that government had to review the scheme due to series of complaints received on it from companies and other stakeholders with a view to encouraging local exporters. The NEPC boss said the importance of EEG could not be over-emphasised in a growing economy like Nigeria. “It is evident that only few multinational companies can survive exporting from Nigeria without government support through incentives like EEG,” he said. He said that the Federal Government in a bid to support the growth in the non-oil sector had put in place several export incentives as veritable tools for providing some compensatory bail-out for exporters.

Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), oil firms operating in the country are flaring 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) out of 8.0Bcfd. The breakdown shows that 5.20Bcfd of Associated Gas (AG) is produced, and the balance of 2.80Bcfd being Non Associated Gas (NAG).

This wasted (flared) gas could comfortably have been used to generate electricity, if government’s gas programme had been effectively coordinated and executed. “We are only utilising 6.6Bcfd of the total volume of gas, as a result of the inability of Nigeria to realise very early,

L-R: Director Banking and Payment System Department of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Olu Adaramewa, Director of Communications, CBN, Mr Ogochukwu Okorafor, Deputy Manager, Banking and Payment Department, CBN and representative of CBN Governor, Mr. Tunde Lemo, during the opening ceremony of an investigative hearing on the involvement of the Federal Government, Shell/Agip Companies and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in respect of oil bloc, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

FG to ban export of charcoal By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government has proposed to prohibit exportation of charcoal. The Assistant ComptrollerGeneral of Nigerian Customs Service (NSC), Gabriel Aliu stated in Abuja on Wednesday while presenting the report of the technical committee on product adjustment of categorization on Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme. Aliu who is the chairman of the committee presented the report to the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), David Adulugba. It would be recalled that a

technical committee was set up in April to review the current EEG product categorization following complaints received from beneficiary companies and other stakeholders. This was with a view to correctly situate each product group in the appropriate category in line with global best practices. The committee believed that if urgent measure was not taken against deforestation, the country will suffer its environment consequences. It therefore recommended that the three tiers of government should be advised to embark on aggressive aforestation programme.

Management Tip of the Day


Make sure you’re solving the right problem

t may be obvious that you can’t solve a problem that’s not well defined, but many people neglect this detail. Next time you think you’re ready to go into problem-solving mode, consider the following:· Establish the basic need for a solution. Why does the problem need solving?· Justify the

that gas has very high value,” he pointed out. Though Nigeria, being Africa’s top oil producer, has long pledged but failed to end flaring, claimed officially that the volume of gas flared has reduced. Nigeria comes second to Russia, in terms of volume of gas flaring worldwide.

need. Make sure it’s worth your time. Is the effort aligned with your company’s strategy? What do you, your team, or the company stand to gain from a solution?· Give it context. What approaches have you already tried? What have others done? Are there constraints on the solution?·

Write the problem statement. Take your answers to the questions above and lay out the problem. Indicate the scope, the requirements of a solution, and who will be involved. Source: Harvard Business Review

“We are not saying the charcoal export should be prohibited alone but felling of the trees for the this purpose.” The chairman of the committee said the current EEG product categorization was adjusted to encourage non-oil products exportation, adding that this will also increase non oil revenues accrued to the country. He believed that if the recommendation was effectively implemented, it would give more strength to the nation’s currency as well as provision of jobs for the populace. “We will have more foreign currency and the naira will be stronger, not only that there will be more employment for the people because if you expand your factory you will employ more people”. He explained that the categorization of the products which was in three bands before has been recategorised into four. He said the new category included category ‘A1’ comprised of manufacturing products; category ‘A2’made up of semi-manufactured products; category ‘B’ made up of processed/intermediate products and category ‘C’ made up of primary products/agricultural and mineral products.






tisalat Nigeria has announced the biggest airtime offer yet of a monthly N1 billion free credits for her customers as the ambitious telco moves to consolidate its market share and chalked up more subscribers. The offer is to commemorate her fourth anniversary and celebrate the loyalty of her 14 million strong subscribers. The 9ja free credit promo initially launched last year as the Sim registration campaign has since evolved into a reward platform with airtime, devices and cash for their loyalty to the network.

Vodacom Business

NNPC unveils Africa’s biggest public sector system application product By Muhammad Nasir


major milestone in the drive to transform the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, into a first grade national oil company was attained on Wednesday with the official cutover (launch) to the System Application Products also known as SAP, to effectively launch the Corporation into the league of major globalcompanies that run the SAP business solution. The Solution which came on live after rigorous user acceptance tests, internal and external quality assurance reviews is designed to help the

. . .as Yakubu raises red flag on renewed kidnap, harassment of staff members Corporation standardize and streamline its systems and processes in line with global best practices. Speaking at the occasion, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC Engr. Andrew Yakubu explained that after test-running the SAP in parallel with the existing SUN System for over 14 months, the Management is convinced that the Solution will help the Corporation achieve a seamless integration of its

processes and systems. “In addition, the philosophy of the SAP solution compels the adoption of a central procurement organization to enable seamless Process-to-Pay, engender transparency, drive value for money and process efficiency,’’ the GMD said To midwife this process, Engr. Yakubu announced the formation of a supply chain organization for the NNPC Corporate Headquarters on a


elecommunications solution provider, Vodacom Business Nigeria, has partnered with Rack Centre Africa, a data centre service provider, to provide a neutral data facility in the Nigerian market. Rack Center Africa will provide Vodacom Business Nigeria with carrier neutral data center infrastructure enabling the first premium collocation facilities in Nigeria.The Tier3colocation data center, according to Vodacom Business will have a fully redundant system, provide 99.995 per cent uptime and 96 hours Power Outage Protection. Rack Centre Africa is a part of the Jagal Group, a leading Nigerian conglomerate with operations across a number of different industries.

Bonds trade below inflation rate

First Bank


ine stocks, including First Bank Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Access Bank Plc and Union Bank Plc, are scheduled to join the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market making initiative today. Others are Academy Press; Custodian & Allied Insurance; Dangote Sugar Plc; NASCON and AIICO Insurance Plc. The development has increased to 25 the number of firms in NSE’s market making programme. The initiative commenced September 18, 2012, with 16 stocks- PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc; Presco Plc; International Breweries; Lafarge Wapco and Fidson Healthcare Plc.



he Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has unsealed Integrated Oil and Gas petroleum products tank facility whose operations were suspended by the agency last week due to its alleged involvement in a cartel that hijacked vessels and stealing of petroleum products along the country’s coastal waters.

pilot basis. He also stated that procurement of goods and services in all NNPC Strategic Business Units and Corporate Service Units must be routed through the Supply Chain Organization. Engr. Yakubu called on staff members to brace up for the minor teething problems which are expected in major technology initiative of this magnitude. Aptly described by SAP Africa, representatives of the Patent owners in Africa, as the biggest public sector SAP deployment in the continent, the system will also help NNPC access information real time, maintain a single data source, facilitate integration and collaboration across operating companies, compare and analyze detailed financial performance across the organization, achieve visibility of hydrocarbon value chain, seamless reporting with international oil companies, skill development of NNPC among other benefits. The Cut-Over to SAP event which also coincided with the 100 days in office of the current NNPC Management provided an opportunity for the Corporation to take stock of some remarkable milestones within the period.

President/chairman of Nigerian Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM), Mr. Abiola Popoola, Dr. Christopher Kolade and Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Bishop Mattew Kukah at the second day of the 44th annunal conference of NIPM yesterday.

CIPM annual conference to enhance delegate’s learning experience – Jonathan By Aminu Imam


resident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan yesterday commended the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) for staying true to its mandate as the apex regulatory body for the practice of human resources management in Nigeria. The President stated yesterday while declaring open the 44th annual national conference of the institute which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. The President, who was represented by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alh. Sali Usman, said his administration ‘considers the institute and indeed other similar professional’s bodies as the FG’s strategic partners whose inputs

into the Transformation Agenda is not only essential but also critical’. “Coming a few days after our nation’s 52nd Independence Anniversary, this year’s conference with the theme: ‘Restoration of Values for National Development’, affords us another opportunity to espouse our vision for our country and to gain seek and buy-in of all stakeholders without which success cannot be guaranteed. President Jonathan, in addition, approval was given to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to disburse N5m each to some deserving professional bodies as assistance and intervention to produce quality professional journals for use in tertiary institutions. In today’s knowledge-driven economy, government at all levels cannot but partner with

strategic institutes like CIPM. In his welcome address, the president/ chairman of the NIPM council, Mr. Abiola Popoola said, “Contrary to the high hopes that heralded our attainment of independence some 52 years ago, the dismal poor rate of our development remains a cause for grave concern for professionals and other stakeholders alike. “However, rather than despair and relapse to the unproductive mode of ‘countrybashing and self-pity’, we are seizing the gauntlet by focusing on this serious challenge of decadence in our value system at this annual conference with a view tp engaging in progressive discuss towards identification of pragmatic ways forward”, he stated. The conference is billed to hold from October 3rd to Friday 5th, 2012.


ields on Federal Government bonds have come down below inflation rates , putting pressure on real return on investment government securities. Investigation shows that 10.50 % Federal Government bond due for maturity in November 2013 traded at a yield of 11.12 % while 3 year 10.50 FGN bond closed at the yield of 11.55 %. The 10.75 percent 7 year bond traded at a yield of 11.60 %. With August inflation at 11,70 %, investors in these bonds are in for negative return on investment. However, investors may have to shift interest in 9.35 % FGN August 20 17 bond which attracted yield of 13.48 % and 16 % FGN June 2019 bond with yield of 13.04 %. The 4 percent 5 year FGN April 20115 bond and the 9.35 % FGN August bond with 13.48 % are also attractive being well above inflation. The decline in yields in the bond market is partly due to increased foreign investment in bond which have put pressure on the fixed income market with expectation by dealers that bond yield may reach single digit level early next year.



Post-privatisation: Reps cmttee tasks Sheraton hotel on post acquisition plan By Abdulwahab Isa he Chairperson, House Committee on Commercialisation and Privatisation, Hajiya Khadijat BukarIbrahim tasked Management of Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers to liaise with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for a revised Post Acquisition Plan (PAP) with timelines which would enable the hotel meet with its covenants. A statement issued by BPE Head, Public Communications, Chukuma Nwokoh quoted Hajiya Bukar as saying while leading members of the committee on its 2nd leg of enterprise visits in the country, said that the review had become inevitable as result of changes in government policies which have impeded the successful execution of the covenants by the investor. She directed that the review should begin from 2010 to 2017 so that the investor could restrategise to tackle the


challenges in implementing the covenants. Hadjia Ibrahim stated that the committee was not out to witch-hunt but determined to accelerate economic growth in Nigeria through its oversight duties. The General Manger of the hotel, Robert Itawa, told the lawmakers that since take over, the Management had put in place innovations to meet the Sheraton world-wide standards. He added that a team of experts from Sheraton International was already on ground to redesign the hotel to give it good aesthetics. “As part of our effort to remodel the hotel to international standards, we have ordered 2,000 chairs, 240 sets of plasma TV and swift sleeper beds. We are also redesigning the rooms and we have timelines to achieve these”, he said. The General Manager said in the post privatisation period, the investor had paid N391.7 million taxes to

government as against the N33.5million preprivatisation. Itawa called for consistency in government policies to move the hospitality business forward in the country, saying multiplicity of taxes by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) was a major challenge. Earlier, the Acting Director in charge of Post Privatisation Monitoring (PPM) from the BPE, Malam Sanusi Sule, had told the lawmakers that the compliance level of the investor to the PAP was poor. He said the core investor had proposed its Post Acquisition Plan (PAP) in three phases on takeover in 2002 to commence from the third quarter of 2003 to June 2006. Sule said though the five year lock-in period had lapsed, the Bureau would continue to monitor the enterprise to ensure complete implementation of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA).

FAAN gets additional three directorates, now has nine By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


ollowing the on-going reshuffle in the various parastatals of the Aviation ministry by the Federal government, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is now having nine directorates. This is aimed at fine-tuning the sector to be more proactive and result-oriented. In a statement released by FAAN revealed an establishment of three new Dirctorates, which are: Legal Services, Projects and Cargo Development directorates, with a liquidation of the erstwhile directorate of Environment into a department the Directorate of Airport Operations. With this new development, FAAN is now having the following directorates: Airport Operation under Mr. Henry Omeogu, Human Resource and Administration with Hajiya Salamatu UmarUluma as the Head, Legal and Services under Mr. Mark Jacobs and Projects directorate to be headed by Saleh Dunoma. The rest include Maintenance and Engineering under Olufemi Ogunode, Security Services under Wendell Ogunedo, Commercial and Business Development to be headed by Dr. Adeniyi Balogun, the new Cargo Development directorate is

headed by Mr. Uche Ofulue and Finance and Accounts with Mr. Austin Tadafera as the Head. Moreover, the Public Affairs Department of the agency has now been split into two separate departments: Corporate Communications and Protocol and Passages, with Mr. Yakubu Datti, as the General Manager, C o r p o r a t e Communications, while the former General Manager,

Public Affairs, Mr. Akin Olukunle, is now the General Manager of Protocol and Passages. Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. George Uriesi, while reacting to the changes, said: “The new structure of the organisation reflects a modern airport company’s administrative structure and focuses the organisation properly on executing its strategic objectives.”

Bharti Airtel appoint Ezekwesili as board member By Chris Alu


igeria’s Former World Bank Vice President for Africa and an expert on economic reforms and economic governance, Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili joins the Bharti Airtel board. The new board member has a strong track record in the transparency, accountability, good governance, and anticorruption movement worldwide, having been one of the co-founders of Transparency International and served as one of the pioneer Directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany. Her appointment into the mobile operator’s board is part of a long-term restructuring programme that would culminate in an

Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Bharti , which is a leading provider of passive telecom infrastructure in the Indian sub-continent. A statement signed by Emeka Oparah, communications director, Airtel Nigeria and made available to PeoplesDaily Newspaper glowingly eulogized Ezekwesili’s appointment. It will be recalled that as the vice President of the World Bank in charge of the Africa region, Ezekwesili was responsible for operations in 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and supervised a lending portfolio of over $40 billion. She previously served as director of the HarvardNigeria Economic Strategy Programme in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and Abuja, Nigeria.




Nigeria’s Marikana moment (yet another one) Another month, another massacre in Nigeria. The violence in Africa’s other superpower makes Marikana look tame in comparison, and the Nigerian government’s response has been similarly lacklustre. With both South Africa and Nigeria competing for continental pre-eminence and international recognition, the two countries need to find a way to stem the tide of violence, and quickly.


President Goodluck Jonathan

orty six. That’s a number that should be engraved on the already-scarred hearts of all South Africans after a cold Marikana winter turned into a bleak, bitter spring. When all the corpses are counted together, that’s what it comes to: the miners killed in self-defence, the wildcat strikers massacred by police, the policemen killed by angry unionists and the ANC councilwoman caught in a crossfire of rubber bullets. It is, commentators agree, the biggest failure of our public order since the end of Apartheid and a chilling, frightening insight into what the state has become and who it exists for. South Africans are rightly concerned, and pessimistic about what our future holds. But it could be worse. It could be so much worse. It could be Nigeria. Far north of our borders, the continent’s other major superpower - the one threat to our dominance of the African Union and our claim to a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, the one country whose industrious population and stunning growth challenges our economic supremacy - is also dealing with the number 46. Again, the number is a body count. “It was a black Independence Day celebration for the inhabitants of Mubi town, Adamawa State, as unknown gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, massacred at least 46 persons, mostly students of three tertiary institutions in the town, on Monday night.” Thus ran the report in Nigeria’s

widely-respected ThisDay newspaper. Independence Day - Nigeria’s 52nd - was Monday. Officials claim the death toll was much lower, “only” 25, and suggest the involvement of the Islamist militant group was unlikely in this instance. “Boko Haram open fire sporadically,” said Adamawa State Police spokesperson Ibrahim Muhammad. “In this case, the attackers called their victims by name and left other people in the room alone. This is not the modus operandi of Boko Haram. It is the work of insiders.” Another official blamed the massacre on student politics gone very, very wrong, after a heated campus election. This is not improbable in Nigeria, where some college fraternities have developed into armed gangs. Over the next few weeks, a confirmed death toll will emerge and we might have a bit more clarity on who was responsible. But, in stark contrast to South Africa, there is unlikely to be a

South Africa President, Jacob Zuma

commission of inquiry, or even much of a public outcry. Nigerians are jaded after years of massacres and attacks on this level. “While the families of the victims try to come to terms with this brutal murder of their beloved innocent children, they may get scant comfort from the expected vacuous condemnation from officials of government at all levels which is the traditional response to the seemingly long serial (sic) of mindless killings of innocent Nigerians in recent time,” wrote Vanguard newspaper. Here are just a few

In this case, the attackers called their victims by name and left other people in the room alone. This is not the modus operandi of Boko Haram. It is the work of insiders

samples: 25 killed last week in an army operation against Boko Haram militants; 40 killed in April when ThisDay’s Abuja offices were bombed; 180 killed in January in a series of coordinated attacks on churches and security forces by Boko Haram; another 40 killed on Christmas Day last year in an attack on Catholic churches; 37 killed in an explosion at the United Nations Abuja offices. The list goes on and on, each incident its own little Marikana; taken together, it becomes clear that the problem is far more serious. Boko Haram is of course at the heart of much of the violence. In January, Human Rights Watch estimated the Islamist group was responsible for the deaths of nearly 1,000 people since 2009. But it isn’t solely at fault, as the most recent incident demonstrates. The effective break-down in the rule of law over much of the country means that a culture of violence has been allowed to take root, and there’s little the government has been able to do about it, despite their protestations to the contrary.

“Fellow Nigerians, in recent times, we have witnessed serious security challenges in parts of our country. We have taken pro-active measures to check the menace,” said President Goodluck Jonathan in his Independence Day address to the nation. “Our security agencies are constantly being strengthened and repositioned for greater efficiency. Many Nigerians have acknowledged that there has been a significant decline in the spate of security breaches.” Just hours later, 46 students were dead, making the president look more than a little out of touch with reality (a look he shares with our own leader. In fact, his administration is helpless to stem the violence. “We have a serious problem in Nigeria and there is no sense that the government has a real grip,” a senior official close to the government told the Guardian on condition of anonymity, shortly before the muted Independence Day celebrations. “The situation is not remotely under control. It is just a matter of time before we see more large-scale attacks

that pose a significant threat to national security, and now Nigeria’s economic growth is also at risk.” Despite the frightening headlines, it is important to remember that life in Nigeria goes on. Just like it’s a mistake to define South Africa by Marikana alone (as so much of the international media has done), so it’s mistake to let the violence define Nigeria. Most of the 162-millionstrong population has not been affected by the violence, after all, and the country remains an exciting economic prospect with lots going for it. Things can’t be too bad if South African companies like MultiChoice, MTN and Shoprite continue to operate in (and take huge profits from) the Nigerian market. Still, these are disturbing times in both of Africa’s superpowers, so often in competition with each other. How each country confronts its unique problems could well determine who dominates the continent in the longterm. The Daily Maverick is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and can be read on



Death: Whatever time is timely (I) A

llah says: “O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that we created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, In order that we may Manifest (Our power) to you; and we cause whom we will to rest In the wombs for an appointed term, then do we bring you out As babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that They know nothing after having known (much), and (further), Thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when we pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).” [al-Hajj: 5] In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. No believer, sincere, fake, or doubtful, in any religion that has an iota of originality, who does

not believe in the Lordship of human being is at least aware of Allah on all creations, as well the the inevitability of death, even if exclusive control of their he does in it and the life after it. ownership, command and In Islam especially, it is control. In fact the Qur'an told us compulsory upon every Muslim that Arab pagans and polytheists believed in the creation of the heaven and earth, as well By Husain Zakariyya their ownership Yawale to be exclusive rights and +234-8052952900 (sms only) franchise of Allah (SWT)! Allah says: “If indeed Thou ask them who to believe in the eventuality of has created the heavens and the death as true and unavoidable earth and subjected the sun and event signifying all creations the moon (to His law), They will including the Angels! In fact will certainly reply, "(Allah)". How are escape death, even the death They then deluded away (from the itself. This is part and parcel of truth)?” [al-Ankabut: 61] the Muslims' doctrines. It was Allah, indeed is the original narrated that when Allah when Crafter and Controller of Allah revealed this verses: everything, from the smallest “Every soul shall have a taste fragment of an atom to the most of death: and only on the Day of gigantic heavily bodies of the Judgment shall you be paid your galaxies; those known to man or full recompense. only He who is any other creation or those saved far from the Fire and undiscovered or ever to be admitted to the Garden will have imagined. He is the Founder and attained the object (of Life): for the Owner of everything, high or life of This world is but goods and low, other than His Being or chattels of deception.” [al-Imran: Attributes. Any propositions by 185] any mind's eye as to the nature And: “Every soul shall have a and outlook appearance of Allah, taste of death In the end to us shall will remain deficient and ye be brought back.” [ alinconclusive because our Ankabut: 57] thoughts are incompetent of The Angels bowed down in comprehending Him. Allah has adoration and praised of Allah on made our nature with impaired the ground that they will not die and limited capability to for they are not souls as in the undertake certain tasks and case of human beings. Then He calls; one of them is how to avoid sent another verse specifically to death from occurring. the dwellers of the planets bellow However, every sensible His Majestic Throne, thus: “All


A faithful died while prostrating in Salah at Ka’abah, Saudia Arabia.

that is on earth will perish.” [arRahman: 26] They all celebrated the names and the Attributes of Allah, thanked Him and said, 'we are not dwellers of the earth and planets, so we will endure death. But Allah finally sent revealed the following verse, they all cried in total praise and submission to the supremacy of Allah, subhanu wa ta'ala! “But will abide (for ever) the face of Thy Lord,- full of Majesty, bounty and honour.” [ar-Rahman: 26-27] The entire Angels, on hearing this revelation, cried loudly in supplication to the interminable glory and existence of Allah Who is without beginning or ending! Thus, when the time appointed by Allah alone of any of His creation, individually or en masse, death will overcome them without a second delay. And on the Day of Judgement, at the conclusion of all judgements, Allah will command the death, in front of all creations to take its life, so that there will never be death again in the life beyond! Allah at that moment will announce to hearing of all creations: “O the mates of heaven, live forever therein! And o inmates of hell-fire, live therein forever!” Allah, in order that no one will blame Him taking his or life at any moment of his or her life, He gave several notices and reminders, as well as sent clear admonishes, directly and

indirectly. This, is intended to make us alert and ready to expect the occurrence of death to anyone that has time has expired regardless of age, gender or social status. “Nor can a soul die except by Allah's leave, the term being fixed As by writing. if any do desire a reward In This life, we shall give it to him; and if any do desire a reward In the Hereafter, we shall give it to Him. and swiftly shall we reward those that (serve us with) gratitude.” [al-Imaran: 145] This write-up intends to remind and educate my teaming readers on the inevitability and the rightness of time of every death that paid an anticipated or awaited visit due to the condition of the dying person. No one dies and any type of circumstances but at the right appointed time. Allah says: “Say: ‘The angel of death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall ye be brought back to your Lord.’” [as-Sajdah: 11] Hence, age, gender or social status can prevent, delay or repulse death when its time comes. It does not matter where you are, what you are doing or whatever condition you are that can deny death access or stop it from perfuming its statuary assignment. Allah says: “Wherever ye are, death will find you out, Even if ye are In towers built up strong and high!" if some good befalls them, They say, ‘This is from Allah.’ but if evil, They say, ‘This is from thee’ (Oh Prophet). say: ‘All things are from Allah.’ but what hath come to these people, that They fail to understand a single fact?” [an-Nisa'i: 78] He says again: “And Allah did create you from dust; then from a sperm-drop; then He made you In pairs. and no female conceives, or lays down (her load), but with His knowledge. nor is a man long-lived granted length of days, nor is a part cut off from His life, but is In a Decree (ordained). all This is easy to Allah.” [al-Fatir: 11] This ayah serves us another impressive admonishing that life of every creation comprises of stages and phases, starting from almost nonbeing to corporeal, and then to oblivion; complete stupefaction, never to be seen in the world again! Thus, to be reminded of your past, means to prepare you for the future. So also is when you are reminded of your beginning, entails to reprove you of your predestined demise! The next ayah testifies to this, Allah says: “How can ye reject the Faith In Allah.- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.” [alBaqarah: 28]



Nigeria president to revisit Cameroon Bakassi dispute N

Desmond Tutu awarded $1m Mo Ibrahim price

igeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday ordered a review of an international ruling that handed the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula to its neighbour Cameroon a decade ago. His decision came a week after

Nigeria's Senate called on him to appeal the 2002 ruling made by the International Court of Justice that Bakassi belonged to Cameroon. The appeal period expires in a few days, the statement from the presidency said.

Nigeria finally gave up Bakassi in 2008, after years of political disputes, legal skirmishes and violence that killed dozens of people. "The president has set up a committee to look at the option of reviewing the ruling," the


eteran peace campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been awarded $1m (ÂŁ620,000) by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for "speaking truth to power". The London-based Foundation called the cleric "one of Africa's great voices for justice, freedom, democracy and responsible, responsive government". He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his campaign against apartheid. The foundation also offers an annual $5m prize to a former African head of state for good governance. The most recent recipient of that award was Cape Verde's former President Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires in 2011. Winners must have been democratically elected and agreed to leave office. In some years the prize has not been awarded because noone has been deemed a worthy enough winner. Archbishop Tutu, who will be 81 on Sunday, remains outspoken on international affairs. The South African cleric has been a fierce critic of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians as well as China's treatment of Tibetans. In August, he pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg because he refused to share a platform with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Archbishop Tutu said Mr Blair and former US President George W Bush should be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for lying about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in order to justify invading the country. Mr Blair issued a strongly worded defence of his decisions, rejecting the archbishop's allegations as "completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown".

Desmond Tutu

Men of a militant group in the area, Bakassi Self Determination Front

statement said, adding that this had been concluded after talks with Vice President Namidi Sambo and Senate President David Mark. Nigeria has dozens of committees, which often to do not lead to significant action. Senators had argued that the judgment was unfairly based on an agreement between the British and local chiefs in 1881, and it should therefore be subjected to a referendum monitored by the United Nations. The two African countries, which nearly went to war over Bakassi on several occasions, seemed to have put the issue behind them of late, and had even agreed to work together to explore for oil in the region. Around 90 percent of the population of the peninsula, estimated at 200,000 to 300,000, regard themselves as Nigerian fishermen and their families who do not want to be Cameroonians. A movement called the Bakassi Self-Determination Front in August declared independence from Cameroon, hoisting a flag and setting up an FM radio station. It is not clear how big the movement is or what it is capable of.

Sudan’s deal with South will not end conflict - opposition


udan and South Sudan will remain locked in conflict despite reaching a border security deal last week because they do not trust each other enough to resolve their biggest disputes, leading Sudanese opposition figure Hassan alTurabi said. The two African countries have been wrangling over contested areas along the border and other issues since breaking apart last year under a peace deal that ended decades of civil war. Under pressure from the United Nations and African Union, the two agreed last Thursday to set up a demilitarized border zone and resume oil exports from the landlocked South after Juba shut them down in a row with Khartoum over transit fees. But the deal failed to resolve problems like where to draw the final border, what to do with the disputed Abyei area and how to end rebellions in two Sudanese border states which

Khartoum says Juba is backing, Turabi said. "If we conclude a marriage we have to see to it that the bride and the groom trust each other ... There is no trust, and then serious problems are not settled," he said. "They wanted to please the world only, because they are under pressure, and they can't stand the pressure from inside and the pressure from outside." Turabi, one of Sudan's most influential politicians throughout the 1990s, dismissed the suggestion the deal was a boost to the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, which has faced small protests over rising prices. The government scaled back costly fuel subsidies in June to help plug a budget gap left when South Sudan took three-quarters of the country's oil output at independence, stoking already double-digit inflation. A n t i - g o v e r n m e n t

demonstrations erupted across Sudan when the spending cuts were announced, but petered out after a security crackdown and the start of the Muslim fasting month of

Ramadan. Turabi said he expected more protests. "It was a good experiment for us ... and the next time we do it, we want it to be continuous," he said.

Opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi of the Popular Congress Party (PCP)

Libyan protesters storm congress over government line-up


rotesters stormed the headquarters of Libya's national congress on Thursday angry about the new prime minister's proposed government line-up, saying it was not fully representative of the North African country. Between 100 and 150 demonstrators from the western town of Zawiyah walked into the main room where congress meets, forcing the cancellation of a special session to study Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur's nominations

Libya"s Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour

for his transitional government. Abushagur nominated his cabinet on Wednesday for approval by the national congress, presenting a lineup that excluded the leading liberal coalition. "After we heard the list, everyone in Zawiyah was angry. Some even began protesting in Zawiyah's main square last night," said Nuri Shambi, who travelled the 50 kms (30 miles) from Zawiyah to the capital Tripoli to voice his anger. "Abushagur said he would form a coalition government, that he

would look at experience. Zawiyah proposed candidates for oil minister, but he's brought in someone who is not well known." Abushagur's line-up includes many unknown names, including that of proposed oil minister, Mabrouk Issa Abu Harroura. The line-up is said to include several members of the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. There are no candidates from the liberal National Forces Alliance, Ibrahim alGharyani, head of the liberal coalition in congress said.


Europe and Americas Eight held in US over ‘Russian hi-tech smuggling plot’


ight people have been arrested in Houston, Texas, on charges of illegally exporting hi-tech components to Russian security bodies. Alexander Fishenko, who owns companies in Texas and Moscow, was charged with operating in the US as an unregistered agent of the Russian government. The indictment names 11 suspects, all of whom are due in court in Houston except for three who are in Russia. There was no immediate comment on the charges from those detained. However, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman, Sergei Ryabkov, quoted US officials as saying the charges were "of a criminal nature". They bore "no relation whatsoever to any intelligencegathering activities", he told Russia's Ria-Novosti news agency. Mr Fishenko, 46, a naturalised US citizen and owner of Houstonbased company Arc Electronics Inc, was also charged with laundering money. The US keeps strict controls on the export of cutting-edge microelectronics, which could be used in radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers. A Houston FBI statement names six men and five women as suspects, ranging in age from 31 to 58. Under US sentencing guidelines, Mr Fishenko faces more than 12 years in prison if convicted on all of the charges. Federal prosecutors, who laid their charges in a court in Brooklyn, New York, said Mr Fishenko and his co-accused had "engaged in a surreptitious and systematic conspiracy" since October 2008 to obtain the technology from US manufacturers and export it to Russia. Mr Fishenko has been described by Business analyst as an "American success story... an immigrant from Kazakhstan who

Boxes of files being removed from Mr Fishenko's company in Houston


Turkey strikes back at Syria


urkey stepped up retaliatory artillery strikes on a Syrian border town on Thursday, killing several Syrian soldiers, while its parliament debated authorizing further military action in the event of another spillover of the Syrian conflict. Syria's staunch ally Russia said it had received assurances from Damascus that the mortar strike had been a tragic accident and would not happen again and Syria's Information Minister conveyed his condolences to the Turkish people. But Turkey's government said "aggressive action" against its territory by Syria's military had become a serious threat to its national security and sought parliamentary approval for the deployment of Turkish troops beyond its borders. "Turkey has no interest in a war with Syria. But Turkey is capable of protecting its borders and will retaliate when necessary," Ibrahim Kalin, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, said on his Twitter account. "Political, diplomatic initiatives will continue," he said. In the most serious cross-border escalation of the 18-month uprising in Syria, Turkey hit back after what it called "the last straw" when the mortar hit Akcakale, killing a mother, her three children and a female relative.

Police officer search a Syrian as he tries to gain access into Turkey The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several Syrian soldiers were killed in the Turkish bombardment of a military post near the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, a few miles across the frontier from Akcakale. It did not say how many soldiers died. "We know that they have suffered losses," a Turkish security source told Reuters, without giving

further details. The observatory also reported clashes between Syrian rebels and the Syrian army at the military post, and said the rebels had killed 21 elite Republican Guards on Thursday in an ambush on an army minibus in a suburb northwest of Damascus. Syrian President Bashar alAssad used force of arms to try to

crush a peaceful pro-democracy movement when it erupted in March 2011. He now faces a full-scale armed revolt that has brought rebels into the suburbs of Damascus and shows signs of becoming a sectarian conflict that could destabilize neighboring states including Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon.

Argentine security forces protest pay cuts


Argentine Police officers with flags in protest

housands of Argentina's coast guard and military police have held unprecedented wage protests across the country after their pay was slashed by 30 to 60 per cent. Wednesday's protests prompted the government to fire the heads of both services and force their top 10 commanders to retire. A senior government official said the pay cuts were a mistake. "The pay reduction was the result of a disastrous administrative action," Juan Manuel Abal Medina, the cabinet chief of staff said, adding that most officers would receive their missing pay immediately.

Strikes over wages are common in Argentina, where inflation is running at more than 20 per cent annually, according to private economists. But this was the first time in memory that uniformed Argentine military forces have taken to the streets over wages. Talks aimed at ending the dispute reached late into the night. The government promised to revise the measure that sparked the protest and congress issued a statement calling on the striking officers to conduct the protests "within the confines of democracy".

Police ‘foil plot to bomb Spain’s Balearic university’


panish police have arrested a 21-year-old man in Palma de Mallorca on suspicion of plotting to bomb the University of the Balearic Islands. The suspect was seized as he received 140kg (310lb) of ingredients for explosives, apparently to be used for a Columbine-style massacre, police said. He reportedly kept a diary where he wrote about hating society and that he was ready to die in his attack. The suspect is believed to have been planning to plant pipe bombs on campus. He was identified only by his initials, JMMS. Montserrat Casas, the rector of UIB, as the university is known, said she was relieved that a tragedy had been avoided thanks to police action. There was no evidence, she said,

that the detainee had ever studied at UIB or had had any other connection to it, nor had the university ever received any threatening letters. Police began investigating five months ago after finding comments online about the Columbine High School massacre in the US, when two former pupils murdered 12 students and a teacher. The suspect expressed sympathy for the killers, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Spanish police said. "In his blog he included sections in which he spoke about having identical tastes in music, a liking of weapons, clothing and even the social isolation which led him to be marginalised in school," a police statement said. "In his personal diary and other documents seized at his home, the detainee showed his hatred of society,

especially university students, and his decision to strategically place shrapnel-filled pipe bombs in the

university grounds, admitting to a possible suicide in the carrying out of the massacre."

Police displayed the ingredients seized




‘I am the most senior female Northern officer in the Nigerian Navy’ C

an you introduce yourself? I am Navy Captain JamilaAbubakarSadiqMalafa. Presently, I am the Deputy Director Civil Military relation (Law support) in the Nigerian Navy. I am in charge of law department at the headquarters. Can you please give us a brief history of your life? I am from Gombi local Government area of Adamawa state, precisely Whona by tribe. I had my primary education in St. Theresa School, Luggere in Adamawa. After my graduation from Government Secondary School Hong, I went to Yola School of Nursing and Midwifery for my national certificate but because nursing was not exactly what I wanted to be, I thought of furthering my education. Unfortunately, I had an accident before that and had a broken jaw and was in the hospital for months. While I was on admission at the hospital, I developed interest in the nursing profession again, because of the way the doctors and nurses who were on my case treated me. I later applied for University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, while I waited for my admission at the University of Maiduguri, a friend came to meet me one day and said the Nigerian Navy are recruiting and that she wants to apply and asked me if I would want to, but I said no because I knew nothing about Navy. All the same, she encouraged me to go with her and we went there to join the Navy. While we were waiting under a tree, a beautiful female officer neatly dressed in her uniform came and asked us what we were doing there and we told her that we came to join the navy and she encouraged us to join. On the first day, I reported at the camp, I went with many boxes, a set of TV, a refrigerator and a sound set because I did not understand the system. The officers I met at the gate welcomed me and took my luggage to a room and gave me a pair of shorts and t- shirt to wear which I refused and ran away as fast as I could because during my school days I was running for my school but the officers ran after me and bundled me. They cut my hair and kept me in a room. I was the only female northerner among all the newly recruited officers that time, though another female officer from the north joined towards the end of the course but I was the first. At the end of the course I was posted to Ojo in Lagos, later I informed my employers that I want to go back to school as a nurse and I was allowed because I was the only qualified officer, I went to School of Nursing and got my Mid Wifery certificate. In 1995, I applied for LLB at the University of Lagos but could not gain admission because I had no JAMB result, so, I enrolled myself in a school and sat for JAMB and got the cut off marks and was given admission. I Went back again to University of Lagos as a lawyer for my Masters in 2004 in Constitution and Criminal Law. Then I proceeded to Malta for my Masters in International Maritime Law

Navy Captain Jamila Abubakar Sadiq Malafa, is the most senior female Northern officer in the Nigerian Navy and the first Lawyer from her village. A nurse by profession, she has risen to the rank of Navy Captain in the Nigerian Navy. In this interview with Maryam Garba Hassan, she talks about how destiny played a role in her becoming a naval officer, the role of female officers in the Nigerian Navy and the negative perception northern women have for the profession among others. institute University, Malta in 2009 and presently I am doing my PHD. You can say that destiny play a role in my choice of career, because I never knew anything about navy because while I was growing up, I remember we see the navy on the television during Independence Day parade. How do you juggle the demands of your job as a professional and a mother? It is all about planning. The Navy is like any other profession. For me, my day starts from 4am after saying my morning prayers; I read the Qur’an and begin preparing for the day. The profession can take you anywhere at any time so, each morning I wake up ready for any assignment at any time of the day and anywhere in the country. Who is your role model? Rear Admiral Itunu in the Nigerian Navy is my role model and incidentally she is my godmother. She is a woman who has made remarkable achievements in the profession. I look at her as a role model to me and to every Nigerian woman. I admire her and I am aspiring to become like her or even more than she is. What is your take on the law in some uniform professions that don’t allow female officers to marry or conceive without taking permission? The law still exists and I support it. The reason for that law is that the system wants young officers undergoing training to grow without distraction of any kind before getting married so that they can have a stable home once they settle down. I also seek for permission from the Chief of Naval Staff before I got married. Having come this far do you have any regret for not achieving something which you wish to before coming this far? No. I don’t have any regret what so ever. I am happy with the profession and what I have achieved so far, because the military is an organization where you can be whatever you want to be if you work hard and provided you know the rules and regulations and you abide by it. I joined the profession as a nurse and today I have two Master’s degree in Constitutional and International Maritime Law and the opportunity was given to me by the military and we have a lot of officers with PHD today. What are those challenges you face as a female officer in a male dominated institution? Well, we are given the same training with the men and we are expected to do whatever they can do. I was among the first set to be commissioned as Mid Ship Men.

Navy Captain Jamila J.S Malafa Honestly, I never saw the profession as a male dominated institution or any of it activities as challenging that will make me have a change of mind because I love what I am doing. What is your advice to the young generation of female officers? They should be dedicated to their jobs and love what they are doing. Strive hard to get to the top and have confidence in themselves. Again, because of the regimental nature of the job, they have to do the right thing and you will get to the peak of your career. How would you assess the role of female officers especially now that we have a woman as Rear Admiral in

the Navy? Female officers are doing very well. Like I said before we take part in the same kind of training with the male officers, the only thing is that we have different branches, we have the executive, logistic, account, budget, education, legal , medical and each department has its responsibilities and you do exactly what is expected of you. There is nothing that differentiates us from the men, we do parade together, sit for the same kind of exams, and do the same kind of exercises etc. What was the most challenging task you have ever been assign to do? My most challenging task as an officer was when I was posted to

My most challenging task as an officer was when I was posted to Borokiri in Port Harcourt during militant days. I was posted there as the Chief of Command of the Medical Centre Port Harcourt because my Executive Officer went to Darfur. On the first day, I reported duty, the militants had taken over PortHarcourt and were pursued by our officers and there was fire exchange that lasted for some time

Borokiri in Port Harcourt during militant days. I was posted there as the Chief of Command of the Medical Centre Port Harcourt because my Executive Officer went to Darfur. On the first day, I reported duty, the militants had taken over Port- Harcourt and were pursued by our officers and there was fire exchange that lasted for some time. I attended to all the wounded officers and the militants without any discrimination. It was not easy but Alhamdulillah we made it back home safely. How do you spend your leisure time? We have what is called Mess activities. On Wednesdays we close from office by 2.oclock to enable, officers go and play games. Whenever we go to the Mess where we relax, we sit down, talk with our superiors, and tell them what we feel about them and certain issues. What is your take on the wrong perception of the profession by female northerners? It is sad because now I am the only female officer from the core north and the most senior in the Navy profession. I understand that some female northerners do not like joining the profession because of the uniform but now we have option. It is either you wear short skirt or long trouser. In 2009 when I returned from Malta where I went for my LLM in International Maritime Law, the then Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral I. I. Ibrahim, included my name with the then Navy Secretary, Rear Admiral Jibrin, to go to Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara and other core northern states to encourage young women to join the profession. I even went to the Sultan’s palace and the office of the state’s Commissioner of Information for their support for the initiative to no avail. I had to extend my stay when I was told that a woman from Zamfara was interested and was coming over to Sokoto for the exams and I was ready to allow her to write the exams alone but she never turn up. I also went on air to call on our women to join but that did not change that perception up till date. The military is profession you can join and still have a life, a home and a family. Would you have joined the profession back then if the nation were still facing the kind of security challenge we have now? Yes. I still would have joined because I love my country and I am ready to serve it in whatever way I can. As a citizen it is also my responsibility to protect my country regardless of my sex.



S Republican candidate Mitt Romney won the first of three televised debates with President Barack Obama, polls and analysts say. After the 90-minute duel centring on taxes, the deficit and healthcare, polls gave Mr Romney a 46-67% margin with Mr Obama trailing with 22-25%. Commentators said Mr Romney appeared in command while Mr Obama was hesitant. Mr Obama has led national polls and surveys in the swing states that will decide the 6 November election. Journalist Mark Mardell says if the gap narrows or Mitt Romney starts moving ahead of Mr Obama, that will be a huge boost for his campaign, and suggest he could win the White House. However if they hardly budge, then the Republican challenger will be in deep trouble, the North America editor adds. President Obama appeared hesitant, occasionally asking moderator Jim Lehrer, of US public television network PBS, for time to finish his points. The two candidates attacked each other’s economic plans, with Mr Obama describing his rival’s approach as “top-down economics” and a retread of Bush-era policies. “If you think by closing [tax] loopholes and deductions for the well-to-do, somehow you will not end up picking up the tab, then Governor Romney’s plan may work for you,” he said. “But I think math, common sense, and our history shows us that’s not a recipe for job growth.” Mr Romney derided Mr Obama’s policies as “trickle-down government”. “The president has a view very similar to the one he had when he ran for office four years ago, that spending more, taxing more, regulating more - if you will, trickledown government - would work,” Mr Romney said. “That’s not the right answer for America.” Mr Romney pledged not to reduce taxes for wealthy Americans, and said Mr Obama had misrepresented Mr Romney’s tax plans on the campaign trail.


Polls show Romney won TV debate with Obama Both camps rushed to defend the respective performances. “The average person at home saw a president who you could trust,” Obama adviser David Plouffe told reporters. “That’s what the American people are looking for.” But senior Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said the president had spoken “only in platitudes”. “If this were a boxing match, it would have been called by the referee,” he said. Commentators largely agreed that Mitt Romney had performed better. New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman said,

Mr Obama “did a terrible job in the debate, and Romney did well”. “But in the end, this isn’t or shouldn’t be about theatre criticism, it should be about substance,” Mr Krugman said defending Mr Obama’s statements whilst charging that “much of what Romney said was either outright false or so misleading as to be the moral equivalent of a lie”. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile was quoted to have said: “Mitt Romney did a lot of good... was a little more aggressive than the president.” Washington Post conservative columnist George Will said Mr Romney’s performance had “stopped [his slump in the polls] in its tracks”.

A CNN/ORC International poll of 430 people who watched the debate showed 67% thought Romney won, compared with 25% for Obama. A CBS News poll found a 46% support for Mr Romney, 22% for Mr Obama and 32% saying it was a tie. And a Google survey gave Mr Romney a 47.8% advantage against 25.4% for Mr Obama. On healthcare, Mr Romney said that Mr Obama’s “Obamacare” reform law of 2010 had increased health costs and kept small businesses from hiring. Even as he pledged to repeal Mr Obama’s health law, Mr Romney

praised and defended a plan he himself had previously signed as governor of Massachusetts that is widely hailed as the model for the Obama law. Mr Obama, meanwhile, said his plan had kept insurance companies from denying coverage to sick people. The University of Denver debate was the first in a series of three presidential forums and one vicepresidential encounter this month. Running-mates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will meet in Danville, Kentucky on 11 October, before the second presidential debate on 16 October.

Obama (R) with moderator Jim Lehrer with Romney (L) during the debate in Denver

Romney scores in debate, but will it be enough?


fter several difficult weeks, Republican Mitt Romney found his footing on Wednesday night in a strong debate performance against Democratic President Barack Obama. The question is whether it is too late to make a difference. Romney could see a burst of fundraising, new interest from undecided voters and a wave of support from his fellow Republicans after he appeared to have emerged as a clear victor in his first face-toface confrontation with Obama. Romney likely will benefit from favorable news coverage as well. Still, with the November 6 election little more than a month away, Romney is running out of time to seize the lead. Voting has begun in some form or another in 35 states, and 6 percent of those have already cast their ballots, according to a Reuters/IPSOS poll released on Wednesday. And while debates are among

the most memorable events of any presidential campaign, there is little evidence that they can change the outcome of an election. Obama may have underwhelmed, but he avoided the sort of disastrous performance that can cause backers to reassess their support. “Nobody is going to switch sides on the basis of this debate,” said Samuel Popkin, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego. Standing on the same stage as the president for the first time, Romney took full advantage of the opportunity to convince voters that he is up to the task of leading the nation. Speaking in crisp, bulletpointed paragraphs, Romney came armed with a quiver of “zingers” built for a long afterlife on cable television and YouTube. “You’re entitled to your own house and your own airplane, but not your own facts,” Romney told

Obama at one point. Obama, by contrast, looked unhappy to be on stage. His answers were meandering and professorial, laden with facts but short on vision. He argued that Romney’s tax and budget plans don’t add up, but he steered clear of other lines of attack that have proven effective. “Romney won. The real surprise is that he won so clearly,” said Paul Sracic, a political science professor at Youngstown State University. Some 67 percent of those surveyed by CNN in a “flash poll” after the debate declared Romney the winner. Obama’s re-election prospects on Intrade, an online prediction market, fell from 74 percent to 66 percent. Obama maintains an advantage in opinion polls. On Wednesday, he led Romney by 47 percent to 41 percent in the daily Reuters/IPSOS tracking poll, a margin that has held fairly steady since the middle of September.

Other polls have shown the race to be a little closer. Obama holds clear leads in most of the politically divided states that are likely to decide the election. Many pollsters expect Obama’s margin to shrink somewhat over the coming month, but debates rarely have much of an impact. Opinion polls have shifted by an average of less than 1 percent in the wake of the 16 presidential debates that have taken place since 1988, according to research by Tom Holbrook, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. The biggest shift came in 2004, when Democratic challenger John Kerry gained 2.3 percent points on Republican President George W. Bush. Bush won the election. People who have made up their minds to vote against Romney won’t change their minds no matter how presidential he looks in debates, said Popkin, author of “The Candidate: What it Takes to Win -

And Hold - the White House.” “If you think he’s a selfish person who’s out for the rich, you can still think he’s a confident, comfortable, genial executive who fires you with a smile,” he said. And some voters may have been actually focusing on the words the two candidates said, rather than the manner in which they said them. While Romney played down his conservative positions in an effort to reach out to centrist voters, Obama successfully emphasized themes like education and deficit reduction that appeal to this group, several observers said. His new emphasis on expanding opportunity, rather than ensuring fairness, also could help among the more ideologically moderate voters who have yet to make up their minds. “Often voters are looking more for substance than for style,” said Dotty Lynch, a professor of communication at American University.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2012 With Tobias Lengnan Dapam 07036990957

Amina to premier in London October 17 The much anticipated movie ‘Amina’ is set for its world première at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square on the 17th October, 2012, has revealed. The movie which is a British/ Nigerian production, is a psychological human drama, featuring Nollywood top shots like; Omotola Jalade – Ekeinde and Van

Vicker, alongside top British movie stars like; Wil Johnson, Vincent Regan and Alison Carroll, aka Lara Croft. further said that Amina could be best described as a British film with Nollywood

sensibilities. The film which was Written, produced and directed by Christian Ashaiku, an innovative Nigerian born London based filmmaker; Amina tells a deeply emotional and dramatic story dealing with the

themes of love, loss and redemption. Amina is told in flashback and tells the life story of a gifted young woman (OmotolaJalade-Ekeinde) who, devastated by a series of life changing events suffered a total breakdown and finds herself

Doha Film Institute hires new CEO

Olu Maintain dumps US lover for Mochedda


oha Film Institute, the independent cultural organisation that brings Qatar’s film initiatives under one banner, has appointed Abdulaziz AlKhater as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hollywood reporter has said. Al-Khater will now take over from acting CEO and DFI board member, Mansour Ibrahim AlMahmoud. DFI chairperson and founder, her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani said that “The all-encompassing approach of DFI to promote a robust film industry in Qatar has helped us to create a distinct identity not only in the region but also globally. The appointment of Mr Abdulaziz Al-Khater, who has a wealth of management expertise, will be strong value addition in driving the future growth of the Institute.” She also thanked Al-Mahmoud for his work during what she described as DFI’s Boredom and the feeling that everything was a waste of time, an illusion that nothing was good. On his part, Al-Mahmoud said the incoming CEO “brings with him extensive experience in leadership and business management, with a strong local and regional focus.” Al-Khater, has wealth of experience in management, banking, information technology, operations, finance, and logistics. He joined DFI from Al Khalij Commercial Bank, now established as one of the key financial institutions in the region. Speaking about the prospects of the industry, Al-Khater said: “I am looking forward to being part of a growing cultural organisation that had established itself both within the region and internationally as an Institute dedicated to developing Arab talent and creativity.” He added that the DFI is poised for an era of growth “as it continues to evolve and foster the development of local and regional film industries.”

The new CEO of DFI, Abdulaziz Al-Khater

incarcerated in a mental hospital, but only one person could help; her doctor (Wil Johnson), but he must overcome his own demons before he could help Amina confront her past. Expectedly, UK movie practitioners have described Amina as the ace card that would place Nollywood more firmly in the international movie scene and grant it more recognition than it currently has.


ensational Nigerian musician, Olu Maintain, has dumped his United State lover, Natalie, for a Nigerian singer, Mochedda, has revealed. Sources close to the Yahoo zee crooner told that Olu was recently spotted getting fond of Mocheddah, whom he vowed to some friends to go down low with. It was also learnt that both Olu and Mochedda are presently planning to do a duet together. The sources furthr said that Natalie was not aware of the recent romance between Olu and the singer, as she was always been told by Olu and his friends that Mochedda is just a colleague.

Ice Prince releases Aboki album Mikel launches music label, signs four artists


uper Eagles and Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi has never hidden his love for music as it is practically seen whenever the footballer is not on the field of play for both his country and club, he listens to music from his devices with his headphone. gathered that the Jos, Plateau State-bred footballer has taken his love for music to another level by floating his own music label named Matured Money Minds (MMM). The label which was recently established is fully under the control of his

younger brother, Patrick. MMM already has about four artistes. They are; Splash, Kido, Edgar and Charass. Sources also revealed that the artists who already have their own songs were working assiduously to shoulder with the biggest artists in the music industry in Nigeria.


hocolate City artiste, Ice Prince Zamani drops the much anticipated video for his latest single “Aboki”, has revealed. This was his first single after his much acclaimed E.L.I album. The song was produced by Chopstix of the Grip Boiz City, and was directed by the talented Phil Lee in Los Angeles. Ice Prince looks to be preparing for another album, as we look forward to more singles.

Hollywood film Awards to honour Argo casts


he Hollywood Reporter has learned that the cast of Argo, the Ben Affleck-directed drama about the 1979-81 Iranian hostage crisis, will receive the Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award at the 16th annual Hollywood Film It said that the first awards show of the 2012 Oscar season and its gala ceremony will hold on the 22nd October, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton. Representatives of the cast who are expected to attend the event include Affleck, Oscar winner Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman. The Hollywood Film Awards, which were determined by Hollywood Film Festival founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu and his advisory team, recognize individuals for both career achievement and work released within the calendar year. Previous recipients of the

Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award include Crash (2005), which went on to win the best Oscar picture as well as Bobby (2006), Hairspray (2007), The Secret Life of Bees (2008) and best picture Oscar nominees, the Social Network (2010) and the Help (2011). Similarly, De Abreu tells THR that “We are very proud to recognize the actors who form the cast of Argo for their outstanding performances in this special film.” Argo, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in early September was one of the best received films at the Toronto International Film Festival and will later this month be released nationwide by Warner Bros, on the 22nd October, 2012. THR recently revealed the identities of several other films and people to be honored at this year’s Hollywood Film Awards, including

the recipients of the Hollywood Director Award, Hollywood Actress Award, Hollywood Supporting Actor Award, Hollywood Supporting Actress Award, Hollywood Producer Award, Hollywood Animation Award, Hollywood Comedy Award,

Casts from the Argo movie

New Hollywood Award, Hollywood Breakout Performance Award, Hollywood Cinematographer Award, Hollywood Editor Award, Hollywood Production Designer Award, and Hollywood Visual Effects Award.



Hip -hop artists force Lagbaja to remove mask

Lagbaja, with and without mask

N has revealed that life with Lagbaja, the masked man had been so terrible, as the advent of hip-hop in Nigeria actually led to his musical misfortune. It revealed that when the

mask man started out, not many people were disposed to his kind of song then but due to the fact that the competition was not stiff, Lagbaja was reigning supreme until hip hop came him through the Remedies.

However, despite all kinds of stunts displayed by him in his videos, his relevance was dropping by the day as the global acceptability of hip hop forced him to leave for America, yet it didn’t get it right unlike before and life was

so unbearable for him. It further said that Lagbaja, the Afro-beat singer, song writer, instrumentalist that inspired minds with his powerful style of music since 1993 finally reveals the face behind the mask due to pressure from other quarters. According to Lagbaja, his mask is used as an icon of man’s facelessness. Lagbaja, is a Yoruba word that means “nobody in particular”. It depicts the anonymity of the socalled “common man”. The mask and the name symbolize the faceless, the voiceless in the society, particularly in Africa. He is also known as “Omo baba mu’ko mu’ko” Often his music is purely instrumental- an interplay between traditional Yoruba percussion, drums, chants, western instruments, and especially the saxophone. When there are lyrics, they are primarily sung in Yoruba, English or a blend of the two as is colloquially spoken in Yoruba cities. Many of his songs dwell on serious social issues, while others simply entertain.

Jennifer Lopez opens up about divorce, dating young Smart


bout the 18-year age difference between her and boyfriend Casper Smart, Lopez said she is looking for true love and that she is not afraid of looking outside her age range to find it, Hollywood reporter has said. It also indicated that Katie Couric and Jennifer Lopez Dish on ‘American Idol’ Judges and that Lopez was not missing American Idol. The three-times married triple-threat opened up about her divorce from Marc Anthony on Friday’s Katie. “You never want to break up a family,” Lopez told host Katie

Couric, in a conversation that also may have let the identity of the new American Idol judging panel slip. She continued: “That wasn’t my dream. My dream was for us to always be together. But things don’t work out and you feel it was the better choice. If I didn’t think it was the better choice I wouldn’t have done it.” The music sensation said things were still warm with Anthony, whom she shares two 4-year-old twins, Max and Emme. “We are friends. We were friends before and we are still friends now. Thank God that didn’t change,” Lopez said.

After pointing out that she’s now tried and failed to make marriage work three times, Lopez laughed, saying, “I keep trying!

It’s OK. It’s true. I believe in love. I believe in marriage. I’m just trying to get it right. I’m like everybody else.”

Seth MacFarlane to host Oscars


ans have given kudos to the Academy for thinking outside the box and picking a host for the 2013 Oscar cast that nobody really saw coming. Hollywood reporter has revealed that AMPAS just announced emcee duties for Seth MacFarlane, known for such events to host the Oscar.

It further revealed that MacFarlane, created shows like MacFamily Guy and American Dad; he directed the summer blockbuster Ted; he burned Ryan Lochte really bad on Saturday Night Live; he is dating Daenerys; he did not know where to stand or speak during the Emmys and other.

R-L: Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart

Juliet Agunwa

Ex-Nollywood Actress, fights cancer


x Nollywood actress, Juliet Agunwa who used to be a darling of every one then at NTA’s TV series called ‘Twist Away’ and ‘Memorial Hospital’ before she jetted out to America is due to return home from her base in America as she continues her campaign against breast cancer, has said. It added that the beautiful mother of two daughters who survived the pangs of breast cancer when she was diagnosed of the ailment stage 3c in 2008 is now preparing to storm Nigeria to continue her awareness programme for underserved Africans worldwide and the need to reach out to under-privileged African women who are undergoing the painful trauma caused by breast cancer. Through her ‘Courage to Dare Foundation’, Juliet who appeared as a presenter of a talk show on NTA before she migrated to the USA to further her studies, is looking forward to launch her inaugural program, an educational Breast Cancer Awareness later this month at the instance of Imo State’s First Lady, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha. The awareness programme will be the first-ever event of its kind in the State. Last year, Juliet’s awareness gala event attracted over 300 participants at Lagos State University and Lagos University Teaching Hospital and she is hoping to make an even bigger impression with her awareness programme in Imo State.

Justin Bieber, Rihanna fan club sites operator to pay $1 million in privacy settlement


he sites owned by Warner Music’s Artist Arena were charged by Doobie brothers, Michael Mcdonald, for illegally collecting personal data of users under the age of 13. A unit of Warner Music Group that operates online fan club sites for such stars as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and

Rihanna, agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that it illegally collected personal data from its users under the age of 13. The unit, Artist Arena, didn’t admit or deny any wrongdoing in the settlement, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Federal Trade Commission had filed charges

against the firm on Tuesday, citing alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or Coppa. That law forbids web sites from collecting personal information from users under the age of 13 without parental consent. The fan sites in question were B i e b e r F e v e r . c o m ,

S e l e n a G o m e z . c o m , and A judge has yet to approve the settlement. In the proposed settlement, Artist Arena agreed not only to pay the $1 million civil penalty, but also to delete any data collected in violation of the law and to display a link on its sites to

more FTC information on children’s privacy protection rules. Warner Music, owned by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, acquired Artist Arena in late 2010. The FTC said the firm collected more than 100,000 users’ personal data in ways prohibited by law.


PAGE 33 With Tobias Lengnan Dapam 07036990957

Amina to premier in London October 17 T

he much anticipated movie ‘Amina’ is set for its world première at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square on the 17th October, 2012, has revealed. The movie which is a British/ Nigerian production, is a psychological human drama, featuring Nollywood top shots like;

Omotola Jalade – Ekeinde and Van Vicker, alongside top British movie stars like; Wil Johnson, Vincent Regan and Alison Carroll, aka Lara Croft. further said that Amina could be best described as a

British film with Nollywood sensibilities. The film which was Written, produced and directed by Christian Ashaiku, an innovative Nigerian born London based filmmaker; Amina tells a deeply emotional and

dramatic story dealing with the themes of love, loss and redemption. Amina is told in flashback and tells the life story of a gifted young woman (OmotolaJalade-Ekeinde) who, devastated by a series of life changing events suffered a total

Doha Film Institute hires new CEO

Olu Maintain dumps US lover for Mochedda


oha Film Institute, the independent cultural organisation that brings Qatar’s film initiatives under one banner, has appointed Abdulaziz AlKhater as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hollywood reporter has said. Al-Khater will now take over from acting CEO and DFI board member, Mansour Ibrahim AlMahmoud. DFI chairperson and founder, her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani said that “The all-encompassing approach of DFI to promote a robust film industry in Qatar has helped us to create a distinct identity not only in the region but also globally. The appointment of Mr Abdulaziz Al-Khater, who has a wealth of management expertise, will be strong value addition in driving the future growth of the Institute.” She also thanked Al-Mahmoud for his work during what she described as DFI’s Boredom and the feeling that everything was a waste of time, an illusion that nothing was good. On his part, Al-Mahmoud said the incoming CEO “brings with him extensive experience in leadership and business management, with a strong local and regional focus.” Al-Khater, has wealth of experience in management, banking, information technology, operations, finance, and logistics. He joined DFI from Al Khalij Commercial Bank, now established as one of the key financial institutions in the region. Speaking about the prospects of the industry, Al-Khater said: “I am looking forward to being part of a growing cultural organisation that had established itself both within the region and internationally as an Institute dedicated to developing Arab talent and creativity.” He added that the DFI is poised for an era of growth “as it continues to evolve and foster the development of local and regional film industries.”

The new CEO of DFI, Abdulaziz Al-Khater

breakdown and finds herself incarcerated in a mental hospital, but only one person could help; her doctor (Wil Johnson), but he must overcome his own demons before he could help Amina confront her past. Expectedly, UK movie practitioners have described Amina as the ace card that would place Nollywood more firmly in the international movie scene and grant it more recognition than it currently has.


ensational Nigerian musician, Olu Maintain, has dumped his United State lover, Natalie, for a Nigerian singer, Mochedda, has revealed. Sources close to the Yahoo zee crooner told that Olu was recently spotted getting fond of Mocheddah, whom he vowed to some friends to go down low with. It was also learnt that both Olu and Mochedda are presently planning to do a duet together. The sources furthr said that Natalie was not aware of the recent romance between Olu and the singer, as she was always been told by Olu and his friends that Mochedda is just a colleague.

Ice Prince releases Aboki album Mikel launches music label, signs four artists


uper Eagles and Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi has never hidden his love for music as it is practically seen whenever the footballer is not on the field of play for both his country and club, he listens to music from his devices with his headphone. gathered that the Jos, Plateau State-bred footballer has taken his love for music to another level by floating his own music label named Matured Money Minds (MMM). The label which was recently established is fully under the control of his

younger brother, Patrick. MMM already has about four artistes. They are; Splash, Kido, Edgar and Charass. Sources also revealed that the artists who already have their own songs were working assiduously to shoulder with the biggest artists in the music industry in Nigeria.


hocolate City artiste, Ice Prince Zamani drops the much anticipated video for his latest single “Aboki”, has revealed. This was his first single after his much acclaimed E.L.I album. The song was produced by Chopstix of the Grip Boiz City, and was directed by the talented Phil Lee in Los Angeles. Ice Prince looks to be preparing for another album, as we look forward to more singles.

Hollywood film Awards to honour Argo casts


he Hollywood Reporter has learned that the cast of Argo, the Ben Affleck-directed drama about the 1979-81 Iranian hostage crisis, will receive the Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award at the 16th annual Hollywood Film It said that the first awards show of the 2012 Oscar season and its gala ceremony will hold on the 22nd October, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton. Representatives of the cast who are expected to attend the event include Affleck, Oscar winner Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman. The Hollywood Film Awards, which were determined by Hollywood Film Festival founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu and his advisory team, recognize individuals for both career achievement and work released within the calendar year. Previous recipients of the

Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award include Crash (2005), which went on to win the best Oscar picture as well as Bobby (2006), Hairspray (2007), The Secret Life of Bees (2008) and best picture Oscar nominees, the Social Network (2010) and the Help (2011). Similarly, De Abreu tells THR that “We are very proud to recognize the actors who form the cast of Argo for their outstanding performances in this special film.” Argo, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in early September was one of the best received films at the Toronto International Film Festival and will later this month be released nationwide by Warner Bros, on the 22nd October, 2012. THR recently revealed the identities of several other films and people to be honored at this year’s Hollywood Film Awards, including

the recipients of the Hollywood Director Award, Hollywood Actress Award, Hollywood Supporting Actor Award, Hollywood Supporting Actress Award, Hollywood Producer Award, Hollywood Animation Award, Hollywood Comedy Award,

Casts from the Argo movie

New Hollywood Award, Hollywood Breakout Performance Award, Hollywood Cinematographer Award, Hollywood Editor Award, Hollywood Production Designer Award, and Hollywood Visual Effects Award.


By Solomon Asowata


n Sept. 18, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, released 233 inmates from the Kirikiri Medium and Maximum Security Prisons in Apapa, Lagos. Phillips set the prisoners free during her visit to the prisons. One hundred and thirty of the released prisoners were from the maximum security prison and 103 were from the medium security prison. Some of the freed prisoners, according to the prison authorities, had spent more than 12 years in prison awaiting trial. Phillips said that the prisoners’ release was pursuant to the provisions of Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provision Act CAP C40, 2007, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. She said the law empowered the chief judge to grant freedom to inmates who had been in custody for a long duration awaiting trial and those who had shown genuine remorse for their offences. According to her, the gesture is also aimed at reducing prison congestion. “This is our own little way of reducing congestion in our prisons. “Besides, there is a maxim we have in law that it is better for 10 guilty persons to go free than for one innocent person to be unjustly incarcerated. “For those of you who are lucky to be released today, I admonish you to go and sin no more; I want you to go and make your mark positively in the society”, Phillips told the inmates. The chief judge, however, warned against the temptation of releasing prisoners arbitrarily, stressing that a thorough screening of the inmates ought to be carried out before any release was affected. She pledged to visit prisons regularly to carry out similar exercises in future. In his remark, Mr Tinu Oye, the Deputy Controller, Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, commended the chief judge for the gesture, noting that some of the inmates had spent more than 12 years in prison awaiting trial, even for minor offences. Oye said that the Prerogative of Mercy Committee, which was set up by the Federal Government, should regularly visit prisons across the country to address such cases. “A lot of our inmates are writing their GCE (General Certification of Education) examinations. “Some of them are students of the National Open University of Nigeria and they need scholarships to enable them to complete their studies,” he said. Also speaking, Mr Tunde Ladipo, the Deputy Controller, Kirikiri Medium Security Prison, described the number of inmates released during the exercise as unprecedented. Ladipo stressed that 2,370 out of the 2,502 inmates of the prison were awaiting trial, adding that the situation resulted in the prison’s congestion. Sharing similar sentiments,


Prisoners’ rehabilitation and crime reduction

L-R: Mr Bello Sucess, Controller-General Nigerian Prisons Service, Zakari Ibrahim, and Ogun state Controller of Prisons, Mr Adams Babatunde-Lawal recenty at Ibara Prison, Abeokuta, during the Controller-General's visit to Ogun state. Photo: NAN Mr Ade Ipaye, Lagos State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said that the inmates’ release would effectively decongest the prisons. “The release of the inmates sends a very strong signal not only on the capacity of the chief judge but also on the excellence which Lagos State is known for,’’ he said. Ipaye noted that it was a common principle in law that “a man is presumed innocent until he is found guilty by a competent court of law”. He, therefore, said that keeping people in detention for a long period without convicting them of any specific offence was barbaric; stressing that such practice should be abolished in the interest of justice. All the same, Mr Adesina Adegbite, the General Secretary of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, kicked against the release of the inmates. He said that the government released the prisoners without carrying out a comprehensive data capture activity on them. Adegbite stressed that the preparation of a computerised database of prisoners who were paroled was desirable as part of efforts to monitor the movement

and activities of freed prisoners. “These people have been released into the society and we have no way of checking their activities now. “Some of them have nobody to turn to in the outside world and may, thus, be forced into criminal activities again,’’ he added. Mr Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, the Director, Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative (PRAI), shared a similar viewpoint, insisting that the state government ought to have captured the inmates’ data prior to their release. “It would have been better if the Lagos State Government had made efforts to rehabilitate the released inmates for the next two months, at least, and resettle them properly. “For most of them, the future is bleak. I hope and pray that in the coming months, Lagos State will not experience an unprecedented rise in armed robbery cases,’’ Adetola-Kazeem said. Two prisoners, Williams Owode and Azubuike Ossai, who are serving life sentences at the maximum prison, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that most of the released prisoners might soon return to the prison. Owode, who has so far spent

18 years in prison for murder, noted that most of the released prisoners had not acquired sufficient skills to enable them to earn a living. Ossai, who said that he had spent more than 10 years awaiting trial before his conviction for murder in June 2004, said: “We that have been here long enough to know that some of these people who are jubilating now will be back here in the next few months,” he said. Ossai, nonetheless, conceded that some inmates of the prisons had been learning trades such as tailoring and shoe making. “Some of us have even graduated from the university but nobody is looking into our cases,’’ he moaned. Such cynical comments notwithstanding, the released prisoners were full of praises for the chief judge, expressing profound gratitude for their rescue from prison. Betram Anwagu, 54, recalled that he was remanded in prison on July 20, 2005, after he was arrested over alleged armed robbery. “I was selling provisions at the CMS area; one day, I fought with another trader and the police came to arrest us. “The next day, they brought

two other men to join us in the cell and later took all of us to court on robbery charges. “That was how I found myself here and even the woman I was planning to marry has abandoned me,” he moaned. Anwagu said that his major preoccupation now was how to survive in the society. “When I was there (prison), I learnt how to make shoes. If I am able to raise some money, I will eke out a living as a shoe maker,” he said. For 25-year-old Kehinde Arewa, who spent five years in the prison before his release, reuniting with his family in Ilesa, Osun State, was his top priority. “I want to go and see my family because it has been a long time since I saw them last,” said Arewa, who claimed that he was a tailor before his arrest and incarceration over alleged robbery Analysts believe that even though the prisoners’ release is commendable, governments, individuals, groups and corporate organisations should make concerted efforts to rehabilitate and resettle freed prisoners. Such efforts would discourage the ex-prisoners from going into crime again, some say. Source: NAN



Meals on wheels! the moment cheetahs try to peel open a three-wheel bubble car


ere's a question you probably thought you'd never have to ask: what happens when the world's fastest cat meets the world's slowest car? Answer: it chases it, catches it - and eats it. That was the result of a cat versus car challenge at Longleat safari park to discover if the

latest incarnation of the reborn 1960s Peel Car could ever hack it in the 21st century urban jungle. To be perfectly honest, there's not much point trying to outaccelerate a cheetah when you're driving a Peel Trident. Casey and Max, both threeyear-old male residents of the 300-acre Wiltshire park, can do

0-70mph in a matter of seconds. The Trident - a whining, three-wheel soap-bubble of a battery-powered car - struggles audibly when challenged by anything tougher than a gentle uphill slope. So the only thing to do when you find yourself face to face with two high-speed cheetahs clawing at the bodywork is to stop. And to

Paul hopes the car's British engineering is strong enough to keep the big cat at bay

Marijuana falls from Pet Monkey prosecutor's pocket in court bags house


ason Cantrell, 43, assistant city attorney, was issued a summons for simple possession of marijuana on Monday afternoon after a marijuana cigarette fell to the floor in Orleans Parish magistrate court, New Orleans Police spokesman Frank Robertson said. "Jason Cantrell is suspended without pay pending further investigation," Ryan Berni, a spokesman for New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, said on Wednesday. "He was not acting in his capacity as assistant city attorney when the incident occurred." Cantrell's wife, a candidate for New Orleans City Council, said on her Facebook page that she was "angry, embarrassed

and disappointed," with her husband's actions. "I absolutely do not condone his actions," LaToya Cantrell wrote. "He will accept the legal consequences as the judicial process takes its course." She said Jason Cantrell had submitted his resignation, but Berni said no resignation letter had been received. Cantrell has practiced law in Louisiana for more than 16 years, according to Louisiana State Bar Association. He ran unsuccessfully for juvenile court judge in 2009. He has been with the city since 2009. Jason Cantrell could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. LaToya Cantrell said she will remain in the race for city council.

A New Orleans city attorney was arrested for possession of marijuana and suspended from his job after a joint tumbled from his pocket in front of police in court.

keep very still. And perhaps to pray that British engineering will prove robust enough against the visibly sharp teeth of two far from happy cats. Not to mention their rather disconcerting determination to access the meat inside the curiously shaped can of cat food that has just trundled into their kingdom. On the plus side, there must surely be few drivers who can boast that their windscreen has been licked clean by the rasping tongue of Acinonyx jubatus which is useful, as it turns out, because the Peel boasts only a single, hand-operated wiper). Not so helpful is the fact that Max is trying to unpeel the Peel Car by biting the lip of its Perspex dome roof, the perilously fragile barrier that separates me from his open jaw. 'Good pussycat,' I say in reassuring tones, as Casey gets up on his hind legs to peer down at me. He stands more than 6ft tall and towers over the car with his paws spread out on the roof. I try not to make eye contact, despite the fact that his big, amber eyes are almost burning a hole through the Trident's rather flimsy glass-fibre panels. Inside, the windscreen is quickly

steaming up (can't think why). Outside, meanwhile, the big cats at last appear to be losing interest and are loping off to shelter from the rain. Time to go. I turn on the ignition, floor the stop/go pedal and take off at dodgem-car speed across the grass. Max gives me a disparaging glance. But where's Casey? Fifty yards away, I spot him running parallel with me. It's that long, low canter that you usually see only on David Attenborough documentaries as a cheetah prepares to run down its prey. Suddenly there is a massive thud from behind. Casey has clearly had enough of this nonsense and has raced up in my blind spot to attack. Had I been a gazelle, it would be lunchtime right now. With the car somehow surviving, however, he gives one tyre a casual chew and wanders off. The Peel Trident is a newly developed sibling of the P50, a Postman Pat-style oddity first seen on British roads in 1962, and rarely since. Only 50 were ever produced. Now Peel Engineering is remanufacturing them after backing from Dragons' Den entrepreneur James Caan, and has added the equally bizarre Trident to the range.



man's pet monkey was put on house arrest after the animal bit someone last weekend near Cocoa Beach, Florida Today reported. Brad Berman said Mookie, his 19-year-old white-faced Capuchin monkey, had never bit anyone before. So Berman didn't think twice when a couple approached him Saturday near a convenience store on Merritt Island and asked to pet Mookie, according to Florida Today. But the monkey got startled and bit the man, identified as 32year-old Justin Debree, on the shin, officials said. He was not seriously injured. Berman claimed Mookie doesn't have rabies and is registered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. But officials ordered a 30-day quarantine of the animal at home to be sure Mookie doesn't show any symptoms, Florida Today said. The Conservation Commission has not yet confirmed whether Berman has a permit for Mookie.

Florida man said his 19-yearold Capuchin monkey never bit before

Paul: 'I try not to make eye contact, despite the fact that his big, amber eyes are almost burning a hole through the Trident's rather flimsy glass-fibre panels'

Men banned for life from U.K. buffet restaurant for eating too much


ndy Miles and George Dalmon, of the English city of Brighton, were banned for life from a Mongolian barbecue joint that touted its never-ending buffet, the Telegraph reported. The manager at Gobi restaurant accused the men of regularly pigging out on five

bowls of stir-fry each and said they never left a single tip in two years. They ate so much, he told the Telegraph, that there wasn't food left for the other customers. Miles and Dalmon blamed their big appetites on "small bowls," and said the restaurant should honor its promotion, the Telegraph reported.

Two friends found out the hard way that there can be a limit on all-you-can-eat buffets.



Why does hair turn gray? T

here is one thing most presidents have in common at the end of their first terms: more gray hairs. The graying of the Commander-in-Chief is symbolic of the stress associated with being top dog in the world’s most powerful nation. However, research shows that psychological stress does not, in fact, impact the color of one’s locks. For both presidents and the rest of us, gray hair is simply a part of the normal aging process, and the rate you go silver is genetically predetermined. Going gray is not associated with earlier mortality, and premature graying is not, generally speaking, a sign of a illness or ill health in younger adults. There are, however, some specific health conditions, such as vitiligo (an autoimmune disorder that causes uneven pigmentation) associated with gray or white hair, but for most of us, going gray is just a fact of life. Hair colour comes from the pigment melanin, which has two hues, blackish brown and reddish yellow—the amount and mix of each determines your individual shade. Hair without any melanin is pure white. The pigment is produced in cells called melanocytes, located at the base of the hair follicle. The melanocytes inject pigment into the hair. At some point in everyone’s lifetime, these cells slow down and eventually stop producing color all together in what’s called

apoptosis, or genetically predetermined demise. Scientists have yet to identify the exact mechanism by which melanocyte cell death occurs. Tips to make hair colour Last A study of more than 4,000 women and men from 20 countries determined that about 75% of people between the ages of 45 and 65 have some gray hair. In general, people of European descent gray earliest followed by Asians and Africans. It’s interesting to note that a lucky 1 in 10 has no gray hair by retirement age. Beginning at age 30, your chances of having gray hair go up 10-20% per decade. It may feel like you sprout more grays in the wake of a stressful event, but that’s probably because middle age is basically a series of anxietyridden events. Between working, raising kids, and caring for older parents, the

“sandwich” years of 45-65 can be stressful, especially for women. They are also when we naturally start to look older.

In 2011, L’Oreal announced it was in the early stages of developing a pill that would prevent melanin reduction,

Smallpox virus may help treat deadly form of breast cancer

Hair colour comes from the pigment melanin, which has two hues, blackish brown and reddish yellow—the amount and mix of each determines your individual shade. Hair without any melanin is pure white. The pigment is produced in cells called melanocytes, located at the base of the hair follicle. The melanocytes inject pigment into the hair. At some point in everyone’s lifetime, these cells slow down and eventually stop producing color all together in what’s called apoptosis, or genetically predetermined demise

Vaccinia virus: The virus that helped eradicate smallpox could also combat a type of breast cancer resistant to current treatments


relative of the small pox virus may be an effective weapon against one of the deadliest forms of breast cancer, researchers say. Laboratory tests showed that more than 90 per cent of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells treated with the vaccinia virus were destroyed within four days. In mice with the disease, one strain of the virus cleared away 60 per cent of tumours while the extent of those left was dramatically reduced. Vaccinia virus is best known as the basis of the vaccine that eradicated smallpox. Although closely related to the variola virus that causes smallpox, it is generally harmless to humans. TBNC is difficult to treat because it lacks three types of molecular ‘receptor’ that can be targeted by existing hormonal and antibody treatments.

The disease mostly occurs in younger women and is responsible for 10% to 20 per cent of all breast cancer cases. TBNC tends to be aggressive and often recurs after chemotherapy. The virus targets a signalling protein tumours use to promote the formation of blood vessels that support their growth. TBNC has high levels of the protein, known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Lead researcher Dr Sepideh Gholami, from Stanford University in California, US, said: ‘The reason we used the vaccinia virus is that it is a member of the small pox family, and, as we know, small pox vaccine has been given to millions of people to eradicate small pox. So we thought it would be safer and more promising in terms of a clinical

Based upon pathology, we could see that at least 60 per cent of the tumours were completely regressed and the other 40 per cent had very little areas of tumour cells present with a lot of necrosis (die off), which is a sign that the tumour was responding to therapy Gray and glam

but at this point, there is still no silver bullet to keep away the grays. Source:

trial and actual application.’ The findings were presented today at the American College of Surgeons’ Annual Clinical Congress in Chicago. Exposing mice with TNBC tumours to the virus led to “extensive destruction” of the cancer over a period of three weeks, said the scientists. ‘Based upon pathology, we could see that at least 60 per cent of the tumours were completely regressed and the other 40 per cent had very little areas of tumour cells present with a lot of necrosis (die off), which is a sign that the tumour was responding to therapy,’ said Dr Gholami. As well as infecting and breaking down cancer cells, the virus also blocked the growth of tumour blood vessels. Ultrasound imaging revealed a ‘significant reduction’ in blood flow to tumours. The network of blood vessels supplying tumours with nutrients and oxygen shrank to half its normal size in treated animals. The next step will be to design a clinical trial and assess the safety of the virus in patients, Dr Gholami added. Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of the Breast Cancer Campaign charity, said: ‘This is one example of a new type of therapy using viruses to attack cancer cells. The research is currently at an early stage in mice so the findings should be treated with cautious optimism.’ Source:



Jonathan not prepared to govern Nigeria, says Tsav Alh. Abubakar Tsav, a social critic and a former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, in this interview condemns President Goodluck Jonathan for lacking the stamina and being ill-prepared to rule the country alleging that he has failed woefully to improve both infrastructures and human capacity development in the country. Our correspondent, Uche Nnorom, was there. Excerpts:


hat is your take on Nigeria’s journey so far as a sovereign nation? The standard of education has fallen because the government has been unable to look after lecturers very well; government has been unable to develop the universities. Added to that, we have cultism. Sometimes the President will come and talk about beautiful things that he is doing. I think all those talks about investments here and there are mere deceit. What has destroyed us in this country and has still kept on destroying us is corruption. Corruption is everywhere in the society and that is why we have not moved forward as a nation. Countries that are bound to move forward are those that when you commit offences of corruption, they just condemn you, hang you, shoot and execute you. But here, people who are involved in corruption are the right hand men of the President. He eats and dines with them and then gives them national honors. And people who are appointed to fight corruption as soon as they start doing well, these people will conspire and remove them. For a very long time in this country, I have never seen or heard that somebody has been arrested and prosecuted for offering bribe. It is only lip service. We have this case of (Farouk) Lawan and (Femi) Otedola which was a celebrated case but security agencies destroyed it completely. If Goodluck Jonathan is somebody who is out to fight corruption, he could have dealt with the security agencies that destroyed the case. Is there any hope for Nigeria? There is hope; we should not lose hope because this is our country. We don’t expect other people to come and rule this country for us. The only thing that will save this country is that we should imbibe the spirit of honesty, justice, rule of law and the fear of God. If this means going out on revolution, not bloody revolution; not to kill people but like the one that was done in China where people stood on the road and stopped armoured vehicles from passing. Do you think that can

Alh. Abubakar Tsav happen in Nigeria? Yes of course, but it will not happen because people do not want to die. Is Nigeria better together or divided? We cannot be divided because we are inter-married. There will be a lot of quarrels among us if there is disintegration. We have come a long way and we are all together. But these people, for selfish reasons, because they are producing oil and because they think that they are economically viable and they want to break away. Who knows whether God Almighty who created those oil wells will create them somewhere else? After-all, many years back, we did not know oil, we only knew groundnut, palm oil, cotton, cocoa and so on yet we survived without oil. What do you think is the problem with our democracy? All the political parties brought in this zoning arrangement which does not look for the best candidates but mediocre who they will install so that they can be getting money from them. I saw in the papers where President Jonathan said that he alone cannot rule Nigeria. Already he is not ruling alone. The Coordinating Minister is

already ruling with him; the minister of Finance Ngozi Ikonjo Iweala, the Prime minister, Chief Edmund Clarke and the ‘Deputy President’ Patience Jonathan are ruling with him. If Jonathan is truly serious about giving us dividends of democracy, the first thing for him to do is to deal with corruption. This Boko Haram and other acts of insecurity in this country all sprang up because of the injustices of corruption. If there is justice of corruption, we won’t have any such thing as Boko Haram. This Boko Haram is going on, soldiers say they are on top of the situation but many people have been killed, many have been arrested and the worrisome part of it is that people are arrested and we are not told their involvement. If these people are arrested and they tell us their involvement; are leaders involved; are top politicians involved? They don’t tell us. They just arrest and keep quiet. We don’t know; we keep on speculating. A few days ago, we read in the papers that a 24 year old boy was arrested with over $20 million. And he claimed that he was taking the money out of the country for some people. Who are these people; let us know but they will not tell us.

So, our situation is very bad but people who don’t know keep on singing and the government will be deceiving us that they are making progress. What progress are they making? What is your advice to Jonathan as far as 2015 is concerned? The people who are working for Jonathan to come back are working for their pockets; they are not working because they like you and me; they are not working because they like Nigeria; they are working for their pockets. Maybe some of them have been able to acquire oil wells, some have been able to make a lot of money; some of them have built houses and edifices and they want to retain them. That is why they are asking Jonathan to contest in 2015. Otherwise, the man is not prepared to rule us. He hasn’t got the stamina to rule us. You can see that the man is fast losing weight. He is not like he used to be before. So, those who are calling on him to recontest in 2015 are not saying that because they love Nigeria but because of their own pockets. You are the Almirul Hajj of Benue State and there has been the worrisome issue of deportation of Nigerian women from Saudi Arabia, what is your opinion about this? You would notice that not all Muslim women in the country are being returned. Those who are being returned come from a particular part of the country. Are people from the south being returned? No. it’s only women from a particular part of the north. And I think Saudi Arabia has standing order that a woman going for Hajj or Umrah must be accompanied by her brother, her husband or her other relation. Why should these people flout this order? Why? So, people who complied with this order have gone there and they have not been returned. But people who just went in there without taking cognizance of the order have been returned. The Saudi authority has taken this preemptive step because sometimes when women go there, they refuse to come back. Most of those who go without a guide, as soon as Hajj is about to finish, they run into the hills

and take shelter. As soon as we come back, they will go and start begging on the street. They take little children on the cold street and tie their hands behind and cover it with veil such that when you see them you would think that they are amputated. Three years ago when I came back from Hajj, I did a report on that and I sent it to all the 19 governors of the northern states. The governor of Niger State replied me; the governor of Kaduna State who is now the Vice President also replied. They appreciated what I did. Others did not reply me. So, if somebody goes with a guide and fails to return, the guide would be held responsible. So, these people decided to flout the law the way they do in Nigeria and I am sure that must have been influenced by corruption and ignorance. I wouldn’t say illiteracy but ignorance. You would also see that you hardly find religious problems in the South or East. We have Moslems in the west; we have Moslems in the East but you hardly find religious problems in these areas because the people read, interpret and understand the Quran very well so that they don’t make mistakes. But up north here, due to ignorance, joblessness, idleness and poverty, they go into all these. So, I do not have any sympathy for these people who are being returned. But if I were in government, I would have recommended that the people who knew and allowed those women to go to Mecca should be dealt with because they caused the whole thing. If the law says a woman who goes to Mecca must be accompanied by a guide, why do you allow them to go without being accompanied? Why didn’t you obtain the relevant visa to cover her? These people should be held responsible. When is Benue contingent departing for the holy land? We are hoping that within the next one or two weeks. We are trying to avoid the situation that happened to these women in Saudi Arabia. We are trying to normalize our visas and very soon we will know exactly when we are going. But it will not be more than 10 days from now.



Ondo: Oke, PDP, afraid of Mimiko, says Rep Akinlaja By Lawrence Olaoye


member of the House of Representatives and a Labour Party stalwart from Ondo state, Rep Iranola Akinlaja, yesterday alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Olusola Oke, are afraid of the incumbent governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. Akinlaja who undertook a review of ongoing gubernatorial election campaigns ahead of October 20th polls in the state revealed that PDP has nothing to offer the people of Ondo State having failed to achieve any when first given the opportunity. He dispelled reports that his party, LP, is planning to use the machinery of government to ensure second term of office for

Mimiko through rigging and activities of political thugs. According to Akinlaja who doubles as leader of LP Caucus in the House of Reps, the statement credited to Chief Olusola Oke, the PDP candidate that LP was planning a massive clampdown on PDP few days ahead of the election was a mere indication of fear of the opposition and anticipated defeat. “It is a lie that LP in Ondo State is planning to clamp down on leadership of PDP, or even their supporters. It is a figment of imagination of Chief Olusola Oke and the inference we can draw from that is that, that was their stock in trade. He is probably afraid of vengeance because what he said was exactly what they did to leadership and supporters of LP even the electorates in 2007

especially on the 14th and 21st of April 2007. Legs were broken, people were humiliated, somebody like Tunji and Tunji was in leg chains before the elections. Some of them were not released from police and military cells until weeks or months after elections especially in the North and Southern senatorial districts “ “Oke probably thought that Governor Mimiko will revenge what they have done. But Mimiko has proven over times that he’s not somebody of the stuff. If he had done that, most of the decampees from PDP to LP would not have the chances to contest elections” “For instance, a member of House of Reps currently representing Ilaje/Eseodo, Hon. Raphael Nomiye was a decampee of PDP to LP where he contested and

won his election. Even the State Assembly member from Okitipupa Local Government and another female commissioner are from PDP. The governor allowed the party to give everyone an equal right and level playing ground” “Mimiko came out with a policy of “room enough for all as soon as he came to office. He did not allow anyone to be victimised despite what they did to us in the past” “He has proven that he’s not for vengeance. So if he did not do that when he came to office newly, is it now that he’s extremely popular that he will start?” “So, PDP is not a threat to LP in Ondo State, it is not a threat to ambition of governor Mimiko for second term. How can we now clamp down on anybody?

L-R: Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojirinde, Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Rose Okoh, and member of the Committee, Hon. Abubakar Momoh, during the committee's visit to JAMB, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Shema drops Commissioner, appoints 3 advisers From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


overnor Ibrahim Shehu Shema has dropped his Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General, Barrister Bashir Yusuf. A statement signed by the

Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Press Affairs, Lawal Ahmad Matazu noted that Barrister Ibrahim Dantsoho’s name has been sent to the House of Assembly as replacement of the dropped Commissioner.

Similarly, the governor, according to the statement, has also approved minor cabinet reshuffle, where the commissioner for Lands and Survey, Alhaji Hussaini ‘Yammama was moved to the health ministry while the commissioner for Health, Alhaji

Nasidi Danladi was moved to the lands ministry. The statement further said three special advisers were appointed, they are Alhaji Aliyu Haruna Jani, Alhaji Ahmad Danbaba and Alhaji Abdulwahab Sani Stores.

Patriotism, selfless service key to national development — NOA official


he Chief Orientation and Mobilisations Officer of the National Orientation Agency in Ebonyi, Mr Mathew Odono, on Wednesday said patriotism and selfless service were key to national development. Odono made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki. He observed that Nigeria had enormous human and material resources needed for its growth and development but that lack of patriotism and selfless service

among its citizens impeded the realisation of the dream. Odono said that what was needed to fast-track development in the country was genuine love for the nation. The officer also attributed the current state of insecurity in the country to lack of patriotism, adding that no one with genuine love for his or her country could afford to destroy lives and property. Odono, who commended the patriotism, vision and selfless service of the nation’s founding

fathers, advocated for moral and ethical reorientation as a solution to the present insecurity. “Our founding fathers started well and meant well for the nation. They exhibited true patriotism and manifested unparalleled nationalism in the handling of the affairs of the country. “It was their vision and patriotic disposition that kept us as one indivisible entity. So, for us to grow and develop as a nation, we must imbibe the philosophy and ideal of the founding fathers,’’ Odono said.

He expressed confidence in the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, saying that it would restore the hope of Nigerians. “The transformation programme of the government is a right step in the right direction. It is inspiring and will ultimately restore the hope of all Nigerians,’’ he said. He said the journey to greatness was a gradual process, noting that the nation had made significant stride in its 52 years of nationhood. (NAN)

Poverty: Senate urges FG, states, LGs to work harder By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


enate yesterday passed a resolution urging the federal, states and local governments to work harder to put the economy of the country on a part to greatness so as to improve the living conditions of majority of Nigerians. Leading the debate over the bill which seeks to congratulate the President, Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians over the 52 n d independence anniversary, the sponsor, Itah Enang, said that though the country still faces numerous challenges in areas of unemployment and infrastructural deficit, a lot of progress has been made so far. He therefore demanded government at all levels to work towards economic and infrastructural development of the country, which will in turn create jobs for Nigerians. Supporting the bill, the chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Enyinnaya Abaribe, stated that Nigerians are tired of hearing about problems and criticisms. While calling on every Nigerian to start making efforts at individual levels to find a lasting solution to the numerous problems facing the country, he regretted that many Nigerians are still living below poverty line. In his contribution, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu, said that life expectancy of a country is insignificant, calling for emphasis on achievements and standard of living. “Poverty indices are enormous, we should improve and provide infrastructures so as to create jobs”, he stated, pointing out that there is need for synergy between the three arms of government to help engender economic growth. However, Uche Chukwumerije, said that the greatest challenges facing the economic development of Nigeria were federal character and corruption, arguing that Nigeria is a failed state since it cannot meet up with her mates in the Asian countries, including Malaysia which is tops in red oil exportaqtion. Chukwumerije, who noted that Nigeria still has the potentials to become a regional power in Africa, explained that this can only be attainable if the country is ready to retrace its steps and resolve to do things differently.



Katsina CPC: Court sets Dec. 6 for judgment By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed December 6, 2012 to deliver judgment in the suit brought before it by a faction of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Katsina state challenging the withdrawal of their Certificates of Return by the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC). Two Senators and eight members of the House of Representatives dragged the electoral body, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Clerk of the National Assembly, CPC and ten members of the National Assembly before the court over INEC’s action which sacked them from the National Assembly. The Plaintiffs, in the suit filed on their behalf by Yayaya Mahmood (SAN) prayed the court for an order nullifying the certificates of return issued by INEC to Senator Abubakar Sadiq Yar’adua, Senator Abubakar Hadi Sirika and eight other members of the House of Representatives, who are 5th to 14th Defendants in the suit. They want the court to order the lawmakers to vacate their seats in the National Assembly. The Plaintiffs also want the court to declare that INEC lacks the power to cancel, nullify, review, withdraw, void, invalidate either directly or indirectly, the Certificates of Return validly issued to them consequent upon their winning elections to represent their respective Federal Constituencies and Senatorial Districts in Katsina State, without an order of the court first sought and obtained. Other reliefs sought by the Plaintiffs are: “A declaration that by virtue of section 75(1) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, INEC lacks the power to issue certificates of return to the 5th - 14th Defendants in relation to the Federal Constituencies and Senatorial Districts over which the Plaintiffs had earlier on been issued with valid certificates of return, when neither the Court of Appeal nor the Supreme Court had nullified the certificates of return issued to the Plaintiffs. “A declaration that the sealed certificates of return issued to the Plaintiff upon their winning election into the National Assembly to represent their various Federal Constituencies and Senatorial Districts of Katsina state are still valid and that the Plaintiffs are entitled to immediately repossess their seats in the National assembly to represent their respective Federal Constituencies and Senatorial District without hindrance from the 2nd (Senate President), 3rd (Speaker) or 4th (Clerk of the National Assembly) Defendants or any other person”. In an affidavit in support of the originating summon, the Plaintiffs averred that INEC purportedly withdrew their certificates of returns and a fresh ones were issued to the 5th to 14th Defendants without any order of any court of competent jurisdiction.

L-R: Acting Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabir Mashi, in a handshake with Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emaka Ihedioha, during the opening ceremony of an investigative hearing on the involvement of the Federal Government, Shell/Agip Companies and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in respect of oil bloc, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Defection: Mark disowns Boroffice By Richard Ihediwa


enate President, David Mark, yesterday distanced himself from the alleged plot to remove Senator Robert Boroffice from office by its erstwhile party, Labour Party (LP) for defecting to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Responding to allegations by the opposition ACN that the Senate leadership has a hand in Boroffice’s trauma, Mark in a statement released on his behalf by his Special Assistance on Media and Public Affairs, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated

“It is wicked and mischievous for the ACN to allege that the Senate leadership has a hand in Boroffice’s fate when it was the Senator that personally took himself to INEC.” He recalled that the Ondo Senator himself wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) notifying the commission of his resignation from the Labour Party (LP) on which platform he was elected and requested the Commission’s opinion on his decision to join the ACN while alleging division in LP. But the Commission, he added, in its response however declared

that “it (Commission) has no record of any division in the Labour Party to justify your (Boroffice) resignation from the Party”. “The INEC response dated 13th September, 2012 and signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Abdullahi A. Kaugama, further stated that “Section 68(1)(g) (of the 1999 Constitution as amended) does not operate in your favour as there is no division in the Labour Party,”’ he further said. “It is therefore incongruous and smack of sitting logic on its head for the ACN or its spokesperson to conclude that Senator Mark- led

Senate has deployed ‘jackboot’ strategies to declare the seat of Senator Boroffice vacant. ”Why did Distinguished Senator Boroffice write to INEC when he knew that the decision to vacate his seat or otherwise lies with the courts?” the Senate President queried. Senator Mark noted that the import of INEC’s letter is that Senator Boroffice remains a Senator of the Federal Republic elected on the platform of the Labour Party and therefore cannot be recognized as a Senator of the ACN extraction.

Bye-election: Confusion over Giwa’s adoption by CNPP From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


lateau state chapter of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday endorsed the candidature of Mr. Chris Giwa of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) alleging that other candidates have agreed to step down for him. With the endorsement, only Col. John Dungs of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Gyang Pwajok of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Giwa of APGA are candidates for the bye-election.

However, the state Chairman of the CNPP, Mohammed Kanam, has said allowing all candidates to face PDP is an acceptance of defeat and that the CNPP had under a very difficult condition come up with a formula to present one candidate to face the PDP candidate because their goal is win the election. To this end, the candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Dr. Danladi Atu, Labour Party (LP) Lumumuba Adeh and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Barr. Yusufu Pam seized to be candidates

in the Saturday’s bye-election. Kanam said “a committee was set up by the whole house to speak to our five candidates; a task which was not easy to handle. But since we have to come up with just one candidate, the committee recommended Ambassador Chris Giwa of APGA to be the candidate to be supported by all members of the CNPP”. He however clarified that Dungs (rtd) of DPP was not part of the arrangement the screening exercise that endorsed Giwa. However, Atu and Lumumba

candidates of LP and ANPP denied knowledge of the endorsement and described it as a kangaroo arrangement. Lumumba described the act as laughable saying that the CNPP is an agent of PDP and that Giwa is the least among all the candidates. He recalled that Giwa who was ACN candidate in the last governorship but later sold out to Jang and that he is up to the same game just as he urged the electorates to disregard the kangaroo arrangement and vote for him.

Tribunal declares Obanikoro’s son winner of Ikoyi/Obalende chairmanship election According to the tribunal, that the non-collation of the results From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Lagos State Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ikeja yesterday declared Babajide Obanikoro of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the Ikoyi/ Obalende chairmanship election held on October 22 last year. The tribunal, presided over by retired Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, maintained that Obanikoro scored the highest number of valid votes

in the election. Justice Akinsanya therefore nullified the election of Mr. Adewale Adeniji of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and ordered the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to revoke the Certificate of Return issued to him. The tribunal declared that the petitioners had proven that election results were not collated at the unit and ward levels as shown in the LASIEC Forms 9A which were admitted as exhibits.

“Section 11(2) of the Local Government Elections Petitions Tribunal Law 2011 empowers this tribunal to nullify any election that does not comply with the laid down regulations. “The petitioners have been able to discharge the burden of proof vested on them as regards to the collation of the results. “It transferred the onus to the respondents who did not tender any LASIEC Form 9A which is the first stage of any election. “The petitioners have shown

at the units and ward levels substantially affected the outcome of the result declared by LASIEC.” The tribunal held that from the available evidence before the tribunal, Obanikoro scored a total of 3,770 valid votes while Adeniji scored a total of 3,248 votes. “We order LASIEC to issue a Certificate of Return to the petitioners with immediate effect having won the disputed election. We are also awarding N100,000 as cost in favour of the petitioner”, the tribunal ordered.



FIFA U-17: Again, thunder strikes Nigeria in quater-finals


he Flamingoes were again stopped at the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Championship in Azerbaijan after losing 5-3 on penalty shoot-out to France. At the last edition, the Peter Dedevbo turtored side were also beaten at the stage. It was the first penalty shootout of

Azerbaijann 2012 and Marion Romanelli strikes in the winning s p o t - k i c k for France after a 0-0 draw. The French girls were in fine vein of form in the first half and it was a surprise they were did not take the lead in spite of the several chances they had. But Nigeria looked dangerous on the b r e a k

but France were controlling possession and the play. Kadidiatou Diani was next to test Andy, with the No9’s header from Declercq’s cross sending her sprawling to her right. It was Nigeria in fact who had the ball in the net first, with their No9 Yakubu heading between Romane Bruneau’s

legs, but Chinwendu Ihezuo had long been flagged offside. Ihezuo was gifted a golden chance on the stroke of half-time though. The prolific forward latched onto Mbock Bathy’s weak back-pass but Bruneau stood tall and saved well. The pendulum swung marginally in Nigeria’s favour

after the break, w i t h h o l d i n g possession much better, though chances remained scarce. Declercq eventually jarred what had become a stagnant game back into life, charging into the Nigerian area and crashing a fierce drive off the underside of the bar. It was then

Super Eagles will kill Lone Stars if Jonathan watches them in Calabar, says Keshi By Patrick Andrew


he Super Eagles will literarily ‘die on the pitch’ if President Goodluck Jonathan were to personnally be at the UJ Esuene Stadium Calabar on October 13 to watch the 2013 Nations Cup final leg qualifying game between Nigeria and Liberia. Head Coach, Stephen Keshi vowed Wednesday that the presence of the President will raise the adrenaline in the players to such level that they would practically want to spill their blood to ensure Nigeria snatch the Nations Cup ticket even from the jaw the lions. “No, we don’t need dollars to be motivated. What the Eagles want is the morale support of Nigerians. And indeed, there will be no greater support and motivating force than the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan

in Calabar to watch the Eagles. “Look the players will practically want to spill their blood on the pitch in Calabar. They will want to die on the pitch rather than allow the Liberians to deny Nigeria the ticket to the 2013 Nations Cup finals in South Africa,” he said in a veiled invitation of President to be the first democratically elected Nigerian president to watch the Eagles live in the stadium. Keshi, who was in high spirited and quite ebullient, said the Eagles are raring to go and will not allow any other nation to stop Nigeria’s quest not just to participate at the finals but emerg victorious. “I know my squad. We have the materials, the burning hunger, the quality and the zest to compete and win in South Africa. But we need to jump the Liberian hurdle and we know we can do so.

cleared, but her corner found the head Mbock Bathy who headed narrowly wide for a second time. The night took a t u r n against Nigeria when captain Adielomon received only the second red card of the tournament for her second yellow of the night. Her stand-in Halimatu Ayinde

almost snatched the game on 84 minutes though, but she slid her shot into the sidenetting when baring down on Bruneau’s goal. With time up, Sandie Toletti, Ugochi Emenayo and Declercq exchanged efforts before Sarah Nnodim put horribly wide. It fell to Romanelli to tuck home the winner.

“What the players want most is not dollars support, but the morale support, their presence in the stadium, their cheers and those things they do to motivate and ginger them to want to die on the pitch to get the result that the nation so much desire,” he said. Already, 21 domestic league players have been sweating it out since on Monday. This weekend, the team will relocate to Calabar where the 15 foreign-based players will join their d o m e s t i c counterparts to put finishing touches to their preparations for the October 13 duel. President Jonathan

Akinjide directs Onu, Musa to reconstitute FCT sports associations

Joseph Yobo

Ejike Uzoenyi

Victor Moses


CAF moves Champions League 2nd leg final date


he Confederation of African Football has announced the change of dates for the 2 nd leg of the final of Orange CAF Champions League 2012.

CAF said that it has been decided to reschedule the match number 116 (2ND leg of the final) in CL2012, to be played on the weekend of the 16th, 17th or 18thof November 2012 instead of the

initially designated date in the fixtures (9th, 10th or 11th of November 2012). This exceptional change was motivated by the willingness to avoid clash of calendar with the

final of the African W o m e n Championship (held on the 11th of Nov.2012) and will allow each finalist team to have 2 weeks between each leg of the final.

he Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide has directed the Mandate Secretary of the Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Blessing Onuh and the Director of Sports in the FCT Sports Counscil, Mallam Musa Alim Mohammed to reconstitute the sports association boards in the Territory before December ending. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that the associations’ tenures expired some three years but the neither the FCT Sports Council nor the leadership of the SDS had bothered to consider reconstituting them until the FCT chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) publicly lamented the death of sports in the Territory. Giving the directive during a visit by the FCT SWAN executives, Akinjide said the associations must be reconstituted to re-jig sports in the territoy stressing that unless the boards of the associations were in place sports would hardly have the needed policy drive. “We need committed persons to serve on the boards of these Sports Associations. People should apply and due diligence should be undertaken on them. All the Sports Associations will be inaugurated by December 2012.” She noted that the restructuring of Sports in the country had become necessary due to the dismal performance at this year’s Olympics in London. “Our performance at the

Olympics was abysmal as we won no medal. But our athletes at the Paralympics made the nation proud and were deservedly rewarded by Mr. President. We need to take our Sports to the next level to enable us effectively compete at domestic and international events,” he said. The minister urged the SDS to organise an annual Marathon race in the FCT where international athletes would be invited to participate. The SDS Secretary stated that the Secretariat would build community stadia in some Area Councils Kuje and Bwari as part of measures to encourage the growth of sports in the FCT. Boards of the associations to be reconstituted are Basketball, Handball, Karate, Volleyball, Judo, Boxing, Taekwondo, Hockey, Golf, Badminton, Kick Boxing, Special Sports, Traditional Sports, Wrestling, Weight Lifting, Swimming, Gymnastics, Tennis, Table Tennis, Shooting and Squash. The Chairman of FCT Chapter of SWAN, Mr. Kayode Adeniyi, stated that the FCT had what it takes to compete favourable with Lagos, Delta, Edo and Rivers States in the provision of sports facilities and winning laurels. “There is need for adequate provision of sporting facilities and recreation centres in the neighbourhoods such as Maitama, Asokoro, Lugbe, Nyanya, Gwagwalada, Kubwa, Bwari, Kuje and Abaji,” he noted.



86 officials attend FIFA referees course in Abuja

Tornadoes shop for new technical adviser



Emmanuel Obafemi, Retired Nigerian referee

Nations Cup qualifier: Agbim raring to go

lhaji Aminu Maigari, the President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has called for unity among football stakeholders in the country in the interest of the development of “the beautiful game’’. Maigari was speaking at a meeting with some stakeholders in Baku, the Azerbaijan capital on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. He urged the stakeholders to partner with the football body in running the business of soccer and should not be left to government alone. “You are stakeholders in football business and as the owners of the game, we rely so much on you,’’ he said. The NFF president urged those in attendance, mainly chairmen of football associations to talk to their various state associations on the need for unity within “the football family’’. “Let’s work together and become one family day in day out. People expect so much from the football family, and it depends on us to meet their expectations,’’ Maigari stressed. He said that the federations would not run well if there were rifts within the ranks and if members had disagreements among themselves.

Aminu Maigari

leg of the 2013 Afcon qualifying final round. “Though I am looking forward to being one of those picked for the Nations Cup but we will have to beat Liberia first. We cannot

Keshi charges Eagles to make a difference against Lone Stars


uper Eagles Chief Coach Stephen Keshi has charged the Super Eagles to step up to the challenge and make the difference in against Loner Stars of Liberia on October 13. Keshi, who would desire nothing by the routing of Liberia, said making a difference against the Lone Stars would effectively stem the tide of their declining performance in recent times. Speaking during the usually weekly media parley, the Eagles Head Coach said that the return leg qualifying match against the Lone Star of Liberia for the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in 2013, would be explosive. He acknowledged that the performance of the Eagles had diminished over the past 10 years, but assured that everything was being done to rekindle team spirit, depth and knack to deliver for which the Eagles were known. “It is up to the players to wake up now. It is not me or you. It is up to the players to stand up to the challenge,’’ he said. Keshi called on all Nigerians to rally behind the team as that was all the team would need to get to South Africa stressing that unhealthy criticisms would not help. “I think that is the right thing to do now. Not just the Federal Government, but every Nigerian as well. We need to have confidence in the players. They need positive talks. They need to know that the people believe in them. “We do not need to hear that they are useless players and they can’t do anything. We need togetherness; we need to come together in boosting their morale. We need all Nigerians to come to Calabar. Get behind the team, certainly they will do well,’’ Keshi said. The coach said people should discountenance rumours making the rounds that he was playing a 4-2-4 formation. “No team in the world plays a 4-2-4 formation. “How can I play 4-2-4; what I play is 4-4-2 formation. I never played 4-2-4. But if you don’t understand the system, it is better to say you don’t understand the system. It is 4-4-2 formation that we play. “Probably, the only problem you guys (newsmen) are observing right now is that, the two flank players are not coming in as mid-field players and winning balls. “It happens mainly when I have my home-based players, because we have been practicing that over and over and they know how it works. They know how to encroach in the mid field and block,’’ Keshi said. The return leg match against the Lone Star of Liberia will hold on Oct. 13 at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar.

afford to let this slip off our hands or else we would have failed our country and the coach,” he said. Agbim, who is a nominee for Best Goalkeeper category in the 2012

League Bloggers Awards (LBA), has been one of the mainstay in the Super Eagles and has captained the side in warm-up games against Egypt and Niger Republic this year.

Godfrey Oboabana

Agbim. But he added that the Nigerian squad will have to defeat their Liberian counterparts when both sides clash in Calabar on October 13 in the decisive

Chigozie Agbim


igeria goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim is relishing the opportunity of reaching the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa. Liberia’s Lone Star stand in between the Super Eagles and a place at next year’s edition of AFCON. The Warri Wolves’ goalkeeper said it will be “a huge fulfilment” in his career to be part of the Afcon next year should Nigeria qualify. “It will be a dream come true, and a huge fulfilment for me if Nigeria qualify for the Nations Cup in South Africa and I am also part of the team to the competition too,” said

Maigari calls for unity among soccer stakeholders


the world football-governing body, FIFA, for the keen interest it has continued to show, unpretentiously about the development of Nigeria referees and their profiles internationally. “It is this very special interest that informed the move by the world body to approve the maiden edition of this course.” “This same interest has manifested again with the FIFA’s decision to send to Nigeria three of the very best in the business, who have seen it all in the vocation of refereeing and have so much to teach our own people,” Suleyman said. He commended the efforts of the Nigeria Referees Association and the NFF Referees Committee, pledging that the NFA would continue to support its activities. He expressed the hope that more Nigerian referees would soon participate in world football, going by the nature of support received from FIFA. Retired Nigerian FIFA referees, Linus Mba, Emmanuel Obafemi and Edikin Imiere, are also attending the programme.

Ezekiel Bassey

he management of Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna says it will recruit a new technical adviser following the suspension of its technical adviser, Mr Justine Tenge. This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Suleiman Isah, the club’s Media Officer, in Minna on Tuesday. According to the statement, the indefinite suspension of Tenge is still effective while the club is following the due process in recruiting a new adviser. “We have opened our window for recruitment of technical adviser and he will continue to be on suspension until the management clarifies some of the observations made in his technical report. “So, anybody who is interested can apply,’’ the statement said. The statement stated that 12 applications had been received, noting that a committee would scrutinise and shortlist the successful applicants for interview. He said the club took the step because the national league would start on Oct. 28 and the new adviser would be expected to recruit and groom players.

ighty six match officials are currently participating in the 2012 FIFA MA Course for elite referees, referee assessors and physical fitness instructors, in Abuja. A total of 30 elite referees, 36 assessors and 20 physical fitness instructors are participating in the one-week programme, which debuted in 2011. The course, organised by FIFA, was piloted by three FIFA-leading retired referee instructors, Sidi Bekaye Magassa from Mali, Felix Tangawarima from Zimbabwe and Madembe Mbacke of Senegal. Peter Edibe, the only Nigerian referee involved in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying race was among the referees in attendance. Alhaji Muazu Suleyman, member of NFF Executive Committee and Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee who represented Maigari, commended FIFA for continuously supporting every programme geared toward the development of the Nigerian referee. “Let me start by expressing heartfelt appreciation to



Williams excited excited Williams with first Africa trip

Edo Sports Council ensures athletes early preparation


merican tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams are set for a three-day tour of Nigeria later this year in November. The sisters, who have won two of the four grand slam titles between them in 2008, are expected to be in Lagos and will play an exhibition match - their first in Africa - as well as host a tennis clinic for 1,000 Nigerian youngsters. Speaking at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, director of the International Tennis Academy, Godwin Kienka, explained the Williams were thrilled to be part of the project titled “Touching 1000 Lives at a Time”. He said: “The world famous tennis siblings, Venus and Serena Williams, have accepted to come to Nigeria to motivate and inspire Nigerian youths with their story and talent. “Venus is especially excited because it will be her first visit to Africa. Their story is one of that of a combination of unwavering desire, determination, discipline, focus, good planning and sacrifice have brought them to this point. “There are thus no better sports role-models to inspire and motivate and re-orientate Nigerian youths to pursue excellence and success in whatever they choose to do, like these two African-Americans.” Apart from playing the exhibition game, the Williams’ will also run a short clinic for the best juniors in the country and visit selected orphanages in and around Lagos.


ix weeks to the commencement of the 18 th National Sports Festival in Lagos, the Edo State Sports Council says it is concluding preparation for the state athlete’s participation at the festival. The state Sports Director, Mr Godwin Okutta, disclosed this stressing that complaints by the state athletes on the lack of training facilities in preparation for the festival were far from the truth. “The sports council is at present working round the clock for a hitch-free preparation for the festival,” Okutta said. Earlier, the athletes have decried the absence of training facilities ahead of the festival, but vowed to defend the medals they won at the last festival in Port Harcourt last year. Spokesman of the athletes, African Kick-Boxing champion turned coach, John Osamwonyi, said that the lack of facility had slowed down their preparation for the festival. Osamwonyi, however, added that the government neglect notwithstanding, the athletes would compete at the festival and win medals purposely for self pride. “My heart bleeds to see talented athletes being neglected by the state government. These are athletes who have won laurels for this state in previous festivals and are still rearing to go,” Osamwonyi, a silver medalist at the 2003 All Africa Games said. “But the state government and the ministry are not encouraging then to do well. The athletes are determined to excel and win medals at the festival for self-esteem and as indigenes of the state,’’ he said. According to him, the athletes are working hard and are targeting 15 medals at the festival. “That is our plan and that is our dream and that is why we are begging the state government to quickly come to our aid. We have lost four of my medals hopeful to other states that enticed them with good offer. “But many others have decided to stay back out of loyalty for me as their coach believing that the state government will come up with something soon.

Serena Willaims

Venue Williams


he Lagos State Government has postponed the closed camping of its athletes for the 18th National Sports Festival because of what it called “logistics reasons’’. The Director, (Technical), Team Lagos to the Games, Babatunde Fatayi-Williams, disclosed this to

Gov. Babatunde Fashola, Lagos

18th NSF: Lagos postpones closed camping the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)yesterday in Lagos. Fatayi-Williams said that the athletes who were to have begun the closed camping on Oct. 2 would now commence training at a new date next week. “The closed camp for the sports festival has been postponed to next week, we have to tackle some logistics problems to achieve the aims of the camping,’’ he said. Fatayi-Williams also said that the postponement would not affect the morale of athletes and urged them to always be prepared. He expressed optimism that the final phase of the preparation for the festival would bring out the best

and put athletes in good form to win medals at the fiesta. “I am confident that the closed camp will help our athletes to perfect their techniques and be in top shape to win medals at the sports festival,’’ Fatayi-Williams said. No fewer than 851 athletes in 25 sports will be camped at eight centres for 54 days. The centres are Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Ikorodu, which will host chess, scrabble, wrestling, judo, para-table tennis, power lifting and the four traditional sports — Abula, Ayo, Dambe and Kokowa. Mayoung Baracks, Somolu, will

host hockey, handball, cricket, badminton and tennis, while athletics, squash, deaf athletics, gymnastics, kickboxing and swimming will hold at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere. Table tennis and deaf table tennis would be played at the Union Bank Sports Club, Surulere, while volleyball and basketball will be at the Police College, Ikeja. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientataion Camp, Iyana Ipaja, will host football, taekwondo, weightlifting and paraathletics, while Jalisco Gymnasium, Oshodi and Epe Recreation Centre host boxing and cycling respectively.

ago was going at a ‘very slow pace’ to the disadvantage of the swimmers. “The slow pace of works at the pool may negatively affect the performance of the swimmers at the festival which is about six weeks from now. “The four-day a week training which my swimmers started since the second week of July had put them in proper shape. “However, the renovation work,

I am afraid, had slowed down their tempo, because they had relaxed for the past three weeks. In fact, we are about to begin our close camping when the rehabilitation started,” she said. The coach then appealed to the management of the facility to direct the contractor handling the works to speed up the renovation to ensure her team resumes normal training. Moses Williams the pool

attendant, also confirmed that the major repair works at the pool which he said were tiling and installation of water pumping machine, were yet to begin. Williams said that although, the renovation would be ready before the start of the festival, the swimmers for now should look for alternative pool to train. Swimming is one major event Team Lagos was banking its hope to win more medals at the festival.

...Repair works stall swimmers training


he ongoing repair works at the swimming pool of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, has hindered the training of the Lagos State swimmers for the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival. Eniola Omope, the Head Coach, Lagos Swimming Team for the festival, said yesterday that the swimmers have not train for the past three weeks. According to Omope, the repair works which began three weeks



Will Jonathan accept Keshi's challenge?


eldom do the ordinary citizens have a close encounter with their president, at least in our climes. Indeed, rare is such opportunity for the commoner to rub palms with the men that dictates the deeds of state. Not a few have craved for such chance but may never have it till they returned to mother earth. For sports persons, as is the same with several artisans and other bookish professionals, such rare privilege is dreamt of, craved for and in some rare moments, such dream materialized. And what lasting memory such moments are in the consciousness of the privileged ones! Early last month,

President Goodluck Jonathan in seemingly flash-like manner made a rare appearance before members of the Super Eagles at the National Stadium Abuja. It was historic in many respects. Jonathan visited the team's training session with the retinue of his choicest officers in government. The vice president, Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and several others who represented core interest groups were with him. That singular visit surely puts Jonathan in the annals of Nigerian sports as the first Nigerian president to pay a courtesy visit to the Eagles. And were the players delighted?

return visit to the training session. He is spared of the necessity of that pep talk with the Nothing could be more players. accurate. Calabar is it! Forget that the Eagles Yes, Keshi somewhat failed to keep b e l i e v e s their side of the bargain n e i t h e r in Monrovia where the churns dollars and all that. Yes, Keshi symbolizes in a democratic Lone Stars snatched the nor mere telephone two points off their haul. conversation- something believes nothing else will setting such as we are said matter so long as the to practice. The game ended 2-2. late Gen. Sani Abacha Will President Jonathan Nonetheless, that brought into vogue, will president leads his team to the stadium. accepts the Super Eagles' presidential visit was do the magic. He reasons that the invitation to go to Calabar clearly affective and What will, he said, in a Jonathan's presence, like to cheer them against therefore effective. Now, matter-offact is magnet to mental their Liberian opponents Stephen Keshi, the Eagles President Goodluck objects, will necessarily just like Ellen Johnson head coach, wants Jonathan's physical nothing better than presence in Calabar, bring a mammoth crowd Sirleaf did last month? to stadium. It could even It could be the turning another presidential cheering the team, presence. But not a giving half time pep talk be an avenue for an point for a government emergency 'rally'. still grappling with image Of course, football- a issues in the eyes of the growing religion- with its public. It may yet bridge Of course, football- a growing religion- with its huge congregation of pious the gap between the huge congregation of pious largely youthful largely youthful devotees government and its youth devotees commands fetish, voracious presence in commands fetish, and perhaps ameliorate voracious presence in the the public conception or the consciousness of its enthusiasts. So does consciousness of its misconception bordering politics which a president symbolizes in a enthusiasts. So does on the state's apathy for democratic setting such as we are said to practice. politics which a president its youth.

WATCH DOG By Patrick Andrew

NTTF president commends church for promoting table tennis


ayode Abdulwahab-Omotose, the President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), on Thursday in Lagos commended the Christ Embassy for contributing to the development of the sport in the country. Abdulwahab-Omotose told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the federation was delighted that the church had for three years sponsored the Reach Out Nigeria Table Tennis Championships. The 3rd edition of the competition was held in Uyo between Sep. 25 and Oct. 1. “I am excited that Christ Embassy has chosen to identify with the progress of table tennis in the country and I give kudos to the church,’’ he said. He called on other churches and corporate bodies to emulate the gesture to enable the NTTF organise more championships and consequently, discover talents. The NTTF boss also said that he was pleased with the participation of clubs from Germany and Portugal, adding that the players’ performance was impressive. “The participation of foreign clubs made the event more competitive and this also made our players to

put up some impressive display,’’ he added. The states that participated included Ondo, Adamawa, Imo, Kwara, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital

Chris John to make 17th WBA title defence


hris John will defend his WBA superfeatherweight title in Singapore on November 9. The champion will face Thailand’s Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo. The undefeated John heads a card to be presented at the Marina Bay Sands resort. On the same bill, his Indonesian compatriot Daud Yordan will defend his IBO featherweight title against Choi Tseveenpurev of Mongolia. It is the second fight in Singapore for John, whose professional record stands at 47 wins 2 draws and 22 knockouts. He retained his title when he defeated Japanese challenger Shoji Kimura on points in May. John, 33, who was voted WBA fighter of the decade earlier this month, will be making


“We are committed to making matches of the Super Eagles, and indeed other National Teams, more experiential, more memorable for the fans. We also want to be able to show greater visibility at matches involving the National Teams,” said Dr. Anyalebechi. Receiving the Guinness team, which also included Brand Manager, Guinness, Mr. Uche Onwudiwe, NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said the company remained “one of NFF’s strongest partners in the area of the development of the game”. Guinness also used

the forum to pledge total commitment to supporting the Super Eagles at next weekend’s 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Lone Star of Liberia at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Also at the meeting were NFF’s Director of Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, Director of Marketing, Mr. Idris Adama, Chief Media Officer, Mr. Ademola Olajire, Principal Legal Officer, Barrister Okey Obi, Senior Marketing Manager, Mr. Alizor Chuks and Senior Sports Officer, Dr. Christian Emeruwa.

Chris John

Guinness reiterates commitment to Eagles uinness Nigeria PLC has reaffirmed its commitment to the sponsorship of the national teams and the general development of Nigerian football. During a brief meeting with the Management of the Nigeria Football Federation, at the Glass House, Abuja, the company’s Marketing Manager, Dr. Obinna Anyalebechi said Guinness is delighted with the recent performances of the national teams and will always be there to lend support for the teams to do even better.

Territory. The foreign clubs were GTV Club of Bremerhaven, Germany; and Union Maritime Club of Portugal. The Nigerian clubs were Sheraton, Abuja; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; Union Bank, and the Nigeria Police Force.

his 17th title defence. Mexican Orlando Salido is one place above John on the Ring Magazine’s rankings, with undefeated American Mikey Garcia third and another Mexican, Daniel Ponce De Leon, fourth. Salido, who holds the WBO title, stopped Moises Gutierrez in the third round in July. WBC champion De Leon beat Jhonny Gonzalez in Las Vegas last month. Chonlatarn boasts an impressive-looking record of 44-0, including 27 knockouts. But he has not boxed outside Thailand and has fought few rated opponents. But the 27-year-old does boast two victories over compatriot and former bantamweight world champion Yoddamrong Sithyodthong. Yordan (29-2; 23) will face a far more experienced opponent. Tseveenpurev, who is based in England and has a record of 36-5; 24, is a former “world” champion. The 25-year-old Yordan will make the first defence of the title he won on the undercard of John’s fight in Singapore in May when he was knocked down in the first round before stopping Lorenzo Villanueva in the second.

Eagles play Water, FC Abuja today


he Super Eagles will this morning at the practice pitch of the National Stadium Abuja trade tackles with Water FC in a test game that will afford the technical crew the opportunity to see the players’ physical and mental shape. Same thing will be repeated tomorrow morning when the Eagles will again tackle FC Abuja with a view to further assessing them. The game will also allow the technical crew the chance to trim the number of domestic league players in the team. According to the Media Officer of the team, Ben Alaiya, the matches will offer the players to the chance to prove themselves and thus merit retention in the squad that will face Liberia.

Azarenka, Sharapova in China Open last eight finals


op seeds, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, reached the last eight of the China Open yesterday after recording their third consecutive straight-sets victories in Beijing. World No 1 and first seed Azarenka dispatched Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal tie with Switzerland’s Romina Oprandi. The 23-year-old from Belarus has yet to drop a set in the tournament, defeating France’s Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-0 in the first round and Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-4, 6-2 in the second. Second-seed Sharapova, No 2 in the WTA rankings behind Azarenka, defeated Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog, ranked 90th in the world, 6-0, 6-2 at the capital’s National Tennis Stadium. Sharapova, 25, had beaten Romania’s Simona Halep 7-5, 7-5 in the first round and Sorana Cirstea,

also of Romania, 6-2, 6-2 in round two. “I had a long first round, even though it was two sets, but today and yesterday was definitely a little bit quicker,” Sharapova said. “I played really well in the beginning and got a little tense in the second set, but I felt like I really needed that challenge. It’s nice to be in the quarterfinal stage of this tournament.” Sharapova will face her first real test of the Premier Mandatory event in the next round when she takes on either fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany or former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. The China Open is the fourth and final compulsory tournament of the women’s calendar, behind only the Grand Slams and season-ending WTA Championships in prestige.



Say what?

Source: Reader's Digest

FACTS * Author Hunter S. Thompson, who committed suicide recently, wanted to be cremated and his ashes to be shot out of a cannon on his ranch.

Quick CrossWord (41)

* Sports Illustrated magazine allows subscribers to opt out of receiving the famous swimsuit ACROSS issue each year. Fewer than 1% choose this option. 1 Person who weeps

childishly (3-4)

* There is a company that will (for $14,000) take your ashes, compress them into a synthetic 7 Drab appearance (9) diamond to be set in jewelry for a loved one.

8 Irish Republic (4) * The RIAA sued an 83 year old woman for downloading music illegally, even though a copy of 10 Scorch (4) her death certificate was sent to the RIAA a week before it filed the suit. 12 Aberrant (9) * Two 1903 paintings recently sold at auction for $590,000 - the paintings were in the famous 14 Incessantly (2,3,2) "Dogs Playing Poker" series.

Source: Weird facts


DOWN 2 Tier (3) 3 Wicket part (4) 4 Hardwood tree (5) 5 Made sense (5,2) 6 Normally (2,1,4) 9 Disagreement (3-2) 11 __ Laurel, comedian (4) 13 __ de Janeiro, city (3)

Yesterday’s answer

The sky seems to be raining lightning as a freak storm lights up the horizon. Dozens of spectacular bolts amazed residents in the Croatian city of Split. The powerful storm crackled all night and left the city, the country's second biggest, bathed in an eerie glow.

. . . putting the people first



Mancini vows to fix City’s problems


anchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists he knows where his team's problems lie after their fitful start to the season. City's 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday extended their poor run to just three wins in nine matches. Mancini's team have just one point from their two Group D matches and are four points adrift of leaders Chelsea in the Premier League. After being so solid on their way to the Premier League title last season, they have also failed to keep a single clean sheet in their nine matches so far. Mario Balotelli's late penalty earned a point against the Germans but the performance gave Mancini real concern. The Italian refused to expand on what he thinks is currently going wrong for his team. Mancini, whose team host Sunderland tomorrow before the international break, is sure he can find a solution to his team's issues and has promised he will rectify their issues quickly. He said: "I know the problem and I will resolve it very quickly. It's my problem and my job and I will solve this problem. "If we want to play in the Champions League we have to play better. "We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just pass. Champions League is another situation - different from the championship. "We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just have quality. If you don't run like Dortmund did, then you have a problem. "Our performance was very poor but I think that in the end of the group this point could be very important." Mancini's plans for the Sunderland game have also been hit by Javi Garcia limping out of the Dortmund game with a hamstring problem. City failed to progress to the knock-out phase last season after collecting just a point from their opening two group matches. They now face a double header with Ajax before a home game against Real Madrid and a trip to Dortmund.


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE The benchmark (price of $75 a barrel of crude) doesn’t necessarily give you more revenue. You can increase it to $100 if you like, but does that bring money. — Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Gov. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Dude(s), where is my country? I

borrowed this title from Michael Moore, the American movie producer and relentless critic of the President George W. Bush administration. His book of the same title, published in 2003, was adapted from a movie 'Dude Where is My Car'. It was a searing attack on corporate America and President Bush, who he accuses of destroying "my America of tolerance and peace". For me, however, the "DUDES" here are all those controlling the levers of power at all levels and their army of cronies and "ten per centers". In this category are rapacious governors, incompetent legislators and thieving ministers and the leader of the pack, the man who currently calls the shots as Commander-in-Chief. Were Moore a Nigerian, he would probably have asked these dudes "What have you done to my country". Since the dawn of this government in 2010, the Nigerian identity has steadily faded. In its stead is a burgeoning rise of micro ethnic individuality. Agreed, Nigeria has always had the problem of unending "son of the soil" syndrome but under Jonathan's transformation agenda it assumed arrant visibility. The polarization of the Nigerian identity along the usual fault lines heightened in the last two years. A handy facility that goes by the name Boko Haram intermittently and shockingly reminds us of its mission to "Islamize" the country to drive the agenda of minute identities. In an obvious twisted understanding of the religion of peace, it has given itself away as a murderous gang giving religion a bad name. The discernible have long concluded that this band of insurgents' impunity could only mean that they enjoy state support. At specific moments, Boko Haram crawls out and inflicts maximum injury on a hapless citizenry. President Goodluck Jonathan, once in a moment of heedless anger, had admitted the existence of these renegades in his government. By this, he managed, in one fell swoop, to alienate all the Muslim members of his government. Boko Haram members spuriously and repeatedly claim to be Muslims. Their campaign, according to them, is on behalf of all Muslims. Therefore, to be Boko Haram, by

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ALI M. ALI ON FRID AY FRIDA Jonathan's school of thought, you had to be a Muslim. But the more sober elements in government stolidly ignored the man giving his history of inebriation. Nonetheless, it was the cue bigots propped up by his overwhelmed administration needed to mount a campaign of calumny against a whole section of the country. Insecurity has, of course, heightened not so much because of the insurgency but because of the gross incompetence of the men at the top. Serial rape of the economy has become a pastime. The nation's resources are heedlessly pillaged. Government statutory responsibilities are outsourced to shady contractors with a history of serial perfidy. In some instances, resources from the common till are annexed to service primordial interests. Under transformative agenda, endless scams are daily perpetrated. One that readily comes to mind is the fuel subsidy scam. Last year alone, it came to the fore that funds spent on subsidy had eclipsed those of past

years. Only two days ago, the Debt Management Office sounded the alarm that the nation's debt profile will hit a staggering USD 25 billion by 2015. Health care is in total ruins. Having fleeced the nation, these "dudes" flee abroad to tend to common ailments, a telling commentary on the state of health care delivery in this country. Genuine criticism of this administration, a defining feature of democracy, is seen as a "declaration of hostility" on a shoeless but lucky president. God help the critic if he happens to come from any section of the country other than the president's. Everywhere you turn to, the picture is depressing. Nigeria is on the brink. Those knowledgeable about cliffs and brinks like General Theopilus Yakubu Danjuma have warned that the 'Somaliazation' of Nigeria was nigh high. At the time Danjuma sounded the alarm the attack lions in the presidency were in the job market. Otherwise, I am as certain as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, the lions would have attacked the General. I imagine a nifty one liner for Danjuma from the arsenal of the beefy Okupe: "He is a frustrated busy body". The problem with that, however, was that it wouldn't have stuck. Danjuma was not a "busybody". He was a soldier. And he made his mark at an early age. Leadership of the army was thrust on his shoulders at a young age. And he rose to the occasion. As Chief of Army Staff, between 1976 and 1979, he nudged a reluctant General Obasanjo in the right direction of handing over power in 1979.

Recall how he threatened to go into exile if Obasanjo was not elected in 1999.Recall also how much he took out his fat wallet to bank roll penniless Obasanjo. One account had it that the venture cost him a whopping billion naira. Another account was "modest"; it said that he spent only N800 million to get Baba back into the Villa. Danjuma is not alone. He is in good company. All manner of patriots have sounded this alarm. Scholars, clergymen, sinners and saints have all come to this grim conclusion that this frightful creature that goes by the name "NIGERIA" will not endure. And a sinking feeling gnaws at my gut. Nigeria is sinking not so much because of unprecedented floods but because of "clueless" leadership. By now, describing the underperforming Jonathan administration as lost in the labyrinthine web of provincial politics has become routine. And the nation's leader has demonstrated an astonishing lack of capacity to lead. For a leader desirous of "Transformation", President Jonathan has betrayed an uncommon tardiness in delivery. This government talks big, plans big but delivers at the height of a pygmy. As the nation inexorably marches towards the next election in just three short years away, voting out Jonathan and his band of co-travellers in all tiers of government should be an article of faith. We must reclaim our country. In doing that, the informed among us should strive to educate the followership that what stares us in the face is worse than Boko Haram and all Niger Delta militias put together.

Insecurity has, of course, heightened not so much because of the insurgency but because of the gross incompetence of the men at the top. Serial rape of the economy has become a pastime. The nation's resources are heedlessly pillaged. Government statutory responsibilities are outsourced to shady contractors with a history of serial perfidy. In some instances, resources from the common till are annexed to service primordial interests

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 05, October, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 05, October, 2012 Edition

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